Sunday, September 29, 2013

Accepting Less Than Spectacular Results

For the past several months my meditation practice has really suffered. If I did it at all I would often fall asleep, drift away, or become unaccountably frustrated, and often all three. Then the other day I read a post on the Unlikely Mage blog about some of the things that hinder meditation, specifically 'sensual desire'. The light went on for me when I read this. Not only was I being distracted by drinking, TV, and the Internet, but also by my lusting after results.

I did a few Tarot readings for myself last night that suggested some important things not the least of which was that by lusting after results I was putting undue pressure on myself. The results would be frustration and feelings of failure. This is exactly the opposite of what the results of meditation should be.

This morning I meditated for the practice of meditating. I didn't attempt any visualizations. I didn't try any relaxation techniques involving glowing balls of light. I didn't try to control the images or impressions that flitted across my consciousness. I simply sat and breathed and felt the breath entering and exiting my nose for about half an hour. Afterward I felt great, and I still feel great several hours later.  

Every once in a while I need to be reminded that the practice itself is often more important than spectacular results.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Mansions of the Moon, First Working

Tonight I did my first working with the spirits of the Mansions of the Moon. At 9:56pm the moon rose above the ascendant at 10 degrees, 50 minutes of Gemini which puts it in the sixth Mansion, Al Hana. As the moon is waning right now I decided I shouldn't make a talisman and should instead use this time to start to build a relationship with the spirit of this Mansion.

I chose benzoin as my incense as it seemed the least spicy of the ones I had on hand. I lit charcoal and nine white candles. I put the incense burner on my table and behind it my glass crystal ball. And as the smoke rose from the incense I repeated "Spirit of the Moon, Nadeyrahe, in the house of Al Hana, appear before me in this crystal," several times. Then I reduced it to "spirit of the Moon, Nadeyrahe, in the house of Al Hana." Then simply "Nadeyrahe" which I pronounced nah-day-rah-hay and repeated in a voice not much louder than a whisper. All the while I'm staring into the crystal letting my eyes lose focus and trying to see an image in the glass. After a bit I changed my focus to the flames of one of the candles and then to the moving smoke itself, still repeating the name.

Then I moved my gaze back to the stone. I moved the candles somewhat so that they were more in a circle around the crystal, four on my left and five on my right and none directly behind the ball so that I couldn't see the candleholder in the crystal ball. Then I said "Nadeyrahe, come into my presence, bless me with your knowledge, bless my house, and bless those that I love," several times and then went back to repeating the name only, "Nadeyrahe, Nadeyrahe". It was then that I began to see the features of a face in the middle of the circle of flames reflected on the surface of the sphere. It was faint and rather mask-like without detailed features or expression. I said "Nadeyrahe, tell me what to do that we may be friends," but there was no change, nor did I perceive any communication or impressions. I continued to repeat the name until the smoke of the incense ran out. Then I said "Nadeyrahe, go in peace that we may be friends and that I may call on you when your house comes around again." I looked away from the crystal and used my snuffer to put out the candles starting on my left and ending on my right. Then I sort of sat in the dark for a few moments.

All told the working lasted for about 45 minutes. For a first time I consider it a success even though I did not receive any direct communication. I feel that I was successful in calling forth the presence of the spirit. Perhaps next time it will be a bit stronger.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Today's Tarot Spread

Each morning I pull from my Tarot deck a card or a spread for the day. Lately I've been pulling a spread and here is today's.
III The Empress
I The Magician
3 of Wands

Right away the thing that jumps out at me is the symmetry of the two threes. These are very energetic cards bursting with creativity.

The Empress is the creative force that not only expands the empire into new lands and territories but also has the power to bring those territories into being. She indicates enthusiasm.
The Magician here is her architect ready with all his tools to put her plan into motion. He gazes at her, receiving her license to build the new thing. She gives him the energy and resources he needs to get started.
The 3 of Wands indicates the bursting forth of passion, either sexually or creatively. The new project can't not happen. The enthusiasm of the Empress and the energy of the 3 of Wands combined with the skill of the the magician is like a tidal wave pushing its way to shore. It is a force that will run its course and very little can weaken it or stop it.

And so I started this blog again. 

Philosophies of the Moonlit Hermit or What this blog is all about

This is the fourth time I've started a blog. It is the third blog about my dealings in magic and the occult. My other blog, The Floating Image, is about my artwork. Often these two interests will overlap. In reality this blog will be a way for me to keep notes as I progress. There are two reason it has taken three attempts to get it going. First is that my ideas and points of view change as I progress and lean stuff. In retrospect that is probably the very reason why I should have kept it up. The second reason I abandoned the past incarnations of this blog is that I felt like I sounded such an amateur. But again as the blog progressed that feeling, I hope, probably would have diminished. At any rate, now that I have exposed my insecurities at the outset we shall begin the experiments of The Moonlit Hermit.

To begin I think it is fair to say that I don't really fall into any specific category of a traditional follower of the occult. I'm not Wiccan, Neopagan, or Thelemite. I've found that I really enjoy a lot of the elements of Hermeticism but I feel no connection to the Kabbalah or Hebrew mysticism. In a way I feel like I'm forging my own path. And while I don't like the label "eclectic" it is closer to what I am working with at the moment. Maybe what I'm looking for is a non Judeo-Christian Hermeticism. Or maybe it's what the Golden Dawn would have looked like if it were not based in Hebrew mysticism. One of the purposes of this blog will be to explore just what it is I'm trying to figure out and accomplish.

Some of the elements that resonate strongly with me are the Tarot, traditional astrology (especially the magic in the Picatrix), alchemy in a symbolic sense, spirit evocation and communication, and meditation with its attendant disciplines of visualization and energy work. So far in my magical career I have been long on study and short on real practice. Another purpose of this blog will be a log of my practices and experiments. It is well past time for me to actually start building some magical muscles. Figuratively I've done a lot of reading about walking but have only really practiced standing up.

Lastly I think it might be important for me to note that this blog is for me. And while I'm posting it here for all the world to read it is here to serve my own purposes. I don't care if you read it. I don't care if you agree with what I have to say.

Initial posting

This is the first post of the Moonlit Hermit. It is a blog about my workings in magic, astrology, archetypes, and the unconscious mind.