I've always had a bit of a problem with motivation. Not only do I have trouble getting the largest muscle in my body up out of my chair (which is conveniently stationed directly in front of my very fun and easy to use computer screen and computer tower, which is itself loaded with more games, anime and books than you'd ever imagine, and for the delight of my lizard brain also attached to the ULTIMATE time waster: The Internet) but I also have a problem keeping myself motivated. It's always seemed like every time I start to make progress at any one given project I fall back down, burned out, and don't leave my chair (and my anime, games, books and beloved internet!) for another five months.
Puzzling myself silly over this problem granted me one vital insight into the nature of my dilemma - my very first insight on the subject in my eight years of occult puzzling. I'm hitting a wall.
Yes, really. It took me eight years to figure that out. I assume that with another eight years I might manage to puzzle out the answers to basic mathematical equations and pass third grade. But don't count on it.
Back to our regularly scheduled topic exposition , however, where we've just found ourselves staring at my glaringly obvious epiphany of "Developmental Wall." Apparently the Gods took pity on my Pre-Pentium cranial processing power because for the twenty minutes which followed my thought train went from a steam locomotive to the damned bullet train! In a fit of utter common sense (!) I remembered that walls are boundaries, and boundaries fall under the auspice of Saturn.
And the amazing thing about Saturn my friends is that as the Lord of Boundaries, Saturn can set, MOVE and REMOVE them. Christmas had come early.
My desires neatly dovetailed into an evocation plan. Although I'd never formally conjured Cassiel I had worked fairly minor magick with him at various points. Most of this consisted of attempts to manipulate Time, or at least my immediate perception of it, because I completely despised my job at the time and wanted to get it over with as fast as possible. And by "as fast as possible" I mean that I *literally tried to bend the flow of time to make it go quicker.* (Don't even try, your puny hatred can never compare to that! :-P) My results had been mixed but ended on the effective side of the bell curve so I was confident that I could, at very least, conjure him well enough to hold a conversation.
Then life decided to show up late to the party. Drunk off his arse and carrying a big stick, Life decided I was gonna play with him for a while or he was gonna kick me repeatedly in the groin. That would've hurt, so I missed three weeks worth of Saturdays where I'd previously had nothing planned and could've conjured Cassiel freely.
I got more than a little fed up with this, and decided to improvise. Cue Monday, June 4th, 2012.
Borrowing some advice from Gordon of Rune Soup, I decide to say "fuck it".... constructively. In the sense of "I can't seem to either maintain motivation or find free time when Saturdays roll around. Ya know what? Fuck it. I've got a twenty minutes until the hour of Saturn rolls around, and I've got a pen, I've got a sheet of paper, and I've got a copy of the Modern Angelic Grimoire that goes everywhere with me on my Android phone. I'll draw up an lamen and see if I can't get hold of Cassiel while I work. Hey, the worst I can do is fail, right?"
Now, normally I think of conjure as something you do with a nice altar setup, lots of nice tools, or hell, at least quiet time to sit down and journey to an astral temple. My workplace lacks all of these things. In particular it's distinctly lacking in magickal feeling, candles of any sort, stillness, quietness and all notion of attention so divided as to journey to an astral location. In short, I wasn't really expecting much.
Come the Saturnian hour of night I began to alternately chant and vibrate 'Cassiel' while I drew a makeshift lamen on a sheet of paper with a black pen. The result wasn't... pretty... but it was the best I could do freehand. I threw up a majority of the Hebrew god names around the lamen and proceeded to use a box cutter to cut it out. On the back I neatly printed and then signed my name. I continued to chant Cassiel's name while I put the lamen back into my left pocket and visualized a gloss-black astrological symbol of Saturn in the darkness of my mind and got back to work moving product around. Several minutes later I began to feel a shift in my consciousness (a feeling that after having done enough magick is very familiar to me) and distinctly noted that I no longer felt like I was the only person within two feet of myself.
Taking this as a good sign I shifted my visualization just a tad, now visualizing a flat-black wooden door which the planetary symbol was en-blazed on, and began to work faster in an effort to clear a few minutes of time. When I got a spare moment I dropped out of sight and turned all of my focus to the visualization and redoubled my vibrations. Seconds later the door I'd been visualizing opened and I was greeted with the sight of an equally darkly dressed Angel, his features looking rather older than any of the others' I've met thus far.
I was surprised by this, and by the clarity with which we (briefly) spoke. I didn't waste time and instead dove directly to topic, telling Cassiel my suspicions that the boundaries I'm currently operating under are too restrictive to allow me to progress beyond a set point, and asking for his help moving them to allow for personal growth. Cassiel replied in a slow voice, and said that the resrictions I'm under are of my own making rather than imposed by divinity and thus could be safely moved. I was cautioned that I would make no progress without additional aid, however, and advised to summon Kammael of Mars in full ritual the following day. I thanked Cassiel, blessed him in Logos' name and bid him go in peace. The entire conversation took at most four minutes; I walked around feeling the post ritual altered consciousness state for almost a half an hour until I got some food on break.
Sometimes "No" happens for a reason
Following instructions I conjured Kammael in the final Martial hour of the following day, Tuesday, in full ritual at my home. Rather than conversation I saw, and heard, almost nothing during the ritual. What responses I did perceive came in the form of impulses, impressions and emotional jumps -- a somewhat less clear communication to be sure. I'm still not sure how I can get one extreme and another on two separate nights but that's neither here nor there.
After explaining the situation (including my instructions to seek him out) I asked to be introduced to the Martial aspects I would need to utilize to break the chains keeping me in place, specifically asking for knowledge of Martial discipline. I was answered with a strong impression of "NO."
I admit, I'm not actually used to being told "no" by the Angels. More often than not they come across as eager to help, even sometimes refusing my offers to pay them for their services. This was disconcerting, and I explained so. I finished out the ritual with a request for 'whatever aid could be provided me' and promised to pay with any reasonable payment which might be suggested to me. Not receiving any further impressions I let the matter rest and ran through my standard end-of-ritual.
Friday came, and a major anger breakdown was had. In the middle of work. it wasn't very pretty. I probably should've been fired. The aftermath however triggered realizations of just how miserable I really am about my life situation, how desperately I'm afraid of change and how incredibly lonely I feel. Two hours later my brain made the connections required for me to understand how that incredible fear and loneliness is driving me to remain in one fixed place, afraid to change.
I don't need discipline. I need courage. And I bet Kammael knew it too.
Saturday night I dreamed of my house. My less favorite relatives had decided to move out and leave the place to me, fully paid, while two of my friends were moving in to replace them. Several rooms were being renovated, and we were looking over tentative blueprints of expanding the house to accommodate not only more people but additional pets, as well as building a private ritual room to be used communally. The other fact that stands out is that the dream takes place on an overcast day, not at night or in unnatural darkness as most of my dreams do. No sunlight still, but definitely a positive, freeing feel.
Telepathy, Belly Fat and Motivation
Muhammad Ali once said "I hated every minute of training, but I said to myself 'Don't quit! Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a Champion!'"
Aside from being one of the most Badass things I've ever heard anyone say the quote makes a good point, and a good tie in to the things I've learned about motivation in the last week. It expresses one fundamental truth so well: I do NOT have to be happy with the method used to get what I want. I just have to want the end result bad enough to suffer through it.
I have reconised that as an America I am a spoiled, whiny little bitch. By virtue of birth I've been given opportunity to sit on my arse and waste my life, going nowhere and being unhappy, because I don't want to deal with the minor amounts of suffering and 'me being unentertained' states that would come from pursuit of a worthwhile goal. (That is, a goal that will actually do something for me. Getting another Avatar to max level in an MMO doesn't count)
The majority of the world does not have this luxury. The majority of the world gets up day after day for hours of hand, horrible labor that they don't want to do, often going from dawn till dusk, because if they don't do it THEY DON'T EAT. They do not need to be happy to accomplish this goal - they just do it anyways.. You do NOT need to be happy. Happiness and entertainment, fundamental to the average citizen of any first world country, are entirely optional. Ridding oneself of this idiotic notion of entitlement to things like fun and ease of life is surprisingly freeing, even though I've far from mastered the concept.
On the subject of things that actually do motivate I have two words for you: Belly Fat. For the first time in my life I have noticed that I have a minuscule amount of fat building up around my stomach. As someone with an extreme ectomorphic body type, who has been rail thin his entire life with absolutely no need to diet or exercise, this troubles me. It means that my health has fallen below a certain acceptable level. I realized this on Tuesday. And tomorrow,. I start exercising. Because dammit, I HATE the idea of having belly fat, and I don't need to be happy about the process used to get in shape. I'll love the end result and that's good enough.
Finally, an old parlour trick of mine has made a recent resurgence. Ever played "Guess the Fruit?" It's a game people practicing telepathy play to train their skills. I discovered several years ago when introducing it to mundane/normal people I knew that, so long as I don't allow my mind too much room to intrude I am almost never wrong. An ex-girlfriend used to randomly shout "Guess the Fruit!" at me from across the room, and I would immediately stop and focus on her while saying the first thing that came to mind. It wasn't always a fruit (she purposely concentrated on one thing of any particular nature from food to animals to cars just to see if I had limits), but I currently have an unbroken 50 out of 50 successes.
I'm not bragging, mind you. I think it's really cool, but it's not something I find useful in day to day life. It's been more like a party gag up until now; cool to see, great to hear people gossip about, makes a great impression on people you're just meeting, but otherwise entirely pointless. Earlier today I proved a point to a coworker by calling out several things he concentrated on in a row with perfect accuracy, and in doing so discovered that doing it is incredibly simple.
So, here's how you do it yourself:: Get some meditation experience so that you can concentrate and your chatterbox-mind can stay silent for a bit. When someone is thinking about something, whether they're playing the game or not, focus every bit of your attention on listening to them. Don't just listen to the sounds, but listen to them as beings, like they're always saying something and you're paying attention to every detail they give off, you don't want to miss a thing. Let your mind stay blank and just *listen* with your whole being.
That's actually all there is to it. Done in a conversation you usually end up with a much deeper understanding of what a person is saying, what they mean and why they mean it than even the other party is generally aware they're giving off. It's as if you pick up their thoughts along with their words and so understand them better. Done while playing a concentration game such as Guess the Fruit you'll quickly get the correct answers almost flawlessly.
As a warning with that, people who are sensitive can pick up that you're listening far closer than usual and may accuse you of prying -- proceed with caution around magickal, psychic or unusually aware people.
That's all the updates for now. I'll be back some point or other, definitely more to say as the work progresses.