Tag Archives: Qabalah

The Esoteric Significance of Notre Dame Cathedral

Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing?


Despite the terrible news from Paris, the conflagration that befell Notre Dame has now been extinguished and, while the roof and historic spire have collapsed, most of the stonework including the historic towers is still intact. This is highly important, from an esoteric point of view.

Notre-Dame Cathedral.
“The 850-year-old Gothic building’s spire and roof have collapsed but the main structure, including the two bell towers, has been saved, officials say.”
(BBC News)

Although the world has been experiencing a collective panic about the art-work inside the Cathedral, there is still an enormous amount of art built into the fabric of the building itself. Take for example the North and South towers (see above). Note how they resemble two great pillars standing at the entrance? They represent Boaz and Jachin, the two great pillars which stood at the entrance to King Solomon’s Temple.

Internal floor plane of Notre-Dame Cathedral

Internal floor plane of Notre-Dame Cathedral

The ground plan of the interior follows a cruciform design, as is common in Christian churches. Moreover it is possible to overlay the Qabalistic Tree of Life over the design as well, such that the high altar represents the Supernal Triad; the Choir to Chesed and Geburah; the Transept to Tiphereth; the Nave to Netzach, Hod and Yesod; and the entrance to Malkuth.

… with Tree of Life superimposed.

Whilst the Tree of Life may be a latter interpolation, there can be little serious doubt that the masons who worked on the original structure did observe the principles of Sacred Architecture, in trying to incorporate the symbolism of both the Old and New Testament into the Cathedral – hence indicating the mysteries upon which Freemasonry is based.

The Mystery of the Cathedrals, by Fulcanelli

The best exposition of sacred architecture in regards to Gothic Cathedrals in general, and Notre Dame in particular, remains that of Fulcanelli. He introduces his theme by stating:

Above all there is nothing more captivating than the symbolism of the ancient alchemists, so ably translated by these modest medieval statues. In this connection Notre Dame of Paris, the Philosophers’ church, is indisputably one of the most perfect specimens and, as Victor Hugo said, “the most satisfying summary of the Hermetic science, of which the church of Saint-Jacques-la-Boucherie was such a complete hieroglyph.”

Mediaeval Alchemists would use Notre-Dame as a meeting place. Moreover, the design in inherently alchemical: its cruciform manner points out that the “Sign of the Cross” represents the preparation of the Stone (cf: the Transept – which “crosses” the Cathedral – effectively refers to the Gold of Tiphereth). The Rose window above the western door represents the wheel of time – the time necessary to concoct the stone. Moreover the main west door – the “Porte Du Jugement” – is elaborately decorated – superficially to represent the last Judgement, but on closer examination contains a plethora of Hermetic symbolism.

The Porte Du Jugement

Fulcanelli also points out Hermetic symbolism to be found elsewhere on the Cathedral’s exterior (e.g. the “Porte de Saint-Anne” to the right of the “Port de Jugement”). Curiously, the vast majority of the Alchemical symbolism is on the outside of the Cathedral, at the entrances: perhaps signifying that Alchemy is ultimately about purifying oneself, so that one is then worthy enough to enter into the Holy of Holies.

It is gratifying that within 24 hours of the incident millions of Euros have already been pledge to aid its restoration, as the sooner the building again becomes fit for worshippers – both exoteric and esoteric, the better.


The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts.

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Coffee Month of the Mug: Aquarius

Aquarius Hermetic Qabalistic coffee mug: featuring the sigil of Cambriel, Angel of Aquarius, according to the teachings of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

The Sun has entered Aquarius. If it’s your birthday between now and February 18th 2019, then may I be the first to say: “Happy birthday, Aquarius!”

You now have the opportunity to celebrate your birthday – or get a present for an Aquarius in your life, from my Etsy shop. This features the sigil, taken from the Golden Dawn’s rose-cross lamen, of the Angel of this month’s astrological sign (in this case Aquarius), in the correct Zodiacal colours.

For more details and to order, please follow this link:
AQUARIUS Hermetic qabalistic coffee mug

My Etsy store:
solascendans

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Review: “High Magick” by Damien Echols

“High Magick: A Guide to the Spiritual Practices that saved my Life on Death Row,” by Damien Echols.

Damien Echols has forcibly wrested the kind of superstardom of which most occult writers dream but never see. But then – has has paid a far higher price that any other magician – myself included – would ever want to pay, i.e. spending eighteen years on death row for a crime he did not commit.

Whereas most would-be occultists might want to cast spells for money, sex, power, and all the rest, Damien has been using his magickal skills for the considerably less frivolous ends of avoiding being executed; preserving his life, health and sanity; winning his eventual freedom; and coping with severe PTSD after having been released.

The blurb of this book describes Damien as having been initiated into a lineage of Zen Buddhism whilst incarcerated: however, almost none of this comes across in the present book. Instead, what we have is a number of Hermetic techniques, mostly drawn from the Golden Dawn, with a smattering of Franz Bardon thrown in for good measure.

Thus, what we get is: a number of Chi-techniques (thus placing Damien squarely within the Energy Model of magick). This at least shows original thought not present other books on magick. He goes on to give his own take on some well-known techniques of magick such as the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram (sophisticated by the addition of Metatron and Sandalphon in “the column”), as well as the Middle Pillar Ritual. He proposes the Lesser Invoking Ritual as a replacement for the Golden Dawn’s Supreme Ritual, whilst describing practical techniques of creating thoughtforms, charging amulets and talismans, the magick use of tattoos, and intriguing thoughts on urban shamanism.

Most of the practical techniques function at the same level as “Neophyte” in the Golden Dawn. Hence a complete beginner to magick might profit from reading this book.

HOWEVER – and this is the biggest fault of the book – it lacks any kind of Bibliography or suggested reading list. So if complete beginners are indeed the book’s intended target audience, and they wanted to know where to go to find out more (as one naturally would), they would not find such information here. This is especially frustrating as Damien constantly mentions advanced concepts such as the Qabalah, the Holy Guardian Angel, Evocation, etc without giving further explanation. (A book such as Donald Michael Kraig’s Modern Magick, or John Michael Greer’s Circles of Power would serve better in this respect.)


High Magick: A Guide to the Spiritual Practices That Save My Life on Death Row by Damien Echols is available from Amazon in Hardback or on Kindle.

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Coffee Mug of the Month: Capricorn

Capricorn Hermetic Qabalistic coffee mug: featuring the sigil of Hanael, Angel of Capricorn, according to the teachings of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

Happy Solstice! The Sun has entered Capricorn. If it’s your birthday between now and January 20th 2019, then may I be the first to say: “Happy birthday, Capricorn!”

You now have the opportunity to celebrate your birthday – or get a present for a Capricorn in your life, from my Etsy shop. This features the sigil, taken from the Golden Dawn’s rose-cross lamen, of the Angel of this month’s astrological sign (in this case Capricorn), in the correct Zodiacal colours.

For more details and to order, please follow this link:
CAPRICORN Hermetic qabalistic coffee mug

My Etsy store:
solascendans

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Coffee Mug of the Month: Sagittarius

Sagittarius Hermetic Qabalistic coffee mug: featuring the sigil of Advachiel, Angel of Sagittarius, according to the teachings of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

The Sun has entered Sagittarius! If it’s your birthday between now and December 21st, then may I be the first to say: “Happy birthday, Sagittarius!”

You now have the opportunity to celebrate your birthday – or get a present for a Sagittarius in your life, from my Etsy shop. This features the sigil, taken from the Golden Dawn’s rose-cross lamen, of the Angel of this month’s astrological sign (in this case Sagittarius), in the correct Zodiacal colours.

For more details and to order, please follow this link:
SAGITTARIUS Hermetic qabalistic coffee mug

My Etsy store:
solascendans

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Qabalistic Qigong

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 Microcosmic Tree of Life. © Alex Sumner 2017

The Microcosmic Tree of Life.
© Alex Sumner 2017

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.

Conclusion

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.

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Is Melchizadek A Zionist?

Israel

Israel

Here’s a thought. In Qabalistic terms, the secretest chiefiest secret chief of them all is a mysterious person who is like the “Alpha-Qabalist” (or indeed Aleph-Qabalist) who is the Baal Shem Tov of the modern era. He (?) it is who has the authority to transmit the true Unwritten Qabalah, or knowledge of the true pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton. This person – let’s call him “Melchizadek” for the sake of argument – is Jewish.

Would therefore “Melchizadek” have had any truck with anyone who sided with the Nazis during the third reich? My own muddled thinking would say almost certainly not. Hence: any occultist of a Germanic origin, claiming to be a Qabalist, must be viewed with suspicion, as if anyone in their tradition was a Nazi or helped the Nazis, it is likely that Melchizadek would have withdrawn all contact from the members of that tradition.

So now we turn to the Israeli/Gaza conflict. If, as I surmise, Melchizadek is Jewish, it is also likely that he (?) is also a Zionist by sympathy. Now before I get a whole load of trolls jumping on me saying that this a logical non-sequitur, I would say: for the great majority of Jews, the pure idea of “Zionism” is perfectly reasonable to them, as it is the natural desire of their people to find a place of rest and sanctuary after centuries of upheaval.

Hence, occultists who purport to practice the Qabalah yet do not support the principles of Zionism are likely to find themselves cut-off from the source of Qabalism. A Qabalistic solution to the present crisis must involve the preservation of the integrity of the state of Israel (even if the methods currently adopted by the Israeli government are not the best means of ensuring this takes place).

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Taromancer, the new novel by Alex Sumner, launched today!

You can get a completely free copy of my new novel TAROMANCER which is officially launched today!

Taromancer cover artwork © copyright 2013 Alex Sumner

Taromancer cover artwork © copyright 2013 Alex Sumner

This is a brand new stand-alone story, featuring all-new characters. It is a Visionary Fiction novel set in contemporary England, and tells the story of one woman’s spiritual quest, involving the Tarot.

Disenchanted and disillusioned with her career as a fortune teller, Miranda meets a crazy old man one night, and is plunged into a spiritual quest – with the twenty two trumps of the Tarot as her companions.

Despite being cast in the form of fiction, the book contains much material on topics such as Ceremonial Magick, Esoteric Christianity, the Kabbalah, Theurgy, and of course the Tarot itself.

Taromancer is usually priced at $2.99 (US) but for a limited time only it is free to download for Kindle via Amazon.

To claim your free copy, just click on one of the following links within the next twenty-four hours:

United States http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00H3QP298
United Kingdom http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00H3QP298
Germany http://www.amazon.de/dp/B00H3QP298
France http://www.amazon.fr/dp/B00H3QP298
Spain http://www.amazon.es/dp/B00H3QP298
Italy http://www.amazon.it/dp/B00H3QP298
Japan http://www.amazon.jp/dp/B00H3QP298
India http://www.amazon.in/dp/B00H3QP298
Canada http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00H3QP298
Brazil http://www.amazon.com.br/dp/B00H3QP298
Mexico http://www.amazon.com.mx/dp/B00H3QP298
Australia http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00H3QP298

Please share this with everyone you know – the more the merrier. Thanks!


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“Taromancer” in other ebook formats and print – coming March 2014!

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How I First Met Alex Sumner

By special guest blogger, Miranda Warren, Tarot Reader.


Taromancer cover artwork © copyright 2013 Alex Sumner

Taromancer cover artwork © copyright 2013 Alex Sumner

Hello, Alex has asked me to write a few words which he wants to post on his blog – so I think I can do no better than explain how I first came to collaborate with him.

I first met Mr Sumner earlier this year, when I visited him at his home. I knew I had come to the right address, judging by the shouting and screaming coming from inside. Needless to say I felt perturbed, but I decided to go through with it because I had been advised that he was the best, nay, the only man for the job.

I rang the doorbell and waited in trepidation. I could plainly hear the sound of a very bad tempered man approaching the door muttering “What fresh hell is this?” and harrumphing loudly.

I was just about to run for it – when the door flung open, and an absolutely gorgeous man with dark good looks appeared before me. “Hi, I’m Alex Sumner,” he said, throwing a peace sign at me, “novelist and writer on the occult.”

“Mr Sumner!” I exclaimed.  “Do you normally answer the door stark naked?”

“Oh!” he said, suddenly realising his predicament. “Sorry about that – you caught me in the middle of a magical operation. Step inside for a moment, whilst I put some clothes on.”

“You don’t have to on my –” I began: but too late. He darted into the darkest recesses of his apartment. Five minutes later he emerged, this time wearing the finest couture from Camden (all black). Rings of strange and curious design adorned his fingers.

“What was all that shouting and screaming I heard earlier?” I said.

“Downstairs neighbours, I’m afraid. Absolutely ghastly,” he said.  “Now I suggest we repair to a local hostelry to talk. I would invite you in, but I haven’t yet cleaned up the bloodstains from last time.”

A short while later, and in the more convivial atmosphere of a restaurant whose terrace overlooked the local cricket pitch, I explained to Alex the situation.

“I’ve been undergoing a mystical adventure recently,” I said to him, “involving both Tarot and Theurgy. I’ve kept a detailed log of the whole thing and I’m trying to turn it into a book. But I need some help finishing it off, so that’s where you come in. I want you to help finish it, and pretend you wrote it, so people will think it’s a novel.”

“… ‘All the very best, Alex Sumner,’” he said, as he autographed a copy of one of his books for a young blonde girl who just so happened to be passing by at that very moment. He turned back to me. “Yes, yes! An interesting premise. Do go on. Bloody hell, has the waitress gone on holiday or something?”

“Ahem, yes,” I said. I continued: “It strikes me that there have been more than enough books on Tarot and divination, a good number on Tarot and path-working, and quite a few on Tarot and spellcasting for everyday purposes, but almost none on Tarot and pure Theurgy.”

An electronic beeping noise interrupted us: I realised Alex’ iPhone had gone off. “Excuse me, I’ve just got to take this,” he said. “Hello? A love spell you say? Might I just point out that you haven’t yet paid me for the last one? Sod you, goodbye!” He ended the call, looking cross. Immediately though, he brightened up as he put his phone away. “Sorry about that, a former client of mine. Do go on.”

“Well,” I said, “My point is that I’ve in fact seen more books which suggest using Tarot to explore goetic forces, the dark recesses of the lower-self as it were: but none for exploring the higher self through ceremonial magick. Which I find ironic, seeing as the Tarot is so closely aligned to the Qabalah, and the Qabalah is nothing if not the basis for high Theurgic operations.”

“Hmm, I’ll take your word for it,” Alex said. “I really don’t know the first thing about all this Qabalah stuff. I just look it all up on Wikipedia.” I looked at him shocked: but he continued “I’m getting parched, is no-one serving today?”

I looked suspiciously at him for a moment, but then went on. “In so doing,” I said, “I also explored esoteric Christianity, which does not seem to get a wide press in occultism. And yet, under its banner falls some very powerful magical rituals which I have had many trusted friends describe to me as the most powerful they have ever experienced.

I looked at Alex, and felt shocked by his reaction: he seemed to be paying attention to me! Warming to my theme, I quickly continued. “So, to go about writing a book about Tarot and Theurgy: the first thing that occurred to me was that instead of just theorising about it, I should actually do it. For a start it would make it more sympathetic to potential readers. Also, I’ve tended to notice that I’ve actually learnt more from occult writers when the write of their own personal experiences, or publish memoirs based on their magical records, rather than sententious how-to books. For example, the Dancers to the Gods by Alan Richardson, My Life With the Spirits by Lon Milo Duquette, and even some of the books of E A Koetting.”

“OI, CAN I GET SOME FUCKING SERVICE OR WHAT?” Alex bellowed at the top of his voice. Everyone in the restaurant stared at us in shock. A baby started crying. “WE’RE DYING OF THIRST OVER HERE, FOR FUCK’S SAKE.” He turned to me and smiled. “Yeah, that sounds great,” he said in his normal voice. “But why this whole business of making it into a novel?”

“Ah, that’s the clever part, if I say so myself!” I said. “If I were to say to people ‘this is the Truth,’ and then start talking about something unbelievable, that creates a barrier in the reader’s mind which limits their enjoyment of the subject. But if I were to say instead ‘this is Fiction,’ and hence the reader is free to disbelieve it if they so wish, no such barrier exists, and consequently the reader can let his or her imagination run away with it.

“This is how Paulo Coelho, for example, was able to write an inspirational book about Alchemy – by casting it in the form of a novel. On a different subject but related in principle, no-one would have read 1984 by George Orwell if it had just been a ranting essay. But because he wrote it in the form of a fictionalised novel, it’s hailed as an all-time classic.”

“Ah well you’re speaking to the right person,” Alex said.

“I am?” I said, my hopes rising.

“Certainly!” he said. “I’ve been pretending to write decent novels for years!”

I curled my lip in a sort of snarl, but Alex just grinned in an asinine fashion that would have caused someone with a shorter temper than myself to punch him. Hard.

“Most importantly, however,” I said, “with this book I wanted to create a work of Art. Conceptual art, in the form of a book, as it were. De-commodified – like artists have themselves attempted to de-commodify contemporary Art – so making money out of this is not my primary focus.”

“WHAT!?!” Alex cried, suddenly blanching with shock. “No money? Are you mad, woman?”

I shrugged. “I see it as an experiment – performed purely for its own sake. I decide what I want to do, I do it, I write up the results. It’s successful as long as I’ve done it with integrity, and if other people actually happen to like it, that’s a pure bonus.”

“But, but, but…” Alex wailed. “It’s got to have action! It’s got to have violence! It’s got to have at least one chapter set in an abandoned warehouse, and another in the intensive care unit of the local hospital! It’s got to have swearing, gratuitous sex-scenes, preferably between two or more hot lesbians, and it’s got to have lots of cheeky references that will offend any leaders of Masonic orders who – ah! At last!”

At that moment, a young waitress wearing a top displaying ample-cleavage distracted Alex from his rant, and proceeded to take our orders.


“Taromancer” is out, December 11th 2013. Watch this space for further announcements, including details of how to download a free copy!

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Triskaidekaphilia

This year being the one that comes after 2012, and just before 2014, there has recently been a rise in chatter about superstitions, nay, phobias regarding the number 13. I will therefore take this opportunity to present an initiated view of the matter.

People say that 13 is unlucky, but that is a popular misconception: 13 is only unlucky for Christians. For Satanists, on the other hand, 13 must be quite jolly! Seriously, though, the unpleasant associations of centuries of folklore have got in the way of the fact that in the Qabalah the number 13 is a lucky number, for completely unsinister reasons.

"Ahebah" (love) in Hebrew letters.

Ahebah (“love”). Aleph, Heh, Beth, Heh.

In Hebrew Gematria, the word for “love,” Ahebah, enumerates to 13.

Achad ("Unity") in Hebrew letters

Achad (“Unity”). Aleph, Cheth, Daleth.

Whilst “Unity,” Achad, enumerates to 13 as well. Moreover the ineffable Tetragrammaton, Yod Heh Vav Heh, enumerates to 26 or 2*13, hence giving rise to a Qabalistic saying that “God = Love + Unity,” i.e. 26 = 13 + 13.

It gets more interesting when one analyses the symbolism of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. In the 1=10 grade of Zelator, the candidate is admitted (in the first part of the ceremony) with the admission badge of the Fylfot Cross, which is a clockwise swastika (i.e. the reverse of the Nazi symbol) comprising seventeen squares. The squares represent the 12 signs of the Zodiac, the four Elements, and the Sun; and they are arranged so that each of the four arms corresponds to one of the elemental triplicities, with the Sun in the very centre. The arms are (clockwise from top-left): fire, water, air, earth. Moreover each arm is arranged in the same order: the Cardinal sign of a given element is closest to the centre, followed by the Fixed (Kerubic) sign, then the Mutable sign, and finally the symbol of the Element itself at the extremity of the arm.

Now this seventeen-squared fylfot cross has in effect been cutout from a square of twenty-five individual squares – five by five – the same dimensions as the Kamea of Mars. So one day I thought to myself: what would happen if I superimposed the fylfot cross on this very Kamea? I immediately noticed the following: the number of each sign of the Zodiac, when added to that of the sign which opposes it, equals 26, 2*13, the number of the Tetragrammaton. E.g.:

Number derived from Fylfot Cross / Kamea of Mars.
Aries 25
Libra 1
Total 26

Moreover the central square – corresponding to the Sun – is 13, the Number of Unity / Love.Therefore, the Neophyte enters the Zelator hall with the aid of a symbol which suggests that all dualities are ultimately to be resolved in the form of Yod Heh Vav Heh, thereby leading one to Unity.

fylfotThis is just one example: given the central importance of the Tetragrammaton to the Qabalah one should not be surprised that the number 13 may crop up throughout the Western Mystery Tradition, even where one would not expect it.

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