The Flying Scrolls of Logos

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

This blog is intended to represent some of my ideas concerning brotherhood, peace, and proper learning. I invite all who read my posts to respond with their own opinions, including disagreements. It is my hope that others will find my ideas appealing, take up the torch and carry that light in the path of their own glory.

Love is the law, love under will.


Davin Maki

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Shadow Self: Revisited

     To impose any psychological jargon on top of what follows will destroy your understanding thereof. The point of this writing is to illustrate how magick effects the mind, not in terms psychological abstractions, but in the actual experience, thought, and emotions of a real person. Let me share an anecdote with you.
     At on point in my life, I had a friend named Fred. He was of the most delusional type imaginable: he  constantly complained about having wild hallucinations of psychic networks of light zooming around people's heads, flying penises, and many other phantasms. He thought that there was an elaborate conspiracy to trap him in "psychic prison," and that people were poisoning him. I kept an open mind and empathetic heart and talked to him patiently about his complaints. Eventually, I earned his trust and we were able to share our life's history with one another. One time, he looked me in the eye and said, with all sincerity, "I know you're not part of the conspiracy." Over time, he became more compassionate and less prone to violence. He was as loyal a friend as any and I was honored to have him as a friend.
     Later on, he went to a psychotherapists office. For one reason or another, Fred lashed out at the professional. The police were called and Fred was carted off to jail. I do not blame Fred for this, but I blame the incompetence of the psychotherapist for said result. I think just that about the whole profession--quackery.
     In my previous essay, The Shadow Self, I explored the idea that Magick is indeed a form of psychotherapy. I'm not necessarily referring to the catharsis one experiences after the denouement of a tragic play, or while performing a dramatic ritual, but rather, a kind of direct and willful manipulation of the psyche. In my argument, the Shadow Self represents those forces of the psyche (not the autonomous nervous system) that are not under our willful control. This can take the shape of stray thoughts, impulses, and alter ego-like figures that appear in the dreamscape. These forces I refer to as "The Shadow Self," which is a part of ourselves which goes rogue because our conscious ego rejects their existence for one reason or another.
     We can unveil this Shadow Self in a variety of ways, viz. Dream analysis, regressive exercises, and honest self-appraisal. Through these means, an alter ego begins to take shape, who has his own dark personality, world view, and ethical codes. In some individuals, the shadow eclipses the ego. 
     This specter within the psyche, as it were, occupies a certain portion of the potential energy of the psyche, depleting its resources. The solution is to reconcile the ego with this darker half, such that you become one complete and willfully driven entity. By integrating the Shadow Self with the conscious self, you will achieve a level of peace, inner quietude, self-control, and intellectual prowess which is beyond what you would naturally be capable of. This may seem like hyperbole, or a mere pseudo-psychological abstraction of the mind, but these conclusion are based on my own thoughts, feelings, and personal struggles along the path of self-initiation.
     In the pages that follow, I will excerpt several months worth of diary entries. If, while reading, you get the idea that I've taken a certain amount of creative liberty with my transcription, you will have been right. I write to myself in shorthand, therefore the raw contents of my diary would be utterly unintelligible to the outside reader. I have, therefore, added additional footnotes, along with introductory and conclusory sentences. Certain areas have been omitted due to their sensitive nature; names have been aliased to protect the innocent.
     The matter in question will focus mainly on the burgeonings of my practices of pranayama and Liber III vel Jugorum. You will also be granted a unique perspective into my inner life and be able to virtually witness the first time I did rituals such as Scrying on the Tree of Life, Rising on the Planes, the SIRP, and the Star Sapphire Ritual. Running through this theme, you will also have the opportunity to witness the gradual attenuation of what I have defined as the Shadow Self.

☉17° ♊, ☽17° ♌ A° IV.༌.xvi

     I performed the invocation to the Gnomes this 'eve. I did not have Dittany of Crete, so I created a mixture of aloes wood powder and benzoin gum. I was hoping to produce an effect akin to that described in various texts[1]. Of course, I know not whether I succeeded but the incense seemed most efficacious anyways.
     My vibration of the divine names in the pentagram and my oratory seemed to burn a great amount of calories, as evidenced by waves of heat and sweat permeating my brow[2]. 
     The meditation lasted ~10 minutes as a silent and normal session until I suddenly saw a Gnome, look very much like a garden gnome, indicating that I should follow him into the entrance of a cave sealed by a stone door. He wrapped on it three times, then waved for me to enter. I asked him to give me a sign and name and he did as I asked[3].
     I walked down what seemed to be a mineshaft of sorts; the walls were all a deep blue hue. After a great deal of time traveling downwards, through this unremarkable tunnel, we reached a large cylindrical hollow in the earth. The Gnome pointed to the center and I saw suspended in space the most impressive clockwork-like gears revolving and spinning. Then the gears disappeared and I saw the Earth's dynamo; glowing, hot, brilliant. 
     I was suddenly transported into outer space, where I was able to see the rotation of Luna about the Earth. After a time, my mind retreated back to its quietness. With this, I decided it was time to close the temple in the appropriate manner[4]. 
     I now feel fatigued, yet manic and hot at the same time. It is my intent to begin rising on the tree of life. This working seemed appropriate as a beginning step.

1. This just goes to show how poor the nomenclature of perfumery really is.  I have since then discovered that Dittany of Crete smells absolutely nothing like this mixture.
2.  ...names in the pentagram... This refers to a particular technique for invoking the Gnomes, which is given in Chic and Tabatha Cicero's Self Initiation into the Golden Dawn Tradition.
3. The sign of Seth rising and the name Adonay ha-Aretz.
4.  Sometimes, I had the tendency to want to write ritual descriptions as Crowley did. 
 ☉17° ♊, ☽19° ♌ A° IV.༌.xvi

     Meditation after Kephra lasted ~8 minutes. My thoughts were somewhat capricious. It seems that the fatigue associated with my work, the time of day, etc.causes my focus to wary. A few times, I counted above 10 seconds on the inhale and more than 15 seconds on the exhaling breath. I suppose I had a difficult time paying attention to the matter at hand. My mind also shifted a few times to my fixation with terrestrial love. Not that there is anything less sacred about that, is there?

☉18° ♊, ☽27° ♌ A° IV.༌.xvi

     My breathing has reached a level to where my 10-15 interval is fairly effortless. My mental focus is fairly weak, as I'm contending with powerful feelings. 
     My meditation lasted ~8 minutes. I should impose a longer period of time for my meditations, as gauged my an alarm clock. It seems that my perception of time is not trustworthy while meditating. 
     As for my morning meditations: perhaps some exercise would help with my proclivity for yawning. 

☉17° ♊, ☽19° ♌ A° IV.༌.xvi

     After Tum, meditation followed a reading from Liber Aleph; the meditation lasted ~10 minutes. This meditation went great; I had good posture, good pace of breath, etc. I'm thinking that beginning my meditations with three AUMGNs works great with keeping that one-pointedness of thought in check.
+ Liber Aleph Βδ
But concerning the Medium by whose sensitive Nature our Magick Force is transmitted to the Object of our Working, doubt not. For already in other Galaxies of Physics have we been compelled to postulate an Æthyr wholly hypothetical in order to explain the Phenomena of Light, Electricity, and the like; nor doeth any Man demand Demonstration of the Existence of that Æthyr other than its Conformity with general Law. Thou therefore, Creator and Transmitter of thine own Energy, needest not to ask whether by this or by some other Means thou performest thy Work. Yet I know not why this Æthyr of the Mathematicians and the Physicians should not be one with the Astral Light, or Plastic Medium or Aub, Aud, Aur (these three being a Trinity) of which our own Sages have spoken. And this Meditation may bring forth much Knowledge physical, which is good, for that which is above is like that which is beneath, and the Study of any Law leadeth to the Understanding of all Law. So mayst thou learn in the End that there is no Law beyond Do what thou wilt. (Liber Aleph, pg. 56)
     He seems to be positing that it is necessary to theorize the existence of the Aether (i.e. astral light, plastic medium, etc.) in order to be able to reconcile the natures of the physical world. Further, he states that, by contemplation of the Aether, much knowledge will be gained from that which proceeds it.

5. These excerpts begin late in a series of meditations on said topic matter. I have also added the quotes from Liber Aleph to give my commentary some contextual background.
☉19° ♊, ☽13° ♍ A° IV.༌.xvi

     My meditation after the Tum adoration lasted ~10 minutes. My regulation of breath, along with focus has improved, albeit the 10-15 interval was difficult physically to maintain. I also noticed that my head tends to tilt back after prolonged asana. Circulation to the feet seems fine.[6]
+ Liber Aleph Bε
De Necessitate Voluntatis.
And how then (sayst thou) shall I reconcile this Art Magick with that Way of the Tao which achieveth all Things by doing nothing? But this have I already declared to thee in Part, showing that thou canst do no Magick save it be thy Nature to do Magick and so the true Nothing for thee. For to do nothing signifieth to interfere with nothing so that for a Magician to do no Magick is to commit Violence on himself. Yet learn also that all Action is in some sense Magick, being an essential Part of that Great Magical Work which we call Nature. Then thou hast no free Will? Verily, thou hast said. Yet nevertheless it is thy necessary Destiny to act with that free Will. Thou canst do nothing save in accordance with that true Nature of thine and of all Things, and every Phenomenon is the Resultant of the Totality of Forces; Amen. Then thou needest take no Thought and make no Effort? Thou sayst sooth; yet, art thou not compelled to Thought and Effort in the Way of Nature? Yea, I, thy Father, work for thee solicitously, and also I laugh at thy Perplexities; for so was it fore- ordained that I should do, by Me, from the Beginning.  (Liber Aleph, pg. 57)
     He seems to state that all Magick is the true nature of the aspirant. To do aught else is a violation of your true self, since it draws one away from one's true nature. 
will=magick=true nature
    The fulcrum being that, "Thou canst do nothing save in accordance with that true Nature of thine and of all Things, and every Phenomenon is the Resultant of the Totality of Forces; Amen"(idem quod). This reminds me of Crowley's explanation of magick in the first chapter of Magick Without Tears, where he write he write of the appropriate use of the will.

[NB "I do beg you to mark well, dear sister, that a true Magical Operation is never "against Nature" (MWOT).]

6. I considered then, and still do today, that good circulation is key to the assessment of good form. If your limbs are falling asleep, you're either jumping ahead prematurely, or doing the asana incorrectly.

☉19° ♊, ☽15° ♍ A° IV.༌.xvi

     My meditation on Kephra this 'eve was a might bit lackadaisical. I sat quietly in the Dragon posture and tried my best to declare all the slanderous groanings about me false. I'm finding my evening and morning meditations to be the most weak. I feel if I push on, I'll be able to adapt over time.
+Liber Aleph  Bϝ
De Comedia UniversaQuae Dicitur PAN
So, therefore, o my Son, count thyself happy when thou understandest all these Things, being one of those Beings (or By-comings) whom we call Philosophers. All is a never ending Play of Love wherein our Lady Nuit and Her Lord Hadit rejoice; and every Part of the Play is Play. All pain is but sharp Sauce to the Dish of Pleasure; for it is the Nature of the Universe that hath devised this everlasting Banquet of Joy. And he that knoweth not this is necessary as an Ingredient even as thou art; wouldst thou change all and spoil the Dish? Art thou the Master-Cook? Yea, for thy Palate is become fine with thy great Dalliance with the Food of Experience; therefore thou art one of them that rejoice. Also it is thy Nature as it is mine, o my Son, to will that all Men share our Mirth and Jollity; wherefore have I proclaimed my Law to Man, and thou continuest in that Work of Joyaunce.  (Liber Aleph, pg. 58)
     He seems to be stating that the plaethora of influences in the universe are all necessary functions of the joyous company of heaven, even though some of these factors may be unpleasant. 

☉22° ♊, ☽15° ♎ A° IV.༌.xvi

     Meditation this morning lasted a broken 9 minutes because my alarm went off in mid-meditation. I believe that I have tamed my mind and developed my breathing technique enough to justify further development in my yoga work.
+Liber Aleph Bθ
De Veritate Falsi
Moreover this Matter touches the Nature of Truth. For although to thee in thy True Self, absolute and without Conditions, all this Universe, which is relative and conditioned is an Illusion; yet to that Part of Thee by which thou perceivest it, the Law of its Being (or By-coming) is a Law of Truth. Learn then that all Relations are true upon their own Plane, and that it would be a Violation of Nature to adjust them skewwise. Thus, albeit thou hast found thy Self, and knowest Thy Self immortal and immutable beyond Time and Space, free of Causality, so thoroughly that even thy Mind partaketh constantly thereof, thou hast in no wise altered the Relations of thy Body with its Syndromics in the World whereof it is a Part. Wouldst thou lengthen the Life of thy Body? Then accommodate thou the Conditions of thy Body to its Environment by giving it Light, Air, Food, and Exercise as its Nature requireth. So also, mutatis mutandis, do thou cherish the Health of thy Mind.  (Liber Aleph, pg. 61)
     He is talking about how all matter(s) in the universe is illusion. He seems to be maintaining this theme by positing that there is a true nature within that is capable of perceiving the truth of a thing's being. He further states that to reconfigure the truth of which one perceives is a violation against the true nature of said thing. If any change is to be made, without perversion, then the laws of that thing's true tendencies and natures must be stimulated and adhered to.

☉22° ♊, ☽19° ♎ A° IV.༌.xvi
     My final meditation lasted ~7 minutes. My ability to concentrate this 'eve was capricious at best. I find myself being suddenly overcome with bouts of mania, which manifests itself as short, egotistical tirades[7]. It seems that doing that work has opened my mind to a plaethora of complexes and self-defense mechanisms. Doing more exporsismal work (as I did in the old days) is in order.
     As for the meditation: my breathing was somewhat willfully paced but, for the most part, simply solid asana with relaxed breathing. I followed this with the LBR and the circle. I should add a quick note as to how it changed:
-Qabalistical Invocation of Solomon (QIS)
-Visualization of Grandure
-Prayer to the Angels of the four winds
-The Gnostic Creed.[8]

     I've felt a negative presence lately.  [edit] It is as if a palpable pulse of hatred is being directed at me.

+Liber Aleph Bκ
De Corde Candido
Consider Drunkenness, how by Variation of bodily Conditions thou mayst alter its Effect upon the Mind, and the Contrary, remembering the Discipline of Theophrastus Paracelsus, how, opposing Wine to bodily Exercise, he obtained a certain Purification and Exaltation/ Yet, were he seven times greater, he had not done this with Oil of Vitriol. Learn then that there are certain definite Channels of Action and Reaction between Body and Mind; sound these, and trim thy Sails accordingly, not thinking that thou art in the open Sea. And if so be that thou in thy sounding findest new Channels, rejoice and map them for the Profit of thy Fellows; But remember always that to find a new Way up a Precipice removeth not the Precipice. For where thou, o Angel and yet Man, hast trod delicately albeit without Fear, Fools will rush in to their Destruction. (Liber Aleph, pg. 63)
     With the alchemical reference (vis-a-vis Paracelsus) I'm not really sure what to make of his statement that follow. He seems to be referring to tangible laboratory alchemy (VIDE. not as the acrostic, "VITRIOL," but as "oil of vitriol"). This is unusual for Crowley, who states that alchemists work with things on the borderlands of matter (The Book of Thoth, pg 104).
     In the latter portion of the verse, he seems to be referring to a mind-body connection. Along the latter lines, he writes of the "mapping of a new territory," paying special attention to the limmitations of the concept at hand. Roughly paraphrased, he states. "[I]f though seekest a new way though the precipice, remove not the precipice"(idem quod). He seems to be mentioning a special emphasis upon caution [and temperance].[9]


7. In retrospect, I think I was merely becoming more aware of that aspect of myself.
8. For more details on this method, see Dion Fortune's book, Psychic Self Defense, for her version of said ritual.

9. In retrospect, I find this interpretation to be moronic. His use of Paracelsus as a trope in this place illustrates his idea that there should be a preference in magick towards using a minimum, and apropos type, of energy. In Magick Without Tears, Crowley writes the following:
There may be failure to understand the case; as when a doctor makes a wrong diagnosis, and his treatment injures his patient.  There may be failure to apply the right kind of force, as when a rustic tries to blow out an electric light. (ch. 1)
☉♊, ☽ ♏ A° IV.༌.xvi

     It is approaching the time to begin scrying into the Tree of Life. what follows will be a rough sketch of the kind of invocation necessary to scry into Malkuth.
     The four cards for Malkuth must be placed in their appropriate positions n the double cube altar with the four elemental weapons. In the center of the altar will be placed the paten and equal armed cross. The incense will be the wood aloes/benzoin mixture, which has proven to be efficacious in the past. A ritual bath will be taken in the dark with a black candle lit and appropriate incense.
Heykas Heykas esti bebeloi! Procul, o procu eti profani!
Purification and consecration
Open the Temple: #### ### ### "In the name ADNI HARTz, I, Scientia eCorona, hereby opens this temple, etc."
"In the divine name ADNI HARTz, may the Archangel, Uriel, etc."
Contemplate the four Kerubic figures over the four cards.
Sit down in thy asana
Use the pantacle, cross, decagon, and Kerubic forms as contemplative tools.
License to depart
#### ### ###
"I, Scientia eCorona, declare this temple closed, etc."
Record observations.
     It would be ideal to have this ritual performed when the appropriate Kerubic figure [Taurus] is in the ascendant, but for timing reasons, [virgo] will likely prove efficacious.

☉23° ♊, ☽4° ♏ A° IV.༌.xvi
     Due to lack of sufficient sleep, I was unable to practice Liber Resh. Thus the entirety of my mystical practice this day was the LBRP and the Middle Pillar.
     I've found that the more I practice, the more infantilities rise t the surface, and the more difficulty I have focusing. I was able to follow through with the ritual and vibrate all the names correctly--this is as was expected from continual work. I was able to feel a palpable vibration in each Sephirothic zone. My troubles lie in how prone I am to becoming personally aroused by external forces, along with my own prejudices. 
     I've found that I had to remind myself of the seriousness of the ritual several times! I found that there was a strange burning/throbbing sensation in the upper right hemisphere of my cranium, while I was doing the light circulation at the end of the ritual. I'm not sure whether this occurred as the result of a thought that arose during the meditation, improper technique, or my burgeoning awareness of a sickness of some kind. 
     The new LBRP technique has improved. [10]

10. New LBRP: I have created several versions of the LBRP. By this point, I had created a version of the LBRP which placed the angels in their Yetziratic positions (i.e. Michael in Tiphareth, Uriel in Netzach, Gabriel in Yesodh, Raphael in Hod; IHVH in the East, Elohim in the South, EL in the west, and Adonay in the North).

☉23° ♊, ☽9° ♏ A° IV.༌.xvi

     Lo! The Yawn overpowers the Dragon! 

+Liber Aleph Bλ
De Ratione Magi Vitae
Study Logic, which is the Code of the Laws of Thought. Study the Method of Science, which is the Application of Logic to the Facts of the Universe. Think not that thou canst ever abrogate these Laws, for though they be Limitations, they are the rules of thy Game which thou dost play. For in thy Trances though thou becomest That which is not subject to those Laws, they are still final in respect of these Things which thou hast set them to govern. Nay, o my son, I like not this Word, govern, for a Law is but a Statement of the nature of the Thing to which it applieth. Nor nothing is compelled save only by Nature of its own true Will. So therefore human Law is a Statement of the Will and of the Nature of Man, or else it is a Falsity contrary thereunto, and becometh null and of no Effect.(Liber Aleph, pg. 64)
     Study the Laws of Nature; for even though in trance and spell, one comes into contact with things outside of these laws, it is still necessary to know the bounds of the physical. In order to cause change in the world of mortal men with the higher planes, one must know the rules of the game thou playest.

☉24° ♊, ☽911° ♏ A° IV.༌.xvi

     My meditation seem to have fallen into a rut of anti-progressivism. Although I can maintain asana, and a reasonable 10-15 breath interval, I can't honestly write anything down which I can call remarkable progress. I still have troubles with being distracted, by sources inward as well as out, and I still haven't managed to muster the courage t push past that ten minute mark. Being that my perception of time is deceitful, I aught to use a timer.

☉26° ♊, ☽10° ♐ A° IV.༌.xvi

     I practiced the Middle Pillar Ritual and and the ritual of elemental equilibration this 'eve. The ritual seemed to resonate well with me on the sensual level but I found myself distracted my a great deal of infantile feelings. [edit] It seems some moron is trying to "help" me by defaming my character. As if behaving as they and adopting their world view represented the highest potential state of my being--how arrogant. Nonetheless, I'm having a difficult time not fixating upon it. I was thus forced to admonish myself to focus more times than I can count.
     The only thing I could blame these disturbing thoughts to is my lack of practice of Liber Resh.
     I should also remind myself that the harder I try to resist these impulses within myself, the more of their manifestations I shall notice.
     As for the LBRP, I'm still having troubles visualizing the Hebrew letters, Aleph and Lamedh. This is actually fortuitous because it means that I can begin working on other visualization exercises than the swinging pendulum.
     I've been working on a modified Jugorum technique. I'm wearing a hair band on my left wrist as a means of giving myself negative feedback every time I slur a word or forget something that otherwise should be firmly committed to memory.
     I believe that this occurs because of a deep-seated phobia that deactivates my speech and memory. It is as if my means of adapting to years of abuse and stress is to shut down mentally. If I can show this mechanism that the penalty for so doing is consistently negative input, in the form physical pain, perhaps the causes will reveal their true form.
     I almost have the first scrying session committed to memory.

☉26° ♊, ☽16° ♐ A° IV.༌.xvi

     I performed the meditation on the parts of the soul. I customized the symbols so as to express my own conception f the art: Yechida, as white light; Chiah, as the Lance; Naschemah, as the Graal; Ruach, as the Lamen; Nephesch, as the mechanics of the Yetziratic world (ethereal double); G'uph, as the Sphinx. Most of the symbols were extracted from Liber 777. I found that the energies of this ritual were a lot more potent than that of the Middle Pillar. Be that as it may, my responses to visualization/vibration were significantly less emotional. [11]  
     I found that Choronzon reared it's ugly head when it came to my contemplation of Nephesch, i.e. I continually heard a voice telling me that I had vibrated the incorrect divine name, when, in fact, I distinctly remember vibrating the correct one.
[edit: nonsense] 
     More work will be done daily with this exercise.
As for Liber 3 vel Jugorum, I'm finding myself being more articulate and less prone to mental numbness. I usually take advantage of neural memory, simply reminding myself that the rubber band is there.

11. There has been some confusion about this matter, so let me clarify. when I say that something is "emotional," it refers to classical emotional responses, such as when you witness the grandeur of nature's power, such as a landslide, or when you see a loved one. Non-emotional, yet "powerful," is more like a sensation that is focused on a particular part of the body, such as the nape of the neck, the solar plexus, or sacrum. 

☉27° ♊, ☽26° ♐ A° IV.༌.xvi

     This morning's meditation lasted ~10 minutes. My breath is becoming more taxed as the result of my lack of practice over the past few days. Considering the fact that this was a morning meditation, I did well, relative to other morning meditations. Drinking coffee before meditation seemed to help in this instance.
     I'm continually dreaming of being trapped at The Evergreen State College, but Evergreen is always represented as a gradeschool in the dreamscape.
[edit: sexually explicit]

☉28° ♊, ☽°10 ♑ A° IV.༌.xvi

     Meditation lasted ~11 minutes this morning--it did not proceed Liber Resh. I've decided to relax the 10-15 interval. Being that I'm a cigarette smoker, I don't think that the 10-15 interval is supplying me with enough oxygen. I've decided to start with a 10-10. then slowly work up to a 10-13 as I feel comfortable. My mental discipline seems to be both improving and degenerating at the same time. I find myself being more prone to intellectual mental masturbation, in sporadic spurts, while trying to focus on the internal world, yet I'm able to focus very tightly in secular matters.
     I created an ad hoc protection circle which may have catalyzed this result. I basically employed the QIS as an oratio before casting the circle, said the first half of the Bornless Ritual, cast the circle with the dagger, the chanted the second half. This was an unusual practice, but the time for experimentation seemed upon me. 
     I found that this exercise was a great way for me to maintain focus on the Great Work in those wee hours before retiring for the night.
     The reason for casting this circle was as a protective mechanism against [edit] certain socio-political influences I find as being an hindrance to my objectives. Basically, it's a way of affirming that about me is the tools of self-initiation, while beyond that are the forces of ignorance and avarice, which are barred from entering my realm.

☉29° ♊, ☽°15 ♑ A° IV.༌.xvi

     May I preface this article by stating, "Whoa! My concentration and cognitive ability have fallen to a low that I haven't experienced for some time."
     This evening, I performed the ritual meditation on the parts of the soul. The ritual went well in that I was able to maintain focus throughout and remember all the names and symbols. It helped me be more aware of how sick I feel. My problem with the ritual is that I still haven't found a satisfactory symbol for Nephesch--the reflection seems to be breaking up the ritual. The Lamen is also taking a little longer than I had originally anticipated to develop in my mind's eye.
      As far as how I feel afterwards, I feel a tingling sensation all throughout my body, but primarily in my face. I have a tendency to release a great deal of stress as the result of doing these rituals. This ritual was much needed. We'll see how things progress with continued practice of this ritual--more work needs to be done.
     The LBRP is now being performed appropriately with the dagger. I feel that this weapon brings to bear much more impressive results. I almost feel as if my capillaries are being flushed with fresh water as I trace the pentagrams. 
     A goal I've been working on is the concept of balancing magical weapons, e.g. wand, on the right hand; the ring, on the left.[12]

12. This probably needs explanation: this alludes to sexual mysteries. In further entries, I switch hands, such that my weapons correspond the the archetypal man and the pillars of Jakin and Boaz.

☉0°8' ♋, ☽26° ♑ A° IV.༌.xvi

     I finally performed the Malkuth scrying ritual. For all intents and purposes, it was a failier. I did, however, do well in memorizing the general for of the ritual, i.e. the enochian pentagrams and invocations. The bournless ritual (second portion) still needs some work.
     Of the SIRP, I forget to do the LVX signs after each pentagram. Use wand to invoke, dagger to bannish.
     Of the LBRP: It seems that it should be on the whole temple.[13]
   Of the divine names: propper visualization, projection and attituade of Hoor Par Krath is essential.[14] 
     In general, the ritual was choppy. The proper sign was not in the ascendant.[15] 
     Invocation of Earth: something seems missing--> sign of Horus, then silence.
     If I practice with these concepts in mind, I'll have my result. Perhaps the Prayer to the Gnomes would serves as an additional benediction of the ritual.
     I do, however, feel a bit more grounded. My capricious mid-state seems to have dissipated a little. These were my primary intentions for working in Malkuth in the first place. [Does it always have to be visionary?]


13. I have gone back and fourth with myself on this issue several times. Does doing on yourself allegorically imply you whole terrestrial world, or merely your body? Is it superfluous to actually walk around the entire temple and do it? I view it as a reenactment of the apocalypse of Enoch, hence the angles; the great flood, which is preceded my the angels lifting the spirits on high, is the medicine of metals. Regardless of whether you do it on yourself, or literally on the whole temple, the work, as it exists in your mind, is purified thereby, and you find yourself standing before the threshold. Amen. 
14. cf Crowley's commentary on the formula of consecration in Magick in Theory and Practice.
15. I use sidereal astrology. Also, when I state that sign needs to be somewhere, I mean the constellation, not the house.

☉0°11' ♋, ☽27° ♑ A° IV.༌.xvi

      Meditation lasted ~9 minutes. Breathing come unforced at 10-15. My focus, on the other hand, is a joke. I'm continually distracted by the grossest forms of sentimentalism. 
      There was a brief moment where I was actually meditating. I'll be using my alarm clock to pace my meditations. As I have said before, my sense of time is untrustworthy.

☉0°49' ♋, ☽5° ♒ A° IV.༌.xvi  

     I've begun my meditations with the assistance of an alarm clock (15 minutes). I was abruptly interrupted by my allergies close to the end of the meditation. I steel feel the haze of the nebulous mental control I've been experiencing over the past few days. Be that as it may, I feel that, through persistent exercise of breath,  meditation, particularly this one, is beginning to yield basic results.
     I'm still having troubles being preoccupied with with sentimental thoughts, resentments and sexual fantasies during meditation. Throughout this meditation, I experience countless mental and physical breaks. There were some moments of silence towards the end.

☉1° ♋, ☽9° ♒ A° IV.༌.xvi 
     I tried to perform the operation again this 'eve. I lament to say that it was an utter failure. I screwed up the bournless ritual and the SIRP four times! I'm not sure what happened; I was fairly confident at the outset.One thing I should note: While Capricorn [the constellation] was in the Ascendant, there are also two negatively aspected planet near the Eastern Horizon, e.g. opposition, Sol-Pluto; opposition, Mars-Neptune. Three was also a trumpeting of infantilities outside of my window.

☉1° ♋, ☽17° ♒ A° IV.༌.xvi

    I performed the meditation on the parts of the soul this afternoon with satisfying results. I changed the symbolism for Ruach from my Lamen, to the unicursal hexagram, and decided to experiment with the A.'.A.'.symbolism and make Yesodh and Malkuth the Nephesch. It will take more experimentation and research before I can truly state which is best. 
     The reading of Liber CCXX, III after the ritual: very nice.

☉3° ♋, ☽4° ♓ A° IV.༌.xvi 

     Meditation fared well this 'eve. I find that the first five minutes of meditation are usually jaded with the most infantile, sporadic sort of thinking. It is as if I unconsciously want to get the last word in on a heated argument before heading home. My breathing was taxed, usually only reaching a 10-14 interval.
     During the last leg of my meditation, I reached a level of bliss that seemed to make all of my tension slip away. I did not want to leave this place...if it weren't for that damned alarm clock!

☉3° ♋, ☽5° ♓ A° IV.༌.xvi

     The Earth ritual was performed a lot more efficaciously than the last, but there were still quite a few mistakes. Still no intended result.
     I forgot to vibrate "IAO" along with the invoking pentagrams, and vibrate "AGLA" fr the western banishing pentagram. The bournless ritual was still a little rusty and I screwed up the closing LBRP and the EQ (ritual of elemental equilibration).
     The energy felt very strong. I felt a sharp pinch in my sternum, sweat, wavy hallucinations, time slowing*. I was also very much preoccupied with the most banal infantilities. It seems that more meditation is called for.
I feel charged, but not grounded.
* By this I mean that the second hand on the clock seemed to slow down.    

☉3° ♋, ☽13° ♓ A° IV.༌.xvi

     Meditation this afternoon lasted for 15 minutes; it did not need the assistance of the alarm clock. My mental breaks were myriad, but always met with a curt "tat sat." This seems to cause many breaks of the same nature to transform (e.g. love to hate, me to they, etc.).
     I'm really beginning to grasp hold of the oxygen enriching effects of the 10-15 interval.My face and hands flex and extend totally unconsciously.

☉4° ♋, ☽18° ♓ A° IV.༌.xvi

      I performed the middle pillar this 'eve. I decided to integrate the bournless ritual with the middle pillar.
     I found that there is a spiteful malignancy within my unconscious that seems to be running on full autopilot. It usually targets respectable figures in my life, while I'm trying to focus on something important.Until I can find a way to integrate this aspect of myself with my true being, I'll only be but fragments of a man.
     The invocation to the Bournless One wasn't as powerful as I thought it would be.  I felt a sharp pulse in my sternum--not the beneficial kind.
     My state of mind is rather foggy. I conclude in stating that my next step should be towards matra yoga.
--My post mantra meditation was horrible, lasting only 13 minutes. I had a difficult time not unconsciously contracting the muscles of my face, maintaining the focused breath techniques, and mentally focusing.

☉4° ♋, ☽26° ♓ A° IV.༌.xvi

     My practice of mantra yoga went without many breaks. I was always sure to greet the mental break with "tat sat."
     I was only able to count about three or four physical beaks during the experience. The mantra I adopted was "Achad Rosh Achadatho Rosh Ichudo Temuratzo Achad." This mantra seems apropos, considering my intent to integrate un-willed complexes into the rest of my psyche.
    I did not get good sleep last night. Consequently, I forgot to check the time; I know not the duration of the meditation.
    I do feel more focused--as focused as may be expected, considering. I feel as if my nervous system was enriched with much needed oxygen.

☉5° ♋, ☽10° ♈ A° IV.༌.xvi

     I've found that good sleep and mantra yoga has already had its positive effects. When performing the Star Ruby, I had a few of those "blurtings from the unconscious."
     My practice is still very much in its infancy. My pace and rythm still needs quite a bit of work. My focus seems to have greatly improved using this technique, albeit there are still quite a few mental and physical breaks.  My meditation lasted ~9 minutes. I feel mentally energized and less prone to mania.

☉7° ♋, ☽6° ♉ A° IV.༌.xvi

     My Star Ruby practice was very unforced, although my mind was very preoccupied with with secular trifles.
      Mantra yoga lasted ~17 minutes. It seems my breath intervals have improved immensely as the result of this discipline. It takes a good ~5 minutes to get my mind focused on the mantra. I notice that I can only get those empty, truly meditative moments a few times per sit.

☉10° ♋, ☽29° ♊ A° IV.༌.xvi

     I find myself still very much distracted by the inner averse voice of my primitive jealousies. My ability to contemplate the meaning of the mantra as  I'm chanting has improved. I can keep pace with the mantra up to the three fold repetition.[16]
Doing this seems to suppress my stray thoughts. I only pray that one day this will translate into my everyday activities. I've also noticed that the mantra seems to have improved my breath a great deal faster than my more direct approaches. Perhaps there really are appropriate, orderly steps in the Great Work.

16. The way I performed japa for a considerable amount of time was to  accelerate my mantra at fixed intervals. I did this by exhaling and saying the mantra very slowly, the speeding it up by saying it twice in one exhale, then thrice, etc. becoming quieter each interval.

☉11° ♋, ☽8° ♋ A° IV.༌.xvi

     Mantra yoga went well this afternoon. Thanks to my recent practice of Liber 3 vel Jugorum, I've had remarkably fewer stray thoughts. More will be revealed in its propper place.
     My breath was a little taxed, as was my ability to focus.
      I found that, after about 5-7 minutes, I was able to focus upon the meaning of the mantra. Meditation lasted 20 minutes.
On Liber III:
     I have tried to omit quite a few words from my vocabulary with no success. It seems that, when I choose a word, I automatically refrain from its use, or I'm never presented with the opportunity. I've upped the ante to thoughts now: every time I think about someone I would normally respect in some un-willed, dialectical way, I snap the hair tie. At times, I can hear a distant voice screaming out in pain.

☉11° ♋, ☽12° ♋ A° IV.༌.xvi

     My meditation this evening went well, but was interrupted by my allergies.
     I attempted my meditation once more. I felt a pulse in my forehead (this is good, right?) but my blood pressure went up, so I decided to quit.

☉19° ♋, ☽15° ♎ A° IV.༌.xvi   

     My ritual work this afternoon was some of the best I have done in a long time. I still experienced some of the "stray thinking" but it seems that regular practice of mantra yoga has attenuated it considerably.
    The LBRP was performed well. I have changed the angelic evocations for a vibration to something more like a sonorous tone. This seemed to work well, as I thought I could make out a faint image before me at times.
    Although I made mistake such as saying "unus," where I was supposed to say "uno," my performance of the Star Sapphire was great!The energy was there, and verily, I felt the death of a great deal of sickness melt away. I switch the analysis of the Key Word for Craig's version back to Liber O.
     My practice of the Middle Pillar was, by my own practice standards, shabby. Be that as it may, the moral juxtaposition was incredible. My memorization of the names was great and visualization was good.
     I felt my own mental malignancies were beginning to take a life of their own as I slowly began to dispell them
I followed the ritual with the first portion of Crowley's Bournless Ritual. For a few seconds, I found myself in mental quietude.

☉19° ♋, ☽26° ♎ A° IV.༌.xvi

     My stray thoughts are still plaguing me, but their prevalence is waning more and more as the days go by. I find that I can go for almost a minute without any interruptions.As for my mantra yoga: I meditated for ~19 minutes-- a pleasing achievement. I find that my focus has improved, i.e. I can remember and keep up with the inhale breath & contemplate the mantra, step-by-step, up to the four count.
     I find that certain activities cause vivid imprints upon my mind, e.g. my activities on the internet. The mantra yoga seems to be helping me to recognize this, because of their out-of-place feel, relative to all else.

☉19° ♋, ☽0°25' ♏ A° IV.༌.xvi

    My meditation this 'eve lasted ~22 minutes. I came across quite a few difficulties, viz. I experience trouble keeping up with my mantra, there were some breaks in posture, I had a few stray thoughts, I was interrupted by impressions.
       I found that my face had crumpled up quite a few times, my posture arched once, and I twitched a few times. Albeit my focus upon breath went well, my concentration on the mantra was week. I've been experiencing the foggy-headedness again.
      I feel that I did not get good results.

☉22° ♋, ☽13° ♐ A° IV.༌.xvi

     My practice of the Star Sapphire is improving. I do need to work on it a little more often, though. My ability to focus during all rituals seems to diminish as the intoxication of the ritual increases--geometry seems to be the most difficult.
     I experienced a few breaks in posture during asana.The mental beaks were overly prolific. That being said, I that I was truly focused a few times during the work.
     I'll be including primal scream therapy as a preface to ritual and academic work in the future.

☉5° ♌, ☽8° ♊ A° IV.༌.xvi

      My performance of the Star Sapphire ritual one of the best yet, in that my form was excellent. The only flaw was that I said "filio," where I aught to have said "filius." I used the incense stick for tracing the hexagrams. I think I like this approach.
     I need to study the eucharist.
    The ritual had a potent effect, albeit it was not nearly as powerful as the first time. Somewhere I remember Crowley stating that overcoming the experience of intoxication is a sign of progress.
     One interesting thing to note is that the QC before the MP was sung instead of vibrated. I didn't plan to do this ahead of time, it just seemed appropriate at the moment.[17]
     The Middle Pillar went well: good concentration, form, feeling.  The most positive thing I could state about this experience is that the averse voice muttered "so mote it be, damn it!" at the end of the LBRP. Translating the words mentally stills and focuses the mind.

 17. I went through a long period where I sung all of my rituals instead of vibrating them. It all stemmed back to this moment. 

☉8° ♌, ☽17° ♋ A° IV.༌.xvi

     I performed an on-the-fly version of the IOB ritual this morning. [18] It was my intent to cut off my connection to a prop dagger that I had presumed stolen.[19]
It was performed thus:
Star Sapphire
Purification and Consecration
Invocation to the Bornless One
### ### ###
"In the divine name, Shaddai El Chai, I, Scientia eCorona, etc."
Consecrate the eidolon
I moved to the West and did an outward, clockwise spiral dance, while chanting "Anaphexaton! Tetragrammaton! Primumeton!"
"You have fallen from my hands, into the hands of the heathen. You have been perverted, dirtied, etc."
I focused on the object and vibrated the divine names of the EQ, visualizing the object disappearing from existence.
     I received a sudden intuition that the ritual was evil. After tracing the banishing pentagram, I read aloud from chapter I of Liber Legis.
License for the angels to depart.
     I performed this ritual on the fly because I knew it to be the only way to eliminate the karmic bondage associated with the object. I knew, in my deepest of deeps, that someone had ill will in taking it.
     It's interesting to note that I feel as if I banished more than my mere attachment to the dagger. My malign feelings towards Thomas are gone, although he acts the same as usual. I also noticed that strange memories began to flood back into my consciousness--memories about my old friend Tyrone, especially the times we spent at the Capitol Club apartments.
     More needs to be done with this ritual.


18. Identify, Objectify and Banish. For more details on this ritual, see Donal Michael Craig's book, Modern Magick.
19. Since then, the dagger has returned to me, lost again, stolen, found by the police, and is still safely in the hands of one of my brothers.

☉12° ♌, ☽5° ♍ A° IV.༌.xvi

     I attempted to do a more formal version of the ritual I mentioned in the past entry. This was at the last minute, just as much as the last. I tried to make the ritual more formal by adding the preliminary invocation but failed at that step.  I still feel attached to a foreign entity.  It is as if I'm still connected to some of my transgressors from the past, not only in a psychological way, but by way of the plastic medium. Perhaps its my karma to become the man I'm meant to be by way of self defense. Most of my personal development has been some form of self defense. Martial arts, physical exercise, banishing rituals, casting circles,  exorcisms... Banishing what, by the way? I feel as if I'm constantly fighting to be free, that fulfilling my destiny MUST occur by way of battle.

☉12° ♌, ☽18° ♍ A° IV.༌.xvi

Star Sapphire
Rising on the planes
     I attempted to rise on the planes [20] for the first time this 'eve. I've been procrastinating engaging in this activity for quite some time now. I've decided to adapt the ritual to my own needs, making it more akin to the rising of Nehushtan.
I adapted the ritual thus:
Ben, ADNI, ARETz/Sabathai, Shaddai, Shemmesh, ALHIM Tzabaoth, Madim, IHVH Tzabaoth, AQoReB, IHVH Aloah v-Daath, etc.
      The ritual seemed to have a positive effect. My ability to visualize has improved and I feel like a part of myself has returned from the dead--I can't quite put my finger on it. No visions, except for the unexpected appearance of an eye, while crossing the path, Peh.
     Tomorrow, I will attempt the Regardie version and contrast the results.

20. For more details, see Israel Regardie's book, A Garden of Pomegranates. See also Liber O.

☉19° ♌, ☽23° ♐ A° IV.༌.xvi

     I practiced the Regardie version of rising on the planes. I attained to my intent of reaching Tiphareth in the formal sense, but am uncertain of what to make of the experience itself.
       I had the most peculiar vision of an open wheat field ready for harvest. I then saw a trasparent pyramid shape overlapping this scene. Strange.
      When passing through Da'ath, I felt as is my being was being distorted, as if my I were a liquid flowing up a drainpipe.
     My experience with Yesodh of Yetzirah was exciting. It was filled with myriad rapidly moving grey figures--they had no distinguishing features. I tried to focus on the Kerubim.
     Tiphareth of Yetzirah was mostly a sensual experience, although I did see a faint eye shaped whirlpool. I don't know what to make of it. I tried to focus on the Melakim. Next time, I'll try to call out to them


     I could continue transcribing the tale of my battle up to the present moment, but I think my point came across adequately with the information already presented. In the infancy of my magickal praxis, I was mentally disturbed, emotionally turbulent. I employed a variety of techniques in attempt to integrate my dark side, or Shadow Self, into my conscious ego. 
     A great deal of work has ensued since these journal entries were penned. I eventually settled on the first version of Rising on the Planes I gave in my journal. My elemental workings became a fixed and regular exercise. My practice of Yoga has, since then, developed as the result of further practice and research into Tantra (particularly the Left Hand Path), the Vedas (viz. The Bagavad Gita and the Upanishads), and texts such as Hatha Yoga Pradipika and Raja Yoga.  
     My focus always was, and will be, about discovering my own true potential. In my philosophy, "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law" is not an accidental or obtuse arrangement words. The will is gradually developed and understood as you begin to understand yourself and your proper relation to the rest of the universe. Achad Rosh Achadatho Rosh Ichudo Temuratzo Achad. 
     Although the concept of the averse voice may seem insane to some, I think, in a real way, the Shadow Self exists in us all. We are either unaware of its control over our thoughts and actions and/or completely dishonest with ourselves about the matter.
     Throughout my magickal history, you'll be able to find my battles for personal freedom, as I gradually acquire a more firm control of the chariot of the sun and ride off into the horizon.

Recommended Reading:Mary Desti, Leila Waddell, Aleister Crowley, et al. Liber ABBA, 2nd rev. ed. York Beach, ME: Red Wheel/Weiser, 2006. Print.

Crowley, Aleister. Book of Thoth (Egyptian Tarot).  Yor Beach, MN: Red Wheel/Weiser, 1969. Print.

Crowley, Aleister. Liber Aleph vel CXI. York Beach, NY: Red Wheel/Weiser,1991. Print. 

Crowley, Aleister. 777 and other Qabalistic Writings of Aleister Crowley.  York Beach, MN: Red wheel/Weiser, 1986. Print.

Aleister Crowley, Lon Milo DuQuette, and Christoher Hyatt, Ph.D. Enochian World of Aleister Crowley: Enochian Sex Magick. Tempe, AZ: New Falcon, 1991. Print.

Lon Milo DuQuette, Christopher Hyatt, Aleister Crowley and David P. Wilson. Aleister Crowley's Illustrated Goetia, 3rd ed.Tempe, AZ: New Falcon. Print.

DuQuette, Lon Milo. The Magick of Aleister Crowley. York Beach, MN: Red Wheel/Weiser, 2003. Print.

Chic Cicero and Sandra Tabatha Cicero. Self-Initiation Into the Golden Dawn Tradition, 1st ed. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1998. Print.

Fortune, Dion. Psychis Self-Defense: The Classical Instruction Manual for Protecting Yourself. York Beach, MN: Red Wheel/Weiser, 2011. Print.

Fortune, Dion. The Mystical Qabalah. York Beach, MN: Red Wheel/Weiser, 2000. Print.
Godwin, David. Cabalistic Encyclopedia. St Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 2003. Print.

Regardie, Israel. A Garden of Pomegranates: Scrying on the Tree of Life, 3rd ed. York Beach, MN: Red Wheel/Weiser, 2004. Print.

Regardie, Israel. The Middle Pillar: The Balance Between Mind and Magic, 3rd ed. York Beach, MN: Red Whell/Weiser, 2004. Print.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Shadow Self

      Quite often do I either hear or read about ceremonial magick as a form of psychotherapy. In my experience, the distinction between the subtle realms and the psyche—and by extension the sacred and the profaneare not so clear-cut. In my process of ontogenesis, I have come to understand that the subtle reams and the psyche play reciprocal roles with one another. My relationship with the spirit Ga'ap resonates within my psyche, yet the spirits are pockets in the Aether where our thoughts may collect. It would be too simple to merely state "our experiences with them are psychological," or "from the subtle reams arises thought forms within the psyche." The spirits, the gods, angels, and elementals are conglomerations of archetypes, socio-political strife and triumph, and heroic figures from all ages. We are inspired by them, yet they are continually added to in complexity as a function of temporality and stochastic progress in culture.
      I really don't have any proof that this is, in part, the nature of the spiritual realms; you will either agree with my statement, or you won't, relative to your own theories and experiences. That notwithstanding, I think that all would agree with me that the cathartic aspects of dramatic rituals cannot be understated. 
     So what is this business about magick being a form of psychology, and to what end do we practice it? Too often do I read about the psychological interpretation of magick without any reference to changes in the psychology of the writer. Most writers make theses along the lines that magic is justifiable on the basis of its psychological significance—this is true enough. Was it not William James that stated that arguments against religion, on the basis of origin alone, weren't valid because they didn't account for the emotional experiences people had while having spiritual experiences?(James, William, Varieties of Religious Experience). Well then, James also went on to give anecdotal accounts proving his thesis along those lines.
     Albeit I'm not a psychology major, I think I have plenty of insight from my own dreamscape and life experiences to illustrate how the psych interfaces with magick and the creation of magical goals. I say that, among other things, magick is a medicine for the mind. With an honest appraisal of one's own strengths and weaknesses (and sometimes even in spite of our lack thereof), we may find ourselves working towards a saner, more fulfilling life. Let me first start by illustrating for you two dreams that I've recorded and how I propose to address the issues in the dreams in a ceremonial way.

The End of Days  
     The following is an excerpt from an old recording of a dream that I had almost a year ago. I recorded it on Facebook (as virtual documentation is in style these days) for posterity. The dream follows:
"I remember being in a large plaza where a presentation was being given to a small group of people. In the center of the plaza was a glass structure that appeared very much like a splash of water, or a rain drop, as it would appear immediately after colliding with a hard surface. The glass was semi-translucent; a grid structure could barely be seen through the surface. The presenter was lecturing about the object, referring to it as if were a tower of sorts. The "tower" could hold the entire worlds population, given the event of an apocalypse. 
                                                                                    It was a clear, sunny, chill day.
     The next scene put me within the tower—it was the end of days. The tower seemed to extend from heaven to the depths of hell infinitely in both directions. Its internal structure consisted of nothing but fire escapes and long, unremarkable, white corridors. All of its great halls and steps were cluttered with faceless people. For some reason, they all (including myself) tended to move downwards. The further downwards one moved, the darker the halls became. Eventually I found myself in a place where the halls appeared to become completely blackened. People were screaming, running from the blackness. One middle-aged woman approached me, telling me that an unknown horror was killing everyone in  the deep.
[The next scene was really hazy.]
     I was downtown Olympia[1], where Starbucks is usually located, on Capital boulevard. Instead of there being a Starbucks, there was a house. The house contained a few boxes of goods that I needed to take to my new place of residence. However, the house was not mine; it was heavily guarded and secured by a tight security system. 
     I have broken into the house. I am in a small, dark compartment where all of my boxes are located. I'm relaying boxes to a mysterious figure on Capital boulevard through a window. By the time I gave him the third box, the Southern wall opened up to reveal a cowled man in a trench coat, pointing a Colt 45 revolver at me. He fired one, missing. Being panic stricken, I crawled through the window as fast as I could.
     I'm at an obscure trailer park, at the end of Old Highway 99, towards Tenino[2]. There is a lightning storm ensuing; rain falls down in large droplets, in sheet-like waves. The smell of decay pervades the area. Everything seems to be constructed of decaying matter and is a jet-pocked brown color. I reach home. All is darkness within. Towards my old bedroom, there is a bookshelf that is filled with dark slabs of decaying meat (books). I calmly and arbitrarily take one from the bookshelf. Lightning flashes.
     The first thing I notice is the ochre color of the sky. There is a fine motionless dust suspended in the air, which got gradually thicker the closer one looks towards the earth. I'm at an intersection that is broken at regular five yard intervals. There was no median; instead, there were barricades that lined the center. All around me is desert sand and jagged stones. 
     Suddenly, police fleet sedans (unnumbered) rushed past with sirens blaring. They seemed to be able to jump over the breaks in the roads with ease. Shortly after this event, an old Cadillac Coup DeVille rushed by me, then suddenly veered to the side of the road and stopped there.
     From the vehicle, two identical figures emerged. They had heads like TV screens; animated scribbles existed where their countenances should have been. They rushed towards me with all haste and abandon. As self defense, I grabbed their faces: this made them disappear. For some reason, the feeling I was left with was one of deep violation—a part of me was irreversibly tainted.
[What follows is more like a sad epilogue.]
 Apparently, the two figures were originally one. A virus infected him which caused this tragic effect. Instead of reproducing through reverse transcription, this virus doubles itself by bifurcating the personality of the host. The host then divides like a bacteria--through binary fission.
This is what happened to me; this is the end of the world.
Sweet dreams."
—Personal Diaries ☉22°33' ♎, ☽5°8'♒ A° IV.༌.xviii

     This dream has at its core the feature of the shadow self, striving to differentiate itself from the conscious self. The tower houses all of my memories, including all of the procedures necessary to deal with each situation I have encountered throughout my life. The tower is not necessarily the belief system I tell others that I espouse, or weltanschauung in the ordinary sense of the word, but the subconscious makeup that is the result of my particular genetic makeup and unique experiences. The amorphous quality of the tower suggests my own uncertainty about the matter.
     The scene where I was within the tower represented my tendency towards self destruction in the face of adversity. Instead of traveling towards the heavens, I seemed to be compelled to move into the darkness of ignorance. The clamoring of the people in the fire escapes were nothing other than a reflection of my own mental dissonance I experience while I'm in the deep pits of anxiety and despair. The lurker in the dark was none other than an aspect of my shadow self.
     The scene where I was attempting to discover my possessions in Olympia represented my feelings of powerlessness. The boxes themselves contained the tools necessary to do my own will in the world, but these tools were sanctioned by forces that were out of my control and dangerous to me.
     The scene in the tailor park represented my recent existential revelation concerning my own mortality—that matter is private. 
     The scene at the crossroads is a repeat of the motif of heaven and earth, life and death. The authority figures in my life are impossibly swift, yet powerless to do anything about the troubles that really bear true weight and gravity in my world. The encounter with the virus was nothing other than an encounter with my shadow self.  It was a silent admission that my shadow self had grown to such power as to dwarf my own avatar (self image, or ego). 

The Hidden Marvel
     The beginning of the dream was something of a blur to me.  I do, however distinctly remember having dialogue with an aged man in a small, cosey library. There were clutters of old notes and nameless tomes upon his desk. For reasons I could not then discern, he told me of the location of a certain marble, then instructed me to obtain it. I was to travel to a crypt in a non-distinct location and and bring it back to him.
      The next thing I remember is that I was couching behind a large stone pillar. The aesthetic of the area was something I was familiar with; it reminded me of one of those ancient Nordic ruins that are so rifely dispersed about the world of Skyrim[3]. The superficial aspect of crawling through a labyrinthine crypt was where the similarities of the dream to Skyrim began and ended.
      I thought that the task ahead was going to be simple enough, but I found myself terror-stuck at the prospect of being discovered by the obviously insane man who was wandering about. He was speaking to himself, almost in an argumentative tone, with a high-pitched, elderly, male voice. I thought for sure this was a man who had traveled down the rock path to the Royal Wedding too hastily.
     The man casually walked out onto a ledge from the shadows. To my dismay, I found that the man was not a deranged mage, but a knightly figure in gleaming green plate armor. He didn't make any of the sounds that one would have found to be a signature of such a garb; he seemed to slink around as if were wearing nothing but a light tunic. It occurred to me then that he knew of my presence—he was creating the illusion of being an insane old mage to make me underestimate his strength. I knew also that I needed to deal with him.
     Thinking him unawares, I snuck from behind the shadows of the pillar so I could knock him out while his back was turned. The moment the light shone upon me, however, he turned and began to run towards me at a full sprint. Shocked, I ran deeper into the darkness of the crypt, hoping to find a place where I could hide and regather my wits and develop a new plan. The narrow corridors furnished no places for hiding and the man in gleaming armor came running in hot pursuit relentlessly.
     As I ran deeper into the darkness, the hall began to take on a more modern look. Portcullises began to look like modern jail cells; bas reliefs, like unremarkable brickwork. Finally, I reached a small closet full of books and cleaning supplies. The man was nowhere to be seen. I thought I had finally reached a hiding place. As I sat in the darkness, listening intently, I began to hear the footsteps of the man approaching.
     When the man found me in the closet, he no longer appeared as a knightly figure, but as a US SWAT[4] member. He zip-tied my hands behind my back and told me to stay in place. I felt that I was in no proper place to resist, so I stood and waited my summary judgement. while I was at it, though, I figured that I may as well poke fun at the dumb, buff bloke who arrested me. Taking the books in the closet for inspiration, I began to ask him about some of my favorite prose fiction authors, thinking for sure that he wouldn't know anything about them. 
     With a cavalier attitude, I walked over to the man and asked him, "Do you read much?" To which the man replied, "Indeed, what are you into?" Suddenly everything became blank, but I decided to push through the fog to the best of my ability and quiz him. "Yes, I have been reading" "Did you mean Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy?" the man replied to my dismay. He pushed further, "the night when Anna had the vision of the sanguineous cross in the light of the candle, I knew she was reaching her end, yet her demise still seemed untimely, and it was shocking and tragic in that way."   I decided to ask him about another. "," I scratched my head and pushed on, "Th M...a...Mnt." For some reason, he seemed to understand that I was referring to Thomas Mann.
      The next thing I remember is that the light came on behind a nearby two-way mirror. Behind the mirror was a group of strangers who were surrounding my whole family. They were all applauding me, as if I had just accomplished something momentous. The burly man uncuffed me and told me that I had passed the trials of my initiation. My heart sunk at the notion that I had been unwittingly initiated into a tradition I knew nothing about without my consent. It was this very thing that I hated about the modern American cultural egregore—people are constantly using coercive means to initiate you into their stupid clicks without your permission. How presumptuous and arrogant! With that thought, I awoke.

 —Personal Journals☉12°33' ♐, ☽11°47'♈ A° IV.༌.xiv
     The hidden marvel was nothing more than the climax of the dream, the truth at the end of the tunnel. The learned man at the beginning of the dream represented my aspiration to come to a more complete understanding of myself. Also, he represented my capacity for attaining to my own truth, or secret doctrine as it were.
     The cave was a reference to my conscious avatar's journey into the abstract realm of the unconscious. The symbolism of the cave is rife in a variety of traditions. In certain Peruvian rituals, the candidate is asked to find their favorite tree, with their imagination, and burrow beneath it. Reaching the end of the journey, the aspirant finds himself in the face of his own power animal. In the Golden Dawn tradition, we have the passage through the Duat, through which the Sektet boat enters the underworld and Osiris and his entourage do battle with the forces of Seth while the sun is in its hiding. In this case, the journey into the crypt represented my encounter with the shadow-self at the end. The death aspect of the crypt suggests that the whole matter was under the process of putrefaction and decay.
     I downplayed the fact that the crypt appeared as a Nordic ruin from the game Skyrim because it was an aberration. But that alone should be noted—I play entirely too many video games. 
     The man who was chasing me was none other than my shadow self. This man represents a rogue power within myself that I have not yet reconciled. He possesses all of the knowledge I posses, yet seems to have a clearer understanding and ability to articulate it than I do. Not only is this the case, but every time I encounter him, it seems that we are at odds with one another. The goal here aught to be to figure out who this figure is and learn to integrate this person back into my personality, so as to achieve a fuller picture of my potential.
     The initiation at the end of the dream is still a mystery to me. Perhaps the macabre motif of traversing through a winding crypt, only to realize that I have been unwittingly initiated into an unknown tradition, was an invitation to change the way I'm currently working with my mind. Perhaps this new beginning is the Hidden Marvel the learned man instructed me to discover.

      I'm reminded of Oedipus. Looking beyond the obvious issue of the incestuous relationship Oedipus had with his mother, we have a man I think we can all relate to. Oedipus, in Oedipus Rex, had vilanized the man who had killed his father—who wouldn't. In his rage, he began to blame Creon, his son, his daughters and everyone else around him. In the end, it was his own truth he reviled the most; his own truth which tore his family apart and drove Jocasta to suicide (Sophocles, Oedipus the King). 
     If we are to say that magick has psychological significance, and argue for the practice of magick on that basis, then we should proceed from the depths of our own minds. So many others have argued for the practice of magick on the basis of its psychological significance only to fall short of the mark of their own mind. I think it's great that many magicians are familiar with psychology, but what I'm interested in is how magick has actually changed your consciousness. The brain can hold several terabytes of information; if all you can rattle around in that great mind of yours is Qabalistic theory and Carl Jung quotes, then you are in a sad state indeed.
     In the wise words of Aleister Crowey, "My adepts stand upright; their head above the heavens, their feet below the hells"("Liber Tzaddi," HBOT). I'm not going to make any broad strokes about what all magicians aught do, but it seems that my psyche is giving me some very clear messages through the dreamscape. My conscious avatar needs to be integrated with the shadow self, so that my energies will be focused on achieving personal liberty, not from myself, but from those tyrannical forces that seek to subjugate me and marginalize my most potent traits.
     The method of my work will begin by re-examining the relationship of the spirit to the elementary realms. Doing meditations such as traveling the 32nd path from Self Initiation Into the Golden Dawn Tradition, or A Garden of Pomegranates would be a good start. Practicing lunar rituals may give me some more insight into this shadows-self. The hieroglyph of the Great Beast has been something of a fascinating curio to me. Understanding the significance of the sun and the moon conjoined is a worthy endeavor.
     At any rate, know that my magick proceeds from my own consciousness—yours should too. In future posts, I'll reveal more about how actual rituals have related to my psyche as well as tell you how I've progressed along the lines of the above, so much as discretion will allow. 

End Notes:
1. Olympia, WA
2. Tenino, WA
3. Skyrim: I looked around and couldn't find many players that work similarly in style as I do, but I did   find this video, which is as close an approximation as I could find. 
4. SWAT: Special Weapons and Tactics police officers used for dealing with high profile criminals and peaceful protesters.
Works Cited:
James, William. Writings 1902-1920 Varieties of Religious Experience. The Library of America: New York, 1987. Print.
Crowley, Aleister. The Holy Books of Thelema Liber Tzaddi Vel Hammus Hermeticus Sub Figura XC.Samuel Weiser: York Beach Maine, 1988. Print.
Sophocles Three Theban Plays Oedipus the King. Trans. Robert Fagles. Penguin Group: Hudson Street, New York, 1984. Print.