Serenity – Fighting Addiction – Card 14 The Fetish Tarot (Temperance) Mark and Ruth Ramsden

Artist, writer and occultist Charlotte Rogers, I hope she doesn’t mind if I claim her as a soul sister, once referred to addiction as a form of possession. Aha! I thought, I can use that. Never mind sitting in draughty church halls with misguided, arm-gnawing-off dullards, and their endless list of rules and much shorter list of upbeat slogans…let’s beat addiction the Magickal way! Someone EXORCISE me. Restraints, scourges and Lilith’s own big shiny strap-on, please, by the light of a full moon, Belladonna optional.

Well, as it happens, not a phrase to conjure with in the light of the extremely distressing revelations about the child abuser, Jimmy Savile, plenty of shrinks have their misgivings about AA. It’s not for everyone. I would never discuss what I saw as its failings because, let’s join hands, “Keep Coming Back, It Works It Works. It works.” It really does. Especially after you’ve been in jail, or spent twelve hours watching grinning dancing gnomes that weren’t there (in withdrawal, my ‘pink elephants’). Or if you were convinced the neighbours were having a rave all night next door, (auditory hallucinations in withdrawal). This was terrifying once I found out there had been no party. I very nearly went round and asked them to pack it in. They call it hitting bottom after which you’ll put up with people who are share junkies, talking or ‘sharing’ too long, or people who become Christian Evangelists.
Why complain? You get free cake and coffee. Kurt Vonnegut thought 12 Step was one of the best anarchic organisations (in a good way, no leaders, self help). Should I check that quote? Nah, he had enough dumb luck with Slaughterhouse 5. Making all that money out of Dresden. So I’d recommend AA or NA even if you grow out of it. It kept me sober for eight and half years once. Miracles can happen.

Right now I’m ‘white knuckle’ (except I’m over booze, just an expensive way of being fat and stupid.) or 13th step. (A two day drug binge every month or so.) That’s ‘Reduced Harm’ is some therapeutic systems. Sorry, Bill and Dr whoever, AA pioneers. It’s the best I can do right now. Some of 12 Step is marvellous. The Serenity Prayer.

God grant me the Serenity to accept what I cannot change the courage to change what I can and the wisdom to know the difference

Or Elmore Leonard’s Jailhouse version: If you can handle it do it. If you can’t FUCK IT…(my capitals. I do like proper swearing)

Here’s Laurel Owen’s excellent Odinist 9 step plan, for prisoners at a Texas jail

A 9-Step Recovery for Odinists

| January 10, 2009 | 1 Comment

A 9-Step Recovery for Odinists

A 9-Step Recovery for Odinists

I came up with the nine steps several years ago. I noticed that many of our people struggle with addiction but had a problem with the deeply Christian 12-steps, where the message is to give up your power to God. Our theology doesn’t resonate with that idea. You will see in the 9-steps the emphasis is more about looking honestly at yourself and using your personal power wisely, not destructively. The point is to be in line with the Gods and with the tapestry of Wyrd, not to be powerless before their will…

Today there is an Odinist AA group at the Ramsey Unit in Texas. The 9-step program has been officially recognized there. The men in this group came up with the embellishments on each step.

Many thanks to Lt. Geist and the substance abuse counselor at Ramsey.

We are all proud to present this program.

Laurel Owen

Coordinator, Prison Affairs Bureau of the Odinic Rite

1) Admit we have a problem with addiction and that we have used our personal power unwisely and destructively. Noble Virtue: TRUTH.

I stand at the Well of Wyrd, and peering within, I see that addiction is poisoning my fate.

2) Make a decision to align ourselves with the Gods and to contribute constructively to the Tapestry of Wyrd. Noble Virtue: COURAGE.

I call out to the Gods for need-fire, and wisdom, to overcome that which is destroying me.

3) Inventory our behavior patterns in a searching and fearless way. Noble Virtue: HONOR.

Guided by the might and main of the Gods, I drink deep from the well of my deeds, and take responsibility for what I find there.

4) Admit to the Gods, to another human being, and to ourselves the exact nature of our wrong choices. Noble Virtue: FIDELITY.

Holding honesty as my honor, I stand before the Gods, my ancestors, and a trusted companion, and lay forth the poison I found within.

5) Ask the Gods to help us change our destructive behavior. Noble Virtue: INDUSTRIOUSNESS.

Having awakened to who I have been, I choose to lay healthy actions into the Well of Wyrd, with the Gods at my side, so I may live with honor and luck in the future.

6) Make a list of all persons we have harmed, and become willing to make amends to them all. Noble Virtue: DISCIPLINE.

Having honestly and completely shared the poison of my past, I choose to attempt to make right what I have made wrong in the past.

7) Make direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. Noble Virtue: HOSPITALITY.

Realizing that I must let go of who I have been, I hang myself from Yggdrassil, dying to who I was, and beseech the Gods for the Runes of victory. I reach out a hand to people I have hurt, if it’s appropriate.

8) Continue on a daily basis to take personal inventory and when we are wrong admit it. Noble Virtue: PERSEVERENCE.

Having gained the Runes over addiction, I continue to live with meaning, as genuinely as I can, day to day, always remembering that wisdom not lived is a sword not drawn.

9) With the spiritual awakening as a result of the steps, we try to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs. Noble Virtue: SELF-RELIANCE.

Having awakened to the rich heritage of the Gods of my ancestors, and my own constructive power, I go forward in my life to share this spiritual awakening with others, knowing that to gift (Gebo) this awakening is the best way to retain it.

-Laurel Owen, and the Odinist AA Group at the Ramsey Unit in Texas.



2 thoughts on “Serenity – Fighting Addiction – Card 14 The Fetish Tarot (Temperance)

  1. I so relate to this Mark, and love the 9-Step recovery programme. I’d also never knock the traditional 12-Step Programme, as it helped save my live and start living it rather than systematically destroying everything in my rather large sphere of activity. Once I actually became sober/clean I felt like some alien species that just didnt fit in except through my rather spectacular drinking and using history, and that feeling of alienation became another source of pain and deep unhappiness.
    p.s I’m honoured to be referred to as your soul sister!

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