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Ceremonial Magick 101 Classes in New York!   Leave a comment

Great News, Students!

My Ceremonial Magick 101 classes are taking off!  Carrie and I continue to offer them about twice a year here in the Tampa, FL area, and now we are making the same classes available in other areas of the country.

As we get the program under way, we are only allowing adepts of the Ciceros’ Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn to teach the classes.  (Whether we expand this to teachers from other GD orders will depend on how things develop.)  This assures that your instructors will be highly educated and trained in the material.  They will be using the exact same curriculum myself and Carrie teach here, including tons of useful handouts.  At the end of the class, you will even receive a certificate signed by myself and Carrie, as well as your instructors, to show you have graduated this specific course.

First up are Adepts Dave W and Andrea L in New York.  They are personal friends besides being respected teachers in our Order, and I am fully confident in their ability to teach these classes.  So if you are in the NY/Long Island area and have been wanting a chance to attend my classes, this is it!  See below for details, and make sure to grab a seat while space remains!

 

 

Aaron Leitch’s Ceremonial Magick 101

At Silver Broom Ministries, New York

November 2 – December 7, 2014

 

Lesser Banishing Pentagram

Ceremonial Magick uses ritual and invocation to move closer to the Divine.   Come learn the basics of Ceremonial Magick from Dave W and Andrea L-adepts of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn! Dave and Andrea will be presenting the very classes given by Aaron Leitch and Carrie Mikell in Tampa earlier this year! If you want to experience Ceremonial (or “high”) Magick and learn from two initiated ceremonial magicians this class is for you! Course Topics include the following:

Class 1: Basic Terms of Ceremonial Magick – Diagrams & the Qabalistic Cross

Class 2: Basic Rituals & Correspondences

Class 3: Pentagrams & the four Philosophical Elements

Class 4: Hexagrams & the seven Planets

Class 5: Talisman Creation & Consecration

Class 6: An Angel Evocation

Class starts Sunday November 2nd and continues over five Sundays consecutive weeks, 1:30pm-3:30pm.

Cost is $15 per class

Silver Broom Ministries
46 Railroad Ave.
Sayville, NY 11782
(631) 760-5633

Please email maatsophia23@gmail.com to register. Class limited to 15 students.

 

NOTE: I know many of you will ask about online classes.  Yes, those are still in the plans.  But those plans are on hold while we establish these in-person classes first.  My course is better when it is face-to-face and hands-on.  The online classes will have to take a new format – still to be determined.  So stay tuned for more on that!

Posted October 18, 2014 by kheph777 in classes, events, students

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Invocation of Archangel Samael   3 comments

Greetings again, fellow Angel-workers!

Mars is certainly in the air.  We just passed through a prime period for Martial magick – when Mars passed through Scorpio.  (Apparently it is only in the first degree of Sagittarius as I write, which is hardly out of Scorpio at all, so it is still flush with Scorpio’s energy.)  Plus we are fast approaching the period when Sol will go into Scorpio – which can be a major pain (ever notice how things tend to start to suck right before Halloween?), but is also a good time for Martial magick.

And so, with all of this in mind, this is a great time to make our yearly offerings to Samael, to both thank him for the protection he offers our house, and to empower him to protect it for another year.  As house gods go, Samael is unique in my home.  My relationship with him is fairly new (compared to Iophiel and Michael), and I approach him with quite a bit more caution.  (I strongly urge you to do the same, if you have cause to work with him at all.)

 

Samael

Archangel Samael – the Adversary

Samael is the Archangel of Mars – prince of the fifth heaven, lord of war and pestilence, and angel of death and destruction.  He is the Sathan (Adversary) who visited wrath upon Job, slew the firstborn in Egypt, and (as the Guardian Angel of Easu) wrestled with Jacob.  As the Sathan he accuses men of their wrongdoings in the Divine Court.  Samael should not be confused with the modern Christian concept of Lucifer or the Devil.  Samael is not the source of all evil, nor did he ever wage war upon the Throne of God.

He was, however, cast down to Earth when he refused to bow to Adam as the Image of God.  (He had previously sworn to never bow to anything less than God Himself.)  Once here, he took Lilith as his wife and has acted as the Divine Accuser, Enforcer and Angel of Death ever since.  While he is still very much in the employ of God, he persecutes and seduces mankind when he is ordered to do so.

(Some sources equate Samael with Shemyaza, the leader of the fallen Watchers from the Book of Enoch.  This is likely due to both Samael and Shemyaza being punished for disobedience, yet each retaining their positions as celestial angels.  However the angels share no other characteristics, and this similarity does not prove the two angels are one and the same.)

The ancient Gnostics elevated him to the position of Demiurgos (the Creator) and interpreted his name to mean “Blind God.”  They also called him Ialdabaoth and Saklas.  His form was described as a lion-headed serpent.  He and his angels (called archons) had created the world as a prison where they could feed upon mankind’s suffering.  Later forms of Gnosticism, however, did not equate Ialdabaoth with Samael.

Samael was at one point regarded as the Patron Angel of Rome – and it is likely in this aspect that we see him (as the Dragon with Seven Heads) engaging in single combat against Michael (the Patron Angel of Israel) in the Revelation of St. John.

More recent tradition has given him the name Khamael (Camael, Camuel, etc) – the result of mistranslating a Hebrew Samekh (S) as a Kaph (Kh).  In this form he is regarded primarily as the Angel of War and Divine Severity.

 

Offering Ritual for Archangel Samael

It is best to choose a Tuesday when Mars is well aspected in the heavens, and he should be above the horizon at the time of working.  Dawn is best.  The most powerful times of year to do this ritual are when Mars resides in either the sign of Aries or Scorpio.  The Moon should be in increase.

On Monday evening, cover a table or altar with a red or white cloth. Place a talisman and/or image of Archangel Samael upon the altar. (If it is a talisman, place it in the center. If an image, set it toward the east facing westward.) You will need a censor and an incense of Mars:

I use three ingredients:  1 part Pipe Tobacco, 1/2 part Cinnamon, 1/8 part Crushed Red Pepper.

WARNING!: Martian incense is one of the most dangerous substances I’ve worked with!  It is, quite simply, tear gas.  If you make this, do not add too much red pepper.  And when you burn it, do it in small quantities. Never, for any reason, lean over the censor and inhale or draw in breath!  Too much pepper or direct inhalation can burn your throat and lungs.

Also prepare all elements of the offering to Mars: Five red candles, five glasses of water, a bottle of whiskey, five pieces of bread covered with honey.  Five hot red peppers.  Five steel nails.  Red meat (cooked well done, no blood!) – this latter is being offered only because this is a once-a-year offering.  Animal flesh (especially red meat) is very very powerful, and shouldn’t be used for usual day-to-day needs.

The meat should be grilled over cherry- or bay tree-wood.  Otherwise grill it over natural wood or wood charcoal, and add cinnamon, tobacco and red pepper to the fire.  You can also season the meat with the cinnamon and the red pepper.

On Tuesday just before sunrise, wash yourself and don a white or red robe. At sunrise, set the offering to Mars upon the table.  Place four of the red candles on the four corners, and one in the center – directly upon the talisman if there is one.  Set a glass of water beside each candle.  Around this arrange the food offerings. You may also add any gift offerings for Samael, or items you wish for him to touch – such as steel jewelery or trinkets, talismans, stones, oils, weapons, written prayers or petitions, etc.

Light the censor and candles with their proper exorcisms, and add fresh incense to the coal. Then exorcise and consecrate the offerings with holy water and the censor.

Then move to the eastern side of the working space, facing outward.  If you have a consecrated bell or trumpet, sound it and recite the following call (or one similar to it):

In whatsoever place ye may be, ye spirit(s), who are invited to this feast, [NNN] come ye and be ready to receive our offerings, presents, and sacrifices!

Move to the south and repeat – first sounding the bell or trumpet, then the call.  Do this again in the west and the north.

Finally, return to standing west of the altar facing eastward, and recite the following invocations:

 

Prayer to Elohim Gibor

Elohim Gibor, God of Severity and Might, who ruleth the heavens with a rod of iron, who shatters the enemy.  Thou Lord who keepeth the city with the watchman.  You shelter us beneath your mighty wings, and punish severely those who would harm your prophets!  You visited the plagues upon Egypt, drown Pharaoh’s armies in the Sea, blasted the foundations of Sodom and Gommorah, cast down the Kings of Edom and protected Daniel in the lions’ den.  You cast down those who would oppose you.  Your name causes the spirits to quake with terror and give obedience.  Thou art Gevurah, thou art Pachad.  I ask that you bless and sanctify this offering, that it may be pleasing unto You and Your Angels.

I ask, also, that you send to me the holy Archangel Samael: who walkest to and fro upon the Earth.  The Adversary, Angel of War and of Death, the bringer of your Wrath.  May he look with favor upon me and my household.  And, to that end, may he also enjoy these offerings, and be pleased with them, and bear our prayers of thanksgiving unto Thy Celestial Throne.  Amen + Amen + Amen + Amen + Amen +

 

Five Martial Psalms

Psalm 3 (“Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me.“)

Psalm 2 (“Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?“)

Psalm 110 (“The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.“)

Psalm 91 (“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.“)

Psalm 35 (“Contend, Lord, with those who contend with me, fight against those who fight against me.“)

 

Invitation to Samael

 I invoke thee, Samael!  Holy Archangel of the Martial sphere!  I call upon thee within thy realm of Severity and Fear!

Samael, Powerful, Bloody, Sword-bearer, Bold, Untamed, Terrestrial Fire, against whom none can defend himself, thou who destroys the strong and powerful, Lord of fiery heat – and of the planet of blood!

Samael, who art the Adversary, accusing men of their wrongdoing.  Fearsome warrior and divine enforcer!  You who inflicted Job with sorrow, who slew the firstborn of Egypt, and wrestled with Jacob.  It is you who bears the wrath of God unto the Earth!  You who overthrow nations and cast kings down from their thrones!

O Samael, we have called upon you [here list the reasons you have called him in the past, if any, and the positive results that came from those workings]. For all of this we thank you!

Come thou forth and partake of these offerings, which we have prepared in thy honour and to the glory of Elohim Gibor. May you find them pleasing and empowering. I ask that you offer your blessings to my home and family, and bear our offerings and prayers of thanksgiving to the Divine Court. We petition thee for strength and protection in all of our undertakings, for defense of our home, and that the light of thy wisdom should guide and keep us at all times. In the name of Elohim Gibor.  Amen.

Repeat the Invitation five times.  Then, share in the feast you have offered to the Angel – taking bites of each food item, sips of the liquids including a sip (or shot) of the whiskey.  Leave the offerings in place until the red candles burn completely away (and no less than five days). Place the remains in a natural place, into running water or at a crossroads.

- End -

 

Ritual of Samael Journal Entry

Samael-Offering1I wanted to perform this invocation a week earlier, while Mars was still firmly in Scorpio and the Moon was waxing, but it just wasn’t practical.  And it is not possible to wait until the Sun goes into Scorpio either; it had to be done now (Tuesday, September 16, 2014).  Perhaps next year we’ll time it better to take place when Mars is in Scorpio (or Aries might be even better) and the Moon is waxing.

I began by fasting from about 7pm on Monday evening (approximately 12 hours before dawn on Tuesday).  We went out on that same evening and gathered all of the offerings for Samael (see the list above).  Myself and a friend then started the grill with natural wood charcoal; adding cinnamon, tobacco and crushed red peppers to the fire.  I seasoned the meat with salt, black pepper and garlic – then added more of the cinnamon and red pepper.  We cooked the meat until it was entirely well done (no pink in the center), then covered it and set it aside for the next morning.

After taking a simple ritual bath, I cleaned and prepared our temple – re-consecrating it and everything in it with holy water and the recitation of King Solomon’s prayer of dedication of the Holy Temple.  I then erected the Samael altar.  I used a new red altar cloth, placed three of my favorite classical images of Samael, his name and Heptameron sigil in the center, along with the candles, censor and dishes that would be used the next morning.

At dawn on Tuesday morning, I washed up, entered the temple and put on my white robe.  I first approached my Guardian Angel’s altar (in the east) to pray for her help and guidance in the coming work.  (I would never approach Samael without her at my side!)  Then I laid out the food offerings on the Samael altar:  the steak (freshly warmed and sizzling) cut into five pieces, five hot red peppers, bread, honey, five glasses of water and a small bottle of Jack Daniels whiskey.  To these I also added seven steel nails.  (Note that five nails would be standard – but since this ritual is being done to empower the seven protective talismans buried around my property, I decided to include seven nails as I had done before.)

Samael-Offering2I followed the ritual mostly as I have it written above.  I opened the blinds to let the morning sunlight into the room.  I lit the censor with the proper Solomonic exorcism and used it and the holy water to consecrate everything on the altar.  I then made the calls in the four quarters, then returned to the altar to light the candles with their proper exorcism.  Then I performed the invocations, burning even more incense.  (Maybe too much, in fact, as it became hard to continue the invocations.  I slightly maced myself.  But it is vital to never show weakness to the spirits – especially spirits of Mars!  So I completed them without stopping.)

Due to Samael’s heavy chthonic associations, I considered not sharing in his feast.  However, he is an archangel (a celestial being) and I felt during the ritual that he did want me to share.  So, I decided to follow his lead and partook – wanting to avoid offending him in any case.  I took a bite or sip of everything offered, making sure to bite off enough of the red pepper to burn my mouth, and to take a healthy swig of the whiskey (not something I normally drink!).  I lit one of the cigars and blew five puffs onto the altar, then turned it around and “shotgunned” a large amount of smoke.

Samael-Offering4Samael indicated to me that he wants the offering left on the altar for five days, and/or until the candles burn out.  Then the remains are to be taken outside and left where the last offering was left – on the ground directly over where the easternmost talisman is buried.   There is no need to carry the leftovers to a river.

UPDATE:  The candles lasted almost exactly five days.  On Sunday we gathered the remains and took them out to our eastern property line.  We prayed thanks to Samael and his Seraphim for protecting the boundaries, then arranged the items on the ground directly over the eastern talisman.  The water and alcohol was poured out as a libation and the food items were arranged in a pentagram pattern on top of that.  One of the cigars was re-lit and smoke was blown onto the offerings.  Then the remaining cigars were also left in a pentagram pattern.

I was given special instructions for the seven nails.  Taking a hammer, I was to drive each nail into the ground over one of the existing buried talismans, while reciting the phrase inscribed on the talisman:  “The ungodly have pleasure from doing harm, but the seed of the righteous shall bear fruit.”  I’m sure I didn’t get every nail exactly over its talisman, but they are close and are arranged in the same heptagonal pattern around the property line.

Samael's Offerings After 5 Days

Samael’s Offerings After 5 Days

Interestingly, while standing up from driving in one nail, I slipped (just briefly!) and managed to bash my own lip with the handle of the hammer.  It swelled up and bled, and seriously pissed me off.  <SIGH> Martial spirits…

For those of you who would like to know what food items look like after they are left sitting on an altar, in the open air next to the heat of candles, in Florida, for five days – here is a pic taken the night we took the offerings outside.  You’ll note that, as usual, the food looks pristine enough to eat.  No rot, no bugs, no mold.  The bread had hardened, and that was all.  ;)

Posted September 18, 2014 by kheph777 in hoodoo / witchcraft, magick, solomonic

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The 2014 Abramelin Rant   5 comments

Greetings, aspirants!

 

It seems like every year or two, I find it necessary to post a rant about Abramelin and some of the boneheaded stuff I encounter out there in relation to it.  So, here is the 2014 Abramelin Rant (originally posted to my Solomonic Facebook Group):

 

——————

 

It has taken several years, but I have finally learned an important lesson: I will no longer answer questions via email for anyone actively undertaking the Abramelin operation.

I’ve tried it more than once now, and the result is the same every time. It’s relatively easy to guide someone through the initial months – it mostly involves telling them to stick to the process as the book outlines it, without adding anything or altering anything. That, and to provide some moral support along the way. I figured it couldn’t harm anything for me to be available to answer questions – I would have killed for such a resource while I performed it myself.

But… then comes time for the final days of the process, when the actual Rite is performed (the Day of Consecration, the Convocation of the Angel and the Convocation of the Spirits). And so far, every single time, I discover that the person I was trying to help has prepared for *nothing.* I get questions like, “Oh? There is a silver lamen? Where does the book mention that?” Or “So what kind of robes do I need?” Or, even better, “Now how do I go about summoning the spirits?”

Nearly as sure as clockwork, I discover that the person I was trying to help has utterly failed to study and understand the Book of Abramelin *before* they begin the process. My favorite one to date was when an aspirant wrote to ask about the Abramelin Oil. You see, they were having a hard time affording all the ingredients needed, because they needed a lot of it, because they were **burning the Holy Oil in the Lamp**!!! [Sound of Aaron repeatedly banging his head on the keyboard...] When I revealed to them that the Holy Oil is not used in the Lamp, they asked me “Oh, so what will it be used for, then – and how often?”

I’m tired of answering questions that are addressed in the very book itself. And I’m tired of people reaching the grand finale of their operation only to turn to me as if I’m going to do the Work for them (or at least hold their hand) in the end. I sure as hell can’t (and won’t) teach you the art of summoning spirits (via email no less!) over a few days before you’re expected to summon them yourself. Why the f**k wouldn’t you have thought of that before you decided this path was for you? For that matter, why would you undertake this ordeal when you clearly haven’t even read the book all the way through??

I don’t mind answering Abramelin questions – but it will have to be here on the public forum, and it won’t be for anyone who is currently in the middle of the process. Yikes.

 

Posted September 15, 2014 by kheph777 in rants, students

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Aaron Leitch Book Signing – September 13th   1 comment

Greetings to all my friends and fans!

 

Mystikal-Scents

At the “Artists, Artisians & Authors” Event

Saturday, September 13th, 1-5pm

 

Mystikal Scents metaphysical supplies, located near Tampa, FL, is hosting an “Artists, Artisians and Authors” festival.  I’m going to be there to sign books and perhaps talk a little bit about Solomonic and/or magick.

There is no admission for entry!  So stop by and say hello, it would be great to meet you.  :)

 

Please join us, Saturday, September 13th 1:00 – 5:00 PM for Artists, Artisans & Authors gathered together to display their wares from 1–5pm. Meet them & discuss their works of art, see a book you like, buy it & then get it signed. Their work will be on display & available for purchase, we are asking for your generosity, by donating nonperishable food items to be donated to local food banks, so anything you can donate will be greatly appreciated. For donations, you’ll receive a FREE (10 count) bag of incense & a quartz crystal.

Mystikal Scents
9545 E. Fowler Ave,
Thonotosassa, 33592
813-986-3212

 

Here is the Facebook Event Page in case you need directions or further details.   Hope to see you there!

Posted August 24, 2014 by kheph777 in events

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Aaron Interviewed on ‘Healing From Within’ with Tony Valen   Leave a comment

Greetings Listeners!

HealingFromWithin

 

I recently gave an interview for the Podcast Healing From Within with Tony Valen, and it is now available for your listening pleasure.  :)

I had a wonderful time discussing the Golden Dawn, Hermeticism, Spiritual Alchemy and much more.  The guys who run this show are wonderful and I had a blast talking with them.  They had never heard of the Golden Dawn before, so this was my chance to explain what the GD is all about, what we do, where we came from, etc.

I also talk a little about the grimoires toward the end, and even talk some about Ochani Lele and his influence on me. :) Starts at about 29:00.

You can listen to it now:

Healing From Within – Aaron Leitch Interview

Enjoy!  :)

 

UPDATE:  I just learned that this episode had 682 total listeners – which is a record for the Healing From Within show.  Awesome!  :)

 

Posted July 8, 2014 by kheph777 in golden dawn, hermetic, magick and history, rosicrucian

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Ceremonial Magick Classes (Spring 2014)   Leave a comment

Greetings Students!

If you’re local to the Tampa area, and you missed out on the Ceremonial Magick 101 Classes last spring, you have a second chance this summer!  Classes begin July 6th!

 

Ceremonial Magick 101 Classes

July 6 – August 10

Lesser Banishing Pentagram

Ceremonial Magick uses ritual and invocation to move closer to the Divine.   Come learn the basics of Ceremonial Magick from initiated ceremonial magicians, Carrie Mikell & Aaron Leitch – adepts of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.  If you want to experience Ceremonial (or “high”) Magick, this class is for you! Course Topics include the following:

•Class 1: Basic Terms of Ceremonial Magick – Diagrams & the Qabalistic Cross

•Class 2: Basic Rituals & Correspondences

•Class 3: Petnagrams & the four Philosophical Elements

•Class 4: Hexagrams & the seven Planets

•Class 5: Talisman Creation & Consecration

•Class 6: An Angel Evocation

Class starts Sunday July 6th and continues over the next five Sundays, 1-3:30pm.

Cost is $25 per class with a $75 deposit that will pay for the last 3 classes in the series.

Please call Mystikal Scents at 813-986-3212 to register. Limited to 12 students.

 

9545 E. Fowler Ave
Thonotosassa/Brandon, FL. 33592
813-986-3212
www.mystikalscents.com

For more info (map, directions, etc) see the Facebook Events page.

——-

Live Too Far Away To Attend?

We are still working on an online version of these classes.  However, there is even better news for long-distance students!  We have been speaking with other adepts of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn who want to give these same classes in their local area.  The first will be this fall in the Long Island, NY area.  I will be posting more about this as the event approaches – and, who knows, if this catches on you might someday be able to take these classes in person.  :)

4 Things I Learned About Eye Surgery (by Having it Done to Both Eyes)   18 comments

Greetings, Faithful Followers!

I’m sorry this post has been so long in coming.  I’ve had a lot to process since the surgery (read on!), so I’ve been slowly working on this for the past couple of months.  Now, here it is:

 
As many of you are well aware, I recently underwent eye surgery to remove cataracts from both of my eyes.  I’m only 39 (well, closer to 40), but I was told I had the eyes of a 70 year old man!  Of course, this was little surprise to me, as I am no stranger to the “mutant eye club.”  I have astigmatism in both eyes, the right eye is lazy, I’m an ocular albino, and I’ve worn glasses my entire life – since the first grade, anyway.

 

Not me - but the resemblance is uncanny...

Not me – but that was pretty much the look on my face…

 

In the end, it was the ocular albinism that got me.  Somehow, it made me more susceptible to getting cataracts; and, in fact, I should have developed them in my 20s.  Thanks to healthy living and lots of vitamins, I didn’t start having serious issues until just last year.  By the time I was able to get the problem fixed, I was already legally blind in my right eye and the left one was quickly following suit.  If it hadn’t been for the kindness of all of you, I would have been completely blind by my 40th birthday.

Now it’s all over and done, and I have a brand new set of cyborg eyes to see through.

 

Now I can see in all spectrums of light, including infrared and ultra violet.  And X-ray... ladies.

Now I can see in all spectrums of light, including infrared and ultra violet. And X-ray… ladies.

 

To be honest, I was kind of floored by the entire process.  At first, I was told by the doctors (and pretty much everyone else) that this kind of surgery was a piece of cake – no more difficult than getting a cavity filled.  Just five minutes (per eye) and I’m out of there, and I’ll suddenly be looking at a whole new world of visual input I never had before.

 
But that didn’t happen.  In fact, no one even slightly prepared me for some of the realities of eye surgery…

 
Now, before we get on with all the funny stuff, let me make one thing perfectly clear:  the surgery was an astounding success.  I’m not blind!  Cataracts were nixed.  That was the main goal, and it was met.  Plus, I do actually see better now than I ever have before.  Unless I have to read, I don’t even wear glasses now.  So that’s a win as well.  Have no doubt whatsoever that I am thrilled by and thankful for the results of the procedures.  However, that doesn’t mean there weren’t some details involved that no one thought to mention, such as:

 

1. The Surgery Wasn’t the Cakewalk They Promised

Don’t get me wrong, having eye surgery doesn’t even make it into the ballpark with the worst torture I’ve endured.  Plus, it really did take them about 5 minutes, so the ordeal was brief regardless of how it felt.  But, well, take a look at what eye surgery actually looks like:

 

Ever been to a Saw movie...?

Ever been to a Saw movie…?

 

Yep, that’s pretty much what it looked like.  Except here you don’t see the instruments being shoved under the pupil!  And, yes, you get to be awake for the whole ride.  You are given an IV sedative, but you have to be awake so they can tell you where to point your eyeball during the procedure.  Fortunately, from where I lay I couldn’t see the torture porn I was suddenly starring in.  I could only feel it – which was basically like getting poked in the eye real hard for several minutes.

 

This is actually what the surgery felt like...

This is actually what the surgery felt like…

 

But that wasn’t the hardest part, at all.  In fact it was really quite bearable when compared to the real torture device:  a set of three small lights, each one about as bright as the sun.  Those lights are inside the laser cannon they aim at your eyeball, and you have to stare directly into them – unable to blink or look away, throughout the entire surgery!

 

Like this, only times three.

Like this, only times three.

 

Most of what I remember of the surgery is the doctor telling me, repeatedly, to look back into the bright lights.  It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever forced my body to do.  (Remember I’m light sensitive to begin with!)  I squirmed around so much on the table they had to double up the sedative!

As far as the actual surgery went, that was pretty much the worst of it.  I don’t want to ever have to do that again – but I’d take it in a heartbeat over something like, say, a kidney stone!

When I went back for the second surgery (my left eye), they doubled up on the sedative right at the start.  (They told me the older patients they usually work on are knocked loopy by just one dose, but my being a younger guy means I needed more drugs.  Hallelujah!)  I was told afterward that they gave me another dose during the procedure too.  It must have done the trick:  I have one memory of the doctor telling me to look back into those accursed lights, and the next thing I can remember is getting out of bed in the recovery room.  LOL

 

This oughta do it!

This oughta do it!

 

But, then there were some things I didn’t expect about the aftermath either:

 

2.  After Surgery, I Didn’t See a Whole New World

The first surgery (on my right eye) was just about removing the cataract.  Afterward I could see through the eye again, but not any better than I had before the cataract.  It was my left eye that got the super high-tech cyborg lens to correct my astigmatism and negate my need for glasses.  I was sure I would open that eye after the procedure and see a whole new detail-filled world for the first time ever.  I was frankly nervous at the prospect of seeing things like I never had before – and so was my wife.

 

Good morning, swee...oh dear God!!!

Good morning, swee…oh dear God!!!

 

However, in one of the most anti-climactic moments of my life, I discovered that the surgery had not given me any kind of super-vision.  In fact, it didn’t really enhance what I can see at all.  I would say that I’m seeing the world about as well now without glasses as I was seeing with them before.  That’s pretty much the definition of success, but it doesn’t result in having 20/20 vision.

But I do get to go out without wearing glasses now.  Scratch that, I get to go out wearing sunglasses now!  That’s a big deal to someone as light sensitive as myself.  Before, I had “transition” prescription lenses – and let me tell you transition lenses suck out loud.  And I couldn’t afford to have prescription sunglasses, especially not when they are more likely to get lost.  So, I usually just went outside, squinted a lot and got headaches from the sunlight.  Now I can wear shades – which is both good for my poor eyeballs and makes me cool.

 

Douche80sShades

Hey Baby… how ’bout that Spuds Mackinzie?

 

But there is one exception to this “need no glasses” experience:

 

3.   I Still Need Glasses to Do Anything Up Close – Which Means I Still Need Glasses for Everything…

Yep, even after the whole ordeal, I still have to wear reading glasses.  And not just for reading!  If I want to see any details of anything at all – reading and writing (and how often do you think an author does either of those things?!), working on the computer, using my smartphone, eating food, etc, etc – I have to get up close and put on the “cheaters” (as some folks call them).  It’s like I’ve assumed the archetype of an old guy before my time.

 

Hey Baby... How 'bout that Sputnik?

Hey Baby… how ’bout that Sputnik?

 

And what does everyone invariably say when I tell them about this condition?  They say it’s because I’m “getting old!”  As if I hadn’t just come from the lab of a mad scientist who waged a Star Wars laser battle against my retinas.  And now I have to carry around a set of glasses – constantly worried about losing them, forgetting to take them out with me, and constantly juggling them out of my pocket and onto my face when it comes time to look at….  anything.  Then, of course, they have to come off anytime I look up from my work, or the whole world is blurry.  Frankly, it was much easier when I just put the damned things on my face in the morning and took them off again at night.

And that leads me to my final thought:

 

4. Going Without My Glasses is Not as Wonderful as I Thought it Would Be

When you tell a person who has been stuck with glasses his entire life that he can finally live without them, he’s going to dance and rejoice.  At first.  Then as he tries to go on with his daily life sans glasses, he’s going to find himself facing all sorts of psychological hurdles he never saw coming.

That’s what happened to me!  I have worn glasses since the first grade, and that means I’ve had a lifetime to develop habits and unspoken assumptions about my life as a glasses wearer.  Suddenly take the glasses away, and a little kid inside me starts to panic and scream “where are my glasses??  I’ve lost my glasses!!”

 

What I feel like every morning...

What I feel like every morning…

 

Years of getting in serious trouble if I lost them, years of waking up and immediately reaching for them, years of protecting them from rain, from scratches, from falling off…  all of that indoctrination just runs screaming into a brick wall.  And there is nothing you can do to calm that inner little kid down!  So, it is pretty psychologically taxing to go through this change.

And it seems to affect those around you, too.  More than one person told me it wasn’t easy to get used to seeing me without glasses.  My family said that every time they looked at me they thought I was getting ready to lay down and go to sleep!

Thankfully, this part of the experience has gotten easier over time.  New habits are starting to replace the old ones, and my inner child has stopped throwing a tantrum.  But every now and then I still reach for glasses that aren’t on my face.  Or, even more fun, I catch myself wearing my reading glasses around, wondering why the hell everything is suddenly so blurry!

On one of my follow-up visits, I had the doctor write me a prescription for bifocals.  That way I can just wear the damned things when I’m working and not have to worry about the constant on-and-off, or setting them down and forgetting where they are, etc.  I haven’t got the bifocals yet – so that’s still on the agenda.

 

And so, as with many things, this experience has not been exactly what I expected – it has downs as well as ups.  But let’s not allow that to distract from the basic truth:  You guys saved me from going blind.  You saved my writing and teaching career.  You kept a modern-day wizard on active duty.  And for that, I will be eternally grateful.

 

The Sorcerer Supreme

Now where the hell did I put those cheaters…?

 

 

 

 

Posted May 25, 2014 by kheph777 in social commentary

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