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Posts Tagged ‘equinox’

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Today is November 1st- All Soul’s Day.  The veils between the worlds of the living and the dead are thinning and we have greater access to our ancestors and loved ones who have passed.  This month has been extraordinarily dense for me this year.  Not only in the amount of work expected, but in the general feeling of the pervasiveness of the atmosphere and energy surrounding.  Now this would not normally be unusual given the season of the year and the opening of the veils, but, this year seems different.  The thinning seemed to begin much earlier and the heaviness of death and whispers of those wishing to be heard by the living once again seems to be deafening at times.

The other point in the year where these veils are thinnest occurs at Beltane.  There is a lightness about that opening heralded in the anticipation and promise of new life crossing into the physical realms brought forth by the quickening and fecundity of what is waiting to burst forth.  The opening of Samhain speaks of loss and the anticipation of opportunity to reconnect to those who have passed in this or previous years. It is a bittersweet sadness that colors the celebration of lives well lived and although it is palpable, thick and dense, the density is one of being wrapped in a heavy warm cloak.

In contrast, the density of this year seems more to be that of unfinished business and the extra weight of what needs to be said; to be heard and to asked. Many I have spoken with agree that this year they are very much in need of the wisdom gifted by their chosen ancestor(s) and those answers to deep and painful questions loom large in the foreground in determining what kind of action will carry them forward  and out of what has been a challenging year for many.

Although, October 31st is the recognized Sabbat for most, the true and astronomical date of Samhain generally occurs somewhere around November 6–9th. This accounts for the lingering aftermath of ancestral energy beyond the Oct. 31st celebrations.  This year the date is November 7th a few days following a potent New Moon in Scorpio and unusual hybrid Solar Eclipse.  So, the astrological energy will be ripe with challenge and potential and Scorpio’s energy will enhance the deep seeking within ourselves and the answers sought out from our Ancestors.

Each year has been different in what I have needed; some years only needing to honor and not to ask. My needs this year are much the same as my friends and the heaviness I have been feeling is as much of my own making as that of the opening of the veils. I set into motion my intent for reaching out to my ancestors last night, drawing on the collective energy that this particular night holds.  Each night I will light the candles on my ancestral altar, paving the way for our meeting.  Each night I will offer up the questions I have and leave offerings of my love and respect for what they gifted in life and what I request from them now.  And, finally on November 7th I will do ritual, celebrate and sit, listening for the answers I seek.

This is my intent as the veils thin and I am reminded of my place in the cycle of life and death, for each must be honored and in those times of union when the two become as one the deeper wisdoms of each may be shared freely in perfect love and perfect trust.

May your Samhain be blessed and fruitful in your intent!

Resources:

If you would like to use a pathworking of meeting the ancestors, please read Parting the Veils and Opening to Ancestral Wisdom on WitchVox. And, a great tool for finding out the true dates of the Solstices, Equinoxes & Cross-Quarters is the Archeoastronomy Site.

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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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Six-Mysteries-of-Our-Solar-System-2
As pagans, we are continually reminded of and work with the energies and mysteries of the Moon. We have ritual, offer devotion and live in the light and through the cycles of Her many phases. By contrast, the Solar Mysteries are generally continued within the Sabbats and the occasional working that requires the assistance of a solar deity. Doing work that will deepen and strengthen our connection to both of these cycles establishes a point of balance that is informed by the strengths of each and the interweaving of their subtleties to produce work that is synthesized and illumined by light and dark.

There are many attributions that are given to the Sun. in magickal work, we think of the sun’s energies in the forms it takes as the solar deities we work with, the heat and light the sun provides at a physical and manifest level and the impact of the solar meridians and chakra on our subtle energetic anatomy. As the polarity to the feminine intuitive and healing Lunar qualities, we see the power of the Sun as the masculine strength that is woven through folklore, mythology and the vastness of the varied and diverse spiritual streams.

These are just a few of the ways we make connection with the archetypes of the Sun. Regardless of what form these solar energies take, the underpinning keys that hold true are those of strengthening, enlivening and ultimately transforming anything held in its power. There is, as well, the timely caution to not stray too close to the full potency of the light of the sun lest it burn the fragile skin we are contained within. In counter to that we also carry the lessons of the Phoenix, whose sole (soul) work is that of the destruction of itself, reduction to the refined essence of its components and the rising up from the ash of flesh and bone to be reborn anew. Let’s take a closer look at some of these vehicles of change.

In ritual and magickal or devotional work we call to the Deities that will best inform and serve what we hope to manifest. The solar deities are those who are called forth to enliven, strengthen and ignite change in a very specific and transmutive way. The Egyptian Solar God, RA reigned supreme and took many forms, including that of the rising and setting of the physical Sun, the sustainer of all life. Each aspect held the key to another level of transformation that those who followed the energy of his Solar flame could hope to lay claim to. The Celtic Goddess, Brighid as a solar deity was keeper of the sacred triple flame and ignited the creative spark in her seekers. Her blade was one of healing that cauterized that which had been excised. She was mistress of the Forge and as such applied the heat of her action to temper the malleable steel of our form and bathed it in the soothing waters too cool and set what had been crafted. The Greek God, Helios was considered to be the Sun itself, traveling much like RA through the day lit sky in a chariot drawn by fire breathing horses. These are the Gods/desses that light the way and blaze the path towards transformation. In ceremonial work, the Liber Resh Vel Helios was written for members of Aleister Crowley’s Order to be performed four times daily as devotional and adoration of the Sun. Its intent was that of focus of the mental process from a heliocentric view, greater connection to the energies of the sun and attunement to The Great Work.

At the level of spiritual evolution and transformation of the energetic bodies it is the solar connection that assists in the building of a Light enlivened physical or manifest body. This energy is gifted through the Etheric body via the vital force gathered from the sun. This energy of the sun presents in three streams of force:

• The Fohat, which is the physical manifestation of electricity and the electromagnetic state. This form of solar energy directly impacts the neurological systems of the body that, in turn stimulate and open the pathways of communication, both at physical and spiritual levels.

• The flow of Prana, which provides a state of vitality to the body and is the penultimate and primary life force that transforms the fluids of the body.

• The Kundalini or serpent Fire that transmutes, refines and quickens the impact of the Endocrine System. It is the union of the solar and lunar pathways working each in accord and in friction with the other that sends the life force upwards to nourish and flow through the pathways of the 7-Stars (aka: the glands/organs of the Endocrine system)

In energetic practice, it is the action of calling upon the accumulated Fohat, that serves to enliven the individual’s Prana that can then in turn be used to raise and quicken the Serpent Fires of the Kundalini. As this polarized flow of energy of both the lunar and solar currents is pulled up into the crown center, it bathes the pineal glands in its milky elixir and acts as interface to opening to cosmic and expanded consciousness.

At the level of the Chakras- the vortices of energy that draw in and emit the refined spiritual light, the Sun is associated with the Solar Plexus. This chakra is the core center of our inner sun or seat of great power. It is within the solar plexus that awareness of the raising of energy is first noticed. It sits at the center of gravitational balance, keeping us strong and secure in our footing as we move forward. And, it is this chakra that acts to energize and strengthen our actions and fires of will. If engaged fully it is the opener of the heart center of compassion and works in conjunction with the throat center so that will, heart and mind are expressed in an effective manner.

In the overlay of the system of the Qabalah, the sun stands as the central sephira (sphere) of the Tree of Life as Tiphareth. This is the place of sacrifice and reassembling from the wisdom of the inpouring of the other spheres of connection that enter and pass through Tiphraeth. It is the sphere of Beauty, the beauty being held in the synthesis and transmutation by application of the solar principle. On ascending the Tree towards the Godhead of Kether (The Limitless All) the next sphere of connection is Geburah on the Pillar of Might. The heat of the sun is now aligned with the cauterizing blade of the surgeon that cleaves to heal. In descent towards the manifest realm of Malkuth (Foundation) Tiphareth pours into Netzach on the Pillar of Mercy, the fires of refinement. The Solar Principle is gathered here as the soon to be manifest form is fired in the kiln’s of selective balance and desire to create. And on the Middle Pillar of the Tree Tiphareth reaches up through knowledge (Da’At) and the resultant self-awareness to return to the formless source of Kether. On return circuit, the solar energy of Tiphareth reaches down into the sphere of Yesod, affecting discernment and exerting will that is devoid of illusion and misdirection as it is brought into the physical world.

Astronomically, at the time of the Solstices and the Equinoxes we are offered the dynamics of bringing a state of balance between the polarities of sun and moon; night and day. The solstices herald the dominance of one over the other, still being ever mindful of the need for each to maintain this cycle of excess and release. The equinoxes provide a dynamic of seeing solar (day) and lunar (night) in harmonious balance, each providing the pause of equilateral tension as the movement into waxing or waning begins anew.

There are as many ways to attune to this cycle as there are the overlays and characteristics that comprise it. I routinely use these energies in my daily spiritual practice. This may take the form of simply sitting outside at lunchtime and calling into myself the spiritual (Prana) and physical (Fohat) energy of the Sun. I breathe in the rays of the sun, pulling them into the Solar Plexus and then exhaling them into distribution throughout my body. I envision this process radiating out ad into all of my subtle bodies. I have used crystals to hold the specific energy of the sun for later use in ritual work calling upon a Solar Deity’s assistance in quickening the start of a new project. This is particularly effective during a solar eclipse; bringing together a sphere that has been charged with the building lunar energies and another holding the energies of the solar cycle. This eclipse only occurs when the moon is in its New Phase, and is signified by the passing of the moon between the earth and the Sun. I can call upon this combination of energy to create the pathway of the Sun strengthening the heart’s desire (The Moon) as it aligns with the manifest plane of earth.

A few years ago, our Coven embarked on a deepening of our understanding and use of the solar mysteries in a year-long plan. We used as our foundation the Egyptian Pantheon and the cycle of RA and the movement of the Solar Barque (Solar Boat) across the sky through specially crafted rituals. We honored Khepra-Ra at the Vernal Equinox as keeper of the Dawn and new beginnings. We invoked Amum-RA at the Summer Solstice as quickener and peak solar force of noon. The Autumnal Equinox held the energy of RA-Atum in the solar form of Dusk and the setting of the sun to rest and integrate what had been enlivened. And, we entered the Du’at at Samhain in preparation for the calling forth of the Midnight Sun at the time of the Winter Solstice. The products of this work were an uplifting of the foundations we had laid towards a better understanding of the primal nature of the solar energies and their impact in all of our workings.

I have included below an invocation that I wrote that was used at the start of the Solar Mysteries cycle. If you are so inclined, feel free to use this as an opening to the Gateway of an energy that is potent in its outpouring and serves to inform and illuminate all aspects of our being. In Solar Light!

Hymn to RA

All Hail to Thee, Mighty RA
Blaze of noon day sun.

Your fiery orb high in the
Sky above as we kneel
Beneath the heat of
Your radiance.

All the Gods bow to your radiance
All the Goddesses sing hymns of praise
To Your glory
And man, lays prostrate in humility
And devotion at the altar of
Your making.

Sweet music of adoration and offerings
Brought forth from the Black Land
Rise up in praise and thanks for
Your Sustaining Light.

All darkness flees at the touch of Your hand
All ceases its movement as You
Stretch across the sky
The lotus opens to receive Your Touch
And the sands glisten as rare jewels
As You gaze upon each grain

All Hail to Thee, Amun-RA
All Hail to Thee, Who sits high above the world

Khepra in the East
Atum in the West
Whose eye holds the point of Life
Trifold Arc of Power.

Your eyes see all and
You are the place of return
Within the Midnight Sun

All Hail to Thee
All Hail to Thee
Amun, Amun, Amen!

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