Monday, October 26, 2009

Ritual to the Spirit of Water

On November 7th, the Sun will enter 15 degrees of Scorpio. This is the midway point between the autumnal equinox and the winter solstice. At this time of the year, nature begins to change as plants wither, the trees lose their leaves and all the colors of the spring and summer fade away. For nature it is a time of death and decay.

The astrological sign of Scorpio is symbolized by the scorpion, the eagle and the phoenix. The scorpion represents our lower nature and corresponds with our basic instincts for survival, self-preservation and procreation. The scorpion is well known for its ability to survive in the harshest of conditions. The eagle or hawk symbolizes our higher nature. It is that force which pushes us beyond our own ego boundaries to seek higher levels of consciousness and truth. The hawk sees things from a higher perspective than the scorpion on the ground. The phoenix represents the highest aspect of Scorpio. The phoenix is the mythical bird that dies and rises from its own ashes. It is that force which brings about self-sacrifice and the impetus to sacrifice one’s self for other people and one’s ideals. The phoenix also represents resurrection after death. Our spirit is reborn following the death of the physical body to a higher state of consciousness and reality. The sign of Scorpio teaches us that nothing ever really dies. It just changes forms or undergoes trans(form)ation. When we die our physical body dissolves back into the earth, but our consciousness continues on in another form and in another dimension. The majority of the world’s religions espouse the belief of life after death. And the majority of people believe in life after death whether they are religious or not. The resurrection of Jesus was something that not only Christ did, but what we will all do. Like the rose that dies after the fall and returns in the spring, so shall we be reborn after our physical bodies wither away and be reborn anew. This is the lesson of the phoenix.

The Pagans celebrate this time period as Samhain or the “Day of the Dead”. It is considered a time when the veil between worlds is thin and contact can be made with those people that have passed on. We also celebrate this time period as Halloween where little children dress up as ghosts and goblins. Many people participate in the custom of carving pumpkins to make “jack-o-lanterns”. I really enjoy this little ritual of finding the right pumpkin and then carving it to be lit at night for all to see. Symbolically it is very interesting as it represents bringing light into the darkness and bringing the light of the consciousness to the mysteries of our unconsciousness.
The Hermetic ritual that is done at this time of year is “The Petition to the Spirit of Water”. The ritual consists of preparing a scroll and writing a prayer or petition to the spirit of the water element for protection, good health and happyness. It can be protection from negativity, unseen or hostile forces, or whatever you may need protection from. It is also a good ritual to seek protection from fears and anxieties that may be hampering your well-being. Once you have prepared your scroll, you should than find a stone or a rock. Roll up your scroll and tie it to the rock with some string or ribbon. Then you should find a pond or a river where you will toss your scroll with the rock into the water. You can say a brief prayer before tossing your scroll into the water. The spirit of the water element will then bring your petition to fruition. I really enjoy this ritual. I look forward every year to finding a secluded river or pond where I can complete this ritual with the water element. From a yogic perspective, this ritual corresponds with the Swadisthana chakra center and activates this energy to help in your spiritual practices and development.

For further information, please see my book, Yoga and The Art of Astral Projection.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Reincarnation and Christianity

I had a Christian friend of mine ask me about reincarnation the other day. My friend and I practice Hatha Yoga together at the local fitness center. She is familiar with yoga philosophy and reincarnation, but wanted to know how it could fit into her theology. Her pastor had told her that it was not a Christian doctrine and was a belief held by many Hindus and Buddhists. I told her that his statement was true of mainstream Christianity today, but that reincarnation had many roots in early Christianity.

For those who are not familiar with the term reincarnation, it comes from the latin, re-meaning over again, in carnis meaning in flesh or reinfleshment. Basically reincarnation means to return to the flesh again after death. The basic theology of reincarnation is that all people have a soul or spirit, and after death are reborn again on the physical plane. The belief in reincarnation has been around for thousands of years and can be seen in early Egyptian, Hindu and Buddhist theology. Now what many people do not know is that the belief in reincarnation was also held in early Christianity. First of all, we see the belief in reincarnation throughout the Hermetic literature which had an impact on the formulation of early Christianity. Secondly, we see the doctrine of reincarnation discussed by the early Church fathers i.e., St. Augustine, Clement of Alexandria and Origen. Thirdly, reincarnation is prevalent in some of the early Christian Gnostic sects, such as the Valentinian and Sethians. Later in the medieval period, reincarnation is advocated by the Templars, the Cathars and the Waldensian Christian sects. And following the Renaissance period, reincarnation is central to the Christian Spiritualist Movement and especially to the Rosicrucians.

Although the Christian Bible does not specifically discuss the belief in reincarnation, it is alluded to in several passages i.e. Matthew 14:1 where Jesus is thought to be John the Baptist returned back to life, and John 1:21 where the Jewish leaders ask John the Baptist if he is Elijah.

Many Christians believe in reincarnation while maintaining their Christian beliefs. Many of my friends who practice yoga also believe in reincarnation and are able to maintain their Christian beliefs. Many popular, well known Christian writers, such as Rudolph Steiner, Geddes Macgregor and the well know psychic, Edgar Cayce believed in reincarnation. Nancy Roth, who is an Episcopal priest, wrote the book, Invitation to Christian Yoga that discusses the belief in reincarnation and Christian theology.

I don’t think that mainstream Christianity is going to advocate the belief in reincarnation any time soon. Not at least until there is hard scientific evidence. It took a while for the Church to come around to the idea that the earth is not the center of the solar system. But I think those individuals who are open-minded should reflect on the belief in reincarnation as it gives an explanation as to why there are so many injustices in this world. Why are babies born deformed? Why do good people suffer tremendous losses? How come so many things seem so unfair? One person is rich, another is so poor. One person is born into a wealthy family, another into a ghetto. Why so much inequality? The theology of reincarnation explains that there is a balance to life and that everyone “reaps what they sow”. If you help others in this life, then others will help you, either in this life or the next. If you hurt others, than you will be hurt, either in this life or the next. Our fate is a result of our past actions and we are ultimately responsible for our situation on this earth. We can improve this life and the next by being good people. We become good people by following Christ’s and other religious saints’ teachings, and by being kind and helping others. It is our choice, but we are held accountable for the choices we make. This is what reincarnation has to teach us.

For further information, see:,, Also read: Nancy Roth, Invitation to Christian Yoga, Charles Addison & David Childress, History of the Knights Templar, J.M. Dechanet, Christian Yoga, Paramahansa Yogananda, Yoga of Jesus, Richard Smoley, Inner Christianity, A Guide to the Esoteric Tradition.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pandora's Box

The myth of Pandora's Box is very fascinating. I think most people are familiar with this unique Greek myth. The name “Pandora” comes from the Greek and means "giver of all". She was said to be the first woman created by Zeus. She was given unique gifts by various Gods and Goddesses, i.e. Hermes gave her the gift of speech, Aphrodite gave her the gift of grace, Athena taught her to needlework, etc. The myth goes on that the reason Zeus created Pandora was to get even with Prometheus who stole the “sacred fire” from Zeus and gave it to benefit all mankind. Now, Prometheus's brother, Epimetheus fell in love with Pandora and was warned by Prometheus not to accept any gifts from Zeus. But of course, Epimetheus did not listen to his brother and married Pandora anyway. Now as we all know, Pandora had been given a box by Zeus. It really was not actually a box, but an earthen jar. In the jar contained many various evils and illnesses. Pandora had been instructed by Zeus to never open the jar, but Hermes had also given Pandora the gift of curiosity, and she eventually opened the jar. When she did, all the evils, illnesses and diseases were released to plaque mankind. After Pandora saw all the evils being released from the jar, she tried to close it, but was too late. The only blessing to the entire incident was that at the bottom of the jar, layed the gift of hope.

The normal understanding of the myth of Pandora’s Box is to provide an explanation as to why there are all the evils in the world. Of course, it is always the women’s fault and one should note the similarity to the story of Adam and Eve. But there is a much deeper meaning, and esoteric understandings to this myth than most people are aware of.

From an esoteric point of view, Pandora is not a woman in the ordinary sense. She is the symbolic representation of the feminine principle of receptivity and the nature of the subconscious. Pandora is directly connected to the power of the subconscious mind. This is the esoteric key to the entire myth!

What is the subconscious mind? Analytical psychologists such as, Freud and Jung, occultists such as Paracelsus and Dion Fortune, spiritualists, hypnotherapists and many others have well known the nature of the subconscious mind. The subconscious or more popular term unconsciousness mind is that receptive part of our mind where our hopes, fears and dreams are stored. The Wikipedia defines the unconscious as:

“that part of the mind which gives rise to a collection of mental phenomena that manifest in a person's mind but which the person is not aware of at the time of their occurrence. These phenomena include unconscious feelings, unconscious or automatic skills, unnoticed perceptions, unconscious thoughts, unconscious habits and automatic reactions, complexes, hidden phobias and concealed desires.”

This is very interesting from an esoteric point of view. Pandora was given certain gifts, skills and abilities by the Gods and Goddesses. She was also given a jar that contained many ills, phobias, complexes and desires. These are all contained in our subconscious mind. Our subconscious is a reservoir where we store all of our memories, hidden thoughts, fears and desires. It is the feminine or receptive balance to our everyday active conscious mind. What is really fascinating is that the subconscious mind has the power to manifest our most precious dreams and wishes, but also our fears, phobias and hidden desires. Pandora is called the “giver of all” and she is the giver of all gifts. Our subconscious mind can help us to realize our dreams or our illnesses. That is why it is so important to use our subconscious mind positively to help make our lives more happy and fulfilling.

What is in your Pandora’s Box? We all carry hurts and pain from childhood, relationships and our past lives. It is important to find out if you are carrying any unresolved pain, anger or negativity in your box. As it can fester and cause all kinds of psychological and physical damage. Freud and Jung knew that psychological complexes can be cured by helping the patient to become aware of their own subconscious material. By becoming aware of things we have buried in our subconscious, we can heal ourselves. Carl Jung even went a step further than Freud and said that by becoming more aware of our subconscious we make ourselves more whole.

One of the ways to get in touch with your own subconscious is through your dreams and feelings. These are the main keys to opening your Pandora’s Box. It is very important to listen how you talk to yourself. If you call yourself names, i.e. I am so stupid or if you constantly have fears and worries, these will have a negative affect on your subconscious. And will bring negative manifestations into your life. If you catch yourself doing this, counteract it by saying something positive about yourself and balance your fears by courage and hope. Remember that the last thing in Pandora’s Box was hope which stayed in the box after she opened it. This is a reminder that hope is a very real force that can change our lives for the better and the world around us.

For further information, see:,,,,,

Monday, October 5, 2009

What time is it?

What time is it? That is a very interesting question when you stop to think about it. Is it five o' clock or six o'clock? Is it time to get moving? Do you have enough time? Is the time right? Have you run out of time? We tend to think of time as a linear progression through space measured in increments of units called seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, years, etc. But is there more to it than that? The ancient philosopher, Qohelet in the Book of Ecclesiastes 3:1 said,

"1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

Qohelet seems to suggest that there is a proper time to do things. That there is indeed a quality to time rather than just a quantitative measurement. What do you remember about the past? Do you remember the quantitative aspects of time? Do you remember 3:00 pm, Dec 11th 1992? Probably not. What you remember is that last year, you were sharing time with your son boating down the river, what you remember is when you fell head over heels in love, what you remember is the birth of your son or daughter. That is qualitative time. We are here on this planet to experience qualitative time. Are you living quality time or are you just killing time? Now is a good time to get started!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sacred Space

Do you have a sacred space in your house? Most people don't. What is a sacred space, you might ask? Well, what immediately comes to your mind when you think of a sacred space? The majority of people think of a church or temple. A church or a temple is a place devoted to divinity and worship. A sacred space is also a place devoted to divinity and worship, but it does not have to be a building or a structure, it can be right in your own home or in a special place. It is important to give spirituality a place in your life and home. It’s interesting how most people’s houses have rooms devoted to eating, socializing, entertaining, bathing and sleeping, but few people’s homes have a room or a space devoted to spirituality. Why is this? We have become so secular in today’s society that we spend little time on our spirituality. Turn on the TV and you have a hundred different channels on everything from A-Z, but very few, if any channels on spirituality. I think this tells you what our society considers important.

One of the ways of bringing spirituality into your life is by making a sacred space in your home. Your home is a reflection of yourself in many ways. So by making a sacred space in your home, you will bring spirituality into your life. If you have a room to devote to spirituality, that’s great, but you don’t need an entire room, a special place will do. Maybe in your bedroom or guestroom, you could find a place to put an altar or table with symbols or pictures that connect you with the divine. That would be your sacred space. It becomes sacred because you have set this space apart from other space as a place to worship divinity. Sacred means, “to dedicate or set apart for the worship of a deity”. Establishing a sacred space in your home will have a profound impact on your life. It will bring you closer to God and your true purpose here on this Earth.

For further information on Sacred Spaces, see, and read Karen Kingston; Creating Sacred Space with Feng Shui and Denise Linn’s; Sacred Space, Clearing and Enhancing the Energy of Your Home.