Residential Temple Retreat - Spring 2008
Ina Custers-van Bergen
Gathering the powers
As usual, the meeting room was beautifully decorated into a perfect space for the rituals and lessons. This time, all participants had their own involvement in this. Everyone got a table to transform into a personal altar. The beautiful altar cloths, with the magical instruments on them, ensured that a magical atmosphere was created immediately. Each altar was unique, and told a lot about the owner of the magical weapons. Some altars were decorated with beautiful stones instead of instruments.
At 8 pm the first lesson started. The theory Ina presented was very interesting and stayed spellbinding up to the end of the workshop. She explained the layers of consciousness and the way through the underworld, where real treasures can be found as long as you are prepared to dig into this underworld. The importance of myths was explained, as well as the different types of systems.
Magician and Mystics
The difference between the path of the magician and the mystic was elaborated upon. What I find so beautiful about the path of the magician is that the development you experience is not only for yourself, but that your surroundings can profit from this as well. You share the fruits of the Tree of Life. The aim of the Work is the marriage between heaven and earth.
After the theory, the first ritual started. The first part of the robing prayers was recited, and these prayers gradually came to life with every ritual during the workshop. We then entered in a procession and recited a beautiful text from the Middle Kingdom. The energy started flowing, and the temple was opened.
After the ritual, we immediately received homework for the coming three nights: dream work. It was an exercise before going to sleep which helped us tune in to the symbolism of the old Egypt. That night, dreams started to come in the form of a meeting with a Pharaoh. The wonderful thing was that another participant gave exactly the same description of this person as I saw it.
Raising Magical Powers
Next day, we elaborated further on the theory. We received an explanation on certain symbols. We worked with the Kabalistic Tree of Life and the polarisation of forces. The difference from the Yoga system was explained, which clarified a lot.
During this day we had three rituals. The temple was built up further, layer after layer. That which we enacted in the ritual stirred up a lot in the inner worlds. Magic really works, that became clear in many different ways. Really, a lot was to be observed and experienced. Before the water ritual, chalices fell, and it started to rain. Water started flowing abundantly and in all directions. Appropriately, the rain stopped after the ritual, and for the rest of the weekend the weather was beautiful.
Furthermore, we were provided with fire when we made contact with the level of fire. The censer ignited spontaneously. Even after extinguishing the fire, and after it was put on the altar again, it started burning spontaneously. With every ritual the energy increased, and a very powerful atmosphere developed.
After the last ritual, everyone was full of energy. The evening and night following this were consequently full of laughter and joy.
Consecration of the Work
Alas, the last day started. Despite the short nights I felt invigorated with energy. The theory and rituals inspired me, and consequently sleeping proved to be not so necessary.
Important techniques in magical work were explained. To experience this in practice we had plenty of work ahead.
This day we had two more rituals. The energy increased, and came to a climax in the last ritual. The energy was truly exalting. It was a gigantic blessing, and was the aim of the magical work: the marriage between the Earth and Heaven unfolded.
After leaving the temple in procession, we all spontaneously cheered and danced and sang one more time. This expression of joy clearly explained what the workshop had given to us all.
It was a truly inspiring weekend, where I learned a lot and have been enabled to experience much. For me personally, the path of the magician now has a deep meaning, and I have been allowed to go through many layers. The robing prayers I now understand from within, and from now onwards they will come to life every time they are recited.
I would like to thank Ina for the wealth of information she provided us with, in an understandable and clear manner, and for the wonderful and inspiring rituals. And not to forget her sense of humour, which as ever made sure that the serious magical work was a true festive delight.
Opening the Gates of Power
Late on Friday afternoon, the workshop started with everyone setting up their altar. The atmosphere was full of expectation, open and friendly, and it was great to see how lovingly and creatively everyone had constructed and arranged his or her personal instruments. Of course the room had been prepared beforehand, and special thanks go to Ina for the organisation and smooth running of the workshop in this wonderful place.
The first theory-part was followed by the first ritual where the gates were opened. This formed our energies into a group, and already gave a foretaste of the work of the next two days. Everything changed: the room became a temple, the central altar, framed by the altars of the Magistra and the participants, was shimmering, fair and beautiful, in the candlelight, and we were on the path of the magician.
The Spiral Path
The rituals and meditations of the next days guided us upwards in a spiral, from earth to the crowning finish (and back). They built upon each other and intensified each other. The power grew with us and changed, took us along, took us deeper, took us higher, held us and brought the seekers complex, deep insights and amazing experiences on different levels.
On the material level, rain started pouring down according to the ritual-theme – whereas before and after it had been sunny. Later, the incense-burner caught fire, and the next sentence of the ritual-text was: "Become aware of the breath of the Dragon." Laughter rang through the temple. The theory-parts prepared us for the rituals which followed, where we had to transform theory. Last but not least, we all got a "dreamwork"-duty for the night. The spirit changed over and over the weekend from concentrated to solemn to frolic-cheerful and caring. The smell of incense was already present in the distant staircase, and so we entered the temple smiling.
The weekend had the usual fault of being too short. Many of the experiences and insights I still cannot put into words, I sense the depths rather than knowing them, and I am thankful. Like roots do with rain, I – Christiane – have open-mindedly and open-heartedly absorbed the rituals, the accompanying energy, Ina (you must meet Ina to know what I am talking about, thank you, Ina, you are the heart of all) and my fratres and sorores. I will wait and see what is growing ...
Indeed the weekend was too short. Some lines still linger and bring back to me – Andrea – the feeling of that special moment. After such a workshop many ideas swirl through the head which have still to come to rest. The frames of the mind crunch and slowly start to move ...
The vibes were wonderful and, in spite of the little language barrier, there was a strong group-feeling. A huge embrace to all the fratres and sorores. I am happy to have been there. Thank you.
Andrea and Christiane for Antares, Hamburg, Germany
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