Uniting the Tree of Life & the Great Work
In one month, my new book Shamanic Qabalah: A Mystical Path to Uniting the Tree of Life & the Great Work, will be released from Llewellyn Worldwide publications. It has been a long journey, a mystical path that all started with a group of friends wanting to grow their relationship with the Unseen. Please enjoy this excerpt from the Introduction:
“It was on Day of the Dead 2013 that one particular psychonaut crossed the threshold of my front door and into my living room with strange eyes that were full of conspicuous mystery. Adorned in an overly large trench coat that reached down to his ankles, he waddled in with a
stack of worn books tucked under one arm. His white-gray, disheveled hair, a goatee braided into beads, and his prickly eyebrows all formed the same sort of otherworldly demonic look as Max von Sydow playing Ming the Merciless in the horrendously campy 1980 Flash Gordon film. Physically, his stature was tiny, but his ambience radiated huge throughout the room.
My wife, Autumn, and I had invited him over to speak to a group gathered for a Día de
los Muertos event, as we have a great interest in South and Central American ceremonial
practices and were excited to delve deeper into the ceremonial aspects of the culture. He was a
noted local expert in all things esoterica and had agreed to “pull something together” for us.
But John Nichols had other ideas.
With a warlock grin—the kind that made you feel like you were caught up in some grand
cosmic joke that only he knew you were a part of—he sat down cross-legged, avoiding the head
of the room, and immediately informed us all this would be less of a presentation and more of an informal discussion. At that time, I eyed the tattered spines of the tomes he placed on the floor in front him: the Yoga Spandakarika, The Sea Priestess by Dion Fortune, and The Forgotten Mage by C. R. F. Seymour. What do any of these texts have to do with Day of the Dead? I thought.
And then, he began: “The thing about Day of the Dead, or just this time of year in
general, is that it seems to be a period of time in which the veil separating this world from the
unseen world is thinnest…”
And that was the last mention of Día de los Muertos for the rest of the evening. The
conversation breathed its own life from there, from discussing other dimensions of existence to
the expansion of consciousness, from shamanic techniques of ecstasy to then something called
the Tree of Life.
I had known about the Qabalah Tree of Life for years. Because it is a vital component to
a robust career in the magical arts, I understood its importance but somehow always likened it to the quantum physics of mysticism. At some level, I knew, I needed to acquire my so-called
mystical “undergrad” and “graduate” degrees first before taking on “PhD”-level territory. I had
mentioned this at some point during the conversation that night, feeling like I wasn’t ready yet to
take on the Tree of Life.
As a response, John pulled out his well-read copy of the Yoga Spandakarika, one of most
important Tantric texts in Kashmiri Shaivism, translated by Kalu Rinpoche–disciple Daniel
Odier. John and his partner teach Tantra, a highly misunderstood discipline that is less about sex and more about the fulfillment of sensory experience, around the world. Spandakarika translates from Sanskrit to “Song of the Sacred Tremor,” the “sacred tremor” being the infinite fluctuation of creation and death, which the tenets of Qabalah identify with.
“Check this out,” John eyed me with a court-jester glance. “Odier is talking about meditation, and the fellas who stay quiet all day and deprive themselves of experience, to gain
some sort of enlightenment…and how great that is, and everything, but that Tantra, resonating
with the sacred tremor…well, let me just read it: ‘In general, this is what happens: we have this
presence to inner feeling, then we come to a situation where there is a great variety of
stimulations, and we get lost in order to taste what is outside.’1 Wow.”
He closed the book, a shiver of elation jolting through his body like he’d been overcome with some invisible ecstasy. He looked back up with wide, determined eyes.
“You see, incarnating in this life…I see it like a massive buffet splayed out before us—‘a great variety of stimulations’—and it’s our duty to try a little bit of this, a little bit of that, not to deprive ourselves, but to ‘get lost in order to taste what is outside.’ The inner world grows through the experience of the outer, and vice versa. They augment each other. There’s nothing you need to prepare for, because life itself is the preparation, the experience to gain the knowledge you need.”
Hours later, John and the crowd left. Autumn and I looked at each other with an earnest
expectation. We knew there would be no going back from here.
We were going to execute an initiatory pathworking into the Qabalah Tree of Life.
After five months of intensive study and preparation, we gathered a cadre of like-minded
folks to join in on the pathworking together. Historically, these rites were always done in groups,
from the mystery schools of old to the secret societies of the modern age. The Lodge of People,
run from our home temple, was a hodge-podge of bright individuals from a variety of spiritual disciplines but with one common goal in mind: exploring the Tree of Life together as a sacred
On the evening of March 20, the spring equinox of 2014, the Lodge candidates all
gathered together to launch the Great Work, a collective pathworking into the Qabalah Tree of
Life. From the outset, we dubbed our endeavor “the Mystic Path.”
Initially, almost tongue-in-cheek, we likened our venture to that of the television show
Star Trek: explorers going where no human has gone before. In some respects, we had no idea
how true this sentiment would be as the weeks, months, and then years rolled by. However, the
interesting thing about this Work is that others have gone to these places before. This is what
makes the Tree of Life function as a vital spiritual architecture: it is powered by those that have
previously worked it throughout history, but it is up to us to take that knowledge and move it
forward, to explore further and deeper into the unknown based upon what has come before.
As with any voyage of discovery, there are times of both rapture and despair. Regardless
of the difficulties, Autumn and I knew that this information would have to be communicated out
to the world. Even though there have been countless texts written through the ages about
Qabalah and the Tree of Life, it has been said that a good Qabalist takes what they have been
taught and makes it simpler for the coming generations.”
~ ~ ~
Here is a pic of the Mystic Path folks who made it through the entirety of the Tree of Life pathworking. Unfortunately some are not pictured, but these people I and underwent a collective shift in our lives that only the Tree of Life could have delivered.
Pictured Back (left to right): Me, Autumn Moler, John Nichols, Brett Nichols
Pictured Front (left to right): Etoile Flemons, Amy Cheung, Anita Slusher Williams, Yeshe Chodron
I only hope that my new book, Shamanic Qabalah, is a viable contribution for the the next generations. What I have attempted to do is to simplify the complexities of the Tree of Life via the auspices of shamanic practice. Why shamanism? Because shamanic spirituality is at the root of every human being. In a sense, it was our first religion as a species because it involves a direct experience with the sacred. All religions around the world, from every culture, stem from some sort of shamanic event or perspective. Shamanism is the most intuitive form of spiritual development, it lives and breathes inside our DNA through tens of thousands of years of human history.
The focus of Shamanic Qabalah is to assist others in garnering a mystic connection with the sacred. Many who delve into the intricacies of Qabalah are interested in developing magical prowess. However, the goal of my book is to build a relationship with one’s ideal of God, Great Spirit, Creator, etc. The purpose of having such a relationship is to evolve one’s own growth and development of Self. This is Great Work, knowing thyself self fully as being the necessary step toward knowing God.
You can Pre-Order my book now before its December 8th release date. If you pre-order, send me a copy of your order confirmation/receipt and I will send you some exclusive, supplemental material that encompasses my Pre-Order Offering (POO) program!
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