Ok, this isn't a spell book. This page is more of a gathering of rituals and exercises that will help you get you out of yourself and into your practice and into opening up to the changes you want to create in your life. At the very least, they will help you to "move and think in mysterious ways" and get you into your creative mind.
Active meditations like this help us to see Divinity in the mundane and within Ourselves. As we become the object of our own Spiritual path, we learn to honor ourselves in the same way we would the Gods. Learning to nurture ourselves and to take a look at how we observe Divinity, helps us to expand our ability to open up to Divinty in ways we wouldn't have thought of, otherwise.
exercize # 1: The Iron ritual
The African Deity, Ogun, is the god of war, and of iron. His earliest tools were weapons, but as time passed, man needed to evolve spiritually, so Ogun melted his iron weapons down and used the metal to form tools for agriculture. That is how he became the teacher of civilization. This is how the "God of War" helped mankind to elevate himself.
Pick up the next small piece of Iron you find on the street and carry it with you as you would a rock or shell from the beach. It too has gone through various transformations and developed disciplines to accomplish it's task. Now that its use is done, it's been discarded (if it could feel, would it be frustrated? Heart broken? angry?). When you feel the time is right, wash it, polish it, oil it. Maybe make something out of it/give it a new use, doesn't matter what, or just let it sit in your pocket for a few months (if it's small enough) and watch it go through it's own transformation of a very slow polishing.
I have a pot that some of these pieces go into. Others go in my potted plants to add nourishment to them and so I can see them during waterings. This is a good one for working with anger. Our anger doesn't leave us, but we can learn to feel it and see it's usefulness in a subconscious way as we do this practice because it's a practice that incorporates symbol. Like a forge, we make our consciousness more pliable, more available for new ways of looking at life, at ourselves, at Spirit.
So here's my first solo exercise. Others will have to do with breathwork, opening the body, connecting with others and more personal rituals like this as well.
exercise #2: the touch ritual
First! “Pleasure a non-sexual part of your body.” …. OK! Now think about your first response to this idea. Does it titilate you? Or gross you out? Yes, it may seem strange, but this may be the beginning of developing a loving touch for yourself.
Now try it again with the idea of nurturing and love. Be affectionate towards those parts of your body that never NEVER get any kind of loving touch. Try the elbow or knee. Try a finger, foot, hip. We so often neglect ourselves in this manner, and it's no wonder that we don't know how to touch each other in loving ways.
Ok! So for a minute each day, caress, kiss, touch, hold, massage...whatever to a bodypart that you normally don't think as sexual or sensual..however this comes to you to do.
Once this becomes something that you can appreciate, try it on your lover, friend or a willing stranger (HA! No, not a total stranger anyway.) The key here is to listen to your partner's responses as you explore. Back, finger, foot, wrist, elbow. You may find each of you has their own preference. It will help us to be thoughtful with our touch.
Now go deeper. Touch using your hands in a nontraditional fashion. Caress with the back of your hand, your knuckles and notice how that affects your ability to read their reaction to your touch. Going deeper, don't use your hands at all. Try touching with your arm, feet, chest, butt, etc. And don't forget lips!
Next! Returning to the self, try talking to your body. Knee, arm, hand, foot hair, tooth, tummy, whatever feels good and/or whatever makes you cringe. Go on! Let the dialogue be what it is, but keep it kind. That's right, I said dialogue.LIsten..pretend to listen if you have to. In this practice you will discover that your body can be very receptive and as you nurture it you nurture yourself. Self love is a beautiful thing.
In breath and heart!
exercise #3: a breathing practice
One thing that many cultures do is offer things up to their Gods and Goddesses, etc.. The most common offerings are food and incense, candles or fire, and various kinds of musical sounds. The main commonality of all these things is that they affect the senses and are vibratory in nature. Smell, light and sound are made of vibrational energy.
Standing in a peaceful place in nature, consciously begin to breathe at a pace of about four seconds per breath. In two, and out two. As this becomes regular and comfortable, envision your body getting filled with air, not just your lungs but think of yourself as a big vessel getting filled with air. Let your hands begin to move in some way that symbolizes the flow of air flowing in and out of your body.
Take your time and note how your arms feel in various moving actions. All the while continue to be comfortable in your breathing. Don't loose your footing or hyperventilate, keep it easy and natural. Find what movements really resonate with you and your intention of taking air in and letting air out.
Now back to the concept of offerings. Contemplate that the aroma of life is there to feed you. Breath in with your nose and take in the nourishment that Mother Earth is offering you. Are you smelling the trees around you? Flowers? Grass? Rain? Take it all in. Soak yourself with it. Stay conscious of your body and your connection to the earth as you stand. All the while you are still moving your arms in a motion of giving and receiving.
Now contemplate on the idea of giving thanks as you exhale. As you exhale, you release carbon dioxide and other things that actually feed the surrounding trees and plants around you. This is a literal exchange between Mother Earth and you. Take joy in it! Do this about fifty times or so. Embellish it in any way you want to. If you can't go outside, do it at home. A little visualization and intent is all you need.
When your done, put your hands on your heart, hold your breath for a sec. Feel the energy build up then as you exhale very slowly, imagine this energy flowing throughout your body, even cascading over your body. Let it all be absorbed by your body and be grateful for the earth that supports us.
Exercise #4 a meditation on the circle
Ever heard a saying that all roads lead to China? Spiritually, that is true for everything. Not the China part, but circle the globe in any direction and you will be right where you are. The path to God is often viewed in the same way. What I'm trying to get at is that there are two general paths that the "Mystic" will take on his/her way to find their spiritual goal. One is introspection, and the other is extrospection. The Yogi is introspective by using the breath and meditation to purify the body for uniting with the Divine. The Ceremonial Magician is extrospective by designing everything that is seen in the Temple to be symbolic of his/her will to become united with the Divine.
Visually, pick to opposing points on any circle and see that there are two paths for either point to get to the other side. Most of us aren't Yogis or Ceremonial Magicians but we do things that could be considered on either side of that circle. Did this just double your options? Play with this visualization and see what comes up for you.