Journal: 2023-09-12

No extra warding this time. I am amused that for all my fear of Anael, I have Zero Problems™ with the idea of facing Samael, or any representation or embodiment of war, conflict, and aggression. Maybe because when I look over my life, I see I have been fighting from my earliest memory and to be in conflict with someone is my normal state.

I have gotten a lot better at choosing my battles, to my benefit. I’m still a berserker when pushed against the wall, to my detriment. Fortunately, I recognize the signs that I am too heavily invested in a matter that is not mine to win and I have gotten better at taking the perceived “L” and walking away with my assets intact. Or, I thought I was.

When I began this series of summons, the target was to “ascend” through the planetary spheres to discover where I was being blocked and learn how to overcome the obstacles. I had a deliberate end goal in mind for this, but I also knew that the goalposts would change because everything is interconnected. There was a good chance that the summons would reveal that the problem I thought I had is a symptom of something else and I would have to modify the plan accordingly. Sometimes, I dislike being right.

The plan is still on to complete the series of summons on Saturday. As much as I have been wanting to ride the increasing momentum of clarity and power, I can’t fire myself out of this cannon too soon. I need it to point at the right target. I see clearly where I am being blocked, and I see clearly what immediate acts can assist with the obstacles, but I don’t yet see why certain things are in place and what is better for me in the long run.

I just know that I have to see the series to the end before I can act.

I went through the ritual just as I have done for the previous spheres and summoned the angel as prescripted. No visions of light pierced the walls of the room. No ominous fog crept in from the open window or rose from the pores in the floor. No shadows gathered to me. No lights dimmed from an occulting presence. Nothing happened. So I closed my eyes.

When I opened them, it was not as me. I looked over a dusty field kept unsettled by the movement of troops in organized groups. It felt like I was back upon the fields of Geburah again. Except “I” was nowhere in this scene. Not even as observer. I was looking through the eyes of the angel Samael as he surveyed the forces under his command.

He held his stance calmly as I slightly panicked. While I have been pulled to the spirit world many times, never have I been pulled into a spirit in this manner. What even is the protocol for this? Do I apologize and eject myself? Have I offended him? What is the right thing to do here?

He smiled with mirth and I felt the shifting of his face as if it were my own. “The right thing to do here, miles, is to be silent when a commanding officer is speaking.” He spoke with a soft and quiet voice but its timber made the ground shiver.

Oh. Oh shit. Oh well. I have no choice at the moment but to comply. I yielded and allowed the experience to unfold. He spoke then, of many observations I have already made, of observations I did not want to acknowledge, and of observations that I could not see from my point of view but was plain to anyone outside of my personal life.

As he spoke, the first-person experience of his presence shook loose a memory that I thought was something that had been forced into my awareness, but was really one more part of myself that I had kept away because I was afraid of the implications. Now that I could not avoid it, I had no choice but to accept it and be comfortable with the revelation, or to accept it and be ashamed that this too is a part of me.

He ceased speaking and waited for me to collect my attention. He noted that I have been writing of my experiences publicly again and lauded me for having a sense of what to reveal and what to occult. He then gave me words for the public eye.

The words of Samael, Angel of Mars: “The most powerful weapon in your arsenal is the word, ‘No’. It is not your duty to pick up every fight that presents itself to you. When you permit yourself to be governed by others, do they suffer the consequences of your resulting actions? No, they reap the benefits that come with stolen valor. Observe those you have chosen to accept as allies. If they prove themselves untrustworthy, discard them.”

He then reached out his hand and closed it upon apparent nothing that became a sword. He twisted his write and the sword became a pen. He twisted his wrist again and the pen became a wand. He twisted his wrist again and the wand became a stylus. From stylus to cordless mouse, to crochet needle, to cooking spoon, to phone, to keys, to rings, to clothing, to shoes, to sword, to nothing. “I show you nothing new, but do you understand what you have been shown?”

He smirked. “Not yet. Dismissed.”

I opened my eyes as I took a breath I was not aware I had denied myself. The room was as it was before his presence overwhelmed me. The candle was a little lower. The incense stick was a little shorter. But otherwise, nothing had changed.

His words were burning my ears, however, so I completed the ritual and took a formal step away from the table before moving to sit at the desk. In the previous summons, I was able to focus on writing things down and typing things up because the candle was of such size that I only needed to check on it now and then. But this time, the thick candle was so low, that I was concerned about it overwhelming the candle holder and collapsing which would send molten wax over the table. So I faced the table after writing my initial notes and watched the candle and stick with the scrying globe in between.

As I sat there, facing the “wrong” side of the table, all that I had experienced in the ritual kept replaying in my mind. What I told myself I would be confronting and what confronted me instead. What I told myself I was prepared for and what sucker-punched me into silence. What I told myself I had accepted about myself and what I had only pushed out of sight again. And as I sat there, contemplating it all, I realized that the candle was distorting as the remaining solid wax began yielding to the steady heat of the flame.

The stub did not collapse as I had feared. Instead, it sagged and bloomed into a wide shape atop the candle holder. It formed the shape of a particular flower with the wick being the stamen. It is a flower I have seen before and recalling it also recalled its scent that briefly supplanted the still burning incense. As it did, an understanding began to settle.

Reflections from the Sphere of Mars: “You survived. And you did so by becoming a monster to those who never endured the harrowing of your soul. Do not listen to others when they tell you that these skills, these tools, that you had to learn to come through are now to be discarded lest you be perceived as monstrous. You will always be monstrous to them, because you survived what they held to be fatal. Pick up what you have let down. Renew the skills and rehone the tools. It is wearisome to prepare for war in times of peace, but it is how you will remain standing when the troubles come. Hold close those you love and care for. Hold away those who would leech and steal, be it money, time, or valor. When those who would wield the chains of social pressure come to you, by word or by deed answer them thus: Non serviam.

The incense extinguished itself and I extinguished the candle without incident. I considered trimming what is left of the candle stub so that I could keep the floral shape but I really have no place to keep it as a memento. Instead, I will keep the memory of it, and the associations that have been captured in its likeness.

All was put away, my notes written, and now it’s time to continue the day.