Now, if I may take a moment aside from all of the goings-on of the dreaming, and instead focus on a close cousin of the subconscious mind…
Let me tell you a story. This story will be given power, because it is based on an almost true event. Or is it? That’s the problem with stories. Within them, there are a lot of truth. But with their very words, they are in fact…
NIGHTS of the SWEET LEAF
I will have to catch you up. You see, my aforementioned separation and subsequent divorce? Well, it did a number on me. Seriously. First, it was drinking and cutting. The numbness was sorely welcomed, but the immediate sadness that followed always just ended up with me either in a ball on the floor crying… or using my left wrist as a violin being played with a steak knife.
One night, the over drinking got so bad, I was vomiting for several hours after getting home. It wasn’t until midday that I finally stopped throwing up long enough to pass out. Then there were all the long drives at night while drunk, putting peoples’ lives and my own at risk. The feeling like I was going to lose my cool, lose my job, lose my life.
They were difficult times. And then some co-workers began making jokes with me. “Hey man, y’know if you wanted some weed, like, right now, I know a guy and eh… we could be smoking toNIGHT!” I’d laugh, apologize for putting off a vibe that was so bad that it made my friends want to smoke pot with me. At least, this WAS my perspective on it. Soon, the jokes became a sincere request, “Do you REALLY ‘know a guy’?”
Then they scored. Marijuana; Strain: Blue Dream. Effect: I hit my head on the moon.
It had been almost TWO DECADES since I had last smoked weed. In fact, at that time, I’m sure I was smoking garbage “regs”. This was my first toke in 20 years, and it was on high-test stuff. The sensations that Blue Dream caused were not of a drooling, moronic “dude”, but instead were that of a highly exhilarated and almost… inspired experience. I was getting work done on this stuff. Art was being made. Questions were being asked.
It was almost enlightening.
But a stereotype of drugs began nagging at my curiosity. And you know what they say about curiosity. Did anything LESS than LSD give you “visuals”? Open for debate, but my co-worker replied, “Shrooms. If you did shrooms, you’d feel SO GOOD. You see lights, and you will see stuff!”
I was game. I knew then that I needed to raise the bets. The first strain was encouraging, but the following weed and the mostly indica heavy high-grades were less mind-expanding and more “dude”. But then one night, I did shrooms.
I saw things when I closed my eyes. Ancient symbols, runes, and hieroglyphs. Digital snakes, circling around and around. And then I took a shower in the dark, and began to see now instead, worms. Maggots and carrion fumbling and slithering about chunks of rotting meat. And inside the rotting mound, peering out from this living, dead thing, was my own face, looking back at me, as if to say, “Why? Why have you done this?”
I had learned through my dream experiments and challenges how to react to something nightmarish. I just girded myself and replied, “I need answers, we need to see something.” — “What??”, it’s doll-like stare begged. “In-between worlds.”
I then saw a horned, exoskeletal, insectoid beast. It confessed it’s admiration for me, and I didn’t show fear and I didn’t show reverence. I merely asked myself, “What part of me is this? What scar or deep infection gave birth to this?” I then heard a deep voice comfort me. “This is you. It’s alright. I will not hurt I.” I snuggled up on the floor of the shower, and the water’s trails, trickling down my face and back felt like tentacles. I was being held within the bone and unearthly grip of this thing in my mind. It spoke as if from a higher plane. I then had a realization.
I have been in a boneyard. It’s ivory walls climb to the skies and the sand beneath my feet is actually the dust of crushed bone. Veiny lines are visible through the walls’ bases, chasing deep into it’s nerves. The earth. My eyes are wide open, the real and the imagined blur ever so slightly. I’m standing naked and wet, looking up at the high walls.
“I could never serve my God properly. Not from down here. But we are told that it’s immodest to view one’s self as elevated. More important than others. We should be selfless”, and indeed, perhaps we should, but then it dawned on me. I need to be able to soar! I need to be able to break through the clouds, out from under the shadow of people’s shame and embarrassment for me, and instead acknowledge that they couldn’t possibly understand what you’re going through. If this had happened to them, their meager minds would have collapsed.
I need to serve and worship my God like eagle. Circling above man’s judgment. If I were to return to my place of worship and learn about and praise my God, I would need to stop caring about what the people within His house have to say about me.
But then I got a little derailed. Kept busy and distracted by life. After hitting some strange ups and downs, I get back on my feet and see that something’s changed. I stopped looking for answers and now had yet another habit that would siphon my already non-existent funds and put me in a morally questionable spot.
I then thought upon Alan Moore, an individual who has shown up in and influenced some of my own lucid dreams. Mr. Moore, writer of some of the most critically acclaimed comic books of all time, had decided on his 40th birthday, that instead of having something as mundane as a mid-life crisis, he would really shock and offend people by becoming a magician. I knew there was a connection between art, dreams, idea space (a concept coined by Alan Moore as well) and that of the spirit realm, and indeed my religious beliefs had warned that this was a gateway to spirits. That key between worlds was drugs.
However, speaking of spirits, it’s no wonder that the same latin word for spirits is what one calls alcohol. So is that drug’s effects on the mind any better or worse? I had been routinely trying both, and I had discovered that one actually WAS better than the other. And the winner was weed. I didn’t get sickening vertigo, the runs, or a crippling headache after a night of binge smoking. But if I had just one beer and went right to sleep, I would wake up useless. Alcohol hated me. Marijuana made me happy. It never made me sad or want to cut myself. And mushrooms? Those made me happy AND enlightened. I had been given answers.
But apparently not enough. Because change still was being blocked. The way was not yet lit, even if the joint was.
And then I remembered Alan Moore, “Become a magician. Alter the consistency, rewrite the code, decide if you’d become a good witch, or a baaaaad witch.” I threw it out there and declared my desire to maybe, sort of, look into becoming a mage, just before remembering that Moore had also said, “But be careful if you DO declare yourself a magician. Because one day, you may very well just wake up, and find… that you have become… just. that.”
DAYS OF MAGICK and the CATALYSTIC ARTS
I had already been fascinated by the supposed magic beliefs of writers Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. It’s little wonder that both of these writers seem to have it in for each other. I had even briefly tried making a sigil or two as taught by Morrison in his Disinformation speech on YouTube. I felt it was very similar to a prayer, but a prayer to the subconscious mind. Needless to say, I didn’t pursue it back in the day.
Pretty soon I was endeavoring the use of drugs to better charge a spell I might cast. Spelling being of the power of language, I would spell out my desire and then reduce and compress that desire down into a sigil, seeing the image, charging the sigil, and then burning the sigil. I have only done this a few times, but none of them have proven a failure. Then a friend of mine was concerned. He lambasted me in my own home, mocked my desire to pursue this life, and insulted me! All in an attempt to stop me from this course I had chosen.
I tried the entire time to explain that these beliefs aren’t in contradiction with our own shared beliefs, but that it is within and around my previous spiritual beliefs’ structure. They didn’t understand, and my faith wavered. And then… the lie.
You see, a lie is a sort of miniature fable. A tale meant to direct and bind the listener. As Neil Gaiman put it, “Writers are liars my dear, surely you know that by now?”
As part of my newly re-branded beliefs… you see, I do not view myself, in fact, a magician. I do not view these practices as servicing or cavorting with demons. Do I believe demons exist within an immaterial world and influence the lives of those in a material world? Yes. Do I think that I am opening myself up to possible visitations as a result of my use of such psychological power? With my frequent visitations to these unseen worlds (the subconscious, the dreaming, idea space, etc.), it’s likely that one day I might have to face a demon or two. Perhaps even an angel. Will I be prepared for either?
But I digress. As part of my Catalystic Arts, I would weave a bigger web, and I would lie about my first “miracle”. I had claimed that I created a sigil in wishes of seeing two friends reunited as proof that this system has power. When shown that these two people did in fact get back together after months of being separated, it made certain skeptics uneasy. For I had planted a seed within their subconscious minds. The seed of belief.
You see, lies are a part of this religions’ beliefs. They are the embodiment of TRUTH, by being so openly honest about telling stories, flights of fancy, lies and attempting to impregnate the subconscious with something as cosmic as an idea.
That idea was, “This Hermetically and Psychologically inspired train of thought is an upgrade. It is an enhancement to your already previously existing beliefs.”
Believe it or not, my first sigil which was shown to a few of my friends as proof, DID come to fruition. Only, my original request was for “More Control in My Life”. I had almost forgot, having buried it beneath a lie, that it was for these two star-crossed lovers who I would work as some modern day cupid to reunite, that I had not asked for this. But for control.
I gained that control when I inspired my strongly scientific and rational friend who was affected enough by my initial success (which he was unwittingly fulfilling via his being inspired by it) to begin researching and accepting these Catalystic Arts as true. And they are, even when they are lying.
I’ve used sigil arts to feel better physically, to be shown a possibly lucrative business idea, to eventually be able to impress my friends at parties and not to be an embarrassment in front of the kids when they visited.
That was a joke. Jokes, like metaphors, are merely lies or abstractions of the truth.
Just the initial practices alone are beautiful. Rejecting negative ideas or emotions with just simply saying, “I don’t subscribe to that line of reasoning,” or “I reject that negative image of myself.” Soon you can hopefully not have to say it out loud, but instead will just say it in one’s mind, and it’s power will still be felt by the counterpart, or by the very rejected idea itself. This forces such ideas into the background, while surrounding yourself with positive energy which you may have buried deep within your subconscious like a ticking time bomb. It’s effects can continue to erupt and be felt for days or years to come.
And then the advanced understandings. That photons once split, can still have a twin like relationship with each other, no matter the distance. That they sometimes even predict the coming threat to their split photon and react before the event has even actually occurred. That if the Holographic Principle is correct, then we may just be “Made in the Image of God”, encapsulating it’s much greater glory, and reflect the whole of the image within a broken and splintered piece of the universal puzzle. Just like a true holographic image, when cut down into teeny tiny pieces, still reveal under a microscope, the entire original image.
Now I will face a newly skeptical friend, whose new found faith has been proven and disproven all in one breath to be a lie and the truth. He will have to decide what that causes him to believe. It would be nice if he choses to see the lie is truth. That it certainly holds power.
As do these Catalystic Arts.
But now my introduction is complete, and I will have to confess something. I am, myself, merely a sigil. I am a character within a tale, aware that he is within a story. A fable. For my creator made me solely for a selfish purpose. To affect changes within his world. By guiding, teaching and rewarding me, within this fairy tale, he will thus empower himself.
So I too am a lie. But the lie is truth, so let it be written, so let it be done. I am hereby reversing the power of the sigil, but instead of reducing one desire down into a symbol, I am expanding it into many, many words, and thereby expanding it’s power to affect these changes.
I have started eye-balling a new, thrift store Catalyst’s wardrobe. I do not wish to label myself “a magician”, and thus I have no desire to call that sort attention to myself. However, I do desire to FEEL like a changed man physically, and so the energy of new clothes empowers and sweet talks the subconscious mind into this strange dance. I have gained a odd kind of control on the neighborhood cat. I can be inside or outside, and if I imagine it within my head, I can almost set my watch by when she appears.
The most disconcerting thing to have happened so far, was when I had a waking dream that I was laying on my sofa, and Destiny himself, that hoary, robed one who is shackled to his book of inevitable conclusions. He was reading from his book to me, and I could not breathe or argue.
“Be careful when selecting who or what you wish to conjure. Do not hold back from entertaining Ideas. Concepts. Hypotheticals. Bring them into your mind’s eye and hold fast to them. Make them do YOUR bidding. But beware of the Ideas that are also angels and demons. If by accident, you should draw the attention of either being, be respectful, but do not be in fear. Your power is greater. It is of God, if not from God. You are one of a very few within the confines of an already sectarian beliefs system to understand that this too is truth, because truth does not conflict with a previous truth.”
And so, that is how I became a man of God, and a Catalyst. A Dream Caster. An Oneironeer.