Monday, 3 December 2012

Objects at Rest

Nick Farrell recently posted a very interesting article entitled: Playing at Magic. (Note: I have not read the comments section). In a nutshell it says: you need a teacher, you can’t just learn this by yourself.

Frater.Barrabbas argues against this in his blog post. But personally speaking I think that Nick has a point.

This morning I came across David Griffin’s post which re-affirms that you need a teacher.

I don’t have a teacher. In fact, at least 17 out of the 21 signs that Nick lists for identifying someone who is playing at magic can be applied to me.

So this is me hanging up my wizards hat for a while. Bye for now.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

New Project: Hack the Heichal (Heavenly Palace)

 I’ve just finished reading Rabbi David Cooper’s “Invoking Angels” and in the process of working through his guided meditations. Having expected a pop culture book without much depth, the written content and audio content is rather excellent.

So… having got started on invoking angels, I’m now going to start a rather open-ended project for the next year to try to advance as rapidly as possible in this area. As well as re-reading various sources such as:
  • ·        “Jewish Superstition and Magic” by Trachtenberg
  • ·         “Jewish Myth, Magic and Mysticism” by Dennis and
  • ·         “Sodei Razaya” by Eleazar of Germizah

I’m hoping that my research in to Hebrew Kabbalah will uncover more angelic summoning lore, as well as learning how to travel to the Heichalot, the Heavenly Palaces. It’s time to get out of the arm-chair again and do some spiritual sight-seeing. Perhaps even meet the Sar HaTorah (Angel of Torah) or Sar HaPanim (Angel of Countenance) along the way?


Scope: Learn and experience as much as possible in the area of Angelic lore in Hebrew Kabbalah
Time: 6 months
Cost: Unknown at this moment in time. I have some books to get started and in general Jewish magic does not use material components much so cost should be fairly minimal.
Quality: It’s going to be hard to judge the relative success or failure of this project (that should be a risk!). A friend has agreed to join me in exploring this area and overlap with exploring ancestor communication. If I have had conversation with a single angelic being and it’s changed my life, then that is the minimum criteria for success. The stretch goal is to get to the 6th Heichal and not say “Water! Water!”
Communication:  There may be some blog posts on progress. Main communication will be with my co-psychonaut explorer and of course with angels.
Risks:
  1. Death. 
  2. Insanity. 
  3. Insanity, followed by death. 
  4. Complete failure (to communicate with angelic being) 
  5. Insufficient time to properly dedicate to this project. 
  6. Causing a fundamental imbalance in the world that will take 10 generations to re-balance. 
  7. Having a wish I made many years ago and now regret coming true via angelic aid (it would turn my life upside down). 
  8. Transformation in to an archon (is that even possible?)
  9. Writing lots of really boring blog entries that are all jus figments of a rich and over-active imagination. 
  10. Strife of the spirit (not so much a possible risk as a definite issue).

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Straw Man Idea: Feeling the Future



The seer Lady Morella, episode: Point of No Return, series: Babylon 5



"G'Quon wrote: There is a greater darkness than the one we fight. It is the darkness of the soul that has lost its way. The war we fight is not against powers and principalities; it is against chaos and despair. Greater than the death of flesh is the death of hope. The death of dreams. Against this peril we can never surrender. The future is all around us, waiting in moments of transition, to be born in moments of revelation. No one knows the shape of that future, or where it will take us. We know only that it is always paved in pain."
G'Kar, Season 3 ending in Z'ha'dum" (accent added by me)
 
At times in life it would be nice to know what the future holds. Despite many, many people claiming to know the future, few if any that I know of have been consistently proven correct.

In this brief post I will outline two techniques that I think can be used to get a sense of the future. I’ve tried the first and am working on proving the second.

The Destiny of One or Many

Before I outline them I would like to highlight that there is in my view a differences between the future of groups and individuals. The former is how a collection of people bound together by nationality, faith, or identity - ride the tides of history. The latter is about the individual future of a person. That person has a lot more influence over their personal circumstances but they will still rise or fall with the larger group, nation, people, etc.

The Crunchy Stuff

Technique 1: Get a feel for yourself in the Future

This technique is very simple in principle but takes a fair bit of practice depending on how in-tune you are with yourself.
  1. Relax, focus on your breathing
  2. Focus your awareness on where you are now, and who you are
  3. If you imagine your life as a long chain of copies of you stretching back in time, there is another line or lines stretching in to the future. It’s not a straight line in either direction and trying to follow this line is unlikely to get you far.
  4. Instead try to get a feel for what your emotions are an hour from now, a day, a week or a year from now. 
  5. Strong emotions ripple through time in all directions, if you are in tune with yourself then you may be able to pick up on these ripples and how you are feeling. With enough practice you may even get a sense for WHY you feel this way. If you cannot figure it out, ask your future self.

Technique 2: In Chochmah Consciousness Look Back

This technique is also very simple in principle.
  1.  Use Sefer Yetzirah chapter 1 verse 4 to get an understanding of how to oscillate consciousness between Binah and Chochmah consciousness
  2. When you are in Chochmah consciousness, the future and past are reversed. So look in to your past in Chochmah consciousness and you will actually be looking in to the future (if you were in normal Binah consciousness)
  3. Alternatively enter Keter consciousness and all time is happening at the same time. There is only a meta-order that determines the sequence of events that will play out in our everyday world.
Experiencing the Future Gives It Form

In closing, here is my final thought…. I don’t believe that each choice we make creates a parallel dimension. I believe that in the moment of now, there are a huge number of possibilities that we can choose from.

Looking in to the future they all exist in potential but we need to use our free choice to determine which path to go down, either by making an active choice or abstaining from choosing. 

Regardless, once the choice is made – all the potential futures at that point collapse and become one actual moment. So rather than creating lots of parallel world, we’re actually taking potential or ghost-like possible futures and with the power of our free will - stamping out one choice as the reality of now.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

This is not a project: Translating Sodei Razaya

 Whilst going for a walk with a colleague today, he commented how writing a book was a fantastic way to get lots of other things done. His experience was that the harder he tried to write the book, the greater the resistance he came up against. Even seemingly boring activities such as mowing the lawn or cleaning out the pond in his garden got bumped up in priority.

Hearing him say this gave me a great idea... I will attempt to write or translate a book.

In an effort to avoid doing anything but writing or translating a book, I will hopefully be able to channel all of my distractive urges in to getting lots of other useful things done. I'll do more meditation, write amulets, go to talks, visit museums. All in the name of 'research' of course for the book.

The end result will hopefully be that after a year the book will be no closer to completion than right this moment in time. But I should have grown quite significantly in experience and knowledge of practical techniques in Kabbalistic literature.

 
The book of choice is  Sodei Razya HaShalem by Eleazar of Worms. MySefer and Nehora both have the same description of the book:
A work of Kabbalah by Rabbi Elazar of Germiza.
Rabbi Elazar provides a study of creation stemming from the power of the Hebrew alphabet. He cites and quotes Merkavah and Heichalot literature. He then describes the realm and characteristics of angels, the Divine Throne, the Chariot, and the Divine Voice. The rest of the work focuses on God's names, the fate of the soul after death, the meaning of dreams, and a large practical guide for the creation of a golem.
You can watch a video of someone turning the pages of this book here. It will probably make as much sense to you as it does to me now...



Here are the details of the project:

Scope: Translate Sodei Razya HaShalem in to English
Time: 1 year deadline
Cost: None. Book already purchased.
Quality: To be specified, this is a first draft translation of the entire book.
Communication: If this non-project goes as expected, there should hopefully lots and lots of posts about anything but this translation project.
Risks:
1. I may actually try to translate the book...
2. Having started the translation, I may really get in to it...
3. No blog updates are forthcoming as I get more and more consumed in the effort to translate the book...
4. Having completed the translation, I start to live as ascetic, 13th mystic who divorces himself from the modern world!

Regardless of the outcome of this project, the translation (if one is made) will never be published. The reason being that the point of this project is to be productive in lots of other areas of magical development: meditation, workings, contacting a maggid, etc.


Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Misadventures in Magic – part 3: Please leave a message...



It's rather petty of me but I like to visit the British Museum in order to gloat. The museum is choc full of ancient civilizations and cultures that have now pretty much died and yet my people live on.

However after walking around looking at various artifacts that are carefully laid out for the passing tourists to look at with amazement, I think about the posts that Gordon of Rune Soup fame and others bloggers have made about visiting the British Museum. That raises the uncomfortable question: how many of these items still have active entities associated with them that have some level of awareness?

The thing is that when it comes to the debate of magicians working with force (energy) or forms (entities, angels, demons, ancestors, spirits, etc.), I'm on the side of people who prefer to work with forces. In fact, until very recently I refused to even acknowledge entities. I'll admit it's a massive blind spot.  

Anyway sometimes when studying late in to the night, I would sense the presence of something in the room. Often the presence was very respectful and waited for an appropriate break in my studies to make me aware of its presence. And just as respectfully I would say aloud: “Please be aware that I do not interact with non-physical entities. If you would like to make contact then please phone me or email me. Oh, and I've stopped following Twitter and Google+”.

Invariably the entity would depart often with some level of confusion about what the hell email and other electronic means of communication might be. Luckily I've never had a problem of something refusing to leave.

Having established that I do not like interacting with non-physical entities but do like to visit the British Museum - you can imagine what happened one day when I walked passed a statue of Sekhmet and she called out to me. I panicked.


In hindsight it was probably quite comical, a trainee golem builder makes the rounds at the British Museum. He peers down to read the inscription near a statue of an Egyptian goddess. He yelps, jumps up and hurries out of the museum mumbling something about finding a priestess who can help restore Sekhmet.

Anyway, I never did go back to that room in the British Museum. In part because I've been too busy to even visit any part of the Museum, but also because I'd like to avoid any other such surprise interactions.

Fortunately a practitioner who knows his stuff has been to the British Museum recently and helped Sekhmet. You can read all about it here, although I recommend that you read the first post here.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Misadventures in Magic – part 2: A Flea Amongst Princes


This is one of those posts about workings that are harder to back up with proofs, in part because the work is still ongoing and any effects of my magic can be easily explained away by someone with a simple grasp of geopolitics.

If you buy in to the idea that each nation or people has an angel (or angelic prince) that rules and watches over them, then this opens the door to meddling in geopolitics in a greater or smaller way. Hence why this post is called “a flea amongst princes”.


I've tried to have an impact on this area in the past that has resulted in utter, utter failure each time. Then I changed approach and tried to send spiritual messengers and agents to act on my behalf. That did not work either until I created / summoned the messengers to be formed of the land in which they were to operate. This had a very small effect but one that was noticeable.

Following on from this I tried to see whether creating an agent to promote strife or peace would be more effective in countering those who sought to harm my more distant family. It turns out that whilst the agents of chaos are quicker to act, their effects are also very transitory. Agents of prosperity take longer but have a greater effect in cooling the fires of hatred that might otherwise spill over in to violence.

Not satisfied with the results of creating agents of chaos and prosperity & stability, I then wanted to see if the agents of chaos could be modelled more on natural phenomena such as storms or other severe natural conditions. Stealing an idea from fiction I invoked a rain of colourless fire on an enemy that tried to kill someone very close to me.


This brings the story around to why this falls in the 'misadventures in magic'. The results of the colourless fire working were successful, too successful in fact. The part of the world targeted was unstable already and the colourless fire work may have tipped the scale in to open conflict.

As I said at the start of this post, the effect of the work that I did is very hard to measure in terms of impact. If you ever meet me in person and ask: “Did you have anything to do with the situation in X?” My answer will be “No, I think that you're massively over-estimating my power and influence.”  

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Treadwells Talk on 22nd November 2012

On Thursday 22 November 2012 - I will be presenting the following talk at Treadwell's Bookshop in London:

Thursday 22 November

Kabbalah: Knowledge  & Experience of Ten Sefirot

Simon Tomasi

Occultists today learn kabbalah from authorities such as Regardie, Duquette, Nowicki, Gray, Butler,  Dion Fortune - focusing on the famed Tree of Life glyph. This tradition of ascending the ten spheres goes back to Renaissance Neoplatonists. But what about Judaism’s Hebrew kabbalah? Tonight's talk compares how these two traditions guide the seeker to achieve knowledge and experience of the ten sefirot. Drawing on the Sefer Yetsirah, and emphasising practical methods, there will even be a small example meditation. If you love Western kabbalah, and wish to learn about its Jewish roots and branches, this night is for you. Simon Tomasi is a student of Jewish kabbalah and Hebrew mystical texts, with a friendly comparative interest in Western Mystery traditions. He returns by popular demand.
Price: £7
Time: 7.15pm for a 7.30pm start.

This is really a talk about Sefer Yetzirah (book of creation) and how it has shaped thinking and practices of people involved in Jewish Kabbalah and  Western Esoteric movements.

Sefer Yetzirah is the first place that the Sefirot are mentioned and then only in chapter 1. Hence this talk is about practical steps to take to experience the Sefirot and thereby gain some knowledge of them.

Now if I can only just stop blogging, reading several dozen excellent blogs and playing Diablo 3 - I may just write it up in time.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Misadventures in Magic – part 1: The Cursed Ring



Since the spring I’ve felt as if my ability to tap into power of the Universe has diminished. At first I thought it was just due to the fact that I’d stopped meditating on a regular basis and that probably did have a huge impact. But then when I made a concerted effort to meditate every day, it still felt like something was missing.
Taking a look back over the summer and spring, here is the first (of several) misadventures that may have had an impact.


Part 1: The Cursed Ring
Some time ago I was walking in to work from the station, in a world of my own as normal. Just as I passed a church a stout woman in her late middle age gasps and points to a ring on the floor. She says: “Look! A wedding ring.”

Like a true sucker I stop to make conversation.

“Well, let’s take it to a police station,” I say.

“Oh no,” she responds quickly. “I am just looking for cleaning job. You help me?”

At this point I’m a bit confused, does she want the ring returned to its owner or just asking for a hand-out?

“We should hand in the ring,” I re-affirm.

“You go to the police,” she urges me as she pushes the ring in to my hand. “But please just share a little finder with me now.”

Sure enough I give her far too much money and continue to walk the short journey in to work feeling bemused and confused. As soon as I get in to work and tell the office ladies what has happened, they all laugh and told me in no uncertain terms that I’ve been duped. This con-game is being played out all over London.

Anyway, that’s not the end of it… One of the office ladies from Ireland says: “That is a cursed ring.”
Now I’m not sure if she said it as a joke or not, but I’m starting to get worried. What if it does bring bad luck? What if by believing it’s cursed – that it actually attracts the bad luck?

So fast forward a few weeks, the Irish office lady has taken the ring to a pawn shop but the owner shakes his head and holds up a string with fifty such cheap rings. Finally the office lady and I forget about the ring for another couple of weeks until one day she’s robbed. A motorcyclist snatches her bag out of the basket attached to the front of her bicycle.

The next day she tells me of her robbery. I point out that at least we’ve managed to get rid of the cursed ring. Attempting to sell it or throw it in the river did not work, but in the end the Universe had its own way of moving on the cursed ring to another recipient.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Recipe: Winter Warmer

And now for something slightly different...The festival of Sukkot has just passed, which involves sitting in a hut outside for 7 days. As you can imagine, in rainy London that is not really a pleasant way to spend the time so to compensate it helps to have something delicious to eat and drink.

Here is a recipe from Claudia Roden's "The Book of Jewish Food" pp.121.
"Prune Tzimmes"
Meat and Potato Stew with Prunes
Server 8 or more
Tzimmes is a general term for a sweet vegetable or meat dish. Just as Oriental Sephardi Jews inherited a taste for meat with fruit from tenth-century Baghdad, Ashkenazi Jews acquired similar tastes in medieval Germany. This meat and prunes tzimmes is the most popular. South African Jews of Lithuanian origin seem the most fond of it. It is traditionally served for Succot, the harvest festival, which celebrates farming and nature and fruit picking, when fruit is the theme of meals taken in the festive booths. I wondered about adding sugar when I cooked it, but the result was very good.
  • 1kg (2lb) slightly fat beef brisket, flank or rolled rib
  • 3 tablespoons chicken fat or oil
  • 1 and a half large onions, coarsely chopped
  • slat and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • half teaspoon of allspice
  • a good pinch of nutmeg
  • 1kg (2lb) new potatoes
  • 500g (1lb) pitted prunes
  • 2 tablespoons sugar or to taste

In a heavy pan over medium heat, turn the meat in the fat or oil to brown it all over. Then remove it and fry the onions gently till soft. Return the meat tot he pan and cover with water. Season with salt and pepper, add the cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg, and simmer for 1 and a half hours. Add the potato and prunes and the sugar and more water to cover, and simmer 3/4 hour longer. You may want to have plenty of black pepper to balance the sweetness. There should be a lot of liquid. Serve hot.

Variations
  • 4 large carrots cut in to pieces may be added.
  • In America, sweet potatoes, cut in to cubes are used as an alternative to potatoes. 
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger.
  • Sweeten with 2 tablespoons of honey instead of sugar.
  • Some red wine could be added to the water."

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Project Catch-up 03 October 2012


If I remember correctly I have 2 projects ongoing at the moment.

  1. Hebrew Immersion Study Course
  2. Leaping Forth From the Bashan

The good news...
Is that having studied Hebrew almost every working day for the past year and a half for 20-40 minutes at a time… I can now read the introduction of Sodei Razya HaShalem - Rabbi Elazar of Garmiza whilst only needing to look up a couple of dozen words. Not bad considering at the start of project 1 – I would have had to look up every 3rd or 4th word.

This means that I can now seriously start to look at translating the writings of Rabbi Abraham Abulafia and Rabbi Elazar of Garmiza. The former is the founder of Prophetic Kabbalah and had his work censored for many, many centuries. He writes in detail about how to meditate and records his own experiences. The latter was recommended to me as an author who wrote about magical uses of Kabbalah, which always grabs my attention.

The bad news...
Is that project 2. is not going so well. The Detroit Lions have won first game of this season and lost the next 3. This means that my project is failing at the moment, I need to take time out to work out how to turn the tide and help the Lions start winning. What I'm doing now is obviously not working and doing the same thing again and again in the expectation of a different result is sheer stupidity.

In other news...
As Jack and Helen have pointed out extremism is on the rise. The one email list that I am on has already had some threatening messages moderated away. 

If you think this may affect you at a nation-state level, you should probably be aware that this is not the case. Extremists are targeting individuals, this is not an isolated incident. I'd like to say that things will turn around soon, but if the information in this post is true - then the struggle against extremism will be long and hard indeed.

Somehow I don't think that shielding, cleansing and exorcism is going to cut the mustard.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Gaining Altitude Sitting in Divine Space

Rosh Hashannah (New Year), Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) are now past and following quick on their heals is the festival of Succot. This is to commemorate living in the desert for 40 years in a miraculous manner, having all bodily needs taken care off for 40 years. It's also a harvest festival.

What this means for me is that I've just finished building the Sukkah (a temporary booth or hut) that I purchased. Unfortunately it's made of a frame of metal poles and canvas sheets for walls. The roof is made of wood sticks with branches. The reason why I say unfortunately is that my Sukkah is basically a big box kite that moves every time the wind blows.



Sitting in a temporary structure that could take flight any moment is not much fun, especially if you are looking to entertain your ancestors. As Rabbi Dennis explains in his blog, we invite one patriarch each night to come and visit.

So my solution to trying to live in a box that is symbolic of living in Divine Space (because really, is there anywhere/when that is not in Divine space/time?) is to go out and buy some soil bags. These bags of earth act as really good ballast and ensure that we have earth to grow vegetables next sprint, tying in nicely with the harvest festival.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Saying Sorry Open Thread

The day called Yom Kippur, Day of Atonement, is on Wednesday 26th September this year (2012). It always falls 10 days after Rosh HaShanna (the New Year). Rather than being a time of ecstatic celebration, it's really a time for reflection and putting right all that has gone wrong between you and your fellow human. That means recognizing what you've done wrong, asking for forgiveness and forgiving others in turn.

It's also a time to align back with the purpose that the Creator formed each and every one of us. Repentance in Hebrew is Teshuvah, literally it means return. Throughout the year we veer off the course that we're supposed to follow. On Yom Kippur we don't eat or drink for 25 hours, take some time to pray (i.e. reflect on what we need, not what we want) and make an effort to return to our original purpose.

This past year I've made a conscious effort not to save up all my teshuvah for Yom Kippur but instead to correct it as soon as I'm aware of the things that I've done wrong. However, if I have caused any offense or insult with this blog, I would like to offer you my sincere apologies.

If on the other hand this blog has made you look at things in a new light and challeneged you to re-evaluate part of your world-view, then my work here has had some benefit.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Straw Man on Luria's Influence

Here is a reply to a recent email list discussion about the Tree of Life. The question of why the ideas of Rabbi Isaac Luria continue to dominate so much since the 16th century was raised. Here is my somewhat rambling reply.

Go with the Majority opinion in Halacha
In terms of Jewish law (Halacha) we go with the majority opinion. Also we go with the most recent opinion and rely on older ones where no recent ones are available. An example of this is with identifying whether someone is a potential Messiah. As far as I am aware we still hold with the opinions of Maimonides in the Mishneh Torah.  
On the other hand, when it comes to metaphysics, angels, etc. there is no one opinion that everyone should follow. Rather opinion varies and has for many centuries. There are numerous differences of opinion between Mainmonides and Nachmanides about whether angels can corporeal or not, whether Abraham was visited by angels or whether it was all a dream. From my understanding one position is not more correct than the other.
My main point being that in Jewish law we go according to majority opinion. This does not apply to Kabbalah (although there are accepted trends such as less focus on Merkabah mysticism and much more on Sefirot and the Tree of Life)

Descent/Ascent of Generations
Related to the above, there is an idea that I have come across on many occasions which is that whilst with regards to Jewish Law our understanding is diminishing in every generation that passes from Mount Sinai to today - the opposite is true in terms of understanding the inner mysteries of the Torah and creation. The Tanach (written law) was canonized at a certain stage in Jewish history followed by the Talmud (oral law) some time later. Since then halachic thinking has adapted in each generation to cope with the challenges of the day.  
In the timeline of Kabbalah in Jewish learning there have been several major periods of "flourishing" and innovation (or revelation depending on who you read). The Merkavah mystics were around after and/or during the second temple. At the same time there are such texts as Sefer Yetzirah and Sefer HaRazim. The next period in which much gets written are the Hasidei Ashkenaz in Germany in the 12th century followed by the publication of the Bahir and Zohar in Spain in the next centuries. Then another flourishing in Tzefat in the 16th centruy under Isaac Luria (and many others), followed by the Hassidic movement in the 18th century to the revival today. OK, that is a bit of a potted history but it hopefully illustrates that the evolution of ideas, practices and body of knowledge over time. 
So to come back to the original question about why so much focus on Rabbi Isaac Luria and his version of the Tree of Life? I think that it was a pivotal moment when new ideas were disseminated that followed on from the previous big impact moment of the publication of the Zohar. Rabbi Luria held (in my opinion) quite conservative views on practical use of knowledge of Kabbalah and that still resonates with many people today. Depending on what gets taught in schools, homes and yeshivas - those sources influence people's thinking and whilst today I see that Lurianic Kabbalah has a lot of influence, Rabbi Abraham Abulafia and others are "making their presence known on stage" so to speak and I look forward to seeing how trends and practices in Kabbalah evolve and change in my lifetime. 
Sorry that was a bit of a rambling reply and in summary my thoughts are:
  • In Kabbalah, there is no hard and fast "this is right and that is wrong" only trends that define mainstream thought in each generation
  • Each generation has the potential to reveal more of the inner mysteries of the Torah in Kabbalah
  • Lurianic Kabbalah has dominated for a number of centuries in some circles but as more manuscripts get published this could well change

Monday, 10 September 2012

New Project: leaping forth from the Bashan

"Of Dan he said: Dan is a lion cub, leaping forth from the Bashan" (Deuteronomy 33:20)

The new NFL season  has started. I'll be supporting the Detroit Lions again. This year's lion inspired verse from scripture is mentioned above.

The Hebrew verse (Deut 33:22) uses the words "Gur Aryeh", meaning lion cub or young lion. The phrase sounded very familiar and a quick Google search confirmed that it is the title of a supercommentary on Rashi's Pentateuch commentary by Rabbi Jehuda Leow ben Bezalel. This being the same Rabbi who is famous in folklore for creating a Golem from clay to protect the community.

In the Artscroll Stone edition of the Tanach the comment on Deut 33:22 is as follows:

"Dan's province being on the Mediterranean coast, he was the first to encounter sea-borne maruaders."

I interpret this to mean that teams whose names are in some way related to sea borne raiders will be a threat to the Lions this season.

Anyway, rather than post about my preparations every week there will only be occasional updates on boosting the Lions performance. Having experimented with several different techniques last year in "A Lion has Roared" project, one Divine in particular has been very effective in getting results. That is the one that I will be using before every match.

One side effect though is that whilst using this Divine name is slightly over the top, in a similar way that using a wrecking ball to open a nut is over the top. It does give me a thumping headache a day or two afterwards, particularly when I am out of practice with meditation in general.

Game result:
Sun, 09/09 at 1:00 PM EDT
St. Louis Rams vs Detroit Lions
Home: Ford Field
Win: 27 - 23

Thursday, 6 September 2012

A Breakdown Structure of Angels

The other day my eldest child asked what an angel was. The word “angel” had appeared ever so briefly in conversation and whilst my wife was reluctant to answer the question to one so one, my response was “it's a servant of the Divine”.

However, as soon as I said that sentence I became rather conflicted. Fortunately my conflict was masked by an animated discussion on farm animals and how best to lay them out on the playmat. But in my mind there was a raging debate whether I should follow Maimonides' explanation of what angels are, or follow those Rabbis at the other end of the who hold quite different views.

Whilst in Jewish law there are numerous opinions and the minority opinion is recorded, we rule according to the majority (and even then there is some difference of interpretation). Not so with regards to metaphysics and ideas about for example angels. There is a spectrum of opinions and it's not the case that we follow the majority opinion.

Here are a few quotes from Rabbi G. Dennis' “The Encyclopedia of Jewish Myth, Magic and Mysticism”:

pp.14 column 2

“...There also emerges a fundamental disagreement about the nature of angels. Some consider angels to be God's “embodied decrees,” while others regard them to be elementals made of fire, like an Islamic ifrit, or from an impossible combination of fire and water (Sefer Yetzirah 1.7; S of S R. 10; J. R.H. 58; Gedulat Moshe). Others regard them as immaterial, disembodied intellects. Likewise, there seems to be an ongoing controversy about what, or whether, angels eat (Judg. 13; Gen. R. 48:14; B.M. 86B; Zohar I: 102b)...”

As you can see there is quite a variety of opinion and the debate carries on today as it has for the past millenia and will continue for the next millenia. The dillema for me though is, whose opinion do I quote when I get asked: “but what is an angel made from?”, “can I see one?”, “do they drink milk?”, “why do they follow us back from payers on a Friday night?”.

Rabbi Dennis continues, p14. Column 2 (lower down)

“...Unlike the biblical writers, the Sages allow themselves to speculate on the origins of angels. They teach, for example, that angels did not pre-exist Creation, but were formed as part of the heavens on the second day (Gen R. 1:3, 3). Another Rabbi posits that they came into existence on the fifth day, along with all “winged” and “gliding” (bird and fish) creations. Later traditions reconcile the different positions by asserting different kinds of angels came into being at different stages of Creation (Chag. 14B; PdRe 4)... Gradually a distinction emerges between names angels, which are enduring, and anonymous ephemeral angels, which are constantly coming in and going out of existence (Chag. 14A; Gen R. 78:1)...

Maimonides does not believe that angels ever take corporeal form and that they are either human impulses or Aristotelian “intelligences”. Nachmanides on the other hand believes that they do take on corporeal form and can pass as human. More modern thinkers such as the Chassidic Rabbis take a psychological view of angels.
“...Good deeds created good angels, destructive behaviour created destructive behaviour...” (pp.15 collumn 2).

Having thought about whether to go with Maimonides or Nachmanides, I've decided to go with both and neither. To embrace the differences of opinion as both being right and emphasize that differences of opinion make us stronger. The one thing that I will emphasize though to my child is that angels are not cuddly, nice or have much in common with humans. They are creations like us that serve a purpose and experience has shown that they don't always approve of having us call their attention.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

August Holiday

This is a short message to say that there will not be any updates in August 2012.The reasons being that I’ve recently started a job that keeps me very busy at the moment. Also, it’s holiday time and although I have a number of projects in progress – I will not be making any updates online. The month of August is reserved for reflection, fun and kick-starting some top secret projects.


Friday, 27 July 2012

Making It and Defining Success



“Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing”

RO recently wrote about Greatness. Go read that blog post now, no really! The rest of this post is a built on the ideas of RO’s. OK, so if you’ve not read the RO’s post – here is my paraphrasing summary. “It’s not about trying, it’s about achieving success.” In my in-law’s family they have a concept of first winners, second winners, etc. and last winners. In my family, there are winners, losers and those who chose not to take part.

There’s a statement by the sages in Megila 6b which is:

"I toiled in torah and did not find (success)" - Don't believe him. "I did not toil and I found" - Don't believe him. "I toiled and found" - Believe him.)

In other words, you have to put in the effort to have a chance of success. No effort and still get success? There is no instant solution. Why do you think the dieting industry is so large (pardon the pun), if there was a quick fix there would be very little for the marketing and sales people to do.

“Defining Success”

So if success is really all that matters and it requires a lot of work, what is the definition of success? Is it getting initiated? Is it recognition of one’s peers? If so, are you in comparison to your peers “like the tail of a lion or the head of a fox”? I.e. are you leading the B-team or at the back of the A-team? Is it tangible results?

success-cubby-demotivational-poster-1234409911.png

In project management success used to be defined as delivering a project (i.e. a service or product) within an agreed upon scope (requirements), schedule (end date) and budget (cost). That was known as the iron triangle of constraints. Whichever was fixed, the others could be adjusted. If all were fixed then that was a death-march project doomed to failure from the start. However, I’ve project managed a number of projects that delivered on time, budget and scope. Yet no one used the end product. Which from a business point of view meant that the product provided no value and hence no revenue.

So now the conversation about project success has shifted from the iron triangle of cost, scope, time to include value. In fact, it’s gone the other way and some projects that are massively over cost, time and don’t deliver all the scope promised can still be considered a success… as long as they are perceived to deliver value.

For example, someone who’s house is built late, cost more than estimated and does not have all the electricity working may still be delighted with their new home because it looks exactly how they imaged it would.

Summary:

There are winners and losers. You have to put in effort in order to win. By not entering the race, you have no chance of success. Winning though is something that is not clearly defined. Another thing that is hard to measure - in particular in magical and spiritual development that does not involve grades – is progress.

success-pregnant-nobody-times-demotivational-
posters-1329314848.jpg
Hence why I believe that project management has a useful skill-set to add to the repertoire of a magical and/or spiritual seeker. It’s a way of defining stages and shorter “sprints” of activity that can be used to measure progress. Also, it can be used to determine what you consider to be success.

On a personal note, having tried and failed several times in the past few years to read & translate Hebrew commentaries on Sefer Yetzirah (Book of Creation), I discovered last week that I could now read and understand (some of) what Rabbi Moshe Cordovero and Rabbi Abraham Abulafia have written in their commentaries. It was a combination of Hebrew Immersion training and learning how to connect to the authors by understanding and practicing getting a maggid (spiritual guide) and ibbur (soul impregnation).

Do I consider myself having achieved Greatness? Far from it… hence my self-appointed title “Trainee Golem Builder”, emphasis on the Trainee part. Have I made some progress on the way? Some. Am I a winner? I’ll let you know when the lottery results come in.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Looking for the Source



Here is a brief idea that I’ve shared before in another forum. It revolves around the issue of the evil inclination. Kabbalists believe that we each have an inclination for good and evil, they inform the choices that we make. In the films this is sometimes portrayed as a little angel on one shoulder and a little devil on the other.
There is a story told of a king who wants to test his son. He instructs a prostitute to try to tempt him. She goes off to tempt the son. The prostitute tries every which way to tempt him as this is what the king wants. In her heart she knows that the king does not want her son to give in to temptation, but she has a job to do and she’ll do it to the best of her ability.
The son, recognizing that this is a test, reminds the prostitute for whom she works and returns home. The king is delighted and rewards both his son and the prostitute. The former for passing the test -the latter for succeeding in doing her best. Had the son failed the test, the prostitute would still have been rewarded. 
That in my opinion is one of a number of reasons why it is important to look for the source. Whether it is interacting with things external or internal, look for where it comes from and what lessons is there to be learned. If you only look at what is in front of you (something that requires actually a lot more time, concentration and skill than you might expect), then you may miss the larger picture.

From: F0036332-Woman_sleeping_in_bed-SPL.jpg
In closing, here’s another even shorter story.
An elderly Rabbi wakes up one cold winter morning. His yetzer hara [evil inclination] says to him: “Why not have a lie-in? Just this one time. Do you really have to start work so early?” To which the Rabbi replies to the yetzer hara : “If you’ve started work already by tempting me to sleep in late, surely I should also start work early!” 

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Theatre of the Mind

My phone rang in the theatre whilst I was enjoying a musical in just around the corner from Covent Garden in London. There is a special place in hell for people like me. Horrified that my phone was ringing, I leapt out of my seat, past the angry ushers bearing down on me and escaped in to the almost empty bar.

“Hallo?” a familiar voice shouted down the phone. “Dis is Rabbi Bar-zel Arieh Tzion. Am I speaking with Shimon Tomski?”

“This is Simon Tomasi,” I replied in as calm a voice as possible whilst trying to get my breath back. “How may I be of assistance?”

“You know dat question that I sent you last week by the email, the one about the quote from Sotah that a heavenly voice announces 40 days before the birth that the soul of such und such will marry the soul of such und such. “ He paused to make sure that I was keeping up with his rapid flow of words. “Well, how does that fit with people getting divorced, nu? If we all have a beshert, that special someone we’re destined to marry, where does it go wrong?”

I thought about it for a moment. The music from the show came through in a muffled fashion and it was a terrific show. Also, my wife had looked none too pleased that on the one occasion in over a year that we’d gone to see a show – I’d been foolish enough to answer a call. Particularly a call from Rabbi Bar-zel Arieh Tzion.

“Can I answer this another time please Rabbi? I’m in the middle of watching a musical?” I tried not sound too much like a boy who’d lost his homework.

“A show?” he asked sounding rather excited. “How wunderfull. Please Shimonele, go back in and watch the show. Meditate on how the people on the stage are like the voices and images we see in our meditation. Make a theater of the mind that mirrors what you see in the show.”

With that he hung up and I went back to watch the remainder of an excellent musical about a little girl who was much cleverer than her parents and head mistress.

Later that night I called the Rabbi back with an answer to his first question.

“The explanation that I’ve heard about why people don’t marry ‘the one’, their soul mate, is because they have not lived up to their full potential. If they were the best that they could be – then when the two souls meet it all works out for the best. But if people fail to reach their full potential then they end up with the person who is more suited to their current level.” The Rabbi chuckled. “Ah, I see you’ve been reading about shidduchs and such a like. Yes that is de reason people are told. Dis is not always what they want to hear, but you must understand that the choices you made to be where you are at – that determines what opportunities are available and who you will encounter.”

I waited for him to explain further. Creating awkward pauses worked on most people but Rabbi Tzion was no fool. He waited me out too.

“OK,” I said after a lengthy pause. “How does this relate to the meditation you asked me to do in the theatre?”

“Acha!” He exclaimed in delight. “You are wundering, are the people in the theater of your mind parts of your conscious and unconscious mind. Or are they spiritual entities, malachim or shedim [angels or demons] that clothe themselves in the forms that your mind generates? Dat is the shailah! [question]”

It no longer surprises me that Rabbi Tzion can read my mind. I hardly notice it these days. “Yes,” I answer carefully. “And what are you?” I start to visualize the four letter name of the Divine referred to in literature as tetragrammaton. The theater in my mind dissolves. The two dimensional image of the letters feeling more real than any imagined three dimensional image ever could.

The phone line has gone silent. Rabbi Tzion is gone. I look at the screen on my phone, there are no active calls.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Perspective

“Did you get what you wanted out of that meeting?” my boss asks me.
“Did I get what I needed?” my inner voice echoes back. 
“What did I learn from that experience?” my second thoughts ask. The thoughts that spy on what the rest of my conscious mind is doing, making sure in the heat of the moment no irreversible decisions are made or actions taken. “Having separated out the things I want from those I need, the next question is if I’ve grown and learned from what has gone on before.” 
“Do you understand?” projects my unconscious mind. It’s a familiar question and feels like metaphorically being hit over the back of the head with a wet haddock. Not a frozen haddock, that’s reserved from when I’m being particularly slow in grasping what life-lesson is being taught. 

Whether it’s following a magical, mystical, other path or no path in particular… stuff happens. Some good, some not so good.

Hopefully the you coming out of those experiences is a better person, although what “better” means is something you have to figure out for yourself. Also… sometimes it can take a long time to understand the lessons that are there to be leaned. The conscious mind can take decades coming to terms with the past; the unconscious mind doesn’t always see time in such a linear manner.

So what is the benefit of following a path of development focused on magic or mysticism over say mastery of martial arts or cookery? The simple answer (in my opinion) is that it provides you with a unique set of tools, techniques and most importantly way of viewing & interacting with the world.

An old man walking along the street is knocked over by a punk. Bystanders rush over and make sure the punk is ok. What’s wrong with the picture? Perspective. The punk deliberately knocked down the old man as there was no other option to stop him having a fatal collision with a moving vehicle. If you’re watching the old man fall down, would you also notice the speeding car?

It’s a rhetorical question based around a fictional example. But it hopefully highlights that as a witch, wizard, priest, initiate, golem builder, or whatever you are constantly developing a more nuanced magical view of the world that defines things in a context that others do not look at. It does not necessarily make you special, it makes you different.

What can make you special is how you choose to respond to any given situation. My wife has recently been teaching me in a loving but stern way about patience. When I get frustrated by what the kids are doing she gently prompts me by asking: “Who is the adult in this relationship?”

My challenge to you is to constantly view the world from many viewpoints, one of which is a magical or mystical viewpoint, and ask the question “What have I learned from this experience?” and “How do I as a (insert title) best respond in this situation?”

Friday, 6 July 2012

Project update 06 July 2012



It's been awhile since the previous project update, it was on February 28th to be exact.

Here is a brief summary of ongoing and recently completed projects:

Hebrew Immersion;
The Torah study is going well, I'm in to my second year of reading through it with Rashi's commentary translated. Whilst my Hebrew has not improved much in the past year or so, my knowledge of the Torah has and this foundation will help advance my studies in Kabbalah. The Nach studies (Prophets and Writings) on the other hand has ground to a complete halt. On the plus side, I'm reading 1 to 3 Mishnah(s) per day.

Sefer Yetzirah Readers Club;
A friend and I sat down every 2 weeks to study Sefer Yetzirah, practice meditation to gain experiential learning and then share our experiences. The project was very successful but is currently on pause whilst we research other topics in Kabbalah such as “shortening of the way” and maggidim,

Here are some posts generated from the research and pratice done in the SYRC:


Messing with the Weather
Drought Mitigation Strategies was an attempt to bring about rain. On the whole it could be argued that it was a success. The problem is that when I then tried to pray for sunshine it was pretty disastrous. It's been a very wet summer in London this year.

Other Projects: Finance and Finding a Teacher

Aside from a relatively (and rare) attempt to improve my financial position, the next big project between now and the start of September** that's been kicked off is to try to make contact with a maggid, a spiritual messenger which is either part of the higher self, an angel or an a soul of a righteous person whose teachings remain alive today.

** - In September the next set of American Football games start for the NFL 2012 regular season. Again I'll be doing my best to boost the Detroit Lions. I expect that in time, the regular season will be a testing ground for all the ideas and techniques that I've learned in the off-season.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Synchornicity confusion

At the weekend, the Rabbi gave a lecture during which he cautioned what a person should blog about. That's a fairly reasonable message you may think. But I'm not sure that the Rabbi actually knew what blogging was. The example that he gave was uploading photos of family members to Facebook without consulting with them first.

Anyway, whilst pondering this curious message from the Rabbi whose congregation has an average age of 65, I turned on the TV after nightfall to hear Frank Sinatra sing about Witchcraft. To be specific, the verses that he sang were:

'cause it's witchcraft, wicked witchcraft
And although I know it's strictly taboo 
I'm a bit of an oddity in my community in having an interest in witchcraft and being fortunate enough to have several pagan friends. The synchronicity of the two events, a warning "be careful what you blog about" and song about withcraft have left me quite perplexed.

What do you think the Universe is trying to tell me?

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

No Pain, no Power?

There have been a few posts recently about whether the path to power requires losing things in our lives, friends, wealth, freedom, etc. and if so how much? Loss in terms of stripping away the things that we think we want and being left with only the things that we need. Jow is relatively unconvinced, RO is all for it, one of his students has experienced it in some way, and Lion’s Den lost almost everything.

EDIT: Frater Acher has a very interesting post to add to the discussion.

My view is that it’s a continuous process of building up things that we really don’t need but think that we want. Then when the Universe strips them away to help us grow, we feel the pain of that loss and don’t always learn the lessons that can be gained from such experiences.

One route of contemplating this cycle of loss followed by growth is daily prayer. For me it’s an opportunity to align myself with the Universe and reflect on what I actually need or think I need. Prayer to me is not a list of “gimme, gimme” supplications; it’s much more self-reflective and transformative than that.

Another way to prevent a large build-up of world-view “crud” to be burned away is to continuously challenge and try to break my worldview. I do this via reading blogs, books and attending lectures that challenge my ideas & beliefs in a fundamental way. From there those changes radiate outwards in terms of behaviour, relationships and interaction with the world at large.

Recently several things have happened in my life that indicates I need to get over my aversion of making contact with spirit entities. To be specific, several very strong hints have been dropped that I should pursue contacting a maggid.

A maggid is either an angelic messenger or a soul that has remained on a lower rung of ascension to Atzilut (close spiritual realm to the source of Divine emanation). Maggids can appear in person, but it’s more common for them to speak through someone. A maggid can also be the higher self, the greater “I” that is part of the self beyond the small ego-defined “I”. Is that the same as the HGA? I’m not sure.

There’s pretty much no reference to HGA in the very few Kabbalistic works that I’ve studied. It seems to be an entirely Western Mystery Tradition obsession. I’m of the opinion that Abramelin book is not written by a Jew - not that this makes any difference to how useful the working is. My views are based on one simple idea. The author refers to his son Lamech, which is not a Jewish name. Unless it’s some kind of code word... I think that it’s written by someone who is knowledgeable of Hebrew, Kabbalah and in particular the practical aspects of Merkavah mysticism and Greek Magical Papyri.

Anyway, that slight diversion aside… I will be over the next few months/years trying to contact a maggid. Wish me luck!

Friday, 22 June 2012

SYRC SY 1:8 update

 It’s been a little while since I posted about the Sefer Yetzirah (Book of Creation) Readers Club (SYRC). The main reason is that my study partner and I have by mutual agreement taken a break from working through it together. I’m still planning to carry on with my experiential learning via meditation but I must admit that some of my momentum has gone.

The main lesson in verse 8, chapter 1 of Sefer Yetzirah (SY) is to “silence your mouth form speaking and your heart from running”. In other words, during the process of oscillating consciousness from the rational side of the mind to the psychic intuitive side of the mind and back, the rational side is at risk of being overcome by symbolism and get lost.

Gematria (word association via numerical values of the letters) is a classic example, in my opinion, where there is a risk that the rational mind latches on to symbols and concepts for meaning and connect things that are not that related - thereby missing the overall message.

The point of Gematria to my limited understanding is not to display mental acrobatics of the highest order. Rather it is to get the mind to ponder meanings of words and phrases in order to extract a deeper (and possibly mystical) understanding. This to and fro of grasping at meaning from a rational point of view and then from an (psychic) intuitive point of view is “oscillating consciousness” in action.

The only problem for me is that I do not understand the laws of Gematria (indeed there are some), hence I do not use this technique. Instead I use the verses of Sefer Yetzirah and the Torah as jumping off points to gain a deeper understanding.

If you’re familiar with the Torah, you’ll have noticed that there are some places with lots of names and genealogies. My experience has been that you can get some very interesting thoughts arising by meditating on these names. Perhaps it’s an awakening of ancestral memories coded by these names, or perhaps it’s something else.

In any case, the trick is to stop short and not delve so deeply that your rational mind rebels and screams “STOP!”

Symbologist to the rescue, companion-style side-kick optional

To misuse the analogy of diving…. the more you practice, the deeper you can go. But each time you do a deeper dive the risks increase significantly. SY1:8 comes to teach us “don’t dive much further than your comfort zone”. Getting the “bends” from psychic / spiritual experiences can leave you messed up for years to come. This, to my understanding, is why people say “Kabbalah will make you go crazy”.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Field Report: Prayer for Financial Prosperity

Unfortunately I've lost my notes on the exact sequence of events that took place during this working. However, having written it up and slept on it, this is what I remember took place.

Awhile back I was stuck in a job that was going nowhere fast. People were leaving either voluntarily or non-voluntarily and I got talked in to staying longer than I should have. When the thought “cheque please!” crosses your mind, it's worth taking a few moments to consider whether that though should be seriously considered or not.

Anyway, the opportunity came for me to leave voluntarily and I took it. Things worked out in such a way that my departure was going to take 3 months. At first this was not too bad but when a new job opportunity came up and after two interviews in quick succession I got a job offer - things got complicated.

My old place would not let me go and the new place wanted me to start right away. At first I said a couple of Psalms as prayers for aid and had a chat with my old boss. To say that it was a disastrous conversation would be an understatement. He was very unreceptive, told me that I was blackmailing him and I found it all rather confusing given that he was about to be made compulsory redundant.

Anyway, since the Psalms route had not worked so well I decided to say a prayer for financial prosperity that is similar to the one that can be found in some Hebrew prayer books. Having done this a couple of times, come up with a plan that I could present on how my leaving was not going to destroy the department – the response from my old boss was a lot more sympathetic.

However, that was when things started getting even more complicated. My old boss had included a number of other managers in the decision making process and it went from a “OK, you can leave early and still get a pay-out if you finish project X” to three weeks of email exchanges, calls and bugging people on a daily basis.

The interesting thing to me was that I became aware of how my day to day actions affected the success of the working. My religious practice puts certain limitations on what I am supposed to do and not do. Some of these things I struggle with from time to time. Every time I went off the path, so to speak, things started going badly in terms of trying to leave early without lawyers getting involved. Every time I made an effort to return (teshuvah) things started to go well.

It reminded me of the story of Moses who has to hold his hands up so that the Israelites are victorious in their battle against the Amalekites. Every time his arms dipped the Israelites would shift towards losing and when he raised them again they started winning. In some tiny way, my situation was playing out in a similar fashion.

Anyway, the outcome of all of this was that the prayer for financial prosperity from “Walking in the Fire” had a positive effect. I was able to leave my old job early in order to start the new job and went on to have further successes in my career to date. Sometimes it takes a little time to get sufficient perspective to understand what went on, what the patterns of behaviour were that worked and did not work.

In project management, that type of reflection is called Lessons Learned. It was a painful but valuable lessons. The actions that I've taken away are to further study the law and customs of my religion to get a better understanding of the interplay between how those laws in practice affect the individual and the community.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Reclaiming Our Sunshine

“It’s the sunshine!” my eldest child exclaims every morning, waking the other members of the household.

“It’s the sunshine!” the child’s voice rings out with exuberance and jubilation.

Rise up! Rise up! Fellow practitioners of this fair triple isle and reclaim the sunshine. It’s mid-June and the oracles of BBC weather services are predicting yet more rain. I don’t care what the weather man says may just be a song, but I’ve adopted it as a call to arms.

To my limited knowledge, the Battle of Britain was not won by shooting down more enemy fighter planes and bombers. Dog fights between fighters often led to pilots fighting for Britain (which included a significant number of Polish-born pilots) being shot down over the English Channel.

Instead the main focus was to disrupt bombing raids by the Germans. If the bomber wings could be disrupted, then the air campaign would eventually be lost and that is (to my limited knowledge) what happened.

So how is this information of use for increasing the amount of sunshine in the UK? My proposed answer is, let’s model the fight for sunshine on the tactics used in the Battle of Britain. If we can disrupt the rain clouds as they reach these isles then the rain can be reduced or even stopped.

But how do you fight clouds you may ask?

Here are my proposed strategies:

  • Summon sylphs and spirits of the air to divert the clouds
  • Call to the East wind to send hot winds across the isles and force the clouds to retreat
  • Perform a sun dance. Meditate on the sensation of sunshine warming your skin. Then do a vigorous dance or exercise and hold on to that feeling/vision for all you’re worth.* 
  • Use telekinesis to push the clouds away or break them in to smaller pieces until they lose their cohesion
  • Ask a friend in a water poor country to do a rain dance, and then when the clouds appear in the UK challenge them and say “surely you would provide more blessing in the lands of my friends?”**
  • Shield your cities and residences with winds in the higher atmosphere to carry the rain away as it’s falling
  • Sit outside on a cloudless day and wait for a cloud to appear, it works almost as well as waiting for a kettle to boil
* - Please bear in mind that there is a fine but very important line between worshipping the sun and simply acknowledging where it fits in to the hierarchy of creation. The sun like all things has a time, place and purpose.
** - I’ll be using this approach to encourage the clouds to visit the people of Canada and bless them with their rainfall.

And now in closing I will utterly butcher a famous quote from Shakespeare's "Richard The Third Act 1, scene 1, 1-4":

Now is the summer to be content
Make glorious summer by Arte and lore;
And all the clouds that would low'r upon our houses
In the deep bosom of the ocean let their rain be buried.