“Honey, STOP! Please stop! What are you doing?”
My girlfriend stood frozen in the door of my ritual room, the light from behind making her silhouette look so small. I could see the shock on her face.
I stood practically naked, surrounded by burning candles. Sweat poured down my body; my chest heaving.
Blood was everywhere; on the walls, the floor and running down my arms.
I didn’t care that she had caught me. I was beyond caring at that point.
Our eyes met. She asked the question I had been asking myself for almost a year, with no real answer…why?
Suddenly, I was so tired I could barely stand.
My voice cracked when I answered her, “I hate my life, baby. I’m so goddamn tired. I feel lost, dead inside. This isn’t the life I promised you. This sure in hell isn’t the life we dreamed of living! We’re trapped in a groundhogs day existence. Everyday, I get up and keep doing what I think I’m supposed to do to get us out of here. But nothing is working! Nothing ever really gets better. I’ve failed you, I’ve failed my family…I’ve failed myself.”
I slowly turned and looked at a lifetime of occult practice in one room:
I held my arms out and said “Look at all of this worthless, shit. Lies sold to desperate people. Magic my ass. I was so stupid to ever rely on this nonsense.”
“Damien, you know that’s not true…” she said lovingly.
“I don’t know what’s true anymore! But what I do know is this shit isn’t true. When I really needed this to work, when our LIVES needed this to work…”
In the gloom of candlelight, I continued stuffing over-sized garbage bags with every occult item I possessed.
During my tirade, I had cut a deep gash in my hand from my Athame. In my angry movements of grabbing everything up to throw it away, I had slung blood everywhere.
I held up my wand, “See this? Just a stick.” And I snapped it in half.
I heard her gasp.
I held up my chalice, “Here ya go, use it to scoop dog food.”
Twenty years of my occult life going into the trash; All of it.
I was standing at a pivotal Crossroads Experience that eventually put me in the hospital.
While it’s important for you to understand, the road to my massive meltdown will be summarized quickly.
Fourteen years ago, my girlfriend and I moved our entire life from the United States to the Czech Republic.
In order to apply to become a citizen, we had to start a new business in the Czech Republic.
We invested all of our savings to start that business, in Prague. We hired an immigration attorney who oversaw the ordeal.
Documents signed, we waited for our immigration papers to get processed; a three to six month wait.
Behind the scenes, the newly elected Obama Administration moved to install defensive missile silos near the Czech Republic; which the Czechs wanted no part of.
The US gov. tried to squeeze the Czech gov. to force compliance.
So, in retaliation, the Czech Government began rejecting 99% of all American applications for long-stay Visas.
Their message was clear “We don’t want your missiles nor your people!”
Our visa application was rejected.
Which now left us with a 2-year contract on a home, an office in Prague city (a $3k monthly expense; all requirements to apply for longterm stay) and no legal way to cancel the contracts.
That wasn’t the real problem…
American’s are only allowed to stay 90 days in most European countries before they have to leave. If you overstay those 90 days, you are illegal. And this can easily lead to a 3-10 year passport ban from the European Union.
Our application took 5 months to get rejected and back to us.
So, by the time we found out we couldn’t stay in the Czech Republic, we were already illegal.
And, being illegal, we couldn’t run a business OR get a job.
Worst of all, by the time we found all of this out, our savings were gone and we had no home in the US to go back to.
Then winter really did come
Some of the hardest winters in the world are European winters; Six months of ice and snow.
They are brutal.
In order to even eat we literally sold every single possession we had down to our shoes. Everything from our cameras, jewelry, clothing and furniture.
Our house was utterly empty.
We slept on an air mattress that had to be refilled every night because it was riddle with holes patched with duct tape.
We both came from poor families so borrowing money to move back wasn’t an option.
I have had life threatening asthma since birth. Due to our inability to pay to heat the house, I developed Pneumonia and wound up in the hospital.
The saddest part of this whole thing was my mom died while I was trapped in Europe. With no money and no ability to legally get back, I missed her funeral.
To this day my family has never forgiven me.
If you know my story I’ve been a practicing oculist for most of my life. Shortly after the death of my father, when I was eleven, a southern rootworker took a liking to me.
For three years she taught me the inner workings of various types of magic. After my tutelage with her ended, I continued into deepening my understanding of magic and enchantment can be used to better one’s lot in life.
My occult practice was a lifelong one; it was my faith.
So, when I found myself trapped in Europe, in the dead of winter, and out of money, I did what had always worked up till then…
Every week I worked my usual rituals and enchantments for extra money to come in.
I used glamor magic to try and win favor with potential clients…
I did EVERYTHING I had been doing for years, with great success, but now everything just fell flat.
In fact, it seemed the harder I tried the worse things got.
At first I was just a little concerned. I figured things would slowly shift towards our favor. Enchantment takes time to unfold.
But it never did.
And then, as we found ourselves unable to buy food for the following week (And unable to get a job) I became increasingly anxious and afraid.
I was so confused!
This went on for 8…whole…months!
Finally, one cold winters night, I simply broke. All of the stress, frustration and fear finally wore me down.
And it was that night, rage-filled and heartbroken, that I threw everything relating to my occult life, away.
Where do you go when your very identity falls apart?
This may sound overly dramatic; I do understand that.
There was a lot more of my life than fell apart that winter. Most isn’t relevant here. But when I say we lost ‘everything’, I mean everything.
All of our possessions and irreplaceable personal belongings (many were very sentimental)
We lived in daily threat of eviction into the winter cold
We had weeks where we had no idea how we would eat
My mother died back in the states
And my girlfriend had a miscarriage after we’ve tried to conceive for years
My entire life, spirituality and devotional practices were at the core of my being. They were the foundation to my life.
It was WITH THOSE VERY PRACTICES that I had built this life in the first place.