Posture and Breathing
The following text is cited from: Denning, Melita & Phillips, Osborne. Mysteria Magica. Llewellyn.
The three established postures of the Western Tradition are:
A. The Sitting or God-form Posture
B. The Standing or Wand Posture
C. The Supine or Earth Posture
A. The God-form Posture is of ancient Egyptian origin. It is essential for this posture that a seat should be arranged so that the thighs shall be horizontal while the lower leg is vertical, and the soles of the feet rest steadily upon the floor, or if necessaryupon a support. Thus seated, with the spine erect but not stiffly vertical, the feet should be placed side by side as should the knees. The upper arms should hang loosely at the sides and the hands should rest palm downwards upon the thighs. The head should be heldso that if opne the eyes gaze straight ahead.
B. The Wand Posture is a normal and well-balanced standing position. The head is held erect, the shoulders are dropped back so that they are neither drooping nor held rigidly square. The arms hang by the sides with a slight natural curve at the elbow; the feet are placed side by side, the toes neither being turned in or out. If this posture is correctly maintained, it should be possible to take a step forward with either foot as required, without shifting the weight.
C. The Earth Posture is a position in which the subject lies flat on his back. The legs are straight and the arms liestraight at the sides of the body. It is essential for this posture that tight clothing and unnecessary discomforts should be avoided.
The Rhythmic Breath
The standard breathing technique used in connection with Aurum Solis practices is referred to as the Rhythmic Breath. This particular rhythm of breathing is termed by some people the Healing Breath, because one of the good results of its proficient use is the rapid and powerful release of energy: for oneself if need be, or to implement works of healing and magical acts generally.
To practice the Rhythmic Breath begin by counting your own heartbeats At first it may be difficult to concentrate upon the heartbeat, so keep away while practicing from sounds such as a ticking clock or strongly rhythmic music. In time you will be able to disregard sounds which do not relate to what you are doing.
When you first begin to concentrate on your heartbeat, it may slow down to some extend before steadying itself. This is quite normal, and with more practice will cease to occur.
The rhythm of this form of breathing consists in taking in the breath during a count of 6 heartbeats, holding the breath for a count of 3, exhaling during a count of 6, then counting 3 before beginning to inhale again. The critical point is the count of 3 beofre beginning to inhale: some studentsmay at first find this pause impossible or distressing. In such a case, strain is to be avoided. A count of 2 heartbeats should then be used, but the characteristic rhythm of the practice should be maintained: this will mean inhaling during a count of 4, holding the breath during a count of 2, exhaling during a count of 4, and thus coming to the pause of 2 heartbeats before again inhaling. In time the standard count will become easy.
When the Rhythmic Breath is achieved, whether 4-2-4-2 or the full 6-3-6-3, it may be used whenever the opportunity offers, and certainly should be used when any magical or meditative practice is undertaken. The intention in Rhythmic Breathing is not, as it may first seem, to keep the attention focused on counting heartbeats or upon the flow of breath; but to facilitate a total concentration upon other matters in confidence that the Rhythmic Breath, once established, will continue in a smooth and entirely adequate manner for as long as it is neededm without counting, without another conscious thought. A natural, easy flow of rhythmic breathing thus becomes “second nature”.