Some recent ritual work pointed me to look closer at the function of the four elements in magic. To be honest - for quite a while the topic of the four elements had seemed so basic to me that I had lost sight of it over the years. Well, how wrong life would proof me again!
Many years ago I had started my ritual work with rites of the sixteen rulers of the elements. A rarely known divinatory sytem based upon the elements and their sixteen sub-elementary rulers. While this seemed long ago the memory of these experiences was still so vivid and alive that it had blocked my sight to look beyond it - and to see what else there was to learn... Finally, it was time to return to the subject and take a fresh look at it.
Surprisingly, what I discovered was that the subject had essentially changed - or more accurately the eyes with which I looked at it had. Now the elements were four living streams of power I could talk to and interact with. I didn't need to wear their amulets for weeks anymore to feel their impact. Instead they left me drained and completely exhausted after a short ritual stint of 30min already. I guess, I am confident enough to claim this isn't because I turned older, but because our relationship has evolved so much. The elements had brought my temple to life and their immense forces rested upon the solid structure of angelic bodies. I saw how the elements reacted to sound and music and mental images like any living creature would. They had turned into living lights surrounding and filling my ritual body. The divide between inside and outside had disappeared. When my little mind wasn't too numb or hungry or lazy, I could actually realize that I was one with them and they were one with me.
While this was the experience in ritual my experience in everyday life with the four elements changed similarily. I had found access to the books of Emil Stejnar, the current of Gnostic Hermetism and shared my reviews of his works subsequently. From the four elements this allowed me to proceed to take a fresh look at astrology and the living forces of the celestial spheres. Today I am still deeply embedded into this piece of ritual work while I try to follow blindly the trail they have laid out in front of me...
What I discovered as part of this adventure, was not only a new perspective on the elements and the planetary spheres, but also on an essential magical technique I had almost forgotten about: the Soul Mirror.
Over recent weeks I took time to dig out my old material and experiment with some new. As so often it is only looking backwards that I understand how important the steps were I took ten years ago or so... Back then they were simply techniques I worked through, one after the other, just as my teacher guided me. I gained a lot of insights about myself and magic and how the two of them intertwine. But what really interested me back then was only this: progress. I wasn't exactly sure towards what, yet I knew I needed to advance as swiftly as possible by any means. From my place in Malkuth I looked up into the moon of Yetzirah and beyond at the veil of Paroketh and all the experiences I saw lying in wait... Any technique I found, I used and applied it, like a drowning man searching for the steps on a ladder that takes him upwards. It probably was a pretty unhealthy mix of desire and fear that pushed me onwards day in day out. Yet it pushed me. And looking backwards today I realize - every step I took had so much more to offer than I was ready to see at that time.
A wise woman once said to: 'We never really get over things. All you can do is to accept them and to work through them as best as you can. Than you move on - knowing that you will encountering them again on the next loop of the eternal spiral that is life. There is no need to rush.'
It is with this wonderful insight in mind that I am sharing a technique that has grown in meaning and importance to me significantly over recent months. Better than many other magical techniques it helps to highlight this spiral of life - and the fact that wether we crawl, walk or run our company will remain the same: It will always be us.
You will find three dedicated pages in the Circle of Practice describing the Soul Mirror:
- First, an introduction to the topic, a few thoughts on what the technique tries to achieve and why it really matters. I recommend to start here even if you have applied this approach based on Franz Bardon's or other works already. As much as I was able to, I packed in all the contextual information I would have liked someone to tell me when I first encountered this magical mirror.
- Second, the actual description of he classical Soul Mirror according to the four elements. Should you not have worked with a soul mirror yet, I strongly recommend not to skip this step. Jumping into the advanced version of the tool might betray you from some truly wonderful insights. Again, there is no need to rush. Our company will remain the same, it's just the way we get along with each other that will change...
- Finally, I took the freedom to develop a slightly advanced version of the Soul Mirror. This version works as a tool to create a deeper understanding of the planetary forces and their impact inside of ourselves. It is a result of my experiments following the reading of Emil Stejnar's amazing book on magic and astrology which is still only available in German yet. So if you have an appetite to learn about the voices of the planets from within - this might be an interesting tool to work with.
Here is to many glances into the Soul Mirror all around the globe. May we all be merciless like scientists in taking stock of what we see. May we all be gentle like parents in judging it.
May the serpent bite its tail.