Sunday, June 28, 2009

Path of Purification/Enochian Seniors

In my last blog I spoke about the effects of inward purity on the power of one's magical workings. In theurgy, the process works in tandem. High Magic helps you purify, purity brings you closer to God, and thus your magic becomes more powerful thus leading you to greater purification. However, I have found to get the most efficient effects it is helpful to add onto one's magical practice other practices of purification such as prayer, fasting, meditation, right thought, right action, reading the lives of spiritual masters etc...

Over the next few months I will be undergoing a particularly special practice which will include a gradual purification practice that will build upon itself. Thus, I will start out slowly with one discipline and every few weeks add another until I have a very stringent regimen right around the time the event will take place. I would like to share the results on my blog of how this begins to affect my magic, its power and my consciousness.

Over this past week I began practicing the technique which I shared with you in my previous blog of constant prayer. I have used this technique before and have found it to be quite powerful. It is a little difficult at first to try and realize when your mind has entered a state of empty chatter while doing mundane things. The mind doesn't tame so easily, but as you begin to remind yourself over and over again, it becomes more natural. I haven't reached the state yet where my mind goes naturally to prayer...however I am already seeing the effects it is having on my magic.

This evening a Frater and I did a special ritual for peace. We have dedicated our personal practices to spiritual enlightenment, but our group work to healing the world and others. Recently I just came out of a bought of deep alchemy which was causing me to lose my motivation a bit, thus my magical practice was suffering. But I have been back on track for a few weeks now, and my experience has been good during magic, but not what it could be.

Tonight was a different story. I have been using constant prayer all week and today I made sure to go to Church as partake of the Eucharist. (This is not Golden Dawn, however I am a Rosicrucian and I choose to add Church my personal practice) During the banishings I began to see an underlying shimmer in the space around me. I can't exactly describe it, but it was if I was seeing that Light does permeate all things. Everything in the astral plane had a glow around it as if there was a Light shining from behind it somewhere. As I began moving through the rituals I found myself more intensely connected to the Divine Light than normal (normally its pretty good, but tonight was very powerful) I started to enter a state of bliss and felt entirely connected to the beings around me that we were invoking. It was as if I was on the threshold of a state of oneness with all that was around me, rather than it being there and me being here. Compared to the what I have been feeling recently this was a big jump...I guess a little purification can go along way.

This week I am thinking of adding on a Wed/Fri fast. This is a traditional Orthodox practice that is kept most of the time throughout the year. However, this week is a special week long fast of St. Peter and Paul so I am thinking of just fasting for the whole week. If I choose to do this I will then commence with the Wed/Fri fast the following week as well as the constant prayer.

On a separate note, I would also like to mention that I have found if you are going to seek counsel from the Enochian Seniors it is best if you are fairly purified first. I have been working with them for about 6months, and for about 3 wks or so I wasn't following as strict of a daily regimen as usual. Let me tell you, it is no fun to get your ass handed to you by Enochian Seniors...I very promptly began my practices again and took my butt to Church today to partake of the Eucharist. Of course, you may find a difference in your practice, which I would love to hear about. But this recent instance reminds me of the story of Moses when he hit the rock seems in my experience that once you have purified to a certain level, and you go backwards a bit, the spirits are not always as forgiving as they may have been when you were ignorant of that state. Just a heads-up ;)

I look forward to telling you all of my progress, please pray that I will remain steadfast throughout the months...may you be greatly blessed in your Work.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Cultivating Real Magical Power

I was talking to a leader of the Golden Dawn today and we were discussing the differences between people who do and do not get the results they are seeking in magic. He said he often has felt disappointed over the years because students would do a ritual once or twice and then give up on it if they didn't see the results. It is very rare to find a student who is willing to work through this type of barrier. I said that is because people believe if you do a magical ritual once or twice you should be seeing results, and I do believe this to be true as does he. So what is the difference between people who see immediate and powerful results in thier magic and those who do not?

I believe this answer to be four-fold; Initiation, Training, Mental State, and a Connection to the Divine. The first two subjects are frequently discussed in books and forum so I would like to talk about the last two.

I have spent a great deal of time with my students over the years training them to cultivate a proper mental state before doing thier magic. Proper state meaning, a clearing of one's thoughts, and a raising of one's consciousness to what is known as the Kether Sphere (sphere on the Tree of Life that is vibrationally closest to the pure energy of the Divine). This allows one to become an open vessel for Divine Light to flow into one's ritual practice so that the most powerful forces of the Universe can be used to gain results. It is interesting though how many people gloss over this most important step when doing ritual. I have seen countless people at conferences out in a lobby goofing around and then go into the Temple, and without even taking a few minutes to calm thier thoughts go right into doing an you really think your going to banish anything when you are still thinking about that joke someone just told? So, this is the first step...taking time before ritual to sit, meditate on the Kether Sphere, clear your thoughts, and let your mind and body become an open vessel for the Divine Light. Once you have accomplished this then you can move onto the next step which will cause your magic to become trully powerful.

The second step deals with honing one's Will by focusing one's thoughts throughout the day on magic. This habit takes its place in someone who moves beyond being a hobbyist in magic and one who has taken the magical life-style as their calling or occupation. Even if one must work to gain money, or has familial duties etc...his thoughts are primarily focused on magic and connecting with the Divine. We can see the power of this even in mundane activities. If you look at the people in the world who have accomplished great things (politicians, olympians, humanitarians, scientists, writers etc...), you will find one thing in common...they have single one-pointed awareness on whatever it is they want to accomplish. The same is true for those monks, and yogis who ascend to the hieghts of enlightenement to become Saints. Do you not think if you were to put this much effort into your magical training that you could not, heal the sick with a touch, cast out demons, or control the weather? For every serious step you take to live a magical life-style, your power increases exponentially.

The key to this intense, but powerful training comes in monitoring one's thoughts, and guiding them back to magical topics. I am not talking about obsessing, although this state of mind can be very powerful (it can of course also be very dangerous as it is controlling you, not vice -versa). If you pay attention to your thoughts throughout the day, you will notice that you have a great deal of mental junk floating around i.e. thoughts that really have no purpose. By training yourself to notice these thoughts and than bring them back to what you choose, you are not only honing your Will, but you are placing the power of your thoughts onto one singular thing, thus building up that egregore around you, which can be tapped into when doing ritual work.

Now, you may choose to use this as you wish, but I am a theurgist so I believe that my power in magic is equivalent to how purified I am spiritually, and thus how close my relationship with God/ess is. Thus, the mental training that I have placed upon myself is to hone my thoughts towards the Divine rather than just a magical topic. I usually do this with what is called "constant prayer" I choose a particular short prayer, that I can use as a mantra and when my mind is not on a particular task I try to focus my thoughts on it. The eventual goal being to train my mind to go directly to the prayer when my thoughts do not need to be on something else, without noticing.

I have found it is best for my spiritual and magical development to mix in serious devotional work with my ritual training. As it is imperative to rise up to the Kether Sphere when beginning one's work, it is far easier to bring down that Divine Light, to commune with holy beings such as Archangels, Seniors, and Enochian Angels when I spend the time to work on constantly purifying myself through a devotional practice. By keeping my mind on prayer I leave very little space to dwell on things which lower my energy level such as lust, pride, vanity, and negatice thoughts. However, I also recognize that no spiritual gifts come to me of my own accord, but only through the blessings of the Most High as He/She sees fit...may you also be greatly blessed by the powers of the Lord of the Universe.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

IAO-Osiris As An Active Phase

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!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

BDSM and Spirituality?

This topic may be disturbing for some, as it will touch on practices and beliefs in a fringe part of society that is not accepted by many people. However, in my constant search to discover higher/altered states of consciousness and their purposes in serving the enlightenment of the soul I choose to leave no stone unturned. In order to do this I have studied many mystical traditions, and have recently moved into alternative and fringe cultures. This has allowed me to compare the effects of altered states of awareness brought on by such things as pain, and psychodrama within a non-spiritual context with those in indigenous and mystical traditions.

When I started this blog I was researching the states of consciousness associated with suspension. Recently, I have connected with some people from the BDSM scene. This may conjure up images of spanking, gimps in masks, and various other "deviant" mental pictures, but as I've discovered this is a very broad subculture with many varying and interwoven fantasies, fetishes, and life-styles that are taken into consideration. This culture is not one that is primarily focused on what some may call "sexual deviancy" but instead delves into the unspoken drives of man that have not been broadly accepted by the mainstream. And whenever the subconscious drives of a man come out, a new piece of his personality is known, new boundaries and ideals are revealed, and the ability to go through personal alchemy is given its chance.

What I have found in my friendships with people in fringe communities, is that the great majority of them are incredibly intelligent and mature. Many people in their "play" have found that the resulting experiences have helped them find an internal strength that is then brought into their work, family, and process of self-discovery. Of course if you spend time testing your boundaries, giving yourself to another in an intimate way, and expressing your subconscious desires, you are going to find things out about abilities you never knew you had.

As we not seek similar things? The point is for it to be positive and to explore in a controlled environment. I don't believe in people exploring their "shadow sides" in order to "grow", and delving into drugs, alcohol, cheating and other situations that are the anti-thesis of control. These things allow your lower nature to take over which of course is not in line with personal growth. Instead exploring our subconscious desires in a positive way, with people we love and trust is one tool we can use to stretch and explore our boundaries.

Within my research in BDSM two states of consciousness have been the most intriguing. One is called "subspace" an altered state of awareness that seemingly comes from a rush of endorphins during a "scene" (ritual of play) that leads to feelings of bliss, floating, and an expanded awareness of consciousness. These are similar descriptions to what I have found in my studies of tribal cultures when using "pain rituals" to create visions and connect with Divinity. However, in this instance an assortment of sensations and mental stimulation may come into play such as sexual stimulation, becoming centered in a role-play character, pain, feelings of helplessness, grandiosity, intense love...the list is almost infinite. What is most important in this discussion is what the person, known as a submissive, takes from the situation into real life. Although it is often noted that there is a "come down" phase which can be experienced as emotional lows, many submissive claim to have gained strength, feelings of well-being, and spiritual bliss, by entering this state that can then be applied to their outside lives.

The second intriguing topic has been the notion of willing servitude. Disclaimer: I do not support ANY type of illegal, unwanted, forced, sexual, chattel, slavery, or slavery of any kind! What I am referring to in this blog is the a ritual preformed for by two or more people where the person in servitude has asked to be entered into it of their own free will for their enjoyment. For those outside the BDSM community this may sound preposterous but I have taken the time to interview and discuss this life-style with people who have chosen this, and I assure you they obtain great satisfaction from it. Which is what is intriguing to me and is the basis of this subject.

If one were to study the Western mystical traditions we see the belief that man is a reflection of God. It is the duty of man to shed the material inclination and to claim his mystical heritage as a son or daughter of God, being one with Him/Her and thus being a perfect vessel to express and wield Gods power in the world. However, in order to do this one must reject the sense of ego-self. Thus, he will connect with the Self, ones' true nature, also known as one's Holy Guardian Angel or Higher Genius. This state of absolute humility is only one that those of us on the outside can intellectually contemplate while we strive diligently falling time and again to achieve it. Most of us have not even witnessed extreme humility, as it is mostly gained by those cloistered away from the world, who have undergone daily, heavy, spiritual conditioning.

But, now I have witnessed the attitude of those who have gained a similar state, although not for the goal of spiritual enlightenment (so I believe on some level, there may is a difference). There is one quality about the state of those whom I have talked to, who seek this humility and willing servitude that I think can be brought to our studies. Their happiness is not complete unless they whom they wish to serve is happy. They think about it and contemplate it, and it was described to me by one person "even while doing the dishes", they are lifted into a state of pure bliss described as "otherworldly" by contemplating the other's happiness. This is not far-fetched I often find myself in a state of bliss, while performing my "motherly and wifely" duties. Another interesting quality that I believe factors in is that they feel "called" to this life-style. (Now some may argue that this type of situation can open up a person to some types of abuse, however those in the BDSM community take these things seriously and usually spend a great deal of time getting to know each other, of which is included strict screening and interview processes of all people involved)

Some of my readers may be appalled at the thought of my connecting these two subjects (BDSM and spirituality)...but I don't judge, and my main concern here is to find elements within society that can help those of us who are seeking the completed work of the spirit to get there.
For many, the spiritual path can be a state of great difficulty at times. We continuously see our own imperfection, feel the pain of overcoming unhealthy habits, get burnt out from keeping strict duties of purification, witness the imperfection of our mentors, and are tested by our evil personas. I am not saying that we are like this all the time, of course these painful times are interspersed between periods of great happiness and bliss. But, when we are going through an extended period of harsh alchemy it can be hard to get out of our own heads and quit focusing on the feeling of discomfort or pain to the self. As the imperfect parts die, our egos lash back causing a heated focus on the self, and the desire to turn away from the Work.

But, what if we can reframe our pain, and make our happiness based not on what is in our environment or what our emotional state is but on something greater? This may sound confusing, but think to yourself... Have you ever felt two things at once? One more surface and the other deeper? Have you ever been happy but sad, or felt pain but still peaceful? Emotions are an imperfect reflections of the whole state of awareness available to us. Instead we must get in touch with that deeper faculty inside that shows us the truth. This is where humility comes in, it is the one tool that strips the lower self of all imperfections so that one can clearly see the Light. Thus, the deeper faculty of the True Self is revealed. Our true Nature is to be in complete alignment with the Divine and the Will of the Divine. Does it not make sense then that we would reach this state the quickest through humility, the desire to do the Divine's Will totally?
If our happiness was based on the deepest desire to fulfill the goals of our beloved Elohim would we not swiftly go running into our Mother's arms? True humility doesn't care if he is happy he only wants his Lord to be happy, and paradoxically he becomes happier than he ever imagined.