Monday, November 30, 2015

The Fourth Memory



The Fourth Memory

I warn everyone now, this is a highly personal story.  I feel like I have to get it out of my head for my own sake and maybe just maybe it might help somebody else as well.  Where to start?  I guess at the beginning, hard to go wrong starting at the beginning.

My mother and father divorced/split up when I was really young.  I don’t even know exactly how old, so let’s just stick with really young.  Once that happened my father was just out of the picture.  Gone, not around.  Honestly, I never really missed him, not that I remember anyway.  I had my uncles, aunt, grandmother and grandfather on my mothers side always around.  I spent a lot of years with my grandparents.  

As a result of all this, until this past Saturday I had exactly three memories of my father.  The first memory is really vague.  I just remember being outside and then getting a car with him and my mother.  I can tell you exactly where the house was, that I remember.  It was across the street from where my grandparents were staying that the time while taking care of my great grandmother.  As for a time frame, all I can say is I had not started kindergarten yet.

The second memory is a bit clearer, though not a lot.  I was probably in about the first grade and my father came to where we were living at the time.  I guess he wanted to see me/us.  I remember talking with him a bit, and being in the living room.  I don’t remember thinking I missed him, but I was glad to see him.

The third memory is clear, I was probably 13 or maybe 14 at the time.  I was travelling with my grand parents.  We were coming from Kansas to Arkansas.  I vaguely remember a discussion that we were going to stop on the way through to where my father was living at the time.  It was a very brief visit.  I was in the back of the truck, yes we used to let kids ride in the back of trucks and we somehow survived.  Anyway, we pulled into what I remember basically as a trailer park(ish) neighborhood.  We found their place and my father met us outside.  

Here is the actual memory of him.  I was in the back of the truck, as mentioned earlier.  I stood up as a he walked out.  He saw me and immediately said and I remember this very distinctly, ‘I thought I had boy not a girl.’  My hair was fairly long, down to my shoulders at least.  That comment pretty much just pissed me off.  I did not say a word to him, just stared back.  It was a quick visit as we left shortly after what I am sure he thought was a joke.  I didn’t even get out of the back of the truck.  

All those memories are between 30 and 40 years old.  Last year a brother, that I knew existed but nothing else found me.  He found me through a post I had tried probably 10 years earlier on ancestory.com.  I actually had my fathers first and middle name reversed.  I still had the same email address, so Danny sent me a message.  I never really check that account, it is basically the one I give out when I know there will be junk mail coming from a store or site.  Probably 4 to 6 months went by until my lovely wife was deleting junk mail for me and she saw Danny’s message.  

Apparently Danny had been looking for me for a long time already.  He knew I existed too, but that was about it.  I do remember seeing a picture of what I now know was Danny.  This was around the time of my second memory of our father.  For all I know my father brought it with him on that visit.  After a few exchanged emails, I actually talked with Danny and his wife on the phone.  It turned out my fathers mother still lived in the same place from 40 years ago, which is about two hours from here.  My father was also in the area, not far away anyway.  

From those phone calls, I found out that in addition to Danny I also have another brother Scott and a sister Jettie.  I also learned that my father was taking care of, actually raising his grandson which our other brother Scott was the father.  My understanding is he has had him basically since he was a baby, he is now around 4 or 5.  It seems my father knew was not the best father and was trying to make up for it with his grandson.  The four of us, have three different mothers, all of which he eventually divorced or left. 

I talked with my mother and we eventually made the trip to granny’s.  I arranged to meet my sister at that same time.  One of father’s sister also came to meet us that day.  That was the first time I met anyone from my father’s side of the family-first time that I remember anyway.  We had a good visit. 
 
I have talked with Danny and his wife a few times since then.  We found each other on Facebook even.  We all really wanted to get together sometime.  In the meantime, my mother had actually stopped by there a few times on her way to visit her sister.  During one of those visits, Keith my father, walked in.  He had moved right next door to his mother.  This was the first time they had met or talked in close to 40 years.  After the initial shock wore off they set outside on the porch and talked for about three hours.  Mom went back a few times since then and really got to know the grandson my father was raising.  Really she was going for him and for granny, but she did talk and visit with my father as well.

I kept thinking of going back, especially once I found out he was living next door to granny.  Scott, the other brother moved in there as well.  I thought, this would a good time to go while Scott was there too and meet him at the same time.  Well, I thought about it but never did.  My lack of decision turned out to be my decision after all.

Last week on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, Danny called me in tears.  Our father had a massive heart attack around 4:00AM.  I was and am sad, but nothing compared to Danny, Scott, Jettie, and the rest of his family.  Danny was already heading out from his home, in a different state, to get down here.   At that point we knew nothing else.  I called my mom and told her.  Danny called me back when the funeral arrangements were made.  The funeral was to be on Saturday and he was to be cremated.  

I talked with my mom and we made plans to go.  Everyone was meeting at granny’s house first, so we made plans to be there around noon.  I at least got to meet Danny and Scott and a bunch of other family for the first time ever.  This was not how I had ever planned it to happen, it is what happened though so I am trying to find the good.  I took a picture of Danny from my phone and then later had my mom take a picture of Danny, Scott, and myself.  Later outside the funeral home, my sister in law Melissa managed to get all us siblings together including a step sister. 

We have finally made to the Fourth Memory.  I went inside the room, expecting my father had already been cremated, but he had not.  My Fourth Memory of him is now of him lying there at the funeral home.  I am not telling this story for sympathy, but I really was not prepared for that sight.  At some point all of us ended up standing in front of him.  I stayed behind the others as they actually knew him and grew up mostly or at least some with him.  That last sentence my sound bitter, but I am not.  I never wished him anything but the best.  I told him exactly that on Facebook several months ago.  

As it turned out where the funeral home was located was literally three blocks from my sister’s house.  I mean the sister with which I share a mother.  The only sister I actually knew until a few months ago.  My sister and I have hardly met and barely spoken even for the better part of a decade.  I actually have a 13 year old niece that I had never met.  I say had, because in the spirit of meeting new people I went to see her that day as well.  I hope I learned my lesson(s) from all of these events. 

One lesson is apparently I am a lousy sibling or relative in general.  Other then my mother, I rarely talk with or see anybody else.  That included her daughter, my sister as well.  I need to work on that.  Which is the reason, especially while we were so close, I went to meet my niece that I had never met.  She is as tall as my sister now.  I have only heard about her through mom, mostly.  I have a nephew that I at least have met a time or two or three, but that has been a long time as well.  To my family, I apologize.  I meet with people I barely know regularly, but not my own family.

In conclusion, don’t be like me.  I know it takes both sides to have a relationship, either side could reach out.  Do not wait for the other person to reach out to yourself first.  Be the one that starts the conversation, make a phone call, send in email or tweet or chat with them through Facebook even.  I am now Facebook friends with two brothers and a sister and other relatives I didn’t know anything about.  If you are the other person and someone reaches out to yourself, please reach back.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Life

Some days I come out of my cave look at the world and just shake my head at what I see and want to go right back to my cave.  Then I realize, if I do turn away from the problems and do nothing to help resolve them I myself become complicit in the outcome.  I cannot turn my back on these issues. Most likely I cannot solve them myself, not alone anyway. Fortunately we are not alone.  If nothing else I can shine the Light upon the issue and make it so that others can see it as well. Then more of us can shine more Light upon it until even more see it. And on and on until we actually can solve the problem.  It can be a slow and sometimes painful process. I hold out hope that in the end it will work though. Keep on Shining Dear Ones.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Wise Words???

Wise Words???

What makes words wise?  Words are just words.  So are any Words of Wisdom, truly wise unto and upon themselves?  I am going to have to say No, they are not.  The words may be good. They may pass along a teaching or lesson, but they are still just words.  It is not until the words are understood and then acted upon that they become Wise.  Understanding these words do not make them Wise.  It makes them Knowledge, but  still not Wisdom.  Knowledge is just that knowing.  Wisdom, however, is acting upon that knowledge in a way that is for the benefit of all.  

Remember this lesson: Knowledge itself does not make one Wise.  It is only upon taking action based upon this knowledge that Wisdom truly begins.  This concludes today's Words of Wisdom for the Wise.  Going back to Pondering the Interconnectedness of ALL while maintaining that Magical Equilibrium.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Earth Banishing?



Earth Banishing?

A part of casting a circle or calling the quarters in most Wiccan/Pagan/Ritual Magician groups is to draw or trace or at least visual a Pentagram in each of the four directions.  It is also almost without a doubt always an Earth Banishing Pentagram that is drawn.  Even if those doing it did not know they were actually performing an Earth Banishing.  Even that most Esoteric ‘Lesser Banishing Ritual’ only uses the Earth Banishing Pentagram.  Each Element does have it own Pentagram, two actually one for Banishing and another for Invoking.  When invoking an element, we draw starting from the opposite point or our element.  If we wanted to banish an element we start from that particular elements point on the pentagram.   



The question that popped into my mind recently is whether or not some folks even knew that they were doing an Earth Banishing at each quarter.  Then the follow up question would be, ‘Do they know why they are drawing an Earth Banishing?’  My own thought wavers there, I feel some do likely know why, but the majority is probably just doing what they were taught or read somewhere along the path.    

There are likely multiple reasons only the Earth Banishing is taught.  One of which is that this particular sign/symbol will provide protection against other forces or interference.  It will also serve for any opposing/interfering Astral force.  Another reason is this was taught openly to the Outer orders or Neophytes.  That is the reason it is to be found written down and is not a secret.   In certain Esoteric and or Western Mystery schools the rest of the Pentagrams were taught later after the student exhibited understanding of what had been given thus far. 

Let me give one final reason of own understanding. To cast a circle is create a Sacred Place.  We create a space that is ‘between the worlds’.  I know most have heard that phrase once the circle is set.  Well, how do we create a space on the Earth that is not strictly Earthly?  How about if we Banish all Earthly influences within the space?  That sounds like a good place to start, does it not?  If we Banish Earth, within our space we are no longer bound by the Earth are truly in a space ‘Between the Worlds’.  

Bill Schell
(AKA) Frater Frabato
Formerly and always knows as Mr. Moon

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Hermit

A few of my own thoughts on The Hermit in Tarot.



I could SO be a Hermit in real life instead of just esoterically. Shining the Light, but from my own personal mountain top...

The Hermit appears alone on the mountain top to show he is at One with his own interior Self. Yet he still shines the Light for others.

The Hermit is Lighting the way for those that come behind on the Path. Making it easier for them as someone once made it easier for him.

The Hermit has learned to master the Strength found by working with the lower self and subconscious.

Instead of fighting them or trying to suppress them we must work with them and use their massive Strengths in our favor.

See what I did there? Hint, the previous card is Strength. :-)

Having learned to use the 'animal' nature found within The Hermit is ready to stand alone and take full responsibility for his own actions.

No more blaming those 'dang' base instincts. No more blaming anything really.

The Hermit fully realizes that they and they alone are responsible for their own thoughts, emotions, and actions.

This is why I believe The Hermit is shown alone on that Mountain top. They have reached the summit, now they in turn help others reach it.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Intellect

This keeps popping into my head so I got to get it out.  Look away now or suffer the stream of consciousness that is about to ensue. ;-)

 Plato called Aristotle 'The Intellect'.  However, he did NOT mean that as a compliment.  Aristotle Was smart, gifted-even intellectual. However, Aristotle was ALL Mind/Brain.  Did not balance the Mind with the heart or rest of the body for that matter. Plato may have been more of a Meta-physician if you will, while Aristotle was Pure Science. Nothing wrong with Science, it is great actually.

Reasoning however, should be tempered by more than Logic/Mind. Balance should be the goal.  Not too much feeling/Heart, but not too much logic/Mind either. Knowledge is simply knowing/being aware of things.  Wisdom is putting that knowledge to good use, for the betterment of ALL.

By all means be Intellectual. Read, Learn, Discuss.  Remember, however, to temper that Logic with Body and Soul through the Heart. I myself am proudly Intellectual, at least by the Modern Standard.  I also seek to balance my reason with Heart and Soul.

 I think that is gist of what has been bouncing around in my head.  Hopefully at least one person will read it and Understand...

Bill Schell
(AKA) Frater Frabato

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Western Mysteries-An Introduction



The Western Mysteries

What do we mean when use the phrase Western Mystery Traditions?  In general this includes everything not of Eastern origins.   Many equate the Western Mysteries with Jewish Mysticism and even Esoteric Christian beliefs and practices.  While that is or can be a part of the Western Mysteries, it is not all there is to be found.  The Western Mysteries were heavily influenced by the rites and philosophy of many different Pagan sources.  Some of which include the likes of Socrates, Plato, and Pythagoras to name but a few.  Also included are the rites of Osiris and Dionysus and the Eleusinian Mysteries.  Another whole topic that could be included under the Western Mystery umbrella would be the Holy Grail and the Grail Tradition itself.  

The Western Mysteries often makes reference to High Magic also known as Theurgy.  What is High Magic?  Ceremonial Magic is often called High Magic, but the two terms are really not synonymous. High Magic is more precisely defined as Magic where the end result is to bring the practitioner closer to the Divine.   Connecting with the Divine is the ultimate goal of High Magic.  High Magic is focused on bringing oneself ever closer to uniting with the Divine on ALL levels.  

High Magic is as much art as science.  The roots of High Magic are ancient, but the techniques have continually evolved and adapted through all ages.  High Magic is also known as Hermetic Magic as it is derived from the hermetic arts and sciences.  High Magic uses and relies upon a complex system of correspondences derived from numerous sources including but not limited to: Alchemy; Astrology; Angelic whether Enochian or not; the Elements-Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Spirit/Ethers; Gematria; the Tarot; and Qabalah-spelled with a Q to distinguish it from Jewish Kabbalah and Christian Cabbalah.

The Mother of the Mysteries is no less than ISIS Herself.  Isis is the Virgin of the World.  Isis is one of the most important symbolic characters in the Mystery Tradition.  It is from the womb of Isis that initiates are born.  All adepts are daughters and sons of Isis.  Which makes each initiate Horus, the ‘Widow’s Son’.  Even modern Masonic Lodges refer to members as the Widow’s Son.  Ever heard that phrase before?  Well, if you hear it again now you know they are talking about Isis.  The murder of Osiris is said to be the destruction of Wisdom.  In some traditions it is said that the job of Horus is to avenge the destruction of wisdom.  Isis-the Widow- is the Mystery School itself and through her efforts the redeemers of Wisdom are continually produced.

Throughout the study of the Western Mystery traditions we often come across a certain term repeatedly.  That term is ‘The Great Work’.   The Great Work is another term for the primary goal of many facets of the Western Mysteries.  Each step along the Path of Return brings one closer to the Divine. The Great Work is nothing less the achievement of union with the Divine at the highest possible level. The three pillars of Alchemy, Magic, and Astrology are used to achieve this goal.  Alchemy is defined as being the Operation of the Sun.  Magic in this context is defined as the Operation of the Stars.  Astrology in this context is defined as the Operation of the Moon. Together they are the Three Parts of the Wisdom of the Universe as laid out in the Emerald Tablet of Hermes.  The Emerald Tablet is the origin of the phrase, ‘As Above, so Below.’.  The Emerald Tablet also refers to the three parts of the wisdom of the whole Universe.

Hermetic Philosphy derives its name from the writings attributed to Hermes Trismegistus.   This name is really a title which means the Thrice Great Hermes.  Hermes is the Greek god name associated with a much older Egyptian God Thoth/Tehuti.  Hermetic teachings heavily influenced the Western Mystery Traditions and through them the Renaissance and the Reformation.  That tells you where the name came from, but still doesn’t tell you anything about Hermetic philosophy.
The Hermetic philosophies found in the writings of Hermes are collected in numerous volumes called collectively the Corpus Hermeticum-17 volumes of which survived. Another much shorter text is the famous Emerald Tablet of Hermes.  

The Emerald Tablet of Hermes

True, without falsehood, certain and most true, that which is above is as that which is below, and that which is below is as that which is above, for the performance of the miracles of the One Thing. And as all things are from One, by the mediation of One, so all things have their birth from this One Thing by adaptation. The Sun is its father, the Moon its mother, and the Wind carries it in its belly, its nurse is the Earth. This is the father of all perfection, or consummation of the whole world. Its power is integrating, if it be turned into earth. 

Thou shalt separate the earth from the fire, the subtle from the gross, suavely, and with great ingenuity. It ascends from earth to heaven and descends again to earth, and receives the power of the superiors and of the inferiors. So thou hast the glory of the whole world; therefore let all obscurity flee before thee. This is the strong force of all forces, overcoming every subtle and penetrating every solid thing. So the world was created. Hence were all wonderful adaptations, of which this is the manner. Therefore am I called Hermes Trismegistus, having the three parts of the philosophy of the whole world. What I have to tell is completed, concerning the Operation of the Sun.

The Kybalion-is more modern book containing the Hermetic Philosophy, though it was published over 100 years ago now.  

THE SEVEN HERMETIC PRINCIPLES. 

"The Principles of Truth are Seven; he who knows these, understandingly, possesses the Magic Key before whose touch all the Doors of the Temple fly open."

The Seven Hermetic Principles, upon which the entire Hermetic Philosophy is based, are as follows:

I. THE PRINCIPLE OF MENTALISM.
“THE ALL IS MIND; The Universe is Mental.”

II. THE PRINCIPLE OF CORRESPONDENCE.
“As above, so below; as below, so above.”        
 
III. THE PRINCIPLE OF VIBRATION.
“Nothing rests, everything moves; everything vibrates.”

lV. THE PRINCIPLE OF POLARITY.
“Everything is Dual; everything has poles; everything has its pair of opposites; like and unlike are the same; opposites are identical in nature, but different in degree; extremes meet; all truths are but half-truths; all paradoxes may be reconciled.”

V. THE PRINCIPLE OF RHYTHM.
“Everything flows, out and in; everything has its tides; all things rise and fall; the pendulum swing manifests in everything; the measure of the swing to the right is the measure of the swing to the left; rhythm compenstates.”

VI. THE PRINCIPLE OF CAUSE AND EFFECT.
“Every Cause has its Effect; every Effect has its Cause; everything happens according to Law; Chance is but a name for Law not recognized; there are many planes of causation, but nothing escapes the Law.”

VII. THE PRINCIPLE OF GENDER.
“Gender is in everything; everything has its Masculine and Feminine Principles; Gender manifests on all planes.”

The Tree of Life
One of the primary symbols seen throughout the study of the Western Mystery Tradition is Tree of Life.  The Tree of Life is derived from Jewish Mysticism and perhaps more properly the European Pagan influences to which the early practitioners of Occult Hermetic Qabalah were exposed.   Within the Tree of Life we have three Pillars and 10 Sephiroth and 22 Paths connecting them. Hmm, just happens to be 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet.  There are also 22 Keys or Trumps in the Major Arcana of the Tarot.  Each Tarot Key is related to a letter of the Hebrew Alphabet and is assigned a Path along the Tree of Life. 


  
A more familiar view of The Tree of Life may be the image below.




The Pattern on the Trestleboard as listed below walks us down the Tree of Life from top to bottom.  You might notice there are eleven statements listed but only ten numbered Sephiroth.  The other one is for Daath which is not always listed or counted among the Sephiroth.  Daath does exist though and could be the subject of many a discussion.   I’ll let everyone decide which of the eleven listed statements is actually for Daath.

The Pattern on the Trestleboard

This Is Truth About The Self
  1. All the Power that ever was or will be is here now.
  2. I am a center of expression for the Primal Will-to-Good which eternally creates and sustains the Universe.
  3. Through me its unfailing Wisdom takes form in thought and word.
  4. Filled with Understanding of its perfect law, I am guided, moment by moment, along the path of liberation.
  5. From the exhaustless riches of its Limitless Substance, I draw all things needful, both spiritual and material.
  6. I recognize the manifestation of the Undeviating Justice in all the circumstances of my life.
  7. In all things, great and small, I see the Beauty of the Divine Expression.
  8. Living from that Will, supported by its unfailing Wisdom and Understanding, mine is the Victorious Life.
  9. I look forward with confidence to the perfect realization of the Eternal Splendor of the Limitless Light.
  10. In thought and word and deed, I rest my life, from day to day, upon the sure Foundation of Eternal Being.
  11. The Kingdom of Spirit is embodied in my flesh.
One lesson of sorts that we find when studying the Western Mysteries asks us to take our own path and or beliefs and see how it fits upon the Tree of Life. Where does your path fit upon this the Tree of Life?

Bill Schell