Archive for the ‘Rituals, Dreams and Meditations’ Category

A Land That Time Forgot

May 30, 2010

This story came about from a complete failure of subject-agenda. A
friend and co-conspirator (blogger), Marian Youngblood of
Siderealview’s Blog invited me to do a bio of sorts for her to feature on the same blog, and requested I do a continuation of “A Visit With a Sirian.” This sounded like a wonderful idea to me, and so I agreed. Stories such as this take little effort for me, for I subscribe to the maxim that “An Idea is
One Whose Time has Come,” and so assumed the time had come. While I had more to say regarding my experiences with “the Sirian”, I was struggling with much in the technical aspects of execution – or composition. I was unable to compose this story.

Meanwhile, something else, or someone else, was pulling at my attention, insistently even. This little friend of mine was relentless in his need for communing with me, and wanted me to share a story that included him. I didn’t know this was to be the story I would share with Marian and her audience – I only knew that I must write this story – the one you
will be reading today.

Meanwhile, I questioned the Sirian regarding the “block” that I was experiencing with his story, and in a serious and austere way and winking at the same time, he told me, “This is not the time….” 

And so – I would like to introduce you to A-Bar in

 A Land That Time Forgot
Pete Madstone 

Today, I find myself living in the southwest of France in a place I could have never dreamed of. It abounds with life — birds, animals, insects and woodlands. There are more trees than people, and many of the inhabitants of these savage lands live just outside the arena of the physical world that we are so familiar with. In spite of the typical challenges that come with life itself wherever any of us might live, I would have to say this place is simply “exotic”.

So, let’s begin with Webster’s defining the word exotic –

exotic1 : introduced from another country : not native to the place where found <exotic plants>
2 archaic : foreign, alien
3 : strikingly, excitingly, or mysteriously different or unusual
4 : of or relating to striptease

Lets take this step by step –

definition 1. With this, it seems that I am the exotic one here, since I was “introduced” here from America – a member of a not yet extinct variety of humanity’s transitional sub-species – the evolutionary inclusionist.

definition 2. Foreign, yes — alien, likely. So this would be me, again. I am foreign and alien to this place (or at least its people), since I come from another with different ways — but from my perspective, this place is what is foreign and alien, so all things can, indeed, be seen in more than one way.

definition 3. Okay — now we’re talking, and not about the “famous” french cuisine (though the food certainly fits with this one, as well). Let me repeat this definition — strikingly, excitingly, or mysteriously different or unusual. If I apply this definition to this place, I would have to say that I couldn’t say it any better — it describes perfectly the environment that surrounds me. Because I cannot say things as simply as Mr. Webster, I will devote much more time and effort to describe this place that is far from south Santa Monica, the place where I cut my teeth on a surfboard. But first…

definition 4. This one is pretty much irrelevant, since the kind of place you might find “exotic” dancers would be in the nearest city – which for me would be a French city called Bordeaux, and like all French cities, this one is terribly intimidating. Along the same note, I will mention that it is not unusual for the french female to tan her chest freely on our summer beaches just as the males do – and so these beaches could certainly be considered “exotic” in this context, but I don’t live on the beach.

I would now discuss just what is strikingly, excitingly, or mysteriously different or unusual about this place,  for this is what I really have to share with you. It is not that what I will be discussing was never available to me in the variety of other places I have lived, it is just that never have these certain exotic flavors been so apparent to me — so evident, tangible or real. Maybe it is me who has changed, but I would have to surmise that it is my environment that has changed me — this exotic environment.

I live on a half-acre of land 500 meters (3 “city” blocks) from a medieval village in, as I said, the southwest of France. The road to my house is unpaved and few cars pass by on their way to some scattered homes beyond my own. Splitting off this small road by the gate to my land is an entrance to an old path which is used by the occasional equestrian, hiker or nearby resident of the village on an evening stroll. A couple of winters ago, I was walking this path more than anyone, for I had made a discovery that was reliant upon one condition for this peculiarity, or phenomenon, to be witnessed most easily — I had to be present at a certain place accessed by this path at the time of the “crack between the worlds,” the quarter-hour just before and just after sunset.

Into the land that time forgot...

So it was out my gate just about every evening, and down this path around 500 meters in the opposite direction from the village into a little tree-lined pasture. On the path were two old oak trees that became a vortex, or portal of sorts for me, for every time I walked past these two trees, everything became silent — there was a definite shift. Far away traffic, birds, insects, and the general buzz of life all stopped here. It didn’t take me long to realize that I was passing into a different time, and a different place — into a land that time forgot.

There, at the far end of this grassy field where three hedgerows join is a small copse closing in an otherwise invisible corner of the field. Directly at the “entrance” of this little secluded corner is an old water well — a well covered and overgrown by years of non-use and neglect. This was certainly a forgotten place.

The first few times I had gone to this place, I would feel eyes upon me — many, many eyes from behind and in the trees and branches of overgrowth surrounding me — always blinking off and on, twinkling like bright little stars in a woods bereft of foliage. There was something here, and I certainly felt right at home. It didn’t take me long to begin doing sunset rituals of communion wand-less, and without any of the typical tools, talismans or regalia of the trade. There was certainly a bustle in these hedgerows, and well before the time of the May Queen.

My simple but raw ceremonies became a standard for me, weather permitting. Upon arriving, I would stop to take in the energy and air of this ancient place, and center myself in the open space defined by the leafless trees. Then, I began walking my circles, and defining my pentagrams, hexagrams and sphere of influence/reality. Salutations would be done, followed by invocations of the cardinal’s overseers. Then, simply stillness and release. It wasn’t a few days before I began sitting at the mouth of the old well after performing my ritual. I just wanted to just be with the land and its wild life, curious about the abundance of those shy and reluctant, but always blinking eyes. From the first time I sat at the opening of this well, I could sense the presence of our local Undines working in the watery realms directly below me — however, these were not the ones with the eyes in the woods.

These others , I found quickly, were of the earth realm, beings who never ventured into the light of day unless absolutely necessary (invoked), or simply overwhelmed with curiosity or craftiness — these were the Gnomes, working the same caverns below me that the Undines travelled. These caverns and tunnels are abundant in this region of France, with many of them open to the surface, and all of them are crystalline in some way. All these caverns are paradise to those who secretly dwell in them.

"No, it's not a hat -- it's my head!"

So it was at some point just after the winter equinox that I met this local group of Gnomes — builders they are, if you don’t already know this, and here I was getting ready to build a house. Every evening I was there, they would begin to crowd around me, these little Gnomes. Small they may be, but certainly strong and stout they are, for they are rock workers. Masons they are, Stonemasons, the prototypical Freemasons, and the earth they work is their temple.

So, I decided to ask for one of these earth-dwellers to help me with the building of my house, which had been at a standstill for 2 years. I specifically stated my requirements (I thought) that were as follows — The house needed to be done in 1 year, and I needed funds, materials, support from friends as yet unmade with the actual physical work, plus support from one of the Gnomes who was considered highly skilled at this work they did so well. Of course, it slipped my mind that these beings were best at rock-work, and other than the rock foundation, the house was to be of wood frame/strawbale construction — but Gnomes are builders, and the best in the world, so why would this matter?

One of the Gnomes did come for me, knowing it wouldn’t be a full-time job. He would only come around when I was actually working, and besides the other events he was to oversee, he still had his own personal time, and life. He was an A-BAR — this is the title of a Master Rocker, and his name was “Ephrana -yam.” He prefered to be called A-bar, or simply Eff. A year passed as agreed, and the rock foundation was done. So what of the house? Well, it was far from finished, but at least I did have a floor to build the house upon. Apparently, one year was not enough time for me to build a house, even when partnered with a specialist in rock-work. I still had wood frames to bring up, roofing to do, and everything else up to and past the kitchen sink.

Of course, A-bar did exactly as he understood — it was I who was somehow vague or a little unfocused/misdirected in my desires. So for my little Gnome friend, a year is what it took to complete his part of the job– a year for the foundation. Of course the funding did arrive to for the project within that time from an unexpected place, and I could not have continued without that, anyway. So Eff did do his job, as requested, and did it to the Tee.

So what of this exotic nature of the place that I call home (for now)? There is something about it that is so pure, untouched — unqualified even. In the history of man, very little has been done to corrupt, or even direct the energy here, and so it can be a little difficult to work with. It is very still and unmoving, and it is used to being still — it is an uncertain energy. It is tentative, having had little experience with outside direction or foreign influence. But we can both learn — both me and this energy. Some have said the energy is flat here, but to me, its potential is remarkable, for it has been unused for millenia, maybe since the beginning of time.

I still have to wonder, though – is this a place that time forgot, or just a place that man forgot?


A Moment with the Lizard King

April 30, 2010

I am sitting on a large lawn in a park on a sunny day. It’s springtime, the weather is cool and few people are out. I am cross-legged on a small rise at the far end of this little slice of nature, and yet the whole world surrounds me. The cool shade of the woods is just behind me, and while a light wind rustles the leaves in the trees, a young couple stroll past and the park is empty.

I begin gazing softly at the blades of grass around my legs and time passes. An object, no, a small red ball, rolls slowly into the edges of my vision. It comes closer, rolling uphill towards me, until it stops within arm’s distance of where I sit. Here it sits, directly in front of me. Now a few more balls, different sizes and colors, roll toward me, each stopping a few feet away. Then more, and more and more.

They are coming from down the hill, from both sides and from behind me, increasing in quantity and variety. It is as if I am a ball-magnet – there is no resisting this attractive force, but I just sit, more curious of my immediate surroundings filling with these balls than anything else.

These balls come and they come, more sizes and colors than I could begin to imagine. Patterns displayed by the balls become patterns displayed by their placement around me – they are all in their places when no more arrive. There is order and purpose to the layout of spheres around me. It is like sitting in a field of colorful wildflowers, only these are balls. Still, this doesn’t seem strange to me. I am surrounded by these spherical realities, all those things that I have done in my life, and all that continues to exist. I am surrounded by spherical potentials in my life, unrealized truths awaiting to be born in their turn, awaiting their queue that must be issued by me. They await in a metaphysical queue and I am their gatekeeper.

At the perimeter of these satellites that now surround me is a shadow. I look slowly up and directly in front of me is a pair of feet with two legs attached. My eyes move upwards past some knees and on to a waistline. I continue – hands, lower arms and stomach, a chest, shoulders and neck, and then a face.

This is the face of a very tall and large, black man. I say tall because he is tall – maybe 7 feet. I say large because he is the largest man I have ever seen. I say black because his skin was black. I don’t say Amero-African or any other race because I know he could come from anywhere. I know he does come from anywhere – anywhere but here.

His lips are moving as he speaks to me, but I hear no sound. I tell him this as his lips continue to move. Now they move more slowly, with his intent to be understood, I now understand. I can read these old lips as they sound out in my head – “How … are … you … feeling?”

How am I feeling? “I’m feeling great,” I reply. “Thanks for asking.”

His face now changes slowly, expressing simple pleasure at my response. He is a quite gentle, very large, old man. While he smiles, he slowly acquires a distinctly reptilian look, a genuine reptilian structure, but still with a smile on his face (Have you ever seen a lizard smile? From what I hear, they are not the type to smile, and apparently not very pleasant to be around, but in this case – I must emphatically disagree).

He begins to fade away – to disappear in a transparent kind of mist right before my eyes, until he is gone. Merde, I was really hoping to carry on with this one, to commune some more, but I somehow knew I would be seeing this one again.

Meanwhile, my collection of colored and patterned spheres remain….

My Cup Runneth Over

April 25, 2010

Some years back in my early days of working with the Temple of the Golden Dawn, I had my first tangible experience of manifestation in the physical as a result of some elemental ritual work.

At this point in my “career”, I had been advanced to the 2=9 grade of Theoricus, and was to become accustomed to working with the element of Air. A secure place, they told me, because from this position of Yesod on the Tree of Life, the budding magician stands balanced on the Middle Pillar — unlike the upcoming precarious elements of Fire and Water which have you pushed and pulled to one side or another in order to learn of balance through extremes. So here I stood, safely and comfortably in the world of the Astral. Of course, being in this world can have its unusual results, and meaning or understanding of these events does not always follow.

I would first mention that prior to joining the temple, I knew I had been there before, and without any arrogance, I entered with a purpose — one not to be taught these wonderful ways of Ceremony and Magic, for it all goes so far beyond externalized ceremony, but to be reminded of what I already knew, what I already was, and what I already could be and do.

This day, I had done all the preliminary work of cleansing myself and my space, donning the robes and vestments of the Theoricus (actually, contrary to tradition, I was already wearing a near to white natural linen robe and cape lined with a golden-colored silk). I have never been good at restraint when it comes to rules (though some do make sense), and so had placed my black TAV robe in secure and blessed storage some time before. All things need to be tested.

I removed my elemental tools for placement upon my altar — my wooden pentacle and small earthen-ware bowl containing some soil, my yellow-handled dagger and incense, my lead crystal cup filled with holy and blessed water, my fire wand and a candle, and an additional wand made of oak and wrapped with 33 feet of copper wire connecting a crystal at each end, and contemplated each of the holy names associated with each tool, element and direction. Yes, not only was I already equipped with the tools of the “higher” grades, I was even using tools outside of my given curriculum. As I have said, I was only being reminded of certain things by my study and practice, and I was bold, and a bit ahead of myself, but so be it. We all do what we must do, and I was comfortable, if not a little inept with the Workings as well.

And so, I begun what was already a modified ritual (at least as far as “the book” is concerned), which actually started with a by-the-book banishing ritual (LBRP). Signs, salutations and words of power were done in the four directions, and a flaming circle of light with stars around and above using my spirit wand. My ring of fire was then expanded into a sphere of light, surrounding me in all directions, and giving me an arena for my spirit-dance. Preliminaries being done, the alchemist in me, not wishing to make gold, but to transform only the lead within me, continued now out of grade. I then performed a set of circumnabulations to bring both the expansive and contractive vortexes (vortices ?) into unified balance and focused existence.

My personal and spiritual refinement was much more important to me than elemental  work, so this somewhat more advanced work had become a preliminary act in all my proscribed work in invoking (at this time) Gnomes or Sylphs, or the Kings of those realms. With some continued vibrations, I was imbued with peace and tranquility, and in a state of “high” prayer. Upon returning to my “normal” ritual state, I released the forces of both higher and lower vortexes by reversing my twinned circumabulations. I then did a specific blessing to each of the four elements by sprinkling some soil where my feet connected to the earth, lighting some incense, dipping my fingers in the water and touching my third-eye, and lighting my candle. Each of these salutations were done in the appropriate directions and with the appropriate names of power. I was not attempting to contact any particular spirit this day as the Temple would have me practice — I was simply communing with the forces and my Self.

All things said and done, I finished up with all the closings and releasings required of this type of ceremony before I reopened the space I had made. The air was clear, and all was back to normal, and then some distraction caught my attention, be it an imagined phone ringing, a knock at the door, or even my own sloppiness, (which is very rare, I am a Virgo, with 3 other planets in Virgo, but shit does happen), and I left the room.

You might noticed that I had conveniently neglected what can be considered very important by some — though I still have mixed feelings about this (it all depends on the space and circumstance) — I left all my tools of the trade on the top of my altar, knowing I would be back, I suppose, and knowing I had done the final closing of the ritual itself.

So, part of the day passes, at least a few hours of it, when I returned back to my room where I had left everything safely earlier, and I immediately noticed something out of place. My lead-crystal cup was no longer on top of my altar — it was now on the floor directly in front of it, where I would normally stand as a matter of ritual course. It sat upright, just as it would when it contained water, but it was empty — dry as a bone. In fact, there was no water around it on the floor, either, and such quick evaporation on our polished floor was quite unlikely, if the cup had fallen. This, of course, was also unlikely, being that my altar was 40 inches high, and this cup was lead-crystal, and would be easily broken. Simply enough, these are the facts — the cup was unbroken, sitting properly like a little fat Buddha right where my feet would be placed during ritual. It was  empty, dry, and otherwise perfectly normal. I asked my wife if she had seen this, or if she’d been in the room, she had not.

I later told my “proctor” about this, and while he didn’t ask specifically what I had done in that ritual, he seemed a bit astonished (but reserved with it) that some Spirits of the Water Kingdom would somehow be involved with me. He did want to know if anything unusual happened during the rite itself, probably assuming I was a good student, one not prone to playing with forces, or maybe even knowing I was prone to disobedience by this point in our relationship. He told me to be careful in future work, and if I followed my provided ritual instructions to the letter, this shouldn’t happen again (Of course, I obviously did want things like this to happen, again and again and again). He said not to worry, but I wasn’t worried at all. I was thrilled, and I was reminded —  in a very firm and direct way — of who I was, and of the world that surrounds me. I had just begun. This was my first initiation, and it had no name, grade, or position.

So, as a story goes — no big ending, no superior revelation, no dramatic upheaval, but at the time and in the moment, I realized the sheer truth of non-physical, intelligent forces at work in the physical world, and I do continue to work with these forces to this day, and as carefully as always.

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