Friday, March 25, 2016

Tarot Working, Strength


Strength
Strength manifested for me differently than I thought she would. I sat with my candle and card to do the scrying session. I called to her in the usual way; “come to me, speak to me, share with me your wisdom, show me your forms”. After calling for a bit I saw a halo form around the figure in the card, her eyes glowed with a light, and I felt a tickling at the back of my neck, this was the signal.
I asked, “how can I use your energy in my life?” In response her stomach seems to bend inward and she says, “flexibility.” Then her face changes to that of a skull. The skull face opens its eyes and they grow larger and glowing. I notice that she is holding her mouth in such a way that it appears it is full of liquid. I know that this liquid is venom. I am a little surprised at this. I hadn’t anticipated skulls and venom being part of this card’s imagery.
I ask, “what lessons can you teach me?” As I gaze at the card the background of the image changes to a sunset in shades of red and purple. The lady in the image looks away from me toward the sunset and kind of shrugs. Then the positive and negative spaces of the card switch back and forth. At turns she is a solid figure in empty space and then she is an empty space shaped like a lady and a lion in a solid block. She becomes solid again, looks at me, and smiles as fangs grow from her mouth and her eyes widen.
I ask, “what is the lion’s name?” Her face takes an annoyed expression and she says nothing. The lion looks up at her but he also says nothing, waiting for her cue. As I look at the lion I realize that he is looking at something in her hand and I get an impression that it is a symbol drawn on her palm. It transfixes his attention and is part of her control over him. I also get an impression that she is reaching into his mouth with the other hand to retrieve a word that is there. I ask, “what is the word in the lion’s mouth?” She says, “breath”. Now I’m not sure if she is reaching for his breath or a word.
I ask, “Strength, what is your message to me?” In response she points to her left eye and my left eye itches. I ask, “are we connected?” She says, “I force your hand as well.” I take it she means as well as the lion.
I ask, “can I use you to force the actions of others?” She looks at me and her eyes narrow appraisingly but she says nothing.

I ask, “what is your relationship with the lion?” Her face changes to that of an old man with a thick gray mustache. She puts her right hand up and says, “he helps me keep my promises,” then she changes back to the lady. She looks down at the lion with concerned compassion and says, “he needs my guidance”.
I ask, “can you help me remember my strength?” The lady grows fangs again. Her eyes start glowing again as does her hair and the mantle she wears on her shoulders. It reminds me of the gorgon. She says, “I help you fight your fears”.
With that I wrap up the session asking her to be a presence in my life, to be my ally. I thank her for her wisdom. I ask her to help me use her energy wisely and to be at peace. Then I snuff my candle and I get an incredible amount of soot on my fingers blackening the ends of them. I wash my hands and as I finish my front blows open.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Scirlin's Exhumation

For those of you keeping track, today is the ninth day of the Scirlin Head working. Today I dug him up. Again, I got up early and was at the site an hour before sunrise. As I was walking to the site I saw a figure ahead of me on the sidewalk, maybe a block or two away. I feared that I might have to delay if someone were hanging around at the crossroads.
I hadn't told you yet that the crossroads I chose, and that was approved by Scirlin, was a place where three roads intersected. It is several blocks from my home but it is on the city bus line (on my way to work each morning) and there is a municipal landscaped area (that very few people would care if I was digging in). It is pretty well in public. I figured it was better to hide in plain sight than to be skulking around my neighborhood digging in the neighbors' yards. (Scirlin hadn't approved of any of the intersections within my immediate sphere of influence, like my driveway.) But because it was at a bus stop there was always the danger of company.
I recited the Astrachios prayer and asked God to help this working go smoothly. When I arrived at the spot I was alone. I recited the Astrachios prayer again. I called to Scirlin to end his slumber and arise to join me. Then I dug him out of his shallow grave. The earth had settled in his eye sockets and the dirt in general was muddy and smelled like brandy. I had the head wrapped in a bag to protect the unfired clay from melting and as I picked him up I could feel that one of the horns had broken loose. C'est la vie. I guess that's what he looks like now. I put the head in a tote bag. I thanked God, I thanked Scirlin, and I thanked the spirits of the place where I had him buried. Then I lit a stick of incense in thanksgiving. Then I left, leaving the incense burning. As I walked I had a few glimpses of a figure from the corner of my eye and, of course, when I looked directly no one was there.
In the original operation it is said that on the eighth morning a spirit will arrive to ask for the brandy. None did with me but I am encouraged by the figure attending me as I walked to and from the last day of the burial.
But I haven't opened the bag up yet. As I write this dawn is breaking and the head is in a tote bag on my work table. I'll wait to open it and wake Scirlin fully once I have a chance to suffumigate properly with invocations and prayers. Now, however, is time for me to get my day started.
The work is not done yet but the getting up at 5am part is.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Scirlin at the Equinox

This morning was morning number 5. If one were to add up all the 24 hour segments and divide by half this morning's oblations are in the middle. How synchronous that, by a margin of only a few hours, the middle of my Scirlin Head rite falls on the Spring Equinox.
Scirlin is the spirit of the middle.
Scirlin is the spirit of in between.
And as the Sun steps out of the watery Underworld of Pisces and into the fiery dawn of Aries so too does my Scirlin Head transverse the Underworld and then return back to the Middle world when he is reborn and exhumed from the crossroads.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Scirlin Head Update

Today is day 4 in my Scirlin Head working. This morning I did things slightly differently than I had for the previous three. This morning I woke up early and went directly out to do the oblations at the grave. For the past three days I has been getting up early and getting ready for work before heading out to visit Scirlin. For all three of those days I felt like I was racing with the Sun and I was really pushing the definition of "before dawn". This morning I was out and back well before 7:00am. The sky was lightening but it was still dark.
I got to the grave about an hour before sunrise this morning. I sprinkled the grave with the brandy, said some prayers, and burned some mace. The mace burned exceptionally well. I'm inclined to take this as a sign of approval or appreciation from Scirlin. At any rate it felt good. It seems well before sunrise is preferable than just at or just after sunrise.
The brandy is almost gone so yesterday I bought a new bottle. This time I got Clear Creek 8 year old apple brandy, one of my favorites. When I walked into the liquor store Roxy Music's Avalon was playing on the store's sound system. I took it as a sign that it was to be apple brandy.
So far so good. I'll have more updates as the work progresses.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Tarot Working, The Wheel of Fortune


The Wheel of Fortune

The Wheel took me two tries to reach. The first time there was no answer to my call. Or at least not one I heard. For a moment I had a panic that maybe I wouldn’t hear anything and this would be a very short post but instead I persevered. I tried again the next day and had more success.
 I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would it be one of the characters on the card that speaks to me or something wholly different? I made the call as I had before and soon felt a pressure at my forehead. This was the sign of the presence of the spirit.
I asked, “how can I use your energy in my life?” I saw the sphinx rise above the rim of the wheel and I was told that the sphinx is independent of the wheel, “objectivity”. The flame of the candle I have burning starts dancing wildly. I am also told that the spirit wants to called Fortune and not Wheel or Wheel of Fortune.
I ask, “what are the lessons you can teach me?” The sphinx shoulders his burden, “acceptance, responsibility.” I ask, “what other lessons can you tech me?” I am told, “the hub has no motion,” and then, “falling is a matter of perspective.”
I ask, “what are your names?” I am told the creature on the left is Worry, the creature on the right is Haste, and the sphinx calls himself King. The sphinx tells me that he keeps the two creatures on a track that they are not even aware of. I ask, “do you keep them trapped?” He responds, “they trap themselves.” Then the sphinx sheds a tear at the necessity of his cruelty. I then see the wheel atop a green hill. It spins very quickly and I see the creatures holding on tightly and I realize they are afraid to let go lest they injure themselves so they hold on more and more tightly.
The sphinx then tells me that he is the spirit of Fortune. I see two cloaked figures at the shoulders of the sphinx. Their hoods are up and their faces are covered. The cloaked figures are praying over the wheel. I see that the wheel is used to spin the creatures into gold thread. I am told that this is alchemy through trial. The sphinx says, “the wheel moves you up, the wheel moves you down, all are hardship, all are trial. This is perfection of the soul through hardship.”
I ask, “how can you help me through hardship?” The sphinx tells me, “I can change your perspective, I can change the direction of your hardship. The ecliptic of stars is my symbol. I contain all experiences, I can teach all lessons.”
I ask, “can I use you to change the fortunes of others?” He tells me, “not directly. I am an agent of your soul.“ The sphinx smiles.
Then I see the creature on the right, Haste, has nearly reached the top of the wheel and can nearly touch the sphinx but just as he tries the wheel jumps and suddenly the creature on the right is now the creature falling on the left, completely missing the sphinx.
The wheel is always in motion.
At this point I end the session, asking Fortune to be an ally in my life, to help learn its lessons, and to use its power wisely. With thanks I tell Fortune to be at rest.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Scirlin Head


As part of my Verum work in general, and my work with Scirlin specifically, I have constructed a divinatory Scirlin head. The technique is something I read about on the Grimorium Verum Yahoo Group. It is based on the Invisibility rite from the second section of the True Grimoire, number VI, To Make Oneself Invisible. In that rite it is Morail that is called as he is the spirit whose specialty is invisibility. In the rite one is supposed to take a head of a dead man and put beans in the seven orifices- the eyes, the nostrils, the mouth and the ears. These beans, after all the ritual is complete, have the power to impart ivisibility. By the rite the head is empowered. The process, however, can be modified to fit a number of applications one of which is the Scirlin head I made.


The first stages of the forming

I chose a Tuesday morning because all the other operations in the grimoire involving Scirlin happen on a Tuesday. I filled the head with mint, marjoram, rosemary, mace blades, and other ingredients. I missed the first hour of the day so I didn't adhere too strongly to the planetary hours.



A cavity for secret ingredients

I used the Mercury head dimes I had for this project. I blessed the head and baked it in the oven for a couple of hours. The clay dried much lighter than I anticipated. These photos were taken while the clay was still wet.



The head just before baking in the oven

I have buried the head at a crossroads near my home. this morning is morning number two in the process. Each morning before dawn I will sprinkle it with brandy for eight mornings. I'll update as we progress.
The work with Scirlin and the Verum spirits continues. 

Friday, March 11, 2016

Tarot Working, The Hermit


The Hermit
I feel a great affinity with the Hermit. I chose the name the Moonlit Hermit with this card specifically in mind. There really was not much to report as far as my informal working with him went. I carried his card around and I had the card as the image on the home screen of my phone. I did have some bouts of nostalgia and thoughts of the past that I attribute to the Hermit.
So I sat with the Hermit one afternoon when I had some time to myself. I called to him in the standard fashion that I’ve been using for all the previous cards. “I call to you. Come to me, speak to me, share with me your wisdom and show me your forms.” After a bit of quiet contemplation and calling I had more thoughts of the past and the future come into my mind and then I felt a breeze gently pass across my lips and face. I took this as the sign of his arrival.

I asked “how can I use your energy in my life?” He points to the inside of his cloak which starts to glow. He says, “concealment.” Then he does this thing where he opens and closes his mouth as if to speak then thinking better of it says nothing. He does this a few times.
I ask, “what are the lessons you can teach me?” In response his staff becomes Prometheus’s reed in which he hid the divine spark of heaven. The Hermit protects the burning ember in the end of his staff from the wind using his cloak. He tells me he is a coconspirator with Prometheus. As he does so his face takes on a friendly but serious expression.

I ask, “what is in your lantern?” He says, “pathways,” and I see that the inside of his lantern resembles a small, round room with doors all around.
I ask, “are you traveling or are you still?” He says, “I have paused at the crossroads, assessing.” At this a thrill runs across my scalp, standing the hairs. I didn’t feel frightened but this kind of physical sensation comes up now and then in this kind of work.

I ask, “what do you watch for?” He looks up and says, “shadows from above.” Then I ask him, “what else?” He responds with, “the cat on silent feet. The cat of oblivion,” and I get an impression of a predator just out of sight in a dark forest.
Then the Hermit smiles broadly, a wide, toothy grin. I ask, “why are you smiling?” and he says, “because I’m having a good time.” I think to myself, this is going well and I want to keep it going.

I ask, “what is your challenge?” He puts his hand to his forehead and says, “thinking clearly, discerning correctly.” Then a frightened look comes over his face as he seems to fade slightly as if he is descending backward down a hole into darkness. He says, “I fear I don’t really exist.” I assure him he exists, at least he does for me. He smiles.
I ask him, “is there a light in your lantern?” At this he scoffs and says, “yes,” and he laughs as at a joke.

I ask, “how can I use your lantern?” At this I see horns appear on his head, his eyes widen and he purses his lips as if to whistle or say “ooooooo” but no sound comes out. Then his eyes split to appear that 4 are on his face and he says, “calling; seeing two worlds at once.” Then the horns transform to resemble two rearing snakes on either side of his head, facing each other, like ureaus.
I ask, “when do you put up your hood?” And he says, “when I feel old and tired. Or when it rains.” And he laughs again.

Then my phone rings, breaking my concentration. I give the license to depart and close the session. He laughs again and takes his leave.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Tarot Working, Justice


Justice
Justice was a relatively quiet card for me. She preferred to talk in the mornings if we talked at all. There was very little to the informal part of my work with her. I still carried a copy of the card in my shirt pocket all week but there was not much in terms of communication or synchronicities that I noticed.
I did get the opportunity to try a few times more formal communication. The first time was in the morning. I sat with the card and candle and called to Justice to “come to me, speak to me, show me your forms, share with me your wisdom”.  Her arrival was marked by the eyes of the image on the card becoming intensely piercing and the throne appearing to leap into flame. I welcome her and ask “how can I use your energy in my life”. A look of joy and excitement comes across her face. Then she splits into two forms, two Justices, one with a skull face and one with a face of flesh. Then the two forms merge back into one. I take this as a symbol of balance and merging separate elements. It also has significance for me as my practice has been in blending the Picatrix with the Grimorium Verum.
I ask, “what are the lessons you can teach me”. In response the image on the card changes so that it looks like the face of Justice is just inside a fish’s mouth, as if her body were down the fish’s throat. Then the image changes again so that Justice is wearing an astronaut or cosmonaut spacesuit. I have no idea what to make of this. She said no words and all I can think of is insulation, being able to walk in a harmful environment.

I ask “what is your connection to Astaroth”. This is in response to some UPG from a few months ago when I was asking the cards about the nature of Astaroth. Justice came up prominently more than once. But when I ask this question she frowns. Her face changes to that of a man with a columnar beard and she/he raises her/his hands to heaven. Then she switches back to Justice. Again, I’m not sure what to make of this. A priest? Devotion of some kind? Religions of old?

Then my session is interrupted and I hastily close.

The second time I sat with Justice was in the evening. Again I make the call “come to me, speak to me…” Her arrival is very subtle and it takes me a few minutes to realize that I’m seeing the piercing gaze again and have been returning the gaze. This time I ask “are you related to the suit of swords”. At this she simply stares at me. She doesn’t move, she doesn’t say anything. I wait for her and she seems content to simply sit. After fifteen minutes or so I give up. I thank her for talking with me that morning and for coming this evening and I close the session. When I snuff the candle with my fingers it stings much more than usual and stubbornly tries to stay lit. I’m not sure if it is related but I mention it anyway just in case.
The third time was early the next morning, before dawn and before I need to get ready for work. I opened the same way with the candle and a similar call. Her arrival was indicated by the design on the card subtly shifting to look like she was frozen in mid motion. Her necklace, hair, and scales looking like they were in motion but not moving, slightly flung into space. It was almost like looking at a photograph of someone spinning in a circle. I knew that though she appears still she is always in motion.
I ask, “what do you weigh in your scales”. She replies “air and exhalations” and know that exhalations means words but words that are given a life by being a part of the breath.
I ask, “what do you cut with your sword”. She says “nothing” and it disappears from the card. Her face changes to that of a young woman and she says “I am younger than you think”. And her eyes take on the same piercing quality they had earlier. Her eyes are unflinching. They see much.
I again ask “how can I use your energy in my life” just because I felt her earlier answer was enigmatic. In response her throne again bursts into flame. Her face becomes that of an old woman. Then her face fades away and the hair on either side of her head becomes the faces of cliff walls. Where her face was is now an image of a very narrow mountain valley. She says “narrow path”. Then outside the borders of the physical card I see energy swirling around like a heat mirage.
I ask, “how can I use your sword”. Her expression changes to frightened. A third cup appears between the two cups of her scales. Then she takes the form of a castle, the door at her chest. Her face changes back to that of a young woman. Then I see tents and pennants on a field set up for jousting. “she judges the contest”. Then I see a halo at her head and great white wings spread from her back.
I ask, “are all decisions binary”. She laughs, then looks at me seriously, then freezes into the card image. I hear faintly, “you will soon see”. Then she is gone.
I end the session by thanking her for coming and speaking to me and ask her to be an ally and to be a constant presence in my life.