Tuesday, April 5, 2011

My First Mentor

"The hydrochloric acid in our digestive system is so corrosive it can dissolve a nail. In other words, you contain within you the power to dematerialize solid metal. Why is it so hard, then, for you to conceive of the possibility that you can vaporize a painful memory or bad habit or fearful fantasy?" - Rob Brezsny

Many years ago, when I was a teen starting a spiritual Path, I had a mentor. I was the very ripe age of 15, naive and eager to find my True Self. It was about the time that there was serious friction between me, my family and the dogmas of the Catholic church. Privately, I sought guidance from local groups and since I was quite mature and well-read for my age, I was able to pass for an 18 year old. In fact, the location of my spiritual discoveries is no more than a few blocks from the place I study at on a weekly basis today. I pass the location every time I go for my Tribe studies. I found a nice man, 22 years my senior who was willing to guide me, an old hippie type. I will call him JLG. He seemed so knowledgeable of the world, so spiritual, so pulled together and he guided me in religious studies and meditation. I was so hungry to find the Meaning of Life and break from my cultural religious bonds. Since my family unit had already begun breaking down, I was able to spend many nights with him, reading, conversing and practicing and always blew it off by telling my parents I was just "hanging with friends".

We worked together under the auspices of another Master and I became a formal initiate. JLG had spend some time under the Master's wing and he was confident that he would be able to teach me. I confided with him about my true age and he insisted that my age be kept a secret so we could continue our work. He told me that the world would not understand our relationship and the things we were studying so the secrecy had to be maintained in order to keep the Work sacred. JLG gave me my first definition of the "occult". I was so hungry for spiritual knowledge that I agreed but privately wondered if he was ashamed of me. I spent one year studying with JLG and then the tutelage changed. JLG insisted that I needed to push my boundaries more and begin to overcome some obstacles. JLG recommended that we spend some time naked at our local river so that I can be more comfortable communing with nature. His suggestions were scary to me because a girl of 16 is not comfortable with her body but I did so out of perfect "trust and love". I continued this practice until I had no problem at all with the nudity. About the same time, I noticed he started touching and caressing me more and more. His hugs were longer and his kisses to my forehead were more passionate. I dismissed these advances because I truly loved the man. He helped me so much with finding some knowledge/inner peace and I was ever so grateful.

The relationship made another turn after about six months. His sweet kisses, loving hugs while we were naked and my deeply felt love for him turned into a very sexual romance. We continued our studies as mentor/student during the days we spent together and at night, we made passionate love to each other. He taught me how to use my womanly body and insisted that it was part of the Path. The sex was fulfilling and gave me a sense of empowerment. I was able to let go some of my hangups. I no longer felt like a helpless and weak young woman. I attribute my feminist nature to that time period.

After I few months, I began to sense a change in his demeanor, that now, as an adult magician, I recognize to be possibly the result of the initiatory experience. He started to go crazy. He began to demand sex more and more and insisted that we push our sexual boundaries more so we could get even "more out of the Path". I agreed but the experiences started to make me feel "dirty", instead of empowered. He kept me close to him as long as possible by showering me with expensive gifts, clothes, my own credit account and cash, things that a 17 year old dreams of having. Reluctantly, I ended both the tutelage and the relationship at the ripe age of 17. I still loved him very much but I missed his spiritual self. To this day, I still think he was the love of my life and I am still grateful for his guidance.

I continued with my studies in a solitary manner.

A few months after our breakup and in the month of April (about Easter), more than two decades ago, I got a message on my answering machine from JLG. The message was full of static and the call ended with a huge crash, a sound that I will never forget for the rest of my life. He told me he could no longer live without me and his Life and his Path were meaningless.

He hung himself in his garage.

I can confidently say, he was a mentor that has had the MOST PROFOUND effect on my life and I still use lessons from my experience with him to this day. My perspective of perfect trust and love is definitely multi-dimensional and effects the way I proceed on my current Path.


Anonymous said...

Wow, thank you very much for sharing this. It's very tragic when someone takes their own life. I'm glad that you can look back at this time with love.

This post reminds me of the story that Kala Trobe relates in her book of short-stories "The Magick Bookshop" about a mentor who goes off the rails, except that your experience was better than the girl in Kala's tale.

I wish you well on your Path.

PhoenixAngel said...

@Frater Simon: Thanks but it was difficult sharing. This week marks the 25th anniversary of his death. It took many years of pain to separate myself from the idea that I "destroyed a beautiful man" but I now can look back with Love. The Path is fulfilling, wondrous and exciting, but still is not without its pitfalls

Davin Mac Lugh said...


JustWyrdJamie said...

All I can say is I am proud to call you my friend. You are one of the best people I know.

Anonymous said...

@PhoenixAngel, I appreciate that it was difficult to share and am very glad that you did. It will hopefully help with the healing and be an example and warning to others.

Although I don't know the details of your mentor's life, it does seem to me that he let his obsession become a consuming passion that he could no longer control.

Unfortunately growth is painful. It's what we learn from it that either makes us stronger or simply leaves us feeling scarred.

HilbertAstronaut said...

May your old mentor find that peace and enlightenment on the other side that he couldn't find here. Gods rest his soul.

PhoenixAngel said...

@Frater HilbertAstronaut Yes, I pray for him all of the time

PhoenixAngel said...

@Brother Gynwyt Siarad and Sister Jamie: Thanks!