Tag Archives: tantra

Thelemic Refuge

A new article is posted from my book The Magickal Union of East and West entitled Thelemic Refugepeters_thelemicarmor. Enjoy!

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The Dark Destroyer

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

The Dark Destroyer.

Llewellyn Magick Update

The Llewellyn Magick Update with my article, and lots of other good stuff, now available!

 

new arrival today

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

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.

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

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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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!

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).

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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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

DSC_0149

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

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, part 2

Continuing from an earlier post that mentioned some of the guru/teacher figures that have been important in my own Work, in this post I’ll mention some of the traditions and philosophies that I find of personal significance.

Read more of this post

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

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!

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

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.

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

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]