I recently got back from a magical retreat. I would just like to take a second to give thanks to Adonai for the opportunity to get together with some of the most brilliant, kind, and spiritual people every year to do some wonderful magic. Although the countless hours of magic did make my head feel as if it was going to explode, I feel refreshingly crispy ;) Thus, this blog will be short, and not as intellectually stimulating as usual...but I feel compelled to get the word out, even if I can still hear the echos of snap, crackle, pop ringing in my ears...
Before I left I mentioned that I was starting to go through some personal alchemical changes again. I belive this was instigated by the heavy Senior workings I was doing at the time. I'm happy to say that my retreat quite thouroughly pushed me through the final stages.
For those of you who may not understand what I am talking about. I am discussing the stages of IAO- Isis, Apohis, Osiris or birth, death, and resurrection. In magic this expresses the trancendental formula a person goes through in moving from the imperfected aspects of the lower self to the perfected, exhaulted nature of the True Self. In life, there is one Great IAO, both pertaining to the physical life, as well as the spiritual. In the Golden Dawn an other traditions which use this formula we seek to acceleratd through magical practice. But, within the Great IAO are many mini stages of it, that go into perfecting the self. I liken this to the distlillation process of the alchemists,. or the Great Breath of Thoth.
This Isis stage is denoted by the feeling of excitement and joy one gets when begining a new venture. Countless amounts of energy and zeal for the task (in this case The Great Work) are hallmarks of the experienced. This would be like the excitement one feels before about climbing and conquering a mountain (Abiegnus anyone?) During the Apohis stage, one begins to feel the brunt of the work. This is how you would feel, in the middle of the mountain climb (tired, hungry, worn) He/she may feel a dryness for the Work, lose interest, or start running into road blocks. This can be a very difficult challenge to go through but is necessary for the Osiris stage to occur.
Now, many people think that getting to the Osiris phase is the end of the path, and the beginning of rest, but this is not the case. As someone who has experienced this state a few times I can say that yes a feeling of refreshment occurs. You experience the zeal again of the Isis stage, but now with a more mature knowledge. You are able to reflect back upon the nature of the challenge you went through and see the deeper patterns underlying it and the steps you took to get here very clearly. After reaching Osiris whenever you are presented with the same problem, your internal state will not be affected, but instead you will face it with ease and confidence.
I always feel a deep sense of humilty and gratitude to the Lord of the Univsere when I have reached this stage as well. It is always so amazing to me, that when I have gotten to the point of ultimate surrender and vulnerability during the Apophis stage, the Lord rescues me from the Dark Night, and places me at the top of the mountain. No, I cannot give any credit to myself outside of showing up for the lashings...because it trully is Adonai who gives so freely of these blessings.
The most signifigant aspect of the Osiris phase is not having reached it, but using this accomplishment to continue in the Work, whether that be in furthering oneself into the next stage of purification or helping another to do so The Osiris phase is not a passive end of the road state but an active phase! If we look to the Hall of the Neophyte we see that it is Osiris who, risen to a state of perfection, thus takes it upon himself to invoke the Light of the Higher so that others may begin thier path to perfection.
Thus, as I take a small respite, and prepare myself to climb the next mountain may the blessings of Isis-Shekinah be upon you all.
Let The Divine Light Descend!