... this being the story of a wizard, the sixth part, continued from Dragonslayer ... it began in Return of the wizard.
He awakens momentarily to gather his surroundings.
In his tower, the day, a blue sky outside, at least to his wizard's eye, looking back to the past with the spell he cast ages ago.
The window scene, showing only moments after the passing storm, the dragon already having flown away.
A break in his reverie, eyes adjusting, then shifting to the past once again, eyes closing.
Remembering darkened doorways this time.
This Triptych of Fear, he thinks, throwing colors on his canvas.
The light from the shards of glass from his mirror, broken only a few years ago now, catching the dancing candle flames, a shifting light, full of portent and wonder.
A soft, intermittent breeze blows through his high window in the tower.
A mostly cloudless night, the pure light of stars inspiring, helping to shape his vision.
The Mother. The Demon. The Dragon.
Her face a warm embrace on this night, turning towards colder--both her and this early spring night.
The Demon, beginning to be captured on canvas, the second of the panels.
The Mother, showing her dark face in shadow, lit up around the area of her mouth in light colors, a garish smile almost, creasing the canvas.
She had come from the memory of his own mother, but the darker vision of her he never knew or saw or thought existed.
Perhaps not her but a darker version of queen Mother, which his mother never embodied, her being of more light and more light all the time.
The Dragon had yet to be painted, feeling he needed its actual blood to do so.
... the last One I sundered.
He would kill it and complete his panels once he had done this.
Clouds gathering in his mind, on canvas, and outside.
A thick dollop of grey-black paint to begin working into the fabric.
The Demon's shining eye a literal jewel painted over with a white tint.
Green emerald, to go along with the darkened black body. An embellishment of the truth. Neither of its eyes ever so distinct or shining.
The Mother and the Goddess, perhaps synonymous in his mind, as he had painted the first of his panels.
But the Demon ... what to say about this dark figure?
If those other two had made their presence known more than he would have liked, and if memory served correctly, often around the same time, what about the Demon's appearance? Did it ever cross the threshold into reality, past any imagined fancy or fever-soaked mind, or beyond the confines of any dream-addled time?
Yes, and he remembered the younger woman he had known when it first appeared.
Copyright © 2022, Mark Newlon
I am in the midst of a transition within my practice in several areas, including in emphasizing a different approach or model for what I already provide.
I am honestly trying to offer a unique and enjoyable perspective to those aspects and bits of information which I consider an important supplement to or even a complement for the support I provide.
Foundationally, I approach helping others in a very Rogerian way, emphasizing empathy through understanding, and I make use of Jungian ideas and principles for how the mind works, which I usually feel led to share. This includes relating how the unconscious acts as a storehouse of information for what to work on, this material coming up as part of a natural process meant to inform us.
Dovetailing or building on Jungian principles of the unconscious, combined with or maybe even supplanted by spiritual understandings I know and have experienced over a lifetime, approaching half a century now, I am all into offering the esoteric knowledge I feel essential to living a fulfilling life.
(Esoteric knowledge being that which may not necessarily be readily available to know--knowledge that is hidden even.)
This is what it comes down to, I feel.
I can provide support and help others transition through difficult experiences and experiencing in life, but I feel like I have a storehouse of knowledge and understandings just waiting to be shared, for me to provide.
If this is the best that I offer, how can I not share it?
This information may actually be more informative in a curative and healing way than any conventional approach to helping can provide.
An attempt at summary of the esoteric knowledge here:
1) We are all driven by the desire to know ourselves completely, which ends up being as an individual expression of the universe as a whole.
2) Between any two in this world, whether this be between a person and a place, an object and another object (or thing), or between any combination of these three, the natural tendency is towards union and wholeness, relating rather than distinguishing and distancing.
3) Personal power means our ability to experience and do what we want.
Conclusions to be drawn from the above:
1) We are not ultimately in control of what we do if we are all being pulled towards knowing ourselves as an individual expression of the universe.
2) We can assist in this process more gracefully by using our personal power to go towards this understanding with awareness.
3) Some level of surrendering to the mystery behind this pull towards knowing ourselves completely seems inevitable.
Concepts which support the above:
Magic describes the dynamic pull towards union we experience when we surrender to this process and experience the wonder of it.
Alchemy models the transformation of ourselves into this ultimate expression of ourselves.
Divination becomes an act of surrender to the mystery pulling us towards knowing ourselves in this complete way.
The sacred feminine, finally, represents the ultimate love of the universe, bridging the gap between us and this understanding of who we are, pulling us towards this understanding.
Now, I feel I am ready to share more openly this information that I know, and I am happy to provide this as part of what I do.
I look forward to being able to share this with you, for you to enjoyably benefit from it.
... this being the story of a wizard, the fifth part, continued from Dragon’s breath ... it began in Return of the wizard.
Gaining his bearings once again, he sits up briefly, then lies back down in his room in the tower, his torch sconce on the wall slightly askew from his re-entry back through the window.
Unscathed from the dragon attack, and the dark Goddess enticing and bewildering him through its flames, her having attempted to immolate him into ash.
He himself flew through the window, remembering his mother at the time.
His back aches a bit, pulls his hand away from it, green, dark green.
Great, a bit of blood, he thinks. Slightly contaminated from an overuse of magic for protection.
The flames had been hot, but his will had prevailed, provided the protection he needed.
His shoulder on his opposite side now aching him. His grey cloak blackened and slightly torn there.
He had called down lightning, and it struck him and the dragon. In need of slight mending, he thinks. Myself and this heavy thing.
He sits up more gingerly, his head swimming a bit this time.
He blinks his eyes momentarily, and finds himself sitting heavy.
Heavy on this stone floor of his tower.
The earth begins shaking, and he fights panic. The tower violently shakes.
It all stops then.
The corner of his eye catches the dark beast flying away, looking behind itself as dark clouds begin to gather.
The beast not dead, but defeated, and deterred at least this time.
The window curtain begins to toss and blow freely as a darker wind starts to tease and pull on it.
Momentarily, eyes through the dragon, a rough and scaly mind, hatred, just hatred, and the instinct to kill.
Flame cast before his new eyes, the eyes of the dragon.
DRAGONSLAYER! it roars, flames pummeling the air.
The wizard just regaining his feet finds them shoved backwards along with the rest of him.
The force of the dragon's will finding its purchase this time in the killer of its kin.
A dream within a dream, he thinks.
Shards from his broken mirror litter the floor, caught in his beard and greying hair, cutting him slightly as he starts extracting pieces.
What to do about this?
The dragon far away, but ever so near in its hatred.
Thus he began weaving his spell of concealment, the wizard creating a better world to see outside as his life slowly ebbed.
Preserving his life cycle in the process.
Copyright © 2022, Mark Newlon
After nearly eleven years of counseling and recently working on incorporating new discoveries into what I offer, the latest of what I have been trying to provide has come to a place of form and substance for its expression finally.
I consider what I am sharing here the first expression of it.
I have always been aligned with the sacred feminine and similar ways of being since the beginning days of my practice. It came to a point in my working with these understandings that I felt like there should be a way to actively be and exist in the world in alignment with them.
In other words, how does one be active from this place?
How do you live in alignment with sacred feminine understandings by actually doing things in the world, not just by feeling a presence or a love from them?
Sacred feminine understandings as opposed to worldly ones might be contrasted like this, to give an idea of what I mean by the sacred feminine: the world might advocate that you work, earn, control, or manipulate more in life, while the sacred feminine might suggest that you allow, surrender, enjoy, or embrace more.
(Other sacred feminine understandings are found in its namesake menu at the top of this website, or within the posts of the blog category "Sacred Feminine" on the right side of this page, or at the bottom of it, depending on if you are seeing the mobile device version of it.)
Magic came to be the next iteration in understanding of the sacred feminine, as a way to more actively work from this place. Mystery and symbols holding power identified magic as a way to let go into another way of knowing and awareness, a way to not only let love in but to experience inspiration and guidance on how to proceed from a shifting of one's awareness into these other areas.
Now I am putting forth the idea of personal power, in service and in alignment with what I have just shared.
Where we spend our time and energy, there we channel our personal power, which I define as our ability to experience and do what we want.
Those things which help us in our ability to experience and do what we want, I say that they have power, which covers everything from time and money to the inspiration and guidance received from the mystery and symbols just shared.
Regardless of where we turn for helping us maintain, and gain, in our personal power, it makes sense to assess where we are first with it.
Simply shifting our awareness to a thorough understanding of where we are utilizing it currently, and understanding what rewards we might be gaining from it, this provides a costs-benefits analysis for one of the most essential components in our being able to be who we are--our personal power.
Just seeing the results of this analysis has a powerful effect.
We are more able to make the adjustments we need or want to, so that we might refocus and replenish, even gain, in our personal power.
Now, I feel like I must pause in this talking about personal power. There are particular vantage points and viewpoints that are a part of my talking about it.
I feel like we are all being pulled, whether consciously or not, to a greater understanding of ourselves than we might currently know.
This knowledge goes to the source of power, not as a way to actively manipulate it, but as a surrendering to it.
We are the universe itself, and an individual expression of it.
When we non-volitionally operate in the world, or do what we do but are not lost in thought or even self-conscious about it, this best describes this mode of being and doing in the world. It is more akin to an individual expression of the universe than anything else.
What I have consciously incorporated into a personal power assessment prompts us to check in and identify those moments which best emulate this ultimate understanding of ourselves.
They are moments of joy and freedom of which we are aware.
I feel this balances out and provides direction for the assessment.
If we are all going towards this ultimate understanding, whether we know it or not, why not consciously align with this, without resistance, bringing to mind those moments when we have tasted who we are in the ultimate sense of ourselves?
This helps accentuate and accelerate the healing process, which I define as remembering who we are.
We are reaching for wholeness, as we remember, the assessment helping us in going towards this.
I believe there are two paths we walk on this earth. The one we all know. And the one we are walking, perhaps unbeknownst to us.
To be who we are, to be and do from this place, individually this gives us joy, allows us to experience the freedom of being ourselves.
When we do this, we are tasting of our true nature. We are recalling the reality we know beneath all we experience.
We are uncovering the esoteric meaning of life.
All actions can be seen to serve this drive towards knowing ourselves in the ultimate sense. In moments of wonder, in the joy and freedom already mentioned, and to a lesser degree, in moments of love and peace, we are experiencing some level of who we are.
To uncover what is already there in meditation, to understand the joy of living, the joy of life, the joy of wonder in the mystery of it all, these speak volumes to what I am trying to say, to what I am trying to share about who we are.
To experience these is to know what I am referring to, words falling short, the experiential knowledge the key.
Awareness of our joy and freedom keeps unlocking the door for us throughout life, to know the meaning of life, this drive to know who we are at the most expansive and deepest level.
And, it is ever so near.
Beyond this, or in addition to this, supplementing this going towards realizing the untraceable memory of truth within us, calling to us to remember who we are, I have enjoyed combining Eastern and Western concepts, and I use the words magic and alchemy in intentional and often defined ways to express the nature of who we are and the universe.
Magic represents the fabric of reality, as much as it can be said to exist, and it also expresses the dynamic of it, really a kind of love of the universe, ever present, able to be touched on and tasted if we shift our awareness in that direction.
In fact, between the experiencer and the experience I would say an alchemical connection exists, a kind of loving connection, which we may experience to one degree or another, even if it means we pull away as a result.
We are all going towards this reality of who we are, a more complete and indescribable understanding than words can afford, than we can ever completely express.
I am here, I feel, to counsel on this understanding, this opportunity, this inevitability of uncovering who we are at the most complete and completely experienced level.
We are all going towards this understanding.
I feel I am here to help accelerate this natural process, like an alchemist, one who has seen nature at work and wants to accentuate the divine witnessed in it, through self-agency and hands-on application.
Negatively felt experiences and ripples in the idea of wholeness are opportunities to trace these waves of experience back to their source.
I help provide a different perspective, shedding light on and helping to promote healing, defined as remembering who we are.
This is wholeness.
Rather than provide relief only from just what may be immediately experienced, I offer a deeper level of understanding, beyond what may be just occurring on life's surface.
Rounding out recent thoughts I have had of alchemy and Tantra (see the post Alchemy: Destination Red), I want to relate how I see magic as synonymous with love in terms of being the fabric and dynamic of reality.
The untraceable memory of truth within us calls us to realize who we are as a unique expression of the universe, while simultaneously being the universe itself.
We are all moving towards this understanding, whether we are consciously doing so or not. Thus says Vedanta.
An experiential knowledge that we are the universe, according to Tantra, comes from us feeling the vibratory reality of it, this sacred tremoring or vibration of the universe, perhaps a feeling of love or joy within ourselves, permeating our whole being, coming to us in peak moments, although certainly not restricted to them.
That being the fabric of reality, the dynamic of reality comes to us in everyday life in the form of the connection between any two: a person and a person, a person and an object, a person and a place, or even between an object or a place and another object or place. (The word "thing" can be used in place of "object" here.)
If all of reality, according to Vedanta, becomes nothing but an expression and experience of the very universe itself in our greatest understanding, the experiential Tantric dynamic of it has the relation between any two physical manifestations, as described above, as being alchemical in nature, that is, the natural tendency between any two phenomena becomes ultimately the experience of the universe as whole. The vibratory or joyful experience or dynamic between any two represents the natural desire for wholeness or union, the experience of the undivided, absolute universe.
We can say love exists between them, desiring wholeness.
Saying nothing about how magic, in being the fabric and dynamic of reality as just described, may be manipulated or worked with in intentional and conscious ways, which I have nothing to say on, although the framework and reality of it is clearly there--magic as an expression and dynamic of the universe can easily be substituted for the word "love" when recalling the feelings we have in peak moments and when resonating with others or other objects or places in a special way.
What motivated me to post, and what this post has come down to in a very simple way, this has me sharing how the tasks of daily living, I like to think of as an opportunity to experience and express magic, as acts imbued with love, for those tasks done especially to help and assist others, and for those done to help keep the peace and cleanliness of our own space and domain.
These are not to be seen or experienced as mundane activities or detail work.
They are the very acts of life itself, regular everyday life, but possibly able to be experienced as a way of working magic, of expressing personal love, or a way of sacredly connecting to what you are doing, or who you are doing it for.
... this being the story of a wizard, the fourth part, continued from Wizarding 101 ... it began in Return of the wizard.
Unbearable, he thinks, unbearable!
A roaring flame of cascading fire, consuming him whole, the sound almost as loud as eternity itself screaming from the dragon's mouth.
Lightning! Hitting him and the beast, a silver-sharded weapon of the gods. Tongue of flame enticing and arousing, the Goddess devouring him.
I WILL NOT GO LIKE THIS!
His voice its own creation, thundering its echoes, the Goddess' flames, the dragon's life and breath hanging on this force of his will, this desperation, this last gasp from unfathomable depths of learning and knowledge gained from the first light of time itself.
He has seconds, he has eternity, he has a recollection of youth in precious moments.
What I liked so much about my mother was her ability to just be with what came her way, like in the cumbersome way papa tried to chase her around our dirt floors, especially in the kitchen when she was baking or cooking, them both laughing, her seeming vexed, but never in a way anyone but a sensitive child would notice.
I remember her skirts to hang onto, to hide in, to command to be held by grabbing onto, her lifting me up into her smiling face and love, kisses, with more kisses, giggling from a shyness borne of her attention.
And meadows, seemingly endless meadows, of sunlight, and running, and falling, getting dirty with grassy things all over.
I remember mama as having the qualities of heaven, drifting along so easily in light and air.
The Goddess. Stops.
The dragon. Topples.
A great height.
On his tower, the wizard sideways falls, a great looping arc, rushing through his tower window as the land itself shifts in sync with his vision and movement.
Copyright © 2022, Mark Newlon
(Continued in Dragonslayer.)
I am somewhat self-conscious sharing this information, but, I think it important to be myself and relate what ties in with the work I do. It helps explain the framework behind the process of my counseling, shedding light on relevant beliefs and understandings that come into play in my practice.
What I am sharing I would like to put in the framework of alchemy's three stages, which can be found in other posts or under the Alchemy menu on this site.
As a way to accelerate a natural process, whether this be for metals or for human beings, alchemy's stages outline how we reach for wholeness.
Being a mystic fits in well with the stages or steps. By going deeper into oneself, or losing oneself through the embrace of something greater, the desired goal of wholeness, where we are more purely ourselves than at any other time, this wholeness can be tasted, experienced, and touched on, requiring nothing else at this time.
I have a sense that there is no divided experience from anything or anyone else when we come into ourselves more like this, ironically disappearing into this unified wholeness as we realize ourselves more and more. What transpires then, or on the way to experiencing and knowing this, I might describe as a thinning of reality or as a taking away from any experience the substantiality of it.
Things do not bother us like they used to, and they do not have the weight that they once did.
They simply do not have the substance like that.
Now, this experience may last for but a short time, the example of a deeper experience of meditation coming to mind, along with the felt experience of reality afterwards.
In alchemy we could say that we are in the world of the everyday, its thoughts and ideas, and removing ourselves consciously from it in the next stage, which allows us to return to the world in the third stage, with a closer experience to or approximation of that golden destination of feeling and being whole, experiencing the true nature of reality as less substantial and weighted than before we entered deeply into meditation.
From white, to black, to red tinged with gold, to speak chiefly of the colors of the alchemical stages just outlined.
Alchemy, whether we know it or not when we follows its stages, helps us arrive more quickly at this place of wholeness.
Being a mystic helps us arrive there in the way just outlined, and by doing practices like a mystic might, we give ourselves the opportunity to experience this.
Meditation might be one way to this.
In the practice of counseling, certainly how I approach it, two people have the opportunity to thin out reality together or for one to lead the other in practices which help this to occur. Working through problems or concerns or issues, to give just a general description of counseling, this is a way to lessen the load and help make less substantial the obstacles or difficulties on one's path, which include within oneself.
Any experience becomes an opportunity to experience wholeness, if we are able to let go fully into it and touch on the underlying reality within the moment, it being of less substance than we might have otherwise experienced then.
Being a mystic, I have almost a need to dip into this underlying reality for my sense of balance and well-being as a person, although it does not tolerate well at times experiences that fall short of this deeper immersion.
It may in some ways be easier not to be a mystic while living on this earth, but I do think it aligns me with a knowing that I truly do cherish, however it may be beyond any of my ability to help not having this drive or this experience.
I just work with what my experiencing of reality is and has been, that has informed me and continues to do so, and I think it has its benefits when helping others with their own drives and needs in reaching wholeness.
Although the title of this post may sound like a contest or a game of some kind to see who wins out, the two spellings here highlight a subtlety of difference in the same understanding.
To begin with, let us throw out the idea of stage magic, for I am not referring to this with either spelling.
Also, let me share the importance of my understanding and knowledge in this post as it relates to my practice, whether you use one or two spellings of magic, or even the word at all: when you are experiencing health and wholeness, and you come to taste and touch on what this means and may mean, you might say the magic of life meets you, gives you the freedom to feel who you really are and might be.
Magic, however you spell it, which I will get to in a moment--experiencing it becomes a marker on the road to being yourself and to reaching wholeness.
I have previously defined magick with the letter k, to distinguish it from stage magic. For all intents and purposes right now, unless I indicate otherwise, I am talking about the same magick when I spell it without a k. Magic and magick then, from this point on, are interchangeable and synonymous on this site, unless I purposely refer to stage magic, which would be a separate definition.
If magic and magick are the same in essence when I mention either, what is the subtle difference between them?
Consider magick a formal definition of the word, which I have used purposefully to reference those who practice it and how it may have been understood and referenced in times past, not to mention current practitioners' usage of it.
There is truly something magical about the word, and powerful.
To conjure my definition again for magick:
A shift in perspective of reality where mystery and symbols hold power and the key to providing answers and knowledge which can alter reality.
More recently, I have used the word magic without a k and essentially meant the same thing.
However, when I have said magic more recently, I have been referring to a less formalized feeling and expression and experience of what it means, as in the life around and about you providing you with moments that feel like magic, are made up of magic, contain magic, to the point that you really understand and do believe in magic and know what it means in those moments.
Again, it marks progress in life.
Now whether you wield it formally or not, and whether I myself have more to say on that--honestly, I would not have much to say right now due to lack of knowing, and this perhaps may never change. I do believe in its practice though.
I consider the formally defined magick the same as the experience of magic in life, and to distinguish them further does not seem to be required at this point in my practice.
Being who we are, there becomes no greater magic than this.
This I truly believe and know.
For a summary of the overall knowledge I draw upon and make use of in my practice, the lens of alchemy helps highlight key areas. Through honoring the esoterica I know, which includes alchemy, I share ways of knowing associated more with darkness, obtained by going off the beaten path to be safely away and protected from the world. Under the processes of healing, I highlight more conventional counseling ideas, where we reach for and maintain ourselves operating in the world, or at least whatever our own particular version of the world may be. Within understandings of the sacred feminine, I share transcendent ideas, no less true, where love becomes the truth of what we know and experience.
All three of these areas can be seen as emblematic of alchemy's three processes, coded black, white, and red, respectively. (See the post Alchemy: A Journey of Discovery for more information on this.)
When I say Mystery of alchemy, I am purposely using a capitalized version. For mystery, in general, I mean that which we do not know. Almost all of the work I do and how I try and live have become more and more informed by my relationship to mystery or what I do not know.
I sometimes feel inclined to share a bit of reasoning or logic behind why I share and say what I do, but, in honor of mystery, I will leave a bit of that for now as I continue.
Without not knowing, how can we know or claim to know or come into knowledge of any kind? How can we explore, find truth, experience and enjoy what is new? More importantly, for the map of living and life which I find to be valid for experiencing one's own happiness and evolution: how can you experience any wonder in life or living without a sense of mystery, of enjoying not knowing how or why something occurs, which may include a sense of awe at times?
I might say that mystery involves itself quite intricately with the enjoyment of life and leads to its enchantment.
When I say Mystery, versus mystery, I am not using that designation lightly. I feel we are all a unique, and at times not a unique, expression of this ultimate mystery as Mystery, or, you may say, God or Goddess, the universe, Truth, whatever personal representation of Mystery speaks to you.
To say or even think we will come into the knowledge of all someday while still living on this earth, as we know ourselves to be living right now, this becomes an incessant drive and a fruitless quest in terms of the desired goal of knowing all.
The secret of Mystery: you must surrender to it. You live your life, knowing what you know, not knowing what you do not know, and you come across important experiences of wonder where you have enjoyed being who you are, while at the same time enjoying what you do not know in a way which gives a nod to and honors Mystery.
I do believe the Mystery of the universe will reach down and assist and help, in perhaps unpredictable ways at times, if we just follow our own path but make room for and allow ourselves to let go into, surrender into not knowing, not ever knowing all we would like to know.
The stages of life as seen through alchemy reach milestones of wonder, and without Mystery being honored, these become less likely to occur. Certainly, it makes sense to ask, why not consciously allow a place for Mystery in life if we will never know all, but we can at least honor this not knowing by having a place for Mystery in life?
For me, this allows wholeness, allows it to occur more easily.
The Mystery of alchemy becomes a process of allowing ourselves to remember who we are.
Tat tvam asi.
Mark Newlon, feeling the embrace of the sacred feminine daily!
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