BOOK REVIEW: Spirit Work Primer

I receive a lot of messages, comments and the like asking all kinds of questions, but mostly they’re from folks seeking advice.

By far, the number one question I receive is: Where do I start on my journey to Spirit Working?

I find that people are confused about how to find a Deity.

Let’s pause and address THIS.

-You do not need a Deity

-In my humble opinion, They find and choose you

-Your journey will lead you to them (Examples: S*xual A*sault, death and pain led me to Hekate; Asanas and practicing the 6 Branches of Yoga fully committed as a Hindu led Kali to me who paved the way for Shiva through Her dance of destruction)

Carrying on..

Folks don’t know how to Evoke or Invoke and when to do which; I personally do not engage in the latter because of a pact I made with another Spirit.

We each have our own paths to walk and Practices to well, practice.

Spirit Work itself is a broad term, but it means working with Spirits.

This could be anything from a God, Goddess, to a Daemon, or an Angel.

There are many classes of Spirits and different definitions depending on Tradition, individual opinion and personal, lived experiences.

So where do you begin? How do you start?

It’s really overwhelming and not something that can be summed up in a blog or fb post.

Jason Miller recently put out an excellent book called, Consorting with Spirits: Your Guide to Working with Invisible Allies. I will be reviewing it in the future.

The thing I must say about Miller’s book (he’s one of my favorites and most influential Authors) is that he wrote it for people that already have a Magickal foundation established and honestly?

I really appreciate that.

I think it’s incredible to have books that appeal to novices and adepts alike; I like that there are books for novices only; I like that there are books for adepts only.

They can all exist, and they are all (mostly) worthy.

I don’t think there is anything wrong with writing to experienced Practitioners. I started reading it and was like, “Oh, oh, thank f*ck”.

That said, there is a book that has kind of slipped through the cracks and I believe it’s noteworthy.

I had not heard of it before, and when I did and I started reading, even though it is specifically for NEW PRACTITIONERS, I found it exceedingly interesting, and it helped refresh some things for me. Not in a redundant way, either.

I never felt like I was being spoken to like a child, and I found the entire thing educational and that, my friends, is why I am here.

The Spirit Work Primer: A Beginner’s Guide to Streamlined Spirit Work by Naag Loki Shivanath, published by Crossed Crow Books. This is a revamped, second edition from the original 2017 publication.

Image Source: Crossed Crow Books/fb

I highly recommend it if you are interested in working with Spirits but have no clue where to begin.

Covered topics are:

The Basics of Spirit Work, The Nature of Offerings, Spirit Senses, Magickal Invocation, Magickal Evocation, The Nature of Spiritual Pacts, Spirit Possession, Familiar Spirits, Spirit Keeping, Isolated Spirits, Created Spirits, Spirit Houses, Spiritual Self-Defense and Cleanup, Grimoire of the Thorn.

Publisher describes it as follows:

“Invocation, Evocation, Possession

These words conjure forth feelings of unease and confusion for many magical practitioners, even today. This book, however, is a fantastic guide intended to shed some much needed light on these often misunderstood subjects. Within these pages, spirit worker and necromancer Naag Loki Shivanath serves as guide and teacher, taking all readers through a sophisticated yet highly practical system of spirit conjuration. If you’ve been interested in learning how to sharpen your spirit senses, safely practice spirit possession, work through spirit invocation and evocation, then this tome is the book you’ve been waiting for.

Whether you are a follower of the more ritualized manifestations of the magical arts or a Witch looking to deepen your practice with the spirit world, A Spirit Work Primer will prove to be a valuable resource that is referenced time and time again.”

This is a book that is not specific to any one Tradition or path, and the Author never shames the Practitioner for the path they walk.

This is an informational guide on Spirit Work.

I will say, and this may be my only critique, the Author brings up Gender in Practice, and the way it’s worded could’ve been better. I don’t know if I agree with associating give and take (in pact work) with the masculine and feminine manifesting.

I know a lot of folks will not align with or resonate with this excerpt and I owe it to those folks, those readers to add this disclaimer.

As a Queer person myself, I will say this should not deter you from the book, but for non-binary folks who completely reject this dichotomy in practice I feel it’s fair to mention. I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t.

“The Principle of Gender

At last, we reach the final law, stating: “Gender is in everything; everything has its masculine and feminine principles: gender manifests on all planes.” This law speaks to more than just your anatomy, however. This law speaks to the fact that nothing is without balance, and that everything that is generated or regenerated consists of both masculine and feminine energies: light and dark, fire and water, air and earth, and so on. To see how this principle applies to pact working, consider that for every desire you create a pact for, you have to give something up. You have to balance the scales, or else Spirit will not deliver on their end. This forms the circle of give and take, the manifestation of male and female.”

I agree the scales must be balanced. I agree that in pact working for it to be successful you must sacrifice something; as mentioned above, I don’t agree that it is masculine and feminine manifesting.

All in all, this is an excellent book and should be talked about more.

Most importantly, it should be read.

Lessons in Magick: The Dangers of Shadow Work

 

I have been wanting to write this as a blog or Facebook post for a long, long time; the urge has increased over the last few months, and finally I am sitting down to write after a long hiatus.

I feel like people don’t read blogs anymore. They want bite sized information, they want quick read memes with cute font, they want 30 second Reels and TikToks.

People don’t want to take the time to read anymore, or so it seems.

The thing is, that’s the only way you will learn anything, from me at least.

I am a writer. I bleed on the screen for the world to see and that will never change; I bleed on pages, too.

My pen is my sword, my words are my fire.

Back to the topic at hand, and I am just going to get right to it:

Shadow Work is dangerous, and I wish more people would talk about this.

Don’t take that statement and think I am suggesting avoiding it, no, no.

NO SPIRITUAL BYPASSING ON MY WATCH.

Shadow Work is 100% necessary. The integration of Shadow is 100% necessary.

Did you know that I consulted a Psychiatrist and a Psychologist when creating my Shadow Work Course for The House of Twigs? For reasons I learned from them I didn’t dive too deep when giving assignments because I do not know where someone is on their journey and real, irreparable damage can be done.

I had to be sure that I was not leading folks to danger, or worse to the or a space where they re-traumatize themselves.

I see the term Shadow Work thrown around like it means not a goddamn thing, and I am perplexed because it is NOT TO BE TAKEN LIGHTLY.

If you want me to be honest, like really honest: Shadow Work is more dangerous than Evoking Spirits.

Why is this conversation not being had more?!

First, let us define Shadow Work for folks who may not be familiar.

Shadow Work is a Jungian (Carl Jung) Psychological concept that our Persona is who we strive to be and show to the world, but our Shadow is who we are, or at least what makes up most of who we are.

Like the moon has a hidden side so do we.

That is the Shadow.

The hidden aspects of ourselves.

In Jungian Psychology it is our Persona first, our Ego is center, Anima/Animus and Shadow last.

The Spiritual World, not just the Witchcraft Community, have taken this concept and morphed it into their own thing.

Therein lies one of the main problems.

You can’t tweak the concept of Shadow Work.

Regardless of your opinions of Jung himself as a person, his work remains a masterpiece and masterpieces are not altered. They are especially not to be altered to fit some narrative the creator had no intention of it being used for.

Jung was a Psychoanalyst and he did nothing, NOTHING in the shallows; this is deep, deep, heavy work.

Then there is the whole issue that Shadow Work itself is an Egregore and taps into a Collective Unconscious that cannot be altered. There is also the Personal Unconscious.

Archetypes exist in the Shadow and they are: Sage, Innocent, Explorer, Ruler, Creator, Caregiver, Magician, Hero, Rebel, Lover, Jester and the Orphan.

Intense, right?

Shadow Work is alive, it’s constant motion.

Ever changing and evolving as we add more experiences and information to the Collective Unconscious.

It’s not just your Shadows, it’s not just your work.

You are tapping into immense power, and immense emotion.

Then there is the end goal which is the integration process and that is a whirlwind.

Do not diminish these dangers.

Working with Shadow is extremely beneficial, but it brings up a lot of shit that you have buried, things you might not even be aware of (there’s that Unconscious part); it can bring up and stir up Collective emotions that are not even yours to unpack.

There are so many variables, so many potential outcomes.

Be mindful when suggesting Shadow Work as if it’s a walk in the park.

It is not.

Be mindful when venturing down the path to Shadow Work.

It is full of perils.

Know your limitations, find a support system of some kind, and do not push yourself.

Your psyche is powerful and it’s strong, but it is not unbreakable.

Be gentle and fierce. Be aware and alive.

And don’t take yourself too seriously, or your Shadows.

You can laugh, you can love, you can ease your way into the Work and don’t let anyone tell you differently.

Lux in Tenebris Lucet

The Forgotten Magic

Part 3

Touching the Field

Of all the heightened senses of childhood this probably got me in the most trouble. As it is one that even the most unintuitive can experience fairly easily.

As a small child I would play with feeling my energy field, especially while in the bath for some reason. Feeling the resistance of the air around me the tension on the surface of the water. How far can I sense things touching my field, can I push it out and feel other fields outside of the room or sense things that cannot be seen. Expanding to feel my surroundings then contracting to condense the energy. Taking my hands from pray position to opening the palms but keeping the fingers tips and thumbs together, forming a triangle.

Image by Louise Cox

If I squinted I could see the ball of energy between my hands and would play with the magnetic push pull sensation warming my palms.

I taught my little sister to play the magnetic push pull game and we would play together feeling the warmth between our palms, pushing against each others energy and I realised that I could show other children how to feel this energy to.

During the summer holidays one year, I can’t remember who, maybe it was some older girls or the mum of my neighbour, had taught us a little parlour game/trick. It’s a combination of suggestion and other stuff but also using energy manipulation. I can’t remember exactly how the rhyme went or all of the actions now. Anyone can do this if they go through the sequence but I was particularly good and found I could influence even the most sceptical.

The rhyme was a about a murderer and the participant would play the victim. Looking back it probably did seem quite dark and was about the same time the Yorkshire Ripper was at large. I grew up in Yorkshire. But children like a little of the macabre, that’s why fairytales are so appealing and to us it was just a fun game.

Returning to school after the summer holidays, the game obviously made its way onto the playground.

Here is what I can remember of our little game. The ‘victim’ stands in front of the the person conducting the game and starts by telling the story of the ‘murderer’. Who then comes up to the ‘victim’ and puts a bag over their head. You tell the person playing ‘victim’ to close their eyes and you go through the action of putting a bag over their head and tie it around their neck. You continue the story of the ‘murderer’ binding the ‘victim’ whilst performing the actions of winding your invisible rope around them. The binding is finished with a knot at the back of the ‘victim’ and you step back and stand a few feet away holding the remainder of the invisible rope. Ending the story by telling them how the ‘murderer’ dragged the ‘victim’ away to bury them in the woods, pulling on the invisible rope. The person playing the ‘victim’ falls backwards as you pull the rope.

Everyone thinks this is great fun and all want to have a go at playing both the victim and the murder.

Until the RE teacher sees what we are playing, declares it Witchcraft and me as the Witch! I’m only about 8 or 9 years old and as a child of the 70s my only references at this point for Witches are fairytales where Witches are green and ugly with pointy hats and warty noses and generally evil and to be feared. I spend the remainder of my junior school years taunted by the rest of kids as ‘Witch’. Hence I was never particularly fond of the word.

Understandably I hid my nature a little more and retreated into seclusion.

I have started to peer out from behind the door and try to regain all I have hidden for so long. I’m not ready to step out fully yet and declare my presence and I’m not even sure I know what that will be. The revival of these forgotten memories and the rekindling of the practices I did as a child has already had a remarkable impact on my life. My energy is slowly returning, the Forgotten Magic is still there. That small ball of energy I toyed with as a child has grown and my aversion of the word Witch has subsided. After all even the ‘Wizard of Oz’ has good as well bad Witches.

NOW AVAILABLE: MAGICKAL PREPAREDNESS KIT

This Collection is a Collaboration of Devil’s Conjure & The Nephilim Rising.

Adam crafted the Mojo Hands and Protection Salve.

Jaclyn crafted the Four Thieves Ritual Spray and Spell Bottles.

Road Opener Spell Bottles:

These potent powerhouses are meant not just to open roads, unlock doors and paths in your way; they’re also meant to draw abundance and form a shield around your physical and etheric bodies as well as protecting your Riches!

I chose herbs that are traditionally used in Folk Magick allowing my intentions to come to life.

Enclosed within these bottles are Lemongrass, Lavender, Rose Petals, Boneset, Galangal Root, Black Salt, Osha Root and Patchouli. As a Crystal lover I added Pyrite and Lapis Lazuli Chips along with a Skeleton Key Charm.


Spell Bottles were Ritually consecrated on Tuesday thru Saturday to invoke the powers of Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn.

Comes with a 30 inch chain.


Four Thieves Ritual Spray:

This spray was created using traditional ingredients that are used in Four Thieves Vinegar; a concoction around since the 13th century and continued to be documented through the 17th and 19th centuries up until today. Originally it was thought to keep away the Black Death (Bubonic Plague).

Magically this mixture is used to break up negativity, Protection, banishing and heal sickness*. What I love most about this is that it’s used in both Southern Conjure and European Folk Magick.

*Disclaimer: Statements made are not backed by FDA.

I decided to use high quality, organic Essential Oils. As an Herbalist, I sparingly use EOs and understand it’s a personal preference for everyone.

Moon Water base was charged during the Harvest Moon on September 10th charged at peak illumination at 5:58am EST.

Ingredients: Certified Organic Clove, Eucalyptus, Lemon & Rosemary Essential Oils

30ml. atomizer spray bottle

On-The-Go Protection Salve:

The base is olive oil infused with Blessed Thistle, Nettle, Rue, Lemon Grass, and other materia to avert to evil eye and grant you an extra layer of protection. Simply rub a tiny bit lf the Protection Salve on your wrists or forehead lightly. The On-the-go Protection salve is also great for dry skin!

Mastery Mojo Hand:

Last not but not least, We offer the Mastery Mojo Hands, each adorned with a Devil charm. In conjure, through the creation of a mojo hand, We contain a spirit or spirits, to carry out a specific task or sweeten our fortunes. A mojo hand is essentially a contained “spell”, a battery of sorts, that can actually grow in potency over time and with use. Mojo hands are a low-maintenance style of charm that can be worked with over many years, if properly cared for. With minerals such as fool’s gold, roots such as High John, and specifically formulated herbs etc., we create very powerful, yet conceilable, mojo hands.

The Mastery Mojo Hand is a “trick of the trade” the Devil shared with me years back. A mojo hand bearing the potency of the Devil, of his own fortune and boon, of protection, and mastery on the road ahead. The Mastery Mojo Hand is a mighty, fast-working mojo hand consecrated with roots of fortune, road opening & haste including Five Finger, Alfalfa, Devil’s Shoestrings, Patchouli, Tobacco, and High John, created and designed to aid you to master yourself & life, surrounding you in formidable protection, aiding you to overcome every obstacle in your path!

Feed your mojo every wednesday with quality whiskey or rum to keep it working strong & steady for you!

Each wicked addition to the Magickal Preparedness Kit is more powerful than the last!

Purchase at:

The Nephilim Rising LLC

https://www.etsy.com/listing/1302365012/magickal-preparedness-kit-magick-on-the/

Or,

Devil’s Conjure https://devilsconjure.ecwid.com/Magickal-Preparedness-Kit-p496596770

Basics of Botanicals: ANISE

Anise
(Pimpinella anisum)

☆☆☆please note, STAR ANISE scientific name is Illicium verum

OCCULT/METAPHYSICAL/CURIO:

■Spiritual/Psychic protection
■Money
■Friendship
■Clairvoyance
■Cleansing
■Beauty
■Banishing

TYPICAL USES IN HISTORIC ALTERNATIVE MEDICINES:

■Upset stomach
■Runny nose
■Expectorant
■Diuretic
■Appetite Stimulant
■Nicotine dependence
■Insomnia
■Menstrual discomfort
■”Male menopause”***

Flavoring in:
••alcohols/liquors/dairy/meats/candies/breath fresheners

••Nonconsumables: fragrance for soaps, or perfumes; also as an insecticide

more info:
https://www.rxlist.com/anise/supplements.htm

***https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/mens-health/in-depth/male-menopause/art-20048056

INTERACTIONS:

■Allergic reactions
■Tamoxifen (Nolvadex) MODERATE
■Contraceptives
■Hormone-sensitive conditions (please visit link provided below for more information)

more info:
https://www.rxlist.com/anise/supplements.htm#Interactions

 

extra info:

○○○Find out what the difference is here:
https://www.masterclass.com/articles/anise-seed-vs-star-anise#what-is-anise-seed

○○○Hint : Anise Seed and Star Anise come from two entirely different plants with origins in different parts of the world.

DISCLAIMER:

I AM NOT A DOCTOR

I AM NOT A PHARMACIST

Please seek the appropriate healthcare professionals to answer medical/drug-related questions. This information is for knowledge purposes only and not meant to replace any advice or care provided to you by your Health Care Team Providers. ANY INFORMATION WITHIN ‘BASICS OF BOTANICALS’ LITERARY WORKS SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN AS MEDICAL ADVICE NOR SHOULD IT REPLACE ANY MEDICAL SERVICES. ‘BASICS OF BOTANICALS’ IS NOT A COMPREHENSIVE COMPILATION; It is meant to be a spring-board type guide to getting individuals into searching in-depth further on their own. If any information is incorrect/missing, please email hwsbotanicalsemporium@gmail.com with the following:

  • Citations missing or incomplete
  • Inaccurate information
  • The specific post/article in question

INSTAGRAM

FACEBOOK link to H.W.’s Botanicals & Emporium

The Forgotten Magic

Art by Louise Cox original photo Sandra Stalker

Intro

I do not practice magic, I am magic I was born this way, it’s enmeshed in the very fabric of my being. In essence we are all magic it’s only a question of whether you remember your inherent nature or get caught up in the conformity of the world at large and become conditioned to that reality. To a certain extent we all have to conform to society to survive, I have pandered to society norms. I rarely speak of my beliefs and over the years have blocked the intrusions of the Other.

This has is consequences. Firstly as a teenager and well into my thirties I was plagued with Sleep Paralysis attacks. Back when these attacks first started there was no label for my experiences and very little written. Before the invention of the Internet it was a lot harder to research anything without access to a good library. And who do you talk to when you are afraid to go to sleep in case the demons try to drag you away and devour your soul.

Secondly, after NOT learning my lesson of neglecting my magic this first time, I once again became entangled in the snare of conformity. This time it has affected me physically and I was diagnosed with CFS ten years ago. I have done all I can medically and had a refresher course via the NHS at the beginning of this year. I know deep in the recesses of my mind that if I want to truly be well again I need to reconnect with the source, field, universe whatever you want to call it.

Reaching back into my earliest memories I was living a magical life, only, I had to start hiding it, as I realised not everyone was interacting with the world as I did. Now I wish to rekindle the connection I’ve lost and reconstruct the things I did intuitively as a small child, when there where no boundaries between magic and reality. I need to remember the Forgotten Magic.

Part 1 – Black Horizons

My earliest magical memories from childhood started young, around the ages of three to eight. Once I was put to bed at night, I would make contact with the ‘beings’ (for want of another word). Inducing a trance state to communicate with them. This was not a dream, all the time I was conversing with these other beings, I was fully aware that I was a child in a bed at night and after our meetings were over, I would settle down and go to sleep.

Drawing on these memories what were the mechanics of the trance inducement. I would sit calm and still, feel the energy which flows through all of us. This energy always concentrates in the palm of my hands. When the energy felt strong enough, I would place my hands over my eyes so that the base of my palm was covering the socket of my eyes. Eyes closed I would look into the darkness and wait. At some point there would be a shift and my ears would feel like there had been a change in pressure. In the vast darkness there is an horizon. The beings would come towards me from this horizon. Sometimes one or two, sometimes up to five of them. They appeared to me as coloured luminous energy. The conversations happened telepathically, more emotion than words. Some were more friendly than others, some in different towards me and one seemed to dislike me and the feeling was mutual.

I was very fond of one of the beings in particular, he is the one who visited the most. I painted a picture of him at Sunday School (this would be the one and only time I went to Sunday School). I wasn’t very old, pre-school days. Easels where arranged in a circle and we were painting. The lady looking after us asked me what I was painting. I felt panic, I know I can’t tell her who this is.

“It’s a Horse”, I tell her.

“That’s a funny looking Horse”, she declares, “where’s his eyes”?

“I’ve been making the colour for his eyes”, showing her my paint brush which has a lovely shade of pale blue. I’d spent a long time trying to get the right shade of luminous blue, which was highly frustrating with the low grade poster paints at my disposal.

She promptly snatched the paint brush out of my hand and blobbled a dot, where she thought the ‘Horse’ should have an eye.

“There that’s much better” she declares and walks off. I was furious, how dare she, she has no idea about how the world works and she’s supposed to be teaching me about spirituality! That was not where his eye was supposed to be! I refused to go to Sunday School ever again.

Art work by Louise Cox

When I was much older I read ‘The Tibetan book of the Dead’ and felt a connection to the descriptions of experiences you are to encounter when you die, with the visits of the beings I encountered as a small child. Was this some kind of cross over stage? I was alive but interestingly in the memories I have of conversations with these beings are mostly about the fact that I was not happy to be here. Why was I here? I didn’t want to be here, I wanted to go back home. The people I was with, my family had no understanding of what I was.

They were adamant I had to stay. Am I supposed to be here for a reason. Why now in this place with these people. I do remember in one of the last conversations, one of the beings saying I was here because I ‘meddled’. With what or whom, in my last incarnation here or in the Other place, where I longed to back to. I have no idea and if I am to learn a lesson then it would help it I had some inkling to what it was.

Then one night I was told that they would not be visiting me again, I was to have no further contact. I was devastated, lonely and abandoned in a place I felt I did not belong. I was probably about six or seven. I have tried many times over the years to get back to the Black Horizon where the beings can be contacted. Sometimes I can see it but don’t quite make that final shift. I suppose it’s like phone call but the line at the other end is dead or is blocking my calls.

I experimented again over the last month or so at one point I saw something like a door open on the Horizon but it was abruptly closed. I guess I have to wait until I cross over to the Other side again.

 

Basics of Botanicals: FENNEL SEED

photo taken by H.W.’s Botanicals & Emporium

 

Fennel Seed

(Foeniculum vulgare)

OCCULT/METAPHYSICAL/CURIO:

  • Release
  • Fertility
  • Love
  • Confidence
  • Psychic Ability
  • Divination
  • Repel negativity
  • Hex breaker

TYPICAL USES IN HISTORIC ALTERNATIVE MEDICINES:

  • may suppress appetite
  • Possibly aid in heart health
  • Antibacterial
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • May benefit issues menopausal symptoms
  • Colic

More info: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/fennel-and-fennel-seed-benefits#710.-Other-potential-benefits

INTERACTIONS:

  • strong estrogenic properties; POTENTIAL TO DISRUPT FETAL DEVELOPMENT
  • Contraceptives
  • Ciprofloxacin (Cipro)
  • Tamoxifen (Nolvadex)
  • Anticoagulents
  • Antiplatelet
  • Meds changed or metabolized by liver (Cytochrome P450 3A4 CYP3A4 substrates) and certain beta blockers (fennel has high potassium content)

More info:

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/fennel-and-fennel-seed-benefits#710.-Other-potential-benefits https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-311/fennel

 

DISCLAIMER:

I AM NOT A DOCTOR

I AM NOT A PHARMACIST

Please seek the appropriate healthcare professionals to answer medical/drug-related questions. This information is for knowledge purposes only and not meant to replace any advice or care provided to you by your Health Care Team Providers. ANY INFORMATION WITHIN ‘BASICS OF BOTANICALS’ LITERARY WORKS SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN AS MEDICAL ADVICE NOR SHOULD IT REPLACE ANY MEDICAL SERVICES. ‘BASICS OF BOTANICALS’ IS NOT A COMPREHENSIVE COMPILATION; It is meant to be a spring-board type guide to getting individuals into searching in-depth further on their own. If any information is incorrect/missing, please email hwsbotanicalsemporium@gmail.com with the following:

  • Citations missing or incomplete
  • Inaccurate information
  • The specific post/article in question

INSTAGRAM

FACEBOOK link to H.W.’s Botanicals & Emporium

Taroting Depression: The High Priestess

The High Priestess speaks to us of spirituality. Not necessarily religion, but spirituality. 

The High Priestess Tarot card from the Dark Wood Tarot by Sasha Graham and Abigail Larsen

What does spirituality mean to you?

For myself, spirituality is my ongoing work with Lilith, my connection to my spiritual guides, and ancestors, and my constant questioning and refining of my belief in an afterlife. It’s my core being. My soul, if you like.

For you, it might be something different. It could be a specific religion, it could be a love of nature and spending time outdoors, it could even be a fandom of some sort. 

Spirituality is the tool you use that feeds your soul. It’s the thing when you lose all track of time, and when you feel fulfilled, and at peace.

We have food to feed our bodies and we have spirituality to feed our souls.

Why is spirituality so important when you have Depression?

Because your soul is hurting. Depression goes beyond sadness, beyond pain, and beyond thought. However it starts, it results in a chemical imbalance in the brain and until you can get the imbalance “re-balanced,” you need something to believe in.

In the deck I’m using, which is the Dark Wood Tarot by Sasha Graham and Abigail Larsen, the High Priestess is holding a scroll with “Tarot” written on it. This suggests that her version of spirituality involves revealing many secrets and mysteries.

She brazenly, and with pride, shows us the way.

Let’s spend some time with the High Priestess.

When you go to bed tonight, place the High Priestess card under your pillow. If you don’t have your own tarot deck you can print one from the internet or even just write the words “The High Priestess” on a piece of paper and put that under your pillow.

When you close your eyes, out loud, or in your head, ask the High Priestess to send you, in dreams or any other form, during the night, a lesson about spirituality, just for you. 

Make sure you have a pen and paper beside you so that you can write down your dreams, insights, or thoughts as they come to you when you wake up. Don’t worry about writing them down word perfect, you just want the general gist of what you were being told.

This doesn’t have to be a one-off thing, you can do this exercise as many times as you like. And don’t forget that once you get the information, you need to use it. Spend some time working with your new insight, do some research, read more about the High Priestess. 

The goal of the High Priestess is to get you to become, and sometimes create, a spiritual life for yourself. Having something other than yourself to believe in is a powerful tool against the demon Depression. It gives you another focus, something outside yourself, while at the same time, something deeply within yourself.

After all, there has to be a higher purpose of some sort, doesn’t there? 

Tarot Deck used is the Dark Wood Tarot by Sasha Graham and Abigail Larsen.

Fiona Tate, AKA the Depression Muse, is a Lilithian Witch, Writer, and Mental Health Mentor. She helps people with Depression use it as a superpower and turn it into a Creature of Fucking beauty. She’s on a mission to reduce the global suicide rate to zero. Follow this link to receive a free copy of her book Depression Sucks and join the waitlist to hear more about Black Orchid Alchemy: The alternative way to manage Depression.

Basics of Botanicals: ACORN

Occult:

Associations: lightning, Horned God, Ostara

How to use:

talisman against premature aging

Acorn ink (sigil creations, dye) (Dana & Dana 2020)

Medicinal:

Quercus  (Oak)

(robur {english oak},alba {white oak}, etc.); there are  500 species in the genus Quercus.

Parts used are bark, leaves, acorns

Short-term external use

The acorns of the Quercus brantii Lindl are widely used in alleviating symptoms of diarrhea, laryngopharyngitis diseases, menorrhagia, obesity, and stomach ulcers. (Taib 2020)

May help or improve: bone health, metabolism, energy levels, heart health, diabetes (possibly aid in blood sugar regulation), digestion, skin care. However, the tannins of these can cause great stomach upset, so it is recommend to “boil until the water no longer turns brown.” (WebMD 2022)

Nutritional Facts  (Staughton 2021)

 

 

Citations:

link to photo: https://pixabay.com/photos/branch-acorns-in-the-fall-brown-3682386/

Dana, & Dana. (2020, May 24). What to do with acorns. The Druid’s Garden. Retrieved February 18, 2022, from https://druidgarden.wordpress.com/tag/what-to-do-with-acorns/

Staughton,  John (2021, July 16). 8 amazing benefits of acorns. Organic Facts. Retrieved March 17, 2022, from https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/seed-and-nut/acorns.html

Taib, M., Rezzak, Y., Bouyazza, L., & Lyoussi, B. (2020, July 31). Medicinal uses, phytochemistry, and pharmacological activities of quercus species. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM. Retrieved February 18, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7415107/#:~:text=The%20acorns%20of%20the%20various,ulcers%20%5B8%2C%209%5D

WebMD. (n.d.). Acorns: Are they safe to eat? WebMD. Retrieved February 18, 2022, from https://www.webmd.com/diet/are-acorns-safe-to-eat

Further Information:

Pollux, A., & May, A. (2021, February 26). The protective magickal properties of oak and acorns. Welcome To Wicca Now. Retrieved February 18, 2022, from https://wiccanow.com/magickal-properties-of-oak-and-acorns/

 

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I AM NOT A DOCTOR

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The Book of Radiant Darkness: Part 3

Continued from Part 2…

When writing this story, I aimed to use a present tense to emphasize the “here and now” nature of how I see it. It is not to be interpreted as referring to any sort of historical event somewhere in the past, nor is it dependent on any one text.

It is symbolically teaching about consciousness and spiritual practice.

I implemented a biblical writing style I think appropriate in feel and accordingly a verse system to make reference easy.

So, let’s break it down a bit at a time….

“1. In the beginning is the Abyss, a heart of radiant darkness dwelling in the unity of depth and silence, the waters of a womb pregnant with possibility, an emptiness of form yet a fullness of potentiality.”

What is pointed to here is the ultimate fundamental reality beyond all conceptual being. All description can only point at it, it can only be experienced. In the Gnostic system of Valentinus, according to Iranaeus, it is described as a kind of androgynous formless unity, a Father called Depth (Bythos) and a Mother called Silence (Sige), two aspects with no clear distinction possible so utterly unified are they, not Father and Mother but rather Father-Mother. Preceding the figurative moment of creation, the unity may be described simultaneously as empty given that no form, no conceptualization, is present, yet given this state contains within it the potentiality for all things, it may also thus be described as a resounding Fullness (Pleroma). It is the heart of all being. The concept is paralleled in the Saivite Tantric system in the concept of the Tattva of the Heart (hrdaya):

“It is this same ultimate principle that is worshipped in radically nondual Goddess Tantra as Kali Kala-sankarsani: the radiant Dark, the resounding Silence, the Devourer of Time—by which is meant the timeless ground of the cycle of creation, stasis, and reabsorption.” -”Tantra Illuminated,” by Christopher D. Wallis

Interestingly this concept is even found in Christianity in the work of the early church father St. Gregory of Nissa:

“For leaving behind everything that is observed, not only what sense comprehends but also what the intelligence thinks it sees, it [the heart] keeps on penetrating deeper until by the intelligence’s yearning for understanding it gains access to the invisible and the incomprehensible, and there it sees God. This is the true knowledge of what is sought; this is the seeing that consists in not seeing, because that which is sought transcends all knowledge, being separated on all sides by incomprehensibility as by a kind of darkness. Wherefore John the sublime, who penetrated into the luminous darkness, says, ‘No one has ever seen God’, thus asserting that knowledge of the divine essence is unattainable not only by men but also by every intelligent creature.” -“Life of Moses”

In Hermetic Qabalah this largely corresponds to the Ain Soph, the “no limit”, that precedes creation.

In terms of consciousness this may be described as pure Awareness, Self in the most authentic sense. Take a moment to look at yourself, who are you really? You are not your narratives. You are not your emotions or any other transient thing about you. They are all valid parts, but none are a whole and none are constant. What is the one part of you that is in fact constant, the “You” that is always there in every waking moment? Nothing other than Awareness itself, the arena in which all experience occurs. This pure Consciousness, the “Higher Self,” is what pervades all experience, it is what preceding all label and thought and is the source of all things.

Now, it is very common in spiritual circles to say things like “You are not your thoughts, feelings, body, etc.” As I said, “You are not your narratives.” And in a sense, this is very very true and can be a critically helpful and necessary realization. It opens the door to the all-important question: “If I am not these things, then who or what the hell am I?” But this language also has a built-in danger, a door can be opened to dissociation and spiritual bypassing, to self-gaslighting where things such as feelings, thoughts, and the body, or even material reality itself are dismissed as illusory.

We need not fall into that trap though if we think of ourselves more like an iceberg. Imagine if our thoughts, our feelings, our bodies, our experiential reality are often like the tip of that iceberg. No one would be foolish enough to claim that the tip that we see is fake or not real, but we often are foolish enough to assume that the tip of the iceberg is the whole thing. The problem is a matter of perception.

We overidentify with the tip and ignore the very depths and ground of our being, so narratives that allow us to take that step back and see the big picture are thus really important! We just need to not go so far as to make the mistake of total dissociation from the iceberg. The tip is just as much an important, genuine, necessary, valid, and good part of us as what lies beneath it.

Now to return to the answers to these questions: if I am not merely these things above the surface, what the hell am I? What the hell are we? What the hell is reality? Let’s take the iceberg analogy a bit further. Reality as we view it is really more like countless tips poking through the surface of ordinary perception, and we see the diverse forms each one takes individually, but beneath the surface all those individual tips are part of one mindbogglingly huge mass of ice. That depth that lies beneath the surface? The ground of your very being? It is Awareness itself! It is what is actually is doing the viewing of each individual tip. It is also the least unique thing about you! Now that flies in the face of what you are socially taught as our sick society thrives on the largely ephemeral things that divide us, feeding the ego and profiting off its insecurity and alienation. Reality has little time for such delusion, however. We are connected, and we have far more in common than we do differences. Difference and diversity should be celebrated absolutely but also, we are a communal species, and we should act like it.

“2. From the passion of unity of light and dark, depth and silence, potentiality overflows into
manifestation in a creative explosion, emanating as dualities pervaded by unity, like a tree
sprouting mirrored branches from its trunk. Every branch was another womb, another world, another home, each with its rulers and citizens.”

“From the passion of unity of light and dark, depth and silence” is a direct reference to the idea of creation coming into existence due to the sexual union of Divine masculine and feminine principles. It is a means of describing in relatable terms the energy of creation from unity to a duality prevaded by an ongoing unity. In Tantra this is embodied in the famous union of Shiva and Shakti. I would like to be careful to point out that each part of any such pair is whole
and complete in and of itself, it does not “need” a counterpart, it seeks its other not from any position of lack, but from a position of overflowing potential manifesting as a willingness to share in free creative worship. I would also caution regarding the use of gender in spirituality. Such language is simply a useful tool for describing polarities, for creating a usable system out of already existing and commonly understood language, but do not assume that naked reality cares one bit for such socially constructed divisions! Reality is more like a diverse spectrum than any neat divide.

In Valentinus’ system the action of Silence upon Depth causes the emanation of a series of progressive emanations of unified pairs called syzygys. In Tantra a system of emanations of Tattvas is seen. Here, however the Hermetic Qabalah is in focus, with this interpretation seeing the Trees of Life and Knowledge as one Tree with two sides, each sephiroth and qliphoth an inseparable pair. This is the “tree sprouting mirrored branches from its trunk.”

“3. The dark emanation from primal silence, the first thought, the embodiment of wisdom, is called
Lilith.
4. The light emanation of primal depth, the embodiment of liberation, is called Lucifer.”

The primal first principles from the beginning take form as emanations, named Lilith and Lucifer. Here they take and act out the roles that in Gnostic myth are that of Sophia and Christ respectively. It is also here that the myth becomes expressly Luciferian in nature.

“5. Now, in order for manifestation to occur, in order for unity to exist as plurality, an illusion of
separation within unity must occur. In order that the whole may be revealed, it must first be
concealed.
6. Hence, Lilith in her wisdom sets out to impart concealment. She weaves a web of fate, and begins
to pull its strings. Being utterly one with source she cannot be the concealer herself, so she brings forth
a being modeled on the highest oneness yet ignorant of its origin, a craftsman to create and separate
and manifest the illusion on behalf of the Divine.”

We turn next to Lilith’s role in the unfolding of Divine will. In the Gnostic version of the creation myth the embodiment of the divine feminine is known as Sophia, and she creates the Demiurge by mistake when she attempts to create something without her masculine partner. She then falls into and becomes trapped in the creation of the Demiurge, waiting for Christ to rescue her. Obviously, the Gnostics were Jews and Christians, and this version of the myth is accordingly patriarchal. The result also leaves a degree of dualism even in the otherwise monist scheme of Valentinus.

But what if we keep the myth but clean out the patriarchy with the Luciferian approach instead? With Lilith in this role things work much better. Now, rather than an ignorant damsel in distress, we have an empowered cosmic being knowingly creating the Demiurge as part of the natural and necessary process of manifestation. Any remaining dualism is eliminated. The world isn’t an illusion to escape from, it’s a real and valid part of creation about which we have illusions we need to be liberated from and those illusions need to come into existence precisely so that liberation can happen.

“She weaves a web of fate and begins to pull its strings.” With this phrase Lilith is likened to a spider on a web because, as the creator of the Demiurge, as the one who is both the actual manifest immanent Divine lying behind the Demiurge’s illusions, she is the weaver of the web of cause and effect, what in Buddhism is called “codependent origination,” the understanding of reality as a vast predetermined multidimensional pattern of interdependence. Quite simply the cause of all things is everything else that has ever occurred! It could not be otherwise.

“7. She creates the Demiurge, who looks upon creation as though he were floating over a chaos of
formless waters, an imperfect reflection of the Divine, and he begins to create, separating light from
dark, water from dry land and so on, naming and imposing limit.
8. He creates for himself angels to serve him, imitations of the highest emanations, and a kingdom to
rule over until the end of the age.”

We are now meeting up with the standard Genesis account with the Demiurge perceiving himself floating over the waters that are “formless and void.” As in that myth, which gives no explanation where he came from, he begins to create a world, and he does this via a process of separation and imposing name. If the primal heart or oneness from which all things spring is seen as our direct nonconceptual experience of raw reality, then the Demiurge can be seen as the embodiment of ego, creating a world of narratives and identity that hides that reality from us.

As we so often do in life, we attempt fit everything within the convenient boxes of label, and that isn’t bad in some moral sense. Labels are useful but the reality we blind ourselves to is the reality that such narratives are not truths but tools. And as so often happens, reality refuses to conform to the boxes we try to stuff it in. It is too messy, too wild. Dissatisfaction and suffering are the inevitable result of all this, feelings of fear and incompletion, lashing out, and the search for escape, for salvation, for liberation arises. Rebellion becomes necessary. I want to take a moment to be very clear here about something: the Demiurge is not and should not be described as simply “evil”! Evil is first of all a human moral construct, and while often the Demiurge here is functioning in the role of ego, and while much “evil” can definitely arise from that, it also needs to be recognized that the ego serves a critically important role, a necessary role in human development. It is also important to understand the context in which Luciferianism is rising from: a defiance of Christian supremacy. It subverts the dominant oppressive forms of Christianity. It is not a subversion of every form of Christianity nor is it simply a subversion of Judaism. It is extremely dangerous and unacceptable to simply demonize the deity of an oppressed group, in this case that would lead directly to antisemitism, and there is nothing Luciferian about bigotry. There is a world of difference between the Demiurge presented by the dominant American megachurches and those of similar mind on the one hand, who we happily blaspheme, and the God professed by the downtrodden, with whom we will gladly show solidarity.

“1. Lucifer, seeing the kingdom of falsity, steps forth in the form of an angel into the heaven where
the Demiurge rules and begins to spread truth among his servants. The angels marvel at his wisdom
and praise his beauty as being above all others, likening his glory to the morning star.
2. Yet many are angered at his unbending truth, denouncing him as proud, and there is war in the
heavens.
3. When the Demiurge moves to seize him, Lucifer casts himself down to the earth, leading a host of
angels with him, where he begins to work time and again to shine the light of liberation within the
world as an example to all.
4. In a world of lies the speaker of truth is hated, but where there is oppression there is always
resistance.”

One of the most popular myths regarding Lucifer that has captivated people far beyond Luciferians themselves is the myth of his fall. This derives from the 14th chapter of Isaiah which regards a Babylonian king. However, when the text was translated into the Latin Vulgate under direction of St. Jerome in the 4th century he used the name Lucifer, which was a symbolic personification of the morning star used by Roman poets. The Romans did not consider Lucifer a deity in the way they did say Mars or Mercury. It is not due to a mistake that the verse is associated with Lucifer and the Orthodox Satan as is sometimes believed. Rather, early Christian writers such as Origen and Tertullian in “Adversus Marcionem” already had associated the text with the Devil before Jerome. So simply the myth can be read to both be a prophecy about a human king and also a reference to already existing lore regarding Satan. The myth has certain plot holes that placing it into a Gnostic context easily fills. How can angels, who are supposed to be perfect and basically utter slaves, be described as proud and spontaneously engage in rebellion? How is he not simply seized and destroyed by the Demiurge who is supposed to be all powerful? An intrusion from outside is clearly needed.

If Lucifer is the Gnostic Christ, his appearance in heaven is simply the intrusion intended to subvert the Demiurge’s kingdom and provide an example for humanity to follow. He cannot be simply destroyed because he is more powerful and of purer stuff than the Demiurge. He does not simply destroy the Demiurge because the being serves a necessary purpose.

“1. The Demiurge then goes forth and begins to create from clay a figure, in the shape of that which
he saw in the waters and tries to give it life. At the moment he breathes into it, Lucifer steps forth
again, bestowing a life-giving flame, and the first man comes alive, but like his creator, the man is
ignorant of the true source of his nature.
2. Satisfied, the Demiurge declares the need for this man to have a servant, as his angels serves him,
and so, he forms a woman of the same substance, but being closest in form to the true manifest world,
Lilith herself takes on the body in accordance with Divine Will.”

In much of the accounts from here on I present a retelling of the myths of Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel rooted in the biblical account but filling out the often-sparse nature of such texts by drawing on Gnostic scriptural traditions that can be found in the Nag Hammadi scriptures as well as points taken from folklore and non-Canonical texts such as the “Life of Adam and Eve” and Traditional Witchcraft lore regarding Cainite mysteries. In verses 1 and 2 we are in pretty standard biblical territory although the Demiurge, lacking the ability to give genuine life to anything, requires Lucifer to step in and bestow that spark secretly. This points to the idea that all life, all humans whether having Gnosis or not, are endowed with the spark, the Black Flame, of Divinity within them all of them have the potential whether or not it has been used. It also points the fact that even the realm of illusions that the Demiurge creates contains a bit of the essence of the Divine. The Demiurge again continues his attempts to create, driven to model his continued work as a poor image of things above him and things he has already done. In this he is us, our ego, constructing narratives that at best can contain some degree of Truth, can point at Truth, but are always inferior imitations, undermined often by the nature of Truth itself undermining our certainty. He accordingly makes a woman and for a moment we step out of the biblical text and into folkloric accounts. Lilith takes the opportunity to step forward. This theme of Lucifer and Lilith each stepping into the act of creation is present at every point in this myth as manifestation is seen as a kind of dance, a conversation, they each play their role in the undermining of the Demiurge’s plans.

“3. From the beginning Lilith argues with the man, who demands she lie beneath him and be
subservient to him and bear him offspring. She refuses, declaring herself his equal, and when she
finds he will not relent, she flees his presence across the Red Sea.
4. The Demiurge in his anger sends his angels after Lilith but she speaks the True Name of the
Demiurge and in that moment, seeing her true nature and power revealed, they can not seize her.
5. Lilith dwells then in a cave upon the sea, hidden as a spider in a burrow, waiting and weaving
the strings of Divine Will.
6. The Demiurge then creates a new woman from the rib of the man he called Adam, a woman who
would be called Eve.”

I present here a simple and pretty straightforward retelling of the standard Lilith myth. But it raises a big question: How does she know his True Name if she is simply his human creation? The True Name of a thing, in occult tradition, embodies that which is named.

To know it suggests tremendous power and such names are typically kept secret. I suggest there’s really only one way she could know it: because she created him. She is a demonization of the feminine archetype, a kind of dark Shekinah. She is the Gnostic Sophia minus the patriarchy.

Let’s go further into the identity of Lilith. In 1587, the famed occultist John Dee with his partner Edward Kelley evoked a spirit, who gave a famous vision where she said,

“I am the daughter of Fortitude and ravished every hour from my youth. For behold I am Understanding and science dwelleth in me; and the heavens oppress me. They cover and desire me with infinite appetite; for none that are earthly have embraced me, for I am shadowed with the Circle of the Stars and covered with the morning clouds. My feet are swifter than the winds, and my hands are sweeter than the morning dew. My garments are from the beginning, and my dwelling place is in myself. The Lion knoweth not where I walk, neither do the beast of the fields understand me. I am deflowered, yet a virgin; I sanctify and am not sanctified. Happy is he that embraceth me: for in the night season, I am sweet, and in the day full of pleasure. My company is a harmony of many symbols and my lips sweeter than health itself. I am a harlot for such as ravish me, and a virgin with such as know me not. For lo, I am loved of many, and I am a lover to many; and as many as come unto me as they should do, have entertainment.”

Now this bears striking resemblance to a text neither Dee nor Kelley had access to: the Gnostic scriptures of Nag Hammadi, the text of “Thunder, Perfect Mind,” where Sophia, also known as Barbelo, speaks for herself,

“I am the honored one and the scorned one.
I am the whore and the holy one.
I am the wife and the virgin…”
and
“I am the knowledge of my inquiry,
and the finding of those who seek after me”

A careful comparison is worth studying as the places where the character differs seem to be directly related to history, “Thunder…” was written at a time when the role of women in the church was being debated. The “Daughter of Fortitude” speech is the words of a goddess set to return,

“As yet, I walk in the clowdes,
As yet, I am carryed with the wyndes:
And cannot descend unto you
for the multitude of your abbominations,
& The filthy lothesomnes of your dwelling places.”
“….I comme unto you again.”
Aleister Crowley and Victor Neuberg performed Dee’s ritual themselves in 1909
and here the Goddess Babalon revealed herself saying,
“I am the harlot that shaketh Death.
This shaking giveth the Peace of Satiate Lust.
Immortality jetteth from my skull,
And music from my vulva.
Immortality jetteth from my vulva also,
For my Whoredom is a sweet scent like a seven-stringed instrument,
Played unto God the Invisible, the all-ruler,
That goeth along giving the shrill scream of orgasm.”

In Thelemite Jack Parson’s Babalon Working, Babalon ties her own identity directly to Dee’s ritual.

“23. My calls as thou knowest. All love songs are of me. Also seek me in the Seventh Aire.” -Liber 49

Crowley also flatly stated,

“Here also is a mystery of mysteries. Lilith is truly Babalon.” -”footnote on the 3rd Aethyr”

So. If Daughter of Fortitude = Sophia, Daughter of Fortitude = Babalon, and Babalon = Lilith, then Lilith= Daughter of Fortitude and Lilith= Sophia.

Psychologically our ego is a direct product of our environment and upbringing and Lilith as an embodiment of the manifest world, literally a dark sort of ‘earth mother” is that environment. Like the real manifest raw reality, she sits hidden behind the veil, the realm of the Demiurge, yet continues to pull the strings of fate, and this is symbolized in her residency in her cave; a cave that naturally sits on a sea, reiterating her relationship to the watery Abyss of nonconceptual reality.

“1. Now there grows in the midst of the garden a tree, and the Demiurge knows not from where it came and is afraid, but he takes credit for its creation and warns Adam and Eve saying “From any tree of the garden you may freely eat; but from the tree in the middle you shall not eat, for on the day that you eat from it you will certainly die. ”

While the Demiurge is away curiosity gets the best of Eve and she approaches the tree.”

The classic story of the Garden of Eden is a symbol for the basic human situation. We come into this world as children into a garden with nothing but our inborn potentialities, our inborn Divine nature, yet ignorant. We are taught rules, narratives as we grow, do this, don’t do that. The world is divided into the pure we can touch and the impure we mustn’t. But before the installation of social conditioning we experience reality nakedly. This is reminiscent of the Indian Left Hand teachings of the Aghori sadhus:

“The gurus and disciples of Aghor believe their state to be primordial and universal. They believe that all human beings are natural-born Aghori. Hari Baba has said on several occasions that human babies of all societies are without discrimination, that they will play as much in their own filth as with the toys around them. Children become progressively discriminating as they grow older and learn the culturally specific attachments and aversions of their parents. Children become increasingly aware of their mortality as they bump their heads and fall to the ground. They come to fear their mortality and then palliate this fear by finding ways to deny it altogether.” – Ron Barrett, “Aghor Medicine: Pollution, Death, and Healing in Northern India”.

Interestingly, this idea that the method is one of returning to a primordial,
Christ teaches childlike state as well:

“At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” -Matthew 18:1-4, NASB

And yet much like the mysterious Tree, reality intrudes into our world of illusions, a means that can be used for escape, though we are told of course, “Thou shalt not touch it!”

“2. On its shady side Lucifer awaits in the form of a serpent. And he says to the woman, “Has your
Lord really said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?”
Eve replies, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree
which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or on that
day you will die.’”
3. The serpent says to the woman, “You certainly will not die! For your Lord knows that on the day
you eat from it the eyes of your mind will be opened, and you will become like the Divine, knowing
good and evil.”
4. When the woman sees that the tree is good for food, and that it is a delight to the eyes, and that
the tree is desirable to make one wise, she takes of its fruit and eats. Immediately the eyes of her
mind are opened and she sees things nakedly. Imbued with the power of the fruit, she is with child,
though she does not know it.”

The “shady side” of the tree is a reference to the Sitra Achra, the “other side” of the Tree of Life in Hermetic Qabalah, and I imply here that rather than two trees growing in opposite directions and united only by their root as some traditions speak, I favor an interpretation where the light and dark sides are one fully united tree and to work with one side is to work with the energies of the other. An obvious question should arise to anyone reading this myth: given that the Demiurge depicted in Christian versions is supposed to be a beneficial character, one mankind is supposed to follow, if that is the case, why does he so much wish his creations to remain ignorant and enslaved to his will? Doesn’t seem very “good.” The Luciferian answer, which dates back to the Gnostics who first said it, is: because the Serpent is actually the one mankind should be following not the Demiurge. It is the Serpent who acts as the liberator. And surely enough, Eve did not die on the day she ate of the tree but as promised the eyes of her mind were opened. Next question: what exactly was the “fruit” in question? The fruit of the tree is metaphorical for sacred sexuality. Note that the type of fruit is not mentioned. It is said to awaken to the knowledge of good and evil and reveal nakedness. What sort of act could both reveal nakedness and the implications of one’s actions? The counterargument here that one might expect is that surely the Demiurge does not see sexuality as a sin in and of itself as, in the original scriptures, he gives the command to “Go forth and multiply” and therefore the fruit cannot be sexuality. But what needs to be understood is that the fruit given here is not just any sexuality. It is one outside the boundaries of the Demiurgic plan. It is a sacred one, nothing less than sex magick. The Demiurge intended for sexuality to be for procreation, hence why his command was focused on reproduction, and given his rejection of the equality between Lilith and Adam and the creation of the subservient Eve, he intended for the power dynamic of procreative sexuality to be patriarchal. Lucifer’s gift to Eve was one that bestowed the knowledge of a sexuality that transgressed all that. In doing so he planted a seed of his own, a blood line of a different order.

“5. She gives fruit to Adam and he also eats of it and the eyes of his mind see their nakedness. In
shame he makes them garments of fig leaves to cover themselves.
6. The Demiurge returns in the cool of the day and when Adam sees him he hides himself.
“Where are you?” the Demiurge calls out.
7. Adam says, ““I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I
hid myself.”
8. And the Demiurge asks, “Who showed you your nakedness? Have you eaten from the tree from
which I commanded you not to eat?”
9. The man says, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me some of the fruit of the
tree, and I ate.”
10. Then the Demiurge says to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” And the woman
says, “The serpent seduced me, and I ate.”
11. Then he curses the serpent for giving them a glimpse of naked reality.
12. He curses the woman and the man and all their descendants for their disobedience. He condemns
forever the seed of the Serpent and the man to enmity.
13. Then the Demiurge says to his angels, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good
and evil; and now, he might reach out with his hand, and take more fruit from this tree of life, and
eat, and live forever.”
14. He then makes them drink from the waters of forgetfulness and casts the couple out into the
world and sets angels to guard the tree for all time.”

Having learned from the Serpent, Eve now initiates Adam who likewise awakens but feels shame for his transgression and chooses to cover the offending body parts. When the Demiurge returns, he hides himself in fear. He immediately blames Eve who then blames the Serpent. Note that Adam’s primary sin here is basically that he listened to his wife but neither of them, despite having a small glimpse of Gnosis, is willing to take responsibility for their actions. So, the Demiurge begins handing out his punishments and he specifically places a curse of enmity between the seed of the Serpent and that of Adam. Again, the idea of sexuality as fruit is invoked here as in the original scriptures the imagery of fruit and seeds is often used to refer to procreation. The seeds represent the spiritual bloodline of the Serpent and that of the Demiurge via the man, the Serpent-seed planted here specifically is that of Cain.

Next the Demiurge speaks to his angels and declares openly that the eyes of these humans have indeed been opened however briefly and that they have “become like one of Us,” so out of fear that they might more fully attain to such heights and become perhaps even more powerful than he, the Demiurge wipes their mind of any attainment and casts them out of the garden placing his angels to guard the Tree forever.

“1. Now Adam and Eve have their first children, a set of twins, who grow to be shining and
beautiful, the male she names Cain and his twin sister she names Calmana. They are of the blood of
the serpent, called Lucifer, as an image of the truth, a complementary unity with desire only for each
the companionship of the other.
2. Adam impregnates Eve and again twins are born, called Abel and Azura. They are of the blood
of their father, in the image of separation, out of deficiency they grow to desire their elder siblings.”

3. The Demiurge conspires with Adam and commands that Cain should marry Azura
and Abel should be wed to Calmana. When the older twins hear of this they protest to
Adam and he declares as his ruler instructed: to have Cain and Abel each bring an
offering to the Demiurge, that he might show one favor and thereby decide the case.
4. Now Abel is a shepherd in the hills and he brings to the altar his best lamb and slays
the peaceful beast upon the altar and a fire from heaven strikes down upon it and burns
it up and the smoke rises to the heavens.
5. Cain is a worker of the field, a grower of crops and he brings some of his best crops
to be offered up. He burns them upon the altar but the smoke does not rise, instead he
is surprised to find the smoke lingers on the ground at his feet and absorbs into it.  Cain, angry at the rejection of his offering, leaves.
6. The next day as he is working in his fields, Lucifer appears to Cain as a fellow farmer
saying, “Behold! The ruler to whom you gave offering conspired against you! Listen
and follow me though and you will have great wealth and my relations will attend you.”
7. Cain asks, “Where are your relations?”
Lucifer responds, “I have come from roaming about the earth, and walking forth on it.
My relations are a kingdom all about you though men do not see them. I am your
relation as I am your father.”
8. At these words Cain’s ears are opened to truth and his eyes see clearly. He sees there
will be no justice without rebellion. He conspires with Calmana who lures Abel to the
field and Cain slays him there with his sickle. Upon that field of harvest, the Blood
Acre, Abel’s blood is offered up as sacrifice to the Divine, the blood following the path
of its furrows, a sacred place where the illusion of separation collapses, the roads of
material and spiritual cross. Here, the awakened Cain and Calmana worship in awe.
9. Cain makes a necklace of his bones as a wedding present for his bride. From Abel’s
blood and the grain of the field she makes a bread that they share in celebration, a
communion of the Divine, washing it down with wine from the vineyard.
10. In rage, Abel’s blood cries out for vengeance and the annihilation not merely of his
brother but also his descendants, for he is like the Demiurge who would say, “ I am a
jealous God, inflicting the punishment of the fathers on the children.”
10. And the Demiurge hears its call and comes and asks Cain, “Where is Abel your
brother?”
“Am I my brother’s keeper?” Cain answers disdainfully.
11. And he answers, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying
out to me from the ground.” And the Demiurge tries to curse Cain and Calmana but
they cannot be seized, so he only manages to put marks on them, horns that grow from
their heads and send them away.
12. So they leave the place and walk the Crooked Path of the witch, learning the ways
of herbalism and divining, how to traffic with spirits and work magick at the feet of
Lucifer and Lilith themselves.
13. From they and their descendants, all those bound by the spiritual lineage of
Witchblood, does all wisdom come. Unto humans the spirits teach knowledge, of
music to Jubal, of the forging of weapons to Tubal-Cain, of cosmetics to his sister
Naamah, and so on.
14. The history of man from then is the history of oppression and the enduring spirit of
rebellion against it, from which all progress comes.

It is important to reiterate that the myths being dealt with here are not historical but spiritual events, and this is exemplified in the Cain and Abel story, where we see the process of initiation and spiritual practice dramatically played out. Cain, whose name means to acquire, from a root that means to create, embodies the Initiate, he is the first Witch and therefore the root of the lineage of Witchblood. Abel, whose name derives from a word that may be rendered breath, vapor, and vanity, implies something surface, ephemeral, impermanent. He embodies the initiate’s binding narratives, habits, material unaligned with ultimate reality and therefore to some degree false. Calmana and Azura continue the theme of reality exiting in complementary polarity, both have names that imply beauty, though Calmana represents the deeper beauty of reality versus the surface nature of Azura.

The myth here derives from canonical sources with material supplemented from noncanonical sources with nods to Sabbatic Craft.

So, there you have it. Does this material resonate with you? Looking to put it into practice?

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