2018: A Magical Year in Review

By Frater S.C.F.V.

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View inside a Vigil offered to Archangel Sachiel dressed with Solomonic Holy Oil and Basil.

As we move into 2019, I’d like to take a few moments to reflect on all that has happened in my life in the whirlwind of a year that was 2018.  It has been a tumultuous year in world events to be sure, but in my own little human life, it has been a massively important year.  I share these life and magical achievements and strange tale of bizarre events and poltergeist phenomena not out of arrogance, but in the hopes of inspiring others to work harder to achieve their own goals and to humble myself with the recollection of the giants on whose shoulders I was able to stand this year.

We are all the Divine dancing in the lila (Divine play) of manifested human lives; as this human action figure named Adam, however, I could not have done anything were it not for the amazing friends, family, and colleagues who have so blessed and inspired me with the relationships and time we’ve shared together.  May we have many more years together on this mysterious planet that races on around the Sun! So mote it be with all thanks and glory not unto me, but unto the Most High, amen!

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Major Life Events in 2018

  • I worked hard to support some truly inspiring students with special needs at McGill University as a Note-Taker, Mentor, and Life Coach. Their own hard work and progress in achieving their goals were so beautiful and inspiring to watch and I feel so lucky to have been able to work with each and every one of them.
  • Because of how many blessings came my way this year, I was able to give more to charity than I was ever able to give in the past.  I also gave more offerings to spirits and animals this year than in any other previous year of my life.

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  • I completed the penultimate year of my clinical social work degree at McGill with a 4.0 GPA and served older adults with mental and physical health issues both in long-term residences and living in the community.  I am now on track to graduate in 2019 and excited to officially begin my clinical social work career.After my prior careers as a certified Chef and high school teacher I am beyond grateful to have finally found my true calling.  Social work offers a vehicle through which I can strive to live out the Rosicrucian ideal “to cure the sick and that gratis,” and where I cannot cure, at least to support individuals and families to empower them with resources, services, and psychosocial support to maximize their well-being.

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  • I suffered a concussion in July from which I completely recovered in only a few months (thank God!).  More on that below.
  • I went to see the Beach Boys live in concert, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

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  • I also got to attend my first ever professional comedy show, The Nasty Show at the Montreal Just For Laughs Festival due to a kind gift from my friend Randy! Robert Kelly, Brad Williams, Ms. Pat, and Mike Britt had us in stitches from laughing so hard.

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  • I was called back to the mystical Christian faith of my youth with a newly integrative perspective and began to attend a beautiful local Church. The members of my congregation and I managed to put together gift boxes for kids from the ages of 1 to 14 in 9 different countries: Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Senegal, Guinea, El Salvador, and Guatemala. Glory be to God!

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  • 2018 was by far the most successful year for Light in Extension for worldwide views, and overwhelmingly so:

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  • I was also grateful when the article was recommended by a Frater, magician, author, and friend whom I deeply respect, Fr. Aaron Leitch in a recording of a lesson in his fantastic Secrets of Solomon – Grimoire Magick Classes 101 class.
  • I had the honour of being interviewed by the kind, inspiring, and eminently professional Alexander Eth on the Glitch Bottle podcast.

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  • I was blessed to meet and become friends with many amazing occultists, some of whose books I have been reading and cherishing for the past 14 years or so. I have learned so much from my amazing Fratres and Sorores to whom I remain deeply indebted and grateful. I am humbled to have gotten to have some amazing conversations with not only such masterful occultists, but also such beautiful and amazing people as Aaron Leitch, Jake Stratton-Kent, Dr. Stephen Skinner, Frater R.C., Frater YShY, Joseph H. Peterson, Frater Ashen Chassan, Nick Farrell, Jason August Newcomb, Dr. Tony Fuller, Pat Zalewski, Christine Zalewski, and many more. I also learned a great deal from and enjoyed the friendship of many others whose names I won’t share out of interests of their wish to keep their occult involvement concealed under the Sign of Harpocrates. To all of them and to those I have not mentioned, you know who you are and I love and appreciate you very much.
  • I was honoured to become a Moderator in Aaron Leitch’s amazing Solomonic – Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires group.sol.png
  • I participated in multiple McGill University research studies, received EEGs, got paid to receive electric shocks inside of an MRI machine, and marched in the largest strikes for paid student internships in the history of Montreal. I also improved my skills at engraving, drawing, and painting, attended my cousin Julie’s wedding, and joined the wedding party of my sister’s wedding planned for 2019.

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Magical Achievements in 2018

  • After receiving a concussion in July, which occurred after I slammed my head into a ceiling beam causing it to burst out in blood, I was forced to leave my job working as a cook in an amazing Montreal restaurant on St. Laurent. The concussion resulted in brain damage to my frontal lobe which was associated with distressing symptoms like slurring of speech, forgetting common words in conversation, damage to episodic memory, and mood swings.Within a few months,  despite not receiving any form of medical treatment, however, I recovered all of my impaired cognitive abilities and my head healed almost completely, leaving only a tiny scar.  I attribute this nearly miraculous healing to God Almighty, whom I petitioned for help with healing the devastating effects this concussion had on my psychological functioning.
  • I coined the term cryptoconsecratio and developed the method of secretly consecrating magical items by Mass, which I performed countless times in the past year on objects ranging from Jupiter Pentacles to Wands, Burins of Art, my statue of Saint Cyprian of Antioch, my Cyprianic Rosary, and many other tools.

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  • I manifested my vision for my ideal home and was blessed–glory be to God!–to be able to equip it with everything I had ever hoped it would have in terms of appliances and electronics. I also read many amazing occult books and massively increased my esoteric library.  Divine Provision can be humbling indeed.
  • In 2018, aside from the Christian Trinity, and Saint Cyprian of Antioch, I was honoured to work with the Archangels Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Samael, Anael, Cassiel, Uriel, and Sachiel, as well as the Angels Netoniel, Devachiah, Tzedeqiah, and Parasiel. I learned many interesting things from these spirits, such as about how limitations and discipline can be forms of freedom rather than simply obstacles freedom from Archangel Cassiel, learning about keys to prosperity from Sachiel, and much more.
  • I also did some deep work with the Papyri Graecae Magicae or Graeco-Egyptian Magical Papyri this year, especially the Headless Rite and PGM Lecanomancy.

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  • I made some serious progress with Pathworking in the past year and met and learned from many other spirits in the course of the resulting astral work.  Qabalistic Paths explored in 2018 included Peh, Tzaddi, Malkut, Resh, Qoph, Shin, and Tav.
  • I secured a dedicated and permanent Temple for the Ordo Aurum Lucerna. Our Order also increased its Archives of copies of G.D. manuscripts to be  exponentially larger than it has ever been thanks to the kindness and generosity of some truly amazing Fraters and Sorors from other G.D. Orders to whom we remain deeply grateful.
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W.B. Yeats’ drawing of the Hermetic Rose Cross.

  • After a series of strange experiences, and encouragement from my dear friend Chijioke, I began magically and devotionally working with Saint Cyprian of Antioch. I formally assumed the great Saint as my Patron after an intensive 9-Day Novena to him in September, 2018.  During my time of working with him, my magic has radically improved and deepened in all of the three traditions with which I work: Solomonic, Cyprianic, and Golden Dawn.  May the credit for that not be unto me, but unto Saint Cyprian, God Almighty, to the Spirits, Angels, and Archangels, and to the kind friends and colleagues who made this possible.

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  • Our Golden Dawn Order, the Ordo Aurum Lucerna, of which I have been Imperator for the last 9 years, has grown larger, stronger, and more active than ever before.  I am so grateful to my brethren in the Order for the beautiful work we do together, for our democratic power structure, for how much we have all grown in the past year, and for how much we have to look forward to in 2019.  Khabs am Pehkt, Konx Om Pax, Light in Extension!
  • I performed a controlled experiment that seemed to find some empirical support for the claim that food offered to Archangels tends to last longer and resist mold longer than the same food not given as an offering.  I tested the claim using muffins prepared from the same batch of batter and kept in the same temperature, moisture, and storage conditions.

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  • This past year, I have gone deeper into Solomonic magical practice than ever before.  I crafted the Circle from the Lemegeton’s Goetia, as well as consecrated Holy Oil, Holy Water, Incense, and Candles, crafted a new Wand and a Solomonic Bell of Art, several Burins of Art, a new Aspergillum, a consecrated Chest for materia magica, and several other items for use in my Operations. I also wrote a series of articles on Solomonic topics, as previously mentioned.

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  • This past year saw some fruitful results with Planetary magic, particularly with a consecrated Saturn ring I was kindly gifted by my friend Sarah Wreck and with Jupiter. I crafted the 2nd Pentacle of Jupiter from the Key of Solomon after waiting nearly an entire year for a solid election and also consecrated a Ring of Jupiter at the same time.This Pentacle and Ring have produced some amazing results, such as over 8000$ of my student loan being converted into a bursary I do not have to pay back, saving 400$ on a new TV and large amounts of additional money on appliances and a guitar, receiving much favor, and many other astounding results such as Soror C.R. gaining a promotion and me obtaining an amazing job right out of graduation from my Clinical Social Work degree.

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  • Besides the more spectacular concussion recovery, I also experienced some additional interesting healing results this year.  These included Archangel Raphael healing me completely of a cold within 1.5 days; to place this result in perspective, it normally takes me 7 days or longer to get over a cold.  In addition, I experienced having scars, redness, and dark patches completely healed within days of asking YHVH for this result.
  • This year, I performed more professional Tarot readings than ever before and was honoured to have been able to read for clients all around the world. I am so grateful for the trust which people have placed in me by allowing them to do readings for them. What sets my approach to professional readings apart from others is that for the 50$ per reading that I charge, I not only include the reading itself, but also give offerings on behalf of the client and their family, and write a detailed report for them complete with HD photos of all of the cards in the reading so that clients can refer to it in the future.I noticed that most Tarot readers do their readings orally only, so clients do not have a record of the reading and often quickly forget it. In this way, they have a detailed record of the reading, which is incredibly comprehensive; as an example, the last such report I wrote came to a whopping 43 pages! Feel free to contact me on Facebook or by email should you be interested in arranging a reading.

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  • After Soror C.R. and I independently saw visions of the Archangel Sachiel wearing a red vest after invoking him via the Heptameron conjuration, Soror C.R. had a vision of him giving her a red vest to wear. The next day, while carrying the 2nd Pentacle of Jupiter consecrated by Sachiel, I was directed to a store where I found a red vest exactly like the one she saw in her vision, which I purchased for her. The price tag said only 9$, but I ended up paying only 6$ due to an additional 30% reduction.

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  • I performed more professional natal charts for clients around this world this year than in any other year of my life. These are also 50$ per chart and yield a similarly detailed and comprehensive written report explaining all of the Aspects to what I produce for my Tarot clients. Please feel free to contact me by email as well should this service be of interest.

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  • I was honoured to have had the opportunity to spend some time learning from members of the Order of Saint Cyprian of Antioch.  I met some beautiful and amazing people in that Order, to whom I am very grateful, but have since retired from that particular group in order to focus on the Ordo Aurum Lucerna and my other magical projects, writing, and research. I am particularly grateful to Ms. Sfinga (pseudonym) at the OSC from whom I learned a great deal.  It was Sfinga whom I commissioned to sew my scapular of Saint Cyprian and who kindly gifted me a beautiful amethyst and tiger’s eye bracelet.  She is an absolutely amazing human being, kind and genuine through and through as well as an amazing esoteric practitioner and a brilliant scholar. I have nothing but fond things to say about her, as of many other members of that esteemed Order.

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  • After asking St. Cyprian to guide me to a vessel in which to store my magica materia, he led me to a shop I never visit where I found a fascinating hand-carved antique chest that was exactly what I had been hoping for.

 

  • I performed a formal exorcism of a daimon-possessed woman this year.  The spirit in question turned out to be a subservient spirit of Alloces, the 52nd spirit of the Lemegeton’s Goetia.  I am indebted to Sarah Wreck for her help with identifying the entity and advising me on how to proceed with the exorcism.  8 months later,  I’m happy to report that the woman in question remains in very good health and has not been troubled by any other spirit.
  • I was guided by Saint Cyprian to a store I had never been to in a part of the city I had never explored which, to my amazement, happened to be the only store in Montreal that sells Oil of San Cipriano.

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Strange Phenomena and Poltergeist Activity in 2018

  • July 6, 2018 – I experienced the most powerful and unmistakable physical manifestation of an Angel that I have ever seen.
  • Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018 – Around 8:35 PM. While standing in the kitchen speaking with Soror R.A. about working with Angels, a small white physical feather appeared seemingly spontaneously in the air.  Both of us saw and were shocked and amazed by this.  The feather drifted slowly and gracefully to the floor, which we both witnessed.  Then when we looked for it on the ground, it had vanished… Weeks later, Soror R.A. was called to work with Archangel Sachiel and developed an intense relationship with him.
  • Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018 – In a dream, two daimons, likely Jinn, suddenly appeared in the midst of the dream narrative.  They had pitch-black skin, but extremely white eyes.  I could sense their malevolent intent so I immediately bound them by the Sign of the Cross in the manner of St. Justina of Antioch and they backed off and vanished.

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  • November 8, 2018 – 9:45 PM – A fellow Magician gave me a consecrated ring of Saturn containing a large piece of led. This ring works very well for its intended purpose, but it seems to spontaneously vanish, be gone for a period of time, and then reappear somewhere I did not put it. It has vanished several times from the bureau near my bed and reappeared in pockets, in my backpack, and in other places. This night, I went to do a Rune reading for Soror R.A. and the Ring fell out of the Rune bag! Neither I nor anyone else had placed it there…
  • I experienced some interesting cases of telepathy where I stated something very specific (e.g. referring to Track II of the Monster roller-coaster in Montreal, QC, Canada) that another person had been thinking about before they said it.  Only to be told by the other person that this was precisely what they had had on the mind.. Other cases included messaging people about topics moments before they were going to message me, and other such events such as in some cases publishing articles on topics people had been thinking of asking me about. All of this made me feel “in-flow” and rather “plugged in” with the larger Mind of the One appearing as many body-minds. This even occurred with people who live in very distant countries.
  • I experienced multiple moments of minor precognition (e.g. accurately predicting the contents of sealed boxes and envelopes as well as their arrival dates when they had not even been specified).  This happened 4 times in a week period.
  • Dec. 9, 2018 – 4:25 AM – My cat was sitting staring at the Temple door. Suddenly, he meowed loudly and ran down the hall. Then a mysterious knock was heard within the Temple room although there was no one in it. This same sequence of events happened again a few weeks later.
  • December 8, 2018 – 6:37 PM – A door spontaneously opened before me without anyone touching it. Witnessed by Soror R.A.
  • November 8, 2018 – 7:35 PM – TV spontaneously turned on with no one in the room.
  • December 1, 2018 – 3:30 AM – While I was sleeping, my cell phone was suddenly knocked off my bureau. Half-asleep, I picked it up and put it back on the bureau. Then my watch was knocked off the bureau. Beginning to be annoyed, I picked it up and put it back on the bureau. Then my cell phone was knocked off the bureau again. Tired of this spirit’s antics, I called out into the silent room “In the Name of YHVH, cut that out!” No further objects fell to the floor that night.
  • During the formal exorcism, a heavy stack of paper was violently thrown to the floor with no breeze in the room.
  • One evening, the Enochian Tablet of the South spontaneously fell off the wall. Another night, the Tablet of the West fell off the fall. And still another night, the tablet of the North fell off the wall of its own accord. I had expected the tablet of the East to one day follow the same pattern, but it did not.

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  • As a final point, some interesting manifestations of spirit activity during ritual magic this year included a Crucifix hung around Saint Cyprian’s statue’s neck swaying in response to questions asked of spirits, strange knocks being heard in the room, incense smoke and candle flames being asked to move in response to questions as answers and the results happening immediately, sparks flashing out of an offering candle when Archangel Michael was conjured, and appearances of images and words spoken by spirits in crystal balls, water in lecanomancy bowls, flames scried into, and in the field of the mind.All in all, I believe it is safe to say that this has without a doubt been the most magical year in my life.  Happy New Years, dear friends! May you and your families be blessed with abundance, love, laughter, and growth in the coming year! So mote it be, amen!

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0=0 Neophyte Grade Initiation of Soror R.A.

GoldenDawnlogoDate: Sunday, September 2, 2018
Planetary Day: Day of the Sun
Planetary Hours: Hour of the Sun ending in the Hour of Venus
Lunar Phase: Waning Gibbous, 68%
Sun Phase: Set

Time: Ritual Bath (8:30) Establishing the Godforms and preparing the Temple while the Candidate meditated blindfolded (8:40), Lesser Invoking Ritual of the Pentagram (9:05), Neophyte Grade Ceremony 9:18 to 10:58
Mood: Initially excited, by the end, calm, cleansed, balanced, harmonized, reverential

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“The Voice of my undying and secret Soul said unto me—“Let me enter the path of Darkness and, peradventure, there shall I find the Light.  I am the only being in an abyss of Darkness; from an abyss of Darkness came I forth ere my birth from the silence of a primal sleep.”

And the Voice of the Ages answered unto my Soul—“I am he who formulates in Darkness—the Light that shineth in Darkness, yet the Darkness comprehendeth it not.”
~ Neophyte 0=0 Grade Ceremony of the Golden Dawn

Although I have been sharing a great deal of my Solomonic work recently, I have not ceased to continue my Golden Dawn work with our Order in parallel to it and last night, we had the great pleasure of initiation a rare new Neophyte into our Order, Soror R.A. In this ritual, I served as Hierophant and the experience was powerful indeed.

I love the Neophyte Grade Ritual. It is beautiful, moving, and powerful. Enshrined within it, are all of the core magical formulae of the Order either overtly manifest or in veiled form as described in the Z-Documents.

Soror R.A.’s was the first Neophyte Initiation to be performed in our new Temple, all previous ones having been performed in our previous Temple, Osiris Temple. The new Temple is far more spacious and with the multiple Altars we now have at our disposal, far more impressive to new Initiates.

It has been 8 years since my own Neophyte Initiation, but the Ritual is no less impressive to me now, even while being worked as a Hierophant and understanding all of its ins and outs both experientially and theoretically.  I felt such a deep connection with the stream of energy embodied by the Osiris Godform and so moved by all of the currents of Force working upon the Sphere of Sensation of the Candidate during the Ceremony.

After her ritual bath, in which she used hyssop, an addition inspired by my Solomonic work, Soror R.A. meditated blindfolded for 40 minutes, instructed to focus on her Higher Aspirations for the Ceremony and building a strong intention to be open and surrender to the process.

Unknown to the Candidate, we opted to use Solomonically-consecrated Sage incense for its purifying powers in the Ceremony. This worked tremendously well and we will likely be continuing this tradition in the future. We also continued the tradition of having full-colour images of each of the Godforms positioned in their respective Stations to strengthen the sympathetic resonance of the Powers whose images they are. This was a procedure that we begun 8 years ago with the Initiation of Frater F.S.S.F. and have continued ever since. It also adds a great deal to the visual symbolism for the Candidate and we will be continuing in this regard as well.with this practice.

During this Ceremony, I felt that a number of new things clicked for me as a Hierophant, I became more skilled in adapting to unforeseen changes (e.g. having incense go out and having to ask the Dadouchos to change it, or the Candidate overheating and requiring a sip of water unexpectedly in the middle of the ceremony! — a new one for us!) while maintaining the flow of the ritual and the energies. I also could very definitively notice when the Candidate was accepted into the Golden Dawn current as an Initiated Neophyte. Her Aura visibly grew brighter, the Cross and Triangle above her head as well, and she seemed to sympathetically harmonize with the Symbols and Godforms in the Temple such that she no longer felt like an ‘Outsider looking in,” either to us or to herself, as she later expressed.

In my conversations with Hierophants from other Temples, I have learned that induction into the Golden Dawn current can be a very idiosyncratic affair. In the ideal scenario, the Candidate and the Officers feel this induction into the current happen immediately during the Ceremony; this is what happened with Soror R.A. In other cases, the Candidate may feel nearly nothing at all during the ceremony and gradually feel that they are accepted into the current and come to harmonize with the G.D. Symbols and energies over time. Most people seem to fall somewhere in the middle; they feel some shift during the Ceremony itself, and it deepens over time.

With Soror R.A., I was stricken by how immediate and complete her own induction into the current was; I partly chalk that up to her depth of surrender and openness and her own advanced clairvoyant abilities, but also to her being accepted by the Guardians of the Current. Some Hierophants have shared with me that sometimes the Guardians do not accept the Candidate and they get rejected during the Neophyte Ceremony itself! How sad it must be to end one’s career right at its beginning. Some other Candidates make it through the Neophyte but end up leaving before the Zelator Grade, as if weeded out by the current in a different way. Neither has happened with any of our Initiates thankfully, although it remains a possibility.

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After the Ceremony, I debriefed with Soror R.A. about her experience therein. She had felt anxious and worried until after the Oath, as well as overwhelmed by the powerful energies and the astral work being done on her Sphere of Sensation to the point that she nearly fainted! We had to give her a glass of water during the ceremony, pausing briefly to do so, to help her get through it. She also struggled to get through the Oath, having to hold herself up while kneeling before the Altar to complete it. She seemed to be visibly overheating and we had to break with protocol and crack open a window and open the Temple door to the Sentinel’s surprise to compensate for it! These were also firsts for us.

In any case, we were impressed by her perseverance, determination, and commitment to get through the Ceremony and the Guardians of the G.D. current seem to have been as well. It is perhaps partly for this reason that she was so rapidly and completely accepted into the current and felt the immediate and total shift in her Aura as a result. After her acceptance into the Current, her demeanor shifted; she became visibly calmer, and seemed grounded, centered, and astrally radiant. The requisite Symbols were visibly imprinted in her Aura and the Ceremony was a complete success from my perspective as the Hierophant.

After the Ceremony was complete, our newly-admitted Soror Neophyte and I debriefed on her experience in the Ceremony. She said that had visibly felt the shift after the Oath when she was inducted into the G.D. current. Of all of the Godforms, she had sensed the Hierophant Godform of Osiris most strongly and could clairvoyantly see him standing over my human Officer form during the Ceremony. She felt as if the words I spoke were not coming from me, but from him, through me.  This is every Officer’s aim, I explained, not to ‘perform’ for our own glory, but to be conduits for the Divine forces in the Ritual to speak through us.  “I felt so emotionally moved when I first faced the East, seeing him in his Station, like I was going to cry without knowing why…”

Interestingly, Soror R.A. also said that she had seen purple flashes in the beginning of the Ceremony, which is interesting, since I had invoked St. Cyprian for help and empowerment in the Ceremony whilst visualizing his preferred colour of Purple and had not informed her of this detail.

She additionally noted that she had been scared when reading the scarier parts of the Oath in which she vowed to subject herself to a ‘punitive stream’ of current by the Guardians of the Order should she break her Oath. I smiled hearing this and explained that nearly all of us go through such a fear and hesitation in that phase of the Ritual, but that there is nothing to fear. If it were really as serious as the Ritual makes it sound, Crowley would have been stricken dead the moment he published the G.D. materials without the Adepti’s permission in the Equinox!

Besides, I explained to her, in the moment when the Hiereus has his sword over the candidate’s neck, the Candidate feels like she is being threatened, but in his own inner work at that moment, the Hiereus is transmitting light, blessings, and good will to her! How often in life, I pointed out, do we receive blessings while taking them to be threats out of our fear and anxiety, only to look on them later and see what blessings they were. This moment in the Ceremony is an image of that larger universal principle.

Soror R.A. also felt like she was being spiritually ‘pulled’ through the Ceremony by the Godform of Ma’at through the Hegemon. She astrally felt the presence of large Egyptian Godform statues around the Temple, as if she had been transported to an Egyptian Temple for the Ceremony. How appropriate, given the symbolic setting of the Hall of the Neophytes in the Temple of Judgment of Osiris.

I was also intrigued by how she experienced the ‘current’ of the G.D. itself; “to me, it felt like being electrically plugged into an always-moving stream of Golden Light.” How appropriate! She also experienced an electric-blue kind of circulating force after the Circumambulations, which was interesting to me.

After I felt the Cross and Triangle form over my head,” she said, “I felt strengthened by these symbols in my Aura, like I was “branded” or inheriting a badge of power.” I noted to her that what I had felt when I shifted into the current and was welcomed into that stream of Power, was that the formerly alien-seeming Symbols, like the Banners of the East and West, now felt intimately dear to me, like Images of Home itself. “Yes, I definitely get that,” she replied. “Like I tapped into a current now, part of the G.D. Family.”

How beautiful that is, that we Sorors and Fratres of the Golden Dawn are one cosmic family, wherever we are initiated, wherever we are on this mysterious place called Earth in the mystic sphere of Malkut.

“Inheritor of a dying world, we call thee to the Living Beauty.
Wanderer in the wild Darkness, we call thee to the Gentle Light:
~ 0=0 Neophyte Grade of the Golden Dawn

Khabs Am Phekt. Konx Om Pax. Light in Extension!

 

 

Pillars of Jachin and Boaz 2.0

pillarsFor the past 10 years, in my personal Temple, I had used Pillars made from PVC pipe placed in the very shaky foundations of foam squares, with painted foam tetrahedrons on top, that I carved out of the crumbly foam material by hand. The result as it appeared after finishing the painting over 10 years ago can be seen in the image on the left. I call these Pillars 1.0.

The result was, to say the least, very unstable, very apt to fall over or be knocked over by a zealous Zelator, and after many years of wear and tear, both pyramids ended up falling apart, and both bases utterly crumbled into dust, without exaggeration!  In short, I was left with Pillars that could no longer stand, what echos of the fallen Temple of Solomon!

Thankfully for these humble Pillars, however, this Solomonic magician was able to work on them to help them rise again. This time around, in 2018, I endeavoured to learn from my previous mistakes. Foam would be out of the question as a building material. Moreover, I wanted to build them such that they could have lights within the red capitals, as was the case in the original Golden Dawn temples, and is mentioned in the Neophyte Ceremony. Thus, it was clear that I would have to make some very different design choices here. I debated many options and consulted many Fraters and Sorors for ideas along the way.

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In the end, the bases of Pillars 2.0 were made from sturdy red ceramic. I chose the size to balance stability with the room they would take up in our small Temple space. The red ceramic bases were filled with black and white polished stones, which I exorcised and consecrated according to Key of Solomon procedures after taking these pictures.

To add additional stability, the Pillars were filled with additional stones of the matching colours–black in the black Pillar and white in the white Pillar–and filled with sand, following the wise council of my friends Frater Morgan Eckstein and Frater Joseph Max. The sand was also Solomonically exorcised and consecrated.

Although both the wise Frater Nick Farrell and Joseph advised me against using glass Pillar capitals, I opted to use metal wire-frame capitals nested within glass bulbs to hold them and function as back-ups should the Pillars be knocked over and the bulbs shatter. The reason Nick and Joseph both advised against glass capitals is that both had witnessed horror stories of Fraters knocking over not one, but both pillars, tipping over the Altar, dropping Dadouchos censers, sending hot coals and flaming incense flying everywhere, and other nightmarish scenarios come true. Hopefully, our Temple will have better luck! May the Lord of the Universe bless them and protect them, Amen!

In the end, I only used glass capitals because the lanterns with the inset holders for tealights were light-weight, affordable, and transparent enough to still show the flickering light of the tealights through their glass forms when lit. Following Nick and Frater João Pedro-Felliciano’s intelligent advice, I opted to use electric flickering tealights rather than actual candles so that if they ever should fall over, there would be no risk of fires.

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Before varnishing the bulbs, I tested them to make sure that the flickering lights could be seen through them in a dark Temple, and sure enough, they provide the perfectly visible illumination, consistent with the Neophyte Grade Ritual’s allusions to “veiled” lights:

The Lamps that burn, though with a veiled light, upon their summits show that the Pathway to Hidden Knowledge, unlike the Pathway of Nature – which is a continual undulation, the winding hither and thither of the Serpent – is the straight and narrow way between them.

The result in these Pillars:

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Here are the “finished” pillars just prior to the Solomonic exorcism and consecration of the stones. I’m not entirely sure that I will leave the tops of the bulbs in their undulating ridged form. I may attempt to craft some red tetrahedrons and overlay them on top, as my inner G.D. traditionalist always wants to keep those elements as intact as possible.

Alternatively, I am also considering exorcising and consecrating the glass bulbs with painted or engraved sigils for the Solomonic candles in the Key of Solomon overtop. A final possibility is to do the Solomonic consecrations and sigil-markings and overlay the tetrahedrons over the consecrated capitals. We shall see. I await inspiration one way or the other.

For now, however, these Pillars 2.0 are fully-functional and I am quite happy with the fruit of all of these many hours of work invested in many coats of paint, varnishing exorcising, and consecrating with Solomonic Oil, Incense, and Holy Water. Light in extension!

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Non-Qabalistic Pathworking Systems

By Frater S.C.F.V.

Qabalistic and non-Qabalistic Pathworking

When most contemporary occultists here the term “Pathworking,” their first thought is of an approach of astrally travelling through visionary journeys on the 32 Paths of the Qabalistic Tree of Life, that is, along the 22 Paths of the Hebrew Letters and the 10 Sephirot themselves, which represent Paths in their own right. The Qabalistic Pathworking system, particularly as practiced by the Adepti of the Golden Dawn, is a very powerful system and I have had some amazing and transformatively initiatory experiences by working it.

However, the Qabalistic system is by no means the only Pathworking or system of visionary journeying out there. In this article, I will briefly introduce some non-Qabalistic Pathworking systems. For the purposes of this discussion, I will define a Pathworking system as a collection of methods for skrying-based or astral travel-based visionary journeys through a set of associated specific realms, regions, symbols, or inner planes.

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Tarot, Tattwa, and Enochian Tablet Pyramid Pathworking

Naturally, as the Golden Dawn pointed out, each of the 78 cards of the Tarot can be astrally projected into and each yields its own unique experiences to the magician.

This Tarot Pathworking system is often integrated with the Qabalistic Tree of Life Pathworking system, but it need not be. Indeed, the cards reveal distinct and unique meanings when worked alone without the astral influence of the Qabalistic symbols and energies shaping the vision. For example, the Trumps can be Pathworked in sequence from 0 to 21, a method called the astral Fool’s Journey.

Other Golden Dawn Pathworking systems include projecting through the Tattwas or each of the Pyramids of the Enochian Tablets. In this case, one enters an altered state and projects one’s consciousness ‘through’ a square/pyramid on one of the Enochian Tablets then examines the visions that follow.

For a great source on G.D.-style Pathworking approaches, see my friend Nick Farrell’s excellent Magical Pathworking: Techniques of Active Imagination. His Osiris Scroll lays out his own neo-Egyptiana version of an initiatory Pathworking system designed to lead through the reader through a series of visionary ordeals culminating in the realization of the Higher Self.

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Ancient Roots of Scrying-Based Work

Certainly, the use of pools of water, crystals, and so on as scrying aids to visionary work is ancient indeed, so I do not credit the 19th century occult revival or Golden Dawn with inventing the notion of ‘pathworking’ or visionary journeying; the practice often mediated by scrying tools, seems to have ancient roots. We’ve already mentioned some of them above. To add onto the above discussion, in a well-known passage in the Old Testament, which would have been as familiar to the Grimoiric priestly-clerical magicians as the stories of Enoch, and Jacob’s ladder, the silver chalice that is placed in Benjamin’s sack when he leaves Egypt is described as being used by Joseph for divination.

In ancient Egypt, scrying and spirit communication seem to have been practiced with the aid of ink or water and there are myths about Hathor that present her as bearing a reflective shield in which visions could be seen, a kind of proto-scrying mirror. Aztec tlatoani read the reflections in obsidian. For the Egyptians, Babylonians and Greeks water and bodies of water were from the earliest times associated with conduits to the realm of the gods and of the dead; indeed, the Papyri Graecae Magicae (PGM) have detailed instructions on communicating with spirits via bowls filled with water and an offering of oil (see PGM IV, 154-285). And, indeed, as we know, and as Dr. Stephen Skinner showed in his own work, many of the PGM practices and much of its theory were integrated into the Solomonic Grimoires.

Indeed, compare “…name of Typhon, at whom the ground, the depths of the sea, Hades, heaven, the sun, the moon, the visible chorus of stars, the whole universe all tremble…” (PGM IV. 223- 243) to “…this ineffable name Tetragrammaton Jehovah , which being heard, the elements are overthrown; the air is shaken, the sea runneth back, the fire is quenched, the earth trembles and all hosts of Celestials, Terrestrials & Infernals do tremble…” (Heptameron and Key of Solomon). And this is a passage directly taken from the same Papyrus that explains how to work with spirits through a bowl filled with water, or lecanomancy.

The earliest written evidence of lecanomancy or bowl-based scrying and divination are from the Babylonian Ritual Tablets dating to the 7th Century BCE, so these roots run way back into our magical history. To me, it is not inconceivable that these ancient scryers may have used their scrying media not just for divination, but also to generate immersive visions of the type generated in what we today call ‘pathworking’ in its various systems and manifestations.

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Merkavah Pathworking

In Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires, Aaaron Leitch notes that “a form of Jewish shamanic magick known as Mahaseh Merkavah, or the “Work of the Chariot,” which he describes as a “practice of astral travel through the seven palaces of heaven (i.e., the planetary spheres), where the ultimate goal was the vision of the throne of God.”

It’s worth noting, however, that some authors contend that while the Seven Heavens may be equivalent with the Seven Planetary Spheres, other authors suggest that the Seven Palaces of the Merkavah system are distinct from the Heavens exist either in or beyond the Seventh Heaven. Regardless, however, as a visionary travel system, the Merkavah system is a Pathworking system, which greatly influenced and indeed, served as a precursor to, the historically later Qabalistic Tree of Life-based Pathworking system which followed it.

For anyone interested in the Merkavah system, my friend David Benton wrote a fantastic book on it entitled The Work of the Chariot. His book contains detailed instructions for performing merkavah mysticism, adapted from Medieval Hekhalot sources, along with the names and functions of the entities you will encounter, all in an easy to use and clearly-written format.

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The Shahnameh System and Islamic Pathworking

The Shahnameh, a 10th-century epic work narrating historical and mythological past of Persia, gives a description of what was called the Cup of Jamshid (Jaam-e Jam), which was used by the ancient mythological Persian kings for observing all of the seven layers of the universe. As mentioned by Ali-Akbar Dehkhoda, it was believed that all seven heavens of the universe could be observed by looking into it (از هفت فلک در او مشاهده و معاینه کردی), a view that suggests the Merkavah tradition described above.

It was believed to have been discovered in Persepolis in ancient times. Most notably to our beloved Solomonic tradition, in the Islamic world, the name and legend of Jamshid was often linked to legends and lore about Sulayman (Solomon) himself. Indeed, it’s well worth diving into the Sufi traditions around Sulayman, which draw on the same source as the Western Grimoires, namely, the Testament of Solomon as filtered through the interpretations in the Qur’an and Hadith!

Indeed, astral or visionary journeying is built into the Orthodox framework of Islam, so it certainly long-predates the Victorians. Sufi magical traditions have ways of working with it. Indeed, according to standard Islamic theology, the Prophet Muhammad took a “Night Journey” in which he traveled from Mecca, now in Saudia Arabia, to a location in Jerusalem now identified as the site of the al-Aqsa Mosque. He was said to have ridden a white, winged Pegasus-like being called ‘Buraq’ on this very distant journey.

According to the legend, Muhammad alighted, tethered Buraq to the Temple Mount and performed prayer, where on God’s command he was tested by Gabriel. According to a hadith or oral tradition narrated by Anas ibn Malik, Muhammad said: “Jibra’il (Gabriel) brought me a vessel of wine, a vessel of water and a vessel of milk as a test, and I chose the milk. Jibra’il said: ‘You have chosen the Fitrah (natural instinct).'”

In the second part of the journey, the Mi’raj (an Arabic word that literally means “ladder”)–an intentional allusion to the Jacob’s Ladder tradition–Jibra’il took him to the heavens, where he toured the Seven Heavens, and spoke with the earlier prophets such as Abraham (ʾIbrāhīm), Moses (Musa), John the Baptist (Yaḥyā ibn Zakarīyā), and Jesus (Isa). Muhammad was then taken to Sidrat al-Muntaha – a holy tree in the seventh heaven that Gabriel was not allowed to pass.

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Ibn ‘Abbas’ Primitive Version narrates all that Muhammad encounters throughout his journey through heaven. This includes seeing other angels, and seas of light, darkness, and fire. With Gabriel as his companion, Muhammad meets four key angels as he travels through the heavens. These angels are the Rooster angel (whose call influences all earthly roosters), Half-Fire Half-Snow angel (who provides an example of God’s power to bring fire and ice in harmony), the Angel of Death (who describes the process of death and the sorting of souls), and the Guardian of Hellfire (who shows Muhammad what hell looks like).

These four angels are met in the beginning of Ibn ‘Abbas’ narrative. They are mentioned in other accounts of Muhammad’s ascension, but they are not talked about with as much detail as Ibn ‘Abbas provides. As the narrative continues, Ibn Abbas focuses mostly on the angels that Muhammad meets rather than the prophets. There are rows of angels that Muhammad encounters throughout heaven, and he even meets certain deeply devoted angels called cherubim. The idea of traveling through subtle planes while ascending spiritually and communing with entities there is the essence of what we now call ‘pathworking,’ and here we find the Prophet Muhammad doing it 621 CE

This tradition speaks to the point of visionary journeying far predating the Victorian and methodologies of the Golden Dawn’s tradition of occultism–certainly the shamanic traditions in many Indigenous traditions of visionary journeying date all the way back into prehistory. It also shows how the Merkavah material seems to have influenced the development of early Islamic mysticism and mythology along parallel lines to the influences of the same material on the Grimoires around one thousand years later.

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Tibetan and Ancient Egyptian Pathworking Systems

The Tibetan Bardo Thodol or Book of the Dead and Egyptian Book of Coming Forth by Day both lay out something akin to pathworking systems, but these texts and their attendant systems were mainly intended for guiding the soul after its passing from this mortal coil. Thus, they may be seen in a sense, post-embodiment or post-death Pathworking systems. Both systems are generally understood as presenting maps of the geography of the underworld, deities encountered there, trials undertaken, although there are advanced esoteric ways of doing this work while still alive. Indeed, Delog: Journey to Realms Beyond Death records the “vivid personal account of a journey through the “bardos” and “pure realms” was recorded by 16-year-old Dawa Drolma of Eastern Tibet, a renowned female lama” who became a “delog”-one who crosses the threshold of death and returns to tell about it.”

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Moreover, some authors, such as Jeremy Naydler in Shamanic Wisdom in the Pyramid Texts: the Mystical Tradition of Ancient Egypt, argue that The Book of Going Forth By Day was used by Egyptian priest-magicians to train them in what some call “practical eschatology,” that is, the afterlife experience while still alive. Indeed, Chapters 125, 17 and 151 can be worked in an initiatory framework. David Nez has suggested to me that the Orphic golden tablets may have been used in similar fashion by Hellenistic Initiates. I have little experience with these systems, however, and so I must defer to my more-knowledgeable peers.

In this connection, in his in his fantastic Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires, my esteemed friend Aaron Leitch writes that “the Chaldean or Babylonian priests of later times made this after-death journey while still alive-creating a kind of controlled near-death experience.” This Chaldean system represented their own version of this kind of post-death-stage Pathworking system.

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Runic Pathworking

Although this is not a traditional method of Norse spirituality, I have also found that the Runic systems can be Pathworked, whether one is using the 24 Runes of the Elder Futhark, the 29 or 33 Runes of the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc, or the 16 Runes of the Younger Futhark. In this system, one simply applies the G.D. “Travel in the Spirit Vision” method and projects through the Rune symbol in an altered / trance state (e.g. theta-gamma synchronized state) and then notes the visions that ensue. For more on the Golden Dawn’s method, see Flying Roll XXXVI – Of Skrying & Traveling in the Spirit Vision and Flying Roll XXV – On Clairvoyance & Travelling in the Spirit.

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John Dee’s Enochian Aethyric Pathworking System

John Dee’s Enochian system lays out a Pathworking system through the 30 Aethyrs, which are conceived as forming a map of the entire subtle universe in the form of concentric rings that expand outward from the innermost to the outermost Aethyr. These Aethyrs are entered using Enochian Calls, which function as Keys for entering the Aethyrs in visionary journeys. Dee’s Enochian map of the universe consisted of the Great Table of Four Watchtowers and the Tablet of Union surrounded by 30 concentric circles, the Aethyrs. These 30 Aethyrs are numbered from 30, namely TEX, the lowest and consequently the closest to the Watchtowers to 1 LIL, the highest, representing the Supreme Attainment.

In Aethyric Pathworking, Magicians working the Enochian system record their impressions and visions within each of the successive Enochian Aethyrs from TEX to LIL. Each of the 30 Aethyrs is populated by “Governors” — 3 for each Aethyr, except TEX which has four, for a total of 91 Governors. Each of the governors has a Sigil which can be traced onto the Great Tablet of Earth. In practical work with the Aethyrs, the Nineteenth Key of the 30 Aethyrs is the only call necessary for working with the Aethyrs.
It is only necessary to vary appropriately the name of the Aethyr itself near the beginning of the call. Once the Call is recited, the names of the Governors are vibrated one at a time and a record of the visions is kept. In this system, one can gaze into the Crystal Ball / Skrying Crystal after doing the Call and see what images form there or do a full-blown astral projection into the Aethyr after entering it with the appropriate Key. Aaron Leitch’s The Essential Enochian Grimoire: An Introduction to Angel Magick from Dr. John Dee to the Golden Dawn is a great help for working with this system.

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Astrally Working the Stations of the Cross as a Pathworking System

Among Christian mystics, particularly Catholic mystics, there was a kind of experiential, initiatory tradition of working through the Stations of the Cross in a systematic, progressive initiatory framework that is reminiscent, in some of its more visionary workings, of a Pathworking tradition.

That particular visionary legacy lies in the background of many of the Renaissance Grimoires; indeed, some of the Catholic clerical grimoiric writers may have learned the working of the 12 stations during their standard clerical training. It began to be widespread in Europe in the 15th-16th centuries and was well-established as a common practice by the 17th century. Indeed, the Stations of the Cross system of ‘contemplative pilgrimage working’ was well-established by the time Johann Weyer’s Pseudomonarchia Daemonum in his De praestigiis daemonum (1577) was written. The system was even more in vogue by the time of the Lesser Key of Solomon’s composition in the mid-17th century.

To quote one author on the subject, the “Stations of the Cross or the Way of the Cross, also known as Way of Sorrows or Via Crucis, refers to a series of images depicting Jesus Christ on the day of his crucifixion and accompanying prayers. The stations grew out of imitations of Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem which is believed to be the actual path Jesus walked to Mount Calvary. The object of the stations is to help the Christians faithful to make a spiritual pilgrimage through contemplation of the Passion of Christ. It has become one of the most popular devotions and the stations can be found in many Western Christian churches, including Anglican, Lutheran, Methodist, and Roman Catholic ones.

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Commonly, a series of 14 or 15 images will be arranged in numbered order along a path and the faithful travel from image to image, in order, stopping at each station to say the selected prayers and reflections. This will be done individually or in a procession most commonly during Lent, especially on Good Friday, in a spirit of reparation for the sufferings and insults that Jesus endured during his passion.”

I have read Medieval and Renaissance accounts of Christian mystics from the 15th and 16th centuries, contemporaneous with some of our late-Medieval, early-Modern grimoires, in which they describe meditating on each image at each Station while reciting the associated prayers until they enter a kind of trance-state where they describe feeling like they are seeing the picture come to life or feel like they are transported within it and are experiencing the scene as if they were there with Christ in that moment. Worked astrally and systematically, this exoteric system could be adapted into an esoteric Pathworking system in the magical sense.

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The Armadel of Magic

The the Armadel of Magic (not to be confused with the Arbatel or Almadel) could also be regarded as presenting a kind of evocational pathworking system. It has unfortunately taken a lot of criticism from some Grimoiric scholars, but in essence it is highly shamanic system, which works with the perennially shamanic Terrestrial/Infernal/Celestial world division. As Aaron points out in Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires, “the focus of the work seems to be upon visionary quests or spiritual encounters facilitated by the magickal characters, as well as gaining some magickal powers such as healing, alchemy, agriculture, etc.” The emphasis on shamanic visionary quests seems very reminiscent of other Pathworking systems although the framework is here one of a simple evocational system centered around Spirit sigils.

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 The Zoroastrian Arda Viraf Pathworking System

Within the Zoroastrian tradition, there is a shamanic tradition around visionary ascensions recorded in the Book of Arda Viraf. In this system, the Magician performs some preparation rituals such as a ritual bath, suffumigations, prayers, and so on, and then drinks wine and comes a psychoactive brew. Thereafter, he or she travels through a system of hells and heavens. Of the method of the Magician’s travels, the text says:

21. And then Viraf joined his hands on his breast before the Mazdayasnians, and said to them (22) thus: ‘It is the custom that I should pray to the departed souls, and eat food, and make a will; afterward, you will give me the wine and narcotic.’ (23) The Dasturs directed thus: ‘Act accordingly.’

24. And afterward, those Dasturs of the religion selected, in the dwelling of the spirit, a place which was thirty footsteps from the good. (25) And Viraf washed his head and body, and put on new clothes; (26) he fumigated himself with sweet scent and spread a carpet, new and clean, on a prepared couch. (27) He sat down on the clean carpet of the couch, (28) and consecrated the Dron, and remembered the departed souls, and ate food. (29) And then those Dasturs of the religion filled three golden cups with wine and narcotic of Vishtasp; (30) and they gave one cup over to Viraf with the word ‘well-thought,’ and the second cup with the word ‘well-said,’ and the third cup with the word ‘well-done’; (31) and he swallowed the wine and narcotic, and said grace whilst conscious, and slept upon the carpet.

The “narcotic” is labeled here as Vishtasp; this was a hemp or marijuana extract or, according to some sources, a variant of hashish. In this text, some of the Pathworking locations are described as “the Star Track,” “the Moon track,” “the Sun track,” in addition to various other locations in the “Heavens” and “Hells,” in which the Magician undergoes visionary experiences and discourses with spirits and deities. Chris Bennett describes this system and other similar shamanic systems extensively in his Cannabis and the Soma Solution.

The Arda Viraf has been argued as an influence on the Prophet Muhammad’s Night Journey and on the much later Purgatorio, Inferno, and Paradiso of Dante Alighieri, in which Dante the Pilgrim undertakes his own journeys through purgary, hell realms, and heavenly realms respectively.

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It’s worth noting that in this text, as in many others, a “magic carpet” is used to facilitate astral travel in the spirit vision. My friend A. Wretch wrote a very fascinating compilation of texts that use carpets as aids to Pathworking and visionary travel entitled Magic Carpets, Sensory Deprivation, and Entheogenic Ceremonial Magick, which I would highly recommend.

In our discussion of the Arda Viraf, he pointed out that “the Book of Arda Viraf is extremely important! While there seems to be some question as to its original dating, it could well be the origin of magick carpets. It also seems like Merkabah precursor. Keep in mind that in the book of Kings it describes Solomon’s chariot, which is also called a bed, but this is in reality a palanquin.

This likely comes from the Zoroastrian influences in Judaism as with Arda Viraf, which puts the magick carpet over the “couch” which is a term that is also sometimes used for a palanquin. You mentioned the cup of Jamshid, but the Shahnameh also explains palanquin Merkabah like experiences among the kings like Kay Kavus and Nimrod… you will find a reference to a great article in the start of my Magick carpets anthology.”

Conclusion

While the Qabalistic Pathworking system is remarkably rich and can be very powerful and transformative, it is not the only Pathworking system. My hope is that in this article, you have found some interesting pathways–no pun intended–for further research and experimentation. See you down the astral Rabbit hole…

Discussion Questions

  1. Have you had any notable experiences with any of these systems that you’d like to share in the comments?
  2. Are there any other key non-Qabalistic pathworking systems that this article has left out? What can you tell us about them?

 

 

 

 

Pathworking on the 30th Path of Resh (ר)

GoldenDawnlogoDate: March 20, 2018
Time:  7:33 – 8:04 A.M.
Sun Phase: Rising, Golden, clear sky on the Spring Equinox, Sun in Aries
Moon Phase: Waxing Crescent in 6 degrees Taurus, Lunar Mansion of Thurayya
Planetary Day: Day of Mars
Planetary Hour: Hour of Mars into Hour of the Sun
Activities: LIRP, Pathworking of the Path of Resh (ר), LBRP

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I projected into my astral Temple wearing a red robe, the red and green-striped nemyss of the Hierophant, since I will be serving as Hierophant in tonight’s Spring Equinox Ceremony, the Rose Cross Lamen around my neck. The Temple appears brilliantly golden with a bright orange banner baring the Hebrew Letter Resh (ר) in harmony with my Will to travel along this Path.

I perform the Lesser Invoking Ritual of the Pentagram with the Hierophant’s Scepter, then I exit the large golden doors of the Temple. After performing the Sign of the Enterer three times, I project through a vast orange archway baring the letter Resh (ר) in white.

I find myself flying through a black and infinite space until I see the Path that connects Yesod (דוסי) to Hod (הוד) coming into view below me. I pass through its border of orange light and find myself standing in a beautiful green field. The sky is a brilliantly clear blue with sparse wispy white clouds drifting peacefully within it. How different this Path feels than the chthonic Path of Tav, the volcanic Path of Shin or the watery and Piscean Path of Qoph (ק)!

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The energy here, the whole atmosphere of the place, is exuberant, vivacious, and brimming with light and hope. Off to my left, I see a giant green mountain with trees and greenery growing all along its slopes. Looking more closely, I see that the mountain takes the shape of a giant Green Man. It is an awe-inspiring sight to see. A bright yellow-golden  Sun–the Planetary attribution of the Path–illuminates the scene overhead in clear and golden light. Nothing is foggy here; all appears  sharp and pristine.

I test the vision by vibrating RESH (ר) and tracing the Hebrew Letter in the Air in Orange Light as well as vibrating YHVH ELOAH V’DA’AT (תעדו הולא הוהי), the Divine Name of the Path. The astral images grow crisper as they resonate with the Name.

In the Name of YHVH ELOAH V’DA’AT (תעדו הולא הוהי), I ask for a Guide to lead me through the Path of Resh (ר). Moments later, I hear the sounds of galloping horses. Turning around to look behind me, I discover that the sounds come from two white horses. One is riderless. On the other, I see a blonde-haired child in a red robe who reminds  me of the child on the Tarot card of the Sun–the Major Arcanum attributed to the Path of Resh (ר).

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“Two White Horses in Finland” By Pasi Laaksonin

I greet the smiling child with the peace and blessings of YHVH ELOAH V’DA’AT (תעדו הולא הוהי), which he returns. I ask him if he would guide me through the Path and he happily exclaims “with pleasure!” His whole presence is brimming with pleasant exuberance, optimism, and life. It feels rejuvenating simply to be in his presence.

I climb on the back of the second white horse and can feel its powerful muscles shifting below me as it gallops. I have never physically ridden a horse, but the experience here reminds me of the feeling of riding an elephant bareback in Laos and feeling its strong muscly form shift beneath me with every step she takes.

“Can you initiate me into the Mysteries of the Path of Resh (ר)?” I ask the Child.

“I cannot, but I know one who can!” He says, smiling.

“What kind of Spirit are you,” I ask. “You shine with so much Light that you remind me of an Angel.”

Hearing this, the Child laugh. “Hehehe! No! I am a Solar Spirit, a Child of the Sun! In another way, I am a reflection of your own Inner Child. Are you in touch with him?”

This comment gives me pause for a moment as I reflect.

“I hope so!” I say.

Hearing this, the Child laughs out loud.

“Where are we going?” I ask.

“To see the Alchemist,” he replies.

Our horses’ gallop slows into a slow shuffle as we enter a lush green forest and make our way along a light brown-earthed winding path through the trees and underbrush.

I look around at the forest. Between the trees, I am surprised to see three mighty lions. One has the golden fur one is accustomed to see on a Lion, but the other two are brilliantly Green and Red respectively. They growl at us as we walk by and I wonder if I should be on my guard.

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“Don’t mind them,” the Child says, smiling and joyfully and ebulliently calm as always.

At last, we come to what appears to be a cabin in a clearing in the woods. The outer walls are beige-white and the roof is made of red slanting shingles. Large plumes of mysterious smoke emerge from a golden cylindrical chimney on the roof.

“Go on in,” says the Child. “I’ll wait for you here.”

I knock on the golden door, which has an engraving of a solar disc with a point in the center, the alchemical sigil of the Sun, carved into it.

“Come in!” Says the warm voice of a friendly older man. “I’ve been expecting you.”

I enter the cabin and find it quite crowded inside. A cauldron simmers over a fire as a tall-grey bearded man wearing robes with golden symbols of the Sun emblazoned upon them stirs some kind of red liquid within it. Wooden tables are littered with a wide variety of alembics, tubes, retorts, flasks, and other Alchemical instruments. Sunlight filters in through grimy windowpanes.

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I greet him with the peace and blessings of YHVH ELOAH V’DA’AT (תעדו הולא הוהי), which he returns.

“Forgive me,” he says, “I’m working on a tincture of the Stone.”

“The Philosopher’s Stone?”

“Yes,” he said. “To turn Lead into Gold, the metal of the Sun. It is the Great Work of the Adept; Tipharet (תפארת) is the Sphere of the Sun. The true Initiate who attains it must himself or herself become gold, become the Sun.”

“In the Name of YHVH ELOAH V’DA’AT (תעדו הולא הוהי), may I ask you your name?”

“Ah, you are so formal!” Laughs the Alchemist.

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“Of course. It is Rashael. Resh (ר), Shin (ש), Aleph (א), Lamed (ל) in your beloved Hebrew.”

I laugh and thank him.

“What is the meaning of those Red, Yellow, and Green Lions out front?” I ask.

What he begins to reveal comes in a flow of insights clearer and more illuminating than any I have ever seen in an astral vision, without the slightest hesitation to interrupt the flow of the communication…

“The Green Lion is often shown eating the Sun,” Rashael says. “This an alchemical symbol for a substance that dissolves gold, the universal vitriol. The Red Lion is at once liquefied Gold and the rubedo or reddening stage, born out of the blood of the Green Lion. The Yellow or Golden Lion is the perfected and transmuted Gold itself. So much for alchemy, but to me… they are my pets!”

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I laugh and ask him if he would be willing to Initiate me into the Mysteries of the Path of Resh (ר).

“Yes,” Rashael says, “but to know the ways of the Path of the Sun, you must be Him. Therefore, drink this, the tincture of the Sun, the Red Lion, tincture of the Stone itself.”

He ladles the mysterious red liquid into an Erlenmeyer flask and trusting him, I drink it. It has no flavour, but sends a wave of warm sensations radiating through my Sphere of Sensation. I feel an Inner Light glowing out from my Heart region and radiating warmth throughout my consciousness.

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“The Heart is the Sun within. Gold is its Nature, but how many mistake it for lead!” Rashael says.

“Many take themselves to be lead and reflect that perception to you. They may see only lead when they look at you too! But if you remember nothing else, remember this:

The true alchemist sees gold where others see lead, shows others how to transmute potential into gold, and does the same to the lead he or she finds within him- or herself.

When others reflect lead at you, see with Alchemical eyes, speak with an Alchemical tongue, and reflect naught but gold back to them. If you attain this Wise Arcanum, then you yourself shall be the Stone!”

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I bow and thank him for these wise words.

“You know, the least important part of alchemy happens in the laboratory, with plants and metals,” he continues.

“The most important part happens in the transmutations of daily life, the prima materia. Who sees this shines from the Heart of the Inner Sun and sees the Light that hides in darkness.

Oh, if you would go on to Hod (הוד), take this with you.”

Rashael lifts up a radiant golden medallion on a gold chain and places it around my neck. Engraved into this Solar Pentacle, are a Circle with a point in its center and a Hebrew letter Resh (ר).

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I thank the wise Rashael, who radiates warmth, golden love, and Solar wisdom in everything he says, for all he has given me and wish him well. He returns my blessings with his characteristic good-humored grace. When I ask him if I can call upon him again, he says  “Happily! Drop by anytime. It was a pleasure.”

Grateful and still glowing from the effects of his tincture, I rejoin the Child outside and climb back up onto my horse.

The Child continues in his exuberant way, smiling and laughing.

“Did you get what you were looking for from the Alchemist?” He asked.

“Yes, indeed! Abundantly so!”

“Fantastic. Sounds like him, alright! He never disappoints! On we go to the end of the Path to Hod (הוד).”

As our white horses shuffle their way through the forest, we come upon the Red, Green, and Yellow Lions again. This time, however, they do not growl. Instead, they bow graciously as we pass. “How interesting,” I think, wondering if they recognize my golden medallion as the Alchemist’s.

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“Island of a Thousand Waterfalls” by Piotr Dura.

At last, we come upon a golden bridge over a vast gorge. On the opposite side, the orange Mercurial Temple of Hod (הוד) (הוד) glows brightly in the Sun.

“I can go no further, I’m afraid,” smiles the Child. “Be safe, be well, and do not let the darkness of dreary thoughts consume you. Instead, tune into your inner Sun and shine from within!”

I thank the Child for his counsel and guidance through the Path of Resh (ר) and we salute each other goodbye. Then I make my way along the golden bridge towards Hod (הוד). Looking to my left, I see a vast waterfall thundering into the depths.

Standing before the great orange doors of Hod (הוד), I hold up the medallion. The Sun reflecting off its surface casts a glimmer on the door, which open its mighty double doors. I step inside and the scene fades to orange.

At home in my astral inner Temple, I perform the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram and return to my body.

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Update I: a sense of glowing inner warmth, spiritual presence, and gratitude for the Gold has within lingered me through as I did my social work with older adults throughout the day. I reminded myself to remain sensitive to gold hidden in the lead of problems and work presented throughout the day and I found more than enough to prove Rashael right!

Update II: at night, my ability to practice the reflecting only gold back to those who see lead philosophy was tested when my Temple’s Officers all informed me for different reasons that they would not be able to attend the Equinox Ceremony and we would have to cancel it. I was shocked. After all of the preparations for the Ceremony I had done, I was really blindsided by this. I would have no choice but to renew all Officer positions until the following year since we could not install a new Hierophant in the Temple until the next Equinox, the Autumn Equinox. Then I went to my girlfriend’s house only to find her facing numerous daily life challenges. What a bushel of lead I was handled here from which to attempt to make Gold!

If anyone ever tells you that Alchemy is all about “love and light,” they have never done the real work; real Alchemy works with all of the dross of life, with suffering, with the messiness and complexity of life, and is hard work.

***

Calling on the Divine, my HGA and the Spirit of the Runes to show me a Rune best suited to the lessons of this Pathworking and the aftermath of having to cancel the Equinox Ceremony, I cast Nauthiz, the Rune of Necessity. It literally means “need-fire” or “firey-need.” Esoterically, it suggests constraints and constrictions, which remind me of the energies of Saturn and the Sephirah of Binah (בינה).

nauthiz.jpgNauthiz connotes need, necessity, extreme circumstances, needs, wants, cravings, compulsions, and desires. Nauthiz suggests obstacles and adversity, but also the perseverance to overcome them. It counsels patience and tends to have a delaying influence. It also suggests hard-work, creative friction, the consequences of past action, short term pain for long-term gain,

As Tyriel writes, “Invoking need is more powerful than wishing, but what we need and what we desire are not always the same. In this sense, Nauthiz can protect us from ourselves, but its lessons are often harsh. The force of the past exerts its effect on us in the present. Previous action catches up with us and attempts to restrain and restrict future action, which is the counter-movement of the cyclical processions of JERA. However, armed with humility we can learn our lessons from not only our own errors, but the mistakes and successes of others.”

Update III: The Nauthiz Rune proved Prophetic; today was a difficult day of friction, conflict, delays, and needs for patience and perseverance. Rashael’s work of transmuting the lead of daily life into gold goes on…

 

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Pathworking on the 29th Path of Qoph (ק)

GoldenDawnlogoDate: March 13, 2018
Time: 8:44 – 9:04 A.M.
Sun Phase: Rising
Moon Phase: Waning Crescent, Moon in 6° Aquarius, Lunar Mansion of Sa’d al Su’ud
Planetary Day: Day of Mars
Planetary Hour: Hour of the Sun
Activities: LIRP, Pathworking of the Path of Qoph (ק), LBRP

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I project into my astral Temple and don the form of blue robes and a blue and orange-striped nemyss. The temple appears blue and green with a large letter Qoph (ק) on a banner and engravings of Fish, alluding to Pisces (♓), the Sign attributed to the Path, and the Moon, the Tarot Major Arcanum linked to the Path, built into the architecture of the high-vaulted Temple. I complete the Lesser Invoking Ritual of the Pentagram and exit the Temple through its vast doors.

I stand before a tall Archway bearing the letter of Qoph (ק). As I stand here, I’m reminds that “Qoph” alludes both to the “back of the head,” which evokes the idea of the cerebellum. Appropriate enough, this Latin word as written in English, contains EL (אל), within it, the Divine Name of the Path of Qoph (ק). The cerebelleum at the “back of the head” controls our most basic primal instincts and motor functioning. The cerebellum is located behind the top part of the brain stem, where the spinal cord meets the brain, and is made of two hemispheres.

cerebellum2.jpgThe cerebellum receives information from the sensory systems, the spinal cord, and other parts of the brain and then regulates motor movements. This ancient part of the human brain coordinates voluntary movements such as posture, balance, coordination, and speech, resulting in smooth and balanced muscular activity. It is also important for learning motor behaviors. Although it is a relatively small portion of the brain,  about ten percent of the total weight, it contains roughly half of the brain’s neurons, specialized cells that transmit information via electrical signals. In Hebrew, Qoph suggest a “monkey or ape” (קוף), which invites reflections on our oldest primatological evolutionary origins. Since the cerebellum is such an ancient part of the primate brain, the two meanings of Qoph, “monkey” and “back of the head” are connected together.

I project through the Archway after performing the Sign of the Enterer three times. I see the 29th Path of Qoph (ק) come into focus below me, reaching up from Malkut (מלכות) to Netzach (נצח‎). I seem to come at it through a vast black space from far above, as if it are a target into which I am aiming to land after parachuting out of an airplane.

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“Dreaming VII” by Marie Antuanelle.

I plummet down into the Path and land in a vast ocean of blue-green water. A faint purple fills the background of the scene, and I’m reminds that this is the King Scale colour of the Path. But it also connects to the Sphere of Yesod, which is attributed to the Moon, the Tarot card attributed to the Path of Qoph (ק) .moon.jpg

The blue waters in which I float remind me of the energies of Chesed (חסד) and of the clothing of the High Priestess, attributed to the Path of Gimel (ג) way higher up on the Tree, to which the Moon is also attributed. The green hue of the water further reminds me of the colour of Netzach (נצח‎), whose Venusian (♀) Temple looms off in the distance, the endpoint of the Path of Qoph (ק).

I test the vision by vibrating the Divine Name of the Path, EL (אל) and Qoph (ק) multiple times and it becomes clearer. Lightning flashes and thunder boomes in the distance. Rain falls into the water in which I float. I kindly petition the King of the Undines in the Name of EL (אל) for a Guide to lead me through the Path of Qoph (ק) offering blessings as thanks.

A moment later, and to my great surprise, a large brown galleon with white sails comes sailing rapidly towards me out of the mists of fog. Engraved in its wood panelling are ornate carvings of fish swimming in a school. A rope ladder is cast down and I climbed it onto the deck to see there is only one being aboard the ship.

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The large galleon is helmed, funny enough, a tall pirate Captain-like figure in a red waistcoat with flowing grey hair, a sizable beard, and wild and glowing blue eyes. In one hand, he holds the ship’s large wooden-speaksd steering wheel. In the other, he holds a blue wand with a head formed from the Sigil of Pisces (♓).

I greet him with respect and blessings in the Name of EL (אל), which he returns. I ask him for his name in the Name of EL (אל) and the letters Qoph (ק)-Gimel(ג) -Aleph(א)-Lamed(ל) (Qophgal) form in the air as he pronounces “Qophgal.”

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“Come, we sail now on the Path to the Temple of Netzach (נצח‎),” he tells me.

As we begin to sail, I see a green Temple glimmering in the distance, the Temple of Netzach (נצח‎). It has a domed roof, undulous curves and a large Sigil of Venus (♀) jutting out from the top of its dome.

“Look, the Spirits of Water swim with us,” says Qophgal through the rain.

On either side of our ship, dolphins, schools of fish and mermaid-like Undines swim in droves, periodically leaping out of the water only to splash back in. There must be as many as 100… the numerical value of Qoph (ק). I wonder what lessons the members of this School carries with them.

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“Mermaid” by Daren Horley.

As I stand beside Qophgal at the helm of the vast ship, I am struck by the Captain’s notable warmth of heart and coolness of head. When he speaks, his tone is kind, comforting, and warm, like hot cocoa on a cold winter’s day.

Here we are on an incredibly tumultuous sea with vast swooping waves, torrential rain, booming thunder, and flashing lightning bolts and he appears calm and warmly amused.

Emotions may swirl and storms may come forth,” Qophgal says, “but with a calm mind, we can flow with the currents.”

This seems to be a key lesson of the Path of Qoph (ק).

I soon see what appears to be a large spire-like tower emerging from the mist. As we come closer, I realize that it is a thin stone tower in the shape of two fish interwined and bound together with rope, clearly Piscean (♓) symbolism. The rope itself forms a winding path around the giant tower up which one can climb, as in the rough sketch below.

“You must climb alone, I’m afraid,” the Captain laughs.

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“You’ll meet another atop the tower. They’ll help you out. Come back when you’re done. I’ll meet you here.”

I smile and thank him then begin to climb the winding path around the spire.  It is slippery from the rain, which continues to beat against the tower from all sides. I wonder if lightning might strike me as I make my ascent, but thankfully, it does not.

At last, I reach the summit of the spire and see a beautiful Undine standing there. She is ethereally lovely in a light blue Grecian robe with blonde hair and glowing blue eyes, like those of Qophgal. We greet each other with blessings in the Name of EL (אל).

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In spirit, auric feel, and blue robed appearance, she reminds me of the High Priestess card, attributed to the Moon-path of Gimel (ג) between Tipharet (תראפת) and Keter (כתר). This seems to suggest a lunar connection to her through the Planetary attribution of the High Priestess to the Moon. The Moon, of course, is also the Tarot attribution of the Path of Qoph (ק). Like Qophgal, she holds a Pisces-headed wand (♓).

I ask if this spirit would kindly tell me her name in the Name of EL (אל) and she states that it is “Qophgiel (Qoph (ק).-Gimel (ג) -Yod (י)-Aleph (א) -Lamed ). I then ask if she would Initiate me into the Mysteries of the Path of Qoph (ק). She tells me that the Way of the Path is about riding the waves of emotion so as not to drown in them.

“Would you receive the energy of the Path of Qoph (ק)?” She asks. I nod humbly.

Qophgiel then performs the Sign of the Enterer and projects Piscean (♓), Watery energy into me through her Pisces (♓) Wand.

I receive it with the Sign of Harpocrates and immediately feel a flush of vulnerable emotion arising. “Unpurified, you cannot continue along the Path of Qoph (ק),” she says.

She raises a blue cup, which bears a Lotus at the bottom like the Ancient Egyptian blue lotus cups that inspired the Golden Dawn’s Water Cup, and pours it over me three times, saying “I purify you with Water.”

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The water feels cleansing, rejuvenating and refreshing. Somehow, through the falling rain and despite the ocean water in which I had just voted, I can distinctly feel this water, as if it is exorcised and charged like the water in the Key of Solomon.

I equilibrate this influx of energy throughout my Sphere of Sensation with the Qabalistic Cross.

“If you would enter the Temple of Netzach (נצח‎) along the Path of Qoph (ק), carry with you this symbol.”

Around my neck, she places a circular blue disc-like lamen. It hangs from a band of gold. The lamen depicts a Water Triangle with the letter Qoph (ק) in its center.

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This lamen seems to be the mirror image of the red lamen with the letter Shin (ש) within the Fire Triangle that I has received on the Path of Shin (ש), on the symmetrical other side of the Tree, linking Malkut (מלכות) to Hod (הוד) in the Pillar of Severity along the fiery Path of Shin (ש).

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“Thus purified and thus empowered, you are prepared to continue,” she says.

“Go in peace with the blessings of EL (אל) and attend to the Waters within and without.”

I thank her and offer her blessings in the Name of EL (אל).

As I walk down the winding path towards Qophgal’s ship, I feel the rain continue to fall upon my blue robe and blue and orange striped nemyss.

I return to the ship and the Captain pulls up the anchor. We continue to sail towards the Temple of Netzach (נצח‎), which draws ever closer.

“If you would be victorious in this life, stay your course despite the storms,” Qophgal tells me. “If you learn nothing else on this Path, remember this.”

Mermaid-like Undines and fish continue to swim alongside our ship. At last, we arrive at the green shore of the Temple of Netzach (נצח‎). I thank the kind Captain for his passage and salute him, which he returns.

As I stand before the great green doors of the Temple of Netzach (נצח‎), I hold up the symbol of Qoph (ק) that Qophgiel had given me and they slowly rumble open. A flood of green light issues forth from within. I slowly walk into the Temple and the scene fades to green and then to black.

I find myself back before the Altar in my astral Temple. I perform the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram and close the Temple.

***

20180222_180336Once back in ordinary waking consciousness in my body, I cast a Rune as I often do after Pathworkings. Surprisingly, the Rune I draw is once again Gebo, the Gift Rune I drew after my Pathworking on the Path of Tav.

I’m again reminded of this Rune’s link to gifts, windfalls, forgiveness, and compassion. It is a Rune well-suited to the Pillar of Mercy-side of the Tree of Life on which the Path of Qoph (ק) is located. I feel grateful for the gifts I have been given by the entities I met on the Path in this working and offer thanks and blessings in return for them.

Update I: After this Pathworking, I feel very emotionally vulnerable, raw, and tender. The watery currents of this Path have stirred up some previously dormant feelings within me. I carry these feelings throughout the day as the mind begins to process them.

Update II: The day after this Pathworking, a steady stream of insights into my feelings flow into the consciousness. I gain some deeper understanding of why I have felt as I have in my past relationships and how of those old emotional patterns carry into my present relationship. The themes are fear, sadness, grieving, worry, and the tension between feeling limited and wanting freedom and openness. I spend the day working on these feelings, recognizing them as gifts of the Path of Qoph (ק). These watery energies begin to subside as I accept, acknowledge, and receive their insights. By the end of the day, I once again feel balanced and equilibrated and a sense of serenity returns where the Watery currents of sadness and painful emotions had flowed through.

An Untraditional Golden Dawn Banishing Dagger

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Hello dear friends,

I hope you are all doing well! After 7 years since I joyfully served as Ceremonial Magic Moderator here at our beloved Occult Corpus, I’ve finally found my way back home to OC. It feels good to be back and see these insightful posts from all of you again!

During my time away, I was studying the Eastern traditions and was initiated into Zen through Myokyo Zenji, into Advaita Vedanta through Swami Omkarananda and into Kashmir Shaivism through shaktipat diksha from Swami Swarupananda Mahamandaleshwar Maharaj. I was also continuing my studies in therapy and social work and working with survivors of the Holocaust and older adults in palliative care; social work is, for me, my focus of Rosicrucian healing work and service. Finally, after doing some extensive Jungian ‘active imagination’ work, I’ve returned to the Western Mystery tradition to study and practice Qabalah, magic, astral alchemy, tarot, skrying, and pathworking once again.

Now, onto the topic of this thread: Have any of you created any unconventional or untraditional implements of your own in your ceremonial work?

If so and you would be willing to share them, I would love to see what you’ve created and hear about the rationale behind it.

To begin the conversation, here is a dagger I recently created for use in banishing and invoking Pentagram and Hexagram work in the G.D. tradition. As you may know, in the G.D., a dagger with a simple black handle is generally used for this purpose, unadorned with symbolism. This is what I used in the past. Recently, however, I felt inspired to push this teaching a little further. Chic Cicero is the only G.D. adept I know of who sometimes adds symbols to his banishing/invoking daggers; he uses the Eye of Horus because Horus is the Godform of the Hiereus in the Outer Order and the Banishing dagger is symbolically linked to the Hiereus Sword.

I accept that idea and integrated it as well, but I wished to go further by bringing in pentagrammatic elemental alchemical symbolism (for Pentagram work) and planetary hexagrammic symbolism (for Hexagram work) as well as some Enochian and Grimoiric aspects.

As you can see in the pictures, the front side of the dagger handle features the pentagram with the sigils of the alchemical elements, the hexagram with the sigils of the planets, the Eye of Horus, the word LVX, and my own version of John Dee’s Enochian PELE Solomonic ring, with the PELE letters translated into Enochian instead of being written in English.

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The back side of the dagger includes the first letters of my magical Motto written in Enochian script. The use of Enochian is untraditional, but the writing of one’s motto on the dagger handle is fairly traditional. What is very untraditional here, but works well for me, is the use of two sigils, one from the Black-Handled Knife of the Key of Solomon and one from the White-Handled Knife, symbolizing banishing and invoking powers respectively to balance these dual aspects of ritual work that I intend to use the dagger for.

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The result is an elementally, planetarily, and Solomonically balanced ritual implement for general planetary and elemental banishing and invoking work.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this untraditional approach and see examples of your own untraditional implements if any.

In LVX,
Frater S. C. F. V.

Lost Journals from 2010 – 0=0 Neophyte Grade Initiation of Frater F.S.S.F

GoldenDawnlogoDate: Sunday, December 5th, 2010
Time: (prep. 8-9:30, preliminary meditation 9:30-10, Neophyte Ritual, 10-1 am (Day of the Sun – Hours of Saturn and Jupiter)
Sun Phase: Set
Moon Phase: New Moon 1% Full
Mood: Initially Excited, by the end, Calm, Exhausted, and Reverential
Activities: Rite of Purification by Water, Relaxation Exercise, LBRP with the Hiereus Sword, Neophyte 0=0 Grade Initiation Ceremony, QC, LBRP

Tonight was time that we decided upon to initiate our new Neophyte, Frater F.S.S.F. for its lunar and solar astrology. Today was the day of the New Moon, which is a time favourable to new beginnings and Initiations, but it was also the Day of the Sun, which is suggestive of the Neophyte’s aspiration towards Adepthood; Adeptus Minor is attributed to Tiphareth, the Sphere of the Sun.

While waiting for F.S.S.F. to arrive, I began setting up the Osiris Temple in the manner of the Hall of the Neophytes. I used the traditional set-up for the Neophyte Hall with two additions. The first of these was images of all of the Godforms connected to the Officers of the Grade, which I coloured by hand, in all of the stations of the Officers. The second was the placement of an experimental correspondence system of Tarot Trumps corresponding to the Officers in their respective stations:

Hierophant – ) Hierophant
Justice – ) Hegemon
Death – ) Hiereus
Judgment – ) Dadouchos
Hanged Man – ) Stolistes
Hermit – ) Keryx

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The point of adding these in to the stations of the Officers was (1) to aid the Officers in their visualizations and (2) for the tarot cards, to increase the sympathetic connections to the Powers whose images the Officers were. The setting up process took a good hour and a half. When the other Members arrived, we prepared the elements of the Mystic Repast on the altar, performed our ritual purifications by water, and lay down in the Temple to perform the Relaxation Ritual.

When we were all ready, our Hiereus performed the LBRP and we began the ceremony. It was as beautiful, moving, and nearly grueling (after so many hours of fasting) as it always was. Some new insights occurred to me as we performed the ritual; one of these was that in each of the consecrations by Fire and purifications by Water, the Hexagram that unites the Water and Fire triangles is collectively drawn within the aura of the Candidate. This adds an additional level of balancing to the many other dimensions of balancing and equilibration present throughout the ritual as a whole (through the Qabalistic Cross, the movements of Dadouchos (Fire) and Stolistes (Water) and Hegemon (Mercy) and Hiereus (Severity), etc.).

We fumbled with candles going out and incense needing to be re-lit at some points in the ceremony, but overall, the ritual proceeded quite well. One invocation of the Light was so powerful that I got quite dizzy through the influx of energies. We were happy to delight in the Mystic Repast when it finally came, since we were all quite hungry.

Everyone felt exhausted, but happy, reverential, and renewed in faith and zeal on the Path by the end of the ceremony. I was happy with how it went, although I hoped that my astral senses were more honed. That is a continued goal for me as I move forward on the Way. It will be interesting to see how our Order progresses with Frater F.S.S.F. as a treasured brother among us.

Update: Frater F.S.S.F. Shared with me his impressions of the ceremony and its impact on his life: I actually have noticed differences since the Initiation. One in particular struck me. During the initiation itself, I remember feeling extremely strongly the presence of  Ma’at/Thmé. I felt as though we were her children, and that she was watching over us no matter what. It was a comforting thought and feeling that stayed throughout the ceremony, and something I’ve felt since then. I feel her watching over me, and it’s a nice feeling.

Also, something I just noticed today, I seem to be having great interactions with people. Especially at work today, I noticed I was more at ease and conversations were flowing smoother. It’s a nice side-effect that I hope will be sustained.