ecosophia: JMG in lecture mode (Default)
Yggdrasil As promised, here's a version of the Middle Pillar exercise reworked for Heathen practice. Our working title for this is the Central Axis exercise, as it works with the central axis or Pillar of Mist in the Heathen Tree of Life, midway between the Pillar of Fire and the Pillar of Frost. Here's how it goes: 

1. Perform the complete Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, beginning and ending with the Hammer-Sign.

2. Imagine a ray of light descending from infinite space to form a sphere of light just above your head, around eight inches in diameter. This sphere is white and contains the rune Ansuz in gold. When you have formulated it clearly in your imagination, vibrate ODIN three times. (The practice of vibration is explained in the discussion of the Heathen Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram linked above.)

3. Bring the ray of light to your throat, and form another sphere. This one is violet and contains the rune Perthro in silver. When you have formulated it, vibrate FREYA three times.

4. Bring the ray of light to your heart, and form another sphere. This one is golden and contains the rune Sowulo in black.  BALDR is vibrated here three times.

5. Bring the ray of light to your genital center, and form a fourth sphere.  This one is blue and contans the rune Mannar in red. If you're male, vibrate HEIMDALL here three times. If you're female, the name to vibrate three times is SKADI.* 

6. Bring the ray of light to your feet, and form a fifth center. This one is black and contains the rune Bierkan in green.  The name vibrated here, three times, is IDUN.

7. Return the attention to the center at the top of the head. Bring a current of white light a few inches wide down the left side of the head and neck,  the left shoulder and arm, and the left hip and leg, down to the center at the feet, and then back up the right leg and hip, the right arm and shoulder, and the right side of the neck and head, back to the center at the head.  Repeat this a total of three times; if possible, synchronize with the breath, so that the energy flows down with the outbreath and up with the inbreath, but it is more important to visualize the whole course than to make it happen within a single breath.

8. In the same way, bring a current of white light from the center above the head, down the midline of the front of the body to the center at the feet, and then back up the midline of the back of the body to the center above the head. Repeat a total of three times.

9. Breathing out, send a ray of white light down the midline of your body from the sphere above your head to the one beneath your feet. (This is done just once.) Then breathe in, and draw a current of energy up the Middle Pillar of the body from that center to the center above the head; breathing out, allow it to spray like a fountain out and over the whole body, cleansing the entire aura, pooling at the feet and being drawn back up the Middle Pillar with the next inbreath. Do these latter two steps—the rising current on an inbreath and the fountain on an outbreath—a total of three times.

Tenth, perform the Hammer-Sign (as described in the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram). This completes the exercise. 

This is the fundamental practice of Golden Dawn magic and should be done daily if at all possible. It establishes and energizes five centers in the subtle body, cleanses the aura, and opens the way to further magical practices. 

*Students of mine have found repeatedly that it's important, if you're working a Middle Pillar-type exercise and invoking Pagan gods and goddesses, it's important that the name you vibrate at your genital center should be of a deity of your own physical gender, to avoid odd and unpleasant energy effects. If you happen to be intersexed or transgender, you may need to experiment to figure out which name to use.
ecosophia: JMG in lecture mode (Default)
Middle Pillar exerciseA while back I posted a version of the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram for people who want to get into ceremonial magic but aren’t into the Judeo-Christian symbolism of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, on the one hand, or the Druid Revival symbolism of the Druidical Order of the Golden Dawn on the other. I’ve heard from a number of people who’ve worked with that ritual and had good results with it. Now it’s time for the next ingredient in basic magical training, the Middle Pillar exercise, adapted for the same purpose.

This is the basic internal energy practice of Golden Dawn magic. It’s meant to waken and energize five energy centers in the subtle body, and then circulate energy through the subtle body as a whole. It’s best done every day, right after the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram and right before your daily meditation.

You’re going to need to personalize this rite to work with whatever pantheon of deities you prefer. You’re going to need the names of five deities; you’re also going to need five colors and five symbols.

The default option here, adapted from Israel Regardie’s The Art of True Healing, is to use deities corresponding to the five elements—spirit, air, fire, water, and earth, in that order. In that case the colors are white, yellow, red, blue, and brown, in that order, and the symbols are the sun, a cloud, a flame, a drop of water, and a stone.

That’s the default option, again. You don’t have to use the default option.  If your tradition has other symbols for the five elements, you can use them; if it associates the elements with other colors, you can use those.

You can also choose a different and subtler logic for the deities you assign to the energy centers. The first deity can be the supreme deity of your pantheon; the second can be a deity of wisdom and initiation; the third can be a hero deity, a sun deity, or a deity of  the hearth; the fourth can be a fertility deity, or a woodland deity, or a deity who’s closely associated with the life force; and the fifth can be a maiden goddess. (Those readers who know their way around The Celtic Golden Dawn now know the logic behind that book’s version of the exercise.)

By the way, in case you were wondering, the names of the deities don’t have to have four letters each. That was just for the pentagram ritual.)

However you do it, work out a suitable table as follows:

Crown center:             DEITY 1         COLOR 1       SYMBOL 1

Throat center:              DEITY 2         COLOR 2       SYMBOL 2

Heart center:               DEITY 3         COLOR 3       SYMBOL 3

Genital center:             DEITY 4         COLOR 4       SYMBOL 4

Foot Center:                DEITY 5         COLOR 5       SYMBOL 5

In the Druidical GD, these are as follows:

Crown center:             Hu                   White              Sun

Throat center:             Ced                 Violet              Crescent moon

Heart center:               Hesus              Golden          Cluster of oak leaves

Genital center:             Coel/Sul*        Silver               Red dragon

Foot Center:                Olwen             Green              White trefoil

*There’s a lot of polarity symbolism in Druidical magic, so which deity you invoke at the genital center is determined by which set of physical genitalia you have, Coel if you’ve got male genitals, Sul if you’ve got the female set.

Or let’s say you wanted to do an Anglo-Saxon version, one option might be this:

Crown center:              Tiw                  White              Sun

Throat center:              Woden             Blue                 Raven

Heart center:               Frige                Red                 Spindle

Genital center:             Ing                   Green              Sheaf of Barley

Foot Center:                Eostre              Brown             Flowers

Other arrangements could be chosen easily enough; these are just samples. Make your decision and give it a try.

Once you’ve got your table constructed, the exercise is done as follows:

*********************

First, perform the complete Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram.

Second, imagine a ray of light descending from infinite space to form a sphere of light just above your head, around eight inches in diameter. This sphere is COLOR 1 and contains SYMBOL 1. When you have formulated it clearly in your imagination, vibrate NAME 1 three times.

Third, bring the ray of light to your throat, and form another sphere. This one is COLOR 2 and contains SYMBOL 2. When you have formulated it, vibrate NAME 2 three times.

Fourth, bring the ray of light to your heart, and form a third sphere, which is COLOR 3 and contains SYMBOL 3.  NAME 3 is vibrated here three times.

Fifth, bring the ray of light to your genital center, and form a fourth sphere.  This one is COLOR 4 and contans SYMBOL 4. NAME 4 is vibrated here three times.

Sixth, bring the ray of light to your feet, and form a fifth center. This one is COLOR 5 and contains SYMBOL 5.  The name vibrated here, three times, is NAME 5.

Seventh, return the attention to the center at the top of the head. Bring a current of white light a few inches wide down the right side of the head and neck,  the right shoulder and arm, and the right hip and leg, down to the center at the feet, and then back up the left leg and hip, the left arm and shoulder, and the left side of the neck and head, back to the center at the head.  Repeat this a total of three times; if possible, synchronize with the breath, so that the energy flows down with the outbreath and up with the inbreath, but it is more important to visualize the whole course than to make it happen within a single breath.

Eighth, in the same way, bring a current of white light from the center above the head, down the midline of the front of the body to the center at the feet, and then back up the midline of the back of the body to the center above the head. Repeat a total of three times.

Ninth, turn the attention to the center at the feet. Breathing in, draw a current of energy up the Middle Pillar of the body from that center to the center above the head; breathing out, allow it to spray like a fountain out and over the whole body, cleansing the entire aura, pooling at the feet and being drawn back up the Middle Pillar with the next inbreath. Do this a total of three times.

Tenth, perform the Circle of Presence. This completes the exercise. 

***********

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ecosophia: JMG in lecture mode (Default)John Michael Greer

February 2019

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