Breath of Life, Breath of Change (Guest Blog)

Image: Pixabay

I wasn’t sure how to approach the subject of this post initially. His Nibs is standing by with a neutral expression, so no help there. For people who are unfamiliar with the inhabitants of my Shed, His Nibs (aka Anubis) is a regular visitor apart from the Trickster Hare. It’s been a while since the two of us had met up and perhaps our meeting on this occasion should have been rescheduled. I should explain that a horrible cold is plaguing me at the moment. Blocked sinuses, a congested chest and unproductive cough are testing my mettle. I feel tired and want to hibernate. Boo hoo!

 At least you’re not so snotty now, I believe that is the correct term applicable here? comments the Jackal god.

That made me pause. He has a point you know, I should be thankful. My inner and outer worlds are in a state of flux, yet again. As is the weather in the UK and my part of North Wales. We’ve been battered by Storm Doris for several days. Wind and rain are engaged in a tense ‘dance off’, not sure who’ll win. The metaphorical bulb lights above my head. Aha. Wind, the Element of Air, voice, breath and prayer. Praise the gods! I have it. My musings will meander a little, so apologies.

His Nibs lifts an eyebrow and the White Rabbit/Hare looks up from the armchair with a surprised look. Let me start with prayer. Regardless of one’s spiritual path, prayer is an important aspect of the devotee’s life. It was most certainly for the Maya. Their gods literally breathed life into the people of the maize; they talked the Maya into existence. I find this image incredibly powerful and humbling. The writer, anthropologist and filmmaker Omar W Rosales, JD best known for his book “Elemental Shaman” commented that the Maya communicated with their gods through breath, which involved prayer, songs and words spoken in faith. Rosales commented that the breath returned words and thoughts that had originated with the gods in the form of prayers.

He also stated:

For Maya shamans, it is the most powerful way to communicate with the gods. It’s breath that makes it special, because the breath carries the words from a person’s soul.”

Symbolically breath is associated with gathering spiritual power and yogic practices place particular importance on exercises using breathing techniques. These exercises enable the absorption of air and solar light. They also mimic the rhythms of the Cosmos with the in-breath and out-breath. Hindu tradition often refers to the symbolism of sounds, letters and words. The vibration of which tune into the rhythms of the Universe. One example being the syllable OM or AUM. It’s said to contain the entire essence of the Universe, “A” being the Beginning, “U” being the Transition and “M” being the End or Deep Sleep.

As I write this, the wind is still blowing strongly outside. Which brings me nicely to the symbolism of air and wind. The Element of Air is said to relate to three principal ideas:

  •  Being a medium for movement and the beginning of life processes.
  •  The creative breath of life (and of speech).
  •  Vigorous winds, associated in many mythologies with creation. It’s air in its active and violent persona.

It’s associated with the human intellect and though processes, which are considered abstract, changeable and quick. Air is the third (Tertius) Alchemical Element, Aer. It has power through a connection with the Element of Spirit.

C G Jung, the psychiatrist and psychoanalyst recalled that the word “ruh” in Arabic (and also paralleled in Hebrew) signified breath and spirit.

I did say this piece would be meandering. Such are the thought processes going through my mind at the moment. Only natural due to the elemental forces being unleashed outside. I’m sitting at the kitchen table looking at the garden and surrounding landscape. The bare branched trees and garden plants are being vigorously shaken. All that’s dead and of no use now is being flung onto the ground. Storms serve a useful purpose by pruning away all that’s outlived its purpose to make way for the potential of new growth. I sense storms have a particular focus and purpose in the way they operate. Perhaps I have need of this power to cleanse on the inner and outer aspects of life. There’s been a sense of inertia for quite a while, certainly on the creative level. I can assure you many prayers have been sent up to the “Powers that Be” for resolution of many issues. I promised to write several book reviews, complete assignments (related to spiritual and mundane matters), spring clean my filing, etc. The list seems endless.

Image: Pixabay

I’m sure His Nibs won’t mind but a little prayer to Djehuty (Thoth) might be of use where my creative, intellectual and mental blockages are concerned. That doesn’t sound right does it? I’m sure many of us can relate to a little mental constipation now and again. It has to be said, there is no other way of expressing this rather indelicate matter. For your information, Djehuty is thought of as being the magician’s magician. He’s considered to be endowed with complete knowledge and wisdom; said to have invented all the arts, sciences, astronomy, writing, magic, medicine, surgery and soothsaying. The Greeks designated Djehuty as being Hermes Trismegistus (Thrice Great). Anyway, what was I going to do? The prayer. All this mental exercise has quite exhausted me, hopefully this will help. This invocation is taken from G R S Mead’s translation of the Alexandrian text Kore Kosmu:

Such was all-knowing Tahuti, who saw all things,
and seeing understood,
and understanding had the power to disclose
and to give explanation.
For what he knew, he graced on stone;
yet though he graved them onto stone he hid them mostly…
The sacred symbols of the cosmic elements
he hid away hard the secrets of Osiris
…keeping sure silence,
that every younger age of cosmic time might seek for them.”

That’s done, now for a cup of tea. Darjeeling or Assam? His Nibs squeezes my shoulder reassuringly.

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