Category Archives: tantra

cutting through

Labels. They are everywhere. We use them to define ourselves, each other, our space, our likes and dislikes, the world around us, our thoughts… In one sense, language is a great label maker for chopping up the vast expanse of raw experience into bite sized pieces that are easily digested.

If you do not “fit” into a label, people may feel funny about you. For the sake of comfort, it seems as though people expect to be able to categorize everything, including themselves, into well organized and defined definitions. If you can not label it, it can can not be categorized and fit in to the correct slot.

With the wide acceptance of social media like Facebook, the motivation to “fit in” and “label” oneself and others has become something of a collective past-time. Favorite music, books, movies, television… “I drink wine and enjoy watching Friends. Oh so do you? My political slant is <fill in the blank> and my religion is <label goes here>. I don’t like this person, they use labels I don’t like. I am in this club and you aren’t.” Subject and object, this and that, inside outside. Perhaps if enough data is collected and the patterns analyzed, we can give up having names and just be categorized under certain labels and numbers.

A case in point, the About page. How many labels do I have to choose in order to try to box myself in to a nice package that others will be able to label according to their own set of rules? Lets see —  I’m Typhonian, and I am big on Tantra and Dzogchen. Other labelled entities (poor humans), such as those calling themselves Thelemites, might not like that I’m Typhonian. Classical Hindu tantriks on the other hand, may dislike that I am into Dzogchen. Labels might get in the way of actual human connection if I don’t pass the initial word filter.

Based on the associations of labels, we limit our experiences and interactions with other living human beings. This person seems nice, but they label themselves as a <blank> – no thank you. That person has so much energy, looks so happy, really enjoys life – oh but wait… it says here they love a book by an author that I hate…. No!  We limit ourselves if the label does not “fit.”

Words imprison us. Sure, they can also liberate us. Language is both a blessing and a curse.

Life is for living. It is alive, dynamic, unpredictable, beautiful and ugly, magnificent and horrible. It is all of these things simultaneously. Try some of those labels on, if you must. The more we try to define ourselves, to live inside of our own well constructed boxes, the more comical the whole game becomes.

Meditation is useful in getting reacquainted with reality. I say reacquainted because we all know it, have experienced it. At the very least, you were an infant at one time, before language was part of your consciousness (I suppose that is arguable, with the sound of the mothers voice being heard in the womb). Go back further then…

Persist long enough and you might get glimpses of consciousness beyond (before?) language. What is experience before it is labeled? What is the raw, unfiltered, unspeakable experience of being?

Who are you, before you had a name?

 

 

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Bhavani Tuam….

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“Oh Bhavani, do thou-give a compassionate look upon me, Thy servant.” To him who thus praying says  “Oh Bhavani Thou ” then and there Thou dost give the state of union with Thee, that state adorned by the brilliant crowns of Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra.

As Laksmidhara says that “Bhavani” as a Verb means” May I be” and Bhavani tvam = “let me be (one with) Thee”; taking it as the optative first person singular of the verb Bhii. He who thus worships the Devi becomes one with Her. The very utterance of the words “Bhavani tvam” attracts Her attention. The expression “Bhavani tvam” has two meanings. Bhavani is the vocative form of Bhavani and is also the lot (optative) first person singular of the root Bhii (=to be). The author says that when the Sadhaka is supplicating the Devi for Her Grace addressing Her as Bhavani (the consort of Bhava or Shiva) She out of Her Great Mercy mistakes as it were the meaning of the Sadhaka and understands him, when the first two words are uttered, to say ” May I be Thou ” and grants his prayer.

Sir John Woodroffe’s (Arthur Avalon) commentary to verse 22 of the Ananda Lahari

The Dark Destroyer

Ladies and Gentlemen, the amazing artwork of the entity known as Joseph Curwen. Enjoy!

The Dark Destroyer.

Typhonian Gnosis

draconis

These are some of the most amazing articles. I have returned to them again and again over the years, and they never cease to inspire me and launch me into new gnostic vistas:

The Heart of Thelema

Going Beyond

The Typhonian Tradition

new arrival today

IMG_2625Received my proof copies of The Magickal Union of East and West today! NAT

I am yours

Radiant Queen of the Universe! Thank you for your countless love and blessings, washing over samsara like lush monsoon rains, filling me with your vitality and rejuvenating like fresh Himalayan snows.

My every thought, word, deed for you. The blood pumping through my veins, the rhythm of life, is yours. Every breath, every glance, every touch, is yours.

This world is your playground where you dance endlessly. Let my heart beat always be the rhythm of your dance.

Victory to the Goddess! Jai Kalika Devi!
Devi

The Magickal Union of East & West

The first 50 pages of the Magickal Union of East & West are now available for browsing via the Llewellyn Worldwide website. You are also able to pre-oder both the physical and electronic editions of the book via various sites. Contact your favorite book dealer and let them know you want to reserve your copy today!

Magickal Union East West

 

parampara

From Michael Staley’s essay The Fool:

“Initiation is not a matter of swallowing wholesale what this, that or the other illustrious person has said at some time or another, but of making it real, of arriving at your own understanding. We take influences from diverse sources, whether it be Grant, Crowley, Spare, Blavatsky, Gurdjieff, Ramana Maharshi – to name but a few – and synthesise their work via the catalyst of our own experience, creating thereby an understanding and a body of work that is intrinsic to us. People who come after us will do likewise, again from a diversity of sources. In this way, knowledge and experience is passed down, and this is one meaning of parampara or spiritual lineage. ”

Could not have expressed it better. This sums up my approach to the Mysteries, and explains the diverse range of influences that have gone into my own work.

The Magickal Union of East & West, The Spiritual Path to New Aeon Tantra explores the fruit of some of this work.

Its just this, and nothing else

However puzzling this may be, and however many philosophical problems it may raise, one clear look is enough to show its unavoidable truth. There is only this now. It does not come from anywhere; it is not going anywhere. It is not permanent, but it is not impermanent. Though moving, it is always still. When we try to catch it, it seems to run away, and yet it is always here and there is no escape from it. And when we turn round to find the self which knows this moment, we find that it has vanished like the past.

– The Way of Zen, Alan Watts

devi

ritual sounds

Really enjoying listening to some Tibetan tantrik ritual music. I use it to accompany some of the sadhana work I do, or have it playing in the background when I am studying or writing. I have a few albums, but also found some links online with good material. For example, check out this link to a 19 minute sample of very powerful, evocative ritual sounds. Conch shell, human thigh bones, cymbals, drums… remarkable, unique sounds that have an otherworldly feel and transport me to deep realms.

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The Way

As celebrations for the Three Days of the Writing of the Book of the Law are commemorated, I give thanks to all of my teachers, past, present and future for their radiant light that they have shined upon the Way. The blessings of the guru are without doubt a precious gift, a manifold jewel.

ཧཱུྂ༔ ཨོ་རྒྱན་ཡུལ་གྱི་ནུབ་བྱང་མཚམས༔
hung orgyen yul gyi nubjang tsam
Hūṃ! In the north-west of the land of Oḍḍiyāṇa,

པདྨ་གེ་སར་སྡོང་པོ་ལ༔
pema gesar dongpo la
In the heart of a lotus flower,

ཡ་མཚན་མཆོག་གི་དངོས་གྲུབ་བརྙེས༔
yatsen chok gi ngödrub nyé
Endowed with the most marvellous attainments,

པདྨ་འབྱུང་གནས་ཞེས་སུ་གྲགས༔
pema jungné shyé su drak
You are renowned as the ‘Lotus Born’,

འཁོར་དུ་མཁའ་འགྲོ་མང་པོས་བསྐོར༔
khor du khandro mangpö kor
Surrounded by many hosts of ḍākinīs.

ཁྱེད་ཀྱི་རྗེས་སུ་བདག་བསྒྲུབ་ཀྱི༔
khyé kyi jesu dak drub kyi
Following in your footsteps,

བྱིན་གྱིས་བརླབ་ཕྱིར་གཤེགས་སུ་གསོལ༔
jingyi lab chir shek su sol
I pray to you: Come, inspire me with your blessing!

གུ་རུ་པདྨ་སིདྡྷི་ཧཱུྂ༔
guru pema siddhi hung

guru-rinpoche

As the root of all transmissions is Guru Yoga, so is the Guru the Root, Heart, Essence of Awakened Consciousness, the Radiant Void. I give thanks to the Guru, the union of all paths, the essence of the continuum of consciousness, the Speech in the Silence.

Lama

Lam! Thou Voice of the Silence! 
Glyph of Hoor-paar-kraat! 
The dwarf-self, the Hidden God! 
Gateway to the Aeon of Maat!
I evoke Thee! I evoke Thee! 
With the mantra Talam Malat, Talam Malat

OLALAM IMAL TUTULU!

OM AH HUNG

devi

Intoxicated with your dark eyes, whirling abysses of cosmic space

I worship the Greatly Beautiful One

She is dark as a black rock, wearing a jeweled crown.
The sign of a third eye is on her forehead, 
She, the Goddess with three eyes.
Like lotus petals, Her eyes are large, 
They shine like two bright jewels.
Her glance showers compassion. 
Three locks of matted hair adorn her.
Her face radiates contentment and,
She is gowned with much splendor.
Her raised left hand holds a sword, 
a human head in the lower one.
Her right hands grant sanctuary and boons to all.
Her tongue shows between her lips, 
the garland of skulls hanging to her feet
Bejeweled, of heavenly form, there is no skirt of human arms.
She stands on a lotus base, 
Her right foot on the chest of Shiva sprawled at Her feet.
Her other foot is on his right thigh. 
She grants freedom from fear. 
She the Goddess, is the expression of the ultimate Brahman. Meditate on Adya, the infinite, 
She who embodies the extreme beauty in form.

Slay the Slayer

“The Mind is the great Slayer of the Real.” – The Voice of the Silence, H.P. Blavatsky

Mahishaasura

Great Goddess, Slay the Slayer!

 

The Shadow Tarot

The Shadow Tarot is a magickal talismanic expression of art that gives visual representation to the guardians of the Tunnels of Set, evoking ancient and atavistic energies and opening portals to other dimensions. These hidden recesses in between the seeming reality of the dayside seep through strange lines and geometries; colors and shapes that seem alive, vivid with serpentine movement and a distant humming that molds consciousness into strange angles.

Shadow Tarot

This deck of cards was carefully and loving crafted by Linda Falorio and Fred Fowler of AnandaZone. From the description that comes with the deck:

“The method of producing the images was to paint the ancient magickal sigil probably of Sumerian origin or older, resurrected by Crowley in Liber CCXXXIof the Qliphoth of each dayside Path, then immerse in the energies for weeks or months via meditation/tantra.”

Tunnels of Set

Described by Kenneth Grant in Nightside of Eden, the denizens of these tunnels are evoked by means of special vibrations and color in combination with a ritual act of Will. The cards lend themselves to this work directly, being  visual representations of these nightside energies.

Exploring this realm of consciousness is essential to wholeness; to often that which lies seemingly hidden in the shadows is denied or suppressed by the dayside of consciousness, with resulting projections into the world. One need only read some political news, or attend exoteric religious celebrations, to be reminded first hand of how all of the many problems in the world are the fault of the “other” philosophy, political party, belief system or person.

Until the dark side, that which lies hidden and repressed, is explored and a true sense of accord is reached, the personality is not whole. This is the true work of regeneration, an integration of the entirety of consciousness.

new moon

cremation ghats at pashupatinath

 

O Kali, Thou art fond of cremation grounds;
so I have turned my heart into one
That thou, a resident of cremation grounds,
may dance there unceasingly.
O Mother! I have no other fond desire in my heart;
fire of a funeral pyre is burning there;
O Mother! I have preserved the ashes of dead bodies all around
that Thou may come.
O Mother! Keeping Shiva, conqueror of Death, under Thy feet,
Come, dancing to the tune of music;
Prasada waits With his eyes closed

Ramprasad Sen

Kali

Interview with POLARIS

The fine people at POLARIS (People Offering Light, Assistance & Resources In Spirit) conducted an interview with me, check it out and the rest of their site here:

http://www.polarisrising.net/index.php?%2Ftopic%2F540-interview-with-mystic-thelemite-gregory-peters%2F

garland of letters

new aeon tantra

“The mantras that form the girdle and necklace of the Goddess, the sacred garland of letters which form her secret names are known only to Initiates. It has been said that all mantras, originally, were words or sounds uttered by the entranced suvasini, hence great care was (and is) taken to note down exactly what escapes her lips during the critical stage of the rite. […] Not only were her most casual words revered as mantric, her gestures also were regarded as sacred mudras indicative of the power with her and of the state of tumescence she had attained.” Kenneth Grant, Cults of the Shadow

Devi

Ascent of the Fire Snake

fire snake

“In the basal (muladhara) chakra, the Kundalini is known as Amavasya (new moon), for at that place the sun and moon are conjoined; hence the muladhara is a dark power-zone. The next centre, svadhisthana, is flecked with the sun’s rays, hence it is a region of twilight, i.e. mixed moon- and sun-light. The third zone, manipura, is likewise of a mixed nature. On attaining the stage of Anahata, in the region of the heart, Kundalini is bathed in effulgence, and continues to be effulgent until She reaches the place of the Moon (at the vishuddha), the Qoph centre. The Ajanachakra, which represents Kundalini in exaltation, is the Pure Palace of Serene Brilliance. And so the ascent occurs from darkness, through twilight to sunlight, and finally to the cool lunar region of eternal snows which is bathed in the perpetual radiance of the Shri Chakra itself.” – Kenneth Grant, Cults of the Shadow

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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Pre-Order the Magickal Union of East & West

The pre-order page is up and running. Get your discounted orders in ahead of time!

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Order here: https://www.llewellyn.com/product.php?ean=9780738740447

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 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!

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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

On The Diamond Sapphire

“The Mani-stone is the ‘jewel’ of the Seven Stars and of the Graal of the Scarlet Woman, in her scarlet phase. […] The ‘other’ star is the Diamond Star-Sapphire of Manifestation.”  – Outer Gateways, Kenneth Grant

Pre-orders for The Magickal Union of East & West

Pre-order for The Magickal Union of East & West: The Spiritual Path of New Aeon Tantra is now available from Amazon and a few other sites. If you pre-order there is a discount:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Magickal-Union-East-West/dp/0738740446

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Strategic Sorcery on the Oath of the Abyss (reposted)

Below is a repost of my recent interview at warlock asylum, with insightful commentary from The Strategic Sorcery blog of Inominandum. Do check out the rest of his blog for a wealth of great articles.

http://www.inominandum.com/blog/interview-with-a-mystic/

Coming in July 2014

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A Siddha lives in total freedom

This is taken from a colleagues post elsewhere:

One of my mentors paraphrases Siva Sutra 3.13 this way: “A Siddha lives in total freedom.”

My mentor comments further: The state of a Siddha is the state of freedom.

For the embodied soul there are only two possibilities. One is the state of bondage in which he loses the awareness of his nature, his glory, his power of understanding, and becomes contracted. He feels, “I am small, I am a sinner, I am subject to birth and death.” His own outlook is the thing that shrinks him day by day. As he meditates on and ponders his own limitations, he becomes completely bound.

The other possibility is the state of absolute freedom. By the grace of the Guru, a person’s inner Sakti is awakened through the process of shaktipat. Unfolding, his Sakti fills him with consciousness, and he is gradually freed from cravings and desires, the pull of the sense organs, and from all limited states. He achieves total union with the supreme Self.

A person who has achieved mastery over his senses and their objects is called a Siddha. One who sees this world, which the ignorant experience as full of sorrow, to be the outer sport of Parasakti is a Siddha. One who has risen above the three bodies and their corresponding states is a Siddha. One who has rid himself of notions of acceptance and rejection and has burned away the imaginary distinctions of virtue and sin, enjoyment and liberation, worldliness and spirituality in the fire of inner knowledge is a Siddha. That great soul regards all the thoughts that arise within him, whether good or bad, as the stirrings of the Self. One who has become the universe, the Lord of the universe, and the Soul of the universe; one who is his own path and his own destination; one who is fully active and yet supremely inactive; one who is aware “I am Siva” – he is a Siddha.

So ends the commentary.

crimson blossoms

Jai Kali

Who is this astonishing feminine presence
dancing in the universal field of battle?
Truly naked, eternally sixteen,
with magnificent dignity she stands
on the breast of Absolute Reality
that assumes the aspect of snow-white Shiva,
his body also naked truth
as he sleeps in supernal contemplation

All blood ever shed in sacrifice or conflict
streams down her brilliant black limbs
like crimson blossoms floating on dark waters.
Her face is diamond bright, clearer than the full moon.
Infinite wisdom energy pulsates
through her mysterious blackness.
Her powerful wisdom laughter
awakens and heals,
flowing in wave after wave of sweet nectar.

This poet is overwhelmed,
singing with tears of rapture:
“Those who long for conscious union with reality
should meditate with constancy
on the dark blue lotus feet of Kali,
enshrined in the secret heart of humanity,
ensuring the liberation of all finite beings
from the illusion of finitude.”

Ramprasad Sen (as translated by Lex Hixon in Mother of the Goddess)

Guru Padmasambhava

Today marks the anniversary of Guru Padmasambhava, responsible for bringing the teachings of Vajrayana to Tibet.

DSC_0416

ཧཱུྂ༔ ཨོ་རྒྱན་ཡུལ་གྱི་ནུབ་བྱང་མཚམས༔
hung orgyen yul gyi nubjang tsam
Hūṃ! In the north-west of the land of Oḍḍiyāṇa,

པདྨ་གེ་སར་སྡོང་པོ་ལ༔
pema gesar dongpo la
In the heart of a lotus flower,

ཡ་མཚན་མཆོག་གི་དངོས་གྲུབ་བརྙེས༔
yatsen chok gi ngödrub nyé
Endowed with the most marvellous attainments,

པདྨ་འབྱུང་གནས་ཞེས་སུ་གྲགས༔
pema jungné shyé su drak
You are renowned as the ‘Lotus Born’,

འཁོར་དུ་མཁའ་འགྲོ་མང་པོས་བསྐོར༔
khor du khandro mangpö kor
Surrounded by many hosts of ḍākinīs.

ཁྱེད་ཀྱི་རྗེས་སུ་བདག་བསྒྲུབ་ཀྱི༔
khyé kyi jesu dak drub kyi
Following in your footsteps,

བྱིན་གྱིས་བརླབ་ཕྱིར་གཤེགས་སུ་གསོལ༔
jingyi lab chir shek su sol
I pray to you: Come, inspire me with your blessing!

གུ་རུ་པདྨ་སིདྡྷི་ཧཱུྂ༔
guru pema siddhi hung

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These are images from a few of the monasteries in Nepal, where the Buddhist dharma has taken deep root in the Himalayan villages.

More on the invocation of Guru Padmasambhava may be read here.

New Aeon Tantra

New Aeon Tantra

the radiant void at the heart of tantra

Great Goddess

The dance of tantra is the dance of maya; a dynamic  microcosm of life with the panchatattva elements each symbolizing not only parts of our daily life and body, but the primordial elements, the building blocks of the universe. This dance of life will not fit into expectations or preconceived notions; while there may be general guidelines, the nature of this path is that it is unpredictable.

Tantra, whether Kaula or Vajrayana or beyond, is a dance and interplay of energy. At the heart of this energy is the void, Nuit. This is the same Heart of Thelema, a complex philosophy that embodies a western Tantra with the Great Void at the very core of the idea of True Will. Read more of this post

On Compassion, Community and Conflict

I have not talked about groups that I have worked with (yet), but here is a great post on some related ideas. Compassion is certainly a topic worthy of deep consideration.

The Blog of Baphomet

One of the three treasures of Buddhism is the Sangha. This is the community of practice. Those people around us who support us in what, in western magick, we might call The Great Work or perhaps the process of Illumination. As someone who thrives on close collaboration (the majority of the books on which my name appears are co-authored texts) and communal activity (since the age of fifteen much of my esoteric work has happened in groups) the Sanhga is essential to me. Of course it’s not like that for everyone; some folks really thrive on working alone, or perhaps with just one other person. More accurately, most of us (even gregarious me) will have periods in which we need solitary practice and other times when we want to come together with others.

I’ve been fortunate to work within many organisations over the years; ranging from The Order of Bards…

View original post 959 more words

East meets West: New Thought, Thelema, and The Holy Order of Krishna (reposted)

An insightful new post from Phil Hine on the Holy Order of Krishna – do check it out!

A reminder…

Buddha

Do not believe anything (simply) because you have heard it.

Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations.

Do not believe in anything because it is spoken and rumored by many.

Do not believe in anything (simply) because it is in your religious books.

Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.

But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conductive to the good of and benefit of one and all then accept it and live up to it.

– Gautama Buddha, Anguttara Nikaya vol I

Kenneth Grant

Today I remember Kenneth Grant a great adept and master.

His influence on my own spiritual work is undeniable.
His deep insight and creativity will live on through his voluminous work and legacy.

The 93 Current evolved and matured in new dimensions because of your dedication and inspiration.

Thank you, Frater Aossic. See you Outside the Circles of Time.

Kenneth Grant

radiant black storm clouds

Another poem from the Shakta poet Ramprasad Sen. His words never fail to evoke Her presence, and I am only reading translations. I can only imagine how the original would stir the soul and shatter any false illusions of separation between us. You want to look into Her eyes? Feel Her breath? Hear Her sweet laughter? Let the poet evoke Her before you, in all of Her majestic glory.

Peacock

Radiant black storm clouds
expand acros the sky of pure awareness.
The peacock of my mind reveals its brilliant colors,
dancing in the bliss of holy expectation.
Kali’s wisdom thunder rumbles
with her power that can level mountains.
The fiery tracery of lightning flashes
forms her wonderful smile of ecstasy.

The lover of Ma Kali gazes intently,
tears pouring down like monsoon rain.
Only these most precious drops
can quench the thirst of the heart,
that rare winging creature
who drinks only from limitless sky,
never from limited pools or streams.
To be born in this body composed of common clay
is a heavy burden for the soaring soul.
To incarnate again and again
across this vast planetary realm
can never slake our burning thirst for reality.

Proclaims the liberated one
who sings this gnostic hymn:
“No more birth from the womb of the matter,
only emanation from the Divine Mother.”

Read a larger collection of Ramprasad in translation from Lex Hinton’s excellent work Mother of the Universe: Visions of the Goddess and Tantric Songs of Enlightenment.

Ramprasad Sen: Shakta Poet

Bohemian space rocks

moldavite

This small stone with the eery greenish lustre is moldavitethought to originate from a meteor impact about 15 million years ago in the region of central Bohemia.

During a trip to Sedona, AZ I picked this up at one of the many Vortex crystal shops around the area. According to the label that came with the stone, moldavite was said to have some remarkable properties:

  • meteorite
  • extraterrestrial origin
  • very rare stone
  • high vibration
  • Ascendant Master
  • connects to Akashic Records
  • opens to receive spiritual guidance
  • useful for sensitive people and star children
  • aligns the chakras

Now I must admit to being ignorant of the meaning of some these attributes (what are “star children”  for example?). Still, I was intrigued and enjoying the peaceful and mystical atmosphere of Sedona, so I took the stone into my left palm (as the left hand is generally passive and absorbing of energy inward, in contrast to the right hand which projects dynamic energy outward).

I felt an immediate affinity for the moldavite, as consciousness opened up and expanded seemingly into space. The sensation of coolness was unmistakable, and an open expanse of space and stars. I spent a good minute in the Vortex Crystal shop just “spacing out” while I held the small green piece of rock, much to the pleasure of the shop keeper!

The moldavite now rests on my shrine. I hold it in the palm of my left hand when performing mantra japa, and find that it helps to affirm a sense of openness and expansive consciousness. What better way to fly with the sky dancers in their own natural habitat then to lift off with them into space!

Ramprasad Sen: Shakta Poet

The Bengal poet Ramprasad wrote exquisite verses to Queen of the Universe, expressing the intense devotion and longing he felt for the Beautiful One. His words express the pure flow of bhakti. Reading them, once can feel the depth of emotion on a pure, visceral level of being.
kalima
A few samples from his work follow:  Read more of this post

Awakening mantras

Devi

The twelfth chapter of the Chandi Path (more fully called the Devi Mahatmayam or Durga Saptashapti) elucidates the many benefits deriving from the joy of celebrating the Great Goddess in her form of Durga. Holding that Devi in your heart and approaching her with love, she naturally bestows her grace and blessings. Let the Goddess herself be your guide and guru, inviting her into your heart.

It also may be used to consecrate and activate mantras that may need to be “woken up” or blessed by the Goddess herself. Be certain that you approach her with love and a pure motivation, and that your use of the mantra is in accord with True Will. In this day and age, when self proclaimed gurus abound and the vidya is becoming increasingly popular and diffused from the point of origin (the Goddess herself!), it certainly does not hurt to reconnect to the source behind the mantra, and allow that great Shakti to irradiate it with life, love, and power. Read more of this post

Jai Kali, Shunya Vasini Devi!

Victory to Kali, the Goddess Who Dwells in the Void!

your black eyes
are eternities
pulling me into you
honey nectar
liquid starlight
giving all

8npwj6caea07ho8r.D.0.KALI_MAA(1)

there is nothing in the universe more beautiful than you

Jai Kali, Shunya Vasini Devi!

Tantrik Thelema in South India

Founded in 1905 by Dr. T. R. Sanjivi in Tinnevelly, South India with “the sole purpose of educating people to culture the light that is latent in one and all,” the Latent Light Culture and its inner order The Holy Order of Krishna teach practical yoga methods based of an esoteric and initiated interpretation of the Bhagavad Gita.

The  founding material of the organization from the 1920’s is attributed to the mysterious author “Bhikshu”, and contains a strong influence of Thelema and the writings of Aleister Crowley mixed in with the initiated tantrik teachings of the Gita.

A few excerpts:

“Act Thou, therefore, when opportunity confronts you; responding to it, meeting it bravely, utilising it, actively. ‘Do what thou wilt’, say the Masters, ‘Shalt be the whole of the Law,’ of Dharma of Karma — only he who doeth is the Karmi; he who wills to do and doeth is the Karma Yogi; the Deed is the Karma, his future, his Destiny the harvest of his Thoughts and Acts. Your Deed is the expression of your will, the will in you; say then to yourself ‘I Will’ and Act. So acting shalt thou not sin, says the Lord Krishna.”

“In this then shall be the Ordinanace (Sastra) for you Karma Yogi, in the dictum of ‘Do what thou wilt’ which shalt be for thee the whole of the law, teaching you comprehensively what to do, what to avoid, this the only ordinance; ‘do what thou wilt, then do nothing else’; we shall repeat it constantly, without end, that you may be unified of will, that in all your act you may bring all the universe that is of you, that in your act the whole of you and not the puny portion of you miscalled ‘I’ at the threshold, at the outer gate of consciousness, may act, and impress itself on the even that anyhow must be.”

Karma Yoga, 1928

“The first and greatest of all priveledges is to have accepted the Law of the Gita: Yatha Ichchhasi Tatha Kuru (Do What Thou Wilt) – to have become free and independent and to have destroyed all fear, whether of custom, faith, of other men and of death itself. “Fear not at all, fear neither men, nor fates, nor gods, nor anything. Money fear not, nor the laughter of the frivolous folk nor any other power in heaven, upon the earth or under the earth.”

– From the  grade paper of the First Degree of the Holy Order of Krishna.

This is the group that originally produced the celebrated tantrik commentary on the Ananda Lahari that was referenced by several of the works of Kenneth Grant in his Typhonian Trilogies.

Sadly the organization today seems to shy away from the more esoteric traditions that it was founded on, although the grade papers still show influences of Thelema. Deeper material such as the ritual magic of the Sri Vidya encoded into the Ananda Lahari (the Wave of Bliss, which consists of the first 41 verses of the Soundarya Lahari) is mixed in with a new spiritual interpretation of the Gita.

the gift of bhava

Reflecting on the idea of the usual roles between sadhaka and Devi reversing themselves (see my earlier post), it brought to mind the manifestations of bhava that occur in devotees of the Goddess (often arising from bhakti). This is very much a type of possession, where the Devi experiences through the body and senses of the individual.

June McDaniels excellent study Offering Flowers, Feeding Skulls: Popular Goddess Worship in West Bengal is highly recommended in this regard. An excerpt:

One form of spontaneous possession is found more frequently in practitioners of tantra and bhakti yoga. This is colloquially called bhava, short for devabhava (a general term for divine state or state of unity with a deity) or bhavavesha (the state of being overwhelmed or possessed by bhava). Bhava combines possession and devotional love, allowing the possessed person to retain consciousness in the midst of the goddess’s power and presence. It shows intense love of a deity, and a person’s humility and willingness to submit to the goddess.

Bhava is a tangible gift of the goddess, for as She manifests in the devotee they experience the divine bliss of Her presence in their very body.  As the Shakta poet Ramprasad wrote, “Whoever gazes upon this radiant blackness falls eternally in love.”

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om mahakalyai ca vidmahe smasana vasinyai ca dhimahi tanno kali pracodayat
(“Om we contemplate on the Great Goddess who takes away Darkness, we contemplate She Who Resides in the Cremation Grounds, may that Goddess direct!”)

Jai Kali Maa!

Maa Kali

A wonderful image of the Great Goddess from Deepika Suman photography:

Be sure to check out her excellent photography blog

The Goddess of Infinite Space and Infinite Stars

Nuit

April 8, 9 and 10 are important milestones in the tradition of Thelema, marking the grounding of Liber AL vel Legis, the Book of the Law. This book is the first great Western Tantra, ushering in a new era of awakened consciousness for those that choose to consciously step forward into the morning light of the New Aeon.

As for the veracity of such “modern” writings, I am reminded of a quote from Sir John Woodroffe from his commentary to the Anandalahari:

The Tantras however appear and disappear according as they are revealed or withdrawn. Their authority does not depend on the fact that they were published to men on a particular date but on the Siddhi to which they lead; that is, the actual result flowing from them. This result proves the authority of the Tantra even though it were revealed yesterday.

The rewards of working with this direct path to realization are manifold and unique to every individual that comes to know and fulfill the True Will.

May all sentient beings, boundless as the sky, have Real Peace, Real Freedom and Real Happiness!

Black Night

DeviHer eyes are black
and infinity stares into me from them
Her red lips are parted in a smile,
showing her brilliant white teeth
and her red tongue hanging out with intoxication
of celestial love
I am drunk on you
before even first tasting the patra
I am drunk on your love
the blood from your lips
is honey in my mouth
warm and coruscating though every part of my body
my heart is a burning ground
where I love you
I give myself to you completely
your name is ecstasy to me
every syllable, every letter
drips nectar into my soul
in union with you
everything is Bliss
the doorway to that radiant Night
the mirror of that infinite kiss
releases lies of separation
take my head, Kali!
drink deep my blood that I may be with you
this bliss is an outer garment
a play a dance a song
of your radiant eternal night

I am Her murti

Jai KaliGenerally speaking, the sadhaka will be placing life into the murti on the shrine with prana pratishta after a series of ritual acts of purifying and energizing your body. The elements are purified and activated with bhuta shuddhi. The energetic levels are equilibrated with pranayama. Mantras and accompanying mudras are given. Light, incense, water, flowers, the very Self is presented as offering. The divine aspect is projected out with the breath into the statue, often onto a flower either physical or visualized; the cold statue becomes divinized, the Goddess is present, and worshipped accordingly.

That is not what is happening.  Read more of this post

chaos and passion

Bhairava, a fierce form of Shiva. Kathmandu, Nepal

June McDaniel’s The Madness of Saints: Ecstatic Religion in Bengal gives a detailed explanation of the contrast between the traditional and formal approach of the right hand path, and the truly bacchanalian and chaotic spontanaity of the left hand:

The path of progression is associated with Jame’s lysis or gradual approach. It emphasizes order and harmony, and the divine is reached by self-control and obedience. The god is most present in the greatest purity — of self, of place, of statue. Such purity involved loyalty to lineage and tradition, acceptance of hierarchy and authority, and ritual worship and practice.  Ecstasy is attained by faith and learning, by acceptance of dharma, and avoidance of siddhis (powers) and self-glorification. Such a path  is yogic and devotional, and called in Bengal sastriya dharma, the path of scriptural injunctions.

The path of breakthrough is associated with Jame’s crisis, or abrupt change. It emphasizes chaos and passion, and the divine is reached by unpredictable visions and revelations. The presence of deity is not determined by ritual purity — the god may be found in pure situations, but also at the burning ground, at the toilet, in blood and sexuality, in possessions and ordeals. Initiation and lineage do not determine  experience — often there is a “jumping” of gurus — where different gurus are followed at different times. The criterion of status is neither yogic knowledge nor ritual skill, bur rather bhava, the ecstatic state that comes with experience of the divine. Such states are called sahaja (natural and spontaneous) or svabhavika (unique to particular individual). The path is more generally called asastriya, or not according to the scriptures.

While these two general approaches apply to the work as a whole, it is also interesting to note that in the tantrik sadhana and specifically with the ritual of panchatattva, both are combined. There is a lineage of instruction and ritual technique, which if persisted in deeply will transform into spontaneity  and unpredictability. In this sense, the tantras have encoded into them the essence of developing spontaneous creativity as well as providing the means to forge the link to the true Guru. Tantra, followed sincerely and with all that one is, is a fast and direct path of realization that is unique to every person, while still growing out of known forms and traditions of lineage.

Creativity

Michael Staley’s essay The Resurgance of Cosmic Identity (published in the Jeruslaem Press edition of Austin Osman Spare’s Book of Pleasure) is inspired and insightful. This part in particular struck a deep cord:

“When assessing the body of work of an adept of whatever means of expression — be it in the graphics arts, writing, or music — we should not expect always to find a steady progression with consistent themes and gradual development. Rather, we often find abrupt changes of direction: projects taken up and then lain aside, unfinished. This is because an adept -in whatever medium the genius is expressed – is driven primarily by currents of inspiration which are caught — often fleetingly — and articulated through his or her work. some of these currents of inspiration can lead to long and extraordinarily fruitful phases of work. Others yield little, either proving to be cul-de-sacs, or simply giving way to yet another inspiring current. Thus it is that in retrospect we can examine particular phases of the adept’s career, and wonder why some apparently fruitful line of working was dropped, or not fully developed. The body of work is living, abounding with loose ends, and open to further development by others.”

It is not enough to only preserve what has come before, as though it were some great commandment etched in stone and never to adapt or grow. Rather than sit tight, holding fast to “what has come before” and chanting the droll mantra “it has always been this way”, we should rise to the opportunity as the successors and heirs of the many great masters, to pick up the subtle threads and hints of their work and tend to them, developing new and often inspired works. Life is ever evolving and growing in new and often unexpected directions.

Samsara and Nirvana are One

“Esoteric Buddhism teaches that Reality presents two aspects, one relative finite and conditioned, and one absolute, infinite and unconditioned. Seen with the eye of the unenlightenend being who is turned about on the wheel of existence these two aspects appear separate and irreconcilable, but to the Eye of the Buddha (butsugen) at the unmoving hub they are the inseperable facts of a single truth. In the partial view from the periphery all things are seen as transient and in momentary transformation, lacking an abiding self-nature; but in his total, all-encompasing view from the centre a Buddha sees that the imperfect, ephemeral and mutable dharmas merge with perfect, eternal and immutable Suchness (tathata, shinnyo). He sees that the world of fleeting, impermanent forms and the Buddha’s world of adamantine durability are non-dual.”  – The Matrix and Diamond World Mandalas of Shingon Buddhism (Adrian Snodgrass)

Notes on the Kaula Commentary

From the tantrik commentary by Curwen (quoted in Beyond the Mauve Zone):

mamsa still continues to be flesh; meena still floats like fish in the water by which it is surrounded; mudras are secrets to all but initiates and cannot be communicated ecept by word of mouth and face to face with the Guru; and maithuna alone can rejuvenate her after the exaustion of the Puja.

Grant continues:

The wine or madhya is the urine of the Suvasini after the Fire Snake has absorbed the amrita or nectar of the ultimate chakra, Sahasrara. This nectar or soma is the ‘moon-juice’ of ancient Vedic lore. The flesh, mamsa, is the lunar emanation embodined in the menstrual fluid at a certain stage of its flow; and the fish (meena) is a secretion that swims in the waters of the lotus-pool. The maithuna is the mystical congress of Shiva and Shakti — Consciousness and its Power — in the Sahasrara Chakra.

[…]

For the fully initiated Kaula Adept, the universe is a manifesation of perpetual joy, bliss, Amrita (deathlessness), from which he distils the elixir of immortality. Liber AL, today, echos his paen of rapture:
Remember all ye that existence is pure joy; that all the sorrows are but as shadows; they pass & are done; but there is that which remains.

[…]

The final bija, Krim, is the bija-mantra of Goddess Kalika, the hidden Principle of Creation described in the Ratrisukta as ‘Night.’ She it i who reveals the universe as a shadow (chaya). She is the reflex of all colours (kalas), Herself ‘without colour’; black. Yet is She the background of light, and the crescent (shashi-kala) on Her brow denotes that She is the originator of nada-bindu-kala, the trikona at the center of the Sri Chakra. When fully self-expressed She appears as Uma, with the glamout of the full moon, and is then known as Sri Vidya. Her essence, however, is always Ama (darkness). Uma (light) and Ama (darkness) are the twin poles between which flashes the vibration AUM. As Japa of the bija-mantras leads the Fire Snake progressively higher, do do the energies released in the lower chakras, bordering the subconsciousness, become increasingly active.

The True Guru

“As the western adept is required to have established contact with his ‘Holy Guardian Angel’ (in Tiphareth) before achieving initation into the Greater Mysteries, so the eastern chela has to have raised the Fire Snake to the Place of the Guru (Âjna chakra) with whom he renews contact  in each incarnation in order to maintain continuity of magical consciousness in the waking-state. A further comparison: during sadhana, the Self (Atma) assumes an external form and appears as the Guru, or inwardly as the Angel. The Fire Snake also appears outwardly and assumes the form of the Suvasini or of the Scarlet Woman.”

Beyond the Mauve Zone, Kenneth Grant

Thoughts in the Pitha

I finally “got” Bagalamukhi, as a protector and warrior against all that distracts from the True Will and the Work. She and her retinue are fierce beyond all means. Waves of radiance and bliss from Union with Kali encircled by the fiery daggers of Bagala radiating outwards in all directions.

The panchatattva is ultimately kundalini. The symbols speak on multiple levels. Outwardly the Homa ritual; secretly the Panchatattva; in the Hidden Shrine the Fire Snake and her ascent up the chakras.

The dhuni or fire pit is the cremation ground. The cremation ground is the yoni of the goddess. This is in the Heart of the Master. The ashes of the flames are indeed the radiance of the kalas, the dew of light emitted from the wetness of the Goddess. Let that wetness direct (Tripura gayatri).

The Ananda Lahari is the emanation of the goddess in spoken form.Image

“There is neith…

“There is neither creation nor destruction,
Neither destiny nor free will,
Neither path nor achievement;
This is the final truth.”

-Ramana Maharshi

Divine Pride

Reflecting back on a post from the other day, I was reminded of this wonderfully simple description:

“The main Ethics of the Book of the Law. Man is asked to act as if it were true that he is a spark of that great light of God. Those who insist on making that assumption, on basing all their lives on it, are the Thelemites.” (Churton quoting unpublished AC)

This is the practice of Divine Pride as taught in the tantras, wherein the personal self is given over completely to the chosen deity such that it for a time lives inside of the practitioner. The Goddess then sees with your eyes, hears with your ears, tastes and speaks with your mouth, feels with your heart. Your very body becomes the temple of the divine and allows the infinite to experience the finite.

Through practices of purification, dedication and self exploration, the personality may be tuned such that it is able to open up to this Divine Pride. Generation stage practices for example, where the deity is visualized in great detail as external to the operator, are part of this process of training. Another approach is given in the western practices of “assumption of God forms,” although without much of the explanatory and supporting practices unless one is careful to follow a detailed training regimen of foundational exercises in yoga, meditation and ritual.

Live life according to Thy Will is the First Step, and the Last Step. For many that may be the entire Journey, and as such there is no greater reward.

(As a side note, Churton’s biography of the Old Man has a post from last year in the Telegraph)

Will, Knowledge and Action

“The essence of independence has been to think and act according to standards from within, not without.”
Aleister Crowley

Recently saw a post on facebook with the above quote by Crowley, and was reminded again of the simplicity of the core message of spiritual enlightenment. The essence of the teaching, the first step or first grade, is to learn who one is, free from external influence. Once this knowledge is gained, you need to put it into practice.

Live life according to your Will. This is the essence of the tantrik word svecchacharaThis compound word is made up of the three shaktis. These three Goddesses are Iccha Shakti (Goddess of Will), Jnana Shakti (Goddess of Knowledge), and Kriya Shakti (Goddess of Action). The term Shakti represents Power itself; specifically the divine feminine power that is the essence of the Goddess Kundalini.

In the tantras these primary Shaktis may be worked with by means of ritual or visualization practices possibly involving mantra, yantra and mudra. Outer court systems in the Western Mysteries may also work with these in the form of alchemical symbolism such as the elemental grade workings.

Whatever system is used, the basic tenet of discovering who one is, and then living that Truth of Self remains the same.  All you have to do is be yourself, to do your will, and rejoice.” – The Law of Liberty

Jai Kali, Jai Ma Bhavatarini!

Victory to Kali, Victory to the Mother, the Savior of souls!

godess-kali-1

Salutations again and again

to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of consciousness;

to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of intelligence;

to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of sleep;

to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of hunger;

to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of power;

to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of modesty;

to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of peace;

to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of faith;

to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of loveliness;

to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of compassion;

to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of contentment;

to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of mother.

May that Devi, the Mother, who appears in the form of all things,

bring forth benefits for all who sing Her praises.

Jai Maa!

P1040346[8]Victory to that Great Goddess! Jai Maa!

 

Waves of Bliss

Oh Mother, may all my speech, howsoever idle, be recitation of Mantra; may all the actions with my hand be the making of ritual gesture ; may all my walking be the pacing around Thy image in worship ; may all my eating and other functions be Homa rites; may the act of my lying down be prostration before Thee; may all my pleasures be an offering to the great self. Whatsoever I do may it be counted for the worship of Thee. –Anandalahari, v.27

The Secret Self

compassion

“…there is another kind of love and compassion… Just be what you are… You simply be what you are in the world, in life. If you can be what you are, external situations will become as they are, automatically. Then you can communicate directly and accurately, not indulging in any kind of nonsense, any kind of emotional or philosophical or psychological interpretation. This third way is a balance way of openness and communication which automatically allows tremendous space, room for creative development, space in which to dance and exchange.”

There is no law beyond: Do what thou wilt

“The fundamental characteristic of true compassion is pure and fearless openness without territorial limitations. There is no need to be loving and kind to one’s neighbors, no need to speak pleasantly to people and put on a pretty smile. This little game does not apply. That is the basic openness of compassion: opening without demand. Simply be what you are, be the master of the situation.”

The vice of kings.

“That fearless vision reflects on you as well: it affects how you see yourself. If you look at yourself in the mirror — at your hair, your teeth, your mustache, your coat, your shirt, your tie, your dress, your pearls, your earrings — you see that they all belong there and that you belong there, as you are. You begin to realize that you have a perfect right to be in this universe, to be this way, and you see that there is a basic hospitality that this world provides to you. You have looked and you have seen and you don’t have to apologize for being born on this earth.”

every man and every woman is a star

(main quotes are from Chogyam Trungpa’s Cutting Through Spiritual Materialsm)

Lantern of Thebes

An effective and simple method of rapidly establishing an active current of Light in the sphere of sensation is to use the Egyptian mantra from Liber AL vel Legis in conjunction with a Middle Pillar type practice, incorporating the Four Worlds map of consciousness. In this method, each line of the mantra is associated with one of the Four Worlds, thus:

Atziluth            A ka dua                           Sahasarachakra              Kether
Briah                Tuf ur biu                          Anahattachakra              Tiphareth
Yetzirah          Bi a’a chefu                       Svadhisthanachakra      Yesod
Assiah              Dudu ner af an nuteru  Muladharachakra           Malkuth

Read more of this post

eternity

I worship the greatly beautiful one, with limbs the colour of thunderclouds, who is naked and sits on the corpse of Shiva, who has three eyes and earrings made of the bones of two young handsome boys, who is garlanded with skulls and flowers

Invoking Shakti

Shri Shankara said – Liquor, which is under a curse, is the form of the Absolute. Freeing it from the curse it becomes the Absolute itself, the supreme ambrosia. O Devi, it becomes like this by offering to Mahadevi.

From the 14th chapter of Shri Matrika Bheda Tantra (translated by Mike Magee)

Some notes on tantra

Among the many meanings of the word tantra (root tan, “extend,” “continue,” “multiply”), one concerns us particularly – that of “succession,” “unfolding,” “continuous process.” Tantra would be “what extends knowledge” (tanyate, vistarayate, jnanam anena iti tantram).

We must reckon with possible Gnostic influences, which could have reached India by way of Iran over the Northwest frontier. For more than one curious parallel can be noted between tantrism and the great Western mysterio-sophic current that, at the beginning of the Christian era, arose from the confluence of Gnosticism, Hermeticism, Greco-Egyptian alchemy, and the traditions of the Mysteries. Read more of this post

Tripurasundari

I invoke the devi Tripurasundari, mahavidya of Lalita

Goddess of Beauty and Play and Love and Joy!

Let us invoke the sweet smelling one!

Naked, with fiery green eyes and golden skin, hair aflame in crimson light

Her arms granting boons and dispelling all fear.

Her naked body marked with blood and ash,

Her heart aflame with passion and fire!

Aom!  I salute the beautiful one of three worlds!

Jai Devi! Jai Tripurasundari!

Obeiassance to the Lotus eyed one of sweet nectars, Jai Pankajakshi![1]

Aom!  With incense of sandal I salute Thee!  Jai Devi!

Aom!  With lights I salute Thee!  Jai Istadevi![2]

Aom!  With water I salute Thee!  Jai Sarvagata![3]

Be favourable to me, oh blossom honey of light!

Grant thine aid unto me, that I may come to rest

in your sweet smelling presence, Jai Shrimati![4]

With sandalpaste, ash, sindur and water I am marked

to your devotions, oh Vibhutidevi![5]

With the bijamantra HRIM I invoke Thee!

AOM HRIM HRIM HRIM!

Jai Tripurasundari!  Jai Lalita!  Jai Devi!

Oh, Mandayanti[6], grant me Thy grace!  Give me of Thy milk to drink!

Oh, Jayesvari[7], inform me with Thy blood kissess!

Let Thy brilliant light shine through me, fullfilling me of Thy divine embrace!

Jai Sadhya!  Jai Sadhwi!  Jai Sara!  Jai Savitri![8] Aom!

Aom nama Tripurasundari!

Aom HRIM HRIM HRIM!

Jai Istadevi!

Aom!


[1] (Pankaja “mud born, lotus” + akshi “eye”) The lotus eyed.

[2] One’s chosen goddess (“beloved goddess.”)

[3] (sarva “all” + gata “having gone”) Having pervaded all, having reached everywhere.

[4] (shri “beauty, light, wealth” + mati “having”) Having beauty and fortune, the beautiful.

[5] Glory, might, wealth.  Consecrated ash used by devotees of Shiva.  Also the 6th of Lalitas 108 names.

[6] Delighting, rejoicing.

[7] (jaya “victorious” + iswara “sovereign goddess”).  The victorious goddess.

[8] Sadhya, “the attainable,” a name of Lalita.  Sadhwi, “the virtuous.”  Sara, “the Essence.”  Savitri, the consort of the Sun.

[March 1998]