In this Throwback Thursday post, I talk theology and practice. Originally published in the Pantheon blog, May 18, 2010.
Roses are planted where thorns grow,
And on the barren heath
Sing the honey bees.
–”The Marriage of Heaven and Hell,” William Blake
I don’t intend to to try to teach the tradition here. There’s a limit to how much you can do based on written words, whether on a page or on a screen. However, this version of one of the core practices will serve to demonstrate an underlying principle.
Some people call this “making kala”; T. Thorn Coyle calls it “the water rite.” I sometimes call it “the water trick” but also like to use the Middle English word clannes, which means innocence, purity, polishing to brightness, and the clear ringing of a bell.
Fill a cup with water. Feel in your body where there are blockages, tension, and dark or stagnant energy. Cup your hands in front of you, and let all that flow into and form an egg in your hands. Break the “egg” into the water.
Now listen for the ongoing creation song of the universe, which reverberates all around you. Sing to the water; Om is good, as is Ma, but sing what you hear. Know that this note transforms that energy, your energy, back to its original pure and radiant state.
Say “Hail to the mother of all things.” Drink the water.
Understand that you’re not getting rid of anything; no part of you is bad, wrong, broken, or unnecessary. You’re just taking something that had solidified into a pattern that no longer serves you, changing it back into a state that is accessible and fluid, and re-integrating it.
Advanced technique: Do it some more.
We sometimes speak of “Feri alchemy.” This is what we mean. The other core ideas and meditations in Feri are all different means of spinning straw into gold.
The beginning of everything
is the mother of everything.
Truly to know the mother
is to know her children,
and truly to know the children
is to turn back to the mother.
- Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu, trans, Ursula K. LeGuin