Tag Archives: Aleister Crowley

Dog of Evil

Here's one I evoked earlier...

As part of the ritual for his Evocation of Bartzabel, the Spirit of Mars, Aleister Crowley conjured up what was referred to as “The Dog of Evil.” The question naturally arises “why?” and “where did this portion of ritual come from?” The first part may be partially answered by looking at its place in the context of the ritual. Crowley and his chums are busy building up a powerful wall of protection against the potentially dangerous forces they intend to evoke – hence they call upon a magical Guard Dog – the eponymous Dog of Evil – to protect them.

The original source is one of the Papyri (? 501?) in the Harris collection. Israel Regardie referred to it in his book The Tree of Life as a method of banishment used by Egyptian priests, and then purported to transcribe it  “verbatim from the Papyrus.”

However, I now have reason to doubt that Regardie was being entirely accurate when he said that he got it verbatim from the Papyrus – for two reasons. The first is the obvious one – his description of the ritual is in English, a language unknown to the ancient Egyptians! I was not actually aware that Regardie was able to read Hieroglyphics – but this is by the by.

I also have evidence which I am not at liberty to publicly reveal.


A RITUAL OF BANISHMENT

To be performed in the South, North, West and East, with the formulation of a guardian in the shape of a dog that was to be terrible to all attacking forces:

“Arise, Dog of Evil, that I may instruct thee in they present duties. Thou art imprisoned. Confess thou that it is so. Horus it is who has given this commandment. Let thy face be terrible as the storm-parted sky. Let thy jaws close pitilessly. Make sacrifice as the God Her-Shafi. Massacre as the Goddess Anata. May thy hair stand up like rods of fire. Be thou great as Horus and terrible as Set.
Equally to the South, to the North, to the West and to the East.
The whole land belongs unto thee. Nothing shall stop thee, whilst thou settest thy face in my defence: while thou settest thy face against savage beasts; while thou settest thy face to protect my paths, opposing thyself to the enemy.
I bestow upon thee the power of vanishing, of becoming noiseless and invisible. For thou art my guardian, courageous and terrible.”

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Celebrities Discover Thelema Without Realising It

Lady Gaga, Christina Aguilera, Eminem, P Diddy, and Snoop Dogg have managed to discover “Thelema” quite inadvertantly. It is almost as if Aleister Crowley has come up behind them and shouted “Surprise!” Not that they are practising occultists (with the possible exception of Gaga) – they have stumbled across the principles without realising.

I should hasten to add that by “Thelema” I do not mean “Crowleyanity” – I doubt any of the above subscribe to Crowley’s dogma in the literal sense, even if they have read any of the Great Beast’s books. They perhaps do not even know that it is “Thelema” they are practising. What appears to be the situation is this: each one has found his or her “True Will” and is Doing it, and achieving great success thereby. However, the irony is that what is actually their True Will they have identified with “God,” perhaps out of ignorance. Hence they profess belief in God which seems to explain their success, but it does not follow any conventional theology.

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal by Neil Strauss,

Before they were famous, many of the biggest pop stars in the world believed that God wanted them to be famous, that this was his plan for them, just as it was his plan for the rest of us not to be famous. Conversely, many equally talented but slightly less famous musicians I’ve interviewed felt their success was accidental or undeserved—and soon after fell out of the limelight.

In a separate piece Strauss mentioned research that belief in God helped liver transplant patients’ chances of survival, and other scientific studies on the power of belief. The fact that people without conventional religion can yet be saved by the power of their beliefs suggest that none of these are actual pieces of evidence for the existence of God but, like Pascal’s Wager, are arguments in favour of the desirability of believing in God.

What therefore is happening? If Belief by itself is powerful, that would tend to suggest that it is actually these people’s own Will which is looking out for them. Identifying the Will with God may not be an insincere move on their part – besides it probably serves to make it a powerful experience for them.

Incidentally: it is a little appreciated fact that the concept of “True Will” is yet another thing which Aleister Crowley “borrowed” from the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. In “GD” terms “True Will” is what happens when the Lower Will (represented by Tiphereth) is successfully integrated with the Higher Will (represented by Daath). The former is the everyday Will, the latter is that which aspires to the very highest – hence True Will is when one is able to integrate this aspiration into one’s mundane consciousness. Finding one’s True Will is the natural task of every Adept.

I therefore suggest that if one aspires to the kind of success that these people have, it may be wise to adopt the kind of religious self-belief that these various people adopt – not in a cynical fashion, but in an attempt to discover in truth ones part in the Divine Plan. Who knows? Perhaps one of these celebrities might one day acknowledge their debt to the occult? ;)

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A Method of Achieving KCHGA with Tarot Divination

When the pupil is ready, the Guru appears.

Traditional

Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.

Luke 12:40 (KJV)

“KCHGA” (“Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel”), refers mainly to the high-point of the Abramelin Operation, which Crowley decreed was the central task of an Adept in his system of Thelema. Since then it has taken on a sort of mythical quality amongst magicians, both Crowleyan and non-Crowleyan, who take it to be the quest for knowledge of the higher self, when in fact a closer reading of mediaeval grimoires such as Abramelin, the Lesser Key of Solomon, et al, would in fact suggest it is no such thing. In grimoire magick, a “Holy Guardian Angel” was a being that one evoked to come and become the Guardian of the Crystal Ball or scrying medium that one would use in subsequent operations to contact other spirits. The Holy Guardian Angel would thus ensure that only the spirit asked for would appear, and that it would speak the truth when it did so. The “Holy Guardian Angel” of traditional grimoire magick is thus what a Medium would refer to as a “Spirit Guide,” though it would be inaccurate to think of it as ones Higher Self per se.

But I digress.

Despite Crowley’s mangling of terminology, KCHGA is nevertheless a convenient metaphor for the quest for the higher self: one could argue that it has virtually become synonymous with the same through persistence of usage over the past hundred years. In identifying the “Holy Guardian Angel” with the Higher Self, Crowley just about associated it with the concept of the “Guru” or inner teacher of eastern tradition. The real meaning of “Guru” does not necessarily refer to any of the supposedly enlightened humans calling themselves Gurus. An authentic Guru can be identified by two characteristics: firstly – they lead the chela (pupil) from darkness to light; and secondly (and most importantly), the Guru takes karmic responsibility for the fate of his or her Chelas. It will thus be appreciated that probably 99% or more of those people referred to as Gurus are not in fact Gurus per se, but “pundits” who have been accorded the title of Guru out of courtesy. More importantly, however, a true Guru may or may not be an incarnate human being, but it is also believed “the Guru” may also be a discarnate being – i.e. like the “Holy Guardian Angel.”

Which leads on to the main subject of this essay – a practical method for attaining KCGHA, knowledge of the Higher Self, the Guru, the Christ-consciousness, etc. Arm yourself with a decent deck of Tarot cards, and do a Divination in the traditional manner, based upon the following very specific question:

“How shall I make myself ready to receive knowledge of my higher self?”

(NB: note how this is phrased – this will be explained momentarily).

The Divination will provide a set of answers which will be a list of practical things for you to do to be getting on with, such as putting your life in order, concentrating on one thing and not on another, etc. Then basically you go and do all of this. The meaning of a Tarot Divination can be cross-checked by making a note of the time, date and place upon which you performed it, and then verifying it with Horary Astrology.

When you think you have done everything your divination has indicated, you may then perform another divination: “How shall I now make myself ready to receive knowledge of my higher self?” – and then repeating the process, performing further divinations subsequently as appropriate.

The reason it is phrased “How shall I make myself ready to receive knowledge of the higher self?” and not “How shall I seek the Higher Self?” or even “How shall I find the Higher Self?” is because there is hidden significance in the old saying “When the pupil is ready, the Guru appears.” One does not “find” the Guru by seeking after him / her / it, but my making oneself ready to receive the Guru’s teachings. The Guru, like the Higher Self, is a spiritual force which is not sought after, because you ought already to know where it is waiting to be found – i.e. Within. The saying “when the pupil is ready the Guru appears” is really saying that instead of concentrating on seeking the Guru, the pupil should concentrate on making him- or herself ready for the Guru. And eventually, when the time is right, the Guru / Higher Self / etc appears, often unexpectedly, like a thief in the night.

Imagine the converse of this argument: if you travelled all the way to find to India to find a Guru, but were not ready to receive their teachings when you got there, you would have wasted your journey. Likewise, if you purport to undertake a spiritual quest, like the Abramelin operation, but fail to prepare for what is going to happen when the HGA finally does appear, the results could be disastrous.

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Golden Dawn Manuscripts and Where to Find Them

The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn is of course probably the most influential occult society of all time. Recently a book has appeared on Amazon entitled The Golden Dawn: Unpublished Lectures of the Hermetic Order of the AO. This has sparked some controversy on message boards across the interwebby thing along the lines of “It’s a fake,” “Oh no it’s not,” “Oh yes it is,” etc ect tec.

This got me thinking: where can a scholar go to find the original Golden Dawn manuscripts him- (or her-) self? So for example one does not have to rely on books of dodgy provenance? For this reason I present the following. Note that I do not claim that accessing any of the following is easy – this is probably why the original manuscripts of the GD remain not so widely known.

The Warburg Institute, London

Contains: The Yorke Collection

This archive is famous for containing Aleister Crowley’s papers, most of which have now found their way into print – either with or without the OTO’s approval. For a Thelemic magician this would be interesting enough. However two points should be noted: amongst Crowley’s own papers are documents which he himself got from the Golden Dawn, and from Allen Bennet, when he was a member.

Secondly, the Yorke Collection also contains Golden Dawn material that would never have come into Crowley’s possession. This includes material from the AO on the Tarot, and most interestingly a number of rituals of the “Cromlech Temple” (otherwise known as the Holy Order of the Sun) which to my knowledge have not seen the light of day, proverbially speaking.

The rest of the Golden Dawn material seems to be a complete set of documents of just about everything that was published by Regardie, as well as the Flying Rolls which were later published by Francis King.

Entrance to the Warburg Institute is free so long as you are a student or member of staff of a recognised University and are engaged in a relevant course of study – documentary evidence of this will be required. So hoi polloi cannot just turn up and discover the Sun Order’s Ritual of Intiation of Fire for instance by claiming to be a “student of the mysteries,” I think they might be wise to that one.

Bridwell Library, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas.

Contains: The Carr P Collins Collection

Carr P Collins Jr (born 1918) was highly interested in druidism, wicca and magick and was allegedly the source of the documents which Regardie used for The Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic. Maddeningly however his collection is not fully inventorised – at least not on the web.

The Bridwell Library may be used by students and staff of Southern Methodist University: otherwise it is necessary to become an associate member which costs $50 per annum. As far as I am aware you have to be in situ to make use of the facilities, so if anyone is in Dallas kindly let me know what goodies are there!

The National Library of Ireland

Contains: Occult Papers of W B Yeats

Of all the members of the Golden Dawn, Nobel laureate W B Yeats achieved the most in public life, so it was kind of inevitable that the Republic of Ireland would want to preserve his papers for the world. Fortunately for the Golden Dawn scholar, Yeats was an Adeptus Exemptus of the Stella Matutina – so his archives in the National Library of Ireland contain  manuscripts from the original order of the GD, the “Morgan Rothe” which was the London faction’s name when the order split in 1900, and the latter Stella Matutina all the way up to 7=4. It also contains Yeats’ GD notes and a lot more besides.

Two documents from the higher grades of the Stella Matutina are particularly interesting. One is a detailed analysis of the Adeptus Major 6=5 ceremony, which describes the inner astral workings of the ritual: this has been published by George Mills Harper in Yeats’ Golden Dawn. The other is the 7=4 ritual itself, whose full title is “The Mystical Grade of 7º = 4 Being the Grade of the ROD Which Blossoms. ” NB A version of the 7=4 ritual was published by Pat Zalewski in which it was called the “rose which blossoms.” However, assuming the Yeats version is the correct one, this would imply that the 7=4 is themed about the story of Aaron’s Rod, which when it blossomed confimed Aaron’s authority as High Priest.

Sometime last year photos were made available on Flickr of a small sample of the kind of things which are in the Yeats collection. A goodly sample is can also be viewed online in the Virtual Yeats Exhibition.

Yeats' handwritten / drawn notes on the Minutum Mundum

Most excitingly the Library indicates that it may make copies of items in the collection which are in good condition, also the price of actually doing so is enough to dissuade most indigent occultists.

Miscellaneous

I personally know of the location of several other original GD documents although scholarly access to them is limited for one reason or another. For example, the Library and Museum of Freemasonry at Great Queen Street has a cache of material belonging to Wynn Westcott: unfortunately it is still in the process of being catalogued so it won’t be available for public inspection until sometime in the (hopefully near) future.  There are also organisations to which members of the GD also belonged, which have material from the GD locked in their cupboards for safekeeping: however just how much is hidden away I cannot say. I was privileged enough to have a brief glimpse inside one such archive and found a single ritual dating from 1916, and nothing else from the GD (the ritual itself is one that has already been published).

Doubtless there are other archives about the place, not to mention the collections of private individuals (e.g. Bob Gilbert), so I shall probably post a follow up to this post once I have tracked them down.

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Magick and Espionage

All this talk about Russian Spies this week has got me thinking about the subject of espionage generally.

Anna Chapman

Anna Chapman, alleged Russian Spy Mistress.

Magick has a strange relationship with espionage. It has been alleged that John Dee signed his letters “007” and that his gallivanting around Europe was actually a series of spying missions – and yes, Ian Fleming did have a book about John Dee in his library.

Certainly one of Dee’s most prized possessions was a copy of Steganographia, by the Abbot Trithemius – a book of secret writing disguised as a book of magick.

Fleming also once met Aleister Crowley. Crowley himself alleged that he was a spy for British Intelligence in World War I, although this may have been to deflect criticism that he had been working for a pro-German propaganda sheet whilst in New York.

Actually this has given me an idea for a new method of magick working. Instead of creating a sigil via the A O Spare method, why not take a pre-existing magickal image, and encrypt the statement of intent into it using steganographic software? More news about this if it works after I have tried it out.To find the secret message in the above picture, copy it and go to http://mozaiq.com to decrypt. Password = trithemius

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How to Heal Through Magick

I have received a message today, which I believe the author would like to be disseminated as widely as possible, as follows:

Phaedra Bonewits has put out a healing request for her husband, Isaac Bonewits (author of Real Magic). Isaac has been fighting colon cancer for quite some time now, and has undergone several rounds of chemotherapy. Unfortunately, he has progressed to the point where he is just not strong enourgh to survive another round of chemo. His doctor has told them that Isaac needs a miracle.

Therefore, Phaedra would like the magical community to kick in the magic and do a “rolling thunder” healing ritual on the night of the full moon, May 27th at 9pm.

A “rolling thunder” ritual, for those who are not ever participated in one, creates an effect like a rolling thunderstorm. The base principle of how to create the effect is well known to ceremonial magicians; quite simply, you do the ritual at 9 pm based on your local time zone. Therefore, the east coast does it at 9 o’clock Eastern; central does it at 9 Central; 9 for those in the Mountain time zone; and yes, 9 o’clock local time for those in the Pacific time zone. The energies roll from one time zone to another.

As for what healing and magical techniques are used, Phaedra does not care. Her only other request, outside of it being done at 9 pm local time is that you use the following chant to link the energies raised: “Isaac’s tumors fade away. Thirty more years with Phae.”

Morgan Drake Ekstein.

Isaac Bonewits

This got me thinking about compiling in one place all the magical healing techniques of the western mystery tradition.

The Middle Pillar / “Art of True Healing” Method

This method was described by Israel Regardie first in his book “The Art of True Healing” although a more detailed version is in his seminal work “The Middle Pillar.” As regards self-healing the process is as follows. One performs the Middle Pillar Ritual, first by focussing on Kether and chanting the divine name associated with it half-a-dozen times; then moving down to Daath, Tiphereth, Yesod and Malkuth. Each Sephira is imagined as a sphere of Light, linked by a column of light – i.e. the Middle Pillar. Once one has formulated Malkuthm, one imagines the Light circulating down the left-side and up the right-side half-a-dozen times; down the front and up the back in like manner; up the centre and fountaining up from the top; and winding upwards like a helix. Going through this visualisation / vibration / meditation process with full consciousness puts one in an altered state of consciousness – i.e. magical consciousness. To utilise it for the purpose of healing, one then visualises the Light thus imagined being directed to the part of the body in need of healing – or otherwise the whole body for the sake of general health.

The Sephiroth of the Middle Pillar + Divine Names
Sephirah Where Divine Name
Kether Crown Eheieh
Daath Throat Yod Heh Vav Heh Elohim
Tiphereth Heart Yod Heh Vav Heh Eloah Ve-Daath
Yesod Groin Shaddai El Chai
Malkuth Feet Adonai Ha-Aretz

To heal another the procedure is similar, except that one should go through the Middle Pillar Ritual with the patient. I do not recall Regardie describing distant healing via this method, although I have attempted to do so by visualising the patient as I performed the ritual.

Astral Healing – a method from Magick In Theory & Practice

Aleister Crowley briefly mentions a method of healing which requires considerable control of ones own astral body. Whilst out in the astral, one examines the aura of the person to be healed – a malady will show up as a dark or discoloured patch therein. The healer deliberately brightens the aura of the patient – which in turn will cause an influx of vitality for the patient. Although this requires one to be experienced in astral projection this would seem to be ideal for performing distant healing.

I once tried this and it seemed to work, although I cannot take all credit, as the patients in question also had a church-full of people praying for them at the time.

A Whare Ra Healing Ritual

Follow this link for a Ritual that was used by the Whare Ra temple of the Stella Matutina. I know of a modern Temple that adapted this for the purpose of sending out healing to one of its members who was in a bad way. This seemed appropriate because the ritual itself is well suited for carrrying out in the hall of the Neophytes. Unfortunately, the member in question in all modesty had not let on how bad it was until too late, so by the time the Temple met, it was turned into a ritual to send healing energy to that person’s immortal soul.

Ceremonial Magick (Z2)

According to 777, the miracle of Healing is the magical power associated with the path of Beth, which is associated with the planet Mercury. Thus if one were to construct a magick ceremony, either using the Golden Dawn’s Z2 formulae or otherwise, one would base it upon the qabalistic associations of Mercury, i.e. row 12 of 777. An example of this may be found here.

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