Tag Archives: rose

Action Figure: Training Involution #134

The Cabal Fang external focus of the month is Spirit and the internal focus is the Rose (prayer).  How in the world, you may wonder, can an external focus be Spirit?  By putting your insides on the outside — by putting your spirit into action.  Here’s an excerpt from the Cabal Fang Study Course:

In Mettlecraft month you harden that which is soft; in Spirit Month you temper that which is hard so that it becomes flexible. As the old sage Lao Tzu said, strength and hardness are associated with death, while softness and flexibility are associated with life.  Aspire to maturity and strength without being jaded and inflexible, to being childlike and full of life without being naïve and helpless.

Spirit month means that you show your spirit in action.  The month the group here in Richmond is collecting food and money to feed the homeless.  We’ll be delivering what we’ve collected to the local chapter of Food not Bombs next Sunday 12/16, and then we’ll be hanging out to physically prep and cleanup a meal.

What are you going to do this month?

Action Figure: Training Involution #134

  • 30 minutes of action.  Warm up thoroughly.  Then set a repeating timer for 10 minutes.  For the first 10 minutes, complete as many sets as you can of 4 Jackknife Push-ups (HSPUs if you’re advanced), 4 Sit-outs, 4 Jump Squats, and 4 Wrestling Shots.  For the next 10 minutes, go at your heavy bag, punching and kicking with constant contact.  Then, for the final 10 minutes, go for a run.  Advanced players, add a weighted vest (I used a #5).  Constitutional trial rules apply for the entire half hour: take as few 12-count breaks as possible — push!
  • Pray for 10 minutes.  Even atheists can pray, because “to pray” simply means “to ask.”  Assume your posture of choice, regulate your breathing, and spend 10 minutes in prayer.  Ask your god or higher power what you could do, personally, this month, to physically put your spirit into action for the benefit of your family or community.  If you’re an atheist, pray to Truth and try to tap into your subconscious.  When you’re done, formulate a plan.  Actually set a date for whatever you decide upon doing.

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye. shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh. findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” ~Matthew 7:7–8

Of the Secret Compass and the Rosy Cross

What started all of this was a post by Freeman about what is and is not occult, about what is healthy and what is not healthy about literalism and symbolism (by the way, Freeman is a very learned fellow, and if you are interested in Western Esotericism, you should follow his blog straight away).

Anyway, Freeman said, “Today, we still need to cultivate our balance, and I see the so-called occult revival as playing an important role in that, at least until we swing too far the other way. We can’t have only Plato or only Aristotle, or only symbolism or only literalism, and remain healthy.”

I agree with that completely, so much so that I’d like to elaborate.

The Rose Cross of the Golden Dawn

Freeman mentioned, quite rightly, that “the original Rosicrucian literature…was a corrective to Christian dogmatism that contained a balance of spiritual and empirical elements.”

The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn took up the cross, the Rosy Cross to be specific, and carried it into the 20th Century.  At the heart of Golden Dawn practice are two little rituals called the Qabalistic Cross and the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram, the first and only rituals taught to members prior to initiation.

The Qabalistic Cross ritual is a re-envisioning of the Catholic or Orthodox crossing gesture that has been expanded into a complete exercise that includes some special words and visualizations.  Embedded within it you will find the Hermetic Quaternary, which is “To Know, to Will, to Dare, to Keep Silent.”  Each part of the Quaternary corresponds to a direction, to one of the four letters of the Tetragrammaton, and to a way of seeing.

  • To Keep Silent is to see mystically, which is to see yourself as an insignificant part of the Universal One (saying ATEH and touching the forehead).
  • To Will is to see magically, which is to see the universe as under your command and control (saying MALKUTH and pointing to the feet or lower tip of the spine)
  • To Know is to see gnostically, that is to know the universal truths in your bones (saying VEH GEBURAH and touching right shoulder)
  • To Dare is to see scientifically,  which is to doubt and test everything you see (saying VEH GEDULAH and touching left shoulder)

The enlightened person sees in all four ways at once without contradiction.  Both dipoles — the North/South/mystic/magic nor the East/West/gnostic/scientific — are viewed non-dualistically, which is perhaps why Hermeticism has been called “Western Zen.”

A compass rose. Note that it has a rose in the middle.

Now, it should come as a surprise to nobody that the thing one uses to stay on course is a compass, and the thing you draw on a map to ensure proper orientation is called a compass rose.

The rosy cross pictured on the left orients you on the map of the material plane.  The colorful one above does so on the spiritual map.