When the pupil is ready, the Guru appears.
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.