Index: The technique of Prayer - The Time of the Work - Appendix
The technique of Prayer
The precision of the Prayer is very important for the purpose of the Great Inner Work; every quietist doctrine is an error of method.
The Inner Way of the Incognito Philosopher appears to be quietist only in its general aspects, never in its practical and operating applications. Let’s pray to obtain something specific and for legitimate reasons, as the Gospel suggests:
The Way of Salvation, 3 John 3, 16; Rom 10, 9
Peace in the anxiety, Phil. 4, 6-7; Jn 14, 27
Courage in fear, Heb. 13, 5-6; 2 Cor. 13, 5-6
Relief in the suffering 2 Cor. 12, 8-10; Heb. 12, 3-13
Guide in the uncertainty Judg. 1, 5-6; Heb. 4. 16
Rest in the tiredness Mt. 11, 28-30; Rom. 8. 31-39
Comfort in the affliction 2 Cor. 1, 3-5; Rom. 8, 26-28
Strength in temptation Judg. 1, 12-16; 1 Cor. 10, 6-13
Praise in the thanksgiving 1 Thess. 5, 18; Heb. 13, 15
Joy in forgiveness 1 Jn. 1, 7-10.
“I tell you, keep asking, and it will be given you. Keep seeking and you will find. Keep knocking, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives. He who seeks finds. To him who knocks it will be opened. Which of you fathers, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he won’t give him a snake instead of fish, will he? Or if he asks for an egg, he won’t give him a scorpion, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?” - Lk 11, 9-12;
“In the house of Hipparchus there was a room carefully prepared. In this secret closet, upon the eastern wall, he had made an image of the cross, before which, with his face turned to the east, he adored the Lord Jesus Christ seven times a day…” - Hipparchus and Philotheus, Cf. Assemani.
On the subject of how to pray, the answer is easy; in the same way they used to pray when man was in closer contact with the Divine Plan. We have direct testimony of this since the times of the primitive Christian Church and the Judaism that preceded it; the latter took a lot from the High esoterical meaning that the Guides of Israel put into it. Origen, whose character rises above the others, shows how Christians pray on their knees or standing turned towards east, facing the Cross or its representation. We find the same postures in the old Yoga (asana), besides all the Mystic Schools and Schools of Prayer.
“Since the attitudes of the human body are countless, it must be preferred the posture where we stretch our hands and raise our eyes to Heaven, to express with our body the image of our Soul’s disposition during the prayer. Using an allegory, we must stretch the Soul with the hands and elevate towards God with our spirit, before than with our eyes. Before elevating we must free the spirit from the earth and stay in front of God, giving every resentment up, if we want him to forgive our mistakes and sins…”- Origen, De Oratione, 31
We find this posture in the old Pythagorean and Christian frescos, which show the “orantes” with their arms stretched forward, their hands open in the shape of a cup and their eyes raised to the sky. The prayer on one’s knees is called for every time the praying person humbles himself in front of God because of his faults. If this position is used in simple prayers and dialogues with Deities, the Ancient Authors indicate Prostration. In the Secret Instructions for the Rosicrucian and in the liturgy of the High Degrees of the Order, we can see the Elected Cohen in penitential orations in the act of prostrating. The praying person faces the ground, his legs are joined and stretched without tension; in the first position he will keep his arms stretched horizontally and the palms of his hands resting on the ground, his forehead leans on the floor and his eyes are closed.
This position aligns the mind of man with the idea of the “Sacrifice” of his Soul, “Crucified in the Matter” for two purposes: his own Spiritual Progress in order to Serve in love and for the Glory of God. This position allows a better approach to the contact with the Cosmic Mystic Ideal, the Holy Spirit. Keeping the previous position and his respiration focused in the center of his torso, together with a powerful visualization of all these operations, the man will place his arms under his forehead, with his wrists crossed and overlapping and his hands in a fist. His eyes will always be closed to support a strong concentration.
This last “occult” position, reminds us of the skull in Black Magic, which leans on two crossed tibias (it symbolizes the opposite, death and perdition); in our Ritual, though, the skull belongs to a living man, as well as the bones, symbolizing the way of life and salvation in the search of Light and in opposition with Darkness.
We have a particular position for the arms also for the prayer on our knees or standing. This time the forearms are crossed on our chest, the hands are flat with joined fingers leaning near the shoulders, generating an energetic movement where the wrists overlap on the Cardiac Center. The right palm on the left side of the body and the left palm on the right side form and close an “eight-shaped” ring of energy, which will flow in man until he keeps it.
This position is known in the Rosicrucian school as the “position of the Good Shepherd”. In actual fact, although it is used “also” by Rosicrucian, we find proofs of its existence since the beginning and among all peoples. This is also demonstrated by the position of Pharaohs on their throne.
With regards to prayers on our knees or standing I would also like to remind you of another position for the arms, somehow linked with the previous one. The man keeps his hands joined by the palms with stretched and joined fingers, with the phalanges grazing his lips. Also in this instance the occult reason for this position is to activate an “energetic” motion, although more gentle than the previous one, with the triangle formed between elbows and phalanges; this shape produces a sonorous high note in the Psychic Space, it increases and amplifies the act of Praying in several levels.
These are the Main Positions in the Mystical Prayer and its occult meanings. Other positions are used in Liturgies and Rituals, sometimes combined between them and combined with Sounds, Words and Gestures or particular moves. In order not to wander from this very specific subject, though, I would like to point out to the Brother researcher reading my writing, that the purpose of Liturgy in the Ritual is to reach the highest possible Power in the synergetic action and in synchrony with all the levels of Energetic Expression; prayer, as evocation-invocation, involves the physical, ethereal, psychic and spiritual Planes, except for the astral one. On a Spiritual level, through magnetic assonance, it causes an energetic precipitation called Vortex in the psychic and ethereal Planes, with obvious and visible effects on the physical plane of the Initiate and around him. This is the Liturgical Magic, or otherwise known as White Magic and Ceremonial Magic. The Ritual Operations obtain the desired effect only on condition that an “Access Bridge” is open, made in the Body of the Holy Spirit, which produces the link with the Spiritual Plane through all the Subordinate planes. When the link, which is in the first stage occasional and incontrollable, becomes consistent in the possibility of recall or closure, we can find the Effect known as “Transfiguration” both in the concrete mental Forma and in the physical Form. What we have said is recognized as a Mystic Way both in the West and in the East and it demonstrates the Way of the vertical arm of the CROSS. Those who want to operate in the most ritual way will wear, only during their Spiritual work, a white linen cloth, a string on their waist and sandals.
The Time of the Work
Israel left Egypt (symbol of its world of Matter) during Easter, with the new moon in the sign of Aries; likewise the Work starts at the same time of the year, when the visible crescent of the moon is on the first Sunday of the cycle. In order to break the rhythm and divide them, there is a day of pause between each novena, which corresponds in real time to a Decan of Ancient Astrology. The Ritual course of the Sun unwinds on a 360 fold Zodiac, which includes 36 Decans to which correspond 36 novenas. 9 novenas correspond to each of the four seasons, therefore 36. Finally 3 novenas for each month of the year; since there are 12 months, we have 36 again (12 and 9). Aries-Taurus-Gemini; Cancer-Leo-Virgo; Libra-Scorpio-Sagittarius; Capricornus-Aquarius-Pisces. During the ritual unwinding of the 12 months of the year we can work on the development of the 9 Virtues: 4 Cardinal, 3 Theological and 2 Sublime.
Another possibility is to consecrate a whole first year to the four Cardinal Virtues. This involves 9 novenas during the year. In the following year we will try and accomplish or develop the 3 Theological Virtues. Each of them will be “energized” by 12 novenas. Finally, in the third and last year of the cycle, we will work on the 2 Sublime Virtues, gaining an activation of 18 times for each of them. We will have to pay particular attention to the Operations carried out during the period from the 28th November to the 3rd December of each year. This work is presented in an exoteric way, therefore we don’t give the total keys of the relationships between certain Forces symbolically linked to Alchemy and certain Spiritual Entities linked to the keys of Gnosis, because if we abandoned the domain of the Inner Way we would enter the Way of Initiatory Liturgy and Theurgy.
Note: The tradition tells us that the Essenes left to the Greeks the texts of the Psalms in a confused manner on purpose; if we had the right alignment we would have an efficient Liturgy in its effects. To explain this concept, let’s think about the alignment of the words in this novena:
First novena Psalms 130, all the verses;
Second novena Psalms 143 all the verses;
Third novena Psalms 51 all the verses;
Fourth novena Psalms 102 all the verses;
Fifth novena Psalms 6 all the verses;
Sixth novena Psalms 38 all the verses;
Seventh novena Psalms 32 all the verses;
The beginning of this novena, like others, must be, according to the Rituals, during the day of the “black moon”, with a fasting and many Ritual lavers (the non initiated Brother could replace them with showers) with the purpose of expelling negativity. At 03.30 of the second day of black moon we prepare for the ritual work, reciting 7 Psalms 7 times a day for 7 days, in a purpose-established sequence, such as the one mentioned above. The sequences of novenas must be finished within midnight each day.
For western mystics the Psalms correspond to the Mantras of the eastern mystics.
From “De Alchimia”, by the Bishop Albertus Magnus, A.D. 1193/1280:
“The Alchemist must be quiet and discreet, he must not reveal to anyone the result of his work. He has to be a recluse and live away from men. Two or three rooms in his house will be exclusively dedicated to his work. He will choose the right time for his work, namely he will wait for the favor of celestial constellations. He will be patient and persevering. He will practice, according to the rules, trituration, sublimation, fixation, calcinations, solution, distillation and coagulation. He will only use glass or glazed vessels. He must have the sufficient means to face the necessary expenses. Finally, he will have to avoid familiarity with princes and masters.”
Alchemy is therefore the art of “transformation” of metals; the Spiritual one is involved in the “transmutation” of the subtle elements into potable Gold, the Gold of the Wise, which gives immortality. The mystic meaning of the symbolic language is quite clear. It would be a mistake for the scholar to confuse the meanings of “alchemy” and “chemistry”, although the latter is only a casual ramification of the former. In actual fact the whole Work of the alchemist tends to the Reintegration of the Matter in the original Root, through the Transmutation of the physical elements first and the subtle ones after, by reaching the Status of Spiritual Ùnion (III Aspect) and the Volatilization of the lower self in a new Fixation in the world of the Universal Spirit. It is also said that the result of the operation can’t be reached without the help of Entities of a Higher Order. To this purpose Silesius says: “…lead turns into gold and through god I turned from God into God. The heart turns into the finest gold.”
The Work represents human evolution from a stage where matter rules into a spiritual status; therefore to turn metal into gold means to turn man into pure Spirit. We assume that the alchemist knows the matter and the energy that forms it, in the transformation of the elements that make it through the action of the energies that permeate it; therefore he recognizes its identity as a “living thing”. In the stages addressed to the “heavy” elements of man we can observe a real work of occult psychology in determined and conscious actions and attitudes, in the area of Causes and Principles, at first, and then a kind of “osmosis” with the Archetypes, recognized as seeds for everything.
In conclusion, Alchemy is the art of transmuting metals which, like elements of the mineral Kingdom, Man adds in himself together with the following three. Chemistry refers to Form as a physiologic entity of the matters, without ever reaching its unique root. The Alchemic Art referred to the transformation of the forms through the manipulation of the physical energy that creates all the matters from a unique root, known in the Initiatory Tradition to be immersed in the Great Mother, where it draws its life from.
Spiritual Alchemy referred to the transmutation of the subtle Forms (Ethereal, Astral, lower Mental bodies), to the manipulation of the energy of the Thought through the elevating drive of the Abstract-Mysticism.
The Theurgic Ritual, finally, is the elevation, through a Geometrical Structure of Thought external to man, of the Emotiveness of the Abstract-Mysticism, up to transcending its identity and making it something different and better, in the fusion of the absorption on the energy levels with high vibratory power (Sound, Light, Heat) the under-plane, or the atomic plane.
The rational mind as well will understand the three-fold aspect of the factorization occurred in the research; through the involution of an infinite reality in a finite mind, which necessarily creates a multiple interpretation of a unique reality, the rational mind will re-compose in itself, through a creative and intellectual work, this only and unique concept. At this point he will reach Initiation.