It struck me while I was sitting on the floor today reading the signs, that it was precisely five years ago that I first sat down on this floor and chalked it up, on a Saturday like this one. Five years. I also realize I’m starting to get old, too, because I now find myself thinking that yoga postures were developed by yogis trying to stay limber while they spent hours contemplating the five square feet of earth they were working.
The last post dealt with some basic techniques; this post deals with some of the conceptual underpinnings of them. The emphasis I made in my last post about this being my personal blend applies even more aptly here. I have taken a geomantic approach to describing my spiritualist work and, as far as I can tell, that isn’t too common.
Maybe it is time to talk just a little about spiritualist praxis? There are some emblematic tools and practices that can be used a lot of different ways. I have hesitated a little because I do have some concerns about people misusing spiritualist practices, but I suspect that is a bit silly on my part. There is nothing that can be talked about on the web that couldn’t be found a dozen or more ways by the curious. It might even be useful to give the techniques some context so folks aren’t just blundering around.
We are heavy, dense, stupid. We are coils of neurons, patterns of habit, symbols distilled from our animal life. We come to spiritual work with base understanding and strain to see the highest and most subtle through it. When we pray and invoke the subtle powers, we bring them to ourselves and our weighty lives. When we do this for a long time, deeply and passionately, the mystery of that only intensifies. While we sense more clearly the vastness, the subtlety more subtle than the subtlests part of our awareness, we also discover the heaviest parts of ourselves growing bright. If we hold to the mystery, it grows more profound.
Something has been gnawing at me since I read Gordon’s recent post over on Runesoup: he loosely identifies a chunk of what he describes in his praxis org chart as shamanic. When we talk about shamanism, are we really talking about things like energy work and meditation? That sort of identification doesn’t seem out of place in Western magical circles, we are, but I don’t see it capturing what goes on in ‘traditional shamanic practices’ (would that I could put flashing lights on those scare quotes–the whole set of notions are so fraught).