A Marked Panic

Once upon a summoning, the attending spirit reviewed my protections, noted their efficacy, and told me the one thing they can do to nullify all of them with little or no effort.

«Remember what I told you of the amulet. To negate its protection, all I have to do is make you panic, for in your distress, you will voluntarily remove anything that reminds you of [what was done to you].»

Do Magick September ’17: Day 14 – Snap

A recent (unpublished) operation nearly went due south because I did exactly what I was warned not to do. I panicked and broke the layers in fear of something that upon inspection was not likely to happen after all but from my perception at that time appeared to be an inevitability. I will admit to setting myself up for that because I did not take all due precautions like I should have. My attention was split. I shattered the moment. And as a result, unnecessary marks were made that will never be undone.

I am fortunate that the only damage that occured was to my sense of aesthetics. No functionality was lost. Nothing was actually broken or burnt. I didn’t have to answer awkward questions posed by wary people in uniforms.

But the incident, and the spirit’s words, have remained with me.

«… all I have to do is make you panic…»

That applies to many mundane encounters as well. What are you facing that requires you to be mentally grounded get through? Once you panic, you allow so many unnecessary control lines to be placed on you and what you are attempting to accomplish. Panicking abdicates your awareness, your abilities, and your mind to whatever happens to be in the best position to seize them.

It can be hard not to panic sometimes. You can only prepare for so much before the preparations overwhelm the actual event you are preparing for. Sometimes you have to leave the knots untied and accept ambiguous circumstances.

And sometimes you have to lean on the protections and preparations you have set in place. Sometimes you have to acknowledge that by yourself, you are not enough, but you have help within reach that is.

In my situation, I had actually laid a fail-safe option before beginning, so that if I had to “break the circle” for any reason, the operation itself would be aborted but the powers involved in that operation would not have leave to run amok in my life and wreak havoc.

As a result, the only damages were some cards that sustained water damage when they should not have, my bruised ego, and a loss of forty minutes as I had to reset and start over from the beginning. I had left myself vulnerable to panicking because I had assumed a certain candle had been prepared “good enough” without actually checking the damn candle. I closed my eyes to a sedate and tamed candle flame that would be out of arm’s reach for a certain portion of the ritual. Fifty spoken words later, I opened my eyes to what appeared to be an inflamed tablecloth.

The moment I stepped out of the boundaries, I saw the table clearly. The unusually vigorous flame had melted a good amount of the taper candle, but the flowing wax had collected in the wide reservoir of the candle holder as intended. What I had perceived as the tablecloth on fire, was just the flame reflecting off the glossy wax.

If I had just stood still for one hot second after opening my eyes, I would have seen that the table was just fine and the specially chosen candle holder was doing what I had chosen it for.

Instead, I panicked.

Water went where water was not supposed to be, and the usually water-resistant cards were not very resistant at this moment. It didn’t matter that I was immediately on the cards with a cloth to sop up the water. The damage was done. The cards were marked.

I took advantage of the halt in proceedings to refix and retrim the candle. After a refreshment of the incense and a new layering of protections and markers, I began the procedure again from the beginning. Again I had to close my eyes while saying certain words. Again I opened them to a vigorous flame. But this time I remained still and confirmed that the candle holder was keeping everything safe.

Funny enough, when the proceedings went “according to plan” and the cards were exposed to water at the proper time, the cards were not wet.

We’ll see if the watermarks have become a mark of ownership as we go.