Friday, November 19, 2004

The Pathworking Class

Well, this was definitely worth the trip up to Berkeley. I am almost having a hard time writing this because of how much I have swirling in my head today.

This was a class held at the lovely Ancient Ways Bookstore. When I told them "I'm here for the Pathworking class," they said, "Congratulations!"

There weren't a lot of us, but everyone seemed like nice people. Without much ado, we got into it. Thankfully, I had come when they were just starting the series. There was an explanation of what pathworking was, and then a discussion of what path would be being worked.

In this case it was Malkuth to Yesod. Crowley's Book of Thoth was read from regarding the correspondences to this path. It was from the chapter, "The Small Cards", the section on the four tens and nines--snippets of which I quote here:

The Four Tens: "These cards are attributed to Malkuth. Here is the end of all energy; it is away from the 'formative world' altogether, where things are elastic. There is now no planetary attribution to consider. So far as the Sephirah is concerned, it is right down in the world of Assiah. By the mere fact of having devised four elements, the current has derogated from the original perfection. The Tens are a warning; see whither it leads--to take the first wrong step!"

The Four Nines: "These cards are attributed to Yesod. After the double excursion into misfortune, the current returns to the middle pillar. This Sephirah is the seat of the great crystallization of Energy. But it takes place very far down the Tree, at the apex of the third decending triangle, and a flat triangle at that. There is little help from low, unbalanced spheres like Netzach and Hod. What saves Yesod is the direct ray from Tiphareth; this Sephirah is in the direct line of succession. Each of these cards gives the full impact of the elemental force, but in its most material sense; that is, of the idea of the force, for Yesod is still in Yetzirah, the formative world. Zoroaster says: 'The number Nine is sacred, and attains to the summit of perfection.' Egypt, and Rome, also, had Nine Major Deities."

Then we were led on a guided visualization based on the Persephone myth, taken from the book, "The Shining Path", by Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki. We started in the Temple of Malkuth and worked our way into the Underworld. There, we got to actually meet Persephone (who was quite beautiful.) At the end of it, I felt like our little band had been on a Hobbit adventure (with me playing the part of Gimli the Dwarf.)

After the pathworking visualization and dicussion was over, a separate thing happened. A woman did a reading from "The Vision and the Voice", which, as she explained, was a series of visions that resulted from magickal workings done by Aleister Crowley. Although the imagery was beautiful, this particular piece of AC's work is going to require a lot more study from me before I understand it.

At the end of the evening, there was much discussion and explanation by some of the more well-versed in the group, which I and another novice were quite thankful for.

So today, in the afterglow, I was feeling much more grounded than usual. I found myself taking more notice of what was going on around me: these kids getting off of school, that guy driving the truck, those houses going by as I rode on the bus--all are part of everything floating in the Malkuthian "soup".

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