Following the Fire – Part I: Initiation and My Personal Myth

I know it would be absolutely lovely, from a certain point of view, if I were to simply sit down, write my magical biography from birth to the present, and be done with it so that at the very least, the reader had a chronological telling that they could easily wrap their mind around; however, the matter of relevance comes to the fore. If I were, say, Winston Churchill, I might reasonably expect a reader to attentively take in my story from cradle to grave; they’d have incentive, along with the wider and longer historical reference point of World War II. However, since I have yet to make history, you’re going to have to read this story not in chronological order, but in a more semantic order.

It is probably that much easier for me to work with such a story modality considering that my favorite viewing order for the Star Wars Saga is also not the chronological one.

Anyhow, to recap, I was a teenager who spent a lot of his solitary time talking to three spirits, two of whom were telling me things like, “You have a life purpose and we’re here to help you hit your target.” One of them (Rose) told me over and over, “When all else fails and you feel lost, follow your heart, even if you can’t understand why you should do what it says.” The other (unnamed at the time, but that was Ilyas) showed up to help Rose out. In a crescendo I generally find difficult to talk about, the third being in this scenario helped me cook up a nasty curse, Ilyas tried to stop it, and my house may have burned as a result of my refusal to heed his warning.

Let me ask: If this is happening to you, how do you test for the veracity of the claims of beings who manifest in your mind? How do you know you can trust a word they say? How would you have done it when you were in high school, with no one around who was qualified to ask about these things?

In the case of Ilyas, with his being so new to me, I certainly didn’t know any of that. I had enough skepticism to aim at the other two, let alone this bossy jerk—so when he started telling me I would regret going through with the curse, I saw an opportunity. If I had listened to him, this would sit in my head. Maybe he meant it, maybe not. If I pushed the envelope, however, then I’d know. Logically, all I could do to verify his claim was to prove him right or wrong by going through with it. I was inclined to dare.

I had also learned by then that I had to read between every little line these spirits uttered because much of what they said meant two or more things at once, and sometimes a meaning or two wouldn’t become apparent for quite a while—sometimes days, sometimes months, and, as I would learn, sometimes years. Rose had proven this handily already–sometimes she’d tip me off that something had multiple meanings and explain them to me up front. Sometimes she’d tell me that another meaning would make sense later, and it always would. Sometimes she would play it sly and let the meanings hit me upside the head later, laughing at my stunned reaction when they dawned on me. This is the kind of dynamism that made me start taking these spirits even halfway seriously. I knew that if this dragon was in league with Rose and right about everything he said, I’d make it out alright somehow. He didn’t tell me I’d die if I went through with the curse, he told me it would leave an indellible mark on me. This implies living, and I didn’t feel like my life could get much worse (Ell. Oh. Ell.). He also never said it would lead to my “mission failure,” so I could reasonably infer that even if I did this and regretted it, there was hope for a better future; there would have to be if I had “work” to do. Plus, he was even going to help me along the way, he said so himself! Everything worth doing requires sacrifice, right? So, dragon, let’s do this.

That was how I thought back then, and for many, many years. This is the only way certain of my decisions along the other threads make any kind of sense. The few breadcrumbs Rose and Ilyas did give me surrounding my “life purpose” also came with implications, and I tested them in every way I could. If you understand and embrace the concept of “True Will“, you know there’s practically no other choice but to go “all in” at some point, come what may—because if the concept proves valid, then what comes is going to work out one way or another. You learn, over time, to trust it in practice.

For clarity’s sake, the “magic teacher” role of Ilyas’ didn’t come into the picture until after the fire. From my perspective at the time, you could say it happened because of the fire. Prior to that, he was just some dragon that showed up and made a show of being a guardian while confirming everything Rose had claimed about me (I made it a point to ask and compare notes).

We’ll start with what Rose had already told me: That I was “here on earth now for a reason.” Honestly, that’s something I felt inside by that point anyway. I will blushingly admit a possible influence here from some of the more New-Agey stuff I would still read at the time. The obvious question is, “Why would that be the case?” Like, “How’d I get here?”

“Where’d I come from?”

Before I continue, I think I should spend some time explaining what it was like interacting and living with these entities. Sometimes, in illustrating these matters, I make interactions with the spirits out to be like normal conversations. This is a strong element to it, but one major difference is that the communications weren’t really based on words. These spirits and I shared mental space and “overlapped” with one another, communicating in mental impulses and images. There’s an experiential difference in the mind between the first stirrings of a thought and the act of expressing that thought in words—these beings were receptive even to those “stirrings,” so communication was potentially very efficient. Sometimes entire abstract concepts would be transmitted quickly, and sometimes there needed to be some back and forth for me to get it all. Still, I would often force a thought (mine or theirs) into words because it helped me better digest and remember things. This “translation” from intuitive/nonverbal impulses into worded statements was a key to assimilation of the material that came through. Sometimes, as when Ilyas told me his name, things did come through “pre-packaged” in explicit words and when this happened, it was usually important. One reason I was suspicious of these contacts was because if I needed to be in any kind of special trance state in order to connect, it was definitely a light one. My mental state when communicating with them was similar to the state we’re in when we’re driving a car around and not really thinking about it. I could be walking around and doing other things, but not with much focus. Music helped shut up the discursive mind and bring about a flow state. I would often find myself going on “walkabouts” with headphones at night, listening to music and conversing with Rose or Ilyas. I would often find that synchronicity increased during these sessions and it would often relate to the theme of whatever subject the spirits and I were exploring. It was as though they could, under certain circumstances, use the environment or spacetime itself as a teaching tool.

This next section covering some of the things Rose and Ilyas told me should be read with the above description in mind. Certain matters we discussed were heavy and needed to be discussed and reviewed multiple times. I revisited some ideas repeatedly over the course of years. I’ll stick to those details that were most consistently communicated and emphasized during this period.

First, there was the matter of what Rose had told me, which I’ve mentioned in previous posts: She told me I was living in a body on the planet for a specific purpose. Ilyas added some important details to this:

  • He said I deliberately “chose” to incarnate, rather than being a passive party driven into the flesh by “karmic forces.” He said I did this because the work I wanted to do would be uniquely attainable in this time and place.
  • I wanted to know how this “choosing” to incarnate worked and pressed for clarification; Ilyas said that my “normal” state of being was “discarnate.” I wrestled with this because within the spiritual framework of my understanding, this would most likely be something that applied to people like adepts and spiritual masters (human, discarnate entities no longer compelled to reincarnate are generally held to be enlightened); given the state of my life at the time, I certainly didn’t feel like that. Ilyas had this base covered: He told me, “You’re not like most other people.” He said I was more like he and Rose, whom I understood at the time as something not too different from angels. In fact…
  • …Ilyas specifically said that the way in which I’m different is that I’m not “human” in the same sense as other people. The first time any of this was revealed to me, Ilyas really beat around the bush, apparently avoiding just coming out and saying what he was going to say. Eventually, he told me, “You already know.” After a brief silence, I replied, “You’re saying I’m an angel, aren’t you?”

Understand, when I said that, I was being cheeky and sardonic. There’s some overlap here with the “cyberspace” thread I’ll be saving for last, but in short, I had spent considerable time by this point in chat rooms and forums related to spirituality, and it had occurred more than once that people had glommed onto me and told me I was one of these “incarnated angels” Doreen Virtue liked to write about. Part of me would be kind of flattered, and part of me would be like, “This is so hokey.” The first time or two, I thought nothing of it–but things like that kept happening, as I’ll explore in the cyberspace post–and they followed me from place to place.

Ilyas’ response to my guess was to confirm it, to which my reaction was something like, “Fuuuuuck this.”

Remember back in my post, The Personal Myth,” when I wrote that there was one aspect of Christianity that I resonated with? That would be it: Angels.

Too much. Too much, too much, too much, and by the way: Nope. None of that Doreen Virtue bullshit.

I was so curious, though. I asked for elaboration but did not get it. I was pissed that Ilyas would drop something like that in my lap and then wash his hands of it–didn’t he owe me an explanation? Not as far as he was concerned. As far as he was concerned, he’d said just enough. He gave me three recommendations if I was interested in understanding this, and if I made sufficient progress, he would tell me a little more:

  • Research angels (this one felt like a slap in the face, because I wanted him to give me something first that I could latch onto and then confirm or disprove, but he wasn’t biting).
  • Don’t jump to conclusions, but instead stay open-minded.
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously. You’re not Moses, Jesus or Mohammad, so you can just chill; this sounds big, but you’re not that important—you’re not even the only one of your kind.

By balancing those three guidelines against one another, I found my way to right where I needed to be. I could find the “sweet spot” and understand the meaning of what Ilyas had told me. I could take it as seriously as I needed to without going too far and blowing it out of proportion.

When I look back on where that particular journey ultimately took me–the material it led me to study, the insights gained thereby, and the things I went on to do–I’m even more amazed than I was the day Ilyas put this all in front of me. I don’t think I could plan a better mystical and occult curriculum for myself if I tried today, knowing all that I now know, and all Ilyas had to do to steer me in the right direction was tell me one little story about myself. And he knew it. He knew exactly what he was doing and in those first couple of years, it was rarely what it seemed.

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