Spiral Nature reviews the Magickal Union of East and West

A new review of The Magickal Union of East and West has been posted by Spiral Nature. Check it out here.

Diamond Sapphire at Pantheacon 2015

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I will be offering the Diamond Sapphire Gem of Radiant Light at this years Pantheacon in the Bay Area. This rite forms the core of the system of consciousness expansion that is described in my book The Magickal Union of East and West. Also present will be senior members of the Ordo Sunyata Vajra, including contributing author of the book, Charlotte Moore.

This will be a great opportunity to meet in person, share space and time in the radiant void of direct awareness, and afterwords get your copy of the book and have it signed by both authors.

Please do join us for this special public event!

Related articles:

Ceremonial Magick: Reuniting Yourself with the Natural World

Traveling with Spirits

Thelemic Refuge

sky dancers

She gazes into unfathomable space, and her body itself is luminous, empty of solidity…she is the manifestation of coemergent wisdom, the all-inclusive wisdom generated in meditation. She captures the totality of the minds of the yogis and yogis, bringing both poles of attraction of revulsion directly to the path of realization. She cannot be conceptualized or categorized. She stops the mind.

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The dakini refuses to accept the logic of life versus death, gain versus loss, and pain versus pleasure. This logic is the reasoning of the endless suffering in which we are trapped, and when we perpetuate this approach we are trapped in a samsaric prison. The dakini shows that landscape in which this hopeless logic disintegrates and we directly experience the world as it is, infused with intensity and natural power. In this charnel ground, beauty has no rival in ugliness. The polarities have collapesed, and great joy is found in the greatest devastation. This is the power of the dancing dakini.

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Text excerpts from Dakini’s Warm Breath

Spirituality Today reviews the Magickal Union

Thelemic Refuge

A new article is posted from my book The Magickal Union of East and West entitled Thelemic Refugepeters_thelemicarmor. Enjoy!

Bhavani Tuam….

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“Oh Bhavani, do thou-give a compassionate look upon me, Thy servant.” To him who thus praying says  “Oh Bhavani Thou ” then and there Thou dost give the state of union with Thee, that state adorned by the brilliant crowns of Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra.

As Laksmidhara says that “Bhavani” as a Verb means” May I be” and Bhavani tvam = “let me be (one with) Thee”; taking it as the optative first person singular of the verb Bhii. He who thus worships the Devi becomes one with Her. The very utterance of the words “Bhavani tvam” attracts Her attention. The expression “Bhavani tvam” has two meanings. Bhavani is the vocative form of Bhavani and is also the lot (optative) first person singular of the root Bhii (=to be). The author says that when the Sadhaka is supplicating the Devi for Her Grace addressing Her as Bhavani (the consort of Bhava or Shiva) She out of Her Great Mercy mistakes as it were the meaning of the Sadhaka and understands him, when the first two words are uttered, to say ” May I be Thou ” and grants his prayer.

Sir John Woodroffe’s (Arthur Avalon) commentary to verse 22 of the Ananda Lahari

sun salutation illustrated

In my book The Magickal Union of East and Westthere is a description of a practice from ashtanga yoga, the Surya Namascar (“Sun Salutation”). While the description is traditional, without instruction it can be difficult to follow.

My friend Andria Degens is certified instructor of yoga with her own practice in Hastings. She has studied and practiced extensively in India and the UK (see her full bio here). Andria kindly agreed to illustrate the major asanas of the sun salutation in order to augment the description in the text. With these photos and the outline given in the book, it should help to make the practice a bit easier to decode and get into for beginners.

If you are in the Hastings area, by all means sign up for her classes and get first hand practical instruction in this and deeper aspects of yogic disciplines. She also offers private one on one classes for serious students that wish to pursue the work in customized sessions. In addition to her love of yoga, Andria is a musician with many albums out, performing under the name Pantaleimon.

The description is from pages 12 -14  of The Magickal Union of East and WestPhoto credit goes to Dave Reading. The yogini is of course Andria herself.

Sun Salutation

Stand straight, with your feet together. Imagine a brilliant white sphere above your head with a white light streaming into it from above. Place your palms together, touching your chest. Sense the energy pouring into you, filling you with vitality and awakening every cell of your body.

DPP_0006Now breathe in deeply while you raise your arms above your head and bend backward from the waist.

DPP_0030Bending forward from your hips, breathe out slowly. Knees should be slightly bent (you do not want any strain on your lower back). Hands are flat on the floor beside your feet. At this point, your head should be near your shins.
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Breathe in and stretch your right leg behind so that your foot is at a right angle to your leg and resting on its toes. The left leg is vertical to the floor and your head is back.

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While you breathe, place your left foot back to match the right foot. The body is now in a straight line, supported only by your toes and hands, which are in a vertical line.

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Still holding your breath, lower your body and rest your toes, knees, chest, palms, and forehead on the floor. Stomach and pelvis are off the floor, with hands by your shoulders, elbows bent, and arms by your sides.

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Breathing out, lie flat on the ground. Feel the energy coursing through your body.

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Breathe in as you raise your head and then the upper part of your torso. Pelvis is flat on the ground and the head is back.

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Hold your breath and bring your feet flat onto the floor and raise your hips to form an inverted V shape.

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Still holding your breath, bring the right foot forward so that it is vertical and the left leg is back (the reverse of #4).

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Breathe out as you bring the left leg up and place your feet to- gether between your hands. Straighten your legs (with knees slightly bent) and place your head on your shins.

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Breathe in as you straighten up from the hips. Bring your arms up, and stretch them backward as you bend back from the waist. Hold your breath as you look backward.

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Breathe out as your straighten your body. Now raise your arms over your head and back again as you bend your elbows to place your hands together at your chest. See a radiant sphere of golden solar energy in your heart center, its rays penetrating and warming your entire body.

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The Dark Destroyer

Ladies and Gentlemen, the amazing artwork of the entity known as Joseph Curwen. Enjoy!

The Dark Destroyer.

traveling with spirits

I have a new blog post up at the Llewellyn Worlwide site: Traveling with Spirits

like the reflections of birds flying over water

The student of Zen is confronted by a master who has himself experienced awakening, and is in the best sense of the expression a completely natural man. For the adept in Zen is one who manages to be human with the same artless grace and absence of inner conflict with which a tree is a tree. Such a man is likened to a ball in mountain stream, which is to say that he cannot be blocked, stopped, or embarassed in any situation. He never wobbles or dithers in his mind, for though he may pause in overt action to think a problem out, the stream of his consciousness always moves straight ahead without being caught in the vicious circles of anxiety or indecisive doubt, wherein thought whirls wildly around without issue. He is not precipitate or hurried in action, but simply continuous. This is what Zen means by being detached – not being without emotion or feeling, but being one in whom feeling is not sticky or blocked, and through whom the experiences of the world pass like the reflections of birds flying over water. Although possessed of complete inner freedom, he is not, like the libertine, in revolt against social standards, nor, like the self-rigtheous, trying to justify himself. He is all of a piece with himself and with the natural world, and in his presence you feel that without strain or artifice he is completely “all here” — sure of himself without the slightest trace of aggression. He is thus the grand seigneur, the spiritual aristrocrat comparable to the type of worldly aristocrat who is so sure of the position given to him by birth that he has no need to condescend or put on airs. – Alan Watts, This is It

nepal

Typhonian Gnosis

draconis

These are some of the most amazing articles. I have returned to them again and again over the years, and they never cease to inspire me and launch me into new gnostic vistas:

The Heart of Thelema

Going Beyond

The Typhonian Tradition

Llewellyn Magick Update

The Llewellyn Magick Update with my article, and lots of other good stuff, now available!

 

Ceremonial Magick: Reuniting Yourself with the Natural World

In combination with the release of The Magickal Union of East and West: The Spiritual Path to New Aeon Tantra, I have a new article posted at Llewellyn International entitled  Ceremonial Magick: Reuniting Youself with the Natural World.

 

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The Stele of Revealing

I took this photo of the Stele of Revealing as it was in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo back in 2007. The Magickal Union of East and West explains some of the significance of this stele, as well as rites to enter into the current of initiation associated with it.

Stele of Revealing

I also managed to snap a few quick shots (very poor quality!) of the sarcophagus of Ankh-ah-na-Khonsu

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This was a good trip, and very profound on a few levels. Look forward to visiting again soon (and hopefully getting some better quality photos).

new arrival today

IMG_2625Received my proof copies of The Magickal Union of East and West today! NAT

I am yours

Radiant Queen of the Universe! Thank you for your countless love and blessings, washing over samsara like lush monsoon rains, filling me with your vitality and rejuvenating like fresh Himalayan snows.

My every thought, word, deed for you. The blood pumping through my veins, the rhythm of life, is yours. Every breath, every glance, every touch, is yours.

This world is your playground where you dance endlessly. Let my heart beat always be the rhythm of your dance.

Victory to the Goddess! Jai Kalika Devi!
Devi

The Magickal Union of East & West

The first 50 pages of the Magickal Union of East & West are now available for browsing via the Llewellyn Worldwide website. You are also able to pre-oder both the physical and electronic editions of the book via various sites. Contact your favorite book dealer and let them know you want to reserve your copy today!

Magickal Union East West

 

summer solstice

IMG_2587Mine began at 4:18am, up early to get in a good hike to see the sunrise. Then later in the evening went up to Lick Observatory atop Mt. Hamilton for the sunset. At 4500′, the peak affords an expansive view of Silicon Valley and beyond. On very clear days you can see all the way to Yosemite and Half Dome.

Through the 36″ telescope we had good views of the A30 globular cluster. 40,000 lightyears away. The thought of such ancient starlight  crossing such vast, empty gulfs of space and time, to be picked up by this telescope and directed into the retina of my eye at that very moment of time… boggles the mind. What was happening on the earth 40,000 years ago, when these beams of light started out?

We are indeed very fortunate to be alive in the present moment of time.

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parampara

From Michael Staley’s essay The Fool:

“Initiation is not a matter of swallowing wholesale what this, that or the other illustrious person has said at some time or another, but of making it real, of arriving at your own understanding. We take influences from diverse sources, whether it be Grant, Crowley, Spare, Blavatsky, Gurdjieff, Ramana Maharshi – to name but a few – and synthesise their work via the catalyst of our own experience, creating thereby an understanding and a body of work that is intrinsic to us. People who come after us will do likewise, again from a diversity of sources. In this way, knowledge and experience is passed down, and this is one meaning of parampara or spiritual lineage. ”

Could not have expressed it better. This sums up my approach to the Mysteries, and explains the diverse range of influences that have gone into my own work.

The Magickal Union of East & West, The Spiritual Path to New Aeon Tantra explores the fruit of some of this work.

Its just this, and nothing else

However puzzling this may be, and however many philosophical problems it may raise, one clear look is enough to show its unavoidable truth. There is only this now. It does not come from anywhere; it is not going anywhere. It is not permanent, but it is not impermanent. Though moving, it is always still. When we try to catch it, it seems to run away, and yet it is always here and there is no escape from it. And when we turn round to find the self which knows this moment, we find that it has vanished like the past.

– The Way of Zen, Alan Watts

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some more Alan Watts

I am really enjoying reading Alan Watts, getting a lot out of his distillation of Eastern philosophy. A few more insights from The Book (on the Taboo Against Knowing Yourself)

If you know what you want, and will be content with it, you can be trusted. But if you do not know, your desires are limitless and no one can tell how to deal with you

Peace can be made only by those who are peaceful, and love can be shown only by those who love

No work of love will flourish out of guilt, fear or hollowness of heart, just as no valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.

There is a lot more in this book, far too much to cover in these few quotes that are of interest. A proper review of this book would be in order, but for now the quotes will have to suffice. If these are not enough to entice you, let me be blunt – read this book! You will not regret it, and may get something to take away from it that lasts with you.

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ritual sounds

Really enjoying listening to some Tibetan tantrik ritual music. I use it to accompany some of the sadhana work I do, or have it playing in the background when I am studying or writing. I have a few albums, but also found some links online with good material. For example, check out this link to a 19 minute sample of very powerful, evocative ritual sounds. Conch shell, human thigh bones, cymbals, drums… remarkable, unique sounds that have an otherworldly feel and transport me to deep realms.

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Alan Watts

“Truth has nothing to do with words. Truth can be likened to the bright moon in the sky. Words, in this case, can be likened to a finger. The finger can point to the moon’s location. However, the finger is not the moon. To look at the moon, it is necessary to gaze beyond the finger, right?”  -Hui Neng, 6th Patriarch of Ch’an Buddhism

With a deep background in Advaida, Buddhism, and Taoism, the writings of Alan Watts are an excellent perspective into Eastern philosophy from the eyes of a Westerner. London born and then transplanted to the States, he had a deep interest in Eastern traditions from an early age. He was also an exceptional writer, with an ability to distill the wisdom he was taking in and express it for western readers in unique ways that are extremely lucid.

I am currently reading The Book On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are, and only a few pages in am already enjoying it immensely and finding a lot of good insight in his thoughts. A few gems:

“In the end one is committed to being a Christian or a Buddhist come what may in the form of new knowledge. New and indigestible ideas have to be wrangled into the religious tradition, however inconsistent with its original doctrines, so that the believer can still take his stand and assert, ‘I am first and foremost a follower of Christ/Mohammed/Buddha, or whomever.’ Irrevocable commitment to any religion is not only intellectual suicide; it is positive unfaith because it closes the mind to any new vision of the world.”

“For the use of words, and thus of a book, is to point beyond themselves to a world of life and experience that is not mere words or even ideas. Just as money is not real, consumable wealth, books are not life. To idolize scriptures is like eating paper currency.”

In discussing what type of book he might want to give to his children, Watt’s describes one that “would slip them into a new domain, not of ideas alone, but of experience and feeling. It would be a temporary medicine, not a diet; a point of departure, not a perpetual point of reference. They would read it and be done with it, for if it were well and clearly written they would not have to go back to it again and again and again for hidden meanings or for clarification of obscure doctrines.”

    We do not need a new religion or a new bible. We need a new experience — a new feeling of what it is to be ‘I’. The lowdown (which is, of course, the secret and profound view) on life is that our normal sensation of self is a hoax or, at best, a temporary role that we are playing, or have been conned into playing — with our own tacit consent, just as every hypnotized person is basically willing to be hypnotized. The most strongly enforced of all known taboos is the taboo against knowing who or what you really are behind that mask of your apparently separate, independent, and isolated ego.”

Watt’s ability to elucidate the details of this magnificent and all pervasive con job (or the intoxicating dance  and play of maya) are illuminating, and help to awaken one to a recognition of something that lies beyond our normal conditioned thoughts of self and individuality. His writings are a good companion to Wei Wu Wei (Terrence James Stannus Gray), another British philosopher  of Eastern traditions.

The emphasis that Watt’s places on experience is strongly appealing. Doctrines, traditions, esoteric wisdom, rituals – all of these can be means of playing with the moldable fabric of reality, but it is all too easy to fall back into the Great Sleep, or to simply never wake up in the first place.

I have worked with many esoteric groups over the past 20 years, and have seen first hand how easy it is to fall into complacency, and get caught up in rituals, tradition, dogma, high and mysterious sounding titles and grades,  and yes… books. We kid ourselves while we continue to dream without ever touching upon the single great secret.

Reading Watt’s is a breath of fresh air. As with the ideal book that he describes, after setting it down I find myself not “needing” to read more, but rather to get out into nature, to trek and climb mountains, to experience life.

 

Alan Watts

The Way

As celebrations for the Three Days of the Writing of the Book of the Law are commemorated, I give thanks to all of my teachers, past, present and future for their radiant light that they have shined upon the Way. The blessings of the guru are without doubt a precious gift, a manifold jewel.

ཧཱུྂ༔ ཨོ་རྒྱན་ཡུལ་གྱི་ནུབ་བྱང་མཚམས༔
hung orgyen yul gyi nubjang tsam
Hūṃ! In the north-west of the land of Oḍḍiyāṇa,

པདྨ་གེ་སར་སྡོང་པོ་ལ༔
pema gesar dongpo la
In the heart of a lotus flower,

ཡ་མཚན་མཆོག་གི་དངོས་གྲུབ་བརྙེས༔
yatsen chok gi ngödrub nyé
Endowed with the most marvellous attainments,

པདྨ་འབྱུང་གནས་ཞེས་སུ་གྲགས༔
pema jungné shyé su drak
You are renowned as the ‘Lotus Born’,

འཁོར་དུ་མཁའ་འགྲོ་མང་པོས་བསྐོར༔
khor du khandro mangpö kor
Surrounded by many hosts of ḍākinīs.

ཁྱེད་ཀྱི་རྗེས་སུ་བདག་བསྒྲུབ་ཀྱི༔
khyé kyi jesu dak drub kyi
Following in your footsteps,

བྱིན་གྱིས་བརླབ་ཕྱིར་གཤེགས་སུ་གསོལ༔
jingyi lab chir shek su sol
I pray to you: Come, inspire me with your blessing!

གུ་རུ་པདྨ་སིདྡྷི་ཧཱུྂ༔
guru pema siddhi hung

guru-rinpoche

As the root of all transmissions is Guru Yoga, so is the Guru the Root, Heart, Essence of Awakened Consciousness, the Radiant Void. I give thanks to the Guru, the union of all paths, the essence of the continuum of consciousness, the Speech in the Silence.

Lama

Lam! Thou Voice of the Silence! 
Glyph of Hoor-paar-kraat! 
The dwarf-self, the Hidden God! 
Gateway to the Aeon of Maat!
I evoke Thee! I evoke Thee! 
With the mantra Talam Malat, Talam Malat

OLALAM IMAL TUTULU!

OM AH HUNG

devi

Intoxicated with your dark eyes, whirling abysses of cosmic space

I worship the Greatly Beautiful One

She is dark as a black rock, wearing a jeweled crown.
The sign of a third eye is on her forehead, 
She, the Goddess with three eyes.
Like lotus petals, Her eyes are large, 
They shine like two bright jewels.
Her glance showers compassion. 
Three locks of matted hair adorn her.
Her face radiates contentment and,
She is gowned with much splendor.
Her raised left hand holds a sword, 
a human head in the lower one.
Her right hands grant sanctuary and boons to all.
Her tongue shows between her lips, 
the garland of skulls hanging to her feet
Bejeweled, of heavenly form, there is no skirt of human arms.
She stands on a lotus base, 
Her right foot on the chest of Shiva sprawled at Her feet.
Her other foot is on his right thigh. 
She grants freedom from fear. 
She the Goddess, is the expression of the ultimate Brahman. Meditate on Adya, the infinite, 
She who embodies the extreme beauty in form.

Slay the Slayer

“The Mind is the great Slayer of the Real.” – The Voice of the Silence, H.P. Blavatsky

Mahishaasura

Great Goddess, Slay the Slayer!

 

The Shadow Tarot

The Shadow Tarot is a magickal talismanic expression of art that gives visual representation to the guardians of the Tunnels of Set, evoking ancient and atavistic energies and opening portals to other dimensions. These hidden recesses in between the seeming reality of the dayside seep through strange lines and geometries; colors and shapes that seem alive, vivid with serpentine movement and a distant humming that molds consciousness into strange angles.

Shadow Tarot

This deck of cards was carefully and loving crafted by Linda Falorio and Fred Fowler of AnandaZone. From the description that comes with the deck:

“The method of producing the images was to paint the ancient magickal sigil probably of Sumerian origin or older, resurrected by Crowley in Liber CCXXXIof the Qliphoth of each dayside Path, then immerse in the energies for weeks or months via meditation/tantra.”

Tunnels of Set

Described by Kenneth Grant in Nightside of Eden, the denizens of these tunnels are evoked by means of special vibrations and color in combination with a ritual act of Will. The cards lend themselves to this work directly, being  visual representations of these nightside energies.

Exploring this realm of consciousness is essential to wholeness; to often that which lies seemingly hidden in the shadows is denied or suppressed by the dayside of consciousness, with resulting projections into the world. One need only read some political news, or attend exoteric religious celebrations, to be reminded first hand of how all of the many problems in the world are the fault of the “other” philosophy, political party, belief system or person.

Until the dark side, that which lies hidden and repressed, is explored and a true sense of accord is reached, the personality is not whole. This is the true work of regeneration, an integration of the entirety of consciousness.

the secret of everything lies in consciousness

From the standpoint of metagnosis, or true metaphysic, science is no less a superstition than religion. Both have led man to the morass of which he now flounders. Science has augmented fear of and for this world, while religion has deluded with vague hopes for the next. The secret of  everything  lies in consciousness. Until investigations are stripped of inessentials, scientific and/or religious, Reality will remain obscured. The only fact of which we have direct, immediate and continuous experience, is awareness of consciousness. So-called unconsciousness is non-existent. Outside consciousness nothing whatever exists for us.

The three vehicles of Awareness (as they appear from the waking state) are identified as body, mind and consciousness. When awareness is identified with the body, then the consciousness of ‘things’ is experienced. But when the stand is in total Awareness, consciousness is no longer experienced individually but cosmically, universally; not personalized but impersonalized. It is then as it always was and will be — the True Self.

… That which is usually considered to be a blank, a hiatus, is in truth all that we are, Consciousness Pure, sometimes called the Self…

1. If one looks through the sense organs, gross objects appear. This is the waking state.

2. If one looks through the mind, subtle objects (thoughts) appear. This is the dream state.

3. If one sees from Mind Quiescent, only the seer remains, and THAT is Consciousness. To the unenlightened, this state appears as sleep; to the enlightened  is appears as Reality.”

Kenneth Grant, Outer Gateways

sri

See you around, Don

This morning I learned that Donald Michael Kraig had passed away last night, after his heroic battle with pancreatic cancer.

Don was an inspiration to countless numbers of students in the esoteric communities. His books are probably the best selling titles around on magick. His Modern Magick alone has gotten numerous people started on the path.

He was my initiator into the Adinatha/AMOOKOS line of tantra, and a mentor in the publishing world. Don was the lead inspiration and energy in getting my book published, and taught me the entire time. Every single email from him was practically a novel, written just for me, with thoughtful and detailed information on publishing, how to make my manuscript more readable, how to convey ideas clearly.

Up until the end, he lived what he believed in. May that be an inspiration to all of us.

Don, I know I will see you again, so I will not say goodbye. Just see you around. Enjoy your journey Home.

Jai Maa

 

Sea Witchery: The Ebb and Flow of a Most Ancient Arte

What a fantastic and evocative post, please do read it (and much more):

Sea Witchery: The Ebb and Flow of a Most Ancient Arte.

new moon

cremation ghats at pashupatinath

 

O Kali, Thou art fond of cremation grounds;
so I have turned my heart into one
That thou, a resident of cremation grounds,
may dance there unceasingly.
O Mother! I have no other fond desire in my heart;
fire of a funeral pyre is burning there;
O Mother! I have preserved the ashes of dead bodies all around
that Thou may come.
O Mother! Keeping Shiva, conqueror of Death, under Thy feet,
Come, dancing to the tune of music;
Prasada waits With his eyes closed

Ramprasad Sen

Kali

Interview with POLARIS

The fine people at POLARIS (People Offering Light, Assistance & Resources In Spirit) conducted an interview with me, check it out and the rest of their site here:

http://www.polarisrising.net/index.php?%2Ftopic%2F540-interview-with-mystic-thelemite-gregory-peters%2F

garland of letters

new aeon tantra

“The mantras that form the girdle and necklace of the Goddess, the sacred garland of letters which form her secret names are known only to Initiates. It has been said that all mantras, originally, were words or sounds uttered by the entranced suvasini, hence great care was (and is) taken to note down exactly what escapes her lips during the critical stage of the rite. […] Not only were her most casual words revered as mantric, her gestures also were regarded as sacred mudras indicative of the power with her and of the state of tumescence she had attained.” Kenneth Grant, Cults of the Shadow

Devi

Ascent of the Fire Snake

fire snake

“In the basal (muladhara) chakra, the Kundalini is known as Amavasya (new moon), for at that place the sun and moon are conjoined; hence the muladhara is a dark power-zone. The next centre, svadhisthana, is flecked with the sun’s rays, hence it is a region of twilight, i.e. mixed moon- and sun-light. The third zone, manipura, is likewise of a mixed nature. On attaining the stage of Anahata, in the region of the heart, Kundalini is bathed in effulgence, and continues to be effulgent until She reaches the place of the Moon (at the vishuddha), the Qoph centre. The Ajanachakra, which represents Kundalini in exaltation, is the Pure Palace of Serene Brilliance. And so the ascent occurs from darkness, through twilight to sunlight, and finally to the cool lunar region of eternal snows which is bathed in the perpetual radiance of the Shri Chakra itself.” – Kenneth Grant, Cults of the Shadow

Durga puja in Mumbai

My trip to Mumbai last October coincided (intentionally) with the cities celebrations of Navratri, the nine nights of festivals dedicated to the Great Goddess Durga. The always dynamic and colorful city turns things up several notches, with the streets filled with celebrations day and night. You can not walk a block without encountering the many puja pandals, ranging from small niches in a corner to full blown temporary  installations with room for dancing and singing. Many of the pandals are also mobile, carried by singing, dancing and drumming worshippers throughout the town. All the senses are engaged to the extreme during this time, and the revelry goes on nonstop throughout the night. During this time it is thought that Durga has returned home and is welcomed as both a triumphant Goddess conquering all that is evil, and a beloved daughter come back to her parents home. It is a time of great joy as well as sweet sorrow, for after the Nine Nights her image is taken the ocean and submerged, returning her to the celestial abodes until next year. I look forward to visiting again and experiencing Devi in Maharashta in Her many guises and playful modes.ImageImage

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Call for Healing!

A call for healing assistance! Donald Michael Kraig is a colleague in the esoteric and publishing communities. He has been instrumental in my own work with both Adinatha/AMOOKOS, as well as being my mentor and guide in the publishing world. His book Modern Magick was one of the first I came across when starting out, and has gotten many people onto the path of the Great Work. Please help out if you can.

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kalachakra

kalachakra

Sothis and the 15th Kala of the Moon

On the 15th kala, associated with the Goddess Herself:

“The other vehicle sacred to this kala is the Eagle, the Kerub of Aquarius presiding over the 15th Path. Aquarius plays a vital role in the symbolism of the New Aeon. It is the place of the North attributed to Nuith who brings forth the two waters depicted in the sign of Aquarius as two undulating lines. In the Tarot Trump attributed to this sign a woman is seen pouring the waters from two jars.1496368_170646393146560_242834440_o

The seven-pointed Star of Venus above her is identical with the seven-rayed Star of Babalon, the Seal of Set which comprises the Mother and the Child in one glyph. This is also the Star of Sothis, the planetary representative of which is Venus. Sevenor Sevekh, was the primal goddess of the seven stars (Ursa Major) of the planisphere, and these stars or rays were the seven heads of the Dragon of the Deep that later appeared in the Christian myth as the Beast of the Apocalypse. The Star of the 15th kala is therefore the Star of Sothis or Shaitan, and it is concealed in the feminine generative essence known as the soul or blood of Isis.” – Nightside of Eden, Kenneth Grant

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Do not be distracted

“Being aware means knowing what is really possible. For instance, some people have the intention of dedicating their whole life to practice. The idea is good, but in many cases it turns out not to be realistic. These people want to escape from their responsibilities and from their actual conditions, but this way they do not learn to integrate practice in their lives and they do not work with circumstances. In reality, running away is never the right solution because even if you avoid unpleasant situations, you will tend to always repeat the same actions, even in different circumstances.” – Guru Yoga, Namkhai Norbu

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Pre-Order the Magickal Union of East & West

The pre-order page is up and running. Get your discounted orders in ahead of time!

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Order here: https://www.llewellyn.com/product.php?ean=9780738740447

Radiance of the Eternal Night

Altar

The Great Goddess Herself in the form of Kali is a star traveller. She that moves beyond the realms of light itself is also beyond the confines of time; the first star walker that brought the fire of consciousness to the human race. We know Her in Thelema as Nuit, or Babalon, depending on Her many moods and boons. The Adept that has the siddhi of the Goddess resides in that base of pure awakened consciousness; to such a Victorious One, space and time are tools and the Devotee partaking of this magical grace becomes a traveller through space and time.
Jai Devi! Jai Kali!

Esoteric Significance of the White Lambskin Apron

Another older piece, from 2004

P

erhaps the most universal symbol of Masonry, other than the Square & Compass or the seemingly all pervasive letter G, is that singular mark of distinction which every Entered Apprentice is first presented with — the white lambskin apron. Recognized around the globe as the distinguishing “badge” of the Mason, the lambskin apron is rich with symbolism and practical instruction for the speculative initiate of our Craft who is willing to seek more Light.

One may with great benefit look into the symbolism of the methods of wearing the apron in the three Craft degrees, each encoding storehouses of wisdom in the geometry of their folds; similarly, the various designs of the aprons from the Higher Degrees of Scottish Rite, York Rite, and other Masonic traditions which all contain a wealth of symbolism encoding wisdom from Kabalistic, Hermetic, and Alchemical traditions. However, in this paper I propose to look only to the simple wisdom written into the white lambskin apron itself, which encodes a doctrine of esoteric significance based upon Hermetic Kabala.

We can gleam some level of insight by looking at the presentation of the apron from the ritual of the Entered Apprentice. The monitorial lecture informs us that “the lambskin, or white leather apron”

is an emblem of innocence, and the badge of a Mason; more ancient than the Golden Fleece or Roman Eagle; more honorable than the Star and Garter, or any other Order that can be conferred upon you at this or any future period, by King, Prince, Potentate, or any other person, except he be a Mason, and which I hope you will wear with pleasure to yourself and honor to the Fraternity

Furthermore, the monitorial lecture of the second section adds on the “Badge of a Mason”:

The lamb has in all ages been deemed an emblem of innocence. He, therefore, who wears the lambskin as a badge of Masonry, is thereby continually reminded of that purity of life and conduct which is essentially necessary to his gaining admission into the Celestial Lodge above, where the Supreme Architect of the Universe presides.

As with all the symbols of Masonry, our emblems are richly variegated, and what may appear as a straightforward explanation may oftentimes contain deeper layers of meaning and symbolism as one contemplates the symbols. While the surface interpretations of our symbols teach a moral lesson, one may open up to deeper layers of interpretation with contemplation on the symbols, each layer building upon the previous one.

The first layer of instruction within the white leather apron is that of the moral teaching implicit in the Craft degrees. It is clear then that this emblematic device of the Craft represents innocence, honor, and the purity of life which is necessary for admission into the “Celestial Lodge.” Masonry instructs us that it is a “system of morality veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols.” It has further been defined as a “science which is engaged in the search after the divine truth.”(Mackay). Both of these may be seen as indicators of the ethical structure of Masonry. A simple layer of interpretation of the white apron indicates that its placement at the waist is to purify the sexual instinct of man, which if left unchecked, has more often than not resulted in errors of thought, word and deed. Thus the purity alluded to with the color and placement of the apron has a practical, ethical instruction.

We have already seen that white is a symbol of purity. This color also represents the primal Godhead, which in the Kabala is referred to the sephira Kether, “the Crown.” The white apron is worn at the position of the svadhisthana chakra, hermetically associated with the planet Mars in its night house of the astrological sign of  Scorpio. This refers to the occult Mars Force, which in Hindu yogas is represented as the coiled serpent of Kundalini which is said to lie dormant at the base of the spine. This mars force, or kundalini, is the life force, that creative energy which is the very source and manifestation of life, and manifests naturally as the procreative power. On the Tree of Life, this is referred to the sephira Yesod, the Foundation. The fact that the apron is white indicates that this force, which is natural, is to be purified and consecrated to the work of spiritual illumination; in short, it is to be dedicated to the service of the Divine, symbolized again by the white color acting as a “shield” at the position of the procreative center. This interpretation is not a call for abstinence, but rather for a disciplined and focused channeling of the procreative urge. This focus has been termed occult chastity, in which the procreative urges are dedicated to illumination, or to Deity.

The apron is traditionally made of lambskin, which may be associated with the astrological sign of Aries.  Aries is the day house — the illuminated position — of the planet Mars, even as Scorpio is the Night house or unilluminated position. The sign of Aries is associated with the head, and in the Hindu yogas with the sahasara chakra or thousand and one petaled lotus. Kabalistically this again refers to Kether. The lambskin apron thus shows that the serpent power, represented by Mars and residing in the genital region in its natural (or “night”) state, is to be lifted up towards the Crown (the illuminated or “day” state) by means of purification and consecration, resulting in spiritual regeneration and illumination. It is the work of the initiate to so purify and exalt this primal mars force, raising the kundalini up the spine so that the force enters the cranium, resulting in spiritual consciousness. This is the work of regeneration, the Great Work of spiritual attainment. This may be seen as the symbolic creation of the Hexagram, or the Macrocosm.

It is through application of morality, in addition to the spiritual regeneration and redirection of the Mars force, that one may truly enter into that Celestial Lodge above, the majesty of the Divine which in the Kabala is Kether, the Crown. Knowledge of the esoteric significance of the apron acts as the initiated Key to unlock this Mystery of spiritual regeneration. It is then up to the individual Mason to so apply the Working Tools of our Craft to his physical, emotional, mental and spiritual vehicles that the Light of the Celestial Lodge may indeed radiate into the Sanctum Sanctorum of the Master Mason’s heart.

References

This paper is conjectural and speculative in the truest sense of the words. I am indebted to the various works of Paul Foster Case, Aleister Crowley, Alphonse Louis Constant (Eliphas Levi), and the Indian sage Vivekenanda in particular for the seeds of Light they have implanted.

THE SACRED PENTAGRAM

First written in 2004

INTRODUCTION

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entral on our Rosicrucian Altars in the S.R.I.C.F. is the figure of the Pentagram (also called the pentacle, pentalpha, pentangle, pentancle), a five pointed star, formed by 5 straight lines between the vertices of a pentagon and enclosing another pentagon. The name pentagram is Greek, from penta (“five”) and gramma (“letter”). One of the most intriguing symbols of esotericism, it is has been held to have magical properties since time immemorial, and is a symbol that has been both revered by initiates as a talisman of power, and shunned by the masses in abject fear for hundreds of years.

Today the image of the five pointed star has become almost obsequious to the media, and the symbol has been used to promote Rock music and movies, feed Satanic furor with tales of “ritual slayings,” and other hype.  Additionally, the many neo-pagan movements have adopted the pentagram as their ensign of “natural religion.” More recently, novels such as The Davinci Code have weaved a colorful blend of fact and fiction, and once again brought the image of the Pentagram into popular view. At the same time, there is a long, somewhat quiet esoteric history of usage associated with this symbol which initiates in all times have utilized.

Despite the seeming commonplace appearance of this symbol, it is little understood. This paper will endeavor to highlight some of the symbolic meanings of the pentagram, looking at historical usage across cultures and languages; Masonic usage in both the Craft and Higher Degrees, with emphasis on our Rosicrucian usage; the geometric properties inherent in the symbol, and western occult traditions of initiation and ceremonial magick. It is hoped that this paper will help to cut through the popular misinformation about this symbol, and shed some Light on the real properties and use of this powerful, sacred figure.

HISTORICAL USAGE

A

lthough the origin of this symbol is lost in time, some occult authorities try to trace the source of its esoteric significance  back to an astronomical phenomena, the so called “Pentagram of Venus” shown in the figure below[1]:

 

The synodic period of Venus is approximately 584 days. Plotting the greatest elongation west or east of this movement five successive times over a period of approximately 8 years and 5 days traces the figure of a Pentagram on the Zodiacal belt. Incidentally, the numbers 5 and 8 continue to play a role in the Rosicrucian symbolism of the pentagram, as will be seen further on.

The pentagram has been found on potsherds from the pre-cuneiform Uruk period of ancient Babylon (3500BCE). In later periods of Mesopotamian civilization it appears in cuneiform writing to represent the four cardinal directions with the fifth point representing “above;” as such, it represented the dominion of royal authority extending to “the four corners of the world and the heavens above.”

The symbol also appears in Egyptian hieroglyphics, associated with the Goddess Sopdet, who was represented in the night sky by the brightest star, Sirius, the so called Dog Star in the constellation of Canis Major[2]. Interestingly, the name Sirius is from the Greek word seirios, which means “burning,” and brings to mind the Blazing Star of Masonry.

The Pythagoreans called the Pentagram Hugieia, with the combined meanings of “health,” “wholeness” and “blessings.” The letters of this word were placed around the points of the pentagram. According to Iamblichus, the five-pointed star was the Pythagorean sign of recognition and held sacred as a symbol of divine perfection. The Greek Goddess of Health was Hygeia, or the Roman Salus. Both of these names appear on talismans from Greek and Roman periods, with the image of the pentagram central.

Pythagoras was a known traveler, and the fact that he appears in Indian tantrik texts by name as Yavanacharya (“the Greek teacher”) may explain why the Pentagram also appears in early Hindu tantrik writings and art.

To the ancient Hebrews, the Pentagram was the symbol of Truth and the five books of the Pentateuch. Ameth, the Hebrew word for Truth, is associated with humanity by the kabbalistic technique of temurah using the Aiq Beqr system, which utilizes letter substitution according to specific rules[3]. Later it will be seen that the very geometry of the Pentagram also encodes the idea of mankind and Truth.

The Pentagram found its way onto many Gnostic amulets. According to Budge

Gnostic amulets contained the pentacle which contained the ineffable name YHWH within it.  More often the names Moses or Solomon were represented, Moses because he was connected with the setting up of the brazen serpent, and Solomon because his seal worked miracles.[4]

The early Christians associated the Pentagram with the five wounds of Christ. Later kabalistic Christians would associate the name of Christ in Hebrew characters, IHShVH or Yeheshua, to the five points of the pentagram. This method also shows the divine Tetragrammaton associated to the four points of the star, with the fifth top point being ascribed to the Hebrew letter shin, which symbolized spirit and fire, or the Holy Ghost. Thus the pentagram represented the descent of the divine fire into the world.

The Pentagram has been associated with the Star of Bethlehem  or Three Kings’ Star, which led the Magi to the newborn Christ. Of these ideas Pike writes:

The Star which guided [the Magi] is that same Blazing Star, the image whereof we find in all initiations. To the Alchemists it is the sign of the Quintessence; to the Magists, the Grand Arcanum; to the Kabalists, the Sacred Pentagram. The study of this Pentagram could not but lead the Magi to the knowledge of the New Name which was about to raise itself above all names, and cause all creatures capable of adoration to bend the knee.[5]

In the Arthurian legend of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the Pentagram was emblazoned in gold on Gawain’s shield, representing the five virtues of generosity, courtesy, chastity, chivalry and piety.

The symbol of the pentagram appears on many Knights Templar graves in France, as well as being intrinsic to the architecture and positioning of many chapels. One dramatic example is the mysterious shrine of Rennes du Chartres, said to be a center of Templar activity, which is situated in the center of a ring of mountains that form a nearly perfect pentagram.

The symbolism of the Western Mystery tradition has assigned the four elements of earth, air, water and fire to the four points of the pentagram, with the top point being attributed to the quintessence, or spirit. From this pattern is then attributed Kabalistic hierarchies of Archangles (Auriel for Earth, Raphael to Air, Gabriel for Water,  and Michael with Fire), the Four Worlds (Assiah, Yetzirah, Briah and Atziluth), parts of the soul, and many more correspondences which are too lengthy to address in this paper.

MASONIC USAGE

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he Zelator ritual of S.R.I.C.F. briefly introduces the symbolism of the Pentagram on the Altar to the new postulant:

The Five-pointed Star reminds us of the five points of felicity, which are to walk with, to intercede for, to love, to assist, and to pray for our Brethren, so as to be united with them in heart and mind.

As an emblem of the five points of felicity, the Pentagram reminds us of our duties towards our brethren of the Rose and Cross throughout the world.

Further in the ritual the subject of number symbolism is addressed, and the number five is explained as

the emblem of Health and Safety; it is also denominated the Occult number; the Pentagram was a famous talisman; it represents Spirit and the four elements.

 

The reference to health and safety is interesting as it is reminiscent of the Greek hygeia discussed earlier.

The Pentagram may be seen as symbolic of the entire course of initiation in the S.R.I.C.F. First Order, as the elemental degrees are easily associated with the elemental points of the Pentagram; while initiation into the Second Order represents the quintessence or fifth, top-most point of the Star. In this way, the candidate of the S.R.I.C.F. symbolically builds up the power of the pentagram internally as they progress through and assimilate the lessons of the degrees. Entrance to the Second Order would then represent Adepthood, as the initiate has established the flaming star within their very heart of hearts and embodies the very essence of the Pentagram, and is a living embodiment of the Stone of the Philosophers.

Within the Craft degrees, the figure of the Pentagram may also be seen in the image of the 5 rayed Blazing Star. According to Albert Pike, the pentagram is synonymous with the Blazing Star of Masonic Lodges:

The Blazing Star in our Lodges, we have already said, represents Sirius, Anubis, or Mercury, Guardian and Guide of Souls. Our Ancient English brethren also considered it an emblem of the Sun. In the old Lectures they said: ‘The Blazing Star or Glory in the centre refers us to that Grand Luminary the Sun, which enlightens the Earth, and by its genial influence dispenses blessings to mankind. It is also said in those lectures to be an emblem of Prudence. The word Prudentia means, in its original and fullest signification, Foresight: and accordingly the Blazing Star has been regarded as an emblem of Omniscience, or the All-Seeing Eye, which to the Ancients was the Sun.[6]

He further associates this star with the “Divine Energy, manifested as Light, creating the Universe.[7]

The Masonic scholar Rex Hutchins asserts that the Pentagram

is the symbol of the Divine in man… The five-pointed star with a single point upward represents the Divine. It also symbolizes man for its five points allude to the five senses, the five members (head, arms and legs) and his five fingers on each hand, which signify the tokens that distinguish Masons.

Furthermore he writes that this figure

is the symbol of the Microcosm, the universe where humans dwell. Since the pentagon which encloses the pentagram may be formed by connecting the five points of the human body, for many centuries the symbol was also used to represent humanity in general.

Within this symbol then is a representation of humanity, and our Divine role in the Universe as co-creators of eternity.

In addition to being a central altar piece in our Rosicrucian Temples, and the Blazing Star of the Craft Lodges, the Pentagram appears as an ensign in some of the High Degrees and rites. For example, it is central on the apron of the 28th Degree of the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, Knight of the Sun or Prince Adept.  In discussing the symbol of the pentagram in the lecture of this degree, Pike writes in Morals & Dogma that

 

in certain undertakings [the Pentagram] cannot be dispensed with. It is what is termed the Kabalistic pentacle… This carries with it the power of commanding the spirits of the elements.

A central lesson of this highly Kabalistic and Alchemical degree is that there is no death, only change.  The Pentagram, symbol of humanity as the microcosm is an apt representation of this wisdom which, to one who has internalized it, may have that contempt for death which is expressed in the line from 1 Corinthians – “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”

In the same lecture, Pike alludes to the true meaning of this radiant symbol:

When the masters in Alchemy say that it needs but little time and expense to accomplish the works of Science. When they affirm, above all, that but a single vessel is necessary, when they speak of the Great and Single furnace, which all can use, which is within the reach of all the world, and which men possess without knowing it, they allude to the philosophical and moral Alchemy. In fact, a strong and determined will can, in a little while, attain complete independence; and we all possess that chemical instrument, the great and single athanor or furnace, which serves to separate the subtle from the gross, and the fixed from the volatile. This instrument, complete as the world, and accurate as the mathematics themselves, is designated by the Sages under the emblem of the Pentagram or Star with five points, the absolute sign of human intelligence.

It may be said that the Pentagram represents the power of the Divine Will, as manifested in Humanity, to effect conscious change. As conscious participants with the Divine Will, humanity is in the unique position of being able to be co-creators with the Divine.

Our sisters of the Eastern Star utilize a Pentagram as their primary symbol. Interestingly, their usage places the pentagram “upside down,” with two points on top and a single point facing down. According to esoteric tradition, this usage indicates the “evil” forces of darkness. The occult authority Eliphas Levi writes in Transcendental Magic:

The Pentagram with two horns in the ascendant represents Satan, or the goat of the Sabbath, and with the single horn in the ascendant is the sign of the Savior. It is the figure of the human body with the four members and a point representing the head; a human figure head downward naturally represents the demon, that is, intellectual subversion, disorder and folly.

As to whether the author of the Easter Star rituals was aware of these qualities when designing the emblem of the rite is most likely unknown. A contemporary member of the Eastern Star has informed us that the explanation of the symbol she received attributes the two points as facing towards the east, providing an unobstructed channel from the altar to the Eastern dais, as well as creating a confined center or “chamber” in the east that is formed between the two extended points and the dais. All Masons would be familiar with the idea of having the path from the Altar to the East clear at all times, and this may in fact be the most probable reason for the design.

GEOMETRIC CONSIDERATIONS

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ncoded into the very structure of the Pentagram is the golden section, a particular proportion in geometry that has been praised by artists for centuries as embodying the very divine beauty in form. Mathematically, the golden section  refers to the division of a line segment into extreme and mean proportions; that is, a line is divided such that the smaller part is to the greater, as the greater is to the whole. The golden section has been used extensively in post-Hellenic architecture, as well as playing a large role in the construction of early Cathedrals. The work of Michelangelo is just one example of the use artists have made of this special proportion.

Paul Foster Case says of the golden section appearing in the pentagram:

The occult interpretation of this mathematical proportion is sometimes expressed in the maxim: ‘Nature is to man as man is to God.’ The proportion itself is often called the Golden Section of Pythagoras, and is associated with the Hermetic axiom: ‘That which is above is as that which is below, and that which is below is as that which is above.’

 

If a square is added to the longer side of a golden rectangle, a larger golden rectangle is then formed. Continuing the pattern, the golden section reveals itself to be part of the Fibonacci Series, where each number in the series is obtained by adding the previous two numbers: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13… The Fibonacci series is a naturally occurring pattern that is found in nature, such as the growth patterns of trees, the nautilus shell, pine cones, crystals, leaves and the human body. Clearly the stamp of the Great Architect is found in the world, with the wonders of creation!

The golden section of the Pentagram is approximated with the numbers 5 and 8 of the Fibonacci series. Interestingly, the dimensions of the Rosicrucian Vault of C.R. as described in the core document the Fama Fraternitatis are said to be 8 feet tall and 5 feet wide. This mysterious vault was said to be a “compendium of the universe,” each wall illustrated with Kabalistic and Hermetic symbols.

OCCULT PROPERTIES

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he Pentagram has a long history of occult use. It was by use of a poorly constructed Pentagram that Mephistopheles was able to manifest in the circle of Faust! Magical grimoires of the western esoteric tradition are replete with examples of pentagrams being used as protective and evocatory talismans, or as the seals of circles of the Art which were traced on the floor of the ritual chamber. Literally thousands of examples are extant from the works of Trithemius, Dr. John Dee, Heinrich Agrippa, Kircher, Bruno, and many others, which show the hermetic and kabalistic applications of the Pentagram in ceremonial ritual use.

Perhaps one of the most evocative descriptions of the occult powers of this symbol comes from the magician Eliphas Levi (Alphonse Louis Constant), who writes of the Pentagram in his book Transcendental Magic:

The Pentagram expresses the mind’s domination over the elements and it is by this sign that we bind the demons of the air, the spirits of fire, the spectres of water, and the ghosts of earth.  It is the Star of the Magi, the burning star of the Gnostic schools, the sign of intellectual omnipotence and autocracy.  Its complete comprehension is the key of two worlds‑‑it is absolute natural philosophy and natural science.  Its use, how­ever, is most dangerous to operators who do not completely and perfectly understand it.  All mysteries of magic, all symbols of the gnosis, all figures of occultism, all Qabalis­tic keys of prophecy, are resumed in the sign of the Pentagram, which Paracelsus pro­claims to be the greatest and most potent of all.

[…] this absolute sign, this sign as old or as older than history, should and must actually exercise an incalculable influence on souls disengaged from their material envelope. Armed therewith and suitably disposed, we can behold infinity through the medium of that faculty which is as the Soul’s Eye, and can cause ourselves to be served by legions of angels and demon hordes. The empire of the Will over the Astral Light which is the physical soul of the four elements, is represented in magic by the Pentagram.

If it be asked how a sign can exercise that immense power over spirits which is claimed for the Pentagram, we inquire in turn why the Christian world bows before the sign of the cross. The sign by itself is nothing, it derives strength from the doctrine which is resumes, and of which it is the Logos. Now, a sign which epitomizes by expression all the occult forces of Nature, which has always manifested to the elementary and other spirits a power superior to their own, naturally strikes them with fear and respect, and enforces their obedience by the empire of knowledge and will over ignorance and weakness.

The points of the pentagram are often associated with the five-fold name of the Christ, IHShVH or Yeheshua. Paul Foster Case describes this:

The letters at the five points of the pentagram are the Roman characters corresponding to Yod, Heh, Shin, Vau and Heh. They are the letters which spell the divine name IHVH, Jehovah, with the ‘holy letter,’ Shin, symbol of the Holy Spirit, placed between the first two and last two letters, thus: I H Sh V H. This is the occult and Rosicrucian spelling of the name Yeheshua, or Jesus…’It is the symbol of the Word made flesh.’ […] every pentagram … symbolizes the mystical name IHShVH…[8]

 

CONCLUSION

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s one of the most powerful talismans of antiquity, the Pentagram shows the divine nature of mankind as intermediaries between God and the lower orders of being.  A symbol of health and protection, it has been used by countless cultures on charms, in magical grimoires, carved on temples and used in magical and meditative practices.

Embodied within this geometric figure are the codes which signify the very Vault of the Rosicrucian Adepts; as well as signs showing where the true vault lies, centered in that internal sanctuary of the heart, the Secret Temple of the Master.

Signifying man’s dominion over the elements, the pentagram suggests that humanity partakes of its Creators essence and is in fact a co-heir of eternity, working with the Deity as living temples of the Most High God.

In our Rosicrucian Temples, the Pentagram is also reminder of the divine blessings of IHShVH and the  Victory on the Cross. In this sense, the Pentagram represents the Rose Cross Lamen, with a blooming Red Rose of Victory and Divine Will upon the Golden Calvary Cross of the elements which are transformed through the alembic of our hearts into Alchemical Gold of the Sun.

The Pentagram represents the agency of Divine Will, the radiant inexhaustible Will of the Christos, flowing forth endlessly through humanity. That same Divine power which Psalm 91 alludes to, and from which the protection of the Divine is granted

9   Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
10   There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
11   For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
12   They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
13   Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
14   Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
15   He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
16   With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

— Psalm 91

Appendix I:

Aiq Bekar (The Kabalah of Nine Chambers)

The system of temurah known as Aiq Bekar divides the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet into a grid of 9 chambers with their numerical values:

 
    Sh    L     G              R     K     B            Q     Y     A
   300   30     3            200    20     2            100    10     1
 
    M     S     V              K     N     H            Th     M     D
   600   60     6            500    50     5            400    40     4
 
    Tz    Tz    T              P     P    Ch            N     O     Z
   900    90    9            800    80     8            700    70     7

 

This grid is then used as the template from which to permutate words, which are either expanded or minimized.

In Hebrew, the word for man is ADM, adam. This is not an individual man, rather it represents humanity as a whole, mankind. The Hebrew letters enumerate to the number 45.

Using the Aiq Bekar grid, the word ADM may be permuted into the word AMTh (emeth), which means Truth and has the value of 441.

Using this system, the Kabalah indicates that Man embodies Truth, and that Truth is in fact in Man.

Appendix II:

The Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram

While its origins are now most likely lost in the mists of obscurity and time, one of the more well known applications of the Pentagram is in the ritual of the Pentagram popularized by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the occult organization founded in the 19th century by high ranking members of the S.R.I.A.

Described by Israel Regardie as a “spiritual tonic” and the very “stone of the philosophers,” the Ritual of the Pentagram has been used in one form or another by various individuals and groups for prayer, spiritual attainment, meditation, and the ritual acts of banishing and invoking.

Take a steel dagger in the right hand. Face East.

Touch thy forehead
and say ATEH (Thou art)

Touch thy breast
and say MALKUTH (the Kingdom)

Touch thy right shoulder
and say VE-GEBURAH (and the Power)

Touch thy left shoulder
and say VE-GEDULAH (and the Glory)

Clasp thy hands before thee
and say LE-OLAM (for ever)

Dagger between fingers, point up
and say AMEN.

Make in the Air toward the East the invoking PENTAGRAM as shown and, bringing the point of the dagger to the centre of the Pentagram, vibrate the DEITY NAME — YOD HE VAU HE — imagining that your voice carries forward to the East of the Universe.

Holding the dagger out before you, go to the South, make the Pentagram and vibrate similarly the deity name — ADONAI.

Go to the West, make the Pentagram and vibrate EHIEH.

Go to the North, make the Pentagram and vibrate AGLA.

Return to the East and complete your circle by bringing the dagger point to the centre of the first Pentagram.

Stand with arms outstretched in the form of a cross and say:—

BEFORE ME RAPHAEL
BEHIND ME GABRIEL
AT MY RIGHT HAND MICHAEL
AT MY LEFT HAND AURIEL
BEFORE ME FLAMES THE PENTAGRAM —
BEHIND ME SHINES THE SIX-RAYED STAR

Again make the Qabalistic Cross as directed above, saying ATEH, etc.

For Banishing use the same Ritual, but reversing the direction of the lines of the Pentagram.

REFERENCES

Agrippa, Henry Cornelius. Three Books of Occult Philosophy (ed. Donald Tyson). Lllewellyn, 2000.

Budge, E.A. Wallis. Amulets and Supersitionss. Dover, 1977

 

Budge, E.A. Wallis. The Gods of the Egyptians Dover, 1969.

Case, Paul Foster. The Great Seal of the United States. Builders of the Adytum, 1935.

Case, Paul Foster. The True and Invisible Rosicrucian Order. Weiser, 1985.

Coil, Henry Wilson. Coil’s Masonic Encyclopedia. Macoy Publishing, 1996.

Crowley, Aleister. 777 and Other Qabalistic Writings. (ed. Israel Regardie). Weiser, 1986.

Hall, Manly P. The Secret Teachings of All Ages (Masonic, Hermetic, Qabbalistic and Rosicrucian Symbolical Philosophy). Philosophical Research Society, 1977.

Hutchins, Rex. A Bridge to Light . Supreme Council 33rd Degree, 1995.

Levi, Eliphas. The History of Magic. (trans. A.E. Waite). Weiser Books, 2001.

Levi, Eliphas. Transcendental Magic (trans. A.E. Waite). Weiser Books, 2001.

Mackenzie, Kenneth. Royal Masonic Cyclopaedia. Aquarian Press, 1987.

Mackey, Albert. An Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry and Its Kindred Sciences. (New & Revised, 2 vols). Masonic History Company, 1921.

Magee, Michael (trans). Vamakeshvaratantra (Part of the Nityasodashiarnava).. PP, Varanasi, 1989.

Pike, Albert. Morals & Dogma, Supreme Council of the 33rd Degree AASR, 1950.

Regardie, Israel (ed.), The Golden Dawn. Llewellyn, 1989.

Scriven, David. Some Notes on the Esoteric Geometry of the Pentagram, Privately published, 1989.

Societas Roscruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis, First Order Rituals. Privately published, High Council, S.R.I.C.F.

Stirling, William. The Canon: An Exposition of the Pagan Mystery Perpetuated in the Cabala as the Rule of all the Art. Weiser Books, 1999.

Waite, A.E. The Holy Kabbalah. Citadel Press, 1995.

Additional notes on the synodic period of Venus were obtained from the website of the Masonic Grand Lodge of British Columbia: http://freemasonry.bcy.ca/anti-masonry/venus.html



[1] Image from the European Southern Observatory  website: http://www.vt 2004.org/Education/edu1app5.html

[2] The star system known as Sirius is actually composed of twin stars. The brightest “star” in the night sky, Sirius has long been associated with a tradition of occult doctrine. In ancient Egypt the heliacal rising of Venus signaled the annual inundation of the Nile which provided the rich alluvial soil on the banks of the river. As such, Venus was associated with the Goddess Isis, associated with fertility and nature. It was during the “Dog Days” of summer when this phenomena occurred.

 

[3] See Appendix 1.

 

[4] E. A. Wallis Budge, Amulets and Superstitions, p. 203

 

[5] Albert Pike, Morals & Dogma, pg. 842

 

[6] Albert Pike, Morals & Dogma, pg. 506

 

[7] ibid, pg. 16

[8] For an excellent kabbalistic study of the Name IHShVH, see The Name of Names by Paul Foster Case.

The Stone Which the Builders Refused

Originally written 28 April 2007 (revised)

BACKGROUND

In the Ancient Mysteries, the quest for Gnosis or self-discovery was central to the doctrines and teachings. Across the portico of the Temple at Delphi (dedicated to the God Apollo and seat of the celebrated Oracle), were the words GNOTHI SEAUTON, meaning “Know Thyself.”

The journey of Freemasonry is the ongoing search for Light. Underlying all of our rituals, symbols, and teachings is this one essential element. The ongoing journey takes many forms to as many different people, but this journey for Light is arguably one of self-discovery, a search for Gnosis.

Countless systems of meditation and mysticism have developed across the world to address this eternal search for Light, to answer the great questions of existence. Whatever the origins of Freemasonry, it is clear that within our rituals is contained a remarkably vast ark of the worlds philosophies, mysteries, and systems of self-discovery. The rituals contain keys to the Royal Art, which if applied in earnest may help to attain the common goal of further Light.

WORDS AND NUMBERS

One of the techniques for mining the depths of symbolism in our rituals is that of applying the doctrines of the literal Kabbalah in an examination of some of the key words and symbols presented in the rituals.

In many ancient languages, numbers were represented by letters of the alphabet. Mystics concluded that the numerical value of words could be of significance, particularly when two or more seemingly unrelated words had an identical numerical value. The literal Kabbalah is a set of techniques that meditatively explore the relationships between letters of ancient alphabets, such as Hebrew, Greek and Latin, and their numerical equivalents.[1]

In S.L. MacGregor Mather’s introduction to his 1888 translation of Kabbalah Unveiled (Knorr von Rosenroth, 1684) one provenance of these techniques is given:

The Kabbalah was first taught by God himself to a select company of angels, who formed a theosophic school in Paradise. After the Fall the angels most graciously communicated this heavenly doctrine to the disobedient child of earth, to furnish the protoplasts with the means of returning to their pristine nobility and felicity. From Adam it passed over to Noah, and then to Abraham, the friend of God, who emigrated with it to Egypt, where the patriarch allowed a portion of this mysterious doctrine to ooze out. It was in this way that the Egyptians obtained some knowledge of it, and the other Eastern nations could introduce it into their philosophical systems. Moses, who was learned in all the wisdom of Egypt, was first initiated into the Qabalah in the land of his birth, but became most proficient in it during his wanderings in the wilderness, when he not only devoted to it the leisure hours of the whole forty years, but received lessons in it from one of the angels. By the aid of this mysterious science the law-giver was enabled to solve the difficulties which arose during his management of the Israelites, in spite of the pilgrimages, wars, and frequent miseries of the nation. He covertly laid down the principles of this secret doctrine in the first four books of the Pentateuch, but withheld them from Deuteronomy. Moses also initiated the seventy elders into the secrets of this doctrine, and they again transmitted them from hand to hand. Of all who formed the unbroken line of tradition, David and Solomon were the most deeply initiated into the Kabbalah. No one, however, dared to write it down, till Schimeon Ben Jochai, who lived at the time of the destruction of the second temple . . . . . After his death, his son, Rabbi Eleazar, and his secretary, Rabbi Abba, as well as his disciples, collated Rabbi Simon Ben Jochai’s treatises, and out of these composed the celebrated work called ZHR, Zohar, splendour, which is the grand storehouse of Kabbalism.

The literal Kabbalah consists of three techniques: Gematria (numerical value of words and their relationship); Notariqon, in which the individual letters of a word are taken as the initials of another word (or the reverse – a sentence may be reduced to a word); and Temurah, or permutation of letters according to specific rules.

Each of these techniques may yield rich results when applied to the rituals and symbols of Freemasonry. Albert Pike made great use of gematria and isopsephy in his many examinations of the words of the degrees of the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite. In Morals & Dogma Pike refers to Kabbalah as the “key of the occult sciences.”

A CONCEALED KEY

An example of Kabbalistic insight may be applied to the celebrated insignia in Chapters of Royal Arch Freemasonry — the Triple Tau. The Ritual gives several mottos which seem to allude to a concealed treasure or hidden truth:

Templum Hierosolyma (“The Temple of Jerusalem”)

Clavis ad Thesaurum (“A key to a treasure”)

Theca ubi res pretiosa deponitur (“A place where a precious thing is concealed”)

Res ipsa pretiosa (“The precious thing itself’)

There continues to be much speculation about this “treasure” and connections with the Knight Templar and mystic Rosicrucians. Perhaps these riches are much closer than we think, and of a decidedly different nature.

Kenneth Mackenzie, in his Royal Masonic Cyclopaedia, describes the Triple Tau:

Anciently the Tau was a mystical sign, not at all like the square letter Hebrew, but more cruciform, and almost identical with the ankh of the Egyptians, otherwise known as the Crux ansata. It was a mark in use among many ancient nations, and not peculiar to the Jews; and it is found among the Hindus, and these last placed it on the foreheads of their disciples. It was a symbol of salvation and consecration, and as such has been adopted as a Masonic symbol in the Royal Arch and in some other degrees of high Masonry.

General Albert Pike, writing from his office as Grand Commander of the Supreme Council of the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry in his monumental tome Morals & Dogma, further adds:

The triple Tau, in the center of a circle and a triangle, typifies the Sacred Name; and represents the Sacred Triad, the Creating, Preserving, and Destroying Powers; as well as the three great lights of Masonry. If to the Masonic point within a Circle, and the two parallel lines, we add the single Tau Cross, we have the Ancient Egyptian Triple Tau.

A column in the form of a cross, with a circle over it, was used by the Egyptians to measure the increaswe of the inundations of the Nile. The Tau and Triple Tau are found in many Ancient Alphabets.

With the Tau or the Triple Tau may be connected, within two circles, the double cube, or perfection; or the perfect ashlar.

The Crux Ansata is found on the sculptures of Khorsabad; on the ivories from Nimroud, of the same age, carried by an Assyrian Monarch; and on cylinders of the later Assyrian period.

As the single Tau represents the one God, so, no doubt, the Triple Tau, the origin of which cannot be traced, was meant to represent the Trinity of his attributes, the three Masonic pillars, Wisdom, Strength, and Harmony.

The One God alluded to above is further described in Exodus 3:13 – 15:

13   And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?
14   And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
15   And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, the LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.

Other considerations of the nature of this hidden treasure aside, there is concealed Kabbalistically the very Triple Tau itself within these passages of the Bible.

The Hebrew name of the Great Architect of the Universe that is translated as “I Am That I Am” is אהיה אשר אהיה .

The Atbash cipher of Hebrew notariqon is a simple substitution cipher that takes the Hebrew alphabet and splits it in half and reverses it, substituting the corresponding letters; א transmutes to ת, ב changes to ש, ג to ר, and so on; essentially reversing the entire alphabet.

Applying the Atbash cipher to this Name of the Highest God, the three initial א’s of the phrase are transformed into three ת’s, thus revealing the Triple Tau.[2]

Through the application of Kabbalistic inquiry, this symbol may thus be seen as a representation of the name of the Most High, showing that thetrue hidden treasure of the Freemasonry is not necessarily buried underneath the Temple of Solomon (or Rosslyn Chapel!), but is concealed in the hidden chambers of our hearts.

SOLVE ET COAGULA

A lesson of the Royal Arch degree demonstrates another application of gematria which may unlock mysteries pertaining to the central doctrine of the ancient mysteries which is encoded in Freemasonry, the idea of Light in Extension.

A passage from Psalm 118:22 reads:

The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.

In Hebrew, the phrase “the Stone which the Builders refused” is Ehben Masu Ha-Bonaim (ABN MASV H BVNIM). An interesting connection to Alchemy occurs here, in that the reference to a rejected stone recalls the idea of the Philosopher’s Stone, made up of materials that are commonly rejected or abhorred, but praised as the roots of philosophical gold by the alchemists. The root of the Hebrew masu means “to despise, reject, refuse.” Using the techniques of gemaria, the numeration of the entire phrase is 273.

Other Hebrew words which have this same numerical value:

ChVRM ABIV, Khurum Abiv – “Hiram Abiff”

AVR GNVZ, Aur Ganuz, — “hidden light”

Qabalistically one may intuit a connection between the Widow’s Son, the Stone which the Builders refused, and the concept of Hidden or Concealed Light. The cornerstone takes on a new, profound meaning with these added levels of symbolism encoded into it.

The Substitute for the Ancient Master’s Word may be a notariqon of this phrase:

MAsu HA BONaim

Thus, the word becomes indicative of the Light of Masonry in a very direct sense, referring to Hiram Abiff, the Cornerstone of the Temple, the Hidden Light. The symbols build upon one another, each taking one deeper into the heart of the matter.

Looking to the Greek language, there are two words of particular relevance that also enumerate to 273:

Anthanasia, “immortality.” Perhaps a further reference to the doctrine of the Third Degree.

Heh Kleis, “the key.”

The Key… Hiram Abiff… The Stone which the Builders Refused… The Cornerstone… Immortality… Hidden Light… all encoded into the substitute for the Word of a Master Mason, and the symbolism of the Sublime Degree of Masonry.

THE TANTRAS

The triple tau may be seen to show the viparita maithuna (female superior) position of Hindu tantrism. This is the classic position of several tantrik deities, showing the male shakta or Shiva lying prone, with the female shakti sitting astride him. Most famously, the images of Kali on top of the corpse of Shiva are depicted in this position. In his book Sexual Occultism, John Mumford describes the viparita thus:

Man lies down face up with the goddess surmounting and riding him. She clips his Lingam in her Yoni, using the powerful vaginal muscles to massage and milk him. Her clitoris is freely exposed to digital stimulation by him, which almost guarantees simultaneous orgasms. [Viparita maithuna] is noted for producing particularly strong vaginal sensations because of the stretch applied to the front wall of the vagina by the penis, which is forcibly pulled back from a normal forty-five degree angle.

In discussing the inert, corpse-like state of Shiva without his Shakti, Nitin Kumar writes in his article Shakti: Power And Femininity In Indian Art:

To regain his Shakti and return from his trance like state, the power of the goddess must repossess and complete him. This metaphysical process of union is depicted graphically through the act of sexual intercourse. But it is no regular act of making love. Here it is the woman who rides the male. In this inverted sexual position, the female straddles the male and is the prime mover and active power. This reverse act of lovemaking is known in Sanskrit as viparita-rati.

It should also be noted that the symbol of the Triple Tau,, is in the center of a red equilateral triangle. In the Hindu tantras this triangle is the yoni tattva, the central component of the Kali Yantra  the symbol of the creative womb of the Goddess. 

CONCLUSION

Whatever the original provenance and impetus of Freemasonry, it seems clear that encoded within the rituals is a profound doctrine of spiritual illumination or Gnosis. With the application of tools such as gematria, isopsophy, temurah and notariqon, a wealth of otherwise hidden wisdom begins to reveal itself. Applying the lamp of focused consciousness on these symbols, the treasure chest opens.

Symbols may be thought of as living, dynamic centers of energy. By focusing on them and taking them into deep contemplation, this energy is unlocked from within, revealing the Royal Art as a series of signposts in consciousness. By following these signs into meditation, we may eventually come away with a further, profounder understanding of ourselves and our position in the universe.

REFERENCES

King James Bible, various editions.

Agrippa, Henry Cornelius. Three Books of Occult Philosophy (ed. Donald Tyson). Lllewellyn, 2000.

Barry, Kieren. The Greek Qabalah: Alphabetic Mysticism and Numerology in the Ancient World. Weiser, 1999.

Case, Paul Foster. The True and Invisible Rosicrucian Order. Weiser, 1985.

Crowley, Aleister. The Equinox, Volume I number VIII. Weiser, 1992.

Mackenzie, Kenneth. Royal Masonic Cyclopaedia. Aquarian Press, 1987.

Mackey, Albert. An Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry and Its Kindred Sciences. (New & Revised, 2 vols). Masonic History Company, 1921.

Mathers, S.L. MacGregor. The Kabbalah Unveiled. Weiser, 1989.

Pike, Albert. Morals & Dogma, Supreme Council of the 33rd Degree AASR, 1950.

Pike, Albert. Sybolism of the Blue Degrees of Freemasonry (Albert Pike’s Esoterika). Transcribed & Edited by Arturo de Hoyos. Scotish Rite Resarch Society, 2005.

Rees, Julian. Making Light: A Handbook for Freemasons. Lewis Masonic, 2006.

Stirling, William. The Canon: An Exposition of the Pagan Mystery Perpetuated in the Cabala as the Rule of all the Art. Weiser Books, 1999.

Waite, A.E. The Holy Kabbalah. Citadel Press, 1995.


[1] Although the Hebrew Kabbalah is perhaps the most celebrated, there is a rich tradition of Greek isopsephy which utilizes similar techniques, and the Latin alphabet is filled with many examples. Masonry is treasure trove of Kabbalistic wisdom, Albert Pike perhaps being the champion of this research in Masonry.

[2] According to Dr. Hugh Schonfiled, Atbash may also be applied to a spelling of Baphomet (בפוםת ), which gives שופיא, a possible attempt in Hebrew of the transliteration of the Greek word sophia, meaning “wisdom”. (See http://www.templarhistory.com/atbash.html).

13 Dimensional Art

It was Nietzsche  that said “when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.” (Beyond Good and Evil).  Mystics and adepts of western esoteric traditions have long been aware of this principle, although rarely have individuals taken their path to such visceral levels, emphasizing instead the LVX of the Tree of Life and the dayside or Solar mysteries of the Holy Guardian Angel.  This is the beginning of the path.

Once armed at all points, the journey to the depths of existence must commence in earnest. Certain advanced occult groups and individuals have made the exploration of the Void their focus; due to the very nature of such work, they tend to function as specialized cells forming secretive networks of travelers and explorers across space and time. For such, the distant stars and endless gulf of space are a matrix of time travel and indeed the very face of the Abyss, looking within.

The tantriks of Vajrayana and Hindu Vamamarga traditions have opened gateways to the Beyond and looked deep past frontiers of the known into that primal radiant darkness. In the cremation ground sadhanas of the Dark Goddess, the extra-temporal eternity of the Kalachakra, and the eternal presence of Dzogchen are embodiments of this secret tradition.

It is the artist perhaps that most directly opens to these grand vistas, and has the capacity to communicate what thy have experienced on the other side. Whether with visual, musical or poetic, the artist cohabitates most intimately with that nameless Void. As with the myth of Prometheus, stealing fire from the Gods and bringing it back to humanity, the artist travels to such realms of the empyream as are only glimpsed fleetingly by dayside consciousness. The artist conquers their fear and hesitation, leaping forward into the Unknown, and brings back such dark fruits as their capacity will permit.

One such artist working today is Malvika Jay. Her 13 Dimensional Art project is described by the artist as “(awakening) Fantastic, metaphysical and surrealistic subject matter, kaleidoscopic, fractal or paisley patterns, bright and/or highly contrasting colours, extreme depth of detail or stylisation of detail.” I would go further and say that what she has managed to convey oftentimes defies the minds capacity to analyze and label. The shadows drip like liquid light into vaguely recognizable forms, then again dissolve before your eyes only to recombine again into something else, something other. The closer you look, the more you realize that what was initially familiar is truly otherworldly, as new connections, new shadows radiate out into a spectrum of color that is not of this earth. This work is alive, and breathing, and right in front of your face. Even should you look away it is too late, for it has met your eyes and continues to stare deep into your soul, long after the visual image has subsided.

Do check out her ongoing magick that acts as gateways to other dimensions, time travel, extra-terrestrial and multi-dimensional entities, non-euclidean visions… Come close and warm yourself by the Fire she has stolen from the Stars. Look closely; you will be forever changed by what you see looking back at you.

13 Dimensional Art

 

 

 

 

Blessings of the Solstice

May that Mighty One, that Great Goddess of Infinite Space & Infinite Stars, that Radiant Darkness that is both the womb of all manifestation and also the Destroyer of all Space and Time, who grants all siddhis and whose laughter is the vibration that manifests infinite universes, that dear one, that dancing goddess in the cremation grounds, surrounded by jackals and dogs, black crows and ghosts, drinking liquor from a Kapala, with luminous dark eyes, that beautiful one, that victorious one, that invincible one, Mighty Kali, be praised!

Image

Trees of Eternity

Kali

Unless occultism becomes creative in the sense of opening up new approaches, modifying and developing traditional concepts and generally revealing a little more of the Supreme Goddess whose identity is hidden behind the veil of Isis, Kali, Nuit or Sothis, there will be stagnation in the swamp of beliefs rendered inert by the recent swift acceleration of humanity’s consciousness, which is little short of miraculous. If the science of the unmanifest is not to remain grounded at a pre-pubescent stage, while the manifested sciences soar into space, the mature occultist must put aside the toys of superstition and face fearlessly the Trees of Eternity whose trunks and branches glow with solar fire, but whose roots are nourished in the dark. – Kenneth Grant, Nightside of Eden

 

Trees

Aleister Crowley

December 1st is the anniversary of Aleister Crowley’s death (1875 – 1947) at the age of 72. I have a great deal of respect for his work and legacy, as the philosophy of Thelema that he grounded in The Book of the Law has  formed the basis of my own path for over two decades.

Crowley was fond of incredibly spicy curries, and one of his last requests was that his close friends remember him on the first anniversary of his death by sharing in a meal hot curry. That was duly accomplished when Gerald Yorke (arguably Crowley’s greatest archivist) and Lady Frieda Harris (the celebrated artist of the Thoth Tarot ) and others met for dinner.

I have kept up this tradition myself for many years now, and will be enjoying some spicy curry with loved ones this evening as I give thanks to the Old Man and his legacy.

The Old Man

HYMN TO PAN

ephrix erõti periarchés d’ aneptoman
iõ iõ pan pan
õ pan pan aliplankte, kyllanias chionoktypoi
petraias apo deirados phanéth, õ
theõn choropoi anax
SOPH. AJ.

Thrill with lissome lust of the light,
O man! My man!
Come careering out of the night
Of Pan! Io Pan!
Io Pan! Io Pan! Come over the sea
From Sicily and from Arcady!
Roaming as Bacchus, with fauns and pards
And nymphs and satyrs for thy guards,
On a milk-white ass, come over the sea
To me, to me,
Come with Apollo in bridal dress
(Shepherdess and pythoness)
Come with Artemis, silken shod,
And wash thy white thigh, beautiful God,
In the moon of the woods, on the marble mount,
The dimpled dawn of the amber fount!
Dip the purple of passionate prayer
In the crimson shrine, the scarlet snare,
The soul that startles in eyes of blue
To watch thy wantonness weeping through
The tangled grove, the gnarled bole
Of the living tree that is spirit and soul
And body and brain — come over the sea,
(Io Pan! Io Pan!)
Devil or god, to me, to me,
My man! my man!
Come with trumpets sounding shrill
Over the hill!
Come with drums low muttering
From the spring!
Come with flute and come with pipe!
Am I not ripe?
I, who wait and writhe and wrestle
With air that hath no boughs to nestle
My body, weary of empty clasp,
Strong as a lion and sharp as an asp —
Come, O come!
I am numb
With the lonely lust of devildom.
Thrust the sword through the galling fetter,
All-devourer, all-begetter;
Give me the sign of the Open Eye,
And the token erect of thorny thigh,
And the word of madness and mystery,
O Pan! Io Pan!
Io Pan! Io Pan Pan! Pan Pan! Pan,
I am a man:
Do as thou wilt, as a great god can,
O Pan! Io Pan!
Io Pan! Io Pan Pan! I am awake
In the grip of the snake.
The eagle slashes with beak and claw;
The gods withdraw:
The great beasts come, Io Pan! I am borne
To death on the horn
Of the Unicorn.
I am Pan! Io Pan! Io Pan Pan! Pan!
I am thy mate, I am thy man,
Goat of thy flock, I am gold, I am god,
Flesh to thy bone, flower to thy rod.
With hoofs of steel I race on the rocks
Through solstice stubborn to equinox.
And I rave; and I rape and I rip and I rend
Everlasting, world without end,
Mannikin, maiden, Maenad, man,
In the might of Pan.
Io Pan! Io Pan Pan! Pan! Io Pan!

– Aleister Crowley

Evocation of ANODOIN

An oldie but goodie, written back in the 90’s. 

Evocation of ANODOIN

An evocation of ANODOIN, Mercury Senior
of the Great Southern Quadrangle of Fire

[The ritual is to be performed during the course of the Tejas tattva; that is, 48 minutes after sunrise (or in 2 hour increments after that time). The day should be Mercurii, or alternatively dies Solis. Luna should be full, or waxing.

Let the magician be robed as for his grade. At the center of the Temple is the black cubical altar, with Liber AL vel Legis placed at the center, and the Triangle with the Cross surmounting it on top. Also on the altar are the Censor and Incense, some coals, and the Cup of Purification, properly prepared. Incense should be Olibanum, or some similar fiery odour. To the South of the Temple is the Enochian Watchtower of Fire hanging from a stand, with a red votive before it. At the beginning, the tablet is covered in a red burse. The magus is armed with the Wand.]

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

[Stand West of the Altar, facing East in silent meditation. When ready, begin thus:]

* This Ritual is an Invocation of ANODOIN, the Mercury Senior of the Great Southern Quadrangle of Fire.

OPENING

[ When ready, begin by purifying the Temple by water. Take up the Cup, and walk to the East:]

“For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect.”

[Purify E, S, W, N, walking about the temple as you do so. Complete circle in East, then return directly West of Altar, facing East.]

[Perform the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram.]

[Take up the Censor, and walk to the East of the Temple:]

“I am uplifted in thine heart; and the kisses of the stars rain hard upon thy body.”

[Consecrate E, S, W, N, walking about the temple as you do so. Complete circle in East, then return directly to West of Altar facing East.]

[Perform the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Hexagram.]

[Returning to the Altar, direct your aspiration to the Highest, and perform the Supreme Invocation of the Holy Guardian Angel.]

[Trace Ä in the air above Altarthen assume the Sign of Set-Triumphant while invoking with the Ib en Suti]

[Assume the Sign of Baphomet, and allow the connection with the Lord to take seat.]

INVOKING THE FORCES OF FIRE

[Perform the Greater Invoking Pentagram Ritual of Fire.]

* * * Let us adore the Lord and King of Fire! [Face South.] YOD HEH VAV HEH TZABAOTH! Blessed be Thou! Leader of Armies is Thy Name, Amen[Give Sign of Philosophus.]

[Quit the Throne and proceed to the South, before the Tablet of Fire. Unveil the Tablet (if all four are in the Temple, they should all be unveiled at this point). Make with Scepter, in the air before the Fire Tablet, the Invoking Circle; Invoking Active Spirit Pentagram; and Invoking Fire Pentagram.]

And the Elohim said: “Let us make Adam in our image, after our Likeness, and let them have Dominion.” In the Name of ELOHIM, Mighty and Ruling,  and in the Name of  YOD HEH VAV HEH TZABAOTH, Spirits of Fire, adore your Creator!

[Taking the Censor from before the Tablet, and making therewith the Sign of Leo in the air before the Tablet:] In the Name of MIKHÆL, Great Archangel of Fire, and in the Sign of the Lion, Spirits of Fire, adore your Creator!

[Making + with the Censor:] In the Names and Letters of the Great Southern Quadrangle, Spirits of Fire, adore your Creator!

[Elevates Censor on high:] In the three great secret Divine Names that are borne upon the Banners of the South, OIP TEAA PDOCE, Spirits of Fire, adore your Creator!

[Trace the invoking whirl:] In the Name of EDLPRNAA, great King of the South, Spirits of Fire, adore your Creator!

[Replace Censor. Return to station at East of Altar.]

In the Name YOD HEH VAV HEH TZABAOTH, I declare that the Spirits of Fire have been duly invoked. * * * * * * *

[The 6th Enochian Key:]

Gah s díu chis em micálzo pilzin sobam El harg mir babálon od obloc samvelg dlugar marprg arcaósgi od Acám canal sobólzar f-bliard caosgi od chis anétab od miam ta viv od d Darsar sol-peth bien Brita od zácam g-micálzo sob-há-ath trian Lu-iá-he odecrin MAD Q-a-a-on

INVOKING THE GREAT SENIOR

[Pause to confirm that the Tablet has been opened. Feel the invoked forces. Next, facing South, perform the Greater Invoking Hexagram Ritual of Mercury.]

[Again, pause to feel the invoked forces. Now begins the invocation proper of the Senior. Elaborate as felt necessary; however, they are without a doubt called simply by repeating their Name unde the regency of Our Lady:]

In the Name of BABALON, I call Thee forth:

ANODOIN [repeat as necessary.]

[Once invoked, announce who you are. Then, in the name of BABALON whom They love and adore, make your request of the Great Senior. State your request as clearly and as simply as possible.]

[When your communications are complete, thank him and bid him farewell. Next perform the formal Closing and License to Depart:]

CLOSING

The Prayer of the Salamanders or Fire Spirits.

Immortal, eternal, ineffable, and uncreated, Father of All Things, borne upon the eternally rolling Chariot of ever-revolving Worlds; Ruler of the Ethereal Vastnesses, where the Throne of Thy Power is upraised, from the summit of which thine awesome eyes disclose all, and thy beautiful and holy ears hearken to all: Hear Thou thy children, whom Thou hast loved since the birth of the Ages. For thy Majesty golden, vast, and eternal shineth, above the world and the Heaven of Stars. Above them art Thou exalted, O Thou Scintillating Fire! There dost Thou blaze and maintain Thyself by thine inherent Splendour, and from thine Essence flow forth inexhaustible Streams of Light which nourish thine Infinite Spirit. This Infinite Spirit nourisheth all things, and maketh that Inexhaustible Treasure of itself to the Forms with which Thou most Holy Kings who art about thy Throne, and who compose thy Court, O Universal Father! One and Alone! O Father of blesséd mortals and immortals.

Thou hast specially created Powers which are marvelously like unto thine eternal Thought and unto thy venerable Essence. Thou hast established them above the Angels, who proclaim they Will unto the World. Lastly, Thou hast created us third in rank within our Elemental Empire. There our continual practice is to praise Thee and to adore thy desires. There, we burn unceasingly, aspiring to possess Thee.

O Father! O Mother, the most tender of mothers! O wonderful Archetype of Maternity and of Pure Love!

O Sun, the flower of all Sons! O Form of all forms, Soul, Spirit, Harmony, and Number of all Things! Amen!

[Before Tablet, perform the Banishing Mercury Hexagram; Banishing Fire Pentagram; Banishing Active Spirit Pentagram; and Banishing Circle.]

Depart ye in peace unto your abodes and habitations. May the blessing of ELOHIM be upon you. Be there ever peace between us; and be ye ready to come when called. *

[Veil the Fire Tablet. If all Tablets are in Temple, they should all be veiled at this point.]

[Perform the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram of Fire.]

In the Name of YOD HEH VAV HEH TZABAOTH, I declare this Temple closed in the element of Fire, and this rite concluded. *** * ***

Interview With Mystic Gregory Peters On Crowley, Grant, and His Work With Legend Phyllis Seckler

Gregory Peters:

The Art of Ninzuwu journal of the Black Dragon Society has posted my recent interview. Check out all of their interesting articles and research, and my interview!

Originally posted on 竜神信仰 The Art of Ninzuwu 您祖巫:

The legendary and insightful Gregory Peters  meets up with the Dark Knight
The legendary and insightful Gregory Peters meets up with the Dark Knight

Recently, I had the honor to talk with Gregory Peters. He is a Thelemite, a devotee of the Great Goddess, and has been a student of Eastern and Western systems of attainment for over 20 years, holding various offices in western esoteric groups, and is an initiated tantrik in Hindu and Buddhist lineages. I ould like to take this time to welcome Mr. Peters to the Papers in the Attic family. How are you?

Gregory Peters: Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Thank you for asking to discuss the Work. It is always a pleasure to share in our ongoing research and expeditions into the vast realms of consciousness. Below are your questions and my responses. If anything requires more clarification or details, please let me know.

Warlock Asylum: It is an honor indeed to…

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On The Diamond Sapphire

“The Mani-stone is the ‘jewel’ of the Seven Stars and of the Graal of the Scarlet Woman, in her scarlet phase. […] The ‘other’ star is the Diamond Star-Sapphire of Manifestation.”  – Outer Gateways, Kenneth Grant

Solve et Coagula: Alchemical Symbolism of the Double-Headed Eagle

A research paper that I wrote back in 2008. Also appears at Pietre-Stones with illustrations.

SOLVE et COAGULA:
ALCHEMICAL SYMBOLISM
of the
DOUBLE-HEADED EAGLE

PREFACE

One of the most prevalent emblems of the Scottish Rite is that of the Double-Headed Eagle.  Mentioned briefly in comparison to the white-lambskin apron of the Craft Lodge, the symbol of the double-headed eagle is perhaps one of the most ancient emblems in Scottish Rite, having been represented for thousands of years in many of the worlds cultures.

What is the significance of this symbol such that it has found its way into the mythology and symbolism of so many cultures over time? As a symbol, the image embodies many layers of meaning, each of which are significant. The eagle itself has always represented such ideas as nobility and just rulership. The large wings are protective, while the razor sharp talons inflict punishment to evil.  The noble white head indicates just and aristocratic ruler. Strength, courage, foresight and immorality have all been associated with this image.

What, however, of the double headed eagle? Something in this image speaks to humanity at a primal, archetypal level. As a symbol, it is capable of transcending language, race, history, time itself – and presenting to the mind a presence of transformation and the eternal truth of man’s real nature.

In order to understand this symbol we will necessarily have to venture into the recesses of the secret chambers of our hearts, the true sanctum sanctorum or secret shrine of the Divine. At the portico to the temple of Apollo at Delphi were said to be inscribed in gold letters the words GNOTHI SEUTON meaning “Know Thyself.” The symbol of the double-headed eagle will be found to harkens back to this simple instruction of the Greek sage Pythagoras; an instruction which is the gateway to Light and Truth, and the perfected nature of man when elevated to the highest.

 

HISTORICAL SIGHTINGS

In the Louvre are two large terra cotta cylinders dating from approximately 3000 BC covered completely in cuneiform characters. Recovered from the remains of the Babylonian city of Lagash they record the foundation of the city by Gudea. The cylinders recite the story of the King, how the county was in drought with the “waters of the Tigris fell low” and the people feared that the gods were displeased. King Gudea had a dream in which a divine man came to him; a man whose stature was immense, with his feet firmly on the earth and his head reaching to the heavens, and upon his head was the corona of a god surmounted by the Storm Bird that extended it wings across all of Lagash.  Read more of this post

Pre-orders for The Magickal Union of East & West

Pre-order for The Magickal Union of East & West: The Spiritual Path of New Aeon Tantra is now available from Amazon and a few other sites. If you pre-order there is a discount:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Magickal-Union-East-West/dp/0738740446

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Strategic Sorcery on the Oath of the Abyss (reposted)

Below is a repost of my recent interview at warlock asylum, with insightful commentary from The Strategic Sorcery blog of Inominandum. Do check out the rest of his blog for a wealth of great articles.

http://www.inominandum.com/blog/interview-with-a-mystic/

The Triumph of Durga

Victory to that Great Goddess in all Her forms!
A radiant Navratri here in Mumbai

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Interview with Warlock Asylum

art

The walk around an art gallery is a rather dismal affair after all; the spectator moves, the picture remains motionless, dead memories of vital moments… Yet art, in the true and vital sense, is an instrument, a magical machine, a means of occult exploration which can project the seer into the realm of the Unseen, and launch the waking mind into the seas of subconsciousness” – Outside the Circles of Time, Kenneth Grant

Autumnal Equinox Greetings

equinox hike

O blissful Kali,
accept my congratulations.
You have enthralled the universe entirely
with your countless transformations.
Your ultimate magic feat is to throw every being
a sacred black stone, your very essence,
so that realization of mystic identity
will be its final destiny

You are so adept in magic, Ma Kali,
that you even draw the Father God,
who is all-transcending knowledge,
into your sweet madness,
your play of indivisible love.
As timeless awareness, you remain uninvolved,
producing the magic theater, divine creativity,
from the interplay of inertia, balance and activity.
This avid worshipper of Mother is shocked
that even supremely wise Lord Shiva
cannot realize Kali’s true nature.

O supremely foolish poet,
how can you hope to grasp her dancing feat
that elude even Shiva’s comprehension?
She has clearly driven you mad as well
with the magic of her Love.

Ramprasad Sen (translated by Lex Hixon, from Mother of the Universe, Visions of the Goddess and Tantric Hymns of Enlightenment)

Durga Puja

Coming in July 2014

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A Siddha lives in total freedom

This is taken from a colleagues post elsewhere:

One of my mentors paraphrases Siva Sutra 3.13 this way: “A Siddha lives in total freedom.”

My mentor comments further: The state of a Siddha is the state of freedom.

For the embodied soul there are only two possibilities. One is the state of bondage in which he loses the awareness of his nature, his glory, his power of understanding, and becomes contracted. He feels, “I am small, I am a sinner, I am subject to birth and death.” His own outlook is the thing that shrinks him day by day. As he meditates on and ponders his own limitations, he becomes completely bound.

The other possibility is the state of absolute freedom. By the grace of the Guru, a person’s inner Sakti is awakened through the process of shaktipat. Unfolding, his Sakti fills him with consciousness, and he is gradually freed from cravings and desires, the pull of the sense organs, and from all limited states. He achieves total union with the supreme Self.

A person who has achieved mastery over his senses and their objects is called a Siddha. One who sees this world, which the ignorant experience as full of sorrow, to be the outer sport of Parasakti is a Siddha. One who has risen above the three bodies and their corresponding states is a Siddha. One who has rid himself of notions of acceptance and rejection and has burned away the imaginary distinctions of virtue and sin, enjoyment and liberation, worldliness and spirituality in the fire of inner knowledge is a Siddha. That great soul regards all the thoughts that arise within him, whether good or bad, as the stirrings of the Self. One who has become the universe, the Lord of the universe, and the Soul of the universe; one who is his own path and his own destination; one who is fully active and yet supremely inactive; one who is aware “I am Siva” – he is a Siddha.

So ends the commentary.

Kenneth Grant on The Book of the Law, Purgation & Sacrifice

Gregory Peters:

A fascinating letter from Kenneth Grant on the nature of the Book of the Law has surfaced over at the Auticulture blog.

Originally posted on Auticulture:

Grant nov 15

View original

crimson blossoms

Jai Kali

Who is this astonishing feminine presence
dancing in the universal field of battle?
Truly naked, eternally sixteen,
with magnificent dignity she stands
on the breast of Absolute Reality
that assumes the aspect of snow-white Shiva,
his body also naked truth
as he sleeps in supernal contemplation

All blood ever shed in sacrifice or conflict
streams down her brilliant black limbs
like crimson blossoms floating on dark waters.
Her face is diamond bright, clearer than the full moon.
Infinite wisdom energy pulsates
through her mysterious blackness.
Her powerful wisdom laughter
awakens and heals,
flowing in wave after wave of sweet nectar.

This poet is overwhelmed,
singing with tears of rapture:
“Those who long for conscious union with reality
should meditate with constancy
on the dark blue lotus feet of Kali,
enshrined in the secret heart of humanity,
ensuring the liberation of all finite beings
from the illusion of finitude.”

Ramprasad Sen (as translated by Lex Hixon in Mother of the Goddess)

Guru Padmasambhava

Today marks the anniversary of Guru Padmasambhava, responsible for bringing the teachings of Vajrayana to Tibet.

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ཧཱུྂ༔ ཨོ་རྒྱན་ཡུལ་གྱི་ནུབ་བྱང་མཚམས༔
hung orgyen yul gyi nubjang tsam
Hūṃ! In the north-west of the land of Oḍḍiyāṇa,

པདྨ་གེ་སར་སྡོང་པོ་ལ༔
pema gesar dongpo la
In the heart of a lotus flower,

ཡ་མཚན་མཆོག་གི་དངོས་གྲུབ་བརྙེས༔
yatsen chok gi ngödrub nyé
Endowed with the most marvellous attainments,

པདྨ་འབྱུང་གནས་ཞེས་སུ་གྲགས༔
pema jungné shyé su drak
You are renowned as the ‘Lotus Born’,

འཁོར་དུ་མཁའ་འགྲོ་མང་པོས་བསྐོར༔
khor du khandro mangpö kor
Surrounded by many hosts of ḍākinīs.

ཁྱེད་ཀྱི་རྗེས་སུ་བདག་བསྒྲུབ་ཀྱི༔
khyé kyi jesu dak drub kyi
Following in your footsteps,

བྱིན་གྱིས་བརླབ་ཕྱིར་གཤེགས་སུ་གསོལ༔
jingyi lab chir shek su sol
I pray to you: Come, inspire me with your blessing!

གུ་རུ་པདྨ་སིདྡྷི་ཧཱུྂ༔
guru pema siddhi hung

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These are images from a few of the monasteries in Nepal, where the Buddhist dharma has taken deep root in the Himalayan villages.

More on the invocation of Guru Padmasambhava may be read here.

journeys

I enjoy trekking, hiking, and generally being in the wilderness. Exploring forests, hiking up mountain trails… these are the things I would be happy doing on a daily basis. Being in nature and having time to myself to soak up the energy and bask in the majesty of this universe is the most precious thing to me.

 

 

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That said, one of the highlights of Nepal is unquestionably meeting the different people. This is true of all my travels, but the people of Nepal have been exceptional friendly and inviting. On my trek to Everest Base Camp, one of the most memorable experiences was meeting the children in the villages along the way.

nepal village

nepalese kids

kids

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It is the people you meet and make connections with on any journey that really leave a lasting impression.

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In addition to the many villages in the mountains, Kathmandu itself is a vibrant city, full of wonderful people. I spent an afternoon with these kids as they followed me around looking at the different sites and convincing me to try different street foods and treats (and share  with them of course!).

kathmandu

Of all the journeys I have taken and will continue to take, Nepal holds a very dear place in my heart. I look forward to returning many, many times.

New Aeon Tantra

New Aeon Tantra

the radiant void at the heart of tantra

Great Goddess

The dance of tantra is the dance of maya; a dynamic  microcosm of life with the panchatattva elements each symbolizing not only parts of our daily life and body, but the primordial elements, the building blocks of the universe. This dance of life will not fit into expectations or preconceived notions; while there may be general guidelines, the nature of this path is that it is unpredictable.

Tantra, whether Kaula or Vajrayana or beyond, is a dance and interplay of energy. At the heart of this energy is the void, Nuit. This is the same Heart of Thelema, a complex philosophy that embodies a western Tantra with the Great Void at the very core of the idea of True Will. Read more of this post

On Compassion, Community and Conflict

Gregory Peters:

I have not talked about groups that I have worked with (yet), but here is a great post on some related ideas. Compassion is certainly a topic worthy of deep consideration.

Originally posted on The Blog of Baphomet:

One of the three treasures of Buddhism is the Sangha. This is the community of practice. Those people around us who support us in what, in western magick, we might call The Great Work or perhaps the process of Illumination. As someone who thrives on close collaboration (the majority of the books on which my name appears are co-authored texts) and communal activity (since the age of fifteen much of my esoteric work has happened in groups) the Sanhga is essential to me. Of course it’s not like that for everyone; some folks really thrive on working alone, or perhaps with just one other person. More accurately, most of us (even gregarious me) will have periods in which we need solitary practice and other times when we want to come together with others.

I’ve been fortunate to work within many organisations over the years; ranging from The Order of Bards…

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East meets West: New Thought, Thelema, and The Holy Order of Krishna (reposted)

An insightful new post from Phil Hine on the Holy Order of Krishna – do check it out!

Influences, part 2

Continuing from an earlier post that mentioned some of the guru/teacher figures that have been important in my own Work, in this post I’ll mention some of the traditions and philosophies that I find of personal significance.

Read more of this post

Influences

In my teens I was in a few bands. I played guitar and also would program our electronic drum machine. Seems we were always looking for a real live, human drummer to round out the lineup (harder to find than you might imagine!). One thing about being in a rock band is that you are always mentioning your influences in order to give a sense of where you originated from, what inspires your own music and creativity, and so on. This type of description would also be used to help find other musicians, such as a drummer! Basically, what are your roots? For our band the Brethren, we had some clearly defined influences: The Sisters of Mercy, Red Lorrie Yellow Lorrie, Fields of the Nephilim, Killing Joke… The idea was that given enough references to influences, you might attract the sort of fellow musicians and fans that are drawn to a particular sound or genre. In our case, that was “death rock.”

Read more of this post

A reminder…

Buddha

Do not believe anything (simply) because you have heard it.

Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations.

Do not believe in anything because it is spoken and rumored by many.

Do not believe in anything (simply) because it is in your religious books.

Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.

But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conductive to the good of and benefit of one and all then accept it and live up to it.

– Gautama Buddha, Anguttara Nikaya vol I

Happy Birthday Soror Meral

Today I remember my dear friend and teacher, Phyllis Seckler (Soror Meral). I wrote this in 2004 on the day of her death.

Soror Meral: In Memorium (1917 – 2004)

Phyllis Seckler

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

I first met Phyllis in 1991 e.v. I had written to her as a young man in seek of the Light of Truth, with all of the arrogance and naivete that youth embodies.

My letter was not too long, simply stating that it was “my Will to become a Probationer of A.’.A.’.” She replied back some weeks later with an add for In the Continuum, and a brief letter explaining that she would not admit anyone to A.’.A.’. without first completing Course I of the College of Thelema. My eyes being set on the reward, I immediately wrote back with a letter giving some of my background, and an order for all of the issues of I.T.C. Read more of this post

Dawn

A

from the depths of samsara

breathe in

all the colors, sounds, tastes, scents, feelings

diamond light effulgence radiates into one

silent witness of vibration and starry ancient light

breathe out

from the center, from the expanse of All

in primordial intrinsic Awareness

Kenneth Grant

Today I remember Kenneth Grant a great adept and master.

His influence on my own spiritual work is undeniable.
His deep insight and creativity will live on through his voluminous work and legacy.

The 93 Current evolved and matured in new dimensions because of your dedication and inspiration.

Thank you, Frater Aossic. See you Outside the Circles of Time.

Kenneth Grant

radiant black storm clouds

Another poem from the Shakta poet Ramprasad Sen. His words never fail to evoke Her presence, and I am only reading translations. I can only imagine how the original would stir the soul and shatter any false illusions of separation between us. You want to look into Her eyes? Feel Her breath? Hear Her sweet laughter? Let the poet evoke Her before you, in all of Her majestic glory.

Peacock

Radiant black storm clouds
expand acros the sky of pure awareness.
The peacock of my mind reveals its brilliant colors,
dancing in the bliss of holy expectation.
Kali’s wisdom thunder rumbles
with her power that can level mountains.
The fiery tracery of lightning flashes
forms her wonderful smile of ecstasy.

The lover of Ma Kali gazes intently,
tears pouring down like monsoon rain.
Only these most precious drops
can quench the thirst of the heart,
that rare winging creature
who drinks only from limitless sky,
never from limited pools or streams.
To be born in this body composed of common clay
is a heavy burden for the soaring soul.
To incarnate again and again
across this vast planetary realm
can never slake our burning thirst for reality.

Proclaims the liberated one
who sings this gnostic hymn:
“No more birth from the womb of the matter,
only emanation from the Divine Mother.”

Read a larger collection of Ramprasad in translation from Lex Hinton’s excellent work Mother of the Universe: Visions of the Goddess and Tantric Songs of Enlightenment.

Ramprasad Sen: Shakta Poet

Constrain the Mind to Concentrate

I wrote this short piece many years ago. While there is a depth to yoga disciplines that go far beyond what Crowley discussed, I do still agree that his simplified adaptation of the 8 Limbs is a good basic primer on practical yoga exercises to achieve a well rounded practice in ones daily work.

Many western practitioners neglect the most fundamental aspects of meditation and calming the body, much to their disadvantage. The need to be able to concentrate, visualize, calm the body, increase energy, and so on, are essential techniques in western ritual that are used for every practice. Crowley’s introduction to the Yoga Sutras at the very least gives the westerner a simple way to get started and begin seeing benefits of practice almost immediately.

While Eight Lectures on Yoga is in no way a substitute for in depth training and practice for those that would go deep into the path of yoga, it is without a doubt good basic instruction in the fundamentals of practice that anyone can begin with. If limited only to his instruction, one would certainly see plenty of benefits in all aspects of their daily life.

Read more of this post

Bohemian space rocks

moldavite

This small stone with the eery greenish lustre is moldavitethought to originate from a meteor impact about 15 million years ago in the region of central Bohemia.

During a trip to Sedona, AZ I picked this up at one of the many Vortex crystal shops around the area. According to the label that came with the stone, moldavite was said to have some remarkable properties:

  • meteorite
  • extraterrestrial origin
  • very rare stone
  • high vibration
  • Ascendant Master
  • connects to Akashic Records
  • opens to receive spiritual guidance
  • useful for sensitive people and star children
  • aligns the chakras

Now I must admit to being ignorant of the meaning of some these attributes (what are “star children”  for example?). Still, I was intrigued and enjoying the peaceful and mystical atmosphere of Sedona, so I took the stone into my left palm (as the left hand is generally passive and absorbing of energy inward, in contrast to the right hand which projects dynamic energy outward).

I felt an immediate affinity for the moldavite, as consciousness opened up and expanded seemingly into space. The sensation of coolness was unmistakable, and an open expanse of space and stars. I spent a good minute in the Vortex Crystal shop just “spacing out” while I held the small green piece of rock, much to the pleasure of the shop keeper!

The moldavite now rests on my shrine. I hold it in the palm of my left hand when performing mantra japa, and find that it helps to affirm a sense of openness and expansive consciousness. What better way to fly with the sky dancers in their own natural habitat then to lift off with them into space!

Ramprasad Sen: Shakta Poet

The Bengal poet Ramprasad wrote exquisite verses to Queen of the Universe, expressing the intense devotion and longing he felt for the Beautiful One. His words express the pure flow of bhakti. Reading them, once can feel the depth of emotion on a pure, visceral level of being.
kalima
A few samples from his work follow:  Read more of this post

Awakening mantras

Devi

The twelfth chapter of the Chandi Path (more fully called the Devi Mahatmayam or Durga Saptashapti) elucidates the many benefits deriving from the joy of celebrating the Great Goddess in her form of Durga. Holding that Devi in your heart and approaching her with love, she naturally bestows her grace and blessings. Let the Goddess herself be your guide and guru, inviting her into your heart.

It also may be used to consecrate and activate mantras that may need to be “woken up” or blessed by the Goddess herself. Be certain that you approach her with love and a pure motivation, and that your use of the mantra is in accord with True Will. In this day and age, when self proclaimed gurus abound and the vidya is becoming increasingly popular and diffused from the point of origin (the Goddess herself!), it certainly does not hurt to reconnect to the source behind the mantra, and allow that great Shakti to irradiate it with life, love, and power. Read more of this post

Jai Kali, Shunya Vasini Devi!

Victory to Kali, the Goddess Who Dwells in the Void!

your black eyes
are eternities
pulling me into you
honey nectar
liquid starlight
giving all

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there is nothing in the universe more beautiful than you

Jai Kali, Shunya Vasini Devi!

Tantrik Thelema in South India

Founded in 1905 by Dr. T. R. Sanjivi in Tinnevelly, South India with “the sole purpose of educating people to culture the light that is latent in one and all,” the Latent Light Culture and its inner order The Holy Order of Krishna teach practical yoga methods based of an esoteric and initiated interpretation of the Bhagavad Gita.

The  founding material of the organization from the 1920’s is attributed to the mysterious author “Bhikshu”, and contains a strong influence of Thelema and the writings of Aleister Crowley mixed in with the initiated tantrik teachings of the Gita.

A few excerpts:

“Act Thou, therefore, when opportunity confronts you; responding to it, meeting it bravely, utilising it, actively. ‘Do what thou wilt’, say the Masters, ‘Shalt be the whole of the Law,’ of Dharma of Karma — only he who doeth is the Karmi; he who wills to do and doeth is the Karma Yogi; the Deed is the Karma, his future, his Destiny the harvest of his Thoughts and Acts. Your Deed is the expression of your will, the will in you; say then to yourself ‘I Will’ and Act. So acting shalt thou not sin, says the Lord Krishna.”

“In this then shall be the Ordinanace (Sastra) for you Karma Yogi, in the dictum of ‘Do what thou wilt’ which shalt be for thee the whole of the law, teaching you comprehensively what to do, what to avoid, this the only ordinance; ‘do what thou wilt, then do nothing else'; we shall repeat it constantly, without end, that you may be unified of will, that in all your act you may bring all the universe that is of you, that in your act the whole of you and not the puny portion of you miscalled ‘I’ at the threshold, at the outer gate of consciousness, may act, and impress itself on the even that anyhow must be.”

Karma Yoga, 1928

“The first and greatest of all priveledges is to have accepted the Law of the Gita: Yatha Ichchhasi Tatha Kuru (Do What Thou Wilt) – to have become free and independent and to have destroyed all fear, whether of custom, faith, of other men and of death itself. “Fear not at all, fear neither men, nor fates, nor gods, nor anything. Money fear not, nor the laughter of the frivolous folk nor any other power in heaven, upon the earth or under the earth.”

– From the  grade paper of the First Degree of the Holy Order of Krishna.

This is the group that originally produced the celebrated tantrik commentary on the Ananda Lahari that was referenced by several of the works of Kenneth Grant in his Typhonian Trilogies.

Sadly the organization today seems to shy away from the more esoteric traditions that it was founded on, although the grade papers still show influences of Thelema. Deeper material such as the ritual magic of the Sri Vidya encoded into the Ananda Lahari (the Wave of Bliss, which consists of the first 41 verses of the Soundarya Lahari) is mixed in with a new spiritual interpretation of the Gita.

the gift of bhava

Reflecting on the idea of the usual roles between sadhaka and Devi reversing themselves (see my earlier post), it brought to mind the manifestations of bhava that occur in devotees of the Goddess (often arising from bhakti). This is very much a type of possession, where the Devi experiences through the body and senses of the individual.

June McDaniels excellent study Offering Flowers, Feeding Skulls: Popular Goddess Worship in West Bengal is highly recommended in this regard. An excerpt:

One form of spontaneous possession is found more frequently in practitioners of tantra and bhakti yoga. This is colloquially called bhava, short for devabhava (a general term for divine state or state of unity with a deity) or bhavavesha (the state of being overwhelmed or possessed by bhava). Bhava combines possession and devotional love, allowing the possessed person to retain consciousness in the midst of the goddess’s power and presence. It shows intense love of a deity, and a person’s humility and willingness to submit to the goddess.

Bhava is a tangible gift of the goddess, for as She manifests in the devotee they experience the divine bliss of Her presence in their very body.  As the Shakta poet Ramprasad wrote, “Whoever gazes upon this radiant blackness falls eternally in love.”

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om mahakalyai ca vidmahe smasana vasinyai ca dhimahi tanno kali pracodayat
(“Om we contemplate on the Great Goddess who takes away Darkness, we contemplate She Who Resides in the Cremation Grounds, may that Goddess direct!”)

Jai Kali Maa!

Maa Kali

A wonderful image of the Great Goddess from Deepika Suman photography:

Be sure to check out her excellent photography blog

The Goddess of Infinite Space and Infinite Stars

Nuit

April 8, 9 and 10 are important milestones in the tradition of Thelema, marking the grounding of Liber AL vel Legis, the Book of the Law. This book is the first great Western Tantra, ushering in a new era of awakened consciousness for those that choose to consciously step forward into the morning light of the New Aeon.

As for the veracity of such “modern” writings, I am reminded of a quote from Sir John Woodroffe from his commentary to the Anandalahari:

The Tantras however appear and disappear according as they are revealed or withdrawn. Their authority does not depend on the fact that they were published to men on a particular date but on the Siddhi to which they lead; that is, the actual result flowing from them. This result proves the authority of the Tantra even though it were revealed yesterday.

The rewards of working with this direct path to realization are manifold and unique to every individual that comes to know and fulfill the True Will.

May all sentient beings, boundless as the sky, have Real Peace, Real Freedom and Real Happiness!

Black Night

DeviHer eyes are black
and infinity stares into me from them
Her red lips are parted in a smile,
showing her brilliant white teeth
and her red tongue hanging out with intoxication
of celestial love
I am drunk on you
before even first tasting the patra
I am drunk on your love
the blood from your lips
is honey in my mouth
warm and coruscating though every part of my body
my heart is a burning ground
where I love you
I give myself to you completely
your name is ecstasy to me
every syllable, every letter
drips nectar into my soul
in union with you
everything is Bliss
the doorway to that radiant Night
the mirror of that infinite kiss
releases lies of separation
take my head, Kali!
drink deep my blood that I may be with you
this bliss is an outer garment
a play a dance a song
of your radiant eternal night

Seeing the Kumari

When I was in Nepal ready to embark for the Everest Circuit Trek my flight from Kathmandu to Lukla airstrip  got delayed by one day due to poor visibility on the mountain. I took that day to walk around Kathmandu and in particular explore Durbar Square. Little did I know I was walking right into the festival of  Indra Jatra and the Kumari.

Read more of this post

I am Her murti

Jai KaliGenerally speaking, the sadhaka will be placing life into the murti on the shrine with prana pratishta after a series of ritual acts of purifying and energizing your body. The elements are purified and activated with bhuta shuddhi. The energetic levels are equilibrated with pranayama. Mantras and accompanying mudras are given. Light, incense, water, flowers, the very Self is presented as offering. The divine aspect is projected out with the breath into the statue, often onto a flower either physical or visualized; the cold statue becomes divinized, the Goddess is present, and worshipped accordingly.

That is not what is happening.  Read more of this post

chaos and passion

Bhairava, a fierce form of Shiva. Kathmandu, Nepal

June McDaniel’s The Madness of Saints: Ecstatic Religion in Bengal gives a detailed explanation of the contrast between the traditional and formal approach of the right hand path, and the truly bacchanalian and chaotic spontanaity of the left hand:

The path of progression is associated with Jame’s lysis or gradual approach. It emphasizes order and harmony, and the divine is reached by self-control and obedience. The god is most present in the greatest purity — of self, of place, of statue. Such purity involved loyalty to lineage and tradition, acceptance of hierarchy and authority, and ritual worship and practice.  Ecstasy is attained by faith and learning, by acceptance of dharma, and avoidance of siddhis (powers) and self-glorification. Such a path  is yogic and devotional, and called in Bengal sastriya dharma, the path of scriptural injunctions.

The path of breakthrough is associated with Jame’s crisis, or abrupt change. It emphasizes chaos and passion, and the divine is reached by unpredictable visions and revelations. The presence of deity is not determined by ritual purity — the god may be found in pure situations, but also at the burning ground, at the toilet, in blood and sexuality, in possessions and ordeals. Initiation and lineage do not determine  experience — often there is a “jumping” of gurus — where different gurus are followed at different times. The criterion of status is neither yogic knowledge nor ritual skill, bur rather bhava, the ecstatic state that comes with experience of the divine. Such states are called sahaja (natural and spontaneous) or svabhavika (unique to particular individual). The path is more generally called asastriya, or not according to the scriptures.

While these two general approaches apply to the work as a whole, it is also interesting to note that in the tantrik sadhana and specifically with the ritual of panchatattva, both are combined. There is a lineage of instruction and ritual technique, which if persisted in deeply will transform into spontaneity  and unpredictability. In this sense, the tantras have encoded into them the essence of developing spontaneous creativity as well as providing the means to forge the link to the true Guru. Tantra, followed sincerely and with all that one is, is a fast and direct path of realization that is unique to every person, while still growing out of known forms and traditions of lineage.

Afternoon walk. Found my peace and rejuvenation with the trees.

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the path to nirvana

the path to nirvana

Passed while trekking through a village in Nepal

Creativity

Michael Staley’s essay The Resurgance of Cosmic Identity (published in the Jeruslaem Press edition of Austin Osman Spare’s Book of Pleasure) is inspired and insightful. This part in particular struck a deep cord:

“When assessing the body of work of an adept of whatever means of expression — be it in the graphics arts, writing, or music — we should not expect always to find a steady progression with consistent themes and gradual development. Rather, we often find abrupt changes of direction: projects taken up and then lain aside, unfinished. This is because an adept -in whatever medium the genius is expressed – is driven primarily by currents of inspiration which are caught — often fleetingly — and articulated through his or her work. some of these currents of inspiration can lead to long and extraordinarily fruitful phases of work. Others yield little, either proving to be cul-de-sacs, or simply giving way to yet another inspiring current. Thus it is that in retrospect we can examine particular phases of the adept’s career, and wonder why some apparently fruitful line of working was dropped, or not fully developed. The body of work is living, abounding with loose ends, and open to further development by others.”

It is not enough to only preserve what has come before, as though it were some great commandment etched in stone and never to adapt or grow. Rather than sit tight, holding fast to “what has come before” and chanting the droll mantra “it has always been this way”, we should rise to the opportunity as the successors and heirs of the many great masters, to pick up the subtle threads and hints of their work and tend to them, developing new and often inspired works. Life is ever evolving and growing in new and often unexpected directions.

Samsara and Nirvana are One

“Esoteric Buddhism teaches that Reality presents two aspects, one relative finite and conditioned, and one absolute, infinite and unconditioned. Seen with the eye of the unenlightenend being who is turned about on the wheel of existence these two aspects appear separate and irreconcilable, but to the Eye of the Buddha (butsugen) at the unmoving hub they are the inseperable facts of a single truth. In the partial view from the periphery all things are seen as transient and in momentary transformation, lacking an abiding self-nature; but in his total, all-encompasing view from the centre a Buddha sees that the imperfect, ephemeral and mutable dharmas merge with perfect, eternal and immutable Suchness (tathata, shinnyo). He sees that the world of fleeting, impermanent forms and the Buddha’s world of adamantine durability are non-dual.”  – The Matrix and Diamond World Mandalas of Shingon Buddhism (Adrian Snodgrass)

Notes on the Kaula Commentary

From the tantrik commentary by Curwen (quoted in Beyond the Mauve Zone):

mamsa still continues to be flesh; meena still floats like fish in the water by which it is surrounded; mudras are secrets to all but initiates and cannot be communicated ecept by word of mouth and face to face with the Guru; and maithuna alone can rejuvenate her after the exaustion of the Puja.

Grant continues:

The wine or madhya is the urine of the Suvasini after the Fire Snake has absorbed the amrita or nectar of the ultimate chakra, Sahasrara. This nectar or soma is the ‘moon-juice’ of ancient Vedic lore. The flesh, mamsa, is the lunar emanation embodined in the menstrual fluid at a certain stage of its flow; and the fish (meena) is a secretion that swims in the waters of the lotus-pool. The maithuna is the mystical congress of Shiva and Shakti — Consciousness and its Power — in the Sahasrara Chakra.

[…]

For the fully initiated Kaula Adept, the universe is a manifesation of perpetual joy, bliss, Amrita (deathlessness), from which he distils the elixir of immortality. Liber AL, today, echos his paen of rapture:
Remember all ye that existence is pure joy; that all the sorrows are but as shadows; they pass & are done; but there is that which remains.

[…]

The final bija, Krim, is the bija-mantra of Goddess Kalika, the hidden Principle of Creation described in the Ratrisukta as ‘Night.’ She it i who reveals the universe as a shadow (chaya). She is the reflex of all colours (kalas), Herself ‘without colour’; black. Yet is She the background of light, and the crescent (shashi-kala) on Her brow denotes that She is the originator of nada-bindu-kala, the trikona at the center of the Sri Chakra. When fully self-expressed She appears as Uma, with the glamout of the full moon, and is then known as Sri Vidya. Her essence, however, is always Ama (darkness). Uma (light) and Ama (darkness) are the twin poles between which flashes the vibration AUM. As Japa of the bija-mantras leads the Fire Snake progressively higher, do do the energies released in the lower chakras, bordering the subconsciousness, become increasingly active.

The True Guru

“As the western adept is required to have established contact with his ‘Holy Guardian Angel’ (in Tiphareth) before achieving initation into the Greater Mysteries, so the eastern chela has to have raised the Fire Snake to the Place of the Guru (Âjna chakra) with whom he renews contact  in each incarnation in order to maintain continuity of magical consciousness in the waking-state. A further comparison: during sadhana, the Self (Atma) assumes an external form and appears as the Guru, or inwardly as the Angel. The Fire Snake also appears outwardly and assumes the form of the Suvasini or of the Scarlet Woman.”

Beyond the Mauve Zone, Kenneth Grant

Thoughts in the Pitha

I finally “got” Bagalamukhi, as a protector and warrior against all that distracts from the True Will and the Work. She and her retinue are fierce beyond all means. Waves of radiance and bliss from Union with Kali encircled by the fiery daggers of Bagala radiating outwards in all directions.

The panchatattva is ultimately kundalini. The symbols speak on multiple levels. Outwardly the Homa ritual; secretly the Panchatattva; in the Hidden Shrine the Fire Snake and her ascent up the chakras.

The dhuni or fire pit is the cremation ground. The cremation ground is the yoni of the goddess. This is in the Heart of the Master. The ashes of the flames are indeed the radiance of the kalas, the dew of light emitted from the wetness of the Goddess. Let that wetness direct (Tripura gayatri).

The Ananda Lahari is the emanation of the goddess in spoken form.Image

“There is neith…

“There is neither creation nor destruction,
Neither destiny nor free will,
Neither path nor achievement;
This is the final truth.”

-Ramana Maharshi

Divine Pride

Reflecting back on a post from the other day, I was reminded of this wonderfully simple description:

“The main Ethics of the Book of the Law. Man is asked to act as if it were true that he is a spark of that great light of God. Those who insist on making that assumption, on basing all their lives on it, are the Thelemites.” (Churton quoting unpublished AC)

This is the practice of Divine Pride as taught in the tantras, wherein the personal self is given over completely to the chosen deity such that it for a time lives inside of the practitioner. The Goddess then sees with your eyes, hears with your ears, tastes and speaks with your mouth, feels with your heart. Your very body becomes the temple of the divine and allows the infinite to experience the finite.

Through practices of purification, dedication and self exploration, the personality may be tuned such that it is able to open up to this Divine Pride. Generation stage practices for example, where the deity is visualized in great detail as external to the operator, are part of this process of training. Another approach is given in the western practices of “assumption of God forms,” although without much of the explanatory and supporting practices unless one is careful to follow a detailed training regimen of foundational exercises in yoga, meditation and ritual.

Live life according to Thy Will is the First Step, and the Last Step. For many that may be the entire Journey, and as such there is no greater reward.

(As a side note, Churton’s biography of the Old Man has a post from last year in the Telegraph)

Will, Knowledge and Action

“The essence of independence has been to think and act according to standards from within, not without.”
Aleister Crowley

Recently saw a post on facebook with the above quote by Crowley, and was reminded again of the simplicity of the core message of spiritual enlightenment. The essence of the teaching, the first step or first grade, is to learn who one is, free from external influence. Once this knowledge is gained, you need to put it into practice.

Live life according to your Will. This is the essence of the tantrik word svecchacharaThis compound word is made up of the three shaktis. These three Goddesses are Iccha Shakti (Goddess of Will), Jnana Shakti (Goddess of Knowledge), and Kriya Shakti (Goddess of Action). The term Shakti represents Power itself; specifically the divine feminine power that is the essence of the Goddess Kundalini.

In the tantras these primary Shaktis may be worked with by means of ritual or visualization practices possibly involving mantra, yantra and mudra. Outer court systems in the Western Mysteries may also work with these in the form of alchemical symbolism such as the elemental grade workings.

Whatever system is used, the basic tenet of discovering who one is, and then living that Truth of Self remains the same.  All you have to do is be yourself, to do your will, and rejoice.” – The Law of Liberty

Jai Kali, Jai Ma Bhavatarini!

Victory to Kali, Victory to the Mother, the Savior of souls!

godess-kali-1

Salutations again and again

to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of consciousness;

to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of intelligence;

to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of sleep;

to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of hunger;

to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of power;

to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of modesty;

to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of peace;

to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of faith;

to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of loveliness;

to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of compassion;

to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of contentment;

to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of mother.

May that Devi, the Mother, who appears in the form of all things,

bring forth benefits for all who sing Her praises.

Jai Maa!

P1040346[8]Victory to that Great Goddess! Jai Maa!

 

Waves of Bliss

Oh Mother, may all my speech, howsoever idle, be recitation of Mantra; may all the actions with my hand be the making of ritual gesture ; may all my walking be the pacing around Thy image in worship ; may all my eating and other functions be Homa rites; may the act of my lying down be prostration before Thee; may all my pleasures be an offering to the great self. Whatsoever I do may it be counted for the worship of Thee. –Anandalahari, v.27