Recently I’ve noticed that my Patron Grandmother Spirit has been upset with me. Looking back at it I can understand.
See Grandmother Spider came back into my life last Fall when I began rediscovering shamanism and the occult practices I’d let slide years ago. She appeared as a small white spider in my shower, who made a web and a home in one corner of my bathroom window. White spiders being the sign of rebirth.
I began tossing bugs into her web at first as a bit of a “hey, that’s cool” and then later as I progressed in my reacquaintance with shaman studies, I realized she was coming back into my Life.
It was also about this time I realized that Christianity was not longer filling the role it should for me. After some study and reflection I decided to see if I could establish a relationship with the ancient goddess Hecate.
I also decided that with the amount of cat related energy in my life, volunteering as I do at a local animal shelter and having now 4 fosters in my home, that veneration of the Egyptian goddess Bast was due.
I set up a small place of worship in my bedroom for both of these goddesses as well as a place for Grandmother Mugwort, since I was using her extensively as a protective incense during my studies.
The thing is you shouldn’t neglect your old partners for your new one, and that’s what I did.
The spider in my shower I had moved to a small habitat, and into my office on a shelf. And yet I was not giving her the respect I should have been doing, just going through the motions of finding bugs to offer her.
A week or more back, my spider avatar stopped eating my offerings. I would drop them into her webs and she would ignore them til they wiggled loose and dropped to the floor of her habitat.
This week I made her a true altar.
I’d never created a place of worship and veneration for any of the spirits I have been working with before. I should. That’s part of the agreement you make with them. Its a way to show respect.
I managed to find a good file of the picture I put up in my earlier post on avatars and patrons, and had it printed and framed.
I have a good sized bookcase that the habitat had been sitting on, but next to it I had an old printer I wasn’t using. Not the best veneration to your oldest patron, was it. I cleaned the bookcase up, and repositioned it, then put my occult books on it as a library.
I wanted a nice table cloth to go under the various items and on Friday stopped by a large local antique mall. Those places are good because if you walk them with respect and intent, opening your senses you never know what you might find.
I went in looking for a nice linen table cloth and found a knit crochet piece instead. It was among a whole bunch of other ones. Notice it was knitted in a pattern almost in the image of a spider on a web. Eight being the number of Spider.
The little blue candle holder was a really nice piece too. It holds the small tea candles well. I need to find something appropriate for incense, for now I’ve been burning a candle in the evening when I’m in my office.
Monday I’m going to a rock shop I know of and seeing if I can find a piece of polished amber which contains a spider. There are many of them millions of years old. I want something special. My way of apologizing to my first Patron.
Remember, don’t neglect the spirits that have your back.
If you spend any amount of time reading blogs and sites which discuss the occult, you will probably be struck, like I am, on just how wrong everyone is. Well wrong if you go by the comments of a few people.
The Wiccan’s claim the Druids are tree hugging idiots with no respect for the Goddess and are clearly chanting up the wrong tree. The Luciferians think the Christian magicians are heretics and don’t know what side of a stone tablet to wipe their butts with. Pagan Reconstructionist think Modern Pagans can’t tell the time of day, yet alone the time of the century.
Cthulhuans wonder if you have hugged your Shoggoth today?
Now you have Alt-Right sorcerers invoking Pepe the Frog on their rival Antifa wizards, and both of them think the other are totally wrong. The Frog has not given his opinion yet though his PR secretary says a press release is forthcoming.
That’s kind of why I like being a shaman, we gleefully admit we are wrong and state with much enthusiasm to all the other occult practitioners we don’t know which side of a broomstick to ride. We just put our heads down and get shit done.
Let me be plain and honest with you, almost everything I will teach you here on this site, the total of the explanations, instructions and suppositions I ask you to ponder, are probably more wrong than right in the grander scheme of things.
When it comes to the occult worlds, we are all blind people fondling elephants. Most people won’t admit that fact that they are blind to themselves, let alone to any others.
(Careful which “tail” you put your hand on.)
And here is an even scarier thought, even the Spirits we learn from are sometimes wrong too. Spirits, especially the old and wise ones, aren’t omniscience. They don’t know everything.
Every see the movie “Groundhog Day”?
Unless you were born and lived your life under a rock, I sure you have. I like the scene where Bill Murray admits to Andy MacDowell that he has been and is living the day over and over again. Refresh your memory with this clip if you like.
Spirits are kind of like Bill Murray, they’ve been around so long that they know a heck of a lot but there are things they don’t. Spirits can make mistakes, and the people writing down what the Spirit teaches them can make mistakes as well.
So why should we follow or believe anything the various occult practices teach us?
Ever studied a martial art?
I really haven’t except some basic lessons in several different styles. A class in Tai Chi for old people, some karate when I was young and some Japanese kendo here in St Louis a few years back because I really like Japanese swords (and a good friend was teaching the class so I got to do it for free).
The thing that most people who have any experience with martial arts will admit if you press them on it, is that each style has a weakness. They do really well at handling 95% of all combat but there is a small set of encounters where their skill set isn’t right to react to the situation.
“Damned, you brought a sword to a gun fight!” (cue evil laugh) BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!
Ok, if everything I learn might be wrong, the how can I be sure its right?
Simple answer: Does It Work For You?
One of the big reasons I recommend anyone thinking of studying occult practices goes ahead and buys Serge Kahili King’s book “Urban Shamanism”, even if they plan on exploring more focused occult variations, is that King lays out a wonderfully simple and yet comprehensive World View that you can incorporate into your Life.
The Seven Shaman Principles and their fourteen corollaries also form a very sound and solid foundation on which to proceed from with your occult studies.
For the subject of this post, I want to discuss two of the principle he lays down, and their corollaries.
The First Principle is: “The World Is What You Think It Is”.
Depending on how you view the World, a glass is half full or half empty. If I go about my daily actions looking for the positive experience in Life, then I will think the World is good. If I go about it looking for negative experience, then I will think it sucks. Your attitude shapes your World.
The First Corollary states: “Everything Is A Dream”.
Along with recognizing the importance of your attitude, Hawaiian shamans hold the subtle idea that we “dream” our reality into existence.
That doesn’t mean that Life and Reality is an illusion. Instead it recognizes that our day to day Life and our night to night dreams coexist and have equal reality.
Think for a moment about some film or book you experienced, to a particularly emotional scene. Did it affect you when you first saw it so intensely that you cried or raised a fist in “Hell Yeah!”? Now rethink upon that memory. If it was very strong, you may find yourself in the grip of strong emotion again.
In Hawaiian shamanism, the Heart Aspect called “Ku” is responsible for memory and has no sense of Time. Memories laid down years ago, with strong enough emotion, when remembered today will be just as emotional.
Dreams are similar. To the Heart Aspect Ku finds a vivid dream as real as a memory from a long ago film.
Extend this further.
How do you know that the reality you experience is shared by me?
The screen you are “seeing” right now, and reading my words, is going through some organic filters. First off the light from the screen is hitting your eyes, and registering in the cones and rods in the back of your eyes. They in turn give off electrical impulses, which travel up your optic nerve to your brain. Then the brain, based on past experiences interrupts what the cones and rod’s electrical signals into a world view.
Now our brain interrupts those signals in a way that its been taught since birth. What is to say that is right, except the peer pressure we experienced growing up?
Every have an imaginary friend as a child? Grown-ups tell us those friends don’t exist and after enough times of being told that, our brains decide to ignore the sight of those friends. They disappear and we can no longer hear them.
What if they were real all along?
As you get deeper and deeper into your occult studies you will find your horizons will expand. You will learn again to dream while you are awake.
The Second Corollary explains: All Systems Are Arbitrary.
To go back to the martial arts. Karate is very much a “offensive” discipline. It responds to attacks by attacking back. Ju Jitsu on the other hand is very much a “defensive” discipline. It responds to attacks by deflecting the energy harmlessly away.
Which better defines the World and its Reality?
Neither and both.
If you accept that the World is what you think it is, and that everything is a dream, then all options are correct, and the ultimate truth is what ever you decide it is. All systems are based then on a limited experience of a few people, whose experiences may or may not be able to be replicated and experienced by each of us.
Then if you can’t be sure of any experience or system based on those experiences, just how do you judge reality.
Simple, does it work for you?
Accepting this World view is very helpful to a shaman because you don’t view alternative systems as true or false, merely as simply different points of view. It allows you to use methods from other occult disciplines freely and incorporate them as needed.
The second of the Hawaiian Shamanism Principles I want to talk about is in fact the last of the seven and is probably the most important.
The Seventh Principle observes: Effectiveness Is The Measure of Truth.
Some may read this as what works is true or the end justifies the means. Actually it says the complete opposite, the means justifies the end.
Violent means produce violent ends. Peaceful means produce peaceful ends. If you act ruthless to others, others will act ruthless to you. Helping others while accomplishing your goal and others will help you.
This also means, use the method that gets the best result.
“To a man holding only a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”
A competent shaman never stops learning different ways to do things. Feel free to hop between disciplines looking for the best results. If a teaching says “You can’t do that because it is (insert scary word here)” then question the basic premise.
Maybe the teaching is right, maybe its not.
First Corollary: There Is Always Another Way To Do Something.
Every problem has more than one solution. We live in an infinite universe, so every problem has an infinite amount of solution. And yet, seeking the “perfect” solution means we often overlook a simple solution that is just good enough.
When it is time for it, make a decision and go with it. If it isn’t working out, then change it.
Though remember, not all problems are occult problems. Sometimes, no more times, a problem has real world solutions.
Next week we will do some more energy work. For now, every time you have a problem, stop, think and figure out what other solutions are available to you.
Sometimes a shaman says “Make offering to this spirit to be rid of the problem.”
Sometimes a shaman says “Stop smoking so much and call your mother more often.”