Chaos magician Dave Lee discovers Andromalius from the Lesser Key of Solomon:
Category Archives: Supernatural
The message boldly blazoned across the heavens at the moment of birth was not meant to emphasize fate, the result of past good and evil, but to arouse your will to escape from this universal bondage. What you have done, you can undo. You can overcome whatever effects are now prevalent in your life because you created them by your own actions in the first place, and because you have inner spiritual resources which are not subject to planetary pressure.
From The Sacred Magic of the Angels by David Goddard.
THE ANCIENT GREEKS PORTRAYED their death god, Thanatos, as a beautiful, dark-haired, winged youth. In our Western culture, most births (though by no means all) are generally perceived as “happy” events. Most deaths (though by no means all) are generally perceived as “sad” events. Fortunately, much good work is now being done by thanatologists like Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and Stephen Levine to transform our culture’s view of death, and to empower oth-ers to assist the dying to prepare holistically for their first step on their Journey to Light. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross spoke of her experiences assisting dying children, and of her awareness in such cases of the presence of the Holy Lady Mary and the perfume of roses, giving reality to the prayer Ave Maria: “Holy Mary, mother of God, be with us now and at the hour of our death.” Likewise, “Mother” is the name for God upon the lips and hearts of all children. Hospices, usually presided over by a senior shepherding angel, are a great blessing to the dying.
In reality, the womb and the tomb represent two aspects of a continuous flow. Our perceptions of that flow are simply a matter of which way we are facing. In fact, in ancient lore, the “Gate of Horn” has a sign on its lintel, one side of which says Entrance, the other side of which says Exit. All else is a matter of perspective.
Ideally, at physical death, the prepared soul withdraws calmly from the physical vehicle-the silver cord connecting the physical and the etheric bodies breaks (like the umbilical cord at birth), and the soul is set free upon the astral level. The disembodied soul then translates to the spiritual level, where the incarnation as a whole is assessed by the Higher-Self. What is beneficial is distilled and absorbed by the spirit, what is not is cast out. After the self-judgment, a soul usually passes to a purgative state to work on any blemishes, since few of us emerge from incarnation spotless. After purification, the soul passes to one of the “paradises,” catching up with very, very old friends before the call to go forth comes again. In other cases, where evil has been the keynote of an incarnation, the soul passes to one of the hells until atonement has been made. Our dreams and our nightmares are the frontiers of paradise and hell.
Unlike birth, where the incarnating soul has little effective free will, the transition of death is fraught with pathologies. Others have written extensively on the subject,* so I will confine myself to how death interfaces with the angels.
* Readers might like to explore Dian Fortune’s Through the Gates of Death (London: Aquarian Press, 1987), and C. W. Leadbeater’s The Devachanic Plane (East Sussex, England: Society of Metaphysicians, 1986)
One of the most common pathologies of the after-death experience is the plight of the “earth-bound.” These are souls who either do not believe that they are dead (a very common occurrence for short periods of time, rather like shock), or souls who willfully refuse to leave the Earth plane. Jesus put it very well when he said, “Where your heart is, there will your treasure be also” (Matthew 6:21). If a person’s main focus in Iife – to the virtual exclusion of all else – has been the material realm, it is quite natural for them to gravitate to that realm and not wish to pass to any other. The film Blithe Spirit, and the more recent film Ghost, both deal with examples of the earth-bound condition.
No one should die alone, as Mother Teresa of Calcutta shows us by the example of her work. On the hidden side of life, it is a fact that not a single soul goes out of embodiment unattended. Most individuals at death are met again by their friends upon the long journey, who attended their birth, and by loved ones who have already made their transition. The angels that minister to the dead and dying are sometimes called the “shepherding angels.” They are kin to Angel Cassiel of Saturn and serve under the great Archangel Tzaphkiel.
Not all deaths bring consolation. The transitions of those who have lived lives of evil, willfully inflicting pain and suffering upon others, undergo deaths darkened by fear. Such individuals ate awaited by loathsome, parasitic, shadow-creatures whom they have unknowingly “fed” during life by their actions. These astral carrion relentlessly wait to devour the disintegrating psyche. Also waiting are the victims on the other side who may have decided not to “turn the other cheek” to the evil done to them in life. For just as free will and self-determination do not cease with death, neither does hate or revenge, redemption or love. Even to people who have willfully done much evil there comes, at the moment of transition, a bright angel who will guide them, if they will but clasp the outstretched hand.
Cultures other than ours have wisely sought ways to assist discarnating souls: the Priests of Anubis and Osiris in ancient Egypt, the Priestesses of Persephone in Greece and Rome. In fact, Tibetan Buddhist Lamas still attend the dying and guide them, not only up to the moment of separation from the physical plane, but afterward, guiding them telepathically upon the inner journey. The Jewish recommendation to “accompany the dead” is an esoteric reference to the act of guiding the newly departed safely through the lower astral plane, back to the Spirit who is the “father,” the seed-giver of the incarnate personality – in Hebrew wisdom, esoterically referred to as “the bosom of Abraham.” Spiritualist Rescue Circles and Catholic Requiem Masses also do much good in guiding wandering souls to havens of light, from whence the shepherding angels can take them onward. I have been told of a loose-knit society of Catholic priests who, despite the theologians, offer a Requiem Mass once a month with the intention of releasing a soul from hell.
Deaths that occur suddenly, as a result of violence, accident) or a natural disaster) invariably involve trauma for the newly dead. It has been known that after a fatal plane crash the shepherding angels arrive on the astral scene wearing the mental forms of doctors and nurses. They help distressed and shocked victims, rebuild the astral double of the airplane and then transport the newly disembodied to the simulacrum of an airport, that just happens to be one of the antechambers on the Inner levels to the place of peace. Angels who work with the dying rarely turn up in their own forms except in the case of an advanced soul. They usually wear forms that comfort those making their transition. When events occur that cause multiple fatalities – earthquakes, bombings, etc – incamate humans who have the compassion and the capabilities leave their bodies in trance or sleep, and project on the astral level to the site of the disaster, where they work under the supervision of the shepherding angels. This is one of the meanings or the phrase in scripture which enjoins us to “serve the Most Holy One by night and by day,” and is one of the ways in which angels and humans can cooperate in the service of God.
If you attend the dying, try not to bring fear or sorrow, but endeavor to radiate the assurance that arises from the knowledge of human immortality. Remember, these people are not passing into oblivion. They are only changing worlds. They are shedding a suit of clothes, and will put on a new suit at some future time. Those draw¬ing near the portal of death tend to become very psychic toward the end. It can be very reassuring for them to have someone nearby for whom the unseen holds little fear.
Mentally send a call to Angel Cassiel and the shepherding angels. Build up in your imagination Cassiel’s Call Sign, the Ladder of Jacob, a vast ladder spanning the realms, with the angelics ascending and descending thereon. Quietly speak the invitation:
Come forth to meet [Name] ye angels of the Lord; may the choirs of angels receive [him/her], and guide [him/her] into perpetual light.
In the name of the Most Gracious One, be thou [Name] encompassed by the Princes of the heavenly court. May Raphael be at thy right hand; Gabriel at thy left hand; behind thee follows Michael; and before thee leads Uriel. Above thy head shines the candle of the Most High, before Whose light all shadows shall flee. Amen.
Invoke the shepherding angels to help the transition, to make smooth the way; and welcome them as they come to guide the dying into peace. Then shall the chamber of death become a doorway into Heaven, lit by a glorious Sun such as the Earth has never seen.
So there has been an article in the blogosphere on this subject by Nick Farrell already, but in my opinion, its description of what the GD owes to Freemasonry not go far enough. Here then is my own take on what concepts from Freemasonry have found their way into the Golden Dawn.
Each of the three degrees of Craft Masonry has its own “Lecture” which contains the traditional teaching of the degree. These are written as a Catechism i.e. question and answer format: the original intention being that they could be performed in Lodge as a ritual, if there was not any other degree work to be worked at any given meeting. Furthermore, before being advanced to a higher degree, each candidate was expected to learn the Degree Lecture, and undergo an examination in its contents before proceeding. Unlike the Golden Dawn, the examination was done in oral form in Lodge, in front of the other brethren.
The lectures of the degrees of Masonry can be found here.
Unfortunately, what has happened in modern Freemasonry is that the Degree Lectures are seldom printed with the ritual books, nor are they automatically given to each candidate after he has taken his degree. Furthermore, there is no volition on the part of the United Grand Lodge of England to oblige Lodges to do so. What is left of this traditional practice is that candidates are given a small set of questions to memorise, which in each case amounts to a mere fraction of the original Degree Lecture – without necessarily being made acquainted with the traditional teachings from which they are derived.
Thus, the inclusion of Knowledge Lectures in the Golden Dawn, far from being an Hermetic innovation, is actually an attempt by its founders to get back to the original essence of Freemasonry!
Spiritualisation of the Lodge Room Prior To The Ceremony
One Golden Dawn order used to require members to que[ue] up to enter the temple and give the handshake and whisper the password to the sentinel to get in – all forced, masonic and all un-necessary.
This is disingenuous on Farrell’s part to say the least, because he does not mention why the members were made to leave the Temple and wait outside in the first place.
I, myself, am aware of an order that did this – it was because the Hierophant was busy conducting an Inner Order Ritual to activate the god-forms of the Temple, in advance of the ceremony.
The details of this Inner Order Ritual are a confidential matter for that order, suffice to say that being an inner order ritual, it would have been inappropriate to perform it in front of members of the outer order. Now, think about this: you have a load of outer order members waiting to enter the sacred space of the temple. Do you make them enter in an appropriate manner, which forces them to think about this sacredness, and re-affirm their connection to the energies invoked at the most recent Equinox ceremony? Or do you just say “Right, in you come, you lot.” ?
But I digress.
The idea of spiritualising the ritual space in advance of the meeting is in fact an old Masonic tradition, and is still practiced in some Lodges in Scotland. The form this takes, however, does not consist of elaborate hermetic rituals, but more simply that the officer appointed to prepare the Lodge (the Tyler) offers prayer whilst doing so – specifically in the lighting of the lodge candles. The Tyler’s actions therefore are a form of Candle Magick to invoke Wisdom, Strength and Beauty into the Lodge room! One can therefore appreciate why the Golden Dawn might want to do this, but after a more Qabalistic fashion. I believe that some Lodges in England follow the Scottish practice or do something similar, or at least they did within living memory. Unfortunately, however, as with the Degree Lectures mentioned above, UGLE does not require individual lodges to do this, with the result that although it is traditional, it is not a common feature of modern Freemasonry.
In the context of discussing the grip, Nick says
Unlike the grade signs [the grip] has no inner use either because you don’t tend to shake hands with strange beings to test them…
I’m glad to learn that Grade Signs are a way to communicate with discarnate entities – as let’s face it, grade signs did not exist in the Grimoire Tradition. This means that the introduction of grade signs is a welcome innovation which the Golden Dawn made. Hmm, I wonder where the GD got that idea from…
People Who Only Turn Up For Their Degrees, Then Bugger off.
The sad fact is both Freemasonry and the Golden Dawn have had their portals darkened by people with entitlement issues. I’m talking about people who are willing to jump up the degree or grade ladder themselves, but lose interest when the focus of any given ceremony is not about them, but someone else. This is really contrary to the spirit of joining a magical order in the first place: the point of not being a Billy No-Mates self-initiate is that there is value in helping each other on the path of spiritual evolution, whether that be in the form of taking a formal office, or just by providing moral support to a fellow initiate.
The idea of clubbing together in a fraternal order to help one another is something the GD inherited from Freemasonry, but so too is the fact that there will be people who are unclubbable, who think “what’s in it for me?” Taken to the extreme, they depart as soon as they realise that the only real progression left open to them comes through service to others – again, a legacy from Freemasonry.
This by itself is unfortunate: but what becomes really irritating is that these same people then go on to think that they are now uniquely qualified to pass judgement on the order – whether it be Freemasonry or the Golden Dawn – when in fact they have the least experience of that which they profess to know.
A magician without a religion is … just an evil paedophile who wears a dress to cover their crimes.
As anyone who has spent too much time in a pub on a Friday night will know, there is nothing more divisive a topic of conversation as Religion – except perhaps Politics. This must be the main reason why discussions on topics of Religion and Politics are banned in all Masonic lodges – because the lodge is meant to be a place of tolerance for people of all faiths and leanings.
Nevertheless, the topic of Religion has raised its ugly head in the Golden Dawn blogosphere this week – just in time for Ishtar, I might add – so I thought I would shove in my two pennyworth.
I am not going to criticise directly what other bloggers have written about the subject. Instead I shall just point out something that no-one has yet considered. The writers of the original GD rituals were Rosicrucians – more specifically, they were members of the SRIA. In one of the rituals of the SRIA, there is the following quote:
[Alchemists] used the language of their physical work to communicate spiritual teaching which at that time had to be kept secret to avoid persecution by the official Church. And many medieval Alchemists whose writings are still extant appear to have been mainly, if not entirely, concerned with this spiritual aspect of the work.
This higher Alchemy can thus be regarded as almost identical with Religion as distinct from Theology. The function of Religion, like the great work of the Alchemist, is the “separation of the subtle from the gross,” the redemption of the spirit, while still dwelling in matter, from the taint inevitable on the lowest planes of manifestation.
Hence: when the Golden Dawn talks about “religion,” it is reasonable to suppose that what is meant is what Westcott, Mathers and Woodman – and their contemporaries -would have understood by the term, i.e. the pure concept of Religion liberated from dogmatic theology, or the true Internal Alchemy.
A LEGEND arose in the time of the Lutheran outburst of a mysterious master called Christian Rosenkreutz, who was buried for a period of all years in the central cavern of the earth. His shrine was seven-sided, and all the symbols of the universe were said to have been found disposed round him in this place. The Egyptian tradition of Seker, the god in the central cavern of the Duat, evidently found an echo in the heart of the inventor of this legendary father 01 mysteries, and it will be interesting to try and discern the meanings of the main symbols of the Rosenkreutz legends in Egypt and in Germany.
The Egyptian Duat, or Underworld, was represented by a five-foldstar, or star of five radiations, enlarging as they receded from the centre, and therefore not bearing the same symbolism as the pentagram. The Rose is fivefold in its structure and is a well-known symbol of silence. The stages of its existence pass from the bud, or potential state of pralaya, to the unfolding of its leaves as the pleroma, or fulness or manifestation of creative power. Consciousness, thought, reasoning, will, and the sense of individuality are five of its powers; the five senses are other manifestations of the same symbol. When the pollen of a flower is ripe the creative work begins, the petals fall and the fruit and seed are formed. The processes of life are a rhythmic coiling and uncoiling; a radiation and attraction, and an emanation or separation. The fruit coils round the seeds, the juices pass to and fro, and finally the busk of the fruit bursts and the seeds fall out separately as emanations, each complete in itself.
So in the degrees of human enlightenment the purest state is Being so unified and perfect that the kind of consciousness that depends upon comparison cannot exist. The second state is the sense of being without bounds, which is often called wisdom. The third state is discernment, or understanding, and may be attained by concentration of the subjective mind upon an object until full understanding is attained. And these states of the unmanifest consciousness arc called Sat-Chit-Ananda in the Vedantic philosophy and Ain-Soph-Aur in the Kabalistic philosophy; and Ptah-Seker-Osiris was the concrete image of these ideas ill Egypt.
Now the Rose of the Rosicrucians was a more complicated symbol than the Cup. As we have seen the Cup was a symbol of creation, and its form was connected with the symbol of a circle in contrast to the Cross. The symbol of the Rose contains five petals and five divisions of the calyx. It is evidently the symbol of creation in activity, not in potentiality only. Perhaps we may believe the Rose to be a symbol of the subtle body of man, which is one with nature, and the Cross the symbol of the body and the name of word of man. The union of the Rose and Cross would symbolize a man able to unite himself to the great powers of Nature, or tatwas, familiar to us under their Hindoo names Akasa, Vayu, Tejas, Apas and Prithivi, or the kingdoms of sound, sensation, perception. absorption and reproduction more commonly called hearing, touching, seeing, eating and generating.
Now the notion of obtaining the natural powers of an adept is most apparent in the traditions that come through Egypt and Chaldea, and the idea of the super-essential state in contrast to power is most apparent in the Oriental traditions. The high caste Oriental has the aristocratic spirit that conceives the height of life on this world to consist in the delicacy of perception associated with perfect self-satisfaction, while the democratic spirit of the West cannot conceive itself without desires, struggles and potencies for gratifying desires : democracy wishes to do and to have; aristocracy is sufficient unto itself.
Rosicrucianism and Alchemy are both allegories constructed by these working democratic minds, and in the alchemical symbolism we can trace the exact degrees of initiation through which the man, still under the great race delusion of progress, must pass before he realizes that his real self is the same yesterday, to-day and forever.
It is true in a sense that this treasure of all sages, this knowledge of Being which all mystics seek, forms itself vehicles in time and space in which it carries out the imaginations which spring from the relative side of absolute consciousness, and it is interesting to trace the different degrees of attainment.
Alchemical symbolism is mainly the symbolism of distillation.
To take a simple process, let us imagine that we desire to obtain the white and the red tinctures from honey. The alchemist would put the honey in the cucurbite of an alembic. Placing it over a gentle heat be would drive the essential part of the spirit into the bead or beak of the alembic, whence it would pass as steam into the neck of the receiver end become liquid once more as it cooled. This liquid was the white tincture, or spirit of honey mixed with water. This is the symbol of that concentration and meditation whereby the mind of man becomes subtilized and fit to perceive philosophical impressions. The white tincture is the symbol of light and wisdom.
But to obtain the red tincture of power a far more complicated process had to be performed. It consisted mainly of pouring back the distilled spirit upon the black dead-head that had been left as residue in the cucurbite and by the exercise of great care and the addition of certain matters acting upon the mixture in such a way that finally the whole of the original matter .was distilled and no black dead-bead remained and a wonderful red tincture was the result of the transmutation of the black nature.
This symbolical process involves the passing through definite stages of progress in the world of changing life. Let us imagine it carried out to its logical conclusion upon our own earth. We know that the mineral kingdom is the state in which form lasts for infinite ages and can stand great heat and cold without destruction. We know that the giants of the vegetable kingdom last many hundreds of years, but although the process of their growth and decay it prolonged they are not capable of resisting fire or of existing in the frozen zone. We know that certain animals, such as elephants, tortoises and parrots, live for very long periods of time. All these creatures have greater tenacity of existence in the forms or vehicles of life than the human creature.
It is also plain that as the earth becomes more and more subject to violent change, when the great floods and the ice and the burnings visit it, in its old age conscious life must exist in more enduring but 1ess complex, sensitive, visible forms than it does at present. Now consciousness of Being is the name we give to the white tincture which the adept distils from his human form in the alembic of the mind. It is brought about by the fire of imagined emotion and devotion under the stress of intense concentration. To focus thought has the same effect as to focus sunlight. It becomes & force analogous to heat. It is, in a word, emotion evoked by the skill of the sage. In this fire the Adept raises his consciousness until it is separate from the gross body, and no longer aware of the objective world. Passing through the gate of dreams it enters the subjective world and lives in its own brightness. Here it learns that it can create infinite visions and glories, and here the saints rejoice, each in his own heaven. Here finally the sage perceives his own divinity and is united to his God. This is the white initiation in the eyes of the Rosicrucian doctors, and according to the scriptures of the alchemists the sage has gained the white tincture. The objective world only remains in his consciousness as blackness and ignorance and death. In his divine nature he seeks to redeem the dark world, to draw it up into the divine nature and make it perfect. His vision can now show him a world in which man can no longer exist in material human form. His own desire for wisdom has drawn up the human element out of the visible or objective state. He is no longer merely a man in a human body because his subtle body has possessed itself of the characteristic human faculty of self-conscious comparison, the origin of wit, laughter and criticism.
The humanity that is beyond animal consciousness has the power of acting and knowing at the same moment; it can seem one thing and know at the same time that it is another. It is not a noble quality; it is nothing more than the power of laughing at ourselves: and yet it is the great redeeming quality, for it is the germ of all wisdom and enlightenment.
The ordinary dreamer lives in his subtle body as the fool of his own fancy, and the dream shows how little human wisdom his subtle body has obtained: but the subtle body of an adept can perceive the illusionary formulation of panoramas of light and form arising from the half-seized impression of light falling at a certain angle across the red edge of a blanket and the linen of a sheet just as he closes his eyes. The dream of the sage is a consciously guided dream. Like an author, he writes his own dramas and delights in the joys and tragedies of his creation, He no longer suffers from the attacks and sorrows that his own mind creates, but observes them with excitement and interest. He watches his own tears and cuts into the heart of his own emotions.
These are some of the experiences of the sage who has transferred the human principle from the body of matter to the subtle body.
The material body may in this stage of enlightenment be considered as a beautiful and healthy animal; it carries on the physical functions in temperate ways, unaccompanied by the fantastic imaginations of a human being. And there is little doubt that the bull of Apis was considered to take the place of the body of the adept Osiris in this way. The body of a sacred animal would answer every purpose for the divine man whose invisible body bad attained some degree of complex, conscious life. The nervous forces of the animal world act as the physical basis for the dream-powers of the subtilized or deified man.
In China the flying dragon, the mythical combination of all kinds of animal life, represents the body of the deified man that can command all the elemental states of matter that can exist in the air, the fire, the earth and the water. The dragon is the symbol of the material body of the being who has complete command of the elemental world and afterwards becomes the subtle body in the further stage of being of which we are told in Druid tradition.
When the earth grows older and complex animal forms such as flying-fish and sea-serpents and monstrous alligators, can no longer exist, another symbol must be taken from the writings of the Rosicrucian doctors and the alchemists, and we enter upon the study of the Tree of Life. He who eats of the fruit of the Tree of Life will become one with the Elohim, or creative gods, and will live for infinite ages.
Imagine the world enveloped in a great white cloud, moist and warm like a hot-house ; giant palms and ferns and mosses dripping with moisture: a climate like that of the Cocoa-palm Islands off the west coast of Africa, where animals and men can only live a little time. In this world the adept would use some marvelous tree as the physical basis of his life: and his subtle body would have drawn up into itself all the forces of motion that make a tree less powerful to our minds than an animal. The subtle body in this state would have become a veritable dragon of complex forces. It would have drawn into itself the mixed sphinx-natures of the birds and the fish, the creeping things and the four-footed creatures. The dryad of each tree would be a mighty Druid; the great Pendragon would have his oak as a physical form and would exercise his power in reality as we can imagine the ancient Druid sages exercised theirs in imagination.
This state of the subtle body may perhaps have been symbolized by the Green Dragon of the alchemists, but the Red Dragon arose after still further distillation.
Now we have to imagine a world all fire and molten glory of flame, in which. no tree or flower could exist: a world in which wonderful agate trees would circle the white crystals of their pith with bands of violet and hyacinth and blue melting into stretches of pale chalcedony and shrouded in dark crystal bark, their branches glimmering with emerald leaves: a world in which mineral life has learned at last to show itself in perfect form, where light and fire glowed alternately and played with elemental shapes and images of beauty. And so, at last, we come to the last symbol of the alchemists – the symbol of the final perfection, the Summum Bonum, the Philosopher’s Stone.
Let us imagine what that state would mean for the adept : his gross body a pure ruby, a perfect crystalline form with all the powers of growth, of nourishment, of reproduction drawn from the vegetable kingdom into his subtle body, carried on without disgust or satiety through the beautiful mediums of fiery blossoms and shining leaves ; his subtle body almost visible as a light shining in the fiery world; his children flowers of flame and his physical form an everlasting memory of beauty; his mind an all-pervading consciousness in which blossoming imaginations arose or subsided under the law of his will: a perception unified with a faculty that ordered joy to succeed sorrow and sorrow to succeed joy because he knew that one cannot manifest without the other. A supreme artist, he would rejoice in creation; a supreme critic, he would rejoice in contrast.
So the red tincture would be attained and the black, the white and the red worlds explored and analysed in the imagination of the Rosicrucians and alchemists of the Middle Ages.
We still see the same desire for progress among those who strive for the ancient stone here in this western democratic world of men who desire “to have” and “to do.” But these circles of everlasting recurrence so dear to Friedrich Nietzche are not what he called them. They are not aristocratic.
The aristocracy of mind is shown in the philosophy of Villiers de I’Isle Adam, who cried; “As for living, our servants can do that for us.” It is the feeling of the great Buddhist intellect who sees that in the words “I am not” there is a wonder and a vision and song far exceeding the mere ideas of limited ecstasy and knowledge concealed in the words “I am.”
… and following straight on from my last post…
I read with amusement on Facebook today of apparently there are a load of witches in America who want to “bind” Donald Trump from doing any evil. Hmm! If they are powerful enough to do that to Trump, why didn’t they cast a spell to make sure he didn’t get elected in the first place???
Anywho. What I find most amusing though is how the organiser, a Mr Michael Hughes, attempts to justify his actions. I quote:
For anyone worried about their karma, Hughes writes that binding “seeks to restrain someone from doing harm” and is “differentiated from cursing or hexing, which is meant to inflict harm on the target(s).”
I hate to break it to Hughes, or to any witch that is considering taking part in this event that Binding is itself a form of Cursing. More precisely, they are both Curses, but a Binding is a Curse with an “unless” clause attached, i.e. it usually takes the form of “I curse you, so-and-so, unless you refrain from doing evil.”
If you do not believe me when I say that Binding is Cursing, ask yourself this: imagine that although the Binding spell works, Donald Trump tries to resist its effects as best he can. What do you suppose will happen to him if he does so?
If your answer is “nothing,” or something light and fluffy – then you have not actually succeeded in Binding him.
If however you answer that something unpleasant will happen to him, then that is the very definition of a Curse.
Don’t get me wrong. There is evil in this world, and sometimes one has to take robust measures… but one should not kid oneself that there will not be karmic consequences. If one were being honest with oneself, one ought to man-up and take ownership of the karma that arises from ones binding spells and what not! Binding is most definitely is not good against evil, it is about using evil to fight evil.
Recently I seem to have been answering the same question multiple times on Quora.com, to wit: about Love Spells. The question is normally along the lines of Is placing a love spell on an ex morally wrong for a Christian?, or even Why are love spells considered white magic?
To answer the latter first: they are not. The term “love spell” is a euphemism. Historically, so-called “love spells,” as featured in classic grimoires of magick, are actually very nasty curses in which the caster wishes death / pain / unbearable torment / etc on the “loved one” (read: victim) unless they do exactly what the caster wants: e.g. fall in love with him, have sex with him, leave the safety of her parents’ house and run away with him, refrain from cheating or straying, etc.
Hence “love spells” ought really to be called “Rape Spells,” or “Sexual Harassment Spells,” or “Jealous Revenge Spells.” Not only would it be morally wrong for a Christian, it would be morally wrong for just about everyone.
My answer to How can I summon Zepar?
Answer by Alex Sumner:
First of all, Goetic demons, like Zepar, are not human friendly. They are in fact very dangerous. It is because they are dangerous that they are powerful.
This does not mean that one should be terrified of them. The elaborate procedures laid down in thefor evoking Demons are safety precautions for dealing with spirits properly.
Perhaps the reason for your apparent failure to summon is Zepar is unrealistic expectations of what happens when Goetic spirits manifest? If so, I recommend reading the accounts of what other magicians have experienced when working with the Goetia, e.g. Lon Milo Duquette’s.
You are able to discover new and hidden depths to the whole Golden Dawn system by periodically re-reading the classic texts, written by Mathers et al., and by paying close attention to the parts you might have skipped over the first time around. Even I manage to surprise myself from time to time, such that if ever I start to feel jaded, I find myself re-invigorated by going back to the books and putting into practice what the creators of the system originally intended.
Recently, for example, I was revising the section of Z-3 “The Enterer of the Threshold,” viz. “The Symbolism of the Admission of the Candidate,” and I became convinced that Macgregor Mathers had done something far cleverer than I first appreciated: he had come up with a system of Qabalistic Qigong, long before the concept of Qigong (or “Chi Kung” to use the old spelling) had become widely known in the West (which arguably was only as recent as 1972). In particular I mean the three formulae of magical vibration derived from the opening of the Neophyte ceremony, namely: the Formula of Aspiration; the Vibratory Formula of the Middle Pillar; and the Formula of the Four-fold Revolution of the Breath.
The Formula of Aspiration
In the Neophyte Adeptus Minor document “The Enterer of the Threshold,” in the part entitled “The Symbolism of the Opening of the 0=0 Grade of Neophyte,” Macgregor Mathers describes the magical currents at work at the very beginning of the ceremony, when the Hierophant addresses the Temple for the first time. He then goes on to comment:
The whole is a rehearsal of the properties of the reflection of the Element Air down through the Middle Pillar of the Sephiroth, representing the reflection of the Air from Kether, through Tiphareth to Yesod, and even to the Citrine part of Malkuth. For the subtle Aether is, in Kether, inspired from the Divine Light beyond; thence reflected into Tiphareth, wherein it is combined with the Reflexes from the Alchemical Principles in that great Receptacle of the Forces of the Tree. In Yesod, it affirms the foundation of a formula and from Malkuth it is breathed forth or reflected back.
And this formula the Adept can use. Standing in his Sphere of Sensation he can, by his knowledge of the Sacred Rites, raise himself unto the contemplation of Yechidah and from thence aspire (in the sense of Adspire, i.e. to attract towards you in breathing) downwards into himself the Lower Genius as though temporarily to inhabit himself as its Temple.
Regardie, I, 1989, The Golden Dawn, 6th edition, Llewellyn, St Pauls Minnesota, p345.
In practice, this is really what I would consider regular vibration, although the point that Mathers is making is that one should take a moment to contemplate that one is invoking the divine name in question as a manifestation of genius from the Yechidah (i.e. the microcosmic Kether).
The Vibratory Formula of the Middle Pillar
Straight after the preceding passage which I quoted above, Mathers goes on to say:
Another formula of Vibration is here hidden. Let the Adept, standing upright, his arms stretched out in the form of a Calvary Cross, vibrate a Divine Name, bringing with the formulation thereof a deep inspiration into his lungs. Let him retain the breath, mentally pronouncing the Name in his Heart, so as to combine it with the forces he desires to awake thereby; thence sending it downwards through his body past Yesod, but not resting there, but taking his physical life for a material basis, send it on into his feet. There he shall again momentarily formulate the Name – then, bringing it rushing upwards into the lungs, thence shall he breathe it forth strongly, while vibrating that Divine Name. He will send his breath steadily forward into the Universe so as to awake the corresponding forces of the Name in the Outer World. Standing with arms out in the form of a Cross, when the breath has been imaginatively sent to the feet and back, bring the arms forward in “The Sign of the Enterer” while vibrating the Name out into the Universe. On completing this, make the “Sign of Silence” and remain still, contemplating the Force you have invoked.
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. The Method described is called “The Vibratory Formula of the Middle Pillar.”
Thus, to summarise: if one were to vibrate, e.g. “Eheieh,” one would
- Stand in the form of a cross;
- Contemplate link to Kether (Yechidah);
- (Mentally) vibrate “Eheieh.” In effect one has started off with the “Formula of Aspiration,” but one is now adding to it.
- Draw the invoked force into one’s heart and mentally formulate there “Eheieh” whilst contemplating what it represents and what you are trying to invoke (i.e. in this instance, the spiritual properties of Kether);
- Send the current down, via Yesod, to Malkuth (i.e. the feet). Formulate “Eheieh” in Malkuth, imagining that you are using your whole physical being to manifest those spiritual forces.
- Now imagine the current springing back up, rising up to your head.
- Forcefully project it out with the Sign of the Enterer, vibrating it loudly, so that it manifests in the Universe.
- Finally, make the Sign of Silence, to seal off your aura.
Thus there are three distinct points at which one contemplates the force in question: the head (Kether), the heart (Tiphereth) and the feet (Malkuth), with Yesod here figuring as a stage in the downward and upward journey. It is here that we begin to see the similarity with Qigong, in that it is a combination of breathwork, visualisation and movement. Obviously it is not literally identical to any Chinese method, being based on the Qabalistic Tree of Life. I find it helpful here to pause a brief moment – though not too long – at each point, head, heart, and feet, to really feel the energies involved.
Crowley in Liber O describes vibrating the divine names in the LBRP with the Signs of the Enterer and of Silence. It seems clear to me that he probably had the Vibratory Formula of the Middle Pillar in mind, although in describing it cursorily he misses out on the full subtleties contained in Mathers’ original description.
The Four-fold revolution of the Breath
The third magical formula derived from the opening of Neophyte ceremony relates to the currents of energy which are formed during the Mystic Circumambulation. Mathers writes:
The Mystic Circumambulation is called symbolic of the Rise of Light and from it drawn another formula for the circulation of the breath. It is the formula of the Four Revolutions of the Breath (not, of course, of the actual air inspired, but of the subtle Aethers which may be drawn thence and of which it is the Vehicle – the aethers which awaken centres in the subtle body through the formula). This formula should be preceded by that of the Middle Pillar, described previously. By this method, having invoked the Power you wish to awaken in yourself, and contemplated it, begin its circumambulation thus: Fill the lungs and imagine the Name vibrating in the contained Air. Imagine this vibration going down the left leg to the sole of the left foot – thence passing over to the sole of the right foot – up the right leg to the lungs again, where it is out-breathed. Do this four times to the rhythm of the Four-fold breath.
By saying that “this formula should be preceded by that of the Middle Pillar” it is evident that the three formulae of vibration are cumulative – the Four Revolutions of the Breath incorporates both of the preceding methods.
Speaking personally, I find that invoking a divine name by all three methods together is very powerful – the least one can expect is to feel incredibly energised by doing so. I remember once doing the lesser banishing ritual of the pentagram, using all three formulae to vibrate the appropriate Name in each quarter. Because I was necessarily observing more care over each one, the LBRP ended up taking around ten minutes longer than it had done previously, but by the end of it I was fairly floating in space! The three formulae, combined, are a powerful means for invoking Divine names generally – each time leaving one buzzing with energy, and hence filling one with confidence that one is psychically contacting the forces invoked, and working good ritual.