How to reflect and why it is fun!

“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law” – AL 1:40

Cari Fratres, Carae Sorores,

Introduction

Reflection is a tool. In magick there are many moments that you can reflect on actions you did during a specific period. Reflection is an instrument, that is not difficult to implement.  In this article I explain how you can use a reflection model (that is designed by Korthagen), and how it can support your practices that you perform as a student in the A.’.A.’.

Obstacles

On the path you can meet many different kinds of obstacles, like your behavior, the lack of skills, insecurities or believes you have. In some cases, however, more fundamental issues can appear that influences your practical functioning. For example, the way you look at the world changes, or you do what is expected of you in the grade you are, and yet do not feel truly involved on a deeper level or have the feeling you lose your connection with your magickal work. Your believes changes, it is not uncommon, for students that had a Christian up bring, to feel conflicted for example, when they accept the Law of Thelema. That kind shifts in behavior, emotions or thoughts, can be red-flags, and may need deeper investigation. The tendency you might have, when these so called red-flags appear, is to run away from the issue. Instead of ignoring these uprisings, I want to present a key that can help you to have a better understanding on what is going on.

Core reflection

To focus on reflection, better to say core reflection, this can enhance intuition or spiritual growth. Instead of having just an inner dialog with yourself, or getting into a tantrum, or only write in your diary that you feel off and be done with it.  You are going to examine the problem, in the form of a proper core reflection (Korthagen, 2005), that brings you closer to deeper routed aspects of yourself.

Getting to know your ‘spiritual’ self

In many grades within the A.’.A.’. system, there are quite some hints about getting to know your ‘spiritual’ self. In the task of the Probationer it is mentioned that the Probationer needs go through Scientific Illumination (Eshelman, 2000), the Neophyte needs to pass the four powers of the Sphinx, she/he also has to apply the understanding of the nature of her/his initiation (Eshelman, 2000) . In the grade of the Zelator (Eshelman, 2000), one must show acquaintance with the mediations mentioned in Liber HHH[1]. For all of these kinds of tasks it is good to be able to look back on what you as a student have done. That is the reason, why it is important to have some basic knowledge on how to reflect.

What is core reflection?

It is developed by Korthagen, its main purpose is to give educators a tool to reflect on the work they are doing and its effect it can have on a class of students. The good news is that you can use it for growing and improving your magickal work. The benefit is huge when you reflect on a regular basis.

Explaining the model

The model contains 5 steps, in each step is part of the framework, each step contains a couple of questions. These questions are there to help you to write your reflection, they do not need to be answered one by one.

Figure 1 reflection model by Korthagen

Phase 1: Describe the experience/situation you wish to reflect upon. This means looking back at the situation.

  • What was the actual situation?
  • What did I have to do in this situation?
  • What action did I actually take?
  • What was the outcome of this action?

Phase 2: Looking back: What exactly happened? In this face you will go deeper into your own feelings and your actions.

  • What did I see?
  • What did I do?
  • What did I think?
  • What did I feel?

Phase 3: Awareness of essential aspects. This means you are going to make sense of the situation. You bring it back to the newness.

  • What does that mean to me now?
  • What is the problem (or the positive discovery)?
  • What has all that caused? What does it involve?

Phase 4: Alternative methods. This part of the reflection can bring out your creativity.

  • What alternative methods do I see (solutions or ways of making use of what I have discovered)?
  • What are their advantages and disadvantages?
  • What will I remember for next time?

Phase 5: Trial/action. Here you take action into your own hands, what do want to do next? Here you can make new goals, write ideas on what you want to change and how you are going to implement it in your daily work.

  • What do I want to achieve?
  • What should I watch out for?
  • What do I want to try out?

Love is the law, love under will.

Soror QSUM

Source

Eshelman, J. A. (2000). The mystical & Magickal system of the A.’.A.’. In J. A. Eshelman, The mystical & Magickal system of the A.’.A.’. Los Angeles, CA: The college of Thelema.

Korthagen, F. (2005, Feb). korthagen.nl. Retrieved from https://korthagen.nl/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Levels-in-reflection.pdf


[1] Liber HHH sub figura CCCXLI, a text about guided meditation, you could say it is a preparation for contacting inner life, inspired on Liber Lapidis Lazuli. VII.3.

A letter to a Student, on how to set goals

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

Care,

Thank you for your e-mail. To make a good schedule and proper goals for the next two months, you need to make a real effort. If you want to succeed, you need to set goals. Without goals you will lack focus and direction. To accomplish your goals, however, you need to know how to set them. You can’t simply say, “I want” and expect it to happen. Goal setting is a process that starts with careful consideration of what you want to achieve, and ends with a lot of hard work to actually do it. In between, there are some very well-defined steps that transcend the specifics of each goal. Knowing these steps will allow you to formulate goals that you can accomplish. Goals give you energy and inspiration.

No gaps in your practice is not a goal, it is not something that brings you anywhere. A goal can be about an experiment you want to do. Or the material you want to study. It can be about how you are going to make your diary better. When you make a good schedule for yourself, you learn how to do your work more efficient.

I give you an example of what I did, when I started my Practicus grade a long time ago. I wanted to understand where on the tree of life the Practicus grade was located and what its influences where on that same tree. Here you find a copy of my notes, I didn’t include the whole schedule just a part to give you an idea. This is only an example. I wrote a summery on the paths, but I studied them in dept.

HOD: Splendor 
TarotThe four eights
AtributionsReason, the individual mind System: Magic and Science
Contact point by the MastersHOD is a primary point, a point of conceptual transfer. Here the Masters first contact their chosen disciplines. The student gets his/her formal tools of the Hermetic path.
PlanetMercury
SymbolsApron; symbol of the builder Versicles (verse or song of worship)
Note’s on HODHOD, the reflection of Chesed, the sephirah of Form. Netzach and HOD, represent the Force and Form aspects of astral consciousness respectively. D.Fortune writes in her book MQ, Venus within us puts us in touch with the is part of Netzach, it is the magickal capacity of our own mind that puts us in touch with the forces of HOD. No Venus, no initiation in Netzach. No magickal capability no intellectual imagination, the sphere of HOD will stay closed to us. I think personally that this is a very important part of the Magician. The influence of Netzach is also part of HOD, to understand the magickal language you need HOD and Netzach in balance. Otherwise you are not able to go through the veil of Paroket.
Notes on the pathsThe 27th path Hod – Netzach. Peh = mouth Mars Active or exciting intelligence and it is so called because through it every existent being receives its spirit and motivation. Tarot trump = The Tower XVI Building one’s foundations on true and true faith. Tale of the Chymical wedding. The sevenfold alchemical process, is a process of higher initiation.   The 26th path Hod – Tiphareth The path of Ayin, Eye. Card The Devil XV A test on the way of Wisdom. It is the symbolic veil for the greatest practical secret of occultism. It both conceals and reveals the secret of the powers ascribed by tradition to Moses, David and Solomon. The Devil is raw power.   The 23rd path Hod – Geburah……….  
My schedule

This is only an example to help you on your way. You have to find your way in doing it. Write down a couple of rituals is not enough. If you want to grow you need to commit otherwise you will never be able to make it to the next step.

Why do you want to do these rituals? How are you going to incorporate them into your daily practice? What kind of meditation are you going to do? Below is a schedule to help you make your own goals and activities you want to do the next coming two months.

Love is the law, love under will.

Soror QSUM

A brief idea for a schedule

Goal. Make your goal SMART. Specific.Measurable.Attainable.Relevant.Time Bound.
Set Specific Goals
Your goal must be clear and well defined. Make it as easy as you can to get where you want to go by defining precisely where you want to end up.  
Set Measurable Goals
Include precise amounts, dates, and so on in your goals so you can measure your degree of success.  
Set Attainable Goals
Make sure that it’s possible to achieve the goals you set. If you set a goal that you have no hope of achieving, you will only demoralize yourself and erode your confidence.  
Set Relevant Goals
Goals should be relevant to the direction you want your probationer time to go for the next two months.  
Time
Make them time bound, set a time on each of your goals.    
SMART GOALS will bring you to the next step!
Study
The books you are going to study, how much time you want to spend on study.http://www.astrumargenteum.org/en/library/probationer-syllabus/
Why are they relevant?
How are they incorporated in your goals?
Practices
This should be in line with your goals
Why do you want to do these rituals?
How are you going to incorporate them into your daily practice?
What kind of meditation are you going to do?    
Experiments
What kind of experiments are you going to do?
Why is this relevant?
Check Liber O and E for ideas.How are they incorporated in your goals?
Make your time relevant, so you can do as much as possible in a short time.

Creating a Magickal environment

For all of you that are in quarantine and want to get some practice done.

A cabin in the woods

Most of us think, when they hear that sentence, ‘creating a Magickal environment’ that it means, you have to have at least a cabin some where in the woods, no people, being all alone. Of course, on one hand it would be uber cool to have one, on the other hand, you do not really need a cabin in the wood. Aleister Crowley proved this in John St. John, where he undertook a huge working to obtain the 6 -5 in Paris. Even in his time it was a busy city, with lots of distractions.

Some idea’s

To be able to create a magickal environment you have to work with what you have. Clean your house first for example, get rid of clutter. Or clean a part of your room that you want use as your magickal space. Not all of us have the luxury of a temple space in our house.

pink flowers in macro shot
Buy some pretty flowers

Buy some fresh flowers, get some candles and create a nice altar with it.

If you are not able to buy yourself a wand or other stuff, see what is in and around your house. Maybe there is a branch from a tree you like, use that as your want. Maybe there is some nice glass that is hidden in one of your cupboards you usually have more then you can imagine.

When you have set this up, you actually have made the fist step to create that environment.

What to do next?

Make some goals for yourself, what is that you want to learn the next coming month. Make a schedule or use an app for that and then start the journey. Do your study and practice in front of your little altar every day. This part of your home will remind you everyday of the work you are doing. So, in other words, you do not have to travel far, or making it yourself difficult. Use what you have and stick with it. Play with, enjoy it and be happy with what you have and have created for yourself.

 

A brief note on tuition

Cari Fratres, Carae Sorores,
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Some of you might consider to become a Probationer or Student in our Noble order the AA. To be able to understand what we do I give you some background about the way we see tuition. I want to present you a couple of important instructions as they have been given in Equinox volume 1 number 5.

A Probationer is technically without the Order. You are pretty much on your own during this time. In Equinox Volume 1 #5, you can read the following and I quote: Probationers are reminded that the object of Probations and Ordeals is one: namely, to select Adepts. But the method appears twofold: (i) to fortify the fit; (ii) to eliminate the unfit.

background blur bokeh bright
The ordeals can come in many forms

It is not so strange that this is such a hard selection process. If you look at the Book of the Law, there are many quotes that hint in that direction. I give you a few: Mind you these are mine interpretations, in my view they can give you an idea why our Noble order is not all rainbows and unicorns.

27. There is great danger in me; for who doth not understand these runes shall make a great miss. He shall fall down into the pit called Because, and there he shall perish with the dogs of Reason.

28. Now a curse upon Because and his kin!

29. May Because be accursed for ever!

30. If Will stops and cries Why, invoking Because, then Will stops & does nought.

31. If Power asks why, then is Power weakness.

32. Also reason is a lie; for there is a factor infinite & unknown; & all their words are skew-wise.

33. Enough of Because! Be he damned for a dog!

And in part 3 there are also other hints that you can keep in mind what it is to become a Thelemite.

57. Despise also all cowards; professional soldiers who dare not fight, but play; all fools despise!

Even though it is said that the Law is for all, not all will make it as a Neophyte, there can be many reasons for people not to make it to the next step. Not be able to keep up, get into a rebellious mood. If you stick to the work and have the mind and soul of a soldier then nothing will stand in your way to make progression to the next step. I do not know one lazy ballerina dancer, nor other top professionals in other crafts what ever you do in life you have to study for it and practice it day in day out.

What do we look for in a Probationer?
First of all we look at the tasks a Probationer is given at the beginning of his/her journey. That is always the starting point of the tuition that a Probationer is given.
And we also look at it from a Thelemic point of view as it is also written in that Equinox 1, volume 5 and I quote again:

I have been asked by Authority to say a few words on the relations which should subsist between a Neophyte and his Probationers. Though a Neophyte is obliged to show zeal in service towards his probationers, it is no part of his duty to be continually beating the tattoo. He has his own work to do very serious and important work and he cannot be expected to spend all his time in making silk purses out of pigs ears. He is not expected to set definite tasks, nor has he the authority to do so.

The Probationer is purposely left to himself, as the object of probation is principally that those in authority may discover the nature of the raw material. It is the duty of the Probationer to perform the exercises recommended in his text-books, and to submit the record of his results for criticism. If he finds himself in a difficultly, or if any unforseen result occurs, he should communicate with his Neophyte, and he should remember that although he is permitted to select the practices which appeal to him, he is expected to show considerable acquaintance with all of them.

More than acquaintance, it should be experience; otherwise what is he to do when as a Neophyte he is consulted by his probationers? It is important that he should be armed at all points, and I am authorized to say that no one will be admitted as a Neophyte unless his year work gives evidence of considerable attainment in the fundamental practices, Asana, Pranayama, assumption of God-forms, vibration of divine names, rituals of banishing and invoking, and the practices set out in sections 5 and 6 of Liber O.

Although he is not examined in any of these, the elementary experience is necessary in order that he may intelligently assist those who will be under him.
But let no one imagine that those in authority will urge probationers to work hard. Those who are incapable of hard work may indeed be pushed along, but the moment that the pressure is removed they will fall back, and it is not the purpose of the A∴ A∴ to do anything else than to make its students independent and free. Full instruction has been placed within the reach of everybody; let them see to it that they make full use of the instruction.

man person relaxation steps
Being lazy can be fun at times but it doesn’t bring you where you want to be.

So yes, we give sometimes extra instructions, but remember those are always in tune with the AA, we are always very careful what we ask of a Probationer as it have to be in in line with the noble order itself. Wat we look for is the raw material. That is why we do not work with instruction books, you are your own Thelemite and it is ask of you to make your way though the material as you see fit or the feedback we give you when you hand in your diary or other material. Ask yourself: What is it that you bring to the order? What are your goals? Why do want to do the work?

Remember it is called Probationer, and this is a period of time where a candidate can proof he/she is worthy. It is up to you and nobody else if you succeed!

Love is the law, love under will.

Inspired by the book the Trigrams Part One

Introduction

Last night I read Liber Trigrammaton aloud to my husband, and it touched me right into my heart. I remember I have read it many years ago but then it didn’t leave such an impression at all. One of the task as a Practicus is learning this book by heart and recite this. Even though it might not been such a hard task as it is only 4 pages of text. For me it is more than that I want to grasp the inner meaning of the text.

A brief translation of the first four sentences

Here is nothing under its three forms. It is not, yet informeth all things.

Hier is niets onder de drie vormen. Het is niet, toch inspireert/bezield het alles.

Now cometh the glory of the Single One, As an imperfection and stain.

Nu komt (arriveert) de glorie van de Oprechte Ene, Als een onvolmaakte en schandvlek.

But by the Weak one the Mother was it equilibrated.

Maar bij de zwake ene, de Moeder was evenwichtig.

Also the purity was divided by Strength, the force of the Demiurge.

Bovendien was de zuiverheid gescheiden bij Kracht, de macht van de wereldleider.

 

Thoughts

For example the word informeth can simple mean to inform but when I read the text last night, it enflamed me. So instead I used the Dutch word inspireert/ bezield, those words mean inspire and there is no English word for bezielen. It comes back as inspire but bezielen means much more than that. Bezielen feels as enflame yourself in prayer. What happens when you preform a ritual the right way. It lifts you up.

The word Demiurge has a lot of different meanings. In the Platonic world it is an artisan-like figure. The one that build worlds, the dictionary says world leader. So I used that word. Some it is just based on feeling in order to have better grasp as what the text means in my opinion.

On Asana, Pranayama, Dharana and where does the meditation start?

Introduction

Many of us struggle with the instructions in Part 1: Mysticism. If you have done them for many years they are very easy to understand but if you are at the beginning of the path they are rather difficult to read.

 

Asana

Asana means posture. The best thing a student can do is find a posture that is comfortable enough to learn to sit in. When I first learned to meditatie my teacher didn’t call it meditation, he called it sitting.

balance beach boulder close up
Sit at ease.

And that is exactly what it is. To learn to calm the body by sitting on a cushion your muscles not to rigid and not allowing them to slack as well.

When you enter that in-between state, your body is relaxed and yet alert.  It can take months to develop this stage, just be patient.

 

Posture

There are many books written on all kinds of postures. A.Crowley gives suggestions for positions in Liber E, but if you want to keep things simple use the cross legged position or just sit on a chair. There are a few things to keep in mind when you want to sit in the cross legged position or sit on a chair.

  1. Sitting on a chair with back straight and the feet on the ground. Hands on the knees palms down. Your back has a natural curve so you want to keep it. Or sit cross legged on your cushion, keep the natural curve of your back.
  2. To avoid a rupture or hernia, it is very important to watch the abdomen around the navel. You have to pull them slightly in. If your abdomen are very weak, I suggest you train them to make them stronger. In the beginning this feels very unpleasant but when you start Pranayama, you really need your strength because when doing Pranayama there will be excessive tension on your abdomen.
  3. Begin with breathing in through the nose and slowly breathing out through the mouth. Do this for 3 times. Just be aware that you breathe in and out. You can have your eyes open or close. When you want to do it with your eyes open, gaze down on the floor and keep your head in a 45-degree angle. When you feel you get into that in-between stage, breath only in and out through your mouth. This gives the brain less oxygen and helps you to calm it down.

So now you have an idea how to start your practice in sitting. The first stage in learning to meditate.

Pranayama

Pranayama comes from a Sanskrit word and can be translated as “extension of the prāṇa (breath or life force)” or “breath control.” With this technique you have to be very careful. Make sure you are very comfortable in your chosen posture and that your abdomen are strong. You do not need to be ripped or anything but you have to be able to pull your belly slightly in to avoid to much pressure. In the beginning this feels very unpleasant but you need to be aware of it. Practice this first before you continue.

There are many different Pranayama techniques. Find the one that works for you. You have single nostril breath, Four-Fold breath etc. There are many websites or clips on youtube to give you an idea where and how to start.

The Four-Fold breath is a good practice for the beginner, it helps to bring focus, makes you more calm and helps you to ground.

When you feel If any discomfort or lightheadedness, stop immediately and return to normal breathing. Never force or restrict your breath. Don’t compromise the quality of the breath. Check with your doc when you suffer from high blood pressure if you are able to use Pranayama. Just be patience.

Dharana

This is very wonderful practice to tame our monkey mind. The monkey mind is the mind that jumps up and down and is racing around in circles. Specially after a long stress full day at work, the mind is almost in toddler tantrum state. Dharana means focus on a single point, in other words gaze upon an object and take it.

close up of fruits hanging on tree
Focus on an object, a statue, an object you found on your hicks in nature. It is all up to you!

Do not stare obsessively, just be gentle and let your eyes take in the object, and understand that it will support your practice. The goal is to ease your monkey mind. Of course you can take this technique much further. As it is written in A.Crowley’s work Mysticism but by learning to use it and integrate this into your meditation, it will help you to be come more detached and less judgmental towards your own mind, towards occurrences in your daily life and also towards other people. It will help you to become more neutral and less carried away with events that happen at work, when in traffic or in the supermarket.

When or where does the meditation starts?

The different points I mentioned in my article are all part of the same practice. When you are able to sit comfortable and at ease, not only your body will relax but also your mind will settle. It is the same when you stamp into a puddle, the dirt comes up and the water gets murky, when you wait the dirty sinks to the bottom of the puddle and the water gets clear. When this happens to your body and mind, you will experience the first glimpses of meditation.

ancient archaeology architecture art
You can meditate anywhere, on the beach, subway on a bench in the park.

That is the reason why you use techniques as Pranayama or Dharana. It helps you to get into that meditative state of mind. To be able to learn those techniques proper, you can isolate these techniques first so you get a better grasp, then you integrate them back into your practice.

What I do is when I feel that my mind starts to wonder, I start with Dharana, I let my eyes gaze upon an object that I have in my temple, when I still feel my mind is a monkey I do some Pranayama. It depends on how my mind behaves and I tune in on what the mind needs at that moment.

Well I hope that is helps you to go and experiment with your first steps in meditation!

How to keep a Magickal diary.

Introduction

This document contains instructions on how you can improve your own magickal diary. It came to our attention that a lot of students struggle with ‘how to keep a diary’. A diary is so much more than keeping a log with only dates and your practice. A diary is the heart and soul of your work. It is one of the most important magickal tools you own as a student on the path. The value of a magickal diary lies in the fact that in time it becomes your magickal memory. And that is where its value lies. If you want to get a better understanding of your mind, your spirit or your true self, you have to dig deeper and deeper to understand the obstacles that keep you away from the actual work. We all have our hidden obstacles and when they come to surface we as students have to be ready to deal with it.

unbloomed white flower bud placed on opened book
A diary in the form of a booklet

Old habits

On our magickal journey most of us will come across old habits, some will be very obvious others will be more hidden, the saying ‘old habits die hard’ is not for nothing. As we progress on the path the ‘bad’ habits can become subtler and not always easy to spot. This is where the diary comes in. The moment you feel stuck or have thoughts that you do not really understand, you can give yourself a moment to contemplate and ask yourself where does it come from? Or what can I do about this? If you want to write a proper reflection you can use your diary and check for patterns. This can help you with your progress and this is also one of the reasons why you hand in your dairy, it is not only a check if you did the work but also monitoring your behavior. In his essay, The preliminary lection, A. Crowley refers how man comes to learn the unknow Crown:

“Though none can communicate either the knowledge or the power to achieve this, which we may call the Great Work, it is yet possible for initiates to guide others. Every man must overcome his obstacles, expose his own illusions. Yet others may assist him to do both, and they may enable him altogether to avoid many of the false paths, leading no whither, which tempt the weary feet of uninitiated pilgrim”. (Crowley, 1988)

If a student is not properly tested, how can someone call him- or herself a Master? The Magickal Diary is the cornerstone of the building of the Pyramid. All progress is documented in this diary, it gives for that matter proof of the work you as a student, or Probationer have been done. To be able to progress to the Neophyte grade, that has been defined as, “to obtain control of the nature and powers of my own being,” in the grade of the Probationer the task was to obtain knowledge of the nature and powers of one’s own being. You see that in the Grade of Probationer it is important to prepare yourself, because in the next grade you set foot on the first sephirot Malkuth of the tree of life. The best way to prepare yourself for all the next steps is to be able to keep a proper diary.

white concrete structure
Old habits die hard!

I, myself have two diaries, my digital day to day one on my laptop that I store on a cloud and a blanc notebook that I take with me on my travels, because there are times that I just like to be off the grid so to speak and be more in touch with nature. One summer, I remember it was a rainy afternoon, I started to reread some things from years back. I came across a dream, that I forgot I had, reading it again brought a couple of personal things in to a broader perspective. It gave me so much inside on where I was on the path that day.

Guidance

One of the tasks of the Neophyte grade is to guide others in our noble order. Not an easy task if you ask me. To be able to guide others you need to have some skill in recognizing patterns, behavior that is out of the ordinary, shifts in moods and able to ask questions that helps the Probationer on his/her journey. A. Crowley’s novel Diary of a drug fiend, even though not an easy read, is a very good example of what AC had in mind when it comes to guide students or Probationers on the path. I am fully aware that now a days we have way more skills at hand then in the time AC lived, still it is a good read if you want to know more about the source of AA for that matter. It had a huge impact on me when I read it many years ago. In my opinion, it is excellent example not only on the theory behind the Magickal diary but also what AC thoughts where on how to guide fellow students on the AA path.

The methods of our order are those of science and the aims are those of religion. “Every man and every woman is a star”, as it is stated in the Book of the Law. If we want to find our own ‘Star’ and what it means to us on our magickal journey, the magickal diary is the key element!

abstract art awareness branches
To be able to see our own ripples

Content of your diary

Your magickal diary is personal, it is your diary and you have to work with it. What you want keep in mind is that it must be readable not only for you but also for your guide. Here are some guidelines, and with these guidelines you can make a format. The benefit of a format is that you only make it once and your diary looks neatly arranged.

  • Date and year
  • The weather
  • The moon cycle (full moon, new moon etc.)
  • Dreams
  • Practice
  • Books you read or reading
  • Special events
  • Emotional wellbeing
  • Thoughts you have about things in life

I will explain a few of these suggestions, to give you a better understanding.

Dreams

For dreams you can also have a small blanc book next to your bed with a flashlight and pencil. Sometimes you wake up in the middle of the night out of a dream, this makes it very easy to write down and go back to sleep. After that you can import them easily in your main diary.

Practice

Write down how long you meditated for example. I have really see my own progress grow over time. More than twenties years ago I started with three minutes meditations in the Dragon position. And that felt like three hours to me. Now, twenties years later, I rather sit in the tailor’s pose for about twenty minutes till one hour a day. My mind is at ease during my meditations. If I look into diaries I can really see so much change over the years. That to me is the benefit of that magickal diary.

So, make a list in your magickal diary of all the practices you do in the morning or evening and write down what you felt or experienced. What to do when you experience nothing? Well, write that down, we all go to ‘dry’ periods from time to time. Same goes for not doing any practical work, write it down in your magickal diary. It can help you to understand your own patterns. What I discovered for example in all those years is that my menstrual cycle can be a hiccup, when I found that out, I changed some of my practices so instead to see it as an obstacle, I made it beneficial for my magickal progress. 

Books or movies

It can be a good idea to write down what books you are studying and your thoughts about what you have read, what inspired you for example. Or movies that inspired you.I remember when I fist saw the Matrix, it was mind blowing. But also the documentary: Wild wild country, about Osho. So can books have an effect as well. A sentence or a chapter can give you insight, or it gives words to something you feel or think. I had it with the word ‘imaginazione’. After reading about it I had a deep and intense talk with my husband about it and he wrote an article on his blog about it. You can find his article it here: Words and phrases

Special events

This can mean many things, a magickal retreat, a special ritual like an Equinox.  Write about these as detailed as possible.

Emotional wellbeing

Write about your emotions, when you are moved by something or angry, write down what happened, the deeper you go the better you will understand what is going on in your mind and soul.

Write about your emotions, when you are moved by something or angry, write down what happened, the deeper you go the better you will understand what is going on in your mind and soul. This is something we tend to forget but it is very interesting to see what trigger us on a day to day basis.

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All kinds of emotions

It can also help you when you do meditations, like mindfulness. Does it really help you to feel more present and in the moment. Getting less involved in all kinds of stimulations.

Conclusion

I hope this document gives you some inspiration on how to keep a Magickal Diary. It is a lot of work I am fully aware of that. You write your magickal diary for yourself but it will not only benefit you but also your tutor who reads your magickal diary from time to time and gives you feedback on the work you do. Your future students benefit from your labor of love as well. The goal is to understand the ‘True Will’, aiming and direct it towards the ‘Knowledge and Conversation’ with your ‘Holy Guardian Angel,’ your writings will never be in vane keep that in mind when you are stuck in your work. Go back, read, and act!

“Love is the law, love under will” – AL 157

Soror QSUM

Source

Cornelius, J. E. (2010). The Magickal Essence of Aleister Crowley. In J. E. Cornelius, The Magickal Essence of Aleister Crowley (pp. 173 – 184). Berkeley, California: Privately Published.

Crowley. (1988). The holy books of thelema. In Crowley, Liber LXI vel Causae. The preliminary lection including the history lection (pp. xxxix-xl). York beach, Maine: Weiser, INC.

Observations of the Zelator Grade

Introduction

This piece is about my own observations of the Zelator Grade. The Zelator’s statement in Libber 185 reads: He (she) may at any moment withdraw from his (her) association with the A .’.A.’. simply notifying the Practicus who introduced him (her). Yet let him (her) remember that being entered thus far on the Path, he (she) cannot escape it….

The first big step

You could say that the grade of the Zelator is the first big step into the Order of the A .’.A.’., the student enters into the second order. This is where the real work begins. Everything that the Zelator has learned in the other grades are the basics that are getting deepen in this second state. The work you need to do as a Zelator is very clear and to the point for example Pranayama and Asana but also recovering past live memories. Liber Thisharb for example, even though it is an instruction for a higher grade, is something a Zelator can get inspiration from to find a way to uncover past live memories. Of course there are also other methods a Zelator can use to her/his own advantage.

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The road of past memories

Past live memories are indeed interesting to observe. It can give the Zelator a very clear idea about her/his own hiccups. One of the things I found out for myself was that teaching/guiding others on the path became important. What I discovered during a ritual to uncover past live memories was that, I made a promise to teach/guide others on the path but in that live I never got the chance to for fill that important task. It came back to me in this life again and again. At first, I hesitated by the idea to go back into past live memories to get a better understanding about myself and why I love teaching/guiding others so much, because you never know what can of worms you open, but when I did a ritual to uncover past live memories it became clear why I love to teach/guide others so much. It left me in some kind of ‘shock’ for days and it took me many years to find the right path and the right way to accomplish this task. From this day on it is something that means a lot to me. I am glad I opened that ‘can of worms‘ so to speak even though it was very scary.

For me this grade is about the Magickal and Spiritual foundation to be able to travel to Tiphareth and do my Abramelin work and accomplish the knowledge and conversation of the HGA.

On the tree of life

The Zelator is attributed to Yesod. The sphere of the Moon. Moon energy can be very tricky, it is sexual, deceiving but also reflective and can be delusional at times.

An amazing tree
The tree of life

What I do love about this Grade is the fact the two paths that intersect with this sphere are 31 and 30, Shin and Resh both lead up to Hod, the next step so to speak, in other words the hidden divine fire breath. Even though this isn’t an easy one, coming from Malkuth, in my view a very heavy earth energy, working is Yesod literally gave me a breath of fresh air. This grade gives me so much more inspiration, balance, I feel the connection with the order and the great white brotherhood so much stronger. It is like I am seeing things from a new and fresh perspective.

I also read in Magick book 4 and I quote: The spirits of the Gods, which broods upon the Formless Void in the Beginning, being by shape a triple tongue of flame, and by meaning a tooth, wich is the only part of the secret and solid foundation of Man that is manifested normally. Teeth serve him to fight, to crush, to cut, to rend….Teeth are displayed when our Secret Self, our subconscious Ego, whose Magical image is our individually expressed in mental and bodily form- our HGA- comes forth and declares our True Will to our fellows, whether to snarl or to sneer, to smile or to laugh. It gave me literally gave me goose pimples. I read this part of the book many, many moons ago but now it gave me a wake-up-moment. Working with Shin, the tooth, to unveil myself and get rid of all the Karma or at least as much as possible to complete the work is no idle idea. It means to develop a form of rigor to be able to yield the ‘dagger’ and later on the sword.

 

Conclusion

The path Zelator goes from Yeshod to Hod and then Netzach and finally Tiphareth and the Zelator can use the sacred fire breath to help her/him to complete the tasks of the second order. The danger however of this grade, at least in my opinion, can be that a Zelator becomes moon sick and goes from Yesod to Tipareth through the path of Samekh and declares her/himself an Adeptus Minor. Yesod is the lesser part of Binah, the great sea and even though a Zelator can hear the call of the Sea, it is still better to go through all the steps and then unite yourself with your HGA.

 

Magick in Action; The December working

Introduction

This article is about Magick, specifically Magick in action. In June 2016 I finished my degree in teaching. It took two years of my life but I made it. At that time around June 2016,  my condition was very poor, my body out of shape and my energy level very low. My first goal was to get back into shape again. So that was what I did and still doing. And it works wonders, I have not been ill in more then a year and it also payed off in my magickal work. I might write something about that in the near future, as I will not go into dept about that process for now. In the beginning of december 2017 I noticed I was very unhappy with my job, not the content of my job but the team I was working in. It gave a lot of stress and I didn’t feel very welcome there. So, I started an experiment.

The experiment

For my experiment I used an outline that I learned at the BOTA many years ago, but I tweaked it to my liking and need. The most important thing for me was to get more time for my Magickal work. The deeper one gets into the A.’.A.’. the intenser the work gets. One of the most important goal’s in the A.’.A.’. is to make contact with your HGA and have a conversation with this Angel or two. With all the mundane work I was doing I knew it would take me way to much time.  So I pondered my mind on what to do.

The first thing I did was meditate on it, preformed some basic rituals like Star Ruby, ‘contacted’ my HGA and the great white brotherhood for help, for me it was important that is was really about to be able to preform the Great work and nothing else. Then I sat down to write down my goal.

The second thing I did was: I used a very associative way of writing. I took a big piece of paper and wrote down everything I could imagine. I made my goal larger then life and at least that is how it felt for me at the time. My goal (in summary) was to find a new job, less hours, a raise, close to home, something more experimental, for an extend period of time or even a permanent contract within the company I was already working or an other company that I had worked before.

The third thing I did was to fold the piece of paper and put it somewhere on my bookshelves to ‘forget’ it so to speak. It is very important once you have set it all up to not be thinking about it all the time but just observe the ‘Linga Verdi’. Pay attention to signs and tune into them.

So there you go I set it all in motion.

The result

The first result I had was that my contract at team I didn’t liked at all got extended. It was at that moment just thrown in my lap, at least that is how the Dutch expression goes. So I gave it some thought. It was in the middle of Dec not the best time to find something else, it was full time, same courses I had all ready given, so less time to prepare. And for some reason it felt OK. I knew it was the best option out of all the options I had at that moment.  So I decided to take it.

The second result and this why I write this article in the first place was very interesting. At the end of May 2018 my manger told me that contract wouldn’t get an extension. I had mixed feelings about it. I was happy that I didn’t had to stay in that team that I didn’t like and the way they are working there, on the other hand I felt a bit offended. I wasn’t good enough? I took a week to review the news and to make up my mind. At first I didn’t act but on 13th of June I took action. I wrote 3 cover letters, one open letter and two on vacancies. By the 18th of June I had 3 reactions. And 20th of June I had two interviews, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The interview I had in the afternoon was so positive that I got hired during that interview and you might have guessed it. This job is at the same company I am working for. It is an experiment, a great team of people that are very devoted to the work. It is at least for 3 years, I am getting a raise, that means I go to an other ‘scale’ as they call it. I have to do some work for it but that is fine. It is less hours. In other words it has almost anything I wished for back in December 2017 and even more.

Conclusion

I only recently gave my December working some thoughts. The interesting part for me was that I had forgotten the Magick work. It came back to me last Wednesday, I had my work conditions meeting, it was a very inspiring talk. Usually they can be a bit on the boring side but we started talking about the project and all of us got even more excited. When I stepped into my car and drove back to my ‘old’ workplace I realized what just happend and what had happend was pure Magick in my view!

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Photo by luizclas on Pexels.com

Concerning Liber Yod

Introduction

For all of you that struggle on the path or experience any form of resistance/aversion towards the practices, consider reading or doing Liber YOD Sub Figura DCCCXXXI. Liber YOD deals with drawing all things ‘to a point’ and the consciousness that can be scattered all around can be melted in to one.

The first method

The first method AC describes is about banishing, banish the 7 Planets, the 12 signs of the zodiac after this banish the whole tree of life. Basically you banish all that can influence you as a Magician. When you have done that just be in your circle and observe. It is almost like unplugging your own ‘Matrix’ and rebuild it again. Hitting the reset button and format the hard drive.

The second method

The second method is a from of what the Buddhists call Chöd, a method that means ‘cutting through the ego’. And it also relate to a form of ‘analytic meditation’. It helps the Magician to learn not to take everything so personal. For example if you find it hard to learn a chapter or to do any form practice. The mind takes over with thoughts like: ‘I will do it tomorrow’ or ‘I do not have the time for it’ or ‘The neighbors make to much noise’ or ‘I am to sick’. Ask yourself are these thoughts helpful?

The third method

The third method is to ‘overload’ the system first and then to withdraw completely from all these stimulations. It is learning to still the Ruach part of the mind. To learn to be more reflective, so to become less of a jumping monkey.
For the second half do pranayama, the focus is on the Ajna chakra, the idea is that the Ajna chakra is breathing. The next exercise is study your movements, the Magician can also apply walking meditations. The next method is the control of thoughts instead “I am cold” gradually transfer it to “I am aware of a sensation of cold”.

Conclusion

It is not a proces for just a rainy Sunday but something that you can apply in your daily practice. It helps the Magian to overcome the ‘Ruach’ part of the ‘Ego’ and to give the mind some room to overcome obstacles.

Also have a look at Liber HHH, part II AAA. These loosen the swathings of the corpse; these inbind the feet of Osiris so that the flaming God may rage through the firmament with his fantastic spear. -Liber LAPIDIS LAZULI VII:3