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Messages - Olive

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1
General LHP Discussion / Re: NEMO 93 on meditation and the brain/mind
« on: November 12, 2018, 12:31:09 am »
Metaphysical in the sense that it does not originate in the physical world or in sensory experience.

Saying it does would be like saying a person laughs because certain chemicals are released in their brain. No - he laughs because he heard a funny joke. Certain chemicals are released but that was not the cause of the laughter.

It’s not a perfect analogy because the case of Meditation is even more explicit. It does not require any external stimuli and can be done at any time through the application of the Will. Surely there is a difference between this internal, conscious process and those which occur involuntarily as the body metabolizes certain compounds?

I’m not a dualist but I don’t think one has to be for this distinction to have meaning.

2
General LHP Discussion / Re: NEMO 93 on meditation and the brain/mind
« on: November 11, 2018, 10:44:29 pm »
I just wanted to leave a short thought here since it’s very relevant to the topic.

Meditation and Drugs are different, even if the perceived effects are the same. The first is a metaphysical process that can produce chemical and neurological effects. The latter is a chemical and neurological process that has a metaphysical effect. This is like the difference between being launched from a catapult, and flying like Superman.

I’m also not aware of any drug that really does the same thing as spiritual practice and provides all of the associated benefits.

I feel that if anything the practice has strengthened my connection to reality. But even if it did disconnect me from the world - speaking as a Gnostic: Bah - who needs it? :D


3
I'm a graduate of the Monroe School of Trance Technology and also from the Claymont Society for Continuous Education (1985). I've spent a good portion of my life studying trance and possession. In the H☿D we exercise caution and safety in everything we do which involves our bodies and minds. Like any other extreme practice leading up to majiqal trance, Sleep Saturation should never be practiced beyond its use to assist in trance induction.

Indeed, oversleeping can be quite bad as well. It has a high chance of inducing migraines in those that are predisposed towards them. Of course I don’t advocate overuse or abuse of these practices. Fortunately, the simple information available in the “Sleeping Naturally” section should be enough to keep one out of either extreme.

That’s an interesting set of credentials, btw. I’ve already noted your seeming experience on the matter, but now I shall surely keep an eye out for whatever information and practices you care to share here on the forum.

Quote from: “Liu”

I might actually have sleep apnea according to my doctor - going to a specialist next week, made the appointment already over 2 months ago.


Certainly try to diagnose and address any pre existing conditions first for the greatest improvements to the quality of your sleep. I should perhaps have mentioned Sleep Apnea and other adjacent conditions in the post, but all I can do is defer to medical professionals when it comes to that rather than trying to offer some kind of folk remedy.

Quote
I used to keep a dream diary, consistently for over a year, but I have stopped a few weeks ago - getting up is difficult enough without trying to cling to the fragments of a dream and note it down, and I don't even use an alarm most days - luckily, I can more or less decide myself when I work.

Keeping the dream diary for such a period is quite the accomplishment- truly. They are notoriously annoying to keep up with. And your work situation, if it is as you’ve described, is a blessing. You would do well to make the most of it.

Quote

20 minutes of meditation is something I haven't done since more than a year, and I wonder how I could make time for it since I already feel like I have too little.


Never too late to get back on the horse, friend. There are a myriad of different ways to approach meditation, but some kind of sitting practice is in my experience fundamental to spiritual development and alchemy. 20 minutes/day really is not much of a commitment if you’re taking this stuff seriously. You must be busy, but surely there is some time you can reserve to yourself. I mean hey, it’s better than TV - and the benefits are enormous. :)

Quote

Would need to check to make sure, but I'm quite certain that this is not true for me at all.


It certainly has proven to be so for me. Just this morning in the eyes-closed phase of waking, I was able to review a long dream that ended up coming full circle and began repeating itself in a loop. I was able to resolve what remained of the experience and started my day beautifully. Now? I could only describe fragments of the dream with some difficulty.




One thing I perhaps should have stressed more is the benefit of sleeping alone, without someone else in the room or on the bed. If this is not possible it is not a lethal detriment to the practice by itself, but I have noticed in my experiments with this over the past two months that it does have an impact on the depth and quality of sleep. It probably has to do with the mind subconsciously holding onto the other persons presence and not fully allowing itself to relax, as well as attempting not to wake them etc. I also notice that I tend not to move as much or at all when sleeping with another person - likely for the same reason. I’ve come across this same recommendation in Thelemite writings, so it seems to be a recognized point of importance for the practice. (If anyone’s interested in this I can cite it when I get back home to my books)

4
Vampyrism / Re: Vampyrism vs Omnivory
« on: November 11, 2018, 07:55:11 pm »
I suppose with this kind of terminology, I’d be more akin to what you describe as a “Psychic Vegan.” I don’t like to draw my power from the minds of men or from LBM methods. I try to use them skillfully if it becomes necessary to achieve my goals, but it’s not such a common thing.

I used to live a much more vampyric lifestyle and I was conscious of what I was doing. I thought it was great at the time, and I did manage to convert the results into some pretty amazing experiences - but I have changed immeasurably since then. Looking back on it now, I see that the rewards I reaped were never worth the time and effort they cost. Not only that, but throughout this time I was doing serious damage to myself and to others which I had vastly underestimated. It’s not that I was thoughtless about it - it’s just that I wasn’t yet developed enough to perceive the more subtle impacts and how far the repercussions would really reach. Some things just can’t be seen except from the back.

Don’t worry, as a magician and an occultist, I can respect the work you guys are doing here. I salute those who have become far more advanced vampyres than I ever did. But I’ve moved on to what are for me greener pastures.

I’ve learned that most men are deluded shades whose energy isn’t worth having. It’s unsavory to me compared to what I get from communion with my patron, developing the spirit, or drawing from primal chaos. Like ordering a steak and getting roadkill instead. Even for those who do have something special, now I’d rather see what can be produced by bringing us into harmony rather than drawing on what they have. I’ve got my own.  8)

We may be of different magical alignments, but best of luck to you. May you feed wisely.

5
Artemism / Temple Appreciation - Respect the Greats
« on: November 08, 2018, 04:50:42 pm »
Housekeeping: Hey everyone - I've been a little quiet here what with my moving around and performing my rituals for the end of the cycle. But I have a lot that is being prepared to share with everyone. Very soon you will see the first writings of theological significance to our fledgling lunar canon. Also I have several recordings that are just about ready to be uploaded (one lecture already over 30 minutes), but unfortunately the connecting cable for my preamp was damaged during transit so I've been unable to put the finishing touches on them to make them suitable for upload. I'm going to replace it today though, so TL;DR - much material is coming.


But for now, I thought I would make something a little more light-hearted and discussion oriented. There is an element of Temple-building as one of the longer term goals of Artemism, as stated in the introduction. So I thought we could talk a little bit about which of these great constructions we most enjoy and why that is.

It has been said that a temple is a tool for spiritual development. Meaning, one has to know how to use the temple, and what kind of mentality to approach it in, to get the most out of it. Unfortunately this is not possible for most of the greatest ancient sites of worship still present; but we are not totally lost. The Architecture and the experience of visiting them often speak for themselves to a large extent. This is why in ancient times Architecture was considered the greatest art (or among the greatest), sometimes even beyond writing. A writing must be translated and decoded by a set of rough definitions and interpretation. Architecture is meant to be beheld. It exists not only in the realm of concepts but also in the realm of extension and impenetrability.

There are so many great sites I should like to talk about in time - but I'll start us off with a few of my favorites, one at a time.

Note: Any temple associated with the Moon or Lunar deities should be specially marked so that a list of such structures can be made for the consideration and appreciation of Lunar Devotees.


1. The Kailash Temple

This has long been one of my favorite sites - and it is truly an amazing temple unparalleled by any other. It is named after Mount Kailash, which is considered to be the location where Lord Shiva resides and a holy site. It pays homage to him with a lot of Shaivite imagery such as Nandi the cow of Shiva and the Shiva Lingam. But many aspects of Hinduism are represented more generally - such as depictions of the different incarnations of Vishnu.

The entire thing was carved out of a single rock, starting from the top and working downwards. This in itself in somewhat incredible, but it is even more so when we consider that the site contains many rooms, pillars, statues, and bas reliefs, as well as windows, hidden peepholes, rainwater collection and a working drainage system (not to mention the bridges, balconies, huge staircases, and hidden underground passages). Many of the reliefs and statues are breathtaking works of art in their own right - retelling the famous stories of the Ramayana and Mahabharata in a visual format.

it was a bedrock excavation with no stone added - so there was zero room for error. All of this had to be carefully planned from the beginning. And on inspection, no errors were made.

200,000 - 500,000 tons of rock was removed, leaving behind the incredible structure. This was not merely limestone or soft sandstone - it was solid Basalt. Crystalline volcanic igneous rock.

There is a legend about the site dating back to the 17th century. It claims that the emperor Aurangzeb sent 1000 workers to fully dismantle the great temple. After three years, it suffered only minimal damage in the form of a few broken or disfigured statues. Realizing that it would be impossible to destroy the site, the emperor gave up.

Modern historical perspectives often date the site's construction to the 750s during the reign of Krishna I, but this is uncertain and in my view - highly unlikely. It is claimed that the temple was constructed in some 19 years. This would mean that at least 55 tons of rock would have to be cut every hour for 12 hours a day throughout that time span. Then, of course, the rock would have to be removed and the remaining exposed rock had to be intricately carved to form a temple fit for a god.

The rock that was removed has not been found, nor have the tools used to construct it. It is worth noting that nearby there are also many carved ruins which are now totally submerged - possibly from the same civilization that created the Kailash temple.

H.P Blavatsky claimed that the temples in this area date back much further than what scholars believe today. And in my view this seems likely, as it is still not understood at all how such a feat of construction was possible at that time. It is possible that it is an ancient site that has been progressively worked on over many centuries in different phases of work.


This is by no means the goal I have in mind for the Temple of Artemis - it would take a herculean effort to produce anything resembling this in the modern era. Perhaps over many many years of diligent work a rival could be constructed, but I dare not set my sights so high as of now. I'm only bringing this forth so that we can appreciate the work of the ancients, and form more robust ideas about what the possibilities of a temple are.


I went a little longer on this than expected, so I'll just leave a few pictures. It's impossible for me to show off everything about the site, so I recommend doing some research of your own if you're interested. I'll return shortly to speak about two more sites - one Indian and one Akkadian - and then we can go from there. Looking forward to see what sites hold the fancy of our members. :)


6
Announcements / Re: The Imperishable Star volume IV!
« on: November 03, 2018, 04:33:51 pm »
If it’s possible, could a print-friendly version (white background) be shared? I would like to have a physical edition for personal notation; I’m also considering printing a few extra copies and offering them to local reading communities and the witchy circles I know of. It might not do much, or it might help draw attention to the forum or at least the ideas of our members. I’ll abstain if this is not deemed appropriate by the O.S. ; it is something to consider at least.

7
General LHP Discussion / Re: TIS 4 discussion
« on: November 03, 2018, 02:29:52 pm »
Reading through the volume in a somewhat random order... I’ll return and speak more about my thoughts once I’ve completed it.

For now I just wanted to say that @NEMO 93 ‘s article was an absolute joy to read through. I relate to much of it very heavily; I love the description of absurdity as the hateful connection between the human heart’s longing for clarity and a harsh and indifferent reality, as well as the origination of consciousness from the primal Khaos.

I would argue however that Existentialism is not necessarily defeated by Absurdism - actually I think they strengthen each other as I embrace both in my own way. The basic tenet of the former is that existence precedes (individual) essence. In other words, that individuals are born into an indifferent world which will in time outlive them. If this is not recognized, it undermines aspects of the absurdist position. Camus himself is considered an existentialist, and another good example of the alliance between the two can be seen in The Last Messiah by Zapffe. (https://philosophynow.org/issues/45/The_Last_Messiah)

The critique against Nihilism, however, is spot on.

I also can’t agree with the characterization of suicide. Just because the universe does not explicitly confirm that there is no point to existence, does not mean the self-murderer must be obligated to stay here and search for its (possible) existence. Even if there was a grand “point,” clearly it cannot be fulfilled for all by the life of one man - and so the one man removing himself remains a neutral event rather than a grand mistake.

It’s impossible to claim that suicide enslaves the individual, as that which has been annihilated is beyond the reach of restriction or compulsion (necessary conditions for slavery). The only real critique is that it is a leap of faith to assume that suicide annihilates the individual - although this also can be seen as a logical conclusion from the existentialism that has already been accepted.

I remain unconvinced that “growth” is the ultimate purpose of existence or consciousness barring further argument, but I can agree with some of the lifestyle-esque conclusions in the Sisyphus section.

I love just about everything else about this article - the characterization of set, the informative section about gnosis in the context of Norse mythology, the necessity of sacrifice, the exposition on acosmic draconian magic, the criticism against those anticosmicists who vainly seek to destroy the universe, etc. I’ll be leaving a bookmark there for sure. c:

8
General LHP Discussion / Re: Saw this on Reddit and love it
« on: October 27, 2018, 09:25:09 pm »
I’m not sure about the red card thing either, but the guy with the gun seems to represent the Church of Satan gatekeeping the “real” stuff.

Thanks for sharing, Xepera. I enjoyed all the little details and the different placements of the organizations. I love the Luciferians appropriately being represented as a lighthouse, and the pyramids on the Moonlike TOS.

Btw, is it just me or does the guy straddling the fence between the occult and the known have dicks for hands?

9
Som·no·man·cy (n) - The use of sleep related states for magical and alchemical purposes.

Somno (sleep) + Mancy (~divination) = Sleep Magic.


Category: Practice, Lifestyle

Difficulty: 2/5 

Recommended Prerequisites for Mastery:

6 months of daily meditation 20 minutes or more

or

Occult initiation into the first degree, attainment of second-sight/astral sight.



I. Differentiation between the magic of sleep and that of dreams.

In other words, the topic of this discussion shall be focused on using sleep and sleep-related states as magical tools rather than those methods which are enacted while in dreaming consciousness. We shall surely return to the latter subject in time, but until then I would recommend taking a look at @Kapalika 's thread on the subject which contains some general ideas on the subject (http://orderoftheserpent.org/forum/index.php?topic=567.msg5117).


II. Sleep Deprivation and Bad Habits

Before we discuss potential methods for using sleep to sow and reap great benefit to ourselves, we first must briefly mention how to address the negative impacts which can easily be accrued by a poor approach to the practice. For example, many adults and children are subject to chronic sleep deprivation. The CDC reports that 35.2% of all adults in the United States get less than 7 hours of sleep per 24 hour period 1. This figure tracks closely with other conditions that can also affect the quality of sleep such as smoking, heavy drinking, obesity, and physical inactivity. If it is at all possible for the initiate to avoid these conditions or to suspend them temporarily, it would be most helpful to do so in seeking to master this subject.

Even if most of the overtly negative preconditions can be avoided, our problems are not solved. For the practitioner shall also have to set aside enough time to get a healthy amount of sleep on a regular basis. This duration is often reported as 7+ hours, but in practice one should likely try for at least 8 hours to aim for natural and restful sleep (and if you are already sleep-deprived, you may need as much as 10 hours a day until you have recovered). Another factor that is poorly reported upon is the negative impact of noise exposure upon a sleeping person. The ears are not totally forgotten in sleep - they continue to hear faithfully and this information intrudes upon the dream world and draws subconscious attention away from other processes. A similar thing can happen with light exposure during one's sleeping hours, though to a lesser extent. If it is all possible, one should endeavor to have a quiet and dark space to sleep in - free from all intrusion. A space like this is of enormous value and will be mentioned again in various other practices.

Another problem is the use of alarm clocks in order to make early shifts and classes after potentially working long hours the night before. Many people are in general overworked and thus are forced to use such tools in order to regulate their daily routines. This is unfortunately one of the worst detriments to making the best out of a night's sleep and the process of waking up. An alarm clock is a jarring intrusion into your resting essence, shaking you to waking consciousness and demanding that you at once open your eyes and move, and begin the morning struggle (if not to fitfully steal a few more moments of sleep before repeating the same experience). This method totally destroys one's ability to go through the natural process of waking, and much less to make use of hypnopompic states of consciousness.

Sleep deprivation and other negative sleep factors cause an internal deficiency which is no less debilitating than hunger - and yet because of its subtle and pervasive nature in modern society, it is rarely addressed as a real problem. Sleep deprivation has been used as a cruel method of torture 2 3, and has been shown to precipitate psychotic episodes 2 and even death.

Other side-effects of these conditions include:

• Irritability and sensitivity
• Inability to remember dreams
• Retarding effect on growth and healing processes
• Misalignment with the circadian rhythm of the body
• Temporary state of "shocked" consciousness from the quickened transition

We carry these things with us into our day, and they are not always the easiest of conditions to shake off. Making a directed effort to address some of these problems will greatly increase the quality of your sleep and give you a good baseline to begin using it for magical and transformative purposes.


III. Sleeping Naturally

In contrast to the complicated and myriad effects that come with the chronic sleep deprivation in the modern world - where indeed even in wealthy countries sleep is neglected and disturbed - the most beneficial way to conduct sleep is extremely simple. I'd like to share a quote from the mammoth tome of pessimism called Ever Deeper Honesty, which describes this quite aptly 4: (Slightly paraphrased for better readability)

Quote
1. When your body/mind is naturally tired, you will naturally want to lie down,
and your body/mind might sleep, or do whatever it does.
And,
2. When your body/mind is totally finished lying down, it will naturally not want
to lie down any longer, and you will naturally have to get out of bed.

Despite this being extremely simple and easy to do, most people are not doing this (or not being allowed to do this). Which means that they are not even listening to their own bodies. And if they are not even listening to their own bodies on such a crude level, it is highly likely that other things are also happening in their bodies which they are not fully aware of.

Indeed, there are so many spiritual books/teachers/courses/etc, which all teach you how to
listen to your body/intuition/etc, but none of this is as important, as being able to naturally
wake up (when the body/mind is ready), and naturally go to sleep (when the body/mind is
ready).

...

Note: It's important to see, that this is not about being able to stop (and rest, take a step
back, etc), on an occasional basis.
-- Ie, it's not about having 3 or 4 evenings a week, where you go somewhere (and/or do
something), to stop (and rest, take a step back, etc).
-- Ie, It's about being able to do this naturally, every day, 24/7.
And it’s important to realize, that this is not something that is a “want”, but a “need”.
-- Because, if you just “stop” for a short while, (eg, stopping for a whole week, or month, or
year), this will not help, because as soon as you get back into your normal life, you'll be
back into the routine (of not letting your mind/body naturally rest when it needs, and for
however long it needs).
-- Ie, the only way to make a true/permanent difference to your life, is to naturally live your
life, like this, everyday.

Note: Saying that all of this is important, might sound ridiculous (to some people),
however, what is more ridiculous, is a life where:
1. You can’t go to bed when you want.
2. You can’t wake up when you want.
3. You can’t just stay in bed if you want.

And indeed, this level of achievement alone can have massive impacts on the practitioner's life. The ability to sleep alone, in a relatively sound-proof, light-proof room for as long as the body and mind naturally require (that is, until going through the full process of waking until one is ready to get up without an alarm clock) is invaluable. Some of the effects of this include: the ability to remember dreams with much greater clarity; starting each day with a mind that is fully recharged and healed to a great extent; consistently having energy levels which are overflowing rather than deficient; much better mood in general; no need for caffeine, which would further tax the resources of the body. These abilities become more and more apparent over longer periods of time, and being able to consistently sleep effectively should be considered one of the greatest fundamental methods for the purification of the intellect, and the emotional mind (Air and Water).

This alone can go a long ways towards alleviating the need within one's psyche that can cause her many impediments in her alchemical work. Consistency in this practice of natural sleeping also allows for the recognition and observation of the various states of consciousness peripheral to sleep and the transition periods between them, which we shall discuss in brief directly.


IV. Hypnagogic States of Consciousness

Hypnagogic (adj) - relating to the state just before falling asleep.

Now it seems we are getting into the real meat of the practice, or what is experienced most definitely as an active form of practice rather than a matter of discipline and Will. That is, the observation and appreciation of the transitional periods in consciousness. Only so much can be said in text, so the initiate should work by his own experience to see exactly what is there, and how it can be made use of. The first of these kinds of experiments involves the hypnagogic period just before falling asleep. This is probably the easiest category to explore and also one of the most intriguing, and so we'll speak a bit about it first.

The practice sounds relatively simple, but the actual doing can be a little tricky - since it involves observing and learning from experience that is happening at some of the most rarefied and relaxed states of consciousness available throughout one's day. This is why the primary requirement for this type of magic involves a relatively solid base in meditative practices - wherein the skill of maintaining focus and presence in all different states of consciousness is honed. The alternative prerequisite, is the acquisition of what I second-sight. This is the ability to perceive veridical visual impressions that do not arise from the functioning of the eyes or the reception of any light. Equal to this prerequisite is the apperception of extrasensory powers, or in other words access to modes of perception beyond those of the five senses. This is a relatively deep topic on its own, so we won't divert too much to discuss it here; these abilities qualify a candidate because a person who has mastered any of them has a strong ability to perceive and recall those phenomena which happen on very subtle levels and in different seas of conscious possibility space.

The practitioner should recuse herself to her sleeping room while not sleep-deprived. As she approaches natural sleep, she should attempt to maintain a subtle level of awareness as the processes of drifting asleep take place. One should observe without preventing sleep from approaching by raising conscious activity overly much. As this is done, several different kinds of phenomena may begin to occur, including:

• Dis-identified speech of an inner voice, speaking with great clarity (or a great dementedness) about sometimes surprising topics
• Weak and frenetic visionary experiences, sometimes rising into full blown consistent visions with color.
• Less frequently, auditory effects that do not seem to arise from internal gesticulations or from external sources.
• Divinatory effects - future and possible future events being revealed subtly
• Rarefied states of feeling resulting from sinking into oblivion while maintaining awareness
     → Sometimes incredibly blissful as the comfort of the bed is enjoyed, and as the various processes of the body are wound down
     → As this happens, the related impulses of the Will are relaxed and set aside, giving it less and less reason to bring consciousness outside of itself.
     → Awareness eventually relaxes itself totally and returns to Essence (spirit).
     →     → Similar to a Samadhi-like experience - but notably different and less intense in these circumstances
     →     → Nevertheless, both experiences can be classified among joys as Shiva-Bliss, since they are bliss arising from the dissolution of self and of experience itself.
• Once one has become skilled with this practice, then she may wish to explore what happens when it is done from a state of exhaustion rather than peaceful sleepiness.
     → Greater hallucinatory and delirious happenings
     → Powerful practice for strengthening the Will and training discipline


V. Hypnopompic States of Consciousness

Hypnopompic (adj) - relating to the states immediately preceding waking consciousness, and during the transition to full wakefulness.

This state and the last one often get thrown around together - but they are in truth markedly different in experiential quality and applications. At the end of the day, one wearily returns to bed and takes comfort in that respite as her physical processes take the chance to heal themselves, and her mind is let loose from the chain of mundane existence - quickly spinning off into semi-incoherent and self-indulgent tangents. But in the morning, one is suddenly born again, gasping, from that state of ultimate relaxation and infinite mental potential. She struggles to make sense of the lingering afterimages and feelings as the ordinary sounding of waking consciousness reasserts itself. In this way, the hypnopompic stages of waking amount to a kind of violence - the violence of creation; as such magical and alchemical methods that make use of this transition period are themselves more violent than their counterparts and similarly powerful. It has been said that some of the creative insights which are usually attributed to dreams actually happen during this period of waking from R.E.M sleep. Whether or not this is true you shall have to explore for yourself in your personal practice.

The practice I recommend to begin experimenting with this, is similar to the previous one if only in description. One must exert control at the critical moment of instantiation and then prevent herself from mentally tensing up at this experience. Instead she must assert a calm watchfulness and observe what is happening within herself carefully. It is imperative that an alarm clock not be used for this practice. One should be waking from a night of natural sleep, and as this is happening she must resolve to keep her eyes closed for 3-5 minutes and refrain from moving as the aforementioned observation and appreciation begins. The natural process of waking takes several minutes to complete and this should all be observed without interruption.

Here are some things one might experience with attention to this practice:

• Observing the instantiation of one's waking consciousness.
• Taking note of one's first thought of the day - slippery as this notion may be. First intentional thought of the day, first heard thought remembered etc.
• As long as the eyes remain closed, one's dream recall will be nearly perfect. Use this to reach back into Dreaming consciousness and analyze the content there to recall important semiotics and the emotional states you have been in throughout the period you can remember.
• An incredibly fresh and vibrant state of consciousness, sometimes the most pure and satisfied of one's day.
     → High states of bliss can be achieved; they are different from hypnagogic states as they are based on restful and springlike being rather than awareness of dissolution.
    →     → According to the framework previously mentioned, this would be classified as Brahma-Bliss transitioning into Vishnu-Bliss if sustained as the period ends.
    →     → Done correctly, this joy of birth will be accompanied by a sublime state of Will-lessness that will allow the adept to experiment, unimpeded by impulses to move or think.
    →     →     → (Advanced) Using this birth of consciousness divided from the material world, to create a separate existence for oneself before eventually opening the eyelids.


VI. Napping and Interrupted Sleep Schedules.

Napping is not only a casual way to catch up on sleep, it is actually quite a useful tool for occult and spiritual purposes - especially those who are interested in exploring the processes of dreams and sleep. If an adept has had a long day and is exhausted or is otherwise suffering from certain mental ailments such as headache and brainfog, it can actually be more beneficial for her to simply take a nap and recover rather than simply going right into a more demanding practice such as meditation or yoga. (Although if she has determined that she will continue her practice then and has no other time to perform it to make her regimen, she should still perform the practice, or she sins against her Will.)

Varying lengths of nap time have been proposed for different desired effects. Short naps, colloquially referred to as “power naps”, are those ranging from 10-30 minutes. This kind of nap does not allow enough time to get very deep into REM sleep, and so they are often not very useful for generating inspiration. However, they are sufficient to “wipe clean” the current mental state of the practitioner - and this property makes them a great way to break through such limitations as procrastination and writer’s block. I have also found them effective for storing up a bit of extra energy before going about a task.

Longer naps, such as those that go 1-2 hours or even longer are sufficient to create the sensation of awaking to a new day. They are usually enough to fully rejuvenate the practitioner unless he has sustained more serious bodily damage or exhaustion. These kinds of naps also have a good chance of passing into REM and also into the deepest states of sleep which are beyond dreams. In these cases, inspiration from dreams becomes again accessible and is sometimes easier to recollect owing to the smaller amount of time between dream and waking.

More fine distinctions on nap time can be made, but this would serve no real purpose, as each adept will have to discover for herself what effects she can induce by altering the time scale - and this is something that is by no means able to be spoken about in a general sense.

It should now be noted that the restriction against alarm clocks can be lifted for naps and interrupted sleep schedules, as these things may prove impossible to experiment with accurately without some external signal to intentionally break up sleep at the desired time. Still, care should be taken that the alarm not be too varied or agitating enough as to destroy the potential usefulness of the waking state by requiring immediate action. The best noises that can be used for this purpose is either a single short note of sound, or otherwise a constantly sounding tone which is not too loud or grating. Either of these will allow the adept to wake and take note of the signal without being required to take immediate action to silence it.

One additional purpose of napping, which is quite obvious, should be noted all the same due to its significance for our purposes. This is that taking naps or making use of interrupted sleep schedules makes it possible for the adept to experience multiple hypnagogic and hypnopomic effects in a day. She is not limited to the usual one of each. This allows her to take a closer and more frequent examination of her subject.

The use of interrupted sleep schedules needs little explanation, as the term speaks for itself. By setting (non-invasive) alarms during the night, one turns her sleeping period into a series of deep naps. There are several different ideas about how to best go about this - but I shall list only two for those who wish to experiment with this.

Up to 4 hours rest, 1 hour awake, 4 hours rest. - This schedule is meant to replicate the natural sleep schedule that humans pursued before the advent of modern time scheduling and artificial lighting. It is speculated that this spare hour of productivity (under the moon) was responsible for much of the copulation of ancient humans. Whatever the case may be, it does allow for two very deep periods of sleep per day, and a single hour of productive time apart from all worry as the rest of the world sleeps.

3+ hours rest, then waking every 90 minutes - This schedule is designed to assist in trawling up even more material from the deep places of dreaming consciousness. In theory, the long period of rest is enough to allow for REM and dreamless sleep. Following this, the adept can quickly rise for just a few moments and record whatever she remembers from the content of her dream. Afterwards, the end of each 90 minute interval is meant to interrupt a period of REM - allowing for greater dream recall. I have had some success with this method, but I advise caution. It is a difficult schedule to keep and one must be careful not to exhaust herself pursuing it.


VII. Sleeping Asanas

- under construction -


Title of Mastery

One having mastered these practices should consider themselves as having earned the Somnus Dreadnought - that is, the God of Sleep's heavy coat. Once you've thoroughly integrated the results to the point of being able to speak about the merits of the degree and to keep consistent mastery over your sleep, you can wear it with confidence. Fools may scoff at its significance, but in the weary lines of their faces you shall spy the oversight of those who have neglected the art of natural rejuvenation, and who approach the dark half of their lives with carelessness.

Sigillic Representation of Degree

-under construction-




Citations

1. https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/data_statistics.html
2. https://nyaspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.1749-6632.1962.tb50101.x
3. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/dreaming-in-the-digital-age/201412/why-sleep-deprivation-is-torture
4. https://www.everdeeperhonesty.com/ (page 436-437)

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General LHP Discussion / Re: Magic vs. Drugs
« on: October 27, 2018, 05:31:51 pm »
I can't understand being this against drugs. Caffeine? It's really overzealous.

Hey, people can do it if they like :) I only meant as a practitioner it’s better to do without it’s influence. Especially if it’s going to end up being something done every day or most days. A glass of sweet tea is different than multiple servings of coffee/espresso on the regular. The need it creates is more of a problem to me than its effects. Though neither is beneficial to magical or spiritual practice imo.

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General LHP Discussion / Re: Magic vs. Drugs
« on: October 27, 2018, 04:37:15 pm »
There's a very interesting discussion going on here - one that always seems to be contentious in spiritual circles. I've heard about it from both hardliners and enthusiasts.

Personally, I used to have a much higher opinion of psychedelics and other drugs as tools for psychonautical exploration - but that has diminished for me somewhat. I still think they can be useful if they are approached in a focused way (knowing what one is doing, dosing properly, understanding the goals of the experience) or a ritualistic setting as previously mentioned a few times. Especially for beginners and those who still carry a lot of programming, certain drugs do seem to "open a door" that did not appear to be there before. I think Mushrooms and LSD are literally 'consciousness-expanding' in that they allow the user to become conscious of certain processes which are outside of normal waking consciousness, but whether or not this is actually useful for magical practice - especially in the long run - is debatable.

I know that certain drugs were very influential for me at the very early stages of my journey, but at this point they have lost much of their appeal and purpose. I am now able now to induce visionary experiences while sober that are much more powerful and much more revealing than anything I ever experienced while tripping or using certain kinds of deliriants/dissassociatives. So it seems to me now that using these things are actually a detriment or at least a perverting influence on the veracity of my practice.

That being said, I still don't think that psychoactive materials are totally without use even now. I'm still willing to experiment with these things every now and then. I consider doing a dose of Mushrooms every year or so - though sometimes it goes out to two years without me missing them. And again, I do believe that my early experiments with these things really opened my eyes to the possibilities of conscious experience apart from direct sensory input. Also, I've had several ego-death experiences induced by these substances which (while not always a great time) were certainly important moments in my development.

I've yet to try DMT or 5meo-DMT, for which I've heard enormous praise even from teachers which I respect and know to be serious practitioners. Perhaps I'll have more to say about that if I ever get a chance to try it - it's pretty rare in my area. I'm also not that motivated to go seek it out since I am already accessing revelatory insights and transformative experiences on a regular basis.

I've had some success more recently with milder psychoactive substances in experimental practices. One thing that I find quite interesting is doing a long meditation session immediately followed by a bowl of cannabis and water/stretches, before going into another equally long session. In my experience though this is sort of like "putting on the training weights" during my internal practice. The substance definitely brings out more mental activity and different kinds of emotional experience, through all of which I continue to maintain awareness of diamond clarity. Usually by the end of the second session I have returned fully to sobriety, which is interesting as the effects generally last at least a few hours at that dose.

I would not recommend this practice to anyone who is not already experienced though, as Cannabis does tend to be addictive on a psychological level. I don't really recommend anything that is addictive or that has the potential to create further deficiency and dependency in the user. That means I don't recommend caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, amphetamines, opiates etc under any circumstances. And neither cannabis, although it is miles gentler than most anything else on that list. I'm fine with nonaddictive substances such as mushrooms, lsd, DMT, 5-Meo, AL-LAD, etc, though these things may not inherently be useful for magical practice. Very mild substances, like Blue Lotus Flower, for example - which is essentially harmless, nonaddictive, and a good catalyst for specific categories of practice - have been somewhat effective for me in my experiments so far.

Curious to hear more thoughts on the subject. It's certainly not a closed book. I know the psychedelic experience has been explored on different levels throughout much of human development. (At least the natural substances).

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Artemism / Re: Question: Sex/gender in Artemism, clarification?
« on: October 23, 2018, 08:57:45 pm »
Hm, I find it quite a bit difficult to talk about a male or masculine principle or female or feminine principle.
Sure, there are things that clearly are male or female physical things (even if not always entirely clear-cut, even less if considering other animals).
And yeah, there are also mental/psychological and potentially spiritual things that seem to be more common for physical males or physical females.
But, especially as a transperson, I too often find exceptions to believe that there is anything that ultimately would be per se masculine or feminine (like people talking about male or female energy or whatever) besides social conventions and some few natural tendencies that however seem to be species-dependent.

So, when I speak about the Masculine and Feminine principles, I am referring to the two extremes of the polarity that is present in all manifested things. This idea has a long history in both the western and eastern esoteric traditions. It has the more specific connotation of the complementary aspects of extension and reception that we see in gametes, the sex organs themselves and even something like light and darkness. But this concept has been greatly expanded to include principles such as Man and Woman, Hot and Cold, Li and Kan, Yin and Yang, Right and Left, Order and Chaos, and the Sun and the Moon.

I’m also a trans person, but I have a bit of a different perspective on the issue. It seems to me that the masculine and feminine principles do have an inherent character to them that is not entirely socially constructed. I think for example that if we could remove a group of individuals from society and have them live outside of our influence - we would likely see most racial stereotypes prove themselves incorrect, whereas some distinctions between masculine and feminine personalities would remain true. There does seem to be a distinction between the respective principles’ manifestations of certain traits such as aesthetic, social interaction, motivators and outcomes that we probably wouldn’t do justice describing only in neutered terms.

Again, these correlations are not strictly linked to biological sex. As Onyx said, people are complex and there is a lot of exception and grey area. But I would disagree with those in the trans community that say that gender is totally a social construct and the resulting performance. (And consequently with the more revolutionary take that gender should therefore be drastically reformed or discarded.)

I would say that gender is not a performance, but an expression of an internal mode of being. And I think the existence of trans people in many disparate places and times despite external circumstances is a pretty strong point for that position. I do of course respect the validity of non-binary trans people (whether that is taken to mean an aforementioned grey area or the introduction of a new principle), but the majority of trans people are still binary and feel that they are men and women in a way that is meaningful to them. Personally, I think that even if I were alone on a desert island, I would still be a woman - and not just because of the way people used to look at me. I can’t prove that to you, it’s just something gleaned from self-knowledge. I don’t consider myself a woman because of my functional role in society, but because of my internal experience and perspective. And further, I think it is relatively easy to identify others who share those mental, emotional, and other internal characteristics with me, and those that are more towards the other end of the spectrum.

Whatever your ideas are about the ultimate foundation of gender and the applicability of words like masculine and feminine to concepts such as light and darkness - it ultimately does not take away from the usefulness of the associated philosophy/theology if you can recognize that what is being spoken about is the fundamental duality of reality in a yin/yang sort of way. If this terminology is unappealing to you, however - it may be more difficult to understand what it means to take a masculine approach to spiritual and alchemical development as opposed to a feminine approach; it may also be difficult to understand why I refer to the nondual principle as the Divine Feminine and not the Divine Masculine.

I’m confident that many of you understand what concepts I’m talking about based on prior experience with other esoteric traditions. Nevertheless I would still like to develop a more sophisticated approach to explaining what these words really mean - especially in the context of spiritual practice where many subtle distinctions have to be made. I will certainly put it on the list to do a more full analysis and exposition on this topic and it’s relevance to our work.

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As the opposite example of my position, a while ago I heard of Artemists (or rather Dianists, or whatever is the word) who would only allow females in their group and would go so far as to exclude pregnant women from their meetings if they were pregnant with a boy. Glad that you're not like that.

Haha... well that’s certainly rather extreme. Especially since the founder of Dianism as it was known in the 19th and 20th centuries was a man (Henry Parkhurst). I have looked into the related material as it concerns one of the few groups that honor the Moon Goddess in the name of their practice. Research is currently ongoing and I will likely produce a discussion or lecture on the topic in the future. It was quite an interesting movement but woefully short-reaching compared to what I am attempting to do under the name of Artemism.

There have historically been occult groups and covens that were female-only, but that’s just not conducive to my intentions of open teaching and focus on experience. Even if I did want to be that selective about who could be a student, biological sex would not be be a significant enough indicator for the internal characteristics which would actually matter in an esoteric path like this.

Quote
And btw, regarding it being difficult in English to talk gender-neutral - try German ;)

Oh goodness no... if it’s anything like French then I can understand. Practically every noun is gendered in that system haha. But yes, thank you for the response. I’ll likely stick with the generic she for official Artemist writings just to keep the atmosphere in-theme. :)

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Artemism / Re: Question: Sex/gender in Artemism, clarification?
« on: October 23, 2018, 02:28:41 pm »
Thanks for stopping by to check out my work, guys. ;)

As I wrote in the intro, there is a tendency to honor the feminine principle over the masculine. Though, inasfar as what I briefly described as the ‘divine feminine’ principle is non-polar, it must reclaim the masculine principle or transcend both. All this still begs questions of more precise definitions and expansions of each of these terms. That may well be a good topic for me to add to the list of important discussions to have here.

That being said, to me the Moon (and consequently the Lunar Goddess) is clearly a feminine force. I think on a symbolic level this is obvious and fitting for many reasons. (The nature of its reflected and perfected light, the cycles that coincide with the female cycle, the beauty and humility of its visage compared to that of the sun which blocks out the heavens and forces men to avert their eyes as if kowtowing to a king, it’s association with cold rather than heat, the perfect image of the yang principle in the full moon surrounded by night, etc etc)

This means that the choice of honoring her above all others, does imply an evaluation of the two principles and a decision to embody one before the other. Though as I said, not to the total exclusion of the strengths of the other side. Especially at the more advanced level reunification and reclamation become more important. For instance, my actions on this board. Teaching and philosophizing can be construed as a projective and therefore masculine activity - though in my case they are in service to expression of a higher feminine principle. This can be seen as a hermetic reunification, or perhaps narratively as the woman usurping the strengths of the man. I.e. a solitary Pharoah Queen, even as the great teacher reveals.

These kinds of ideas and similar ones are what lead me to default to feminine words here, even though the English language makes that difficult sometimes. (Prominent examples of words which are difficult to flip without reconstituting and defining more archaic words first: Master, Brethren, Fraternity, etc.) In writing I generally default to masculine gendered words as a stylistic choice to promote consistency, but in this case it felt very wrong.

As @Little Beast mentioned, there are a good assortment of male lunar deities which are still quite useful for my purposes, such as Chandra, Tsukuyomi, and Sin. In fact, many of the oldest lunar deities are portrayed as men, while the majority of those popular in the last several thousand years have been women. There is a theory that due to the gradual recession of the Moon, in very ancient times it was slightly larger in the sky - making it the largest celestial body visible. This alongside more skewed views about gender could explain why in those remote times the Moon was seen as the male figure and as more important than the sun, as it was superior to the latter in size and beauty. This process of flipping genders has caused some modern commenters to characterize the Moon as a trans woman. This is quite funny but it is an effective way of encoding a bit of lunar history, although much of it be informed by the masculine perspective from the beginning.

Bringing this back down to a more direct level - the value assigned to the feminine principle in this system should not be construed to mean that only women may become accomplished Lunar magicians. We are, after all, speaking about pervasive principles and not merely sex. The principles of masculine and feminine are reflected in a physical sense in the respective sex organs; but in the much more important internal sense, these principles are not perfectly mapped to any bodily characteristic. Therefore, no potential practioner of this tradition will be obstructed by his social classification as a man - so long as he pursues or is able to pursue the embodiment of the feminine principle in the mental and spiritual spheres. (Cultivating a state of the upmost receptiveness, internal potency, storing and enhancing essence rather than projecting it outward, etc. It is noted that further definitions of each principle are still begged, though I do not have the time to yet provide them.)

As to other question, which is indeed quite a different one. “Is this [Artemism] for everyone?”

I can say with near certainty that it is not. Actually the system and practices I plan to record here represent a pretty extreme path towards spiritual development. Lunar Devotion will never be a mass religion, because it does not stoop low enough to cater to the common man. I should rather expect, that no one will be able to follow this path beyond incorporating certain practices unless they are extremely driven and have unified their will, or otherwise are already an experienced practitioner with enough flexibility to explore a new tradition in a serious way. I intend to create a system of philosophy, theology, and practice for those who are dedicated to developing spiritual knowledge and ability. This is what was meant by my comments about the Pale Goddess being “terse” and “meritocratic.”

And for the same reason I would echo the statements of Yeshua when he said (somewhat dramatically):

“The gate is small and the way is narrow which leadeth unto life, and only a few find it.”

And:

“If anyone comes to me that does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brother and sister - yes, even his own life - such a person cannot be my disciple.”


Thanks for the time, friends. You have my blessing. :)

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Artemism / Re: Introduction: Artemism and Lunar Devotion
« on: October 15, 2018, 08:26:20 pm »
Reserved 2

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Artemism / Re: Introduction: Artemism and Lunar Devotion
« on: October 15, 2018, 08:26:09 pm »
Reserved 1

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