Thursday, September 21, 2017

Hermetic Lessons - Practical Work Discussion I

As they continue to do the work the students are now leaving the Depth of the Past and moving along the Path of the Moon towards the Depth of the West.  As they acquire their first spiritual ally (their chosen Lunar deity), learn to hone the will through Raja Yoga and continue to attempt astral projection, they will gain perspective on the ''past'' that they are leaving behind.

As much as our experience of life and ourselves is fundamentally mental it is also fundamentally historical. We very literally live in the past - signals take time to get from [assumed] physical reality through our sense organs until they are organized and transformed into the representation of reality that we experience in our minds.  Being behind the moment in this way makes it really difficult to tell how far behind the moment we exactly are:

- did this already happen and are we in a loop?
- is this mental experience of reality happening in a dying mind, are we literally ''catching up'' with our own death?
- mindfulness only allows you to connect with this mental impression of ''now'' what I call the immediate past, it allows you to catch up with your ''catching up''
- consciousness as anti-time a) the idea of reverie being a shallow experience of highlights of this life but building into a honed, sustained reverie that can take you back through your own geneline b) the idea of prediction and anticipation being a form of future reverie which we can again hone and sustain to see the future (which is also history)




I set the students a series of tasks to complete between now and December when the course will continue with a further three lectures/practical workshops.  They have to:

- form a connection with a lunar deity of their choice
- follow the instructions and attempt to get results on the astral plane or fail gloriously
- succeed in one restriction/observance
- acquire knowledge of basic astrology

I think that although teaching styles are a problem within the WMT they are ultimately regulated by market forces, i.e. the less able teachers are finding that students are not interested in their work and don't want to pay for tickets, venues, lessons, etc.  The more able/flexible teachers will find themselves overbooked and will have to create co-teachers etc.  The more pressing problem regarding teaching at the moment is the notion that teaching = leading and this is probably why the community is treading water.  More on that later but right now I want to explain/explore/justify some of these choices from the perspective of the teacher and also discuss some of the issues the students are having and how I will address them as we proceed -  transparency about the teaching/learning process makes a big difference to the quality of the lesson. 

As we move into the world of dreams and illusion* that is the Astral Plane (beginning in the Depth of the West) the students must have acquired spiritual allies - these allies are for their own protection and will allow them to sustain a vision for longer than they would normally and reduces the chances of being kicked off. Although there are a variety of possibilities here lunar deities are a good place to start as the Moon is the traditional guardian to the entrance to this realm and we are going to need relationships with all 7 sacred planets. As outlined in the Seshat working one of the students made very rapid progress regarding astral experiences after they engaged in a small ceremonial magic ritual to their chosen Lunar deity, then used the prayer as a mantra during gazing.  Although this student chose an Egyptian deity my general advice was to pick a deity that your ancestors might have worshipped.  Another of Irish/Welsh descent is making good progress and has just selected their deity - Rhiannon. I consulted a scholar friend of mine who put this together for her, along with an audio so she can perfect the working in the (closest) language to the deity:


O Rhiannon sydd yn fwy hynafol na hanes y tir
Eich ceffyl yn gyflymach na syniad ac yn ysgafnach na'r gwynt
O Rhiannon yn sefyll ar y twmpath gyda golau lleuad
Rwyf yn eich addoli
Rhiannon doeth, Rhiannon deg Dduwies gwirionedd amyneddgar

The other two seem a bit confused and overwhelmed by the choice but they will make it in the end I'm sure. One is mainly interested in the history of alchemy and has Italian ancestry so I am thinking of directly referring them to Luna/Diana as opposed to another Lunar deity - if you have any other suggestions please advise in comments.  The remaining student is being very cryptic so we will see what emerges.

In addition to attempts on the astral students are also working on lucid dreaming and sleep paralysis.  Sleep Paralysis, an experience I recommend new students attempt to have, has the equivalent horror factor of the midnight ritual in the graveyard (when it comes to developing the astral body) and some students crave that kind of intense experience to ''jump-start'' their work.  Ignoring the roll-over signal is an incredibly easy way of inducing sleep paralysis and after a few failed/aborted attempts students seem to be making ''progress'' there.  Its a kind of cheap, dirty trick to have an OBE quickly and get the conversation on ''what is the self?'' moving outside of the confines of the [sensation of] the physical body - it starts a very different kind of conversation than lucid dreaming does (which is a more common experience although not one that is commonly mastered).  We can also discuss the way in which the outer mind protects itself from the activities of the inner mind.

Certainly having to teach is making me reflect on my own experiences and knowledge and how I structure the transmission - in many ways I am adapting an AA style approach but with the Saadia Tree of Life.  I think the systematic development of different faculties is important and in some ways we are ''climbing the tree'' while maintaining an emphasis on unification and ''grounding''.

1) Depth of Past - Question physical reality and embrace truth of mental reality
2) Depth of West - Memory
3) Depth of Down - Remembering
4) Depth of Up - Forgetting
5) Depth of East - Inner Mind

As we learn about the properties of memory in the next set of lessons, we will be learning more than microcosmic tricks for enhanced reflexes, referencing, learning to think with the spine, or recovering from trauma more rapidly etc but also to ''remember into existence'' and ''forget from existence'', we will also be learning about how the faculties of remembering and forgetting correlate with synchronicities and de-synchronicities.  Ultimately we will be moving through physical, psychological, informational, ''spirit'' and mind-only models to our final destination the time-dependent or temporal entanglement model.

*Like spheres this is an introductory explanation for the Astral Plane, my own understanding is different to this but its a way in.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Twin Peaks and the Tree of the Return

 Its 2:53 in Vegas and that adds to 10 the number of completion.

Special Agent Dale Cooper, Twin Peaks the Return

Without denying other clear influences David Lynch used the Kircher Tree of Life as the structural basis of Cooper's Return to Twin Peaks. Beginning in Malkuth with Cooper sitting in the chair we followed him and his Doppleganger as they raced up through the Tree of Life through Yesod (the so-called ''Mauve Zone'') and beyond.  There are countless examples of where Lynch tied a particular colour to an episode or used other symbolism from the paths on the Hermetic Tree such as the ''palm'' (Kaph)  of Ike the Spike, or the ''hand'' (Yod) of Freddie, some of you may remember the ''window'' (Heh) where the loud scraping forces Cole to adjust his ear piece, etc etc.  Throughout the Return we see the magickal imagery of the Sephiroth (man on throne, wise man in profile etc) and Partzufim or magickal character-archetypes.

As I said in the beginning this idea of Cooper's Golden Dawn style ascent would prove difficult to resolve (and potentially cause magickal calamity) as the Kircher Tree is fundamentally broken but that he may have attempted to ''repair'' it in the remaining episodes after the characters had reached Kether - the way in which certain esotericists sometimes distinguish between a Cordoveran ''Tree of Emanation'' and a Lurianic ''Tree of Return''. I also said that there would probably be other discombobulating consequences from effects upon the cast and director all the way up to altering the weather.


THE PATH OF THE FOOL
As my close readers know I attempted something very similar to Cooper's ''botched'' attempt to restore Laura during my stay at Edward Kelley's Tower and although I was using a different Tree for my work, my colleague Vincent Bridges was using the Kircher.  Nevertheless the logical conclusion of this kind of Qabalistic work results in the recognition of the 4th dimensional self, the time-traveller/prophet, and an awareness of the kind of ''physics'' which it is necessary to understand in order to fully become this being and explore its new reality.  In trying to alter time, myself and Bridges, like Cooper, certainly failed but what emerged was a dialogue between us and ''entities'' (Raziel and others) regarding how to think about and operate in this new arena, that of being lost in time - which is of course the natural state of all humankind when they face up to it.

What is repair?  In my own research, repair is fundamentally about restoring the Fallen Daughter from her pendulant position in Malkuth to her original position in Binah, the seat of the superior mother which we see in the final attempt by Cooper to take Laura ''home''.  Repair means fully living your life with the knowledge that you are your mental self experiencing your mental universe as opposed to the delusion that you are a physical self living in a physical universe. I know that what I feel like I am inside right now is not my physical body but my own mind's homunculus of myself, I know that the objects around me are not the physical objects themselves but composed of the stuff of my own thought but I understand that it is one thing to ''know'' that and another to understand it and live that way.  It doesn't matter how much sorcery you do to get that foxy redhead or your fancy new promotion if you're going to forget it all when you die and wake up in your next life as if amnesiac from a shipwreck with your memories scattered like wreckage along the shoreline.  Its absolutely futile.  Without developing/becoming this time-traveller for all your sorcerer's power you're no different from anyone else.



In some ways we do see this repair in the finale of Twin Peaks which leaves Cooper both lost in time and questioning the nature of his and Laura's reality itself.  However disquieting it may be, Cooper, in fully understanding his new predicament is actually experiencing the awakening of the 4th dimensional self and eventually rising to meet the challenges of a fundamentally different kind of existence - is it future or is it past?  I feel like Richard and in truth I have for a long time.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

The Seshat Working




My partner has been steadily building a relationship with the Goddess Seshat through ritual offering and prayer and she reached a point where she wanted to experience some ceremonial magic.  The altar was set with a personally sculpted small statue of the Goddess, a small leopard statue, a moonstone specifically dedicated to her, and three candles one silver, one purple and one black.  The ritual began with her reciting her prayer 27 times to some Egyptian meditation music, an evocation, and then a series of questions that she would like for Seshat to answer:

- what happens to the soul after death?
- is there a physical world?
- are you telling me I should work with Wadjet?*

Mr partner's experience was confined to a set of visual/audio hallucinations/communications which she interpreted as answers to the questions.  The first question involved the statue of Seshat seemingly levitating and generating some kind of halo while she heard the word ''spirit'' in her mind, the second question resulted in the statue seemingly flipping from 2d to 3d which my partner interpreted as being related to the holographic universe theory and the 3rd question was not met with an answer.



While sitting behind her I concentrated on using my astral vision to attempt to see Seshat - to some extent I was consciously attempting to remote view Seshat through time, to see the person that the Goddess emerged from, using the ritual as a means of targetting and zooming in.  As I tried to concentrate I went through the standard clouds of nagging thoughts and itches/fidgets - ''breaks''.  As I cleared these attachments I tried to find a way to Seshat.  My thoughts landed on Thoth and my mind's eye traced the line of his beak.  As the beak was ''traced'' into the astral it rotated 90 degrees and became my beak.  I was flying in the body of an Ibis low over the muddy banks of a reedy river when I came across Seshat who appeared as a young woman in a smock with some purplish eye makeup but otherwise covered in mud, and studying and playing with that same mud.  As I observed her she became rapidly aware of my spying and I experienced a strong pain in my third eye which rose in intensity until it ended the vision.  What communication there was between us was telepathic. I got the impression [she told me???] that she was a low born girl, ''a claydigger's daughter'' who was immensely intelligent and complex.

The answers or rather reactions I recieved were as follows: to the question about the soul after death I got the sense that she had attempted to answer this question pursued it to considerable depths and even in spite of her intelligence could not answer it; the question about the physical world she thought the question was stupid and answered it with a yes and a raise of her muddy hand; the last question fell on deaf ears she didn't seem to know who Wadjet was or why that would matter.  I think at this point she also began to ''see'' the ritual, to ''gaze'' back into our world at which point she commented that she didn't look like her statue.

The following day I taught the lesson on astral projection to my partner and the rest of the class and she followed through with the instructions and had her first astral experience using the Seshat prayer as a mantra to steady her mind.  In this vision, she passed through mist [her visualization of the membrane] to find herself on some sort of Egyptian boat with Seshat who was a young girl.  She felt the intelligence radiating and that she was in the presence of a prodigy who was believed to be some sort of goddess by the people.  Seshat waved her hands and a group of leopards approached the banks of the Nile and then began following the boat with her and she realised that she had power over the world and access to true magic.  She got the sense that Seshat subsequently died early and that whoever she was inhabiting the point of view of had lost a dear friend.  This vision had a massive emotional impact on my partner.


In conclusion Seshat seems to be an extremely intriguing character if perhaps a difficult Goddess to work with in the beginning being seemingly somewhat socially awkward and aloof with her brilliance (this might not be fair) and the intrusion of Wadjet into my partner's sphere is clearly coming from something else, worryingly or otherwise.  I am really happy that she has experienced the astral with Seshat and that in itself has brought her answers and more questions about her mortality/immortality and as a teacher I am happy that by following the instructions I was able to get a student there already.  I am looking forward to the results of the others.

*The Goddess Wadjet is a character in a story she is writing and the work began after the work with Seshat so she was curious as to whether they were linked or not, whether Seshat was somehow recommending she work with Wadjet.