Mishkan ha-Echad

Tuesday 14 June 2011

Natural Versus Developed Psychic Abilities

There are two ways people can get psychic abilities. They're born with them or they develop them. Some have natural psychic abilities and also develop them further, while others block out any inkling of a sixth sense that might hint that there is more to life than the physical.

The problem for those with natural psychic abilities is that it can be extremely difficult to control them. They are not a skill that has been learned, but something that just is and just happens. Some, through their struggle, learn to control their abilities, while others find them slipping out of their hands at every grasp.

Developed psychic abilities, on the other hand, usually bring a level of control, depending on how gradually they are developed, how much work the student is putting in, and what system they are using. In fact, it's less of an "ability" and more of a skill, a tool that can be taken up when needed and locked back in its box when not. This is important, because sometimes we need to block ourselves off to the other. We need to be able to switch things on and off when needed. Many people with natural psychic abilities do not have this luxury.

As magicians, it's important to develop these skills, not only because they enhance our magic and give us greater insight and connection to ourselves, the world, and God, but because a magician is, by his or her nature, an active player in the universe, who creates and guides his or her life. 

The often chaotic nature of natural psychism can mean that the individual is being pulled along against their will, drifting on an ocean that does not answer to them. This lack of control can be detrimental to the well-being of the person, as they are often unable to close the psychic doors when needed.

This is not to say that there's anything wrong with natural psychic abilities, as there's plenty right with them. Individuals with natural psychism can often become powerful magicians who can tap into forces that other magicians can barely touch upon, and see, hear, taste, smell, and feel things beyond the strain of the developed skills of another magician. These people make particularly good additions to Golden Dawn temples to help see what the others cannot.

Within the Golden Dawn system we learn many techniques that stimulate and heighten our psychic abilities, as well as help us control them. For example, the most "basic" Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram is particularly useful. In its invoking form it brings in the Light, which, over time, opens us to that something other, that part of us that is more than human. In its banishing form it can remove negativity and astral "junk", but it can also seal our Sphere of Sensation when we need to take some time to assimilate and process what we have experienced, or to prevent causing damage when we are taking on more energy than our spiritual vessels are ready for at this time.

I recently had a discussion with someone who cited Blavatsky's teachings regarding techniques to develop psychic abilities. It was suggested that these techniques are dangerous, as it is forcing the evolution of a being who is not ready for it. While I agree that it can be dangerous to begin this process, that does not mean people should not develop their psychic abilities.

In fact, I personally believe it is more dangerous to be naturally psychic than it is to develop these abilities over time, due to the aforementioned lack of control. I have experienced this to some degree and I know many others who have also. I've also seen the effects of learning to control and enhance these abilities on these people. Their life becomes better as they being to master what previously mastered them.

For those who are not naturally psychic, of course it is risky to open the floodgates, especially if all doors are opened at once and the individual is not taught how to close them again. A careful, slow and steady process will not only provide a safer route, it will produce much better results and will enhance the magician so that they are not simply reading speeches and walking in circles around the room.

Indeed, it is important to think about what exactly we are developing. We're not tacking something onto ourselves that is alien; we are not getting a bionic arm that can do wondrous things. We are tapping into that which always is. We are accessing that which was always there.

When a child comes into this world they are much more psychically attuned. Over time this weakens or becomes dormant, because they are discouraged from employing it. Society numbs the child and dulls their imagination, and they become conditioned to fit into the little boxed lives that we are told we are supposed to live as an adult. Some people never lose this, and some people channel it through the medium of art, but the vast majority lose the connection with what is really important beyond the veil.

Therefore, we are in many ways undoing the social conditioning as much as we are enhancing our psychic abilities. Everything is already there. We just need to access it. This is where my beliefs and knowledge as a Gnostic come in, as Gnosis is about the knowledge of the divine that lies within us all. We just have to tap into it. We don't learn - we remember what we already know. This is what we are doing with our psychic abilities. 

Of course, it can be dangerous to remember, which is why humans are so good at forgetting. We have built many survival mechanisms to hide memories that might hurt or destroy us. This is a good thing for our safety, but sometimes in order to grow we need to become vulnerable, just as we do when we open ourselves to love.

It is dangerous to begin the process of maturing, to leave home and enter "the big bad world", to fend for oneself, to make and learn from one's own mistakes, and to experience all that life has to offer, both good and bad. Should we discourage people from embarking on this road of discovery simply because it will involve difficult times? Should we equally discourage people from accessing and enhancing their psychic abilities just because change is a painful process?

Monday 13 June 2011

Sandra Tabatha Cicero Joins the Golden Dawn Blogosphere

Sandra Tabatha Cicero has joined the Golden Dawn blogosphere, launching a blog for the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (HOGD), which can be found here.

Tabatha is one of the Chief Adepts of the HOGD and is also Supreme Magus of the Societas Rosicruciana in America. She has co-written and co-edited a number of books with her husband, Chic Cicero, and has written a number of excellent articles on the Golden Dawn and other topics of interest to Golden Dawn magicians.

Check out her blog and welcome her to the blogosphere. She hasn't posted much yet, but there's a sample from her Westcott's Enochian Tablets article from Hermetic Virtues and some thoughts on Osirification which provide some interesting reading.

Saturday 11 June 2011

Mathers' Last Secret by Nick Farrell

In February of this year Nick Farrell, the head of the Magical Order of Aurora Aurea, released Mathers' Last Secret: The Rituals & Teachings of the Alpha et Omega. The book caused a stir among many people and groups. Some were pleased to see more unpublished documents shared with the wider public, while others saw it as a further profanation of the Golden Dawn system.

It's technically the second book in a three part series, with the first originally intended to be published by Thoth Publications a few years ago. It's almost guaranteed that the other two books will cause further controversy within Golden Dawn circles, but they provide some valuable information about the Alpha et Omega, the order that Mathers established when the original GD split.

Tuesday 7 June 2011

A Mystery of Air

The air is everywhere, all around us. Yet it is only when we concentrate it within a vessel, within the lungs, that there is life. Therefore we must take that which is spread here and there, from all ends of the Universe, and channel it into a vehicle through which we might come alive and bring life to our magical goals.

The enactment of Magic is the exhalation of the breath which leads to Form, but it must be preceded by an inhalation, which sculpts our aspirations in Yesod before they reach fruition in Malkuth.

This is why Aleph, the breath, begins the Hebrew alphabet, and why Beth follows, for the birth of Gimel cannot occur if the divine breath is not channelled into the house. Only with the union of Force and Form can anything truly be achieved.

This relates to Flying Roll No. V, because the Imagination is the Air, ever-present yet lacking in direction. The Will is necessary to guide it, to make the Jack of All Trades a Master.

Monday 6 June 2011

Hermetic Virtues, No. 16

Issue 16 of Hermetic Virtues has been released, containing the following excellent articles:

+ Westcott’s Enochian Tablets by Sandra Tabatha Cicero
+ The Hermit by Harry Wendrich
+ There is No Part of Me Which is Not of the Gods by Nick Farrell
+ Mathers’ Last Secret: A Review by Samuel Scarborough
+ The First Degree Tracing Board – A Comparative RitualDiscussion by Timothy Walley
+ Modern Magick: Twelve Lessons in the High Magickal Arts: A Review by Samuel Scarborough
+ Raising the Serpent in the Western Mystery Tradition Part III: The Great Work by Harry Wendrich
+Revelation of the Holy Guardian Angel by Jayne Gibson

To obtain a copy, click here.

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