Monthly Archives: December 2013

kalachakra

kalachakra

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Sothis and the 15th Kala of the Moon

On the 15th kala, associated with the Goddess Herself:

“The other vehicle sacred to this kala is the Eagle, the Kerub of Aquarius presiding over the 15th Path. Aquarius plays a vital role in the symbolism of the New Aeon. It is the place of the North attributed to Nuith who brings forth the two waters depicted in the sign of Aquarius as two undulating lines. In the Tarot Trump attributed to this sign a woman is seen pouring the waters from two jars.1496368_170646393146560_242834440_o

The seven-pointed Star of Venus above her is identical with the seven-rayed Star of Babalon, the Seal of Set which comprises the Mother and the Child in one glyph. This is also the Star of Sothis, the planetary representative of which is Venus. Sevenor Sevekh, was the primal goddess of the seven stars (Ursa Major) of the planisphere, and these stars or rays were the seven heads of the Dragon of the Deep that later appeared in the Christian myth as the Beast of the Apocalypse. The Star of the 15th kala is therefore the Star of Sothis or Shaitan, and it is concealed in the feminine generative essence known as the soul or blood of Isis.” – Nightside of Eden, Kenneth Grant

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Do not be distracted

“Being aware means knowing what is really possible. For instance, some people have the intention of dedicating their whole life to practice. The idea is good, but in many cases it turns out not to be realistic. These people want to escape from their responsibilities and from their actual conditions, but this way they do not learn to integrate practice in their lives and they do not work with circumstances. In reality, running away is never the right solution because even if you avoid unpleasant situations, you will tend to always repeat the same actions, even in different circumstances.” – Guru Yoga, Namkhai Norbu

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Radiance of the Eternal Night

Altar

The Great Goddess Herself in the form of Kali is a star traveller. She that moves beyond the realms of light itself is also beyond the confines of time; the first star walker that brought the fire of consciousness to the human race. We know Her in Thelema as Nuit, or Babalon, depending on Her many moods and boons. The Adept that has the siddhi of the Goddess resides in that base of pure awakened consciousness; to such a Victorious One, space and time are tools and the Devotee partaking of this magical grace becomes a traveller through space and time.
Jai Devi! Jai Kali!

Esoteric Significance of the White Lambskin Apron

Another older piece, from 2004

P

erhaps the most universal symbol of Masonry, other than the Square & Compass or the seemingly all pervasive letter G, is that singular mark of distinction which every Entered Apprentice is first presented with — the white lambskin apron. Recognized around the globe as the distinguishing “badge” of the Mason, the lambskin apron is rich with symbolism and practical instruction for the speculative initiate of our Craft who is willing to seek more Light.

One may with great benefit look into the symbolism of the methods of wearing the apron in the three Craft degrees, each encoding storehouses of wisdom in the geometry of their folds; similarly, the various designs of the aprons from the Higher Degrees of Scottish Rite, York Rite, and other Masonic traditions which all contain a wealth of symbolism encoding wisdom from Kabalistic, Hermetic, and Alchemical traditions. However, in this paper I propose to look only to the simple wisdom written into the white lambskin apron itself, which encodes a doctrine of esoteric significance based upon Hermetic Kabala.

We can gleam some level of insight by looking at the presentation of the apron from the ritual of the Entered Apprentice. The monitorial lecture informs us that “the lambskin, or white leather apron”

is an emblem of innocence, and the badge of a Mason; more ancient than the Golden Fleece or Roman Eagle; more honorable than the Star and Garter, or any other Order that can be conferred upon you at this or any future period, by King, Prince, Potentate, or any other person, except he be a Mason, and which I hope you will wear with pleasure to yourself and honor to the Fraternity

Furthermore, the monitorial lecture of the second section adds on the “Badge of a Mason”:

The lamb has in all ages been deemed an emblem of innocence. He, therefore, who wears the lambskin as a badge of Masonry, is thereby continually reminded of that purity of life and conduct which is essentially necessary to his gaining admission into the Celestial Lodge above, where the Supreme Architect of the Universe presides.

As with all the symbols of Masonry, our emblems are richly variegated, and what may appear as a straightforward explanation may oftentimes contain deeper layers of meaning and symbolism as one contemplates the symbols. While the surface interpretations of our symbols teach a moral lesson, one may open up to deeper layers of interpretation with contemplation on the symbols, each layer building upon the previous one.

The first layer of instruction within the white leather apron is that of the moral teaching implicit in the Craft degrees. It is clear then that this emblematic device of the Craft represents innocence, honor, and the purity of life which is necessary for admission into the “Celestial Lodge.” Masonry instructs us that it is a “system of morality veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols.” It has further been defined as a “science which is engaged in the search after the divine truth.”(Mackay). Both of these may be seen as indicators of the ethical structure of Masonry. A simple layer of interpretation of the white apron indicates that its placement at the waist is to purify the sexual instinct of man, which if left unchecked, has more often than not resulted in errors of thought, word and deed. Thus the purity alluded to with the color and placement of the apron has a practical, ethical instruction.

We have already seen that white is a symbol of purity. This color also represents the primal Godhead, which in the Kabala is referred to the sephira Kether, “the Crown.” The white apron is worn at the position of the svadhisthana chakra, hermetically associated with the planet Mars in its night house of the astrological sign of  Scorpio. This refers to the occult Mars Force, which in Hindu yogas is represented as the coiled serpent of Kundalini which is said to lie dormant at the base of the spine. This mars force, or kundalini, is the life force, that creative energy which is the very source and manifestation of life, and manifests naturally as the procreative power. On the Tree of Life, this is referred to the sephira Yesod, the Foundation. The fact that the apron is white indicates that this force, which is natural, is to be purified and consecrated to the work of spiritual illumination; in short, it is to be dedicated to the service of the Divine, symbolized again by the white color acting as a “shield” at the position of the procreative center. This interpretation is not a call for abstinence, but rather for a disciplined and focused channeling of the procreative urge. This focus has been termed occult chastity, in which the procreative urges are dedicated to illumination, or to Deity.

The apron is traditionally made of lambskin, which may be associated with the astrological sign of Aries.  Aries is the day house — the illuminated position — of the planet Mars, even as Scorpio is the Night house or unilluminated position. The sign of Aries is associated with the head, and in the Hindu yogas with the sahasara chakra or thousand and one petaled lotus. Kabalistically this again refers to Kether. The lambskin apron thus shows that the serpent power, represented by Mars and residing in the genital region in its natural (or “night”) state, is to be lifted up towards the Crown (the illuminated or “day” state) by means of purification and consecration, resulting in spiritual regeneration and illumination. It is the work of the initiate to so purify and exalt this primal mars force, raising the kundalini up the spine so that the force enters the cranium, resulting in spiritual consciousness. This is the work of regeneration, the Great Work of spiritual attainment. This may be seen as the symbolic creation of the Hexagram, or the Macrocosm.

It is through application of morality, in addition to the spiritual regeneration and redirection of the Mars force, that one may truly enter into that Celestial Lodge above, the majesty of the Divine which in the Kabala is Kether, the Crown. Knowledge of the esoteric significance of the apron acts as the initiated Key to unlock this Mystery of spiritual regeneration. It is then up to the individual Mason to so apply the Working Tools of our Craft to his physical, emotional, mental and spiritual vehicles that the Light of the Celestial Lodge may indeed radiate into the Sanctum Sanctorum of the Master Mason’s heart.

References

This paper is conjectural and speculative in the truest sense of the words. I am indebted to the various works of Paul Foster Case, Aleister Crowley, Alphonse Louis Constant (Eliphas Levi), and the Indian sage Vivekenanda in particular for the seeds of Light they have implanted.

THE SACRED PENTAGRAM

First written in 2004

INTRODUCTION

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entral on our Rosicrucian Altars in the S.R.I.C.F. is the figure of the Pentagram (also called the pentacle, pentalpha, pentangle, pentancle), a five pointed star, formed by 5 straight lines between the vertices of a pentagon and enclosing another pentagon. The name pentagram is Greek, from penta (“five”) and gramma (“letter”). One of the most intriguing symbols of esotericism, it is has been held to have magical properties since time immemorial, and is a symbol that has been both revered by initiates as a talisman of power, and shunned by the masses in abject fear for hundreds of years.

Today the image of the five pointed star has become almost obsequious to the media, and the symbol has been used to promote Rock music and movies, feed Satanic furor with tales of “ritual slayings,” and other hype.  Additionally, the many neo-pagan movements have adopted the pentagram as their ensign of “natural religion.” More recently, novels such as The Davinci Code have weaved a colorful blend of fact and fiction, and once again brought the image of the Pentagram into popular view. At the same time, there is a long, somewhat quiet esoteric history of usage associated with this symbol which initiates in all times have utilized.

Despite the seeming commonplace appearance of this symbol, it is little understood. This paper will endeavor to highlight some of the symbolic meanings of the pentagram, looking at historical usage across cultures and languages; Masonic usage in both the Craft and Higher Degrees, with emphasis on our Rosicrucian usage; the geometric properties inherent in the symbol, and western occult traditions of initiation and ceremonial magick. It is hoped that this paper will help to cut through the popular misinformation about this symbol, and shed some Light on the real properties and use of this powerful, sacred figure.

HISTORICAL USAGE

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lthough the origin of this symbol is lost in time, some occult authorities try to trace the source of its esoteric significance  back to an astronomical phenomena, the so called “Pentagram of Venus” shown in the figure below[1]:

 

The synodic period of Venus is approximately 584 days. Plotting the greatest elongation west or east of this movement five successive times over a period of approximately 8 years and 5 days traces the figure of a Pentagram on the Zodiacal belt. Incidentally, the numbers 5 and 8 continue to play a role in the Rosicrucian symbolism of the pentagram, as will be seen further on.

The pentagram has been found on potsherds from the pre-cuneiform Uruk period of ancient Babylon (3500BCE). In later periods of Mesopotamian civilization it appears in cuneiform writing to represent the four cardinal directions with the fifth point representing “above;” as such, it represented the dominion of royal authority extending to “the four corners of the world and the heavens above.”

The symbol also appears in Egyptian hieroglyphics, associated with the Goddess Sopdet, who was represented in the night sky by the brightest star, Sirius, the so called Dog Star in the constellation of Canis Major[2]. Interestingly, the name Sirius is from the Greek word seirios, which means “burning,” and brings to mind the Blazing Star of Masonry.

The Pythagoreans called the Pentagram Hugieia, with the combined meanings of “health,” “wholeness” and “blessings.” The letters of this word were placed around the points of the pentagram. According to Iamblichus, the five-pointed star was the Pythagorean sign of recognition and held sacred as a symbol of divine perfection. The Greek Goddess of Health was Hygeia, or the Roman Salus. Both of these names appear on talismans from Greek and Roman periods, with the image of the pentagram central.

Pythagoras was a known traveler, and the fact that he appears in Indian tantrik texts by name as Yavanacharya (“the Greek teacher”) may explain why the Pentagram also appears in early Hindu tantrik writings and art.

To the ancient Hebrews, the Pentagram was the symbol of Truth and the five books of the Pentateuch. Ameth, the Hebrew word for Truth, is associated with humanity by the kabbalistic technique of temurah using the Aiq Beqr system, which utilizes letter substitution according to specific rules[3]. Later it will be seen that the very geometry of the Pentagram also encodes the idea of mankind and Truth.

The Pentagram found its way onto many Gnostic amulets. According to Budge

Gnostic amulets contained the pentacle which contained the ineffable name YHWH within it.  More often the names Moses or Solomon were represented, Moses because he was connected with the setting up of the brazen serpent, and Solomon because his seal worked miracles.[4]

The early Christians associated the Pentagram with the five wounds of Christ. Later kabalistic Christians would associate the name of Christ in Hebrew characters, IHShVH or Yeheshua, to the five points of the pentagram. This method also shows the divine Tetragrammaton associated to the four points of the star, with the fifth top point being ascribed to the Hebrew letter shin, which symbolized spirit and fire, or the Holy Ghost. Thus the pentagram represented the descent of the divine fire into the world.

The Pentagram has been associated with the Star of Bethlehem  or Three Kings’ Star, which led the Magi to the newborn Christ. Of these ideas Pike writes:

The Star which guided [the Magi] is that same Blazing Star, the image whereof we find in all initiations. To the Alchemists it is the sign of the Quintessence; to the Magists, the Grand Arcanum; to the Kabalists, the Sacred Pentagram. The study of this Pentagram could not but lead the Magi to the knowledge of the New Name which was about to raise itself above all names, and cause all creatures capable of adoration to bend the knee.[5]

In the Arthurian legend of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the Pentagram was emblazoned in gold on Gawain’s shield, representing the five virtues of generosity, courtesy, chastity, chivalry and piety.

The symbol of the pentagram appears on many Knights Templar graves in France, as well as being intrinsic to the architecture and positioning of many chapels. One dramatic example is the mysterious shrine of Rennes du Chartres, said to be a center of Templar activity, which is situated in the center of a ring of mountains that form a nearly perfect pentagram.

The symbolism of the Western Mystery tradition has assigned the four elements of earth, air, water and fire to the four points of the pentagram, with the top point being attributed to the quintessence, or spirit. From this pattern is then attributed Kabalistic hierarchies of Archangles (Auriel for Earth, Raphael to Air, Gabriel for Water,  and Michael with Fire), the Four Worlds (Assiah, Yetzirah, Briah and Atziluth), parts of the soul, and many more correspondences which are too lengthy to address in this paper.

MASONIC USAGE

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he Zelator ritual of S.R.I.C.F. briefly introduces the symbolism of the Pentagram on the Altar to the new postulant:

The Five-pointed Star reminds us of the five points of felicity, which are to walk with, to intercede for, to love, to assist, and to pray for our Brethren, so as to be united with them in heart and mind.

As an emblem of the five points of felicity, the Pentagram reminds us of our duties towards our brethren of the Rose and Cross throughout the world.

Further in the ritual the subject of number symbolism is addressed, and the number five is explained as

the emblem of Health and Safety; it is also denominated the Occult number; the Pentagram was a famous talisman; it represents Spirit and the four elements.

 

The reference to health and safety is interesting as it is reminiscent of the Greek hygeia discussed earlier.

The Pentagram may be seen as symbolic of the entire course of initiation in the S.R.I.C.F. First Order, as the elemental degrees are easily associated with the elemental points of the Pentagram; while initiation into the Second Order represents the quintessence or fifth, top-most point of the Star. In this way, the candidate of the S.R.I.C.F. symbolically builds up the power of the pentagram internally as they progress through and assimilate the lessons of the degrees. Entrance to the Second Order would then represent Adepthood, as the initiate has established the flaming star within their very heart of hearts and embodies the very essence of the Pentagram, and is a living embodiment of the Stone of the Philosophers.

Within the Craft degrees, the figure of the Pentagram may also be seen in the image of the 5 rayed Blazing Star. According to Albert Pike, the pentagram is synonymous with the Blazing Star of Masonic Lodges:

The Blazing Star in our Lodges, we have already said, represents Sirius, Anubis, or Mercury, Guardian and Guide of Souls. Our Ancient English brethren also considered it an emblem of the Sun. In the old Lectures they said: ‘The Blazing Star or Glory in the centre refers us to that Grand Luminary the Sun, which enlightens the Earth, and by its genial influence dispenses blessings to mankind. It is also said in those lectures to be an emblem of Prudence. The word Prudentia means, in its original and fullest signification, Foresight: and accordingly the Blazing Star has been regarded as an emblem of Omniscience, or the All-Seeing Eye, which to the Ancients was the Sun.[6]

He further associates this star with the “Divine Energy, manifested as Light, creating the Universe.[7]

The Masonic scholar Rex Hutchins asserts that the Pentagram

is the symbol of the Divine in man… The five-pointed star with a single point upward represents the Divine. It also symbolizes man for its five points allude to the five senses, the five members (head, arms and legs) and his five fingers on each hand, which signify the tokens that distinguish Masons.

Furthermore he writes that this figure

is the symbol of the Microcosm, the universe where humans dwell. Since the pentagon which encloses the pentagram may be formed by connecting the five points of the human body, for many centuries the symbol was also used to represent humanity in general.

Within this symbol then is a representation of humanity, and our Divine role in the Universe as co-creators of eternity.

In addition to being a central altar piece in our Rosicrucian Temples, and the Blazing Star of the Craft Lodges, the Pentagram appears as an ensign in some of the High Degrees and rites. For example, it is central on the apron of the 28th Degree of the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, Knight of the Sun or Prince Adept.  In discussing the symbol of the pentagram in the lecture of this degree, Pike writes in Morals & Dogma that

 

in certain undertakings [the Pentagram] cannot be dispensed with. It is what is termed the Kabalistic pentacle… This carries with it the power of commanding the spirits of the elements.

A central lesson of this highly Kabalistic and Alchemical degree is that there is no death, only change.  The Pentagram, symbol of humanity as the microcosm is an apt representation of this wisdom which, to one who has internalized it, may have that contempt for death which is expressed in the line from 1 Corinthians – “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”

In the same lecture, Pike alludes to the true meaning of this radiant symbol:

When the masters in Alchemy say that it needs but little time and expense to accomplish the works of Science. When they affirm, above all, that but a single vessel is necessary, when they speak of the Great and Single furnace, which all can use, which is within the reach of all the world, and which men possess without knowing it, they allude to the philosophical and moral Alchemy. In fact, a strong and determined will can, in a little while, attain complete independence; and we all possess that chemical instrument, the great and single athanor or furnace, which serves to separate the subtle from the gross, and the fixed from the volatile. This instrument, complete as the world, and accurate as the mathematics themselves, is designated by the Sages under the emblem of the Pentagram or Star with five points, the absolute sign of human intelligence.

It may be said that the Pentagram represents the power of the Divine Will, as manifested in Humanity, to effect conscious change. As conscious participants with the Divine Will, humanity is in the unique position of being able to be co-creators with the Divine.

Our sisters of the Eastern Star utilize a Pentagram as their primary symbol. Interestingly, their usage places the pentagram “upside down,” with two points on top and a single point facing down. According to esoteric tradition, this usage indicates the “evil” forces of darkness. The occult authority Eliphas Levi writes in Transcendental Magic:

The Pentagram with two horns in the ascendant represents Satan, or the goat of the Sabbath, and with the single horn in the ascendant is the sign of the Savior. It is the figure of the human body with the four members and a point representing the head; a human figure head downward naturally represents the demon, that is, intellectual subversion, disorder and folly.

As to whether the author of the Easter Star rituals was aware of these qualities when designing the emblem of the rite is most likely unknown. A contemporary member of the Eastern Star has informed us that the explanation of the symbol she received attributes the two points as facing towards the east, providing an unobstructed channel from the altar to the Eastern dais, as well as creating a confined center or “chamber” in the east that is formed between the two extended points and the dais. All Masons would be familiar with the idea of having the path from the Altar to the East clear at all times, and this may in fact be the most probable reason for the design.

GEOMETRIC CONSIDERATIONS

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ncoded into the very structure of the Pentagram is the golden section, a particular proportion in geometry that has been praised by artists for centuries as embodying the very divine beauty in form. Mathematically, the golden section  refers to the division of a line segment into extreme and mean proportions; that is, a line is divided such that the smaller part is to the greater, as the greater is to the whole. The golden section has been used extensively in post-Hellenic architecture, as well as playing a large role in the construction of early Cathedrals. The work of Michelangelo is just one example of the use artists have made of this special proportion.

Paul Foster Case says of the golden section appearing in the pentagram:

The occult interpretation of this mathematical proportion is sometimes expressed in the maxim: ‘Nature is to man as man is to God.’ The proportion itself is often called the Golden Section of Pythagoras, and is associated with the Hermetic axiom: ‘That which is above is as that which is below, and that which is below is as that which is above.’

 

If a square is added to the longer side of a golden rectangle, a larger golden rectangle is then formed. Continuing the pattern, the golden section reveals itself to be part of the Fibonacci Series, where each number in the series is obtained by adding the previous two numbers: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13… The Fibonacci series is a naturally occurring pattern that is found in nature, such as the growth patterns of trees, the nautilus shell, pine cones, crystals, leaves and the human body. Clearly the stamp of the Great Architect is found in the world, with the wonders of creation!

The golden section of the Pentagram is approximated with the numbers 5 and 8 of the Fibonacci series. Interestingly, the dimensions of the Rosicrucian Vault of C.R. as described in the core document the Fama Fraternitatis are said to be 8 feet tall and 5 feet wide. This mysterious vault was said to be a “compendium of the universe,” each wall illustrated with Kabalistic and Hermetic symbols.

OCCULT PROPERTIES

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he Pentagram has a long history of occult use. It was by use of a poorly constructed Pentagram that Mephistopheles was able to manifest in the circle of Faust! Magical grimoires of the western esoteric tradition are replete with examples of pentagrams being used as protective and evocatory talismans, or as the seals of circles of the Art which were traced on the floor of the ritual chamber. Literally thousands of examples are extant from the works of Trithemius, Dr. John Dee, Heinrich Agrippa, Kircher, Bruno, and many others, which show the hermetic and kabalistic applications of the Pentagram in ceremonial ritual use.

Perhaps one of the most evocative descriptions of the occult powers of this symbol comes from the magician Eliphas Levi (Alphonse Louis Constant), who writes of the Pentagram in his book Transcendental Magic:

The Pentagram expresses the mind’s domination over the elements and it is by this sign that we bind the demons of the air, the spirits of fire, the spectres of water, and the ghosts of earth.  It is the Star of the Magi, the burning star of the Gnostic schools, the sign of intellectual omnipotence and autocracy.  Its complete comprehension is the key of two worlds‑‑it is absolute natural philosophy and natural science.  Its use, how­ever, is most dangerous to operators who do not completely and perfectly understand it.  All mysteries of magic, all symbols of the gnosis, all figures of occultism, all Qabalis­tic keys of prophecy, are resumed in the sign of the Pentagram, which Paracelsus pro­claims to be the greatest and most potent of all.

[…] this absolute sign, this sign as old or as older than history, should and must actually exercise an incalculable influence on souls disengaged from their material envelope. Armed therewith and suitably disposed, we can behold infinity through the medium of that faculty which is as the Soul’s Eye, and can cause ourselves to be served by legions of angels and demon hordes. The empire of the Will over the Astral Light which is the physical soul of the four elements, is represented in magic by the Pentagram.

If it be asked how a sign can exercise that immense power over spirits which is claimed for the Pentagram, we inquire in turn why the Christian world bows before the sign of the cross. The sign by itself is nothing, it derives strength from the doctrine which is resumes, and of which it is the Logos. Now, a sign which epitomizes by expression all the occult forces of Nature, which has always manifested to the elementary and other spirits a power superior to their own, naturally strikes them with fear and respect, and enforces their obedience by the empire of knowledge and will over ignorance and weakness.

The points of the pentagram are often associated with the five-fold name of the Christ, IHShVH or Yeheshua. Paul Foster Case describes this:

The letters at the five points of the pentagram are the Roman characters corresponding to Yod, Heh, Shin, Vau and Heh. They are the letters which spell the divine name IHVH, Jehovah, with the ‘holy letter,’ Shin, symbol of the Holy Spirit, placed between the first two and last two letters, thus: I H Sh V H. This is the occult and Rosicrucian spelling of the name Yeheshua, or Jesus…’It is the symbol of the Word made flesh.’ […] every pentagram … symbolizes the mystical name IHShVH…[8]

 

CONCLUSION

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s one of the most powerful talismans of antiquity, the Pentagram shows the divine nature of mankind as intermediaries between God and the lower orders of being.  A symbol of health and protection, it has been used by countless cultures on charms, in magical grimoires, carved on temples and used in magical and meditative practices.

Embodied within this geometric figure are the codes which signify the very Vault of the Rosicrucian Adepts; as well as signs showing where the true vault lies, centered in that internal sanctuary of the heart, the Secret Temple of the Master.

Signifying man’s dominion over the elements, the pentagram suggests that humanity partakes of its Creators essence and is in fact a co-heir of eternity, working with the Deity as living temples of the Most High God.

In our Rosicrucian Temples, the Pentagram is also reminder of the divine blessings of IHShVH and the  Victory on the Cross. In this sense, the Pentagram represents the Rose Cross Lamen, with a blooming Red Rose of Victory and Divine Will upon the Golden Calvary Cross of the elements which are transformed through the alembic of our hearts into Alchemical Gold of the Sun.

The Pentagram represents the agency of Divine Will, the radiant inexhaustible Will of the Christos, flowing forth endlessly through humanity. That same Divine power which Psalm 91 alludes to, and from which the protection of the Divine is granted

9   Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
10   There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
11   For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
12   They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
13   Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
14   Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
15   He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
16   With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

— Psalm 91

Appendix I:

Aiq Bekar (The Kabalah of Nine Chambers)

The system of temurah known as Aiq Bekar divides the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet into a grid of 9 chambers with their numerical values:

 
    Sh    L     G              R     K     B            Q     Y     A
   300   30     3            200    20     2            100    10     1
 
    M     S     V              K     N     H            Th     M     D
   600   60     6            500    50     5            400    40     4
 
    Tz    Tz    T              P     P    Ch            N     O     Z
   900    90    9            800    80     8            700    70     7

 

This grid is then used as the template from which to permutate words, which are either expanded or minimized.

In Hebrew, the word for man is ADM, adam. This is not an individual man, rather it represents humanity as a whole, mankind. The Hebrew letters enumerate to the number 45.

Using the Aiq Bekar grid, the word ADM may be permuted into the word AMTh (emeth), which means Truth and has the value of 441.

Using this system, the Kabalah indicates that Man embodies Truth, and that Truth is in fact in Man.

Appendix II:

The Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram

While its origins are now most likely lost in the mists of obscurity and time, one of the more well known applications of the Pentagram is in the ritual of the Pentagram popularized by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the occult organization founded in the 19th century by high ranking members of the S.R.I.A.

Described by Israel Regardie as a “spiritual tonic” and the very “stone of the philosophers,” the Ritual of the Pentagram has been used in one form or another by various individuals and groups for prayer, spiritual attainment, meditation, and the ritual acts of banishing and invoking.

Take a steel dagger in the right hand. Face East.

Touch thy forehead
and say ATEH (Thou art)

Touch thy breast
and say MALKUTH (the Kingdom)

Touch thy right shoulder
and say VE-GEBURAH (and the Power)

Touch thy left shoulder
and say VE-GEDULAH (and the Glory)

Clasp thy hands before thee
and say LE-OLAM (for ever)

Dagger between fingers, point up
and say AMEN.

Make in the Air toward the East the invoking PENTAGRAM as shown and, bringing the point of the dagger to the centre of the Pentagram, vibrate the DEITY NAME — YOD HE VAU HE — imagining that your voice carries forward to the East of the Universe.

Holding the dagger out before you, go to the South, make the Pentagram and vibrate similarly the deity name — ADONAI.

Go to the West, make the Pentagram and vibrate EHIEH.

Go to the North, make the Pentagram and vibrate AGLA.

Return to the East and complete your circle by bringing the dagger point to the centre of the first Pentagram.

Stand with arms outstretched in the form of a cross and say:—

BEFORE ME RAPHAEL
BEHIND ME GABRIEL
AT MY RIGHT HAND MICHAEL
AT MY LEFT HAND AURIEL
BEFORE ME FLAMES THE PENTAGRAM —
BEHIND ME SHINES THE SIX-RAYED STAR

Again make the Qabalistic Cross as directed above, saying ATEH, etc.

For Banishing use the same Ritual, but reversing the direction of the lines of the Pentagram.

REFERENCES

Agrippa, Henry Cornelius. Three Books of Occult Philosophy (ed. Donald Tyson). Lllewellyn, 2000.

Budge, E.A. Wallis. Amulets and Supersitionss. Dover, 1977

 

Budge, E.A. Wallis. The Gods of the Egyptians Dover, 1969.

Case, Paul Foster. The Great Seal of the United States. Builders of the Adytum, 1935.

Case, Paul Foster. The True and Invisible Rosicrucian Order. Weiser, 1985.

Coil, Henry Wilson. Coil’s Masonic Encyclopedia. Macoy Publishing, 1996.

Crowley, Aleister. 777 and Other Qabalistic Writings. (ed. Israel Regardie). Weiser, 1986.

Hall, Manly P. The Secret Teachings of All Ages (Masonic, Hermetic, Qabbalistic and Rosicrucian Symbolical Philosophy). Philosophical Research Society, 1977.

Hutchins, Rex. A Bridge to Light . Supreme Council 33rd Degree, 1995.

Levi, Eliphas. The History of Magic. (trans. A.E. Waite). Weiser Books, 2001.

Levi, Eliphas. Transcendental Magic (trans. A.E. Waite). Weiser Books, 2001.

Mackenzie, Kenneth. Royal Masonic Cyclopaedia. Aquarian Press, 1987.

Mackey, Albert. An Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry and Its Kindred Sciences. (New & Revised, 2 vols). Masonic History Company, 1921.

Magee, Michael (trans). Vamakeshvaratantra (Part of the Nityasodashiarnava).. PP, Varanasi, 1989.

Pike, Albert. Morals & Dogma, Supreme Council of the 33rd Degree AASR, 1950.

Regardie, Israel (ed.), The Golden Dawn. Llewellyn, 1989.

Scriven, David. Some Notes on the Esoteric Geometry of the Pentagram, Privately published, 1989.

Societas Roscruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis, First Order Rituals. Privately published, High Council, S.R.I.C.F.

Stirling, William. The Canon: An Exposition of the Pagan Mystery Perpetuated in the Cabala as the Rule of all the Art. Weiser Books, 1999.

Waite, A.E. The Holy Kabbalah. Citadel Press, 1995.

Additional notes on the synodic period of Venus were obtained from the website of the Masonic Grand Lodge of British Columbia: http://freemasonry.bcy.ca/anti-masonry/venus.html



[1] Image from the European Southern Observatory  website: http://www.vt 2004.org/Education/edu1app5.html

[2] The star system known as Sirius is actually composed of twin stars. The brightest “star” in the night sky, Sirius has long been associated with a tradition of occult doctrine. In ancient Egypt the heliacal rising of Venus signaled the annual inundation of the Nile which provided the rich alluvial soil on the banks of the river. As such, Venus was associated with the Goddess Isis, associated with fertility and nature. It was during the “Dog Days” of summer when this phenomena occurred.

 

[3] See Appendix 1.

 

[4] E. A. Wallis Budge, Amulets and Superstitions, p. 203

 

[5] Albert Pike, Morals & Dogma, pg. 842

 

[6] Albert Pike, Morals & Dogma, pg. 506

 

[7] ibid, pg. 16

[8] For an excellent kabbalistic study of the Name IHShVH, see The Name of Names by Paul Foster Case.

The Stone Which the Builders Refused

Originally written 28 April 2007 (revised)

BACKGROUND

In the Ancient Mysteries, the quest for Gnosis or self-discovery was central to the doctrines and teachings. Across the portico of the Temple at Delphi (dedicated to the God Apollo and seat of the celebrated Oracle), were the words GNOTHI SEAUTON, meaning “Know Thyself.”

The journey of Freemasonry is the ongoing search for Light. Underlying all of our rituals, symbols, and teachings is this one essential element. The ongoing journey takes many forms to as many different people, but this journey for Light is arguably one of self-discovery, a search for Gnosis.

Countless systems of meditation and mysticism have developed across the world to address this eternal search for Light, to answer the great questions of existence. Whatever the origins of Freemasonry, it is clear that within our rituals is contained a remarkably vast ark of the worlds philosophies, mysteries, and systems of self-discovery. The rituals contain keys to the Royal Art, which if applied in earnest may help to attain the common goal of further Light.

WORDS AND NUMBERS

One of the techniques for mining the depths of symbolism in our rituals is that of applying the doctrines of the literal Kabbalah in an examination of some of the key words and symbols presented in the rituals.

In many ancient languages, numbers were represented by letters of the alphabet. Mystics concluded that the numerical value of words could be of significance, particularly when two or more seemingly unrelated words had an identical numerical value. The literal Kabbalah is a set of techniques that meditatively explore the relationships between letters of ancient alphabets, such as Hebrew, Greek and Latin, and their numerical equivalents.[1]

In S.L. MacGregor Mather’s introduction to his 1888 translation of Kabbalah Unveiled (Knorr von Rosenroth, 1684) one provenance of these techniques is given:

The Kabbalah was first taught by God himself to a select company of angels, who formed a theosophic school in Paradise. After the Fall the angels most graciously communicated this heavenly doctrine to the disobedient child of earth, to furnish the protoplasts with the means of returning to their pristine nobility and felicity. From Adam it passed over to Noah, and then to Abraham, the friend of God, who emigrated with it to Egypt, where the patriarch allowed a portion of this mysterious doctrine to ooze out. It was in this way that the Egyptians obtained some knowledge of it, and the other Eastern nations could introduce it into their philosophical systems. Moses, who was learned in all the wisdom of Egypt, was first initiated into the Qabalah in the land of his birth, but became most proficient in it during his wanderings in the wilderness, when he not only devoted to it the leisure hours of the whole forty years, but received lessons in it from one of the angels. By the aid of this mysterious science the law-giver was enabled to solve the difficulties which arose during his management of the Israelites, in spite of the pilgrimages, wars, and frequent miseries of the nation. He covertly laid down the principles of this secret doctrine in the first four books of the Pentateuch, but withheld them from Deuteronomy. Moses also initiated the seventy elders into the secrets of this doctrine, and they again transmitted them from hand to hand. Of all who formed the unbroken line of tradition, David and Solomon were the most deeply initiated into the Kabbalah. No one, however, dared to write it down, till Schimeon Ben Jochai, who lived at the time of the destruction of the second temple . . . . . After his death, his son, Rabbi Eleazar, and his secretary, Rabbi Abba, as well as his disciples, collated Rabbi Simon Ben Jochai’s treatises, and out of these composed the celebrated work called ZHR, Zohar, splendour, which is the grand storehouse of Kabbalism.

The literal Kabbalah consists of three techniques: Gematria (numerical value of words and their relationship); Notariqon, in which the individual letters of a word are taken as the initials of another word (or the reverse – a sentence may be reduced to a word); and Temurah, or permutation of letters according to specific rules.

Each of these techniques may yield rich results when applied to the rituals and symbols of Freemasonry. Albert Pike made great use of gematria and isopsephy in his many examinations of the words of the degrees of the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite. In Morals & Dogma Pike refers to Kabbalah as the “key of the occult sciences.”

A CONCEALED KEY

An example of Kabbalistic insight may be applied to the celebrated insignia in Chapters of Royal Arch Freemasonry — the Triple Tau. The Ritual gives several mottos which seem to allude to a concealed treasure or hidden truth:

Templum Hierosolyma (“The Temple of Jerusalem”)

Clavis ad Thesaurum (“A key to a treasure”)

Theca ubi res pretiosa deponitur (“A place where a precious thing is concealed”)

Res ipsa pretiosa (“The precious thing itself’)

There continues to be much speculation about this “treasure” and connections with the Knight Templar and mystic Rosicrucians. Perhaps these riches are much closer than we think, and of a decidedly different nature.

Kenneth Mackenzie, in his Royal Masonic Cyclopaedia, describes the Triple Tau:

Anciently the Tau was a mystical sign, not at all like the square letter Hebrew, but more cruciform, and almost identical with the ankh of the Egyptians, otherwise known as the Crux ansata. It was a mark in use among many ancient nations, and not peculiar to the Jews; and it is found among the Hindus, and these last placed it on the foreheads of their disciples. It was a symbol of salvation and consecration, and as such has been adopted as a Masonic symbol in the Royal Arch and in some other degrees of high Masonry.

General Albert Pike, writing from his office as Grand Commander of the Supreme Council of the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry in his monumental tome Morals & Dogma, further adds:

The triple Tau, in the center of a circle and a triangle, typifies the Sacred Name; and represents the Sacred Triad, the Creating, Preserving, and Destroying Powers; as well as the three great lights of Masonry. If to the Masonic point within a Circle, and the two parallel lines, we add the single Tau Cross, we have the Ancient Egyptian Triple Tau.

A column in the form of a cross, with a circle over it, was used by the Egyptians to measure the increaswe of the inundations of the Nile. The Tau and Triple Tau are found in many Ancient Alphabets.

With the Tau or the Triple Tau may be connected, within two circles, the double cube, or perfection; or the perfect ashlar.

The Crux Ansata is found on the sculptures of Khorsabad; on the ivories from Nimroud, of the same age, carried by an Assyrian Monarch; and on cylinders of the later Assyrian period.

As the single Tau represents the one God, so, no doubt, the Triple Tau, the origin of which cannot be traced, was meant to represent the Trinity of his attributes, the three Masonic pillars, Wisdom, Strength, and Harmony.

The One God alluded to above is further described in Exodus 3:13 – 15:

13   And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?
14   And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
15   And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, the LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.

Other considerations of the nature of this hidden treasure aside, there is concealed Kabbalistically the very Triple Tau itself within these passages of the Bible.

The Hebrew name of the Great Architect of the Universe that is translated as “I Am That I Am” is אהיה אשר אהיה .

The Atbash cipher of Hebrew notariqon is a simple substitution cipher that takes the Hebrew alphabet and splits it in half and reverses it, substituting the corresponding letters; א transmutes to ת, ב changes to ש, ג to ר, and so on; essentially reversing the entire alphabet.

Applying the Atbash cipher to this Name of the Highest God, the three initial א’s of the phrase are transformed into three ת’s, thus revealing the Triple Tau.[2]

Through the application of Kabbalistic inquiry, this symbol may thus be seen as a representation of the name of the Most High, showing that thetrue hidden treasure of the Freemasonry is not necessarily buried underneath the Temple of Solomon (or Rosslyn Chapel!), but is concealed in the hidden chambers of our hearts.

SOLVE ET COAGULA

A lesson of the Royal Arch degree demonstrates another application of gematria which may unlock mysteries pertaining to the central doctrine of the ancient mysteries which is encoded in Freemasonry, the idea of Light in Extension.

A passage from Psalm 118:22 reads:

The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.

In Hebrew, the phrase “the Stone which the Builders refused” is Ehben Masu Ha-Bonaim (ABN MASV H BVNIM). An interesting connection to Alchemy occurs here, in that the reference to a rejected stone recalls the idea of the Philosopher’s Stone, made up of materials that are commonly rejected or abhorred, but praised as the roots of philosophical gold by the alchemists. The root of the Hebrew masu means “to despise, reject, refuse.” Using the techniques of gemaria, the numeration of the entire phrase is 273.

Other Hebrew words which have this same numerical value:

ChVRM ABIV, Khurum Abiv – “Hiram Abiff”

AVR GNVZ, Aur Ganuz, — “hidden light”

Qabalistically one may intuit a connection between the Widow’s Son, the Stone which the Builders refused, and the concept of Hidden or Concealed Light. The cornerstone takes on a new, profound meaning with these added levels of symbolism encoded into it.

The Substitute for the Ancient Master’s Word may be a notariqon of this phrase:

MAsu HA BONaim

Thus, the word becomes indicative of the Light of Masonry in a very direct sense, referring to Hiram Abiff, the Cornerstone of the Temple, the Hidden Light. The symbols build upon one another, each taking one deeper into the heart of the matter.

Looking to the Greek language, there are two words of particular relevance that also enumerate to 273:

Anthanasia, “immortality.” Perhaps a further reference to the doctrine of the Third Degree.

Heh Kleis, “the key.”

The Key… Hiram Abiff… The Stone which the Builders Refused… The Cornerstone… Immortality… Hidden Light… all encoded into the substitute for the Word of a Master Mason, and the symbolism of the Sublime Degree of Masonry.

THE TANTRAS

The triple tau may be seen to show the viparita maithuna (female superior) position of Hindu tantrism. This is the classic position of several tantrik deities, showing the male shakta or Shiva lying prone, with the female shakti sitting astride him. Most famously, the images of Kali on top of the corpse of Shiva are depicted in this position. In his book Sexual Occultism, John Mumford describes the viparita thus:

Man lies down face up with the goddess surmounting and riding him. She clips his Lingam in her Yoni, using the powerful vaginal muscles to massage and milk him. Her clitoris is freely exposed to digital stimulation by him, which almost guarantees simultaneous orgasms. [Viparita maithuna] is noted for producing particularly strong vaginal sensations because of the stretch applied to the front wall of the vagina by the penis, which is forcibly pulled back from a normal forty-five degree angle.

In discussing the inert, corpse-like state of Shiva without his Shakti, Nitin Kumar writes in his article Shakti: Power And Femininity In Indian Art:

To regain his Shakti and return from his trance like state, the power of the goddess must repossess and complete him. This metaphysical process of union is depicted graphically through the act of sexual intercourse. But it is no regular act of making love. Here it is the woman who rides the male. In this inverted sexual position, the female straddles the male and is the prime mover and active power. This reverse act of lovemaking is known in Sanskrit as viparita-rati.

It should also be noted that the symbol of the Triple Tau,, is in the center of a red equilateral triangle. In the Hindu tantras this triangle is the yoni tattva, the central component of the Kali Yantra  the symbol of the creative womb of the Goddess. 

CONCLUSION

Whatever the original provenance and impetus of Freemasonry, it seems clear that encoded within the rituals is a profound doctrine of spiritual illumination or Gnosis. With the application of tools such as gematria, isopsophy, temurah and notariqon, a wealth of otherwise hidden wisdom begins to reveal itself. Applying the lamp of focused consciousness on these symbols, the treasure chest opens.

Symbols may be thought of as living, dynamic centers of energy. By focusing on them and taking them into deep contemplation, this energy is unlocked from within, revealing the Royal Art as a series of signposts in consciousness. By following these signs into meditation, we may eventually come away with a further, profounder understanding of ourselves and our position in the universe.

REFERENCES

King James Bible, various editions.

Agrippa, Henry Cornelius. Three Books of Occult Philosophy (ed. Donald Tyson). Lllewellyn, 2000.

Barry, Kieren. The Greek Qabalah: Alphabetic Mysticism and Numerology in the Ancient World. Weiser, 1999.

Case, Paul Foster. The True and Invisible Rosicrucian Order. Weiser, 1985.

Crowley, Aleister. The Equinox, Volume I number VIII. Weiser, 1992.

Mackenzie, Kenneth. Royal Masonic Cyclopaedia. Aquarian Press, 1987.

Mackey, Albert. An Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry and Its Kindred Sciences. (New & Revised, 2 vols). Masonic History Company, 1921.

Mathers, S.L. MacGregor. The Kabbalah Unveiled. Weiser, 1989.

Pike, Albert. Morals & Dogma, Supreme Council of the 33rd Degree AASR, 1950.

Pike, Albert. Sybolism of the Blue Degrees of Freemasonry (Albert Pike’s Esoterika). Transcribed & Edited by Arturo de Hoyos. Scotish Rite Resarch Society, 2005.

Rees, Julian. Making Light: A Handbook for Freemasons. Lewis Masonic, 2006.

Stirling, William. The Canon: An Exposition of the Pagan Mystery Perpetuated in the Cabala as the Rule of all the Art. Weiser Books, 1999.

Waite, A.E. The Holy Kabbalah. Citadel Press, 1995.


[1] Although the Hebrew Kabbalah is perhaps the most celebrated, there is a rich tradition of Greek isopsephy which utilizes similar techniques, and the Latin alphabet is filled with many examples. Masonry is treasure trove of Kabbalistic wisdom, Albert Pike perhaps being the champion of this research in Masonry.

[2] According to Dr. Hugh Schonfiled, Atbash may also be applied to a spelling of Baphomet (בפוםת ), which gives שופיא, a possible attempt in Hebrew of the transliteration of the Greek word sophia, meaning “wisdom”. (See http://www.templarhistory.com/atbash.html).

13 Dimensional Art

It was Nietzsche  that said “when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.” (Beyond Good and Evil).  Mystics and adepts of western esoteric traditions have long been aware of this principle, although rarely have individuals taken their path to such visceral levels, emphasizing instead the LVX of the Tree of Life and the dayside or Solar mysteries of the Holy Guardian Angel.  This is the beginning of the path.

Once armed at all points, the journey to the depths of existence must commence in earnest. Certain advanced occult groups and individuals have made the exploration of the Void their focus; due to the very nature of such work, they tend to function as specialized cells forming secretive networks of travelers and explorers across space and time. For such, the distant stars and endless gulf of space are a matrix of time travel and indeed the very face of the Abyss, looking within.

The tantriks of Vajrayana and Hindu Vamamarga traditions have opened gateways to the Beyond and looked deep past frontiers of the known into that primal radiant darkness. In the cremation ground sadhanas of the Dark Goddess, the extra-temporal eternity of the Kalachakra, and the eternal presence of Dzogchen are embodiments of this secret tradition.

It is the artist perhaps that most directly opens to these grand vistas, and has the capacity to communicate what thy have experienced on the other side. Whether with visual, musical or poetic, the artist cohabitates most intimately with that nameless Void. As with the myth of Prometheus, stealing fire from the Gods and bringing it back to humanity, the artist travels to such realms of the empyream as are only glimpsed fleetingly by dayside consciousness. The artist conquers their fear and hesitation, leaping forward into the Unknown, and brings back such dark fruits as their capacity will permit.

One such artist working today is Malvika Jay. Her 13 Dimensional Art project is described by the artist as “(awakening) Fantastic, metaphysical and surrealistic subject matter, kaleidoscopic, fractal or paisley patterns, bright and/or highly contrasting colours, extreme depth of detail or stylisation of detail.” I would go further and say that what she has managed to convey oftentimes defies the minds capacity to analyze and label. The shadows drip like liquid light into vaguely recognizable forms, then again dissolve before your eyes only to recombine again into something else, something other. The closer you look, the more you realize that what was initially familiar is truly otherworldly, as new connections, new shadows radiate out into a spectrum of color that is not of this earth. This work is alive, and breathing, and right in front of your face. Even should you look away it is too late, for it has met your eyes and continues to stare deep into your soul, long after the visual image has subsided.

Do check out her ongoing magick that acts as gateways to other dimensions, time travel, extra-terrestrial and multi-dimensional entities, non-euclidean visions… Come close and warm yourself by the Fire she has stolen from the Stars. Look closely; you will be forever changed by what you see looking back at you.

13 Dimensional Art

 

 

 

 

Blessings of the Solstice

May that Mighty One, that Great Goddess of Infinite Space & Infinite Stars, that Radiant Darkness that is both the womb of all manifestation and also the Destroyer of all Space and Time, who grants all siddhis and whose laughter is the vibration that manifests infinite universes, that dear one, that dancing goddess in the cremation grounds, surrounded by jackals and dogs, black crows and ghosts, drinking liquor from a Kapala, with luminous dark eyes, that beautiful one, that victorious one, that invincible one, Mighty Kali, be praised!

Image

Trees of Eternity

Kali

Unless occultism becomes creative in the sense of opening up new approaches, modifying and developing traditional concepts and generally revealing a little more of the Supreme Goddess whose identity is hidden behind the veil of Isis, Kali, Nuit or Sothis, there will be stagnation in the swamp of beliefs rendered inert by the recent swift acceleration of humanity’s consciousness, which is little short of miraculous. If the science of the unmanifest is not to remain grounded at a pre-pubescent stage, while the manifested sciences soar into space, the mature occultist must put aside the toys of superstition and face fearlessly the Trees of Eternity whose trunks and branches glow with solar fire, but whose roots are nourished in the dark. – Kenneth Grant, Nightside of Eden

 

Trees

Aleister Crowley

December 1st is the anniversary of Aleister Crowley’s death (1875 – 1947) at the age of 72. I have a great deal of respect for his work and legacy, as the philosophy of Thelema that he grounded in The Book of the Law has  formed the basis of my own path for over two decades.

Crowley was fond of incredibly spicy curries, and one of his last requests was that his close friends remember him on the first anniversary of his death by sharing in a meal hot curry. That was duly accomplished when Gerald Yorke (arguably Crowley’s greatest archivist) and Lady Frieda Harris (the celebrated artist of the Thoth Tarot ) and others met for dinner.

I have kept up this tradition myself for many years now, and will be enjoying some spicy curry with loved ones this evening as I give thanks to the Old Man and his legacy.

The Old Man

HYMN TO PAN

ephrix erõti periarchés d’ aneptoman
iõ iõ pan pan
õ pan pan aliplankte, kyllanias chionoktypoi
petraias apo deirados phanéth, õ
theõn choropoi anax
SOPH. AJ.

Thrill with lissome lust of the light,
O man! My man!
Come careering out of the night
Of Pan! Io Pan!
Io Pan! Io Pan! Come over the sea
From Sicily and from Arcady!
Roaming as Bacchus, with fauns and pards
And nymphs and satyrs for thy guards,
On a milk-white ass, come over the sea
To me, to me,
Come with Apollo in bridal dress
(Shepherdess and pythoness)
Come with Artemis, silken shod,
And wash thy white thigh, beautiful God,
In the moon of the woods, on the marble mount,
The dimpled dawn of the amber fount!
Dip the purple of passionate prayer
In the crimson shrine, the scarlet snare,
The soul that startles in eyes of blue
To watch thy wantonness weeping through
The tangled grove, the gnarled bole
Of the living tree that is spirit and soul
And body and brain — come over the sea,
(Io Pan! Io Pan!)
Devil or god, to me, to me,
My man! my man!
Come with trumpets sounding shrill
Over the hill!
Come with drums low muttering
From the spring!
Come with flute and come with pipe!
Am I not ripe?
I, who wait and writhe and wrestle
With air that hath no boughs to nestle
My body, weary of empty clasp,
Strong as a lion and sharp as an asp —
Come, O come!
I am numb
With the lonely lust of devildom.
Thrust the sword through the galling fetter,
All-devourer, all-begetter;
Give me the sign of the Open Eye,
And the token erect of thorny thigh,
And the word of madness and mystery,
O Pan! Io Pan!
Io Pan! Io Pan Pan! Pan Pan! Pan,
I am a man:
Do as thou wilt, as a great god can,
O Pan! Io Pan!
Io Pan! Io Pan Pan! I am awake
In the grip of the snake.
The eagle slashes with beak and claw;
The gods withdraw:
The great beasts come, Io Pan! I am borne
To death on the horn
Of the Unicorn.
I am Pan! Io Pan! Io Pan Pan! Pan!
I am thy mate, I am thy man,
Goat of thy flock, I am gold, I am god,
Flesh to thy bone, flower to thy rod.
With hoofs of steel I race on the rocks
Through solstice stubborn to equinox.
And I rave; and I rape and I rip and I rend
Everlasting, world without end,
Mannikin, maiden, Maenad, man,
In the might of Pan.
Io Pan! Io Pan Pan! Pan! Io Pan!

– Aleister Crowley