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Posts Tagged ‘excellence’

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As we focus on advancing in spiritual growth and our magickal skills the general goal is one of doing the work needed to connect with that Divinity which is non-corporeal, transcendent and more highly evolved than we perceive ourselves to be. We are always seeking what is the deeper mystery and hidden from our human perceptions. We generally consider ourselves to be the blessed and privileged ones when we experience the presence of the Divine as we invoke the Gods into our work and our lives. And, indeed we are blessed to be able to engage with those unseen beings. The thought that they are just as richly blessed in the commune with corporeal beings such as ourselves is a concept largely overlooked.

You see the fact of the matter is that we have something they desire just as we aspire towards the rare forms that they are. We have been gifted with manifest form that can experience the physical pleasures of touch, the ability to hold someone or something with our flesh and bones, the ability to walk on the surface of a living planet and the ability to create physical life from our own. I have talked before about the role of the Soul as being a stream of the essence of our pure Spirit that descends into physical form and takes in all the lessons of a human life to return these to the formlessness of our Spirit. In many ways this concept punctuates the phrase that “we are Divine Beings having a human experience”.

We are indeed twice blessed to be able to walk between the worlds of the non-corporeal and the physical. As we grow and expand in our work of learning the nuances of energy, vibration and the cyclical rhythms that flow in, around and through us our perceptions of those realms of the non-corporeal opens. It is this work and action that trains us in the receptivity of being able to move in synchronicity with those realms to the degree that we “feel” the presence of Deity in our devotional and ritual work. This is also the space of opening that allows Deity to experience a portion of our human-ness.

So, next you seek out the presence of the Divine, remember…

We work with flesh and bone
The flexing of muscle supports
The action of our daily work.

We touch our beloved ones with care
We see the pain of a suffering world
We hear the music of stars and planets
We taste the products of loving hands
We smell the changing of the seasons
All of these and more the gift of
Manifest human form.

We call out to our Gods and Goddesses
The Limitless All and the Divine
Yearning for their essence to mingle
Join and be as one with our own.

The bliss of union enfolds us in
Its ephemeral embrace and we
Surrender to the loosening of
Flesh and bone absorbed into
The vastness of ocean Divine.

We move on waves of ecstasy
Gently kissing shorelines of
Humanity’s sculpted form
Moving into every life giving
Crevice that has served as the
Astral inroad for time immortal.

The Human hungers for what
He/She has lost the memory
Of its treasure and value.

The Divine yearns for the tales
Of life in form that its progeny
Settles into burrowing deeply
Into the body of Spirit’s lover.

Each seeks the embrace of the other 
To more deeply know the pleasure
Pain and sacrifice of the other’s existence.

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10--34490-Puzzle Pieces coming Together
When we remember it is similar to pulling together the pieces of a puzzle. A common strategy is to find the pieces that are the edges of the puzzle and fill in from a place a stable boundary. From this foundation, the inside pieces are added and before you know it you can see the whole picture of the completed puzzle!

I did a tarot reading for myself last night that resulted in the cards clearly relaying the message of re-membering and re-assembling the balance of heart and mind to enhance the relationships I currently enjoy. Particularly the relationship I have with the various parts of my SELF.

This process is about the alchemy of strengthening existing relationships and creating new ones that offer opportunities for collaborative and creative sharing. For most of us it is an easier task to attend to those relationships outside of ourselves. The hardest is facing and biding the space of dialogue between the various parts of our Inner Selves. Turning within to re-member and reassemble those parts of self is the first act of collaborative self-relationship.

When we claim our natural state of balance- the place where both our light and shadow natures intertwine and become as one source of strength, we begin the act of memory of our Divine potential. When we gather together those gifts of heart, mind and body and align them with our Soul’s purpose we begin the alchemy of reassembling what had been scattered and separated. As that inner relationship is tended and nurtured we can begin to expand and extend the joy found in that process to infuse those outer relationships we hold so dear.

And, the positive energy that flows from a mutual exchange of life lived in totality brings with it the shared experience and sweetness of grace for all that was freely given and all that was gratefully received. I will remember to give adequate time for reflecting on those parts of myself that have lain dormant and unloved. I will embrace them as my own and use them to build a stronger foundation upon which I may more generously give. I will add each piece of the puzzle with intention until the last piece is settled into its place and the picture of one who loves and is loved is complete.

What will you re-member of your life?

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15142115_s I step cautiously into the current of churning
Waters that would carry me forward.

Fear of losing ground and being pulled
Beneath the water’s surface calls me back to
The banks of my perceived safe ground.

I stand ever as the observer looking out
Onto a horizon that can only be revealed
In its beauty to those who simply let go.

I step into the comfort of my skin and look
Down into the water’s mirrored surface
This time I will not turn away from a reflection
Of doubt cast of face and form staring back.

I will not look beyond the surface of my physical
Form and vow to open an understanding heart
To the fear and doubt reflected and staring back.

I strain and push against a physical container
Never fitting quite right and aspiring for more
I hover just above my true Divine nature
Never settling in and remaining poised and
Always in precise and exacting control.

I move back turning away from water’s call
For now these first steps will prove enough.

I am not ready to face the icy waters of reality
I am not ready to claim the victory of surrender
I am not ready to trust the process and move
With the powerful currents that transform.

I am not ready to be released!

What holds you captive and what will you choose to release so that you may flow with the current of life? How will you surrender to trusting the essence of Deity that is ever within?

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The Pentagram is an ancient symbol that has had varied associations of meaning and relevance attributed to it. Esoterically, it has been used as a sacred symbol in Western Hermetics, Eastern philosophies, Christian Gnosticism and other religious practices. In some form, the Pentagram was important to almost every ancient culture, including the Mayans, Greeks and was found scratched into the walls of Neolithic caves and Babylonian drawings. Its most prevalent use in modern times has been in association with Western Hermetics and the spiritual paths of the occult.

The pentagram is a five pointed star. The term Pentacle, which is used interchangeably with Pentagram, is generally applied to the depiction of the pentagram enclosed within a circle. Magickally, this completed symbol references the continuum of the cycle of all things and the presence of the five alchemical elements as contained within that continuum.

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A Tool of Working

Used as a sacred tool in Wiccan practice, the Pentacle is used as physical representation of all of the alchemical elements; Spirit, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. It is used as a symbol of earth and in Gaia’s physical form the containment of these elements in the foundations of earth, sky, water, mineral and the Spirit of these elements. For one who uses the Pentacle in ritual and magickal working, it symbolizes the foundations that have been laid in developing affinity and knowledge of the elements and the harmony and balance of the natural world. Its cardinal direction is North.

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A Pentagram may be placed on an altar, scribed into the ground in creating sacred space or inscribed on other tools. The Pentagram as a tool of grounding and magnetic attraction is often worn as an amulet in ritual space. In this way, the Pentacle is one and the same with he/she wearing it and is a reminder of their connection to all of the elemental energies present.

 

The Pentagrams of the Elements
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Now imagine using the Pentagram as a tool of connection and synthesis of the subset of elements. Each element contains within itself parts of all of the others and each expression of a subset varies ever so slightly, but effectively in creating something of higher expression that is the synthesis of the two.

The subsets are:

Air of Air, Air of Fire, Air of Water, Air of Earth, and Air of Spirit

Fire of Fire, Fire of Water, Fire of Earth, Fire of Air and Fire of Spirit

Water of Water, Water of Earth, Water of Air, Water of Fire and Water of Spirit

Earth of Earth, Earth of Air, Earth of Fire, Earth of Water and Earth of Spirit

There is very transformative work that can be done in accessing and applying this energy toward your spiritual growth. They may also be used in ritual and spell work. What makes this approach slightly different than simply using the subset of elements individually is their anchoring within the form of the Pentagram. Numerologically, the number Five (5) is the great disrupter and transformer. This is the intent in working with the Pentagrams in this way. To disrupt the status quo and provide the appropriate catalytic energy needed to affect change from a stable baseline.

We use the concept of the Pentagram itself being the stabilizer and form of foundation from which everything else arises. So how would this energy vary if that container of stabilization were Air, Fire, Water or the amplified energy of Earth itself?

 

Air Pentagram – The Foundation of Mind

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The Creative Consciousness

Spirit – The Divine expression of Mind. The well spring of Source for inspired thought and the breath that is immanent in its flow and all-encompassing in its flexibility. This is the breath of creation and the sacred utterance that infuses the first breath of life in its progeny.

Water – The movement of idea and thought. Brainstorming and those “ah ha” moments that pour into our consciousness like liquid. These are those that stimulate the intuitive nature and come in torrential floods as warnings to be heeded.

Fire – These are the thoughts that wake you from a dream-state and demand that you write down all that is needed. These are the ideas that are un-relentless in their demands for attention and can easily become compulsiveness. These are also those thoughts that create spontaneity and become the exciting adventures that are unplanned and abundantly satisfying.

Earth – This is your physical brain and all that feeds its functioning. This is the space of mind that generates electricity and serves as the receptacle of all that comes into its realms. This is the command center of the neurologic system and regulates and coordinates movement throughout the various systems of the physical body.

Air – The state of pure mind. Abstract thought and the beginnings of inventive creation. Nothing is projected from emotion. It is pure logic and analytical thinking whose only process is that of rationale and substantive reason.

 

Fire Pentagram – The Foundation of Will

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The Consciousness of Primal Instinct

Spirit – The Inner Spark that enlivens and is the holographic cell of Light that is contained within the Cosmos. These are the fires of the Cosmos. The fires of the stars and energy of Light that is inherent in all that is contained within the Universe. This is the Cosmic Fire that acts as a prism refracting and deflecting its rays as its emanates out in creative expression as the planets, stars and living matter of the Universe.

Water – The all-pervasive flow of action that carries with it the fires of determination as it carves out its own path of direction. This is the action of will that spills into every crevice and opening that offers itself to the test of change.

Fire – The dynamic and pure form of will expressed devoid of emotional application or mental analysis. It takes burns brightly and with intensity because it knows no other state of being. This is the state of passion without any intended goal of recipient other than the imminent transformation of anything that steps into its bounds.

Earth – The physicality of the digestive system. This is the physiological system responsible for the fires that extract nutrients, discard waste and keep the physical machinery working at optimal capacity. When we speak of will we often equate the fuel of desire or urge with what generates the fires that produce spiritual results. Now think of the digestive system. Hunger (pangs) drives us to feed/fuel ourselves and the urge to make way for new nourishment prods the urge of elimination. Additionally, the digestive system is the space of immunity and providing what is needed to keep us healthy.

Air – This is the space of concept. The concept of an intended goal that stimulates the need to act in whatever way is in accord with realization of that goal. This is the image that calls into being what is needed to complete the process of out-picturing the end result. Air provides the necessary “oxygen” that keeps the fires of will (and desire) burning. As pure Will takes command the flow of air (mind) drops away, no longer needed, and the inexorable heat of intention becomes the bellows of sustenance.

 

Water Pentagram – The Foundation of Emotion

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The Sub-Conscious

Spirit – The dialogue of “knowing” that flows from the Divine in continual stream of healing and intuitive awareness. Gnosis is birthed in these waters and it is from this gnosis that the pause of reflection and the all living compassion of stillness flows.

Water – This is the space of pure feeling that reaches deeply into the stores of the unconscious. This is the place of memory of past experiences and the feelings they evoked which have brought you to the present state of response (or reaction).

Fire – The extremes that ignite us to passion or cool us to apathy. This is the Fire that ebbs and flows as encounter each new opportunity for response and action. This is the molten lava that streams out of the eruption of volcanic pressure and is slow, steady and lasting in what it burns away.

Earth – The waters and fluids that flow through our physical body. These would include the blood and the hormones secreted from the endocrine system. This would also include the bodies response to drawing moisture into itself from the physical surroundings and the release of toxins and cooling of the body through the excretion of sweat.

Air – This is the energy that oxygenates the waters encouraging the current to move strongly towards its source. These are the boiling waters that bubble up heated by directed flame. This is the steam that rises from the surface in wave like currents veiling the clarity of what lay ahead and leaving an illusory vision imprinted in memory.

 

Earth Pentagram – The Foundation of Manifestation
This Pentagram is the one that most closely resembles our normal use and singular concept of the Pentagram as the Tool of Earth containing all of her elements.

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 Conscious Awareness

Spirit – This is the foundation from which has emanated a seed of our true nature into physical form to learn the lessons of that existence. This is the space of our true state of Being; the unknowable that we merge back into at physical life’s end. This is the desire to know the purpose of life’s worth and the measure of our progress in our eternal cycle of rebirthing. This is the pre-eminent foundation that was, is and forever shall Be.

Water – The way in which we move through the world. The ease with which we navigate the challenges of a mundane existence and the flexibility that we allow ourselves as life ebbs and flows along its course. We could think of this energy as that of the waters continually and rhythmically striking the edge of the shoreline. With time and persistence the shoreline changes in response to the pressure. And with each exertion of pressure against what appears to be solid unmoving ground, there is a slight giving way, a slight change in response and this is what carves the new shore without its complete destruction.

Fire – We could consider this energy as being the action we take. This is the call to carefully tend the fires that prod us on and to be attentive to how widespread their flames reach. We use this as the tempering of what would lead us on a path less productive and when the need-fires of hearth and home require our fueling. This is the realm where intention and determination are developed as each action causes a reaction and each reaction becomes the catalyst for another action, ad infinitum.

Earth – This is the physical body we have taken as form of expression in this lifetime. This is the Temple of potential and the working machine that insures our survival. Our bodies are the ultimate test of our devotion to the Divine. If we truly believe that we are part of the Divine then the way in which we honor our physical bodies remains in accord with how we honor Deity. This is not to say that there is no room for faltering in the care of our physical form, but effort would be made and awareness of when we were less than kind to ourselves would develop.

Air – This is the energy of our thoughts and ideas. These are the products of pure Mind having been acted upon by analysis, sorting and drawn down into a place of concrete consideration. These are the plans for what will be made manifest and the energy of thought that went into that planning. Intellect emerges as a way of differentiation and weighing of the validity of what arises as thought as we refine our perceptions and build our base of information.

The Quint-essential Tool

My suggestion for working with these would be to use them as experiential and contemplative tools. Use only one at a time, perhaps beginning with the Pentagram you wish to gain more insight and experience with. For instance, I am a very Air-based individual and have worked very hard to connect with the emotional aspects of myself. I would begin my work, then, with the pentagram of Water using each of its points as a frame of reference and insight as I explore their meanings within the context of my own personality. What would begin as a contemplative act, would then become opportunities for me to experience the nature of emotion as expressed through the Fires of creativity. I would seek out opportunities to engage both my mind and my heart in creating something. As I moved through each point, the space of contemplation about that energy and the bridge of connection towards application and experience would begin to shift my perceptions and responses. This would occur slowly and possibly transparently at first, but eventually with continued practice and perseverance, I would be able to call into action the foundations built on my Pentagram of Water and when the normal recourse would have been to process only from the mental, emotion would temper and balance.

I see these Pentagrams as being infinite in the possibility of exploring them from many different perspectives. The more frames of reference you can apply to any spiritual tool the more you are adding to the foundations you have established that anchor and stabilize your mundane life and your spiritual work. Five blessings on your journey:

Five Blessings As You Begin Your Journey…

May the wisdom of the winds flow through your thoughts
May the passion of the eternal flame ignite curiosity
in your heart
May the waters of the Great Mother soothe and heal the challenges
you encounter in your seeking
May the strength of the gifts of nature and life’s energy
feed, comfort and sustain you
And
May you always reside in the Brilliance of your Divine Self

Resources to Learn More about the Elements:

A Year and A Day on the Wiccan Path: Lesson Two
The Natural World

The Elemental Year: Aligning the Elements of Self
R. Fennelly.2013.Serpent’s Gate

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Step out through the archway
Come out boldly into the light
The world of the living awaits you
Let its beauty fill your sight.

You’ve poured over great
Books and practiced all alone
Now time is approaching to
Share what has been shown.

To make noise and create joy
To dance freely and deeply feel
To cry and rant and rave as you
Strive to keep it authentic and real.

The truth is that Spirit and matter
Are fed each by the other one
And the deeper you reach into
All aspects of being human
Your Spirit will soar in exaltation
Having resolved this life’s lesson of
Living Divinely and Human as one.

 

The poem last week was a reflection of my own recent work at finding the balance between the life of the Hermit I am most comfortable with and the need to process through living experience those things I am akin to found in books and writings. Now, let me clarify before I go further that the life of the Hermit I refer to is that of my natural spiritual tendency, not the reality of living the life of a Hermit apart from the world. Nonetheless, the questions I posed last week hold particular relevance for me…

What beautifully crafted spaces have you built to keep you at arms length from the world?

For me, the detachment from the mundane has arisen in my approach to how I choose to experience all of the world and its messiness. In fact, for most of my life I have been fully and responsibly present in the physical state and happily retreating as often as I could to the more solitary musings and surroundings. Having five children, a husband, a full-time job, a coven and an avocation of service, teaching and writing tends to throw you head first into those deep waters of mundane responsibility and interaction. Yet, despite all of this, the Will is a crafty and powerful ally in allowing you to remain submerged in the waters of study, magickal practice and spiritual pursuit.

My inner library and working space of magick is vast and silent save for my own musings. This is the place of my power and retreat from what I consider trivial and non-productive in the mundane world. The urgency to know as much as possible, be as skilled as possible and align all aspects of myself as soon as possible has helped me craft this Hermit’s refuge with singular and sole purpose. The problem is that imbalance begins to occur. Although perceived great strides are being made in the spiritual work, the mundane polarity of that work suffers from lack of attention. The stores of experience that nurture, heal and support the needs of the human aspect within you become depleted. And, without those stores to be drawn upon when times become challenging and the call to spiritual support drains that reserve there is no healing possible.

How has it effected your Magick?

I have come to realize that I am not alone in this way of thinking and approach to spiritual work. We get caught up in the pursuit of growth and goals of practice and forget the primary tool that allows us to pursue what we seek. We neglect the “fun” aspect in deference to the academia. And are not always as mindful as we should be of the human factor in the energy work we do and how euphoric the simple acts of dancing, loving, listening and engaging in tactile creativity can be.

So, for now I will leave the Hermit behind; knowing that the road back to that place of contemplative and solitary spirituality is always available to and welcoming of me. For now, I will try a new road that leads back into the heart of humanity and all that being human means. This will be the scaffolding that will sure up my physical form, nurturing what needs replenishing of simple or challenging pursuits that are purely in the joy or pain of the moment.

I end where I began with the posing of two questions:

What beautifully crafted spaces have you built within the world to be fully present?

And, how has this effected your Magick?

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At some point as you pursue a spiritual path you will encounter the term “journeying”. A spiritual journey may take many forms and is not always what you expect it will be. This journey may be physical in component, such as a pilgrimage to a scared site or more surreal within the realms of consciousness and subtle body. Some of these are initiated and guided by shamans, witches, gurus, therapists or others who have been trained in such processes. Some are self-initiated through lucid dream work, meditation, astral travel or self-scanning.  These are those journeys of intent that we choose to set aside time and space to execute. These are also the journeys that become part of the tool box of learning we use as we build the scaffolding that supports our aspiration towards spiritual pinnacle. Whatever the vehicle of transport is, the intent is one of change, transformation and growth.

One of the primary contributors towards making the use of spiritual journeys effective and viable tools for spiritual growth is the way in which the consciousness responds to these inner travels and the expansion of that state into realms that are not of manifest reality. We remain in the waking realms of conscious thought for most of our day so that we can function in the physical world in the way that is expected and required. The forays into awareness of limitless and timeless space are those we encounter in a dream state as we leaving our physical state of awareness and entering into one that moves outside the boundaries of space and time. If disciplined sufficiently, this dream state can become one of lucid (or conscious) dreaming. The normal dreaming mind surrenders itself to the needs of the physical body for rest and unencumbered and unfettered is now able to move into the subconscious and beyond.

Those journeys we experience that are guided by the drum of a Shaman, the guided pathworking that is part of a workshop or ritual are a combined effort of the surrender of consciousness towards expanding awareness by the one embarking on the journey and the triggers of sound, spoken word, etc… of the one facilitating the experience. This is the reason that when a group participates in the same pathworking or shamanic journeying, there will be a variety of responses and reports regarding how deep the individual was able to go, the information received and whether it overtly “worked” or not. Suspending our state of alert consciousness is for most not always an easy task. Control factors largely in how flexible that surrender is. The element of trust looms large, particularly in a setting of guided or group work and as a society we have been conditioned to mistrust even our own self-guided experiences and their results.

Creating an environment that is conducive to allowing the consciousness to move freely and in an open and receptive manner and incorporating visual stimuli that is familiar and is associated with the goal at hand opens the inner paths that are part of the function of memory. Incorporating sound, as in the case of drumming for Shamanic journeying, creates a field of resonance that the seeker is carried upon energetically towards what is being sought. Toning, chanting, relaxing or atonal music produce the same results if constructed in careful manner to affect the ebb and flow of energy and the peaks and dips of consciousness. Stirring within something that resonates with those parts of ourselves that are not normally accessed in this way. The alert conscious states takes in the stimuli, processes it through the receptors of recognition as the subconscious opens revealing the memories and information that is more deeply anchored to what has entered into its deep waters.

Although the setting we create as we enter into a journey of consciousness often serves as the catalyst toward opening up the appropriate neural pathways, there is no need for a secluded space, candles or other ritual paraphernalia. We generally associate journeying only in the setting of spiritual growth, but the most common form of journeying is one that largely remains uncategorized. This is the journey we take while daydreaming-something that we all have engaged in at one time or another. Imagination and visualization factor highly into this experience and depending on how deeply you can disconnect from the mundane world surrounding you, can be as real and visceral in sensation as any physical experience would be. These are all the same components described in guided spiritual journeying, albeit in this form the steps are transparent as we slip into whatever world we have created.

Creating An Inner Temple

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One of my favorite forms of journeying is in using and writing Pathworkings.  Pathworkings take you on a journey through an inner landscape of keys that will unlock the stores of memory and bring to the ultimate destination of transformation. Actually, the writing of the Pathworking becomes a journey itself, as I allow my consciousness to open to being receptive as the setting, keys and environment unfolds, drawn up from the depths of the subconscious. The exercise below is a pathworking that incorporates physical and astral journeying in the creation of a Temple to be used for your personal inner work. Blessings on your journey!

Step One:

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.

Stand in this space and offer up the intent that it will mold and shape its interior to what your needs are. Now, take some time to decorate this space as you will. Add whatever you wish to this space that will make it uniquely your safe haven and sanctuary to visit and work within. With each new addition, breathe into that addition, empowering it with your own dynamic and energetic fingerprint.

When you have established the space to your liking, take a moment to look around at what you have created. Take a mental picture of how this space looks. Make note of the feelings evoked when you scan your creation and the anticipation you are feeling at the thought of return to this space to renew and practice your craft. Allow all of this energy to wash over and through you and as you scan the last object you feel the mist of veil forming around you. The clarity of your Temple begins to fade and you find yourself once again as observer looking at the blank inner screen colored in the veiling that just surrounded you. Breathe into this space as observer and the knowledge of gateway that is available at any time for your access. Bring your focus of awareness back into the pattern of breath- the rise and fall of your chest and the expansion and contraction of lung. Bring your awareness into the physicality of your body on chair or floor- the sounds of the space in which you are sitting. Breathe deeply and fully and when you are ready and fully re-anchored in your physical being, gently flutter your eyes open.

The Physical Foundation of the Journey

Allow several days to pass before you return to your Temple; but each day in between, call up the vision of what you have created, breathe into its structure and feel its enlivening within you. Now, envision what the outer doorway of your Temple looks like, if you were to approach it via a path. In a journal write down or sketch what the doorway of your Temple looks like. Add as much detail as possible. See it clearly in your mind’s eye on your inner screen. Now, write in your journal what you would like to accomplish within this Temple. This may be spell work, energetic practice, devotional or connecting with the Divine. These actions engage the physical you and call you to be attentive to what has been created in the inner realms. Do this consistently for the days leading up to your next journey to your Temple.

Step Two:

Now that you have established your Temple, sitting quietly where you will not be disturbed, begin again as you had in its building. Establish a relaxed and even pattern of breath, allowing your consciousness to float up to the third eye and your inner screen. As you sit observing this blank screen, envision yourself walking towards it. Each step creates a stone that forms a path leading to the doorway of your Temple. Continue walking as far as is needed, engaging your senses in the power of projecting this manner of manifestation within the astral.

When you finally arrive at the doorway to your Temple space, gently breathe into the space in front of you. Make note of its construction and any symbols that may adorn it. Does it resemble what you had crafted in your physical experience or has it changed? Allow whatever presents to hold dominance in your visioning and allow the doorway to open with the intent of your will. Step inside, take a moment to make note of any changes since you were last here. Breathe into each of these changes offering thanks for the deeper lesson that is unfolding within your consciousness that are represented by the changes here. And, now begin the work of your making.

When you have completed any given task you decide upon always take a moment to scan your surroundings, making note of any changes. Take some time to offer up thanks to the support of this space and any insights received. Return stepping through your doorway noting the sound of the door closing gently and securely behind you. The path of stone you created stretches ahead of you. Take a deep breath in and begin walking back on the path, reaching a few stones away and finding yourself enveloped in a gentle mist of transition. You step through and find yourself standing once again as observer of this inner screen. Breathe into this space as observer and the knowledge of gateway that is available at any time for your access. Bring your focus of awareness back into the pattern of breath- the rise and fall of your chest and the expansion and contraction of lung. Bring your awareness into the physicality of your body on chair or floor- the sounds of the space in which you are sitting. Breathe deeply and fully and when you are ready and fully re-anchored in your physical being, gently flutter your eyes open.

Other Resources:

The Healing Temple

Pathworking or Guided Meditation: Part 1

Pathworking or Guided Meditation: Part 2

Foundations of Practice: Journaling

Digital Image by Luke Bailey

 

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Recently, a dear friend of mine reminded me about the eventual effects of continuing to make withdrawals on those reserves that make you more fully human and not compensating with the appropriate deposits of what feeds that humanity. As you fill your coffers with spiritual tools and resources there has to be a point of counter balance (note I did not say equanimity) of what anchors you in this lifetime’s experience of manifest reality and all that goes into the informing of that life. This is not a new conceptualization of the need for renewal but one that we often overlook relying solely on the belief that the Universe will provide all that we need. The Universe does supply, but we are also tools of attraction, so if what I am setting out as the magnet of attraction is depleted in what makes me fully human than the spiritual resources I attract will not have the maximum potency of effect.

Being the driven and disciplined (or perhaps conditioned) individual that I am it is not uncommon for me to completely forget my physical needs in deference to the path of service and work that I wish to do. There are many forms of conditioned response we establish as we mature so it would be easy for me to blame conditioned response in this case from years of self-abuse as a classical ballet dancer. But, that thinking would only be a small piece of a larger puzzle. Chronological time factors in to the equation, at times insidiously, and as I am getting older, the feeling that “time is running out and there is still so much spiritual work to be done” fuels the furnace of neglect of that very container that enables that work to be accomplished. After all the greatest work is that of being human and having the capabilities of a physical being. As aspiration toward perfecting the spirit grows in urgency (very different word from Informed Will) this human aspect of our being can largely go completely unfed.

The irony is that I know all of these things and yet, somehow, I still do not consider my own human needs to be of the same importance as my spiritual. You could think of this as basking too long in the fullness of the sun’s light which dehydrates and burns the flesh that is the necessary container used to experience the pleasure of sun bathing The trick is to come to a point where the shade and shelter that is needed is derived from the physical/manifest sunblock that has been applied with each physical connection that allows us to safely enjoy and be rejuvenated by the brilliance of spiritual light.

In thinking about the reminder given and the need for restoration my plan is to reconnect to those things that brought me pleasure and fed my physical senses at a time when I was more wholly in touch with myself, and the experience of my human nature.

Reading Readiness

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I love to read and for over a decade the “soul” source of the tomes have been non-fiction geared and carefully selected to inform my teaching and broaden my base of knowledge. So, for me, returning to a place of reading simply for the pure joy of losing yourself in the story means reading a fiction book. I have always loved everything about books and my rule of thumb has been the smaller the print and the thicker the book all the better. I worked as a page at our local library as my first teenage job and reveled in the smell of hardbound books, the feel of holding the book in your hands and turning each page not knowing what great adventure would continue written on its surface.

When you read non-fiction as a steady diet there is a decided difference in how you perceive the world around you. Suddenly, everything becomes a petri dish ready for examination. Even in the process of testing and questioning the facts obtained, it is still through the lens of the observer. Imagination may enter the equation, but the end goal is in seeking the truth. Taking a breather from this constant scrutiny offers opportunity for unstructured imagination to flow and awakening the space for languid and fantastic inner journeys. Ironically, listening to the wisdom of your own psyche will usually give you clue when its time to ease off. The periods of time where I simply could not read another book have been more frequent. Over saturation is the way I would describe it. Forcing the issue just results in having to reread what you set to because nothing is sticking. Time to “un-think” the diet and re-introduce some new foods.

I remembered how much I enjoyed reading the Anne Rice novels and the chapters I’ve read so far of the new series have been great.

Color It Simple

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One of my favorite pastimes as a child and young adult was to color. A new box of 96-color crayons or colored pencils was my idea of visual and tactile delight. The kinesthetic quality enforced my appreciation of the skill and deftness of hand required. Engaging my visual sensitivities in the selection and matching of colors opened a new frame of reference about the varied tones, hues, shades and values available in this rich palette. The products of these experiences took the forms of embroidery, sewing, drawing and painting. Using this tool of expression I could control the result while allowing the inventive energy to flow and a single brushstroke or stitch done differently would completely alter the visual impact of the finished product. A trip to AC Moore and our basement (our eldest daughter is a Visual Artist) provided me with everything I will need to dive back into this place of renewal. A coloring book of Mandalas and a Paint-By-Number Owl should be a good start.

The Gift of Music

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Music has always been a part of my daily life. There was a time when I would sit quietly day dreaming as I listened to my favorite composition. The sound would carry me into my own world of creative imagination and the effect was soothing and renewing regardless of the intensity or anguish of the tones I was hearing. I realized that for some time now, music has become the habitual background that plays on even though I am not focused in the listening. I do use music and sound regularly, the singing bowl, drum or correct tonal frequency to effect and stimulate spiritual growth; but, rarely just for the pure joy of surrendering myself to the sensation without expectation and intent. I thought back to the type of music I used to listen to that commanded my attention- and imagination. I downloaded some of my favorite bands and set off on a journey that took me where it willed and called up the visceral physical and emotional response in the memory of how much pleasure I had derived from it originally.

Dance Like No One is Watching

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And, finally I return to what made me feel most alive and fully connected to my physicality and transcendence of its limitations. For me this is the ultimate test in turning off the critic, teacher, choreographer and goal of perfection (very human, though non-productive human responses) and allowing my body to move in a response that is purely of its own making. This is the exhilarating joy of painting a vision of space and energy crafted by the interaction of the physical form moving on a canvas that is limitless.

When I was performing, the rehearsal studio was Sacred Space and the theater was the Temple that called out to those appreciative of the art form. As we prepared backstage and transformed into whatever role was to be played, you could feel the palpable effect of this transformation on yourself and knew that any who were witness would for that brief amount of time be carried with you into the realm of imagination and forever changed because of it. For me, this is the space of interface between spirit and human.

I am older now, and joints often hurt, and muscle memory can be a real pain (literally), but none of those things can prevent me from reconnecting to that part of me that is most human. The soul infused abandon interwoven with the physicality of manifest form is the gold bullion that’s a valuable asset of deposit in both my spiritual and human banks.

Ready for What’s In-Coming!

For now, my Great Work of Spirit is to be receptive and aware of feeding what connects me to Humanity. To enjoy the flow of in coming experience that is self-initiated, physically driven. The “fun” part of the journey is to explore the potential held in nurturing a space of joy and levity in fostering a deeper appreciation of the gift of being fully present in that human experience. This is what sustains when times become challenging both mundanely and spiritually.

So, next you hear the phrase that you “are a spiritual being having a human experience” don’t forget about tending to all the needs of that human experience. Allow your senses to open to receiving the in coming flow of your own humanity.

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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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HeierophantImage

Image: Rider-Waite Tarot 

What do you hold sacred and
Who are your Gods?

You stand before me and
Hope that I will show you
The way of return.

I am wisdom and the hidden knowledge
Gained from effort and sacrifice.

I have achieved the balance
Of foundation and
Now may be the
Disruption that
Spawns new
Direction.

I sit within the
Place of anchor
And all that flows from
My discourse will
Take root.

The mystery is how
To initiate that seed of
Root and the form it may take
For that is your path
Only to reveal.

The halls of knowledge are
Ever open.

Where will you find
The courage to
Pass through?

Keywords:

WISDOM
SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP
SKILL
DISCERNMENT
SELF KNOWLEDGE

The Hierophant sits upon a throne of sorts, the Pillars of Polarity to his right and left. He is the Middle Pillar of balance, union of polarities and guardian of the Supernal wisdom. This card is one of my favorite cards in the Major Arcana. Looking at the card gives a sense of peace, as well as a call to action of the highest aspiration. I see this card as a call to “service”. What form and who that service impacts are exerted by the choice of free will and where you have chosen to give your attention and focus.

The Hierophant appears as the quintessential spiritual advisor, bestower of Divine blessing, master of ageless wisdom and beneficent authority. Saying all that often brings a feeling of security in the knowledge that a higher authority – other than our human selves – exists and to whom we may placidly entrust the guiding of our spiritual growth.

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Image: The Alchemical Tarot (Rosemary Guiley)

I particularly like the image of the Hierophant represented in the Alchemical Tarot Deck. The balance of lunar and solar, feminine and masculine energies seen through the arch of window. When we think of a window we imagine a space to see out from and a haven of sanctuary to stand as observer and perhaps go unobserved. I think of this depiction as the natural tendency we have to see these energies of the Moon and the Sun as something apart from ourselves and that we look at longingly through whatever safe haven we have ensconced ourselves within. The Hierophant being the bridge or point of interface between the two, holding open the book of knowledge that will enable us to recognize our place within these two states of being.

The statues of male and female at the left and right hand of the Hierophant are smaller in size and are reminder that our physical form is only a small piece of the greater mystery. That we too may sit in the place of the Hierophant as we draw into our core (the middle pillar) all aspects of our true nature, moon, sun and cosmos; male, female and manifestation and rise as guardian of our Higher Self as the Hierophant looms large in the place of center.

All of the aforementioned is true; but another part of the Mystery (definition of: a spiritual reality that transcends normal reasoning) lies in the Key number of the card – #5- the number of rebellion, change and disruption of the status quo to move us beyond the false security of an earthly foundation. Five is the occurrence of the stability of equilateral Four opening up and reaching out towards the unknown. The foundations laid in the structure and order of a four-sided figure (square) are now being tested and stretched to their limits. This is the primary principle of nature abhorring a vacuum or inertia. If we remain too long in the comfort of everything being the same, we become stagnant and dis-eased. Nature steps in and causes illness and discontent (the number Five) stirring the call to action that will ultimately bring us to a place of transformation.

If we combine this information with the other attributes of the card, we realize that the lesson of this card is that with every embracing of and opening to higher levels of understanding and spirituality there will also be the necessary resultant disruption of the security felt by simply remaining where we are. By seeking the strength contained within the Emperor- who appears more than a man- but, still a man grounded in the physical reality- we can experience the Self-Knowledge and spiritual security of the Hierophant.

Wherever this card falls in a spread, expect, changes and the need to take a closer look at those things we consider the foundation and pillars of our Spiritual Path. The number Five is also the number of sides on a shield – four sides of the square and the point of a triangle. With the Wisdom of the Hierophant, we may deflect from ourselves what would harm, gather the energy into its space of security and then turn the focus of that shield’s point of light and Divine Wisdom to illuminate our way along the Path.

The Shield of Focus Spread (rcf)

I seek the highest Spiritual Truth
For my guidance and inspiration.

I seek to unify the inner world of Spiritual Illumination
And the outer world of personal experience.

I seek to walk in the Light

Remove The Hierophant Card from the Deck and place it centrally in the position of the anchor, face up. Focus your query and intent in a meditative way directed towards The Hierophant key. Lay 4 more cards face down in a semi circle in the order presented below:

This spread takes on the form of a shield. Four sides create the foundation upon which we hold and direct the energies we wish to direct in a focused and refined manner through a singular tip of expression. The Hierophant sits in the center as hidden anchor. His energy is felt at a deep level of internalization rather than in an overt and obvious manner. There are many cross paths contained within this spread that await your revealing.

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Lower Row:
1. Action- This is the place of first steps. What is indicated here shows where movement needs to be made.

2. Restraint- This is the place of what needs holding back, and where there is needed a pause and taking a breath before moving forward.

Middle Row:
3. Information- Information about the situation that is not on the surface. This is what needs to be retrieved so that the action required may hold greater choice and potential for outcome.

4. Protection- This is the place of safeguarding and may give indication of those things not quite ready to be revealed or acted upon.

5. The Point of Focus:
This card indicates the place of releasing the appropriate course of combined action and information having been processed through the filters of restraint and protection. This is the synthesis of those cards that form the base or foundation. This is the point where those efforts and indicators for change and action may now be released in a synthesized stream for the most effective use.

This posting is a Sneak Peek at:
The Inner Chamber: Volume Four
A Walk Through the Major Arcana
By Robin Fennelly
Release Date: Fall 2014

 

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How deep will you allow yourself to go in seeking the truth? How much will you lay bare to realize your full potential? How much will you offer up to the Divine to see the radiant image of your own divinity? What pearls are you hoping to find?

As I have gotten older, in place of fear at revealing what may be hidden behind the various masks I wear, there has been a certain type of comfort that has come from purposefully and intentionally diving deeper into the murky waters of what makes me tick. I am not only talking about the deep work of embracing the Shadow, but also the journey of realizing what my strengths and weaknesses are, how I respond or react in certain situations, what personal barriers I set for myself in achieving goals and most importantly, how all of these states effect my spiritual growth.

Whether we are consciously aware of it or not we all wear different masks throughout the day, showing these varied aspects in accord with what we perceive to be the energy that is surrounding. Some serve to hide the lack of confidence we have, others serve to quiet and calm the anger that is raging beneath, and others allow us to communicate more easily and comfortably setting a tone of collaborative spirit and concerned effort. Beyond these we wear the masks of our place in relationships, the friend, lover, mother, wife, husband, child, father, teacher and the list goes on and on. Each fitting neatly and layering one upon the other until there are times when we are not sure which is the dominant.

And, with each additional layer we are also modifying and making adaptions to our spiritual nature. Each becomes another drop in the vast ocean that holds the space of our adaptability and the flow of our emotional self. From these depths and vast expanse are formed the truths we call upon as we seek to know our true nature. From each flowing seamlessly into the other becomes the surface that gently supports us as we face upwards towards the light of the Sun, the sky of our breath and the greater cosmos that is our lineage. But, before we can truly know the mysteries of these realms we must first come to trust and explore the depths of those waters that hold us in their embrace as we flow trough our lifetime’s experience.

As we turn to face these waters we have built up and informed by our strivings to project the correct images and facades choice is offered to dive deeply into the reality of imaginings or to remain comfortably floating on an ever rising sea that accumulates with each new experience and each new mask created.

The first diving is the most terrifying; although we may tell ourselves differently. Moving into the buoyant space of that first mask of who we are and gently peeling away the years of what we have thought to be true of ourselves is unnerving. But, seeing the glow of what lay beneath it and the beauty of spiritual gifts and knowledge of the power held in that acceptance open new inlets of healing water’s flow and opens our acceptance of other’s now that we are able to see the reflection of their spiritual nature.

We breathe into this information and come to the surface renewed and with a sense of curiosity about what other revelations may be held in these waters. We dive a little deeper on the next journey. Seeking the many masks of the places we hold within the network of relationship. We marvel at the sheer weight of each and the smaller bits and pieces that comprise the larger whole follow like schools of minnow safe and secure in their numbers. We take up each and inspect it for the life that may be hidden within the ornate shell of its exterior. We allow to gently float away those that no longer serve us and gather together those that are viable, strong and worth the price of their effort in maintaining, knowing that the catch of the day will be in the wearing of the most prized one. We rise to the surface bringing with us a new perspective and more informed way of expressing ourselves in the roles we fulfill in the mundane. These expressions spill over into the many ways we interface and interact with the Divine; the gentle or demanding nature we bring to ritual and the passion or calm we use to infuse our magickal workings. Each of these roles eventually lead us to our most prized statement of being, that of a Divine Being fully engaged in the experience of humanity.

And, as we continue to move deeply into these waters of support and each journey brings back another piece of our individual truth we come to a place of the pearl of great price. The depth of the waters no longer a concern, the pressure of expanding outward in understanding no longer constricting and the vision clouded by the churning of waters being reformed and refilled now clear with purpose and intent. This pearl has been formed by the irritation of layer upon layer of the many masks you have worn and what you thought to be true of yourself. This pearl is the coalescing of all that you are, magickally and mundanely and in the bringing of its orb of iridescent light to the surface you have finally gone deep enough to unmask the real you.
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Photo: Natalia Avseenko

I dove into waters
Deep and foreboding
In hopes of finding
The wealth I desired.

I told not a soul
And hid well behind
A mask that proclaimed
Great fear in diving so
Deeply into waters unknown.

I went about my daily business
As mother, lover, friend and wife
Still not quite content with these
Masks I had crafted and
Claimed as my life.

By day I engaged in each
Task presented me in
Rote and routine style
But at night I would
Sit by deep dark waters
And contemplate what
Lay hidden under watery miles.

Images of gold and silver
Vast treasures and reclaiming
Of what had been discarded
Spoke of great wealth to uncover
Great wealth ripe for the taking.

I dove into these great waters and
Many nights they seemed to rise
As by day I donned new masks of
Deception wanting to claim the great prize.

On each I began retrieving a
Piece of my effort’s great worth
The waters began to lower and
My may masks to disburse.

Until one starlit night as all knowing
Moon shone brightly above
I dove seeking nothing
No treasure
No silver or gold.

I claimed on that night
A single pearl of great beauty
From the deep waters that
Flow within me calling me to
Dive deeply and claim the
Revealing of my True Self.

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