Prayer

Rituals, spells, prayer, meditation and magical acts.
Sothoth
Frater
Posts: 329
Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 1:18 pm

Re: Prayer

Postby Sothoth » Thu Aug 18, 2016 10:11 pm

Bem-vindo Tubalo! Cool to have some Latin americans here! I have some interest towards Brazilian Quimbanda. It would be great if you could share some thoughts about it, if you know about that topic!
User avatar
Silvaeon
Frater
Posts: 204
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2016 12:22 am

Re: Prayer

Postby Silvaeon » Sun Aug 21, 2016 12:13 am

I've slowly begun to get in the routine of reciting the Magister Noster from the Catechism of Lucifer, followed by the Prayer to Azazel each morning. So far these are helping me to focus on the spiritual throughout the mundane daily life.

I would like to continue to study the daily prayers and begin to bring these into my practice in the future too.
Mars
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed May 15, 2013 1:54 pm

Re: Prayer

Postby Mars » Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:24 pm

In Star of Azazel there seems to be an emphasis on prayer practice. Blavatskyan theosophy on the other hand regards prayer, at least in its popular forms, with suspicion, and this seems to be true of other forms of magic as well. What I'm interested is why prayer is so important in SoA?

Personally I have a difficult relationship with prayer practice. There have been times when prayer has been a very important part of my life, but during periods of prayer work I find that my inherent tendency towards escapism and gnostic "will to leave the world" intensifies considerably, so for some time now I have given up all forms of prayer and meditation so that I can function in this world and everyday life at least to some degree... Are there others suffering from such problems?
User avatar
Kenazis
Frater
Posts: 945
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 7:57 pm
Location: Satakunta - Limbo

Re: Prayer

Postby Kenazis » Tue Sep 03, 2019 10:36 pm

Mars wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:24 pm
In Star of Azazel there seems to be an emphasis on prayer practice. Blavatskyan theosophy on the other hand regards prayer, at least in its popular forms, with suspicion, and this seems to be true of other forms of magic as well. What I'm interested is why prayer is so important in SoA?
I see prayers as forms of contacting divine (powers). Earlier I didn't see any positive value in prayer and mainly did some "western magic rituals". However, I don't see any point to use magic to achieve material things and prayer is today (almost) only thing that is left. What is important in my spirituality is to strengthen the connection to divine (powers). And I have nothing else to ask. I'm not so narcissistic that I think I know better than higher beings what should happen and what is their work... So, prayer-work remains.
"In darkness let me dwell, The ground shall sorrow be..."
User avatar
Kenazis
Frater
Posts: 945
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 7:57 pm
Location: Satakunta - Limbo

Re: Prayer

Postby Kenazis » Tue Sep 03, 2019 10:45 pm

In SoA the spirituality is seen heavily intertwined with ethics. Prayer is seen a form of bhakti-yoga, the devotional spiritual practice. This is one main reason we emphasize the prayer-work.
"In darkness let me dwell, The ground shall sorrow be..."
obnoxion
Sodalis
Posts: 1734
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 7:59 pm

Re: Prayer

Postby obnoxion » Wed Sep 04, 2019 6:11 am

Fra Kenazis spoke very beatifully of prayer. Only thing I might add is that there is a theurgic component to our particular practice of cycling the same seven prayers every week. I like to think it is for the same reasons that Apollonius of Tyana was said to have seven rings, each made with materials corresponding to the seven planetary powers, and he always wore the one correponding to the day of the week. Though Apollonius was not, if I've understood correctly, what one would call a praying man, I think there is the similarity of working with all the differentiated powers absolutely equally. I find it a very satisfying practice, as it tends - at least in me - to eradicate largely the need to pray separately in crises and such, or to embark on some whimsical wishfulfillment. One's I've said your prayer, I find it is like an invisible ring around the finger for the rest of the day.

All in all, it is a very satisfying way to structure one's spiritual life, and by structuring it, making spirituality an enduring and active aspect of one's life. Most of us miss such connection when death, severe sickness or inescepable pain enter our lives. An established prayer practice can be, I've found, a real life line in real hard times.
One day of Brahma has 14 Indras; his life has 54 000 Indras. One day of Vishnu is the lifetime of Brahma. The lifetime of Vishnu is one day of Shiva.
User avatar
Cerastes
Soror
Posts: 183
Joined: Fri May 25, 2018 10:31 pm

Re: Prayer

Postby Cerastes » Wed Sep 04, 2019 1:14 pm

Mars wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:24 pm
Personally I have a difficult relationship with prayer practice. There have been times when prayer has been a very important part of my life, but during periods of prayer work I find that my inherent tendency towards escapism and gnostic "will to leave the world" intensifies considerably, so for some time now I have given up all forms of prayer and meditation so that I can function in this world and everyday life at least to some degree... Are there others suffering from such problems?
The purpose of a prayer is very variable and therefore you can pursue very different goals with the same prayer. The wording alone is relatively worthless if there is no clear intention behind it. Prayers as well as meditations do have the ability to bring diffuse unconscious motivations to the surface and provide space for it to act out. That said, if one wants to escape the material world, this might be exactly what the meditation will bring forth because what the subconscious communicates towards the divine is: „Take me away“. That's understandable, because to be honest, the material world mostly seems to me like a really bad and offensive joke from a drunk guy at a party. You don’t know you should just walk away, go against it or laugh at the absurdity of the situation.
“Granny Weatherwax was not lost. She wasn't the kind of person who ever became lost. It was just that, at the moment, while she knew exactly where SHE was, she didn't know the position of anywhere else.”
(Terry Pratchett, Wyrd Sisters)
User avatar
Nefastos
Frater
Posts: 3414
Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 10:05 am
Location: Helsinki

Re: Prayer

Postby Nefastos » Wed Sep 04, 2019 4:52 pm

Mars wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:24 pm
In Star of Azazel there seems to be an emphasis on prayer practice. Blavatskyan theosophy on the other hand regards prayer, at least in its popular forms, with suspicion, and this seems to be true of other forms of magic as well.
The Secret Doctrine I, p. 280 wrote:[---] man ought to be ever striving to help the divine evolution of Ideas, by becoming to the best of his ability a co-worker with nature in the cyclic task. The ever unknowable and incognizable Karana alone, the Causeless Cause of all causes, should have its shrine and altar on the holy and ever untrodden ground of our heart — invisible, intangible, unmentioned, save through “the still small voice” of our spiritual consciousness. Those who worship before it, ought to do so in the silence and the sanctified solitude of their Souls; making their spirit the sole mediator between them and the Universal Spirit, their good actions the only priests, and their sinful intentions the only visible and objective sacrificial victims to the Presence.

“When thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are . . . but enter into thine inner chamber and having shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret.” Matt. vi.). Our Father is within us “in Secret,” our 7th principle, in the “inner chamber” of our Soul perception. “The Kingdom of Heaven” and of God “is within us” says Jesus, not outside. Why are Christians so absolutely blind to the self-evident meaning of the words of wisdom they delight in mechanically repeating?


The theurgic prayer work in the Star of Azazel works from the same basis as what Blavatsky writes here, but the emphasis is put on different words than is usually done in theosophical circles. We might do two completely different cocktails from the same teaching:

Theosophy stresses the idea of "the Causeless Cause of all causes, should have its shrine and altar on the holy and ever untrodden ground of our heart — invisible, intangible, unmentioned, save through “the still small voice” of our spiritual consciousness", while the Star of Azazel brethren using the prayer work stress the "becoming to the best of his ability a co-worker with nature" and "making their spirit the sole mediator between them and the Universal Spirit" (reaching towards the inner Master and being gradually united with the perfection of this higher self).

Considering how much Blavatsky appreaciated the Neoplatonist theurgy, I wouldn't hesitate to call the difference aspectual or even superficial.

E.R. Dodd in his introduction to Proclus' Elements of Theology wrote:'It is not thought', says Iamblichus, 'that links the theurgist to the gods: else what should hinder the theoretical philosopher from enjoying theurgic union with them? The case is not so. Theurgic union is attained only by the perfective operation of the unspeakable acts correctly performed, acts which are beyond all understanding; and by the power of the unutterable symbols which are intelligible only to the gods.'


E.R. Dodds quotes here Neoplatonist theurgist, the priest-philosopher Iamblichus' wonderful book De Mysteriis.

(By the way, how Iamblichus refers to theurgic magic of ascension as "unspeakable acts" gives us a key to how to read Lovecraftian horror. Its horror grows from the modern man's misunderstanding of trans-rational metaphysics and their practical use to attain the union with the "monstrous" i.e. incomprehensible yet attainable Otherness of the supermundane deities. This Oriental use of prayers as spells without a selfish intent is much lost to the modern post-Reformation man of the West.)
Faust: "Lo contempla. / Ei muove in tortuosa spire / e s'avvicina lento alla nostra volta. / Oh! se non erro, / orme di foco imprime al suol!"
Mars
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed May 15, 2013 1:54 pm

Re: Prayer

Postby Mars » Wed Sep 04, 2019 11:27 pm

Thank you all for your comments!

Nefastos wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 4:52 pm
The theurgic prayer work in the Star of Azazel works from the same basis as what Blavatsky writes here, but the emphasis is put on different words than is usually done in theosophical circles. We might do two completely different cocktails from the same teaching:

Theosophy stresses the idea of "the Causeless Cause of all causes, should have its shrine and altar on the holy and ever untrodden ground of our heart — invisible, intangible, unmentioned, save through “the still small voice” of our spiritual consciousness", while the Star of Azazel brethren using the prayer work stress the "becoming to the best of his ability a co-worker with nature" and "making their spirit the sole mediator between them and the Universal Spirit" (reaching towards the inner Master and being gradually united with the perfection of this higher self).

Considering how much Blavatsky appreaciated the Neoplatonist theurgy, I wouldn't hesitate to call the difference aspectual or even superficial.

Thank you. I believe wholeheartedly that your approach is valid and sincere, I was just interested in this difference between SoA and Blavatsky. Not to sound too Bible-classy, but there are some passages where she condemns theurgy (and ceremonial magic) quite strictly, like here in The Key to Theosophy (the glossary part):

Theurgy (from the Greek theiourgia). Rites for bringing down to earth planetary and other Spirits or Gods. To arrive at the realization of such an object, the Theurgist had to be absolutely pure and unselfish in his motives. The practice of theurgy is very undesirable and even dangerous in the present day. The world has become too corrupt and wicked for the practice of that which such holy and learned men as Ammonius, Plotinus, Porphyry and Iamblichus (the most learned Theurgist of all) could alone attempt with impunity. In our day theurgy or divine, beneficent magic is but too apt to become goetic, or in other words Sorcery. Theurgy is the first of the three subdivisions of magic, which are theurgic, goetic and natural magic.

So these warnings combined with my own struggles with prayer practice have made me drop it, for now at least. If there are some thoughts from anyone concerning my aforementioned problem I'd be happy to hear them, though it might be hard to give such advice on a forum.
User avatar
Smaragd
Frater
Posts: 442
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2014 5:27 am

Re: Prayer

Postby Smaragd » Thu Sep 05, 2019 1:09 am

Mars wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 11:27 pm
Not to sound too Bible-classy, but there are some passages where she condemns theurgy (and ceremonial magic) quite strictly, like here in The Key to Theosophy (the glossary part):

Theurgy (from the Greek theiourgia). Rites for bringing down to earth planetary and other Spirits or Gods. To arrive at the realization of such an object, the Theurgist had to be absolutely pure and unselfish in his motives. The practice of theurgy is very undesirable and even dangerous in the present day. The world has become too corrupt and wicked for the practice of that which such holy and learned men as Ammonius, Plotinus, Porphyry and Iamblichus (the most learned Theurgist of all) could alone attempt with impunity. In our day theurgy or divine, beneficent magic is but too apt to become goetic, or in other words Sorcery. Theurgy is the first of the three subdivisions of magic, which are theurgic, goetic and natural magic.

So these warnings combined with my own struggles with prayer practice have made me drop it, for now at least. If there are some thoughts from anyone concerning my aforementioned problem I'd be happy to hear them, though it might be hard to give such advice on a forum.
Blavatskys warning there seems to be at its place, but I wouldn't read it as condemning. Rather it seems underlining what it actually means, and what is asked from someone, to perform theurgy.

For me the Celestial Hymns often inspire to find the joy of living meaningfully, to be in the world and see my current challenges through the intelligences of the Planetary spirits that I invoke. Although these challenges can sometimes feel overwhelming, somewhere there lies that which must be the greatest power I have ever witnessed. Well, atleast as great as the overwhelming weight of the world. It is through the insight that comes from the continuous cycle that can reveal the meaning and the means to act the most harmonious way for that moment. It isn't always Tuesday when Mars inspires me to leave my selfish thoughts and aim for the truth and the purest choice I can find despite it being inconvenient for my earthly gains. To act from such a core place, to me, is the most meaningful and magical of things. When it works, the cycle allows me find the wisdom of any of the Planetary spirits when the time is right.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest