Akephalos: The Staggering Power of the Stele of Jeu or the Rite of the Headless One

By Frater S.C.F.V.

Introduction: Apotheosis, Theo-Identification and Graeco-Egyptian Magic

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After a powerful Invocation of Cassiel, Archangel of Saturn and Angel of Saturday from the Heptameron on the Day and Hour of Saturn during Day 6 of a Novena, I recently felt moved to perform a powerful and ancient Rite.

The Stele of Jeu or Rite of the Headless One occurs in the Greek Magical Papyri or Papyri Graecae Magicae V. 96-172. As Dee Rapposelli (2016) points out,

The Greek Magical Papyri are a compilation of highly syncretic texts that date from the 2 century BCE to 5 century CE of Hellenistic Egypt. They are Graeco-Egyptian magical spells and are loaded with Egyptian, Greek, Gnostic, Orphic, and Hebrew [Divine Names]—sometimes all in the same [papyrus.]

The Rite has classically been understood as a powerful ritual of exorcism, for it contains repeated references to subjugating all daimons that may be adversely influencing one’s life (e.g. “deliver me from all restraining daimons and misfortune“).

The manner in which it does this goes far beyond any ordinary exorcism, however. After first identifying with Moses and “the messenger of Pharaoh Osoronnophris,” the Magician completely casts his or her earthly human identity into the great Void of the Eternal and primordial to temporarily abide as no less than the Supreme “One, who created earth and heaven, who created night and day, who created the Light and the Darkness.”

As such, the Stele of Jeu can additionally be seen through another lens, not only as a rite of exorcism, but also as a rite of Theurgy and mystical identification with the Godhead. Indeed, my yogic teachers might describe it as a way of realizing and abiding as Brahman, the ultimate reality that appears both as and beyond all things.

This is no small feat in itself, but the Headless Rite is even more than this. It is a Graeco-Egyptian hybrid of invocation and evocation conducted simultaneously. As Rachel Isabella (2003) explains:

To evoke a spirit is to call it/her/him to one’s immediate vicinity. To invoke a spirit is to call it/her/him into oneself. This Rite does both at once. It’s customary upon completion of the Rite, with the invoked power still humming in you, to state a specific intent or prayer in the voice of the God.

The result of this total identification with the Godhead is intense to say the least. It can feel disorienting, possessing, transformative, and moving beyond explication and articulation. It is nothing short of a mystico-magical Apotheosis, as Leonardo of Voces Magicae (2015) explains:

Invocations such as the Stele of Jeu (PGM V. 96-172) and the Invocation of Typhon from PGM IV. 154-285 reach a magical crescendo when the ritualist self-identifies with the target of the invocation and speaks as that Deity.

This ritual apotheosis heralds the moment at which the practitioner wields the necessary authority to manifest their desire – whether to call forth a spirit to appear or to successfully cast a spell.

This method is, of course, very reminiscent of Ancient Egyptian spells from the Pyramid Texts and Coffin Texts, which involve the priest assuming the identity of a god and speaking and acting magically within the power of the assumed Divinity. It is ancient magic par-excellence with syncretic Hellenistic, Gnostic, and Jewish twists. And it is powerful indeed.

The Experience of the Stele of Jeu

On this particular occasion, I performed thr version of the Stele found in Dr. Maleficarus Strangefellow’s Prayer Book of the Order of Saint Cyprian of Antioch (OSC), Cyprian Orisons (2017).

Standing in the Circle, with Offerings of Candles and Incense burning before me, clad in my robe and Stole and wearing a golden Crown, I held my Wand and began the ritual.

As I began the ritual, I immediately felt myself hooked into its ancient Graeco-Egyptian current of power. Wearing my Saturn ring, I loudly proclaimed the assertive words of the text’s opening, which, in English translation, read:

Subject to me all daimons, so that every daimon, whether heavenly or aerial or earthly or subterranean or terrestrial or aquatic, might be obedient to me and every enchantment and scourge which is from God.

I summon you, Headless One, who created earth and heaven, who created night and day, you who created the Light and the Darkness; you are Osoronnophris whom none has ever seen; you are Iabas; you are Iapos; you have distinguished the just from the unjust; you have made female and male; you have revealed seed and fruits; you have made men love each other and hate each other.

The evocatory formula within the ritual is perhaps most evident here, but already the power of this potent Being as Source of all begins to be laid clear.

After this point, the Ritualist self-identifies first as Moses then as a Messenger of Osiris, declaring:

I am Moses your prophet to whom you have transmitted your mysteries celebrated by Israel; you have revealed the moist and the dry and all nourishment; hear me.

I am the messenger of Pharaoh Osoronnophris; this is your true name which has been transmitted to the prophets of Israel. Hear me, ARBATHIAŌ REIBET ATHELEBERSĒTH ARA BLATHA ALBEU EBENPHCHI CHITASGOĒ IBAŌTH IA; subject to me all daimons, so that every daimon, whether heavenly or aerial or earthly or subterranean or terrestrial or aquatic, might be obedient to me and every enchantment and scourge which is from God.

Thereafter, the text shifts into an Invocatory mode. As I bellowed these words, I felt the boundaries of my body begin to feel less and less distinct, as a potent and ancient force seemed to wash over me like warm and invigourating water…

I call upon you, awesome and invisible god with an empty spirit, AROGOGOROBRAŌ SOCHOU MODORIŌ PHALARCHAŌ OOO. Holy Headless One, deliver me from all restraining daimons and misfortune, ROUBRIAŌ MARI ŌDAM BAABNABAŌTH ASS ADŌNAI APHNIAŌ ITHŌLETH ABRASAX AĒŌŌY; mighty Headless One, deliver me from all restraining daimons and misfortune. MABARRAIŌ IOĒL KOTHA ATHORĒBALŌ ABRAŌTH, deliver me from all restraining daimons and misfortune, AŌTH ABRAŌTH BASYM ISAK SABAŌTH IAŌ.

He is the Lord of the gods; he is the Lord of the Inhabited World; he is the one whom the winds fear; he is the one who made all things by command of his voice.

Lord, King, Master, Helper, I call upon you, IEOU PYR IOU IAŌT IAĒŌ IOOU ABRASAX SABRIAM OO YY EY OO YY ADŌNAIE, immediately, immediately, good messenger of God ANLALA LAI GAIA APA DIACHANNA CHORYN.

Thereafter, the strangest thing began to happen: my voice shifted. It grew deeper, raspier, and sounded both intimate and foreign at once. This shift continued to grow stronger and stronger through the words that followed…

I am the Headless Daimon with sight in my feet; I am the mighty one who possesses the immortal fire; I am the truth who hates the fact that unjust deeds are done in the world; I am the one who makes the lightning flash and the thunder roll; I am the one whose sweat falls upon the earth as rain so that life can begin; I am the one whose mouth burns completely; I am the one who begets and destroys; I am the Favor of the Aion; my name is a Heart Encircled by a Serpent; Come Forth and Follow.

Neither the hosts of demigods nor the great sages know My origin, for, in every respect, I am the source of the demigods and the sages. He who knows Me as the unborn, as the beginningless, as the Supreme Lord of all the worlds-he, undeluded among men, is freed from all sins.

Intelligence, knowledge, freedom from doubt and delusion, forgiveness, truthfulness, self-control and calmness, pleasure and pain, birth, death, fear, fearlessness, nonviolence, equanimity, satisfaction, austerity, charity, fame and infamy are created by Me alone.

As these words were spoken forth, my perspective seemed to become less and less “my” perspective… “I” became That which saw the Magician “Adam” standing in his Temple speaking the words; the sense of being shifted from the relative human stance to the primordial Absolute, back and forth, back and forth…

The seven great sages and before them the four other great sages and the progenitors of mankind are born out of My mind, and all creatures in these planets descend from them.

He who knows in truth this glory and power of Mine engages in unalloyed devotional service; of this there is no doubt.

I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me. The wise who know this perfectly engage in My devotional service and worship Me with all their hearts.

The thoughts of My pure devotees dwell in Me, their lives are surrendered to Me, and they derive great satisfaction and bliss enlightening one another and conversing about Me.

To those who are constantly devoted and worship Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.

Out of compassion for them, I, dwelling in their hearts, destroy with the shining lamp of knowledge the darkness born of ignorance.

I am the Self, seated in the hearts of all creatures. I am the beginning, the middle and the end of all beings.

More and more, a frenzy of energy began to whirl through the room, and the Ancient Presence began to shake and tremble the body as my raspy, deepened, and strangely transformed voice proclaimed the words of the Rite at an increasingly fast pace, whipping into an ecstatic stream of syllables…

Of all creations I am the beginning and the end and also the middle. Of all sciences I am the spiritual science of the Self, and among logicians I am the conclusive truth.

I am all-devouring death, and I am the generator of all things yet to be. I am also the gambling of cheats, and of the splendid I am the splendor. I am victory, I am adventure, and I am the strength of the strong.

Among punishments I am the rod of chastisement, and of those who seek victory, I am morality. Of secret things I am silence, and of the wise I am wisdom.

Furthermore, I am the generating seed of all existences. There is no being-moving or unmoving-that can exist without Me. Know that all beautiful, glorious, and mighty creations spring from but a spark of My splendor. With a single fragment of Myself I pervade and support this entire universe.

Thus completing the Rite, the ritual text fell from my hand. And the strangest things began to happen. A cosmic awareness felt like it encompassed all that it held within it; like it was all that could be experienced. I was the candle, the incense, and the Altar. I was the Circle, the walls, and the Temple. I was the breathing man wielding the Wand. I was the air in the room, the beginning and the end, the order and chaos, the All and the None.

I watched as my human body began to shake in strange ways as the ancient force convalesced and convulsed through it in powerful tremors like the earthquakes Archangel Cassiel had shown me…

Then my body began to sway and sway as if dancing, as the vibrating, humming energy reached a fever pitch. My hands formed strange spiritual gestures or mudras. My body swayed and swayed. My arms drifted this way and that in the graceful movements of a dancer. On and on it went…

My eyes fell shut. I was a cosmic light. I was before the cosmos. I was the universe in its arising, sustaining, and destruction. I was the first and the last, the living and the dead. I stood as Osiris, with green skin and white wrappings. I stood as Christ, nailed to the Cross. I stood as the Godhead, formless and birthing all form. As all of this was inwardly seen and felt, still my body continued to dance its strange and graceful movements, shifting in and out of tremors and shaking…

At once, my eyes burst back open and my awareness drifted back into the confines of the body-mind. Once again, I became local. I was somewhere, somewhen. Here. Now.

And yet, I had not forgotten my Divine nature beyond this humble human form.

I remained That; and That continued to appear as “me.”

Breathing deeply, there I was, fully human, and That which appeared as human without being bound by it.

Thus is the power and the mystery of the Stele of Jeu.

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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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.

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

2018 Preface

GoldenDawnlogoThis is my account of my experience of the Neophyte 0=0 Grade Initiation Ritual back in 2010. In my experience, it has proven itself to be a very moving and transformative ritual when performed with other practitioners and if properly prepared for, just as moving as a solitary experience. Remembering it all these years later, I feel just as moved as when it happened back in 2010. Now, my role has shifted to that of preparing new Neophytes for their Initiations, as I give back to the Tradition that nurtured me and continues to do so. If you have your doubts about your ability to prepare for and perform the 0=0, have faith; it can be done, and you can do it!

For excerpts from three months of magical journal entries leading up to my own Neophyte Initiation, see this article.

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2010 Journal Entry After The 0=0

GoldenDawnlogoDate: July 29, 2010
Planetary Day: Day of Jupiter
Planetary Hour: Hour of Venus into Hour of Mercury
Moon Phase: Waning Gibbous – 85% Full
Sun Position: Set
Time: 9:50-12:30 p.m.

Activity: Meditation, LBRP, Neophyte 0=0 Grade Ritual of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, LBRP

Tonight was the night.  With the Banners, lamens, wands, and Pillar and sash constructed, I arranged my room as a Golden Dawn Temple of the Neophytes and was initiated through the help of the forces of the godforms of which the officer forms are representatives, into the current of the Golden Dawn.

The ritual was long, nearly 3 hours in length, but a ceremony of stunning beauty.  Some passages in particular moved me deeply.  Here are some of them:

Saying the Name of the Guardian of the Path of the West: “Darkness is thy name, thou great one of the Paths of the Shades.  Before all things are the Chaos and the Darkness and the gates of the land of night.  Thou art he whose name is Darkness.  Thou art the Exorcist in the midst of the Exorcism.  I stand before thee without trepidation, for fear is failure, and I am without fear.”

Horus as the Hiereus: “Thou has known me now, so pass thou on.  Fear is truly failure, and he who trembles at the flame and at the flood and at the shadows of the Air, hath no part in God.”

Saying the name of the Guardian of the East: “Light dawning in Darkness is thy Name, the Light of a Golden Day.  After the formless and the Void and the Darkness, then cometh the knowledge of the Light.  Thou art that Light which ariseth in Darkness.  Thou art the Exorcist in the midst of the Exorcism.  Unbalanced Power is the ebbing away of life.  Unbalanced Mercy is weakness and the fading out of the Will.  Unbalanced Severity is cruelty and the barenness of mind.  Thou art the wielder of the forces of Balance.”

Saying to Anubis as the Keryx: “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.”

Osiris as the Hierophant: “He who is the fountainhead of the Spirit of man and of things, came not to break, but to fulfill the Law.”

I also felt a sense of true reverence, adoration and peaceful joy during the beautiful invocation: “Lord of the Universe—the Vast and the Mighty One! Ruler of the Light and of the Darkness! We adore thee and we invoke thee! Look with favour upon this Neophyte who now kneeleth before thee.  And grand thine aid unto the higher aspirations of his soul, so that he may prove a true and faithful Frater Neophyte.  To the glory of Thy Ineffable Name. Amen.”

Overall, it was a beautiful ceremony.  The symbols worked by means of the formula articulated in the Neophyte Ritual itself, which says that it is by “Names and Images” that all powers are “awakened and reawakened.”  The officer forms and godforms themselves symbolize such powers that the ritual awakens within the Sphere of Sensation or aura of the Initiate.  The activation of the spheres of Chochmah, Binah and Kether similarly worked to draw the energies of these higher centers into the ritual space and Sphere of Awareness of the initiate.

Reflecting on the experience, I saw that it did indeed accomplish at least part of what it set out to do.  It strengthened the Will; creating all of the implements needed for the ceremony required a great exertion of Will, but so did completing the whole 2.5 hour ceremony (and on an empty stomach after fasting all day!).  The one who completes the ceremony has indeed been brought into a different sort of life, and the refining and sharpening of the Will and the imaginative-visualization faculties are some particular manifestations of this heightened life.

In an earlier Maat meditation, Thme told me that in the Neophyte ceremony the self that is bound by anxiety, fear, worry, etc. would die and a man of Wisdom, Man of Compassion, Man of Strength would begin to gradually be born and unfold in maturity.

This was symbolized in the ceremony by the shedding of the thrice-bound cord and the blindfold.  As these fell away and were replaced by the Neophyte sash and the glowing triangle and cross above the head, an old self died and a “new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17) Frater S.C.F.V. was born, who retained all of the virtues of the old, but transformed by a kind of spiritual alchemy the aspects of Darkness through the influx of the Light.  Seeds were planted in silence and mystery that can now bloom, watered by the Waters of the Divine.

Overall, I feel truly fulfilled.  I feel like one phase of life has ended and a new one has begun.  I feel that the time and money invested in the ceremony and in its preparatory phases were well spent, that the intuition or perhaps voice of the Yechidah that led me back to the Golden Dawn and to this ceremony was well-heeded and worth listening to.

The ritual gave me a much deeper understanding of the functioning of the Officer-forms and the god-forms associated with them.  I now understand the officer types and their associated symbols a lot more clearly as well as their function within the Golden Dawn Hall of the Neophytes.  The phase of the Oath, surrounded by the godforms of the Officers, 42 watching godforms lining the walls, 4 kerubic godforms, and two pillars of Light and two of Darkness was a particularly moving and noteworthy portion of the ritual in this respect.

What tips can I garner from this practice of the ritual for those who aim to undertake its practice?

1. Do not put too much wine in the cup, since it must be completely emptied before the ritual can be completed!

2. Carefully practice the Thme meditations, Adoration of the Lord of the Universe, Rite of Bringing Down the Light, and colour pictures of the godforms before attempting the Neophyte Ceremony.  Each of these is a kind of microcosm of the Ceremony and prepares one for it.  Colouring the godform images of those godforms to be invoked during the ceremony in the Ciceros’ book is a very helpful practice that enhances the visualizations.

3. Place multiple sticks of incense in the Dadouchos’ station in the South so that you can move clockwise to the south whenever a stick is finished, have Thaum-Esh-Neith allow you to assume the officer form of the Dadouchos (if working solitary, or have the Dadouchos do it in group ritual), and then take out the old stick of incense and replace and light a new one.  I had to do this 4 or so times during the ceremony because of its length.  Of course, using a censer instead of sticks would eliminate the problem, provided it were well-filled.

4. If working alone, become as familiar as possible with the ritual before practicing it so that looking at the book can be minimized as much as possible.  If working in a group, divided up the parts among Officers so there is less to learn. The more you can immerse yourself in the visualizations and actions of the godforms, the more successful the ceremony will be.

***

Related:

Lost Journals from 2010 – Excerpts from Three Months of Journals Preparing for the Neophyte 0=0 Grade Initiation

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.