Five myths about Aleister Crowley debunked.
Barbara Moore explores the nuances of “cards of ending” in the tarot.
Entering altered states of consciousness has a dramatic effect upon a ritual. Everything becomes more profound, from the smell of the incense, to the colour of the candlelight, to the feel of your wand in your hand. The objective here is not to enter into a full trance, instead these three techniques allow the ritual magician to expand their consciousness while remaining active on the material plane. They are well suited to everyday practical magick. None of the techniques described here require the use of drugs. Continue reading
After putting myself in too many people’s shoes, and seeing the world through everyone else’s eyes for too long, I start to become a warped and weary alien to myself. I no longer recognize my own face and I need to recharge. This is when I head to my studio to sit. Continue reading
Compassion and Meditation: The Spiritual Dynamic between Buddhism and Christianity, by Jean-Yves Leloup
Inner Traditions, 9781594772771, 165 pp., 2009
A French Orthodox priest teaching meditation in a Zen dojo, this might seem strange but such is the life of Jean-Yves Leloup. A long time practitioner of Hesychast, a Christian form of meditation, Leloup shares his experience in this form as well as his understanding of and connection to Buddhism. He believes that meditation without compassion is lacking something, and in the same thought that compassion without meditation is incomplete.
While it would be an oversimplification to attribute compassion to Christianity, and meditation to Buddhism, and try to combine them; Leloup does think that both systems contain both compassion and meditation, but that their differences and similarities can support each other. He is not alone; he briefly traces an interesting history linking Christian and Buddhist practices and ideologies in religious texts going back to the 1700’s. Continue reading
Healing with Form, Energy, and Light: The Five Elements in Tibetan Shamanism, Tantra, and Dzogchen, by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche
Snow Lion Publications, 1559391766, 159 pp (incl. glossary), 2002
Bön is the indigenous Tibetan religion that predates Buddhism, often called Tibetan Shamanism. As a religious belief it had historically suffered a social oppression under the Lama culture of Buddhist Tibet, but His Holiness, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama has recognized Bön as one of the five major spiritual traditions in Tibet, which has led to a resurgence of information and interest in this traditions. Tenzin Wangyal is a Bön-po (practitioner), considered a Bön master and has spent his life studying Vajrayana and Bön. Due to this upbringing (and perhaps the modern state of the religion), the Bön in this book is heavily influenced by Tibetan Buddhism, as opposed to being “pure” Bön, which may not have existed for centuries and as a religion that mythologically dates its origin 17,000 years ago, one must expect some drift in beliefs and practices. Continue reading
Altered States of Consciousness (ASCs) are an integral part of ritual. They can be defined as any mental state recognized by the individual as different from his or her normal waking consciousness. As such, the act of separating yourself from the mundane world, having a ritual bath or shower and preparing the ritual space, is enough to induce some sort of ASC in most people. Taking on a magical persona involves an ASC, as does invocation of godhead, dancing or chanting to raise power, meditation, scrying, and going through a guided visualization or path-working. Continue reading