Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Extreme Listening

It's time to get back to magick. A series of life events have me re-evaluating my priorities, and I'm thankful to be back to doing some of the things that I have unfortunately been ignoring for a bit.

So, most people recognize that my partner and fiance, Rufus Opus, is very interested in the place of love in the Great Work. It's impossible to hang out with him for very long and not be pondering these questions yourself, and my recent pondering has to do with the role of listening.

It's sort of a foregone conclusion in Hermetics that our lives represent in some way the actions of the larger forces of the Universe. The simple way to talk about it, I suppose, is that we humans are a microcosm to the macrocosm of the larger world or the Invisible world, or both. This implies that our ordinary human relationships are representative of our relationship with gods and spirits and Nature and the conceptual universe. They, naturally, deserve our attention anyway, but when seen as a training ground for how we represent ourselves before the Big Things, they take on a different feel.

Aristophanes, in Plato's Symposium, states that humans were originally fashioned by the gods with 4 legs, 4 arms and a single head with two faces. These original, although to our eyes unwieldy, humans, were incredibly powerful and the gods became concerned that they would make trouble. They were, in fact, worried that the humans would conquer the gods. Initially, they considered destroying the humans with lightning, but then the tribute given by humans would be lost.

The gods, therefore, split the humans in half. Apollo sewed the up and reconstituted their bodies. Each human had only one set of personal parts and would forever long for his or her lost half. 

The tendency of humans to pair up seems to support this poetically, although there is a lot of biology involved in that bond as well.

But, keeping with the story, here we are, cut in half and the only ways to connect with the other half involve touch and speech. We pretend we can read each others' minds, but this is a dicey thing to depend upon. If we want to be effective at communicating with other people, we need to practice the arts of physical contact and verbal communication.

And in connection with the intended content of this blog, we need to train these skills to be an effective seer. If we humans are a subset of the original human format, how much more are we a subset of the Universe at large? Some of the skills required to be a good human partner are exactly the same as those required to perform successful scrying.

Listening is particularly important. One can only listen well from a position of confidence, this is clear. Knowing well your own value makes it possible to actually hear without feeling threatened. Additionally, it helps one to hear what's being said rather than waiting to speak. Controlling the conversation is the opposite of listening. It's also necessary to not predict what's about to be said; thinking you know ahead of time what is going to happen is counterproductive to communication with both humans and invisible friends.

Ask questions.

Repeat what you have heard.

Try to picture what's being felt and said.

Obviously, don't interrupt.

And remember in particular to come at this from a position of power. You are here for a reason, communicating for a reason. Recognize your own value; allow yourself to bring it all to the table in compassion and understanding.

And blessed be thou!

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Devotion to Venus

In recognition of her place in our lives, and to reclaim some space for our combined practice, RO and I yesterday did a conjuration of the angel of Venus, Haniel. The intention was only devotional, we had no questions and no real purpose, other than to present offerings of incense, fire and wine.

We both bathed beforehand in a prosaic manner, no real spiritual juice to mine at least. And no salt, no mantra, no white towel on my head. We have both been ill with a stomach virus, so it was a low-key jeans and tee shirt event.

Together, we performed the Seven Spheres opening, the blessing of the fire and incense. Together we read Patrick Dunn's new translation of the Orphic Hymn to Venus.

Then we basked in the environment that we had constructed. 

As the incense burned to about the middle point, two streams of smoke began to issue from the stick. It curled thickly in the air of the living room, and began to reach out to caress our faces. It was never so thick to be obnoxious, only inviting. It seemed very dance-like and felt as though our offerings were gladly accepted.

Blessed be thou.