Why are you doing magick at all? How do we get into this field of research, experimenting our ways in a maze between Heaven and Earth and Kingdoms of the Invisible? What is the Great Work in itself? The wisest answer of all to these questions might be known from the inscription of the Temple of Apollo of Delphi: gnōthi seauton. Know thyself.
But what is ‘self’ in this case at all? Some say it’s a kind of a Higher Self like in terms of True Will which is discovered by the help of one’s Holy Guardian Angel, some say it is a perfected kind of Self like in Freud’s ‘Über-Ich’. For me, self here refers here to something different, something that can’t be found outside of our body or outside of our mundane lives and desires, outside of us stripped bare of our emotive drives. If I’m only ‘myself’ without the love and desire I feel then I’m definitely not myself. So I’d like to refer to this idea of self as our deeper self, the one we reach only if we are willing to pay attention, to listen and to peel off layers of conditioning, tradition, family history, etc. This is partly achieved by doing the work of psychological deconstruction but also by doing magick if you’re willing to dive deep through a portal that is the self on the surface but that’s it: a shiny surface reflecting whatever we project onto it. How would it otherwise make sense that we experience ourselves differently in relation to different people and also experience them individually? We project a lot onto this surface and it gets back to us.
The first ingredient to my journey visiting the planets was a simple meditation, my daily practice, where I expected nothing exceptional. And here is what happened. It’s dark, one red candle is lit before me. I relaxed every part of my body (as much as possible, still working on that disk protrusion…) and finished a few breathing exercises. The room takes on a bit of distance in front of my closed eyes, like I could see it from farer away than I actually am. I start a ritual chanting with syllables coming by themselves as they need to (still don’t like my voice when singing but got used to it a while ago). When I feel open enough I look for what I want to achieve, an agenda. And not for the first time it is this: I want to re-integrate those parts that belong to me and are intrinsically tied to my magick. With this in my mind I use the IAO and the IEAOU formulas and a mantra to open up the Veil of Paroketh in front of my inner eyes in vision. Standing on the edge of the universe I utter my creational words into the void and see myself in vision how I look like when I have all my parts assembled together again. Usually I perform a breathing exercise when the image is clear and saturated with emotion to pull the picture into my physical body but this time something different happens.
I see myself on a light path surrounded by darkness, a tiny figure standing before an immensely high built portal that glows in multiple shades of off-white and dark red with greyish streaks. I am not exactly running towards the portal as it does look rather discouraging. But I walk on setting one foot in front of the other as I know I need to reach it anyway no matter how long it takes because there simply is no other available option. As I get closer I can recognize more details. The doors are huge and seem to be made of wood and stone with elaborate carvings depicting beings and landscapes that get unrecognizable at the very moment my eyes try to communicate their shapes to my brain. They just seem to dissolve and the name I had for them a split of a second before vanishes altogether with them. Suddenly the colours seem to part into two more contrasting areas. The right door sheds its greyish streaks and appears to be glowing white now while the left one takes on an otherworldly intense red. It is only now that I realize that the white one is open a bit and revealing light from the other side of whatever there might be.
I am standing directly in front of this wondrous portal and I’m so mesmerized by its details that I don’t really think about the other side until there is a resonance in my mind: ‘What are you looking for?’ I look up all the way of the front side of the magnificent thing and more feel than see that it is not a thing at all but a being. Half glowing white and half intensely red it wants an answer from me as it urges on: ‘Power? Knowledge?’ It is either my vision that starts to blur or the being’s ever changing detailed images on its surface that I had mistaken for cravings before that move in front of my eyes now. My answer comes more intuitively than from a place of rational thinking, ‘Myself.’ That is all it needs. The portal being opens up a bit more and I am invited to cross the threshold. Inside it is pitch black, I can’t even see my hands before my eyes. The only exception seems to be a single candle somewhere in the centre of the space shedding light in concentric circles, tiny but powerful enough. I try to grope my way along the walls of this strange place my fingers scratching the joints between the huge blocks carved of stone. Slowly finding, actually more feeling my way through the half lit darkness I get used to it. Suddenly I realize some kind of bench and I sit down and feel understood and welcome.
It is the very next night when the moon is full that I perform a sequence of rituals to get into a better touch with my intuition. Within the next 24 hours I am called to start a cycle of workings with the planets. It is not a nagging voice nor anything very obvious, it is on a different scale of perception. Comparable to the feeling when you’ve been preparing yourself for a long journey gathering information about the countries you’d cross, the landscapes you would spend your nights in, the tales and mythological beings connected to the land, the tools that might come in handy on your journey. You look at the map for the last time and you feel prepared and blank at the very same moment. There’s simply nothing left to do but to start.
Saturn, Venus, Jupiter, Mercury, Mars, Moon and Sun, each one starting on its day and going on for six consecutive days so I’ll be finished on the longest day of the year, celebrating Sun at its highest point in the sky. I haven’t planned much of this, the idea came from that intuitive part and seems to tie in nicely with the astronomical factors.
Please note: My Saturn working is already done and will be the topic for Monday’s entry. In this blog I basically publish huge parts of my diary records in the hope that some will be encouraged to work on their own rituals and inspired by my experiments. One last word: Whatever you know, whatever you have read, studied, ideally it provides a solid foundation for the visual terminology so you can get a grasp of the information or ideas that want to be conveyed to you. However, this terminology is like a foreign language which is prone to mistranslations and misunderstandings because sometimes although there are (visual) words for something the concept itself is non-existent in one of the languages. So brace yourself with a diary and a pen because there’s a high probability that you’ll only be able to make sense of huge parts of the images and information you get in some time and this understanding might change from time to time again as its layers are peeled off just like the layers of the self in order to finally ‘know’.