Updated May, 2023
Chapter 2: The Seven Wonders of Mythology
Recommended moon phase for week 2: Waning Gibbous Moon
This week, as the moon continues to diminish from the Full Moon phase, we too will begin losing the fullness of our perceived former self. We sense we are losing sight of ourselves…like we are not as whole, or as full as we were days before. The truth is we are losing the version of ourselves that we’ve always believed in. This can make us feel a little vulnerable, if not completely terrified. After all, while we didn’t necessarily like who we were, we do take comfort in at least “knowing” what we are. This is a natural phase of all recovery programs and something that alcoholics/drug addicts experience when they go through treatment. When destructive thoughts and actions are no longer being engaged…recovering addicts feel as if something is missing in them. Remember that as the Full Moon fades away, a New Moon will soon take its place.
Last week, we discovered Protection as the fundamental basis for recovery. In fact, protection is the foundation of all magickal workings - not just protection from outside influences, but protection from ourselves. The spell work and tasks took us back through time...to detect the people, situations and actions that planted our Dark Seeds. Over time, these seeds grew into Self-Imposed Curses (negative core beliefs), because we agreed to accept them as truth. Self-Imposed Curses are rooted in “stories”- often other people’s negative opinions about us (Dark Magick) - which are the Dark Seeds that we’ve invested our attention on. We’re witches...so when we focus our attention on a Dark Seed, it’s like Miracle Grow...that seed begins feeding on our power, until over time, it develops into a full blown Self-Imposed Curse. A living, intelligent Demon of our own magickal creation.
Self-imposed Curses are complicated, because they mix lies with truth, just like a Demon. As Self-imposed Curses accumulate over the years, they sap a tremendous amount of our magickal energy in order to maintain their deceptive and complicated structure. They adapt, and grow smarter through time - just as we grow smarter throughout our lives and experiences. Self-Imposed Curses track with our growing knowledge in order to cling to us and survive. Some of the more serious Self-Imposed Curses will lead to serious emotional, physical and mental injuries if left unchecked. The remedy is sorting out truth from lies, yielding to faith rather than detouring towards doubt, and establishing discipline with passionate perseverance. But the truth is often buried, blurred and tangled...our faith needs to be honestly assessed then wisely reinvested...and our perseverance needs to be courted like a smoking hot secret lover.
Smoke, Smeagol, and the trauma of Truth
As we unravel the myths others have assigned to our character, our true, yet undiscovered identity begins to materialize...like wisps of smoke about to take shape, yet vanish with the slightest breeze of investigation. We ask ourselves, “did I see something amazing in me? Or am I imagining things?”
That’s usually when a Self-Imposed Curse rears its hideous head to redirect, dominate and sabotage us. Self exploration “suddenly” becomes an internal interrogation process - prompting and badgering us until we resemble Smeagol in Lord of the Rings - having a paranoid conversation in a murky pool of water with something that looks and sounds like our true inner voice. We are being cajoled away from the joy of our magickal potential by a stubborn - and now threatened - false, toxic belief system.
Now that the Demons of your Self-Imposed Curses have been exposed, they are in fear mode. They are scrambling. They are panicking. They are mixing lies with the truth in order to survive. They know that without your faith to support them, they will be critically impaired, banished, and eventually die of starvation. Be warned here: your Demons know they are in danger...they will stop at nothing to defend their food source: you and your magickal energy.
Do not let thoughts like “I’m losing my mind” or “I’m going crazy” flip you out. Practical wisdom assures us that truly crazy people do not question their sanity.
Consider this - discovering our true identities and feelings can be as traumatic as a child who learns he was adopted early on, only to discover his true birth family later in life. Contrary emotions and signals cross fire - “oh my God...all this time I thought I was alone…I thought I was someone else.” That sentence carries a heightened sense of optimism, but also the weight of a previously unknown, if not ominous truth. “Do I really want or need to know this?”...usually follows.
Detecting Personal Mythology
When people ask me, “do you have a personal relationship with God?”
My answer is always the same: “It’s complicated.”
One of my first memories is standing out in my backyard under a canvas of gigantic trees. All varieties of Northern Missouri birds sprinted between pecking the forest hill’s ground cover, then jetting to sweeping heights in graceful flight. The more I watched, the more I envied the birds. Sure, I pretended I could fly…but that’s only make-believe. The more I watched and thought about it, the more irritated I became. “It’s not fair that birds get to fly and walk,” I said earnestly to God. I was deeply concerned about this and really felt jilted by God because of it. I was very annoyed.
So I got to thinking…
I realized that I needed wings to fly. I don’t have wings. But birds do. My brilliant idea was to catch a bird and cut his wings off so I could use them to fly! So my 5 year old self consulted with my older brother, who instructed me on the best method for catching a bird. “All you need to do is sprinkle salt on a bird’s tail, then you can catch him.”
So, I ran into the kitchen and grabbed a box of Morton’s Salt then ran back outside - flailing salt everywhere - as I chased this poor little robin around the yard. Oddly, he didn’t just take off. The robin seemed to be mocking me - letting me get close enough for false hope, but flying quickly and safely out of reach as I lunged to dump salt on his butt. After several frustrating attempts, I collapsed in a heap of aggravation and self-pity.
“I just want to be like a bird” I said to God.
In that instant, the robin returned to the top branch of a short shrub right next to me...well within my grasp. I gently reached out, and yes...believe it or not, that robin surrendered to my capture. Elated, my next instinct was to run back to the kitchen for a knife…so I cut off his wings.
But as I looked into the eyes of this Spirit Animal, I experienced another instinct...my jealousy and obsession were gone…washed away with instant affection and compassion. “How would he feel if I took his wings?” I thought to myself, “I know it will hurt him…and I can’t do that.” I just didn’t have the heart to hurt him. So I released my bird, but rather than flying away as fast as he could, he returned to the scrub. The robin looked back at me, blinked, bowed his head and then took off. I’m not kidding.
But wait! There’s more…
The next day that little robin returned, but this time he flew into the house! He flew under the bed, over the chest-of-drawers…all over my room while I stood there laughing my head off. Believe it or not, he let me catch him again, and I took him outside and let him go. This really happened and it was…in my view…my first spiritual experience. (My present home is surrounded by birds, including three ravens, three white winged doves, and a robin to this day.)
Later that night, a song came on the radio that I had never heard before - Aquarius by The Fifth Dimension. My older cousin was babysitting me that night, and she said “This song is about your sign Danny, you’re an Aquarian, an air sign. Aquarius is about enlightenment.” “What does that mean?” I asked. She continued with a broad smile, “It means you are here to bring peace, love and kindness to others.” My cousin's name is Robbin, by the way…and she is one of the kindest people I’ve ever known.