Nine Purifying Breaths: Physical Forms

2016/04/09

I mentioned in my last post why I was doing the Nine Purifying Breaths, but I didn’t make it too clear on the other reasons people should practice it. As much as I hate the panacea tone behind it, it really is one of those exercises that is pretty much good for all occasions. In general though it is great for clearing out the mind before another practice that requires focus and clarity, like meditation or skrying. It is also good before doing a lot of energy work, as it gets the channels cleaned out and primed. If your mind or energy seems to be out of balance, and you’re not sure why it can help bring your system either back into balance, or redistribute the energy so it will balance itself out soon enough. I also recommend it as a daily or weekly practice (despite the fact I let it drop recently) as a way of keeping things moving and in shape, mental and energetic preventative maintenance. Also as I get into more complicated forms of the practice you can see more specific uses.

In talking about the physical side of this practice there are a few assumptions readers will have to work with. First there are energy channels in the body, secondly the carry different types of energy, one of those types of energy is the type you’re breathing in, it’s connected more to the breath than anything, and these subtle energetic channels can be affected by physical posture and pressure, especially the ones connected to the breath energy.

“All lamas have their own rituals” as discussed last time, so the descriptions of the physical actions that go along with this practice are varied, though many of them share the same logic or symbolic purpose, just expressed different. Before I discuss the version I favour there is a variant I want to share.

Previously I mentioned physically blocking the nostril to direct the breath and energy into the appropriate channel. I have read instead of lifting the corresponding arm up. So for instance if you’re drawing energy/breath into the right channel, instead of blocking left nostril, you would reach your right arm out to the side at the height of your shoulders. This raised right arm opens the right channel, makes it dominant. It doesn’t prevent energy/breath from entering the left channel, but it makes more enter the right. For exhaling though you would still block the nostril to force the energy out the other channel, but if that isn’t an option you can raise the opposite arm to open the corresponding channel. I mention this alternative form, because while I don’t prefer it or find it as effective, if you do this practice regularly there are times when inhaling through one nostril will be impossible/uncomfortable; cold, allergies, sinus infections, deviated septum flaring up. This way you can breathe normally if you can’t do single nostril breathing.

Every method I’ve read or been taught that mentions the position of the fingers in the hands says the same thing, thumb pressed against the ring finger. Oddly though I cannot find a reason why this is done, while the fingers represent different elements, those meanings shift from teaching to teaching, and no combination really seems that impressive.

For actually bringing up your hand to your nose I’ve learnt three methods (or two plus one). The first is the plus one, in that case, it’s simply just put your finger on your nose, don’t be fancy. The other two methods are fairly different in posture and purpose. I would practice the basic form without worrying about doing anything fancy with the hands. Once you understand the practice you can experiment.

The first method raise the arm out to the side on the same side as the channel you are going to clear right arm for right channel, left arm for left channel. Then bending the elbow and twisting the wrist bring the hand in to block the nostril on the same side of the body. As you bring your hand in you draw a loop in the air. Imagine you’re drawing this symbol þ in the air, but rotated so the straight line is on the top, you’re drawing a loop hanging from a line. As you make this spinning motion you’re gathering in a cloud of radiant light to inhale, pulling this cloud in front of your face. Then you simple move the finger to the other nostril to block it for the exhale.

The second method focuses more on the channels and physical practice. Starting with both your hands pressed against your legs as described last post, put your hands into fists (still holding the thumb against your ring finger). From here draw your fists up your body, roughly inline with the inside of your shoulders, between the side of your torso and your nipples. (I’m going to describe the procedure for clearing out the right channel, because it’s easier to explain one way, and reverse it. So this would be inhaling through the left nostril, exhaling through the right.) Once your fists are more or less level with your shoulders shoot your fists out to your left. Your left arm should be stretched out completely, your right arm will be bent across your chest, and you want to push your fist just on the inside of where your left armpit is. There is a muscle there, it’s the part that “frames” the shape of your armpit when you raise your arms up. Press your fist into this muscle. Bend your left elbow and block your right nostril, so you are reaching across the body. Breathe in as described previously, and then move your finger to block your left nostril and breathe out. This posture does two main energetic functions, first what you’re doing with your right fist by the armpit is pressing down on the channel connected to that arm and the breath, this prevents you from drawing the energy into the arm and forces all of the energy into your channel. Also because the right arm is held up during this movement, it’s physically opening that channel a bit more to make the expulsion more efficient.

Last post I recommended the seven point posture, this is for two reasons. First sitting up straight, without supporting your back forces the channels to be upright and open, leaning against a chair can put pressure on the channels or muscles that close it a bit. Obviously if you need to use a chair, do so, but if you can sit upright without one for a while that is the better choice. Secondly sitting cross-legged forms a loop in the bottom of your energy system. While some energy can flow out the base of your spine, or out from the soles of your feet, most of it will flow down one leg, and then get reabsorbed back into the other leg. It’s not about avoiding energy loss in the sense of you only have so much or anything, but more about keeping the internal pressure constant. If you’re trying to force energy out a channel through your nostril you don’t want any “leaking” out your feet because that will mean there is less force pushing out from your system.

I also described pressing your wrists against your legs for the last three breaths. You want to push on the “highest” part of your femur, which if you’re looking down at your crossed leg tends to be around a third of way in from the outer edge, the part of leg facing more behind you. Like pressing on the armpit, this is pushing down on the physical analog of the main energy channel connected to breath and your legs. This is again to help “seal” the pressure when you exhale through the crown of your head. The reason you bend over is a similar purpose, as you breathe out you’re bending over at the waist to close that channel behind the outflowing energy, so none of the gunk can sink back down. My one teacher described it like the way you fold or roll up a tube of toothpaste to force everything out. The channel reopens completely when you sit up.

The physicality of the practice also went a bit long, so next post I’ll begin complicating the energetic/spiritual practice.


Examining Orgonite

2015/08/03

Recently I was gifted with several pieces of orgonite from a friend of mine. I’ve been curious about orgonite and the assorted orgone tech for a while, but my experiences have been very slim with them.

To back track, if you’re wondering what orgone is, it is a term coined by Wilhelm Reich to more or less refer to a universal form of life energy. Reich was an early psychologist and student of Freud’s and he worked various ideas about energy and energy bodies into his models of psychology. His take on this universal life energy was more mechanistic than what most sorcererous folks are used to, it isn’t about will and belief, but a natural interplay of form and matter. He viewed it more in lines with electricity (in terms of how it operates) than some subtle energy controlled by people.

This led him and those following his ideas to theorize and create mechanical devices meant to manipulate orgone. He felt that organic material attracted orgone, while inorganic material repelled it, and by combining these materials in certain ways you could alter the flow of orgone. There are devices to shoot beams of focused orgone, or to reprogram it, and a variety of things. The simplest is a shooter, which is a hollow tube surrounded by alternating layers of organic and inorganic materials. Polyphanes has done some work with that side of the tech, which you can see here. He theorized that the attraction/repulsion worked somewhat like a maglev or rail gun, drawing in, repelling, attracting, repelling down the line.

Orgonite is one of the later pieces of orgone tech to enter the stage being invented by a couple in 2000. Their idea is that you don’t need the strict layers of organic/inorganic materials, but more a roughly 50/50 balance. Orgonite, rather than being ordered layers is a collection of mostly inorganic material suspended in an organic resin. Orgone is believed to have two main types, positive orgone (usually just called orgone) and dead/ly orgone. From an energy model you could see it as clear energy, and polluted energy. Deadly orgone is supposedly created by lots of things, but most commonly cited are things that disrupt orgone/energy as they understand it, so powerlines, power plants, radio towers, and the like.

Anyways orgonite supposedly gathers in the deadly orgone and transforms it back into positive orgone and releases it. Now since the 2000 creation of orgonite some people have expanded this idea. So rather than just making generic positive orgone, they would make specific frequencies of positive orgone, based upon what went into the orgonite. This is where it sounds like it crosses a bit back into the magickal realm. By using different metals and crystals as the inorganic compound in orgonite the energy released would be tuned to certain things. It might be more of a healing energy, a faster clearing energy, more resonant with the throat chakra, whatever.

So now I have three pieces of orgonite from my friend. Sadly this is a small sample size, but I’ll talk about what I noticed. First off I’ll admit outside of Reich’s armor theories, I don’t give him much credence, yeah, I believe in invisible life energies whirling around us, but his model of such doesn’t totally work for me. Then even looking into the orgon-tech the orgonite doesn’t seem to fit that theory. Reich’s orgone accumulating box was layers of material, shooters are layers of material, everything was about the alternating flow of organic/inorganic. Orgonite has both materials, but they are more haphazardly aligned, there isn’t layers, you have inorganic stuff floating loose in organic medium. It’s seems like mixing all the dough and filling ingredients for a pie in a bowl, rather than making dough, filling, and constructing a pie.

None the less, not buying his theories, and feeling orgonite doesn’t even match those, there is definitely something to the orgonite. I pick it up, and I can feel a buzzing coming from it. Even one of my woogity-accepting but not really perceptive friend was surprised at what he could feel from them.

IMG_20150804_204348The Dragon one has a sense of elevation, to use a standard model, it’s almost as if it is releasing energy that is more attuned to an astral level than a physical one. In fact while holding it it becomes easier to shift my awareness up out of the physical. When it’s “resting” is has a similar sense, but undirected. We all know places where the boundaries might be a touch thin, it feels like that, not majorly, but enough that if you knew what you were looking for, and how to use it, you’d see it.

IMG_20150804_204320The Triskelion feels the most like I’d expect orgonite to feel like. I can’t get a clear bead on if it is programmed a certain way, but what does come out of it seems like it’s been cleaned and stripped down, and is ready to go. I get the sense that it would be good to work with sensitive energy blockages. Sometimes you can tell a blockage is holding the channel open, and if you remove it it would collapse, or it’s holding back too much energy to safely release at once. I could see using this on the person to slowly over an hour or so breakdown and hopefully purify some of the blockage, but it would do it in a way a lot slower and gentler than a person could. Or more accurately, would. I would not want to spend hours slowly removing a blockage from someone, but having them hold/tie the orgonite to the area for that time, that’s not an issue.

IMG_20150804_204402Lastly is the Heart piece. This is my least favourite, and it’s not cause it’s a heart. There is something to this that by body disagrees with, everytime I keep it with me, I feel sick after a while, and I don’t mean a little off, I mean verging on violently ill. I get the sense it’s trying to cleanse me, but the trouble is I’m not the model it’s appropriate for. It’s a cleaner designed for PVC pipes, and I’m lead. It’s not that it’s bad, it’s just my body and energy don’t work in a way that is compatible with it. That’s not uncommon for me, there are several energy systems that my body does not like, even after working with Reiki for a decade, when I get Reiki offered to me it bothers my system. Despite not working well for me, I’m really glad I was sent this piece, because it was the first one to give me a clear reaction, it really makes me realize something is going on.

Something very odd I noticed about all of them though, is that I can’t meditate when in contact with them. I’ve taken each of them to temple with me, a few times, and decided as a way of passively exploring what they do, I’d meditate with them, and see what happens. Every time I’m meditating with them touching me, I can’t meditate for the life of me, it is as if my monkey mind was given a PCP-laced banana. I was almost completely unable to bring my attention where it should, and it would run off faster, more violently, and farther than it does under any other circumstance. I have no idea and no good theories on why, it is just an observation.

My last observation, is that I suspect orgonite doesn’t work, at least not as the theory posits it. I’ve tried following the way the energy moves in them, what happens, I’ve tried looking at the whole, and at parts, and from a mechanical perspective I can’t see how or why it works. If I step out of the orgone model though, it seems rather simple: orgonite is a talisman. I know a lot of orgone-followers prefer to look at their stuff as more scientific/mechanical than magick, but it’s a blurry line at times. Here is the thing though, orgonite contains a quartz crystal to direct the energy, then is surrounded by other stones and metals which change the energy “frequency.” This is not dissimilar from any for more crystal/metal magick, save the suspension in organic resin. Most of our traditions have us use this metal because it does this, this crystal cause it connects to that, and I think the orgonite is doing the same. When the orgonite is completed, it’s charged, in this case my friend’s husband gives it some reiki to get it going. Also when my friend makes them she is guided by her intuition on what metals and stones to use, and my cursory reading on the subject shows that’s fairly common. Also this sounds like it is more or less making a basic talisman.

So as much as I respect my friend, I feel I have to disagree with her premise in believing in orgonite. I feel she’s actually making a magickal talisman. It’s not so much about the ratios of the materials and the way they interact, but more about their sympathies, and how she connects them, and gets them going. I suspect that orgonite would function just as well if it used an inorganic medium instead of organic, but that’s just a practical ingredient, the nuts and bolts are the metals, gems, and energy involved in their creation.

Now, again I’ll say, there is definitely something too the pieces. They work, they have a noticeable charge, they’re doing things. I just disagree on the mechanics on /how/ they work. That being said I think the idea of using the orgonite method would be fascinating to tap in terms of talisman creation. I could suspend crystals, metals, and herbs in specific simple patterns and seal them in resin to later consecrate. It’s definitely something I’ll be thinking more about.

I can’t say for sure, and will experiment more, but that’s my current standing on orgonite.


Review: Hands of Light, by Barbara Ann Brennan

2014/07/31

handsolightHands of Light: A Guide to Healing Through the Human Energy Field – Barbara Ann Brenna
Bantam, 1988, 294pp., 0553345397

This is a rereading review. Hands of Light was probably one of my first energy work books I read way back, I was possibly still in high school then, which is scarily more than a decade away… For various reasons I’ve felt the need to go back and recover some old stuff, and this book was high on my list.

Hands of Light is probably one of the best books I’ve read on the energy body and energy healing, it definitely has its flaws, but overall it’s a great book.

Let’s look at the flaws first. First and foremost this book is very newage in its delivery, the author’s language jumps from culture to culture with little-to-no understanding of the basics, but using them as buzzwords. (The highest levels of your chakras exist in the Ketheric template, for instance) The book deals with channelling, spirit guides, white light, universe as happy-love, and things like that. The material is great, and even when she’s framing it as newage as possible there is a lot of good stuff in the book, you just have to be willing to filter out some of that language. The second problem is this text is very prescriptive. Red means this. A bulge here means that. Cancer will look like this. If you don’t know me, I have issues with prescriptive texts like that, people can and do perceive (not even see) things radically differently, and our energetic bodies, like our physical ones, are too complex to say X=Y with certainty, but it might be a good indicator. Must like the newage language, if you’re willing to reframe her descriptions as personal and a bit nebulous you’ll get more from it. Originally I thought she was more of an authority, so I tried diagnosing and evaluating people by her colours and symbols, sometimes they were right, sometimes they were wrong. Perceptions don’t map 100% across people. (Normally I wouldn’t comment about that in a book, but as I went through that way back I thought I’d bring it up.) I assume that is in part due to Brennan’s background, she has an M.S> in Atmospheric Physics and worked as a research scientist with NASA (these claims pan out), which may not be the most conducive to accepting a more flexible subtle reality.

So what are the good things about this book? It is detailed. It’s nearly three hundred pages (which are 8.5X11) so there is a lot in here. It covers the aura, how it interacts with the “Universal Energy Field,” therapy and energy healing, physical manifestations of psychological-energetic imbalances, the chakras, major chakra patterns, how they operate and interact, past life damage and healing, layers of reality and the way templates affect the bodies, various methods of perception, how to heal and a lot more. Brennan covers the basics all books on the subject hit, but does so more in depth, and covers a lot more.

The book also has a lot of exercises, and case studies for you to work with, these really help people who want to learn, and they’re practical and effective. The perspective and depth of Brennan’s work is what sets it apart. Even after all this time it’s the only book I’ve read that really handles the idea of multiple layers of the energy body in a way that’s rational and informative. Usually it’s glossed over or not mentioned, but her model is the one closest to my own, as well as the models used by several groups I’ve worked with.

With everything she covers this book really is probably the best resource or place to start, if you’re willing to be a bit more flexible, and divorce the newage language. I honestly think if you work through this book, follow the instructions, then you’ll have an amazing foundation for energetic healing.

While it is white light newage, no doubt, if you’re looking for a book on the energy body, and how to work with and heal it then this book is a great starting point and resource.


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