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Archive for March, 2013

The Magickal Self

The Magickal Self acts as the interface and point of transition from the mundane world to the spiritual realms. It is you, in your higher form of vibration that will more closely match the rhythms of the other worlds you are transiting. It is the trained you that as you progress along the Path also grows and expands to encompass more of knowledge and experience you have gained and reflect it back so that it may be recognizable and usable in your magickal workings.

Read more at WitchVox:  What is The Magickal Self?

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Geb%20MY%20tree

Within the Qabalistic Tree of Life, the energy of the sphere of Geburah is one of the most feared of the spheres. It is the nature of the surgeon wielding the scalpel that will excise, albeit painfully, what is no longer productive or useful for the health of his patient.  It is the love a parent who turns her child in to the police for having committed a crime, knowing that this is the only lesson that will ultimately ensure that the child will not die a needless death from his behavior. It is the love that will walk away from an unhealthy relationship, broken hearted and abused, so the suffering of a cruel love will no longer hang heavy.

 

In order to understand the nature of this sphere you must have a bit a knowledge about the Tree itself and the other spheres that form the greater whole.  The subject matter of the Qabalah is one that  many pagans do not easily gravitate towards, either deterred by the sheer mass of its scope or feeling that this particular overlay of system has no  reference to the purely magickal systems.  Although, rooted in the Judaic mystical system the Kabbalah(spelling is Judaic form)/Qabalah (spelling used to distinguish as Western Hermetic overlay) this construct of energy, thought and working is a  suitable companion to any magickal system. The sheer fact that a statement such as that can be made offers testament to the enduring scope and permanence of its application over a broad and diverse spectrum.  Within the Tradition to which I belong, The Assembly of the Sacred Wheel, the principles of the Qabalah are strongly and consistently used throughout all of our covens and the enhancement to the magickal workings and rituals is undeniable.

 

Qabalah Boot Camp- Just the Basics:

 

The Qabalistic Tree of Life describes the descent of the divine into the manifest world, and methods by which divine union may be attained in this life. It can be viewed as a map of the human psyche and of the workings of creation, both manifest and un-manifest. Some of its components are:

10 Sephiroth (Spheres) each having their own specific energetic signature and action and having a Hebrew and English name of assignation. (Geburah ‘s name is Might)

 

22 Paths that connect the spheres and act as the synthesizing conduits of connection

 

3 Pillars of Application of that energy (Geburah is the middle of three spheres on the Pillar of Severity)

 

4 Worlds of Action– Each of the spheres exists in each of the four worlds and has a slightly different emphasis of intent depending on which of the worlds is acting upon it.

 

The Qabalistic story of the creative action of manifestation from the Source of All/Godhead down to the realm of physical and manifest form can be described in this way:

In the beginning there was nothingness- the absence of substance and form (Ain) ; and as the nothing became aware of itself it also realized the limitlessness nature (Ain Soph) of its being. This realization expanded and with more awareness came the birthing of limitless light (Ain Soph Aur) . This limitless light felt the urge to create- and from it emanated Divine Intelligence – Kether. All things needing balance- in its wisdom Kether split and from this source of being the remaining 9 spheres became emanations of the varied permutations of light, knowledge, mercy, severity, beauty, love, glory, imagination and finally rest in the Kingdom of Earth- Malkuth.

10 Sephiroth (spheres) of Emanation

The Sephiroth are States of Being and act as vessels to contain the Divine energy that spills forth from the God-Head or Crown of Kether (being the highest expression of the Divine) down into Malkuth, the densest and manifest physical world of Man. The spheres at the top of the tree are lighter and finer in energy – more transparent and expressive of pure Light. As we descend down the tree each sphere gains more density- less clarity of brilliance of light until we come to rest in the earth plane of Malkuth. Each sphere has both an English and Hebrew name and countless correspondences attributed to each. These are keywords only.

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Sphere 1-Kether – The Crown- The Crown of Attainment- the ‘Cause of causes”- the unknowable- The Mystical Consciousness

Sphere 2-Chokmah– Wisdom- The Word of God- true Will untainted by the material nature- The Radiant Consciousness

Sphere 3-Binah– Understanding- The Great Sea- absolute belief- The Sanctified Consciousness

Sphere 4-Chesed– Mercy- Majesty- The place of greater awareness and pure compassion-The Settled Consciousness

Sphere 5-Geburah- Might – Strength and Justice- excision and the necessary cutting away- The Rooted Consciousness

Sphere 6-Tiphareth– Beauty- Sacrifice- the receptive place of the flow of emanations from Kether- The Transcendental Influx Consciousness

Sphere 7-Netzach– Victory- The Beauty of Nature- The Hidden Consciousness

Sphere 8-Hod– Glory- Splendor- the sphere of science and craft- the analytical nature and communicative learning- The Perfect Consciousness

Sphere 9-Yesod– The Foundation- sphere of the subconscious- the Lunar Gates- dreams and illusion – the astral – The Pure Consciousness

Sphere 10-Malkuth– The Kingdom- the plane of physical existence and manifest reality- the elements and all of manifest Life- The Scintillating Consciousness

Back to Geburah

 

This is a poem I wrote about the energy of Geburah and gives a hint to the potency and dynamics of this sphere.

 

 

I sit shivering in the dark
Eyes closed and all of my being
Filled with fear that I will
Lose my most valued possession.

Flame and heat surround
Yet the air is dense with
Energy that moves like
Cold steel wielded by a
Forceful hand.

What I cling to so fiercely
I have long ago outgrown
But the comfort and safety
Provided are like soothing
Ointment on wounds that
Have yet to be opened.

I want to be free of these chains
I want to be whole
What I carry are bits and pieces
Of my own folly and the thought of
Excision sends me into retreat.

As reason gives way to desire
And understanding stands at the
Threshold with outstretched hand
I rise from this place of cowering
I open my eyes to see what lay
Ahead and a cold dark hand
Grasps my own as I look into
The eyes of myself.

The only demons I have to fear is what
Lay within the spectre of my shadow
With the single act of embrace
All that is to be discarded
Falls from me
I am Free.

I am strong and what I had
Feared losing the most
Has only been transformed
And forged anew
The dark gives way to light and
I step forward to greet the
Final outcome.

When we call upon the energy of this sphere we are asking for refinement of transformation and change to occur at the deepest levels of our being. We are trusting that the things that must be purged will produce positive result and we are allowing the organic flow of Geburah’s fiery nature to cleanse and cauterize what has been rendered into new form.

For this week, read through the poem several times and see what images, thoughts and feelings are projected in the reading. Make note of all you experience and in next week’s article I’ll discuss more of how the “tough love” of this sphere can be applied and become part of your spiritual practice.

Next Week:
Geburah’s Might: Practical Application of Its Energy

 

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As Spring approaches and we find ourselves at another turn of the Great Wheel, opportunity abounds for making deeper connection to the natural world and Gaia’s greening of it. Gaia is seen as the maiden offering the promise of new life in a womb that is still developing and preparing for what will be birthed in full glory as the summer approaches and the peak of all living things is held in father sun’s gentle hold……Read more at:   Witchs’ Voice

Be sure to read the accompanying poem – Gaia’s Mantle – in the Poetry section of WitchVox

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Athletes train and stretch daily to remain strong and supple.  Dancers take class and rehearse so that their performances will be flawless.  Divers painstakingly increase the depth of their submersions so that their lungs can build larger capacity. In all manner of endeavors requiring an exertion of physical output beyond the norms, preparation and gradual introduction and increase of components of the goal are systematically undertaken to produce maximum effects with minimal strain on the point of exertion.

Although, this is not a concept that is applied overtly to magickal practice and energetic working it is a necessity to insure that the magician or energy worker will remain strong and resilient.

Our energetic anatomy and all that it comprises are one of the areas where slow, steady and precise measure of increase in the duration and type of practice modality used will benefit immeasurably if attention is paid towards expansion and flexibility. In particular, applying this practice to the chakras and the subtle bodies will enliven and offer expansion to the well-being of the entire body.

The subtle bodies along with the chakra vortices that are held within them serve to enliven, inform and act as interface and filter between our physical state of being and our Higher state of consciousness. (See the picture below) Flexibility of the subtle bodies is a prerequisite to higher energetic workings.  Flexibility and resilient strengthening of those sheaths of ephemeral layered structure allows for a greater portion of the Divine to fill our being as we commune and offer up devotion to that Divinity. Flexibility to expand into each of these layers and in turn expand the breath into the chakras allows longevity and greater endurance in being able to hold energy and its flow in ritual or magickal workings.

Subtle Bodiesa

So, how do we go about training and stretching the subtle bodies. The goal is one of flexibility that can contain increasingly more flow of more highly refined energy.  Communion with the Divine in a more intimate way, receiving more of the Divine essence which acts upon our endocrine system and corresponding organs are all staples of Chinese Medicine and Qigong practice.

A large portion of the practice of expansion is focused and intent-filled direction of the breath toward the specific area you wish to have an increase in energetic flow.  Energy follows awareness and reinforcing this awareness with the flow and push of breath allows for a rhythm of expansion and contraction to be engaged.  This engagement begins at the physical level of actual breath, but the subtle bodies respond in a manner similar to the law of cause and effect.  The end point is all of the bodies working in a type of unison and accord with one another.   As the breath continues, the focus can now be pulled into the visualization and intent of sensing an expansion in the layers of the subtle bodies.  The easiest to begin with is that of the etheric as it is the closest to the physical layers of our bodies (just extending a few inches away from the outline of our physical silhouette).  Additionally, it s this subtle body that filters information received through the emotional and mental bodies and distributes the energy of prana (or life force) gathered from the sun’s light. Below is an exercise that can be used to strengthen and enliven the etheric body and in turn become more consciously aware of its energy surrounding us:

A Practice of Breathing Into the Etheric Body:

Begin by sitting quietly in a space where you will not be disturbed.  Place your chair so that you have a few feet of clear space directly in front of you.  Begin by closing your eyes and allowing your breath to establish a steady and gentle rhythm. As you fall into a rhythmic pattern shift your focus to the inner screen at the place of the third eye.  Form the image of yourself sitting as you are in this space on that inner screen. See the empty space that is directly in front of you.

Continue to breathe in a steady and rhythmic pace.  Now see an exact image of yourself rise out of this sitting position and come to stand directly in front of and facing away from you.  You see the outline of your own silhouette standing strong and erect with as much detail as possible.

Now, with focus and intention take a deep breath in and as you exhale imagine the full expanse of that breath filling out the outer edges of your standing silhouette; creating a duplicate line of tracing just a bit away from the hard line of the physical form. Continue with a few more breaths in this manner, each with the intent of pushing the extended form of the silhouette just a bit further from the hard line of the physical shape. You should now begin to see a clear line of demarcation just a few inches away from the physical silhouette.  This is the etheric body.  Spend a few minutes just simply breathing into this extension. Not pushing it any further out, just simply filling it more densely with breath.

Again with intent and focus now breathe into this sheath and imagine it filling with a brilliant white light of density. See it become brighter and brighter as you continue to gently breathe into it. When it reaches a state of appearing as though your silhouette is being lit from a bright light in front of it; allow the expanse of this shape and energy to settle.  Just gently breathe into it not adding additional force, just simply feeding this sheath the continued light of your breath.

Shadow body

Begin to draw this energy back into your being.  As you inhale imagine the line of extension around your standing silhouette gently pulling back into the hard edge of it.  Each inhalation drawing the light of this energy back into the central body. When it has been reabsorbed back into the center of your form see the silhouette of your standing form moving backwards towards you.  As you breathe in this form rejoins your physical body sitting in the space in which you started this practice. Continue to breathe in and with intent send the light filled  breath of your extended being into circulation and energizing distribution throughout your physical body. Each breath integrates this energy and each breath brings you back to a state of (w)holistic balance. Shift your focus and awareness to the physicality of yourself sitting in your chair. Awareness to the rise and fall of your breath. Awareness to the energy of your own making that surrounds and enlivens you. And, when you are ready gently flutter our eyes open and be fully present in the here and now- renewed and energized by this experience.

Weekly practice of this protocol will bring a deeper awareness to the energy field that surrounds you.  Breathing into the etheric body will help to strengthen, enliven and expand the flexibility of that subtle form.  Filling this sheath with light will bolster the regenerating process and set up a more refined magnetic attraction to bring more light and energy into all of the bodies and most specifically the time spent in disciplining the mind sharpens the visualization skills needed to give form to those energies and beings that you choose to commune with.

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Flame of light

Breath of desire

Foundations of the All

 

Will of energy

Primal origins

Drawn from the

Depths of unknown mind

All balanced in rapturous

Union of permanence and simplicity

 

Refinement

Coalescing return

Each fed by the other

 

Outpouring of informed

Will and Consciousness

Held in the rapture

Of  Your Embrace

flames

 

What is it that you most desire? What type of motivation do you need to move towards that desire? Is this desire fueled by the subconscious thoughts of what joys it will give you? Or can you remain fully present and aware of both the negatives and the positives of achieving what you WILL to be so?

That part of our being that we name as the “will” can be a slippery slope to climb.  Desire is always part of the magickal equation for bringing into manifestation what we wish to be. And, it is the raw measure of desire that urges forward (or backward) the actions that are needed to move the energy of that desire. You will or WILL is what steps in and helps to guide the course of what the resultant product is.  If fueled by greed, lust or negativity the outcome and the actions taken are not often in accord with what is of the highest good.

If, however, the Higher Will is called into action greed becomes the ability to attract to oneself what is appropriately needed; lust becomes all compassionate love and understanding and the balance of negativity and positive flow is stabilized so that each work in harmony with the other in a polarized and productive way.

Air feeds the flame that consumes what lay hidden until the process of transformation is acted upon and the essence of something new may rise carried and uplifted on the breath of Air that once again feeds the flame…..  If we replace some of these words with their resonance to our spiritual nature, it would read something like this:

Mind fuels and enlivens the will to action which provides the necessary release of those shadow and/or subconscious parts of our being so they may be broken down, reformed and synthesized becoming the Phoenix of Higher Will that aspires towards Higher Mind which is now the informed catalyst (or fuel) that feeds the Higher Will to action…..

Our consciousness receives, filters and disburses the experience that passes through it.  We react at a conscious level to those things which lay within our subconscious. Albeit, this reaction is often instinctual and can remain unnoticed indefinitely, there is nonetheless,

a feeding of what our conscious action is by what is hidden beneath.  Shadow and self-discovery work address this hidden impact and set as goal to bring to the surface of conscious awareness those parts of our being that shun the full brightness of the light.

At the other end of the spectrum lay the super or higher state of consciousness. That which is in communion with the Divine spark, Deity and our Higher Nature.  The Higher or illumined Will resides in this space of awareness and is informed and aligned with outcome that is for the good of all. This Will is informed by Higher Mind and enlivened with compassion fueled by the desire for at-oneness with all things.  This informed state of being has been crafted from alignment with the subconscious and shadow state- drawn up to the place of  integration within the manifest and conscious self which allows an opening and communion with the Higher and super-conscious Divine Self.

When we allow our desires to be in accord with Divinely inspired thought we walk a path that is more intent-filled and are able to will-fully act in a catalytic way that ignites the flames of our Higher Will and higher consciousness.

Next Week:  Flexibility of the Subtle Bodies

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Every spiritual path has a protocol for its participants to enter into a quiet and reflective state of consciousness.  For some, it is the offering up of a prayer or the discipline of a weekend or week-long retreat.  On the Wiccan path, The Witch’s Pyramid holds as one of its energies the intent – “To Be Silent”.

This space of silence is a necessary part for integration and assimilation of what progress has been made in moving forward on your path but it can often present itself as regressing or moving backwards.  The points of growth in our spiritual practice are often marked by feeling as though you have taken many steps backwards and sunk deeply into a well that none can see other than yourself. Cultivating and feeding the potential of this pivotal point takes great courage as you are now asked to face yourself and perhaps those qualities within yourself that are not of your highest nature.  Nonetheless, this space of silent growth is the well that we must descend into in order to claim what is our truth and master what is our challenge.

Emergence or the word emerging by definition means to bring forth something new and holding promise. So, how do we bring forth that newness when we emerge from the depths of true spiritual silence? How do we remain fully present in retaining some of the well waters we have drawn up with us.  How do we emerge fully present in the next steps towards bringing forth a new and promising way of being?

I have spoken before of the concept of the Dark Night of the Soul and the pervasive silence and aloneness that accompanies this experience.  That experience is one that is not frequently encountered. However, at a lesser level we are often dipping into the abyss of our own well waters of emotion each time we dig a little deeper into our own spiritual nature.  The practice of meditation, ritual, low and high magickal workings all require that we suspend for a time our outward noise and listen intently to what the spaces of silence offer in support of our work.

In the midst of the loudest and most deafening sound are spaces of pure silence.  Often the sounds that surround are the distractions of the world as we move through our daily activities.  When we feel the momentum of these growth spurts, and as we emerge from this reflective silence we are all to eager to share, to speak, to move again at such a rapid pace that we catapult ourselves beyond the necessary energy of integration of the information gained and the transformation that has occurred.

My suggestion is one of climbing up the ladder of this experience slowly and rung by rung towards the full light of the world above this well of great depths.  Savor, each moment of the continued silence as you emerge into the world filled with sound and distraction. Give pause when you reach the top to re-engage with the visual beauty of the world around and as you step back onto solid ground anchored in knowledge and wisdom that can only be gathered in the silence, offer up thanks to Deity, your guides and yourself.

As you return to your daily activities, spend more time listening and bring something new to the dialogue and interaction deeply drawing on what the silence has taught you.

In that space of deeper listening is held the promise of connection and greater understanding of those you interact with.

ButterflypicEmerging

If we use the analogy of the butterfly and the cocoon it emerges from after a time of growth, transformation, silence and retreat from the outer stimuli of the world, we have only to look at the ephemeral beauty of what emerges to see the blue print of our ephemeral nature carried on gossamer wings far beyond the darkness of our well of silence.

 

Image Credit: http://www.wildlifetheater.com

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Hope you enjoy this excerpt from my new book: The Enchanted Gate

Majesty of the Trees

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They held court in glen and grove

Standing tall and stately the oldest held the rings

Of age and withered bark that had seen much of life’s wear.

Branches reaching one to the other

Their finger tips entwined as leaf overlapped leaf

And vines wrapped around trunks that held their mass.

A webbing of green on upward glance

And the furthest branch reaching high into the heavens

What glory the birds have witnessed who sat perched

On arms of strength and expanse.

Roots digging deep into Mother Earth’s core

Enlivened by the falling of the leaves and the rotting of excrement

Roots spreading out and forming carpet on forest floor.

The tiny grooves home to creatures thrilled by

The pulsing of life from earth to sky.

Wind brought the whispering of stories of times past

And rustled through leaf as it gently bent

Branches that bowed to its touch.

Silence of snow and Spring’s new green buds

All birthed in a nursery of green.

The trees are now long gone.

Cut down with only the smallest now left.

Their royal presence defeated by the sprawl of urban greed.

The stories of their glory and the truth of their majesty

Now held only in the penning of my hand.


The concept for this book arose from my fascination with Trees and the varied forms and faces I recognized in each.  I started taking pictures with my cell phone of these strong creations and the poetic meaning of each seemed to flow from the Tree itself in what it wanted expressed. This opening spilled over into the taking pictures of all manner of natural scenes and settings.

Plans are in the works for a second volume dedicated in focus to the many trees that I did not place in this book. So, take a walk outside. Look up, look around and open your self to the messages of nature that are all around us.

Please visit my  Books  page for more information and a listing of other available titles.

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