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La'al quiet fella 
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What've we got so far?


Okay, just thought I'd have a look back & see if there was any common threads to what we have done over the past two weeks.....

For those of us new to this I think a sense of feeling silly after we had tried pathworking for the first time seems universal. But this was coupled with a desire to try it again and learn more.

There also seemed to be a doubt that we are doing it correctly and a need for re-assurance.

Personally, I think the fact we are prepared to share these feelings honsetly is invaluable.

It also seems as though those of us trying this for the first time had significantly shorter experiences, less visceral and more based on the actual card imagery.

Even so, our first attempts are the beginning of developing inherent skills within us that we usually leave dormant. (I kind of see myself as a puny nerd going into the tarot gym & being intimidated by the bigger guys flexing their well developed magic muscles)

The process for newbies seems to have involved preparing with the tarot card consciously and then trying to watch the subconscious react to the card.

We even seem to have named the newbie approach as 'splat and see'

Having more experienced people willing to share has been brilliant both in tips and in experiences they have shared.

I think the experience the Jack of Wands shared shows us how much more powerful path working can be with practice and barleywine sharing tips is exactly what we need to develop.

Practical tips from the groups posts that I could spot were:
- To be grounded before you begin. (this ranged from meditation, using a candle to meditate deeply to building up a mental image of a temple over several days.)
- To be comfortable physically & mentally prepared. (tips included blocking out light, reading mystical poetry)
- To allow the experience to unfold itself and not try to force it.

The more experienced contributors I think show how these basic skills can develop, both in practical steps like building a temple in your mind over several days as preparation for using the card as a key to path working on the tree of life and in showing how intense and immersive the experience can be as the Jack of Wands describes.

Other more advanced aspects that have been raised are the checking out of the validity of entities met whilst pathworking & also reflecting on the experience afterwards.

Basically I just wanted to have a look at what we had achieved in the two weeks since the group began and I think we have done pretty well, with good posts by everyone that have contributed to us achieving a fair bit for a new group.

Does anyone have a particular aspect they would like to focus on next? Or think would be the best next steps? Or is it more a case of keeping practicing and sharing tips and experiences?



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'I knows enough to know that I don't knows enough to judge no one' (Jim in a children's TV show of Huckleberry Finn.)

Last edited by La'al quiet fella; 17-11-2015 at 22:22.
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Old 17-11-2015     Top   #41
Barleywine 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by La'al quiet fella View Post
Does anyone have a particular aspect they would like to focus on next? Or think would be the best next steps? Or is it more a case of keeping practicing and sharing tips and experiences?
We have many cards and paths to explore before we branch off into anything more experimental or theoretical, so I think persistent practice is the way to go for now. Not that we have to treat it like we're "on rails," just that something like this can easily wander off into "entertainment value" and lose some of its momentum and practical edge. I'm probably being a bit more traditional in my approach, but increasing the fluidity and potency of my interior vision in a way that builds on my prior experience as a student of qabalah and a visual artist is my preferred method (I have a Capricorn Moon to overcome here, since I can be something of a "literalist ). It already diverges somewhat from the more vivid sxperiences of others, but I'll get there in my own time.

I had another tip for the early going. There are other, simpler (but also less "guided") methods for exercising one's creative visualization skills: scrying using different focus or concentration devices like tattwas, "flashing colors," crystal balls (I still don't have mine yet), magic mirrors (haven't made that one yet either), bowls of water, etc. It might feel less "silly" in the beginning if one's visions are more personal and less driven by an artist's conception.



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"What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Old 17-11-2015     Top   #42
JackofWands 
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Thanks to everyone for posting such interesting experiences. Starting this thread was an excellent idea, and I'm glad I joined.

I would hardly call myself an expert in pathworking, so please, for the love of all things holy, don't look to me as an authority. Barleywine's method is much better (and is actually a real method), and if you're looking for a how-to on "real" pathworking, I recommend following a similar set of steps, instead of the psychic firestorm that my working turned out to be. That said, here are some things I can note from my own experience:

First off, the feeling of ridiculousness has never gone away for me. In reflection, when I'm sitting in a well-lit room eating breakfast and planning out my day, any experience I had in a pathworking--particularly any kind of dialogue with other figures--seems unconscionably silly. The key thing for me, though, is that I must never let this sense of silliness creep in during a pathworking. In retrospect, it's fine, but it must never intrude on the pathworking itself because if it did, I would no longer experience the pathworking as reality.

For me, the most crucial thing is that when I'm in a pathworking, everything I experience is real. I have to feel it all and believe it all with the entirety of my being; no part of my mind can doubt or be removed from the experience. None of me can step back and say "this is silly" or "this is just imaginary", or the experience of it is ruined. And similarly, when I'm in a pathworking, I have no control over external events, any more than I do when I'm in literal, physical reality. I can't control what other people say or do, and I can't cause things in the world around me to happen, any more than I can control what Barleywine writes in this reality.

To grasp a sense of what I mean when I say that a pathworking needs to be really real, there's a great anecdote about a patient of the infamous Carl Jung,* recounted by his most brilliant student, Marie-Louise Von Franz:

Quote:
An analysand recounted to Jung an imagination she had begun in the following terms: "I was on a beach by the sea, and a lion was coming towards me. He turned into a ship and was out on the sea--" Jung interrupted her: "Nonsense. When a lion comes toward you, you have a reaction. You don't just wait around and watch until the lion turns into a ship!" We might say that the fact that the analysand had no reaction--for example, fear, self defense, amazement--shows that she did not take the image of the lion entirely seriously, but rather in some corner of her mind was thinking, "After all, it's only a fantasy lion."
This is about active imagination, not pathworking, and it's important to note that the two are distinct practices. However, they are very similar, and I'm much more familiar (though I'd still never call myself an expert) with the former than with the latter. Active imagination has strongly influenced my pathworking practice, as can probably be seen in the stark deviations from traditional card imagery in my Universe working on this thread.

This is an excerpt from a slightly longer piece in which Von Franz details some of the most common challenges to successful active imagination and the ways that she encourages patients to overcome them. I'll link the page here in case anyone wants to read it. I think it would be very helpful with some of the "newbie" concerns that have been expressed here.

One final thing that I'd like to note stems out of this idea that pathworking becomes reality. If we experience the events of pathworking as real, then I think it's extremely important to do as Barleywine suggests and have a way out. I've never been able to just "wake up" from a pathworking, any more than I could decide to wake up from the experience of sitting at my computer right now; when I'm in a pathworking, I'm in it completely, and I can't just decide to stop. (Especially not if a world-eating dragon is chasing me and demanding that I rule the eternal reaches of darkness with him.) If you encounter problems in a pathworking, I think it's an excellent idea to have a sort of home base you can return to where you know you'll be able to return to the material world if things get too hot. The temple of Malkut is excellent for serving this purpose, but you could use something else instead if you're not comfortable working with the Tree of Life. The idea, I think, is just to have a fixed point that you know you can find in an otherwise shifting internal landscape.

__________________________________________________ __________________________
*Yes, I'm a Jungian. I've been reading Jung for as long as I can remember, and while I tend not to bring him up in polite conversation, I do find some of his ideas useful, especially in (limited) application to Tarot. And Von Franz is undeniably a genius, possibly even more so than Jung himself. There are issues with the man, to be sure, and most people who call themselves Jungians are unceasingly frustrating. But there are also some good points, if you're willing to sift through all the woo-woo.



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Old 17-11-2015     Top   #43
Barleywine 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackofWands View Post
Thanks to everyone for posting such interesting experiences. Starting this thread was an excellent idea, and I'm glad I joined.

I would hardly call myself an expert in pathworking, so please, for the love of all things holy, don't look to me as an authority. Barleywine's method is much better (and is actually a real method), and if you're looking for a how-to on "real" pathworking, I recommend following a similar set of steps, instead of the psychic firestorm that my working turned out to be. That said, here are some things I can note from my own experience:

First off, the feeling of ridiculousness has never gone away for me. In reflection, when I'm sitting in a well-lit room eating breakfast and planning out my day, any experience I had in a pathworking--particularly any kind of dialogue with other figures--seems unconscionably silly. The key thing for me, though, is that I must never let this sense of silliness creep in during a pathworking. In retrospect, it's fine, but it must never intrude on the pathworking itself because if it did, I would no longer experience the pathworking as reality.

For me, the most crucial thing is that when I'm in a pathworking, everything I experience is real. I have to feel it all and believe it all with the entirety of my being; no part of my mind can doubt or be removed from the experience. None of me can step back and say "this is silly" or "this is just imaginary", or the experience of it is ruined. And similarly, when I'm in a pathworking, I have no control over external events, any more than I do when I'm in literal, physical reality. I can't control what other people say or do, and I can't cause things in the world around me to happen, any more than I can control what Barleywine writes in this reality.

One final thing that I'd like to note stems out of this idea that pathworking becomes reality. If we experience the events of pathworking as real, then I think it's extremely important to do as Barleywine suggests and have a way out. I've never been able to just "wake up" from a pathworking, any more than I could decide to wake up from the experience of sitting at my computer right now; when I'm in a pathworking, I'm in it completely, and I can't just decide to stop. (Especially not if a world-eating dragon is chasing me and demanding that I rule the eternal reaches of darkness with him.) If you encounter problems in a pathworking, I think it's an excellent idea to have a sort of home base you can return to where you know you'll be able to return to the material world if things get too hot. The temple of Malkut is excellent for serving this purpose, but you could use something else instead if you're not comfortable working with the Tree of Life. The idea, I think, is just to have a fixed point that you know you can find in an otherwise shifting internal landscape.

__________________________________________________ __________________________
*Yes, I'm a Jungian. I've been reading Jung for as long as I can remember, and while I tend not to bring him up in polite conversation, I do find some of his ideas useful, especially in (limited) application to Tarot. And Von Franz is undeniably a genius, possibly even more so than Jung himself. There are issues with the man, to be sure, and most people who call themselves Jungians are unceasingly frustrating. But there are also some good points, if you're willing to sift through all the woo-woo.
Thanks for these excellent observations. I think the idea of having a "home base" that can more-or-less automatically dump you into a safe zone is how I understand it. Speaking of subjective realities, there is an excellent series of fantasy books by Tad Williams - the Otherland series - that gives vivid expression to this. The "trance state" is induced somatically via sensory-deprivation tanks, but the experiences of the participants - although they can cause "real" death and not just lasting psychological delusions - have all the earmarks of pathworking.



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"The heart has its reasons which reason does not understand." - Blaise Pascal

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Old 17-11-2015     Top   #44
TarotRNJess 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackofWands View Post
Thanks to everyone for posting such interesting experiences. Starting this thread was an excellent idea, and I'm glad I joined.

I would hardly call myself an expert in pathworking, so please, for the love of all things holy, don't look to me as an authority. Barleywine's method is much better (and is actually a real method), and if you're looking for a how-to on "real" pathworking, I recommend following a similar set of steps, instead of the psychic firestorm that my working turned out to be. That said, here are some things I can note from my own experience:

First off, the feeling of ridiculousness has never gone away for me. In reflection, when I'm sitting in a well-lit room eating breakfast and planning out my day, any experience I had in a pathworking--particularly any kind of dialogue with other figures--seems unconscionably silly. The key thing for me, though, is that I must never let this sense of silliness creep in during a pathworking. In retrospect, it's fine, but it must never intrude on the pathworking itself because if it did, I would no longer experience the pathworking as reality.

For me, the most crucial thing is that when I'm in a pathworking, everything I experience is real. I have to feel it all and believe it all with the entirety of my being; no part of my mind can doubt or be removed from the experience. None of me can step back and say "this is silly" or "this is just imaginary", or the experience of it is ruined. And similarly, when I'm in a pathworking, I have no control over external events, any more than I do when I'm in literal, physical reality. I can't control what other people say or do, and I can't cause things in the world around me to happen, any more than I can control what Barleywine writes in this reality.

To grasp a sense of what I mean when I say that a pathworking needs to be really real, there's a great anecdote about a patient of the infamous Carl Jung,* recounted by his most brilliant student, Marie-Louise Von Franz:



This is about active imagination, not pathworking, and it's important to note that the two are distinct practices. However, they are very similar, and I'm much more familiar (though I'd still never call myself an expert) with the former than with the latter. Active imagination has strongly influenced my pathworking practice, as can probably be seen in the stark deviations from traditional card imagery in my Universe working on this thread.

This is an excerpt from a slightly longer piece in which Von Franz details some of the most common challenges to successful active imagination and the ways that she encourages patients to overcome them. I'll link the page here in case anyone wants to read it. I think it would be very helpful with some of the "newbie" concerns that have been expressed here.

One final thing that I'd like to note stems out of this idea that pathworking becomes reality. If we experience the events of pathworking as real, then I think it's extremely important to do as Barleywine suggests and have a way out. I've never been able to just "wake up" from a pathworking, any more than I could decide to wake up from the experience of sitting at my computer right now; when I'm in a pathworking, I'm in it completely, and I can't just decide to stop. (Especially not if a world-eating dragon is chasing me and demanding that I rule the eternal reaches of darkness with him.) If you encounter problems in a pathworking, I think it's an excellent idea to have a sort of home base you can return to where you know you'll be able to return to the material world if things get too hot. The temple of Malkut is excellent for serving this purpose, but you could use something else instead if you're not comfortable working with the Tree of Life. The idea, I think, is just to have a fixed point that you know you can find in an otherwise shifting internal landscape.

__________________________________________________ __________________________
*Yes, I'm a Jungian. I've been reading Jung for as long as I can remember, and while I tend not to bring him up in polite conversation, I do find some of his ideas useful, especially in (limited) application to Tarot. And Von Franz is undeniably a genius, possibly even more so than Jung himself. There are issues with the man, to be sure, and most people who call themselves Jungians are unceasingly frustrating. But there are also some good points, if you're willing to sift through all the woo-woo.
Thank you for that link.... Very helpful!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barleywine View Post
We have many cards and paths to explore before we branch off into anything more experimental or theoretical, so I think persistent practice is the way to go for now. Not that we have to treat it like we're "on rails," just that something like this can easily wander off into "entertainment value" and lose some of its momentum and practical edge. I'm probably being a bit more traditional in my approach, but increasing the fluidity and potency of my interior vision in a way that builds on my prior experience as a student of qabalah and a visual artist is my preferred method (I have a Capricorn Moon to overcome here, since I can be something of a "literalist ). It already diverges somewhat from the more vivid sxperiences of others, but I'll get there in my own time.

I had another tip for the early going. There are other, simpler (but also less "guided") methods for exercising one's creative visualization skills: scrying using different focus or concentration devices like tattwas, "flashing colors," crystal balls (I still don't have mine yet), magic mirrors (haven't made that one yet either), bowls of water, etc. It might feel less "silly" in the beginning if one's visions are more personal and less driven by an artist's conception.
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Old 18-11-2015     Top   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barleywine View Post
We have many cards and paths to explore before we branch off into anything more experimental or theoretical, so I think persistent practice is the way to go for now. Not that we have to treat it like we're "on rails," just that something like this can easily wander off into "entertainment value" and lose some of its momentum and practical edge. I'm probably being a bit more traditional in my approach, but increasing the fluidity and potency of my interior vision in a way that builds on my prior experience as a student of qabalah and a visual artist is my preferred method (I have a Capricorn Moon to overcome here, since I can be something of a "literalist ). It already diverges somewhat from the more vivid sxperiences of others, but I'll get there in my own time.

I had another tip for the early going. There are other, simpler (but also less "guided") methods for exercising one's creative visualization skills: scrying using different focus or concentration devices like tattwas, "flashing colors," crystal balls (I still don't have mine yet), magic mirrors (haven't made that one yet either), bowls of water, etc. It might feel less "silly" in the beginning if one's visions are more personal and less driven by an artist's conception.
So, with our practice should we keep working with the same card, or should we choose another now to work with?
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Old 18-11-2015     Top   #46
La'al quiet fella 
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Originally Posted by TarotRNJess View Post
So, with our practice should we keep working with the same card, or should we choose another now to work with?
For the purposes of the group it makes sense to me to stay with the same card until we have explored it as much as the group choose or are able to.

i'm not in anyway saying you shouldn't explore whatever you feel like doing, just that for the group purposes I think it makes sense for us all to focus on the same thing and help explore that bit before moving on?



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Old 18-11-2015     Top   #47
Barleywine 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TarotRNJess View Post
So, with our practice should we keep working with the same card, or should we choose another now to work with?
I don't suppose it's important (or even desirable) that we all stay in "lock-step" since some will progress faster than others and should move on if they think they've gotten all they can out of the World/Universe imagery. It's really a personal journey since group working isn't possible (and even if it were, I guess). We can set whatever pace we think is reasonable just to give some structure and coherence to the proceedings, like one card a week, for example. The only caveat I've seen is not to try working more than one path at a time until considerably more experience is gained.



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Old 18-11-2015     Top   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barleywine View Post
I don't suppose it's important (or even desirable) that we all stay in "lock-step" since some will progress faster than others and should move on if they think they've gotten all they can out of the World/Universe imagery. It's really a personal journey since group working isn't possible (and even if it were, I guess). We can set whatever pace we think is reasonable just to give some structure and coherence to the proceedings, like one card a week, for example. The only caveat I've seen is not to try working more than one path at a time until considerably more experience is gained.
Sounds good to me, I just wanted to clarify how we were approaching it.
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Old 18-11-2015     Top   #49
La'al quiet fella 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TarotRNJess View Post
Sounds good to me, I just wanted to clarify how we were approaching it.
With Zephryos help we will have a way of posting under the heading for each card. this will help a lot if people are going to be working at different paces.

For me personally, I found a lot of benefit in sharing experiences at the same pace as other members and reading their posts. I am happy to continue that approach, if other people also found it useful.

If not, the headings for each card will allow people to contribute and respond at their own pace and people can set up a thread for any card as they work with it.

Please let me know if you are interested in maintaining the group approach.

if not, it makes sense for me to finish the heading stuff with Zephryos, and then leave it for us to add to the threads at our own pace.



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Old 18-11-2015     Top   #50
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