Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Importance of Breath in Prayer

Prayer and invocation are a huge part of my practice. I am much more apt to contact a spirit through meditation and chant than by formal evocation. We can talk another time about why this is but for this discussion I wanted to talk a bit about the how, the procedure, of effective invocation and prayer. The two most integral and important elements of prayer are the breath and visualization. It is breath and breathing that is perhaps so obvious that most people overlook its importance. At least that was how it was for me.

I always exhale during my prayers. The impetus to do so came to me while I was reciting the Astrachios prayer. In that prayer a series of 28 names are invoked to empower the magician. According to the instructions in the True Grimoire it is to be recited several times throughout the day. I would recite it as I'm walking my dog, while I was riding the bus, halfway down a staircase at work, and any time I had a few minutes to devote. Sometimes I couldn't use my full voice and sometimes I would need to be downright silent. In all cases though I use my mouth and my breath and I always exhale.

Over the course of my practice there were times that I would recite the Astrachios prayer with both inhales and exhales. The names recited on inhale had a very different feel to me than the exhales. It was this recognition of the difference that caught my attention and illustrated just how important exhalation is for prayer.

A couple of months ago I heard a lecture by Al Cummings in which he mentioned that, in prayer, the exhalation itself was a kind of offering just as incense might be. An exhale sends out more than air from the lungs. There is moisture and energy which, when combined with prayer, become an integral part of it. It is a physical manifestation of the life force. The exhalation sends the words and intent of the magician out into the universe; it makes the prayer real in a certain sense.

Breath as spiritual power has echoes in the macrocosm. Countless are the myths in which divinity creates and then breathes life into their creation. The word inspire means to be filled with the breath of God and thereby vivified or filled with knowledge. The breath coming out of your mouth and nose right now is directly related to the breath of God. To use the breath consciously in prayer is to participate in the divine creation process.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Meditations on Astaroth

After I finished the cycle of scrying the Spirits of the Mansions of the Moon I felt it was time to get back to working with the goetic spirits. The day after I did the last Moon scrying session, September 25th, I got to work memorizing Astaroth's conjuration from the True Grimoire. I started a practice of reciting the conjuration on my string of mala beads. I added Scirlin's conjuration and Astaroth's conjuration to my daily recitations of the Astrachios prayer. When I walked around my neighborhood I would pluck rosemary and rub it against my forehead then flick the remains into the next intersection saying "Astaroth, Lady of the Crossroads".  I burnt incenses in their honor.

I asked Astaroth to teach me her magic.

A couple of things happened immediately. First, I came down with a cold stronger than I've had in many years and, second, my work projects multiplied and piled up. I don't know that the cold taught me a whole lot about Astaroth's magic but my work projects certainly did.

In the grimoires Astaroth is given the powers of invisibility and procuring honor, among other things. This dual power of glamour and invisibility were my first lesson in Astaroth's magic. Professionally I work managing volunteers for a nonprofit organization. At the beginning of October I had several projects laid at my feet and my task for all of them was to recruit, train, and supervise volunteers. These are people who were being asked to work hard at some pretty menial jobs for no pay. The only reasons that any of them volunteer are purely emotional; either they love the cause or I can talk them into it. This is where the glamour of Astaroth comes in.

This is also the part of the essay where the UPG comes in.

I was shown two visualization techniques. The first and most important is the image of an eclipsed sun or star. I experimented a bit with the visualization: sometimes the corona of the eclipse was my aura, sometimes it was a small shining circlet on my forehead, other times it was gigantic and extended from horizon to horizon, and other variations. It is the corona of this visualized eclipse that I used to both call willing volunteers to me and also to dazzle them when we were face to face. This corona of light gave me an aura of charismatic beauty and I used it as well as I could. I suspect that the shadow part of this eclipse visualization would help with invisibility but I haven't used that just yet. I needed to be a shining beacon calling like a siren to all who could hear me.

The second visualization I used less but the times I did use it, it seemed very effective. It is a little difficult to describe but, essentially, as I looked people in the eye I reached in through their pupils and grabbed them by the fibers of their brains. People would become transfixed and would absorb my instructions or be compelled by my arguments. The astute student of the occult will recognize an echo in this of Agrippa's "Of Fascination and the Art Thereof", Three Books of Occult Philosophy, Book 1, Chapter 50, http://www.esotericarchives.com/agrippa/agripp1c.htm#chap50.

There is much more to learn from Astaroth. Among the avenues I hope to pursue are her reflections in the avatars from her past, Inana, Astare, Hecate; her attribute as wealth giver; the spirits listed as her subordinates in the True Grimoire; and her general connection to the Underworld.  As I learn more I will update with my findings.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Astaroth, Page One

 
 
Page one of a new journal dedicated to Astaroth. 100 pages to fill. I'll keep you updated on how it progresses.
For those of you unfamiliar with what is depicted here, on top is Astaroth's seal from the True Grimoire, below is the word square from the Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage "for emeralds".

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Spirits of the Mansions of the Moon; Raubel

This is an account of me practicing my visualization/astral skills by working with the Spirits of the Mansions of the Moon. It is entirely UPG. Enjoy.

Raubel in the House of Atarfa.
I step through my door and onto a green, grassy hilltop. The wind is blowing and bending the blades of grass. The sky is bright blue and fluffy white clouds drift on the wind. Directly in front of me, hovering above the hilltop is a man brightly glowing red all over. He is like a red light and it is so bright that I can't see any details or features, just the shape. His hands are outstretched so that he resembles a letter tau or a crucifix. He announces to me that he is Raubel. I introduce myself and say that I wan to learn his magic. He descends and touches down on the hill in front of me. He reaches up and pulls a hood from in front of his face revealing his head. This makes the glow disappear. His clothing now looks like normal canvas colored red. The features of his face are all disproportionately large and exaggerated. He says, "first thing to learn is how to breathe," and he gives me instruction on modifying my breathing. I follow his instructions and I can feel a change in vibration over my whole body. Then he glows red again but not as brightly as before. He reaches out his hand toward my head. A glowing sigil of red lines floats out of his palm and melts into my forehead. He suggests I try my hand at glowing. I glow blue and I see a blue sigilized version of my name. It hangs between us but disappears as Raubel levitates again, spreading his arms wide as before. He tells me that the levitation is a skill for which I am not yet ready and that we had probably done enough for now. I thank him and turn back to my door and leave.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Spirits of the Mansions of the Moon; Annediex

This is an account of me practicing my visualization/astral skills by working with the Spirits of the Mansions of the Moon. It is entirely UPG. Enjoy.

Annediex in the House of Annathra.
I stepped through my door and into the Mansion Annathra which appeared as the tree tops of a very dense forest. The branches and leaves are so thick that I can step onto the tree tops and they hold me up. There is a slight give as they bend slightly under my weight. It is like walking on a giant woven basket. The surface undulates with the different heights of the trees below. I walk for a bit not seeing anyone. The sun is out and it is a pleasant day. I wonder that I haven't seen anyone. I look down and see that the branches have thousands of small ants crawling around on them. As I watch, the ants arrange themselves to form a large face of moving, writhing ants. The face smiles. I ask if it is Annediex and in a woman's voice she says she is. I ask, "what is your magic?" In response she laughs and the ants crawl away, dissolving the face. It looks like water flowing away into the texture of the tree. Then a gigantic ant with wings walks up to me. It is bigger than I am and it is stark white. It stops in front of me and I crawl up onto its back. It flies off and to a castle made of the same living tree tops as the floor. The ant lands on a large balcony. I look at the walls of the castle and see that the branches that form the walls are actively growing, slowly flowing into the shape of the building. I walk into the doorway of the balcony and into the castle. Inside there is a large rug on the floor and shelves full of various things. Near the far wall there is a man in a long robe who turns toward me as I walk in. He has a long beard and he says, "I am Morex and I am here to teach you the magic of Annediex." I am impressed and I thank him. I ask when I can talk to him and he tells me when the Moon is in this Mansion. I ask if I may have a lesson now. He pulls out a small dish full of water and shows me a method of dissolving influence into it. I thank him again. He points to the giant white ant that is still on the balcony and says that it is named Valan and that he has something to show me. I walk out onto the balcony and crawl back onto the back of the ant. It flies up and then then dives under the tree tops of the forest. Under the mat of branches that form the canopy the forest floor is dark and thick with thorny tree trunks. Valan says, "the thorns are deadly. The bark is bitter but healing." I tell Valan that I enjoy this Mansion. He says, "the Mansions will be good to you but you don't understand them yet. Each Mansion has two sides but that the manifestation isn't dependent on the astrological conditions." I thank him and make my good byes and leave.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Spirits of the Mansions of the Moon; Geriz

Geriz in the House of Alnath.
This session came very easily this time. When I stepped trough my door I found myself on the floor of a Roman coliseum. The day is hot and dry. In front of me is a gladiator with a sword, wearing a helmet, with his arms raised in victory. The bodies of dead men are littered around the arena. The crowd cheers loudly. I suddenly feel very conspicuous with the roaring crowd all around. The gladiator faces me and says cheerfully, "come, let's celebrate," and he leads me through a door on one side of the arena. Through the door we come to a small room with a rough table. The walls are yellow and the texture of rough plaster. The gladiator takes off his helmet. His hair is dark and clings to his head with sweat. His face is flush and ruddy. He smells of sweat and blood. He smiles at me and puts his helmet on the table. He picks up a bottle of wine and pours some into two cups, one for each of us. I ask, "what is your magic?" He makes a fist and says, "driving through,' as he makes a punching gesture. Back in the coliseum the sound of a horn calls out. The gladiator looks up and grabs his helmet. He walks back onto the floor of the coliseum. I follow him to the door but I hold back at the door. There is now a minotaur with a sword ready to fight. The gladiator advances and kills the minotaur easily. The crowd roars. The minotaur falls onto a stack of bodies I hadn't noticed. The gladiator turns to me and says, "I want to show you something." He walks back into the small room. Now on the table are large sheets of paper covered in diagrams. I leaf through the papers but I don't really understand or recognize what is drawn on them. "Strategy is very important," he says. Then with passion he says, "now is the time to put your plans into action!" Before I can say anything the horn blows again in the coliseum. The gladiator grabs his helmet and heads back out. I take the opportunity to leave and end the session.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Spirits of the Mansions of the Moon; Anuxi

This is an account of my practicing my visualization/astral skills by working with the Spirits of the Mansions of the Moon. It is entirely UPG. Enjoy.

Anuxi in the House of Arrexhe.

When I opened my door into the Mansion of Arrexhe I found myself in a landscape that looked like the surface of the Moon. It was gray and rocky and thick with dust. The sky was black and starless. I walked for a bit and soon came to a small, round grass hut. The dried grass of the walls and roof were a golden color that stood in stark contrast to the monochrome grayness of the landscape. As I got closer to the hut a man comes out of the door and challengingly says, "hey, who are you?" His head is shaved and he is wearing clothes made of animal furs. I introduce myself and say that I am looking for Anuxi. He relaxes a bit and cheerfully says, "oh, come in," and he turns and reenters the hut. I follow him and see that the interior of the hut is a spiral staircase leading down. We walk down the stairs and at the floor the room is no bigger than the hut. In the middle there is a large stone that looks like it is used as a table and two stones for chairs on either side. There seems to be a shaft of light  coming from above and illuminating the stone table. It does not look like a habitation. Anuxi asks me if I play cards. I say, "sure, I guess." Excitedly he gestures for me to sit. He deals some cards. I look at the cards in my hand and see I have a queen, an 8, and two 2s. The cards don't look like the regular suits of playing cards as they change colors in my hand. Anuxi puts two small silver fish on the table between us as a bet. I hold out my hand to the side and envision two similar looking fish that appear in my hand. He looks at me sideways seeming a little wary but when I put my fish on the table as my bet he relaxes. He looks at his cards and cheers. He has 3 queens. "I win," he exclaims as he scoops up the fish. It is only at this point that I realize I don't really know what game we are playing. I decide to try and change the subject so I ask if there are others nearby. He tells me that there is an old man near here. I ask him where he got the fish. Anuxi tells me there is a lake not far away. I ask if we can go there and he assents. We walk back up the spiral stairs and out of the hut. He leads me to a large body of water that is unnaturally still and mirror flat. In fact I'm not sure it is water. I pick up some of the dust from the ground and throw it onto the surface of the lake. The dust sinks into the water but doesn't leave any ripples. I ask Anuxi, "what is your magic?" He says, "long sight," and I get the impression that he means long in time as well as distance. Then the whole vision goes dark. I hear a loud voice say, "the ashes will not break," and I am kicked out of the vision and the session ends abruptly.