Wizarding in the Wild West

Masters Mortimer and

 Benjamin Blackburn's

School   

for the

Alchemical

    Arts

Mental Health Retreats

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The philosophy of the world of Wizarding in the Wild West is to help individuals grow in personal knowledge and power. We do this through fostering creativity and through teaching principles of healthy living.

Our mental health retreats assist individuals who seek to improve the quality of their mental health. We teach them how to take control of their decisions, own the consequences of their actions, to identify the lasting principles that undergird these ideas,and practice applying the new concepts in a variety of ways.

Our mental health retreats are initiated and managed through Masters Mortimer and Benjamin Blackburn's School for the Alchemical Arts. These experiences are of an intimate personal nature and reflect an internal adventure of the soul as seen through the lenses of both mythic story and alchemical truths; our retreats are an extension of our immersive play, and as such, we encourage each participant to take the time to familiarize themselves with our story and create a character that reflects a part of themselves. This will allow the individual the safety of anonymity and freedom to play under the protection of make-believe, encouraging essential vulnerability within a protected place.

Retreats can last anywhere from two to six hours a day, usually depending on the day, and occur throughout a period of a single week. We begin on Monday and culminate on the following Sunday.

 

1. Lay Your Foundation 
Establishing Spiritual Routines

Participants learn about and work on applying a variety of techniques alchemists use for developing spiritual intuition.

3. Influencing Your Own Feelings
Establishing a Positive Attitude

Participants engage in a variety of activities that engage the body and mind. Activities are oriented to train and reinforce lasting positive behaviors.

5. Building Up Your Natural Defenses
Learning to Set Boundaries

Participants learn about the various ways in which boundaries are breached that lead to continued rooting of false beliefs. Participants learn techniques for recognizing boundary crossings. Participants then learn how to set sufficient boundaries in order to maintain inner peace.

7. Limitations of Your Stewardship
Discerning Your Proper Roles

Throughout the week participants learn to understand and ponder the boundaries of thier own responsibilities in relation to others.

2. Possessing Your Tabernacle
Learning Mastery of the Body

Participants engage in a variety of physical activities designed to overcome fears, awaken the senses, and integrate the body and mind. They also discover activities that inspire emotional engagement

4. Closing the Breaches Within
Rooting Out False Beliefs

Participants engage in meaningful and insightful discussions that highlight the roots of mental dysfunction. They then engage in exercises that help them identify and root out false ideas of their own that affect their relationships with others and the world around them.

6. Believing In Your Intrinsic Value
Accepting What Has Already Been Determined

Throughout the week participants are exposed to and encouraged to ponder their intrinsic value and the repercussions of this fundamental truth.


RETREAT 1: Laying Your Foundation

 

Establishing Spiritual Routines

OBJECTIVE

Establishing a source of spiritual guidance. Learn to recognize and seek voices that inspire love, peace, and good will. Learn to distinguish this influence from feelings of shame, fear, anxiety, and hopelessness. Learn to reject, turn off, and dismiss those influences whereby these voices emerge in our day to day lives.

THE STORY

The djinn are taking over the world. They are the disembodied source of evil in the world, and can tempt and dominate anyone who gives them power. At this stage of the world, they can readily possess and influence almost any politician or institution. They do this through fear and coercion. The magical peoples of the world will fall to them if they don't discover and learn how to overcome their influence and act independent of their control.

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The good alchemists of the world have discovered the key to overcoming the djinn. This is done through successive levels of deep internal understanding and personal development.

The first level of growth comes by recognizing the difference between the good and bad influences. This is done through learning to recognize the disembodied voices we hear, and then learning to discern the fruits of these entities within us.

During the first quest, we will help participants to learn to hear these voices and learn to recognize which ones are helpful and good, and which ones will destroy them. We will also provide training and exercises to help participants to cultivate the good voices inside themselves.

The magical peoples must engage in the practices of cultivating their intuitions and spiritual organs. 

CURRICULUM

Coercion started in the beginning with Satan when he proposed the alternative to the Father's plan. It wasn't just a glib shortcut approach, it was a possessive dark magic that would allow him and his followers to influence and control us once we forgot where we came from. Coercion doesn't just take away our agency; it is a syringe whereby false belifs are injected into us, where they fester and act out in our life. They root in us and send up fruiting bodies where new dark ideas find soil and root, and perpetuate into forests of darkness within and without.

Coercion and the ideas that lead to force, shame, fear, and belittlement are from the djinn, and love, lifting, patience, and forbearance come from the djann.

God always uses love and inspiration and lifting in order to inspire us.

WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE

Reflecting on experiences you’ve had where you’ve felt those things, and determining where those feeling come from.

Acknowledging where acting on those feelings led you to.

 

Recognizing when you feel them, and what you might do to resist listening.

 

What you might do to cultivate those feelings.

 

Engage in activities that awaken the good feelings; service, reading literature and listening to music and absorbing media that inspire these feelings. Creativity that lifts and inspires good will, beauty, truth, and constructive play.

 

Avoiding those things that awaken fear, shame, and belittlement of others.

 

Activities we can do together to awaken these feelings amongst the members of the group. Opportunity to share and lift each other.

Throughout the week, magical participants will be trained in the practices of the Good Alchemist. Insight and intuition will be cultivated through a combinations of ideas and practices that will be encouraged and discussed at great length amongst the participants. These activities will culminate in a meeting where participants will be invited to share what they learned with the group.

CONCLUSIONS

Without learning how to first control themselves and seek knowledge from the djann, the magical peoples will fail and be possessed of the djinn. The djann are the unspoken supernatural followers of light that can be sought and engaged with if the proper tools are used. They will be overrun by the spirits of evil who seek to destroy the peace and serenity meant for the  peoples and creatures of this world.

 

RETREAT 2: Possessing Your Tabernacle

Learning Mastery of the Body

OBJECTIVE

Participants engage in a variety of physical activities designed to overcome fears, awaken the senses, and integrate the body and mind. They also discover activities that inspire emotional engagement.

THE STORY

The djinn seek to take over our bodies and destroy our ability to act for ourselves. By strengthening our bodies, we begin to build a bulwark against the influence of the these spirits. We cast out the evil and build up our natural ability to possess our own bodies through taking initiative and a proactive approach; we integrate the body and mind and cultivate an integrated and unified purpose in both.

CURRICULUM

In order to increase our control and power over the world around us, we can treat our bodies as temples of our spirits. When we relinquish our power, evil can act through our bodies. We can strengthen our ability to dismiss these influences. We can learn to act and not be acted upon by these influences. 

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We can improve and increase our body's capacity for function. We can also maximize our body's function and utility by exposing it to increasing stimuli; it will improve over time, and increase our capacity for action. Our body is our stewardship.  

The way we use certain substances can invite certain djinn into our bodies. When we relinquish our control and seek for experiences that do not increase our self restraint, respect, and purpose, we can open ourselves up to the djinn.

Our body has a connection to the rest of our soul. The body possesses the mind like the mind possesses the emotions. The spirit possesses the body like the body possesses the mind. This hierarchal relationship is central to healthy spiritual, mental, and emotional health.

Our body is possessed by our spirit. It is the instrument our our purpose and the tool of our being in bringing about our desires and goals. As we improve and take care of this instrument, we gain access to greater control and power to accomplish that which we set out to achieve. When we neglect to account for these truths, our lives erupt in dysfunction.

WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE

Discussions

As a group, we discuss the ideas of how the various parts of the soul are designed to be integrated.

Exercise.

We organize a list of physical activities that help participants engage with their bodies. We also talk nutrition and provide meal planning with recipes and cook as a group. We plan for different body types. 

Rock climbing, canyoneering, soccer, jiu jitsu, weight lifting, swimming, pickleball, dance. We discuss looking for activities that tie into our purpose or innate desires. We help match participants to activities that play to their emotional desires and strengths.

Meal preparation.

We cook with you one meal a day. Soups, salads, meats, desserts

Nutrition.

We discuss the ideals of body types and goals. Using what inspires you to outline a path for you. Using that vision to motivate and deter temptations from the path. Replacing temptation with something akin to our desires but that doesn't undermine our goals. Using temperance and nutritional budgeting in order to help us to get to where we want to go.

CONCLUSIONS

Engaging in motivating physical activities helps us strengthen ourselves, and bolsters our power against influences that would seek to destroy and tear us down. As we strengthen and maintain the proper hierarchal relationships within ourselves, we will begin to find more peace and power within ourselves.

 

RETREAT 3. Influencing Your Own Feelings

Establishing a Positive Attitude

OBJECTIVE

To help them realize that you have more power over your state of mind than initially assumed. Establishing new patterns of behavior that assist us in creating a culture within ourselves that reinforces the good in our minds and builds up our hearts.

 

THE STORY

These evil spirits deceive us as they whisper and convince us that we must stay in the frame of mind of sadness; it will always be this way, so we might as well not even attempt. And any who suggest or encourage us to look beyond are agents that would hurt us and must be removed or torn down out of our presence.

CURRICULUM

Walking and practicing the technique of connecting to our bodies while enumerating the three best things that happened to us and deducting the conclusions we might draw about ourselves as a result.

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Ask do I actually know what I want? Do I listen to my own inner voices? What do they say to me? Are they caustic? Damaging? Negative? Why do they say these things to me? Do I listen to these voices? How does my behavior change as I listen? How do I change this?

What desires do I have that I suppress? Why? What might happen if I listen to these desires? Where are they coming from? How do I remove these desires if they are unhealthy or destructive? Why do I hesitate or resist those desires that aren't unhealthy?

Desires that are beautiful and healthy are meant to be fulfilled in time, but we must take accountability for them, and work to bring them to pass.

Learning to recognize, legitimize, and own your own unique desires; incorporating practices that acknowledge and encourage listing to your own feelings. Knowing that you own your own feelings, and that you have no responsibility to defer your feelings to another.

Learning about the nature of the world and how accountability and stewardship help us to take control over our own situations.

You have he ability to influence yourself more than any other entity. As you possess and take control of your own body, you gain power to act upon yourself according to your own desires.

These voices keep us from ever looking and finding potential pathways or roads we might go down that could lead to great happiness., but for the voice of coercion and demeaning that shame you from going there.

WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE

We recommend each participant take a 20-30 minute brisk walk each day where they walk fast enough so that they would not be capable of talking on the phone.

As they walk, their assignment is to contemplate the last 24 hours and to identify the three best experiences that have occurred in their day. 

Once you have identified these three things, practice considering what these three experiences might mean about you. Work to assess the implicit or inevitable conclusions these experiences imply about you. "I am valuable." "I am trustworthy."

CONCLUSIONS

Taking on the responsibility of your own positive outlook empowers and demonstrates to us that we have more power than we initially thought. This indicates and suggests to us that that there may be other ways in which we might be lacking personal accountability that could be improved upon. Our resulting state lends itself to future development.

 

RETREAT 4. Closing the Breaches Within

Rooting Out False Beliefs

OBJECTIVE

Help participants receive relief and freedom from evil and self-destructive thoughts that enter without their conscious invitation.

THE STORY

The djinn have easy access to our minds and hearts once we have been abused by others. If we are to take full responsibility for our actions, we must do what is necessary to close down the portals whereby they are acting upon us. As we root our these doorways into our minds, we find solace and power return to us.

CURRICULUM

Abuse is trauma. Abuse is any way our stewardship is falsely imposed on by others. Usually it manifests in us as physical or mental pain and anguish. It is often indicated in us by negative memories that happened years ago that still stay with us and bring us discomfort.

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Another way to define abuse and trauma is coercion, whether spiritual, physical, mental, or emotional. Coercion is the imposition of ones will on another whom we have no place or stewardship in acting on behalf of.

First, we must stop the active sources of coercion. Without this, we have little motivation to remove the traumas already done to us if more will soon replace them through our inaction.

Second, we must root out the false beliefs that have been left in us from coercion or abuse of the past. These beliefs cannot be removed simply by an act of thinking they are spiritual in nature, and must be dealt with on a higher level. They must be dealt with in a way that is spiritually on par with how they were put into us to begin with. Healing trauma often requires assistance from an outside source.

When we are traumatized or abused, aka coerced, coercion acts as a syringe to inject false beliefs into us. We accept these ideas by default. They are like spirits that possess us against our will. Unless these false ideas are processed and removed somehow, we are powerless and in their grip.

 

We have means whereby we can discover, cleanse, and heal these false beliefs. We do this by a special technique akin to EMDR.

WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE

Through a simple process that builds on and segues from ideas from previous retreats, a trained counselor works with each individual to carefully remember and relive past traumas in order to allow the individual to refute the ideas these traumas causes them to accept.

Recognizing the conclusions we draw from negative experiences is pivotal in reprocessing and undoing rooted false beliefs. The exercises that help us acknowledge and discern conclusions from positive experiences can be a powerful building block for those seeking to receive relief available through EMDR-type training.

CONCLUSIONS

Recognizing and removing the falsehoods that have been placed inside us from abuse empowers us to love ourselves and stop coercing ourselves from within and from without. This peace will flow naturally to us as we do what is necessary to uproot falsehoods we have within us. As we close up the breaches, we take responsibility for our own well being, and are prepared to be able to move forward in establishing active protections for ourselves as we move forward in establishing solid positive mental health for ourselves.

 

RETREAT 5. Building Up Your Natural Defenses

Learning to Set Boundaries

OBJECTIVE

Taking accountability for the continuation of hurts. Learning to recognize that you have power within your body mind, and emotions to be able to stop the continuation of your problems. Learning what those tools are, and then doing what is necessary to integrate them and use them in that way. 

 

Establish confidence in your ability to prevent future hurts by developing the skills to be able to recognize the source of hurt, and doing what is necessary in order to stop that injuring from continuing.

 

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THE STORY

Once we have closed down the djinn's ability to enter through our minds, we move to stopping them from entering through the actions of others who might impose coercion upon us. If we don't stop would-be abusers, we again become possessed of more false beliefs from that abuse. We must do whatever is necessary if we are to maintain our peace.

CURRICULUM

We can prevent others from acting upon us, and have the responsibility to take it upon ourselves to stop them when they do.

Anger can be useful inasmuch it provides the natural impetus to seek for a source of protection. It provides the engine whereby you might be incentivized to take action to protect yourself and prevent future harm. Anger is like fire though, and ought not be allowed to sit for a long period, otherwise it may canker your soul.

Rooting out false beliefs only is useful if you can preventing new false beliefs from entering later.

Preventing future abuse is essential in order to protect ourselves from introducing new false beliefs into us once the original ones have departed. We learn how to protect ourselves by establishing and maintaining new boundaries to keep others away from us who might cause us harm. We also must learn to recognize habits within ourselves that allow enabling abusive behaviors to persist, and therefore introduce new or old false beliefs into our psyches.

WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE

Recognizing when you are being hurt, and when false beliefs are being awakened within you from the actions of others in your life. Learning to stand up for yourself when they do these things and having the courage to confront them when they do. 

Having courage to remove those influences when they refuse to conform to your new expectations. Practice roleplays wherein we cross each others boundaries in iconic and typical ways, and practice standing up for ourselves so that we feel safe.

CONCLUSIONS

If we don't stand up for ourselves, we lose confidence and trust in ourselves, and struggle to progress in our journey as healed, whole, and integrated individuals who can live in peace with ourselves and those we invite into our lives.

 

RETREAT 6. Believing In Your Intrinsic Value

Accepting What Has Already Been Determined

OBJECTIVE

Root the belief that you are intrinsically valuable and you will preemptively fight back all false beliefs that might enter into you through any and all forms of abuse.

Help them to recognize and understand that they have infinite intrinsic worth; that it has nothing whatsoever to do with anything they do, that it can't be determined by their actions, that a spiritual truth cannot be defined by a physical action. Horcruxing our value into objects, whether our bodies, our actions, our behavior, our obedience, we are placing our value into an object that is less worthy of it; it has been determined by God, and cannot be unmade or dissolved. When we allow our value to be determined by physical objects or behaviors, we place a piece of our soul in a place it should not be, and when that thing is destroyed, it is as if a piece of our soul is destroyed. We need to take back any piece of our value that have been placed in physical objects by recognizing and accepting that our value has already been determined, and nothing we do will ever change that.

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THE STORY

The djinn have convinced us all to place pieces of our souls into physical objects, and then set in motion to destroy those objects.

We must recognize that our value never could be determined by a physical object; that God has set our value as infinite.  Once we withdraw those false determiners of our value, and accept and acknowledge, and believe in ourselves that we are infinitely valuable, we bolster and prevent the evil from entering into us; false beliefs are held strongly at bay, and we become shining lights, reflecting the value from God that we determined by him wholey independent of ourselves.

CURRICULUM

God has determined that our value is a reflection of the fact that we are his children. We have infinite value and worth, and nothing we do can ever change that. No matter what choices we make in our lives, no matter who we hurt of what we believe about ourselves, nothing will ever alter the truth that we are infinitely valuable.

WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE

Surrounding yourself with people who recognize, respect, and cultivate your infinite intrinsic worth is essential to establishing these beliefs within yourself. It is also essential to have done the necessary work within yourself to first root out false beliefs that may have been rooted in you from past trauma. It is also important to have separated yourself from those people or conditions under which these false beliefs might continue to be cultivated.

CONCLUSIONS

As you accept the truth that you are infinitely valuable, its protective influence holds back the dark and provides a source of light and warmth to others.

 

RETREAT 7. Limitations of Your Stewardship

Discerning Your Proper Roles

OBJECTIVE
Prevent participants from relying on revelation that would deceive them. Helping them review and recognize the lines of their authority and stewardship so that they might stay on the path set out for them by God.

THE STORY

The djinn wish to destroy us and bring us sadness and misery. If they can, they would convince us to do things to get what we want. However, sometimes we have desires that are not intended to be fulfilled in the time we would wish. It is essential that we learn the proper lessons God would have us learn and not rely on improper revelation in order to circumvent his purposes.

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CURRICULUM

Revelation flows readily to those who have cultivated the ability to listen to spiritual things. However, we must be careful to recognize that our rights to revelation are held and defined carefully by the limitations of our unique stewardship.

If we seek revelatory knowledge outside our stewardship, we can be possessed by spiritual influences that wish to harm us. We must be careful and watchful so that the knowledge we seek and the questions we ask do not impose on those outside our proper roles.

It would be wise to review and understand our unique stewardships spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally. To do so may prevent us from becoming confused and lost on our path to joy and lasting peace.

 

Once we have rooted out various sources of evil inspiration within and without, we must do what is necessary so that we do not invite it through not observing the boundaries set on us by God.

WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE

Review case studies and circumstances where individuals have received spiritual impressions that were outside their stewardship. Practice identifying the difference between good revelation and less holy inspiration. Continue listening to guidance from those who have the authority to offer advice; continue to practice recognizing the voices that awaken love and peace from those that awaken fear and anxiety. Practice taking accountability for those things under your responsibiites; if you make a mistake, own up to it and do what is necessary to make it right.

CONCLUSIONS

Peace will be the result if you continue to apply truths you learn. Maintaining awareness of the boundaries and limitations of your stewardship will allow you to remain safe and secure.

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