Webersman 2023 Journal

Hi! I’m trying to build a life with severe dissociative PTSD and never follow through with an offline journal. Maybe this work better! We’ll see.

== Framework ==

I work with Dantalion, Bael, Glasya-Labolas, and Balam in a pathworking model influenced by Corwin Hargrove. I consider myself chaotic good. In the past I have seriously worked with Odin and Frigg.

I sit every morning and evening for at least ten minutes each. I light a tea light and sandalwood incense stick. If I have a demon in mind, I get concentrated and hold the sigil, bring to mind the mental imagery I’ve come to associate with the sigil and the demon, and wait for contact. Sometimes I just wait for any contact and grab the appropriate sigil if I need it. I use the closed circle sigils but it doesn’t seem to matter. Usually I experience a shift in the air or in my body. I often imagine conversations. If I’m doing a working, I’ll lay out what I’m thinking. I might do a tarot reading. Then when I’m done I blow on the sigil, sit in gratitude/metta for a bit til I’m done.

It’s basically a chaos system but founded on the vipassana (insight) meditation. Whatever works. I read a lot but a lot of the ritual details has seemed unnecessary. Vipassana combined with severe dissociation led me to basically being convinced that we’re just meatsacks telling stories, so the specific story is less important than the poise of mind or the mental shape/position of self, if that makes sense? I know how to get what I want… kind of. I want to own it all the time. The vipassana results in total equanimity and I can usually get to samadhi (absorption) and if I do that in the presence of a demon, I can usually get a big oomph on whatever I want. I’d say the vipassana is the big core practice. I’m not doing Solomonic magic, just free association and pathworking.

== Looking back ==

The last five years have seen a ton of incredible good fortune since working steadily with spirits.

  • moved and got established in a new town
  • made excellent friends
  • found a great community of people doing my kind of work
  • found and got established as a digital historian
  • got permanent disability through the veterans’ administration
  • never have to work for money again
  • found a great care team and stabilized my health
  • can mostly detect when I’m in an episode in time to prevent further harm
  • cut all contact with toxic family and old friends
  • rented a perfect house from a new friend
  • generally just chilled the hell out
  • started to feel safe and secure for the first time

I’m struggling to articulate what I want to do and who I want to be, so that’s first up on the list. The divination has been spotty — I suspect I’m not asking the right questions. Onward and upward!

Jan 4th - Altar Box

Put together my cigar box which I found at the antique store this afternoon, two for $10. It contains tarot cards, a couple tea lights, incense sticks, metal and paper sigils, a book of matches, and a charm bracelet. I’ve ordered some real sandalwood incense from Japan to use once I’ve finished up my cheap synthetic frankincense and sandalwood sticks.



Thinking Big Picture

I’m thinking of 2023 as a magical campaign. I don’t worry about loopholes or unkind interpretations in these statements. I know what I mean now, and I know I’ll mean something else in a year. All is well. Everything will work out perfectly.

When I re-read this post on December 31st, 2023, the following will be true.

  • I personally feel safe, stable, secure, fit, healthy, kind, hot, loved, appreciated, and dependable.

  • I am in an excellent, serious, long-term relationship with a wonderful man I’ll marry.

  • I have faithfully maintained this journal all year.

  • I hear people saying that our town has really turned around in a great way.

  • I’m ringing in the new year with my boyfriend and my excellent friend who has recovered from serious depression.

  • I can’t count on two hands my meaningful relationships and friendships.

  • I have helped build a thriving community around an interpretive center and research library.

  • My cats are happy, healthy, safe, and loved.

  • This evening I have finished offering high-quality sacrifices in thanks to Dantalion, Balam, Bael, and Glasya-Labolas for their invaluable help.

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Since 2023 is one big magical campaign, I’m starting to divvy up work in terms of long-term operations.

Jan 4th - Introducing Operation Tidy

We have a lot of abusers around town, and a long history of intergenerational trauma. My goal is to lift the overall feeling of the town and to make people feel more able to deal with life. Some of this is removing or redirecting abusers, and some is empowering and supporting survivors. For now I’m working primarily with Glasya-Labolas, who takes a, uh, more direct approach.

I think I have my first success!

On New Year’s Eve I confirmed with Glasya-Labolas that I wanted one particular local guy in meth psychosis to go away, I don’t care how. This is the first time I explicitly agreed to violence and pain, in his particular case and in general with this operation. GL seemed all about it, even though we had the conversation in a cemetery at 9pm, which is not my usual approach with him at all.

Well, I live in a tiny town of five hundred so it’s a big deal when all the ambulances and cops and fire trucks go screaming off down the road, which they did a little after noon today. Come to find out, that totally unrelated guy who likes building and setting off pipe bombs around town fucked around and found out and blew his hand off. They lifeflighted him to the regional trauma center. I take it as a promising start to my general town cleanup! Hail Glasya-Labolas!

July 4th PM sit - Introducing Operation Sunlight

I sat on the couch by the fireplace. I guess I’m pretty informal about sits these days. I waited to see which demon felt appropriate for a small rite. It’s taken me since July to figure out what the hell is actually going on with an excellent friend. My previous work has been seriously missing the mark, but with Dantalion’s help I’ve got some clarity. I need a change in tactics.

An excellent friend with a history of codependency has slid into serious depression. His new partner moved in this year and the partner’s first acts were to help blow up existing friendships and isolate my friend so my friend is solely dependent on the partner. Tonight I used ebdr’s cell phone reconciliation method as a first step.

I printed out three phone-sized pictures of my friend to put in my phone case. I lit the light, got concentrated, waited until I felt a presence, waited until I got inspired with my wishes, then wrote one on the back of each picture and drew Glasya-Labolas’ sigil on the front of each. Meditated with them for a while, then put them in the back of my phone.

  • May FRIEND see clearly
  • May FRIEND be happy and healthy and safe
  • May FRIEND have the courage to make the choices to better his life

I’m not sure how else to help yet. I’m not even sure which demons are on board or appropriate. My divination is all over the place. I’m not asking the right questions, so I’m giving things more thought.

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Hail the most excellent Wikipedia editors for sourcing beautiful demon sigil images!

I haven’t found a difference between circled and uncircled seals, but I like the look of the sealed ones better.

Sigils + Correspondences

I like to think of spirits as anthropomorphications of universal currents. Your mileage may vary.

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Backfilling my daily spreads from the beginning of the month, for completeness’ sake. Look at this shitshow. I’ve been having a hard time.

I read the Hierophant as my relationship to my community through the work I’m called to do as a historian, and the work I do supporting historians. Also the Chariot as the steady and unstoppable progress like that of a freight train.

I often see the Devil as two layered meanings, one of addiction and self-shackling and so on, but the other is of the influence of one of my demons at work.

Every day I also draw two pairs of cards for my friendship and Ghosty Friend’s relationship, even though I have no idea what the fuck is actually going on in Ghosty Friend’s relationship. Seeing the repetition and a definite theme of the cards over time is interesting.

I’m limiting this draw to major arcana but might revisit that as we go forward. It’s just for kicks; I’ve got no insight into what’s going on behind the scenes to let me interpret what I pull. Maybe there’ll be something in hindsight.

I cried a lot today. Ghosty Friend told me once that we survivors of trauma lock the feelings away and something might trigger the feelings, but actually it just knocks the crusty top off a feelings volcano that’s been brewing for years. The only way to get through it is to feel it without self-censoring. Let the lava flow.

I went out into the woods and cried and yelled at him in my car, mostly for being disappointing and not talking to me and being helpless. Then I went for a walk and felt unbearably heartbroken, but it’s not just for him, it’s for all the bad stuff in my life I couldn’t fix. Came home and felt better.

I read somewhere the Tower can be about secrets that destroy your illusions and you had no idea, but the Three of Swords is about secrets that break your heart that you kind of already suspected were there. I don’t know. I cried a lot today and felt very alone and isolated from the spirits.

My sits were perfunctory. I lit the incense and the candles, sat my five minutes, and got the hell out.

Generally interpreting this as “works are in progress today.”

The Wheel of Fortune is interesting in light of Mr. Pipe Bomber blowing himself up. Things are in motion but I’ll have no idea for a while what they’re gonna be.

I enjoy when cards repeat in related readings.

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The cards, man. I lay the cards during my morning sit, take a picture with my phone, and enter them into my journal doc later in the day when I make my notes.

I did indeed wake up this morning and lay there worrying for Ghosty Friend. I need to move on. How to feel that I’ve finished what I can or should do?

Sitting in my closet sit spot in the morning, moping and avoiding grabbing a sigil. Startled to feel things shift black/gold and Bael said, very clearly, I gave you a library. Unclear on whether he meant reproach or whether this was just a reminder, so I said, Yes, you did, thanks for the reminder. You came through in a big way and I’m very grateful.

We had a big meeting today and Ghosty Friend was just … vacant. See that challenging Two of Coins pointing at another paralysis: how do I engage with my friend at work? I don’t feel right ignoring him but in the complete absence of response, I’m starting to feel like a stalker. He wasn’t tracking today. He can say the right words but he’s not there . He’s been working from home, forgot where his inbox was, didn’t remember a conversation. He didn’t even really look at me. I did give him a wall calendar full of smiling photos by his favorite historical photographer. Verified that was okay with my boss, she said totally, because I gave them to several people.

The daily lesson, Ace of Wands, suggests things will be what I want them to be, but (Two of Coins) if only I would decide and commit. I’m my own worst enemy. I’m afraid to do the wrong thing – surprised I didn’t get the Eight of Swords, to be honest. That or the Three of Swords or the Ten. Just get this over with, for fuck’s sake.

But The Sun came out today, finally, our town has been shrouded in fog. I went for a spontaneous walk by the river with another friend after the meeting, sunlight glittering on the snow and the water. I returned to work to an epiphany in the golden evening light: we have an identical wall calendar at work. I connected the one at work to the one I gave Ghosty Friend, and let it beam warm and with love. When Ghosty Friend looks at his, I want him to feel a little hug from all of us who care.

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Strength: be kind and generous and firm. Trustworthy. Safe.

Not only do I see Six of Swords as Balam’s card, but it’s also the ferryman crossing the River Styx. I’ve been in that role repeatedly this year – taken people to the ER who didn’t make it, first responded to car accidents where the person had to be life flighted, and so on – and in that sense I think today is the day I buried Ghosty Friend; he is so, so, so clearly a ghost. My friend is gone.

Sat with Dantalion this morning. I like pulling the shape of his sigil into my body. Received the clear message that things are being taken care of. Stop worrying about it. Move on with your life. You’ve done the work.

The duke is right. I forget things. It’s a side effect of the PTSD. Part of why I’m writing this journal.

I did a solstice ritual for Ghosty Friend with three candles, slowly moving his away from his partner’s and back to a candle representing me and the community he’s helped build. I hotfooted the partner’s candle with chili flakes. I added a bay leaf to Ghosty Friend’s candle for insight, protection, and healing. I brought soil from Ghosty Friend’s favorite walking places and from the center he helped build, where I work. The next morning, I buried the soil at the center and asked the center’s spirit to make him feel safe there again, and I discarded the partner’s candle and debris into the river that runs by their house, carrying him out of the region and eventually to the ocean.

To disarm my own worrying, I practiced redirecting my thoughts to the wall calendar at work and send some more sunshine through it to Ghosty Friend. When I charge my phone, I know the sigils are at work. Finally, Dantalion said clearly that he’s the one who is taking care of this. Glasya-Labolas and I can be causing mayhem elsewhere. Bael and I can do history and train me on the social stuff, and Balam and I will be working to integrate the various dissociated states so I’m living in the first person and feeling present and safe.

Balam’s work is to explicitly be personal and not social, except with a partner. A month-long solo vacation has taken shape this week out of nowhere and I expect I’ll be working with him while I’m traveling.

Working with Bael in the next couple weeks though, I think. I must trust Dantalion to deliver.

I know I’m dreaming but I can only remember fragments.

Does The Lovers point to the wall calendar working? We love you, Ghosty Friend. We miss you.

Had an excellent nine-mile walk with another friend in thick fog today. Managed my anxiety well. Didn’t think to bring magic into any of it, but I was very anxious as we started out, with lots of spastic twitching of my neck and back. I think I’ll try embodying Balam’s sigil on a walk soon and see how that feels. My Neurology appointment’s in a couple weeks.

Dissociation seems like a swords issue. I do get a lot of swords.

Queen of Swords suggests I’ve got a good grasp of the dissociative stuff, including my coping mechanisms, which have moved away from self-harm. I do need to strike a balance between the Cups and the Swords, swing the pendulum back towards more logical, less emotional. The challenging Ace of Cups suggests the intensity of my feelings is a problem, and, again, this echoes the Strength card I’ve been seeing. Queen of Swords also suggests the importance and benefit of control, but I know I dissociate from feelings and sensations in a problematic way so the trick is to find the middle path: yes, feel things, but don’t be overwhelming or overwhelmed.

On the plus side, who can argue with the Ten of Coins?

I think of Bael’s sphere as including my work relationships separate from my Ghosty Friend. Lately everybody else has been offering what I asked Ghosty Friend for, but unprompted. An hour a week to keep up the momentum of building this organization: perfect! Not unreasonable at all. Want field trips to local historical spots? Of course! We’ll hop some fences. Review the new collection to pull items for an exhibit? Hell yeah! We don’t know what we’re doing, but by god, we’re going to have a ball. Hail Bael! Hail Dantalion!

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Slept with Dantalion’s sigil under my pillow. That said, relocated a giant house spider in the bathroom sink this morning. Between that and this dream, I’m in Bael territory now. :pray:

Dreamed I arrived in a small town as the new librarian. Realized I needed to get out of there but kept dawdling. I couldn’t leave without a bag of candy hidden in the wall. I couldn’t go get my car without unscrewing all the screws on some equipment in my apartment. Nonsensical stuff I made up to stop myself.

Mostly I needed to get out of there before I was noticed. The mayor was the Judge from Blood Meridian and I shook his hand when we were introduced in his office, and he didn’t suspect a thing? Maybe? I tried to coordinate with someone else to escape, but they were fuzzy and indistinct and didn’t really believe me that we could get away.

At night, in my apartment, I could see suspicious cars and movement under the street lights through the reflection of my bathroom mirror. I took the bag of candy from its hiding place in the wall heater and made my way through the high school to find my car. Ended up hiding the bag of candy in a urinal? Had to do it, otherwise I’d be noticed. I wondered if it was something else behind a glamour, but actually I think ultimately it was just a bag of cheap convenience store candy.

I read that as an addiction reference. I do want to stop compulsively eating my feelings.

Did make it out of the school, did get in the car, did leave behind both the bag of candy and a friend I cared about. This was a dream about blending in, going about my business without drawing any notice, just because I have the knack. I shook hands with the Judge and he never knew who I was or what I was up to.

I woke up to @A_Pariah’s reply about not wanting to put stuff on Google, a topic I’ve also waffled about with regards to this journal.

When I was much younger, I would wake up and be scared about people breaking in, but I finally got over it by just knowing that anybody who wanted to cause harm just wouldn’t consider breaking into my car, breaking into my house, or otherwise, if they did, they would just get distracted before they arrived. They’d go somewhere else. It’s just the way it’s always been for me. I do what I want and everybody else just doesn’t notice unless I want them to. It’s like I learned how to be invisible as a child.

I’m starting to own it though. I always felt like “Oh no, I’m getting away with something, I agree with people who might notice that I’m up to no good, I’m a bad kid,” but now things are changing so I think “Yep, I’m getting away with something, but it’s a good something, don’t worry about it, don’t think twice.” Like walking somewhere purposefully with a clipboard.

I get such a dopamine hit from repeated cards. I swear I know how to shuffle.

Worked in the morning. Went for a walk after. I saw a fox! Reminds me of a favorite love poem, no idea about the author:

The fox is a good omen,
but you don’t believe in omens.

The twin-tailed comet is a bad sign,
but you don’t believe in signs.

You pick up the penny
and hand it to me.

You don’t believe in luck,
but you know I do.

Then, triggered by passing Ghosty Friend (who waved) and his partner (who did not) driving in town, I went home and took the afternoon for some somatic experiencing to try and process the trigger. The session turned into a more broad working on moving back and forth between spatial knowing (first person, experiential, not dissociated) and verbal knowing (third person, conceptual, dissociated) in a useful way. I’m pretty bad at having any kind of control over it, but this lets me notice dissociation quicker and to stay in my body longer. This is a big part of my work this year.

To start the session, I laid out the four candles with incense in the middle. I’m going to do that in the mornings for my regular sits. The daily rite will look like:

• light the incense
• say the enns as I light each candle
• read the cards
• sit in the feelings and emotions of my yearly end goals

Lighting all four candles with the sigils makes me feel balanced in a spatial way, like I’m at the center of a perfectly-balanced spinning top.

No dreams that I can remember. The house spider has moved in under my bathroom wall cabinet.

Apparently removed the browser from my phone to stop my compulsive avoidant browsing, as part of the somatic experiencing session yesterday. I don’t mind, I already don’t have internet at home so I’m using my shitty, slow personal hotspot on my phone. It’s just hard enough so I don’t bother.

Look at those relationship pairs! In our pair, Ghosty Friend might be thinking about the situation, shining light on it in his reserved, thoughtful way while I’m a fucking disaster area, I don’t know. Both cards involve light being shone on a situation. In their pair, maybe they had a conversation after seeing me yesterday that brought some stuff out. Maybe Ghosty Friend is waking up. Dantalion, Dantalion.

Trying to stabilize myself this morning after a real whirlwind of processing last night. Stay the course. Do the work. Don’t rock the boat. Be the Page of Pentacles with a coworker as we process the garage. Interesting that Glasya’s card is the Eight of Wands – still not sure if I like the four having cards. Distracting. Also the Eight of Wands’ movement and the Four of Pentacles’ steadiness are difficult to reconcile, maybe a reminder to keep an eye on my pace?

Above all, hang in there. Watch and see without engaging.

I’m carrying a set of the four paper seals in my wallet in a plastic case. I hate forgetting what the heck I’m doing, and having them helps me to remember.