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Copyright (C) 1998 by William Mistele.

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Initiation into Hermetics by Franz Bardon
A Commentary Preliminary Comments:
It is important in Bardon's book to master each exercise before going on to the next one. Over time, you also
increase your mastery over the beginning exercises. An exercise you do for five minutes in chapter 1 you extend to
fifteen minutes or a half hour by chapter 8. The exercises of each chapter--the mental, psychic, and physical levels--
must also be mastered together before going on to the next chapter. This enables a student to avoid running into
severe karmic difficulties due to a one-sided development. Keep a careful record of your practices and make them a
habit. Some things are best learned through repeated practice. The training will require your greatest commitment
and highest spiritual will. Do not become discouraged. Realize, however, that this line of practice is possibly the
most difficult thing on earth to master. After all, in book one you are preparing to internalize in yourself the essence
of all spiritual wisdom and power that exist on this planet. If you get stuck somewhere, do not despair. The exercises
are set up to reinforce each other. And there is always someone around who can assist you. Internet puts us into
touch with practitioners from around the world. And just about every single exercise in Bardon's book has been
made into a life long practice by someone. The practitioners of various religious or spiritual training systems often
take a variation of one or more of these techniques and treat them like an onion. They carefully peel layer after layer
until they arrive at the wisdom in its core. They then honor this achievement as the final realization of their system.
The depths to which they go to accomplish their objectives can be appreciated by a magician without having to
adopt the limited goals and cultural values underlying their methods. For example, various cognitive psychologists
love studying mental processes and how thoughts influence behavior (a chapter 1 mental exercise). In Chinese Chi
Kung, they love practicing breathing and circulating energy through the body (a chapter 1 physical exercise). One of
the most difficult exercises in Bardon is attaining magical equilibrium beginning with introspection. But the
practitioners of a system developed from the writings of Carlos Castaneda try to recall in detail their entire life. Ira
Progoff, who works with intensive journal, carefully guides his students to become conscious of the psychic threads
which form the pattern and stream of energy shaping their outer lives. As fascinating as many training systems are,
they do not try to understand all aspects of human nature quite like a magician. The magician seeks to reflect and
harmonize within his own soul the larger universe and all the powers within it. But the great training systems of the
earth do offer insight and exploration of specific truths. A magician will understand the universal aspect of these
many procedures and identify them as steppingstones he can utilize, at his own discretion, as he moves towards the
mastery of the akashic plane of our planet. I add here a few paragraphs from my essay on the four planes: My kids
sometimes ask about magick. I tell them that in regard to Bardon's practices, the concept he has of basic mastery is a
spiritual ideal in itself: Bardon expects you to have 1. The mental clarity of an advanced Zen master--that is, a mind
empty like a mirror and sharp as a diamond. When you concentrate on something you easily focus without any
distraction whatsoever so there is nothing else in your consciousness. 2. The concentration and artistic imagination
of Stephen Spielberg. Spielberg can visualize each scene in a movie including camera angles. He can hear the
intonations in the voices of the characters and see the emotions they portray. He can do all of this before he begins
shooting. 3. The ability to understand personal problems from a universal perspective as one or two Ph.D.s in
transpersonal psychology might impart. 4. The level of vitality and chi possessed by a sixth don aikido sensei or a
fourth generation tai chi master. 5. The qualities of a successful individual in any profession: His life must be
organized. He must be free of needless distractions. He must have rugged endurance, patience, self- motivation, and
determination. And, like those at the top of any profession or career, he must love his work with all his mind, heart,
and soul. And these abilities and attitudes Bardon expects you to somehow acquire before you move on to working
with higher spirits. I mention these five points because they represent skills present in professions which are already
part of our society. There is absolutely nothing secret or esoteric about them. They are the powers of creative
imagination acquired and applied through hard work and commitment. The first step in magick is not withdrawal. It
is to internalize some of the creativity which already surrounds us. Introduction to Mental Plane Exercises The goal
of the mental plane exercises will be to master your own mind. This will involve observing your own thought
processes and controlling your thoughts. Inherent in this process is the development of our imagination. For
example, Bardon emphasizes being able to concentrate to the extent we can recreate mentally anything we can
experience sensually through our five senses. This mental agility and resilience is the basis for developing psychic
abilities as well as being able to understand the minds of animals, other human beings, and spirits as well. Another
goal of the mental training is to be able to move freely between our physical world and various realms on the inner
planes and to do so comfortably so that we avoid various dangers and temptations. In entering the sphere of
elemental beings, the various degrees of the astral plane, and the akashic level of the earthzone, our minds will enter
environments which offer no support for our five senses. There are no familiar sensory impressions similar to what
we encounter in everyday life. To be fully conscious and to perceive on these planes, our minds will need great
clarity and penetrating intuition. Before this can happen we have to strengthen our mental abilities and become
conscious of everything which influences our perception and imagination. In fact, the mind of a magician is meant
to comprehend with ease the thoughts of a sinner or a saint, a fool or a wise man, an autistic individual or a genius, a
salamander who commands a volcano to erupt or an undine who dwells in the depths of the seas, a spirit who guides
the destinies of the nations or one who can resolve any conflict on this planet, heal any disease, or transform any
karma. Bardon's training system is this demanding and this complete. The task of a student, then, will be to take
these exercises, however difficult and unfamiliar, and somehow to make them his own so they become second
nature. Therefore, consider making the first book a life long friend. Return to it again and again. The teachings of
the elemental beings and many spirits of the earthzone and other spheres often take these basic exercises and expand
on them. These spirits increase your power and heighten your concentration. They introduce into human nature a
planetary and cosmic perspective building on your current understanding. As in any academic curriculum, however,
you have to complete the basics. Otherwise, when you jump into an advanced class you can neither understand nor
can you keep up with the lessons. When, for example, you arrive at the sphere of Venus, these magnificent creatures
of beauty will entice you to return to those basic areas which you have failed to master. They make the most simple
needs in life seem fantastically interesting. And that is part of their job--to prepare us so we have enough experience
that we are ready to make the next step into the sphere of the sun. In the solar sphere, we join ourselves to divinity,
to pure light, and become radiant servants of life. Initiation into Hermetics, Chapter 1, Mental Level There are four
exercises for the mental level in chapter 1. In all of Bardon's exercises, it sometimes helps to imagine you have
already mastered the exercise. This is an exercise in imagination. It gives you a chance to feel what it is like to do
something you do not yet know how to do. And there is a sense that if you can imagine it then you can get it. The
thought or image of already being able to do something creates energy which generates momentum and success.
Exercise 1: Observing your thoughts. Taking the perspective of an alert and silent observer, close your eyes and
observe your thoughts. Do this for a minute and work up to five minutes. Try to recall all that happens within your
mind. Comments: This exercise makes you more conscious of your mental body and the processes and contents of
your mind. When I first tried this exercise, I felt very odd not only noticing mental events but also trying to
remember what had occurred while meditating. I notice, though, that the exercise made my mind sharper and more
observant. I could recall, by the way, up to six separate mental events but six things is about all I can remember. I
feels a little odd to be observing mental events and then trying also to remember them as well but I take it that this is
also part of the exercise. If you are alert enough to notice the smallest change in your mental activity, you also
become very observant about what is happening immediately in front of you. All five senses become more alert. It
seems natural for me, however, to also become acquainted with other individuals who practiced various kinds of
mental control and meditation. For example, I once sat in a beginning class at a Zen monastery. The teacher had us
sitting almost elbow to elbow facing a wall a few feet in front of us. We were to think no thoughts. I noticed right
off that if you practice this form of sensory deprivation afterwards a small sensory stimulus feels colorful,
enchanting, and full of life. After the meditation, the instructor debriefed each of us. He wanted to know in detail
what had occurred within our minds. There it is again--that expectation that you are to recall what occurred when
you were supposed to not be thinking. To be honest, I felt like telling him, "It is none of your business." I did not
want to be subject to another individual's influence by letting him know my strengths and weaknesses. I just wanted
the discipline and sharing that comes with joining in a group committed to mastering the self. Later on, I did meet a
Zen master who never once asked me what I was thinking or tried to teach me anything. He was great for me. I
could see directly in his mind what I wanted to learn. There are advantages and disadvantages to training with
others. There is a powerful social pressure when you meditate with individuals on each side of you who can hear the
slightest difference in your breathing or notice the smallest change in your posture. When working with a group, you
have access to the strengths of the group but also are influenced by its weaknesses and its lack of commitment to
universal truths. Another Buddhist group I was in would sit for an hour, sometimes for all day, and even for thirty
day periods practicing ten hours a day. They would focus their minds for many hours on just one thing like the air
moving through the nose, the rising and falling of the chest, or the belly. I found this very enjoyable since I was
interested in these things. But I noticed also a real problem with the group. Because I was training as a magician, I
could sense their individual brain waves and the general pattern of thoughts in the minds of those in the room.
Again, they were practicing a form of sensory deprivation without also training their imagination. Their
psychological attitude was of someone going into and sitting in a dark closet. Their minds were bottled up, rigid, and
confined rather than open and clear like the sky at night. Their doctrines told them to limit themselves to observing
only those layers of mental vibration which arise out of their body and personality experiences. They did this to
prove to themselves that there is no need to be attached to anything. Every thought, feeling, and perception is in flux
and subject to change. I did not have a problem with that doctrine. It seemed obvious. I felt they should not stop and
limit their concentration practices. I found it natural to concentrate in the same way on the mental vibration within a
rock, a tree, the sea, the colors of light, and other minds as well. You master the mind by both understanding and
being free of every mental vibration which can occur within it. Some people suggest viewing passing thoughts as
clouds passing through a clear sky. Each time a thought arises you imagine you are seeing it from a distance. You
note it but allow it to do whatever it wants without reacting to it. In this way, you acquire a neutrality and
detachment. Many meditation systems assume that it takes years to arrive at a level where thoughts no longer arise.
Most monastic settings are fairly tranquil. Some monasteries teach Budo and the martial arts on very high levels and
so those develop another part of the brain. In our lower brains is the ancient hunter. The hunter can track his prey for
hours noticing every sign and trace of the trail he is following and this he does without any distractions occurring in
his awareness. This aggressive form of concentration is an aspect of power or fire whereas the tranquility approach
belongs to the element of water. It is nice to learn both. Bardon's system happens to emphasize power and will. It is
up to the student to find his or her own best approach. Exercise 2: Mindfulness. This exercise involves being fully
attentive to whatever task you are performing without being distracted or letting other thoughts intrude. I imagine
there are a number of ways to approach this exercise. Bardon emphasizes you should be able to be fully conscious
and alert whether you are at work or engage in something simple and seemingly trivial. You should work at this
exercise until it becomes a life long habit. This kind of exercise is common in the Orient and is often referred to as
practicing mindfulness. In Zen, they say words to the effect, "When you tie your shoes, you tie your shoes. When
you drink tea, you drink tea." Of course if you are living in a completely artificial environment like a monastery
dedicated to practicing austerities you have an atmosphere conducive for cultivating mental discipline. The building,
the students, the master, and the daily schedule are like a magical ritual designed to enhance and reinforce very
specific kinds of awareness. Still, it is important to internalize the Zen monastery within oneself. This means being
able to focus your entire mental body on whatever your are doing as if this moment is of significance and important-
-not the activity but whatever you happen to be doing in this moment of time. This practice strengthens the ties
between your mind, soul, and body. The mental, astral, and physical are united in your awareness. This opens
consciousness to akasha--to a timeless and spaceless state of awareness. It makes anything you do a spiritual
activity. This may not seem very important but it is extremely valuable. It provides support for you consciousness
after engaging in the incredible set of explorations of the psyche which Bardon's system encourages. You need to
know that when you are done with a psychic or mystical practice you can return to your ordinary consciousness
without any part of your awareness being elsewhere. There is nothing allowed to intrude upon or disturb your focus.
Most people do not need this skill but a magician does. Having made my point, I will discuss here and elsewhere
why this may cause problems for some individuals. The Bardon system is extremely dangerous, from my
perspective, if you overdevelop your mind to the exclusion of your feelings and ability to express adequately your
emotions. Often unexpected thoughts, feelings, and sensations may interject themselves into your awareness during
the day or night. These may signal deep feelings or intuitions stirring within you which you need to attend to. Some
individuals worry too much or constantly. One way of working with that problem is to set aside a regular time when
all you do is worry. In this way, you take charge of whatever is bothering you. You give it the attention it demands.
Similarly, if something is bothering or upsetting you, then it is not a good idea to "exclude" it from your thoughts.
This is repression. You can get away with it for days, months, or even years. Eventually, however, either you solve
the problem or it will grow strong enough to demand your total attention by undermining your motivation or making
your ill showing up in other ways. Elsewhere I mention that the mind Bardon wants to develop in the student is open
like the sky, flowing like water, serene like moonlight, intense like lightning about to strike, radiant like the sun,
empty like a void, and so forth. When you develop a high caliber level of concentration, you also have to apply it so
it harmonizes your personal life. For example, I can listen to my wife with a magical level of concentration. My
mental body is then like a mirror in which she can see herself more clearly. And she enjoys this attention. But what
she likes a whole lot better is when I change my brain waves to match her own. Then the interactions between the
left and right sides of my brain are more rapid. Then thoughts, emotions, and body language are more blended and
expressive. In other words, as magicians we are after a mental concentration but one which is flexible and not rigid.
Bardon says that the student should be able to change his personality completely upon entering different situations
such as being at home versus being at work. Exercise 3: Attending to one thought or a thought train. In this exercise,
focus on one thought or a train of thoughts without any other non-related thoughts intruding. I am about to do my
income tax so I could just sort through everything I will need to do to get my taxes done. That would be a thought
train. I could pick a simple thought such as my dog or the tree in the backyard. I could focus on an affirmation such
as, "I feel a deep sense of inner peace." Bardon does not elaborate on the level or way we are to approach this
exercise but it seems fairly straightforward. We already practiced focusing on one activity in exercise two so now
we simply focus on one mental activity instead of something physical. Everyone, of course, already knows how to
do this exercise to some extent. Just consider thinking about something you love doing or are emotionally involved
with. Your interest alone should be able to keep you focused without distraction. I have sat down at 8 PM playing a
computer game and was surprised when I saw sunlight outside the window because time had flown and now it was
dawn. The only thoughts in my mind during this time related to the game I was playing. That kind of recreational
activity is more a way of being absorbed than it is being alert and conscious but it reminds me of what I am capable
of doing. The idea, however, is to train your mind so you have a habit of focusing without distraction. Exercise 4:
Controlling thoughts. In this exercise, practice meditating without any thoughts entering your mind until you can do
so for ten minutes. There is a real advantage to being able to do this. Having an open and empty mind which is fully
alert and attentive greatly enhances understanding. It means you can regard something without having to search
immediately for a label or concept to explain it. This is a mental ability which you rarely run into. Most people have
a mental anxiety which means they have to identify everything as something familiar or else they do not care enough
to notice what is in front of them. Having a mind capable of being empty of thoughts means you can put a lot of
things in this mind without causing a reaction. You can then consider a problem from all sides. You hold the entire
problem within your mind while remaining completely relaxed and clear. Again, this ability is absolutely essential
for a magician. A magician often deals with unknown experiences and new perceptions. If he tries to label them or
make them fit what he believes or already thinks he distorts their content. A clear and empty mind is also a psychic
tool. It can receive extremely faint impressions and then amplify them which is like looking at something under a
magnifying glass. This is because there is nothing else in your consciousness than what you are focusing upon. My
original notes show I was able to do this exercise after about a month and a half of regular daily practice. I believe,
however, it is very easy to lose this emptiness of mind practice once you learn it. You have to keep yourself in
shape. It is as easy as breathing for me to stop all thinking for three or four minutes. To do so for ten minutes takes
more effort. After working with a few spirits like Jah-Hel of the Mercury sphere, I acquired a taste for meditating for
three or four hours at a time. I take a lot of breaks during this time. For example, I write up what is occurring but
everything I write about arises from within an empty mind. I notice, however, that if I force myself to be free of
thoughts there is a strain on my nervous system. Bardon mentions practicing while being relaxed and this took me a
long time to learn. It is also easy for me to cheat on this exercise by placing my mind in an akashic trance--a
timeless and spaceless state of awareness. In akasha, there is no vibration relating to thinking unless you place it
there. But using trance or self-hypnosis to perform this exercise is off track. The idea is to be free of thoughts in a
way which is natural, comfortable, and even enjoyable. As I practice now I notice that my thoughts and mental
activities are very distant. They do not even appear as a thought or an idea because I am sensitive to the vibration
thinking possesses. I can shun it before it enters the linguistic or mental part of my brain where an action occurs
which I label thinking. If you sense the mental vibration you can send it off quickly without deciphering it in terms
of a sensory perception or interpreting it in terms of ideas and language, symbols, images, etc. I can also feel each
thought as an energy or sensation somewhere in my body usually, e.g., as a faint flash of sensation in my throat or
head, etc. What I am saying here is that not thinking has a certain vibration, energy field, or set of brain waves
associated with it. If you can sense that energy field and remain within it you also in effect stop thinking. But this
ability came much later in my practice. If I were giving advice to myself when I was first beginning this exercise I
would suggest working on my sense of peace, stillness, and feeling a part of the planet earth. Then when I meditate I
would be in an emotional and mental state where thoughts do not vibrate. There are other advantages to getting this
exercise. I notice that every time a thought appears it briefly breaks the connection with whatever I am concentrating
on or attempting to attune myself with. The mind is like a television set which blinks off or a telephone conversation
when static intervenes and obscures the words being spoken. My mother often says to me when we talk long
distance that it sounds like I next door. The connection is excellent through the satellite relays. That is what you
want for telepathy, clairvoyance, clairsentience, and magical practices--a crystal clear receptivity and sending
capacity. If you make a connection to an elemental being or spirit, you want to be confident that the connection is
complete and that there are no interruptions. You want to be able to say, "I am here. Speak to me. What is the
answer to my question?" To receive that answer often takes some time in the beginning because you may be trying
to receive into your mind a mental vibration which is different from anything you have experienced before. In order
to listen, you have to switch off the metal activity in your own mind so you can receive what is being sent to you. Of
course, many individuals are used to concentrating on a hobby or activity for thirty minutes or longer without a
single extraneous thought entering their minds. They are completely involved with what they are doing so that their
interest stops all distractions. The empty mind is just the same mental vibration but without a specific content. For
example, I raced sailboats for years and was accustomed to concentrate on the wind interacting with the sail for
many hours at a time with an absolute minimum of conversation. When I imagine myself sailing again, I can notice
how my concentration intensifies so that I feel nothing else in the world exists but what I am doing. When I close
my eyes and keep the concentration without any imagery, this form of concentration is like acid--it dissolves
thoughts before they enter my mind. You might try this for yourself by gearing your mind up to a mental level of
concentration which you have already developed through some other activity. Then switch back and forth between
the activity which engages you and an empty mind. I would also mention the situation where an Oriental teacher
will bring his method of training to Westerners. A Vipassana teacher, e.g., teaches concentrating on breath, the
body, the mind and so forth for extended period of time. I know one individual who loves this sort of thing. She
feels she has come home by participating in one of these retreats. But other Americans have some serious
difficulties. Though the Vipassana teacher's methods are very clear, he does not in fact teach what many Americans
do not have. From his culture in India, he has acquired a wonderful sense of well-being and peace. This is part of his
etheric body. He had a love of spiritual things from childhood and the culture supported this kind of endeavor and
exploration. But Western culture in many instances has been extremely hostile to inner exploration of the psyche
and spirit. To empty your mind is to also allow not only thoughts but powerful emotions to arise. It is as if you are
opening a door to a realm whose existence has been denied for thousands of years. I do not mean to overplay this
example but I think you have to feel there is some sort of greater harmony or purpose to which you are connected.
Otherwise, an individual may find himself having to deal not with the point of the exercise--controlling thoughts--
but with another question: What happens to your identity or to your self when there are no thoughts within the
mind? This question is not answered intellectually nor does it belong to the mental body. It belongs to the astral
body which will demand of you at some point that you feel loved and supported without having a mental reference
point for your identity. The reason for this is that only in love can individuals let go of identity and undergo
transformation without needing to know who they are or know in advance what they are becoming. The great voids
and empty spaces within the heart, soul, mind, and spirit are not crossed by those with great will. They are crossed
by those who love because love can contain everything within its heart. Bardon, of course, requires an equal
development of the physical, astral, and mental bodies. I would also mention that the earthzone spirit Alosom, 25
degrees Sagittarius, specializes in the magick of silence. I have a write up on my experiences with Alosom on my
web page. Silence is not just an empty mind. It has astral and physical qualities. One of the nicest images I got from
working with Alosom was of sitting in silence in a room filled with masters from all ages. All of them have an
appreciation for silence and the mystery of the earth. You can also explore the imagery and feeling of a rock, a tree,
or a mountain. We do this later on in mental projection in which we identify our consciousness with things in nature.
The energies within nature provide a natural support to becoming free of thoughts. I often get the impression from
the Bardon gnomes that they could walk through a mountain or a forest for months without thinking a single
thought. They are conscious, alert, and perceiving but without any thinking occurring. Gnomes embody the energies
of the earth. A not uncommon problem with heavy mental training is that for some individuals empty mind and
sense concentration exercises place too much pressure on their third eyes. The third eye chakra behind the eye brows
becomes over energized. They then get headaches, feel tension in their skulls, or find themselves locked into the
mental plane. The remedy, again, is to only concentrate when you are completely relaxed. Try to perfect the state of
relaxation so that it is always able to match your magical development. Stay in touch with nature's energies. Study
forests and water and air. Keep your astral body charged up with organic energy. Do not allow yourself to be
separate from others like a hermit because your concentration is so intense. Learn to use and appreciate your five
senses to the same extent you develop your mental detachment. If necessary, stop practicing magical exercises until
you get you reestablish your natural vitality. There were times when I would get headaches from practicing too
much. One way I got rid of those headaches was to go for a walk for thirty minutes in the woods. This allowed the
energy in my feet and first chakra to balance and relax the energy in my third eye. In Kundalini yoga, they often
suggest drinking such things as a sweet, milk rich tea. The caffeine, sugar, and milk serve to dissolve the tension in
the brain and head. As with any physical side effects you may experience from meditating, the idea is to take it a
little slower. Do not obsessed on concentration exercises. Each individual has a natural rhythm and balance which
you do not want to lose by burning out or over doing it. Learn to become sensitive to the onset of problems so you
can eventually monitor your own health and vitality in a conscious manner. In various Hindu yogas such as Hatha
yoga, the idea is to first stretch and relax the body while doing slow and steady breathing. This builds up an organic
surcharge of vitality in the body. The mind is then able to rest within this relaxed and radiant vitality. In so doing,
many of the normal concerns which give rise to thoughts disappear. In this way, the mental body is supported by the
energy of the physical body and the tranquility of the astral body. Again, students will have to experiment for
themselves to discover what procedure works best for them individually and in what ways they may need to
compensate or utilize other resources to perform Bardon's exercises successfully.

Chapter 1, Magic Psychic Training: Mirrors of the Soul


There are four parts to this exercise. You summarize in a diary all the "bad sides of your soul." These include all bad
habits, deficiencies, weaknesses of character and temperament, failings, passions, and negative aspects of yourself.
Second, assign each fault to one of the four elements or as indifferent. Third, rate each fault on three levels as to its
degree of difficulty. Fourth, repeat the first three steps for the positive side of yourself as well. This exercise relates
to attaining a magical equilibrium within the astral body. I followed this exercise exactly as Bardon laid it out. This
seemed to work fairly well for me since I tend to analyze things and I like to describe behaviors. I spent a lot of time
on it. I was not very happy with my results, however. Every time I think I understand my astral body something new
comes bubbling up from the depths which defies all analysis. It is only lately that I am beginning to understand how
the elements work on the astral plane. Bardon's approach in this matter, however, follows some traditions in the
Western world which do ascribe psychological traits to the four elements. The air element for example is sanguine,
casual, friendly, cheerful, welcoming, curious, sometimes over familiar, at ease, balanced, and so forth. Earth is
solid, stable, enduring, hard working, persevering, and practical. The earth element emphasizes attaining real,
physical results. The fire element is energetic, dynamic, bright and shiny, intense and earnest, etc. The water element
is sensitive, caring, empathic, giving, nurturing, etc. . This approach follows astrology fairly closely so you could
just as easily branch off into a study of yourself in terms of your natal chart. Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius relate to
the air element though as signs of the zodiac they each contain a host of qualities. Gemini is straightforward and
direct, down to earth, but still curious and loves communication on practical matters. Libra is balanced in really
enjoying connecting to others in ways which are mutually satisfying. Libra adapts like air to a situation seeking to
retain freedom while also being closely connected. Aquarius is like the sky. It seeks overviews and the great picture
of what is going on. Like air, it craves harmony and like air it seeks to serve universal, wide-ranging ideals and
purposes. So, in this sense, working on oneself in terms of self-analysis of the four elements in one's soul has a lot in
common with astrology. Some Bardon students simply convert the mirrors of the soul into studies of astrology.
Astrologers do not usually, however, say to you that if you have a lot of fire you need to work on the zodiac signs
pertaining to water and so forth. They do not tell you to integrate your natal chart so you in effect create four grand
triunes through your own psychological work. I once met an extremely talented astrologer who did a marvelous
interpretation of my natal chart and progressions. I told her she should counsel people like therapists who meet
regularly with a client over a long period of time. She did not understand. For her, her job was done once she had
conveyed the information. But this information has to be applied. It takes a lot of work to use the knowledge so
something comes of it. For example, I have an Aquarius Mar direct opposition to a Leo Pluto in my natal chart. It
doesn't really do a lot for me when the astrologer says, "You will always find yourself opposed by institutions and
individuals with great power. They represent tradition, authority, and order. You represent vision, freedom, and
creativity. This conflict will remain with you your entire life. It will be your greatest challenge and also a source of
extreme frustration." I could put that down in my magic notebook as a high caliber problem with the fire element.
Within me, there is a kind of plutonic fire burning which involves great power on nearly a cosmic dimension. At the
same time, a Mars Pluto opposition also gives me a direct link into the minds of those with great power. I can read
their thoughts and understand the weaknesses within their systems and within their wills. There is a personal
component to this aspect and that relates to learning to control anger and not getting depressed or obsessed with
things I can not control. I think this is Bardon's immediate concern in the mirrors of the soul--to take charge of your
own astral body and get to work on harmonizing and balancing your personality. But this conflict remains for me. It
requires specifically that I master the cosmic letter K which relates to authority and issues governing human and
divine power, magical jurisdiction and spiritual sovereignty. The letter K is a letter of fire. It is extremely intense
and it rules by virtue of its brightness and ability to understand whatever it contacts. To master the letter K, however,
requires also that I balance the fire with the other three elements in equal measure. Psychologists are often like
astrologers in not asking much of an individual. The psychological system which analyzes individual's traits in terms
of thinking/feeling, sensate/intuitive, administrative/perceiving, and so forth (if I have that right) does not tell you to
work on those qualities you are weak at so you attain a balance and equilibrium. Psychologists are not that
aggressive nor do they conceive of a master plan for spiritual development. But this is precisely what Bardon does
conceive of and so he asks you to spend some time trying to make sense of the elements at the beginning of your
work. Obviously, it would help if we had a number of books relating to the elements and the psychologies of
transformation associated with them and this will come fairly quickly I hope. There is somewhat of a gap in
Bardon's first book on Initiation when it comes to the elements. He mentions the qualities of the elements and magic
mirrors at the beginning. And he has the student work on condensing the four elements within himself fairly early
on. Around chapter 6 he has the student meditate on the four elemental qualities on the mental plane--feeling,
thinking, will, and consciousness. And then at the end of the book he has the student begin meeting the elementals
and also working with the four divine aspects of the four elements--immortality, omnipotence, omniscience, and
omnipresence. This leaves a lot of work to be done on connecting the energies of the elements in the personality to
those of divinity. And also a student has to figure out how the elemental energies themselves exist as a continuum
between our everyday personality experiences and our experiences with the four elements on the inner planes and as
aspects of Divine Providence. In my stories with the elemental beings, my interactions with Bardon's elementals
often lead into discussions of what it is like to feel and think and perceive as an elemental being. I know individuals
who on occasion act like a sylph or a salamander or a gnome. There is an overlap between the astral bodies of
human beings and elemental beings and I continually try to explore that. To this end, I have written four essays and
meditations on how to find the undine/sylph/gnome/salamander in yourself. I use the specific qualities of four
elemental beings to assist me in those essays. For example, in meditating with the gnome Erami I work with him on
developing four steps for mastering his aura. I happen to like that approach. It is kind of shamanistic. It involves
increasing your attentiveness to the land where you live. Some of the etheric energy in the land then makes its way
into your aura. You begin to feel a part of the earth the way a gnome like Erami does. This results in a feeling of
well-being and of being grounded. I have already met individuals who have Erami's sense of well-being. I have kept
an eye on them and communicated with them for decades watching how they live their lives and how they think and
feel. But until I worked with Erami on this inner peace I have not seen anything in literature or psychology which
gives me the faintest clue as to how to develop these qualities in myself. You could say for me that to balance my
magic mirror I really need to make the elemental beings close friends. They possess many of the astral qualities I
need in order to feel whole and complete. I am extremely grateful for having had the chance to meet so many
masters from different religious traditions. Yet none of these masters can hold a candle to the powers and energies
which are found in these elementals mentioned by Bardon as least as far as the astral and etheric planes are
concerned. As is typical in Bardon, you can work with a spirit to master an energy or quality. You can also just work
with the energy itself without connecting to a spirit. In this later case, we are doing a kind of psychology--we are
universalizing our astral body little by little so we are comfortable with the energies within the natural world around
us. For example, we can meet loving people. We can also contemplate divine love and omnipresence. But the
undines embody an expansive awareness of love which exists between the human personality and the consciousness
of divinity. We do not need to evoke an undine but the seas of the earth shine with a magnetic field which has the
nature of love. Sailors do not know about this. Theologians and scholars are completely ignorant of this bliss.
Scientists dismiss the possibility as ridiculous. Lovers occasionally but only occasionally encounter ecstasy this rich.
But off and on a poet or a mystic will gaze upon the ocean and feel in their heart that God's hand has designed this
wonder so that when we are ready we will understand something of His nature. You have to understand, that in a
galaxy such as ours it takes perhaps a billion stars to produce a planet this beautiful, a planet in which the four
elements are this rich and this magnificent. My point is that the astral body of a human being is very important. We
need to understand our own personal peculiarities and our strengths and weaknesses. Then we are more prepared to
introduce within our astral bodies the vast fields of energy already existing around us. When we study the water
element in all its qualities within human beings, then an encounter with an undine is not so shocking and enchanting.
The undine is simply a part of our own nature. He or she embodies the qualities we ourselves are intended to master
. Can you close your eyes and focus upon your own feelings and then feel flowing directly like a strong current or
the taste of the water in a clear mountain pool the astral body of anyone else on earth? This open, receptive and free
clairsentience is the most natural of things. But how could it ever be learned? If you are with an undine like Isaphil
or Istiphul, they can meditate for a moment and feel the waves breaking on any shore on any island on this planet.
They can feel the rivers that flow and hear the songs of the whales anywhere they choose. They can sing a note so
beautiful the entire magnetic field of an ocean for a moment is captured in that song and lends its power to what they
desire. Jungian psychologists would call descriptions such as these archetypes and to some extent the Bardon
elementals resemble archetypes. They are both the same and yet always unique and different for each individual
who encounters them. Their domain is the collective unconscious but they are more than this. They have an
intelligence of their own, their own harmony and nature, and also are void of the human preoccupation with a
personal identity. They reveal themselves in a unique manner to whomever they are with. But they are more the
consciousness which the human race has yet to attain--an awareness of all the energies which shape and animate this
planet on which we live. At what point does your magic mirror of the soul lead you to connect to these archetypes?
Bardon leaves this to the last chapter of his first book on initiation. They are also the first set of beings to work
within his second book on evocation. Bardon prepares you for these encounters by having you develop immense
mental, psychic, and etheric powers. But again I would like more literature, psychology, and methods of
transformation relating to the elements set forth as a compliment to Bardon's system. And this is one of the main
things I am working on. A number of the earthzone spirits also specialize in magical equilibrium such as Jvar at 4
degrees Leo. And others specialize in astrology. There is on a higher level backup and wisdom for those who can
make those kind of connections. Once, for example (in my third year of practicing Bardon), Jvar suggested I
internalize within myself a sylph's light, airy cheerfulness and playfulness since I tend to be overly serious. I think
his suggestion was right on and still this is an area I continue to work on. That light airy quality also manifests as an
artistic temperament. Another earthzone spirit, Zagriona, brought back from a former life a sympathy for writing
poetry which falls under the air element also. Still, as much as we need a lot of material to help us better understand
the four elements, Bardon himself is emphasizing that the student develop direct perception of his own astral body.
For example, when you internalize and breathe in fire you get a feeling for that degree of heat and the intensity of
fire. You can sense it is energizing and expansive and this naturally leads to a feeling of being in charge and
commanding. When we are angry, we can supposedly notice that anger is also astral fire energy but more negative--
it is demanding and forceful and out of control. Now anger has been studied a great deal in psychology but certainly
not in these terms of fiery qualities. A magician can certainly learn a lot from the physiology and psychology of
anger in terms of how to deal with it. But a magician also goes on to work with fire on the astral planes and in
encounters with elemental beings and then psychology is not going to be real helpful. Psychologists, for example, do
not understand a whole lot about the power which is used by politicians or the political will to survive or the will
that only wants more. The salamanders have immense powers in their astral bodies relating to many aspects of fire
which are still fairly unfamiliar to science and to scholarship. I again have sought to describe these fiery qualities in
a number of stories I have written on my encounters with the Bardon salamanders. And yet when we raise the fire
content in our astral bodies from working with fire in some form we still have to be acutely aware of how this fire
effects our personalities. It is counterproductive to master fire on the inner planes only to end up being a manic
depressive and domineering individual in our personal lives. The latter will cancel out the advantages of achieving
the former. Magical aptitude will then be controlled and expressed by our weaknesses rather than by our higher
intuition and conscience. And this is probably the strongest reason for seeking to attain magical equilibrium.
Without it, all spiritual and magical abilities become the playthings of an out of control personality. You can see this
again and again in the lives of various spiritual masters who in their daily lives are sometimes driven by obsession
with illusions they have never bothered to examine. Also, in a number of my encounters with the earthzone spirits I
often get in a trance where the four elements are in perfect balance. Sometimes this is just like Bardon suggests with
earth in the legs, water in the abdomen, air in the chest, and fire in the head. Other times it is more like the cosmic
letter J in the cosmic language in which the four elements, like the colors in opal, shine in and through each other
blending together in harmony. Sometimes as with Cigila, an earthzone spirit in Pisces, the four elements become
indistinguishable and fused into one consciousness. So, there is an integration to be achieved, a wholeness, and a
completion in working with the four elements. There are however countless ways for seeking mastery and
integration of the four elements. If you take the alchemical motif, there is often an intensive internal process which
goes on inside the individual. You seal your senses and aura off from the outer world in some way during practice to
blend and fuse the elements together during a process of refining and purification. When I do this with the gnome
Erami it feels wonderful but gnomes, that is, the earth element also includes the energies within nature relating to the
animal and plant kingdoms. So when I run into a new energy which is powerful I often will find myself transferring
my awareness into some suitable image from nature. I did this when I wrote the poem on the wolverine which I
posted under poems and stories on my web site. That is more a shamanistic exploration of the elemental energies but
a magician should feel comfortable transferring his awareness into anything. After all, actors like Anthony Hopkins
and Dusty Hoffman have incredible range when it comes to identifying with characters and they do so in an
effective and convincing manner. When I work with the gnome Mentifil, his methods are supremely advanced and
also feel really neat but his system requires many years to master. Mentifil is like a physicist who emphasizes
mastering the energies of the periodic table at least as far as the planetary metals are concerned. But his method is
also typically alchemical in that it is very internal and sealed off from the external world. Meeting and working with
the elemental beings is not at all internal. You become acquainted with the elemental energies and then transfer your
consciousness into the elementals realms and gradually make their domains a second home, a place you learn to
know very well. When you return to your ordinary personality, eventually you feel balanced and detached like
sylphs or incredibly empathic like undines, astonishingly grounded like gnomes, or intense like a navy seal or a
commander in the special forces. Indeed, some salamanders present themselves as pure power which is focused only
on the mission under consideration. There is, then, a center point the hermeticist wishes to attain on the tetrapolar
cross in balancing the four elements in himself. And there is also a gradually alchemical process of transmuting the
dark qualities and energies into bright and transforming energies. I am interested in transpersonal psychology
becomes within it I find some tools which emphasize a gradually process of self-exploration which lead to
wholeness. These psychologists also insist that the dark aspects of the personality, e.g., the shadow, are essential to
explore in order to become transformed. The dark contains the energy and the unconscious awareness which
eventually becomes a clairvoyant tool and healing energy in the hands of the magician, that is, when you finally
master it. But in the beginning, as in alchemy or the cosmic letter OE which relates to alchemy, there must be
acceptance, appreciation, and compassion for yourself. You do not flee from self-knowledge. You become aware of
all aspects of a problem. You observe your history, your behavior, your thoughts, your emotions, and the dynamics
of how these interact. Then, with this expanded awareness, you are ready to undergo a process of transformation. I
would suggest that magick is also a study of creativity in all its forms. Ira Progoff points out that creative individuals
have a special way of taking the impulses and intuitions they have and constantly reviewing and monitoring them.
There is a continuous interaction between their conscious minds and the streams of energy running through them on
deeper levels. Creativity finds ways to express these deeper streams sometimes sinking into them and flowing with
them without having the faintest clue as to where they are going. And sometimes with great effort you consciously
dig a well down to them so they can be brought up to the light of day and used in practical ways. A lot of great
masters do not emphasize art because they have reached a level where life is art and what could compare to the
sounds and sights they can hear and see just by closing their eyes and contemplating? And what need is there to
share art with others to express themselves when their very presence is inspiring? But I think for students it is really
important to cultivate the ability to express one's feelings and intuitions in any suitable manner as a way of sharing
with and enriching other's lives. And it is also important to emphasize keeping oneself inspired for this is one of the
great paths to transformation--having the light present in one's soul which possesses sufficient beauty and desire that
it can take hold of all other desires and conflicts and, absorbing them into itself, transform them on to a higher level.
Bardon does not seem to mention anything in the area of having and maintaining a rich devotional life or some
means through which inspiration is cultivated. He does talk about having high and pure thoughts before going to
sleep at night as a way to influence the subconscious. And, as I have mentioned, at the end of Initiation identifying
with Divine Providence becomes a formal exercise. Also, in his third book, he mentions combinations of cosmic
letters which are used purely as an adoration for Divine Providence. Acts of devotion, adoration, meditation,
contemplation, appreciation, worship, faith, etc. are also a means for spiritualizing the astral body. I notice that the
Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids likes to collect and publish students poems. This serves as a means for the
members to share their inspiration and experience with each other. Under the Home Page of akasha on my web site I
have written some poems on the cosmic letters which are inspiring for me and reminders of my own experiences
during meditation. I know some people are shocked and upset that I write publicly about the elemental beings. But I
am convinced that some of the undines, e.g., would love to have a woman portray their songs and dances on a stage
on Broadway if the musical was well written. Water encompasses this planet and hears the songs of the stars at
night. The human race has barely begun to perceive and listen to the dreams which water contains. These dreams are
part of our destiny when we are ready to listen. In other words, I do not see a group of secretive masters developing
out of the Bardon tradition--not after Bardon has gone to such great lengths to publish the sigils and descriptions of
over five hundred spirits along with the cosmic language and a training system which prepares you to use these
things. I conceive of a community of individuals in which nature, human, and divine are joined and celebrated. This
light and inspiration are so radiant and engaging they transform our world. According to legend, there once was a
civilization in which scientist, poet, politician, warrior, and magician all sharted the same heartful inspiration. The
time has come for this to return. The fourth part of this exercise is to list all the positive aspects of yourself, assign
these to the four elements, and rate them also on three levels. It may be easy to ignore this exercise but it is also
important. One of our great tasks in life is to find situations where our unique skills and abilities can be of greatest
service to others. To do this, we must also know ourselves very well and learn to rely upon our strengths.

Note: For this essay, I worked with Jvar, a spirit in Leo of the earthzone who specializes in developing an
equilibrium between the four elements. Introduction to the Psychology of the Four Elements The first step in
working with a psychology of the four elements involves creating elemental sensations within ourselves through
force of imagination. The sensation relating to each element has to be fully felt. Once we can generate a particular
sensation in ourselves by will, we can then tie that sensation into the basic qualities of the element. This approach
illuminates many aspects of the astral body which modern psychology fails to consider. In regard to each of four
elements, I refer you to my separate essays on finding the sylph, gnome, salamander, and undine in yourself. Though
these articles derive directly from working with elemental beings, I present the results as meditations which require
that you venture no further than the domain of your own imagination. Also see my different dialogues with the
elemental beings. For all their metaphysical explorations, these are not platonic dialogues. They take place in a state
of trance in which I encounter and wrestle with the inner core essence of these marvelous spirits of nature. Yet
though I present these stories as journeys into invisible and magical realms, the elemental beings embody treasures
of spirit and feeling which are part of our own nature. Fire We practice seeing and feeling fire. We evoke the
sensation of intense heat within ourselves. The basic procedure is to imagine that our bodies are hollow inside and
so able to accumulate any energy we wish. When we are done, we imagine that the energy dissolves again into the
universe. Let us talk about the difficulties with this concentration exercise. Some individuals will be hesitant to work
directly with fire. This may be because fire is dangerous. It can burn you. It may also be that they are uneasy with
the idea of developing their will and power. They may feel it is hard enough keeping one's desires and impulses in
check. If you develop your power, you immediately run the risk of abusing that power. Passions out of control may
end up controlling you and causing all sorts of harm to yourself and others. These concerns are very important and
individuals should listen to their own consciences on these matters. You will recall from Greek mythology that Zeus
chained the titan Prometheus to a mountain crag and had hawks tear out his liver. Zeus was mad at Prometheus for
giving fire to the human race. Each day the titan's liver would regenerate only to be torn out again. The liver can be
seen as representing natural growth and spiritual consciousness. In bestowing the gift of fire to humanity,
Prometheus was giving power without the spiritual ability to know how to use it wisely. One way to work with the
element of fire is to review fire in all the ways it exists in nature, in society, and within ourselves. Life was able to
appear on our planet because of the heat and light of the sun. But it took billions of years for this to occur and the
earth had to have a stable orbit and the right distance from the sun. There are many forms of fire which exist in
nature. The volcano and forest fire are impersonal forces and extremely dangerous to life. And yet the fire in the
earth moves continents, uplifts mountains, creates islands, and provides a variety of ecological habitats. As
civilization has developed, we have learned to use the wood, coal, coke, oil, and gas fires turning their heat to
productive ends. Consider the history of technology and both the positive and negative purposes to which fire has
been dedicated. Fire itself, like a knife, can be used for healthy or for destructive ends. Consider also the importance
of warmth and heat to the human body. For the past thirty thousand years, we have managed to survive ice ages,
winters, and freezing environments. We have developed clothing, insulation, and various heating systems to keep us
warm. We have used fire to cook and produce many new kinds of food. The point is that if you imagine your body
filled with fiery flames and heat you encounter a racial memory of all that fire means. When you are evoking fire
within yourself through the force of your imagination, you need to make peace with both its productive and its
destructive aspects. You have to be comfortable with your ability to use its power in natural ways which fulfil
spiritual purposes. On the other hand, try as they may some individuals will find it hard to form a sensation of heat
through concentration. They may visualize a fire in front of them. They can just as easily see a fire inside of their
bodies. But nothing happens. There is no sensation of heat which accompanies this imagery. If, for example, the
individual repeatedly places his hands near a fire, he is still unable to get his nervous system to reproduce the
sensation of heat through concentration. The problem here is that the individual's concentration on the mental plane
is unable to produce astral sensations. The astral body adds feelings of life and immediacy to the imagery. When
your concentration is effective on the astral plane, as in a dream, you feel you are really there amid whatever your
visualize. There are any number of ways of resolving this difficulty. Basically, the idea is to become the fire. Make
the fire part of yourself. Treat fire as an extension of your own aura. Nourish it. Care for it. Offer it welcome. Invite
fire into yourself so it finds a home and a place where it can grow strong. For example, take some time to imagine
you are collecting some dry leaves and wood so that you can start an open fire out of doors. Give your full attention
to the match as it ignites and then starts the dry leaves and wood burning. Assist the fire by placing small twigs into
the flames so that it can take hold. Then place a pan of water over the fire with the intent you are going to bring the
water to a boil. Assume the role of the fire like a cheerleader who encourages her team to succeed. Become the heat
which starts small bubbles and then larger ones to appear in the water until the water finally boils. Then imagine this
entire visualization has taken place within your own body. If in some way you can place emotion into your activity,
then it is easy to full the sensations which occur on the astral plane. The heat in the fire then moves from a mental
picture to an actual sensation which is intense enough to feel real. As I have pointed out elsewhere, there are Tibetan
yogis who visualize fire and manage to increase their body temperature by seventeen degrees. This is no longer just
a perceived sensation. Scientists have measured it with a thermometer. The next step is to imagine and believe quite
clearly that the presence of this element within yourself is the same as embodying will. In psychological terms, fire
radiates urgency, power, and light. It is full of conviction and it dissolves fear. Because of its warmth and dynamic
presence, it gathers others to itself. It offers leadership, courage, and a zest for living life. Consider the affirmation:
"I am a strong and assertive individual. I present myself in a clear and convincing way to other people." It is possible
to form a picture in your mind that you indeed embody these qualities. But others may still see you as a whimp.
They may treat you like you are helpless and ineffective. The reason for this is that you have failed to create an
astral component for this thought form. Your aura does not radiate any power or charisma. The task is to combine
the mental affirmation with an astral sensation which radiates fiery power. Others will then immediately feel the
warmth of your aura and a source of power within you which can take charge of any situation. Again, there is the
other extreme. Some individuals will find it easy to produce in themselves the hot, burning sensation of a fire. Some
individuals with ease can imagine the entire world as one vast sea of flames and feel that heat extending around
them for miles. They can do this because they have a natural ability or else they have a vivid astral imagination. But
there may be a downside to this. If they expand the fire element in their auras, they may lack the ethics, character,
and commitment to use this force wisely. Sometimes at a red light, an individual in one car with casually glance at
someone in another car. The second person may have an astral body full of fire which is ready to ignite. The glance
is like striking a match. The encounter results in violence. In this case, the feeling of power with its urgent need to
act and to dominate the situation produces negative results. The fire has not been channeled through an alert and
clear mind. Blind emotion has taken control. Consequently, when the fiery element in the astral body is easily
stimulated, the individual has to spend more time working on the mental plane. The purposes for which will and
power are to be used must be carefully reviewed. The individual has to identity and commit himself to core values
which are persuasive enough to hold the negative aspects of fire in check. Air As with fire, you imagine your body is
a hollow space and that only the air element exists within you. You might imagine yourself to be like a helium
balloon so you feel weightless. You feel yourself float up into the sky. The sensation of weightlessness and floating
is basic. Then you extend your imagination further. You imagine the winds are part of your body. The vacuum into
which air flows is like your lungs exerting a pull as you inhale. Actually, there is a rhythmic flow in the winds and
the seasons which is like breathing. Like a sylph, you probe and search for the harmony underlying air movements
and weather patterns. And finally you become the winds. If you open your mind and meditate, you become the trade
winds, the north wind, the hurricane, the thunderstorm, and the tiny gust that twirls the leaves in your garden. In
meditation, there is no light or energy the mind can not find and reproduce to some extent within itself. Becoming
familiar with the sky is just a matter of practice and taking time. The air element can also be overdeveloped within
an individual. If you make astral contact with the air element or communicate with sylphs, there is a tendency for the
other elements in yourself to be shoved aside. This may lead you to a part of yourself which is wild and restless. It is
impersonal, distant, and aloof. It is not at all concerned with the worries and responsibilities of human beings. It
knows itself to be free and so it no longer cares about the demands of society, personality, or human feeling. An
individual with this passive aspect of the air element may be alert, detached, and balanced within himself. But he
can also be insensitive to the extent of becoming amoral. This is not new information. Psychology talks about
psychopaths and authors write about individuals who have lost their connections to others. However, the
phenomenon I am describing derives from an astral enchantment. Part of the individual's astral body is no longer
focused on human existence. The individual perceives the way a sylph perceives or as the fairies of lore who
enchant human beings to come away with them to the inner planes. As William Butler Yeats describes it: Come
away, O human child! To the waters and the wild With a fairy, hand in hand, For the world's more full of weeping
than you can understand. Again, psychologists such as Carl Jung have written about a circle of enchantment which
holds human beings in enthrallment. The individual is haunted and possessed by what is unfilled in the past, by the
unmet needs of childhood and family. He does not see the actual situations he enters and other human beings as they
are but only a distorted reflection, an illusion seen from afar. Giving and receiving, bonding, and intimacy are
twisted and bent because the heart is incomplete. But the enchantment of air is slightly different. The individual has
an over abundance of the air element which lacks positive expression. There is nothing a matter with having a
sylph's heightened awareness. The Dalai Lama's weather controller possesses this as did ancient druids. The sylph's
sensitivity can take the form of a detachment which blends freedom with a delight in pure perception. It is a thrilling
experience as are hang gliding and parasailing. It is easy when you feel this relaxed and free to say to yourself, "I am
not a human being. The life within me is altogether different that from what others feel and see." When we are at
play or entertained, we may temporarily feel the same thing. We give ourselves permission to forget about the rest of
life for the duration. But this suspending of daily demands, besides being a way to recharge ourselves, has a
productive side. An altered state of perception enables us to see the world in new ways. The challenge is to share
this with others. The poet does this. He perceive the delicate fragility and the hidden beauty shining within each
moment. When he writes or speaks, he is sufficiently distant that he can savor pure feelings. But he knows these
feelings can only be expressed, found and met, within the details and specific experiences of our lives. Each poem is
a steppingstone leading across the stream separating humanity from the realms of fairy and the astral plane. The
artist does this. He says, "Behold my art. It is a creation of my imagination. Its images are a mirror capturing the
light I see reflected in life." And musicians do this when the music is just right. They are no longer aware of
themselves. The notes carry them along. The song takes on its own life and they are within both the human plane
and another domain. Too much airy substance in the soul tempts us all to let go and forget our ties to others. Legend
tells us of a race which could not longer compete with human beings and so retreated from our world to become a
race of fairies. But even to these we might now say, "Return again and dwell among us. Share with us the things you
see and know that we too might behold the beauty of the world around us." The remedy is not to retreat into
detachment and a realm of inner peace but to create new ways of sharing heart to heart. And finally there is the basic
problem of developing astral sensitivity. Many individuals see no further than the activities of their daily lives. The
consequence is that their emotional life is limited in scope. In fact, most religions guide their practitioners into a few
sets of sacred experiences which are charged with astral energy. Conversion, devotion, rapture, and commitment are
controlled and channeled in acceptable ways. Other profound emotional experiences are labeled taboo and placed
off limits or else are ignored and considered to be irrelevant. But if you look at a cloud it is constantly changing. If
you focus on a feeling within you and give it enough space to move, it will continuously transform. Feelings are like
the waters of the earth. They run in underground streams. They are in the lakes, the seas, the clouds, the rivers, the
rain, and the ice caps. A sylph is aware of every aspect of a changing cloud and yet the sylph remains detached. To
work with the air element is to have both inner balance and a sensitivity to every nuance and aspect of feelings.
Developing this sensitivity is something which psychology shares in common with magick. Elsewhere I write about
the method of focusing which bridges the gap between transpersonal psychology and magical practice. Water To
develop the sensation of water which is cold and wet, imagine you are swimming and diving in a stream, river, lake,
or ocean. It is possible to extend your meditations along these lines until the sensations of water become quite
strong. At some point along the way, imagine yourself becoming the water surrounding your body. Feel the
swimmer and the diver moving through your space. And again feel the coldness of water within your body as if your
body is hollow inside. In my various stories about my encounters with the undines, I go into detailed descriptions
about their specific astral natures. The four I describe are all loving, receptive, sensitive, empathic, healing, and
nurturing. Also, they each have a slightly different way they communicate the bliss and ecstasy within the water
element. These undines are very enchanting and possess many magical secrets relating to the water element. From
my experience, undines extend their auras out into the watery domains surrounding them. If they wish to create an
atmosphere like a wondrous festival full of dancing and song, the water is magnetized to express their feeling. If
they wish to communicate a profound state of oneness and love, again, the water element becomes a vehicle which
carries and amplifies their intentions. Our task in exploring the psychology of water is to do something similar. Once
we can clearly produce the sensations of cold water in and around ourselves, then we imagine that this watery
expanse acts to express our feelings. Water absorbs, releases, flows and circulates energy. In a similar way, our aura
encompasses and revives the life of those with whom we have contact. It produces a magical space in which
individuals are free to be receptive to each other and to feel acceptance and love. As with the other elements, we
now combine the energies of the mental and astral planes. We need a clear definition and commitment in our minds
to all that water represents in its highest sense. Again, the qualities are love, healing, nurturing, sensitivity,
acceptance, clairsentience, serenity, tranquility, purity, and so forth. And we need a total and complete conviction
that we exist within and are a part of a magnetic watery field of energy flowing through us and encompassing
ourselves and others as well. Both the mental and astral planes with their different approach to water must then be
united in a natural way. Part of our success in this endeavor will arise from our study and appreciation of other
individuals who express feelings and ideals of love in their personalities. And part of our work will involve
recognizing the great variety of sensations and ways in which water exists in the world of nature. Again, I have
given examples through poems and stories of ways the undines have sought to deepen my understanding of the
environment and element of water in which they live. Ultimately, their domain and their range of activities are also
our own. Earth If we conceive of fire as will, air as intelligence and clarity of mind, and water as love and affection,
what then shall we make of the element of earth? In way can earth represent the integration and strength of
consciousness? The granite boulder is stable. It retains its shape, its form and mass, and only very gradually
changes. The precious stone is harder and more enduring and yet its structure permits the energy of light to pass
through it. Ice is water in a solid form. Its molecules though fixed cover a wider expanse so that it floats. Air is in
water and water is in the volcanic magma as it explodes. As the heat is released, the flowing lava turns to stone.
Plants grow on the rich nutrients of volcanic islands. Topsoil develops and then forests. The land mass provides an
environment where life can flourish. Consciousness integrates the different aspects of ourselves. It is the enduring
and stable landscape where our soul and spirit accomplish their tasks. Consciousness sets priorities, identifies
values, and applies its resources and time to productive ends. There are conflicts between values, goals, desires, and
different individuals. Consciousness uses the understanding of air, the will of fire, and the empathy of water to arrive
at practical and satisfying solutions. The main sensations we are after with the earth element are weight and density.
You imagine yourself as a little more heavy. Like a tree, you are rooted in the ground. Like a boulder, you are solid
and easily resist external influence. Increasing your sense of weight and being grounded are part of the arts of
Aikido and also Tai Chi Chuan. With the right piece of rock, there is a sense of time being suspended. You
remember the past. Your endure for ages. Even the far future feels near at hand. The earth element has a stronger
continuity. Past, present, and future form a continuum. The events of life occur along a time line. You do not have to
rush anywhere. You just use the present moment in the best way you can. I place my hand on a standing stone five
thousand years old. There is nothing fancy about this stone circle. It seems quite casual like an afterthought the way
it is set down at the end of a cow pasture on Mull Island, Scotland. But I think to myself that all the events of human
history from the Egyptian pyramids to the present unfolded while these stone have stood here and waited.
Consciousness can take the events of our lives and give them order and definition. It can say, "This relationship and
that event are important to me. They always will be. These ideals I live for-- they are what give my life purpose.
You see, amid all the changes-- the accidents, the failures, and the wrong turns--there is a core set of values within
myself which I uphold and experiences which I honor." Fire is tenacious but earth is persevering. Water offers love
and support, sweet intimacy and pleasure. But earth builds and provides those things which satisfy our deepest
desires. The air element likes to think and to reason. It offers clarity so vast that the thought process is lost in the
illumination. But the earth element knows in its heart that it is alive and participates in those purposes which endure
through all ages of time. Earth cuts to the bottom line. It is not distracted by the urgency and rapacious hunger of fire
and all the issues surrounding the maintenance of power. It is not so easily distracted by the enchantments, romance,
and passions of love. And though it too seeks and reaches for peaks of understanding and illumination, it does not
fly off content to be detached or aloof. Earth stays focused on the concrete and practical ways we can materialize our
ideals and operate in an effective manner in accordance with our core values. It leaves behind a legacy. It provides a
foundation upon which future generations will build. And if this sounds too abstract, then we can apply the same to
our own lives. In each stage of our life, we act with integrity and accomplish our basic tasks. Then we are able to
move forward and succeed with what comes next. In summary, this is only a tiny introduction to the psychology of
the four elements. I have not discussed here the ecstasies of the four elements. And there are the four divine
attributes relating to different elements--omnipotence, enlightenment, omnipresence or all-encompassing love, and
immortality. I have suggested elsewhere that the twelve signs of the zodiac and astrology also provide insight into
the four elements. An important step in this area will be identifying for each of the twelve signs of the zodiac its
corresponding elemental sensation. Then that rich set of symbols and interpretations can be integrated into the
psychology of the elements. To do this will require a shamanistic approach to the symbols which characterize the
zodiac signs.

Introduction to Fire
When we explore wind and sea, we can savor the delightful sensuality and the familiar sensations contained in these
elements. The stories of sylphs and undines stimulate our emotional life even as they call forth balance and
harmony. The songs in water and air are of freedom, gentleness, and empathy. The gnomes also are not so distant
from us. They are the intelligence and the consciousness in the rocks upon which we sit or the mountains we climb.
But fire is different. Here we enter a domain of pure power and will. Volcanoes exploding, raging forest fires, lava
flows--these exhibitions within nature strike a different cord as they resonate within our souls. Fire is expansive and
uninhibited. We know what it is to feel exuberance, excitement, and exhilaration. We have all been thrilled and
enthralled. In such feelings, there is a amplification and intensification of our energy. And, at times, there is an
explosion of vitality combined with zeal. On the other hand, being obsessed, infatuated, or spellbound--these
emotional states result in part from a weakness of the fire element within ourselves. We have failed to master the
sources of power which animate our souls. Consequently, there are times when we may find ourselves attracted to
experiences or people who are unfamiliar and yet strangely appealing. Captivating images may come to us in dreams
or we may encounter ideals which bedazzle our imaginations. Another person may bring into our lives a vision of
happiness and joy we have never known. A dream may re- mind us of the love we once shared. An ideal may seize
us, asking us to make a commitment or to live on a higher level. A religion or a new set of beliefs may insist we
make peace with ourselves. However, we must be wise as we approach such radiant sources of inspiration. They
may seem to offer us feel- ings of being more alive and energized. They may appear to offer direction and purpose.
But if we are unable to find the light and power shining in these images within our own being, we risk becoming
dependent on something external. This need for external stimulation is typical in drug addiction. Those, for example,
with an addiction to amphetamine have the greatest difficulty living without the rush, the push, and drive which the
drug generates within their nervous system. Drugs may induce temporary but height- ened states of fearlessness and
aggression as adrenalin is released into the bloodstream. The sympathetic ner- vous system takes over. The rate,
force, and amplitude of heartbeat increase along with blood pressure. Blood vessels throughout the body constrict.
The bronchii of the lungs dilate in- creasing the body's ability to engage in vigorous mus- cular activity. The liver
releases more glucose into the bloodstream. The processing of glycogen to lactic acid in the muscles increases.
Muscles go taut, the mind hypervigilent. The lower brain takes control. Our sense percep- tions seem more acute.
Our pupils dilate. The sympa- thetic nervous system increases our instinct for survival and, at times, our capacity to
take charge of our lives. Yet the price the drug addict pays is also very great. Their bodies and brains become
exhausted. The fire, rather than illuminating and healing, burns up their health and devours their souls. When we
work with fire, we are working with will and power. Fire is more wild and uninhibited compared to the other
elements. To that extent, therefore, we must always be conscious of the purposes which we are pursuing. Since fire
increases our influence and our options, we must be careful about the choices we make as its power is amplified
within us. Traditional symbols handed down for many millennia have honored and paid tribute to this power and the
wis- dom within the fire element. Fire has symbolized a means for understanding how we shape our destinies. Such
sym- bols still speak to us. They remind us that fire is at the roots of our deepest motivations and sources of in-
spiration. For example, the ancients decorated the night sky with their mythologies. Astronomy and astrology were
one and the same. Consequently, cosmology and human destiny were not separate. Human will and Divine will
worked together in the unfolding the universe. Is this such a quaint notion when we now know that the choices we
make as a species will maintain or destroy the biosphere? Consider that profession of disrepute known as alch- emy.
Its practitioners, in part, sought to transmute one metal into another. But we now create conditions in our
laboratories in which atoms melt together. Losing their separate identities, they form "superatoms", matter which no
longer even exists in nature. The human race is ex- perimenting with the powers which gave birth to the stars.
Scientists are attempting to track down what happened in the first instant in which the universe was created. As we
unravel one secret of nature after another, it is easy to lose our sense of priorities in the excite- ment to apply what
we have discovered. It is easy to deny our responsibilities. At the last moment, when we witness the work of our
hands, we may suddenly find our- selves turning, like Robert Oppenheimer, to mythology to comprehend our orbit
of action-- As Oppenheimer witnessed the result of the Manhattan project which he directed--at the first nuclear
explo- sion--Oppenheimer quoted Sri Krishna from the Hindu Bhagavad-Gita. Oppenheimer said, "I am become
Death, the shatterer of worlds." Let us not forget that from the deepest visions of the heart and soul we shape our
own destinies. The founda- tions of society derive from our values and the pattern of life which we seek to uphold.
Not necessity but our greatest sources of inspiration empower our lives. As we turn to fire, let us consider the voice
with which mythology speaks to us through the ancient system of astrology. Let us consider the way fire bears on
human will. In astrology, we have three fire signs. The first of these is Aries. Aries, the ram, is the one who forges
by his will the sacred weapons he needs to defeat all enemies and to surmount all barriers. Aries, alone and without
support, is empowered to cross through the unknown wilderness of the soul and spirit. He defies the darkness and all
that opposes. His very nature is courage. He takes every- thing that confronts him as a challenge which he will
master. He moves without fear and none may defeat him when his will is aligned with the universe. There exist
many traditions which insist we discover the great spiritual truths of life within the core of our being. Belief may
contain the seed we seek to bring to fruition. But a path of growth within the soul requires that we confront the
actual powers which lie dormant and asleep within us. For example, in some mystery religions, fire con- tains a
magic which relates to the strengthening of will power. Concentration on the sensations associated with fire amplify
this will. Fire meditations can be used to build resolution. The property of heat, for example, to expand indefinitely
relates to will. As concentration on the intensity in heat increases so does the feeling of being able to overcome
obstacles with courage and without fear. The second fire sign in the zodiac is Leo. Leo, the lion, shines like the sun
and his confidence and leader- ship is such that others find it easy to follow him. Aries, though the dimmest of the
twelve constellations, has a fire which burns hotter than any other. Aries can, then, intensify his will in order to
destroy all obstacles. In Leo, by contrast, fire illuminates the world. Leo offers a center of inspiration and guidance
around which our actions may be directed. Leo fashions and sustains a community by his will. A second aspect of
the magic of fire also relates to the sign of Leo. This is the ability to condense and to contain energy. Fire expands
outward illuminating space. By will, we learn how to draw energy into a small place and to control it. In this way,
we transform energy into light. Rather than crushing or else allowing passions to burn wild and destructive, we learn
to tame their powers for the purposes of love. Fire, under the control of will, is directed so that it animates and
nurtures the world. The fire is con- tained so that it is not a threat or a danger. Simil- arly, leadership offers a center
of power and will around which others may be nourished and their lives fulfilled. The power to rule, in part, derives
from mastery of oneself. Controlling great pressures and intensities within ourselves, we can direct desires to useful
ends. We are also able to guide others' motivations in the same way we work with the drives and hungers within
ourselves. The third fire sign in the zodiac is Sagittarius, the archer. Sagittarius seeks to find and proclaim those
ideals and principles which illuminate our minds. This sign seeks justice, wisdom, and the transformation of the
world. There is a purity in the Sagittarian vision which inspires the will to commitment and the heart to devo- tion.
Sagittarians are the explorers who search for the truth. They are tenacious and dauntless when it comes to fulfilling a
quest. A third magic within fire is a concentration Sagit- tarians possess. Fire captures and focuses our atten- tion. It
sharpens our ability to remain calm and centered within ourselves. Fire contains the intensity which leads to inner
illumination. When we discover this source of power within ourselves, nothing disturbs or distracts us--our
concentration is unassailable. Because this energy is so dynamic and yet directed by our will, there is no need for
diversions or external stimulation and excitement. We measure and gauge the tasks we choose to fulfill in the world
by the light illuminating us from within. We set our priorities in accordance with how we wish to reshape the world.
Our movements are in accord with our inner being. Fire takes the fuel it needs from its environment. It is not
hesitant nor shy. Its will is ferocious and wild. But when fire is guided and controlled by a greater will, its power to
transform, transmute, and refine is clear and unmistakable. Fire is the sword of spirit which cuts through all
obstacles. Its warmth heals and regenerates. Its light opens the pathways which lead out of darkness. By its might
are the worlds created. Time and space unfold according to the plans concealed within it. Fire is part of the symbol
of Divine Providence, of the One Light which holds the universe within its palm. Those who would be born of the
spirit, who would enter the mysteries, those who would accomplish their work on earth--they seek to master the
sacred fires which burn within their bodies and at the center of their hearts.

Initiation into Hermetics, Chapter 1, Physical Level


There are four exercises for the physical level. They correspond roughly to the four elements. The first helps wake
you up in the morning and relates to the invigorating and cleansing aspect of fire. The second dealing with breath
relates to air. The third involves food and is mostly earth. The fourth relates to the water element. 1. The Material
Body: Stretching and Skin Maintenance The first exercise relates to stretching the body and rubbing the skin. That
seems fairly straightforward and I will let the book speak for itself on that point. As with other exercises, each
person has to find their own pace and way of applying the exercise so it fulfills its purpose. 2. Conscious
Breathing/Mystery of Breathing The second exercise relates to breathing. Basically, you breathe in starting with
seven breaths and gradually increasing the number. You do this twice a day. Eventually you practice for about ten
minutes a day. As you breathe in, you place a thought or wish within the air you are inhaling. The air serves as a
medium for transmitting your desire through the planes to the akashic plane within your body. From this level, it
then seeks to manifest as reality. The idea is to stick to desires which relate to you directly and which serve to
strengthen your health, harmony, and spirit. To do this you need to be very relaxed. You also need to imagine the
desire in a way so you feel the outcome is completely real for you. In other words, if you desire health, you visualize
or feel yourself being completely healthy. If you are after inner peace, happiness, contentment, confidence, etc. you
imagine this as being the reality right now. This is, in effect, a magical ritual utilizing the air element. It is taking
something ordinary and, as with the following exercise involving eating, turning it into a sacred act. Normally,
breathing exercises fall under the study of pranayama. There are a great many specific practices involved with
pranayama. Sufis, Buddhists, Hindu's, Moslems, Taoists and many other traditions work with breathing and
approach the exercises according to their own interests and purposes. In one Hindu practice, you must swear forever
that you will not reveal the secret teaching about the specific route the breath follows as it enters your body. Bardon
mentions the four elements are present in air. Sufis breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth, vice
versa, or in other ways so as to focus on specific elements. Taoists breathe the chi in the air into the body and
circulate it through various meridians. In Hatha Yoga, you can breathe air into the muscles you are stretching. I have
written an essay called, Finding the Sylph within Yourself, based on the sylph Cargoste's qualities. In this approach,
the idea is to increase your awareness of the etheric energy in the air element which surrounds your body. As I
inhale now, I tend to identify with the air element since focusing completely on breathing leads me in this direction.
In other words, I sense the etheric airy energy field around myself. It is incredibly relaxed, vibrant, uplifting,
buoyant, and energizing. Its very nature is harmony and freedom. As I inhale, I observe the process of breathing
from the point of view of this energy field of etheric air. I feel part of that energy field circulating through my lungs,
blood, and body. During this process, it feels like my aura is expanding and joining with the air around me. Since the
air element contains qualities I am interested in internalizing within myself, it seems to me superfluous to place a
thought form into the air I am breathing. In fact, I have a great deal of difficulty doing magick on an ordinary level
like this. The "thought" tends to rush through the air and my body and then center itself in my mental body where it
creates more tension than I feel comfortable having inside myself. It could be I just need to lighten up and
concentrate in a more gentle way. I do not think this is a problem for others but it tends to be something I personally
have to be very careful with. The other thing I would suggest in performing breathing exercises is to spend some
time observing all you can about the breathing process itself. You might like to review the anatomy and physiology
of breathing. You can also notice how first your upper chest, then your ribs, and finally your belly expand outward
as you inhale. You can focus on the sensation of air as it moves between your nostrils and your lungs. You can
concentrate on your sinus cavities as you are breathing. You may also be able to notice the particular vibration or
vitality in the air as it moves into your lungs and circulates through your body. You may feel your heart beat and
how the heart muscles are more "hungry" for oxygen than other muscles. The heart muscles die without adequate
oxygen supply whereas other muscles can sustain their strength longer without air. When it comes to breathing
exercises, I like to combine breathing with movement. I enjoy Tai Chi Chuan and Chi Kung exercises. For me, there
is a different feeling and use of vitality in the Tai Chi Chuan forms of different Chinese masters. This is even more
noticeable in different Chi Kung forms. One set of Taoist Chi Kung forms leaves me feeling like I am sitting amid a
tranquil mountain pool. Another walking form stimulates the lung meridians which helps to open up the nose and
sinuses. Other forms imitate flowers, animals, clouds, and to some extent produce the etheric energy of these aspects
of nature in the practitioner. I would also point out that the two Chinese meridians relating to the air element are the
lung and large intestine meridians. The lung meridian tends to carry with it a feeling of harmonious movement into
the future. This contrasts with the opposite feelings of having anxiety or worrying about future events. The large
intestine meridian carries with it a feeling of being relaxed, balanced, and at ease. This contrasts with a feeling of
depression or of being pulled down. Altogether, the air element has within it the qualities of clarity, unhindered
movement, freedom, balance, harmony, etc. As you work with breath, try to notice how your own emotional and
mental states effect your breathing. Breathing is a celebration of the air element and of participating in a vast ocean
of life force which surrounds us. On the other hand, it is easy to fall into emotional states such as worry and
insecurity which rob us of this connection. Besides becoming an addictive habit, some individuals use smoking as a
means to evoke a state of harmony and detachment. As soon as the cigarette is lit and the smoke enters their lungs,
their anxiety and distress are banished. It is as if they have created a psychic bubble around themselves which the
concerns of the world can not penetrate. In this case, the air element in the lungs is neutralized. The individual can
then see and feel in a different way. The worries and the disharmonies are briefly relieved. The breathing exercise
serves a similar purpose. As you focus completely on breathing, time and space are suspended. You are immersed
within a state of harmony and freedom. You feel united to a greater presence. But in this case, the feelings are not
generated by suppressing the air element. The etheric or vital energy in air enters into and supports your meditation.
3. Conscious Reception of Food. This exercise is similar to conscious breathing. If we can place a thought in the air
which we inhale, we can do the same with food and drink. Food, being more material, is used more for material
desires or those relating to our bodies. Before you eat, concentrate a thought or wish into your food as if what you
desire is real right now. As you eat, stay focused on your thought or meditation as you imagine your desire entering
every cell of your body. Eat all the food. Once again, we are taking something ordinary and turning it into a magical
act. We are converting eating into a sacred ritual. Bardon says this is similar to the communion of Christians. These
days many individuals eat fast foods and they eat while watching TV, talking, or doing other things. To some extent,
this may be unavoidable for some individuals depending on their work situations and other factors. Once when I was
talking to an Islamic Sheik at a university, he exclaimed that he could not understand how the students could eat in
public much less while walking between classes. In fact, in his tradition it was inappropriate for a man to eat in the
presence of a woman--and this even though he had three wives! For him, eating was a carefully construed ritual
activity. As with the breathing exercises, if I place a thought into the food I am eating, I can feel the vibration of that
thought transferred immediately to my mental body. I do not think this is a real concern for others. Any form of
ritual magick is fairly powerful for me and I have to be careful with how I use it. That is, I have to be sure to align
myself with natural processes as much as possible and avoid over use of mental forms of concentration. If we
compare eating to taking communion, it relates to the eucharistic mystery. This is a vast topic which can be explored
from many sides. For myself, I like to concentrate on food imagining the sources from which it comes. I see the
grapefruit on the tree and the grape juice as grapes on a vine. I see the bread as wheat in the field, the carrots in the
ground, etc. I then place my mind within the food. I try to feel the vibration of the physical substance of the food I
am about to eat. I also try to sense the life force within it. I join my mind with both the physical substance and the
energy of the food. This produces in me a feeling of being grounded, of being connected to the earth, of being
strong, vibrant, and stable. This method is more alchemical than the procedure of concentrating a thought into the
food. Those who study the cosmic language will notice that the letter OE pertains to alchemy. The OE uses both
sensations of weight belonging to the earth element and the penetrating sensation of akasha. OE carries with it a
sense of perfectly accepting and joining your conscious to what you are working on. First you understand something
exactly as it is. But because you are penetrating it with your awareness, you also sense the subtle, etheric energy
underlying it. And finally, you come to see the perfection of this material in its highest etheric vibration. The OE
deals with the philosopher's stone or the quintessence of life force drawn from out of what already exists within
nature. Since I am working with gnome magicians, the alchemical method is more comfortable for me. As I mention
elsewhere, a gnome will place his awareness within a precious stone to accomplish a specific effect. He might also
work with an area of the earth such as a mountain or rock outcropping. When he is done, the physical location is
invested with an astral and etheric vibration such as well-being and peace. Conscious eating can be done in a similar
way. By briefly joining your spirit with the food before you eat it, you transform it raising and refining its vibration.
In a sense, this activity can also express itself by visualizing the food or concentrating into it the thought that the
food is a universal healing energy or an elixir of life. Also, Bardon says of the cosmic letter C that it relates to
quabbalistic alchemy--the "modification of matter by the word." That is, you impregnate a material form with a
spiritual, mental, or astral quality. The eucharistic celebration pertains to the letter C as compared to the letter OE.
The goal in letter C is not so much the perfection of the life force of nature. The letter C is useful for embodying
high spiritual or divine qualities within oneself. Except for the Celtic Church in Ireland, the early Christian monks in
their monasteries were not usually concerned with nature spirits or the life force in the trees, fruits, wheat, and
harvest. The early monks conceived of joining themselves to a love so pure and radiant that a small part of God's
presence could be felt and reflected within them. And so we have the words of Christ (as a variation on many
ancient rituals of joining with deity) saying, "Take and eat, for this is my flesh...." There is a tendency for monks in
monasteries to obsess with the mental and akashic planes when they approach divinity. As opposed to this, I think
what Christ was offering in the Last Supper was a way of making a direct connection to him on the astral plane. In
this case, the effect is not to produce austerities and withdrawal from the world so typical of monastic traditions. The
effect was intended to produce a powerful empathy and a dynamic compassion which exerts a transforming effect
when one person interacts with another. What I am suggesting is that when you impregnate food with a desire be
sure to include an astral component. Astral images are emotionally moving, satisfying, and fulfilling. They enhance
and add beauty to the person you already are. The final thing I would say about conscious eating is that we are
practicing not only alchemy and the eucharistic mystery. We are blessing food just as someone might pray and ask a
blessing on the food before they eat. The power to bless also falls under the cosmic language--the cosmic letter G.
This letter has a watery sensation and a green color which relates to the sphere of Venus. On the various planes, the
letter G produces divine grace, mercy, blessing, peacefulness, satisfaction, happiness, and abundance. The letter G
embodies the blessing which we often associate with the benevolent presence of an angel. If you practice conscious
eating for decades, you are acquiring some of these magical abilities--the OE with its refinement of nature's life
force; the C with its embodiment of divinity within us; and the G with its angelic power to bless and to inspire. But
the basic practice remains: we turn eating into something sacred. By performing it consciously aware of not only the
material but the other planes as well, it becomes a magical action. By giving of ourselves completely to the moment,
we enter briefly and commune with the spirit within us, akasha, and the Eternal Now. 4. The Magick of Water
Bardon points out that water can also be impregnated as can any substance through the akasha principle which is
part of it. However, water also has a magnetic aspect which is especially useful as an accumulator of energy. The
magnetic aspect Bardon is interested in is strongest around 39 degrees F and slowly loses its power as it becomes
warmer until around 97 degrees F where it no longer operates. In the first part of this exercise, as you wash yourself
with water, imagine that whatever weakness, illness, or unhappiness that afflicts you is removed from yourself and
absorbed by the water. You can do this while you take a shower, with your hands under a tap, by placing your hands
in a bowl of water, or by taking a dip in a stream. As you wash yourself, also use soap. Do not let another individual
come in contact with the water you use. You can also impregnate a bowl of water with a desire. Place your hands in
the water and concentrate on absorbing the realization of your desire into yourself. You can also wash yourself of
some weakness in one bowl of water and then absorb into yourself your wish realization with a second bowl. Bardon
also mentions two other possibilities. A woman can magnetize some water with the idea of becoming more
attractive with a more youthful face and skin. In this case, she can add a bit of borax to the water. She can wash or,
better, dip her face in the water seven times (seven relating to the sphere of Venus) as she does this. Bardon also
mentions a similar aspect for strengthening the eyes or developing clairvoyance by using an eye bath. I will leave
this last exercise as it is stated in the book. Some undines such as Istiphul use water for seeing into the future. There
are quite a few practices involving water. Some individuals I know would mention adding various ingredients to
bath water--herbs, spices, fragrances, etc. Different herbs are said to produce different influences on the physical and
astral bodies. Hydrotherapy is also a speciality of one of the earthzone spirits Bardon mentions in his second book.
At one Taoist monastery, we heated pine cones, eucalyptus bark, and fresh ginger in a pot and then dipped the water
on to towels. We then gave massages through the hot towels. Obviously, there are a number of different spices or
herbs which can be used for this kind of herbal massage. When I use water to cleanse myself, something similar
happens to me as when I do the earlier breathing exercise. With breath, I sense and identify with the air element
around me almost as if I am a sylph. Working with water, I spontaneously feel myself surrounded by water. This
comes from concentrating on the water to the exclusion of all other sensory impressions. When I first wrote about
the undine Isaphil about five years ago, I presented an exercise for connecting to the water element. You place your
hands in a sink or bowl filled with cold water. You concentrate on that cold sensation on your skin. Then you extend
your mind into the water around your hands. You place your consciousness within this water as if it is part of
yourself. Then you imagine you are the water surrounding your hands. You feel your hands from the point of view
of the cold water. At this point, as you bring your hands out of the water, try to sustain the sensation of cold water
surrounding them. You may also be able to feel a magnetic field around your hands which you can also sustain with
your mind. This magnetic field is the medium in which undines often operate. It is the etheric energy underlying the
water element. This preliminary exercise seems to do a lot for me in terms of attuning my mind to water. Just now I
did the first part of the exercise in which I was imagining water absorbing the excess tension in my body. I held my
hands under the bathtub tap for several minutes. As I focused solely on the water flowing over my hands, I again
rather spontaneously visualized the source of this water--clouds and rain over the nearby mountains. Water dripping
from the leaves of trees and running into streams and flowing over falls and also sinking down into the water table. I
could smell the air and imagine I was there. This imaginative extension of the exercise seems to increase its
effectiveness for me. For the part of the exercise in which we work on a desire, I held my hands over a sink filled
with cold water. I charged the water with the feeling of serenity--of being very happy, peaceful, and clear. I
imagined this energy/charge flowing from my hands into the water. And I also pictured this wish within the water.
Then I placed my hands in the water and absorbed the wish back into myself along with the magnetic charge within
the water. This time as I placed my hands in the water I felt my whole body under the ocean surrounded my miles of
watery energy. Absorbing the serenity into myself seems to produce a very soothing feeling. Some of the etheric
energy in water is transferred back into me.

Initiation into Hermetics, Chapter 2, Mental Level SUMMARY


OF EXERCISE.
In the mental level exercise for the second chapter, you practice concentrating on the five senses one after the other.
The goal is to concentrate on a sensory perception from one of the five senses for five minutes without any mental
distraction or interference from another sense. You accomplish this first with your eyes closed and then with them
open. Start with the sense of sight. Notice something around you like a pencil, a lamp, an apple, a chair, etc. Then
close your eyes and visualize this object. You exert your imagination so that the visual image is completely real as if
it is right there in front of you. You note distractions which occur while you practice. At first, practice no more than
ten minutes but eventually work up to a half hour. Keep working with different visualizations until you can hold the
picture of an object clearly in your mind for five minutes. Then you do the same exercise with your eyes open. The
object hangs in the air in front of you. You focus on it to the exclusion of anything else such as the background or
other nearby objects. You proceed to practice in this way with the other four senses also until your concentration on
each is equal to that of any other sense. COMMENTARY VISUALIZATION "Of all the gifts we have received, of
all our five senses, sight is perhaps the most precious. As the first among equals, sight imposes order in the chaotic
world of the senses. Sight also has direct access to the higher functions of the human brain and holds the key to the
hidden world of the unconscious. The very fact that this thought can be expressed in this way--using the metaphor of
a key--is because the sense of sight has allowed us to develop the powerful language of symbolism." Elizabeth Nash
Some individuals do not use visual images when they think. One individual I met fell asleep whenever she tried to
visualize something or even meditate. I used to not think in pictures. Working with the Bardon exercises changed
my thought process to where I now visualize with ease. It is perhaps easier for me to visualize an object in front of
me with my eyes opened than closed. Individuals often write me and say they have a lot of difficulty practicing
visualization exercises. Bardon presents his exercises in a straightforward and dry manner. He explains to you what
he wants and expects you to work through it and then move on to the next exercise. I find it is true that if you
practice an exercise even for one minute a day over the period of a month, a year, ten years, thirty years, whatever,
you will arrive at complete mastery in the end. Some of the Bardon exercises are like that. You do them until they
become second nature. On the other hand, it is possible to play with all of these exercises so you turn them into
something enjoyable and even fun. I used do pencil drawings of individual's faces, animals, nature scenes, etc. to
help my visualization. I notice, however, that my mind already is extremely adept at visualization. But if I try this
chapter 2 visualization exercise by starting with a pencil or a clock as Bardon suggests, it seems quite difficult. On
the other hand, if I recall an emotionally charged memory, some event or encounter which was dramatic and intense,
I can visualize the memory as if I am again within it. Emotional involvement, mood, and enthusiasm, then, play a
role in the development of our senses. You might try testing your visual abilities in terms of seeing which memories
are more clear in terms of visual detail. This kind of recollection serves to activate at least temporarily the part of
your brain which relates to visualization. Try visualizing ordinary objects after you evoke some memories with
strong visual content. A Van Gogh painting of a chair, a table, or flowers exudes a feeling of life. If you bring to
these exercises an artist's appreciation of color, form, image, detail, texture, and composition, more of the brain and
emotions are involved in the exercise. It then becomes easier to get results. If you watch TV, go to the movies, or
play computer games, you might try visualizing your favorite characters and scenes. Again, this should serve to
remind you of the level of ability you already possess. Neurolinguists like to tell us how individuals will use
different combinations of senses when they solve problems or work through emotions. If you recall someone, you
may first see them in your mind. The picture then evokes a feeling of being in the other person's presence. You may
see the person as if you are there with them and in the picture or perhaps from a third person perspective in which
you are not present. This mental process may continue to where you begin to talk to yourself about this individual so
that you describe what you feel or perhaps you recall their voice or a conversation you had with him or her. There
are a great variety of ways individuals employ their five senses in mental processing in everyday life. An attorney
may note and be able to recall the body posture and facial expression of every jury member when he argues a case in
a court room. When he gets home, he may put aside his astute powers of observation and fail to make eye contact
with his wife or notice what his children are feeling. A movie director may exercise total command over his
material. He can visualize what each camera on the set is recording and imagine every scene in the script from a
number of angles. As the shoot continues, he is already editing the film in his mind selecting which shots to splice
together to establish the mood and dramatic presentation he is after. But when he is at a party he acts timid and
vulnerable. Other people seem to invade his personal space. He has switched from dominant visual and auditory
senses to a feeling mode. My kids have an interesting way of visualizing the characters when they read a novel. One
of my children uses the same pictures over and over again transposing the picture of a character from one book to
another book the way Hollywood uses well-known actors to play parts in different movies. Another of my children
makes up new pictures of the people in each novel he reads. When I read, I tend to visualize the scenery very
carefully and also I hear the conversations as if they are spoken aloud but I usually do not go into any detail in
visualizing the characters. I will do so from now on. Long ago, I once met a theosophist who told me he could look
at a table or a car in front of him and then shrink it down into a tiny picture while the real object vanished from his
sight. I thought at the time that this ability was very exotic. I had trouble imagining being able to do that. Now it
seems perfectly natural to edit pictures in my mind in any way I wish. Over the years, I have noticed the cultural
difference in how the five senses were developed in different esoteric systems. A Tibetan lama would casually tell a
student to go sit in the temple for six hours and visualize the Tibetan writing for Om. This was no big deal because
the lama could visualize in his mind hundreds of entities from different mandalas all at the same time. In one
practice, individuals in the British Isles visualize an entire castle and explore each room. In doing pathworking in
various systems such as druidry, the individuals walk through forests, visualize groves and stone circles and explore
whole landscapes from nature during meditation. About six years ago, I took a class in the psychology of imagery.
The teacher pointed out that she was one of the only two teachers in the United States who taught this subject. She
tried to present the whole gamut of what was available in psychological research involving visualization. This
covered topics such as healing, relaxation, various psychological experiments, physiological research, etc. Since she
had also been a Zen practitioner for decades, she had a feel for the topic. But I was still amazed at how incredibly
arrogant and uninformed conventional psychologists are in regard to the encyclopedia of practices from around the
world which use visualization as a central component. Psychology seems to be preoccupied with the conscious mind
and immediate subconscious. It is otherwise sweetly oblivious to the nature of spiritual practice. In ancient druidry,
the bards would spend seven years training in darkness. Besides enhancing their sensitivity to sound, this practice
would allow them to visualize images which arises from deep within the unconscious. In a Tibetan practice
involving dream yoga, the students spend a number of days living in a house in complete darkness. This again
enhances the ability to visual and in particular to enter a dream state so that the images you are visualizing are real to
you. Though the Bardon exercise in visualization is clear, you as a student are free to practice visualizing anything
you wish. Colors, for example, are part of the cosmic language in Quabbalah. They have a vibration and can be used
to alter consciousness and evoke different states of trance. You can practice visualizing objects and shapes using the
entire color spectrum in your beginning practices. Though Bardon obviously wants the beginning student to practice
visualizing ordinary objects, you can also practice visualizing symbols. You can visualize Tarot cards, yidams and
tantras, places of beauty or great works of art. For a man, a woman is a symbol of attaining completion--she is the
unknown, the part of himself he has not yet met as well as being a companion, partner, lover, friend, etc.
Consequently, the right female image can influence, awaken, or stimulate every aspect of his nervous system and
chakras within his body. If you enter a meditative state in which you are relaxed and your mind is clear, you can
contemplate problems or experiences and see them in symbolic terms. Ira Progoff explores this approach. There are,
for example, your inner and outer experiences in life. You can find an image for the outer and also for the inner. You
then take the two images and hold them in your mind allowing them to interact in their own way until a third image
appears which represents their connection. This third image offers you new insight and clarity. It grants new feelings
and ways of being alive. You can also visualize sigils, symbolic or occult diagrams which represent the energy of
spiritual beings. If you visualize a sigil with the correct color in front of you with energy and concentration, it serves
to connect you to the spirit. If you have psychic ability or are sensitive, you may be able to sense this connection. If
you use enough force when you concentrate and imagine the sigil on the physical, astral, and mental planes, this
action can draw the spirit of the sigil into your room. The eye does not just receive impressions. It transmits and
projects pictures, feeling, energy, and it forms connections. In martial arts, they talk about a hard versus a soft gaze.
If you are tense, the tension narrows what you are able to see. If you relax and observe your environment from your
Tan Tien or the center of your abdomen, your observation is more alert. You see more detail and possibilities. If you
gaze from your heart, you project healing energy. When lovers are together, their eyes influence each others' auras.
Looking at another with acceptance and love is like a prayer. It uplifts and blesses. Bardon mentions that
visualization relates to the power of will. Obviously, having a keen sense of shape, location, and spacial geometry
enhances your sense of being able to manage your environment. You can think in terms of action, change, and
movement. The power to visualize is like being able to say, "I see things as they are now but I can also imagine
them differently." In effect, you extend your visualization beyond the spacial sense. You visualize things in terms of
time. You can then say, "At this point in time things are like this. At another point in time things can be changed. I
can see how to get from here to there." For a magician who works with akasha, a visual image is not just a picture
within his mind. Visualizing a person or spirit links the magician's mind directly to the other. The magician sees the
other's aura and energy on different planes. With a slight shift in consciousness, the magician not only links to the
other but holds within his consciousness the other's energy field. He identifies with it and experiences it from within
himself. On a more simple level, images and visualizations can be used to alter our outlook and understanding.
Individuals' emotions often limit their imagination to the present. They can not visualize a situation or relationship in
a way inconsistent with what they are currently feeling. The imagination and heart are slaves to emotions. Many
traditions use various methods to get around this. Jose Silva outlines a concise method. You visualize your situation
or problem exactly as it is right now. You see this as a picture on a white screen in front of you. You move the
screen, for example, over to the right. Now visualize a second picture. This one is of the same situation or problem
when it is the way you would like it. You see the future right now and the problem solved. You then move this
picture over to the right. Now you visualize a third picture. In this picture, you see yourself as being in a situation in
the future where this problem no longer comes up. You have moved beyond it and are involved in another stage of
life. The process of working with these three pictures is that it enables individuals, through the process of
visualizing, to feel what it is like to be free of whatever is holding them back. The emotional bottleneck or feeling of
being closed in is temporarily overcome. The mind is then able to think about how to bring these situations about.
Sight relates to will also in that light is a function of fire. Light and fire are powerful, expansive, explosive, and
dynamic. They refine and transform. By visualizing, you illuminate the emotions and the unconscious. When you
look at the world through the heart of compassion or the eyes of divine love, you realize the astonishing things
which can be brought into being. An image which is held with powerful concentration gathers energy to itself and
seeks to manifest as reality. AUDITORY "Hearing is the sense which binds the other senses together in harmony. It
is also the sense most concerned with interaction between human beings: it is the foundation of language, which is
communication between minds, and music which is the communication between hearts." Elizabeth Nash "Magick
involves a great deal of listening and a little technique." Peter Beagle "I sometimes fool deer. They think I am one of
them because I can stand perfectly still for a half hour listening to the wind. I sometimes fool gnomes. They think I
am one of their own because it is clear that silence is my home. I sometimes fool spirits of the earthzone. They think
I am like unto them--a guardian of the world--because in my heart is a void, an empty space where you can hear the
stars sing, the song in the wind, and discover the peace from which the Earth dreams Her dreams." You practice
sounds in a similar way to visualizing a picture. You concentrate on different sounds again seeking to be free of
distraction and from allowing other senses to interfere. Take any sounds from your environment and practice
imagining you can hear them one by one. There is the song of the bird, the cat meowing, the dog barking, the clock
ticking, wind howling, lightning thundering, different musical instruments, etc. Sound, like sight, also has
psychological, spiritual, and magical aspects. Children who grow up in homes where the family often sings are more
adjusted and outgoing. Song carries with it a sense of joy and a willingness to express feeling. In a more magical
vein, you can take a song or symphony and reduce all your impressions and feelings about that song into one note.
You then allow that note to be the only thing in your awareness. In practicing the cosmic language, the student adds
notes to the color and sensation concentrations. Bardon also mentions how the undines practice tone magick. By
singing one note, a undine can create a magical space of enchantment and love. A sylph suggested to me that in
order to better understand the mind of sylphs I should practice imagining a different note for each weather
phenomenon I observe. The thunderstorm has a note as do the trade winds , fog, clouds, the mountain breeze as well
as the entire sky. Translating weather into sound attunes your mind to the air element in which the sylph exists. Also
note that words are powerful. Words can command, bind, illuminate, set free, and heal. They can convey love and
inflict pain. When we use our voice, we are free to speak from any or all of our seven chakras, from our heart, from
our mind, from our spirit exerting our will or offering kindness and understanding. Again, some individuals will find
sound concentration exercises easy and others will find them extremely difficult. Just as someone who paints
portraits is more likely to observe and recall faces better than other people, it is probably easier for a musician to
recall tones and sounds better than others. Similarly, the dramatist who writes dialogue has developed an ear for
diction and spoken language. Try to recall as many different individual voices as you can. Start with people you
know and also actors you like. In terms of professions, a skilled therapist, for example, is a excellent listener. He or
she notices the subtle changes in voice. By noticing the loudness, speed, intonation, pitch, diction, and word choice,
the psychologist discerns changes in emotions and attitude in the other individual. A friend, for example, in listening
carefully creates a psychic space in which another person can feel safe and accepted. Listening is itself a magical
power. Like akasha, it offers another a chance to grow and to discover who they are. Scientists have observed that
the ear not only registers sounds. The mechanism in the inner ear can transmit measurable sounds as well. If you
think the notes of a song, your ear emits those notes though the auditory signal is very weak. There is a documented
case of a blind teenager who makes clicks with his mouth. He then hears the echo of these clicks as they bounce off
objects around him. Using this ability, he can ride a bicycle through a parking lot around the cars and poles because
his mind fashions an accurate image of what is present. TACTILE. "Only touch can make the world completely real:
it is the first and last link which connects us to life and to each other. `Keep in touch' we say; `Let us not lose touch.'
And if our emotions are affected by something, we say that it is `touching.' It is the most basic of all the senses, the
foundation: it is also the most generous and compassionate." Elizabeth Nash For practicing the sense of touch,
Bardon mentions concentrating on sensations such as hunger, thirst, tiredness, etc. One of the special features of
Bardon's system is his emphasis on the four elements. He works with these constantly. In the most basic sense, for
the earth element you concentrate on weight; for air, weightlessness; for fire, heat; and for water, coldness. The heat
and coldness also produce phenomena relating to electricity and magnetism. These four sensations are used in many
ways in meditation. If you relax your muscles, the blood vessels open and the skin becomes warmer. Some Tibetan
yogis can raise their body temperature seventeen degrees and sustain that temperature even in a freezing cold
environment. In magick, by concentrating on these sensations, you create energy fields which are, in effect, like the
domains where elemental beings such as salamanders, sylphs, undines, and gnomes dwell. As I have mentioned
elsewhere, I have had the hardest time concentrating on hot and cold sensations. Finally, after visualizing a universe
full of fire I can evoke a heat sensation and sustain that without using the other senses. For the cold sensation, I have
actually practice holding ice cubes in my hands and doing this repeatedly until my brain could figure out how to
reproduce this sensation through concentration. It has taken me years to get something so basic but now the
concentration is easy and feels natural. In exploring body sensations, we are opening the doors to our entire nervous
system. Addictions, obsessions, and fascinations all involve strong bodily sensations rooted in neurology and
biochemistry. Nonetheless, these sensations are susceptible to conscious control. There are bodily sensations
involved in any form of bonding with others. The more acquainted you are with your body--your breathing, your
ability to relax, the feel of your stomach, your heart, your internal organs, and the whole spectrum of body
sensations from prenatal to adult--the more creative you can be in interacting with others. In shamanistic practice,
individuals often imagine themselves as various animals. This serves to heighten sensory impressions. It also
introduces the individuals to the bodily sense and the drives and desires within the animal world. In working with
magick, we often discover and meet within ourselves desires and instinctual energies which are outside the band of
normal consciousness. We feel the fire of the tiger, the acute alertness of the deer, the mesmeric concentration of the
snake, and the inner strength of the bear. Consequently, it is important not to ignore or underestimate the influence
of bodily sensations. By knowing them well and working through them with our minds, we strengthen our
consciousness and expand our ability to feel. Some individuals have a remarkable sensitivity to touch and the
sensory perception it opens up. Scientists have studied how some individuals can sense earthquakes as or before
they are happening. They sense the low wave frequencies earthquakes give off. Some individuals can sense changes
in another person's body temperature across a room. Empaths can often feel the sensations in other's bodies as pain,
excitement, and strong emotions. The other person's sensations manifest in the empaths' bodies as if it is their own.
Touch grants a fantastic array of experiences when it is mastered. Mastering touch is almost like being able to relive
any memory as if you are there and it is happening right now. You can enter any dream or imaginary scene and live
within it and experience it as real. The mind has this capacity but you learn to control it consciously through
practice. In psychic terms, there is a rolfer who works with deep massage on other's bodies. He discovers that
through only imagination he can get the same results as he can when he physically manipulates their bodies. If he
concentrates on another person and uses only his mind to work on their muscles, he can present photos of the
individual before and after his work showing the way in which their posture, musculature, and spine have changed
alignment. In clairfeeling, you extend your touch anywhere. You can be with another person who is not present.
Space and distance are suspended. But first it helps to be able to imagine any sensation you can experience so
clearly it feels real. TASTE The sense of taste can be explored magically in that you become more sensitive to the
food you are eating and prepare your body to better digest it. You sense in advance how a food is going to affect you
and what its quality and energy level are. In more mundane terms, taste and eating are very grounding. Like the
sense of smell, taste strengthens the stability of your consciousness. Sight, sound, and touch can be used to take you
away into imaginary worlds but focusing on the taste of something you are eating brings you back immediately to
your body. In one system of telepathy, the teacher pointed out it is probably easier for most people to transmit tastes
and smells to each other than pictures or sounds. These sensations engage a more primitive part of our brains. These
sensations have a very strong connection to our bodies and so they can also short circuit our thinking process. Eating
and drinking have a remarkable ability to change mood especially because they are so closely tied to pleasure and
satisfaction. A mediator I know once came upon a man and woman fighting violently. She acted on her intuition not
knowing what to do and went up and knocked on the door. She told the man she had the pizza he had ordered with
anchovies and mushrooms. If you think about tasting a food, you can not remain angry. The sense of taste switches
the mind from the picture of the other person's face and the sound of the words being spoken. Taste is not part of the
neurological process which anger utilizes to sustain its intensity. There are a lot of cultural, psychological, and
physiological aspects to taste and our choice of diet. We often associate feelings of well-being and festivity, family
life and love with certain diets and menus. Switching to a different diet, an individual may get the same or better
nutrition but lose something in the process. The mind may not pick up on it but the body is uncomfortable with the
change. An individual may change diets for philosophic reasons thinking its a great idea but he may sabotage his
sense of enjoyment by doing so. The politically correct diet actually produces more stress for his body because he
has lost his childhood sense of well-being and association with past memories. To overcome this, bring good
feelings to the food you eat. As you practice taste, try to notice your own cultural and psychological preferences.
Notice too the vibration of the food and the qualities conveyed through taste. Working with gnomes, they take me
directly into minerals and elements so that my consciousness identifies with the molecular and atomic vibrations.
You can do this also with an apple, wine, vegetables, and so forth. You sense the vitality and qualities of the food
you are eating when it was in its original form on a farm. You can sense how your various organs and the digestive
track respond to food as it is breaking down and being absorbed into your system. I used to tell people what they had
eaten during their last meal because my stomach could feel what was in their stomach and I would then get a picture
of the food they ate. To some extent, Bardon's exercise of absorbing vitality into your body through the pours of
your skin relates to the sense of taste and digestion. You are turning your skin into a tongue and a mouth. Like the
leaves of a tree which absorbs sunlight and carbon dioxide, your body is gathering energy directly from the air.
Breathing and digestion both provide usable energy and nutrition for the blood. Though pranayama is often put in a
mental or religious context, as an exercise, there is a very primal and instinctual aspect of the psyche which is being
activated during this practice. Pranayama takes the ancient stalking and devouring of the prey by the predator and
transforms it into a very refined and spiritual activity. Air becomes a supplementary energy source. SMELL Smell,
like taste, serves to ground us. Animals have a high developed olfactory sense. They can discern a vast array of
scents. Incense is used in evocation, to supports states of trance, and it is also used in aromotherapy. In psychic
work, some individuals may learn how to smell energy. You can smell when there is an astral presence of a spirit or
some other entity near. They can smell the vibration of a house or location. In this way, the sense of smell alerts an
individual to the quality of the space they are entering. In another way, smell can take on a symbolic and intuitive
function. "Something doesn't smell right," someone will say. Their intuition is using the sense of smell to convey a
gut feeling or psychic impression to the conscious mind. I don't know anyone who does this, but as I think about it I
notice I can smell an aroma for the seven chakras of the body of someone I am concentrating on. With each chakra, I
discern a scent and also I get a picture of the flower which goes with that scent. The scent offers me direct
immersion in the other's energy. It is not for nothing that the chakras are sometimes referred to as lotus blossoms.
They radiate energy but you can learn to perceive this energy with any of your five senses. The Five Senses If you
observe carefully different world leaders, you can notice something they share in common. Their voice, eyes, and
face are used in combination to extend their power and their ability to connect to others. One of these three things
will often be very hard, tough, and commanding. Another will be very soft, gentle, and inviting almost to the point
of seduction. The third may then be neutral--it is steady and unchanging. One individual may have a voice which is
warm, empathic, and almost hypnotic in its resonance. But his face is like a steel mask while his eyes are clear,
shiny, and affirming. Another individual has a harsh, argumentative voice but his face is warm like a teddy bear
while his eyes are vulnerable and shy. It the combination which enables these leaders to reach out and connect even
to their enemies on an unconscious level without compromising their own strength. By studying how we and others
use our senses both to receive and to project energy, we are extending our magical skills. In the earthzone, the spirit
Amagestol's eyes see oneness and love and his touch is kindness and acceptance. But he speaks with the voice of
prophecy, of what shall be. His voice calls things into being. It is a dynamic combination and through working with
this spirit, you can learn to approximate his abilities which are fabulous for resolving conflicts and attaining
harmony. The study of the human aura and the aura of spirits, then, compliment each other. Another aspect of the
five senses is that the human brain has cells for each sense which are located within areas of the brain relating to the
other four senses. When you see, you are also hearing, tasting, smelling, and touching and so on with each sense.
You can take, therefore, any sense and get a sensory impression from another sense to replace it. Men enjoy looking
at women. The sight activates the brain to release endorphins and opiates into the blood stream. They don't just see
women. They feel an entire spectrum of emotions at the same time. This may seem rather mundane but there is a
spiritual side to it. The Dalai Lama during the Kalachakra initiation invites the five thousand individuals present to
enter his body and pass through his chakras. His body serves as a vehicle of initiation for transforming
consciousness. If you place your mind in the Dalai Lama's heart chakra, you experience an infinite sea of
compassion. It is perfectly natural for him to say, "As long as suffering remains to sentient beings, I will remain to
serve." This is the voice of his heart chakra. I experience his compassion as a tactile sense--as being immersed in a
sea of water whose quality is love. Tibetan monks, on the other hand, practice visualizing the yidam figures of
Avalokiteshvara whom the Dalai Lama represents in incarnation and they practice his mantra of Om Mani Padma
Hum. In this way, they attune themselves to enlightened compassion mainly through the use of sight and hearing.
The point is that we perceive with our five senses in our immediate environment. Through training and
concentration, we can learn to use our senses to see spiritual realms and perceive with illumination. Then the
ordinary and the spiritual become woven together. The entire universe is one energy field and we are all joined
within it. The senses also relate to akasha, that is, they each open to akasha. Practicing concentration with a sense is
a way of refining that sense's ability to perceive higher vibrations. On the other hand, one way to become psychic is
to suspend the element related to that sense so the sense no longer perceives in the physical world. Freed of the tie to
the immediate environment, the sense then perceives on the inner planes or through space and time. If you stare at a
crystal ball, you tire or wear out the fire in the eyes so that your eyes then receive impressions from the astral plane.
If you dance or listen to the right music, your ears lose their air element and you then hear spirits speaking to you
and so forth. This is kind of a tricky procedure since it may exhaust your nervous system and be difficult to restore
harmony when you are done. If you master the elements, you can replace the energy you use up in this procedure.
You could also just concentrate into your eyes a quality of light which is itself clairvoyant and then you accomplish
the same results or better. Buddhists like to point out that the five senses are empty, that is, they have no inherent
existence or intrinsic nature which sustains their being. Form and emptiness, matter and akasha are
interexchangable. For Buddhists, the mind has no need to attach itself to anything--it is pure, luminous openness.
Undines know this according to their own element. Water extends the sense of touch through the entire oceans of the
earth. You can touch what is in front of you and you can touch what is anywhere else. They know that you can
create love just by feeling. If you imagine the watery energy of love, sweet caresses, and oneness, they come into
being through the power of your mind and heart. Some undines are magical in that their aura automatically creates
love in and around whatever it touches. For the Taoist, the five senses tie into the vitality and organ energy in the
body. By mastering them, you are gaining the ability to conserve and refine the chi in your body. Ideally, the Taoist
would use this saved life force to attain astral if not physical immortality. For the poet, the five senses are gates of
perception, doors which open to infinity. For the mystic, the senses exist so we can give and receive circulating love
with all other beings throughout the universe. For the magician, the five senses represent the power of spirit to
materialize its purposes. You learn to use and master your senses on each of the four planes. Then you are able to
reach your highest level of creativity.

Second Chapter Psychic


In this chapter, we work at attaining astral equilibrium with the four elements by (1) Fight or control, (2) auto-
suggestion and/or (3) transmutation or transforming it into its opposite quality. To review, in the psychic exercise for
the first chapter, we began the practice of introspection. We recorded our positive and negative qualities of character
using the four elements as a guide. We then rated the relative strength of the different qualities within us dividing
them into three groups. This gave us a kind of mirror of the soul, a reference point for quickly viewing our state of
astral equilibrium. The task in chapter two is to establish a balance between the four elements. For Bardon, "The
scholar ought, therefore, to endeavor quickly and surely to get rid of those passions which most hinder him from
being successful in the magic art." And, "The refinement of character should be aspired after, during the entire
course, but, as early as on this level, faults rapidly gaining ground and bad qualities handicapping development in a
higher order, ought to be eradicated." Since in the next chapter, chapter 3, we begin accumulating the four elements
in the astral body, Bardon insists "Before starting on the training for this step (Chapter 3), the astral equipoise of the
elements in the soul has to be established by introspection and self- control unless you wish to do mischief to
yourself." Bardon asserts that "Without a balance of the elements in the astral body or in the soul, there is no
possible progress or rise." At the beginning of Chapter 2, Bardon discusses autosuggestion. If you are working on a
personal fault such as a lack of enthusiasm or conviction, the idea is to phrase your self-suggestion in the present
tense or imperative: "I am full of enthusiasm," or, "I have strong conviction." You then practice this autosuggestion
by repeating the phrase a number of times, especially as you fall asleep at night or wake up in the morning. Bardon
says, "The main point is that you do imagine your wish as being realized already and having actual existence." It
would seem that from Bardon's perspective, the subconscious-- the source of faults, weaknesses, and passions--
views the conscious mind as being kind of stupid. People say what they want, are planning, or wishing for, but they
do not really believe it. The conscious self acts to defeat itself by lacking conviction when it speaks. To not be
completely certain about succeeding when you make a wish is to plan for your own failure. And what is far worse
from the subconscious point of view is that the conscious mind fails all reasonable tests when it comes to imagining
in a concrete and graphic way what it wishes to be or to accomplish. Since part of the job of the subconscious is to
contain and store energy, it is pretty much a waste of its time and resources to cooperate with the conscious mind.
The conscious mind acts arbitrarily, unreasonably, impulsively, and without any regard for the real issues of life. It
is as if the conscious self intentionally refuses to speak the language of the subconscious or show any respect when
it makes its requests. The remedy for this situation is to demonstrate real conviction, feeling, and imagination when
seeking to bring about a change in yourself. The conviction is in part demonstrated by imagining that what you want
is real right now in this moment. So again, as Bardon points out, you make your wish in the present tense without
any hesitation or doubt: For example, you say "I am full of enthusiasm" if your problem is apathy or being
phlegmatic. To this you add feeling. You have to search your own memory and experiences with others until you
conjure up a completely convincing set of examples about what it is to be enthusiastic. Then you put yourself within
those images or reflect on them until you can accurately reproduce in yourself the feeling of enthusiasm. At this
point, your subconscious will be able to say, "Ah, now you are speaking my language. Now I know what you mean
when you say, `I am full of enthusiasm.'" And finally, you have to explore with your imagination what it means for
your wish to be completely real right now, as something already accomplished. Bardon mentions the great
advantage of using autosuggestion when you are falling asleep or waking up from sleep. Then your brain waves shift
from beta through theta to alpha. When you wake up from sleep, the brain waves will remain in alpha for around
five minutes. If you practice autosuggestion during this time, you have a stronger access to and communication with
your subconscious. This is where daydreaming or imaginative explorations take on the power of magick. Again,
what would that be like if what you wish for has already become real? Your subconscious would sure like to know
the answer to that question. This is because the subconscious has to take all the energy it has allotted to one set of
behaviors, beliefs, and emotions and rechannel that energy into a new set of behaviors, beliefs, and emotions. If you
just sit there saying what you want to be and feeling it as real, you are still making a half-hearted effort from the
subconscious point of view. You have not really done your homework when it comes to communicating what you
want to your subconscious. Your subconscious wants you to enter a dream of the future and walk around inside of it
and experience it as if it is totally real right now. Get involved with details. Use all your five senses. Make the
experience so real and graphic that it feels as if you are living it right now. The imagination has to convince itself
that what it envisions, at least during the practice, is absolutely real in the here and now. This is not asking too
much. You see, the subconscious produces dreams every single night which seem completely real to the dreaming
mind. If you want to succeed with the subconscious, you have to use its own tools and language. You have to
become clever and subtle enough to convince your subconscious that you are able to take over some of its functions.
If the dream of what you wish to be is a 100% real to you within your astral body, then you already radiate the
energy of what it is like to be what you want. Your actions and thoughts then change in order to fall into alignment
with this new self-image, energy, feeling, and thought. This is my summary or version of Bardon's perspective on
autosuggestion. If you want a quick and easy method which many individuals find extremely useful, you might try
Jose Silva's exercise in mind control. This involves visualizing three pictures one after the other. First, you visualize
your problem on a white screen in front of you. Imagine all aspects of the situation. This is the way things are right
now. Next, you move this screen off to the left side. Then on another white screen you visualize the solution to the
problem, that is, exactly how you would like things to be. This is a point in the future where the problem is solved.
You look at it right now in front of you. Again, make it real and convincing. Now move this screen also off to the
left side. Finally, you visualize yourself on another screen in front of you. This is a further point in the future where
the problem no longer even comes up. You are altogether beyond it and involved in other things. As an exercise in
Silva Mind Control, this is an exercise you can do in several minutes. It is often very helpful for individuals who can
not even imagine what a resolution of their problem would be like. I like to take exercises like this and expand on
them. I practice them not for a few minutes but more like for a half hour or more. I make them into a deep
contemplative exercise. In this case, I continually test myself to see if I feel and can imagine myself being 100%
within the picture I am visualizing. Since some of the qualities we seek to embody within ourselves are not only
completely new to our experience but also involve remarkable psychological and spiritual virtues, the visualization
is also a high art of self-transformation. It is the thought, the feeling, the image, and the energy--all of these at once
which we are generating or creating within ourselves during the practice. Note also that ritual can be used to
reinforce autosuggestion. It is common in new age seminars to write down the problem you have and then surrender
or give that problem to the fire element. You place the paper on which you have written your problem into the fire in
the solemn presence of others. If done in the right group and in the right mood, this can be helpful. The action lays
hold of your subconscious on a deep level. Bardon mentions working simple elemental magick like the above later
on in his first book. Bardon also mentions how one time he was concentrating his wish so intensely on the surface of
a mirror that the mirror actually shattered. Right before I became acquainted with Bardon's book, I had been
visualizing myself in some of the major arcana of the Tarot cards every day for about four months. One of the cards
was The Magician. Sometimes you have to work at your wish with a lot of concentration and persistence. An Astral
Equilibrium Meditation When I use my psychic intuition and focus in on what Bardon wants in regard to astral
equilibrium, it seems to me that he wants the student to experience first hand the state of astral equipoise. You
should be able to feel what it is like when the four elements are in harmony and balanced in your astral body.
Though this is obviously jumping ahead, I would like to explain a little more about this. You might try this as an
exercise. Imagine dark violet light shining in and around your body. This light represents akasha. The light shines
outward from you penetrating through space and time. And you are this light. You are after a physical sensation of
penetrating through space and time with your consciousness. Nothing limits what you can feel, observe, think, and
experience. Now add to this identification with akasha the qualities of the four elements as they act within the
personality. You see and feel yourself embodying the powers of water--you are loving, sensitive to others, empathic,
vivacious, nurturing, and tender. Add to this the powers of air--you are bright, alert, detached, objective, articulate,
understanding, and wise. Now add the powers of earth--you are solid, stable, rugged, persevering, hard-working,
shrewd, practical, down-to-earth, and attentive to details. And also add the powers of fire--you are in charge,
determined, committed, commanding, full of conviction and certainty about your purposes, dynamic, and
courageous. Take some time and blend the four elemental sets of qualities into the akasha which radiates from your
body. Move between the four elements until you gain the sense that each is fully present within you. Feel the
confidence and reassurance which comes from having this harmony. And notice how each element is complimented,
supported, and strengthened by being aligned with the other three elements. Having the balance of the four elements
within the astral body is a highly creative state. It grants an individual great adaptability and flexibility. Magicians
often use magick circles during their evocational practices. The four directions often symbolize the four elements.
But establishing magical equilibrium within yourself is a way of internalizing the magick circle. It offers a great deal
of protection by insuring that your aura is not vulnerable to being influenced or infiltrated by outside energies. See
also my essay on Focusing under Transpersonal Psychology on my web site. I often will focus on a personal
problem or difficulty following Eugene Gendlin's six steps. But I extend Gendlin's method by taking more time and
employing more concentration just as do with Jose Silva's exercise. I change the exercise into a magical form of
contemplation which works more directly with energy than what these men usually imagine. Note that while Silva's
visualizations involve the sense of sight, Gendlin's focusing is for those who work more with the tactile or
kinesthetic sense. I also like to use Ira Progoff's journalizing method and method of dialoguing. Progoff is more
verbal or auditory oriented though he has you writing things down. Again, there are a vast number of ways to
interact with the subconscious. You can intervene and change your behavior directly as is done in some methods of
behavioral psychology. Or you can use a more cognitive approach monitoring and reframing your thoughts. You can
engage in introspection and contemplation by processing your feelings. You can turn personal problems into a
spiritual quest or reframe them as a journey through a spiritual landscape of the soul. This is a kind of pathworking,
symbolic exploration, tantra, or free association in a state of trance. You can do all of these one after the other or all
at once. Self-transformation is a vast area of study and many methods and resources are available and should be
available to those who pass this way. Some Personal Comments Years ago, I pursued this exercise on magical
equilibrium with great effort. I would emphasize the importance of attaining magical equilibrium along with Bardon.
Before an individual enters a spiritual universe through opening his psychic senses and spiritual intuition, he needs
to have mastered the habit of being fully attentive to accomplishing every responsibility in his daily life. If you can
do this, your personality is then defined by clear boundaries. Mystical feelings and cosmic awareness do not blur or
confuse your responses. There is no hazy ambiguity or emotional undercurrent present when you interact with
others. In astral equilibrium, we are pursuing character qualities associated with how we act in our everyday lives.
We are making the ordinary into a spiritual training ground. In doing this, we are reinforcing our will so it becomes
as strong as steel. This is absolutely necessary since a magician can not afford to be weak or carry excess emotional
baggage from the past. And this brings us to great paradox in this exercise. If you find a loose thread in a shirt, you
can snap it off. But if you pull on that thread even gently, sometimes you will rend the fabric. You discover the
material is flawed almost to the point of being worthless. If you find a leak in the hull of a wooden boat, you can
patch it. But if you push a needle into the wood, you may find the outer varnished surface has dry rot hidden beneath
it. The needle slips right through the wood as if it is cheese or plaster board. In this case, a much larger area needs to
be replaced. The same is sometimes true about our exercise. You can say to yourself, "I am going to work on my
personal faults and weaknesses," and then you proceed to do so. This can be like spring cleaning of a house. You
perform annual maintenance. You wash the windows and stream clean the carpets and throw out the junk you have
been accumulating over the past year. But your attitude of self-questioning and probing may be the same as holding
in your hands a key to a door into your psyche which you would never otherwise unlock. One time my father was
checking the slanting wall of the attic in our house. He found a lever hidden out of sight. He pulled on it and a
hidden door clicked open. The door lead into a secret room which was used for stockpiling liquor smuggled into the
United States from Canada during Prohibition. The door was disguised to look exactly like the wood supporting the
shingles of the roof. The psyche is similar. If you find the latch and then give something ordinary a gentle push, you
may find yourself gazing into an entire dungeon of memories, pain, and unresolved conflicts. These may be in part
your own and they may also be an accumulation of karmic debt handed down from previous generations. These may
also seem like unexplored, forbidden, and taboo areas of the collective unconscious carefully cordoned off and
sealed away from the emotions and instincts acceptable to our society. Our cultures often are built on great strengths
but they all conceal areas of great darkness in their foundations. To put it simply, if you wish to be, for example,
more assertive, you may run into an inner conflict. Part of you may wish to not be assertive until you have overcome
the abuses of power exercised for generations in your family. On the other hand, if you wish to be more sensitive to
others' feelings, as you develop your empathy you may feel you are adrift on an ocean of pain. These are not your
personal feelings. Instead, your empathy comes wrapped up in a profound insight into the quiet desperation and
sorrow hidden in others' lives. For some individuals, such insight is overwhelming and too much to handle. Our
simple exercise, then, is like an individual going into see a therapist. The therapist asks, "What do you want me to
do for you?" The individual replies, "I want to be more in charge of my life. I want to use my time better so I can get
more done." The therapist then asks, "Tell me about what you feel is holding you back from doing this?" And
shortly thereafter the client recalls after years of repression the memory of how he or she was raped as a child. This
actually happened in a class I was teaching. A woman suddenly recalled and then related to the group--a bunch of
navy sailors who had little ability to understand--this incredibly intense personal trauma. Suddenly the simple task of
learning time management, of setting priorities and goals, evokes a pain which seems at first impossible to bear.
Perhaps an individual inherits a susceptibility for alcoholism, drug abuse, insanity, or violence from his family or
past. There can be any number of nightmares ready and waiting to awaken if you engage in self-exploration. These
can be are so deeply rooted in yourself you do not know how or where to begin working on them. Consequently, in
some encounter and therapy groups, the members are kept focused on the present and on the specific behaviors and
feelings they can actually change. The deeper feelings and motivations which are more diffuse and less susceptible
to conscious control are carefully screened out and pushed off to the side. There are often immediate advantages to
this approach. Even small success in changing your behavior, self-talk, and feelings build self-confidence and
strengthens the individual's will. The downside of this approach is that the individual's psyche then becomes like a
house with some locked rooms containing the unknown. The problem is that an individual who strengthens his will
and identity without processing his deeper emotions and fully exploring the depths of himself lacks well-being and
inner peace. He is not fully at home in the world of his psyche. On some level, he knows there are inner barriers--
questions he must not ask, feelings he must never awaken, and dreams he must never dream. This may seem like a
subtle point but if you are going to learn to exert your full will or open your five senses to perceiving on the inner
planes, you have to be free of fear. You can not bring your microcosm into harmony with the macrocosm when there
are parts of your psyche and history which you can not accept and transform. These barriers to inner life can be
observed in others even in ordinary conversations and personal interactions. When you talk to someone, you may
find there are parts of them which are not transparent. There are things about them they do not want to talk about not
because they are private or personal but because the pain is unresolved. The topic evokes anxiety and denial. When I
review all of Bardon's exercises in his three books on magick, the most difficult exercise for me is establishing
magical equilibrium. It is a life long work and there is no end to it. If you study Aikido for forty years with real
passion and zeal, you become a sixth don master. If you practice Tai Chi Chuan for forty years with a great master
so that you mind becomes one with you inner chi, ten or even twenty men can not push you over when you stand
your ground. If you had the time and money, you could study with the great psychologists of the world earning three
Ph.d.'s. You would engage in intense personal work exploring your personal shadow and subconscious. Then, as a
therapist and facilitator, you would be able to lead others through the intricate pathways and corridors of their souls
through the darkness and pain and back again into healing and light. But the Aikido and Tai Chi master and even the
psychologist do not need to attain to astral equilibrium. It is definitely not a requirement of their professions. The
idea never enters their imagination. In my experience, there were two main problems I ran into in first working with
establishing astral equilibrium. To begin with, Bardon's first book, Initiation into Hermetics, is for me an incredibly
tedious and boring set of exercises. As Bardon points out, these exercises take a nearly superhuman patience and
tough endurance to master. Progress, though sometimes rapid, is more often accomplished in millimeters. The time
frame is not weeks or months but often years before basic exercises are mastered. This level of difficulty, however,
has some great advantages. For example, such taxing work leaves no room for inflation of ego or for fanatical
devotion. Both of these attitudes demand quick results and measure progress by comparing oneself to other human
beings. The notion that "I am practicing the highest and greatest magical system on earth" eventually must come to
grips with the realization that actually I am practicing the most challenging and demanding magical system on earth.
The fanatical, pious, holier than thou mind set (so commonly found in monasteries, religious organizations, and
cults) which says "I am special and superior to others" runs into the realization that Bardon's system demands
absolute self-awareness and total self- mastery. You can not afford to carry self-delusions with you when you are
constantly exploring unknown worlds both of the imagination and on the inner planes. There is simply no room for
arrogance or self-righteousness. Akasha, for example, loves to play with young magicians. With more stealth than
any archdemon and like a lover with wild passion, it leads new magicians through a maze of self-knowledge to a
central encounter with that darkness within themselves which contains their greatest fears. What the lover and the
archdemon share in common is they both love to test your boundaries. Though using different methods, they will
take you to that very place in yourself which is forbidden and unknown. It is only there that the fire of spirit
dwelling within you is unleashed and finally freed. But a great martial artist, a self-made billionaire, or a masterful
politician who overcomes all opposition can still afford to feel superior and indulge him or herself in feeling he is
above others. But not a magician. This is because a magician is not in competition with other human beings. His
goal is not to dominate, out shine, or out perform others. His spiritual identity is not defined by his peer group,
society, culture, civilization, philosophy, religion, or occult tradition. Instead, the ineffable, wondrous, and
magnificent beauty of Divine Providence walks by his side and is his guide. When you have this inspiration in your
heart, glory, fame, honor, and power mean very little to you. You can use them to serve your purposes but in
themselves they are without merit or interest. And so the first difficulty--the great amount of work extending over
years--requires of you that you have your own inspiration and motivation to sustain your commitment. For me,
Bardon provides very little in the way of inspiration and it is a strain for me to try to find a devotional sentence in
his books. You could say that this is because of the milieu in which Bardon wrote. He was systematic, analytical,
detailed, and required that his students master every single exercise before going on to the next. Still, when I think
about Bardon's work, I recall how I spent three days meditating one time in a stone circle on Mull Island in
Scotland. Each stone embodies a different cosmic letter or druid Ogham letter from some ancient time. The energies
were placed in those stones as a legacy to be passed down to future generations. One of the stones embodied the
cosmic letter R. This is solar energy--dazzling, bright, self-radiant, and eternal light. But this stone also cloaks itself.
When you first approach it and place your hand upon it, it hides and conceals its power and joy lest those who are
exposed too quickly before their time become blinded and no longer treasure the experiences of daily life. You have
to sit with this stone for a while in complete stillness. Then like an old friend who has mastered all wisdom on our
planet, it greets you and invites you to discuss whatever is on your heart and in your mind. Bardon is like that for
me. I see him as a gate keeper or as a dean of admissions to a spiritual college. He is both friendly but he also takes a
very close look at your credentials as he evaluates your level of commitment. His books, then, naturally are open,
inviting, and also very demanding. They put questions to you which you did not expect and that require you be fully
alert and forceful in reply. The second difficulty I have had with attaining astral equilibrium is that I find there is no
continuity in the practice. Psychologists, for example, like to take society for granted. It is the training field and
arena in which personality is challenged. For this reason, psychologists like to assist in making individuals
successful, creative, satisfied, happy, and fulfilled. But a magician is not practicing magical equilibrium in order to
be more successful and fulfilled within his society. He is striving to attain equilibrium in the midst of other practices
involving high magick. He is continuously developing and testing the boundaries of his imagination as well as
learning to enter at will worlds which are invisible to the people around him. Consequently, in high magick, you
continuously bring new treasures of spirit, new insights and fabulous experiences, back with you into your ordinary
life. Unless you proceed with great caution and remain in complete charge of your life, these experiences can easily
overwhelm and overshadow everything else you are doing. They are all assaults on magical equilibrium. They
heighten, twist, or intensify one element over the others. And so you have to work to keep the four elements within
yourself in balance. In order words, no matter how much I think I know about myself and my astral body, working
with Bardon's system constantly forces me to confront new and unexpected aspects of myself. Let me put this
another way. Studying magick for me is like having a life long relationship with an extremely seductive mistress.
She is so incredibly beautiful! With ease, she uncovers my most secret desires. She produces exotic states of
intoxication, bliss, and ecstasy so that I really begin to wonder if it would ever be possible to live my life without
her. Don't laugh. I occasionally meet real women like that. One of the goals of magick is to hold conversation with
your Holy Guardian Angel or to evoke the highest aspect of your inner spirit--the immortal, eternal, enlightened, and
utterly transcendent aspect of yourself. When I casually hold hands with one woman, this transcendent guardian
spirit appears visible to my eyes in the room. This psychic result would seem to be one of those odd things which
sometimes happen when you practice magick. Some of Bardon's exercises introduce you to the infinite freedom
existing on the inner planes. All four planes open up to you. Then you behold an astonishing universe. Like I say,
magick is like an extremely seductive woman--she is completely inside of you and knows your every thought,
dream, and desire. Next to her beauty and affection, everything else is pale by comparison. This of course is also a
powerful assault on magical equilibrium. The magick is itself an addiction. You can swear the addiction off by
returning again and again to mastering the basic exercises. But even as you work so hard on them she (magick) will
come back to you and offer you some new, unexpected gift--a new magical ability or way of seeing or changing the
world which is so astonishing and dramatic you fall again under her spell. Am I just saying what gurus have been
hounding on for ages-- namely, working with psychic powers and siddhis are a sure way of losing your spiritual
path? The glamour automatically inflates the individual's ego and sense of power so that the journey to the higher
planes is lost? I think if I had been able to study directly with Bardon during the late forties and early fifties, my
practice would have been completely different. I would have mastered the dense aspects of the four elements. That
is, I would have had far more etheric power. My personal will would have been far more than it is now. Bardon
would have had me laboring away on the first book for ten years without permitting me to take a peek at his other
works. My astral psychic perception would be fabulous. But this did not happen. Until recently, I knew only a few
students who practiced Bardon and they provided very little support. Though I have studied many esoteric traditions,
I have worked with no magicians or esoteric lodges. I proceeded on my own. Consequently, it was very important
for me in the beginning to probe the entire metaphysical system Bardon was presenting. I needed to authenticate it
and also to make it my own. Early on, I spent much of three years using my psychic abilities to tune into the vast
array of spiritual beings whom Bardon describes in such rich and suggestive detail in his second book on evocation.
My goal has been to build a very clear picture of the entire spiritual universe so I could reflect its beauty, majesty,
and wonder within my astral body. For Bardon, astral equilibrium is a state of being in balance and in control of the
four elements in your personality. For me, astral equilibrium is this. But it is also a state of rapture, a trance, and an
ecstasy in which I feel at one with everything that exists. Jvar, the spirit of Leo in the earthzone who specializes in
magical equilibrium, pointed this out to me. He said it is natural for me to radiate the cosmic letter J on the akashic
plane. This is a feeling of cosmic love. It fills in for something which is missing in myself. And so my response to
the gurus who complain about magicians pursuing siddhis and magical powers is this: "I have studied this mistress
and searched her soul. And she, in turn, has revealed to me her secret, magical name. "Her name is cosmic love--and
nothing in the universe is separate from her beauty. She holds the world within her heart. There is no aspect of life
or ideal she places higher than something else. No plane of awareness is pursued or considered to be of greater merit
than any other. Truth understands every individual's unique path of fulfillment and also the oneness which sustains
the whole." I would suggest something in addition to the rigorous practice of attaining the magical equilibrium as
Bardon describes it. I would suggest that the student right at the beginning explore his or her own sense of the
sacred. It is the degree and quality of your inspiration which also empowers you to balance and harmonize the four
elements in yourself. To this end, I have included an exercise on transcendence on my web page under this second
chapter psychic practice.

On Transcendence
Part of the task in Bardon's first book, Initiation into Hermetics, is to come in contact with your Guardian Angel.
You also seek to encounter and to identify with Divine Providence in its four aspects of all-embracing love, power,
wisdom, and immortality. These are very high ideals and goals. I suggest, then, at the very beginning of practicing
with Bardon that the student take stock of what his own individual sense of the sacred and of transcendence is.
According to the mythologist Joseph Campbell, the first and primary condition any mythology or spiritual training
system must fulfill is to awaken and sustain awe and gratitude within us. It is possible to perceive life as radiant with
light and wonder. This is a mental realization. It is a matter of perception-- a way of experiencing the world as new.
Life as portrayed by the mythologies of the world has a dimension of mystery. It is both terrifying and fascinating. It
is full of horror and wonder. In it, we encounter danger and beauty, the unknown and also true love. There is a
mystical, emotional awakening, or a spiritual rebirth which is essential for living life to the fullest. With it, we are
able to step back from our identities and social roles and gain a perspective on who we are. At the same time,
through contact with these archetypal domains, we are introduced to a vast, spiritual landscape existing within each
of us, a place where we can discover those resources and treasures which best fulfill our lives. (The following is
from my essay on the Spirit Jachil). This first function of any religion or spiritual training system takes us into a
state of transcendence. Transcendence develops in us a state of mind which is completely detached and separate
from life. And yet it is so illuminated we are free to embrace all that is within life with both passion and compassion.
The druid, for example, creates in his mind a grove of trees or stone circle on the astral plane. There he is free to
meet and interact and to be inspired by all the wise men and women of his tradition. There he meets the Goddess and
celebrates the illumination of the sun. When druid is in his inner plane grove, he is completely there with all of his
imagination. It is a waking dream and his well-being and peace are complete. If he finds a difficulty or disturbance
within his psyche or if he has a traumatic experience in his personal life, the grove offers him support and insight for
working through it. At the same time, the difficulties in his outer life serve to challenge him to explore more deeply
the spiritual resources available within his grove. The journey within must be profound enough to encompass with
wisdom and love all that he experiences in life. In this way, his personal problems are captured and transformed
through a spiritual quest. The imagery of transcendence, like the center of a grove or circle, becomes a sacred place
where we gather the wisdom and joy from all that we experience in life. It is a place of celebration. Yet we
continuously journey outward from the center of the circle in order to grow and to experience new things. Growth
involves going outward and focusing ourselves on specific tasks as well as returning within to attain oneness. The
druid has a personal spiritual path symbolized by a personal grove. And yet he also delights in sharing the his path
and sacred imagery with others. There is a collective grove to which he also belongs. This grove is where the wise
men and women from all ages of his tradition come together to share their experiences and inspiration. This
imagery, then, offers reassurance. It keeps him from feelings isolated or stuck. In place of feeling anxiety or
desperation when he discovers the darkness within him, he finds joy and strength in the challenges which lie before
him. He has the connections and the resources to help him follow his path. Exercise: Exploring Your Own
Transcendence Take a few minutes and consider what the sacred is to you. That is, what are your greatest sources of
inspiration? When and where have you had encounters with the greatest beauty, wonder, awe, and mystery? When
did life feel most alive, most precious, full of hope and joy? When did love share with you its greatest treasures and
gifts? These questions are answered by reflecting on your personal experience. But the personal, in this case, also
contains transpersonal depths. Feel the light and the energy underlying your experiences. This brings you into
contact with sacred. In these moments, you were able to see life from a great distance, as if standing on the outside
looking in. But also the depths of life were open to and flowing through you. Some individuals will imagine and
recall specific locations where they have been or specific individuals whom they interacted with. For others, feelings
come to the surface. However you wish to recall the sacred, imagine now that you can connect to these experiences
again whenever you wish. The sacred is a place of mind and heart, like the center of the circle, to which you return
again and again. It is what you enter into whenever you begin a spiritual journey. It is what guides you and it is to
where you return. Our experiences with life enable us to enrich our sense of the sacred. It grows stronger as does our
identification with akasha, the one light that shines throughout the universe who some call Divine Providence. At the
same time, when we are amid a great difficulty, conflict, or state of confusion, we can enter the center of the circle,
symbolizing akasha. Then we can undertake a inner plane pathworking or series of meditations in search of the
resources and experiences we need in order to be more effective in life. Akasha, the center of the circle, grove, our
inner plane temple, or place of the sacred is where we begin our journeys and it is where we return from them. There
is a process of processing, gathering in, and integrating the essence of all we have learned from life. And there is
also a joy and conviction we exude as we depart on new journeys into the unknown. From this psychological and
spiritual perspective, our difficulties and problems become challenges. They contain the elements of the great work
we willingly embrace in order to transform ourselves and the world through the power of love. Spiritual Community
At the same time, our individual sense of the sacred is not an isolated and private experience. We belong to spiritual
communities. There are others like ourselves who wish to taste fully and to celebrate life's great mysteries.
Therefore, along side our individual symbolism and imagery of the sacred there is also a collective imagery. For the
druid, there is a personal grove where he goes to work. There is also a collective grove which is a place on the inner
planes. Part of our exercise, then, is to continue on and imagine what this place of meeting would be like as well. In
chapter 9 of Initiation into Hermetics, Bardon gives an exercise relating to mastering the four fundamental divine
qualities. He says, "The truly wise adept, who always considers the four elements in his development, will represent
the concept of God in four aspects according to the laws of the universe, namely, the omnipotence, corresponding to
the fire-principle, the omniscience and wisdom belonging to the air principle, the omnipresence with the water
principle and the immortality with the earth principle." As you contemplate and enter into these divine qualities,
Bardon says, "The meditation has to be so profound, so pervasive and so convincing that the astral body becomes, as
it were, identical with the virtue." Bardon's work emphasizes individual initiative and accomplishment. There is
certainly also a collective or community of those who seek to master and to celebrate the highest light of akasha or
Divine Providence. As the above quote indicates, for the magician, the divine is represented in four aspects. As an
exercise, take any or all of these four aspects and imagine what a community would be like which is commited to
embodying these qualities. If you think of a community of loving individuals, imagine what that would be like.
Imagine it as a community in the real world. And imagine and experience it concretely as a inner plane experience.
As if all those on our earth who indeed seek to love with all of their hearts are able to meet with each other and to
share their vast array of experiences. Visit this place on the inner planes. Make it part of your heart. Much of magick
relates to the power of imagination. If you can imagine something and experience it a 100% as real, then it is much
easier for it to manifest. You already embody it within your heart, mind, and feelings. Those in contact with you can
sense its presence and influence. These exercises, then, serve to uplift the vibration of the world we are in. The
images serve as mental and astral vehicles for establishing telepathic rapport and communication wtih others. We
are then drawn to, nourished by, and inspired by those who share the same high ideals. (See also my posting under
Asmodel, a spirit of universal and cosmic love, under Planetary Spirits, in which I give four steps for meditating on
a community dedicated to the highest ideals of love, light, and service).

Transcendence, Part II, 11/29/99.


In my last article on transcendence, I mentioned how I thought it might be advantageous for students of Bardon to
imagine and work with the divine qualities of each of the four elements right at the beginning of their training. I
sometimes am asked by individuals if they can become my student. I usually reply that I myself am a student. I can
share my experiences but I am not in a position to take responsibility for guiding another's spiritual life. I have never
met anyone in fact who I consider capable of guiding another individual's spiritual life though I see lots of people
trying to do so. I imagine we are all responsible for our own spiritual lives. Nonetheless, speaking for myself, if an
individual asked me if he or she was ready to study the Bardon system, my response would be to ask in return if they
have experienced any transcendence. Briefly, can you detach yourself from life and see it as from a great distance
the way the young girl learns to do in Wilder's play, Our Town? Having died, she is permitted to return and relive
one day of her life. Obviously, there is no room for complaining, for jealousy, envy, or worrying about trivial things
when you realize how precious, wonderful, and fragile life is. Detachment belongs to the air element and to some
extent so does wonder. There are of course many other aspects of the air element which lead to transcendence. In my
essays on the cosmic letter A and the sylph Cargoste I indicate a few. Do you have any faith or conviction? Faith in
one sense is a feeling you discover within yourself that you are united to omnipotent power, to the Creator of the
universe. Conviction is a sense of certainty about your ability to accomplish what you intend to do. I know
individuals who have been using ceremonial wands for decades who lack conviction and faith. What good is it to
practice in a magical tradition for years and to rise through the grades if you can not find at the core of your being
that you are united to the Creator of life and the universe? Who are you trying to kid? To such an individual I would
have to state my opinion, "You are not ready to enter the Mysteries." You find things by seeking them. If you don't
look, you won't even see what is right in front of you. Faith, conviction, and the omnipotence belong to the fire
element. Fire is in every breath, every heartbeat, in lightning, in candles, in the sun and stars, and the entire center of
the earth is in effect on fire. Who can live in the presence of so much power and not feel it or find it within oneself?
I have discussed some basic exercises with the fire element in my article on the salamander's Tapheth, Aphtiph, and
Pyrhum. See also my forthcoming article on the cosmic letter K which pursues specifically issues and problems of
faith and omnipotence. So do not come to me and tell me you have been practicing magick for years and that you
have doubts about your faith. I will tell you to go back and start over at the beginning. Find the sources of power
which exists within you. To learn magick, you have to have some magick to begin with and I tell you magick is in
every breath, every heartbeat, every thought, every feeling, and every sensation. On some level, can you love others,
even those you hate? A basic question put to those who would undergo initiation is, "Can you accept all the
suffering in life as well as all the love?" This is an especially challenging question. It goes to the core of our being,
to what it is to feel alive, to what it is to dream, to hope, and seek healing in ourselves and to offer healing to others.
The religions of the world are most clever. They take selfish individuals wrapped up in hatred and greed and dazzle
them with truly magnificent ideals of enlightenment, love, wisdom, and divine missions to fulfill. But in any
individual, examining each on a case by case basis, you can still find and touch the energy which is hatred, greed,
selfishness, jealously, fear, insecurity, and rage. So the question remains, inspite of all the religious stuff, the
ceremonies, rituals, and service, all the devotion, dedication, and sacrifice--Can you get yourself into a space of
mind or heart in which you can embrace all that life is, the suffering and the love? If you can not, the mystery of the
water element is hidden from you. The gate is closed, it is sealed, it is locked. All the magical training and the
wisdom in the world will not transform you. You may find great power and achieve great things but you yourself
will remain locked in heart that is impoverished. What good is it to call yourself a magician and an initiate if you can
not feel the serenity in moonlight so it shines in every cell of your being, the joy which surges through the sea of the
stars, or the bliss in the seas of the earth which have nourished and given birth to all life on earth? To the water
element is the transcendence called omnipresence. It is being able to feel others' feelings, to sense the joys and
sufferings of their lives as if they are your own. In the Bardon tradition, the practice of omnipresence involves
learning to transfer your consciousness into every aspect of nature and every kind of human being and spirit. This
practice is at the center of his training. You want wisdom? You want power? You want purposes and work which
endure through all ages of the world? Then love with all of your heart. The earth element, of course, is practical,
realistic, solid, and "down to earth." When I study the auras of the various planets in our solar system, I am struck by
how much the aura of our planet has to do with building things and making things which endure. If you are serious
about life, you seek to leave behind when you are gone something of enduring value, something which enriches life
for others. This can be spiritual like contemplation. It can be physical like the Empire State Building. It can be a
principle you seek to manifest such as justice and equality as seen in the words of the Constitution of the United
States. But whatever the activity, something of value remains and continues on. This principle of contributing
something of enduring value can be very difficult to come to terms with. If anything is true about human
civilizations, they rise and fall, they pass away, they fade like grass as the Psalmist says in Psalms 90. The years of
our lives are like a dream and then we are no more. It is a wonderful thing to have a job and work. It plugs you into
the economy of your nation and the world. It is one way to participate in this great endeavor called human life. But
the psalmist points out as does the Buddha that everything fades away and everything changes. The mystery of the
earth element is not wisdom, power, or love. It is inner silence. It is the stillness in the command, "Be still and know
that I am God." One of things we do in life as we grow up and also as we develop civilizations is to take a hostile
world and make a home within it. We take danger and we make peace. We take ignorance and we make wisdom.
We take hatred and we make love. There is no end to this process. It is part of what we call life. The mystery of
silence is to understand that everything is transitory and yet to be as responsible as you can for what you control, to
contribute whatever you can that is of value. We make a home in the world and yet as the Psalmist says our dwelling
place is God. The earth element unites the other three--fire, air, and water-- will, wisdom, and love. As we do this,
we transform the world with our lives. The world is a better place for our having passed through it. The question
relating to the transcendence in the earth element is most basic--What actions, what substance of value do you intend
to contribute to life? To put it another way, I think each person has to answer in his or her heart, "Am I giving all I
have to give? Am I giving the best of what I have to give?" I can not put this question to you nor can I hear your
answer as if I am your Zen master listening to see if you have answered my koan. You answer this question in the
presence of God and before the mystery of the universe which exists within your heart. Without embracing this
silence, the seed can not sleep in the earth in winter to later give birth to new life in spring. And you will not be able
to endure the winter of your soul, to find and dream your deepest dreams, to being them into being, and to become
the person you are meant to be. This may sound inspirational but as I say it is most basic and practical. It is about
getting up in the morning and getting done what you need to do. These four aspects of transcendence--faith and
omnipotence, love and omnipresence, wisdom and enlightenment, and silence from which arises our greatest work--
these can be restated as wonder, awe, and gratitude for being alive. If you wish to study the mysteries, find and
nourish these things within yourself at the beginning. They are at the core of your self and you will return to them
again and again and they in turn will provide you with limitless inspiration. Three years ago, a wonderful friendship
came to end which caused me a great deal of grief. Shortly after this, I was meditating with a spirit of the sphere of
Mercury named Aziel and it is he who put to me my life koan, "What is the source within you which heals the
wounds of your heart?" I wrote a poem in reply which I will share with you again in this place. The reason I am
writing this essay is that last week another friendship came to an end. It was the kind of friendship which is meant to
last for a life time. Sometimes between human hearts the flow of empathy and understanding is very deep. But even
the very best things in life come to an end as the spirit who is the Chief Judge of the sphere of Saturn likes to remind
me. These endings are sacred as are new beginnings. One reason to pursue transcendence through all of your
training is because it is not just what inspires you to live life fully and to embrace all that life holds. It is your
experiences in life which will challenge and test you to see just how deep and rich your transcendence is. The
process and flow move in both directions. And so, as I say, there are times when we must return to the core of our
being to discover what is sacred to us and what illuminates us from within. Today I sat within akasha, the akasha of
the sphere of Saturn and the cosmic letter E. The color of dark violet in this case represents for me the oneness of the
universe and of all creatures--we all share in one life, in one being, and in one ultimate destiny. The sound of "D" in
this case symbolizes for me the truth of the physical and the spiritual universe. Nothing is hidden. There is nothing
which can not be found out. There is nothing which shall not be revealed. The penetrating sensation, penetrating
through space and time, brings everything near so that the life which flows through every being and heart I am
united to as well. I am within that openness and that willingness to embrace and to understand. And with this
Saturnian meditation I could feel the pain and loss within me fade away. I did not take two months as it did five
years before. It took a few days and the right spirit within me. Which is another way to say and to feel at the bottom
of my heart that I accept all that is within life, all the suffering and also all of the love. From akasha, from within this
place of spirit which is what akasha is, proceed the four elements which make up the world. And with the air
element, in this moment, I can feel joined to the entire atmosphere of the earth. The light of the sky, its freedom,
wisdom, and delight shine within my mind. With the water element, I can feel the oceans of the earth, the ice caps,
entire seasons without light, the darkness of the ocean trench, the flow of the rivers, the calm serenity of mountain
lakes, the nurturing rain, the flowing fog and rising mist--they fills my dreams with acceptance, love, and peace. The
mountains, the plains, the minerals, the rocks--silence embraces all their changes as I embrace the silence with
which this planet moves through space. This silence which is behind the changes of nature and within the purposes
of God, this silence is my home. And to fire, I sense that the power in the stars is the same power within my heart
and there is no limit to it. Within it is the first light of creation and the ability to dream new dreams and to bring
them into being. The work that has been given to me I shall accomplish for all of my heart, my love, my soul and my
faith are within it. The way I said all of this five years ago is in this poem in answer to the koan of my life--What is
the source within you which heals the wounds of your heart? This is one way to describe the part of myself or the
spirit within me which is transcendent. This is its voice-- My mind is the sky-- Pure, clear, and open Its air flows
through my chest Its winds are my breath My body is the Earth-- In me, Her Silence and endurance reach
consciousness Like Her, I shelter and I protect I am one of Her fruits I am the strength and nourishment upon which
others thrive The oceans are my magnetism and love Rivers my bloodstream Rain my moist fluids Lightning my
heartbeat Thunder my voice I am life sustaining and giving birth to life The volcano and magma at the center of the
earth Are my will and power unfolding I burn, I consume, I destroy Yet I heal the broken heart And bring joy and
excitement to life The turning of the seasons The circle of the stars dancing I am Eternity uniting with time I am the
nobility of the sun Its inner union and fusion of opposites And through its light My Song streams forth to the ends of
the universe I am the serenity of the moon Fluid, malleable, and changing I am harsh, cold, and empty I choose the
place of your birth I am warm, sweet, and nurturing I reunite what is lost All dreams arise from my light I am
tenderness overflowing from the heart I am within and I awaken The seeds of spirit hidden within all things I am the
Celebration of Life I am the deepest peace within the soul I only exist to reveal the gifts Which otherwise remain
unknown And there is no where I will not go To bless or join with those who love. To put it simply, the beauty of
the universe, of creation, and nature are a source of inspiration which heals and nourishes me when I experience pain
and loss. Each of us no doubt will have our own sources of inspiration which heal us and renew us again and again.

God's Presence and Hermetic Metaphysics Introduction.


I would like to speak briefly about my view of God and religion drawing from what I have learned from personal
experience. But first I would like about speak of Franz Bardon's point of view since he has been of great assistance
to me in the areas of method and practice. Bardon, however, does not give specific rituals and ceremonies which an
individual might utilize to further his devotional life. In part, Bardon feels that it is fine for an individual to reply
upon the religion of his upbringing if that is where the individual is most comfortable. By contrast, Bardon's interest
is in training an individual according to universal principles rather than in promoting specific forms of worship,
devotion, and traditional ways of communing with God. Let's consider this view briefly. From Bardon's point of
view, man is in the image of God and God is within him. Specifically, a magician according to Bardon seeks to
know God in all his aspects which are analogous to the four elements: "the fiery principle involves the almightiness
and the omnipotence, the airy original principle owns the wisdom, purity and clearness, from the aspect of which
proceeds the universal lawfulness. Love and eternal life are attributed to the watery principle, and the omnipresence,
immortality and consequently eternity belong to the earthy principle. These four aspects together represent the
supreme Godhead." In brief, the entire universe on all planes and all physical and spiritual beings have been
fashioned from out of the four elements. Each human being is a microcosm reflecting the consciousness and the
energies in the entire universe, the macrocosm. In training, therefore, the idea is to move step by step and
systematically toward becoming conscious of these energies discovering them and mastering them first within
oneself. This involves mastering each of the four elements with equal ability on each of the planes from the physical
world to the highest levels of God consciousness. Revealed religions often present a very personal God who can be
approached through specific ways. These ways are often specified according to orthodox interpretations by
individuals claiming to be authorities. Now it is a wonderful thing to go to a place or follow certain practices which
offer a feeling and reassurance that one is in right alignment with God. I am all for that freedom of choice. Yet there
is also a tradition in which Jacob wrestled with an angel and God commands, "Be still and know that I am God."
There is something to be said for first hand, direct, and personal experience. Bardon emphasizes this path of direct
experience. Now in the Bardon system, in addition to the elaborate beginning practices, there is a grand metaphysics
which you can explore depending on your own inclinations and abilities. Besides the beings representing the four
elements, the aura of the earth contains vast numbers of highly developed spiritual beings. Bardon describes a few
paragraphs for over 360 of these beings. If you are a little psychic or intuitive, it is not so difficult to interact with
these spirits and get to know them in a friendly sort of way. See my article on Some Dialogues with Earthzone
Spirits and also the articles under Spirits of the Earthzone. There are also spirits associated with the auras of the
various planets in our solar system--beginning with the moon, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn,
Uranus, and Neptune. Bardon has also described a great number of these beings as well. In terms of the Jewish
Kabbalah, I consider most of these beings to be spirits who are presided over to some extent by an archangel of that
planetary sphere. For example, the 28 spirits of the lunar zone which Bardon describes are associated with the
archangel Gabriel. These 28 spirits are of less comprehensive ability and power than the archangel. You could say
they are specialists whereas the archangel is more universal and has a wider range of influence. From my
experience, the spirits Bardon describes are very capable of teaching and acting within their areas of ability. Some
are and some are not particularly friendly. That is, they do not like to be bothered unless you are quite serious in
your purpose and clearly know what you are doing. In other words, they are kind of like university professors. They
are busy and active and do not have time for nonsense. Archangels, by contrast, are much more friendly and
personable. They are like presidents of colleges, the head of the alumni association, or the dean of admissions. They
actively promote good feelings about their college or area of spiritual activity. They are in public relations. They
have a reputation to maintain. And all of them have interacted in human history in very specific ways. They know
human beings. The problem with talking to an archangel is that they are so positive and friendly, it is easy to come
away being deceived about the level of difficulty involved in whatever you are trying to accomplish. I can talk to the
head of a medical school or a specific college and if they feel my interest is genuine and my commitment real they
will speak in lavish terms of the career opportunities available after I have finished my training at their institute. But
this does not mean in any way that organic chemistry, calculus, or statistics are going to be any less easy as classes
to get through. You still have to do your homework and attend class if you are going to accomplish anything at all. I
met an individual recently who knows Bill Gates and Paul Allen, the founders of Microsoft and Apple computers. I
do not think she really understands the industries they are involved with or their significance and influence. Her
response is based on personal tastes and opinions about how someone should act. The same is true in my experience
with archangels. They are easy to get to know personally but these beings stand within eternity and oversee the
entire history of the human race so interacting with them always carries with it the possibility of self-deception for
the simple reason that they are often too vast to comprehend. I describe some of my experiences with Gabriel under
the section Spirits of the Planetary Spheres. In brief, then, I find that in addition to the over five hundred spirits
Bardon describes, there remain the traditional Kabbalist archangels which preside over these spirits in their
respective spheres. Bardon mentions a few of these such as Metatron. I was asked recently whether these archangels
relate only to our solar system. In my experience, this is pretty much the case. There are spirits of other stars, solar
systems, galaxies, and so forth which on occasion involve themselves elsewhere to fulfill some purpose. Having
considered this metaphysical outline of a magician's spiritual universe, we return to the question about God and
religion. In Kabbalah, there are ten sephiroth which represent the ways God emanates energy to the universe. These
sephiroth present God's Presence in ten different ways according to different themes and purposes. The auras and
spirits of the planets embody these themes and purposes in more concrete ways. This is analogous to universities
again. If you want science and technology, you might consider MIT. If you want to teach, you might consider the
University of Chicago. If you want theology, you go to a divinity school, law to a law school, and for the armed
forces you go to a military school such as Annapolis or West Point. Similarly, if you want contentment and peace
you go to the lunar zone. If you want intelligence and science, you go to the Mercury zone. If you want ecstatic love
and art, you go to the sphere of Venus. If you want universal light, love, and service, you to the sphere of the sun. If
you want total self-mastery and divine power you meditate within the sphere of Mars. If you want to vastly expand
your opportunities for new experiences and service you go to the sphere of Jupiter. If you want to comprehend first
hand cosmic justice, fate, and the purpose of life's limitations, you go to the sphere of Saturn, and so forth. All of
these other spheres are represented in a more practical and approachable manner in the 360 spirits of the earthzone.
Nonetheless, there is a remarkable difference between specific beings and God's Presence as presented in the ten
sephiroth. Human beings are found in the physical world. Spirits such as elementals are found on the astral plane.
Higher spirits are found on the mental plane or in the planetary spheres and so forth. These beings all have specific
and limited abilities no matter how wide ranging or vast their influence and sphere of action. But the God Presence
is found on all plane, in all spheres, and it is not finite. It is infinite. Its creative capacity is without beginning or end
and no specific thing in the universe can define it. It is best known by studying all that it has created by it and
joining with this Presence itself in an act of creation. Lovers, therefore, present the best analogy to who and what
God is. I offer this poem expressing the voice of Vehuiah of the sphere of Mercury with whom I was discussing this
very issue: What is like unto God? What breath can express His Presence? Whose voice can sing His songs? What
created thing reflects His Essence? What image captures His form? What priest or sage can measure His mystery?
What prophet or mage can comprehend His plans? Is there an artist anywhere in the universe, A sculptor whose
hands are so skilled, That he can create beauty like unto the beauty God creates on a billion billion worlds? Can the
creature ever understand the Creator? But wait! Lovers are like this-- They anoint each other with their bliss. Their
souls embrace, their innermost essence they taste. There is nothing they hold back in the giving. Love is their breath,
their voice, their song, and their art. Their love celebrates and partakes of God's beauty. This wonder is at the heart
of the universe-- It is a pageantry like no other, A drama of immense suspense. Wisdom, power, and magick play
only supporting parts. I impart faith, conviction, and the perfection of will So divine love might enter the earth. For
myself, I find that God's Presence expresses itself through the themes and purposes of the ten sephiroth. In other
words, through each sphere and planet's aura in our solar system, God's Presence is found underneath as an infinite
energy and limitless consciousness which creates in the following ways: In Malkuth/the Earth: It creates strength,
endurance, and abundance--all of life's experiences are here to be appreciated and fulfilled. In Yesod/the Moon: It
creates peace and contentment, happiness and satisfaction. In Hod/Mercury: It creates whatever you need to fulfill
your purposes--the perfection of intelligence forming and shaping the world. In Netzach/Venus: It creates oneness,
personal beauty, harmony, and love. In Tipareth/the Sun: It creates integration, unity, full consciousness of all
aspects of life and the universe--a cosmic harmony and union. The entire universe exists in a state of oneness yet
who is conscious of this? In Gevurah/Mars: It creates the will and the power to overcome all opposition and
obstacles. In Chesed/Jupiter: It creates opportunities for new experience, for fulfillment, and for wealth on every
level and in every area of life. In Binah/Saturn: It creates justice, order, balance, and responsibility--that is,
responsibility for everything that exists. In Chockmah/Uranus: It creates new destinies, new paths of life. It lays the
foundations for new civilizations. It makes all things new by the power of its voice. In Kether/Neptune: It is within
everything, a part of everything, and it is the source from which all things arise. It creates visions, dreams,
intimations, and prophecies of what can be which reveal the depths of life and of the mysteries of the heart. All of
the sephiroth are contained and interwoven as one here just as all of the sephiroth are manifested in some concrete,
physical, and distinct manner in Malkuth. In summary, then, my experience indicates that entering God's Presence,
the "Be still and know that I am God," leads to experiencing the infinite power to create in accord with these ten
different themes and purposes. Again, you can sit down with the president of a college, the President, e.g., of the
United States, or Bill Gates for that matter. But when you shake hands and talk, it does not mean that this encounter
grants you a college degree, the right to command the armed forces, or the ability to write a simple program using
C++ computer language. It does mean, however, that you can ask questions and get answers from individuals who
have responsibility for and who exercise oversight over their respective disciplines, nations, and industries.
Likewise, when you enter God's presence you understand that the entire universe is an on-going creation of infinite
love and beauty. And that there is infinite power open and available for participating in and celebrating this wonder.
In my experience, these sephiroth or emanations of God's Presence are like ten gates. I do not find anyone, any
spirit, or being guarding these gates. No archangel embodies even one per cent of God Presence. No created being is
in a position to say, "This is where God is or this is the way in which God is active." This temple of God's Being is
found within each of our hearts. Each of us has the freedom and the prerogative to seek this Presence, this creative
power, in our own way, in our own time, and according to our own unique vision.

The Presence of God, Part I


Introduction
In the psychic level of chapter 9 of his book, Initiation into Hermetics, Franz Bardon describes a practice for uniting
with God. One of the methods he suggests is identical with those customarily used by Tibetan lamas in teaching
tantra. In tantra, you become one with your object of worship.

As Bardon puts it, the meditations enable “him to establish the union with his God which is the sum and substance
of this training course.” Bardon’s training system is highly systematic, step by step, and requires rigorous practice
over a large number of years. For masters such as Bardon, you do not get results unless you put in the requisite
work.

I would like to suggest that, in addition to the emphasis on method and accomplishment, there is also something
incredibly exciting and awesome that you can experience as well at the beginning of the practice. After all, the
practice Bardon recommends in chapter 9 of his book is in effect the summation of all the religious, mystical,
spiritual, and magical practices on this planet put into one meditation. This goal is also a magnificent quest, a quest
you can experience and taste every day. You can start with your sense of awe and wonder right in the beginning and
deepen this inspiration throughout the course of your life.

To describe this meditation in straightforward manner, you are, as Bardon says, ennobling your psychic
“personality to such a degree that the Godhead can live in it.” You seek to familiarize yourself with, study, develop,
and finally embody all four aspects of divinity--omnipotent power, omniscient wisdom, omnipresent love, and the
immortality and rejuvenation of the body. Your body and soul become a temple so balanced, refined, and developed
that, as Bardon says, “the Godhead can live in it.” You unite to God and find God within yourself.
There are obviously quite a few requisites to this practice. Bardon mentions, for example, that you have to
achieve a equilibrium between the four elements in your soul. You have to become conscious of the darkness within
yourself and refine your personality so that you seek to embody the highest ideals including a commitment to be of
service to mankind.

Just imagine that if you are considering uniting with God as a goal, embodying His divine aspects in yourself,
there will be all sorts of difficulties and dangers that will confront you. Among these are the typical vices that attach
themselves to those with a religious temperament--fanaticism, self-righteousness, feelings of superiority, the elitism
concealed in feeling chosen, arrogance, narrow-mindedness, and also self-doubt, dependence on and attachment to
external authorities, feelings of being riddled with guilt, acute fear of the unknown, fear of being contaminated or
loss of purity, fear of desire, repression, and habitual complacency and conformity, desire for recognition, etc. All
of these things will have to be dealt with if you wish to find God within yourself.

There is also a purely psychological problem that is typical with those who emphasize a personal relationship with
God. Bardon mentions, “Many religions are talking about the practical connection with God, giving expression to
the personal point of view that this connection can be established already by addressing God in the form of a prayer,
of adoration, or of giving thanks to God.”

Interaction with God in the mode of a personal relationship is ideal for praying, making requests, expressing
concerns, adoring, and thanking. The problem is that in point of fact those who focus exclusively on relating to God
in a personal mode invariably, almost without exception, fail to develop their relationship to God so as to embody
Him within themselves. They do not prepare for the encounter with God. In a nutshell, they have no spiritual
practices that offer serious possibilities of development monitored by quality control.

There is nothing rigorous about their spiritual training that systematically develops the body, soul, mind, and
spirit so that these are carefully aligned and strengthened so that God can appear within them. I have included at the
end of this essay a slightly humorous and yet also serious discussion between Moses, Aaron, and God over the
nature of this temple, whether it is external to the body or internal. In that poem, which is from my book Mystical
Fables, I am not addressing what happened historically between Moses and God. I am attempting to go to the
essence of man’s relationship to God. See also my stories on Balaam, a Gentile Prophet, and St. Columba, for ways
individuals sought to enter the Presence of God.

Bardon also describes several methods for practicing. One of these he calls a magical and active form of
invocation--step by step and deliberately you develop the inner, spiritual part of yourself so that it “rises up to God
half-way and the later comes to meet him half-way down.” In regard to the details of this method, Bardon says,
“The manner of invocation is absolutely individual, because there does not exist any concrete method.”

In this essay, I am simply sharing some of my experiences with invoking God within myself. In Quabbalah, there
are ten sephiroth or domains of experience through which God reveals himself and creates the universe. I am
describing some of my experiences with the first four of these ten sephiroth.

I was raised a Baptist in the Evangelical Christian tradition. I will limit my comments on religion and use
religious examples only to clarify how my point of view and experience differ from positions that are more
traditional and more well-known. At all times, however, my emphasis, like Bardon’s, is on direct, first-hand, and
personal experience. I am not selling something. I am sharing. I seek to encourage others to experience and to
share in return.

Within Evangelical Christianity, for example, there are a variety of interpretations about what a personal
relationship with God is. At one extreme is the evangelical who asserts that it is only Christ and the Holy Spirit who
are important. God plays no active role in our faith. God kind of got demoted after Christ and the Holy Spirit
showed up. God does has an honorary position in the trinity. After all, He did create the universe and He did deal
with Israel and the prophets, but now we have moved beyond those things.

At the other extreme is the minister in a Lutheran Church I once attended at a wedding who said, “God is the
Beloved.” You do not write off a lover and wave the lover aside as if there is nothing further to get to know about
the other. You seek to unite with a lover. I am aligned with this kind of interpretation.

I would also point out that before Christ and the Holy Spirit showed up in the New Testament, David was writing
hundreds of years before in a psalm that has enriched the lives of millions of people: “The Lord is my shepherd, I
shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. He leadeth me besides the still waters. He restoreth
my soul....” It is quite clear to me from the words of David that David has an interactive and personal relationship
with God that is at least the equal of anything I have ever heard any Christian express verbally.
David treated God as a personal guide, protector, inspirer, friend, and guardian of his soul. Yet God did not
permit David to build Him a temple because David had too much blood on his hands. It was David’s son, Solomon,
who built in Jerusalem a temple to God. What I am saying along with Bardon and what I would asset was Christ’s
teaching also is that your body and soul are a far more wonderful and perfect temple in which God can reside than
any building, temple, or cathedral made out of wood, brick, or stones. And yet there is still a need to ennoble our
personalities so that God can appear within us. This is a life long practice and there is no end to it.

Method
Recall that Bardon states that “The manner of invocation is absolutely individual.” Here is a personal method that I
often use. It is my application of the words, “Be still and know that I am God.” There is a simple way to illustrate
this method. You imagine your body, soul, and mind to be like a mirror that reflects whatever is in front of it
without blurring or distorting the image.

To get a taste for this, you can image a tree, an animal, a mountain, a lake, the sky, etc. And then you relax and
make yourself completely still. Your body is motionless, your soul is clear, and your mind is empty. Then you
reflect that image into yourself so that it is the only thing in your consciousness.

It is not at all important if you imagine the image inside of your body or, like a hologram, just appearing in empty
air. There is no concern about whether the image is here or there, in me, or elsewhere. Or, try it both ways, first
visualizing something outside of your body and next inside of your body. The idea is to find what works for you.

After a while, you become familiar with the state of body, soul, and mind that in themselves are no longer
attached to physical being, feelings, or thoughts. The point is to be free to receive impressions and intuitions of a
higher order without distorting or blurring them. God, after all, is not reflected in any image. This does not mean
you can not use analogies and metaphors to express the impressions and intuitions you receive. You just have to
make these analogies accurate enough to represent what your individual experience is.

The sentence, “Be still and know that I am God,” is not just about being still. It is also about knowing. If you
know something, you should be able to express at least to yourself what it is you know. As I point out in the
sephiroth of Hod, communication is absolutely essential when discussing truth. Since God is infinite, we will all
have our own individual perspectives and experiences with this truth. In this case, there is something to be said for
sharing.

The Presence of God in Malkuth, the Kingdom


The sephiroth or domain called Malkuth means the kingdom. It refers to the physical world and to the entire
physical universe for that matter. With each of the domains or sephiroth, I experience God as a creator. If you enter
the presence of God, you are imbued with the power to create according to the themes and purposes of each domain.

In this domain, God’s Presence creates strength, endurance, and abundance--all of life’s experiences are here to
be appreciated and fulfilled. When I become very still and focus inward on the Presence of God appearing within
myself, I feel these things manifesting in me--strength, endurance, and all that brings about abundance.

The specific test I seek as I open myself to discern God’s Presence is a sensation or an intuition that I am
connected to something infinite. No spirit or archangel in the universe has this quality of infinity present in its aura
or mind as a quality or emanation, but God very definitely does.

Here are some of my thoughts on this Presence. When God says, “Be fruitful and multiply and have dominion
over the earth,” He means just that. This Presence grants human beings the ability to attain complete power over
this planet in every aspect. This is a creative power. It can accomplish the impossible and it is within our power
eventually to master the process by which the planet earth was created. If you touch God’s aura in this aspect, there
is no doubt about this.

By becoming familiar and dwelling within this Presence, I notice that I am not only becoming more familiar with
these qualities. I am also beginning to emanate them. It is like the Presence of God is reflecting in and through me
not just the qualities but the ability also to create these qualities in others. Like I say, if you enter the presence of the
Creator you also, like Him, become involved in creating.
Like God, we have within us incomprehensive powers to be hard-working, committed, determined, and
inexhaustible in our industriousness. This is the nature of the creative will when it comes to manifesting something
that is tangible and real, solid and enduring.

To enter God’s Presence is to unite with God. The Infinite is around you, within you, a part of you, and also
moving through you. You unite with it and are a part of it according to your virtue and your strength.

The Presence of God, however, is not silent or still though it takes inner silence and stillness to find it. Like sex,
it is an act of creating something new. You unite with God in this aspect because you want to create something new
right now. This Presence is creative power in action transforming the physical world.

Some individuals are never fully here in the physical world. They are like lost souls, disoriented, or confused.
When you touch the God Presence on this level, you become one of the primary actors on the stage of life. You are
not a passive member of the audience. You are the writer, producer, director, and the one who brings it all to life
through your actions.

To comprehend this a little more clearly, you might take a few moments and review in your mind some of the
great achievements of mankind purely on the level of constructing and building things. Different societies put a lot
of work, for example, into building the pyramids, the great wall of China, the Panama Canal, the Hoover Dam, and
so forth.

Carefully imagine a number of individuals who are extremely hard working and industrious, totally committed to
their mission, and nearly inexhaustible in their energy.

We will all have our own evaluation of the worth of these various projects. Why take the incredibly fertile river
valley of the Nile and, with all the surplus income generated, use that wealth to build tombs to house dead pharaohs?
What a great waste of a historical opportunity!

A more favorable point of view on the pyramids is that they represented to foreign nations the great wonder and
divinity of the pharaohs. In the old days, if you could impress upon your enemies how great you were, they would
not be so inclined to attack you--they would consider you to be superior and protected by divinity. And from the
point of view of the Pharaoh, like some Tibetan lamas or businessmen I know, if you keep people occupied with
busy work as an end in itself, they are not as likely to have time to complain or think about all the other things they
could be doing in life.

But from time to time in the ancient world there were individuals who enjoyed a close association with God and
who were also extremely industrious. Joseph interpreted dreams by divine inspiration and was also assigned the
task of running Egypt. Similarly, Daniel cultivated and received divine visions and also was placed in charge of
running Babylon. Unlike Carnegie and other entrepreneurs of the nineteenth century, these men of old were both
industrious and illuminated by God from within.

Returning to our meditation, imagine that you are the source of the inspiration to all those dedicated to getting the
job done, whatever that job may be. Sometimes they do not listen very carefully to or understand the purpose
behind hard work. Nonetheless, you remain the inexhaustible source of their motivation, drive to work, and
commitment.

Imagine that this essence of materializing things though hard work flows through you to all of these individuals
now and all through history. Feel that power, that desire, and the satisfaction that comes to those who know they
have made something of great and enduring value. If you can accomplish a meditation like this, then you are
drawing close to the feeling of the Divine Presence in this domain.

Another aspect of God’s Presence in this domain is that, as a creator, your intent is to guarantee a specific result.
As I meditate in this Presence, I can easily imagine pursuing this meditation for the rest of my life. It is
inexhaustible and, as I point out over and over, the Presence is infinite.

Nonetheless, in every case that I imagine, this Presence is oriented, concerned, and committed to producing a
specific end. If you run a business, you maximize the quality, value, efficiency, and amount of your production. If
you run a monastery, even if the monastery’s goal is to produce an enlightened state of mind, you are still oriented
toward a specific result.

Under this influence, you become incredibly sharp about how to produce the results that you want--in the case of
the above monastery, students whose minds are unshakeable and who possess the qualities of mind that your goal
demands. You train the students and you order the activities of the monastery in such a way that these results are
inevitable.

In all cases, whether businessman, banker, abbot, priest, poet, or lover, you bring every resource to bear upon
accomplishing what you are after. This is the Presence that oversees and inspires the Protestant Ethic--you treat
God as a personal resource Who assists you in accomplishing your work here on earth. A Protestant in this tradition
goes to church each week to renew his commitment to hard work, to living an upright and righteous life, and to
producing something that is of practical and enduring value.

The difference between a Protestant’s conception of God and this Presence is that this Presence of God, besides
hard work, is also interested in manifesting God’s Kingdom on earth--that is, manifesting justice, peace between the
nations, and affirming the dignity and expanding the opportunities of every person. In my experience, Protestants
have special difficulties in conceiving of these things. It is not that they do not talk about it. It is rather that the
ideal, the dream, and the commitment to accomplishing them is not in their hearts.

You could, of course, point to the overcoming of slavery, the civil rights movement, and women’s suffrage as
examples of changes in society brought about to affirm the dignity of every person. But in many cases, it was the
Protestant church that fought against and still fights against these things. The Southern Baptists in the U.S. split
with the Northern Baptists because the Southern Baptists were in favor of slavery. It was a necessary aspect of their
plantation economy, a necessity insuring productivity.

The Southern Baptists still resist, based on the words of St. Paul, allowing women an equal place in their
churches. Paul, you remember, fought for years against racism as he tried to get the church fathers in Jerusalem to
recognize his gentile converts as Christians. Paul resorted to bribing the early church fathers with money offered by
his churches to gain the support of the leaders in Jerusalem. His timing was incredibly inept and ineffective. He
arrived in Jerusalem with his money and was promptly arrested by the Romans. A short period later Jerusalem was
besieged and completely leveled by the Romans. God had another plan in mind when it came to convincing the
church father’s about the universality of the Christian gospel.

Therefore, there is a danger of trying to accomplish a great purpose too quickly. If you do not take into
consideration the full perspective of God but only the part that fits your personal and cultural values, you end up
ignoring things like--manifesting justice, peace between the nations, and affirming the dignity and expanding the
opportunities of every person. History then turns against you as it turned against Paul and the early Christian leaders
who chose to make Jerusalem the center of their political and religious activities.

God is the absolute master of history. As the 90th psalm puts it, “You turn man to destruction and say, ‘Return
you children of men.’ A thousand years in God’s sight is as nothing. In God’s Presence in this domain, there is an
overwhelming and absolute impulse to create and manifest enduring works of value. But this Presence also entails
wisdom.

Rather than becoming obsessed with busy work, becoming a workaholic, and a person of many accomplishments,
be sure first that you spend some time learning to see through the eyes of the divine. There are obviously many
cases where you have to exert command in order to insure you get the results that you demand. Never doubt that.
But it is also outside of most individuals’ imagination that you can accomplish more by motivating by love rather
than by fear, by offering understanding and opportunity rather than manipulating and controlling by force of will.

One of the things God is willing to do is to offer you the opportunity to observe both procedures so that you can
judge through experience your best course of action. When I say that love is more powerful than hate that is
because I study malice and hate every day and I weigh them against the infinite power that is in love. And so I draw
my own conclusions about which methods to use in my work.

A Tai Chi Chuan master I know talks about “divine order” when he speaks of his practice. It is a nice phrase to
express the result of God’s Presence in this domain. You gain a sense of divine order so that it is expressed in and
through your life. To be productive, we have to order our activities. If you order your life attuning it to the
Presence of God, then you have divine order. With a sense of divine order, anxiety is gone. Depression is gone.
Despair is gone. Insecurity is gone. None of these things can come close to you without being destroyed.

With a sense of divine order, you are conscientious and enthusiastic to use every moment to build something and
to make something new that expresses the love that is within you. But this enthusiasm does not translate into being
busy. It means that you see a purpose being fulfilled in every activity. You are alert and relaxed, open and yet
focused, sharp and also spontaneous. And in every moment you are ready to take the unknown and the difficult and
make it into something familiar and friendly.
In summary, God’s Presence in Malkuth, the kingdom, creates strength, endurance, and abundance--all of life’s
experiences are here to be appreciated and fulfilled. Under this inspiration, you realize the full value of the material
world to capture and to give expression to what you imagine. The task is to make the physical world--our bodies,
our communities, our societies, and our destinies--into a temple in and through which the creativity of God appears.
According to my letter if you would like to find more materials on turning the body into a temple of God, see my article on the philosopher’s
stone-- http://www.lava.net/~pagios/alchemy.htm ).I`ve added this material however it should be compared i.e.

The Presence of God in Yesod--The Foundation


In this domain, the Presence of God creates peace and contentment, happiness and satisfaction. The scripture is
clear on this. Christ said, “From their bellys shall flow streams of living water.” And also, “And he showed me a
pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the
street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded
her fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” The above examples tell us
something about the influence of God on human beings.

When you touch God’s aura or unite with His Presence in this aspect, you become, to the extent you are prepared,
a sea of infinite bliss, love, and peace. It surrounds you. It is a part of you. And it flows through you to others.
Touched by this Presence, you are the source that is overflowing because it is creating without limit or restriction.

It is as if in a moment you can clearly see an entire human life and every need and desire that this individual has
ever or will ever feel. And then, through your creative power, you fulfill every need and satisfy every desire. There
is no limit on how much you can offer.

It is like this--as if you could take an individual outside of time and offer him or her a taste of the pleasure and
ecstasy that flows through God’s own blood. And then you say, “Return now to your own time and your situation in
life. Having tasted this bliss, you now know beyond all doubt what being fully alive is all about.”

Once again, we can work from more familiar human terms toward this Divine Presence through a meditation.
Imagine that you are again a fetus in your mother’s womb. You are sentient and aware of being suspended in liquid
while a heartbeat continuously sounds. You are safe, at peace, and surging with life.

Now imagine that you are an adult and that another person loves you with all of his or her heart and you also love
this person with all of your heart. Hold that awareness of receiving and supporting all that another person is and
feeling this in return.

And finally imagine you are a guardian angel who watches over an individual’s incarnation. Imagine a flow of
love that extends from you to this person in incarnation and that this flow of love never ends. And when the
individual finally dies, you welcome the individual into the greater light and love that ever flows from your heart.

Now bring all three of these meditations together into one. Relax, take some time, and allow them to join. Each
supports and embraces the others. They flow through each other like water being poured into water. The Divine
Presence is like this except there is no end to it--it embraces everything everywhere throughout the universe.

I asked about what I am missing in one of the subsequent sessions I did while working with this Presence. It was
pointed out to me that this vibration is physical as well as spiritual. The fetus in the womb is physical. It has
physical sensations.

Christ in Christian doctrine is God in physical form. God’s love manifests physically. It can be felt and touched.
In Malkuth, God’s inspiration produces things that are real and solid and enduring. In Yesod, you feel like you are
being physically held by a lover. This is not an otherworldly vibration. It is not spiritual in the sense of being non-
tangible. It is as real and material as your breath, your heartbeat, and the blood flowing through your veins.

One of the things to note about the sphere of Yesod is that it requires direct experience and immersion in
pleasure, bliss, and ecstasy so that you know profound satisfaction and gratification. If you do not have these things
and you pursue a spiritual life, then it is very easy to become twisted emotionally and mentally blind. The inner
need that is denied exerts control over your mind.
When I focus on the God Presence within myself, I also get the image of the crystal ball I sometimes see the
archangel Gabriel holding. I become this crystal ball that is the prophetic vision and also that offers the fulfillment
to all dreams, desires, and needs. It is an aspect of Divine Providence that actively assumes responsibility for
insuring this fulfillment of all experience through creation. It is the power to insure that your heart’s desire is
materialized so that you can experience it until it becomes internalized and a part of you.

The archangel Gabriel seems to be an angelic representative of this domain. He embodies within his aura a
prophetic awareness, a crystal clear vision, of the entire history of the human race on earth. His vibration offers not
just a vision of your deepest desires and longings. His aura offers the materialization of these things according to
your virtue, strength, and clarity of vision. He brings into being what is within your heart according to your ability
to receive.

The difference between the archangel Gabriel and God’s Presence in the sphere of Yesod is that Gabriel only
brings about what he sees within your heart. He is passive in this sense. He brings about the deepest desires of the
heart that have already been revealed by God to you. God, by comparison to the archangel Gabriel, is not so
restricted.

God, as you recall, creates out of nothing. With God, you discover what is hidden outside of an archangel’s
vision. And with God you become the original source that gives and there is no limit to it and no restriction placed
upon it. You learn to nurture, to heal, to restore, to renew, and to grant peace and happiness.

When you look up at the stars at night within this sphere of God’s Presence you almost hear the words, “All of
this I have created that you might see, taste, and come to realize the depth of My bliss.”

When the astrophysicist is also a shaman who unites with the object that he studies, when the astronomer also
practices star gazing so that he finds the oscillations of light within his own consciousness as well, when the nuclear
physicist can sense with his skin gamma, X-rays, gravity waves, and cosmic radiation, and when the meteorologist,
volcanologist, oceanographer, and geologist can speak directly with the angels and archangels presiding over
physical creation, then the human race will be in a better position to appreciate God’s Presence in this domain.

Another way to say this is that you learn to feel all the feelings within another human being and then you
transform them so that they overflow with peace and love. It is far more subtle and not at all repressive like a
conversion that gets someone to turn away from their vices and mistakes. It is more alchemical and accepting--it
receives all that a person is and, through the power of love, raises the vibration so that instead of the pain of
separation there is the joy of union. In this domain, the act of creation is very nurturing and, without effort,
purifying.

In the meditation I described earlier involving a fetus in the womb, a lover in the arms of another lover, and a
guardian angel greeting a soul as it departs from physical form--in all three cases, an individual is enfolded with a
love that saturates every cell and part of their being; every memory is seen from the within the light of love. From
the trauma of birth, the separation from one’s love, and letting go of one’s life, there is an experience of terrible loss.
But God’s Presence in Yesod overcomes this loss and heals this trauma.

In this domain, you become the oneness that heals every wound. It joins with another and enfolds them with love.
This Presence has always been weak with the human race. The experience of infinite peace has not been well taught
or received. As a result, for eons humanity has suffered terribly, haunted by a loss and confusion it has been unable
to overcome.

When a man appears who is united with God from within, an individual conceived under the agency of the
archangel Gabriel, this man is forced to say to his disciples, “There are many things I would teach you but you are
not able to bear them.”

The fetus can not remain in the mother’s womb. There comes a time when lovers go their separate ways. The
guardian angel is limited in the love it can give by the love a soul is able to receive. Nonetheless, in each case the
love given was enfolding of the other, enabling a high level of growth and creative activity.

Each man and woman has his or her own way of finding peace. In this regard, even the archangel Gabriel, a
representative sent by God, has actions that are misunderstood and his intentions are doubted. Zacharius and Joseph
do not understand the message conveyed. Harod twists the meaning and then finds the idea so threatening that he
sends troops to kill children in order to prevent it.
Only Mary and the three wise men comprehend it and the prophet Isaiah hundreds of years before envisioned this
will of God manifesting. The twelve disciples, so excited with the prospect of founding a new religion, never found
this Presence within themselves. And so the church, denying pleasure, bliss, satisfaction, and gratification, never
had a chance to conceive of much less experience an infinite peace where all desire comes to rest.

Based on my experience, if you meet the archangel Gabriel or enter God’s Presence in this domain, you discover
that sensuality and spirituality are not separate. They are inextricably joined to the extent that they have the same
taste and express themselves in the same way. (See my poem, The Beloved, that was written under the influence of
the archangel Gabriel.)

In the Mahabarata, it says, “Happiness is inevitable.” Let me say this another way. There comes a moment in the
course of time when each individual is free to put aside doctrines, traditions, and even the voice of angels and
archangels. In this regard, even the prophets and sacred scriptures can not guide you, for you are seeking the source
of the inspiration of which they are but a dim reflection. And so you turn in another direction to find God’s
Presence within yourself.

There is no being or spirit capable of guarding the gates to this Presence. It is infinite and there is no way to stop
it or hold it back from manifesting if you want it. God’s Presence renews or makes new anything, rejuvenating and
sustaining it. In my experience, God’s Presence also will set up a specific flow of energy through you that renews
you from within. It surrounds and encompasses you with a healing and soothing vibration. It gets inside of you
offering purity and reviving power.

A second meditation, therefore, is to open yourself to receive impressions about the specific nurturing and
healing energy of God’s Presence as it flows through you. If you can sense this, it may help to imagine then, as in a
Bardon exercise, that the entire universe surrounding you is filled with this one energy. Imagine yourself as a
universe of nurturing and healing energy. This type of imaginative exercise helps to loosen up the blocks and
rigidity within oneself so that the energy has a chance to flow through you and to be fully experienced.

A lot of lovers who really love each other encounter a difficult problem if they are deficient in the energy of this
domain. They love but they still lack inner contentment, happiness, and peace. And so they may strive to give this
to or get this from each other, knowing it is an essential part if not the heart of a loving relationship. And then
because they know not how to offer or find this gift, they fall victim to doubts. They begin to suspect that their love
is defective in a way they do not comprehend.

In other words, if you can find happiness and peace in yourself before you seek to join with another, then you do
not burden the relationship with a liability neither of you has the resources to pay off. Inner peace, contentment,
serenity, and happiness are distinct and separate from uniting with another in love. They are two different things at
least in terms of themes and purpose and certainly in terms of the inspiration offered by God’s Presence.

And so a third meditation relating to sensing God’s Presence in Yesod is to imagine as before that you are a sea of
infinite peace, contentment, happiness, satisfaction, serenity, pleasure, and bliss. But add to this the sense that you
offer all of this to the world in which you live. Whoever is receptive to your energy receives these gifts. This is the
way God is in Yesod, the Foundation. Make no mistake about it and never underestimate its importance. It is the
vehicle and foundation of all other manifestations of God. It is the virility and nurturing capacity that insures their
stability and empowers their perfection.

Individuals who are strong in the energy of Yesod, that is, who have an inner contentment and their own
happiness, are remarkable independent. They can tell immediately if something is right or not for them without
having to think about it. They know intuitively if they want another’s inner soul to flow through their own and so
they do not overexpose themselves or become easily entangled with the wrong person.

One of the virtues of Malkuth is discrimination. You know through experience and worldly wisdom how to
respond in different situations. You know what works and what does not. You understand the world as it is without
trying to make your own illusions and false assumptions work within or upon it.

But there is an exception to this virtue of discrimination. There is a time when discrimination does not work.
There is at time when it does not matter how worldly wise you are or how much experience you have. And this is
when your inner desire or need grows so strong that it blinds you to all that your mind tells you is wrong. This
character flaw then becomes your fate.

In order to be successful in Malkuth, you also need the inner peace of Yesod. “To everything a time and a
season.” If you know yourself and that specific desires must be fulfilled during this life, then you look for the
situation which enables that to happen in the best way possible. In this way, you avoid the nightmares, suffering,
and entangling relationships which result from tying to satisfy a need or a desire within a situation or with a person
through which it can not possibly happen.

As I meditate here, I recall very clearly memories in which my inner peace was severely shaken and also the
opposite--the best of times when my sense of home, family, and contentment were the greatest. I think about what
home meant to me as a child. It was a state of being cared for and guided so that my needs were fulfilled, my
growth was optimum, and I was led to freedom.

This caring and nurturing is something the Presence of God in Yesod teaches us to do for ourselves and for others
as well. From this vantage point in Yesod, the other nine sephiroth are means for attaining this end--the ability to
nurture, protect, and fulfill ourselves and do the same for others. The home of childhood with its sweetness of
innocence, its natural happiness, and its promise of fulfillment becomes a dream we hold in our hearts for others and
for the entire world.

When the prophet Isaiah says, “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation neither shall they learn war
anymore,” he is saying, “Let’s make the entire world into one family, a home, a place where people love and care
for each other.” This kind of statement and dream is absolute nonsense unless you have access to infinite power.
The power in Yesod is the power within inner desires, needs, and dreams. The Divine Presence in Yesod teaches
how to gaze at the entire evolution of a planet, to stand outside of all time and space and to embrace all of life and
all the experience of the human race from a place within your heart of love and peace.

And so, like a well of divine dreams, with ease you go yourself or you take anyone else back in time to a place of
innocence and sweet love or forward in time, like the ghost of Christmas future in A Christmas Carol, who shows
you the final end waiting for you if you follow a certain course of action. You are gently led to the source from
which the soul attains its greatest peace and happiness that is also the source of its greatest freedom and
independence.

There is no wound here that can not be healed. There is no vice or obsession that can not be transformed into its
opposite of pure love and light. Fail to listen to this voice, close yourself to this stream of life and darkness will
always cloud your vision and sorrow will always be there to greet you during any great life transition.

So I ask, “What am I missing?” And I am taken into a dream in which I am holding another person and sharing
with this woman the feeling of infinite peace, of being in a state of inner peace with the universe. Pretty basic stuff,
really. Yesod is also about family and sharing.

If you are involved in some great cause, if you have some great wrong to right, some great injustice which needs
to be brought back under the principle of law, then you most likely are not going to be looking within yourself. You
are most likely not going to be concerned about the treasures of life you are leaving behind amid your quest for
social justice.

But if you want to avoid exhaustion or the mistakes you will make from being hasty or motivated for quick
results to reassure yourself you are getting something accomplished, then the Presence in Yesod will remain in your
consciousness. Different relationships can take us into different sephiroth. One relationship may lead us to the
power of Gevurah in which any obstacle in life can be overcome. Another may lead us to Binah, to perfect
enlightenment, not the kind that frees you from individual suffering though that is well and good. No, this
enlightenment leads you to take responsibility for the world.

I seem to have a need for a relationship which celebrates this inner peace with the universe, an infinite peace,
which through the human embrace also embraces all of life and all that is to be experienced in time and space. The
value of sharing is that it is a way that helps to turn the world into a home. The outer world comes to reflect the
inner and the inner and outer worlds are then joined.

The Presence of God in Hod or Splendor


Introduction
In this domain is found the mind of the scientist. It is completely detached, extraordinarily observant, and analytic.
It is driven by a relentless will that seeks to master every aspect of an area of investigation.
The spiritual aura of the planet Mercury is associated with this vibration and it does not stop with external
knowledge. It has the intuition and commitment to truth to join its awareness with whatever it is studying. It
comprehends its area of research from a state of oneness with it. This leads inevitably to comprehending the subject
matter in terms of the wider, universal laws that govern the universe.

One of the characteristics of mature magicians is that they do not fall into bias, prejudice, or ideologies. They are
not argumentative, self-righteous, narrow minded, or attached to specific beliefs. They are not insecure, paranoid, or
defeatist. They are not alarmist. They are not scared by anything because there is nothing they can not change when
they put their minds to it and act in accordance with universal and cosmic wisdom.

They will not corner you at some unexpected moment and harangue you because you do not agree with their
beliefs about feminism, the liberation of some country, some injustice, about being a vegetarian, or whatever. They
will not treat you as inferior or be suspicious of you or question your motives in order to compensate for their own
insecurity. You can use this as a test of whether someone understands the intelligence and illumination of this
sephiroth--they speak for both time and eternity so you can count on every single one of them to place any
discussion, issue, problem, or conflict within a universal, cosmic, and illuminated, enlightened context.

The other thing about them is that they love what they are doing. They radiate enthusiasm and a sense of wonder
and awe before the beauty and mystery of the universe. Even their critics and enemies will turn to them on occasion
for encouragement and a chance to improve their understanding of their own work and best course in life. You can
count on them to give you a clear understanding of what the issues are in your life and what your best decisions are.

The Presence of God in Hod


In this domain, God’s Presence creates whatever you need to fulfill your purposes-- specifically, this is the
perfection of intelligence forming and shaping the world. God’s Presence in Hod gives a direct awareness of the
nature of anything from within. That is, you can sense directly the inner essence of anything or any being.

At the same time, you can also express the essence or nature of anything externally using formulas, concepts, and
various disciplines or systems of knowledge. In other words, you have an intuitive understanding and you are able
to verbalize or express your understanding with such precision and clarity that others can understand your intuition
as well.

These two go together--truth and the expression of truth that is persuasive and clear. Within this Presence, there
is nothing that can not be understood and no problem that can not be solved. There is nothing that you can not learn
to make, remade, or recreate.

In a nutshell, God’s Presence in this domain creates perfect clarity, concentration, and perception. Under such
divine inspiration, there is no limit on these things. Knowledge of the outer world and science, intuitive knowledge
of the inner worlds of psyche and spirit, objective and subjective, external and internal--you encompass all of these
opposites in one awareness.

Conviction and faith are also created in this domain. This is not faith in God’s existence. When you enter into
God’s Presence, you do not have to struggle to believe in Him. His Presence is immediate and obvious, if only due
to the powers that you are granted as a result and the level of creativity you then embrace.

The conviction and faith created here relate to envisioning something you wish to bring into being. Your
conviction is that what you will can be made to happen and that what you envision will come to be. You sense
intuitively how this can be done and you gain certainty that the skills you will need in accomplishing these
endeavors will come to you quickly.

The net effect of this contact is that you become curious, objective, detached, and tenacious when studying any
subject. At the same time, you possess a real feeling for your subject matter and you feel inspired that you can
quickly overcome any confusion and resolve any difficulty.

There are all sorts of major hurdles to overcome when working with God in this domain. There are the usual
blocks that interfere with understanding and wisdom such as fanaticism, narrow-mindedness, self-deception,
presumption, arrogance, fear, insecurity, attachment to fixed ideas, and clinging to prejudicial ideals.

These can be overcome and put aside as you develop a love of clarity and a pure delight in the process of
discovery. Any obsession fades away and any vice is dissolved as you fall in love with direct, personal, sensory
perception. You come to understand and appreciate above all else that experience is the greatest teacher that sets
you on a course toward wisdom.

The Bible states that Solomon was the wisest of all men on earth. In the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon explains
his method as a social scientist. He tried first hand different kinds of experiences. And then he stated simply and
directly what he had observed and learned as a result. Solomon had a great gift from God but he did not penetrate
into the Presence of God. You can possess wisdom without searching for the source of that wisdom.

The difference between Solomon’s wisdom and that offered by the Presence of God is that Solomon did not
understand that clarity, concentration, and perception as well as faith and conviction are themselves acts of creation.
You can employ them passively, using what you have and taking them for granted. Or you can realize that in each
moment what you think, feel, perceive, and what you experience are creative acts. You can find new wisdom, gain
new experience, and acquire new insight in accordance with the purpose you seek to fulfill. In regard to knowledge
and wisdom, The Presence of God holds nothing back.

If in Malkuth God’s Presence makes things of great value that endure through time, in this sephiroth God’s
Presence is the intelligence that insures that the design of these forms employ the highest standards and that the
workmanship is of the highest attainment. Obviously those who invent, innovate, and who bring new things into the
world are under this inspiration. When you give all of yourself to your work so that your work is perfected you are
acting in harmony with this inner light. The Presence of God in this domain is like being in the presence of the
scientist, architect, engineer, and builder whose work produced the universe.

A meditation. A simple way to approximate or get a taste for this Presence is that when you have something you
wish to accomplish, imagine that you have absolute faith that you can accomplish this, that you have perfect
certainty that whatever skill or knowledge you need to acquire will come to you, and that your commitment is also
absolute--that your commitment will rise to whatever level (extraordinary, superhuman, or divine) that is necessary
to bring about the result you intend. These three things--faith, certainty, and commitment--are created in accordance
to your needs when you enter God’s Presence in this domain.

In God’s Presence, your level of concentration is amplified to the extent that your body and mind become a temple,
a place where the sacred names of God are spoken according to the purpose you seek to fulfill. You can feel the
power, like the angels of the Schem-Ham-Phorus, gathering and circling around you. They await your command. It
is as if they are asking, “What glorious task do you wish us to accomplish on your behalf to celebrate the Presence
that is within you.”

However, you can imagine that if some individuals were to get even a faint taste of this Presence, they might go
temporarily insane if they have not prepared themselves for the encounter. Or they fall into arrogance, self-
righteousness, bigotry, and fanaticism thinking they are right and everyone else is wrong. They imagine themselves
to be pure and that everyone else is impure. They see the light and everyone else dwells in darkness. Oh yes,
human beings have a penchant for exaggerating and a weakness that inflates their egos. Consequently, you have to
be careful with this sephiroth.

In the next sephiroth of Netzach, the experience of oneness is the goal. In this sephiroth, the goal is to produce
something that is so well-designed and expressed that it is impossible to miss that its origin is divine. Truth is not
friendly to those who are unable to express it adequately. And it is openly hostile and will destroy those who seek to
destroy it. You can not hide it and you can not hide from it. But you can seek it in your own way and in your own
time and give expression to it as you discover it within yourself.

Faith has many levels and degrees. In God’s Presence, you become the level and kind of faith that celebrates the
holiness of God. And this holiness is nothing else than the oneness that underlies everything in the universe and to
which everything is joined. Ultimately, its fire is like the fire that gave birth to time and space and countless
galaxies. It is always wise never to underestimate the intensity of this faith and this commitment to celebrating the
oneness and love that underlines and joins all things.

If there is an absolute truth, you are entitled to find this truth first hand through your own experience. But this
truth is not static. It is dynamic, infinite, and forever new so it requires communication between those who seek to
know it and to express it. We all have our own point of view when it comes to perceiving and discussing truth.

In the ancient Hebrew religion, no image was permitted to represent God’s Presence. And only once a year did
the high priest enter the holy of Holies in order to speak the secret name of God aloud. When you enter the Presence
of God in this domain, you are entering this holy space in your own body and soul. God is present as a nothingness.
But this nothingness is not empty. Rather, from this nothingness the entire universe was created, it is so full and yet
it is infinitely more.

The angels and archangels are in awe of it realizing that all their power and ability are as nothing when compared
to it. Yet there are themes and purposes that this Presence takes an interest in. These are first and foremost--truth,
knowledge, and wisdom. And above all else, the perfection of communication.

It is fair in summary to say that the 72 spirits of the sphere of spiritual aura of Mercury, the Schem-Ha-Phorus,
are teachers who exist to help prepare us for the encounter with this Presence. They also serve this Presence
including when and where it appears in a human being who has made his body and soul into its temple. That is,
when your consciousness is penetrating and intense enough to stand within this Presence, this Nothingness, and to
offer it a home here on earth, then these angels serve you as well. In one word, the angels can tell instantly by the
level and intensity of your faith that God is within you.

Again, this is not faith in God. This is a faith that stands within a Nothingness, a void and an abyss, that has no
reference points or things to hold on to. It stands here without fear knowing it will not be annihilated or dissolved.
It can do this because it knows that this is the place from which the Creator creators, the Creator whom it freely
embraces.

You could call this “primary faith” and all other forms of faith secondary and derivative. This primary faith is
based on a willingness and absolute commitment to join with God and to do as He does which is to create. The faith
in God or the secondary forms of faith imply that God is out there and I am here. It assumes that faith forms a
relationship to God that, as the Apostle Paul pointed out, allows you only “to see through a glass darkly.” Paul’s
faith places great restrictions both on the human being and on God.

The primary form of faith is not so restricted. God’s will is not something you must bring yourself to accept and
to embrace out of obedience and respect. God’s will is not separate from your own. It is the will you discover at the
core of your being when you bring your consciousness into the Nothingness that called the universe into existence.
Its very essence is to design new things and to create according to the order and the purposes it originates.

This form of primary faith is not characteristic of the twelve disciples of Christ. It is much more characterized by
the Prophet Isaiah who could speak to God in any moment and tell you what He says. It is seen when Isaiah called
upon God to destroy Sennacherib’s army that was besieging Jerusalem. (See my article on the cosmic letter K).
And it is seen in Pope Leo who alone and single-handedly persuaded Genghis Khan to turn back and not invade
Rome.

This primary faith is the power upon which all other forms of power are based. It is not secondary, derivative,
dependent, a faint taste, or a blurred vision. It is the original source that continues to unfold creation. From my
point of view, this is the power toward which all genuine magicians strive to embody in their will--the purpose and
the essence behind all hermetic training. But whether you train as a magician or not, should you enter and become a
friend of this Presence in this sephiroth you will begin to understand the way the invisible and the visible worlds
function and operate.

The Archangel Michael.


Outer Aura. What the archangel Gabriel is to prophecy and inner vision, the archangel Michael is to power and to
solving problems. Gabriel perceives the entire history of the human race on this planet. The unfolding of divine
purposes through the events and ages of history are his area of specialization. In a similar manner, the manifesting
on earth of divine will and power are the areas in which Michael excels.
In regard to accomplishing a purpose or solving a problem, Michael is extremely fastidious, attentive to detail,
and has a level of concentration astonishingly resolute and joyous. In the movie, Michael, the archangel Michael
says words to the effect, “Since the beginning of time, I have never lost a battle.” It is hard to imagine anything that
could oppose this archangel and succeed against him.

Inner Aura. With the archangel Gabriel, it is typical that on the astral plane the entire sky before me is filled with
heavenly choirs singing indescribably beautiful songs in praise of God. I have the distinct impression that this is
what materialized for the shepherds when Christ was born. In a similar manner with the archangel Michael, the sky
fills before my inner eyes with angelic armies that stand ready to serve. There is a depth of power and command
that it is hard to comprehend or imagine. It is easy to be overwhelmed by the presence of any archangel. But with
Michael, there is definitely a sense of being able to accomplish any divine mission.
The difference between the archangel Michael and the Presence of God is that the archangel serves the primary
faith I have mentioned, that is, the will of God. The archangel serves and furthers original acts of creation. When
you find the Presence of God within yourself, you are creating like unto your father, the Creator. But you are doing
so not as a clone or carbon copy of God but as an independent and free agent.

If you observe many kinds of individuals who practice with magick, I think you will find that some individuals
will avoid encountering the Presence in this domain because deep down in their hearts they enjoy or else they want
to be slaves. For them, freedom is terrifying and something to avoid. And so in many ways they refuse to open
their minds in a way that leads to enlightenment. They make doctrines, traditions, and arcane knowledge their final
authority.

By contrast, the Presence of God does not demand that you bow down to His sovereignty or His authority. This
sovereignty is within yourself. It certainly does not make you a slave to a tradition of doctrines designed and
enacted by men fighting for the survival of their religion. Instead, the Presence of God empowers you and makes
you free. As the Dalai Lama has said concerning the theme of this domain, “The taste of truth has one taste--the
taste of freedom.”

The Presence of God in Netzach or Victory


Introduction
Netzach relates to the spiritual aura of Venus in our solar system. The mysteries of Venus are ecstatic and filled
with bliss because they celebrate the experience in which all barriers, boundaries, and limitations that separate one
from another are finally dissolved.

From my perspective, the major religions and wisdom traditions on earth have goals that encompass compassion,
enlightenment, universal service, attunement with nature, the evocation of the lunar goddess, etc. But, though there
are traditions of Sufi and tantra that use the imagery of love, it seems to me that the Venus sphere itself does not
have very many, if any, great teachers on earth. And as is typical of Western psychology there is an emphasis, even
in marriage counseling, of being adjusted, happy, and completely successful. But the idea of love as a sacred space,
as a way of being, and a path leading to the highest wisdom and the highest magick is not taught in a practical and
challenging manner.

The sphere of Venus integrates the three previous spheres, the earth, moon, and mercury and the sephiroth of
Malkuth, Yesod, and Hod as the personality in each of us integrates our body, emotions, and mind. Franz Bardon
mentions that the spirits of this sphere are crazed with love. Contact with them evokes states of bliss, happiness,
peace, ecstasy, and the perfection of love. Their typical range of competency encompasses art, music, love, poetry,
healing, and the many forms of ecstasy both human and divine.

As I am sure you can imagine, we do not need to travel to the sphere of Venus to become enthralled with love or
to become ensorcelled by the powers of bliss and beauty. All around us are examples in our communities of those
who surrender their rationality and their own will thinking that by falling into the arms of love they will be fulfilled.
But instead, they are often ensnared by illusion since they imagine love is a shortcut to their dreams.

The Presence of God in Netzach


The Presence of God in this domain creates oneness, personal beauty, harmony, and love. This Presence grants or
creates the ability to become one with anything. Under this influence, you increasingly become aware of what inner
union is and the degree to which this oneness is possible. Love can overcome every barrier and every obstacle.
God’s Presence enables, inspires, and grants the ability to become one with God, with any other being, and even
experience oneness with the entire universe.

One of the great difficulties about becoming one, for example, with another person is that you may go too deep
too fast into the depths of yourself during this act of joining. To become one is to go past, bypass, renounce, and
dissolve the barriers that maintain your separate identities. These barriers are in place for a good reason. They
sustain your capacity for objectivity, for reason, for intelligence, for making sense of anything you experience. They
protect not just your ego identity but also everything that helps define who and what you are as an individual.
Over the years I have heard a great many complaints by those who feel their lovers have betrayed them. Having
been in love, the love caused them pain and made them vulnerable in ways they could not accept without turning
against the other and assigning blame for the pain. I know individuals who have hated each other for decades
because they could not accept the loss of the relationship. The former partner provided so much support to their
identity that in losing the other’s love, they remain wounded and somehow still lost--as if as partners they strayed
together into a strange, unknown land and then the other abandoned them without hope of finding a way back. It
feels that the feelings of abandonment and the failure of the relationship must be the other person’s fault.

If this experience of abandonment and loss of identity are not so unusual with lovers, then imagine the danger in
entering God’s Presence in this domain where oneness is the theme and the essence to attain. When I say
dangerous, I mean it will take you beyond anything you know or have ever dreamed. Is there anything, for example,
that you can still cling to or use to define who you are after you begin learning how to become one with another as
part of God’s Art?

This question is worth pursuing. Many individuals spend decades if not their entire lives carefully defining who
they are by the work they accomplish, by the ideals to which they are committed, by the purposes that they serve,
and by the traditions that govern their actions. And then in a moment these things become nothing because none of
these things touches or reveals what is at their core.

The love that joins as one takes you to the core of your being bypassing all obstacles and obstructions. Are you
then in a kingdom of the soul beyond all definitions? Do you then turn back desperate to reestablish what was once
familiar? Or is the kingdom of the heart so deep that in its depths it simply accepts everything that exists? There is
nothing in such a place that is so strange or unknown that it can not be encompassed by your love.

Put another way, oneness requires an expansive imagination, for imagination furthers creativity. As I enter God’s
Presence in this domain, there is no longer a Bill Mistele. Or rather, he is one book on a shelf in a library that
contains all books that ever have or ever will be written. In the Presence of God, I become the librarian of this
library. I see myself as part of something far greater.

Or, to pursue other analogies, I become a drop of water falling from the sky and I am the ocean into which I shall
dissolve. I am one photon of light sailing through the void and I am all the stars and galaxies as well as this photon
and the space through which it travels. In God’s Presence, I sense that my love is everywhere and within everything
and there is no end to it.

I should point out that this oneness is not static. It is not as if once you enter it it then becomes a possession. It
creates itself continuously new in each moment and expresses its beauty and harmony in ever greater ways. And
certainly, if you enter into this Presence, part of it may stay with you when you leave the Presence, but that depends
on you, whether you wish to work with it further and make it part of your self.

Furthermore, if you concentrate then on another person, seeking to become one, it is somewhat as Mother Teresa
says, “I see Christ in disguise in every person.” It is not just that you become one with the other so that you feel all
separation is overcome. It is more that you find God’s Presence within this person as a new expression and
revelation. That is, the other individual is also a source or means for contacting this Presence.

Since this Presence creates, you are creating beauty and love through this oneness. Again, this is not passive or
static. I get the image of a thunderstorm as I concentrate on being one with another person. There are these
different polarities and different experiences each of us possesses. But like a thunderstorm, there is a continuous
arcing of energy between our different polarities illuminating and offering insight. There is a wildness of passion
like the winds racing through a storm, but also as in a storm, the rain nourishes and brings new life.

A meteorologist can view a thunderstorm with detachment, curiosity, and interest. But the meteorologist does not
imagine that he or she is the thunderstorm in all its wildness and passion. If you work with God’s Presence in this
domain, get used to this idea--you become the forces of attraction and the primal energies in nature and you find
beauty and harmony in their expression. In the same way, in any relationship you learn to celebrate the conflict and
the differences and overcome them by cloaking them in beauty and uniting them to love.

In regard to Malkuth, you become one with what you seek to accomplish--it is a part of you inside. With Yesod,
you become one with nature, the beauty of the universe, and infinite peace. With Hod, you become one with truth.
You embody it so that you are able to express it and insure that it exerts its appropriate influence.

In Netzach, oneness itself is your art. You enable it to be expressed. You insure its on-going presence as love
and artistic endeavor. You embody the ecstasy that enables it to appear on earth.
There are degrees to this creative ability. You want to be able to become one totally and completely so that all
feelings of separation are overcome. It is like the five elements of Divine Providence are within the oneness
creating and sustaining it.

These five elements are different from the elements of the philosopher’s stone that I discuss in my article, The
Philosopher’s Stone. The air element is total understanding so that nothing is missed. The earth element is so solid
that there is no separation. The water element is so sensitive you sense everything. And the fire element is so
powerful, like the cosmic letter K, that it dissolves every obstacle and objection. The akasha is one undivided
oneness so that two of you become one consciousness.

In this sephiroth of Netzach, the polarity of opposites are utilized to produce the level of ecstasy and
consciousness of coming together and joining that enable you to embody this Presence. It is a different emphasis
and mode of operation than what we have seen in the previous three domains.

Summary
In summary, then, my experience indicates that entering God’s Presence, the “Be still and know that I am God,”
leads to experiencing the infinite power to create in accord with the themes and purposes of the different domains.
Again, you can sit down with the president of a college, the President, e.g., of the United States, or Bill Gates for
that matter. But when you shake hands and talk, it does not mean that this encounter grants you a college degree,
the right to command the armed forces, or the ability to write a simple program using C++ computer language.

It does mean, however, that you can ask questions and get answers from individuals who have responsibility for
and who exercise oversight over their respective disciplines, nations, and industries. Likewise, when you enter
God’s presence you understand that the entire universe is an on-going creation of infinite love and beauty. There is
infinite power open and available for celebrating this wonder. What you can do with the Presence of God that you
can not do with a president or CEO is that you become a friend, a lover, and one who participates with God in the
act of creation in accordance with your virtue, your love, and your strength.

In my experience, these sephiroth or emanations of God’s Presence are like ten gates. I do not find anyone, any
spirit, or being guarding these gates. No archangel embodies even one per cent of God Presence. No created being
is in a position to say, “This is where God is or this is the way in which God is active.” This temple of God’s Being
is found within each of our hearts. Each of us has the freedom and the prerogative to seek this Presence, this
creative power, in our own way, in our own time, and to give expression to it according to our own unique vision.

Summary of the Other Six Sephiroth


There are six other sephiroth. These can be described in this way:

In Tipareth: It creates integration, unity, full consciousness of all aspects of life and the universe--a cosmic harmony
and union. The entire universe exists in a state of oneness yet who is conscious of this? This is an ecstasy imbued
with great power, for it is the ecstasy from which the Creator creates. It envisions, calls into being, grants life,
nurtures, inspires, awakens, oversees, heals, restores, renews, fulfills, and grants power like unto its own power.

In Gevurah: It creates the will and the power to overcome all opposition and obstacles. There is personal power and
will. There is also cosmic power and will. In this domain, we learn to join the two focusing first on a level of self-
mastery that enables the individual to contain within him or herself and also consciously direct the powers of
creation to designated ends.

In Chesed: It creates opportunities for new experience, for fulfillment, and for wealth on every level and in every
area of life.

In Binah: It creates justice, order, balance, and responsibility--that is, responsibility for everything that exists.

In Chockmah: It creates new destinies, new paths of life. It lays the foundations for new civilizations. It makes all
things new by the power of its voice.

In Kether: It is within everything, a part of everything, and it is the source from which all things arise. It creates
visions, dreams, intimations, and prophecies of what can be that reveal the depths of life and of the mysteries of the
heart. All of the sephiroth are contained and interwoven as one here just as all of the sephiroth are manifested in
some concrete, physical, and distinct manner in Malkuth.

Once again, the following poem is not a description of historical significance. I am seeking to express the essence
of man’s relationship to God.

Moses and Aaron


And God looked upon Moses whom He had chosen

To lead his people from out of bondage and into freedom.

And God spoke and said:

Build me a tabernacle in space and time

That My Presence might be known and celebrated by mankind,

For I would hold nothing back

But would reveal all That I AM.

Make gates in the four directions

Where men and women may enter and leave

The first to the North

The path leading through the element of earth

Here the Mystery of Silence shall shine forth--

There is nothing hidden nor concealed

That is not revealed

To those who seek

The darkness beneath the stone

The silence beneath the mountain

I reside in both

The most distant reaches of outer space

Shall such hearts easily embrace

For every heart quiet enough to hear My Voice

All the stars and angels shall rejoice.

And Moses, having struck a stone to yield a stream

Having climbed Mt. Sinai alone

Having spent a lifetime in the desert,

Moses replied--

Though I have heard Your Voice in the burning bush


And in the pillar of flame

Even I have trouble finding this Silence within my heart.

Then God said:

Though the children of Jacob shall be as the sands of the sea

Even as we speak in this moment

There are many who come forth and taste My Mysteries

I give you the Earth

She, with Her Infinite Beauty,

Shall teach Her children to listen

I have placed My dreams within her heart

Those who search out Her secrets

Shall be reborn as Spirit

Then they shall see through the eyes of the stars.

Then God said:

Build the second gate to the South

Here the element of fire which does rage and roar

The Mystery of Will I shall reveal

Imploding and exploding at the star's core

The light at dawn, the moon's reflection, the fire of the hearth

For from fire--light

From will--power enough any destiny to fulfill

For in both the raindrop and the tear

The rainbow and the broken heart

The candle and the star

The spectrum of My desire shines forth

Beauty shall entwine equally

Suffering and love

Separation and reunion

Death and rebirth.

And Moses said:


When I came down from Mt. Sinai

From my face Your Light did shine

Still, I have never dreamed of a will

Forged in the heart of stars

Or even in the volcano's fiery caldera.

And God replied:

Each moment of life contains an abyss

The same that separates one heart from another

Sing into being a path of Light

Cross over

For where two complete this journey

There My Heart appears

And there My Voice sings

For My Mystery can only be encompassed by your will

Through an Act of Creation.

God said next:

Build the third gate to the West

This gate shall open to the Mystery of Water

Let those who Dare enter here

This is where empathy equally

Sees the world as it is

And as it can be in a dream

Those willing to risk all to find what they seek

As the Lover seeks his Beloved

They shall be as fountains

Overflowing with streams of living water

Their hearts shall contain Eternity

That sea that has no shores

Whose winds are bliss

Whose waves are ecstasy


And in whose depths are Divine dreams and visions.

And Moses said:

Across the reaches of the desert

Across the waves of rolling sand

Is found an occasional oasis

The waters that flow through the soul

Often turn bitter or dry up

Love is so rare and precious men die for its touch

How can you ask for so much?

Is there no end to Your Divine Yearning?

Would You make the entire planet into a school for prophets and seers?

And God replied:

Every breath is a path of Love

Every tear, drop of blood, every rain drop

Proclaims this secret: the path leading between opposites

In each moment My Love is everywhere

Sustaining the universe

And everything within it

Dare to enter here!

And God said:

Build the fourth gate to the East

The element of Air and the winds shall walk there

And here the sky so clear

The mind luminous

To Know Who I AM

That the universe is My Craft

To know the Notes with which My Voice Sings

To enter My Divine Workshop

To train in My Arts

Knowledge such as this have I hidden


In the winds and within your breath

Which flow through your blood and every cell of your body.

And Moses replied:

I have sought to guide Your people in the paths of righteousness

To teach them to honor what is sacred and holy

Yet even if I were to command the hurricane and the thunderstorm

The whirlwind and the mist

Even if the twelve winds were to obey my will

Still my voice would not contain a trace of Your Glory

Nor would my songs even hint at Your Beauty.

And God replied:

The stars and the moon that shine in the sky

The mountains you see in the distance

The islands upon the sea

All of this exists to reveal my Mystery

Day unto day, night unto night

The whole world is full of My Glory

But you are My finest Work

Even the Archangels and Lords of Creation

Know not the Bliss I have hidden in your hearts

Learn to speak with your Voices of Wonder

Nature is the training ground

Where the paths of Spirit are found

The elements contain the notes with which My Voice Sings

In air is openness of heart as vast as the sky

In fire is will power--the same that drives the stars

In water--empathy and love that join as one with another

In earth is endurance and stability--

The backbone of time and Eternity

Build these four gates

Within your soul and within your heart


Then you shall speak with My Voice

See with My Eyes

Hear with My Ears

And Love with My Heart

Then your Songs shall recreate the universe anew

My Beauty is not separate from you

Come forth. Hold nothing back.

Shine with the light of all the stars.

Moses was hesitant to share God's words with anyone else.

So he went to his brother-in-law, Aaron, and spoke God's words.

Aaron said in response, “Perhaps you should write this down, seal it

in an urn, and put it in a cave to be found in another day

when the world is more willing. For the tabernacle I would

build would be made of acacia wood with pillars overlaid

with gold, curtains of fine-twined linen and goat's hair,

held by clasps and rings of gold also. You see Moses,

God appointed me to speak with your voice, to make sense

to kings as well as people what your visions and dreams mean.

To put it simply, we all need something we can see and touch

and grasp with our minds. A vision should be made so real

so you can walk inside of it and know it is part of our world.

Then there is peace of mind.

“But since we are discussing God, there is something

you could help me with. You know how it is, I have this

problem with images, calves and the like. And so many

folks round about have goddesses in their religions. You

know Moses how you have gotten even God to change the law,

to amend and add addendums concerning widows and such.

Could you ask God to clarify this point: Is He male,


female, or something else? It would put to rest so many of

my doubts.”

And so Moses on his next trip up the mountain presented

to God Aaron's request.

But this time God spoke in reply not through the

burning bush, nor from within the mountain, nor from the

burning cloud, the pillar of flames, nor the whirlwind.

God's Voice spoke through Mose's own heart.

And God said: “I can neither speak, appear, nor may My

Presence be known except through Her Beauty and Love. What

She decrees I Myself can not overturn for She and I are

One.

“The universe have I created to celebrate My Love for

My Beloved. The stars and galaxies are the garments I have

woven into being that Her Beauty might be seen. I invite

all: Come. Enter the Celebration of Our Love. For where

one heart seeks another and finally joins there do She and I

appear and celebrate Our Love also in an ever new form.”

And when Moses heard this Voice speak within his heart

he fell down, his face upon the ground, and he wept bitter

tears--hot, salty streams flowing down his cheeks, across his

mouth, and dripping from his chin into the dust.

Then Moses said: “Oh God, let me now die. For who can

endure such Joy?”

And God replied: “Only those who Love.”

Note: This is the part II of my essay, The Presence of God. Parts I and II are so far a first draft and about one
third of a book I am putting together on this subject.

Four Levels to Finding the Presence of God


The following are general guidelines. It is possible to describe some fundamental states of mind that are requisite for
entering the Presence of God. It is also possible to cheat and skip over them. You can produce them artificially on a
temporary basis as a kind of self hypnosis or act of will. But the results you achieve will also be temporary and
limited.
Balaam and the devil could both pass over them, for they could each hold a direct conversation with God without
burning bushes, or signs, or having to climb a mountain for forty days and nights. But since their purposes were
altogether antithetical to the purposes of God, their interactions with God were not productive and certainly did not
serve the purposes of love.

Four Levels
1. In the first level, you let go of your identity and become open, receptive, and clear. Some individuals who are
advanced and highly skilled in meditation do not let go of their identities when they meditate. A Buddhist, or for that
matter, a Hindu, a Taoist, a Moslem, a Jew, or a Christian may utilize robes, incense, a temple, and ceremonies to
advance on his spiritual path.
But at some point he discovers he no longer needs these supports for his mind and heart. Consciousness does not
need to identity with anything. On the other hand, I find it fairly easy to find examples of individuals who have
mastered an entire spectrum of spiritual realizations and trances. But these individuals cling to the wrappings of their
traditions as if to say, “This is who I am.” They like their religious addiction and this turns part of their hearts hard
so that they are unwilling to risk letting go and becoming completely receptive.
You can see this with lovers. There are individuals who love each other and they love being in the relationship. But
they would never risk their identity for the sake of their love. They neither imagine nor would it ever enter their
hearts the idea of being one with their lover.
As I have mentioned under Netzach, the idea of letting go to the point of becoming one is simply too dangerous. The
moment you become completely open and receptive you also have to deal with the darkness within yourself. Many
advanced practitioners in every spiritual tradition are terrified of losing their historical identities should they cross
the well-defined boundaries that define that tradition.
But love is altogether different than this. In love, you can let go of yourself without knowing where you are or what
you are becoming. It is the only state of mind in which this open receptivity can be accomplished.
This is not the same as trust, for trust still feels vulnerable and in need. And it is not faith, because faith forges a
connection through force of will utilizing the divine creativity that is within yourself. But those with great faith
rarely are open and receptive. Faith and love are completely different.
Instead, this is an openness in which you feel you are in love and a part of love. Love flows through you and you
know it to be both your origin and your destiny. You take the openness and receptivity of a little child. And you put
that innocence into the mind of an adult who is determined to put aside all worries, concerns, and insecurities. The
mind is then focused to the point of achieving clarity and then you have what I am talking about.
2. While retaining the letting go, openness, receptivity, and clarity of the first level, you now withdraw your five
senses from the external world. This is to say, you are focused inward. But this inward focus does not narrow the
mind. It is not self-hypnosis. You are not less awake, less aware, or less conscious.
Instead, you enter an inner space that is sacred. You become a sacred space. Your body, soul, mind, and spirit are a
temple. Again, you are letting go so that you are open, receptive, and clear. But now your consciousness is sealed off
from the outer world and dedicated for an encounter with the infinite.
Within this temple there is suspense. There is silence and stillness. It is as if everything in the universe is present--it
is that open--yet there are not images, no sounds, and no sensations of any kind.
You yourself are now sacred because you seek the origin of all that is sacred and all that is divine. For this reason,
you are beyond fear. Fear can not enter here. You are also beyond images, symbols, and sacred traditions. What has
gone before and previous revelations (whatever their value and importance) can not define the Living God whose
Presence you seek to enter at this time.
3. God is everywhere and in everything. On the third level, you open your senses to perceive Him. The senses
perceive sensations. But they are also intensified by desire and amplified by need. There is a way and a time to seek.
And there is a time just to perceive.
The poet says, “Where is the friend I seek everywhere? Dawn is the time of loneliness and care. When morning
comes, I am still yearning, through my heart is burning, burning.”
And yet others say that He is the one “in whom we live, move, and have our being.” This poet from Crete, unlike the
Apostle Paul who was quoting him, was not talking about a doctrine or belief. He was describing God through first
hand experience.
And another poet speaks without a specific reference, “Oh Mystery, you are alive. I feel you all around. You are the
fire in my heart. You are the holy sound....Grant that I may feel you always in everything.” This poet senses the
awesome and unbound source of all of life appearing within his heart. Though it makes him vulnerable and perhaps
too empathic, the request he made in his poem was granted to him.
Consider the five senses. If consciousness were a tuning fork attuned to the Presence of God, it would begin to hum.
There is a sound present. Some say that this sound is AUM which is the mantra for the entire visible and invisible
universe. But the Presence of God called the universe into being. It is the source of all sound. You could say that this
silence is the source of all songs of mirth, joy, and love.
There is no light or image present. But there is an “inner light.” Its illumination is everywhere, in the darkest place
and in the greatest despair. Every image--the sun, the stars, and moon, sunrise, sunset, the trees in bloom, the lover’s
eyes, the dazzling path of sunlight on the ocean that travels out to the horizon--every image of the eye and of the
imagination is the gift of this light.
And as for touch, the ocean of this love that surrounds you extends to infinity. It is in every cell of your body. It has
the vibration of sound. It has the radiation of light. It has the strength, empathy, and tactile quality of being in the
arms of a lover who loves you with all of his or her heart.
As for taste, in the touch of the tongue separation is overcome. The boundaries that skin defines no longer limit or
confine. Nerve pathways cross over and join together. If you already know of such bliss then you can also discover
this. Each of the five senses is a door that opens to infinity. Each contains divinity. Who on earth would speak
against this? Who would deny that the Presence of God is the taste of bliss?
In smell, fragrance travels through the air. But He is in every breath. He is within, beneath, and the source of every
heartbeat. As you inhale and exhale, you can feel vitality circulating through your body. In smell is the fragrance of
immortality, a fragrance that provides healing everywhere.
On the third level, then, we do what others say can not be done. We open our senses, our intuition, our minds, and
our hearts to sense and to enter the Presence of God. The temple that we are exists for the sake of a celebration. This
celebration is a homecoming. It is who we are. The Presence of God is within us. He is our dwelling place. We enter
this space to share, to learn, to love, and to be inspired with the ability to make the world new.
4. In the fourth level, you make the Presence part of yourself so that it influences the world. It becomes strong and
stable so it endures. It is not a vision or conversion experience you get at one point in time and then leave it where it
was so you can get on with your life or your cause. You return again and again until it becomes substantial and
living.
The archangel Gabriel says to Zacharias, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God,...” (Luke 1:19). Gabriel
is not a little messenger who runs around delivering messages. He is in God’s Presence continuously. It is a safe bet
that if Gabriel has a message to convey he will find a way to communicate it against all odds.
There are many such as St. Columba who can say in a similar way, “I stand in the Presence of God.” Here are a few
paragraphs from my story about St. Columba:
Columba, passing beyond the boundaries St. Paul had imposed upon himself, said there is no more need of belief
once you have had the experience of the Kingdom. Near the very end, Columba said to his disciple and scribe
Baithene that many mysteries have been revealed to him and that “I beheld His glory! He came Himself to me, and I
abode with Him.”
Let us pause for a moment, for such words are easily passed over or ignored completely by theologians or ministers
who never ventured forth to explore and chart the seas of the heart. Columba’s affirmation and fulfillment in
attaining God’s Presence came only after a lifetime of service and also solitary comtemplations. It was like this: in
the decade before meeting God face to face, Columba would sit upon his hill or in his solitary cell and call out with
these words, “Oh God.” And then he would sit still for hours on end as if waiting for God to come, for an
acknowledgment, or for a response.
And as this decade drew to a close, when Columba said, “Oh God,” the meaning of the words changed. They no
longer meant, “I am waiting for You to come to me, to come to me from so far.” Rather, they now said, “I surrender
the purpose of my life and my desire to serve. They no longer have meaning in the Presence of Your Being. I
surrender my name and my lineage. Who I am and from whence I have come are as nothing. I shall not use them as
a barrier to prevent You from drawing near.”
We may wonder what else a solitary soul can do to let go beyond surrendering identity, desire, thoughts, beliefs, and
doctrines. But Columba offered even more. Not long before encountering God, his words, “Oh God,” began to
mean, “I embrace the abyss of emptiness and the void of darkness without fear, for these too are as nothing to You,
the Creator.”
And then it came to Columba, the final realization. Columba sat on a rock on the beach not far from his monastery
facing Mull Island. The sun set and in the twilight the cliffs of Mull began to burn as rays of red light played upon
their slopes. The wind began to die. The white caps on the waves shrank and then vanished. A group of seagulls
cried as a hawk flew through their midst around the bend.
Columba watched as darkness set in. He then watched the turning of the stars in the sky. The moon rose, reached her
summit, and then began to descend. Sitting here for hours without thinking, just listening, it was in this moment that
it came to him.
Columba spoke again the words, “Oh God.” But now he went on speaking aloud. “Why I have never seen this
before? You are everywhere and in everything. The Joy is beyond comprehension. The wind is Your breath. The
water is Your blood. The whole earth is full of Your love. Your heartbeat causes the sun to rise, the stars to shine,
and all lovers to love.”
And during that night upon that beach on the East side of Iona, Columba attained what only a few in the history our
race have so far attained--an inner union with God. And so when some would say that it was embellishment,
fabrication, or too much praise when men report that Columba’s aura was bright enough to light up the night. But
you see, Columba was no longer like you or me. The source of light and darkness both, the Creator Himself, was
alive and thriving in Columba’s heart. Like I say, this was not belief or faith but direct and personal experience.
Like the taste of infinite peace, the Joy that causes the Creator to create, or the love that joins all hearts on earth--
inner union with God is ecstasy beyond the power of words to describe. Unlike Balaam, Columba had no fear of this
love.
And so, Columba found the kingdom of God within his soul, the place where he belonged. Columba would say that
this Kingdom is here and now all around us. It is as near as our own heart and it is more real than any world into
which we are born or from which we depart. When you return home and truly see it for the first time, as did
Columba, you know in that moment beyond all doubt that the whole world is Divine.
The Presence of God in Tipareth
In Presence of God in Tipareth creates integration, unity, and full consciousness of all aspects of life and the
universe--a cosmic harmony and union. The entire universe exists in a state of oneness yet who is conscious of this?
This is an ecstasy imbued with great power, for it is the ecstasy from which the Creator creates. It envisions, calls
into being, grants life, nurtures, inspires, awakens, oversees, heals, restores, renews, fulfills, and grants power like
unto its own power.
The Presence of God in Tipareth is the Great Harmony that unifies the ten sephira. As I enter this Presence, I can
sense immediately how it fuses the previous four sephira. To be here is also to be a part of the Presence of God in
Malkuth--this is knowing beyond all doubt that you are manifesting on earth practical and useful wonders that shall
endure for ever. It is also the Presence of God in Yesod--you sense a sea of infinite peace and bliss and that you are
a part of this sea and that this sea flows through you without ceasing and under all conditions.
It is the Presence of God in Hod--knowing that at will you can enter the space of spirit from which the Creator
creates and that your mind is directly illuminated by His inspiration. And it is the Presence of God in Netzach--
knowing beyond all doubt that you can freely join your consciousness to the mind and heart of any other being in the
universe, that omnipresence, the art of God, is an art you have mastered in no small degree. These previous four
sephira, when drawn into integration and fusion, are the introduction to the Presence of God in Tipareth.
To enter this space is to know what it is to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. It is to know what
it is to sacrifice all for an ideal. It is to walk through the darkest place with perfect, complete, and absolute faith.
There is no holding back with Tipareth. You learn to create as God creates having been tried and tested by the
limitations and conditions that history and life have imposed upon us so that we might learn to ascend into the light.
Therefore, you must put aside your feelings of shame, fear, despair, self-rejection, or repression--anything that
causes you to feel weak inside. If you go to a counselor with a problem or a frustrated desire, the counselor will seek
to find a solution to your problem or discover how to satisfy your desire. But Tipareth has a different process. Inside
of offering a solution to a problem or the satisfaction of a desire, it offers absolute freedom--it grants you the power
to solve any problem and to satisfy every desire. It is a much slower and longer process, but the goal, again, is to
master the art of creation.
Within the Presence of God, I notice a continuous exploration and discovery of opposites and an awareness that
encompasses all that is within these opposites so they are fused into a new unity. There is nothing left out of this
process. There is no fake or partial purity that the religious mind often mistakes as devotion to God. The pious are
frequently tempted to take a little bit from each opposite and join these together in accordance with the conformity
and security offered by ritual or sanctioned by tradition. This they call devotion and being faithful.
Tipareth is not so limited. It grasps every aspect of every opposite without fear of impurity, contamination, or
temptation. The fusion it produces is not just “righteous living” but a new creation.
But the pious are correct in their procedures if you accept normal human limitations-- namely, they would repress
those desires and deny those spiritual powers that are normally beyond the human ability to master or capture. And
they are right to do this if you do not have absolute faith, if your mind lacks penetrating insight, and if you do not
have a love that embraces the universe. But, on the other hand, these things are precisely what God’s Presence
provides if you seek to unite with Him rather than fashioning your life to abide within the doctrines and traditions
formulated by the minds of men.
If an individual tries to enter this light before he is ready or if someone should try to force this level of realization
upon someone else, then both become blind. The light is too bright for their eyes and their hearts are unable to
endure this intensity of joy. As I have said before, some individuals are slaves within their hearts. For them, to gaze
at absolute freedom is to behold a horror that annihilates them. They have identified themselves with a code of
ethics and behavior. They accept without question the assumptions under which others have chosen to live their
lives. They do not test their boundaries and they do not search for a higher truth than what has been handed down to
them. And this is, after all, a place where they feel protected. Each shall seek the Presence of God when he or she is
ready, in their own time and in their own way. How could it be otherwise?
It is possible, however, for any individual to catch a glimpse of Presence of God in Tipareth. For example, an
individual goes to church and hears Handel’s Messiah. The words are sung, “And He shall reign forever and ever,”
“...and the dead shall be raised incorruptible,” “I know that my redeemer liveth and that I shall see in the latter days
upon the earth,” “the kingdom of this world has become the kingdom of our God and of His Christ.”
The music inspires. For a moment, the listener may feel he or she has entered the Kingdom of God. The present
moment fades away. Time is suspended and eternity draws near. In such a moment, an individual may feel that all
that exists is the light of God’s Presence.
When you catch a glimpse of the Presence of God in Tipareth, you know in your heart that there shall be a “new
heavens and a new earth.” You know in your bones and in your blood that all things shall be made new. It is not
really a matter of faith. It is more like a dream that is so real it is more real than any reality.
But then again there is no time frame on this vision. You have to find the divine kingdom--a kingdom of love, peace,
justice, beauty, and joy--you have to find it first within your heart. Otherwise whatever society is established on
earth--even if it is brought about and ruled over by Christ--it will only be temporary and in part an illusion even as
John described a millennium of peace that is to come. According to John, this millennium will finally end in
destruction because most of the people in this kingdom never found the Presence of God within their hearts.
For a kingdom of peace, you first have to find infinite peace within your heart and understand the source of all
power before you can establish peace on earth. If you want peace, you have to pay the price by being able to create
peace amid and in the presence of the greatest hatred, malice, and darkness. Otherwise, the peace you have will be
unstable and subject to destruction at that point when you encounter a will of malice that decides to undo your work.
In Tipareth is also harmony and freedom. Entering the Presence of God, you come to understand that nothing can
bind you because you can understand the nature of anything and the purpose and part it has to play in creation. In the
Hindu cosmology, the gods and goddesses appeared from out of the meditation of Brahma, the creator. And as they
took form and appeared for the first time, Brahma assigned to each one a name and a purpose to fulfill.
When Kama, the god of love, appeared Brahma assigned to him power over all the gods and goddesses for the sake
of love and to insure the unfolding of creation. Kama often acts whimsically and causes great suffering. But the
impulse and desire must first be present before you can study it and observe its influence. It first takes experience
and then through conscious understanding you can bring desire into harmony with everything else in life. Each
desire and impulse is full of light. If you can find the light that shines within them, then you become wise, attain
harmony, and exercise free choice.
Harmony requires mediation between conflicting desires and intentions. A highly skilled mediator, for example,
becomes aware of all the thoughts, feelings, intentions, and events relating to a conflict between opposing parties.
The mediator then extends warmth, understanding, empathy, clarity, and, above all else, a sense of fairness to each
individual who is involved in the conflict.
This sense of being fair, that dissolves fear, anxiety, and greed, serves to inspire those in conflict. It is as if those in
dispute end up saying to themselves, “If the mediator can be friendly, fair-minded, and clear about what is
motivating the other person, then perhaps I can work with this person as well. I know this because the mediator has
dissolved my fears and has brought clarity to my confusion. The situation has changed. It is time now to get on with
our lives rather than remain struck in a past that leads no where.”
The Presence of God is in the present moment. No prophet or scripture, however great or sacred, can exert an
authority or power from out of the past that in any way equals what the Presence of God can do right now in this
moment. God as freedom empowers your freedom of choice. The ecstasy and beauty of God enable you to make
free choices that also assume complete responsibility for bringing all aspects of life into balance.
The skilled mediator is conscious of all aspects of a situation of conflict. His level of consciousness dissolves
negativity. The harmony of God creates peace. It makes you conscious of all aspects of life and all purposes that are
unfolding and moving toward fulfillment both in the visible and in the invisible worlds.
A mediator does not impose a solution upon others in conflict. He empowers others by offering a process through
which they can discover their own best choices. This is analogous to what a creator does: He nurtures, encourages,
inspires, awakens, oversees, restores, and grants power unto others like unto his own power.
As I again focus on the Presence of God in Tipareth, I sense a radiance--it is undying, untiring, and it never goes out.
It is everywhere in the universe and it is available to every being who seeks it.
I find it very reassuring. It is full of infinite joy. Many people, if you asked them, have a wish list of what they want
out of life. They also have crossed off of this wish list all sorts of things that they know to be impossible and beyond
their grasp, too difficult or unusual even to hope for or dream about.
This radiance in God’s Presence is not an immediate solution to their problems, but it offers the assurance that those
problems can be solved. It has a way of turning you into a creator so that you when you say, “This is missing and
that also is missing from my life,” you can also say, “There is a way to fulfill the deepest desires within my heart.
God has granted me the means and opened the way for me to accomplish this.”
You can ask whatever you want of God. But there is a price. You have to be willing to become the vehicle through
what you ask for can manifest. You have to allow yourself to become transformed into the being who is able to grant
to others as well the kind of things you request. If you want the deepest desires satisfied, you are learning to touch
the power that fulfills these desires under all circumstances and conditions.
As I continue focusing on this radiance, I feel I am entering and becoming one with a sea of infinite light. This sea is
everything that is light--it grants sight, insight, and illumination. It offers energy, power, and clarity of vision. Since
it is everywhere, there is nothing hidden from it. It offers the ability to understand anything.
For thousands of years, Buddhists have written many texts and offered many teachings on enlightenment. You could
call the radiance from the Presence the source of all enlightenment. It is not just the enlightenment of an individual.
Within this radiance it is possible to gaze back upon yourself and to speak of your individuality and historical
identity. But the radiance--which is the nature of unrestricted consciousness--is in no way limited to individual
existence.
This radiance is the enlightenment not just of a race or of a planetary evolution. It is the enlightenment of the
universe. It is the light in the mind of the Creator who calls two hundred billion galaxies into existence by the sound
of His voice.
During another meditation, I take about fifteen minutes to feel connected to this Presence. At this time, I feel my
body has become a sun. The radiant solar light is welling up inside of me, overflowing, even exploding outward in
brilliant light.
It is as if my body is a temple. There is this emptiness or open space of nothingness within this temple. And within
this space light manifests without end and without limitation. The light is being created out of nothingness and there
is no way to measure the source from which it arises other than to say it derives from the infinite.
The level of power in my meditation is not very great although I am clearly focused on the Presence. There are not
waves of heat emanating from my body. I do not feel special in any way. I do not notice that anything in particular
about myself is different. Except, I do feel like I am home--I am where I am meant to be. And, at least during this
meditation, I feel beyond all human need.
If desires were clouds, thunderstorms, hurricanes, and tornadoes, then I feel like the sky that contains all of these
things and allows them free play. But the sky remains in itself unaffected and completely free. The Buddha once
said that “when I attained perfect enlightenment, I attained to nothing at all.” Buddha did not feel that he had
become different. The world was not different. But he saw the world as it really is.
I notice that identifying with the light as I am doing in this meditation does not change anything at all. I am not more
religious. I am not more devote. I have not ascended. There is no halo around my head. I have no new missions or
message to convey.
I have the same bank account. The same house is around me. I have all the same limitations. Except I am just more
aware of the possibilities with which I can respond. And there is this feeling of giving, of being radiant without end.
The radiance, the giving, and feeling of creativity are side effects of the joy and ecstasy from which the light arises.
Of all the higher spirits in our solar system, the spirits of the solar sphere, of the sun, are slightly different. They are
more wild and free in their creativity. These spirits are not just inspired by God. They are joined to God from within
themselves. In their hearts is the ecstasy of being in union with divinity.
At a seminar I attended, one individual said, “I feel like I am in love even though I do not have a lover.” There are
different levels to this experience. After countless lifetimes, of loving and being loved, there comes a point in time
when you encounter the Lover who is within yourself. This Lover consumes all that you are and in doing so you feel
like you have been transformed. The radiance you now give feels like the radiance of a star.

The Presence of God in Gevurah


The Presence of God in Gevurah creates the will and the power to overcome all obstacles and obstructions. There is
personal will and power. There is also cosmic will and power. In this domain, we learn to join these two focusing
first on a level of self-mastery that enables the individual to contain within him or herself and also consciously direct
the powers of creation to designated ends.
As I meditate entering the Presence, I have both a visual and a tactile perception. I see the image of a magnifying
glass and I have the sensation of becoming this magnifying glass. The human body and soul are often said to be a
microcosm of the macrocosm. We reflect within us everything in the universe.
Everything that exists has a vibration and is an energy. A human being is able to reflect within himself or herself the
energy and vibration of any specific thing. The Creator, having created everything, is the source of everything. As
you enter the Presence in Gevurah, you approach this realization that the vibration, the life, and the spirit of anything
can be found within yourself.
But this is not just an internal mirror reflecting within something outside of yourself. This Presence is ever ready to
act and change the world. Therefore, it also bestows the ability to contain within yourself, that is, to control the
vibration, the energy, and the consciousness of anything. You are not just running a simulation or imitating the
vibration of trees, animals, human beings, stars, seas, and spirits. Your consciousness is not just duplicating their
energy so you can experience their existence. You also can contain something in the sense of absolutely mastering,
influencing, and redirecting the energy and spirit of specific things and beings.
In the Old Testament, there are many examples of wars and confrontations between opposing armies. Often, as a
demonstration of divine inspiration, a small force is empowered to overcome a much greater force. The
confrontation is physical and the outcome, although produced through violence, clearly demonstrates the superiority
of spirit over worldly power as in the saying, “Not by might, not by power, but by My Spirit.”
The Presence of God in Gevurah is quite different from these historical examples of battles won on behalf of God.
The demonstration of power is far more subtle. I often give the example of Pope Leo who single-handedly turned
back the largest army in the world. There is no need for physical conflict because the spiritual authority present
dissolves any human will no matter how powerful. In the martial arts, the example is sometimes given of two
opponents who in facing off against each other first sense each other’s level of internal power. It becomes obvious at
this point who is superior and thus the need for a physical combat can be avoided.
There is the story of a female martial artist who had reached the final stage of a state championship in her martial
art. As she faced her opponent, the two of them looked into each other’s eyes. The man suddenly conceded the
championship to her without a fight. A few weeks later he quit the martial arts altogether. The problem for him was
that he had never encountered a level of will that was cosmic in dimension. And this she clearly possessed.
You could say she defeated his spirit making the physical demonstration of her power unnecessary. He thought he
was participating in a tournament, a sporting event to determine who had more skill. She, however, had decided that
it was not a sport at all. It was an ordeal in a spiritual dimension to determine whose will was superior.
The Presence is not concerned with superiority of wills. Its interest is in self-mastery through aligning oneself with
and mastering the energies and vibrations of the universe. You do not have to defeat your enemies. You can
cooperate with them and defuse hostility by demonstrating that you are master of all that exists within the other.
Your consciousness contains the other person’s will, power, energy, and inspiration within yourself.
Understand that consciousness seeks to expand itself. It tests its boundaries. It attempts to grasp and master the
forces both within and without that shape and influence its actions. It strives to take control of its environment and to
overcome the obstacles that hinder its freedom of expression.
It is not hard to grasp that every sentient being possesses a will to survive--the survival instinct. Without it, nothing
lasts very long. But there is a spiritual dimension as well when it comes testing an individual’s power and will.
Fables and mythology speak of magical names. In the Old Testament, for example, the name of God was
pronounced only the high priest and only once a year. In that highly ritualized and ceremonial tradition, a name
properly spoken called forth the presence of the spirit it represented.
If you confront a demon or hostile spirit, a mythical beast, an archetypal image, or some unknown creature, you can
overcome this being by knowing its magical name. The magical name is nothing else than containing within your
consciousness the will, the dreams, the desires, and all that motivates and empowers the other at the core of its
being.
To do this, you follow the desire in the other to its source and origin. You understand how the will in the other has
been shaped and formed. You perceive the energy within it, what drives and moves it, and its strengths and
limitations. This is an outstanding accomplishment. To know another’s magical name means that you are so present
in the other’s strength and will that your opponent can only attack you by first turning against himself.
I am sure you can image how such a high telepathic and empathic ability such as this could easily be abused. But the
Presence does not seek to control. It empowers. When Peter asked Christ to bid him to walk on water also, Christ
did not hold back. He was generous. It is as if he were saying, “You have seen that the elements of nature obey my
will. This I would share with you also. Come and join me. Walk on water even as I am doing now.” But Peter’s faith
would fail and the lesson was lost in spite of an occasional saint whose faith ventured beyond the limits set by Peter,
the disciples, and the historical church.
As I enter the Presence of God in Gevurah, I encounter a power that is infinite. You can not probe or explore its
depths because it is limitless. Or, to put this another way, you can go on exploring this power forever. This Presence
is open and friendly and there are no restrictions placed upon the extent you can unite with it.
It is perfectly clear that the power that is this Presence can not be threatened or overcome. It is the source of
everything that exists. Therefore, this Presence serves as motivation to take hold of any problem and seek a solution.
It inspires you to take hold of any obstacle and comprehend its essence. There is nothing you can not understand
from a divine perspective as to its origin, its nature, its purpose, and its place in creation. The Presence grants you
the ability to gather your energy, focus your will, and act to fulfill the deepest purposes of life, both human and
divine.
Again, entering the Presence, I have a sense of being united to the power that enables an individual to accomplish
any mission. There is work in life that is human. There is work in life that is divine. We are assigned tasks to
accomplish in life. On occasion, we also are assigned divine missions. Sometimes the two are the same thing. To
reach out to another with love is both human and divine.
I think about the will that has empowered the lives of various individuals--my track coach in high school who was a
captain in the Marines, my father whose will shaped his business enterprise, the fighter pilot I met who lead the
attack on Pearl Harbor, a famous TV actor, and so forth. I think too about the many world leaders whose wills I have
studied, probed, and meditated on for decades. And I think of the wills of various spirits who I have worked with
over the years--Vehuiah of the sphere of Mercury, Emnasut of the sphere of the sun, Malchjdael of the sphere of
Jupiter, the Judges of Saturn, etc.
The Presence is very clear on this point--if you are certain in your heart that there is a task or work that it has been
appointed for you to accomplish or that you have accepted out of service to Divine Providence, then the Presence
grants you the power necessary for this task. Amid conflict, struggle, strife, war, confusion, and chaos, there is a
central point of balance through which all opposing forces may be restored to harmony.
The Presence of God in Gevurah takes you to this point. It introduces you directly and guides you in the mastery of
those powers both within the psyche and spirit and within nature and the larger universe that enable you to take
charge and to accomplish whatever your work is.
As I meditate again in the Presence, the level of power I sense is cosmic in dimension but it is also personal as well.
It is easy for me to see how the Presence is the power that underlies the forces of nature. I can sense the tornado and
the hurricane and the power that is beneath them. I can sense the volcano erupting and the tsunami and the Presence
again is within them. I can sense a nuclear explosion and an asteroid hitting the earth, a larger asteroid colliding with
Jupiter, a star exploding, and the gases traveling near the speed of light as they are caught in the whirlpool of a black
hole. There is a cold ferocity to the Presence that is just a statement about the way things are.
But the personal is here also with questions just as dynamic as they bear upon the choices we make in life. For
example, the Presence often leads me to ask, What is it I have to change in myself or in the world, what do I have to
do or become so that what is willed is fulfilled. What do I have to do so that a problem I face never occurs again?
What action is required so that fate is overcome?
I remember a Tibetan lama who, during his ceremonies, liked to assign tasks to various students who were rowdy or
uncooperative. These students did not know themselves well enough to abide by any form of discipline. So he would
say things like, “I want you to get up. Go to your room and pack some cloths. Travel and find a cave in Canada and
remain there for a year and then return here. Do all of this without saying one word to anyone.”
Or he would say to another person, “I want you to go on a pilgrimage traveling around the world. Visit many holy
sites and then when you are done, return here.” And surprisingly, these students would do exactly as he said as best
they could. But the idea behind his words was fascinating. Since he taught enlightenment, he felt there was always
something you could do, an action you could perform, that could strengthen your will and concentration.
If you talk too much and are overly dependent on others, you practice silence. If you are phlegmatic and bogged
down, you go on a quest. There is always some action that enables you to come to terms with and confront the part
of yourself that is intractable. There is always a place where you belong, but you have to strive to find it. And in the
process of seeking, you become transformed.
The Presence in Gevurah is like this. There are no limits to what you can become. You just have to find the right
course of action or the right practice that enables you to be transformed. The Presence is the absolute assurance that
this is possible. The Presence is the perception that the inner and the outer worlds are two aspects of the same thing.
You can proceed inward or outward or combine the two. But in the end you learn to master both of them for the
physical and the spiritual worlds are one world.

The Presence of God in Chesed


The Presence of God in Chesed creates opportunities for new experience and for fulfillment. It is the vision and the
materialization of wealth on every level of human existence. This is the basic landscape of Chesed: you find yourself
in a place in life where you are serving others. You are giving far more than you receive because of the abilities you
have to offer. And yet at the same time, every need you have is satisfied.
You have wealth because you have become the custodian of wealth. You are the gatekeeper to the cosmic and divine
treasury, a storehouse of all resources that expands life and offers new experience. To put it simply, you are in the
right place at the right time with every benefit of good luck and fortune. You are guided and inspired, surrounded by
love and friends.
Your work is incredibly challenging, satisfying, and exciting. Work and love are united and the best of friends.
Almost without effort, each year a new desire within the depths of your heart is fulfilled. Your life is a miracle. You
are totally committed and you feel completely free.
The Presence of God offers this. It is a state of mind and an inner experience. In the movie, Shawshank Redemption,
one prisoner says of another that he looks so relaxed and free as he walks in the prison courtyard it is as if he is
going for a stroll through his garden. Some individuals when affected by adversity still possess a wealth of soul and
spirit. They may be in jail for twenty years but when the get out they do not become terrorists and demagogues.
They rise to lead their nations to freedom and justice.
When they are granted the power they seek, they use that power to serve rather than to perpetuate domination and
exploitation. Rather than whine or complain, they envision. They do not get even or seek revenge or cut deals to
serve their private ends. Rather, they embody a nobility and they astonish others with their generosity. Such as these
are the servants and guardians of life and within them the divine light is very bright.
The Presence of God in Chesed establishes a community. This community is not just a set of friends and a well-
connected organization. It is a community that has become a family. Its members are inspired by the heart of life and
are committed to accomplishing the highest and greatest work that can benefit others.
This community serves but it is so wise and balanced that it probes the depths of soul and spirit to discover what
grants the deepest fulfillment. This community does not define itself as special, elite, or open only to certain people.
Its members do not enjoy special privileges and fringe benefits due to rank, loyalty, and seniority. They certainly do
not define themselves by what they believe or by the ceremonies of a sacred tradition.
Instead, this community defines its success by the wealth it is able to offer to others. There are problems solved,
conflicts resolved, inspiration granted, healing provided, broken hearts mended, despair banished, doors opened,
work and new life achieved. And the connection between its members is more solid and powerful than that offered
in any secret organization or military forces. It is an inner connection--heart to heart and soul to soul.
This connection, as in the other sephira, is the inspiration of the Creator who, out of joy, makes the world new. The
inspiration is infinite. There is no end to it. The only reason permitted to hold anything back is that the gift offered
would destroy the one who receives it. The wealth is that inexhaustible. The generosity that limitless.
The Presence also establishes an astonishingly wide-ranging internal balance and equilibrium. An individual skilled
and experienced in working with this inspiration can understand any desire and the best way in which it is satisfied.
An analogy for this would be like a musician who can play any tune.
Imagine a Celtic bard, for example, who can play music in a tavern that makes sober those who are rowdy and drunk
or changes the spirits of those who are depressed and overcome with sorrow. He can play in a way that makes men
cry and in the next song cause them to laugh and shout with joy.
He can play a tune that makes men ready to lay down their lives as they enter a fight or then again a song so
dynamic and overpowering it causes men to lay down their weapons amid a battle to hear how his cords resolve. He
can play so sweetly you fall asleep as if in the arms of love or upon awakening you are stirred to dream a new
dream, to pursue an unknown quest.
With the Presence in Chesed you learn to grasp each individual’s situation. You know how to ask the penetrating
question, to reveal the inner stream of dreams that surface in the unique choices and the transitions of another’s life.
You know how to bring things into perspective--to define the bottom line, who someone is and where he or she is in
the present moment.
To offer wealth is also to understand the wealth that each individual already possesses --where they have come from
and where they are going. Wisdom such as this is able to explain how an individual’s weakness and faults are also
wealth in their own way. If you overcome and master your weakness, then you become a teacher who can solve
problems for others as well. What you have been denied and what has been forbidden to you from life becomes a
seed. In due time it will blossom and make you into a person you can not now imagine.
There is a process to growth and transformation. There is an optimum level at which we can absorb and integrate
new experience into our personalities. And there is a place of mystery where the divine builds a gate within us that
opens to the infinite. To enter the Presence is to strive to comprehend in every detail the limitations that bind and
restrict our freedom of action. And it is simultaneously to dwell in a wonder that continuously reminds us that there
are no limitations placed upon the spirit that is within us.
The Presence creates a balance between all of life’s activities. You could call this “right living.” You are inspired to
have the right relationship to your job, to your home, to your children, to your spouse, to your friends, to your
associates, to your community, to your body, to your feelings, to your mind, and to your spirit.
In other words, the Presence enhances every connection you have to others and to life so that you bring out the best
in whatever you are doing. You could also call this “divine luck.” It is not that everything goes right and that you
avoid mistakes and difficulties. It is rather that when you look at something it is in focus. Your mind operates with
great clarity and your judgment is accurate. The consequence is that you can appreciate everything in life for the
value within it and the purpose it furthers.
Within the Presence, it is natural to ask yourself as you enter any situation or interact with any person, “What can I
do, be, become, call forth, accomplish, or create that will enhance and enrich the situation I am in or the person I am
with? Like God, you feel inherently generous. You touch the world not only with tenderness because it is fragile and
precious. You are a benefactor who offers new life.
Let me give this example. At this moment in time, Bill Gates, the wealthiest man on earth, is not a very generous
man. He may have the largest endowment for charities of anyone on earth. But he himself is selfish, possessive,
competitive, and ever ready to destroy his competition.
I am sure Bill Gates would point out that you do not succeed in this world by being kind and considerate to those
who oppose you and who constantly seek to destroy you. And this is probably true. But Bill Gates is only operating
at about one tenth of his potential. This is because he does not see what people really need. Instead, he measures
himself against his competition. He overcomes his competition because he understands what they are planning. He
moves quicker and is more successful in adapting.
Bill Gates has no doubt accelerated the development of internet and business applications of the computer so that we
are perhaps five to seven years further ahead than what we would have been without his leadership. But he has also
taken the human race backwards in other areas.
He has generated immense wealth for many individuals and corporations within the wealthiest nation on earth. But
he has avoided two areas where computer applications can change life on earth for everyone and not just those with
programming background and those who adapt businesses to computer technologies. He has avoided software
development in the areas of education and medical applications. Education software is not captivating and engaging
in a way that transforms the user. At present, it is at best merely reflecting methods used in classroom teaching.
You will know when the development of educational software is done right. There will be teenagers in the rural
areas of Brazil, Africa, and India who will get accepted at Harvard and Stanford because they have perfect scores on
their SATs and their essays show a remarkable understanding of life. And large numbers of intermediate and high
school students around the world will understand the physical and mental diseases that affect their populations and
how to prevent them. You just do not give a billion dollars to prevent AIDS or dysentery in Africa. You also give
knowledge so that people can take charge of their own lives. This is not yet happening.
Bill Gates is not magnanimous. He does not ask, “In what ways can I enhance life here on earth?” This spirit of
generosity and this spirit that envisions how to transform the world--these are not in his heart. If Bill Gates were
generous he would be chairman not just of Microsoft but of a think tank that is dedicated to solving the world’s
problems. And the former presidents of all the major world nations would be among its members. The Presence in
Chesed takes command of the best resources and insures their successful application. And, when necessary, it
creates new resources and new wealth so that life is fulfilled.

The Presence of God in Binah


The Presence of God in Binah creates justice, order, balance, and responsibility--that is, responsibility for everything
that exists.
Introduction
The following few paragraphs are from my essays, Finding Saturn in Yourself and A Saturn Evocation.
“Binah/Saturn is sometimes conceived as being a nightmarish landscape that visits us with its touch of sorrow, loss,
sadness, grief, disgrace, shame, failure, and pain. Its inspiration takes away the gifts we have been given. Its voice
speaks not of opportunities, adventures, and new horizons. Its path is an inward journey through an unknown
wilderness where our spirits finally attain absolute freedom. No other attainment
will quench its thirst for transcendence and illumination.”
“But Saturn's inner source of inspiration is a tranquility that is peaceful and nurturing. It is a knowledge of
equilibrium and inner harmony so the universe can be reflected in yourself without distortion or impurity. It is the
serenity so refined it can restore to harmony and beauty anyone who has lost their path or any soul which has fallen
into darkness. You will know when you have made a good start on this path. You will
find in your heart inner strength, inner peace, and complete freedom.”
For Saturn, every ending, separation, farewell, and goodbye is a sacred rite. They are a gift reminding you of who
you are--that one day you will be without form or limitation. The beauty of the universe will shine in your hearts and
omnipresence will be part of
everyone's art.
The Presence in Binah
This Presence for me is like an infinite and continuously new creation of justice, order, balance, and responsibility.
It is not only conscience. It is the creation of conscience where none exists. It is not only responsibility. It is the
creative will that inspires beings to be responsible for every aspect of their lives and the functioning of every aspect
of creation as well.
The way in which this Presence operates in the Bible when it is present and active and unhappy with someone’s
abuse of Binah awareness is this: it makes everything a person or nation does come to naught. All actions lead to
destructive results. No work, purpose, or intention creates anything of value. Time turns against the person and the
nation so that they stand on the edge of an abyss.
Like Balaam, the man who could enter God’s presence at will--an archangel had been ordered to strike him down
and only the most lowly of creatures--the donkey--is there to warm him of the danger he faces: your car breaks
down; your bank account is overdrawn; a nation’s economy goes into recession when it tries to fight a war and fund
great new social programs at the same time; the banks begin to fail because no one is there to regulate them;
industries are run by Mafia dons who don’t pay taxes or, the same thing, entrepreneurs who embody monopolistic
interests and the country is on the edge of civil disorder or an industry fails to fulfill it appointed function.
The abyss may be big or small. It may be an archangel who has been ordered to bring you down or it could just be
you need to downsize your lifestyle by cutting back on unnecessary luxuries. The effect may be controlled by
natural or spiritual causes. But it is the same universe--physical or spiritual--that is sustained and watched over by
God.
The Presence in Binah seems very familiar to me. It has pursued me my whole life. I am more acquainted with the
Presence here than in any other sephiroth.
There is present what I would call the wrath of God. This feeling of being continuously weighed and judged has
haunted my life. But as I stay with this aspect of the Presence, I see it now as a divine accountant. You are just
responsible for everything in your life. It is Judgment Day and also the archetypal Judge who is within you at the
core of your being. He insists that you learn to be free which, again, is to be totally responsible for yourself.
On the other hand, the Wrath of God relates not only to taking total and absolute responsibility for all of your own
actions through the entire course of time. You are also to take total and absolute responsibility for everyone else as
well. How can you love others unless like Christ you take responsibility for their sins as well? With Binah, you
embody not only the awareness of a divine judge. You are others’ probation officer, counselor, guardian,
conscience, cop, business and spiritual accountant--all of these rolled into one.
Had this Divine Presence been active on earth through the instrumentation of human will and wisdom, Rome would
not have fallen. The emperors would have maintained their economies and understood how to successfully defend
their empire. And Greece would not have been conquered by Rome. It would still be flourishing in all of its glory
and splendor. Israel would never have been divided or carried away into exile. Solomon’s temple would still be
standing. Genuine priests and prophets would even now be ministering to the entire human race.
There is a great price to be paid for this kind of continuity and understanding of the laws of life. You have to step
beyond the boundaries of time and space to enter God’s presence, turning away from the world as you know and
understand it to seek a higher illumination. And then you have to return and use your divine insight and power to
transform the world around you.
But the price is much much less than having to live in a world that over and over destroys itself. Bored, apathetic,
cruel, impatient, greedy, and obsessed leaders and nations self-destruct as they pursue non-essential things which
profit nothing and fulfill no sacred purposes. When you do not have your priorities straight and when goals fail to
consider the plans of Divine Providence, you are not aware when you make serious mistakes.
The Archangel Tzaphkiel.
The archangel level of Binah is a little like working with the archangel Gabriel. I find the experience overwhelming
and strangely soothing and tranquilizing and full of blessing. But I feel that it is easily deceptive. Without enough
work on the lower Order of Angels that pertain to this level--the 49 Judges of Saturn--it is too easy to completely
miss what is going on or misinterpret it.
Tzaphkiel seems to bring out all kinds of blessings that flow from acquiring experience and wisdom through the
course of the years. Friendships, love, and wealth flourish for the simple reason that you have worked for them and
are worthy of them. It is hard for me to sense the dark, severe side to Tzaphkiel in spite of the fact that he is the
archangel of Binah or the aura of Saturn.
It is like he says, To each individual the joys and benefits that accrue to their rank and sphere of responsibility. If
you are the president of the United States, your job position carries with it a fleet of jets, an entire police force, and a
vast array of public officials whose job it is to put into effect your policies and executive orders.
If you are a world class magician aligned with the larger universe, of course, whatever you ask for shall be granted
to you without exception because your will expresses and embodies the will of the greater universe. If you are a
lousy president, then of course, your status will be downgraded in the course of time and the same applies to world
class magicians. And you do not always have to carry so much responsibility if you need other kinds of life
experience to fulfill your path in life.
The bricklayer and the woodcutter may think of themselves as being of lessor stature and dignity than the president
or a universal prophet. But this is not so. Each human being is exactly equal in value. No one is greater than anyone
else. The president and the mage/prophet can only do their jobs well if they have perfectly internalized the simplicity
and the humility of a simple laborer.
For this reason, we all are required to master the lessons that every area of life offers us. And for this reason, to
retain harmony and balance, the greatest Roman general will retire and tend to his garden and prune his fruit trees.
And the greatest commander of the allied forces will retire and take up painting nature scenes because the simplicity
and the appreciation of natural sensations is within his deepest dreams.
In effect, Tzaphkiel says, “Appreciate the life you have right now. The deepest wisdom and the greatest mysteries
already surround you in this moment.”
Some ascribe to Saturn/Binah the vision of sorrow as its spiritual realization. It is just as to easy to say after you
meet Tzaphkiel that the vision is a vision of joy. It is finding in each moment the satisfaction that comes from
knowing that you are a spiritual being. Our dwelling place is the Presence of God and our home is God’s creation--
the universe.
The limitations of time, space, and history do not define us. The vulnerabilities and weaknesses of our personalities
do not bind us. They are a place where we train in order to perfect ourselves so that we may become creators we are
meant to be.

The Judges and Executors of Fate


I am going to depart from my avoidance of referring to lower orders of angels in this essay by saying something
about the Judges of Saturn. This level of angelic or spiritual awareness embraces the entire solar system and all
paths of life. These spirits penetrate the entire solar system all at once and perceive how everything in each moment
is derived from akasha. They do not embody personal enlightenment. They embody cosmic enlightenment.
For this reason, they are appointed as Judges and Executers of Fate because they can fairly and justly represent and
protect all paths of life, all paths of spirit, and whatever any being requires in order to fulfill its life and spiritual
journey. They hold no bias toward any race, any spiritual evolution, or any path of life. They do not accept the point
of view of any age or eon of time. They are the guardians of time and space.
Therefore, if an individual or community seeks to interfere with their purposes or to contaminate what they seek to
maintain as pure, they have the power to remove that individual or community from time and space. As I mention
elsewhere, they can easily place an individual in a universe in which nothing negative can exist. They would say in
effect, “You like causing problems for others. Here is an interesting problem. See if you can learn from this.”
This level of the spiritual sphere of Saturn does not actively seek to inspire others. If it is intervening, it most likely
will do so first through an individual’s conscience. It takes what the individual already holds sacred and reminds that
individual to act in a way consistent with that level of purpose. If you want inspiration to fulfill your path in life, to
become transformed, to make a great transition, then other spheres and sephira such as Tipareth or the sphere of the
Sun radiate this energy and light. Saturn/Binah, on the other hand, protects these other forms of inspiration from
attack and assault by those who have risen to a level of spiritual malice.
On the other hand, for those who work with this level of consciousness, the freedom you acquire is cosmic in
dimension. There is nothing you can not understand. There is no purpose unfolding in creation that you can not see
its origin, path, and mode of fulfillment. You are open and receptive to everything.

Four Judges Relating to the planet Earth


These spirits seem to ask, “Is an individual, nation, religion, culture, or community acting responsibly in regard to its
sphere of actions?” If it is, then they step back and play no part at all. There is present the foresight and wisdom to
see in advance what consequences are occurring and what needs to be done to remedy imbalances.
But if there is power present and it is being applied without wisdom, then in the course of time they will intervene.
They will expand the consciousness of the individual or group to a cosmic level. What this does is give the
individual or group a vastly expanded sense of what it is capable of accomplishing. But since the individual, nation,
religion, or group suffers from an absence of wisdom, this expansion of awareness increases a tendency toward self-
destruction. The group or individual imagine falsely that the greatest possibilities are easily within its grasp. There is
an expansion of the ego and self-image at the cost of failing to see what is about to cause their destruction.
In other words, do not ever lose your humility. Humility allows you to see that the minor problems in life are also
important and require your full attention. This situation is common enough in life so that many have seen it first
hand. We meet individuals with great potential. But they may have this character flaw--they reach out for some great
accomplishment. In so doing, they fail to attend to minor details and they ignore small problems. These little
problems then accumulate and these small details create an increasing amount of confusion until the situation
becomes impossible.
They repeat the same mistake over and over. They fail to see that it is the flaw within themselves that generates their
failure. They think they have been unlucky or a victim of an ill fate. Binah/Saturn does not speed things up to get a
lot done quickly but without enduring results. Saturn slows things down and gets you to appreciate the situation you
are in--this is how Saturn gets a lot done which has value and endures.
To put it another way, those who hold the greatest power have renounced power--that is, they consider power to be
of no value whatsoever other than something to pick up when you need it to fulfill a specific purpose. Otherwise,
they do not cling to it, dream about it, seek to possess it, or imagine it somehow does something for them as
individuals. On the other hand, this “renouncing power” does not mean they have not mastered power beyond all
human understanding. It is just that power never causes them to lose their perspective.
And so you could ascribe to God or to Divine Providence these words which are the words also of Saturn: “I create
both truth and illusion, wisdom and self-deception--the greatest ecstasy and the worst nightmare, both of these I
have designed carefully and with great artistry. It is your outlook and your attitude that determines which path you
take; it is you who choose your own fate.”

Summary
I sometimes get into trouble paraphrasing or translating an individual’s thoughts and feelings for someone else. I
personally do not like arguments but I realize some people do. I personally do not like wars but I realize some
people do. Having said this, in summary, my translation of God’s words regarding His Presence in Binah or the
sphere of Saturn is:
“If you would be like unto Me, then do as I do: take responsibility for creation. Wherever life unfolds, create beauty,
truth, and harmony. Hold in your consciousness the mind and spirit of every being. Inspire the perfection of their
conscience so that they can reflect within themselves the wisdom and depths of the universe. And know this,
peacemakers are my children because they embody who I Am--into their hands I place the powers of creation.”
When I meditate in the Presence of God within the Sephiroth of Binah, I am again seeking to follow through with
the command, “Be still and know that I am God.” What I sense here is that I am surrounded by infinite power. There
is no way to measure its depths, but to know it is to become one with it. It is the power of Justice that holds in its
hands a great quest, a divine ideal, and an inexpressible bliss.

Returning to the Presence


As I enter the Presence of God, I find myself at the edge of an abyss of enlightenment--I feel like I am on the verge
of seeing, hearing, feeling, and experiencing all events of my life in one moment. It is all here. Nothing is forgotten
or too insignificant to pass over. It is a clarity of perception, mind, and memory that is strong, solid, and enduring.
There is no doubt that the inspiration of the Presence makes you thoughtful, sober, and it develops a judicial
temperament--you consider and ponder all sides of an issue taking into account and weighing the facts against the
law.
But the Presence does not just recall what has been in your life. It not only seeks to strengthen what is weak and
make right what is wrong. This is the Presence of the Creator. It recalls everything that has happened on earth.
I sometimes make fun of the phrase, “akashic records.” The idea is that there is a recording device in the spiritual
universe that accurately depicts every event to the extent that you can not only “read about it” but also you can relive
it as if you are there and within it. It is a great idea.
The problem is that I notice that individuals and groups who say, “I received this from the akashic records” are
sometimes using imagination and desire to manufacture their perceptions. They make things up to the extent that
they con themselves like a con man who fools himself into believing he is who he says he is. He can even pass a lie
detector test because in his own mind he is telling the truth.
It is helpful, therefore, to be at least conscious that every perception and description involves interpretation and
every translation contains a factor of difficulty. Discovering truth, as I pointed out in Hod, requires communication
between different perspectives. Having offered this disclaimer, I would again say that the Presence is very peaceful
and reassuring. It makes me feel very solid.
The universe may look very chaotic and destructive at times. It sometimes appears horrifying and dark beyond
imagination. But it is not. In the Presence you can account for every event.
From my perspective, a young and immature prophet might be tempted to say, “There will come a Judgment Day.
One moment in time and history shall be brought to an end.” Be that as it may, I see it otherwise. Judgement Day is
right here now in this moment. The Presence is aware of everything all at once in every moment. It weights,
evaluates, correlates, interrelates, and sets right the unfolding of the universe without ceasing. There is no mistake
being made.
Some may turn away from this and say, “Fate is not in my hands.” But the Presence is within every heart. We all
have a part to play when it comes to manifesting conscience and divine justice here on earth. We are all public
advocates for fairness and equality of opportunity.
In a democracy you can not legitimately complain about anything the government does and then say it is not also
your responsibility to do something about it. In a democracy, everyone is responsible by definition. In a similar way,
in the Presence, we are all responsible for each other.
In the Presence, you can reflect upon what has gone before within a state of peace and clarity. Personal history and
human history are not just a book you read like an autobiography or a text on world history. The past is a magical
book. Its themes are still unfolding and its purposes are still seeking completion. You study the past in order to
better write the next chapter of life. You are an artist seeking to express beauty, love, and justice through the
situations and limitations of each individual’s life. This perspective is immense, wonderful, awesome, wise, and
incredibly responsible.
With Binah, the objective is not to judge and then punish. Justice is not about revenge and retribution. The goal is
enlightenment. It is about education. The question is, how do you get someone to take total responsibility when he
or she has no conscience, is in denial, and engages in self-deception on an advanced level?
And so the wrath of God steps in. Jonah gets swallowed by a whale. Zacherias loses his voice. Paul loses his sight.
Balaam runs into an archangel with a sword in his hand. And Israel gets carried away into captivity again and again.
Events such as these get you to ask yourself about the choices you have made. When all else fails, you can always
ask yourself, “What part have I played in getting where I am now and/or what do I have to do to get out of this
situation?” For some, asking this question comes sooner and for others it just takes longer.
The Wrath of God aspect of the Presence takes you into a place outside of space and time. The universe is gone. The
light of all the stars has gone out. And here you can not bullshit the Creator. There is nothing you can hide. The pain
you have caused becomes your own because you are one with every other. Denial, self-deception, and malice are
annihilated. This is a rather intense experience. I recommend you avoid it unless you are ready to seek total
enlightenment.
Again, I notice that the effect on me of being within this Presence is that I feel incredibly calm, solid, stable, and
enduring. The Presence contains a complete acceptance of the situation you are now in. You work with God in
understanding all that is involved in being where you are. You seek to learn all that you can as if there are all sorts of
secret treasures that are on the edge of being revealed.
Above all else you gain an appreciation of time and history. You sense the weight of the past. The present moment is
the result of choices many individuals have made throughout the courses of their lives. Their choices and your own
have brought you to where you are now. The choices you make now and in the future will be as intimately involved
in influencing your own future and the future of others as well.
As I have mentioned, Binah relates to conscience. Conscience is an awareness of action and consequences. But
some individuals have little or no awareness in this area. And some individuals, no matter how mature or seemingly
responsible, remain unaware of that some of their actions have enormous consequences.
The Presence in Binah is not just reactive. You do not just learn by living through and witnesses the results of your
actions. The Presence is proactive. It is like a guardian angel who intervenes to inspire you and also warn you of
impending danger.
Although it is a rare occurrence, on certain planets in our galaxy the Presence awakens prophets and inspires them to
prophecy. It inspires individuals to seek visions and also grants them visions of possibilities they would never
otherwise see.
We dwell on such a planet. The Presence is active in the history of the human race. It incites and enflames human
beings to seek enlightenment, wisdom, and divine visions. As a consequence, the human race has an astonishing
destiny if we have the carefulness and responsibility to lay hold of it.
When I read through the Old Testament back in high school and again in college, I notice that for me the primary
thing that God wanted from the human race was to have friends. As I often quote from the 90th Psalm, the psalmist
says, “Oh Lord, thou has been our dwelling place through all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth
or ever thou did form the earth and the sky, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou are God.”
The implication for me was not that a tabernacle, temple, church, or cathedral was the place to seek God. God
instead is our dwelling place. It is in His Presence that we come home and find a home.
The Christian church will not tell you about this. They neither like to talk about it nor recall it, but Enoch in the Old
Testament walked with God and, without dying, left the earth. It is built into our nature and an aspect of our
consciousness--
You take away the earth, the mountains, the seas, and the sky. They are gone. You take away space, time, and 200
hundred billion galaxies. They are gone. And here, now, you enter the Presence of God, the Creator.
There are some interesting questions that can be asked at this point: What is the meaning of my life? What are the
deeper purposes that are expressed and that manifest through the choices that I make? In what way are You (the
Creator) and I different and in what way are we forever joined? What am I not seeing? And what are You willing to
grant me if I argue on behalf of my needs and You present me with the purposes You desire fulfilled and the work
You wish to be accomplished?
Some of these questions are quite ordinary and some may seem presumptive. But with the Presence in Binah, you
have to take an account of who you are and make sense out of what you have learned from life. You have to be
willing to identify your strengths and your weaknesses, your assets and your liabilities. The same man who said,
“You must be as little children to enter the Kingdom of God” also commanded, “Be as wise as serpents.”
You have to be willing to probe the depths of your soul and provide order and clarity. You have to be fair to yourself
as well as being fair to others. You have to be willing to balance the short term against the long term and need
against desire. Ultimately, you have to be willing to say, “This is my choice regarding the major decisions of my
life. I make them in the Presence of God. He is my judge and no other.”
With the Presence, the concern is whether you are moving toward full awareness and responsibility for yourself and
for others. Are you unaware of the critical aspects that your body, soul, mind, and spirit bring to bear in determining
the results of your actions? The Presence watches over everything. When you enter the Presence, you are drawn
toward this orientation. If the Presence embodies the foundation of all conscience, then in a sense it is like a judge.
Inspired by the Presence, we develop a judicial temperament--we take into account all factors bearing on a situation.
We consider the past. We consider personal responsibility. We consider options and remedies. And then we make
decisions that balance and that find a fair and impartial way through all the conflicts purposes and needs.
It is in your hands to determine when to affirm and abide by a tradition and when to overthrow a tradition by
creating a new and unknown option. It is in your hands as to when to offer continuity and stability and when to offer
new gifts to the world. It is in your hands to determine when a purpose has been completed and has been brought to
an end.
And it is in your hands to decide that it is time to make a new start--to work with God in presenting a new order of
creation. The Presence is responsible to and for all that has gone before. And the Presence is also a Creator ever on
the verge of presenting infinite and unknown possibilities.
Let me discuss again the Wrath of God. This aspect of the Presence can also be described in terms of cosmic
consciousness. Jews and Christians apparently do not know anything about this except occasionally when a prophet
applies the principle. The Presence is not just everywhere and within everything. It is not only everywhere in the
universe. Its very nature shapes and defines space and time.
An advanced Buddhist or Hindu practitioner when meditating can feel at one with the universe. Consciousness has
no definition. It is open, receptive, clear, luminous, and completely free. It can be anywhere and within anything. It
is not attached. It is not subject to illusion. It is enlightened.
Within the Presence, the universe has been created in part as a training ground, as a place to awaken consciousness.
Our actions and our interactions with others teach us about ourselves. And so in the Old Testament the Prophet
Nathan confronted King David and presented him with a case of injustice--A wealthy man had stolen the yew lamb
of a poor man.
King David was outraged at the injustice. As king, he was his job to make right what was wrong. And so King
David declared judgment: “As the Lord liveth, the man who has done this thing shall surely die. And he shall restore
the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.”
And Nathan said to King David, “You are the man.”
The Presence uses the situations of space and time as a divine mirror to show us who we are. It says, “This is what
you have done. Take responsibility for it. And through your choices, build a world of wonder and beauty that
endures.”
In a nutshell, the purpose of judgment and conscience is to educate. The goal of education is complete, total, and
cosmic enlightenment. Enlightenment is absolute freedom. This absolute freedom is necessary in order to learn to
create as the Creator creates. The Presence offers us this, reminds us of this, and inspires us to attain to it.

Two Additional Sephira


In Chockmah: It creates new destinies, new paths of life. It lays the foundations for new civilizations. It makes all
things new by the power of its voice.
In Kether: It is within everything, a part of everything, and it is the source from which all things arise. It creates
visions, dreams, intimations, and prophecies of what can be that reveal the depths of life and of the mysteries of the
heart. All of the sephiroth are contained and interwoven as one here just as all of the sephiroth are manifested in
some concrete, physical, and distinct manner in Malkuth.

The Shadow in Psychology and Magick


The shadow in psychology is often thought of as the part of ourselves which we deny and find unsavory. We like to
think of ourselves as being in charge of our lives. We like to feel that we are motivated in specific ways in
accordance with our ideals and our beliefs. And so naturally we are uneasy with those things in ourselves which do
not fit our conscious self-image. But in terms of psychology the shadow is always there. It exists as a reflection of or
counterpart to our social existence and the roles we take on in life. The shadow is the opposite of who you are not in
the sense of your gender and polar opposite. Instead, the shadow is the part of your self you have not integrated into
your consciousness. Therefore, as a constellation or necessary component of psychic life, it has an invaluable role to
play in spiritual growth. One way to sense your shadow is to note those moments when you find yourself disliking
or hating someone else. The very thing in them which you find obnoxious or evil is your own shadow. The other's
face acts as a mirror image reflecting back what is hidden in yourself. The dislike or animosity you may feel is not
identical with the other's actions or beliefs. The shadow is more subtle than that. Instead, it may he that what you
dislike is that the other person is giving vent through their life to something you have repressed in yourself. It is the
other's motivation of hate, fear, greed, arrogance, lust, malice, cravings, obsessions, etc. which is the voice of your
own shadow calling out to you to recognize and find a form of expression for what you deny in yourself. If this were
not the case, you would be more sympathetic and understanding of the motivation behind the other's actions. You
would not need to agree with them or accept their agendas. But you would not be personally repulsed by them. You
would feel more objective and perhaps even understand what they are going through and the natural way they will
learn through experience. The shadow is a paradox. If you give into it and surrender to its demands, you act in gross
and unwholesome ways. If you deny or repress it, you lose your creativity and momentum, for it has the power to
undermine your motivation. It knows the source of the instincts which grant you your greatest power and energy.
Therefore, the shadow requires of us that we invent new ways of living and being. The shadow is the precise
balancing factor which appears because we find ourselves restrained and inhibited by our conventional ways of
thinking and living. In this sense, the shadow is a life long companion, friend, and guardian spirit. It saves us from
falling into rigid life style and patterns of thought which deny the free movement of spirit and natural energy within
us. The shadow does not possess the zest and light which shines in the faces of those who are fully alive. But the
shadow is a guardian spirit who appears as a disguised voice of conscience. The shadow reminds us that we are not
yet fully alive. It asks of us, therefore, to search out the depths of ourselves and to honor every aspect of instinctual
life within us. It is not satisfied that we succeed in life and accomplish much. It asks, instead, that when we shine,
we shine with a transforming radiance--that innocence be combined with timeless wisdom, that youth be combined
with the knowledge of the ancestors, that love be combined with power, that tenderness be combined with self-
mastery, that dream be combined with material expression, etc. The shadow, then, is the darkness cast by the light of
consciousness. By defining ourselves in a specific way, we automatically leave out much of what is active within us.
This can be instinctual cravings, desires, needs, ways of acting and being which we not only dislike and disown but
which we have in some way managed to convince ourselves do not exist within us. In terms of the psychological
shadow, the danger for a magician is that he may be tempted to over rely on his sense of authority. That is, he
emphasizes his sense of conviction, purpose, and commitment and then ends up ignoring his personal desires and
needs. In effect, he may deny those legitimate desires and instinctual needs within himself which have a genuine
claim on his life and consciousness. Magick is a life long commitment and path of training. But being a magician
does not mean you are exempt from fulfilling the karmic tasks belonging to each stage of your life. A magician
seeks to be completely responsible for all aspects of his life so that he frees up the time he needs to train and to
practice. But in regard to authority, the magician's will is balanced by an extraordinary sensitivity. He is always
willing to find a way to process his feelings and emotions. That is, his commitment to magical equilibrium makes
him completely alert so that he gives his total attention to his experience. A client works within the atmosphere of
trust with a therapist. There he discloses and talks about what he feels and his experiences with the past. The
therapist, if only by listening, offers the client protection and understanding. But the magician internalizes this
process within himself. The client may return again and again over years to talk with the therapist about conflicts
which remain unresolved in himself. But the magician brings the full force of his magical concentration and psychic
intuition to bear upon whatever aspect of his inner life he focuses upon. It may also take the magician many years to
resolve his inner conflicts, but he has the advantage of having an entire divine hierarchy of spirits to assist him. They
amplify his intuition and grant him many insights based upon the wisdom they possess. The alchemist starts with the
darkest, most impenetrable material. This is what he works upon to attain his elixir of life. And the individual who
becomes enlightened must in the end have a final encounter with the lord of all demons. It is the darkest and most
incorrigible which comes forth to certify whether or not you have attained absolute freedom--whether anything
remains which can obstruct you. Part of the task of developing magical equilibrium, therefore, involves becoming
acquainted with your own shadow. You get to know yourself extremely well. You are always alert to observe your
own behavior, thoughts, and feelings. One individual I know who has her own temple and order has appointed an
individual in her lodge to act as an advocate for what she may be denying or repressing. She has given the shadow a
permanent role to play. The other individual's job is to insure that this woman's conscious mind has taken into
consideration all factors which are relevant to her decisions. The Shadow in Magick Those who undertake inward
journeys of exploration will encounter a darkness within. They may think that their goal is to ascend into the light.
But the moment they close their eyes and journey within they are also going downward into the unconscious. This is
because the higher light embraces all that exists. It denies nothing. It is omniscient and omnipresent. It knows
everything and it is everywhere and within everything. It is only a fool who thinks he can lay hold of and command
part of the human spirit at the expense of shunning other parts. The inner self is a whole. It does not tolerate for long
separation or division. Therefore, on an inward journey, the individual will pass doorways which are locked and
gates which are sealed. He will move past forms of life which appear dead or dying. But, like the conscious self,
these personal, collective, and ancient desires and longing wish to survive. The secrets of the ancestors and the
hidden pain and sorrow buried for ages has a claim on those who pass by. These things wish be alive again, to
flourish and to expand, so that nothing within them is denied. They wish to be reborn and to be transformed, to be
healed or to be reunited with the whole so that they find that place where they rightfully belong. Part of a spiritual
process, then, is to be aware that in your journey you will reawaken your forgotten hopes and dreams. And the pain
and fear which are buried with you will come forth again seeking to be healed and to be changed. Within us there
are desires so stifled and repressed that when they emerge they appear as demons. They is no hope or anything
positive within them. They are so ravenous and in pain that they destroy whatever they touch. As in the story of the
apprentice magician who inadvertently evokes a demon, the spirit appears and then asks, "For what purpose have
you called me?" We have desires within us which have no avenue of expression in our world. Some of the desires
within us are our own. Some are those which our parents and line of ancestors have never been able to satisfy for
centuries or ages. And so they are handed down to us as part of our tradition or culture as liabilities carried forth
from the past into the present. Some desires predate the human race by billions of years. If you are receptive and
open to what is within you, if you journey far enough, these desires will appear and you had best be prepared to give
a very good answer when they ask you, "For what purpose have I been awakened again into life by the echo of your
feet, by the light in your eyes, by the warmth of your body, and by the touch of your soul as you pass by?" For a
magician, it is absolutely essential to develop an identification with the highest light. It is the basis for the mage's
authority. It is what defines his acts, his purposes, and his goals in life. If you are within an unknown realm on the
inner planes, you never want to give the impression that you are lost or confused. This invites whatever you
encounter to offer you assistance by taking over your life and making decisions for you. Whether in trance,
contemplation, or meditation, then, a magician develops an extremely strong tie to Divine Providence in its power
aspect of omnipotence. The magician seeks to be sovereign lord over the components of his inner psyche. He seeks
to direct at will the power they contain. And he seeks to understand and penetrate them so completely with his
consciousness that they are more than willing to obey his command. The magician also has a shadow since he has a
personality. There is no question about it. But the magician finds it much more easy to work creatively with his
shadow. The shadow loves being associated with someone who can hear and respond in new ways to everything it
has to say. The magician as a magician, however, has what we could call a cosmic shadow. This darkness, which is
the opposite of himself, is the entire hierarchy of demons. In the Bardon system, for every positive spirit, there is a
negative counterpart. The auras of negative beings are darker than the auras of the positive spirits. Lower astral
entities which possess people and which priests seek to exorcise through their various rituals are not a particular
problem for a magician. It is the higher demons he runs into and which show up on occasion to see what he is doing.
These negative beings have important jobs in the universe. From the point of view of Saturn, both the positive and
negative spirits serve to assist human growth and development. To work with the 49 Judges of Saturn, (See my
essays on Finding Saturn in Yourself) you need to have internalized in yourself an absolute commitment to attaining
enlightenment or total cosmic freedom. The worlds of form exist as a training field in which we can experience and
then master all aspects of life. It is wise if we understand that life is imbued with this purpose. The negative spirits
tend to tie individuals to the denser planes of form. They will offer all manner of gifts, psychic and even spiritual
powers, as long as you do not seek to grow beyond their domain of authority and power of reach. To be free of
them, you have to do exactly what you would have needed to do anyway if you wished to penetrate the sphere of
Saturn--make an absolute commitment to becoming completely enlightened and to embodying cosmic freedom. The
negative spirits will so entrap individuals and tie them into specific limiting situations through which they are unable
to grow that these individuals will eventually listen to their conscience. Their conscience will remind them that life
is sacred and holy. Any price is worth paying to let the indescribable beauty which is in every aspect of life to shine
within them. When individuals arrive at this realization, the negative beings have fulfilled their hidden purpose.
These negative beings no longer have any significant spiritual influence over those who turned toward the light from
within their hearts. Bardon does not mention this danger about demonic visitations in his first book. In his second
book, however, The Practice of Magical Evocation, he refers to the example of a reincarnated magician who has in a
former life worked with negative spirits. The same negative entities will with real cunning seek to visit the
individual in a new incarnation if and when he chooses to practice magick. I think there is more going on than this. I
suspect that for many genuine magicians negative spirits will show up early on in their practice, even at the very
beginning. This is not inappropriate from my point of view. The Bardom system, with its full disclosure of the
means and ways to master divine power, requires, again, an absolute commitment to serve Divine Providence. The
level of power is so great that in even minor ways the magician is already rubbing shoulders and walking with
divine purposes in everything he does. I do not mean to scare anyone away from practicing Bardon. I would point
out, however, that I have met a few individuals who have felt very powerful dark influences enter their lives soon
after they began working with Bardon's system. With such a challenging system of magick, it helps to be a strong
individual who is living a healthy and balanced life. It also helps to have great courage and mental clarity. The
problem is that some individuals feel ok about themselves. They are in a mental and emotional space of sufficient
promise and optimism that they are ready and willing to take on a challenging system of magick. But as they work
with Bardon, as they enter into profound meditations which are in every chapter of his first book, they open
themselves up to dark forces within their unconscious. When you are in deep meditation, you are no longer
protected by the order of the natural world or the traditions of your society and religion. And these dark forces are
stronger than the insight and will power some individuals have their disposal. This can result in feeling overpowered
at times by these negative powers. The wounds from such encounters may last a life time unless you manage to
work your way past these dangers. On the other hand, had these individuals not worked with Bardon, this kind of
darkness in many cases would not have entered their lives. From my perspective, it is important for a community of
magicians to make available resources which enrich the magical path. I think individuals should feel free when they
face difficulties in their practices to stop and take as long as they need to expand their knowledge at their current
level before moving on. For every problem, there is a solution. For every difficulty, there is a way of working
through it. For myself, I usually just need to find the right meditation and then my own personal problem or the
problem I am working with other individuals dissolves. Some times it takes me many years to find the right
meditation which solves the problem, but I have a lot of confidence about being able to find what I am looking for.
Demons monitor unusual acts of will. This is their job. They want creative will to be tied to the physical world. Like
many individuals I have known, demons get extremely jealous when they see someone near them acting with
freedom and living with a beauty which they have not found in themselves. Echotasa, the 16th head of the lunar
zone, specializes in magical authority, magical protection, and shows the magician how to gain control over negative
beings in the lunar sphere. He pointed out to me that the best way to ward off negative beings is to unite with your
guardian angel or your inner spirit. In the end, this is the only sure way to be free of negative influence. From this
perspective, negative energies or beings show up as a reminder to you to unite with the highest light within you.
(See my separate essay on Negative Spirits). A Ritual of Initiation for Bardon Magicians Eralicarision, 23 degrees
Leo of the earthzone, specializes in those universal forms of initiation which are present to some extent in all
religious systems. He is very good at articulating the nature of initiation in terms of the attitudes and turning about of
perspective which spiritual paths entail. I asked him for his thoughts on the kind of initiation a Bardon magician
might consider at the beginning of his training. His response is for the individual to express words and explore
images of the following nature to clarify his spiritual commitments. Obviously, for each individual the imagery is
different. We are all of us unique. What I see or receive from Eralicarision is of an individual walking into a temple
which he imagines on the inner planes. This is perhaps the temple of Solomon. In any case, it is huge with mammoth
stone pillars, stone floors, and stone walls. It embodies incredible wealth or else it can be completely bare and
empty. This is for you to discover according to your own sense of what represents the sacred. As you walk toward
the center of the temple, you notice the great silence which the temple exists to enshrine. It is the silence which is
sacred and holy. It is the silence which contains the wisdom of the ages and all those powers which the master
magician is able to express. The silence is the depths of the heart and the Soul of the Earth. This silence is not
empty. You sense within it the minds and the hearts of all enlightened beings, of all the great masters of magick and
cosmic wisdom who have ever existed on our planet. And now, opening yourself to this silence, you make an
offering to it and you receive in turn a gift from it. What treasure of life and spirit do you have or can you offer as a
commitment to this silence? What have you been or done which allows you to feel at home in this place? And how
will you take this silence and use it to transform your life? Perhaps you will see an individual appear to you who
asks you these questions and to whom you give your response. Perhaps you will hear these questions within your
own soul and heart. Perhaps you will return again at another time or, as a ritual, every so often or whenever you
need to renew your vision and the power of your quest. Perhaps one by one you will greet the great teachers who
have walked the earth and each of them in turn will offer you a gift according to the level of your commitment and
the nature of your visions. The commitment Eralicarision envisions for Bardon magicians is summarized in these
words which you may wish to speak aloud within the temple of wisdom: "May the work I perform in training to be a
magician serve the highest light of Divine Providence. May divine justice, fair play, and harmony shine through and
within all that I do. May the words I speak, the breath I breathe, the light in my eyes, and the love in my heart
transform the world around me. May my path be anointed with Divine beauty. "May all who enter my life see divine
peace reflected through me. May the truth of the universe, the mystery of creation, the light which sustains and
shines within every created being use me as its servant. May my will be so perfected that in the end there is no
distinction between the satisfaction of my desires and the work of Divine Providence on earth." (See also my
pathworking for a similar vision which I wrote while working with Alosom, a earthzone spirit in Sagittarius who
specializes in silence). Negative Conscience Another interesting difficulty for those who engaged in inner plane
work involves what I call having a negative conscience. Part of magick involves opening your heart and mind to
your higher intuition. That is, you become sensitive to akasha. You sense what is wholesome, healing, guiding,
inspirational, and wise. You sense what the best course of action is and your conscience informs you of what choices
create the most harmony over the long run. There are times, however, when an individual may find that his inner
voice is not functioning well. It is not a good guide. Following it produces bad results. It produces discord,
undermines your ideals, and leads you into dangerous and compromising situations. It causes you to take advantage
of others and to respond not with wisdom but with agendas which you later on consider to be out of character and
inappropriate. A temporary lapse in conscience can result, for example, from coming under the influence of a
powerful thoughtform. This thoughtform may belong to an organization such as a religion or group to which you
belong or it even may be produced by another individual. In any case, the thoughtform blocks your access to your
higher intuition. When you look inward, it is the thoughtform which speaks and not the still voice within your heart.
For this reason, a magician seeks to master the mental plane so that he screens out mental vibrations other than the
pure source of what he seeks. However, there is another more pernicious and forceful kind of thoughtform or
imbalance which occurs for some individuals. If they have been engaged in powerful negative actions in past lives,
especially magical ones, then their conscience or higher intuition may be to some extent damaged. If they seek inner
guidance, it is the powerful akashic negative magical presence which speaks to them. In effect, it is the magical
authority and purposes developed in a former incarnation which is active. This result has been produced by their
own karma. Some individuals will give into this conscience and follow its negative suggestions. Others, however,
will resist. These individuals have developed their own personalities in this life time and do not wish to embrace
some dark force no matter how central it may seem to their inner life. In this case, individuals often will completely
avoid inner plane work. The inner planes are off limit. They will instead almost always work through established
religions, organizations, or well- developed systems of philosophy and ethics. They do this so that the external
environment can guide and assist them in place of relying upon an inner light. Some individuals are so powerful as
former black magicians or power brokers that they are permitted to incarnate only as long as they place themselves
under other individual's authority. In effect, they are on probation. They are not permitted to act freely and choose
their own course of actions in life. They must stay within carefully defined circles of influence. Otherwise, the terms
of their incarnation are suspended and they may die suddenly. When we discuss magick, therefore, from time to time
we may encounter individuals who not only prefer but who are obsessed with working with organizations and
magical lodges, etc. They can not function without that external support from their environment. They in fact require
constant feedback from others at all times when they undertake inner plane work. When they act outside of the rules
set up by their group or organization or religion, they may become very malicious. On the other hand, it is indeed a
vast enterprise to attempt to explore the inner planes on your own. The astral and other planes are full of vast
uncharted domains which have very little to do with human culture or civilization. For this reason, even very skilled
magicians often will attach themselves to various aspects of the physical plane. They will limit their magical actions
and only use a tiny amount of the spiritual and psychic resources they could in fact draw upon if they so desired.
Journeys to the inner worlds, if only to seek guidance and illumination, remain too threatening. Akasha, the realm of
pure light, does not stop with the aura of our planet earth. Akasha extends to the ends of the universe. It is a positive
thing to appreciate the vastness of our universe both in its physical and its spiritual aspects. And it is helpful to
understand our own limitations, the boundaries which protect us from the unknown and dangerous. It is another
thing to repress your fear of that vastness by blindly attaching yourself to beliefs and customs which are arbitrary
and have little real meaning in your life. This kind of fear or negativity again shows up on the mental plane. An
individual may defend himself from the vast void he senses within by binding himself to rigid beliefs, doctrines,
philosophies, and thoughts which serve as his signposts and taboos. These signposts say, "Do not venture beyond the
reaches of correct doctrine, belief, and interpretation. Beyond the point of correct doctrines lies monsters which no
man is able to fight." In other words, you will discover a blind, irrational fear behind their beliefs. Their self-
imposed limitations protect them from the unknown. The remedy for this situation of mental attachment and rigidity
is, as with the initiation I suggested, to respect the power of inner silence. Develop a mind which can observe, listen,
contemplate, and sense without having to use thoughts as its primary mode of action. A truly silent mind is open
enough to feel at ease reflecting the universe within itself. It is a place where light is free to appear or disappear.
This is the domain through which flows a love which has no beginning or end. For this reason, inspired from this
source, the mind is beyond all fear.

Negative Spirits or the Dark Side of the Force (From a


description of the positive spirit Tagora and his negative
counterpart)
Remember that in the Bardon cosmology, for each positive spirit in the earthzone there is also a negative
counterpart. Like Bardon, I would suggest at the outset that you do not evoke negative spirits. Bardon says a
magician should only contact those spirits which are compatible with his high ideals. Since I actively work with the
Judges of Saturn who preside over both positive and negative spirits, a study of negativity is not outside the range of
my work and responsibility. And, as a matter of experience, I have met individuals whose negativity could qualify
them to be incarnations of negative beings. I have to deal with this kind of thing on a regular basis. One difference
between negative and positive spirits is that the negative are closer to the physical world and have darker colors in
their auras. For these reasons, they are easier to contact. You do not have to be as pure nor do you need some noble
purpose to catch their attention. You neither have to elevate your consciousness into a profound trance nor journey
far on the inner planes in order to encounter them. Their activities are more familiar--their actions are sensational
and full of scandal. Instead of uplifting and transforming, they supervise obsession, degradation, and destruction.
This is not to say that they serve no purpose. They too grant an opportunity to learn through experience. They give
you a taste of life and a chance to find out who you are and what you are made of. In fact, they like to challenge and
test you. If you do not have an absolute commitment to the divine, if your will is in any way weak or undefined, they
will visit you on occasion or send an emissary deputizing for them--someone you work with or meet in school or in
your social life. These spirits are happy to offer their services as your tour guide, your confidant, counselor, and the
author of your life script if you need a ghost writer. If you lack meaning and purpose, they are happy to fill in all the
blanks in your application for incarnation. If you do not know what you are after in life, you can be sure they will
find something for you to do. Is life drab and boring? They will find you a task completely captivating and
demanding. After all, this is their job--to get you completely involved with life if you do not want to play a part or
else deny you the basics so you come to realize how precious the life is that you gave up. And if you despair for any
reason? Oh, wow, look out. That is like shouting or sending an SOS sent on their private wavelength saying, "I am
here. Come rescue me for I am lost." You see, akasha is so sensitive to will and imagination that your choices in life
automatically activate its resources either for creation or destruction. Human choice and will are that dynamic and
powerful. Negative spirits may appear to be exotic and otherworldly, but they merely reflect things with which we
are already familiar. I have a friend whose uncle is in the mafia. Occasionally, he runs into mob figures. They
always offer him "free" gifts out of respect for his uncle. But he knows that if he ever accepts a gift he will be bound
to the mob forever. Once you take a free handout, they will call on you for special favors. You have a permanent
relationship. I have another friend whose grandfather was a kahuna, a Hawaiian priest. Whenever he meets kahunas,
they tell him about the various Hawaiian spirits with whom he has a special connection. But he wants no part of this.
He has never accepted the psychic warfare his grandfather, as a kahuna, participated in. He has switched religions
thinking that in this way he will escape from that kind of negative spiritual action. Each religion actually has its own
way of dealing with negative spirits, performing exorcisms, and so forth. The topic of negative entities covers a vast
area of study. Some conceive of negative beings, devils, demons, and such as being insidious, hideous, and violently
destructive. This seems to be the case but you have to distinguish between lower astral plane entities and highly
developed negative beings. As with the mob, if you go to a loan shark and default on your loan, the loan shark will
come round and cause you physical injury. If you run, he will hunt you down. The situation is like survival in a
jungle. If you suddenly encounter a wounded animal, an animal whose territory is invaded or an animal with a
raging appetite, you may find yourself attacked with an amazing ferocity. Behind the teeth, the jaws, the claws, and
the venom is a pain, a rage, or the blind desire to survive. Entities on the lower astral plane can turn on you with a
pure, devouring hatred. And these negative beings, like the mob or an animal interested in survival, have a powerful
sense of territory and of who is in charge. But in the case of the loan shark, there is something more subtle. The
negativity takes the form of entrapment. Nothing is a matter with what is given--with the money itself. It is the terms
attached to the loan which make the transaction dark. Often negative spirits will sense the power within you. They
see that you have a destiny, a mission, or something wonderful you are meant to accomplish. What they do is tempt
you with a shortcut. You may have something you really want to do with your life. But you do not have the money,
the experience, the connections, the friends, the influence, the knowledge, or the magick. It seems what is meant to
be will never happen. Your conviction is inadequate. In steps a negative being. It says, "I will give you power,
connections, and all the knowledge you will ever need." Because you lack experience, the offer appears friendly and
generous. But you have to be sensitive to what is missing. Negative spirits often will grant very positive things or
gifts on two but not all three of the physical, astral, and mental planes. For example, they may dramatically increase
you powers of concentration on the mental plane. And they will give ideal physical circumstances where you can
work toward you dreams. But the astral life they provide is contaminated. Even as your opportunities in life
increase, your emotional life becomes a toxic wasteland devoid of love and affection. They humiliate you and cause
degradation to fill your astral body so you lose the self-esteem you need to make independent choices. Consider
another example. As in some groups, there is a physical community where you belong. And there is love and
support nurturing you and drawing you into a life of sharing and caring. But what is at stake in this case is your
mind. You have to think in a certain way. Any deviation from acceptable doctrines, beliefs, or interpretations is
intolerable. You are not permitted to think your own thoughts. If you have complete control of individuals' bodies or
their emotions or their minds--just one of these three--you can pretty much put an end to their spiritual growth. If
you can block a peoples' contact with the spiritual, then you can destroy the world or cause untold suffering. The
higher negative beings of the earthzone are intelligent and conniving. We can see the equivalent in human life. The
Drug Enforcement Agency sent an undercover female agent to infiltrate the drug cartels. She was set up in a
business which launders money. She succeeded marvelously with the Columbians and so forth. But when she went
to meet the Italian mob, she ran into something else. The Italian mob did not know her. When she got off the plane
in Rome, the mob photographed every single person arriving at the airport that day. They wanted to see if there were
any other known agents who came in as her backup. The Italian mob operates its own intelligence service similar to
the FBI and the CIA. This agent succeeded in a securing a large number of arrests and also the confiscation of $50
million of mob money. But the mob also put out a four million dollar contract on her life. Running into higher
negative spirits is somewhat similar. You are up against professionals. They have a lot of resources to draw upon to
manipulate and to harm you. The mob may live down the street. You may go to school with their children. You may
have business associates or friends who are under their influence. In some countries like Japan, there is an unwritten
agreement between the government and the yakuza. The Japanese yakuza keep juvenile delinquents off the streets.
They have their own system of internal discipline. Like the IRA in Belfast or the mob in Grosse Pointe, Michigan,
thieves are not permitted to operate in their neighborhood. The mob controls evil like a monopoly. In effect, it
provides order. Like a thieve's guild, it insures that negative actions take place within prescribed limits. Individual
initiative is not tolerated. Hitler, during the Third Reich, gave occultists a choice. Either join the Nazi party or be
sent to a concentration camp. He wanted a monopoly on magical power. Even in the United states, since the 1970's,
the CIA has run its own research and operations involving remote viewing. This is so effective as an intelligence
tool that the U.S. government wanted a monopoly on its use. The government actively interfered with individuals
and private organizations researching this skill. You can read on the internet and in books a great deal about this. It
appears the U.S. government used disinformation, character assassination, and ever physical assassination to control
the spread of information. Negative beings are like that. If you are developing power, they want you to work for
them or else they attempt to do you in. The way to escape evil is to say, "I am committed to a higher purpose. I
identify with it with my whole being. If you proceed against me, you proceed against the powers behind me." In
other words, once you encounter evil--a highly potent negativity--it is no longer life as usual. You have to make an
enormous commitment if you want to regain balance and harmony. This commitment must transcend your own life.
It must be to the highest light you can imagine and your commitment must be sufficient that your life then becomes
a vehicle for this light's expression. In other words, you need to find a source of power greater than the one which
has control of you. If you are on a spiritual path, then you need a source of spirit of greater power and might. There
are times when there is nothing else that can save you than your own absolute commitment to the light. Everyone of
us will one day encounter this situation in one or more of our incarnations. The Buddhist's refer to this as the
motivation to seek enlightenment. For the Judges of Saturn, enlightenment is much, much more than something an
individual attains to free himself from suffering. It is a state of mind in which you are free to celebrate the beauty of
the universe. It is not just personal. It is a cosmic event. Elemental beings can not approach an individual whose
mind is centered within akasha. In a similar manner, negative beings can not approach an individual who, in his faith
and at his core, identifies with Divine Providence. The thing is you never want to underestimate the influence of
power either in a positive or negative form. You never want to make the mistake of assuming that evil will go away,
that once it has contacted you can ignore its touch and go back to the life you had before. You can count on negative
spirits to wait life times for you to make another mistake and then they will offer you an invitation similar to one
you accepted before. On the other hand, it is interesting how much power Christians ascribe to the devil. Jews will
tell you that the devil is a minor annoyance. It is God you have to look out for--fear Him and nothing else. It is only
with God's permission that evil enters the world. All power is under God's supervision. If you read the psalms of
David, it is clear that David never forgets for an instant that God is in charge and not the enemy or negative spirits.
In our solar system, according to Bardon, the spirits of the sphere of Saturn are the Judges who govern both positive
and negative spirits when it comes to karma and cosmic law. On a planetary level and in the cases of black
magicians, it is the Judges of Saturn who determine for how long negative spirits may be unleashed to cause
destructive effects. It is the task of Saturn to insure that the paths of spirit remain open and uncontaminated. They
see the physical world and time as helping us to discover the divinity within us. Both negative and positive spirits
serve this same end. The negative spirits bind, confine, and destroy. Again, it requires immense will to be free of
their influence. The positive spirits teach how to take into your hands the powers of creation. It requires immense
will to work with them. The eyes of a magician can see and understand the work and appointed purpose of both
kinds of spirits. Consequently, a magician neither fears how this or that experience may rob him of his purity nor
does he close himself off from the world to protect his devotion. Ideally, he is able to offer assistance and insight to
whoever comes to him regardless of their situation. What black magicians have in common is not their malice,
domination, or evil works. If you search their hearts, you will find they have lost a sense of the wonder and beauty
of the universe. In other words, their hearts are closed. They no longer seek or desire to see how akasha is active in
guiding and inspiring all things through the power of love. For myself, therefore, one of the most important tasks in
developing magical equilibrium is keeping myself inspired. For me, power serves the purposes of love. It is an
aspect of being creative. When I discover something negative in myself, I seek to capture the energy and will within
it. I find an ecstasy, a divine purpose, or natural way of growing which allows the energy and the power within the
negative to be expressed in a totally new way as part of a larger whole. The negative is an expression of isolation
and destruction. It contaminates and steals. But the power within akasha is such that anything can be brought into a
greater harmony, anything can be turned around or remade so it leads to fulfillment and deep satisfaction. Love can
unlock any gate or heal any soul. Part the work, for me, is in retaining my commitment to and appreciation for this
love during all parts of my journey.

See also Geriola, 6 degrees Sagittarius and Ikon, 24 degrees Sagittarius, who also specialize in magical equilibrium.
Jvar, 3 degrees Leo Reason for working with Jvar: I am interested in better understanding the elements in my astral
body and in how to change passive energies so they are more positive and productive. Preliminary Considerations:
Bardon says of Jvar, [He] "informs the magician on the origin of passions and how their talents are established
firmly in the astral body. In this connection, the magician also learns to understand the deep secret sense of all
passions, which serve as means for a certain purpose and are to strengthen will-power and other magic faculties.
Jvar tells the magician how to control passions by certain magical aids and other means and how they can be
transmuted into opposite, positive qualities. The practices recommended by this head may be applied by the
magician as an aid for those scholars who are on the way to magic development, and who have certain passions they
are not able to control." Jvar adds to Bardon's exercise on equilibrium a sense of quest and divine pageantry. From
Jvar's point of view, passions hide and disguise divine ecstasy within themselves. There is a role to be played by our
minds. With relentless tenacity we study the specific nature of our passions and desires. There is a part of be played
by our wills. Similar to a hunter, we track and stalk what we are after until we hold it within our grasp and power.
There is also a part to be played by the spirit. In this case, you identify the specific elemental ecstasy hidden within
the passion. Finding it, you then embody that ecstasy reflecting divinity within yourself. This turns psychology and
self-mastery into a means for uniting with the divine. Working at magical equilibrium then similar to a Grail quest
or an alchemist refining and transforming dark matter into nature's quintessence. In this way, the obsession or blind
craving for gratification is exposed to the light of awe and wonder-- the conflicts within the personality are
perceived as part of a divine pageantry--the mystery of life unfolding within us. In Initiation into Hermetics,
attaining a magical equilibrium and balance between the four elements begins in chapter one. In chapter ten, there is
another exercise relating to spiritualizing the astral body so it reflects the four attributes of spirit--omnipotence,
omnipresence, omniscience, and immortality. But this spiritualization of the astral body is on-going through the
basic practices and forever afterwards. The symbol of the magic circle in The Practice of Magical Evocation and
working with cosmic letters in The Key to the True Quabbalah also directly bare upon this endeavor. The
enlightened mind seeks to transform the elements by working with all four levels of consciousness. I have an interest
in transpersonal psychology because it has a nice way of placing individual problems within a larger context. It says,
"This problem you have is not just yours alone. It belongs to many individuals. It is part of the path of life, of
moving from where we have been to where we wish to be. This is an individual and also a collective journey. We
can draw upon and learn from others' wisdom as we seek to transform ourselves." If we consider the subconscious
and unconscious to be a matrix of blind and chaotic cravings, then we no longer look for the greater harmony and
purposes underlying our desires. But if instead we hold the energies of life as being sacred, then we can take
personal desire and move it to an entirely different place. Every desire within life has its place and role to play in a
great harmony and celebration. This path leads us more quickly into the heart of wisdom. There are, however,
significant differences between transpersonal psychology and magick. The magician will spend far more time
training his imagination and developing the physical, astral, and mental bodies. He will also be far more comfortable
entering an akashic trance and contemplating human conflicts from a position of divine awareness. Jvar's Outer
Aura: Jvar's aura is bright, clear, radiant, and integrated. He communicates self-mastery and how to take charge of
oneself. He is very Leo--his energy is shiny and bright. He moves to the center, bringing everything into clarity and
balanced. He is very strong and dynamic. Jvar's Inner Aura: Jvar has an intuition which reveals things in their
wholeness and integration. He indicates how to find that place in yourself. The main thrust of Jvar's teaching is to
become your own guardian angel. See your life from this transcendent, benevolent perspective of blessing and
wisdom. Feel yourself within and one with its radiance. Draw upon its divine authority to fulfill your purposes in life
and to dissolve all obstacles and resistance by being who you are as a being of light and an agent of the Divine
world. Akashic Plane: Jvar has a powerful mesmeric concentration especially when you focus on any obstacle or
obstructions in your life. You then comprehend it in all its aspects and in its most opaque influences so you see how
to undo or overcome it and to untie the knot. Vices, passive personalty traits and weaknesses, and out of control
passions arise from attachment to specific images and complexes which are not consciously directed. These passions
and drives may arise from personal, collective, or global levels or be a connection between all three. When your life
is dominated by unconscious forces then years and decades of your life are wasted. Your inner self is unable to
shine. You do not transform yourself or the world around you. Your true will knows itself as divine ecstasy and
expresses itself easily through all four elements. It rejoices in its power to perceive the truth. If something is binding
you or pulling you down, do not respond with fear, despair, or feeling helpless. Rather, see hidden within the
passions the divine power which enables the archangels to spread their wings and to fly unhindered through all
domains of nature, human, and divine. Be willing, as these divine beings, to comprehend everything that exists from
within all-embracing love. Passions, desires, cravings, obsessions, and compulsions--they burn themselves out like
shooting stars with a self-consuming fire. Instead of following that path, be as a hunter who follows the tracks of
desire, observing its nature and habits, its cycles and expressions of its life. The hunter tracks the desire back to
sources which nourish it and to where it dwells within the wilderness of the soul. He uncovers the spark of the
divine life hidden within it. He nurtures and amplifies that ecstasy of divinity that has granted the passion existence
as a reflection of a greater and purer light. Then the passion dissolves. Desire is like a dream which bottles up an
energy and specific quality of feeling alive. The dream is enchanting and alluring. It captivates and focuses your
attention like a lover whose presence makes your life radiant. Yet the nature of lovers is that they search out and
satisfy the deepest desires within each other's hearts. Through love they transform themselves into spiritual beings
until their hearts are so pure and clear they reflect the universe. The elements in nature are a path of ecstasy offering
a taste of divine bliss. A journey begins with sensual pleasure. But if you open your heart and mind to sensuality and
pleasure, your journey leads on until you learn to see with the eyes of divinity and are finally being reborn as a
spiritual being. The five senses are that rich. A basic practice is, as Bardon mentions, learning to attribute to each
element the desire or passion associated with it. To fire are will and power. To water are love and feeling. To air are
clarity of mind and wisdom. To earth are the integration of consciousness and the ability to accomplish work. It is
not enough to meditate on the opposite of a passion, e.g., anger is replaced by a relaxed but dynamic will or
balanced by love and empathic understanding. You also need procedures for penetrating the resistance within you to
making these changes. The process of transformation can move immediately to the solution and it can also go
gradually step by step. There is a process involved in which you become free by understanding all aspects of your
desires- -every sensation, feeling, thought, and energy which is present within them. For example, empathy is a
quality of the water element. It has many components and there are many books on this ability. Empathy has social-
linguistic aspects. You can frame questions to others by stating something you observe about them and then asking a
question about it. For example, Larry King on his talk show asks a guest who has been promoted to a cabinet
position, "I notice you have never had this kind of job before. It is my guess it has been quite challenging for you. Is
that right?" The way this question is phrased disarms the other individuals and offers a safe space and context in
which to disclose more about personal experience. There are non-verbal aspects to empathy. You notice another's
physical gestures, tone of voice, and facial expressions. You see when the body language is incongruous with what
is verbally expressed and then you ask about this. You say, for example, "You hesitate when you answer. Is there
more going on than what you have said?" There is a role played by imagination. You briefly place yourself within
the other's situation and see what that feels like to you. You look at the experience from outside your own mind and
point of view. Each of these methods increases your sensitivity. None of the above, however, offer much change in
the amount of water in your astral body. Individuals with strong and positive water energy naturally feel connected
to others without the need for method or technique. Automatically they set up a circulation of feeling or astral
energy between themselves and others. They are not only animating and vivacious. They make others feel alive just
by being in their presence. To get a feeling for this watery energy you can imagine you are another individual who
has this ability. Relaxing and without distraction, you spend some time imagining you are the other. The chameleon
changes color to match the environment due to the pigmentation in its skin. The astral body changes its vibration
according the dream like image held within it. As you extend your imagination, you can taste and even immerse
yourself within new feelings. With work, your astral body can open so new channels of energy flow through it. In
magick, there is another set of steps. You study and contemplate water in nature--streams, rivers, pools, lakes,
oceans, rain and clouds. Again, you place your mind within these things as if you are them. At this point, you
imagine you have become or have a connection with an undine. The undines possess marvelous faculties when it
comes to empathy and circulating energy. The undine's existence is a pure, sensual feeling and receptivity. Most of
the astral qualities within undines are already familiar to us. We meet individuals who are sweet, serene, tender,
healing, and passionately in love. Undines just take the normal range of these feelings and amplify them sometimes
by a factor of ten and sometimes by a factor of a hundred. An undine will not counsel you like a therapist or a
minister on what you might wish to consider when you care for others. Human morality is absent. Undines embody
the energies underlying nature. They are able to focus these magnetic and magical powers through their
consciousness. Undines will introduce you to another mode of perception and the amplification of the life within
you. Undines are the connection and missing link within the water element between human feeling and divine,
omnipresent love. There are times when human empathy is not adequate and belief in divine love is not daring
enough. Then the magician creates and directs through his own volition the magnetism within water to heal, to
inspire, and fulfill the purposes of love. My point is that striving toward magical equilibrium takes more than
making our negative qualities positive. We need to also develop the strength of the four elements within us so the
amount or quantity of their presence in our astral bodies are relatively equal. But this is procedure of strengthening
the amount of the elements within us is also built into Bardon's basic practices. He has the student condense and
then dissolve the four elements one after the other in his body. In this way, the student learns to amplify and
strengthen the elements. He experiences what it is like to have a great deal of each element within himself. Mental
Plane: On the mental plane, the idea is to watch your life so it is continuously moving toward fulfillment. The
mental plane develops an understanding of the importance of establishing elemental balance and equilibrium. There
is a tendency among New Age practitioners to desire teachers who are warm, cuddly, and full of hugs. This gives
those attending seminars an opportunity to regress back to a child's level of trust and security. This is fine. The
problem comes in the transaction. It is a temptation to trade curiosity, longing for the truth, and rigorous observation
for whatever it takes to gain well- being supplied from outside of themselves. More mature teachers are also tender
and loving. But they challenge the student to enter a process of self-discovery and direct encounters with others.
They keep the center of focus off of themselves as teachers and on the group and the individual members. The
tension between individuals and the encounter with darkness within oneself are reframed as an invitation to establish
your own sense of well-being. Jvar will recommend and explain how to work on a specific element in order to
overcome a personality weakness or work through an obsession. You get to scrutinize a difficulty from Jvar's point
of view. The experience, however, remains your own. It is for you to discover what it is like to live with a richer and
stronger amount of an element within your astral body. Astral Plane: On the astral plane, you see your life from a
place of light and harmony. That is, imagine you are in the situation where you are working from your highest level
of motivation and inspiration. Work with this concept and explore this image. Go inside of it like you are waking up
within a dream. Taste it and feel it. Then work with it through extended concentration so it becomes quite real to
you. For example, if you feel you need an inspiring guide or teacher in your life, visualize such a teacher right now
sitting beside you. Practice talking to him and discovering all that he has to say to you. Similarly, if you feel you
need more support and love, visualize this also. Enter the house of your imagination. Better, think of your mind as
divine temple. Use your creative thought to reshape and reframe the way you see yourself. It is the nature of Leo to
radiate light to all aspects of life. Every desire and ideal finds a place and time to be fulfilled. Become this radiant
sun of inspiration shining beauty and harmony to all aspects of yourself and your life and to those you would love.
Physical Plane: On the physical plane, the idea is to become transpersonal with personal problems so your insight is
universal, so that you are not just more adaptable, successful and happy but also wise--understanding the heart of
life. See personal conflicts in a larger context so that you end up holding healing power within your hands. Use all
conflict and problems as fuel to generate more light and love. Draw your problems and all life experience into your
heart where it is transformed into wisdom, light, and love which is then freely shared. This is the spiritual capacity
of Leos of being at the center, of supporting a community and of transforming yourself-- that is, to begin with, your
inner community of desires, drives, goals, purposes, etc. On the physical plane, then, the radiance of Leo becomes
an etheric energy within oneself which fills others' lives with inspiration and encouragement. See Introduction to the
Psychology of the Four Elements which I wrote under Jvar's inspiration.

Chapter 2, Physical Level Exercises


Pour breathing and pour breathing inhaling and exhaling various qualities Position of body Physical control in daily
life There are four exercises for the physical level of chapter 2 of Initiation into Hermetics. Since the first two
relating to pour breathing raise a great many questions, I will review them last. EXERCISE: Control of Body. The
goal of this exercise is to learn to sit "quietly, comfortably and without any trouble" for a half hour. The point here is
that there are a great many exercises in the Bardon system of training. Part of this training requires the student to
disengage his or her five senses from the physical world. To do this, the body has to be relaxed enough so it
provides no disturbances to the mind. It is always important to have a physical sense of peace, well-being, and
harmony at the beginning and at the end of your practice sessions. This reassurance enables you to return to your
personal and everyday activities after working with transpersonal and cosmic levels of consciousness and energy.
Mastering body position helps develop this. You begin the exercise by practicing for five minutes. Sit in a chair with
your back straight, your feet flat on the floor, and your hands resting on your thighs. In the beginning, you can learn
against the back of the chair. Close your eyes and then observe your body. Notice all you can about your body while
you continue to remain motionless. Add a minute to each of your subsequent practice sessions. Eventually, you will
be able to sit quietly for a half hour without feeling in any way disturbed, anxious, uncomfortable, or constrained.
COMMENTS. It might appear that this exercise is mechanical in nature. You learn to sit without moving as if your
body is frozen. Members of the special forces such as Navy Seals learn to freeze their body posture for hours
whether they are in a stream, on top of an ant nest, or beneath a bush, it does not matter. This is an exercise of mind
over body. Those in the armed forces or those undergoing special training in the martial arts do this because of the
importance of their mission--the body is an instrument and a weapon under the command of will. Bardon also points
out that will is an element in this exercise. He says that you can work with controlling physical posture as a means
for developing will power. For example, he says you may wish to practice some of the many asanas of yoga
positions in the orient. He recommends, however, that you first learn to sit upright in a chair for an hour before
going on to practice asanas. The above exercise is fairly straightforward. Different individuals will find it relatively
easy or more difficult depending on their previous training. Some individuals such as those who are hyperactive may
find it actually uncomfortable to try to sit still. There is a lot room in the Bardon pantheon of spirits for individual
preferences. There are a number of spirits who, for example, teach magical dancing or ritualized movement as a
means for practicing magick. I can imagine individuals who get on perfectly well working through many kinds of
exercises by combining them with movement. Movement has rhythmic and also artistic dimensions and these are
also important in magick. Some individuals may also wish to find their own approach as they work with their body.
They may want to practice sitting still after doing yoga, stretching their muscles, or even creating or finding the right
setting in which to practice. This could be a matter of practicing in a temple, out of doors, or with other individuals,
with music, etc. The point is to take the exercise and make it work for you individually. When I began practicing
meditation, no one pointed out to me the importance of being aware of the muscle structure of my body, my
breathing, and the various exercises for relaxing. I did, however, have a little bit of a martial art background and a
natural flair for shamanism. When I am in a woods and see a deer, I can freeze my body and not move for a half
hour because I like to blend in and feel a part of nature. I like to feel that I am a tree, a rock, a wolf, or a deer. My
body likes drama and the excitement of a quest. I think it is fair to assert for many individuals that if you work
through some stretching exercises, it becomes much easier to relax and sit still. There is a natural high and euphoria
the body experiences as you stretch and then relax various muscle systems one after the other. The blood circulation
and level of vitality increase with slow, rhythmic breathing. The body enters a state of deep relaxation and peace and
no mental imagery or element of will power is required to sit still. Sitting still is then effortless and completely
natural. Of course in magick, as with the martial arts and special forces, you want to be able on occasion to focus a
hundred per cent of your attention without your body in any way interfering. You want to be able to do this at any
time under any circumstances. If you have experienced a natural process of deep relaxation, I think it is perhaps
much easier to enter this state when you need it. Your body is more ready to cooperate with your will without
interference. The greater your awareness of the kind and location of tension in your body, the quicker you will be
able to identify, to relax, and free yourself of that tension. EXERCISE. Body control in everyday life. Bardon says,
"It is entirely up to the scholar to control and force body and nerves by will-power." Bardon gives examples of this
exercise such as forcing yourself to do something when you are tired; if you feel hungry, don't eat for a half hour; if
you feel thirsty, wait a while before drinking something; if you are usually slow at doing things, try doing them
quickly; and if you are always active, try slowing down. COMMENTS. The point of this exercise is to observe your
behavior and routines and learn how to change them at will. There a number of components involved in being a
magician. A magician is able to observe the world with a great deal of detachment. This means you learn to see
yourself as if you are observing the behavior of another person. You want to bring crystal clarity to your
observations. Other traits magicians have are curiosity and a need to experiment. There is that frame of mind which
is always ready to ask, "What can I learn if I do things differently?" "If I observe the process carefully, what goes on
in my thoughts, feelings, and body when I change one of my routines or behaviors?" "If I feel resistance or anxiety
when I change something in myself, can I track down that resistance to its source in my nervous system, psyche, or
belief system?" I think a magician is also an artist. It is perfectly natural for him to ask, "How can I make my life
flow more smoothly so it is more satisfying and harmonious?" He sees his life as a work of art. Like an artist, he
feels free to change his methods, style, and the content through which he expresses his experience. But like any
artist, he masters the material he is working with. For this reason, a magician studies himself and tries to test his
limits. He remains flexible, adaptable, and ready to change his behavior. EXERCISE. Conscious pour breathing.
Bardon says, "Sit comfortably in an arm-chair or lie down on a sofa, and relax all your muscles. Try to think that,
with each inspiration, not only your lungs are breathing, i.e., inhaling air, but the whole body is doing so. Be firmly
convinced that, together with your lungs, simultaneously each single pore of your body receives vital power and
conveys it to the body. You ought to feel like a dry sponge which, when dipped into water, sucks it in greedily. You
must have the same feeling when breathing in." COMMENTS. The use of imagination in this practice facilitates the
movement of vital power to move from the etheric energy in your surroundings into your body. You also practice
exhaling the life force as well. Bardon mentions that each individual will feel this flow of vital energy in their own
way. Basically, then, we imagine our skin to have a magical ability. It can draw vital energy into the body in a way
somewhat analogous to the way the lungs draws oxygen into the blood stream. One of the keys to magick is to
imagine that you already possess the ability you are trying to master. It is through imagination that you produce the
feelings and experiences you are seeking to acquire. A scientist constructs a hypothesis using a conceptual system,
an image, or a metaphor to explain in advance what he does not yet understand. What a magician does is similar.
Except the magician goes inside of the metaphor to experience it first hand. This increases his awareness and
accelerates his ability to learn. Let's use the image of a sponge absorbing water. Try this. Imagine you are holding a
dry sponge in your hand. Slowly lower it into basin of water. Notice the rapid way it absorbs the water and how it
becomes heavier as a result of the water spreading through it. You can also notice the vacuum in your lungs which is
created as your diaphragm contracts as you breathe in. You can then imagine your entire body is empty inside
producing a vacuum which the energy in the air rushes in to fill. Tree roots absorb water and minerals from the soil.
Leaves absorb sunlight. Imagine you are the tree's roots and leaves. It is the ability to absorb which you are after. As
you concentrate on these various processes, you then imaginatively extend a similar ability to your body. Another
key to magick is employing firm conviction. There are a whole set of concepts which are closely related and yet
each is distinct--faith, conviction, belief, trust, knowing, certainty, truth, commitment, confidence, credibility,
determination, etc. I once asked my old philosophy professor and chairman of the department at a Christian college
if there were any studies in phenomenology of the nature of faith. In other words, what is faith if you describe the
personal experience of it without referring to doctrines, content of belief, religious images, stories, or theological
and ecclesiastical issues. His reply was that Christian theology has been and still is preoccupied with the relation of
faith to reason. Faith itself has been left undefined and is not an area of philosophical investigation or exploration. In
magick, the amount of faith and conviction an individual has is proportionate to the amount of the electrical fluid the
individual has control over. The strength with which you believe in something and incorporate this belief into your
life are separate from the content of what you believe in. Consequently, a fanatic who believes in killing for his ideal
may have the same strength of conviction or amount of electrical fluid within him as a supreme court justice who
believes in the rule of law. Both men have great influence because the power of their belief is radiant and penetrates
the auras of those they come in contact with though obviously the content and application of our two mens' beliefs
are different. The electrical fluid relates to our belief in being able to make a difference, to make something happen,
or manifest something. It is quite possible to imagine breathing in life force to the extent that the experience feels
completely real and is entirely convincing. But this may be no different than going to a movie where for two hours
you are completely absorbed in the action. When you leave the theater, you are your old self again. For all the
catharsis and euphoria you experience during the movie, there is no application or concrete result. Nothing is
changed in the world in which you live. The electrical fluid or firm conviction adds to our exercise an overwhelming
belief and complete certainty that you are developing the power to change yourself and the world. We all have this
level of firm conviction within us. For example, recall several times in your life when you acted with total
conviction. You may have believed in what you were doing because of your commitment to some ideal or principle.
For this reason, you were neither confused nor did you have doubts because of the obstacles you faced or the
strength of those opposing you. You may have taken great risks when no else would because of your great
confidence that you had the right stuff--the experience and the knowledge--to get the job done. You may have had
an inner feeling of certainty, conviction, or intuition that you could do something creative or difficult even when no
one else was offering support or understanding. There may have been major life decisions during which you said to
yourself words to the effect, "This is what I need to do to make my life work." And then with real courage and
determination, you followed through with what you said you would do. Or more simply, were there times when you
felt on top of the world, completely confident, and totally in charge of yourself even if this was only for an hour, a
few minutes or a few moments? The point is, whether the experience was major or minor, there are times when we
have all acted with boldness, courage, conviction, or determination. Relive a few of these moments. As you do so,
notice how you feel. Carry the best part of these feelings over to the exercise with pour breathing. Go back and forth
several times in your imagination between the level of conviction you possessed in this other experience and this
moment. Apply that same conviction to your ability to breathe in life force through the pours of your skin.
Conviction, confidence, knowledge, and certainty--these are also an energy you produce within your body. If you
produce this electrical energy through reliving a past experience, hold that energy within yourself. Sustain its
strength. Apply it to this exercise. This is one way in which magick works: you extract from life experience its
essence. You refine it, strengthen it, and then apply it in new and creative ways. Initially, it is sufficient to gain a
sense of vital energy entering and leaving the pours of your skin. You may feel warmth, increased pressure, tingly
sensations, an increase in vitality, a flow of energy almost like air or a liquid moving through your skin, etc. Notice
very carefully these sensations and feelings. You will want gradually to strengthen and amplify them. In the long
run, what Bardon is after in this exercise is not only a clear and convincing mental plane imagination of breathing in
vital energy. He wants more than a rich and overwhelming feeling of becoming saturated with life force. He wants
the student to produce an etheric result. He wants the student to be able to change the world--to produce concrete
effects in himself and others. To accomplish this, you will need to put all of yourself into the exercise. You will need
the full power of your imagination and the full strength of your spirit almost to the extent that you can command the
life force to obey your will. EXERCISE. In this exercise, you add to the lungs and pour breathing the desire inhaling
mentioned in chapter one. That is, you inhale through the whole body "health, success, peace, mastering of passions,
or whatever you need most urgently." When you have attained a degree of success with this exercise, go on to
exhaling those things you do not like such as character faults, illness, or whatever causes you to fail in your life.
COMMENTS. This practice develops further the exercise in the first chapter. Recall that in the first chapter we
impregnated the vital energy entering our body with an image or idea. Combining intense concentration with vital
energy strengthens the ability of the idea to manifest. If someone is trying to sell you a car or some other item, the
salesperson probably will not be very effective if he or she is tired and lacks enthusiasm. But if the salesperson is
warm, inviting, and has a radiant sense of friendship, the customer is more likely to be interested in making a
purchase. The same thing is true about putting thoughts into action. If you take an idea and enliven it with
excitement, good feelings, enthusiasm, and imagination it will have a greater opportunity to make a difference in
your life. Part of the process of exhaling psychological qualities or illness involves making yourself empty. By
exhaling, you are letting go and freeing yourself of attachment. In exhaling, there is release and a peace so strong
nothing can hold on to you. You do not distance yourself from life by letting go and emptying yourself. Exhalation
is a way of opening oneself to receive new life. Within the emptiness is also a oneness which unites us all. In other
words, part of the psychology in exhaling things you do not like involves the feeling that as you exhale you are
opening yourself up. This involves trust and a sense of belonging to a greater whole. Some individuals may wonder
how you exhale sorrow, depression, anger, lust, etc. Thoughts and emotions are also energy. Here, at the beginning
of Bardon's training system, we are learning to treat them as such. We are all continuously drawing in, releasing, and
circulating energy with the world around us. Therefore, it is not a loss to let go of something which we carry inside
when we can replace it with something better.

Romasara, 8 Degrees Leo in the Earthzone, On Pranayama . Leo in Earthzone: Leo is radiant, confident, and full of
rejoicing. Leos are naturally affectionate and supportive of others. Libra, with a different emphasis, is interested in
love, beauty, and personal expression. Libra, for example, is very skilled in finding the point of balance between two
individuals. But Leo can find the central point which holds together an entire community. Leo has the strength and
desire to stand on that point. The inspiration and life of the community is reflected in his eyes and expressed through
his voice. You can find in Leo, then, a magnanimous heart and true generosity. There is also a ferocious will to
defend the community from attack from without and contamination from within. Like a mother lion with her cubs,
Leo is willing to protect and to educate her own. The constellation of Leo is ruled by the sun. Since magicians are
concerned with relating the microcosm--the individual--with the macrocosm--the universe, it is natural there are
some individuals whose hearts reflect the light of the sun. And what is the magical secret of the sun's light which
Leo's know? A mature Leo can feel in his or her heart a continuous explosion of joy which overflows as love to
others. Indeed, if the Leos' spirituality has reached a universal level, then their radiant light illuminates everyone like
the sun's light which shines upon the whole earth. 8 Degrees Leo: The 8th degree of Leo is very sensitive to life
force, vitality, breath, and the air element. This degree of Leo on the akashic plane seems to scream out to the whole
earth--"Hey folks, you are surrounded by a sea of vitality. Draw it in so you shine like the sun!" Romasara's Domain
of Akasha: This level of akasha joins a profound spiritual peace with mastery over breath, the etheric body, and the
air element. Romasara's Sigil: I draw the sigil placing the idea of mastery over breath into it. Immediately, my
awareness of air heightens. The air I inhale feels incredibly rich and satisfying. My awareness sinks into my
breathing so that I feel I have become the air and the life force within and surrounding my body. In a few moments,
more life force enters and circulates within my body. The trick does not involve learning specific breathing
exercises. In Romasara's approach, direct awareness of air releases energy into the body and makes this vitality
accessible to the will. There is, then, a strong astral component present--total immersion in the experience of
breathing opens the senses to perceiving life force. This is like meditating within a sacred temple. There is a warm,
glowing sensation all through my body as if priests are chanting and concentrating their mantras to vibrate within
me. It seems as if Romasara has placed his hands on my head and anointed me with an understanding of breath . .
After practicing for a while, I notice the sea of vitality which surrounds me. It proclaims that life is good, peaceful,
and beautiful. Meditating with Romasara, it is easy to imagine why some individuals, as in India, run away to spend
the rest of their lives practicing yoga. There is an intoxicating contentment in this energy like the kind you reflected
in the faces of great yogis. This bliss is so rich it strives to cancel and to destroy one's responsibility to society. The
urgency of personal needs which demand intimate bonds with lover, family, and community is weakened because of
the extreme relaxation. This astral and etheric vision of universal energy is as enchanting as entering a realm of
fairies or of undines who invite you to dwell among them forever. And still this energy grows stronger. I feel I have
left the earth and entered the sphere of the sun. When the light is bright enough, the barriers separating nature,
human, divine, and the planetary zones dissolve. Romasara, like other spirits such as Bialode, apparently has a close
tie the solar sphere as well as to our earthzone. Enough of this mystical rapture with endorphins running wild in the
bloodstream. Back to our evocation. Romasara's Inner Source of Inspiration: The energy of God, without beginning
or end, self-originating, and beyond all understanding, can be found within our bodies. It is within our breath. It is
met in the perfection of our health and vitality. In other words, the body is sacred. It is the temple of God. It has
been the custom of religions to build temples and structures to symbolize the glory and majesty of God.
Consciousness and our five senses enjoy having the support and reassurance which comes from entering a great
cathedral, a shrine, a stone circle, a grove, or a place of worship. But what all these majestic buildings and sacred
settings point to is Divine Presence which is found within our bodies and hearts. If I can put it this way, Romasara
acts as a tour guide introducing students to an infinite sea of vitality which is within our bodies and which extends
throughout the universe. Therefore, as you are drawing Romasara's sigil, include this awareness within the light you
visualize. Outer Aura: Romasara's aura emits a very pure light. It refines life force. It burns with a radiant purity. But
as a matter of fact Romasara is very aware of every aspect of how breath and vitality move within the body. It could
well be that if he were a human being, he would teach a great variety of methods. Each student would be introduced
to the practice most useful to him. Inner Aura: The way an undine is aware of the sea or a sylph of winds and
weather patterns, Romasara is aware of the life force within the sea of air around us. Romasara has identified his
consciousness with that sea. In practicing breathing with Romasara, you learn to draw upon these currents of energy
which gradually become larger and stronger. Akashic Plane: The akashic plane is the equivalent of entering a divine
awareness extending without limit through space and time. The awareness Romasara represents on this plane is the
absolute mastery of breath, life force, and radiant light. You can approximate this awareness in the following way.
You imagine you are a divine being who comprehends all aspects of life force and vitality. Your must be certain that
you have accomplished this so that you are free of all doubt. In other words, you simply make a picture of yourself
embodying these qualities. This conviction, if strong and clear enough, will eventually manifest as a physical ability.
Mental Plane: On the mental plane, Romasara's presence stimulates the mind to be vibrant and to rest within a sea of
shining bright vitality. This meditation does not emphasize your personality. It is a way of extending beyond
yourself and identifying with the atmosphere of the earth. I mention elsewhere how Swami Rama once had a student
who kept pestering him to transmit shaktipat--that is, to confer a transfusion of pure life force to the student. The
Swami finally consented. He took a glass of water and put some vitality into it as he held the glass between his
palms. A while after the student drank the water the student's body went into convulsions and he literally began
bouncing off the walls of the room he was in. The problem was that the student's consciousness identified with his
own body and personality. But the energy inside of him was an absolutely free movement of universal energy pure
and radiant--a celebration of divinity. The energy had no way of expressing itself within this individual. Unlike the
Swami, the student had not spent decades chanting sacred names and mantras, opening the nadis of energy channels
within his chakras, and training his mind to be boundless light full of bliss and delight. It helps, then, if the student
takes some time and effort to train his mind and body so he can understand the teacher's consciousness. There is a
difference between the akashic plane and the mental plane. On the akashic plane, consciousness identifies with
divinity without any form restriction or space and time limitation. In working with Romasara on the mental plane,
awareness focuses on general aspects and principles. In this case, you become aware of the energy vibration in the
atmosphere of the earth around you. Sometimes Swamis have this little mental game they like to play with students.
They get into talking about how "I am not my body. I am not my thoughts. I am not my breath. I am not my name. I
am not my identity, " and on and on and on. Well, what remains at the end of this game? In Hinduism, following the
model of a deity such as Krishna, you identify with the one indivisible and transcendent spirit within you. But on the
mental plane, Romasara does assume a specific identity. His consciousness has content, movement, and expression.
He identifies with the trees, their roots and leaves. He identifies with the plants, the clouds, the winds, the rivers, and
the seas. His awareness is within all the processes which nourish life on earth. And underneath the chemistry,
biochemistry, metabolism, and breath is, again, an energy field of radiant light and pure vitality. This is what shines
from his aura and where his consciousness rests. Astral Plane: On the astral plane, I get the distinct image and
sensation that breath produces the flame of spirit within the temple of our bodies radiating inexhaustible vitality. The
sea of life force sensed on the mental plane now takes on a focal point--in and around your body is the dazzling and
brilliant light of the sun. The essence of life force manifests as radiant light in your aura. Franz Bardon talks about
creating this aura around yourself through breath. Each breath accumulates more vitality within you until you feel
you are about to burst with the pressure of the light. Practicing over time, you learn to extend this light thirty yards
around your body. This supercharged aura makes it easy to heal others by transferring to them your excess vitality.
This is a great approach. It just takes many years of dedication and practice to get this. The nice thing about working
with Romasara is that the energy produced is not only very intense and dynamic. It is also gentle. It is blazing bright
and it also feels very natural and organic. I notice it is harmonious with my body and soothing to my emotions.
Physical Plane: The life force here is more dense. The light and vitality have a more direct effect on the physical
body. This is where most yoga begins. You stretch your muscles using asanas and steady breathing. Circulation is
increased. The muscles become more flexible and resilient. Your immune system and health improve. This kind of
vitality, then, can produce physical results more quickly. One individual told me that after she did yoga for an hour
she was always in a much better position to think about her unsolved problems. The surcharge she built up of
physical vitality influenced her astral body. She felt whole and illuminated from within. The anxiety and worry she
attached to problems temporarily disappeared. In this evocation, I have moved from the akashic plane down to the
physical. Generally, students of yoga work the other way around. They perform exercises with their physical bodies.
And they induce astral states of devotion and attunement to their line of masters through chanting and meditations.
Their awareness is gradually extended to the inner planes where they learn to see themselves as spiritual beings As
with other earthzone spirits, Romasara is a teacher who inspires and reminds students of what is possible if you are
willing to work for it. The immediate goal is to become aware of the vitality in air and to draw it into yourself. In the
end, you produce what appears to others as miracles through the power of your aura. Pathworking: In a pathworking,
we may use free association and image exploration to explore a theme. This clarifies how we feel and takes us into a
deeper understanding of ourselves. By contrast, a guided meditation may take us into contact wtih collective and
global archetypes but it may not illuminate our personal experience. Using a sigil is more technical. It is a method
employed by a magician and it can be the equivalent of a mini evocation in itself. It is also possible to combine all
there methods at once. A Pathworking with Romasara. To begin, I recall the different yogis and Swamis I have met
or seen practicing over the years. As within a dream, my point of view shifts and I see myself now within a sphere of
bright light and life force. Romasara seems to use this image to speak to me. He says that by working with him it
will become much easier for others to understand the spiritual ideas I wish to communicate. My aura will naturally
reflect the reality of whatever I am talking about. Others' imaginations will be enhanced and they will be able to feel
the inspiration which I feel. He says too that I will experience far less strain in performing evocations. And finally, I
will see much more clearly others' etheric, astral, and mental bodies. This will allow me to lend better assistance to
others with their problems and difficulties. In regard to Bardon's practices with breathing, Romasara points out it
takes years to master them. For Romasara, it helps if you start at the beginning by imagining you have already
perfected what you wish to embody in yourself--in this case, the mastery of life force. If your body senses you
already have the conviction, the mental image, and the feeling for what is to be accomplished, then you are more
likely to succeed. In regard to using Romasara's sigil for mastering pranayama, Romasara says this determined on a
case by case basis. Using a sigil is a form of magical ritual. You have to exert a great deal of imagination, will, and
energy to make it work. It can be helpful from time to time to use a sigil as you meditate but this is not something to
be overused. You want your vitality to develop gradually and without strain. You do not want to force your
development in a way that throws you backward because the tension is too great to handle. A Guided Meditation.
This is a basic format for a guided meditation. You can embellish it and expand on it in any way you want. Relax
and sit comfortably. Concentrate on your breathing. Now imagine a spiritual being. This could be Romasara or
another spirit related to vitality, health, and healing. As an example, visualize the archangel Raphael descending and
appearing in front of you. You see the shimmering light and radiant healing power shining from his aura. You look
into his eyes and see the glory of God and God's beauty being freely extended to all who are willing to receive it. As
you inhale, you sense in your own breath a willingness to experience this light, inspiration, and healing. The
archangel's aura grows brighter and now part of his aura extends in front of him as a divine gift and blessing--he
gives of his own being so that you might experience and know his love. This energized image--an exact replica of
the archangel--floats over to you and blends with your aura. You see, hear, feel, taste, and smell it and breathe it into
yourself. There is a transition and you find yourself now within Rapheal's heart. You feel a love so vast and
wonderful the stars are born to give expression to its beauty. You also feel joined to a healing power so great it can
restore anything to harmony. As you breathe with his energy and let it sink in, it saturates every cell in your body.
You know now that your mind, soul, and body have become a manifestation of this light and healing power. You are
cloaked in beauty with the power to bless anyone who enters your life Now return from this elevated state to your
own body and personality. The intensity of the energy fades but within your heart there is now a direct link to
Raphael. The essence of his inspiration is forever within your heart. Common Difficulties/Imbalances: The first step
in working with Romasara is to develop the etheric body. Most individuals are only aware of their physical body and
not of the life force which animates it. One way to become aware of vitality is to practice yoga. In this case, as you
stretch a muscle or practice an asana, you also breathe into the muscles being exercised. As you do this, you slowly
begin to notice the range of sensations relating to tension, relaxation, and increased blood flow. In becoming aware
of these sensations, an individual also gradually becomes aware of the more subtle vitality which sustains the life of
the body. Eventually, it is possible to sense directly the flows of life force. Tai Chi Chuan, Chi Kung, and various
other practices also increase awareness of the etheric body through movement, balance, breathing, stretching, and
training the imagination to circulate energy. Once you have this awareness, then it is easy to practice pranayama.
You can sense the life force which enters your body as you breathe. You can circulate this energy through your body
and direct it consciously. In the process, you get a feel for how to maintain harmony and restore health. It is also
possible to sense the vitality in the air surrounding your body and to draw upon this energy to a greater degree. Of
course, if your concentration and imagination are sufficiently trained, you can practice Bardon's accumulation of
vitality exercises. Whatever procedure you use, whether it is quick or slow, the bottom line remains. You have to
attain a direct awareness of the etheric body in a way which furthers health and maintains harmony. Consider an
example of Romasara's approach to pranayama. You can concentrate on your breath and imagine that you are
drawing vitality into your right arm as you inhale and releasing it as you exhale. Try this for a few moments. Picture
the inside of your arm empty and that energy enters it and leaves it as your breathe in and out. Make a fist now with
your right hand gradually tightening the muscles through the whole right arm. Notice at each level of tightness the
different sensations. The muscles flex and may lock in position. You may notice an increase in blood pressure in
your arm and the skin temperature become warmer. Keep your muscles flexed for ten or twenty seconds. Now
slowly release the muscles until your arm is relaxed. Here you will notice various sensations such as the feeling of
lactic acid being absorbed by the blood and perhaps warmth all through the muscles of your arm. Now try the
breathing exercise again. Imagine your right arm is empty and you are inhaling and exhaling energy into it. It is
more likely that you will sense to a greater degree the vitality entering and leaving the arm with the movement of
your breath. The point is that the more you are aware of your body, the more easily it will be to sense the presence
of vitality within you.

Chapter 2, Physical level.


Extended Commentary Reviewing the exercise for chapter 2, physical level: Conscious pour breathing. Bardon
says, "Sit comfortably in an arm chair or lie down on a sofa, and relax all your muscles. Try to think that, with each
inspiration, not only your lungs are breathing, i.e., inhaling air, but the whole body is doing so. Be firmly convinced
that, together with your lungs, simultaneously each single pore of your body receives vital power and conveys it to
the body. You ought to feel like a dry sponge which, when dipped into water, sucks it in greedily. You must have
the same feeling when breathing in." Though Bardon's exercise is straightforward and clear, there are countless ways
we can explore and expand on it. We are, after all, working with the universal life force and vitality which animate
all organic life. This life force is extremely resilient and adaptable. It is wondrous and in many ways mysterious. No
doubt, different approaches to working with it will suit different individuals. In this section, I am seeking to follow
Bardon's way of thinking. I offer the following images, meditations, and procedures as a means for exploring the
exercise further. I will mention some suggestions from different spirits of the earthzone later on. The overall goal of
this section is to gain a rich and powerful sense of balance, equilibrium, strength, and resilience in your health and
vitality. Part I. Pour Breathing Let us turn again to pour breathing. Some individuals may find it difficult to get a
sense of energy moving through the skin of the body. From the point of view of physiology, the skin can be
considered an organ of the body in its own right. Among other things, the exercise for brushing and rubbing the skin
from chapter one serves to raise our awareness of our skin. The following method might be helpful to some
individuals who are having trouble with pour breathing. In chapter 5 of Initiation into Hermetics, Bardon mentions,
"The instructions of the fifth step shall show us how to transplant the consciousness into the center of any form,
beginning with the tiniest atom to the highest universe." Also, in Bardon's book on quabbalah, he talks about
condensing various colors of light which fill the entire universe into a small dot inside of the body. In Bardon's
system, large amounts of energy as well as consciousness can enter very small spaces. We apply this concept to pour
breathing by starting with one pour at a time. Concentrate your mind on a very small dot the size of a pin prick on
the tip of your index finger. Hold this concentration in your mind for several minutes. Next, take a deep breath and
as you do so notice the sensation of your body becoming energized as you inhale. Repeat this deep breathing several
times until you can recall clearly the way your body feels when it gets a large supply of oxygen. Relax. Breathe
normal and concentrate again on one precise point on the tip of your finger. Imagine also that your body is
completely hollow and empty inside. Now as you inhale, imagine that vital energy is flowing through this tiny dot
on the tip of your finger and completely filling the inside of your body. We are putting together the tactile sensation
of one specific dot on our finger with the feeling of vital energy flowing through the dot and also the sensation of the
body being filled with a deep breath. As you exhale, reverse the process expelling the accumulated energy inside
your body through this dot. There is no need to hurry with this exercise. Stay with it until it feels comfortable and
easy to do. Next, perform the same exercise one after the other on each of the fingers of your hand. Do the same
with the other hand. Add the points together by first breathing through the points at the tip of the fingers on one hand
and then the other hand. Do also the same exercise with the toes of both feet and then do the hands and feet all at
once. Some individuals may find that it helps to add movement to the breathing process. For example, stand and
extend your arms in front of your body, palms facing down, elbows slightly bent and fingers slightly separated. As
you inhale through your finger tips, slowly drop your elbows down and lower your body by bending your knees. As
you exhale, extend your hands out and stand up straight again. Later on, produce the same sensations without the
movement. Return now to one hand. Increase the number of points you are concentrating on until they cover your
entire hand. Extend the concentration on pour breathing to your forearm, then your upper arm, both arms at once,
and gradually over the surface of your entire body. The idea is to get the mind to carry over from what you
accomplish with one point to the entire surface of your body. Obviously, the more you are aware of your body, the
easier these exercises become One individual said her hands were extremely sensitive after playing the base viola for
years. The vibration of the instrument and the mental concentration on her hand eventually created a capacity for
clairfeeling. When I raced sailboats, I had a ferocious concentration on my hands because I used them to hold the
tiller. And through the wood of the tiller I could sense the momentum of the sailboat, wind shifts, and waves striking
the hull. My mind went through my hand to the tiller and to all parts of the sailboat as well as the elements of nature
interacting with the sailboat. By training as a magician, I notice that my mind goes through my hand to connect to
whatever I am concentrating on. In a similar manner, in this exercise we are gradually learning to connect our minds
to our skin so it embodies the ability to draw in and expel energy. Over a period of time, return again and again to
concentrating on specific points on the surface of your body. Take that sensation of breathing through one point and
extend it to a larger part of your body. Taoists sometimes breath through key acupuncture points on the hands and
the feet. In Mantak Chia's book, Bone Marrow Nei Kung, he also has the student breathe in through the tips of the
fingers. From there, the student learns to breathe vital energy into the bone structure of the entire body with the goal
of rejuvenating bone marrow and blood. I would also note that students of acupuncture spend thousands of hours
over years learning the precise way to insert needles into the hundreds of acupuncture points on the body for medical
purposes. Each point has its own name, location on a meridian, influence on the four five elements, and relation to
relieving different symptoms and illnesses. The skin is well worth our attention for it is full of magick and power.
Part II. Working with the Etheric Body The previous section emphasizes lung and pour breathing. There are a great
many applications of this basic ability. In Part II, I will review four applications or ways we can work with the
energy which is produced. Point 4 is rather extensive since it greatly expands on our exploration of the four elements
in regard to attaining magical equilibrium. 1. A Natural Rejuvenating Elixir "The alchemist will recognize that the
human body represents a genuine Athanor in which the most perfect alchemistic process, the great work or the
preparation of the `philosopher's stone,' is visibly performed." Franz Bardon We are practicing breathing in life force
through your lungs and all the pours of our body. As we do so, it is possible to sense our body becoming charged
with a luminous, healing, and rejuvenating energy which brings perfect health and harmony. This energy is the
essence of life and an elixir--a quintessence in its own right. It is cool, serene, and calm and yet also energizing,
dynamic, and radiant. It is soft, flowing, soothing, and healing yet also enduring and strong to the extent that it fully
resists any negative or deteriorating influence. It is balanced, harmonious, and present evenly throughout the entire
body and yet it is completely malleable--it can change its qualities to reflect any specific vibration or energy which
is required to sustain health and equilibrium within the body. Alchemy attempts to produce through natural means
an elixir or philosopher's stone which embodies the quintessence of nature's energies. Nature is itself striving to
evolve toward perfection. The alchemist strives to bring about that perfection of nature's energies within his
laboratory. Most students practicing lung and pour breathing over a period of time will experience a general increase
in their health and vitality. But there is more available in this exercise. The human body is a microcosm reflecting
within it all the energies of nature as well as the larger universe. As we inhale life force through all the pours of our
body, we are also converting that life force into an elixir or quintessence. In the beginning, there are several things to
emphasize to enhance this process. First, develop a really clear image and sensation of your body being completely
hollow and empty inside. This empty space, like a hermetically seal flask used in alchemical experiments, enables a
mixing and fusing of the energies we place within it. As we inhale through our pours, we are inhaling the specific
vital qualities of the different surfaces and parts of our bodies. This energy spreads everywhere inside of us like a
perfect mixture. Though we imagine our body empty inside, the energy we inhale penetrates and vibrates within
every internal organ but it does not get trapped within them. It continues on and spreads throughout the entire body.
Consequently, there is a mixing of all the different energies within the body which, again, is like mixing and
drawing together in small measure all the different energies within nature and the greater universe. Think of and
visualize the body in this way--as a magical container designed to blend the energies of nature and the body in a
perfect manner. By concentrating on the empty space within the body, we are evoking the presence of akasha which
penetrates everywhere through space in an even manner and without any boundaries or barriers interfering with its
movement. By looking for, sensing, and imagining an elixir being produced through pour breathing--a luminous,
rejuvenating, and healing energy, we are also reproducing the action of akasha in regard to time. Akasha suspends
the time between this moment and that time when we will develop a perfect body, immortal, indestructible, and
eternal. In this section, then, the task during pour breathing is to sense a pure, luminous, soft, serene, radiant,
harmonious, cool, soothing, healing, enduring, and dynamic energy being produced within us. What I am
emphasizing here is not at all unusual or original. Again, in Mantak Chia's writings about Taoist practice, the
individual at the very beginning learns to gather and to draw into one ball of energy the different external and
internal energies of the body. These are then circulated through the different points of the spine and also the internal
organs so that this ball of vitality turns into a kind of elixir. There is however a slightly different emphasis between
Taoist goals and those of a magician. The Taoist pursues all means which lead to longevity and which strengthen the
endurance of the life force. The elixir I am emphasizing is equally useful for reproducing the enlightened mind
which Buddhists pursue, the omnipresent, all- embracing love which Christians see Christ as embodying, and also
the absolute power which is more characteristic of a Quabbalistic, spheric magician. Even at this level, we can begin
to incorporate each of these paths and ideals into our own breathing practice should we desire to do so. . 2.
Breathing Energy Directly in and out of the Etheric Body Introduction to the Etheric Body In using the phrase,
"etheric body," I am describing the vibratory field of energy or vital life force which penetrates through and also
derives its life from the physical body. This field of vital energy is not identical with the biochemical or
physiological processes of the physical body. It is more subtle. In the following brief essay, I will discuss the etheric
body as it is approached from several traditions Western medical doctors can detect and accurately locate the
classical acupuncture points using only scientific instruments. There is a measurable electro-magnetic shift in the
vibration of an acupuncture point as compared to the surrounding surface of the skin. This acupuncture point and the
energy being measured has a correlation to the activity of the etheric body. But, for the most part, the etheric body is
not yet directly subject to scientific instruments of measurement and detection. Bardon points out that if you
concentrate on an internal organ or part of your body, there is an increase in blood circulation to that part. There is,
for example, an increase in temperature due to the dilation of blood vessels. There are changes in electrical impulses
which are also easily measured, for example, by an ohmmeter. But again, there measurable changes are not the
etheric body itself which is more subtle. If you breathe into your hand and feel a strong pressure, some of what you
feel is from increased blood circulation and change in temperature. But, if you are sensitive, beneath these more
obvious sensations you can sense the vital energy moving within the etheric body. Blood stays in the arteries and
veins of your body. The vital energy you produce in pour breathing will move anywhere you want it to.
Consequently, with practice, you can get the vital energy compressed into your right hand to move, for example,
down and into to your left foot. You can also get it to move into another individual's body who is next to you or on
the other side of the planet. Generally speaking, when an individual is healthy, all the internal organs of the body
produce more vital energy than is necessary for the functioning of that organ. This surplus charge of energy can be
consciously refined and fused with other body energies. It can be circulated through the body to increase the strength
and harmony of the etheric body. Some individuals have a natural flair for working with vital energy and healing
others with it. As I mention elsewhere, one Taoist student discovered that any internal Taoist meditation or
circulation of chi she did in her body she could just as easily reproduce in someone else's body as well. Finding it
easy to imagine herself within another's body, she could work with that individual's energy as easily as her own.
When most individual's die, the vital energy associated with the physical body rapidly dissolves since it is dependent
on the biochemistry and physiological processes of the physical body. The deceased then enters the astral plane
where he or she resides within an astral body which slowly deteriorates and which may be abandon quickly or at a
later point, e.g., when the individual chooses to incarnate again. That is the idea anyway. Having worked for a
lifetime with their mental bodies, some high Buddhist adepts have a practice in which they preserve the qualities of
their mental bodies when they reincarnate. They may even describe when and where they will be reborn again going
into great detail giving names and specific descriptions of their location. One such Tibetan lama consciously decided
to adopt an astral body more suited for working with Westerners. Running a monastery with thousands of monks
under him in Tibet required a powerful and dominating presence But foreseeing that he would one day work with
Westerners, he changed his personality for his next incarnation so it would be more appealing to Western values and
standards. He chose a personality which was warm, inviting, and empathic. On the other hand, descriptions in the
Bardon system of spirits and of cosmic letters occasionally refer to the "immortality of the astral body." That is, the
actual personality of the individual with its unique combination of the four elements retains its strength and does not
deteriorate unless the individual should choose to make a change. The immortality of the astral body is often a
consciously stated goal in some Taoist practices. A master once referred to making a house in which you live when
you die, namely, an immortal astral body. But there is more going in magick than this. There is also the conscious
effort to build a powerful etheric body. The 24 elemental beings Bardon describes in his second book not only have
extremely powerful astral bodies. They have powerful though non-physical etheric bodies which give them a
heightened magical means for interacting with nature and the physical world when they choose to do so. The
mummies of the Egyptian Pharaohs were often placed within pyramids. This, along wtih the mummification process
and rituals, was an attempt to enable an astral immortality by preserving an etheric matrix on the physical plane. The
physical mummy serves as a kind of battery or device for accumulating energy which then circulates to the departed
soul. Similarly, the Chinese fung sui masters are concerned about the direction and placement of your ancestors
bones. Ancestor worship may act to keep alive and to preserve the astral matrix of the departed soul. Consequently,
there is also a return circulation of energy which moves through the bones of the departed soul to the descendants. In
fung sui, the alignment of those bones influences the flow of energy. Also in some schools of Taoism as in a few
other religions there is a conscious attempt to preserve not only the astral body but also the etheric body of departed
masters such as the eight immortals and other masters of a specific lineage. Whether the departed soul has any tie to
this astral-etheric shell is irrelevant to the practice. The practitioners hope to gain a shaktipat or transference of
energy from the master to those who are present during a ritual of evocation. The Bardon spirits of the earthzone, by
contrast, do not maintain physical, etheric, astral, or mental bodies. They preside without form within an akashic
state of awareness. They are free to assume any form they wish and do so to represent themselves in a visible
manner during an evocation by a magician. All 360 of them are quite capable of manifesting on the mental, astral,
and physical planes should they desire to do so. In other words, they have mastered the three lower planes and can
produce a mental, astral, and physical vehicle of manifestation at will. In our basic practice here, there is nothing
going on so mysterious or occult. If you can strengthen and energize your etheric body while you are alive, it kicks
in automatically whenever you need extra energy. It preserves your harmony and equilibrium in the same way that
having flexible and strong muscles gives you an edge in undertaking physical tasks. Some athletes have fabulous
physical bodies but once they retire from their sport and begin another career, there is no need for them to maintain
such a high level of conditioning. Arnold Schwarzeneger, the former world champion weight lifter, may still keep in
shape but not while he is shooting a movie such as Terminator as part of his new career as an actor. Similarly, a
well- developed magician may choose to maintain his etheric matrix when he dies or let go of it depending on his
purpose. Combining Pour Breathing with the Etheric Body. The purpose of this exercise is to learn to imagine and
then sense the etheric body. We do this so that it becomes easier to develop the etheric body and to increase our
level of vitality. Later on, when Bardon discusses the mental body, he has the student visualize a picture of himself
standing in front of him. The student then places his consciousness within this image. In learning to project the astral
body, the student transfers his breathing directly into the mental body which again is seen as being independent of
the physical body. In this exercise, we imagine the etheric body to be slightly larger and overlapping our physical
body. Similar to working with the astral body, in this exercise we imagine the etheric body is drawing in and
expelling energy directly from the air. Though we continue the lung and pour breathing, we imagine that the etheric
body is also breathing by itself. 3. Strengthening the Etheric Body The etheric body is not woven together by
muscle, bone, tendon, and sinew and yet we can strengthen it through many different methods. In this section, I will
mention two approaches. (1). First, concentrate again on the image and feeling of your etheric body. Now imagine
that every part of the etheric body is connected equally to every other part and every point to every other point. The
idea is to produce a strong feeling of cohesion and interconnection within the etheric body. There are many ways of
approaching this in a concrete manner. One such method derives from Taoist practice. Both in Jin Shin Jyitsu and in
Mantak Chia's work, the Tu Mo and Jen Mo meridians are combined to form the main central meridian. This
enables one circular flow of vital energy around the outside of the body. Mantak Chia goes into detail on this
meditation practice in his book, Awakening Healing Energy through the Tao. Mary Burmeister, the Jin Shin Jyitsu
master, has a similar method which is done through application of the individual's hands rather than through
meditation. Similarly, in many Taoist practices, meditating on the meridians is used as a means for becoming
conscious of and connecting the energy flows of vitality through the body. Dr. Stephen Thomas Chang in his book,
The Complete Book of Acupuncture, Celestial Arts, 1976, gives a brief description, p. 48, of The Around the World
Massage, "Using the bulb of the thumb or index and middle fingers, gently massage the entire length of each of the
main meridians in the direction of the energy flow along the meridian." [The sequence is lung, large intestine,
stomach, spleen-pancreas, heart, small intestine, bladder, kidney, heart constrictor, triple heater, gall bladder, and
liver.] After becoming competent in the previous exercise, he suggests meditating on the meridians. "...focus all your
attention on the lung meridian. Trace the path of the lung meridian with your index and middle finger paying close
attention to the concurrent subjective feelings that arise as a result of this procedure. Mentally follow the flow of
energy as it descends along the lung meridian and then repeat the same procedure along the large intestine meridian
which has an ascending flow of energy. Massaging the entire length of all twelve of the main meridians will
eventually enable one to sense the most minute energy fluctuation along the meridian circuit. Ultimately, one will be
able to willfully direct the energy flow along any one of the meridians. Becoming consciously aware of the
circulation of energy within the body will confer longevity of life, for this ability will enable one to maintain a state
of energy balance under any and all circumstances." If you want a very detailed book showing the acupuncture
points and meridians, you might consider the Anatomical Atlas of Chinese Acupuncture Points, Shandong Science
and Technology Press, distributed by Pergamon Press. There are of course many books on this topic and you can
find those which suit your needs. I recall being in one class where the teacher had the students quickly trace the lines
of the twelve main meridians over the surface of the entire body in about two minutes time. Once you have the
meridian paths memorized, it is pretty easy to trace them with your fingers. Dr. Chang is suggesting, however, that
the student slow down and meditate deeply on the energy flow through each of the meridians. In Mantak Chia's
system, there is an emphasis on what is called the "extra meridians." These meridians, such as the Tu Mo and Jen
Mo, are more suited for gathering and circulating surplus energy through the body. There are a variety of ways to
meditate and work with the energy of the meridians. If you were to try Chang's method of meditation on the
meridians, relax and sink your mind slowly into the meridian. Try to feel the energy flowing through the meridian
and then connect the meridian in your mind with the corresponding internal organ. The particular energy of the
meridian and its corresponding organ have a similar vibration since they are closely related. Many students will have
no interest in the complexities of Chinese meridians and meditations. I mention the above example to illustrate a
system which teaches how to direct and strengthen the movement of vital energy within the etheric body. In its
defense, I would point out that the Chinese system of acupuncture and meridians is part of the curriculum in every
medical school in mainland China. The more simple but abstract method I suggest of meditating on all parts of the
body being interconnected is more of an akashic meditation. (2) In this meditation, we concentrate on each part of
the body offering balance and support to every other part. You can proceed, for example, by concentrating on a part
of your body such as your hand. You sense that the energy of your hand supports every other part of your body as
well as your whole body. And every other part of your body and your whole body support the energy of your hand.
You continue on working with all parts of your body. This is kind of like a focusing technique which I describe in
detail under the section of my web page on Methods in Transpersonal Psychology. In that system, the individual will
consciously focus his attention on one specific area of the body which is in some way restricted or blocked. In doing
this, the individual also imagines the rest of the body offering its support by being open and receptive to the blocked
area. In other words, the energy of the whole body is available to any area of need. The Chakras as an Example of
Internal Support Another example of the internal support which occurs within the body relates to the system of the
seven chakras. There are a great many books about the seven chakras but let me just mention a few points on how
they support each other. The heart chakra is known for its harmony and compassion. Those with strong hearts like to
resolve conflicts. They have high empathy. They are sensitive to others' feelings. The third chakra in the solar plexus
region, by contrast, establishes a direct connection between oneself and others. It is forceful, assertive, and
commanding. The heart chakra needs the lower third chakra in order to avoid feeling vulnerable and unable to
communicate itself. The third chakra presents the force of personality and charm an individual needs to win other's
over to its position. And the third chakra needs the heart's harmony otherwise it becomes manipulative and injures
others' feelings. By the way, the individuals who gain the most experience in life are those with this combination of
strong third and four chakras. The throat chakra is know for its creativity. It embodies great determination,
adaptability, and ingenuity. The throat chakra is balanced by the second chakra in the belly below the navel. The
second chakra deals with sexuality, sensuality, and also with those feelings and intuitions which guide a person in
sensing what makes for happiness and affection. It has a great sense of what is natural and of what preserves your
energy as an individual. If a highly creative individual in the throat chakra can maintain an equally developed
second chakra, he can keep his creativity from becoming rigid, artificial, compulsive, and haphazard. This is because
he will know when to withdraw from activity and renew himself in natural ways. And if the second chakra person
can develop his throat chakra, his life will not only be natural and flowing. There will be productivity and interaction
with exciting and creative individuals. Those with strong second chakras are sometimes so relaxed and content, they
fail to exercise initiative and to take charge of their lives. The sixth chakra or third eye is known for its psychic
power. It offers an individual a combination of detachment, profound intuition, and spiritual purpose but it also
burns up a great deal of vital energy when it is being used. Consequently, many spiritually gifted and psychic
individuals limit their use of the third eye to a very narrow range of activities lest they become exhausted or suffer
nervous tension. The third eye, however, is balanced by developing in equal measure the first chakra at the base of
the spine or above the perineum. This lower chakra contains the life force of nature and a profound sense of being
grounded both within the material world and within the physical body. When a psychic or spiritual practitioner has
his third eye balanced by his first chakra, he is down to earth, practical, and hard working. He rarely suffers from
that fuzzy, other worldly and self-doubt you can often find in the eyes of spiritual adventurers. Similarly, the first
chakra individual who has a strong third eye does not get stuck in a physical situation or bogged down by his
routines. He can sense in advance when a change is coming and he is ready to work with it when it arrives. The
seventh chakra, the crown chakra, depends on the lower six chakras to express its visions. And yet it also interacts
with the six. It presides over them acting as a higher aspect of conscience prodding and warning an individual when
it is time to grow and to belong to a greater whole. Following the chakras as a meditation, you feel that the two parts
of your body relating to the chakras are connected and supporting each other. You imagine that the love in your
heart is present in and supports the activities of your personality. And the forceful, assertive side of your third chakra
is present and helps express the more tender and empathic feelings of your heart. Similarly, your sexuality,
sensuality, and need to express affection in your second chakra supports your throat chakra so your creativity
remains natural, wholesome, and healthy. And, in reverse, your creativity and adaptability keep finding for you new
and challenging ways to express your inner feelings. With the third eye and the lowest chakra, you imagine that all
the surplus vital energy in your body is available to your higher intuition, to support and empower it, whenever you
wish to meditate and seek spiritual guidance. At the same time, you guard your life force and protect your health.
You do not burn yourself out or become exhausted by excessive spiritual or psychic activity. Instead, you
contemplate your life and activities to make sure everything is ordered and is fulfilled in the right way. In summary,
the first meditation on strengthening the etheric body emphasized each part and point being joined to every other so
the etheric body is sensed as being one interconnected whole. In this second meditation, we emphasize the nurturing
aspect of the etheric body. When there is a weakness or disturbance of vital energy, the whole etheric body offers its
strength and harmony. Note: the next section will cover: 4. Gathering the Five Elements through Breathing This
section has three parts. The first is a meditation reminding us of the interaction and presence of the five elements
within our bodies. The second is an exploration and integration of the vital energy which animates each of the 12
signs of the zodiac as they manifest in human behavior. After becoming thorougly familiar with the first two
meditations, we proceed to the thrid meditation which reminds us that the life force we breathe in with each breath
has universal aspects. Within the vitality of the air are the four aspects of Divine Providence--immortality, cossmic
wisdom and enlightenment, absolute power, and all-embracing, cosmic love. To be continued.

The Philosopher’s Stone


The idea of physical and astral immortality have been around a long time, for ages stretching back before written
history. Many bishops and popes in the Christian church were obsessed with the idea of the philosopher’s stone. It
was said to be able to prolong life and transform lead into gold. When it comes to greed, such an idea easily lends
itself to fraud in the hands of a good con man.
Many magicians also in the Middle Ages and after spent their life times searching for the philosopher’s stone. Their
experiments with various elixirs contributed to the formation of modern chemistry. There are many books recently
written about alchemy and the philosopher’s stone both as something to be sought and obtained as a physical
substance and also as a spiritual attainment within oneself.
Those committed to producing something physical and those committed to producing something spiritual have
sometimes been very critical of each other’s goals. The one is criticized as being a gross materialist and the other is
criticized as completely spiritualizing something that actually belongs to the sphere of nature and the real world.
Science I am sure will eventually produce the philosopher’s stone or its scientific equivalent in its own good time for
that is the nature of science--to discover everything that can be known about the physical universe. My goals are
more humble. I am interesting in learning to be aware of, to explore, and to transform to whatever extent I can the
vital energies within my physical and astral bodies.
The idea of astral immortality, although saved for a heavenly afterlife in Christianity, is definitely a part of various
sects in Buddhism and Taoism. High Tibetan lamas, such as a the “golden child” or Karmpa in the Kagu order of
Tibetan Buddhism, are said to have the ability to consciously pick their next incarnation after they die. The Karmapa
is so precise he gives the names of his next parents and describes their location in his instructions to his disciples as
to where to come and find him after he is reborn.
This action of magical incarnation carries with it a continuity of consciousness, that is, the same spiritual qualities,
abilities, and often the same memories are present in the incarnating individual. You are simply sending your
consciousness into the body of a child which requires that you relearn to speak and gain control again over your
nervous system. But it is the same old you who is living on.
Taoists tend to emphasize, in addition to the Chinese ideal of long life, the concept of astral immortality. In other
words, here in this life you begin working on designing and building the astral body you will inhabit when you die
and live on the astral plane. You want to be strong, radiant, and feel fully alive when you die and not be a ghost or
slowly have your personality fade away over the centuries subject to the disintegrating influences of the astral plane.
Though unfamiliar to Western consciousness, this ideal results from being concerned with the worship of ancestors
and with prolonging and refining life, life force, and health.
Since Franz Bardon describes many spirits who specialize in alchemy and also various cosmic letters which he says
lead to astral and physical immortality, it is natural for me to pursue this topic in my own way--that is, in a personal
and psychic way through my own experimentation and experience.
The Philosopher’s Stone in the Aura
In chapter 3, physical level, of his book, Initiation into Hermetics, Franz Bardon has the student practice
concentrating and also accumulating vital energy in one’s body through the use of breath. (Also see my commentary
under Basic Practices on my web site, Chapter 3, Physical Level, Pour Breathing). If you breathe air in and out of
every part of your body, for example, you can begin to sense the vitalization of each part of your body. If you
practice accumulating this vital energy in each part of your body, you begin to strengthen and learn to heal the
various parts of your own and other’s bodies.
This kind of accumulation of vital energy, however, heavily favors the fire element. Bardon points out that the body
becomes hot and radiates waves of heat like a hot radiator when the life force is concentrated in the body when you
follow his instructions. This form of accumulation of vital energy is great for healing since the fire element is often
used in healing.
In chapter 3 on the psychic level, Bardon has the student practice accumulating each of the four elements. The fire
element in this case, however, is not in particular an aspect of vital energy. The fire element in nature, when
gathered through breathing, produces an energy that is hot and fiery. It has a burning quality. The accumulated life
force, by contrast, results in a kind of white light accumulation that is more organic, more a part of the natural
energy of the body. It is also hot and expansive but definitely a healing energy as opposed to a fiery burning energy.
Some individuals are addicted to white light. They love it to the exclusion of the other aspects of life force. They
adore gurus with bright shiny auras. Some of these individuals get very upset or outright paranoid when they
encounter someone who is exploring light in the non-visible spectrum of vibration.
But in the actual physical universe white light is very small part of the total amount of energy being emitted
throughout the universe. Besides star and solar light, there are many other forms of light in the invisible spectrum
which are far more present with us and throughout the universe. These are ultraviolet, infrared, X-rays, gamma rays,
and other forms of cosmic radiation. These too are light and our consciousness moves in these spectrums of light
vibration as well.
The air we breathe in has the four elements in it and not just the bright fiery element. In every breath, we are
drawing in a combination of the four elements. In part, we can learn to become conscious of these four elements and
direct them at will by working with each separately.
You can, for example, do breath accumulation of life force emphasizing the other elements. Earth, air, and water are
not so bright like white light and certainly not hot and fiery. Some individuals, in fact, may find that the intense
accumulation of life force within one’s body through breathing is not particularly harmonious or health producing. A
one-sided vitality accumulation may produce disharmonies depending on the individual’s psychic makeup.
The water life force accumulation, as opposed to the fiery or white light kind of accumulation, is magnetic, cool, and
soothing. You can imagine for example sitting in a pool of water in front of a falls and practice breathing in and out
air as your body is surrounded by a fine mist of vapor from the falls. In this case, you can learn to sense more of the
watery energy that is present in the same breath that you breathe in. You are just altering your mental imagery
slightly to produce a different result in terms of your elemental accumulation.
But again, the accumulation of the water element in nature is different from the accumulation of the water aspect of
vital life force in the body. If you use breath to accumulate the water element, you get in your body a cold, wet
sensation of water. If you breath in air utilizing the imagery for example of sitting in front of a water fall, you are
getting more of the watery energy that is a part of your own life force.
This energy is not wet and cold. It is soothing and cleansing, even nurturing and sustaining. It is these health-
producing, elemental energies within breath and the organic vitality of the body which I am interested in pursuing in
this essay.
The element of air vital accumulation results in a balancing and harmonizing energy. The earth element vital
accumulation is peaceful, calming, and stabilizing. The akasha element concentration produces a sense of inner
stillness and profound faith.
If you gather and then blend these together, combining the opposite pairs carefully and then adding the akasha, you
get a feeling of strong health and rejuvenation or the combination of all the qualities of each of the five elements.
But this is still a dim reflection of what is it is possible to incorporate in the human body.
The magician will naturally seek to explore and master the four elements in nature. The elements in nature are not
necessarily friendly or harmonious with the vital energies in the human body. If you project into the undine’s realm
or the oceans, you may learn a lot about the vibration of the ocean or the incredibly states of bliss and ecstasy
belonging to undines.
But you may return from these mental or astral explorations exhausted or in some cases haunted and disturbed by
what you have encountered. There is no such imbalance or strain as an effect if you are working with the four
elements which are a part of and present in your own vital energy.
Below are some of my preliminary thoughts and comments of what I am currently exploring, mostly in the last four
days while meditating on the philosopher’s stone. My interest is in the philosopher’s stone which you produce in
your aura. The goal here is to sense, explore, become familiar with, universalize, strengthen, and harmonize personal
health.
My procedure is basically to focus within my body and then ask the spiritual world various questions and then
record my thoughts and responses to the impressions I receive. I am not exactly new to this topic. I have spend many
months during different years working on producing chemical based elixirs. But though I could produce very potent
energies these were not particularly useful to me. The problem is I am under a powerful karmic limitation (which I
did not understand at the time) to avoid using any physical implements or aids to my magical work in life.
That means no wands, no magick mirrors, no elixirs, no robes, no incense, etc. etc. I apparently overindulged and
did too much of that sort of ritualized and externalized magical activity in other life times. In this life time my work
is intended to be more simple and direct, more artistic and personal, than what was the norm for this kind of activity
as practiced in other civilizations.
Questions
Question: What is the difference between a physical philosopher’s stone and producing this energy in your aura?
Answer: The material philosopher’s stone is a powdery substance which is incredibly expansive in producing
healing and balancing life force. It can be used to heal others.
It is not just material, however. It combines in its vibration an ability to restore the elements and health of the astral
body as well.
If you ingested some of the philosopher’s stone, you would be producing a harmonious and universal level of health
beginning with the physical elements in your body and working toward the inner planes of the astral, mental, etc. If
you have the philosopher’s stone vibration in your aura, you are producing the same universal level of health but
through having the mental, astral, and etheric vibration influence and sustain the health of the physical body.
One is external and works quicker and more easily on the physical body. The other is internal and works quicker and
more easily on the etheric and astral bodies.
How do the physical and auric philosopher’s stone relate to physical and astral immortality?
Answer: Theoretically, both can produce physical immortality, that is, continuous physical health without
deteoriation. The physical philospoher’s stone, however, does not produce astral immortality. That is, if the
individual were to die, the astral body would be subject to the usual gradual process of deterioration. In other words,
if you lose the physical support of ingesting the philosopher’s stone as a medicinal elixir, you lose contact with its
rejuvenating power.
The auric philosopher’s stone, by contrast, does produce astral immorality, that is, a continuous sustaining of health
and a resilience of the elements and form of the astral body. Again, this is because the physical stone has the
advantage of influence more easily the physical body but has limited influence on the astral body’s health and
maintenance. The physical stone neither contains nor produces an autonomous and independent astral influence.
If you are sustaining your health through a physical elixir, you have to make more using the materials of the physical
world when you use up your supply. If you are producing an internal philosopher’s stone by using your own powers
of concentration, then you can continue doing this when you are on the astral plane. One form of rejuvenation is
external to yourself and the other is internal.
What is the appropriate philosopher’s stone for me to work within my aura?
Answer: The elixir suitable for you to work with incorporates cosmic qualities or specific aspects of Divine
Providence within it since your goal involves spiritualizing both the physical and the astral bodies.
What and how are the elements present in this stone?
The air element is similar to the akashic level of the cosmic letter A. This is the quality within air which is absolute
and total enlightenment without limit. This is an enlightenment and wisdom that are cosmic and not just human in
scope. It is a wisdom that belongs to Divine Providence and is equally effective anywhere in the universe. It is not a
part of any human tradition.
Anyone who works with the cosmic letter A on the akashic level can begin to sense this energy and consciousness.
You practice the concentration, you work with the energy, and you gain the experience. It is direct, personal, and it
is the realm of nature in its cosmic dimension.
In this state of awareness, there is nothing you can not understand or comprehend. There is nothing that can bind,
restrict, or limit your consciousness. You combine perfect and absolute freedom with a full appreciation of the laws
and greater harmony that govern the universe. The goal is to become the embodiment, agent, and representative of
this harmony on earth.
The earth element is an awareness of immortality, of physical matter being indestructible, that is, enduring without
aging or suffering deterioration of any kind. Your consciousness becomes one with physical matter and you are fully
aware of the power behind and within it and that sustains it. The power within matter that maintains and sustains its
form and nature becomes part of your consciousness.
The water element is purifying (that is, cleansing), healing, and nurturing. Through the flowing, receptive, and
magnetic qualities of water, oneness becomes complete. The water element in both its natural and divine aspects
renews, restores, and fills with life because its love is so deep.
The fire element is perfect, complete, and absolute will and power. It can bring about change suddenly like lightning
striking. It is massive and overpowering like the fusion of the sun exploding. It is silent, often hidden, and yet
controlling like the magma that shapes and moves the continents. It is the force of will, that when assigned a mission
or a purpose, accomplishes that mission and fulfills that purpose because there is no obstacle it can not overcome--it
has that kind of determination and dynamic built into it.
Akasha, as the fifth element, has many aspects and qualities. Since we are focusing on the quintessence of life force
in the body, akasha in this case involves a perfect penetration of all aspects of the body with conscious awareness.
This means that your awareness comes to understand not only the anatomy and all physiological and neurological
processes within the body. You also comprehend the way in which the body is the temple of Divine Providence. It is
the vehicle that enables the highest spirit and God consciousness to be physically present on earth.
There have been great kings who have built elaborate temples and priests of great power, purity, and religious intent
who have entered those temples and spoken the sacred names of God. But a more fitting temple has already
designed and anointed by God for this purpose--it is within each of our bodies should we but become conscious of it.
These five elements which I have described are perfectly joined and one. United, they produce a version of the
philosopher’s stone that can manifest within the human aura.
How or what is the process by which this energy is obtained, trained, practiced, and developed?
Answer: You meditate on each of the divine elements and then combine the pairs of opposites and then the akasha
also into one.
Why do the pairs in particular need to be combined rather than work through each element one after another?
Answer: You combine the opposites of earth and air, and fire and water, and then these two sets together in order to
bring more consciousness into the process so that the joining is perfected. You want the elements to interpenetrate
rather than just being present at the same time.
What additional energy needs to be present?
Answer: You also need to add the natural elixir which exists within nature to this fusion so that it is not just a
magical production but is accomplished in association and union with nature also.
What is the highest elixir like this in nature?
Answer: The image for it is the unicorn which is the closest animal embodying this energy. When you have the
energy of the philosopher’s stone you notice that it is solid like a mountain, open and clear like the sky, hot like a
fiery conflagration, watery like the ocean, and akashic in that it penetrates through all ages of the world.
Besides these elemental components which are within it, the natural philosopher’s stone in the aura can be described
as a highly condensed vital energy that is wildly exuberant, that is, it increases the amount of energy you have so
you feel incredibly enthusiastic. At the same time, it is passionately ecstatic, that is, you feel an inner union, rapport,
and oneness between your body with the entire realm of nature.
In addition, every form of life, every desire and instinct, finds satisfaction in the peace and equilibrium that is within
you. There is great depth and silent power that is simultaneously riotous in its celebration of the beauty and the life
that reveals itself in a new way in each moment. It is a state of body and mind that is timeless, encompassing all ages
of the world in its immortality, but also is thrilled, taking delight in the joy that blossoms in and through each
sensory impression.
Franz Bardon warns that using an elixir with this degree of potency can give youthful energy and outlook but there
is a cost. You lose the wisdom you have gained from experience as well as your magical powers. It is not that you
forget the knowledge you have acquired. Rather, you return to a time of youthful vitality in which your physical and
astral bodies are enthralled and overpowered with riotous instincts. You no longer care about wisdom because you
are carried away as you surf the waves of desire and gratification.
There is a remedy for this tradeoff in which you exchange your wisdom for youthful energy. Right from the
beginning of your practice you impregnate your life force and your astral body with divine qualities. You make it a
life long practice to join the qualities of your inner spirit and this quintessence of nature’s life force. In this way, you
learn to combine in your awareness the purity and universality of your spirit with the potency of primal life force so
that you learn to see clearly the origin and fulfillment of every desire and need.
The body is a temple. You can find within it the Presence of God as well as mother nature, the goddess kundalini,
and every force and spirit that represent the powers of creation. Working with the philosopher’s stone requires a
special commitment and a spirit of celebration most profound.
How is the energy elixir in nature obtained in the human body?
Answer: For the air element, you have to imagine the atmosphere of the earth, become familiar with it, and then turn
some of that vibration of air into a vital energy which can reside in your body in a harmonious manner. The same
with a mountain, the sea, fire, and akasha.
How do you turn the vibration of the atmosphere, etc. into a vital energy organic to the human body?
Answer: You remain conscious of the vital energy in your body while you place your consciousness into the
atmosphere and identify with it. Slowly, the vital energy in your body is raised and expanded in its vibration so that
it becomes transformed and universalized in harmony with nature.
If you just project your consciousness into the atmosphere you get the air element on a universal level but this
energy vibration is not harmonious and supportive of the vital energy in your body. You have to move more slowly
and allow the imagery and your consciousness of the atmosphere to take effect in transforming the vital energy
within your body.
In other words, you first sense the vitality in your body. And then very gradually you introduce into this vitality an
awareness of being within the sky. Slowly, you become acquainted with the weightlessness, openness, and airy
expanse of the sky. The imagery you use of the sky has to be so gentle and relaxed that it does not produce any
tension, only an increasing sense of harmony--like an exhalation of breath through which you feel released, satisfied,
and at peace.
You pursue a similar course with the other elements. With earth, you bring into your consciousness the solidity of a
mountain. With water, you contain in your awareness the magnetism and fluidity of the seas. With fire, you hold in
your awareness a great, fiery cataclysm.
And with akasha, the fifth element, you have the time frame and the awareness that comprehends the process
through which the mineral, plant, and animal kingdoms are developed as well the four elements of earth, sea, air,
and fire and the vital energies in both male and female human beings. The akashic element is an awareness both of
what is in nature and of the fusion of these energies.
This akashic element is itself a vital or natural energy and as such it is a part of nature. It oversees the refining and
transforming of natural energies but it requires the condensed essence of male and female and the four elements
before it attains its full power to rejuvenate.
What is the state of mind in which to practice these meditations?
Answer: You practice in an extremely relaxed state of mind. You are so relaxed that your mind is in a dream like
state, free of any concerns or worries and there is no intensification of your mental vibration as you concentrate or
focus your awareness. In other words, you remain so much in harmony with the vital energy of your body that you at
no point disturb the natural flow of currents in your body. It is like entering the stream of life force in your body and
then adding to its richness and depth without blocking the natural flow.
What is the equivalent of the concentrated life force of this order in the body of a male and female?
Answer: The concentrated life force is found primarily in the male seed and the female eggs. The male seed or
semen is electrical, penetrating, expansive, and potent. The female eggs are magnetic, attracting, and contain great
depths--they contain a reflection of the universe within them.
Can these energies of the genders be combined to produced an elixir?
Answer: No. The gender energies produce an electromagnetic bond and not the elixir though you can psychically
and through akasha join the genitals of the opposite genders and get a high state of equilibrium and balance between
their primal energies. This of course results in a high level of empathy and attraction between the partners.
Can the male and female sexual energies be joined and fused after they have been refined?
Answer: Yes. The hot, expansive, and electrical energy of male sexuality can be refined so that it is free of desire,
that is, of the compelling need to produce a result in the material world. Similarly, the cool, magnetic, and
containing female sexual energy can be refined so that it is free of the compelling desire to produce a material result.
These two refined energies can be joined so that there is one fused and new form of vitality.
This joined essence of the male and female is itself like an elixir in that it is highly potent. It produces faith,
conviction, endurance, equilibrium, health, and strength. But it would need to fuse within it the energies of nature
before it becomes a universal healing elixir.
How are these energies of the male and female refined?
Answer: You first extract from the masculine sexual energy the will and power found within it. This is a matter of
finding the appropriate image or divine symbol that can gather this fiery energy into itself without imposing upon,
repressing, or destroying the fiery energy. You have to find a symbol that resonates with your gut emotions, your
personality, and also with your spirit at the same time.
The process is the same for the female sexual energy. You have to gather the feminine essence that is cool,
magnetic, and containing around and within a symbol that embodies nurturing love and compassion. If you try to
impose a symbol or image upon the sexual life force that is not fully organic and resonate with that life force, then
you lose most of the life force in which case you lose your power and natural enthusiasm.
If you use a symbol which is not harmonious with your personality, the power of the life force you refine will be at
war with you. If you use a symbol that is not harmonious with and a reflection of your inner spirit, then it may give
you power and health, but this new energy will not aid you in the fulfillment of your destiny.
In addition, to the male sexual energy you add the enlightenment within the air element so that the masculine drive
gains detachment and clarity, that is, freedom from compulsion. To the female sexual energy you add the earth
element so that the feminine drive loses its need to contain. In each case, the sexual energy becomes free of the need
to produce a material result. In both cases, they become free to be used in pure forms of creativity without being
driven by unconscious desires.
In the earlier section describing the four elements corresponding to Divine Providence, I give examples of the kind
of qualities that might be used to refine the energies in nature. The sexual energies are so malleable and adaptable
that they can easily attach themselves to any kind of imagery that an individual finds personally compelling. The
task is to find imagery that is resonate and harmonious with all sides of your self so that you are both empowered
and transformed. This means you have to do a lot of thinking and contemplating about who you are personally,
about what drives you from within, and what your spiritual goals are in this life.
Note: I am writing a book called Mystical Fables which explores s number of masculine and feminine images of
magicians and poets, lovers and warriors, who represent for me images that gather the energies of my subconscious,
my personality, and my spirit.
Why do gnomes such as Erami and Mentifil suggest human beings can use the polarities of their opposite genders to
develop a philosopher’s stone in their auras?
Answer: Erami’s procedure utilizing partners for producing the vibration of the philosopher’s stone in one’s aura
still relies on the combining of opposite energies in nature and the refining of these energies by focusing the
awareness of akasha on them. The electric and magnetic fluids and masculine and feminine sexual polarities are
used as a means to amplify, accelerate, and deepen the results. The polar masculine and feminine energies
themselves are not the essential catalyst for the transformation of diverse nature energies into the elixir. But again,
the opposite attraction of male and female can quicken and enrich the alchemical process as they can in any form of
magick.
The difference is that the electrical fluid concentrated in the male and the magnetic fluid concentrated in the female
are primordial kinds of power. With a well-designed electro-magnetic volt (that is, surrounding an accumulation of
the electrical fluid with magnetic fluid), you can initiate a powerful process of alchemical transformation.
The philosopher’s stone, however, requires that you fully enter each of the elements of nature with your
consciousness, transform them, and then fuse them. It is a natural process of refining and expanding awareness and
fusing energy and it is free of personal ego. The dynamic attraction of masculine and feminine polarities tends to
move too quickly toward union and is often beset with emotional highs and lows which undermine a genuine
alchemical process.
(See also my 16 page essay, Erami, in my book, Sylphs, Undines, Gnomes, and Salamanders, for an example of how
to work step by step either solo or with a partner in producing the vibration of the philosopher’s stone in your aura.)
What do Taoists get in their auras when the try to develop this elixir?
Answer: From time to time there have been individuals who have produced very high grade philosopher’s stones in
their auras. This is sometimes called the immortality pearl. The immortality pearl in one well-known Taoist, for
example, is very bright, radiant, and impressive. But it lacks the divine qualities and it lacks the natural elements of
earth, water, and especially air. These missing ingredients severely limit the healing power of this individual.
It is a mistake to not incorporate more fully the power of the elements in nature and bring them into the body where
they are transformed. The body is unable by itself to produce the philosopher’s stone without referring to nature or
to divine quality meditations. That is, you can not just take and refine and recombine the natural vital energies in the
body to produce the elixir without utilizing a great deal of imagery which transforms this vitality to a very high
degree.
What do the various spirits teach or produce when working with them relating to the philosopher’s stone or elixirs?
Answer: For example, Kirek, 9 degrees Virgo in the earthzone, teaches about the philosopher’s stone. This spirit is
extremely intense in its vibration. The difference between Kirek and what I am describing is that from Kirek’s point
of view it is not necessary to be concerned so much with universalizing the astral body or the four elements in order
to produce astral or physical immortality.
With astral immortality, you only need to engage in prolonged and very intense concentrations on each of the
elements. The goal is to produce a high quality vibration in each of the elements to the point where they no longer
deteriorate. The elements then resist all outside influence.
Also, being a high level spirit of the earthzone who resides in a formless state of awareness in akasha, Kirek
naturally has the ability to manifest physically and produce purely through concentration whatever effect he wishes
within his sphere of competency. Kirek could direct you in the use of alchemical methods utilizing chemical and
herbs and so forth. But a high level contact with Kirek enables you to draw upon his power of concentration to also
transform your physical body directly so that it acts as if you have been influenced by a physical philosopher’s
stone. He also teaches much more in regard to resisting the negative influence of the elements in our world.
Spirits from the different planetary spheres also teach alchemy and the perfection of life force in accordance with the
themes and interests of their spheres. Cambiel, who presides over the sign of Aquarius in the sphere of Jupiter,
teaches about alchemy and the philosopher’s stone. His approach, by contrast to Kirek’s, is much more universal
and cosmic in dimension.
The elixir or vibration Cambiel’s produces is much more expansive and more readily influences others and the
world around yourself in accordance with the expansiveness and great spiritual wealth of the sphere of Jupiter.
Cambiel, however, is far more difficult to work with as compared to Kirek’s who is closer to home and much more
direct and “down to earth.”
How does this practice relate to the cosmic letter OE which focuses specifically on alchemical transformation?
Answer: The cosmic letter OE emphasizes the kind of concentrations that lead to transformation on all levels and
planes of existence. The auric philosopher’s stone I am emphasizing in this essay is primarily focused on your own
body and the upgrading and universalizing of your health and astral body to reflect within it some of the qualities of
Divine Providence.
The OE is not specifically for embodying in yourself the four fundamental qualities of Divine Providence as they
pertain to expanding and harmonizing your vitality and health. You are using part of the OE vibration as far as
working with the akashic element in seeking to become completely conscious of your physical body. You are not
working with the OE in so far as the OE is concerned with every other kind of transformation in the universe such as
changing matter from one form into another.
On the astral plane, however, the OE is similar to what we are working on here. It is a penetrating awareness which
is able to overcome any distinction created from opposites. Masculine and feminine, fire and water, air and earth,
light and dark, etc.--all opposites are understand as what they are and also on another level in which they are
transformed by being joined to a greater whole.
OE on the astral plane captures the entire process of producing the philosopher's stone, that is, the highest elixir of
refined natural healing energy. It condenses this process into one feeling--the ability to draw forth the highest light
and purest essence within anything that exists.
In this sense, the OE is concerned with the universal and cosmic aspects of transformation. It is nice to work with
this letter as a form of quality control since it develops your intuition. Cosmic letters are, however, not in themselves
energies which are organic and supportive of health. They are states of awareness and energies oriented toward a
cosmic perspective on how to create. They are not always suitable for those who are new to magical practice.
What side effects, imbalances, or dangers might arise as this kind of life force or philosopher’s stone develops
within our auras?
Answer: Any sudden increase of the amount or quality of vitality within your body may cause difficulties for some
individuals. Old habits may become stimulated. New emotions may rise to the surface. There may be a feeling of
becoming overpowered or out of control. Some individuals have already observed this and learned about this
problem from experience. Let us look at this from another point of view.
When you love and commit to another, you have the opportunity to learn about desire and need, responsibility and
freedom. Whatever happens in the relationship--win or lose, rise to heights or fall to depths, sustain loyalty or suffer
betrayal--you gain a lot of personal experience. When someone becomes a medical doctor or studies herbology,
acupuncture, or a healing art, you are again involved directly in learning through personal experience and what you
learn has many immediate applications and benefits.
The philosopher’s stone, by contrast, has very little bearing on your personality. You can become a shaman, a
natural healer, or study nature for many lifetimes and you still may not receive a hint that nature has a quintessence
or a condensed essence that embodies the perfection of its multitude of energies. You can spend many lifetimes as a
priest in every major religion or a magician who evokes many beings and still not discover the vibration of Divine
Providence within yourself.
The requisite for this practice is that you appreciate the beauty of the universe. If you rise to that level of inspiration,
then this practice will always be personal and you will enjoy every minute you give to it. It will be fun and exciting
and full of love.
But without this inner union with Divine Providence at the outset, your practice may be haunted by doubt. You may
feel you are walking in the dark or sailing at sea on a cloudy night without a compass. And if you begin to succeed
so that the life force gathers in strength and intensity, then again, you may be given every opportunity to abuse or to
waste this energy or to hoard it the way a dragon hoards its gold because its heart is cold.
We could pose a similar question regarding the Great Work to the sun, a magnificent image and symbol, that is both
so powerful and yet impersonal: “How have you learned to be so radiant and bright, so giving of heat and light, so
that after billions of years life finally appears and matures on earth?”
And the sun might reply, “Even when I was dark matter, swirling dust amid a cosmic void, even then I could feel in
my heart the presence of an infinite joy. Even then I could feel amid that void a love that is everywhere and that has
no limitation on its creativity or expression. The sun you see above you is but a small token and outer manifestation
of what I am yet to become. But all that I do and that I have done are out of inspiration from love.”
In all cases involving the practice of magick as with the other great professions in life, it helps above all else to love
what you are doing with all of your heart. In this way, you already embody all that you are becoming and every new
thing that occurs or that arises to challenge you you automatically accept it and make it part of your art.
Summary. The thing I like about the idea of working with refining, harmonizing, universalizing the life force within
the body through breathing is that it is so natural and direct. You do not have to go to some other plane to receive
instructions. Evocation and spirit contact require a lot of energy and often produce great strain on one’s mental,
astral, and physical body.
When you are working with your own body, mental imagery, and consciousness of vital life force, you can proceed
gradually working from the familiar to the unfamiliar. You always stay within the vibration of harmony and health
and do not at any point strain or tax yourself.
In terms of the Bardon practices involving the accumulation of elements, you are focusing here on getting to know
and produce in yourself the qualities of the five elements in terms of their vitality and their power of restoring,
nourishing, and rejuvenating the human body.
At the same time, you do not put off until the later chapters in Initiation into Hermetics the practice with the four
fundamental divine qualities. God and Divine Providence should be worked with and held close to one’s
consciousness during all phases and aspects of the practice of high magick. (See my forthcoming essay which adds
to my discussion of
The Hermetic Tradition and God Presence.) Therefore, right here as we begin to work with and expand our health,
we seek to find and produce in ourselves the divine aspects of the four elements specifically as they relate to
generating health, harmony, and balance in our bodies.
Some individuals obviously will have a natural gift or a great flair for accumulating vitality through breathing and
using this power to heal themselves and others. Other individuals, such as myself, are more inclined to study the
cosmic harmony first before pursuing the applications of magick. The progress is slower, less dramatic, but the skills
acquired are a part of your personality--they serve to express your self and your ideals. The consequence is that in
proceeding step by step in expanding our awareness of nature and divinity, we are able to find and know God and
Divine Providence, as I suggest, during each phase and aspect of the practice.
Chapter 3, Mental Exercises--Concentrating on Two or Three
Senses at once. Introduction.
I could acquire a Ph.D. in education, psychology, physiology, anthropology, neurology, etc. from Harvard, Stanford,
Columbia, or the University of Chicago. In doing so, I might have studied various classes correlating biochemistry,
perception, memory, cognition, the behavior of individuals and groups, etc. But no where in these institutions of
higher learning would anyone have suggested or even hinted that the five senses can be trained to the extent the
Bardon asks of us. When anthropologist study indigenous tribes, they organize their observations and data according
to rigorous academic standards. When scientists study perception and brain electro-chemistry, they study individuals
in clinical settings. They do not study their own mind nor do they explore their own sensory perception. When
psychologists design an intelligence test, they have to limit the variables to specific social and cultural contexts for
the test to have any practical application. And they have to work with large numbers of individuals for their statistics
to have any validity. Consequently, it is rare for a psychologist to study the mind of the great entrepreneurs,
scientists, artists, and politicians. The mental capacities of outstanding individuals are beyond the reach of their
methodology. It is most difficult for a psychologist or scientist to comprehend the way in which Einstein's brain
could comprehend spacial-temporal relationships. The holographic imagery used by the mind of the physicist Steven
Hawkins is beyond their grasp. It is a kind of taboo for those in academic institutions to try to understand the extent
to which Stephen Spielburg can see, hear, and feel a character's responses in a dramatic scene which he is about to
direct. What psychologist can analyze the conviction in the voice of general Patton as he commands his men who
are entering battle? What test can measure the level of desire in the voice of Bill Gates when he says, "I want it!"? or
the concentration possessed by Picasso when he stands in one place for twelve working on a painting? As we
practice these mental level exercises, we are crossing a threshold. We are entering a domain in which the five senses
become invested with power. We learn to hold in our mind any scene, any memory, any experience, and any sensory
perception without a single disturbance for five minutes, fifteen minutes, or a half hour. The imagination trained to
this way is a divine tool. It can be used for war because it comprehends the enemies' thoughts and plans. It can be
used for peace because it is more powerful than hatred, animosity, and fear. It annihilates those obstacles and
barriers to understanding that we are all of us brothers and sisters. It can be used to heal the broken hearted because
it forges a love which is greater than loss or separation. It can be used to probe and master the secrets of nature
because nature is a vibration which the mind can reproduce within itself and study until it becomes familiar. And it
can master the darkest desire because it knows that darkness and craving have a place and part to play in the full
spectrum of color, light, and life. A few individuals already possess a powerful mental concentration. Most of us
have to develop it through a great deal of work and effort. But my point is this--a professionally trained imagination
is a spiritual tool and it is best used for divine purposes-- to heal, to create peace, to unite what is separate, to acquire
wisdom, to alleviate suffering, and to assist in one's own and other's development. If you think of acquiring these
abilities for your own benefit alone, then it will be easy to become frustrated or to rush through your practice. But if
you commit yourself to serving divine love, light, wisdom, and purpose, the exercises can be mastered on their own
terms. You can take as long as you need and you can experiment with them until you get the results you require.
Concentration is a divine virtue and those who would serve higher purposes must possess this virtue in abundance.
The Exercise. In the previous chapter, we practiced concentrating on one sense at a time. Now we go on to practice
with two or more senses at once. Start by concentrating on the sight and sound of some object or scene--a clock
ticking, a gong being struck, a stream with the water rushing, a tree with the leaves stirred by a breeze, etc. Bardon
says, "Your imagination must be so perfect and so constructive as if there were, indeed and factually, a clock
hanging on the wall." Practice until you can hold the visual and acoustic sensory perception for five minutes without
distraction. At this point, choose your own subject matter combining two senses. For example, experiment with sight
and touch, sight and taste, sight and smell, and so on working with all five senses in every combination. Try three
sense combinations also working especially with sight, sound, and touch. Again, practice until you can do two or
three sense concentrations for at least five minutes without distraction. Bardon next has the student practice
concentrating on places and landscape, animals, and then people. In each of these practices, observe the following
points: 1) Start with a simple visualization without movement or action and then add to this other senses along with
real life activity; 2) Practice first with your eyes closed and, after mastering this, practice the same exercise with
your eyes open; 3) Work first with familiar and known places and people and then proceed to imagine unknown or
completely imaginary scenes and people including a variety of races. Places and Landscapes. This exercise extends
the previous one primarily by adding more detail. Close your eyes and visualize a familiar house, a town, a village,
or a scene from nature such as a forest, a garden, a hillside, etc. First check to see that your imagination is perfectly
realistic in every aspect including light, shade, form, composition, color, perspective, etc. Now add to this sounds
such as the sound of a breeze, birds singing, and what sounds normally accompany the setting. After you master this,
add other senses as well. Your imagination of any scene you choose must be so real you feel you are actually there
in front of it. Practice now the above exercise with your eyes open. In other words, your external surroundings
should completely vanish so that all you perceive is the content of your imagination. You can, for example, fix your
eyes on one point or stare into a vacant space. After you succeed in this, practice with locations you have never
experienced until you can do so for five minutes without distraction. Bardon goes on to suggest that the student get
into the habit of imagining events and scenes in this way when reading a novel. Animals. Visualize a scene
containing a familiar animal such as a dog, cat, cow, sheep, bird, horse, mouse, etc. Add realistic movement to the
visualization. For example, notice the specific way a dog runs, barks, lies down, eats, chews a bone, chases a cat,
etc. Do this with a number of animals until with your eyes first open and then closed until you can do so for the
usual five minutes. People. Visualize friends, relatives, and acquaintances starting with their general features and
moving on to their heads and then their entire dressed bodies. Add to this movement in which they are walking,
working, exercising, doing chores, etc. After this, add other senses such as sound and especially voice. Listen for the
specific way they talk--the pitch, tone, intonation pattern, speed, volume, resonance, etc. Strive to capture the reality
of speech so your imagination is accurate. After completing the above, practice with individuals who are strange and
outside of your experience. Work with both genders, all ages groups, and various races from around the planet.
Supplement your imagination by referring to magazines and pictures of different ethnic groups. When you can
visualize and concentrate on other senses also for known and unknown people for five minutes without distraction
with your eyes both open and closed you will be done with the mental training for this chapter. I would note that
later on in the book we increase sense concentrations beyond the five minutes practiced at the beginning. In regard
to difficulty, Bardon says in chapter 10, the magician "must go to any length for developing every faculty
completely. Any kind of haste or hurry with respect to his development is useless and will work out awkwardly later
ion in his magic task. To avoid disappointments, the magician is advised to take a sufficient amount of time and to
work steadily but systematically." Exercises of this kind require "perseverance, patience, persistence, and
toughness." The difficulty, however, is more than compensated by the abilities, will power, and mental force which
are acquired in the process. Furthermore, this level of concentration lays the foundation for mastery of clairvoyance,
telepathy, clairsentience, mental projection, etc. Commentary These concentrations greatly strengthen the mental
body. They give the mind the opportunity to focus directly on the five senses without any astral-emotional or vital-
etheric energies getting in the way. Individuals, for example, do not see and hear as clearly when they are upset or
are over enthusiastic. It is also difficult to concentrate when then the individual is feels strong physical sensations or
is experiencing high energy. You might try this experiment sometime when you feel out of sorts, anxious, or
depressed. Concentrate on each of the five senses for one minute each one after the other. This is like a little spell
for evoking mental clarity. Similarly, some individuals may find it easier to practice the sense combination exercises
in this chapter for shorter periods of time than five minutes. For example, a student may wish to concentrate on two
or more senses for a minute. That is, do a number of one minute concentrations switching between different
contents. Then gradually lengthen the time you spend. It would seem odd for a weightlifter to develop his body
starting with his biceps at ten pounds and then working the same muscles up to eighty pounds before going on to
work with his triceps and other muscles. It seems healthier to work with the whole body little by little and so too the
mind. Bardon obviously wishes students to master the sense of sight before the other senses. But in individual cases,
it may be better to develop all your senses at the same rate. Otherwise it might be easy to become boughed down
with visualization or auditory concentration when you could learn faster proceeding in another way. Besides the fact
that this mental level exercises are not taught in modern education institutions, these exercises seem to me to be a
fabulous educational tool. There is nothing per se magical about them though they may draw you into discovering
all sorts of magical abilities. For me, these exercises are the most fun and playful of all of the exercises in Bardon's
first book. We are being given free reign to enter our minds and create any sensory experience it remembers or can
imagine. Following Bardon's suggestion to start with familiar sights and sounds, you might also like to experiment
with familiar activities which are enjoyable and in which you are emotionally involved. I notice that without effort I
can imagine myself playing sports in which case the entire imagination seems real as if I am there. Sports were that
way for me when I practiced them--nothing else existed but the activity in which I was engaged. Consequently, my
body and brain find it easy to reproduce my five sense experiences in these areas. Some individuals can imagine
activities such as playing a game of chess by visualizing in their minds the entire chess board and the sequence of
moves. Try to recreate some activities in which you were highly involved. You might imagine playing with your
dog or cat, attending an aerobics class, working out with weights, riding a bicycle, driving your car, swimming in a
pool, playing a game of golf, etc. Similarly, try to recall doing everything you normally do through a day--for
example, waking up, taking a shower, getting dressed, eating breakfast, going to work, walking, driving a car, falling
asleep, dreaming, etc. Memorize in exquisite detail the events and routines of your daily life and of several
individuals you know. We experience the world through our five senses. Now we are challenged in an astonishing
way as if the magician we would become says to us, "Prove to me that you can touch, taste, smell, see, and hear
anything which your senses have already experience. If you can do this with the world you already know, then you
will be ready to encounter the unknown worlds which you do not know." Further Thoughts on Content I would point
out that the taste and smell are important and should not be skipped over because they are so grounding. After
working with the inner planes, it is a great advantage to be able to immediately connect again with the physical
world. Taste and smell draw your attention back to the dense vibration of the material world. In other words, having
taste and smell highly developed intensifies your awareness of your immediate physical environment. Note a
number of distinctions with the same sense. For example, with touch notice various degrees of hot and cold, various
textures from smooth to rough, light to heavy, soft to hard, etc. With taste also, add together individual tastes. For
example, taste coffee or tea, then milk, and then sugar and then concentrate on all three at once. Note the effects of
caffeine or alcohol on you and see if you can imagine each of their physical effects at different levels. With sound,
reproduce the sound of a musical instrument and several notes or several instruments playing at the same time.
Concentrate on the tones of the octave. For example, sing the do, ray, me, fa, etc. and then reproduce the voice of
three other individuals one after the other singing the same scale by themselves, with you, and all at once. Include an
opera singer and members of the opposite gender. Also, carry on conversations in your mind with people you know
and people you would like to meet and also unknown people. Recall a hundred different body sensations--such as
being sleepy, hungry, thirsty, having a full stomach, having eaten too much, feeling tired, invigorated, relaxed, tense,
standing in the sun, standing in a cool wind, a moist wind, feeling cold, sweaty, short of breath, calm of breath, an
adrenaline rush, rapid heart beat and pulse, achy muscles in different parts of your body, exercised muscles as in
lifting weights, running, stretching, gasping for breath, hyperventilating, sitting in a vibrating chair, feeling an
earthquake, the symptoms from a variety of illnesses, etc. With sight, visualize a color chart. Rotate objects in space.
See how many details you can recall accurately after glancing for a few seconds at a picture. Visualize all the scenes
from a few movies you have seen. Imagine you are on the movie set during the shooting of a number of those scenes
talking to the director and the actors. Also, spend some time drawing a landscape. Then memorize and compare the
picture you have drawn with the landscape you visualize. For magick purposes, concentrate on bright white light,
colors, musical notes, people, sigils, scenes with the four elements--weather conditions for air, volcanoes and fires
for fire, water scenes for water, and trees, rocks, and mountain scenes for the earth element. Memorize your room
and house in every detail as if you are walking through it and touching objects. Spend some time then exploring
houses, castles, mansions which you have never seen. Every day most of us glance into a mirror. Visualize a mirror
in front of you and recall as clearly as possible every detail of your face and also your full body in a larger mirror. In
conclusion, practicing these exercises, I become a lot more observant and perceptive. For example, without thinking
about it I notice all the different calls of birds around the house. Part of my brain automatically memorizes them and
searching for the bird which goes with each call. When I look at animals or people, I see more detail. My
visualization of people is so clear it seems they are indeed in front of me when I visualize them or imagine talking to
them. At times, imagined physical experiences seem completely real. This is helpful because I can then think clearly
about experiences which might happen or which I would like to have happen. With this background of training, it is
easy to enter dream states--I can easily imagine myself within a dream, a vision, an imaginary location and it all
seems completely real. I can go back in my mind to past experiences and enter them again as if they are just now
unfolding or change them to see how things might have been different. Above all else, these exercises strengthen the
mental body so that the astral and physical body are all drawn closely together. Some individuals become psychic
too soon. They are sensitive to the inner planes, to others' auras and feelings, and to the world of dreams and visions.
And others have so much physical energy their chakras are overcharged and they are driven by wild instincts and
passions. Developing our concentration on the five senses enables the mind to clearly distinguish between the here
and now and anything and everything else. The five senses are then like highly tuned instruments which are precise,
exact, and never confused. You may have profound intuitions and experience high ecstasy, but this does not
interfere with your ability to be practical, realistic, down to earth, and fully attentive to the present moment.

Chapter 3, Psychic Level--Accumulating and Dissolving the


Four Elements The Practice.
The procedure is the same for each of the four elements. We relax in a familiar meditation position. We concentrate
on a distinct sensation for each element which we perceive as filling the entire universe around us. We imagine our
body as hollow and we draw the elemental energy into ourselves as we inhale through our nose and through our
pour breathing. Start with seven breaths inhaling the element and then exhale the element for seven breaths. You
should finish each exercise without a trace of the element left inside of you. Increase the number of breaths by one
each time you do the exercise. Initially do not practice more then forty breaths and beginners should not practice for
more than twenty minutes. Requisites Magical Equilibrium. In this step, we learn to accumulate the four elements in
our bodies and to dissolve them at will. Before we begin this exercise, Bardon insists that we make significant
progress in developing the magical equilibrium introduced in the first two chapters. Our work on magical
equilibrium has taught us to carefully distinguish between the positive and negative side of the elements. This self-
awareness and internal harmony are essential before introducing large amounts or unusual energies into our bodies.
The idea in practicing with the elements is to gradually learn how to master them. But if we go beyond our depth,
we may become overwhelmed or confused. When overexposed to an element in this way, we may act out of
character for a time. Unduly influenced by the elemental world, we may be unaware that when we are acting
irrationally or with loss of personal perspective. In the normal process of life, we all encounter challenges and
difficulties which are more than we can handle. But if we remain positive and use all the resources available to us,
we learn to work with and through them. Magical training accelerates our encounters with the unknown. The
training repeatedly tests our abilities, our strengths, and our core values. But through the whole process we strive for
clarity of mind and an integrity which is beyond reproach. Magick is not a shortcut. It is not a way of cutting corners
to gain quick results. Instead, it is a way of taking full responsibility for our work in life. Therefore, a magical
training is not just about mastering one exercise and then moving quickly on to the next. It is also about mastering
every personal problem which enters our lives. If an individual is easily susceptible to anger, depression, obsession,
sorrow, confusion, fear, and so forth, then as he increases his exposure to primal energies, out of control emotions
and mental states will also increase in strength. Consequently, knowing oneself and developing wisdom should
precede the development of power and control over the elements. Mental Level Training. It is also wise to
thoroughly master the mental exercises for this chapter before working extensively with the four elements in the
astral body. On the mental level, we learn to concentrate on two or three senses at the same time. This includes
concentration on objects, locations, animals, and human beings. In effect, the mental level gives us the ability to
recall or reproduce in our mind any memory or imagination as if it is real and present before us right now. This
extraordinary ability enables us to call before our consciousness and study anything that influences us. Without this
power of imagination, we might have great difficulty in producing the sensations and energies of the elements. And
we would proceed without being able to distinguish the rich variety of qualities and experiences contained within the
elements. Further Sugestions Energy Awareness. Some individuals may absorb or release energy at different rates.
You may accumulate energy with seven breaths but it may take you much longer to dissolve this energy. Returning
to normal so you no longer feel any trace of the element may take much more effort. In this case, you might try
imagining your body as being empty of all energy as you begin exhaling. Sensing Energy Directly. Try to gain the
sensitivity through which you can sense these energies in your body. If practicing with an element has an unusual or
unexpected physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual effect on you, it is very helpful to be able to observe the energy
directly. For example, if part of your body becomes hot, tense, or partially paralyzed from working with one of the
elements, slow down your practice. Break the exercise down into smaller parts and practice it more gradually until
you can sense why this is happening. There are a vast variety of mental states, ecstasies, feelings, powers, and
dreamlike perceptions which may occur when working with the four elements. A magical exercise, as with lifting
weights or jogging, should be used to gradually strengthen ourselves. It should also take place with a certain level of
comfort. If you push yourself too hard, you can reach physical exhaustion and strain your nervous system. Study
exactly what occurs as your practice. Avoid expectations and assumptions which tell you in advance what is
supposed to happen. Keep your observation and assessment of your progress separate from your desire to advance
quickly. Similarly, do not force yourself to go beyond your own depths or what your personality can assimilate. One
of the worst human experiences is to feel that something alien and unknown has invaded your consciousness. This
theme is often explored by writers such as Ursula LeGuin. In her book, The Wizard of Earthsea, a mage in training
ties an evocation which is beyond his ability. Something appears, but it can not be named. And this ancient terror
then pursues the magician until he understands the part it has to play in life. Individual Approach. Some individuals
write me about their contact with elementals before they have finished the first chapter of Bardon's training. I think
it is fine to read ahead and check out other exercises. Some individuals develop an insatiable curiosty when
confronted with a magical system which opens up countless new vistas of mind, will, and imagination. In my
experience, such curiosity needs to be balanced with love, wisdom, and practical applications. Then it serves a
purpose and leads to beneficial results. Whatever your approach is in practicing with the elements, be sure to make
moderation and gradual development a life long habit. Bardon starts the elemental practice with the fire element.
Fire relates to will and Bardon possessed an astonishing level of will power. Since the four elements go together,
you can start with whichever element you prefer. You can practice with one element and then work with a different
one in your next training session. In the martial arts, for example, different systems offer different procedures. In
Aikido, we were constantly practicing unfamiliar and unexpected movements as we went from one exercise to
another. This approach has the advantage of forcing the student to focus on the principles being learned such as
remaining focused and moving from his center. In traditional martial arts such as Tai Chi Chuan or Kendo, the
student was taught one movement such as the horse stance, lifting his arms, or striking down with a sword. He was
then told to go practice this one thing for six months before being taught anything else. This approach also has an
advantage. The student is introduced to a power within himself which is far below the level of conscious thinking.
Some of the current Oriental masters have also mastered Western skills in communication, clarity of expression and
explanation. When they teach, they modify their procedures for the needs of the group or individuals they are
working with. They have learned to describe and walk the road that leads between conscious thought and internal
power. In this approach, the more an individual understands his own body, feelings, and thoughts, the more
integrated and healthy he will be in the long run. My point is that each individual should practice with the four
elements in a way which sustains his personal harmony while also seeking mastery. Space Awareness. Some
individuals might wish to gradually explore their awareness of space before imagining filling the entire universe
with a specific energy. Sense, for example, a three foot distance around your body. Imagine that this is your space. It
relates to your aura. Now sense a larger space, for example, the room where you are sitting. Notice the distance from
wall to wall and floor to ceiling. Close your eyes and visualize this space clearly in your mind. Now take a slightly
larger space. Imagine the house or building which you are in. Briefly review each room in your mind and then
imagine that the entire house is an open space and you are at the center. Extend this exercise to larger buildings such
as an auditorium, a cathedral, a stadium, a convention center, and large buildings such as the pentagon. Again,
imagine the entire building and that you are at the center. Then take, for example, a valley or plateau between tall
mountains. Again, develop a clear picture and sensory awareness in your mind of this open space. Try some larger
areas such as a state or province of a country. Hold in your awareness this space from one end to the other. Try an
entire country and then a continent. Then imagined you have traveled around the world by plane, balloon, boat,
space shuttle. Hold the space of the entire planet in your imagination so that you are aware of its circumference and
volume. Imagine this space is open and empty Personal, Transpersonal, Global, and Cosmic If you visualize and
imagine the heat from a fireplace on a cold winter night, this imagery of fire is familiar and friendly. If you visualize
a cinder cone in front of you thirty or forty feet across bubbling and exploding with hot lava, this is more of a
transpersonal image of fire. It is part of the natural world but something still easy enough to imagine. But if we go
further and imagine miles upon miles of hot magma at the core of the earth, then this image is more difficult to
visualize. The energy and power present relate more to the entire earth than to a specific location and geologic
phenomena. And finally, if we imagine an explosion which consumes a galaxy or even the Big Bang--the entire
universe exploding and full of fire--then these images are certainly of cosmic dimension. From working with the
cosmic language, Bardon is used to meditating on the forces which have created the universe--the basic building
blocks of space, time, matter, and energy. In that practice, you do indeed imagine the entire universe filled with one
element, sound, and color of light. Doing this allows the student's mind to enter and study one energy and mode of
consciousness. These cosmic energies, however, are often quite distant from our experiences in everyday life. Some
individuals might find it helpful to practice an element on all four levels. In this case, you start with personal
imagery and experiences and then gradually explore the element further moving from transpersonal to global and
then to cosmic levels. Before imagining the universe filled with water, you might like to concentrate and fully
capture the sensations of taking a shower or a bath and floating in a pool of water and then a lake and then the ocean.
You imagine yourself sinking down and feeling the entire body of water surrounding you. You want to arrive at the
point where you can immerse your consciousness within the element of water so that nothing else exists for you. At
this point, it is easy to make the transition from sensing yourself surrounded only by water to imagining the entire
universe is filled with water. We know our bodies through the many experiences we have come through in life. But
in Bardon's system, the body is also a temple and an instrument in the hands of Divine Providence. If we are to
understand the great creative power which exists within this temple, it behooves us to study the sensory experiences
and the energies of the elements on all four levels of consciousness. Fire The Exercise The fire element has the
qualities of heat and expansion. Imagine that fire surrounds your body and extends out to the ends of the universe.
Imagine further that with each breath you are drawing this fiery heat into your body. As you concentrate, imagine
that your body is accumulating so much fire inside you that you radiate heat to the space around you. In the
beginning, through force of imagination, sense your body heating up until you feel warm as if you have a fever.
Then, using the same number of breaths with which you inhaled, exhale the fiery heat until you are completely free
of any accumulation. Commentary. A few individuals will find this exercise extremely easy. They were born with
the ability to control fire at will. They can melt the snow on a roof during winter if they wish or heat up a room or
cause other individuals to respond to their powers of suggestion. For some, fire is a delight to work with. It is
energetic, bright, dynamic, and full of life. At the other extreme, some individuals will find that producing a
sensation of heat in their bodies requires many years of practice. And should they finally master this fiery energy,
they continue to feel that the fire element is dangerous--there is something menacing and fearful about it. The
imagery and nature of fire makes them feel uneasy. In other words, there are a wide variety of responses to fire.
Individuals will need to study their practice sessions so that they are fully conscious of the effects produced. It may
be helpful to recall your past experiences with fire to familiarize yourself with its qualities. Consider the whole
spectrum of bodily sensations in which you experience heat. Recall, for example, getting into a hot shower, a hot
car, a sauna, a hot tub, sitting on a beach, walking in desert, sitting beside a bon fire, a hearth, opening a hot oven,
cooking on an outdoor grill, etc. You may also have been burnt by fire at one time or another. You may have seen a
car explode, a house catch fire, or witnessed a forest fire or a volcanic eruption. Recapture these experiences so they
are again vivid but also strive to be a detached observer. In my various dialogues with salamanders, there are simple
meditations for learning to reproduce through imagination a sense of heat. Tapheth, for example, suggests studying
all the basic kinds of fires which are produced by nature and technology. For Tapheth, every kind of fire has a
psychology or psychic quality. If you have difficulty producing a sensation of heat through imagination, try working
more on the emotional aspect of fire. That is, play with the imagery almost like you are daydreaming or free
associating. Imagine building a camp fire. Imagine every moment and detail of the experience. Hear the sound of the
fire burning dry leaves and twigs. Smell the smoke. Watch the light flicker. Feel the heat on your face. Cook
something over the fire and sit down and eat it. If you want to try a more expansive imagine, imagine you are one of
the great salamanders who makes his home within fire. Take responsibility for a volcano. Cause the magma within
the earth to rise. Break through the surface and create cinder cones and then huge mountains or entire island chains.
Imagine you have been doing this for millions of years. There is also a human side to the fire element as represented
to some extent in the fire signs in astrology--Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius. You might wish to study these signs. But
go further than this. Make a study of individuals who embody great will power and charisma. Imagine you are these
individuals so you feel what it is like to live as them. Air The Exercise. The procedure for air is the same as with
fire. Imagine a vast space around yourself filled with only the air element. The sensation is of being weightless, of
floating free of gravity and any external influence. Inhale this airy feeling of weightlessness inside yourself. Imagine
with each inhalation that you are becoming lighter and lighter until you feel you are floating. Gravity is completely
neutralized. Then exhale the airy substance until you are returned to normal. Commentary. Again, some students
will find this exercise extremely easy and others will find it extraordinarily difficult. This airy energy enables an
individual to feel light, relaxed, balanced, at ease, and harmonious. It grants a detachment and also an artistic
sensitivity to impressions and curiosity about all that life contains. If you have difficulty producing the sensation of
weightlessness, play with the imagery of air. Study it like a scientist and appreciate it like a poet. Observe the winds
and your breathing. Imagine you are the wind. Become the air moving into a leaf as carbon dioxide and being
released as oxygen. Become the air circulating through your body as your breathe. Imagine you are a balloon filled
with helium released into the air or that you are walking on the moon. Imagine you take a trip for an afternoon in a
hot air balloon floating over the countryside. Imagine that you are a hummingbird, an eagle, a sparrow, an owl, a
pelican, or a dove. Notice each bird's way of flying. Imagine you are a cloud, a tornado, a hurricane, a thunderstorm,
the jet stream, or the ozone layer of the earth. Treat air like a friend until you know its strengths, weaknesses, and
peculiarities. When I look out of a jet window at thirty-seven thousand feet, it is easy for me to fall into a state of
ecstasy. I imagine I am floating out in the sky high above the earth. It is easy for me to imagine that I am a sylph and
that I this is my domain and that I have ruled over the winds for a million years. Such playful detachment as this
grants a certain wisdom. There is not only a physical, body sensation of weightlessness developed through
imagination and an astral feeling of appreciation and curiosity for the world. There is a mental plane detachment
produced as well. You learn to look at situations from all sides. You develop a judicial temperament--you learn to
investigate facts and to weigh all sides and aspects of a situation before arriving at conclusions. Water The Exercise.
Imagine that your body is surrounded by cold water extending out to the ends of the universe. Breath this cold, wet
energy into your body in the same way we did with fire and air. You can imagine your body becoming so cold it
feels like a lump of ice. Commentary. If you have developed your concentration of the five senses on the mental
level of this chapter, you can then with ease visualize snow covered ground, the north pole, an iceberg and feel a
chilling wind and freezing cold water. On a hot day, I can describe to another person the snow and ice at the north
pole and the words alone can cause my body to begin to shiver with the cold. The cold sensation helps to increase
our awareness of magnetic fields. The cold is contracting. Water, of all substances in nature, absorbs heat the most
quickly and stores it the longest. Water holds, contains, and sustains. Flowing water is purifying. Still water is
tranquil and serene. The oceans surround the world and bring life into being. To work with water, review all your
experiences with all five senses involving the water element. I remember the first time I smelled the ocean. I
remember the first time I floated off shore on the ocean waves. I remember the first time I swam underwater by an
ocean reef amid tropical fish. I recall at age four my boots breaking through the ice so the water was up to my knees.
I remember taking a girl on a date in down town Chicago during winter when the chill of the wind was unbearable
as it touched our faces. In my stories on undines, I suggest exercises such as placing your hands in a bowl of water.
You feel the water around your skin. Then you imagine you are the water surrounding your hands and finally that
you are both your hands and the water surrounding your hands. Undines automatically extend their auras out into the
watery expanse surrounding them. They relax and identify with the magnetism within the sea. Because they are so
empathic and attuned to water, this magnetism responds to their wills. You may wish to concentrate on water in this
way. Clear you mind and imagine a stream of water so that there is nothing else within your consciousness but the
water flowing along. Become the stream. Similarly, become a lake, a cloud, an iceberg, or an ocean. Open your
heart so that you sense all that exists within this watery expanse. The more comfortable and familiar you are with
water in nature, the easier it will be to feel at ease accumulating watery energy within your body. Note: Some
individuals may wish to enhance their practice with the sensations of hot and cold by using biofeedback instruments.
The more relaxed the muscles are, for example, the more blood flows through the surface of the skin and the warmer
the skin becomes. There are also instruments you can purchase which measure one tenth or more minute degrees of
temperature on the surface of the skin. In this way, by utilizing accurate and measurable feedback, you can discover
when your mental focus is producing specific changes in body temperature. Earth The Exercise. The sensory
concentration for the earth element is on weight and density. Again, we imagine the entire universe around us being
extremely heavy and dense as if it is composed of an element such as lead. As your imagination develops, this
sensation feels nearly paralyzing in effect. Commentary. The earth element offers us a direct sensation and feeling of
being grounded, solid, and enduring. Working with it we feel rooted in the earth. We can a sense of location and
place and a feeling of belonging--the situation and world in which we live feel real and something to work with in
practical and positive ways. Some martial arts work extensively with this sensation of weight. In Aikido, the student
is taught to focus his weight downward. After years of practice, even weightlifters can not budge an Aikido master
who is sitting on the ground. Similarly, in Tai Chi Chuan, masters become so rooted to the ground that fifteen men
can not budge them or push them over as they stand relaxed and at ease. These feats may seem odd or unlikely but
they can be fairly easily observed if you find a highly developed master. If you wish to explore the psychological
aspects of the earth element, you may like to pursue your family history and the history of your ethnic group and the
area where you live. These studies give you a sense of where you are in time and why the world is the way it is. We
define who we are through the choices we make but we are also a part of a larger society and history. The decisions
others have made before us create the context where we begin our journey in life. There is also a transition between
personal and transpersonal when it comes to nature. Through science and technology, we harness the resources of
our world and use them for practical purposes. We mine for coal, oil, and minerals. We farm and raise animals. We
use wood and stone to construct our homes and buildings. But these natural resources have life and energies quite
independent of the way we use them. A tree is sentient and possesses telepathic abilities which are easily studied by
science though scientists rarely take an interest in such things. Minerals have atomic vibrations which can be studied
independently of physics and chemistry. An artist may paint a landscape, a forest, or a mountain but these natural
settings also have their own energies. In magical training, we learn to sense the energies within matter directly
through extending our consciousness into them and heightening our perception. In my essay on the gnome Mentifil,
I explore the atomic vibration of ten different metals from a psychic perspective. In my essay on the gnome Erami, I
explore a meditation used for studying the energies of landscapes. As we imagine a dense earth element surrounding
and then being drawn into our bodies, we are in effect, as with the other elemental practices, learning to feel and
perceive the world as a gnome or as a divine being. We are extending our awareness directly into matter and
becoming familiar with its qualities and powers. There is this basic sensory concentration to master involving weight
and density. But there are countless aspects of physical matter we can learn to sense in the physical world which lies
around us. Druids, for example, describe different kinds of trees as if the trees have unique qualities of
consciousness. Those who work with gems may wish to study the healing properties which are associated with
different stones. Matter contains a massive amount of energy stored in physical forms. The outer world and the inner
planes are distinguished in part by their different degrees of density. The physical world in which we dwell has
weight, shape, form, and change occurs slowly. The inner planes do not possess this degree of stored energy ready to
be harnessed through physical means. In mastering the sensations of weight and density, we are acquiring an ability
to enable dreams, ideals, feelings, and thoughts on the inner planes to manifest in our world. Mediums who channel
spirits often provide the energy through which a spirit manifests. An individual who wishes to accomplish some
spiritual purpose also needs to provide the energy through which that purpose can take shape and appear in a stable
and enduring way in our world. Working with the earth element increases our awareness of how to bring things into
being. And it gives us a clear grasp of the gulf separating the inner and outer worlds. Siddhis, the Four Elements,
and the Four Planes. Bardon mentions that spending years practicing one element alone may lead to outer
manifestations of magical powers. With fire you can heat up rooms and melt snow. With air you can levitate and
walk on water. With water you can calm storms and control fish. And typically with the earth element you can
materialize spirits. Though pointing these things out, Bardon insists that the student pursue all four elements equally
so that development is not lopsided and off balance. After all, there are also psychic aspects to the four elements.
Fire develops clairvoyance. Air develops telepathy. Water develops clairfeeling and earth develops the ability to
extend your influence directly into other locations. And there are, of course, higher spiritual abilities associated with
working with the four elements. For example, we can not only study fire in nature. We can use fire to internalize
divine will within ourselves. Air, besides giving us a direct intuitive understanding of the atmosphere of the earth,
leads us to divine wisdom. Water, introducing us to the love and sensuality of the undines and the seas, also
introduces us to all-embracing love. And the earth element not only contains the knowledge of gnome magicians. It
holds the mysteries of immortality and the accomplishment of our divine work on earth. As we train with the four
elemental sensations, in my opinion, it is helpful to contemplate the influences of these elements on all four planes.
We can, for example, concentrate on the fiery sensation of heat as we attempt to create a physical sensation of
warmth and heat in our bodies. We can take this exact same sensation and explore it on the astral plane as a feeling
of personal strength, of being in charge, enthusiastic, and energetic. On the mental plane, the fiery sensation
increases our sense of will. This will is not so personal. It is more a matter of how to get a job done so that we
overcome every obstacle and master every difficulty. And on the akashic or spiritual plane, the fiery sensation
connects us directly to the will of Divine Providence. In this case, we no longer think of the divine or of God as
being out there somewhere in the distance. Fire on the akashic plane is the substance through which divine will
expresses and reveals itself. To study this fire is to study omnipotence. At first, it may not be easily apparent how
the four elemental sensations can be related to psychology and ordinary consciousness. But there is much to be
learned by contemplating and working in a practical manner with the four elements. As we do so, we can see how
the various psychologies, religions, and spiritual training systems tend to emphasize a few but not all of the
elements. And they tend to focus on one or two but not all of the four planes. If a religion teaches about divine will,
it may at the same time have nothing to say about how to work with this will through direct experience. If it invests
certain individuals with authority and power through its rituals of custom and lineage, it may offer little or nothing
for these individuals when it comes to purifying and harmonizing their personal wills with the divine will. A
magician, then, is a student of all four planes. He does not ignore any of the four elements for he sees and
understands how they uphold and support each other. And since a magicians takes responsibility for manifesting
here on earth the highest divine purposes, he explores all four planes with equal vigor. He organizes and masters his
physical activities. He masters his dreams and feelings. He refines and gains control over his thoughts. And he unites
his consciousness directly with the divine consciousness on the akashic plane. In this way, he attains a great
harmony and wisdom--he understands why things are the way they are as well as how to change them.

Note: this paper reviews the three exercises for the chapter 3 physical level and a commentary only on the first
of these exercises. Chapter 3, Physical Level Exercise: Pour Breathing and Accumulating Energy These exercises
are straightforward and clear. There is also a fascinating appendix in this chapter relating to space impregnation,
biomagnetism, and some methods of psychic healing. In terms of magical theory and practice, vitality and life force
are transferrable. They can be accumulated both within and outside of the individual's body. Life force is extremely
receptive to thoughts and intentions. Consequently, it can be employed in many different ways. Bardon intends the
student to use the exercises in this section to develop a supreme mastery of the life force. Bardon does not refer
again to the accumulation of vital power until later chapters. In chapter 6 and 7, accumulated vital power is used for
the creation of elementals on the mental plane, for the development of clairvoyance, and for animating the astral
body of elementaries. In chapter 9, he discusses charging talismans with life force which shines brighter than
sunlight. Also, in Bardon's book on evocation, he refers to charging a magic wand with vital power and
biomagnetism which are the preferred energy for curative operations. In Bardon's book on Quabbalistic practices,
pour breathing is also used for accumulating in the body a series of different colors other than white light. I will
refer to my own experiences and perspective on the accumulation of life force toward the end of my commentary.
There are basically three parts to these exercise for the physical level of this chapter. 1. Breathing in and out through
parts of the body similar to what was done in the last chapter. 2. Accumulating vitality in the whole body. 3.
Accumulating vital energy in parts of the body. Exercise 1. Breathing through parts of the body. To begin, we
practice inhaling and exhaling with each part of the body. You start with your feet and work towards your head. The
idea is to practice successfully pour breathing in each part of your body. Assume a position of meditation, relax, and
close your eyes. Concentrate on one of your legs. If you can, transfer your awareness into your leg, that is, imagine
your mind is within your leg, in the shape of your leg, and that there is nothing else in your mind but this activity.
Now imagine that the pours of your leg, like the lungs, are breathing in and exhaling vital force from the
surrounding universe. We have already practiced this procedure with our whole body in chapter 1. As with the
whole body breathing, you will have your own set of feelings and sensations which indicate the practice is
developing. You may feel a warmth in your leg. The skin may tingle as if there is a slight charge of electricity
accumulating. You may feel increased pressure within your leg as you inhale and a decrease of pressure as you
exhale. You may feel an increase in blood circulation to the leg you are concentrating on. In any case, you should be
able to notice a difference in sensations or vitality between the leg you are concentrating on and your other leg. If
you succeed in this after seven breaths, practice pour breathing in your other leg. After this, practice breathing
through both legs at once. Then go on to one hand, the other hand, and then both hands at once. Bardon gives
examples of working with the "genitals, bowels, stomach, liver, lungs, heart, larynx, and head." It is clear that
Bardon intends the student to extend his awareness into every part of his or her body. Over the long haul, the task is
to sense the condition of each part of the body so as to heal and restore the body to health and harmony whenever
needed. It is left to each student to pursue this exercise in a way which leads to complete success.. Exercise 2.
Accumulation of Vital Energy. As you breathe through your lungs and the pours of your body, you imagine holding
this vital energy inside of you so it builds in charge. As you exhale, you breathe out air but think of nothing in
particular. In contrast to the previous exercise, in this procedure we gather the energy evenly throughout the body.
Begin by practicing this for seven breaths and adding one additional breath each day. Work up to practice sessions
of twenty minutes but no more than this. One of the primary concerns throughout Bardon's three books is the
necessity for a magician to gather the energy required to fulfill his purposes. It is not enough to have high and noble
ideals, to develop pure virtues in yourself, and to commit to great purposes. You must also empower your spirit,
your mind, your emotions, and your body in a specific way--you should be able to gather huge amounts of energy on
any plane inside your body whenever your wish. The idea in this exercise is to acclimate and condition your body to
gradually increasing charges of vital energy. If you are successful, early on you will be able to sense a kind of
pressure building up inside your body. This pressure can become quite strong and you will want to become very
familiar and completely comfortable with it. Again, it is advisable to move slowly so that you gradually increase the
amounts of energy you work with. In this way, you avoid placing stress or excessive tension on your nervous
system. Again, he stresses that you do not practice for more than twenty minutes at a time. Bardon says during this
exercise your body will eventually develop a dynamic charge of energy. You will feel you have become radiant with
energy emitting brilliant rays of light like the sun. There are in effect two aspects to this energy accumulation. There
is an intensity of compressed vital energy inside your body. And there is an emanation of a more refined energy like
heat waves or light which fills the space around you. You definitely want to learn to extend this emanation of energy
or light rays for at least ten meters around yourself. After you accumulate energy at any time, however, also release
this charge of energy so that your body returns to normal and is completely free of tension. That is, breathe out the
energy with as many breaths as you used to breath in. Walking around in a high energy state, though perhaps
exhilarating, is also stressful and unhealthy for the body. The exercises will naturally strengthen your health and
increase your vitality but in a gradual way over time. In addition, after much practice, you can learn to emit the
charge of energy in your body quickly to the outside world rather than through the process of breathing. Exercise 3.
Accumulation of vital energy in parts of the body. This third step simply combines the two previous exercises. You
breathe in through your lungs and the pours of your whole body accumulating the energy in specific parts and
organs of your body. Bardon mentions that in magick it is advantageous to learn to accumulate very great amounts
of energy in the hands and the eyes. Again, after you accumulate life force in a specific part of your body, use the
same number of breaths to expel the energy to the outside world. The emphasis here is not on circulating or
accumulating the energy in one organ and then moving that same energy to another part of your body. Instead, the
practice is focused on getting each part of your body to use the pour breathing as a means for accumulating energy.
After a long amount of practice, also learn to emit the accumulated energy in each part of your body directly and
swiftly to the outside. When you have successfully learned to accumulate energy in each part of your body and also
release it as with a burst of energy, you will have completed the physical exercises for this chapter.
COMMENTARY, PART 1 In this section, I would like to offer some practical tips and a few notes on theory.
Exercise 1. Once again, in this exercise we practice breathing vital energy in and out of specific parts of our body
using the lungs and pours of our entire body. No accumulation of energy occurs other than during a single breath.
Certainly, knowledge of anatomy is important. You should be able to visualize fairly easily and accurately the shape
and location of different body organs. Biofeedback experiments indicate that individuals can consciously alter the
electrical activity even of single cells on the surface of the skin. If you concentrate on skin, muscles, or internal
organs, you can dilate the blood vessels increasing or decreasing blood flow and circulation. To this enhanced mind
body coordination, we add pour breathing. In the physical exercise for chapter 1, you worked at acquiring sensations
and feelings to associate with the movement of life force in and out of the pours of your whole body. This exercise
of breathing through parts of the body is a continuation of the previous exercise. If you have difficulty, there are
many ways of breaking the exercise down into smaller, more easily mastered components. As in the practice of
developing clairfeeling in later chapters, some individuals will notice that certain areas of their bodies are more
sensitive and receptive than other parts. You may notice that your hands, hips, legs, solar plexus, forehead, or even
your eyes respond quickly to generating feelings of energy flow. If you find pour breathing works to some extent in
some areas and not others, develop those areas further. Then gradually extent that same awareness to other parts of
your body. For example, consider the hands. Take one hand and massage it slowly and carefully. Notice every
nuance of sensation involved with touch and muscular stimulation. Notice the warmth and the different effects of
pressure on the skin versus the muscles underneath. Work with the muscles from different angles and with different
amounts of pressure. Notice pain sensations when the pressure is too great. If you notice tension in the muscles,
explore that tension. What are its qualities? Is there an ache, a sharp pain, or soreness? Is it strong or weak? Is it
easily released or persistent? Notice also any effects on the rest of your body and nervous system as you run into
pain or tension. Does the rest of your body remain relaxed or does your whole body become alert or tense to some
degree? Slowly make your hand into a fist until it is tight and then slowly release that fist. Notice for example thirty
or forty degrees of muscle tension as you tighten and release your fist. In other words, slowly count to thirty as you
are tightening your fist so that on each count your muscles are slightly tighter and do the same as you relax your
hand. As you massage your hand, also learn to visualize the muscles, tendons, and bones beneath the skin. Imagine
you have x-ray vision and can see what is going on inside. If you like, you can imagine seeing the blood cells
carrying oxygen to the cells from the arteries and carrying away CO2 through the veins. Imagine too the white blood
cells which attack infections and the other components of the blood stream such as simple sugars, insulin, enzymes,
and so forth which keep the body running harmoniously. Later on Bardon has an exercise in which he has the
student imagine himself wearing several pairs of glows. The physical body is the outermost glove. We could say that
the etheric body which accumulates vitality is made of a more refined material which is on the inside of the outer
glove. Imagine yourself, then, being able to perceive the physical hand and then also the etheric or vital energy
which is within the hand. Again, if you feel sensations of energy moving in and out of your hand through breathing,
extend your practice to the next most likely part of your body through which you can feel energy. You may want to
just work up through the arms by practicing next on the forearm and then the upper arm and then with the whole
arm. You may also wish to deepen your exploration of your hand by seeing if you can get each finger to breathe
vital energy in and out and then each segment of each finger. Bardon mentions that you are to get each part of your
body, even the smallest, to experience pour breathing. In Bardon's book on Quabbalah, he mentions specific body
parts which the student is to spend a great deal of time concentrating different colors and elements into. In addition
to what I mentioned in the previous section, he adds the ears, kidneys, entire spine, midriff, spleen, solar plexus,
anus, nose, feet, gall bladder, brain, pancreas, and abdomen. In various contexts, he also mentions the head, chest
area, abdomen, and legs as four distinct areas to work on. It is perhaps easy to underestimate the importance of this
exercise. In contrast to every other practice I have studied, this one exercise develops the strength and resilience of
the entire etheric body. Many systems of health and healing discriminate in a biased and partisan manner
emphasizing some kinds of vitality and certain parts of the body. They do this because their purposes and goals only
require some areas of the body to be developed and not others. The advantage, of course, is that they can gain quick
results which empower the student to feel confident about the practice. The disadvantage is that the limitations of
their systems disqualify them on a practical level from attaining to high magick. They are only capable of reflecting
parts and not the whole of the larger universe within themselves on an etheric level. Bardon's system requires that
you internalize not this or that religious or culturally satisfying ideal within you. Instead, he would have you make a
home within your body and soul for the light of the sun in all its radiance and power. As you breathe life force in
and out of each part of the body, you may feel like you are checking off each body part and internal organ one after
the other on a list. When you finish the list and get each part of the body to breathe, you are done. Then you are
ready to go on to the next exercise. There is some importance in continuing to work with this exercise over a large
period of time so you master it on a high level. We could refer to the etheric body as the life force and vitality which
on a more refined level regulate and sustain the health and functioning of the physical body. Each body part and
organ has its role to play in the activities of our physical being. In weight training, aerobics, and many sports and
martial arts, you try to develop all the muscle systems so the entire body is coordinated and harmonious. The same is
true of the etheric body. As you breathe in and out of the pancreas, liver, or stomach, you are slowly increasing the
strength of the specific energy in those organs. At the same time, those organ energies are becoming more developed
and more highly integrated into your etheric body. In the same way that the many strands within a rope make it
strong, the more parts of your body you can blend and unite into one etheric vibration, the stronger and more
resilient your health will become. Jacobson was one of the pioneers in the field of relaxation in the United States.
One of his practices is to tense one set of muscles at a time while consciously keeping the rest of the body relaxed.
Your awareness is not focused only on tensing and relaxing one part of the body. You are also increasing your
awareness and control over your whole nervous system and other muscles at the time. This is similar to visualizing
tension or pain. Once you visualize the tension, you can say to yourself, "Oh, I can see the tension or pain in this
part of my body and so obviously it is here and not in the other parts of my body. Everything else can remain
relaxed." Your ability to sense and manage tension is increased as a result. In these pour breathing exercises, we are
using the lungs and the pours of our entire body to strengthen the part we are focusing on. If we are practicing
breathing in and out of the left kidney, for example, we are drawing in and releasing vitality through the pours of our
feet, our legs, our arms, our chest, back, neck, head as well as our lungs all at the same time. The whole etheric body
is coordinated with the specific organ. And in turn the excess energy we generate in the left kidney is also moving in
and out of our entire body. It might be helpful then, at the outset, to picture the entire etheric body. As you work
with each part, imagine that the unique and individual energy of that part is adding to the harmony and strengthening
the adaptability and endurance of the whole. The point I wish to emphasize is that pour breathing through body parts
develops a coordinated, harmonious, and integrated etheric body simply by pursing the exercise as it is on its own
terms. Later on, I will mention some of the large number of identifiable vital energies which different metaphysical
systems teach their students to perceive. It is of course invaluable to develop the sensitivity or psychic ability to
perceive directly the specific qualities and kinds of energy within the body. Such knowledge can only add to your
practice. Again, however, I think it is important never to confuse mastery of specific healing and energy systems
with the overall goal of a magician which is to bring his microcosm into harmony with the macrocosm. To
accomplish this, you will need an etheric body which has every part vitalized in an equal and harmonious manner. A
second area of difficulty in pour breathing involves the flow of energy in and out of "difficult to feel" body parts.
Previously, I have followed Bardon's example of a sponge being placed in water. You can see a sponge change color
as it absorbs water and you can feel the weight of the sponge increase. You know from experience that sponges are
useful in wiping up spilled liquids. Through imagination, you extend this absorbing quality to the pours of your
body. You can experiment for yourself to find what imagery and sensory experiences enhance your own
imagination. Air, for example, exerts so many pounds pressure per square inch on our bodies at sea level. If you
imagine your arm is empty and hollow so it has a vacuum inside, then there is a sea of air around your arm pressing
upon your skin. Since anything material has an etheric vibration, the etheric energy of the air as well is ready to
stream inside your arm. You then imagine the pours of the skin as openings enabling that energy to come within.
Then you reverse the process as you exhale. For example, you can imagine your arm as an empty space which
automatically expels everything within it. Though the exercise emphasizes a tactile sensation of vitality moving in
and out of the body, you may also wish to experiment with visualizing light. That is, you imagine as you inhale that
brilliant light like the sun is entering the part of your body you are working on. As you inhale for four or five
seconds, your arm turns brilliant and radiant like the sun. As you exhale, the light is completely emitted. This
exercise is common enough common in various traditions. The problem with using white light is that it may not
have the right quality which is appropriate for your etheric body. It may be too harsh or intense, that is, without the
organic and natural quality which is typical in normal breathing. The reason Bardon emphasizes brilliant light like
the sun is that the solar vibration has a harmonizing and overall vitalizing influence on the physical, astral, and
mental bodies at the same time. Breath, however, as well as being bright like sunlight, can also be considered in
terms of the five elements. Bardon mentions this, for example, in chapter 9 when he says, ""it should be added that
the mental matrix, i.e., the binding agent between the mental and the astral body, is kept working by normal
breathing, which supplies the blood vessels with the four elements, including akasha, via the lungs." If you practice
the following visualizations while you do pour breathing, you may notice they produce slightly different sensations
and energies within you. To emphasize fire, imagine you are not far from a cinder cone spouting curtains of molten
lava for a hundred feet into the air. You can feel the heat on your face and body. And in the distance behind the cone
the sun is just rising on the horizon. As you do pour breathing, you may notice the heat and fiery charge in the air
coming into your body also. As I do this now, I feel a primal power and intense heat along with vitality entering my
body. On the other hand, imagine you are sitting on the edge of a mountain pool fifty feet across. Your legs are in
the water. Water falls down a hundred feet from a ledge above you. A thin spray of cool water washes your face and
small ripples pulsate against your legs. As your breathe in and out as you feel, see, and hear the vibrations,
sensations, and sights before you, you may feel that watery, cool vibration moving in and out of your body as well.
As I do this now, after two breaths, I feel a cool, soothing, and refreshing watery energy flowing through my body.
Notice that we are still doing pour breathing. We can still visualize our etheric bodies being charged with vitality
and brilliant light, but we are also adding in an emphasis on this or that elemental sensation. Next try the element of
earth. Thank or imagine a location in nature which is silent, still, and where you are sitting peacefully among rocks,
boulders, granite cliffs, and so forth. I imagine I am on second Mesa on the Hopi Indian Reservation at midnight
beneath a moonless and clear sky. It is so quiet and peaceful I feel the stone cliffs are an extension of my body. After
several breaths, I feel like I have become part of the earth. The vitality I breathe in has a solidity, endurance, and
stability within it. Consider also the air element. If I breathe in several times imagining myself to be high above the
clouds at fifty thousand feet, I feel an exhilarating sense of freedom, clarity, and balance. The air element
emphasized in this breathing exercise banishes anxiety and worries. So far, the air is pretty much the same in these
four exercises. There is some difference in temperature, moisture, pressure, light, and setting, but it is still the same
pour breathing exercise. I am just using imagery to emphasize a concentration of this or that specific element. And
finally, if I breathe in imagining myself at the center of a magick circle or stone circle, I feel my historical identity
and my personality have been put off to the side. I feel united with a timeless and immortal aspect of myself. It is of
course quite possible to combine all five elements at once. This can be done for example by imagining yourself at
the center of a magick circle and having the four previous visualizations represented by the four directions. In one
scheme, north symbolizes the earth element, silence, the season of fall, midnight, and so forth. The east the air
element, spring, morning, enlightenment, etc. The south is fire, noon, summer, will, etc. The west is water, evening,
winter, love, etc. And Indian summer is the akasha. There are, of course, a great many variations on the use of
directions, colors, seasons, and many other correspondences relating to the elements. These will differ according to
the tradition you are using. Later on, Bardon also has students practice concentrating the four elements in four parts
of the body at the same time. Earth is in the lower pelvis and legs. Water is in the abdomen. Air is in the chest. And
fire is in the head. Taoists, for example, tend to emphasize the development of the etheric body because of their
overriding interest in longevity and the refinement of chi. In one Taoist tradition, you learn to sense the specific
vitality in different internal organs. You then refine and combine these energies and circulate the resulting product
throughout the body. In such a system (see Mantak Chia's book, e.g., Fusion of the Five Elements I), the liver has
positive emotions of kindness and negative emotions of anger. Its energy is wet, warm, and windy. You can think of
the energy of trees and forests inside the liver. The liver is complemented by the lungs. The lungs have positive
emotions of righteousness and courage and negative emotions of sadness and depression. The energy of the lungs is
dry and cool. The Taoists associate the lungs with metal so there is a sensation like touching iron with no water in it.
These two energies, being opposites, balance each other so you fuse them together as you form what is called an
immortality pearl. Similarly, the heart has positive emotions of love, joy, and respect and negative emotions such as
hate, impatience, and cruelty. Its energy is warm, full, stable, and protected. The opposite of fire is water present in
the kidneys. The kidneys embody gentleness and negative emotions of fear and stress. Their energy is cool, calm,
and breezy. Think of water flowing and the presence of winter. The stomach is added to the above sets. Its positive
emotions are fairness and openness and the negative emotions are worry and anxiety. Its energy is balanced being
neither too hot or too cold. I think the presentation which Mantak Chia does in far more detail than I am relaying
here is a real contribution to occult anatomy. I think he has a lot to offer and many individuals find his system
extremely helpful and powerful also for healing. If I place my mind in one of my kidneys, I immediately have an
image of floating down a river. The water is bubbly yet serene. It is cool, purifying, and rejuvenating. It has an
overwhelming sense of completely letting go into the flow. It is a lot like the positive aspects of the astrological sign
of Cancer. If I place my mind in my lungs, I feel like I am moving into the future in a balanced and harmonious
manner. There is a sense of the free, unobstructed movement of winds above the earth. And I get a nearly
clairvoyant sense that I see things before they happen. If I put aside these concepts and metaphorical language, the
sensations I perceive are of air pressure increasing and decreasing and of the air becoming more moist as I breathe
in. There is also a feeling of being completely weightless as if I am floating in a sea of air. In both of the above
examples with the kidneys and the lungs, the energy of the specific organ quickly engulfs my entire body. If I
concentrate on one body part to the exclusion of everything else, the sensations and qualities of the energy present
fill my entire awareness. My whole aura consequently takes on that specific vibration. Part of practicing the cosmic
language in Bardon's book on Quabbalah is to turn your body into a magical instrument. This instrument has the
capacity to reproduce any of the basic building blocks through which mater, energy, mind, spirit, and the entire
universe have been created. In a very similar way, in this exercise on pour breathing we are training the body to
become resilient and flexible. The energy in each part of the body is developed so it penetrates and strengthens the
rest of the body. The vital energies in the body are so unique they cover a range like the oscillation of light and
radiation in the visible and invisible color spectrum. Yet each organ and part of the body contribute to the whole
offering an essential vibration. Consequently, for me this exercise is a spiritual quest. It begins a journey not only
toward greater health but toward discovering the elixir of life, the immortality pearl, the philosopher's stone, and the
mystery of divine life and light. Let me give some examples of the auras of three masters I have met who work
extensively with vitality and chi. Again, I refer to the key of the five elements. One master's aura is very organic and
natural. He is grounded like a tree. It is very healing to be around him. But he is weak on water and fire. Without
much fire, he lacks force and direction. Without water, he has low empathy, that is, it is not easy for his students to
feel the energy inside of his body. Another master has a very water aura. This individual is mediumistic, mystical,
and psychic to the point of being unable to communicate with ordinary people. Though very grounded and practical
in personal activities, air and fire are weak. Without the fire, there is little independence and organization. Without
the air, there is little curiosity or desire to understand others' life experiences. Clarity of purpose and execution of
plans are missing. The third master has a level of vitality which is radiant and dynamic. But there is a weakness of
water making the fiery energy is harsh and dry. Though highly efficient and productive, the lack of water causes this
individual to lack empathy, intuition, and genuine caring for others. Even though all three of the above masters have
outstanding levels of vitality and mastery of chi, from a hermetic point of view their etheric bodies are imbalanced.
Even if the fiery individual in the last example was genuinely caring and empathic, this would not be communicated
other than perhaps to a close circle of intimate friends. Since the element of water is weak in his etheric body, he
acts and comes across in accordance with his dominant qualities. Consequently, some individuals are uncomfortable
being around him. They do not like the pushy, forceful, and aggressive energy he communicates. I have no doubt
that each of these three masters could easily at will produce any of the etheric energies corresponding to the five
elements. In each case, they have mastered various kinds of movements which embody the five kinds of chi or life
force. But they have not taken the time and their traditions have not emphasized that they round themselves out so as
to embody a magical equilibrium on an etheric level. If you have no luck at all in pour breathing, you might turn to
some of these other systems to help you develop your body and energy awareness. Later on, you can return to this
pour breathing when you are more confident and more resourceful. Pour breathing can be practiced over many years
since it is so basic and universal at the same time. You might try systems like tai chi chuan, aikido, Taoist yoga,
hatha yoga, aerobic exercise, and so forth. A basic exercise is doing a number of different kinds of stretching
exercises as in practicing asanas. As you do these, focus on breathing energy to the muscles as you tighten them
while stretching. Notice the increased blood flow and sensations afterwards as you relax . Part of magick, of course,
is living a healthy life. This involves moderation and balance in diet, exercise, stretching, a positive attitude, and
eliminating bad habits and extravagant wastes of your energy. It is pretty difficult to ascend in magick without living
a healthy and balanced life. On the other hand, do not be afraid to ask for help. Over the years, I have studied with
and done quite a bit of body work in many traditions. There is something to be said for getting near someone who is
highly developed and working with them in some way so you can feel their life force inside you. And when you are
stuck on some part of a spiritual path it is always appropriate to ask for help. You can pray to God. You can
visualize sigils of spirits such as Romasara and others I will review. You can create a ball of energy of bright light in
your hands and then send it to some spirit with the picture inside it of what you want--in this case, an ability to sense
vitality directly and to develop it within you through breathing. In any case, there is nothing quite like discovering
for yourself through direct experience what works for you individually.

Part I--Objects and Animals Chapter 4, Mental Level:


Transference of Consciousness into Objects, Animals, and Human Beings 1.
In this exercise, begin by placing an ordinary object in front of you--a pencil, apple, glass of water, etc. Now
imagine your consciousness is within the object. That is, as far as possible, imagine yourself becoming the object
even to the extent that you temporarily forget about yourself. Take into account the shape, size, and quality of the
object. Adopt its point of view. Consider the relationships the object has to its surroundings such as the way it is
used, its purposes, its present location, and the room around it. After you succeed with one thing, move on to others
such as "flowers, plants, shrubs, trees," etc. The immediate goal is to project your mind into an object for five
minutes without being distracted, even forgetting about your body completely. 2. Move on now to living creatures--
"a cat, a dog, a horse, a cow, a goat, etc." First practice with the animal being motionless. Later, concentrate on the
animal moving naturally, for example, a bird flying, a fish swimming, a horse galloping, etc. Again, the task is to
project your mind within the animal adopting its consciousness and modes of movement and perception for five
minutes without interruption. 3. Now perform these same exercises within human beings. Start with people you
know but vary your practice so you include different age groups and the opposite gender. Next practice projecting
into complete strangers, individuals you have never seen and know nothing about. Your goal here is to accomplish
this transference of consciousness into a complete stranger for five minutes without distraction. Commentary. We
could stop at this point and write a number of books about many practices relating to transference of consciousness
and its applications. When I talk to practitioners of most other hermetic or esoteric systems, however, they rarely
have any real experience with transference of consciousness. If they do use it, they use it only in very minor or else
highly specialized functions. But Bardon, emphasizing the necessity of working with the will aspect of Divine
Providence, naturally introduces projection early on in his basic training. Transference of consciousness is a magical
key in itself. It joins into one method essential elements of Divine omnipresence and omnipotence. It is both love
and will in the same moment. It is detached from and yet also one with its object of focus. It is a fabulous tool and as
I suggest it has countless applications. It is also obvious that you could show anyone how to do this exercise in a few
minutes. Imagining yourself as someone else, for example, is routine for actors, writers, detectives, and even some
psychologists. In basic role playing, which has so many different applications in conflict resolution, business, law,
therapy, etc., we assume the character and point of view of someone besides ourselves. Let me pursue a few
examples. An actor or actress may spend months studying a part he or she is about to play. An actor studying the
part of a cop may ride along with a real cop for days or weeks. If you have studied a role in depth, then when you
assume that role your imagination will already be rich with details and feelings. Long ago, my boss one day turned
to me and said, "If you were me, how would you solve this problem?" I used to teach role playing as a part of a class
curriculum. It was always surprising how easily individuals who had never done anything like this before could get
involved with their parts. Sometimes during elaborate games the individuals bond so much with each other that they
actually cry and get very upset when their team makes a mistake. A psychologist I knew mentioned that when all
else fails in working with a client he imagines he is the client and then he often gets the insight he wants. I knew a
Taoist yoga practitioner who felt very comfortable with her internal meditations and with projecting her mind. Quite
by accident, she discovered she could enter another person's body with her consciousness and practice her Taoist
yoga inside this person to bring about a healing effect. Ira Progoff has a practice in which you interview another
individual and ask about the ten steppingstones or major moments of change in the other's life. You then imagine
these steppingstones or life transitions as if they are your own. In this way, you gain a sense of the inner flow of the
other individual's life. The Dalai Lama, during some of his public initiations, invites the thousands of individuals
present to project their minds into him so that they pass through the chakras in his body as a way of bringing to
completion the weeks' meditations. For me, the Dalai Lama's heart chakra is like a vast sea of compassion. If you
can place your mind within it and sense its energy, you can sense the energy of an enlightened mind. Those who
keep files on other individuals such as various kinds of social workers, intelligence officers, police, etc. study the
history, records, writings, and actions of specific individuals. The information they have is used to predict what that
individual's behavior will be in the future. There is an intuitive element here in which you enter into the thoughts
and feelings of another person. You speculate on what the other individual is going to do almost as if you are
making the decision as this person. There are, however, some preliminary concerns to keep in mind regardless of
how you proceed in practicing transference of consciousness. To get the most out of this exercise, it is very
advantageous to master the previous three chapters in Bardon's training system. For example, if you have developed
skill in concentrating on the five senses, you will be able to adapt your sensory perception to the creature or
individual you are projecting into. If you are capable of emptying your mind of thoughts, then your brain waves will
be able to vary in range and quality to reflect and experience another individual's thought vibrations. If you have
worked with life force and the four elements in your own body, you will begin to sense the nature of the life force
and elements within another object, creature, or person. Consequently, all your previous work will prove quite
useful as you explore this exercise. 1. Transference of consciousness into objects. I can not tell you how this will
work for you but I can share with you my experience. Here are some examples. A Coin. I place a copper penny on
the desk in front of me. It is a Lincoln head penny minted in 1997 in Denver. I visualize the penny on the desk. And
now I imagine myself within the penny. I take on the coin's shape, its weight, its molecular vibrations, and its
functions. It seems fairly easy to hold the imagine in my mind of being a penny lying on the desk. If the penny had
eyes, I could easily glance back and see my body sitting in the chair in front of the desk and still feel my
consciousness is not in that body but here in this penny. The most noticeable sensation I have is of the molecular
vibration of the coin. The copper, for example, is a good conductor of electrons. I feel that conductivity, that
readiness to serve as a channel for electrons. There is an extreme excitement in copper--a sense of electrons moving
near the speed of light through my being and yet there is also solidity and endurance in the form of this coin. I seem
to be able to taste the copper though that taste is not part of the exercise. I consider the connections of this coin to its
environment and notice a time dimension to the coin as well. I am getting psychometric impressions--of being the
copper in the ground, of being mined, taken to a smelter, liquefied, and then rolled into sheets. I am taken to a place
where I am then minted into this coin and of being shiny new. From a bank I go all sorts of places, to cash registers,
pockets, and purses. I am dropped and picked up and finally placed on this desk in the here and now. I can sense the
copper colored light which shines from the exposed surface. The color feels cold and distant and yet also inviting
and intense. The head of Lincoln is stamped on the surface of the coin and it seems I can easily imagine myself back
in time within Lincoln as he goes about his duties as president. Part of Lincoln's vibration and the history of the
United States is here within this coin also. It may seem a little odd but I also sense something of the United States
economy within this coin. Though the face value of a penny is rather small, this penny has been treated with
remarkable consideration. It is used to give and receive exact payment and change in business transactions. Most
individuals touching this coin have been fairly well off financially. A penny is of virtually no significance but they
still honor its value--it is a unit of money which is figured into the value exchanged for items and services. And the
number of individuals possessing it and then passing it on indicates a highly active market system where there is a
lot of cash to be expended. I feel the sweat and oil from different hands and a few dirty hands as well which have
held this coin. I can sense being in a woman's purse who has a BMW in her garage. I can sense being held by a man
whose hand is shaking. He feels fear over his medical condition. But if I shut out all references to the past, I am a
penny lying on a desk at a certain location in a room. I have a very specific metallic vibration, a specific temperature
determined by the room's temperature, and a form which is rigid with little else other than light acting upon it. In my
essays on gnomes, I mention how gnomes like to place their consciousness within stones, minerals, crystals, various
elements, etc. In a sense, this transference of consciousness into this coin is similar to the way a gnome's mind might
work. I mention in my essay on the gnome Mentifil my impressions in working with some of the planetary metals.
Let's go on now to another object--a tree. A Monkey Pod Tree. If I place my mind in the Monkey Pod tree in my
backyard, I feel its roots reaching down into the earth. I sense the flow of minerals and water from the ground up
through the trunk. The tree is still growing and its roots are still probing down. I feel the layout of the tree's branches
and the way they balance each other and sway in the wind. I sense the process of photosynthesis in the leaves
utilizing light and converting carbon dioxide into oxygen. The little reddish pink flowers on the branches have an
extremely volatile and vibrant energy. The tree seems extremely wise in the way it unites in itself energies of the
sky, earth, water, and heat to grow and reproduce itself while enduring through the changing seasons of the year. I
notice I really like the tree--its stability, incredible optimism, endurance, vibrant life force, and inner silence. As the
tree, I seem to notice flows of energy moving through the earth. I seem much more aware of humidity, temperature,
air pressure, and the circling of the sun and moon. I notice the movement of organic life force through the tree and
its astral quality which is very soothing and vitalizing. Ursela LeGuin tells in one of her stories about wizards who
changed themselves into trees and then forget that they were human beings. I can understand that. I certainly enjoy
transplanting my consciousness into trees. I notice the difference between the degree of well-being which I ascribe
to the tree and the lessor amount I possess as a human being. J.R.R. Tolkein also mentions in his mythology about
Middle Earth that the elves woke up the trees and taught them how to speak. I will sometimes send some energy into
a tree and imagine it responds to me in the form of a person with whom I can ask questions and hold conversations.
You can find one of my dialogues along these lines with a Maple tree and also a poem about talking to a tree under
my section on gnomes on my web page. The druids used to work a lot with trees. Some modern druid tarot decks
have cards with different trees on them and present the qualities of those trees. Certainly you can spend a great deal
of time studying the vibration, ecological niche, and quality of life force in different trees. Oak trees, for example,
are noticeable different from birch and yew trees and yet each oak tree is for me quite unique and individual. They
are as distinct in their personalities as are human beings. Summary. I think it is important to spend some time in the
mineral, vegetative, and animal kingdoms before going on to work with elemental and spiritual beings. These
kingdoms of nature are very close to us and have a great deal to say to us about basic instincts, vibrations, modes
and ranges of sensual perception and emotive experience. And of course they are very grounding. Those who
venture too soon into the inner planes may well experience some degree of disorientation or confusion because they
can not figure out how their experiences relate back to the "real world." And our experiences as human beings in
society also fail to adequately prepare us for inner plane journeys. The range and intensity of archetypal experience
on the inner planes will always be far greater than what any society in its art and psychology can imagine or dream.
Consequently, transferring our minds into objects, trees, and animals trains our imaginations so we become the
rugged and tough adventurers we really need to be if we are going to deal with the difficulties associated with the
disembodied forms of consciousness typical of spiritual domains. I might also mention in passing that this is a great
time to explore the different elements of nature by projecting your mind into rivers, pools, lakes, oceans, clouds,
winds, storms, mountains, rocks, the various kinds of fire, etc. These fall under the category of inanimate objects.
Occultists sometimes talk about fire of air, air of air, water of air, earth of air and so on. It is really nice to explore
these elements first hand through the images of nature such as hot air over a desert, lightning, the jet stream, clouds,
and dust storms and so forth. Then you know the vibrations and become comfortable with the energies. A Hurricane.
Speaking of elements of nature, I noticed on the news that there are several hurricanes moving toward the East coast
of the U.S. Hurricane Dennis is a 100 mile per hour storm which just went over the Bahamas. The U.S. National
Hurricane Center thinks the storm will be moving along the Florida coast and then possibly north toward Georgia
and the Carolinas. It is currently moving at 6 miles per hour and is expected to be upgraded to a category three
hurricane. There is a nice picture of hurricane Dennis from a satellite photo at wunderground.com/tropical/tracking/
As I concentrate on placing my mind into hurricane Dennis, I notice immediately a kind of exhilarating feeling.
There is this dynamic whirling motion to the hurricane along with the pressure and spiraling winds which keep the
hurricane cohesive and in motion even though spread out over several hundred miles. All the elements of the
hurricane are present--the clouds, the rain, the winds, the eye, the storm surge, the energy exchanges occurring in the
ocean and in the atmosphere. With hurricanes, I also like to sense the essence or their specific unique qualities. For
me each hurricane has a kind of spirit or motive force which characterizes its nature. It is kind of like I ask myself,
"What is the essence or spirit of this storm?" For an answer, I sense a kind of lizard quality. The storm is slow,
determined, and it is slightly mean. That is, there is a ferocious quality to it. Like certain animals, if you get within
range, it will attack you. In other words, I would consider this storm somewhat dangerous to population centers. 2.
The Animal World. Before proceeding to review the exercise on transferring consciousness into animals, I would
like to make a few comments. The idea of adopting the form and consciousness of an animal is rather fascinating.
Animals are totem spirits for different Indian clans. They are at the heart of shamanic practices and they can act as
familiars. Animals have acute perception and remarkable adaptation to specific environments. They possess a high
level of instinctual intelligence. For some American Indian tribes, the totem animal of a clan represents a specific
way for members of that clan to sharpen their perceptions of the natural world. If you can identify in your
consciousness with a specific animal, then you can extend your range of perceptions and feelings. You gain contact
with a kind of power and instinct for survival which is normally outside a human being's awareness. Furthermore, if
a group of individuals works with a specific animal over a long period of time, you gain more than the instinctual
energy and intelligence of the animal. The animal takes on archetypal qualities. It becomes numinous and a symbol
of divine consciousness as well. Thus, it is not only American Indians who utilize animal imagery. The prophets of
Israel, though against all attempts to use images or forms to represent God, still saw in their visions a consciousness
uniting man, eagle, ox, and lion. A Japanese White-Eye. Introduced to Oahu in 1929, the Japanese name for this bird
is Mejiro. There are two of these little birds playing outside my window right now. They are about four inches tall
and facing opposite directions on a branch about fifteen feet away. The tops of the heads of the males are black as
are their tails. They have orange bills, white on the sides of their heads, and their bodies are mostly gray. There is a
conspicuous white ring around their eyes. I transfer my mind into the form of one of them now. For some reason, it
seems fairly easy to do this. My legs becomes bird's legs and claws. My arms become wings. My mouth is a bill and
so forth. Eye sight takes in more peripheral vision and is sharper in sensing things in motion. I recall some of the
things I have seen these birds do. They eat tangerines which seems to me to taste very sweet and juicy but with a
much sharper taste for a bird than for a person. It is a lot of fun to fly and light on a branch. I remember a bird
shaking the small branch it was on. It bent and then straightened out its legs repeatedly to get the branch in motion
while the other birds present tried to hang on. I try that in my mind. I try singing in my imagination and that feels
really nice also. I also pause and spend a little more time staring at the white eye on the branch. I watch his
movements carefully and mimic each one in my mind as if I am doing it myself where he is on the branch. He pecks
at his feathers, turns his head nearly all the way around, and his partner hops over him to the other side tapping him
lightly on his back as he moves. The branch moves up and down with a gust of wind and the two of them glance all
around as this occurs. As I gradually get more and more in the nervous system and perceptual mode of the white
eye, I notice various changes in my consciousness. It seems that I am much more aware of the songs of other birds,
where each bird is located in the different trees. I feel fairly comfortable in the body of this bird. There is this
combination of feeling very relaxed and at home sitting completely still and yet in any moment being ready to fly
through the air which also feels like a second home. The physical body and vitality seem very light and quick. I
stretch my legs, shake my wings, and take a hop down the branch and turn around. The astral body of the white eye
seems very self contained. That is, he is very centered in himself while at the same time he is aware of being a part
of the little community of white eyes on this hillside. These birds are very affectionate and communal which is seen
in part by the way they hang out together and rub shoulders or sit next to each other. Two more white eyes have
joined us and are sitting a few feet away on a another branch to the right and above. The mental body of the white
eye seems to be constantly scanning for animals, movement, and insects. There is also a very strong instinctual focus
on mating, nesting, and parenting. It completely captivates my attention and interest. I chirp a few times. My partner
flies off and after a few moments I fly off as well. I chirp, actually "twit" is a better word, four or five times as I fly.
Flight is a very dynamic experience with wings, tail feathers, and head all playing a part as I race through the air.
There is no hesitation or shyness for this bird when it comes to flying. When it is in flight, its whole personality
changes. It is single- minded, extraordinarily alert, and in command of its movements. As you can see, I like to add
observation and imitative behavior to my transference of consciousness. If you are very attentive to a person or
animal, you naturally develop an empathy with the other. An image of the animal is reflected into your
subconscious. When interacting with others, some empaths automatically feel what the other is feeling. But if you
take the further step of spending some time in the image of the animal and forgetting about yourself, it seems to me
you begin to alter your five senses to match the animals. Your brain waves alter as well. What does a fly taste like to
a white eye? Satisfying. If you repeat your practice enough, some of that perceptual, astral, and mental capacity
remains within you and expands your consciousness. Cheerleaders at football games are in a state of high
enthusiasm. This little bird is in a state of high enthusiasm all the time, even when it is relaxing. And the nesting
instinct is rather interesting. It is a reminder of how essential it is to care for your own. Your nest, your home, is
something you make and it is where your heart flourishes. A Wolverine. (See, e.g., the web site
http://www.wolverinefoundation.org/ for pictures and information on wolverines.) Let's try another animal--the
wolverine. I saw an interesting documentary on wolverines. There was one very fascinating scene where three
wolves had brought down a deer and were eating it. A wolverine, smaller in size than any of the wolves, casually
strolled up the deer and began tearing at it. Two of the wolves backed off. The third wolf began to charge the
wolverine. The wolverine, again very casually, lay on its back revealing the claws on its four paws. It brought its
head up and looked at the wolf as if to say, "I am your death if that is what you want today." The third wolf then also
backed off and joined the other two wolves walking away. The wolverine I saw looked to me like a cross between a
wolf and a small bear though some compare it to a large weasel. It is obviously very ferocious and unafraid of much
larger animals. It is also a loner spending most of the year by itself. Like other predators, it steaks out a territory. I
do not have a wolverine in front of me like I do a white eye but I can imagine projecting my consciousness into one.
I take a few moments to enter the form of a wolverine. The long claws are the first thing which captures my
attention. They feel very sharp like razor blades mounted on steel spikes. The next thing I notice is my sense of
smell. The forest reveals the trees, flowers, shrubs, and animals which are present as if the air conveys clear pictures
of what is over the hill or on the other side of the clearing. As with a hunting dog, this creature's smell can easily
track another animal's path through a dark, damp forest. The third thing that grabs my attention is the muscle
structure of the wolverine. This animal seems a like a body builder. Its muscles are highly developed giving it a lot
of flexibility, strength, and blinding speed when it strikes. A bear can swipe its claws with speed and strength, but
the wolverine can leap, turn, twist, and spiral as it dives for the throat to strike with all of its body weight in the
thrust. A formidable predator to say the least. On the astral level, that is, the emotional life, the wolverine seems
very possessive of its territory. It is very aware of the boundaries it marks and of the layout of the land which it has
chosen for breeding and hunting. The wolverine has the attitude of a loyal commander who receives a message from
his king--"Hold your position at all costs." Except the defender of this land has the attitude that, in a pinch, your best
defensive strategy is to attack first. It must be that what is so awesome to other predators is that as the wolverine
approaches it betrays no fear or hesitation in its movement. It is not that it lacks caution. Its just that its demeanor
indicates it has already chosen the weak point in the other animal where it is going to strike. It moves with that kind
of single-minded determination. In its mental body, this wolverine seems kind of quiet and rested. It likes its own
private space and does not like to be disturbed. Its mind is almost relaxed and peaceful except when it senses an
intruder in its territory. Then a terrifying intensity and ferocity is activated. It is sometimes said that fools have no
fear. But it is also true that those with no fear can see a situation more clearly than anyone else. The wolverine
seems to have this extraordinary mental detachment. It is zealous and unrestrained in its combat while at the same
time clever and flexible. A few years ago I was in a rather passionate situation when my astral body took on this
feeling of a wolverine. When you feel comfortable with and a part of nature, nature will sometimes offer you some
of its gifts. I wrote the following poem in response to the energy I found in myself. I consider it more an expression
of the archetypal or numinous quality of the wolverine. I am the Wolverine I am the wolverine Wolves, mountain
lion, and bear Flee from me or else climb trees To escape the fear I cause Because of the terror In my teeth, my jaws,
and my claws Their game I claim as my own All this land I roam is my home The Goddess of the earth has declared
it so She has placed this ferocity within me A gaze so cold, alone, and bold Others' hearts weaken The fire in their
eyes dies-- It is wise they avoid me That they keep their distance They know that if I wished I could steal their soul
life The way the moon steals beauty from the night Or the stars steal rapture From the dark emptiness of the void.
Though my reputation is well-known Few fathom my inspiration-- I am the will that turns the seasons That changes
night to day It is what I am I am its manifestation That is to say What shines in my gaze Is beyond mortal
understanding You may think it odd I speak so openly, freely, and with eloquence But intelligence is no defense
And reason is no shield Against the powers I wield I take what I need I leave claw marks on the bark of trees My
smell is sharp I see in the dark The possibilities others' hearts can not conceive. I am the wolverine. In summary, it
seems to me very advantageous to practice projecting into animals if you live close to nature. The animals remind us
of our basic desires and how those desires interact with our environment. They sharpen our perception and keep us
in touch with not just instinctual but also archetypal energies. I have met spiritual teachers who love to leap up to the
mental plane or the akashic plane in their practices. They race "toward the one" pursuing wondrous, mystical ideals.
Or, like the philosopher Hegel, they fall in love with their broad conceptual schemes and all- encompassing
explanations for the relation of man, nature, and divinity. But they pay a great price when they do this. They lose
their feeling for being alive except on these levels of abstraction and ideals. They are only half aware of the world
around them. Their senses are not acute. They have no gut to gut communication. The vibrant and energetic energy
which animates and rejuvenates eludes their philosophies. The Humpback Whale I chose the Japanese white eye
because they often sit outside fifteen feet or so away from where I work. I chose the wolverine because I had a
psychic experience with it. Humpback whales often swim off a beach a little over a mile from my house. They
sometimes come within a few hundred feet of the shore. Let me begin by quoting a few paragraphs from a web site
on the internet. The site below, for example, gives song files, pictures, migration routes, and other information:
http://www.discovery.com/exp/humpbacks/hear.html "The humpback whale is named for the way its back arches
out of the water when it starts a deep dive. Its scientific name, Megaptera, means "large-winged" and refers to its
long, white wing-like flippers. Humpbacks are very dark colored whales, except for the flippers, parts of the chest
and belly, and the underside of the tail flukes.... "Northern hemisphere humpbacks reach an average length of 45-52
feet, and southern humpbacks reach 60 feet. The average weight for a mature adult is 35-40 tons. "Humpbacks are
found in all oceans to the edges of polar ice, and follow definite migration paths from their summer feeding grounds
to warmer waters in the winter. There seem to be three distinct, isolated populations: North Pacific, North Atlantic,
and Southern Hemisphere. "An acrobatic whale, humpbacks regularly breach (jump out of the water), stroke each
other, and slap the water with their flippers and flukes.... Humpbacks swim in groups or pods of up to a dozen at
calving grounds, and in smaller groups of three to four during migration. They can often be seen feeding together.
"Humpbacks are baleen whales that have 14-35 long throat pleats that expand when the whale takes in water while
feeding. They use baleen plates to strain krill, herring, other small fish, and plankton out of the water.... "Humpbacks
are best known for their haunting vocalizations or "singing." They have a rich repertoire that covers many octaves
and includes frequencies beyond the threshold of human hearing. These songs, apparently sung by males, last as
long as 20 minutes, after which they are repeated, often with slight changes. When a whale is singing, it floats
suspended in the water, head down and relatively motionless...." I project my mind into a humpback whale. Almost
immediately I notice an extraordinary sense of peace and well-being. The entire ocean feels like home. There is an
incredible relaxation combined with rhythmic movement. The ocean provides food. Your mates find you when you
need them. Even when you swim alone, you are not really alone. The other whales of your pod are in the same
ocean. The mental body of this whale is incredibly interesting also. There is a way in which space and time are
partially suspended as it views its environment. When you are in the tropics, your body is sustained by the food you
have eaten in the arctic. And when you are in the arctic, the warmth and community of the tropics remains fresh and
vivid in your mind. The migrating between the two is not so much a journey or quest for survival as much as a
satisfying form of exercise like going on a hike through the mountains. I realize scientists are put off by popular
attempts which anthropomorphize whales. By contrast, scientists are busy doing the important work of making
observations and collecting data. But there is also a telepathic rapport that is essential to communication between the
species. Part of telepathy is taking another's experiences and translating them into images and feelings from your
own experience. The difference between being sloppy and being proficient is a matter of how receptive you are and
how much you can put aside your own assumptions. The whale's mental vibration is a lot more open than my own. I
tend to differentiate between the present moment and environment in which I exist and the memories I have of past
experiences and also my thoughts about future plans and expectations. The whale is obviously aware of its present
environment. But it also retains a strong awareness of its entire annual cycle of movement and activities. Individuals
who have near death experiences often tell about seeing their whole life as if in a few moments. The whale seems to
retain an awareness of its entire life cycle in each moment. The route of migration from pole to equator takes place
within the same ocean. The movement is guided by temperature and light similar to the movement between the
surface which is bright and the depths which are dark. The changes of life and all that we experience surrounds us
wherever we are and in every moment. Whales seem to know this better than us. And so I seem now to stray into the
archetypal dimension in which the image of the whale carries power, beauty, and revelation. Certainly the songs of
the humpback whale express something of this mystery. You see, whatever the scientific explanation for the whales
singing and its functions, there is something else present. It is as if the ocean has raised and bred a creature which
sings some of its songs. These songs belong not just to those who sing but also to those who listen. Sailors do not
know of this. They have too much fear in their hearts and are much to greedy and impatient to listen. Scientists
know nothing of this. Their patience is great and their tenacity relentless when it comes to making observations and
testing their theories. But they too fail to listen. They do not empty their minds and become one with what they are
observing. What I can say about the archetypal domain of the whale is that when I open myself to it, I feel the ocean
flowing my body. I feel the currents and magnetic fields which flow between the poles. I feel the ocean with its
power to sustain and nourish life. But there is more. If there were a tarot deck of animals and the whale was one of
the cards, this whale card would also have a spiritual meaning. Its meaning would be the discovery of a place of the
soul and heart where healing and renewal are without limitation or restriction. I feel this now. I find it to be
awesome and wonderfully beautiful. Common Difficulties. 1. Shape Shifting. Some individuals will have difficulty
changing their consciousness from the form of the human body to some other shape. Bardon has students practice
holding visual images in their minds for five minutes without any disturbances. This preliminary exercise is
invaluable. If you can picture your body as a hologram or like a hollow statute, you can slowly move your
consciousness downward from your head to your toes or into any part of your body. This is a matter of holding an
image steady and then altering your location within it. Similarly, if you now picture an animal, you can move your
mind around within it, from the tip of its head to the end of its tail. You can visualize your hand turning into a paw, a
claw, hoof, a wing, etc. This too is simply a matter of making a picture and then imagining that you are responsible
for changes in that picture the way you are responsible for moving your own fingers. Bardon likes to emphasize
visual concentration and obviously the visual sense is very important in one kind of transference. Another way is
just to picture the animal doing all the things the animal does. You watch the animal and you get a feel for it. You
then identify with or internalize that feeling. You can imitate the animal's behavior in your mind or go over it again
and again until you get a feel for the instinctual life and perceptual mode of the animal. In Kung Fu and other martial
arts, the students imitate animal movements in their practices. The idea is not just to master the strikes and parries,
but the spirit of the animal as well. Other individuals will get all sorts of impressions, feelings, and intuitions and
basically find it easy to feel they have shape shifted into an animal. Their problem is not changing into the animal.
Instead, their difficulty is in being out of control. Their experience is more like a vivid dream full of random
impressions rather than a concentration exercise. Psychic perception has the capacity to identify with something,
observe all its connections to its world, and at the same time to remain completely detached. Again, one of Bardon's
basic practices is to maintain an empty mind free of any thoughts or disturbances. If you can do this, you can focus
on those sensations and feelings which you are interested in. If you want the animal's sense of smell, you focus on
its nose. If you want its hearing, you focus on its ears. You eliminate other distractions so that gradually you
examine the perceptual and instinctual system of the animal. Though sometimes the instinctual desires of animals
can become overpowering during this exercise, the idea is never to lose your sense of clarity. 2. Getting out of your
body. Actually, Bardon presents mental and astral projection exercises in chapters eight and nine of Initiation into
Hermetics. But it is clear that this is also what we are doing here to some extent. Bardon says, for example, that
"Adepts who have been practicing this exercise, for years, are capable to understand any animal, and handle it by
their will power." Controlling an animal obviously involves more than just imagining you are an animal in your
head. In the beginning, however, it seems to make little difference if you imagine an image of your cat, for example,
and then imagine you are inside of this mental image. You develop the same empathy and strengthen the same
mental concentrations whether you are actually in the cat or think yourself to be so. The way to get a sense of being
outside of your body and inside something else is just to practice the exercise. Some people can do this effortlessly.
For others, it is like learning a new sport--there are all sorts of new rules to learn, muscles to exercise, and tricks to
acquire. Again, if you have done the concentration exercises in the first three chapters, then if you imagine yourself
to be in a certain location, part of your mind is indeed in that location. I have been in a room with fifty students
practicing tai chi chuan when I have imagined myself inside of the tai chi master. The master immediately walks all
the way across the room to examine my form and correct my movements. I have sat with a Zen master on a number
of occasions. The one time I imagine I am inside of his body, after we are done sitting, he turns to me and says with
a sense of urgency that we should do a seminar together. I have been with an Indian medicine man who says he will
never teach a white man his healing methods. But one time I imagined myself within the goddess of the earth while I
sat meditating with him. After we were done meditating, he immediately without pause or explanation began
teaching me how he uses herbs. It seems to me there is something to be said for transference of consciousness. You
can use it in positive or negative ways but as Bardon says, consciousness knows neither space nor time limitations.
Whether you actually are convinced or not that you are inside of something else, the exercise of transferring your
mind into another person, for example, is a fabulous means for developing sympathy for the feelings and
understanding for the thoughts of the other person. Certainly, students will want to experiment with transference of
consciousness in a variety of ways until they feel they have made the technique their own.
3. Transferring Consciousness into People. I asked a friend today to see if she could notice anything unusual or
different as I projected my consciousness into her. She noticed nothing different. On the other hand, a number of
years ago I had several partners with whom I practiced this exercise. We regularly would project our minds into
each other's bodies. It is a fascinating experience when another person can feel your mental presence and also note
subtle nuances of energy shift as one or both of you practice different meditations. A Female Friend Bardon suggests
starting with people you know such as friends and relatives. I have a picture here of a woman I have not seen for
about seven years who is a good friend. Before beginning, it seems natural for me to spend a few minutes recalling
all of my experiences with her--when we first met, the ups and downs of the relationship, and the last time I saw her.
Also, I recall what I know about her family, her job, and her interests. I next visualize her standing in front of me.
And then I place my consciousness within this picture. I can distinguish between being within the visualized image
and the slight shift which occurs when my mind moves inside of her aura. I notice that my aura changes to match
hers. I feel her astral body, her physical body, and her mental vibration. All of this seems very easy to do since
apparently she and I practiced tantric yoga together long ago in another lifetime. That intimacy and rapport of
spiritual union and purpose remains intact in spite of the different paths we have followed since then. I notice, for
example, the strength and purity of her physical vitality. She practices a fair amount of yoga and this seems to be the
reason why her health is so strong. There is an uplifting and open feeling in her chest from practicing the breathing
exercises of pranayama. It is fairly easy for me to concentrate on being within her physical body so that I feel her
tongue is my tongue, her eyes my eyes, her hands my hands, and so forth. I think I can meet Bardon's requirements
that I be within the other person and forget about my own body and thoughts while I do this. It is not her physical
form as a woman which strikes me as being so different from my form as a male. Instead, it the estrogen she has as a
woman. The estrogen makes her aura stronger in elemental energies giving her a richer tie to nature and to the earth.
It is quite clear that she has ambitions and works hard at her job. But, nonetheless, the presence of this feminine
essence derived from estrogen dissolves a lot of the feeling of separation which belongs to myself as a male. In other
words, this transference of consciousness has a tranquilizing effect on me. She herself, no doubt, has had to wrestle
with being somewhat passive in life. But I find that this feminine receptivity balances my own energy as a male.
Having spent a few more minutes focused within her physical being, I can feel an amplification of our energy
connection. I look for what is causing this by concentrating on some of her chakras, that is, I project my mind
directly inside of each chakra. As I center my mind in her lowest chakra, I can tell again that her yoga and spiritual
practices have given her mind a mesmeric, almost trance like ability when she meditates. But this is not the source
of our connection at this point. Her second chakra is very strong also. She has a great capacity for sensuality. This is
an ability to give and to receive pleasure and to discover in her five senses great satisfaction. But so far she has not
found the appropriate means to explore and express this sensuality. Some might pursue art, dance, music, poetry,
and so forth to work with this. It would seem that she might be very good at massage and bring a lot of psychic and
healing ability to this if she were to practice it. In her third chakra, she tends to let things happen to her. She can
adapt well to the expectations of a group of people or organization but does not actively plan her future. She can
assert herself and make demands of others when this is appropriate but she does not make things happen. Things
tend to happen to her. Her heart chakra indicates that she is loving, nurturing, generous, and sincere. Again, she
tends to allow others to call upon her to meet their needs and this she does. As I focus here in her heart, it appears to
me that her parents never understood how sensual she was as a child. And her father never assisted her to make the
transition from family and home to pursuing a career which matched her interests and which held her attention. He
never shared with her how exciting life is. And so she lacks that spark of enthusiasm for discovering new things.
The element of curiosity is missing. In her throat chakra, I sense a residue of shame and guilt projected on her,
again, mostly from her parents. She has responded by saying, "I am just going to find my own way without your
help, thank you." And this she has done. She is very focused in the present moment and does not have the problem
of relying on thoughts rather than her feelings when she responds to people and situations. In her third eye, that is,
her psychic abilities, she possesses a powerful clairsentience but this she has not explored or studied in any active
manner and so it remains dormant. In fact, her awareness of the past and future are slightly blocked. In a way, this is
a protective function. Some individuals who can feel everyone else's feelings are overexposed and vulnerable. The
needs of the world cry out to them and they are wounded by the pain. The particular way for this woman to explore
her psychic perceptions is perhaps best sought in her crown chakra. Among other things, the crown chakra oversees
the higher aspects of conscience. It reminds us of the need for balance and provides the impulse to grow. I enter her
crown chakra--underlying this woman's consciousness is a vision of how we are all a part of each other, a part of
nature, and a part of all that exists. There is that ancient Hindu sense of the union of Shiva and Shakti which is a
very precise and defined yogic attainment. Although the master she has studied with undoubtedly has attained this
union, he has been very reluctant to teach this union to his students. It takes a lot of will and a lot preparation and
Westerners he has noticed have special problems with proceeding in this direction. This crown awareness within her
is reflected in her readiness and willingness to take this inner journey when the circumstances present themselves.
From the point of view of her crown chakra, then, her clairsentience should be developed in the context of working
with divine images. You cultivate a spiritual identity through contemplation and meditation. In yoga, there are ways
of working with the images such as Shiva and Shakti in combination with the training of the psychic centers in the
body. In Bardon, you select images which embody for you the four fundamental attributes of deity--omnipresence,
omnipotence, omniscience, and immortality. These images can be concrete such as the specific form of a deity or
they can be formless to represent the pure consciousness of spirit. When you take on a divine aspect in meditation,
you can then use your psychic abilities in that context. In this way, the individual's personal and spiritual perceptions
are kept separate from each other to avoid confusion. At this point, identifying with all seven chakras at once, I feel I
know this individual much more clearly. The conflicts of her childhood and the drama of her teenage years are more
transparent. Her years as an adult make more sense to me. She is like a flower that blossoms when the season is
right. But there is also a spiritual quest waiting for her to discover it. The problem is that her job, her family, and the
world around her do not reflect or speak of this quest. Her experiences in life do not support the consciousness of
her crown chakra. We are all surrounded by a spiritual universe as vast as the physical universe with its two hundred
billion galaxies. Each of us must find our own time and way to search within for our guiding visions as well as
participate in the outer world of our society. There remains one final step to take and this is not in Bardon's exercise
but it part of his training system later on. I take a few moments and reach out to this woman's guardian angel. I have
looked at the woman from the point of view of her chakra's and personal consciousness. It helps to also look at her
from a more transcendent and timeless perspective. Entering akasha, I visualize her guardian angel in front of me. In
a few moments, I sense the presence of a feminine spirit. She sits next to me and has the demeanor of a very wise
and loving middle aged woman. Here is the love and caring my friend has not received from her parents or her
lovers. Here is the will within fire and the wisdom within air which balances the earth and water which are the
elements dominating her aura. The guardian angel has a perspective which takes in all of the individual's
incarnations. The angel is not so concerned at this point in time that my friend attain some high and mystical
consciousness. It is more important that she become proficient in caring for those around her. As she matures, she
will provide guidance and inspiration for others. She will know their thoughts and their feelings and be able to help
them through their problems. Her greatest weakness, from the angel's perspective, is her failure to understand what
is motivating those around her. She lacks this penetrating insight and it is not the type of thing you get from training
in yoga. And developing her clairsentience would not help her here either. Occupations which might have furthered
these abilities would be training to be a school counselor or a lawyer. With these she would acquire a practicality
combined with skill in solving problems. The guardian angel is emphasizing in effect the development of this
individual's third chakra, that is, the strengthening of her personal identity and her ability to communicate herself
effectively through interactions with others. I take a few moments to join the guardian angel, myself, and this friend
into one consciousness. I meditate with the guardian angel on this woman having a strong identity, assertive
communication, and penetrating insight into the thoughts, feelings, and problems of those around her. And then I
return the angel to its own domain and close down my friend's and my own aura. I would point out that long ago
when I first made contract with a guardian angel it was an absolute disaster. There was the equivalent of an
explosion of feelings within myself. I sensed the incredible mistakes I had made in life as well as the great
difficulties which were waiting for me in the future. I was completely unprepared for both the degree of
transcendence and the lower astral vibrations which were stimulated by such a contact. For this reason, Bardon saves
contacting your guardian angel until the last chapters of his book. I take a moment to imagine myself within this
friend again just to compare my feelings now with those I had when I first began the exercise. Initially, I chose this
person because I felt there were some unresolved feelings and questions I had about her life. My feeling are now
more complete. If I might wax philosophical for a moment in regard to my experiences here, I would say--We
human beings are both ordinary and mysterious, stuck in the limitations of our lives and also surrounded by divine
freedom. If there is a lesson from this, I would say that it seems to me we need to be loved and to give love both in
equal measure. A Businessman. I have never met this person but I have a photo of him and a friend who knows him
tells me what he is like. I visualize a picture of this businessman standing in front of me. I also can recall his voice
from tapes I have heard. I can say that he looks a little boyish and somewhat immature but I think that image does
not reflect his ability and influence. As I project into him, I notice immediately the remarkable quality of this
individual's mental body. He has a very high and creative mental vibration. I would call this energy Aquarian in that
he is constantly thinking about the future while also taking into consideration the present and the past. There are
some psychic exercises in which you imagine traveling a few weeks, months, or years into the future and then look
around to see what things are like. This individual has part of his mental body permanently stationed about three
years in the future. He sees the world as it is now. And he equally attempts to see the world as it will be three years
from now. I can not say I have ever met anyone who embodies so perfectly this kind of Aquarian outlook on life.
The second main theme present in his mental body is his fierce sense of competition. Let me spend a few minutes
pursuing this. It appears that he tries to take control in the present of what he knows will one day be valuable in the
future. He is aware of things which others do not yet see or understand. There is a deceptive quality here which is
somewhat like a Howard Hughes who makes secret deals behind the backs of her competitors in order to undermine
their strengths. I am sure you understand there is a difference between a research scientist, an inventor, a prophet,
and a businessman. Whereas the first three occupations involve a degree of detachment and purity, this businessman
moves to take control of all aspects of his trade. From his point of view, productivity involves accumulating assets
and providing services which ultimately give you an advantage over others. In all fairness, I have to repeat myself
and say that this individual is a little too zealous about destroying his competitors rather than just out performing
them. There is a dark element in his mind and to be honest it seems to be what makes him so effective and
successful. Like many wealthy businessmen, he is altruistic and generous in his giving, but he is also rather ruthless
when it comes to gaining market share. You may wonder where I am getting these impressions. All of these
comments and descriptions have in fact already been made about this individual by his competitors and others. I am
not saying anything new. The difference is that I am telling you how his mind works from the inside. This man will
remain effective because none of his competitors are as future oriented as he is. None of his competitors can take the
assets of their companies and change directions overnight the way this man can if that is what he thinks is necessary
to dominate other companies. There is no question that others in the same line of work have more character and are
wiser in providing goods and services. Others even see future trends as clearly if not with a broader range of vision
than this individual. But the businessman I am focusing on carefully monitors his competitors. He is more than
ready in any moment to learn from their ideas and to jump ahead of them when he discovers their plans. My
procedure in projecting into this man's mental body is to enter the picture of him which I visualize. In doing this, I
feel an immediate link to the actual person. I then make my mind empty of my own thoughts so that as much as
possible his mental vibration is all that is present in my awareness. Now when I think, or look around myself, or
sense what my interests are, I think and see and feel as he does. What is so astonishing is how his mental vibration is
so deeply ingrained within him so that it has become automatic. He does not have to make an effort to think about
the future. As I have suggested, part of his mind is permanently within the future and so he is constantly being
informed from that perspective. There is more to be said here in regard to his competitive instinct. This man is not
telepathic. He does not transfer his mind as I am doing into another person. He does, however, hold the image of his
competitors in his mind in order to penetrate their thoughts. He has the ability to discern from their actions what they
are thinking. This usually gives him a clear advantage because no one seems to be able to do the same with him. Yet
when he is dealing with someone who sees the future more clearly than he does, he notices this also. What he does
then is not try to understand the other's mind because that would require genuine psychic ability. What he does is
imagine himself as the CEO of the other's corporation. That is, he thinks about what another corporation can actually
do with its products, marketing, and research. He determines its strengths, weaknesses, and limitations. It is on this
basis of being able to understand market forces and the dynamics of corporate strategy that he then maneuvers so his
company is the first to enter a new market in a way his competition can not do. If he is already in possession of some
product, service, or technology before the other gets it, then he will be able to exploit it in a way which gives him an
edge over other corporations. In other words, you do not fight your competitor on the terrain where the other has an
advantage and you do not attack the other in the area where he is stronger. Instead, you maneuver the other into a
position where he is fighting at a disadvantage and you attack him where and when he is weak. Some might suggest
that wars are won on the basics of economic strength and economic conflicts are resolved according to military
tactics. Generals and businessmen often forget about the things they share in common. This man does not. To
summarize, this individual produces inferior products compared to his competitors. But his understanding of market
forces, sales, and developing trends enables him to succeed where others fail. The net effect is that the world has
more technology than it otherwise would without his leadership even though his products are not the best. On the
other hand, if he had chosen to emphasize quality along with success, he would have had twice as much influence
and people would praise him rather than hate him. Let's see if we can make more sense of this man's unusual mental
vibration by pursuing its source within him. I focus on the akashic or spiritual awareness within him. At the risk of
sounding pretentious, it seems to me this man is an advanced soul. His inner source of inspiration is very clear about
the task he wishes to accomplish in life. He has been sent into life to help stabilize the world's economy and to
provide the technology so that people around the world can gain access to each other. This man is a world servant.
There is no limit to his creativity. His wealth is not just of money but also spiritual resources--he is inventive,
ingenious, and can comprehend a great number of different view points all at the same time. If it is the case that he is
on a divine mission, we have to ask why he is so conniving and domineering in his business dealings. Like so many
of those who are apostles of the Protestant Ethic, he has great faith in hard work and creative endeavor. In this Ethic,
the whole point is to have dominion over the earth. But what these entrepreneurs do not understand is that having
dominion over the earth also entails taking complete responsibility for the earth. This spiritual consciousness has not
been presented by Christian ministers, teachers, or evangelists. I think when this businessman realizes how
influential he is and that his position of wealth and power are completely secure, he will turn more positive. Then he
will be freed to think more in terms of the needs of the planet rather than his corporate needs for success. It is good
for the human race that there is a positive spirit guiding him from within. Turning now to his astral body--his
emotional life--he seems to be a fairly normal person. He is casual and does not assume airs. But he does have a
fetish about winning in competitive situations. Also fortunately, he has individuals in his life who are loving and
loyal to him because he is not particularly a nurturing kind of guy. These others remind him to show more sympathy
and understanding than he would normally do on his own. Focusing on his physical/etheric body, I notice he is
effervescent. He likes to be on the go. He enjoys interacting with lots of people, that is, as long as they can give him
some interesting feedback. He is impatient with people, though, because he is sick of others not being able to
quickly comprehend his ideas and his goals. This is not unusual. Those who are focused on the future often have
great communication problems to overcome because they have to invent new explanations and reasons for why
others should change their lives to deal with emerging realities. He has certainly got himself right in the middle of
this conflict between the old and the new and by all accounts he seems to be winning. In regard to his health, I
would say that in about three or four years he will have to reduce the high level of tension he lives with and learn to
relax more. Individuals who are under the most tension, such as the President of the United States, play golf every
week or take two week vacations at Camp David two or three times a year just to deal with the intensity of their
work. This individual will have to adapt in that same way and learn to delegate more corporate power to others.
Otherwise, his body will not be able to supply the vitality his brain needs to operate at his normal high level of
creativity. A Politician Let's consider now a third example. This individual is currently the dictator of a small
country. He is an example of someone who specializes in negative energy. When I use the term "negative" to
describe energy or an individual, what I mean is that the individual's focus is on manipulating, destroying, and
utilizing fear and terror to accomplish objectives. The positive by contrast builds rather than destorys. It nurtures
rather than manipulates. It offers freedom and opportunity rather than fear and bondage. In a certain way, the
negative is invaluable. Your conscience should prompt you to look both ways before you cross a street out of fear
that you may get killed if you do not. You should take control of yourself so this becomes a life long habit. And you
should destroy salmonella bacteria on a piece of chicken by heating it properly before you eat it otherwise you may
die. The negative is useful for defining boundaries and reminding us of our limitations. But individuals can also turn
the negative into a habit and pursue it for its own sake. I visualize a picture of this politician in front of me. I shift
my awareness into this picture. After a few moments I feel a kind of alchemy in which I move from the image of
him directly inside of his body and mind. Focusing on his physical body I in effect ask myself, "What is it like to
wear this body?" Unlike the previous businessman, this individual is rather phlegmatic, even slothful. He is lazy and
overindulges himself. He eats too much and he does little in the way of exercise. I notice he sweats through his head
especially at night when he sleeps, though he does sleep well and his health in general is good. His physical laziness,
however, in no way reflects his emotional and mental life. His astral body has a strong Mars connection though
again it is rather negative. He has the outlook that you do what you need to do to accomplish your objectives. If you
have to subjugate an entire nation, destroying the health and well-being of millions, then that is a small price to pay
for maintaining political order and the stability of government. He looks around himself with the attitude, "Those
who oppose me I destroy. And if there are those I can not destroy I will position myself in such a way that I will
destroy them even if it means destroying myself in the process. As long as they understand and believe this about
me, then I will have the respect I require." In terms of the four elements, from the above statement we can see that
he has a lot of fire which gives will and a lot of earth which is interested in stability. He has almost no air so he lacks
intelligence and he has little water so he has next to no feeling for what other people are going through. These
imbalances leave him so isolated he has little understanding of the world beyond the borders of his nation. He is,
however, very astute in observing when his own people are compliant or rebellious but he could care less about their
suffering. On a mental level, he is very arrogant and haughty. He assumes his power is a matter of privilege and
birthright. He likes to be told how well he and the country are doing. This makes it difficult for his administration to
keep him informed about the actual state of affairs. You risk his wrath and indignation if you try to explain that there
are problems which need to be solved. This imperial pomp and presumption, however, does not mean that he is not
alert. What he can do very well is sniff out those officials who are dissatisfied with his decisions. Such individuals
do not last long in his government. In such a country, as you can imagine, terror is thick in the air. Let us move on
now to the spirit or akashic awareness which inspires and guides him. The spirit informing this man's incarnation is
a spirit of pure, unmitigated domination. There is no ethics, morality, or conscience within it. It is autonomous,
independent, and measures its success only by the amount of power it acquires. This individual's inner source of
inspiration is solid and enduring as a mountain and it has a total commitment to gathering power in a slow, but
steady manner. When this individual is confronted with obstacles, problems, and dilemmas, this inspiration is
always present to guide and to reassure him. The way this man maintains control over a nation accurately reflects to
some degree the spirit within him. His inner spirit, however, is more knowledgeable about how to build a strong
economy and it is much more adept at brain washing people. In other words, his inner spirit is not hostile or
arrogant. Instead, it has a pure commitment to being effective and efficient as it pursues its goal of domination. You
could say that this man's inner spirit is a master of the negative while this man's performance is still on the level of
an amateur or an apprentice. This viewpoint I am presenting, I realize, goes against the more liberal notion that
"every soul desires to transform the world through love," and so forth. To that optimistic attitude I would have to
say, "Sorry, but that is not so." I can indeed sense the positive within this man's spirit, but it has been shoved so
much to the side that it has absolutely no influence over his life. For Christians, human beings are made in the image
of God. They are all redeemable. For Buddhists, every sentient being is capable of attaining enlightenment. I agree
wholeheartedly with these sentiments. But there is a lot of room for freedom of choice as we seek to develop our
divine creativity and pursue a mind which is full of wisdom and light. For the last ten thousand years, since the end
of the last ice age, human beings have been struggling with each other over the control of limited resources. The
other intelligent species on our planet, the Neanderthal man who was here for hundreds of thousands of years,
suffered extinction perhaps in part due to our greater capacity to reproduce and to seize Neanderthal's food sources.
Even most of our religions have been fighting each other in spite of their high and noble ideals until the last few
hundred years. Consequently, I am not surprised that some individuals have acquired a great deal of soul experience
in learning how to survive by commanding people and controlling land. For example, this man's skills would be
invaluable in some other historical situations. You put him in charge of defeating the pirates plaguing the
Mediterranean if you in the Roman Empire. You put him in charge of defeating Napoleon or Hitler if you are in
England or in Russia. There is a time to fight fire with fire and this is the man for the job. He would surrender his
laziness and stupidity in a moment if he was offered a position in which his real ability to destroy things could be
fully utilized. But if you place him in charge of a country in the late twentieth century, he becomes a threat not only
to his own people but to the world at large. Is this man capable of learning to be positive? I think so. You just have
to put him in a situation where he has no power at all. In that place, he is offered rewards and genuine appreciation
for the work he does. People treat him with respect because of what he has to contribute. At the same time, if he tries
to cheat or hurt others, he is put in jail like so many others around the world. Eventually, after repeatedly
experiencing the results of his decisions, he finds that he enjoys cultivating the positive in himself more than the
negative. Thus far in terms of his life experience on earth, he has found the negative to be far more rewarding and
that is why he is so adept at it. These three examples are fairly representative of my experience with transferring
consciousness into people. I have not included examples of transferring my mind into children or into strangers as
Bardon suggests. In the last example the individual was not completely a stranger since I had read his biography. In
the beginning, I think it is fine to practice transferring of consciousness as a purely mental exercise. In this case, you
are imagining what another person is like--how he or she thinks, feels, and perceives. This is not so different from
trying to figure out what motivates a character in a movie or trying to make up a story about someone you have
never met. In either case, you can ask yourself, "What might have been this individual's experiences in the past
which are the basis of his or her behaviors and attitudes?" Or, "What factors are involved in the way this individual
makes a decision?" In internal acting, you recall experiences from your own life which may reflect the outlook of
the part your are playing. Similarly, when you imagine you are another person you still rely to some extent on your
own experience to understand the other. On the other hand, if you identify in your mind with the words and actions
of another person, you automatically feel the way this person does. Both methods are helpful for gaining a sense of
what transference of consciousness is like. Later on, when you are more comfortable with various forms of
telepathy, clairvoyance, and clairsentience, you can concentrate on the psychic impressions you receive during the
exercise. In some methods, however, such as Silva Mind Control, practitioners enter a state of alpha and then
immediately receive impressions about other people they have never met. You will find out from your own
experience how to make this exercise work best for you. Though there are many other topics to consider in
discussing transference of consciousness, I would just refer to one further point. In chapter 3 and 4 of Initiation into
Hermetics, Bardon has the student work with the four elements. Transference of consciousness into other people is
also a way of studying the four elements. In the first example I gave of the female friend, the woman had a very
strong watery vibration. Projecting into her furthers my understanding of the calmness and serenity of water. The
second individual, the businessman, has a remarkable power of the air element in his mental body. His mind is a
study of the qualities of air relating to genius, ingenuity, foresight, and the capacity to understand multiple
perspectives in the same moment. The last individual, as I pointed out, is strong in fire and in earth. Though his fiery
will is negative, he is a reminder of the importance of developing a will which overcomes all adversity. His earth
element is also negative in that he seeks to provide stability and order through domination. But again, his sense of
solidity and endurance are an important reminder of the strength and perseverance we need within ourselves to
accomplish our objectives in life.