Journal: 2023-09-08

My legs felt weak and I could not bear the weight of the air around me. For a moment I was concerned that I had woken up before dawn to be greeted with the beginning stages of illness. But all of my experiences were pointing to something worse: I was afraid.

I prepared the area accordingly with extra time to spare, so I sat down with the intent of looking upon the work of my hands and being amused that after all I have experienced, that I’m doing the thing. Instead I stared at the floor as increasing terror coiled in my bones at the thought of facing Anael again.

I knew I was psyching myself out. I knew that the whole point of this series of summons was to face my fears and move through them. I knew that each angel would be giving me advice for my betterment. I knew that I had grown as a person since the last time I encountered them because of the harsh advice they had given me before.

Still took me thirty minutes past the bright arrival of dawn before I could finally stand as a magician and get to work.

It felt like I was watching myself from outside of the circle. Who was this person holding the wand so securely? This person able to recite prayers that would have tied the tongue barely six years ago? Look at them go! Look at that form! Snapping the wrist into position as if it were a sword in salute. Ah, to be in such presence of self all the time!

That confidence fell apart when my mind’s eye began to be filled with a flurry of teal feathers emerging from peacock wings. Some instinct drew my gaze down to the scrying globe on the table as the entire ceiling of the room filled with layers and layers of vibrant and shimmering peacock wings. They unfolded, one after the other, as if they were the verdigris petals of an incomprehensible verdant rose.

So beautiful. So terrifying. The scene was terrifying because it was so beautiful. Supernaturally beautiful.

Just as I began to be comfortable with the presence of the feathers, I realized there was another scent laying heavily over the scent from the lit incense. Floral in the way that I could identify the scent coming from flowers, but with no ability to discern which flowers in particular. Only that the perfume that descended from the shimmering peacock wings was overwhelming to the point of intoxication.

After what felt like hours but couldn’t have been even a full minute, there was but one layer of wings still covering the angel. And it is at this point that the wings stopped moving. I continued gazing with my mind’s eye and realized that I was very close to physically crying because of the beauty above me almost intersecting with the fear inside of me.

I greeted the angel, spoke plainly that I was afraid, but also spoke that I was determined to see the ritual through regardless of that fear. in the silence that followed, the angel spoke.

The words of Anael, Angel of Venus: “Desire is devouring. To behold Beauty is to behold Terror. To have fear of it, is wisdom. To be subjugated by it, is folly. If you dare to stand in its presence, to pursue that which you seek beyond yourself, remember that it can be said of Aphrodite, Aphrodite bellum gerit. That Aphrodite clothes herself with war.”

There was further conversation that touched upon Inanna and how far was I willing to go to gain that which I thought I desired, and if I desired it because I wanted to or because it was expected of me. But those are too many words to be placing here.

I did not choose the timing of the ritual’s end. Anael said what they desired to say and then they departed, pulling their trail of feathers and perfume with them out of the room and my awareness. I closed the ritual properly and sat back in my chair, trembling. Their presence was just so much more than what came three years ago. The fear I had been prepared to face never materialized. The fear that did continues to unsettle me.

As I pondered on the differences, an understanding crept in my mind like a cool draft. The more I learn about myself and my natures, the more my interactions with the Sphere of Venus will change. It no longer frightens me with suppressed desires and wants as I had faced when I first started working this art. Now it just frightens me by reminding me how small I have allowed my world to become. That understanding congealed into what I feel is a reflection from the Sphere of Venus.

Reflections from the Sphere of Venus: “There is more to pleasure than fucking. There is food, companionship, the gleam of the morning sun on a the surface of a calm lake, the mist that rises when sunlight strikes a freshly rained surface, the joy that is summoned by a little child’s laughter, the solace of others when you are in pain. These things are to be sought after and experienced fully when encountered. It is good to work with others to fulfill both a communal desire and a personal desire. It is not good to allow others to dictate the needs of your soul. What is in the core of your soul is a matter between you and yourself. Care for yourself and give yourself space to be. All else will follow.”

The reflection is soft and cozy and easy to hold. I am uneasy with it. Because for all that I can accept that understanding, I am stuck on the angel’s words. Aphrodite bellum gerit. Am I willing to go to war to make my desires and wants come to pass? (Isn’t it time that I did?)