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Principle 10, Exercise 9

July 30, 2021

by Tony Willis   

Exercise 9

Mentally clear the space around you. Imagine you are pushing the everyday energy in the room where you are sitting away from you. Push it beyond the confines of that room. That done, imagine light descending into the room from high above you. You can picture white light or a very pale blue light. Imagine the light bringing with it calm and peace and altruistic love. Make yourself comfortable within this new atmosphere and close your eyes. Allow your inner eye to accustom itself to the darkness that now encompasses you. In a few seconds, the blackness will change into a dark, slightly swirling mist. Gradually the mist turns from black to gray, and from dark to pale gray. It thins and beings to lift. As it does so, you become aware that you are seated on the raft on the lake, the Temple of Themis almost directly ahead of you. Your carry-all containing your wand and sword is at your feet.

The raft sways gently and turns, little by little, taking you in an anticlockwise direction. As the raft turns, you lose sight of the Temple of Themis, and soon you are looking out over a broad vista of parkland. Sunlight glints on something half hidden by trees and bushes. It appears to be a tiny shine with a white domed roof. The sun is behind you and its rays sparkle on the water at your feet creating a kind of pathway stretching in the direction of the shrine.

Stand and take up the carry-all. Step to the edge of the raft, clasp the satchel to you, and, by making a small jump forward, plunge feet-first into the lake. As you drift down, descending at a modest, even, stately pace, the water around you changes color. At first it is grey-green and opaque, but by degrees it becomes a pale, pearly green, so transparent that you are able to see for what appears to be miles. Fish swim about you. Some are slim and short, others long and fat. One shape looks to be the outline of a whale, far off, which would be remarkable as a whale couldn’t possibly fit into the lake. Nevertheless, what you see in the distance shows all the signs of being a whale.

The water around you eventually becomes colorless and your feet touch solid ground. Right at that moment, a great shoal of fish rushes past you, sardines or pilchards as they are also called. You search with your eyes for the twisting path that leads to palace of the Lord and Lady but you find no sign of it. Nor is there any sign of the large fish with the curious design on its belly. You turn around slowly, looking for some clue as to which way to go. No one direction looks any more promising than any other until a beam of light, seemingly coming from high above, illuminates a starfish, sky blue with white dots on its body, some distance away from you. Making your way toward it, you find a dozen such starfish spread across a depression in the ground, all laying still, as if asleep. One opens its eyes and you notice that this starfish has a face; as well as the eyes, it has a narrow-lipped mouth and tiny holes resembling nostrils slap bang in the center of its star shape. The creature rises up and floats away from you, going to the far side of the underwater dell in which its fellow starfish are basking.

Taking great care not to disturb the starfish who are still asleep, you follow the active starfish until you come to the beginnings of a path. Pebbles have been brought together so as to form a cobbled road wide enough to take a wagon. Its staring point is marked by a golden square – four straight, thin bars of gold joined together so as to form a square – laying as if discarded on the glistening stones. The path bends to the right in a wide curve and is flanked on either side by a row of marble sphinxes, each one looking like the sphinx on the Wheel of Fortune card, by lying down, like the sphinx at Giza, on pedestals also made of marble. The starfish that led you to the path has settled on the golden square; clearly it intends to go no further.

Tentatively you step on to the pebbles and begin to follow the path. As you move forward, you can see that the path ends at a small circular building, windowless, with a domed roof, the twin of the small shrine you noticed in the park above. Sensing the sphinxes watching every step you take, you continue along the path until you come to the door of the domed building. When you push at its door, it opens smoothly to reveal a warm orange glow within. Peering inside, you see that the orange glow emanates from flames flickering in a small metal cauldron atop a short column positioned in the center of the room. You enter and as you do so the space within expands creating an area some thirteen feet (four meters) in diameter. The floor of the space is paved with unglazed tiles and around the perimeter of the space there are a series of daises, each occupied by a single figure. Some figures are male, some are female. Some are young, some more mature.

An imposing male figure catches your eye. He is bearded with long curling hair and he is dressed in a white robe over which he wears a purple cloak. His skin has a healthy golden glow and he radiates energy. He is Zeus, king of the Olympian gods. On the dais to his right stands Hermes, a young man in a short tunic, wings on the heels of his shoes, a winged helmet on his head, and a caduceus in one hand. On the dais to Zeus’s left stands the matronly Demeter, her grass-green robe embroidered with flowers, a sheaf of wheat held to her side in the crook of one arm. From where you stand you cannot see the figures on the other daises.

Standing before Zeus, the understand come to you that you are here to choose, or rather to be chosen by, the deity who will your mentor for the next phase of your spiritual education. Circle the space slowly going clockwise, observing the gods and goddesses ranged about you. From Zeus you move to Demeter, from Demeter to Hephaistos, from Hephaistos to Ares, god of war; he wears a bronze breastplate, a helmet with a horsehair crest dyed red, and his sword is drawn, ready for action. Next to him stands Artemis, the huntress, in a short tunic, carrying a bow, a quiver stuffed with arrows at her back. After her comes Hestia, goddess of the hearth, then stately Hera, queen of the gods in a blue robe spangled with sequins.

Then comes Poseidon, bearded like Zeus and carrying a sharp-pointed trident, his weapon of choice. Next is Athene, helmeted and armed with a spear. She is followed by Aphrodite, goddess of love, her skin like alabaster. Passing the door by which you entered, you come next to Apollo, who, like his sister Artemis, carries a bow, and then Hermes, with his serpent entwined caduceus, and so back to Zeus once more. Having viewed all Twelve Olympians, make one more turn of the space and choose your teacher and protector who will stand by you in the next stages of your inner development, or allow yourself to be chosen. Do not resist if you are chosen. Even if you consider yourself a macho man and it is the modest, virginal Hestia who singles you out, remember that the gods know best. The same applies if you are a woman with strong pacifist leanings and warlike Ares puts you under his protection.

The choice having been made, your mentor will present you with a cup. It may be of silver or of gold, it may be of simple clay, or the finest porcelain, it may be wrought of brass, or copper. Whatever form it takes, accept the cup and hold it up in both your hands, and your mentor will bless it for you, placing her or his hands over it, allowing a stream of energy to flow down into it. When this hallowing of the cup has finished, bring it down to chest height and look into it. The cup should appear empty; all the energy poured into it will have been absorbed into the actual cup itself. If you sense energy remaining, like traces of liquid or smoke, in the cup, wait until it has all worked its way into the cup before moving to the next stage.

Having assured yourself that all the energy has been absorbed into the cup, slip it into your carry-all and return to Zeus. Kneel and thank him for allowing you to visit this pantheon (temple to all the gods). Then, making a wide circle of the space, go back to the door and leave the shrine. Once outside, turn to close the door. Looking back into the space within, you observe that it has shrunk, and that the central altar stands now in the middle of a circular enclosure not more than nine feet (one and half meters) wide.

Shut the door and set your feet on the path of glistening pebbles. Walk the broad arc of the path leading through the avenue of sphinxes and retrace your steps to the place where your starfish guide lingers, awaiting your return. The starfish stands, like an attentive manikin, on two of its five legs, a warm smile brightening its sky blue face. On its right (your left) is the golden square, lying on the pebbles; on its left lies the outline of an octogon, also made of gold. The golden square, which has associations with the number Ten, acts as a signpost, telling the wanderer in this area of the Astral Plane that they have found the path leading to the pantheon of the Olympian gods. Finding the octogon is an indication that the wanderer has completed the work of Exercise Nine; for Eight plus the original Four equals Twelve, the number of Olympian deities. The Four and the Eight in combination is a symbol worth meditating on . . . but not at this moment, as the time has come for you to return the world above.

Your starfish guide leads you back to the shallow depression where its eleven brothers lie fast asleep. It joins them, settling itself down, shutting its eyes, and falling fast asleep in a matter of seconds. Pass through the depression, taking care not to disturb the slumbering starfish. On the other side of it, stand still for a moment and scan the scene before you. Almost instantly you see a beam of white light shining down from above, like a gigantic spotlight. Go and place yourself in the spotlight and, once there, you will find yourself ascending very rapidly. Up through clear water into murkier reaches you go, until with a great splash, you break the surface of the lake near to where your raft is bobbing.

Toss your carry-all onto the raft and haul yourself aboard. Seat yourself on the chair. Within seconds, a thin white mist will gather around you. Rapidly, the mist grows denser and darker and before you know it you have become aware of yourself, your physical body, seated in a room in your own home, eyes closed, your breathing even, regular. Return you mind to a state of everyday consciousness before getting up and taking a couple of steps around the room. Take yourself through the usual earthing procedures, the practice of which ought to be second nature to you by now. End by stamping once on the floor or clapping your hands sharply together. Drink something warm or have a bite to eat. Then make a note of whatever events have impressed you most as you put yourself through Exercise Nine. If you don’t keep notes, you are likely to forget what happened on your astral journeys, or – a potentially more damaging scenario – you will misremember events, englamouring them or investing them with a greater weight than they in fact possessed.

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One Comment
  1. This is delicious. Thank you.

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