Happy Thursday, Jupiter & Sachiel day!

Set my alarm for 6:20, to wake up to Henry snuggles and kisses and the first hour of the day, which is also ruled by Jupiter. May as well do this on the Thursdays of a waxing moon.

6 of Swords
Card of the Day: 6 of Swords

I found a great resource for the Thoth deck specifically! A soft-spoken Englishman with a penchant for nail polish, who films with his head cropped out of the frame. I watched a bunch of his YouTubes. He’s got a clip for each card, ranging from about 18-25 minutes or so, from the ones I’ve watched. I rather like the printed word though, so I’ve switched to his website. I can’t find a search engine on it, so I just go to the home page & type in the card I want in the browser window, right before “esotericmeanings” & hit enter again to find.

 

The Six of Swords was formally known as ‘The Lord of Earned Success’ implying success after struggle.

Tipareth in Yetzirah! (See: The Four Worlds)

An air planet (Mercury) finds itself in the fixed sign of air which is Aquarius. Mercury is EXHALTED in Aquarius highlighting the intellectual qualities of the card. Aquarius is an air sign, which is detached and intellectual by nature and Mercury’s ability to analyse brings a clear perspective for us going forward. So the astrology of the card indicates a somewhat detached but balanced assessment of a situation is needed. We need to analyse something without bias and too much emotion to get the best result. Aquarius is also the sign of innovation and originality and so this card also represents communicating ideas that are new or perhaps unconventional in an orderly way.

Here’s another tarot site I go to a lot, specifically when dealing with decks that have fuzzy or convoluted or sparse descriptions in their accompanying manual.

Generally the 6 shows at least a slight reduction in stress and strain. Things may not be perfect, but they are going to be better than they may have been in the recent past. Take this time to get your head above water and decide where you’re going from here.

And another

Six of Swords says a difficult cycle is ending – allow it to phase out now – quietly pass through it by setting your sights on the future.  Look at things the way they are – not the way you want them to be.  Think with an open mind.  Investigate all the possibilities.  You are experiencing an unpleasant, frustrating situation – sever yourself from it and you will know peace of mind and harmony, like the sunshine after a storm.  You are making great progress now.  Recognize that everything is relative to one’s viewpoint and communicate in a non – threatening way that will allow other people to consider new ideas, thoughts, beliefs and attitudes from perspectives that they have not yet considered.

Not that I spend all morning reading tarot websites! It’s just something fun to do occasionally – while caffeinating – instead of reading the dismal, world “news”.

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LAM Aphorism of the Day: Adverse conditions can be great for your meditation practice

And other spiritual practices too! As per my previous “practice post” three days ago, I do a 22min sit in the morning, followed by a chant that is the traditional 108 repetitions.¹

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I’ve been meaning to refresh my memory on why 108

I quite often accompany my chanting with “Trāṭaka”, which is simply staring at a flame. I learned that years ago, in my late teens or early twenties, but never practiced it seriously. It can help push you into the trance state for sure, and considering do it fresh off a 22min sit with binaural beat technology, the effects can be profound.

I almost always get creative ideas while seated. A hermetics, Franz Bardon style mental challenging is to both push those thoughts away, or to discard them, but to make a silent mental note to remember them after. I usually put something to write on down on the floor, near my mediation spot, so that I can jot notes down between the two parts of my morning practice.

Personal Definitions

“Practice” used to mean the physical practice of Astanga yoga to me. I still do yoga but don’t consider myself an Astangi, because though I still practice my own version of it, I only do it once a week, twice max, and I consider it to be firmly a PART of my exercise program, rather than the focus of my existence.

Now my “practice” is my spiritual practice, anything concerning meditation, pranayama, hermetics, chanting etc.


¹ One take: Different significance is attributed to different numbers by different people and traditions, and I will therefore not claim to have the only and final answer on this question. However, I can share with you one of the explanations that is given by the sages and scriptures in India for the significance of the number 108, and why mantras are recited at least 108 times, or multiples of this number.

In the Vedic tradition great importance is given to mantras as a means to influence vibrations and energies that are present in the creation. Mantras are sound vibrations, and as modern science now also teaches us (Quantum Physics) this whole creation is made up of energy that is vibrating in different frequencies. There is no such thing as solid matter, as even atoms and protons, electrongs, etc appear to be nothing more than space and energy that is vibrating in some way or other. In the ancient Vedic tradition they categorized different types of vibrations that have specific effects on us and our environment as devatas or gods/angels – that is why it was said that devatas have a mantra sharira, which means their body (sharira) is made up of vibrations (mantra).. meaning that they are nothing but vibrations.

Another take: The ancient Indians about 5000 BC or beyond figured out an incredible ratio. They figured out and accurately calculated that the diameter of the sun multiplied 108 times gives you the distance from the earth to the sun, and correspondingly, the diameter of the moon multiplied 108 times gives you the distance from the earth to the moon.

Western astronomy just managed to catch up just in the last 200 years with these estimates.

108 therefore becomes an amazing cosmic ratio of the closest two planets that effect earth and human fortunes.

And another: Because there are nine planets and twelve constellations. When nine planets revolve around the twelve constellations, it brings 108 kinds of changes. If there is anything wrong in these changes, it can be rectified with the positive energy of the mantras.

Made myself a new mala for my birthday

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I’ve been working with Jupiter / Sachiel a lot, and thus the stones are blue lapis lazuli, chrysocolla & amethyst. Numerologically speaking, eight is my birth number. It’s also a big prosperity number. So I threw in eight skull beads I’d bought, randomly, a long time ago in New York. The finishing ornament is a Triskele: The Celtic Symbol of Constant Motion.

I’d been meaning to do this for awhile! And I’ll be needing it as part of my study of Initiation Into Hermetics. I finally finished the second part of my Soul Mirror. Today was my last entry. Tomorrow I’ll be starting on a run of concentration exercises. It’s a very deep practice that actually keeps score! Your mind flickers off its focus and you move to the next bead.

Normally I don’t chant that much (except if you count the Lower Banishing Ritual, but that’s not one of those repetitive chants) but I have done a few of those 40-day runs in the past. Might do another!

Onto better things (art & design projects, clients, self) in 2018!

I’ve been in a much better mood this week than last. It’s the illustration, though the client is not actually new. I designed her yoga studio logo for a rebranding that started about this time last year. I’ve been meditating and doing my spiritual practice daily: 22min seated meditation, my approximately 4½min, personally designed pranayama and the LBRP. Not necessarily immediately after, I’m also doing daily work on the white / positive half of my soul journal, as part of my work in Initiation into Hermetics. I’ll finish that & complete “step one” on my birthday, lol. Then I can start working on the specialised concentration exercises.A couple of times I’ve done the 40min sit instead, skipping the pranayama and doing the LBRP after a 3-5min savasana. This is necessary to restore blood flow!

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Not for dabblers¹

I’ve been thinking about the things in Step One that I haven’t been doing: cool to cold showers, dry brushing etc. But it’s funny I’ve wanted to practice more yoga lately. I’m working on the thought control at night, trying to remember to project into water I take in. Harder to remember to do that with food. It’s a hyper consciousness you’re aiming for, in some ways…

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¹My dislike with the book is that it could’ve been better sectioned and edited. Found a source online that spells out the steps a bit more clearly than Bardon did. Scroll down to “Outline” if interested.

 

Meditation & injury(?)

I definitely have some sort of tweak in the left side. I felt it during and after my last Astanga practice on the 23rd and it continued to some degree. Then during yesterday’s practice, I have to admit that when I got into the tiny bit of 2nd I do, all workshop-y slow, it got worse and at one point I paused because I felt something radiating from there. It was a WTF was that? moment. I put my attention there but then it seemed to dissipate, so I carried on & finished. I did my usual back bending and ticks. But later on I wondered if it was therapeutic the way I’d supposed.

It kept bothering me… Was trying to relax and watch Grimm with Charlie. I had to ask for some pressure on there, and that helped, but only when the pressure was being applied.

And then I got paranoid. It better not be something for which one should see a doctor. This inspired one of those utterly exhausting bad dreams where I cannot stop sobbing. Not just crying, sobbing. And I was literally trying to get to the poor person’s doctor, two buses and 2.5 hours away, with a 20-min walk in 90-degree weather at the tail end. I’d visited a doctor close by and they’re all, Uh, ya… YOU need to go over here (pauper). I had no cash. Couldn’t even buy water or a coffee. Nothing to read. #lol

Unsurprisingly, this morning’s sit was not that steady

Because of the discomfort. I did some stretches, while still in padmasana, before my short, sephiroth-based pranayama. Did my LBRP. Perhaps later on today I will just do an unmeasured (via Polar) restorative. I’d been planning to try to keep my five-day quota for the week, getting up early to get some exercise in Friday too. Theodora’s second show is this weekend, for two days this time, and Henry is coming along with again. (I have to figure out what time we need to leave today.) Thankfully we don’t have to get up at 5am to be out the door at 6:30, but the show starts 1ish I think, and closes at 9pm. For our first show which closed at 4pm, we didn’t actually get out of there until after 6. The judges have to finish…

We shall see. Maybe I can get one more WO in today and just take both Friday and Saturday off.

Hermetic Reading & Practices & planning ahead for 2018

I’ve been catching up on reading, sans laptop

Been buying all kinds of esoteric stuff on Amazon too, because I’m not free to get the one thing I’ve really been wanting, an iMac, which might well have helped me with proofreading, thus keeping my single, probably gone now client happy. I’m like C- level at proofing, especially since I can’t print multiple drafts of everything I work on. You see misalignments right away on the printed art boards. If you’ve got 5 desktop layouts & you’re working on a 15″ laptop you spend all of your working time zoomed waaaaay the fuck in.

Focusing on the magic

Just attempting all the work in the book below will take another year or so, if I put 10-20 hours consistent effort in every week.

I was just about to finish the first half of the 2nd exercise of step one. It’s such a hard one I delayed nearly a year before starting. Then Thursday happened. It was a Holiday Buzzkill for sure… But I finished my Qabalah book and started reading Initiation again.

Lots of stuff got delayed because I have been sans laptop

I’ll only have a little time before the weekend to work on the “black” portion of the soul mirror. I’ll need to get back to all the other things that got postponed for lack of computer, the south waterfront painting and learning how to build my first puppet in Adobe Character Animator. Then there’s the cat show, which I’m sure will be exhausting, and NYE. Suddenly what would’ve been accomplished before the end of the year will instead finish closer to mid January.

So fuck it! I’ve gone ahead and ordered the next Bardon at $57 from Amazon. Used to be $48, I think, but that seller is out. On eBay the cheapest is $114.

I should be able to finish step 1 of Initiation in January and work on step 2 in February and so on. I should be able to shatter a glass jar with my mind by step 5, lol.

If I look st the Stoic side of this I can say that obviously I’m not meant to be a designer who earns money via her computer, not any more. But I’ve got a ton of art supplies.

Fuck sending out resumes that get ignored due to my age and location! I’ll do magic and work on art.

Oh I also got myself this new planner. Decided to try a new type.

Nice, cheery hardcover.

My vision board, lol. Why not I guess?

I started writing. Hey I’m camped in bed this holiday. May as well make the best of it.

It’s undated so you can start whenever you want, but I’m going for good, old fashioned New Year’s Day. All of my currently delayed projects can be targeted for January.

Tomorrow should be safe for driving (as long as it’s not me at the wheel) so we can go pick up my laptop and maybe either meet our poet friend for lunch. I’m going to work out earlier than usual and already prepped the coffee maker & brought it upstairs. I guess you could say I can’t wait to get out of the house for a little bit. Not only am I inside; I’m mostly upstairs, with one or two cats.Theodora is the one who stays by my side. What a little treasure she is.

Morning meditation & a tarot reading

Sat for 40min again, with some brief stretches in the middle (while remaining in padmasana). I really have a tweak in the middle of my left side! Noticed it during yoga and worked it up, like worrying a pimple to redness & a more visible irritation.

Chesed, duh, the 4th sephirah. That’d be the placement. Thursday turned bad so inexplicably. Well… I’d been working on a Jupiter hexagram invocation for awhile & I’d added some words to Thursday’s performance, to try to address Sachiel & Jupiter more thoroughly. In the original ritual I’d found, there’s all this stuff on Isis… I wanted to replace that.

One source named Hismael as a planetary spirit, but yesterday I was moved to pick up my Qabalah book again and I opened to Chesed. Hismael is a demon, lol. I didn’t want to invite him to the party. Agrippa apparently neglected to mention his adverse effects. I could tell you they can be irrational anger, blame and willful delays and obstinacy. Fairly immediate too!

Good thing I’d had a vague memory of something about including a banishing hexagram, to disperse the energies after. I’d included one.

Since I now know the basics of the legend of Isis, Apophis and the slaying of Osiris, I think I should keep that text as a part of the LVX section. I’ll add in my (more careful) Sachiel / Jupiter script somewhere after hexagram invoking and before banishing.

One thing that’s puzzles me is why the NOX signs aren’t in The Golden Dawn. Perhaps they were only a Crowley thing, but GD was written by Regardie. As he was Crowley’s secretary/ devotee / minion for some time, the exclusion doesn’t make sense .

Today’s tarot reading

Swords, Cups, 9s… an excellent spread

Meditation, study, killing time

Headache has persisted through 40min sit, pranayama & LBRP, but I just ate something so took Advil immediately.

Am about halfway through one of JM’s “casual conversation” videos. Parts of them come off “witchcraft bro”, but that’s 90-95% the guests. Anyway I find them motivating in some ways. Today I decided to sit for 40min, rather than just 22. I used to do that all the time and I have extra time to kill. Also extra motivation to not-think.

It’s easier physically to sit after yoga, but normally I have to do it first to make sure it happens, since I’m prone to exercising mid to late afternoon these days.

I am going to read a little more of this today, since I’ve been squinting at my iPhone for two, solid days now, being sans computer. Just opened up the book at Chesed, the 4th sephirah. It’s the El god name though, associated with Jupiter, the focus of my planetary magic these days.

I wanna read through the lower four with some focus on Hod, the realm of magical workings, so I’ve read. I’d think that would be Yesod.

Much needed Astanga practice

Yesterday’s glutes WO is a new favorite, which I’ll try to remember to repeat. (Wish WP had a better search engine.) But I could feel my back getting sore on the right, maybe upper lumber or lower thoracic, about midway through. I did stretch a bit after, but I’d started later than usual and took a long time so…

TODAY’S PRACTICE: I put in a Linda style, no vinyasa ardha matseyendrasana between setu bandhasana & pashasana, going to the right first so I could twist left there & then do the left pashasana. I just barely got the bind. That’s the harder side. I’d lost the wrist bind w/ pashasana just before Miami 2012, I think. That’s one of those rare poses where if you lose it, getting a good assist once in awhile, at least once a week preferably, can help you get it back quick. Course I hadn’t had that kind of thing going on for years already, at that point. These days I’m just happy if I can bind both sides in “whatever” fashion.

Did my 1min hanuman before my very tight & cautious Kapo B thing. But I also did 1min on the rack. Got all my normal back bending in. Handstands were good today. Caught my balance on the first go all three times.

I’m still somewhat gimpy right now but I took a full five min in savasana. Used my DaVinci pressure point in two spots along my spine. I’ll be much better off for having practiced, especially by tomorrow.

I’d have had a better workout if I did some jump rope before, but I didn’t want any jumping today.


MORNING RITUALS: I also did my seated meditation and my short bit of pranayama, plus the LBRP this morning. I’m going to try to practice every day until next Thursday’s solstice, when I’m also going to make another prayer / invocation / appeal directed toward Archangel Sachiel & Jupiter. This one’s a fairly complex hexagram invocation. I’ll practice my LBRP first, then the invocation and then sit and meditate on my plea for a few minutes before closing.

I’ve worked out a completely original pranayama that’s got 10 rounds coordinated with the 10 sephirot of Kabbalah….

It appears that divine intervention is necessary for regular creative income, and the autonomy that would bring, in the Black Hole of Employment Opportunities for Female Creatives Over 40.

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Astanga! Finally

The last time I did a full Astanga practice was 19 DAYS AGO!!! November 11. I did a a jump rope warm up, to get the blood moving & because it’s cold, and then practiced really fast. By removing some of the poses at the end that caused a lot of stalling, I picked up the pace. I also forgot something I’d intended to do. No matter.

When you practice really fast, too, you know you’re not tight. At least me. The only place I was tighter was in the back bends.

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Doesn’t include meditation / pranayama / LBRP time

Because I used up both rest days @ the beginning of the week, I’m stuck doing a 4-day run to make quota.

Warmup: (10/30×6=4min) jump rope

Yoga

  • Suryas & fundamentals Only 2 handstands & no hanuman. Was going to put it in after laghu vajra but 4got.
  • Primary+
  • Second to laghu vajrasana

    I think my resistance to getting back on the mat was that the EPRK & Kapo B thing I’d been doing had been too much (for practicing so infrequently) the last time. So I decided to get this far & then decide: multiple Kapo hangs w/ the wall thing after? Maybe a little pinca mayurasana?  Basically whatever I might feel “up to” and then moving on.

  • 3 Kapo hangs & a tight Kapo B – Next time w/ hanuman first!!! Maybe timed.
  • Back bending: Urdhva D, 3 drop backs, 3 ticks
  • Finishing: to sirsasanas & child pose only. I skipped the last 3 poses b/c I didn’t get up early enough this morning to do my seated meditation b4 work.