Tag Archives: practice

Daily intentions

Declaring a daily intention before Spirit, your Deities and Spirit Contacts can be a very powerful practice that supercharges your progress on the Path. To do this practice, one simply declares sacred space, calls one’s Deities, Spirit Contacts, and or Spirit. And then, in a clear and forthright voice of power, declare your intentions. If necessary, the declation can be made inwardly in an imagined voice of power, if, for example, there are concerns with privacy or disturbing others. Here are the intentions I articulate in my morning practice at the moment.

1) Higher Self. “I declare my intention to allow the Higher Self a clear channel to manifest itself this day, in everything I do, and with everyone I meet.”

2) Spiritual contacts. “I declare my intention to be open to receive all positive and helpful communications from my Deities, Guides and inner plane contacts, for the highest good of all”

3) Great Work. “I declare my intention to fulfill my part of the Great Work, and my True Work this day, to the degree that Circumstances permit, for the highest good of all. I offer all my activities this day as a vehicle for the Great Work.

You can do the same, or come up with your own intentions that suit your current state of being. One piece of advice though, try to be open and expansive in your intentions, so that Spirit has room to bring you what you need, work with your Higher Self, and touch the Higher Self of those you meet. If your intentions revolve around the wants or needs of the lower self, then it is missing the point somewhat!

Blessed Be

The Sword

In this essay, I would like to explore why the sword is used to esoterically represent the mind. My understanding is that the tradition likens the action of the mind to a sword or a knife, cutting something into separate pieces. The mind establishes categories, labels and names, so that we can understand the world we experience around us, and remember our experiences and learn from them. Ideally, our system of categories and names corresponds reasonably usefully with the reality that they try to represent. For example, if we can recognise, name and remember a useful food plant, we can seek it out again, talk about it to others, and remember when it is in season. If our main interest is in recognising useful plants, we are likely to have a different system of classification to someone who is mainly interested in how plants evolved.

If we get our food from the supermarket, and have no interest in botany, our personal classification system for plants is likely to be very simple. Trees, shrubs, flowers (perhaps a few named varieties), weeds, some vegetables, maybe a couple of different types of trees. For example, when one person sees a Gum tree, someone else might see a Mountain Gum, and a third person might see Eucalyptus Dalrympleana.

Take another example. Someone who is interested in Astrology might categorise people as Cancers, Gemini, Libra etc. When meeting a person, they may enquire as to their birth date, and they might be careful to get compatible star signs when putting together a group for some purpose. Or they may meet a person, and decide that they fit the profile for a certain sign, and then use that information in order to conduct their relationship in the most harmonious way possible.

Another person might think star signs are a bunch of baloney, and categorise people according to Meyers-Briggs personality types, or Jungian types, or even in simple terms such as friend or foe. All these ways of classifying the world, and our experience are represented by the esoteric symbol of the sword.

The Ace of swords tarot card in the Rider-Waite tarot deck depicts a sword piercing a golden crown, from which hang two boughs of wood. On the right, appears to be a palm branch, on the left is what appears to be a laurel, with red berries, or perhaps an Olive branch. According to Paul Fenton-Smith in “The Tarot Revealed”, the crown represents the material world. The symbolism may be deepened by noting that the arrangement of the sword and crown is representative of the union of male and female. Traditionally (in Western Anglo-Celtic Esotericism), the material world is seen as feminine, as in Mother Nature, and the Goddess of the Spring, the Goddess of the Flowers.

This union of the material ground of being (feminine) with the mental perceptive apparatus (masculine) gives rise to the phenomena of existence, just as a mother and a father give rise to their children. The symbolism reminds us that our experience has two sources – raw undifferentiated nature, and the mind’s categorising and sense-making efforts. The mind is nothing without something to work on, and raw experience is unintelligible without a mind to categorise it and find commonalities and regulaities.

This symbolism is also expressed neatly in the phrase “Necessity is the mother of invention”.

In meditating on the symbol of the sword, hold the intention of becoming aware of how your experience of the world has two parents – the external undifferentiated reality, and the internal categorisation you place upon it. Every name becomes a symbol that holds both a cultural and collective experience, and a personal resonance of lived experience. As useful as the mind is, it brings this baggage to everything we experience. This can be incredibly useful, and also a mechanism for holding us in bondage to our past. The symbol of the sword reminds us of this, and reminds us that we can turn our perceptive powers on to ourselves, and free our selves from the bondage of mental constructs that have outlived their usefulness.

To meditate upon the symbol of the sword, a useful practice is to place the Ace of Swords from the Tarot at eye level. Establish sacred space in your usual manner, and invite the presence of your spirit helpers and Deities, and become relaxed. A useful method is to focus your attention in turn on the right palm, the left palm, the sole of the right foot, and then the sole of the left foot, and then the third eye. One can also move the attention in the manner of a pentagram. The third eye represents the point of spirit. The right hand represent the point of Air, the left hand the point of Fire, the left foot the point of Water, and the right foot represents the point of Earth. Different paths may use different attributions, this is the attribution used by the Fellowship in the Southern Hemisphere. Move the attention from Spirit to Water to Air to Fire to Earth and back to Spirit again – Brow, Left foot, Right Hand, Left Hand, Right Foot, Spirit. This movement represents the the divine impulse working in the life of the Adept. The spark of spirit causes the intuition Water) to deliver images, feelings, or knowingness to the self. These inputs are then processed by the mind (air), and appropriate action is decided upon. Action is then taken (Fire), with the intention of honouring the Divine impulse. The action is grounded (Earth), drawn to completion, and the ground of being responds. The cycle then begins anew.

Once you have become relaxed and have harnessed your attention, then begin to move your attention between the tarot card and your third eye. Move it out to the card as you breathe out, and back to the brow as you breathe in. Visualise a thread connecting the third eye to the card. Do the first few with eyes open, then with eyes closed, visualising the card in as much detail as possible. Continue this exercise for at least four or five breaths, more if you feel that would be useful. Open your eyes and look at the card if you need to refresh your visualisation. When you feel it is right, begin the next part of the practice, which is to be receptive, and to allow whatever insights and inspiration you may be priveeged to receive to arise. Gently note them mentally as they arise, so that you can write them down afterwards.

And of course conclude by thanking your Spirit Helpers and/or Deities, and returning the space to normal.

I am sure that you will find this exercise beneficial!

Blessed Be


Caduceus Practice – revisited

I have written before about the caduceus practice. Here is a quick recap in case you missed it!

Like much of my work, it works with the Union of the the two fundamental principles of life and creation. In the Fellowship we work with this at many levels. At the level of energy, we work with the red dragon current and the white dragon current. The red and white dragons appear in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s “Life of Merlin”, and I have posted previously on this topic. The quick précis is that Merlin observes the red and white dragons fly up from the buried lake under the hill on which king Vortigern was attempting to build a tower. Upon seeing the dragons battle above the ruined tower, Merlin is precipitated into a visionary and prophetic state. For more background see the very good work by Robert Stewart.

The view of the Fellowship is that the dragons were not battling, but embracing in ritual courtship, which to the initiated may be indistinguishable from battle. The red and white dragons are viewed by the Fellowship as representing the two primordial energies, the male white dragon current, and the female red dragon current. These two currents combine to bring life, intelligence, and the nourishment of the soul.

To begin the caduceus meditation, draw up the red dragon current from the centre of the earth, and concentrate it at the red pearl below the navel. One method of doing this is explained in detail in my post on Dragon Walking. Then, as explained in the same post, draw down the white dragon current from the centre of the universe, and concentrate it at the white pearl just below the naval. These pearls are in the centre of the belly, nestled next to each other, the red on your right, the white on your left. They are the dragon eggs of the Merlinic story.

When the pearls are full of concentrated energy, allow a white and red current to emerge, climbing up each side of the interior of the body, to meet at the solar plexus chakra. Allow the currents to energise and fertilise the chakra. Sit with it, working a cycle of breathing…as you breathe in, see and feel the white dragon current descending from the infinite source of all and energizing the white pearl, while at the same time the red dragon current rises up from the centre of the earth energising the red pearl. As you breathe out, follow the movement of the emerging energies to the solar plexus chakra.

When the solar plexus chakra is sufficiently enlivened, allow the two energy streams to continue, crossing at the solar plexus chakra, and continuing up opposite sides of the interior of the body, to meet again at the heart centre. Continue the practice with in breath charging the dragon eggs, and out breath following the energy streams from eggs to the heart.

When the heart chakra is sufficiently enlivened, continue in the same way to enliven the throat chakra.

From the throat chakra, the energy streams may be directed down each arm, the white dragon current down the right arm, and the red dragon current down the left arm, the reverse if you are left handed. (In that case the eggs also change sides). In each Palm, the energy current feeds a glowing red or white ball.

The practice may be concluded here, or carried on in a number of different ways. You will find that the practice has a life of its own, and with diligent practice in the right spirit, it will reveal to you how to work further with the twin dragon currents in the way that’s best for you.

Getting to know the Tarot Trumps

Here is an exercise that you might find useful with your work in the Tarot. Indeed, the following method can be used with almost any symbolic representation, in order to contact the astral and spiritual energies and forms behind the appearance. I will describe the exercise in terms of using a tarot card, but you can adapt it as you see fit. To gain the full benefit from this exercise, you should have some ability to move the attention, to visualise, and some experience with activating the third eye chakra. Here is what I do:

Select a card from the major arcana that you wish to work with. Many authors recommend starting with the fool, and working through in sequence. Sit in a comfortable and warm position. Sitting up in bed just before lying down to sleep for the night can be very effective, as the exercise will also then create an impetus to dream on the same subject. Hold the selected card in front of you, and stare at a focal point of the card. For the cards with human figures, stare at their third eye chakra, just above and between the eyebrows. After awhile, your vision will begin to play strange tricks, as the cells of your retina become habituated to the image. Keep staring at the same point, and allow your vision to do what it will. You may find yourself involuntarily moving your focus, which resets your vision to normal. Don’t worry, just keep staring at the same fixed focal point.

When the vision has started to shift due to the phenomena above, begin the following breathing sequence, keeping the eyes focussed on the focal point you have chosen in the card. As you breathe in, place your attention between your own eyebrows, on your own third eye chakra. As you breathe out, place your attention on the third eye chakra (or focal point you have selected) of the figure in the card. Keep breathing slowly, deeply and smoothly, in a relaxed manner, alternating the attention as described. It may help to visualise a white thread linking your third eye to the third eye of the figure in the card, with your attention moving between the two ends like a bead on a string.

Continue the breathing, with the alternating of the attention for up to ten minutes, all the while keeping the eyes focussed on the third eye (or chosen focal point) of the figure in the card. Now allow your eyes to close, and try to see the card in your mind’s eye, and continue the breathing and alternation of attention. However, now your attention moves to the card you see in your mind’s eye, rather than the physical card. If you can’t see the card with your mind’s eye, no matter – just visualise the card as best you can with your imagination. As you visualise, sooner or later, you will begin to catch glimpses of the card with the inner sight, which will seem to poke through your visualized imagery. If it doesn’t happen on one occasion, it will certainly happen at some stage as you continue working with the attention, visualisation, and the third eye chakra.

After another five minutes or so, or the length of time which feels right for you, transfer your attention to the personage in the card, and leave it there. Allow the experience to unfold in the way that is right for you. You may find yourself receiving impressions, images, or communications from the personage. You may find yourself viewing things from the perspective of the personage. You may find yourself “inside” the Tarot card, looking at the card from the inside. Each person will be able to carry on the experience in their own unique way.

When I have done this exercise, I have found that the subsequent day or two becomes powerfully influenced by the energy and archetype of the card, and the resulting experiences have provided profound insight into the corresponding aspects of life. I hope that you will find the same, and that this method helps you to grow towards your true nature and its full and ecstatic expression.

Robyn Wood

Dragon Walking

Note: Some of the links to previous posts are not there yet…will get these repaired as time goes on!

I have previously written about a walking meditation that you can do, which is designed for people following a Pagan path in the western tradition. In this article, I give another version of this exercise, which is also related to the caduceus meditation, which I have talked about previously. The red and white currents, personified by red and white dragons are discussed in a post on the background to the Caduceus Meditation.

There are two forms of dragon walking. First I will describe Red Dragon Walking. Red Dragon Walking is designed to build up the charge of Earth energy in the auric field. It may be done marching on the spot, or walking along. If you are walking in a place where you won’t be embarrassed by others looking at you, then walk in the way I describe. Otherwise you may walk with your ordinary movements so that you appear to be walking normally.

First of all, squat a little, as if you are riding a horse, with your legs slightly more apart and open than normal. Feel the energy flowing around from leg to leg through the groin area. When most people walk, this energy movement is restricted and restrained, part of the the normal training of repression of the movement of sexual energy that westerners undergo without even knowing it. When you put your feet down on the ground, place your sole on the ground before you place the heel on the ground, as you would if you were running. This cushions the leg and joints, and assists with contacting the Earth energy, and transmitting it from the ground to the body. Take smaller steps than you normally would. Lift your legs higher than your normally would, and as you do so, dangle your foot in a relaxed way from your ankle. Most people need to learn how to relax and dangle there foot during this kind of walking, as most people maintain a lot of tension and constriction in their walking movements. The dangling and consequent relaxation assists the movement of earth energy up through the legs. When you place your feet on the ground, do so positively and firmly, with a slight but definite stamping motion. This causes a pulse of earth energy to be transmitted up your leg from the earth, with sufficient energy to move up into your body.

As you walk this way, breathe in for four steps on each foot, visualising all the while, a glowing red ball of earth energy under the earth, sending up three rays of red energy. Two strike the ground where your feet come stamping down, upon which balls of energy break off and travel up your legs to your belly, and the third, middle beam, comes up out of the Earth between your legs, striking your perineum, the point roughly where an extension of your spine would touch the skin in front of your rectum. The beam carries on to strike and energize the red ball of energy gathering in your belly.

Breathe out for four steps on each foot, and as you breathe out, visualize the ball of Earth energy at your belly glowing and shining like a miniature red sun, filling up your auric field with its energy. Visualize clearly where your energy field stops, and fill it up like a balloon. Do not allow the energy to radiate away, but contain it within your auric field by consciously being aware of an astral membrane that surrounds your auric field, between 30cm to 100cm from the skin in all directions, and intending it to contain the energy. As you breathe out, make a sound like a drawn out “H” sound in the back of your throat. The sound is made without using the voice, just the flow of air, and should rhyme with the “oor” of “door”.

Then as you breathe in again, repeat the first visualisation, with the three rays charging the red ball of energy at your belly. Alternate between these visualisations, building the intensity of energy at your belly, and within the auric field.

The walking can be slowed down to the point where the in breath takes place as you lift up your leg to take a step, and the out breath takes place as you put you leg down and step forward.

After several rounds of breathing in and out, breathe in, and this time hold your breath, and stand still. Constrict your anal sphincter seven times, and on the seventh time hold it constricted, then rapidly suck in your abdomen seven times, holding it in on the seventh time, finally push down rapidly seven times with the diaphragm. As these moves are made, visualise the red earth energy collected in the belly being packed down and compressed into a shining red pearl at the centre of the belly, at a place just below and behind the naval.

Then breathe out, and begin walking again, building up more earth energy in the belly. After several rounds of breathing in and out, repeat the compression process, building up the concentrated red pearl in the belly. After three rounds of concentrating the red pearl energy, switch to White Dragon Walking.

White Dragon Walking is very similar, but there is no need for the slight stamping of the foot. It can be done slower, with a cycle of breathing in and out on each step. White Dragon Walking may be combined with the basic walking movements of Tai Chi, if you are familiar with that art. Otherwise, begin by visualising the white energy current associated with the spiritual source, sending down a white ray from a white glowing orb overhead, through the crown chakra, and thence through the centre of the body to the point just below the naval chakra,  sinking into the belly where a glowing ball of white energy takes shape. Breathe in slowly and deeply as you establish this visualisation, and continuing to breathe in, extend a foot slowly forward, place it deliberately on the ground, without putting any weight upon it. As the foot touches the ground, begin to breath out, and gradually shift your weight forward onto the foot. As you do so, visualise the white orb of energy filling your body with energy, which moves your limbs for you, slowly, gracefully, and smoothly. Allow the white solar energy to radiate into your auric field, containing it as you did with the Earth energy. The forward movement is slow and steady, timed to last for an entire out breath. Then, when your weight is over your front foot, begin to breathe in again, visualising the energy current from overhead shining down through the crown chakra and charging the ball of energy in the belly, and move your rear foot forward to a level with your front foot. Continue to move the foot forward as you breathe in, and place it down as you complete the in breath. Then as you breathe out, visualise again the white ball of energy at the belly radiating out to fill your body and aura, as you slowly shift your weight forward onto the new front foot. Continue this graceful slow walking, combined with visualisations on each breath for a number of steps. Time the steps so that our breathing should be deep, relaxed and unforced.

After several steps, use the movements of anal sphincter, abdomen and diaphragm to concentrate the white solar energy at the naval centre into a white pearl, just as before, but now use eight contractions of each instead of seven. After three rounds of concentrating the white pearl, one may switch back to Red Dragon Walking. Continue to alternate in this way between Red Dragon Walking and White Dragon Walking, with the same time roughly spent on each.

To conclude the practice, allow the red and white pearls to start orbiting each other in the belly, then move them with the attention to the heart centre, allowing them to merge together into a single pink pearl, which radiates a beautiful pink glow throughout the auric field. Alternatively, the practice may be concluded with the Caduceus meditation, beginning from step (8), where the red and white energies emerge from the concentrated red and white pearls at the belly.

This final part of the practice is, of course, an octave of the sacred marriage. The Red and White Dragons represent the primordial energies of Earth and procreation, resonating with the female menstrual blood, and the spiritual seed and enlivening principle, resonating with the male semen. Their dance of union is the creative powerhouse behind all life and manifestation.

May you be blessed by the energies of the Red and White Dragons!

Blessed be,