Start 2: #Hermetics, practical exercises have begun #witch #yogi #artist

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Fruity is the opposite of fruitless

I’ve read up through the first chapter of practical exercises. I have a background in yoga, self reflection via journaling and formal, seated meditation. Therefore I am doing each exercise the two weeks recommended for the somewhat experienced. Exercise 1 will take me to Christmas! That’s funny.

I finished that chapter around mid November but I was waiting to get my servitor going before starting another thing in addition to everything else. There’s the daily, seated meditation. I also had to practice a banishing ritual a bunch of times, among other things. One can only spend so much time per day engaged in such fruity endeavors.

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There are 10 exercises in Step 1, so that’s 20 weeks, assuming I’m 100% committed and don’t drop the ball at any point. [Totally dropped the ball! I made it 2.5 days only. I knew the night time exercises would be the problem. That doesn’t go along with the Portland slacker lifestyle, anything involving thought & discipline in the evening. Nevertheless I will try again.]

1. Magical Schooling of the Spirit

  1. Thought Control Observance

    • Bardon calls it “control”, but it’s really just observing. You start with 5min twice a day, adding 1min to each session until you’re at 10min twice. Whatever position you choose your spine should be straight. Since I practice a formal meditation I lie down for this one. You’re supposed to observe your thoughts and see what you can remember after. That’s it. The thing with me is I’m already pretty good at returning the thoughts to my chosen, internal driste when I’m practicing, paying attention. I’ve quickly figured out with this exercise that I can limit my note taking or struggling to remember by limiting my verbal thoughts.
    • Day 1, 1-1-1

      My left foot was numb. That was the foot that was on top in padmasana. It always falls asleep. Whatever foot’s on top. Because of the weight of the other foot pressing on the inner thigh. It happens after about 20 minutes. This exercise followed my 30 minutes seated meditation. Sick! Kept wanting to open my eyes & fidgeted a lot. Was thinking about putting my contacts in & doing a face mask. Can I exercise today? I’ll have to see.

    • Day 1, 1-1-2
      Toenail clippings are better than fingernail clippings for magic. My cat, Henry, who is near me. Thinking about that movie jungle book the orange flower, which is fire. Feeling sick.

    • Day 2, 1-1-3

      Six minutes is a long time. I have to pee. Thinking about the glob of mucus I coughed up this morning. It was disgusting. “Return to sender”. If the transfer of this illness was it all intentional, I want to send it back threefold. Crows. I need to try to exercise later.

    • Day 2, 1-1-4
      My mind is very still. Listening. Listening to Henry he’s grooming. Chicken. I thought about the chicken he demanded last night it was fun. My pimple. Yes I thought of that too. That’s really about it for six minutes
    • Day 3, 1-1-5
      Sick. My throat hurts. My head hurts. Alcohol and colds. I have organized and lying in bed. Thought about trying to get Charlie to do the stupid exercise with me. Now we’re not doing anything special for the holiday, but that I guess that’s OK since I’m sick. Disgusting.
    • Day 3, 1-1-6
      I’m in to the congestion phase of my cold. I’m having trouble breathing through my nose. I’ll have to try to sleep propped up on two pillows tonight. Henry kept interrupting exercise, wanting to play. The sea bout the chicken dinner we made tonight. That’s pretty much it.
    • Day 4, 1-1-7 (8 min now)

      Mouth breathing. I just blown my nose. I still need to meditate today. I need to light the reversal candle. Imagining my skeleton, my head and muscles, and the congestion in my neck and around my ears. Thinking about bodyrock. I do want to exercise today. The rest of the time I’m basically lying here motionless.

    • Day 4, 1-1-8

      Rehearsal time! I’m losing my voice now. I just noticed. Anyway wasn’t even to this at all. Eight minutes seems like a long time night, when you’re really sick. But I went upstairs and came up here at 7:30 PM and I’m still awake. And I had practically a whole syringe of Candace will tonight. This was after A bottle of excellent red wine with Charlie over leftovers. We had a nice meal today, but I was really too sick to enjoy myself at any point. Yesterday was a better day. But I made myself sick or by working out, or we just gonna happen anyway. I didn’t meditate today! Oh well. I just got off Twitter again. I have been trying to go to sleep and then they started wanting to write a work out for myself. I need to do mostly (yoga) but when I want to do a short specific kit, it seems like you all the best thing to do is write my own. This is in the yoga I know exactly what I’m after, areas of what to avoid working…

    • Day 5, 1-1-9
      I’ll just type in here directly, as I’ve got no voice at all to use for the voice memo, like I’d been doing. Was reflecting on how losing my voice – a blocked Vishuddi chakra – is SO SYMBOLIC. I’d purposely created a servitor with two prominent, visible chakras, the ajna & vishuddi. But now, right, I’ve got “no voice in the world”. I sat before hand, with what remains of my first reversal candle burning in front of me. I tried directing all of the sadness, depression and anger I’ve felt over the past two years into it. All of the emotional effects of my disenfranchisement also need to return to sender. I didn’t do an uncrossing before I created my servitor… Maybe this is why she has not been as effective as  hoped, yet. I’d missed more days of seated meditation. Today I was able to mostly hold my seat, but I did have a couple coughing jags. One was so violent I almost threw up on my lap. Wouldn’t have been much there. So far today I’ve only had black coffee, herbal tea and one caramel.
    • Day 5, 1-1-10
      Smashed the mirror for my first reversal spell tonight. It felt good. My hammer… it’s one I stole from my dad to take to art school and I’ve had it since. Reminds me of the hammer in The Earth Abides, a classic dystopian tale given to me by my dad. Had some beer & even some tequila too. Because fuck it.
    • Day 6, 1-1-11
      This was supposed to be 10min but I did 9 by mistake. I’d actually missed a full day in the heat of the illness, but I’ve accepted the fact I’m not going to do this stuff “by the book”, even if I’m following a book.

      DREAMS: was on the beach with Henry. It was kind of cool for the beach, but I thought he was getting too hot (at one point I let him off the leash & he almost got away). Took him to a shady area and suddenly we’re inside! In a version of that square, many-roomed, sometimes haunted apartment dreamland likes to take me to. It’s probably based on the place in Brooklyn that I shared with Ernie. Then I’m back on the beach & Jocelyn is there & I’m telling her enthusiastically she should visit while I’m still (able) to live there, while aware I’m over stepping in familiarity levels just a bit. She’s in LA in real life now. She left Portland shortly I’d arrived after living here 8 or 9 years & was never “we should get together”.

      Another one I’m practicing 3rd with Laura, and I’m moving really slowly, not even trying to keep up since I never practice that series anymore. For some reason I’m totally blowing smoke up her ass with flattery. “Oh you’re so FAST! How do go DO it?” Etc.

      Something about a Donald Dump Siri…

    • Day 6, 1-1-12

      I forgot to do my formal, seated meditation again… actually annoyance got in the way. I feel like I haven’t had a good meal since Saturday, was promised lunch, got a nonchalant nothing & had scavenged eggs & a workout (thank gods) instead. Anyway every time I remember this exercise I don’t wanna do it but what ELSE have I got going on? I haven’t been creative in over a week & I couldn’t interest myself in watching any shows tonight.

      Thinking about killing my servitor. I can’t feel any real gratitude these days. I knuckled down slightly after her “birth” but that was more a placebo effect. There have been no gigs…

      Creative Circle called about something I’d applied to right b4 Xmas & I just watched the phone ring as I had no voice. Emailed back. I never get excited about those anymore tho cause a placement has yet to happen.

      Think I’ll tranq up (getting to be a bad habit but this COUGH) and go to sleep.

    • Day 7, 1-1-13
      Up to 10min sessions now, and C seems to know when I’m doing it. He comes in! Add to that I can’t do the voice memo thing b/c it’d strain my voice too hard, trying to speak loud enough for the phone. So…DREAMS: The kids (source of this horrible, horrible cold) were home & I had the unpleasant “surprise in the kitchen”. I’d read some book on art theory / criticism and Cy and I had had a conversation about it before they left. In real life this wouldn’t happen! Apparently I’d asked her for some opinions on xyz, and in a challenging tone she followed up. She wanted to know if I thought she’d be a good art critic or philosopher. Too funny. This is another thing that’d never happen.I told them I’d been thinking to get a masters at RISD.

      In another segment, I was at this agency thing, run by a guy similar to Christian Slater’s character in Mr. Robot. I was supposed to come up with $80,000 to have them “redo” me, get a packaged portfolio out of me.

      Dream self – if no one ever wants to even MEET you, how are you going to show off an $80,000 portfolio? Silly.

    • Day 7, 1-1-14
      Missed this one.
    • Day 8, 1-1-15
      Decided to just do what I remembered from my dreams and seated, 30min meditation here. I wish you could embed .m4a files directly in wordpress, but you cannot. Link.
    • Day 9, 1-1-16
      I’m inconsistent with this exercise but I’ve finally accepted that’s the way it’s going to be. I already do a 30min formal meditation in addition. Also I read ahead just a bit and I’m really working on trying to “positive-ify” my thoughts before going to sleep, as well as repeating the banishing ritual. Recollections from last night’s main dreamLink.
    • Day 10, 1-1-17
      Did today’s “recollection” after my 30min sit, and I’ve decided I’m going to move on to exercise 2. I should’ve done this one twice a day for two weeks, making 28 entries, but this is the 2nd pass & I’d rather move on. It’s not like I’m getting graded on this.
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Advent and the New Moon

The Darkness

The murk of this part of the year in the Pacific Northwest is really something. If I could, I’d get away for a good two months of it, or at least I like to imagine that, currently looking at pictures of friends in places like Thailand or Bali. But then I wouldn’t want to leave Henry for that long. I’m spared from these kinds of tough decisions by a lack of funds, but now is the time in my life that I’m supposed to buckle down and focus art. Again. #fullcircle

Advent and the New Moon

You might as well make things ceremonial right? Charlie and I are gonna make an advent wreath on Sunday. I’d wanted to do that last year when I found out about the existence of the thing, at Trinity Episcopal. I’d passed by a couple times and was intrigued by the building, and then I found out they’ve got a fantastic pipe organ and choir. I love choral music and technically I’m Episcopalian, even if I’d never heard of advent. In those days I still thought I was going to do the full-time job and apartment thing too, and figured prayer couldn’t hurt, at least. I accidentally chose the 1st day of advent to attend my 1st (of 4 I think) service, and was intrigued by the pagan feel of it all. They had a wreath making class after and for $10 you can take it home with you, but ya $ so… We’re going to make one here. Plenty of trees outside. I’d still like to have a candle holder for it though. Looked at a bunch of them on Amazon.

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I particularly like this one for the price ($35) but by this point it’s too late to get it in time anyway. Maybe next year 🙂


The new moon is on Tuesday! I have to get up at like 4-fucking-am, in order to meditate and perform the banishing ritual before the first hour of Jupiter at 6:12. I just worked on my second draft of the oratory. I’ll be totally ready. I started way earlier and as an artist I have a definite edge in the imaginative.

Lastly I am REALLY STIFF & SORE for working out at night and doing the barest, minimal stretching after. I think I did a quick forward bend and that was it. Bad me. And I have to exercise today, still, in order to make my 5x tally for the week. I’ve gotta make sure to put in at least 30min yoga I’d say. Anyways it’s time to sit.

I’ve got some good friends…

I’ve been so isolated sometimes I’m convinced I don’t have any at all, but then… I have been really letting it hang out on Facebook. I’ve got nothing to lose. I think it was either that or a complete freak out and I’m more interested in keeping my shit together.

Today was emotionally draining though

After two more equally lengthy & vicious nastygrams and several ignored calls, I got a comment from my NH friend who’d previously offered to go pick up the easel. It turns out she’s got both a corporate discount and an amenable shipping department at work. My last estimate from UPS was $600. Cathy thinks she can get it down to about half that.

I’d asked UPS to wait until tomorrow for my decision, but called them back immediately to tell them to hold it until Saturday. Apparently my mother had suddenly shown up, as they were preparing to close, saying she wanted to ship after all. These poor people stuck in the middle! They’d all been informed. Oh mam you don’t need to ask for anyone in particular. We all know about it. I then had to call her back & have an inane argument over the fact that she is not not allowed to pay for it. She’s to leave it. She’s out of the equation. End of story.

Hopefully I’ll be able to get it back together! I just couldn’t let it go. I’ve owned very little in life and I’ve been willing to let most of it go, but this was different. Part of me wonders if they gave such an inflated price because there was someone working there who was interested in taking it. Betty was trying to give it away!

The easel is symbolic of coming full circle

Whatever the fuck happens, I will get the bones of that easel out here to Portland. I never thought I’d do this. I don’t even have any oil or acrylic paints, not to mention all the other pile of supplies I’d need. I’m just going to give all the fight I’ve got left remaining into really, finally, being an artist. It won’t last long if the universe doesn’t throw me a goddamn bone already, hence the magical assistance I’ve been preparing.

I don’t think I’ll actually bother reading a book on narcissistic mothers. Not immediately anyway. I’d rather think about what I’m working on: the next illustration, the servitor, the next area of study in hermetics.

It’s a good time to practice razor focus & thought control #election2016 #hermetics

So now I’ve read through the first couple chapters of Franz Bardon’s Initiation Into Hermetics, the theory and the first chunk of the practical exercises. I haven’t started practicing any of them yet exactly, though with my background in yoga and meditation  – not to mention minor dabblings in witchcraft, herbology, tarot, candle magic, gemstones and essential oils etc. –  I’m definitely already out of the starting gate. I’ve been meditating daily since October 9th or 10th this stint. Usually it’s 22min but sometimes, like today, it’s 40.

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INITIATION II – THE PRACTICE OF MAGIC

Each exercise to be practiced at least 14 days (for those with some prior development) before moving onto the next. You start with 5min twice daily and then add 1min per day until you’re at 10min twice daily.

  • Thought control

    • This is more like thought observance, but it’s different from my seated meditation because you’re supposed to see what you remember AFTER. I tried it once after my morning sit. It’s surprisingly hard! I will have to add it though, when I start my hermetics project for real. I’m just waiting until after the birth stage of my current thing.
  • Thought discipline

    • This talks about performing all tasks with complete awareness, and what THAT means repeatedly pushing away any thoughts that have nothing to do with the task at hand. Unless you’re a US politician that means you shouldn’t be thinking about what just happened here. I was reminding myself of that this morning: BatcaveFocus on something else! Something you’ve selected as personally relevant. I decided to think before practicing the banishing ritual. That’s right. Morning’s are my favorite study time.
  • Mastery of thoughts

    • This is about avoiding thoughts! It’s the closest to the seated meditation I already practice. When I first learned formal, seated meditation (29 years ago, age 20) I developed a technique for myself of moving my inner awareness in a clockwise fashion around my area of focus.This was the edge of the nostrils, watching the breath, as per a very traditional method.
    • Outrunning my thoughts? It would help me get away from the verbal language thoughts anyway, not sensory impressions or strong emotions.

That’s six weeks of specific work right there, and I need to keep a detailed, hand written journal. What I really want is this though of course I can’t have it. I’ll be forced to use a recycled notebook because poor.

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I consoled myself with the thought that the fancy journal is made with leather, and though my diet has returned to the dark side, it doesn’t mean I should be supporting that industry.

I’ll need all my notes for the self analyses exercises of the next section.

My #heartchakra got SERIOUSLY flooded today #meditation #masoniccompass #graveyards

I’m starting to get the hang of meditation, me thinks.

1/2 bhekasana, need to do yoga, old-fashioned magic & meditation journal, grimoire, leek pizza. I need to be an artist!! thoughtform. I’m already practicing further than the first exercise.

I haven’t added any practice from the hermetics book yet after all, except to try to make thoughts sort of solid, before returning to my focal point. I wanted to remember them later. So I’m starting off further out of the gate because it’s a 22min, formal sit in padmasana and then I go do some stuff (like putting in contacts) before getting to the remembering. I should add another session at night but the discipline is harder after beer 🙂


I did a little painting but… I think I need a bigger watercolor palette and also I’m not good at watercolor landscapes. I went a little nuts with it & had to put it away and have breakfast. I think it might look like a Rorschach test with colors.

It’d be GREAT to get my old easel from NH, but I’m not sure mom would be up to the task & it wouldn’t be cheap.


Still practicing the Lesser Banishing Ritual daily. I’m getting better at it, and the visualizations.

Yesterday Ch and I went to Riverview Cemetery and I gathered 3 different dirt samples for future years. The country’s first female cop is buried there, and she lived to be 97. Her energy would be perfect for reversals! But it was raining, at times pretty hard, and so we just wandered randomly. Didn’t find Lola but we didn’t really try all that hard.

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Took a particular liking to this tree, for some reason

I took one by a big, rough hewn monument whose name plate had fallen off without replacement. The wild card! I took a second by a huge sequoia and the last by a random guy’s marker with a Masonic compass on it. #YouReallyDOLearnSomethingEveryDay

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g

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Therefore, the letter ‘G’ in Freemasonry signifies Gnosis, Generation and the Grand Architect.Gnosis (Greek for knowledge) in its simplest form is “knowledge of thyself” or the Great Arcanum, Daath (Da’ath – Hebrew for knowledge). Philo also refers to the “knowledge” (gnosis) and “wisdom” (sophia) of God. This fact we find in the biblical passage Proverbs 2.6; “The Lord gives wisdom (sophia), from his face come knowledge (gnosis) and understanding (sunesis).”

The single most identifiable symbol of Freemasonry. Both the square and compasses are architect‘s tools and are used in Masonic ritual as emblems to teach symbolic lessons.

The SQUARE is an instrument adapted for plane surfaces only, and therefore appropriate to Geometry, or measurement of the Earth, which appears to be, and was by the Ancients supposed to be, a plane. The COMPASS is an instrument that has relation to spheres and spherical surfaces, and is adapted to spherical trigonometry, or that branch of mathematics which deals with the Heavens and the orbits of the planetary bodies.

The SQUARE, therefore, is a natural and appropriate Symbol of this Earth and the things that belong to it, are of it, or concern it. The Compass is an equally natural and appropriate Symbol of the Heavens, and of all celestial things and celestial natures.

Oh and then we stopped for lunch at a small but very charming McMenamins (Fulton Pub) that we hadn’t been to before and when I saw this I knew I had to try it. (Was delicious. I got a pint.)

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Natural beauty #PDX, #meditation, #hermetics

I still notice beauty!

It’s easy to let Facebook make you feel like absolutely everyone is more successful at life than you are. I had a moment of that this morning, atypically alone during coffee time because Ch is off at work. But then I looked at my own Instagram and was reminded of the lovely time we had last night, starting with this.

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We were just about to head out to the one of the closest brewpubs for some dinner and I happened to look out the window. Holy shit! Look at that! I ran upstairs so I could take a picture on the puddle-top flat roof, outside Ch’s bedroom.

We ate chicken wings and fries with tons of crap on them, like nachos, which was decadent but satisfying. Washed that down with a couple rounds of IPA. Came home, played with Henry upstairs. Got cozy. That’s not bad!


Step 1, Thought Control

I got to the 1st practice exercise in Initiation Into Hermetics.

I’ve already been meditating once daily for awhile, though it’d be more accurately described as “Thought Observation”. I decided to use my post meditation savasana as a five minute, experimental session.

I think what I’ll do instead, because I don’t have a teacher or a group and may as well make this fully my own, is devote the 5-10 minutes in the morning to dream recall. The book doesn’t give any indication for how long you should practice step 1 before moving on either, other than saying you should’ve “mastered” it. There’s some high expectations!

And I’ll add the 18min sit in the evenings, and than make a few notes from what I remember. I wasn’t going to add anything new until my servitor is born, but hey, the more the merrier.


And now I need to run through the ritual practice!

 

 

Around me burns the pentagrams and within me burns the six-rayed star.

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Thank gods for seated meditation anyway. My seat was strong today. I’m getting used to practicing khechari mudra, in my padmasana, along with the jnana mudra when kitty allows. Sir Henry was still napping during this morning’s session and I had the added “assist” of something I wanted to avoid thinking about. Therefore the mind will try to think about it, and a defensive block can be good if you’re after stillness. I went very deep at some points.

Right after meditation I practiced the banishing ritual for the 2nd time. I’d been playing around with seeing what I remembered, last night. It was a lot! I’d made this cheat sheet yesterday

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I’ll have it completely memorized soon for sure.