I have entered a new phase in my work with the spirits of the Mansions of the Moon. The invocations and the ability to connect with the spirits has gone well. I have come to realize that trying hard to connect with the spirits of the Mansions was something like a fish trying hard to find water. Their presence is all around all the time. Additionally, my experiments with Mansion talismans has gone reasonably well with some hits and (more) misses with a lot more work to do in this arena. And, most importantly, art making is progressing, albeit slowly, on a few fronts at the same time; some tablet drawn stuff, some Photoshop collage, and some physical collage. I’ll share some work in progress in future posts.
In my working with ideas for art making I find I have a desire to explore the Mansions more deeply. The thing I find missing is mystery. And by mystery I mean a few things. One, that there exists for each Mansion a riddle, a sort of thought experiment that has no resolution but only deeper and deeper ideas and truths. Like a math problem that gives a never ending series of digits, like Pi. Variations on a theme leading off into infinity.
But mystery also means spiritual truths and realities that are seemingly contradictory or incongruent. Like the alchemical marriage, by understanding some part of the mystery transformation of elements are possible. In this way, initiation and spiritual advancement are also possible as well as magical effects and deeper wisdom. I kind of hope to find unexpected features and facets of each of the Mansions, things that will add depth to my creative projects.
Essential to mystery, however, is its inherent ineffability and unknowability. One can never really find the end of a mystery, it just keeps unfolding with more and more expressions and manifestations of the deeper truths. What one can do is explore that mystery. A person can start with what tools they have and ask for the guidance of spirits to impart the lessons of the mystery to which they are part. And, stepping stone by stepping stone, one can delve into the lessons that each of the Mansions has to teach.
In order to explore the mysteries of the Mansions of the Moon I am inventing little rituals, unique to each Mansion, to be performed while the Moon is in that Mansion. One devotional action each day in the name of the spirit of that Mansion. It is my contention that the repeated performance of each rite will teach lessons over time.
Or maybe not. Who knows? But we’re going to try it and see what happens.
Over the past lunation I did a couple of tarot divinations each day, asking two questions, “what is the mystery of this Mansion” and “how can I explore the mystery of this Mansion”. I have recorded those divinations and will base this project on those throws to develop a series of rituals. Along with the divinations I will use other Moon based rituals in the Latin Picatrix, like those given in Book 4, Chapter 2, and other sources as I am guided.
Ideally, these are fairly easy, quick rites that can readily be expanded or contracted as circumstances warrant. Personally, I would love them to be ten minute affairs with minimal tools or props, something I could do on a lunch break. They are tailored to the Mansion in question and performed in the name of the spirit of that Mansion. There should also be an opportunity for feedback built into the ritual structure.
We’ll see what kind of direction this experiment takes me.
Let's call these the Little Lunar Mystery Rites.