Names: To Vibrate or not To Vibrate


When you say the names of a god or goddess in your invocation rituals, you can either say them normally or you can vibrate them, which is supposed to be more effective.  Greer says the best way to learn it is with a simple vowel tone.  Take a deep breath and chant the sound until you run out of breath.  As you make the sound, change the shape of your mouth and the quality of the tone until you feel a tingling sensation in your body somewhere.  It may be slight at first, but will get stronger with time and practice.  Eventually, you’ll be able to focus the vibration at various points of the body and even outside of the body as well.

Note: No matter how long your incantation is, you only vibrate the name; the rest said normally.

In peace,

N. 

Finally! Actual Meditation


So, after you do five minutes of breathing, then you focus on your meditation subject.

Now, you may be wondering why I’m going through all of this and the answer is simple:  we have to master the basics before we can expect to succeed with high-level magic.  Now, back to meditation.

To start, silently state your theme in as few words as possible or visualize it in an image, such as a rune, holding it in your mind for a short time, then start contemplating, exploring its implications and connections. Choose one that appeals to you, and follow it as far as you can.  Keep working at it for 10 minutes and then pay attention to your breathing to help return to ordinary awareness.

Your mind will probably wander in the beginning, and when it does, don’t beat yourself up and force your mind back to the theme, follow your thought pattern backwards, to where you left off and continue from there.  Meditate every day and you can add more actual meditation time gradually as you get better.

In peace,

N.

Breathing Stage: Rhythmic Breath


Like in just about every other meditation style on the planet, Greer’s meditation also uses the count-pause-count-pause style of breathing:  breathe in for three, pause for three, breathe out for three, pause for three.  He warns us not to close the throat when holding our breaths because it can lead to lung problems.

Like before, we’re supposed to practice only the relaxation and breathing parts until the breath rhythm becomes automatic and we can remain comfortable relaxed for five minutes of breathing.

In peace,

N.

Posture: Sit Up Straight!


So, instead of the common posture of sitting on a hard floor with crossed legs, Greer says we are to sit on a chair with a hard seat instead.  This doesn’t seal off our energies from the cosmos.  We have to sit so our lower back isn’t resting against the back of the chair with our feet flat against the floor.  The back should be straight without being stiff and our heads should be upright, no slumped shoulders, etc.  Our hands should be palm down on our thighs and our elbows at our sides.  We should look something similar to this badly drawn picture of an Egyptian statue.   

We need to meditate in the same place every day, facing East if we can, at roughly the same time every day or at least at the same point every day, such as before breakfast.  Greer says that outdoors is best, but indoors will do.  The last thing we need is to have a clock placed where we can check the time without turning our heads.  I guess I’ll be going shopping.

In peace,

N.

Meditation: A Useful Tool Part I


I say ‘Part I’ because this topic is going to take a few posts.  In The Druid Magic Handbook, Greer suggests that we take up meditation, but that traditional Western meditation is a bad practice because it requires us to shut down our minds, because stopping what’s natural (in this case, mental chatter) is never a good idea.

A better approach is one that focuses on “training the mind and harmonizing it with the rest of the self”.  His technique is to decide on an idea or theme, then sit and explore the theme in thought, while letting the mind follow the theme as far as it can.  In other words, you sit and ponder.

The most illuminating comment from this sub-section of his discourse on meditation was the following:

Most occult traditions in the Western world use enigmatic images, symbols and texts to conceal the deeper dimensions of their teachings.  These are meant to be “unpacked” through discursive meditation and they give up their secrets no other way.  Once you learn to meditate in this way you have the key to most traditional occult lore.

‘Discursive’ is this form of meditation.  I called it ‘illuminating’ because there are several of the old texts which can basically be described as “Huh?” out there.  I guess I’ll be spending even more time thinking…

In peace,

N.

Divination: More Magic


One thing that you won’t find in ‘fantasy magic’ is divination.  However, it can be useful in daily life, so it is well worth looking into.  This is what Greer has to say about it in The Druid Magic Handbook: 

One effective way to learn divination with Ogham or any other oracle is to ask the same simple question each day — “What do I most need to know about the day before me?” — and write down your reading.  Go back a day later and compare the symbols you cast, and the interpretation you gave to them, with the events of the day.  With time and regular practice this process will teach you the meanings of each of the Ogham fews have for you and help guide the growth of your own intuitive abilities.

The Ogham is a divination system using the old Irish Ogham alphabet, each ‘letter’ (I have to assume) being called a ‘few.’  Greer gives a list of meanings for each few in The Druid Magic Handbook.  Personally, I prefer the Runic system, but that’s just me.  There’s also the Tarot.  If you’re going to use the Tarot, read Greer’s  Learning Ritual Magic: Fundamental Theory and Practice for the Solitary Apprentice.  In it Greer suggest a number of authors whose tarot systems are appropriate.  For Runes, read Runelore: A Handbook of Esoteric Runology by Edred Thorsson.

In peace,

N.

But Wait, There’s More: Another Cheat Sheet


After you perform the Elemental Cross Ritual, you perform the Circulation of Light Ritual, which is a protection ritual.  I have also included on my documents page.  This is also mostly Greer’s words, with a slight alteration by myself.

Cheat Sheet: Elemental Cross Ritual


If you’re working through The Druid Magical Handbookthe first exercise you’ll come across is the Elemental Cross Ritual.  Greer separated it into sections, vocal, posture and imagination, but I’ve combined them all in a cheat sheet for myself, which I’m going to post here.  Essentially I’ve taken his text and combined them all so I have one set of instructions.

In peace,

N.

Magical Theory


The French mage Eliphas Lévi was an accomplished author of the 19th century.  In The Druid Magical Handbook,  Greer had this to say about him and his work:

What we call imagination, Lévi terms the diaphane, the subtle body through which the human mind can sense and shape the astral light (life force).  Thus dreams and day dreams, stray thoughts and all the other products of imagination are not simply inside one human brain; some are created by the diaphane of the person who experiences them, others come from outside, but all are projected onto the astral light.  When this is done with intention and concentration, it sets up patterns and flows in the astral light and these accomplish magical effects.

In peace,

N.

The Fifth Element


In Western magical theory there’s a fifth element, one that rarely gets any press: Spirit.  This is what Greer has to say about it in The Druid Magic Handbook:

Spirit originates, witnesses, and reabsorbs all the other elements.  The old elemental lore gives it no qualities of its own, because all qualities unfold from it.  It corresponds to the center, the present moment, and pure awareness in the self.

The reason why no one ever talks about it is probably because it has no qualities.  In Encyclopedia of Practical Magic, you won’t find any plant or mineral rulerships and correspondences for that reason.  However, we can’t ignore it just because we haven’t found any practical way to interact with it.  When I do find a way, I will let you know.

In peace,

N.

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