Physis is divided into seven stages and these seven stages may be regarded as representing the varying degrees of insight attained. In terms of traditional magick, the stages represent Initiation, Second Degree Initiation, External Adept, Internal Adept, Master/Mistress (or High Priest/Priestess), Magnus and Immortal.
Each stage is associated with a sphere of the Septenary 'Tree of Wyrd' and some symbolic. For example, the first stage is the sphere of the Moon and is associated with Quartz, the alchemical process 'Calcination', the word 'Nox' and the three Tarot cards 18 Moon, 15 Lucifer, and 13 Death. Each sphere is regarded as tripartite in nature, representing the unconscious aspect1, and the ego aspect2, and the self aspect3. These aspects represent the gradual evolution of the 'energy' of the sphere since each sphere may be regarded as archetypal in nature - the three Tarot cards showing the aspects of the archetype. Appendix I gives the details of the seven spheres - their attributions and so on.
Physis is essentially a means which enables an understanding of the forces associated with each sphere: an experiencing of those forces associated with each sphere: an experiencing of those forces as they are in themselves enabling what Jungian psychology understands as the 'withdrawing of projections'. This withdrawing creates the 'self from the 'ego' - it is an expansion of individual consciousness, and represents what is often known as enlightenment.
The means of Physis are the Grade Rituals associated with each sphere, and the Star Game. The Grade Rituals are practical tasks, essentially two-fold in nature. The first part consists of a series of studies, meditations and the achievement of certain personal goals specified according to the sphere associated with the particular Grade Rituals, while the second part is the performance by the individual of a very specific 'ritual'. This ritual is simple in both form and content. Ritual here means a method of undertaking something in which the details are faithfully repeated. This faithful repetition is important, because by following the procedure exactly the required changes in consciousness are produced.
In the early stages the seven-fold Way is easy, but it gradually becomes more difficult, demanding a great deal of commitment. Genuine Adeptship and enlightenment must be worked for - they are attained, by the individual, and never given as gifts.
The first two stages may be said to represent a confrontation with the shadow aspect of the psyche of the individual - and an integration of this aspect followed by transcendence, giving thus a new synthesis. The third stage may be said to be a confrontation with what Jung has called the 'anima/animus': the power and fascination of love, eros. The fourth stage represents the emergence of the 'self from a fusion of 'ego' and 'unconscious'. The fifth stage represents the development, within the individual, of wisdom - an understanding beyond the self.
Each stage has an alchemical process associated with it, representing the means and the insight attained: for example, the process for the second sphere, Mercury, is Separation - and the form this takes is 'indulgence'. The Grade Ritual associated with this stage is in a sense a symbolic representation, psychological terms, of the alchemical process.
Those who wish to follow the seven-fold Way should undertake the Grade Rituals in order, beginning with that of the first sphere - Initiation.
Each stage of the seven-fold Way provides you with both personal (i.e. 'emotional') and magickal experiences, and these experiences are consolidated during the next stage. In short, the stages provoke, by their nature, self-insight, and this insight is a gradual process of learning.
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