Off into the great black yonder…
Last year at this time, it was Miew Khem. (For those of you who don’t know what Miew Khem is, here’s a brief explanation thereof.) And as is usually the case during the Month of the Black Cat, a shit-load of life-altering things were happening all at once. I was starting a new job that was a major step up for me in terms of my professional development; Brother Patrick was starting a new job and getting ready to move to Detroit; Brother Tony was preparing for his girlfriend to move in with him down in Texas; Sister Tina was planning her wedding and mourning the death of her future mother-in-law at the same time; and my mother-in-law was resuming her fight against cancer, which had just been diagnosed as inoperable. In short, last year at this time was extremely depressing, frightening, and full of opportunity all at once.
Now it’s a full year later, and the shocking transformations that were initiated by these events have come full circle. I am now very well-established in my new line of work, and while it’s not exactly the rock star gig that I wanted for my adult self in high school, I’ve apparently become a pro at what I do. Meanwhile, Brother Patrick has undergone much the same kheper in his new job as well; he’s also renting a nice house and seeing an interesting new girlfriend over there in Motor City. Brother Tony has progressed so well with his own significant other that he has now proposed to her (and guess who he’s asked to be his best man?). Sister Tina has been happily married for the past five months, and my wife’s mother has been gone for pretty much the same amount of time. (I officiated Tina’s wedding just one week after giving my mother-in-law her last rite, so as you can probably imagine, October 2015 was a pretty rough time.)
Earlier this year, I gave two reasons as to why I’ve been having trouble writing on this blog lately. But there’s also a third reason: I haven’t been wanting to discuss the LV-426 Tradition as much because LV-426 is no longer as localized as it once was. Sure, we still exist and we still share a bond in Seth that can never be broken; but as I predicted in this post from last year, we have all been scattered to the wind like pollen. Truth be told, there’s never been a time that all four of us have lived in the same area and could see each other at any time we liked; but at least some of us got to see each other pretty regularly, and the others would visit by car or by plane whenever they could. There have been at least two times when all four of us were together in the same place at the same time; but now we’ll probably be seeing and talking to each other even less frequently than before.
Mind you, it’s not like LV-426 is dissolving; we’re still a fellowship in the Red Lord, and that sort of bond never fades away. We’ll always be family and we’ll still get to see each other from time to time. (Brother Patrick still makes an effort to meet up with my wife and I at least once a month, and we’ll be seeing Sister Tina in a few weeks. I’ll also be seeing Brother Tony for his wedding later this year.) But I still miss my brothers and sister very much, especially after everything that’s happened since Miew Khem. I miss having weekly Sabbath meetings and throwing holiday parties and execrating
Apophis together as a group. I’ve been having trouble writing about us lately because that phase of our existence seems to be over now, and I guess I’m still coming to terms with this fact. Some Pagans enjoy being solitary, but I really haven’t missed it that much, so I’m not in any hurry to be a lone Typhonian desperado again.
However, I’m smart enough to realize that this situation isn’t about what I want. Great Seth has blessed us by allowing us to spend lots of time together already; now it’s time for something different. Now it’s time for us to make our own ways through the darkness, at least for a while. At least we can each take solace in the fact that we’re all just a phone call away from each other whenever we really need to talk with our own kind (and that’s a hell of a lot more than I had when I was still by myself in the late 1990s and early 2000s). But I think it’s always been Seth’s plan that we should be spread out and only see each other at certain times. Why? I don’t rightly know. Perhaps we each have other people we’re supposed to meet, other people who might become LV-426 initiates some day. Perhaps Big Red has never intended for us to be a “group”; perhaps He wants us to be something more like a “lineage,” or a line of loosely connected dots.
When I was still the only person in this thing, I didn’t get to practice social rituals like I have for more or less the past decade. I was a teenager, I was living with my parents, and I had a father who was extremely hostile toward my faith (and any outward expression thereof). It was impossible for me to maintain a shrine, for example; my father probably would have smashed it. For this reason, I had to make do with worshiping my God in my mind and my heart rather than in the flesh. But by the time Brother Patrick came along, weekly Sabbath meetings and execration rites were a regular thing. I suppose that period has probably spoiled me a little, for now that the opportunity for such group work is no longer available to me, my own ritual activity has decreased. (The same is probably equally true for Tony, Patrick and Tina.) I still pray to Seth every day, and I still light a red candle for Him on the Sabbath; but it’s hard for me to do much else by myself these days, and I’ve been beating myself up about that quite a lot lately.
However, I know that the part of me that feels like I’m being “complacent” in my faith is just that: a part of myself. I might not be practicing formal rituals at this point, but I still worship Seth-Typhon in my heart as much as I always have. I still think of Him every day, I still draw inspiration from His lore, and I am still making offerings to Him. (I think He appreciates a good story as much as anyone else does, and the ones I’ve been working on are as much for Him as they are for anyone else.) Even among Pagans, there’s this annoying tendency for people to think that if you aren’t practicing theatrical rituals all the time, you’re “doing it wrong.” But worship doesn’t always happen at a shrine, prayers don’t always have to be said aloud, and offerings don’t always have to be of physical things. I used to be a real pro at remembering that my heart is my most important shrine, that just thinking about Seth can be a form of prayer, and that virtually anything I create for (or because of) Him can count as a devotional offering. I can see that I need to work on bringing myself back into this mentality.
I already miss experiencing the old LV-426 magic in a social context, but I guess there’s a couple of things to be said about our present state of dissemination. For one thing, at least we got to enjoy worshiping and practicing rituals together as a group for quite a while. As I said, it’s been almost a decade now, and that’s nothing to scoff at in my book (or at least not when you consider the high turnover rate that many Pagan/New Age/Occult groups tend to have). For another, it seems like Typhonian heroes are supposed to fight their battles alone for the most part anyway. Just look at Saint Ellen Ripley of the USCSS Nostromo (peace be upon her); she had to defeat her own version of
Apophis all by herself up there in space (“where no one can hear you scream”). Well shit; if she can do it, we can do it too. Here’s looking forward to whatever the next phase of LV-426 might bring; may Great Typhon’s will be done.