As modern, Westernized humans, we understand time as unidirectional: something that moves forever forward, into the future and away from the past. In this linear understanding, time is a constant and it is constantly passing away as we age. Scientists and mystics seem to agree that this perspective is fairly inaccurate, though. Some quantum physicists theorize that time is “an emergent phenomenon resulting from a strange quantum concept known as entanglement.” Not an easy concept to grasp, this boils down to time seeming to not exist for quanta until they become involved with each other on some level. Read closely, this suggests that time is somehow relational.
One way to understand the non-linearity of time is to loosen our grip on rationality: The youngest parts of us, having been around the longest, are actually our oldest parts, while signs of age—like new grey hairs—are the youngest. In dreams, in trances, in states of terror and of deep creativity and concentration, we experience an expanded sense of time. The experience of déja vu highlights our unreliable perceptive powers: Is it an experience of memory or foreshadowing? Or are we becoming aware of our inner processes of experiencing and recording an event simultaneously? Leaving aside questions we cannot answer, this spell reminds us our perception is necessarily limited—and that we have the power to transcend those limits.
About the spell:
This spell was inspired by the song “Time, as a Symptom” by Joanna Newsom. A meditation on love in the face of trauma, death, and loss, she sings: “Stand brave / Time moves both ways / In the nullifying, defeating, negating, repeating / Joy of life.” This spell grants us access to the parts of our consciousness that extend beyond human perception, beyond our narrowed, culturally conditioned understanding of time. This spell is a blessing for initiations of every kind, for it echoes out from the thresholds where we meet ourselves head on and stumble into wholeness for awhile. You can use this spell to heal grief, welcoming possibilities for renewal and regeneration that might feel impossible on a rational level.
Meditation for Moving Both Ways:
Since you are always breathing, you can practice this meditation any time. All it takes is remembering that you are breathing, noticing that breath continues to happen inside of you, that breath is responsive to your attention, responsive to your affection. Wherever you are, bring your attention and affection towards your breath, studying it lovingly through your senses. Feel and adore the pace and depth of your breathing—feel and adore the rhythm in which you’re being stitched into time. Notice that the inhale has an up-ness to it, as your lungs fill from the bottom up, your chest expands and your spine grows long—and then, notice that the exhale has a down-ness to it as your lungs empty from the top down, your chest deflates and your bones settle down. Enjoy this ride for a few rounds of breath. And then, let your attention shift so you can feel the down-ness of the inhale, as your diaphragm draws down to pull the air in and your lower viscera are pushed down and compressed—with your attention here, at the bottom of you, you may then be able to feel the up-ness of the exhale as the diaphragm releases, rises, and your lower viscera expand. With every breath, a cycle is begun, completed, and continued. With every breath, we wake up and go to sleep again, we live and die and are reborn into new moments, next seasons, altered states of selfhood. We are sewn so intimately into these cycles it is not for us to say what direction we are moving in. If we must answer that question, let’s say: both ways.
About the Painting:
Corina: Every year we have a few images that come really easily, in a flash of inspiration, and a few that are more like projects we need to tinker with and assess. This painting was the tinkering type. We knew we needed it fairly simple and that the message itself would do the heavy lifting. “Simple” paintings always feel like they should be the easiest ones to finish, but when there’s less happening in an image it actually has to be extra-perfect or it just won’t land. For this one, that moment came when we realized how to make the sky inside the triangle the right hue of dawn.
Jocelyn: I really love triangles. I remember being especially into them last year when we were making this calendar. This composition—a simple equilateral triangle pointing up—was burned into my mind, but we had to puzzle over how it would work, how would it become interesting, what message would it be able to carry, etc. It ended up being quite satisfying for me to join my love of triangles with my love of skies and my love of paradox—all in one image! I think it’s the right kind of spell for October, too, where the veil gets thin enough to perceive things that often stay hidden from “normal” perception.
This month's offerings:
Also, our PREORDERS are just about to open for the 2018 Calendar!!!!!! We are very stoked about this... and hope you are too.
This month, Corina will be visiting Jo in North Carolina! Woo! If you’re in Asheville or the Triangle Area, holler at her for an in-person reading.
This month, Jo is being squeezed by the initiatory pressure of graduate school, clinical internship, and life-in-general as a human. Corina also intends to give her a big squeeze when she’s in town.