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ancestral spirits easier, by enabling them to show themselves in visible form. Smoke and perfumes served as vehicles for the temporary embodiment of demons which had been summoned up to visible appearance in the ceremonial magic of the Middle Ages_

An early Jewish treatise on magic [the Pneumatica Kabbalistica] alludes to `Dwellers of the Lowest Air', as -Spirits Proud and Wrathful. Authors of Arrogance and Fury, and the Seducers of Men" These demons are said to require thicker and coarser odours and damp obnoxious vapours to make bodies in which the magician can see them­

An Egyptian myth is the basis of a more profound doctrine about air. The Egyptians believed that from the marriage of Chaos [ matter before it was brought to life] and the Wind [the life-breath] came forth Mut or Mat in the form of an egg. Mat or Maat was the Egyptian word for both "mother" and "matter", and was the name of the goddess of truth and justice.

The original egg-mother and matter, the womb in which the chick is hatched - later became the o or nought which the first card in the Tarot pack. In the early French packs this card is actually called Le Mat, the Fool.

The Fool is the first of the cards, the Origin from which all the others proceed. It stands for the Nothing before anything existed. which contained in itself the potential existence of everything; the ultimate Truth (the goddess Maat) behind all the surface phenomena of the universe. It is associated with air in the sense of a vacuum, an emptiness, and is identified with God as Pure Nothingness- having no identifiable characteristics but containing all things.


The Sleeping Serpent

Breath or air as the creative spirit is also linked with the mind, the creator of ideas.

In Hinduism, mind and breath (prana) are considered to be identical. Many forms of yoga involve pranayama (control of breathing) although far more is involved than the inhalation, retention and expiration of breath. The theory behind it is when the process of breathing ceases to agitate the body and subsides, the mind attains absolute tranquillity. freedom from thought, and the ultimate identity of itself with the object of meditation' The flow of breath having been controlled to the point of where it ceases altogether, conception of mental images also ceases, and the mind becomes empty. merging into a formless radiance which is the nature of pure bliss. This doctrine was developed in its final and most perfect form in certain Hindu and Buddhist manuals, in which the whole of creation is regarded as illusory. Prana, the breath or life - current, is primarily used to compel the upward surge of kundalini, the great magical shakti or power residing in every individual. She is visualized as a sleeping serpent coiled at the base of the spine. She is activated by a concentration of citta (mind -substance) set in motion by controlled breathing. The breath is thus a compulsive energy used to awaken the dormant cosmic power. This power is also likened to fire, fanned into activity by pranayama.

Magic powers accrue to the adept who stays the kundalini at any one of the six lotuses (chakras) situated at intervals along the spinal column. In the real adept, the true yogi, the fire is not arrested at any of these centres but is exalted to the highest lotus; the thousand-petalled lotus (sahasrara) in the region of the brain, where the goddess Kundalini unites with her lord, Shiva (pure consciousness). Samadhi (literally 'together with the lord') is the result.

When Samadhi is stabilized and rendered pemianent, it is known as liberation (mukti) ; it causes the yogi to become aware of his natural state. Liberation is not a




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