When we are mentally inspired our thoughts come rushing in like a gust of wind; often moving so quickly that we have to pause for a moment and breathe into the excitement of downpour or we miss some of the fine points. Our breath quickens and our heart races at the potential of what has been intellectualized and refined by mental process.
When we are emotionally inspired our feelings flow throughout our being often in a rhythm of ebb and flow similar to that of the ocean’s tides. We breathe into the momentum and allow ourselves to either languish in the beauty of these emotions being gently carried along or anxiously push the unsettling feelings quickly through flooding our sense of reason or logic.
When we are physically inspired, we run and dance; exercise and eat heartily enjoying every bite and physical action. We savor the manifest form we have been gifted and marvel at its capabilities and the complexity of its creation. We breathe deeply to renew and sustain our life and fill our lungs to capacity so we may exert more effort where needed or quiet the rapid breaths of over-exertion.
And, when we are Spiritually inspired we feel at one with the world around us. If this awareness is expanded even further, we breathe into our subtle bodies, each in turn connecting us and resonating with a deeper aspect of our being and the subtle planes. We offer the sigh of release and surrender to the offering up our service and devotion and breathe fully and intentionally into the Universe as co-creator and creation itself.
In all of these states of inspiration the key word is – Breath. We breathe automatically in our mundane lives. Requiring this exchange of air to survive. It is a seamless and transparent action that supports and moves in synchronicity with all of our physiological functions. Applying the same force and flow of breath as we move through ritual and magickal working in an intention-filled way provides the vehicle that carries the energetic sparks that serve to quicken and enliven towards manifest goal.
In-spiring magick is not simply the cerebral activity of having high regard for specific types of magickal practice. It is not simply how you feel and what the intent is for the work. It is not the actions and steps that are taken in the physical gesture of working magick and ritual. It is all of these things that are first primed and called into action when you take that initial inward breath before the exhale of your intention. This breath calls us to attention that something out of the ordinary is being undertaken and that all parts of my physiological and etheric make-up are required to engage and flow in accord with one another.
We are all familiar with the adage, “Energy follows awareness” and it is with this thought in mind that if we take a step further, breathing establishes the point of awareness that then attracts the energetic flow which is moved by the rhythm of breath. That awareness begins in taking note of how you are breathing. In meditative and contemplative work, breath is the start of the process of turning within. Taking notice of the rise and fall of the chest. The rhythm and pace of your breathing and bringing it into alignment with the space in which you are sitting and in accord with the flow of energy that surrounds you.
We often overlook the need to breathe as part of our magickal practice. We participate in ritual and are closed off to the most organic of energetic flow because we forget to apply the force of breath at the appropriate moments. Over the years have come to know the value and need for incorporating breath work into my spiritual practice. Learning to control the breath correlates with learning to control energy. One of the more basic exercises to use as a preparation tool for meditative or ritual working is the Four-Fold Breath*. The rhythm you are establishing in breathing this way creates a foundation upon which you can expand as needed for the working at hand.
Practical application begins with being consciously aware of breathing into your actions at all levels. The next time you are interacting with another, give pause and take a moment to breathe before answering the question asked. The next time you are sitting in a public space, give pause and take note of how you are breathing. Are you anxious? Are you feeling calm? And, then breathe into the energy of the space and enliven your own personal space with whatever positive intention of change or maintaining this energy that you wish.
These are some ways to be more attentive to the application of breath in your Spiritual and Magickal workings. To begin your meditation work, take note of your breathing and as you move through the various stages of consciousness breathe into each sending out your intention infused with life’s breath. If you are tasked with the casting and calling of the quarters in creating sacred space breathe into the scribing of the sacred circle. Infuse the energy you are using with the intention-filled breath of movement and upholding. As you stand before the quarters, take a deep breath in expanding and calling to attention all of your subtle bodies and as the words of opening pour forth send the will and force of that breath in request to those unseen to be present.
As you work in this way and become more aware of the impact of breath in all of your endeavors, the physical transparency of life sustaining breath and the integration of that same enlivened breath for magickal practice will become one in the same. After all, this is the goal we aspire towards and why we walk this Path. The goal to move harmoniously in the unified space of the mundane and the magickal – 24/7- 365 days a year. So, Just breathe!
Lesson Two Begins June 1st. Spend the remainder of this month reviewing your lessons, checking out some of the recommended reading and practicing your foundational work.
Resource: The Magickal Pen. Post 5.2013