I’m Still Not Certain Enough of What Happened To Come Up With Pithy Header

Way back at the beginning of the semester, I wrote of having picked up some sort of psychic parasites which absurdly difficult to get rid of.  On the advice of Veriditas Dreams, I put off my servitor experiment for another two weeks while I focused on getting my astral body patched up.  I’m glad I did, because things only got more interesting.

The first night of the Full Moon, I started with wine divination.  Interestingly, it pointed to a combination of internal and external factors: internally, matters of balance and power; externally, one Prince of Disks.  I prepared and cast my circle using my newest Circle-casting variant which anchors an Witch’s elemental Circle to the circle of salt I have been using for a bit, now.  Then I performed the Stele of Jeu the Hieroglyphist[1] and burned the little black worms from my astral body and my temple space with the brilliant and (in my experience) unique power of the Heart Encircled By A Serpent.  It is, I am almost certain, the first time that I have actually managed to use up every drop of power raised by that ancient and magnificent rite.

The second night of the Full Moon I performed the Stele of Jeu a second time.  I went for just a little more elaboration and experimentation.  I started with a simple banishing and suffumigation.  Then I tore space, as described in the Sorcerer’s Secrets[2], performed by Titan’s Cross and Pentagram Rite, and finally the Stele, itself.  Where the first night’s rite had burned away the infection, this one went a long way to healing the wound, separating the psychic “scab” from my physical back and helping restore the energy lost to the ordeal.

The third night of the Full Moon, as I prepared to begin my rites, I changed tactics.  Drawing a crude image of myself and writing my legal and magical names on the “poppet”, I drew a clean, healthy, and healed aura around myself and charged the image with power.  I literally have no words to describe the sensation of feedback that I experienced while working with that magical self-portrait.

With those rites completed, I went about my life for a little while [3].  The itching and pulling sensations of the “scab” or “scar” on my astral body were … very, very strange.  Sometimes I wasn’t certain if I was healing, or getting re-infected.  Despite the fall-off in my practice between then and now, however, one of those strategies, or some combination thereof, seems to have done the trick.  I can still feel a bit of psychic “scar tissue”, sometimes: it stretches and pulls, particularly when I do small magics, but it is no longer an uncomfortable or unwell sensation.  At times it even seems to respond to the places where the Veil has been often parted (like, say, my Temple), much like worn joints responding to changes in barometric pressure.

These things being the way they are, I’ll never be quite certain where the infection came from.  To the best of my ability to determine, however, it was not so much a direct attack as … symptomatic of a certain point of chaos in my life back in Kansas City. 

I’ve spoken of my Web before: of the lines that connect the people and places in my life.  Over Winter Break, Aradia and I did some Work to try to help her neighbor out with her magical practice: she was (is) experiencing a sort of demonic possession[4], either causing or caused by a serious illness and by her abandoned magical practice.  I believe that this possession/infection spread into the house wards and, from them, along the lines of power to the Sunrise Temple and my astral body.

I never did manage to repair the damage done to the Temple Wards; they were supposed to be self-regenerating, but apparently that didn’t work the way it was supposed to.  With my familiar spirits in house, and having established that I was not, in fact, (also, because I lost my shit this semester) under attack, it never seemed a priority. 

Besides which, it was about time I replaced them, anyway.  Whish is pretty much the most interesting thing I’ve done all semester.

1 – Jack Faust has a handy copy up for reference.  He is also the first and only person I’ve seen provide any theory as to which “six names” (PGM V. 159) are meant and what “the formula” (PGM V.160) might be, and this was my first performance of the rite incorporating those additions.

2 – Jason Miller.  Sorcerer’s Secrets. p.42

3 – And then everything went to shit: I stopped writing, stopped my magical practice and barely maintained my devotionals, never made time to try the exercises which the magnificent Melitta Benu was kind enough to share in response to another old post, and have barely kept up with my fucking homework.  Which may or may not have been related to anything besides the amount of stress I’m under and the amount of sex I’m not having.

4 – For lack of a better word.  Unfortunately, the details are not mine to discuss in depth.

Well, Then, Son … You’ve Got a Condition …

Back in the day, when I was fully-steeped in the energetic model of magic, aura work was how I began and ended any magic I did.  Hell, more than half the time—especially during the Basement Years, when getting a finger-hold on my sanity was the main object of my magic—it was the Work.  That started to slip during the Ceremonial Experiment: the banishing work had about the same effect, and the kinds of aura work I knew were actually counterproductive, as the ceremonial work was making some radical and positive changes to my aura.  It’s slipped further since starting on Project Null.  Actually, that’s a lie: since starting Project Null, the cognitive dissonance I’ve experienced between the various Wiccan schools I was originally trained in, the things I learned during the Ceremonial Experiment, and the Chaos Magick theories I’ve encountered on aura-work, basically amounted to a paradigmatic train wreck.  I mostly managed to hold things together through the end of Christmas Break.  But there’ve been some oddities.

The first oddity was a sort of psychic “sore” at the small of my back.  I first noticed it while doing some banishing work with Aradia toward the end of break.  As we cleaned it out, it felt like it was linked to my Root chakra.  I’m not bad at doing psychic/aura healing work on other people—I can even manage a certain amount of physical healing—but I’m shit at doing it for myself.  The angles are off, I guess.

Time passed, I came back to school, and the “sore” persisted, thought never as bad as it had been at first.  Until I went to do my first serious banishing work at January’s Full Moon, and discovered a …. giant, black, slimy lamprey-worm-thing attached to the wound in my aura.  Not really certain what it was or what to do, I pulled it off, threatened it, and threw it across town.  The “sore” finally closed up altogether, and I went on with my life.  I noted the whole episode, but never have been able to determine if the thing was an astral varmint, the work of one of the two psychic vampires I’ve crossed in the last six weeks, the product of my own Chaos Magick-induced delusions, or something else entirely.

Then, this last week, as I was recovering from a mundane illness I discovered a new “sore” on my aura.  This one lays about where my neck joins my back, but doesn’t seem to correspond with any of my energetic centers.  Squirming around in the psychic wound were a mass of writhing black worms in a sick column down to the original wound: miniature versions of the larger one I’d already thrown off.  Local spirits have proven ineffectual at helping me clean out the mess—on or two smaller spirits even appear to have been injured by the things—although the manifestation of That One God who dwells at the on-campus chapel was surprisingly willing and able to help dispose of the ones I could extract (it seems to have taken it rather personally that such vermin would move into its territory).

I’m hoping that tonight’s performance of the Stele of Jeu will fix the problem.  Barring that, that when I finally “create”* my guard-dog servitor tomorrow night, it will be able to deal with the problem (since that is what it’s going to be made for, after all).

In the mean time, has anyone else had an experience like this?  Any advice?

*I’m not entirely certain, given the way things have been leaning, that I’m actually going to end up creating a servitor so much as recruiting a local spirit for the task.  The distinction, however, is largely moot.