May’s Cabal Fang concentrations were Wrestling and the Hourglass. But since we gave over one session to a member trial and were several times forced by rain into doing stand-up work inside the park shelter, we decided to carry over both concentrations for another month.
It’s really difficult to wrestle in the pouring rain. We did it once and it was actually really fun. It’s the wet gear and drive home that stinks.
So it’s still Wrestling Month and we’re still focusing on the Hourglass symbol (see Chapter 9 in Cabal Fang: Complete Martial Arts Study Course from Querent to Elder). But just because our martial focus is the same, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep your non-wrestling skills sharp. So…
Hermetic Warrior: Training Involution #108
- As many kicks as you can in 20 minutes. Count them, log them in your training journal, and next time you work the drill beat your number. If it’s not in your training journal it didn’t happen.
- Weapon half pyramid to failure. I used my cane but you work with a non-lethal version of your chosen EDC (wooden knife or training folder, rubber gun, flashlight, tactical pen, etc.). Perform 1 of each exercise, then 2 of each, then 3, etc. See how high you can “climb” before you have to take a break longer than a 12-count. Jackknifes, Get-ups, Side Lunges and Push-ups. Attack while you move whenever possible and don’t drop or put down your weapon for the duration. Better figure out those Push-ups during training — do them with one hand in a fist, wrist bent, etc. — or risk getting stuck with no answer in a self-defense situation.
- Learn a little about Hermeticism. Watch the video below. My Patreon supporters got it last month by the way.
This week’s workout is a three-parter. You can just watch the video (see below) or if you like words over pictures, here are the details.
Calisthenics. Complete 3 sets to failure of Narrow Push-ups and Hindu Squats. We’re not keeping score. But if we were, you’d get extra points for doing more than 50 of the Push-ups and more 100+ of the Squats. This segment was created using PTDICE. Getcha some.
Shadowboxing with 1 pound weights. Set a timer for 10 minutes — no breaks! — and shadowbox with #1 hand weights or 16 oz boxing gloves. If you don’t imagine your opponent you’re wasting your time. Really visualize what you’re striking at!
Meditation on blood. Violence is a serious matter, and blood is not to be spilled lightly. How can you call yourself qualified to draw blood in defense of yourself or someone you care about if you haven’t even take the time to understand and appreciate the sacredness of blood and what it symbolizes? There are four types of blood — the mythological blood of Gods and Goddesses (holy blood), the blood of ancestors and kin (family blood), the blood of friends and heroes (royal and/or cultural blood), and the blood of sacrifice and nourishment (the blood that’s spilled to keep us spiritually and/or physically fed). Set a timer for 10 minutes, assume the meditation posture of your choice, and spend this time meditating on these four types of blood. For a deeper experience, meditate on just one of the four types of blood and do this exercise four days running.
Cabal Fang is now a proud sponsor of the Hermetic Library! See there below? That’s us, right there in the middle!
The Hermetic Library is an amazing resource for anyone interested in Hermeticism, the Western Mystery Tradition, or the Perennial Wisdom. Check them out for hours and hours of reading, browsing and listening pleasure (they have a magical music project as well).
Don’t know what Hermeticism is? Read this.
And now for Cabal Fang Workout of the Week #13.
20 minute Kickboxing Footwork Conditioner: Set timer for 1:00 intervals. Alternate heavy bag rounds and animal calisthenics rounds. When striking bag, practice covering foot movements with strikes. Example: Throw Left Jab then Right Cross. As you throw the RC — same time! – slip and stutter step left foot outside and throw a perfectly spaced Right Roundhouse. Calisthenics as follows: Shrimp, Gorilla Walk, Mule Kick, Crab Walk, Scorpion.
Yes, I’m a Hermeticist.
What’s a Hermeticist? Well, I suppose the technical definition would be “someone who studies or practices Hermeticism, which is a philosophy based on the teachings of the mythical figure Hermes Trismegistus.”
But that’s like saying a physicist is a somebody who practices or studies Physics. Doesn’t help much, does it?
My definition of a Hermeticist is someone who believes that there are certain universal, timeless truths (“the Perennial Wisdom”) which have always been, and will always be, accessible anyone through the powers of symbol, parable, analogy, myth and initiation.
Sometimes called “Western Zen” Hermeticism values experiential truth over written truth, direct experience over second-hand knowledge, and sacred experience over dogmatic belief. The world’s most famous Hermeticists are probably Sir Isaac Newton and Dr. John Dee.
Its most prized axioms are the Hermetic Quaternary (“To Know, to Will, to Dare; to Keep Silent”) and the famous “As Above, so Below” which comes from its most enduring written text, the Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus.
The Emerald Table of Hermes Trismegistus
- True it is, without falsehood, certain and most true.
- That which is above is like to that which is below, and that which is below is like to that which is above, to accomplish the miracles of one thing.
- And as all things were by contemplation of one, so all things arose from this one thing by a single act of adaptation.
- The father thereof is the sun, the mother the moon; the wind carried it in its womb; the earth is the nurse thereof.
- It is the father of all works of wonder throughout the whole world.
- The power thereof is perfect.
- If it be cast on to earth it will separate the element of earth from that of fire, the subtle from the gross.
- With great sagacity it doth ascend gently from earth to heaven; again it doth descend to earth, and uniteth in itself the force from things superior and things inferior.
- Thus thou wilt possess the glory of the brightness of the whole world, and all obscurity will fly far from thee.
- This thing is the strong fortitude of all strength, for it overcometh every subtle thing and doth penetrate every solid substance.
- Thus was this world created.
- Hence there will be marvelous adaptations achieved, of which the manner is this.
- For this reason I am called Hermes Trismegistus, because I hold three parts of the wisdom of the world.
- That which I had to say about the operation of sol is completed.
Sunday we spent three hours taking pictures for the upcoming martial arts book. Here’s a sample.
My son Robert practicing his Shin Ride
Bridge Escape, Step 1.
Bridge Escape, Step 2.
Bridge Escape Step 3.
[Intrigued? Click here for pre-order links.]
I’m a little under the gun because I announced a release date of 9/1/16, which means the final draft needs to be to the formatter no later than 8/1.
So I was hoping the editors would be mainly positive, but to the contrary, they lumped me up pretty hard. How hard? More red ink than black. I now have more scabs than skin.
The criticism was largely valid, and I’m glad I got it because I want the book to be perfect. Although it wasn’t expressly stated by any of the editors, one of the things that became apparent was how much ego-stroking was in the book. It was painful and embarrassing to suddenly realize how self-centered some of the material was.
So I went through the text using “Ctrl-F” and looked for capital “I.” If the ideas were salient and could be re-expressed using “we” then I did so. If it was clear I was just monologuing, bragging, or verbal vomiting, I cut that junk out.
The good news is that writing this book has become a personal, spiritual, self-analytic and Hermetic exercise. The bad news is that I should’ve started with that knowledge, and now I’m figuring all this out while being pinched for time. That’s not easy.
But, at the risk of unleashing the very ego I’m trying to tame, I really do love a challenge.
This morning I had an email conversation with my friend John (name changed to protect anonymity). If you have any interest at all in Hermeticism or the martial arts I think you’ll find it interesting.
If you fell into my rabbit hole and have no idea what the Hermetic Quaternary is (a.k.a. “the Powers of the Sphinx” which I reference in the exchange) I have pasted in a handy table of correspondences at the very bottom of this post. That should help you better understand my point.
And if you don’t have the slightest idea what Hermeticism is, you can read what I have to say on the subject or you can dive headfirst into the relevant Wikipedia article.)
From: Mitch <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, May 5, 2016 at 9:20 AM
Subject: Re: Martial arts
To: John Citizen <email@example.com>
Yes, I agree with him about the nuts and bolts. He’s a smart and experienced Navy Seal, and he seems to have honed his scientific and gnostic vision to a razor’s edge. His logical and intuitional grasp of things is very strong.
I hope he would also admit the need for magical vision to tap into the ego and mystical vision to destroy it.
Because without all four forms of vision — “To Know, To Will, To Dare; To Keep Silent” — where is the wisdom that makes us worthy of being trusted with our weapons? How can we ever hope to reconcile the Above and the Below? How can we ever realize our ultimate selves?
Have a fun day, and see you tonight!
On Wed, May 4, 2016 at 10:22 PM, John Citizen <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Very much like the stuff you say…
A FOUR-BY-FOUR TABLE OF HERMETIC CORRESPONDENCES
|The Gnostic Hermetic Quaternary
|To Keep Silent
|The Magic Hermetic Quaternary
|To Keep Silent
|The Scientific Hermetic Quaternary
||Forms of Matter
|To Keep Silent
|The Mystic Hermetic Quaternary
||Mode of Vision
||Gnostically (“I AM THAT”)
||Scientifically (“I AM”)
|To Keep Silent
||Mystically (“I AM THAT I AM”)
Last night I finished one of the best books I’ve read in recent memory. Hermetica: The Greek Corpus Hermeticum and the Latin Asclepius in a New English Translation, with Notes and Introduction by Brian P. Copenhaver is the definitive translation of the Corpus Hermeticum, and must read for any serious student of religion, mysticism, magic or philosophy. Read my Goodreads review here, then go buy a copy here.
And today I hit a milestone — 2,000 book downloads! I can’t believe that my stuff is this popular. I mean, I can believe it. It’s kind of a fact, and why shouldn’t I be able to attract 2,000 downloads? I work hard and I take my craft seriously. It’s just that, even if you assume some people have read more than one of my titles, there must be something like a thousand people reading my books. No, it’s not that it’s unbelievable exactly, it just makes me a little woozy to be out in front of that many people. And it makes me happy. So I just want to say thanks to my readers for…
Now here’s your Cabal Fang WOD. You’re going to hate me for this one — when you get done you’ll be panting like a Labrador at a tennis ball chasing contest!
- PTDICE: AMSAYC in 10 mins of 4 Hop/Clap Push-ups and 8 Jump Squats (I got 18 sets).
- Rest 1 minute and then complete Grappling Conditioner #1 (If you’re unfamiliar, details here)
- Rest 1 minute and then Bike or Run 6 x 3:00/1:00 (pace for the 3:00, sprint for the 1:00).