- Created: 26 February 2016
- Written by Awo Fa'gbemiro (Scott Reimers)
Our elder annointed and named our community "Ile Se Gede" which he explained meant "House of powerful medicine." That is our intended purpose. Our western name is Temple of Growth Advancement, and we've spent the last 3 years learning how to offer more effective support and tools for personal healing and growth. However, we're finally recognizing a dynamic we probably should have recognized a long time ago. We need to stop including everyone who wants to participate. Let me explain.
We have people we've been working with for a while, and they've advanced in understandings and practices to where we can start to do some pretty awesome stuff. Example: Last night we formed a group mind and astral traveled together to 2 different local areas, formed personal and group relationships with the areas and the spirits of the area. Afterwards we started trying to work with spirits around the temple. While doing so we encountered a spirit of the region who did some really solid work with us... "that was fucking awesome" kinds of work.
The reason this matters is that we have a wonderful young man who is facing some life difficulties. His pain caused him to flail around and hurt some of the other people in our community. Last night I had told him he was welcome to attend the full moon ritual, because our moons have always been open and inclusive.
Unfortunately when he arrived we learned that someone who had been hurt by his actions felt that they couldn't be safe sharing ritual space with him. They were choosing to leave rather than make an issue of it. Normally in the past this would have resulted us wishing the person who was leaving well, but Shauna Aura Knight has written some amazing posts lately about dealing with unhealthy persons in community.
I recognized that this wasn't about a small personal issue, but rather the consequences of unhealthy behavior. I knew that if we allowed the person who was hurting other people in our community to stay and it caused the persons who had been hurt by his actions to leave, we would be starting a cycle of empowering misbehavior... and that would be unhealthy for our community.
Seeking wisdom of the ancestors I performed divination. It told me that the best resolution would be to bring everything to light and remove any illusions; however, I had already asked if we could do a quick mediation. The person who had been hurt said they weren't comfortable doing so yet.
I then asked in a different way. Of the options available for me was the best choice to let the hurt person leave? The ancestors "screamed" no. Was my best choice to ask the misbehaving young man to leave? The ancestors spoke loudly and clearly "yes."
It wasn't easy. I tried to tell the young man: "I'm sorry this is a consequences of your actions, we can try again in the future and do other things to rebuild trust", but I think he heard "We are rejecting you as a person." He left in pain.
The rest of the ritual was incredibly blessed by that difficult choice though. With safety and trust restored, the group was strong and focused to do good work. The persons who were going to leave ended up massively blessing the work with their personal gifts; the work would have been far less clear and amazing without them there.
Last night made it clear to me that our goal of inclusion has often interfered with the majority of the group being able to take part in this quality of ritual. We've been trying to welcome people without the necessary skills to participate, and it interferes with the work. Even worse sometimes we're encountering awesome people coming to us for help and support we're glad to give in one context, but who would actively interfere or be triggered by the works we do in another context.
A large part of me wants a one size fits all solution, but I think I have to admit that we're going to have to change our "security model" into a very personalized one. We will probably have to pay attention to things like interpersonal difficulties, each person's triggers and each person's experience, skills and gifts to personally welcome or exclude each person to different events.
I think that means we're going to have to start teaching people that exclusion from some rituals or events is just going to happen. We're going to have to understand and teach that we may need to reject some behaviors or relationship dynamics, but we are still welcoming persons in whatever healthy ways we can.
I think that if we apply this understanding throughout our whole community we will become healthier. We have misbehavior we've been tolerating in a lot of different areas... and that action has formed a ceiling to what we could achieve as a community. It's time to remove this ceiling. It's time to learn both personally and as a community to say no at the right times in a firm, consistent and loving way.
- Created: 17 August 2015
- Written by Awo Fa'gbemiro (Scott Reimers)
I was raised to see Prophets as larger than life messengers of God's word. The Bible told stories of God speaking to and through people. It didn't matter if they WANTED to be used or not. He chose them and that was it.
Somehow in the Bible, nobody called people crazy when they claimed to hear God (ok... it did happen, but it wasn't the primary focus of the writing). They usually evidenced themselves through miracles. From the minor (look my fur has dew and yours doesn't!) to the major (God is going to kill your children and turn your river into blood!).
Once they proved themselves, writings elevated prophets to holier than man status. That may have made sense when the challenge was mass celebration of ignorance. In that case forming a cult is the only way to keep the idea alive in the face of conceptual xenophobia.
While nothing used to say “I'm a mouthpiece for the divine” more than a miracle, technological miracles are so common now that old school miracles of healing, TK, knowing the future and more are often ignored or considered coincidences... sometimes to the very persons who experienced them.
I healed a man who doctors told would be wheelchair bound for life with energy work. He now hates me because I don't want to give him a portion of a company he did nothing to earn. His regard to me offers absolutely no consideration to the fact that without the work I did he would STILL be in a wheelchair.
Thus, the bad news is that performing miracles won't get you much respect in modern life. Ironically that's probably good news too... because it means that people won't generally start wars, kill people or do other unhealthy behaviors just because someone comes along with the ability to perform cool tricks.
But what does that mean to modern prophecy?
It means that we can have many prophets at once without having to kill each other!
Historically a prophet's job was to receive the wisdom of the ancestors, spirit and other cultures and then offer it to his current culture in a way they could understand it. Our current culture faces absurd amounts of available information. Unfortunately a large fraction of that available information is being ignored or is being used ineffectively. Rather than needing a cult to survive physical threats to the health of the potential teacher of basic understandings, modern prophecy involves far more complexity.... we have to figure out how to USE the information we have (and fill in what we don't).
Each student of wisdom must also become a teacher willing to work with other student/teachers to measure each other's messages and apply the most effective message to each situation.
The more of us who help bring knowledge and wisdom into our culture's context the easier it will be for all practitioners to recognize the understandings we strive so hard to achieve as simple and obvious.
A prophet is doing their job correctly when people around them consider what they are teaching incredible at first hearing... and completely apparent at the second one.
Example? I had one the other day. Why is Mjolnir (Thor's Hammer) always upside down? Why does everybody speak of lightning coming from Thors Hammer? I watched a Thunderhead Cloud with Lightning striking between the center of the cloud and the head..
Guess what it looked like? ALMOST EXACTLY like a Mjolnir Pendant! The first moment I saw it I had an AHA moment. The second moment I wanted to facepalm because it is so obvious! And yet as of this writing Wikipedia's article on Mjolnir has NOTHING about clouds in it. Despite the fact that it is completely obvious and you'll consider it so, I DARE you to try to find a popular writing about Mjolnir being a thunderhead cloud. As far as I can tell it doesn't exist... yet.
Wait... what happened to the whole hearing God thing? Isn't that important to this? Shouldn't only people who can hear God be called prophets?
My primary tradition is Ifa (A Yoruban Living Shamanic Tradition). In that tradition ALL human beings are capable of hearing from spirit. In that context a prophet is simply a person who decides to actively be part of the communal relationship with spirit, but EVERY SINGLE ACTION IS INFLUENCED BY SPIRIT!
That's right. Every single action ever taken had an influence from spirit. Sure... sometimes the amount of resistance to spirit was epic, but there was still a small fraction of spirit peeking through.
In Ifa, all practitioners are supposed to form relationships with certain spirits in order to recognize them and become a more pure channel for them. In short... to learn to resist spirit less. In the end the whole priesthood involves studying, translating and working with spirit to apply and, if necessary, update the prophecies other priests received through the ages.
We have an incredible of information available to us and the number of sources is nearly as incredibly large too. They include countless Scientists, Historians, Engineers, Researchers, Priests, Prophets, Psychics, Visionaries, Dreamers and more.
In a world with very little knowledge available to them, an ancient Prophet bringing a small amount of new knowledge from spirit was a treasure indeed. Now-days a single prophet could write non-stop bringing new knowledge directly from spirit and only be a small fraction of the new information added to the human experience.
It is no longer sufficient to be an empty vessel for spirit to speak metaphors through. A prophet needs to be well versed in the topic spirit will be teaching them. A very true message of “Invisible wisdom leaps from the clear crystal as blue fire which flies down the golden cord so you can hear it.” needs to be able to be written (as if it were somehow new information) as “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crystal_radio”. In order to be able to understand and translate complex understandings from spirit you have to have detailed knowledge of the topic spirit will be teaching you.
However, back to a more metaphysical context. Spirit has things to teach beyond how to build a better mousetrap. Spirit offers guidance on living a joyful, fulfilled and contented life. How to treat each other better. How to avoid the mistakes of our ancestors. How to heal our personal wounds and so much more.
Many of these lessons were already offered to previous prophets through their ancestors and connection to spirit. It is our turn. In our age of rapid technological change leading to rapid social and family change every spiritual worker/trafficker/priest/magician must be involved in re-interpreting their tradition into the current cultural context. Each one of us needs to study those who came before, test what we have learned and then listen to spirit to adjust those lessons to work for us. It is not enough to simply do what we were taught. Those lessons may not apply anymore. When the old messages fail we need to ask spirit why and what we could do instead.
In short... The prophets never went anywhere. It's simply that their skill set stopped being unique to a generation. With the vast amount of knowledge available to us we have unspoken and unpraised prophets operating in Universities, Businesses, Hospitals and more all around us... and it's normal.
I hope that rather than being disappointed you can see hope in this. It is possible for EVERYONE including you to receive direct instruction from God/Dess. We live in a culture where spirit is offering so much to our collective education and wisdom that we forget to recognize the experience as the miracle that it is.
It is possible to become a more clear channel. Many old teachings (religions and spirituality) teach how to become a clear conduit. Receiving those teachings does often lead to manifestations of Siddhi (psychic/magick/miracle powers) but that's simply because you are learning about the structure of the universe in such a way that you can work with spirit to manipulate it when necessary. If you add a deep understanding about another topic then the channeling can start to be USEFUL to more than a couple people at a time.
Sure science won't accept your channeling, however you CAN channel information and then apply the scientific process to testing the theory you received and engineer solutions from it. If you channel a tidbit about history you can research to confirm or disprove it. If you channel information about companies you can do your research and then use the information to guide a stock buying strategy.
I can't imagine a single life journey which wouldn't be blessed by becoming a more clear conduit from spirit. If you choose to form a clear connection and listen to spirit expect coincidences to line up for your benefit, the answer you need to just pop into your head and peace... expect peace.
Nothing makes the huge vast world seem less scary than a confident personal experience that the loving creative force of everything is hand-holding you through a blessed life experience.
- Created: 10 August 2015
- Written by Awo Fa'gbemiro (Scott Reimers)
American's don't like to believe it, but great magick isn't simply about what you know and what you do, but it is also about where you are and when.
Most of this website focuses on the parts of magick we humans can directly control. There is a lot of psychic study and understanding the “rules of magick.” However, up until now I haven't taught how to do the really awesome stuff. I've alluded to the fact that awesome magick tends to happen when our lives are in danger.
The reason I haven't taught this yet is that I was resisting the obvious truth in my own life. Because of this resistance, the awesome magicks mostly happened in my life by accident. Sure I would talk about embracing the opportunities (Mostly Weather Magick Stories, and some stories of Spirit Work), but realistically I wanted to believe that I could have Awesome Magick Whenever and Wherever I wanted it. Lesson after Lesson tried to teach me about the where and when aspects.
Traditional Annual Magicks are always done at the same time and same place…
Story after Story of deep magick involving heeding a call to be at the right place at the right time…
An Old Mexican Witch Spirit Mocking me about being too white-stupid to Grow My Garden, Claim my Land, Study and Nurture the Magick of my Land, Plant in the right places, Harvest at the right times, prepare in the best places at the right times and cast in the best places at the right times.
Nature Magick and Weather Magick has been one of the deeper confusions for me. When I've done most of the magicks that leave me awestruck it's almost always near effortless. I don't have to call awesome energies forth. I don't have to design a 42 step ritual with 15 tools and 40+ ingredients.
The most awesome magicks are almost always this: Be at the right place, at the right time and do the right thing.
I've had times when the right thing was simply to open an astral door which was closed, release an Energy which was bound or even simply to talk to a spirit of the land. Other times the right thing was to talk to a person, be present and chase off a thief, or go on a walk (which had incredible experiences as a result).
The results in those cases were ALWAYS greater than my effort (sometimes terrifyingly so). I've likened this in the past to throwing a pebble to start an avalanche. Each time I spoke of this, I focused on my old belief that Magick wasn't usually about that. I believed that we needed to build power using spirit work, modern ritual and training to have magick be solid, reliable and available at our beck and call.
Modern Ritual, Magickal Tools and (power building) Spirit Work are attempts to amplify our efforts. Semi-disciplined ritual work I've experienced can have effects 100 to 1,000 times as powerful as what we do in the moment. However I've had Natural Magicks many Million of times more powerful.
After a particularly successful rain ritual (30 minutes of ritual resulted in 2 weeks of highly-intense and abnormal daily rain) I mentioned to a fellow mage that I was confused as to whether we had called the rain or if we were simply acting on a precognitive expectation of weather to come. His response was to list some of the cultures whose shamans recognized their tie to the natural world. They believed that they were an important part of the rains efforts to come. They believed that they couldn't make the rain on their own, but that they needed to help as sometimes the rain would only come if they called. This is the essence of co-creation.
We Mages like to think we are capable of shaping the world to our vision. We spend a lot of time trying to do so. On the other hand Priests tend to try to shape themselves to our world. However what if what the world needs is a Mage willing to be part of something greater. We can know what we want AND be willing to listen to what the world wants too. If we have discernment then when both of those align, we get to be there to “push the button” if you will. Every part of the whole is important. Some things will not happen without a mage, just as other things won't happen without a builder or a financier and so on.
My point is this. Choose to be the “Mage on Duty” and listen to the call of Destiny (To be in the right place at the Right time) and you will experience more regular, incredible and powerful magick.
I'll leave the Cause and Effect debates to you.
P.S. - If you are wondering HOW to be on duty I recommend:
- Find a vision of what you desire and work for it. (This shapes you into a tool with important talents and knowledge. The world rarely had special need for a blob without a purpose, talents or knowledge... there are lots of those out there.)
- Have a disciplined practice of personal meditation and/or daily divination (Teaches you to recognize imagination vs spirit talking to you)
- talk to spirits on a regular basis to form healthy relationships (shocker... learning how to listen to spirits helps you listen to Spirit.)
- SCHEDULE times when you aren't distracted by life. Time spent with a quiet mind. Watching a fire, weaving a basket, painting, gardening, walking through nature. In short... be a little bored. (It will give you time to hear potentials which distractions block.)