Monday, January 19, 2015

What We Conceive of Ourselves as Being

You see, this is the key. All of our successes and failures come down to what we conceive of ourselves as being. In the Gospel Jesus say, 'I and my Father are one.' It is written in the Hermetica, 'Think of a thing and you are it'. Agrippa states in his Three Books of Occult Philosophy, 'If a man thinks of fire he is fire, if he thinks of war he is war.' All of the Tibetan Lamas regardless of them being Bon or Buddhist, Nyingma or of the New School sects, state that the purpose of visualization of the deities, and more importantly of ourselves as the deities, is to awaken ourselves to these qualities that already exist within us. Yes, they are already within us. We simply need to recognize them and get out of our own way – get around our false notions and thinking. The Bible states that God tells us, 'I am closer to you than the space between your breaths.' Jesus says to his disciples, 'These things which I do so shall you do and even greater.' In the end, it is all about self-image, or more accurately, self-perception.
It is a weak self-perception that draws people to magic to begin with. They feel a lack or an fulfillment within themselves and believe that there is a secret power in the cosmos that can help them achieve it. To some degree this is true. But instead of having confidence in themselves, they project it out onto something else – their magic wand, the egregore of the order they belong to, their teacher, or the notion of the barbarous words of power in a manuscript of unknown origin. This is the dangerous part, and I paraphrase the librarian and Watcher Rupert Giles, who said in an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, “All magic is borrowed power.
If we depend upon sigils, signs, and Divine Names to evoke, manifest, and control the forces and intelligences that themselves we conceive of as external to us, then we are damned if there is a mistake or error in the process. The angel will at least have some compassion for us, even if we do not recognize it as so. The demon however will have only contempt at our weakness. The rest will show varying degrees of indifference, annoyance, or support, but again – based on their perception of us, which is ultimately based on our own self-image. This is why we perform Assumption of the Godform. As we see ourselves, truly and deeply, so do the host of inhabitant in the invisible.
If the power for that transformation comes from within, then we are invincible. If the power for it comes from without, then we are dependent on it no less than we are on the farmer for our food and the truck driver to deliver it. Just as there is a chain of beings who deliver us our potatoes, so too there is a chain of beings who deliver us our occult powers if we rely on anything outside of ourselves – outside of our own mind and its natural abilities.
When we do offering prayers we are doing them to bring harmony between our self and the host of beings that exist in the visible and invisible realms so that they will assist us in our work and be helped by it as well, or at least be indifferent and not hinder us. We may not think of it as so, but think of how many people are involved in a single occult ritual. Think of all of the people needed for you to acquire a simple crystal sphere, or a beeswax candle! At least half-a-dozen, maybe more. But do you ever think of them? The bee keeper, the candle maker, the distributor, the person who fill the order, and maybe another who packs it, or takes it for shipping, and then the people who bring it to your doorstep or to the store where you buy it. How about all of the support people needed to allow each one of these people to do their job? You get the picture. You are not alone in the universe, but continue to think, feel, and act as if you are, and that others are only there for when you need them to do something for YOU. We call that selfishness, and that is the root of all failure. Even criminals must think of the benefits of their criminal acts for all involved. How much less does the average occultist think of their relationship to the vast host of beings in the visible and invisible?
So to assist in this we perform offerings. This does have a very real effect on our relationships to the 'others' we seek meaningful and healthy relationships with, as well as effects our own psychic body, its psychic centers, channels of force, and energies that course through them. Each of these centers is a not only a gateway, but also a world in us in miniature (a microcosm if you will) wherein these beings exist. This is why the debate about objective and subjective nature of these beings is infantile and foolish, born out of a lack of experience with the cosmos AS IT IS. These intelligences are both - and our perception and experience depends on our understanding of the forces and intelligences we are dealing with. If you want it to consider your experience to be purely subjective and psychological that is possible, BUT, there will be a subtle ripple to the objective equivalent. If you want to consider your experience to be purely objective you may, BUT, these forces will still be reflected in your own consciousness, and hence, the so-called Sling Shot Effect Dr. Lisiewski wrote so much about. Your mind is the mirror upon which you experience life – be it your high school sweet heart, an angel, demon, or a saint.
For this reason, you must first learn to understand the nature of your own mind before undertaking communication with non-physical beings. Think of how poorly the average pet owner misunderstands their animals, and as a result, mistreats it. How much more difficult is it to clearly and effectively communicate with beings in an other dimension wherein our own mind is the pivot point? To smooth this pathway and to develop a healthy relationship based on mutual respect and understanding of the differing needs and values, offerings are essential. Just as you would train your dog or employee through positive reinforcement, so too do you develop your relationships with the inhabitants of the invisible.
The process of offerings is simple, but like so many things people may easily fail as well. They become either too strict or too lax, rather than understanding the purpose – to create an environment of mutual benefit, and thus, harmony. To this end, we give the best we can, both in terms of physical objects, and those visualized. We connect with the inhabitants of the realms through these sense objects as well as our visualizations. How? Through our own psychic centers that correspond to their domain. What we hold back from them, in effect, we are holding back from ourselves. So, like in anything, do your best, give your best, and be kind to yourself and others. Always think of yourself as the giver of “all good things” to all of the realms of creation, and not as a beggar looking for a handout or a conman offering a bribe. No, remember, your self concept is the foundation. You are the enlightened monarch that bestows boons and to whom others willingly assist. That is the key to successful offerings, which should be the first step in any ritual act.
Now, in addition, the role of offerings also opens us up to these interior worlds in our dream states, and therefor prepares us for the experience of death. Offerings done simply as a gesture will reverberate negatively on us, so it is not sufficient to think that elaborate rituals offerings of costly items with intense visualizations are sufficient, they are not, if we fail to carry the lesson into daily practice. 1. This entails goodwill towards others, but not foolishness. 2. Working to express our best qualities and encouraging others to do so as well. 3. Eliminating the friction of competitiveness by recognizing the cycles of existence and life. Winning and loosing are like night and day, both are essential to life as most beings know it. 4. Be content. This is the notion of imperturbability so aptly expressed by Kipling in his poem, “If”. 5. Treat animals with respect and kindness, particularly those whom you rely upon for your food. 6. Give alms to those who suffer and experience want. 7. Support and provide for spiritual teachings to free people from ignorance, the root cause of all suffering in all of the cosmic realms.
Now note that each of these points can easily relate to each of the classes of being and their worlds, as well as psychic centers if you so desire. Number One is the mind of the Illumination, the foundation from which we work. Number Two is the realm of the gods or archetypes. Number Three is angelic realms, the nature of the Archons, the cycles of life itself. Number Four is human existence. Number Five is the animal kingdom. Number Six is the realm of ghosts and the suffering dead. Number Seven is the hell realms and the demonic beings who exist there.
At the end of your offerings give a teaching from your heart to all who are present. This is the basis for many of the practices in the past in soup kitchen and shelters wherein the attendees would hear a sermon before or during their stay. Even the demons are redeemable, as Christ descended into hell to teach and thereby liberate, or save, the “precarious spirits”. Do this and the demons will more readily serve you – if you are worthy – or at the least, not obstruct your work or that of others.
If this is done, and we support our rituals and visualizations with genuine acts, then we will neither hope for heaven, nor fear hell at the time of death, and will experience the Illumination of our true nature directly and confidently just as it is. We will experience duality and illumination for what they are - states of mind, perceptions, and not concrete realities. The Archons will have been defeated, and Sophia reunited with her bridegroom.
Now that you have the theory, next time we examine the practice and cover the details of making offerings.
Until then, we leave you once again with the words of Hermes and St. Isaac the Syrian to contemplate.
“19. Consider this yourself. Command your soul to go anywhere, and it will be there quicker than your command... Order it to fly up to heaven and it will need no wings, nor will anything impede it... And if you wish to break through all this and to contemplate what is beyond (if there is anything beyond the cosmos), it is in your power.
20. See what power you have and what speed! You can do all these things and yet God cannot? Reflect on God in this way as having all within Himself as ideas: the cosmos, Himself, the whole. If you do not make yourself equal to God you cannot understand Him. Like is understood by like. Grow to immeasurable size. Be free from every body, transcend all time. Become eternity and thus you will understand God. Suppose nothing to be impossible for yourself. Consider yourself immortal and able to understand everything: all arts, sciences and the nature of every living creature. Become higher that all heights and lower than all depths. Sense as one within yourself the entire creation: fire, water, the dry and the moist. Conceive yourself to be in all places at the same time: in the earth, the sea, in heaven; that you are not yet born, that you are within the womb, that you are young, old, dead; that you are beyond death. Conceive all things at once: time, places, actions, qualities and quantities; then you can understand God.
21. But if you lock up your soul in your body, abase it and say: ‘I understand nothing; I can do nothing; I am afraid … What have you to do with God? … For the greatest evil is to ignore what belongs to God. To be able to know and to will and to hope is the straight and easy way appropriate to each that will lead to the Supreme Good. When you take this road this Good will meet you everywhere and will be experienced everywhere, even where and when you do not expect it; when awake, asleep, in a ship, on the road, by night, by day, when speaking and when silent, for there is nothing which it is not.
  1. Now do you say that God is invisible? Be careful. Who is more manifest than He? He has made all things for this reason: that through them you should see Him. This is the goodness (to agathon) of God; this is His excellence: that He is made manifest through all. Though you cannot see what is bodiless, Nous is seen in the act of contemplation, God in the act of creation.... Reflect on all other things in the same way within yourself and you will not be led astray.” - Corpus Hermetica
"What is a merciful heart? It is a heart on fire for the whole of creation, for humanity, for the birds, forthe animals, for demons, and for all that exists. By the recollection of them the eyes of a merciful person pour forth tears in abundance. By the strong and vehement mercy that grips such a person’s heart, and by such great compassion, the heart is humbled and one cannot bear to hear or to see any injury or slight sorrow in any in creation. For this reason, such a person offers up tearful prayer continually even for irrational beasts, for the enemies of the truth, and for those who harm her or him, that they be protected and receive mercy. And in like manner such a person prays for the family of reptiles because of the great compassion that burns without measure in a heart that is in the likeness of God.
God is not One who requites evil, but who sets evil right. Paradise is the love of God, wherein is the enjoyment of all blessedness. The person who lives in love reaps the fruit of life from God, and while yet in this world, even now breathes the air of the resurrection.
In love did God bring the world into existence; in love is God going to bring it to that wondrous
transformed state, and in love will the world be swallowed up in the great mystery of the One who has
performed all these things; in love will the whole course of the governance of creation be finally
When is a person sure of having arrived at purity?
When that person considers all human beings are good, and no created thing appears impure or defiled.
Then a person is truly pure in heart."

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Some Words of Encouragement from Fellow Travelers on the Path
Every now and then we receive some correspondence from people who have applied the various teachings presented by the Institute for Hermetic Studies and found them beneficial. Our recent post regarding the resolution of problems of a more metaphysical nature prompted several responses and we have been given permission to edit them for brevity and anonymity and share them with you below.
Dear Mr. Stavish,
Please, feel free to use my email in one of your posts. I like the fact that you post emails from people that you have helped. During our first session I mentioned the Offering Rite to you because I had read an email from someone you recommended it to, and that person said it had been very effective. If I had not seen that email I would never have known about the Offering Rite, so these emails are very helpful. They also demonstrate the effectiveness of what you teach, and how you teach it. There is a saying in martial arts circles regarding instructors: "you can spot a true Master by observing the quality of his students", and in relation to esotericism and the occult you could say that you can spot a true teacher by observing the results of their teachings. I look forward to reading your new post. Thank you.
Dear Mr. Stavish,
I just finished reading your latest post on VOXHERMES. The original post is one of the most interesting posts I have read, and I have read it a number of times. I hope that the people involved are okay, and I hope that nothing negative happens to you or your loved ones as a result of helping these unfortunate people. After reading your new post I really need to re-read your latest book The Inner Way- The Power of Prayer and Belief in Spiritual Practicesagain; you may have truly meant what you said about its contents when you said everything is contained within it ( not that I doubted you). I finished the 42 days of the Offering Rite you recommended to me. Two noticeable things occurred during the 42 day period. On the 35th day (5th January), which just happened to be my birthday, I had quite a bad argument with someone dear to me. It has been a long time since we have had an argument like the one that occurred. I won't go into the details, but basically things got quite heated and we both lost our 'cool'. During the argument I noticed that what I was thinking was influencing what I was saying, and what I was saying was influencing the responses I was getting.  
I noticed a bit of 'distance' between my thoughts and my 'self', and I believe that if I had paid more attention to this distance, I could have stopped the argument in its tracks.

We said various things to each other and I stormed out of the room and headed to my bedroom, which is where I have been practicing the Offering Rite. As soon as I entered the room I noticed a sense of calm and composure, which usually does not happen to me so soon after an argument, as these things tend to stay with me for a number of days afterward. I felt fine after the argument and went to bed soon after. The next day I received an apology and things went back to normal in record time! I feel more motivated now to pay attention to the workings of my own mind; as you have told me a number of times, the only guarantee in the universe is Karma: cause and effect!
The second thing that happened also relates to Karma and the action of our minds. I went to my favourite shop to buy some incense on Monday. I paid for my goods and the girl behind the counter gave me my change. She was supposed to give me 9 Euros change, but accidentally gave me 14 Euros. I was turning to leave when I examined my change, and realised she had given me too much money. I immediately turned around and told her about the mistake, and she was very grateful. The important thing about this event was not the fact that I 'did the right thing', but that I am starting to feel my thoughts in a different way; I am trying to achieve congruency in relation to my Thoughts, Words, and Deeds [or Body, Speech, and Mind as the Tibetans say], as per your instructions. This event occurred on the final day of the Offering Rite.

The most striking thing about your latest post is the fact that others within the esoteric community were so unable or unwilling to help. It really makes we wonder about the efficacy of the material people are working with. The fact that these people turned to you is a testament to your knowledge and ability. I feel very fortunate that you have agreed to help me also. I just wanted to share these thoughts with you. In closing, I have not started the new practice yet, as I need to purchase a table for my chamber, and I need to gather some materials before I start. In the meantime, is there any problem if I continue with the Offering Rite? I quite enjoy performing it, as I feel as though I am actually doing something worthwhile, even if it is purely subjective in nature. I hope you don't mind me sharing these thoughts with you, your post got me thinking so I thought I would drop you a line. Thanks again, Mr. Stavish.
And from another student somewhere in the Mid-Atlantic States.

Dear Mr. Stavish,
With the posting about attacks and possession I was reminded of the assistance that you gave to me in March 2014 regarding my wife. I sent a thank you back then, but I realized today that I never updated you on our events. Summing up - she is fine now. I don't remember if I had ever mentioned that she'd been under the dominating control of some very bad people for about 5 weeks before she "escaped" and came back to our family. But I mention this because in the snippets of memory that she has flashbacks of, seem that she went through something akin to mind control with the use of modern drugs and hypnotic techniques.
At times my wife was normal and then her personality would shift and she would do things that later she didn't remember. I couldn't understand for the longest time why, if it was a ghost or demon, I couldn't banish it through regular ritual means. My belief is that these people whose influence she was under awakened something that she had bonded with as a young teen doing black magick [sic]. It had been given enough strength at times to subdue the generally protective influences of her higher self or conscience. And then Jenny became “Alter-Jenny” as a friend of mine started referring to her. This thing was technically part of her and not something could be simply gotten rid of.

I found only one thing that truly worked in starting the process of curing Jenny; prayers and magick [sic] that Jenny was unaware had been performed to help her - whether it was me or a friend - as long as she didn't know - it worked. To a point. The battle between the two sides of her caused a mental breakdown. She almost killed herself but provincial timing on my part stopped that. She signed herself into St Joseph's Hospital in E. Intense psychotherapy for one week and taking a low dose of Wellbutrin since has kept her psyche on an even keel ever since. I realize that this may be stuff you've encountered before and are just glad things worked out for me. But I did relay the gist of the story in case ANY of it was new and could in some way help someone else. Thank you again so very much for your assistance. I look forward to future postings from the Institute for Hermetic Studies.
The above emails are somewhat common for us here at the Institute for Hermetic Studies. As a result we will making available some information that we have only discussed in our live seminars so that more people can benefit from it. Because of the length of our previous post, and this one, we will hold off on additional commentary and simply ask that you read these posts over again and let their importance sink in. In our next post we will discuss some of the points above, the Offering Rite and the Liturgy of Hermes in particular, and what they can mean for your spiritual practice and general happiness.
Until then.....

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Another Late Night – An Update

The following article was originally published two years ago this day [14 Jan. 2013]. It may be a strange coincidence that I thought to repost it – exactly on the same day it was first released – but then I do not believe in coincidences, only cause and effect. Thus, there is a message in this post for one, some, or all of you. Over the last six months I have received five requests for help with what was being described as “psychic” and/or “demonic” attacks (with two being from ceremonial evocations that went very poorly). I listened to each contactee for an hour, asking the essential questions, and believe that four of the five cases were legitimate, with two of them involving a non-human antagonist. What is most unfortunate about the situations described is how unwilling or unable the individuals were to take any significant action to correct their lives. While all had done the usual laundry list: 1. contacting psychics, magicians, or gypsies to magically fix their problems for them; 2. went to clergy, usually a Roman Catholic priest to request intercessory prayers or even an exorcism; 3. attempted some modest ritual or prayer practice on their own; none of them were successful and that is why they were coming to me.

However, by the time they have contacted me they have spent whatever resources they have, are untrustworthy of the very people they are initiating contact with, and have relinquished nearly total control of their lives to whatever external and/or internal neurotic forces that are plaguing them. While not impossible, there is little that can be done at a distance when the main contact is the client and is operating solo and unreliable. For anyone who has not dealt with it directly, the degree of chaos that spontaneously arises in these situations is staggering – and by this I mean – simple things like the inability to maintain a telephone conversation because the call is constantly dropped (over a dozen times in one instance), static and other interuptions, or messages not being retrieved, up to what we would call paranormal phenomena. (Or even, the three efforts it took to load this article for distribution...)
Out of these desperate situations, two things have become apparent to me: the failure to understand the nature of one's own mind is at the root of it all.

This does not mean that all of what is occurring is a psychic projection, a neurotic episode being projected onto the world, but that if the client had any understanding of their mind and how it works, none of these experiences would be occurring or could be more easily dealt with. The constant projection n of power and authority outside of one's self, along with the ease and simplicity with which the element of fear is induced creates a psychic feedback loop that is difficult to break – and is food for whatever is feeding off the situation, be that a psychological diagnosis or a preternatural force.

This lack of understanding and fear is not limited to the clients, but is also widespread within the esoteric community as well. While there are many “fools who would rush in where angels fear to tread” I am surprised at the number of people who call themselves practicing occultists – particularly those who have written books on 'psychic self defence' - who are not only unable, but unwilling to help in situations like these – all out of fear. What is not surprising is the number who willingly charge $300 or more to do 'rituals' at a distance to 'cleanse' or 'exorcise' the 'spirit'. I would love to name names....

For this reason much of the material in the first half The Inner Way – The Power of Prayer and Belief in Spiritual Practice was aimed at helping the reader understand the basics of their own mind and belief system in not only their life, but the lives of others as well. The second part of the book contained an introduction to theurgical practices - several of which can be used to alleviate the suffering of oppressive s psychic conditions – as well as a host of other more pleasant situations.

In the past, after many requests, we have held a seminar on defensive magic, exorcism really, that taught the basic means of addressing such situations. If there is sufficient interest we may hold one again this year. So please contact us if you are interested. Until then, please read the article below, as well as The Inner Way (at Amazon), learn to pay attention to your own mind and how it works, and you will find, that in the end, not only do you not have to be afraid of what goes bump in the night, but you can be of real help to those who are – and help them learn that they do not have to be afraid either.

Dear Friends,
As many of you know I am extremely recalcitrant to openly discuss personal psychic or esoteric experiences in a public format and reserve them for periods of direct instruction. However, because of the upcoming seminar on theurgy that is being offered, and a nudge from a certain elsewhere, I am obliged to detail certain things to you so that you know what you are getting into. Since receipt of this newsletter and its postings is completely voluntary on your part, it is assumed that you have come to this place out of the desire for Light. To this end, Light will be given and our relationship is one of teacher and student. Therefore, with our communication being under the guise of instruction, I will discuss the following.
When we enter into the Path, particularly a magical path, there is often little if any concern for others. The entire notion is one of power, or possibly knowledge, but rarely of compassion. Yet Nature does not yield her secrets easily, and certainly not to the vain. To understand Nature, we must realize our oneness with Her, and in doing so, with every living being in all four directions of the three worlds. If we are willing to assist them, then they will be willing to assist us, and if our motives are pure, or at least of equal parts altruism and self-interest, then we can expect some degree of help from the visible as well as invisible worlds. But to get this assistance, we must pay our dues. We must make ourselves of use to others, and that includes the invisible, and those who traffic in it. 

Shamanism, Folk Healing, and Theurgy
If you are reading this, it is assumed that somewhere inside you desire to enter into the invisible domains, and experience not only what they have to offer there, but how such oddities can and do interact with the physical world, and the world of the senses. Traditional magic has long dealt with this transition zone, and yet despite the direct role of healing in classical and contemporary magic, modern magic has seemed to abandon it in favor of vague astral travels and psychological explanations. In short, the World of Man becomes the center point of the Cosmos, and the World of the Gods, Demons, Elementals, even Animals, is seen as little more than an individual's unconscious projection. While there is much truth to that idea, it is far from the entire story.

Folk magic is one of the few remaining areas wherein this overlap is dealt with on a regular basis, and in part, understood. Folk magic is almost exclusively concerned with daily needs, and most importantly healing. When we seek to heal, we become less ceremonial magicians and enter into the domain of shamanism. While such boundaries are not fixed, if is important to use modern language to describe this perception of roles. In truth, a good magician or shaman are one and the same. As Bruno said, a true magician must be a Physician, Prophet, and Magus, all in one.

To heal the ills of another using metaphysical methods, say other than spagyrics or alchemy, we have two basic methods: first, we call upon divine powers, often seen as external to us, and seek to direct them to a desired end; secondly, we use our own inherent or acquired powers to effect the healing process. The first method is most common and is a form of prayer commonly called theurgy. The second method is far less common, rooted in classical magic, and also a form of theurgy. The difference between them is fairly simple.

When using prayer alone we do not enter directly into the world of the one seeking help, but instead direct our attention towards it, and seek a third party intervention, be it God, and Angel, or something more ambiguous like cosmic love or a sense of well-being. In the second method we enter into the other person's psychic world, that is their unconscious, to some degree and through a variety of methods, reorganize their unconscious forces and bring hostile and destructive forces to light so they can be integrated. Now, this is all well and good, and sounds mighty psychological until we bring into consideration that not all problems are caused by an individual alone. That is, be it the cause, or the result, some people actually do have psychic parasites – be they Elementals, ghosts, or demons – that feed off of their neurotic or even psychotic tendencies and are not willing to easily surrender their host which is acting as their breadbasket. Dealing with these 'other beings' has long been the practice of classical magic and shamanism, but for now, is all but a forgotten art – nor is it an easy one, or one without a personal price. Given our upcoming seminar on theurgy, I would be ethically negligent if I did not give you a glimpse of what you are getting into when you enter into this Path. So, here we go.

Welcome to My World
The last week was a little busier than usual, in addition to professional and personal obligations the amount of requests for what can be described as 'metaphysical assistance' was higher than usual. The week started out with a series of emails culminating in an hour long telephone call with a shamanic practitioner regarding a particularly difficult client, total time involved, about two hours. This was quickly followed the next day by a Masonic brother looking for information on several Rosicrucian groups, as he was being encouraged to join one or more of them by a fellow Mason and as a father of two was looking for some advice so as to save time and money. As a fellow Mason I obliged. Total time involved, one hour. Then came the requests direct and indirect, that is, on behalf of someone incapable of asking for themselves. There were two of these. Total time involved, about one hour. It is now Wednesday and the fun will begin. Two posts for the newsletter on karma, total time, two hours. By the end of the week there were be two emails from individuals asking for spiritual guidance, one of which can more easily be directed than the other, and one who needs focused and directed attention to deal with spiritual breakthroughs as a result of a simple but profound form of payer, and whose spiritual mentor is not available. Herein, total time involved, two hours. Two requests from very ill people for spagyric tinctures, total time to pack and ship, another half and hour. None of this included the usual half-dozen emails a week from people known and unknown to me who simply want to chat, complain, or seek attention – all of which used to get short and polite replies, but are now deleted to save my time.

Then there was the request for assistance from an individual who has been plagued by a profound string of “bad luck” for several years with all of the usual personal, health, financial, and relationship problems that go with it. In other words, normal human problems on steroids. So, using methods taught to me by one of my teachers, I proceeded to bring in some real help to this person and those around him, as such misery is like a vortex that seeks only to grow. 

While the initial work appeared to go fine, it was not until later that night that the actual work began. The dream was strange, as to be expected, and only semi-lucid. That is, at times I knew I was dreaming, and at times I did not. In it, and to save considerable time I am condensing the content, I encountered the following core scene:
I am trying to clean up some dog shit that is hidden under very tall grass, as I want it removed before the owners of the property arrive. There is a wonderfully stocked closet to my right, all is very bright, and the tools for cleaning are neatly arranged and easy to access. The border between interior (house) and exterior (yard) is not clear and moves back and forth. I am surprised at the quality and quantity of cleaning materials and mention it to my wife who is with me. The grass is dry and tall, and as I clean there are shards, large and small, of broken glass everywhere. My dustpan breaks to pieces, and something is tugging on my pants. I say to my wife, “Now they are just messing around with me.” At that point I walk a few feet to a small, flat embankment on the other side of which is a large dark body of water. In fact, except for the cleaning supply closet the entire scene is dark. I stand still and perform the qabalistic cross, and before I am done there is a tremendous howling, a roar like a hurricane, the sky and water are moving like a cyclone, lights begin to go on in the house in front of me (but the windows show the interior to be empty and no one inside), and I hear a voice scream, “You pervert!”

I awake. It is 12:30am, or one and a half hours since I went to sleep and it will be 3:00am before a fall asleep again, and this time a restless one with several minor dreams of the 'ho-hum' variety (although I did particularly like the black spiders with yellow stripes). Between waking and returning to bed there will be a series of prayers, and notation. My wife will wake and ask me where I am going, I will respond, “to my room for a little bit”. The smell of incense late at night, low murmur or special chants and mantra, coupled with knowledge that this is nothing new, keeps her from asking anything more. If she is nervous about it, she no longer says so and goes back to sleep.
For those unfamiliar with symbolism here is a brief interpretation of the symbols involved.
The dark landscape is the neurotic unconscious of the client, and the bright closet of cleaning supplies are the tools of psychic intervention being used. The tall dry grass is the hiding ground of the neurotic tendencies, or the so-called, 'snake in the grass'. This is also a subtle hint of the snake, or serpent in the Garden of Eden (the pure mind), and possible external influences or psychic parasites of one form or another. The dog shit is simple: the apparent or presented problem, the shards of glass are the real problem. Hard to see, large and small, exceedingly dangerous. My wife (not her in reality, but simply a female figure in the dream) is the presence of Sophia, Wisdom, guiding me in this process. The flat embankment is a boundary of the individual unconscious and greater psychic forces, and the house is the ego structure of the client. The cyclone shaped winds are the psychic channels and forces within the body of the client, and in fact, the entire terrain is the psychic center within which these energies are being played out – as it is its own little world. This is the lunar centers, as well as watery ones, so we can say the sexual center (or secret center in Vajrayana) is the main focal point of the crises. The qabalistic cross on the rise, is an attempt to bring stability, balance, and clarity to the juncture of inner and outer, and recognizes that other beings maybe involved at this point in the client's illness. The lights going on in the empty house are awakening within the clients consciousness, here, in the form of crises, as the voice cries out, “You pervert!” Thus, a sense of deviance, perversion on some level, or of simply being different with inadequacy dominating the client's mind and life.
In summary, the client is very hardened and well defended against change despite what is said verbally, and psychic parasites are most likely involved and actively defending their 'meal plan' against any attempts to be dislodged, hence the poor sleep on my part. Healing can take place in this case, despite the dream, as the 'howling from the pit' and trashing is central to dominating the forces involved and their ultimate healing and where needed, expulsion.

Oddly, after getting some rest, I was awakened in the morning not by my alarm clock, but by four pokes on the inside lower right thigh, just above my knee. I thought it was my youngest son, only to look and see no one there. I lay in bed and contemplate reciting a particular chant, but instead attribute it to my own mind waking my body up for the day, and make a very large pot of coffee. It is too easy, even with experience, to let one's imagination run away with itself.
The above is somewhat typical from my experience.

To be good requires practice, and one once word gets around that you are good at 'fixing' people's problems, you will be spending between two to four hours a week assisting others in some fashion. If you take on the role of teacher at some point this amount of time will double, and nearly all of it without any form of material compensation (more often than not at a real cost to you), often for people you will never meet in person (courtesy of the internet), and who will rarely even say “thank you”. As my great-uncle Eddie told me decades ago, “People will come to you after they have tried everything else, and then wanting a miracle will get it, and rarely even say 'thank you'. Remember, of all the people Jesus healed, only the Roman Centurion said 'thank you' when his servant was healed.” Remember this, and remember it well.

It may appear that I am trying to discourage you from taking up this area of study, and that is partly true. If you seek to be a healer it is important to know what it is you will be working with, and here the diseases of mind and body are often of an unusual character, and at times have some teeth. We cannot be afraid of getting infected anymore than a medical provider can be concerned of such things, as by recognizing what we are dealing with allows us to take the necessary precautions without exaggerating or minimizing the risks. Good magicians are by definition good healers. This also means that there is a cost involved in helping others, and a big one, so like those who have walked this path before us, we must realize that this is not a normal life one leads, despite all appearances to the contrary. Compassion is our greatest tool, for healing ourselves, and for healing others.