Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

I went through a Religious Studies program at DePaul University to find the nature of Mysticism as I could not get an answer for my experiences in traditional religions. The closest I came were a “Friends” (Quakers) group in a nearby suburb I attended while I was in High School. I had some fine experiences there and wish I could go back, but I can’t so oh well…

The program at DePaul was ethically, not mystically, driven. There were programs that focused on a specific religion which I didn’t want to do. What they did, however, was give me 3 books to read once I graduated to start me on whatever direction I’d go: Mysticism by Evelyn Underhill, the Varieties of Religious Experience by William James and Memories Dreams Reflections by Carl Jung. David read the last book and put it on his shelf next the translated Red Book we bought later.

I got some wonderful stuff from DePaul, especially the teachers. The mentor they paired me up with was a retiring professor who focused on indigenous populations. Through her I got a full range of classes from Mesoamerican Olmec, Myans, Aztecs and hooked me up with the Anishinaabe in Canada who took me to his Elder who did a personal sweat for me and 3 of my friends. The Anishinaabe gave me a thorough lesson in introduction to sweat mysticism – without getting into their cosmology. What was so interesting about that was how much the Anishinaabe have with the basic historical Occidental magick. For example the whole center of everything I read about the Anishinaabe had to do with the 4 directions. In contrast, though, the Hopi’s center is a Tree of Life 😀

Here I was “cut asunder.” David and I had began our couple channeling like Crowley and Rose in 1999. I first read Crowley’s biography by Laurence Sutton “Do What Thou Wilt” in 2001. Out of these 2 year long channelings came Terra Incognita, our temple of Sexual Magick operating a true Hieros Gamos and entities giving us directions to what they needed. Wow they were demanding.

It was too much. We started shutting down in 2005 when a young woman, almost 22 years old came to us through another pagan group, requesting us to be her teachers. Wow. That popped us back up again. I was going through menopause and she was our new cauldron. They weren’t done with us yet. I went back to school at DePaul, graduating 2009. Went to Thunderbay in 2010. But I was still obsessed with how Mysticism fit into our social context and I couldn’t find any programs in all our gigantic educational opportunities here in Chicago that had a focus like the one I needed.

That’s when I started my own graduate program beginning with a Podcast in 2011-2012 2the Deviant Minds Salon where I sought out the many different ways sacred sexuality found its own means of expression. I did Chicago Sexfest 2013 attempting to integrate the Universities with our communities and hit a snag – for the universities its all about money and that’s a whole other dialogue. Look at the Tower card – its all there.

Terra Incognita hosted annual BDSM parties which were always well attended. A young particles physicist came to one and we became good friends. He was doing an internship at FermiLab at the time and is now in a big government lab in Virginia. We began a mystic/materialist dialogue that I turned into a panel discussion called Out fo the Box. He got mad because he wanted me to not bring in Spirits or Sex and that was the whole point. He did find there was interest at the labs for a materialist/mystic discussion, that people may even pay for and he loved promoting european hard metal bands here in Chicago so he thought we could make this work, but then there was sex and that just wasn’t happening. lol.

I began the coven in 2014 when a 3d degree gard priest wanted to hand off his keys. I hear in some places you’re supposed to do that. He pulled me up the three degrees within a month because he didn’t want a coven withdout an HPS. There was a young scientist who trained me in some gardnerian stuff in order to start our temple in 2001. He was a strange duck. He never participated in a real coven, but a priestess who’d received her keys from one of gardners 9 covens in England really liked Niles, so she raised him through the ranks before that was a no no in the early 1970s. He’d been wandering around the U.S. for 30 years before circling back to Chicago. There were T/I members wanting more spiritual structure which we never gave in T/I so we began developing a program from what I’d learned in 2001, the internet and dedication of some of us.

Niles dedicated 3 of us through the ranks. Me who he felt had enough experience to run a coven, Emi, the Hungarian who he had a raging crush on (pissed her off lol) and Millarca (Aset) an intersexed leather dyke who’d been initiated into T/I at its beginnings and wandered in and out of it for years. She’s our Aset and is extremely independent.

I want a real connection with Hieros Gamos on community level. Hard since the convention now is to not accept the possibility of entities. Can’t run a working without the energy and they bring in copious amounts of energy. Because of this I organized all my workings from 2005 and integrated them into the t/I community creating 2 separate websites: The exoteric The Deviant Minds NFP where I’m developing a Jewish kabbalistic rubric for a second distinct branch of cards; and what you found my esoteric Coven Babylon. So there’s my story in a nutshell – 18 years in the making.