Hermetic/alchemical meditation

9. The The Soul Bird

In this series of elementary meditative exercises, no special postures are required but that in which one is most comfortable, nor are any special breathing rhythms used. Meditation should be undertaken when one is not too tired, and the best situation is probably lying down in a quiet, nearly dark, room, and it is essential to have privacy and no possibility of being disturbed.
All these exercises begin with the Philosophic Egg or retort meditation, described in the first issue, which leads one into an inner meditative space. Within that space, we shall perform short exercises, and then close the meditation with the retort exercise reversed, that is leading one out of the inner space back to normal consciousness.
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The Soul Bird

Centre oneself in one's inner space through performing the retort exercise, and this time focus on the relationship of the soul to the senses. Once centred begin to feel the soul and how it is bound up with the sense perceptive aspect of one' s being, tied to the processes of the brain. Allow this feeling to grow and form itself into a structured awareness.

Then turn one's awareness outwards and sense the vast space around and above the soul, the heights to which it also belongs. Allow this feeling to develop and pictures to form reflecting that the heights of one's being is also a realm for the soul.

One experiences the soul being tied and bound to the sense perception aspect of one's being, but part of the soul has an upward aspiration. Picture this part inwardly as the Soul Bird, a part of the soul substance that is free of the chains of perception. (This bird can be pictured in various ways - form one suited to your own experience) . The essence of the Soul Bird is that one experiences it as a part of the soul forces of one's being that is free and able to rise upwards away from the outer realm of perception.

At this stage one should not identify with the bird, but remain outside the experience and watch it rise and soar into the space of spirit above the soul. (Like a lark ascending perhaps, or an eagle soaring). Let the Soul Bird ascend out of view, then wait till it descends again and re-unites with the lower soul forces. Allow this cycle of ascent and descent to occur as many times as one wishes.

This Soul Bird is the inner vehicle for relating to the spirit through the soul. The bird returns bearing an essence from the spiritual world to nourish the forces of the soul that are tied to the physical senses bound up with the brain. Initially this essence will be perceived only unconsciously.

Only when one's spiritual awareness has developed through more meditative exercises is one able in a profitable way to identify with the Soul Bird itself. At this stage one should remain on the outside within the realm of the lower soul forces.