Sy Calaelen


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Young, Female, Thelemite | Babalon and Me, Part 1

There are so many areas of politics that do not allow the female body to be seen, let alone worshipped, or her spirit honoured without some sort of advisory warning (#FreeTheNipple anyone?). So imagine an even smaller world within pagan and occult circles where such matters are seen equally, so long as it adheres to the guidelines set by modern beauty politics; light objectification of the female body (only ever between skinny and fat, never the inbetweens or “skinny-fat” like myself), European beauty standards on all levels of looks and personality (Isis is favoured because she is a mother, but make sure to cut out any major traits that simulate her with Egypt and Africa, and stick with lightening her skin tone, and definitely no Sekhmet because she’s wild and clearly “black”). But like most modern spiritual paths and religions, honouring the female, and obviously honouring myself, is slowly becoming accepted and expected. People are slowly coming to understand the true notion of duality, in nature, ourselves and in spiritual beings (deities, elements, nature etc). With the way people are being influenced daily it will be a while before a large number of us actually put duality into practice. So Babalon then? Where does she fit into my life? And how open can I be about my love for her? Let me think.

Babalon is Our Lady. She is a spirit, a force, an energy etc. something limitless and outside of time. Think of her as the female version of “God”. His equal, his counterpart, himself as a woman, the calm at the base of a fire, and the fuel at the same time. She is everything. She is in everything. She is half of one. In my head she represents the inner animalism and desire of the psyche. Think of the Thoth tarot, Atu XI Lust, that is her. She rides on the back of the seven-headed beast from Revelations (you can totally be a Christian Thelemite, trust me it’s a lot easier than you think), holding her Cup (there are many connotations of what the cup symbolises, but we shall stick with the womb and creation). She is the culmination of all human behaviour, good and bad, and she is freedom personified. See why she’s so highly celebrated amongst Thelemites?

If you remind yourself of Liber AL vel Legis, with the popular verse “there is no god but man,” one could easily assimilate the notion that if God is around, inside and outside of us, then so are other beings like Babalon. Babalon is, to me anyway, the personification of our psyches’ regardless of gender. She captures the Zeitgeist of ritual, and that warm and electric feeling when you’re on your own honouring yourself. She is that sacred place centred on the body, the yoni, that fire that draws on the linga.

My early awakening around who god was, and how it was to be perceived often centred around the pagan notion of the goddess —hence why the gods were ever present, my brain was clearly trying to teach me a model to apply equally later on. For years I could never connect myself with the goddess properly (according to the popular guidelines of separating humans from gods), but I had always been lucky in honouring her in my own private way. To me understanding the goddess meant understanding that I was also a goddess, a concept at the time that seemed kind of comforting and yet so otherworldly. I did not like the idea of separating genders nor separating the gods from who I was. Whilst most pagans would dance around a flowery circle screaming and singing the name of various goddesses, I was practising kundalini yoga by myself, I was teaching myself how to be more of a woman, and I was also enjoying loving myself. I wasn’t part of the group and I knew deep down that for the rest of my life I was never going to be. I learned to love myself by understanding the goddess and god.

But to add another theory, whilst women have a cup (with which we must fill or exercise often), men also have half of that mentally. How can you honour the god by ignoring that side of yourself? Same as how can you honour the goddess if you ignore that side too? Remember, Nuit cannot function without Hadit, and vice versa. (Just a theory guys, at this stage in my two year Thelemic career I am bound to fuck up!) Maybe then, that’s the reason why I’m such a weird kind of woman, on a quest to find love. I know it sounds strange or super juvenile but I want a linga to join my yoni someday, but for now Babalon is reminding me that I already have that push and that confidence I need to open up and love myself, by myself or with a partner. Bearing in mind Babalon is not all about sex or sexual activity, but more about the desires and the knowledge, and the freedoms that you wish to know, from the inside.

Imagine my surprise, after falling in love with Thelema when all of my “unconventional/clearly-not-part-of-the-circle-gang” practices were celebrated and allowed regardless of ethnicity and gender. Sure there’s Crowley and his annoying habit of being once being human (he’s a dead human now folks) with his likes and dislikes, his contradictory racism, and his secret love of painting black prostitutes when frequenting America (as far as I know only one painting remains out of the collection that he did), but there is more to Thelema than just the man who reminded us of this path. (Background information: Crowley didn’t quite invent Thelema, as it’s always been there for centuries, but he was responsible for ironing out the kinks and tying up loose ends). It’s such a lovely notion to think that even though I am “out-of-the-loop” within Thelemic circles, that some of my friends do remind me that I have Babalon inside too (you know who are, and I love you for that too). I have fallen for something that I see myself in, even if it’s under the surface.

Thelema has solidified my personal growth, whether it be through Liber AL vel Legis, Liber Oz or honouring Hadit and Nuit, or the other many things out there. Speaking with all kinds of women from the Thelemic world I have found two modes of thought: 1) Your gender doesn’t matter so much, Her inspiration lives within everyone and she reminds us of that drive to keep pursuing our dreams and desires, and 2) Even though you don’t fit current ideals, Balalon is there to be worshipped in all Her forms, regardless of her popular images. Honour her by honouring yourself. I know I definitely don’t fit Old Æon beauty ideals, let alone political ones, but within the Current flow I know I am Babalon, she is me, we are god, and so are you.

In nomine Babalon. As above, so below.

Sy

Babalon

Babalon – MisterChuck tagged me in this photo I was so pleased. I don’t feel left out within Thelema – not too much anyway.

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Take It All To Heart | Yoga and Chakra Regimen

The heart chakra is the centre point in the body as it holds up the three lower chakras that deal with grounding and materialistic themes, and at the same time the heart connects the lower three chakras with the upper three chakras, which deal with more spiritual themes. The heart chakra is a very important chakra, especially as it deals with more than hurt, heartbreak or desire. It needs balancing regularly, but with a little more attention. I find I bring mudras into the heart point – for example, when sitting in lotus with your hands in prayer position, you channel the energies of Kundalini from the base chakra up to the heart, through the nadis (channels) – which in turn send them up into the mind space, and back down again. The heart chakras build-up of seven chakra points. All with their own abilities. If you ever wonder why someone is driven mad by vengeance or revenge, it is because their 4th heart chakra – which deals with loneliness and angry feelings – is blocked. Or whenever you feel full of love and passion, you are balanced perfectly, or there is too much energy flowing through, which can unbalance the other 6 mini chakras of the heart.

Many yogis’ will instruct you to focus on asanas’ that open the heart area – one of my favourites that one of my yogi’s spent a long time teaching me was the eagle pose (awful pictures are due soon!). Another of my favourite poses are the thunderbolt asana (in any variation, including Crowley’s preferred variation) and the camel pose (even though I tend to equate this with swadhisthana and muladhara meditations). But, for the sake of meditation and grounding I have come across a few positions that have done the trick in the last few weeks are meant to be used either during, or after mantra meditation. I’m still testing them out myself because homesickness is currently living with me, and I have a ton of essays to turn in. Be aware, these are exercises given to me by one of my yogi’s, and other’s I have learnt from studying Maya Fiennes (yes, Voldemort’s sister-in-law).

 

Sitting Meditation

Advanced: Lotus;

Intermediate: Half lotus;

Beginner: Easy pose

Start in prayer position, with hands by your heart and begin a short pranayama exercise to prepare the body. One exercise I like is the simple breathing ferociously through your mouth, when in an “O” shape. This gets your heart rate up ever so slightly. Do this for 2+ minutes until you feel a little energised.  Raise your hands to the side or in front of you, or place the back of your hands on your knees. With the mantra “Sa-Ta-Na-Maa” make sure to touch each finger with your thumb one at a time. Say each syllable with each finger. Index fingers, “Sa”; middle fingers, “Ta”; ring fingers, “Na”; little fingers, “Ma”. Say it over and over until 10 minutes has gone, but as an expected rule for serious practitioners you must say each mantra 108 times if you have mala beads [note from my yogi].

 

Backbend asanas

I find following through with a normal yoga sequence, with the addition of either or all of the following asanas helps to strengthen the breath and concentration. Try to come to a meditative position with the following and recite mantra, or visualise symbols with similar connotations to the heart chakra or either of the lower or upper chakras:

Camel pose

Fish pose

Bridge pose

Thunderbolt pose (below)

These all open your chest area which helps force oxygen around the dark crevices. I have found that visualising the ankh at the centre of the heart chakras has meant I am focusing on becoming emotionally balanced whilst being more spiritually sound (as if preparing myself for much more valuable lessons from my HGA in the future – read the previous post).

 

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Building a Better Yoga Regimen | Chakra Glory

The last few weeks have been quite insightful, as many of you know I’m building a fairly flexible magickal hygiene regimen. Now that I’m at university, it means I can allocate time to continue the LBRP and Regardie’s variation of Liber Resh (which is exactly the same, but without the strict solar times at all four points of the day; you can read it here). University life is busy, and my course is amazing so far. So many opportunities’ are waiting, and I also have a lovely amount of writing to do – which is perfect! Before I go off track, today’s post will build up over time, cascading across various posts as I build upon more knowledge and practice. It will centre around yoga, or rather the systems of yoga I adhere to, with a Thelemic edge – in the sense that I am referring to Crowley and Frater Achad’s ideas and practices with their own personal techniques. My studies with Thelema have pushed me back into Kundalini, with a deep focus on mantra yoga and chakra cleansing.

There are tons of ideas, conspiracies’ and rumours about Kundalini, as to why one should never practice it, but I for one am going to suggest you meet it face-to-face for yourself and ignore the preposterous crap out there. There are various forms of yoga that I would personally recommend, but for those of you wanting to read up on the spiritual side, seriously check out Swami Vivekananda, as well as Crowley.  One area that has always fascinated me were chakras. A lot of people around the world, and inside the spiritual community can read a book on the seven chakras from a New Age perspective and run around with a badge that says “Official Chakra Healer” – or something to that degree. I personally like to avoid those people, as I feel we all need to create a personal connection with what we should educate ourselves on. I like hearing other opinions, but I’m a stubborn brat – If I don’t study it for myself, there is no way in hell I’ll understand properly by attempting to feel it with your hands. The seven chakras need attention, but so do the many other areas of the body and psyche – and in order to experience this process fully I needed to do some good old research!

Looking at my personality I find I am a sensitive soul – that will never change according to my sidereal birth chart (moon in Leo for any sidereal astrologers out there) – and unfortunately I have a great sense of pride, loyalty and almost royal expectations from the people I meet. I am also a complex person, with the inability to connect with other human beings very well, even though I do try. My heart is sensitive – as I am an extremist with a desire to find love, yet I don’t trust people on a general level. Just in case you didn’t quite catch that, I’m a romantic reject, but a loveable and loyal friend until my anxiety shows me treason. Those are areas I need to work on for the betterment of my life, which is where the “highly spiritual,” element comes in – I have always had the ability to connect to the forces of the Universe very easily, and it has always been the one place I go when I need to detox, not just spiritually but physically too. I need to work on balancing my heart and head chakras, but I’m going to focus on building up a yoga routine around meditation in particular asanas’.

It won’t be easy – physically or emotionally, but the psychological effects will be most astounding. I guess, yoga in its most materialistic form is more than just connecting yourself to the Universe, or cleansing (which is similar to the Middle Pillar and LBRP exercises), it is about awakening. Awakening yourself spiritually, and more importantly waking yourself up and have a long hard look at yourself. People tend to go off on a tangent when practising asanas at the gym or assuming the spiritual life – they often forget themselves whilst running around trying to help others. There comes a point when all your focus becomes stagnant, or on the other hand, you are so full of energy that you eventually combust on yourself. I know a lot of people who do this, and I do it too, it’s called life. Buddha taught his followers about the Middle Way – a simple way to look at the two extremes in your life and work out how you should walk down the middle with ease. In this sense, I’m going to start formally practising my theory on yogic chakra work with the heart chakra. The heart chakra is built up of 7 main “mini chakra points” – each point is connected to various areas of the body, but the main chakra has 12 petals with their own functions. The heart chakra is the centre of the normal 7 points – and often it’s the chakra that is forgotten (unless you are a yogini or yogi). Most people want spiritual attainment and the ability to ground, when the heart chakra can do both at the same time. Believe me, you can’t find balance until you actually meet him.

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Liber Resh, Exercise and Feeling Good

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Im sure I’ve published my current routine for each day? If I have, meh, it’s been edited a tiny bit since. I developed this format in order to keep in concordance of my Will. It might help if you develop your own regimen for the sake of practice, discipline and spiritual awareness. Hopefully it will be okay.

Daily Routine for Days Off

Dawn
🔹Perform first Resh or first Adoration – 5 minutes

Midday
🔹Perform second Resh or second Adoration – 5 minutes
🔹Core workout/core yoga routine – 10–30 minutes
🔹Sun salutation/Warrior sequence – 10–30 minutes

🔸End midday session with Kundalini meditation and/or mantra – 10-30 minutes

Sunset
🔹Third Resh or third Adoration – 5 minutes

🔸End sunset session with meditation and/or mantra

Bedtime
🔺Perform fourth Adoration 4 or wait until midnight – 5 minutes

Midnight
🔻If no bedtime adoration is performed then complete the cycle with the fourth Resh – 5 minutes

Working/Study Days

Dawn
🔹First Adoration – 5 minutes

Midday
🔹Second Adoration – 5 minutes

Sunset
🔹Third Adoration – 5 minutes

🔸End session with mantra and LBRP – 10–30 minutes

Bedtime
🔹Fourth Adoration – 5 minutes

My yoga routines are pretty simple, but luckily I can look up a sequence or two on YouTube and get my trainer involved. Other times I just learn whatever routines I can when I go to an hour session at the gym. I have a lot of books and magazines that cover various areas of yoga, so remembering why, how and what benefits are available per asana is easy to come by.

I have two main core workouts that are focused on my back and balance. I also adopted the following “Before Shower Exercise” to continue to push the blood flow around my body.

50 jumping jacks
5 push-ups
20 crunches
20 mountain climbers
30 second plank

After you perform Resh, ideally your body should send you into that phase of meditation. It’s mentioned in Liber ABA that after each adoration, you are supposed to ground yourself. For me the urge is a bright and positive feeling so I ground by meditation and exercise.

You just feel great once you enter that phase of mind. I think performing Resh has also helped me lose weight — but I think that’s because my solitary regimen goes hand in hand with exercise, and a healthy diet.

Some folks have said that once you perform Resh properly two things happen, 1) “You can say goodbye to a normal sleep pattern” mentioned by Mr Vamp, and 2) It becomes second nature.

Enjoy the Tara Stiles Core Strength video here.

In LVX 93s x


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Health Benefits of Liber Resh vel Helios

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I know how that sounds – health? Really? Silly Sy. No need to be disappointed, but I’ve been thinking about a theory around many of the rituals I’ve been practicing. I guess you can call this short (and probably meaningless) post another treatise on why I love ceremonial magick.

When I first started practising the Four Adorations (a time loose variation of the full Resh) I kept noting how I felt warm and fuzzy. The importance of noting down little things that may seem unnecessary can often build up a picture of peace or change within the mindset of the person experiencing these changes. I would write the odd notes at the start of my daily posts saying something like, “Feel great! Feel more alert and aware of things around me – almost like the end meditations after Kundalini practice.” Often I would note what I had to eat or drink just before or after the Resh assuming my intake may have contributed to my sudden alertness and inspirational boost. For some reason, similar to performing the LBRP, I just felt amazing.

When I started performing Resh properly, according to the solar time I started to work out a plan for my days off and days I would spend at work. They were only an outline that I expected to improve over time once I started university properly. So far they have worked perfectly! Not only have my visualisation skills improved, and my sensitivity to the slightest increase or decrease to energies within me and around me been fine tuned, but I feel an even more positive – [“positive” being the wrong word… I mean something else, but cannot think what?] – connection between me and the Universe as a whole – me, finally embarking on my journey with Malkuth. Maybe I’m wrong? I’m not sure, but I feel awake for sure. I am sure of one thing, yoga and physical rituals push blood to places it rarely sees on a daily basis. This helps oxygen reach those nooks and crannies, which adds to the feeling of weightlessness and accomplishment at the end of each hourly workout or session. Obviously Resh does not take a bloody hour, but you get my drift. You are exercising your mind (visualisation) and your body (vibration, speaking and the signs), which in turn gets oxygen flowing and goes full loop by sending more oxygen to the muscle and brain. It’s beautiful. I have been able to note the effects when I tried to put myself under a weeks worth of not practicing. By day 5 I was ready to give up and start again as I felt awful, muggy and just generally off. Everything was a dull grey and I just wanted to lay down all the time. Ew.

I’m automatically up just before the morning Resh, and when the other times approach it’s as if my body just sends a load of blood rushing around my body, to I guess wake myself up in preparation of performing. I have felt inspired to really sort my body out again over the last few months, and Resh and the LBRP with a dash of meditation, dance, yoga and a change in diet have all helped me. I wasn’t lying when I said Thelemites’ are sexy creatures.

Either later on, or tomorrow I’ll post up my regimen, plus a small breakdown of my current work out. As for my diet, I went Vegan for a fortnight to flush/detox my body in order to “start again”. I’m just your average misunderstood vegetarian – love animals but I’m not a fanatic carnivore hater, I love leather and Dr Martens to much – I just don’t eat meat because it tastes icky, that’s all.

That’s all for now, in LVX 93s Peaches!


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Magickal Items I’m Taking to University

As I’m trying to tie up the loose ends on my university supplies, stationary and halls items, it occurred to me I hadn’t drawn up a list of Magickal tools I’ll need. I can’t take everything, and there are a lot of books I will have to leave behind until Yule. I will only take the most important items, also noting that I may buy other items when I’m there as well. What items would you take with you? I’ve asked a few folks over the past few weeks, and the responses have been diverse. I’ve had time to think and thought I’d share this written mishmash of ideas! It’s been a long time coming!

Here is my comprehensive list of spiritual items I might be taking:

Tarot
I am only taking two of my thirty decks. The “Lo Scarabeo Tarot” and Crowley’s “Thoth Tarot”. The Lo Scarabeo tarot is a modern merging of three of the worlds most popular tarot, with beautiful Italian illustration and simple symbols. It’s a deck that is comprised of the Rider-Waite, Tarot de Marseilles and Thoth. I use this deck as one of my daily/weekly tools for personal divination. It may come in handy with a few students too. As for my beloved Thoth deck, it’s only used for the odd reading, meditation and Qabalah study.

Books
As far as books are concerned, they have been the main area of interest and inquiry. Partly because they are tomes of knowledge and I will miss them if they aren’t around for me to study from. Mostly because the house I’ll be leaving them in is heaven for the ignorant and closed minded – I would die if my aunt decided to hide or destroy them, like a few of my old ritual items from times past.

My original plan was to take the smaller version of Liber ABA – Regardie’s “Gems…” As it includes everything I need to know in a more immediate fashion, but I’m just too attached to my blue baby. So below is a small list of a few important books I’m taking, baring in mind I can change them every three months or so until I get my own place the following year.

▪Liber ABA
▪Liber AL vel Legis (I have so many copies of this bible, I really wouldn’t mind if it got lost! I have 8 now; excluding the printed copies within other publications)
▪Gems from the Equinox
▪Garden of Pomegranates
▪Middle Pillar
▪The Tree of Life
▪The Golden Dawn
▪The Complete Works of Aleister Crowley vol. I-III

Journals
All of my journals are coming with me! I write in them so damn much I’m already about to start my next brand new Moleskine for Conjurations and thoughts. Write! And write often folks!

▪Book of Conjurations
▪Book of Thoth
▪Book of Horus
▪Main journal

Ritual Items
Now, I don’t know all the rules of my halls yet so I’m not risking candles, my dagger or wands etc. however, I shall take a particular number of altar cloths to create scared space, and possibly a statue or two. I’ve moved from the stage of having a statue to represent deity in order to worship it, as my view of deity is that of the New Æon. I will also have a small vase with a fake red rose – hayfever issues.

Miscellaneous and Pagan Items
I will take a few crystals to keep balance, and my pink yoga mat! If there is a yoga class at the gym then I’ll be going, if not I’ll find one somewhere in the city – need to keep toned and spiritually connected yo’!

Music will be on my iPad, iPhone and laptop, which will range from the beautiful Deva Premal and Maya Fiennes right up to Beethoven, Demdike Stare and Rammstein. I have quite an eclectic taste in music, but rock is in my blood 😛

I’m sure there is much more I could take, but I will see. My travel altar items need a massive reshape too!

Like I said, what would you take with you and why? So many people have so many different paths and experiences, and differing reasons for particular items. What keeps you spiritually connected? Let me know below.

In LVX 93, 93/93

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Liber DCCCLX – John St. John and Me

Aleister Crowley

Aleister Crowley

Take this as a very short post, and an explanation to the rather odd post from earlier this month.

I bought a copy of James Wasserman’s book ‘Aleister Crowley and the Practice of the Magical Diary’, which included diary excerpts collected together by the prophet himself in a volume entitled ‘John St. John’. Also included were written pieces from Frater Achad’s collection ‘Liber CLXV Master of the Temple’. As part of my solitary foundation process, I felt as though this book found its way into my basket at the right time. I haven’t read the whole book yet, so no in depth reviews, and no spoilers.

Though not a detailed summary of his daily workings, John St. John is a wonderful example of how one should keep track of their progress and experiments. Most writers in general have a journal, diary or notebook of some kind, wherein they write their innermost thoughts and random quotations they conjure up. I definitely do, for many reasons. For the sake of my attainment I have kept a working journal, but only recently I have started to write much more personal ideas and feelings. Whenever I feel off about something I used to just ignore it, or write a quick note in my normal journal without any thought that perhaps it’s a vital lesson I must learn from. These days I find I write tiny entries on the cards I’ve pulled that day for my main magical diary – only to write a full report in my Book of Thoth. It’s become a rather welcome habit. The main outcome for these disciplined practices would centre on my discovery of various methods, themes and ideals I can test. My old journals have been covered in words and symbols since I started working magick, so this whole concept is not new for me; what is new, is Crowley’s set up or structure for his works. Like most writers or journalists, small notes are important, but for me I’ve never been a keen one for taking short cuts as my memory is awful and my anxiety does not allow me to “come back later” – I need to do whatever task it is right away, especially if it concerns writing and creativity.

The last post was an excerpt from my main magical journal, which is actually part of a small experiment I am trying for a month – the continuous and rigorous practice of meditation and adorations everyday for a week, then off just to note the differences in performance, energy and such alike. All I can say for now, is a I attempted a smaller operation last month spanning a fortnight and I found quite a shocking (and psychological and physiological) change. I hope to explore my experiment more, and share what little information I am willing to share on here. For now, my solitary foundation process (as I am now calling it) is still in its early stages, and I am currently working on diet changes, fitness and more writing. Building a regimen is incredibly important for me, otherwise I will lose focus and fall by the wayside – focus.

For those of you who are new to performing Liber Resh or the Four Adorations, try and start reading chapter one on the essays of yoga that Crowley wrote (here) and start John St. John (here – pretend we are reading together!)

93 Peaches!