Self-assessment

For the first time in months (like, November or something last year), I have no more blog posts scheduled to go up ahead of time.  No more buffer, at least for now, between what I write and when people see it.  Part of that buffer was built up from my geomancy series of posts, and in part also because I didn’t want to overwhelm my dear readers’ RSS feeds with more posts than they might care about.  But, now that the De Geomanteia posts have been finished…just about two months now, and I’ve gotten back to posting other stuff as it comes to mind, I’ve finally run out of that buffer of more posts.  This means that I’ve been writing less as of late, which is true at least for the blog.  I have a few ebooks in the work on geomancy and the geomantic emblems, but those are still in progress.

Why have I been writing less for the blog?  Basically, I’ve been doing less stuff.  Sure, I’ve done a few projects here and there and had a few adventures, but nothing particularly exciting or worthy of its own post (as far as I’d reckon it).  Almost all the stuff on this blog comes about as a result of doing the Work, making adventures, coming up with interesting stories to tell, doing in-depth research, all that good stuff, and lately I’ve been doing less of it.  It’s not that I’ve gotten bored, but that I’ve gotten stuck in a rut or stuck on a plateau (the two are nearly the same concept).  Not gonna lie, it’s difficult for me to actually admit this, so I’m doing it loudly and proudly on my blog to all my readers that, yes, this is in fact a slow point for my practice and I’m not getting much of anything done.  For now, of course.

It’s been about a year since I managed to obtain first contact with my HGA, which has been an exciting and awesome thing to obtain, though not as overwhelming as I’d’ve thought.  No angelic choirs (besides the ordinary, that is) congratulating me, no life-changing foundation-shaking enlightenment, but still, I’ve had a voice that’s helped guide and nurture me since.  After that, though, my accomplishments and progress have somewhat stalled.  My big goal, especially for 2013, was to begin astral projection, and I sorta postponed most other occult work (like my regular conjuration cycle) on being able to project.  Perhaps needless to say, my progress with astral projection is nowhere near as great as I want it to be, and it’s much more difficult to do and even allot the time for than other work I’ve done in the past.  Add to it some rather pleasing, though adventurous, changes in my life and more stuff to handle in the office, and my work-Work-life balance is shifting around with the Work getting less time than it should.

Astral projection, so I’m told, is the major next step I need to work on.  Without being able to work with the spirits in spiritual realms as a spirit myself, i.e. without the limitations of physicality, I’m not gonna get much of anywhere.  It’s the key I need to work more in-depth with the planets and to start working with the sphere of the fixed stars, where we get the idea of “astral realms” from to begin with.  I’d love to do the full out-of-body experience, but that’s posing a much more difficult task than I anticipated; indeed, even my HGA said that this would be more difficult than coming in contact with the HGA was.  I can manage strong visualizations and so-called “mental projections”, using light trance/meditative states to scry or bilocate elsewhere, which gets the job done, but not as great as I’d like.  And, of course, it being “not good enough” has led me to leave it un-/underutilized, and even though it affords one method to work astrally, I’ve instead done nothing astrally and waiting for something better to happen.

My idea of astral practice involves light meditation beforehand, coupled with about two hours of lying in trance trying to obtain deeper states of trance and, hopefully, the ability to slip out of the body and into the astral.  This is about a three hour thing, all told, and that’s a nontrivial amount of time.  I was going to write these next few sentences justifying why I procrastinate on this, with so many hours already used for this or that, but then I realized I couldn’t say it in any way that wouldn’t read as pathetic.  I’m just gonna say it: I’m lazy and I like to internet, even at the cost of my magical and spiritual practice.  The free time I have every week, even when I spend it at my boyfriend’s house or out with friends, still allows me plenty of time to do magic and spiritual exercises that I’m simply not using in the best way ever.  This has happened before and I know I’ll encounter the problem again in the future, but this is now getting to the point were I’m snapping out of it.

The stuff I want to do is manifold, and I have a hard time figuring out where I want to begin.  This, of course, kinda puts hesitation in me, then indecision, then a lack of action that stalls any more progress, causing me to retreat back to the all-too-welcome arms of the Internet for mindless entertainment until I realize that I need to do more Work.  I was going to type up a list of things I want to work on, but then I decided to make it public and give my own assessment of what I need to work on and why.

  • Meditation.  Meditation is the key to most mental disciplines, and indeed is the foundation for trance practice.  If I do better and more meditation, the whole two-hour lying-in-trance thing above becomes more-or-less obsolete, since the meditation itself becomes the trance.  More, deeper, and more serious meditation practice is needed, starting over from the rudimentary basics like how to maintain good posture, a personal weak spot of mine.  Resolution: two 30-minute sessions of meditation a day, once in the morning after waking up and once in the evening before sleep.
  • Sight.  It’s definitely a desire to better see/view/communicate with spirits, forces, and spiritual things more than I can.  Granted, I have a good ability to do just that, but I want to be better at it to where I can see histories in places, medical problems in people, and the like.  I want better second sight, better awareness of the spiritual around me.  Despite the warnings of some of my friends (“you can’t turn it off once you have it on”), I can’t say that I’d ever want it turned off.  From clearer visuals in conjurations to seeing weak spots in home defenses, or even things that’d be offensive to my senses, I want and want to work on better sight/vision practices. Resolution: weekly and regular practice and working on a few new tools to help this out.  I’m thinking a special blindfold from a black scarf consecrated for the purpose.
  • Exercise.  I admit it, I’ve put on a few extra pounds lately and I’m not doing nearly enough for my physical body.  As much as I’m focusing on the spiritual, I also need to focus on the physical, since it’s the best way to honor the mind and spirit as well.  Besides, as long as I’m human, the body is as much me as anything else.  I know my eating habits and other upkeep are decent (though I could definitely get more sleep), so it’s just a lack of physical activity I need to change.  Scholar though I am, I’m still an animal. Resolution: nightly walks to local parks no less than 60 minutes in duration plus daily stretches and basic stuff.  (If it weren’t for the 10 hours I spend at work and commuting, I’d throw in more dedicated routines and weights and crap, but here I go whining again.)

Even with the above justifications for individual goals, I think a somewhat bigger issue is that I’ve lost my overall reason, the big “why” that drives my Work.  I mean, nobody becomes a monk because they dig the ascetic practices, they do it because they want enlightenment.  What’s my goal, why am I a magician at all trying to obtain the Great Work?  Even now, my old goals of reunion with the Divine and apotheosis seem kinda…empty.  Power’s always nice, but power for me doesn’t seem great on the surface, either (pace, Frater RO).  Security and stability in the world?  A more compelling and concrete reason than just “power”.  Spiritual authority?  Well, duh, but that itself evades the original question.  I’m here to do magic, I know that much, but why?

I guess I have a self-assessment for what I’m doing, but less for why.  I suppose even this is all just theorizing over what can’t be theorized, too.  I suppose the only thing to really do is to just do it, and there’s no better time than now for it, either.  Back to Work, then; I guess I have a date with the HGA for getting me off this rock.

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About polyphanes
I'm a software developer and Hermetic occultist living near Washington, DC, USA. I claim that I'm youthful, dashing, daring, and other things. I make things and chant stuff, and periodically write about them.

6 Responses to Self-assessment

  1. Rachel Izabella says:

    Hi Polyphanes! Your paragraph about Sight looks like it got cut off. Which is a real shame because that’s an area where I struggle a lot.

  2. Rachel Izabella says:

    It’s purely selfish I assure you. I’m always looking out for ways to improve my Sight. Looking forward to the full paragraph! R

  3. gordonpwhite says:

    Heh. work-Work-life balance. Even harder than work/life balance. I hear that.

  4. mythicanine says:

    I think you’ve got some very good goals there. I need to work on more physical exercise myself. Gaining weight isn’t the issue with me, it’s lack of muscle tone and mass.

    When it comes to Sight, the problem with me is being able to control it properly. Think dimmer switch. Getting overloaded is always a major problem with me. Seeing too much can be as detrimental as seeing too little.

    As to astral projection, there are different methods you can use. YMMV. It gets easier with more practice, so you’re not spending two hours lying on the floor with a blanket, cloak or animal skin draped over you.

  5. michtus says:

    polyphanes.
    Wish you can blog on topics like , Spiritual Power of Sounds !
    Thank you !

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