This series is a series on my mystical experiences in indo-european polytheism. I cataloge the exact experiences in these articles:
- I Sacrificed Myself to Myself: An Introduction
- I Sacrificed Myself to Myself: Reaching up the Tree, Begging for its Fruits to Fall
- I Sacrificed Myself to Myself: The Fruits Fall
- I Sacrificed Myself to Myself: The Return Gifts of Sacrifice
Sacred Plants as Guides
Soma is not only a read drink, but it is seen as the god that carries immortality, and the vedic priests believed they attained it when they drank it. Something is to be said about how things prepared from sacred plants or the plants themselves are seen as guides or revealers of wisdom. This phenomenon is universal and found in worldwide indigenous cultures. In the United States, we have serious taboos and cultural baggage which causes us to demonize all kinds of things. We would do well to inspect the invisible line between medicine and what is illicit. If we have a problem visiting that line, those are the problems preventing you from experiencing the mystical experience. If you get butthurt more often than your friends, if you are very particular about comfort and order, this work isn’t for you, you’ll never get there. Only in death will your ego surrender. The strength of one’s identity and ego indicates a person more steeped in illusion. The stronger the identity the proportionately weaker a person’s deepest self is.
I’m not a proponent to injesting soma or its theoretical ingredients. Would I do it over, yes. I was weak, I am no longer weak. I know well what suffering and what bliss exists in the world and this cultural reality masks that. That mask comes off every morning for me and I have a raw feelings of terror for other beings in crisis. I no longer look at the forests as a beautiful the more so than a house of murder and death as much as life. Usually we just see one, but in truth, we are kept from seeing it on all levels. As I write about it, you can only conceive of a percent of the actual meaning of what I see when I am in the forest.
I am however proposing that we cease using the civilized view of ‘drugs’ to describe sacred plant guides, dream herbs, mandrakes, roots, fungi, and mosses which carry with them vivid experiences with otherworlds and spirits.
When white people become pagan, its much different than when mexican people become neopagans. They don’t carry with them the cultural taboos that the rest of us carry forward. Its is important to re-indigeonize yourselves and for me that looks like hillbilly mountain granny style folk practices.
On the other hand, there are people who try this stuff too often, never get there, and develop this culture of abusing sacred guides and ignoring the wisdom. This is totally white boy wasted type behavior that is not only offensive, but juvenile in the sense that speaks to underdevelopment. This belongs to the healers and shamans, leeches and druids. Some of the entheogen groups in facebook demonstrate this clearly. “I’ve done Ayahuasca like 40 times and I still get depressed and can’t kick my habit of blah blee blue.”
Plant guides only kick open 40-60 doors toward enlightenment/moksha. You have to see what’s in them and open the rest. If you keep blowing those 60 doors open expecting the other 40 to also open, #sorrynotsorry #takewhatyousawandgodothework.
What Separates the Intrepid from the Casual
Cleansing rites, maya rites(othering bad qualities and sharing hospitality with them), and cycles of natural rites, devotionals, high days, meditations, journeys, and guided works might generate more often than not, a casual spiritual experience that carries some level of profoundness. But the mystic experience is hardly casual, and what separates it from others is that your psyche is broken for a long period, forcing you to fix the problems in your worldview, or face utter madness and torment. And so, when I talk about mystic experiences, such as these, I cannot begin to communicate the real fear that you will experience. The strong and fearless experience it the worst. Anxious in normal life have less of a problem with it. Here weakness and strength are flipped on its head, like the second gate in the never ending story. Or like any stories where the protagonist meets their shadow self before facing the antagonist.
Guided meditations or bouts of self trance which grow into into insightful revelations of gnosis that comes with the feelings bliss and palpable wisdom, are still of a casual spiritual nature. The brain is wired to lessen the significance of frequent events. Most people have casual spiritual in one form or another. You need not be a theist to have one, especially when music creates the frisson effect in a person. Frisson control, however, is part of my mystical practice. In meditation I’ve learned to invoke it with acute precision in parts of my body or all over. I can make it pulse and do different things. I believe things like it, and the breath, are gateways to controlling autonomic functions of the body which we normally consider voluntary. I can’t imagine the dangers into making things like heartbeats under the control of the voluntary mind. I think that’s a skill better left to my body.
The clip right here is the best representation of what the experience looks and sounds, in small part, like. This clip excludes the understanding of what you are seeing and excludes the wisdom downloads of gnosis you receive as you’re going through it.
Casual experiences are not enough to stave off crisis of faith. But for those who’ve had the intrepid mystical experience, there is no crisis, there is no faith, there is only seeing everything how it is around us, above us, and under us.
Fearlessness is required to overcome the experience at a certain point. You’re given choices to move forward only by accepting certain realities. Without acknowledgement and acceptance, you’ll not gain the boon so to speak. The cherry fruit hanging from the tree, the hazelnuts in the bellies of Salmon, the panacea of all abstraction that brings bliss, peace, mastery and vision.
Preparation and Safety
I didn’t prepare for my first experience. I didn’t expect to have it. It was what psychologists call the ‘Moses Experience’ from the ‘Marsh Chapel Experiment’. In that experiment, theology students were used as subjects.
There’s no way to mentally prepare. The best way you can prepare is to have studied and practiced your religion in a serious setting for about a decade prior to any attempts. You should be prepared to have all of your expectations ripped from you, your stored behaviors, your ways of coping, as well as any mood whatsoever. You may want to be prepared to comfort yourself with the things you love most. Have your favorite food ready for after the experience, that is, if you’re having a planned experience with soma.
If you enter the mystic state by meditative routine over several decades, you probably have all the preparation handled, but you won’t be able to expect when it happens.
But if you are using soma, a sober babysitter is best. They should avoid talking to you, you should not talk to them. You should go into the dark and they should leave you alone no matter what laughing or crying they hear. You should know that the experience will end in a few hours and that all of your ‘hallucinations’ are actually parts of your mind and memory being played back to you. You need to be in a safe environment and have all phones off the hook or turned off. You do not want to play popular kinds of music, or music you would jam out in the car to. Most music when I was underhill sounded different and therefore irritated me. The sound of a waterfall however was more musical than ever before.
If you feel you are dying, you want to lean into that experience. Let it happen, that is the point of this article. If you don’t do that, you don’t get the boon, the mystical experience itself.
Be prepared to have every part of your mind stripped from you except the part that observes and feels. Expect no control over raw emotions. Expect for you mind to show you images, feelings, thoughts that are both good and bad, and in between. Expect realizations and to be in your thoughts as places.
Getting skinned alive by the gods does not begin to describe the experience though it is close. The descent of Inanna is a watered down version of what I experienced.
The Seven Tined Initiation
Sacrificing Yourself to Yourself
How do you sacrifice yourself to yourself? I now know, what is meant by that is giving up bias, burdens, what you fancy, making excuses for yourself and your mode of being. Any over attachment to things, especially false identity. You are reborn, and the old you is what you sacrificed. And the new you is who you sacrificed it to. We’re not buddhist so when we practice detachment, its for a time and its generally a mild relaxation and trust in the world, even admit fear and danger and up to and past our death. Going with the flow of Rta and Truth is the quintessence of a good life among IE pagan virtue systems.
For Indo-European mystics, those who mind and spirit hack themselves into recognizing the divinity and mystery within nature is key. While in the mystical experience, you can either experience pain, meh, or joy all depending on your bias. If it is hard to remove, it will be removed from you. The act of drinking soma, while knowing that it will tear your mind apart, is an act of putting the old you to death so that what remains, what you’ve not dismembered, can rise up anew.
When one practices asceticism, restraint, or deprivation, they are giving up a part of themselves invested in sleeping, drinking, resting to gain what is better for and of themselves. These experience require you to do this. It’s the path of all other mystics worldwide as well, it’s not just related to paganism, it is related to human physiology. Whatever soma does in a few hours, asceticism can do in a few decades but can make permanent.
This is the most dangerous work of the mystic, you can accidentally remove parts of yourself that make living worth living… this is also part of the madness because for me, I had to find a new status quo, a new way to make meaning in the world.
My I was having lots of relationship troubles at the time. I had also been trying to start businesses for several years and so money was always tight. I got kicked out of my own house so went to my families house in Houston where it happened. After the consumption of some substance, in the state I was in, in the darkness and the darkest hour of my time, I had the mystical experience.
I think it deserves its own paragraph to describe that the difference between psychedelic casual drug use and strategic entheogenic use is vast. I explain there being a difference by saying that I have studied paganism and druidry for over 20 years and I’ve aimed my experience at the spirit world. Additionally, a youthful me wouldn’t be able to recognize truth in the experience. Also dosage and potency was a big factor.
I enter the backyard on a summer’s night like this one, and someone kindle’s a fire which I sit at.
Like a roller coaster I start to feel my anxiety increase in anticipation of some kind of falling. I don’t feel lifted up, just an increased anticipation. I sit in an adarondac chair and just watch the cosmos fly by. My anxiety, kind of like butter flies instead of real terror or fear, just is going wild, as high as it has ever been. I’m seeing all kinds of visuals of waves and patterns fly by. I begin to fly through my many moods rapidly. I determine a greater intimacy with what mood i’m in in like 5 minutes. I see my moving through the moods like a traveler in a boat sailing though calm seas to stormy seas, to choppy seas. The seas recede but I’m still there, the point in space that was my perspective, though I identified with all of what I was seeing, the place I was in, the fire, and the visions.
I look at the fire, it looks like the illuminated text of the book of Kells. I suddenly realize that the Christian mystics had access to this experience as well, and that it must be some kind of induced synesthesia, caused by stopped up serotonin receptors. That’s why I can’t form my identity at my body and it extends to the cosmos. I remain polytheist in this because the entire time, I had one point of perspective. I was here, not everywhere. Instead of me being everywhere else, everywhere else was busy being me, like my spirit extended into everything.
I could see that the fire was a living being. Even now as I write it, my mind erases the memory. It is getting harder to record these visions, but the experience grants you mental gifts like working with your horse to recover those sorts of things.
I remember telling my sister who was outside that I saw the fire as a living being and she told me she didn’t believe any of that. I thought to myself that it does 5 or so out of the 7 things that qualify a system as living, like reproducing, metabolizing, respirating, etc, but I just dropped it.
After I shared in hospitality with the fire, it warmed me and its light was wonderful, my anxiety began to start to rise higher than the maximum so it is to uncomfortable levels. I became paranoid that all my thoughts were displayed on my body language. My mind starts to match each thought I’m having with a posture I’m taking. This sensation expands to into something more I can’t describe other than a greater awareness of my bullshit I thought I was hiding from other people but that they could see all along. My vision of things that could go wrong at any moment began to expand and I could tell that my brain chemistry was matching more closely that of a paranoid person.
That is when I started glimpsing the thoughts and feelings of others they were wearing on their body. It was like Benedict Cumberbatch on Sherlock. I was seeing it as little objects on my families exterior, like a tgif waiter who has their thoughts on buttons on their suspenders and shirts.
Then I pierce some membrane and am in another place while sitting where I am at. I remember thinking to myself, “Can I go to where the gods are?” And suddenly I’m at the foot of Brighid who appears to me as these three braids of power, perfect sine waves, that are aware I’m there. I think, “What about the Morrigan, and I’m at the food of 3 other praids of scarier power.” As I’m typing this it just seems like words but when I was there, it was more real than the giant athena in Nashville, more real than the pixels projecting these words.
I remember the first experience only yielding a few things to remember, I wish I had someone there to write down all of what I was seeing, but I learned people who are anxious about things have a good reason to be, and that I could be as anxious at the drop of a hat, which I was briefly. I saw the gods in a way my mind would render them under those influences, and it was real and I could feel a will from them. The wisdom and gnosis spilling off of these braided waves was like nothing I’ve ever conceived of before. Another difference between the causal and intrepid spiritual experience is that the gnosis gleaned from these journey’s, you’d never think of on random journey you listened to on a podcast, not unless you tear down these psychological filters first.
I wanted to go as deep as I could. I had tried a muscaria soma that didn’t work between the first instance and this instance. It takes an ungodly amount, you get the shakes and salivate with them. Muscaria somas will work but it involves stomach ache, shaking, and drooling. None of which you want.
This time I engineered soma from the ground up replacing muscarias with the recommended ingredient from the book “Food of the Gods” by T. McKenna. Lo and behold, at the recommended dose with the right recipe, it became repeatable and therefore I could play with intensifying it through trial and error.
I consumed the soma with my wife. 10 minutes later I was in the underworld. It was this deep cavern that looked like Alex Grey’s the net of being. I knew I was simply in a part of it that lead to the grassy meadows below, but I couldn’t move or find my way there, I was just stationary as a soul fixture on the wall. There were other presences there but I didn’t get a good look at them.
Doctor’s Strange’s experience of the net of being at starting at 1:10 until the hands grab his pupil and becomes himself. It’s important to remember, most of these are indeed parts of yourself that you are exploring and the wisdom is already within your subconscious mind. But I have found a way to the gods through where my mind borders the otherworlds.
Later in the experience, I saw this place called the hall of mirrors, which I was adamantly under the impression this place was designed to show me how I project my experience onto things to extract meaning, invest in them and how that creates bias. It was so weird seeing this and extracting meaning from other perspectives which I could traverse and still can to this day.
I remember one wisdom transmission, it was the full understanding that what I think are other people are just subjective copies of them in my mind using my experiences projected onto them to fill out the picture and understand them.
There is nothing wrong with this when your copy matches someone in totality. You feel you can predict their moves and those people we tend to cling to and with which we form extreme bonds.
In this hall of projections and mirrors, I could see the mental bias as beams coming from my head and bouncing off of the mirrors. I could see how I was seeing a translated vision of the process of how I paint things in my mind that I perceive.
The hall of mirrors was a stone temple that was completely dark inside except for those beams. It had a geometric 3 dimensional shape and it was like I was really there, like you are sitting where you are sitting now. I didn’t go to the temple outright, I didn’t travel there, I was in normal reality and I started to notice my worldview coming apart as I started thinking about the process of the projections. I then woke up from normal reality to be inside this temple. I started to walk out of the temple and move myself into the vast bigger reality outside of my worldview, which was what the temple symbolized. When the soma wore off and I became asleep again, and though I’m back on this plane, my spirit on that other plane is no longer stuck in that place.
This is when I realized all of this was happening in a parallel place to where we currently reside. And while we may topographically raise and lower parts of this otherworld as upper and lower, it certainly is above, below, through, around, in, out, over, and under this current world.
Some scientists call these subjective copies of objective reality in our psyches, the simulacra. Which are just symbols of reality, not reality itself. When someone does something out of character, the character is the simulacra, what they do out of that character is the reality. The bad feeling about the ordeal stems from the fact that I make these projections and then invest in them. If I cease to make projections, I can’t operate as a human, but I don’t have to invest in them. So now I identify with my ignorance and just shrug my shoulders lett my judgements pass by unless they are interesting or useful.
This is where each vision started to get more and more intense. There were now Indo-European cultural themes I could see in my visions.
My vision started in the company of another adventurer, but it ended alone while we laid down. Ten minutes after consumption, I was in another place. I saw the burning tree and the living tree similarly to the way it is depicted above. I passed it and turned what felt was northward on a whim and I was gifted a mystery which I later learned was called coincidentia oppositorum. It’s the fire and ice, or the fire and water symbolism in IE myth. It’s the two cosmic powers which exist on high but reach down low to every nook of existence. Its sky and earth, night and day. Active order and passive chaos. Lao Tzu had a lot to say about these sorts of things.
After turning northward I came to the shore of this waterway where there was fog and a temple barely visible on the other side. It was a wooden round house made square. When I went inside I saw the it dark on one corner of the ceiling, and tiled to the other which was golden. In between looked like an Escher painting. I then saw all of the cosmos as a giant joining of opposing forces that through their opposition combine to create a harmonic wave of cosmos in the gap between.
I was convinced that the gods were real and not real at the same time. Paradoxes were totally understandable and I could see the nuance of how they come together. At the time I was an atheist and thought all of this was going on in my brain’s higher dimensions or something like an extracted archive of me being made into this grand vision I could experience.
Courtesy of wikiart.orgSo with the understanding of the coincidentia oppositorum, and the knowledge that the gods do and do not exist, I was able to extract out of that the wisdom that though beings we ought to call gods exist in this other place I was in, they may not be the exact gods we worship that our ancestors recognized. And even though that’s the case, we are primordial beings that the universe has evolved from nothing, who write stories of heroes, and al la Durkheim, project our best on to those gods and seek to become them. And in that way, this gnosis was true regardless of theism. Today, we wield more power than the gods in myth. We have strived to become something and we overshot it, and rightly so.
That is when I looked down and saw myself inside this temple across the waterway and I started to glow and turn into those braids, the same braids of energy I saw in the manner I envisioned the gods in my first vision. I was realizing I was divine.
I came back convinced that there is a scale of real divinity, and ontic scale from microbial spirit though to elves, dwarves and the like, up through the ancestors and mortals, to end at the Gods. All things are ‘gods’ on this scale in the indo-european sense. It wasn’t until I was able to let go of both my skepticism and the need for belief at the same time did I start to raise up toward the sky. Total removal of bias and discretion, I was supposed to just watch the experience, and download the mysteries.