.... The spoken word changes reality.
The written word is manifestation of that reality.
And, the two combined cause physiological response
and affirmation of manifestation ....


As we move nearer to the time of the Harvest and Samhain's awakenings, I am called to explore more deeply how I use meditation and pathworking as tools to prepare me for my interactions with the Gods and Goddesses of this season. How and why I may chose one over the other and what each has to bring to the experience are questions I am often asked when I teach and incorporate this form of experiential in the coursework. In the first of this two part post, I am going to share the basics of guided meditation and pathworkings. In the second posting we will use a pathworking to create an Inner Temple to your specifications that will serve as the meeting ground for you and the Divine. So, let's get started.  

Pathworkings are a form of contemplative work that take you on a journey through an inner landscape of keys that will unlock the stores of memory and bring to the ultimate destination of transformation. Actually, the writing of a Pathworking becomes a journey itself, as the author allows their consciousness to open to being receptive as the setting, keys and environment unfolds, drawn up from the depths of the subconscious. 

You may have come to understand the value of meditation, either as sitting or guided as a tool of spiritual practice and I want to now add another layer of practice making use of the spoken word and clarify the difference between a guided meditation and a pathworking.

Many people confuse pathworkings with guided meditations as they become more involved in developing their spiritual practice.  The two may seem like the same thing simply with different nomenclature, but when you have a better understanding of what the effects and goals of each are, the differences become more discernible and more apparent. 

I write a lot of pathworkings and usually incorporate them in my workshops and articles as I can. For years I used guided meditations to relax and reaffirm myself or simply as a way to deepen my ability to remain open and receptive to new information. 

Imagine a time when you were taking a walk in a wooded setting. A pathwworking is similar to this image or analogy.  You walk in the woods and encounter many different types of plants and animals.  Everything you see evokes a memory, whether you are consciously aware of it or not.  There are many side paths you may take as well, each leading to another part of the same woods, but having arrival by a different, route different, group of encounters, etc.  And, eventually you arrive at your destination, but with many much more knowledge of what would have gone largely unnoticed had you used a variety of keys. 

If you were experiencing a guided meditation, the route would be planned. One path would be decided upon and you would not stray from that path as you moved towards the final destination. Each from will get you to the destination of your choosing, but the way in which you get there is determined by what is straight forward and what relies on analogy and inference. 

The choice of using one of these over the other is usually determined by that goal. Changes to overt behaviors such as tools for relaxation, energizing, sleep problems, smoking, boosting self confidence, and other self-improvement goals are generally more affected by a guided meditation. Ongoing spiritual work, enlivening energetic anatomy or connecting to varied states of consciousness generally respond to a pathworking.  Now, these are not hard and fast rules, but general guidelines about which would produce better results. 

Another consideration in choice is that the events or scenarios presented in a guided meditation will directly align with whatever the issue is.  So, if you are stressed and want to relieve that stress the guided meditation will take the opposite form of what you are working on.  If the goal is one of boosting your self-confidence, the guided meditation will offer a safe setting where you feel confident and strong.  You may be instructed to visualize yourself acting in a manner that displays this confidence.  The key word here being, “guided”.  In this form of meditation you are guided or directed towards your goal using scenes, words and imagery that you can easily recognize and then imprint into your own psyche. 

The word “pathworking” is derived from the Qabalistic Tree of Life and the paths of connection between the spheres.  Each path acts as synthesizer of the pure essence of energy of the spheres they connect; and stands as both extremes as well as the central point of balance.  Originally the concept of a pathworking related to the inner work the initiate would encounter as they internalized the energy of the spheres and the paths to refine and transform their magickal endeavors.  Because of the potency and dynamics of the combined energies, specific keys and imagery were used in the creation of the pathworking that were meant to access the deeper realms of consciousness and open it to a state of union with the individual’s Higher consciousness.   

It is from this initial intent that pathworkings are formulated and constructed and are now used within a variety of magickal or spiritual practices.  The underlying current is still fueled by the inroads of the original intent and the Qabalistic connections despite what surface modalities are used. 

To be specific, a pathworking will incorporate a variety of tools as keys.  These may include Astrology, Tarot, psycho-spiritual or occult images, Qabalah, Numbers, Colors or specific sensorial activations. Often the settings have no overt alignment to what is being worked upon and the imagery used is one that acts to stimulate memory and subconscious association that can be processed through all of the spiritual bodies. 

In preparation for Part Two of the Inner Temple, spend some time thinking about the types of meditation and/or pathworkings you may have already experienced. Knowing what you know now, how would you classify those experiences? Which category would they fall more naturally in to? And, if they were pathworkings are you aware of the underlying keys and the discipline selected (Astrology, Qabalah, Tarot, etc..). This reflection will open you further to the work of creating your Inner Temple as you become more receptive to the keys you are setting within yourself.


Click Here to Read The Inner Temple-Part Two