Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Suicide, The Ugly Enlightening Truth

By A. Devia

Suicide. It is probably one of the ugliest most feared words in the English language. It's right up there with cancer. It destroys lives, many lives.

The loved ones left behind are full of questions.

'Why wasn't I enough?'

'Why didn't you love me or the kids enough to stay?'

'How could you take the easy way out?'

'What did I miss? I thought you were ok.'

'What could I have done differently?'

'Why didn't they say anything? I would have helped!'

'They weren't alone, how could they not know, they weren't alone?'

'Are they in a better place now, or worse?'

'Will I ever see them again in the hereafter?'

Those trying desperately to hold on have many questions too.

In the last month, I was posed with this question:

"Is it scarier to live or die? I'm not even sure at this point. I tried to commit suicide about 6 weeks ago. Since then I have been working so hard to get myself back on the right path. I just don't know how much longer I can keep going feeling so broken. I believe in reincarnation. Maybe next life things would be easier. I don't really want to keep living like this. I want to be stable and see my children grow up, but I just feel so done."

I wish I could say this was my only encounter with suicide - ever. But it's not even close. In the same month, I was asked by the friend of someone who attempted suicide if that person could have brought a demon back with them? They were smelling rotten eggs and sulfur, they had a black out experience and afterward they found strange photos on their phone and they were still depressed. In that very same month, I encountered a woman who was convinced that her husband, who'd been in therapy for years and on a slew of mental health medications had actually overdosed even though the coroner ruled it a suicide. She just could not accept the fact that he'd willingly done such a thing.

I wish I could say, that's the end of my story, but in that same suicide heavy month, I spent 4 hours in an online chat with an acquaintance that I hadn't seen or talked to in 3 years. For whatever reason, that day, they were suicidal and I'm the one they reached out to. I'm so glad they reached out, to someone, anyone. I'm happy to report that it's been a few weeks now, and they are getting their life together and doing much better.

I wish I could say, that's the end of my story, but there was a night, a few years ago, when my teenage son came to me, visibly shaken. He then proceeded to tell me that he just got off the phone with the police. He'd been talking online to a friend who was threatening to commit suicide. She then swallowed pills while talking to him. He called the police on another line and listened while they broke down her door and hauled her off to the hospital. He saved her life that night.

I wish I could say, that was it, just a few strangers in a long happy life. 5 months ago, my family was torn apart by a suicide threat. Not an attempt, not an actual suicide, just a threat. People's opinions on how to handle suicide differ so widely and hit such a deep nerve, just trying to handle such a situation tears apart relationships and lives. Suicide begs questions that don't always have clear answers. It's a family matter. It's private. Can we handle this on our own? If not, who do we tell? Is it just a cry for attention? Is there a bullying situation that can be addressed and fixed? Is it sadness or a chemical imbalance? Can the school help? If we tell the school, will they refuse to let the child come back? What does our religion say about it? Do we go to the doctor or hospital? Does this person need therapy? Or drugs?  Do doctors and hospitals do more harm than good? Do medications do more harm than good? How will this affect the other children in the house? Maybe this person just wants attention? Do we ignore them? Don't feed the monster. But what if we're wrong?

I wish I could say, that's the end of my story. The reality is, I have bipolar. 30% of people with this diagnosis will successfully commit suicide. That number doesn't include those who tried but lived. My story might just end with suicide.

But, I'm not gone yet and while I'm still here, I have some things to say on the matter.

For Those Considering Suicide or Trying to Help Someone Who Is

First and foremost, it is ok to seek medical help. You might have a disorder that can be treated with medication and you'll feel better. If not, therapy has helped a lot of people, and really, what more do you have to lose then your life? Go to therapy. You don't have to do this alone.

There, I said it. The responsible, politically correct, "There's a hotline you can call", BS. I'm sure that hotline is staffed with really wonderful people doing really wonderful things for some people. I'm glad. But for those of you who could one day be the "loved one" left behind. You need to understand that for many of us, we look at that number and say to ourselves, when I am in that place, I will never pick up the phone and dial that number and spill my heart to a stranger. I'm going to say this another way, the existence of that number does not give you the freedom to shove it down someone else's throat and walk away from them guilt free. If you love them, you need to reach out. Again and again and again. That is the meaning of Unconditional Love. It is ugly, it is painful, it is there taking action even when it sucks.

The person who is depressed enough to consider suicide may be mentally and physically unable to pick up the phone and dial you or anyone else for help. In addition, they don't think they deserve your help or any of the good things in their life. They don't want to be a burden. The internal dialogue is painful and disheartening.

If you're thinking about committing suicide, give it another day. And then give it another day. And then give it another day. Emotions ebb and flow. The only constant in life is change. Today might be unbearable, tomorrow might be better.

Never, ever threaten to commit suicide to get attention. If you want attention, do something, anything else to get that attention. People who threaten to commit suicide for attention give other people the attitude and permission to ignore a real threat. That attitude will cost someone their life. You don't want that on your conscience or karma.

From a spiritual stand point, always rule out the practical first. The person who thought their friend brought back a demon was wrong. After asking a few questions, it turns out the person had medically diagnosed schizophrenia. Olfactory (smell) hallucinations are a thing. They weren't blacking out, they were having a schizophrenic episode. Mental health needs to be taken seriously. Their friend needed a doctor not an exorcism.

For those who think suicide is an escape, and that a new life or the hereafter might be a better existence. I believe we are all here to learn. It doesn't matter how many lifetimes it takes, you don't move on to lesson 5 until you pass lesson 4. To be bluntly honest, that belief is sometimes the only thing that gets me through a bad spell. Death is never an escape, just a bigger learning curve.

For the Survivors, The Loved Ones Left Behind

I am saddened by your loss and pain and send my sympathies and prayers. While I've not had the honor of meeting you or your loved one, I would like to share my own experience with bi-polar depression. Maybe it will help you make some sense out of what may have happened. I'm not about to say all depressions are the same, and bi-polar is different from other metal illnesses, but maybe this will help anyway. When I have been in my deepest depressions, it has been like sitting outside myself watching someone else, someone who hates me, take control. There is a part of me (the sane part, that loves myself and everyone around me) that is watching, consciously watching what is going on, but doesn't have power or control. The one in the depression driver seat doesn't care about me, my kids, my husband. I can sit there and scream at the depression in my head, "Don't do this!" It won't work, it doesn't care. If I were to try to commit suicide while in that kind of state, there would be a piece of me crying and screaming that I love myself, I love my family, I don't want to die. No one would hear that piece. So far, that piece has succeeded in breaking through - regaining control, at least long enough to ask for help. But I understand, that there could be a day, where the good piece, the me piece doesn't win. It wouldn't mean I loved any less. It wouldn't mean the me piece gave up. Sadly, it would just mean the me piece wasn't strong enough or fast enough that day to beat the depression piece. And it also wouldn't mean that anyone around me dropped the ball or missed a sign, because my depression piece is very good at hiding. It would NOT be anyone's fault any more than it is anyone's fault if cancer beats a body. Suicide is an illness that sometimes wins. I don't know if this helps you find any peace, but I pray that you find your peace in some way. Blessed Be.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Gospel for the Fallen Ones Pt5: Swan Song

By A. Devia

Video Version:

Swan Song

"The best part of killing someone is the look on their face. It's that look. Not when they're threatened. Not when you hurt 'em. Not even when the they see the knife. It's just when they feel the knife go in."  - Face of Death by Suicide Commando

On the door was a simple metal sign that read Akashic Library and displayed a symbol that looked like a cross that was falling over.  I'd seen that symbol before, it meant truth. But what was it doing here?

Next to it was a small pink post-it note that said "Will Be Back" followed by an infinity sign. I wasn't really sure what that meant, but since the door was open and Ragar had told me to enter, I snuck quietly inside. The floor was dusty and hard, the dark grey walls flat and smooth. There seemed to be writing on the walls, but I couldn't make it out in the gloom. I walked down the hall finding door after door.  The first one I came to had a sign that said broom closet.  I don't know why, but I tried to open it. The knob just rattled in my hand, locked.  I moved on, but none of the doors, all unmarked, in the long hall would open. I neared the end of the hall and saw a light dancing on the walls.

Trying not to draw attention to myself in that unknown place, I peered around a corner and was met with a most curious sight, high above me, rather than a stone ceiling, I saw a black night sky dotted with small grey clouds and an impossible number of stars.  Yup, a sky. The fuck if I know how a sky got inside a pyramid! Looking back down, there were thin cracks in the greyish black stone floor that glowed a pinkish red color. My eyes followed the cracks a distance away, and discovered an undulating plume of fuchsia that looked oddly like spewing lava. Circling the plume and getting denser beyond it, something grew up out of the ground, but they didn't look like any trees I'd ever seen. They were very tall and a variety of shapes and colors. I approached one that had a tall white stalk and was topped by a rusty red disk. I stopped and stared for a moment thinking the shape was oddly familiar. Then I realized I was looking at a gigantic red cap mushroom. Turning, I looked some more and realized that all the things rising from the ground were every imaginable type of fungi. Just beyond the red cap, draped in blue twinkle lights was another strange looking mushroom.  As I walked by, it exuded a smoky vapor that smelled of citrus fruit and buttered popcorn. I was a tiny speck in a fungi forest.

My surroundings suddenly fell silent. It was only the lack of sound that made realize that the fungi forest had been live with the small sounds of insects and frogs and such. What I heard next, gave me the chills.

"It gives me the chills too!" squeaked Ophelia from her perch on my shoulder, hiding her head under the hood on my hoodie.

"How do you know? You weren't even there?"

She peaked out her head and said, "I…I just know…it's Damial isn't it? Don't tell it."

"I have to Ophelia. I have to tell it all," I responded. Ophelia threw her hands over her eyes.

Skilled Killer

A crack of thunder rent the air and in the distance I could hear rain and the sounds of a much larger much scarier animal than a frog. It wasn't raining where I stood, but I could hear the storm and on the air, deep rumbling, disembodied voices chanted:

They call me when
There is no one else to do the deed
A skilled killer
Following a professional creed

Hourglass crack
Drowning in sands of infinity
Staring down time
Hogtied and beaten, sanguinity
Smile and lie
My masochistic divinity
There is no peace
Blinded by envy, greed, Trinity

They call me when
There is no one else to do the deed
A skilled killer
Following a professional creed

Track your movements
Calm, patient, infinite I will wait
Blindly you trust
Intelligent deception my bait
Still and silent
I hunger for pain, my thirst you sate
Stalking lion
So close I can taste your blood, your fate

They call me when 
There is no one else to do the deed
A skilled killer
Following a professional creed

Cries for mercy
From a mortal, a babe, sent reeling
Bargain and plead
Your soft spot, your weakness, revealing
You are an ant
The behemoth of time is kneeling
Can't hear you, can't see you, Unfeeling

They call me when 
There is no one else to do the deed
A skilled killer
Following a professional creed

Outside the in
Darkness my friend, In chaos I dwell
Forged in fire
Raging inferno hardened my shell
You are nothing
Eternal longing, my pain, my hell
Bleeding you plead
Conquered your life, your family fell

They call me when
There is no one else to do the deed
A skilled killer
Following a professional creed

Standing alone
Trembling pillar amid the gore
Your fight or flight
Choose fast, in the ruins, where's the door
Hiding, don't bother,
Shadows are mine, I'll settle this score
You smell like shit
Reek of foul deeds and things I abhor

They call me when 
There is no one else to do the deed
A skilled killer
Following a professional creed

Flesh is softer
Than sharpened steal, the silent crier
Your time is up
Blood running down, the blade, the wire
Desire, loss
The look in your eyes, divine scrier
I can see all
Your future, my fate, then soot and fire

They call me when 
There is no one else to do the deed
A skilled killer
Following a professional creed

Despite the creepy chanting, I crept forward, toward the fuchsia lava eruption. I found a very large man sitting with his legs crossed. He seemed to be meditating. His lips were moving slightly as if he were chanting.  My best guess was that, should he stand up, he'd easily reach a height of 15 feet tall.  He wore the grey shadow clothing that was popular among dark elves, but most certainly was not an elf! Pushed back from his shoulders was what appeared to be a heavy, black traveling cloak.  Marked here and there with symbols that I could not decipher, his skin was tan and tough. His long, black hair was secured away from his face as was common among warriors.  His eyes caught the light, glowing an eerie yellowish color.  Three vertical scars crossed his left eye socket, and a diagonal one cut from his temple toward his nose, just under his eye. On the ground next to him appeared to rest not just one but two large swords. I wondered if there were other weapons hidden on him? Knowing what I know now, probably. 

Squinting, I tried to understand what I saw behind him under the canopy of mushrooms. It seemed, that running along the ground, between the stalks were row upon row of shelving overflowing with books. People, many wearing hats, moved here and there among the rows, or at least I think they were people, in the dim light they were nothing more than shadows to me.

One of the Shadows approached the man. Even within the ring of light from the fire, it remained nothing more substantial than a Shadow Person.  The chanting faded to a faint background hum as I stopped just outside the clearing, not sure what I was supposed to do next. The giant opened his eyes, he left one leg folded on the ground in front of him, and raised the other, bent at the knee, to support his upper body.  He moved with a smooth fluidity that reminded me of masters of martial arts, deliberate, calculated. I don't know how to explain this in any way that would make sense, but it seemed that the shadows around him moved with him, like a smoky liquid. He turned toward the Shadow Person who seemed to be eye level with him as he sat. It said to him, "Sir, if you're not busy, we could use some assistance in the deep sea section."

"I'm dealing with an impeding shit storm. I'll let you know how it turns out when it's over." With arms resting on his knee, he turned toward me, seemingly dismissing the Shadow Person, and said in a louder voice, "Come Devia, there is much to discuss."

Why did everyone keep calling me Devia? I couldn't seem to remember what my name should be, but I was pretty sure it wasn't Devia. I approached the fire and sat quietly, cautiously until he spoke again. I recognized this man, and felt fear.

I heard his voice, clearly but his lips did not move. With an eerie calmness, even kindness, his disembodied voice said, "Be not afraid, wanderer. I summoned you here."

Despite his re-assurance, I trembled. "Y..You…You're," I stammered, "You're Damial, the God of the Apocalypse, the End of Everything, some even say you're evil."

"Yes, I've been called all of that and more." He sounded irritated. His eerie disembodied voice continued in a low chant that seemed to echo and move about the Pyramid. I could still hear the rumble of thunder and other sounds in the distance, but it sounded like they were a little closer than before.

"Pear?" Damial asked, lips moving, as if the creepy chanting wasn't continuing to echo, ever more quietly, around us.

My confusion must have shown on my face; he held up a fist sized fruit and tossed it over the fire.  Catching the succulent fruit, I just stared at it. I cocked my head and said, "Are you going to kill me?"

Damial laughed a hearty laugh. "You passed through the dead lands to get here. What would killing you accomplish?"

I shivered when he said the word kill. Was there a gleam in his eye, or was I just being paranoid. I pulled myself together and challenged him, perhaps with a bit of attitude and bravado that was faked, "Where exactly are we?"

"Eat up, I find fruit to be a path to enlightenment, and an excellent breakfast upon waking," Damial said cheerfully, taking a bite out of his own pear. "We are in the Akashic Library."

"And where is that?"

"In the darkest shadows, loftiest heights, secret places, windblown plateaus and perhaps most importantly, the hearts, minds and souls of all."

"Ah…right. Ok," I replied, resigning myself to more vagary. Maybe it's just the way with divine beings.

"Not happy with that answer huh? How about my prison? You like that one?" He responded, barely trying to disguise his bitterness.

"Then why am I here?"

"You know, everyone assumes Lilatheen is a sweet, silly little girl and assume I am all doom and gloom, anger and rage. Sure, I have my moments, but who doesn't? I prefer to be happy and enjoy the pleasures in life. Would you like to meet my Rage? I keep it here," he said with a cheerful madness as he looked down and pointed at a puzzle box that suddenly appeared next him. "One of the most destructive forces in the universe is rage, it is wanton and reckless. It cares not for the safety of others or itself." He stared directly at me then. I wish he hadn't. Inside his irises, violet energy tinged with red flared and in that moment I experienced true fear, pure unrestrained terror coursed through my entire being. He blinked and his eyes returned to their foreign, but comparatively reassuring yellow state.  Those blazing eyes only held mine for a micro second, but it lasted for an eternity.  Every particle in my being was shivering.

With a shudder, I asked, "Is rage really a thing that can be contained?"

The box flashed and a long spindly arm sprang forth.

"Let's find out."

The hand slammed down on the ground and all around where it touched burst into flame. Another arm sprang forth and braced as the creature pulled itself out. Long, spindly, gaunt, and angry, it eyed me with a ferocity that I could sense was a desire to destroy me.  It took a single step in my direction. I took a single step back. It took every fiber in my being to hold my ground rather than turn and run screaming. Sometimes I think I should have run, looking back, there is more than once I wish I would have run, but in the moment, something inside me stirred. An overwhelming desire to live bloomed in the core of my being, the likes of which I had never experienced before. I had to stay. I had to see this through. I had to know more, and I just knew, if didn't prove my bravery to Damial, all the other trials I'd been through would have been for nothing. The rage beast seemed to hit a barrier emanating from the box.  I hoped it would hold.

"This is the thing that almost destroyed my current incarnation," he said.

"Your incarnation?"

"Yes, there is a piece of me out there that is mortal. Most divine beings will appear to mortals from time to time, even disguise themselves as mortals. Sometimes, they will be born into a mortal body and live an entire life."

I eyed the rage creature as it fought against its invisible barrier. A shiver racked my whole body. Steeling myself to keep from running, I willfully turned my eyes from the terrifying creatures and said,  "So you have a mortal body, somewhere out there in the human world? A god incarnate?"

"Ah, Yaidalize, but yes."

"You're Yaidalize too?" Damial's cape shuddered and moved. Then, I realized, it wasn't a cape at all, but huge dragon-like webbed grey wings.

"I am the first Yaidalize," he said. Like an after-thought, he included sadly, "and I'll be the last."

"So you really do live in the mortal world, like me? I could just meet a god or a yaidalize on the street?" I asked wondering if I might be able to find these incarnations and meet them.

"Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't," he said vaguely.

"But I thought you said this was your prison."

"One of them." Damial put his hand on top of the head of the rage demon and pushed it back into the box.  The box then disappeared.

I stood there in terrified silence absent mindedly eating my pear, trying to pull my thoughts together.

"Why don't you sit. And finish eating that whole pear, it's important," continued Damial as if he hadn't done anything strange or frightening. I sat slowly, not taking my eye off him or the spot where the rage demon box had been. "Oh, it would probably be wise to eat an apple too," he said and suddenly an apple fell into my lap from a tree branch hidden somewhere high above me. I must have jumped a mile.

"Oh, stop looking so terrified; I already told you it would be pointless to kill you. Besides, killing you wouldn't do me any good. I'm not all bad you know. I am the eventual end of all things, true, yet I am also a beginning. Most don't see me as a beginning, just an end, and sometimes they think the end doesn't justify the means. I am a cruel reminder of the truth. Destruction and death are parts of the cycle of things, but a part, generally, no one enjoys, not even I." He hung his head. I could tell these thoughts pained him.

"You don't enjoy the destruction?" I asked tentatively.  I didn't wish to offend him or cause my own death, but I needed to understand.

"I thought you were already dead," interrupted Ophelia.

"Shhh…I'm busy here. No, I wasn't dead, yet."

"But, you were in the deadlands weren't you?" whispered Ophelia, "The living can't go there."



"Gabriel stands and confirms, I've created my own prison" -My Own Prison, Creed

"You don't enjoy the destruction?" I asked tentatively.  I didn't wish to offend him or cause my own death, but I needed to understand.

"I have explored the deepest darkest places of existence and the deepest darkest places within myself. Those aren't places most living things enjoy," he said enigmatically.

"Do you enjoy those places?"

"Would you think less of me if I did? Would you think less of me if you truly understood how dark and depraved those places are?"

"I have bipolar. I've been to dark places that I don't like to admit exist, let alone admit that they exist inside me. And I understand the strange magnetic attraction that can draw us toward our own destruction. I've heard the demon inside my head that tells me I'm not worth anything and I've watched myself agree and pick up the shovel to dig the hole deeper, as if I were watching a movie with a tub of popcorn." I said.


Nobody likes me,
Everybody hates me,
Guess I'll go eat worms.

Long, thin, slimy ones,
Short, fat, juicy ones,
Watch how they writhe and churn

First get a shovel
Second dig a deep hole
Oh, how they wiggle and squirm

Nobody likes me,
Everybody hates me,
Guess I'll go eat worms.

Long, thin, slimy ones,
Short, fat, juicy ones,
Watch how they writhe and churn

Sleeping like a log
In a hole, in a bog
Oh, how they wiggle and squirm

Nobody likes me,
Everybody hates me,
Guess I'll go eat worms.

Long, thin, slimy ones,
Short, fat, juicy ones,
Watch how they writhe and churn

Never will I wake
My vile soul, Gods will take
Oh, how they wiggle and squirm

Nobody likes me,
Everybody hates me,
Guess I'll go eat worms.

Long, thin, slimy ones,
Short, fat, juicy ones,
Watch how they writhe and churn

Worms, worms, worms, worms
Worms, worms, worms, worms

"Do you think less of me?" I asked.


"Then I won't think less of you either," I said. Then, on a whim, with a spark of sympathy for the creature in front of me who suddenly seemed more sad than frightening, "Walk with me in the dark and I'll walk with you."

He smirked. "I expected you to run. I expected you to scream. The rare creature that stumbles in here always does. Most Gods and Goddesses, Yaidalize are helpful and valued in the eyes of most beings, while I am like the bastardized patron saint of sadists and madmen. Everyone calls on me when they want to destroy something, but somehow, it seems, I'm never good enough for anything more, not smart enough, strong enough, I don't know, just never enough. I like love; I detest being alone.  Thank you wanderer. Maybe there is something more to you."

"There isn't anyone for you, you never had anyone?" I asked.  There was more to him than I had ever thought and maybe that was the problem with us all; we only saw what we wanted to see and never really bothered to look deeper.

He sighed, "Devia, there was or perhaps still is but she's well, let's just say, out of my reach right now."

"Is that my name? How could I forget?" I asked.

"Hmm…you humans digest so slowly. Ok, we'll do this the long way," Damial sighed. "You are the descendant of wisest sage to ever walk the realms, a demi-god of sorts. He traveled all the worlds settling disputes and giving out wisdom to commoners, dwarves, fae, Gods, Yaidalize, anyone.  You carry his blood. He was known by many names, in the many lands he traveled, and he lived a very, very long time. For simplicity, we will call him Kvasir. Here, we are outside time, but to serve us, as your ancestor served us, in your time, you need to undergo a transmutation," Damial explained.

"As in alchemy? You're going to turn me into gold?" I interrupted aghast at the idea of becoming a statue.

"Alchemy deals with the transmutation of the physical only. You are being reborn, mind, body and soul."

I jumped up and began pacing back and forth in front of Damial and the fire. "Oh my God! Oh my God! I'm dead? I'm in the deadlands. Of course I'm dead. Why am I dead!?!" I cried out, waving my arms.

"Devia, you're not quite dead," he said patiently, if with a tinge of suppressed humor.

"Mostly dead, not quite dead, either one is dead or not, there is no in between!" I exclaimed, simply beside myself, pacing and flapping my arms some more. I was not ready to die, let alone be born again, as if such a thing were even possible! Everyone knew that wasn't possible. Well, except maybe those crazy Vedics, but who listens to them anyway?  That's it. I'm in hell. Hell is real and this is my own personal one!  Defeated, I suddenly slumped back to the ground, head hanging in shame.

He chuckled, then said in a tone that brooked no argument, "Pull yourself together man! Dead is the new Alive and you have a job to do! Eat your apple."

I took a deep breath and looked up at him. "A job? You mean this isn't Hell?"

He laughed at me again. Not in a mean way, but in the way that someone laughs at someone else who is being dumb and blind to something that is obvious to the other person. "It might be my hell, but, no this isn't your Hell. You have been brought through the 231 gates, from all that is familiar into the unknown, including Tavshae the in-between, the no name woods to remove your old identity, Gar's gates between the living realms and the dead realms because to cross through those gates with Ragar while technically alive will leave a mark on your soul granting you further access without him, across the dead desert to gain the serenity of one beyond the fear of death, and finally through Truth to the Akashic Library." He concluded with a sweep of his hand. "Though, I'm not sure the serenity of one beyond death has sunk in yet, maybe it will come later."

"And the job?" I asked, still confused.

"If you survive, you will be the new keeper of the whisper of wisdom." Damial suddenly looked up at the sky where the ceiling should have been and said, "The time for the three has finally come. The truth will come out. You have to go; you must leave, right now. Time is nothing and even the Nowhere isn't safe anymore. You must write in the book."

Damial leapt to his feet. Jumping to mine as well, startled, I yelled, "What do you mean?"

"You have to go, it's not safe."  His magnificent, huge wings unfolded and he started to rise into the air. "You have to go," he said again, his voice harsh and pleading at the same time.  "Read it, Write it, Cite it, Seidr. The book. The whisper. The wisdom. The Kalakon," he called down to me as he disappeared above the fungi forest. "And one more thing," I heard his creepy disembodied voice once more, "release me from my prison."

Suddenly alone and frighten, I saw shadows fliting here and there among the rows of books. Then nothing.  What could disturb him so?  A scream rent the air as if something came up from the center of the planet with a mouth full of magma.  Looking up, I saw roiling black clouds and crimson lighting. Then everything went dark and I was alone.

"We will never know world peace until three people can simultaneously look each other straight in the eye." - Simultaneous by Puscifer

From the Darkness Comes the Light

"I'm a bitch, I'm a lover, I'm a child, I'm a mother, I'm a sinner, I'm a saint, I do not feel ashamed. I'm your hell, I'm your dream, I'm nothing in between." - Bitch by Meredith Brooks

I found myself seated at the tea table with Lilatheen, a half-eaten cookie on the plate in front of me and the Kalakon next to the plate. "Do what the moment tells you too. And when the next thing calls to you, do that," she continued, as if we'd been having a nice friendly chat for the last 10 minutes. "A path is not made all at once.  It is made one step at a time until you can look back and see the whole.  Devia?"

I must have been staring at her with a strange look on my face. I know that's how I felt.  What just happened? Was I dreaming? Am I still dreaming? Am I dead? I'm going mad. "You. You killed me," I whispered.

"Devia?" said Lilatheen again, ignoring my comment, "You don't look well. I need to meet Ragar and a few other friends, let's continue this another time."

"God called the light 'day' and the darkness he called 'night.' And there was evening and there was morning - the first day. -Genesis 1:5, The Bible

"And second breakfast!" exclaimed Ophelia.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Wanderer Spiritual Center Coming soon to Telford, PA

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT: Two years ago my husband and I ran a new age shop called Wanderer. We were getting a lot of really great feedback and regular customers. We invested a lot of time and money into expanding into a larger space so that we could offer classes and workshops and other events. On opening night in our new, larger space, our landlord threw us out. We think it was discrimination but we couldn't prove it and it turned out there was a clause in the lease that allowed them to terminate at any time, without reason or cause. We were devastated mentally, emotionally, spiritually and financially. We lost every penny we invested. It also hurt the pagan community. People lost a place to get advice and supplies as well as education and networking. We've taken time to heal. We've saved up more money (though not enough yet). We want to reopen, Wanderer Spiritual Center in Telford, PA on 2 acres of partially wooded private land. We wil carry some product but our focus will be to offer guidance, gatherings, classes, services, and whatever else our community needs. We will also continue our online efforts to provide for a wider geographic area, in any way that we can including our bi-weekly pagan sermons. We are hoping to open our doors by the end of Summer 2018!

So, today, we are reaching out to the community. Please get involved. Comment , PM me, send me a friend request, join our Facebook group, buy a t-shirt. We are looking to build a list of people interested attending activities, guest bloggers, leaders and  teachers interested in running events, classes and services, volunteers, and community support for our fundraiser.

Wanderer Spiritual Center T-Shirt Fundraiser:

Find Wanderer at:


Wanderer Spiritual Center - coming soon, Telford, PA

Merchandise only:

Inside Critical Acclaim Tattoo and the Dragon Emporium

Merchant Square Mall

1901 South 12th St., Allentown, PA. 18103.

Open every weekend.

Friday – 12pm – 9pm

Saturdays – 10am – 7pm

Sundays – 10am – 5pm

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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Gospel for the Fallen Ones pt4: I See a Ghost

By A. Devia

Video Version:

For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. - Bible (New International Version ©1984), Matthew 16:25

"If I were afraid to look into the mirror sky of Tavshae to see who I truly was, I would have been absolutely terrified if I'd known what an ordeal meeting Ragar would be! Ignorance truly is bliss! I just stumbled my way blindly through that one, and thank goodness. Sometimes it's better to be surprised," I said.

"I think Ragar is hysterical!" exclaimed Ophelia.

"You would," I responded sullenly.

I See a Ghost

"As he walks from the grave, no one was saved." - Eleanor Rigby by Pain (originally The Beatles)

"Finish your cookie and we'll go inside." Lilatheen said. "There is someone I'd like you to meet."

"Ok," I mumbled around my last bite of cookie.

She stood and gestured toward the door saying, "Please, guests first." 

I walked up the short path and opened the door.  Inside it was dark, gloomy and barren.  I glanced back at Lilatheen, unsure if I should really proceed.  I expected something more comfortable and homey from the kind and whimsical goddess, er Yaidalize.  As I stepped through the door, into the gloomy room, it faded…no I take that back, to be more accurate, I faded away into a grey mist. It started at my feet and consumed me from the bottom up.

"So there was a moment," Ophelia interrupted, "where you were just a head floating in the air?"

"I suppose so."

"That's hilarious! I always wanted to be the Cheshire Cat! I'm SO jealous!" laughed Ophelia.

"I hadn't thought of it that way. Very appropriate I guess. Can I continue my story now?"

"Be my guest."

As if I simply blinked, bright sunshine returned to me and I found I now stood on a dirt path that cut through a forest. I patted myself down, making sure I wasn't missing any parts. I seemed to be whole enough. Looking around, I took in my surroundings. This was a different type of forest then either of the other two I'd been in recently. There were plants and birds and rocks and things. There was a large variety of young trees, the trunks of which were all small enough that I could wrap my arms around easily. The bright blue sky was easy to see through the thin canopy.  A newer forest. The lower levels of the woods were thick with woody growth and briars.  I seemed to be on the side of a mountain, large rough boulders peaked out of the ground here and there.  Am I back on Earth? But wasn't I just in Tavshae? Maybe I never even left Earth? Where did that curious Fae Goddess send me? Well, at least it had good views.  The trees swayed in the wind as though they were dancing just for me and I realized with a jolt that I could feel them swaying, for a moment, I was swaying too, as if I was part of the trees.  Then I noticed little animals of the forest were doing their little animal errands. A squirrel darted by, then screeched to a halt in front of an acorn. It took a bite and the bitter taste of raw acorn filled my mouth. What the hell? I saw someone on the path not far from me and ran up to them to ask directions.

"Excuse me, I'm sorry to bother you, but I seem to be lost. Can you tell me where I…" They walked right past me as if I weren't even there. Their clothing was familiar. If I'm on Earth, I must be somewhere, sometime I've been. "Excuse me!" I said with insistence. Maybe I'm not speaking their language, but even rude people don't generally ignore a stranger in need.  These people just continued on.  I ran to catch up and stood in front of them.  They continued walking, right through me. Through me? Lilatheen, what have you done? 

I felt a familiar pull in my gut, that instinct that had lead me on many adventures and often, it seemed, to just the place I needed to be.  So I followed it. I passed a few boulders, passed through a few more and continued on for a while. All the while, trying not to focus too closely on anything, because every time I did, I found myself caught up in the experience of being that thing. Despite myself, I was soon knowledgeable in the ponderously slow but inevitable slip and slide of a boulder working its way down the mountain against its will. The intimate details of the erotic flavor and scent of a flower as experienced by a hummingbird was now my experience too. The perpetual struggle of a root to push aside a mountain in search of nutrients and water was my unending hunger.

Finally, the path ended at a sheer rock wall that climbed a hundred feet or more above me.  I began the slow climb upward.  At the top, I rested and took in my surroundings.  I found myself on a flat plateau that was strewn with more rocks and boulders of varying sizes and a few stunted trees.  Below, I saw the shadowed valley I'd come from and beyond it a lake. I involuntarily shivered, thinking of Psalm 23:4 "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death."

Hastily, I turned around to continue my journey, and I realized I was not alone.  Atop a precarious stack of boulders, I saw a man sitting cross legged in blue jeans and a t-shirt with a Ghost Busters logo imprinted on it. His dark hair was buzzed short and he was sporting a short beard.  He seemed to be in deep meditation.  I paused, not wanting to disturb him. I took a step and his eyes, pale whitish-blue, popped open and looked directly at me.  Not through me, at me.  I was startled.  Those people on the path couldn't see me, hear me.  How could he?

The man leapt down from his perch and approached me with a stiff gait.  Approached me? Any thought that I could have been mistaken disappeared when he said, "Can you hear me?"

The voice sounded rusty and far away, but I replied, "Yes, where am I?"

He gave me a confused look, promptly sat back down and resumed his meditation.  I was not quite sure what to do. The longer I looked at him, the more afraid I was that I would suddenly feel and know what it was like to be him!  I was about to walk away when a blue mist began rising from him. The mist solidified into an ephemeral blue glowing man wearing a white linen shirt that laced at the top and brown pants that had seen better days, the bottoms ragged and torn.  His feet were bare and mud stained both his feet and his hands.  His brown hair was long and straight.  His eyes were the milky white of a blind man. The misty, looking blind man said again, "Can you hear me?"

This time his voice was crystal clear and I answered again, "Yes, where am I?"

"A mountain of ghosts, it would seem."

"How is it you can see and speak to me, but those hikers couldn't?"

He replied, "I am the Leader of the Ghosts, the realms of the dead are mine. I walk in many realms at once. I am the keeper of the gates between the worlds and pass where others are forbidden."

"Uh, do you have a name?" I asked.

"No, not really."

"No? Who doesn't have a name?"

"Well, me, just now, in fact, no one has a name in the woods down there," he said pointing down the side of the mountain I'd just come up. "But if you'll walk with me a bit, perhaps one will come to me."

"Ah…Ok." I said perplexed.

"If you were compelled to find me, and I to find you, then just maybe you're one of the ones I can help.  You see the soul of a human doesn't always pass on to the realms of the dead; they stay here as ghosts when they are unable or unwilling to let go of their past."

"Is that why I'm here? I'm dead? But, no. No, I'm not dead. I was just in Tavshae and stepped through a doorway. I'm, I'm not dead."

"No? Are you sure? Most who die, pass through one of my many gates, on to the realms of the dead. They don't typically pass through Tavshae first.  Though it is the place of portals, so I suppose it is possible."

"Realms? As in more than one? Are you trying to tell me, that not only am I dead, but that you are in charge of both Heaven and Hell? Is that why you won't tell me your name?"

"It's not that I won't, it's just that I don't always have one, nor is it terribly important. I am trying to tell you there is more than one, more than two paths, open to all who leave their mortal coil behind. Actually, it's more a matter of perception than physical realities.  As a ghost, you have chosen the path of a half life on Earth.  Unable to eat, smell, touch, influence the world, only able to see and hear.  You have chosen to remain in your past, rather than move on to your future. We have a measure of choice in all matters.  It gets complicated, fate, free will, but any way, do not regret your past it is the path that brought you to your present and will lead you to your future."

"But I can smell and touch and feel. In fact, I can smell and touch and taste and feel way too much, everything even. I…I didn't chose anything! I just showed up here! Lilatheen sent me." I replied, feelings of frustration, anger and even righteous indignation welling up inside me. "I'm not dead yet!" I yelled. To my shame, I might have even flailed my arms and stomped my foot.

Mostly Dead
“It is like a drop of rain falling into the ocean.  It is still a drop, it still exists, it is still made of hydrogen and oxygen molecules.  Yet at the same time, it is more than that, it is the entire ocean, it is billions of drops and one drop all at the same time.  It now has waves and currents and tides and giant creatures living inside it.  But it can still leave the ocean and become again a drop." - A. Devia, Rune Spirits

"You sure you're not dead?"


"Mostly sure or mostly dead?" he said as he continued his stiff walk down the other side of the mountain.

"How can you be mostly dead? Nevermind, that's not important."

"If you're not dead, then you must be the one. You can feel everything you said? Interesting. Are you Kva…no, that's not it. Though you look a bit like him. Why are names so important to everyone? I don't think we're out of the woods just yet. Keep walking." the Ghost Man said.

Trying to keep up as we made our way down the steep mountain side, I continued. "Why are we here? Who are you? For that matter, who am I?" asked realizing with a shock that I didn't even know my own name.

"I incarnated in this place and this time to wait, specifically for you to pass through the wood with no names."

"To wait, just for me? Why?"

"To help you to understand."

"Understand what? I don't seem to understand anything just now. I don't even know the difference between me that tree over there!" I cried in frustration.

"Good! Then you get it!"

"Get what?" I think I pouted. I'm not proud.

"I think Tyler Durden put it best when he said, 'You're not your job. You're not how much money you have in the bank. You're not the car you drive. You're not the contents of your wallet. You're not your fucking khakis.'"

"What? Who?" I asked still confused.

"I don't know."

"You don't…what? Why? I don't understand. You don't know your name. I don't know mine. You know you're waiting for me, but you don't know why?" I questioned, more and more confused and frustrated. I was so distracted I tripped over a root, fell through a tree, and landed on my face. How in the hell did I manage to trip over a root but fall through a tree?

Looking down at me with a slight smirk of humor, he said, "That did it! We've gone far enough. If you must, you may call me Ragar. I will call you, Devia, wanderer."  With that, he simply disappeared, leaving me bewildered, standing on a mountain side in a strange land, feeling, not at all like myself, though fortunately, less like everything else. 

"Ragar? Lilatheen!" I called out, "I'm lost! Hello, Lilatheen?" I heard the quaver in my voice. 'I'm not dead,' I said to myself. 'I'm not dead.' "There's no place like home?" I said out loud, getting desperate. "Ragar?"

Ragar reappeared next to me.  "I'm supposed to tell you to write in a book. Always speak the truth—think before you speak—and write it down afterwards."

"Write in a book? What book? You don't make any sense." Then, hurriedly, I added, "But please don't leave me here."

"Ok," he said and grabbed my arm.

The next thing I knew, I found myself in a scrubland of sorts, it seemed barren in the twilight.  Ragar and I sat on horses next to each other. "My horse is called Hearse," he said. "Yours doesn't have a name."

I didn't even know how to respond this new round of nonsense, so as the horses started walking through the desert, I took in my surroundings. There was sand and hills and buzzing flies and a peach colored sky without clouds. The heat was hot. If I focused hard enough on something, I still seemed able to share its experience, but it was more distant than it was before. A little ways off, I saw a dominating structure in the midst of the expanse. A huge pyramid made from massive blocks of black rock. It rose, smooth sided, to its apex. Then, impossibly, balanced upon that apex was another, identical, pyramid, inverted.  The two looked like an hourglass of volcanic sand or an angled infinity symbol. I've always heard that as you approach the pyramids in Egypt, it is always disappointing because they are smaller than you expect. Well, this pyramid did not disappoint. As we approached, the pyramid seemed to be getting bigger, not smaller. This sucker was gigantic, the bottom alone was larger than a modern city block, but this was not a Macy's, it was an impossibility. At the base was a door, slightly ajar.

"Where are we?" I asked.

"The dead lands," answered Ragar simply.


"But you're not dead. So you keep telling me. Yet here we are anyway. In you go," he said and pointed at the plain looking door.

“To live, to TRULY live, we must be willing to RISK. To be nothing in order to find everything." -Mandy Hale

What's in a Name?

Juliet: "O, be some other name!
What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other word would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself."

Romeo: "I take thee at thy word:
Call me but love, and I'll be new baptized;
Henceforth I never will be Romeo." - Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

"Was Romeo baptized in water or blue jello?" Ophelia asked.

"I don't think blue jello existed back then," I replied.

"That's probably why he ended up dead," said Ophelia sagely. "He wasn't really new born. He didn't shed all of his Romeo-ness."

"Well, I'm still not sure about this blue jello bit, but I do think you're right about the Romeo-ness. He remained a Montague and all the weight and consequence that came with it. Had they both succeeded in leaving behind all that came with their birth given names, they might have survived. Their love for each other unaltered, what made them unique and special, would have remained in-tact, but by shedding their identities, they would have shed all that kept them apart. In the woods, I too was forced to shed my identity. Not just my name, but even my idea of myself. When I was able to feel what it was like to be the trees, the rocks, the birds, it really made me question, where did I stop and they begin? What was distinctly me? Then I passed through another person! Holy shit! That was surreal! Where did I stop and they begin? What was them, and what was me? I didn't have answers to that. I still don't have answers to that. Now I understand what they mean when you transcend yourself and become one with the All."

"So you did die," said Ophelia simply.

"I'm still not sure, but I think it is a distinct possibility."

"I have to know! When you died, or whatever, when everything was stripped away, if you became friends with Jesus, would he unfriend you?"

Suicide, The Ugly Enlightening Truth

By A. Devia Suicide. It is probably one of the ugliest most feared words in the English language. It's right up there with cance...