Looks like it’s another 4-day week

I’m not that motivated lately. In the past, when in this mood, I’d buy some new workout clothes and/or a new piece of equipment. I might take a yoga class in a non Astanga studio, or sign up for circus training. But now? Eh… I could repeat a Summer Shred, just to get the blood moving, but today I don’t really want to bother.

I did my morning meditation anyway. Given the fact that a bunch of non related people decided to direct their anger at me yesterday, for no good reason, a morning sit and LBRP seemed like a good idea.  I also got in a yoga practice this week. I’ll leave it at that.

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Slow, painful but good Astanga

But I’ve still got an off & on dental infection; I can feel it today as a matter of fact. And I’m back on the antibiotics, which eff me up in a creaky sort of way. I got it done anyhow, a day late. And I’d been intending to do the jump rope warm-up but found I really didn’t want any jumping at all, hence the super low, average HR.

I feel better now & that’s all that really matters. (Maybe this week, since I got this one in on a Monday, I’ll manage to get in a second.)

Oh! And I practiced seated meditation and a LBRP today. I’d had this one nightmare that woke me out of a sound sleep in the middle of the night… It really gave me pause. Forced me to think about it. Conclusion: I need to get that meditation practice going again.

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Poses Comments
Suryas & Standing Fundamentals w/ standing arches in the 5 Surya As, 3lb hand held weights for 3rd – 5th. Held that last standing backbend longer than usual,5 breaths. Two, 5-breath handstands @ the end
Primary+ Skipping 4 poses of primary w/ added LBH
Ardha Matseyendrasana, var through the legs bind
Pashasana
Krounchasana
Shalabhasana A, B
Bhekasana, 1/2 & full
Dhanurasana A, B
Ustrasana hips to wall, keeping them fwd
Laghu Vajrasana
Kapo B Didn’t do any prep. Really couldn’t even get up to toes but it was ok.
Urdhva D come to standing
Dropbacks 3x
Ticks 3x
Finishing with 5min savasana

Meditation & tarot

I’d really wanted to do a short workout tonight

Like 45 minutes to an hour, but it was just so nice out, and I didn’t want to go right upstairs to my office. I wanted to hang with the cats outside, so that’s what I did. I get maybe ½ mile of walking with my commute home, since I can never catch the bus that stops closest, but that’s ok this time of year.

Anyway I did an 18min seated meditation. That felt good. And I’m tired! Early to bed.

Card of the day: Queen of Swords

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She is very logical and intelligent. All this has the advantage of gaining clarity in situations but being able to work through things intellectually to a high standard.

She has enormous clarity &  has the her intellect ability to judge and discern impartially, without the influence of strong emotions or sentimentality.

Unlike the Queen of Cups  she connects to other people through an intellectual understanding rather than an emotional understanding.

Astanga yoga & seated meditation

I’d stopped my daily meditation practice last Tuesday, when I started my new job, because with the speed I get going at in the morning, I’d have to get up a half hour earlier to get it done before leaving. But I still need it! To navigate the beginnings of my new thing. I was just giving myself four days off. I’m not sure I’ll practice meditation daily, but regularly is fine, in the evenings.

And I wasn’t planning on sitting today, but my asana practice was “enough” at 90 minutes and I’ve already decided to feel free to devote two hours a day to the mind body maintenance on weekends… It’s really nice to sit immediately after yoga. I always change into a completely dry shirt first, but still…

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Warmup: (10/30×6=4min) jump rope

Poses Comments
Suryas & Standing Fundamentals w/ standing arches in Surya As, 3lb weights on the last 2, two 5-breath handstands @ the end
Primary+ Skipping 4 poses of primary w/ added LBH
Ardha Matseyendrasana, var through the legs bind – is helping crack open the Pashasana again
Pashasana
Krounchasana
Shalabhasana A, B
Bhekasana, 1/2 & full
Dhanurasana A, B
Ustrasana hips to wall, keeping them fwd
Laghu Vajrasana
Hanuman 1min, foot against wall, 20sec upright, 40 back bending. Final 15sec looking head back
Rack single interval of 10/60
Block
Kapo B 10 (fast) breaths
Urdhva D come to standing
Dropbacks 3x
Ticks 3x
Finishing to the sirsasana/s & brief child pose – skipped 3 closing poses in favour of a 22min sit, followed by 5min savasana (this row is not in stats tally)

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.

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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”.

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.

LAM Aphorism of the Day: Spiritual health is basically the same thing as psychological health

I’ve been thinking on & off of starting a separate, meditation journal, as a way of reaching out to others who practice or want to, but then I thought, No. Mind body. As above, so below. It belongs here, with the rest of my fitness program. 

I’m going to talk more about meditation, I’ve decided, though I probably won’t post about it daily, or after each and every session, like I do with physical exercise.

So… I’ve been trying to get in a 40-day run of a chant to Laksmi

which I do after my traditional, seated in padmasana, 22min meditation. Even for someone with a too flexible schedule, it’s one of the hardest disciplines there is, in my opinion. I still use an old, Holosync track! Whatever makes it happen, is my thinking.

First try

I’ve dropped the ball twice so far. I started the first attempt on March 10th, the day after my birthday, using my beautiful, new mala that I designed & put together with specific hermetic, astrological intentions in mind. I made six consecutive days & then missed four.

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Second try

Started on March 20th and made it twelve days. That’s better at least! The last day I was up in Abbortsford for the first day of my last cat show, and I only did the chanting part, which takes about 4-5 minutes. Charlie arrived that evening. We had another show day and then a six hour drive back. I’ll do it when I get home, never happens, even if you get home way earlier than expected. We’d stopped for dinner in Vancouver and we still made it home around 9pm.

Third try

Then I didn’t practice again for an entire week, and it’s been an incredible stressful time, not because of the lack of meditation, but… It’s time to batten down the hatches.

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OK that’s enough. It’s time to get back to work on the test project. Scanned my pencil & pen drawing this morning, in two pieces. Put them together in the Illustrator file. Next I’ll start the vector drawing. I’m going to draw it in Illustrator & then transfer to Photoshop for some filter effects. I DO keep a separate art blog on WordPress, so I’ll post design & process visuals there later.

I’ll heat up what remains of my coffee and get going.

 

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!

90min Astanga & 22min seated meditation

Last one was six days ago so I was behind schedule. Another low burn! This time 19 points less than yesterday, lol. I guess I’m just low energy right now. I did a jump rope warm-up too.

Took a break from hermetics & meditative practices after Thursday’s all-day Jupiter love affair. I thought I’d do the meditation today. It is much different immediately following yoga practice.

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Warmup: (10/30×6=4min) jump rope

  • Suryas and fundamentals – w/ standing arches, 2 backbends
  • Primary +
  • Tiny bit of customised 2nd. The yellow bit is the part that varies, depending how my body feels. I think next time I practice I’ll skip the middle two and do an EPRK instead.

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  • Finishing, to sirsasana. Normally the last 3, meditative / closing postures plus the 5min corpse pose are included in my yoga tally. But today I stopped the timer, and changed my sweaty top for a dry t-shirt so I could do a
  • 22min sit
  • 2min savasana

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.