A new article is posted from my book The Magickal Union of East and West entitled Thelemic Refuge. Enjoy!
The Dark Destroyer
Ladies and Gentlemen, the amazing artwork of the entity known as Joseph Curwen. Enjoy!
traveling with spirits
I have a new blog post up at the Llewellyn Worlwide site: Traveling with Spirits.
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 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.
I also managed to snap a few quick shots (very poor quality!) of the sarcophagus of Ankh-ah-na-Khonsu
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
Received my proof copies of The Magickal Union of East and West today!
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!
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.
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.
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 CCXXXI—of the Qliphoth of each dayside Path, then immerse in the energies for weeks or months via meditation/tantra.”
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
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:
garland of letters
“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
Ascent of the 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.
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. Seven, or 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
Pre-Order the Magickal Union of East & West
The pre-order page is up and running. Get your discounted orders in ahead of time!
Order here: https://www.llewellyn.com/product.php?ean=9780738740447
Radiance of the Eternal Night
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.
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!
Trees of Eternity
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
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.
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
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,
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.
[ 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 Altar, then 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:]
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. *** * ***
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
Pre-orders for The Magickal Union of East & West
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.
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
Coming in July 2014
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
A fascinating letter from Kenneth Grant on the nature of the Book of the Law has surfaced over at the Auticulture blog.
New Aeon Tantra
the radiant void at the heart of tantra
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.
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)
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!
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)
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.
Weeks passed with no response. I began to feel that my application had been rejected. Then one afternoon the phone rang. It was her. I was speechless. Eventually I managed to get out a few sentences, and it was agreed that I would come up for a private visit.
That first to visit to Oroville is still clear in my mind. As I pulled up into her driveway, she was standing in the garage getting her truck ready. I got out of my car, shaking timidly, and walked up to her. She smiled radiantly and said “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.” I replied “Love is the law, love under will.” We shook hands and went inside. Later that day we went to lunch in Oroville and she asked me to do Will. I was completely green, and had not even memorized the small rite, and made a complete fool of myself stumbling through it in front of her. The whole time she was smiling with a twinkle in her eyes, encouraging me. I became her student that day, and nine months later I was admitted into the A.’.A.’. under her guidance as a Probationer.
It was only years later that Phyllis would tell me one day that my first letter to her almost ended up in the trash. She was initially put off by the presumption of my letter, and that I was telling her what my Will was without even asking if she might be willing to take me on as a student. She reconsidered though, and decided to give me a try. The rest is of course history.
Over the years I continued to work under her guidance, travelling to Oroville whenever I could to sit with her for hours and discuss A.’.A.’. and related matters, either in her beautiful garden or in the living room. Sipping on wine, I would sit for hours just listening to her many stories and sharing much laughter.
Phyllis never questioned my direction or choices, but rather always supported the work I was doing and encouraged me to strive for the heights. Through thick and thin, she continued to refer to me as “her rascal.” When I was studying Buddhism and finding ways to incorporate the practice into my work, she encouraged me, saying that she had always admired the Buddha’s writings. When I began integrating Hindu tantrik practices into my studies, she encouraged me greatly, pointing out some of the similarities between the Book of the Law and the Bhagavad Gita. When I told her it was important for me to be able to work the A.’.A.’. system in as pure a form as was possible and independently, she encouraged it, just advising me not to become an “unthinking Crowleyite” (with a little twinkle in her eyes as she said it!) and to never change the name of the lineage from honoring her teacher, Soror Estai. She was open minded enough, and secure enough in her own attainment, to see that there were many avenues and channels of approach to the Light, and that what was right for one aspirant was not necessarily so for another. She was never hung up on “grades, titles and attainments.” She took endless joy in laughing about the ego driven politicking in the various esoteric circles we were involved with, always pointing out that people should rather be focused on doing the Work of Self Attainment rather than bickering and plotting endlessly.
Above all she taught me that Love and Will are paramount to all, and to never lose site of the Holy Guardian Angel, who is the sole rule and comfort, the supreme guide and teacher. She always strongly encouraged the daily reading of the Holy Books, especially AL and Liber LXV, insisting that just a chapter every night before bed would solidly place the books in memory over the years. It was this simple teaching that would form the genesis of the Diamond Sapphire Gem of Radiant Light and the Ordo Sunyata Vajra. She took great joy in pointing out to anyone within ear shot how thickheaded I was at astrology, always taking the opportunity to have me stumble around the triplicities or houses at a class. Well dear soror, I am afraid I am still a poor astrology student! I can see her now shaking her head at me, all the time smiling and radiating so much joy and light, wisdom and strength. Phyllis taught me again and again the importance of laughter in our work, and to always focus on the work and not get caught up in the politics and personalities that abound in Thelema.
Thank you, Soror, for all of your support, love, encouragement and guidance these past 13 years. I will do my best to honor your name, and continue on in the tradition of which you so lovingly taught and entrusted us. I am honored to have been your student and friend.
Love is the law, love under will.
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.
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.
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.”
“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 Goddess of Infinite Space and Infinite Stars
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!
I am Her murti
Generally 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”
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.
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.”
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.”
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 svecchachara. This 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
“…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)
The Heart of Set
Ib n S(w)t(y)
ant hr.k sr r nhh
ant hr.k sr r shtch hr.ib wkh
m khn b(a).(a) s(a)uty khybyt.(a)
wn wt n b(a).(a) n khybyt.(a) m(aa).f Ntr (aa)
m(aa).(a) b(a).(a) khybyt.(a) Ntri ib n S(e)t.hh
kkw smw i.n khr.k khw.k w ib.kw(a)
sm.(a) ib.(a) n wnnwt.f nbtt krh
b(a).(a) pw Ntr b(a).(a) pw hh
nk s S(e)t s nsrt
nk ib n S(e)t.hn
nk S(e)t.hh (aa)sh ms.khwt wkh
s b.k sb (a)nkh
ib n S(e)t.hh
Homage to Thee, Prince of Eternity!
Homage to Thee, Prince of Light and Darkness!
Let my soul not be shut in, let my shadow not be fettered;
Let the Way be Open for my soul and for my shadow,
may it see the Great God —
May I look upon my soul and my shadow,
the Divine Heart of the Everlasting Fire of Set!
Within night and darkness, I have come to thee —
I am glorious, I am pure.
May I follow my heart at it’s season of Fire and Night.
My soul is God, my soul is Eternity.
I am the Son of Set, Son of Fire!
I am the Heart of Eternal Set!
I am the Everlasting Fire of Set,
Child of the Radiant Darkness!
Some additional information
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.
The Star Ruby
First appearing in print with the publication of the Book of Lies in 1913 e.v., the Star Ruby (chapter 25 of Liber CCCXXXIII) was described by Crowley as a “new and more elaborate version of the Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram.” Disciples at the Abbey of Thelema in Cefalu performed the ritual as part of their daily practices, along with Will and Liber Resh. The ritual was later modified somewhat and released in 1929 e.v. as an appendix of Magick in Theory and Practice (Book4: Part III), where Crowley also noted in chapter 13: “It is usually sufficient to perform a general banishing, and to rely upon the aid of the guardians invoked. Let the banishing therefore be short, but in no wise slurred – for it is useful as it tends to produce the proper attitutude of mind for the invocations. ‘The Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram’ (as now rewritten, Liber 333, Cap. XXV) is the best to use.”
Built up from the traditional Lesser Pentagram Ritual of the Golden Dawn (see Liber O vel Manus et Sagittae, section IV), while similar in some aspects, the Star Ruby also has many significant differences in its structure; for example, using Greek instead of Hebrew intonations; similarly, while its predecessor is suitable for both invoking and banishing elemental forces, the Star Ruby is exclusively a banishing ritual – and a truly thorough, focused, and exceedingly powerful one. The rituals do build upon one another, and it has been found beneficial in my experience to first master the older form before working with this new and improved ritual.
The ritual opens with the establishment of the divine form of Hoor-paar-kraat in the operator, as he assumes the Sign of Silence. The successfully establishment of this form and condition of consciousness is central to the remainder of the ritual, for it establishes within the magician the center of authority within as the “still, silent self” of the Divine Child Harpocrates, a symbol of the Holy Guardian Angel that is effectively known and experienced as the True Will. From this center of Silence, the calm depths of true power, lying timeless in eternity, we now move into action. The lightning flash of Will is invoked to banish by fiat with a “great sweep” of the right hand “down and out, expelling forcibly thy breath” the words Από πάυτως κακοδαιμουος (“away every evil spirit.”).
The qabalistic cross section of the ritual invokes the solar-phallic regency of God in all glory and majesty:
With the same forefinger touch thy forehead and say ΣΟΙ, thy member, and say Ω ΦΑΛΛΕ, thy right shoulder, and say ΙΣΧΥΡΟΣ, thy left shoulder, and say ΕΥΧΑΡΙΣΤΟΣ then clasp thine hands, locking the fingers, and cry ΙΑΩ.
In the sparse notes to the ritual given in Liber 333, Crowley informs us in a footnote to the phrase Ω ΦΑΛΛΕ that the“secret sense of the words is to be sought in the numeration thereof.” The isopsephy of this injunction to the solar-phallic creative God has a value of 1366, which is identical to that of κτεις (535) + φαλλος (831), or yoni + lingam. Another phrase with this same value is η φωνη, “the voice.” Thus visualizing oneself standing as a radiating erect column of light, crying out in Greek words which may be translated“Thy, O Phallus, Mighty, Beneficient, IAO!” the creative and irresistible universal currents of Love, Life and Liberty are invoked.
The ritual then proceeds to the establishment of the quarters, with a flaming pentagram visualized at the forehead and cast forth into each cardinal quarter with the forceful Sign of the Enterer. The older form of the ritual from Liber 333 uses the formula of יהוה in descent around the perimeter of the circle as the magician moves widdershins, so that to the East is associated Fire and the Lion Kerub; to the North is Water and the Eagle Kerub; in the West, the Kerub of Man and Air; and finally in the South the element of Earth and the Bull Kerub. The characteristic vocalization of each Kerub is used to project the name out into the quarter: the roar of the Lion, the scream of the Eagle, the voice of Man, and the bellowing of the Bull.
The circle being completed, the magician returns to the center of the circle and raises “thy voice in the Paian” invoking Pan under the starry dome of Night, and giving the Signs of N.O.X. in such a way as to show the progression up the Tree of Life and across the Abyss. Then the magician, standing in the radiant form of the solar-phallic cross, calls forth the guardians of the quarters and the effulgent ensigns of the Pentagram and Hexagram. The guardians called forth in this ritual are not those of the Hebraic Archangels as in the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram; rather, the Star Ruby appears to be working with beings that first find their description in the Neoplatonic accounts of Proclus.
The rite then concludes with the Qabalistic Cross again, followed by the banishing by fiat.
 These names and vocalizations would be changed in the later version of the ritual, using Therion, Nuit, Babalon and Hadit instead. The later form is more in alignment with the structure of Liber V vel Reguli.
[written September 2003]
The Hexagram Ritual
Originally restricted to the use of Adepts of the Ordo Roseae Rubeae et Aureae Crucis (“Order of the Ruby Rose and Golden Cross), the secret Second Order of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the ritual of the Hexagram saw the light of day with Crowley’s exposure of the Golden Dawn rituals throughout the serialized Equinox. With many subsequent exposures of the Golden Dawn’s curriculum, the ritual of the Hexagram has a much wider audience and is now common knowledge, if not use, among many magicians. One can buy a variety of books, ranging dramatically in quality, to find amongst the arcane exposed gnosis the Lesser and Greater Rituals of the Hexagram. Yet, despite this, the ritual remains somewhat obscure to most. While the Pentagram rites are now ubiquitous amongst magicians both seasoned and new, the formula of the 6-fold star remains more mysterious, even allusive.
The Hexagram or Macrocosmic Star is a reflection in geometric form of the unity between the Divine and Human. As a talisman of the unity of consciousness and polarities (“As above, so below; as within, so without”), its’ six points are associated with the classical planets as delineated on the Tree of Life, with our radiant Father Sol placed in the center. Of the figure of the Hexagram, Papus tells us:
“The triangle pointing up represents all that ascends, it is particularly the symbol of fire, of heat. The one with the point down represents all that descends, it is especially the symbol of water, of humidity. The union of the two triangles represents the combination of heat and humidity; of the sun and the moon. It symbolizes the principle of creation, the circulation from heaven to earth. This figure gives the explanation of Hermes’ words in the Emerald Tablet: ‘It goes up from the earth to heaven and, vice versa, it goes down to earth and receives the force of superior and inferior things. ‘”
Unlike the Pentagram rituals, which are elemental and far wider in application, the Hexagram rite was originally designed for the Adept of the Golden Dawn, and contains symbolism based upon their reception into the Second Order. The Signs of L.V.X. which open and close the rite are the symbolic gestures by which the Adept attuned to the forces of the Tiphareth as the Sun of the Soul, a representation of the GOD-MAN or homo superior, being the keys by which the symbolic Vault of Christean Rosenkreutz was opened. The Analysis of the Key Word I.N.R.I. were a further reflection on the cycle of life as represented by the Sun, as well as that interior luminary which serves the the Lamp of the Magus. The six points of the figure are attributed to the 6 classical planets in their order as given on the Tree of Life, with the radiance of Our Father Sol in the center. Each planet in turn may be associated with the inner centers of spiritual force, the chakras of the Hindus, as well as with Zodiacal influences. And so we see that the symbol is at once a reflection of the living Truth of the Emerald Tablet; once again, “as above, so below.” The planets in their movements in the heavens are reflected in the interior centers of force in our psychospiritual makeup.
Through geometric Kabbalah the six-pointed figure is associated with the sixth sephira on the Tree of Life, Tiphareth, the “interior sun” of the magician. As a symbol of union, the macrocosmic star represents the union of the magician with the Holy Guardian Angel. The interplay of extremes such as fire and water, light and darkness, Will and Love, symbolized by the union of the two triangles, all reflect on the nature of that attainment. As such, a full understanding of the Star of the Macrocosm may be found within the heart of the magician herself, as a reflection of the Truth of which we are all an expression. Where the 5 points of the pentagram show the aspiration towards the divine with an equilibrium of elements and a seeming craving for the radiant L.V.X., the hexagram expresses the brilliant fire of the Gnostic Sun surrounded by six centers of force in perfect equipoise. One may enter the true Vault of the Adepts by apprehension and application of this symbol in the life of the magician.
“He that hath the knowledge of the Microcosm, cannot long be ignorant of the knowledge of the Macrocosm. This is that which the Egyptian industrious searchers of Nature so often said, and loudly proclaimed‑‑that every one should KNOW HIMSELF. This speech their dull disciples (the Greeks) took in a moral sense, and in ignorance affixed it to their Temples. But I admonish thee, whosoever thou art, that desirest to dive into the inmost parts of Nature, if that which thou seekest thou findest not within thee, thou wilt never find it without thee. If thou knowest not the excellency of thine own house, why dost thou seek and search after the excellency of other things? The universal Orb of the world contains not so great mysteries and excellences as a little Man, formed by God to his own Image. And he who desires the primacy amongst the students of Nature, will nowhere find a greater or better field of study than himself. Therefore will I follow the example of the Egyptians, and from my whole heart, and certain true experience proved by me, speak to my neighbor in the words of the Egyptians, and with a loud voice do not proclaim: O MAN, KNOW THYSELF, in Thee is hid the Treasure of Treasures.”
— The Center of Nature Concentrated; or, The Salt of Nature Regenerated, Alipili
[written September 2003]
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