Sunday, 15 March 2015

March 2015 round-up

This is another somewhat random post of topics that could have become larger posts, but I lack the time to develop them further...

Passing in to Legend

As I am sure that you must be aware Terry Pratchett passed away last week. Although I met him only briefly in passing, some of my friends knew him well and were all great fans. I particularly liked that for many years I could walk in to any number of airports and find one of his novels. It was nice to know that no matter what was happening in my personal world or the wider world - Discworld novels would accompany me from one adventure to the next.

As well as learning a lot about life, the universe and everything from his novels "Small gods" and "Good Omens"... I also really liked that he could make people genuinely care about golems.


Blew a Fuse

Last week whilst I had two major workings on the go and another one just completed I got ill rather suddenly. It's nothing serious but I spent 23 hours out of 48 asleep and have not done any meditation or magical work since. It felt as though I had used up all my mana pool so to speak and had nothing left. Any practitioner, even a petty dabbler like myself, needs to listen carefully to what their physical and subtle body is telling them. If it is says "stop!", better listen before you're made to stop.

Victoria Hannah

Whilst taking some time out to wonder the wider web, I came across this video Victoria Hanna- Aleph-bet (Hosha'ana). I'm an instant fan of her work for a number of reasons. First the video is about the Apelh-bet, but has plenty of symbolism from Sefer Yetzira. Elemental, numerical, vowel permutation, etc.

Secondly then there is this talk: "Victoria Hanna - I sleep and my heart is awake" she gave at the conference "Music and Brains: The Surprising Link". It's basically a lesson in vowel sounds from Sefer Yetzira and how they are made by the throat, lips, tongue, palate, and teeth. OK, if you need a simpler demonstration - check out her Victoria Hanna - Hebrew Vowels Demonstration.

Thirdly, if that is not enough... here is a jamming session that she did with Bobby McFerrin. In it she is quoting mishnas (verses) from Sefer Yetzira. Word for word she has it memorized! This is a lady who has a relationship with the Hebrew letters and vowels that I can only dream off.

Now I'm off to have a cold shower.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Shushan Funk

I forgot to include something light-hearted in my last post about Purim and Gemmatria. So please find below my favourite Purim song this year.


I'll return to posting about Merkavah mysticism, practice and Sefer Yetzira shortly. And remember folks, you need to be in a state of joy to access Divine inspiration.

Waiting for a Gemmatria

Sometimes it takes awhile for a Gemmatria to be clear. In the case copied from Ohr Somayach website below, it took approximately 2500 years.

On 1 October 1946, after 216 court sessions, the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg delivered its verdicts sentencing the leaders of the Nazi party to death by hanging. The author of the following account, Kingsbury Smith of the International News Service, was chosen by lot to represent the American press at the execution of ten of those leaders.
NurembergGaol, Germany
16 October 1946
International News Service

…Julius Streicher made his melodramatic appearance at 2:12 a.m. While his manacles were being removed and his bare hands bound, this ugly, dwarfish little man, wearing a threadbare suit and a well-worn bluish shirt buttoned to the neck but without a tie (he was notorious during his days of power for his flashy dress), glanced at the three wooden scaffolds rising menacingly in front of him. Then he glanced around the room, his eyes resting momentarily upon the small group of witnesses. By this time, his hands were tied securely behind his back. Two guards, one on each arm, directed him to Number One gallows on the left of the entrance. He walked steadily the six feet to the first wooden step but his face was twitching.
As the guards stopped him at the bottom of the steps for identification formality he uttered his piercing scream: 'Heil Hitler!' The shriek sent a shiver down my back.
As its echo died away an American colonel standing by the steps said sharply, 'Ask the man his name.' In response to the interpreter's query Streicher shouted, 'You know my name well.'
The interpreter repeated his request and the condemned man yelled, 'Julius Streicher.'
As he reached the platform Streicher cried out, 'Now it goes to G-d.' He was pushed the last two steps to the mortal spot beneath the hangman's rope. The rope was being held back against a wooden rail by the hangman.
Streicher was swung suddenly to face the witnesses and glared at them. Suddenly he screamed, 'Purim Fest 1946.' [Purim is a Jewish holiday celebrated in the spring, commemorating the execution of Haman, ancient persecutor of the Jews described in the Old Testament]…
Streicher had been a Nazi since early in the movement’s history. He was the editor and publisher of the anti-Semitic newspaper "Das Strummer." In May of 1924 Streicher wrote and published an article on Purim titled "Das Purimfest" (The Festival of Purim). In order to publish his vitriolic attack Streicher must have had a good deal of knowledge about Jewish thought and practice. However we can only speculate to what extent he was aware of the remarkable parallels between Haman and his own execution. However, they are indeed striking:
“And the king said to Esther the queen, ‘The Jews have slain and destroyed five hundred men in Shushan the capital, and the ten sons of Haman...Now whatever your petition, it shall be granted; whatever your request further, it shall be done.’
Then said Esther, ‘If it please the king, let it be granted to the Jews that are in Shushan to do tomorrow also as this day, and let Haman's ten sons be hanged upon the gallows.’ ” (Esther 9:12-14)
If Haman’s ten sons had already been killed, how could they hanged?
Our Sages comment on the word “tomorrow" in Esther's request: "There is a tomorrow that is now, and a tomorrow which is later." (Tanchuma, Bo 13 and Rashi, Shemot 13:14).
In the Megilla, the names of Haman’s ten sons are written very large and in two columns. This is in distinct contrast to the style of the rest of the Megilla. The left-hand column contains the word v'et (and) ten times. According to our Sages the word v'et is used to denote replication. The inference is that another ten people were hanged in addition to Haman's ten sons.
If we examine the list of Haman's sons three letters are written smaller: the taf of Parshandata, the shin of Parmashta and the zayin of Vizata.
Those three letters together form taf-shin-zayin, the last three numbers of the Jewish year 5707, which corresponds to the secular year 1946, the year that those ten Nazi criminals were executed.
The Nuremberg trials were a military tribunal and thus the method of execution was usually by firing squad. The court, however, prescribed hanging. Esther’s request "Let Haman's ten sons be hanged" echoes down the ages,
Equally uncanny is that the date of the execution (October 16, 1946) fell on "Hoshana Rabba" (21 Tishrei), the day on which G-d seals the verdicts of Rosh Hashana for the coming year.
As the Megilla recounts, a decree that the king has sealed cannot be rescinded, and thus Achashverosh had to promulgate a second decree to allow the Jewish People to defend themselves. In other words, that first decree was never nullified.
Our Sages teach us that eventually the Jewish People will return to G-d either voluntarily, or if not, G-d will raise up another despot whose decrees will be “as severe as Haman” (Sanhedrin 97b).
When we look toward the place of our original encounter with Haman and see the rise of a fanatic whose rhetoric rivals our most vicious enemies, we should remember that history most often repeats itself for those who fail to learn its lessons.
© 1995-2015 Ohr Somayach International - All rights reserved.

Here is the relevant bit of text from the megilla (scroll) read on Purim.


In case you were wondering what happened to the 11th person in this trial in 1946 - Hermann_Göring committed suicide. According to the Midrash - Haman's daughter also committed suicide. Whilst there are rumours that Goering was a transvestite, Wikipedia states:
Göring was known for his extravagant tastes and garish clothing. He had various special uniforms made for the many posts he held; his Reichsmarschall uniform included a jewel-encrusted baton. Hans-Ulrich Rudel, the top Stuka pilot of the war, recalled twice meeting Göring dressed in outlandish costumes: first, a medieval hunting costume, practicing archery with his doctor; and second, dressed in a red toga fastened with a golden clasp, smoking an unusually large pipe. Italian Foreign Minister Galeazzo Ciano once noted Göring wearing a fur coat that looked like what "a high grade prostitute wears to the opera". He threw lavish housewarming parties each time a round of construction was completed at Carinhall, and changed costumes several times throughout the evenings.
Last but not least, Jacob's son Benjamin never bowed to Esau (since he had not yet been born). His descendant Saul failed to destroy the last of Amalek. Mordechai, also a descendant of Benjamin, vanquished Haman the descendant of Amalek in his lifetime. I just hope that the Benjamin of this generation got his message through about the lessons from history.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Feedback

Feedback Rant
Seems there's been some feedback to various blogs asking for magical techniques. I think that this is great! Bloggers getting constructive feedback, what more can you ask for?

People blog about magic in theory, to promote books & courses, magic in practice, its manifestations in the wider world, etc. Each blogger has their own reasons for blogging, but something that I have been noticing of late is that people leaving comments on blogs almost universally agree with the topic being blogged about.

This "yes men" culture as I call it is something I consider to be troubling. Perhaps I am being naive thinking that the blogosphere is a place for debate - but this request about for blogs to carry more magical practice information / experiences seems to have hit a nerve. I think that is a good thing as blogging is in my view trying to form a connections with the readers.

If the readers ask a question that causes friction - this can either be turned in to something positive... or shot down. From my simplistic view of things, this instance appears to have favoured the latter option.

Give the Readers what they Want
So as a blog author you can write whatever you want and that is exactly what drives the entries here at Golem Builder central. In truth, very little thought goes in to these updates - they are just a way for me to record and reference my thoughts, experiences, spiritual bookmarks.

I've not been personally been asked for any magic techniques and I don't know many. But in the interests of countering the trend of promoting a culture of "yes men" and turning down valuable feedback, here is a link to a technique for improving one's income.

https://mekubal.wordpress.com/2011/03/27/segulah-for-parnassa/

Just to explain a couple of things...
  1. Mekubal is the Hebrew word for what others might call a Kabbalist. They are wonder working Rabbis who are able to do things that a person might call magic**.
  2. A Segula according to wonkypedia is: "A segula (Hebrew: סגולה‎, pl. סגולות, segulot, "remedy" or "protection"[1]) is protective or benevolent charm or ritual in Kabbalistic and Talmudic tradition."
** there are a number of words in the Hebrew language for magic and magical practitioner. Just as there are numerous names for different types/species of angels. I generally do not define what magic, mysticism, etc mean because everyone comes with their own baggage in their understanding of these terms. There is actually no word in Hebrew for mysticism.

So anyway, I'll be trying this technique too - just to say whether or not it is a tried and tested technique. I have utmost respect for the blogger whose link was posted above and I believe that if you carry out the technique with faith, humility and do not mix it with other practices foreign to this system - then you will have success.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Lightning, meditation, turbulence

Lightning
On a recent trip abroad I had a rather curious experience after meditating. Due to the fact that it was a family trip, I only got two chances to meditate. However, after each session there was a fierce storm in the area. The second storm in particular lasted for longer than the locals told me was normal for that place. The lightning was striking just down the street and it really felt like there were lightning sprites dancing outside.

On the flight home we had almost 2 hours of turbulence. Initially I tried to shield the plane, but then on a whim decided to make friends with the air and lightning sprites. Although the turbulence lessened to the extent that the air crew were allowed to move around again - it was none the less a fairly bumpy ride all the way home. That'll show me for meditating in a new place without making some attempt to make friends / peace with the local entities manifesting as wind, rain, and lightning.

Meditation
The experience above and my advancement in ability to understand and put in to practice techniques in Hebrew Kabbalistic manuscripts & books has made me more aware of finding a teacher. This has been re-enforced having read "Deep Survival" by Laurence Gonzales. In this book he describes how some people (and not others) have survived life threatening crisis.

Whilst the situations described in the book are (thankfully) very rare, they are of interest to me as a practitioner as I am aware of the changes that following a magical path can take. "You will be changed by it" was amongst some of the first advice I was given. The second piece of advice "When you open the door and can see them, they can see you too" is the advice that still keeps me awake at night.

Anyway, the late Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan (who tragically died young) gave the following warning in his commentary and translation of Sefer Yetzira: (pp.124)
"...One of the early 10th century mystics, Hai Gaon, noted that many people who embarked on the mysteries were successful, but then met with an untimely death The higher the climb, the more dangerous the fall. 
A person would not attempt to climb a dangerous mountain without the proper training and equipment. Any novice who would attempt a climb without an experienced guide would be courting disaster. Climbing spiritual heights can be equally dangerous. One needs the proper training and mental equipment, as well as an experienced spiritual guide..."
Reading "Deep Survival" reminded me of this quote from Rabbi Kaplan. It made me keenly aware of my lack of teacher.

Turbulence
So in order to find a teacher and to advance my Hebrew Immersion project - I am taking a multi-pronged approach. This involves meditation, seeking a guide, integrating more Hebrew study in my (already packed) day, and creating a plan.

A plan is particularly useful for mapping out a 'path of dots'. It helps me figure out how to get from a known starting point to a theoretical next level. Although the plan is a nice fiction, it's a very useful tool for putting ideas in to a coherent order and testing whether it is achievable or not. Benjamin Franklin supposedly once said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”

Planning a change is also an invitation to enter in to a state of crisis. To be an agent of change requires one to be changed too. I think that I whilst I knew that in theory, it's taken reading Deep Survival to understand just how paralyzing and insidious fear can be. Thankfully I picked up Rabbi Jonathan Sack's "Future Tense" book at just the right time to prevent the fear** from becoming overwhelming and instead channel it to more productive ends.

** fear of delving deeper in to letter combination meditations and the likely outcomes.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Forum for Discussion

Weddings

Many years ago I went to a friend's wedding, I knew that he and his fiancée where from different Christian backgrounds but I was not sure of the details. Anyway, he told me before the wedding that the families had argued about where to get married and in the end his family won.

So when I turned up to the wedding and saw the back rows of the church filled with smiling people, I turned to my friend, the groom, and commented about how happy the bride's family looked. "They are the choir", he replied.

Sure enough the people slightly further forward were standing stone-faced, glancing around with sour expressions and generally looking like they did not want to be in that church. When the groom's family turned up and together with his friends - we balanced out the bride's family numbers.

Just as I was sitting down in the pew, wondering how anyone could attempt to reach joyful communication with the Divine on furniture that was hurting my backside, in walks the vicar. The vicar, it turns out, is a woman. My smile from earlier returned and I looked over to see the mood of the bride's family has darkened further. Apparently the happy couple had chosen not to share this detail before the wedding.

When the vicar in her speech started talking about an orthodox Jewish wedding, how it is held under an open canopy (chuppah) to invite the wider community to participate and support the newly joined couple - well, I burst out laughing.

The rest of the wedding went well and in the end pretty much everyone had a good time.

Relationships

The reason I mention the above incident is that I was reminded about it by a recent story from a Rabbi. The story he tells is of a vicar doing his rounds in the village.

When the vicar comes to visit Greg, he discovers that Greg is upset about his missing bike. He suspects that it has been stolen and he is feeling down. The vicar assures him that during his Sunday sermon, he'll be sure to say the right thing to reunite Greg with his bike.

Sure enough when Sunday comes around the vicar talks about the Ten Commandments in his sermon. When he gets to the part about "Thou shalt not steal", he gives it his all and puts the fear of God in to his community.

Later that week the vicar is doing his rounds again and comes across Greg and his bike. Pleased at the result the vicar says: "Well, it looks like my sermon really had an effect."

"Uh," Greg replies. "Kind of of. You see vicar, when you got to the bit about 'Thou shalt not commit adultry'... I remembered where I'd left my bike."

That's Not What I Meant

Anyway, all of that is a preamble to say two things:

  1. Sometimes the things we say have unintended consequences. 
  2. There is a new forum in town: The Great Work Forum
Please consider item 1. when getting involved in point 2. Here endeth my sermon.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Three Simple Questions

As I was coming home on the train today - I had a moment of clarity and numerous pieces fell in to place.

For example, how a Maggid might manifest. How that may or may not be similar to HGA. The way in which my studies of Ma'aseh Bereishit (literally translated as "work of creation" - i.e. Sephirot and metaphysics as understand through the Hebrew letters) in the form of Sefer Yetzira (Book of Formation) had come full circle in to the study of Ma'aseh Merkavah (literally translated as "work of the chariot" - i.e. angels, entities, heavens and other realities) after I completed chapter 6 of Sefer Yetzira.

Anyway, the thoughts are still falling in to place. Sometimes they don't always click in to place instantly - especially when interrupted from another source. This time it was a brief call from my favourite teacher and critic Rabbi Bar-zel Arieh Tzion. He asks me three questions, that I'd like you to ask yourself as well:

  • Question 1: How much can you explain about Kabbalah without referring to the Sefirot or Tree of Life?
  • Question 2: Is the HGA (Holy Guardian Angel),  as stated by the Gaon of Vilna, a manifestation of the higher self? If so, is the level of refinement of the person directly proportional to the level of the HGA that they make contact with?
  • Question 3: Does doing magic make you feel special?

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

How to Learn

Early Lessons

Growing up I had the good fortune to be taught two important lessons.

1. Always question. The previous chief Rabbi (Sacks) of the United Kingdom tells a story of how, when growing up, his mother did not ask him "what did you learn today?" - rather she asked him "what questions did you ask today?"

2. If you are not moving forwards, you're going backwards. This lesson may seem a bit harsh, but in today's fast moving world this can certainly feel painful at times. I was given the analogy of walking up an escalator that is going doing. You need a certain speed of walking to remain stationary, stop and life (the escalator) will naturally move you down. If you want to move up - it requires significant and continuous effort.

Sefer Yetzira Commentary

After over half a year of concerted effort - I have finally finished reading for the first time the commentary by Rabbi Moshe Cordovero on Sefer Yetzirah - the Book of Formation.

I say first time as I intend to start all over again in a couple of weeks. Why? Because the first hurdle was being able to understand the vocabulary. The next time I hope to understand the concepts better and who knows? Perhaps the third time through I'll actually have completed all the meditation exercises.

Learning to Learn

Why did it take so long to get through pages 57 - 178 of this book? Because my knowledge of Hebrew was (and still is largely) fairly basic. I found that studying it for 20-30 minutes each day on my daily commute worked best. It turns out that this is the Pomodoro technique.

You can learn more about Learning to Learn at this lecture series at Coursera. In fact, if you take nothing else away from this blog ever - just look in to this Coursera lecture series and it could well transform your life.

The diffuse and focused minds that the lecturere talks about in the first week are oscillating consciousness that Sefer Yetzira chapter 1, mishna 4 talks about: "Underrstand with Wisdom and be Wise with Understanding". This book was redacted in to it's various forms probably between 200-900 CE, so you can see that the ideas of different mental states go back a long way - much, much longer if you do your research properly.

Anyway, since you are reading this blog I hope that you are a life-long learner. If not, I encourage it strongly since it will keep you mentally healthy & balanced, improve your world outlook and who knows what opportunities it may open up?

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Endure, Resolutions, and Predictions

Resolutions

Normally I only make New year resolutions from June onwards, that way I reduce the time spent failing by half. This year however, I will not be making any resolutions at all. This was inspired by a recent talk about professional certification. The certifications fell broadly in to two camps: "Having" and "Being".

The former ("Having") focused on paying fees, sitting an exam and that was it. No prior experience required. The latter ("Being") focused on exam, fees, and critically demonstrating experience in the given field. In this instance it's project management and for me, if anyone bothers to get certification - it's generally as a hygiene factor and I pay a lot more attention when reviewing CVs to candidates who have demonstrated experience, i.e. in a state of being a great Project Manager. Rather than having accumulated knowledge with little or no experience to back it up.

I guess you can think of it in terms of the difference between an "armchair occultist" versus a practitioner with experience under her belt. Anyway, this lengthy rant is just to say.... 2015 for me will be a year of "being" for me rather than "having", continuing a theme that I started to built up last year.

Predictions

Like resolutions, I think these are a waste of time. Either they are too vague to be meaningful or people have a way of making world events squeeze in to part of the prediction or "what they really meant". The other predictions that bug me are the obvious ones like "the weather is going to get more severe in 2015", well duh!

Jacob in this week's reading of the Torah tries to tell his sons what will happen in the "End of Days". Rashi explains that Jacob loses his access to prophecy at this point and hence talks to his sons what will happen to them but not in the End of Days.

Endure

Da'akon in the game Planescape: Torment is a Githzerai follower of Zerthimon. He has some of the best line in any computer game that I have played. My favourite one that resonates with me right now is: "Endure. In enduring, grow strong."

The year 2014 has been one of transition to the next stage of my career, level of study & practice. This year will be (B"H) another year moving up a notch. The progress may at times seem a bit slow to me, but sometimes enduring is the sweetest victory of all.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Brief Look Back

Don't Look Back in Anger
Rather than talk about all the things that have changed in my life this past year, here are some of the selections that looking back I think are significant to me:

  • Hebrew Immersion: (continued) Went through Chumash (5 Books of Moses) with Rashi commentary again for 3rd time and completed 2 set of Mishnayot (Oral Law) Nashim. Now proficient enough to be able to read Rabbi Moshe Cordovero's commentary for first 5 chapters of Sefer Yetzira. Started on Introduction to Rabbi Eliezer of Germiza's Sodei Raziya
  • Fiction: Made a come-back in my life, in particular Merkabah Rider by Edward M Erdelac stood out as a good read. 
  • Disappearing Middle Ground: World and local politics apepars to heading away from a common ground in which common understanding can be found. I expect that this will unfortunately be a continuing trend in to 2015 as the mentality of us versus them continues to gain traction. 
  • Play-offs: tucked away in this update is a non-project that has had some measure of success "An awesome lion, who dares rouse him?". The Detroit Lions have made it to the play-offs. 
  • Looking for Common Ground: I've started looking in to where the over-laps occur between Rabbinic Kabbalah and Western Mystery Traditions. I expect this to be a project spanning multiple years and delving centuries in to the past. 
  • Acharon, Acharon, Chaviv ("Save the best for last"): I have finally started letter combinations as outlined in Chapter 2 of Sefer Yetzira... at last!

Be a Narrow Bridge
One other thing I'd like to mention as it happened pretty recently. Whilst at a friend's wedding, during one of the speeches I knew there was the potential for a massive emotional melt-down as the person speaking was going to mention the parent whom they had lost many years ago.

I know what this is like, but unlike my case - this parent seemed to still have an ongoing and unfortunately unhealthy attachment to at least one of their children. So on a whim I acted as a bridge to allow them to be present and bask in the joy of the occasion without souring the event.

It went well and the very touching moment in the speech passed without incident, leading to lots more celebrations and joyous dancing. Unfortunately I wasn't as careful as I should have been and a lady collapsed with suspected stroke. After she was taken out, I rushed to recite Psalms and later found out that she had just fainted due to low blood pressure.

So you could look at it as all in my imagination and perhaps it was. But on the off chance that it wasn't, I'll know for next time to form a narrower bridge when deceased relatives want to be present and prevent any hitch-hikers from catching a ride to pull someone to the other side before their time.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Bass, Oil, and Candle Light

All About That Beis
If you're a follower of popular music (which I'm not) you might be familiar with Meghan Trainor's "All about that bass" (no treble). You may also be familair with, what I consider to be a better version, Kate Davis' and Post-Modern Jukebox cover, "All About That Bass".

[Side note: Kate Davis has an interesting video on TEDex about her journey as a musician. OK, she's still just starting out but if you're trying to find your right magical path - she has a few pearls of wisdom to offer].

Celebrating Because of What?
Anyway, in case you're wondering what this all has to do with magic and mysticism... please bear with me a moment longer. You see, the The Maccabeats released - "All About That Neis" for the festival of Hanukkah. (If you want to get the story in summary, here is the round up by Veronica Monica).

Whilst Hanukkah is one of my favourite festivals.. The  Maccabeats  have me rather confused whether the celebration is about 1. the miraculous military victory or 2. one day's worth of oil burning for eight days. In truth I think of the battles as a conflict between the Hellenized Jews and their Greek army supporters versus the Jews who wanted to take back the Temple and overthrow Greek cultural imperialism.

This next bit is based on a recent lecture by a Rabbi B***...

Thirteen Breaches in a Small Wall
So what do the Rabbis have to say on the Hanukkah conflict? After all the Greek and Jewish cultures go back a fair way together and there were bound to be some influences upon each other. Well, apparently the Rabbi's don't have much to say about it. This extract from Misha Yomit is pretty much the only bit:
CHAPTER 2 MISHNAH 3
Within it was a latticework, ten tefa~im high, and thirteen breaches were there that the kings of Greece breached, and they repaired them again, and decreed thirteen prostrations opposite them. Within it was the Heil ten amot, and twelve steps were there, the height of each step was half an amah, and its depth half an amah. All the steps that were there, the height of each step was half an amah, and its depth half an amah, except those to the ulam. All the doorways and the gates that were there, their height was twenty amot and their width was ten amot, except that of the ulam. All the doorways that were there had doors, except that of the ulam. All the gates that were there had lintels, except the Gate of Tadi, where there were two stones leaning against one another. All the gates that were there were changed to be golden, except the Gate of Nikanor, because a miracle was performed in their case. But some say: Because their copper had a yellow hue.
A fence in the Temple had thirteen holes poked in to it... that's all they have to say on the Israel versus Greek conflict. So what was so important about this wall? It acted to delineate the public from the private domain in the Temple. Which meant that it was possible to carry in the private domain in the Temple during festivals. Wow, what a fuss over something so trivial...

However, it also represented the idea that there is creation and something beyond creation. The Divine is not simply within creation and that is all that exists. The Divine is just as far removed from the spiritual worlds as from the physical world.

And that is an idea that the Greeks did not like. There was in their minds no Divine existence beyond reality they knew, hence the thirteen breaches (gemmatria of thirteen is echad, Hebrew for one). To them there was just reality and nothing else.

So why does this matter?
Simple because it influences everything we do in relation to magic and mysticism. If there is Divine outside of reality and it can still have a relationship with us via the means of prophecy - then it means that there is a purpose to everything and we each have a role to play.

If not, then it's all just chaos and we can do whatever we desire.

It is, in my current way of thinking, the difference between using one's abilities in magic to act in service... or for personal gain.

I wish you a happy Hanukkah.

*** if you want his name, please contact me. I am not including it here as it could violate my law of unintended stakeholders.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Project Re-Start: Connecting the Letters

In a recent post I wrote about a meditation to connect to each of the Hebrew letters. Whilst the project has started... I am finding that doing a letter each day is much more effective than doing one letter each week. The other change that I may make is to start with the Mother letters, then Double letters, and finally Simple (Elemental) letters.

Here is the updated project description:
Connecting the Letters
Scope: Combine each letter with 21 others. Attempt to combine each letter with four-letter Name. One letter each day for 22 weeks.
Time: 22 weeks (approximately)
Cost: Most evenings per week.
Quality: Output of experiences will be recorded to evaluate how "energies" from each of the 22 letters "feels",
Communication: Progress update at end of project.
Risks:
1. Daily meditation of this nature is very time intensive at the slow pace that letters are meant to be sounded. (Warm up can take up to 20 minutes alone)
2. Project fatigue may kick-in
Issues: 1. Difficult to measure how effective the project might be.
First thing to note about the meditation so far is just how different each letters feels, tastes, and sounds. It's subtle, but I get a definite sense of identity from each letter.

Not in a "Hi, I'm Aleph and I like dogs, going for long walks in the country, and long comfortable silences". But rather that feeling you get when you have been around someone for awhile (in your life) and when they are close - they have a certain mental shape in your awareness even if you cannot see, hear, or touch them. A bit like knowing that a loved one is in a room nearby.

Please note that I do not think or relate to the Hebrew letters as if they are people, spirits or in any way anthropomorphic. The description in the above paragraph is just a way to convey the idea in a familiar way. I think of the letters as living in the same way that everything in the Multiverse is alive. The electricity coming in to this computer as I write this blog has Shefa (Divine flow), the letters are simply more refined and abstract channels of Divine consciousness constantly manifesting the physical and spiritual worlds.

On a separate note... it's good to be focusing on just magic again on this blog. I felt a bit like my focus was diverging into too many different channels. Now I am back on the path... well, technically 32 paths.