EP74 Stacking Skulls 3 - Life, Death, And the Practice

February 16, 2018
00:0000:00

Andrew, Aiden, Fabeku, and Jonathan are back with a surprise or two coming your way this episode. We start by catching up, and discussing the events of the past couple of months and end with some amazing questions from our listeners! Check out our past 2 episodes if you haven't yet. Full episodes and ways to connect with the skulls can be found in the links below. *EXPLICIT EPISODE ALERT*

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Andrew
 

ANDREW: So, there are two quick things I want to share with everybody before this podcast gets going. The first being, Stacking Skulls now has shirts. That's right: they are on my website. If you go into the product section, you'll see a section for shirts. Or you can just search for Stacking Skulls and you will find them.

And secondly, we spent a lot of time talking about ancestors in this course, and coincidentally, or perhaps synchronously, I am running my ancestral magic course, which is an opportunity for everybody to learn some brand new divination tools that I have created so that they can build a tighter relationship with their ancestors, either known or unknown, and start to learn to work some magic with them. So, if you're interested about that, jump over to TheHermitsLamp.com and slide over to the events page, and you'll find it. Without further ado, Stacking Skulls, my friend.

[music]

Welcome to the podcast, folks. Just to give you a heads up before we start: there were some technical issues with Jonathan's microphone. We've trimmed them and cut it, so it flows, but if you run into anything strange, that would be what was happening.

[music]

Hey world! We're back: Stacking Skulls. This is the magnificent first show of 2018 with all four of us wonderful wizards in the same place. Thanks for tuning in again. And, if you have not listened to the previous rounds of shenanigans, you may want to go back and do so, or you may want to bypass that entirely. I'll leave that in your hands. You know? But there are two previous episodes or installments of myself, Aidan Wachter, Fabeku, and Jonathan Emmett, and you know, we've gotten together a few times and talked about some things, so I'm going to kind of lead us off, though, with our kind of starting point thing, which is, like, hey folks, what's new in the last three months since we last all hung out together?

JONATHAN: I had a microphone up my butt.

[laughter]

ANDREW: Excellent. Now, the explicit tag!

JONATHAN: Next, Aidan's turn. [laughter]

AIDAN: You know, this has been like the craziest three months ever. Right after we recorded the last time, my son died, and that was a really huge and transformative thing. And it's hard to describe it anyway, but...there is like a massive massive hole there and loss there, but it was also incredibly beautiful. We were able to get him home from the hospital, so that he died in his back yard, with a bunch of friends and family around. It was easily the most magical and beautiful thing that I've ever seen.

And then, I had surgery. And now I'm pretty much recovered from that. And playing catch-up in the shop after those two things, and as of last night I'm now a double grandfather, as Ash’s partner, Desi, just had twins last night. And they're beautiful, everybody's good!

ANDREW: That's amazing. Yeah. Whenever I've gone through big losses in my life, you know, like two of my brothers died within six weeks of each other...

AIDAN: Whoa.

ANDREW: And, I always find myself at those times, in, like this sort of liminal space, right? You know? Like where I just sort of end up where I'm like, I feel like I'm constantly in ceremony for some period of time afterwards. And surgery does that, and, you know, I mean, for me, having kids, I don't have any grandkids, but having kids did that. Do you feel like you're still kind of in that, that kind of space? Are you like, sort of living 24/7 in there, or...?

AIDAN: It's really wild, because, I think in the last episode, we talked about that I have these kind of death spirits that I've been hanging out with for a couple of years now. And in the week that I think I talked about, how they've gotten really busy, leading up into it. And so, that had become this, like, every night crazy kind of spirit initiations with these kind of hive beings that their thing is death, that I call the sisters.

And so, when he, when I found out that his heart had stopped, that they had him on life support, I went in and they were totally waiting for me, and so it was very odd, cause they'd clearly been setting me up for this thing, for a couple of weeks. And so, I went straight in to go find him, where he was, kind of stuck in between, and assist from there. And so, the combination of all of that and then actually flying out, I guess two days before he was, we actually removed him from life support, and going through that process there, it's the most complete thing that's kind of a major event that's happened to me, as far as kind of fully self-contained in a way, of anything that I've ever experienced.

So it's very odd, cause in many ways, I just feel really really good, you know, and I'll get hit at points, you know when I've been doing work for Desi and for his babies, there'll be these moments that are very very sad, but it's really just about, I know how much he would have liked to have watched the thing, and met them in the flesh and done that whole thing, that was really important to him, but what I feel like is this huge shift. You know, you have those moments in your life when you can feel like the cogs in the wheels of the machine are always turning, right? And to me, we're always trying to like, smooth that out and gauge where it's going and gauge what the next configuration is going to be. And this feels, in a really crazy way, like it's the smoothest kind of complete snap of things. So that's really what I have more than it being anything else. And like, just mass clarity. So there has been a huge amount of work going on, but it's really been, like there's a ton of stuff that, I don't need that anymore, I don't need to think about that any more, let's do the work to finish that piece off. About things from my childhood, and, you know, social dynamics, magical dynamics, all that stuff. There's been a lot going on, definitely. But so far, it's, you know, it’s weird to say, in that situation, that everything seems really good. But it does.

ANDREW: Yeah.

I mean, it's certainly my experience of... Well, it's one of the reasons for the practice, right? You know? Whether that's Fabeku's The Practice, trademarked, or whether it's just having a practice, right?

AIDAN: Yeah.

ANDREW: I mean, you know, I think that there are... Ideally we get to these places where there's grief, there's loss, there's whatever, right? And there's the hole, and there's the absence of that person from experiences, and the feelings that come from that, right? But then there's also this capacity to be like, I find myself at various points thinking, other people seem like they feel like I should be way more upset about this...

AIDAN: Yeah....

ANDREW: ...than I am, and I have this sort of very deep grounded position around it, where it's not avoidance or denial, cause it's actually almost like a hyper level of looking at it so squarely that it becomes easier to accept it, or to recognize it, and to see the ways in which that is, as you say, maybe that, the moving of the cogs, the machinery of the universe, the inevitability of some kind of fate force or, or just something that is just beyond our control at this point, either way, whether it was destiny or not, you know.

AIDAN: Yeah. And I think, yeah, that in spades, and it's really interesting, because it’s also, and I'm sure that all of you have had this experience, that we do all this work, kind of in these liminal states, or... ceremonial work or ritual work, not in a ceremonial magic sense necessarily, but just the work dealing with spirit, and dealing with the universe at large, what I call the field, and periodically, there are things that happen that really make you realize you haven't done your work in some places? [laughs]

ANDREW: Mmmhmm.

AIDAN: That you're like, “Oh! That smashed me!” Right? And I've had a good number of those. This was the reverse of that. This was like, I got the news about him, I went in, the allies that I work with were like, really sweet, and like, okay, you now know what we've been up to with you, let's go do it, you know? He's here, he's stuck. Let's fade him. And that's the most beautiful thing that I've ever experienced. And to me, it is, it is the, yeah, you can do money magic, you can do attraction magic, you can do whatever, but to me it's that: How is the work assisting your reality in the actual reality that you're in?

ANDREW: Yeah.

AIDAN: And this was totally solid.

ANDREW: Yeah.

AIDAN: And it remains totally solid. And I feel like at least the people that I've dealt with closely that were close to him all get that, in a way that I've never seen around someone's death before. And I think it is people who were doing the work, and who are...

I have this knowledge that I've had since I was a kid, that I kind of realized what historical life expectancy of humans was, and the numbers that even got anywhere close to there, and what infant mortality rates and childhood mortality rates are, and so since I was a little kid, I've had that knowledge of that. Like, this is a totally iffy thing. You don't get to stay, and you don't get to pick when you leave, and far more leave sooner than later. You know?

ANDREW: Mmmhmm.

AIDAN: And, I've had that. I was in San Francisco, at the kind of height of the AIDS wipeout there, and so that's also, I think, you know, at an early age, I lost a lot of people. And so, it was really interesting seeing this, and going like, this is the most okay I've ever been about having somebody cross over. But I think that that's really tied into the work that I've been doing for the last five or ten years. That I could actually be there with it as it was, and go, okay! This is, me, it doesn't matter what I want here, I'm irrelevant in this situation, so...

ANDREW: Mmmhmm.

AIDAN: I would help the process that's actually happening, to happen in the way that it's supposed to, you know? But yeah. That's what I've been up to. [laughs]

ANDREW: Yeah. Well. It's affirming to hear you talk about it. Do you know what I mean?

AIDAN: Mmmhmm.

ANDREW: Because, because I think that there are lots of ways in which, especially certain kinds of conversations around magic can feel sort of superficial and transitory, whereas this sort of, the deep work of, I don't know what you would call it, elevating oneself, healing oneself, harmonizing with that universal, the cogs of the universe or whatever, you know, I mean, to me that work has always been the most important work, but it is, except, you know, except when you lose a wheel, you don't notice it, right? Like there's no way to really sort of see it in action, and then when you see it, you're like, “yeah, it's so good that I practiced all that driving with three wheels, cause, one just came off, and now I can stop safely and put something else on there and see what happens next, you know?” So.

AIDAN: Right. Well and I think it also syncs into that concept that kind of connects to a question that we had that, in passing, which is this kind of, there is this direct relationship in my mind from what we now are viewing, the pieces that we can see of it, anthropologically, as shamanism, right, which is this, to me, this epic chain, of shamanism and magic and sorcery and whatever you want to call it, spirit work, that goes back as far as we go back. And I think that this kind of thing is the root of it, you know, it's about... The reasons for all the kind of death mysteries are not because there's some way out of it! [laughs]

ANDREW: Mmmhmm.

AIDAN: It's just, this is a reality that is the most prevalent reality other than the birth one, right? And that's that, the wild thing about this to me is that, you know, he's gone now three months almost exactly, and his children are now here as of yesterday. And I think they’re going to have a really... They have a fantastic mom, who has a fantastic network of people, and I think they're going to have really fantastic lives, and yeah, there'll be that piece that they didn't get, but he's like, he's an epic, mythic creature for anybody who kind of has watched this, it’s like, and I don't know that that's a benefit or a drawback, to grow up with that! [laughs] Without getting to see some of the grungier sides of it as a kid. Yeah. But, they're going to be special people. They've got special people all around them.

ANDREW: Yeah.

JONATHAN: You know, I was kind of thinking, while you were talking there, it kind of makes you wonder if he had to leave so that they could be born, in a way. I mean, just, the surrounding, everything surrounding the situation of how it just kind of happened, it really was no warning of any sort or anything, I mean it just kind of happened. It just, it makes you wonder, you know? I think about weird stuff like that. But it does kind of feel like he had to go so they could be here. You know, it's kind of a change of energy or exchange of... the...

AIDAN: Mmmhmm. No, I totally, you know, it's one of those things that again, we never get to have those answers in any…

JONATHAN: Right.

AIDAN: …definable way, but the thing that I saw, through the time that I was out there when he was in the hospital and then when we brought him home, and had, I don't know, there must have been 20 or more of us in the back yard with him... …Was, you could see the transformation happening on all of those people. While it was happening, I was like, either you could see that there was a way in which this thing was a huge gift to all those people, to see someone's death happening and it being processed by the people close to them into my mind, the most beautiful way that you could hope for, you know?

JONATHAN: When I was 12, I think I was 12, I was pretty young, anyway, my grandfather, loved this man dearly, he was just one of the coolest guys in the world. He taught shop in east Wichita, in, you know, some of the toughest parts of town, and he was Native American to top it off, so you know he probably didn't get treated very well, but he was just such a good man, it was hard for me to let him go, but… I was 12, and he had a death rattle, and I don't know if people are familiar with... It's not the worst thing in the world, but it's not pretty to listen to... And I remember my parents left, and I was just there in the room with him by myself, and our preacher at the time, she wasn't really a preacher, more of a spiritual leader, came by and we were talking, and he started having the death rattle again, and she went to get a nurse and he died. And that was my first experience with death, at such a young age, and it was... It didn't devastate me, like, "oh, I saw somebody die, now my world's over," it was just, it was kind of fascinating, but you know, it broke my heart, because it was my grandfather. So, I kind of understand that, I mean, it's an interesting process to watch someone actually leave [static] you know and that was [static] on several...

AIDAN: You're breaking up...

ANDREW: Yeah, turn off, your microphone’s suffering from what you've done to it, it's going in and out, my friend.

JONATHAN: Is it? I broke it.

AIDAN: In and out! I see how it is.

JONATHAN: How's that? [laughs]

ANDREW: It's good.

JONATHAN: So, I should keep my microphone out of my butt. Anyway...

ANDREW: Let's [laughs], on the segue of Jonathan's problematic microphones, what's going on with you, Fabeku?

FABEKU: Yeah, it was... it's been kind of an interesting few months, you know, it was holiday stuff, and you know, weird, I'm not, I don't love holidays anyway, but this one was a little weird. You know, my mom's getting older, and has some health stuff going on and that's been...not so great, and with that, there's some weird cognitive stuff that's starting to happen, and I think it's interesting, cause I was relating in a different way to what Aidan was talking about with... You know, it's been interesting to kind of look at that cycle of her, she's in her eighties, and, you know, kind of getting to that phase where things are becoming kind of difficult and problematic, and it's interesting, kind of watching the other people around her, and kind of their stuff that's happening with that, and you know, the kind of the... the sadness, which I get, but kind of the panic and the fear and the weirdness and that kind of thing...

Had a chance to talk with her a little bit in the busyness of the holidays, just kind of where she's at, and it was interesting, like she, she mostly felt okay with things, until everybody started freaking out, and then she got kind of fucked up and worried about it, and you know, so we talked a little bit about that, kind of managing other people's shit, and you know, we talked about ancestor stuff, and it's interesting, cause she, I mean, her background couldn't be any more different than mine in some ways. She grew up in a super religious Pentecostal home and music was "of the devil" and, you know, all of that kind of stuff, so, we have pretty different philosophical takes on things, but, yeah. We, it was a good conversation, we got to talk about the ancestors and kind of crossing in a good way and being met by the ancestors and you know, I, we talked about kind of my practices with that a little bit, and I asked if she was all right with me kind of working with the ancestors to, you know, kind of do what they need to do so when it's her time, you know, it can be as smooth of a transition as possible and, you know, it’s again, like this is, it's a weird conversation to have with somebody.

But to me, like we've been talking about, this is why we do this work, you know, I'm all for money magic, I'm all for all of this other stuff, that's fantastic, and, you know, when there's giant life shit like this, yeah, these are the moments when I feel really super grateful that we do what we do, and we have this stuff available to us. You know for me, it, I was thinking about this a few days ago, how these practices become, at least for me, these shock absorbers. You know? It's not that it prevents shit from happening, but when it happens, it allows us to stay more oriented and more coherent than we would be otherwise, and, you know, then if that extends out to the people around us, then we can help them get or maintain a better sense of coherence and orientation, and that's a pretty remarkable thing, to me.

ANDREW: I think it's such a significant point of view, right? Because so many people lose faith because they do stuff, religiously or spiritually or magically or whatever, and then some life thing comes along and they're like, “why did this not get prevented?” Right? You know? And then they falter because of that, right? You know? Like I remember, a day and a half before my second brother passed away, I was divining with the Orishas, right? And I came on this really bad sign, right? Basically, a sign of unexpected things and tragedies that shake your whole world all the way down to your foundations, right?

And so, I did what I do when stuff like that shows up. I basically called all the people who are important, you know? And I knew that he was going through a hard time, and so I called him, and I was like, "dude, come to my house, come over here, you know, I know you're out doing whatever, but, like, come over here, you know, after work, come over here, I'll come pick you up, come over here," right? And he decided not to, you know? And then that, ultimately, that decision that he made led to his passing, you know? And you know, there are these flags that I think that are there that warned that something's coming, right? You know? Like, gird your loins, put on your armor, get ready, shit's going to get shaken up, but it's rarely ever as clear cut as anything else, and to me that doesn't diminish my faith in these processes, because the warnings and the advices of that reading carried me through that time in a way that I could have been, it could have been so much worse for me, without that, you know? So. Yeah.

AIDAN: Yeah. It was interesting, when I went out to Athens, I took out a deck of cards that I had just got and decided I was going to take that with me, to be my thing, and I'm not a big diviner, I don’t, if I do a reading a week, that's a lot for me. And, as I was moving through, whether this was on the plane, or off by myself getting dinner at some point, and there was a sum process coming up, I would ask the cards to show me what would help me.

ANDREW: Hmm.

AIDAN: It would give me these readings that I would interpret in some particular way, at that moment, and I would invariably be completely wrong, but having that information in my head, and expecting things to go a particular way, was like the most perfect "assistance" I could ever get, which was what I basically had asked for. I didn't say, "what's actually going on?", I said, you know, "what should I have in my head, or in my mind, going into this situation," and they would give me something, and that was an incredibly useful tool, it was very, it wasn't accurate to what events actually happened, but it was totally dead accurate to what attitude I should approach each of those situations with. And so, I do think it's very interesting, that, I talk a lot about the biggest issue with magic is our kind of limited perceptual abilities. It's like... And when we're first starting out, that can seem like we're totally disabled until you kind of figure out how it works for you, you know. But I totally see that side of it. It's becoming more able to communicate or understand communication, even if it's not perfect.

FABEKU: Yeah, I think that's an interesting point. I think that, you know, I, to me, that goes along with this thing that, cause I, I do divine a lot, like that's kind of one of my things, and I think since starting that, well, since starting it and fucking up a lot and misunderstanding and misapplying things, since then, my thing has been, how do I continue to expand my bandwidth for this connection and this communication, whatever it is, particularly around blind spots, things I don't want to see, difficult news, outcomes that aren't what I want, you know, times that I've misunderstood something and then shit goes totally sideways from that, you know, how do I expand my ability to stay connected and stay in communication when those things are happening? Because to me that's when it really matters, right? I think that…

AIDAN: Yeah, absolutely.

FABEKU: You know, if just suddenly, if we use that bandwidth and it goes dark, what then? So, for me, it's, you know, how do we, how do we keep that capacity as full and accessible as we can, when we really need it? You know. I think that's, it's not easy, but I think that's pretty critically important work.

AIDAN: Yeah.

ANDREW: Yeah, that's kind of, you know, I used to do a lot of readings about life and the future and whatever, and I still do when I'm planning and stuff like that, but, like, my regular readings, which are like, maybe two or three times a week these days, are: How do I keep myself in the zone? How do I get back to the zone? How do I move out of this sort of out of sorts-ness that I'm feeling back to being centered and grounded and aligned? You know?

AIDAN: Yeah!

ANDREW: And that's like, essentially the question, as much as there is a question, right? That's the question, and that's always the question. It's not really about anything else or anybody else or whatever, it's like, what do I do internally, to, you know, to be in, like, full on mode today, or as close to full on mode as possible, you know?

AIDAN: Mmmhmm.

FABEKU: Yeah. I get that. I like that, that idea of, you know, what do I need to do to stay aligned? And I think that's the thing, I think a lot of times it does come down to asking better questions, right? Because I think probably the last significant experience I had with that, about a year and a half ago, I had surgery, and, it was supposed to be, kind of a not, I mean kind of a big deal but not a big deal, and, you know, before I did some divinations with it, a couple of people did some divinations for me, everything was fine, all good, in and out, easy peasy, don't sweat it— That's not at all how it went, right? Everything that could have gone wrong did, and then some, and it was crazy. It was, it went sideways in ways that really could have been incredibly catastrophic beyond what it was, and as I was in the hospital thinking about this, you know, I think it could have been easy to, like you said, Andrew, get pissed or kind of lose faith, that wait, I read this, and other people read this, and everything was supposed to be fine, and I almost fucking died, like what's the deal?

ANDREW: Yeah.

FABEKU: But instead where I landed with this is, what if I had asked different questions? What if I had asked better questions? Instead of, you know, "what's the outcome of the surgery?" but instead like you're saying, "how do I navigate this?” You know, “what do I need to do to move through this in an aligned way?" That would have been a different thing, and I think it would have been infinitely more useful to me, in that moment, than the questions that I had asked on the front end, because I was super anxious about it, and so I think that led me to asking questions that were, I think, reasonable, but probably not the smartest and most helpful questions that I could have asked.

ANDREW: The "tell me it's all going to be okay" reading…

FABEKU: For sure, absolutely.

ANDREW: ...Is 100 percent human and like we all do it, right? Like, but yeah, there's a lot more to kind of say, than that, maybe?

And, I also think though, like, you know, when you, one of the things that happens when you divine, with, like, the Orishas and stuff is, in many situations we ask if the reading is closed now, are we done, right? But we don't say, like, is this perfect? You know, we don't say whatever. We say a phrase that essentially translates to "has everything that needs to be said been said?" Right? Or "has everything that can be said been said?" Right? And it's like, that's it, right? Did we miss anything? No, we covered it all? Okay. And then beyond that, it's inherently not part of the conversation or it couldn't have been part of the conversation, you know, and that's an awkward thing to accept in the beginning for people, I think, right?

FABEKU: For sure.

ANDREW: They want perfection of their spirit.

FABEKU: Yeah.

AIDAN: I think it also sinks in, there's a, I think it's at the end of Njáls saga, there's this really incredibly graphic vision of the Valkyries as the weavers of fate, and they're weaving in bloody intestines, with like a head as the weight, and spears as the shuttle rods, and beating it with spears, and this is after this whole book of lots of really violent death. And one of the things that I got from that was that they're really saying like, you know, our obsession with fate as humans is always about the survival of the body. We try and, you know, unless we really move to somewhere else, and they were basically saying, this is all blood and guts, here in the body. This is where it goes for everybody, right?

And so, I do think that that approach that both would be given that you were talking about Andrew is, it's what I'm learning with divination, is, that's where I get good help, is: “Yeah, show me the face that I would put forward to walk through this next room?”

ANDREW: Yeah.

AIDAN: And I get really good information that's hard to describe, but, oh, yeah, I know that guy, right? You get used to your visitors in the cards, and you go, I know that guy, I know who I am when I'm that guy, and so I can try and approach this, like...that guy. Or I can look for that woman. Like who's fulfilling that role? And then I'll listen to them. You know, it’s usually, it's very frequently that the cards tell me that I should pay attention to the next thing that my wife says more than I might want to.

[laughter]

ANDREW: That's the challenge of living with an oracle, right?

AIDAN: [laughs] Absolutely!

ANDREW: Yeah.

FABEKU: Well, and I think what's interesting about the conversation is that when we move to the place where we're asking questions that are beyond our own sort of vantage point or unlimited concerns, and I think we open it up to get answers that not only come from that place but that can move us past those places, right? If my focus is only, “okay, tell me everything's going to be okay,” that's a very brief and kind of limited conversation. But, “how do I navigate this?” That moves me past that, and I think it makes us available to the inside perspective, ideas, whatever it is, that we're not going to get if we're asking those questions that are more limited and kind of in the box.

ANDREW: Yep. Well, and let's be honest, from the point of view of the universe, the sun going supernova is okay, right?

FABEKU: [laughing] Exactly!

ANDREW: It's all okay, there are other suns, there are other universes, there are other whatever...

FABEKU: Right. Yeah.

AIDAN: When I was going through a super rough spot, about ten years ago, my mom sent me a card that I always loved that said "everything will be okay in the end; if it's not okay, it's not the end!" [laughs]

ANDREW: Yeah.

AIDAN: I mean totally, like yeah, it’s okay, you knew you weren't going to stay here, so what's the issue?

ANDREW: Yeah.

AIDAN: Mmmhmm.

ANDREW: Absolutely. Well, you know, it's interesting, I mean, so, in thinking about what I might want to share about kind of what's been going on for me in the last stretch of time, it's interesting how thematic it all is, right?

So, one of the big things of my last year, was my mom had surgery, she had her hip replaced back in August, and then she, three days later, fell and shattered her femur, right? And so, in December, she went home after spending four and a half or five months or whatever it was in various facilities kind of getting tuned up, you know? And, so it's been this journey of like watching her go through these things and, you know, watching her go through these things, where it's like, you know, she's no spring chicken, she's my mom, so she's got a few years on me, and it's like, this could be the end, this could be the moment, right, and kind of as we were talking about sitting with that squarely and trying to look at the real reality of these situations…

So, you know, that's been going on, and then the other thing that has been sort of flowing with me a lot, is you know, Saturn and its retrogrades, and its switching into Capricorn, and all of this astrological energy that's been going on has been something that I've been really feeling intensely. You know, I mean, over the last while, for sure, being a Sagittarius, and you know, it's now left my sign and so on, but also, this transition to Capricorn, whereas other times I've been like, “aaah, I don't like you Saturn, you've fucked me a lot,” this time I was like, you know what, I was listening to, I think it was Austin Coppock and Gordon White talk about it, and he was just like, throwing out lists of things that are positive in this kind of placement stuff. And he talked about, like, the dead, and stuff, and I was like, yeah, that's really where I need to kind of sit with my energy, you know, and step more into working with that and living with that and feeling that, you know?

And it's just very, it's a carry-over of all of these things we've been talking about, right? It’s kind of taking ownership of my relationship with the dead and with death itself, but with the dead more so, and how foreign that is to kind of almost anybody else that I know, you know what I mean, like, even people I know who are mediums, I feel like, I feel like often it's not quite the same. You know, I was writing about it one time, a while ago, and I was like, what is a good word for the magic that comes from a deep love and devotion to the dead, and from their reciprocal love that comes from there? You know, and I don't have a good word for that, but, you know, there's just something very particular about what's going on these days.

Later today, as part of kind of culminating a work that I started at that transition of Saturn into Capricorn, I'm going to sort of finish making the shrine pieces that I started consecrating then, so that I can continue to do this work and stuff, but it's very apropos of this conversation, right? This sort of life and real like life and death stuff, right? You know, and, kind of like our conversation, I might go to this work for prosperity and I might go to this work for other things, but it's really about living continuously in some form of connection and awareness of that mystery, and sort of constantly honoring that mystery, cause ultimately it's one we'll all be initiated into, but yet it can also be such a source of power and life while we're alive, too. So.

AIDAN: Yeah.

ANDREW: Yeah.

FABEKU: Yeah, you know, as you're talking about that, it reminds me, and I feel this a lot, and I don't think I had words for it until I just heard you talk about what you did, but when I'm doing magic, especially certain kinds, again, especially work with the ancestors, there's this intimacy to it, right? It's like it feels like there's this very direct, intimate, uniquely personal at the same time kind of big and cosmic intimacy that's happening through this interface, right? It's like this direct interaction with these things that are really at the core of being human. Again sure, you know, money, sex, relationships, attraction, all of that, human, right, but if you strip all of that away, the end of it, there's life and there's death and there's love. Right? That's what's there. And when we're engaged in these practices where we're working at that foundational level, there's this incredible profound intimacy to it that I think is pretty remarkable. Yeah, and I don't think I had the words for that until I just listened to you talk, Andrew.

AIDAN: That's one of those... And that's an interesting thing, I was doing work with Fabeku the last two years, where this thing, this kind of connection with the dead and communion with the dead and being a part of this structure of these, like the creatures that I, or the beings that I met, the allies, the sisters. Where the thing that happened right before Ash died was that they basically brought me into their thing, like they really are, I don't know if I have a better description, they’re a collective, but I think of them as like hive beings. And, when they brought me in, the thing that was so interesting was that from their perspective, how beautiful this stuff is, that they're like, “yeah, you guys do this other thing, in between when you're dead,” but it's this transition in and out of when you're dead that has got all of this potency and all of this beauty and where you don't have all of the, this kind of weight of inculturation on you…

ANDREW: Mmmhmm.

AIDAN: ... was how I interpreted how they were kind of running through me. And I think that that has to have been a more normal perspective that somehow, we kind of, and maybe this is just as we kind of figured out how to not lose half of the children or something, you know, and we're raising an expectation that barring something weird, you make it to a reasonable age or something. My sense is that if you're in a whatever kind of hunter-gatherer tribal thing, that vision of death has to be so different than the one that we carry now in 2017 America, and that's a bit of what I've felt has been going on with me the last couple of years as well, has been this really strong connection to this, like this is the, it's a thing I don't think I could teach much about, you know, but...

ANDREW: Mmmhmm.

AIDAN: ...it's the most important aspect of what I do, I think, is like...

ANDREW: Yeah.

AIDAN: I go into and spend time in, and they show me all these things that I genuinely have no words for, but that are really natural normal things. Yeah, it's fascinating.

ANDREW: I had this dream, oh, maybe six months ago, where I was up on this high mountain range, like maybe in the Himalayas or somewhere, and I was in a graveyard, and there were these three eternal beings that were there. And I was there because, in the dream, because I wanted to be initiated into their mystery and under- and know what they know. And they basically said, “well, you've come all this way, all you have to do is give us the sacrifice, and we'll initiate you.” And then, what they asked me for was to surrender everything that I have ever known, or everything that I knew, and get rid of it. And then they would welcome me into their mysteries. And in the dream, I reached into my body and drew out this little blue box that was the sum total of all of my knowledge and knowing, and I gave it to them, or put it on the earth, and they accepted it and then proceeded into the dream further, so. I think that there are these really, places that inherently transcend our knowing, right? Or at least our knowing in a conventional sense, for sure.

Well, so, we did as we usually do--oh hey!

[musical entrance]

AIDAN: Streaker!

JEN: Hey!

[laughter]

JONATHAN: That felt dirty.

ANDREW: So, for those people listening--

JONATHAN: Put your clothes on, Jen!

ANDREW: We were chatting and joking around in the chat room about Jen streaking through our performance here, and I thought, how funny would it be, to have Jen just jump in for a minute. So, hey Jen, what's going on?

JEN: Hey!

FABEKU: Hey, Jen! Holy shit.

JEN: Yeah...

AIDAN: Awesome to see you.

JEN: Good to see you guys too.

ANDREW: Yeah!

So, we've just been talking about death and super heavy stuff for like a long time, so what's going on, what have you got, you were going to bring a question in.

JEN: Well, there was one question I had for Aidan. It started on his little request for questions, but it was about, like any advice or stories working with plant or animal allies. I see a lot of things sort of being appropriated of, you know, my spirit animal is this, my power animal is that, and it makes me wonder, like, you know, did you choose that because you happened to like that animal, or what? you know and so maybe just stories about your experiences with this way of working.

AIDAN: Mmmhmm. Well I have two that are kind of relevant, and the first one is from a long time ago. And my girlfriend and I were up at Mount Shasta where many weird things have happened for me, and this was early on in my meditation practice and I was probably, I think I was 20. And it was super beautiful, we were up in the meadow up on the mountain, and I just went and found a rock out in the sun and sat down. It was sitting kind of like, this was before I could sit full lotus, so somehow crosslegged with my hands on my knees, and I'm sitting there, and I space out, and I can feel like this pull, in like two totally different directions, I've got my eyes closed, and I couldn't kind of translate what was up about this pull in two different directions and what, when I opened my eyes, I looked down, and one of my hands, and I don't remember which one any more, has like five of these big blue butterflies on it, and the other one has maybe 25 flies on it. There's like no cross-mingling. They're not doing anything. They're just hanging out. And I must have spent a half hour with them and they never switched places and nobody ever left until I was gone. And they were, all of the other butterflies that you could see were collecting all the salt and sweat off my skin, I couldn't really tell what the flies were doing. And I've never known anything other than that, it was just, this was this thing that happened. And it was one of those events that changed things, as most of the Shasta events did for me. And then, I think, I don't know, I mean, I laugh at my spirit at the kind of idea of spirit animals because my deep ties into non-asatru kind of freaky shamanic Odin stuff have me always and always have had me working with wolves and ravens. Which are like, super cool, right? And so you go, that's just bullshit, if I was viewing them as power animals. But as you know, cause you've got the book, there are these forms that I've learned over time to shift into in the trance world, and they just allow me to have different perceptions of what's going on. And so, that's my main experience with it is that I have these shapes that I can shift into, that like if I'm getting freaked out by something, if I move into the kind of raven shape, its perspective of what's going on is utterly different than mine. It doesn't have this human view, it doesn't have human concerns, and the same thing with that kind of wolf form, and this has kind of been breeding a lot in the last year or so, where, I'm not necessarily anything like a human now when I'm in the other spaces. And it just allows a lot of freedom that is lacking other times. But I don't have, yeah, the whole idea of the spirit animal thing, I don't really get that, I don't know what that is. But I think you can work with those shapes or at least I can work with those shapes. In ways that are very beneficial.

ANDREW: I don't really, I mean I also don't really work with animals in that kind of way, or maybe I do and just my way of talking about it doesn't line up so that I recognize what other people are talking about as being the same but maybe it is the same. But you know for me there are these things that happen that are really significant, you know, and so I was out in the woods and this albino turkey came out of the woods. Completely white, right? And like it came out, it hung out, and we were like sort of five feet from each other and we sort of had this exchange where aside from where I was like, "holy shit, this is a really weird bird, what is going on here?", once I settled in and figured out what it was... 'Cause it was really big, right? Turkeys are not small animals, right? Especially later in the summer, right? And I was just like, oh, what's going on, and so I connected with that very intensely and then there was another time when I saw an albino porcupine and that was very intense, and then the only thing that ever sort of segues into me feeling sort of more a lasting connection with them versus sort of like a message connection is, I had this dream that everybody was freaking out because there were fishers in the woods, which are these sort of wild and ferocious animals, you know, they're known for like eating cats and other stuff and are considered fairly dangerous. They're sort of the honey badgers of our part of the world, right?

JEN: [laughs]

ANDREW: And in the dream, I was like, don't worry, they won't bother me, and I went out and I just sat down and this albino fisher came out of the woods and curled up in my lap and sat there and we just hung out. And then a few weeks later, somebody who knew nothing about the dream gave me a fisher skull, and so, it's one of the few skulls that I keep around to stack. But you know...

AIDAN: [laughs]

ANDREW: But even that became part of work that I do with another spirit, which is actually the spirit of a person who has passed on and it's sort of, there's a connection there, it's sort of an avatar of that person, as opposed to necessarily being the animal in and of itself, so.

JONATHAN: I actually got my spirit animal from a-- can you guys here me now?

ALL: Yeah.

JONATHAN: I actually got my-- I was named, and was told at the time what my spirit animal was, by a Lakota Sioux medicine woman. So that's my lineage on that, and I've had that verified by people that didn't know me, later in life, of the total number of people that I walk with, the spirit that I walk with, and the animals that are around, so I kind of believe what she says, you know. I work with him a lot, and not really, kind of like what Aidan was saying, really ask him to do things or handle things for me that I can't, or that I don't know how to handle. Or to work with me on shapeshifting and stuff like that; however, ironically, I laughed when Aidan said wolves and ravens, 'cause I do the same thing with both wolves and ravens, is I do a lot of shapeshifting with ravens because of their perspective is higher than mine, so I can see it from a different level. And it's just fucking fun, so, that's just kind of my, that's how I've always kind of worked with animals, it wasn't really so much as they guiding me but kind of just walking together, now, just kind of living life and learning from them, 'cause they have so much information, if people can actually just do it.

[laughs]

Did you know that wolves can talk?

[?] Oh yeah!

[?] Hey my door's knocking, hold on.

JEN: [laughing] Maybe it's a wolf!

ALL: [laughing]

JONATHAN: Probably should, tell me to get off the phone...

[?] Albino porcupine, you keep your distance!

JEN: Right?

FABEKU: So, you know, I guess what I would add to it, I think, I get what you mean, Jon, when you're saying things get a little appropriated at times. I think really what I would say, this to me goes to the necessity to do our work and to deal with our own shit, I think in any of these practices, 'cause, I think for me, some of the pieces that feel problematic around this, they're, when I hear people talk about it, it feels very utilitarian in a way that the element of relationship seems missing, right? It's kind of like the way people would talk about a tool. Like, you know, I'm gonna do this with a hammer and I'm gonna do this with my spirit animal, and I get that, and I mean listen, people start where they start and it's fine but I think that you know, for me, it becomes problematic when we look at these things as tools or objects, right? Like for me it really is like, where's the relationship? how do I more clearly relate to them? And I feel like if we relate to them as things or tools then I think at best it's a really limited thing and at worst it's probably I think it moves us into almost working with some kind of distortion or echo of the actual thing, right, because we're not really, there's not a clear and real relationship happening, so I think the utilitarian thing is weird and I think the other element of doing the work is, you know, I think that, I know a lot of people that have come to these practices as ways of filling holes in themselves, and maybe not so consciously, so the fact that everybody seems to have an eagle as a totem, and kind of the same way that like in a past life everybody was a king or a queen or whatever the fuck. It's like yeah, probably not...

JEN: Cleopatra, usually, always good!

FABEKU: So I think, it's like...

ANDREW: Jonathan Emmett was the one true Cleopatra, so we know that everyone else...

FABEKU: That's been covered, right? But I think the thing is that if we don't deal with those gaps and those holes and that shadow and that pain and we end up filling them with things that are probably not accurate or not really there, and then we start basing a whole lot of shit on top of it, and to me that stuff becomes really problematic. So, this, really I guess my contribution would be, you know I think we just have to be conscious of and then clean up our own shit before we drag it into the practice and then start mistaking that for some kind of spiritual or magical reality that it probably is not. So.

ANDREW: Yeah. And once we've built some structure up then it's really hard to knock that down.

FABEKU: For sure, yeah.

ANDREW: ...work at it, right? And so. But. Yeah.

AIDAN: Yeah, I think that, that's kind of, to me, if you're working with kind of a spirit view and a spirit world, for me the biggest thing was to just slow the fuck down and like go, okay, if I've got somebody that's talking to me, that's good, I don't need to go hunting for sombody else and I can see, will this person talk to me about other things, or will they introduce me to other things? So even like in the, in my, the main zone that I go to when I'm doing trance work, the allies are like, the first allies that I met are like intermediaries, and they're like, there's stuff that doesn't move around and so, if you don't go to where they are, it doesn't matter how much you call to them, and so if I roll in, and I get the ally that's not being particularly helpful but that's hanging out, it's like, okay, would you like to take me somewhere else? And they're like, finally, dumbass! And then I can follow them and they'll be like, "go into the scary fucking cave," or whatever it is that's going on. And that's the , but that's about time, and depth, but I do think that there's the, or even the idea that I'm going to travel through different space and ask to meet the allies there, that might take a long time. There's a space that I go into now, that's finally opening up, and it's like, this has an animal in it, I forgot about it, and there's this big-assed elk thing, that could give a fuck and a rat's ass about me, and I show up, and it just looks annoyed, like, oh, it's you again. It's like dude, whatever, if you want to open this up a little bit, that'd be cool, and it's like, not now, later.

ANDREW: Yeah.

AIDAN: And that to me is the stuff that I get, we've talked about this a little bit before on here, with the four of us, is, if it's all running super smooth and like clockwork, it's probably not super real, Or, there's [inaudible] that's creating myths, 'cause to me, it's like, it just doesn't go that way! And I could be fucked up, I could just be a mess, and...

JEN: Well something that motivated my question was in northern California around 2010 I went to a find your power animal workshop, which was a lot of drum trance journeys and when we went in, to find our power animals, I got buried in ivy for 15 minutes, there was nothing, and everybody was having these stories and they were like, yeah, and then this elephant took me to the bottom of the ocean, and a squirrel, and then landed on the back of a tiger, and then we had this unicorn that was in space, and it was like, uh, I was buried in an ivy, with nothing, and they're like you have a power plant! And I was like okay, power plants, and every other journey I was actually working with plant allies and not animals, and I was the only person there, and I was like, and lots of intense things were happening, but it wasn't an animal, it was like, and it surprised me, because everyone had these fantastic creatures, and it was like " I just got the plant kingdom," you know.

[cross-talking]

FABEKU: What I think's interseting about that, and this is when I talk about, and I talk about it more of like allies or the others, right, because I think that like, the languaging, and we were talking about this earlier in the conversation about the kind of the questions that we bring to divination, like, this is where language becomes problematic, right, because people usually talk about power animals or whatever it is, fine, but there's a million other options for allies, right? Plants, stones, weird alien creatures, that as far as I can tell aren't here, and but when I've had conversations like that with people, sometimes they act really surprised, like what do you mean, there's a plant person that you work with, or a stone person, there are animals! And it's like well, okay, AND...

ANDREW: Can't go wrong with a magic space pickle!

FABEKU: There we go! I claim that as my ally, the magic space pickle, right? But...

ANDREW: Yep.

FABEKU: I get that, I think that sometimes we create these kind of needless and unhelpful limitations that really shape our experience because of what we bring to it that okay, I'm going to go meet an ally, and they said power animal so it has to be a power animal, I think that, I don't love that, I think that that stuff gets us super sideways, so when we end up with ivy, we think, what the fuck is happening, right? Like it's somehow a problem that it's really not, so.

ANDREW: Yeah. And really like, you know, what if it's burdock, or what if it's, you know, plantain, or what if it's like, some other sort of amazing magical plant that's in your neighborhood that's like the weeds that grow in the driveway in the lane weights, right? That doesn't mean that it's not profound and magical and powerful and a lot of the plants that I work with are, if they're not Afri-Cuban stuff that I'm working with for part of my religious practice, they're predominantly things that grow here or that I grow myself and you know, there's, to me there's some of the most wonderful magic is like being able to go out in my back yard here at the shop and be like, yup, a bit of this, a bit of that, pull this guy's roots, go down to the ravine, dig up a litle of this, grab this out of the swampy spot and next thing you know you've got something good, and I mean I think that there's such a, and not an origin, but there's such a cult around like, mandrake, and like all these sort of, the witch herbs, and I'm like, those don't grow here, those aren't my plants, those aren't part of my orbit, you know, and I remember not so much in recent times but like when I was getting going, kind of having some feels about some of these things that everybody else was doing and working with and I'm like, nah, I don't think so, I think I'm gonna work with the basil some more, I think that plant's really kicking it up for me, and it's like, you know, it doesn't have to be everything else either, right? And ivy's great, right? That stuff overcomes everything, right? That'll rip your bricks apart if you allow it to go too far, right? That's pretty strong.

FABEKU: One of my favorite magical plants is kudzu, love it. Never met it until I moved to North Carolina, it was all over the fucking place, and I was totally taken by it. We were driving down the road and I was like, what is that? and the person that we were with was like, "Oh, fuck, it's kudzu, it's terrible, it's this," and I'm like, no, there's something to that plant, and I literally wanted to stop on the side of the road and walk over and just touch the plant to figure out what the fuck was going on. I super dig kudzu for magic stuff. Super dig it. And, I think to get to that place that you're talking about, Andrew, I think that this goes back to we have to clean up our shit, irght? Like if we don't feel like enough and we feel like it has to be big and weird and exotic and flashy, we're not gonna say, I'm working with kudzu! It's gonna have to be mandrake or you know, whatever it is, and so again, like you said, not that those aren't powerful, but if we're led there because there's coherence, cool. If we're led there because we're trying to fill a hole, and mandrake feels like an easier plug for it than dandelion, not great. Right? And I can't believe we're conna end up kind of skewed and sideways as a result of it. and, not only that, but missing some really powerful that otherwise, we could build relationships with these allies and do some pretty amazing work with them, so.

AIDAN: I think that that sinks in really kind of beautifully to, yeah, it's like we're enculturated to all sorts of things, just as the nature of being social humans, and so, for some people that's, you know you know, I guess, you know that you are meant to be with the head cheerleader from the time you enter sixth grade, and you know that you are going to have this particular life, which shuts down all of these options, right? And this happens in spiritual practice all the time too. This is to me the kind of beauty of chaos magic and also where it goes horribly awry, is to me the idea of chaos magic is like, you don't have to know where this is going. You don't have to be looking at what happened in the 1800s or in the 1500s or in 900s or in the written record. If this is a natural practice, which is why I dislike the term occultism--occultism seems to me to always be kind of referencing things that are hidden, when I think most of it's like shit that we just forgot how to do. Nobody hid it. But yeah, and then there's just all of this possibility. The most powerful thing that I've been given is this weird little nine sentence charm that changes all the time, and it's peculiar, and it sounds really really witchy, but it's also so retardedly, "The Craft," or something.

JEN: Oh my gosh, I want you to say it...

AIDAN: I can't take it seriously, right?

JEN: [laughing]

AIDAN: But it does this beautiful thing, and it's like a joke, I think, from my allies, like they've given me this coded language, like this is how you get from here to here, and every time I go to do it, I'm like, this is so silly, it's like, and it's being open to this stuff, and realizing that these are language systems that we're overlaying upon experience that's not happening in the body in the normal sense, and so doesn't really exist. And so yeah, you go into the other world and you meet the space pickle, why not? Who... You don't think that that didn't happen to somebody before, just because it isn't written down? We've been here for a long fucking time, somebody has had serious relationships with the spirits before. There is no doubt.

ANDREW: Lucky, lucky somebodies!

JEN: Head cheerleaders!

AIDAN: And it's probably Jon...

ANDREW: Uh-huh.

[laughter]

FABEKU: When in doubt...

AIDAN: Nice! [laughs]

ANDREW: Cool.

JEN: Well, thanks for letting me crash your party for a minute; I'll...

ANDREW: Thanks for jumping in, Jen!

AIDAN: That was awesome!

JEN: I'll end my streak now. And let you get back to it...

[?]: Whew....

JEN: See you guys later!

ANDREW: See ya!

AIDAN: See ya!

ANDREW: All right, so we have this list of questions here; I feel like some of them we've already kind of touched on. You know, I mean, yeah. So, I guess, KJ Sassypants wants to know, what's the weirdest or wackiest thing that's ever happened to you in a magical or shamanic context? I'm afraid to ask Jon...

[laughter]

ANDREW: Anyone got anything that you'd like to share? We can't hear you, Jon. Jon, I see you talking, but I don't hear you.

[laughter]

FABEKU: While he sorts that out, yes, weird, god, where do I start, shit! So, a couple of weeks ago, I did some like hunting tracking magic stuff, right? It was very specifically like had my eyes focused on a very specific target, and -- so for me, after I do work, I'm usually paying attention to , you know, just what's happening in th world, sort of looking for omens and signs and confirmations and things-- and I was sitting at the window, with the cat, looking out, and, all of a sudden... So there's this family of hawks that lives maybe 100 yards across the street-- This was just within a couple of days of doing the magic-- All of a sudden, out of the tree, like a fucking bullet, this hawk flies out and catches some small bird mid-flight and literally rams it into the window that I'm sitting in front of and then flies off back to the tree, right, and I'm like, well, you know, as far as omens for hunting magic go, that's sort of terrifying and pretty rad at the same time, so, um yeah, it's probably not the weirdest, but the most recent bit of weirdness, that's for sure, so.

ANDREW: I -- I can't hear you now.

AIDAN: Try, Jon. You got it!

You're good!

JON: That was it?

AIDAN: You're good! You got it!

JON: Can you hear me now?

ALL: Yeah.

JON: Okay, was that the question about the paranormal, when I said could I use the paranormal reference?

ANDREW: Sure! Use whatever you got!

JON: Okay. So the weirdest probably thing, I was doing a reading on a house in Carthage and we've had -- hi, kitty -- we've had some instance of a pretty dark entity -- I don't like to use demonic because I think that's a bad word, and I think it's wrong -- more of just probably not ever human, type entity, anyway. So, we're doing an investigation one night, and we had a group there doing a tour, and I spotted this entity, 'cause it likes to hang out on the stairwell, and, so I'm trying to coax it down and to come talk to me, like I wanted to get it to talk-- well, it did. And pretty much threw me for a loop for about, I don't know, six months. To where I was a little bit off my rocker for about six months. And honestly, the you know I, it engulfed the upper part of my body, to where a person two foot away from me couldn't see me from the waist up. And, I still couldn't tell you what it was. I can tell you that it never was alive, I know that for a fact, I know that it was never in corporeal form of any sort, but yeah, I walked out of the house, I had to get away for a little bit, when it lifted, and I was freed from it, for lack of a better word, I walked outside, and I sat down on the ground, and I tried to ground as best I could ground, but I was not entirely in my body for at least 30 minutes there, but mentally it was a trip for probably about six months. So, it was a little bit of an interesting deal, but what brought me back into my body was kind of a funny story was, there's these big, not cedar trees, juniper trees in the front yard, they're huge, and I put my hand up on the juniper tree and an ant bit me, and that popped me back into my cells, so it was kind of an interesting, interesting ordeal. But yeah, I still couldn't tell you what that thing was. But I'd like to go back and work with it, but the last couple times I've been there, he hasn't shown up. So.

ANDREW: Maybe it's following you around, Jon.

JON: Boring ass--

ANDREW: What's that behind you?

[laughter]

JON: No, that's a cat!

[laughter]

Probably.

ANDREW: I mean, so many things, but like, one of the things that I often do is like, if I'm doing certain kinds of cleansings for people, I'll take the tools and pieces that I've used in the cleansing, and I'll take them into the ravine system here, you know, and there are spots where I dispose of that stuff so the spirits that are there, and the earth that's there can just take that back and it can go away, and not just pass on to anybody else, and so, it was frozen, like stuff was frozen when I was there, right? And it was sort of, freezing rain and snow was coming down, and so I went down into the ravine and you know it's like this, we live in a big city, right, so it's like this lit path, and I go off of that and off into the hills and the woods around there a bit, and to the spot where I go and get rid of stuff, or one of the places, and it's all fine, I do the work, it feels fine, and I turn around to leave, and as I'm walking out, this like two dozen white moths emerged from somewhere and followed me, like they were just around me and they just emerged even though it was freezing out, and they followed me as I walked out onto the path and stuff, and they followed me along the path for a ways, before they sort of drifted back off into the woods, and it was one of those things that when they were gone I was like, did I hallucinate that? What's going on? But yeah I took it as the success of the work and the spirit of the forest kind of clearing everything away for me as I was leaving, you know, but... What have you got for us, Aidan?

AIDAN: There's a few to pick from, and I'm sorting to see which one is the most acceptable. Um. Yeah, probably my third, I think it's the third kind of major initiation that I had was the summer that Ash was conceived, me and his mom stayed up at a relative of her's house on the lake. And there was a, we stayed in a bedroom that was like the guest bedroom, it was up this stairwell, and this was like a really beautifully made but kind of cabin built place on this lake in Washington State. And we were there for quite a while, but I was out paddling around in the canoe on this little lake and I don't know what i did, but I knew at the point that I did it that I had upset the lake, and this is really a little bit before I got enough into magic to be thinking this way. I had some practices I was doing, but I hadn't kind of developed any world view where this would make sense until after this event, but. In some way I knew that I had pissed off the lake and I had best get home. And this is a tiny little lake. And so I turn around and start paddling back, what should be just a few minutes, but, like the wind picks up and the current picks up, like where this current is going, in this lake, I have no fucking clue but, and it took me like a solid hour and a half to paddle back to this place which was really close. And when I got back, I went in, went upstairs to the bedroom and maybe changed my clothes and grabbed a sweater or something, and when I came to go around the stairs, I took the first step and was paralyzed. And I couldn't do anything. And so I just pitched down the stairs and manage to get control of my right arm and just shoved it out through the banisters, you know, and caught myself that way, so I didn't go all the way to the either slate or tile floor at the bottom. And when I came out of it, I had this raging fever, within, just, boom. And I ended up spending the next three days up in that bedroom that we were in at the top of the stairs with this crazy crazy super high fever in delirium and hallucinating and falling asleep and waking up. And I had this dream, this is maybe just an hour or so after the fall, so very early on in the thing. And in the dream, it's night time, and these, this crew of guys, of men in dark clothing, invade the house and kill my girlfriend and me. And I wake up after I've been killed. And I fall back asleep and it happens again. And, I keep getting killed, we keep getting killed, and then I wake up and it goes over and over and over again. And it does this for two or three days, while I'm running this fever in bed. Oh, and there's a power animal in here. In a couple days, maybe the second day, like I've probably been killed by this now like 15 times or 20 times, this huge spider moved into the rafters above the bed, and I kind of viewed it as an ally in some way that way. After it showed up, I began being able to change the dreams, and so the guys would like break into the house, and come in to kill us, and I would get my girlfriend out the window or something, and they would kill me. [laughs] And after this happened a couple of times, I'm like, oh, okay, I can only do a little tiny bit in each sequence here. And so, I have to figure out what needs to happen, if I'm going to stop just being sick in this room. By that time I'd made some connection that this was actually some kind of a spirit problem, though I didn't have words for it at that time. And so I got better and better, so I got her out, I got her clear and away, I got into actual fights with a couple of these guys when they weren't super expecting it, and then something snapped on the third day, and I had this dream, and I woke up before they had even got there. And so I got my girlfriend out , and I think I hid behind the woodpile or something, and they went into the house. And I went in after them instead of them coming in after me. And it took about another four or five times before I actually was able to get in behind them and kill them all before they killed me. And then as soon as that actually happened, I woke up, no fever, three days later, totally wrung out, and yeah, it again, kind of like the first initiation experience, totally totally different. Like it was a huge changer. But that's probably one of the weirder things.

ANDREW: That's very cool. Yeah, it's interesting how sickness can be a thing, right? Or, you know. I was down working on Orisha stuff over the weekend and I was noticing how always like a few days before I go and start the work, before I go in to do the work, I often feel like, oh, am I getting a cold? am I starting to get something? And, you know, yeah, and then I never actually do, right, it's just that energy moving in. So. Yeah. Well gents, it's time to wrap it up. We have one last question, which is a very brief question, which I'm just going to put out here, Theresa Reed wants to know, when are we going to release a calendar? The Stacking Skull Calendar. When is that coming?

[laughter]

FABEKU: Hopefully for everybody's sake, never!

[laughter]

FABEKU: But if we do it, January, I claim January. So clearly I'm open to the idea!

AIDAN: That would be four months, right, so?

ANDREW: Well, we each get to do three months, right? We still can't hear you, Jonathan!

AIDAN: Or we each get to pick our favorite month and that's all it covers!

ANDREW: Perfect, exactly, that's it! And in between, nothing, just blank pages.

[laughter]

ANDREW: Thank you, as always, for listening. I am super excited to say that for a couple of factors I am now in a position where the Patreon is supporting getting transcriptions done, which is really exciting, so we're still trying to catch up with the flow, hopefully the transcription for this one will be live at the same time, which means that if you jump on over and support the Patreon now, you're also going to be supporting, not only transcriptions for people who are deaf, but  also helping me up my tech game here, so that we can get a better quality of sound, clear messages, and so that I can continue to devote time and attention to getting exciting guests on the show. All right? Thank you to all the people supporting the Patreon, I sure hope you're enjoying all those awesome bonuses that are headed your way.

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