goodbye to my elemental friend

I think my relationship with the elemental is officially over.

I went down to their forest today, as I have every few days since I’ve been home. I stood there, gazing into the quiet shaded green, trying to sense anything at all that would show that they weren’t gone. Even just for the sensation of being watched. But I felt nothing.

As I stood there, puzzled and missing them, I asked God why I couldn’t sense them anymore. “Because you have me in your heart, there is no room for anything else,” he answered.

That wasn’t the answer I wanted to hear and I fought him on it. Shouldn’t having him lodged in my heart allow me to have more room for others, not less?

He clarified that I didn’t have that aching hole in my heart anymore. I wasn’t reaching out to the elemental to satisfy my spiritual longing anymore. And then it struck me, like finally understanding a foreign language: he was the one who had brought the elemental to me in the first place.

At the time, I was lonely and not getting the companionship I craved. I was also spiritually starved, but my hatred of the church was keeping me from filling that need, too. I was stuck in limbo, and that spirit proved to be just the kind of friend I needed.

A lump rose in my throat and tears came to my eyes. I still miss my friend, but I am more grateful than ever for the time we had together. Wherever they are now and whatever they’re up to, I wish them nothing but the deepest blessings. And while I don’t know if we’ll ever meet again, I’ll keep an eye open, just in case.

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Small Things to Ask Spirits

I stumbled upon an online list of small things to talk to spirits about. It included asking for advice and such, but it also included things like asking them for their story, or asking them about the area, or even asking them about their friends.

I’d never considered speaking to spirits about these kinds of things, not spirits I didn’t already have a strong relationship with.

Maybe I’ll try more of these kinds of casual and positive questions. Not every question needs to be about natural laws and eternity. Relationships need a bit of this kind of conversation, as well. Especially starting out. You don’t want to jump straight to the scary stuff.

Here is a link to the list, if you are interested. Link.

Elemental

Tonight I found my small box of Nag Champa incense and it made me think of my elemental (nature spirit) friend back home.

As I take in its sweet, heady scent, I remember how we didn’t used to be friends: how they used to hate me and how I used to be scared of them. But somehow, despite my egocentric, human-conqueror-minded stupidity, we eventually grew to enjoy each other’s company (once I stopped talking at them and started listening. But that’s a story for another time).

I’m reminded of that one time I wanted to burn incense as a gift to them to thank them for sharing their practical wisdom with me.

I often burn incense and candles to God (rose in particular), but I didn’t know whether forest elementals liked incense. I certainly didn’t want to give them a gift they wouldn’t enjoy.

So I thought back to our previous conversations, to think of something they would appreciate, and I remembered that when we were talking about plants, I had mentioned the plant I was tending in my room and how they said they’d like to see it sometime.

With my phone, I took a few pictures of my plant, showing how it had grown. Then I brought my phone to the forest where the elemental resides and we looked through them together.

That elemental is one of my best friends, and I miss them terribly. I can’t wait to sit and talk with them again.

Distractions

I went back to the park with the saturated spiritual feeling and sat on the bench for a while. However, there were too many people around for me to focus properly. Since it’s in a busy part of Tokyo, I don’t think there will be any time that there aren’t at least five other people there.

I need to regroup and think of some new strategies to achieve that kind of focus, even when there are plentiful distractions. Maybe noise-cancelling headphones and quiet meditative music would be useful. It’s not as effective as solitude and silence for me, but maybe it will allow my thoughts to be quiet and focused enough to listen.

Negativity

I told a friend something in confidence and was rejected for it. God has been teaching me not to look to others for validation, but instead look only to him. This is just the latest lesson in that vein, I suppose. I do not regret telling them, but I am still sad we couldn’t stay friends.

I avoided the large, saturated park on my walk home. As much as I’d like to deny it, I have some strong stormy emotions swirling inside me today. I don’t want to pollute its space with my negative energy. I don’t want to start our relationship that way.

Negative energy is potent and it spreads like rot. It hurts positive spirits it comes into contact with. I learned this when I was struggling with depression and I continued to visit my elemental friend back in America. They all but booted me out of their forest. Nothing personal, but they didn’t want me spreading that in their forest, because it’s hard to remove. You may notice negativity is contagious from human to human as well.

I went back later when I was in a better mental place, apologized, and promised to be more careful in the future. The only spirit I’ve met who is unaffected by negative energy is God/the Creator/the Source/the Holy Spirit. Perhaps because he is the base of the stem where all energy originates.

A Surprise in the Park

Today, I walked home from class instead of taking the train. What I was expecting was a nice walk through a part of the city I don’t usually get to see while saving myself a bit of money. What I wasn’t expecting was the park I walked by, or the strong spiritual charge it had.

One little alcove in particular felt saturated with something: a feeling I’ve learned to associate with spirits nearby. It’s the first time I’ve felt this kind of sensation in Japan.

I think that park will be a good one to visit on a regular basis, to just sit in quietly and make myself available, if whatever resides there wants to make contact. If it doesn’t want to, that’s okay too. It’s not my place to pressure anyone to do anything.

The Observation Stage and Brief Contact

In my free time, I try to walk around through the parks and other green areas in my city, putting out feelers for anything supernatural.

Spirits don’t only hang around places with a lot of nature, but I’ve found that, like people, they don’t like to be disturbed, so that means they usually find quiet places that aren’t disrupted by humans. Some probably prefer hustle and bustle more than nature and quiet, but I find I have the most encounters in the quiet places.

I had an unexpected conversation with a spirit last week in my room, but I’m still not sure whether it was God or a local spirit. (They feel different to me. When it’s God/the Holy Spirit, I get this burning pressure in my heart that makes me feel like I’m going to explode in the best way. Other spirits feel different. For example, the one by my house  in America that I have the most contact with has a breezy snark about it and feels like cold water.)

The spirit I spoke with felt like some combination, so I’m not sure whether it was a kind of spirit I’d never encountered before or if God had just taken a different tone. Though based on the tone and the feeling, I’m inclined to say it was something else. Maybe from the shrine a block up the road.

It said “You fancy yourself some kind of necromancer?” I answered that I would like be, but that I had a lot to learn. (“Necromancer” meaning a medium with nature ties, rather than someone who yanks ghosts back from the dead and such. Though I am nowhere sensitive enough to call myself a medium.). I asked if it had any teachings it would like to share with me. (Never demand lessons from spirits. It’s so rude. But it’s common that, if a spirit makes contact, they have something that they’ve been wanting to tell either you as an individual, or more often, something they want to tell humanity in general, and you just happen to be the one who is listening). It gave me two points to chew on:

  1. Food is glory, but it’s also unimportant. Be okay with simplicity. (Image of an old man who eats the same kind of sandwich everyday for lunch. This is both literal and a metaphor for extravagance vs. simplicity. Extravagance often clogs up the senses.)
  2. Each element has a different energy. They connect at the stem, but you can’t really “connect to the elements” for that reason. You must choose one to align with and train to channel that energy.

I haven’t heard from that spirit since, nor have I heard from any others.

In my brief experience, spirits are shy. Especially nature spirits. They will hide and watch you for a long time before making contact and then only if they decide you aren’t dangerous (or you’re too dangerous and need to be stopped).

I’m new to this area. If there are any spirits around, they’ve probably only seen me once or twice. I’m hoping that as I visit the quiet places more frequently, we’ll get to know each other better and they’ll realize I’m not a threat. And hopefully I’ll learn how to sense them better.

Why “Devoted Heretic”?

I call myself “Christian” because I follow the God described in the Christian Bible. I’ve vowed to serve him in particular, he’s the one who has taken care of me my whole life, and he’s the one who has the final say in everything I do. It’s him I’m in love with.

At the same time, my spiritual journey has taken me to a lot of places, notions and conclusions that a lot of Christians probably don’t agree with. For example, I believe part of my purpose on this earth is to serve in a kind of mediator capacity between humans and other spirits. Helping them understand each other. Not exactly an Evangelical doctrine. But hey, that’s me.

I’m keeping this blog both as a meditation for myself and to help anyone who might be struggling to do the same thing.

Because, boy, it can be a lonely road sometimes. So let’s journey into the finer things of this world, together.