Sunday, December 28, 2008

Reflection: Ask, Seek, Knock.

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”

Matthew 7:7-8

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Take these things away!

I attended a Christmas eve Mass last night in a Catholic Church. The congregation was a lot younger than last time I attended church and the service was incredibly vibrant.

However, I did find a few elements disturbing.

The most disturbing element of the service was the collection. The tinkering of change and the hustle of people twice during a worship reaching for their wallets I found particularly irreverent.

Jesus Christ made a whip of small ropes and drove all the traders with their cattle out of the Temple. He overthrew the tables of the money changers and poured out their money. He said to them that sold doves, "Take these things away; make not My Father’s house a house of merchandise." No one dared to disobey Jesus.
John 2:15-16

The other major issue I had follows the same theme - a place of worship should be full of people wanting to be there. The feeling I had from most of those around me was that they were only there out of some form of "duty" or for their own "salvation". This I feel detracts from the worship of those who do want to be there.

In all though; a younger congregation and a service conducted by a Papua Niuginian preist who brings a whole different feeling to the service along with the fantastic music and singing of the band made for a fantastic celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Everybody's Free (to wear Sunscreen)

There's a fantastic message in this that I wanted to share with you all:

Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy חנוכה‎ (Hanukkah)!

Tonight, due to time constraints our family is celebrating an early Christmas. I'll still leave my Christmas posts for the next few days. I'm writing this article a few days early so that it can get to you for Hanukkah amongst all my Christmas hustle - speaking of which Pastor Darren Chapman recently blogged "Slow Down" - something I think is a very important message for this time of year.


The eight day Jewish festival of Lights celebrating the re-dedication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem is celebrated on the 25th of Kislev each year, which varies on the Gregorian calender, and this year falls on the 22nd December.

The בית המקדש (Beit HaMikdash or Holy Place) was destroyed around 587 BCE by the Babylonians after standing for around four hundred years, but was rebuilt, with the re-dedication occurring in 515 BCE.

The Second Temple was torn down and rebuilt by Herod the Great in around 19 BCE, however the resulting structure is also referred to as the Second Temple as the sacrificial rituals continued throughout it's reconstruction.

The festival commemorates the "miracle of the container of oil", it is said that after period of turmoil there was only enough sanctified olive oil left to fuel the eternal flame of the Temple for one day. Miraculously the oil continued to burn until they were able to press, prepare and consecrate fresh olive oil, a whole eight days.

The Talmud presents three options for celebrating Hanukkah, they are:

  1. The law requires only one light each night per household,
  2. A better practice is to light one light each night for each member of the household
  3. The most preferred practice is to vary the number of lights each night.
However, according to Wikipedia there is some Rabbionic dispute over how the last option is to actually be performed.

Other Hanukkah rituals include special additions to the daily prayer service and a section added to the post-meal blessing. Hanukkah is not like the Sabbaths where abstinence is required, people go about their life uninterrupted, with the exception of being home beore dusk to kindle the lights.

There is other significance here to the number eight. The first book of the תּוֹרָה (Torah), בראשית (lit: "in the beginning" or Genesis) describes in detail the seven days of creation, taking another past the point of creation you look towards אין סוף (Ein Soph, lit: "Without End") which in itself emanates all ten divine aspects represented by the sefirot. Eight therefore represents transcendence.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Rabbi's Gift

I first found this story in the prologue to Scott M. Peck's The Different Drum - a highly recommended read for anyone who wishes to build communities of any type, and I believe that better communities are needed for humanity to strive.

Scott M. Peck shares with the reader that he cannot remember where he first came across the story; nor can he remember if he has modified it in anyway himself. I personally like his version of the story, and I am sure in the spirit of the way that he published it in his prologue and his acknowledgment that it was not is work that he would not at all mind me sharing it...

The story concerns a monastery that had fallen upon hard times. Once a great order, as a result of waves of antimonastic persecution in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and the rise of secularism in the nineteenth, all its branch houses were lost and it had become decimated to the extent that there were only five monks left in the decaying mother house: the abbot and four others, all over seventy in age. Clearly it was a dying order.

In the deep woods surrounding the monastery there was a little hut that a rabbi from a nearby town occasionally used for a hermitage. Through their many years of prayer and contemplation the old monks had become a bit psychic, so they could always sense when the rabbi was in his hermitage. "The rabbi is in the woods, the rabbi is in the woods again " they would whisper to each other. As he agonized over the imminent death of his order, it occurred to the abbot at one such time to visit the hermitage and ask the rabbi if by some possible chance he could offer any advice that might save the monastery.

The rabbi welcomed the abbot at his hut. But when the abbot explained the purpose of his visit, the rabbi could only commiserate with him. "I know how it is," he exclaimed. "The spirit has gone out of the people. It is the same in my town. Almost no one comes to the synagogue anymore." So the old abbot and the old rabbi wept together. Then they read parts of the Torah and quietly spoke of deep things. The time came when the abbot had to leave. They embraced each other. "It has been a wonderful thing that we should meet after all these years, "the abbot said, "but I have still failed in my purpose for coming here. Is there nothing you can tell me, no piece of advice you can give me that would help me save my dying order?"

"No, I am sorry," the rabbi responded. "I have no advice to give. The only thing I can tell you is that the Messiah is one of you."

When the abbot returned to the monastery his fellow monks gathered around him to ask, "Well what did the rabbi say?" "He couldn't help," the abbot answered. "We just wept and read the Torah together. The only thing he did say, just as I was leaving --it was something cryptic-- was that the Messiah is one of us. I don't know what he meant."

In the days and weeks and months that followed, the old monks pondered this and wondered whether there was any possible significance to the rabbi's words. The Messiah is one of us? Could he possibly have meant one of us monks here at the monastery? If that's the case, which one? Do you suppose he meant the abbot? Yes, if he meant anyone, he probably meant Father Abbot. He has been our leader for more than a generation. On the other hand, he might have meant Brother Thomas. Certainly Brother Thomas is a holy man. Everyone knows that Thomas is a man of light. Certainly he could not have meant Brother Elred! Elred gets crotchety at times. But come to think of it, even though he is a thorn in people's sides, when you look back on it, Elred is virtually always right. Often very right. Maybe the rabbi did mean Brother Elred. But surely not Brother Phillip. Phillip is so passive, a real nobody. But then, almost mysteriously, he has a gift for somehow always being there when you need him. He just magically appears by your side. Maybe Phillip is the Messiah. Of course the rabbi didn't mean me. He couldn't possibly have meant me. I'm just an ordinary person. Yet supposing he did? Suppose I am the Messiah? O God, not me. I couldn't be that much for You, could I?

As they contemplated in this manner, the old monks began to treat each other with extraordinary respect on the off chance that one among them might be the Messiah. And on the off off chance that each monk himself might be the Messiah, they began to treat themselves with extraordinary respect.

Because the forest in which it was situated was beautiful, it so happened that people still occasionally came to visit the monastery to picnic on its tiny lawn, to wander along some of its paths, even now and then to go into the dilapidated chapel to meditate. As they did so, without even being conscious of it, they sensed the aura of extraordinary respect that now began to surround the five old monks and seemed to radiate out from them and permeate the atmosphere of the place. There was something strangely attractive, even compelling, about it. Hardly knowing why, they began to come back to the monastery more frequently to picnic, to play, to pray. They began to bring their friends to show them this special place. And their friends brought their friends.

Then it happened that some of the younger men who came to visit the monastery started to talk more and more with the old monks. After a while one asked if he could join them. Then another. And another. So within a few years the monastery had once again become a thriving order and, thanks to the rabbi's gift, a vibrant center of light and spirituality in the realm.

In peace and love.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Summer Solstice

The ancient Egyptians celebrated the summer solstice as one of the most important days of the year. The sun reaching it's peak meant that the Nile waters were coming and abundance was around the corner - something to reflect upon in this current time of economic uncertainty.

It was at this time of year that Set was defeated by Horus, the solar deity. The victory of the Sun over the darkness bought a prosperous time, a time of divine illumination; the flood waters returned to the Nile and life returned and flourished.

One of the most common Summer Solstice occurrences across Europe was the bonfire. Accompanying the bonfire fertility was celebrated; often with ritual or symbolic marriages, unions and dancing. This is most evident in Sweden where each village would select a Midsummer Bride who would then in turn select a mock brides groom for a symbolic marriage.

These rituals however were not just about unions - they are early forms of sexual magick as Crowley would call it. These ancient cultures believed that the power of sexual union was able to harmonize nature and increase the fertility of crops, essentially harnessing the same power of sexual union that Aleister Crowley was famous for practicing. Crowley certainly understood the power of intention and ritual; coupled with an understanding of the potential energy released in sexual activity.

The most magical event of all is possible through sexual union and that my brothers and sisters is creation itself.

May the fires be lit!

Wishing each of you a peaceful solstice full of love.

Good, Evil and Intention.

"for there is nothing either good or
bad, but thinking makes it so."

Hamlet (Act 2) - William Shakespeare

Many recent conversations I've had with friends have resulted in them making the determination that something was either good or evil. Each time I've heard this I've made a point of questioning them on it.

Why is it evil? What makes something evil? What makes something good?

I believe that people are ultimately good... people tend to do the very best they can with the resources and tools that they have available to them. When people feel backed into a corner, feel they have something to protect they tend to re-act - and often these reactions have consequences that may be considered regrettable.

There are people out there that honestly believe that love is evil - It disturbs me to think about the experiences one must have to have gone through to have feel that - personally I think it's simply a definition of love and a pre-constructed concept of what love should be, what a lover should be and how they should behave that they have adopted that may not necessarily be the whole picture.

A dictator can firmly believe that they are doing the right thing when they silence objectors to their rule. I'm certainly not condoning the activities that are conducted, merely suggestion that the people who order these things to happen are doing it to protect themselves, their people or whatever motive it is that they wish to hold onto their power for.

When the intention of anyone differs from something that I consider to be right behaviour or judgement I am left pondering what events and experiences built the world view they hold that promotes the will to cause harm, suffering or enslavery.

May the God of my heart grant me the strength and wisdom to make each decision today with clarity from a place of peace and love. May I be a beacon of the divine light to all I can shine upon. So mote it be.

Wishes of Peace Profound.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Man Made Systems

I've been spending a considerable amount of time thinking about the self-imposed structures that society has placed upon itself - the self-imposed, arbitrary, man made systems that we allow to govern and control us.

These systems have a weakness - we created them.

The Australian Constitution clearly states that the people of the original states are creating this Commonwealth of ours.

The "economy" is not some system of external influence. It is a complex system around the very basic concept of an exchange of goods or services. It doesn't need to be any more complicated than 'I have excess food, have some.', we chose to complicate it, be governed by it and allow it to affect our lives.

"Democracy" means government by the people for the people.

In Australia it is your right to have the person you elected to represent your area present anything you wish to the parliament of Australia. They are not entitled to only present those ideas, bills and thoughts that they personally agree with or have some party-line on.

Instead of standing up for ourselves, we as a society continue to create these arbitrary systems. Democracy is not about government by the people for the corporations. Governments continue to give corporations more and more rights, and sometimes it appears they have more rights than flesh and blood, divinely illuminated people.

Wishing you peace and happiness.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A Change is in the Air

I'm not about to welcome myself back to the Blogsphere, I am unable to commit to regular posting at the moment.

Things have changed a lot over the last few months.

I've had a feeling since the beginning of the year that 2008 was a year of great change.. and it has been for me on a personal level, it has been for many of the closest people to me and it seems to me to be on a much broader cosmic scale as well.  I've been feeling recently that the year of change is certainly not over, and that we are all really at the beginning of something truely wonderful.

Eternal Love and Peace.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Wonder and Philosophy

"... Theodorus had a true insight into your nature when he said that you were a philosopher, for wonder is the feeling of a philosopher, and philosophy begins in wonder."

Socrates (in Theatetus by Plato)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Reflection: Man is...

" is a bundle of relations, a knot of roots,
whose flower and fruitage is the world..."

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Material vs Spiritual... striking the balance.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending an open special presentation on the arts at the Sydney Rosicrucian Center.  One of the presentations for the day focused entirely around the fantastic 1934 movie "Mary Poppins" - which in itself has a central theme of material vs spiritual along with other mystical themes including magickal words and initiation.

The small segments of the movie that were shown and discussed have whet my appetite to explore this particular topic in more detail - both the movie and it's themes of material and spiritual influences on our lives.  I don't recall how long it has been since I saw this particular movie in it's entirety, so I plan to watch it again in the next few days - with a more metaphysical emphasis.

I generally do manage a fairy good balance between the time and energy I expend on these two aspects of my life.  Though for the first six months of this year I was overly weighted towards my spiritual aspirations; for the last month I must admit the pendulum has swung a little the other way.  While my spiritual pursuits haven't been neglected I just haven't been as disciplined and dedicated as I was for those six months.

In next week's post I plan to discuss the movie and this topic in a lot more detail, and invite you to join me on this little journey by watching the movie "with" me over the next few days and perhaps post a comment here (or on next week's post) with your thoughts about this topic in relation to this movie.

He Ping!

Monday, July 21, 2008

The day of the Funeral

I am attending a funeral this afternoon for a friend of mine I haven't seen in a couple of years.  The following text is from the Papyrus of Ani (The Egyptian Book of the Dead) from 240 BC as translated by E.A. Wallis Budge.  This text is generally read after the body is laid to rest.

Homage to thee, O thou who dwellest in the Holy Hill (Set-Tchesert) of Amentet! the Osiris, the royal scribe, Nekhtu-Amen, whose word is true, knoweth thee, he knoweth thy name. Deliver thou him from the worms which are in Ra-stau, which live upon the bodies of men and women, and feed upon their blood, for Osiris, the favoured servant of the god of his city, the royal scribe Nekhtu-Amen, knoweth you, and he knoweth your names. Let the order for his protection be the first command of Osiris, the Lord to the Uttermost Limit, who keepeth his body hidden. May he give him release from the Terrible One who dwelleth at the bend of the River of Amentet, and may he decree the acts that will make him to rise up. Let him pass on to him whose throne is placed within the darkness, who giveth light in Ra-stau. O thou Lord of Light, come thou and swallow up the worms which are in Amentet. Let the Great god who dwelleth in Tetu, and who is himself unseen, hear his prayers, and let those who cause afflictions hold him in fear as he cometh forth with the sentence of their doom to the Divine Block. I the Osiris, the royal scribe, Nekhtu-Amen, come, bearing the decree of Neb-er-tcher, and I am the Horus who taketh possession of his throne for him. His father, the lord of all those who are in the Boat of his Father Horus, hath ascribed praise unto him. He cometh bearing tidings....... let him see the town of Anu. Their chief shall stand on the earth before him, the scribes shall magnify him at the doors of their assemblies, and thy shall swathe im with swathings in Anu. He hath led heaven captive, and he hath seized the earth in his grasp. Neither the heavens nor the earth can be taken away from him, for, behold, he is Ra, the firstborn of the gods. His mother shall nurse him, and shall give him her breast on the horizon.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Orphic Hymn to Eros

Today's reflection is the Hymn to Eros by Orpheus.

I Call great Eros, source of sweet delight, holy and pure, and lovely to the sight;
Darting, and wing'd, impetuous fierce desire, with Gods and mortals playing, wand'ring fire:
Cautious, and two-fold, keeper of the keys of heav'n and earth, the air, and spreading seas;
Of all that Ceres' [Deo's] fertile realms contains, by which th' all-parent Goddess life sustains,
Or dismal Tartarus is doom'd to keep, widely extended, or the sounding, deep;
For thee, all Nature's various realms obey, who rul'st alone, with universal sway.
Come, blessed pow'r, regard these mystic fires, and far avert, unlawful mad desires.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Essence of Experience

I've almost completed the first full week of my new job.  It's been an interesting week - my work environment is absolutely fantastic.  Trees everywhere.  The social environment is on a similar par, however there seems to always be a bunch of internal politics in any organisation.  I also had the opportunity, today, to meet my lecturers for the subjects I'm taking this semester.  Both of them are very stereotypical, my Classics lecturer in particular - complete with tweed jacket.

I've found just the full time work to require a large enough portion of my energy and time that I've neglected some of the areas I was hoping to maintain a focus on.  This blog was one of the major things in that list - and while the quantity of posts may be a little lower than I was hoping I'm really happy with the content and direction I seem to have taken the blog in.

I do hope to write another essay/article over the weekend as a mechanism for learning about a subject.  I'm not sure yet what subject I'll write about, but it will be something new to me once again and something that I will research and hopefully present my readers with a varying array of opinions or commentaries and let them draw their own conclusions.  I am open to suggestions on subjects too.

Every day something around me, whatever I am doing serves to remind me of just how much we are all connected, are all part of the one (and therefore one part of all).  I really enjoy when these things happen.  I smile and think to myself... "You know, Universe... I got it.. but it's great how you keep finding new cute ways to demonstrate it!".  One of these cute little things happened this afternoon. 

I called one of my closest friends to ask a very specific question which I knew that she would know the answer to.  She knew who it was before I rang, but that's not at all uncommon for us.  I proceeded to ask my question, which she told me she would prefer not to convey the answer verbally at which point I instantly knew the answer, thanked her for her help and told her I'd catch up later.

In this particular instance, the piece of information I was asking about was something that had been known to me previously, which I had forgotten.  An argument could be constructed here to say that I happened to remember and the timing was purely co-incidence.  Unfortunately, addressing that argument in written or spoken words is more difficult than I expected.  I've experienced it - but words don't even begin to explain nor capture the essense of experience.  It's something that I feel is best experienced, not read about.. and to do that accepting that anything is possible is a great way to start making anything posible.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi

A little more background about me... I was raised in a strict Roman Catholic family, baptized, first holy communion, confirmation, altar boy.

For confirmation I picked the confirmation name Francis in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi. I stopped using the name around the same time I left the church, but have recently decided to keep the name for who and what it honors and why.
The Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Godspeed, your Holiness

Pope Benedict XVI
Around ninety minutes ago "Shepherd One" left Rome bound for Sydney, Australia with His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI aboard. He will be arriving in Sydney in just over 24 hours. May his trip be safe and trouble free and his visit to Australia a pleasant one for all.

I have refrained from commenting on the impact of the World Youth Day celebrations and huge influx of Christian pilgrims into Australia for the Papal visit. I'm no longer living in Sydney - so it's impact has been much less than if I had have been. Locally there are huge swarms of tents in sporting fields and anywhere there is space nearby, and we're a good three hour train ride away from Sydney. Unfortunately for the masses of Pilgrims camping outdoors, the temperature lately has been colder than usual, with some nights recently getting down as low as 4C.

Pax tecum.

God, Divinity and saints of latter day.

In order to give you a better insight into what I believe about Divinity and God, I thought I'd share some of my day today with you.

My housemate and I today had an encounter with two young missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints.  I think they may have been a little daunted by my knowledge of the Bible and The Book of Mormon, but their eyes started glazing a little when I began making references to the Qu'ran, Dead Sea Scrolls, Judaism and the Sumerian and Egyptian origins of many biblical stories.

One of the first questions the pair asked us was "Do you believe in God?".

My usual answer to this question is an automatic "Yes", and sometimes accompanied with an explanation as to what God and Divinity mean to me.  I put the question into the context that I believe the enquirer meant, so it was translated to "Do you believe in my version of God?".  Two very different questions.  I also realized that by doing this I was also making assumptions about the conversation and the intent of the enquirer.  Breaking this question down to it's core I came the conclusion that the best way to answer it was for me to define for them what Divinity and God mean to me and acknowledge my personal convictions in the God of my heart.

I explained what cosmic intelligence meant to me... a force behind all of creation, the fabric which holds everything together on a level that transcends the mere physical and physically observable.  The underlying constantly changing, but always the same vibration of the cosmic.  I continued by stating that my God does not judge; he is merely the Architect, the Supreme designer.  What we do with what this Divine intelligence has designed for us (or with us as a part of it) is up to us - we can make it what we want.  Of course any designer would prefer that what they designed is used for some noble purpose; and I personally believe that aspiring to this noble purpose is the single most effective way of paying my respect, thankfulness and appreciation for all of creation.

To quote His Holiness, the Dalai Lama: "My Religion is kindness".   As far as I am concerned that is also the very same religion that has been preached by Jesus Christ, Muhammad, Krishna and countless prophets throughout history.  It is my personal religion.

Love is the Law.  Love under will.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Reflection: His work

"I don't claim anything of the work. It is his work. I am like a little pencil in his hand.
That is all. He does the thinking. He does the writing. The pencil has nothing to do with it."
Mother Teresa

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Good News and Balance

I said a few days ago that everything would come to a head this week; and it certainly has.

Today I was offered a full time contract position in a job I am very experienced at (and have worked most of my professional life). This job is on campus at the University I have enrolled in (also full time) to study. They will accommodate my study schedule (even if it's full time) and we'll see how it goes for a while and re-analyze the situation in the near future. I start this new job at 10am tomorrow morning.

I also believe I'm much more equipped at this stage in my life to benefit greatly from tertiary education then I was at the age that most young adults spend studying. I certainly have a very different approach to life than I had when I was in my early twenties, and it's pretty safe to assume that this would flow over into my attitude towards study.

It was only in the last few days that a conversation around my lounge room came to the subject of Balance in life; and I was sharing my thoughts on the importance of a striking a good balance between all of the facets of ones life. Of course I was coming at the whole situation very differently when this occurred - I seemed to have "all the time in the world", I wasn't working. I was studying, self-paced and self-directed along with the housework and anything else I could do to help both my full-time working house mates. The concept of Balance from this point onwards seems a little more daunting; but certainly achievable.

Between almost 40 hours of work and 30 hours of University study each week, an hour or so each day for meditation and reflection and some time with my fantastic partner and friends somewhere in there. I also have a personal commitment to myself to continue blogging at an average of about a post a day; including some quotes, personal comments and essays/articles I write on various topics at various times.

In closing, I'm really excited... I'm going to be busy... but it's the first steps in a new direction of this journey! Right now I'm heading to bed to get a good night sleep before my first day at my new job!


Monday, July 7, 2008

The Watchmaker

Reading through the wisdom of Louis-Claude de Saint-Martin in his The Red Book and I had a laugh to myself when I came across this one; which I want to share with you all.

"When my watch is broken, 
I have it repaired by the watchmaker who built it."

Peace Profound!

Internal Dialogue and Desires

I first want to take the opportunity to thank Theo Huffman (A Touch of Pansophia) for his comments on my most recent post on this topic.

So this week is shaping up to be a very very interesting week. I have several things happening all of which are coming to a head over the next few days. Some of those work related, some of those study related, and other interested events that I'm sure to cover in the near future!

I feel it's pretty unlikely to get a second round offer for University admission - and I understand completely why (and detailed it in my previous post). Today I applied for a bridging course to do full time over the next six months which upon completion will get me admission into my chosen degree. The admission for this course is basically open so unless classes are full, so it looks like either way I will be studying in the near future. My chosen subjects for the bridging course are Philosophy and Classical Studies (Ancient Greece and Rome) - which work well with the Arts degree I plan to eventually enroll in.

If the particular full time job that the Universe and I have been discussing recently comes together it will actually be on campus as well, which will make studying/working and somehow balancing those two things much easier. If necessary I'll fall back to part-time study - but we'll play this one by ear.

I made the point in my previous post on the evolution of ideas and thoughts into attitudes and ultimately convictions, what I left out of that post is the importance I feel of 'self-checking' these ideas before they become an attitude. In my experience these self-checks take practice - it's not something that you can 'turn on' and just do, it takes training to stop yourself and analyse your own thought patterns.Some of the things that can assist in doing this, I find, are:
  • Attempt to refrain for forming immediate positive or negative opinions on information presented to you.
  • Spend some time each day reflecting on your actions for the day, how you could have improved your handling of specific situations and the successes you have accomplished.
  • In times of emotional turmoil try to take a moment out to relax, analyse and regain composure as to deal with a situation in the most constructive way possible.
  • Use caution with your internal dialogue. This is covered extensively in Nuero Linguistic Programming and a lot of psychology text. The words we use internally when we make a decision or form an opinion. Attempt not to use negatives (i.e. instead of "i'm not good at sports", try "my atheletic ability could do with some improvement").
The last point is one that really warrants an entire post dedicated to it, which I will hopefully write in the coming week.

Pax tecum.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Universe and Our Desires

People desire things.

We all know it.. we all have done it at some point in our lives; perhaps even daily? When was the last time you desired something (even if it was just a cup of tea or a hug from a loved one, both I must say are fantastic things to desire!)

Some of our desires seem at first to be more fulfill-able than others; why is this?

I personally find that this is because of the associations we have with that particular desire; a culmination of previous experiences, thoughts, feelings and emotions that we have for whatever reason associated with a specific event happening.

These associations tend to form very limiting ideas in our heads... Most people at some time have thought something along the lines of:

"I don't deserve this."

"I'm not good enough for this."

"I can't do anything right."

"I don't finish anything I start."

These forms of thought are entirely destructive. Something which started as an association due to something in the past evolves gradually to become a conscious thought associated with a memory, that in turn evolves and becomes an attitude we adopt; this attitude if successfully re-enforced enough becomes a belief and that belief ultimately can become a conviction. A Conviction is something you are entirely convinced of. If you are convinced you are "not good enough for this" then you'll certainly put in a good effort to prove yourself right!

I had some news earlier in the week that was at first glance rather disappointing. I had built a range of plans (read goals) for the next six months based around receiving something that I was so sure would come my way - perhaps a little too sure. I guess the news shattered some ideas that I had built pretty solid visualizations around, but they were suddenly pulled away from under me. I began to question why this didn't manifest itself, I looked at everything I've done so far and was lost for any ideas.

A few days later I had the thought that perhaps it was an attitude I developed over ten years ago, an attitude I developed as a way of making myself feel better about a particular course of action that was different to what most people were doing... an attitude I adopted because it "explained" something about me, not that it was ever essentially a truth, but I treated it as such because for so long I had just believed what I'd told myself for over ten years without ever asking myself why I thought that way - and I still can't tell you why, other than as a "social explanation."

Mind you, I did know that it wasn't the end of the world at the time; the particular thing I was hoping to hear is offered again in a few weeks; then again not until next year. The other positive was there are other options that are stepping stones to this desire that I knew from the outset were a possibility of having to take the longer, harder more mundane path.

On a side note here - the same can be said of spirituality; it is better not to rush it - let it develop and guide you.. you don't need to push it! Back to my story.

I guess the story would read much easier if I explained to you what I was talking about. I had applied for entry into a particular course of study, three in particular. My first choice was to complete a Bachelor of Arts, my second choice was a Bachelor in Theology, figuring it's basically a superset of Arts and I could transfer later, and a lot of my "Arts" interests are actually Theology/Philosophy based too. I haven't done any "formal" study in over 13 years, I'm not really surprised I didn't get an offer. My other options include doing a bridging course of some kind over the next 6 months to gain entry into a degree program.

The "social explanation" I was referring to was due to the fact that I left school before completing it and ended up in the full time work force from 16 years old. I knew this limited my chance of higher education later on, but also knew there were paths into it later on too. The thing I would do differently now, I would hope, is to not then tell myself "I don't need a degree." or "There is nothing University can offer me." or "I know everything and don't need to study.". You can imagine how damaging these statements re-enforced over a long period of time can end up popping up.

I guess my thoughts around study began changing when I stumbled upon the Western Mystery Tradition and something for the first time in a very long time something that I didn't already understand popped up that I found fascinating and was driven to study it. This drive to study extended to everything and for the last twelve months or so I have absorbed so much information for such a wide variety of sources and find the inter-relationship between all areas of study and life.

How did it all turn out? Well...

I had some great news by the middle of the week. The Universe has presented me another option, which at this point appears to present the bits of the desire that I was focussed on, perhaps detrimentally to the 'big picture' I had in mind. I don't want to discuss the specifics of this new option, i've discussed it further with the Universe and we'll see how it pans out in the next few days - stay posted.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Reflection: Qi - The Source of Life

The source of life, of birth and change is Qi,
everything under heaven and earth obeys the law.
Qi in the periphery envelops the cosmos;
Qi the interior activates all.

Nei Jing

Hymn to the Sun

Homage to thee, O Ra, at thy tremendous rising!
Thou risest! Thou shinest! the heavens are rolled aside!
Thou art the King of Gods, thou art the All-comprising,
From thee we come, in thee are deified.

Thy priests go forth at dawn; they wash their hearts with laughter;
Divine winds move in music across thy golden strings.
At Sunset they embrace thee, as every cloudy rafter
Flames with reflected color from thy wings.

Thou sailest over the zenith, and thy heart rejoices;
Thy Morning Boat and Evening Boat with fair winds meet together;
Before thy face the goddess Maat exalts her fateful Feather,
And at thy name the halls of Anu ring with voices.

O Thou Perfect! Thou Eternal! Thou Only One!
Great Hawk that fliest with the flying Sun!
Between the Turquoise Sycamores that risest, young for ever,
Thine image flashing on the bright celestial river.

Thy rays are on all faces; Thou art inscrutable.
Age after age thy life renews its eager prime.
Time whirls its dust beneath thee; thou art immutable,
Maker of Time, thyself beyond all Time.

Thou passest through the portals that close behind the night,
Gladdening the souls of them that lay in sorrow.
The True of Word, the Quiet Heart, arise to drink thy light;
Thou art To-day and Yesterday; Thou art To-morrow!

Homage to thee, O Ra, who wakest life from slumber!
Thou risest! Thou shinest! Thou radiant face appears!
Millions of years have passed, --we cannot count their number,--
Millions of years shall come. Thou art above the years!

Egyptian Book of the Dead

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Rosh Chodesh (with a Feast)

ראש חודש

Rosh Chodesh literally translates from Hebrew as "Head of the Month" and is the name given to the first day of every month in the Hebrew Calendar. Traditionally Rosh Chodesh was not announced until two independent observers had reported seeing a New Moon to the beit din (rabbinic court in Jerusalem) where the judges would evaluate the witness testimony and if they independently could verify the sighting of the new moon the Temple would declare the arrival of Rosh Chodesh.

Why celebrate Rosh Chodesh? This one seems to be on flimsy evidence to say the least. It is often attributed to Exodus 12:1-2
And the LORD spoke unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying,
This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.
This verse to me still doesn't offer reasonable enough "command" from God to celebrate the new moon; I have found reference to an event that is said to have happened around two weeks before Exodus while Moses was still in Egypt. God showed Moses the cresent moon and commanded him to "sanctify it". It could also be said that the Israelites adopted the significance of the moon as a direct contradiction to the Sun/Ra worship that was forced on them in Egypt.

In around 360 CE Hillel II introduced the "fixed calendar" to Judaism. This changed the tradition a little with the dates of Rosh Chodesh already known there was no longer a need for it to be "witnessed"; however the festival was still celebrated the day following the New Moon by by offering sacrifices, burning incense, chanting special prayers, blowing the shofar (a ceremonial rams horn) and eating a celebratory feast.

There are several Laws of Rosh Chodesh, two of which I wish to specifically point out here, and then discuss further with some other points from that same article.
  • One should not fast on Rosh Chodesh even if the fast is intended for just a few hours.
  • Although there is no obligation to wash and eat a meal in honor of Rosh Chodesh one should endeavor to increase in one's eating on Rosh Chodesh in honor of this day, and even to include bread during the meal.
Why do I bring these two points up in particular? Good Question. I guess I should admit at this point that I have an ulterior motive for discussing Rosh Chodesh; and that is precisely it's relation to feasting; food and eating; in a celebratory manner in a group of people.

I grew up in a reasonable sized family but my fondest memories as a child are mostly of my grandmother cooking and feeding us. Something she continues to do to this day, however she no longer can maintain the lengthy standing time in the kitchen like she used to. There is something very special that happens when a group of people share a meal together; I feel it's the common denominator - we're all pretty much the same - we all eat.

It doesn't matter at all if you're eating the same food or not; I personally find myself in situations where I'm eating very differently to those around me, and while I eat a strict vegetarian diet, I do prepare and cook meat for others to consume.

I do this for a couple of reasons;
  • I'm a pretty good cook, at least I like to eat the food I cook, and others do to. The satisfaction I personally get from seeing the satisfaction someone else receives from my labor of kitchen love (ask any grandmother who cooks, the secret ingredient is always love!!
  • One of my core beliefs is that of tolerance, acceptance and while making my views and thoughts on a range of topics available to anyone who'll give me an ear; I refuse to enforce them upon anyone else. I'm a good cook, why should they miss out on my Roast Lamb just because I won't eat it?
What I would like to encourage anyone who reads this to do is get a group of friends together, cook up a fantastic feast, sit down and eat with each other, enjoying each other's company and in moderation the food and perhaps a glass of wine or two. You could organize to regularly have feasts with a group of friends and perhaps even do it to celebrate Rosh Chodesh in your own way.

Before partaking in the meal depending upon company I say grace, sometimes to myself, occasionally out loud. Grace doesn't have to be religious, it doesn't even have to mention God.

An example of something to use in mixed company could be as simple as:
May we be thankful for the food we are about to consume;
May we be mindful of those who do not have a meal today;
May the food we consume nourish our mind, body and soul;
and a share of it be shared with all of creation for the benefit of all
If you're fortunate enough to have a group of friends like my regular dinner guests the dinner conversation can be so fantastically rewarding.
Remember what Socrates said... Philosophy is a Team Sport!
Encourage dinner discussion, with love, acceptance and tolerance.
Peace to you all.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Reflection on Light

On Light; Eliphas Levi says:

It is through this Force that all the nervous centres secretly communicate with each other; from it--that sympathy and antipathy are born; from it--we have our dreams; and that the phenomena of second sight and extra-natural visions take place...Astral Light [acting under the impulsion of powerful wills] ... destroys, coagulate, separates, breaks, gathers in all things...God created it on that day when he said: "Fiat Lux!" ... It is directed by the Egregores, i.e., the chiefs of the souls who are the spirits of energy and action.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Thoth and an Emerald Tablet


Thoth is the Greek name given to the Egyptian lunar deity, Djehuty. The Egyptians had a thorough understanding of astrology and astronomy and understood the significance of the moon and it's obvious cycles; making Thoth an important figure in Egyptian mythology.

The Egyptians credited Thoth with the invention of writing and the calendar, creation of magic, a divine record-keeper and mediator. It is through his role as messenger of the gods that he is associated by the Greeks with Hermes, and by me with the archangel Gabriel for the same reason.

Thoth was known as:
  • the 'One who Made Calculations Concerning the Heavens, the Stars and the Earth'
  • the 'Reckoner of Times and Seasons'
  • the one who 'Measured out the Heavens and Planned the Earth.'
  • He was 'He who Balances', the 'God of the Equilibrium' and 'Master of the Balance'
  • 'The Lord of the Divine Body'
  • 'Scribe of the Company of the Gods'
  • the 'Voice of Ra'
  • the 'Author of Every Work on Every Branch of Knowledge, both Human and Divine'
  • he who understood 'all that is hidden under the heavenly vault'.
  • and 'He who Reckons the Heavens, the Counter of the Stars and the Measurer of the Earth.'
Thoth has particular significance for me because along with Isis (Asi) and Horus-Apophis (Hoor-Apep), Thoth presides over the Neophyte Temple of the Great White Brotherhood. August 6 is a date traditionally sacred to Thoth.

The Emerald Tablet

There is place for any discussion about Thoth (and therefore Hermes) for The Emerald Tablet; a series of tablets attributed to Thoth.

It is said that the tablet was written by Thoth, an immortal Priest-King who after the destruction of Atlantis founded the Atlantean colony of Egypt and ruled it from 52,000 B.C. to 36,000 B.C.

Thoth left his records and knowledge in the Great Halls of Amenti; concealed deep within The Great Pyramid and appointed guards. The descendants of these guards became the pyramid priests who deified Thoth as the God of Wisdom. In legend, the Halls of Amenti became the underworld, the Halls of the gods, where the soul passed after death for judgment.

Commentaries and translations of the Emerald Tablet have been published by Trithemius, Roger Bacon, Michael Maier, Aleister Crowley and Albertus Mangus among many others.

The Emerald Tablet can be said to be one of the cornerstones of Hermetic Philosophy. The text of the tablet has several modern translations, however my preferred translation is the one found amongst the alchemical papers of Sir Issac Newton:
  1. Tis true without lying, certain and most true.
  2. That which is below is like that which is above and that which is above is like that which is below to do the miracles of one only thing.
  3. And as all things have been and arose from one by the meditation of one: so all things have their birth from this one thing by adaptation.
  4. The Sun is it's father, the moon it's mother,
  5. The wind hath carried it in it's belly, the earth is it's nurse.
  6. The father of all perfection in the whole world is here.
  7. It's force or power is entire if it be converted into earth. Separate thou from earth from the fire, the subtle from the gross sweetly with great industry.
  8. It ascends from the earth to the heaven and again it descends to the earth and receives the force of things superior and inferior.
  9. By this means you shall have the glory of the whole world and thereby all obscurity shall fly from you.
  10. It's force is above all force, for it vanquishes every subtle thing and penetrates every solid thing.
  11. So was the world created.
  12. From this are and do come admirable adaptations where of the means (or process) is here in this.
  13. Hance I am called Hermes Trismegist having the three parts of the philosophy of the whole world.
  14. That which I have said of the operation of the Sun is accomplished and ended.
There are said to be thirteen tablets that make up the entire collection; the titles of which are:
  1. The History of Thoth, The Atlantean
  2. The Halls of Amenti
  3. The Key of Wisdom
  4. The Space Born
  5. The Dweller of Unal
  6. The Key of Magic
  7. The Seven Lords
  8. The Key of Mysteries
  9. The Key of Freedom of Space
  10. The Key of Time
  11. The Key to Above and Below
  12. The Law of Cause and Effect and The Key of Prophecy
  13. The Keys of Life and Death
Along with two supplementary tablets:
  1. Atlantis
  2. Secret of Secrets
A literal translation of these tablets can be found at


I've been a fan of the Invocation of Thoth as set to music by Israel Regardie on The Complete System of Golden Dawn Magic (audio); an invocation I regularly use when I feel the need to reach the divine wisdom within me that manifests itself as Thoth.

Procol oh procol este profani. Barlasti ompala.

In the name of the Mighty and Terrible One, I proclaim that I have banished the shells unto their habitations.

I invoke Tahuti, the Lord of Wisdom and of Utterance; the god that cometh forth from the veil.

Oh thou, majesty of the godhead, wisdom-crowned Tahuti, Lord of the gates of the universe.
Thee, thee I invoke.
Oh thou of the ibis head. Thee, thee I invoke.
Thou who wieldest the wand of double power. Thee, thee I invoke.
Thou who bearest in thy left hand the rose and cross of light and life. Thee, thee I invoke.
Thou whose head is as an emerald, and thy nemyss as the night sky blue. Thee, thee I invoke.
Thou whose skin is a flaming orange as though it burned in a furnace. Thee, thee I invoke.

Behold, I am yesterday, today, and the brother of tomorrow. I am born again and again. Mine is the unseen force whereof the gods are sprung, which is as life unto the dwellers in the Watchtowers of the Universe.

I am the charioteer of the east; Lord of the past and the future. I see by my own inward light; Lord of resurrection who cometh forth from the dust, and my birth is from the house of death.

Oh ye two Divine hawks upon your pinnacles who keep watch over the universe.
Ye who company the Bier to the house of rest, who pilot the ship of Ra, ever advancing onwards the heights of heaven. Lord of the shrine which standeth in the center of the earth.

Behold! He is me and I in him.
Mine is the radiance wherein Ptah floateth over the firmament.
I travel upon high. I tread upon the firmament of Nu.
I raise a flashing flame with the lightening of mine eye.
Ever rushing on in the splendor of the daily glorified Ra, giving my life to the dwellers of earth.
If I say come up upon the mountain, the celestial waters shall flow at my command.
For I am Ra incarnate, Kephra created in the flesh.
I am the idolar of my father Tnu, Lord of the city of the sun.
The god who commands is in my mouth.
The god of wisdom is in my heart.
My tongue is the sanctuary of truth and a god sitteth upon my lips.
My word is accomplished every day, and the desire of my heart realizes itself as that of Ptah when he created his works.

I am eternal, therefore all things are as my designs. Therefore do thou come forth unto me from thine abode in the silence, unutterable wisdom, all light or power.

Thoth.Hermes. Mercury. Odin.
By whatever name I call thee thou art still nameless to eternity.
Come thou forth I say, and aid and guard me in this work of art.

Thou star of the east that didst conduct the magi.
Thou art the same all present in heaven and in hell.
Thou that vibratest between the light and the darkness, rising, descending, changing ever, yet ever the same.

The sun is thy father; thy mother the moon.
The wind hath borne thee in it's bosom and earth hath ever nourished the changeless god head of thy youth.

Come thou forth I say, come thou forth and make every spirit of the firmament and of the ether, upon the earth and under the earth, on dry land and in the water, of whirling air and of rushing fire, and every spell and scourge of God the Vast One may be obedient unto me.

Esoteric Order of the Goden Dawn - Invocation of Thoth

A traditional invocation; based on ancient texts:

O Thou, the Apex of the Plane,
With Ibis head and wings of Night! Whose serpents strain
Their bodies, bounding the Beyond
Thou in the Light and in the Night
Art One, above their moving might.

Another very nice invocation that I found online, however it has no references or any other information available with it:

Hail to the Ibis Headed writer
of the world. Singer
of the first refrain that still
rings true. Hail to the describer
of forms and the final
judge of all his works

You brought the code to the code-
breakers and taught us
your secrets and your lore.
You’re the weaver
of the veil and you bear
the fire that may burn it away.

For I wear the head of an Ibis, at times,
and sometimes the form
of a baboon. I am Tahuti, called
Thoth, called Hermes: Thrice Great, called
Loki. Know this and know my deepest
mystery. I am the forger
of the real. The maker of a perfect
code, the breaker
of the thickest veil

I like it, but my personal preference for invoking Thoth is the Invocation used by The Golden Dawn.

Associations with Other Traditions

  • Hermes was worshiped especially fervently by travelers, pilgrims, thieves and poets. Though temples to Hermes existed throughout Greece, Arcadia was a center of his cult. Hermoea were the festivals in his honor, also especially prevalent in Arcadia.
  • Mercury was the messenger of Roman mythology; god of trade, profit and commerce. Most of Mercury's characteristics and mythology were stolen from Hermes. Through his association with Mercury and the attributes to do with Balance the astrological sign Gemini.
  • The Roman historian Tacitus refers to Odin when he talks of Mercury
  • Archangel Gabriel as Messenger of the Gods.
  • Quetzalcoatl and the Mayan Calendar - Time with an end date of December 21, 2012.
  • The Incan God Viracocha.
  • Legend has it that Tehuti was the ruler of Atlantis for an unspecified period of time; coming and going throughout it's history and who recorded His message in the Emerald Tablet of Thoth the Atlantean.
  • In some Masonic traditions; Thoth played a major role in preserving the knowledge of The Craft and re-establishing the tradition after The Flood.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

A Thought for Today: Being and Becoming

Something to dwell upon over the next day...

All the Buddhas of all the ages have been telling you a very simple fact: Be - don't try to become. Within these two words, be and becoming, your whole life is contained. Being is enlightenment, becoming is ignorance.

Friday, June 27, 2008


Dove of PeaceRosicrucian Peace Day is observed on the fourth Sunday of June each year, worldwide by over 1,200 affiliated bodies in all jurisdictions of the Rosicrucian Order.

To honor this in my own way, I would like to share with you the Rosicrucian Contribution to Peace:

I contribute to Peace when I strive to express the best of myself in my contacts with others.

I contribute to Peace when I use my intelligence and my abilities to serve the Good.

I contribute to Peace when I feel compassion toward all those who suffer.

I contribute to Peace when I look upon all men and women as my brothers and sisters, regardless of race, culture, or religion.

I contribute to Peace when I rejoice over the happiness of others and pray for their well-being.

I contribute to Peace when I listen with tolerance to opinions that differ from mine or even oppose them.

I contribute to Peace when I resort to dialogue rather than to force to settle any conflict.

I contribute to Peace when I respect Nature and preserve it for generations to come.

I contribute to Peace when I do not seek to impose my conception of God upon others.

I contribute to Peace when I make Peace the foundation of my ideals and philosophy.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Om Namah Shivaya

Shiva Meditating
A short walk on any esoteric or inner-wisdom based tradition requires the seeker to develop at least some skills in the ancient art of meditation. So much so I believe the importance on practicing many different types of meditation and experimenting with meditation that I decided a short while ago to begin developing a set of audio based meditations that included a participatory element and a instructional/history/background element also. I have started writing some of the scripts and putting together an outline of the program and the way it progresses; but as part of that I wanted to discuss in particular one mantra that keeps popping up in my life; and as a result - one I am personally drawn to and practice regularly.

Om Namah Shivaya .. Om (Listen)
Om Nama Shivaya

The potency and resonance of this mantra to me personally was awesome to say the least, which is understandable, once a little digging below the surface is done. The mantra itself can be found at the core of the Vedas and Tantra and used to awaken Spiritual awareness, encourage Self-Realization and help guide on the spiritual journey they are undertaking - an appropriate place to start for a first (non-welcome) post to this blog.

I first encountered this mantra on Israel Regardie's "The Complete System of Golden Dawn Magic" (audio recordings). The first time I sat and listened to Israel chanting the mantra for around 20 minutes I felt deeply moved and as a result started to use it, and continue to use it more and more regularly.

At the time I had my head in a million other things so I continued practicing it without doing much research into what it was about. (Logically, this isn't something that I ordinarily would have done if the initial exposure to it hadn't been so positive, motivating and uplifting). Weeks passed, and the mantra came up in discussion over dinner one night. I wasn't able to explain it's meaning to the person who asked me about it and so triggered some elementary research into what it was all about.

An interesting analogy could be drawn here, and it's to do with the spiritual impact of something and an understanding of it. You don't need an understanding of something for it to have a spiritual impact on you; but an understanding on some level helps empower the concept more so, at least in my experience and while the most perfect place to find this understanding is within, a look into the history and meanings can be equally rewarding.

It can been seen in the Missa Tridentina or Roman Rite Mass; a spiritual experience that can be rewarding without a gnosis or even knowledge of what words are being used or what it represents. However the Tridentine Mass is even more mystical and meaningful with greater understanding of the symbolism involved; and from my personal experience, the same can be said of this mantra (and any other spiritual encounter or experience)..

Back to our mantra; let me take the opportunity to break it down a little, with what it means to me at this point in time.


It's hard to say what Om means.

"In the beginning was the Supreme word, and the word created everything. That word is Om. This divine sound has the power to create, sustain and destroy, giving life and movement to all that exist."

Om it could be said, is the sound of the underlaying divine cosmic power; that intoning Om in the right tone places you in vibratory harmony with the entire cosmic. From my experience of Om, I can personally say that Om is in vibratory harmony with something much greater than myself, my inner master and the physical world. Just what it is in vibratory harmony with, that is hard to say.

Something I often like to do is point out when I find something seems similar to something from another tradition (as I did above with the Roman Rite Mass). While I said in my previous post that I don't subscribe to any particular religion as such; I have an affinity and respect for all belief systems and religion. I would also like to point out the similarities here between the above paragraph and John 1:1-3 -
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All tings were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made."
And another reference in Psalm 33:6 -
"By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth."
As interesting as comparative creation myths are; I think that is a subject area suited to a whole series of posts at some time in the future; but once again, it seems like a good place to start this blog.. In the beginning... Ommmmmmmmmm


Namah is a much easier word to describe. Namah is simply a salutation or greeting. I've read some alternative meanings, however I personally do not feel that these alternatives alter the meaning of the translated mantra, and for the sake of simplicity leaving it to the reader to further research should they feel it necessary.


Shivaya is the destroyer and the restorer, the great ascetic and the symbol of sensuality, the benevolent herdsmen of souls and the wrathful avenger. This duality of destroyer and restorer or creator and destroyer I personally see as reincarnation, evolution, changing ever, yet ever the same.

Shiva was originally known as Rudra; a minor deity mentioned only three times in the Rig Veda. He gained importance after absorbing some of the characteristics of an earlier fertility god and became Shiva; part of the trinity, or trimurti with Vishnu and Brahma. Shiva, the word, means auspiciousness and perfection; it refers to the "God Who is Perfect", without any kind of dependency on anything to make It complete - the perfect state, the state of the Rose-Croix, a state that human consciousness and spirituality are gradually evolving toward.

Looking Deeper

Further research also revealed that this mantra is also known as the Holy Five Syllable mantra or panchakshara due to it containing five syllables, without the Om (panch meaning five). The mantra is said to increase awareness in particular awareness of the source of all manifestation.

Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami breaks down the mantra to each of the five syllables:
  • Na is the Lord's concealing grace
  • Ma is the world
  • Śi stands for Śiva
  • Va is His revealing grace
  • Ya is the soul
The five elements, too, are embodied in this ancient formula for invocation:
  • Na is the earth
  • Ma is water
  • Śi is fire
  • is air
  • Ya is ether or akasha.
The relationship between Shiva and the number five doesn't end there. Shiva is often depicted with five faces; said to represent those five elements, with each of these faces also have specific attributes associated with them.
"One should know all things of the phenomenal world as of a fivefold character, for the reason that the eternal verity of Śiva is of the character of the fivefold Brahman."

Pañcabrahma Upanishad
The mantra first appears in Shri Rudram Chamakam a vedic stotra dedicated to Rudra, an early example of worship by repeating multiple deity names. Om Namah Sivaya appears with
another famous mantra, "Om Namo Bhagavathe Rudraya"; which I hope to share with you in another article soon.

I hope you have enjoyed delving into Shiva and the five syllable mantra; I look forward to taking another step of this journey with you soon.



One would think that the first thing to do in a new blog is to introduce myself; and I do plan to do this a little in this post; but for the most part, joining with me on this; the next stage of my personal journey will reveal to you far more about me as a person than any labels or categories I could list in any post.

This blog is about spirituality, it's about life, the universe and everything, to borrow a catch phrase from the great Douglas Adams. It's about connectedness, it's about discovery and it's about my desire to share with others some aspects of the experiences on the path I chose to take.

In a nutshell; I don't subscribe to any mainstream belief system; there are aspects of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hindu, Shinto (and every other mainstream belief system) that ring deeply true within my being. I could go as far to say that none of them have anything that I find particularly distasteful, at least in their scriptures and teachings, unfortunately this can't always be said for the institutions, people and hierarchy.

I do believe in a supreme being; the Egyptian mythos works particularly well for me, personally; but I'm happy to use the word "God" to refer to the god of my heart and a particular name from a particular mythos, religion or tradition if I wish to stress a particular aspect of divinity (e.g. I'll happily use the name Thoth/Tahuti to refer to scholarly, wisdom, scribe-like aspects of divinity).

I'm starting this blog purely as an outlet for my spiritual/esoteric creativity; for writing about experiences and thoughts, sharing them with you and meeting fellow brothers and sisters who are happy to walk with me, even for just a few steps.