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Exercise Seven Revisited

April 14, 2021

by Tony Willis    

I have received several inquiries concerning the previous meditation wherein the meditator agrees to undertake a regime of self-examination for the purpose of cleansing or refining their character. People have wanted to know whether they could go on this ‘in vision’ journey even if they have not been following the program of which it is a part. Unfortunately, the answer is ‘no’ – at least, not in the form in which it was presented in the previous blog post. However, since there appears to be an interest in attempting this feat of self-examination outside the original program of self-development, I have adapted the meditation so that it can be safely undertaken by anyone who has a modicum of experience with the active imagination (as the Jungians call it) or with guided visualization (as occultists call it).

Alternative Meditation

Draw the curtains of the room in which you intend to carry out the meditation. Light a candle and place it towards the East. (East is more or less where the sun rises.) Seat yourself on a straight-backed chair and take up the meditation pose. That is to say, sit with your spine upright, head facing forward, heels and knees together and your hands laid along your thighs. Close your eyes and enjoy a moment of calm. When ready, imagine that the misty darkness your physical eyes are apprehending starts to swirl, to drift and churn. The mist thins, becomes wispy and slowly evaporates. You are standing on a pathway of well-trodden earth beside a river. You are in the country, with trees and bushes to one side of you, the gently flowing river on the other. Beyond the river are, again, trees and bushes. Ahead of you is a wooden bridge, spanning the dark waters. You hasten to the bridge and cross it, hearing it creak and clatter under your feet as you do so.

At the other end of the bridge, a pathway leads you into a beautiful park, a gently rolling landscape, green and lush. This part of the park is surrounded by linden (basswood) or beech trees, standing on an elevation, so that the area around you lies in a slight hollow. A large lake, having the shape of an irregular ellipse is to your right. Beside it, some distance from you, is a one story building of whitish-brown stone. You set off towards it. As you drawn nearer, you can see that there are pillars outside, at the front of the building. You notice also that the stone of which it is built is not whitish-brown at all but white, muckied by grime. There are no windows to the building that you can see but there is an entrance, at the front, the door to which is thrown back leaving an inviting black rectangle in the otherwise blank wall of stone. A small bird flies into the portico and darts to a place above the doorway. Looking up, you see that over the entrance words have been inscribed: Know Thyself.

From within the building comes a pleasant scent; the aroma of sweet mint, the spearmint plant maybe, accompanied now and then by a hint of violet. As you stand savoring this delightful aroma, the interior of the building lights up. Within can be seen a clean, clear space with a paved floor, and a statue on a pedestal some distance ahead of you. On entering, you find yourself in a rectangular space, the longer sides of the rectangle stretching away from you. Light from above falls on the statue at the far end of the hall. You can see that the statue is a female figure in a long robe. Go forward and stand before the statue, looking up at it. It is carved from pure white marble and seems to glow from within. The woman stands, her chin up, her curly hair pulled back, caught above the nape of the neck, and from there falling free down onto her back. She wears a simple sleeveless robe over a singlet that reaches to her wrists and buttons up to the throat. In her left hand she holds a pair of scales and in her right a sword, point up. Her face is calm and beautiful, bearing a determined and businesslike expression. Her feet are not visible. The plinth on which she stands has carved upon it one word: Truth.

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As you contemplate the word, the woman on the plinth swings the tip of her sword downwards in a long, smooth arc, and brings the sword’s sharp point to rest a few centimeters from your heart. As the sword tip comes to rest aimed at your breast, the scales in the goddess’s other hand tip to one side as if an invisible something occupied one pan of the balance, weighing it down. The woman speaks: “Welcome, child of Earth. You come seeking self-knowledge, and that is a laudable aim. All humans are flawed, none are without bad habits of thought that hold them back. As your next step on the road to wisdom, I desire you to make a promise to yourself that you will look deep within, identify your most obvious faults, and do all you can to diminish or control them. But first, wash your hands, then place them upon my altar and make your promise.”

You notice for the first time a pillar three feet tall over to your right on which stands a bowl of water. Go to it and immerse your hands in the cool liquid. When you remove them, a light green towel sweeps down from above and you dry your hands on it. The towel whisks away. The lady on the plinth points with her sword to your left and you see there a similar pillar to the one bearing the bowl of water, but this second pillar has nothing on it; its top is merely a flat square. It is the altar of Aletheia, goddess of truth. Approach the altar and place both your hands upon it palm down. Make your promise and stand back, turning to face the statue of the goddess. Her sword now is held high, its tip pointing to the heavens.

See the source image

Bow deeply to the goddess and give thanks that you have been offered this opportunity to cleanse your character; for truly, character is destiny. After that, back out of the temple making sure you do not turn away from the Lady until you are back in the portico, standing in full daylight. The door, black with a brass doorknob at its center, closes, the lock clicking as it shuts. Return to the path that runs beside the lake and retrace your steps to the wooden bridge that crosses the smooth-flowing dark waters of the river marking the boundary between the domain of the goddess of Truth and the natural world. Go back across the bridge and walk away from it heading for spot that marks your starting point for this ‘in vision’ experience. As you go forward, you see a figure ahead of you, coming in your direction. You cannot see them clearly because they appear to be covered in a fine, white mist. You strain to see them better, to discern their features, but you yourself are now surrounded by the mist which darkens and settles, enveloping you completely.

In a matter of seconds, you become aware that you are seated on a chair in a room in your own home. Opening your physical eyes, you see that this is indeed true. Stand up and stamp on the floor as this action will commence the earthing process. To complete that process, have a warm drink or eat something before making a note of all that you experienced on your journey to the temple of Aletheia, goddess of Truth.

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Having made the promise, however, you must keep it. That is simple enough to do. Just take five to ten minutes a day for, let us say, five consecutive days and in those minutes seek to identify your most glaring shortcomings. Name at least three faults before you end this part of the exercise. Having named them, you must next work out how to deal with them. Is there some means by which you can control them? Can the fault be obliterated or can it only be tamed and made into a shadow of its former self? If your fault is excessive anger, ask yourself what sparks that anger, causing it to flare. Identifying a fault is easy, subduing it, mastering it, that is the hard part; and that is something you will have to struggle with on your own behalf, for no one can win the battle for you.

Note that, in her positive manifestation, Aletheia is represented holding the mirror of self-reflection and pointing to the scroll on which are recorded a person’s past deeds. (See the picture above.) If you make the promise requested of you, with your hands on Aletheia’s altar, and do not keep it, you invoke the vengeful form of the Goddess of Truth. As you can see from the second illustration above, she then approaches holding the scales of Justice, which you have unbalanced by breaking your oath. In the other hand, she carries the contract metaphorically signed by you when you made your promise, the terms of which you have failed to fulfil. The snakes protruding from under her skirts represent the poison that enters the soul of the oath-breaker, rendering them unfit to proceed to the next initiation life has to offer them and will remain there until the oath is kept and the scales of Justice returned once more to a state of balance.

08 II

From → occult tarot

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