Making It                                 


Book of Mirrors  September 2022       a few descriptions

We are being lived by powers we pretend to understand    W. H. Auden 

A later-life project of collecting clues to your Life-with-Meaning                                 

It is a private record of how you have made/lost Meaning; Attended to your Needs;  

Revised your Story;

How you have encountered the Intuitive, the Spiritual and the Practical in your life;

Your Dance with the Body, the Mind and the Moment.

Your history of Going In, Down, Out and Away

How you have managed the tension between life expected and life experienced.You are collecting clues about your emerging selves, and the changing matrix around you.

A different, selected, edited version may be made and shared with others. This is called a Grimoire.



It is part of your legacy. You’ve spent your whole life getting to this vantage point.  Narcissistic?  No, it’s taking ownership for who you are, what you’ve done and what you’ve become.

September, 2022 Iteration

From a June, 2022 Iteration

HOW, generally?

Trust that Meaning is always available in the Regular; The Profound is in the Simple.

Trust Process; That you are not alert to it all, That One-step leads to another,

Allow Contact w Ambiguity, Chance 

Seek Casual/Indirect Ways to Allow Discovery; that there are layers of meaning which get Revealed after risk 


It’s like Ikegai, Active Imagination, Restorative Yoga, Dream Analysis, Haiku, Archetypes, Myers-Briggs, Astrological Charts, Enneagrams.


HOW, specifically? 

Collect information (images, objects, words) from three areas of your life:

This can be in a pile, a box, a drawer, a notebook, as a deck of cards… It’s likely there are already pieces around

1. Pieces of your PROFILE: 

What you’ve Earned, Learned, Inherited, Rediscovered  

Life-long defaults, tendencies, interests, routines, themes;   “Oh, YOU Again!” Welcome friend!

BODY: health?, habits, the ways you Present yourself? Hair, Clothes, weight, height?

BIRTH/FAMILY Highlights  Birth Experiences, Deaths, Successes and Tragedies   When has life had meaning? 

Experiences with  OBJECTSYour Collections? Productions? Special Objects? Alter Items?

Experiences with  the Eternal, the Olde, the Paleo: rocks, insects, water 

Experiences with Religion? Spirituality? The Occult? How you Alter Consciousness

Experiences with  The Feral, Nature, Instinct, Shadow  Are there life-long fears or worries?

Your Erotic Life?

YOUR GIFTS? Passions,  talents, obsessions, reputation?

Your Preferred, Practiced Voices: teacher, preacher, cheerleader, critic, victim?   Can you access others?


2. What’s TIDAL, in play right now?:

the weather fronts of the moment, the Etheric Cords

Tune in to Passing Encounters, Accidents, Coincidences, Pictures, People, Places, Symptoms, Attractions,

Hunches, Events, Animals, Scents, New Voices.  What Songs are stuck in your mind? What Dreams are presenting? What words, verbs, nouns seem to repeat?

Old/New Clan  Is a new clan appearing? Who’s there from the old one?             

Experiences with Organizations  Why do you join,? When do you leave ?

LIFE STAGE: What’s this one about? What are you losing? What opportunities are presenting?
Media BITS gleanings from messages/emails/your programs and apps, your life with electronics

QUOTES/POEMS   What words, images, stories move you?  


3. What can you help REVEAL?

conscious/active experimenting with materials/objects/making

First, Pause   See pausing, waiting as an Activity, not a lack of activity.               

Try Making from Casual Loose Parts. Just Arrange things, Use a paper clip, rubber band, twist tie, band aid, playing card.

Practice Gifting   Both Objects and Attention  as a tool of Active Exploration; Sharing your Gifts

Try Other Voices: Assisting not Directing,  Just Listening,

Be with children.

THEN? Allow all this to just be. . Sit with it.  Let it reveal as it may. Or may not. Be out-of-charge.           book of mirrors


Another Description, different inflections:


Field Notes on your Tides of Order/Disorder   

The Balance/Feeding/Flutter between ritual, chance, order/improv, finding pattern/Meaning in disorder

Developing relationship to riffle shuffle of it all:      

There is NO One Way                It Changes!

It's Kaleidoscopic: same stuff, different patterns

Odd, Puzzling Style:

Shamanic (Non-Logos) Writing; phrases, nouns, verbs, gerunds:  a bath, grazing, not a lesson or talk, likely errs, spirals, needs stirring;     for seeping deeply



TRUST Curiosity, Mood, Chance, Loose Parts,

Riffle Shuffle, Resonance, Piling things


Seven Ways/Areas to start: Get Your Fae Name   EZ/Immediate, NOW Body/Nature, GO In-Back-Beneath,

See What's Emerging, Make/Share Reminders, Metaphors       GO OUT    Follow Trails


Three Moods:

Alone Quiet

Alone lightly Active

Active: alone and with others

Ponder/Make Note of Your Current Actions, Cords, Chance Encounters, Stuck Songs, Shiny Obj, Fetching Ideas        

Consult BODY: Current Symptoms, aliments,

Stress?   Your preferred GRUMBLINGS?

Revisit Your Gifts What you Bring: Humor, age              

Who Helps?


Be Curious about New/Other Ways        

*Focus on Edges, X Center Ring      Quiet Review

FaeHealer info    who’s visiting    moon cycles             Birds, Woods,            

Revisit BIO  about Spirit Spouses, Trickster Life     

Cords: Karmic, Shadows Forces?   StoryLines

Revisit STORY              What Parts Still Work?               Describe your “Character” for a           casting director

Who’s Emerging?    Story Elements Still Work?             What’s appropriate NOW?           deeping sleeply 

Mary Oliver’s  “gods”    Your Knots? antithetical bonding, Play vs Grumblng Outrage

Revisit Objects collected, made                                           Use a poetic eyeon actions/cords to reveal/decode

Revisit VALUES  “Finding Meaning”   wholeheartedness”        Reconciling

Review MEGACYCLES Other Lens, Karma BardoDragon Time,                        PLAY time?

dragon-spirit       embodiment of chaos/untamed nature.           your Dragon?  

*Short-Circuit Logos use, empties, blank paper,        chance activities: poundng, ex corpse     Have a Pile/Drawer

Learn to Blend/Balancew Other Energies/ Models         alert to movement on Margins               Unfolding Patience

Develop skills for seeing sensing Portals; perhaps          changing responses                         Be Curious!

ALTWays/Tools Kindness? Making Amends?             Attention  Prayer  Pondering            Poetry  Images  

Objects  Time  Personal Writing +poetry, Haiku?          GIFTING                                                Be in CLAN                           

BE OUT?How/Why/for What: expiation? Amends?      Revealing hidden Stories                        BALANCE

Touch/sharing/being w others Helping, Fixing, Serving?          Your Gifts?  Gifting for Health  



1. EZ FAST: List your Grudges on a Buddha Board  (need for the material/imperm),               Note Cords of The Day

Cards of Contact Your Dragon: Reminders, Spirit, Shadow, Dreams, Notice Nature Ways            Praying? Tonglen

Via KOANS/PAIRS/QUES: Pointers:                                  Organic Metaphors, words                   

Thumbnail of who you are right now: How ya doin?

EntryLevelCA: Reminders, Spirit cards, Cords Empties      NatureWays Trade Trinket Jars           Make/Find Avernos

2. NOW Consult Your Body, Entanglements, Etheric Cords, Symptoms, Chance Encounters,     Nature, Animal Spirits

Altars, fragments shadow, tracks, Alert to “devalued”, Clues,  Pointing, Trails, Waiting,                Curiosity,  Listening

3. IN Alone-Quiet  Scry  Notice  Watch                  LOOKING  Ahead, Back, Out, Behind, Up, Let It Reveal

Your Familiar Trails Repetition                                               Trust Cues/Earmarks, 5DModels of OtherWays:                                  

4. Who/What’s EMERGING?


Find Images/Models/Metaphors: Use Poetic Mind Tides, Paths, Bath     emerging Entangled World! Sediment, Piles vs Lists

Seeping =slow, Sudoku Move No Slow Ping Pong     BuddhaBoard Model    deeping sleeply  Pointing        *Direction, not a Map*             

OUTish Alone-Active  BodyLet your     Making Resp tell you your stories           as Messenger, Massage ShAManic Practicing/Balancing, different for all                                 Alchemical Distillation            Tincturng

6. OUTw Others    Allow for Unexpected w Others           Why/What/How to  share                    your GIFTS or NOT

Gifting Opportunities:  Find OTHERS Goblin Mkts            Resonate/Elicit Wholeness of The Other PLAY, X Debate     

Play Opportunities: Loose Parts to Play with in different ways vague, indistinct, inexplicit,

7. FOLO/SHARE TRAILS= Look for non-verbal, non rational opportunities to practice/honor vague, indistinct, inexplicit by Making, Sharing Quotes, Poems, Mats/Tools Images Places, Play, Ideas …. Done Alone and With Others

Another Way to Put it

The Casual Alchemist    cooking for 20 years. It's

*about the creative process and common natural materials.

*about learning about human nature from being with Nature and the result of working with trees for 30 years. 

*about "ordinary creativity"-- that energy we all have and use to make our lives everyday.  

* an exploration of the needs, costs and benefits of tendencies we all have towards expressing the ungovernable, the untoward and the contrary parts of ourselves. But it is not just about the maker. It's an attitude towards the making of objects... Or perhaps, it's learning  that objects get themselves made through us. Objects "matter" themselves into existence through humans and that there are old ways that effect this.  Some call them "archetypes."


MORE about Casual Alchemy

The Casual Alchemist is the artist-in-residence in us all. S/he must make.S/he makes: things, dinner, his way, deals,appointments and Trouble. What s/he makes are imaginal artifacts.  It's taken me years to figure some of this out.A miniature chair incorporating antique tools  Every so often, tucked in between sets of chairs, beds and tables, I'd find myself making something "else". Something that wasn't really a chair or a table. After years of "elses", I began to see certain patterns and themes in these objects.

The Casual Alchemist is

WAYWARD; short for awayward, turned away, from away, following one's own capricious, wanton, or depraved inclinations

UNGOVERNABLE: "a wayward child"    UNPREDICTABLE: following no clear principle or law; opposite to what is desired or expected. Synonym: positively, pleasantly contrary. It is in the tradition of The Trickster, that age-old tendency to take the world apart AND then put it back together in another way... using hand, head and heart:. 

He who works with his hands is a laborer.
He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman.

He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.                                   - St. Francis of Assisi

         Three figures carved out of bark

An example of Casual Alchemy

Since 2004, pieces of bark from the Hudson River have been mattering their ways through me and my studio. I forage, carve, decorate and arrange them.  There are now hundreds.

WHY?    What I seem to know about them is that they have something to say about the many aspects of our s'elves: some preferred, some hidden away, all with influence. At the moment, Anima, is the word associated with them.

There's also something about the Croning time of life.

The Casual Alchemist is about the "'how" of making, but it's really more about the why and what of making. It's about ways of seeing, ways of being and ways of doing and the changing mix of all three. This means that there is no first way, best way or one way.It's about finding the Ways-of-the-Moment into a other parts of our s'elves.  Here are a few dozen such ways. I am now writing this material on-line. I did not create or invent any of the ideas I'm collecting and writing about... I am just another elocution of these realities. 


from 2008

Casual Alchemy    

Its purpose is to engage with the spirit world.

To Allow for Other Energies to present in their own ways and times.

Made with and as intuitive technologies: Masks, Images, Tools, Cord Cutters, Messages, Altars, Icons, Statues, Relics, Rejectamenta, Found Objects…


Such things, suitable for dealing with spirits are not made according to the laws of perspective. They are seen with the imaginal eye (of magic)    


Related Work and Insights of Others

Black Dog Times, story re-told by Michael Meade (5 pp)

Sensitive Chaos, from Alan Kazlev's Web Work   (4 pp)

Enneagram exploration