Wednesday, 22 July 2020

Travelling in the Spirit Vision

Atu XXI. The Universe 

An Atu is to be chosen and placed upon the Altar and Magick Incense of the Atu sacrificed. 

The Magician is to perform the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram or the Thelemic Lesser Banishing of the Pentagram. Purification and consecration of the Temple. Purification and consecration of the Atu followed by the Casting the Spell of the Atu. 

Make the Sign of Horus and recite: I tread upon the High! I tread upon the Firmament of Nu! I raise the Flashing Flame with the lighting of mine eye, ever rushing onwards in the splendour of the daily glorified Ra giving mine life to the Dwellers of the Earth. I rise, I rise like the Hawk of Gold! Make the Sign of Abrahadabra: ABRAHADABRA. Make the Sign of the Rending of the Veil. 

The Magician is to assume āsana and perform the Gnostic Trance and then with the Fixed Gaze stare at the Atu upon a black background for half a minute to maximum 1 minute. Abruptly close the eyes and subject the Atu to dhāraṇā within an arch of the corresponding colour with the Sign of the Atu upon the keystone. After a few seconds when the object of dhāraṇā begins to slide into the Astral Vision with flashes of colour beginning to appear astrally vibrate the Names until the object of dhāraṇā becomes more transparent as if a window unto the Astral Plane. The Magician is to gaze through and beyond the Atu and witnessing it increasing in size when gazing through and beyond and moving through the Atu like moving through a door being a sensation akin to floating. Upon entry the object of dhāraṇā should be behind and the Magician should feel being inside the Atu bearing witness to the symbolic imagery, Esoteric Image, and other correspondences. Travel the Astral Plane in the Spirit Vision. All encounters with Spirits, Symbols, and all other Elements must be greeted and tested with Signs and Names. The Magician may also want to summon an Astral Guide by applying the Peripheral Vision astrally and vibrate the Name astrally too once or twice. All experiences, even nothingness, are to be received unassuaged of purpose and delivered from the lust of result. For the Aspirant, to act out and imagine what experiences might unveil if it was to manifest at this point is perfectly fine. Upon return travel on the same path and make the Sign of the Closing of the Veil. Make the Sign of Harpocrates. Perform the Qabalistic Cross or Qabalistic Ankh.

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 daemonic consciousness through the intellect (The ‘intellect’ in this case is to be understood in the Platonic sense of the pre-conceptual knowing as described by Iamblichus). As the active imagination conveys events of the 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 and daemonic. 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” (Cheetham, 2003, page ?). 

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 (Corbin, 1998, 80)... 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 (Corbin, 1986, 265-265).

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” (Voss, 2007, 9). 

Tom Cheetham, The World Turned Inside Out: Henry Corbin and Islamic Mysticism, 2003.
Henry Corbin, Alone with the Alone, 1998.
Henry Corbin, Temple and Contemplation, 1986.
Angela Voss, ‘Becoming an Angel: the Mundus imaginalis of Henry Corbin and the Platonic path of self-knowledge’, 2007.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Enchantment, the Emerald Mystery

Heinrich Lossow, The Enchantress, 1868.

Emerald vines and ivy mournfully wrap themselves around the remains of a once glorious marble temple. From lands beyond the horizon, believers would come in ecstatic procession to partake in the mysteries, inhale the scent of a midsummer’s night dream and to rejoice beneath the shimmering silver silhouette of Selene. Now those distant memories revealed themselves to the faery, mournfully waltzing to the euphony of the soft breeze, a nostalgic echo trickling alongside dim rays of sunlight through the untamed canopy of woodland delight. The all-embracing dusk descended upon the emerald glade, smothering it in the sweetness of the twilight’s moistly mist and casting ever-changing shadows that dance around and amidst his marble remains slumbering in her emerald arms. The constellation of the lovers smiled softly as they glimpsed through the darkened canopies and witnessed lost souls of undying memories joining the shadows in their alluring serenade of mystique and serpentine charm. And deep within the feverish forest, the lunar dryad awoken to hear their primeval laughter and poetic utterances of ecstasy and mischief as they slither to the drumming of the nocturnal pulse and the rhythm of Pan’s flute. The lunar crescent upon her brow and gemstones of jade her eyes, she now stood before the faery and her sorcery, revealing to her the secret of her name.

Enchantment, the Faery

Carlton Alfred Grant, The Fairy Circle, 1895.

Not far from emerald green foliage of the enchanted wood, where dreams and perils embrace each other as reflections of the constellation of the lovers, a lost faery casts circles. Seething with sensual rage she sets ablaze the damp grains of sand beneath a dark and dreary Brythonic sky. Her scars are still bleeding, for the dryads of the enchanted wood were not kind to her or her sorcery. For it is forbidden to mortals and immortals alike to take beyond the wood the Emerald Mystery. And from beyond the sea she calls upon her host with her circles to storm the enchanted wood and take beyond the wood and across the sea that Emerald Mystery.

Many had ventured into that wood, lured in by the dying whispers of crucified sirens promising haven, the intoxicating incense of violet roses, and the mesmerising visage of the luscious foliage sparkling in the twilight of dusk. The fate of those shall always remain unknown. Some witches’ tales speak of these sorrowful souls being petrified and decorating the gardens of the pleasure palaces, tormented by their yearning and unfulfilled to taste the forbidden fruit. Other tales speak of horrific sacrifices upon pagan altars, which even poets fear to sing of. However some more wise speak of an overwhelming sensation, akin to that of the Elysian Fields, where these souls wander in the eternal bliss of enstasis defying the guilty innocence of time and partaking in worship of some immanent transcendence. Yet the faery, cursed and bleeding she now is, has seen the majesty and mystique of the lovers of the Emerald Mystery, and now summons the dark and dreary Brythonic sky to cast a shadow over the vigilance of Selene and Hypnos to bind all those who stand against her as colossal fiends. 

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

The True Will and Thelemic Mysticism

Aleister Crowley, Four Red Monks carrying a Black Goat across the Snow to Nowhere, 1928-30.

A classic example of the rise and spread of occultism, along with the practice of a form of mystical spirituality, is the fraternal order of the Ordo Templis Orientis (Order of the Temple of the East), which is also referred to as the O.T.O. Established in 1896 by Karl Kellner and then succeeded by Theodor Reuss, who professed that the Order was in possession of the innermost secret of all esoteric systems that lies at the foundation of all spiritual traditions. According to Reuss:

Our Order possesses the Key which opens up all Masonic and Hermetic secrets, namely, the teaching of sexual magic, and this teaching explains, without exception, all secrets of Naturem all the symbolism of Freemasonry and all systems of religion (Reuss, 1912, 21).

The leadership passed on in 1922 to Aleister Crowley, who incorporated many of his own personal esoteric ideas, approaches to ceremonial magic, Yoga, and the religio-philosophy known as ‘Thelema’. Within this fraternal framework, individuals attached to the branch of the Order that accepted  Liber Al vel Legis, or Book of the Law, have come to incorporate into their spiritual path of evolution a notion of Thelemic mysticism, which is designed to enable one to learn his or her unique True Will and achieve a sense of union with the All. The teachings fall under Crowley’s notion of ‘Magick’, which draws from various existing magical and mystical forms of conduct, such as Yoga, ceremonial magic, the Hermetic Qabalah, the Tarot, astrology, sex magick, and a eucharistic ceremony. Within this system of Thelemic mysticism the aim is for the Initiate to discover and manifest their own Will as their grand destiny and path of action that operates in union with that which underlies all being. This Will does not spring from conscious intent, but from the interplay between the deepest self and the universe. Theoretically, at this point, the Initiate acts in alignment with nature and the universe surrendering all forms of selfish resistance. An example of mystical pursuit that might lead the Initiate into a state of union with the All can be largely defined by the Tree of Life. The Initiate begins in Malkuth, which is the material world of phenomena, with the ultimate goal being at Kether, the sphere of unity with the All. The ability to accomplish this requires a great deal of preparation and effort, which consists of thorough knowledge of the Hermetic Qabalah, meditation, the development of one's Astral Body in order to experience other astral realms, and the consistent invocation of certain spirit entities.

According to Crowley’s teachings, the mystical path of the Initiate will be highly individualistic. The two fundamental aspects of Thelemic mysticism are what Crowley called ‘The Knowledge of and Conversation with the Holy Guardian Angel’ and the ‘Crossing of the Abyss’. Crowley described the Holy Guardian Angel as one's silent Higher Self. In later writings, he insisted that it was an entirely separate and objective entity. Whichever position is taken, the objective is to gain an intimate spiritual connection so that one's True Will can become fully manifested. After one attains Knowledge and Conversation with the Holy Guardian Angel the Adept may choose the Crossing of the Abyss, which in Crowley’s words:

Is extremely difficult to explain; but it corresponds more or less to the gap in thought between the Real, which is ideal, and the Unreal, which is actual. In the Abyss all things exist, indeed, at least in posse, but are without any possible meaning; for they lack the substratum of spiritual Reality. They are appearances without Law. They are thus Insane Delusions (Crowley, 1938, 3).

In Thelemic mysticism Choronzon is the ‘Dweller in the Abyss’ and the final obstruction. If he is met with the proper preparation, then he is there to destroy the ego, which allows the Initiate to move beyond the Abyss. If not, the Initiate must face total annihilation. Beyond the Abyss is Babalon beckoning the Initiate if he or she passes Choronzon. If the Initiate gives himself or herself to Her, the symbol of this union is the pouring of the Initiate's blood into her Graal, where he or she becomes impregnated in Her, a state called ‘Babe of the Abyss’, and is reborn as an Adept dwelling in the ‘City of the Pyramids’. In the City of Pyramids dwell the enlightened Adepts who have destroyed their earthly egos and becoming their True Self without the self-sense of ‘I’.

Examining the Thelemic approach to mysticism illuminates various features that are integral to the teachings and practices of this esoteric order, and it becomes apparent that Thelemic mysticism shares much in common with the emic phenomenon of mystical spirituality. The most shared feature is the eclectic nature of ideas and practices that entail a sense of internalised authority. Although Thelemic mysticism is entwined with a collection of beliefs and rituals, which are understood by some Thelemites as being essential for the Thelemic community and also as constituting a genuine expression of a lineage and tradition, an epistemologically individualistic approach to one’s spiritual evolution is the cornerstone of Thelemic mysticism. This is turn echoes a reaction against institutionalised mass religion through the process of the individual seeking a personalised state of gnosis to achieve a sense of union with the divine ground underlying all being. The individualism that is so much a feature of the religion of mysticism stems from the statement of its primary aim as personal holiness, perfection or deification, and the consequent concentration upon inwardness and fulfilment of the individual’s spiritual potential.

Theodore Reuss, Jubilaeums – Ausgabe der Oriflamme, 1912, 21.
Aleister Crowley, Little Essays Toward Truth, 1938, 3.