2017-06-12: Pulse One Year Later

My lord Antinoüs, I cry out to you! The memories are still fresh, even as I am aware of the passage of time. As Magistrate PSVL wrote, “Defeat every enemy of love!”

Antinoüs, I name you the Lord of the Beloved Dead. You govern the Afterworld of the Inverts, ruling in sweet justice with Saint Matthew Shepard, Saint Gwen Araujo, and Cloud of Queer Witnesses—May all rejoice! Truly those souls extinguished at Pulse on 12 June 2016 reside with you in glory. May all never forget!

Mother Mary Magdalene, you were the first of Yeshua’s Disciples to make your love known, on that fateful Third Day.

Mary Magdalene, I name you the Greatest Disciple. Give us the strength to make ourselves known in a world that just as soon subject us to modern-day crucifixion. You are the Bride of the Lamb, seated at the right hand of the right hand. Pray for us, and welcome us with open arms when we come to you at the end of our days.

May the Pulse 49 Rest in Power and Bask in Eternal Glory.
Ave, Antinoüs! Ave, Maria Magdalena!

A Curse for Protection

We
draw the circle…

To
the Guardians of the Watchtowers of the East, the West, the South,
the North, and the Center; to my gods and dæmons
and guiding spirits: BE HERE NOW.

In
the Names of the Oppressed and Marginalized, I come to the altar of
Hell.

I
call Great Earl Halphas and his six and twenty legions: to your siege
Towers go! “Armed, alert, and awake,” as the Oracle of the Silver
Wheel sang. Furnish us with the weapons we need, and send us forth to
the places appointed.

I
call the Crimson King—who is known as Lucifer, the Light-bringer;
who is known as Be’elzebub; who is known as The Adversary; who is
Satan—arise and bring aid us as we bring adversity to those who
would destroy us.

Curse
them! I curse our would-be destroyers! These hypocrites! This den of
vipers! I curse all who would take our health from us! May they know
suffering many times greater than what they seek to force us to
endure. Curse them! May they feel the Lake of Fire here on this
world, here is this life!

In
the Names of the Oppressed and Marginalized, I come to the shores of
Purgatory.

I
call Great Cæsar
WALWARWAT—who is the Pangender Serpent, the wingéd
snake with “golden skin and eyes of flame”—cover us with your
protective wings, encircle us with your mighty coils, let us take
refuge in your strength, O Beloved Progenitor.

I
call the Blue God—who is known as Melek Ta’us; who is known as
the Peacock Angel—your tears once quenched the fires of Hell. Weep
now, with us. Weep now, for us. May your holy tears extinguish the
flaming hatred of our assailants. May your holy tears soften their
hearts as steady water erodes rock.

I
call Antinoüs the
Healer—rejoice! This is where life comes from! O Divine Boy, heal
our troubled hearts; heal our troubled minds; heal our trouble nation
and protect those with the least from those with the most.

We
are betrayed. We are cast aside. Show us how to protect ourselves as
we strive to protect one another. We wade through the Lake of Fire
every day of our lives. Soothe us even as we are forged anew.

In
the Names of the Oppressed and Marginalized, I come to the gates
of Heaven.

I
call Mary Magdalene—greatest of the disciples—give us the courage
to let our intentions be known.

I
call Yeshua—the Lamb who is the Destroyer—cast down the mighty
and lift up the lowly. Make the first to be last, and the last to be
first.

The
Trinity is of the Inverts, turning power structures upside down.
Guide those in power to see the harm that they cause. Guide them to
reverse this process of suffering and death.

By
all the powers that are mine to command and request aid from, may it
be so.

To
my guiding spirits and dæmons
and gods; to the Guardians of the Watchtowers of the Center, the
North, the West, the South, and the East: I give you license to
depart. Stay if you will, go if you must, in perfect love and in
perfect trust. May there be peace between us, now and for ever.

We
open the circle.

Sermon Reflection: The Road to Emmaus

CONTENT WARNING: suicide, suicidal ideation

I grow weary of Christian mysticism.

This Sunday, the only church I went to was Grace North Church, and I was playing bass again this week. The Gospel reading was The Road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35), and I had a very difficult time following the preacher’s connection in his sermon illustration to the possible meaning(s) of this reading.

The sermon illustration revolved around the life, and death, of a man with depression who had been known to the pastor. This man’s life ended in suicide. The preacher spoke of the anger at this man’s funeral.

Weariness #1: I grow tired of hearing about how angry people are after somebody commits suicide.

Is it so difficult to have compassion for those who commit suicide? Just fucking imagine: if they’d been shown a little more fucking compassion during their lifetimes maybe they wouldn’t have fucking committed fucking suicide. Maybe if mental illness wasn’t so fucking stigmatized and fucking healthcare providers would understand that there a lot of things that can’t be fixed in six psychotherapy sessions, more people would be getting the fucking help they need to stay alive. Stop fucking blaming the suicidal. We grow weary of that.

The pastor went on to preach about how his generation, Generation X, wasn’t born into a culture in which the world had intrinsic value. Instead, his generation—my generation—had to manufacture reasons why the world had value. He also preached about how Barack Obama had said, “Hope is an audacious thing,” and how such a statement wouldn’t have made any sense “twenty years ago.”

Weariness #2: I grow tired of those who presume to speak for an entire generation.

I, too, am from Generation X. A great many of us recognize the intrinsic value of the world. Do not attempt to speak for me until you have asked me what I think and how I feel. Even then, do not dare to quote me out of context. Speak for yourself only, and refrain from making sweeping generalizations of entire segments of the population.

As a member of Generation X, the pastor should also remember that twenty years ago was at the tail end of the AIDS epidemic, an epidemic that ravaged my communities. The existence of this epidemic was praised by conservative so-called Christians as being “the gay cancer” and the plague mentioned in Revelation that had come to cleanse the world of homosexuals. Then, they realized straight people could get it too, but still blamed them gays. We had hope during those years, those decades. We had to. And our hope was every bit as audacious then as it was during Barack Obama’s campaign. Don’t erase the hell we’ve lived through for the sake of a sermon illustration.

The pastor preached about how if there was a greater foundation of religion in the lives of Generation X and the following generation, the Millennials, there would be less of a need for antidepressants.

Weariness #3: I grow tired of those who speak out against medications, especially psych medications.

This also ties into weariness #2, as once again the pastor made sweeping generalizations, not to mention he left Generation Y, the generation between GenX and the Millennials. And while he did mention using antidepressants in the past, he seemed to be implying that one could just pray one’s mental illness away. And, it’s not that GenX, GenY, and the Millennials lack religion and that’s why we use medications to help with our mental illnesses, it’s that we reject the suffering. While the quote, “God helps those who help themselves,” is not in the Bible, it’s one of the most powerful quotes out there. Those of us in GenX, as well as those in GenY and the Millennial generation, are seeking help for ourselves in the various ways that work best for us. Judge not.

He made some other comments that just didn’t make sense to me, such as asserting that beliefs can be proven. Um, no, that’s not necessarily true. Facts can be proven. Beliefs, especially religious beliefs, are the type that probably can’t be proven. That’s why we believe; that’s what faith is.

He also said that the promise of a Dead Man living again is the source of hope, and isn’t it a wonderful thing. “If a Dead Man can live, the impossible becomes possible.” Of course a Dead Man can live. That which is remembered never dies.

I grow weary of Christian mysticism. It offers great promises for after we’re dead, but leaves a great deal to be desired regarding the suffering in this life. Lack of faith isn’t what caused me to be diagnosed with depression, anxiety, dermatillomania, and psychosis. Rather, the various forms judgmental abuse I deal with on a daily basis are the “adverse experiences” that have led to my mental illnesses. And for the healthcare-industrial complex apologizers: no, that’s not me making things up. That’s the professional opinions of the psychologist and psychiatrist I’m working with in order to stay the fuck alive.

If your Christian mysticism doesn’t lead to practical theology and works of faith, your mysticism is worthless to me. Maybe it’s time for me to find another church.

Amen, and Blessed be.