The Hand of Mysteries. Like the Hamsa, except there’s a fish in the palm instead of an eye. But the fish is the ichthys, which is the vesica piscis, so a fish is an eye. Sort of.
Here at Cabal Fang HQ this month’s internal focus is the Hand of Mysteries and our martial focus is a two-fer — Counter-punching & Sparring.
The fiery fish that’s in the middle of the Hand of Mysteries symbolizes our ability to thrive in chaos, to adapt and overcome.
What’s with the symbols, and what good are they? Well, symbols speak to our subconscious minds in ways that mere words cannot. They are experienced and understood viscerally and visually.
With that in mind, and without further ado, I’m pleased to offer you…
The Fiery Fish: Training Involution #122
- Add a handicap. Slip on a weighted vest, put one arm in a sling, wear an eye-patch, practice in the rain, train on uneven ground, etc. Use your common sense –don’t do anything ridiculous or unsafe! — just disrupt your usual body mechanics and/or routine.
- Complete this months’s Constitutional, “Escape Plan Drill.” Set timer for 1:00 intervals. Sprint for 1:00, then Shadowbox or hit the Heavy Bag for 1:00 then pick a calisthenic and do as many reps as you can for 1:00. Repeat 4 more times for a total of 15 mins, picking a new calisthenic each round. If you did this last week you should have written down your total laps/sprints your number of calisthenics reps. See if you can best it despite your impairment.
- Now, despite your handicap, get through Wrestling Conditioner #1. Set timer for 2 minute intervals and complete 2 minutes of each for a total of 10 minutes: 1. Circle the bag (forearms on bag and toes on floor, circle the bag using only legs and feet, alternating directions), 2. Mount and strike the bag (strike 10 times as hard as you can, body lock the bag, barrel-roll, regain mount, and repeat until the timer beeps). 3. Rolling pin the bag (Lie on your back with heavy-bag perpendicularly on top of your body and roll it up and down across torso, pushing and pulling like a rolling pin; press up the bag and let it drop on your torso to maintain your tolerance for the stresses of wrestling if you’re able), 4. Defend the bag (Lie on your back with bag on top of you longways. Push up the bag w/ left hand and strike it five times with the right, then switch and strike with the left hand, repeat) 5. Side Mount and Scissor (Scissor legs each direction 3 times, then scramble over bag with forearms and toes only, repeat).
- Watch the video below, then mediate on the Hand of Mysteries. Don’t forget to write about what you learn in your training journal!
I had a fun conversation with Paul VanderKlay yesterday, and I’m flattered to say that he thought it was interesting enough to post on this very popular YouTube channel.
We talked mostly about the Jordan Peterson/Sam Harris Vancouver talks (Part 1 and Part 2) but about some other things too. Public reaction has been 95% positive.
By way of introduction, Paul is the pastor at Living Stones Church in Sacramento, CA and has been referred to as “the Pastor of the Intellectual Dark Web.”
Here’s the video.
The Hand of Mysteries — original art by Cabal Fang Distance Learning student Arman Achuthan (copyright 2018 by Cabal Fang Temple Inc., all rights reserved)
At Cabal Fang Temple this month’s internal focus is the Hand of Mysteries. Our external focus is being split between Counterpunching and Sparring. With that in mind, I humbly submit for your approval…
Listen to the Hand: Cabal Fang Training Involution #121
- Warm up thoroughly for a minimum of 8 mins. Typically I will complete 25 Jumping Jacks, 25 Windmills, 25 Push-ups on knees, and 25 Half Squats. Then I’ll jump rope or just bounce on toes for 2 – 3 mins, followed by Shadowboxing at 2/3 speed for another 2 – 3 mins. And lastly I’ll run through my forms with full visualization and intent.
- Backfist Half Pyramids (video below). Throw a lead hand backfist vs. air. Then throw a mid-high double — don’t stop or stick between them, just a partial recoil. Then throw a mid-high-mid triple, a mid-high-mid-high quadruple, etc. Keep going up to 10. Change stance and do it with the other hand. Repeat as many times as you can for the duration. Beginners 3 minutes, intermediate 6 minutes, advanced 10+ minutes. Note: Rome wasn’t built in a day. Do this drill 3x/week for a month and see what happens!
- Escape Plan Drill. An outdoor track is ideal for this drill, but sprints indoors are good also. Set timer for 1:00 intervals. Sprint for 1:00, then Shadowbox (3+ count combos only) for 1:00 then pick a calisthenic and do as many reps as you can for 1:00. Repeat 5 more times for a total of 15 mins, picking a new calisthenic each round. Record your numbers — total laps/sprints, number of combos, and calisthenics reps — and try to best it next week.
- Hand of Mysteries Quiz and Meditation. Look at the picture above (thanks Arman for creating the artwork and for you okay to use it). Do you know which of the Five Vital Graces of Cabal Fang are associated with which symbol? Do you know which symbol equates to which finger? If not, re-read Chapter 10 in the Cabal Fang Study Guide. Then sketch your own version of the Hand, assume your meditative posture of choice, prop your picture at eye level, and meditate on the image for 10 mins.
I’m trying to eliminate all swearing.
This is not easy.
So I enlisted the help of Captain America. As you can see by the picture on the right, I now have a Captain America swear jar (a.k.a. “piggy bank”). And thanks to Post-it® Speech Bubble Notes and my desktop flashlight to hold it up, Cap has his eye on me.
Why Cap? Because everybody knows that, although he doesn’t like foul language, he sometimes slips up (just like me).
Wish me luck in my quest. And, just for fun, here’s a recap of Cap’s complicated relationship with swearing.
While we were down in Kitty Hawk, NC on vacation a couple of weeks back, I took a little trip over to the Fort Raleigh Historic Site. Fort Raleigh protects and preserves the known portions of England’s first New World settlements from 1584 to 1590, as well as the cultural heritage of the Native Americans, European Americans and African Americans who have lived on Roanoke Island.
There are also two other attractions adjacent to the historic site — the Elizabethan Gardens (which I didn’t visit) and the Lost Colony Theater (which was in the off season so I couldn’t catch the show).
Here are the photos!
A huge writing spider (a.k.a. garden spider or Argiope aurantia).
Muscadine grape vine. The place was thick with the stuff. Fun fact: what may be the oldest living cultivated grapevine in the world is on Roanoke Island. << Click pic to read article >>
Remnants of old colony earth works.
Entrance to the Lost Colony Theater
View of the stage at the Lost Colony Theater
People who attempt easy things are almost always successful. People who try very difficult things fail often. This is why it’s so easy to bash preachers, politicians, and policemen for being insufficient, hypocritical, or downright failures.
The bar is so high nobody can hit it.
Cabal Fang is the hardest martial art on the planet. There’s a lot to learn, the requirements are steep, and the fitness demands are high. Even I suck at Cabal Fang — and I’m the guy who gave birth to it. So what.
Let’s go do something hard. We’ll suck, but at least we’ll get stronger.
The Black Rose: Training Involution #120
- Sharpshooting (video below). 10 x 1:00/:30 as fast as you can. If you don’t have a sharpshooter ball, click here to learn how to make one. Or put a small “X” in medical tape on a regular double end ball.
- Kicks. Set a timer for 7:00. Pick the two kicks in your repertoire at which you most stink. Do as many as you can before the timer beeps. I picked Flying Side Kick and Jump Front Snap Kick and I did 35 of each for a total of 70. Practical kicks for self-defense? Nope. But I figure if my Flying Side Kick is good, my regular Side Kick will be amazing.
- Bear Walks. Set timer for 7:00. Bear Walk until the timer beeps.
- Conditioning Run. CR2S.
- Black rose banishing meditation. Cool down thoroughly after your run. Then set timer for 10:00. Assume meditative posture of choice, close eyes, and regulate breathing. Imagine a black rose. This black rose is your fear of trying hard things, your fear of failure, or perhaps even your fear of success. Visualize the petals falling off the rose as it slowly dies, and as it does, allow your fears to die along with it.
- Write it down. As always, record all of our activities and realizations in your training journal.
If you just said “I can’t do this!” then I say baloney. You can do five times more than you think you can. Just modify or substitute exercises to allow for your fitness level and/or special needs, take as many 12-count breaks as you need, and keep your heart rate under your max safe rate (220 minus your age = theoretical max).
You can do this.
If you liked this training involution you’d love the Cabal Fang Study Guide. Download it here.
Archangel Barachiel (art by yours truly). His primary symbols are the rose and the lightning bolt.
The following is an excerpt from Cabal Fang: Complete Study Course from Querent to Elder. If you like this, you’ll love the book.
Barachiel, Guardian Angel of Cabal Fang
Depending on the Hebrew spelling, Barachiel translates as either ”Blessing of God” (Barachiel) or “Lightning of God” (Baraquiel). He doesn’t appear in the traditional biblical scriptures, only in the apocryphal books of Enoch. In 1 Enoch, he is Baraquiel, the “Lightning of God”, a fallen angel who is one of the 200 rebellious angels known as Watchers.
But in 3 Enoch, where his name appears with both spellings used interchangeably, Barachiel is an angelic prince who rules over the second of the seven heavens.
With this conflicting and confusing information in mind, views and interpretations of Barachiel vary widely. To a person of Orthodox or Catholic persuasion, Barachiel is an Archangel and a saint, the supreme leader of all the guardian angels. He is depicted in religious art as a radiant figure holding a white rose, a basket of bread, or a lightning bolt. Believers in folk magic may see Barachiel as a spirit or saint who can be petitioned for help in matters of luck and games of chance, or to prevail in a contest.
Barachiel’s symbols are the rose and the lighting bolt.
The Rose: Training Involution #119
- Inverted Pyramid of Combos and Calisthenics. Advanced start at 12 (78 of each exercise total), Intermediate 10 (55), Beginners at 8 (36). Exercises are Striking Combos (3 count min), Push-ups (HS or hardest type you can manage), Wrestling Combos (2 count min), and Get-ups. So beginners are going to throw 8 striking combos, do 8 Push-ups, execute 8 Wrestling combos, and then 8 Get-ups. Then 7 of each, 6 of each, etc. down to 1. Video below.
- Meditation on a Rose. Select a color of rose that reflects a mental state you want to cultivate (see list below if needed). Set a timer for at least five to ten minutes. Assume your meditative posture of choice, regulate your breathing, and then imagine a rosebud of the chosen color. As you meditate on the bud, imagine in your mind’s eye that the bud is slowly opening. As the bud opens into a blossom, so does your mental state open up and flower into the desired state.
Rose Color Symbolism
- White: Heavenly love, purity, innocence, peace and harmony
- Red: Passionate love, desire, sacrifice and courage
- Pink: Friendly love, family love, grace, joy and empathy
- Yellow: Self-love, joy, calm, focus, health and clarity
- Coral: Sincere love, thanksgiving, enthusiasm, happiness
- Lilac: Magical love, wonder, enchantment, change, and success
- Black: Carnal love, rebellion, rebirth, protection, silence
- Variegated Rose: Combinations and mixtures of other colors