Breathing practices

Review of Introduction to Magic by Julius Evola and the UR Group

Introduction to Magic by Julius Evola

The title of this book could be a bit misleading, as it's fair to say that the majority of the articles in this book are not intended for people who are just coming into magical practice. The articles requires at least an intermediate knowledge in Hermeticism, Alchemy, or Buddhist Meditation techniques, for the most part. With that said, I definitely recommend this book for anyone who is interested in reading and practicing the different techniques described and discussed in this book.

These articles were written in the late 1920's by a group of experimental magicians called the UR group, lead by Julius Evola. This book presents a fascinating glimpse into ceremonial magical work being done in that time by magicians who weren't overtly associated with magical orders such as the OTO or Golden Dawn. The articles are detail oriented, but all of the writers manage to discuss the concepts with enough brevity to explain what needs to be done and how to do it, without unnecessarily waxing poetic about it.

One article I particularly liked was what I would suggest was the first article ever written on space/time magic...but rather apt for what it suggests about the nature of time and how a person interacts with it. This is definitely a book I will read again and again and get more out of each time I read it. I recommend it to any person who wants to either get a better historical perspective of magical practices or wants to continue honing his/her practices.

headache

I had a headache today. It would not go away, even after I took painkillers. It was in for the long haul. I ate some food and after I cleaned the dishes, I went into the bedroom. I couldn't string together a cohesive thought in words because of the pain. All I could really do was feel the pain. I laid down and decided to meditate on the pain, to be present with the headache instead of trying to deny it. There's a message there, I figured...the headache had something to say. Nothing mystical or spiritually heavy to impart so don't get your hopes up. I wasn't enlightened, I didn't have the heavens open to birth some revelation.  I just meditated on the pain. I felt each throb of the headache and recognized I needed to slow down the blood...so deeper breaths, a message to heart saying "Slow down, relax". The pain diminishes a bit. Next I focus on feeling the passage of the pain...not where the pain is, but how the pain is traveling in my brain. It seems to be traveling from the back of my head, the occipital portion I believe, to the eyes, or vice versa...

So I begin to lightly massage the pain, to open up the circulation, and spread out the energy, because it pretty much is a case of too much visual stimulation, too much energy in traveling in one direction, sorta like I-5 in Seattle...too many cars and you can't go anywhere...so I start redirecting and re-distributing the energy and the pain continues to lessen. It's less intense. I continue this until eventually the pain is gone. There's a faint lingering presence in one eye for a bit, but it's already dissipating, being massaged and moved in different directions, different places...vented and redistributed to balance the whole. The back of my neck on the right side is also bothering me, partially because my muscle in my upper right back is bothering me so that's another potential cause of the headache. I'll work on dissolving the tension on those, but it could take a while...I'll really have to scan and feel my entire back and start on the area with the least tension, gradually moving to the deeper areas of tension, which will get loosened as I do this because the areas with less tension are already loosened...it's a recognition that just focusing on the symptom doesn't really work, especially because the symptom is an expression, but not the cause of the issue.

The Path is Hard

I'm reading The Fulfilments of Fate and Desire by Storm Constantine now, for my pleasure reading, but also to get reacquainted with a magical system I work in, called Dehara. There's a lot of magic in the books themselves, but continuing to develop a magical system around those books is something I've felt called to do lately. Some of that actually relates to a couple of my previous posts about service and deity, and being pinged about this particular matter. But more on Dehara later...this is a post about something else. I've been thinking lately about the characters in the Wraeththu series, and in particualr Cal's journey. I have a lot of empathy for Cal, because I definitely feel like I'm on a similar journey of purification and self-knowledge. At one point Cal is told, "The Path is Hard," when he complains about it.

Yep...the path is hard. Really hard sometimes. A person might be tempted to say, "Well it's only as hard as you make it". A flippant response, but not entirely incorrect. There is some truth that the hardness of any task is at least partially determined by the person doing the task. But even when a task could be easier, that doesn't mean it's not hard. A good example, for me, comes from earlier today, when I meditated and was confronted by an aspect of myself, which essentially said, "Stop pretending I don't exist, or I'll continue sabotaging you." Certainly it was easier to dialogue with that aspect, then continue denying it. But that didn't mean it was easy to face that aspect. Suddenly, I was facing again all those times where I hadn't really been honest with myself about it or the needs it embodied, and well...some problems occurred, because of actiosn I took. I'm responsible for those actions and the effect they had on others, but moreso I'm responsible for the effect it's had on me. The denial I've caused to myself inevitably inflicts harm on myself, and so while my path is easier, it still involves facing that harm, coming to peace with that as part of coming to peace with the aspect.

Throughout the original trilogy and even to some degree in the second trilogy, Cal is portrayed as a toxic character. He embodies what happens when you do not know yourself...the toxicity he spreads is chaotic. He shakes up the lives of everyone. Even in the process of learning to be honest with himself, to cleanse himself, to come peace with everything that occurred in the past, he's still a chaotic influence, but he begins to stabilize as he continues on this path of self-realization.

Sometimes I think what makes the path so hard is that awareness of toxicity in myself. I can be toxic, to myself or to others. The potential is there for everyone. I can be a toxic flower, beautiful to behold, but taste of me and I will surely wreck your life. That's one way to look at it.

But I also have to remind myself that it's growing pains, don'tcha know? Really. I'm not always toxic...I might not be at all. I'm just someone muddling my way on this path I call life, learning as best I can...It's far easier to be hard on myself than to recognize that in fact I don't have to be that hard. So where does magic fit into all of this?

Magic, in my experience of the last few years, involves a lot of internal work, a lot of internal change. I can't say I always felt that way...For a long time I considered magic to be more or less external. Some internal awareness was there, but I was mostly concerned with getting results. I could summon up entities, do sigils, etc, and get results, and that was all that mattered. Magic was great for solving external problems, but I didn't really think about where the root of those problems was coming from (or at least my responsibility for those problems). Only in the last few years did my magical approach shift to the internal, so that I do most of my work internally and then let the changes manifest externally. Doing the internal work meant really starting to be honest with myself about why I was even doing magic in the first place and what it was I was hoping to get out of it.

I've come face to face with a lot in the last few years. I'm currently working with the element of love and facing all of the internal demons associated with that concept for me. And so, just as Cal discovers, the path is hard...but it does get easier as time goes on. Because the more you work through, the less baggage you have holding you down, and the easier the external situations get...and then you realize the real strength of magic isn't found in the neat special effects or even in making results happen (Though those are always nice perks)...its found in really embracing the reality of yourself on all levels, without attachment...without lust for results...

Not being...not doing, and in all of that finding something we could call freedom, self knowledge, enlightenment...whatever you want, or not. I'll call it a lifetime of adventure, discovery, and experience. Or walking the path...it does get easier, really.