LESSON 3 — WILLPOWER
Apprenticeship: Merlyn’s School of Magick & Wizardry — First appearing in “New Babylon Rising” (Issue #3, March 2012) — this ‘apprenticeship lesson’ is part of a progressive curriculum adaptation series drawn from the work of ‘Merlyn Stone‘ and the “Arcanum” notebooks.
LESSON 3 – BREATH & WILL
Rhythmic breathing is a prerequisite for most magickal work as part of the initial grounding process (not always indicated in an advanced ritual text). This simply becomes second nature to experienced practitioners. Proper breathing is not only important for your physical well-being, it also affects your ability to meditate, relax or energize your body (and aura).
During deliberate breathing periods, oxygen should be inhaled via the nose and exhaled through the mouth. Breathing solely in and out of the mouth is actually unhealthy because the air is not slowed and warmed through the sinuses. Any mystical work involving energy (which is practically all of it) is enhanced through proper breathing – which distributes energy through the body. When you breathe in you can feel the energy flowing into your pores and flowing through the body.
QUAD-BREATHING Rhythmic breathing skills come from learning to gauge your breath. As you “count” specific intervals, your breath should be steady and maximized. Completely fill and empty your lungs, holding in between. This can be uncomfortable at first, but eventually it should yield a sensation of mild euphoria (as its amazing what proper breathing can do). One popular method we call “quad-breathing,” counting four seconds or heartbeats for each part of the cycle: breathing in (counting to four), holding (counting to four), exhaling (counting. . .) and holding.
By adding visualization imagery, you can project a conceptualized idea (or polarized energy) in the area around you and then interact with it (e.g. breathing it in or exhaling it into an environment). It is imperative for a sorcerer to maintain a true sense of self (in self-honesty). The sorcerer must always be in control of the body and mind – must always have control over the actions and thoughts that ensue from said body and mind. This is called true “willpower” or “self-direction.” Practice at this may require gaining a more awkward routine – pushing your-self to behave in a way you might not normally do. That is to say: don’t allow clocks, schedules and impulsive “desires” to rule your life. When hungry, tired or the like, wait a little while longer. See if you can manipulate these sensations or trans-form them into something else. This is not to say to deprive yourself, but learn to do more than “react.” Learn to actually “act”. This type of training increases one’s control over the body – after all, how can you transcend the physical body if you are bound by it?
A technique referred to as “pore breathing is an advanced breathing method used in energy work or high magick, especially relating to the rays of light. In this form of deliberate breathing, you are to feel yourself inhaling through all the pores of your body. As your breathe in, you absorb an elemental energy or color (ray) from every surrounding direction, pulling it through your auric shield. When you exhale, release all the impurities of the body out of your pores as well. This process is called “energetic transfusion.” When raising energy you are drawing in external energies and adding your own vibration (via intentions) before releasing the energy into the Universe.