Today’s I Ching Hexagram for August 11th is 56: The Wanderer

56: The Wanderer

Hexagram 56

General Meaning: A seasoned traveler knows that a special kind of decorum is called for when one ventures far from home. He or she must develop a yielding nature outwardly, so that the ‘local contact’ or host can open doors and prevent unseemly errors. But inwardly, the wanderer knows that it is sometimes impossible to discern the true intentions of strangers — are they hostile, friendly or merely opportunistic?

The twin houses of mystery and discovery rule any journey. Each new day is launched on a fresh landscape, one that reaches out to grab our full attention. Though new adventures are a great teacher — and often a great equalizer — there is an art to living lightly in a strange land. Mindfulness and discernment become the keys not only to success, but also to survival.

If you are entering a new environment of any sort attempt to be sincere, flexible and undemanding, rather than obstinate. Let go of old attitudes and habits that could encumber you, or make you overly conspicuous. The onset of a great journey is not a favorable time to enter into binding agreements, or to start new enterprises.

Today’s I Ching Hexagram for August 7th is 52: Keeping Still

52: Keeping Still

Hexagram 52

General Meaning: Regular periods of keeping still are an important aspect of personal development and forward motion. The most restful person may not be the one who sleeps twelve hours a day, but the one able to grab catnaps while cruising 600 miles-per-hour at 35,000 ft. Learning to act when it is time to act, and to keep still when it is time to keep still, is the key to obtaining the peace of mind which helps you stay focused when clear focus is needed.

Consider the spine, which serves as a switchboard for all the nerves of the body that mediate movement. When the spine is kept flexible and healthy through proper rest and relaxation, active movement can always be undertaken without strain. When the spine is held erect in a balanced sitting posture, the inner balancing of meditation can take place.

Treat your innate spark of energetic vitality like a candle in the wind you are protecting, as your only light in a dark forest on a moonless night. Avoid external conditions that threaten to snuff out the flame, and be careful not to suffocate it with your own ambitions of worries.

Time out. Relax now, take your shoes off and sit a spell. Let go of thinking. Breathe and meditate on the breathing.

Introduction To Scrying – Testing your visions

Introduction To Scrying

 

Testing your visions

It is usually a good idea to apply tests to the images you get in scrying, and to the various beings you might encounter. The ultimate test is, of course, a critical appraisal of the quality, consistency, and value of the results you get from your work; but that test can only be applied after the work is done. Other methods allow you to get some sense of whether there is something wrong at an early point in the session. You can then take appropriate efforts to correct the problem, or if necessary end the session and save your energy for another time.

The most reliable testing method makes use of the symbols in the Golden Dawn’s Greater Pentagram and Greater Hexagram rituals. But the effectiveness of the method requires that you have some experience in performing those rituals, and in getting a good response from them. If you are not already experienced in their use, you should practice using them in your magickal space for a while before implementing this testing procedure.

A limitation of this method is that it only works where the powers being scryed are among the traditional, conventional powers used in magick. That is, the powers are elemental, planetary, or zodiacal in nature. Where the nature of a power is unknown, or it is of an inherently mixed nature, other methods must be applied.

After attaining a steady image of some magickal region in your mirror, you draw the invoking pentagram or hexagram appropriate to the power you invoked, using white lines in the air in front of you. Vibrate the god-names of the power a couple of times, then cast the symbol into the mirror. If the mirror is correctly “tuned” to the power, the pentagram or hexagram will be absorbed and will either have no effect, or will cause the image to become sharper and brighter. If the image becomes darker, becomes distorted, or breaks up entirely, then you know that something is wrong; you should banish and start over.

Similarly, if you have used the mirror as a gate and entered into some region, you should cast the appropriate symbol against any object that appears prominent in the area, and always against any being who appears to serve as your guide. In either of these cases, the being or object should show no effect, or should grow brighter, larger, or more solid as a result of the contact. A false or deceptive being will shrink, or its appearance will become distorted, or it will disappear.

No magickal being worth speaking to will ever object to being tested in this way. There is no reason that it should, since by doing the test you are, effectively, blessing and feeding it; few beings will pass up a free lunch. If a being attempts to convince you to not do the tests, that in itself is a sign that something is wrong.

Note that you should always use the _invoking_ pentagram or hexagram for tests, never the banishing versions. Using a banishing figure is the same as commanding the forces you invoked to disperse again, nullifying your efforts.

Two secondary types of testing seem to depend in some way on the magician having an _intent_ that they will work correctly; there is no obvious reason why they should work, but they usually do, just the same. The first of these is the use of the G.D. grade signs; the second is the use of the Hebrew letters of the planets.

The idea behind the use of the Grade Signs in scrying is the same as their use in Masonic rituals and greetings. By displaying a sign to a spirit you encounter, you claim a right to the “secrets” of that grade and its corresponding element. The spirit should answer back by repeating the sign, thus showing that it is also qualified to deal with the secrets of that grade. (Illustrations of the Grade Signs can be found in most published versions of Crowley’s Liber O, and in Regardie’s The Golden Dawn.)

If a spirit can perform the appropriate sign for the invoked element, this indicates that your vision is on-track. If the spirit cannot perform it, performs it improperly, or its form becomes distorted, this is an indication that something is wrong. However, it is not necessarily proof that you are dealing with a deceiving spirit, particularly if the same spirit has already passed the pentagram/hexagram test. Rather, it is more likely that there is insufficient magickal power present for your communication to be clear. The best course is to vibrate the divine names for the power you are invoking several times, and then repeat the signs again. Only if the spirit is still unable to perform the signs correctly should you end the session.

The exchanging of signs also contains an implicit agreement between you and the spirit being tested. That is, by doing this you are agreeing to deal with the spirit on a basis of equality and brotherhood, neither dominating that spirit nor being subject to it. You are also acknowledging that both of you are “members of the same fraternity”, operating within the general community of workers seeking to align themselves with “god” (or with divinity in whatever form you conceive of it). You should never try to exchange signs with a being you know is not within that community, or with which you must maintain a position of dominance — e.g., a demon or a true “elemental”. Conversely, you should never try to dominate a spirit with whom you have exchanged signs; assume instead that it will assist you willingly and without coercion, and treat it with the same respect that you would wish it to give you.

It sometimes happens that in answering your sign, the spirit will add other signs after repeating the one you used. This is an indication that the spirit is of a mixed elemental nature, or is intrinsically of a higher “grade” than that at which you are working. As an example of the first case, if you were invoking an angel from one of the Lesser Angles of the Enochian Tablet of Earth, you would perform the sign of Set. The angel would be expected to respond with the same sign, but if it were an angel of the Lesser Angle of Fire, it might add the sign of Fire (the goddess Thoum-aesch-Neith) as well. As an example of the latter case, a Senior from the Earth Tablet might add the LVX signs after the sign of Set.

The LVX signs are a special case. Their use indicates that the spirit is aligned with the divinity, is of a “good” character; but does not test for any particular elemental or planetary nature. They should be used in conjunction with the appropriate hexagrams for testing spirits related to the planets or zodiac, or in any case where the benevolence of the spirit is in doubt. All of the Enochian angels will be able to perform these signs, as will any Hebrew-system archangel.

There are no Grade Signs specifically associated with the planets in the Golden Dawn system; one must make do with the LVX signs, and these are usually sufficient. However, those who wish to assemble a set of elegant and effective planetary gestures for testing spirits should consult Planetary Magick by Melitta Denning and Osborn Phillips.

The final form of testing is, in my opinion, the least reliable. I do not use it myself, preferring to trust my own judgment. But I note it for those who might wish to experiment with it.

The Golden Dawn adepts acknowledged that in this sort of work there is always a danger that the visions one sees will not be a true reflection of the forces invoked, but may rather be constructions or projections of the seer’s own mind and emotions. They classified these projections according to an association with the planets:

Type Planet Hebrew letter Tarot Trump
Memory Saturn (as Time) Tav The World
Construction Jupiter Kaph Wheel of Fortune
Anger Mars Peh Tower
Vanity or ego Sun Resh The Sun
Pleasure Venus Daleth The Empress
Imagination Mercury Beth The Magician
Wandering
thoughts
Luna Gimel The Priestess

The theory is that if you suspect that one of these factors may be influencing your vision, you can project an image of the corresponding Hebrew letter or Tarot Trump into the scene. It will cause the scene to darken, diminish, or disappear if the scene is in fact the sort of projection you suspect it to be.

My personal feeling is that introducing extraneous powers into a vision in this way will cause more problems than they will solve. As well, it seems to me that invocation of a force related to a type of projection would tend to enhance the projection rather than eliminating it. However, this may not be the case for you; try it if you wish and see if it works.

Today’s I Ching Hexagram for August 4th is 45: Coming Together

45: Coming Together

Hexagram 45

General Meaning: The power of gathering together is represented by a rally, where each individual’s strength is magnified by the power of their community. History has shown that mass movements can bring about stable, ordered and durable conditions for the better. This hexagram may be pointing to an auspicious time for large undertakings. But the guiding force of your shared vision is essential to hold the forces of unity together, and keep them advancing toward a common goals and values.

Another image for this situation is that of a lake filling with water. Just as the fullness of the lake can bring good fortune to all in its sphere, it can also overflow, leading to calamity. Thus in a time of gathering together it is essential that precautions against excesses be considered along with efforts to advance along a clearly-charted course. Much of human misfortune comes from unexpected events for which we are ill prepared; when gathered together with others, we are both more powerful and, in some ways, also more vulnerable.

Any time of unified coming together is a time of great potential. But the potential can be both positive and negative. Everything is magnified when people unite around a central shared purpose. When many people unite behind a single goal or strong vision, it is wise to take personal precautions to protect your own reasonable self-interests, because these can easily be lost in the crowd

Today’s I Ching Hexagram for August 2nd is 16: Enthusiasm

16: Enthusiasm

Hexagram 16

General Meaning: Enormous creative energy is unleashed by enthusiasm. This energy is like powerful music that inspires people, loosening old constraints and generating new opportunities. Indeed, the power of enthusiasm is best symbolized by music and dance, for it is guided more by the heart than the head. Thus, great good fortune can follow someone who is able to guide this positive force toward victory and a joyous celebration.

Enthusiasm within a group generates a special kind of electricity. When a crowd is ‘charged’, the singer scales new heights, and life becomes its own reward. For who is not in awe of thunder? And who would fail to fill his or her lungs in the aftermath of a cleansing rain?

Arouse the passionate support of others, while adjusting your ideas and plans to suit their needs. In this way you can fill your sails with the mighty winds of shared enthusiasm.

To arouse others, re-double your own dedication and dare to create an environment that is free of tension. Take joy in your projects. Harness the power of song and dance.

Today’s I Ching Hexagram for August 1st is 20: Overview

20: Overview

Hexagram 20

General Meaning: Overview is a time for composure and contemplation. As a result of profound introspection, a hidden force reveals itself, and may influence others without their being aware of it. Do not underestimate the power of such a subtle force. Like the wind blowing across the treetops, its presence is perceived through the effect it has on everything it touches.

Shallow wells rarely strike water and shallow minds often come up empty. The ability to keep still and simply observe deepens resolve and attracts good fortune. Discern the difference between what is deep and what is surface within yourself — and you will be able to distinguish between the two in the world as well.

During a period between events, the practice of stillness with awareness is fruitful. Only by observing and absorbing the true nature of things — by apprehending the rhythms and cycles that guide all creation — can we discover the laws that apply to our own individual lives. Examine yourself and the overall situation — not just with the thought of discovering truth, but with the vision of concentrating your personal power

Today’s I Ching Hexagram for July 29th is 2: The Receptive

2: The Receptive

Hexagram 2
 
General Meaning: Great receptivity attracts exceptional results. The natural responsiveness of pure Yin energy brings about success through support and perseverance, rather than through bold action. Thus, the wise person demonstrates strength like a powerful but gentle mare. This hexagram, consisting of all yin lines, represents a power of the feminine principle no longer honored in our modern world, but such receptivity is most auspicious.

The receptive force is sensual as well as powerful, and it can be missed by too much talk and planning. When spring comes, does the grass plan to grow? This is a time to concentrate on realities rather than potentials — how to respond to a situation rather than how to direct it. A mature mare lets herself be guided, and is skilled at graceful acceptance. In a strong spiritual way, her quiet contribution is most effective and brings success.

Do not be too assertive at this time, for if you try to direct things, you are liable to become confused or alienated. Take your time. Draw strength from carefulness and you will be doubly fortunate. Focus more on feeling than on action. Be broad and deep in your attitudes so that you can accept everything that comes your way with grace and equanimity. Be receptive and spacious like the ocean; let the river of changing developments flow to you. Allow others to take the lead for now. Strive for a natural responsiveness that is based on inner strength rather than outer show.

Today’s I Ching Hexagram for July 20th is 10: Treading Carefully

10: Treading Carefully

Hexagram 10
 
General Meaning: People of ability find their way and make progress even in difficult circumstances. Consider your steps carefully when you are surrounded by changing forces. Weak and strong forces (or people) can co-exist when the weaker element does not impose upon the stronger, when the weaker maintains good humor and avoids taking bold action. When treading among sleeping tigers — or slippery stones — step gingerly and don’t stumble.

In the company of strong, brash people, rushing wildly ahead brings misfortune. Now is not a good time for taking the initiative; rather, try getting by with a little grace and good humor. In the court of a powerful king, the jester often has more power than the prince.

Today’s I Ching Hexagram for July 13 is 19: Approach of Spring

19: Approach of Spring

Hexagram 19

General Meaning: It is as if spring is approaching. Good times ahead feel inevitable; there is vitality in the air. This is a most auspicious time. Like a snake emerging from hibernation, negative forces are barely stirring and can be effectively controlled. This is a time of hopeful progress, and must be used to best advantage. When approaching good fortune, paying attention to what is happening now earns great dividends. All in all, a clear road lies ahead.

Take some action now, for at some point this ripe opportunity for advancement will be reversed. No spring lasts forever. It’s wise to stay alert and note the changing seasons and the energy they call for.

Spring is the season of new relationships. In the bounty of good times, new bonds form effortlessly. Relationships born in spring can serve well to warm the following autumn and winter.

Today’s I Ching Hexagram for July 11th is 49: Revolutionary Change

49: Revolutionary Change

Hexagram 49
 
General Meaning: According to Chinese symbolism, the juxtaposed elements of this hexagram are fire under water. Fire evaporates water, and water puts out fire. Change can cause conflict; conflict brings about change. This hexagram refers to that time in the cycle of human affairs when things need stirring up, and when the hint of dramatic change is in the air.

In order to succeed, revolutionary change must be in alignment with certain unchanging laws. The process must begin at the right moment, gather support from a broad base of people, be guided by sincere and capable leadership and — most important of all — must address a real need. The strength of the forces of change will always be in proportion to the urgency of the need being championed. This is true whether the revolution is in government, in business, in education or in one’s personal affairs.

Revolutionary change points to a time when chaos arises from order. It is important to realize that not all order is good, not all chaos bad. Chaos, in fact, is an integral part of the way of things — as any parent (and modern science) will confirm. Have the courage to radically change and renew the way you present yourself. In this way, you can summon chaos to your cause, and you will unleash a new power on your behalf. If engaging in a negotiation, change the rules; if composing a piece of music, add the unexpected; if courting a lover, dare to be unconventional.

In periods of drought, even wild storms are preferable to yet another sunny day.