Hermetic Stretches Part 1: A simple exercise for opening to the Light

This is one of a number physical exercises that I will share with you all that I have either developed or modified from some of the teachers I have had. You may find elements of yoga, qigong, and hermetic magick intermingled in them. This one combines some simple yoga-style stretches with some gestures and imagery from hermetic magick. You can do this as a standalone movement or as part of a daily exercise routine. I usually do a set of 10 of them, very slowly.

Preparation: I find that listening to yoga or meditation music, with sandalwood incense burning to be a very nice way to do it. Wear loose-fitting clothes, yoga clothes or do them naked.

Difficulty: Easy

Stand upright, feet about shoulder width apart with your arms by your sides, fingers relaxed and together, facing your hips. Your head is facing forward, spine and neck aligned. Your weight is evenly distributed between your feet. This is a standard position for many exercises, martial arts, and other activities.

Turn your hands so that the palms face forward and slowly open your arms until they are straight, and comfortably pointing out and downward at about a 45-degree angle. Breathe in and out slowly, fully 2 to 3 times. You can visualize yourself becoming an open channel for the Light of the Universe to descend from above, down into the Earth, then up from the Earth, through you to return to the Universe. The Light is not flowing yet, you are only seeing yourself as the perfect conduit or channel for the Light to flow.

Note: If you are doing multiple repetitions, on the 2nd and subsequent times, instead visualize that you are an ACTIVE CONDUIT of the light with all of the fire and water triangles already in place and light pulsating and flowing down and up through you and through them. Each time you do the exercise see the light flow growing stronger and brighter, your body glowing more and more each time. By the completion of the 10th repetition, visualize your entire body as a being of Light.

Now, as you inhale slowly, raise your arms up until you are standing in the Tau-cross position, with your arms parallel to the ground. Your fingers are together, thumb extended at a 90-degree angle from your fingers forming a right angle. Your palms can be facing forward, but I find it better if they are angled slightly upward, with the palms and fingers slightly curved, as if you are touching or holding a giant sphere. Your face is forward.

This position is very similar to the secret sign called Osiris Slain, or as it is called in some orders, Jesus on the Cross.

Breathe in and out slowly and fully one time. Now, tighten the muscles of your upper back and shoulders, and pull your arms back, stretching your chest muscles and opening up your heart to the Universe. Hold this posture for as long as comfortable, up to 10 slow, inhalation and exhalations.

Now, slowly raise your arms up and over your head, as you do, lean your head back and look up, watching your hands come together. Your palms should be forward and you bring your thumbs together, arms straight, directly overhead. Allow your index fingers to touch, forming an equilateral triangle in the open space between your heads. Look between them and see the Light shining above you, through this triangle. Visualize it descending through it into the top of your head.  Feel the warmth on your face.

Hold this position, for as long as comfortable, or up to 10 full inhalations and exhalations. As you breathe, extend your hands as high as you can, keeping your feet flat on the ground. You may also choose to press your hands more tightly together, stretching the thumbs to form a diamond shape instead of a triangle.  The triangle and diamonds are sharp-edged, hard-lined shapes and are generally masculine in nature. The upturned triangle is an elemental sign for Fire. It is also a symbol of the lingam or phallus, and also the spear or blade, which are all masculine symbols. If you prefer, you may press the fingers and thumbs together even more while simultaneously curving the hands slightly. By squeezing the fingers and curving the hands, you break the angles and creates curved shapes which are feminine. The opening between your fingers now takes on the unmistakable shape of the female genitalia or yoni. Whichever shape you make, be consistent and use that symbology throughout the exercise. As this is intended as a Hermetic exercise, the triangle is most appropriate.

IF you are using the triangles, visualize that a glowing triangle of red flames remains positioned over the top of your head, at the crown chakra. The Light flows into and through this triangle and into and out of your body.

Note: for a more pronounced stretch, you may arch your back and move your hands until the palms are parallel with the ground pointing skyward. Your face should follow your hands so that you look through the opening. If so, return to an upright position before continuing to the next step.

Lower your face to look forward again as you slowly turn your palms together over your head, arms still fully extended. Hold your hands together, thumbs extended at 90-degree angles from your fingers, making the universally recognized gesture of prayer. Hold this position for one full in-and-out breath.

Slowly and deliberately, lower your hands about half of the distance between the fully extended position and the top of your head. Your upper arms should be as close to vertical as possible and your forearms at inward-pointing 45-degree angles. The palms should point heavenward.

Visualize the light as a sphere around your hands, descending down into your body. Give thanks to the Universe and welcome the Light into your body. Continue to breathe slowly and deeply. Hold this pose as long as comfortably, up to a maximum of 10 full breaths.  Feel your crown chakra opening as the light fills it and flows downward.

Now, slowly bring your hands down, palms together, until the hands are in front of your forehead. Slowly open your palms with your thumbs and index fingers together and form the upward pointing triangle of Fire again (or the diamond or yoni as you did earlier). Visualize a red flaming Fire Triangle here in front of your forehead and the Light passing through it, continuing down into your body. Feel your Third Eye opening, welcoming Insight. Hold this pose for at least one full breath.

Slowly lower your hands until the tips of your index fingers are level with the bottom of your chin. Your forearms and upper arms will be almost parallel with the ground and the elbows extended out to the sides. Keep your hand in the Fire triangle position, point up. Visualize another red Fire Triangle forms and remains in this location, with the Light flowing through it.

Hold this position for at least one full breath and visualize the Light flowing down all the way through your body, but opening your throat chakra. To experience the full richness of this, you may vocalize or “vibrate” a sound. You can say anything you find helpful. Some of the things that work for me are:

  • The names of the archangels, but for this exercise I find only 2 of the four work well… Michael (mee-ckah-el) when using the Fire triangle and Gabriel (gah-bree-el) when using the water triangle (which we will do soon).
  • Ehehieh (pronounced eh-heh-yeah): which is Hebrew and is one of the “names” or attributions of God and means essentially “I AM”.
  • Adonai (pronounced ah-doh-nigh): which is Hebrew and is one of the “names” or attributions of God and means “LORD”.
  • If using the female shapes, I find a good thing to vibrate is one of the feminine Goddess names like: Astarte’/Ashtoreth/Asherah (all 3 pronounced with 3 syllables Ah-star-tay, Ahsh-toe-rett, Ah-shuh-raw).
  • You could also just use the traditional “Aum” or “om” sound.

I didn’t say it earlier, but you can chant these throughout the exercise, not just at this point, but if you only do it here, it is fine too. I will typically vibrate Michael one time each time I make the Fire triangle and Gabriel each time I make the Water Triangle.

Lower your hands slowly until they are over your heart and feel your heart opening and filling with Light. Visualize another red fire triangle forming here over your heart and see the light pulsing in your heart and descending downward. Hold your hands here for one full breath while maintaining the Fire triangle shape.

Now, slowly rotate your hands, holding the position and gesture, turning your palms down past parallel until you have reversed the position and your fingers are pointing down at the ground. If you are holding a triangular shape, it is now the downward pointing WATER triangle. Visualize a blue, flaming Water Triangle forms here in the same space as the Fire Triangle. This creates a six-pointed star over your heard made of two interlocking and intertwined triangles, one red Fire Triangle and one Blue Water Triangle.

If you are vibrating sounds at this point, vibrate again and if using the archangels, vibrate Gabriel (Gah-bree-el).

Lower your hands to your solar plexus, between your belly button and sternum. Visualize a blue Water Triangle forming here and remaining in place as the light passes through it and on downward. Hold this position for one full breath, keeping your hand in the Water triangle position.

Lower your hands again until they are over your groin. You should be standing upright, arms fully extended. Visualize another blue Water Triangle forming here and the Light descending through your groin. Hold this pose again for one full breath.

Now, slowly lower your hands and bend at the waist, curling your shoulders, neck and back as your “roll over”  your body. Hands pass down your thighs, knees, shins, ankles. If you are able to keep  your legs straight, do so. If you need to bend your knees, do so. Each time you do this work on stretching your legs more and more until you can do it comfortably with legs straight.

Your hands move past your ankles and to your feet. Visualize the light descending. Touch the tips of your index fingers to the floor or ground, then rotate your palms upward until you are able to look through the opening between your fingers and thumbs at the ground beneath you. Visualize a final blue Water Triangle forming here by your feet, where they contact the Earth. See the Light passing through this opening into the Earth. Hold this position as long as comfortable or up to 10 full breaths.

As you inhale slowly, visualize Light pouring down from the Universe and through your body. It enters through a Fire Triangle above your head, passes down through each Fire triangle at your forehead, and throat. Then at your heart, you see a double triangle or six-pointed star. One half is the upward-pointing Fire triangle and the other is the downward-pointing water triangle. See the Light fill this six-rayed star and flow down through the Water triangles as your solar plexus, grown and feet, then into the Earth.

As you exhale, visualize the Light flowing up from the Earth, entering through the opening of the Water triangle by your feet, up through the water triangles at your grown and solar plexus and into the six-rayed star at your heart. Then, see it rise up through the fire triangles at your throat, forehead, and crown of your heat to rejoin the sphere of Universal Light.

Note: for an extra stretch, place the palms of your hands flat on the ground or floor in front of your feet.

Slowly, stand back up straight. Your hands move up your legs palms facing them holding the Water Triangle. As your hands pass your heart, rotate the palms up and form the Fire triangle, then move your hands up over your head, looking through the triangle as it reaches the top. Separate your hands, spread and lower your arms as your face returns to looking forward. Pass through the sign of Osiris Slain with your arms out in the shape of the T or Tau cross, but don’t pause there. Continue lowering your arms until they are down by your sides and we return to the starting position.

At this point, you may stop or, take one full breath in and out, then begin again, repeating the exercise as many times as you are comfortable with.

Yours in Light,

Bandor

 

 

 

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