Buddhism: Reflections on reciting Chakrasamvara mantra 50K Times as part of Ngöndro practice.

There are a couple of prefaces I feel like I should give as someone engaging in a Vajrayana practice. First, I am not a monk (surprise!). This means that I am not as well-focused as a Buddhist monk might be. Although I’ve been relatively good, I don’t always have time or mental space to engage in my practice as well as I should. Of course, this is related to being human!

Second, I am a Westerner who was not raised in a Buddhist tradition. I have practiced inconsistently, and only formally took refuge in a sangha this year—and from afar at that. Nonetheless, I have had good support and many good online resources. Yet I am also a bit of a “mad spiritualist” who has both taken up a Kagyu Buddhist practice on top of an Enochian practice.

Those nuances having been laid out, a bit of background about Ngöndro practice. It is considered a preliminary practice to the generation and completion phases of Vajrayana practices. The key to Ngöndro, I have found, is sustained propagation and emanation of love toward all sentient beings. Bodhicitta is considered the highest form of this love, and comes in relative and absolute forms. Essentially, on the one hand, one wishes for all sentient beings to realize Buddhahood (relative bodhicitta), and on the other hand, one also recognizes the inherent emptiness of all phenomena (absolute bodhicitta). Note that both forms are required for a wholistic view of bodhicitta. Without relative bodhicitta, one can easily lapse into nihilism. Without absolute bodhicitta, there is little hope of making progress: to some degree, things would just be as they are and the ability to actually realize Buddhahood would be limited due to some essential quality of fixity that could never be changed (this gets into the larger idea of all of reality having Buddha nature).

Incorporating bodhicitta into the Ngöndro path is vital. In practice this means I do not count progress towards reciting a mantra if I have not held bodhicitta towards all sentient beings while doing so. The practice I do is visualizing myself as the yidam Chakrasamvara in union with His dakini consort Vajravarahi as I recite his mantra.

The effects of this are what one would expect: working on the subtle body system and energetic changes. I’ll add that my path has surely not followed a “protocol,” but rather has mutated in interesting ways. Vajravarahi has joined with three other beings: Tara as well as the Enochian entities of the Daughter of Fortitude (or Babalon, if you prefer Crowley’s name), who is associated with the Aethyr of ZIP, and Galvah, identified with the “Mother in Heaven” by Aaron Leitch. At each of the four directions (and for each of the four faces/elements of Chakrasamvara) they unite with me in this visualization. I have also had a personal spirit consort who has arisen and taken her place at various directions but has settled within my torso (for now), enmeshing her heart with mine for further subtle body work.

It has been just under a year since I received the empowerment to begin practice and began doing so. I cannot pretend that things have gone entirely smoothly, and indeed during this past year it has been a rollercoaster across different dimensions of my life (for example, a close relative started treatment for cancer just before I took the empowerment). This, in turn, has made practice more difficult. Nonetheless, returning to the practice again and again has been helpful each time, and I intend to take less time than a year to finish the second half of the 100K mantra recitations, and then to move on to 100K prostrations.

Other effects of the Ngöndro practice are an easier time incorporating the sense of the clear light mind/dharmakaya, as well as not noticing any conflict between this practice and Enochian (if anything, they sort of complement each other well in my view, and the entities seem to understand each other and why, in my case, I use both). Beyond that, I don’t have a good conclusion, since nothing has been concluded, so I will simply sign off for now with the intent of giving more updates as they are relevant.

Gebofal, Day 24

Sunrise: Call to Aethyr of DEO (dee-oh). Call to King Babalel via Stenwick’s method.

The angels have me relax. I see a swirling. The angels have me recall the spiral within the pyramid which ultimately compressed into the symbol of the lotus-rose. The lotus-rose, they say, has its own type of magnetization, and to hold this very dear to the heart. I do so, and this creates the perception of the line to the “black hole” portal of the world of Adam Qadmon. The portal seems even bigger to me now.

I ask the governors and kings about this portal. “Look, you are making this leap,” they chuckle, “it’s not like you can help it.” I can feel the realm of Adam Qadmon pulling at my heart now, like it’s literally magnetized toward it. I feel this force pulling me towards it. “It’s not to be done right now,” the angels advise, “so continue to feel the force and honor it.”

The angels wish to show me this stellation which I recall from the previous Aethyr, and as it relates to Binah and to Chokmah. The angels explicitly lay it out for me: the stellation can be considered like unto the force of Chokmah. This force, in my case or view: I’ve always been fairly literal about Chokmah. The angels say, “Look, if you’re looking for Kaos, the deity, in it, the truth of the matter is that you are highly ordered. Kaos is not, at least in the way that you consider it. In terms of it trying to be this expression of this projective [formerly “masculine”] principle, note that this is different from the willful principle of Mars,” which the angels themselves separate out from Geburah. All of these things need to be distinguished from each other.

“But this projective principle, this cosmic principle,” they’re saying, as they redirect me to focus on this principle in spite of my heart being pulled toward the world of Adam Qadmon. The angels show me a point, which, by definition means that its existence is in distinction to all other points. It still demands its “day in court,” its “due,” as it were. That’s it, and all of it. That point demands its distinction among all other things, and all points in space does this, hence there’s this force of Kaos.

The angels now say, “Let’s look at how this relates to stellation. The force of a collection of points, or a system (such as an individual) itself: it orders itself and demands its ‘day in court,’ therefore a central point is somewhat able to organize all other points about it.” It’s able to create an organization about itself, the angels clarify, so that we don’t spend too much time about dominance and subservience, though there is a bit of that in this schema by necessity. But the entire system is agreeing to it, so it’s not horrific to consider.

Of course, Binah, throughout time, is very accepting of this situation, but is Sorrowful for the suffering which can occur which is a natural outgrowth of the loss of realization of one’s own Divinity. My heart feels pulled again towards the world of AQ, and the angels chuckle, and say, “OK, so consider this now, as one approaches that world: by definition, any individual point at the very least requires or causes all of these other points to become equidistant from itself [as the point reacquires spherical consciousness]. Instead of a monarch with the dukes, duchesses, and lower classes such as counts, the monarch in this case develops sphericity these classes (and indeed the center and area of the sphere become interchangeable), and equally so, because of the infinite light, because all light is infinite.

I ask how this relates to colors. The angels reply, “Various colors, various formations of the heart, that particular point of the heart. Consider the colors and the emotions of the heart. All of these are natural outgrowths, because the point or the system of points, though it requires its ‘day in court,’ nonetheless, if it is approaching this Kether point [sphericity of consciousness]–approaching itself, even (this is why the sun and Tiphareth are in the Middle Pillar)–as the heart approaches another being or situation, the heart itself in the fullness of its situation attempts to grok another being or situation or point. As it does so, it naturally has this reaction to this other being, for it sees flashes of this other being’s infinity. The same emotions that it sees, it begins to reflect in itself, and vice versa. It emits its own feeling and it becomes reflected back.

The angels say that I can remain magnetized to the world of Adam Qadmon, this is natural, especially as I approach the halfway point of his ritual. The angels say that the energy raised will be like unto Zeno’s paradoxes, but in my case the energy produced will double for every half (and half of the half, and half of the half of the half) of the ritual to remain(!!).

I express my gratitude, and the vision ends.

Noon: Similar procedure. Mild panic attack in the morning, clonazepam to treat.

I relax. I see different elements of geometry. As I do so, I hold onto the symbol of the lotus-rose, hold on to the geometry of the square pyramid/octahedron; I see the image of it extend backward fractally, and forward fractally, covering all of the different bases along a line, which is the line to approach the world of Adam Qadmon. I try very hard to stay in the moment, and again open up to the angels. They are holding this lotus-rose and bend it.

I decide to read the call to the Aethyr again, just to ensure a clear and unambiguous transmission. The angels say that this was necessary, because they had something bigger to show me, and energetically I wasn’t quite in the right spot (note: sometimes even an experienced practitioner will need to make the same call twice). I see and feel a twisting motion, as if you rotated your shoulders clockwise and then counterclockwise. I sense that this is doing something to my subtle body system.

I hold on to the lotus rose and see the angels again–it’s like they’re stroking the tops of the petals of the bloom, and this indicates that this vision is approaching towards the inner part of LIL, the inner sanctum of of the lotus-rose bloom. The angels show me that this twisting rose motion (and here I see a roller coaster ride): this is all of the points, they say, seeking their day in court, their day of reckoning and appropriate judgment, which in this metaphor means deciding what something is, and being judged in the sense that there’s understanding of what a point is and the uniqueness of that thing. Babalon can accept all over time, but the Wisdom is the inner Knowing of something that allows one to project out into their (unique) ways on account of knowing their own very nature, and knowing it fully. Also, this extends in a very extraordinary sense, to knowing it in relation to all other things.

It’s by this that we get principles which for the most part work, but there are always exceptions because, although whole knows any unique point perfectly, other points in the system do not. Hence, individual Chokmah laws break down. I see each of these individual points about the line, which due to other entities are really curves like on a rollercoaster track (i.e., about the many consciousnesses, spherical and cubical, which these lines navigate). There’s a sense of needing to twist, which allows a new configuration of all of the points of the path that one is in, but also a new configuration of the points of consciousness that individuals move to spherically integrate into one’s system.

Just looking at this unfold along this track, it’s like I wait for the vision to pop open; I see a featherlike object cross another one, and it’s like someone who has been holding these swiftly makes extending motions with their arms all is part of a Y formation. The configuration of all of the points which contain these two different feathers becomes reconfigured, and thereby allows for a better and more intelligent and heart-focused unfolding across all of the points involved. (Typing this up, I think this is about individuals contextualizing different laws from different spiritual systems and how well they feel they apply to their own lives).

In order for Space and Time to operate appropriately together, there thus needs to be this appropriate meeting.

I try to see what else may be here. I’m not seeing it right now. I feel a bit of a shift to my muladhara chakra (likely healing to my root chakra). Other than that, it’s like this is being integrated a little bit. I ask the angels whether they in their mercy may have anything else for me. They say, “Let’s leave this here for now; there is time enough to go through the remainder of this Aethyr and the remaining Aethyrs. Go ahead and rest up, Son of Man, Son of God, Son of Earth: we will speak with you more shortly.”

The vision ends.

Sunset: Similar procedure.

I hold on to the lotus-rose and now it seems that I’m riding a dragon; much like holding on to a large lotus-rose would, its scales cut me. I am bleeding.

I get off the dragon and alight upon a square, which is the base of the square pyramid, which I’m also seeing as part of the sphere as in previous visions. They’re showing me this pyramid rising up more steeply, and it’s part of the stellation. The angels are trying to relate the two things together: the pain of interacting with another being (geometrically, multiple systems of points causing degradation of these systems), but also the pain of being true to oneself: these two ideas are combined in this vision.

The blood relates to Spirit elementally; the angels are saying that this is a preview of looking ahead to Days 31-48, after the Aethyr of LIL, to the Watchtowers, as I get into elemental work. The first and second spoken Enochian calls or keys (the 2nd & 3rd, technically), which I prayed for guidance on: for the second spoken key relates to calling in of entities into this form of Spirit.

The angels explicitly say that it’s important to relate how Spirit and the elements relate to Chokmah and Binah. This is a little difficult for me to see on account of the geometry of the Aethyrs being quite enticing on their own. Nonetheless, the angels note that in making the distinction between two points, and all of which goes into causing two points to be distinguished in a variety of manners, the four elements map on to the Standard Model of Physics as follows:

Blood as a metaphor for spirit combines these things to a degree. It most closely resembles water, yet takes broken down fruits of the earth and distributes them via fiery like pumping action of the heart and also redistributes air. As water causes the parts of the nucleus to settle down into itself, it causes the points of the nucleus to be difficult to distinguish, weak force causes the points of the atom to be more readily distinguished, the force of electromagnetism causes the flourishing of manifest light in all its varieties, but also the grosser movements, and affects the paths of the points, and the unfolding thereof, and finally gravity causes all points to remain on this curved, yet otherwise even, playing field (note: I think this relates specifically to the surface of a planet).

I feel some energy come up from the seal of King Babalel: he’s trying to say that the planetary difference here is a distinction between Will as a chemical separation of Mars. The angels add that the astrological movement of the planets, fixed though they may be and nearly impossible to change, they themselves are arising out of this elemental mix. So although an emanative model of Kabbalah tends to have a one-way direction from the world to Atziluth to Briah to Yetzirah (which, as I took away from Modern Magick, can be thought of where the elements form before reaching the world of Assiah), there’s a co-arising of the planets out of the action of the elements, going up and down each of the worlds.

The vision ends.

Gebofal, Day 22

Sunrise: Call to Aethyr of ZIP, call to Bobogel, focus on lotus-rose.

I see a white sphere, identifying it as a bit abyssal. I concentrate on it and it seems to fly down. I see a toe, and a foot, and a leg, and in a flicker I see Her. She wears a black dress, and doffs it, and She holds me, just holds me like this. I hold Her back. And we hold each other for a bit: so much Divine love. I see a bit of a moth or a bee, and it’s lit up so much, and it alights upon this lotus rose, whose stem is where our torsos meet, and whose blossom is against our faces. She kisses me, and I kiss her back, and hold Her hands for a moment. We Unite in Love.

Afterward, I ask Her what name was known by in the Christian tradition, and She replies simply, “Magdalene.” She really was a divine being in that tradition, “but if you want to go back even further, Asherah.”

I continue to concentrate, and lie with Her for a bit. She puts her black dress back on, and She encourages me to dance. I take her to a dance hall; She wears a feathery headdress, which She identifies as Hopi. She begins a twirling dance, using a black crystal sphere as her prop, holding it evenly across her outstretched fingers. She twists Her fingers inside-out in an act of prestidigitation, and it’s replaced with a white sphere, which transforms into a transparent crystal ball. She brings it closer to me, and I can see a lot of possibilities within it, a lot of tiny stars (cf. The Book of the Law). It almost looks like the liminal space between the blue sky of the earth and the darkness of outer space.

I see some crablike things, like a multi-layered shell. It’s blue on the outside, and gets darker at deeper layers of the shell. It’s beautiful; they have arms and swim past me and then take me, arm in arm to guide me, into the ocean to see God-the-Whale. It’s like a whale shark in terms of its overall look, but as I continue to have compassion for all about me, I see Him change into more of a fishlike being. “This very stone,” Magdalene says cryptically, “You need to understand both the depths of the Water in addition to it.” So I descend to God, Who has at last transformed into the Blue Whale. The variability “is normal and to be expected,” She tells me. LIL is not to be seen quite as directly, it seems.

Magdalene tells me to hold her hand. “If you look deep into Its eye, you can see the same portal into the world of Adam Qadmon” that I had seen in ICH, She notes. That is where I’ll be heading right after LIL, She says, as part of the 19 days after the Aethyrs. Working with the elements will be good, She says, but will be in preparation for the final day, when I read Leaf 1b, then Leaf 1a, and finally the entirety of the leaf at sundown.

I express my deep gratitude to Magdalene/Babalon. I ask the governors and kings whether there’s anything else I should see. “One thing,” they say: “All 49 of us [in the SDA] are here within,” and so I expect much more to transpire. I thank all of the angels and Magdalene as well.

The vision ends.

Noon: Similar procedure. Unintentionally, I begin recording at 1:56 p.m. local time (reminder that at midday begin at solar noon, not 12:00).

I feel lots of energy flowing about the entirety of my subtle body. I’m told to save the usual Union for sundown. Magdalene offers me a hug, and We walk abreast, holding each other by the waist, watching a beautiful sunset on a beach. She unfolds me, like I’m a tall blossom or an opening of a pinecone, and She offers water at my top and allows to flow down to my based and back up again. This, She says, is the water which I’d taken in in previous visions which now flows continuously about me as a fountain. She says that this will be like the heart, or the mind, or life paths: there will be some transcendence of the zodiacal releasing phases after this, She adds. From now on, it will all seem like unto succedent phases, flowing and coasting.

Magdalene tells me to make an effort to open some books on Kabbalah which will arrive soon from a friend. Certain things in the Chokmah aethyrs which I may have overlooked will suddenly make sense to me. This is part of the initiation into this sephira. My mind alights to my other reason for this ritual, which is the rainbow body.

Magdalene leans Her head on my left shoulder and whispers: “This You already are. It just is a matter of realizing It, and coming to know the parts of You that have not yet realized it, and helping them come to grok what You are.” (On writing this, I realize the exercises which my help, literally asking those parts of my body to resonate with each of my chakras in turn and then simultaneously). It’s a warming feeling She gives me, and She wishes me all the best, and transforms into a Dove, and pulls down from the heavens a funnel colored like a rainbow, and connects it to my crown chakra. I see areas in my intestines and groin area needing this help. “All of It is You. All of You is this rainbow body: the entirety of You is this.” She suggests working on this.

She flies out into the sphere of the fixed stars, dissolving into her Nuit form.

The vision ends.

Sunset: Similar procedure.

Right away, Babalon/Magdalene/Asherah has me put aside the book for what’s coming next. As I do so, She gestures to a bed, which is cubical in shape (if you count the bedposts as as edges). It is floating in the sphere of the fixed stars themselves. She Herself is pointing up to the fixed stars, and she points to the fixed stars as they are, making the distinction between possibilities as they currently are now, which is to say they can be approached. Other possibilities that could have been, but which are not, are nonetheless part of the whole. She Herself cannot completely reflect them, although She would certainly be open to.

She says that the compassion with which I’m approaching them is itself that mark of the world of Adam Qadmon. It’s starting to already sort of come through, and, She says, as I continue this journey into places in which She Herself cannot go, to take with me that same compassion and lovingkindness for the possibilities which remain, which She is able to receive. This is to be generated and extended out, and in so doing will the fullness of my rainbow body be available to all. She says She’s very proud of me, and I’m so touched to hear Her say this. She says that what I’m doing right now, I’m going where certain Deities cannot go, and She’s envious in this way, but She’s also very happy for me. She knows that there’s a Unification that is happening, and that eventually all the deities and human beings will be able to see this [the collective heart] very clearly. She bids me to begin union, so we do.

Afterward, I express my profound Adoration and Love for Her. I ask Her to say whatever She has in Her Heart to say. “Nothing, My Love. You have seen the Necessity to have Compassion for all the possibilities that even could not come to exist, most of which are beyond your imagination, and it’s great Humility to do that, and a great Openness, and great Oneness and Wholeness. And you have, with Me, spied into the world of Adam Qadmon as a result” (for I worked with Her to extend Her vision here during our Union). Where you must go now, I cannot go.” But She expresses her Love to me, and of course it is returned.

She kisses me good-bye, and goes. I am always sad to leave this Aethyr. I ask the angels of this Aethyr whether they have anything further, and they say no. Such is the end of this vision, and, as always, I am profoundly changed.

Gebofal, Day 21 (The “Super-Spooky” ZAX / Abyss Day)

Note: I’m clearly being a bit facetious with the title, but it serves the purpose of informing people that, yes, the abyss can be crossed even if there’s bizarreness or even a little horror associated with it.

Sunrise: Call to Aethyr of ZAX. Call to Governors LEXARPH, COMANAN, & TABITOM, to King Bnapsen, and to Zodiacal Kings Zinggen (Aquarius), Alpudus (Libra), and Zarzilg (Sagittarius).

I had been identifying with the lotus-rose, but the angels say not to: instead, to hold it by the sepals, which now wrap around to grasp each of my fingers gently. I get some distracting images and pause to vibrate the angels’ names and to breathe. I feel this welling up of compassion, and it pours forth in all directions about me, even towards the distractions and I follow the chain of their causation, and I get to the fundamental structure of the law. A snotgreen being tries to close a snotgreen curtain, and finally the governors force him back.

The angels open the veil, and create a triangle about me, and note that the four of us could also be a tetrahedron viewed from above. The zodiacal kings then form another triangle, and I’m at the center of a Merkaba symbol now. Finally, the angels are telling me that there’s another layer: I could be the eighth point of a cube, at the center of a 6-simplex, or a vertex of a 7-simplex. The angels are driving at what it takes to get into this higher-dimensional thinking.

I continue to hold compassion for everything about me, and I see an arm emerge, and it belongs to one of the Takers in season 5 of The Magicians, or the Pale Man in Pan’s Labyrinth. I note the constant attempt to fight the dispersion, and the angels tell me to hold fast in my position, so I do. There emerges a white cube, and he’s within it, and not liking being within it. He sort of reintegrates back into the environment.

I note the pattern but also note that if the dispersion-disruption cycle is accelerated, then it’s like if you ignore the hand which waves rapidly back and forth in front of your face: you still see and get the general idea of what’s happening. So the angels instruct me to speed up the process, and I begin circulating the compassion and concentration quickly. The angels and I are in our 6-simplex formation. I see a middle-aged guy in a really cheap-looking outfit superhero outfit with terrible wings.

I vibrate the angels’ names, and finally(!) the entire scene shatters into thousands of square mirrors which are all about me and whirling about me in a vortex. I try to crank up the compassion. This is like unto a realm of Binah, yet note the squares which show that this is still Abyssal. I concentrate, and the angels encourage me, “because all of these squares (signifying cubical consciousness) can be circled!” I concentrate really hard, and the energy shifts from the book, and I have compassion even for the concentration.

The angels indicate that all of these cubes will now curl into spheres, but I will still be able to see the cubes engraved upon them. (Note: My first encounter with Babalon in ZIP was of Her in a dress of crystal spheres). The grand concentration of the mind needs to be met equally with the compassion of the heart and I’m holding onto this lotus-rose to help me, and it holds me back. Each of the square mirrors was a thorn upon the rose, I’m told. I comment about the immense difficulty of this concentration, which is far higher than I recall the first time I scried this Aethyr!

Now the compassion and concentration are balanced as I try to magnify the former. Again, it’s a whirlwind of these mirrors. Figures try to step out, and now they don’t look like themselves, and I vibrate the angels’ names again, and the outer forms of the figures look like unto gray aliens now. (My cat comes in to interrupt). Having compassion helps them to looks somewhat more human, and I tell the angels that this is getting very fractal, and I ask if they have anything else, and what the endpoint and what understanding may be gleaned from this.

The angels say that what’s to be gleaned by this is that the vastness of knowledge that is to be had can go in any of these multitudinous directions. Yet if you inquire with an open mind and an open heart, they will begin to reflect like mirrors, and eventually you will begin to reach a point where they can all be concentrated into these spheres of awareness, but it takes a lot, and if you do it at this cosmic scale, such it will be. But the point is that the divine is there to be had. It takes work over a lifetime(s), and you can get some shortcuts, but this is the nature of that.

The aliens, I’m told, represent a conglomeration of knowledge that loses its awareness of its own divinity. This clicks everything into place and I just have so much compassion now for everything in this place, because that’s a bad state to be in. The angels say that this is enough for now, and that more will be revealed later, though I have the flavor of what this place is like now.

Noon: Similar procedure. I made three calls to King Bnapsen.

Once again I scry by holding the lotus-rose by the sepals. I see squid-like entities jump at me, but it’s like they hit this glass pane and slide down, ineffective. I generate compassion and lovingkindness and circulate it. I try to speed this up, and accelerate the process, and the general theme changes into square mirror, which transform into “sphered cubes,” which in this case is to say a transparent cube with a square etched on the inside. It’s difficult to see at this stage, though, because of the generated compassion.

Now I see a central column appear, it looks like a giant pleather cowgirl boot. I pause, regenerate compassion, and, seeing the dust that it generates from stomping the bottom of the chamber, I phase-shift through it. I grab hold of the boot like Jack in the Beanstalk, or a kitten, and the boot rises like someone looking at what’s gotten on their boot. It appears to be Babalon, in a cowgirl outfit (her fringe, & frilly skirt is particularly “80s cowgirl”!).

I’m hesitant, but She says to me, “No, you have the flavor of the lack of [this aethyr’s] lack of awareness of its own Divinity, but you are generating your own divinity here. You are aware of your own Divinity, which is why you’re seeing it. The fact that there can be a transition, even with an Abyssal aethyr like ZAX, that shows you the Power of Understanding and not letting go of It.”

She says she’s wearing this in honor of the fact that I’m a Taurus, so I’m very honored. She sets me down (after all, She’s hundreds of feet tall), and She begins dancing. It’s like she’s in a bullfighting arena, a (nonviolent) toreadora (or “matadora” or “mater tor”: “mother for”). The bulls are all black, and She allows them, and She invites me to join Her, and I do, and a bull charges me, and everything goes black, but I reappear, and She says that I need to dance, so my astral form does so, but it becomes more like country-style partner dancing. It’s like everything that comes to take away the Divinity in Us are not working.

I ask her specifically about the blood which She accumulates, and She says people the Sorrow because that’s what’s in their hearts. She says that I have “less Sorrow” and laughs. She holds up a black sphere, looking like crystal ball in her hands. She says that I am more aware of the transparency within the crystal ball than the blackness. For me, it’s a beautiful thing to gaze upon, but not what defines me.

I express my gratitude, and continue to hold onto the compassion and concentration. I ask the governors and kings if there’s anything else to be seen in this vision. I see a black dot approach me and come about me as a prison. “Remember I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” a line from the poem “Sympathy” by Paul Laurence Dunbar (later used as the title of the autobiography by Maya Angelou; she herself later wrote a poem called “Caged Bird” with similar imagery to Dunbar’s). I concentrate into this phrase: the angels say that this is what I bring to this aethyr, which many others do not Understand.

I’m not sure what it means, but I note that I’m on Leaf 29a, and thus page 28b is open. Regardless, I express my gratitude, and the vision ends.

Sunset: Similar procedure. I made the call to ZAX twice.

I see the lotus-rose. I see this beautiful heavenly light shining down upon the blossom, and I can feel the light entering my physical hands from it. There’s a sense of peace and I try to circulate it in and through me. Everything’s quite balanced across the sub-abyssal and supernal worlds. This is what ZAX is, I’m told: a beautiful balance between these worlds.

It’s like my heart is starting to sing, and the lotus-rose is starting to sing, and it blossoms even more, and Babalon is appearing as a ballroom dancer in a sleek, shimmery, black outfit, the skirt cut up the outside of her thighs, with a tophat and is dancing with aid of a pole.

Now She flies and rotates about the x/z plane and lands upon the nape of my neck and I walk around, giving Her a ride about–the symbolism couldn’t be more obvious. Now She interlaces Her extended fingers into a roof, and rotates Her hands forwards and backwards about my skull: She seems to be doing quite subtle work to my sahasrara chakra and its relationship to the ajna chakra, which I cannot feel physically but know is there. This will improve the overall flow between them and also among them and the anahata chakra. There’s also extraordinarily subtle work She’s doing to my vishuddha chakra, which nevertheless (being a Taurus and all) I can feel. All of this is changing the dynamic among these four chakras.

“That’s it,” She says. She bows and takes her top hat off and gives me a wink. She briefly takes the form of Nuit and dissolves into the night sky, and I ask the angels whether there’s anything else. They say no, and I’m looking forward to tomorrow as the vision ends.

Gebofal, Day 19

Sunrise: Call to Aethyr of LOE (“Low E”). Call to King Bynepor.

The angels unfold the same fan from previous visions, and show a spiral within it, the same symbol as yesterday. They’re not adding to it yet, they say. I try not to be overly distracted. I pour out lovingkindness. Now the fan is 3D, and the angels say to extend the fan out in all seven dimensions that I’ve seen thus far, which I do, and they suggest an 8th and a 9th (the Ogdoad, the Ennead, and the Decad). Getting through to the other side, they say, is getting beyond these seven dimensions and into the eighth through tenth via Binah, Chokmah, and Kether, respectively. The eleventh, they say, is the world of Adam Qadmon, writ large.

The angels say that to shoot for the world of Adam Qadmon is great, and they’re trying to develop a means, a subtle body with a realization that can do this. The angels say not to define this by the negative: right now my mind needs to concentrate a lot in order to step past the abyssal nature of much of what I’m seeing, but this will be beyond that and transcend it. I maintain this poise, but I see the same cross from a previous scrying session in ZIP, extending out a bit. In that vision, I saw a cross like unto the 3D Cartesian axes, light blue in color and with electric kinds of hairs emerging from it. Now it’s extended out like unto the elongated rhombus, pale yellow or beige in color, with more lightning-like electricity rather than simply hairs:

Rhombus with electricity as described above–electricity shown only on one length for simplicity’s sake.

The angels suggest that I incorporate this into the symbol from yesterday’s vision, which is proving to be a little difficult for me at this point. This increasingly complex nature that gets revealed after the Abyss is not lost on me (unfortunately I’m unsure whether I’ll be able to do my best work here, but let me see):

Unifying both previous symbols

The angels are really going for it here. They say that the elaboration here is important in one degree, but in another way it is not. Someone can grok this via following the steps to realization. It’s sort of embedded in the earth, but sort of coming off of it; the four arms come down to create the sectioning such as with orbs held by monarchs:

Globus cruciger, colors not exact.

I see the colors in a pastel yellow or a beige, and the angels say that this is because it’s the empowered Ain Sof Aur. All of this, the lightning, is shown without the means of manifestation, it’s a more raw representation. The angels remind me to try to see this as not just Ain Sof Aur, but also Ain (emptiness or the empty mind, which is unbounded) and Ain Sof. I try to see this with the heart of compassion, and BANG! it’s like I’m sucked up into it! It reminds me of the effect of the Tardis floating around in Doctor Who (I don’t watch the show, don’t email me about this).

This itself proves to be a distraction, which I compassionately push past. The angels take me up into this Adam Qadmon realm. I comment about the importance of concentration and compassion as I’m taken up. The angels end the vision somewhat abruptly, saying that this is the limits of the Aethyr that I’m in, and that these limitations will all go away when I get to the final day of gebofal. I feel very much changed by this, which is of interest since this is still technically a pre-abyssal aethyr, but I may be biased on account of having already traversed the aethyrs before.

Noon: Similar procedure.

Right away, I’m pulled up, and I maintain compassion throughout. I see a skirt (in a safe-for-work sense), of a woman, kind of a casual 50’s style, and she’s twirling and being treated very well. The skirt is dark, and has some reddish upon it, and is like blood vessels going into a tissue. This is fractal, and these vessels all seem to originate from a heart. Again, this imagery of the heart, and I’m told this heart feels like a heart that is dancing, full of joy and wonder, ensconced in a being who is dancing.

This is Babalon, this is Binah, the angels tell me, and She is dancing and joyous, and She is treated like a Lady, as an equal being, as an entity worthy of love and affection and adoration, which of course She is. I’m having compassion for everything about me, Her included, the entire room and the context She is in. She extends her hand to me, and this is the Courtship of today, tomorrow, and Saturday, until Sunday in which She may be revealed. This, I’m told, is why King Bobogel was said, because he is of the sun, and in some ways the counterpart to her, he is said to hold all dear.

We begin dancing. It’s the sort of ballroom dancing you would expect in a casual environment. There are people around me who are clapping, and I extend love in all directions. Now there’s this gigantic, beautiful axe which comes down through the room and splits it and us into halves, and we all return again to our form and split apart again. I’m having love for even the axe and this splitting.

This is Ain, this is the force of Ain, and I see this as a beautiful vibration. I begin twirling up, (I emphatically declare as I see): “AS IF I AM HER, BUT I AM ALSO ME, AND WE/I, WE/I BEGIN TO ASCEND, AND SHE KISSES THIS FORM AND LIFTS ME UP AND BIDS ME FAREWELL, IN THE FULLNESS OF HER LOVE, AND I AM LIKE UNTO A SPIRAL AS I ASCEND IN THIS MANNER, AND I SEE STARS ABOUT ME.



The vision ends, and I am out of breath.

Sunset: Similar procedure. Note: I was extra energized this evening, as my restored health, and the knock-on effects of the prior vision, intoxicated me a bit.

I feel as though I am breathing in the room I am physically sitting in, and it seems to bend towards me during the inhalation and away as I exhale. There’s a biological feel to the vision. I see a V, which is the outline two lungs. I’m within Binah right now. She asks me to contemplate the Temperance card for a moment. Unfortunately for a bit I get sidelined, as the Strength card comes to mind; this reflects my chart but is an error. I have the presence of mind to confirm the Strength card and when I do, Binah‘s word, “Temperance,” rings in my ear again (dispersion is an error in these Aethyrs–always check your understanding, kids!). So I make all the correct associations with the Strength card, but after the correction, I do the same task for Temperance. This is an excellent symbol for the HGA, as the classical elements are clearly balanced here, and the exalted solar suggestion of a rising sun (note that the sun is still in its sign of exaltation). I note two lily flowers in the background and take them to be signs of enlightenment.

I pause to take in two long breaths, an 8-8-16 and a 9-9-18. During this interlude, I have visions of cartoonish characters, homeless, who melt like wax figures into rainbow puddles. It’s vaguely disturbing.

The symbolism of how the preceding relates to the following is left as an exercise to the reader:

I try to stay poised and true to the compassion of the heart again. Now I see Babalon in a Shakti-like form, many-armed, but now I correct myself and think she may be Kali, but now she seems more like Lilith, and she seems to take on a serpentine form and she multiplies, encircling me. I express compassion towards the rules causing Her to appear before me in this manner. This reminds me of my asking people about alienation on Twitter recently, and how Lilith was this figure, especially when in the social astrological houses. I continue to have compassion for the rules bringing me here and her here together like this. There’s this strange friction, and I see incredible light being achieved as a result. It looks like photographs of vast galaxies.

I call on the angels for help with interpretation. The angels point out that it’s like the galaxy existing in the way it is right now is coming up against all of the possibilities that could not come into existence. There’s this massive tension between all the possibilities such as they aren’t (all the possibilities that could have been available to us now), and all the possibilities such as have been actualized to this point. And it’s like these possibilities are yelling at me now: “Have compassion throughout! Have compassion for all of these things! Have compassion in your heart for all the possibilities that are not, and all the possibilities that are! Have compassion across all of these!” There’s this very angry feeling, and I’m trying my best, and focusing past the immediate tension to the root cause of all of this, and the root cause of the compassion that I want to have. And this is what I really want to unfold–right now!

And why isn’t it happening?!

And there’s this raw rage emerging, and now something is trying to escape out of my heart, and I don’t know what this is, and it’s trying very hard! And I’m seeing a bunch of armor, and there seem to be two characters, male and female, fighting against each other. The tension continues to rise as I plead with them: “This is real! This is OK! And you are real, too, for wanting it to not be so! And it’s OK!” And…and…it’s like something is trying to be borne from my heart, and … and… it’s like a lily, and a different flower shooting up from the center of the blossom of the previous one, and the last one is…is…it’s not quite a lotus, it’s a…what is this? It’s a lotus-rose fusion, which has these thorns in it. I declare, “It springs from mud, and is painful to touch, and yet it is beautiful and necessary to be held in this way, and if it is understood in this manner, then in such a manner will all be at rest, who hold it.”

And the angels hold me, and ask me to come to terms with this, such as it is. And they know this will take a while. It is awe-inspiring, and it has sprung from my heart. And I’ve been holding my heart, and if my heart gives birth to this, then it is good, and I will hold it. So I feel it scratch my face, and I hold it like an infant, and it scratches my face as it does so, and the scent it gives off is so sweet.

And I feel very blessed. “Nothing more today.” The vision ends.

Gebofal, Day 17

Sunrise: Call to Aethyr of UTA/VTA (“you-tay”). Call to King BABALEL. Vibrated both the governors of this Aethyr as well as the Zodiacal kings associated with it. I got a side effect from a shot and wasn’t feeling great (nearly vomited), so I repeated the call to UTA just to be safe.

The angels instruct me to put both hands up on the leaf 33b, because they can tell that I don’t have much strength to leave my hand on the Holy Table. Nonetheless, they ask that the sides of my feet remain abutted to the plastic furniture risers (which I am using in lieu of those made of sweet wood), which contain the four miniature Sigilla Dei Aemeth.

I see a whirling disc, full of color. This, they say, is the preview of the rainbow body, and the preview of Chokmah, and of Kether by way of Chokmah. I generate compassion at their request. The angels are directing me to a throne. They note that although my physical body is not well, my astral body is ready for this vision. I put my hand on the Holy Table at their direction.

The angels mention that Babalon appeared to me briefly when I was sick, and that God in His Mercy (J/Iehusoz) prevented my vomiting (praise be unto him). King BABALEL praises my calling upon the zodiacal kings. This will be sort of an upgrade for me: as a result, so much more will occur (though so much had to occur for this result!).

I continue to sit upon this throne. I’m a bit paralyzed, but everything I see come before me, I have a lot of compassion for. I see a whirlwind of angels, rotating: at this point, it’s unclear whether it is they or I who is speaking. The message is: “It’s enough. No matter what: it’s enough. The rainbow body is enough for this.” All of the horror, all of the beauty: everything is enough in this moment. The angels instruct me to sit upright in my throne. They note the cube created by the four legs and the seat, but also, the arising from that, the head and heart, and the larger spheres implied by them: this is the rainbow body crown.

The angels (governors and kings) say that they will do “surgery” on my subtle body now. I vibrate their names and express my gratitude. They express their gratitude for me doing this, even though it was very difficult. I ask if there’s anything else, and they say no. “Rejoice, Son of Man, Son of God, Son of Earth. Such was the worst of these [Aethyrs].” The angels instruct me to remain in the throne astrally, and show me a couple of discs before closing the vision.

Noon: Similar procedure: this calling of the Zodiacal Kings will continue through the rest of the Aethyrs.

I’ve recovered somewhat, and focus on the heart of compassion. I remind myself that chunks of this world needs to be grokked before one can have compassion towards them. Once again I’m seeing the 7D sphere, with line segments (but, emotionally, “rays”) emerging from the origin, indicating directions and seven colors. I ask the angels what I ought to focus on in order to balance across these dimensions. The angels instruct me to continue with my compassion, but also try to start incorporating others’ perspectives. I acknowledge that this is not my strong suit, but the angels say to keep trying, even in small ways: it’ll make a huge difference.

I see all seven of the angels, plus my HGA, almost bouncing up and down on my chest, trying to jumpstart this subtle body/psychic surgery and work. I see two of the angels, Ooanamb and Gebabal: they lead me to a door in outer space, which is similar to the door in a previous vision, except rather than being in “regular” outer space(!), it’s a trippy, psychedelic, Jackson-Pollock-on-drugs kind of space, very vivid colors. The angels instruct me to go through the door, and I do; like with Orpheus, I can’t help but look back. I see the door dissolve into this psychedelic space and become one with it.

Now I feel as though I’m falling, but the angels correct me: I’m not falling. The mind is what is falling: this is the force of the drippings being pulled by the Abyss. The general gravity is trying to pull me down out of the Heart of God. One must be patient and persistent, and eventually a being’s heart will magnetize toward the Heart of God, rather than fall away from it. “You need to not identify with the drippings.”

Considering that the door is what has dissolved, and that there’s this downward motion I’m feeling, I remind myself that in space–other than gravity, collision, or magnetism–the body tends to either remain in the same motion, or at rest. So I ask all of the angels collectively how to approach this Divine Center, and again the angels say to be willing to let go of my ideas of reputation. Be willing to let go of a bunch of things so to allow being authentically in Divine Union, and the blessings coming to “will be beyond what imagination could have predicted.”

The angels are trying so hard to help me recover physically, and I’m very grateful for this. There’s a tiny circle directly ahead, and it’s a planet, like unto the Pure Land, they say. The angels tell me to keep in mind that there is a slight flaw in some of the doctrines surrounding the Pure Land, which is to say that this world is corrupted. The angels tell me not to worry so much about that.

Instead, coming to this Pure Land, the angels inform me that this is the proper perception that all is already perfect. I become distracted by visions of me not too far off in the future, two to six months. I return to the vision, and try to relax into it. I sit for a bit in the perfection of this pure land, recognizing the perfection of all things. My heart realigns a bit. The angels encourage me: “Yes, this is what we’ve been waiting for you to do.” The angels close the vision with instructions to rest, and I express my gratitude.

The vision ends.

Sunset: Similar procedure.

I see the same psychedelic scene again. The angels reiterate that I need to be consistent about remaining in compassion. The angels point to the psychedelic scene again. All of this needs to be loved, I’m told. This is a big task, and this needs to be constant, but I will be able to do this, even if not 100%. That’s what the rainbow body is. Making the effort and doing the work and trying is all very important, they advise. I say that I will take it to heart, and the angels ask me to take it in heart, so I do.

The angels recommend just trying to sleep tonight, and that tomorrow should look a lot better. They ask me to continue compassion and lovingkindness towards all, even towards things: “You’re in the same world together, and a chair has the level of consciousness to be such and not something else, doesn’t it?”

My holy guardian angel pulls me aside to speak. He says that this may be the last time he and I speak. Should I be successful in crossing the Abyss and realizing the rainbow body, he will become fused with me. He wants to express his love towards me, and he thanks me for reaching out to contact him, and I’m so very touched I start to weep a little. I return my love to him and I say that though I am a human and below him in the hierarchy, I consider him to be a brother. “No,” he says, “we are the same. We are brothers.” He enfolds himself about me for when the fusion occurs.

I ask the governors and kings, whether they have anything else to show me: “Please do not hold back, if it’s in your heart to give.” They say no, to continue to this lesson: remember to love all, even thoughts.

The zodiacal kings whom I have called roll up the remaining zodiacal kings who were passed over in previous scrying session. “No worries,” they say, “you were going according to the formula you knew. Now it’s good that you’re using this formula.”

How the Pieces of Enochian Fit Together, Part 1

This is a little trip into the various bits of Enochian—the Heptarchy, Liber Loagaeth, and the Watchtowers/Aethyrs (for the purposes of this post, I’ll use the angels’ characterization of the last as a single part of the system).

It occurred to me last night, as I was falling asleep (my hypnagogic mind is way smarter than this waking mind is), how very well these parts match up with the 360 degrees of a circle. Causabon’s relation has Gabriel describing an angel who “governeth Hyleich, which is the matter of the four Elements, and which onely is an Element” (this suggests the element spirit), the “Princes and Governours also of the 4 Elements…The angels also of the 48 angles of the heavens.” Angles indicates geometry, and is suggestive of astrology. “Forty-eight angles” suggested each angle was 7.5 degrees to Dee–360 degrees divided by 48, and, as Leitch assesses, likely an astrological inference, and rightly so.

Then it occurred to me that there is an interesting structure to the elemental Watchtowers: four kings, 24 ministers, 16 kerubs and 16 so-called “lesser” angels–60 in all. For each of the elements, this comes to 15 angels. I considered how these might be arranged: there are three signs for each of the four elements in astrology (twelve signs in all across the 360 degrees of the zodiac). Each sign thus has 30 degrees and in each element are 90 degrees in all. This matches well with the 15 angels; each angel can occupy two degrees per sign per element, and this twoness makes sense if one one considers the duality of sect (note also that the first two of the first 16 spoken Enochian calls reflect a duality in themselves: invocation and evocation).

Another thing occurred to me: the four watchtower tablets together have 156 letters (156 being closely associated with Babalon), yet the Great Table (the original or the Tabula Recensa) itself has 176 letters–if one counts the elemental names of God–EXARP, HCOMA, BITOM, NANTA–only once (each name is duplicated in a mirror image) in the Black Cross. Thus, we are four letters away from 180, and it occurred to me that PELE, the name on the ring “without which” the magician “shall do nothing,” is four letters–combining this with the Great Table thus creates 180 letters–which can also be considered to have a duality in the sense of sect, thus nicely totaling 360 to match the 360 degrees of the zodiacal circle (and circles in general). Note also that the arrangement of the four tablets–earth opposite air, and fire opposite water–matches the first two signs of the first half of the zodiac and the first two signs of the second half of the zodiac: Aries, Taurus, Libra, and Scorpio (this is the order they appear in the zodiac), which are ruled by Mars, Venus, Venus, and Mars, respectively. The order of these signs differs in the order of the Tabula Recensa, however: Aries (upper-left), Libra (upper-right), Scorpio (lower-right), and Taurus (lower-left). This further suggests a mirroring which differs from the mirroring of the Thema Mundi.

Yet I have been working with Liber Loagaeth, and this raises another question: if the Watchtower angels are called with calls 1-18 (2-19 if one considers the first call “unspoken”), and this matches Leaves 2-19, then what of the final 30 calls and final 30 leaves? Here, again, we have a nice overlay with the number of degrees of the zodiac; each Aethyr matches each degree of all 12 signs of the zodiac, and the most powerful Aethyr, LIL, matches the most powerful degree of each sign, the so-called anaretic degree. My experience with LIL was of a sphere, suggesting the realization, in three dimensions, of a circle. However, LIL relates to Kether (“Crown”) in the Kabbalah, not Chokmah (which is ruled by the zodiac); this understanding of the crown is the realization of the unity of space and time, and hints of the unified forces of the universe. Scrying the Aethyrs brings one into a realization of the fundamental unity of the forces of Binah/Babalon with Chokmah.

Naturally, the Zodiac has within it seven planets which rule the 12 signs of the zodiac, and the last of these planets, Saturn, is said to rule Binah. This brings us back to the Heptarchy, and the septenary nature of the Heptarchy and Loagaeth. The angelic kings, princes, and ministers of the Heptarchy occupy 343 (seven cubed) letters of the “Tabula bonorum angelorum invocationes,” which is seventeen less than the number of degrees of the zodiac. Considering A) the unspoken call as suggestive of the center of a circle, and B) the 1st and 2nd calls as being an artificial duality of i) interior and exterior, ii) invocation and evocation, iii) sephiroth and planetary rulers, iv) two circles allow for a third dimension for a sphere. Thus, the first nineteen initial calls can be conceptually reduced to seventeen, and the Heptarchical system can be numerically linked with the overall structure of the Watchtowers.

One thing I haven’t mentioned yet: Liber Loagaeth! After Leaf 1 (which is 4361 words followed by 9×49 cells of individual letters), each of the next 27 leaves (excluding the titles!) has 4802 letters (2401 per side), which, after subtracting a center letter in the middle on each side (see prior posts), comes to 4800, or 48 * 100, or 360 * 40/3. The next 20 leaves, excluding titles have half this number, 2401. The final leaf is five tables of 21 letters, or 105. Excluding Leaf 1, this gives us, excluding titles, 177779 letters (hm, a preponderance of the digit 7!). I went ahead and added up the number of letters across the titles: 1614 letters. Overall, this comes to 179393 letters, and this is a prime number(!). Leaf 1 has 10851 letters on side A (according to my excel document, which I have tweaked to account for punctuation, but may not have caught everything), which is a prime number. Leaf B has 7785+441=8226 letters. Unfortunately, this doesn’t add up to something useful yet, but I’ll keep looking. 🙂

Enochian and Gnosticism

It’s hard to describe in fullness “Enochian theology,” but a cursory look at both the language of Enochian as well as my experience of scrying the Aethyrs has had me pondering this matter in the back of my mind for some time. What I’ve come to realize, after a good dose of listening to the Secret History of Western Esotericism Podcast, is that the Enochian magico-mystical system seems to continue the deep initiation into John Dee’s mind. Dee, a highly educated man, was familiar with Greek, fluent in Latin, and nothing if not well-read. His religious education needed to take the vows for a Catholic priest (while under arrest in would’ve also taken him into reading much of what was Catholic orthodoxy and–important for Dee if he wished to save his skin–what were the no-no’s of heterodoxy, heresy, apostacy. In other words, Dee probably came to know as much, if not more, about the Classics as any other man in England.

SHWEP has provided for me some obsessively interesting listening material. Earl Fontainelle’s laser focus on esotericism, combined with his profound background in the classics as well as his varied interest in the history of Western philosophy, has really opened up a world of understanding of the development of religious doctrine. Support the podcast, won’t you? Among the episodes I dove into was episode 79, Numenius’ Metaphysics, which laid out a concept of highest god, Nous; a son (emanation?) of that god, the Demiurge; and a grandson (second emanation?) of Nous, the Noetic Creator of our world. Note that these concepts roughly match the Kabbalistic Tree of Life model: an The Nous roughly corresponds to Ain/Ain Soph/Ain Soph Aur, the Demiurge roughly corresponds to the world of Atziluth, and the Noetic Creator roughly corresponds to the world of Briah. The idea of a demiurge is roughly linked to Gnosticism (in addition to previous philosophies), which, as SHWEP points out in an earlier episode with Michael Williams, is a somewhat problematic term in itself.

Numenius of Apamea parallels earlier philosophers like Eudorus of Alexandria, but what does this have to do with Enochian? One Enochian word that came to mind when considering this philosophy is “JAIDA” (which can also be transliterated to “IAIDA”; n.b. the letters “I” & “J” are collapsed in the Enochian alphabet), meaning “highest God” or, perhaps from its structure (“IA of IAD” or “IAD of IAD”): “God of Gods.” This is a bit strange from a monotheist point of view, and suggests that we should instead consider the Enochian system to be a monolatrous one, which is to say that the God of Enochian is the highest God, or the God worthy of worship, but that other gods may exist. This is surely one way to interpret other godlike beings who appear, such as Babalon or Kaos (the latter of whom I appear to not have encountered, but other Enochian practitioners have).

The other footing this puts Enochian on is the idea of a one-world religion, or rather a religion designed to be compatible with other religions. Jason Louv suggests in John Dee and the Empire of Angels that a one-world religion is indeed what the angels themselves were pushing. I have to admit, I have found that my exploration of Enochian hasn’t really pushed me away from any religion, but rather I’ve taken an approach which allows for the congruence of multiple religions at once. One difficulty with Enochian is the colonialist view of the world that Dee took, such that it’s tempting to view Enochian as a superstructure or superimposition upon other religions–perhaps as yet another imposition of religion, similar to the forced conversions to Christianity.

Looking into the structure of Enochian and its somewhat heretical views, it seems instead that it’s a system allowing for religious tolerance and pluralism, which is something we could use a little more of nowadays. During these holidays, I hope I have made a case to dig a little deeper and unfold what lies beneath the first impressions of this world, and bear witness to and become partakers in its wonders.