Category Archives: Mysticism

One Shining Hour: Cabal Fang Martial Arts Training Involution #159

Exclusive of warm up, transitions and cool down, this T.I. is one hour of action.

Make this your shining hour.

Put out like this is your one shot for an Olympic gold medal or it’s your black belt exam.  Put out like Mom and Dad are watching you fight to free nuns and orphan babies from a concentration camp. 

All we want is all you’ve got.

One Shining Hour: Cabal Fang Martial Arts Training Involution #159

  • Warm up for at least 8 minutes.
  • 10:00 half pyramid of BackNeck Bridge, Prison Push-ups, Ankle Picks and Get-ups.  See how high you can climb before the timer beeps (I almost finished my 9th rep of each).  Beginners sub Back Bridge for Back Neck Bridge, regular Push-ups for the Prisons, Lunges for the Ankle Picks, etc.  as needed.  Modify, adapt and overcome.
  •  10:00 on the heavy bag.  No round breaks and no pussyfooting around.  Take as few 12-count breaks as you need to survive this nightmare.
  • 10:00 run.  See how much ground you can cover before the timer beeps.
  • Cool down for 5:00.
  • 30 minutes of contemplation, mediation or prayer (your choice).

Yes, I sometimes use homemade dice to create random drills. That right there is nerd fitness.

TETRADITE a poem

Tetradite

I threw out all my artifacts today
Remnants of the bad ideas and dead end rites
Lithic shards and Plutonic dunites
Forbidden papyrus unearthed along the way

I searched for two pillars, one white, one black
At a confluence of rivers, no going back

I release the curses down to hell
Let them fall with my old relics
With the mad herbs and psychedelics
Tetradite now, all prayers, no spells

I stood between two pillars, one white, one black
At a confluence of rivers, no going back

This singular act of adaptation nigh
True without falsehood, certain as spring
Is to accomplish the miracles of just one thing
To be alive and let my old self die

I stand beyond two pillars, one white, one black
Past a confluence of rivers, no going back


“Hey Mitch, what’s this poetry thing all about?” I want to collaborate with Blue Öyster Cult and I’m hoping the Öyster Boys will think this would make a good lyric.

Did you know I wrote a paranormal/mystery/romance book inspired by Blue Öyster Cult’s lyrical themes?  Click here to download it here for free!

The cover to my book “Chatters on the Tide” inspired by the music of Blue Öyster Cult

My Yoke Is Easy and My Burden Is Light

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)

My stole resting on my home altar

Last night I entered the transitional diaconate, was elevated to deacon, and accepted my deacon stole.  I am a transitional deacon because I will be continuing toward ordination in the priesthood¹ rather than remaining a deacon permanently.

The word deacon derives from the Greek diákonos meaning “servant.”  When I look at some of the most famous deacons in history its clear I have big shoes to fill.  St. Francis of Assisi was a deacon, as was the first Christian martyr, St. Stephen.

But although I don’t feel worthy of this responsibility my heart is still full of joy and gladness because, it seems to me, this feeling of unworthiness only means that I am appropriately humble before Christ through whom all things are possible.

My sincerest thanks and blessings to Brother Leo for standing with me in the ceremony, to Bishop Katia, Bishop Timothy and Father Erik for the trust, education and direction, and to all of the other students in the seminary  — without your participation and energy there would be no seminary for us all to benefit from and enjoy.  And thanks also to my wife and family for your support and for the sacrifices you’ve made so that I can do this work.

But most of all, thanks to God.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

John 15:5


¹ My seminary is in the Old Catholic line in which priests are permitted to be married.

 

AZIMUTH a poem

Azimuth

Nihility, lack of ability, post truth fragility
Thanatophility, intractability, lies and puerility
I won’t be protesting Bilderberg this year
I’m staying home for the season finale and a beer

My old conspiracies gave way way to social media
Men in black have been replaced by deep fake ophidia
I watch steam rising from boiling old avenues
Giving rise to clouds about the azimuth

I search for a torch to drive away this fog
For a light, a lost pyramid or its analog
Maybe there’s a banner of stars temporarily obscured
We could find out there, I can’t be sure

So I ignore the haze and recall the old magic spell
Hand over heart turning my back to this hell
I say the words king and queen forbade
And invoke the oath our ancestors made

Fidem meam obligo vexillo Civitatum Foederatarum Americae et Rei Publicae, cuius vicem gerit, uni nationi, sub Deo, individuae, praebenti libertatem iustitiamque omnibus.


“Hey Mitch, what’s this all about?” I want to collaborate with Blue Öyster Cult and I’m hoping the Öyster Boys will think this would make a good lyric. Read more here.

Firefly Style: Cabal Fang Martial Arts Training Involution #157

“If you can’t run, you walk.  If you can’t walk, you crawl.  If you can’t crawl, you find someone to carry you.”

This week’s T.I. is about understanding the power of realizing you are not alone.

Yesterday, when I did this week’s T.I., I thought of the above quote from Firefly, one of my favorite TV shows.  This T.I. was so hard that the only way I could make it through was to think about the fact that if we were training together — me, you, and the rest of the Cabal Fang crew — none of us would ever let anybody quit.

So I imagined you were there with me, that you were there encouraging me, helping me, making suggestions on how to modify exercises,  and asking me to dig deep.

Your brothers and sisters in Cabal Fang are right there with you.  Now go get it done.

Firefly Style: Cabal Fang Martial Arts Training Involution #157

  • Warm up for a full 8 minutes.
  • 3 sets of HSPUs to failure.  If you can’t do HSPUs, do Jackknife Push-ups.  If you can’t do them, do Regular Push-ups.
  • 3 sets of Squats. 2 x 5 + 1 set to failure.  Pick a weight that works for you (I used 110 lbs).
  • 10 x 10 yards of Heavy Bear Walks. Select two hex dumbbells.  Go way lighter than you think you need.  I used 10 pounders.  Bear Walk with dumbbells in hand for 10 yards.  Stop and do 10 Push-ups with a Plank Row between, alternating sides.  Repeat 10 more times for a total of 100 yards of Bear Walks, 100 Push-ups and 100 Rows.
  • Unless you are Captain America, you are going to fail at this.  When you do start failing, imagine me and all of the other people in Cabal Fang working right there with you.  If you gas on the Bear Walks, drop the dumbbells and go on without them.  If you gas on the Push-ups or Plank Rows, come up and do them on knees.  Switch to lighter dumbbells halfway through if necessary.  Make whatever changes you have to make and take as many 12-count breaks as you need.  The only rule is don’t give up.
  • Cool down for 3 minutes.
  • Stretch and practice contemplation.
  • Record what you learned in your training journal.

Pinking Shears and Fishers of Men

Pop passed away back in 2008 and Mom followed him in 2016.  But the home in which I was raised — the home my parents bought for nine thousand dollars in 1962, back when nine thousand dollars was a lot of money — is still in the family.

Although the house has been rented out for almost ten years now,  Mom and Pop have yet to be driven out.   They are in that house, in every crack, nook and cranny.  A house that old, inhabited for so long by a family, cannot be emptied of its essence in a mere decade.

Their belongings still come to the surface in that house, emerging like clay tablets from the sands of Mesopotamia.  Things are drawn out from the backs of closets.  They shake free, fall out, bubble up.  Slivers of paper, notes, ballpoint pens.  Old keys.

The other night I was over there getting ready for the next tenant and I found a tiny box in the attic.  It contained a letter and a Bible.  The letter is dated November 19, 1957 and was sent from my grandmother to my father to wish him a happy birthday while he was in basic training at Fort Gordon, GA.  The Bible is The Testament for Fishers of Men. and the inscription says it was given to him my Aunt Jane in 1954.

Tucked inside the Bible was a newspaper clipping my mother gave him.  How do I know Mom gave it to him?  Because it was cut out with pinking shears, and because it’s a love poem.  My mother was many things.  First, she was the woman who loved my father most.  Second, she was an accomplished seamstress who definitely owned a pair of pinking shears.  I know this because I still have her shears stowed away in an old sewing box.

Here’s the poem, a love message from Mom to Pop from long ago.

This Much I Promise

This much I promise you my sweet
By all the stars above
There is no other soul on earth
To whom I give my love
I cannot promise I will be
The picture of perfection
Or that you will not know a day
Of sorrow or dejection
I cannot sear that you will use
A gold or silver spoon
I cannot pledge a kingdom or
The surface of the moon
For I am only human as
A being God created
And I can only undertake
The things He contemplated
But I can promise  you this much
Whatever else I do
I love you, and as long as life
I will be true to you.

Real Deal Basics: Cabal Fang Martial Arts Training Involution #156

This week’s T.I. marks the third anniversary of the weekly program — the sixth anniversary counting the original protocol.  Sometimes, when I go on vacation like last week, I re-post previous T.I.s. But mostly you get something fresh every week. 

Being fresh ain’t easy, because martial arts aren’t as much about exploring new territory as they are about knowing the road map of fighting like the back of your hand.  Self-defense requires fight-specific strength and complete, automatic command of the basics.

That’s why I often re-combine essential ingredients to give freshness to the essentials — kind of the way Taco Bell creates new products from the same basic meat, cheese, sauce and tortillas.  Those of you have been doing C.F.T.I.s for a few years will recognize some familiar ingredients in #156 for sure.

Real Deal Basics: Cabal Fang Martial Arts Training Involution #156

  • Ideally you will have two heavy bags –one hanging/standing and  one for the floor.  Substitute a large gym bag full of gear for the floor bag or make one.
  • Warm up for a full eight minutes by doing multiple mini-sets at 50% effort.
  • Set timer for 5 x 3:00 (beginners 5 x 1:00, intermediate 5 x 2:00).  Rounds go as follows: HB Shrimps, HB Bridges and Reverses, Punches, Kicks, and Clinch Work.  Take as few 12-count breaks as needed to finish standing up.  See video below for details.
  • Perform the Salutations of Sun and Moon per the Cabal Fang Study Guide.  Our internal focus this month is The Luminaries and our external focus is Evasion.  More on evasion next week.