Monday, December 29, 2014

Star Above

I spent last night taking part in a ritual known as 'Star Above', created by my good friend Joseph Wolf. I took some stock of my year, and thought about the year going forward.

The ritual takes a lot from 'Seven Sermons to the Dead', the works which got me into Gnosticism in the first place, and from which the name of this blog is taken. That got me thinking a lot about the various paths, works, projects that I've started and set aside, unfinished.

In the ritual, I played the part of Jupiter. I made sure to cast Abundance and Joy throughout the ritual. We can all use more abundance and joy. It made me reflect on my Jupiter work, how as the King of my Kingdom, I've been slacking a bit. But it's been a good slacking, a rest, a time of reflection, of regrouping, of planning and testing.

The ritual itself will be available soon, in a lovely bound edition. It's a lot of fun, and a ritual group could have a great time, and possibly expose those who are not ritualists or occultists by nature to the workings of magic via this ritual. It's perfectly fine for more casual practitioners, or folks who know what you're into, but don't quite get it.

Due to an incredibly generous offer of the free use of space by a friend of the Church, Rose Cross Community will shortly have a ritual space. Look for regular meetings coming in the next year.

I also saw a copy of Seven Spheres, by Rufus Opus. It's a beautiful book, and the material in the book is considerably expanded from the various rites I've received from him over the years in electronic format. The physical book inspired book-envy in me, envy of the friend who had the copy. I have put in an order for one of my own.

This post really doesn't have a big theme, but it's a compilation of things I've been thinking about, and probably needed to get out of my head. Happy New Year!

Monday, November 17, 2014

BHAG

Talking about RO's Seven Spheres of Planetary Magic (now on sale) made me start thinking about other works that I've read, and worked on, and haven't gone back to.

For instance, I took part in the year long Strategic Sorcery work put on by Jason Miller. I never finished the homework, and now I'm coming back to it. I really enjoyed the write ups, but didn't have the time, space, or ambition to really work through the material. I didn't even really have any huge goals.  The goals seemed good, workable, and manageable.

Now I have a goal, one I'd like to make happen.

It's big, like BHAG big. There's no way for me to do it in my lifetime without supernatural aid and/or some interesting changes in circumstance. It's measurable. It has stages, can be done in sprints, from multiple angles, doesn't have to be done all at once. And it's a great homework assignment. It will also be an interesting thing to do with my beloved.

I'll keep you up to date.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Planetary Spheres

Frater Rufus Opus is releasing a book of his rituals on the planetary spheres.  I have used some of this material in the past, and really enjoyed it.

RO uses it to better his material situation, to get to know the angels of the spheres and basically make his life better. That's a fine usage for the material, and one which I engage in also, but I have a different take.

I do follow a Gnostic path, and April DeConick's short article about the Sethian Gnostic Ascent made an impression on me. I've worked all the planetary spheres, and I think that from a Gnostic point of view, it's possible to use this or similar material to overcome the Archons.

My theory is that by having a relationship with the archons, when it comes time for the soul to exit the mortal plane, one can pass through the gates, because you've already done it. From there, exit from the material plane may be possible, and a return to the celestial heavens or the pleroma or the all be accomplished.

I guess we shall see. I'm in no hurry to exit the mortal plane, so there may be quite a wait until I can be sure if this is the correct exit path.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Religion, ritual, centering, and the perils of FB discussions.

Today, someone I don't know posted on a friend's facebook timeline:

Don't waste your time. Religion is the biggest joke played on man. A good god would've revealed itself.
I had a mixed reaction to this. On the one hand, I recognized that this person's 'Reality Tunnel' is firmly entrenched in a non-religious track. What benefit, to me or them, to contradict their tunnel?

On the other, I really WANTED to contradict their tunnel, as I find religion to be both useful and beneficial in my daily life. Meditations, prayers, and rituals all help me to organize my day to day thoughts, and find my center. When I have solid ground to start from, the rest of my life falls into place a lot easier than not. Then again, when I think of religion, I think of a very personal set of practices, surrounded by an accepting community of like minded people. I have no idea what this person thinks of when they hear the word 'religion', other than 'it's a joke'.

I'm not sure I can make that clear in a facebook comment.

So, how about you? Do you have rituals that you perform every day that give you a center, a place of firmness to start your day from? Are they religious rituals, intellectual, emotional? Keep in mind that any action you perform regularly, with a meaning other than the actual act itself, could be considered a ritual. For instance, a person who wakes up, and really can't get their day started without a cup of coffee and a few minutes to read the news and organize their thoughts, still counts as a ritual, even though it's not technically religious.


Friday, November 07, 2014

Advent: Close the Gap

My wonderful friend and bishop Timothy Mansfield has proposed that for Advent, we close the gap between what we think we should be doing for religious practice, and what we are doing. For 4 weeks, we should practice the way we've always wanted to, as rigorous as possible.

Some of us are already doing that. Some could up their game a little. Some can never reach the ideal short of becoming an ascetic out in the desert. For the season of Advent, let's try to close the gap, whether it's a little, or a lot.

http://timmansfield.name/post/101873744125/advent-practice-challenge-close-the-gap

#adventclosethegap


Monday, July 01, 2013

The Year of the Warrior (LBRP:D11)

I've been reading The Year of the Warrior, which discusses the fallibility of humanity, the evil powers at work in the world, and the difficulty an Irish semi-priest has converting the heathen Norse to the White Christ.

The main character is a priest with no ordination. He's taken in by a Christian Lord, and pretends he has the ordination. In the course, he has a leman (concubine), fights a walker-again (a revenant), a priest of the Old Gods, and comes to understand the intrinsic difference between the Christian God (whom he hates) and the heathen gods (whom he fears).

"What I can't understand", said someone, "is, if our God is so much more powerful than the old gods, why do all wonders seem to come from their side?"
A voice said, "Because a marvel is like a sword." Strangely, the voice was my own. "Or like torture. There is no answer to it. The Beloved prefers to woo."
 Later, the priest has a vision of his old abbot. They talk about the pain and suffering and evil in the world. And the abbot tells him that it's not the pain, the evil, that God desires. Rather it's the risk.
"It was God's risk to make the world, and give Man a choice. All love is risk, and salvation is the most dangerous thing of all."
Another point they make in the book, is that when a man stands in the light, all the darkness can see him, and he becomes a target.

The Beloved prefers to woo. And as Gnostics, I think we find that especially true. We know that love, we know its quiet, its certitude, its Presence. The priest in the book fails, and fails often. He's weak in morals, in resolve, in learning. He sometimes makes up psalms and prayers and the words to the Eucharist. At first he doesn't even believe in God. Then he believes, but hates him. Yet still he serves. Eventually, even that changes.

The Beloved prefers to woo. That's why it's the soft, still voice that speaks.

----

Still doing the LBRP. It's been an interesting exercise so far, and I hope my paths are becoming clearer with each performance.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Back to Basics (LBRP:D4)

So, as far as routine practice goes, I've been slacking.

My prayer schedule is shot. My magical practice is in the doldrums. Even my weekly practice has been curtailed, cut short, and generally moribund.

Obviously, I haven't been writing either. I remember the heady days of Lent, when I posted every day. Not sure I want to do that again, but I could.

So, to invigorate my practice again, I've started what I call the 40 days of LBRP (Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram). I'm just going to practice one simple thing, every day. I'll take notes on it, but mostly I just want to do it. I'm on day four, and it's already having some effects. I am finding myself less tied to an 'altar' area, and more willing to just stand up and throw the pentagrams wherever I happen to be. That's a good thing, from my POV. Taking the magic out of the temple.

Of course, I will do it IN the temple, too.

Going back to basics is good.