Skrying

Skrying, meaning the projection of oneself into an inner vision, is actually very simple. It involves nothing more than sitting quietly in front of a Tarot card (or other stimulus), closing one's eyes and stepping into that card in imagination. The essential principle is that we create "day dreams," allowing our minds to flow within the given structure of a Tarot card. Soon most students discover that what they experience could not possibly be of their own making. At very least, most are astonished by the vitality and spontaneity of the images which the Tarot cards evoke.

If we make no attempt to directly encounter these images and energies, the whole system of Qabalah and Tarot is utterly useless. It is, as Lewis Carroll's Alice said, "only a pack of cards." Qabalah, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc., all reduce to trivia if not applied. This means self-exploration in meditative exercises with the cards, or whatever system we may choose. There is no other way.

A great many people are apprehensive about such exercises. They fear the unknown. But work with the Tarot is quite safe for the well balanced personality. The truth is that meditative exercises are a great deal of work, and may quickly become boring! There is little for most to fear, because we have all sorts of protective mechanisms built into our systems. On the other hand, the person who approaches these materials with a desire to escape from an unpleasant earthly environment runs the risk of disassociation. This means that the fantasy life intrudes on the normal waking consciousness, and it becomes difficult to separate one from the other. It is an illusive feeling of "floating," of being unable to relate to solid things ordinary to our sensory condition. But, again, we are filled with self-protective mechanisms. The person for whom such exercises are not right will quickly give them up, either because they prove dull, or because they prove uncomfortable. Thus, the student should boldly attempt skrying; there is everything to gain. Our own Higher Selves will protect us more than we understand. This is the principle of THE HANGED MAN, that we are not the pursuer, but the pursued. We are also not the protector, but the protected, and a great deal of what we do must be predicated on this article of faith.

The following books are highly recommended for those who wish to understand the skrying process:

The Golden Dawn by Israel Regardie. Attention should be devoted to the Lesser Banishing Ritual291 and to the sections on Tattva and skrying.

The Art and Meaning of Magic by Israel Regardie. This is a collection of essays by Regardie which is required reading for the serious student of the Hermetic Qabalah.

The Inner Guide Meditation by Edward C. Steinbrecher. This book applies Jung's insights to Path-working. It is an extremely valuable work, though somewhat marred by the author's ego-centricity.

Astral Projection, Magic and Alchemy, edited by Frances King. This is a collection of important Golden Dawn essays first published in 1971. King's introduction is, as is typical of his work, authoritative and informative.

The Illustrated Key To The Tarot

The Illustrated Key To The Tarot

The pathology of the poet says that the undevout astronomer is mad the pathology of the very plain man says that the genius is mad and between these extremes, which stand for ten thousand analogous excesses, the sovereign reason takes the part of a moderator and does what it can. I do not think that there is a pathology of the occult dedications, but about their extravagances no one can question, and it is not less difficult than thankless to act as a moderator regarding them.

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