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Magical Self-Care IV

I’ve told the story of how I broke my brain and then spent a year or so hiding in the basement.  To say that I quit practicing magic altogether is an exaggeration, but these two meditations made up 90% of my practice at that time.  It is to these meditations and that period of seclusion that I attribute my current sanity (such as it is … if that gives you any idea of how crazy I was before hand).

The first exercise, obviously, is rooted in the near-ubiquitous seven-chakra system I was originally trained in.  It is not of my own design, but I can’t find my original source—perhaps it’s back with the library in Kansas City—or anything similar on the web.  It should be easy to adapt to whatever shape you’ve worked your aura into.  The second is of my own design.  Suffice to say, I was once obsessed with energetic balance in the form of the Yin-Yang.  Still, it was very useful.

Fountain of Light Chakra Meditation

Find somewhere quiet, preferably in front of your altar.  Light incense, put on music—do whatever it is what you do.  Sit comfortably with your back straight.

Reach down into the Earth, as far as you can.  Open your Root chakra and let energy flow up into it.  Feel it energize, swirling, building.  The traditional color of the Root Chakra is red, and I found it helpful to concentrate on that color.  Feel yourself grounded, steady, and rooted.

When you’re ready, let the energy flow up from your Root into your Sacral Center.  Feel it energize, swirling, building, orange light.  Feel yourself swell with vigor, love, and lust for life … and maybe outright lust. 

The light and energy rises further, to the One Point at your solar plexus.  Feel it energize, swirling, building, yellow light.  Feel your body: feel its strength and precision, your capacity for movement.

The light rises further, to your Heart Center.  Feel it energize, swirling, building, green light of primal life.  Feel your heart and lungs, feel the blood and breath of life moving through your body.

The light rises further, to your Throat Chakra.  Feel it energize, swirling, building, blue light.  Feel your voice, your  spiritual connection to the world around you.

The light continues to rise to your Third Eye.  Feel it energize, swirling, building, violet light.  Your Astral Sight grows sharper.

The light reaches your Crown.  Feel it energize, swirling, building, and finally pouring out of you and back down into the earth in a fountain of brilliant white light.  Your whole body buzzes with power.  As the light flows out of your crown, you continue to draw it up from the earth, through each of your chakras, and out of your crown.

Allow the energy, the light, the power to continue cycling through you until you feel clear and bright.

Break the cycle at your Root, and allow the excess energy to drain off.

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Yin-Yang Power Meditation

Sit somewhere comfortable where you are unlikely to be interrupted.  Visualize yourself floating in a void. 

In the void below you, visualize a large Yin-Yang disk floating perpendicular to the axis of your spine.  Set it to rotating clockwise, and let its power rise up to fill you, then overflow upwards into infinity.

When you are ready, visualize another Yin-Yang disk floating above you, parallel to the first.  Set it rotating counterclockwise and feel its power flowing into you, parallel to the stream from the first, and down into infinity.

Let the perfectly balanced energy fill you to the brim, as much as you can take.  When you are ready, slow the rotation of both disks simultaneously, letting the energy flow taper off slowly until you are grounded and centered.

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Magical Self-Care III

Elemental Cleansing Ritual

I wrote this ritual specifically as a part of this self-care packet.

This ritual calls for a private space. Outside is ideal, but not necessary. You must be near enough to the ground to feel and call upon Elemental Earth (assuming you have any trouble with that), and/or have some sort of Earth talisman to aid you. You should also have a lamp or candle and a bowl or body of water nearby, or some other talisman of those elements. A crystal, feather, or some other Air-symbol might be appropriate for the sake of appearances if nothing else.

Begin by casting a circle. Slow your breathing and enter a meditative trance.

Concentrate on the Element of Air.

Breathe deeply and fill yourself with Elemental Air. Contemplate the Air as it enters your lungs. Feel it permeate your body as you hold your breath for a half-count. Breathe it out slowly, and feel yourself grow slightly lighter as you do so. Breathe in, hold; breathe out, hold. Feel yourself growing a little lighter with each cycle. Breathe slowly and deeply. In, hold; out, hold.

Feel the Air coming in through your pours as you breathe in through your nose. Feel yourself growing boyant. As you exhale breathe out through your pours as well, and feel your stress and tension oozing out of you. The Elemental Wind begins to stir, taking away the stress and negativity that you are driving out of your pours. Breathe in, hold; breathe out, hold. Your body is loosing touch with the ground.

The Wind grows stronger and your breaths begin to quicken: still deep, but changing steadily. The Wind grows warmer, too. Breathe: in, out, in, out, pause; in, out, in, out, pause. The wind grows warmer and blows harder and your breath quickens further.

Conjure the Element of Fire .

Fanned by the Wind, Fire lurks within—rising up to burn away darkness and impurity. The quicker your breath, the hotter the Fire burns. Breathe: in, out, in, out, in, out, in, out.

The Fire cleanses. The Fire seers away all that is not wanted, all that stands in your way. Your breath will grow shallow. At times you may seem to loose substance. This is an illusion of the flames; embrace it or ride it out, whicheverbest suits your needs.

Breathe: in, out, in, out, in, out, in, out, in, out.

When the Fire has done its work, slow your breathing gradually. Feel points of cool moisture invade the hot, dry space of the Fire. The Fire will burn that Water away, at first, but as your breathing slows it is the Fire which will be overwhelmed.

Quench Yourself in the Element of Water.

Let your breath become like the tides: in slowly and out slowly, followed by a pause. The Water soothes you, washing away whatever darkness and self-doubt the Air and Fire have left behind. Your breathing slows further and you begin to grow heavy.

The heavier you grow, the slower you breathe, and the deeper into Water you sink. Light disappears, and there is only the eternal action of the Tides.

Breathe: in slowly until your lungs can fill no more, out slowly until there is nothing left, hold for as long as you can. The water has washed you clean. You are an empty vessel.

Seek Solace in the Element of Earth.

In time, you reach the end of the Water, resting on the bottom of the ocean floor. Your breath begins to change: a pause appearing between inhalation and exhalation.

Time slows, you grow heavier still, and the Earth seeps into you even as you sink further into it. Breathe in, pause; breathe out, hold. Breathe in, pause; breathe out, hold.

The Earth fills you and restores you, filling you with a vital Life. The dark void of the ocean floor gives way to an earthen russet then to a leafy green. Breathe: in, pause; out, hold. In, pause, out hold.

You are one with Life. You are one with the Earth. Lush soil, tall trees, and green vines and ferns surround you. You are within them, among them, of them. Breathe: in, pause; out, hold. In, pause, out hold.

Slowly, your breathing begins to return to normal. The forest releases you—one leafy branch, one serpentine vine, one blade of grass at a time.

You are whole, now: scoured by Air, purged by Fire, quenched and cleansed by Water, and restored by Earth. Come back to yourself.

Close the circle.

Sleep is probably a good idea.

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Magical Self-Care II

Crystal Chalice Visualization

Adapted from material by Chirotus Infinitum, devised for a student feeling somewhat less than whole. Although this exercise is simple enough to be performed by nearly anyone, it was devised for use by an experienced magician who had done himself a great deal of ill.  Again, given to me as a contribution to my Book of Shadows project.

Begin by performing a relaxation ritual.

With your eyes closed, focus attention on the heart area. Visualize a shallow crystal chalice there. The chalice is cracked and chipped, and filled with a thick, foul-smelling black liquid.

Now visualize a stream of brilliant white light descending from above and pouring into the chalice. The light dilutes the black liquid in the chalice, and as the chalice overfills, the dark liquid pours over the side and is absorbed into the earth. As the liquid in the chalice becomes lighter and cleaner, the chalice’s chips and cracks begin to close and seal. The chalice becomes deeper, with a higher rim.

Perform the relaxation ritual again.

The next time the visualization is performed, imagine the chalice in a more repaired state, with a deeper bowl and higher rim. The fluid in the chalice should also get progressively lighter in color and consistency as the light continues to dilute and displace the dark liquid.

This ritual may be performed once a day, and the results should be recorded in your ritual journal.

Healing Waters Meditation

Adapted from techniques taught to me by Aradia. A ritual bath is an exceptionally helpful setting for this ritual, but in no way required.

Begin by entering a meditative state. Breathe slowly, deeply.

Visualize yourself standing in a featureless black plain. The gleaming obsidian landscape stretches off forever to meet an infinite obsidian sky. Dwell in the darkness. Marvel at its beauty.

Step forward and a path will appear in the darkness. As you follow the path, a tree will appear, and the path will lead you there. Other trees appear on the horizon, and soon the void has been replaced by a forest, the path become a deer-track.

The path opens up into a clearing, and the tree you have been seeking stands in the middle. A deep, clear stream runs beside it.

Sit beside the stream with your back against the tree. Listen to the sound of the water moving against the rocks. Let it soothe you. Dip your feet into the water and let the stream draw all your tension out of your feet and disappear down stream.

When you are ready, undress and fold your clothing at the base of the tree.

Step into the waters. The temperature is perfect to soothe your aches. As you slip deeper into the stream, let it wash away your aches and worries: drawing them out of your pours and taking them away to the ocean.

If there is a particular part of your body that hurts, or a particular concern which is overwhelming you, focus on that. Push that pain into the current and the the stream take it.

When you are ready, return from the waters, refreshed and renewed.

Thank the tree and the stream.

Dry yourself, dress, and return to the waking world.

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Magical Self-Care I

A Relaxation Ritual

Adapted from material developed by Chirotus Infinitum for one of his students and given to me as a contribution to my formal Book of Shadows while we were working together in the proto-coven. It seems to be rooted in a number of ceremonial/Golden Dawn exercises, and could be described as a variant on the Circulation of the Body of Light. The text was originally written by Chirotus, with some adaptation on my part to fit the format of my Book of Shadows.

Sit or lay in a place where you will not be disturbed for at least five minutes. Remember to turn off your phone and any other distractions. Get comfortable. If you are sitting, your back should be straight. Whether sitting or lying down, your legs and arms should not be crossed. If sitting, rest your hands, palms down, in your lap. Your eyes should be closed.

Visualize a golden ball of beautiful, warm light surrounding your feet. If you cannot “see” the ball of light when you visualize it, that is okay – just know that it is there. Truly know that if your powers of visualization were different you would be able to see it. The ball of golden warm light always brings peace and total relaxation. Wherever the ball of light goes, tension departs. Let it go and, as it goes, feel your feet filled with the warm, golden glow of peace and total relaxation.

Now allow this ball of light to rise up your legs and up your torso. Then allow it to go down your arms to your fingers, and finally up your neck and into your head, until you are completely covered in the warm, golden glow of total peace and relaxation, and all tension is gone. If you notice tension anywhere, send the ball of light there and the tension will vanish.l

Stay in this state of deep relaxation for a few moments. Know that you can return to this state whenever you like simply by doing the relaxation ritual. If you are having trouble sleeping, ry this ritual when you lay down at night instead of suffering or taking pills. Be at one with yourself.

When you are ready to come out of this state of deep relaxation, take three deep breaths and feel fresh life and energy coming into your body with each breath. Be sure to record your experience in your ritual diary.

Golden Light Cleansing

The golden light cleansing is very much like the relaxation ritual described above. The difference is partly a matter of scale, but chiefly a difference in style. This work is my own, though it is not absolutely unique.

Begin with the relaxation ritual or any beginner’s trance. Once you are relaxed and adrift, visualize a ball of brilliant, glowing, warmth. Allow it to suffuse not just your body, but your very soul with gentle lassitude, beginning with the crown of your head.

As your head and neck relax, do not move the ball of golden light. Instead, visualize it growing larger and larger, moving down your shoulders, arms, and chest. By the time it reaches your feet, you are not just filled with golden light: you are made of golden light. You are warm, quiet, and at peace. You are one with everything and nothing.

Hold that feeling for several minutes: the golden light, the oneness.

When you are ready, allow the golden light to fade to brilliant white, then to soft silver.

Take three ritual breaths.

Ground and center if you need to.

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