Lost Journals from 2010 – Record of a Vision

2018 Preface

This was a powerful experiment in auditory as opposed to visual skrying. I played a droning tone on a keyboard and rested my head on the keyboard, remaining there for a period of 3 hours during which I tuned my attention completely into the tone, allowing all else to fade away. The blackness of the space behind my eyelids soon began to give way into a fractallic tunnel of coloured geometry, which I entered and there came into contact with a wise Voice, which answered the questions of my Ruach from a place of Higher Wisdom. All these years later, although my work has shifted from teaching to social work, many of the things it said still resonate. I now believe that voice to have been none other than my H.G.A., offing guidance to the Ruach and Nephesh to bring them into deeper alignment and harmony and manifest this in my day to day human life in a way more aligned with my G.D. aspirations.

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2010 Magical Journal Entry

GoldenDawnlogoThe following pages were written by hand in a book, starting from the last page of the book and moving backwards some pages into the book.  They were written after the powerful visionary journey was over and the ordinary state of consciousness had resumed itself.

The entry reads: “While seated at the musical keyboard, I used the music I was playing as a skrying tool, skrying into the auditory tones of the music just as one would skry into the visual tones in a crystal or mirror.  I bowed over the keyboard, closed my eyes, and played slowly.  After a few moments, my closed eyes saw vivid patterns, fractallic, yet reminiscent of organic forms.  They oscillated and changed as the musical notes did.

I was entranced by the patterns, but after an hour or so, I heard a voice speak to me. I don’t remember its exact words, but it spoke to me with an ancient, deep, yet light voice, which somewhat resembled my own voice, saying:

“Listen… I am your true and higher Self… I will show you what you must see and teach you what you must learn…”

“Within you shines a great Light, a radiant and living beauty.  Its essence is the energy of reality itself—the living Power that displays itself to itself and generates and experiences all forms and experiences.

“Your thoughts, feelings, world, body, and all that you know are expressions of it… it takes all forms in its outpouring into being.. bliss as well as suffering, food as well as starvation… this One Awareness sees itself through many eyes, awakens to its own potential by actualizing it in every person, being, and thing…

“There are lessons it seeks to learn through encounters with each manifestation…it allows itself the freedom to experience the full range of highs and lows, profound thoughts and superficial ones, contractions and expansions… it operates on multiple levels… the physical, the conceptual, the archetypal, the pure and scintillating energetic Light…Light is the fundamental symbol of its unfolding.

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“It reads itself as the world through the matrixes of experiene that it develops in the human perceptual system… each specialized vocabulary, paradigm, system of thought, and cognitive model gives it a new avenue for interpreting itself and becoming aware of itself…

“Each ‘focus’ of awareness is drawn to particular archetypes, which guide the course of its life… for some, it is the warrior, for others, the benefactor, the mother, the father, the pop star, the philosopher, the philanderer… for you, one such archetype is the teacher, the wise sage, the Adept…

“From the youngest age, you have been drawn to instantiations of the guide, the philosopher-instructor… this is a facet of your True Will… to learn and to teach, to see and to help others to see, to embody all virtues and to teach by example…but to truly do your Will, you must move your petty dalliances in insecurity and timidity…the strength of the One Being is within you and moves beneath your every action… you are big enough, strong enough, smart enough, sociable enough… look now into your True Beauty, within your Heart, the indwelling of the Light, the true Beauty of all things, the true nature… (hearing these words, and feeling a warm glow arising within me, a beautiful rose and red and golden light arising… I felt such relief and bliss that I immediately began to shed physical tears)

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My thoughts turned to the Qabalistic Tree of Life and the magical Elements and the voice began to comment on my thoughts, saying:

“The Tree of Life is one model of being, one mode of experience, one key to accessing the Powers and forces of Being, but it is not the only one… I speak to you, You speak to You, through the matrix of your own language and experience, but this is not the only possible wording, the only view… these models have value, but none is the sole correct one…

The Elements are dimensions of Being, archetypal Powers embodied in specific qualities…”

I thought about the Golden Dawn system of Magic and the voice commented on it saying:

“The Golden Dawn offers a system of symbols, rituals, and powers through which you can learn about and harness certain archetypal forces… you may study it or not, join or found an Order or not… you are free… you feel drawn to this now, so study it, explore it… the time in which this center of awareness, this center of experience, which you call your life is present… is short… brief, but there is yet time to explore, to learn, to teach, to experience… the Golden Dawn offers you one such path, but it is not the only valid one…”

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I asked about my magical motto, by Wisdom, Compasion, and Strength, I Live.  The voice answered:

“This is a representation of your highest aspirations… true wisdom, knowledge, learning, understanding, that which brings serenity and peace…sapientia… to be aware of suffering, its causes, and care for the suffering of all beings and of yourself… compassione… to harness the strength of the Living Beauty, both physical and psychological.. fortitudineque… and to live the life od the Middle Way, balanced and integrated… the Tree of Life harmonized…Vivo. 

Sapientia is the awakening and activity of the Supernal sephiroth within your sphere of sensation…

Compassione is the pillar of Mercy…

Fortitudineque is the pillar of Severity / Strength… a

And ‘vivo’ is the energy of life, the life that balances all of these… the unifying nexus of free experience…”

I asked for practical advice for the coming days of my teaching internship at a local high school and the voice said:

“Be not afraid… live by the ideals embodied in your new Name; show caring, understanding, compassion for your students and prepare… read your sources, and learn from your cooperating teacher… and all will be well… follow your True Will and you will become the true teacher… you are good enough, you are ready, and you will succeed… simply believe in yourself and listen to the inner voice that calls you to the good and the ethical… turn to me, who am truly You… look within for the strength and wisdom you need…”

“Embrace your family and friends and beloved… treasure them, show them true kindness, care, and appreciation… through them, too, the Living Beauty experiences itself… know that you are exactly where you need to be…”
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Lost Journals from 2010 – 0=0 Neophyte Grade Initiation of Frater S.C.F.V.

2018 Preface

GoldenDawnlogoThis is my account of my experience of the Neophyte 0=0 Grade Initiation Ritual back in 2010. In my experience, it has proven itself to be a very moving and transformative ritual when performed with other practitioners and if properly prepared for, just as moving as a solitary experience. Remembering it all these years later, I feel just as moved as when it happened back in 2010. Now, my role has shifted to that of preparing new Neophytes for their Initiations, as I give back to the Tradition that nurtured me and continues to do so. If you have your doubts about your ability to prepare for and perform the 0=0, have faith; it can be done, and you can do it!

For excerpts from three months of magical journal entries leading up to my own Neophyte Initiation, see this article.

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2010 Journal Entry After The 0=0

GoldenDawnlogoDate: July 29, 2010
Planetary Day: Day of Jupiter
Planetary Hour: Hour of Venus into Hour of Mercury
Moon Phase: Waning Gibbous – 85% Full
Sun Position: Set
Time: 9:50-12:30 p.m.

Activity: Meditation, LBRP, Neophyte 0=0 Grade Ritual of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, LBRP

Tonight was the night.  With the Banners, lamens, wands, and Pillar and sash constructed, I arranged my room as a Golden Dawn Temple of the Neophytes and was initiated through the help of the forces of the godforms of which the officer forms are representatives, into the current of the Golden Dawn.

The ritual was long, nearly 3 hours in length, but a ceremony of stunning beauty.  Some passages in particular moved me deeply.  Here are some of them:

Saying the Name of the Guardian of the Path of the West: “Darkness is thy name, thou great one of the Paths of the Shades.  Before all things are the Chaos and the Darkness and the gates of the land of night.  Thou art he whose name is Darkness.  Thou art the Exorcist in the midst of the Exorcism.  I stand before thee without trepidation, for fear is failure, and I am without fear.”

Horus as the Hiereus: “Thou has known me now, so pass thou on.  Fear is truly failure, and he who trembles at the flame and at the flood and at the shadows of the Air, hath no part in God.”

Saying the name of the Guardian of the East: “Light dawning in Darkness is thy Name, the Light of a Golden Day.  After the formless and the Void and the Darkness, then cometh the knowledge of the Light.  Thou art that Light which ariseth in Darkness.  Thou art the Exorcist in the midst of the Exorcism.  Unbalanced Power is the ebbing away of life.  Unbalanced Mercy is weakness and the fading out of the Will.  Unbalanced Severity is cruelty and the barenness of mind.  Thou art the wielder of the forces of Balance.”

Saying to Anubis as the Keryx: “The Voice of my undying and secret Soul said unto me—“Let me enter the path of Darkness and, peradventure, there shall I find the Light.  I am the only being in an abyss of Darkness; from an abyss of Darkness came I forth ere my birth from the silence of a primal sleep.”

And the Voice of the Ages answered unto my Soul—“I am he who formulates in Darkness—the Light that shineth in Darkness, yet the Darkness comprehendeth it not.”

Osiris as the Hierophant: “He who is the fountainhead of the Spirit of man and of things, came not to break, but to fulfill the Law.”

I also felt a sense of true reverence, adoration and peaceful joy during the beautiful invocation: “Lord of the Universe—the Vast and the Mighty One! Ruler of the Light and of the Darkness! We adore thee and we invoke thee! Look with favour upon this Neophyte who now kneeleth before thee.  And grand thine aid unto the higher aspirations of his soul, so that he may prove a true and faithful Frater Neophyte.  To the glory of Thy Ineffable Name. Amen.”

Overall, it was a beautiful ceremony.  The symbols worked by means of the formula articulated in the Neophyte Ritual itself, which says that it is by “Names and Images” that all powers are “awakened and reawakened.”  The officer forms and godforms themselves symbolize such powers that the ritual awakens within the Sphere of Sensation or aura of the Initiate.  The activation of the spheres of Chochmah, Binah and Kether similarly worked to draw the energies of these higher centers into the ritual space and Sphere of Awareness of the initiate.

Reflecting on the experience, I saw that it did indeed accomplish at least part of what it set out to do.  It strengthened the Will; creating all of the implements needed for the ceremony required a great exertion of Will, but so did completing the whole 2.5 hour ceremony (and on an empty stomach after fasting all day!).  The one who completes the ceremony has indeed been brought into a different sort of life, and the refining and sharpening of the Will and the imaginative-visualization faculties are some particular manifestations of this heightened life.

In an earlier Maat meditation, Thme told me that in the Neophyte ceremony the self that is bound by anxiety, fear, worry, etc. would die and a man of Wisdom, Man of Compassion, Man of Strength would begin to gradually be born and unfold in maturity.

This was symbolized in the ceremony by the shedding of the thrice-bound cord and the blindfold.  As these fell away and were replaced by the Neophyte sash and the glowing triangle and cross above the head, an old self died and a “new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17) Frater S.C.F.V. was born, who retained all of the virtues of the old, but transformed by a kind of spiritual alchemy the aspects of Darkness through the influx of the Light.  Seeds were planted in silence and mystery that can now bloom, watered by the Waters of the Divine.

Overall, I feel truly fulfilled.  I feel like one phase of life has ended and a new one has begun.  I feel that the time and money invested in the ceremony and in its preparatory phases were well spent, that the intuition or perhaps voice of the Yechidah that led me back to the Golden Dawn and to this ceremony was well-heeded and worth listening to.

The ritual gave me a much deeper understanding of the functioning of the Officer-forms and the god-forms associated with them.  I now understand the officer types and their associated symbols a lot more clearly as well as their function within the Golden Dawn Hall of the Neophytes.  The phase of the Oath, surrounded by the godforms of the Officers, 42 watching godforms lining the walls, 4 kerubic godforms, and two pillars of Light and two of Darkness was a particularly moving and noteworthy portion of the ritual in this respect.

What tips can I garner from this practice of the ritual for those who aim to undertake its practice?

1. Do not put too much wine in the cup, since it must be completely emptied before the ritual can be completed!

2. Carefully practice the Thme meditations, Adoration of the Lord of the Universe, Rite of Bringing Down the Light, and colour pictures of the godforms before attempting the Neophyte Ceremony.  Each of these is a kind of microcosm of the Ceremony and prepares one for it.  Colouring the godform images of those godforms to be invoked during the ceremony in the Ciceros’ book is a very helpful practice that enhances the visualizations.

3. Place multiple sticks of incense in the Dadouchos’ station in the South so that you can move clockwise to the south whenever a stick is finished, have Thaum-Esh-Neith allow you to assume the officer form of the Dadouchos (if working solitary, or have the Dadouchos do it in group ritual), and then take out the old stick of incense and replace and light a new one.  I had to do this 4 or so times during the ceremony because of its length.  Of course, using a censer instead of sticks would eliminate the problem, provided it were well-filled.

4. If working alone, become as familiar as possible with the ritual before practicing it so that looking at the book can be minimized as much as possible.  If working in a group, divided up the parts among Officers so there is less to learn. The more you can immerse yourself in the visualizations and actions of the godforms, the more successful the ceremony will be.

***

Related:

Lost Journals from 2010 – Excerpts from Three Months of Journals Preparing for the Neophyte 0=0 Grade Initiation

Lost Journals from 2010 – Excerpts from Three Months of Journals Preparing for the Neophyte 0=0 Grade Initiation

2018 Preface

GoldenDawnlogoBack in 2010, I knew very few people who walked an occult path, but I was a firmly devoted solitary practitioner with a solid daily practice. I recently discovered my old magical journals from those days. To those who must walk the solitary path, I recognize that the G.D. system can sometimes seem intimidating. If you find yourself in this situation, I am sharing these excerpts from three months of journals leading up to my Neophyte Grade 0=0 Initiation to show you first, that it can be done! And second, to offer some insight into what was going through  my mind at this time as I prepared for my first Initiation. I also offer some hints into how I approached my practice in my own preparation. May these entries give you hope and encourage you on your path. Take your preparation one step at a time; you possess everything you need to be successful on this Way. Have faith in yourself, for you can do it!

“Inheritor of a Dying World, we call thee to the Living Beauty. Wanderer in the Wild Darkness, we call thee to the Gentle Light. Long hast thou dwelt in Darkness— Quit the Night and seek the Day!”
~ Neophyte 0=0 Grade Initiation 

Excerpts from Three Months of 2010 Journal Entries Preparing for the 0=0

GoldenDawnlogoMoon Phase: Waxing Crescent 13% Full
Sun Position: Afternoon
Time: 3:34-4:07

Activity: Bringing Down the Light, LBRP, Middle Pillar, Rite of Elemental Equilibration, Adoration of the Lord of the Universe, Qabalistic Cross, Bringing Down the Light, Qabalistic Cross, Themis Meditation, Adoration of the Lord of the Universe

Today, the LBRP was not as vivid as usual, but after the rapid sequence of the other rituals, the feeling of Light and power became much stronger.  I performed the Themis Meditation for the first time and visualized the godform of the goddess Themis standing tall before me and placing the scales within me, balancing out my being.  She handed me the golden chalice from which to drink, for which I used the water cup and drank some physical water from it as I felt a flood of Light course through my body.

I think there is value to these Meditations as preliminaries for the Initiation ceremony of 0=0.  They help the Candidate (me) to develop a relationship to the godform of Themis and to develop my visualization abilities.  It certainly helps to perform them after the other rituals have been performed to enter the necessary meditative state, however, in which the voice deepens and the attention becomes a one-pointed arrow ready to fire at the target of the meditation.

***

GoldenDawnlogoMoon Phase: Waxing Crescent 22% Full
Sun Position: Afternoon
Time: 3:15-3:40
Activity: Bringing Down the Light, FELIRP, Rite of Elemental Equilibration, Middle Pillar, Circulation of the Body of Light, Themis Meditation, Adoration of the Lord of the Universe, Qabalistic Cross

Today’s rituals were smoothly performed and provided the familiar sensations of the washing over of the Light and the vibration of a calming, empowering energy throughout the Middle Pillar.

I performed the Themis Meditation once more, and this time saw the goddess Themis is a far more vivid form.  I saw her in her white robes trimmed in purple and yellow.  When she gave the golden chalice, she said “Drink” in a firm but caring female voice.

After I stood contemplating her while I built up all of the visualizations produced during the rituals towards the end of the practice, I seemed to hear her speak to me, saying:

“I will guide you unto the Light,
I will reveal the Strength,
the Wisdom, and the Compassion,
That are within you,
Walk on on the Path of Light.”

Then she touched my head with her hand and I felt a flood of golden Light.  I will certainly continue the meditation tomorrow.  It is a kind of microcosmic preparation for the Neophyte Grade ritual and introduce some of the techniques of the larger ritual.

***

GoldenDawnlogoMoon Phase: Waxing Crescent 40% Full
Sun Position: Afternoon, cloudy and rainy
Time: 3:05- 3:35

Activity: Bringing Down the Light, LBRP, Middle Pillar, Rite of Elemental Equilibration, Adoration of the Lord of the Universe, Qabalistic Cross, Bringing Down the Light, Qabalistic Cross, Themis Meditation, Adoration of the Lord of the Universe, Prayer

Today, my heart was not as focused in the ritual as usual, but I still found it very calming on the whole.

In the Themis Meditation, Themis spoke to me in words similar to these:

“Listen, O Son of Adam,
Find in yourself the Light of Wisdom,
The Light of Compassion,
And the Solidity of Strength;
It is nothing but your own Thoughts,
Your own Self-Concepts,
Your own Clinging and limiting Notions
That hold you down.
Let these fall away,
Let them be burned in the Light
And the balance of Mercy and Severity,
So that Strength may be established.
Let fall your notions about yourself,
And be open;
In your openness,
Wisdom, Compassion and Strength
Will flower within you.
Be clear; let the mind be
Empty as awareness;
Simply take action,
Do what must be done,
Give yourself a chance,
And you will find the
Strength you seek,
The Light of Wisdom,
The Light of Compassion,
The Light of Strength
Shines between the Pillars.”

I then held the wand up and stood straight, visualizing the lights of the Middle Pillar in the spheres throughout my body and prayed to the Lord of the Universe to empower me with Wisdom, Compassion, Strength, and Inner Tranquility so that I may live a happy life that is good for me and good for those around me, with whom I live in interdependence, those extensions of my Self.  I prayed also for guidance towards the Light of Truth.   Let the seeking cease and its object be Found! So mote it be! Amen!

***

Moon Phase: First Quarter Moon – 57% Full
Sun Position: Set, night
Time: 9:00-9:44
Activity: Bringing Down the Light, LBRP, Middle Pillar, Rite of Elemental Equilibration, ALU, Maat/Themis Meditation, ALU, Bringing Down the Light, QC

It occurred to me that the words I put into the mouth of Themis yesterday, were precisely that; my own conscious mind, formulating words together that I felt I needed to hear.

However, today, I performed the Maat Meditation and felt I heard her speak to me in a clear voice, these simple words “Walk the Way of the Wise, O Adam, in Truth and Balance.”  I then did a mini-Themis Meditation after which she said simply, “Be Strong.”

I had the sensation yesterday that the LBRP was ineffective, that I still felt anxious and worried.  Today, I feel clearer and more peaceful.  I am thinking of performing the Neophyte Initiation Ceremony next week if I get the opportunity to do so and my tools are more or less finished, though whether or not I choose to do so may depend on the progress I make on the banners.  t may also depend on how comfortable I feel with the material, how ready my Pillars are, whether I find something appropriate or finish constructing the wands and lamens, etc.  We will see.

***

Moon Phase: Waxing Gibbous – 74% Full
Sun Position: Set, night
Time: 9:00-9:44
Activity: Bringing Down the Light, FELIRP, Middle Pillar, Circulation of the Body of Light, Rite of Elemental Equilibration, ALU, Maat/Themis Meditation, ALU, Bringing Down the Light, QC

Today, I took the advice of Regardie on how to vibrate the names correctly such that they seem to “detonate” in the palms and soles of the feet and there is a tingling sensation everywhere.  This made all the difference; I was able to do it quite loudly since no one was home.  During my Neophyte Initiation, I plan to do just this once again.  I am aiming to perform the Neophyte Initiation ceremony on Sunday or Monday… I have various things to procure before then.

After today’s ceremonial practice, I felt tremendous excitement, joy, clarity, power, and strength.  I feel great enthusiasm about the coming initiation as well.  I must now get to work on preparing the ritual implements so that they may be ready as soon as possible.

A notable aspect of today’s ritual practice was the clarity of the visualization of Maat.

***

GoldenDawnlogoMoon Phase: Waxing Gibbous – 90% Full
Sun Position: Afternoon
Time: 3:30-4:11
Activity: Bringing Down the Light, FELIRP, Middle Pillar, Maat/Themis Meditation, ALU, QC, Rite of Elemental Equilibration, QC

Attending more carefully to the vibratory formula has been truly deepening and enhancing the practice.  I felt truly blessed, in the presence of the sacred today.  I also used the altar with the triangle and the cross today; the symbols gave a greater sense of importance, symbolic power, and reverence to the rituals.   I feel truly peaceful and empowered as well as grateful to the web of life on which I depend for my being.  I am thankful to embrace the Divine in all things as the Brahman that is One without a Second.   It is the Light of this Brahman, this Divinity, that courses through the ritual and empowers the visualizations.   I am thankful and working ever towards the deepening of realization on the Way of Truth.

After touching me in the places of the spheres of light of the Middle Pillar with the Lotus Wand, Ma’at said to me “Walk the way of Truth and Light.”  This, with the Divine blessing, I pray, I intend to do.

***

GoldenDawnlogoMoon Phase: Waxing Gibbous – 98% Full
Sun Position: Afternoon
Time: 2:40:-3:04

Activity: Bringing Down the Light, Qabalistic Cross, Adoration of the Lord of the Universe, Thme/Maat/Themis Meditation, Adoration of the Lord of the Universe, QC

Today’s short session left me feeling calm and aware of the symbolism of the Hegemon’s wand as the symbol of the higher aspirations of the human being, of “religion, which regulates life,” and of spirituality in a deeper sense.  I only wish I had more time to extend the ceremony and perform the FELIRP and MP once again.  Hopefully, tomorrow, I will do so.

***

GoldenDawnlogoMoon Phase: Waxing Gibbous – 98% Full
Sun Position: Afternoon
Time: 3:30-4:10

Activity: Bringing Down the Light, Qabalistic Cross, FELIRP, Middle Pillar Ritual, REE, Thme Meditation (+ Themis/Maat), Adoration of the Lord of the Universe (x2), Qabalistic Cross

In the past few days, I’ve been constructing all necessary wands, working on the pillars and preparing for the Neophyte Initiation.  All is proceeding quite well.  Today’s rituals brought a sense of peace and purpose.  Towards the end of the ritual, I saw Themis, Maat and Thme all place their hands together on my head and say:

Pursue the path of Initiation in earnest.  In the Ceremony, let your lower self of fear, insecurity and weakness die.  Be reborn a new man of wisdom, compassion, strength and responsibility.  So mote it be!

I feel that my mind is focused on initiation and that the right time is drawing near!

***

GoldenDawnlogoMoon Phase: Waning Gibbous – 93% Full
Sun Position: Afternoon
Time: 3:30-3:57

Activity: Qabalistic Cross, Bringing Down the Light, Thme Meditation (+Themis, + Maat), Adoration of the Lord of the Universe, QC, REE

Today, I performed a shortened series of rituals due to time constraints.  Still, the Thme meditation was particularly successful.  I could hear the words being spoken in the godform’s own female voice, a voice of great beauty.

As yesterday, the three forms of the godform of Thme put their hands on my forehead and said to me:

O ____ let you be initiated truly into the Light, let the Divine Light fill you, let the _____ of insecurity, fear and anxiety die and let you be reborn a Man of Compassion, Man of Wisdom, Man of Strength.  This we pray to the Lord of the Universe, that your initiation may be truly successful.  So mote it be!  This we pray to the Lord of the Light and of the Darkness, Amen.

I added an Amen in my own voice to this beautiful prayer for initiatory success.  I now feel quite peaceful and centered as well as prepared as almost all of the tools are completed and my heart is readying itself for entrance into the Light of the Golden Dawn.

***

To read what happened in the Neophyte 0=0 Grade Initiation Ritual, click here.

Lost Journals of 2010 – Number 23 Synchronicities

2018 Preface

Back in 2010, I moved through the world with the wonder of the Fool still fresh in my mind and heart and an excited and open mind, ever-ready to make mystical and secret discoveries. Sometimes, synchronicities would jump out at me in a way that would command my attention. This one such day.

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2010 Magical Journal Entry

GoldenDawnlogoDate: 23/07/10
Moon Phase: Waxing Gibbous, 94% Full
Time: 23:00 (11) P.M.

Synchronicity
Today, I was perusing Crowley’s Liber Tzaddi.  The number of the True Will is 23.  The day was full of 23s.  The date was itself June 23, but when we went to buy beer just as the local Depanneur (Quebec’s equivalent to a convenience store) was closing, I realized that it was 23 o’clock (11 pm), and was surprised when our wine came to a total of $23.23.  Very eerie.

Commentary from my friend Caliban:
The 23 enigma was first noted and commented upon (I think) by William Burroughs and Brian Gysin, though Gysin may have been building on observations of surrealist Tristan Tzara.

Hippy/Yippy culture became aware of this weirdness, and it became adopted into Discordianism from the Beats (who were seen as countercultural heroes). Popularized by Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea in the Illuminatus! trilogy, and entered the Occultural underground largely through this venue.

TOPY took advantage of the relative freedom of the 23 enigma from any religious or mythical or paradigmatic overtones to make it a key symbol in their deliberately spare and functional method, which is practiced at 23:00 on the 23rd of each month, for 23 consecutive months, in the full practice of this method.

TOPY was a seed-bed for Chaos Magic, if certainly not its sole font, and the 23 enigma kind of rode the edge of that influence, into the graphic fiction of Alan Moore and so on.

1. Its meaning is flexible. It is said to be an especially synchronistic number. It therefore can be taken as a shorthand for synchronicity itself as a measure of one’s attunement to the magical current, or as an indication that one is, in Thelemic terms, Doing What one Wilt.

2. You are being encouraged to realize how well your current mode of life empowers your magical exploration, development and growth. At this point in time, you are “getting it”. In Lucasian terms, the Force is with you.
***

GoldenDawnlogoDate: 04/07/2010
Moon Phase: Third Quarter Moon 48% Full
Sun Position: Afternoon
Time:  3:15-3:43
Activity: FELIRP, Rite of Elemental Equilibration, ALU, Middle Pillar Ritual, QC

Today’s rituals left me feeling calm, peaceful, in a soothing internal quietude.  The mind and the emotions were balanced with the forces of the external universe, the internal and external, the apparent two, but really One.

I currently feel a kind of glowing feeling around my forehead area.  Whenever I close my eyes, I see a kind of pulsation of light in that area.  Within my heart I also feel a kind of warm vibrating feeling.  I wonder if these are effects of the Middle Pillar ritual and the bringing-in and centering of Divine Energies it involves.

I feel very clear and happy.  My thoughts are peaceful and settled, like the waters of the stream after the children have left it and the once stirred up sediment has had time to settle once more, leaving the waters crystal clear.  I feel fulfilled and my thoughts move slowly, but sharply and without disruption.

This combination of rituals seems quite powerful.  The FELIRP draws in all four elemental energies; the REE equilibrates them within the aura and body-mind; the ALU offers the divine reverence, worship, peace and love; the Middle Pillar draws down divine Energy/LVX into the Qabalistic centers of the body; the QC performs a final gesture of equilibration.  Just closing my eyes and sitting silently is blissful and restful.  The mind is perfectly clear as if I had meditated for an hour.  Overall, today’s was a beautiful session of practice.

At the end of the ritual, I thanked each of the powers of each element for being present and bowed to the symbol of each before raising my hands into the air and making a final prayer:

“Greatest thanks and praise be to you, Oh Lord of the Universe,
The Transcendent and Immanent One who
Dwells in the Ultimate Dimension
Of No Birth, No Death, No Existence, No Non-Existence,
The Praiseworthy Whom Nature Hath Not Formed,
The Great, The Exalted,
The True Nature of all things,
Lord of the Light and of the Darkness!”

Lost Journals from 2010 – Summer Solstice / Litha Ritual

2018 Preface

Rereading this rediscovered journal entry from 2010 is very moving for me. Ryan, who attended the ritual, was murdered since the time of this entry, and reading this entry, it still feels like he is here with us, as if he never left at all. I feel both sadness and gratitude as I read this entry over, as well as a fondness for my own youthfully innocent and enthusiastic zelatorian energy at at this stage of the path. Thank you, Ryan. Although your earthly frame has returned to the soil of the Mother from which it sprang, we know your presence still remains with us. We honour you and remember you.

~ Frater S.C.F.V

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2010 Magical Journal Entry

GoldenDawnlogoDate: 22/07/2010
Moon Phase: Waxing Gibbous, 80% Full
Time: All day, main ritual: 10-12 pm
Activity: LIRP, LBRP, Solar Adorations, Invocation of Fire, Wand Consecration, Summer Solstice (Litha) Ritual

Today was a very magical day! It is the summer solstice, the day when the earth is most exposed to the light of the sun, the longest day of the year, the first day of summer, a day associated with the element of fire.

I woke up in the morning and performed the first solar adoration to Ra.  Later on in the day, I performed the second adoration, to Hathor at Noon, and the adoration to Tum at sunset.   Before bed, I will perform the final adoration to Khepera to close the sun cycle.  The energies of my awareness have been attuned to the sun’s motions and powers throughout the day.

After my shower,  I attempted to invoke the power of the Sun, the solar energetic current into my being by tracing Fire Hexagrams in each of the four quarters and around myself, then in each of the chakras starting with crown, then third eye, heart, solar plexus, basal, and at the Malkuth ‘Kingdom’ level of the Middle Pillar.  I did seem to feel a warmer energy entering into my being.  My aura looked a little brighter when I saw it surrounding my hands.   A girl on the bus kept looking at me; perhaps she subtly detected this alteration, or perhaps it was reflected in some solar confidence?

In addition, I consecrated my general purpose banishing and invoking wand in the name of the four elements in my room, using water from a cup, my bamboo, wind from a fan, and fire from the light of the sun.  I then let the wand sit in the sun to soak up solar energies.

I also had a thorough exercise routine today, grounding myself in the element of earth.  I hope to have more rigorous routines like that one in the near future (and hopefully, even more rigorous!).  I also watered Laney’s plants, attuning to the element earth and water, the latter of which I also did during my shower.

Tonight, I met up with Fraters Alex, Jordan, and to my surprise, Ryan H. We all went together to a place near the water where we could light a fire, a traditional element of the Midsummer celebration. The ritual, which we spontaneously prepared was an interesting fusion of ceremonial and witchcraft magick.

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1. We began by setting up our ritual tools (Alex’s athame, wand, and sword, my wand and sword), musical instruments and food on the picnic table that became our altar.  We also got a bonfire going and placed a symbol of each of the elements around the bonfire, which became the “center” of our circle, as was appropriate for a Summer Solstice celebration.  We constructed rings of dead grass to place around our heads in the traditional way and Jordan found a branch to consecrate as a wand.

2. We then cast the circle in the witchcraft style, with Alex functioning as high priest and inviting “beings seen and unseen” corresponding to each of the elements to join our circle.  We circumambulated around the circumference of the circle three times to finish establishing it.

  1. I then performed the Lesser Invoking Ritual of the Pentagram using the fire element to draw fire energies into our circle.
  2. Alex then said a few words about the holiday and we sat down at the table to eat oranges, peaches, bread, and honey, and to drink ale. We had a good time sharing food and being together in the circle.After the feasting portion of the ritual was over, we moved to the music.
  3. At first, I played drums and Alex played guitar, but we switched thereafter as Jordan sat by the fire and Ryan sat at the table. We started improvising a song about the elements, and Alex integrated his Intent into the lyrics of our improvised song, expressing a wish to get a certain person out of his life.

    I then did the same, expressing a wish to burn away my anxiety and lack of confidence with the cleansing, purifying fire of the Solstice, of Midsummer, and of the element of Fire.  Our song built in intensity and we sung loudly and then incorporated humorous lyrics into the ritual.

    6. When the singing was done, we closed the circle and saluted the watchtowers in the witchcraft way.

    7. As a final act, I performed the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram using Earth Pentagrams.

    What did I feel throughout the night?
    –a sense of mystery as we walked under the moonlight carrying our ritual implements
    –a sense of wonder
    –a sense of emptiness… as if these mere forms failed to reach the spiritual “essence” and were superficial… a perturbing feeling
    –a sense of energy
    –a sense of peace, clarity
    –a sense of calm, wisdom
    — a sense of gratitude for this special moment among dear friends

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Lost Journal Entry from 2010 – Outdoor LRP in the Rain

2018 Preface

Here is a lost magical journal entry from 2010 that I recently rediscovered. The awe and zeal for the path I felt then are very evident in these words. Rereading them all these years later, I feel myself tuning into the openness I felt as a beginner on the magical path, a reconnection to this ritual in the rain, a memory long since washed away like rivulets of rainwater in the earth…

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2010 Magical Journal Entry

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Date: 16/07/2010
Moon Phase: Waxing Crescent, 27% Full
Time:
11:17 P.M.
Activity: Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram

I just had a truly moving experience. While walking home tonight, the rain started to pour down around me. I had an umbrella, but after walking for twenty minutes or so, I had the intuitive sense that I should close it and embrace the water element embodied in this precipitation. I did so, and held out my arms at my side, turning my face towards the sky as I walked, embracing the rain, not pushing it out with an umbrella. As I walked I thought “Water within me, the substance of life; water around me, the lifeblood of the Earth…”

My intuition led me to take a detour and not head home right away, despite the great torrents of rain that thoroughly soaked me. I walked instead into a grassy clearing and intuitively felt “it is here that I should perform the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram…”

I proceeded to do so. My vibrating voice blended with the fall of the rain. In the darkness of the night, my visualizations seemed heightened. I saw the jet-blue of the pentagrams, the white circle of light… While performing the Kabbalistic cross, I felt the light flowing through my body, centering me, clearing me, cleansing me like the water that fell upon my clothes. As I vibrated the Divine Names, the rainfall seemed to intensify.

During the invocation of the Archangels, however, it was Gabriel that stood out the most, which was appropriate, given that I was immersed in the water element. But there was also the wind, and the grass at my feet, and the light of the stars above me…

After I completed the ritual, I stood there, in the falling rain, for some time. The space felt lighter, more peaceful, more clear.

My own mind was crystalline, transparent, my heart, emptied of doubts and worries and fears… clarity, contentment, peace all gently washed over me…

After a few moments, I walked home, happy, content, my emotions in sync and in harmony with the falling water element around me. As I walked home, the rain died down around me to a soft gentle curtain, almost seeming to reflect the peace I now felt within. Arriving home, I smiled and felt clear, blessed, and unspeakably fulfilled.

P.S. I should note that above me, the moon was a waxing crescent. I had the feeling that my magical practice was moving forward with the “increasing” of the moon.

The Ritual and the Rain
by Frater S.C.F.V

The pouring of the rain upon my clothes,
A black umbrella closed.
I have put it away to feel the rush of the rain,
The waters that propel themselves at the earth around me,
Which are one with the waters within me,
The Waters of Life.

My feet upon the grass,
The darkness of the Night,
The curtain of cascading rain,
The thudding of my heartbeat,
All merging together
In a single wave of the
World Ocean.

And there, beneath the stars,
Amidst the falling waters,
In the breath of the wind,
Surrounded by trees and grass,
I stand and perform the ritual.

The Kabbalistic cross,
The blazing blue pentagrams,
The charged names of Divinity,
All light up the astral Night,
Light merging with falling water.

The Archangels
Towering powerfully over the circle,
Gabriel’s cup overflowing,
Pouring over the world,
Soaking my town,
Cleansing my being.

The Kabbalistic cross,
Repeated with a surge of light,
Inside, a glowing beam expands
In a pristine cross of White,
While about me flames the Pentagram,
And within me shines the Six-Rayed star.

And there I stand, soaked,
Cleansed, purified,
The ritual complete,
Blissful,
Ecstatic,
Clear.

My emotions are harmonized,
With the Waters of the World,
While above me glows the waxing moon,
Shining over the advancement of my Path,
Glinting off each falling rain drop,
Like a thousand sparks
In a thousand jewels.

Gifts of the Golden Dawn Grades

By Frater S.C.F.V.

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A Frater recently asked if completing the G.D. grades bestows any “gifts or abilities.” This a very common question and warrants a detailed answer.

In a sense, working through the G.D. grades does bestow gifts. First, we gain knowledge and insight. We learn to balance, equilibrate, and mobilize the elemental aspects of our being rather than being chaotically dominated by their shifting movements, which is a great gift in itself and powerfully impacts how we live and move in the world.

Secpnd, we also develop skills in tarot reading, Qabalistic pathworking, geomancy, astrology, inner alchemy, sensing and directing energy, visualization, tattwa work, conducting long and complex ceremonies, how to make magical tools, invocation, and if we continue far enough, practical magic. Clairvoyance, clairaudience, and so on can also develop but need not; I know Neophytes with these abilities and Adepts with none of them. John Dee, for instance, was a very successful magician despite having no clairvoyant or skrying ability.

Third, in Adept-level studies, we learn Godform assumption, talismanic, zodiacal, Sephirotic, and planetary magic, G.D.-style Enochian magic, skrying and traveling in the spirit vision (astral skrying and projection), and have many options, such as to work with classical Grimoires and practice evocation if we wish. We also learn the value of surrendering personal interests to higher goals, working in service to others rather than fixating on our own personal development, and undertaking more advanced mystical work.

With that said, it’s also worth asking what part of us wants to gain things for itself to improve, empower, and give itself advantages? In the Qabalistic system the G.D. uses, it’s the Ruach, the personal “I” and perceptual and cognitive self. This is valid, but it’s only part of the picture. We also have to develop and strengthen our Nephesh, our subtle energy body and the part of us that delights in sensation and handles our nervous system functioning. The Nephesh, and not the Ruach, is our primal wellspring of magical power — that involves exercise, nutrition, emotional self-care, sleep, and sensory and creative stimulation as well as learning how to work with libido as an energy source.

Beyond that, we need to aspire to realize our higher Will (Chiah), tune into our collective unconscious (Neshamah) and awaken to our Divine nature as pure awareness, cosmic nonduality, and the Absolute prior to consciousness (Yechidah and beyond into the Ain Soph Aur, Ain Soph, and Ain). This is the Great Work to which we aspire in the Golden Dawn. Harmonizing and aligning all of these aspects of our true nature, personal consciousness and perceptions, bodily passions and sensations, and becoming a conduit for service to the Whole is the aim of our Qabalistic work. And it is the work of a lifetime!

Merely completing the grades will not guarantee we complete it — it might be argued that many if not most of the Adepts of the original Golden Dawn failed to complete it. I have not either, but I am humbly working towards it as best I can. Where they failed, we must be determined to succeed if we take this work seriously.

This work–and it is work!–ultimately means shifting the frame from what gifts can “I” gain to how can I alchemically transmute all facets of my being to *be* a gift in service to the good of the whole and to assuaging the suffering of all beings? The bodhisattva ideal of awakening in service of liberating all beings is very much part of the Tiferetic ideal of the Adeptus Minor grade and the Osirian-Christ archetype more generally.

After all, the key Rosicrucian ideal is to “heal the sick and that, gratis.” And there is a great deal of suffering and sickness to heal, both literal and metaphorical, in ourselves, in others, and in the structures of society. For Plato as well, the true philosopher is a “physician of the soul.”

Since in Qabalah, we attend to the health of the body (G’uph), Nephesh, Ruach, and alignment with the Chiah, Neshamah, and Yechidah, and since the Qabalah reveals that all beings are ultimately not separate, being a physician of the soul means being a physician of the whole. And this is the ultimate aspiration of the G.D. grades rightly understood.