The Lectio Divina comes from earlier origins than the practices of Ignatius. It has evolved and diversified over the centuries to fit varying places, times, and purposes. Like the imaginitive prayer described in holy contemplation, the fundamental quality sought is connection to God by meditative reflection on sacred text. The difference is in method. Whereas the contemplative method uses sensory imagination, the Lectio evokes connection through the intuitive, emotional spirit of man.
This expression of the practice again uses Thelemic scripture as the source of inspiration. Unlike the two methods described previously, which are suitable mostly for individual use, Lectio Angelica lends itself to a group setting as well as individual. This makes it suited for use when preparing a group for performance of the Gnostic Mass and other group rites.
- Lectio: Having selected a paragraph or two from scripture, slowly read the passage. Keep the ear of your heart open for words, phrases, or specific images that seem to echo within you. Sit quietly for a minute. Read the passage a second time, listening again for the inner echo of that same key piece. Sit quietly again.
- Meditatio: Meditate over this word or phrase, turning it over in your mind. Let its significance expand and take on the color of your own life and person. Let it become your word that has made itself known to you specifically.
- Oratio: What does this reflection inspire you to say? Maybe it’s a question. Or a song. Or expressions of gratitude and awe. Let the word resonating in your heart make a little boat of your tongue.
- Contemplatio: Now sit in silence for a minute or more. Clear your mind of the past and the future, of the inside and the out. Rest.
- Actio: The word must be sealed with deed. Contemplate how you can take your word back into the world “to do my pleasure on the earth among the legions of the living.” Be specific. Make it soon. Close with the nepios prayer.
One aspect to be aware of from the outset is it can be tempting to turn it into an analytical practice. There is much delight to be found in analysis and exegetical study of Thelemic scripture. This practice, however, serves to prepare the heart, not to exercise the brain. If your attention takes a deep dive into etymology or starts building a concordance for a particular word, gently let that go. Return to making it your word that describes your life and evinces your call to bring Change to the world in conformity with Will.