Fasting Before Rituals

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Nefastos
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Fasting Before Rituals

Post by Nefastos »

Why not add a bit more to this ceremonial magic side, since that's an aspect that has been quite submerged in the brotherhood working from the beginning?

In the discussion about magic circles, brother Kavi said:
Kavi wrote: Sat May 30, 2020 4:09 pmI am also too neurotic to try any ceremonial magic and see what are the conclusions and aftermath of it and maybe that's why I haven't given any try for this. Especially if it's goetic magic one ought to perform.


This made me think about two possible psychic gateways one has to penetrate in himself in order to be ready for a major magic ritual. Neurotic (too careful and timid), or too carefree. The latter is not only the more dangerous than the former, but it also faces the problem of not being able to summon enough Egoic (please note the capital letter) energy, because it often lacks the focus of stable concentration. Still the carefree people often have better results in magic, because neurotic students easily remain too paralysed to even try out things. Most of us have at least one of these bad emphases, and they can very well be both present, in the differents fields of one's psyche.

For the first time this double challenge made me think the ritual fasting as a cure for the both of these problems. For the neurotic temperament, purification is like an outward promise of one being "good enough" for the ritual. Its emphasis is in psychological assurance. For the carefree temperament, it helps to accumulate the tension that magic needs to success, and helps to minimize the slips and flaws that easily otherwise creep to a carefree student's more impromptu rituals.

I also believe in substances & actions (which create inside substances i.e. energies) having their actual impact on us, and thus fasting is also the more beneficent for the ritual of summoning the more one's ways of life are not exactly on the path of ascension. Eating meat, drinking alcohol, using drugs, or having sexual intercourse with random people – all the things that fasting periods make us to leave – are some things I consider as basically profane things that do not help one's energetical integrity, the wholesome Egoic will that is essential for magic. Thus leaving these kinds of things out for some period of fasting is similar than changing the murky water of one's personal aquarium. But still, those things mostly have to do only what kinds of spirits we attract: summoning usually succeeds, apparently, it's just the quality of spirits that is poor if our own atmosphere remains murky. But once again, also the too-stressed, high-pitched fear of a neurotic karcist creates a similar and even bigger problem. For him, fasting is mostly about earning a psychological feeling of doing things right. That assurance is, for such a student, something essential and even substantial – astrally speaking: for in the astral world, emotions create substantial dynamics & therefore even matter, or psychic veils.

Would you – dear reader! – see yourself falling in one or the other of these two basic poles, or having quite another way of approaching the psychic & psychological demands for fasting?
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!"
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Re: Fasting Before Rituals

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It’s hard to say which one I see myself falling easier for, perhaps it is the neurotic pole. But then again I’ve inherited the power of dismissing the neurotic stuff when I observe it to go overboard. But it doesn't work in every situation, especially if the neurotic side is on to something significant and there's alot of stuff to go through.

The way I see fasting for ritual work at the moment is like clearing space for the unconscious and the astral world in me to point directions. This is where the carefree pole may easily set up the snares it has for the aspirant, still I give it space and respect the nature of this helper. This action of giving space and respect for the abyss or the mirror world builds up tension and when it its time, there can be seen the animation of the powers within and I’m handed an a gift/direction the Path has for me next. I think it is once again respect towards what I’m encountering and for myself that allows me to cast the manas to work with what is revealed. Without the respect and the manas the neurotic kama manas would eat the baby with the path water as if it was soup. No! this moment is sacred and I am to put the neurotic side on a leash letting it only purify by making the direction even more clear, not loosing the sight of the path. I guess it could be said both of these helpers, kama and kama manas, need some sort of fasting to find their connection to the higher triad correspondences. How the fasting for kama manas happens is not so clear to me, and perhaps there again I see why the neurotic pole to be a bigger problem for me.
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Polyhymnia
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Re: Fasting Before Rituals

Post by Polyhymnia »

Nefastos wrote: Sun May 31, 2020 3:18 pm For him, fasting is mostly about earning a psychological feeling of doing things right. That assurance is, for such a student, something essential and even substantial – astrally speaking: for in the astral world, emotions create substantial dynamics & therefore even matter, or psychic veils.

Would you – dear reader! – see yourself falling in one or the other of these two basic poles, or having quite another way of approaching the psychic & psychological demands for fasting?

I never thought of it as my being neurotic, but I'm admittedly neurotic in many aspects of my life, and it appears the same can be said about fasting. I recently completed a fast that was meant to be seven days, but I made it to three before feeling physically ill and I wasn't in a place where I could keep pushing forward. Over those three days I became very aware of certain things I'm addicted to (sugar, caffeine, other stimulants) and though not partaking in those several days was difficult, it was also exhilarating because I was getting that psychological feeling of doing things right, and that need was stronger than my need to indulge. So I definitely think I'm on the neurotic pole, but I would like to find a better balance.
"Limited love asks for possession of the beloved, but the unlimited asks only for itself." -Kahlil Gibran
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Re: Fasting Before Rituals

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Thank you for participation, sodalês!
Polyhymnia wrote: Tue Jun 02, 2020 7:19 pmI never thought of it as my being neurotic

Neurotic is not the most accurate way to describe that other pole of being too careful, but I hope it was easy enough to see what I tried to point out with it. Our great friend the Wikipedia mentions that of the old four temperaments (most probably more familiar to an esotericist that the modern psychological types) it is the "melancholic personality type, which can be seen as the conceptual predecessor of neuroticism". But like neuroticism, melancholy temperament also creates some allusions which are more useful than they are exact, and vice versa. I have sometimes characterized the White aspect as the aspect for neurotics, because the process of vivification is really helpful only if the problem is in too much control.

Polyhymnia wrote: Tue Jun 02, 2020 7:19 pmbut I would like to find a better balance.

I too think that that should be the meaning behind fasting, not over-stressing of one's own, or the seemingly opposite, pole. (Seeming opposites are usually just the shadows of one's own overstressed personal aspects and not actual balancing factors.)

In Legifer & Clavis Magica (Fosforos p.179-180), I presented three basic emphases for fasting, and connected them to principle-related personality types ("rays" of those celestial spheres):

If one's personality type is focused on âtma (will) or linga sharîra (energetical body), the problem is in coagulation, so the fasting should consider the process of living fluctuation.
In case it is in buddhi (vision of oneness) or kâma (feelings), the problem is usually in too much fluctuation, so the fasting should focus on concentration and achieving one-pointed clarity.
And for the personalities who act most easily in one or other form of intellect (manas or kâma manas), the most important would be to attain the flowing state of wordlessness.

Smaragd wrote: Tue Jun 02, 2020 6:39 pmI guess it could be said both of these helpers, kama and kama manas, need some sort of fasting to find their connection to the higher triad correspondences. How the fasting for kama manas happens is not so clear to me

Depends on the precise problem of kâma manas, but in case it is some or other version of its most usual overheating into too much conceptualisation and crystallising magic into petrified mineral shapes, fasting should take some form of poetry (in the word's literal or not literal meanings), to reach the critical molten state, which is the state of miracle-working. In order for beings to become either this or that, they must first lose their branded state in our minds, and return to their energetical soil in spirit, which is both this and that. Bailey said it in a great way in her Fifteen Rules for Magic:

A Treatise on Cosmic Fire wrote:The midway spot which is neither dry nor wet must provide the standing place whereon [magician's] feet are set. When water, land and air meet there is the place for magic to be wrought. (Rule VIII, page 1014)

Smaragd wrote: Tue Jun 02, 2020 6:39 pmWithout the respect and the manas the neurotic kama manas would eat the baby with the path water as if it was soup.

I love your proverb. Just said under another discussion that I'm not that much into kitchen magic, but you manage to give child-cooking a homely aroma I find hard to resist.
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!"
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Re: Fasting Before Rituals

Post by Aperiemus »

I recently tipped my toe in the world of fasting before ritual working. This included a longer preliminary period of intermittent fasting+restraining from alcohol and a shorter, more total one in which most of the heavy lifting for the ritual preparations was done. I consider myself a carefree type, so I knew that could be a problem. In retrospect it seems that the answer in internalizing the ’why’ of the fasting (and through this internalizing keep the fast going) was - and I hesitate to use this word - love.

I’m not talking about the blissful state of falling in love, but more of the sort that makes you accept the needs of the other without questioning and go on to the end. This kind of love is potentially dangerous, for I believe that we are capable of the most heinous kinds of violence when we believe that we are fulfilling the intent of the other. I found out through missteps that I should incorporate the fasting into life rather than substitute fasting for life. One could probably not discern the difference between the two when just looking at the act of fasting itself, but looking at the effects the fasting has on the surroundings of the person who is fasting the difference is vast. Not to mention the internal difference.

To remember that even before the fast you were doing something right - that was the way for me to prevent being burnt up in the neurotic pole, while keeping the intent pure. I hope that next time I wouldn’t need to take that one step too far to remember that there is a point of balance.
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Re: Fasting Before Rituals

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Aperiemus wrote: Fri Jun 05, 2020 12:55 pm I found out through missteps that I should incorporate the fasting into life rather than substitute fasting for life. One could probably not discern the difference between the two when just looking at the act of fasting itself, but looking at the effects the fasting has on the surroundings of the person who is fasting the difference is vast. Not to mention the internal difference.
Could you elaborate a little on how you incorporate fasting into your life? I ask because this was quite a revelation for me to read, and I'm interested in how I may be able to try something similar. My fasting usually consists of me hiding in my room with my head in my books, conserving my physical energy and staying away from temptation.
Aperiemus wrote: Fri Jun 05, 2020 12:55 pm To remember that even before the fast you were doing something right - that was the way for me to prevent being burnt up in the neurotic pole, while keeping the intent pure. I hope that next time I wouldn’t need to take that one step too far to remember that there is a point of balance.
Very wise words. I will have to keep this in mind for my next fast.
"Limited love asks for possession of the beloved, but the unlimited asks only for itself." -Kahlil Gibran
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Re: Fasting Before Rituals

Post by Aperiemus »

Polyhymnia wrote: Sat Jun 06, 2020 12:16 am Could you elaborate a little on how you incorporate fasting into your life? I ask because this was quite a revelation for me to read, and I'm interested in how I may be able to try something similar. My fasting usually consists of me hiding in my room with my head in my books, conserving my physical energy and staying away from temptation.
I try my best. Since this is all new to me, the observations are still not crystallized into a coherent whole, and I still might be wrong about a lot of things.

There's good stuff in Fosforos about preparations for ritual working, but the main thing I come back to is the idea that one should never force the change but rather let it happen. For me that means that internally the fasting is an act of letting go of possible hindrances for the process to work in you rather than trying to actively keep the unwanted elements away. Since I live with my significant other and do not wish to push her away, I saw that all my decisions affect her as well and if I'm not considerate, I end up having a lot more negative baggage to take with me to the ritual chamber, than what I began with. It seems that everything happened gradually - when I finally decided to do the full thing I had already given up on a lot of things. It seems that for me the fasting works from within, so that the physical is a reflection of what has already happened inside.

I would be interested to hear on peoples experiences on coming back from a period of fasting. For example if one has had a realization during the fasting period, how to keep it alive in the "everyday life"?
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