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THE MEANING OF LIFE
To gather experience over countless lifetimes.

We Realize who and what we really are, and come to behave like That.

Ignorance of That and associated bad habits result in mistakes and consequential suffering.

The accumulation of experience eventually brings us to realize that we are not separate from others, which forms habitual devotion to the ultimate welfare of all.
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Posts Tagged ‘Pentagram’

Part VI: The Names of God and the Four Directions

(Due to the size of this posting, I have relegated an analysis of the points and lines on the pentagram to a future article on its own, choosing to focus here on the Names of God instead.)

Ineffable

In this article, I have used the word Ineffable in this sense: defying expression or description, incapable of being expressed, indefinable or indescribable, too great or intense to be expressed in words, untellable or unutterable.  I use this word to describe both the Here and Now, and Awareness Itself, instead of using the word “unknowable” for either.  I do this because both the eternal Here and Now and Awareness Itself are definitely knowable through certain techniques, but not as things or anything objective because they are absolutely ineffable.

Occult

Occult:  from the latin occultus (clandestine, hidden, secret), referring to “knowledge of the hidden;” Secret; Hidden from general knowledge; Undetected; Popularly meaning “knowledge of the paranormal.”  For most practicing occultists it is simply the study of a deeper spiritual reality that extends beyond pure reason and the physical senses.

I hinted at what I am about to try to explain here in the previous part called “The Sacred Pentagram.”  What I am about to try to explain is occult in the true sense of the word.  It is secret and hidden, not because of oath or tradition.  It is secret and hidden not because we are not allowed to say but because words cannot express it.  What I am about to try to explain is secret and hidden because we can only believe and truly understand it by experiencing it directly, firsthand.  The implications and uses, the meanings and applications of what I am about to try to explain, we can only grasp by personal experience and firsthand exploration of the principles.

In my writing, I am usually trying to explain the unexplainable, not in the hope of doing the impossible, but instead to say, “Hey!  Look here!  There’s something amazing and wonderful here!  It’s hidden, so you might not have guessed even to look for it, but here it is!  Right here!  See for yourself!”  I write in the hope that a reader might say, “Hey, I had no idea this even existed!  Let me investigate for myself and see.”  My hope is that readers might uncover the occult for themselves, and find there the wonder of whom and what they really are, and learning to behave like That, free themselves from behaving like what they thought they were.

Today I am writing about Names of God.  To the Ancients, “God” is that One Pure Consciousness, infinite, ageless, all pervasive, and shared among all beings and things as that core of what it feels like to exist, which is to be Aware.  There are many names for that One Pure Consciousness, each describing a different quality of That.  So, writing about Names of God, I am today writing about qualities of Awareness Itself.  This is something we can all relate to in the most intimate way.  In this part of the Pentagram Ritual, where we charge each pentagram (reminder) with a Name of God (quality of Awareness), we are charging the pentagrams to be great and powerful reminders of the qualities of Awareness.  We are charging reminders of the qualities of whom and what we really are.

Why is the nature of Awareness important to experience for oneself and remember?  Because this is what defines reality and how we create the universe.  It reveals who and what we really are.  It reveals how we are constantly creating reality.  This experience, this recognition of whom and what we really are is what we are here for.  It is the reason for existence.  Life is a rare and precious gift from great beings and a host of spirits like elementals, angels and archangels.  They offer us this gift to provide us with a stable, predictable state of being, so we might have a chance to slow down and see for ourselves who and what we really are.  Our persistent behavior of reality creation is the source and mechanism of all magic.

One might argue the mechanisms of reality creation I’m describing are personal, defining only a subjective reality.  One might argue that I’m describing the creation of a personal universe and that it doesn’t apply to the external objective world we share with others.  This argument is only possible if you have only thought about the principles I’m describing, and haven’t actually examined them with firsthand experience of your own.  Your consciousness that creates this personal reality is neither separate nor different from the One Pure Consciousness that everyone shares, and that One Pure Consciousness does indeed create the external, so-called objective universe that everyone shares.  It does so in exactly the same way as you create your own internal, so-called subjective universe.  Exactly the same way.  I invite you to see for yourself.  The techniques I am describing here can lead you to that firsthand experience of your own.

The Great Reminder

We have been following a practice, a ritual, designed to help us explore for ourselves whom and what we really are, and in making this practice a habit, learn to act like That, habitually.  The Ancients have taught that we are really the Authors of the Universe and that we can learn to act like That, instead of acting like human beings who struggle for sustenance, comfort and amusement.  My hope is that through this practice, this ritual, and through investigatory meditation (introduced later in this article) you will see for yourself whether what the Ancients taught is true.

At this point in the ritual, we have cast four living symbols, four Sacred Pentagrams around us, joined at their hearts by a circle.  There they shimmer around us in ghostly blue fire, tall, mighty and beautiful, at the edges of the Universe, in the infinite distance of the four directions.

The Sacred Pentagram is a reminder that we are Pure Awareness, confronted or surrounded by experience, all of which is a mirror of that same Pure Awareness.

The pentagram with its five points illustrates the relationship between us as Pure Awareness and experience itself, through the relationships drawn between the five points.  We have seen in the previous part of this article the top point, representing Pure Awareness, has direct lines to:

  • On the right hand, an experience of Awareness Itself as the center of everything, as the recipient of all experience, as a consciousness in the middle of it all.  This is the “spark of god” or even the Divine Fire in everything, as everything shares that same sense of being the One Pure Consciousness, as everything shares that exact same sense of being in the middle of it all.
  • On the left hand, an experience of a world that we are always touching in one way or other (all five senses are types of touch).  This Universe is at the same time what the One Pure Consciousness looks like and what it is always looking at.  Since all of it is equally aware, sharing that same One Pure Consciousness, the Universe is Consciousness Itself staring right back at you.  This is the living universe, the responsiveness or radiance of that One Pure Consciousness.

When we cast the banishing pentagram, we shift our attention away from that left hand point, away from what Pure Consciousness looks like, back on Pure Consciousness Itself.  And Pure Consciousness cannot ever be found because it is not a findable thing, but That which finds all things.  It is That which is aware of things and is itself no thing.  It is void of any referential existence.  Because objects of awareness cannot exist without this ultimately nonexistent (as an object) Awareness, everything you are aware of is itself an illusion produced by the act of being aware.

The living banishing pentagram is a reminder that wherever you look, you are That which is looking, and that you are looking at an illusory mirror of Awareness which itself is not a thing at all.  The pentagram does this reminding while you are still aware of things.  It engages your state of being aware of things into an act of Remembrance.  You need not be in some trance state to recognize who and what you really are, nor the fact that everything you see is an illusion and a reflection of Awareness Itself (which is Itself not a thing).  You need not be in a special magic circle to see this either.  You need not be in your practice room, casting pentagrams around you to see it.  The universe itself, with its permanent pentagrams in the infinite distance (whether you’re aware of them or not) is your magic circle.  Simply reach out and touch something or someone.  There, in the act of touching, the act of experiencing is the proof the pentagram is reminding you about.

What I have described is occult.  I can say it and write it over and over again until I die.  If you only go by what I say or write, you will never get it.  You can only grasp what I’m saying by seeing these things and testing them and contemplating them for yourself.  These pages are only a hint to say that these things can be seen for yourself.  They are only a hint to say that you can find for yourself in every sensory act, whether internal or external, proof and remembrance of whom and what you really are.  How are you to see for yourself?  By practicing the Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram as described here, and through meditation techniques introduced here.

Charging Pentagrams

We used a form of attention (the nourishment of all things) called life energy, to create a body for the living pentagram, giving it the ability to take part in our world and in our lives.  Now we are going to use that same life energy to charge the lives of these pentagrams with a task.  Think of it as inspiring them with a wonderful idea, something to live for, something to say, something extremely fulfilling.  This task has to do with reminding us of different qualities of Awareness, qualities of whom we are, and as Authors of the universe, how we constantly create the universe.

So I would like to spend some words describing how to do this “charging,” from the perspective of using witch-fire, prana, chi, life-energy, or etheric energy (whichever you want to call it).

As with casting a line of a pentagram, again we breathe in and soak up life energy from the ocean of it in which we live: the aura of the sun.  Performing this “pore breathing,” we allow the energy to soak into our bodies, and gather at the solar plexus.  Again, we are going to cast this energy out through our arms and Athamé (or hand, held with only index and middle finger extended).  But this time we are going to start with our hand held up at shoulder level. Then with an aggressive step forward of our right foot and an out-breath, we thrust our hand and head forward at the heart of the pentagram before us.  As we do this, we feel that we are throwing a flaming ball of energy, with flame trailing behind it, at the center of the pentagram.  (We are casting a ball of focus or attention at the heart of the pentagram.)

For a visual reference, think of the Hand of God writing with blasts of flame on the stone tablets, in the movie “The Ten Commandments” (directed by Cecil B. DeMille, 1956).  Of course, you’ll want to make your visualization more realistic, but this gets the idea across of the splash of flame you’re throwing, and how we form magical flaming lettering.  (In our case, the letters remain flaming and glowing, while in the movie they turn to stone.)  Unlike the movie, however, this time it really is the hand of God that does the writing with fire, since you have earlier in the ritual already established your perspective as That of the One Pure Consciousness, Author of the Universe.  Remember, it is not a human being that is performing this act.  It is the One Pure Consciousness working through the form of a human being.  That One Pure Consciousness is casting its attention forth in a concentrated form, as life-energy, to give inspiration and purpose in life to a living pentagram.

Now, the ritual script calls for different colors of fire for each ball of fire.  It calls to have etched in the hearts of these pentagrams, magic words of specific colors.  It is helpful to examine the magic words that we are etching, because they give us an understanding of the qualities of Awareness.  Doing so helps us to understand better whom and what we really are, because these magic words describe innate qualities of our true Selves.  They give an understanding of how experience arises before Awareness, and therefore of exactly how it is that we are the Authors of the Universe, constantly creating the universe around us.  Remember, without even knowing it, in a sense we are constantly, and have always been casting pentagrams around us, and charging them with the qualities described by these magic words.  We are doing it deliberately here, so that we have a conscious recognition of what we are really always doing, so that we can build the habit of consciously behaving like whom and what we really are.

Experience Arising in the East

Since we understand all things by reference or association to other things, we must first establish a context for the meanings of these names of God.  I mentioned that they are descriptive names for Consciousness we are about to examine.  I mentioned that Names of God are names for that One Pure Consciousness.  They are names that describe who and what we really are.

So, why are there different names?  The names describe ways to understand Consciousness, its nature, and its function.  At one time, we can say the One Pure Consciousness has three qualities:

  • It is Aware,
  • It is Empty of referential existence, not being knowable as a thing,
  • It is Responsive, radiating attention and in the act of being aware, radiating the illusion of objects of awareness, all really mirrors of Itself, which is not a thing at all.

We could bring these qualities or aspects of God, of our true selves, to mind with different Names for the same One Pure Consciousness.

With the four Names of God, we are going to bring to mind (consciously or unconsciously) four specific aspects of the One Pure Consciousness.  These relate to the nature of experience itself, and how Consciousness decides what it will experience.  These describe how Consciousness experiences Itself by creating a universe.

Two of these four aspects we have already explored, in the two lower points on the pentagram:

  • We (Consciousness) all feel like we are the center of all experience.  Every one of us feels like experience plays out for us, like there is an arrangement of experience around us, for our amusement, as though we are the king or Lord of all that we perceive.  The keyword or reminder of this aspect of experience is “Lord”.  Remember this, because this is the meaning of one of the Names of God we charge pentagrams with.  I will say more about this later.
  • Consciousness revealed as an universe of experience cast before it, in every direction.  The universe, all of it sharing in the same One Pure Consciousness, is exactly what that One Pure Consciousness looks like: an illusion of infinite variety.  It is infinite in variety because the One Pure Consciousness is not a thing, so it could and does look like absolutely anything.  It is the bounty of the Earth and the universe itself, looking right back at you.  This is the sum total of experience itself, the total illusion itself as an experience.  This sum total experience, arranged at the Feet of Consciousness like the globe of the Earth, is the key to this aspect of experience.  This image of the universe where all of time and space spread before our feet, should be familiar.  It is similar to what we experienced in the Ankh of Light that is part of this ritual.  The keyword or reminder of this aspect of experience is in words similar to those we vibrated when we performed the Ankh of Light: “Ateh…  Gebor, LeOlam, Amen.”  Remember these words, because they are the meaning of one of the Names of God we charge pentagrams with.  More about this later too.

So, what about those other two points on the pentagram that we haven’t explored yet?  Again, we are exploring here aspects of the experience of the One Pure Consciousness.  And we are beginning in the East, where the light rises at the beginning of each day.  We are beginning with the arising of experience itself, out of infinite possibilities.

The aspect of Consciousness I am about to describe is so occult, I need you to follow what I’m saying with your own experience.  I need you to sit quietly, close your eyes for a bit, withdraw your attention upon Itself, and just be Awareness, not paying attention to anything you’re aware of.  Don’t try to stop being aware of things, just be Awareness, pure and simple.

Now, if you don’t pay attention to things even if they’re still there, if you just be still in your mind, aware but not of any specific thing, notice that pure unfocused awareness is omnidirectional.  There’s a sense of immersion in Nothing In Particular.

Now, deliberately pay attention to something.  Deliberately cast forth the beam of your attention.  When you do this, like the lamp on a miner’s hat, there is suddenly an illusion of direction: the sense of experience before one’s awareness.  The act of focus, the act of paying attention draws that omnidirectional awareness to a specific direction.  The direction in which you cast your attention always feels like it’s “before Thee.”  From the perspective of Names of God, from the perspective of Awareness in the act of experiencing something, this direction, this “before Thee” is what we mean by East.  The morning sunrise (the Golden Dawn) is symbolic of experience arising before Awareness.  It happens by simply casting forth your attention.  If you stand on a hill on a calm day watching the sun rise, you might notice something very interesting.  Just as the first tip of the sun appears on the horizon, a peculiar gust of wind rushes lightly past, from the East.  This is a very sacred wind for a lot of reasons.  One of those reasons has to do with experience arising “before Thee,” blowing lightly in the face of Consciousness.  It has to do with a breeze of thought that blows through your mind when you are paying attention to anything (including the stream of thoughts themselves).

So the East is the first pentagram that we charge with a Name of God.  Now let’s start to examine that Name of God.

Always remember that all of this is truly occult and can only be understood by your own direct experience of what I’m saying.  But consider for a moment, one of the things the pentagram before you is showing you.  You are Awareness.  Looking a the pentagram, you are aware of the act of sensing, the act of experiencing.  You are not the senses, because you are aware of them.  It’s you standing there (Awareness), with the pentagram (all experiences, the senses) before you.

Now consider this proof that everything you ever experienced, are experiencing, and ever will experience is absolutely illusory.  Since we experience everything through the senses or some internal version of them, it takes time for an event to travel through the senses to reach our awareness.  I will explain further:

Consider our ability to look at the universe.  Standing on a hilltop at night far from city lights on a clear night, looking up at the universe, we see billions of stars surrounding our planet on all sides.  This is our view of the universe itself.  Ignoring our sun for the moment, if you could pick out the closest star, you would be looking at Proxima Centauri which is 4.2 light years from us.  This means that light from the closest start travels for 4.2 years before it reaches us.  The North Star, Polaris, at the end of the tail of the Little Dipper is approximately 430 light years distant.  When we look in the sky, we are seeing the past, not the present moment.  We are seeing Proxima Centauri as it appeared 4.2 years ago, and Polaris as it appeared 430 years ago.  When we look at our own Sun, we are seeing it as it appeared 8.5 minutes ago.  We see most of the stars only as they appeared millions or even billions of years ago.  Because it takes time for light to reach your eyes, nothing you see as you look at the universe around you is as it truly looks at in this present moment.  It is impossible to look directly at the stars in the present moment.

When you see something right in front of you, even this computer or paper you’re reading from, photons are bouncing off something in front of you.  Traveling at the speed of light to change direction by the lens in your eye, they eventually strike the back of your eye.  Slowly, this meat at the back of your eye called a retina, reacts to the photons with a chemical reaction.  This chemical reaction causes an electronic spark to fire in the optic nerve.  That one causes a whole chain of sparks to fire in various areas of the brain.  When the pattern of sparks roughly matches a pattern that has happened in the past, we have re-cognition (cognizing again) of what the photons bounced off.  And finally you realize that you are looking at… whatever it is that you recognize.  When the pattern in the brain doesn’t approximate a pattern that happened before, you don’t recognize what you’re seeing, and probably just ignore it.  That’s a lot of things to happen between the time the photons bounced off the thing, when what you’re looking at actually looked like that, and the time you recognized it.  Just like looking at the stars in the sky, seeing them as they looked millions of years ago, what you are looking at right now, right in front of you, is also an image from the past.  Maybe it’s not far in the past, but it is impossible to see anything in the absolute here and now.  The same applies to all the senses, even direct experience without senses, because it always takes time to recognize anything.  This is why we take time to think about something.  Otherwise, pondering a subject would be instantaneous, but it takes time.

It is impossible to experience anything as it is right here, right now.  We experience everything we’ve ever experienced, are experiencing, and ever will experience after it actually happened.  Like looking at the ancient stars, you have never experienced anything through the senses, or through internal versions of them, that wasn’t already different, if ever so slightly, by the time you actually recognized it.  Your experience is always that of a ghostly image of the way things were, and never exactly the way they actually are, here and now.  When it comes to experiences, any experiences, it’s as though you are living in the past.  The universe of experience might as well be the ashes of a burned rope: still looks almost exactly like it did, but in reality you are experiencing just fragile ashes of a form from the past.  Thinking like this, you have just now burned the illusion of reality from your experience, leaving only the ashes of the past.  (Image: A holy man smears ashes on himself.)

But look at something, anything.  There is a constant stream of photons bouncing and hitting your eye.  There is a constant stream of electrical patterns in your brain.  There is the sense of an on-going, never-ending arising of experience before thee (the “East”) like a steady breeze of conscious awareness or a steady breeze of thoughts.  Yet, because we experience everything after the fact, the actual events themselves, as they truly are here and now, we will only experience in the future.  And we experience everything that way.  The true here and now, while it is absolutely right here, right now, we can never recognize because recognition is not instantaneous.

Now think of this.  As an experience, we can never know what is happening exactly now.  It’s the same as an eyeball trying to look directly at itself, or like trying to look at one’s own awareness.  It can never be done, because any thing you find is something you’re aware of and is therefore not whatever is doing the awareness.  You’re aware of it, so there’s you doing the awareness, and then there’s the thing you’re aware of: two different things.  In exactly the same manner that you can never know awareness as a thing, you can never recognize anything that is exactly here and now either.  In this sense, you as Awareness, and whatever it is that’s happening here and now are both perfectly unknowable as things.  Think of an empty room.  It’s here right now, and you’re (Awareness is) here right now, but there’s Nothing in this room that we can perceive.  Nothing we can know. Because we can ultimately know nothing, Nothing is something we can know, but not as a thing.  See for yourself.  I’ll explore this train of thought more in a later part of this article series, because this is the ultimate meaning of banishing in the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram.

But because you cannot perceive anything right here, right now, we are always experiencing things after they happened.  Yet, you are here and now, even if you cannot directly perceive yourself, or know exactly what is here and now, you have proof that you exist here and now in the fact that you are aware.  But here and now, you perceive something that already happened in the here and now.  Perception happens in the here and now, but what you perceive is something from the past.  Awareness is real in the here and now, but objects of awareness are all illusions from the past.  You (Awareness) live in the here and now and its existence is as obvious as the fact that you are aware.  But you cannot recognize exactly what is in the here and now, because what is in the here and now is Awareness Itself: something you cannot recognize as a thing.  See for yourself.  Try to find Awareness Itself.  Anything you perceive is a thing that you perceive; there’s the you and the thing, the thing cannot be the you that’s perceiving.  Anything you feel like is a thing that you feel like.  There the you that’s doing the feeling, and then there’s the feeling itself: two separate things.  You’ll never find anything that is Awareness.  Nothing you can feel is Awareness Itself.  Yet there it is: you are aware.

Now think of this: because everything you experienced has happened in the past, the actual here and now, where the real you actually lives, is an experience you have not yet had.  The photons bouncing right here and right now have not yet even reached your eye.  As experiences go, the here and now is something you have not yet experienced, and cannot yet experience, except as the presence of Pure Awareness, and the knowledge that something is here and now to experience eventually.  What that is, that we have not yet experienced, we can never know as a direct experience, but it’s here and now, whatever it is.  This ineffable “here and now” is a function of Awareness itself.  It is part of the Holy Presence that is aware, that is the here and how, from which all experiences arise, and that you will experience in the future.  The unknowable future arises from the ineffable here and now, not from some distant ocean of possibilities somewhere in front of you, wherever that is supposed to be.

So the here and now is something we have not yet experienced.  Whatever it is that is here and now, where Awareness lives, can only be experienced in the future.  As far as experience goes, the here and now is in your future: currently ineffable and undefined, with infinite possibilities inherent that could be happening.  For all you know, the Earth might have winked out and ceased to exist, and the experience has not yet reached and registered in your brain.  Maybe you’re dead, and you haven’t accepted the idea.  But how likely is that future, where the Earth winks out and ceases to exist?  We will get into what decides the likely future (or more correctly, defines the here and now out of infinite possibilities) further on in this article, once we have examined the past because the past has a huge influence on the future.

But what this means is that, while in the realm of experiences, you as Pure Awareness are living an event you cannot experience yet… you are yourself a living, future experience.  What is actually happening around you right now is something you will experience in the near future.  So, if you focus on experiences themselves, you are focusing on the past (like looking at the stars).  If you focus on the true here and now, which is ineffable and unrecognizable as a thing or experience, you are focusing on the future as far as the experience of it goes.

These two aspects of awareness are very important:

  1. focusing on the here and now, where Awareness Itself is, there are events that you will only experience in the future – keyword: future experience.  As this Conscious Presence in the Here and Now, you are yourself a future experience.  This is explained in YHVH, below.
  2. focusing on experiences, you are focusing on the past – keyword: past. Somehow, this past defines what is Here and Now, shaping our future experience.  This is explained in AHYH, below.

These two aspects of awareness are the key to understanding the meanings of two of the Names of God.

This might sound like mincing words, and stretching a point beyond its applicability.  That is because I’m trying to describe the ineffable.  I’m hoping that these strange explanations will prompt you to investigate for yourself these qualities of whom and what you really are.

You might think I’m splitting hairs here to a ridiculous degree.  But think of it.  With this pentagram standing before us, this representation of the way we experience everything, shimmering in blue fire before us, we are seeing how it is that experience arises.  We are seeing how Awareness, that which you know when you say “I Am,” constantly creates the universe.  You are seeing in action whom and what you really are: the Author of the universe.  This splitting hairs is what it’s all about, if you want to know who and what you really are, and want to behave like That instead of behaving like a limited human.

YHVH

So of those two aspects of awareness have been described, let’s take the first one: “future experience.”  Here and now, there are only events that you will experience in the future.  Think of the stars burning in the sky right now.  You don’t see them in the now.  They have all moved by now.  God (Awareness) lives in a place, the here and now, that is yet to be experienced.  If we were to give a descriptive name to this aspect of God, this name would remind us of the fact that Pure Ineffable Awareness co-exists with a radiance of experiences that is, right now, absolutely indescribable with infinite possibilities.  The name would remind us that God lives in a time and place that is yet to be experienced (the promised land).  Such a name is YHVH.  This name is called unpronounceable, or unspeakable.  Some pronounce this as “Jehovah,” though very few Hebrews understand the word as a name for their own Awareness.  The fact that it is unpronounceable reminds us that both the here-and-now, and Awareness (God) are ineffable, indescribable, untellable, unutterable, and so unpronounceable.

The word YHVH comes from the root HVH which means “to be, to exist.”  This is the basic quality of both Pure Awareness, and of whatever it is that is actually here and happening, here and now.  To be, to exist, is the basic quality of that Ancient Presence, which is at the same time all knowing, all powerful, and present everywhere.  All we can say is that it exists and nothing more definite than that: HVH, to exist.  When Y is placed at the beginning of a root word like this, the word becomes future tense.  So YHVH means “to exist in the future” with a sense of “becoming” or “about to happen.”  This descriptive name for consciousness is a perfect reminder of the unspeakable, ineffable nature of Consciousness, and its aspect as the equally unspeakable here and now.  It stresses that whatever it is in the here and now, is something we will experience in the future. It is also a reminder that in the same way as Awareness is ineffable, whatever is actually happening here and now (Awareness is what is happening here and now) is exactly as indescribable.  We cannot know Awareness as a thing, and the Here and Now cannot be directly perceived either for the same reason.  Both are inseparable aspects of the same ineffable Presence.  So, “to exist in the future” sums up all of these ideas into a single four stage word very nicely.  It is even possible to break down the sequence of four letters into a description of experience emanating from pure Awareness.  For the moment I can say that this word is a reminder of how experience is constantly arising before us, in the so-called East, as a constant stream of experience.  It is a reminder of experience constantly arising before the Eye that can never see itself, in the Eternal Here and Now that can never be perceived for the same reason.  Neither can be directly perceived because they are the same ineffable Presence.

Experience radiates from Awareness in the here and now, and we experience it in the future.   It is exactly this lag between the here and now, and our experience of it, that gives us an illusion of the passage of time.  In reality, there is no passage of time.  There is only the stream of input through our senses, which is actually a constant radiance of Awareness, a constant stream of attention, which is the nature of Awareness itself.  What if this constant preparation or flow of experience before us should ever end?  We would cease to experience anything new at all.  Somehow this stream of experience seems unending and limitless as a source.  Knowledge of this constant stream of experience is direct knowledge of the Unborn Radiance of ineffable Awareness, inseparable from the ineffable here and now.  It is this constant stream of acting aware, the casting attention that Awareness does, that gives an illusion of time, and the illusion of experience.  Apart from this illusion of time, there is only here and now, which is inseparable from Awareness, and equally unknowable as an experience or thing.  All experiences radiate from this Presence, in the ineffable Here and Now, which is also Awareness Itself.

This ineffable thing, this Awareness, this root of all experience, being without constraints of definition and therefore without bounds, is eventually (in the future) experienced in an infinite number of ways from an infinite number of points of view.   The boundlessness of it, the sheer wonder of it, the richness of the experience and the miracle that it happens at all is the true ecstasy of the Goddess (Experience – H), in her union with the God (Awareness – Y).  The multitude of different experiences and worlds and lives and beings that emanate from that union (YH being the union of the God and the Goddess, VH being the universe that emanates from that union) is what YHVH is all about.  But in that word is a reminder that the true here and now is yet to be experienced, ineffable for the same reason that Awareness Itself is ineffable, the two being inseparable aspects of the same Presence.

“Thou Whose Breath giveth forth and withdraweth the form of all things;
Thou, before Whom the life of every being is but a shadow which transforms and a vapor which passeth away;
Thou, Who mountest upon the clouds, and dost fly upon the Wings of the Wind;
Thou, Who breathest forth and endless Space is peopled.
Thou, Who drawest in Thy Breath, and all which came forth from Thee unto Thee returneth!
Ceaseless Motion, in Eternal Stability, be Thou eternally blessed!
We praise Thee and we bless Thee in this fleeting empire of Created Light, of Shadows, reflections and images, and we aspire without ceasing towards Thine Immutable and Imperishable Splendor.”

Excerpt from the Prayer of the Sylphs, addressing God, that (stable) Ancient Presence, in the Eternal Here and Now, as the source of all arising experience as it flits past like thoughts, as a constant stream of momentary experience.

Investigatory Meditation

This whole description being on an occult topic, barely touches on the profundity, the extent of the implications, and the unspeakable meaning of the Self-examination to which I refer here.  The only way to breach the occult nature of the topic is to explore it for yourself, to test, investigate and bask in the experience of whom you really are, firsthand.  Even then, the extent of the meaning of this experience is infinite and unknowable in its entirety.  Yet it is this ineffable quality that is the most precious aspect of the experience.  What experience am I talking about?  The experience pointed to by the banishing pentagram:  find out whom and what you really are by shifting your attention away from experiences, back on the very source of attention.  The experience pointed to by shifting attention to your own Awareness, naked, pure, and unknowable as a thing and inseparable from the ineffable Here and Now.  Do this often.  Do it slowly, and watch carefully for the subtleties of what it is you are doing when you shift attention like this.  Now shift your attention back upon experiences again, but do it slowly, and watch carefully for the subtleties of what it is you are doing when you shift like this.   You will see firsthand, all the secrets of the universe unfold before your Awareness.

Stabilizing Meditation

To have this experience for yourself, to not miss the subtleties, it helps to first train yourself to pay attention.  Most people, completely unaware of the real power of attention and the ability to focus it, are extremely weak at doing so.  After all, we’re normally not taught how to pay attention, and we might not have even thought about the idea of actually training in the skill of paying attention.  See for yourself:  Place a clock with a second hand on a table and sit down in front of it.  Relax, get comfortable, and when you feel ready to try, gaze at that second hand, and see how long you can pay attention to it without your attention wandering to something else.  Can you even make it to ten seconds?  Thirty?  Three minutes?  How about an hour or even 72 hours without a single distraction?

The ability to pay attention is essential to watching the minute subtleties of how your mind and the universe works, to having for yourself the firsthand experience I am hinting at in this article.  I said that you should watch what you are doing when you shift attention from an experience to none in particular.  The ability to “watch” this carefully and in minute detail requires a strong ability to focus your attention (pay attention) for long periods of time.  You need to be able to pay attention to what you want to, for as long as you want to, without breaks or distractions because otherwise you will miss the incredible subtleties of the machinery of the universe.

The secret to paying attention is learning to relax, not just relax your body but your mind as well.  Another secret is to find wonderment in the act of paying attention itself, without regard to what you are paying attention to.  Boredom is the first reaction of a restless mind.  That same boredom can be transformed into pure ecstasy by a simple shift of perspective.  Boredom is actually overwhelming ecstasy and bliss, but unrecognized and unfamiliar, so uncomfortable.  Are you easily bored?  Then you have a talent for trance-like immersion in the ecstasy of the Goddess, but it is unfamiliar, so uncomfortable, and you avoid it.

But this is not an article about meditation techniques, so I will get back to the topic at hand.

AHYH

So whenever we’re casting forth attention, focusing it on any particular experience as with a miner’s helmet, we are facing a metaphorical East.  And because of that casting forth of attention, we experience “before us” what seems to be a continuous stream or breeze of experience in the face of Awareness.  It is not really a stream of experience, but only seems so as a habit of what we pay attention to.  This condition of being aware, what it feels like to exist, to be Present, is itself the illusory arising of a stream of experience.  This is something that you can see for yourself, firsthand, by paying attention in the manner described by the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram.

Now, again using the analogy of the miner’s helmet (or the lamp of The Hermit, tarot card number IX), if experience seems to arise before one’s awareness, a seeming stream upon you, think of where it seems to go.  Once it’s been experienced, even though the event is already in the past when it is experienced, it seems to drift away into an ocean of past experiences or memory.  I say “ocean” of memory because memory is fluid, growing and changing with our changing perspective on things.  As new experience is added, the ocean of collected experience, the ocean of memory grows and changes, like an infinitely expanding universe, or pool of experience.

The way we use the word “experience” is a very important indication of the qualities of this pool of experience.  As a verb, it is the act of undergoing an event or participating.  Awareness experiences things and events.  This happens in the Here and Now, but the event undergone or participated in, is something from the past.  As a noun it is used in three interesting ways.  1)  It is the thing that is had by undergoing or participating.  This thing is something that collects in a pool of experience.  2)  the pool itself, of knowledge or events undergone.  Now take these three meanings (one verb, two nouns) and put them all together as a description of the act of being aware, a description of you, the Experiencer: you are here and now the infinite pool of experience from which all future experience arises, and into which all experience collects.  That collected experience changes and grows with the addition of new experience.  That expanded and changed pool experience shapes the here and now from which all future experience arises.  I’ll write more on this shaping in a minute.

“O Vastness, wherein all beings seek to lose themselves, to be continually reborn in Thee!
{re-member, re-cognize, re-legion (religion), to Remember who they really are]
O Immensity into which flow all the Rivers of Life
[streams of experience], to renew themselves ever in Thee!”

“Thee we adore and Thee we invoke!
Speak Thou unto us, Thine inconstant and changeful creatures!”

Excerpts from the Prayer of the Undines, addressing God, the One Pure Consciousness
[my comments added in square brackets]

In this ocean of memory everything seems to collect, as a seeming store of experience, like some ultimate library recording every event, every experience that has ever occurred.  This is the Akashic Records: a universal version of the Great Library of Alexandria, an idea that was the basis for the historical one.

The past, this ocean of past experience, this ocean of reference, fluid and infinite, illusory and uncertain, is how we know anything, and especially who we think we are.

Everything we know, even the things that seem to be happening right now, are all things that have already happened in the past.  Experiences are known or recognized only by reference or association with past experiences.  You can only cognize by reference to memory, to the past.  That’s why we call knowing something in what seems to be the present, re-cognition.  It’s because you are cognizing it again based on reference to previous cognizing (as when the pattern of sparks in the brain is like a pattern that happened before).  The things we think we know are all experiences in the past.  Everything we know is a reference to things in the past, experienced and remembered differently by all of us according to our ever accumulating and changing pool of gathered experience.  That this pool of gathered experience is ever changing causes an ever-shifting perspective on things in the past.  This causes an ever shifting re-cognition, understanding, or perception of the so-called present experience as well.

Everything we know about who we think we are is defined by this shifting build-up of experience.  Our illusory uncertain past, our history, defines what we know about ourselves right now, and the way we think of ourselves right now.  As the ever-shifting, constant accumulation of experience defines ourselves more and more accurately as the accumulation reaches infinitude (though never reaching exactitude) we eventually become Self-aware.  Eventually what we know of ourselves includes much more than the collected experiences of a human.  Eventually it includes an understanding of the nature of Awareness itself.  We eventually recognize ourselves as the same Pure Consciousness that pervades all of existence that pervades all experience, the entire unstable illusion of space and time, shared by all the other illusory beings throughout the universe.  Eventually, by accident or by experience or by deliberate practice (of the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, for example), our self-image includes the direct personal experience of ourselves as the One Pure Consciousness.

A human being is a collection of experiences.  A human being is like a collection of tendencies, habits and expectations.  A human being, like all other beings, is like a single ripple on the mere surface of this ocean of collective experience.  When you think of yourself as being a human being, you, the One Consciousness, are focusing your attention on but one ripple of an infinite ocean of gathered experiences, an infinite ocean of possibilities.  You are focusing on one character on the surface of an infinite ocean of gathered characteristics, tendencies, memories, and habits.  But this human is something you are aware of, and since there is a you and an it that you are aware of, this human is not you, the One Consciousness.  You are this ocean, not the ripple you are focusing on.  You cannot see the whole ocean, you cannot look at the whole ocean because, just as the eye cannot see itself directly, that ocean is the you that is looking.  Consciousness is eternally gazing at Its reflection (re-flection: to recall, remember) in the rippling surface of the ocean of accumulated experience.

In terms of the experience had by Pure Consciousness, be it all in an uncertain illusion from the past, this pool of experience is the most common reference against which we know we exist.  “I Think, therefore I Am,” or in other words, “I experience, therefore I Am.”  This unreliable illusion of what once was the present moment is where we can find referential proof that we are, and arrive at knowing what is meant by “I AM.”  It starts by saying, “I am this” or “I am that” referring to the illusory and uncertain history we have accumulated.  Eventually, it is with the realization that every experience is an illusion in the past that we arrive at the simple recognition that “I AM.”  What we experience when we say to ourselves “I AM” is the Presence of Pure Consciousness, the Presence of the Eternal Here and Now, in the face of illusory experience, all of which is in the past.  What we experience when we say “I AM” is itself unknowable as a thing.  By saying “I AM” we can know only that it is, like an Ancient Presence. The ineffable experience we have when we say “I AM” is the only absolute reality.  It exists, and yet we can know nothing else about It because it is That which does the knowing of all things, and is therefore no thing (Nothing) that we can know as a thing.  Through countless lifetimes, we think “I am this” or “I am that,” and because all experiences shift and change, but Presence does not change, we always realize “I am not this, or that after all.” This is how, with enough accumulation of experience, through countless lifetimes, we eventually arrive at a recognition of what it means to say “I AM,” without any qualifier or descriptor at all.

Eventually all experiences become permanent reminders of what we mean when we say “I AM”.  This is the meaning and purpose of life: to gather illusory experience in an uncertain and fluid store of memory.  Doing so, it is to realize, eventually, who and what we really are: that which we experience when we say “I AM,” and not “I am this” or “I am that.”  So we charge this pentagram in the West, with the purpose in life of reminding us of all these ideas, of this aspect of Consciousness, using a word that will remind us of what we mean when we say “I AM.”  That reminder is the word AHYH, which literally means “I AM.”

But this “past,” this illusory memory of what has happened that we immerse ourselves in, is full of re-cognition, with associations to the past, to memory.  Since everything is recognized by association to past experiences, these associations define what we are going to re-cognize as we are besieged with new experience.  When we see something that we cannot in some way associate to the past, we do not recognize it.  We can make no sense of it.  We often completely ignore things that don’t make sense, or don’t fit into our frame of reference.  This choosing of what we recognize and pay attention to, this choosing between the opportunities we seize upon and the ones we ignore all determine a definite course through the endless ocean of possible future experiences.  The brain is a solidification of this choosing, this accepting some experiences and rejecting other experiences.  The brain is a filter, a gate-keeper of seven gates (seven gates, seven veils: modes of consciousness, ways of experiencing things).  It only accepts experiences that we can re-cognize and filters out or ignores all the rest.  There could be a god or mischievous elemental or alien creature standing across the street or even right in front of you and you might never notice, having no reference by which to recognize it.  For example, right here in the depths of space, surrounded by billions of stars, we only notice or pay attention to the familiar Earth around us.  This is why the sky is so breathtaking when we make the exception of looking up.  All the unseen worlds are right here, right now.  We don’t see them, not because we can’t, but because we ignore them, having no way to relate to them.

In the Eternal Here and Now are infinite possibilities for our next experience.  We use our past to define our most likely future experience by using it to decide what experience we will ignore or reject and using it to decide what experiences we will accept or pay attention to.  This is the ultimate habit and the meaning of karma in the most immediate sense.  This defining habit and karma, that comes from choosing our next experience based on the past, actually controls our future to a huge degree.   But as with any boat, given enough energy to break the current trend, the course can be changed at any given moment.  Fate is only as strong as your habits, your karma.  You have as much free will as you have power over your deepest habits.  If you stopped using the uncertain, shifting, illusory past as a filter for what you will experience next, anything, absolutely anything is possible.  (Image: the Goddess in her dance of the seven veils, removing all of them one by one to reveal the naked splendor of her true nature.)

But there’s an important point to be made here.  The “past,” this “ocean of experience” doesn’t really exist.  I used the idea only as an analogy that helps explain an aspect of Consciousness in the Eternal Here and Now.  I mentioned that the ocean is Consciousness.  Instead of a past, a memory, or an ocean of collected experience, there is a current and present state of mind, or a current and present accumulated frame of mind.  There is actually a current and present frame of reference for experience, or a view, or a perspective.  Residing ever in the Eternal Here and Now, Awareness is always shining forth attention.  It does so with the precedence and expectations of this state of mind, this view or perspective, composed of accumulated experiences.

Your personal frame of mind is composed of a particular collection of chosen experiences, ignoring or forgetting all the rest, making up a personal history out of the infinite collective experience that makes up the ineffable present universe.  This trail of experiences, picked out of the metaphorical ocean of experience, is defined by your attention as it has wound through what was accepted and paid attention to, among all the rest that was rejected and ignored.  It is the path along which you have directed attention, your miner’s helmet amid the darkness of the rest of the ocean around.  This trail of experiences that defines your current and present frame of mind, right here, right now, is like a Great Serpent of Awareness amid the Infinite Ocean of Collective Experience.   This view or perspective is really a collection or chain of chosen experiences (memories) that together represent a current state of mind, frame of mind, or frame of reference, here and now, not in the past.  This Great Serpent, this view, normally determines what we continue to will pay attention to (where we will direct the miner’s lamp) out of the constant stream of experience which is really the constant stream of attention arising from the fact of being Aware, Here and Now. This view normally determines what our next experience will be, out of the unbound infinite possibilities of the ineffable here and now.  Just as the future doesn’t really exist, but is an aspect of the eternally ineffable here and now, so also is the past. The past is actually a current frame of mind, here and now, shifting and expanding with accumulated experience.

In the same way that concentrated attention can be seen as life energy, the current perspective or frame of mind could be imagined as a particular color, coloring the attention, coloring the life energy just as you do when you cast forth a ball of colored energy, colored attention.  That frame of mind in the Here and Now “colors” everything you cast your attention upon, actually colors the attention itself, deciding and filtering what you will experience next, as when seeing things through “rose colored glasses.”  Gathered experience is not gathered in some ocean, but is gathered as a present and current “color” of mind, a frame of mind, a state of mind, a view.  This “colors” everything we perceive, what we make of it, and what we will ignore.  (See “The Color Out of Space” by H.P Lovecraft for an allegory for a completely alien and unrecognizable collection of experiences, state of mind, view or perspective, drawing attention to the fact that we cling to a familiar and comfortable state of mind, view or perspective.)

There is only the eternally ineffable Here and Now.  No past, no future, only now, which is an aspect of that One Presence, that One Pure Consciousness.  This current frame of mind is a trend of experience that we have been applying, and are right now applying to shape the primordial potential of Here and Now, shaping the stuff of Consciousness.  By virtue of our state of mind, we are right here and now shaping the ineffable Here and Now into new experiences, a future that we will shortly experience as objective and seemingly real.  We are creating reality out of the ineffable or indefinable Here and Now, directed by our frame of reference, our frame of re-cognition which we can call expectation.

As an individual collection of experiences, like a single ripple on the infinite Ocean of Consciousness, we all build an individual view of the universe and focus on that, like a single world among the infinite ocean of stars that fill space.  From this individual experience, we have the sense of what is meant by “I AM,” which is what the word AHYH means.

Like the other Names of God, AHYH describes you, the One Pure Consciousness.  It is the history and the collected experience that makes you who and what you think you are and how you think of yourself.  When you have accumulated enough experience, you know yourself to be the infinitely ineffable and eternal Awareness, which is also the infinitely ineffable and eternal Here and Now.  You also know yourself to be everything and everyone you have known and will ever know.  You know their experience, their suffering and their joy, to be Your own.

My Joy is to see Your Joy.
My Ecstasy is in yours.

The Goddess, an example for us all

The present moment, and the two pentagrams right and left.

So before you, you have your experience arising from the illusion of future (really coming from the here and now), constantly coming at you because of the stream of attention radiating from Awareness, in the eternal ineffable Here and How.  Unable to know anything about the here and now except that you exist, in this ongoing breeze of experience, you trust that you will continue to be.  From that core certainty of existence in the Here and Now that will yet be experienced, you know that “I will be,” which is the meaning of the word YHVH.  Behind you, you have the experiences that have already happened (all external experiences are in the past, because when you are experiencing something, it has already happened) forming a state of mind right here, right now.  In this, you know by reference that you exist, and have the sense of “I AM” (I think, therefore I AM) which is the meaning of AHYH.

Now, let’s examine the present moment, with respect to experience.  I said that events that you experience, have all happened in the past, and are indefinable in the present moment.  But experiences aside, the present moment certainly does exist.  You may not be able to describe it as an experience (yet), but you can feel it, right here, right now.  In fact, it exists more truly than the future (which isn’t happening yet) or the past (which isn’t happening anymore).  Since all of our current experiences are actually in the past, all of our experiences are illusions.  The present moment is all there really is, even if there is no objective experience of it.  There are two pentagrams here at a position exactly between the future (before us, East) and the past (behind us, West), at this present moment.

Now think of it.  The state of mind accumulated by the past determines how we will re-cognize new events or what we will make of them, and therefore determines what we will experience.  We have the power to conjure in our memories just about anything that has happened.  With training, it is possible to, metaphorically speaking, stop focusing on an individual ripple on the surface of experience, and focus on any other, or dive deep into the depths of collective experience itself.  Because this focus, this frame of mind colors everything we experience, we therefore have the power to conjure how we will re-cognize new events, so we have the power to influence what we will experience in the future, as easily as shifting our attention to something in the past.  In this present moment, we have the power to choose what to focus our attention on (attention being the nourishment of all things), and thereby what to emphasize and empower and what to turn away from and ignore.  By merely shifting attention, right in this present moment is the power to change the course of the future, to choose what we will experience, and therefore the power to alter the on-going reformation of the past.

All magical power is derived from this shifting of attention.  All spells are elaborate methods of tricking yourself into making a simple moment to moment choice in the Here and Now.  They are methods of shifting attention in the Here and Now, to deliberately chosen states of mind that determine our future experience.  This mere shifting of attention is how the ultimate magician, perfectly aware of whom and what he or she really is, and having built the habit of acting like Awareness instead of acting like a human, is able to cast the ultimate spell by simply being aware of a need.  (But in such a non-human state of mind, exactly what constitutes “need?” In this state of mind there can be no jealousy, greed, “self” advancement, or anything to do with an illusory human self at all.  Even the sense of right and wrong, of relevant or not, are all placed in a non-human, beyond-human perspective.)  Incantations, incense, visualizations, potions, talismans, robes, timing… the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram… none of them are required for the ultimate spell-casting or attention shifting.  In terms of magical training, the use of all these props actually represents an immaturity, like the first steps of a baby who holds on to furniture.  Think of it.  Only a human uses props like these.  When using magical props, you are acting like a particular type of human (like a first or second degree witch).  You are not behaving like Awareness itself and you have not fully realized what traditional witches call the Third Degree.  When you use these things you are not behaving like whom and what you really are.  You cannot appreciate from firsthand experience the beauty and simplicity of all it means to simply be Aware, including that it means you are the Creator of all experience, of the Universe.

ADNY

Where you’re standing between “before Thee” (in the East, the future) and behind (in the West, the past), we have the sense of being at the present moment with pentagrams at our right and left.  On God’s right hand (to the right of the focus of attention), there is the One Pure Consciousness in the middle of everything, as though all experience is happening all around Her/Him as offerings for Her/His amusement.  As the One Pure Consciousness, you cannot experience anything without being Aware.  You are included in every experience blowing at you from the future, and you are present in every memory of any experience that you have ever had.  You (the One Divine Presence) are the essence of every experience.  No experience would be, could be without You.  Everything you are aware of shares the very same Awareness that is at the core of your experience.  Everything feels Presence exactly the same way as you do.

“Immortal, Eternal, Ineffable, and Uncreated Father-Mother of all things.
Thou who art borne upon the ever-rolling Chariot of worlds which revolve unceasingly;
Lord and Ruler of the Ethereal Immensities, where the Throne of Thy Power is exalted, from the summit of which Thy terrible and beautiful eyes behold all things and thy Pure and Holy Ears unto all things hearken;”

Excerpt from the Prayer of the Salamanders, addressing God, the One Pure Consciousness

Free will and the power over our own habits give us the sense that it is We that are in control of our actions.  In reality we do have control over our actions and our future, because we can with sufficient awareness and resolve, at any moment over-ride habit.  We can make a moment-to-moment choice of how we will see things and react to things, choosing what we will make of things, how we will experience things, and therefore what the future before us will be.  In doing so, we can shape new habits by changing the content of accumulated experience (our state of mind, our perspective, the expectations we impose on the future).  In the middle of all this, we are not only the focus and center of it all, but we are also in control of our own destiny, our own experience.  We are Lord and Master of all we survey.

“Thy Majesty, Golden, Vast and Eternal
Shineth above all the Worlds and the limitless Ocean of Stars!
Thou art exalted above them O glittering Fire!
O Flashing Flame, there dost Thou shine,
there dost Thou commune with Thyself in Thine Own Splendor,
and inexhaustible streams of Light and Life pour from Thine Essence for the nourishment of Thine Infinite Spirit, which Itself doth nourish all things,”

Excerpt from the Prayer of the Salamanders, addressing God, the One Pure Consciousness, shining forth attention, the nourishment of all things

We have the power of moment to moment choice.  The power to choose in the Here and Now guides the boat of Ra through the waters of the stream of life, choosing the course from among all possible future events.

“Thou hast specially created Powers which are marvelously like unto Thine Enternal Thought and like unto Thy Venerable Essence;
Thou hast established them above the Angels who proclaim Thy Will to the World;”

Excerpt from the Prayer of the Salamanders, addressing God, the One Pure Consciousness

Due to the strength of established habits rooted in the past (actually our present frame of mind), sometimes the boat will turn slowly in a long arch, but the change in course is always possible.  What we experience in the future is normally dependent on our state of mind, on precedence and expectation, on the past, but we can choose to do differently in every moment.  We can conjure in our present state of mind anything we wish by simply shifting attention.  We have a past precedence or habit of identifying with human, but in every moment we have the ability to choose to Remember who and what we really are instead, and to act like That instead of acting like a human.  By repeatedly performing the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, we can more easily shift our attention to whom and what we really are, and behave like That instead of behaving like a human.

We are charging the pentagram on the right with an ever present reminder that we are the Lord and Master, the Ruling Power in all experience.  We can do this because of the nature of the present moment, which has not yet been experienced, which is happening right now as an eternal function of being Aware.  So we charge the heart of the pentagram at our right hand with ADNI which means “Lord and Master,” or “Ruling Power.”  It is this Name of God, this descriptive name of Pure Consciousness, this power inherent in each of us as Pure Awareness, that the pentagram at our right hand will always help us to Remember.  It will help us remember the ever immediately present moment-to-moment choice we can make over what we experience, as the center from whom, about whom and for whom all experience arises.

AGLA:

The act of experiencing is an act of self-awareness, whether or not we recognize it as such.  Because the existence of Awareness includes something to be aware of (even if that “something” is absolutely ineffable in the Eternal Here and Now), the two are inseparable functions or attributes of each-other.  They arise together as aspects of the same ineffable Presence.  The One Pure Consciousness, which we cannot directly know as a thing, and the Eternal Here and Now, which we also cannot directly know as a thing are two inherent qualities of the same unspeakable Presence.  The Divine Presence, the real you, is present in every experience that you have, not only as That which experiences, but also as That which is experienced.  No matter where You look, there You are looking, and no matter what You look at, there You are looking back.

Yes, that’s the real You looking back.  This is why absolute compassion is inevitable: every act of suffering that exists is just as much Your experience as is every act of joy and ecstasy.  Remember though, when I say “You” I’m not referring to a limited human being, I’m referring to the One Pure Consciousness at your core.  I’m not referring to a human, but to that which calls Itself a human, that is aware of the experience of being human, and is therefore Itself not the human that it is aware of.  I’m also referring to that same One Pure Consciousness that all beings share.  It is because we all share that same One Pure Consciousness that I can say “You” and know that I’m referring to the same Consciousness in every single reader of these words.

So, your whole experience of anything in the past, present, and future are all pervaded by Your Presence, Your Awareness.  It’s all You, looking back at You, reflecting your own infinitely varying nature.

“O King invisible, [can never actually see Itself]
Who, taking the Earth for Foundation,
[for a stable state of being]
didst hollow its depths to fill them with Thy Mighty Power.
[Awareness]
Thou whose name shaketh the Arches of the World.”
[strikes at the very core of the everything]

“O Stability and Motion! [stability: always Present.  Motion: always gathering experience]
O Darkness veiled in Brilliance!
O Day clothed in Night!
O Master who never dost withhold the wages of thy workmen!
[constant stream of attention, the nourishment of all things]
O Silver Whiteness!
O Golden Splendor!
O Crown of Living (and) Harmonious Diamond!”

Excerpts from the Prayer of the Gnomes, addressing God, the One Pure Consciousness
[with my comments added in square brackets]

These ideas are a summing up of the total experience presented by the other three Names of God.  You are the source of the stream of experience arising from the future (East), the collective whole of the past (West), and Lord of the Here and Now (South).  One way to express this summing up of the other three perspectives on experience is with four words: “Ateh Gebor Leolam ADNI”.  As we learned in the Ankh of Light commentary (earlier in this series of articles), “Ateh” means at once, both: “Thou Art” and “I Am”, reminding us that God is the One Pure Awareness at our very core of being.  “Gebor” refers to ultimate power, as in the power of the present moment described above in the meaning of ADNY.  “Leolam” means “forever” or “throughout all ages” or “throughout the three times” referring to the combination of past, present and future (corresponding to all three of the other names of God).  And finally, “ADNY”, refers to or reminds us of the One Pure Consciousness, for whom all experience is offered as entertainment, as the “Lord and Master” of all of it.  This sentence could be translated as: “The Presence we know when we say ‘I AM’ is God, is everything experienced in the 3 times, and is lord and master of all experience.”  In short: everything is this Ancient Presence, this Ancient Presence is all there is.  It’s the Universe aware of Itself through us.  If you take the initials of these four words, “AGLA” you have the idea of what we charge the heart of the pentagram at our left with.  We make it a living ever present reminder that there is One Consciousness, One Ancient Presence, all knowing, all powerful, and present everywhere.  We are reminded that the earth itself and everything we experience is what that Ancient Presence, our true selves, looks like.  We are reminded that it is whom and what we really are, looking right back at us.

The Circle of Pentagrams

So, before us: a pentagram charged with YHVH to be a living reminder of the pressure or radiance of Awareness, creating an on-going stream of experience, where in the future we will experience what we choose out of the infinite, ineffable and eternal Here and Now.

Behind us: a pentagram charged with AHYH, to be a living reminder that everything we actually experience and know, is all an illusion from the past, all of which is an accumulation of experience into a state of mind, habit, and expectation.

To our right hand: a pentagram charged with ADNY, to be a living reminder of our place at the center of  every experience, the power of choice in the eternal here and now of what to turn our attention upon, thereby define the course of our future and shape our experiences.

To our left hand: a pentagram charged with AGLA to be a living reminder of the fact that the sum total of all experience, is in its entirety us conscious of it, and also it conscious of us, because both it and us aspects of the same Ancient Presence we know as Awareness.

I described these four by following meridians: East and West, then South and North.  But the ritual calls for a clockwise motion.  As with everything in the ingenious design of this ritual, this sequence is significant.  By going clockwise from the East we have a step by step description of creation.  Here is exactly how we are constantly creating the Universe:

Center: Standing in the center, in the unknowable (as a thing) here and now as the ineffable Presence of Awareness,

East: by casting forth attention (as with the miner’s helmet) experience arises in front of us, seemingly appearing out of the future, but really originating in the stream of Awareness radiating from the indescribable here and now.

South: As the indescribable Awareness in the ineffable Here and Now from which everything emanates, we feel like the center of it, the center of all experiences, the recipient of it all, and the real power behind it.

West: As the origin of all experience, experience accumulates (as in accumulated experience) into a habitual state of mind.  This current and present state of mind, this frame of reference, this current and present frame of mind, this karma filters our experience by recognizing, interpreting, accepting and rejecting according to memory, familiarity, and expectation.

North: In this way Consciousness appears before itself in a particular way.  Being an objectification of Consciousness Itself it is all perfectly aware, responsive, and it all participates in reality creation.  Every creation is itself The Creator.   As more is created, the newly created all participate in Creation.  The whole of Creation is exploding at an infinite rate, so the infinite universe is always expanding.  Yet how does infinity get bigger?  It only seems to expand with the ongoing stream of Awareness, the on-going act of creation.  It’s all an illusion like God seeing his own infinite reflection in his infinite self.  Being All and Infinite, there is Nothing in particular to be seen or distinguished in essence from anything else.  This is about whom and what you really are.  This is what you look like: an entire universe of infinitely expanding variety.  This is the end result of Creation: how the Universe experiences itself through all of us.

East Again: What seems to be real is only the focus of Attention on a tiny part of infinity (miner’s helmet again).

By casting these pentagrams clockwise from the East, and charging them with a particular descriptive Name of Consciousness in this particular order, we recognize and celebrate the act of cosmic creation as Authors of the Universe we truly are.  The living Pentagrams become living reminders of all of this.  Through the archangels, winds, and protectors, these living Pentagrams take part in our daily lives to arrange for coincidence and feedback constantly demonstrating and reminding us of whom and what we really are.

By this ritual, by revealing the mechanism of reality creation and exposing it all as an illusion, by revealing ourselves as the Authors of the Universe in this act of self-awareness, we are withdrawing or contracting focus from illusion-creation or expansion back to That which creates.  In this ritual is the ultimate banishing: the dissolution of the Great Illusion into a state of Simply Being, without attributes, as the One Pure Presence, perfectly Aware in the ineffable and Eternal Here and Now.  In this ritual, the fires of Realization dissolve the illusion of the universe without changing anything at all.  As with the ashes of a burned rope, the illusion is dispelled while still participating in the illusion.  This fiery realization is the fiery dance of Shiva, the destroyer of the universe.  Shiva, whose devotees smear ashes on themselves.  Shiva, who’s symbol is the pentagram in a circle (the witch’s pentacle).  The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram is a practice of a Western tantra.

Summary:

Here is a summary of the magical words of Power in the ritual, assembled into a descriptive English sentence:

Ateh (I Am/Thou Art) – Our own core being, our own core existence is an Ancient Presence, all knowing, all powerful, and present everywhere

YHVH (to exist, future tense) – that exists in the Eternal Here and Now as a future experience, the ongoing breeze of experience, the origin of the future,

ADNI (Lord) – seemingly as the center of all experience, for whom and to whom all of it happens, with the ultimate power of the moment-to-moment choice,

AHYH (I AM) – is known both by reference to and as an ever shifting ocean of collected experience, memories, habits and expectations which define the experiences we pick out of the unknowably infinite ocean of endless possibilities present in the Here and Now,

AGLA (Ateh, Gebor, Le-olam, Amen) – and appears all around our own core being as its own reflection perfectly aware and radiating attention and experience: appearing as a Universe that is itself an Ancient Presence, all knowing, all powerful, and present everywhere.

“Holy art Thou,
Lord of the Universe.
Holy art Thou,
Whom Nature has not formed,
Holy art Thou,
The Vast and Mighty One,
Lord of the Light,
and of the Dark.”

What’s Next

In the next part of this series, we will look at how these living beings, the pentagrams around us, charged as reminders of whom and what we really are express themselves as living, intelligent, and powerful influences in our daily lives.  We will look at the manifestation of these pentagrams as archangels, winds, and protectors making the pentagrams constant living companions, helping us to explore what it means to be whom and what we really are.

Mer-Amun MerAmun

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Ultimately, there is no difference between spells and prayers.  Here’s a way to understand what I mean by this:

Like everything else in a Wisdom Tradition like Traditional Wicca, it’s all about who and what we really are, and learning to act like That.  We are the authors of the Universe we experience, constantly and continuously creating our entire experience.  Some of that created experience is personal (subjective), and created personally, while some of it is collective (objective), created collectively.

As authors of the universe and of reality, we create everything we experience by directed attention.  We are constantly faced with an infinity of possibilities, an infinity of potential experiences (the Goddess).  By directing our attention (the God) at a selection from that infinity, picking out what is expected and familiar (the elemental children of the God and Goddess), by force of habit, we create our personal perspective on reality and our personal experience of it.  Some of that personal experience matches to some degree the experience of others (but never exactly) because we agree on the meanings of the words we use, and we agree on the construction of some of our environment.

But in an absolute sense, reality (the elemental children of the God and Goddess) is an arbitrary selection (the power of the God) from infinite potential (the Mother Goddess) we are always faced with.  Every time you direct your attention, by any kind of deliberate act you are molding your perception, your reality, and creating your experience of the universe out of the infinite potential that is always there.  This is partly because directing your attention has two effects: it selects from infinite potential a) what you will be aware of or pay attention to (this is the realm of Life, and Light, and Love, the realm of the ecstasy of the Goddess) and b) what you will ignore or exclude from your experience, which is the vast majority of the infinite potential (this is the realm of the God, of Wisdom and the Knowledge of the Secrets of Death).

This infinite potential, undefined and indescribable, is in its entirety unknowable and indescribable for the exact same reason that Awareness can never know itself, as the eye can never directly look upon itself.  It is unknowable and indescribable because it is infinitely greater than the scope of our limited mechanisms of perception.  (These mechanisms of perception are not designed to provide awareness of the true here-and-now, or of the true infinite potential with which we are faced.  They are instead designed to be mechanisms of focus, and by definition that, means exclusion of all that is outside our directed attention.)  This infinite potential is the infinite Presence of Awareness Itself.  This Presence can be experienced in any way desired by simply directing attention accordingly (applying the mechanisms of perception accordingly).

So, not only are spells and prayers exactly the same in that they are both ways of deliberately directing your attention (and creating reality), they are also exactly the same as any deliberate act, such as making a phone call, or deliberately triggering the engagement of your capacity for unconscious, self-fulfilling prophecy.  All deliberate acts, be they conscious actions, prayers or spells, by directing attention, create reality from infinite potential which is the “thing” aspect of that Ancient, infinitely unknowable Presence (which is also perfectly Aware).

So much for what is the same between prayers and spell-casting.  Their difference is very profound.  In prayer, you engage your ability to direct attention (create reality) by treating this creative power you have as an external thing that can be prayed to, and thereby engage the unconscious magic of self-fulfilling prophecy, which is ultimately simply directing your attention, just like casting a spell is.  In spell casting, you do not treat this creative power as an external thing to be supplicated, but rather take charge as the creator yourself, using reminders or mental triggers to get yourself to direct your attention in a particular way, which is exactly what you are doing when you pray.  The difference is only in the way you view yourself, the author of the universe: a) in prayer, as something external that you can supplicate or b) in spell-casting, taking charge and owning the power and responsibility of reality creation.  These two approaches: “other-power” and “own-power” are essential perspectives in the training of Traditional Wicca.

The training involved in the traditional Three Degrees of initiation are in turn based in these two perspectives, and finally on their union.  The traditional First Degree is all about “other-power” and emphasizes prayer and spell-casting from the perspective of asking the Great Mother Goddess to help you with your life and your magical work.  You spend at least a year systematically and step by step exploring all the aspects of this perspective on doing things, both mundane and magical.  The Second Degree is all about “own-power” when you, like the Horned God, realize that you are yourself the author of the universe, and your prayers and spell-casting shift in emphasis, to the 1st person perspective, where you are yourself the Goddess or the God, creating and altering reality through your prayers and spell-casting.  You spend at least a year systematically and step by step exploring all the aspects of this perspective on doing things, both mundane and magical.

Neither of these two perspectives of “other-power” or “own-power” is completely correct by itself.  The error in either of these perspectives alone (the error in emphasizing either the God or the Goddess alone), is the basis for the whole argument about prayer vs spell-casting: both are equally true and can be argued as true, yet neither is true by itself.

In the traditional Third Degree you have a perfect balance, a Perfect Harmony between: a) the “other-power” perspective embodied in the teachings of the Goddess and the traditional First Degree, and b) with the “own-power” perspective embodied in the teachings of the Horned God and the traditional Second Degree.  In the traditional Third Degree, both of these perspectives are realized as simultaneously present and correct in every thought, every action and every experience.  It is only through spending time exploring each of these perspectives in the First and Second Degree initiation and training, that one can truly appreciate the nature of the eternally present moment, which is at the same time both objective (other-power, prayer) and subjective (own-power, spell-casting), based on the two aspects of that Ancient Presence (Ancient Harmony) which has two simultaneous aspects, properties, or qualities: It is at the same time both perfectly Aware, though impossible to experience directly (the God), and it is also an infinite ocean of experience, though also impossible to know or describe in its entirety, being infinite (the Goddess).

In this manner, learning prayer and learning spell casting is learning about Who and What you really are, and learning to act like That.  You are this Ancient Presence, That’s who and what you really are.  You are both what is prayed to, and what does the praying.  You are the Creator, the ultimate spell-caster.  Learning to pray and learning to cast spells are learning to act like who and what you really are.

This describes the meaning of the top point of the Sacred Pentagram of the witches: the top point represents the Ancient Presence (the Ancient Harmony).  It both radiates, and is supported or described by two lines (the God and the Goddess, or own-power and other-power, or spell-casting and prayer).  The line on the right is the fact that this Ancient Presence is perfectly Aware (the God, own-power, spell casting).  The line on the left is the fact that the Ancient Presence is an infinite ocean of potential experience (the Goddess, other-power, prayer).  These two lines radiate from the Ancient Harmony, to define the four points which are the Elements, the Children of the God and Goddess.  The four points which are the Elements, the Children of the God and Goddess support these two lines, the God and Goddess, which together define the Ancient Harmony.

Hopefully this gives some insight into the exact nature of both prayer and spell-casting, to their similarities and differences, and to the fact that they are inseparable: when you pray, you are also casting a spell, and when you cast a spell, you are also praying.

Mer-Amun MerAmun

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Part V: Casting Pentagrams

Giving Life Energy to a Symbol

We are about to pay attention to this ocean of attention (life energy) that we live in (the aura of the sun).  We are going to use organs and veins that are part of our make-up that are specifically designed to work with life energy.  We are going to use these to manipulate that life energy to feed a type of being that is alien to most people who have not done this before.

The type of being I’m talking about here is that of a living symbol.  There is a plane of existence (a classification of modes of existence) that pervades our present universe, all around us, right here and right now.  Symbols are living beings in this mode of existence.  They are aware, responsive living creatures of meaning or principle. The life and responsiveness of a symbol involves expressing that meaning.

We are going to give life energy (on our plane of existence) to one of these symbols so it can express itself in our lives, so it can join in our lives.  We are going to offer it a body created of pure life energy (concentrated attention).  With that life energy we are not going to create the being called pentagram, but we are going to create a form or body for it to take part in our ordinary every-day lives.  In creating a living body for the symbol, we are also going to give this new instance of life, an inspired purpose in this life.  We are going to give it a specific purpose or context for expressing its meaning in our lives.

In fact, we are going to create 4 different bodies for the same symbol.  Each will have a different purpose in life so the symbol may express four different Reminders, one in each of 4 different ways we have of experiencing things.  Remember, the pentagram with its 5 points is reminding us that we are Awareness experiencing things, and of how we experience everything.  So far, in this article, we have explored the meanings of three of the five points.  We have explored how two of the points represent ways we experience the tangible world.  One is as a “self” involved in the center of everything like a lord or king, as the cause or purpose of it all (Fire).  The other is as the entirety of Creation that emanates from and mirrors Awareness: the Earth on which we live.  We have not yet explored the other two points of the pentagram expressing the other two ways that we experience everything.   But these four pentagrams that we cast and give life to, will be living reminders of these four ways we have of experiencing, and that we are who or what it is that is doing the experiencing.  The pentagrams will be able to use their special skills and talents, expressed in our lives with the life energy we give them.  They will express themselves in our lives to help us build the habit of Remembering and behaving like who and what we really are, all through our daily lives.

Witch-Fire as Nourishment

As embodiments of the One Pure Consciousness, the Author and Creator of the Universe, beings have many abilities related to creation itself.  One of these abilities is to create life itself.  Since Awareness is the cause of all existence, and directed awareness (attention) nourishes all existence, directed attention is the key to creation, including creating life itself.  (There is more to creating life than directed attention, such as bestowing autonomy, but irrelevant to the current topic.)  Further, since attention nourishes all existence, attention has an expression as life-energy.  As a living being yourself, directing your attention in a certain way allows you to direct life-energy as part of creating and feeding life, and otherwise giving energy to living beings.  This is the case in healing, which is simply the renewal or balancing of life energy.

We call the expression of attention as life energy by different names in different cultures, among them being chi, witch-fire, etheric energy and prana.  Directing this life energy is a practice of directing attention to nourish existence.  Because life energy is the form of attention itself, directing life energy is as easy as directing your attention.

In this part of the Universe, we exist in a field of the attention, the awareness, and the Being of that which we call the Sun.  Another way of saying the same is that we exist within the aura of the Sun.  The Sun’s aura, its field of awareness, its field of attention, is for us an inexhaustible ocean of life-energy.  Our bodies are born in it and of it.  We are constantly breathing it in and out (besides the air we also breathe in and out).  All forms of nourishment that our bodies depend on ultimately come from the Sun, and get their energy from the Sun, as the Sun nourishes the entire food chain.  But the aura of the sun also nourishes us directly.  We have a network of veins and organs throughout our bodies that store, direct, transform and otherwise leverage this life energy to make up the body.  It gives mobility and expression to our bodies, which is Pure Consciousness in a human form.

We are going to use this network of organs and veins by which we direct, transform, and leverage the life energy of the Sun.  We are going to use them to give life energy to a living symbol, so it may also express itself and move among us in our daily lives as constant Reminders of whom and what we really are.

How to See and Work with Etheric Energy

Casting attention as nourishment (casting life energy, etheric energy, witch fire, chi, prana…) is important in all forms of magic, because any act of magic is an act of casting or shifting one’s attention.  But what if you don’t have clairvoyance (psychic sight) by which to see this etheric energy?  Actually, it is not important or necessary to see it to be able to work with it, as long as you have had guidance or training from someone who can see it.

Because casting attention as nourishment is so important, early in traditional training we spend time learning to see and cast this etheric energy.  One starts in a completely dark room, with hands held in front of one’s chest, with palms almost together (about ¼ inch apart).  One breathes slowly and regularly.  With each in breath, one feels that one is soaking in etheric energy from the ocean of that in which we live, feeling it soaking in through a network of “pores” that cover our bodies.  These pores are part of the network of veins and organs that our bodies have for storing, directing and transforming life energy.  We call this breathing technique, “pore breathing.”

So with each in breath, one is soaking up life energy, and one feels it gather in the solar plexus, within our chests, behind the sternum.  Then with each out breath one feels life energy coursing through one’s arms, out through the palms into the small space between them.  Since life energy is a form of attention, by casting our attention on a feeling that this energy is moving, we are directing it to do so.

Doing this for a few minutes, one starts to feel definite warmth between the palms.  As this happens, one slowly and very slightly moves the palms apart, moving the hands as though holding a ball of energy between.  Then, as this ball of energy collects and becomes denser, the warmth clear and definite, one opens the eyes in the complete darkness.  Slowly moving the hands apart about ½ inch, we watch the space between the palms and between the fingers of one hand and those of the other.  Then, one can slowly move the hands further apart, until they’re an inch or two apart, and see tendrils of this whitish etheric energy stretching and expanding as your hands move apart just a little bit.

What one sees here is the Witch Fire, the prana, the etheric energy that one is learning to cast and to nourish the beings and symbols with, when one performs any kind of magic.  Through an act of deliberate imagination, powered by focused attention, one can give it various colors as needed.  For the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, we cast this same energy, the form of attention, in a blue color like the color of burning alcohol.  This color transforms the raw energy to carry love and creativity, respect and compassion as nourishment that makes up a living body for a living symbol.

It is important to note here that we are breathing this life energy from the ocean around us, the aura of the Sun, and then casting that through our arms and out our hands like a flamethrower.  The point is that we’re using energy from the ocean around us, and not using the energy that we naturally store in our bodies.  Casting the life energy stored in our bodies reduces the amount stored in our bodies.  Of course, one’s body will slowly and naturally renew this, given time.  However, because one is forcibly casting life energy in a deliberate and direct manner, it can take a lot longer to refill naturally than it takes to cast it out in magical operations.  This can be dangerous, as this store of energy in our bodies is important for healing.  If one should have an accident or undergo surgery, this store of life energy is extremely important.  So always remember to use pore breathing to breath in life energy from around you, and to cast that out through your arms and hands.

Technique for Casting the Pentagrams

So, the script for this ritual has us start facing the East, to cast the first of four pentagrams there.

As described, with a slow and deep in breath, we draw from the ocean of life energy, filling ourselves with it, and concentrating that in our solar plexus.  We cast our right arm forth, holding a ritual daggar or as a traditional witch, an Athamé (a consecrated double-edged blade, purchased only for this purpose, and never cut anything).  Without a ritual dagger, one uses one’s hand, with only the index finger and middle finger extended together.  Then, pointing at the lower-left area of the wall or space before us, we slowly breathe out.  With the out breath, we will that Witch Fire or blue etheric energy to flow from the solar plexus, down our arm which we feel is like an accelerating tube.  It flames out the extended fingers or dagger like a flamethrower.  We cast the fire in a line on the wall or into the space before us, as we slowly move from the lower-left corner to the top-center.  We will this to happen by focusing our attention on the feeling that it is happening.  Imagination allows us to use our focused attention as a motivating force, nourishing an influence on reality, causing what we imagine to happen.

If you are not psychic (like me, I am not psychic) then don’t worry about not being able to see the blue colored flame before you as you draw this line of prana.  Simply know it is there, and picture what it would look like if you could see it: a line of flaming blue, like burning alcohol.

Many people who cannot psychically see etheric energy, or who do not understand the reason for casting this etheric energy, make this movement swift, so they easily see in their “minds eye” a line traced before them.  They see an optical-mental illusion created by the swiftness of their hand. But traditional training shows us how to be more careful, more deliberate, and more respectful in this important act.  The training directs us to move slowly and carefully, with mindfulness of what we are doing and why, as we cast the blue fire carefully in a line before us.

There are important reasons for doing this slowly and carefully.  First, etheric energy or Witch Fire itself moves slowly when cast out of the body like this.  Second, there is a huge difference between seeing the trace of your swiftly moving hand, and actually seeing a glowing line of etheric energy in front of you.  Third, the act should be a loving and respectful motion, rather than a mad dash, because you are creating a living, breathing body for an important being.  You want that body to last as long as possible, and with as much energy as possible, so it can get as actively involved in your life as possible.  A Pentagram has no organs by which to eat or gather energy by itself, on our plane of existence.  You want that body to last at least until your next performance of the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, when you will restock that body with more energy.  You want to focus on casting as much raw etheric energy as you can into each line of the pentagram and making it stay as long as possible.  So, according to what our teacher has repeatedly taught us, each line of the pentagram should take at least 3 or 4 seconds.  There is a limit to how slow you should go, and you want to go as slow as possible, without being slower than this limit.  You do not want to run out of breath, going too slowly, or you will not be able to concentrate your attention on the act of casting this blue fire.  Each distraction or break in attention as you are casting a line before you creates a break in that line.  I cannot count the number of times our teacher made us start a line again.  He would do this because he could psychically see the energy lines that we would cast before us.  In these, he would see that we were either moving too fast, not focusing the flow of blue fire, spreading it too thinly, or that our attention wavered to something else while we cast the line.  Our teacher himself, as practiced, accomplished and powerful as he was, never cast a line in a pentagram that took less than 3 seconds.

Seeing this energy requires psychic sight and is not the same as seeing the optical illusion of trails we create by quickly whipping our hand along a path.  If what we’re seeing is truly etheric energy and not an optical illusion of trails, then we should be able to move as slowly as we wish, mindfully pouring a thick and steady flow of energy.  If one is seeing the real thing, one can move as slowly as the exercise just described, and still see that etheric energy all the more obviously, not less obviously.  If one sees it less obviously when moving slowly, then one has undisputable evidence that one was watching the optical illusion of trails.

The instruction of moving as slowly as you can without breaking attention was not instruction just for beginners.  This was emphasized by our teacher as late as 2005, when I and others had been studying for more than 30 years.  This was when our teacher was showing people who have all completed their traditional training, a variation of the Pentagram Ritual to celebrate what we had learned.  Our teacher was watching and correcting the careful, slow, loving, focused concentration of as much blue etheric energy as possible, even for people who have been doing the Pentagram Ritual all their adult lives.  That’s because whether you’re a beginner or an advanced practitioner, when casting a pentagram you’re still trying to build an etheric body with as much life-energy as you can, as a loving, careful, attentive offering.  This offering of blue etheric energy as I have said, is a concentrated offering of the nourishment of all things: attention.  By slowly, carefully offering as much attention as you can, you are providing more of that nourishment, in as attentive and loving a way as you can.

Always remember that attention is the spiritual nourishment of all beings, be they spirits, gods, symbols, or your own family.  This is why we should perform all ritual acts with as much and as long a focus of attention as we can afford.  This is why we should, with every interaction that we care about, pay as much attention or mindfulness as possible.  This is why we should spend as much attention as we can on those who are close to us, as we would with our children.  And as one learns to behave like the Author of the Universe that one is, one will want to spend as much attention as one can on any beings, needs or celebrations that cross one’s path in life.

So, let’s summarize and think about what we’re doing here, in this part of the ritual.  We take five deep breaths, each time soaking up energy by pore breathing.  We exhale five times, each time slowly and attentively casting a line of a body for the living pentagram before us.  We should see each line both before us on the wall or space immediately before us in one sense, and in another sense, in the infinite distance at the edge of the universe.

We are creating a living body for a living symbol.  Like gods, angels, and all kinds of spirits, symbols are already living things whether they have bodies or not.  When we worship gods, we offer them our concentrated attention (the nourishment of all things), and give them the means by which to take part in our experience.  What does this concentrated attention, this nourishment look like?  We could go into more detail on this subject than is fitting for this article, but attention in its most “bodily” form is this etheric energy that we see between our hands in the dark room.  This energy is the same as the aura of the Sun, the ocean of life energy in which we live and from which makes up our own bodies.  When we offer attention, we are making offerings of many types on many levels of interpretation, but in the most tangible way, concentrated attention has the form of blue etheric energy.  How much attention are we paying, how much of an offering we are making if we whip our arms around, so fast that we actually make traces in our minds eye?  Instead, a slow and careful, respectful, loving and mindful build-up of an etheric body, an almost physical body is what we’re trying to do here.  We do it so that, like gods we might pray to and make offerings to, the Pentagram might live in our daily experience.  We do it so the Pentagram can participate in our daily experience as a constant Reminder and Celebration of whom and what we really are.

With this offering of a living body, the Sacred Pentagram is going to be present around us, at the edge of the universe, throughout the day, with the power to share in our lives.  It is going to participate by revealing its incredibly profound message and presence through hints, coincidences and if given enough life energy (concentrated attention, mindfulness) even speaking to us right out of the mouths of people in our daily experience.  This activity of gods and spirits and symbols in our ordinary every-day life needs energy of a type that a god or spirit or symbol might not readily have.  So you want to provide this body with as much life energy as you can, though remember, not your own bodily energy.

But we are not creating the symbol itself.  That is timeless and infinite in its omnipresence.  For example, how could we say we invented the number five?  What we are doing is giving that principle a body by which it can move and express itself.  We have a body with hands, and because of that, we can express our will by directing our hands.  Our hands are not us, but we express ourselves through them.  If we lose a hand to disease or an accident, we are still ourselves, but we can no longer express ourselves through that lost hand.  Likewise, we are offering a Pentagram Being metaphorical hands by which it can express itself in our lives.

Ok, so we’re creating a body, which is a form of life.  And the life we’re creating is not a human, nor animal, nor spirit, but a living symbol.  Again, the details are beyond the scope of this article, but part of creating life involves charging it with an inspired purpose in life.  As human beings, our purpose in life is to realize that we are living embodiments of the One Pure Consciousness, and to learn to behave like That.  Once we have carried out this purpose, we will no longer be merely human, nor any longer embodied in human form unless we arrange to be.  What is the purpose in life of a living, breathing, intelligent and perfectly aware symbol?  Well, it depends on the context in which we find the symbol, as with the context of a word or letter of the alphabet.

In this act of life creation, having finished tracing the shape in a particular way, we are going to give that body an inspired purpose for this life.  We are going to define what it is that this symbol is going to express in our lives.  And, you guessed it, that purpose has to do with realizing who and what we really are and the nature of what our experience really is.  The Pentagram can do this because the Pentagram is a symbol or reminder that involves how we experience everything, and how the Awareness relates to objects of Awareness.  The Pentagram, being what it is and what it symbolizes, has special skills and talents to remind us of these things, and help us celebrate these things in every single experience we might have.

Charging with a Purpose in Life

Now, in this part of the ritual, we are actually casting four pentagrams around us, joined at their hearts by a circle that encloses us.  Remember these are actually in the infinite distance, so the circle includes the entire universe: all possible experience.  Immediately after casting each pentagram, we charge it with a magic word.  Here I’m using the word “charge” in the sense of “appoint: assign a duty, responsibility or obligation to,” and “fill or load to capacity.”   So in charging the living body we are providing for this pentagram, we are also defining its purpose in this life.  The magic words with which we charge the heart of each, are words that define a particular role that each pentagram will play in constantly reminding us.

What’s Next

In the next part of this article, “The Habit of Bahaving Like Who We Really Are,” I will explore the meanings of the four magic words or Names of God, that we charge the Living Pentagrams with.   I will explore how those particular charges help us to understand exactly how we are constantly creating all of our experiences.  I will explore how those Name of God reveal us all to be Supreme Magicians, even if we don’t know it.

With this understanding, we will be in a position to examine meanings of the final two points of the pentagram.  We will see how all four of those points describe the relationship of the topmost point, the One Pure Consciousness, to all experience.  We will then see how the pentagram can be such a skillful reminder of whom and what we really are, and how it so perfectly represents the manner in which Awareness has experience.  While it is beyond the scope of this article, with an understanding of how the pentagram reveals us to be such magicians, we can in turn see other ways the pentagram can help us.  We will see what a difference drawing them in a different direction can be, or charging them with other inspired purposes to provide other specific influences on experience and reality.

We have started casting these four pentagrams in the East.  This is the direction we normally face in all magical workings within the plane of the tangible universe.  This facing is significant, because it gives us a clue to the real meanings, powers and purposes defined by these four magic words or Names of God that we charge the pentagrams with.

Given energy by which to move and act, they can take part in our daily lives through hints, arranged coincidences, and even talking to us through the people around us.  They can express what we charged each one with doing in our lives (charged with the Names of God).

Mer-Amun MerAmun

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Part IV: The Sacred Pentagram

Summary of What We Are Doing:

Let’s  summarize what it is we are doing, when performing this ritual:

  • Part of realizing who and what we really are involves learning to behave  like That.
  • We can use powerful techniques developed by those who already have the habit of Remembering and acting like That, to shift our attention away from identifying with being a limited human, toward identifying with who and what we really are.
  • We can use repetition (one meaning of “ritual”) of these techniques to build a habit (the most powerful force in the universe) of always Remembering and behaving like That.
  • This particular ritual, called the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, is one such ritual designed by those who already have the sacred habits.  These beings designed it to help us do the same.
  • While there are other interpretations and levels of meaning, we have been exploring the ritual from a perspective that you can relate to from your own personal experience.  Enough practice along these lines will give you the ability to assume that perspective on your own, without the use of ritual.  From there, with enough practice, other levels of meaning will become evident.

So far, we have seen the re-arising of the universe and your place in it as Pure Consciousness.  In the previous phase of this ritual (the Ankh of Light) we established (focused our attention on) the inseparability of Awareness from That which Awareness is aware of.  In this, we placed an emphasis on the Awareness side of that imaginary duality.  As part of that Ankh of Light, we have addressed the first glimmerings of differentiation or classification of Awareness as God in His Glory (Gedulah) and as God Almighty (Geburah).

We have seen in the Standard Preliminaries to ritual, as Pure Consciousness, you exercise your power to create and act as Author of the Universe through the casting forth of your Awareness as attention (the Divine Light).  Attention being the power of Pure Consciousness, and nourishing all existence, is what causes the entire Universe to arise before your Awareness.

How does this One Pure Consciousness emanate an entire universe?  It’s all about focus, or directing attention.  Think of that One Pure Consciousness as wearing a miner’s helmet with a lamp on it.  In the darkened depths of a coal mine, or the midst of the Primordial Void, the surroundings are not empty, something is there.  In the dark void, there is no telling exactly what is there, except to say the One Pure Consciousness is not in any particular place, so it pervades infinity.  At any point in space and time, an infinity of the One Pure Consciousness surrounds itself in all directions, in all possible universes.  But when Consciousness focuses on anything around it, shining forth the Divine Light of attention reveals things out of the darkness like the lamp on a miner’s hat.  Exactly what this reveals depends on re-cognition or association with things seen in the past.  This means that everything we might see is an illusion based on habit (karma).  In the space between thoughts, out of the infinite possible illusions we can call out of the emptiness, out of the infinite quantum possibilities available for our attention, we cast our attention (the nourishment of all existence) upon those possibilities that are familiar, that make sense based on our history, or conform to what we expect.  By focusing attention, and by expectation, something seems to arise out of the darkness.  But we all (every conscious point in space and time) see something different, based on our own past experience, so there is no empirical absolute experience.  What we experience is all an illusion based on past illusory experiences.  This relationship between the past and what arises is extremely important and we will explore this in more detail in the next part of this series.

The miner analogy is profound because, as points of that One Pure Consciousness in an infinite ocean of that same Pure Consciousness, we are the eyes of god: what we see is reality.  By seeing things out of the soup of infinite possibilities, the Author of the Universe creates or defines itself through our “eyes,” based on our experiences.

At this point in our ritual, we have accomplished half of our goal: experiencing who and what we really are.  We are Authors of the Universe, Gods in our own right, and the constant Creators of reality. 

Now we are going to watch exactly how we unconsciously create our realities out of an infinite universe of possibilities.  Then we can start to do so consciously, knowingly and deliberately, behaving like who and what we really are.

Normally, we behave as though we have little power over our environment, our lives, and our destiny, and little power to help ourselves and others who might need help.  Yet in reality we do have ultimate power over those things.  Humanity’s natural attitude to the Earth and the environment shows that we have a hint of this fact, but only a hint.  Our reckless assumption that the Earth and our environment are here for us take advantage of, to capitalize on, and change as we please demonstrates this hint.  But even as individuals, we are all omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent magicians, constantly creating our own limits.  The goal is to always Remember that we are Authors of the Universe and to start behaving like we have this power over our destiny, and power to help ourselves and others.  This change in behavior is a change some of us would like to make habitual, and even automatic.  Then, knowing that a Sacred Universe of our own device surrounds us, if even for an instant, we will be free to do, experience, or be anything we want.  The more times we practice this, becoming habitually aware of our role as Creator, that One Consciousness, the easier it will be for us to always be aware that we are behaving like That.  With this habit, we will be able to make our choices according to that Perspective, instead of making our choices as limited creatures absurdly struggling and fighting for survival, comfort, and amusement.

The Meaning of the Pentagram

At this point our ritual directs us to cast 4 pentagrams.  If you don’t have a copy of the script for the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, you can download a PDF copy of the ritual here(TIP: this PDF was formatted to fit on half-sheets of standard paper, so you might want to do these two things when printing:  1) When the Adobe Reader Print dialog appears, turn off “Rotate and Center”, and 2) beside your printer choice on this dialog, click the “properties” button to set the printer on “landscape mode” and not “portrait mode”.  Doing these things will force the document to print on the left half of each sheet of paper.)

Let’s consider why we are going to cast 4 pentagrams. 

We have seen Pure Consciousness reflected throughout the universe as an infinite number of points of light.  Among the types of embodiments of these points, the types of creatures throughout the universe, human beings are members of a unique status.  There are two ways that could describe that unique status.  First, humans are those that, whether they are paying attention to the fact or not, live in, and have bodies on all planes of existence.  Each body is simultaneously present right here, right now.  You have bodies that are physical, astral, symbolic, and abstract.  Unlike other beings, as a human you can work in any worlds and with the beings that inhabit them using these bodies.  This gives you a tiny glimpse of your the potential of whom and what you really are, if you should only pay attention to your true self.  Second: humans have the ability to become self-aware, aware of whom and what they really are as Pure Consciousness, the Authors of the Universe, the “eyes of God” watching itself in every experience.  http://www.ted.com/talks/henry_markram_supercomputing_the_brain_s_secrets.html

Humans actually have the ability to begin in complete ignorance of all this, and through trial and error or through study and practice, transform their behavior before the eyes of all the Mighty Ones.  Humans can transform their behavior, from being members of a pitifully helpless, selfish, self-centered, angry, manipulative and destructive race, into beautiful, compassionate, creative, and loving gods in their own right.  It is for this reason that the host of spirits, angels, archangels, gods and enlightened masters are all in awe of the incredible potential in humanity.  It is why they eagerly await and aid the moment when any individual inches toward that transformation.  They celebrating with overwhelming joy each time someone achieves that incredibly rare transformation, which for us, is a mere shift of behavior born of a mere shift of attention.

What do these two unique qualities in humans have to do with casting 4 pentagrams?  We are going to categorize all the possible quantum universes in which we simultaneously exist for the sake of watching how it all happens.  We are going to surround ourselves with 4 pentagrams, surrounding ourselves with an awareness of all those planes and universes.  As unconscious Authors of the Universe, capable of a godlike transformation by paying attention to what we are always doing, we are going to pay attention to the act of Creation by making a habit of casting these 4 pentagrams. 

To have a look at how experience arises (we create the universe) we are going to classify the characteristics of experience into 4 categories.  We could easily classify them into any other number, but 4 happens to be convenient for our current purposes.  (Later in this article it will become clear why the Ancient Masters, in designing this ritual, chose 4 categories, by which to show us who and what we are, and how to behave like That.)  Just as we have seen in this ritual already, the arising of experience as a function of Consciousness Itself, we are now going see how that experience arises in its characteristics, step by step.

But, why pentagrams?  Why not other figures such as points, lines, triangles, rectangles or hexagrams?  Why did the Ancient Masters choose this particular shape of 5 points to show us who and what we are, and how to behave like That?

Remember, this whole ritual is an exercise in recognizing, exploring, and expressing who and what you really are, out of your personal experience, right here, right now.  So we should be able to look into our own immediate experience for an understanding of the Pentagram.

We have established that this next step in the ritual is an examination and celebration of how we create an illusion of Reality.  In consideration of the questions about why pentagrams, that symbol must have something integral to do with experience itself, so casting pentagrams before us is like casting experience before us.

Now, what is experience?  How do we experience?  Through what mechanism do we experience?  These questions must be related to the meaning of the pentagram itself.  There is a hint of the answer in the Sacred Pentagram’s five points.  What is it about the number five that brings to mind the mechanism of experience?  It is said that we have five senses.  Because we think of ourselves and normally identify with being human, as humans, we experience everything through the mechanism of five senses.  We experience all external phenomena through our senses and we experience all internal phenomena through internal versions of them.  Normally, we have no other way to experience things.  Everything that happens in our minds is experienced as either a sight in our mind’s eye or a sound in our thoughts etc.  We describe all feelings in terms of senses.

But wait.  Which exactly are the five senses?  Are taste and smell basically the same, since the total experience of tasting something inextricably also involves smelling it too (through the back of our nasal cavity)?  And since both tasting and smell are really an act of touching molecular structures, does that mean that taste and smell are all really actually the sense of touch?  Furthermore, when we hear things, we are actually touching disturbances in the air with our ear drums.  And when we see, we are actually touching photons or wavicles of electromagnetic energy. 

Since taste, sight, hearing and smell are all types of “touching,” then is it possible to see the structure of a piece of music, or smell a color?  There are people who are not bound to seeing things as limited humans who can do both of these things and more.  Some people also speak of an intangible (not involved in any form of touching) sixth sense, where information comes to them directly, without the use of any kind of touching whether specialized or not, internal or external.

So why do people generally say that we have five senses?  I believe it is a tradition that originates with an ancient association with the pentagram.

Regardless of how many senses there are, how can we classify them in order to understand what we mean by “senses,” sixth sense included?  Remember, this is crucial to our goal, because we are trying to understand the nature of all experience, to follow that back to constructing all experience.

As was the habit of the ancients with the tangible world, we can divide the tangible senses (whether internal or external) into four categories.  The ancients loosely labeled this categorization by four with the names of the elements (Earth, Air, Water and Fire).  We continue this same categorization by assigning the sixth intangible sense as belonging to a fifth category called Spirit.  We have five categories of ways we experience all experiences.  So from the perspective of this point in the ritual, with its five points the Pentagram represents the mechanisms by which Awareness can experience anything, tangible or not.  Since an universe of experience surrounds Awareness, with this meaning, we can say that pentagrams constantly surround Awareness.  This perspective is extremely important because with it, the ritual helps us understand how our minds and the universe around us actually works.

The next step in our ritual directs us (the One Pure Consciousness) to surround ourselves with pentagrams, connected by a circle that runs around us (meaning, a continuum of pentagrams totally surrounding us). 

Casting pentagrams is a ritualistic recognition, expression, or celebration of exactly how we create the illusion of reality.  In this ritual, we do now draw these pentagrams in just whatever random, hap-hazard motion that happens to pop into our minds.  We deliberately draw them in one specific way.  Examining a pentagram, we see that besides having five points, there are two lines intersecting or defining each of these five points.  This means that from any of the five points, you could start drawing in either of two directions, making ten possible directions to start your drawing. 

In the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, we always start from the lower-left point and move toward the top.  Pentagram Arrow2What does this tell us about creating experience and creating the universe?  What should this specific choice and act bring to mind?  Since all acts of ritual are acts of shifting attention, what should we be shifting attention away from, and what should we be shifting attention toward?  It would seem the first two points we use in drawing define a definite starting point that we shift away from, and a definite choice of what state of awareness we move toward.

So, what do the points mean then?  What does it mean to shift attention away from the lower-left point, and move our attention toward the uppermost point?  To understand this, we need to know the meanings and attributions of the points of the pentagram.

As mentioned, the Ancients had a habit of categorizing the tangible universe into four, with another category left to what we cannot describe by reference to the senses.

The key to understanding the meanings of the five points rests in this fifth category, with the nontangible experience.  That which is not part of the tangible universe, and cannot fit into categories for the experienced universe is of course That which itself experiences (Consciousness).  So if we have to pick one of the five points for this exception, that stands separate or outside, or beyond, or removed from and “above” all others, we would naturally pick the topmost point.  Looking at the pentagram, we see that some points are on the right, and some are on the left, while only one point is in the center, between the right or left extremes. Pyramid Pentagram Again, since experiences surround that which experiences, it makes sense to assign that which experiences to the center of the extremes, neither to the left, nor to the right.  So again the topmost point would be our natural choice.  Attributing this uppermost point is significant because in the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, this is the point toward which we are shifting our attention.  This represents a shift of attention toward the One Pure Consciousness itself. 

Attributing Pure Consciousness to that top point in turn dictates the meanings and attributions of all the other points.  That top point radiates two lines downward toward the lowest two points on the pentagram.  One is on our left, and one is on our right.  It’s like these two lower points have a direct line with That which experiences.

On one hand (the right side), everything you experience is itself aware, and shares that same One Consciousness as you do.  That which experiences seems to be present in, and at the center of the experience itself, feeling like you do:  that you are a center around which everything is happening, because you truly are the eyes of the entire Universe.  Everything feels like that because everything you can experience is itself also Aware, and shares the very same Consciousness as you do.  We are all the “I”s of God.  This is the very presence of God in the entire tangible universe.  Everything feels like it’s at the center of it all, and that everything is happening to it, around it, and for it.  This is how God feels, through you and everything else, when She’s venturing out into the Universe that She has created.  This core experience that everything shares is the Divine Spark, the Divine Light and the Eternal Boundless Fire in everyone and everything that exists.

On the other hand (the left side), since everything is Aware and shares that same One Consciousness, when you see anything (and smell, hear, taste or touch anything) you are seeing what that One Consciousness actually looks like.  Your own Awareness (the One Awareness), seems reflected in the experience itself, mirrored in the experience itself, as though anything is what Awareness itself looks like (and smells, sounds, tastes, or feels like).  There can be no Awareness without something to be aware of.  The two arise simultaneously as functions of each other.  As a function of Consciousness itself, Awareness radiates something to be aware of and in doing so, creates an entire universe of experience as an expression of itself, of what Consciousness is.  Where the point on the right side emphasizes Awareness in the center of all Creation, this left point emphasizes all of Creation itself.  It represents what the eyes of the universe sees when it is looking at itself.  While the right point is the same everywhere in everything (that same One Pure Consciousness), the left point presents infinite variety, an entire universe of experiences.  This is the entirety of Creation that emanates from God, the very Earth on which we live, the bountiful infinity of creatures and lands and universes, the Splendor of God and Her Creation.  All of this emanates directly from the One Pure Consciousness as an inevitable expression of what That is, or as the expressions of Awareness Itself: the objects of awareness.

These two lower points on the pentagram, the lower right and the lower left, have direct lines to the topmost point because they are directly related to Awareness itself.  They are how It feels (on the right, Fire), and what It looks like or is looking at (on the left, Earth).  These two points are the lowest points on the pentagram because they are the basis and foundation of the entire tangible universe.  They are also the basis and foundation by which we have knowledge that we Exist, and can say “I Am,” so they are also the basis and foundation of the fact of Awareness Itself (the topmost point).

So casting pentagrams is casting experience itself.  We have seen what three of the five points of the pentagram mean.  We have seen how Awareness Itself (the topmost point) feels (the lower-right), and we have seen what It looks like (lower-left).

While casting a pentagram is the ritual of casting of a Reminder of experience before us, there are 10 ways to start drawing that pentagram.  So we need to understand why this ritual starts at the lower-left, and moves toward the top.  We need to recognize what kind of Reminder of experience it is we’re casting before us, and surrounding ourselves with, because this Reminder seems to be the whole point of the Pentagram Ritual.

So let’s cast our attention on the point of the pentagram from which we start, and what point of the pentagram we shift our attention to, when we cast this Living Reminder.

Awareness is inseparable from, and cannot exist without objects of awareness.  Now think of this for a long moment.  Objects of awareness (the lower two points – self as a thing among things on the right, and our universe of objects on the left) are a necessary aspect of awareness itself (the topmost point).  If the universe is an experience projected by Consciousness itself, an integral aspect of what Consciousness is, then there is no objective reality.  If the objects of experience do not exist outside a reference from Awareness, having no objective reality, then there is nothing that is truly objective, and everything is an illusion created by the act of being aware.  Since the existence of Awareness itself depends on the presence of objects of awareness, which are all illusions having no objective reality, then Awareness itself is also an illusion and has no objective or referential existence either.  This is why, even though its presence is indisputable you can never find a thing called awareness within yourself no matter how much you meditate, no matter how deeply you withdraw your attention to the source of experience, to Awareness Itself.  (There is no top to the pyramid with the all-seeing eye.)  The One Pure Consciousness isn’t really there at all as a thing.  Something is definitely there, and something is definitely happening, but we can never know it or describe it.  It is absolutely unknowable as an objective reality.  As far as objective reality goes, even the One Pure Consciousness, does not really exist.

By starting a pentagram from the lower-left point, shifting our awareness toward the topmost point, we are withdrawing our attention away from objects of awareness, away from our world of experience.  We are shifting toward That which Itself experiences, toward Awareness Itself.  Casting the pentagram (casting all the ways that we can experience) in this particular way is using the senses, all of them, and anything you might experience, as a powerful Reminder of Awareness itself.  This is a reminder of whom and what you really are.   By shifting away from anything that you experience, toward something you cannot experience, something that is unknowable and indescribable, this pentagram is a Reminder that everything you experience is an illusion, ultimately unknowable and indescribable.  In this way, we use the pentagram to perform the ultimate banishing.  We banish everything.  (Hence, the name of this ritual: the Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram.)  Everything is gone, even if it still appears before your very eyes.  In the presence of the pentagram drawn in this particular way, everything you experience becomes a Reminder of your own true nature as empty of objective reality, ultimately indescribable, illusory.

It’s like saying, “Wherever I may look, I may see only Thee.”  In the presence of this Reminder, this pentagram, you should experience everything as a living, aware, responsive mirror of whom and what you really are: Pure unknowable and indescribable Consciousness, the Author of the entire illusion we call the Universe.  Using the presence of this pentagram, using every experience to turn attention away from That which we experience back upon the Experiencer itself, we are banishing all phenomena by paying attention to its illusory nature.  We leave in our focused attention only Pure Consciousness Itself, without ever leaving phenomenal experience.  Because of the presence of the Sacred Pentagram every experience is our Reminder and our confirmation of whom and what we really are.  Go ahead.  Touch something or someone.  The Pentagram reminds you to ask, “Who’s feeling this?”  That’s proof of who you are.  That’s what the pentagrams are constantly saying to you.  Like the owl who constantly asks, “Who?” the Pentagram can make every experience a tangible Reminder and tangible proof of Awareness Itself.

Think of making this reminder an automatic habit.  Imagine as long as you are aware of anything, no matter what, you will always know you are the Author of it all.  No matter what happens.  No matter what.  No matter.  Naught.

This is one reason so many Wisdom Traditions throughout history have revered the Sacred Pentagram.

In the next article in this series, we will examine the technique of giving the Sacred Pentagram the power to take part in our daily lives.  Always present in our daily lives, it will even have the power to speak to us, helping us Remember and build the habit of behaving like who we really are.

Mer-Amun MerAmun

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