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!

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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.

 

 

Adds new “top level” category to blog: self development

I wasn’t sure I was going to talk about any of this on the blog, but it’s presently important. I was recently inspired by a video (and recent, new stresses), to renew my seated meditation practice.

I’ve been interested in Hermetics and planetary / archangel related / ritual magic since… Oh let me check my Amazon purchase history, October 2016! Well that makes sense. It sort of goes along with rainy season.

I missed a day yesterday. Work started early and then I had to exercise, and after what happened at dinner it just wasn’t going to happen. But that’s ok. You say “daily practice” as an ideal, with the knowledge that you’re not going to be perfect, but the intention to aim as high as possible. At least that’s how I do it.

It’s funny I’m attracted that says “practice” with a lot of the same… vibration as my previous obsession, Astanga. And yes, both are kinds of mind/body “tuning”. Astanga’s emphasis is on the body and meditation’s is on the mind & spirit.

My daily practice

  1. 22min seated meditation in padmasana, jnana & khechari mudras.
  2. 4min in pranayama, still in padmasana, applying uddiyana bandha on the exhale hold and jalandhara bandha on the inhale hold. This is followed by about 5min savasana (for return of normal blood flow to lower legs & to let the spine relax) / journaling.
  3. LBRP, lower banishing ritual of the pentagram: this is an old school, hermetics ritual for clearing and cleansing a space and its energy, as well as providing a sort of psychic buffer to the practitioner.

The kitties

I went to sleep around midnight, or a bit later, and the kitten woke me up at 6. Then my phone started dinging and I correct in thinking it might be responses to the easel ad I posted on Craig’s List last night. I didn’t mind getting up though, because that way I knew I’d get in my practice before my day got going. She snuggles and purrs and purrs. I try to still my mind then too. It’s one of the most healing sorts of sounds, I think, so I try to take advantage of her Cuddle State. Henry’s gotten SO independent. Also cranky. I worry about his health. His eyes are infected again. He comes down with a lot of ailments on The Hill…. After he had his initial eye thing that happened after he’d caught a cold when I first got him, he hadn’t had any problems until the skin issued that started here. And now he’s extra irritable. I think he’s so used to getting harassed by the puppy that he’s got a much shorter fuse. Yesterday I tried to trim his front claws. He was in nap mode, which is the only time worth even attempting a trim, but still was so agitated I only managed to snip one sharp & pointy. He was doing the low growl and would amplify when I so much as touched a paw. I was afraid he’d bite me if I did any more, or at the very least, it’d be such a struggle that I’d have little hope of trimming his claws ever again. So I stopped trying and gave him extra hugs and snuggles.

I have to hope his downturn in disposition is more due to the puppy than, say, arthritis pain. His genetics… I bought a Scottish Fold that was bred from two cats with the fold trait before I knew anything about the breed.

Anyway, I’ll have to try again w/ the claw thing.

I doubt I’m going to show them on the 9th after all. I thought it’d be easy to arrange the 1-day participation after my phone conversation with my breeding mentor, but it’s proving to be more difficult to register, and it feels like the wrong time. My initial feeling was to aim for the one at the end of December. I dunno… I emailed the entry clerk yesterday. I’m not going to deal with that today. If they respond, fine. If not, fine. #pathofleastresistence