The Good Place is my favorite television series of all time, a moral philosophy comedy from the brilliant mind of Michael Schur, with the impeccable Kristen Bell and Ted Danson starrring alongside a brilliant cast. I don’t have much time to watch TV when I’m teaching 75 students, taking 3 classes, and writing like three academic papers at a time, but when I did this semester, I watched the Good Place and Bed and Breakfast for Spirits (Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi). Both nourished my soul in different, magical ways, and are very pagan in nature, from the demons and afterlives and damned in the Good Place, to the Miyazaki like kami and oni in Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi, with a liberal dose of kitchen witchery.
The Good Place always blows my mind, and in the midseason finale, they invade the Good Place, to which no soul, (not even Harriet Tubman!) has ventured to in over 500 years. The afterlife point system is so broken, no one is deemed worthy, even the most perfect man in the world is unsalvagable. But my favorite part of this season was Michael, Eleanor, Janet, Jason, Chidi, and Tahani returning to Earth to try and save their friends and family. This is ultimately a pointless task, as the whole point system is literally set up so virtually everyone will fail. The most touching scene was Tahani’s turbulent reunion with her sister Kamilah, wherein they realize they have loved each other all along. Followed by Chidi’s marshmallow peep chili breakdown in front of his students (which I can relate too, teaching young adults communication!), this was the best scene of the season.
Anyways, I’m excited for where the season will go when it returns in January. I have three pages of one more paper to finish due Monday, have gotten A’s on my other papers with my first quantitative study that can be publishable, and a lot of exciting academic research projects and papers for the break and next semester. All the grading is done, presentations are done, my students are homeward bound for the holidays, and despite a cough and cold, I am looking forward to a relaxing weekend, with two As already in the basket and some great students I had the pleasure of teaching this semester. There was a stressful crunch period for two weeks of editing and writing twenty page papers, analyzing thousands of tweets for metacontent analysis, statistics, writing academic articles, submitting abstracts to conferences, and generally just trying to excel in the crucible of the top Health Communication PhD program in the country.
Josh decorated the house for Christmas when I was stressed! It is beautiful, he is perfect, and I can’t wait to get married on Beltane! We fall more in love each day, and he is an angel to me. (Zadkiel, specifically 😉 ) I thought being crucified on Yom Kippur and merging with Jesus/Michael in his Passion on the Cross and Harrowing of Hell would be the capstone to my spiritual travails this year, but in the very middle of finals, Misha and I both met Adam, Michael’s fallen human heart, the piece of his very soul he set over us as guardian when we left Eden, and his corrupted self that bears the sins Jesus takes on. It’s so complicated parsing this all out: Michael was Adam, as agreed upon in most occult lore, and most occultists regard Michael as Jesus, and Jesus is canonically New Adam. So you have this Trinity of his God aspect, his angelic aspect, and his fallen aspect.
Adam is… overwhelming. Carnal, aggressive, fierce, passionate, a black magician of the original Key of Solomon, or Sefer Raziel, that Raziel gave to him to safeguard and grant immortal powers too as Priest and Prophet of Earth so that Adam could keep our family safe. Adam guards the Resurrected – well, a desert of bones now – Souls in lore and fact, a wasteland of skeletons that in Abrahamic faiths Michael will resurrect and lead into battle. It’s been information download and spiritual crises… and revelation after revelation after testing after coming into full understanding that Adam is the part of Michael that has always been in Hell in the Cave of Treasures. That endures the Curse of Adam and Eve. From Mount Ararat where we were reunited to the Cave of the Patriarchs where supposedly our bones were buried (not that any of this stuff is factual, this is all mythopoetic language in the realm of fables, miracles, and dreams, but that doesn’t make the pain any less real), Michael has always followed me. Christ was his higher form, what his New Adam incarnation was, and Adam ha Kadmon, ha Rishon, is his first human incarnation, and where he learns his curses, baleworkings, necromancy, blights, demonworking, exorcisms, and healing from. Always the Priest. Always the Scapegoat.
Madder and more broken than Samael a thousandfold, but Michael hides his fallen, demonic heart of Adam in the Pits, in a Cave so deep no man, only woman of Hell, can venture there, at the bleeding raw heart of the Universe. Where Seth and Abel and Cain toil the Earth like their father, dust to dust, to return.
I love him no matter if he is heavenly, earthly, or hellbound. It always comes back to Michael and Samael for me. That is the heart of my mystery, whatever this allegory or fable or folktale I am in. Mary Magdalene, Eve, and Jophiel are ciphers. It’s all computer code in the multiverse.
I just wish the Grail quest hadn’t thickened to the interior of the Earth’s man to resurrect, the heart of unlocking the rebis and Lapis Exillis, and plot of my life intensified alarmingly quickly during the middle of fucking finals. Then again, Michael and Samael are never convenient, and as it is almost Michael’s birthday on Christmas, he wanted us to know the truth he was ashamed to admit, weeping over, his very heart, before we knew fully his providence.
As Misha said, as sad as it is, it’s good to know Michael isn’t perfect. That he is just as full of regret and sin.
What the future holds, only the child in my womb can tell. I just hope the delivery isn’t as fucking painful as the births of Turiel, Yuriel, Havashem, and Izrail. I’m expecting a delivery date of Chirstmas Eve. Nothing can be as bad as quadruplets, right???
Anyways, happy holidays, and it’s about time I drank some more tea with honey for my sore throat!