Deeper Mysteries of the Great Work: Golden Dawn, Buddhism, and Advaita Vedanta

By Frater S.C.F.V.

GoldenDawnlogoQ: I would like to ask you a question. I have been studying some great Golden Dawn based books and I have noticed there seems to be a lot of attention on the will. Personally, having studied the teachings of Buddhism and Advaita Vedants, I tend not to believe in “free will.”

To me, the world does not make much sense when I would accept the existence of a free will. The belief in free will also has a lot of troublesome consequences, concerning morality, a soul/mind seperate from the brain of the body which can result in many what I would call “ego based illusions” which hinder my spiritual life more then they do any good. What are your views on this subject?

A: This is a fantastic question. Your concerns resonate with some of the same ones I had when I began studying the Golden Dawn since, somewhat like you, I had trained in Zen Buddhism and was initiated into Advaita Vedanta.

The Buddhist approach and the Advaita approach both negate the personal I and deconstruct the sense of personal self that in the Qabalah, corresponds to the Ruach.


Advaita mainly proceeds by negating all aspects of our being and simply abiding as the so-called “Higher” Self, Atman-Brahman, or the Awareness of the Yechidah. When the Advaita sage Nisargadatta Maharaj talks about holding on to the pure and simple sense of being, which he calls the “sense I Am,” that is ultimately consonant with the G.D. system since the Divine Name of Keter (כתר) is Eheieh (אהיה – I Am).

Beyond Keter (כתר) is the limitless light of pure Awareness (אין סוף אור – Ain Soph Aur), beyond which is the Ain Soph (אֵין סוֹף – Limitlessness) and Ain (אֵין – No-thingness), which is beyond all concepts altogether — that is Nisargadatta’s Absolute.


It is also related to the Sunyata or emptiness of Buddhism, which is beyond even Oneness. When Zen masters say “all things return to the One, but to where does this One return?” They are pointing to the Absolute or Ground of Dzogchen or Christian mystical Godhead that is prior to both duality and nonduality, beyond phenomenological twoness and even Oneness itself.

The Qabalah’s approach as used in the G.D. is different from Advaita in the sense that it doesn’t proceed by fixating on the Yechidah or constantly negating the Ruach, although part of the 5=6 teachings concern the humbling of the personal I in surrender to the Divine.

That is, instead of fixating on constantly denying and deconstructing the personal I and clinging to the Higher Self, the Golden Dawn system simply places both in balanced context. In the Outer Order Grades, the aspirant works on building up the confidence, balance, and balance of elements within their being to train them for the magical and inner work to come.

In the Adeptus Minor, as the system is meant to be worked, one integrates what one has learned and yet humbles oneself in surrender to our Divine Nature, the Inner and the Outer, about which the Qur’an writes, “wheresoever you turn, there is the Face of God!”


“The Angel of the Birds” by Franz Dvorak, 1910.

In the following passage from his What You Should Know About the Golden Dawn/My Rosicrucian Adventure, Golden Dawn Adept Israel Regardie speaks to the Hermetic approach to seeing through the ego’s illusions and our more fundamental craving impulses and how magic works to bring them into balance rather than ignoring/negating them to fixate on the higher Self, which sets them up to unconsciously wreak havoc on our lives.

This tendency towards imbalance is unfortunately what I often sadly observed in the Advaita community — that many in the community talked all day about awareness and non-self, but their lives were a mess of narcissism, anxiety, depression, nihilism, solipsism, often abusing other people and rationalizing it and so on. This was not true for the majority of students, but certainly the case for many. I observed it among some of my Zen brothers and sisters as well. These are the pitfalls of a mystical Way without Balance, as Regardie points out:

“Let me quote a few especially appropriate lines from Jung in connection with this Fall, when the fundamental basis of the Ruach has been attracted to the kingdom of shells, and when Malkuth has been completely cut off from the other Sephirot:

“Consciousness thus torn from its roots and no longer able to appeal to the authority of the primordial images, [the archetypes], possesses a Promethean freedom, it is true, but it also partakes of the nature of a godless hubris or arrogance. It soars above the earth, even above mankind, but the danger of capsizing is there, not for every individual to be sure, but collectively for the weak members of such a society, who again Promethean-like, are bound by the unconscious to the Caucasus.”

It will not do, then, for the Adept to be cut off from his roots, but he must unite and integrate his entire Tree, and train and develop the titanic forces of the unconscious so that they become as a powerful but docile beast whereon he may ride



Israel Regardie and Chic Cicero.

Thus, as we work towards bringing the dimensions of our being into alignment and Qabalistic balance, we aim for harmonization between our body (G’uph), its basic sensory and impression-receptive functions (Nephesh), a human personality and astral energetic body (Ruach), but also a deeper Self, an Awareness-I, and a sense of Willing (Yechidah, Chiah, Neshamah).

None of these dimensions absolutely or separately exists, as Buddhism points out; they, and everything else in the Universe, inter-are. The sense of Will also interdependently arises like all other manifest phenomena in the universe.

However, while Absolutely, no Will exists, relatively, it does, and is a force of Mind with which we can work. This is how I understand the work we do in Magic and the Golden Dawn path of the Great Work; we’re operating, not as an isolated separate entity, but as the Whole working on and with itself as reflected through the prism of our human consciousness and unique body-mind conditions.

This is particularly true in the selfless magic in the 6=5 Grade and the work of mystical service as the All serving the All in the 7=4 Grade, which is akin to the Path of the Bodhisattva in Mahayana Buddhism.


Relief image of the bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara from Mount Jiuhua, Anhui, China

The practical key to the work at all of these levels and layers is to bring all of the Qabalistic aspects of our being into alignment and work towards the Greater Good or Summum Bonum of the individual, family, community, society, and commonwealth of all beings.

In this way, we aim to avoid falling into either the imperious self-centeredness of a Ruach fallen into self-centered egotism or the trap of dissociated total disconnection from our humble humanness into which many Buddhists and Advaitins fall into by clinging to the Yechidah/Buddha Nature/Self.

In the Path of the Adept, we similarly aim to train ourselves to avoid living slavishly at the mercy of our basic desires and G’uph and Nephesh-based cravings, which as the Buddha points out, can serve us in the short term, but also give rise to suffering. As I see it, the Way of the Adept is in the final assessment, much like the Way of a Buddha, Arhant, Maharaj, or Bodhisattva, in that it is a Way of Balance.


The Pillars on the Qabalistic Tree of Life.

This teaching is evident in the Golden Dawn system from the role of the Hegemon in the Neophyte Grade Ceremony up through the Mysteries of Tipharet in the Adeptus Minor Grade and the Middle Pillar of Balanced Power between the Pillar of Severity/Strength and the Pillar of Mercy/Lovingkindness on the Qabalistic Tree of Life.

To quote the wise words of the Hiereus to this effect in the 0=0 Grade Initiation Ceremony, the task of the Initiate is to

“Study well that Great Arcanum, the proper equilibrium of mercy and severity, for either unbalanced is not good; unbalanced severity is cruelty and oppression; unbalanced mercy is but weakness and would permit evil to exist unchecked, thus making itself as it were the accomplice of that evil.”

Or, in short, the task of the Adept is to aim for balance, even in studying and working with the dynamics of polarity and the yin-yang of duality, the Mystery of nonduality, and the Absolute beyond both…


Light in Extension,
Frater S.C.F.V.,
Day of the Sun, February 25, 2018

Consecrating Talismans on the Subway: The Nitty Gritty of the Magical Life

Date: Monday, September 19, 2011
Time: 10-11:30 A.M.
Sun Phase: Rising
Moon Phase: Waning Gibbous 58% of Full
Mood: Stressed then Energized and Invigourated 
Activities: Invocation of the Goddess Ma’at, Extemporaneous Creation and Consecration of a Ma’at Talisman, Qabalistic Cross

In an ideal universe, the magician would always have his or her tools, vestments, and temple space on hand when needed.  In practice, however, we often find ourselves in situations where we have none of these things and only our own consciousness and inward connection to the Divine on which to rely.  Today, I found myself in one such situation.

This morning, L. experienced something approaching a nervous breakdown or a severe panic attack.  She said she felt she could not be alone, like she was in a tremendously vulnerable state.  I stayed with her as long as I could, but I had to be on my way to McGill for 11, and therefore, could not stay with her as long as I had hoped.

When we boarded our subway, headed for McGill, L. asked if I could perform something quick for her in order to give her a sense of safety and guidance.  Since Ma’at had appeared to her yesterday and she had already established some connection to the Godform by means of our ‘Chymical Marriage,’ I decided to quickly create and consecrate a Ma’at talisman for her.  I only had 10 minutes.  Precious little time.  I was in a packed subway car without any of my ceremonial tools and also, therefore, had precious little space

I took out a piece of paper and drew a picture of Ma’at from memory with all of her distinguishing characteristics: feather, wings, dark eyes, etc.  I drew two Eyes of Horus within the circle.  I encircled this central circle with a larger circle in which I wrote: MA’AT, THEMIS, TH’ME, and Yod-Heh-Vahv-Heh in Hebrew.  I drew Stars of David betwen the names in the manner of some of the Pentacles from the Greater Key of Solomon, a convention I often use in talismanic magic. 

I then placed my right hand over the talisman and closed my eyes.  I invoked the Goddess in her Egyptian form as Ma’at, Coptic form as Th’me and Greek form as Themis, and saw her appear in my Sphere of Sensation in all three forms.  I asked Ma’at to guide and care for L., to help her find balance, to assist her in discovering and establishing inner peace and release from the mental vicissitudes that plagued her, and to inspire comfort, caring and contentment within her being. 

I saw the three forms of the Goddess point their respective wands at the astral form of the talisman and project their energies into it.  Simultaneously,  I felt the energies descend through my arm and enter the talisman, infusing it.  I thanked the Goddess and the Limitless Light and One Divine of which she is an archetypal image and saw the three forms of the Goddess slowly fade as they walked out of my sphere of sensation.  I opened my eyes and was jarringly thrust back into the waking experience of Malkuth just as I arrived at my metro station. 

“Hold this and keep it with you,” I said before hugging her quickly and kissing her lips. She was surely cognitively and emotionally ill, but as the metro doors closed behind me, I remembered the fundamental profession of the Rosicrucians: to cure the sick and that, gratis.  God willing, she too, would find her own inward cure, the healing medicine of the Self which alone can cure the ailments of the self. 


I walked up to McGill still buzzing and trembling with energy from the rapid invocation and impromptu consecration of the talisman.  I felt very disequillibrated and, therefore, ducked into a bathroom stall at McGill to perform a quick Qabalistic Cross to balance myself.  Prior to beginning the QC, I invoked the Godform of Ma’at once more and saw her astrally hand me the astral form of the Hegemon’s wand, which I felt in my physical hand and used to physically perform the ritual. Upon its completion, I felt balanced and substantially calmer.  Looking at my face in the mirror, I was struck by how much brighter it seemed.  It seemed to glow, not with my own power, but with that White Brilliance which alone illumines all things.  I had only recently woken up and barely slept, but as a result of the invocation, consecration, and balancing, now felt absolutely energized and keenly awake.

As a final note, there are some who would attack me for performing a talismanic consecration in a subway or a rite as sacred as that of the QC in a public washroom.  To them, I have two points of reply: (1) The first point of reply is that living the practical life of the magician sometimes requires us to practice in places we would ordinarily not choose to do so.  When our inner alchemical conditions and introspective insights incline or call us to a particular action, however, we would be wise to listen, for the Higher Self prompts us with its inner guidance in often unexpected ways.  We are foolish if we refuse its call and cast out its guidance simply because it is unfamiliar or seems to contradict our ideas about what is ‘sacred’ and ‘proper.’  The Higher Self transcends our ideas of propriety; it speaks only to lived necessity, to inner needs and the meeting thereof. 

(2) The second point of reply is that from the Qabalistic point of view, every place is sacred and holy, for all things are none other than the Divine itself.  Every place in the realm of Malkuth–even a mere bathroom sall–is none other than a concrete, physical manifestation of that same Limitless Light or Ain Soph Aur, which preceded from the Void of Ain and took form through the various Spheres and Paths of the Tree of Life.  Every place is fitting for the practice of magic, for the Divine is equally present in and as every place.  If we fail to see the Divine nature of a place, person, or thing, this blindness is a reflection of the limitation of our own perception, and not of the place, person, or thing in question.  Practice deepens insight and insight, in turn, deepens practice.

12 Key Skills and Traits for the Beginning Magician

A poster named Neptune on Occult Corpus asked the very good question of what skills and qualities the beginner in magic–and magicians in general–should strive to develop. Here is a list of 12 such abilities and characteristics that I have found incredibly important in my own practice:

1. Meditation – the specifically the ability to concentrate, silencing all unrelated thoughts, on a single thing for an extended period of time (starting with a few minutes and working up to a few hours–the required time for long ceremonial magical operations, if you intend to pursue that path). One can sit comfortably on a chair with hands on one’s thighs and the spine straight, or on a cushion in a meditative pose (asana). One can either meditate on a single object or image for an extended period of time, or simply observe the breath coming in and going out and allow the mind to settle down. This latter approach, called Zazen in the Zen Buddhist tradition, is my preferred meditation technique.

2. Visualization – the ability to call up images in your mind and hold them there, beginning with simple things (e.g. a yellow X) and leading up to full-color figures (e.g. a godform).

3. Creativity – the ability to come up with original and creative solutions, ideas for rituals, etc. One way to develop creativity is to take a given object and try to come up with as many possible uses for that object as you can. For instance, a paperclip. At first, you may only be able to come up with 10, but gradually this will increase to 50 and higher. Then you’ll learn to think outside the box — why not make the paperclip 50 feet tall? Why not give it neon lights? etc.

4. Willpower – the ability to direct your will towards something and intensify it. Cultivate this by doing exercises that heighten your will, e.g. willing not to use a certain word for a whole week, willing to give up something you frequently do or enjoy for a week, willing yourself to take up a practice for a week, etc.

5. Critical reason – the occult is replete with great wisdom, but also with a great deal of utter nonsense and crap. Learn to discriminate. Study some basic logic and logical fallacies. Learn to be skeptical and to think carefully.

6. Energy manipulation – by whatever means you wish: psionics, visualization and willpower (e.g. in the Qabalistic Cross), Qi Gong or Tai Chi, Wiccan-style ‘raising energy,’ etc. Any way to raise energy within your sphere of sensation and direct it as you will.

7. Ritual practice – the ability to carry out a ritual with a formal beginning, middle, and end. Learn a Wiccan ritual or a Golden Dawn ritual or a Thelemic ritual and practice it until you master it. Learn to enter an altered state of consciousness while in the ritual state.

8. Breath control – or pranayama – the ability to deepen the breath and thereby calm the whole body and mind. Start with the fourfold breath, 4 second breathe in, 4 second hold, 4 second breathe out, 4 second leave lungs empty. Gradually work up to 4 movements of 8 seconds instead of 4. Then you can try bringing it up to 10 or so seconds so you are breathing 1 or 2 times per minute. This is a very deep state of consciousness. I use this kind of breathing especially for the Middle Pillar Exercise.

9. Self-hypnotism – I only recently began to study this area of occult practice after a suggestion from Poke Runyon. However, I believe it can be helpful for any form of magic, to hypnotize oneself and then enter ritual thereafter, coming out of the hypnotic state with the competion of the ritual. In the hypnotic state, the conscious mind and unconscious are working together. This is a fertile and potent state of mind.

10. Basic artistic skills – in magic, especially in chaos and ceremonial magic, we often make and use tools. It can be helpful to learn how to draw sigils, how to paint wands, etc. Learn how to use acrylic paint, acrylic varnish (overlay it over the dried acrylic to give it a shiny sheen and brighten the colors), as well as paint pens and markers. You can also cut complicated shapes out of foamboard with an exact knife, cover them with electrical tape so they don’t flake apart, and paint over them. This was how I constructed the Keryx’s Wand within the Golden Dawn system.

11. Mindfulness – this is the ability to be very aware of your body, the flow of your thoughts, the movements of your feelings, and the content of your senses. Learn to witness the movements of your mind without getting involved with them – learn to see when your mind is clinging to something (attachment), pushing something away (aversion), to pretending it knows something it doesn’t (ignorance). Your mindfulness will weaken the pull of these things over time and needless suffering will subside. You will get more peaceful as well. Mindfulness is essential for magic both because it cultivates a calm, fulfilling life and because it allows you to be aware when the results of your magic manifest in your own body-mind and in the world around you. Without mindfulness, your ritual may yield its effect while you do not even notice that it has done so!

12. Compassion and awareness of interdependence – compassion is the ability to care for others and feel for them on a level of equality, realizing that their concerns matter as much as your own and that they suffer just like you do. Developing compassion will make you a deeper human being and positively enhance all of your relationships and interactions with others. Try to meet people on a level of care and respect. Awareness of interdependence is the ability to recognize the connections between yourself, others, and the world around you. See how the apple you eat depends on the whole water cycle, on oxygen and carbon dioxide in the whole atmosphere, and on the sun thousands of miles away. See how you depend on the apple for food and hence on all of these things as well. Trace the lines that connect all things. Cultivating compassion and awareness of interdependence will save you from the trap of egotism into which far too many magicians fall.

Developing these skills and qualities will be of great benefit to the Neophyte and Adept alike, regardless of one’s magical path.

Take care,

Magical Experiences Predating Involvement with the Occult

A poster on Occult Corpus asked me if I had ever had any occult or magical experiences that preceded the beginning of my occult studies.  I can only remember three such experiences occurring, all of which seemed very eerie to me at the time…

The first happened when I was in my first relationship. I was laying on my bed, and thinking of the girl I loved, who was then at home with her family, as I often did at that time. I became very relaxed and delighted in the pleasure of thinking of her. I felt my body relaxing and had a feeling of growing lighter. I then saw, in my mind’s eye, my house growing smaller, and the buildings between her house and mine passing by. I first saw her house and then the interior of her kitchen. I saw her eating with her family, wearing a red sweater and blue jeans. I saw her putting her plate away and walking upstairs. Shortly thereafter, the phone rang, and I snapped back into my body, waking up to answer it. It was her. We talked a little and I casually asked what she was wearing. She answered that she was wearing a red sweater and blue jeans. I asked what she had been doing before calling me. She said that she had been eating supper with her family. I felt goosebumps rising up all over my body. However, when I later tried to replicate the experience intentionally, I was unable to do so…

Second, when I was 15 or so, and falling asleep, one night, I found my body relaxing as it usually did. However, I noticed a strange thing happening; my mind remained alert while my body began to paralyze itself in anticipation of sleep. That’s when I physically felt a heavy weight–feeling like two hands–pressing down on my chest. I then saw, appearing on my closed eyelids, two black eyes and an open mouth and heard within my head a steady shrieking sound… I was a devout Christian at the time, so I began to pray inwardly as fervently as I could, my body still unable to move due to sleep paralysis. After some terrifying moments, I felt the pressure on my chest easing up and the shrieking faded. I fell immediately into deep sleep and woke up the next day wondering what had happened…

The third experience occurred when I was very young. I was told that if you went and stared into a mirror while repeating a name five times, then something would happen. I don’t remember the name–it was a male name, not Bloody Mary–but I decided to try it. I stared and stared and repeated and repeated. My face slowly faded out and another one appeared. It was a bald male face with bright red eyes… no whites, only red. It stared into my eyes. I screamed and ran out of the bathroom and never tried the practice again. Interestingly, my occult studies have been taking me more and more in the direction of the black mirror…

On Not Ending Your Adventure Prematurely

As I reflected on my experience with the Golden Dawn system of Magic today, a proverb occurred to me.  I recalled how, when I had started, I had dark moments of doubt, of thinking nothing was happening in my rituals, of feeling I was wasting my time, and other such feelings.   Many times I was tempted to give the whole thing up; I have seen many people who would have been excellent magicians never make it past this stage, unfortunately.  However, I persevered, feeling that there might be more around the corner, that there was much I had to learn, that the wisdom I sought would come with time.  I am happy that I held on; the journey thereafter has become a great deal more fulfilling and deeply moving.

So the proverb I would like to share with you regardless of where you find yourself on the path of life, whether you are a magician or not, whether you work within the Golden Dawn tradition or not is as follows:

It is wise not to end an adventure before it has fully begun.

Every great story ends with a period of equilibrium before a great event happens to push it onward into new realms, new events, new transformations, and new explorations.  Perhaps your own exciting check points are just around the bend.  Hold on and persevere.  Dare to press forward and the Universe will repay you for your tenacity.

Ritual Work for Friday, November 27, 2010

Date: Friday, November 27
Time: 11:20-12:52 (Day of Venus – Hour of the Jupiter)
Sun Phase: Set
Moon Phase: Waning Gibbous, 67% Full
Activities: Rite of Purification by Water, Relaxation Ritual and Fourfold Breath, Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram with the Sword of Hiereus, Great Invocation of the Light (QC, R.B.D.L., Q.C., A.K.), Adoration of the Lord of the Universe, Themis Meditation, Adoration of the Lord of the Universe, Maat Meditation, Adoration of the Lord of the Universe, THME Meditation, Adoration of the Lord of the Universe, Assumption of the Godform of THME, Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram with the Hegemon’s Wand, Request for Guidance from THME, Stepping out of Godform, Thanking of the Elements, Formal Temple Closing and License to Depart


Today, I prepared as usual for ritual with the Rite of Purification, put on my nemyss and robe, but left my sash in the East, in anticipation of the coming Neophyte Ritual that I will be performing once more for a new Frater in the Ordo Aurum Lucerna. Instead of placing the Altar in the center of the Temple, I left it in the East, which left me a great deal of room in the midst of the Temple. I lit all of the Elemental candles and incense, and placed fresh water in the Stolistes cup.

I lay on the ground in the center of the Temple and performed the Relaxation Ritual and Fourfold Breath. The orb of Golden Light was allowed to drift into each area of tension and dissipate it. This was quite relaxing; I took the time and did not rush it as I sometimes do. The results proved the old proverb once more; you get out what you put in, the output is a measure of the input.

I placed all of the lamens of the Outer Order officers in their respective places in the Temple and took up the Sword of the Hiereus. I proceeded to the center of the Temple of the East, and there began the Qabalistic Cross. I took time to perform it slowly and with great feeling, visualizing myself expanding more and more beyond the Temple, Greenfield Park, Montreal, the South Shore, Quebec, Canada, the World, the Solar System, and filling all of the Universe (this visualization may have been aided by it being the Hour of Jupiter at the time, with Jupiter governing and supporting all forms of growth and expansion). I then brought down the Light and equilibrated it in the Cross of Light throughout the body and the whole of the Universe. This was the most effective Qabalistic Cross I have experienced in a long time.

I then performed the entirety of the LBRP with the Hiereus’ Sword. During the Invocation of the Archangels, I felt a light, comforting, but strong presence in the Quarters of the Angels, though I only saw them wearing the ‘clothes’ of the canons of imagery prescribed by the Golden Dawn with the assigned elemental robes and implements. Still, this was a comforting feeling that added a sense of protective balance to the ritual.

Upon completing the LBRP, I performed the Great Invocation of the Light, again slowly, and with great feeling. The vibratory formula was effective tonight; I felt the vibrations throughout my body and the presence of the Light as a glowing energetic warmth. After the completion of the Great Invocation of the Light, I performed the Adoration of the Lord of the Universe. I then returned the Hiereus’s Sword to the West and returned to the East. There, I began the process of carrying the Elemental Candles one by one and placing them on the floor in the center of the Temple. I was then able to sit in the midst of them, and there perform the THME Meditations.

I began with the Themis meditation, seeing the Goddess again balancing and strengthening me with the Scale of Justice and nourishing me with the Golden Cup of Divine nectar. This was successful, but not particularly powerful.

I then performed the A.L.U. once more and performed the Maat meditation. The visualization of Maat was a great deal stronger; I saw her standing with her black nemyss, dark eyes, and about her head, a red ribbon and the Shu feather. Her gown was green with red, blue and yellow flashing undertones. In one hand, she held the Lotus wand; in the other, she held a golden ankh. She wore a brightly-coloured colour and around her wrists, coloured wristbands. She attached a Shu feather to my head and, taking up her Lotus Wand, blasted a current of Light into my Kether, Daath, Tiphareth, Yesod, and Malkuth centers. She also projected Light into the other spheres of the microcosmic Tree of Life, completing it. I felt a great connection to her, which filled me with reverence.

I then performed the A.L.U. And the THME Meditation. I saw the goddess standing in a white and black striped nemyss; she wore a black gown with a black and white pectoral collar. About her wrists, she wore black and white wristbands. She carried only the Phoenix Wand. I saw the Godforms of Themis and Maat merge with her; under he nemyss, I seemed to see a lock of the hair of Themis, and her eyes were those of Maat. She spoke to me and as she did, her wand transformed into the Wand of the Hegemon. I felt a great connection to her as she embodied her Greek, Egyptian and Coptic forms. I ended with the Adoration of the Lord of the Universe.

Wishing to connect more deeply with the Godform and the Officer of the Hegemon, I assumed the Godform of THME, stepping into it and feeling its energy washing over me. I then took up the Wand of the Hegemon and performed the LBRP. The experience was energizing; the Qabalistic Cross seemed to be extra powerful. When the Pentagrams were traced, I saw the hand of THME doing it; I saw her arms and her legs as my own, her body as my body, her face as my face.

After the final Qabalistic Cross, I stood, still, in the center of the Temple and asked the Godform “What can I do to prepare for the coming Initiation next week?”

She answered “prepare the tools and perfect the rituals.” I asked “How can I better perform the Qabalistic Cross and the Bringing Down of the Light?” I received a message, the spirit of which was the following:

As you aspire to Kether, raise your awareness up from Malkuth through the realm of Yesod, Tiphareth, and passed the Abyss. Then unite your awareness with the White Brilliance of the macrocosmic Kether. Let Kether become your awareness and your awareness become Kether. When the two are one, draw your awareness down through the Tree until the pulsating Light meets your microcosmic Kether at the Crown of your head. Then complete the Cross of Light, extending the Light out into the farthest reaches of the Universe. In this way, shall you correctly draw down the Light. As you aspire, you shall receive what you require.

I thanked her for this guidance and technique, and stepped out of the Godform. I then gave THME the Sign of the Enterer, which she replied with the Sign of Silence. She then gave me the Sign of the Enterer, which I answered with the Sign of Silence.

I then proceeded to the East and said “I thank the Powers of Air,” before putting out the Elemental Candle of Air. I then proceeded to the South and did the same for the Powers of Fire. I followed suit for the West and North, gave a formal license to depart: “I now release any spirits who may have been imprisioned by this ceremony. Go in peace with the blessings of YEHESHUAH YEHOVASHAH.” I ended with a formal Temple Closing, ringing the singing bowl and ending with the formula of the Extension of Light in Egyptian, Greek, and English. Overall, it was a moving, reverent ceremony that brought me closer to the Powers associated with the Office of the Hegemon.

Ritual Work for Friday, November 19, 2010

Date: Friday, November 19, 2010
Time: 5:40-6:45 (Day of Venus – Hour of the Sun)
Sun Phase: Set
Moon Phase: Waxing Gibbous, 97% Full
Activities: Rite of Purification by Water, Relaxation Ritual and Fourfold Breath, Great Invocation of the Light, Fivefold Elemental Invoking Ritual of the Pentagram (FELIRP), Middle Pillar Ritual, Adoration of the Lord of the Universe, Tarot Consecration Ritual, Adoration of the Lord of the Universe, Themis Meditation, Adoration of the Lord of the Universe, Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, Formal Temple Closing


Today, Frater J. and I performed a whole series of rituals in full temple and regalia, with red socks, sash, nemyss, robe, and ritual belt. We began by purifying ourselves according to the R.P.W., in which we added a modification, vibrating IAO prior to the invocation of Spirit with ETH. This added an additional sense of power since it connected to the Analysis of the Keyword.

We then entered the temple and lay down on the temple floor, where we performed the Relaxation Ritual. This was indeed relaxing and left us feel peaceful and prepared for ritual. We then arranged our tarot decks on the altar, above and below the Tablet of Union, Cross, and Triangle, and placed the boxes for our decks, and the Consecration Cloths I had prepared yesterday. We then took our cards and wiped them one by one with the Consecration Cloth. This was a prolonged process, since every card needed to be wiped, but the process itself functioned as a cleansing meditation, which also prepared us for the rituals to come.

We then placed out Tarot cards and Cloths on the altar, Frater J. took up his personal wand of Double Power, and I took up the Hierophant’s wand. We proceeded to the East of the Altar, where we performed the Great Invocation of the Light. This produced a strong sense of inner glowing for me, especially during the Analysis of the Keyword section.

From here, we moved directly into the Fivefold Elemental Lesser Invoking Ritual of the Pentagram. This produced a strong sense of the elemental Powers that, after the invocation of Spirit, was almost dizzying for a moment for me. I felt the flood of elemental energies from each Invoking Pentagram and the wheel of Spirit shining within me. This preceded the Middle Pillar Ritual, which helped to centralize the invoked energies within the microcosmic column.

Thereafter, we offered an Adoration to the Lord of the Universe and moved into the Tarot Consecration Ritual. This ritual was performed in the light of the Spirit Candle on the Altar. When the Angel HRU was invoked, I felt immediately lighter and more peaceful. I seemed to see sparks of energy in the area around us. We asked the Angel to invoke the Light into our tarot cards that they might serve to guide us into the Wisdom of the Hidden Knowledge and lead us in our quest for the Light Divine.

Subsequently, we offered another Adoration to the Lord of the Universe and sat in the West, facing the East, where we performed the Themis Meditation. This was a very visual experience for me, as I sat with eyes closed.
I saw the Goddess stand in Greek robes, where she greeted me. She placed her Golden Scales into me, which equilibrated and balanced me. She then handed me her Golden Cup from which to drink. She said it contained the “Nectar of the Gods and the Fluid of the Lower, uniting the Above and the Below,” and suggested that it symbolized, like the scales, “Balance.”
I asked if she would guide me into a vision of where I must go next on the Path and guide me towards the Hidden Wisdom. She opened up her robe and I saw her beautiful body; her skin turned Gold and my attention was drawn into it. I then saw the image of Osiris, dressed in a Nemyss as a Pharaoh. This morphed into a Golden Image of the Buddha. She spoke, saying “You must become like these images. Like the Pharaoh, you must embody the Divine energy that flows within and without all things, the Inner and the Outer. Like the Buddha, you must walk the Middle Way, the Path of Balance. You must cultivate compassion, wisdom, and peacefulness. Your desires are strong and you see me through your own lusts; transmute them into a purer form. Unite the Divine aspirations and the Lower passions. Then, truly, will you become the Stone, the Osiris risen. In short, seek balance.”
I then asked if she would join me in adoring the Lord of the Universe, of which she was the representative. She stood in my vision and I stood to offer reverence to the One who Alone deserves praise.

Frater J. and I then rose and performed the Adoration of the Lord of the Universe. With great passion, we then performed the final Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, which was very powerful for me, and even moving. I felt an inner warmth that I still feel as I write these words. Overall, it was a successful and productive ceremonial sequence.

We closed with the formal temple closing and knocks followed by “Khabs. Am. Pehkt. Konx. Om. Pax. Light. In. Extension.”

Rejuvenating our Magical Practice and Working through Stasis

On Occult Corpus, O. Delano was having doubts about his magical practice.  He asked: 

Why should I continue practicing this crap when all it ever gets me are small, transitory results, results completely opposite to what I intended, or other crackpot occultists and new-agers telling me my energy is giving them issues OR that my t-shirt with the pretty illustration has a really strong, vibrant energy? I mean, with all that time I spent reading about this stuff and practicing it, I could have lived a much more exciting life. I could have let go of all that magickal thinking and freed up my mind and been the person I always wanted to be!

I let him know that I heard what he was saying and could sympathize. He spoke of small, transitory results. I’ve thought about this subject myself and concluded that ‘small, transitory results’ can add up to big, noteworthy results.

For instance, I mentioned a pair of Jupiter talismans that I created, charged, and consecrated recently. They were designed to attract money so that my girlfriend could afford to pay for the necessities of life. A day after I gave her the talisman, she received a money transfer of 400 dollars from her aunt. I didn’t receive any money while carrying the talisman, but I did have ‘small, transitory results’ that were worth noting.  Other aspects of Jupiter were manifesting in my life.  I was being treated with favour and liking by people who had previously been very conflictual with me. My mind became clear and tranquil the moment I had the talisman up against my body. I had more energy and could do a great deal more on less sleep. I had a greater sense of authority and respectability, which I determined through my students’ different behaviour in my classes and differences in my own body language.  These were small, little things. But together, they added up into a notable overall case.

I suggested to Delano that if his magic is taking away from the exciting things he wanted to do or the exciting person he wanted to be, then perhaps a change of organization or focus is called for. Magic should enhance life and permeate it; it should help us to do what we wish to do and be who we wish to be with our lives. Otherwise, it becomes just an interesting diversion. It is a shame when that happens, because it can be so much more. It can be a way of relating to the universe, of working with its archetypal forces, energies and the powers of the imagination, a way of seeing things, an instrument for improving our lives, a vehicle for the manifestation of the things we really want (as opposed to the things we only think we want).

Moreover, I suggested that I could have done a great deal more with my summer than spent hours working on my Pillars, and wands of the Hegemon and Hierophant. I could have engaged in exciting activities instead of spending hours designing Enochian Tablets. I could have hung out with friends instead of perfecting the details on my Banners of the East and West.

However, my hard work paid off with these tools. I created beautiful implements that are meaningful to me and that I can use as I live out my magical tradition. I created the practical means for carrying out work with members of a magical Order. I learned a great deal about different crafting techniques and materials. And I grew as a person. To me, that makes it all worthwhile. And that remains the case whether my talisman only works by actualizing potentials within me and shaping me through my beliefs and subconscious or whether it really does work as a focus of Planetary energies on other planes of existence.

Building on his earlier comments, O. Delano suggested that “My problem could be the same as Afterdark’s: no energy or motivation. It’s something I’ll continue working on.

To counter this issue, I suggested that the best way to deal with the problem of low energy and motivation is to switch things up. Try something new. Study a new theory. Try a new ritual. Develop a new method for talismanic magic or evocation. When things stagnate, diversify. Inject novelty and interest will bloom from the soil of drudgery.

Frater S.C.F.V.