Memory, Embodiment and Exercise


In the last couple of months I've been memorizing some chants for some work I'm doing with the Elemental Archangels. The purpose of memorizing the chants is to embed and embody specific associations with the archangels and the correspondences that they mediate. By memorizing the chants, I'm not just learning the words, but also developing an understanding of what those words represent and creating and deepening my connection with the archangels.

I find that memorization is a skill that isn't always appreciated in magical work. The idea of memorizing correspondences or chants can seem like a lot of tedious work, from a surface perspective. The value of memorizing chants and correspondences is that its actually a process that allows you to intimately connect and get to know what you are working with.

Perhaps just as importantly it allows you to embody the work in your mind as well as in your body, through the experiential aspect of memorization. When you memorize something such as a chant, you're not just saying the words aloud or in your mind. You're also connecting with and mediating the spiritual forces you seek to work with. This allows them to get to know you, to see your devotion to the work, and it allows you to reach a better understanding of them and may provide key insights on how to work with them.

Those key insights, in turn can reveal additional information or help you examine content from an entirely different perspective, an embodied and experiential perspective, instead of an abstract, conceptual one. For example, my work with the elemental archangels has helped me under some quabalistic work I've done from a different perspective and its also helped me connect with three additional archangels that I'm working in conjunction with the elemental 4 archangels.

The embodied and experiential perspective is cultivated by making the work a regular part of your life and how better to do than the act of memorization as well as integrating the chants into my regular practice. Each evening I use the chants in a meditation that aligns me with the archangels and allows me to do other magical work within a specific construct that's created from connecting with the archangels.

But recently I decided to try something novel with the memorization. I exercise approximately an hour a day, 6 days out of the week and I find when I exercise that the act of exercising creates a highly receptive and meditative state of mind. So I decided why not use the exercise time to recite the chants mentally to myself as a way to further imprint and memorize the chants.

I first started this process with swimming, which I do 3 days a week. When you swim, you're moving your body in a ways that's different from your everyday actions, and so that can be useful in and of itself, because the monkey mind is occupied with the movements. As I swam, I start mentally reciting the chants in mind, using the time of swimming to help my imprint and connect with the Archangels. My mind was clear and empty, through the act of swimming, so it became very easy to just focus on the chants, while also swimming, letting the physical motion and exercise carry the chants into both my mind and body.

After I'd done this activity with swimming for a couple of weeks, I started doing the same process with weight lifting, which I do the other three days of the week. I'll admit I found it more challenging with weight lifting, perhaps because most of the motions are ones that are done everyday. However, I persisted (and perspired) and found that weight lifting could also be adapted to memorization time.

However what was most fascinating to me about doing the memorization during exercise is how what I memorized became embedded in my body as well. The physical act of exercise combined with the meditative state it could create allowed me to embed what I was working into my body as well as my mind, and this created a deeper connection with the spirits I'm working with.

When you bring your body into your magical work, when you find some way to make the physical experience as relevant as the spiritual experience, then what you have is actually a recognition of what embodiment looks like and how it can help you. In this case doing the memorization during exercise has imprinted the energies of the working on my body as well as mind, so that when I do the ritual work formally, everything aligns naturally, because it isn't a conceptual thought, but an experienced reality.

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