I've been so busy with school and work all this year that it's been almost impossible to find the time to do anything else. But yesterday, I carved out an hour or so, and got some actual work done on The Book of the Downward Labyrinth. Not a massive amount or anything, but enough to get a little forward momentum going that's keeping me rolling some today.
My summer is packed. Not only am I taking three classes, which are trying to pack 11 weeks of information into 8 weeks of instruction, and tutoring, and being a teaching assistant, but I now have two freelance database jobs. With all that, finding the time to write is nearly impossible, but may be necessary as a balance.
I've had some fascinating spiritual experiences lately. A few of us performed a Bacchic Mass, a kind of séance of the Starry Bull tradition, and I learned a lot. I finally found the identity of my... I'm not sure what the formal term for them is. Spirit guides? Gatekeepers? Those of my Dead who give the other Dead access to me, or deny it, and who act as hostesses in my space. I think of them as the Aunties.
One should not have been a surprise. Aider Rebecca, the great-great(-great?) aunt I'm named for. She lived alone in the log cabin she was born in until the end of her life, the eccentric old woman in the West Virgina woods. She died in her 90s, and what it took to kill her was falling asleep on the porch, having the bottom of her corncob pipe burn through and catch her gunnysack dress on fire. She stumbled half a mile to the nearest neighbor's house with burns over 70% of her body, and lived three more days in the hospital before giving up. That's my Aunt AiderBeck. And apparently she's been keeping my spiritual house in order for me. For which I thank her.
My other guardian was a big surprise, and a great honor. Medea herself helps out, and says that I may count her as the founder of my magical lineage.
I learned a great deal from the both of them that night, and a new tool was recommended to me. A cauldron, and in the cauldron a skull. This is a crossroads, a gateway, I was told. A way for Dead who need help moving on into their afterlives to do so. And so I am developing a ritual called The Pouring of the Cauldron based on this principle. Right now it is very small and very simple, but it seems to serve the purpose in a limited fashion. I look forward to expanding upon it to achieve more effective results.
The Book of the Downward Labyrinth continues to grow and to ramify, with new necessary topics coming up whenever I sit down to think about it much. It's a bit exhausting, and I despair of actually finishing it on the schedule I'd like. But at least some of the new ideas can go in the second book, which will be specifically for those looking to serve the Dead as kedemones and enchytristria. I don't plan on making this one publicly available, but on having Create Space make me a couple dozen copies, enough to get us through years worth of people who want to study this path. By the time we run through that many copies, I'm quite sure it will need a new edition with many, many revisions.
That book, The Path of the Dead, is probably the next project, but will have to wait to be written until I've taught a class (or maybe two classes, one for the kedemon level, and one for the enchytristria) on the material, to give me a chance to organize it and see what works for others.
I may also end up coming up with a class on preparing for Death. I don't know yet.