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Image: Don Blanding (1894-1957)

Salty water flows gently
Over glistening white sand.

Moon Maiden coyly veils
Her face in the dark
Mask of a star filled night.

I push my toes deeper into
Star lit beach and look
Out at the vastness of
Ocean’s rising waters.

I push myself deeper into
Star-filled body of mine
Looking out at the vastness
Of emotions that seek me out.

I stand within the space of
Eternity and the promise of
Moon Maiden’s quickening kiss.

The waters of healing surround
Lifting me gently from my
Place of digging deeply into
The changing sands of time.

I surrender to the place
Of my celestial home as
Maiden Moon lifts her veil
Of darkness and fills me with
The tides of her waxing Light.

Working with the Moon and her phases are part of the natural cycle that is used in the Craft of the Witch. We draw from the energy of the Goddess as represented in her archetypal forms of Maiden, Mother and Crone and see these in manifest form as New, Full and Dark Moons.

With all the diverse energy and mystery surrounding the Moon is it any wonder that its greater mysteries are used to enhance sacred work. Dancing around a fire on a moon lit night, moving to the beat of drums is the nearest one can come to being totally absorbed into the Natural world. When we begin a new journey through the cycle and flow of Lunar energy, we mark the cycles of these changes within ourselves by the works of magick and offerings of devotion we express. Although the focus may be that of the Moon, we must also consider the energy of Her polarized opposite, the Sun. Each cycle brings their own specificity to the day or the month and both are ever present in our cycle of time on this planet. If we also work with the energy of the planets, a rite held on a MO(o)N-day would correspond with the energy of the Moon and any moon phase in the astrological sign of Cancer would add additional lunar energy as Cancer’s planetary ruler is the MOON.

In the greater wheel of the Lunar Year we move through the astrological signs of the zodiac, each offering key points of unity and synthesis (New Moon) or opposition and productive change (Full Moon) in accord with the astrological energy of the Solar year. What this means is that for any given New Moon (with rare exception) it will be in the same astrological sign as that of the Sun (Solar Month). For instance, we are currently in the Solar Month of Cancer and today’s New Moon is also in the astrological sign of Cancer. This gives a double boost to any workings that benefit from application of Cancer’s energies because the heart (Moon) and will (Sun) are working in a synthesized way. By the time the Moon reaches it Full phase, the Moon has moved into the sign directly opposite (with rare exception) that of the Sun. So the upcoming Full Moon in July will be in the astrological sign of Capricorn, which is directly opposite that of the Sun, still in Cancer. The opportunity here is one of productive tension that launches a new state from the friction. Best example, husband and wife fight, come to an agreement and the make-up sex is great!

Now, this is not to say that you can’t keep the Esbats (Moon Rituals) simple and effective. Everyone is not versed in astrology, nor do they care to be. That’s fine. Knowing the astrology and any other layer of compatible magickal system enhances what is essentially quite effective in its simplicity. It is during these ceremonies and rituals that we seek to connect with the energies of the moon, her phases and the gifts that each brings. These rituals would include: Rites of Healing – Divination and Rites of New Growth and deeper awareness.

The Phase of the Moon and Tides of Lunar Magick

Moon Phase Basics:

The Waxing Moon is the time between the New Moon and the Full Moon.

The Waning Moon is the time between the Full Moon and the last day of the last quarter- just prior to the New Moon.

Although Magickal working can be done at any time, there are specific times during the lunar cycle when your workings can be enhanced. One of the first considerations is what type of energy you want to use for your intent.

The waxing of the moon, from New to Full, provides a crescendo or building effect and the waning of the moon from peak of Full to the subsequent New Moon allows for release and diminishing of energetic effect.

In addition to the cycle of Waxing and Waning, there are three phases of the moon that are typically used for magickal working. These are the New – Full and Dark Moons.They are likened to the Triplicity of the Goddess as Maiden – Mother and Crone:

NEW MOON – The Maiden

The New Moon is a time of beginnings and first seeds towards growth. New projects, goals and behaviors are all supported when given focus during this time.

The New Moon is the beginning of the cycle of increased flow and dynamics. It embodies the Goddess as the Maiden. Full, fertile and ripe with creative outpour and though lacking the experience of the Crone, has more than enough enthusiasm to seek out the many paths that could be taken. It is to some degree the allowance of nature taking its course, directed towards a goal of productive manifestation. It is the yearning and desire that is inherent in the Maiden that will attract to Her that which she desires most. And, it is this energy, which if with intention and correct thought is set into motion during this phase will blossom with the waxing of the Moon.

Magickal workings would include:

* Beginnings of any new endeavor
* Fresh starts at old projects/pursuits
* Dedications to a new pursuit
* The first steps towards a specific goal

FULL MOON – The Mother

The Full Moon is the peak and product of all efforts begun at the New Moon. Additionally, any working that needs extra oomph, magnification or energetic boost, will benefit from Full Moon energy.

The Full Moon embodies the energies of the Goddess as the Mother. She is the giver of life and the nurturer and guardian that ensures that that life will be productive, fruitful and at the apex of whatever endeavor is undertaken. The expansive light of the Full Moon shines upon all under its sway and the dynamics of ebb and flow are at their most potent. Energy exchanges with energy and movement and expansion occurs bringing the highest possible outcome for all that it touches. The energy of the Full Moon causes things to happen and therefore is neither stagnant nor still in its outpour.

Magickal workings would include:

* Acknowledging achievement made towards goal
* Taking action to bolster the strengths gained
* Completion of a working
* Synthesizing action between two goals of intent

DARK MOON – The Crone

The span of time from completion of Full moon, up to and including approximately 3 days prior to the next New Moon is the optimal time for release, cutting away and inner preparation. These 3 days prior to the next New Moon are also known as the Dark Moon phase.

The Dark Moon embodies the Hidden nature, that if embraced in the fullness of the dark reveals what may lay beneath the surface waiting to be used and transformed. This is the Goddess as the Crone. She holds nothing back, invites you to look at the truth of your own reflection and then demands that you release what serves no purpose and what hinders your growth. She carries the wisdom that has grown through experience and she knows the secrets of the darkest of places and holds within the Light that illumines those who have courage to enter.

Using the energy of the Dark Moon is to call upon the reserves of knowing that are contained within what it is you seek to release. This is a time for culling, pruning and preparing for the upcoming New Moon where what is viable may be planted anew, with greater understanding of the process that ensures success.

Magickal workings would include:

* Uncovering what holds you back
* Releasing a negative habit or energy
* Uncovering your shadow nature
* Healing and removal of blockages

In practice, how could you make the most of these phases? Suppose I want to seek new employment…..

On the New Moon, I may do a meditation, plan, brainstorm and journal about the type of work I may wish to acquire. I may even, physically plant a few seeds in a pot as concrete visual symbols of my intent. Each day thereafter I will tend the seeds- mentally and/or physically- enriching them with more concrete ideas and goals for obtaining my ideal work. On the Full Moon, I will give thanks for the new growth in my life towards my goal. Perhaps do a meditation, visualizing in as much detail as possible my future work surroundings, myself enjoying and looking forward to each day, etc. And, finally as the moon wanes and the days prior to the next New moon approach, I spend some time identifying and releasing any negative thoughts, words or actions that are preventing me from bringing into manifest reality my goal. This release may take any form as long as the symbolic or actual release is something you can strongly connect with, and is of harm to none. This or a similar cycle may need to be repeated several lunations, depending on your goal, the strength of your focus and intent and ability to truly release that which may be holding you back.

Adding the Astrological Component

Today the Moon is New in the astrological sign of Cancer and opportunity abounds for work that connects you more deeply to what you feel and those things that offer the comfort of home and the loyalty of unconditional love. If you would like to learn more about how to use the energy of the Moon phases and fine-tune them to resonate specifically with the energy of the Zodiac please consider following The Temple of the Cosmic Spheres blog. The kick-off was a month of daily writings that highlighted the expression of the Moon and Her phases as she transited through each of the astrological signs during a Lunar month.

Read more about the New Moon in Cancer and the cast of supporting planetary players that make this a story of your own writing.

The Temple of the Sun

New Moon in Cancer – Arms Wide Open

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“Beyond the sphere of Mars, in distant skies
Revolves the mighty magnitude of Jove
With kingly state,
the rival of the Sun,
About him round four planetary Moons
On earth with wonder,
all night long beheld
Moon above Moon,
his fair attendants dance.”

… Raphael …

Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system and with dozens of moons and an expansive magnetic field it stands as its own miniature solar system. Taking these things into consideration as well as the Mythos of the God(s) associated with this planet makes Jupiter’s energy prime for workings relating to abundance, most notably financial prosperity. This speaks both to the laws of attraction but also to the ability to being open and receptive to that attraction through cultivating a broader view of what the possibilities and potential may be.

In Myth:

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Jupiter (Jove) is the Roman counterpart of the Greek Zeus, and as such enjoys all of the attributes and power that Zeus held. He is the King of the Gods, lord of the heavens and called “ The Shining Father”. He was known most notable as Optimus Maximus which means all-good and all-powerful. This name refers indicates the control over not only Cosmic matters but those of the State of Rome as a God who executed and distributed the laws and made his will known through the oracles that were consulted in political matters. He is often depicted carrying a thunderbolt, which gives reference to his control of the natural world and all of the energies and catalytic events that coursed through it.

Astrology and Jupiter:

Jupiter is the Ruling Planet of Sagittarius and Co-Ruler of Pisces. Calling upon the expansive nature of Jupiter in support of workings done under these astrological signs will carry a slightly different emphasis.

Jupiter as the ruling planet of the astrological sign of Sagittarius presents an energy that works on the principle of will to action. Sagittarius is a Fire Sign so the expansive nature is one of dynamic and brilliant light acting as the spotlight for drawing to itself what is desired. If we consider the far reaching networking accomplished in release of the fiery arrows of the Archer and the precision and keen sight needed for their exact aim Jupiter’s qualities take on the feel of flexible expansion that has the ability to encompass and be inclusive of everything it extends out towards. Workings of attraction and specifically, abundance benefit using this potent energy since the basic premise and qualities sought in those types of workings are already an inherent feature of Jupiter’s natural powers. When Sagittarius sets sights on its intended goal the result is often charismatic in the magnetic resonance created and the success of attraction of what is desired.

Jupiter is the secondary ruler of the astrological sign of Pisces. Here we find the aspect of the need for detailed and well thought, specificity to clear away the sentimental murkiness of what we perceive that we want versus what is actually within our grasp. The cooling and healing nature of Pisces’ energy combined with the expansiveness of Jupiter enhances workings that are emotionally charged and serve to create an abundance of healing and calming energy. The caution here is the expansion of what is already a very day dreamy type quality that flows through Pisces. The boon is the overflowing compassion that Pisces has for humanity and if called upon to expand with the assistance of Jupiter’s magnetic qualities, this compassion can be infectious in its effect bringing about peace, harmony and deeper emotional connection.

The Planetary Energy for Magick:

I recently taught a class about operative magick and you will find a very simple spell below that we crafted for financial prosperity and stability. As with all spell work it is important to maintain the attitude for a successful working with the intent that it be of “harm to none and highest benefit to all”. As much as we wish financial growth, I’m sure that all would agree that the preference would be appropriately earned receipt that is not gained at the expense of loss by another.

Note:
There a multiple overlays of correspondences that I could have suggested including, but not limited to:
Planetary Seals, The Intelligence and Spirit of the Planet, Magick Squares, Qabalistic Attributions, Planetary Hours, Solar or Lunar Phases, Color, and many more. Space does not permit explanation of these and without having a firm understanding of why you are using a particular ingredient in any magickal working and how it interacts with whatever else you have added to the mix can produce very unstable results, if any at all. My goal was to provide something simple, yet effective that could be executed by anyone at any level of basic understanding of magickal work.

Always remember, that “with great power comes great responsibility” and I would add that with more knowledge comes greater selectivity in its use.

A Spell Working To Attract Financial Prosperity And Establish a Stable Foundation

Tools:

Jar/box or other container with a lid or top
Seed Money to start ($5 bill)
An image of the Glyph of Jupiter to copy
images

A felt tip or darkly colored thick pen
A piece of paper that will fit neatly without folding or rolling into the bottom of your container.

Basic Correspondences:

Planetary Glyph = Jupiter = abundance/financial gain, the principle of expansion

Seed Money= manifest representation= $5 dollar bill works nicely

Container with Lid = order/structure for active flow in a systematic and cohesive way

Pen = tool of communication/kinesthetic energy

Paper = holds the image of whatever manifest form of expression is applied to it

When:

Day = Thursday

Each of the Seven Elder Planets rules a specific day of the week. Thursday, is ruled by Jupiter, so choosing a Thursday as your working day and bolstering each Thursday thereafter, would enhance the energy of the work.

How:

Gather your tools and select a space where you will not be disturbed for the working. If you are able to set up a small altar space that you can leave your container on that is fine, but not necessary. If you wish to incorporate a candle (To be lit during the working as an object to signify the start and ending of the work to be done) or colored cloth, these could be used on whatever working space you have chosen. There are varying opinions about the specific planetary colors, so I will suggest that you use whatever color you associate with financial gain. Green is the obvious choice representing money, fertility and growth, but go with whatever speaks to you.

Take some time to quiet and still yourself in readiness for the work at hand. If you have chosen to add a candle, now would be the time to light it to signal to the mundane working you that sacred work is about to be started. Take some deep cleansing breaths and see yourself filled with the positive and expansive energy that will produce the desired results.

When you feel ready, begin by taking up the container (with lid) that you have selected. Hold it in your hands and pour the intent of its being the vessel that will hold the energy of magnetic attraction for prosperity. Now, close your eyes and envision this container in your mind’s eye in whatever etheric form that you strongly identify with as prosperity. You may see it transform into a money sign, a wallet or bills of money itself; essentially, whatever image to you represents the prosperity of like attracting like. Breathe as much detail and energy into this image as possible, feeling the resonance of what you desire and what the vessel of that desire will be. Hold this image strongly as you open your eyes and place the physical container on the surface you are working on.

Next, draw the glyph of Jupiter on the pre-cut paper. As you hold pen in hand imagine the energy of your intent flowing through your manifest form of extension, actively (kinesthetically) creating the physical expression of Jupiter’s energy. When completed, hold the paper with glyph in your hands and fill it with your intention of expansive abundance. Feel the magnetic energy of the glyph resonating with the magnetic energy within you and place it to lie flat at the bottom of the container.

Next, pick up your $5 bill and holding it in your hands, pour the intention of its attracting additional monetary gain to you. Envision this single bill becoming several bills, each flowing in abundance to you as needed and each acquired with harm to none. When you feel sufficient energy and will to intent has been poured into the money, place it in your container on top of the Glyph of Jupiter, securing it shut with lid or top. Placing the object in a sealed container provides the structure for that thing to manifest its energy of attraction within.

Holding the container and its contents in your hands, take some time now to pour more energy of intent into the container and the manifest representation (the Glyph and $5 bill) of what is desired that is contained within. Envision yourself standing as grateful recipient of a dynamic and stable flow of abundant prosperity. When it feels full and active in its energy, offer up thanks for the success of this working and to all those energies seen and unseen that will aid in its positive outcome. Place the container somewhere that it will not be disturbed or opened. And, if you used a candle, gently extinguish it using your finger –tips or snuffer to signify the completion of the work you have done.

Do not open the container until the goal is complete. Leave it undisturbed to grow and rise to perfection. Think about a cake baking in the oven and the warning not to open it until it is done because the addition of air and change in temperature will cause the cake to fall flat in the middle.

Ongoing: Continue to enliven this spell every Thursday until you have reached your financial goal. At each session, call up the attitude of prosperity within you, and holding the container (do not open it), pour that renewing intent into it. See in your mind’s eye the flow of funds that are needed in a steady stream as needed and appropriately acquired. And always remember to offer up the space of gratitude for what has been set in motion, achieved and what will be forthcoming.

Optional:

If this spell is worked before the Solar Transit into Gemini on May 20th, you could additionally use the anchor of Sun in Taurus to stabilize and root the working in the manifest realm. Taurus is the quintessential sign of experience for all things concrete, physical and manifest, including financial gain, in form. If you would like to know more about the energy of Taurus, look at the resource in the list below.

A Final Note: There are many variations on this spell that can be done. The simplest version I use ongoing is to carry a small piece of paper that has the glyph of Jupiter on it wrapped around a folded $5 bill in my wallet. Since beginning this practice, I have had what I needed financially at exactly the opportune time. Often it has been within a few dollars short of the actual amount, but this has worked consistently in the case of car repairs that were costly, but somehow- “with harm to none”- the extra funds were made in the form of book sales or workshops taught.

Resources:

More information about Taurus:
       Temple of the Sun- The Magick of Taurus

Raphael.The Manual of Astrology or The Book of Stars.London.1837

Miller, Jason.Financial Sorcery:Magical Strategies to Create Real and Lasting Wealth.New Page Books.2012

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My spirit moves in a
Constant state of
Veil and light
Straining towards the moment
Of pause- rest-quiet.

And, once achieved- the motion begins
Newly birthed from the inertia.

Breath and body moving
Towards each extreme of being
One being agitated by the other
The urge towards balance.

Ma’at’s sillhouette embracing
The shadow of moon that is the
Fulcrum of all things mastered.

Haze of blue fury
Support and equilibrium
Feather poised with sharpened
Tip delicately and precariously balanced.

Harmony restored through the
Anguish of chaos and uncertainty
And for this brief moment
Illusion is suspended
In this body of hanging in
The balance of Divine Light.

A few days ago, in the early hours of the morning the Moon waxed full in the sign of Libra and the energy of balance and refinement was enhanced by a Lunar eclipse. All of this held the potential for reshaping the depths of our emotional waters and reclaim the balance of what is brought to the light and what serves as support within those dark waters of being.

What remains unbalanced within you and where will you seek the wisdom of restoration of what lofts us from the sea of inertia and complacency?

Read more about the energy of this past Full Moon here..

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The heat moves through me
Calling me to flow along
Its path of blazing light.

I call to the ashes that
The Phoenix may rise up
Within me to break free
Of what has held me inert.

Wings beat furiously and
Strain with expansion upwards
Quickening the spark of flame.

Blinding light flashes
And I move through
The flaming center of
The sun and into
The black iciness of the
Enlightened Will.

Fire is the Dance
of
Transformation – Will – Desire – Destruction – Rebirth

A roaring Fire is exhilarating. Flames dance and heat reaches out to caress. The colors move through scales of orange and red, the white of pure intensity and the vibrancy of color gives way to the charred blackness of ash and soot. When we place the action of this Fire on our desire and will, passion flames and the urge to do, to act is fueled by the intensity of its need for change.

Fire courses through our bodies as the electrical charges that provoke immediate response to pain or pleasure. Our bodies heat as we exercise and move and the fires of digestion break down the food we take in as sustenance. Anger rages hot when we are challenged and confronted and the fire of desire takes hold when attraction draws us into lover’s embrace.

Fire blazes its way through our world in the form of communication, electrical wiring, technology and more. We are surrounded, permeated and interwoven into the inferno that excites and calls us to express ourselves and the will we have cultivated. To work with the energy of Fire is to invite radical change and irrevocable transformation. Let’s take a look at is many forms and areas of impact.

FIRE, unlike the other elements cannot exist in physical form without consuming and destroying something else, thus causing transformation of that thing. It is out of that destruction that the potential for the most growth often occurs. This action is that of the legendary Phoenix rising from the flames of ash.

In magickal practice, Fire represents the state of action and the fires of will. We call to the energies of Fire to stir the flames within as we aspire towards integrating our will with that of our Higher Self. At a spiritual level, Fire carries the seeds of transformation that are the stuff of initiatory change, action and development of the Higher Will.

At a purely mundane and physical level Fire is associated with heat. The warmth of the Sun and the heat of the wood stove that keeps us warm in wintry weather. When we take it to the mental level, Fire becomes the passion that excites and ignites. It is the catalyst that creates movement and it is the creative spark that leads to new invention or manifest creation.

Energetic workings and practice are vital to keeping the internal will enlivened and ready for action. Fire is the flame of will, desire and intent. It quickens and catalyzes in its expansive form and destroys and removes in its nature of contraction.

The Universal Laws of Fire

Many years ago I came across these Universal Laws as they relate to the four basic elements. It may seem odd to equate the elements as following certain “Laws” particularly in the semantics of that word and its normal connotation. But, everything must follow some sort of order and structure to be successful; albeit, sometimes that order appears to be the most disordered mess, it is still order nonetheless). This is also true of magickal workings. There are specific laws or rules (whatever word you prefer) that govern the order and structure of the Universe and its workings. These are but a few of those and I offer them now as food for thought as you move through each of these elements. Some are overt in their relationship to a specific element and others are a bit more occult (hidden) in their meanings.

Law of Polarity

When we speak of polarities, there are many different examples that could be given; male and female, light and dark, negative and positive to name a few. When we perform magickal workings we draw upon the nature of the polarities to bring a state of action to that working. If there were no darkness we would not know how to define the light. If there were no negative action, the desire towards the positive would be non-existent.

The element of fire is aptly described by this Law as one of its primary functions is to stir up, to excite, and thus to transform and potentially transmute that which was being worked upon. When we call the energies of Fire into our workings, we are automatically putting in place the potential for action to occur. We are forcing ourselves to move beyond a place of inertia and undefined focus of intent to catalytic change that will be either the positive or negative charge that is needed for desired outcome.

Law of Cause and Effect

This is the natural by-product of working within the realms of polarized action. For every action, there is a reaction. Thus, for every cause there is an effect. The measure of that effect is usually in keeping with the amount of will exerted, although the comprehensive out-picturing of that statement is not always apparent. This is typified in the cautionary advice to be careful what you wish for.

Some Correspondences

Western Magick:
Color: Red
Tools: Wand, Staff (sometimes Swords)
Attribute: The Will – Action

The Elementals:
Monarch – Djinn
Elementals – Salamanders
Archangel: Michael

Eastern Tattwas:
Shape: Triangle
Color: Red
Direction: South

Qabalah: The Spheres of Connection
Netzach – Green – Victory
Geburah – Red – Might

Alchemy: 
Color: Red
Qualities of dry and hot

Astrology:
Aries (Cardinal)
Leo (Fixed)
Sagittarius (Mutable)

Suggested Practice

Spend a few minutes each day outside in the sun. As you sit facing the sun (be sure you have on sunscreen and limit to no more than 5-10 minutes) close your eyes and allow the warmth to penetrate your body. Imagine being filled with the radiance and strength of the sunlight and feelings of renewal at every level of being.

Engage all of your senses in the experience of being bathed in the light and energy of the sun’s rays. Step into the shade and make note of the difference in your physiological response. And, then step back out into the sunlight; making note of the difference of experience.

Excerpted in part from: The Elemental Year. R. Fennelly

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As we end the year and begin one anew, I would like to share a pathworking of the Zodiac. Each New Year brings  the opportunity to connect more fully with those aspects of your natal chart that offer support to your life’s experience. There is no need to be a professional astrologer or even an advanced student of astrology to begin the process of connection. Simply beginning with an exploration of your natal Sun sign can open your self-awareness to a place of deeper knowledge of the potential of your strengths and bolstering your weaknesses. Let’s begin…. Turn your focus and attention to your breath. Allow the space of  your consciousness to move with the rise and fall of your chest and the filling and release of the lungs. Continue in this manner for several breaths; allowing each to become softer, smoother and slower.  With each breath your physical body appears to become lighter and your center of consciousness floats upwards towards the inner eye. You feel enveloped by the mist of transition between the Physical and Astral.  And as this veil thins you step through a veil of dark blue mist and find yourself standing centrally in a circular room.   As you look around you see that this space opens out to a star lit night sky.  The velvety blackness above holds a twinkling of starry light that fills the panoramic view above.  The walls encircle you and are of a deep bluish purple.   As your eyes adjust to this room you notice an archway just ahead of you.  It glows a deep blood red in color and you are intrigued by what may lay through the archway. imgres You step forward and pass easily through the archway stepping through the glyph of Aries and out into a room that is vibrantly colored red.  To learn more about astrology, check out these resources: Temple of the Cosmic Spheres It’s Written in the Stars. R. Fennelly 2012

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Let me begin by noting that this post is not what you think it will be.  There is nothing elitist about it.  I am not going to talk about trendy magickal finds and spells and ornate talismans to make you rich and famous.  Instead I would like to explore the concepts of harmony and balance, chaos and order and the weighing of our actions and efforts against that of the truth and intelligence held within our hearts.

These ideas are the domain of the Egyptian Goddess Ma’at and it was she who made order and harmony of what would fall to discord without the upholding of her principles.  The ancient rites of the dead were particularly compelling in their belief and totality of communion with their Gods and the greater Cosmos.  Even in death, the individual was given challenge that would be reflective of the life they led when alive and how and if they would enter the afterlife based upon those actions.  The measure of that life and the ultimate determination was based upon the weighing of the heart against the Feather of Ma’at.

In the Ancient Egyptian tradition the individual recently deceased would be brought before the Great Scales of Justice as final trial in their journey through the underworld.  The weighing of the individual’s heart, as is depicted on The Papyrus of Ani in The Book of the Dead shows the God Anubis overseeing this weighing.  The heart would be placed on one scale and the feather of Ma’at, was placed on the other. The goal being that the truth and all-knowingess held within this most sacred of organs would neither be of more or less weight than that of the Feather of Truth.  If successfully balanced the deceased gained the resurrection of their Divine nature, being equally blessed as Osiris had been. If the heart was found to be heavier than the feather, the deceased would be eaten by the Devourer, leaving the various parts of the deceased’s soul separated and lost forever.

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Image 1.: The Papyrus of Ani

The heart was considered to be the seat of intelligence informed by emotion and the measure of a good life was the use of that wisdom as guide for the emotions and actions in the living world. So, it was in the final examining of the heart and its successful measure that Ma’at as the principle of order and balance would then have been maintained in life and death. Moreover, the balancing of the scales insured Cosmic Order. And, the continuation of Deity and man co-existing in a palpable and unified way in collaborative interaction. Ma’at bound all things together in an ordered and indestructible unity: the universe, the natural world, the state, and the individual were all seen as parts of the wider order generated by Ma’at.

We ourselves have been in this time of Ma’at with the movement of the Sun into the astrological sign of Libra, The Scales of Balance, on the Autumnal Equinox of last month. Each year at this time we are called to more fully step into our place of  balancing out and sorting through what has accumulated in the months preceding.  We honor the order of Ma’at in the harvesting and preserving of what will sustain and maintain the orderly health of our bodies in the Winter months ahead.  We are now nearing the ending of this Solar energy and in the state of current world affairs we are in need of that weighing of our own hearts to assess what contributions we are making to either side of the scales.

The call is to be ever mindful of the way in which we maintain flow and order and the way in which we cause upheaval.  Of knowing when to tip the scales towards what would be construed as negative, in order to reestablish the order of a productive outcome. I have purposefully left out much information as the pursuit of harmony, truth and justifiable outcome is best engaged from our finding our own way.

Stand before the Scales, faced by the unknown of what the after-life will bring.  See placed upon one end your concept of the feather of of Ma’at’ and HER principle of Order and Truth.  Open your heart and allow its wisdom to fill the scale of opposition and as judge and juror of your actions ask these or other questions.  The answers you give may surprise you?

Would your heart be in a place of balance if weighed on those Great scales?  

How do you strive to bring order to the Chaos that surrounds you?

Do you seek the depth of truth and justice as you go about your daily affairs?

Do you maintain the balance of  your Gods and own truth of Divinity? 

Resources:

The Intelligence of the Heart
The Magickal Pen

Images:

Header: Sculpture of Ma’at: Origin: The Tomb of Seti I, 19th Dynasty (1300 BC). Current Location: Egyptian Museum in Florence, Italy

1. The Papyrus of Ani. The British Museum

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Throughout multiple systems you will find groups of three as dynamics of change and definition. These groupings of three are present in Astrology, Pagan Deity and Pantheons, Lunations and Solar Cycles, as markers of Time, Esoteric and Energetic Anatomy, Color Scale and more. The measure of each component of this three is generally one of minimal to maximum, each expanding upon the other and serving as bridge of transition.

The number Three itself conjures up the geometric symbol of the triangle. Each side supported by the other creating a space of base line and point arising from each of those ends. This allows for the multiple nature of the number three, given that there are within that shape the potential for 3 different base lines and three different points. Three is the result or product of interaction between two other forces. We begin with the singular 1- which seeks another to interact with resulting in 2. The 2- seek to create beyond their duality and the third is born, holding within its energy the sum total of both of its sources now coalesced and transformed to become a third force. It is this same action of creation that is present in the multiple forms this triplicity takes. I think of it as three phases of development; that of testing, tempering and ultimately transforming.

Testing              Tempering Transforming
Maiden Mother Crone
Youth Father Sage
Past Present Future
Cardinal Fixed Mutable
Dawn Noon Dusk
New Moon Full Moon Waning Moon

 

Testing

The Testing phase is that of trial and error. It is the place of beginnings that are not necessarily overt in the expertise that is recognized (note that I said recognized, not drawn upon). In the listings of triplicity that I presented, this is the spark of the Maiden and the Youth. Bursting to the brim with great expectations, boldness of execution and a catalytic flow that is fully opened and ready to make its mark towards change.

In the scheme of Time, it is the Past that propels us towards the present and ultimately into the future. It is the past to which we retreat when life offers an unfair curve or unexpected change that unsettles and disrupts our balance. We use the past as barometer of our worth as we seek the lineage and ancestral ties that we wish to claim as our own. And, as history has proven, the lessons learned within the past are not always heeded in the desire and enthusiasm to move forwards.

Within the discipline of Astrology, we see the testing principal play out in the form of its Cardinal Modality. This is the modality that offers the potential for whatever elemental correspondence its acts upon. Cardinal Earth is the turning over of the fertile ground to expose what potentially will come to fruition. Cardinal Air is that first breath of inspiration that hopes to take root in the intellect so it may become a manifest creation. Cardinal Fire is the first spark that must be carefully tended lest it be extinguished or spread uncontrolled leaving destruction in its wake. And, Cardinal Water provides the first stirrings of emotion so that desire may be set into motion and applied to a will that is just testing its mettle.

Perhaps, the most well- known triplicity is that of the lunar and solar cycles. We see the steady progression that the sun takes in any given day moving through its course and are held in the ebb and flow of the lunar cycles that flow through the monthly cycle. Dawn is the testing phase of the daily solar cycle. These are the moments of first light and the emergence from the darkness of the night. We are challenged with each Dawn to make the waking hours of the day productive. It is the point of testing our determination to stay the course and stand in awe at the beginning of each day seeing it as another opportunity to be more fully human bathed in the light of strength and power that also rises within us in synchronicity. The lunar cycle is that of the New Moon. The light not visible and the testing being that of trust that although you are unable to see the Moon in her glorious orb, she is there nonetheless and waiting for what inspiration and creative working you will ask her to join you in.

In the pattern of the Three this phase is the crucial starting point. And, if its withstands the test of all the filters, obstructions and false starts that serve to strengthen the resolve of natural flow of progression it gathers to itself all of the necessary tools that will support its expansion into the space of tempering.

Tempering

I have purposefully used the word temper here despite the appearance of contradiction in definition of the word. To Temper by definition is to:

• To soften something
• Strengthen material
• Harden metal
• Tune (early keyboard instrument)

The energy in this mid space is one of refining and continuing what was begun. Here we find the Mother and Father aspects of the Goddess and God. There is the need to bring to harmony the impetuous energy of the Maiden and Youth and space of initial impulse. Youthful exuberance has given way to stability and firmer resolve. The task of this more mature role is that of softening those rough edges and strengthening what is viable. Nurturing and offering guidance are the responsibilities taken on as the dreams and aspirations that preceded it are brought to a state of fullness of expression.

When we speak of Time, the Present is held in the place of tempering. It is the present that holds us fast in its grasp and it is the present to which we always return after our wanderings down memory lane or anticipatory visions of what our future lives may hold. We learn to soften our expectations and harden our resolve as we know that age and time continue in their cycle no matter how we wish it to remain still and often what we believed to be wrought in stone has scattered like paper on the winds of change.

Astrologically, the Fixed Modality wields the force of tempering. Fixed Earth becomes the immovable mountain that offers up its rigidity to bolster and support as its cradles in the softness of her body. Fixed Air becomes the space of pause and refining the great thoughts and inspirations that want to pass through unnoticed. They are drawn into the eye of the storm where each can be calmly scrutinized and assessed of their staying power. Fixed Fire is the tempering of the will, hardening it to withstand the pressures of misdirected desire and softening it to be receptive and pliable in receiving the wisdom of the Higher Self. Fixed Water finely tunes our Soul so we may easily move into the depths of our own pain and suffering and emerge strengthened and in harmony with both our weaknesses and our strengths. This is the action of receipt and release, the ebb and flow of the waters and the comfort it provides like the gentle rocking of the waters of the great mother’s womb.

The phase of tempering within the solar cycle is one of the heat and relentless downpour of the noon-day sun. All is illuminated, with no space to hide the flaws that we perceive. The truth of our solar nature and the resonance within our bodies to this penetrating source is brought into attunement so that we may co-create the music of the cosmos. The lunation of Full Moon is the softening and breaking down of those barriers of reserve and doubt that we cling to. Our emotions are tempered by the loving touch of rays of pure light and energy that is expansive and contractive in its dynamics.

In the pattern of the Three, this phase of tempering and rendering more pliable and diverse in expression is the coalescing point. It brings in synthesis and harmonious balance those polarities that are brought into its cycle. It is the phase of standing perfectly poised and ready to accept the flow into transformation and change.

Transforming

The last phase of the Three is both the result and what will become the cause that catalyzes the triune anew. The test has proved the energy to be viable. The tempering has imparted all that is needed to insure its strength of purpose and now the deeper work of transformation is required. The Crone and the Sage are the Deity that hold this transformative power. Their expression is one that has been honed through experience trial and error. They are the end product of that can only be brought forward through the work of willing sacrifice and the knowledge that surrender is the path of return. In the never ending cycle, it is the Crone and Sage who will transform into rebirth as the Maiden and Youth.

This is the phase of Future Time; always just one pace ahead and always knowing the outcome before the query has been made. The bridge of transition at this place of time is in the knowledge that what is the future is also the past and the present simultaneously, each replacing the other, each switching dynamics and place in a dance of complexity and grace. For it is always the future that gives birth to what will eventually become the past.

Astrologically, the Mutable modality is the transforming dynamic. It is this energy that stretches and expands, reaching beyond itself and then recoiling back to dip deeply into its source. Mutable Earth is the adaptability to change, reorder and draw upon all the resources available to craft a new form of expression. Mutable Air weaves the intricate patterns of complex mind and breathes out the answers to all who will listen and understand its intent. Mutable Fire spreads far and wide as it reshapes all in its path. It is vibrant and potent in its flame and its desire to connect and transmute. And, Mutable Water carries the weight of the lands and its creatures in its belly offering solace and healing to all who would venture into its waters.

The Solar cycle is one of the soothing of a sunset, spilling forth colorful and radiant yet gentle in its heat offering reminder that even those who shine the brightest must at times dim their luster so all may witness the Sun’s beauty. The Lunar cycle is one of waning light and movement back into those dark waters to retrieve the pearls that have been buried far beneath the surface. The excavating is done in trust that what is revealed will inform and enliven in a way that will carry the seeker gently on moving waters to a place of new birth and new form.

The Third phase is both endings and beginnings. For what has been transformed is not what was before. It is new. It is rebirth, and it is growth. If we moved through this cycle again, bringing forward all that we know if the first three, the power of the number six is revealed. It is the rebirthing of all of the work accomplished at the first level. It is the harmonious interaction between what was and what is becoming. And, if we take this one more step we arrive at the potential of the number nine. Three sets of triune cycle. Three levels of testing, tempering and transformation. Nine gates of opening and the number of initiation, endings, thresholds and renewal.

So, the next time you see the number three or one of its multiples, think about the many ways in which that simple number can impart its own wisdom and open your understanding to triune cycles as they flow through the magick that is our life’s work.

Note:  This is the beginning of a series of essays looking at each of the aforementioned phases. 

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