Questions of the Week Answers 1-2-12

questionEach week, on Facebook and Google plus I will ask people if they have questions and if they do I will post answers on my blog during the following week. I was asked two questions this week. The first one is: Are there any effects from yoga practice upon the magic development? I think with any form of physical exercise or activity there is the potential for it to apply to magical development. In the case of Yoga, it can certainly help you improve breathing, body posture, etc., as well as help you learn how to meditate using different poses. In fact, I'd say one of the chief benefits of Yoga is that it gets you out of your head and into experience of the moment. It can be hard to think of lots of other things, when you need to focus your attention on holding a pose. A deeper exploration of Yoga can also reveal spiritual benefits in terms of allowing you to access internal energy reserves as well as build up those energy reserves. I think the same applies for Eastern Martial arts, but also any form of exercise you do consistently. Exercising requires you to focus on your body, and it can consequently reveal internal reserves, as well as places of tension and stress.

The Second question was: What do you think on psychedelic drugs in use of magic? Do they help for growing up"?
I think of psychedelic drugs or entheogens as crutch, as opposed to being useful for magical or spiritual development. I think there are exceptions, so for example the use Ayahuasuca in South America for Shamanic rituals could be seen as a genuine practice that contributes to the development of a person's spiritual power, but in that case, that kind of spiritual work has been done for a long time under very specific conditions and with specific practices. From what I've observed in general about the use of entheogens, its an exception, rather than a rule that entheogens will help with the use of magic or growing up. In my opinion, its better to learn how to meditate and do all the other work without relying entheogens to get you there. If you are going to use entheogens, bear in mind that you aren't really in control of the experience, and that makes it harder to do magic.

Some thoughts on physiology, entheogens, and awareness of time.

I've just started reading Sex, Sleep, Eat, Drink, Dream: a day in the life of your body by Jennifer Ackerman. I'm already intrigued by what I've read, but in the first chapter she notes that there is a set of neurons that comprise the master clock in your brain, which basically dictates the rhythms of time for the body. Last night when I was having my entheogen experience, my perception of time changed drastically. Time felt elongated, slowed down, stretched out. Even my perception of light was stretched so that the light moved much differently than it normally would. My circadian rhythm had been changed by the entheogen. And this interests me, because how one's physiology reacts to any substance can dictate not only the health of a person, or the awareness of time, but also the rhythm of that person. My awareness of time admittedly also might've changed because that was what I brought into my inner journey, but nonetheless I have to acknowledge that my internal rhythms were influenced. This same distortion of time has happened with magical workings and meditation. While not necessarily as visually stimulating as my trip, my awareness of time changes a lot when I meditate. I will sometimes think I have been under for hours, only to find out I've been under for twenty minutes or a half hour. This recent experience as well as comparing notes with my meditations has made me wonder just how much our perception of linear time interferes with the awareness of biological time. When I measure time from a biological perspective, from a rhythmic awareness it seems to be much different from the ticking of minutes and seconds that tells me what time it is on my computer. It's a possible angle for further experimentation.

Speaking of possible angles for experimentation, watching a friend and former student doing her work with with the element of darkness and specifically with Sora from Kingdom Hearts decided me on utilizing the Kingdom Hearts Video games as part of my work with emptiness. Yes, I know quite profane, but also quite useful...the metaphysical aspects of the Heartless and nobodies is untapped as yet, and it could also be an excellent exploration of projective identity and personal narrative as a pathworking, similar to what The force unleashed inspired in me for working with the Emperor as an aspect of emptiness.

Entheogens and emptiness

Tonight I went over to a friend's place and utilized an entheogen. It's been about ten years since I've done it. The first time I did it, there was no spiritual purpose for doing it, but tonight, I had a specific spiritual purpose in mind.  I pulled out my two tarot decks and did a similar working, and while doing that I drank orange juice which contained the entheogen in it. I wanted to see what the experience of walking in the silver web of time would be like with the entheogen. Right now I feel like everything is an illusion, and that seems to have been the tone of the trip throughout the evening. I evoked XaH, Thiede, Purson, and the Spider Goddess of Time as I ingested the brew. I also invoked my future self, the Master of time. As I was writing down the results of the reading, perhaps twenty minutes in I began to notice that it was hard to write. I frantically finished scrabbling my notes and then put my hands into the prayer pose to start working with the silver webs of time. As an interesting note, I noticed that my train of thought became very cyclical and spider web oriented throughout the entire trip. I recall one of my fellow journeyers pointing out that what you brought into the trip is what you got out of it...echoes the sentiment of give to get.

My emotional spectrum was all over the place. I think a lot of my inner demons took the opportunity to come out and play tonight. I saw a lot of control issues and ego issues played out emotionally. Not horrible either to experience those and realize how much they sometimes inform my choices and actions. It actually showed me how strung up I can get sometimes about  the choices of life. Also the spider goddes of time devoured me at one point, or at least came close to it. She ate most of me, but left a small part behind and I regrew. I felt purified after she ate me...it was as if she ate the parts that were trying to control instead of just letting go and feeling the trip.

Physically, I felt like I was getting made love to by the music we listened to. I felt so damn good...it was like having a really good orgasm, except that it lasted for hours and hours. Also my feeling of time elongated, so that minutes seemed to take an infinity to occur. My perception of light became perceptions of web patterns of time. I wasn't so much weaving them as I was becoming them. I became this great spiral of time where I could traverse the web and go to different points.

One thing which really stands out me is that at one point I realized how instinctual every thing is. Basically I couldn't rationalize any of my choices. I recognized the instinct that informed each choice and saw each choice purely as an instinctual response. At another point I noticed how long I took between breaths as well as how heavy my body felt when I took each breath. At yet another point, the light seemed to elongate...and when I smiled or moved I felt incredible.

Remembers another point, where I pointed out to my one friend that he was wearing a sleep mask. He slipped it off and smiled...everyone moved in slow motion, jelly like in the flow of the concentric webs of time.

The final phase, which I'm in now, has been an odd experience. I'm basically observing myself doing things, talking, eating, whatever else. I'm cognizant that I'm doing the action, but it almost seems like someone else is. What's really been odd is that the observer part feels as if it's a step forward in time. So I feel like I know what Lupa will say a second before she says it. It's like everything was rehearsed in the lines of a play. I could predict what would happen and then it would happen. It was an odd experience of time to have because I did feel like an oracle. There's a part of me which is currently questioning whether I'm really writing this post or if it's just an illusion on my part.

I'm feeling really mellow at this point. The emptiness aspect of this experience really involved the inner demons coming out...maybe, or maybe it's this feeling of mellowness, or maybe its something else. Regardless, I feel very mellow, very relaxed. I think I will enjoy that for the rest of this evening. I may try these again in the near future for another space/time experiment as it proved fruitful in terms of experiencing the silver web of time.

Book Release: Mastering the Art of Ritual Magick

Immanion Press has just released Mastering the Art of Ritual Magick by Frater Barrabbas. It's the first book of a trilogy he is offering on ceremonial magic. I really enjoyed his previous book Disciple's Guide to Magic, and also enjoyed reading this one when I copy-edited it.