October 28th, the urge to move forward into unconquered places attacks the body. Ironically it’s more like a block or a clench: the squeezing of sphincters, the lip-biting when we can’t peel the hard-boiled eggs fast enough, the muttering, growling curses that bruise our voices. It seems it’s always the desire to ‘go on’ that creates obstructions; clenching tensions that hold us back.
We’re today the geologist and the mummy in the tunnel we must enter, the claustrophobic encasement filled with hundreds of thousands of corpses and goblets—the only way forward into discovering the treasure, no map with an alternate route. A booming voice, an amalgamation of dead, preserved wounds made specially for the souls of pioneers, commands us to strip down. We throw our pants to the ghouls and re-feel the bloody gash we got on our knee when we were seven years old. The chorus of ancestral stings laughs in celebration as we surrender to the flowing blood.
Our double mummy self, the resilient one with humor, knows this is all okay. We laugh along with the banshees in the corpse-tunnel, knowing that wounds can be damn funny when we’re aware that even when the body doesn’t go on, we do. Hearing that mummy voice tell us to wear that skin-pain and soul-pain like decorations, we cartwheel through the charnel ground with pus and golden cups dangling from our laughing body-suits.
October 27th, with Venus and Mercury bookending Libra, lovers stand in front of a mirror checking their faces for pimples. Songs of praise of self & other bubble forth in desperation, like beige coverup for hickeys from an old betrayal, and the glottal attack of their affection renders obvious what’s lying dormant. The partners fancy themselves beautifully standing tall with their pet mirrors, in a glass palace surrounded by a beach where they indulge in the salt water whenever they please. But they’re tied together at the waist by rope with whitehead boils on their chins bursting to be popped, and one hears the low growl of nearby Rottweilers.
The undercurrent of passions unvoiced lends a reality check: we are the lovers and the zits themselves, and we’re not surrounded by vacation shores but by now-active volcanoes. Hephaestus, god of fire, reveals himself slowly—first as a baby burnt to ash because he’s been born too many times to creators not caring for his form, then as smoke slithering through the land because “you take the other and the planet for granted,” and finally as a beast made of glowing embers that fit together. He advises us to do the work of unbinding, and to take care of the breakouts coming from festering resentments, and to know that this is not a problem, but part of the natural majesty of a volcano.
October 26th, a womb-like structure looms over the ebbs and flows of lonely moods, on the precipice of giving birth. Underneath the primordial womb, many orphans wander about in empty woods, feeling abandoned by their brothers and sisters and those who gave birth to them. We, the orphans, lick our wounds, discovering that taste is the most heightened sense today: we’ve lost our sight, everything gone dark and blurry.
But wait—it’s not that simple. We’ve lost sight and gained vision. Flashes of in-sight offer us choices between an addiction to licking the blood of the blows we’ve been dealt or standing in power and service. Within the loneliness, there is a sudden urge to give birth, a feeling of pregnancy, the glimpse of our own wombs expanding and contracting. To what and whom are we giving birth?
A new vision of a nearby tree, which we couldn’t see completely when we possessed conventional eyesight, gives us a clue: the tree makes us forget the thought that we’re blind and remember the aliveness of everything, in one moment standing in exquisite stillness and in the next, hugging all the beings around it, appearing in motion as a green dragon. “The reason I can be still and then hug is because my abilities to touch life are unlimited,” it says. It gives birth effortlessly. “The key is that I’m allowed to stand my ground, being utterly unique in my place, in stillness and then in motion, for the sake of embracing the love of all living forms.”
Following the tree, we can see how feeling as blind orphans was a shock into an awareness of how illusory is the human notion of separateness. On the other side of this illusion is giving birth to a whole world of stillness and embrace, embracing stillness and being still in a long embrace.
October 25th, undertows swallow our words and our emotions feel tucked away with their justifications inside of swimsuits lost in the deep, thrashing ocean waves. We feel swallowed by forces that could consume even the most seasoned sailor, and yet, we also suspect that there’s an insight to be seen or gained from all the violence of being taken by elemental powers.
In this conviction, we identify both with the shredded sea salt swimsuit and an upstanding innovative human—a humanoid, in fact, standing up with nervous energy, hyperventilating in a space suit. “The insight must be delivered to all the realms of our life!” we cry, as priestesses carrying skin cream try to tend to our bodies despite our layering of space armor. The awkward, unfitting puzzle pieces continue to thrash and insist on their notions of the essential messages of the day being delivered to the other in ways they’re not equipped to receive.
When in all that armor, behind the ocean, we see large spiders hanging from trees. The spiders show us there are two skies: one blasting with sunshine, the other of nighttime stars. The arachnids demonstrate how whatever insight is to be gained from the day, the brain will be the last to know. Suspended in the night sky, they trace the image of a giant urn, which they then climb up and break open, letting purple light expand everywhere. When the spiders shatter the urn’s foundations, millions of dice fall to the ground. “Don’t try to form; let it happen,” the spiders instruct. “Realize there are many forms of ‘letting it happen’ happening.” May we respectfully tread soil and sea, following the cubes of nocturnal, playful chance.
October 24th, the world wakes up jeering, laughing and frolicking in sunlight before it occurs to everyone that they’re celebrating in a cacophony of different languages. Many tongues are uttered cheerfully, but without being understood—the day is incomprehensible with yearning for communication. Lovers and beloveds stand together in an embrace, but below them they’re dimly aware of a giant tunnel blurring their atmosphere, darkening their devotion, rendering it out-of-focus. The whacky syllables and awkward spasms, today’s utterances of the love act, are pulled down and submerged in this smoky, obscured cave of uncertainty.
Here is where the adventure lies: the laughing, orgasmic celebration just before the whoosh into the cavern of that which is beyond knowledge. The fall happens with the lovers still whispering in ancient idioms longing to understand each other. In the ‘large mansion on the ranch’ version of the story, one partner has just learned a new language the other cannot even hear, and the one’s new awareness impacts the course of their entire lives to come. It’s the other’s challenge to emerge through and from the blurry cloud of ignorance.
When a white dragon’s head appears in the sky and unravels its tongue as a ladder in front of our eyes, the slope of its salivary glands reveals to us an archive of every language in hieroglyphics. “Here be the portals to understanding every idiom,” it says.
“Climb up the ladder, and when you get to my uvula, there’s a bell that wakes up the whole world,” it says. “Today, each person needs to see the value of every language without getting distracted by them. Pay attention to the bell of my uvula that will wake the world up anew. Know that the fall the beloved took into that dark cave, away from their lover, was but the first noble attempt at this awakening—you don’t need to fall down my throat this time.”
October 23rd, a knight appears, leaning back on his steed, showing us an uphill road lined with electricity and fires. He has a message for us about traveling up the hill, but it’s hard to hear today: we’re bombarded by a bottleneck of other messages, transmitting themselves in the tone of early millennial instant messaging, but all with their thoughts cut off at the end. Sentences cease to reach completion; the messages’ essences are obscured because they represent uncomfortable jolts to the system.
Our boxes, beds and temples reveal a habitual determination to remain the same in structure—the go-to objects for our daily activities assume a pattern of chronically recurring symptoms. Numbness and tingling shoot down our kneecaps, yet another electric indication of fresh shift, departing from the enduring sameness to which we cling. Our bed frames and mattresses collapse on heaps of tangled wires. Shocks feel inevitable.
To the past facets of self, all of this feels like descent and regression. But it’s not for nothing we’ve walked down a road with grim reapers nuzzling pigs at the sides, meeting that knight with the necessary teaching: “you’re coming from the underworld today into a place of higher reckoning—not as in judgment, but more having your ducks in a row, moving up the road to discover more road and not staying stuck.” His horse goes “neigh!” and we mustn’t say nay, but go forth through the turbulent static.
October 22nd, our cottages ominously shake, making our parents and security guards stand up and take notice. We had never realized it before, but window shades upon window shades have piled on top of each other in our houses, rendering us blind to the many rainbows and colorful fanfare outside.
It’s no longer sustainable: this day and evening, the colors burst through, the whole prism & spectrum announcing itself first by way of a girthy ghost who crashes our living space and belches. When he leaves, other ghouls descend through the cracking roof on a diagonal, silently announcing the capacity of the dead to let beauty in.
It’s an insight we almost miss as we’re shaken by the jets of black smoke running comet-like through the air—missiles? Fireworks? Spoiled melancholy accelerated out of a resentful body into an unreceptive sky? The noise settles, giving way to the appearance of a paternal face made of light. Breathing red smoke out of his mouth, he invites us to see the artistic masterpieces we’ve created, visibly held in the womb of his breath.
The parental instinct to prevent the collapse of the house and the scattered streams of black fire are today transformed into an initiatory model of nurturing: smoky terrors are sometimes the necessary catalysts toward glimpsing the beauty of what we’ve created and our power to continue creating. It’s the dead themselves who never fail to show us this truth.
October 21st, a dense overgrowth slows down catalysts of possibility into detached car tires, worlds unto themselves that also pile on top of landscapes. The tires suggest wheels of movement, so something is moving—the seed of motion is there, as is an awareness of journeys & openings of worlds.
But languorous couch potatoes are we, spreading out on the futons, spinning inert on a cosmic hamster wheel of body sensations—pain, sting, gasp, blur, & blister pop! The factories producing eternal junk food, the cheesy squeeze and the old fashioned candies that preserve the longing for roots & sameness, keep us within the pandemonium of sensation. The very air we breathe feels pebbled, sandy, with the faint odor of a goblin-run bank only providing the illusion of money’s safety.
If we could see the repairman with all the warts working on the tires, the tired wheel of life and fortune, we’d see that each tire itself contains a multitude of worlds when we stop to examine every groove. This not only, but those dark wheels cover a vast swath of prehistoric land, seeding the raw material of our journeys by paving the earth with the suggestion of movement.
The only thing fastening us to inertia is our thirst, mistaken as a craving for artificial sweetener. “Hydrate!” the repairman says, spraying water all over our chapped skin, laughing into the day’s soil. “Dance partners with the rocky ridges, reveal yourselves!”
October 20th, a sky-dome service center, full of nurses popping pills behind patient curtains, tries to give us a cleansing view of what we need and what we can afford to keep more empty. The lurking health workers in stained white coats step behind the veils to the rhythm of a relapse: an addiction to the seductive jaws of physical sensation and numbness themselves. Intoxication takes its toll on our organs and our livers feel eaten, eternal Prometheans of the day.
The missing insight involves the continual return to an oh-so-good painful habit, the gouged liver the price we pay for stealing the fire of pollyannaish perspectives. The nurses guzzling intoxicants, moody menders, treat the comatose rulers of empire who fear the body, no longer able to cling to pie-in-the-sky expanse alone.
It’s when a crow’s beak with two red eyes appears, letting us dangle by a rope descending from its mouth, that we’re able to clear ourselves of habit and mind. It offers a moment of choice: either consuming regurgitated nutrients oozing along that rope, or rejecting them. Seeing the crow vomit as the same habit in another goo, we keep our mouth closed, hanging from the rope, glimpsing the vast sky of a clear, strong mind.
After a moment of stillness free from addictive self-torture, the crow’s beak and red eyes light up the sky with many flashing colors, and we dance with glowsticks as kings & queens of disco—not having conquered, but rather having cleared out, wisely accepted and rejected.
October 19th, icy winds sing in harmonic gusts, dominating the psychic landscape. We hang out in anticipation close to a frozen lake. In solitude, yet near a skeleton dressed in black garments, we’re told about the erotic value of aging. “The obsession with the skin layer is surface-level,” the skeleton says. “Look deeper together, if you can manage it right now.”
Apparitions of roach infestations, cyclops-in-miniature clinging to a rocky abyss while gazing at us from all directions, detached human organs and miscommunications about overdraft bank accounts bombard our awareness. Our obsessional devotion and sacred marriages are pulled down next to this ice and below it, and our faces are changed. The divine union that had worn a pleasant face to human eyes now reveals its two-facedness; its agony, betrayal, and deeper octaves of erotic union, deeper than the “pleasant.”
The greed to caution against is not in going toward the fear of ugliness and learning to love it, but in the step-by-step instructions to applying wicked facial cosmetics: the perfectly placed eyeliner, wrinkles, prosthetic noses and pink lips are us posing as a sinister emperor wanting manifest destiny, greedy to dominate all of nature in his flight from what he considers ugly limitation. We’re advised to hold these yearnings close to the ice and snowy barnacles, along with the buggy mortal mess, the detritus from what we’ve left unclean, from love turned on its head—and to merge with the feelings these fragments breathe into our life.