Sahajiya

“Don’t confuse the teacher with the lesson, the ritual with the ecstasy, the transmitter of the symbol with the symbol itself.”

Neil Gaiman, Stardust

Reckoning

The Storm to many Sahajiya wasn’t a divine punishment or an apocalypse, but an venting of passions on a cosmic level. While sometimes terrible, Hate and Rage, after all, are part of the Nine Sacred Passions even if they dwell within the shadow. Its what we do with it that matters.  The great party that was the Ascension War is over, and the Storm gave the Tradition an opportunity to reflect on its past and chart a course for the future.

Current Status

Balador is gone, and while filled with delights, it was just way station on the path to Ascension and not Ascension itself, as many thought it would be. The Tradition grieves those that were lost in its destruction, but recognizes Grief, too, is one of the passions that must be expressed. To represent the changes wrought from passion, the Tradition changed its name to Sahajiya, and prepared to move forward. Always favoring influence over organization, the Sahajiya fared better than many of the other Traditions. When the call for the New Horizon Council came in 2007, the Tradition had already had strong ties to draw on.

Joybringer Muriel Standish was chosen as the new Primus. Standish  is an American modern and choreographer. Though she left the public eye in the late 1980s, her ritual-theater style of dance, the Standish Technique, reshaped American dance and is still taught worldwide. Standish emerged during the Storm years something of an organizing force. When all seemed lost, she began gathering the Tradition at her studio-chantry in upstate New York, and staging plays, ballets, and ritual-theather. Standish’s genius had always been the re-interpretation of old myths and primal forces in new ways, and her works were often in collaboration with Asian or Middle Eastern composers and st designers. Standish was chosen for her ability to influence through an understanding of the Tradition from margin to center. A stubborn pioneer in her own field, Standish has a passionate dislike of the status quo, and pushes the New Horizon Council to stay committed to the changes under which it was formed.

Factions

  • Historical
    • K’an Lu – As influential was they are, K’an Lu have become scarce and are heard of less and less often by the Traditions. Whether they are leaving the physical world, going extinct or simply being silent is anyone’s guess. A number are rumored to have come to North America to teach, but these remain rumors at best. The Silver Bridges, who are one of the few who seek them out, have noted close association with the Akashics, but don’t know what to make of it.
      • Common Focus:
        • Paradigms: Bring Back the Golden Age, Creation Is Innately Divine & Alive, Everything is an Illusion, Prison or Mistake, Ancient Wisdom is the Key, Transcend Your Limits, The Ancestors Watch Over Us
        • Practices: Yoga, Medicine Work, Crazy Wisdom, Invigoration, God-Bonding
        • Instruments: Meditation, Blood and Other Fluids, Bodywork, Brews, Potions, Powders, and Other Concoctions, Dances, Gestures, Postures, and Other Movement Practices, Energy, Eye Contact, Ordeals and Exertion, Prayers and Invocations, Sex and Sensuality, Offerings and Sacrifices, Transgression, Body Modification
    • Fellowship of Pan – Recently, the Fellowship has seen an upsurge in membership. The Fellowship absorbed much of the militant Maenad faction of Dionysian women and the pagan Kiss of Astarte. Both groups had lost the support of some obscure supernatural faction during the Storm, and without their patron support they had to ban together or fade into obscurity.
      • Common Focus
        • Bring Back the Golden Age, Creation Is Innately Divine & Alive, It’s All Good – Have Faith, One-Way Trip to Oblivion, All Power Comes from God(s), Ancient Wisdom is the Key, All the World’s a Stage, Transcend Your Limits,
        • Practices: High Ritual Magick,Bardism, Invigoration, Medicine Work
        • Instruments: Artwork, Blessings or Curses, Blood and Other Fluids, Brews, Potions, Powders, and Other Concoctions, Crossroads and Crossing Days, Cups, Chalices, Cauldrons, and Other Vessels, Dances, Gestures, Postures, and Other Movement Practices, Drugs and Poisons, Eye Contact, Fashion, Food and Drink, Group Rites, Music, Offerings and Sacrifices, Ordeals and Exertion, Prayers and Invocations, Sacred Iconography, Sex and Sensuality, Voice and Vocalizations, Transgression
    • Erzuli Jingo  – During the Storm, the faction turned to more mundane concerns, and drew and avid Sleeper following as a result. At the end of the 1990s they were simply fighting to keep their ways alive in the face of modernity, but the 21st century with its renewed interest in magic and roots cultures have seen their ranks grown, particularly among black people in North American cities.
      • Common Focus:
        • Paradigms: Creation Is Innately Divine & Alive, It’s All Good – Have Faith, All Power Comes from God(s), Ancient Wisdom is the Key, The Ancestors Watch Over Us
        • Practices: Vodoun, Craftwork, Faith, Maleficia, Medicine Work, Witchcraft, God-Bonding, Mediumship
        • Instruments: Artwork, Blessings & Curses, Blood and Other Fluids, Bones, Skin, Organs, and Other Remains, Brews, Potions, Powders, and Other Concoctions, Cards, Dice, and Other Instruments of Chance, Crossroads and Crossing Days, Circles and Designs, Dances, Gestures, Postures, and Other Movement Practices, Drugs and Poisons, Fashion, Food & Drink, Group Rites, Herbs, Roots, Seeds, Flowers, and Plants, Household Tools & Implements, Knots and Ropes, Languages, Music, Money & Wealth, Offerings and Sacrifices, Ordeals and Exertion, Prayers and Invocations, Sacred Iconography Symbols, Voice and Vocalizations
    • Vratyas – The mysterious and powerful Vratyas still remain secluded and enigmatic in their Nepal stronghold. They may be the spiritual heart of the Tradition, but few are willing to make the sacrifices required in order to learn those secrets. Only the Silver Bridges are willing to make the trek, but they come more as anthropologists than apprentices. Still,  the knowledge that emerges from these meetings is sublime and deep.
      • Common Focus
        • Paradigms: Bring Back the Golden Age, Creation Is Innately Divine & Alive, Everything is an Illusion, Prison or Mistake, Transcend Your Limits, Ancient Wisdom is the Key, Consciousness is the Only True Reality, The Ancestors Watch Over Us
        • Practices: Invigoration, Medicine Work, God-Bonding
        • Instruments: Bodywork, Meditation, Energy, Prayers and Invocations, Ordeals and Exertion, Sacred Iconography, Voice and Vocalizations, Dances, Gestures, Postures, and Other Movement Practices, Body Modification, Transgression
  • Dissidents Against Ananda
    • Acharne – Obscure, elite, and down right transgressive, Acharne have slunk into the 21st century.  The Acarne have always toed the line of acceptability within the Tradition, but during the heydays of the Ascension War, the Cult turned a blind eye to some of their practices because they were willing and able to solve problems in ways the mainstream Tradition would not. Circumstances have changed, however. The Tradition has taken steps to try to put the faction back in the box, as it were, something the Acharne have resisted. After all, their skills as psychic torturers was very handy to the Traditions once upon a time, and just how effective they were at discovering an enemies secrets and weaknesses remains a dark secret of the Tradition. In response to efforts to marginalize them once again, the mystery cult turned inward. They still operates a loose, insular network of 21st century Hellfire Clubs across the Western world (which they rarely leave). If they emerge, it is to trade for Tass of very specific Resonances. There are rumors of a growing Lilithian cult within the Acharne that may or may not be guiding the direction of the faction.What they are doing with these magical resources isn’t understood, and the Tradition as a whole has begun to ask questions.
      • Common Focus
        • Paradigms: Consciousness is the Only True Reality, Transcend Your Limits, Turning the Keys to Reality, Might is Right
        • Practices: High Ritual Magick, Invigoration, The Art of Desire, Dominion
        • Instruments: Blood and Other Fluids,  Bodywork, Drugs and Poisons, Eye Contact, Fashion, Group Rites, Knots and Ropes, Sex & Sensuality, Social Domination, Ordeals and Exertion, Tricks & Illusions, Weapons, Body Modification, Medical Procedures, Transgression
    • Aghoris – Modern times have not been kind to the Aghoris. With their Masters are gone, they are crippled leaving them with little to no political or material power.  During the Storm, the members scrambled to break the karmic bonds resorting to militancy and extreme practices, even for them. Today, there are too few of them to be of any consequence, and they are rarely seen in the Western World. The Silver Bridges have made some attempts to help them modernize, but their venerable practices make this difficult.
      • Common Focus
        • Paradigms: Creation Is Innately Divine & Alive, Bring Back the Golden Age, Everything is an Illusion, Prison or Mistake, Transcend Your Limits, Consciousness is the Only True Reality, Ancient Wisdom is the Key, The Ancestors Watch Over Us, One-Way Trip to Oblivion
        • Practices: Medicine Work, Yoga, Invigoration
        • Instruments: Bodywork, Bones, Skin, Organs, and Other Remains, Books, Scrolls, and Periodicals, Body Modification, Transgression, Meditation, Drugs & Poisons, Ordeals and Exertion
    • Hagalaz – Hagalaz have always been the martial arm of the Tradition, and in the days before the Storm, the Hagalaz went all out against the Technocracy pogroms. Most of the faction were lost to the Cauls or Valhalllah. The remaining membership split over increasing white nationalist militancy. Both sides of the divide believe that a return to traditional Norse culture and values, to one degree or another, is the right course of action, but they differ sharply on what that means. One wing believes that culture is purely social, and anyone with the appropriate initiation can gain access to it. They have recruited from among the diaspora of Nordic neo-pagans in order to fill out its flagging membership. The other believes in strict purity of the bloodlines, and only recruit from those they perceive to be of the “proper lineages”. This divide has crippled the Hagalaz with inter-factional skirmishes becoming increasingly common, making organizing beyond the cabal level impossible. The mainstream Tradition has quietly encouraged this to keep the Hagalaz occupied, and using it as an opportunity to Tribunal the problem elements of the faction.  Both sides can be found among the heavy-metal subcultures, mostly in Northern Europe, peddling paganism, fighting for or against racism, and selling speed. When the Spinx comes calling, however, the Hagalaz are the first to answer the call.
      • Common Focus:
        • Paradigms: Creation Is Innately Divine & Alive, Might is Right, One-Way Trip to Oblivion, All Power Comes from God(s), All the World’s a Stage, Ancient Wisdom is the Key, Transcend Your Limits, Embrace the Threshold, The Ancestors Watch Over Us, All the World’s a Stage
        • Practices: Bardism, Gutter Magick, High Ritual Magick, Shamanism, Maleficia, Medicine Work, Witchcraft, God-Bonding, Invigoration, Ancestor Worship
        • Instruments: Weapons, Armor, Music, Artwork, Blessings or Curses, Blood and Other Fluids, Bones, Skin, Organs, and Other Remains, Books, Scrolls, and Periodicals, Brews, Potions, Powders, and Other Concoctions, Crossroads and Crossing Days, Cups, Chalices, Cauldrons, and Other Vessels, Dances, Gestures, Postures, and Other Movement Practices, Drugs and Poisons, Fashion, Food and Drink, Group Rites, Household Tools & Implements, Ordeals and Exertion, Offerings and Sacrifices, Prayers and Invocations, Social Domination, Writings, Inscriptions, and Runes, Body Modification, Transgression
  • Progressivists
    • Joybringers – The Joybringers comprise the largest faction of Ecstatics. Remarkably diversein its membership, the Joybringers are considered to be the mainstream of modern Ecstatic society. More concerned with bringing heaven to Earth, the Storm did little to diminish their spirits. The have ridden the wave of wellness culture and the surge of interesting neo-psychedelic culture to swell their numbers. Joybringers are on the forefront of the intellectual Ascension War with their probably appealing message. There is a dark side to the Joybringers, however. During the Storm, many of their members were lost to despair and fell to drug induced Quiets they have yet to emerge from. Some went incurably mad, and joined the ranks of the Marauders. Joybringers believe this shadow can be integrated, but must approach it carefully or it will consume them. To many Joybringers, the Sphinx represent an outmoded way of fighting the Ascension War, but others are willing to take action. What they agree on is that the key to the Ascension War lies with the Sleepers, not the mysterious mages behind the Sphinx.
    • Dissonance Society – While the Joybringersseek a fairly peaceful means to advance beyond whathas come before, the Dissonance Society wants to overthrow society as a whole and start again. To achieve this, the Dissonance Society has become part anarchist revolution, part philosophical club.The Society uses various methods to fight the establishment, ranging from public debate and litigation to violence in the street and terrorism. The Dissonance Society has embraced the 21st century demonstrating you can either break the machine’s rules or you can break it from within. Their membership ranges from lawyers, computer hackers, and politicians to activists, punks, and counter culture figures. Prepared for new order of things, the Sphinx’s message was welcomed by many, but in true rebel fashion everyone has a slightly different opinion. Others remain critically skeptical.
    • Klubwerks – While the masters battled in heaven, Klubwerks were bringing humanity together in to fresh beats in warehouses and forests. The music might have changed, but the approach is the same, and its working. Klubwerks is now the second largest faction in the Tradition which has forced the Traditions as a whole to finally recognize them for the force that they are. By far the most gregarious of the Tradition, they have ties to many of the other Traditions and their mix of technology, music, and ecstasy speaks transcends culture. The Tradition looks to the Klubwerks to help transmit its ideas through music. As for the Sphinx, Klubwerks is happy to include their transmissions in their sets, but lets people decide for themselves.
    • Common Focus
      • Paradigms:  Creation Is Innately Divine & Alive, It’s All Good – Have Faith, Consciousness is the Only True Reality, Transcend Your Limits, Embrace the Threshold, Turning the Keys to Reality, We’re All God(s) In Disguise, All The World’s A Stage
      • Practices: The Art of Desire, Chaos Magick, Medicine Work, Reality Hacking, High Ritual Magick, Bardism, Yoga to name a few, but Progressivists have very eclectic practices.
      • Instruments: Bodywork, Brews, Potions, Powders, and Other Concoctions, Celestial Alignments, Crossroads and Crossing Days, Dances, Gestures, Postures, and Other Movement Practices, Drugs and Poisons, Eye Contact, Fashion, Meditation, Food and Drink, Group Rites, Mass Media, Music, Artwork, Ordeals and Exertion, Sex and Sensuality, Social Domination, Body Modification,  Transgression, but Progressivists have a variety of instruments.
  • Political Factions
    • Children’s Crusade – This faction was largely untouched by the Storm due to their concerns being squarely with children. They have their hands full in the 21st century, and many members have taken to the Digital Web with prevention (and vigilante) efforts. The Crusade has found themselves in an enviable yet awkward position with in  Tradition politics. With their deep understanding of children some have made discreet inquiries as to how the Ascension War could, perhaps, be won within the dreams of Sleeper children. The Crusade recognizes that children are the future, and an opportunity exists to beat back the Technocracy’s hold. To do so they must walk a fine line between encouraging children to dream, and brainwashing children as the Technocracy does. If they aren’t careful they could easily fall into the same trap their rivals have.
    • Cult of Acceptance – Like the Children’s Crusade, the Cult of Acceptance have also taken to the Internet and the Digital Web in order to advance their political agenda.
    • Silver Bridges – The Silver Bridges agenda of reshaping Sleeper spirituality hasn’t changed, but the perimeters of their work have. They now see conservatism within the historical factions of the Sahajiya and other Traditions as being a major factor in the survival of magick. They have been opening dialogues with these factions in the hopes of eithr gently busting through the orthodoxy or at least helping to presere their practices for the future. This has had mixed results as cultural barriers and orthodoxies make things difficult, but the Sahajiya are, if anything, persistent in their commitment to finding new paths.

Sahajiya In Los Angeles

From L.A.’s music scene to its passion for yoga, meditation, and wellness, the Sahjiaya find Southern California something of a paradise. . The Sahjiaya had their heyday in the 1960s, and are arguably the most influential Tradition in California. Sahajiya were (in part) behind the music, the occult revivals, and the psychedelic revolution of that era. Ascension seemed all but assured. This came crashing in when Summer of Love ended in murder. To the Sahajiya, this is all just a work in progress. Just as the Tradition factions try to foster political change, they try to promote social movements that’ll open the doors of perception. The Tradition continues to keep such activities alive by promoting repeat performances, aid concerts and peaceful demonstrations that recall the activists ofthe ’60s and ’70s. For a time-spanning group of seers,this isn’t history at all; it’s society in motion.  The Tradition can be found everywhere in the City of Angels. Joybringers work with homeless, the Dissonance Society pushes for harm reduction and safer consumption sites,and Klubwerks throws underground parties all over the city

Aesop “The Professor” Warren can be found most days nursing a hangover in a rundown club-chantry callled the 13th Hour Club. It is said to exist somewhere in (or out) of time on Central Avenue, but legends say that to find it you have to tap into the right rhythm. If you spot him a smoke he’ll tell you about how Los Angeles could have been…