FAQ

~ or ~
“Abbot and Costello meet the Son of Magick Without Tears”

What with holding myself out as an expert on Magic and so forth, I find for some reason that people are often writing to me for advice. I therefore present this FAQ page, consisting of edited versions of some of the pearls of wisdom I have been dispensing.

These are all edited versions of my missives – in order to protect the privacy of my correspondents.

Also, due to my bashful and reticent nature, I have omitted the many thousands of messages of unqualifed praise for my web-site and for my achievements as a magician.

What is left therefore amounts to short essays on the following topics:


Beginning Enochian Magick

Q. What advice would you give to someone wanting to take up Enochian Magick

A. In the GD style, Enochian magick is only taught to adepts who are already conversant with the whole of the Outer Order teaching, from both a theoretical and practical standpoint. This includes: working with the four elements (and the fifth, Spirit); Astrology; Tarot; Geomancy; the Tree of Life; etc. Moreover, it only taught to those who have also mastered the basic techniques of ritual magick: the pentagram and hexagram rituals; the assumption of god-forms; the Z2 formulae (i.e magic rituals such as those for Evocation, the making of Talismans, etc); the manifestation and movement of LVX

Why is this? Because GD Enochian Magick is a synthesis of all these things. The Magician will only be able to appreciate it and control its subtle aspects if he has put in much work practising these things – and achieving success in them.

But by far the most important skill for the prospective Enochian Magician is Clairvoyance – because that is what Enochian Magic predominantly involves. Enochian Magic mainly consists of exploring the various parts of the magical Universe, symbolised by the Four Watchtowers, the Tablet of Union, the Aethyrs, etc – communing with the Beings one encounters therein – and learning magickal arcana therefrom. The faculty of properly trained Clairvoyance enables the magician to perceive visions of these Enochian beings – and to acquaint him with the sort of tests necessary to check these visions’ accuracy.

So practice this thoroughly before starting. Practice skrying, tattva journeys, astral projection, testing visions and using banishing rituals.

Q. Can you specify any other precautions when practising Enochian Magic?

A. Firstly, only ever contact the Enochian Angels for a serious purpose – never for a laugh. I have heard anecdotal evidence that one person failed to heed this advice – the Angel was not best pleased, and the dilletante was struck down by gastric flu later. Of equal likelihood are P F Case’s stated reasons for excluding Enochian from BOTA.

Secondly, never rush Enochian magic, nor try to fit it into a busy schedule: rather, set aside at least a whole day for one operation, when you are not likely to be disturbed. And make sure you ground yourself thoroughly after you finish.

Q. I have been doing magic for some years now. I am interested in doing enochian magick. I have read a reasonable amount of material on the subject. But where or how does  one start with such a huge subject? If you could give a pointer or two I  would be very happy.

A. If you are starting at the literal beginning, I would suggest the following:

Firstly, skry into a single square of a lesser angle of a tablet. Follow this up by skrying into its 15
counterparts in all the other lesser angles.

Secondly, skry into each of the thirty squares in one lesser angle.

Thirdly, skry into all the squares of one of the Great Crosses.

This is the method prescribed by one temple of the Golden Dawn. Only after this has been done should one even consider attempting the Thirty Aethyrs, 91 parts of the Earth, etc.

I usually do not consider evoking a whole Enochian entity, until I have skryed into all the squares which make up its name individually. This will naturally include the Squares of the Tablet of Union which are associated with the lesser angle in which the entity resides (if applicable).

Q. How the Aethyrs are assigned to the elements?

A. They are not “assigned” to the elements as such, although you might like to note the following: each Aethyr has three “Governors”, except the 30th which has four. The names of these Governors are all drawn from letters on the Four Tablets and – in the case of the 10th Aethyr – the Tablet of Union. This has led some to speculate that the Governors’ functions are somehow connected to the squares which make up their names (this isn’t in Dee’s writings either).

Q. Does anyone of you folks know the rule of altering the second variable in the Call of Aethyrs? The first variable is the handle of Aire, and the second? In Liber Chanokh Crowley describes the Call of LIL, the 1st Aethyr, and the second variable is IDOIGO. Finding out how to change it in other Aethyrs A.C. leaves to the student, but nor me nor anyone I know did not found that rule.

A. It is actually “Idoigo” for all 30 Aethyrs. The only instruction given by the Angels to Dee was simply to change the name of the Aire.

Crowley seems to have had the idea that because “Idoigo” is a name found in the Air Lesser Angle of the Air Tablet, perhaps its counterparts from otherLesser Angles of the that and other tablets might be substituted for other Aethyrs. But there is no precedent for this in Dee’s writing – it just seems to be Crowley’s own caprice.

Q. What in your opinion are the Olympic Spirits?

A. I reckon the Olympic Spirits are actually the last part of the Enochian system – to be studied after the Watchtowers, Aethyrs, the Tabula Bonorum Angelorum, the Holy Table, Sigillum Dei Aemeth, etc etc

I mention this because it is apparent from the Five Books of Mystery that Dee had had dealings with the Olympic Spirits before he started with Enochian Magic proper. I say the “last part” of the Enochian system because it seems to me that the Golden Dawn learnsEnochian magic in the reverse order to which Dee received it.


Magickal Books

Q. Can you recommend a good book on Astral Projection?

A. “The Art and Practice of Astral Projection” by Ophiel, Weiser 1961. His “Little Method” was the means which I first used to AP successfully.

Q. What do you think about Ophiel’s other books?

A. In total I have 5 of his titles in my library, the others being “The Art & Practice of Creative Visualisation”, “The Art & Practice of Clairvoyance” – both of which I would recommend – and “The Art & Practice of Caballa Magic” – which unfortunately I would not, as it is little more than a badly done rehash of Dion Fortune’s “The Mystical Qabalah”. I cannot say much for “The Art & Practice of Contacting the Demiurge” either as this most seems to be a re-hash of both his “Astral Projection” and “Creative Visualisation” books. His vignettes are interesting, though.

I think Ophiel is a good author for beginners: I often recommend his book on Astral Projection to those who enquire about the subject, because it was his so-called “Little Method” which I myself first used to AP (as opposed to dream lucidly).

Regarding his version of the LBRP: I think this is just Ophiel’s personal version. He probably felt that by adding the extra bits it would make the ritual more meaningful to him – presumably he found that it worked for him, which is why he shared that version with his readers.

The visualization parts can be at least useful for calling to mind imagery which is appropriate to the relevant elements: Air, Fire, Water and Earth. As to the Winds, this is an addition by Ophiel which as far as I can tell doesn’t have any precedent.

There is a story that the elements are applied to those particular quarters because of the Winds as they are in England. However this is false. Anyone who lives in England will tell you that the Warm/Moist Wind (=Air) comes from the West, off the Atlantic, while the Cold/Moist Wind (=Water) comes from the East, off the North Sea. The real reason that the elements are attributed to the quarters which they are, is because the order is laid down in mediaeval grimoires, such as the Lesser Key of Solomon.

Q. I have spotted a number of inconsistencies in Modern Magick. Should I stick to it nevertheless or should I adapt my practice according to my instinct?

A. By all means go with your common sense first! Due to your maturing taste in occult literature, you have detected that “Modern Magick” is not the be-all-and-end-all of books on the subject. Rather, it is meant primarily for beginners – people who want to get started but don’t know enough about magick to spot that it contains a number of inconsistencies.

Many years ago I myself started by reading “Modern Magick”. I too realised that the Kraig book is not well thought out regarding rituals. For example, Kraig introduces the Watchtower Ritual, and the Supreme Pentagram Ritual with Enochian names – but without giving any explanation of Enochian Magic. This is clearly wrong – it is interesting to note that Crowley himself did not make the same mistake. In “Magick in Theory and Practice” he gives Pentagram Rituals which use only Hebrew – which seems the logical thing to do if one is not confident with the Enochian system.

Having had a chance to read around the subject, I realise that a lot of “Modern Magick” is based on “Initiation into Hermetics”, by Franz Bardon. However, I think Bardon goes into a lot more detail than Kraig, and is perhaps the better book for a beginner – so long as one is alert to the fact that Bardon deals with the elements in a slightly different way to most GD magicians.

I recommend, if you haven’t done so already, and if you get the opportunity, to have a look at the Crowley and Bardon books. The latter is only available by mail-order, although there is an online version of the former (see hyperlink above under “Crowley”).

Just remember that Modern Magick is not “how to do magick” but “DMK’s opinion of how to do magic”. Also, in the Big Black Book, whilst the ritual-frameworks are original GD material, the fully written out ceremonies are Regardie’s invention (and therefore his opinion of how to do magic). The Watchtower Ceremony itself was invented by Regardie – the original GD opening would be more like that mentioned at the top of p423 of “The Golden Dawn” (6th ed.). (The Watchtower Ceremony is good in itself, though I only tend to use it for Enochian workings).


Clairvoyance

Q. When wandering on the astral planes, I see strange apparitions which behave in a bizarrre / enigmatic / sinister / down-right weird manner. What should I do?

A. Have you tried talking to them? Get them to tell you themselves who they are and where they come from, and make them offer proof of their sincerity, e.g. by vibrating divine names at them. There is a chapter in “Magick Without Tears” on this very subject which you will find useful: Chapter XVII Astral Journey, Example. How to do it: How to Verify Your Experiences


Lucid Dreaming

Q. Where does Lucid Dreaming lead, if anywhere?

A. I see Lucid Dreaming and Astral Projection as pretty much one and the same thing. This isn’t just my opinion, it is shared by occult writers like Dion
Fortune and Ophiel.

This being the case, there is a lot of use in magic for being able to travel to the astral plane and back. In “Golden Dawn” magic, astral projection is seen as the starting point for developing psychic powers like clairvoyance (and precognition, I would tentatively add), and for various advanced practices. Hence it should be possible to use Lucid dreaming for this as well. In other words, someone who lucid dreaming is working with their astral body as a matter of course.

The following question was posed by a correspondent who was able to perform the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram whilst Dreaming lucidly
Q. What do you mean by “the magician should be in control of their astral body to make rituals work well?”

A. By controlling ones astral body, I mean being able to dream lucidly, or project astrally, as and when the need arises. Sometimes one can even “feel” the astral body by meditating on it.

You have already said that you felt energy when performing the LBRP in your dream. That energy was Magical energy. The reason you felt it was that in our astral bodies we are more sensitive to magical forces than when in the physical – though sometimes it is just about posssiible to detect it in the physical. And not only are we more sensitive to them, but it also takes less effort to access them.

As you probably know, several ritual magic traditions place great importance on being able to raise this Energy in a controlled fashion, and direct it at the object of the spell. For example, Wicca refers to this as “raising the Cone of power”. Working on the astral is really the key to raising that energy. This is what I mean by making rituals work well – in the sense that such rituals rely on magical energy.

Q. I am following your guide to Lucid Dreaming. When am I ready to move on from Dream Recall?

A. You should only move on from Dream Recall once you feel confident in it. For example, do you regularly find your dream diary entries taking up as much as a page of A4? Perhaps running onto two sides? If so then you are ready to tackle something like Couéism. If not keep up with the Dream Recall a little longer. (You should realise that the time periods I suggest for each stage are meant to be guidelines).

On the assumption that you are doing fairly well with Dream Recall: when practising Couéism, keep the affirmation short and to the point. It should be memorable, perhaps using alliteration and assonance (rhyming), phrased in entirely positive terms, and incapable of being misinterpreted. Don’t use words which have double meanings – you run the risk that your unconscious mind might pick up the wrong meaning.

There is a particular reason why I say to repeat the affirmation in the morning. If you find yourself waking up gradually, your mind will be passing through a suggestible state in which it is fertile for an affirmation to be planted. Hence you should aim to condition yourself to detect when you are waking up, and repeat your affirmation then.

If however you wake suddenly, or do not remember to repeat your affirmation until you are “wide awake” – it is probably too late to do it then as you will not be in the correct state of consciousness – the ideal state is halfway between sleep and wakefulness. Hence, if you find yourself in this situation, you can afford to skip repeating the affirmation, and instead concentrate on remembering your dreams.

I have not noticed that Couéism interferes with my Dream Recall: however, if you still find it too difficult even after reading this, you may skip out repeating the affirmation in the morning to begin with, and only attempting to do so once you have grown in confidence.

Q. Do I need to recall all the dreams I have in a night?

A. If possible, you should try and recall all the dreams you have in a night. There are several reasons for this:

First, one of the methods of inducing lucid dreams relies on you recalling the dream you just had. It has often occurred to me that I have woken up at 4am after having had a non-lucid dream: after writing the dream down, I then go on to have a lucid one. (I refer to it in my essay as “The Discernment Method” version two).

Second, you will find the practice of Sammaspati, which I describe in another chapter, more satisfying if you can recall all of the day’s events – including all the dreams you had the previous night.

Third, it’s all about self-discipline. You may find trying to remember all of your dreams hard, but if you don’t force yourself to do it you may very well find that you have difficulty remembering your dreams at all.

But despite this there are ways of making it easy on yourself. Get into the habit of using abbreviations. Write in a telegraph style. Identify constantly recurring words and expressions and devise easy to remember symbols to replace them.

The Diary only needs to be so detailed that you can read it next day, or in a few weeks or months time, and it jogs your memory so you can recall all the relevant details. But it doesn’t have to be any more detailed than that. Always remember that your dream diary is first and foremost a tool to help you improve your memory.

Q. I’ve been trying to learn how to astral project for the last 2-3 months or so. Read some stuff on astral projection. I have been unsuccessful, until — I think — today. I was kind of hoping that some of you who areexperienced in the matter would give your opinion on whether or not this sounds like an actual astral projection or just a lucid dream.

A. In my experience, LDs and OOBEs feel almost exactly the same, the only difference being that with an OOBE one has an actual feeling of leavingone’s body. In that sense, you probably did experience an OOBE, although it is ultimately pointless in trying to make a meaningful distinction betweenthat and an LD. Be wary of people who say you must experience this, or you must experience that, because let’s face it they can only ever really describe one person’s experience.


Evocation

Q. I am starting ceremonial magick. I want to evoke one of the planetary Spirits to visible appearance. Can you give me advice?

First of all, you should realise the true nature of “apparition”. Spirits do not appear out of “thin air” – they usually appear in some kind of medium, such as a crystal ball, a magic mirror, a thick cloud of incense etc – where they have to be skryed. Otherwise, they are invisible to ordinary sight, but appear to Clairvoyant sight.

You might be expecting it to appear physically, however: Trithemius, John Dee, the author of the Lesser Key of Solomon, Francis Barrett, Dion Fortune, etc – these are all people who realised that magical beings do not appear to physical sight, but require some form of clairvoyance or skrying.

Therefore, first learn all about Skrying and Clairvoyance. Do not merely learn how to do them, but also the instructions given in such books as “The Golden Dawn” on how to conduct Clairvoyant operations properly and safely. I am particularly referring to the importance of testing a vision with the vibration of the correct Divine and Angelic names – for this is the same method by which Spirits are commanded to be truthful and to act benevolently toward the magician.

Secondly, the planetary spirits (Taphtartarath, Kedemel, etc) are referred to in “The Golden Dawn” as Evil or Blind Spirits. Although this has a rather limited meaning, i.e. “not an angel”, it is still very important to realise that they are dangerous if handled incorrectly. The key to making sure that they are handled safely is to firmly invoke the divine and angelic forces of the Planet in Question, which are superior to the Spirit: the Divine Name, the Angel’s Name, and the Name of the Intelligence. When invoked properly these three can be felt physically, as mystical states of consciousness.

Apart from this, it is best to do a lot of background reading to get an idea of the nitty-gritty, i.e. how to conduct a proper evocation. I would recommend:
“The Golden Dawn”, Israel Regardie (1989 Llewellyns 6th ed.)
“Magick in Theory and Practice,” Aleister Crowley – particularly “Liber O”, which is one of the
appendices;
“777,” Aleister Crowley
Crystal Vision Through Crystal Gazing” by C S Jones

Q. How do I know if I am ready to attempt evoking a Goetic spirit?

A. It is salutary to read “My Life with the Spirits” by Lon Milo Duquette. Note however, when you read the account of his evocation of Orobas, the following:

  • Duquette went through an intense emotional crisis before his working succeeded;
  • Although Duquette is apparently able to get Goetic workings to work, his stories all seem to have an unhappy ending. So it really does have the effect of saying “Well whaddaya know! Black magick is bad for you after all!”
  • It is wise to remember that the real success of Duquette’s Orobas working wasn’t the fact that his material fortunes improved as a result. It was that, from an artistic and technical point of view, he ended the ceremony a better Magician than when he started.
    Always keep this is mind and you will go about magic with the right attitude.
  • Duquette had been practising the Bornless Ritual and the other various rites of ceremonial magick (as outlined in Liber O) for some time before attempting the Orobas working.

Q. Tell me more about Franz Bardon’s Lunar and Mercury Spirits.

A. The Mercury Spirits are actually the 72 Angels of the Shem Ha Mephoresh. The Lunar Spirits are the “Twenty Eight Mansions of the Moon” although their names have been encrypted with a letter replacement cipher. Both of these concepts are dealt with in Agrippa’s “Three Books of Occult Philosophy”, although as far as I know, the attributions that Bardon gave to the spirits is unique to Bardon himself (i.e. you will have to retrieve “The Practice of Magical Evocation”).

See:
Franz Bardon
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/6243/
http://www.ABardonCompanion.com
Famous Figures of the Western Mystery Tradition, Part Two: Franz Bardon

Agrippa
http://www.esotericarchives.com/agrippa/home.htm
http://digital.lib.msu.edu/onlinecolls/display.cfm?TitleNo=247&FT=gif&I=001


The Ego

What is The Ego, and how does it relate to mysticism?

Ego: (Greek: “I”) – what you mean when you say “I” Unenlightened people unthinkingly believe that “I” is the carnal body. However, the almost unanimous conclusion of Mystics the world over is that the Ego is a construct of the Self.

For example, try stilling you mind completely in meditation – ideally you should get to the point where it stays still of its own accord – but as this is quite difficult, let us for now be content with stilling it as much as possible. What happens? The Ego disappears! You are not thinking about anything, therefore you are not thinking “I am this, I am that, I do this, I do that” etc. But when you stop meditating and allow yourself to think, you are certain that you existed the whole time you were meditating, even though your mind was not moving. What existed? Not the Ego, but the Self.

Second example: Yogis in the East have found that by meditating on a given object, in the moment of samadhi they cease to be the Yogi meditating but the thing meditated upon! E.g.: Were a Yogi to meditate on the Sacred Syllable AUM, in Samadhi he would believe he was AUM. Whilst in Western Magic we have what is known as “Assumption of God-forms” – that is to say, by fervently imagining himself to be cloaked in the form of a Deity, the Magician hopes to acquire the powers of that Deity.

The key to understanding this is that both Samadhi, and the successful Assumption of a God-form, release a tremendous amount of psychic power. I myself experienced this once when I tried Assuming the Form of my own Holy Guardian Angel – I got to the stage where I was concentrating on my HGA so hard that I had the curious experience of “me” disappearing, but the Angel remaining!

What does all this mean? To my mind, it means:
The Ego is not the Self. The Self (i.e. real me) is constant, but the Ego is variable
The Ego is not the carnal body – it is quite clearly a construct of the mind.
The Ego is not ones sense of individuality or separateness – because in meditation individuality disappears and is replaced by Unity. Therefore, because it can be altered, Separateness is Illusory.
The Ego is really just a convenient means of interacting in the everyday world of forms.
Moreover, if it is possible to change ones Ego, then surely the logical course of action is to change it into the best possible thing imaginable! That which is most geared towards your best interests. Allowing your Ego to identify with anything less is a waste of your inherent potential. This is why we say “Unite the Ego with the Higher Self” – we assume that the Higher Self is that which does serve the best interest of the whole person, body and soul.

I will end my remarks on Ego with a story which I will hope will illustrate the right approach to it. The Sufi mystic Mansur Al Hallaj was meditating once, when he suddenly exclaimed “I am the Truth! And there is nothing in my Turban but God!” There were a number of devout Muslims around who heard him, and they were immediately assumed he was blaspheming – so they took him and burnt him at the stake.

That night, one of the killers had a vivid dream. In it he was looking at the stake, when he saw the soul of Mansur Al-Hallaj leave its body and ascend directly into the Seventh (i.e. Highest) Heaven. This troubled him – he cried out: “Allah! When Pharaoh said ‘I am God’ he was damned for blasphemy! But when Al-Hallaj said it he is taken up into Heaven! How can this be right?”

Thereupon, he heard the voice of Allah: “When Pharaoh said ‘I am God’, he forgot Me and thought only of himself. But when Al-Hallaj said ‘I am God’, he forgot himself and thought only of Me. Therefore in Pharaoh’s mouth it was a curse; but in Al-Hallaj’s mouth it is a Blessing.”


Kether

 

Q. I am studying “The Pattern on the Trestleboard”, but I am having problems trying to understand Kether, and God as an Infinite being. Advice?

The “Pattern on the Trestle Board” was devised by Paul Foster Case – it is basically Case summing up the Tree of Life in a series of statements. It is used by orders which claim to be inspired by Case e.g. BOTA. Not the GD, but that doesn’t mean a GD magician would think it is “wrong”, as it is orthodox Hermetic Qabalah nonetheless.

Kether, being at the top of the Tree of Life, represents the Ultimate Attainment – i.e. YOUR ultimate attainment. If you put a limit on Kether, you are putting a limit on how far you yourself will attain. You will in effect be creating a barrier that will eventually halt your upward spiritual progress.

The great danger is that if you limit Kether, you will actually underestimate where that barrier lies – your spiritual progress may come to a halt when you could go on further, and your potential will be wasted.

If however, you try to keep in your mind that there is no upper limit to Kether’s potentiality, you will find that you yourself will not be limited on the spiritual path.

I myself used to worry about such things. However, I eventually dispelled my worries in this way:

Firstly, (I remembered), as a matter of pure logic, it is impossible to prove a negative. The absence of a phenomenon does not mean that an example of it will never be found in the future.

Secondly, I read “The Tao of Physics” by Fritjof Capra. What I got from this book is that at the outer limits of scientific knowledge, there is enough ambiguity – and sources of possible explanations – to suggest that many things claimed by Metaphysics, from sublime conceptions of “God” – even as an Omnipotent Power – to some of the more fanciful claims found in both magic and science fiction, are both True and Real. Or at least, not demonstrably Untrue, nor demonstrably Unreal.

I am therefore now content to accept that God’s infinite nature, and indeed the fact of God’s existence itself, “might” be true. I take as my working hypothesis that it is “in fact” true, and carry on with my spiritual work until something happens that proves the contrary (which has not occurred yet).

“Belief” in God’s infinitude, or existence, does not enter into the matter. I rely on experience only – it helps that I have had some practical results, which I now recognise are just a tiny fraction of what is possible.

When you start experiencing your own results – which are so real they can be felt physically – you yourself will probably find that dealing with advanced concepts in metaphysics become easier.


Yoga

Q. I am learning to do yoga by reading Crowley’s Book 4 Part I. However I am finding it very exhausting. Any advice?

A. Avoid anything Crowley has to say on Pranayama. Readable though it might be, part 1 of Book IV is a very poor exposition of Yoga from a technical point of view. Crowley implies there is something virtuous in straining yourself until you are shaking physically.There isn’t. The methods of Pranayama which he recommends place far too high a strain on the cardio-pulmonary system.

To get an idea of how Pranayama is taught by real Yoga teachers, get “Light on Pranayama” by BKS Iyengar.

Q. Should I start practising Pranayama with Alternate-Nostril Breathing?

A. Alternate nostril-breathing (Nadi sodhana pranayama) is a purificatory practice – according to the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, using it over a period of time cleans out the “72,000 Nadis” (the notional nerve-system of the psychic body), to prepare the yogin for meditation. In Iyengar Yoga, Nadi sodhana is an advanced practice which is taught only _after_ the yogin has learnt Ujjayi pranayama properly (Ujjayi involves breathing through both nostrils without stopping them alternately). An Iyengar student is started off with only very simple breathing exercises and would only progress to the full form of Ujjayi over a period of many months, or even years.

Q. Can you recommend any other books on Yoga?

A. “Light on Yoga” by BKS Iyengar. It is the best book on hatha yoga that I have come across.

“Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali” by BKS Iyengar – unlike the above, this is a philosophical work. There are many versions of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, which is a key yoga text, but I find this is my favourite.

“The Bhagavad Gita”

“Autobiography of a Yogi” by Paramhansa Yogananda


Vibration

Q. Vibratory techniques: how do you do them?

A. It’s like chanting. Start off trying to chant the appropriate name or word at such a volume and with such a timbre that you feel your body “Vibrating”.

Then go on to practice combining chanting with breath-work.

Then go on to practice combining chanting, breath-work and visualisation.

Then go on to practice combining chanting, breath-work, visualisation and
the auditory imagination.

Then go on to practice combining chanting, breath-work, visualisation, the
auditory and kinaesthetic imagination.

Then go on to practice combining chanting, breath-work, visualisation, the
auditory and kinaesthetic imagination and ritual gesture.

Then do all of the above, but on the astral plane.

Then do all of the above but on both the astral and the physical planes
simultaneously.

The one book which really goes into detail is “The Key to the True Kabbalah” by Franz Bardon, but the author claims this is not a beginners’ work It is really only for people who have succeeded in contacting their personal divinity, or “attained KCHGA” as one might say.

Bardon’s approach is that the Kabbalah (“Quabbalah”) is first and foremost an advanced method of “vibrating” magical words: he deals with the Sephiroth in only a very cursory manner, and with the traditional Tree of Life, not at all. The thing is though , he also throws out the whole use of the Hebrew alphabet, instead using the German alphabet. Moreover, it is not the case that Bardon associates correspondences of the Hebrew alphabet with the German letter to which they sound most similar: it is like, “new alphabet, completely new set of correspondences”. Nevertheless, I appreciate that Bardon’s is a clever approach: there might be a way of doing a similar thing to the Hebrew alphabet, which could then fit it in the GD et al, but it would take a lot of work.

Q. What is the “Vibratory Formula of the Middle Pillar” used for?

A. According to the Black Doorstop, the “Vibratory Formula of the Middle Pillar” represents the current of force which enters into the temple of the Neophytes: is described thus:

“This is the secret traditional mode of pronouncing the Divine Names by vibration, but let the Adept beware that he applies it only to the Divine Names of the Gods. If he does this thing ignorantly in working with Elemental or Demonic Names, he may bring into himself terrible forces of Evil and Obsession.”