Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Ritual Night Talk for October 6th

Here is the video of last night's Ritual Night Talk, on spirit communication and pathworking.

There are many different methods that can be employed for spirit communication. In general, they involve the activation of and connection with your psychic senses, however that manifests for you personally. Some practitioners argue that eyes-open scrying in a crystal or mirror is superior to more modern "active imagination" methods, but I am not convinced on that. You always need to test the information you get from spirits no matter what method you use, and I cover some simple techniques to do that in this video. I also segue into pathworking, whick is generally done using those same "active imagination" techniques.


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Alex Scaraoschi said...



A much needed video for the occult world! This topic is not discussed enough imo. Thank you!

HalcAre said...

This is fantastic info, thank you for laying it out so clearly.

I'll be sure to use this to get deeper into pathworking and evocation.

What do you do when the number a spirit gives you has associations that don't match up with what the spirit is supposed to be? I did a pathworking up 32bis (Earth) and met Auriel, and after asking a number to confirm their identity, they said 63.

In sepher sephiroth, 63 doesn't give much related to Auriel or Earth. Other than dregs and dung, which... I mean, I can kind of see a connection to Earth, in the sense of the element of Earth being the endpoint and combination of the others, but it's not as strong a connection as I'd like, if that makes sense?

Is a less definitive connection still a confirmation of identity, but weaker?
If I take it as not good enough and assume it wasn't Auriel, do I assume what the spirit told me was and did for me was valueless and I should try again?

Scott Stenwick said...

Unfortunately interpreting those numbers is not an exact science. Sometimes you have to work with them a bit. "Dung" isn't actually bad for Earth - in the Thelemic system, Khephra is associate with Earth and is represented as a dung beetle, so there's that.

63 sums to 9 (6 + 3), which would be the Moon and Yesod, so not really a match there. 63 is 21 x 3, and 3 is the number of Saturn and Binah. Saturn shares the path with Earth, so you could see a connection there. In Godwin's Cabalistic Encyclopedia, 21 is Eheieh, the godname of Kether. I would interpret that positively because Eheieh is the godname that you can use to dissolve false visions in the path.

As The Book of the Law says, "Divide, add, multiply, and understand."

If the number genuinely doesn't match, that doesn't necessarily mean that everything you got was worthless. It just means you need to be more skeptical about it than you might be otherwise. Several things could be going on:

1 - Your own thoughts got mixed up with the communication you received. This is common. As you do more pathworking, you'll get better at sorting this out. The hallmark of it is when a spirit tells you something that you want to hear or expect to hear. This can happen even if you are communicating with the right spirit. It's likely to happen if you fail to make contact at all.

2 - You connected with a different spirit than the one you were trying to contact. Generally, you can test for this in the path by vibrating EHEIEH at the spirit and then its name (Auriel in this case) if it persists, and observe whether the sense of the spirit's presence weakens or intensifies. If the spirit persists and is strengthened by its name, and you get a number that doesn't match, (1) is probably what's going on.

Divination and meditation on the meaning of the number can sometimes clear this up. You can also do something like a Tarot reading to see if you get similar information to what the spirit told you. If that matches up, the information is probably valid. Also, keep in mind that if (1) is going on, the communication can be a mixture of accurate and inaccurate information.

HalcAre said...

Ah, okay! I did vibrate both Eheieh and Auriel and it's presence was strengthened, so it was most likely (1), which is fine for an early pathworking.

Is divide, add, multiply the standard way to get expanded insight on a number? For example, if I got 93, I'd check the meaning for 93, then go 9 + 3 equals 12, check the meaning for 12, then go 93 is 31 × 3, check the meaning for 31?

When I ask questions, i only receive short statements in response. Will this improve over time, or should I phrase my questions in a way that gets me the most information out of a short statement? And as a beginner, what should I be aiming to get out of the paths? Any particular information or effects?

Best way to get accurate information from pathworking is to do more pathworking!

Scott Stenwick said...

Yes, those would be the sort of steps you could go through to analyze your number. But sometimes it's right on without any manipulation, factoring, and so forth. You can ask for more than one number, too - like if you had three different questions, you could ask for a number to go with each one and check them afterwards.

Pathworkings are better for getting information than they are for practical effects. They also help attune you to the "psychic space" associated with the path, and you'll get more comfortable with a particular path the more often you do it.

Like other mystical work, it will slowly affect your practical results but indirectly - for example, if you work the path of the Sun a lot you probably will find that as you get attuned to the path your solar operations will work a little better. That holds for elements and signs too, not just planets.

HalcAre said...

Can I open on any path, or do I need to start with 32 into Yesod and so forth up the tree of life until I reach my desired path?

Also, pathworking is obviously named after paths, but can I pathwork into a sephira?

Scott Stenwick said...

Normally you navigate up the Tree from Malkuth. So for example, if you want to work the 30th path you would go Malkuth -> 32nd Path -> Yesod -> 30th Path. The tradition recommends staying as close to the middle path as you can when doing this, but we haven't encountered any ill effects from taking the shortest route whether or not you stick to the middle.

So for example, to work the 27th Path you can go Malkuth -> 31st Path -> Hod -> 27th Path. You don't always need to go through Yesod. When traversing a path on the way to your destination you don't need to spend a lot of time in the paths that are "on the way" - a minute or two to navigate through is fine.

And yes, you can navigate to a sephira, like Malkuth -> 32nd Path -> Yesod and then explore Yesod. For Malkuth you tune your space with the version of the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram that incorporates all four elements, and for the sephiroth associated with the planets you use the sephirothic version of the Greater Ritual of the Hexagram for the ruling planet.

So for Yesod it would be the hexagram of the Moon in violet with the godname Shaddai El Chai, for Hod it would be the hexagram of Mercury in orange with Elohim Tzabaoth, and so forth.

HalcAre said...

When I tune the space, do I perform the greater invoking ritual for the place I am trying to reach and then navigate up to it, or do a tuning ritual for each place I arrive at along the way?

Do I always need to start a pathworking with going into Malkuth and moving from there?

Scott Stenwick said...

You only tune the space for your final destination. You generally start in Malkuth and navigate up, but you don't tune the space along the way. The idea is to magically "activate" the path you are wanting to work with, and the point of navigation is to get to that activated space.

HalcAre said...

So when I begin the pathworking, the initial entry point is the sephirah of Malkuth,or path 32?

Also, since 32 in Liber 777 has a dual attributation, do I count the Saturn and earth aspects as different paths and begin with 32 Earth and move into 32 Saturn, or does it count as one path? And is there a difference in procedure for just passing through to a further path versus wanting to only visit the 32nd path?

Scott Stenwick said...

We start with Malkuth. In our meditations, the sephira are visualized as temples and the paths are visualized as spaces between them. So enter the Temple of Malkuth, and then step into the 32nd path for example.

The dual attributions are just that - attributions. It still counts as one path. We generally tune the space for it with GIRH-Saturn followed by GIRP-Earth. If you wanted to experience specifically the Saturn aspect of the path, just use GIRH-Saturn. If you wanted to experience specifically the Earth aspect of the path, just use GRIP-Earth.

The procedure for visiting the 32nd, 31st, and 29th path is the same. Navigate to the Temple of Malkuth, then into the path from there. For paths further up the Tree, you pass through the paths to your destination which usually involves other sephira - that is other temples in our version of the visualization.

So for the 30th path, between Yesod and Hod, you would go to the Temple of Malkuth, pass through the 32nd path to the Temple of Yesod, and then from the Temple of Yesod you would enter the 30th path. You use that same procedure for the 25th and 28th path, which connect Yesod with Tiphareth and Netzach respectively. And so forth.

HalcAre said...

A path entrance and exit can be visualized as the tarot card representing that path, but I don't know what a temple for a sephirah would look like. Right now I'm just imagining a nice altar with the planetary glyphs around (or the elemental symbols in Malkuths case), with the background and colours depending on which sephira it is.

When I begin the pathworking, do I visualize it already beginning at the Malkuth temple, or do I need to enter it from my ritual space when I "get up" from my meditation?

Scott Stenwick said...

There is nothing wrong with doing it that way. It can be an altar too.

Here is how we do it, but keep in mind that this is not the only way.

1. General induction focusing on the body of light.
2. Pass through portal from the ritual space into general astral region.
3. Find and enter the Temple of Malkuth.
4. Go into the path you are working, or paths you are using the navigate up the tree.

There are a lot of different ways to approach this, though. You should feel free to try out different methods and see which works best for you.

HalcAre said...

Cool, I'll try things out and see what feels best.

I have the full induction written out in my notebook, and I've used it when previously pathworking with good results. I did want to ask, how long do you recommend meditating before the induction and pathworking? I only did so for a few minutes and got a decent experience, but I tend to be impatient with meditation, I get the urge to get to the activity.

Scott Stenwick said...

We only do it for a couple minutes when we do it too. With pathworking, most of the meditation is the pathworking itself. We go through the induction and navigating the path, and then explore for 10-15 minutes.

I would expect a longer formless meditation before the induction would not produce much benefit for anybody who is experienced with meditation. The function would be to get yourself into the right trance state - but once you're experienced with meditation and magick you don't generally need a lot of time to do that.

But as usual, feel free to experiment and let me know. More data is always a good thing.

Alex Scaraoschi said...

Regarding Scott's last comment so far - I usually go in without any previois meditation. I've found that meditation performed in advance relaxes my mind too much (when it works!!!) and I have more trouble focusing on the images that appear.

As far as out of body astral projection and all that. From what I know that is a real thing - the body's functions slow down as if one is in some kind of suspended animation and their astral body separates from the physical one. The person's consciousness is almost entirely in the astral body. There is a silver cord that keeps the astral body from completely separating from the physical one. This also happens when someone is dreaming.

Unlike dreaming, in this case one sees things much not clearly, both the physical objects present in whatever location they visit, as well as whatever astral manifestations appear. This has to do with the fact one's consciousness has almost entirely left the physical body, leaving only part of the energetic body behind to sustain the physical body so it won't die. The person can have issues returning into their physical body if they are not grounded enough and that's why Earth is good for astral projection - it grounds the person and strengthens their energetic body. There can be cases when someone is attacked while in this state of astral projection, but they can protect themselves beforehand. And I don't think even powerful spirits that could attack the person cut their silver cord without the higher self allowing those spirits to do so.

Scott Stenwick said...

Sorry Alex, for once I am not in agreement there as far as astral projection goes. As far as I can tell, and anyone else I have talked to can tell, the "silver cord" is not a thing. Nobody I know has ever seen it or experienced it. I'm pretty sure it's an attempt to shoehorn mind/body dualism into esoteric practice, and since mind/body dualism is not really a thing it's hard to say how that works.

Sleep, dreaming, trancework, astral work, and so forth do not induce a state of "suspended animation" in any meaningful sense. Brainwaves shift into the theta range, but the body is still functioning normally. It's basically the same as REM sleep - which no researcher would ever describe as "suspended animation."

There's a lot more to this, but based on sleep research and a whole bunch of other things I would say that the mechanism doesn't work as you describe - which is actually one of the big points I made in the video.

It is true that people experience this sort of work differently, some more viscerally than others. But I would say just like with more visceral "eyes-open" scrying versus active imagination, the intensity of the experience and the quality of the information obtained don't have much relation to each other.

Alex Scaraoschi said...

I'm not challenging any scientific research. I'm just saying that, taking the US army remote viewing program as an example where people scry mentally, it can be taken a step further. I have no proof of this besides what I've been told by people who were trained by Siberian shamans and Buddhist monks. Things can go as far as someone appearing in a ghost-like fashion somewhere, having astrally projected. Of course, this requires alot of training and all that. There's also accounts of a monk from my country who was imprisoned in a labor camp during communist times, but who was seen "in the flesh" attending his mother's funeral by everyone present at that event. After the burial he stopped being seen and people thought he went into hiding. Authorities in the area where the woman's funeral took place alerted the ones in the labor camp where the monk was imprisoned thinking he had escaped, but he was still inside the camp. He couldn't have possibly escaped and traveled a distance of a few hundred miles and back during the same day without anyone noticing, especially since communist labor camps back in those days were heavily guarded because the "enemies of the system" were imprisoned there.

Scott Stenwick said...

I have heard first hand accounts of people who were able to seemingly appear elsewhere, though I have personally tried it a few times and never have been able to get it to work. Obviously I'm no Buddhist monk. :)

I also have studied the remote viewing program research that was conducted by the US government, and I don't see any evidence in that research for the mind actually leaving the body rather than the mind perceiving psychic impressions from a specific distant location.

But the thing with the "silver cord" - have you ever seen or experienced that when doing astral work? It shows up in some old books on astral projection, but nobody I know when does astral work has ever seen or experienced it. I have no reason to think it exists. Have you experienced it yourself?

Likewise, the idea that you can somehow be separated from your body while doing astral work. It's one of those "dire warnings" that show up in those same books, but I have never been able to track down even a single documented case of it really happening. Based on what we know about the mind and body, I suspect it's impossible.

Alex Scaraoschi said...

Actually, no. I haven't gone as far as (quote, unquote) separating myself from the body. So far I've only used my mind's eye to scry, so i speak.

The thing is, from what I understand of how it works. Any person has a number of subtle bodies. The first one is the energetic body that acts on keeping the physical body alive and regulates the activities of the latter from an anatomic and physiological perspective. This subtle body is responsible for the so called "ghost limb" effect in people who had experienced amputations. I for one am feeling this effect in the place one of my so called wisdom teeth was, after it got extracted.

The next subtle body is the etheric one. It helps the person feel their surroundings like when someone walks into a room and they feel weird or down id whatever. The same thing happens in the case of animals that feel fear and whatnot.

The next body is the astral one. It's responsible for dreams, in a blunt way of putting it. That is to say, when someone dreams, their astral body wonders "around" in the astral world. Events such as sleep paralysis have to do with the energetic body waking up a person while the astral body is still not attached to the rest of the body, so to speak. The person acts as if they were dreaming and can see various paranormal phenomenon, which the astral body is responsible for allowing them to see, which this body transmits back through the silver cord.

The thing is, when someone is dreaming, they are not in conscious control of their dreams. The closest one can get to do called complete astral projection is through the so called lucid dreaming.

Anyway, during full astral projection the kind of which allows ghost-like manifestations of people, one's energetic body (a large part of it) accompanies their astral body throughout the "journey". Whenever this occurs, the physical body's functions slow down. The person doesn't die, but hibernates, in lack of a better word. Anyway, during astral projection that doesn't manifest ghost-like appearances, only a small amount of the person's energetic body accompanies their astral body. The person's consciousness is shifted into their astral body and the person is not as easily distracted from their experiences as in the case of mental scrying using their own imagination.

So far I've managed to go up to the point where I almost had my astral body detatch from my physical one. But I got scared because I felt violent shaking occuring during that time and being afraid of earthquakes, I thought it was an actual earthquake so I stopped. I was aware of the fact my subtle bodies were producing that effect, but I became too scared at some point to continue, in the event a real earthquake was taking place :)

Scott Stenwick said...

Yes, and I am familiar with that model too, and I have seen it many times in books on astral projection and like. I just am not sure it's right based on my experiences doing astral work. As far as other people I've spoken with, some of them report a visceral sense of being "out of body" and some don't. So I know that I'm in the "don't" category there, but I accept that there are people who experience it differently than I do.

But that silver cord? Absolutely nobody I've worked with or talked with has ever seen it or experienced it. That's why I'm skeptical about its existence. Do you know anybody who has reported it during their own personal astral work? I've only read about it in old books that were full of additional warnings about astral work that don't appear to be accurate.

And lucid dreaming has been studied extensively. Your mind does not leave your body when you lucid dream. Brainwaves are in the theta range corresponding to REM sleep and you can monitor brain activity on a scanner corresponding to what's going on in the dream. This is also true of people who experience sleep paralysis, which is not caused by difficulty "re-entering the body" but by a sluggish neural circuit engaging the body with the motor cortex - which is well-understood.

If you go further with this in your own work and come up with data that contradicts my experience and that of others I've worked with, by all means share it and I would be happy to discuss. I just think it's important to keep in mind that all of the ideas that come from "the tradition" should be subject to as much scientific inquiry as we can manage.

Alex Scaraoschi said...

So far all I've been doing was to ask the spirits to appear in my mind's eye. The furthest I went with this was to follow the pathworking method you posted some years ago and Crowleys method from Liber O with the body of light. So yes, nothing comes out of me, so to speak, depending on how you're vieweing it.

I'm saying this because it's very possible that in the case of the body of light technique, the person is projecting (part of) their consciousness outside their sphere of sensation - the body of light is a mental construct after all, which is animated by the will of the person and functions by using the person's energies. This, to my mind does not happen in the case when someone's scrying in their mind because the entities are practically "sticking" their consciousness to that of the person.

I haven't experienced or seen anything the likes of any silver cord, and what I've heard of it first hand happened before I started doing magick, so I took it literally. It could be that it's a metaphor for something else, but I don't know if that's the case or not. There are photos out there of "something" existing the body at the time of death, but I'm no aware of photos taken of people who can astral project to the degree they'd be connected to their physical body through a cord. Maybe something the likes of kirlian photography can be used in such cases, for it seems as thought it can be able to capture the astral body as it leaves the body, if it does so, and any other possible phenomenon that's taking place at that time.

And I don't doubt the fact sluggish neural circuitry is responsible for sleep paralysis. But that's just the physical aspect of the phenomenon that science can understand so far. And it seems logical to me sluggish neural circuits are responsible for that because the consciousness interacts with the body through the nervous system. So to my mind, a simplistic explanation would be that the neurons are in their *sleep phase*, but at the same time consciousness is doing something that's provoking the body to wake up suddenly. This would result in a disequilibrium taking place between how the nervous system interacts with both the physical body and consciousness.

From my few "shaky" experiences so far, I would say that this happens when the astral body resturn into the physicalbody too sudden. It's like an abrupt jolt. Unfortunately I cannot conduct too many experiments of this kind because of outside noise :/

HalcAre said...

Adding my own subjective impressions, when I was trying out astral projection a few years ago, I did manage a full separation, with effects similar to what was written in books I was working from (loud roaring, intense vibrations, a vivid sense of being in a different location to your body).

And looking down at my form and my physical body lying in bed, I saw no silver cord connecting the two despite multiple books suggesting I would.

Scott Stenwick said...

The silver cord is mentioned in the Bible, King James translation of Ecclesiates 12. It is quoted in Masonic initiations, so there is the connection to esotericism.

"6 Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.

7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it."

I am of the opinion that it's metaphoric there, and may have made it into esoteric lore just because Biblical literalists decided that was what this passage had to mean. Note that the lore doesn't literally mention bowls or pitchers or wheels in the same context.

Alex Scaraoschi said...

It can very well be metaphoric. For the record, I totally agree that mental scrying and using the body of light has nothing to do with silver cords and stuff like that. I see the two as being different things all together. Yet there are warnings when it comes to using one's body of light as well. Crowley states one is to use the appropriate figures when encountering entities while using the body of light, while Ashcroft-Nowicki (and I think Stavrish too) mentions that one using the body of light is to be careful whenever engaging with entities while using the body of light.

Scott Stenwick said...

I most familiar with Crowley from that list, and according to him the point of using figures and so forth when encountering entities is to confirm their identities, like how I use numbers and words of power when testing spirits. There isn't any danger associated with it besides getting bad information.

It's certainly true that you can be psychically attacked during astral work just like you can when going about your day-to-day existence. Kind of like I mentioned in my latest post about ghosts, you can't assume that just because you are doing something astrally you are immune to any negative consequences.

Psychic attacks are rare but they can happen. None of my comments above should imply that I dismiss them out of hand.

Alex Scaraoschi said...

Yes, that's what Crowley is mentioning in there. I extended it as being a possibility of defending onself in the event some entity become threatening.

Anyway, to wrap up the whole thing, I would love to see scientists doing extensive studies on mental scrying, the body of light, astral projection with or without any cord, etc. It would stir my interest in science for once :)

HalcAre said...

How would one fend off one of these rare psychic attacks, and how do they happen?

You're mid pathworking and some local takes umbrage to your presence?

Scott Stenwick said...

Just like you would if you were not pathworking. You can do any ritual that you can do in your temple in your body of light, and it should work on astral entities and forces including attacks.

HalcAre said...

I remember hearing once that you could do your daily rituals solely using your body of light. How would this be done? And would it have a lesser effect than doing it physically? Could be useful if I get sick.

Scott Stenwick said...

Yes, you can do your daily rituals astrally and they still can be effective. Doing them physically is better and more effective in my experience, but the astral versions still count.

Personally I do just as you suggest - when I'm sick and having trouble with all the breathwork, sometimes I will do them astrally instead. It does work.

Alex Scaraoschi said...

Rituals done in the astral pack a great punch in my experience, both daily practice and spirit conjuration.