Well, I guess some people simply are slower than others? In the same time it takes me to perform and go through the repercussions of a single rite I see other magicians working through an entire Grimoire, publishing a new book and engaging in countless discussions online...
Since I embarked on this journey it has taken me three months on average to plan for each rite, perform it and integrate its impact into my daily life. In doing so I always tried to follow through each step of the Spirit Contact Cycle as consciously as possible. Clearly that slows things down. Incredibly so.
Here is but one example: When I set out to perform the entire Arbatel cycle I stopped drinking alcohol, stopped smoking and became more strict on not eating any meat. All of this happened under the assumption I would be much quicker than it turns out I am. My somewhat naive assumption was I could perform all seven rites within four to six months maximum - and be back to my occasional fag and a glass of wine by spring 2011.
Well, clearly that wasn't quite the case. Here I am more than a year later completing the fifth of all seven rites. But boy, do I enjoy the journey! I know now it was one of the best decisions of my life to tackle this magic mountain... And so each time I am reminded of my slow pace of performing and integrating these rites I end up recalling that I will do each rite only once in a life-time.
What I realize now is that the way I approached my 'Arbatel Experience' a year ago and still do today is exactly the same as I approached previous liminal experience and retreats. Never worry about time. There is more than enough of it. The really scarce good is mindfulness.
So when I present the fifth ritual account of the Arbatel Experience - this time of the Olympic Spirit of PHALEG - it's still with the same intent as a year ago. To share the entire journey with you, from start to finish, from stepping out into the lunar realm until we reach the spheres of Saturn some day. Feel free to join me or drop out whenever you wish. I guess, one of the privileges of the lone practitioner is that you can do everything just in your very own time.
Lou Reed never gets tired to mention in interviews that his latest album is the best he ever released. You might disagree, but who knows his standards? What I know for the Arbatel rites is that same is true for me: When I look at the ritual communions I had the chance to experience thus far I am utterly humbled.
When I was a young teenager and set out on my occult path I always hoped - but never dared to assume - I could encounter magical experiences like these. They might be small to the degree of irrelevance compared to other practitioner's achievements these days. That's okay; it doesn't actually matter. Because we all know what matters: It's never how we compare to others. But how we enrich our own lives and the ones of others through the magic we are given.
I hope you enjoy the read. Here is the full account of the fifth ritual of the Arbatel, Concerning the Magic of the Ancients, the rite for the Olympic Spirit of Phaleg.