Monday, March 27, 2017


Arrowhead Arctic Blue Butterfly

     At Big Creek, where the hillsides blaze with poppies, so many of my paths over the years, though occasionally rocky or difficult to see, suddenly link together, and I feel vindicated because opening myself to the Mysteries, despite all the times I’ve felt lost, ultimately led me to understand my purpose. I have remained open to inspiration, which has enabled me, a chronically ill member of the precariat class, to know the subtle archetypal forces of nature and the power of the Sun. At Big Creek, with the hillsides on fire, I can see my spiritual path clearly from its beginnings to the present day, winding through the spheres of the Moon and Mercury and Venus and ultimately to the sphere of the Sun, where I can feel the influx of the forces of Mars and Jupiter. Others might have considered me a malcontent or a fool because I have repudiated a capitalistic society that ignores and dismisses and demonizes these forces, but I can say now, without any sense of pride, that I have struggled to experience a part of myself that few others have ever recognized, let alone found valuable: My higher self. And this has led to an achievement that belongs to the whole human race: The triumph of the spirit.

Blue Dick and Poppies

     Allow me to place that last statement into perspective: I have suffered from a chronic disease my entire life. For the past forty-five years, the vast majority of people, including doctors, never thought that I was “really” ill, just depressed or psychosomatic. Only in the last two years—after I started experiencing atrial fibrillation whenever I ate gluten and after my stomach stopped digesting food efficiently—a few people have begun to believe me: It’s hard to deny that a person has a problem when his heart goes haywire after he eats certain foods, and he can’t digest fiber and meat properly. But celiac disease and food allergies also affect emotional and mental states. A constant diet of foods that are toxic to a sensitive person’s system eventually leads to brain fog, severe depression, even psychosis. And, unfortunately, instead of receiving support during my worst health crises, I have often been viciously attacked in various ways. (See previous posts.) Yet now at Big Creek, after I have eliminated everything harmful from my diet, and foods toxic to me are no longer polluting my body or my thoughts and feelings, I can clearly see that I have succeeded in living a life of inspiration despite all the misery stemming from my illness, and the veils have fallen: Even though based on my experience I have little reason to feel optimistic about humanity, I know the essential magnificence, harmony and abundance of the human soul.
     I have never been a religious person. Over the years, however, I have evolved spiritually without ever trying to be spiritual—mainly because of a strong compulsion to experience inspiration through nature and the arts. Whether or not the overwhelming desire to feel inspiration sprang from the constant misery of a chronic illness, I cannot say. Nevertheless, each exaltation has resulted in an expansion of consciousness that has never quite retracted, and with each moment of inspiration has come greater illumination, which has created the capacity within me for greater understanding of spiritual principle. In the physical and mental and spiritual realms, we only see what the light illuminates. At one point, for instance, after I cleansed my aura through mental purification, I began having visions of spiritual symbols from the higher astral plane, known in the Qabalah as Tiphareth, the Christ-center, and due to the cumulative experiences of illumination from numerous moments of inspiration, I could soon understand the abstract spiritual principles behind the symbols.


     What my “heroism” amounts to is simply this: Instead of striving for status or power or money, I have pursued moments of inspiration as I explored nature and the arts—which, ironically enough, some people over the years have considered selfishness. As far as I was concerned, the spiritual inebriation caused by these exaltations often made socially valued pursuits such as making a lot of money or landing a great job seem like huge wastes of time and energy. Eventually, after I found the Qabalah due to synchronicities and spiritual visions, I discovered that these inspirations occur in the sphere of the Goddess Venus, who rules Netzach (Victory), the seventh Sephira on the Tree of Life. In my twenties, after I graduated from college and wandered away from the sphere of the intellect, I entered the forest and returned to the arts to experience treasured moments of inspiration again, and I have since concluded that the Sephira of Netzach, the realm of Venus, remains forever dangerous to the status quo: The inspirations of Venus have opened me and others to the great subtle cosmic forces that exalt the soul and burn away false and limiting beliefs.
     In the realm of Mercury, known as Hod (Splendor), the eighth Sephira on the Tree of Life, I can know those forces intellectually, but in Netzach, I feel them with the heart, and the resulting exaltations, which I seldom experience in the daily grind of a capitalistic society, have often led me to question human institutions that have blinded me to the liberating cosmic forces that make the soul blossom. To Christians this should be especially significant: The exaltations of Venus can swing the soul across a gulf into the Sephira of The Sun, the sphere of harmonizing love and spiritual inebriation on the Tree of Life known as Beauty (Tiphareth), the Christ Center. A society that is both Christian and capitalistic, however, shows how much it fears these subtle, cosmic forces by despoiling nature and treating everything within it as a commodity, and by cutting funding for the arts in our schools and communities, thereby closing the door on exaltations that can awaken the higher self. We cannot know the Son without numerous experiences of inspiration and illumination—and the Son shows us the Father.

Red Bud by Kings River

     “As above, so below” is a maxim within the Qabalah. In other words, the energies within the macrocosm (the cosmos) correspond to the energies within the microcosm (the individual). Another way of looking at it: There is no part of you and me that is not part of the Gods. “Know ye not that ye are gods?” asked one of the most revered spiritual leaders of the past two thousand years. Imagine what sea change would occur if this society actually understood and internalized the meaning of these words.
     Without knowing it at first, through each inspiration I was building an inner temple of the higher self. Moreover, repeated experiences of inspiration eventually enabled me to contact the subtle forces of the cosmos and the corresponding energies within myself. Netzach, the Sephira of Goddess Venus, is the realm of the “Elohim” (Gods). In other words, within the realm of Venus the soul awakens to the subtle forces in the cosmos and ourselves that throughout history the human mind has personified as Gods and Goddesses. Once we begin to awaken these subtle forces, we eventually open the psyche to the Sephira of the Sun, the sphere of harmonizing love and spiritual inebriation associated with the Christ, which, by the way, is neither a man nor a God but a force that each human being can manifest.

Poppies above Big Creek

     Before my unexpected awakening, I never would have believed that a higher self existed. Part of me always wanted to believe what I had been taught over the years—that external validation and ego satisfaction from worldly success would result in some form of happiness. After my awakening, however, I realized that the higher self has nothing to do with satisfying the ego. Instead, awakening the higher self is linked to the exaltation of spirit: A person who clears a path to the higher self through mental purification and inflames the soul through inspiration eventually opens the heart and awakens the spirit. Only after my higher self awakened did I feel the triumph of spirit that is the birthright of each person, a birthright that has been stolen from the vast majority of us by a society obsessed with profit, momentary gratification and ego satisfaction.

Path 14

     On the Tree of Life, Netzach (Victory) and Hod (Splendor) complement each other. Netzach is a Sephira of “feeling with” the subtle, cosmic forces. In Hod, the human mind fashions the forms that ensoul the forces of the Gods so that through worship the forces pour into the soul. Without the element of feeling in worship, nothing significant happens. When the soul experiences the subtle, cosmic forces, exaltation occurs and consciousness expands. If this illumination happens often enough to allow the mind to understand spiritual principle, the higher self awakens and recognizes the light within all things, the One within the Many, the Many within the One.
     Within the Tarot, the Sevens represent the subtle, cosmic forces of the seventh Sephira, Netzach. The symbolic correspondences of each of the Sevens are as follows:

 Seven of Pentacles: Lord of Success Unfulfilled 
Decan: Saturn in 21 - 30 degrees of Taurus 
Tree of Life Association: Venus in Netzach (Seventh Sphere)

Seven of Swords: Lord of Unstable Effort
Decan: Moon in 21 - 30 degrees of Aquarius
Tree of Life Association: Venus in Netzach (Seventh Sphere)

Seven of Cups: Lord of Illusionary Success
Decan: Venus in 21 - 30 degrees of Scorpio
Tree of Life Association: Venus in Netzach (Seventh Sphere)

Seven of Wands: Lord of Valor
Decan: Mars in 21 - 30 degrees of Leo
Tree of Life Association: Venus in Netzach (Seventh Sphere)

     The central focus of the ritual should be The Empress, the Major Arcana card representing Venus. Using the Tarot Pentagram Spread, you can lay the cards out using the process suggested by the illustration below.

     I recommend using the Active Invoking Pentagram because of the Fire within nature. First lay out the foundation cards (The Aces), then the modifiers—the zodiac cards, then the planetary cards, and finally the associated number cards (The Sevens).

     The associated Gods of the Egyptian pantheon are as follows, but remember you can invoke the Gods of any pantheon.

Venus: Hathor (terrestrial) or Isis (celestial)
Saturn: Ptah
Taurus: Osiris or Serapis
The Moon: Nephthys, Khonsu or Thoth
Aquarius: Sothis or Hor Wer
Scorpio: Anubis
Mars: Horus
Leo: Sekhet or Bast

      Be sure to perform the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram (LBRP) after the Ritual of Victory. If you are serious about spiritual development, you should perform the LBRP at least once a day in order to protect yourself.

Monday, March 13, 2017


Poppies at Big Creek, March 13, 2017

     A month ago, as I hiked down the disintegrating road that leads to a gauging station at Sycamore Creek, the freshness of winter overpowered me. The brittle spears of last year’s grasses had dissolved in the rains, supplanted by raw, green tapestries. In the asphalt blanketed by moss and humus, a surging rivulet ceaselessly carved a thin ravine. Winter storms had knocked down so many gray pines onto the road that I found myself often fighting through branches or climbing over tree trunks until I finally meandered away from the road and discovered that trees had also collapsed on ancient trails and pounding stones and house pits, the boundless energy of creation equaled only by the boundless energy of destruction. I used to feel immense gratitude for the regenerating wetness of winter. This year, the rejuvenation of the hills inspired fear and a little resentment in me, for I was reminded every moment that I too will someday be obliterated by nature’s inexorable freshness.

Rivulet in Winter

     In the destruction of the old and the freshness of the new, I can sometimes see the eternal, but that provides little or no consolation when I am facing my mortality. I know that dealing with death is a matter of distinguishing between my personality and my soul. My individual personality on the physical plane has essentially developed from birth as the combination of characteristics and qualities that form my distinctive character. But I have also developed another personality through an evolution that has formed around a divine spark like a pearl forms around a grain of sand. This is known by Qabalists as the soul, the Individuality, or the evolutionary personality. The soul absorbs the experiences on all planes from the beginning of an evolution, and since it is linked with the divine spark, the soul can intuit knowledge not perceived by the senses and transcend time and space. However, as I stared at a pounding stone covered by a fallen oak, all I could think about was the obliteration of human history.

Stream in Winter, a Tributary of Big Creek

     In the past, I believed that the dissolution of my personality in nature is a key to spiritual freedom, but that winter day I did not experience any sense of liberation, for I am growing old and vulnerable. My heart has become a “gluten gauge”: If I ingest a miniscule amount of gluten, I suffer atrial fibrillation, and I have experienced A fib often recently even though I have taken great pains to eliminate gluten entirely from my diet. For anyone who is super sensitive to gluten, the world is a mine field, and the explosives are any foods that contain even a tiny amount of the toxic proteins. Often, however, the explosive does not detonate immediately. The adverse effects of gluten can sometimes be cumulative and can take a long time to blow up a person’s world.  I have many times remained at a loss for months and even years about the source of a continuous adverse reaction, but now due to A fib I can’t afford any mistakes, which has resulted in growing sense of doom.
     I was beginning to suspect that celiac disease had not only ravaged my digestive system but had also somehow ruined my heart. Then one evening recently I forgot to cook chicken, which I have often consumed twice a day during the past two years. That night and the next morning I did not experience any irregular heartbeats, so as an experiment I stopped eating chicken. I discovered online that some companies inject a solution containing saltwater and other ingredients such as wheat into chickens to increase their weight. I have not experienced A fib once in the past month since I eliminated chicken from my diet. I got lucky. Before now I never would have suspected that chicken might contain gluten, and if it weren’t for my forgetfulness that evening, I might have continued eating contaminated chicken regularly until I experienced a stroke.

Poppies above Big Creek

     My chronic illness makes me feel like an old man, trapping me in the physical world when I would rather reach for the heights of spirituality. Due to my spiritual practices, I know that each of us, when the veils have fallen, is a spiritual being full of inner magnificence, harmony, and abundance, but it is so easy to lose that awareness in daily life, especially if you are burdened with a chronic disease. So, at the beginning of spring, toward the end of February, I returned to the foothills. The poppies were back, and patches of blazing fiddleneck were popping up. At Big Creek I also found the first shooting stars and popcorn and baby blue eyes. The rivulets joining the creek were fuller than I have ever seen before, the water cascading down waterfalls and dancing over rocks. Even though I was no longer experiencing A fib, I still felt vulnerable, but I once again felt rejuvenated by the freshness; my personality soon slipped away as my senses opened, and I suspected that as animals, human beings are always geared toward experiencing the physical as the dense aspect of the spiritual: We keep getting pulled back from the higher spiritual energies to the Earth.
     And, unfortunately, so many aspects of human life hinder connection with the spiritual nature of the Earth’s angelic hosts, its plants and animals. Most of us, at some point at least, experience poverty, loss, illness, betrayal, and conflict, all of which burden us with negative energies that interfere with the engagement of our physical and subtle senses with the natural world. We become distracted by technology and overwhelmed by information. We slowly shut down our physical and subtle senses because of the noise, the congestion, the physical and mental pollution in our cities.  When I was a boy, for instance, I grew up in a house that was directly under the flight path of fighter jets zooming in and out of the airport. One day when a friend came over and complained about the roar, I realized that I no longer “heard” the deafening noise. Without realizing it, over the years I had totally tuned it out. Years later, after I mentally purified myself, I unexpectedly became more open to the spiritual dimension, and I recognized that I had gradually shut down my subtle senses in much the same manner.   

Shooting Stars near Stream above Big Creek

       In the watershed of the Kings River, I once again felt the ultimate Mystery as both immanent and transcendent, existing in the Earth and all of its creatures, yet remaining also in another plane far beyond human brain consciousness. Next to the rivulet, I felt the invisible energy of the Mystery permeating the water and the rocks, the fresh grasses and trees, the oaks and buckeyes, the warblers and juncos. I let go of my sense of doom and my limiting beliefs and opened myself to a Mystery that is far vaster and more amazing than anything I can imagine. And I felt rejuvenated on all levels. I felt happy again as I returned to the modern world, where opening myself to the Mystery usually requires a great deal of mental purification.
     I’ve realized that now in my spiritual development, the great challenge for me is truly accepting that my personality, which I have spent a lifetime developing, will disappear entirely from this plane, and all I have is trust in the Mystery that consciousness will continue and regeneration will follow.

Baby Blue Eye, Kings River Watershed

     Due to experiences with spirits and the power of consciousness in the past fifteen years, I have come to trust the Mystery. (See previous posts.) And I have come to believe that the physical to an amazing degree can be manipulated by consciousness. Within certain limitations, we can heal our bodies with our minds, especially when negative energy or a spiritual attack is causing illness. I can provide a few personal examples that defy rational explanation. One, which I have described before, occurred during a time of intense mental purification. During meditation one day, I scanned my body with my inner eye and discovered a large streak of black energy under my armpit. In my mind, I drained the black energy away into the magma below the earth, and the next day a round, white growth, the size of a musket ball, painlessly slipped out of a slit in my armpit. The process occurred a little differently two other times. I drained black energy from my armpit and a painful boil rose each time. After several days, similar white growths painfully popped out of the boils. I have continued the same strategy for eliminating troublesome pains and blemishes—and it has continued to be effective, except for toothaches.
     Once I experienced four excruciatingly painful toothaches simultaneously. Several times I have gone to the dentist, only to feel heart palpitations after receiving a Novocain shot; my heart each time actually felt like it was going to explode. Worried that gluten might be mixed in some brands of Novocain, I had avoided the dentist for a long time.  Desperate to ease the pain as I lay awake in bed one night, I intuited that I should use an egg to draw out the pain from my teeth. I placed the egg in the area of the two worst toothaches and held my hand over it, drawing out the black energy into the egg with my palm chakra. Then in my mind I filled my mouth with intense white light. When I felt that I had completed the ritual, I flushed the egg down the toilet. The next morning, the pain of all four toothaches had vanished, and the toothaches have not returned. I discovered later online that the “egg cleansing” is a practice used by shamans, especially in Latin America.
     Another time, I entered a bedroom and envisioned a large hive of what looked like black spiders extending down the wall from the ceiling. I blinked, but the shocking vision did not go away. I did not want to scare the couple who lived there, so I decided not to say anything. A few months later one of them told me that she had a dream of black spiders coming down from a hive above her and swarming all over her bed. Her husband, who, as far as I know, did not “see” the spiders, experienced many panic attacks, and the woman began experiencing vertigo regularly at night. She would wake up with the room spinning. Doctors could not find any condition that might be causing the problem, so I began to think that she and her husband were both under spiritual attack.  I did several rituals from the astral plane to cleanse their room and fill it with light. I soon found out that she has returned to normal.
     I have done several egg cleansings for my heart and digestive system, and although they have made me feel healthier, the sad fact is that gluten is poisonous to my system, so I must remain ever vigilant. Nevertheless, I am beginning to suspect that in “civilized” countries, the average person has given up control of his or her own health care to doctors and drugs instead of using the power of the mind to heal physical ailments. This perhaps has become “normal” in places where the psychic senses are shut down and the spiritual dimension is ignored. This ability to heal only exists, however, if one has purified the psyche so that one can perceive energy with the senses of the soul—in other words, when the higher self is awake.
     I strive to live in my higher self because I generally feel a greater sense of harmony and abundance and a greater optimism about humanity in general, but when I first became spiritually aware, I didn’t realize how difficult it would be to stay on the path. Perhaps if I had not felt flawed and vulnerable over the years I would not have stayed on the path at all. Negative feelings from conflict, betrayal, illness and loss tend to stay with me, so I have to purify myself regularly, and I have discovered that the most effective cleansing is with the fire of Mars, known as the Power of Geburah, the fifth Sephira on the Tree of Life.

Path 27: Mars

      The Power of Geburah can eliminate subtle negative energies associated with conflict, loss, betrayal, illness, and poverty from your aura so that you can recognize the healing power of your inner sun.  The same Power can be found also in the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, which, if performed regularly, has more of a gradual effect on the psyche. Great care must be exercised when invoking the energy of Geburah: Depending on how you manifest it, Mars can be a disruptive force that itself can cause conflict and loss, or Mars can be the cleansing energy of fire that purifies the spirit, mind and body.
     For me personally, the energy of Geburah has been the source of many, often painful life lessons that have helped me develop the discipline to focus on my art and my spiritual growth, and it has also burned away the negativity associated with those lessons so that I see my essence. Be warned, this might be a life-changing ritual: The energy of Mars can burn away the personality until you see the eternal in yourself, but it can also cause you to become egotistical, cruel and destructive. Like all of the Sephiroth below the Abyss, Geburah has a virtue and a vice. Mars is the God of War whose virtues include strength, discipline, vitality, and courage. However, if you already have a great deal of Geburah energy, it would probably be better to invoke the energies of Jupiter to balance your psyche.
     In the Tarot, all of the Fives can be considered adverse cards. A quick review of their alternative titles will give you a good idea of what I mean:

Five of Pentacles

  • Five of Pentacles:  Lord of Material Trouble

Five of Swords

  • Five of Swords:  Lord of Defeat
Five of Cups

  • Five of Cups: Lord of Loss in Pleasure
Five of Wands

  • Five of Wands: Lord of Strife

      Therefore, in order to perform a constructive ritual with the Fives, it is best to concentrate on the symbolism of the forces associated with the decans and the Tree of Life correspondance:

     The Major Arcana correspondences are as follows:

  • The Tower: Mars
  • Five of Pentacles:  The Magician (Mercury), The Hierophant (Taurus)
  • Five of Swords:  The Empress (Venus), The Star (Aquarius)
  • Five of Cups: Death (Scorpio)
  • Five of Wands: The World (Saturn), Strength (Leo)

     In terms of the Egyptian pantheon, the Gods correspond as follows:

  • Mars: Horus
  • Venus: Hathor
  • Mercury: Thoth
  • Taurus: Osiris or Serapis
  • Scorpio: Anubis or Nephthys
  • Aquarius: Sothis or Hor Wer
  • Saturn: Ptah
  • Leo: Sekhet

     With this information, you should be able to construct a ritual where you invoke the Gods to eliminate the negative energy within yourself in order to know your essence.