The Magical Quarantine
of Fr. Ramose at Pacifica, CA
This is the only autobiographical article I have written thus far, and in that, my heart forces me to provide at least some semblance of an explanation. It was originally never my intent to share any part of my life with anyone. The closest I have come thus far would be my article "Experiences in Magical Warfare," but this is more of an action-based perspective, and while the experiences therein are scientifically interesting, there are not personal or even particularly insightful for the average student. Before reading this article, I must warn any potential reader that in this article will be several things which can be perceived as self-agrandisement. If you are more worried about being part of the Ego-Police squad than attempting to learn something from my experiences, have at it, but do so knowing the article was not written for you. I can not help that some of my experiences while I was gone were incredible, and would push the boundaries of believability for even a seasoned magician. Because of that, I don't expect most people to believe everything I am going to share here. I do hope, though, that everyone gets at least something out of the read.
My single intention of writing this article is to inspire. I don't intend to spark controversy or anything of the sorts, so if you do not like the article then please refrain from commenting. I recall my own path when I was first beginning, and how difficult it was at times for me to find inspiration. The best I could often do would be to turn to Levi's "History of Magic," or Bardon's "Frabatto the Magician," but even that was difficult. As extraordinary as the things attributed to some of those great magicians were, they lived in a distant time, in a distant place. Some accounts seemed outright legendary and antique in their age. This made it hard for me to connect with the reality of their accomplishments, the manifestations of their hard work along their path. Ultimately, I had to rely upon myself for motivation, and find inspiration from my own experiences. In the process of doing this, however, I had an identical twin brother who was with me every step of the way, and a friendly sibling rivalry always wound up pushing us out of any stagnancy and onwards down our path.
It is my hope that this article will be more relevant for the average beginning student than some ancient reference book, or this or that legend. I am not some great adept from a distant land of enchantment. I did not spend my years in a monastery or the likes. My childhood and teenage years, with the exception of little things here and there not uncommon to most eventual students of spirituality, was normal. My parents weren't magicians, and I didn't grow up under the tuitilage of some great adept. In essence, I grew up just a "normal dude." I am hoping that this fact, as well as my reachability (you can contact me through email or MSN messenger), will make these stories more inspirational to the modern student. So we can start, I suppose, with the fun event which signaled to me that I was to go on a quarantine. A Message from Metatron
Metatron is the Lord of the Chariot, the throbbing heart of the path back to God. His lower manifestation as Enoch, a Hebrew word which literally means "Initiate," is sacred to all magicians. Every student on the path of the divine science is under his watchful eye, whether they are away of it or not. Sometimes he communicates directly, to those who have cultivated the kind of heart which allows them to hear and understanding. Often, he communicates through members of the White Brotherhood. Either way, he is there. In my own life, I call him playfully "The Boss," because any edict I have ever received from him invariably comes true. On one occasion he has appeared to me visibly without being called, and communicated his wish. In most other scenarios it is through indirect means, varying from materializing letters to omens. The truth is that if you make yourself open to it, the universe and its many emissaries will constantly speak to you through various signs and symbols. Every decision you ever make can be verified or struck down, if you know how to ask the right question, and how to perceive the answer.
At the time I was working Security as the Lieutenant-in-Charge over the Tallahassee branch of the company. Since I lived in Alachua, this necessitated about four hours of driving a few times a week. On my way back home some afternoon in June of 2009, I was suddenly overcome by a wave of disorentating energy, a phenomenon I had come to associate with a message being sent to me etherically either by another magician or by a spirit, when it was important to get my attention no matter what I was doing. Instantly my mind turned to thoughts of a retreat, a magical quarantine as it is called in my tradition. This confused me at first. Admittedly it is in my nature to want to "get away" from all the noise of society from time to time, and I had contemplated a quarantine on several occasions before, but not in recent history. I had erased all plans for a retreat into the wilderness three years earlier, when God made it clear to me what the purpose of my current incarnation was for. This was not a life for leisure and enjoyment, taking strolls through the woods; it was a life of action, dedicated entirely to the spiritual evolution of others. Realizing that it was impossible to do this locked away in a cave somewhere, I sacrificed it in that ancient Fire Pit called "The Greater Good," and was done with it except for in occasional fantasy. Yet there I was, driving down I-75 in Florida back home from Tallahasse on a blazing summer afternoon, and it was all I could think about. Any objection I raised was instantly defeated my an entirely logical answer. My main objection was of course what I just outlined. How could I help people understand what magic was if I was gone from the world? But the answer came through clearly, "Before you can advance others, you must advance yourself as far as possible." Images of the next few decades of work that had to be done flashed in my mind.
My response to this was reasonable enough, I believe. If I was going to change my life around for some undesignated length of time (which I wrongly assumed to be a year or so, since it turned out to be much shorter), then I required a little bit more than some funny ethereal phenomenon and a mental voice. If it was really that important for me to go, then some suitable sign would be given. Thus, I prayed in earnest to Metatron, who I believed to be the bearer of this news, that if I was correct in believing the nature of this message, that I should be given a clear sign. I say without the slightest exageration that as the very last breath of that prayer left my lips, my radio in the car started working. This radio had not worked in months. It was technically always on, but it was never making any sound. Yet here it was, working perfectly out of nowhwere, as though some mechanical gremlin had found a soft heart and replaced the missing parts. This alone would have been interesting enough, but I found myself listening to the main chorus of the song, which was playing at the moment. My attempts to locate exactly which song this was have failed, but I remember the lyrics clearly: "I'm putting one in front of the other, I'm hittin the road. Lookin for God, I ain't lookin back." This verse repeated over and over, assumably the end of the song, and when the song ended my radio resumed its usual silence. Stunned, I looked back up at the road in time to see a giant camping trailer being towed by an SUV passing me. Written in light blue across the side of the trailer were the words, "God-Traveller," and on the back of it was written "Travel for God." Suddenly a little brown sedan in the left lane cut in front of me, with a bumper sticker on it that read "When God Talks, Listen!" All of this happened, from the radio starting to the Sedan cutting in front of me and the camping trailer going by, in about fifteen seconds. To be within context, I should say within fifteen seconds of ending my prayer for confirmation. The decision seemed settled for me, and I wasn't going to argue. To California
I left August 1st on a flight for San Francisco, California. This may seem a strange destination for a magician intent on a magical quarantine, and indeed it is. I had chosen California as the location because it was the pit of summer, and I loathe hot weather. California along the coast of San Francisco and Los Angeles down to San Diego stay comparatively cool during the summer by my Florida standards. Apart from this, I love the ocean and I love mountains, and California had both of these in abundance. In a previous trip to CA I had spied a couple of caves that I intented to migrate between. The Bay Area was cool enough during summer, but I was particularly interested in its "Indian Winter" effect, where it warms up for the first two months or so of what should be winter. Figuring I would be on my own for a while, I had intended to spend up until the end of November there, then move down to Encinitas for winter and spring. There are also a number of ashrams, hermitages, and magical orders which have their main lodges and headquarters in California, and I was intending to visit as many as I could throughout the time I was there.
My trip was uneventful save one instance. When I arrived in Washing D.C. for my transfer flight, my plane came in late. I had eight minutes to get across the entire airport, which required taking shuttle buses, and board my next flight. I came running out as fast as I can, and prayed to God for some guidance. A security cart pulled up beside me and asked me to stop running, and I informed him that he could either give me a lift or chase me into the next plane, but I couldn't slow down. He laughed, and had me hop onto the back of the gulf cart, giving me a quick ride to the correct shuttle (I had NO idea where I was going). I came out of the shuttle in the proper terminal, and raced to the area of the plane boarding just in time to hear the stewardess announce that there was now only one seat left on the entire plane, and that they would be living in two more minutes. I rushed over, gave her my ticket, and rushed on board to claim the one seat left, which was not my seat at all, but I certainly wasn't going to complain.
My first task when I arrived in San Francisco was, understandably, getting the Hell out of San Francisco. It was a city I already did not like, and which I grew to like even less in the coming month. I had decided to try a small, comparatively isolated town named Pacifica. When I arrived, I was shocked at how cold it was. The first investment of my small monetary supply was a better blanket, a long sleeve shirt, and a sweater, which I immediately donned. I had left my home only nine hours earlier that day, and already I had spent over $100 between the taxi and the clothes. Considering I only had a few hundred total, this was a depressing thought. The First Day
I learned alot about myself after spending my first night on the beach, and awakening to my first morning. Particularly, I learned how untough I was, and how unprepared I was for an undertaking like this. I was an avid camper already, but there is a large different between sleeping in a tent on a sleepingbag under treecover and sleeping wedged into the beach sand under the open sky. That alone would not have been bad; I've done it before in Florida. I was unfamiliar with the unique weather of this part of California, and that was the source of my misery. Pacifica is cool during the morning and evening, only clearing up for a handful of hours of during the day. It is overcast most of the summer because a thick fog that rolls in off the ocean throughout the day. Much of it rolls in during the night, and the moisture and cold caused by this effect can only be appreciated by someone who has been soaked by it while trying to sleep under the open sky. The mist is so thick that it will throw a layer of water over everything you have on you, and if you move hardly an inch, it will soak into the cloathing. I learned over the coming nights that if you stay perfectly still when you wake up during the night, the inside of your blankets will stay dry. Either way, it gets cold and wet at night. This, combined with the natural discomfort of sleeping in sand, caused me to wake up probably fifteen times that night.
By the time the sun came up that first morning, I was not a happy man. I was cold, I was soaked from head to toe, and I was as tired as I had ever been in my life. My first thought wasn't God, or magic, or spirituality. It was "Denny's." There was a Denny's Resturaunt two miles away from where I had slept that night, and it was all I could think about. I had to warm up my insides, and I needed a hot meal for that, as far as I was concerned. I realized as the days went on that this decision was made entirely out of misery, not reason, and that a brisk walk in the morning warms up the body as well as anything. None the less I marched, somewhat angrily I must admit, to have my breakfast. On the way I considered how nice just one night in a hotel would be, and I gave myself a hundred reasons to follow up on it. Fortunately for me, some eggs, toast, and hot tea put my thinking straight. I realized all was not lost, had a long and much needed laugh at myself, and worked my way back to my campsite (if it could be called that).
The rest of the day continued normally. It was cold and overcast, so I decided to spend the day walking around the town, up around the hills, familiarizing myself with my temporary home. I found a beautiful plateau that peaked right over the ocean, and was high enough to get out of the fog. It is one of the most beautiful views I have ever seen, and I chose it as the location for my morning and evening magical practices with the sun. It was far enough out of the way to be empty most of the time, and since the only way to get to my practice area was by scaling the side of the hill at a slant of about 40 degrees for ten minutes or so, it provided ample daily exercise as well.
That first day I spent acclimatizing my mind and body to the new environment, and to the many downsides of living on a beach under the sky. I wanted to emphasize this point, because in truth things never got "better," per se; I simply got use to them. There is nothing romantic about waking up ten or fifteen times a night, every night. There is nothing epic about waking up shaking from being wet and cold. There is nothing magical or mystical about waking up with small bites all over your body, and with innumerable cramps and pains. To get to the magical side of a period of isolation like this, you have to learn how to pull yourself up to a level above all of those miseries. They won't go away; the nights won't get less cold, nor the days less hot, etc, etc. But there is something intelligent in the Universe, and even a small period of genuine surrender in a retreat of this time will prove this to anyone with an open mind. There is something out there that is wonderfully intelligent, and it, or them, appreciates the effort and the suffering that a person undergoes in the name of finding God. If you endure the misery, and learn to accept it and learn from it, then the universe pours forth blessings and grace in abundance. This, I think, applies just as much to life in a cubical as it does to life in a cave. A Glowing Island and a Rising Serpent
My second day was much more eventful. I woke up that morning just as tired, cold, and wet as I had the night before, but I had learned a few things from the night before that allowed me to at least sleep at little easier. As soon as I woke up I popped to my feet, ran down to the ocean, and hopped in. It was outrageously cold - I dare say I've never been in water so cold - but it woke my entire body up. I put on my sandles and took a long walk up and down the beach, about two miles total in that little bay. By the time I came back to my little hovel, the sun had come up over the mountains in the distance, and I did my morning adorations. I was actually excited to be there that morning. My back hurt, my head hurt, and my eyes were heavy, but I was happy.
I sat down and began my meditation. The day before, which had been my first full day, I had only spent about an hour meditating. This day was entirely different, though. I was filled with a new zest, and dove into four hours of meditation that morning. Infact starting that day, I never practiced less than eight hours a day for the entirety of my stay there. This meditation was fantastic; I felt free. I had already become acustomed to the sound of the rolling tide and waves of the ocean, which was only fifty feet in front of me. I matched my breathing to the sound of the waves, and the meditation continued effortlessly.
After about an hour I noticed for a moment that the beach seemed somehow quieter. It was as though some blanket had been pulled over the entire area, and all of the sudden I felt like I was the only person on the entire beach. Interested, I opened my eyes slowly and gazed out over the ocean, where I felt a strong magnetism pulling me in. There, off in the distance but still very visible, was what can only be described as a glowing island. The details of the island were hard to make out clearly through the fog, which had only just begun to clear up some that day. There was a clear golden glow outlining the place like an aura, and occupying the center of the island was some manner of fortress. The tooth-shaped ridges where it seemed like lookouts would be placed were discernable along the top level of the structure. I had not noticed it the day I arrived, nor had I seen it the previous day. Considering that fact for a moment I realized that the fog must have obstructed my view of the island before, and with the fog clearing up some that morning it must have been visible for the first time since my arrival. Content with my own investigation, I closed my eyes and returned to my meditation.
As my meditation continued, I began to feel a familiar old friend: a serpent, twisting along my spine. It had been an entire year since my Kundalini had risen to the Manipura chakra permanently. I remembered distinctly all of the sensory phenomenon associated with the movement of the Kundalini: I had felt all of its activities over the years keenly, from the time it first awakened, to the time I rose up to Svadhisthana and then later up to Manipura. It is not a feeling a person easily forgets. First one is struck by an immense heat at the location of the Kundalini, which continues for a time and then gives way to definite cold. Within the cold, one then discerns the reason for the serpent depiction of the Kundalini: suddenly the meditator feels something writhing within the plexus where the Kundalini resides along the spine, and it feels like a veritable snake is constricting and releasing your spine.
I was thrilled. The ascent of the Kundalini basically has two divisions: the lower three chakras and the upper three chakras. The lower three chakras form the material trinity, the upper three form the spiritual trinity. As the Kundalini ascends the lower chakras, various psycho-emotional subjects are conquered and overcome, but once it rises above the lower trinity to ascend to the first point of the upper trinity in the Anahata Chakra, one begins to reach significant spiritual states that continue permanently. For the Anahata Chakra, this pertains to universal love. I decided that I would not quit meditating, that I would not so much as move a muscle from that exact location, until the process worked itself out and I felt my Kundalini rise into Anahata and establish itself there. As the Manipura became more active and my stomach began to feel like it was on fire, I turned my mind to the masters of the divine science throughout the ages, and prayed to them. At the height of my prayer I saw clearly, like a movie projected onto the back of my eyelids, a certain master adept of the White Brotherhood whose name I can not share. I heared him laugh at me, roll up his sleeves, and then stick his hands into my stomach. Slowly but surely I began to feel the incredible sensation of the serpent rising up to the Anahata chakra by the grace of this great master, and after about five minutes, the deed was done. I thanked the master in my mind many times, bowing to him and touching his feet in my mental body; he touched me on the forehead, smiled, and left.
The feeling was unlike anything I had ever known. Love surged over me. Not empty love, or temporary love, nor was it the love of something individual, or of anything in particular. It was a beautiful, selfless, undiscriminating love. Every single person in sight, to me, seemed like a little god pretending to be a person, and I loved that god in everyone, and I loved how sly he was by playing the role of a human in so many different bodies. I couldn't stop smiling, and I talked to everyone that I could, and did anything I could to make their day somehow a little better. My mind was effortlessly on God in all sorts of forms: Odin, Shiva, Horus, Bacchus, and all other things I could imagine. I could hardly see the ground in front of me, because it felt like there was nothing to see. My eyes were open, but I was looking at something entirely different than what everyone else could see. I was in a different world entirely, it seemed. None the less at the end of the day I am a practical man, and as euphoric as the ecstatic energy of this experience was to me, I realized that I had no continuing use for it. I meditated a little longer on internalizing this newfound kind of love, and letting it blossom into understanding and wisdom also, instead of just ungrounded emotion. To aid me in this I decided to get up and eat something heavy, then drink something bad for me, to ground the energy back into my body some and return me to a slightly more "worldly" state of mind, allowing me to more easily review and appreciate the experiences of the morning. A Taco Bell I noticed that was actually on the beach, with a porch looking out over the ocean, served my purposes perfectly. Materialization and Dematerialization
So I got up and headed to Taco Bell, resolved to eat some cheap thing from their menu, down a coke, and reflect on the morning. The day now had cleared up entirely, and it was beautiful out for the first time since my arrival. With the fog gone I was reminded of the island I had seen earlier when I peaked out during meditation, and looked out over the ocean towards it. It was gone. I looked all over as far as I could see, in every direction possible, thinking maybe it was just a bad angle. No luck, my mythical morning island had disappeared. Thinking that there must be some suitable explanation, I approached someone who seemed to be a local walking along the beach and asked him about it. He happened to be a fisherman, and took his boat out of that bay and all around the surrounding area every week. He told me that there weren't any islands anywhere around the area, nor had he ever seen anything that would fit my description out in the distance. I thanked him for his time, and inwardly I thanked the masters for what they had shown me. I would come to know later, through means of an evocation, that the "island" I had seen was a ethereal fortress populated by the spiritual beings who ruled over that part of the United States, and that it was partially because of the magnetism of that location that I was attracted to Pacifica. I tested this before leaving by praying to be shown the island one more time during my last day there, and when I opened my eyes from the prayer I could see the island again, still with that unearthly glow to it, and I performed the concentration exercise known as trataka on it for an hour.
Content with the explanation of the fisherman, I resumed by quest to Taco Bell. I was still in a highly euphoric state very much akin to the "high" of marijuana, but much more pleasant. As nice as this was it made it nearly impossible to function well in my body, and I must have looked like a stumbling fool to anyone else. I tripped, skipped, and tumbled my way to Taco Bell, where I conjured the concentration on the physical world required to order a chicken burrito and a coca cola, when the worst happened: I was told I was 21 cents short for a Coke also, so I had to settle for a burrito with no drink. Forlorn I accepted my fate, told the nice cashier I wasn't going to order anything, and slinked over to a nearby table, predicting with misery the inevitable thirst I would face, and the terrible fountain water I would be pitted against. Suddenly my thought pattern was interrupted by what should have been an impossible sound: the sound a quarter makes when it is dropped on a surface. What was stranger was that this sound was coming from under my hand, which was laying casually on the tabletop. I moved my hand, and much to my surprise discovered exactly what I needed to remedy the situation: a quarter. Relief washed over me in an awesome way, and I returned to place my meal order.
The "materializing quarter" incident is quite unexplainable by any means beyond the magical. I was wearing my meditation pants at the time, which had no pockets, and I was wearing no shirt. I had grabbed two single dollar bills to bring with me to the restaraunt, which I had clutched in my hand the entire time. When I was told I was short on the cost of the soda I had originally decided not to order anything, so I had no change on me whatsoever. The table was cleaned off, and even if a quarter had been left on the tabletop it would not have just picked itself up and dropped itself under my hand. I heard the sound while I was wishing I had a quarter so that I could get something to eat and drink, and it seems to me viable that the altered state of consciousness I was in was sufficient to materialize that wish, even in as extreme a way as making a quarter drop out of thin air. If I Was A Betting Man....
I had been living on the beach for a few days now, how many I don't quite remember. It is nearly impossible to keep track of the flow of days, and in order to break free of the human obsession with time I had stopped recording times and dates in my journal. my self-proclaimed home was an an interesting clay formation on a far corner of the beach, about a mile's walk through soft sand away from the nearest public access. A clay and rock hill that peaked at perhaps 150 feet high began on that side of the beach, and some kind of erosion had created features that looked like large bowls in the side of the hill when the sand of the beach thinned and began to turn to dirt. It may have been left over from dynamite blasts, since I heard while I was there that this little bay was man-made. Either way my little hovel shielded me from view on all sides except for straight ahead in the direction of the ocean. It not only gave me ample privacy to sleep, change clothes, and practice, but it kept me out of the wind at night. Locals were use to homeless people occupying this part of the beach occasionally, since it was impossible to see from the nearest road and therefore allowed seclusion from police and the freedom to have fires on the beach. I only saw one other homeless person the entire time I was there though. It was as I was laying down to sleep one night, when an older man approached my area, stopped, laughingly said "I see this is your home now then," and walked off elsewhere.
Even though I had fallen into a routine, was essentially comfortable, and had developed all sorts of techniques for staying warm and dry during the misty night, the conditions were obviously still not ideal. One morning I woke up with a throbbing earache, bad enough to make it impossible for me to meditate. Earwax had leaked out into the hood of my sweater (a.k.a., my pillow) during the night, and the color indicated an infection. Stuck in the middle of nowhere with no real money and no health insurance, this did not bode well for me. I had never in my life been scared of being sick until then, when the prospect of a simple earache ruining my quarantine seemed as real as anything.
Stubbornly, I resolved to meditate anyways. Certain aspects of my practices greatly accelerate the healing process, and I figured I could well enough rely on that and God to get me through it alright. It was early in the morning; the sun had not even come out yet. Sitting down and closing my eyes, I instantly felt that familiar ethereal envelope come over me, as is usually the case when something powerful is trying to get my attention and begin clear communication with me. Suddenly out of the darkness of the black of my eyelids I saw a powerful face with deep eyes emerge. He had a dark blue and purple complexion, a thick but flowing white beard, and a golden crown. Golden earrings framed his face, and from a silver chain hung azure pendants in the shame of the zodiacal Pisces. Three horizontal lines highlighted his prominent brow from his hairline down to his eyebrows, and his demeanor was friendly yet royal. His eyes were of an utter darkness that I have only seen rivaled by the abysmal spheres set in the eyes of the King Ghob, the ruler of earth elementals.
When you are exalted in meditation, and drunk from days of inner serenity and divine energy, you do not think like a normal person does. Add to this the ingredient of being a magician, who should always strive to be familiar with the many beings of all the spheres pertinent to his own, and you are an entirely different species of creature altogether. I nodded my head in acknowledgment, and greeted simply, "Good morning Poseidon, you're up early." With my physical ears I heard what sounded like a deep and powerful laugh coming out of the water, but it was tucked away in the clashing of waves against rocks, and the unceasing roll of the tide.
Poseidon's question was simple and sincere. He told me, "You have not completely immersed yourself in my waters since the second day you came to this beach, yet here you are in a town special to me." I thought about this statement for a moment, and realized that the town's name was Pacifica. For the first time it dawned on me that Pacifica was a goddess of the ocean, and therefore a female counter-energy to the male kingly aspect of Poseidon. Some of the features of the harbor than began to make a little bit more sense also. It was somewhat unique, in that the harbor was graced by an Arctic Current which bent far in towards land at that spot, so much so that I had even seen migrating whales rolling in its stream in the distance. This contributed to the freezing waters of the area, which were significantly colder than surrounding beaches. Considering the incredibly diverse species who could be seen any given day by looking out from this bay (whales, elephant seals, harbor seals, sharks, pacific otters, and a wide variety of birds), I could understand why a place like this may have been unknowingly sacred to the Sea King, and my vision of the spiritual palace out in the distance on my second day made a little more sense. The founders of the town could have never known that they named their community "Pacifica" because of telepathic influence and a subconscious understanding of the area's energies.
I laughed, and responded. "The water is extremely cold, and I have come down with an earache. I apologize for not being braver, and endeavoring to conquer your harbor mentally before engaging in a quarantine here, but instead letting the cold waters deter me. It should have been my first priority."
"I will bet that you can not enter slowly and completely into the waters of this harbor with no protection (i.e., naked), and stand in it for even thirty seconds," Poseidon replied with a laugh. None the less I saw an opportunity here that peaked my interest and fit my needs, for if the chance arises to engage in friendly competition with a great spirit, one is often wise to accept and get out of it what he can.
I told him, "I will take that bet! If you win, then you can tell all of your undines in this region of the Earth that I am a coward, and failed the test of the water element during my quarantine. But if I win, then you must completely relieve me of this earache so that I can continue peaceably." Poseidon agreed, and I stripped down on the early morning beach, no one around but me and my challenger.
The water was extremely cold. The entire time I was there, I never saw anyone go completely into it without wearing a full wet-suite to protect their body temperature. People would come down to the beach when it was nice and sunny out for a few hours each afternoon, but I never saw any of them go more than leg-deep into the water. Most were simply content to walk to beach with their feet in the water; some could not even manage that. So I waded in at a leisurely pace, since the parameters of the bet implied that I could not incrementally make myself use to the cold. I can not stress how much it felt like I had been dumped in a tub of ice, but I did not have much choice in the matter. My earache already hurt more now than it had just ten minutes earlier when I woke up, and it was beginning to have the rotting warm feeling that an infection takes on when it is in full swing. A few seconds later I was in chest deep water, and had bathed my head and face to be fair. I waited and counted for thirty seconds, and then shouted out loud, "I've won! Now take this pain from me like you promised!"
No sooner had I finished the sentence than a giant wave, the largest I ever saw while I was on that beach, piled up in front of me. It towered over me completely, and I thought once more that I had heard a laugh come from somewhere far off in the ocean. The wave slammed down directly on my head, and it felt as though someone had bludgeoned me with a hard object. I was swept completely off my feet and tossed in circles and spins around in the water, completely submerged and with no sense of direction. My ears hurt immensely, as though they were about to burst; it was unbearable, like something had enhanced their pain many fold for those few seconds. Almost as soon as this began my feet found the ground once more and I stood up out of the water. Instantly, all pain was gone. I was standing right where I had been, though this didn't make sense and the wave should have carried me at least fifteen feet further towards shore, and I was facing the exact same direction I had been. The water was completely calm, and for the first and last time during my entire trip, I looked out across the bay without seeing a single wave. This lasted for about sixty seconds, and as intriguing as it was, I was far more appreciative for what I had really received: my ears were completely healed, and I had no further problems with normal sickness during the entirety of the trip. The Theophany of the Wind-God
It is not unusual when in deep meditation to have a vision of various gods, saints, angelic beings, or masters, whom you have past life connections to. People who have worshiped Ishtar in some distant life may have the starry lady appear in all her splendour in their mind's eye, and the student would then have to go and research who he saw if he was not already familiar with the images of that persona. Images of adepts and masters one has known or studied under in various incarnations also tend to appear, not always in the form of the incarnation you knew that soul as. You will see them "step in" through the black of the closed eyelids, like a picture. They will usually silently gesture something to you, smile or laugh, sit next to you quietly in meditation to accompany you, or bless you in some way. There is an experience called the Theophany, though, where an aspect of a god-force appears to you in a physical body; this is much more rare.
At this time I was still staying on the beach at nights. Most nights I slept more or less comfortably, only waking up a few times a night and each time able to go right back to sleep without problem. This particular night, though, the mist was coming in hard, and a strong wind was enforcing it. It was the hardest the wind ever blew during the night while I was there, and no matter how hard I tried to escape it in my little hole the wind would blow the watery mist around any walls I had and straight over me. I was getting wet quick, and the mist almost felt like a light rain at this point. I realized that if I had any hope of sound sleep should this continue, I had to relocate right then. Thinking back, I remembered that a dirt path that crossed by not too far from where I slept, and which would be easy enough to spot even in the darkness I was in, also passed by a grove of thickly leaved trees which created a sort of hollow opening. It was, in effect, like a tree-made cave, and I had made particular notice of it earlier as a possible new location for sleeping at night. I packed up quickly and resolved to climb up to my new area for the night.
By the time I got there, which involved a bit of a climb, my body had been reinvigorated by some exercise and I could not sit right down and go to sleep. The view was beautiful, and at this new height I could look out over the entire bay in one direction, and see the entire town in another direction. The speed with which the seemingly deep purple fog was being blown over the area was somewhat mesmerizing, and the shapes the mist made looked like sylphs dancing across the beach and hills. The wind was blowing pretty hard now, but the safe cone that the limbs of these trees formed kept me completely out of it. In a way I felt like I had bested the wind, and content with myself, I resolved to meditate for a little bit before going back to sleep.
After about ten minutes of meditation, a series of images began to present themselves before my eyes. They were images of a past incarnation, a life I had lived in India long ago. People, places, names, even parts of the Hindu language, rushed back to me. The images slowed and I began to notice that what I was now seeing was a temple filled with air-element symbolism. I saw myself and others sitting prostrate in front of a large monkey-shaped statue, the image of the Monkey-God of the Wind and of Pranayama, Hanuman. Then it went dark once more, and I felt an atmospheric shift in the air around me. I knew the wind was still blowing as hard as it had been, but now it sounded muffled, like I was hearing it from underwater, or through a thin wall. Curious, I opened my eyes to look out from my enclosure.
There, crouched at the entrance to my little tree-cave, was Hanuman. It was dark, but how many people could have the silhouette of a monkey-man? I could just barely make out his face, which looked pleased with me. He had his right arm up, touching one of the limbs of the tree which arced over the entrance, and had his left arm down with his hand on his left leg. His tail curved along his back and came up over his left shoulder, next to his face, which was surmounted on the forehead by what seemed to be a golden band. He was shirtless and muscular in figure, with shorts that came down just past his knees, and a red sash tied across his waist. Short, human-like hair ran across the top of his head, and followed down either side of his face in what became sideburns. His head, except for the nose and brow region, was distinctly human, and he seemed full of love. It seemed like as suddenly as he was there, he was gone, and the strange atmospheric bubble had vanished also. So powerful was his presence, though, that in the ether one could clearly see exactly where he had been, outlined in what looked like heat-waves of subtle colors. I though that this might be a Theophany, hoped it was, but had assured myself I would be just as fine if it were simply come kind of overpowering vision. None the less I leaned forward and crawled over to where Hanuman had been standing, and there saw all that I needed: a pair of large, ape-like footprints. I prayed, gave thanks, and as content as I had ever been, fell asleep. I couldn't help but notice that the wind had calmed completely as I drifted off.The Beach Yogi to the Rescue
The days rolled on, each one with its own little experiences that kept my heart lifted, my mind turned upwards, and my practices solid. I had begun to develop some local popularity, bearing the title "Beach Yogi" to those who saw me regularly. This popularity came with some advantages, admittedly: people would make a point to swing by and drop some food of for me, or would come out with a few friends and talk to me for a little while to learn about who this strange looking person was. I didn't mind being called a yogi, though I would call myself a magician. It is a kind of technicality, and in their defense, how could they know? During the day all I did was meditate or take walks, and I was always in my complete spiritual regalia: a cloth wrapped around my legs and hips, tied around the waist to form what in India is called a Dhoti, with a larger, thicker cloth thrown over my shoulders and hanging freely over the front of my chest and stomach, all brought together by a mala of large rudraksha around my neck and a brass bangle on my right wrist that had in Sanskrit "Aum Namah Shivaya." They didn't know about my night practices; no one did. I made sure no one was ever around late at night, when the moon was high as the only light; no one ever saw the circle in the sand, or the magus with his wand and staff. So to them I was the Beach Yogi.
In retrospect, it seems like common sense that I would develop into a curiosity of the area. The town had very little tourist activity, so almost anyone that was on the beach was a local from very close nearby, and it was inevitable that they would notice the newest lawn ornament on their beach. Some things were hard for me to get use to, like having pictures taken of me, which occurred quite often, or having other people come and try to meditate next to me (they invariably left after about five minutes). Other things I didn't mind, though. Occasionally a group of people would meet up and come out to see me at night, and sit with me around my fire. I would ask them about themselves and the area, and they would ask me about who I was, what I was doing, why in Pacifica, and other things to be expected. With luck the conversation would eventually turn into spiritual discussion, and they would stay with me late into the night to hear a lecture on some subject they were interested in. I remember one night four people, two guys and two girls, were looking all over the area for an expensive hair-pendant that had fallen out of a girl's hair earlier. They had not noticed it was missing until they returned home, and had set back out immediately to look for it. I decided to locate the object for them magically, got up and walked over to it, took it out of the sand, and returned it to them over where they were searching. When they asked, I just told them I had seen it earlier, and figuring someone might come back looking for it, had put it next to my stuff. It is easier to mentally locate something that is very valuable to a person, especially if that person is currently stressing out about it, because of the mental tension created between the object and its owner. If she had not really cared about it, I would not have been able to find it (finding objects is not my fort'e).
It was late in the afternoon, and approaching time for my evening practices with the sun, when I realized that there was quite a commotion being stirred up just forty feet or so away from me. I was meditating, but judged in the back of my head from the voices that it was probably a group of people in highschool. I decided to listen in, and see what was going on. There turned out to be about fifteen people, assumably all a group of decent friends at some point. But now there was a rift in their little family: one of the guys, eighteen, had slept with the little daughter (who was sixteen) of one of the other guys, and had clearly violated some manner of unspoken code in the mind of the group. The group seemed torn in two: on the one side were mostly girls, with a few guys, defending the young man who was in this instance the offender, saying that it was natural, assuring the big brother that it was consensual, spontaneous, and wouldn't happen again. The other side of the group, though, could not be consoled: that man had committed some manner of heinous sin in their eyes, and their champion, the big brother, would not rest until the other guy was puking blood.
I am not a particularly charitable person, and I have an extreme interest in the natural sociological behavior patterns of individuals and groups. Those two factors came together to keep me content sitting there in the sand. I had no bone to pick with either group, and figured I would simply listen. I reasoned that if I had gotten involved then my own safety may have been jeopardized; the angry big brother seemed to be the kind of guy who would go back home, grab a baseball bat, come back during the night and try to beat me to death. After all he was threatening something quite similar to the other guy. It began to feel like the situation was coming to some kind of resolution, with the Big Brother group physically pulling their hero away from the Little-Sister Guy group, and beginning to successfully walk off. Then I heard a kind of silence familiar to anyone who has ever been in an actual street fight where someone really wants to hurt you: the silence that occurs the moment the angry person breaks away from those who are holding him, rushes over, and begins the fight. Its the natural silence of the surprise of the onlookers, the concentration of the attacker, and the fright of the attacked. I glanced over and noticed, happy day, that they were rolling towards me on the ground. The girls, very concerned, all began to yell at the two boys not because they were fighting it out in the sand, but because they were disturbing "the beach yogi." They bumped into me, and for whatever reason, they both became perfectly still. I laid my right hand over the chest of the boy who was on the ground, the one getting the Hell beat out of him by the angry guy, and looked at the victor of the battle. I asked him if he was done, and in a strangely submissive tone he told me that this person had slept with his little sister, and had to be taught a lesson. His words indicated aggression, but his voice, his eyes, and his demeanor all clearly indicated that at that moment he was subject to me for some reason, almost like it was important to him that I understood why he behaved the way he did. Like a little dog, trying to explain by his eyes and wimper to his owner why he tore up the couch cushion, to stem the expected punishment. It was pitiful. I asked him nicely if he was done, and surprisingly he said yes, and walked back to his group. I helped the poor boy on the ground back to his feet, and asked him if he personally felt like what he did was wrong, and he said yes, that he was ashamed of it, and that is why he did not defend himself when he was being pummeled. Incidentally I had noticed too that when they were rolling around on the ground, his hands had remained by his side the entire time. Content that in the days of Hammurabi the judge would be satisfied with the outcome, I walked with the young man back to the large group, who all looked confused by the sudden end of the fight.
The tension between the two men who had been fighting had visibly lessened, and it was clear that I had everyone's attention, if for no other reason than that I was dressed strangely. Taking the opportunity up I asked if anyone would like to learn a basic, quick exercise to relieve stress and anger so that something like this would not happen again, and to my everlasting surprise ten of them said yes. The others left and went back to the parking area by the beach to wait for their friends. Thinking a little bit of exercise would calm everyone's nerves we all hiked up to my usual evening and morning sun-practice area on the plateau, and I taught them a beginner's version of the exercise. They did it with me, thanked me, asked me a few questions about myself and my practices, and we all walked back down to the beach together. That night a few of them came out to where I was with some food and money for me, and I was very thankful for the opportunity. I found out that two of the girls were blackbelts in martial arts like myself, and one of the guys had been to Mount Shasta and Sedona, two places I very much wanted to visit eventually, so we had a nice night.The Flute of Krishna
It is not a strange thing to hear sounds when one meditates. Each chakra vibrates at a different frequency, and acting up the psychic channels created a certain kind of sound depending on the purity of those channels. Some chakras buzz, others whistle, one sounds like a flute, another like a tambourine, and some sound like a lion's roar or a storm. Add to this that a magician with developed clairaudience may hear various ethereal phenomenon being caused by the energy generated from the meditation, and some practice sessions can get quite noisy. Even with the best clairaudience, though, there is still a distinct difference between "real" sounds and spiritual or psychic sounds. Anything being perceived by clairaudience will sound as though it is happening in the hollow of the ear. This does not mean it is loud, simply that it seems like it is happening within the ear itself. The sound may still have distance and depth to it, but it would be like recording a sound made at a distance, then putting the recorder near your eye and playing the sound. A sound made in nature will have more defining characteristics to it, will sound natural and at its proper distance, and will have physical vibrations associated with it the way a person's voice may naturally have bass. On this particular occasion the sound was definitively real, but its source was certainly spiritual as far as I have been able to reason.
By this time I had already migrated to my cave. I had seen it from the distance on my first day, but it seemed to small to be of any real use, and it was very close to a steep cliff which, if I slipped and fell from, would have put me in the hospital or left me laying on rocks to die, too far away from anyone to be noticed. After spending a few nights tucked away in the trees, though, I became uncomfortable with the slant of the ground I had to sleep on, and the exposure to people walking the trail that passed by in front of it during the day. I inspected the cave and found that though the entrance was very slim it opened up considerably inside, at least enough for me to comfortably lay down, sit up and meditate, and still have storage room for my things. Perhaps the best thing about it, apart from keeping me out sun during the day and the mist during the night, was that it provided a smooth, cool wall for me to lean against during meditation. My back had begun to give me some problems from the hours daily spent sitting upright with no real support, and the muscles running down along my spine had not sufficiently been able to rest and rejuvenate themselves. My meditation time had taken a small cut in length because of this, and a comfortable seat-like formation against a smooth section of wall solved this problem and let me meditate even more than I had been.
This particular day I had not left my cave yet. I resolved to meditate and stay away from any contact with people for the day, fasting until the next morning. This was partially because my cave was such a long walk from the nearest place I could get food, and partially because I was running out of money and still had to expect another taxi ride or two. Content with the situation, I took up my asana, laid back against the wall, and closed me eyes. No sooner had my eyelids shut than when I heard, very distinctly, the sound of a flute. It was a beautiful sound, and whoever was playing it could play it well. I was curious, and remembered that there was a small path not too far form my cave, maybe 150 feet. The flute sounded much, much closer than that, but I reasoned that such high-pitched sounds can probably trick the ears. I resettled my asana and went to close my eyes again, but just as I was getting settled back in I heard what sounded distinctly like the laugh of a soft voice, followed again by a string of musical notes from a flute. This time there was no questioning: an image of Krishna was burned into my mind, and everything seemed to remind me of him. I felt some disoriented, but get up to my feet and rushed outside. I looked around to find the source of the flute, but to no avail. When I looked in front of me, it came from behind me. When I looked to the left it came from the right, when I looked below me it came from somewhere above me, and above me from somewhere below me. Again I heard a laugh; not a mocking laugh, but the gentle laugh of a good friend who is enjoying a bit of harmless fun at your expense. Joy overwhelmed me, and soon I was laughing to. I shouted out a hymn of praise of Krishna, who incidentally is not a god I have ever meditated upon nor whom I particularly identify with. Content washed over me and I went back into the cave, feeling exhilarated and spiritually uplifted, as though I had been cleaned by something from head to toe, inside and out. I reached a new depth and serenity in meditation that afternoon, and deepened my understanding of the nature and true purpose of magic.Gliding Down the Mountain
As was mentioned earlier, my morning and evening routines involved a hike up and down a high hill that, at many points, would be too steep to climb or descend on anything less than your hands and knees. I had found an agreeable path that wound around the hill diagonally, and it allowed a comparatively safe ascent and descent every day. Occasionally I would see other people up near where I practiced, but not often, and it was usually a couple waiting for a romantic sunset, content enough to be far away from me and out of sight. Near the base of this hill though, beginning with a dirt path that passes by in front of the trees I had stayed under for a few nights previously, was a paved walkway wide enough for several people to jog side by side on, and probably intended for essentially that. Bikers, hikers, joggers, dog-walkers, and people out for an invigorating walk, used this walkway regularly, and there were usually at least a handful of people on it. I realized before I left that the strange attention this seemingly random spot by a hill was given was because it was a designated tsunami escape route, and that hill was the highest accessible ground in the area.
This particular day I was very exhilarated. I had reached a new level in my magical practices, and with a solid day of great meditation was in as blissful a state of being as ever. I climbed the hillside, taking my usual trail all the way to the top where I would walk out on a ledge that extended away from the main part of the plateau and made you feel like you were floating over the ocean if you looked straight out. My prayers to the sun were completed, as were my solar practices for rejuvenation and revitalization. It was particularly beautiful out, and since I happened to have brought my bag with me up the hill I took a few pictures. There was still another two hours or so until sunset, so I stripped to an undercloth wrapped around my waste and down to the knees and practice martial arts for a little while, ending with some Qigong. I had not really exercised at all, other than walking through sand and up and down a hill, so I enjoyed the feeling. When I was done I sat down and did another half hour or so of meditation, then threw all my clothes back on, put my bag over my shoulder, and proceeded to go back down the hill to my usual area.
Like some other days previously, I was particularly "gone" this day. My eyes were not on my surroundings, and I was not thinking entirely logically. On a hill with several drop-offs and deceptive slopes, that means I wasn't thinking safely either. I went back to the start of the trail that I habitually took up and down the hill, but saw that several people were all trying to work their way up it together. It certainly was wide enough for even two people to pass each other on without some danger, so I decided to go elsewhere. The sensible thing to do would have been to wait, but instead I saw what seemed to be another, smaller and much less used trail. I only realized later, when I went back to that spot, that the "trail" was actually a foot-wide line of small pieces of rock, which had broken off a collection of boulders further up the hill and rolled down the side, collecting together naturally. Seeing nothing wrong with this at the time, I began my walk down with great ease, wondering why I had never taken this way before. I wasn't even looking at where I was going: my eyes were turned slightly upwards, towards the sky in the distance above a mountain, where mist was rolling off in a intriguing fashion. I resolved to visit that spot in the distance later (which I did the next day), and happily, carelessly strolled my way the rest of the way down to the paved walkway at the base of the hill.
The words that greeted me when I stepped onto that pavement were straight forward and well enough deserved: "Are you mad!?" Something sobering about those words brought me at least a little back to reality, and I realized that a veritable throng of people had gathered on the walkway, had watched my descent, and were waiting for me with a piece of their mind. Some people looked outright amazed, others looked angry, and others seemed just interested. "You could have killed yourself, be more careful" an older lady shouted at me, and then walked off. A few other people said their mind or made various gestures, and left as well. It was another hiker, a few years older than me, who came forward with his jaw dropped as the voice of several others behind him who looked equally confused. "How the Hell did you do that?" That was his only question. He explained to me that he himself had tried on several occasions to both climb and descend the hill at that same slope, and had only succeeded once in climbing it on all fours. I told them I honestly didn't know, but confessed that I had paid no attention to the steepness of the hill, and had thought that I was on a trail. He explained what my "trail" really was, and said that this should have caused me to slip and fall, sliding down to the walkway below. That's when a woman behind him, his same age seemingly, piped up and told me that she was waiting for me to fall, but in doing so had noticed that no little rocks were rolling down the hill. Indeed the entire thing seemed completely undisturbed, as though no one had set a foot on it. A single movement of any sizable piece of broken rock along that decent should have sent a number of them rolling down, but nothing of the sorts had happened.
I assured them it was just luck, that I had strong ankles and good....sandals.......and that the only reason I wasn't looking where I was going was because I had walked that path several times. A good enough lie, and though it didn't seem to convince them, I walked off before they could throw any more questions at me. The truth was, I didn't remember rocks under my feet at all. I didn't remember anything under my feet. I just knew my legs were moving, and I somehow descended the hill. I began to attempt this again at a later time, but quickly lost my nerve after experiencing first hand that it is impossible.