As an introduction, I will tell you fine folks about something that happened to me on the Winter Solstice of this year, exactly eight days ago now. I easily count this as one of the most major events in my life as an occult practitioner.
On the morning of the Winter Solstice, I saw Eris, in the flesh, in the parking lot outside a 7-11.
Every word of this story is completely true. This is how it went down:
On a whim, I stopped at 7-11 to get a cup of coffee. As I got out of my car, I saw a woman standing on the sidewalk outside the store. She had short grey hair and was wearing several layers of clothes, and a pair of headphones. She was smoking a cigarette, and dancing.
I immediately smiled to myself. The woman looked at me and smiled back. She had huge eyes, very wide, that looked like they knew something that no one else around her knew, something she found very, very funny. She did not "look crazy."
"Hello, pretty lady," she said. "Nice weather, isn't it?"
And, at that very second, it started snowing. Big, velvety flakes.
I just nodded my head, smiled even wider at the serendipitous coincidence of the moment, and suddenly thought to myself, "You know, she looks familiar."
I went inside and poured myself some coffee. When I went up to the counter, the cashier, who I've seen there before and normally doesn't look like she enjoys her job very much, had a huge goofy grin on her face.
I smiled back at her. Both of us started laughing and looked at the windows at the front, where the grey-haired woman was now watching the people in the store from outside, laughing and talking intermittently to herself, like someone watching a T.V. show they particularly enjoy.
"How long has she been out there?" I asked.
"About an hour," the cashier answered. "She came in earlier, got a pack of cigarettes, gave me a twenty and refused to take the change from me. She said I could keep it."
I paid for my coffee, the cashier and I exchanged another smile, and I walked outside. When I opened the door, there was a huge SUV parked at the gas pumps.
Two middle-aged men, both in expensive-looking suits, were trying to pump gas into the SUV as quickly as possible. They both looked absolutely terrified, and the source of their terror was the grey-haired woman, who was now standing two yards away from the SUV, facing the men. She was, for want of better words, dancing at them, cackling loudly and doing a crazy arm-waggling boogie while the men tried to pretend they didn't see her and failed.
At that very moment, as if I was remembering the name of an acquaintance from high school, I suddenly thought, "Oh, that must be Eris. She's dance-cursing Greyface."
It seemed in that moment to be the most natural thing in the world.
The rationalist, intellectual part of my brain didn't kick in until I had driven two blocks away and sat in my car, waiting for a long freight train to pass. Wait, what? Eris? You think you just saw a Greek diety dancing in a parking lot outside 7-11?
And, just as the "voice of reason" finished piping up inside my brain, a train car passed with one word tagged on it in huge, white spraypainted letters.
And I started laughing again, hysterically.
Seconds later, another message passed by, also painted in white.
"Fulfill your desires"