Magical Work for August 30, 2010

Date: August 30, 2010
Time: 8-9 p.m.
Sun Phase: Setting
Moon Phase: Last Quarter, 57% Full
Activities: Qabalistic Cross, Fourfold Elemental Lesser Invoking Ritual of the Pentagram (FELIRP), Adoration of the Lord of the Universe, Instruction in the Rite of Elemental Equilibration, Practice by Quarter,  Rite of Elemental Equilibration, Qabalistic Cross, Mindfulness Walk, ESP Card Practice, Hebrew letter Study

J. and I began by setting up the Temple in accordance with the Golden Dawn traditions with the parts of the Mystic Repast of the Four Elements upon the altar in their appropriate directions (rose in East, red candle in South, cup of wine in West, bread and salt in North). I also added in some of my other symbols of the Earth element alongside the bread: a pinecone, a green stone, a quartz crystal, a branch of pine.  We put on our sashes and took up our banishing/invoking wands.

I began by explaining to J. the nature of the elemental attributions to the pentagram within the G.’.D.’. tradition and we discussed these together along with some points about the larger G.’.D.’. system.  We planned out how we would perform the FELIRP as a group since J. had not yet learned the full details of the basic LIRP formula.  We decided that we would perform the QC in synchronization, vibrating at the same time and performing the same ritual gestures.  Then I would guide the performance of the FELRIP and he would focus on the visualizations and on projecting his energy with the Sign of the Enterer as we charged the Invoking Pentagrams in each of the directions.  He would strengthen the visualizations with his energy during the calling of the Archangels and we would once again perform the QC in tandem to close the ritual.

The experience of this ritual was quite strong.  I felt the flow of the energies rushing into the temple with the different qualities of the elements.  J. later told me that at one point during the ritual he felt that the room was positively humming with energy.  My own experience supported this feeling.

After this, we performed the ALU side by side towards the East, which added to the sense of reverence and connection with the Divine LVX established by the QC and FELIRP.

Since we had invoked the elemental energies of Air Water, Fire, and Earth, it was necessary to equilibrate these.  J. did not yet know the Rite of Elemental Equilibration, so I explained it and practiced it with him step by step until he felt ready to practice the whole Rite.  We then did so in tandem, following the pattern of the synchronized Qabalistic Cross.  The result was a profound feeling of balance, peace, and energy.   We closed with a final QC to finalize the equilibration.  We then partook of the Mystic Repast and closed the temple with great respect for the powers and energies of the elements that had been present for the ceremony.

Following this, we took a walk outside and practiced being mindful of our feelings in relation to the Elements in our surroundings.  Both he and I independently reported feeling a connection to Earth and Air that was especially strong on that windy night.  J. later told me that was the most meaningful walk he had been on in years.

Returning to the Temple, we practiced the ESP exercise with the Duke University ESP cards.  We did quite poorly; I only correctly guessed 2 out of 25, while Jordan scored 3.  I did note an interesting phenomenon however; though Jordan incorrectly guessed the card in my hand, in 10 of these cases his guess corresponded not to the card I was holding, but to the following card to be guessed.

We ended off the night by studying some of the basic Hebrew letters and practicing drawing them correctly and bid farewell.  Overall, it was a deeply fulfilling night and gave us the first sense of an “egregoric” energy forming between us.  The experience of vibrating the words of the QC was particularly strong for me; the resonance and harmony of our voices and the synchronous invocation of energy seemed to double the strength of our individual efforts.

On Looking At the World Through The Lenses of Differing Systems

Models of the universe all merely approximate it, they do not exhaust it. Seeing the world through the lenses of different systems can generate enriching insights. It is for this reason that I feel comfortable shifting between models, seeing the world through scientific, Qabalistic, Zen Buddhist, artistic, and philosophical lenses. I look through these lenses, but I staple none of them to my eyes.

Models of the universe all merely approximate it, they do not exhaust it. Seeing the world through the lenses of different systems can generate enriching insights. It is for this reason that I feel comfortable shifting between models, seeing the world through scientific, Qabalistic, Zen Buddhist, artistic, and philosophical lenses. I look through these lenses, but I staple none of them to my eyes.

On the Efficacy of Magical Symbols

In a recent thread on Occult Corpus, Cavalier expressed the viewpoint that one should not inscribe symbols on his or her implements without understanding their meaning.  His reasoning was that the symbols work by means of our understanding of what they represent.

I fully agree. In his book, The Tree of Life, Israel Regardie expresses a similar viewpoint. He suggests that, in magic, symbols are used to tap into and harness currents of force on various levels of being (e.g. elemental energies). If the magician does not form a link between the symbol and the corresponding force or power, the symbol remains impotent for him or her; it is understanding and experience that allow one to establish this crucial link.

For example, merely tracing a star and a triangle in the air without understanding their symbolism is not likely to produce any observable result for the average person. However, if one understands the logic behind the Invoking Pentagram of Earth and traces it in the air in the direction of North, charges it with the Hebrew Divine Name corresponding to the direction (AGLA), and then traces the invoking Triangle of Earth, charging it with the Divine name of Earth (ADONAI HA-ARETZ) while connecting with the energies of Earth through vivid visualizations… the case is very different. Here, the symbols are understood and are used to bring about the Willed effect or result, namely the invocation of earth energies. Occult symbols develop power when they become usable as points of access to currents of force and power and instruments for harnessing and directing these energies. In and of themselves, they have no power. This, at least, is my philosophy of the efficacy of symbols in magic, which is the fruit of my study and practical experience.

From this, we can conclude that the mere drawing of symbols from a given system on an implement is not likely to be very effectual or powerful if their meanings are not understood and if the magician is not acquainted with the forces that they are designed to harness. Symbols do not have inherent magical power, though some symbols are better suited to symbolizing certain powers and ideas than others.  This is so through their sympathetic connection with the powers to be symbolized, established via some common quality between the two.  The best symbols for magical work are also visually striking and imaginatively evocative; the mere sight of these symbols inspires ideas and emotional responses, often of reverence and awe.  In short, what is important for the symbols employed in magical work is that the symbols and symbolism of the magician’s tools are understood by him or her.  It is by virtue of this understanding, in addition to other factors (e.g. the sympathetic link between the sign and signified, the frequency with which the tool is used to work with the target forces or energies, the ability level of the magician) that turns mere objects into powerful magical tools.

On “Whom is Addressed in the LBRP”

On the Occult Corpus forums, Cavalier asked the important question of whom exactly is addressed by the LBRP.

The LBRP can be understood as working on a number of levels. It can be seen as addressing the Godhead on the macrocosmic level, the Yechidah or Higher Self (on the microcosmic level), and the Holy Guardian Angel/Higher Genius/Augoeides as well. To integrate these levels, we can say that the LBRP addresses “The Higher Genius of the invocant conceived of as the microcosm of the Godhead in the invocant’s sphere of sensation” (quote: Caliban of Occult Corpus). To put the point in Hindu terminology, the LBRP reaches Brahman through the Atman (according to the Upanishads, they are not two; Brahman is “one without a second”).

What we must understand about the Qabalistic Cross is that it is a rite of equilibration and has qabalistic foundations. It links up nicely with a line from the Christian Lord’s prayer, and this was probably an intentional seed-hint at the esoteric Christianity of the Second Order (R.R. et A.C.). However, what is actually going on in the Qabalistic Cross is that the Divine Light (Divine energy or creative force of the universe) is brought into the sphere of sensation of the magician and equilibrated according to the aspects of the microcosmic Tree of Life:

With “Atah,” the Light of the macrocosmic Kether is brought down to the microcosmic Kether within the sphere of sensation above and including the head.

Malkuth” brings the Light down to the point where the feet touch the ground, but it is also the name of the 10th sephirah, Malkuth.

ve Gedulah” equilibrates the Light in the right shoulder, but is also a reference to the sephirah of Chesed, which is also sometimes called “Gedulah” in Qabalistic souces.

ve Geburah” equilibrates the Light in the left shoulder, but is also a reference to the sephirah of the same name, Geburah.

Finally, the Cross of Life, formulated in the visualization of the magician is balanced with the “Le-Olahm, Amen” at the heart, near the microcosmic center of Tiphareth.

It is for these Qabalistic reasons that the rite is called the “Qabalistic Cross,” and isn’t simply an exoteric Christian Sign of the Cross.

This particular example underscores the fact taht some understanding of the Tree of Life is absolutely essential to fully understanding any of the Golden Dawn’s rituals whatsoever, as I think this particular example makes quite clear. This is especially clear in the cases of the Grade Initiations as well.

Take care,
Frater S.C.F.V.

August 17, 2010 – Ritual Work

Date: August 17, 2010
Time: 6-7 p.m.
Sun Phase: Setting
Moon Phase: Waxing Gibbous, 65% Full
Activities: Qabalistic Cross, Fourfold Elemental Lesser Invoking Ritual of the Pentagram (FELIRP), Middle Pillar, Adoration of the Lord of the Universe, Rite of Elemental Equilibration, Qabalistic Cross

I have begun this blog as an online record of my magical practices and workings.  Today’s rituals were performed in full regalia and with a semi-complete Golden Dawn temple.

I wore my grade sash, and had on the altar the cross and triangle as well as symbols of the elements: a red candle in the South, a cup of water in the West, a rose in the East, and a pinecone (Greek symbol of earth and initiation used in the rites of Eleusis and carried by Initiates (mystes); this particular one was found on the grounds of a Benedictine monastery) and stone in the North.

The rituals were performed with the Hierophant’s Wand, with its potent symbolism of the Qabalistic Middle Pillar and the connection of Kether to Malkuth which plays a key role in the symbolism of the Qabalistic Cross and other rituals.  The whole set of rituals was imbued with a great sense of power and closeness to the Elements.  I felt clear and purified as well as balanced, reverent, peaceful, and energetic at the closing of the Temple.

Today, I added to the visualizations during the Invocation of the Archangels in the FELIRP some additional elements: with the Invocation of Raphael, great gusts of wind and tornadoes were visualized as blowing in through my body and through the temple from the East.  With the invocation of Michael, great blasts of flame, as if blown from the throat of a dragon, were felt as blazing in through my body and through the Temple from the South.  With the invocation of Gabriel, a waterfall was seen as flooding a great rush of water through the temple and around myself and the Altar.  Finally, with the invocation of Auriel, great boulders were seen as rolling out of the North and bouncing through the temple, along with  a cascade of beautiful leaves, as flowers bloomed all along the floor behind the boulders and leaves.  I vividly felt the infusion of elemental energies through my being and equilibrated these with the Rite of Elemental Equilibration and Qabalistic Cross.

I also added to the visualizations of the spheres of the Middle Pillar the Queen Scale colours from the Minutum Mundum diagram, to great effect.

Overall, these were, I felt, successful rituals.  The difference from months ago to today, from before my formal grade initiation to the present, was very pronounced.  All thanks for that are due to the One Who “formulateth in Silence and Whom Naught but Silence can Express.”

One last worthy thing of note was that I performed an informal Invocation of my Holy Guardian Angel and stood in receptive silence to see if a message would come therefrom.  There was nothing but silence for a long period of time.  Then, a male voice said simply “Adam.”  Whether it was simply my imagination, another astral figure, or the actual HGA, I cannot say.  I will suspend judgment for the moment.

Frater S. C. F. V.

Frater Sapientia Compassione Fortitudineque Vivo