Illuminations: The Healing of the Soul

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9780738701868: Illuminations: The Healing of the Soul
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Heal your spirit with the wisdom and magic of the Qabalah. For anyone who has ever experienced feelings of hopelessness and spiritual desolation, Illuminations offers a path to the restoration of faith. Renowned author and mystic Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki shares a mystical healing process she discovered during her own dark night of the soul. Hers is a unique system of performing magic and meditations with some of the most potent sacred symbols ever created-the twenty-two letters of the ancient Hebrew alphabet, the Aleph-Beth.

Primal, powerful, and highly spiritual, each letter of the Aleph-Beth is the living energy pattern of a Being of grace and power. Attuning to their respective energies through meditation, prayer, and ritual helps alleviate spiritual suffering and achieve breakthroughs in self-awareness. Straightforward and in-depth instruction for exploring the healing powers of each of the twenty-two letters is given, including poetry; a prayer; a detailed summary of the letter; meditations; pathworking; a psalm of praise, petition, or thanksgiving; and a ritual.

You can draw upon the strength, wisdom, and creative power of an infinitely compassionate source when you heal your spirit with the wisdom and magic of Qabalah.

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About the Author:

Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki is one of the most respected and experienced esoteric practitioners currently at work in the British Isles.  Dolores was born in Channel Island of Jersey off the coast of France. She was trained in the Fraternity of the Inner Light and worked as a Cosmic Mediator with Walter Ernest, the Grand Maistre of British Occultism. Dolores is a third degree adept and Qabbalist.

She not only teaches the Craft but also is the current director of the Servants of the Light, a Hermetic order descended from Dion Fortune's Society of the Inner Light. She travels extensively, teaching a wide range of occult subjects to pupils in both the U.K. and United States. Ashcroft-Nowicki lives in Channel Island of Jersey with her Husband.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

ALEPH
Thou art the first, the servant of God,
the ever-becoming One.
Out of the darkness you came
into the pale light of a primal dawn,
bringing the gift of yourself.
Thou art the breath of each new day
that marks the onward march of time,
a new beginning offered without flaw
that we may serve the Most High.
Thou art strong like the ox,
for the earth sustaineth thee.
Thou are the foremost, the leader.
Let me know thy strength, holy Aleph.
Let it become like a tree, rooted within me.
Make me strong,
that I may endure the tests of life with fortitude.
At the Aleph of my birth you were there.
Be thou present at the Tau of my ending.
a

Image: Ox
Symbol:
a
Path on the Tree of Life: 11
Numerical Value: 1
Prayer
The prayer asks for the kind of strength personified by the image of the ox. The virility of the animal and its size and protective instincts toward its progeny make it an ideal father or protector symbol. This fits in with the word abba, meaning "father." It begins and ends with the letter A and reads the same both forward and backward. The biblical name Barabbas means "Son of the Father." This information can lead you into some deep thoughts and offer new interpretations of the old controversy that a volunteer took the place of Jesus on the cross and that, under the name of Barabbas, he was released and went into hiding; it may also come up during your meditations on this first letter. The prayer speaks of the first dawn (Creation) and the power of the Aleph as the indrawn breath of the One just before the actual vocalizing of the first creative sound. In one sense, every dawn is a first, for every dawn sees a new life born somewhere, and also a death leading as it does toward a new, unknown experience.No two days since Creation began have ever been the same, nor will they ever be the same; each is unique and is held in the mind of God forever. Aleph to Tau, say the Jews, meaning first to last, like the gentile saying Alpha and Omega or A to Z.
The prayer when spoken aloud creates in the speaker the vibrations of this primalletter, summoning the strength and the will to carry on against the odds. It speaks of a new beginning offered without flaw, for often in our darkest times we long for a chance to begin again and erase previous mistakes. When speaking the prayer, stand in the position of the Aleph with your back straight, arms slightly extended from the sides, one hand facing up and the other down. The earth from which we come and to which we return is one of the four great elements, and is under the regency of Uriel, an archangel deeply committed to the welfare of humanity as a whole. Visualize Uriel standing behind the Aleph in the same attitude and facing you. This is the position in which a dervish dances; as he whirls around, he becomes aware of his inner divine self as the center of a personal universe. One hand, facing up, directs the power of the Godhead to the heart center; the other, facing down, guides it onward to the earth. The prayer seeks the strength of the Aleph, describing the letter as the servant of God, and asks for that
strength to be deeply rooted so the tests of the dark night of the soul may be
endured. The final lines are poignant for, as the first created independent being, Aleph is present at each birth, as the final letter Tau is with us at death.
The Letter
Aleph is composed of a diagonal Vav from either side of which projects a Yod. One points upward, the other down, signifying that what is above can also be found below. In this way, Aleph is seen as a link between the Creator and its creation and as a symbolic Jacob's ladder. The value of a Yod is ten, making the two of them add up to twenty, plus six for the value of Vav equals twenty-six. This is the same value as the Tetragrammaton, and that again links the Aleph with the Creator. This shape can also be seen as the classic attitude of a religious figure shown by artists in religious
paintings―across all denominations we see the same structure, a straight or
diagonal line with two extensions in many cruciforms―while the same positioning of hands is found in religious pictures and icons of the medieval and Byzantine periods. The basic shape and form of the Aleph is seen in the symbols of both gods and saints all through the Mysteries.
Once you know what to look for, you can trace the power and meaning of the letter Aleph all through classical art. Most artists of the past were familiar with the symbols of the Mysteries and, of course, Hebrew was a language much used in those times, along with Greek and Latin. When the form of this symbol is understood, you can look for what the artist is trying to express and interpret it in your own way, according to what is obtained in meditation. The symbol always hints that something in the picture has a double meaning, one pertaining to the everyday world and one to the spiritual world. It certainly makes one look at art in a different way. Take any of these symbols or pictures and use them as a thrust block for your meditation on the letter. By using association chains, your mind will be led from one realization to another. You will find your-self watching as people talk; you'll recognize the Aleph in their stance: hands out, one up and one down, the body between and the head slightly inclined. This body language is saying that though they are telling you one thing, there is a hidden meaning underneath. The power of the letters leaps out at you from all directions. If they are indeed beings sprung from the primal vibration of the creative Word, then they must contain within themselves the knowledge and understanding of all that is to come.

They have much to communicate to us, if we ask. That alone is worth the effort endured to grasp it. They are the sum total of knowledge, because they came into existence already holding all the knowledge that would be in the future. In fact, one might argue that they created themselves. What came first, the letters or the Word?

The Aleph in Hermetic terms could be said to show the three pillars of the Tree of Life. The Vav becomes the Middle Pillar of harmony that combines the influences of the other two. The upward-looking Yod patterns the Silver Pillar of male potency and force, while the downward-facing Yod is the manifesting power of the Black Pillar. The two Yods by themselves exemplify the "as above, so below" teachingin their reflection of each other.
The shape of the Aleph shows itself to be a square, prophesying the four mainelements to come. What does this tell us about the fourfold power of the Aleph?

The first power is that of balance; the second, strength; the third is endurance; and finally integrity. The ox, the magical image of Aleph, stands square with four feet planted firmly in the earth. Its size and strength warn the unwary to take care. The descending Yod (the Black Pillar of the Temple) speaks of fertility, both physically and in all acts of creativity; creation of any kind needs strength and endurance.

The ascending Yod (the White Pillar of the Temple) aspires to spiritual heights; the Vav holding them together is the Word. When meditating on this letter, one is tempted to keep looking at and concentrating on the whole of it.
When consecrating an altar, each corner is anointed with oil. The symbol of
the Aleph is inscribed with oil at its center, so the First Divine Unity as the Echud becomes the foundation of your temple.

Looking at the Tarot trump of the Fool, you will see the same stance. Here the figure steps into a new landscape. One hand holds the wand of power which, because he is a Fool at this stage, is used to carry the bag of memories. The other hand greets the life form that has preceded him.
The Godform of Osiris shows a similar stance, with the arms crossed at right
angles. Here we have the middle "spine" or Vav but the extended arms holding the crook and the flail are bent at the elbow with the symbols either crossed or held upright. Nevertheless, the meaning is the same: a central stabilizing power balanced by its two buttresses of force and form, justice and mercy, power descending and power rising. The Calvary cross featuring the crucified Christ shows the balanced power of the physical sacrifice descending into the manifested plane, but both arms (Yods) are raised up as the spirit departs for its natural home.

Do not be surprised to find images that at first glance have no connection.
Look deeper and you will find it there. I was plagued by meditational images of orchestral conductors, pianists, and ballet dancers for a whole week before I understood the connection between the Vav (body strength) of the conductor, the pianist, and the ballet dancer. The form and force are needed to keep control of an orchestra, in the hands (the Yods) of the pianist, and in the extended arms and legs of the dancer to provide balance. It comes down to hands equaling strength and will, and the connecting nail equaling body and spine.

Meditations
Try to find time twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening before going to bed. The longest one should be in the morning when you are refreshed after sleep, and also because the late-night meditation will have sifted through your subconscious during sleep and come up with new ideas.
Aim for fifteen minutes in the morning and ten at night. It's even better if each session can be extended by another five minutes. There are some who find it impossible to sit still for twenty minutes, in which case do not even try.

Take an early morning walk instead. The Buddhists practice a walking meditation and so can you. Choose an area where you can walk safely without having to avoid traffic or cross busy intersections. Beaches, parks, or open spaces of any kind are ideal. If you jog or run in the early morning, do it then; you can even meditate while swimming. If all else fails, try contemplation―sit and think about it.

First Meditation
Try both kinds of meditation techniques.

Active: 1) Look for and observe the shape of the Aleph in the world around
you. 2) When you find such a shape, create a story around it and interact with it in your imagination. 3) Enter the Tarot trump of the Fool and be with him as he begins his journey through the Tree.
Passive: 1) Visualize the Aleph as human size. Watch as it changes color and try to understand what it may mean when filled by a particular color.
2) Be the Aleph.Integrate with it and the being within it.

Second Meditation
Take this sentence as your first theme: "I will set my hand to the plough of experience and sow the seeds of knowledge."
Third Meditation
The ox pulling the plough equals strength and endurance. The plough equals the effort. Explore the physical and spiritual meanings of these images.
Pathworking
Path 11 leads from Kether, the point of manifestation, to the first sephira,
Chokmah, and is called the Path of the Fool. This is not a derogatory term; its meaning is of someone new and untried coming into the Mysteries. The psalm following the pathworking speaks of the king entering his kingdom, and that is what the Fool is doing. He will lay claim to the world of manifestation. He is a human Aleph, a symbolic Everyman treading the path of physical life. It is an adventure fraught with danger, but the Fool has innocence as a protection. He carries a bag of memories and a white rose as a symbol of hope.

Sit quietly and breathe slowly and deeply for a few minutes. With each breath, allow yourself to sink more deeply into your inner space. Consciously withdraw further and further from the physical world until you can feel the silence within wrapping around you in a warm, soft, safe nest.You know you are no longer in your own world but outside of time and space. All about you there is a feeling of anticipation and a little apprehension. You can see nothing, yet you know something is about to happen. Far away you see a small red glow; it grows bigger and bigger and blossoms into a blaze of color and light that races across space toward you. You are transfixed.
You are watching the first moments of Creation. Racing behind the light
comes the sound. It is like no sound you have ever heard, full of majesty and
power; it thunders in your inner ear. It is a voice so mighty, so strong, so powerful, and yet so gentle that you want to weep. (For an emotional and musical comparison, listen to Edward Elgar's "Nimrod" from Enigma Variations.) The light and the sound strike you, sweeping you up, breaking you into a million pieces, then putting you back together again. You are a part of both the light and the sound and something more. The vibrations slow down and break up into smaller pieces, each one of the same substance but subtly different in color, shape, and sound. You see them taking shape, forming and reforming, refining themselves and becoming attuned to their prime purpose: communication.

As things become clearer, the rest of the light and sound vibrations carry on
and break up into other forms and shapes. Some are so large you cannot take in the size or make sense of them, others are minute, and all are from the One Source, including you.

You turn back to the shapes you first contacted. They have now divided into
twenty-two forms of many colors and shades of colors. Each makes a specific sound as it whirls and dances and vibrates to the ongoing music of the first Word.One form emerges from the group and draws closer to you. When it was further away it looked your own size; close up it is unbelievably huge. You feel threatened by this and shrink away. It senses your agitation and begins to shrink until it is still large, but comfortably so. The form waits patiently until you feel better, then it makes a sound. You try to find a way to describe that sound to yourself; the nearest you can say is that it is like a muted silver trumpet, low, vibrant, yet sweet and clear. It lifts the spirit and fires the heart within. The sound comes again. It is speaking to you. It comes closer and waits until you are comfortable with its presence. You can see that it is of a rich glowing red, the red of wine, and along the edge of its shape it glistens with gold. It is the Aleph.

You reach out and touch it. It feels like the skin of a young child. It vibrates
with pleasure at your touch and the sound comes again but this time you can
understand it. It is touch that is the key. By touching it, you attune yourself to its rate of vibration. Now there is sight, sound, and touch; then you become aware of scent and taste, the smell of earth under a hot sun, a ploughed field on a sunny spring day, and the salty taste of sweat in your mouth. All your senses combine intoone super sense and you hear the Aleph's words in your mind:
"You are Life. Welcome, be happy, be strong, endure, and become what you
have always been, the inheritor of the Creator's love."
You answer, "Welcome to the world of manifestation, Aleph. With your help, I will become strong, I will endure, and I will be happy. One day I will return to your world. Until then, I ask that you be my companion in my exile from the Creator. With your help I will speak with others of your kind and we will learn together."

Aleph speaks again. "It is for that work that I was created, Life. I will stay with you though you will not always heed my part of the primal Word, or even hear it. But you will learn, and I will learn with you, for I know the destiny that is planned for you."
The other letters come closer and you ...

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