Centuries ago people used to take their children to see the Magic Man to be blessed. Rites of passage cementing affinity to the spirit world happen at a very young age. Just as the world over there are rituals for birth and aging, so too, are there rituals for magic. This still happens in the mountains of Colorado where some enchanted families still exist. I know because my dad took me to see a Magic Man.
We drove up into the peaks to a small town with hand-built homes. This home in particular was curved, with a humble entrance and round foyer. My dad met a man, I don’t recall his name, but he was tall with striking long, white hair. In the West we call them mountainbillies, like hillbillies of the South, or simply hippies who have embraced the austere cabin-living lifestyle.
The man asked me a series of questions that even I, at the age of five, found weird. He then abruptly ushered my dad in and told me to stay put. He shut the door between the foyer and the main house. I was left stranded in the cold vestibule with a stove that wasn’t lit. It was winter. I tried to settle in, but it was freezing. I busied myself in the icy room, being awed by crystals in the windows making rainbows in the light. There were mysterious artifacts all around: minerals, gemstones, altars, curiosities, bones. I looked at everything while I waited. And waited.
When under normal circumstances, it is said the mind can produce fabricated recollections, that we can misconstrue situations and recall events differently in our minds. This is pretty common as a source for arguments between lovers. I had a philosophy professor that always talked about false memories; we might remember the tone wrong, or the words spoken may be different than what we recall. In some more extreme circumstances, an entire memory may be untrue, illusion, but yet we operate as if it is true and accurate. As such, these misperceptions can influence future behavior, carrying with them the weight of the past.
I knew this hippie was a Magic Man because of all the relics he had, like in movies when you see sorcerer Merlin or the wizard Gandalf, you know the artifacts are magic, not just to a child, but to everyone.
When leaving, the eccentric old man asked me, “Do you want Irish in you?” And I remember because the was a particular feeling of concern in his tone.
I responded, quite affirmatively, “No, and you shouldn’t either.” to which he quickly withdrew and turned away.
Little did I know he was talking to me in code, and that this would all make sense to me later.
In Western medicine, my story is viewed as delusion. Delusions are like this, long stories intertwined with reality. Some delusions are obviously false; say perhaps you think your innards have been replaced by aliens. Other delusions can technically be true, like a meth head being followed by the police. According to the researchers, these stories arise from overactive dopamine receptors, but how do we bridge the gap between the supernatural, creativity, and madness?
What makes delusions so strange is that they do anchor in reality, and reality bolster’s their believability. The story is enhanced by real-life occurrences. While the meeting with the Magic Man is true, maybe after all he was just my dad’s weed dealer.
I was born into “Grandfather” lineage of the Chevy magical family. The Magic Man, as both a member and role in the Chevy family, sees to the hand off for magic from generation to generation. The handoff occurs when someone dies and passes on his magic or when someone comes of age and claims their magic. Coming of age, you learn who you are by a series of ultrapersonal psychic insights.
Part of what makes you Chevy is that you go to their Magic Man; It also means you know there is a Magic Man for you to see. Who is this person who blesses children in the ways of the old school, if you believe in that?
At some point in your life, you are ushered in to the magic Family in which you’ll play a larger part. This typically happens at maturity, but full psychic abilities can come much later, depending on your taxonomy. The taxonomy is a series of blessings put upon the child that will eventually manifest into their greater adult life. I was ushered in at the 18 by my Family, Chevy, and again at the age of 38 by Spirit.
The onset of psychosis is what is called a prodromal phase, where you’ve not quite yet stepped out of reality. It is the onset of illness. You haven’t reached full psychosis, but everything seems alive in a new way and meaning is instilled in everything. People who have experiences this have said it is like suddenly learning a foreign language, when language meets memory and different memories take on whole new meanings. There’s code people talk and you are instantly immersed in a whole new world.
The “Grandfather” lineage shows itself by illuminating groups arranged from tall to short. This order can manifest anywhere and is interpreted as a good omen. As something naturally occurring, it signifies spirit talking to the person directly and, depending on the circumstances, is typically interpreted as an indicator of something opportune.
Another lineage, “Lewis,” pairs with Grandfather and is indicated by a group of things arranged from short to tall, the opposite order of Grandfather. Similarly, when seen naturally, this is interpreted as a bad omen because Lewis indicates the sad path of a soul. Sad because no one wants heartbreak, yet it can make our lives whole. That’s our lot as men, and in a world of men, there must be both pain and joy. Lewis and Grandfather are often paired together to bring balance to a person’s life, but when Grandfather is used alone, it’s a blessing.
The story of delusion unfolds and recasts our memories by adding definitions and tiers, layer upon layer. As you get deeper into psychosis, a hierarchy of relevance emerges, giving greater importance to the new story. For each person who has experienced psychosis, there is a unique story, though some may be cultural, like believing you are Jesus. These types of delusions born of psychosis are referred to as Delusions of Grandeur because they are just too fantastic to believe and the untenable reality isn’t born out. But what of our magic man who was talking in code?
As you recall, the taxonomy is a series of blessings put upon the child that will eventually manifest into their greater adult life. The taxonomy Irish—the Irish blessing—refers to the “sad path” when making someone magic; it is the opposite of the “happy path” of the Grandfather lineage and indicates illness, pain, suffering, attack, and other unhappy occurrences that may befall a person. So, the “Irish Blessing” is actually a curse.
Since the lineage Lewis wasn’t put in my taxonomy, the only way to make it a part of my magic to wield was to walk the path myself. To learn the about the omens, the symbols, the meanings the hard way, through experience.
Lewis paired with Chevy as a blessing, and as a part of making a magic person, not only balances the magic, it is also what makes a Magic Man a Chevy Magic Man. Having both Lewis and Grandfather in your taxonomy makes you a Magic Man, so the hippie was actually asking me if I wanted to be a Magic Man myself when I got old because when you’re in Chevy, the Magic Man leverages both the happy path to bless people, and the sad path to curse people. Was the Magic Man asking me as a child if I wanted to curse people? More than that. He was asking me if I wanted the ability to make more Magic Men as an avocation.
But what I’ve witnessed is my own “Knock of the Spirit” where Spirit saw fit to make me a Magic Man at an age I could handle it. These children we bless are the same kids that will grow up to be cursed as adults. We often hear about Spirit taking one off one’s course to their true calling, life events that usurp our plans for mundane living. Isn’t this how spirit works?
Memories are a weird thing, but delusions are even more strange. All of this came to me as I sat for one evening and listened to a story unfold. Just a few hours and all the details come pouring out, details that are too technical to remember well, but are repeated often enough with ample cohesion and clarity that it becomes an ingrained thought process over the years. People are afraid of schizophrenics because their reality seems impenetrable, when in reality there is just too much information to convey anything with coherence. There’s a backstory to every word, every phrase, and all I can think is that I would rather have a Chevy, but I sure do like the Irish.
I think there should be a new class of delusion: how your story is just insane enough to be real.