Monday, July 01, 2013

The Year of the Warrior (LBRP:D11)

I've been reading The Year of the Warrior, which discusses the fallibility of humanity, the evil powers at work in the world, and the difficulty an Irish semi-priest has converting the heathen Norse to the White Christ.

The main character is a priest with no ordination. He's taken in by a Christian Lord, and pretends he has the ordination. In the course, he has a leman (concubine), fights a walker-again (a revenant), a priest of the Old Gods, and comes to understand the intrinsic difference between the Christian God (whom he hates) and the heathen gods (whom he fears).

"What I can't understand", said someone, "is, if our God is so much more powerful than the old gods, why do all wonders seem to come from their side?"
A voice said, "Because a marvel is like a sword." Strangely, the voice was my own. "Or like torture. There is no answer to it. The Beloved prefers to woo."
 Later, the priest has a vision of his old abbot. They talk about the pain and suffering and evil in the world. And the abbot tells him that it's not the pain, the evil, that God desires. Rather it's the risk.
"It was God's risk to make the world, and give Man a choice. All love is risk, and salvation is the most dangerous thing of all."
Another point they make in the book, is that when a man stands in the light, all the darkness can see him, and he becomes a target.

The Beloved prefers to woo. And as Gnostics, I think we find that especially true. We know that love, we know its quiet, its certitude, its Presence. The priest in the book fails, and fails often. He's weak in morals, in resolve, in learning. He sometimes makes up psalms and prayers and the words to the Eucharist. At first he doesn't even believe in God. Then he believes, but hates him. Yet still he serves. Eventually, even that changes.

The Beloved prefers to woo. That's why it's the soft, still voice that speaks.

----

Still doing the LBRP. It's been an interesting exercise so far, and I hope my paths are becoming clearer with each performance.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Back to Basics (LBRP:D4)

So, as far as routine practice goes, I've been slacking.

My prayer schedule is shot. My magical practice is in the doldrums. Even my weekly practice has been curtailed, cut short, and generally moribund.

Obviously, I haven't been writing either. I remember the heady days of Lent, when I posted every day. Not sure I want to do that again, but I could.

So, to invigorate my practice again, I've started what I call the 40 days of LBRP (Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram). I'm just going to practice one simple thing, every day. I'll take notes on it, but mostly I just want to do it. I'm on day four, and it's already having some effects. I am finding myself less tied to an 'altar' area, and more willing to just stand up and throw the pentagrams wherever I happen to be. That's a good thing, from my POV. Taking the magic out of the temple.

Of course, I will do it IN the temple, too.

Going back to basics is good.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Memories of Caring

I was talking with a dear friend of mine, and we were discussing how memory and place were tied together. He has a hard time leaving places, and memories for him are ingrained in those places. Happy times in his life are reawakened by visiting those places.

For me, places are cool, but they don't have nearly the meaning for me that they do for him. I've moved almost every year since I was 18. I have a list somewhere of all my addresses, so I won't forget.

People, on the other hand, echo through my life over and over and over.

Thursday, I encountered a piece of information I wanted to pass along to my ex, LS. I see that a band she likes is coming to down, and wanted to point her in that direction.

And I had to stop. LS has decided not to have me in her life anymore. It's fair, I told her I didn't want to date or live with her anymore, so she decided no contact was best. It hurts, as I generally have fairly good relationships with exes, after a while. But I broke it off, it's only fair she sets the terms.

So I have this memory of caring that I don't know what to do with. I have said in the past, that it'll fade. And it will. But it's still raw now. I have several exes that I have the memory of caring for, and some I'm in contact with, some I'm not. Some I'm curious about, some I have lost track of.

So, I take that information, and file it away. As for myself, my life is wonderful, my love and I are starting a farm and it's coming together, we have children who're warming up to me as their step-dad. It's all good.

But that wound is still there, and occasionally life pours salt on it. I still have that memory of caring. It'll pass. It'll fade. But I doubt it'll ever go away.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Boston

I've been sitting here, looking at a blank page, wondering what to write about Boston.

A lot has been said, and I'm sure a lot more will be said. There are stories of heroism, kindness, and generosity. There are stories about a panicked reaction to nationality. There's theories of false flags, and foreign intervention, and domestic unrest, of malevolence and insanity. There are people who's hearts and prayers go out to the victims.

We know results, but we don't know causes. Nobody knows yet.

I take that back. One person, at least, knows. The individual or individuals that set the bombs.

The rest of us may not know for some time. And uncertainty makes us crazy. The idea that there's something we don't or can't know makes us proceed based on incomplete information, on hearsay, on prejudices or hunches or principles.

And we want to do something. We want to blame someone (if not the actual perpetrator, then our favorite enemies: terrorists, the government, unstable people, shapeshifting lizards). We want to comfort the wounded and those who've lost someone by punishing the wrongdoer, by picking up the pieces and saying "This wrong has been committed upon you and upon all of us, and we've punished this person because they're responsible".

At this exact moment, we can't know, so we can't do. All we can do is seek the knowledge, look for answers.

It's frustrating for almost everyone, I'm sure. The fact that with all our technology and all our surveillance, we haven't found the perpetrator yet! It's been two days!

Sometimes, we can't know right away. Sometimes, we never know. Often, when the moment is darkest, our knowledge is not only incomplete, but non-existent.

At a time like this, we seek, and we pray.

And in my hours of darkness,
when I am not even sure there is a Thou,
hearing my call,
I still call to Thee with all my heart.
Hear the cry of my voice,
clamoring from this desert,
for my soul is parched
and my heart can barely stand this longing.




Monday, April 08, 2013

Welcome the Light

We have just begun our celebration of the Easter Season. Easter Sunday and the First Sunday after Easter have both passed. The light has descended into the darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not. And the Light returns, bringing the knowledge, the Gnosis, the Logos, that death has no sting, that hell hath no fury, that we are eternal and connected and that nothing can separate us from our God if we could only turn our eyes away from bright, distracting Abraxsas.

As Johannites, we affirm that every being contains a Divine spark, a Sacred Flame, within them. We also affirm that Gnosis is the self-knowledge of that spark. Because this is the Easter season, we have been made abundantly aware of this spark.

During the Homily at Mass on Sunday, we did a meditation on the Light. We watched the Sacred Flame on the altar, and we imagined, we felt, we reached for, that Divine Spark in our own hearts. We joined it to the light on the altar, to the light of the Divine in heaven above, and to the lights shining in the people around us. We concentrated on our spark reaching out and touching the sparks of the others present, and those not present whom we cared about. We reached out with our spirits, and imagined the Kingdom of Heaven, and made real, realized, the concept of there not being a separation between us.

The Eucharist, after that meditation, was particularly poignant, and we felt the presence of the Christ, as I imagine the apostles felt it after the Resurrection. Truly, we were transformed.

The Eucharist never ends! Let the thanksgiving continue, let the light so shine!

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Reading

It's no secret that I like to read. When I take a break from the occult and deep scriptural texts, I like to read a lots of weird fiction. I'd like to recommend some books I've recently read in the fiction category.


  • A Throne of Bones: The Pontiff is dead, a new one needs to be chosen, and a great deal of disruption comes to the empire of Amorr.  This is a great epic fantasy book, and I recommend it highly.
  • The Wardog's Coin: Set in the same world as A Throne of Bones, these two short stories cover the world of a mercenary, and the effects of calling a whole race 'demonspawn'.
  • Tiger by the Tail: This is the sixth book in the Paladin of Shadows series, and it was a wonderful continuation of the series. Mike Harmon is a former SEAL who's lucked into a feudal arrangement with a set of military geniuses. It's a fun read. The first book in the series is Ghost.
  • Terms of Enlistment: The future is grim. The North American Confederation has built huge public residential centers, and the only way to escape them is to enlist in the NAC's military. Earth is polluted, but there's a chance if you can afford to escape on an offworld colony. Andrew Grayson just enlisted, and he's in for the ride of a lifetime.
  • The Flux Engine: John Porter has a crystal from his mom. It's apparently a lot more important than he realizes. In an Old West where Ben Franklin is responsible for destroying the East Coast and the Ice Age hasn't ended, John comes of age while encountering a thief, an assassin, and Wild Bill Hikock.
  • Microsoft Convergence 2012: A Space Odyssey (Adventures in Accounting): This was a promotional piece for Microsoft's accounting software known as Dynamics GP. Apparently, you can conquer a galaxy with substandard accounting procedures.  Who knew?
I have a more meaningful Easter post int he works, but it's taking some time to percolate. Stay tuned!

Friday, March 29, 2013