This afternoon, I undertook the next phase of the OTA pathworking.

Environmental observations.

  • Time: Approx. 12:30pm
  • Phase of the moon: Waning Gibbous in Sagittarius

I got in, knowing that I didn’t have all the time in the world and cleared out my meditation space. Shoes off. I performed the LBRP and then sat down for meditation.

c9e3a-7e44df58b2d5The guided meditation took me deep into the earth. The caverns are lit by a beautiful golden bioluminescence. The narrow cave winds downward, into the bowels of the earth until the cave widens and a chamber lined with crystal and gem outcroppings opens up to me. I pass each of the gems until I find a growth of amethyst (once again) which draws me to it. A light from within the crystal glows and I can see what appears to be a shadowy fetal being in the center of the crystal. I place my hands on the surface of the crystal and it begins to speak to me.

“Your spirit guide has been waiting for you. The chain was once broken but you’re repairing the links.” It tells me.

Years ago I accompanied my mother on a two-day workshop for Stanislav Groff’s Holotropic Breathwork. The principle being that you hyperventilate your way to enlightenment (not really — you breathe hard and fast to shift your consciousness and do some psychological healing). Other people in the workshop were going positively insane. There was a lot of crying and laughter. It sounded like a madhouse. The woman that I was tasked with trip-sitting began to contort her body as she lay on the floor. She later reported that she found herself transforming into a lizard-woman. My trip wasn’t as violent as the others. Rather, in mine, my right hand began to trace a symbol on the floor which grew in complexity over time. In the moment, it seemed to resemble a cave drawing and all the ladies in the house couldn’t help their hippie new age selves. They all declared me a shaman on the spot. Years later it occurs to me that this is the first appearance of my Holy Guardian Angel and it was showing me its sigil. Over the years, I encounter this being numerous times but in a sort of one generation removed. My HGA, that higher self that we’re all trying to grokk in fullness on this path, has been waiting for me to get my shit together and rejoin with it and it’s nice to finally hear that that I’m making that connection.

I wind my way deeper into the earth until the cave opens up to a massive cavern. At the far end I can see what appears to be pointed rock formations but an underground river stands between myself and them and so I make my way across the stepping stones in the river. Time passes strangely here. I look across and see the other side right before me, but taking the steps to get there is a slow, laborious process. I check my progress, the other side seems suddenly so far away and the next thing I know, the next step, itself, seems miles away from where I stand. Moving my body in this space has the same fluid dimension to it as it does in the gross physical world, but the time needed to make my way across these stepping stones becomes a wildly unpredictable variable.

At the other side of the river, the ordinary flow of time returns and I am met with the rock formation. What appeared to be several stalagmites turns out to be several gnomes, short men with pointy hats. One of them walks with me. He is either covered in dirt or his skin is permanently stained from being here. We chat a bit and he hits me with a bit of obscure wisdom.

“Everyone thinks that the earth is what it is, man, unchanging and rooted down,” He explains, “But everything changes. Even these caverns. The earth churns. The land drifts in the ocean. One day, The Grand Canyon was just a stream in the landscape. Millions of years later, it’s this gigantic hole in the earth! Everything changes, man. Literally nothing stays the same. Change with the landscape, my dude.”

We pass a castle built out of the stone and decorated with precious stones and metals. I think I’m about to meet another person of royalty down here like I did in the air. But the gnome waves it off and says it’ll happen another time. He gestures with his head toward some roots and rock steps leading up and I begin to climb. I’m greeted by the night sky as I emerge from the base of a tree at a trailhead which leads off to a dense forest. I recognize this forest. I’ve been here numerous times and I really don’t want to go in there. Going back to the story of my mother’s music therapy session and the magnificent fantasy landscape that I found myself in, that adventure began in a dense and frightening forest. Red eyes glowed from the branches of every tree, residents of this forest watching me. More recently, I discovered that a monster lives in those woods and even though I’d defeated that fucking creature, there is nothing to be gained from facing it again. Still, there’s a part of me which hopes that I’ll wander far enough into these woods to find my sacred cabin space but it’s not to be. I emerge from the dense and threatening forest into a clearing. A hazel tree on the edge seems to call to me and so I approach it. It almost seems to reach out to me with its branches and so I put my arms out and weave them through the branches. I can hear the spirit of this tree in my head.

“We grow with you. Your spirit grows with us,” It says.

I look around and there seems to be other hazel trees. Each one of them is a little battered, with bare limbs which are dry and empty of leaves. But there are others, newer networks of branches which are green and young. New foliage springs from them.

The path continues and I leave the forest. Ahead of me, at the top of a bluff overlooking a sea stands a tall stone cross. The sea swells gently under the night sky and reflects the silver light of the moon across its gently undulating surface. As I approach the cross, its details come to me. From the ends of the crossbar hang two bronze rings and some ways sup the central bar is a platform to stand on. Off in the distance, looming over the sea is a massive statue of a man shouldering a huge crystal ball. The next step seems obvious, so I begin to climb to the platform on the cross and once there, I take hold of the rings to either side of me, symbolically crucifying myself on the cross.

The Religious Experience of Philip K. Dick by Robert Crumb
From The Religious Experience of Philip K. Dick by Robert Crumb.

For some time, nothing happens, and then from my right and from my left left, I see a flash of color off in the distance, as though a lighthouse to either side has simultaneous shone their reflectors in my direction. A green flash erupts from the right and orange flashes from the left and before long, the flashes grow to a steady brightness and cast a beam from both directions which strike me in the sacral region of my abdomen.  Their combined beams glow a beautiful purple color and I’m suddenly reminded of Phlip K. Dick’s revelations which began when a beam of light reflected off of a woman’s Ichthys necklace and suddenly blinded him with a pink beam of light which filled him with knowledge of times which he could not have known of. Am I about to be awakened?

In a sense, yes. I am awakening. From the spot in my lower abdomen where the light combines, a 9 petaled yellow flower suddenly blooms. I feel a powerful vibration there and an intense sense of sexual arousal. A wave of euphoria, just short of a full-on orgasm seems to spread outward from that spot, warming my body and deepening the state of relaxation that I’m already in. For a brief moment I fight the urge to laugh. Soon the feeling fades and I let myself down from the cross and begin my journey across a stone causeway out to the Colossus of Yesod, which I climb. I stand on his back, marveling at the beauty of the rainbow radiance of the crystal when my attention fixes on the reflection of my own face and in that moment I am drawn into the crystal and move backwards through time. First, moving backward through my own life until I regress beyond my conception and find myself in the body of middle-aged man standing on a stone floor with bare feet, clothed in a thick brown robe. I am extremely cold.

113636799The scene around me begins to grow in detail. There is a table, writing implements, books, and parchment. I feel as though I have been in this spot for a very long time and I am consumed by a crushing sense of boredom. The room is dark. It seems to be dimly lit by either flickering candles or an oil lamp. More details emerge. I was left to this institution, maybe a monastery, at a young age where I came of age copying manuscripts by hand. I am a monk and this is a scriptorium. I have impressions which lead me to think that I am writing in French and copying from Greek. I see a bit of an extraordinarily depressing childhood in this place or a place like it. I flash forward to my own death. I have died of suicide by hanging in a lonely cell and there is a fleeting sense that I was denied further exploration of knowledge which gave my life a suddenly powerful sense of purpose. The observing consciousness is left to wonder how many of my lives end this way and how many times I have actually cheated what seems to a destiny to die by my own hand.

I return to this life and emerge from the trance. I’m haunted by the thought of suicide. I wonder if the suicide averted in this life was an important step in clearing out the cosmic junk that keeps me from fully joining with the godhead. Unlike my last pathworking experience, I’m not dogged by self-doubt. This time I come out of the trance feeling properly amazed. I was aware that at some point during this pathworking process that I would regress to a past life but I think I was expecting something much more grandiose. At first I fought the direction that the regression was going in. Was I supposed to see the life prior to this one? Wouldn’t it be closer to my present lifetime than medieval France? I also had to shake my expectations. Throughout this life, I’ve felt very strongly that my wife and I have traveled together as spirits entwined but this model doesn’t quite jive with the solitary life of a lonely ascetic monk. Once I let it in, though, the details came pouring in. Seeing myself hanging, I at first wondered how the hell this happened. Heresy? These men sometimes copied grimoires. Did I see something I shouldn’t have? Was I also a rebel in that life and was punished for righteousness? My thoughts were stomped out when the feelings came in that I did this to myself and that it had something to do with something powerful in my life that was forbidden to me and that without it, I wanted nothing to do with this life.

I rode back to work in silence, thinking hard about what I had just been through. I did my best to gather my thoughts and keep them in mind for the ride as my first pathworking experience felt fleeting, as of air. Though, it seemed much shorter than this experience, I forgot many of the details. Such as names. This time, I retained everything. The latter half of the trip is a much stronger experience than the first but the entire thing felt much more concrete, like the earthen element that it’s supposed to represent. Being a Virgo, a sign of the earth, I wonder if this trip resonated so heavily with me because of that correspondence.

This is powerful stuff I’m working with.

alphabet-hebreu-samechEDIT: I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what happened to me and realized that I had forgotten a very important detail. When hanging on the cross and the lights of Hod and Netzach converged on me, the word Samekh came to me. Why that is, I have no idea. I have to learn to navigate The Chapel Perilous these days and find a way to understand which symbols are important and relevant vs. which symbols are my awakening brain simply throwing mystical junk at me. The Hebrew letter associated with the 32nd path is actually Tau, which is why the cross overlooking the sea of Nephesh is a Tau cross. The Hebrew letter Samekh is actually associated with the path linking Yesod to Tiphareth. The Rabbi in the video below drops some serious knowledge and gives a bit of context to why it may have come to me, if it has any significance to this journey at all.

Also, note the background of the video. It looks an awful lot like the cavernous path where the first half of this pathworking began. Rabbi Avraham above talks about Samekh representing a circle and the repeating cycles of souls, which happens shortly after my mock crucifixion. So maybe this isn’t random neurons firing after all. Samekh also resembles a mirror, which is what this path seems to be all about: death, rebirth, reflection, cycles. A big part of this experience was reflecting on death, specifically suicide and what could be a cycle of suicide that is carved deep into my karmic experience.

So much of this experience has been drenched in moonlight and in a lot of my personal reads with The Tarot, pretty much since my discharge from the hospital, The Moon has been a constantly recurring theme. It’s the operating astrological body in Yesod. The Moon and The High Priestess follow me, practically begging me to deal with what’s hiding deep inside and this experience was a big step in dragging that up. I find myself trapped in cycles of abuse, self-destruction, and suicide. The weakest part of this experience, I feel, was my meeting with the hazel tree. It’s message didn’t seem to jive with the rest of this experience but upon meditation and thinking of the Rabbi above’s words about Samekh and the cyclical nature of nature, trees die and return, and so do I. A time comes every year when the season no longer supports them. The leaves fall off, the ground freezes and doesn’t provide the nutrients that it does in the more temperate months. But the ground thaws, the sun warms, the trees return. These hazel trees die with me and grow with me. No matter how many times in the karmic cycle that I condemn myself to death, I return. My environment supports me. I am propped up with God’s love, an important quality of Samekh that I haven’t really addressed: support. It’s all coming together. The cycle merely repeats itself. I have many opportunities to go around and break the chains that keep breaking me, life in and life out. The gnome told me that even the Earth changes, no matter how slowly. Change with it.

I’m starting to think that this life, in particular, is the one where I break that awful cycle once and for all. No more fucking chains.

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