Tag Archives: KCHGA

Holy Guardian Angel

News today that over a third of Britons apparently believe they have a Guardian Angel, with “17% unsure.” This plus recent discussions I have been having over the interwebby-type thing have got me thinking about the subject. The “Holy Guardian Angel” is a term that crops up a lot in the occult, mainly thanks to a certain Mr A Crowley. I wrote an article about this a little while ago, but I thought I would expand upon the subject with an attempt to debunk some myths which crop up about it.

Fiction: Attaining Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel is the be-all and end-all of Magick

Fact

If one reads the Book of the Sacred Magick of Abramelin the Mage, one finds that the “Abramelin Operation” is a preparatory step before embarking on a career as a ceremonial magician which will involve evoking all the demons of hell, charging magic squares, etc.  Moreover, if one consults other grimoires such as the Pauline Art, Trithemius’ Art of Drawing Spirits into Crystals, etc, one finds that the invocation of a Guardian Angel is an important first step before communicating with other intelligences. Finally, one should note that according to “777″ the so-called “Vision of the Holy Guardian Angel” is the spiritual experience not of Kether, nor even of Tiphereth, but of Malkuth.

The reality of the situation is that from being the ultimate end, KCHGA is the exact opposite – it is only the beginning of the path. The end is “Divine Union.” KCHGA on the other hand should be seen as the simple basic qualification that one is now an actual magician, as opposed to a mere theorist.

Related to this realisation that KCHGA is the beginning, not the end, is the unfortunate phenomenon one sees of people who let their egos inflate egregiously when they say they have achieved KCHGA, as if this is supposed to mean something. The true experience of KCHGA is not exalting, it is humbling – rather like one feels humbled when coming into the presence of something of great beauty like a great work of art.

The only gratifying thing that can truly be said about KCHGA is that it may be the bottom rung of the ladder, but at least it is the right ladder.

Fiction: The Holy Guardian Angel is identical to the Higher Self.

Fact:

I have dealt with this in a previous blog post. This is an assertion put about by Crowley, but the evidence breaks down when one starts to examine and compare the grimoires from the past which actually mention Holy Guardian Angels. The HGA is the Guardian Angel of the Clairvoyant process – be that a crystal ball, magic mirror, or one’s own ability to skry generally. The HGA ensures that only the spirit with which you desire to communicate speaks to you, and that it speaks the truth when it does so. In mediumistic terms the HGA is a “Spirit Guide.” Franz Bardon in his book “Initiation into Hermetics,”
and in the present day the Kabbalist Z’ev Ben Shimon Havlevi, state that the souls of departed human beings can fill this role as well.

The Higher Self is better thought of as the Yechidah, the Divine Spark within one’s own soul, which corresponds to Kether. The point being that whilst Knowledge of the Higher Self is a valid aim of magick, it is theoretically possible to achieve this without having anything resembling conversation with anything resembling an angelic being.

Fiction: The “Holy Guardian Angel” is a term used by Crowley which was not part of the GD teachings.

Fact:

This is something I have seen crop up from time to time. Yes it is true that Crowley used “KCHGA” to describe the work of the 5=6 of the A.’.A.’. . Yes it is also true that this term is not used in the 5=6 teachings of the Golden Dawn – phrases like “higher self” being used instead. On this basis I have heard it confidently asserted that the term “Holy Guardian Angel” belongs to Crowley only and does not form any part of the GD’s teachings.

WRONG. In the Stella Matutina the Holy Guardian Angel crops up in the 6=5 Adeptus Major ceremony. In a paper in W B Yeats’ collection – which is published in George Mills Harper’s Yeats’ Golden Dawn – whilst the aspirant gazes into a bowl of water during the passage of the path of Mem, his “Holy Guardian Angel” wraps him with its wings, whilst he gazes upon the image of his “resurrection body.” This is all part of the astral working that formed the structure upon which the Stella Matutina Adeptus Major ritual was based.

Hence we have primary evidence (or at least – the National Library of Ireland does) – that at least one faction of the GD incorporated the concept of “Holy Guardian Angel” at least in some respect into its Higher Grade teachings.

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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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