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Journey Journal: (1) My ramblings in a blog. (2) back-end thoughts, less editing, more processing. (3) self-indulgent chatter which I really hope you “get.”

I’m sitting in my office listening to the Herbal Highway and inhaling heavy doses of Hyssop (organic) essential oil. Believe it or not, it’s not Young Living! AAAH! I’m a traitor. Well no, just a smart shopper. It was less expensive, still organic, and part of the ingredients for my sweetening spell last week. Speaking of…

In the last week it seems like I’ve been slowly dropping off the grid. Each time I say that to myself I visualize an egg sliding off the side of a car. I’m reading posts and status updates, twitter conversations by friends and my mental grip on the virtual world is… has, relaxed. I’m at the point where I’m questioning the fist and fingers as well as the immaterial connection that the internet offers.

I think that is parable for my life at the moment.

Over the last 20 + years I have spent my life almost entirely to a journey towards the self. Who am I? Why am I? What am I? The path was fraught with dangers, swollen with love, coming together, moving apart, and travels to places I hadn’t thought I would ever see. There has always been an undercurrent of discontent. An itch, something I call my Gypsy Spirit, that has caused travel. And travel has “been had.”

I’ve been around the world and I, I , I… I have found something I called my self thanks to that urge to move about.

Thursday as I showered before work, I thought to myself “Found and Lost.” You see, now that I am (think I am?) finally in touch with what I identify as the true me, I’m realizing that I am lost about my direction. There is a giant sign that says You Are Here but there doesn’t seem to be a signpost of where to go next.

It’s nothing but a bit of confusion, I’m fairly certain of the feeling and texture of that “I’ that I know but the manifestation is about as elusive as a Quetzal. That tiny, gorgeously plumed little bird that I only had the smallest of glimpses of while I was in Guatemala.

A flash of color in the peripheral, through the green and mist of the jungle.

I feel it coming. I hear the whisper of wings. I know the color as a flavor, and a feeling but I cannot define it. Like the Quetzal it feels real and bright, if I could just wrap my vision around it… I guess that falls into this weeks reading.

The path is calling. The draw to move into a new direction, or begin a new project is felt, but just not yet. Test the waters, refine your thoughts, mull over a cup of tea and have a little faith.

Be innocent with yourself.

So… I guess that is where I will unroot myself, to move with trust. To be the Fool. Embrace my spirit.

Temple of Witchcraft Journey

The Living Temple of Witchcraft (ToLW) work is going well. It’s definitely part of the process unfolding. I’ve moved through the first two Chakra Initiations with little issue while integrating the experiences from the Inner Mystery School. To explain that, in the series we create / discover the Inner Temple. Thus the name of the first book in the series, Inner Temple of Witchcraft. In the LToW we focus the energies of our inner temple to become a place of learning or a “mystery school,” where the journey takes place.

For example, the first series of exercises were based around the Root (Muladhara) brought me into connection with life and energy associated with first peoples, or ancient civilizations. I didn’t see Atlantis, Mu, or even Lemuria. I believe I was somewhere in Northern Africa. Who and when that was irrelevant to you but the message was interestingly clear from a two spirit called Aya-ut.

Aya-ut was a weaver. He drew reeds from the marshes and with the use of mud, stone, and plant materials he traveled with his people up and down a river fishing, gathering, living. He was a male but lived and dressed as a female, he participated in the women’s duties. Aya-ut was a spiritual functionary… and that is to say it felt as if everyone had a sense of their place within the spiritual cosmology that was woven but Aya-ut provided the weave for his people through story, song, and the tales woven into his baskets.

Life, he said, is all woven together as one. We are weavers, each of us, part of a great design, a big basket of everything.

It was an interesting confirmation for me, “weaving” together many aspects of my own personal philosophy and many of my creative and intellectual interests. For some time my chant has included “I am weaver.” When I reached the end of this focus on the Root my thoughts turned back to the present and some of the basic issues of the Muladhara, namely survival.

The second journey in the ToLW is the  Swadhisthana. The Second Chakra. If you’ve read along, this particular exploration lined up interestingly with the Light Body Course, meeting my inner Master and expanding feeling and awareness. These were separate lessons by different teachers and coincidentally had the same message. Here in the Inner Mystery School on another journey, through the gate of ancestors and I met a Northern European (I guessed around what we now think of as Germany) by the name of Uli.

Uli, yes I googled the name after, was a female, dark-haired, in what appeared to be Neolithic Northern Europe (I’m basing this on feeling), who’s lessons I am still referring back to and will probably continue to visit since the ideas were so rich and opening for me.

Uli expanded on the tapestry that Aya-ut was crafting for me. Her practice was finding an open space out from the forest, in the wide plane where the moon, stars, and all things could be seen from a vantage. Her world view was all that I see and experience is what we would call “Spiritual.” Uli and Moon were one. Uli and land were one… she was one with all things, and all things were one with her. On the one had that seems very tribal or shamanistic, but that also felt like a very “new age” concept.

I also don’t know much about Neolithic Europe historically speaking and I can’t say that I’ve seen this as a world view. It’s my understanding that things were a bit more Polytheistic then with a spiritual cosmology based around Gods and their hierarchy, traditions, songs, rituals, etc. (Br. Christopher if you are reading this, pip in to clarify). 🙂

I’m not a scholarly buff, I just tend to know something or experience it from a mystical perspective. The moon at 3:00 pm in the sign of Taurus, on the day of Venus, for a love spell… ARGH! I leave that to the (clearly) more qualified. That said, it isn’t that I don’t use correspondences, I just don’t have the mind to track, plot, and enjoy the process of it. Feels like math.

Maybe one day I’ll get there but until then I’m able to do much of my work simply by visualizing, sometimes with Mudra’s or chanting / toning. Candle work, stones, oils, spirits, etc.

Right. So… where was I? Oh yeah, Uli and the second temple.

Christopher Penczak wrote that the “challenge” of this temple was fear, and that the “blessing” was trust. For myself, also true. The lesson plan as far as my journey work, and so mirrored in my life, is fear v. trust as I move into guide, and master work. I find that fear inhibits the very mystical experience of the Light Body Course and the initiatory information that transmits during the meditation. The more I trust in the experience that is being had the greater I receive, the more expanded my experience becomes. This also applies to the temple journey’s, to the magickal process, to my self.

Do I not stand in perfect love, and perfect trust?

Pulling down the thoughts at the top of the page, it leaves me with a feeling of fulfillment and a strong sense of purpose, I seem to be “in the process” but the bigger picture is still hidden. I have less of an itch to leave and more of a desire to fulfill. Being in my process, this is where I am until the way is made clear.

As I move into next week I travel into the third temple, solar plexus, or Manipura, power, I’m looking forward to what other lessons and insights can be learned.

The experience that the ToW books have brought me are fantastic. If you are looking to explore your inner world, learn the Craft, or tighten up your knowledge I highly suggest them. It takes time, years even, dedication, and a willingness to expand as a living, breathing, being into a magickal self.

Enjoy.

The Living Temple of Witchcraft, Vl. 1,
By Christopher Penczak

Click for more information

Venture deeper into the mysteries of witchcraft and discover within yourself new levels of wisdom, love, power, and responsibility. In the fifth installment of the award-winningTemple of Witchcraft series, popular author Christopher Penczak explores the Descent of the Goddess. In the myth of Inanna, the Goddess journeys through seven gates to attain entrance to the Underworld and learn its secrets. In this unique book on witchcraft, you will parallel this descent by journeying through each of the seven chakras, symbolically evolving from survival to a state of divinity. Each lesson has meditations based on the teachings of this journey, as well as an advanced discussion of a key facet of magick or witchcraft often overlooked by intermediate books:

A pagan exploration of the Great Ages  •  The measure of initiation • The reason for being skyclad  •  Power and the Right and Left Hand Paths • The power of healing  •  Ethics and codes of conduct  •  Working with soul history • Working with your Master-Teacher •  Discovering your own spiritual laws
Receiving your secret names of the Goddess and God

The Living Temple of Witchcraft, Volume One: The Descent of the Goddess is for solitaries, eclectics, and non-traditional witches who are ready to integrate the mysteries and magick into their ministry and share their gifts with the world.

Be well,

– –

Scott K Smith
http://lifencompass.com
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Greetings!

With the new year I began a few new projects for Lifencompass, the Journey. Is started a fan page on Facebook. I crafted a new path on my magickal journey, beginning the Living Temple of Witchcraft Series, starting with Volume One: Decent of the Goddess, Christopher Penczak. I also penned a few drafts for some art/craft projects. 🙂

In this posting I wanted to talk about the breath and breathing, through the vein of a few meditations in the Temple of Witchcraft series. This month I have set up a Root Chakra Temple, and started with the Muladhara in my meditations and journey work.

Some of the Temple of Living Witchcraft reviews will appear on my Vimeo channel, for registered and approved viewers. Please contact me there if you would like to view the vlog.

The past three days I’ve woken and done breath work, breathing through my senses.

Opening The Senses

Exercise 3, Living Temple of Witchcraft, Christopher Penczak.

As part of the mysteries of the body, we explore the senses, the root, and the body. I love these exercises, they’ve had a very practical and positive impact on my life, down to my daily routine.

In this meditation we use breath to first draw in healing energy (Life Force Energy, Prana) through each of our senses, and then explore that sense. Meditating on what we perceive. We end by breathing and out through our entire being. If you would like Christopher’s meditation and tutorial, I suggest picking up his Temple of Witchcraft series. Life changing.

After entering a meditative state we breath through our eyes, then ears, nose, skin, and mouth. In each moment we are exploring the power of that breath of energy and opening our senses to the body and the world around us. Sounds pretty simple but you would be surprised at how you have dimmed some of your senses.

I use various methods of moving energy but on the second day of using this technique my mind wandered off the prescribed path and began to piece together other exercises to increase the depth of the experience.

First I recalled that Brandon’s Grand Mother wakes in the morning and does her form of Yoga. Breathing in through her nose, and out through her mouth while stretching and extending her body. Good stuff. At 78 she has done more than most Grand Mothers, including Tae Bo! And she still goes to the gym and looks fabulous!

So as I breathed in and out through my senses I recalled that the breath is healing, enlivening, vital.

I followed through the senses listening and feeling, and then completed the prescribed course at which point my mind jumped off again and I found a few other helpful pathways of breathing.

I recalled a dream from a few  nights ago in which I met a Peruvian medicine person (not sure if that is the proper title of the masculine feminine use of the word). She was breathing in energy of the world and sending it back into the world. It was a startling dream because she was glowing brighter with each breath, powerful with each exhale. She used a few examples, including a friend to demonstrate the power of her breathing technique. During the exercise today she appeared re-illustrating the breathing in and out of Life Force Energy, into the sky, the earth, the body, and the environment. Into each thought that came to my mind.

Then as I was breathing into the earth and sky I began to direct the energy to come through the lungs of the three worlds. Upper, middle, and lower. Each being, one being, myself, breathing in and out the sacred energy of life and breath and returning light and energy to the world. This brought me to the essential self, the awakening of the consciousness of the master within (Awaken Your Light Body, Formless Self, etc) and a new breathing that was an amalgamation of my senses, and levels of awareness.

Breath, is a powerful thing.

********

Muladhara chakra is shown as having four petal...

Muladhara: Image via Wikipedia

You may ask, how are these things beneficial or even practical, as I mentioned before?

Well, I’m finding that a lot of the work done at the Muladhara has brought clarity to financial issues, helped me to organize my house, kept me stable and grounded. This is magick on it’s most practical level. Loving the body and life. Expanding the senses. Becoming aware of our surroundings and making use of the vital energies.

Although I have long worked with my own energetic system the result of re-addressing them from a new perspective has refreshed my outlook, inviting changes and broadening my understanding of myself and my connection to all things.

I’m also reminded of two other points. One, I know that as we shift our awareness we shift awareness around us. Now I do see how that shift could be up or down, meaning positive or negative and how that change can effect those that we surround ourself with. But if you follow me here, and I believe you are, then as I breath I exhale into the world my intention for healing. As I expand my senses to include a deeper awareness of the world around me and my interactive place within it, am I not contributing to some 100th healer phenomena? What was the Peruvian Medicine Person (in my dream) meaning when she instructed to breath that energy back into the world? I have my answer. What would be yours?

The second point that comes to mind is that the practice of meditation, breath work, and of bringing in these subtler energies of healing and light into my life, that they have really changed the vibe around me. I see it in how I interact with those closest to me and how I move through the world. It adds to a fuel of energy within, a little storehouse. It’s very helpful, enough that I would like to share. So here would be my instructions for the breath work. My tweaks to the process.

Breathing Prana, or Life Force Energy

  1. Get into a meditative state. State your intentions.
  2. Start with the Opening the Sense exercise listed in The LToW, Vl. One or another similar breathing exercise to expand your awareness.
  3. Breath in the energy through your five senses. Take note of any feelings, thoughts, sensations, and record them later.
  4. Now that this level of awareness is established, we’re going to go wider. Deeper.
  5. Breath in the Life Force Energy and out into the crown, the heart, and the root. Bring the awareness of your intake and exhale at these points as simultaneous inward and then outward streams of energy. Feel the multi-layered awareness. I imagine my upper, lower, and middle world selves as a linked, unified being. It is sometimes necessary to explore each of them individually to know them. Like understand the had to the arm, the arm to the torso, etc, but for the purposes of this exercise we should be at the stage of having established these points of awareness. If it is uncomfortable, stop, practice something different and come back to it when you feel ready.
  6. Now focus your awareness on the entire being. Breathing in and out into three worlds, through the five senses, the crown, the root, the heart. This is the greater being. Breath in. Breath out. This is who you are in a broader sense, a magickal mapping of mutli-dimensionality.
  7. The power of this being is you. Notice that as you breath in and out into your environment, that the energy is passing through a center in your body. It is moving through a vortex, that is both taking in and sending out the energy. Find that place, should be around the area of your naval. Breath in and out. Breath in the light and exhale the light. See it the vortex of energy glowing with this energy. Not too much, not too little, just the right amount. Send any excess into the world as light. This is healing energy. Life force. It infuses you, your self, your energy centers, breath and body.
  8. Stay in this place of breath, being, and energy until you are ready to return.
  9. Come back to your normal state of consciousness in your preferred way. This plane. This moment. This time. Stretch and move your body comfortably. Bring your breathing back to what feels like your everyday breath. Wiggle your fingers and toes.
  10. Christopher Penczak says, and I recommend, to “Take both hands and raise them up over your head, palms facing your crown. Slowly bring them down  over your forehead, face, throat, chest, abdomen, and then groin, and “push out” with your palms facing away from you. This gives you clearance and balance, releasing any harmful or unwanted energies you might pick up during your magickal experience. Tell yourself:

I give myself clearance and balance. I am in balance with myself. I am in balance with the universe. I release all that does not serve my well being.” (pg 47, LToW, Vol. 1, excerpt Exercise 1).

Now ground yourself as needed.

I’m getting into the habit of this mediation daily, in the morning when I first wake. You can find the time that works best for you. You don’t have to go as deep every time you do the breathing exercise, simply staying with the senses or moving directly to the whole-being as you feel called. I’ve got a pretty good understanding of my whole system so I can start by breathing into my senses and move rather purposefully into the more advanced and deeper work. Go with what feels comfortable, right.

I’m sure you’ll see and feel a difference. Daily meditation, bringing in light work, adding breathing, these things have helped me to clean up parts of my life where I felt a bit disorganized and to follow my calling at the same time.

That’s practical magick.

See you next time.

– –

Be well,

Scott K Smith
http://lifencompass.com
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