cutting through

Labels. They are everywhere. We use them to define ourselves, each other, our space, our likes and dislikes, the world around us, our thoughts… In one sense, language is a great label maker for chopping up the vast expanse of raw experience into bite sized pieces that are easily digested.

If you do not “fit” into a label, people may feel funny about you. For the sake of comfort, it seems as though people expect to be able to categorize everything, including themselves, into well organized and defined definitions. If you can not label it, it can can not be categorized and fit in to the correct slot.

With the wide acceptance of social media like Facebook, the motivation to “fit in” and “label” oneself and others has become something of a collective past-time. Favorite music, books, movies, television… “I drink wine and enjoy watching Friends. Oh so do you? My political slant is <fill in the blank> and my religion is <label goes here>. I don’t like this person, they use labels I don’t like. I am in this club and you aren’t.” Subject and object, this and that, inside outside. Perhaps if enough data is collected and the patterns analyzed, we can give up having names and just be categorized under certain labels and numbers.

A case in point, the About page. How many labels do I have to choose in order to try to box myself in to a nice package that others will be able to label according to their own set of rules? Lets see —  I’m Typhonian, and I am big on Tantra and Dzogchen. Other labelled entities (poor humans), such as those calling themselves Thelemites, might not like that I’m Typhonian. Classical Hindu tantriks on the other hand, may dislike that I am into Dzogchen. Labels might get in the way of actual human connection if I don’t pass the initial word filter.

Based on the associations of labels, we limit our experiences and interactions with other living human beings. This person seems nice, but they label themselves as a <blank> – no thank you. That person has so much energy, looks so happy, really enjoys life – oh but wait… it says here they love a book by an author that I hate…. No!  We limit ourselves if the label does not “fit.”

Words imprison us. Sure, they can also liberate us. Language is both a blessing and a curse.

Life is for living. It is alive, dynamic, unpredictable, beautiful and ugly, magnificent and horrible. It is all of these things simultaneously. Try some of those labels on, if you must. The more we try to define ourselves, to live inside of our own well constructed boxes, the more comical the whole game becomes.

Meditation is useful in getting reacquainted with reality. I say reacquainted because we all know it, have experienced it. At the very least, you were an infant at one time, before language was part of your consciousness (I suppose that is arguable, with the sound of the mothers voice being heard in the womb). Go back further then…

Persist long enough and you might get glimpses of consciousness beyond (before?) language. What is experience before it is labeled? What is the raw, unfiltered, unspeakable experience of being?

Who are you, before you had a name?

 

 

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

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

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

 

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

devi

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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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.

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.

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

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!

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!

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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

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/

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.

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.

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.

Dakini

Dzogchen or Atiyoga is considered beyond even the tantras, informing them with their radiant sunyata. In the tantra of Thelema this void or primordial creatrix is called Nuit, the Goddess of Infinite Space and Infinite Stars. This is the reality of the present moment, and the identification that cyclic existence and nirvana – or the radiant pristine awareness of consciousness – are indeed identical, that in fact there is and has never been a separation of these “states” but only a veil (compare “the khabs is in the khu”,Liber Legis I:8)  to this preeminent Awareness.

All paths, all gurus, all means, all obligations resolve into One at the level of awakening to the presence of primordial state, free from all limitations and conditioning . The “differences” are skillful means, in order to present as many opportunities as possible to different types of personalities and methods of learning. It is from this resting in the primordial state that natural compassion arises.

The means “pass and are done,” but there will always be “that which remains,” that inexhaustible, incorruptible, primordial Awareness (Liber Legis, II:9)

companyofheaven

On Compassion, Community and Conflict

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.

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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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

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

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:  Continue reading “Ramprasad Sen: Shakta Poet”

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. Continue reading “Awakening mantras”

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!

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

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.  Continue reading “I am Her murti”

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.

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

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.

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

compassion

“…there is another kind of love and compassion… Just be what you are… You simply be what you are in the world, in life. If you can be what you are, external situations will become as they are, automatically. Then you can communicate directly and accurately, not indulging in any kind of nonsense, any kind of emotional or philosophical or psychological interpretation. This third way is a balance way of openness and communication which automatically allows tremendous space, room for creative development, space in which to dance and exchange.”

There is no law beyond: Do what thou wilt

“The fundamental characteristic of true compassion is pure and fearless openness without territorial limitations. There is no need to be loving and kind to one’s neighbors, no need to speak pleasantly to people and put on a pretty smile. This little game does not apply. That is the basic openness of compassion: opening without demand. Simply be what you are, be the master of the situation.”

The vice of kings.

“That fearless vision reflects on you as well: it affects how you see yourself. If you look at yourself in the mirror — at your hair, your teeth, your mustache, your coat, your shirt, your tie, your dress, your pearls, your earrings — you see that they all belong there and that you belong there, as you are. You begin to realize that you have a perfect right to be in this universe, to be this way, and you see that there is a basic hospitality that this world provides to you. You have looked and you have seen and you don’t have to apologize for being born on this earth.”

every man and every woman is a star

(main quotes are from Chogyam Trungpa’s Cutting Through Spiritual Materialsm)

Lantern of Thebes

An effective and simple method of rapidly establishing an active current of Light in the sphere of sensation is to use the Egyptian mantra from Liber AL vel Legis in conjunction with a Middle Pillar type practice, incorporating the Four Worlds map of consciousness. In this method, each line of the mantra is associated with one of the Four Worlds, thus:

Atziluth            A ka dua                           Sahasarachakra              Kether
Briah                Tuf ur biu                          Anahattachakra              Tiphareth
Yetzirah          Bi a’a chefu                       Svadhisthanachakra      Yesod
Assiah              Dudu ner af an nuteru  Muladharachakra           Malkuth

The entire paraphrase in english is a powerful micro-ritual in and of itself, serving as an effective invocation of the Light also along the lines of a modified Middle Pillar ritual, in that each stanza may be associated with one of the 4 Worlds, utilizing the Gate Sephiroth of Kether, Tiphereth, Yesod, and Malkuth to rise through the different levels of consciousness as one ascends the Tree, or bring the current of Divine Light down the Tree to ground into matter:

1. [Standing straight up, hands to the sides, visualize your sphere of sensation filling with radiant white light, with a barely perceptible field of blue light at the outer perimeter of the aura. With this current of energy coursing through your system, say:]

I am the Lord of Thebes, and I The inspired forth-speaker of Mentu; For me unveils the veiled sky, The self-slain Ankh-af-na-khonsu Whose words are truth. I invoke, I greet Thy presence, O Ra-Hoor-Khuit!

2. [Atziluth. Kether. Visualize Divine white brilliance above the head at the sahasarachakra as a radiating luminescent sphere and say:]

Unity uttermost showed! I adore the might of Thy breath, Supreme and terrible God, Who makest the gods and death To tremble before Thee: — I, I adore thee!

3. [Briah. Tiphereth. Bring a current of white light down from the Kether sphere to the anahattachakra at the chest, where a brilliant rose-gold solar sphere of radiant fire appears:]

Appear on the throne of Ra! Open the ways of the Khu! Lighten the ways of the Ka! The ways of the Khabs run through To stir me or still me! Aum! let it fill me!

4. [Yetzirah. Yesod. The current of white light extends down from the chest to the genitals at the svadhisthanachakra, as a sphere of brilliant luminescent violet light emerges:]

The light is mine; its rays consume Me: I have made a secret door
Into the House of Ra and Tum, Of Khephra and of Ahathoor.
I am thy Theban, O Mentu, The prophet Ankh-af-na-khonsu!

5. [Assiah. Malkuth. The scintillating column of white light descends from the genitals to the feet representng the muladharachakra, where a sphere of brilliant citrine light appears:]

By Bes-na-Maut my breast I beat; By wise Ta-Nech I weave my spell. Show thy star-splendour, O Nuit! Bid me within thine House to dwell, O winged snake of light, Hadit! Abide with me, Ra-Hoor-Khuit!

6. [Circulation of the Light. Now pause to see the four spheres of radiant light, and the central column of brilliance connecting them all Reaffirm each of the centers from the Crown down to the feet, while vibrating the appropriate mantra as below:]

[Atziluth]           A ka dua           [Sahasarachakra                         Kether]

[Briah]              Tuf ur biu         [Anahattachakra                        Tiphareth]

[Yetzirah]          Bi a’a chefu      [Svadhisthanachakra      Yesod]

[Assiah]             Dudu ner af an nuteru [Muladharachakra Malkuth]

[With each inhalation, see a current of Light rise up the central column from the feet, until it reaches the crown center. On each exhaltation, see the Light spray out of the crown center like a fountain of radiance, bathing the entire sphere of sensation in stellar light. Repeat at least three times.]

From this point, you may wish to go into meditation, invocation of the Holy Guardian Angel, or other forms of ritual and meditative Work.  This ritual quickens the astral light and helps to release the several energetic layers of the aspirant, rendering and combining them into a powerful, vibratory symphony of multiple currents of energy.  This rite may effectively be practiced once a week at the beginning; then moving to once a day after a few months of weekly practice; eventually twice a day sessions (morning and evening).

This practice is open to quite a lot of specialization. For example, it may be used to lock in a particular tattvic current with the proper visualizations, and then circulate the light modified by that tattva throughout the sphere of sensation. From this you may modify the practice for the consecration of implements, talismans, and so forth by charging your sphere of sensation and then projecting it onto the item to be consecrated.

You may use it to effectively change the atmosphere of a room (external influence) or your personality (internal influence) by attuning to planetary or astrological currents of energy. You may generate healing currents of life force and apply these to yourself, or to others both physically present or at a distance.

The key to these workings is the right use of breath and visualization in coordination with your intent (Will). Add to this the use of Word (vibration) with mantra, and you will unlock a powerful method of practical magick. The adaptations of the Lantern of Thebes are manifold and left to your own Inner Genius for discovery.

Invoking Shakti

Shri Shankara said – Liquor, which is under a curse, is the form of the Absolute. Freeing it from the curse it becomes the Absolute itself, the supreme ambrosia. O Devi, it becomes like this by offering to Mahadevi.

From the 14th chapter of Shri Matrika Bheda Tantra (translated by Mike Magee)

Some notes on tantra

Among the many meanings of the word tantra (root tan, “extend,” “continue,” “multiply”), one concerns us particularly – that of “succession,” “unfolding,” “continuous process.” Tantra would be “what extends knowledge” (tanyate, vistarayate, jnanam anena iti tantram).

We must reckon with possible Gnostic influences, which could have reached India by way of Iran over the Northwest frontier. For more than one curious parallel can be noted between tantrism and the great Western mysterio-sophic current that, at the beginning of the Christian era, arose from the confluence of Gnosticism, Hermeticism, Greco-Egyptian alchemy, and the traditions of the Mysteries.

It is noteworth that tantrism developed in the two border regions of India — in the Northwest, along the Afghan frontier, in western Bengal, and especially in Assam. On the other hand, according to Tibetan tradition, Nagarjuna was a native of Andhra in southern India — that is, in the heart of the Dravidian region.

… for the first time in the spiritual history of Aryan India, the Great Goddess acquires a predominant position… In Hinduism, the Sakti, the “cosmic force,” is raised to the rank of Divine Mother who sustains not only the universe and all its beings but also the many and various manifestations of the gods. Here we recognize the “religion of the Mother” that in ancient times reigned over an immense Aegeo-Afrasiatic territory and which was always the chief form of devotion among the autochthonous peoples of India.

But we also recognize a sort of religious rediscovery of the mystery of woman… every woman becomes the incarnation of the Sakti. Mystical emotion in the prsence of the mystery of generation and fecundity — such it is in part. But it is also recognition of all the is remote, “transcendent,” invulnerable in woman; and thus woman comes to symbolize the irreducibility of the sacred and the divine, the inapprehensible essense of the ultimate reality. Woman incarnates both the mystery of creation and the mystery of Being, of everything that Is, that incomprehensibly becomes and dies and is reborn.

A well known myth thus accounts for the birth of the Great Goddess. A monstrous demon, Mahisa, threatened the unverse and even the existence of the gods. Brahma and the whole pantheon appealed to Vishnu and Siva for help. Swollen with rage, all the gods put forth their energies in the form of fire darting from their mouths. The flames joined into a fiery cloud, which finally took the form of a goddess with eighteen arms. And it was this goddess, Sakti, who succeeded in crushing the monster Mahisa and thus saved the world.

Quoting Zimmer: the gods “had returned their energies to the primeval Sakti, the One Force, the fountain head, whence originally all had stemmed. And the result was now a great renewal of the original state of universal potency.”

We must never lose sight of this primacy of the Sakti – in the last analysis, of the Divine Woman and Mother – in tantrism and in all the movements deriving from it. It is through this channel that the great underground current of autochthonous and popular spirituality made its way into Hinduism. Philosophically, the rediscovery of the Goddess is bound up with the carnal condition of Spirit in the kali-yuga. Thus the tantric writers present the doctrine as a new revelation of timeless truth, addressed to the man of this “dark age” in which the spirit is deeply veiled under the flesh.

Tantra is antiascetic and antispeculative. “Donkeys and other animals wander about naked, too. Does that make them yogins?” – Kularnavatantra.

In some tantric schools, contempt for asceticism and speculation is accompanied by complete rejection of all meditation; liberation is pure spontaneity. Saraha writes “The childish Yogins like the Tirthikas and others can never find out their own nature… One has no need of Tantra or Mantra, or of the images of the Dharanis — all these are caused of confusion. In vain does one try to attain Moksa by meditation… All are hypnotized by the system of the jhanas (meditation), but none cares to realize his own self.” Again, another Sahajiya author, Lui-pa, writes: “What use is meditation? Despite meditation, one dies in pain. Give up all complicated practices and the hope of obtaining siddhis, and accept the void as your true nature.”

Viewed from outside… tantrism would seem to be an “easy road,” leading to freedom pleasantly and almost without impediments.

“No one succeeds in attaining perfection by employing difficult and vexing operations; but perfection can be gained by satisfying all one’s desires” – Guhyasamajatantra

…all contraries are illusory, extreme evil coincides with extreme good. Buddhahood can – within the limits of this sea of appearances – coincide with supreme immorality; and all for the very good reason that only the universal void is, everything else being without ontological reality.

But the “easiness” of the tantric path is more apparent than real… The fact is that the tantric road presupposes a long and difficult sadhana, which at times suggests the difficulties of the alchemical opus.

… the void (sunya) is not simply a “nonbeing”; it is more like the Brahman of the Vedanta, it is of an adamantine essense, for whch reason it is called vajra (=diamond). “Sunyata, which is firm, substantial, indivisuble and impenetrable, proof against fire and imperishable, is called vajra.” (Advayavajra-samgraha).

For tantric metaphysics, both Hindu and Buddhist, the absolute reality… contains in itself all dualities and polarities, but reunited, reintegrated, in a state of absolute Unity (advaya).

The creation, and the becoming that arose from it, represent the shattering of the primordial Unity and the separation of the two principles (Siva-Sakti, etc); in consequence, man experiences a state of duality (object-subject, etc.) — and this suffering, illusion, “bondage.” The purpose of tantric sadhana is the reunion of the two polar principles within the disciples own body. “Revealed” for the use of the kali-yuga, tantrism is above all a practice, an act, a realization (=sadhana)…

From (from Yoga: Immortality and Freedom by Eliade)

Tripurasundari

I invoke the devi Tripurasundari, mahavidya of Lalita

Goddess of Beauty and Play and Love and Joy!

Let us invoke the sweet smelling one!

Naked, with fiery green eyes and golden skin, hair aflame in crimson light

Her arms granting boons and dispelling all fear.

Her naked body marked with blood and ash,

Her heart aflame with passion and fire!

Aom!  I salute the beautiful one of three worlds!

Jai Devi! Jai Tripurasundari!

Obeiassance to the Lotus eyed one of sweet nectars, Jai Pankajakshi![1]

Aom!  With incense of sandal I salute Thee!  Jai Devi!

Aom!  With lights I salute Thee!  Jai Istadevi![2]

Aom!  With water I salute Thee!  Jai Sarvagata![3]

Be favourable to me, oh blossom honey of light!

Grant thine aid unto me, that I may come to rest

in your sweet smelling presence, Jai Shrimati![4]

With sandalpaste, ash, sindur and water I am marked

to your devotions, oh Vibhutidevi![5]

With the bijamantra HRIM I invoke Thee!

AOM HRIM HRIM HRIM!

Jai Tripurasundari!  Jai Lalita!  Jai Devi!

Oh, Mandayanti[6], grant me Thy grace!  Give me of Thy milk to drink!

Oh, Jayesvari[7], inform me with Thy blood kissess!

Let Thy brilliant light shine through me, fullfilling me of Thy divine embrace!

Jai Sadhya!  Jai Sadhwi!  Jai Sara!  Jai Savitri![8] Aom!

Aom nama Tripurasundari!

Aom HRIM HRIM HRIM!

Jai Istadevi!

Aom!


[1] (Pankaja “mud born, lotus” + akshi “eye”) The lotus eyed.

[2] One’s chosen goddess (“beloved goddess.”)

[3] (sarva “all” + gata “having gone”) Having pervaded all, having reached everywhere.

[4] (shri “beauty, light, wealth” + mati “having”) Having beauty and fortune, the beautiful.

[5] Glory, might, wealth.  Consecrated ash used by devotees of Shiva.  Also the 6th of Lalitas 108 names.

[6] Delighting, rejoicing.

[7] (jaya “victorious” + iswara “sovereign goddess”).  The victorious goddess.

[8] Sadhya, “the attainable,” a name of Lalita.  Sadhwi, “the virtuous.”  Sara, “the Essence.”  Savitri, the consort of the Sun.

[March 1998]