Saturday, August 13, 2011

Elemental Air Initiation & Other Development

It's been the better part of a month since I attempted to gain initiation into the Elemental Sphere of Air by conjuring Raphael.  Since then, I've gone through a certain amount of personal work and development.  I recently wrote about my experiences in being attuned and initiated into Fire, and that has helped a LOT.

For that reason, I recently decided to try to gain initiation into Air again.  This time, as I did with the Fire initiation, I used a version of the Trithemius/Rufus Opus method modified with Strategic Sorcery tech.  Raphael didn't come across quite as clearly as Michael did, but his responses were more defined.  He agreed to give me the initiation to Air and integration of its forces into my sphere.

I've read the experiences of Polyphanes and The Unlikely Mage regarding this initiation.  In many ways my experience matched up with theirs, especially concerning the after-effects.  During the initiation it felt like air was blowing through my blood vessels, which was a rather interesting sensation to say the least!  Since then, I've noticed that I'm better at analyzing my thoughts and detaching from them.  This has unexpectedly lent me more emotional control in a kind of Cognitive-Behavioral therapeutic way (something which I'll get more into later in this post).

So with that, I've been initiated into all four Elemental Spheres.  Based on mention by students of Rufus Opus, there is a second part to the elemental initiations, but I'm going to hold off on those until I am more in touch with my Angel.  Besides, I'm going to begin working through the Planetary Spheres as well.

Recently I conjured my Genius again and asked it if my plan of going through the Planetary Spheres in the order of Luna>Mercury>Venus>Sol>Mars>Jupiter>Saturn was best.  Contrary to initial indications when I made these plans, my Genius advised me not to do that order.  Instead, I should apparently start with Saturn.

This advice, less than a week later, proved to mean more and make so much sense.

The Battle With The Demons Begins

Dear readers, what follows is slightly personal and has a slight weight to it.  When I say "slight" I mean it as in "yeah, there is, but not THAT much".

For a long time I've felt the need to go through psychotherapy of some kind.  My main reason used to be self-knowledge.  But now, that is the last reason.  The main reason is a lot of issues with depression and anxiety.

A few days after I received the aforementioned advice from my Genius, I went to my first appointment with my therapist.  Some of the major influences on my thoughts and emotions were discussed, and at the end of the session, my therapist said something incredibly apt:  It seems as though I have a weak sense of self.

One of the many issues involved in a weak sense of self are boundary issues.  These type of issues themselves can take several forms, and I'd say I have covered about 75% of them!  After learning this through further research, the advice from my Genius makes so much more sense.

See, this is where Saturn comes in.  Saturn can help me define myself, establish healthier boundaries, and thus enable myself to have greater self-esteem and confidence.  Going down the order from there, I feel like Jupiter has a great role to play in my reclaiming and fostering a healthy sense of self, but if I formulated the words for it, they currently escape me.

So that's it...the battle with my demons has begun.  Already I feel like I have so many weapons to use in the fight against depression, anxiety and other issues, that I truly feel hopeful.  I have the forces of the universe I can integrate into my being.  I have meditation to help me work with my thoughts.  I have literature chock full of great-quality Congnitive-Behavioral Therapy tech, and I have a damn good therapist whose reputation precedes her.

It's time to be awesome again.

Friday, August 5, 2011

World On Fire

It's been a while, hasn't it?

Unfortunately, my practical work has been at a lull.  Life has crept in and has tried to drag me away in its mundane clutches!  Actually, I've just been planning logistics and getting things in order for upcoming projects both magical and mundane.

One task that I've been trying to work on is cultivating positive "fire" in my psyche, as per my previous post, and boy do I have something to talk about here, folks!

I was hanging out with the friend of mine who gave me my staff awhile back, and was talking about the postponement of my initiation into Air and the reason for it.  My friend decided to help the process of cultivating elemental Fire in me by taking me through an attunement with that element using his techniques.  He anointed me with High John oil, spiritually purified me with tobacco smoke, and then the real work began.  I'm not sure if this is the best way to describe it, but he had me gather my soul into a piece of material that he then set on fire.  To my point of view, I placed the..."focal point"...of my Sphere into the material so that as it burned, elemental Fire swept through it, bringing purification and balance to elemental Fire within me.

The aftereffects were unexpected: calm, slowness to anger, a bit more body heat, increase in my creative urges.

In the time between this and my next topic of discussion, I kept getting an intuition that I should continue with the elemental initiations, going with Fire and Michael next.  So, guess what I did (and what the next topic is)?

Initiation into Elemental Fire

Copyright 2008 Howard David Johnson
I did some things differently when I conjured Michael as the King of the Elemental Sphere of Fire.  I took the conjuration ritual given in Trithemius and in Rufus Opus' 'A Modern Angelic Grimoire' and modified it using tech from Strategic Sorcery.  This was especially apt, as my cycle is going through the topic of grimoire spirits and evocation.  Divination by pendulum and then by a small, quick tarot spread showed positive signs for the effectiveness of the resultant conjuration ritual.

So, last night, I attempted it.  In hindsight, I'm surprised at how clearly Michael showed to me and how well I could discern his voice from my own thoughts.  He agreed to the Initiation and Integration of Elemental Fire without any real hesitation.  He also appeared in a manner somewhat reminiscent of a modern least, in face a head (he seemed to have a crew cut...  <_<).  As he began the initiation, he pointedly told me, "Don't move."

Initially I didn't feel much.  I felt some kind of shifting, but then this sensation came over me that I can only describe as my soul being on fire all over again.  Shortly after this came a sensation that felt something like a low, steady and subtle fire coursing along all my nerves from my brain.  Later, after the ritual, I realized that my muscles all ached as though something were going on at a neuro-muscular level.

During the initiation, it felt as though Michael was holding back, only giving me a little.  He confirmed this, saying something like, "This is all you can receive for now, but it is enough and you are initiated into Fire.  Focus on your passion and creativity, and your capacity for fire will increase."

I had a question for Michael, based on a conversation about the fixity and volatility of the elements I had with my friend.  I asked which element is the most volatile, air or fire?  His answer was really interesting:

"Neither.  All elements are fixed and volatile depending on numerous factors.  After all, earth can easily be changed when it is dry and brittle.  Water can be made to evaporate.  Air can stand still, and fire can be controlled."

I'm not sure if that made sense, even to me, given the definition of the word 'volatile'.  I asked him further, in the context of conventional occult philosophy, which element is most volatile.  To this, he answered that it is Fire.

Afterward, I dismissed Michael and ended the ritual.

Overall, I feel this ritual was very effective, and I'm looking forward to attempting the Air initiation in the near future.