Tag Archives: aleister crowley

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.

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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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

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!

Influences

In my teens I was in a few bands. I played guitar and also would program our electronic drum machine. Seems we were always looking for a real live, human drummer to round out the lineup (harder to find than you might imagine!). One thing about being in a rock band is that you are always mentioning your influences in order to give a sense of where you originated from, what inspires your own music and creativity, and so on. This type of description would also be used to help find other musicians, such as a drummer! Basically, what are your roots? For our band the Brethren, we had some clearly defined influences: The Sisters of Mercy, Red Lorrie Yellow Lorrie, Fields of the Nephilim, Killing Joke… The idea was that given enough references to influences, you might attract the sort of fellow musicians and fans that are drawn to a particular sound or genre. In our case, that was “death rock.”

Read more of this post

Happy Birthday Soror Meral

Today I remember my dear friend and teacher, Phyllis Seckler (Soror Meral). I wrote this in 2004 on the day of her death.

Soror Meral: In Memorium (1917 – 2004)

Phyllis Seckler

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

I first met Phyllis in 1991 e.v. I had written to her as a young man in seek of the Light of Truth, with all of the arrogance and naivete that youth embodies.

My letter was not too long, simply stating that it was “my Will to become a Probationer of A.’.A.’.” She replied back some weeks later with an add for In the Continuum, and a brief letter explaining that she would not admit anyone to A.’.A.’. without first completing Course I of the College of Thelema. My eyes being set on the reward, I immediately wrote back with a letter giving some of my background, and an order for all of the issues of I.T.C. Read more of this post

Constrain the Mind to Concentrate

I wrote this short piece many years ago. While there is a depth to yoga disciplines that go far beyond what Crowley discussed, I do still agree that his simplified adaptation of the 8 Limbs is a good basic primer on practical yoga exercises to achieve a well rounded practice in ones daily work.

Many western practitioners neglect the most fundamental aspects of meditation and calming the body, much to their disadvantage. The need to be able to concentrate, visualize, calm the body, increase energy, and so on, are essential techniques in western ritual that are used for every practice. Crowley’s introduction to the Yoga Sutras at the very least gives the westerner a simple way to get started and begin seeing benefits of practice almost immediately.

While Eight Lectures on Yoga is in no way a substitute for in depth training and practice for those that would go deep into the path of yoga, it is without a doubt good basic instruction in the fundamentals of practice that anyone can begin with. If limited only to his instruction, one would certainly see plenty of benefits in all aspects of their daily life.

Read more of this post

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!

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

The Star Ruby

First appearing in print with the publication of the Book of Lies in 1913 e.v., the Star Ruby (chapter 25 of Liber CCCXXXIII) was described by Crowley as a “new and more elaborate version of the Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram.” Disciples at the Abbey of Thelema in Cefalu performed the ritual as part of their daily practices, along with Will and Liber Resh. The ritual was later modified somewhat and released in 1929 e.v. as an appendix of Magick in Theory and Practice (Book4: Part III), where Crowley also noted in chapter 13: “It is usually sufficient to perform a general banishing, and to rely upon the aid of the guardians invoked. Let the banishing therefore be short, but in no wise slurred – for it is useful as it tends to produce the proper attitutude of mind for the invocations. ‘The Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram’ (as now rewritten, Liber 333, Cap. XXV) is the best to use.” 

Built up from the traditional Lesser Pentagram Ritual of the Golden Dawn (see Liber O vel Manus et Sagittae, section IV), while similar in some aspects, the Star Ruby also has many significant differences in its structure; for example, using Greek instead of Hebrew intonations; similarly, while its predecessor is suitable for both invoking and banishing elemental forces, the Star Ruby is exclusively a banishing ritual – and a truly thorough, focused, and exceedingly powerful one. The rituals do build upon one another, and it has been found beneficial in my experience to first master the older form before working with this new and improved ritual.  Read more of this post

The Hexagram Ritual

Originally restricted to the use of Adepts of the Ordo Roseae Rubeae et Aureae Crucis (“Order of the Ruby Rose and Golden Cross), the secret Second Order of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the ritual of the Hexagram saw the light of day with Crowley’s exposure of the Golden Dawn rituals throughout the serialized Equinox. With many subsequent exposures of the Golden Dawn’s curriculum, the ritual of the Hexagram has a much wider audience and is now common knowledge, if not use, among many magicians. One can buy a variety of books, ranging dramatically in quality, to find amongst the arcane exposed gnosis the Lesser and Greater Rituals of the Hexagram.  Yet, despite this, the ritual remains somewhat obscure to most. While the Pentagram rites are now ubiquitous amongst magicians both seasoned and new, the formula of the 6-fold star remains more mysterious, even allusive.

The Hexagram or Macrocosmic Star is a reflection in geometric form of the unity between the Divine and Human. As a talisman of the unity of consciousness and polarities (“As above, so below; as within, so without”), its’ six points are associated with the classical planets as delineated on the Tree of Life, with our radiant Father Sol placed in the center.  Of the figure of the Hexagram, Papus tells us:

“The triangle pointing up represents all that ascends, it is particularly the symbol of fire, of heat. The one with the point down represents all that descends, it is especially the symbol of water, of humidity. The union of the two triangles represents the combination of heat and humidity; of the sun and the moon. It symbolizes the principle of creation, the circulation from heaven to earth. This figure gives the explanation of Hermes’ words in the Emerald Tablet: ‘It goes up from the earth to heaven and, vice versa, it goes down to earth and receives the force of superior and inferior things. ‘”

Unlike the Pentagram rituals, which are elemental and far wider in application, the Hexagram rite was originally designed for the Adept of the Golden Dawn, and contains symbolism based upon their reception into the Second Order. The Signs of L.V.X. which open and close the rite are the symbolic gestures by which the Adept attuned to the forces of the Tiphareth as the Sun of the Soul, a representation of the GOD-MAN or homo superior, being the keys by which the symbolic Vault of Christean Rosenkreutz was opened. The Analysis of the Key Word I.N.R.I. were a further reflection on the cycle of life as represented by the Sun, as well as that interior luminary which serves the the Lamp of the Magus. The six points of the figure are attributed to the 6 classical planets in their order as given on the Tree of Life, with the radiance of Our Father Sol in the center. Each planet in turn may be associated with the inner centers of spiritual force, the chakras of the Hindus, as well as with Zodiacal influences. And so we see that the symbol is at once a reflection of the living Truth of the Emerald Tablet; once again, “as above, so below.”  The planets in their movements in the heavens are reflected in the interior centers of force in our psychospiritual makeup.

Through geometric Kabbalah the six-pointed figure is associated with the sixth sephira on the Tree of Life, Tiphareth, the “interior sun” of the magician.  As a symbol of union, the macrocosmic star represents the union of the magician with the Holy Guardian Angel. The interplay of extremes such as fire and water, light and darkness, Will and Love, symbolized by the union of the two triangles, all reflect on the nature of that attainment. As such, a full understanding of the Star of the Macrocosm may be found within the heart of the magician herself, as a reflection of the Truth of which we are all an expression.  Where the 5 points of the pentagram show the aspiration towards the divine with an equilibrium of elements and a seeming craving for the radiant L.V.X., the hexagram expresses the brilliant fire of the Gnostic Sun surrounded by six centers of force in perfect equipoise. One may enter the true Vault of the Adepts by apprehension and application of this symbol in the life of the magician.

“He that hath the knowledge of the Microcosm, cannot long be ignorant of the know­ledge of the Macrocosm. This is that which the Egyptian industrious searchers of Nature so often said, and loudly proclaimed‑‑that every one should KNOW HIMSELF. This speech their dull disciples (the Greeks) took in a moral sense, and in ignorance affixed it to their Temples. But I admonish thee, whosoever thou art, that desirest to dive into the inmost parts of Nature, if that which thou seekest thou findest not within thee, thou wilt never find it without thee. If thou knowest not the excellency of thine own house, why dost thou seek and search after the excellency of other things? The universal Orb of the world contains not so great mysteries and excellences as a little Man, formed by God to his own Image. And he who desires the primacy amongst the students of Nature, will no­where find a greater or better field of study than himself. Therefore will I follow the example of the Egyptians, and from my whole heart, and certain true experience proved by me, speak to my neighbor in the words of the Egyptians, and with a loud voice do not proclaim: O MAN, KNOW THYSELF, in Thee is hid the Treasure of Treasures.”

— The Center of Nature Concentrated; or, The Salt of Nature Regenerated, Alipili

[written September 2003]