Copyright © 2008 by William R. Mistele. No part of this essay may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without permission in writing from the Publisher.
Ten Rules for Spiritual Seekers, A Guide for Beginners, or A Letter to Young Disciples
Rule 10: Known as Malkuth, The Kingdom; the earth--our physical world.
Virtue—discrimination, that is, experience.
Vice—greed, inertia, insecure, anxious, and/or self-possessed.
Get a life--
Find something worth doing that is totally captivating and that feels right for you. The purpose of puberty was to get you moving in this direction. Fail to do this and the whole house of cards (Tarot) will come tumbling down.
[Magical practice: observe everything you do as a detached spectator, that is, observe your routines as if you are doing them for the first time.]
Rule 9: Yesod, the Foundation; the Moon; Inner harmony with the universe.
Virtue: independence, inner strength, that is, self-motivation.
Vice: idleness, complacency, depression.
Wonder, awe, and the mystery of being alive—if you do not feel these things inside yourself and the inner contentment and peace they create, forget it. These are the first requirements for a spiritual journey. Without them, nothing will protect you from the dark side.
Don’t like yourself? Self-loathing? Lack self-acceptance? Not sure if you want to go on existing without some quick and easy fix from the guru, the master, or the divine? Feel that the world owes you for all you have been through and had to put up with? The world owes you nothing.
Figure out who has wounded, offended, or harmed you, work through it, and move on. Otherwise, you have just put an end to your journey—any further spiritual exploration will involve you in high caliber self-deception. In other words, you will inevitably and repeatedly expect others to fill in for the exact thing you are missing in yourself. And this they can not do because they are not you.
Rule 9 requires that you understand desire in every aspect, detail, history, fiber and nuance. You can be pure, devote, or righteous without doing this. But the spiritual will be forbidden to you—for the self-righteous, the spiritual is taboo. For those who do not accept themselves, the body is not a temple--it is a trap which they use to cage and enslave the spirit.
In other words, if you need love, a home, a place to belong, find it first here on earth before you go seeking it in heaven or the inner planes. Heaven created the earth so you could have at least a chance to find a home.
It is find and dandy to say, “Our dwelling place is in God.” But you first need a consciousness that comprehends all ages of the world before you can pull that off. If you can not first deal with your self, you end up treating everyone else as if they are your nursemaid and caregiver.
[Magical practice: constantly explore your five senses—there is no end to their revelations, their wisdom, and the power of their transformations. How? Study your five senses as if your sensory perceptions are new, unknown, and extremely important to you. Set aside a few minutes everyday and act in this way.]
Rule 8: Hod, Glory; Mercury; the quest for truth and knowledge.
Virtue: truthful, clear, enthusiastic, vivacious, curious, and
Vice: falsehood, dishonesty, insipid, narrow-minded, or unaware.
Learn to argue both side of any position. Make this a life long ambition. That is, before you take a position, make sure you understand the strengths and weaknesses of opposing points of view.
To do this you will have to learn to think others’ thoughts without bias or prejudice. Police negotiators, screenplay writers, mediators, and genuine scientists are constantly practicing this. And do not forget prophets—they are really great at arguing for God’s point of view after scrutinizing the social world, conventions, and mores of their society.
Instead of relying on other people, teachers, karma, or God to explain to you what is wrong with your thinking, you can learn to do this for your self. Save your friends, lovers, your family, the world, akasha, and God a lot of wasted time and energy. Do not take your thoughts for granted. Constantly test them and get rid of them when they do not reflect reality.
[Magical practice: learn to stop your mind from thinking so you can simply observe something without thoughts intervening. All magical traditions rest upon this foundation.]
Rule 7: Netzach, Victory; Venus; Love and harmonious self-expression.
Virtue: unselfishness, empathy, poise, personal harmony and
Vice: lust, selfishness, jealousy, addiction, obsession.
Do not steal others’ energy to fill in for what you lack. Instead, develop empathy—imagine you are the other person, that you have experienced everything the other person has gone through. Imagine further that you are the other person’s guardian angel, higher self, and that the other’s inner sources of inspiration are your own.
Don’t fudge on this. Explore the depth. And don’t exploit it or manipulate it. It is about a soul to soul connection and a balanced circulation.
Now, offer gifts that celebrate or find ways to express this inner connection you feel with the other person. Whatever you do, rule 7 requires that you do not take more than you have been given from any person, spirit, or God. There is always a way to give back.
[Magical practice: it is here in Netzach under the inspiration of Venus that we begin the act of creation. We do this through the power of imagination.
Begin with active listening: learn to reflect to others their thoughts and feelings without distortion or redirection.
Then move onto the ability of undines: sense in others their desires and needs; and also simultaneously feel, dream, and imagine for them and on their behalf what it would be like right now in this moment if those desires and needs were satisfied and fulfilled. Just feel it, dream it, and imagine it. You do not have to express it. The vibration or energy is communicated soul to soul and heart to heart.
Love is the source of wisdom, power, and service. Fail this exam and you flunk out of the akashic university. That would make all your magical credentials worthless. It will make all your spiritual activities empty.]
Rule 6: Tipareth, Beauty; the Sun; the Harmony of the universe.
Virtue: conflict resolution, meditation, inspiration, establishing
Vice: pride, arrogance, vulnerability, manipulation, domination.
Rule 6 is fairly straightforward: hold the world within your heart, or, at least a small area of the world in which you can play a part.
See it as it is and also as it can be. And then connect the two through your art. What is this art? In your heart be a mirror so clear, so pure that the light of God, of divine being, of the oneness of all things is reflected through you. That is, find in your heart a sea of love and compassion so deep that something of it can flow through you into the world without your feeling any loss.
In other words, make a gift to the world that celebrates and expresses that the divine world and the world of human beings are not separate but are united in the gift that you give, through the way that you live.
What? Can’t find any such source of inspiration? Still possessed by your self and your own needs for gratification? Go back and start over with rules 7 through 10 and begin again.
[Magical practice: Rules 7 through 10 will lead you to this end—to think the thoughts in any mind, to feel the feelings in any heart, and to see through eyes of any being. Haven’t gotten quite this far? Its time to start.
You have heard the saying, “Be still and know that I am God.” Here in Tipareth the rule is similar. It is the rule governing all world teachers: Be in your heart so still that the beauty of the universe is reflected through you. Divine love, divine will, divine wisdom—they have no beginning or end—let something of their light shine in and through your life.
The final exam for this rule is fairly simple: it is to meditate or contemplate so well, with such familiarity with your self, feeling so fulfilled (at any time that you want) that you are beyond all human need.
At this point, you are ready to reflect something greater through yourself without contaminating or corrupting the light or the ideal.
This may seem a little difficult? A little tricky? A little too much to ask? Not really.
Just get in the habit of visualizing, imagining, feeling, and dreaming that you have become the person you are meant to be. A minute or two will do for a start. Make a schedule. The person you are meant to be is not something you think about. It is something you envision.]
Rule 5: Gevurah, Severity; Mars; Self-mastery.
Virtue: courage, daring, will, determination, protecting and
Vice: fear, cruelty, rigidity, discipline that serves no purpose,
Do not whine, complain, blame, or accuse others of being less valuable or important than your self. You can seek to solve problems. But do not complain about having them. Fail in this and you are automatically disqualified from the spiritual world.
There are no exceptions to this rule. No spirit will take you seriously. Go back to rule 9 and find a sense of wonder at the mystery of being alive otherwise you are wasting everyone’s time.
It is like the centurion who talked to Jesus. The centurion said in effect, “I am man of responsibility. I know how the world works and I do my job efficiently. Thus I understand how the spiritual world works--there is an analogy.” And Jesus replied, “No greater faith have I seen in all of Israel.” And by implication, Christ was saying, “You, unlike all others, know that if you can solve problems effectively in the physical world, you can do the same in the spiritual world. You know this because you see in me the same authority you have established over your self.”
Still complaining about your situation and comparing your self to others? Think of it this way: the instant you open your mouth to complain what the spiritual world hears is that you are not willing to change. Go back to rules 8, 9, and 10 and begin again. You have the mind of a child who is dependent on a parent to solve his problems. Consequently, at this point, the spiritual world is not your friend. It is your enemy.
How can I say this more clearly? You get near the sacred and it will destroy you because your personality does not have qualities required to endure its intensity.
[Spiritual practice: Rules 10 through 6 have given you a taste of what life has on display. Now it is time to master the basics—the four elements: fire, air, water, and earth.
Fire: will, power, leadership, vision, boundless energy
Air: a clear, open, detached mind and endless curiosity
Water: empathy, sensitivity, everything involved in feeling alive
Earth: working on things of value that endure through time
If you are weak in an area, make it stronger. If you are negative, refine it so it is purer.
How? Study and contemplate the four. Note their variety and the ways they are expressed creatively. Then begin to make these four a part of your self. Question yourself about what you can change and then follow through.
Everything that exists is expressed through the four elements. Master these in your self. There is no end to this activity.]
Rule 4: Chesed, Mercy; Jupiter, Wealth on all planes
Virtue: leadership, charisma, altruism, generosity
Vice: hypocrisy, corruption, the tyranny of convention
Try to leave the world a better place than the one in which you entered. Is this so hard to understand? See rule 5 if you still feel the world is unfair or unkind.
Feel that your needs are still unmet so why should you help others? Go back to rule 9 and begin again exploring the feeling of being alive.
Don’t feel fully alive so you can’t get yourself to give? Go back to rule 7 that offers a taste of heaven through a connection of personal love. Jupiter simply offers for many others what Venus offers to two in love—a chance to transform each other through an inner connection.
Because of your exploration of four elements in rule 5, you are naturally ready to enhance, energize, and expand the four elements in others. In everything you touch, beauty flows through.
[Spiritual practice: design a life for your self that allows you to accumulate the experience that makes you wealthy in body, soul, mind, and/or spirit. Then offer this wealth to others in a way that is beneficial and practical.
In other words, answer the question: what am I doing each day that will make me wealthy in some way so I can give of this wealth to others? This is not about you. This is about the needs of others.
Fail to follow through with rule 4 and the spiritual world will close its door. Rules 3, 2, and 1 will treat you like you have never even begun.]
Rule 3: Binah, Understanding; Saturn; Enlightenment—acquiring an akashic/karmic/cosmic perspective.
Virtue: establishing justice while maintaining a judicial
temperament, equilibrium, guardian of the laws of the
universe, recollection, contemplation, humility.
Vice: failure to take responsibility for your actions; lack of
conscience, anguish, sorrow, feeling abandoned, alienated,
It is like this: before you were even born there was a script written for you. Forces were in play to insure that you go a certain way. Don’t like the life script you have been written? Don’t like the limitations you have been given?
This is the whole point of Saturn—figure out what you need to learn so you are free of your limitations; rewrite the script you are acting out. Drama, like karma, is all about the choices you make. Your choices determine who you are. Make different choices and you become a different person.
People write me and say, “I do not want to do the work. I want the results without the effort. Will you help me out?”
But Saturn is not about quick and easy. It is not fast. It slows things down so you get it right the first time around. Don’t talk to me. Talk to akasha.
Akasha says, “You are right now exactly where you need to be in order to learn what you need to know. It is not about easy. It is about taking responsibility to change your self. I can be generous but I will tell you right now. You would not even bother talking to me if you did not have a problem to solve.
“You have already been told what to do—take
the negative in yourself and make it positive. Take the weak and make it
strong. Do this before your life is
[Spiritual practice: identify the deepest lessons you have to learn in this life. Now learn these lessons; take the time and make the effort required to become who you mean to be. No one can do this for you. The whole point of rule 3 is that you yourself learn to see what needs to be done in order to live in harmony.]
Rule 2: Chokmah, Wisdom; Attaining your Destiny.
Virtue: faith, conviction, vision, a divine mission, a divine
partnership. Good listening skills.
Vice: failure to prepare, inadequate training; insufficient
dedication; the tragic flaw that ruins or diminishes your
Want divine help? Want to contact and gain the assistance of spirits and angels galore? And so you ask, How do I open the door?
Answer: Spiritual pursuits will, in the end, lead you to a spiritual point of view. Offer to fulfill a divine purpose. Do this well. Convince the depths of both heaven and hell, and you gain instant recognition—all spirits and beings will render assistance and offer their service.
By the way, your happiness carries no weight when it comes to changing fate, when the price you must pay is this great.
Consider going back to rule 9. You will find it much more benign. As a rabbi once said, “It is not always a good thing to be God’s friend.” He may ask that you give much more than you intend.
You ask, Why do you say it is difficult? Shouldn’t it be as simple as a prayer that flies on wings of love to the heart to God above?
Answer: Remember rule 8? Learn to think from both sides. Consider the point of view of a creator. He exists in an abyss of emptiness that is pure bliss. No forms. No images. No energy. No master, guru, great brotherhood, no lineage, no tradition—nothing to lean upon.
Akasha is like that—you have to be nothing (a space, a void, an open emptiness) so that what appears inside you—the vision, the ideal, the destiny, the great work—can manifest overcoming all opposition. You, your needs, your personality, do not want to get in the way of what is seeking to manifest through you.
In other words, if you want to take into your hands the powers of creation you must hold them and use them solely for a divine vocation. Otherwise, like those rescued from Egypt, you will spend the rest of your life wandering in a wasteland of delusion until you die; or, like those carried away to Babylon, you spend your life in a strange land not your own because you forgot rule 3: all you need to do is live your life in harmony if you want to find and have a home.
[Spiritual practice: Listen carefully. The world teachers play this game in order to get the world to change—they reveal the divinity within the four elements in a way appropriate for their age and their society. Krishna preserving light on earth and pursuing peace for the sake of the element of earth. But with so many Hindu gods and goddesses, Buddha compensates by revealing through the element of air clarity of mind and the open, detachment of enlightenment.
Moses, through the element of fire, reveals the divine will sufficient to sustain God’s presence on earth through rituals and ethical commitments. Christ compensates with the element of water to reveal that through love we are all one with each other.
Or, if you prefer, Lao Tzu, compensating for Chinese bureaucracy and Confucian Orthodoxy, set forth the way of nature in regard to water: let go and flow and you will find the Tao so much sooner.
Rule 2 is actually quite simple: Take responsibility for the world—preserve its balance; establish justice and harmony. In other words, fill in for what is missing.
You can certainly do this for your self, your family, your friends, your group or community. You can also do it for your society. Simply answer the question: What is missing from my life (the life of my friends, my group, my society, the world)? How far you go depends on how much light your soul can hold.
So that prayer you sent on wings of love to the heart of God above? The answer is simple but it may not be easy-
Remember Rule 8: you have to stop thinking, put aside all presumption and assumptions; listen in an abyss as if nothing else exists, only emptiness and a silence so great it is free to embrace the powers of creation as they manifest to you. Then your prayer sent with love to God above will return to you, and in and through you, with the wings of an angel, the roar of a lion, the strength of a bull, and the eyes of an eagle.
In a nutshell, listen so well that the divine considers you a part of its self.]
Rule 1: Kether, the Crown; the Oneness of all Things.
Virtue: higher or divine conscience, the qualities of a guardian angel, participation in the Great Celebration for which the universe was created, making things right.
Vice: dreamy, otherworldly, not in your body, confusion over the differences between the inner and outer worlds, a lack of respect for karmic limitations, a lack of interest in mastering basic life skills.
The purpose of life on earth?
When I listen carefully, this is what the Goddess of the Earth tells me: “It is my dream that one day a race appear that shall be as I am—one with the universe. And equally they shall do as I do: nourish, support, inspire, and guide so that all may become transformed in the fullness of time.”
[Spiritual practice: (From the essay, The Presence of God)
Do what this oneness does--it is a prayerful contemplation and benevolent emanation. To acquire this sense, begin by imagining everyone you care about. Recall these individuals and review their life experience, needs, desires, hopes, and dreams.
In a prayerful, relaxed, and contemplative manner, imagine that you are one with them and also that the vibration of your consciousness inspires them, protects them, and offers them opportunities to become satisfied and fulfilled in every imaginable way.
Now gradually extend this contemplation to others.]