Saturday, September 27, 2014

Mantram and Visualization - Open Sourcery #5



If you have been following along from the beginning, you should now know how to become aware of your body, relax your body, breath rhythmically, and focus your attention on your thoughts. Ideally you are doing this for 15 - 30 minutes twice a day, if not don't sweat it just keep at it. These are the exercises that will help your practice to be successful regardless of your path.Now I will introduce the next stage, Mantram. Mantram is beneficial on many levels, it helps develop concentration, lowers stress, and transform consciousness. For these reasons alone mantram would be recommended, but my reason has to do specifically with training your mind for the task of spell work. Many spells work on the principle of Raising Power, this is usually accomplished through repetition of key phrases. I will discuss this in greater detail, but first let me explain how to do mantram.

Once you have relaxed your body and mind, and are breathing in rhythm, recite a simple phrase over and over again, either audibly or silently. Try both techniques as they yield different results. It's really that simple to initiate, but takes a while to master. I recommend using a timer, mala beads, or a Witch's Ladder to aid in your recitation exercises. As for the mantram itself, there are many out there, and many people use something from the eastern traditions or if you are inclined towards Hoodoo christian prayers may work for you. Personally, I make up my own mantras and then use Google Translate to translate them into German or Cyrmu, my primary ancestral tongues. My primary mantra is "ich bin im Frieden mit allem was" which is rough German for "I am at peace with all that is." Try to find something that resonates with you and syncs rhythmically with your breath work.



Visualization is absolutely one of the most fun Mind Expansion Techniques of which I know. The limits are only defined by your imagination. Let me take a moment to discuss imagination. In our modern, scientifically materialistic world is has become vogue to dismiss thoughts and dreams as "mere" imagination. In fact one could argue that there is an ongoing war against creativity and beauty that could be referred to as the Genocide of the Imagination. Despite this,scientists quite often use visualization techniques and dreams to help them figure out complex problems. Imagination is where ideas are born, and without ideas there is no advancement. If no imagined that the Earth was round our history would be very different, and if no one had dared to dream of long distance communication devices, you would not be reading this now. Never let anyone dismiss your ideas as just imagination.Ideas hold power.

Okay, enough of the diatribe, time for nuts and bolts. The who, what, where, when, and why of visualization. There are as many ways to visualize as there are people teaching visualization. The method I first learned is very similar to the "Eating a Lemon" exercise described here:

Eating a Lemon Visualization Exercise:

Imagine you are in a kitchen somewhere.
On a bench is a basket of lemons. You reach out and select a ripe yellow lemon. You feel the weight of the lemon in your hand..., you slide your fingers over the smooth waxy skin... feel the dimpled Eating a lemon exercisetexture... You lift the lemon to your face and breathe in that lemony smell... and then you slice the lemon open. As the bright yellow flesh is exposed you see the juice run out... a lovely lemony citrus aroma fills the room. You cut a slice and put it in your mouth. You bite down on it .... the juice runs over your tongue... your mouth fills with the taste of lemon juice...
For more of these exercises go this website for Visualization Techniques. You can also try the techniques described at MindExpansionTechniques. Since I have mentioned the use of visualization in spell work and I do not currently feel like devoting my time to writing on this subject yet, let me direct to others that have; the Beautiful, the Practical, and the Technical. Once again I cannot stress enough the importance of these exercises, add them to your above exercises at least twice a week. Spell work will come later, for now, concentrate on the visualization only.

Recommended Readings

The time has come dear padwan for studies of an intellectual nature. I highly and strongly suggest that the serious student of the occult and magic study the following books, they will give you an understanding of the Magical World Perspective. The list in no particular order;
  1. Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft by Raymond Buckland
  2. Magick in Theory and Practice by Aleister Crowley
  3. A Witches Bible: The Complete Witch's Handbook by Janet and Stewart Farrar
  4. Real Magic by Isaac Bonewits
  5. The Red Book by Sera J. Beaks
  6. Quantum Psychology by Robert Anton Wilson
  7. The Magician's Companion by Bill Whitcomb
That should be enough to get you started, there will be test next month. Seriously though, read and practice, read and practice and then read some more. A quick study of Library Sciences might prove to be helpful. Test the theories, do the exercises, write it all down and then share what works and what doesn't. This is the beginning, welcome aboard.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Letting Go

Most of the people I know have had to let go of something dear to them this year. Deaths, divorces, and downsizing, whether by choice, illness or just time, have claimed much happiness and left a void in their wake. It is against this backdrop that I have decided to let go, more. Time is precious and the pursuit of stuff is a poor way to spend it, I want more LIFE and less stuff.

This not just a reaction to the losses I and many others have experienced , but rather an exploration of loss and surrender. For one to surrender to the forces around them and give up control is the essence of sacrifice as initiation. The Fool, and The Hanged Man; a leap of faith, a willing sacrifice, an initiation into a different state of being. Notice that I did not say "higher" state of being, such things are greatly overrated, enlightenment is not what most Americans think enlightenment is. I am looking to change my relationship to loss, suffering, and material possession, to reawaken my knowledge of the transitory, numinous nature of existence.

In my last post I made reference to Rhyd Wildermuth's post on Alchemical Capitalism, that article and this post by John Beckett, about the Commodification of Humanity, started mental workings. Then I read Decolonizing Ourselves So We Can Help Others, and remembered Paper Mage which I also recommended in my last post,and enter an Air of Inspiration from the East. Harvest and sacrifice are the same thing. Without sacrifice there is no harvest, and without a harvest there is no sacrifice. That being said, keep in mind that the harvest will never be what you expect. Taking my raw material to the cauldron of inspiration and applying flame something distinct begins to distill.

A small amount of passion goes a long way, and from that initial idea a plan has coalesced, it is time to Let Go. I will be releasing my hold on several material items from now until the Feast of the Ancestors, October 31st. This is sacrifice, ritual, reverence, and initiation all rolled into one. I am seeking to change my relationship to stuff, to embrace Immediacy, to see impermanence as it is; more stuff. So I will be giving away, sticks, stones, roots, bones, shells and feathers. A few books, and perhaps some hand drawn art here and there, will also find Their  way into the mix. I need to lighten my load for the next phase of my work. Water flows in and water flows out, stuff is the same, I'm not wholesale against it, I just need let it flow down the stream again.

Now the fun, interactive part; a veritable Carnival of Delights. Are you brave enough to accept gifts? Dare you receive something for nothing? Is not, Receiver of Generosity, one of your holy names? Can you surrender and accept what fate deals? Did you say yes to one or more of these questions? Then I have a proposition for you. If you said yes to all these questions, seek therapy, just kidding, go take a hike, you deserve a break. Now if you are willing, Friend me on facebook, or just send me a PM with your address and the note "I'm in." Or leave me a comment here. I will contact you with three questions, and then mail you a package based on your answers. Don't worry nothing ominous, just simple things, such as, animal, vegetable, mineral, or fungal. That sort of thing. I just love that Fungi is its own kingdom, now.

Awaiting your responses and then into the realm of Earth, where I manifest that which I have called forth. Letting go is the only way to appreciate what you have. LOVE.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Earthly Wisdom, Harvest Craft, and the Thinning Veils

Hawk and Harvest Moon, 2013, photographer unknown

The earth is speaking, more precisely those in the earth are speaking. The voices of the dead are louder this year, this the Year of the Ghosts. I believe Gordon White over at Rune Soup called it first, but after so many deaths, and the possible "Super-Caliphate" echoing anschluss in the Middle East, it is hard to feel that it is anything other. So in the spirit of the Year of the Ghosts I present the following set of links to articles that have caught my eye and I want to share. On with  the Masquerade.

Earthly Wisdom

There seems to me to be a similar ethos emerging from different Quadrants, an Anarcho-Pagan perspective, that favors results and wisdom to claims of grandeur and possession of stuff. An erudite commentary upon the crumbling of the facade of the current system of consummation to the point of attrition. The wolves are howling dear ones, answer their call.

Cracks in the Kingdom, Gordon White at Rune Soup, discusses the pros and cons of political deconstruction as a path toward global mentality and vitality.

Rhyd Wildermuth over at PAGANARCH, makes some compelling arguments about the greatest enchantment of all, Money.

Finally I want you follow a path with me, Go to Ultraculture Journal by Jason Louv over at Amazon, click on "Look Inside" and read EDITORIAL:MONKSHADELICA, it is the intro and it says everything you need to know.
Fall Harvest, photographer unknown

Harvest Craft

As the harvest time presents us the image of removing the chaff from the grain, so too we begin to pare down and shore for the coming season. Living where it does not snow, my preparations are not as intense as my ancestors, but I still feel the pull of the seasonal tide. Time to mow, to clear the hedgerows and define the boundaries between what is necessary and what is just "stuff".

Harold Roth, proprietor of Alchemy Works, writes in his blog about getting down and dirty with Matters of a Saturnine Nature.

Pagan Murmur has this piece about being Minimalist, as a Postmodern Pinoy Pagan perspective this blog gives me insights few others could. We are all over the world and experimenting with all sorts of things, Be Aware.

Downstrodden has this great piece on making a Besom, a perfect Harvest Season craft that you may use all year.

Thinning Veils

Here we are back where we started with the dead. Ghosts are essentially Imprints, recordings in the substrata, heavy emotional markers. This is why often when there is a violent or tragic death, the area will become haunted. Our whole planet is a graveyard and we live upon our ancestors bones, whether they are Germanic, Native American, Australian Aboriginals, Neanderthals, or Sabre Toothed Salmon.

Again an article by Rhyd Wildermuth about the dead and Where They May Be Found.

Santa Madre te bendiga nuestros caminos,
y guiarnos a través de la tribulación.
Gran poder oculto nos enseña las maneras,
nos guíe cada día, y nos protegen de cualquier daño.
Bendiciones a usted en la Temporada de los Muertos , Santísima Muerte .
"Harvest Moon Ball" by Terry Redlin

Sunday, September 7, 2014

High Mowing Ritual

The grass is high, about waist deep, the goldenrod is higher, and the ragweed tops out at 12 -15 feet. Time to mow. This is a ritual that must be done right, there are herbal allies to consult, post mowing libations to procure and chill. So I talk to Joe about the bean and then I eat a muffin with Mary Jane. Fully immersed in the world of the herb, das Krautwelt, if you will, I face the south and thank Fire for not ravaging my land, and offer to stand in his stead as the Harvester. I will also be Woodsman as I clear the understory from the wooded parts of my land and as Hunter I will try to create spaces for certain fowl and small game to be taken more easily. Finally the mowing begins in earnest, a dizzying array of light, sound, heat, and humidity, one is never at the finish as one was at the beginning. Plant resins fill the air and are inhaled by the Harvester. Small vines with thorns tear at the flesh of the Woodsman, releasing their resins, some poisonous into his bloodstream. By now the Hunter has begun to fully assimilate with the Land. He sees the contours, places where small pools of water will gather after the rains, protected spots in the grass where one could easily disappear into the wood, watches as Hawk uses this to his advantage. With resins of plants coursing through his veins and affecting his brain, this man, this being who has transformed himself into a stand in for fire, takes on the role and responsibility as Land husband, the Bodenehemann. In this role he must protect the homestead, and the wild, create a buffer space for them both to adjust to one another. It is this in between role that I love so much, neither fully wild nor fully domesticated, but able transverse both realms, this is where I truly thrive. The end of the day leaves tired, bruised, torn, and triumphant and exhilarated. This is my condition as I enter the family home, Friedengut, and am greeted by the elixir of the gods. A cold frosty fermented brew of grains, seeds, herbs, and resins, that with some help from yeast render a concoction that is the essence of the mown land itself. I shower and retire to hearth for the evening.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Stonehenge Sabre Toothed Salmon Spectacle Trigger Spell

As the Man burned I opened the roads and sabre toothed salmon swam through my dreams. Stonehenge was a festival site, just like Black Rock City and Glastonbury. Rewilding my soulscape has lead me to declare a Savage Sorcery, that is both open and inaccessible. The Voice in the Brambles echoes the ethos of gifting and permissions. Grover has become part of my tribe and refutation of the state as natural is invading the Neocons. Fatbergs are blocking up Cloaca Maxima, yes even this Goddess is affected by our modern diet of fat and cholesterol. My tastes have turned Dionysian and planetary.Of course the fabled Dark Lord himself would slake my thirst.

Strange thoughts swirl through my head like four tusked elephants, and the first echoes of ancestors are calling to me. I awake and awake, never remembering sleep. Like a groundhog's day of buddhahood. I long for true rest and want Half Earth now. The God of Harmony and the God of Disruption always arrive together. All forms become inverted and my brain explodes with creativity too fast to capture. Media devices help me to record some of it , but most is irrevocably lost.

The Thing in the Desert is over now,but its effects will be felt for a very long time. Every year I am renewed as the Man burns and fall into the dust. like so many pilgrims to and from Stonehenge so the Exodus has begun. I will return someday and probably proceed to the Great Pacific Northwest. There I will lie down and dream again of sabre toothed salmon.