STAND facing East:
- Touch forehead and say “ATEH” (“Thou art”)
- Touch breast and say “MALKUTH” (“the Kingdom”)
- Touch right shoulder and say “VE-GEBURAH” (“the Power”)
- Touch left shoulder and say “VE-GEDULAH” (“and the Glory”)
- Clasp hands together in middle of chest, say “LE-OLAM” (“for ever and ever”)
- Turn hands upwards in a traditional prayer gesture, say “AMEN” (“Amen.”)
How many times have magickians done this, perhaps when doing either of the pentagram rituals, without thinking? And more is the pity, because by bringing even a small amount of meditative awareness into this simple ritual one can transform its potency greatly. It is within the personal experience of the author that by combining the Qabalistic Cross with some simple visualisation, and with some thought as to the implication of what the actual words mean, this little detail of a ritual can become enormously potent.
All of the following presumes that the reader has some basic Qabalistic knowledge; or if not, that they have access to a good book on the subject, like Dion Fortune’s “The Mystical Qabalah.”
STAND facing East:
The Temple, as indeed are Christian churches, is aligned on an East-West axis. East is the direction of the rising Sun, the source of LIGHT. In Christianity it is popularly believed that Jesus was crucified facing West: hence the church is arranged so that the congregation is facing the crucified Christ.
The Temple on the other hand is arranged as the Tree of Life would be if it were laid flat, with Malkuth in the West – Tiphereth, the Sephira of Christ, the sun and the source of light inevitably will be East of the Temple, and beyond that so will Kether. Hence by starting off facing east, the Magickian is appealing to the power of Tiphereth and of Kether, the power of both his Ruach and Neshamah, the power of LIGHT itself.
Touch forehead and say “ATEH” (“Thou art”)
Here visualise Kether, as a luminous white sphere above your head. Pause a while and consider some of Kether’s attributions: that it is the first Sephira, that is in the place where one expects the Sahasrara Chakra to be, that it is the First Cause, the Great Manifest, the ultimate Source of Power, etc.
Touch breast and say “MALKUTH” (“the Kingdom”)
Now imagine that a shaft of pure white light shines straight down, to a point just below your feet, i.e. the Sephira Malkuth itself. You can imagine that the course of the Light is caused by the downward motion of your hand from head to breast. Imagine Malkuth as a sphere in four parts: Citrine; Russet; Olive and Black.
The Kether-Malkuth motion of the Light establishes the Pillar of Mildness. The descent of the Kether-influence sanctifies Malkuth, which is equivalent to you and your own physical body. Moreover, looked at from the point of view of Malkuth, it affirms your own right to be a Magickian of the Works of Light, to receive this influence and use it as you see fit.
Touch right shoulder and say “VE-GEBURAH” (“the Power”)
Visualise Geburah as a Red Sphere. However, this particular gesture does not merely establish Geburah itself: for Geburah is here to be understood as the representative of the whole Pillar of Severity. Therefore give some thought at this point to the whole of that Pillar: Binah – a black Sphere, the right side of the head; and Hod – an orange sphere, the right hip. Contemplate the meanings of these Sephiroth, and the concept of Severity generally.
Touch left shoulder and say “VE-GEDULAH” (“and the Glory”)
“Gedulah” is another name for “Chesed”. Visualise this as a Blue sphere. At this point one should do the same for the Pillar of Mercy as one did for the Pillar of Severity in the previous point. “Gedulah” here represents both “Chesed” itself and Chokmah – a grey sphere, the left side of the head – and Netzach – a green sphere, the left hip – as well as “Mercy” itself.
Clasp hands together in middle of chest, say “LE-OLAM” (“for ever and ever”)
Bring your attention back to the Middle Pillar: Kether, Malkuth, and Yesod also.
At this point I would like to relate two separate anecdotes, which I hope will give you some food for thought as to the significance of this phrase, “Le-olam” / “for ever and ever”.
As a practitioner of yoga I came across the following remark in “The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali”:
“By samyama on moment and the continuous flow of moments, the yogi gains exalted knowledge, free from the limitations of time and space.” (III, 53)
That is to say, the Yogi attains samadhi when transforming his perception from the time-based to the timeless or eternal, through the discipline of samyama (perfectly integrated meditation.
Moreover, Goswami Kriyananda in his book “The Spiritual Science of Kriya Yoga”, says:
“Karma is a time-conditioned factor. Samadhi is a state of being which is timeless. Since time does not exist in the state of samadhi, karma no longer reaches fruition.”
He goes on to say that in the basic forms of Samadhi, one experiences the object of meditation as it was, is and will be. Indeed, is not the Yogi in any event told to meditate on the Pranava, “AUM”, of which one set of meanings is “A – the past, U – the present, M – the future”?
To turn away from Yoga to something more Qabalistic: I was once concerned with trying to discover the significance of the Spiritual Experience of Yesod, “The Vision of the Machinery of the Universe”. In my mental wanderings it occurred to me that it might have something to do with the name of God associated with Yesod, “Shaddai El Chai”. As I concentrated on this thought, the word “Chai” – “everliving” – seemed to have some special significance. I was drifting off into a Theta-wave state of consciousness, where hypnagogic imagery is common, and where Out-of-Body-Experiences occur, yet still I concentrated on “Chai”. I became aware of my astral body, distinct from the physical: I not only concentrated on “Chai” and the notion of “everliving”, but also tried feeling it with my astral form as well.
Linking my body of light to an “everliving” or eternal principle had the marked effect of improving the quality of my astral work. The Astral Body is in fact a projection of the Nephesh – which is the part of the person which does not survive death. By contemplating the “everliving” I was in fact linking myself to something which did – the Ruach, for instance. Note that I am not saying the Ruach is connected with Yesod, mainly that if the Vision of the Machinery of the Universe could be expressed in words, it would be along the lines of “one should contemplate the eternal “everliving” qualities which transcend the normal experience of the Nephesh, in order to properly operate on the Higher planes.”
As if in confirmation, that night, I was rewarded with a vision of my Holy Guardian Angel. I presumed therefore that through my work with the Vision of the Machinery of the Universe, I had succeeded in Doing my True Will – i.e. it was a sign I had achieved the Correct Answer.
Back, then, to “Le olam”. We say, “for ever and ever”: at this point we should contemplate the Tree of Life, as it has been established in the microcosm up to now, as existing for ever and ever – in all points of time, past, present and future. For by so doing we are both contemplating the Vision of the Machinery of the Universe, and Yesod thereby; and entering a mode of consciousness which at least one spiritual tradition says is the way to Samadhi, or the Perfected Meditative State.
Turn hands upwards in a traditional prayer gesture, say “AMEN” (“Amen.”)
Amen, in some quarters thought to refer to Amun the Egyptian Sun-God, is an appropriate Word to contemplate in regard to Tiphereth. It is the centre of the cross, as in the Crucifix where the central figure is Christ himself (also referred to Tiphereth).
Moreover, “Amen” is the Completion and Perfection of the Qabalistic Cross ceremony. It is the final achievement of Samadhi, the destruction of the ego in an explosion of LIGHT.
It is the Seal on the Forces invoked by the ceremony. Henceforth, the visualised Tree of Life no longer relies on the imagination of the Magician: it is a thing in its own right, remaining in existence without the magician’s conscious intervention – or interference.
“Amen” seals the Tree of Life in the magician’s aura, and forcefully impregnates his unconscious with its subtle influences.
When the whole Qabalistic Cross is performed in this way, even acting purely on the physical plane, the magician is left with a palpable sense of having raised his power, and deepened the level of his consciousness towards a state of mind which is preferable to magickal working. Were the magician a master of working purely in his “Body of Light” or Astral Body, and performed the Qabalistic Cross with full awareness of these meditations, he will surely experience all the effects described above.