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Beginning A Daily Practice:
a practical prescription for those new to Feri

by valerie walker
Part 2, ©2005

The Ladder of Hestia, a meditation

As I said in Part One of these practices, my overall purpose in daily practice is to take the energy of the earth and run it through each of the chakras, each doing its own particular job as it flows through, then going to the crown and adding energy from God Herself and the gods, mixing the energies and letting them flow downward again, filling me and clearing out all the pipes, (so to speak.) I think of the element of fire throughout the exercise, because I feel the individual goddesses at each chakra burning away what I want to get rid of, and replacing it with their individual qualities of healing, creative force, courage, love, clear communication, mental clarity, and grace. If you will take these exercises, do them daily, and make them your own (rewriting them if you feel called to do so), you will learn the inner alchemy from the inside out, which is really the only way to make it anything but another academic subject. For this particular exercise, if you will attempt to place your hands in the appropriate mudras shown in the illustration below, it will help your body remember what you are doing; repeated performances of this meditation will help it become a dance, even while you sit.

Assume a comfortable position, either standing or seated. Breathe deeply from the solar plexus, filling and emptying your lungs completely at least three times. Feel the energy in your body, and pull it in from your extremities into the center of your body.

Let all the tension, aches and pains, and other distractions both positive and negative coalesce into a ball of energy. Locate that ball of energy a little below your navel, at the point called in tai chi the dan tien. Bring in as much of your energy into this ball as you can, and then send the ball down your spine, dividing at the base of the spine and sending the energy down each of your legs to the floor.

Feel the energy reaching out, sending tendrils, roots, into the floor, down through the structure of the house. Feel the energy roots tunnel into the earth, go down past the layer of earth and into the rocks beneath. Send the energy down through the rocks, deep into the center of the planet, deep into the place where the rocks are molten, where the hearth-fire of Hestia plays at the center.

Join your energy with that fire in the earth. Let it become one with the fire at the heart of the earth, let it become purified by that fire.

[Pause as long as you need to.]

Now begin to take back your individual energy, burnt clean and purified by Hestia's fire. Bring the energy back up the roots you put down, pulling the roots after you as you let the energy rise up through the cooled rocks, up through the layers of rock, earth, floor, and back into your body again.

Pull the energy up into the base of your spine, and join it with any lingering distractions left in your body. Bring it into the root chakra, envisioning it as deep red, the color of blood, of the interior of your body. Spiral the energy around your spine from front to right, back, left, then center and up to the next chakra, chanting with each direction: GULA (pronounced "goo-lah"). Feel the power of Gula, the Queen of Physicians, to heal you of physical blockages and help you to survive and meet your bodily needs.

Send it up to the navel chakra, changing its color as you move up from deep red to orange, the color of fire, of anger and of creativity. Spiral the energy front, right, back, left, up, chanting with each direction: ANAT ("ah-naht"). Feel the power of the Warrior Queen Anat to take your anger and turn it into creative force, innocent sexuality, and pleasurable fruitfulness.

Continue upward to the solar plexus chakra, changing the color of the energy to yellow, and dissolving all your doubts, fears, anxiety, guilt, and shame in the pure light of courage. Spiral the energy front, right, back, left, up, chanting with each direction: TANIT ("tah-neet"). Feel the power of Tanit, Serpent of Wisdom, to give you courage: courage to be who you are, and courage to take the leap to the next stage.

Send the energy up yet again to the heart chakra, changing the color to green. Spiral the energy front, right, back, left, up, chanting with each direction: ISIS ("ee-sees"). Feel the power of Isis, Queen of Heaven, to melt your heart and take away mental blockages which get in the way of your ability to give and receive love.

Continue to the throat chakra, changing the color to turquoise. Spiral the energy front, right, back, left, up, chanting with each direction: NEITH ("neeth"), and feel the power of Neith, the Goddess of the unseen and limitless sky, to bring you clarity and freedom in telling your own Truth, whether in speech or writing or whatever medium She inspires you to use, and banishing misunderstanding and confusion.

Let your consciousness rise yet again to the third eye chakra, changing the energy's color to indigo. Spiral the energy front, right, back, left, up, chanting with each direction: PSYCHE ("sigh-key"), and feel the clean clear power of the concentrated mind which lets you know your own Truth. Banish ignorance and welcome knowledge, and welcome, also, the mental courage to take the leap from being human to being part of the divine.

Keep the energy flowing up to the crown chakra, changing its color to violet. Spiral the energy front, right, back, left, up, chanting with each direction: KORE ("kor-ay"), letting the violet light spiral around your head and up out the top. Let the goddess Kore, the Nameless Maiden, serve as the link between that which is below and that which is above. Let her breathe the violet energy up to the gods in devotion and receive it back from them, circulating it throughout your body. Allow her to dissolve and banish all obsessions and bring you blessing.

As you do this, sense that Kore is sending the energy up to Hestia, she who represents the voice of the gods as you envision them. Feel the energy go up to the outer confines of your aura, and chant HESTIA. Hestia will give you your mission; all you need to do is listen.

Finally, ask Hestia to send the energy up and out to the Star Goddess, the Lady of the Three Roads and the Spaces Between, the Circumference which is the Center of all, the unknowable, illimitable Ground of Being. Chant: HECATE ("heck-ah-tay"), and feel your offering raining back down through you as divine grace. Feel yourself at this particular place, at this particular instant of time. Rest in this knowledge: be here now.

Exercise: The Descent Of Inanna

Energy sent upward along the Ladder of Hestia in order to evoke the positive qualities of the Goddess and chakras may also be used in a downward direction to dispel blockages and bindings. The image I like to use is the descent of Inanna into the underworld, where she has to give something up at each stage: her crown, her robes, her jewels, and so on, and enter into the Underworld naked and suppliant.

To work the Ladder downways, first work upward and become energized with a short KA-BA-ZA and HA Prayer. Then beginning with Kore, work down, saying five times each:
In Kore's name, I release myself of all obsession
In Psyche's name, I release myself of all confusion
In Neith's name, I release myself of all misunderstanding
In Isis' name, I release myself of all apathy
In Tanit's name, I release myself of all guilt and shame
In Anat's name, I release myself of all fear
In Gula's name, I release myself of all those things which bind me
Then take the things you have released and send them into the fire of Hestia at the center of the earth. Say:

May my feet find the path,
May the path find my feet,
And may I always follow the golden thread.
In Hestia's name, so mote it be.


Then bring the purified energy back up into your body and do the Ladder as described previously, make kala, or both. chart of the Ladder: colors, chakras mudras, and soul connections

The Ladder of Hestia, showing colors, mudras, chakras, and soul connections.

Goddesses Of The Ladder

Gula , Queen of Physicians
Anat, Light of the Creative
Tanit, Crossing the Gap
Isis, Queen of Heaven
Neith, Speaker of Truth
Psyche, The Keen Blade of Discrimination
Kore, Shamanic Connection
Hestia, Forgotten Goddess
Hekate, Lady of the Three Roads




The Lemniscate Gods, the Ladder, and the Tree of Life

The schematic above is complicated, but a careful scan of it will help make sense of some interconnected concept. Each Ladder goddess is equated with one of the Feri Gods of the Lemniscate; simultaneously, the Ladder is mapped to the Qabalistic Tree of Life, with the traps on the paths between each two sephiroth representing the attitudes which keep us from progressing from one rung of the Ladder to the next. (You will notice that the path of the Ladder is only one of many diffeent paths used to get from Malkuth to Kether, each with its own sets of traps, blocks, and pitfalls; there are many spiritual ways to enlightenment, and all of them work for some people. This is the way I have chosen, or which has chosen me. Your mileage, as ever, may vary.) Please refer to my article on The Pentacles and the Tree and my diagrams of Blocks and Shadows for more on thse subjects. What i want to talk about here is the relationship of each of the Ladder goddesses to the Lemniscate gods.