This afternoon I was working on my Greek homework. In particular, on memorizing the alphabet. To aid with this, I turned to my Tower of Memory*, pulling one of the many blank books from the shelves. I placed the book on the table, pulled as pen from the air, and opened the cover to the first page. Or tried to anyway. The book refused to cooperate, pages flapping until it was open to the middle.
I tried putting the book back on the shelf and starting over. I tried leaving my trance state, casting a circle, and entering a deeper trance. I could feel the pebbled texture of the cover, smell the leather and paper. Still, the book insisted on opening to the the middle. One of the spirits I work with was there the whole time, laughing at me.
It’s been some time since I started a new “book” in my Tower of Memory. As I think on it, though, I’ve had this problem before. I’m better at visualization now than I’ve ever been, but there are still times when my mind refuses to cooperate with me.
I know that my visualization needs work. I have had enough experiences where my body and the mortal world were simply gone to know that I am capable of full, six-senses visionary work. (Though I also know that this is simply not going to happen every time no matter how good I get.) But I also know that the mind and the Otherworlds have rules (largely unwritten, which is part of why I keep this blog: in the hopes that someone else will be aided by my fumbling experiences) different from those of the mortal world. Which, of course, beg question: is this a failing on my part, or something about the nature of this particular visionary technique that I don’t know?
* In his Temple of High Witchcraft, Christopher Penczak talks about using a portion of the Inner Temple as a “Tower of Memory”. This, of course, is not a new idea by any stretch of the imagination. It’s not even new to me: I’ve been using both techniques for as long as I’ve practiced magic. I couldn’t even begin to cite my original sources, cribbed as they were from message boards and FTP sites back in the Cretaceous Period of the Internet, when HTTP was shiny and new, everyone’s homepage was on lysator, and geocities hadn’t happened yet. (I mention these things first, so that if you haven’t heard of the technique you can go look it up; and second, to re-establish that Penczak is not my first or only source by any stretch of the imagination, just one I’ve been drawing on recently.)
If I can’t find a good link on the subject in the next few days, I’ll post an instructional write-up of my own. It’s strange that, though I’ve been working with these techniques since I was sixteen years old, I still don’t feel confident to impart them to others.
A basic instruction for creating the Inner Temple in the first place: http://www.plotinus.com/exercise_temple_of_light_copy%281%29.htm
A non-occult conceptualization of the Palace of Memory: http://litemind.com/memory-palace/
These are adequate, but I think, however, that I will still refine my decade-plus-old write-up of the Inner Temple and House of Memory.