Monday, December 28, 2009
To talk about the old Druids can sometimes be a daunting task, especially when one attempts to put together a source of information that is as close to what the original practices and beliefs would have been. Apart from information that can be gleaned from older sources which were written about the Druids, these sources being that which were written by their detractors, we know very little about the original Druids. However, with the wonderful reconstructionists and scholars that we have, who so careful put together a tradition that is as close as we can find, and I am sure more will be discovered over time, we can attempt to assemble a reasonable facsimile of what can be construed as “The Druidic Tradition” and of Celtic Spirituality.
Although this book will focus on ritual formats, construction of Sacred Space, and other specific seasonal festivals and possible mantic rituals, it is good to know where we are coming from before we can know where we are going to. For this reason I will give a very brief history of the Druids and their migration pattern, which allows us to ascertain some, and hopefully enough, of the ritual practices based on country and Lore of the times.
When we speak of the Druids, we are mostly referring to the Celts, and although we find some sources focusing on the Druids being Gauls, we also find that Gaul was a land of the Celts, and in the 1st Century, Gaul, which is now Western Europe was also noted as being called Celtica. When we refer to the Celts, we have to remember that they began as a diverse group in Central Europe during the Early Iron Age (1200BC-400AD), also known as the Hallstatt period. In the later Iron Age period, or the La Tène period, these Celts had spread over a large expanse of Europe, as far as Ireland, Scotland, Anatolia in Turkey and the Iberian Peninsula. By the first millennium AD however, the Celtic languages had become restricted to the British Isles. Today we find that the “Six Celtic Nations” (where the Celtic languages are still spoken) are Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, the Isle of Man and Brittany (on either side of the English Channel), and it is these Six Celtic Nations where we still find the mother tongues spoken to some extent of Irish Gaelic, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Breton and two earlier revivals of Cornish and Manx. Other areas which are considered to be of Celtic heritage, but where no Celtic language survives are Portugal, Spain and France.
Because this is such an extensive study, and maybe we will cover it in a future book, although I do urge you to do some research to discover the history of the Celts and the Druids, we will focus on reconstructed Celtic Spirituality generally, without trying to dissect each regional and cultural perspective. This will give you a working format of Druidic ritual in which to take and develop as you see fit. One thing I learned about the Druids many years back was that as they migrated to new areas of Europe they would adapt their spiritual format to suit the land itself, and this must never change. One key principal is therefore to get to know the Land you find yourself standing on. Speak to it, feel it, See it, and function with or alongside it.
However before we move on, we must also briefly discuss the word “Druid”. When we first come across it, we tend to create the imagery of a wizard performing magic of a powerful nature. We do however have to understand that Druid was simply a title of a caste or class of the Celts, and other castes did exist, namely the Vates (often referred to as Ovates) and the Bards.
There are a variety of attempts at the etymology of the word “druid”, but the widely understood version is that it derives from the Irish Gaelic word doire which is an oak tree, but also has its root meaning in the word wisdom. However we also have the Indo-European word *dru-uid which means highly wise. The Druids are mostly described as the teachers and law-givers, but they are also considered to have been active in the medical field, as healers and those that knew plant lore.
The Vates were the ones that we might think of as the Magicians or Wizards. They were the Diviners, Seers, Astrologers and Mathematicians. Strabo described the Vates as “interpreters of sacrifices and natural philosophers”. Etymologically, the Irish fáith is connected to the word vates, which means “seer”, but in Welsh mythology, the “seer” was known as the dryw which connects to the word druid and so we do see some overlaps within these descriptions.
And then we have the Bards who were the “singers and poets”. This may not seem like a very important role, but if we take that as the truth, then we are missing a huge part of the puzzle. The Bards kept the religion alive. They were the ones that sung about the heroes of mythology and legend, adding descriptive tales of the history and function of the Druids and Celts. Singing was also used during ritual practice and spell crafting, and there are many tales of Bards who defeated enemies through song, weaving their power and the power into the Gods into song. Not to mention the courage they could give the warriors with tales of the heroes gone before them. A very powerful class in its own rights.
Some other titles that you may come across if you do some research are Filii (Bards, sometimes spelt Fili and Filli); Fathi (another derivative of Fáith and therefore meaning Vates); Seannachaidh who were the historians and storytellers, the soothsayers (which can also be connected to the Bard); Breitheimh and Vergobretus, who were the brehons or brieves, being the law-givers and judges; and Druidh, which is simply a derivative of Druid.
As can be seen, there is a great deal that can be written about the history and migrations of the Celtic people and hence, the Druids, the above only being an incredibly condensed version, but the purpose of this little book is to give you a basis of ritual format. To do that however, there are some aspects of Celtic Spirituality that must be understood beforehand, and so these will be discussed in the following chapters. Also, to round off the edges and give you a better insight into the history of the Vates, we will also take a look at Coligny Calendar which was created before the inclusion of the Julian Calendar and later replaced by the Gregorian Calendar, which we now use. But don’t forget, take what you read here, try it out, and then build on it. Use your instincts, speak to the Land and the Land Spirits, and move with the flow of the energy that surrounds you.
Friday, December 18, 2009
(This is an excerpt from The Reality of Things by Lee 'Red Oak' Johnson)
The phenomenon of thought forms is a very simple one, which can become rather complex. They can also be classified into various headings that define their purpose for existence. Basically a thought form is an energetic being that has existence only through the continued Intent of the person creating it. Once the person stops thinking about it, there is no more intent for existence and so the energy that was feeding it dissipates and so does the thought form.
You will find that all things that are done via magic and spell work, are done with energy. Energy is the main foundation to all things. What we experience as the real world we live in is actually just energy that we have created a consensual reality upon in order to experience it as solid and material. When a thought form is created, it may not be seen as material or manifest, but it still exists as a body of energy.
The most common example of a thought form is that which a mob will generate. The mob mind will start with a couple people who are unhappy about something. They will cause other people to feel the same and their energy is then connected to the mob mind, which starts to escalate. After time the energy that is generated by the mob will start to take on a life of its own, it will connect the people and cause their minds and intentions to be focused on that one purpose. As more people join and more energy is fed to the thought form or Group Mind, it will grow and the emotions of the people are affected which leads to the mob moving as one body, as opposed to moving as individual people all trying to express the same thing. All members of the mob will think as one, and this is the thought form that is being fed, which feeds the members of the mob, creating one Group Mind. As soon as the mob has been separated and the people start to think as individuals again, they will often wonder how they got so caught up in the actions.
This classic example is what we would refer to, in many cases, as the Egregore. The Egregore is a thought form that acts to hold a group of people together. As thoughts are added to the Egregore, it grows, but it also allows those connected to the Current of the Egregore to access the knowledge of that group. It is the Group Mind, many individual minds all connected to a common mind. Jung referred to the Collective Consciousness, which we could suggest is an Egregore that encompasses all things, all thoughts, all ideas. This we could then conclude would be what many people consider to be God. That which is all things. However, this may suggest that it is the people on this planet that create God, and in a way they do, but God also creates the people, in a symbiotic relationship. As the Egregore is fed, so too do the people connected to it get fed.
And as the Great Egregore that is THE ALL exists and will continue to exist, so too do smaller Egregores. Each religion will have an Egregore, each school, each business, each society, etc., etc. As long as the group stay together and keep feeding the Egregore, it will remain and will grow.
In the magical sense the Egregore will exist with each Order, coven, study group, hof, etc. The members of the magickal group will be able to access the knowledge of the group through the Egregore. It is the god of the group and many Orders have named the Egregore, and they continue to worship it and feed it energy.
Another thought form is the Servitor. The definition of a servitor is a person who is at the beck and call of the master. When a magician creates a Servitor through a magical act, the Servitor is given a task to accomplish. Once that task has been completed or the Servitors life span has expired (in most cases the Servitor is given the task and a certain period of time to accomplish it in), then the Servitor is absorbed back into the magician.
The creation of Servitors is always very specific, whereas the Egregore develops over time and remains in existence until the Intent stops feeding it.
In the same lines as the Servitor we also have the Artificial Elemental. The differences are quite apparent. The Servitor is created from the personal power of the Magician, whereas the Artificial Elemental is created through the Elements themselves, those being Fire, Air, Water and Earth. In the metaphysical world we find beings called Elementals. These are the Salamanders, Sylphs, Mermaids, Nymphs, Gnomes, etc. Each one of them is constructed from a specific element. As humans we are made from all four elements, including Spirit, and so we can exist in this constructed world of ours which is also created from all the elements combined to form Earth. As an Elemental, and because of their very specific make up, to exist in this world is very difficult as the elements which oppose them are found to contradict their existence. Therefore, they exist in a parallel reality which can be crossed from this world and vice versa.
The reason I use the term Artificial Elemental in the case of a thought form is because the Elementals do not exist because humans think about them. The Artificial Elemental is an energetic being that is constructed by the Magician from one or more of the Elements. The purpose of the Artificial Elemental will determine which Elements are used.
There are many warnings about working with Thought Forms, more specifically Servitors, and for good reason. I made the following comment in the first paragraph: "Once the person stops thinking about it, there is no more intent for existence and so the energy that was feeding it dissipates and so does the thought form." However, this is not always true. In most cases, it is, but in some the Servitor will actually latch on to another source of energy to feed from. What this means is that once the time span has expired, or the Magician forgets, the Servitor continues to exist because the food source is coming from somewhere else besides the Magician. Never forget that once something exists, it has a level of consciousness. Maybe not quite like ours, but it can function as a thinking entity.
The other thing to remember is the way in which you treat these entities. Because you are the Master of the Servitor, many people think they can boss them around, punish them, treat them like dirt and generally show no regard for them what so ever, just because they are a body of energy that is there to do the Magician's bidding. A Servitor demands the same respect as any person you will meet on the street. You are the Master, but the Servitor is also your "child" as you birthed it, you created it and allowed it to grow. Treat it with respect and love it, but make sure it stays in line. If you kick it around and it does manage to find an independent food source, then it may just come back and show you what it thought of your treatment.
If you are a Clive Barker fan you may have read Ararat, and there is a very good example of a pissed off Servitor in there.
So, do what thou wilt, but play nicely.
This is a question that we all ask ourselves at least once in our lifetime. The answer to this foreboding question? Well, ultimately, Nothing. This annoys the Christian folk to no end and the Pagan folk sit there wondering why I am even discussing this topic as it is not relevant to anything but a monotheistic religion. Beep, wrong on all accounts.
If we look at (I am going to take a chance and say) ALL religions and spiritual paths, then there is a single force or power that is the primary undercurrent of existence. Many will speak of the Gods, and this question of “What is God?” is incredibly different to the question asked in a previous essay (which I will include here for convenience) of “Who are the Gods?” But many speak of the Gods, individual beings and entities that exist “apart” from us, existing as individuals just as you, me, and every other entity walking through this Cosmos. When we speak of God, however, we are referring to something completely different.
So, let’s get to the nuts and bolts. The word “God” is not a name, it is a title, a description we use for communication. It is much like the word “Lucifer” which denotes a god that is a light-bearer or light-bringer, and although we refer to Lucifer as being an old Roman Pagan god, there are many luciferi and lucifera such as Lugh as an example.
God is The ALL of the Hermetics, Old Dame Fate of the Traditional Cunning Folk spoken of by Roy Bowers. In every path and religion, there is a Supreme Force, an energy that permeates Everything and came from Nothing. A Power that is in, and is everything and nothing at the same time. When we refer to God being Every-Thing and No-Thing, we have to consider that although we experience this world as being solid, when we get down to the atomic level, there may be particles and sub-atomic particles, but an atom is made mostly of the ingredient of No-Thing, the closest representation being thought. And so, from No-Thing came Every-Thing, and in Every-Thing exists No-Thing.
In British Traditional Craft, Roy Bowers speaks of Old Dame Fate “spinning without motion”. This Force or Power is the Centre, and it is our quest to move closer to that Centre, however, what is the centre of anything? If we draw a circle on a piece of paper, where is the centre? We may look to the middle point of the circle and put a dot there and call that the centre, but as soon as you put a dot with your pencil, we give that dot dimension, and the centre itself has no dimension. Therefore, when we speak of the centre, we are speaking of the entire circle from that middle point extending out to its perimeter, and even beyond. The Cosmos is infinite, and so is the Centre.
We can also take this circle we have drawn and bring it into the imagery of a round-about found at a children’s park or playground. If you put a person on each segment of the round-about and spin it with everyone standing on the perimeter, you will all feel the force of the spin, throwing you out, pushing you from the middle. However, if you were all to move into the middle, then you feel the calm of the spin, even though the round-about has not slowed down. And so, Old Dame Fate is the Centre, she is the middle, spinning without motion, but also extending out to the Cosmos.
In Hermeticism, The ALL is also referred to as the Universal Mind. With this depiction we may consider that God created everything through thought, or God thought everything into being and keeps everything going through the mechanism of thought. This may seem a little abstract, but if we go back to the basic ingredient of the atom, it may not be so difficult to understand. Remember that we use words from our language database to describe things, but in some cases, it is somewhat lacking. Thought is not necessarily just that which we may think within our minds, it is energy. Thought, like radio waves, are a form of energy, and our bodies and all things around us, are energy, and so what we see as physical objects, are in a sense, the same as our own thoughts, all energy being projected and formed.
When we look at the Pythagorean Pentagram we find the letter Iota at the point of the pentagram which modern Occultists have come to label the fifth element of Spirit. Iota is the first letter of the Greek word “Idea” which means in English, idea, thought, but also form. In modern Occultism, Spirit or Æther is that element which envelops the other four, being Fire and Water which are bridged by Air and forming Earth, and so Spirit is that which is present in all. Thought, present in all things existing within the Cosmos and forming all things.
I was taught in Kabbalah that the first line of the Bible, which reads in our English translation as, “And God created Heaven and Earth” actually has 42 (it could have been 44) different interpretations in the Hebrew, one of them being, “And Mind created …”. So what is “Mind”? Mind is a thinking unit, and thought is energy, therefore Mind takes thought/energy and forms it into shape.
But now the real catch. Unless you know where, or guessed where I am going with this discourse, you may have considered up until now that God, Old Dame Fate, The ALL, or whatever other title or name you can give this Power, is separate from you and from me. But it is not. It is Every-Thing and No-Thing, and therefore it exists within and without all things. It is everything, including you and me and the neighbor, as well as the trees, the plants, the animals and the coffee, tea, juice or water you drank this morning. It is one flow of energy, not individual strands or balls. Ergo, everything is connected, and everything is one body with many cells, all acting in consensus to keep the body together. Some of those cells may try to reject the body and will form a cancer within it, but they will never be separate from it.
To conclude, everything is God, everything is Power flowing, changing, forever in motion. As the plant withers and dies the energy that formed that plant in consensus continues to move and flow and form a new thing. And so we come back to “What is God?”, and the answer is everything, you, me, all things, including the Gods that we worship, which takes us to the previous discourse I wrote asking “Who are the Gods?”. And the answer? They are beings, entities, bodies of energy just like the rest of us, but also of us, are us, and we are them and you are me and I am you.
Lee ‘Red Oak’ Johnson
Who are the Gods? – previous essay
Everyone is talking about the Gods, but who the hell are they? This obviously has many avenues available, and every one of us will follow, worship, praise, and believe in their own Gods, or set of Gods, or even just the one God. With so many cultures in the world, both past and present, we have a selection that encompasses a continent full of encyclopedias. But it is not just a case of which we select, or those that select us to work with them, but how we understand that relationship.
Before I start this discourse, let me scream from the rooftops that this is only an examination of possibilities. What I believe and what you believe will most probably be two completely different things, and we are all entitled to those beliefs. However, what I will be relating here may come as a shock to some, and will get that back hair raised, ready to attack. By all means, please attack. Nothing like a good ‘ol frolicking in the forest.
Many of us view the Gods as being separate from us. Some consider them archetypes, aspects of our own consciousness, and still others that the Gods are us, part of us, and we part of them. There is also the question of the nature of these beings that we call Gods. Are they malevolent or benevolent? I do consider that in many a case, these Gods are created in our own image. Let’s take an example here. Mildred worships Odin, and in her relationship with Odin she finds him to be loving, kind, helpful, always there to give advice and ready to be petitioned during spell work. Nothing wrong with that, except when we look at the older texts and the nature of Odin to his past worshippers. He was not a kind God, and being a War God, he demanded sacrifices in exchange for work done. So what is the real nature of Odin? Ah, therein lies the crux of this discourse. When looking at the European Gods in specific, they don’t really give a continental about us humans, except for Thunor/Thor, who is protector of Man and Gods. Do the Norse Gods come to our aid when we request it during our prayers? A sticky question actually. Considering they really don’t care too much for humans, I’d have to say no, but then it begs the question, who have people been contacting for so many centuries?
To delve into that question, let’s consider something first. No matter what religion you look at, when you delve deep enough, you will find a common theme. We are all connected. A lot of people may consider this statement to be in terms of our relationships, i.e. we are connected by love or even hate, but it is far more than this. Everything (as I always say) is energy. It doesn’t matter what you are looking at, whether it be your wife, husband, Aunt Agatha or the tree in your front garden, it is constructed of energy. What we see as tree with leaves and bark, is a construction of our minds, and we all see it through an agreement, a consensual reality that creates the tree. If however we were to See energy, then we would see lines or threads of pulsating power flowing up, down, in, out and around the tree. If it has been a while since you watched Matrix 3, then watch it again. Toward the end when Neo reaches the Machine City, in a state of blindness, he Sees everything as energy, lines of energy that move and flow. This is Reality. This energy, known in Anglo-Saxon terms as Wyrd, and in Kabbalistic terms as Avir and Ruchaniyut is never ending, it flows through, in and out of all things. In its form as Avir it is unformed and so it is that energy which is around you, whereas, when it enters you and forms the body you find yourself in, it is known as Ruchaniyut, i.e. realized form or potential. This energy, flowing in a constant flux and motion, connects everything, it is the same energy which flows through the person next to you, the cat in the room next door and the grass growing in your garden. Therefore, we all energy and the same energy, i,e, we are all connected and One.
So who are we talking to when we talk to the Gods? In my understanding, we are talking to ourselves, to a realized potential of who we are, and that which we are is Everything and No-Thing, God, YHVH, Old Dame Fate, The ALL, the Supreme Power that is All, Everything and at the same time, No-thing. We are all these things, but we also have individuality like cells in a body, all moving around and past each other, considering ourselves to be removed from everything, not seeing the Power that flows between us. We are the Gods, and they are us. And in that instance, we also create ourselves in the form of the Gods. Yes, they are as individual as we are to each other, but they are also us, connected, cells within a larger body, and if you consider that this larger body is possibly a single cell within a larger body of It’s reality, then the Cosmos just gets bigger and bigger. And through all these ever ending expanses of realities upon realities, we are all still connected, all being that energy which is flowing through everything imaginable.
TO begin with I would like to give you the methods for performing Meditation and using Breath Technique that are incredibly important to any magical or spiritual practice. These methods were taught to me from a Kabbalistic point of view, but they are not restrictive and can be used by anyone following any Path.
The methods we usually find in lessons and documentation pertaining to meditation are often found to be extremely tedious from the standpoint of bringing boring. We must remember that we are (well, I am and I think most people in this group will be) Western folk. Apart from a different physical framework as opposed to our Eastern Brothers, causing it to be a little more difficult to get into many of the positions for practice such as full lotus, we also need things to be a little more active. To sit in meditation for an hour and just focus on the tip of your nose is extremely difficult. We live in a fast food society and this tends to move across to all aspects of our life. I am not using this as an excuse but many people wonder why they don’t have the proper dedication to do the necessary work, and this is the answer. Therefore, instead of thinking we are useless at this or that because we can’t stick to it, why don’t we find methods that will allow us to stay interested? This comes in the form of active practices. Obviously when we start to make more actual progress in our work, we find that we have something to work for and do become more dedicated, but still, we remain part of the Western World, and must never forget that.
So, moving right along, here are the set of meditation practices that I have come to perform. For a better explanation and an actual visual demonstration which walks you through the practices step by step, you can always get my Meditation and Breath DVD Workshop.
When doing these practices the best way to sit is in an upright chair with back straight and feet planted firmly on the floor, facing West. The direction of west is merely a symbolic aspect of the Western Mystery Tradition, so you may prefer to face a different direction.
IN Hebrew there are three letters that are called the Mother Letters, those being Aleph, Mem and Shin. These three letters also correspond to the three active elements Air, Water and Fire, so when doing the actual breathing you will be breathing in the letter Aleph/Air and then breathing out Mem/Water which is on the right side of the head and Shin/Fire which is on the left side. With the elements on the sides of the head, this creates balance of opposing elements with Air bridging them in the middle. Water and Fire also correspond to Female and Male and in many esoteric documents dealing with energy flowing in the body you will find mention of the masculine and feminine sides of the body.
- Breath in with the sound of “AH”. As you do this your mouth will be open to produce the sound of AH, but the sound will be inhaled so it will be very breathy. As you breath in imagine yourself sitting in a sea of energy that you pull in through your anus to fill your body. This sea of energy is Avir which is Universal Energy.
- Pause briefly when you have breathed in and then breath out with another breathy sound of “MMMMSSSHHHHHH”, this being the letters Mem and Shin being breathed out. Whilst doing this breath the energy back out into the sea of Avir.
- Pause for as long as your body requires before breathing in again. We do not hold the breath, we pause, and this means that you allow the body to let you know when to breath. If you find that this pause between out and in breath becomes incredibly long, don’t panic, it is normal. The body will breath when it requires it.
- Repeat three times minimum.
TUNING AND TONING THE BODY
Following straight on from the Mother Breath we start to breath energy, Avir, into the body parts and then vibrate that energy within the body parts. To do this what we first need to accomplish is to smile warmly within the body part we are working with. What this means is that as you start, you picture your toes, and then you smile warmly inside them, actually sense and feel the warmth of your smile, and then open the pores like a flower and breath in with the AH breath, drawing Avir into the toes. If it helps, either picture a little mouth on each toe that is smiling warmly, or fill the toes with a warm golden light and feel that warm smile inside them.
Once we have breathed the Avir into the toes, then we breath out with a loud hum. This is the MMM sound with the noise. So as with the previous method you breathed the MMM out, this time you make the noise and you hum. As you hum, the energy in your toes is vibrated. You then pause between the breaths whilst moving onto the next body part, filling it with the warm smile, open up the pores like a flower and then breath the AH breath into the body part, and continue on that basis.
At first it is best to go through the smaller body parts, so you will follow this list one at a time:
Shins and calves
Anus (actually inside the anus)
Pelvis and buttocks (including hips)
Chest and lungs
Forearms and elbows
Wrists and hands with fingers
Back of neck
Scalp (from base of skull over the head to the top of the forehead)
Nose and sinuses
Mouth, cheeks and chin
When you become more practiced you can start to combine body parts into larger areas, such as toes, feet and ankles as one, then legs, then pelvis, then lower torso, etc. However, you will find that taking the smaller body parts and working through the slowly puts you in a much deeper state of meditation.
When you have been right through the body, focus on the entire body and breath in and out into the whole body, repeat three times.
PORE BREATHING THROUGH THE HANDS
Now for the fun part. In this practice you will actually feel energy between your hands. A lot of people try to develop this skill but don’t succeed. Well, if you have performed all of the previous meditations, you will definitely succeed.
- Slowly stand up from your chair with your hands dangling by your sides.
- Start to move your hands in extremely tiny circles, so small they are hardly visible. This stirs up energy around you hands and they may feel like the blood is rushing or being pulled from them down into the earth, or that they are just being pulled down with force.
- Then with an AH in breath, lift your hands slowly to be in front of you with palms facing each other about shoulder width apart.
- When you breath out you will hum and See or imagine energy pouring out of the palms of your hands and building up between them. This energy is called Ruchaniyut, or Spiritual Energy.
- Then breath in with the AH breath and pull Avir into the palms of your hands.
- Breath out again with a hum and push the Ruchaniyut out of the palms of your hands.
- Carry on doing the in and out breath. What you start to feel is that when you breath Avir into the palms they will move together like magnets. Start the process by moving them slowly together by yourself and it will then take over. When breathing out, the hands will move apart.
- After a few breaths move your hands in and out very slightly as if you were holding a beach ball and pressing on it. You will feel a resistance between your hands.
- If you do not feel it very strongly, try turning your hands 90 degrees in opposite directions with palms facing and push in that position.
- When done, breath in with an AH breath and move your hands slowly back down to your sides. You will feel a pull again.
Then sit down and either finish the meditation by stretching, or continue with any work that you wish to perform. What we usually follow with in Temple is spontaneous singing which we will discuss later.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Let the Tarot Talk to You by Fire Dragvenaz is now available at http://pansgate.co.za for R180, and http://stores.lulu.com/pansgate for $24.25
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Well I finished my Triangle of Art. Decided it would be better to use Hebrew rather than words that don't mean anything, so I have YHVH on the right, ALHIM (Elohim) on the left and ADNI at the bottom. Around the circle are the three Mother Letters; Aleph, Mem and Shin; Air, Water and Fire.
I got an email out of the blue from Shaun Patrick. My book was given to him and his wife, and this is what they had to say:
"Thank you for writing a book that actually helped me and my wife.
"You did something great for us, so thank you
"We were both lost upon our path and didn’t know where to begin. You packed so much information into the book in such a way that it was easy to understand and it clearly leads you to your journey's beginning.
"Too many authors throw their views on you and bash any other view that doesn’t match their’s, you truly are unique in your way that is fresh and inspiring."
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Well, I have been half deaf for the past week, my left ear is completely blocked and nothing is helping. I actually thought that it would be good for my meditations and practice seeing that I can’t hear everything on the outside, but it has actually been worse. I can hear myself swallow, and it is loud, can hear my breaths which isn’t such a bad thing, except that there is a constant ringing in my ear and external noises are difficult to distinguish and figure out where they are coming from, so it actually causes my attention to be more focused on them. So much for that idea then, now I just need to get my hearing back.
So what has been happening? Well, I finished the Meditation and Breath DVD Workshop, finally. Most of the practical part I had to redo numerous times because whilst taking the viewer through the practices and exercises I didn’t notice the noises in the background. I would then put them down for editing and then notice all the annoying sounds. But it is there and done now. Selling it R125, and if you would like to get a copy, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I also created a podcast which I put up this morning. Need to add it to Podcast Alley, but will do that tomorrow. The first podcast is about the DVD, covering some of the theory that can be found in there (but the DVD is much better by the way). Of course I can’t do the exercises in the podcast, but the basic theory is down. The next podcast I will do is about the Christos Technique, a method of putting someone into a dream state which I learned when I was in my early teens, but have found very few people over the years who have heard of it. Funny enough I found out recently that it is actually a Kabbalistic method of Pathworking.
Apart from that, and as I mentioned there hasn’t been much actual practice done because of my damn ear, I have been sorting out the Used Book section on one of my sites. Two dreams I have had whilst growing up, to become an author and to own a Used Book Store, so now to work on the second dream, although I won’t neglect the first, I have way too much to write.
I had Class with my students today, we tried our hand at crystal ball gazing, but unfortunately the room had too many things in which caused way too many reflections so the results were not so good. Everyone did ask why their eyes were getting so hot and watering though. We then spoke a lot about Sacred Plants, always an interesting topic.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
7:15 PM – Burnt some Dittany of Crete today to do some visionary work. Interesting stuff. I went into a deep trance state a lot quicker than usual. Going to go and burn some more now with my dark mirror.
8:54 PM – Not much to report. I mixed some Syrian Jawee (Sweet Myrrh) and Frankincense with the Dittany, but whilst gazing into the mirror and inner voice asked me what I wanted to achieve. I said I wanted to enter in the Inner Landscapes through the mirror, and got the reply, but you don’t need the mirror to accomplish that, nor do you need it for visions, and so nothing will happen, and nothing did happen except me almost falling asleep. So, I will just stick to my usual methods.
Monday, September 28, 2009
I have neglected my blogs this weekend, bad me. So, here is a catch up:
Pretty much uneventful actually. I was struggling to keep my eyes open most of the day, so didn’t manage to do very much. (Well that was easy enough).
Went to the Nursery and got some bags of compost to fill up the seed bed I created outside the Work Room. Also got some Calendula seedlings and a Jasmine. Been wanting a Jasmine for ages, now I just need to get Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, and then with those two and the Moonflowers, I should have an incredibly fragrant garden. We then went to the tattoo artist so my wife could get her new tat which was our daughter’s name on her wrist. In the afternoon I went to Outer Temple classes and I did a recap of meditation and breathing with them, so we did the Mother Breath, Toning and Tuning the Body and Pore Breathing through the hands. We ended with spontaneous singing which is always interesting. We tend to feel very shy when doing spontaneous singing as we don’t know what will or should come out of our mouths. Even when I am alone at home and doing it I feel somewhat inhibited because I wonder if the neighbours can hear me. Not everyone is like this, but some of us are. However, once you start spontaneous singing, just letting the sounds flow from you and letting Power lead you, all inhibitions disappear and it is very exhilarating. Oh, also ended up getting a few things for the Pan’s Gate shop, must update the site. Got a load of second hand books, some incense (which has been seen), a goblet, candle stick, and I also got a frame which takes two sheets of glass that slide in from one end. Was thinking of created a Goetic Mirror with the frame. The one piece of glass can be the dark mirror and then I can make sheets to slide in behind the mirror that have the Goetic Spirit seal on it. Might be an interesting project.
Planted the Jasmine and Calendula, filled the seed bed and planted the second batch of seeds. Got a few from the UK, planted them in seed trays a few weeks back and nothing happened. Always happens like this, the trays drain too quickly so seed trays are a no go with me. If I just through the seeds in the ground, they grow, otherwise, nada. So, because I had only used half the seeds, I planted the rest. Got Mandrake, Mugwort, Wolfsbane, Sweet Cicely and Spearmint and Peppermint. Hopefully these one’s will grow. I also sowed the Mugwort and Sweet Cicely around the garden to be sure. Put some in the compost soil, some in sandy soil and some in normal soil. Got some more Frankincense for the shop also.
Not a very exciting day. Got up, checked email, had a smoke or three and coffee and then went out to my Work Room and did my morning meditations. Spent the morning watching the rest of The Stand by Stephen King which I hired yesterday, and then did some work and been feeling nauseas the whole afternoon. I did buy a frame to make a magick mirror, so will be doing that over the next couple weeks. The method I am using is a little different to most. Instead of painting the backside of the glass (although I also have this style), I am placing a piece of black fabric inside which also flaps over to cover the mirror when not in use. The fabric itself will be soaked in a fluid condenser. All frames are plain and matt black to reduce any distractions. That reminds, will also be selling gold tincture and a simple fluid condenser for those interested in Frans Bardon’s work.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
6:19 AM – Ah back on track, did my morning meditation, yichud* and taijiquan. Feeling much better now.
8:19 PM – Spent the afternoon at Emmarentia Dam with good friends and company. It’s amazing how exhausting sitting around in the sun doing nothing can really be though. Got back earlier, just been emailing and playing with the guinea pigs.
9:10 PM – Attempted a Merkavistic descent into Yesod again tonight. I go too deep into a trance state by the time I get there so I keep flitting in and out of consciousness and getting bombarded with visions, usually people and faces, although I did get an image of a wrought iron bracket of some kind that had a design of a thistle on it. Don’t know what it means but I also don’t want the visions any more, they are distracting. Although I must say, from the point of view of the visions I can hold on to an image for a longer period of time now. Previously it would be a case of faces flying in and out of my vision and no control over what I could watch, so I rarely remembered anything, only that I was seeing faces. Having coffee now to bring me back down to earth J Biggest problem with doing this is that I finish feeling a bit otherwise, but once I have my feet again I am wide awake so can’t sleep for a while.
*The yichud I do is called Taking on the Name, described in The Book of Self Creation by Jacobus G. Swart as such:
“…the use of a custom like “Taking on the Name” facilitates the “drawing down” (hamshachah) of a powerful current of “Divine Force” (Avir/Ruchaniyut) from the Source, the Eternal Living Spirit, from your “Infinite Point of ‘Is’-ness.” Each time you repeat the practice, a quantity of this Spiritual Force is drawn into your own being until the self begins to transform, and is liberated from anxieties, repressions, constraints, and ailment. When this transformation is achieved, one is able to communicate this Divine Power to anyone and anything you may encounter in your daily life.”
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
7:59 AM – Interesting morning. Apparently Donnette Davis who has set herself up as a literary agent has been talking behind my back and being rather unprofessional by saying that I am not trustworthy and my authors will not be able to sell internationally or get their books on Lulu.com. Very interesting indeed as I can take orders and post from South Africa, but have chosen to add the books to Lulu.com in order to reduce postage costs from SA for the international buyers – http://stores.lulu.com/rppublications which is specifically for my authors (I still have my own Lulu store for my own works which was started before Red Path Publications came into being – http://stores.lulu.com/the_red_path ). Apart from anything, Lulu is not all that important, it is merely a means to an end. So, Donnette Davis, who seems to have a hoard of time on her hands to play multiple Facebook applications, get your facts straight.
4:45 PM – On one of my Yahoo Groups, Book of Shadows and Grimoire Collection, we have a very interesting fellow, Bob the Minister. The first post he made after joining was to let everyone know that he is a Wiccan (or wiccian as he calls it) Minister who was ordained by the ULC (Universal Life Church). Now if anyone has heard of the ULC, it should raise some eyebrows. Although I do know some people who have been ordained by them and are in fact good upstanding folk who know their stuff, ULC poses a problem in that they ordain people they have never met or tested the knowledge of. It is for free, done via the internet and you are promised ordination in a few days if not before. What does this mean? Anyone, even the most irreligious person, can become an legally ordained minister or reverend. Do you see the problem?
Anyway, this Bob the Minister who claims to be Wiccan, states that there is only one God and Goddess and the Goddess is Mary…..yup, Mary Magdalene. Now I have no problem with people worshipping Mary as their Goddess, but not if they also proclaim to be Wiccan. Wicca is a somewhat formalized religion with certain tenets that need to be followed, and Mary as the Goddess does not fall into what Wicca is. A few of us on the group have asked him to explain himself but he seems to like ignoring those requests, but still posts comments to people and EVERY time he does, he has to mention he is a Minister. I don’t care if he is the Pope, if you are being questioned about the information you are sending out there, then you reply and you set your name straight. Oh, he also claims to know Ray Buckland and Ann Moura, so if they by any remote chance are reading this, do you know Bob the Minister, also going by the names Rev. Robert Boldman Wolf, Rev. Robert E. Boldman-Wolf and Dikkar. He teaches an internet class in Wicca, does handfastings and, as he calls them, Wiccanickings.
Probably still a bit more ranting and raving before we get back to our regular viewing, so bear with me.
8:47 PM – Well not much ritual again tonight, at least not the intended Merkavistic work I was intending to do. Neighbour’s music is too loud, most probably their end of term celebration. But at least I got to do some overtoning which I always enjoy.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
3:36 PM – Crushed some chunks of Sweet Myrrh that I got in the package from Jillian in the UK. Man does it smell good. Will need to burn some later in ritual.
4:21 PM – Been sorting out some stuff in the Work Room. Have got some incense for sale at R15 per packet, as well as the Dittany of Crete for R9.95 per 10g (not easy to get in South Africa I must say, I tried every source I had and nothing, so I got 500g in stock), and I have also made Gold Tincture which is mentioned a lot in Franz Bardon’s work in regard to the fluid condensers…not sure what price to put on that, so will have to come back to.
Still need to finish the Meditation and Breath Workshop video. I keep recording sections and then having to redo them because of some or other foreign sound in the background (such as a plane or the ice-cream truck), but I at least have the advert done, so can upload that to YouTube soon.
8:23 PM – Well, ended up a friend’s house, just got back and am exhausted. Off to bed early, no ritual tonight.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
But whilst my pagan views may be lovely to me and mine,
They are not for all who do not walk the same line.
For if I speak of splendid copulations,
Will I be met with adverse stipulations?
What of the Queen and her Horned Consort?
Should I rephrase after some retort?
As the egg and seed meet with the Cross,
How can I remove the blows,
That make so many form such terrible dross?
You see, I was born from womb,
Many times have I been here and there,
And if it were not for Nature's loom,
I would have remained with simple stare.
Was I then born of another,
As the Devil and the Whore,
Created me from their Lore,
For if it were not for Divine Orgasm,
The Cosmos would be in a constant spasm.
Monday, August 31, 2009
Meditation and Breath
Two of the most important aspects of any spiritual path are meditation and breathing techniques. These are the practices that bring good health and relieve stress, practices that prepare us and take us into the alternate realities that we strive for as magicians, also practices that are often neglected because they are made to be tedious. However, meditation does not need to be a lengthy process to attain tranquility, as tranquility can be met with quickly, and breathing techniques are greatly misunderstood because we feel we don’t need them as we breath every day. This Workshop teaches you techniques to reach those levels that you are striving for, and why we really perform these practices. Although it is greatly presented from a Kabbalistic point of view, the knowledge and techniques taught in this Workshop can easily be applied universally.
Learn how to create Sigils and charge them. This Workshop discusses the older methods of sigil creation/image magic, and then goes through a step by step demonstration of how to create your own Sigils and launch them from a Chaos Magick standpoint.
Learn about different methods of creating Sacred Space from various traditions and paths, attributions of the directions from both Traditional Pagan and Ceremonial angles, and how the Space is used as a Compass. We then go on to how the Kabbalistic Cross is performed correctly in conjunction with the Cosmic Circle, and the basic Kabbalistic Sacred Space creation is demonstrated.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Monday, July 6, 2009
To put it simply, Reiki is a form of healing whereby the practitioner channels energy through their body. That energy is then directed to the place where healing is required. Quite often we find that the energy itself is somewhat intelligent, in that it will find its way to the proper area in the body where it is required without the practitioner or the client knowing. This can, I suppose, be likened to pain killers. I remember someone once asking, if you take a pain pill, it goes to the same place, you stomach and then gets into your blood stream, but how does it know where it is needed. Taking a Panado for a headache or for back pain will result in the same thing, the pain in that area will stop (hopefully). The answer is that the blood tends to focus more on an area where there is pain, and so the pain pill finding itself in the blood stream, is moved to that location where the blood is more focused. The same is speculated about Reiki energy. Although it does not move through the blood stream, it does move through another circuit that is on the body, called the meridian lines/system, and can be found rather extensively in Chinese Medicine. When a part of the body is need of repair, the energy running through the meridian lines would be focused greatly on that area in the attempt to balance and repair. If we were a people who were not so into our fast food and bad living, we would not need to worry about asking others to heal us as we would have a meridian system that would be naturally balanced and functioning properly. However, we sometimes need assistance in this area, and so we have various modalities of healing, one of them being Reiki.
Reiki itself has been altered over the years in various ways, and so we find many other forms of Reiki. Some of these forms are Karuna, Natural, Osho Keo, Sekhem, Tibetan, Radiance, and many more. Usui Reiki or Usui Shiki Ryoho is said to be more traditional in that it does tie back to Mikao Usui himself. To say that Mikao Usui began Reiki healing however is not entirely true. Some of the original symbols that are found in Reiki have been found in rock paintings many thousands of years older than Usui himself. We will however get more into the history a little later.
Reiki is very much self healing. Many people are under the misconception that the Reiki practitioner does this that and the other to heal the client, when in fact, they do very little. The energy that does the healing, or should I rather say, aids in the healing, is merely channeled through the hands of the practitioner, enters the client’s body, finds it way to the place where it is needed, and this allows the body come back into balance and therefore the body heals itself. It is the imbalance in the body that causes the dis-ease in the first place and so bringing it back into balance will cause it to heal.
The word REIKI is actually split into two words, being REI meaning “Universe” and KI meaning “energy”, therefore it translates to Universal Energy. This term itself is very interesting. In many systems, whether healing or spiritual paths, you may come across what some people refer to as “the Current”. This Current is the energetic link that they connect to when attuned or initiated, and it can be described almost as a cloud of intent that all of the members that are connected to the same Current apply their knowledge and intent to. In Reiki I would personally suggest that each form of Reiki, which all have their slightly different manners of going about the healing, hand positions and even symbols, each connect to their own specific Current. These Currents are then connected to the Universal Energy.
In Kabbalistic terms the Universal Energy is called Avir. This Hebrew word is very telling. Kabbalah tells how God created Light, and then added the letter Yod and therefore creating Air. The letter Yod is associated with oxygen, and so we can say that first God created Light, and then added oxygen, i.e. air, which is the basis of all life. Breathing itself, and I mean breathing properly, is a very important factor in staying healthy. We tend to breath with only a small portion of the upper lungs. By taking some time every day to practice your breathing, you can keep the body in balance and healthy. There are many breathing exercises out there that can be practiced, each building on the other, but a simple one that you can take on is ratio breathing. This practice simply means that you separate the breath into a ratio count. So we have four positions in the breath, in, hold, out and hold. When holding the breath between in and out and vice versa, do not force the hold, it is simply a pause, and if you find that you need to take another breath, then take and adjust the ratio to suit. A simple ratio to work with is 4:4:4:4, and so you breath in for a count of four, hold for a count of four, breath out for four and hold again before taking the next breath, for a count of four. You can then start altering the ration. So, you may want to do 6:6:6:6 or higher. You can even change it to 8:4:8:4 or 8:4:16:8. Play around with it, but don’t start with a long practice, five to tem minutes will suffice and build on it, and definitely don’t push any high ratios until your lungs have become used to the smaller ones. In many ways you need to re-educate the lungs and exercise them.
One important thing to remember is that Reiki is a complimentary healing form, therefore it is not a good idea for client to suddenly stop taking the pills the GP gave them. Although Reiki itself can perform miraculous healings by itself, there is no guarantee that it will do so. The same goes for modern healing methods whereby we go to the GP and get pills to take, and so there is no harm in getting extra help, but there is in relying solely on the complimentary techniques. You as a Reiki practitioner, are not a doctor. You cannot diagnose and you cannot prescribe medication. If you do, you may find yourself in a lot of legal trouble, so keep that in mind. The person who comes to you for healing is not your patient, he or she is your client. If you start referring to people as patients, then you are implying that you a re a medical doctor and so the latter will apply.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
What follows is a preview from my up-coming book. The direction this second book has taken is rather different from that which was originally intended. I have written, thrown away, re-written and chopped, mutilated, and chomped. What is now to come out of the pages is a far more focused view. This book will specifically examine Sacred Space, why we use it, what we use it for, the directions, various methods of creating Sacred Space, and the like. It is only a portion of what the original book was supposed to be, but a portion that is being expanded on to form a more thorough study of the concept. I hope you enjoy this little tidbit.
. . . do we create Sacred Space, when we stand on the body of the Great Earth Mother, who is Sacred to begin with? The answers to this question are many. In our own day and age where people pollute the land and the sky with not only their trash and allowing their chemicals to leak into the waters that run back to the Well of Wyrd, but also with their disrespect in general. Bottles, packets, cans, are not the only forms of disrespect to our Earth, but how we senselessly and arrogantly feel we can take from Her, and construct monstrosities upon her. When a new building is erected, does the architect consider how it will affect the Earth and the environment? Does the architect even attempt to appease the beauty of the land by adding to it in a way in which it is aesthetically related to the land? Are alternative means of power and heating ever thought through? Or do we just feel we need a home or an office to live or work in and deposit a whole load of bricks onto the land, creating block after block, seas of town houses spreading across the valleys where once stood flowing waves of tall grass, constantly stripping the land of more and more raw materials to generate door frames, walls, roofs, piping, glass, and electricity.Being an architect myself, I battle with these concepts each and every day. How can I help to make the Land sacred once more? I can attempt to add as many natural ways in which to heat and power the home, find alternative materials that do not strip the Land of its resources. Unfortunately there is a limit to how much can be done in this regard, but every little bit helps to return the Land to what it once was. Green living and design is a very necessary thing. I’m not a fanatic Tree-Hugger, but I do love the Earth that I tread on every day. We do need fuels, we do need metals to create tools that have become necessary for us to live. We do need security and we do need commerce. What we also need is moderation. As a people we have lost sight of the Land and what we are doing to it. As a people we have become ignorant of the beauty around us. As a people, we are failing. As a people, we need to remember, to re-establish, to re-gain respect for not only the Land, but for ourselves. We need to stop stripping and taking, and start giving back. Solar energy has been around for many, many years, but how many people have even considered using solar energy to provide all of the power within their house and take themselves off the grid that pumps electricity into our many appliances? How many of us have considered doing the same with wind energy? Sure these things take raw materials in order to be created, but once manufactured, they are using what is naturally given to us in order that we may live our comfortable lives in our nicely heated and snug homes.
Making Sacred Space for ritual is not just about entering a Magical Circle to perform Spellwork, Pathworkings, or any other form of Magical practice, and then leaving it behind. That Sacred Space, which is a Temple, is not the only space, whether it be a spot in your garden or a room in your house, that should be sacred. If you are living a magical life, sacredness of space should extend beyond that single ritual spot. It should extend into your entire home, your entire garden. Your whole stand or plot, is your sacred space, your very own sacred space, and within that space is your Temple, where you meet with the Powers and step through the Looking Glass. From there, you could then start pushing the boundaries beyond the perimeter of your own space, into the land beyond.However, this is one of the reasons that we create Sacred Space. The Land itself has become polluted and so if we wish to connect to the Land and journey into the Womb of the Mother, we find ourselves in need of a Gateway. We therefore take a piece of that Land and cut it out of this reality, blessing it, purifying it and making is sacred through our own saining, as a dedication to the Powers that run within it, making a stepping stone for us to venture beyond the cruelty of our mundane, careless cousin.
But this is not the only reason. A space where you are functioning as a Creatrix is another. When the Magician steps into the site that has been allocated as the Temple, he or she is stepping into a mini-cosmos. The space becomes an extension of the microcosmic body that they themselves are, swirling energy forming a sphere, with them in the Centre. It is an extension of the Divine Energy of God, that energy which flows in and through all things, connecting all things, and creating an equilibrium that continues to flow upon its proper course. As an extension of the God within, the Magician then creates, moulds, forms, shifts, connects. Certain Powers and energies are conjured up in order to enhance the Sacredness of the Working Space, to add benefit to the Operations that take place.Yet another reason is the need and functionality of a Gateway, where the Magician will move between the Worlds. The Sacred Space then acts as a compass with various Mystical Landscapes mapped out around it, moving from one bubble of Intent to an alternate or non-ordinary reality.
Depending on the need of the Magician and the type of work they are planning, the use of Sacred Space can alter. Apart from those mentioned above, the Magician may also be working with Spirits that they feel need to remain outside the mini-cosmos they have created, protected from the influx of unwanted energies, and contain that Spirit’s force or essence within a specifically defined space.One must remember though, that not all Circles need to be constructed with protective forces. In the instance of someone going to meet with a familiar entity, god or goddess within the Mystical Lands, it would not be entirely correct to go along with an army of bodyguards. This in itself could be construed by the entity you are wishing to meet with, as mistrust of them. Think about it, if a friend of yours came knocking on your front door and upon opened it you were faced with a handful of body-guards before you were allowed to speak to your friend, would you not question the trust that friend had in you? Would you not just close the door and tell them to go away and stop wasting your time? Tell them to come back when they feel they can have a normal relationship and friendship with you? Well I would, and so do the Gods.
We must then define what is protective and what is not. I personally feel that if I call the Archangels at the cardinal points, I am not always asking for a protective element. Such Forces are not there just to protect the Doorways, they also bring aspects of Power with them, aspects of the elements, and of qualities that are necessary for the forming of the Sacred Space that will enclose you in a sphere that is then placed between. They add to the necessity of shifting realities. Aligning with them, the essence and the energies they provide, aligns you with the Cosmos as a whole. And so we require a better understanding of these Forces and Powers that evoke, and we need to define the Intent behind our calling.
. . . is a Sacred Space or Circle? We could also ask, what is the Compass Round? What is the Squared Circle? What is the Mill? The formation of Sacred Space can vary a great deal from Tradition to Tradition.Interestingly enough, William G. Gray said in his book, An Outlook on Our Inner Western Way
(now being published by The Sangreal Sodality Press, 2008), that, “We can trace those same symbols yet—attached to the typical image of a Western cowboy… Another type of rope was woven purely from horsehair and had an extremely useful purpose. It was laid in a circle round men sleeping on the open ground where snakes were likely to be moving at night. No snake would crawl across a horsehair rope because the stiff hairs stuck between their scales and hurt them. Thus we get a symbolic picture of a man in his magic circle, safe against the intrusions of evil.”The Circle itself is also squared, in that although we form a circle, we move from cardinal point to cardinal point, four in all, which forms a square within the circle. However, we can also consider it to be octagonal if we then take the cross-quartered positions of north-east, north-west, etc. The reason it is considered squared is because the main functionality of the Circle comes from the main cardinal points, the cross-quarter points act as minor Gateways with specific Intent. Unless Working a Chaos Magick Circle, you would not be pulling in and pushing out energy through the cross-quarter positions. In Chaos Magick constructions, we would be working with Light and Dark Energy which comes in and out of the Circle through alternating positions, four being the main cardinal points, and four being the cross-quarter points. However, this does not mean that only the Chaote recognizes these in between points on the compass, in fact many, if not all, recognize them, but with a different intent. If one celebrates the Fire Festivals together with the Solstices and Equinoxes (Lesser and Greater Sabbats), then all eight points have a recognition within the Circle or Wheel. In other cases, there may be an assignment of certain Gods to the eight points. It is very dependant on the Tradition one is working with.
Defining the space that we work in is often done via walking or treading the perimeter together with a chant. This circumambulation can be found in all Circle constructions and all Traditions, again in varying forms. In Wiccan Circles we may have the simple walking of the Circle with the various elements, building up a perimeter. In other Traditions, we get a physical treading or stomping that creates a flow of energy in a circular pattern, and this, in many cases, is considered to be a Mill Treading, whether it is called that or not, it can be found in similar patterning throughout. In Traditional British Witchcraft it is literally called Treading the Mill whereby the attendees within the Circle or Compass Round, tread the perimeter as if pushing the wheel of the Mill itself. The Cosmos is considered to be the Mill, which as Roy Bowers noted when referring to Old Dame Fate and the Cauldron Mystery, “spins without motion”. The whole of the Cosmos spins around a Centre, the further you are from the Centre, the more motion you will encounter and experience. The closer you get to the Centre, the lesser that flow of motion, and yet always spinning. It is very similar to the mention of the pendulum swing mentioned in The Kybalion by “Three Initiates”, which states that the closer you get to the fulcrum of the pendulum, the lesser are the effects of the swing.This treading can also be found in the Giraffe Dance of the San Bushmen, mentioned in Jan Fries’ book, Seidways, which speaks of the attendees taking small steps around the central fire in order to raise !Num up the spine into the head where they explode into the Cosmos as it become Kia. Again, in Practical or Shamanic Kabbalistic practices, we find that the space is defined by stomping the circle seven times and chanting as we stomp.
And so we have certain patterns that are familiar. Defining the Space with physical movement and chanting, the four main cardinal points, and the evocation of certain Powers or Forces.What we do need to take heed of is the fact that the Sacred Space is not just a formation of a circle on the ground we find our feet upon. The “Circle” is actually a sphere. From the line we create on the ground or in the air before us, we also need to extend energy up and down, cutting through the earth, to form a bubble. If we do not, we are merely spinning in a two dimensional state, whereas we need to spin in all directions possible. We also need to consider what is taking place within the Sacred Space and its formation in regards to energy. Too many people make the mistake of standing in the various and required positions and saying the particular words that they have been instructed to say in order to evoke that point or position. Why is this a mistake? Because all they are doing is saying words. Are they considering the movement of the energies? Are they pushing out energy into that direction and allowing the Forces to flow back along those lines? Are they turning the Mill, which takes an Intent to move the energy around the circle, or are they just stomping and chanting words happily and haphazardly? In many cases, they are not even considering the flow of energy, but just going about the motions in a reverent manner and looking impressive to anyone watching. If you really want to demonstrate your magical prowess, it is far more impressive to not do anything physical and allow them to feel the touch of the energy, than it is to merely look pretty and say all the right words. Sure, the by-standers and audience will probably say, “Wow, he must really know what he is doing because he looked so good and impressive”, but when they encounter someone who can actually touch them deep down inside, they will realize their previous misconception, and the phrase from their lips will alter from that mentioned above, into, “Wow, he really does know what he is doing”, but oftentimes will in fact leave them speechless with tears running down their cheeks.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
The first thing to bear in mind is the formulae of IAO which you may recall was mentioned in my first book, The Reality of Things. The second thing is that the vowels are assigned to energy centres on the body. “I” is assigned to the brow, “E” to the throat, “A” to the heart, “O” to the will centre or navel, and “U” to the root or genitals. The formulae of IAO can therefore be seen as a formulae that focuses on the three main energy centres, the three Cauldrons, being “I” in the Brow, the Cauldron of Wisdom; “A” in the Heart, the Cauldron of Motion; and “O” in the Will Centre, the Cauldron of Warming. Therefore we find another mystical connection.
We can also relate this to Kabbalah in terms of the houses or parts of the body where the three parts of the soul reside. The Neshamah, or Higher Self, resides in the head, the Ru’ach, being the Middle Self, in the heart, and the Nefesh or Lower/Instinctual Self, in the solar plexus. With the singing of IO PAN, we will therefore be uniting all three parts, first the Higher, followed by the Lower, and then uniting in the Middle Self, which is the thinking and rational part of the soul.
We can also refer back to the chapter on the Hexagram found in The Reality of Things, in that the two triangles of the hexagram relate to the feminine and masculine, the Water and Fire elements. If we place a dot in the centre of the hexagram, we then find the third element of the formulae, the uniting or bridging element, Air.
Further, we can also look at the vowels in relation to other aspects. IAO relates to the three letters in the Ineffable Name of God, YOD, HEH and VAU, respectively. And again in the three mother letters SHIN (Fire), ALEF (Air) and MEM (Water), which appear in the centre of the Rose on the Rose-Cross glyph of the Golden Dawn (this rose was originally the Yetziratic Invocation Wheel of the Hebrews).
The singing of the vowels is actually a form of vibrating the vowels in the respective areas. “A” which is sounded AH. This is sung in the heart, the house of the Ru’ach, and is the expression we sound when we are satisfied, we put our hands on our heart and say, “Ahhhh”.
“O” is sung in the solar plexus and is sounded OH, the house of the Nefesh, and we get the sound when we have stomach cramps or someone hits us in the gut, “OHHH”. However the way OH is sung can be a little difficult. The method is known in Kabbalah as “swallowing”, and as you say OH you need to bring the sound to the back of your throat and down as if you were swallowing it. It is easier to demonstrate than to explain, but written form will have to do here.
“I” is sounded as an EE and just like OH, there is a specific technique for singing it. EE is the sound that birds make, very nasal creatures that sing from the nasal cavities of their beaks. When singing the vowel you need to sound the EE in the sinuses and allow it to vibrate in the front of the face and forehead. This can be accomplished by raising the pitch of the sound and smiling with the mouth as the sound of the EE comes through, almost as if you were screeching, but sing it, don’t screech.
So when singing IO PAN, take in a deep breath and then sing EE in the head, followed by OH in the solar plexus, ending with AH in the heart. You are invoking the totality of Self, starting in the head with the Higher Self (Neshamah), followed by the Lower Self in the solar plexus (Nefesh) and ending with the unity of all three in the heart with the Middle Self (Ru’ach) which is the conscious thinking self. The entire singing should be done on one exhalation, then pause between breaths and repeat. Pausing between breaths does not mean holding it, it means to exhale, and then rest or pause, and then inhale again when you require it.
To end, it should be mentioned that there are no vowels in the Hebrew language. The alphabet is made up entirely of consonants, so how then can we derive vowels when speaking in terms of Kabbalah? The letters YOD, HEH and VAU are considered to be the Divine letters. When placed in a certain position in a word, although being consonants, are considered to be vowels in that particular position. It is because of this that YHVH is the Ineffable Name of God, being I-A-O-E, the final HEH taking on the aspect of Earth and therefore taking on the sound EH. The fifth vowel, “U” which is pronounced OO is the Centre, Ether and it doubles up with OH, whereas AH doubles up with EH, and so we have Fire in the head region as the letter YOD (“I” or EE), Air in the region of the throat and chest as the letter HEH (“E” in the throat or EH, and “A” in the heart or AH), Water in the region of the gut from the solar plexus to the lower stomach as the letter VAU (“O” or OH), and finally Earth in the region of the buttocks down to the feet as the letter HEH (final) (“U” or OO in the region of the genitals). This forms the Middle Pillar of the Etz Chayim or Tree of Life, Kether/Yod/Fire; Tifareth/Heh/Air; Yesod/Vau/Water; and Malkuth/Heh/Earth.