Journal: 2023-09-06

I had considered the space weather when I planned out this endeavor last month. Too many retrogrades and shadow periods. Too many afflicted planets. Too many irritating aspects with my natal chart. Too many reasons not to do it now.

One reason why it is imperative that I do: If I don’t do it now, there is no promise that I will ever have the opportunity to do it later.

My biggest pet peeve with astrology has been other people’s opinions that the stars determine all to the point where the sky must be consulted before a foot can touch ground. As much as I like to joke that the stars are not in proper alignment when asked to do something I’d rather not do, I am not keen on putting my life on hold because it’s not the optimal time to do a necessary thing. And this endeavor is very much necessary.

The sound of thousands of wings churning the air above my head heralded the arrival of the angel. I stood quietly at the table and listened with my everything. No vision descended upon me but I did note drafts had begun to stir in the room. When no words or thoughts invaded my senses, I stopped trying to listen for a message and made myself content that I could feel the angel’s presence.

So when their quiet and gentle words drifted through the nest of silence that held space to receive them, I was surprised, gracious, and amused.

The words of Raphael, Angel of Mercury: “Water takes the path of least resistance. So it is with money, information, and all things fluid. When an obstacle is encountered, water will either pool into stagnancy, pressure the obstacle into yielding, or flow around it without thought. But you are not some mindless force of nature. Why are you choosing to stand still in the face of someone else’s trial when you are able to sidestep it with ease? Why are you attempting to burst the banks of your limitations without the power to keep yourself whole doing so? A natural river never flows the same way twice, but creates its path in accordance with its headwaters and circumstance. Why are you forcing yourself to flow in accordance with a canal that has been dug for someone else? Release your spirit from the pool of stagnancy that you have falsely called ‘rest’. Permit yourself to flow, and both your power and your kingdom will flow with you.”

The ritual was closed without incident but I was confused. Wasn’t the sphere of Mercury supposed to be aligned with Air? What’s with all the aquatic references, then? But no matter how many times I replayed the matter in my memory, the angel’s words did not change. I wrote them down and settled in for the quiet wait as I let the incense stick do as it does in post-ritual silence.

After some time, a change in light outside of my window catches my eye. I turn towards the window and see nothing. I turn back towards the incense and open my eyes to a vision of an underground tunnel. Instead of being seated on a comfortable chair, I am seated on a unforgiving and damp projection of rock. Not far away, a river moves swiftly and quietly through the cavern.

I will not bore you with all the ways that the vision felt physical and encompassing. It is only worth noting that the dampness in the air and the sound of the water’s flow was something that was not present in the room before the vision came upon me. I remained seated on the rock and waited for the spectacular to become banal by allowing the sound of the river to fill my awareness. Only when I had become numb to the vision did something soak into my understanding as if reflected from the river.

“Not all currents flow in plain sight. Some run deep underground, under your awareness. Examine the headwaters of your life, your money, your knowledge, and your magic. What can you do to improve the release of these sources? Examine how these currents flow through you. What have you permitted to move unrestricted and what have you diverted away from you? Examine where these currents flow to. Do they lead you along paths that benefit you or are you forcing yourself to go on paths that diffuse you and your identity? Wind also takes the path of least resistance, but an experienced sailor can move their boat upwind. Sometimes the best way out is to be contrary to the easiest way forward.”

No voice spoke those words. No hand wrote them upon the cavern’s wall. There was a moment when I had no thoughts, and then there was a moment when they came all at once. When I spoke them out loud three times to be sure, when I repeated the last sentence, I saw in my mind’s eye a small sailboat tacking against the wind and by doing so, moving counter to the water’s current that was trying to drag it contrary to the sailor’s intended destination.

As the last of the incense burned out, I understood why the messages spawned by the ritual were so heavy with water. Before a sailor can learn how to navigate the wind, they have to learn how to navigate the water. Attempting to tack against the wind without understanding how the current is pulling the boat is a quick way to have the boat capsize at an inopportune moment.

I need to assess where I am first and then I will have a better understanding of not only how to get to my destination, but how to get underway in the first place. If this sounds like a lot like being obliviously obvious, well, it is. Sometimes you have to confirm where you are before you can find out where to go next.