Constructing Your Own Inner Temple
Needless to say working with so many Archetypas, it only stands to reason you will need a safe place to do so. An inner temple is a great place to begin and work…….
Some occult traditions have a very formal of constructing inner or astral temples. This methos is informal and works well for a solitary practitioner. Keep in mind that this is only the first of several meditations wherein you will be constructing your inner temple. Do not rush through or attempt to cram as much as possible into the session. Focus on exploring what you find first, and not on constructing an elaborate temple space in one shot. First of all, you’ll wear yourself out, and second of all, you won’t be investing enough personal energy into your construct to give it any permanence and stability.
An incense you associate with meditation, or something light such as frankincense (do not use an incense such as myrrh or dragon’s blood—their scents are too heavy and their energies may have negative effects on what you are doing) Straight-backed meditation chair (optional)
1. Prepare yourself as you would for ritual, by cleansing your body and clearing your mind. Prepare your physical ritual space in your usual fashion.
2. Cast a formal circle, call all four elements to witness, and invoke your customary form of the Goddess and/or God. To ease your work, you may wish to light your incense now.
3. When you have finished the ritual opening, take a moment to center yourself again, and then sit down. As when you meditate, a straight-backed chair is ideal. It is best not to lie down during this working meditation. Begin by taking a few slow, deep breaths to calm your body and mind.
4. Visualize yourself walking along a path. It may be a city road or a forest trail; either way, this path does not have other paths branching off from it. As you walk this path, keep your intent of finding your inner temple clearly in your mind.
5. Eventually the path will end at a door or a gate of some kind. This door may be formally constructed and set in a wall, or it may be something as simple as a low branch or a rock set in the opening of a cave. This doorway cannot be passed by anyone but you. Lay your hand upon the door, and it will open, for you are the key to unlock it and gain access to your inner temple. No one else will ever be able to enter this space without your invitation.
6. Step through the doorway into the space beyond. Look around you. The space may already have a rough form, as it is responding to your higher self. Take the time to explore thoroughly. If something seems vague, concentrate on it until it becomes clear. Handle those objects you can touch; breathe deeply and discern what odors the temple possesses. Listen closely to the ambient noise. All these observations allow you to interact with the temple on various levels, making it more real to you. Ask yourself the following questions to help you get acquainted with the temple space and to further connect it with your own energy.
• What are the walls made of? What color are they?
• What does the floor look like? Is there a covering of some kind?
• What does the ceiling look like?
• Where does the light come from? What sort of illumination does it cast?
• What are the representations of the four elements? Where are they?
• What is the temperature?
• What are the sounds?
• What is on the walls?
7. There will likely already be an altar somewhere in the room. Do not be concerned if it does not correspond to where you first think the altar should be. Do not be concerned if the four elements do not reflect your accustomed cardinal directions. If there is no altar, create one in the center of the space; this will be your main ritual area. Your inner temple is a place where you can set up your workspace any way you please; however, a central altar is a very adaptable setup.
8. There may be doors in this temple room. If there are, do not go through them—stay in this central room for now. It is essential to establish a strong link with your main temple room before you begin to explore or create other areas of the complex.
9. Once you know what is in the central room, take a moment or two to center again. Then leave, closing the door behind you and placing your hand upon it to lock it once again. Retrace your steps along the path until you are ready to return to your physical space.
10. Write down the impression you received while exploring your inner temple, along with as many details as you can remember. Sketch out a floor plan. Make a list of what you know to be there. Then look at your list and consider what else you wish to add.
After you’ve completed this first exercise, make note of your dreams for the next couple of nights. You may find that you visit your inner temple in your dreams now that you have actively recognized it. If you meditate, you may discover that you default to this temple space when you visualize yourself elsewhere. Do not be concerned about these appearances of the inner temple; this means that your inner temple is taking root in your subconscious and you are forming an excellent link with it.
Wait for at least three days before repeating the ritual to return to your inner temple. Again, explore the temple space. Some of what you wished to add may have appeared in your absence. If you wish to intentionally add something, choose one object to add at a time, and be detailed and focused when you create it through this visualization. Again, handle each object you see or add; touch it, smell it, listen to it. Step back and look at it from different angles, and at how it fits into the general layout of where you found it. Does the object thematically match the rest of the room, or does it stand out in some way?
When you feel comfortable, begin to experiment with performing ritual in your inner temple space. Ritual in your inner temple is a different experience from regular ritual; it is a very focused undertaking requiring stamina and energy. If you feel tired, don’t try it yet. Essentially, performing ritual in your inner temple means that you are doing the whole ritual inside your head, handling the same amount of energy you would normally handle in your physical circle. Never make the mistake of thinking that working completely in your mind or on the astral plane is “easy.” It is even more challenging than physically doing ritual. The immense amount of concentration involved is staggering, and if you are unprepared or fatigued you can seriously harm yourself.
When you do ritual in your inner temple, be sure that you are well grounded and that you have access to an energy source, such as the earth or the sky. Don’t make the error of using only your own energy.
At first, do your entire ritual sequence, from cleansing and purifying through your circle, your invocations, your central ritual working, and the correct ritual closing. As time goes on and you become more proficient at working in your inner temple, you may wish to permanently consecrate the space so that you will not have to create sacred space or raise a circle every time unless you wish to as part of your formal ritual structure.
Working in your inner temple can be a very rewarding experience. It certainly refines your use of energy, and it forces you to evolve your skills to match the requirements of the exercise. In a space such as this, working with any of the archetypes mentioned earlier, or engaging in any of the techniques such as aspecting or channeling, can be made safer, and a deeper experience. Remember to keep detailed notes in your spiritual journal; your inner temple experiences will have much to teach you when you look back over your progress.
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