Notes From the Shadows (March 2018)


““Confrontation with the shadow produces at first a dead balance, a standstill that hampers moral decisions and makes convictions ineffective or even impossible. Everything becomes doubtful, which is why the alchemists called this stage nigredo,”
-Carl Jung


When we learn our depths and explore them, judging the depths of others, except possibly in how it may or may not inconvenience us or in how it may or may not make their lives work for them becomes difficult. In the end tho, it is not as much a matter of morals but of ethics. What is my code of honour that I will not violate? What will I accept in others? It is by that process that we become sovereign individuals as opposed to people following any code dictated from outside themselves


Click on images to see full-sized:


Vampyric Abstraction by GAR


Necroscopy by GAR


Some Hard Won Lessons Said by Others Better Than I Could (March 2018)


Trivial Note: Am I one of the few people not surprised or outraged by the fact that data that we share on FB got used badly? Anything that we share publically (or even far too often privately) runs the risk of being shared further. This is true of gossip, art, or personal data. All too often very few of us show little or no caution in these matters. Indeed many of the people outraged at Facebook and Mark Zukerberg are the same who post jokes about the government listening in to our phone calls and Alexa tracking our every recipe request.
Facebook and other Social Media are these free gifts that were provided for us. They are also businesses out for profit and their product is us. Everything costs, whether it be our time, our money, or our data and things that appear free too often tend to be the most expensive of all.
I have said often that I believe in personal responsibility (and have been recently surprised at how provocative those words can be). We can blame Zuckerberg, Facebook, Cambridge Analytics (etc) for illicit use of our data. Would they have that data if we didn’t offer it in the first place?
Which is a nice lead in to what I intended to be a blog entry consisting entirely of quotes:


“Gospodin,” he said presently, “you used an odd word earlier–odd to me, I mean…”
“Oh, ‘tanstaafl.’ Means ~There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.’ And isn’t,” I added, pointing to a FREE LUNCH sign across room, “or these drinks would cost half as much. Was reminding her that anything free costs twice as much in long run or turns out worthless.”
“An interesting philosophy.”
“Not philosophy, fact. One way or other, what you get, you pay for.”
–Robert A. Heinlein, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress


“The recommendation for warriors is not to have any material things on which to focus their power, but to focus it on the spirit, on the true flight into the unknown, not on trivialities. Everyone who wants to follow the warrior’s path has to rid himself of the compulsion to possess and hold onto things.”
–Carlos Castaneda


“Nothing of any importance can be taught. It can only be learned, and with blood and sweat.”
–Robert Anton Wilson


Click on images to see full-sized:


Inner Reflection by GAR


Woodland Sinistral by GAR


Solitary Roads (March 2018)


“Nothing of any importance can be taught. It can only be learned, and with blood and sweat.”
― Robert Anton Wilson


If we’re honest we cannot accept another’s path without losing our own,
We can learn from others and even seek an understanding of their road but when it comes to our own path, it is a forging of the way. No one can walk it for us and we have to do our own work. It is we who interact with our deities and demons and we will have to meet them all along the way.
“seek to shine darkness
not reflect another’s questionable light
and laugh …
if everyone, man, demon, or deity turned away
you would be left with a clear screen
find that empty hole in yourself
and throw yourself in
there you will find me.”


Click on images to see full-sized:


Beacon by GAR


Kephera (redux) by GAR


Echoes of Sheol by GAR


Images in the Mist (March 2018)


“The best way to avoid responsibility is to say, ‘I’ve got
― Richard Bach


The above is another quote that I find applies to so many things. The best way to avoid studying is to say “There are so many things I want to study.”
The best way to avoid learning a skill is to say “I have so many skills I want / need to learn”
The best way to avoid spiritual growth is to say “There are so many directions I can go in”
It feels so easy to be like the mule who starved to death because he stood in between two bags of feed and could not decide which to start with. Ultimately, what action we choose to take doesn’t matter. What matters is doing something that will further us in some way. Everything we do eventually benefits us more than inactivity ever will. We can always course correct later. This is a lesson that has taken me way too long to learn.


Click on images to see full-sized:


Manifesting in the Flames by GAR


Neuronic Roots by GAR


Through Imagery Into Shadowed Places (March 2018)


“Our will operates in spite of our indulgence. For example, your will is already opening your gap, little by little.” “What gap are you talking about?” “There is a gap in us; like the soft spot on the head of a child which closes with age, this gap opens as one develops one’s will.”
― Carlos Castaneda


Discomfort yourself,
avoid the sunny places that you know
I offer no safe wonderland
nor is that my intent
I want to ping your shadowed selves
and awaken the seed of potential
that lives within you
if only momentarily
something that you can nurture
into a dark mirror
whose image will help you grow.
Click on images to see full-sized:


Awareness of the Moment by GAR


Movement in the Shadows by GAR


Odd Thoughts in the Black Sun’s Light (March 2018)


“We wanderers, ever seeking the lonelier way, begin no day where we have ended another day; and no sunrise finds us where sunset left us. Even while the earth sleeps we travel. We are the seeds of the tenacious plant, and it is in our ripeness and our fullness of heart that we are given to the wind and are scattered.”
— Kahlil Gibran


Learn to be alone without loneliness
To feel every emotion without action or dwelling
and in action be swift, on-point,
and merciless in execution.


On instinct, I mistrust those who speak of self-knowledge and then express new age platitudes of beauty and sunshine. At our core there is beauty but ugliness and venom as well. There is selfishness, greed, love, violence, power, wrath and everything else conceivable. Acting like its not there won’t change it. Acknowledging, even honouring it makes us if not whole, more wholly ourselves.
Of course when it comes down to it, the snapshot of ourselves matters not nearly as much as that we become…


Click on images to see full-sized


A Tableau Within by GAR


Black Sun Ascending by GAR


Expansion of Understanding (February 2018)

“Religion is the emulation of the adult by the child. Religion is the encystment of past beliefs: mythology, which is guesswork, the hidden assumptions of trust in the universe, those pronouncements which men have made in search of personal power, all of it mingled with shreds of enlightenment. And always the ultimate unspoken commandment is ‘Thou shalt not question!’ But we question. We break that commandment as a matter of course. The work to which we have set ourselves is the liberating of the imagination, the harnessing of imagination to humankind’s deepest sense of creativity.”
— Frank Herbert


The universe is non-simultaneously apprehended”
― R. Buckminster Fuller


By non-simultaneously apprehended, Fuller meant that the universe was too big to be understood all at once by us contained within it. Even if everything that is in the universe is in us microcosmically. If you add to that the unending void that the universe springs from, the possibility of anyone holding the complete and unquestionable truth (never mind being able to understand it) becomes impossible.
There is always more to learn, new gnosis to gain and old worn out ideas to discard. Avoid like the plague those who would feed your inner laziness by offering you the children’s model that they hold as absolute, especially if they ask you to take it on faith. (In my experience when someone asks you to take something on faith, they do not offer lube to ease it in but that is neither here nor there. Explore and question your knowledge, your beliefs, your gnosis and your understanding being willing to discard it all or any of it for a better model. You will find help along the way. Seek to know and act creatively reaching to expand and ascend and become. I know of no more worthwhile endeavor.


Click on images to see full-sized


Gem From Beneath by GAR


Holding the Space (redux) by GAR


Spatial Extremities (redux) by GAR


Gnosis (February 2018)


“As understanding deepens, the further removed it becomes from knowledge.”
― C.G. Jung


“Enlightenment is a destructive process. It has nothing to do with becoming better or being happier. Enlightenment is the crumbling away of untruth. It’s seeing through the facade of pretense. It’s the complete eradication of everything we imagined to be true.”


I used to be a seeker after knowledge. More and more I seek understanding. That doesn’t mean that I will discard any knowledge I come across in my travels. In many ways it is the trade currency that will gain more understanding. In order to understand something deeply, old knowledge has to be cast off. This makes sense in a way, for what is knowledge but a snapshot of how a certain subject looked at a certain moment in time. Understanding feels more dynamic however.


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Answers Forthcoming (redux) by GAR


In the Eye by GAR


A Successful Working (redux) by GAR


Far From Normal (February 2018)


I find I have a gut reaction towards the word normal. Normal? Normal? Normal would equate to what one experiences most of the time. Think about that for a moment. Who wants to experience the same thing most of the time? Even the best of everything when it becomes routine would cause most to find something less enjoyable to break that routine if nothing else. Anything when it becomes normal becomes something to get away from!
I seriously rebel against anything ever becoming routine. One of the worse things that can happen to a practitioner in my opinion is when their ritual practice becomes normal… when they can do rituals in their sleep… because then passion becomes lost and ritual without passion is empty.. That is just one example of what I mean.
I believe that applies to every aspect of our life. As soon as we start sleepwalking through it.. it loses meaning… thus I will always rebel against the normal
Click on images to see full-sized


Nara-Guhs by GAR


Serpentine-Rebirth by GAR


Through Flames, Gnosis by GAR


Blessing, Curse or Challenge (January 2018)


The basic difference between an ordinary man and a warrior is that a warrior takes everything as a challenge while an ordinary man takes everything as a blessing or a curse.
–Carlos Castaneda


Yes, I know I’ve used this quote on my blog more than once before. To me tho, this epitomises such an important principle that I see so many overlooking. Where we are and where we find ourselves in our lives is the present state of things. Were we lucky so far to bring us here? It doesn’t matter. What matters is where we go from here. Were we cursed by someone (enemies, random malice, the gods, demons, fate) and is that what brought us here? It doesn’t matter.
Here to me are the essential questions. Where are we and where do we wish to be? What strengths do we have to get from point a to point b? What is holding us back? What resources do we have? How do we expand our resources and our strength. How we got here ultimately doesn’t matter half as much as how do we move on with the challenges we have?
As each new day or new event arrives, both positive and negative things will happen. New challenges present themselves yet the questions remain the same? How do we get from where we are to where we are going? How do we meet these challenges? If we get caught up in the whys instead of the hows, it becomes a matter of blame or seeking restitution and ultimately brings us no farther (indeed the resources we have will be caught up in either blame / revenge or worse yet excuses and despair). Few have time for that bullshit. I know I do not


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To Speak Answers by GAR


Phoenix Rising From Destruction (redux) by GAR


To Put Out the Stars by GAR