I don’t know about a lot of things right now. I’m still in the liminal boundary between desert and forest. I do have a “life update” that is a direct result of the DoMagick: Beginner’s Mind workings I did in September. Of the two items in this update, one is already completed and the other is still ongoing.

  1. I have signed for an apartment. Dter and I have possessed the keys for a while now.
  2. Dter and I are moving out.

The night the keys were placed in my hands, I went into my [unfurnished] bedroom of my apartment and closed the door. Sitting down in the middle of the floor, I closed my eyes, pulled out the Hierophant card, and summoned [Patient Caller] per the mutually agreed method. He granted me the grace of losing my composure and quietly crying for a bit. I held the tarot card with both hands, but I swear, it felt like his hands were wrapped around mine just as securely.

“So… about that signet ring…”

«In time. You are not yet settled here. And while your name is on the documents and the keys are in your pocket, you have yet to take ownership of this space

I knew what he meant. “The day I can cook in the kitchen is the day I will do that. Until then, I’m just another ghost passing through.” I have a cookware set but don’t have a fridge. Dter and I are holding off on grocery shopping until the fridge is delivered. It would take five thousand words to explain why cooking is the line of demarcation. Instead, I’ll just remark that I have learned how to rotate fast food and restaurant options at work so that over a given work week, I do eat adequately without spending too much. Supplements help.

«You will be tested.» I couldn’t decide if he meant spiritually by local spirits or emotionally once my family finds out what I’ve done. I settled on both.

“Also, water is wet.”

The air shifted as if someone nearby was looking around. «That corner would be a nice place to put a table…» In my mind’s eye, I suddenly saw that corner with a small table that was more stool than table, covered with a white cloth with red trim, and a small St. Cyprian statue sitting on it, draped with red and green beads.

“Sorry, that corner may have already been claimed. You are not the first spirit riding in my wagon, and for all that [Horatio] and I have been through, I have a promise to keep to him. Until I assemble the new furniture, all placements are mutable and some spots are going to be shared. But regardless, [Horatio] gets first pick.”

I felt someone nodding across from me and I felt like I just passed a very important test. We discussed some things to bring with me, and some things to leave behind, and some things that I may have to make uncomfortable deals to rescue. He brought up one last major hurdle to my and Dter’s escape. He offered his (and his servant’s) assistance to clear that hurdle.

“And what will that cost me? I’ve already priced your signet ring to hit me between five hundred and a thousand dollars depending on what you want carved in it and how yellow the gold must be.”

«I have not yet completed my end of the bargain. If you do not [clear this last hurdle], cutting all ties will be very, very difficult, yes?»

“… True.”

«And was not my offer for assisting you to be free and clear of… “that cage”?»

Even with my eyes closed, I still turned my head as if to look at him with side-eyes. “I don’t remember the wording, and I am hesitant to rewrite history based on blind trust.”

He laughed. «Your suspicion of me returns. Good. Glad to see you haven’t lost all of your senses in your victory. So then, I will be blunt. You know my purpose for you was dictated by my lord, to teach you in the art [of ceremonial magic]. To fulfill my purpose, you must be free and clear. If [this last hurdle] prevents you from being free and clear, then it is my duty to assist with that. In short, there is no debt owed to me. It is I who has yet to complete the terms.»

Sounds good on paper… “I will not commit right now. I haven’t lost all of my senses, but I haven’t regained all of them either. I have a lot to deal with, and I need to remember when to wear which mask. I reserve the right to summon you again to discuss this further, but I will not call on your services tonight.”

I could feel him smiling, and again I had the sense of passing a surprise test.

«Very well. I remain available per our agreement. I look forward to your instruction.»

I gave him the modified license to depart, which reserved the right to use the Hierophant card again to summon him without formality. I didn’t realize how full the room felt until his presence left. As the cool air settled on my shoulders, I cried again in relief and happiness.

For decades, I did not think that things would get better or that I would look forward to living another day. I still have one foot in the metaphorical desert and there is still more sand under my feet than dirt, but I can see the forest through the fog and I have touched the welcoming grasses in this liminal space.

I’m getting there.