Sunday, 30 December 2012

Hymn to Pan

Michel Dorigny, Pan and Syrinx, 1657.

"Thrill with lissome lust of the light,
O man! My man!
Come careering out of the night
Of Pan! Io Pan!
Io Pan! Io Pan! Come over the sea
From Sicily and from Arcady!
Roaming as Bacchus, with fauns and pards
And nymphs and satyrs for thy guards,
On a milk-white ass, come over the sea
To me, to me,
Come with Apollo in bridal dress
(Shepherdess and pythoness)
Come with Artemis, silken shod,
And wash thy white thigh, beautiful God,
In the moon of the woods, on the marble mount,
The dimpled dawn of the amber fount!
Dip the purple of passionate prayer
In the crimson shrine, the scarlet snare,
The soul that startles in eyes of blue
To watch thy wantonness weeping through
The tangled grove, the gnarled bole
Of the living tree that is spirit and soul
And body and brain — come over the sea,
(Io Pan! Io Pan!)
Devil or god, to me, to me,
My man! my man!
Come with trumpets sounding shrill
Over the hill!
Come with drums low muttering
From the spring!
Come with flute and come with pipe!
Am I not ripe?
I, who wait and writhe and wrestle
With air that hath no boughs to nestle
My body, weary of empty clasp,
Strong as a lion and sharp as an asp —
Come, O come!
I am numb
With the lonely lust of devildom.
Thrust the sword through the galling fetter,
All-devourer, all-begetter;
Give me the sign of the Open Eye,
And the token erect of thorny thigh,
And the word of madness and mystery,
O Pan! Io Pan!
Io Pan! Io Pan Pan! Pan Pan! Pan,
I am a man:
Do as thou wilt, as a great god can,
O Pan! Io Pan!
Io Pan! Io Pan Pan! I am awake
In the grip of the snake.
The eagle slashes with beak and claw;
The gods withdraw:
The great beasts come, Io Pan! I am borne
To death on the horn
Of the Unicorn.
I am Pan! Io Pan! Io Pan Pan! Pan!
I am thy mate, I am thy man,
Goat of thy flock, I am gold, I am god,
Flesh to thy bone, flower to thy rod.
With hoofs of steel I race on the rocks
Through solstice stubborn to equinox.
And I rave; and I rape and I rip and I rend
Everlasting, world without end,
Mannikin, maiden, Maenad, man,
In the might of Pan.
Io Pan! Io Pan Pan! Pan! Io Pan!"[1]

[1] Aleister Crowley, ‘Hymn to Pan’, Magick: Liber ABA, Book Four.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

The Seal of Babalon

Taz, The Altar of Babalon, 2009.

The Seal, as it first appeared in Book IV, Part 1, depicts in the central part of the Seven-pointed Star and its embellishing features, which also appeared in Aleister Crowley's The Book of Lies. By itself, it is called the Seal of Babalon. The heptagram exists as the ensign of the Great Order and the Great Work. It is the pattern of the Seven-Branched Candlestick, the Vault of the Adepti, and the seal upon the gates of the City of Pyramids. With the two points uppermost and one point downward, the heptagram assumes a distinctly holy feminine quality. This is reinforced by the dominance of name Babalon, which is the basis of the seal. Babalon is a holy name associated with Binah and the most ecstatic formulations of Shekinah, as one will learn through the study of The Vision & the Voice, or Liber 418. She is the manifestation of that Reality which betokens admission to the Third Order.

Her name consists of seven letters, and enumerates to 156. the Seven-pointed Star refers, among other things, to the seven letters of Her name, which are placed within the points of the Star. The point of the heptagram, at which the name begins, is attributed to Luna and to the Hebrew letter Gimel, and to the Tarot Trump whose esoteric name is 'The Priestess of the Silver Star'. And as Crowley writes in the chapter called 'Waratah-Blossoms' in The Book of Lies:

"This is the Seal upon the Ring that is on the Forefinger of IT: and it is the Seal upon the Tombs of them whom She hath slain.

Seven are the veils of the dancing-girl in the harem of IT.
Seven are the names, and seven are the lamps beside Her bed.
Seven eunuchs guard Her with drawn swords; No Man may come nigh unto Her.
In Her wine-cup are seven streams of blood of the Seven Spirits of God.
Seven are the heads of THE BEAST whereon She rideth.
The head of an Angel: the head of a Saint: the head of a Poet: the head of An Adulterous Woman: the head of a Man of Valour: the head of a Satyr: and the head of a Lion-Serpent.
Seven letters hath Her holiest name.

Here is Wisdom. Let Him that hath Understanding count the Number of Our Lady; for it is the Number of a Woman; and Her Number is
An Hundred and Fifty and Six."

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Io Iakkhos, Iakkhos Euoi

IO IAKKHOS! IO EUOI! IAKKHOS EUOI! IO IAKKHOS! Whom the light amidst the darkness adorns, hear my cry O son of Zeus and Persephone occultly born. IO IAKKHOS! IO IAKKHOS, much-loved resident of these quarters, IO IAKKHOS! IO IAKKHOS, come to this field for the dance with your holy followers, setting in motion the crown which sits on your head, thick with myrtle-berries, boldly stamping the beat with your foot in the unrestrained fun-loving celebration, the dance overflowing with grace, dance sacred to the holy initiates! IO IAKKHOS! IO IAKKHOS, wake the fiery torches which you brandish in your hands, IO IAKKHOS! IO IAKKHOS, brilliant star of the all-night celebration! The meadow is aflame with light; old men's knees cavort! They shake off the pain of long years in old age in their holy excitement. Hold your light aloft and lead the youthful chorus, lord, to the lush flowers of the sacred ground! IO IAKKHOS, whom the light amidst the darkness adorns, hear my cry O son of Zeus and Persephone occultly born. IO IAKKHOS! I call Thesmophoros, Dionysos spermatic god, Eubouleus of various names, who bears the leafy rod; Misa, ineffable, pure, sacred queen, twofold Iakkhos, male and female seen. Illustrious, whether to rejoice is thine in incense offered in the fane divine; of if in Phrygia most thy soul delights, perform with thy mother sacred rites; or if the land of Cyprus is they care, pleased with the well crowned Cythereia fair; or if exulting in the fertile plains with thy dark Mother, where she reigns, with nurses pure attended, near the flood of sacred Egypt, thy divine abode; wherever resident, benevolent attend, and in perfection these our labours end.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Hell, Lunar and Starlit

Jean-Édouard Dargent, Les Vapeurs de la Nuit, 1899.

A Spirit of Fire drenched in gloomy tears,
Shadows dancing around the flames
Revealing sealed secrets through flickering candlelight,
Intoxicating the senses, a seduction of the evernight.
Lustfully La Luna illuminates I,
Who sheds like the Le Serpent Rouge,
And calls her fiendish lovers to blow the horn,
Unleashing a beautiful beast that is to be born.
Naked I am before the fiery lake,
Seeing the Heavens torn asunder
Where Hell is now a starlit lunar reflection
Of a kingdom of shady silhouettes seeking perfection.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

The Whispering of the Stormchoir

Georges Jules Victor Clairin, La Grande Vague, 1893-1898.

As the Dawn danced with maidens and mist,
The blackened waves raged a noble war
And stormed the walls of mythical mountains,
Drowning the empty and drought fountains.
From above rained down passion and blood
Drowning Angels in a darksome flood,
As forgotten lovers of a mystic’s night
Lay waste and murder, desecrating light.
Exiled fiends rape and ruin
And Cherubs blow their ivory horns,
The saddened sound of an apocalyptic retreat
Bringing the Heavenly cavalcade, to death and defeat.
The distant Stormchoir softly whispers
The birth of a City and Palace, Temple and Shrine,
As the winds blow, and Earth ordains a King
Of Pathos and Grace, for whom the stars shall sing.
Hail, the ancient Triarchy of the Lost Lovers
Of the star-lit sky, the dreamlovers’ bed,
For their land shall shine moonrisen from the frost
To embrace what was in the light, asleep and lost.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Theurgy, Theophany, and the Mundus Imaginalis

Carlos Schwabe, Le Destin, 1897.

The manifested dynamic cosmos, populated with myriads of occult correspondences, mythic realities, and host of non-material beings, exists on various levels of perception, with the senses perceiving the world, the active imagination the soul, and the daimonic consciousness through the intellect.[1] As the active imagination conveys events of the dynamic cosmos through images, the very act of imagining is in a sense an act of theurgic union, if one is to treat the dynamic cosmos as divine. Yet, it must be clarified in the most vehement manner that this sense of ‘active imagination’ is very different from the modern view of reality where ‘imagination’ is merely a mode of separating one’s state of mind from ‘everyday’ mental perceptions and processes. In a state of active imagination, corporeal reality, which we conceive as being ‘real’, is in fact enveloped and consumed by the reality of the pure forces of the cosmos, and is determined by it. To quote Tom Cheetham, “it is the mode of being, the mode of Presence, of the human person that determines the nature of time, not the other way round.”[2]

According to Henry Corbin, the active imagination partakes, dwells, and embodies the mundus imaginalis, which is the mesocosm of visionary revelation and events that experienced more vividly real that mundane reality. This is a place of constant metaphysical experience, theophanic visions, meditative consciousness, ritual gesture, contemplative prayer, artistic inspiration, and the sensations of eros. The function of the active imagination transmutes sensible forms into living symbols, and as Corbin writes,

The active imagination guides, anticipates, molds sense perception, that is why it transmutes sensory data into symbols. The Burning Bush is only a brushwood fire if it is merely perceived by the sensory organs. In order that Moses may perceive the Burning Bush and hear the Voice calling him… an organ of trans-sensory perception is needed...[3] So that the intelligible realities perceived on the imaginal level may be reflected in the mirror of the senses and be translated into visionary perception… the vision of the angel does not emerge from the negativity of an unconscious, but descends from a level of a positively differentiated superconscious.[4]

This is the theurgic endeavour of purification and liberation, the attempt to perceive traces of divine meaning behind appearances perceived by the senses.

The intensity of the active imagination that resonates throughout the mesocosm can create changes in the world, initiated through the occult correspondences of Indra’s net, transforming the possessor of such an active imagination into a divine creator who established the patterns from which material forms evolve. And as Angela Voss concludes, “what we call a miracle is the result of such a capacity to bring spiritual power to bear on matter and cut through the literal dimension of cause and effect.”[5]

[1] The ‘intellect’ in this case is to be understood in the Platonic sense of the pre-conceptual knowing as described by Iamblichus.
[2] Tom Cheetham, The World Turned Inside Out: Henry Corbin and Islamic Mysticism, 2003, page ?
[3] Henry Corbin, Alone with the Alone, 1998, page 80.
[4] Henry Corbin, Temple and Contemplation, 1986, pages 265-265.
[5] Angela Voss, ‘Becoming an Angel: the Mundus imaginalis of Henry Corbin and the Platonic path of self-knowledge’, 2007, page 9.