On Becoming Fully Human in your fishbowl

To Become Fully Human means to Individuate, and Individuation is not an easy quest, because it requires Consciousness. And Consciousness is bigger than all of us, for it doesn’t care about demographic census-taking.  Once you’ve taken the bait tossed into your fishbowl (my bait was midlife crisis); and once you’ve convinced yourself you don’t want to wiggle off the hook, you begin to understand how Becoming Fully Human is not a selfish thing, but a responsibility to all humankind as in the earthly world, we make conscious the unconscious.

vintage-1721918_960_720Truth is, today I’m about 3/4 fully human. Yesterday I was 3/8. Both better than 100% fish.

What’s in your fishbowl?


The Fool


The fool is the only one of the major arcana in a tarot deck without a number.

“Beware, Sir Gawain: if the lance catches your backside, the ladies in the tower shall have another moon at which to stare.”

Certainly the fool is a simpleton. Maybe he has been made simple by love, like Sir Gawain. Or maybe he is just simple-minded by nature:

“Lament, Parsifal the wretched: through your simple-mindedness,the Fisher King yet suffers from his wound.”

~from Hodpreht


Proscriptions are collectively assumed societal regulations that insist certain behaviors are prohibited.

It is probably not acceptable for a Frenchman to cheek-kiss a Norwegian.  Norwegians are known for their stoicism, Frenchmen for their love of emotionally liberating wine. But, I learned right-cheek-kissing from Hispanic culture, and I do it to everybody, regardless of their culture.

An American from the States–well, at least WASPs–turn a wary eye upon worshipping a dead folk saint like Ni~no Fidencio is worshiped in the Rio Grande Valley Mexican Folk Culture.

Some proscriptions are stricter than others. Proscriptions are probably most important to teenagers, who can be stricter than adults about it, for it determines top dog popularity.

Regarding myself, these days, not eating sugar is one of my proscriptions. But my not eating sugar has never been suppressed like my desire to cuss. Fortunately, not eating sugar is not rigidly repressed, since my personal unconscious fondly remembers how many times I have never been rigid about this particular proscription.  Tonight I had ice cream at Jason’s Deli.

Consider rebels and revolutionarios.

Pick Your Journaling Tools and Prime the Pump

Now I lay me down to sleep.
I pray Thee, Lord, my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake,
Throw my journals in the lake!


Everybody brave enough tells me my handwriting is not as pretty as it should be for a girl. I say, so?  I’ve got 36 journals.

It’s true, I have 36 journals written over 24 years.  That’s enough I can’t hide them between the mattresses anymore.  It’s also enough that I figure it’s too daunting for my family members to read. I did buy a big treasure chest to store them in.  You might want to consider what you will eventually do with your journals as you fill them up and they won’t fit between the mattresses anymore.

To gain reward for journaling, you have to journal everyday for 24 years.  I lie.  I had long stretches of journaling silence. But keep this in mind.  Many biographies have been written because descendants treasured their ancestors’ diaries.  I think of Lord Byron who lived in the 1700s, and I just recently read his biography in the year 2018.

If I tell you it’s completely up to you what journaling tools to pick, this blog is over.  So here is my experience.

Tool #1:  The Journal

If you’re new to journaling, go ahead, for inspiration, and buy a leather journal, a pretty journal, a journal with a lock.  But be aware, if you intend to be prolific, you will probably settle on ruled composition notebooks.  Ruled composition journals cost about $3.  Pretty journals might start at $30.  Ruled composition notebooks organize neatly in the treasure chest.  Ornamental diaries are unruly.

Tool #2:  The Pen

I do find the choice of pen to be important because you want to be comfortable while you’re writing.

WARNING:  DO NOT USE PENCIL.  I cry everytime I tell this story.  Georgia Tuxbury who leads the Alamo Country Club’s “Telling Your Life Story” writing group, kept diaries as a teenager during WW II.  Priceless, yes?  I urged her to transcribe them.  She said, “I would love to transcribe them, but I wrote them in pencil, they faded, and no one can read them anymore.”

Personally, I like Bic medium point pens the best.  Fine point feels ‘scratchy.’  And I make more mistakes when writing with gel.  I’ve tried expensive pens, thinking my words would come out more flowery, but often the body of the pen is too fat or too skinny for comfortable writing.  So I’ve become habituated to cheap medium point Bic in packs of twelve.  I say habituated because it’s like my writing mind clicks on when I pick up a Bic.

But the color is a thing to play with.  When I was forty-four, taking essay tests in anthropology classes, we had to use black ink only!!!  I don’t know why the professors made such a big deal out of black ink only!!!, but it’s the reason my journals are written in blue ink during that time.  However, when I want to pull off serious adult journaling, I do use black ink.  Red ink?  Nah.


Tool #3:  Your Handwriting  3 points.

  1.  After I realized I was stacking up the journals, the content became more important than my ugly handwriting.  Seeing my ugly handwriting filling an entire journal day by day is very satisfying.  It’s also cool when you run out of ink.
  2. Now, this is a real conundrum and it bothers me every time I sit down to journal. For these days I journal a lot to make indelible my grandchildren’s childhood. Can you guess what the problem is?   My grandkids can’t read their journal. They don’t teach cursive in school anymore!  Lord Byron’s diaries were in cursive.  Will I lose out on having my biography read by scores in the year 2400 because in 2000 they quit teaching cursive?
  3. And don’t say “electronic journal.”  My final precaution is:  save electronic journaling for travelogues.  Something about fingers to pen to paper is how the soul likes to communicate.

Remember, the soul is the earthly up-welling of The Source.  This implies we’re in the realm of Water.  So, we might think of journaling as priming the pump between The Source and your soul.

I’m going to tell you this: your journaling tools will pick you.  You may think you pick them, but when you look back, you will be surprised that the soul was active all along.  So go ahead and Follow Your Heart when you’re selecting your tools of the Journaling trade.  And I’ll love to know what you discover along the way.

Aftermath: laptop transformation from Word to Word Office to WordPress

I think the aftermath of finishing The WASP and El Curandero after ten years is cool. These blog excerpts cover three months when my laptop changed identities from Word to Word Office to WordPress.

Alberto's Spirit Is Following Me Around
 Posted 8th October 2015 by Katherine Brittain on Blogspot 
I finished writing "W&C" This Morning Just Before Writing Group
 Posted 13 October 2015 by Katherine Brittain on Blogspot
Alberto Are You There?
 14 October 2015 by Katherine Brittain on Blogspot 
Thanks, NPR For Hearing My Confession
Posted 27 October 2015 by Katherine Brittain on Blogspot
Ann Cries Over Alberto
Posted 17 November 2015 by Katherine Brittain on Blogspot.com
Gigima's A Freak!
Posted 24 November 2015 by Katherine Brittain on Blogspot
Afraid To Write the Last Page
Posted 6 December 2015 by Katherine on Blogspot
The Big Test
Posted 7 December 2015 by Katherine Brittain on Blogspot

Is This Normal?
Posted 17 January 2016 by Katherine Brittain on Blogspot
Piano Tiles and Publishing

Dialogue in Journaling

p. 2o Red Book – Plato and Aristotle, Jung, me

p. 82 Red Book  Active Imagination


“Magick has many aspects, but primarily it acts as a dramatized system of psychology” — Robert Anton Wilson

I was surprised when I Googled “what are the kinds of magic” and got this long list:

Necromancy,Dark Arts,Spell Casting, Alchemy, Blood Magic, Elemental Magic,

Almighty Magic, Mysticism, Sex Magic, Technomagic, Animancy, Demonic Magic, Eldritch Magic, Abjuration, Druidic Magic, White Arts.

But these listed are of the kind talked about in books I ogled in the New Age section of Hastings in 1997. That same year, when I transitioned from the Episcopal Rite I to Jung’s Collected Works, I also snuck into the Black Dragon New Age store, tucked away off 10th St., hoping no one would see me.  I had heard some professional say that just showing an interest in the paranormal is a clue that one is psychologically unsound.  As a WASP I nervously investigated the (expensive) tools of the trade of Magick.

Sympathetic Magic is not included in the above list, but ultimately in reality it is the only one I know and did practice. And there’s a difference between a New Age store and the yerberia in The WASP. and El Curandero  Understandably, the clientele of the curandero is legitimately desperate for a cure for their existential angst lived in poverty.

from Wikipedia:

Sympathetic magic, also known as imitative magic, is a type of magic based on material  imitation or representation in correspondence with the target of the work.

The Other

excerpted from The WASP and El Curandero

As Fr. Bob, Episcopal priest, once explained, The Other is that entity that is so completely not me, so unknowable because it is so foreign, that it carries the numinous qualities of the divine.  Moses met The Other in the burning bush and then later came down off Mt. Horeb with white hair to prove it.  We attract that which we fear.”


When referring to my The Other I am basically referring to Alberto Salinas, El Curandero.  He lived in and breathed the air of Mexican Folk Culture.  Well, I did too, as I crawled into bed with that culture (acculturated).

What created the condition of “The Rub” (the transcendent function), by which I hoped to individuate, was Alberto’s connection with a Magical World View-especially since he channeled the spirit of the dead Mexican folk saint, El Ni~no Fidencio, which practice qualified him as a shaman.  To my way of thinking, this made him a card-carrying member of The Other World.  And he was my spiritual director.

The Other in The Other World tensioned against me as the WASP in McAllen, Texas.  Forbidden desire was powerful.  Something had to give.

Magical World View

Having arrived on the other side of the border in Mexico, Alberto tells me,“I have lots of enemies, including some of my own relations. Sometimes I believe I can see the curses and protections zinging back and forth through the elemental world in spiritual battle. And when I get paranoid, like I am today here in Mexico, where curses are as common as cats, I don’t function right. Here in Mexico, people use witchcraft like people in the States use the court system.”

Alberto Salinas in The WASP and El Curandero

Synonyms for magical
supernatural, magic, occult, shamanistic, mystical, paranormal, preternatural, other worldly.

The belief system of the synonyms occult and paranormal, for instance, are generally dismissed with superiority by WASPs .  With western  proclamation of science as the bedrock of thought, WASPs generally believe the occult and paranormal are superstitious evil, and possibly delusional, up against a Christian belief system.

But, more functionally, when sympathetic magic is parallel to fe, esperanza, y salud (faith, hope, and health), we’re looking at el pobres-the poor ones of Mexican folk culture of the Rio Grande Valley of Texas-who are examples of citizens of a Magical World in The WASP and El Curandero .  They are the ones who live in poverty in colonias; the alienated ones who have no agency to function in the larger Rio Grande Valley society.

Safety is one of Maslow’s human needs.  Safety is more secure when you feel you can exercise some power over your choices. For el pobre, alienated from larger society, sympathetic magic is an operative resort to power and control.  Sympathetic magic ameliorates the existential angst that comes from a loss of meaning in an alienated life.  But it requires agency. Witches, demons, and spirits are the agents in el pobres magical world view.

Also, Alberto Salinas is a shamanistic agent, brokering healing power from the spirit world by channeling the spirit of the dead Mexican folk saint, El Ni~no Fidencio.

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