Aidan Wachter, Fabeku Fatunmise, and Andrew McGregor are joined by Braina Saussy for another instalment with Stacking Skulls. This epic 100 minute long episode talks about what is new in each of their lives and what they are up to magically before switching into answering a questions about the role gender plays in magic.
Links for things talked about in the show.
Jason Miller – Whole Magic Part 2: Research vs Revelation
Amber Karnes Body Positive Yoga
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Briana is here.
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ANDREW: [00:00:00] Welcome everybody to, not just another installment of the Hermit’s Lamp podcast, but another installment with Stacking Skulls. I’m here today with Fabeku and Aidan, as per usual, and joining us to fill out the roster of this rockin’ occult group is Briana Saussy. And you know, if you’re just jumping in now and you haven’t heard any of these episodes before, there’s a bunch of them, and all the guests have been on the podcast before, so check the show notes for links to go and listen to those, and go, go bask in all that goodness because it’s definitely some of the most popular episodes that I put out. Yeah.
So, hey everybody, welcome. You know, if people don’t want to go back and listen to that, maybe we should do a quick introduction and, you know, Briana, who are you? What’s your, what’s your deal?
BRIANA: Such a good question, such a good question. So first [00:01:00] of all, thank you very much for having me on the show. I feel so honored to get to hang with three of my favorite magicians today.
So, I’m Briana Saussy and you can find me at the very creatively named BrianaSaussy.com. And, I’m a sacred artist. So, that’s the way that I describe my work. I was brought up in a family where there were two primary folk magic traditions that went hand in hand with our religious traditions. On the maternal side of my family was hoodoo and conjure. On the paternal side of my family was what would most popularly now be known as curandera. On both sides of my family, we did not refer to the magic that we practiced as magic ever, ever, ever. I didn’t learn about that nomenclature until much later.
And I, as I studied, I went in, you know, I was the first person to go to college in [00:02:00] my family and kind of went out into the broader world and discovered that not everybody does the things that we do. Like not everybody has skulls and [garbled for a moment at 00:02:16] you know, preparing to put on an ancestor altar for instance. Or, not everybody works with stones to talk to the spirits of the land. That that is a little unique.
And so, I studied classics, and found that the ancient world had a lot in common with the way that I had been brought up, and thought that was pretty interesting, and then kind of came into this work, you know, really just organically. Started getting clients when I was in my early 20s, and they eventually, you know, kind of shepherded me into … saying, “you should do this work full-time,” and so that grew from first reading for people and making [00:03:00] suggestions of remedies that people do to help themselves, to then teaching, and I finally just wrote. Hold on, isn’t … you … Can y’all hear me? Did my Internet…?
AIDAN: You tweaked for a second, but… and you tweaked again. But you appear to be back now.
BRIANA: Am I back? Okay. And then just wrote a book, and so that is, that’s me in a nutshell. So I refer to what I do as the sacred arts because I realized that it was really exhausting to say well, I like magic, and I like divination, and I like astrology, and I work with all of these things, and I bring them together, and prayer, and blessing, and I realized that they were all related, and I think of them as the kind of like the hidden sisters of the liberal arts that have been underground that now are experiencing an interesting renaissance in mainstream culture.
So, that is me in a nutshell and [00:04:00] I know Fabeku and Aidan very well and love them both dearly, and of course, Andrew, you know that I love you as well. So, that’s it. Yeah.
ANDREW: Awesome. Well, Aidan, who are you?
AIDAN: I’m a misanthrope.
ANDREW: Get off my podcast.
AIDAN: So, I can’t answer that question, because I hate you all.
AIDAN: No, I’m a talismanic jeweler … That’s been waiting since we started. Sorry. It had to come out. I’m a talismanic jeweler. I’ve been involved in magical practice actively since I was a teen, but … things got really weird for me, really young, and that’s kind of what led me into it. I have a, I guess I’m now an author, and my book Six Ways is available on all the online platforms. And [00:05:00] yeah, mostly, I’m a jeweler making magical tools for magical people as my primary thing.
ANDREW: Awesome. Fabeku?
FABEKU: Teacher, magician, artist, caretaker of a very spoiled Internet-famous cat …
FABEKU: Collector of shoes … Fellow misanthrope, like Aidan …
FABEKU: What else? Yeah, you know, I’ve been at this for 30 plus years or so and … Yeah, that’s what I’ve got with a straight face.
ANDREW: Yeah. So, this is all some great stuff, you know, and I mean, for my part, you know, longtime magician, first-time caller. No wait, that’s not it.
ANDREW: Yeah. You know? Yeah, we … One of the things that’s great is we [00:06:00] all have these sort of practices that are similar, you know, we all have, you know, done a lot of things. And you know, and we have very different experiences, and even our practices might look different, but, you know, we have a lot of, from a bigger point of view, kind of similar experiences, and, you know, and a lot of sort of background in sort of working with magic both sort of publicly and privately, which I think, you know, is part of what’s awesome about these episodes for me, you know, it’s kind of getting those people who have a lot of depth together to talk about stuff.
But you know, I mean the other thing that we usually get into in these episodes is like—which we sort of record every maybe four or five months—is like, hey, what’s new, what’s different? You know, what’s going on in the last while? You know, and yeah, I mean, what’s, what’s changed for you in the last while? You know, I don’t know who wants to jump in first, but like …
AIDAN: I’ve [00:07:03] been shifting the way … you know, for the last five years, I’ve been doing jewelry on, you know, on order. I’ve been doing the talismanic work on order so that people can, you know, order the piece that they want and then I’ll build it as I work through the kind of whatever the backlog is at that time.
And that finally got to the point where that backlog was so absurd, you know—that was a theoretical four months, but often bleeding into six months when things would kick up in the rest of life, that I’ve shut down that side of the shop and will be working more on a collection-based protocol in the future. So, theoretically at the end of November, the first one of the collection of works will come out that way, and that’s the big change for me is just shifting the whole way that the shop works.
ANDREW: Did the spirits tell you to do that? Did you tell [00:08:03] yourself to do that? How did you make that … what for many people would be a very difficult decision to make a change?
AIDAN: It was a difficult decision to know when to do it. But actually, this is the format that I thought the shop would be in eventually when I started. And I think it’s exactly on time. I think I thought that this is where it would end up in five years in … yeah, because you know where I kind of got to was … I used to live in San Francisco, and Don Ed Hardy had his … had a tattoo shop there. and when you first … when that first was going, and Don was becoming a big deal, you would go in and you could do your consultation, and then four or five months down the road, Don would do the work for you.
And then eventually, it came in, you would come in, pay your money, and four or five months down the road, you would do the consultation first to see if Don would do the work for you, and then [00:09:03], however long, I think that became a couple of years at some point. Later the work would be done.
And that just is kind of …it was kind of having that in my head, like if this rolls, and being a one-person operation and doing everything by hand and doing everything in a highly charged environment and not doing anything when it’s not the right time to do it. I just don’t have the ability to crank out shit that I would if I was just … If I was a jeweler, this would not be a problem. But given that what I’m doing is trying to create these living creatures that can help people with their work. Yeah, it just became way too much. So I could kind of see that it was going to happen a long time ago, but I didn’t know when, and kind of the added boost of attention that kicked in from Six Ways being put out in, I guess, April or May now, [00:10:03] kind of just allowed it or made it really clear like: you better do this now if you want to do this, or you’re going to just get squished, so …
AIDAN: No squishy.
ANDREW: No squishing. It’s such a … it’s such a difference between like … making talismanic and magical stuff is so different than making purely aesthetic things, right? or uncharged things that you hand to somebody that like, here you go, you know, I put this together, go do the charging, you know? Like, and I think it’s a thing that … It’s such a … from the outside, it’s such an invisible work. You know, like what is … what exactly is that work? How does it happen? You know, it’s not, it’s not apparent from the outside. Right?
ANDREW: You know, I think, as you know, we’re all people who do work for each other. You know, I think we’ve all been in that place where it’s like, oh, yeah, you know what, I want to do this but like, the spirit needs to wait for [00:11:03] this time or you know, or like, oh, I’m rundown today. I don’t have the juice to put into it. So, I got to like push it to next, you know, Wednesday at the right magical hour or whatever, you know, like … like those things where it’s like, if you’re really working with integrity and intensity on this stuff. It’s … it’s not nearly as sort of linear and predictable as we might wish it was, you know?
AIDAN: Right. And I think it’s interesting too, because it’s … even on the stuff that I do that, you know, I tell everybody, like, these things are not specifically consecrated. I do a small amount of that work for people who are interested. But I’ve kind of continuously, because of the way that I do build these things, they’ve got a lot of oomph to them anyway, and I get a lot of feedback from people going like, “Uh, so this is what non-consecrated work is for you?” [laughs] It’s like, yeah, exactly. Because it [00:12:03] is done in an environment that is just saturated. And you know, most of my clients have been great in understanding like, this thing’s not coming right now, so we can do something else, or, I think it’s going to come, it’s just not the right time. So, if you’re comfortable just waiting and then it’s you know, awesome to be able to shoot somebody a picture of something in process that they’ve been kind of patiently waiting for. But just the … the backlog aspect is not good for my psyche, once it gets beyond a certain point. So, that’s the main thing I’m stepping away from is … I don’t like having the … I don’t like having the sense of having six months work sitting on me.
ANDREW: For sure. Well, how about you, Fabeku? What’s new?
FABEKU: Oh… what’s new? Kind of midway through teaching a big long intensive divination course, which has been going on since August, I guess [00:13:03]. It runs until mid … Well, theoretically mid-January, probably past that, but …
AIDAN: Early March [laughing].
FABEKU: Yeah, exactly.
FABEKU: Sometime in 2009 or 19, it’ll wrap, I have no idea when, but, sometime …
FABEKU: Which is good. I mean, it’s … you know, I feel like, in some ways, it’s the course I’ve been, you know, preparing to teach for 30 whatever years and it’s been good and busy and big and intense and challenging and incredible and all of that. So that’s been good. Loving the fall weather and the change in season and the, you know, end of the year preparations and, you know, doing all the usual. Starting to chart the course for the next year on a number of fronts, which is always good, and … Yeah, doing a ton of art, you know, just finished a couple of big pieces for people [00:14:03]. and you know, kind of looking at some of what’s next: stuff on the teaching front and there’s like two and a half books in process, two books and a weird zine kind of project that’s in process but, so, yeah, kind of a lot, but fun stuff. Yeah. Yeah.
ANDREW: Fun. I … Must be in the air because I got the itch to start doing a zine again,
FABEKU: Did you? That’s awesome.
ANDREW: And I really like, I haven’t done one since I was in high school. I think it might be time.
FABEKU: That’s awesome. I would love to see more zines. I miss that. The first zine, and really the only serious, well, not serious, but the only zine that I did was … So, in my high school, there was about six punk rock kids. That was it.
FABEKU: We got together and invaded a local Kinko’s for a couple weeks and put together a … We called it Rad Cool Punk, got one issue out, and that made it for [00:15:03] about four hours in school before the principal got ahold of it and lost his fucking mind.
FABEKU: And all of us got in all kinds of trouble for that shit and it was awesome.
AIDAN: It functioned as advertised.
FABEKU: It was … somehow or other we had worked some graphic in of somebody holding a sword kind of poking a mouse, and the next thing we know, it was: you’re circulating literature with animal sacrifice. It’s like, well, not exactly, but the enthusiasm over it was definitely appreciated.
ANDREW: Nice. Yeah, I used to … Mine was called Even the Kitchen Sink and it was basically just like poetry and art and like …
ANDREW: Yeah, like punk rock anarchist fuck everything …
ANDREW: And … but … there were two teachers in the high school who would sneak me into the copy room and use their codes [00:16:03].
ANDREW: So, yeah, that was pretty awesome.
AIDAN: I love that.
ANDREW: I don’t remember how I did eight, maybe ten episodes, something like that. It went on for a while and had like a bunch of contributions and stuff.
FABEKU: That’s so cool.
ANDREW: So, and then yeah, it just kind of drifted out after a certain point. But yeah. So.
AIDAN: Those were good days. I remember … I never did a separate zine but the San Francisco access point for the Temple of Psychic Youth, we put out transmissions.
AIDAN: And yeah, hanging out at the Castro and market, Kinko’s, with everybody else who was making these … their versions of these things. And everybody’s checking out each other’s artworks and layouts and trading the little liner tape and stuff, you know. Those were good days at Kinko’s across the street from Gauntlet Body Piercing. I remember that!
ANDREW: Very fun.
AIDAN: And you have a bunch up, Bri, as I recall.
BRIANA: I do! Well, so, the big changes or big events this year were finishing a book and having a baby. [laughing] So, you know …
ANDREW: Just two little things, right?
AIDAN: Two little things!
BRIANA: Two little … So, the book is Making Magic and it was technically … I mean, we finished like the major edits for it right at the end of the summer. Now we’re in the copyediting phase, which has been awesome. And Heath, my second child, and my second little boy, was born on June 13th, which I just found out was my great grandfather’s birthday. And it was really cool, because my great-grandfather was the … has been, up until this point, the only person in [00:18:03] either side of my family who had published something. He had published books. Yeah, so this is, so it’s crazy. So, my great-grandfather was really good friends with the Texas Rangers when the Texas Rangers were kind of like coming into their like super popular period, so he wrote several biographies on different Texas Rangers and then he wrote a lot about the, you know, the history of the state of Texas and it’s … So, he wrote like four or five books and none of … I mean, you know, like, it is shocking to Texans to know that not everybody is super interested in our state …
BRIANA: But, you know, so they weren’t like huge sellers, commercially successful. But they’re in, like, the libraries of all of the universities around here, and so, like, I knew about that but didn’t really think about it. And then I found out Heath, who I was pregnant with … like I literally [00:19:03] found out I was pregnant and found out I had a book deal like two days apart from each other. So, Heath, who was with me throughout the entire process, was born on his birthday. So that was very cool.
FABEKU: Very cool.
AIDAN: Very good.
BRIANA: I was, I thought that was neat. So, but as far as practice goes, I’ve had a big shift in my practice, and it’s really just kind of gone into effect, I would say over the past couple of weeks. So, I had a … I had a really good practice. You know, I was … I wake up at 4 a.m. Because y’all know, you can get like so many things done from 4 to 6 and then like the rest of your day, if you have kids, is like shot to hell.
So [laughs], so I was, you know, I was waking up at 4 a.m. And I had an entire prayer and blessing cycle that I was going through, and complete with offerings, and then you [00:20:03] know, there might be some specific magical things that I was working on, and about two or three weeks ago, I really felt the need to take that inward. So, you know, a lot less overt outer action and a lot more inner action. A lot more inner vision work, active imagination work, like liminal work. That has, you know, just connected a lot of dots, and showed up substantively in a lot of different ways, very quickly, and then what went hand in hand with this is a needing to kind of go through the house and put things in order and tend to the places that had been neglected. So, that was really … So, you know, so that seems like a really practical thing, but for me, the practical and the magical are so intertwined. So that’s been, as far as practice [00:21:03] goes. That’s been what’s happening.
AIDAN: I have a question for Andrew in just a second, but I’m going to jump on in there. That’s really interesting. And so, I wonder if this is kind of a related thing, and I don’t know, but it might be because you also have a book. One of the big shifts that I’ve had going on in the last couple weeks, because this is the season where it gets …
AIDAN: Gets way more fun on the other side and easier.
BRIANA: Yeah, yeah, and easier, yeah!
AIDAN: Is … I’ve been going into kind of my other world states and running all of the kind of suggested practices in Six Ways to stabilize them in that space …
AIDAN: To assist the people that I know are working with it.
AIDAN: Because I get a fair amount of feedback of who’s, of what kind of can get sticky or a little bit jammed up and that’s been a really interesting thing that I’ve been doing for the last couple weeks, is really going [00:22:03] in and going: okay, I visited each of the spots that are suggested. I do kind of work that is relevant to that, but it doesn’t feel like stuff that I’m particularly doing for me, though it’s of course helpful to me, but it’s really to, I think, kind of grease those grooves for the folks that are new to those spaces, so that it’s a little more stable as far as this is what I’ve been, this is what I’m talking about. And, it kind of sets up a little bit of a watch fire or something for them to tap into. Is that anything like what … You have a sense of that kind of thing at all?
BRIANA: Yeah! You know, I hadn’t put that together, because my book isn’t out yet. So, I don’t have, you know, where I don’t have people coming and saying hey, I’m trying this and it’s working or I’m getting stuck. But, there, the shift, very—it’s super helpful that you said this, because the shift very much felt related to the book in a really significant way, is now done. Like you’re, there’s always the next thing, like with your work, that you [00:23:03] take out into the world, but like, it’s done, and so a shift needs to be made energetically, and in your practice, and it has very much felt like a building …
Kind of like first, like refamiliarizing myself with my places in the other world, and my relationships in the other world, because the first half of the year, well, really through August for me, were so external. It was so active and external and like an out breath, you know, and, and so I feel like, you know, the last couple of weeks have really been kind of like, refamiliarizing myself with those liminal relationships, with those other world places that are mine. I’ll often go into an active imagination, and then it’ll show up in my dream that evening and expand, you know, and give me new information or like a new something that I need to be aware of, and I’ve also been at the same time feeling [00:24:03] like I’m building a space for something that’s not really for me or about me.
And, and, you know, what’s come up concomitantly for me with that has been magic as a form of service. You know, like unconditional magic where you’re working with energy or you’re working with power, you know, to bless the land or bless the water or, you know, care for an animal. Or you know, I had an aunt who I wasn’t super close to who passed away in East Texas. And I … that … the morning that it happened, it just happened last week, I thought, oh, I’m … I had woken up at 4:00 and I was like, I’m not going to do anything magical today, I’m going to take a day off, and then I got this text as I was doing work and I knew that I needed to go into inner vision because … because the way she died was pretty sudden … and I could tell [00:25:03] that her spirit was like “What the hell just happened?” and so I went in to enter vision and I, you know, and I was like, okay, this is what’s going on. Here’s what’s going on, here are some departed family members that are ancestors that can now help you with the next step, and you know, so it’s like magic as service has been a real theme that’s been coming up and it does feel related to the book. So, I don’t know.
AIDAN: Yeah, I get that too because that’s a big thing that was really interesting because you know, the allies were super up my butt about the book being as the book is, and really kind of making me push it further than I probably would have on my own to get it to that. And I think that that’s really what I’ve seen with it too, is it’s like, okay, this is kind of my general offering to magic …
AIDAN: Is what I would say.
ANDREW: I have … I did this, I run this series of work, which I just generally refer to as the [00:26:03] letting go work. It’s like a bunch of … it’s a couple programs around people ditching and breaking the patterns with their past and really moving forward into what’s next for them. And, you know, a lot of it is sort of like guided meditation work and stuff like that. And, when I was making that work, and at periods of time where lots of people have been doing that work, I definitely have that sense of: I need to go in and fortify this, or you know, like, charge it back up a bit, or you know, like, whatever, I just like, help make sure that that place where they go is really strong and nourished …
ANDREW: And somewhat derive …
ANDREW: The work is easy for them. Even if it’s not their forte to do, you know, as you would say, trance work or inner work or guided work or whatever. You know, it’s just like … You can, through the kind of stuff we’re talking about, you can make that really simple for people even if it’s kind of maybe a bit beyond their capacity on their own [00:27:03]. When that energy meets them from the other side, it helps carry them through the work a lot more.
FABEKU: Yeah, and you know what I love about this conversation is that this … I mean, I don’t have a book that I’m working with in this sense. But this is the same kind of thing that I do when I’m teaching. Right?
FABEKU: So, I look at, you know, so this divination thing, right? There’s a container for it. There’s a space that gets created for it, and I feel like a significant part of what I do on my end of things for it, really the duration from before we start to even after we finish, is actively going into that space in trance in various states and kind of, like you said, smoothing the road, opening the way, so there’s also a road opening component …
FABEKU: During the process, if people kind of collectively hit a thing, it’s amping up road opening work to support it. But … so this last week, you know, we just moved into the Marseilles tarot and I spent like a week and a half before that doing specific work in trance with this thing of laying out the cards in a specific way, in a specific [00:28:03] place with the others that I work with, in the sense, creating like a path of these cards, specifically to make it easier for people that have never done the work or have whatever to move down the path and, in other words, just to clear the shit, to make the way, to fortify it, to make it easier, kind of a lighting of the road. And that’s, for me, that’s kind of a non-stop thing with the teaching stuff.
BRIANA: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.
FABEKU: And I look at that as one of the most important things that I do in that. Even, in some ways, more important than, you know, the weekly preparation and teaching and all of that. It’s a … there is a really active kind of other world tending of the space, so that when people enter it, they can move through it clearly and coherently and effectively and you know, have better, clearer, more effective access to it.
ANDREW: Yeah, for sure.
AIDAN: So …
BRIANA: And you know, it’s interesting that we all have that experience because I think that there’s a … I [00:29:03] have seen, I won’t say, I think I have seen a lot of teachers, not just in the occult, you know, esoteric world, but across the board and especially, you can see a lot more of this on the web now, of teachers who do the opposite, right? They actually … so like we’re all talking about using our time and our energy and our potency to go in and make sure that our people are taken care of, you know, like and when … Both our holy helper people and also like the people that are in our communities that we’re teaching, that are reading our books, you know, that we’re working with.
And there’s a lot of people who I have seen do the opposite. They’re drawing energy off of people for themselves. And you know, when I talk to my students and I mean, I can remember I … you know, I’ve referred students to all of y’all because I know you all. I know how you roll! [laughs] But you know, I tell them like [00:30:03], I need … you need to look at a potential teacher and you need to look at how the energy of this person is working, and see like, are they taking or are they, are they giving, are they sharing? Because you know, there’s a … I mean, you just see that dynamic a lot more, I think, because we have so many more teachers and people who are sensible community leaders out there, so you can see it.
AIDAN: Yeah, I think it’s interesting. So, I’m going to throw two things in at once. So, Andrew, you have a cool new deck out, I believe.
ANDREW: I sure do. Yeah.
AIDAN: How is that doing?
ANDREW: It’s going really well. So, beginning of September, end of August, the Orisha Tarot, by me, came into the world. And yeah, it’s a kit from Llewellyn. So, it’s kind of theoretically everywhere. If you see it in stores, please take a picture and send it to me. I’m so excited.
AIDAN: if I ever [00:31:03] was in a store, I would, I would do that for you.
ANDREW: If you see it on the road when you went the wrong way into the headwinds on your mountain bike, you’ll take a picture for me?
AIDAN: I will take pictures!
BRIANA: [crosstalking] … as you can carry!
ANDREW: Yeah. Yeah, so it’s a full tarot deck that I did all the artwork for and in a companion book which I wrote, and yeah, it’s been super well received. You know, it seems to be like taking off in the world. And you know, like, people, tarot people seem to be really digging it, and you know, Orisha people seem to be really really digging it. You know, I’ve had a bunch of practitioners basically say to me like, you wrote an amazing introduction to our religion. It’s so great.
FABEKU: Yeah, for sure.
AIDAN: That’s badass.
ANDREW: Yeah, so that’s really nice.
FABEKU: That’s amazing.
ANDREW: And yeah, so, so that’s super exciting, you know, and it’s … Yeah, it’s out there, you know, and it’s sort of moving through the world and doing its thing and I keep sort of hearing people who have gotten it and are playing with [00:32:03] it and doing stuff with it and you know, so … It’s really exciting. So yeah.
AIDAN: So, do you … so, you’ve put out a few different things, a few different decks and things. Do you see this, this kind of thing that we’re talking about on the … on the “product” that you have put out? Do you see that as well, of kind of a caretaking it, I would say for the peeps?
ANDREW: So, so …
BRIANA: I mean, yeah.
ANDREW: So, I mean somewhat, yeah. I mean some of the reasons why this project got done is because my elders were like, “Yeah, just go do it, man. Get it done already.” Right? And because the Orishas were like, “Do it, you should do it, you should put it out there.” And so, I mean, I tend the Orishas and whatever tending is going on around this thing … happened … isn’t coming from me. But if there is something it’s coming from that side [00:33:03] or from the ancestors or from those places.
And also, you know, creating this deck was more magically-oriented than any other deck that I’ve made. You know, and I have … I don’t how many decks I’ve done, two or three decks and a couple other books and stuff, you know, but like, this one was definitely the most spirit-engaged process that I’ve done at all, you know? And so, I feel like a lot of that construction happened through the process, and now this one actually feels more separate for me than like maybe some of the other things that we’re talking about. Like it definitely feels like I’ve burst this thing into the world and now it’s out there and I don’t know if that’s because … just because it’s through a publisher, and therefore I’m a little less connected to the ebbing and flowing of it.
ANDREW: But it feels like it’s more just a … you know, it was [00:34:03] a magical birth versus, you know, kind of the sustaining that ongoing thing that we’re talking about. So.
AIDAN: That makes sense too, that’s kind of why I asked, is I wondered if this was more than that the Orisha themselves were … would take charge of that side of it, which makes perfect sense to me.
ANDREW: Mm-hmm. Yeah, for sure. I think that’s the … I think that’s the deal that’s going on for sure. Somebody’s taking care of it. It definitely seems to be taken care of. It’s not me. So, I have to … yeah.
AIDAN: Yeah, it’s very interesting.
BRIANA: Yeah. It has been.
ANDREW: Mm-hmm. Yeah.
AIDAN: So, if we would all get off our asses and do something, I guess it would be, you know, we’d have more to talk about.
ANDREW: Stop slacking off everybody, stop slacking off!
BRIANA: So, Aidan, and Andrew, and Fabeku, I’m interested, do you guys see … do you see like [00:35:03] outer actions that parallel the inner work? Like I talked about, you know, I talked about like going through the … kind of like the neglected and unseen areas of my house and like fixing them up, organizing them. You know, it almost feels like a little Mercury retrograde action in here, on my end, because I always work with Mercury retrograde to like, bring order. So, do you see … do you see like an outer expression of that or is it all internal?
AIDAN: I totally see an outer expression of that. I think that what I’m doing in the shop is that.
BRIANA: Mm-hmm. Right. Of course!
AIDAN: It’s like, literally, I mean, and I’m going to use Fabeku’s language for it, because it’s the best that I know of, right, is I was doing work, that the work itself was totally coherent but the effect of it upon my life outside of the work was not, or ceased to be, at some point, and there’s a point that I got to that went: Oh, I can’t maintain this [00:36:03] because it’s incorrect to try and maintain it for who and what I am and who and what I work with and what it is that I’m doing.
AIDAN: And so, you know, Andrew was saying, you know, it’s kind of a big move, and it can be, it can seem really risky, on some level, right? To completely change how this is done. And part of it is just like I can’t actually worry about that. It’s like I have to be focused on, this is how much work I can do and do the work at the level that I want. And there’s … you know this, Bri, you’ve been around Blue and I, we live insanely inexpensively.
AIDAN: We’re extremely frugal people. So, it’s not like we’re trying to like live high and wild, but yeah, it’s like no, for what I do, the way that I do it, I don’t charge enough.
BRIANA: Yeah. Mm-hmm.
AIDAN: Okay, that’s fine. I have to get comfortable with that in the next, you know, six or eight weeks, to come up with what I’m doing, but it’s the only way I can continue to do with what I’m doing at the [00:37:03] level that I’m interested in doing it, with the level of connection that I have, and all of that stuff, because otherwise, if we’re going back to it, it’s like I can’t be of service anymore, if I just grind myself down and break down, which is super common for artists.
BRIANA: Yeah, yeah.
AIDAN: And healers and all this stuff, right?
BRIANA: Yeah, yes.
AIDAN: You hear about compassion fatigue and things like that and healers, it’s all the same thing. There’s a point that you go, no, I actually might only be able to make 20 pieces of jewelry and I have to pay the bills. So, if that’s the case, they’re going to cost X to cover it.
AIDAN: I don’t need a lot more than that. But that’s fine. And it’s … so it’s really kind of … that’s, yes. So, everything is reorganizing to that. You know. I think.
BRIANA: Yeah, I get that.
AIDAN: That’s my experience.
FABEKU: Well, and yeah, and I would say for me, for sure, there’s parallels, right? So, you know in some of the trance stuff that I’ve been doing, there … I don’t know, a couple of months ago. I kept running into these crossroads scenes, you know, and specific others showing up, saying, “listen [00:38:03] fucker, like pick: which direction are you headed?”
FABEKU: And it was … and it was interesting, because it was happening almost every time, and it was like, wait, what, what’s going on? and then I started to look, and it’s like, oh, this is, this is really the same decision that I’m making externally with all sorts of things, right? Personal stuff, business stuff, health, all of it, you know, and it’s like, so it showed up there first, and then it started to map itself out externally and … and that’s, you know, again, like Aidan’s and for me, you know, that’s the whole coherence piece. You know, I think that kind of lining up the internal and the external stuff and … and it’s funny because, as much time as I spend, it still took me a few days to figure out like wait, but what, why is all this inner crossroad shit happening? and it’s like, well, duh because it’s the same shit that’s happening around you. You know?
BRIANA: Yeah, yeah. It’s funny how that works. I mean you’re, you know, I have that same experience of like, I’m so in it, you know, and then I journal every day, and a lot of my journaling practice is basically like writing down what’s happened and then being like, oh! that’s [00:39:03] what that was. That’s why that worked out. So, like the aha moment. So yeah, I get that.
ANDREW: Yeah, well and, for me, you know, so, I mean, the other big piece of news for me is, my partner and I decided in the middle of the summer to go our separate ways, right? So, you know, so this is a, you know, we’re in the process of sorting out all those bits and pieces. And you know, figuring out that stuff, right, because you know, when you’ve been with someone for 21 years, that’s a lot of undoing of connections, you know? And then reorganizing of everything, and so, like the external and the internal on that, you know, there’s a lot of … you know, there’s a lot of work with the Orishas to support that, right? To support everybody through that, you know, and then, I mean, it’s just nothing fancy, just like hey, you [00:40:03] know, I’m at the grocery store where they make these amazing pastries and I’m like ah, I think I should be one of those to Ochún. Hey, Ochún, help us all feel sweet about this, what’s going on, help us all find our way, you know, easily, through this and get the support we need and whatever, right?
And, you know, and … and that kind of stuff, you know, trickles out everywhere, right? You know, it’s like, you know, it affects the shop, it affects the reorganization of physical things and practices at the shop. I mean, I’ve been in the process of shifting my work schedule, you know, to adjust, so that I can be with the kids at certain times, and then there’s all that kind of magical stuff that goes on in the background with this as well, that, you know, to try and support that and to try and keep myself able to show up, you know, with this other sort of attention piece going on.
And then once you know, once we both have our own places and stuff, then there will be the like, [00:41:03] you know, that reorganization that happens, you know, right? Like well, now that this is my place, and these are my things, what am I going to do with them and what do I want and not want? And, you know, how do I want to decorate it? And stuff like that, and all of those sort of external things, right? You know, it’s really, it’s a long process with a lot of sort of shifting back and forth between that external and internal, you know and … Or really running both at the same time, you know, as it’s going along in order to kind of get to the other side of that, you know, and, and then also sort of holding some big vision stuff around it too. What I want my life to be like on the other side, you know, and all that kind of stuff.
FABEKU: You know, for me, as you’re talking, I had this—and I wouldn’t have been able to articulate it until you just said what you did. So, when I went through separating from my partner, five years ago, we were together for 16, 17 years or so, it was that constant moving [00:42:03] back and forth between the two. But as you’re talking, I had this sense of like, almost like stitching things together, right? Kind of that alternating between the internal and the external, the way we keep ourselves and our reality in our practice and our magical work and our work in the world held together as we move through these weird transitions, and for me, if there’s … if there’s too big of a gap between the internal shit and the external shit. It’s like that that weave or that stitch starts to get loose and flimsy and weird and those gaps sort of … they get … they become problematic and almost disorienting.
FABEKU: And I, and as you were talking, I was just, I was thinking about back to that time in my own life and how that, how that moving between the two helped stitch it together during a just crazy difficult time to be able to keep moving forward and just keep, you know, like you said, just keep showing up and doing shit day after day.
AIDAN: Right. And it is really interesting, you know, as I was starting the … it was right after I announced the [00:43:04] … that I was stopping taking orders at the shop, I was just, you know, on Facebook, and I have been unable to get Facebook Marketplace to not show me things, but it showed me a bike that was interesting, you know, and I haven’t had a bike in 10 years, but most of my life has been spent with a bike as my transportation, kind of fun toy. So, I bought a, you know, a hundred and fifty dollar used bike and started riding it. And that, I realized was the same, was part of that whole thing, like that I need to kind of feel sane. For whatever reason, there’s a part of my personality that loves—and especially here, where it’s gorgeous and it’s at where I’m out in the mountains and yes, it’s really windy and that’s a bitch, but it’s fucking beautiful. And I can, if I can get out and ride 25 to 30 miles a few times a week, and go say hi to all the horses and alpacas and coyotes, and whatever else I see along the way, I’m way more [00:44:04] able to be how I should be and not in a … not in the bullshit “should” way but really how I should be in my work, at home with my wife, all of that stuff, with the people that I have interactions with because I am … actually it’s for me, it’s a self-care thing. And a lot of these pieces that we’re talking about have to do with that … it’s like, yeah. Yeah, go ahead. Sorry.
ANDREW: I was just going to say it’s a lot of like, what are the things that allow me to, to move coherently through these changes, right? And keep that sense of coherence so that I don’t turn around and be like, oh look, I’ve dropped my integrity, or I’ve dropped this relationship, or I’ve, you know, whatever right? Like how … how do we sort of keep that, you know, coherence and that sort of attention on the things that are important, even when, you know, we’re [00:45:04] going through times of big changes or big changes in our circumstances. So that will … so that a) we handle it as well as we can and b) that we, you know, suffer as little as possible, you know, as well, because I think it’s easy to drop those things. You know, I’ve been, I’ve been doubling down on cycling myself. I don’t like … The cold weather is starting to come here and I’m like cycle, dude, because if you … if you let it get too cold for it to cycle again, then you’re going to be like no, it’s too cold. But if you just keep cycling …
AIDAN: Exactly, exactly.
ANDREW: It’s just like …Yeah. Well, right now it’s like, it’s freezing now, it’s -5, now it’s -10. It’s like, as long as it’s not icy, it doesn’t matter. It’s just, you know, if the roads are clear I can just keep going.
ANDREW: If it was really really frigid, then I’m just going to go once, and be like, oh no, that was horrible, you know?
AIDAN: No, absolutely, absolutely, and that’s, you know, I was thinking about it too, here, ‘cause I was like, oh, it’s going to get really cold. I’m in the mountains of New Mexico. It doesn’t snow that much. It doesn’t get rain hardly ever. So, there’s almost never any ice.
BRIANA: The sun is always out. Yeah.
AIDAN: [00:46:04] The sun is almost always out. It’s really windy.
BRIANA: It’ll snow, and in two hours the sun comes out.
AIDAN: And it’s like, it’s really windy. But I rode my bike everywhere year round in San Francisco and Seattle. It’s like, I got [crosstalking at 46:18] nothing. It’s not pouring rain on me continuously in the dark for six months out of the year. Everything is good. I can manage it.
ANDREW: I used to cycle 360 days a year in Toronto, in, you know, ten inches of snow, whatever, I didn’t care.
AIDAN: I had ice tires in Seattle.
ANDREW: Yeah, those days that I didn’t cycle, that’s ‘cause I didn’t leave the house, right?
AIDAN: Exactly, exactly.
BRIANA: So, I don’t know. I don’t actually know how to ride a bicycle. But ironically, I spin, and spinning has become my exercise. Like I’ve done yoga. I’ve done Nia. Like I’ve done all the like “lady woo woo” exercises, as I think of them with fondness in my heart, but I really [00:47:04] like spinning because it’s like … I’ve never liked clubs, but spinning is kind of like as close as I can get to a club …
BRIANA: But I don’t have to talk to people. I don’t have to mingle. I can just like get to work and sweat and like listen to like all the pop music that I would never listen to otherwise and there’s like awesome like light shows and so, yeah, it’s … I love it. I love it.
AIDAN: There’s something really good about sweating in groups with focus!
BRIANA: There is! There is!
AIDAN: It’s like some of the purest connection we can have with each other, you know.
BRIANA: And we do like some old school, like weight exercises that I swear are like from 1982, and I’m just, I’m so, I just love it. I’m like, I guess I’m … Maybe the day I’m ready for the two pound weights, I don’t know! But the coherency part that we were talking about, you know, this, I think you can see this with old-school readers. If you go to like an old-school diviner, they … and you’re, you know, you’re like, I [00:48:04] want to talk to you about my business, right? My business is having issues. And if you’re … One of the ways that I assess people, readers, is you know, if they listen to what you say and then they ask you a question that kind of seems like it’s coming out from left field, like, you know, well, how’s your marriage? and you’re like, well, you know, I didn’t ask about my marriage, I asked about my business. And they’re like, yeah, that’s true. But just tell me, tell me what’s going on in your relationship and you know, five minutes later, you’re like, it’s falling apart. I don’t know! And they, and they know that, I mean, you know, you see this with old-school diviners and old-school ritualists, like they understand that if those gaps … I love the way you, Fabeku, I love the way you said that, cause of course my book is weaving together the everyday and the extraordinary. So, if those gaps get too big, you know, what you … Energy seeps out and [00:49:04] also funky stuff can come in. Right?
BRIANA: Oh, I didn’t really want to deal with that today. And so, and I think and, and often, and in my experience, this is true both in my own life and in the lives of my clients, often where it overtly manifests is not where the problem is.
BRIANA: The problem is some … you know, the issue where the gap is, is somewhere else, and so, like I’ve always found that the old school folks kind of, they know that, they can see that, you know and spot it, and it’s interesting to be on the other side of the table because they’re asking you questions that at first you’re like, God that’s really, has nothing to do with what I’m asking you about, and yet it does, so often.
AIDAN: That’s such an interesting thing, you know. When I was about 20, 21 maybe, because shortly after my son was born I had had … there’s really no way to not kind of throw in [00:50:04] the too much information here. So, I’m just going to do it. I had a sore that developed that would come and go, and I’d been to doctors and all this stuff, and it would come and go and come and go but it never really healed up. And I went and saw my first Chinese doctor, who was this little five foot tall big-haired woman from Texas. And this was perfect for me, because I was still kind of in my punk phase …
AIDAN: Or just coming out of it. Psychic youth freak. And she didn’t care, and I went in and she said, “Okay, let’s see this thing.” And I’ve been to like, I think, five doctors who have given me all sorts of stuff. They’ve done tests. And I drop my pants, because it was on the inside of my leg above my knee. She’s like, looks at it. She goes, “Honey, did you do a lot of speed when you were younger?” And I’m like, “Yeah, I did.” She’s like, “Because I only see this with people who did a lot of speed [00:51:04], and it’s that, and it’s what your body hasn’t been able to kick out, and so it’s created a space to get it out of your body. And so, we just need to help it do that for a couple weeks probably and then it’ll be done.” Right?
BRIANA: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.
AIDAN: And so, she went after that. It’s that same type of thing of being able to see more than what we can see.
AIDAN: You know that … the related story to that was, I became deathly ill when I lived out on Ocean Beach. I was housesitting, and I got on the bus and, and kind of was riding it into town, and I saw it was clearly a Chinese medicine apothecary out in the Avenues. And I hopped off the bus, and walked in, and it was the 80-year-old little Chinese guy, and I walked in, and I mean, he knew I was sick, right, because I’m clearly sick as hell. And [00:52:04] I came in and said, “Do you speak English?” And he was like, “Nope.” I said, “Do you care? Because I don’t care.” [laughing] I kind of like pointed at my tongue and he was like, good. We’re on the same page. So, I have no idea. I got no diagnosis. This guy did his thing, checked me out. Hooked me up some herbs. I gave him 50 bucks or something, and I was, you know, fine two days later. So again, it’s like, that’s, I think again, those are kind of faces of that coherent vision that someone can develop. And I think we all end up in the zones, you know, with the work that we do. I don’t know that I’m at that guy’s level, but you know, it’s a … I think it’s all kind of related.
ANDREW: Yeah, I think it’s interesting. I mean, I tend to go towards having conversations about stuff with people? Like yesterday, I was reading at a corporate event. Right? So [00:53:04] like, five to ten-minute tarot readings, you know, people who aren’t even necessarily tarot people and whatever. And so, I’m like, I just go back to like the old-school super psychic, you know, like super like, you know, Marseilles-style reading, you know for people, and they sit down there and be like … I’m like, “You got a question?” They’re like, “Nope.” I’m like, “Cool. Let’s shoot some cards and see.” And I’m like, “You know, the cards say there’s water getting into your building,” and they’re like, “Yeah.” I’m like, “Good.”
ANDREW: “This card says that you’re like, you’re unbelievably stressed and on the edge of a nervous breakdown.” And they’re like, “now that you say it, yes.”
BRIANA: Didn’t know that before, but …
ANDREW: You get by, you know?
AIDAN: I was doing a design for somebody, one of the last pieces of custom work that are in the key right now and [00:54:04] I’m doing the design and it … In my head pops up, I’m like, “Oh she’s not going to like this,” and her allies, and my allies, her allies through my allies, are just like, “Tell her that you know she’s not going to like it, and tell her that we don’t care.” It’s like, Okay, that’ll be a funny email to write. See attached fixture and your allies say it’s okay that you don’t like it [laughing]. You know, what are you supposed to do? But again, if you’re doing it, you’re doing the work, you do the work. That’s the way it goes.
ANDREW: For sure.
BRIANA: I had that … I had a … you know, I was wrapping up the edits for the book. School was starting for Jasper, which is just like an insane two weeks of zero time and, and I had, my holy helpers were like, “you need to take these crystal pendants, and you need to make them available for people that need healing,” and I was like, “I don’t even do healing,” [00:55:04] like, I don’t even … that’s not even like my thing, you know. And they were just like, “Well, that’s what we need you to do, and so you can do it, or we can make your life really difficult and then you can do it. So, it’s up to you girly, figure it out.”
BRIANA: So, I was like, okay, and I literally wrote the email and I said, “So guys, I have zero time for this. But I’m supposed to do it. So, here’s the deal,” and I had 10 of them. And my holy helpers were like, “You’re going to do a reading for everyone who gets one, and you’re going to consecrate them in the new moon in Virgo and in the full moon in …” What was it in, Cancer? No, I don’t know. Whatever the full moon was at that time. And I was like, “Okay, I have zero time to do this, but fine fine fine.” And so, I did it, and I made it available, and they immediately sold out, and every single person who bought one emailed me and said, “I’m so glad that you did this because I [00:56:04] just found out that I have X.” And, and they were all people in my community. They were all people that I knew. They were people I had not heard from and it was such a … You know, it was such a humbling experience of really remembering you know, you, at least for me, you know, when I entered into this work I very much, you know, this is a vestige of my Baptist upbringing, it’s like not my will, but your will, right? Like my holy helpers, my people, I want to be of service and, and it was like this was needed, you know in a very concrete way, and I would have, I had no idea that it was, I just thought it was a huge pain in my ass, but it really, and I told them, I was like “This is a pain in my ass; I don’t have time to do this.”
BRIANA: But it really, I mean, it was really really needed by the ten people who got them. And it was just such a like, you know, remembering of this is part of how it works.
ANDREW: Mm-hmm. [00:57:05] I don’t know if I want to add to that. This is a good way to talk about things.
BRIANA: Mic drop! [laughing]
ANDREW: Mic drop, we’re out of here! Well, you know, maybe this is a good time to segue to a question that’s looming. As you know, before we do these episodes, we always post asking people to post questions, if they have them, and so KJ posted this question, which I think we’re going to talk about. And Aidan’s delightfully volunteered to take it first.
ANDREW: She says: “I’d like to hear you all talk about the intersection of magic and gender issues from whatever angle you feel like talking about it. Is magic different for innies and outies, if so, why and how? what if you make a change in that? what are the issues in communities?” and a whole bunch of sort of further other kind of extensions [00:58:05] of that. But I mean, maybe we can just start with like what, what do you see as the role or relevance of gender in magic, Aidan?
BRIANA: Super simple question!
ANDREW: [crosstalking] Get it right!
AIDAN: I’m not … I’m not … I don’t agree to get it right, but we’ll try. You know, it’s a super interesting thing. And it is interesting because of the time that you’re asking this question and so I’m going to go kind of sideways for KJ. Right now, is when my other world contacts that I call the sisters and the night mother began amping up their work with me, which was started by them. I had gone and visited them, but this … they … I showed up and they were like, “We got shit to do and we’re doing it now.” And I didn’t know, but this is [00:59:05] stuff that we talked about … about, you know, a little bit more than a year ago now, or almost a year ago, Andrew, because they were prepping me to be able to do the work that I would need to do with my … with my son when he died.
AIDAN: And interestingly, I actually just looked at those notes because of course it’s kind of coming up on the cycle. And what happened with it was really interesting. I mean the whole thing is kind of fascinating and kind of emotionally charged. So, I’ll probably be a little bit weird talking about it. But when I showed up, they were … the sisters kind of were all around me, and they said, “Okay, we’re going to do this thing, if you will agree to let us do this thing to you, ‘cause you would function better if you were a little different.” And I was copacetic with … I was cool with that.
So, I said, “go ahead,” and they began doing [01:00:05] what I always think of as being bodywork, though, this is, you know, happening on some other level. So, I don’t know that it’s … but for me, I perceive the other world really, really physically, and not like I see it concretely, but I experience what happens as like waves of body, bodily sensation, more than anything else.
And so, they began doing work on me that was kind of, I’ll try and come up with a … it was intimate to a level that was way beyond physically invasive but was fine. It was really beautiful and really charged and it was really sexually charged for me as well. But it wasn’t sexually charged for me as a man. It was sexually charged for me as if I was wearing a woman’s body.
And I asked them about this. [01:01:05] They’re like, “It’s just how you’re perceiving this. It’s … this is the easiest way for you to accept what we’re doing, is for you to shift your perception to that. This is … this works better that way.”
And they were kind of laughing at my responses in a really sweet way, like somebody, like friends that really loved you, that were healing you and you were getting odd sensations of stuff and were a little tripped out by it. They were like, it’s cool. It’s totally good. And so, the whole kind of experience for me was them generating a female, I guess we could call it kind of astral body or something of me so I could be like them, so they could do what they do with me, not to me, and that process really kind of like, I’m super open about this stuff anyway, so it’s not like it blew doors or anything, in … on a mental sense. It was fascinating on a physical sense or on a sensory sense. It felt totally normal. There was no point like, ack! I mean, I’m sure there are people that would be like “ack, I’m in a woman’s body and I’m being, you know, kind of sexually played with by a whole bunch of these hive being light things” but it felt really perfect.
And so, I don’t know that there is any difference on the side that I play with. I think that yeah, we definitely all carry what we carry and we’re sensing through our bodies, but I’m not sure that once you get far enough out, that those constructs are, or at least what we think they are. This is not to say that there are not men’s [01:03:08] mysteries or women’s mysteries, but that’s the human side of this and I’m not super interested in the human side of this.
So, from the spirit side, I’m not sure. I think that you become what you need to be to have the work done and to understand the work and to be able to do the work. And I think I probably always … the sense that I have is that I’ve always known that. You know, I’ve known trans people for a very very long time. I’ve known people who were bisexual or gay or lesbian for a very long time. And I’ve never had a moment of finding any of it in any way odd. It all makes perfect sense to me. It’s like why would that … so I do know some folks that are kind of rabidly, “This is man stuff.” It’s like, whatever. That’s great that that’s your mythology, and go with it, and I hope that it serves you, and I hope that it serves the whole, but to me, it doesn’t make any sense at all. So, any rowdy I don’t [01:04:08] care, the spirits that I know don’t seem to care. Some of them show up as dudes, some of them show up as female, some of them change. We’ve talked about the fire spirit that I deal with. It kind of traditionally shows up as kind of a fiery Luciferian kind of elvish creature, unless it shows up is Gary Numan’s daughter Persia from the, you know, “My name is ruined” video, which is now more often than not because I’m always so pleased to see Persia. I think it’s just like, He likes this version better than the other one. So, we’ll show up that way. That’s all I got.
ANDREW: How about you, Bri?
BRIANA: I agree a great amount with Aidan. You know my … I think because I started working with the other world and being aware of the other world when I was so [01:05:08] young, before, you know, gender or sexuality were like concepts for me. Like sensuality, yes. Like anyone who says that little kids don’t, you know, have sensual experiences is just, hasn’t been around little kids, because they do, they like to feel good and like all the different places of their bodies. And I think that like being weird about that or freaking out about that has done a lot more harm than good and has allowed little children to be predated on actually. So, sensuality, I mean as a Libra Venus real child for sure, but sexuality and gender, you know, two- to three-year-old, four-year-old Briana was sort of like whatev, you know.
And that has, you know, so from an inner work perspective, I am working with [01:06:08] different energies. I’m working with different frequencies. I’m working with different potencies, and they take on all kinds of forms and they morph, and they change, and I may morph and change in whatever way, really, and I mean, this sounds like super not sexy or esoteric but it’s true, in whatever way allows for the greatest efficiency of action, is what I have to say.
So, like, you know, what … like whatever we need to show up as and you need to show up as to get this is what we’re going to do. So, I have definitely had experiences. I’ve had dreams. I’ve had liminal waking visions where I present as male, or I present as a leaf, or I present as a fish, right? I mean like, and when you look at so many of the, you know, of the religious frameworks that we have in the world, including [01:07:08] Judaism, including Christianity, right? Like the primary deities shift. They have these interesting shifting things that they do, and so, I don’t think that that’s just like a little coincidence, that it’s been in there. I think that that really is the experience and the people that I talk to that I know actually do magic all pretty much agree about this. We might language it a little bit differently, but like we all pretty much agree.
Where I think … now, I don’t personally know what might need to shift or if there are physical shifts for people who transition, because I have not had that experience. I have friends who have had that experience. And so, and they have, by and large, said that they do feel like something shifts polarity-wise in the physical [01:08:08] body, that then you know allows them to work with the energies of the inner world in a way again, that is efficient. Where I think … so, so, as Aidan said, you know, this is the inner part, right? This is like the liminal part.
One thing that I have noticed in group work … So, you know, there’s a lot … Sarah Lawless did a pretty powerful post a couple weeks ago about predation in pagan communities. And I, you know, when I read that, it was really interesting, because I’ve eschewed a lot of community stuff and I realized in reading that, that this is why. Right? Because I have super strong guardians who have really like kept me aware and kept me safe. Aidan knows, because he’s met me in person, so he knows what I’m talking about! [laughing] You [01:09:08] know, and so there’s just a whole like series of experiences that I have not gone to because I really feel like my holy helpers were like, mm-mmm [negative], not for you girl. And so that level becomes … can become an issue. Right?
And I’ve also noticed with, with, mmm, what do I want to say, like temple work or spiritual group work. I do often notice … and sexual preference doesn’t seem to come into play in this, gay, straight, bi, whatever. I think that in a lot of our stories we’ve gotten things a little bit backwards. So, we often think of women … And women themselves and spiritual movements talk about like how we hold space or we, we’re containers or we’re vessels, like you know, there’s a lot of like that kind of talk.
And I think that both women and men can do both, but I have found in [01:10:08] a lot of group work that actually the most powerful experiences are where the men are holding the space in a really protective way and the women … Or the people who identify as men are holding the space in a really protective way and the women, or the people who identify as women, are taking the more overtly active role. And I really, again, like I see these dynamics changing, so it’s not a hard and fast rule but, it’s odd. Like if you look at like the traditional ceremonial magic-like lodge structure, it definitely is not structured that way, and I find that, I just find that to be really interesting. And of course, there’s all kinds of, you know, social and cultural reasons why that is, but I find it interesting from a magical point of view that like, in the magic that was being made, nobody paused and said: “Is this, is this working as well as it could be? or do we maybe need to tweak something?” So that’s … I don’t know if that [01:11:08] added anything. That’s what I’ve got.
ANDREW: I think it’s great. And I think I want to make one quick note before we sort of move past it because I’ll forget. Why wouldn’t that be the case? Because in all one gender lodge work or coven work or whatever, some people need to hold that space, and some people need to call the stuff in, and like, it works just fine there, and like nobody, you know, you don’t hear Masons saying, “You know what we really need? We need like more women in here.”
AIDAN: We need some girl!
ANDREW: Right? I mean like [crosstalking] on the Masons, right? You know, I mean, like, I don’t mean that to make fun of them, but like, it’s a long-standing, you know, group with magical practices, has been single gendered for a long time, and you know, it’s like, I mean, we could debate the politics of that in, you know, over beer sometime, instead of like here, but like, but [01:12:08], you know, it’s not, it’s not magically operant, you know, it doesn’t matter in that, in those contexts, therefore it can’t really, we can’t extend it everywhere else all of a sudden and be like …
AIDAN: I think it’s also, in my experience, kind of going back to that experience that I had with the sisters, is at one point I was … this was later on, this was sometime down the road. I was doing work with the night mother and again kind of went into this overly sexual response to what was going on. Again, feeling it as if I was a woman. And I kind of said, “Is there anything …? Do you have any issues with … This is what goes on?” She’s like “No, this is you translating the experience into something that makes sense. Nobody does what I’m doing to you. Nobody ever has, outside of a sexual experience. And so, you’re just translating this into [01:13:08] something that makes sense,” you know, and yeah.
And on the other side, I would say, you know, it’s like it’s really difficult to—I’m essentially purely solitary. So, I no longer have to deal with the whack fucking shit that goes on in … between men, between women, between whoever, and so I’m not addressing any of it with what I said. I’m not talking about that at all. I’m talking about it on an individual level, because I totally agree with, you know, unless you’re just completely delusional. We know that there’s mass issues in all communities based on kind of gender roles and then just horrible behavior. Primarily, I’m going to throw it on men because that’s been my experience both on the receiving end and watching it. I have not ever had any women ever try to do to me what men have done and [01:14:08] I don’t know what the fuck that’s about and I would love to see it change and I think that that’s possible. I don’t know.
BRIANA: It is, Aidan, I have two boys. I’m … I’m working on it. [laughing]
AIDAN: Very good. Yes.
BRIANA: I have two sons, for exactly this reason, I am sure.
AIDAN: I’m wondering why … I’m talking about all the other stuff you were talking about and yeah, it’s … The maintaining the house is also like managing your kind of disappointment and disgust in the world. While doing the work that you have to do to try and make the changes that we can, you know? And so that’s also been a big part of my work, is how do I kind of get myself to a place where I can actually do the work that I’m meant to do and support the people that I can and not get drug down by the kind of morass that it seems that the … that the news cycle and what’s going on is attempting to drag us into, you know?
ANDREW: Mm-hmm. Yeah. How about you, Fabeku, what do you got on this topic?
FABEKU: Yeah. So, I’ve got a bunch of thoughts mostly inspired by what has been said already. I think first of all, I agree and just echo the fact that I think and most of the time I’ve been pretty solitary too, precisely, in large part, because I just can’t stand the complete fuckery and nonsense that happens in too many of these communities and I think … and by that I mean specifically, you know, men preying on women which I think is fucked and unacceptable and it needs to stop immediately.
And I think that, you know, one of the thoughts that I had with what Bri was saying is, I think that I push back with this idea that we kind of collectively perpetuate this, this kind of yin-yang thing, the, you know, receptive … I think … I get it, and I’m not saying there’s not pieces of that that are true, but I feel like in some ways, we sort of perpetuate these fucked power dynamics when [01:16:08] we automatically talk, you know, of women as being more receptive and men being more, you know, external or assertive. And I think one, it puts people in boxes that are limited and limiting and inaccurate; two, I think it makes it much easier for men to you know, perpetuate this weird predator bullshit that happens which I think is fucked and nonsense in all kinds of ways.
You know, I just … I kind of addressed this in a different angle, you know, in the divination thing that I’m doing, in other words, talking about looking at the genders on the cards, and you know how it’s not that, it’s not that when it’s relevant in the context of a question that we ignore it, but I think that this idea that we have to limit the cards to their genders or we have to limit our understanding of gender in this, in this context, whether it’s in divination or magic or anything. I feel like it’s, it’s an outdated concept and I hear too many people say “Well, yeah, it’s kind of outdated but we should still use it.” I’m willing to say [01:17:08] it’s just kind of outdated and we should probably fuck off and just update the entire thing because it doesn’t seem functional at this point anymore. Not only does it not seem functional, it seems outdated, it seems, you know, we exclude people, we limit people, it’s bullshit.
ANDREW: It’s [Crosstalking. Rapunzel? 01:17:22]
FABEKU: It’s just, it’s a fucking artifact that needs to fuck off at this point.
BRIANA: Well, and it leads to bad readings, I feel like. Right?
FABEKU: For sure, at the end of the day, look at the bottom line: We just get inaccurate. But then when we zoom out and look at the way and then when we map that over relationships and how we see relationships with ourselves, relationships with other people, with the … with the world. We just get into this really fucked thing. That just doesn’t, like you said, is operantly not true.
FABEKU: You know, and that for me is a problem, and I think that one of the … going back to what Bri was talking about, about being involved kind of early on with this, one of the most magically interesting times for me was when I was 12 or 13, when I was just kind of getting into the punk scene, and a big part of that was I wore makeup. I wore dresses I [01:18:08]. I … you know, there was a lot of that that was happening at the time and it’s not that my gender was changing but there was this thing of like, what do you mean dudes can’t do this? Fuck off. I’m … fuck you. I’m not interested in that. I’m not playing …
FABEKU: That game. I’m going to stretch this, and in fact, the more and this seems unrelated, but it’s not. There was an English teacher of mine who, I walked into her class and had a face full of makeup and lipstick and she said, “Get out.” and I said, “Why, what’s the problem?” She said, “You cannot wear lipstick in my class.” She said, “Take it off.” I said, “Well, if I’m going to take it off then you have to take it off.” Like what, what’s the fucking … I don’t understand what the issue is and the … like it turned into this whole thing with the principal wanted to make this big deal, and for me, it was like the more you told me that wasn’t okay, the more I’m going to do it: one, because that’s kind of what I do, but it was, it was really to push back on this point of like, what the fuck does the fact that I’m a guy have to do with the fact that I wear lipstick or that I have a dress on. It’s … fuck off with this stuff.
FABEKU: You know, and I feel I [01:19:08] feel similar to that when we bring this stuff into magical practice. It’s like … I’m not … do whatever the fuck you want to do. This idea that women should do this, and men should do this or when … Fuck off with all of that stuff. I don’t … It doesn’t make any sense to me. It doesn’t make any sense to me experientially. It doesn’t make any sense to me magically. And like everybody else has said, you know, when I’m in trance state … There was plant medicine work that I did for years with a very specific plant. Every time, in the context of that journey, I showed up as a woman. Every fucking time. It wasn’t once, it wasn’t some one-off thing. It was the way it happened every goddamn time I was in that experience, and I understood that part of it was again just to kind of unfuck this, like, yeah, you think gender is a fixed thing, fuck off with that, because clearly, it’s not, and part of it was the translation thing like Aidan’s talking about. And for me, I guess the bottom line is, it seems silly and absurd to me to believe these fixed ideas that this [01:20:08] is man. This is woman. This is what works with … it’s just like are you kidding me? Like how the fuck … how the fuck do we say that with a straight face?
FABEKU: I don’t get it and it doesn’t seem, it doesn’t seem true to me on any level at all, just on any level and so I … yeah, I would, I would like to see more and more unfucking of that. I would like to see us let go of this, kind of women receptive, men assertive, kind of just fuck off with all of this nonsense. I, I don’t, I don’t think it’s serving any of us practically. I don’t think it’s serving any of us magically. And it just seems functionally untrue to me.
AIDAN: Yeah, the only other thing that I think is interest- that hits me with all this too is, you know, I, not using his concepts exactly, but Spare talks about atavistic resurgence, right?
AIDAN: About basically becoming, from a magical context, earlier [01:21:08] forms of what you were, right? And this could be viewed as an ancestral process, right?
AIDAN: And so, if I’m functionally the expression of my lineage, right? Whether I want to be or not, whether I liked those people or not, this is millions of years of beings that were men, that were women, that were whatever they were before they were men or women, right? Whatever animals, whatever forms we were. It’s just so closed-minded. It’s an incredibly limited field to look at and then to try and lock it down into one moment in time, which is really what I see. A lot of this stuff is, it’s what I kind of call the post-war American fantasy.
AIDAN: It’s like there was this point where everything was great. Well, it was great because we had killed off a massive number of people. Production was through the roof, so there was plenty for everybody. There was no … everybody [01:22:08] was kind of shell-shocked by the process. That was a fragment of time that has … you know, we throw that back and we look at whether it’s … in all of the different cultures that don’t really view this, especially in magical practice, one of the prerequisites, probably for more cultures than it wasn’t, was that you be kind of fluid about gender at least as expression. We see that all the time. And so, I don’t understand how people grab onto it and try and then make it such a big deal. And it is a big deal again in the sense that yeah, it’s … there’s fucked-up structures that are culturally built and I would love to see the magical kind of spiritual communities do the thing that I’ve never seen them do, which is to actually step away from the pieces of the parent culture that suck.
AIDAN: And not just repeat them. You know, I … we’ve brought it up here before, I, [01:23:08] Genesis P-Orridge and I talked about this, and he’s an obvious case of who you would have this conversation with in the 80s, saying this is the most disappointing thing about the occult world, to both of us at that time was how much it was bringing in all the trash, instead of just going: this is all trash. Let’s do something better.
FABEKU: Yeah. Right.
ANDREW: Well, it never … you know, you step off of Malkuth and into, you know, the sphere of the Moon, and what do you encounter? All your shit and all of culture’s shit, right?
ANDREW: Yeah, like you want to go any higher, you got to resolve that, like that’s, you know, I mean from like sort of a ceremonial working past kind of approach. It’s like, it’s right there at the start of the process. And you know, how many people actually do that work?
ANDREW: And you know and whatever they carry from that forward into other pieces of work that they haven’t fixed or finished? You know, it just breeds and expands right? It’s a problem.
AIDAN: Right? Yeah. And you think … go ahead.
FABEKU: No. I was just going to say not only … not only [01:24:08] how many people do that. But how many people actively don’t do that? How many people build an entire magical fucking philosophy around these limited ideas and then pretend that we’re talking about esoteric truths that in fact are not? Right? We’ve just, we’ve taken and sort of deified this bullshit that it might be true in some very limited context but then to act like this is our functional magical blueprint for shit. I … what the fuck? I don’t, I don’t get it.
AIDAN: Yeah, you think it … And what that brought to mind for me, Fabeku, is yeah, let’s look at like the classic shamanic process, right? You get fucking cut up, your bones ripped out and thrown in the fire, or thrown in the cauldron, and boiled down to nothing, and then they piece you together out of your bones and make new flesh for you. You think that all that bullshit survives that process? No, it can’t and [01:25:08] that’s, you know, so, it’s again, I think that it, there’s, there’s no historical validity to it. Even if we’re going there, unless we’re just talking about the last 10 minutes, and then I’m not into it. I think we can look at what people’s experiences are of all these things and go, yeah, if there’s discussions of gender in mythology, it’s not there to cement those things.
AIDAN: It’s to try and describe something that is very difficult to describe outside of the liminal zones.
ANDREW: Well, and I think, I think beyond … I mean that, absolutely, and also, you know history, history is long, and you know, like, what did gender mean in that time? What did it mean to be a woman at that time? What does it mean to be this or that? What did these social constructs mean? You know, like, I mean, [01:26:08] there’s lots of conversations around, you know, sort of gender issues in the ATRs and stuff like that. You know the various, various African traditional religions and Orisha practice and Palo Moyambe and all those kinds of things. And, you know, those conversations are really hard to have in ways that don’t just get caught up in our current cultural biases, right?
ANDREW: You know? ‘Cause like, you know, you talk to people and they’ll be like, “well, men can’t be orietays,” you know, men can’t be the ones who sit on the mat and head the ceremonies, right? But, you know, if we go back to, you know, the beginning of these practices in Cuba, all the women were, all the Oriate were women. That was it. They were the ones who brought that knowledge over, right? So, it’s not historically true. It’s current, like recent history may be more true or true, but the … You know, but that isn’t, that isn’t, you know, to say that it’s real in that sense. It’s more, it’s more about [01:27:08] the culture than the practice or the spirits necessarily.
And I think that it gets really hard to be clear about what, what are those? What are those actual women’s mysteries or man’s mysteries or other mysteries? Right? What are those things? You know, like I think about tantric practices that you know, would seem, some of them, to be biochemical, right? To require certain, certain anatomies and processes and so on to create chemical changes or secretions or other kinds of things. I mean, it’s not a lot of what we’re talking about. It’s not … most of it’s not those kinds of things. It’s something else, right? And you know, so, I think it’s, I think it’s really … it’s problematic, and it’s really so often just deeply rooted in, you know, well, the long history of patriarchy.
AIDAN and FABEKU: Yep.
ANDREW: You know, and you know, I mean, especially in sort of like [01:28:08] ceremonial stuff like, you know, it’s a layover from Victorian and mid-century and other, you know, male-dominated cultural perspectives that, you know, that don’t speak of a particular truth, but just a period in time and the influence of their culture, you know, and it’s like, you know, Jason Miller had this thing about you know, research versus received messages, right? You know, recently in some blog post he put out, which is great, and I think that, you know, some of this falls to that, right? Like, you know, what is tradition versus … What is tradition? What is what the spirits want? And what is culture, then or now? And how do we sort of parse those out so that we can do that? And, you know, I mean, if you’re practicing sort of your own things, you know, I wouldn’t, you know, like as [01:29:08] you are, Aidan, or you know, whatever, you know, that that process just becomes your interaction with the spirits. But if you are involved in communities and groups than those conversations get more complicated, but I think that, you know, this time in history is perfect for rooting those out and adjusting them. You know? I mean not just because Venus is retrograde as we’re recording this …
BRIANA: I know! Everybody’s …
ANDREW: There are a few things that are emerging from that, right? You know? from … and all of that stuff which is so important, and the time has fucking come. Like let’s embrace that and work on it, you know.
BRIANA: And I feel like so many of these things are filters. That it’s sort of like, I mean, I really feel like right now they’re … much of this is a filter of, are you going to follow, like, the well beaten path? Or are you going to, are [01:30:08] you going to think for yourself? Are you going to think for yourself? Are you going to break the rules? I mean, I am such a like type A like rule follower. It’s not even funny.
But I was talking to my husband and, you know, the more I teach, the more I work, the more I realize how radical this work asks you to be, and radical in the true sense of that word, which is rooted, right, that lead down to the root. But also in the, in the sense of relational, right? The, the, the ratio quality of this and, and that, you know, a lot of these, a lot of these issues are really showing up as filters and it’s like, are you, like, is that where you want your energy to go, that you’re a girl or you’re a boy or you’re in between and so this now is going to depict everything? Another place where we see it a lot, I think women tend to [01:31:08] be more aware of it, but guys certainly are too, is you know, young or old, like right now if you like look at, you know, magic and witchcraft, it’s like, the New Yorker did a profile on witches and I’m pretty sure none of the women—it was almost all women—and none of the people profiled were over the age of 50 and you know, wow. Wow! You know, like, I get that it’s a Millennial thing and rock on Millennials, but like, you know, I mean, just another place, where we’re becoming just as fixed is, you know, like, gender, sexuality, age …
ANDREW: And look at any large amount of profiles about yoga practitioners.
BRIANA: Right! Right, right.
ANDREW: Are they blonde and cute? Right? Perfect. then they fit the …
BRIANA: Totally. And then you look at Light On, you know Light On Yoga with B.K.S. Iyengar, and he’s like this older Indian dude, with this pot belly, and it’s awesome. And so, I think, I think that you know, I often see a lot of this [01:32:08] as, you know, filters that have been [garbled moment at 1:32:11] and do and that’s where you want your time and your energy to go, rock on. Can y’all hear me?
AIDAN: Yeah, you’re back.
BRIANA: What I was saying is, I see them as filters, and if that’s where you want to go and that’s what you want to do, that’s what you want to be concerned with, go for it. But I don’t want to be concerned with that. You know, I want to do the work. I want, I want, I want to get on with it and not, you know, be wrapped up in what someone somewhere decided I could or couldn’t do or I could or couldn’t be, like, I’m just not into that project.
AIDAN: Yeah, I think that you know, that’s a big part of … What keeps hitting me is that’s a big part of the kind of drive, both from me. And I think, obviously it’s, I am who I am because of my allies, but … In the allies with Six Ways, it was really going like, let’s stick something out there that is [01:33:08] super clear from the beginning that it doesn’t matter if you do it like this, it doesn’t matter if you do it any way, it doesn’t matter if you do it like Aleister Crowley, you just do it and do the stuff that makes sense to you and get good at it and do the things that really make sense for you to do, because there’s so much bullshit out there that it’s like, this is an alternative, you know, this is not a system that’s the alternative. This is just, you can go walk in here as you are. Whoever you are. Let it change you however it changes you and that’s all for the good.
You know, and I think that that’s a … there’s a lot of that message going around now, but we’re also seeing a lot of the kickback to that because that terrifies a lot of people. Whether it’s on the magical end or whether it’s on the cultural end, you know, to the degree that they’re separate. We are seeing the … We’re seeing drastic changes in the world and demographics and you [01:34:08] know, how interesting will this be if the current climate change stuff is true in 40 years, right? Or will we be doing other things? I think we’ll be doing other things as the primary focus. Hey though.
ANDREW: For sure. All right. Well, I think we’ve talked for a long time, we’ll keep talking about this and I hope that other people do keep talking about it, right? You know, because I think it’s, I think it’s super important and you know, I mean and I think that it’s super important for those, you know, especially like us sort of cis-dude people to make sure that we’re showing up in that conversation too, right? Because you know, I see a lot of people kind of sidelining that conversation and I see a lot of, you know, other like people who are carrying that conversation and you [01:35:08] know, I think that it’s all of our conversations to deal with. It’s all of our stuff, you know, and I think that anybody who feels like it’s not, is, you know, we’re all back to misanthrope, get off Facebook.
ANDREW: It’s okay, you know, yeah.
ANDREW: All right, well. So, if folks want to find you all, where’s the best place they should start looking for you, Bri?
BRIANA: BrianaSaussy.com, also in San Antonio, Texas, but I have a four-month-old. So basically, I don’t leave the house.
BRIANA: I’m just there! But yeah, my website, and you can also find me on Facebook, Briana Saussy, I have a page, Sacred Arts for Soulful Seekers, where I post my daily blessings, and occasionally I pop in with news, and then I have a group that has like almost a thousand members. [01:36:08] Every time I go, there’s like 30 more people on, I don’t know how that happens. But that is the Sacred Artist group on Facebook. You do have to be approved. So, like if you request approval and I don’t know you, you need to say, you know, I’m, I saw you on Stacking Skulls and it was awesome. You know, let me in! So yeah. Those are those are the main places. I’m on, you know, I’m on social media, I’m findable, Briana Saussy is always my handle. I kept it simple, but you know, I’m a … I have a flirtation with social media. I wouldn’t say I’m committed.
ANDREW: Mm-hmm. Perfect. Aidan? Other than the mountains of, the cold mountains of Texas, where are you?
BRIANA: New Mexico, New Mexico!
AIDAN: Yeah, you can find me here early in the morning on Highway 14 in New Mexico…
ANDREW: Anybody who goes and stands on the side of the road and finds Aidan that way, gets a prize, let me know! Okay?
FABEKU: Pictures when it happens!
AIDAN: Yeah. AidanWachter.com, I’m Aidan Wachter on Facebook, my book is Six Ways and it’s available through all the online sources, and there is a working, also, [01:37:16] like 1,100 people or something group on Facebook that if you would like membership in, that’s generally where I talk about the book so that I don’t end up having the same conversations all the time in private messages and emails. But, if you do a search for Aidan Wachter, talismanic jeweler, you will find me.
ANDREW: Sure. Fabeku?
FABEKU: Fabeku.com and Facebook. That’s it.
ANDREW: Perfect. And as always, I am at TheHermitsLamp.com or at my shop in Toronto. And, yeah, Andrew McGregor on Facebook, you know, in all the places, pretty much. All right. Thanks so much for giving me so much of your time today folks. This has been wonderful.
CHORUS: Thank you for having us.
ANDREW: All right.