Saturday, May 24, 2008

More on my "Greer" work

I’ve started work on the construction of my/the (?) Astral Temple. The first time I tried this I had great difficulties at first, which frustrated me, since way back in my Wicca 201 days, I had to construct an Astral library, which I had no trouble with, and which I still use. I caught myself in the frustration and thought about why the library was so easy and this wasn’t. The answer that I came up with was: here I was given specific visual clues, with the library, I wasn’t. I’ve spent so much of my life in various libraries, I didn’t build this one first by what the place looked like, I built it by the sensation of being surrounded by books, and it was in that way that the physical and visual building came into being.

OK, so I decided to worry less about what the temple was suppose to look like and concentrated more on what it was supposed to feel like, in a very basic and sensual way. First, the Altar in the center had a black cloth covering it. I walked up to the altar and felt the cloth, and the structure of the altar underneath the cloth. And, voila, then I could see it, clearly. I knew that straight ahead would be the east wall of the Temple, so I walked straight ahead. On that wall was a tapestry curtain. I put out my hand, and felt the curtain, felt the stitches in the tapestry, felt the fringe at the edge, and saw the tapestry. I continued to walk, with my hand out. I felt the wall, smooth, cold ashlar stone. I walked, until I got to the corner, and turned. I kept walking until I came to the south tapestry, and again, felt the embroidery, the fringe, and the wall. I kept walking until I had gone all the way around the room. And, as I walked, with my hand out to sense where I was, I could see where I was. I walked the room twice more to be sure of what I was seeing, and then, lightheaded and tired, I closed the Temple, and continued with my evenings work.

The next night, I wasn’t going to go back to the Temple, as I was already exhausted (DH had injured his leg and slept restlessly, which meant I slept restlessly, and then an oak tree next door fell on the neighbors house-the sound was like an explosion and everyone in the neighborhood was up for the day. In one of those not so small miracles, no one was hurt even though the neighbor and her baby were sleeping in the room directly under where the tree hit the house.). But, once I got to that point in the evenings work, I decided to try it again, since it had been difficult the night before, and I wanted to practice. I was very pleased and surprised at how easy it was to get back there. This time, I was able to count the paces along each wall, so I could know the size of the room. I could see the ashlar block that it was constructed of. And, I could see the ripples in the cloth on the altar. I walked around the room once, just to reinforce it, and then closed for the night.

Night three called for an expansion of the exercise. Which was, to get up and walk about the room. Cool. At that point, I no longer needed to trail my hand along the wall to sense the dimensions, which is a good thing, because more furniture is appearing.

Further notes: I’ve given up on the 1 page per day in my notebook-it just wasn’t working anymore. And, next week, I get to finally meet Study Partner #1, in person. He and I have been emailing back and forth for almost a year, now, it will be helpful to finally have a face and a voice to put with the words and tones.


Frater BH said...

I am enjoying reading your work. Moving through a book like that is interesting. I have half a mind to let John know what you're doing in case he wants to read your blog.


John Michael Greer said...

Frater POS, it's dangerous to do anything with half a mind!

Lavanah, good to see someone working with the material from Learning Ritual Magic. One of the things I'd add to a new edition, if there ever were to be a new edition, is exactly the point you've made in this post; different people experience imaginal places in different ways. My imaginal spaces become most real to me when I can hear them: the sound of my footsteps on the floor, the rustle of cloth, and so on all add a great deal to the experience.

If more people had used the book, creating the temple would be easier as a stronger egregor would have been established. As it is, there's a lot of inner work still needed to fill things out; thank you for doing some of that.