In which I talk to Jacqueline Wilson of Magic Tool Box UK about all things Abramelin. You actually get to see what I look like in real life in this video, so those of a nervous disposition may want to look away now.
Tag Archives: Aleister Crowley
In which I talk to Jacqueline Wilson of Magic Tool Box UK about all things Abramelin. You actually get to see what I look like in real life in this video, so those of a nervous disposition may want to look away now.
I am now an experienced Ceremonial Magician. However, when I was fourteen years old myself, I got turned on to the occult not through reading occult books per se, but through Call of Cthulhu role-playing game, and the fiction of H P Lovecraft.
This is not so crazy as it may sound, since because Call of Cthulhu is based in a fictionalised version of the real world, the creators actually included a lot of historical data of real-life occult organisations and personalities such as Aleister Crowley, Dion Fortune, Israel Regardie, the Golden Dawn, etc. Because this piqued my interest, I remembered them when I came to researching the occult seriously when I was older.
Indeed, several serious occultists I know claimed that they were first inspired to take up the dark arts after reading Dennis Wheatley novels. Dennis Wheatley actually met Aleister Crowley, although he was a bit of a hypocrite in that he told his readers not to get into the occult real-life, as it was a sure path to be enmeshed by the powers of darkness, etc.
So yeah, if you do your research, you will probably find that a lot of fiction is inspired by genuine occultism. A lot however is not. The one thing I would advise against doing is watching The Irregulars. This is probably one of the worst programmes out there when it comes to historical accuracy about occultism. Or about the Sherlock Holmes universe. Or indeed about life in Victorian England generally.
(NB: if you are on Netflix and you want to watch something decent about the occult, try The Midnight Gospel instead).
Do not read this blog post if you do not want your mind-blown outside the bounds of four-dimensional space-time. Kind of like what happens when the characters in The Great God Pan look upon the face of the supernatural unveiled. Or when the powder of Ibn Ghazi hits the spot in The Dunwich Horror. This happened to me as a side-effect of undertaking my Abramelin operation this year (i.e. my mind being blown, not literally having an experience with the child of Yog Sothoth), so now I’m inflicting this upon the rest of humanity. Muah ha ha! Ia Shub Niggurath!
But I digress. We normally think of space-time as having four dimensions: height, width, depth, and time. But ask yourself this:
How big is a Thought?
How wide is a dream?
How deep is a Memory?
Thoughts, dreams and memories all exist, hence they must exist within spacetime, yet they can’t be measured in terms of the conventional four dimensions. Hence they are Dimension-less, no?
It occurred to me, whilst I was in some altered state of consciousness or other, that if a thing exists yet cannot be measured in terms height, width, depth or time, then the fact of its existence must constitute a separate Dimension in addition to the preceding four. Hence, we are actually living in five-dimensional space-time, to wit:
- Existence (Karl Popper’s Third World, that of the Objective contents of Thoughts).
Now, this is where things get complicated. Consider the following diagram:
Despite the lurid nature of the introductory paragraph, this is not meant to induce major SAN loss. Instead it’s essentially a colour-coded diagram.
Complex numbers are those which consist of a Real and Imaginary part, the latter being a multiple of i, the imaginary square root of -1. Such numbers cannot be represented on a number-line, but they can be represented on a graph – an “Argand Diagram” – where two number lines become the two axes.
However: what if one wanted to display the effects of a Function which involves Complex Numbers? If one were using only Real numbers, this would be easy – just plot a graph. However, this can’t be done with Complex Numbers, as the set of Complex Numbers on which the Function is already performed is already a graph – that is to say, a two-dimensional diagram. Hence the only way to plot a function with Complex Numbers is to somehow come up with a four dimensional diagram – two dimensions for the original Complex Number, and a further two to represent the results of the Function when applied to that number.
It is not literally possible to represent Four Dimensions in just two. Hence, some way must be found to approximate the results – one such way might be by “Domain Colouring,” producing a diagram like that above. In computing terms, every possible colour has an RGB value, or 24-bits. Hence a Complex Number may be represented by assigning 12 of those bits to the Real part, and 12 to the Imaginary part. The colour of the diagram thus becomes the two extra axes needed to complete the Four-Dimensional representation. We have in effect simulated the representation of four dimensions in two dimensions, by adding extra layers of Meaning to the two-dimensional plane.
What however would happen if one were to analyse the above picture from a Magical perspective? One might break it down as follows:
|The Complex Plane||No extra layers of Meaning||The Two Dimensional Object|
|The colour of each point on the plane, which has been calculated mathematically.||Two extra layers of Meaning||(representation of) the Four Dimensional Object|
|Subjective perception that Red is associated with Mars, Orange with the Sun, Yellow with Mercury, etc etc etc||Even more extra layers of Meaning||(representation of) a Five- or more- Dimensional object, i.e. a Hyperdimensional Object.|
Again, consider the following photograph:
This might be analysed thus:
|The two dimensional plane – i.e. your computer or phone screen||No extra layers of Meaning||The Two Dimensional Object|
|The particular gradation of light and shade to serve precisely defined purpose – i.e. to depict a person.||In this instance, one extra layer of meaning||(representation of) the Three Dimensional Object|
|Objective facts associated with this photograph, i.e. that it depicts Aleister Crowley||Extra layer or layers of Meaning||(representation of) the Four or more Dimensional Object|
|Subjective thoughts that one adds thereto, e.g. ones feelings about Crowley, his life and / or teachings, Thelema, etc||Even more layers of Meaning||(representation of) a Hyperdimensional Object with potentially unlimited number of dimensions (? 93?)|
Or again, this Tarot card, from the BOTA deck:
Without going into as much detail as previously, one may say that this can be analysed in terms of:
- The two-dimensional plane;
- The objective fact that it depicts a specific Tarot card;
- The layer of meaning BOTA teaches in the Introduction to Tarot course;
- The layer of meaning BOTA teaches in the Tarot Fundamentals course;
- The layer of meaning BOTA teaches in the Developing Supersensory Powers course;
- The layer of meaning etc etc etc you get the idea.
In other words – “Meaning” is our way of depicting Higher Dimensions within the confines of conventional Space-Time. Meaning is not those Higher Dimensions themselves, but a convenient representation thereof. Consequently, it is possible if not to conceive of Hyperspace, then to conceive of approximations thereof, hence:
- Layers of Objective Meaning which one overlays the preceding five; and
- Layers of Subjective Meaning which one overlays any or all of the preceding;
The final two being virtual categories allowing for a potentially infinite number of actual dimensions. Conversely when, in Occultism, one studies a Symbol and one perceives that it has many layers to it (as all good symbols do), one may conceive of the Symbol as an object existing in Hyperspace, either metaphorically or even literally.
I was going to answer a question on Quora.com, “What do I do if I just threw my tarot cards on the ground out of anger?” A number of respondents answered along the lines of “Get rid of them, for they come from Satan!” Some more respondents answered “Get rid of them, they are a load of rubbish anyway.” A number just responded, “Just pick them up and clean them up, they’re just cards.”
“But,” I thought to myself, “they’re not just cards.” The simple answer to such a question would go like this:
Assume for one moment it is your unconscious mind which does the divination, and the tarot cards are just tools it employs for the purpose. Your Unconscious Mind will remember the day you treated its tools with disrespect, and will respond by showing you a similar lack of concern, by not providing you with an accurate tarot divination again.
However, a hyperspatial analysis might go like this: they are cards with pictures on them; pictures which have multiple layers of meaning both objective and subjective – and moreover, the connections which one builds with them in ones mind become reified as the psychic keys which unlock the intuition which in turn provides the real answer to the divination. A Tarot Card is thus a perfect example of a Hyperdimensional magical object – nay, a Hyperdimensional Entity – of which the Card laying on the ground where it has been carelessly thrown is but a five dimensional cross-section: which is a long way of saying that a Tarot card is far too important to ever be treated lightly.
I rather think that many of the concepts across which one comes in the Western Mystery Tradition, which at first sight are unexplainable to the rational mind, suddenly become explainable when one starts thinking in terms of the geometry of higher dimensions. For example: the Qabalistic Tree of Life. We all know that it has Ten Sephiroth and Twenty-Two paths, but some theories also say there are four Qabalistic Worlds, and moreover, each Sephirah has a Tree within it. Is there one Tree, four Trees, or forty? Are there Ten Sephiroth or four-hundred? Are (e.g.) Kether of Atziluth, Kether of Briah, Kether of Yetzirah, and Kether of Malkuth the same, different, related to one another, separated or conjoined and if so how? Is each one within the succeeding one like Russian dolls, and how can one conceive of any of them if they are or they are not?
One could try to resolve the incongruities by assuming that curious position of the meditative mind in which all dualities are resolved and the critical intellectual faculty is by-passed… if one wanted to limit oneself to thinking in three-dimensions. Alternatively, one could regard the Tree of Life as a Hyperspatial Object – that each Sephiroth is not a Sphere but a Hypersphere – in which case one can perfectly reasonably say that there is only one Tree of Life, one set of Sephiroth and Netivoth, and that a particular part – e.g. Malkuth of Malkuth of Assiah – is but a cross-section of the Hyper-Object (in this example, the Malkuth Hypersphere) that happens to be visible to us at one particular moment.
Ironically, though, Higher Dimensional Geometry also forces us to re-evaluate what we think we know about esotericism. For example: many of the theories which are candidates for a “theory of everything” in Physics posit the existence of multiple dimensions. If one were therefore to look at this from a Magical perspective, one would have to say that if the Universe is inherently Hyperspatial, then the Creator of the Universe must be a Hyperdimensional Deity. Hence, when we try to represent this Hyper-God using lower-dimensional symbols, we must accept the inevitability of failing to capture a fully accurate picture. The Sepher Yetzirah, for example, suggests that the Twenty Two letters of the Hebrew Alphabet can be arranged to form the Cube of Space. But what if the cosmos were more accurately represented not by a Cube but by a Tesseract? Or a Hypercube of five or more dimensions? If the former, then the Hebrew Alphabet would have to have forty-nine extra letters. Hey! Perhaps that means the language spoken by God and His angels in Heaven is infinitely more complex than anything of which us lower-dimensional creatures can conceive? I have not calculated how many letters would be required to make a hypercube of any higher order, primarily for my own convenience, but also because I feel that without knowing just how many dimensions in total are involved, it would be idle speculation.
The third word square of Book IV, chapter 7 of the Book of Abramelin (Dehn), “To learn all sorts of alchemical arts from the spirits.”
Note that I have altered the sixth line from that given in Dehn, as explained below.
This post follows on thematically from Abramelin Musings: Square Dancing, which I wrote back in June, or as I call it, Day 53. In the previous post I suggested a method of how to verify the correct lettering of any given word-square, by skrying into it – an idea inspired by Aleister Crowley. I therefore decided to put my money where my mouth was, by actually trying this out myself, selecting the third square of chapter 7, book IV of the Book of Abramelin.
Chapter 7 is entitled “To have the spirits make alchemy work,” whilst the third word-square is described as “to learn all sorts of alchemical arts from the spirits.” The word-squares of this chapter are given by the Holy Guardian Angel and are under the presidency of Ashtoreth and Asmodi – it is also said that the works of this chapter can also be carried out by the serving spirits. I did not choose this word square arbitrarily or at random, neither did I do it out of curiosity. Instead I had an eye to my long-term magical career, thinking that improved knowledge of Alchemy could only be a good thing – it is the Great Work, after all!
Dehn gives this as IPOMANO, PAMERAM, ONALOMI, MELACAH, ARORAMI, NANAMON, OMIHINI. Now it so happens that on the third day of Convoking the Dæmons – the day on which one conjures them specifically to empower the word-squares of “signs” as to which they are referred – it is implied that the signs may contain the name(s) of the spirits which rule them. “Aha!” I thought. “Surely if this square contains the name of a spirit, it would be one of those listed as being the servants of Ashtoreth and Asmodi?” However, consulting this list drew a blank – at least at first. However, I did notice that one of the spirits named was NAMALON – the upshot of my attempts at clairvoyance suggested that this should replace the sixth line of the word square (see the results at the top of this page).
Why however should the Royal Art be in the province of Demons at all? Why should such a noble science as Alchemy be associated with black magic? The answer, I believe, lies in achieving a full understanding of what’s going on with the Abramelin process. Attaining Knowledge & Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel is all about sublimating supposedly evil forces to a good end. Thus the true Adept, having integrated the Demonic powers with his Holy Guardian Angel, sees Alchemy’s full spiritual potential as a means of attaining the loftiest goals of Hermeticism (and conversely: a true Alchemist who is firmly committed to the spiritual path is undoubtedly being led by angelic forces). The “puffer” however, meets the Demon of Alchemy without it being conjured to play nicely with one’s HGA, with the result that he misses its spiritual side and is seduced by the lure of materialism, seeking after ordinary gold instead of its Philosophical equivalent.
I hesitate to be dogmatic about my findings, and would encourage others not to take my word for it and investigate the word-squares to verify them for themselves. As to whether I myself have discovered all the secrets of Alchemy through this process – well I certainly can’t claim to have completed the great work by any means, although I do think the experience helped my understanding of internal alchemy, showing me how it fits in nicely with the writings of Sendivogius, Kirchweger, Paracelsus and, of course, the Emerald Tablet. Whether I am on the right track or not will be the subject of a future blog post, if I am still incarnated in a physical body by that time.
Thanks to my Holy Guardian Angel, my familiar spirits, Ashtoreth, Asmodeus and the spirit Namalon.
‘Satanist’ fears over development of former occultist’s Scots home grow despite ‘secular’ promises – Daily Record
Shock! Horror! The Boleskine House Foundation has the temerity to want to be on good terms with Thelemites! The outrage!
It’s a slow afternoon, and this story appeared in my Google News feed. You can take the measure of the standard of journalism on offer by the following quote:
Crowley – who died in 1947 – drank blood and staged huge orgies there fuelled by heroin and cocaine.
(They say this like it’s a bad thing?)
In an article uncovered by the Record, the foundation who manage the Loch Ness property say they plan to uphold the occult legacy of the house.
(A2A) The answer to this has changed over the course of history.
In every Tarot deck inspired by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn – including, most importantly, the Rider Waite Deck – Tarot Key 11 is “Justice.” However in every other deck, including every deck devised before the Golden Dawn, Tarot Key 11 is “Strength.”
Confusingly, the Crowley Thoth deck, which undoubtedly is GD-inspired in part, has its equivalent of “Strength,” i.e. “Lust” as number 11, and the counterpart of “Justice,” i.e. “Adjustment” as Key 8. This is not, as some believe, because Crowley was using his ipsissimus super-powers to change the order of these two trumps, he was simply keeping the numbering found in ancient tarot decks.
The reason there is any confusion at all is that the GD came up with the idea that if Keys 8 and 11 were Strength and Justice respectively, they would correspond to Leo and Libra, and if you put the Fool at the head of the Tarot Trumps, the whole sequence would qabalistically map onto the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Hence the innovation was made by the GD in making Justice number 11: Crowley just changed the numbering back – although he did retain the astrological signification.
The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was a magical order founded in 1888. Its teachings focussed on the Qabalah, Hermeticism, astrology, tarot, alchemy – albeit through the lens of Theosophy. In its higher grades (the “inner order”) members passed from the theoretical to the practical and practiced ceremonial magic.
Notable members included S L MacGregor Mathers, Aleister Crowley, W B Yeats, Dion Fortune, A E Waite, Paul Foster Case, as well as a whole host of others.
In 1934, Israel Regardie went public with the teachings of The Golden Dawn, although many of them had been published previously by Crowley.
The original order broke up and stopped operating under the name of “Golden Dawn” in the early twentieth century, but there are nowadays modern revivals of the Golden Dawn, operating in England, America, and elsewhere.
(A2A) Donald Michael Kraig’s “Modern Magick” was my first serious book on practical occultism as well. It is an ideal book for beginners because (a) it contains a lot of suitable material to get you started; and more importantly (b) it also has an extensive bibliography which will clue you in as to where to go and what to read to pursue your studies further.
Other books I generally recommend:
- “The Art & Practice of Astral Projection” – Ophiel;
- “The Mystical Qabalah” and “Sane Occultism” – both by Dion Fortune;
- “The Middle Pillar” – Israel Regardie.
- “Hermetica” – Freke & Gould
- “The Golden Dawn” – Israel Regardie;
- “Magick In Theory & Practice” – Aleister Crowley;
- “The Alchemist’s Handbook” – Frater Albertus;
- “Initiation Into Hermetics” – Franz Bardon;
(Even more advanced):
“The Greek Magical Papyri In Translation” (H D Betz), “Transcendental Magic – its Dogma and Ritual” (Eliphas Levi), “Light on Yoga” (BKS Iyengar), other books by Dion Fortune, Israel Regardie, Crowley, S L MacGregor Mathers, primary texts on Adam McLean’s Alchemy website / Joseph H Peterson’s website, etc, etc, etc.
You now have the opportunity to own this desirable little residence in Cornwall, where Aleister Crowley once conjured up the devil, causing the death of one woman and driving another man insane.
Yes indeed! I’m aware that Estate Agents come up with a complete load of bullshit sometimes, but I presume they have now scraped below the bottom of the barrel by actually using some of the Great Beast’s more salacious (allegedly) activities as marketing gumph.
Carn Cottage, between St Ives and St Just in Cornwall, may in Estate Agent language be charitably described as a “Period piece that would suit a home improvement enthusiast,” or in English as a “dilapidated eyesore that hasn’t been touched in over fifty years.”
What actually Crowley did there is hard to make out. In the language of tabloid journalism, he was said to have conjured up the Devil there in 1938: in more sober occultist language, he conjured up something which an onlooker claimed to be a “Lizard Demon” – which could actually mean anything from a harmless Salamander to one of my old friends from the Goetia – but was enough to freak those inexperienced magicians present well and truly out.
Incidentally: I tried looking this up on a map, and noticed that the place is on a direct line passing through St Michael’s Mount and Carnac in France – so perhaps it was chosen because of it Ley Line positioning?
The current owner, I now read, wants someone like an artist or an author to take it over – presumably because she is fed up with teenagers breaking in just so they could say they have spent the night in a haunted house. I admit I’m tempted … although if I walk in and find a load of dead bodies walled up in the cellar, it will start feeling like the plot of really frightening horror story.
PS: This sketch from Armstrong & Miller seems appropriate at this point: