Purifying the Character - Sample Ritual #9

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Purifying the Character - Sample Ritual #9

Postby bdc » Wed Feb 06, 2013 7:10 am

Been looking into this ritual lately in my studies, and I've been struck by the ingenuity of its construction and by the potential range of its application. As it is said in "Rehabilitating Subconsciousness" in The Black Pearl #9, "The language of subconsciousness is symbols", so ritual work is a perfect medium for this kind of work, and there are remarkable similarities between this ritual and aspects of not only Depth Psychology, but also Parts Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Neuro-Linguistic Programming. The richness of symbolism and awareness available to the Adept affords an incredible potential of efficacy to such self-therapy.

Because of this, I have been lately trying to come up with some correspondences to the planets (themselves of course within the Lunar sphere of operation of this ritual) and the sorts of emotions, behaviours, and the kinds of intrusive thoughts which one might want to do deal with in this ritual.

The published example uses Mars, so I can see this being of use to deal with issues involving the (lack of) control of anger, occurrences of needless arguments, preoccupation of memories of others hurting one in the past, intrusive thoughts of violence or desires for revenge, misplaced / difficulties controlling aggression + competitiveness, perhaps even sexual frustration or some forms of fear which hinder ambition.

For the other planets (please correct me if I am wrong on any of these or if anyone has any other suggestions):

Saturn: Preoccupation with death, self-restriction, morbid / melancholic thinking, emotional distance, need for self-reliance, overt introversion, (and in the column of "Transcendental Morality" in 776 1/2) envy + avarice.

Jupiter: Preoccupation with a need to be liked, social approval, inferiority complex, maybe even over-eating?

Sun: Lack of a sense of self and purpose, lack of self confidence.

Venus: Attraction to the wrong sorts of people as sexual / romantic partners. Lack of pleasure in general (perhaps this would apply to Jupiter also?)

Mercury: Lack of perceptiveness, mis-communications, lack of intellectual focus, general anxiety / nervousness, lack of honesty.

Moon: (Not sure how a Moon within Moon layered invocation would work? Would possibly be just a total and single lunar invocation in this case) Need for adaptability, need for increased imaginativeness, nightmares.

In terms of emotional states that I can't fit into this, I am particularly curious as to which planets feelings of guilt, shame and embarrassment would correspond to? With regards to recurrent troubling memories, the nearest I can think of is Jupiter, since Chesed is the field of memory in general.

Finally I would like to state that I don't think this should all be a replacement for conventional forms of therapy if one's emotional and behavioural problems are causing significant disruption in one's own life.
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Re: Purifying the Character - Sample Ritual #9

Postby Jim Eshelman » Wed Feb 06, 2013 7:27 am

bdc wrote:For the other planets (please correct me if I am wrong on any of these or if anyone has any other suggestions):

This is a good list. I've made a few (off the cuff) notes below.

Jupiter: Preoccupation with a need to be liked, social approval, inferiority complex, maybe even over-eating?

Add self-esteem issues.

BTW, probably some insight on these in general from looking on www.solunars.net at the sections on natal Moon aspects http://solunars.net/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=29 and even the sections on transits to the Moonhttp://solunars.net/viewforum.php?f=24 and the sections on Moon aspects in solar returns http://solunars.net/viewforum.php?f=8 - not so much for exact astrological matches (that too), but simply because Moon-to-planet connections have been thought through (and observed) in writing those.

Sun: Lack of a sense of self and purpose, lack of self confidence.

Add all the symptoms of a sense of personal insufficiency, such as ego over compensations, and all sorts of wonderful projection possibilities from hero worship to displaced sense of grandeur, etc.

Venus: Attraction to the wrong sorts of people as sexual / romantic partners. Lack of pleasure in general (perhaps this would apply to Jupiter also?)

Read the natal Moon-Venus aspect section IIRC for more on this. There's a whole range of matters of sensitivity, vulnerability, etc. - and things that could register differently in male vs. female minds, but which in both cases boil down to "relationship to your femininity."

I am particularly curious as to which planets feelings of guilt, shame and embarrassment would correspond to?

It depends on where they originate. Generally, guilt and shame are Saturn, but they could come from Jupiter issues of self-esteem, morality, shadow content on whether one had acted "rightly" within one's value system, etc.; or solar ideas of self-esteem, respect, nobility, matching one's internal idealized standard, etc. Embarassment, I think, is quite another matter, being the reaction we have when truth is disclosed (when we're "caught naked" in front of ourselves or others).

With regards to recurrent troubling memories, the nearest I can think of is Jupiter, since Chesed is the field of memory in general.

Yes, though the Moon is probably more direct. (Notice that Chesed has the blue, or lunar-Gimel current, filling it, counterchanged with Yesod having the vital life-swirlings of breath and blood related to the purple Jupiter-Kaph current. Similar to the Mercury-Sun interchange.) I'd basically go with the Moon unless the issue isn't recollection but is concentration. (Most memory lapses are from not imprinting something sufficiently in the first place. That's a concentration issue. Failure of ideas to internal chain with others to build association streams is lunar.)

Finally I would like to state that I don't think this should all be a replacement for conventional forms of therapy if one's emotional and behavioural problems are causing significant disruption in one's own life.

Oh, I certainly agree. But it IS damn cool (and effective) on its own. :)
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Re: Purifying the Character - Sample Ritual #9

Postby Faust » Wed Feb 06, 2013 7:52 am

Sometimes I thing that Magick is doing things in a much cooler way. Who needs psychologists when we got archangels. :angel: (ok, ok, a lot of people needs them)
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Re: Purifying the Character - Sample Ritual #9

Postby Avshalom Binyamin » Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:21 am

Very interesting. This, along with Jim's post the other day about the nature of reality for the different planets, had been illuminating. I can see my own personal lists of complexes aligning neatly with my list of angular planets... With special emphasis on both Saturn and the moon, of late.

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Re: Purifying the Character - Sample Ritual #9

Postby bdc » Fri Apr 19, 2013 6:09 am

Here's my updated list, compiled from Jim's information from solunars.net and in his reply here:

Mercury: difficulty with focus of effort and attention. Restlessness, insomnia.
Lack of perceptiveness, mis-communications, lack of intellectual focus, general anxiety / nervousness (over-stimulation / over-thinking / high-strung), stubbornness, lack of honesty.

Venus: inability to accept the full scope of one's femininity. Insecurity, passive-dependent nature, moodiness, being blindsided by strong feelings, stemming from insufficiently accepting the full scope of one's femininity.

Sun: narcissism, vanity, self-exaltation, and obstinacy. The symptoms of a sense of personal insufficiency, such as ego over-compensations, projection such as hero worship and displaced sense of grandeur, demand to be the centre of attention, self-obsession, self-involvement to the exclusion of the consideration of others.
Lack of a sense of self and purpose, lack of self confidence.

Mars: Impatience, irritability, reactionary behaviour, overbearing sexual needs. Reactive to criticism; intolerance; argumentativeness. Emotional aggression. Inciting of an emotional response in another. Tendency to pick on others, and to seek out their vulnerabilities. Issues involving the (lack of) control of anger, occurrences of needless arguments, preoccupation of memories of others hurting one in the past, intrusive thoughts of violence or desires for revenge, misplaced / difficulties controlling aggression and competitiveness, perhaps even sexual frustration or some forms of fear which hinder ambition.

Jupiter: Social elitism, feigned superiority, aristocratic conceit. Moodiness or tension, released through tears. Self indulgence, including over-eating. Superiority / inferiority complex. Need to be popular, social approval, self-esteem issues.

Saturn: tendency (often unconscious) to seek total control of situations & relationships. Parent-themed issues (nourishment-deprivation). Pessimism, distrust, little self-confidence, passive-aggressiveness, feeling inferior, anxiety, depression, self-sacrifice. Wounded pride, loss, feeling misunderstood. Increased security needs. Others seem unsympathetic, vulnerability and over-responsiveness to the harsh, demanding, unsupportive facets of one's environment. Security needs emphasized (tenacious, possessive, needs roots; material ownership is basis for security; resists ending toxic relationships). Emotionally exhausting experiences (depression, sad feelings, frustration, resignation, psychosomatic illness). Being insensitive/unresponsive to others’ feelings and needs (being uncommunicative, blocking others’ free emotional expression). Space/time sensitive. Feeling inferior or inadequate (one’s own shortcomings emphasized; anxiety, waning confidence). Self-punishing. Holding own feelings in check (need to “be strong” precludes active feeling involvement). Guilt and shame in general.

And a few questions on the ritual itself:

Regarding timing, I presume it would preferable if it was performed on a Monday, but how essential is that? Would the day of the Full Moon - regardless of what day of the week it happens to fall on - be best?

With regards to the invoking ritual hexagram of the moon, it is stated clearly in 776 1/2 that the hexagram should be repeated "in the South, the West, and the North. Complete the traced circle to the East." So a clockwise motion is always used for the hexagram ritual, even in the case of a lunar invocation?

With regards to the knock, in the example in the text, Geburah within Yesod is 2-5-2. In the case of a Saturn or Venus application, this is straight-forward enough, being 3-3-3 or 1-7-1, but the asymmetrical knock sequence of, say Jupiter within Moon - 2-4-3 - acceptable? Or even more, Hod within Yesod, 1-8?

Finally, should each course of the circumambulations be started with the sign of the enterer, as in Sample Ritual #5 and Liber Samekh? (Admittedly those two are markedly martial examples, so I am inclined to think it isn't necessary / appropriate in this case)
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Re: Purifying the Character - Sample Ritual #9

Postby Jim Eshelman » Fri Apr 19, 2013 6:26 am

bdc wrote:Regarding timing, I presume it would preferable if it was performed on a Monday, but how essential is that? Would the day of the Full Moon - regardless of what day of the week it happens to fall on - be best?

Not crucial. In fact, all of the samples in the book were performed on Wednesdays, because that was class night. Using Monday is another way to focus on this being a distinctly lunar ritual.

The Full Moon date would add a very high volume of energy. I'm not sure that's exactly what you want here. (It might be.) The ritual is reflective and in-turned, so First Quarter (the first week after the New Moon appear, and before the Sun-Moon square) might have advantages. - I'd feel this out on my own, depending on other things; not sure I'd give a hard-and-fast.

With regards to the invoking ritual hexagram of the moon, it is stated clearly in 776 1/2 that the hexagram should be repeated "in the South, the West, and the North. Complete the traced circle to the East." So a clockwise motion is always used for the hexagram ritual, even in the case of a lunar invocation?

Yes, clockwise around the circle. But that's a good question. My "yes" is in terms of the Hexagram Ritual itself, and this establishes both the lunar current and a high concentration of magick Light, which provides the context for later spiraling counterclockwise down within oneself.

With regards to the knock, in the example in the text, Geburah within Yesod is 2-5-2. In the case of a Saturn or Venus application, this is straight-forward enough, being 3-3-3 or 1-7-1, but the asymmetrical knock sequence of, say Jupiter within Moon - 2-4-3 - acceptable? Or even more, Hod within Yesod, 1-8?

Be a little careful with the 3-3-3, since 333 is the value of Choronzon, and you don't want that particular jabberwocky in lieu of Saturn - but yes, that's the most straightforward approach. I'd probably think of it as "3 within the 6," in the sense that the sum of 1-3 is 6, Biynah extended to Tifereth, and here we could be reversing that, starting from a centered solar state of diving deep to find the 3 within it. For Netzach, yes, that's a good straight-to-the-point approach;although 7 knocks in a row is harder for the mind to catch, so you might want to break it up a bit more, finding a formula of the 7 that expresses the particular thing you're working on. For example, a Netzach working that wanted to develop a deep, reverent, intuitive connection to femininity at its roots could have the 7 broken down as 2-3-2, so that the whole becomes 1-2-3-2-1 (which is a pretty cool sequence with several nested layers of meaning). BTW, you could use this one for Biynah also.

Finally, should each course of the circumambulations be started with the sign of the enterer, as in Sample Ritual #5 and Liber Samekh? (Admittedly those two are markedly martial examples, so I am inclined to think it isn't necessary / appropriate in this case)

At least give it each time of passing the east. Whether you begin with it is a matter of judgment or style.
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Re: Purifying the Character - Sample Ritual #9

Postby bdc » Fri Apr 19, 2013 6:49 am

Great, thanks for the response.

Just to put it all together in one example, let's say this ritual is being used to deal with those problems that can be assigned to Saturn: anxiety and depression arising from fixating on situations of guilt and generally "beating oneself up" over things, "looking down on one's self"... Would the high energy of a performance at the full moon being a bad thing, or would it be apt considering the entrenchment of these things (if they were linked to one's childhood for instance)? Since this has Saturn assigned to Binah, perhaps 1-2-3-2-1 would be best since the Netzachian implication would be one of adding an underlining love to, and pleasure of, oneself?
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Re: Purifying the Character - Sample Ritual #9

Postby Jim Eshelman » Fri Apr 19, 2013 7:37 am

Don't intentionally layer in Netzach elements: this might prove magically confusing.

Maybe the Full Moon. I'd usually tend to go earlier in the month.
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Re: Purifying the Character - Sample Ritual #9

Postby bdc » Fri Apr 19, 2013 11:34 am

Excellent... I'm very interested in the relation of the amount of moonlight in the phase relative to the working. I wonder if the full moon would be more apt if one was looking for increased drive, motivation, and extroversion...

Crowley mentions that 11 is a suitable total for any magical operation, so I'm thinking for the above example that instead of 3-3-3 for Saturn within Moon, an alternative could be 1-3-3-3-1, thus the 3 within both the 9 and 6. I wonder if that still carries the Choronzon implication though...

Just quickly, are asymmetric knocks ever acceptable?
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Re: Purifying the Character - Sample Ritual #9

Postby Jim Eshelman » Fri Apr 19, 2013 11:54 am

bdc wrote:Just quickly, are asymmetric knocks ever acceptable?

Never say never... so, on that principle, one can only answer your question Yes.

But generally, one wants to bring harmony, proportion, and balance to ritual design.
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Re: Purifying the Character - Sample Ritual #9

Postby frater aSP » Mon Jun 10, 2013 2:00 pm

Are there any guidelines for working with the energies of the outer planets in this ritual? I'm wanting to do some work with Neptune and am unsure how to proceed.
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Re: Purifying the Character - Sample Ritual #9

Postby Jim Eshelman » Mon Jun 10, 2013 3:06 pm

That territory hasn't been much mapped.

I think you're thinking of this astrologically, yes? You can use this ritual that way, but it was actually written to address sephirothic aspects, which aren't exactly the same thong.

But also, idea of these rituals was to encourage you to create.

Try Neptune as Mem. See if that works for you.
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Re: Purifying the Character - Sample Ritual #9

Postby frater aSP » Mon Jun 10, 2013 4:41 pm

Ah, cool. You're right exactly, I was thinking astrologically, equating the planets with the sephiroth on a 1:1 basis. I might give this a try with Binah/Saturn first and then experiment with Mem. The ritual worked amazingly well with Tiphareth.

Thanks Jim!
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Re: Purifying the Character - Sample Ritual #9

Postby bdc » Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:01 pm

The difference between the path which a planet is assigned to and the sphere which the same planet is assigned to is interesting. I was quite confused by this at first (when it comes to the question of if one wishes to invoke a planetary force using the Greater Hexagram ritual, do I invoke the path or the sepher), but my experience - and I think some of Jim's comments on here (though please correct me if I am mistaken) - indicates that the path is the particular energy itself, while the correspondent sepher is the field on which that energy acts. The difference between the two can be subtle but significant (similarly the king scale colour of the path is in some cases subtly but significantly different from that of the queen scale of the sphere). With this in mind, a look at the tree can be newly illuminating, e.g. the energy assigned to Mercury is the path which links Kether and Binah, yet the sphere on which it acts is that of Hod.
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