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Harming or Healing?
Reading Sam Webster's 1996 essay "The Bones of Sex and Spirit" and Maryse Cote's article "Tantra, Men, and Sexual Healing", it occurred to me that I have not always had good experiences with sex magick or trance states.
My experience of sex magick has varied with different partners. Some people's energy is not right with mine. Four years ago, I tried partnering with people who were well-trained, magically. What I found out through those experiences is:
There are a great number of mages/Wiccans/yogis I would not entrust my heart and soul to. They have the training, but lack clarity of heart.
What do I mean by clarity of heart? Compassion, empathy, sensitivity to energy and the willingness to stop the magickal process if the energy feels like it's going terribly wrong; the ability to nurture, the willingness to invoke with compassion vs. the need to direct the energy purely for ego-gratification and the feeling of raw, primal power without regard for the needs of one's partner or for what is happening for one's partner. You get the picture.
The results of working with magickally trained folks who lack clarity of heart were painful, but not permanently damaging to me, probably because I refused to work more than once more with a person once I got the gut feeling I couldn't trust him/her. I worked only one-on-one, never with a group because, when I did get offers to work with groups, I found that some of the people had really nasty energy that made me feel unsafe.
- Rule No. 1: Always trust your gut feeling.
I have encountered very few people (whether magickally trained or not) who carry the energy that is complementary to the energy I carry, whose energy resonates with my own; hence, very few who are capable of putting me into trance state with their presence. Of those, there are very few who have the clarity of heart that would allow me to trust them with my heart and soul and hence, to work together magickally.
- Rule No. 2: While experiencing life fully, practicing “exceed, exceed, exceed,” pause long enough to remember to care about your own well-being. In doing so, choose wisely. The person across the room to whom you are drawn to the point you feel that you are falling into their eyes/have a soul connection, may lack compassion, may be on a power trip, and may be supremely indifferent to your needs/fears.
Part II: Unelicited Trance States
As a child, I “listened” (attuned) to a particular tree in my parents' backyard. This attunement occurred in natural, unelicited trance states which I took for granted. I never had a bad experience attuning to the grass, the tree, the daisies, or the strawberry patch. (You might think I was a strange (wyrd) child, but I have a 14 year old daughter who attunes to giant Sequoias and large, flat boulders.) It never occurred to me that I might need psychic protection.
- Rule No. 3: If one or all of your children are naturals, nurture the tendency. Ask them about the protective qualities of their favorite tree or HGA.
Years later, shortly after my first initiation, I began experiencing times when, while walking the half mile along the seawall between office buildings at the job site where I worked, I would enter an altered state and feel myself “becoming” a panther, beautiful, sleek, powerful, stalking. Other times, I would “hear” wolves and “smell” burning sage or frankincense. Sometimes, I “felt” a shawl float down from the sky, settling onto and going within my shoulders, wrapping me in its warmth. At these times, I experienced joy in my heart and adoration of the Supreme Divine. Here, again, it never occurred to me that I might need psychic protection.
After my second, more intensely transformative initiatory rite, (in which I invoked Inanna and descended through the seven gates, removing layers of self, until I reached the Great Below, the realm of Ereshkigal, Queen of the Dead and hung my rotting flesh upon a meat hook) I “awoke” from a sound sleep in the middle of one cold January night and noticed the shadow my curved gooseneck floor lamp cast on my moonlit bedroom wall. Then, I suddenly realized I don't own that type of lamp! At the same time, I heard a deep male voice talking in my other ear. I sensed a very dark, large presence next to me, not malicious, but definitely opportunistic.
First, I experienced terror. Then, I found anger. After all, this was my territory and I didn't recall inviting anyone into it. I leapt out of bed like Xena, Warrior Princess, grabbed ye olde sharp ritual blade, flipped the light switch and prepared to defend myself. Nothing. Boy, did I feel sheepish. Xena, Warrior Princess? More like Don Quixote, tilting at windmills. I lit candles all around the room, tried to cast a magickal circle, and then found I'd lost my nerve to the extent that I couldn't even create the fiery pentacles, let alone summon the guardians of the portals. So, I put some music on, and eventually fell asleep.
The next morning, my housemates teasingly asked who that guy was they heard me talking to into the wee hours. Talk about shivers up my spine!
- Rule No. 4: Just because you never believed in demons/angels or big, bad meanies from under the bed, doesn't mean they don't exist. When you are psychically open, you may become a portal for all kinds of entities. Don't take it personally.
- Rule No. 5: Before you have an experience like this, practice devotion to your HGA or Ishvara* and adoration of your Devata** and make sure you have attuned to the most protective, ferocious energy out there.
* Ishvara may be defined as Higher Self or HGA.
** Devata is a deity to whom one is devoted.
Part III: Psychic Protection and the Hazards of Unexpected Results
I began reading Denning & Philips' Psychic Self-Defense & Well-Being. Their techniques did not work for me. I had a second visitation two weeks later. This time, I tried to listen. It was the same entity asking a question I was too frightened to actually hear. I feared the unelicited “twilight” times, the spaces “between the worlds” which I'd been experiencing since childhood. I felt I couldn't trust My Self to keep myself protected.
Seeking strength and passionately exploring my limits, I started invoking the primal energy of Sekhmet. These invocations yielded results which were disconcerting. My primitive “reptile” brain was stimulated leading me away from compassion into a very primal, animal blood lust with no concern about hurting others, enjoying the hunt for the sake of the hunt, a very sexual, primal feeling, indeed. For days and sometimes weeks after such a ritual, I felt a bit deranged, perhaps psychotic, very dispassionate yet uneasy with this part of myself.
Imagine working magickally with a partner who is in this space when you are not. Now, imagine working magickally with a partner who is not in this space when you are.
- Rule No. 6: Self-examine. Take responsibility for yourself.
- Questions: What are your ethics? Are you willing to take responsibility for others whom you invite into your sphere of influence?
I felt temporarily empowered, strengthened even, protected. That was the focus of the exercise. But, at the same time, I felt that there must be a more holistic approach to empowerment and psychic protection.
Then, I found my Devata, the baddest, meanest “mutha” I could ever have imagined. Wandering about a book fair, I saw a sequined wall-hanging from India depicting a goddess with fangs and a red, blood-soaked tongue. In one of her left hands she held a severed head, also dripping blood. In one of her right hands, she held a bloody knife. She wore a garland of heads around her neck and a girdle of arms. She danced upon corpses. For the first time in my life, I was moved to prostrate myself. I had to squelch the urge. Instead, I asked about the wall hanging and was told it was Divine Mother, Kali-Ma. I bought it and took it home, read voraciously any book I could find about Her and became a devotee.
For four years I was devoted to Kali, studying the tantras, learning and practicing the techniques of kundalini tantra and siddhantha yoga. Just as with finding one's HGA, this devotion to my Devata was a form of psychic attunement which fine-tuned my energy to a certain frequency so that I have received no more unelicited visitations.
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The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them.
**Re: Magick, Trance & Trust**
by <Violet> on Tuesday July 11, @01:26PM
Thank you for your personal post. I really respect your work and your perspective. From someone who has studied with you personally, I understand, from a personal point of view, the wisdom and compassion with which you share your experience as well as your thoughts.
Not everyone might have the same experience on the more “dangerous side” of magickal experience and working occult energies with magickal partners, but what you've spoken about is VERY REAL and VERY VALID.
Part of the work that I do and teach is also centered around “psychic self defense” (as I call it)… and, yes, it is conceivable for people to find/get themselves into dangerous situations when they are overly naive or unprepared.
Although I love the freedom of information that we have now w/occult literature available in nearly every bookstore, I also find it quite frustrating that most of these books with “how to do it - spells” have very little forewarning about magickal “nasties” (energetically speaking) or karma or anything else of the like. Sure… it's alright to do a big spell to bring back a wayward lover, but what of the _consequences_. Hey… didn't you know that time was linear – and goods were FREE?
I'm still looking forward to when you'll be up in the Bay Area and hopefully I can be of some service to you in helping you with whatever teachings you might be offering.
I respect your Truth.
In all honesty,
Love is the law, love under will.
|Re: Magick, Trance & Trust\\
by <Kallah> on Thursday July 13, @01:49PM
|Hello beautiful Violet devi,\\
Thank you for your kind response.\\
I hope every instructor of magick incorporates into their teachings something along the lines of what is in Denning and Philips' book on psychic self-defense. That book is an excellent resource, not to be overlooked.\\
my love to you,\\
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them.
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