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 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!
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.
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.
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 CCXXXI—of the Qliphoth of each dayside Path, then immerse in the energies for weeks or months via meditation/tantra.”
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.
From the standpoint of metagnosis, or true metaphysic, science is no less a superstition than religion. Both have led man to the morass of which he now flounders. Science has augmented fear of and for this world, while religion has deluded with vague hopes for the next. The secret of everything lies in consciousness. Until investigations are stripped of inessentials, scientific and/or religious, Reality will remain obscured. The only fact of which we have direct, immediate and continuous experience, is awareness of consciousness. So-called unconsciousness is non-existent. Outside consciousness nothing whatever exists for us.
The three vehicles of Awareness (as they appear from the waking state) are identified as body, mind and consciousness. When awareness is identified with the body, then the consciousness of ‘things’ is experienced. But when the stand is in total Awareness, consciousness is no longer experienced individually but cosmically, universally; not personalized but impersonalized. It is then as it always was and will be — the True Self.
… That which is usually considered to be a blank, a hiatus, is in truth all that we are, Consciousness Pure, sometimes called the Self…
1. If one looks through the sense organs, gross objects appear. This is the waking state.
2. If one looks through the mind, subtle objects (thoughts) appear. This is the dream state.
3. If one sees from Mind Quiescent, only the seer remains, and THAT is Consciousness. To the unenlightened, this state appears as sleep; to the enlightened is appears as Reality.”
“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
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.
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. Seven, or 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