Tag Archives: hermetic

The Hermetic Mysteries of Christmas Revisited

I’ve written about the Hermetic Mysteries of Christmas before —  here and here.  What’s a “mystery?”  In the religious sense, “mysteries” are the wondrous things we feel when we put ourselves inside a myth and allow ourselves to fully experience it as if we are there.  The word mystery comes to us from Greek musterion and Latin mysterium where it means “a secret rite or ritual.

Within Catholic and Orthodox Christianity we see embedded the esoteric methods and essential nature of the Greco-Roman mysteries — updated to serve the goal of Christian salvation.

Four Ways to Seek the Christmas Mysteries This Year

  1. Gospel Reading Meditation.  Get out your Bible and turn to the gospel of Luke.  Read Luke 2:1-20.  Then close your Bible, shut your eyes, and regulate your breathing to a steady rhythm.  Imagine that you are one of the shepherds, sitting by the fire with your friends and brothers, watching over the flocks, when an angel appears.  Allow the story to unfold in your mind’s eye.
  2. Go to a live Nativity Scene.  Try, despite the presence of the other viewers, to imagine you are one of the shepherds as outlined above.
  3. Experience the Joyous Mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Click here for instructions.  If you have never prayed the Rosary before you are in for a treat.  The basic idea is that you repeat certain prayers while you meditate on the Joyous Mysteries — the Annunciation of Gabriel to Mary, the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth, the Nativity of Jesus, the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple, and the Finding of Jesus in the Temple.
  4. Watch this amazing lecture by Jonathan Pageau.  See below.  Jonathan is an Orthodox Christian icon carver, a skilled artisan who understands Christian symbolism as deeply as any churchman — perhaps even more deeply — having spent so many intimate hours carving these sacred images.

Experiencing the Christmas Mysteries as if we are fully present within them is the greatest Christmas “present” we could ever hope for.  

What the Hermetic Pragmatist is Reading

I am currently reading The Emerald Tablet: Alchemy for Personal Transformation by Dennis William Hauck.  I’m only on the fourth chapter, so the jury is still out. but so far so good.

I know some folks, especially martial artists in the modern MMA mold, would probably say that meditation and metaphysical studies are a waste of my time, and that I’m being impractical.

Yes, I’m increasingly aligned with Hermetic mystical concepts — but that doesn’t mean I am not a pragmatist.  I want results, and I don’t waste my time on things that don’t move me forward.

Tarot, the Emerald Tablet, the Hermetic Quaternary, Hermetic Qabalah,  Alchemy — they have all proved themselves to be reliable sources of insight, comfort, peace, direction, and motivation.    My interest in these matters is immanently practical.

wpid-20151007_065138.jpgThe same goes for my martial arts training.  I spend about a third of my practice time on fitness, and so I have been accused of neglecting technique.  But I disagree.  Strength and size matter.  If size didn’t matter, there wouldn’t be weight classes in boxing, wrestling, and combat sports.  All things being equal, the larger, stronger person will prevail.  I’m small, so I make myself stronger than average to compensate.

So let’s get practical, shall we?

Here is today’s Cabal Fang WOD — a little sandbag half pyramid that I created using my PTDICE.

Select a sandbag of appropriate weight (I used a #10 for this workout) and complete a Half Pyramid to 10 (that’s 55 reps total) of:

  • Diamond Push-ups (both hands on the bag)
  • Jackknifes (hug bag to chest)
  • Get-ups (hold bag in crook of inactive arm)
  • Side Lunges (hug bag to chest)

A Half Pyramid to 10  is 1 of each, 2 of each, 3 of each, etc. until you reach 10.  This is 55 reps of each total, and it should take you about 15 minutes or so.