Tag Archives: Aleister Crowley

You Can Own The House Where Aleister Crowley Raised Satan!

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.

Aleister Crowley in A.'.A.'. regalia making the sign "Vir."

Did someone mention my name?

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.”

Exterior of Carn Cottage, in disrepair and overgrown by bushes: with free abandoned car thrown in!

Exterior of Carn Cottage, in disrepair and overgrown by bushes: with free abandoned car thrown in!

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:

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Black Magick Compendium

A round-up of the answers I have given to questions about Black Magick on Quora.com


What are some black magic spells?

“Black Magic” is a devalued term, and not because of any politically incorrect connotations – it is most often used to describe any magic that one happens to dislike, or any magic practised by someone whom you don’t like – even if the magic itself is (objectively speaking) quite benign.

That being said, for historical examples you might want to look up grimoire magic, i.e. rituals derived from classic spellbooks (“grimoires”). They are so old they are by now in the public domain and even available free to download on the internet if you do a google search for them. Many of them are rather obscure to read by today’s standards, although some are perennially popular and still used by modern occultists, such as The Lesser Key of Solomon, or The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage, both of which entail evoking Demons and compelling them to do one’s bidding. Also, both of these were used by Aleister Crowley (1875-1947) – who is probably most responsible for their contemporary appeal (or notoriety, depending on your point of view).

These grimoires will give an impression of the kind of wording which would have been used in old-school ceremonial magic to call demons. As it happens, when you examine the conjurations involved, you should notice that the main way to call a demon actually consists of invoking the names and titles of God and His holy angels: the rationale being that only God has true power of all things, therefore one can only truly call demons when one is acting with God’s authority.

Twilit Grotto is a good resource in this regard.

What is the Goetia?

The Goetia of the Lesser Key of Solomon is a magical grimoire written in the fifteenth century, and which enjoys some fame (or notoriety) today as it was a favourite of the noted occultist Aleister Crowley. The grimoire describes a system of ceremonial magic for the calling forth of spirits or demons, seventy-two of which are described in the text.

The word goetia itself is an ancient Greek term for sorcery in general. By medieval times it had come specifically to be associated with demon-magic, as opposed to e.g. angel-magic (“theurgia”) or astrological magic (“magia”).

How do you summon a demon?

I recommend you read My Life With the Spirits, by Lon Milo Duquette. In it he describes how he evoked a demon from the Goetia of the Lesser Key of Solomon – and the learning process he had to go through to get there. Like you he had to put up with people telling him not to do it. The references he makes are to real occult teachings which you can follow to develop your own practice. He also dispels unrealistic expectations of what happens when Goetic spirits manifest.

Note however that almost each story he tells of evocation has a sinister twist or sequel to it. I say this to sound a note of caution, not to prohibit you absolutely from going ahead.

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Conjuring Demons for Love

The Goetia of the Lesser Key of Solomon the King

Romance is in the air. Something is in the air, at any rate, because several unusual things have been happening in the world lately. Anywho, by careful analysis of the traffic to my website I have come to the conclusion that most people who are interested in Black Magick are looking for LOVE (see my remarks on Zepar below). I have therefore decided to go through my notes on my favourite grimoire, the Goetia, and compile a list of all the Demons who are said to procure love in one form or another.

I should point out that over the years I have evoked all 72 of the spirits at one time or another, if for no other reason than to investigate what the spirit was all about. I do not work with all 72 spirits, because as a result of my investigations I have realised that I have an affinity with a small number but not with the rest. However, the small number that I do work with are satisfying enough for me to be getting on with.

It would be irresponsible of me not to point out that the elaborate safeguards described in the Goetia – the Circle, Triangle, the prescribed preparations and conjurations, etc – are all safeguards for ensuring that ceremonial magick is conducted safely and responsibly. However, the biggest safeguard is one not mentioned in the grimoire itself, and that is the Intent of the Magician. Goetic spirits are powerful. And dangerous. They are dangerous because they are powerful. If a magician went into a ceremony with a Bad Intention – or worse, a Badly-formed Intention – the results could be disastrous, and causing much evil as well.

As you read the notes below, you ought to realise that magick is not simply about getting laid. There are four words for Love in Greek – Agape (charitable love), Philia (love between friends and equals), Storge (love between parents and children), and Eros (romantic or sexual love): the spirits of the Goetia assist in procuring all four kinds, not just the last one. According to my own work with these spirits, they do not just indulge the capricious whims of the individual, but also help procuring love between peoples and nations as well.

Finally I should point out that I present these notes for information only. I personally have never resorted to any of these spirits for amatory purposes. I personally believe that the Law of Attraction pure and simple is far and effective, especially if you are trying to cosmically order a romantic partner at the same time that the romantic partner is cosmically ordering you.


Amon

7 Amon

‘…[H]e tells of all things past & to come, and procures love, and reconciles controversies between friends & foes…’

I personally noted that Amon’s imagery is primarily Mercurial, e.g. the Wolf and the Raven, even though a Marquis Amon would supposedly by associated with Luna. I would suggest that Amon be evoked in order to facilitate love through communication, or to put it another way, ‘gaming’ on the object of one’s affections.

12 Sitri

‘…[H]e puts on a humane shape very Beautiful, Inflaming Men with women’s Love, and women with men’s love, and causes them to shew themselves Naked, if it be desired…’

Unfortunately I haven’t got much or indeed any notes for working with Sitri, so for me this spirit didn’t create much of an impression.

13 Beleth

“This king Beleth causes all the love that possible may be, both of Men and women till the Master Exorcist hath had his mind fulfilled…”

I should advise caution when dealing with Beleth in regards to love. On the one hand Beleth’s influence can make one feel positive, and has a definite erotic tone to it as well. However: I also noted that Beleth has a dark side, being responsible for obsessive love, or the kind which is not real but an illusion or glamour.

15 Eligor

[H]e causes the love of Lords and great persons…’

I.e. probably more relevant to gaining power and influence than for Eros, per se. A ritual for evoking Eligor appears in Shall We Kill The President?

16 Zepar

‘… [H]is office is to cause women to love Men and to bring them together in love; he also makes them barren…’

Another post on my website mentioning Zepar seems to get an unhealthy amount of clicks on it, although it is not about Zepar per se but Goetia in general. I must assume that there are a goodly amount of perverts visiting this site who want to get laid but do not want the hassle of fathering children. Guys, the magic word you are really looking for is ‘contraception’ – look it up some time, you will also be helping to stop the spread of sexually-transmitted diseases.

‘Well, hello! Is that a crocodile you’re sitting on, or are you just pleased to see me?’

19 Saleos

‘He causes the love of women to men & men to women…’

I noted when evoking him that I could psychically detect Saleos’ erotic influence, which to my mind make him potentially a powerful demon to conjure.

25 Glasya-Labolas

‘He … tells all Things past & to come, if desired, & causes love of friends and foes…”

Glasya-Labolas is a formidable demon: I noted that when I evoked him I experienced several spontaneous Out-of-Body-Experiences afterwards. However, Glasya-Labolas is also feted as ‘an author of bloodshed and manslaughter,’ so clearly all is not sweetness and light with this Spirit.

‘…[H]e makes men to be beloved of their foes as well as they be by their Friends…’

30 Forneus

‘…[H]e makes men to be beloved of their foes as well as they be by their Friends…’

Forneus is actually said to appear in the form of a ‘sea-monster’ – in my magical record I noted that he is the real-life inspiration behind stories of Great Cthulhu, so perhaps not one to be evoked to visible appearance on a regular basis.

33 Gaap

‘..[H]e can cause love or hatred…’

One for the highschool sweethearts out there. Gaap appeared to my mental vision as a mediaeval doctor, which is not dissimilar to the garb that doctors of learning still wear at graduation ceremonies at modern universities. Although the evocation was pleasant at the time, I note that in my dream-life it stirred up memories of my own thoughts and feelings regarding my time at school – suggesting that Gaap can lead one to resolve issues relating to that time in one’s life.

Furfur

34 Furfur

‘He … will willingly make love between man & wife…’

I.e. in the sense of causing love – if one were in any doubt. I personally noted that Furfur’s main power is that of raising Thunder, Lightning, Blasts and great Tempestuous storms.’ My main experience of this was in the form of psychic Lightning etc – not to be weaponised against others, but to explode one’s own Ego in a great blast of self-transformation.

40 Raum

‘[H]is office is … to cause Love between friends & foes…’

Raum is a powerful spirit. His reputed powers, which include stealing treasure out of kings’ houses, along with his ability, have caused many to invest him with their hopes and thus their collective energy. I noted when evoking him that he is in fact not just some spirit to help people get laid, but has great potential to cause social change – help make the world a better place, and so forth.

Vual

47 Vuall

‘[H]is office is to procure the love of women…’

In my magical record I appear to have written VUALL IS POWERFUL in underlined capitals (which would normally mean that I got a strong psychic contact when first evoking him). So powerful in fact that Vual could potentially bring about world peace!

Gemory

56 Gemory

‘She*… procures the love of women, both young & old…’

* Although in the original text Gemory is described with masculine terminology, this demon is also described as appearing in the form of a ‘beautiful woman.’ One must remember that this inelegance of language is due to the fact that this grimoire was written over four hundred years before political correctness, when there were only four Genders, Sociology was not considered a subject, and being described as ‘home-schooled’ implied that you were of noble birth and had received a decent education in your father’s castle or palace.

But I digress.

The powers of the spirits of the Goetia often seem to be removed from reality as regards ordinary men and women in the street – e.g. blasting cities with lightning bolts, raising armies – what good is that? This has led some to believe that these are metaphorical – however, this is not the case. They are meant literally – they are powers which would have proved useful to a King or nobleman, who, at the time the grimoire was written, would, apart from those educated in a monastery, would have been the only people capable of being able to read such a grimoire! This is why when one reads old grimoires, one can discern that they fall into one of two camps – either ‘Royal’ or ‘Sacerdotal’ i.e. they assume that the intended reader is either of royal or noble birth (such as the Goetia of the Lesser Key of Solomon), or that they have a priestly or clerical background (such as the Heptameron or Sworn Book of Honorius).

In this sense, a nobleman would turn to Gemory to seek help in finding a woman of noble birth, fit to be a princess – this being a major concern of the nobility at the time.

On a more prosaic level, I note that I had vivid astral phenomena of a not-unpleasant nature occur to me after I evoked Gemory, so I rather suspect him – or her – to be a powerful spirit.

71 Dantalion

‘[H]e can cause love…’

While this may be true, I noted that Dantalion’s power of thought control to be more significant. On the benign side one might be able to direct that power inwards upon oneself, in order to achieve perfect mastery of concentration. On the less attractive side it would suggest that Dantalion tends to cause love by unpalatable means.

 

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Making A Goetia Floorcloth

New video: in which I record my efforts at making a full-size Goetia floor cloth, a la Lesser Key of Solomon the King.

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August 7, 2015 · 9:19 pm

Is Adrianne Curry being controlled by the Illuminati?… – IlluminatiWatcher

I am currently in the middle of a fairly major magical project which is keeping me busy right now: this explains why I have not been posting so frequently to this blog. I felt, however, in the interests of humanity, that I had to share the following:

Is Adrianne Curry being controlled by the Illuminati?… – IlluminatiWatcher.

Yes, model Adrianne Curry has decided to join Katy Perry amongst the ranks of the world’s most famous secret organisation. The page linked to above cites many convincing reasons why this notorious cosplayer is a member of the Illuminati… except for the most convincing one. Now, however, I, Alex Sumner, world’s greatest expert on the occult and member of several reasonably secret magical, mystical and fraternal organisations (according to my bio in the new Hermetic Tablet) can supply the icing on the cake, as it it were.

Aleister Crowley  and Adrianne Curry

“AC”

AC, get it? Adrianne Curry has the same initials as Aleister Crowley, the notoriously self-described “Great Beast 666.” What’s more, Crowley changed his first name to Aleister because of an Illuminati-secret for achieving greatness, to wit:

I had read in some book or other that the most favourable name for becoming famous was one consisting of a dactyl followed by a spondee, as at the end of a hexameter: like Jeremy Taylor. Aleister Crowley fulfilled these conditions and Aleister is the Gaelic form of Alexander. To adopt it would satisfy my romantic ideals.

Now check this out:

A-LEIS-TER CROW-LEY Dactyl, followed by a spondee
A-DRI-ANNE CUR-RY Dactyl, followed by a spondee

Coincidence? I think not! Proof if any were needed that Curry is not only a member of the Illuminati but she is deliberately using the symbolism of the occultist once dubbed The Wickedest Man In The World. QED. Fnord.

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Review: The Essential Enochian Grimoire: An Introduction to Angel Magick from Dr. John Dee to the Golden Dawn, by Aaron Leitch

This is my review of Aaron Leitch‘s latest book on Amazon, to which I have given five stars.

“Good Introductory Text”

The Essential Enochian Grimoire, by Aaron Leitch


The overall impression I got of this book is that it is aimed at those who are already sold on the idea of Enochian Magic in principal, and would like to learn more about its background.

Generally the quality of Aaron Leitch’s writing is high, however: one should observe a serious caveat when reading this book. This is not a *complete* text – but rather the first or introductory part of an ongoing series on Enochian Magic. So for example there is a description of “Gebofal,” a sophisticated Enochian self-initiation rite which takes place over 49 days, involving the Enochian Keys and the leaves of Liber Loagaeth. Whilst there is a full description of the daily rite, the key component – the leaves of Loageaeth – are missing from this book. Aaron tells us that he will be publishing his own version of Liber Loagaeth separately, in due course.

The majority of the book describes “Dee-purist Enochiana.” So called “Neo-Enochiana” is limited in discussion to the practices of The Golden Dawn. Aaron mentions other manifestations of “Neo-Enochiana” – e.g. Crowley’s Aethyr-work which was published as The Vision & the Voice – but does not go into the same technical, ritualistic detail. The pseudonymous “Thomas Rudd” is dealt with even less, which is a shame as I would have been interested in a discussion of his linking the spirits of the lesser key of Solomon with the seven ensigns of creation (see: A Treatise on Angel Magic: Magnum Opus Hermetic Sourceworks).

The Enochian work of the Aurum Solis and the Chaos Magick movement are not mentioned at all – although this constitutes no great loss.

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Golden Dawn Exhibition, 19th December 2013

The Minutum Mundum

To London yesterday, where I assumed human form and attended a strictly-invite only exhibition of artefacts from the original Golden Dawn, dating right from the founding of the Isis-Urania temple and even before.

The place: the Grand Officers’ Robing Room at the United Grand Lodge of England, Great Queen Street. The exhibition was a selection of materials kept in the archives of the Library & Museum of Freemasonry. Although this material has been available for inspection for some time – as I first reported in the post Golden Dawn Manuscripts and Where To Find Them – this was the first time that an actual exhibition had been organised of them. This was quite an event to see so much on display in one place all at once, as usually one can only view each individual piece one at a time. That this came about was mainly thanks to a series of negotiations between Susan Snell, the head archivist, and one of my contacts in the “Illuminati.”

Hegemon and Hierophant wand. They appear to have been made from bannisters!

One of four tablets on display yesterday, each depicting the symbolism of one of the elements (in this instance, Earth).

There was room for fifty people (all seats were taken). As I surveyed the attendees I noted that there were large contingents from two supposedly rival GD orders! I say “supposedly” but this did not stop us going down the pub together later that evening. The actual exhibition was preceded by a talk about the Golden Dawn collections: however it was purely given from a scholarly and archival point of view. That is to say, the speakers were completely expert about how researchers would be able to use the collections to conduct further research into the GD, although they knew nothing of the magic of the GD itself. In that respect, those experts were  in the audience listening to them.

The GD material at Great Queen Street has provenance from two main sources. Firstly, there was a collection which was acquired in 1920: secondly, there was another large collection acquired from a private source in 2008. The staff didn’t actually say who this private source was, although given that a lot of the items on display previously featured prominently in Bob Gilbert’s The Golden Dawn Scrapbook: The Rise and Fall of a Magical Order, it doesn’t take the world’s greatest magician to have a guess.

None of the material was secret per se, as it has all been written about extensively before. However, it was a great pleasure to appreciate the exquisite draughtsmanship and care which the original members of the GD had taken in creating their bits and pieces.

My favourite exhibit was the complete membership roll of the Isis-Urania Temple. It literally was a gigantic (A0) roll, with the name and motto of each member who had passed through its doors, right up until the last initiate who entered in 1910 (the temple was closed two years later). It was great fun picking out the names of all the famous people of whom I had heard. I noticed that a large number of names had been struck through with a line. Some people standing nearby were wondering why those particular names were struck through so I took a closer look and realised: they were the names of all the people who had sided with Mathers at the time of the 1900 schism. Except for Aleister Crowley – whose name was crossed out three times.

"Now that's just being petty."

“Now that’s just being petty.”


NB: All photographs (except the Crowley snap) are taken from the Library & Museum of Freemasonry’s website and are © copyright the Library & Museum of Freemasonry.

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QOTD: “Hekas! Hekas! Este bebeloi!”

Yahdonhai (Hebrew letters); Taphthartharath (Sigil)

The Chief Magus rises, holding the Ibis wand by its black end, and proclaims: ” “HEKAS, HEKAS ESTE BEBELOI!” 3

3 WEH NOTE: This is the cry of the Dionysian mysteries. It was shouted to warn the uninitiated that the new candidates were about to run amuck. Rough translation: “Look out! Look out! Here come the Drunks!”

Source: THE RITUAL FOR THE EVOCATION UNTO VISIBLE APPEARANCE OF THE GREAT SPIRIT TAPHTHARTHARATH from The Equinox. (NB: “WEH” = Bill Heidrick).

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World Tarot Day

Today is World Tarot Day, and so I thought I (as a Tarot reader myself) would contribute by reviewing my own favourite Tarot decks.

Golden Dawn – Robert Wang

Golden Dawn Deck – artwork by Robert Wang

The Golden Dawn was my entry into occultism generally, and consequently the Tarot as well. Hence Robert Wang’s Golden Dawn Tarot was the first deck I ever bought: it was the one on which I learnt. The trumps struck me as the most impressive, although I confess I thought the art-work was a bit ordinary. Nevertheless this is still my default deck today, the one which I most use for doing readings. I have to admit though that if I were buying a Golden Dawn deck for the first time today, I would probably get Tabatha Cicero’s versioninstead, mainly because the art-work is livelier.

Crowley-Thoth

Crowley-Thoth deck. Designed by Aleister Crowley, illustrated by Lady Frieda Harris.

Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot deck is one of a number of decks which I keep at home mainly for the sake of comparison. One has to remember that for 19 years from 1969 until 1988, this was the closest thing to a Golden Dawn type deck that was publicly available. In many ways this would be an ideal deck, due to its bold artwork courtesy of Lady Frieda Harris and its wealth of symbolism which is all authentic … from a Thelemic point of view. Essentially Crowley took the GD symbolism, right down to the particular colours appropriate to each card – and augmented it with ideas derived from his own visionary work, e.g The Book of the Law and The Vision and The Voice. Hence, whilst it is mostly GD-ish, and undoubtedly superb for actual Thelemites, a GD purist would need to be wary of this. (Incidentally, a good book to read about this deck is Lon Milo Duquette’s Understanding Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot).

Golden Dawn Enochian Skrying Tarot

Golden Dawn Enochian Skrying Tarot

This is not really a Tarot deck per se, more a Cartomancy deck. It is not based upon the traditional Tarot format at all: instead, each card represents a portion of the Enochian Watchtowers and the Tablet of Union. Meanwhile, the reverse of each card instead of having a uniform backing has elemental symbolism (corresponding to the Enochian associations on the obverse side) which can be used in skrying. The meanings of the individual cards take a bit of getting used to, although there is a logic to the general scheme which is based on GD teachings.

This has given me an idea – about how an Adept might incorporate this into ceremonial magick. When performing a divination with this deck, typically there will be one card which points to the solution of a given problem. Because each card represents a portion of the Enochian Watchtowers, the “solution-card” will therefore represent a particular Enochian angel – a being who can be evoked by constructing a magical ceremony with the appropriate symbolism.

Rider Waite

Rider Waite – designed by A E Waite, illustrated by Pamela Coleman Smith

Given that the Rider Waite deck is the world’s most popular version, I suppose that I could hardly call myself a tarot connoisseur unless I actually had a copy. Undoubtedly Pamela Coleman-Smith’s artwork must be a big reason for its popularity – especially the fact that each of the Minor Arcana is individually illustrated.

The Mythic Tarot

The Mythic Tarot

I decided to get hold of this after seeing a fellow Tarot reader use this. What I find most appealing is that the creators of this deck have based the artwork on Greek mythology. Hence: the suit of Cups is the story of Cupid and Psyche; Wands is the story of Jason and the Argonauts; whilst the characters in the Major Arcana are identified as Greek gods and goddesses. This is a visually appealing deck because, like the Rider Waite one, all 78 cards are fully illustrated. Also it is refreshing to see a deck which goes with an original idea for a change which comes off successfully.

Builders of the Adytum

The BOTA deck.

Of all the Tarot decks which are available, the ones that particularly interest me are those created by Occultists – as opposed to the many which appear to be novelty decks, or created by people with only a superficial understanding of the subject. Hence my reason for being drawn to not only the Golden Dawn, but also the Crowley Thoth, Rider Waite, etc decks. I suppose it was thus inevitable that I would seek out the Builders of the Adytum, given that it was designed by not only an occultist but by an actual Tarot scholar, Paul Foster Case. The thing about the BOTA deck is that it comes uncoloured: the point being that as a student learns about the Tarot, they use their own knowledge of the esoteric associations of colour to colour it in themselves. Unfortunately I discovered that the BOTA deck is very hard to come by on Amazon – with one going for over £100.

So I cheated.

The unfortunate fact, I am ashamed to say, is that a full set of scans of the entire BOTA deck is available via bit-torrent and certain P2P clients. So whilst I have never purchased a BOTA deck, I am nevertheless using my Adobe Photoshop skills to illustrate it anyway. 😉

The Black Tarot

The Black Tarot – illustrated by Luis Royo

This is something of a curiosity which came into my possession, and of which I have not made use since acquiring it. The trumps feature a lot of lurid artwork – dragons, monsters, scantily-clad buxom women, etc – which only vaguely references traditional tarot imagery. Meanwhile the accompanying booklet puts a Vama-marga Tantric spin on interpretation of the cards.

I first acquired this when a dear friend of mine was getting rid of her spare tarot decks, so I just happened to pick this up. Ironically, the same friend later received a present – another copy of the Black Tarot. Hmm seems to me this must be more than coincidence – perhaps the universe is trying to tell her something???

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Reincarnation: A Hermetic Approach

So Jesus said to them, “Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Matthew 19:28 (emphasis added).

Reincarnation, metempsychosis, palingenesis, past lives, etc, has cropped up in the Western Mystery Tradition since at least the time of Plato. In the Phaedrus, he *cough* I mean Socrates believed that it was man’s destiny to be successively re-born in all walks of life until he was re-born in the highest, which was obviously as a Philosopher, before re-joining the gods.

The New Testament offers evidence that the Jews of Jesus’ time thought that it was theoretically possible for a dead person to be re-born – because nothing is impossible to God – but there is no evidence to suggest that they thought it occurred on a regular basis. However, the writers of the New Testament did believe that future re-incarnation would occur at least once: in the Resurrection on the Last Day. Note the biblical passage at the top of this article – in the Greek New Testament the word for “regeneration” is actually Palingenesis or “re-birth.” The same word has been used for both personal re-incarnation and re-birth of the Universe (like a re-setting of The Matrix!) by some pagan schools of thought, although such usage was hushed up by the Church.

So that was the Western appreciation of re-incarnation… until the 19th century, when Theosophy introduced a decidedly Eastern approach – which from personal observation seems to be what most people understand by the term today. One finds it in the work of Dion Fortune, both her fiction and non-fiction work. Aleister Crowley delighted in it, especially if it meant he could claim just about every kewl person from history from Edward Kelly to Eliphas Levi via Swinburne was one of his prior incarnations. Less frivolously the concept of re-incarnation was adopted, from Theosophy, by a large number of occult groups, from Martinism to Wicca and beyond.

It is thus possible to extrapolate some general principles regarding a “Hermetic” approach to re-incarnation, if one is for one moment prepared to indulge the fiction that “Hermetic” refers to the practices of the Occult revival of the late 19th century, and not to actual Hermeticism as it was at the time it was first invented.

The first and most important principle for going in search of one’s past lives this:

Have prepared in advance a strategy for dealing with the Dweller On The Threshold when you meet it.

Keep Calm And Ask the Dweller On The Threshold For Your Karmic Lesson

Sensible advice for all initiates seeking knowledge of their past lives.

The “Dweller On The Threshold” (or “DotT” as I shall hereinafter refer to it) is a nasty beasty that you will meet when trying to uncover your past-lives. It is so terrifying that it is likely to put you off attempting to discover your past lives if you don’t realise what it really is. The DotT was first described Bulwher(“It was a dark and stormy night…”)Lytton in his book Zanoni, and seems to have been adopted as gospel by Blavatsky, so that it was repeated in hushed tones by the likes of Dion Fortune, Rudolf Steiner, etc.

The DotT looks different for every person who encounters it: it might appear astrally as a thing, an entity, or a disturbing situation; or instead of appearing astrally it might manifest in your life as something disturbing or challenging. It is described in Theosophical texts as an astral double which each person leaves hanging about on the astral plane from the last time they incarnated.

It is this which gives the key to understanding its true nature: the DotT is in fact an astral representation of all of the Karma you have accrued from previous lives, and a DotT-experience amounts to suddenly having to deal with all your Karma all at once. The Dweller on the Threshold is, thus, you.

The ignorant person thus comes up against the DotT and, not knowing what it is, is put off following the spiritual path for the rest of their life. These people can be found spending their days writing highly cynical and depressive texts for Llewellyn or Weiser or New Falcon about how futile the spiritual path is! The true Initiate, however, recognises the DotT for what it is and takes ownership. By not losing ones nerve and by carefully interrogating it, the DotT successively reveals the Karmic lessons which the individual must learn, and the tasks that the individual must perform in order to free him/herself from his/her Karmic burdens.

This leads to the second important principle that a Metempsychonaut should observe: one should first

Be an Adept of all forms of practical magick.

By finding out from the DotT what one’s Karmic lessons are, one is inevitably tasked with list of things to do. It therefore follows that one should be well versed in practical magick, as one can then use one’s skills to resolve one’s Karmic issues.

Logically therefore, the ideal time for going in search of one’s past-lives is only after you have obtained Adepthood. Indeed, Franz Bardon strongly advises the new initiate not to go seeking for one’s past lives, because as soon as you do so, you will become responsible for them.

Unfortunately, from my own observations I see people everyday attempt past-life regressions with no thought of what they are going to do when their past-lives are revealed to them. This is not a Hermetic approach, this is just an astral junket – or spiritual tourism.

Conclusion

However there are at least two positive outcomes which will arise from the whole business of going up against the DotT. The first is in the realisation that the DotT is not the Shadow, because it represents all of ones Karma both good and bad. Hence, although the DotT might appear off-putting to some, to those who have lead saintly lives so-far or at least not terribly bad ones, the DotT may well prove far less traumatic than one might have first feared.

Secondly, the authorities all predict an optimistic outcome for those that go through with the ordeal of confronting the DotT and rising to the challenges that it sets. Rudolf Steiner, for one, says that as one resolves each Karmic issue that one has, the DotT appears less and less like a horrible monster and more and more like an Angel of Light, so that eventually it becomes not a barrier but a Spirit-Guide. Most importantly however, it leaves the Initiate with an idea that Death is not the End, and that the terrors of the grave are purely illusory.

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