Category Archives: Aleister Crowley

EVERY MAN AND EVERY WOMAN IS A STARFISH

HOUSEOFPEACE

The House of Peace by Kyle Fite

Although we’ve undergone a period of silence in our reporting, the Space Hoodoo Numisgnostic Lab remains operative and in full swing.

Most recently, we visited with a dear friend who is preparing for his passage from this world to the next. Despite a body eaten up with cancer and painfully dissolving day by day, he remained cheerful and clear in his Faith, happy to see us and falling asleep to dream of his Father in Heaven.

That evening, we found a Penny on the pavement. It was immediately associated with our visit and asked us to flip it.

As our friend is a devout member of the Baha’i Faith, I worked with ink and watercolor to depict the image of the Baha’i Ringstone. In the center, we placed the coin connected with our visit and presented it to him on his first day at Hospice Inpatient Care.

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The Baha’i Ringstone, depicting the Connection of the “Above” with the “Below” through the flowing of the Holy Spirit

There will be more to this story down the line but I think it’s a small example of how Numisgnostic Magnetism happens and how a Talisman can be simply made “on the spot.”

My 11 year old, who is also part of the Corrosion Corp, was gifted during this time with an artflip I had prepared for him as part of an ongoing video game series.

I had also just cashed in a glass jalapeno jar filled with searched pennies and received payment from the bank in 18 new rolls. There was no slackin’ and we got crackin’.

From the first roll, my son immediately plucked a wheat (I swear, he has the magical ability to materialize these just because he wants ’em). My own roll yieled up a 1990 penny from…the Bahamas. Although my tired eyes are increasingly loupe-reliant, I could tell from a glance at my freshly spilled pile of pennies that “one of these things is not like the others.” Occasionally, a Canadian cent will sneak into a bank roll but a coin from the Bahamas?

A first for us…and fit to flip.

Alongside this was a 1969 D with the oddest mint mark placement I’ve seen. Set it aside for further research.

Coin work can be a lonely affair, the intrepid numismatic sorting and searching in silence as time stretches long past the witching hour.

Or it can be a party.

In our case, party it was. Lots of fun talk as we worked our way through coinage and filled gaps in the Whitman folders. This led to discussion of oxidation, cleaning copper and Picasso sending his kids to pee on his sculptures (which, of course, could only lead to internet research on how to rainbow coins with a blowtorch…subsequent science experiments immediately followed!).

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Yes, if you give an enthusiastic 11 year old coin collector a pair of pliers and a butane lighter, this may happen!

To enter the World of Numisgnosis is easy. One simply has to take an interest in coins.

That’s it.

In our Bahamas Starfish, I saw a wonderful relief expressing the Vision mystic Aleister Crowley had in New Hampshire:

“I lost consciousness of everything but an universal space in which were innumerable bright points, and I realized that this was a physical representation of the universe, in what I may call its essential structure. Nothingness, with twinkles…but what twinkles!

He goes on to elaborate his vision (see his “Yoga for Yellowbellies”) and the stunning wonder he beheld, I saw in this small bit of metal.

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“A World in a Grain of Sand.”

Not too shabby for a night at the table with a few rolls of coins.

We all swim in a Sea of Stars and may always find the Great in the Small.

-Hoodoo

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BREAK A BUCK & TRY YOUR LUCK

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After one has found their Numisgnostic Contact Coin (also known as the “Portal Penny”) and begun acquiring some of the basic supplies needed for continued work (see our previous entry in this series), there is the issue of how to acquire further coins.

It’s true that Pennies will continually present themselves along the Path. They’ll be spied in both strange and commonplace spaces, handed out from cash registers with a fistfull of change and even gifted to you as others begin to learn of your new found “hobby.” To be continually active in a variety of Numisgnostic Operations, however, you’ll definitely want to increase the regular flow of coinage in your sphere of Work. Banks aren’t terribly surprised when coin-collecting customers “purchase” bulk rolls of any denomination and avid searchers will frequently walk in and out the doors with quite a bundle.

In my own experience, however, I began examining coins without the money to purchase-or time to sort through and exchange-a full “bank box.” If one is approaching this work with the primary goal of discovering some beyond rare mint-error (and retiring after the auction), it only makes sense to increase the “chance of winning” with this approach. In Numisgnosis, however, the searching is primarily concerned with Psychometric Finds and my own limits, with both funds and time, led to a more quick and concentrated approach, utilizing single rolls of Pennies. I would acquire these, not from banks, but cashiers (guaranteed to be a bit more baffled by the roll request than your local banker).

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Basically, if you have 50 cents, you can ask to swap it for a roll of Pennies almost anywhere. The gas station, grocery store, wherever. I’ve been told “no” but this is part of the voyage. Move on and hit up the next likely locale. If you’ve got a dollar, it will score you TWO rolls (100 coins) and, in context of Magickal and Psychometric Investigation, this is quite the pile!

Some will want to set up several “bins” at Home Base where acquired coins can be seperated. One bin can be for those swapped and another for those returned with change. A box can be set up for those found on the street and another for those gifted from others (and don’t be shy about asking friends and family to hang onto their pennies for you…most people won’t find the monetary value of a few cents of any concern but they WILL enjoy making someone else’s day with a little gift).

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Some Corp Members will keep an elaborate and detailed record to observe trends in the flow. This is, admittedly, tedious but worthwhile. By noting WHAT you acquire and through WHICH Channels, you begin to get a picture of the Invisible Forces working through your activity in Numisgnosis. For example, out of 10 rolls you’ve swapped out around town, you might notice that 1981 D cents dominate the total haul. You might only have found a single 1963 from a thousand.
One one hand, this situation may reflect the simple odds of finding any given coin in circulation. On the other, the Numisgnostic, working actively with the Contact Coin as a Beacon into the Magickal Universe, will find that certain coins will truly be attracted to him (or her)! They will travel long distances over periods of time to arrive in the Temple.
There is an interplay between Chance and Intention here-and this interplay is similar to how we find ourselves in this Spacetime Environment as Entities with Power to Effect Change and Decision Making Capacity interacting with a seemingly Objective World in which events occur outside of our Willing.

From this vantage point, our continuing work in this field may be likened to certain games which evoke Chance, Choice and Magick (again in the Crowleyan sense, Old Crow having stated that “Every Intentional Act is a Magickal Act”).

We’ll address some of these games down the line. They include Magic The Gathering which (along with many others like it) may be used as a Vehicle for Spiritual Growth. The point is: Numisgnosis, as we’ve discussed it thus far, will be profitably treated as such a Gamespace IF we regard Gaming as a Spiritual (and, perhaps more appropriately, SHAMANIC) Endeavor.

For the moment, don’t let a lack of funds foil the fun or stay the Way. Swap a buck and try your luck. Not unlike booster packs purchased for Magic, each roll of Lincolns is guaranteed to contain at least ONE “Rare.” If you don’t see it, sort ’em until you DO.

We’ll eventually get to the Mission where you swap two bits for a roll and find EVERY SINGLE COIN to be a SUPER CHARGED WINNER.

But that Mission has nothing to do with Luck of the Draw…it’s balls out Shamanix.

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Vessels Of Vision: The Gnostic Artist As Magician Of The Crossroads

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Six-fold Ma’atian Mind-by Kyle Fite (private collection)

Vessels Of Vision

The Gnostic Artist As Magician Of The Crossroads

By Kyle Fite

“My adepts stand upright; their head above the heavens, their feet below the hells.”

These words, taken from Aleister Crowley’s Liber Tzaddi, describe an exalted state of consciousness belonging to the Magician who performs his Art from a place between polarities, functioning as a type of bridge between the worlds. We find this theme exemplified in many great figures epitomizing the shamanic ideal. In Vudu, Papa Legbha is Lord of the Crossroads. Hermes, as patron of Alchemy, embodies the union of Sun and Moon, the Above and Below. Abraxas and Baphomet, familiar to the Gnostics and Templars, fuse the sundry elements and kingdoms of nature into an androgynous whole. Bisexual figures, such as Loki, and those who roam between the Realms, such as Odin, also typify this theme of bringing together forces generally compartmentalized-and contrasted-as opposites.

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Abraxas instructs young art student on how to “pull it all together”

The English Artist and Poet, William Blake, observed, in his Marriage of Heaven & Hell:

“Without Contraries is no progression. Attraction and Repulsion, Reason and Energy, Love and Hate, are necessary to Human existence. From these contraries spring what the religious call Good & Evil. Good is the passive that obeys Reason. Evil is the active springing from Energy.

Good is Heaven. Evil is Hell.”

In Blake’s vision, these elements are to be wed, their “love-play” evoking the activity wherein movement from one extreme to the other turns to dynamic development and serves the growth principle underlying the rise and fall of human life on the planet. The vision is ultimately mystical and cosmic, bringing together the great polarities of temporality and eternality or Being and Non-Being.

It is the intent of this essay to examine how this recurring theme of polarity and unity relates to the Artist as Magician. The work of the Magical Artist is not simply to focus on some “arcane” subject matter for depiction but rather a process which allows him to create and bestow his work as a type of shaman. Both the creative act and resultant artistry function as gateways between the realms in that they evoke and partake of the fusion point which is the natural home of both magician and artist.

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William Blake knew how to “Break on through to the Other Side!”

To begin, we must ask: What, precisely, is “Magical” or “Occult Art?” Simple depiction of something we might regard as “magical” does not seem to warrant such a definition. This would be better understood as illustration whose subject happens to be something we regard as “arcane,” be it an archaic symbol culled from an old tome or figures shown engaging in ritualistic operations. These sorts of pictures adorn the cover of many popular books on magic and are often examples of generic illustration or graphic design. It requires neither understanding nor the active play of any occult energy to generate such images.

“Magical Art” should, by definition, partake of the quality or energy of “Magic.” It holds and radiates its own charge, something beyond the bounds of mere depiction. It is the difference between a pleasing sculpture and a fetish object in which it said that a spirit resides. The aesthetic of the latter becomes a vehicle for its indwelling force or intelligence.

Now, a firm and definitive demarcation between “Magical” and “Non-Magical” art is not entirely possible. Any attempt at doing so will crash and burn as quickly as the aesthetic conundrum as to what constitutes art itself. After a manner, all art, even the utilitarian illustrative work we mentioned above, partakes of some sort of “magical method.” But we do distinguish between such work and that art which translates the power and intelligence connected to a transcendent region of consciousness as a living verity. Therefore, we must assert and seek out certain qualities found in the generation of-and participation in-given works of art, qualities which satisfy and express the shamanic impulse and mystical need of the individual.

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The Art of Sean Woodward in which aesthetic content is put into ritual use 

We now need to establish what the magician is, what constitutes his “Magic.” As there is great variance in understanding these simple words, we wish to achieve some degree of clarity from which to proceed.

We find in the great magical figures alluded to above that element of “in-betweeness.” There is within these mythic personas an integrative network bridging the gap between areas of experience typically held at bay from one another. These gaps are established by the observation and reinforcement of contrast. Although this contrast is necessary for our world to maintain its existence, it remains a double-edged sword. On one hand, it provides consciousness with a field of operation whereby its unfoldment and evolution may occur. On the other, it forms the material prison of some Gnostic philosophies by subjecting limitless spirit to the limiting conditions of a dualistic universe functioning in space and time. The Artist as Magician steps outside of the confines of the latter description to serve the former.

Returning to Liber Tzaddi, Crowley wrote:

“I reveal unto you a great mystery. Ye stand between the abyss of height and the abyss of depth. In either awaits you a companion; and that Companion is yourself. Ye can have no other companion. Many have arisen, being wise. They have said ‘Seek out the glittering image in the place ever golden and unite yourselves with it.’ Many have arisen, being foolish. They have said ‘Stoop down unto the darkly splendid world and be wedded to that Blind Creature of the Slime. I who am beyond Wisdom and Folly, arise and say unto you: achieve both weddings! Unite yourselves with both! Beware, beware, I say, lest ye seek after the one and lose the other!”

Within these poetic verses we find the adept not only reconciling the worlds but achieving complete union with all forms of life, for “ye can have no other companion.”

We have here something of a triad. The above and below are united within the one consciousness. But the one consciousness is also united with both the above and below. We are not speaking solely of dissolving the opposites into unity but rather achieving the Gnosis of unity’s union with duality!

When this is understood, the magician may shift from zone to zone at will. Loki, a male giant, may become a female horse. In the Christian Mysteries, Spirit may be transmuted into physical substance via the Mass. In the realm of art, pictures and paintings may become gateways to realms beyond those of which their material elements are made.

Blake knew this and wrote of his own art:

“If the Spectator could Enter into these images in his Imagination approaching them on the Fiery Chariot of his Contemplative Thought, if he could Enter into Noah’s Rainbow or into his bosom or could make a Friend & Companion of one of these Images of wonder which always entreats him to leave mortal things as he must know then would he arise from his Grave, then would he meet the Lord in the Air & then he would be happy.”

If one may enter into such a work of art, it follows that its denizens may also enter into our own world! Furthermore, we are not simply dealing with entities as such but energies of which the art may serve as transmitter.

Michael Bertiaux, in his Voudon-Gnostic Workbook, elaborates on this theme of artist as magician in the paper entitled “What do we mean by the science of Gnostic physics?” He outlines 16 points which provide clarity and direction for the “Gnostic Artist” whose work is to embody the function of the magician. This paper would serve as a wonderful meditation and guide for any artist who is pursuing this approach to their work.

Bertiaux writes:

“The Gnostic artist is also a magician for he materializes thought forms in all that he does. These materializations are not always conscious, hence he is also a type of medium.”

This is a very important point as it indicates that the artist-magician is doing much more than representing esoteric concepts in visual forms. This would be a wholly intellectual endeavor and the Gnostic-artist is concerned with the formation of a vehicle through which actual energies may pass. The methods of Surrealism are implied in the latter portion of this statement.

Bertaiux continues:

“The Gnostic artist is also a magician when he allows the divine energy of creative and cosmic illumination to enter into his multi-dimensional consciousness and thus awaken the angels of their inspiration, which reside in the higher mind fields.”
Both the creation of the art and the experience of its content draw from these “higher mind fields” and it is this double action which constitutes the magical nature of the art.

Perhaps the most important statement in Bertiaux’s paper is this:

“Each work of art comes alive and lives according to the rules whereby he has brought it into existence… There exist certain spells for causing certain things to happen in each Gnostic universe. Each artist must know these if he is to be a Gnostic artist…The Gnostic artist is both a mystical magician and a magickal mystic because he experiences both the total form and total content of each and every universe which rises from his creativity as a work of art.”

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Artwork by Rev. Michael Bertiaux, uniting Worlds at the Crossroads

This connection between magic and mysticism is critical to the artist tapping the “higher mind fields” and then imbuing his work with its life. Hence, we began this essay by addressing the theme of the polarization and unity in the higher god-forms. These beings may all be considered Masters of the “Crossroads,” that is to say that metaspace in which magic and mysticism fuse into a single art.

The magician is first a mystic for he has apprehended the nature of the perceived universe. This is “Lila” or illusion. The notion of permanence is apparent only and seen to have no basis in the perpetually changing energy fields of life itself. Beyond this illusion is the Gnosis of the energy field in its fullness and totality. One experiences something of Cosmic Unity which is beyond the conditions determining the play of Lila in the perceived universe.

The question, then, becomes what to do with the illusory universe. Many mystics, having perceived the changing and temporal nature of the world, have sought refuge in the changeless principle. From Buddhism to Christian Gnosticism, there has been a retreat into the fullness which may be called everything from Nirvana to the Kingdom of Heaven.

The world, however, must have some basis, some origin or source whereby it comes into being. If the changeless principle is all pervasive it follows that the insubstantial and changing universe is one with it. Thus it is has been written that Samsara is Nirvana and “Earthly Desires are Enlightenment.”

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Despite an expected penchant for the exotic, Crowley would find fields of inspiration in the natural world as seen in this landscape

By dissolving the notion of a fundamental divide between unity and duality (which only creates a new duality), the magician is able to experience and bring eternity into time. Illusion is coeval with perception and perception is acted upon to initiate further change in the universe. This particular change, however, is not automatic and following the unconscious rhythms of nature. Instead, it emerges from the will and direction of the magician. This will and direction is liberated through the enlightenment which harmonizes the individual mind of the mage with the cosmic mind of which all seemingly isolated areas of consciousness are seen as part.

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We are able to see with more than the Human Eye

The states of Gnosis described above cannot be induced by the simple application of a specific one size fits all formula. Furthermore, even describing such a state stretches the capacity of language. Hence, Gnostic literature inevitably becomes poetic, moving towards the crossroads between the mind’s intellectual comprehension and the direct knowing of the deeper mind or heart. It is like the challenge of describing how to ride a bicycle-and then going on to give expressing to the thrill and experience of the same. Along the way, the intellectual understanding must melt and surrender to a type of feeling or intuiting which brings things into alignment.

Beyond the challenge of guiding one into such a state, there is a wonderful simplicity as the actual process clicks into place. One has no longer simply imagined an experience. One has experienced and known it. It is now infusing the consciousness. In the case of Gnosis, consciousness is transformed into a vehicle of superconsciousness. Dualities are seen in context of the Unity that sustains them as that same Unity is understood in its dualistic manifestations.
From this “Interzone,” we engage with our art. Perception is enhanced and forms are generated within this crucible.
For myself, the recognizable image is offset with abstraction and symbolic form. It is crucial that these forms be more than metaphor. They need to carry their own charge or life outside of the individual mind. Blake got at this when he emphasized that his work was not “allegory” but “Vision.”

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The Coinologist by Kyle Fite-The lifepulse of any theme may fuel form, transforming both

The symbols-or sigils-thus generated may begin with a definite thought or intention. As Crowley wrote: “Every intentional act is a magical act.” There is, however, the question of how successful or how powerful the magic or spell will be. At times, this intentionality rises from deeper levels within the psyche to impose its form or energy via automatic technique as we often see in the drawings of Austin Osman Spare.

In my own working method, the symbol or image, once projected and “objectified” on paper must then be vivified or “woken up.” Here the original idea or impetus dissolves into a wholly aesthetic embellishment of form.

The artist is now overriding the intellect. Salvador Dali once admonished artists to never think about painting while painting. As paradoxical as this may sound, it points us in the right direction. Only the artist-as magician-can bypass the confines of mental comprehension to establish himself as a bridge between the outward activity and the inward reality. Similarly, the British Magician, Kenneth Grant, offers these words: “It is immaterial whether or not the artist is consciously aware of the direction of his work. It may even be essential to its accomplishment that he is not aware, for an artist manifests his creative power (Shakti) only in his absence.” It is no surprise to find in Grant’s works a tremendous regard for the imagery of the surrealists.

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Dali’s work reminds us that LOOKING is LISTENING

Returning to the notion of the Shaman, we are not exclusively concerned with the creative process for the Gnostic-artist, crucial though it may be. Its reflex is a birth into the world whereby it rises into an independent life. To be strongly imbued with vision and power is to see it communicate to the minds of others, above and below the threshold of the conscious and reasoning mind. The artist is therefore opening gateways whereby human consciousness may ripple into a more expansive field of action. He is a type of evolutionary agent in time and space, forging links between areas of experience which, if held at bay, would otherwise gravitate towards stasis and stagnation.

Such breakthroughs necessitate destruction of old patterns. Hence, surrealism’s precursor was the Dada movement, which could be extraordinarily violent, blasphemous and wholly irrational. It was the breaking down of aesthetic limits and viewpoints in a grand sense, tearing the whole edifice down, spurred on by some inner intensity and vitality. From the ruins, surrealism moved of its own volition to the exploration of the psychological roots of image and form. This not only opened the gates to exploring Freudian themes but began to give rise to images generative of their own iconography. The heart of religion and magic was being excavated from its prison of dogma and returned to the cauldron of its birth.

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Ernst Fuchs, in whose “Spiritual Surrealism” the Sacred and Sensual are wed

Thus we find the Artist-Magician as an essential figure in the modern era, the shaman not entirely embraced by the tribe. Reason, repression and control still abound in the form of Archons who, equating change with destruction and having no awareness of life beyond their isolate form, wield massive weaponry against the unkillable spirit that pulses at the heart of Life. Without liberty or death, the Terra becomes a torture chamber of endless agonies for this spirit. Hence arise the Gnostic visions of a world-prison from which one must escape.

Escape, however, is not found by rejecting the world. Instead, the Artist-Magician makes use of the creative means at his disposal to enter more deeply into the situation, stirring up and ultimately liberating the Light which has been overshadowed, not by outward circumstances but an inward darkness. The Artist is ever involved in a dual process: he is pushing himself to see with ever widening degrees of vision and he is bringing into the world objects and images which resonate with this Vision-power latent in all human beings.

In his talk, On My Painting, the German Expressionist Max Beckmann expressed this thought:

“What is important to me in my work is the identity that is hidden behind so-called reality. I search for a bridge from the given present to the invisible, rather as a famous cabalist once said, ‘If you wish to grasp the invisible, penetrate as deeply as possible into the visible.’ ”

I read these words as a teenager and was baffled by them. Twenty years later, they have become vital to my personal path as both an artist and a spiritual being. Alongside the paper on Gnostic Physics by Michael Bertiaux, this short essay by Beckmann should also be read in its entirety. It is one of the most profound, passionate and poignant statement a Gnostic-Artist might encounter. For two decades, Beckmann’s words have followed me, pushing me more deeply into their meaning. It is not an issue of familiarity or intellectual comprehension. Rather, one must know and live the spirit in this brief essay. It does not lead to some single point of “enlightenment” but opens a door into a hallway leading to further doors, continuing points of breakthrough, initiation and growth.

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The Art of Max Beckmann, mingling the Mundane and Mythic in the alchemy of composition

As stated above, the Gnostic-Artist is not one who simply expands his own understanding and personal power as an independent being. His growing awareness of the unity of all beings, human and otherwise, infuses an ongoing creative work which is given to the human race as a type of gift. He, too, partakes of this activity. As Blake wrote (again, in his Marriage Of Heaven And Hell):

“The worship of God is, Honouring his gifts in other men each according to his genius, and loving the greatest men best. Those who envy or calumniate great men hate God, for there is no other God.”

Human society is in grave need of this shamanic activity especially in its present state of turbulence and uncertainty. I was once going through a difficult period in my life and came across a quote at my local library. I regret that I do not recall the author but the gist was this: When you are lost, go back to the time when you knew what you were doing and begin again there. The true artist is perpetually engaged in this process and his return to the “time of knowing” is transpersonal. As an artist, I know this to be true. I have created works that I have come to regard highly and works that I turn away from in time. Yet “time tries truth” and I find that particular works were simply midwifed by my hand. They arose from some resonance with the larger vision and therefore they can speak, independent of myself, to others on that same level. This is not a cause for self-regard but self-examination. A gateway was passed, a threshold crossed. Initiation is endless and one must always be a moving towards the next breakthrough. On one hand, we may have achieved a “mastery” of the level behind us. This mastery, however, propels us into the challenges of what lies ahead. We rely on the sum of our acquired wisdom and skill to navigate the difficulties at hand. In doing so, we look back to where success arose. It speaks to us from our past and offers guidance into the future.

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Paul Klee-A True Gnostic Artist, he always knew what he was doing!

The Gnostic-Artist has been with us since time immemorial. The most ancient of artifacts and markings on the walls of caves show this. Image has been connected to experience and thereby amplified our adventure in the world. The subconscious mind does not distinguish between fact and fiction. It simply responds with attraction, repulsion or indifference. The conscious mind is overburdened with stimuli from an artificial environment, constructed to restrain those powers which initiate change. The whole scenario is one of love against fear with the great irony of fear’s agenda being so self-defeating. The woes it seeks to combat have been engendered from its own loins.

On the other hand we have the Magi. Millennia have seen the development of schools of thought, techniques of attainment, ways of walking the winding way. As these inventions ossify, the artist arises to follow impulse and intuition. His impetus is not an idea but an inspiration. He will be Dada to Convention and Surrealism to Dogma. Every member of this Cultus, whether he knows himself as such or not, is busy fashioning windows and gates into the Otherworld. Like Jacob’s ladder, powers from Beyond pass to and fro via these turnstiles Matter is becoming Spirit and Spirit is becoming Matter. These sublime transformations are not unlike William Blake’s view towards “a world in a grain of sand” and “Heaven in a wild flower.” Passing through these Gates is not an arduous task. It is simply a shifting of inner vision. As the New World comes into focus, we discover a proliferation of possibilities and a Vessel of Endless Vision to those who would drink from the same.

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Baptism in the Holy Ghost by Kyle Fite (private collection)

FALLING INTO FIRE

Continuing the sharing of published works with this essay, originally printed in Scarlet Imprint’s XVI: Bringing Down the House of God.

Outside of Orders, Groups and Clubs, this is my Personal “Manifesto” of Thelema, a Way in a Wayward World.

I hope you enjoy.

93.

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FALLING INTO FIRE

 

by

 

Kyle Fite

 

The final key always eluded me, and I decided that my search was as sterile as the alchemist’s search for the philosopher’s stone. I decided that it was an error to think in terms of some secret key or formula…The secret is that there is no secret…But I was wrong. There is a secret now in the hands of ignorant and evil men. A secret beside which the atom bomb is a noisy toy…And like it or not, I was involved…I had already ante-ed my life…

-William Burroughs, The Conspiracy

The world is on fire.

And are you laughing?

You are deep in the dark.

Will you not ask for light?

-Buddha, The Dhammapada

I

We were not built to last.

Our lives are fragile and passing things, a multitude of fragmentary phenomena, doomed for the dust of extinction ere we are conceived. It is an inescapable fact of nature. Our eventual dissolution is certain. A bullet on the battlefield. A brain flooding blood burst. Microbes replicate, ruining the body. Cancer cells multiply and assume dominion over what we thought was ours. Cars crash and crush a family of five in the click of a second hand that will never move again. In the most peaceable of places, we wear out and give way to decay. And we are hardly in the most peaceable of places.

Modern life is an international global assault zone and the conflict between nations is reflected in the most microcosmic of environments we occupy. From the urban hive to the living room to those portions of our consciousness which shift into shadow, the spears may be seen shimmering. All the while our nervous systems are aglow with a defensive tension until the wires crackle and burn out into the cold.

We come into this place, this highly relative perceptive field we call “reality,” stamped and sealed with terminal mortality. We all carry a solitary ticket to the grave, encoded in our flesh, ticking like a time bomb. As the gears of the clock spin and whir, its base totters on a shelf shaken to tectonic tremors. A snip of the umbilicus and we’re sent running to the crack of a gun.

The Race is on…and into the Labyrinth we plummet.

How we come to terms with this fast flashing scenario varies immensely from person to person. We find ourselves flung into the fray, set up from the start, and yet doggedly driven by an undeniable primordial push to evade the scythe and survive. We adapt to adversity and keep moving until our feet are cut out from beneath us. Seldom do we “go gently into that dark night.” But even the most protected person, the most charmed life, cannot escape the fate of its temporal nature. We are therefore vitally concerned with reconciling ourselves to this basic truth.

A myriad of perspectives and proclamations are formulated to confront the inevitable. We fashion gods and heavens-or reincarnational routes through the hereafter. We conceptualize the more bleak and foreboding alternatives within intellectual frameworks, allowing the mind’s momentary mastery of the conceptual to eclipse our helplessness in the face of fact. Some, finding even this approach too agitating to apprehend, detour into drunken diversions, extended visits to the Vanity Fair, distraction and debasement of the Self to the point of idiocy. Sometimes clever, sometimes desperate, we become painfully aware of our predicament and seek a solution, after one manner or another. Our lives not only realize experience but evoke and grapple with how to process that experience, especially as our portion of consciousness grows increasingly self-reflective.

In a word, we seek meaning.

The world is on fire and, as denizens of the dense globe, we are, ourselves, aflame.

Before we are utterly consumed within our circumstantial conflagration, some of us will stretch through the smoke and into the heat, reaching for reconciliation. We try to grasp the purpose, plan or point whereby we might free ourselves from the fetters of fear. Faced with the utter certainty that we must, willingly or otherwise, relinquish our grasp on all we have known, valued and cherished, we attempt to understand and find our place. We create contexts, developing (if not satisfied with simply inheriting) a worldview. If we are bold enough to face facts, we are forced to question, try and often shatter explanations that merely pacify and comfort.

The world is on fire and we don’t want an anesthetic. We want the real deal. If there does exist a superior way to confront the crisis and discover our way, we are ready to rush through the flames to find it.

Rumi wrote:

Your old grandmother says,

“Maybe you shouldn’t go to school.

You look a little pale.”

 

Run when you hear that.

A father’s stern slaps are better.

 

Your bodily soul wants comforting.

The severe father wants spiritual clarity.

He scolds, but eventually

leads you into the open.

It is with this spirit that we will rise to the occasion of our present state of affairs and ask for light. We will ask. We will demand. And we will do so without shirking the cost-even if that cost proves to be our very lives. For, most assuredly, it shall be nothing less.

II

My mother groan’d! My father wept

Into the dangerous world I leapt…

-William Blake, Infant Sorrow

Blake’s memorable verse describes our condition from time immemorial. We are forced from the Lethe-waters of the womb to wake blinking in a battle zone. A sharp slap on our shimmering skin and a bullet is chambered for the child.

“No one promised us a rose garden” but we get one just the same. It is a vast unfurling vision of wonderment, pleasure and delight into which we are cast, ringed with flesh flaying thorns. The moist and misty nectar lifts into the scalding and merciless rays of the sun. Our world is beautiful, bewildering, blasted and blown. If we’ve truly “asked for Light,” we will have found ourselves being brought into a keen awareness of what is symbolically conveyed to the modern Freemason who seeks after the same: The Lodgeroom’s “Mosaic Pavement,” a checkerboard of black and white tiles, the Game of Good and Evil played out in a never ending array of patterns and forms. In this predicament, we are not unlike Prince Siddhartha who, upon leaving the shelter of his palace (itself a type of womb), is hurled into a world of sharp contrasts, the vitality of his youth and health reflected by age and death at the Gates to the Outer World.

We navigate the nursery and flee the front door to find fiery arrows cutting the air about our head. In their wake are whispered the words Wake UP!

If we’ve heard and hearkened, we are fortunate.

Masonic initiation will lead the Candidate to the “Blazing Star” in the center of the chessboard tiling. However, before we arrive at the Gnosis of this all-important glyph, we must understand and traverse the terrain which surrounds it. The Mosaic Pavement is none other than Blake’s “dangerous world.” It is our inheritance as human beings and its perils demand our utmost attention.

III

At the time of this writing, the World would seem to be in shambles, a disordered dance ever maximizing its mad momentum over the minefield of modernity. The latest update is but a mouse click away on our home computer. Ten minutes of exposure to the News and we cannot tell which is threatening to ruin the race more rapidly: Nature or Man? On one hand, we might glibly retort to the influx of second-hand horror: “What’s new? When have we NOT been antagonizing, assaulting, imposing upon and destroying each other? Is there any atrocity which isn’t an echo from the most ancient times?” Infanticide. Patricide. Genocide. Suicide. It seems to be a theme running through the blood-glutted gutters of our history.

Despite the proverb “There is no new thing under the sun,” we might feel a certain fear-fraught frequency not so easily fit into the admittedly brutal historical pattern, a post modern angst that is still winding up, some fundamental crisis which seems unprecedented. We are still mortal, still prone to nature’s entropy and caprice and still vulnerable to the ill-will of our fellow man. And yet there is something shivering through our souls that we can’t quite place our finger on, something menacing to more than our Bodily Soul.

One is reminded of Yeats classic poem “The Second Coming”:

Turning and turning in the widening gyre

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

The ceremony of innocence is drowned…

Our culture is a paradoxical panegyric to a simultaneously mounting humanistic unfolding and self-defeating schizoid sickness. The cataclysmic tension between the two has grown apocalyptic. From mothers drowning their babies to the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center collapsing in a matter of minutes, we are witnessing behavior never seen in the so-called “lower” animal kingdom. Appalling, outrageous, nauseating. It is as if the stirring of our highest aspirations and potential is malignantly mirrored in some depraved and demonic depth. The Mosaic Pavement of the Soul comes into stunning clarity. We can witness in the reverberation of the churning upheaval all portentous predictions of the past made manifest in literal blood and fire. St. John. Nostradamus. Aleister Crowley.

The philosophic mind which apprehends its own mortality also surveys the scope of history and time. Rising above the drama of one’s individual life, one looks to the grand drama of the species as it procreates its path into futurity. From this larger perspective, can we find a pattern unfolding? What forecast forms from our observations?

We trace Trends, Epochs, Kalpas and Yugas.

Aeons.

Our own age is saturated with many such models, molded from myth and symbol. The Age of Aquarius. Aeon of Horus. Kali Yuga. End of the Mayan Calendar. The End Times. Eschaton. Ragnarok. The Second Coming.

The so-called New Millennium was surrounded by apprehension and anticipation, like a sizzling firework that failed to go off. 2012, with prophetic proponents crawling out of the woodwork, is right around the corner. Will it see the End of All Things As We Know Them? We DO know it’s already busy selling books and films. The countdown is ON and we look to the future as if it’s one huge New Years Eve party with the ball (or bomb) about to drop. Capitalizing on curiosity, credulity and keyed up nerves is an ancient game. Could it be that such portents of doom are actually distracting us from a more subtle and less entertaining threat?

If we ascribe credence to any of the above models (or similar contenders), we must ask: why? What do we see behind the changes we have witnessed and the development of events they embody?

It is the present author’s view that these models are not absolute. Rather, they embody modes of processing and contextualizing in an attempt to coalesce chaos into a manageable form.

This statement is emphatically not intended to be a dismissive view of a seemingly patterned progression of Ages and Times with their own dominant characteristics. The historic overview presented in the works of Aleister Crowley, for example, is particularly compelling in this regard, indicating an orderly pattern of developmental unfolding in human consciousness and culture. Yet even his teaching, for all its astounding internal consistency, is hardly beyond question. There are, however, several vital points in Crowley’s work which make his approach not only relevant to the immediate concerns of the present age but to a larger and trans-historic viewpoint, as well. He addresses both the Zeitgeist and the power within the human being to utilize this temporal condition to rise above it. Time and Eternity are not a dichotomy in Crowley’s vision but are as if two lovers, held apart by ignorance and yearning to conjoin.

The falcon cannot hear the falconer. The child has broken from the parent’s grasp and the Old Aeon of control is crumbling, catastrophically. Shall we lament this seemingly sorry state? In times past, death and dissolution were cause for sackcloth and ashes. In Crowley’s “new religion” of Thelema, the mourning has been replaced by the “Greater Feast.” What is seen by some as death or fearful finality is now being viewed as a vital expression of life whose nature is perpetual change and, by virtue of this change, movement and transformation.

Yeats felt an impending sense of doom rising with the modern age and expressed it well in his poem. With a certain prophetic passion, he continues:

…I know

That twenty centuries of stony sleep

Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,

Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

One cannot help but think of Crowley when reading these lines. Yeats had met the young Englishman when both were members of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Unimpressed with Crowley’s theatrics and bid for authority, his words regarding the young magician were few and dismissive. It would seem that Yeats was hardly troubled throughout his life by the memory of this upstart.

Crowley, on the other hand, would soon identify himself with the “Beast” whose hour had, in fact, “come round at last.” Contrary to Yeats, he did not envision this as a position of enmity towards man. The forces being unleashed upon the human race during the coming century he saw as birth pangs, a necessary tilling of the soil for a new and essential seeding.

The falcon could not hear the falconer but Crowley sought to hear the falcon. Thus it was that the Hawk-Headed God spoke through the medium of his new bride, delivering to an Englishman on his honeymoon the writing which was to color the rest of his life. Crowley also felt that this text was to color the lives of every human being on the planet…for the next 2,000 years.

IV

The vision of Crowley’s book, Liber AL, is decidedly apocalyptic. For a man who emphatically identified himself with the number “666,” his Holiest of “Holy Books” evokes an atmosphere reminiscent of that set forth by the historic originator of (and, one might observe, antagonist towards) the symbolism, St. John of Patmos.

St. John’s vision is both Christic and comprehensive. It is a book of symbolic sequencing and spiritual stages. He foretells of future tribulation and an ultimate redemption and reward. Crowley follows suit quite nicely and anticipates the chaos, violence and upheaval of the last century, seeing “The Reward of Ra Hoor Khuit” as potential through the damage and destruction attendant to the incoming age.

What differentiates Crowley from every other prophetic doomsayer, including St. John, is precisely this reward. He not only anticipates the crushing collapse of societal status quo on a grand level. He understands its origin and destination in a manner unlike any preceding prophet.

Crowley’s conclusion to the foretold global shakedown is not the anticipated arrival of some messianic being or fantastic deity, a projection and idealization of specific human qualities, who might assume autocratic dominion over all, delivering due damnation for those who dared disbelieve. Rather, the redemption and reconciliation he envisions is ready for delivery in this life, on this earth and in this moment.

The Reward of Ra Hoor Khuit is imminent.

To seriously examine this approach is to make our way towards the “Blazing Star” of the Freemasons. Or as Crowley himself poetically put it:

One Star in Sight.

V

Prior to the rising of this Star in the sequence of images comprising the Greater Arcana of the Tarot, we will find a stage in the Great Work identified as The Tower.

In more traditional packs, this card depicts an edifice being struck by lightning from above. One is reminded of the Biblical Babel and Judgment made by a Divine Being upon the hubris of his own creation. This thematic angle is radically altered with Crowley’s revisionist approach to the Tarot, assisted by the artistry of Frieda Harris.

The image we find in the Thoth deck of Aleister Crowley is more magickal than moral. The tower is cubistic and yet serpentine. It is not only an emblem of the virile phallus; it is the phallus in orgasmic dynamism. This suggests a much more positive and creative interpretation of what, prior to this depiction, has been a two-dimensional image of destruction.

Human sexuality is intrinsically linked to human procreation. Just as the rising and falling of the phallus is cyclic, so is the individual life it begets, a cycle of endless birth and death.

Picasso, also expressing the pulse of life through cubist form, observed that “Every act of creation is first an act of destruction.” Every moment we breathe sees the birth of possibility into manifestation through the death of all that has gone before. Our dissolution and departure from physical form also takes its place in this endless process of creation.

It is of great interest to note, however, that the Tower is not a Gateway to the Mysteries of Death per se. It is the 16th Trump and the Universality of Mortality has already been dealt with in the 13th Card. Prince Siddhartha has beheld and accepted this truth. He has moved on in his Quest to seek after the answer to the question it evoked within his mind and heart. It has now led him to this Vision.

So, what does The Tower tell us if it is not simply an emblem of the entropic or catastrophic, both of which lead us to the stasis of a razed rubble-heap? How is this downfall also an uprising?

VI

To begin, The Tower does herald breakdown. It is clearly a marriage between the ideas of the established edifice and a frenzied force which can tear it asunder.

We have mentioned the moralistic read on this symbolism, God Almighty hurling a thunderbolt from Heaven to remind Man that he cannot hope to lift off from the parapets of his prison nor slide between the bars on the cage of his creation. The oppressive and imprisoning Deity is a core theme in Gnostic thought. The thing worshipped as the “Supreme Being” or “Grand Architect of the Universe” is viewed as a false god, a demented and senile creature who fashioned form to bind the True God in a dismembered and broken state. Schools of Gnostic thought have risen from this premise to conclude that our earthly lives are an imperfection to be risen above, setting mortal life at odds with the ideal of Eternality.

This is not particularly helpful. Should we entertain such a view, we find ourselves strapped into a dire duality which maintains division as its keynote. We are still lost in the “Mosaic Pavement” and subject to its vicissitudes.

Crowley does not deny the existence of “God.” Rather he gives the world a wholly different definition of the word:

There is no God but Man.

If this is so, we find that it is MAN hurling the thunderbolt upon his own creation. It is self-destruction. We divide ourselves into the figures cast out from the stern structure. Male and Female we create OURSELVES. But in such a glyph, we find the resounding cry to take responsibility.

The Existentialism of the last century brought this theme to the fore, unafraid to face the fallout of God Himself. Without a Divine Mastermind to pin it all on, we were left with only ourselves. Therefore all responsibility for our lives became our own burden, our own problem and, from a more magickal mindset, our Great Work.

Herman Hesse addresses many of the Existentialist themes and concerns in his great novel Steppenwolf. Its protagonist, Harry Haller, is well worth considering in our examination of the present predicament.

Haller is a genius, a man of incredible refinement, sensitivity, intelligence and passion. These qualities find him alienated from his fellow creatures who (in the words of Liber AL) “…are dead…they feel not.” (2:18)

Haller lives life on his own terms and tailored to his own tastes, always on the outskirts of the fashionable and fake. He is not a happy figure, however. He is ill at ease amongst the human herd with which he must, as a member of society, contend. Despite a sense of misplacement amidst the mass mind, he confronts what others avoid and, in his relentless pursuit of the ultimate, grapples with the basic problem of mortality. He decides that the most authentic course of living must take personal responsibility for even this phenomenon. Therefore, Haller determines that he must not leave his death to the caprice of nature. To do so is the route of those who evade this fundamental fact.

Therefore, Harry Haller has set the time and date of his own suicide.

Is this an act of courage, of bravery and authenticity? Haller seems to think so. He has also fashioned an image of himself as half man and half wolf (hence, the title of the book, Steppenwolf or “Wolf of the Steppes.”) He understands that he is

both ultra civilized and ultra bestial. His fellow man seems to be neither: lukewarm, unfeeling and already dead.

We might find in Haller’s self-image a prototype of Crowley’s “Beast.” There is emphasis in Crowley on this creature being, not some archetype of evil, inimical to the human race, but rather “the number of a man.” It is a peeling back of artifice and a bold embrace of what underpins and lies locked beneath the confined human being. “Authenticity” and “True Will” may be regarded as interchangeable terms.

Despite this “advancement” in the personality of Harry Haller, his view is soon to be found wanting, despite the sense of superiority he carries (and perhaps commands).

Haller will meet an enigmatic and charming woman named Hermine who will become the “Babalon” to his “Beast,” exemplifying his need for a counterbalance, despite the density of his demeanor. Isolation and alienation are not to be understood as synonymous with self-sufficiency. Although settled on the course of his “final initiation,” Haller is in desperate need of what Hermine holds. She upsets his suicide plans by mocking his aversion to dancing. So willing to confront the Great Unknown and yet afraid to “cut the carpet” with a pretty woman. It is a wonderful curveball thrown at the would be “home run swing” of the Steppenwolf.

The sequence of events which follow find our hero, momentarily abandoning his self-assigned death date, meeting Hermine for lessons in dancing and becoming enraptured with her charm. Hermine, however, has entered Harry’s life for purposes more profound than leading the “stray wolf” into domestic bliss. Hermine is Babalon, whose name indicates the “Gate to the Sun.” The solar disc is the heart of a Universal Dance, a Cosmic Whole which has yet to be understood. Haller’s view of himself as “Man” and “Wolf” will ultimately give way to a Cosmic Vision where he realizes the horribly deficient nature of his “dual-personality.” Haller has tapped no great truth in seeing himself through this dualistic lens. Ultimately his being will realize an unfathomable myriad of manifestations, a genuine “Cosmic Consciousness” which serves as his true initiation.

This is a vital revelation for it not only unveils the true nature of the “self” but indicates the relation of the “self” with those from whom it has been alienated and therefore antagonistically inclined. To evoke this Gnosis is not only to “find our place” but understand the value of everyone (and everything) else. If every human being unfolded this latent potential within, there would be no more antagonism towards each other. And there would be no antagonism toward ourselves.

VII

We live in the ultra-high frequency of the Modern Age. Rhetoric bombards our consciousness and infiltrates the linguistic patterns therein, acting on them like a virus.  We have heard enough of the “War on Terror” to feel that “Terror” is a tangible thing, lurking around every corner. The words “weapons of mass destruction” dredge a dread that eclipses our inbred recoil at the thought of mere death. The imagined image of an Atomic Blast, a Mushroom Cloud or Nuclear Detonation brings us into an awful awareness of the Biblical Verse:

And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

 

Matthew 10:28

What meaning does this hold for our present age?

William Burroughs wrote, in his book The Western Lands:

Can any soul survive the searing fireball of an atomic blast? If human and animal souls are seen as electromagnetic force fields, such fields could be totally disrupted by a nuclear explosion. The mummy’s nightmare: disintegration of souls, and this is precisely the ultrasecret and supersensitive function of the atom bomb: a Soul Killer.

Jaz Coleman spoke of the same harrowing power unduly unleashed on the Killing Joke recording “The Courtauld Talks,” a threat unlike any fashioned by nature of its own accord. The perspectives articulated in this talk were originally released in the mid-1980s. Over two decades later, they remain raw and vital and the reader is encouraged to “hear them out” even today. The pulse and pattern described in Coleman’s impassioned words has only wound up more tightly. In reaching for the stars, we have evoked exploding suns. Again, the Tower appears before our sight, collapsing and inverting as

…the confusion and hypocrisy surrounding the potential employment of these weapons

lunges into life.

Do we wish to debate and conjecture? These weapons exist, built upon the discoveries of genius and appropriated by the simian soul. We cannot help but feel unease-or vomitous anxiety-in the Mexican Standoff between Nations we find ourselves cast into.

Like deer eyes locked into oncoming headlights, we can simply freeze and take the impact.

Or we can wake up and deal with the danger.

The primordial response is “fight or flight.” The modern mass response is to freeze.

But we have heard the Voice of Buddha, have we not? We long for Light. And this Light flows from Fire, the opposite of icy immobilization.

We are blood, fire, passion and Light. A dire disaster assails us. We cannot be herded, counted, led and sacrificed. The “falconer” no longer holds sway with us. Therefore we shall dive and slice downward at angles oblique to the routes which would fain lead us to slaughter.

VIII

Having surveyed the situation, we may hear the Calling of the Star through the conflagration and din. Our environment is inimical to this inclination and troubling, the road beset with hostility and obstruction. More so than belief or faith in some idea, we require a Way of Action, a personal Bushido wherewith to stand where we are and move according to our highest and deepest impulse. The Blazing Star is not understood in terms of accepting an idea. Its radiance is revealed in a deep conviction and certainty as to its truth. This knowing is a Gnostic affair and the reaches of its rays extend through the Dark Nights of the Soul which will assuredly shake our foundations as we press onward.

Yeats observes:

The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity.

We seek the opposite of this state. We want the best to be possessed of total conviction (Gnosis) and full of passionate intensity (Power and Action). Joining these two energies, we may make our lives into a dynamic engine. Liber Al scorns the “professional soldiers” and extols the merit of the True Warrior. This does not imply a romanticized embrace of violence as something heroic or noble in and of itself. Rather, it points to the Art of our Combat, our Striving, and our coming into conflict with oppositional forces. This is well expressed in Carlos Castendeda’s words:

The basic difference between a warrior and an ordinary man is that a warrior takes everything as a challenge while an ordinary man takes everything as a blessing or a curse.

Crowley wrote in Magick in Theory and Practice that when one has aligned with the True Will, one is assisted by the “inertia of the universe.” Yet we find, in our day to day life, that deciding upon the course of Will and acting in accordance with it, we may thereby summon tremendous opposition. Some, embracing the assurance that “Success is your proof,” seemingly flounder into failure. But success and failure are relative value judgments often colored by a cognizance of societal approval. Liber Al says “Ye are AGAINST the people.” The populace will not necessarily regard, let alone applaud, our Path.

Still, we are called to realize “success” and, furthermore, to do so where we stand, in the present moment. Entertaining notions of posthumous praise or anticipated effect is wholly speculative. We maintain that by fusion of the Gnosis-fueled Will and its translation into Action, the word “Nay” is abolished and the most perfect of actions may be accomplished perfectly. However seemingly miniscule, the Universe is gathered around the event, every phenomena moving in accord with it and this motion becoming the full embodiment of the spiraling pulse of the cosmic bloodstream.

IX

Crowley served as the Revelator and Developer of a “New World Religion,” replete with all the classic characteristics of any cultus: his prophetic identity, a series of divinely inspired texts, commentaries, organized systems of teaching, initiation, worship, even strategies for conversion.

The “founding document,” dictated by a “praeternatural intelligence” announces a rending of the veil and denouncement of all previous religious systems as defunct.

It is interesting in this regard to observe Crowley’s comments on Taoism, a religion belonging to the “Aeon” previous to last (as did the Egyptian culture through whose  symbolic lens the revelation came).

Writing to his “Magickal Son in Liber Aleph, Crowley states:

Thou knowest well how I keep from me all Taint of Fable, or of any Word unproven or undemonstrable. First then I speak of Lao-Tze, whose Word was TAO. Hereof have I already written much unto thee, because His Doctrine hath been lost or misinterpreted, and it is most needful to restore it.

This theme of “restoration” is vital in Thelemic thought. Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam all lend influence to the development of his philosophy and the symbolic forms which embody it. Even Christianity, viciously assaulted in both Liber AL and Crowley’s subsequent writings, is understood as potentially restorable as a “Solar-Phallic Religion” for the Present Aeon.

With these and other observations, we find the violent overthrow of previous religious thought depicted in AL 3: 49-56 to portend a cleansing or purification stage in a global human alchemy.

The Tower of Temples testifying to these falsehoods is also the clay body of Adam, awaiting the life-bestowing breath of the Most High. It is torn down and reduced to dust that it may be summoned to rise again in its “restored” or “spiritual” state. This is one meaning of the Christic Resurrection. Again we may turn to the astoundingly original image created by Crowley and Harris to depict this Arcana. It’s visual rhythm and movement depicts the structure in such a fashion to make its falling and rising simultaneous.

This endless falling and rising is not, however, meant to exemplify an architectural Sisyphus. Each subsequent tearing down and building up is a moving OUTWARDS, propelled by an evolutionary yearning in the direction of its destiny. For the falling and rising are as Yin and Yang and the Tower itself is the Tao which Crowley continues to comment on, determining that:

…this Tao is the true Nature of Things, being itself a Way or Going, that is, a kinetic and not a static Conception. Also He taught this Way of Harmony in Will, which I myself have sought to shew thee in this epistle. So then this Tao is Truth, and the Way of Truth…

 

Having moved into this understanding of Trump 16 as such a dynamic and never-ending flux of energy and growth, we may see ourselves as “Tao-ers,” “Living Stones” being built into an ever evolving edifice, a moving castle, a Starship fashioned of the very substance into which it sails and riding the arc of its spiraling outflow.

X

William Burroughs penned a short story called The Conspiracy which continues events set into play from his classic novel, Naked Lunch. The book, as it ended, left its protagonist, the junkie-writer William Lee, fleeing from the law, having been targeted for criminal activity far beyond his possession of narcotics. Strangely, the interest in Lee was focused on the things he had written, mind-crimes of an unknown but particularly threatening nature.

When Naked Lunch was first published, the book aroused tremendous controversy for its so-called obscenity. Decades later, we find it on the shelves of chain booksellers. Was its content vindicated or simply assimilated?

Modern American culture has broken through censorship of “offensive material” to the point where, with adequate financial backing, “anything goes.” Yet information still remains repressed and our attention is continuously diverted down drainpipes, built about our brains like the bars of a cage.

William Lee flees to the home of his friend Mary and the following conversation ensues:

“Scientists have perfected the anti-dream drug, which is, logically a synthetic variation on the junk theme…And the drug is habit-forming to a point where one injection can cause lifelong addiction. If the addict doesn’t get a shot every eight hours he dies in convulsions of oversensitivity.”

 

“Like nerve gas.”

 

“Similar…in short, once you are hooked on the anti-dream drug you can’t get back. Withdrawal symptoms are fatal. Users are dependent on the supply for their lives and at the same time, the source of resistance, contact with the myth that gives each man the ability to live alone and unites him with all other life, this is cut off. He becomes an automaton, an interchangeable quantity in the political and economic equation.”

 

“Is there an antidote?”

 

“Yes. More than that, there is a drug that increases the symbolizing faculty…

 

…the symbolizing or artistic faculty that some people are born with-though almost everyone has it to some degree as a child-can be increased a hundred times. We can all be artists infinitely greater than Shakespeare or Beethoven or Michelangelo. Because this is possible, the opposite is also possible. We can be deprived of symbol making power, a whole dimension excised, reduced to completely rational, non-symbolizing creatures…”

It is precisely this sort of “human cattle” which stands on the opposite side of the Cosmic Vision embodied in the mind of Harry Haller at the phantasmagoric climax to Steppenwolf.

Naked Lunch assaulted hundreds upon hundreds of years of societal aversion to its dark underbelly. It is a significant work of literature but only one amongst many with regards to the unseemly subject matter it gives voice to. Crowley foresaw the rise of such dark forces from the collective unconscious, impinging on the species with catastrophic consequence. Indeed, Liber AL paints a picture of conflict and conflagration, “labor pains” shaking the earth as the Child is born in blood. We can count the contractions in the radical upheaval of the last century with its unspeakable horrors and the unthinkable breakthroughs that have risen in its wake. We would be sadly mistaken, however, to think that we have erected an edifice of liberty on the ocean of gore flowing through the years since Crowley received his revelation in Cairo. Where repression has given way to permissiveness and indulgence, there remains a Voice vehemently against the people. Power and Control remain in place and, when threatened, retaliate.

As Burroughs expressed in his fiction, the nauseating potential of the Atomic Bomb to kill the very Soul finds its reflex in the Soul’s potential to obliterate the forces in command of such devastation. The increasing dissolution of our deeply held fears towards sex, death and all subsurface energy beyond rational comprehension is calling up what Michael Bertiaux calls the “Transcendental Id,” a force which can only be embodied in the “Monstrous Soul.” The reaction to this rise of this Beast is not consciously structured. Tales of the “Illuminati” masterminding global dominance smokescreen the real opposition, operating beneath the stratum of the conscious mind, spewing its full force upwards into the now outworn but persistent ideological frameworks, vehicles whereby the dying Archon maintains its life support.

XI

We have spoken of the Universe being in a state of growth, movement and transformation from our vantage point in the Timezone. From an increasingly transpersonal and Trans -spatial angle, events perceived as sequential may now be understood as simultaneous. In other words, the past and future are not places we may access by techniques of time travel resembling motion in a vehicle, from point A to point B. Rather, our time traveling machines are the particular set-ups we find useful for evoking consciousness transcending these ideas of temporal and spatial distinction. When this is attained, we may then “condense” our focus and find it landing at a given juncture outside of our personal calendrical consciousness.

The topic of esoteric time travel is touched on at this juncture as it points to the nature of contacts which have been and are being forged with what we shall call Extraterrestrial Intelligences. Such contact forms a critical element in constructively confronting the catastrophic conundrum of our present age. This view is given particular emphasis in the Typhonian Order and has been pursued over the past half century by Kenneth Grant as OHO of this Collective. Critics have dismissed such focus as a laughable flight into fantasy, a seeking of solace in the notion of pretend friends from beyond who might sweep in and save us from ourselves.

This could not be further from the case. Thelema is a Way which emphasizes personal responsibility, gnosis in the moment and the realization that there is No God But Man. We are not seeking salvation from some scintillating saucer in the sky. We are not turning to telepathic teachings which might replace tapping our own wells of wisdom nor are we “bowing the knee” to imagined “Superior Beings.”

Crowley cuts to the chase when he simply states:

Mysticism is getting into communication with individuals who exist on a higher plane than ours. Magick is the raising of oneself to their level.

It is our Gnosis which facilitates the “getting into communication” with these entities. Our Path of Warriorship is our “Magick,” raising us, step by step, to that level. We are, from this perspective, becoming alien. Or, perhaps better put, we are realizing the part of ourselves which is alien, which is fashioned from star-stuff.

One modern writer on Buddhist thought observes:

 

Life…is a subatomic thing. The heavier elements in the human body-all the ones heavier than iron-are derived from supernovae, giant exploding stars that lit the heavens eons before our own solar system was born. Supernovae, then, are integral to the existence of the human race. They seem so far away, so ancient, yet they are one with us.

 

(Woody Hochswender, The Buddha In Your Rearview Mirror)

 

The Star is not only a primary symbol in Thelemic writing but one of the most ancient of images embodying our innate longing for that which is Beyond. Its resurgence as a significant idea in Liber AL is not merely metaphor. It cuts to the heart of what we are on the deepest level. Aiwass did not appear to declare that, despite the unthinkable atrocities rising upon the surface of the globe, we are all “special snowflakes.” The New Aeon is not New Age. Starfire courses through the bloodstream of Every Man and Every Woman, linking our lives not only to the forgotten past but the future, as well.

XII

The Blazing Star of Freemasonry has been a topic of much research, debate and controversy. Geometrically, it is a Pentagram, long associated in conservative circles with a lurid and prejudiced view of witchcraft, Satanism or the occult. For this reason, many modern Freemasons take pains to disassociate this prominent symbol from its historical, philosophical and occult origins, ascribing to it a purely “moral” meaning.

This image, however, is one of many in the Lodgeroom which speaks to Freemasonry’s deep reach into the wisdom and knowledge of the past as it relates to the most progressive and modern views on science and spirituality. Fusing symbols from a great diversity of such sources, Masonry utilized the past to aim at and springboard into the future.

Albert Pike, known to have borrowed liberally from Eliphas Levi in his reworking of and commentary on Scottish Rite ritual, did not gloss over his treatment of this symbol. Ultimately he connects its image to the Dog-Star or Sirius.

Pike lived through the American Civil War, serving as a Confederate General. From the historical vantage point, UFOlogical phenomena was not a frequently documented event during this time. The association between Sirius and the so-called “Greys” had yet to enter popular consciousness. Never the less, Sirius would tend towards this direction, increasingly identified in the modern era with extraterrestrial life and intelligence.

After years of deep study and research in the areas of world religion and the occult literature, Pike would view Sirius as a vital component of the ancient mysteries, an element to be restored to its proper place of significance in the modern world by means of the Fraternity’s influence.

In his extensive commentary on the ritual work of the Scottish Rite, Pike interprets the Astro-Mythos of Sirius in terms of Anubis, assisting Isis in her quest for the severed pieces of her husband’s body.

Sirius-Anubis thus embodies a key agent in a profound unification, first of the Self (Osiris) and then of the divided sexes. This union will ultimately evoke Horus, who speaks through the praeternatural intermediary of Aiwass.

Anubis walks between Life and Death. It is therefore unsurprising that his Star has served to open a Gateway between human and extraterrestrial minds.

Just as Isis and Osiris, aided by the Dog-God, may realize the birth of Horus, the link between the Human and Transhuman link to unleash the Aeonic Current manifest as the Hawk-Headed God.

Every Man and Every Woman is a Star. A Sirius. An Anubis. We are all potentially the Point where the Eternal and Temporal may join in a Mystic Marriage, begetting the Child who partakes of both worlds.

The ordeal of the Tower, now seen as the shattered body of Osiris, is meant to lead us further through the Tarot Keys, whereby the Star shall rise and find the ideal field for its manifestation.

It is my opinion that a denial of any other intelligent life form in the cosmos is both arrogant and ignorant. Possibility, however, does not imply hard and fast evidence. We began this short work by reflecting on human mortality, calling up a sense of urgency with regards to our own lives. The very last thing we want to encourage is wasting our precious time chasing after speculations which may prove to be scenic routes down a cul de sac.

Few, if any, of us are in possession of the technological apparatus whereby we might approach “contact” in the physical sense of the word. As Magicians, however, we are not overly driven in this direction. The Beings we have alluded to are not suspected to reside on the far edges of our known universe, inhabiting some planet similar to ours. Their distance may be unimaginable and yet we have opened a door of communication by means of a factor distinct from physical considerations.

The extraterrestrial is the upsurge of the futuristic potential in human consciousness, realizing itself in the present.

The Star is MAN and this is given special emphasis in Crowley’s Cultus. In fact, it derives from the declaration in his initial revelation:

Every Man and Every Woman is a Star.

As alluded to above, we are, in our most primordial origins, made of Star-Stuff. Every Star is a SUN. Sirius has been known as “The Sun Behind The Sun,” the future Star behind the present Self. The emphasis on Entities in Space seems to be a mythic projection of ourselves outside of TIME. Thus, the occult techniques of “Space Travel,” such as the utilization of the “Mask of LAM” as interdimensional exploratory space-craft (see Kenneth Grant’s The Lam Statement), are a guise for transcending the self-identification of our temporal ego (via the Mask) and evoking awareness of the potencies of the future (Maat-the “future Aeon”) that they may be more readily realized in our present. The emphasis remains humanistic yet it is in the area where the human being is turning the next corner of evolutionary development, one in which we may not simply participate but cooperate.

XIII

How do we give ourselves a fighting chance in the Labyrinth of Life? Forced to move ahead through time or perish, hounded by Death-dogs and bombarded by forces meant dehumanize and assimilate us, what weapons can we possibly wield? Where is our “Hope in Hell?”

A very valuable Key is found in Kenneth Grant’s Outside The Circles Of Time, where he cites Michael Bertiaux:

…become a monster and escape that pathway, that alone is the doorway of the Daathian portal of total darkness. I have told you that all avenues of escape are blocked, but in truth there is the doorway of becoming a monster, by becoming the beast, so that thereby you can escape by the very door they came through. Know, also, that this door is always open and that ingress from beyond is a constant threat…by this means only the magician can escape from this universe into the next system of worlds.

This imagery may sound fantastic but as we examine the environment in which this scenario is cast, we will find much of vital importance in these words.

The Tower is struck by Lightning but is itself a volcanic phallus from whose pinnacle the light-spraying flame-fluid flies. If the darkened canopy of starless heaven would drape and dissolve this edifice, it rises up to rend the veil of night which would fain cloak and choke its vital life.

The black blanket of this devouring darkness is the Assaultive Abyss into which we thrust and plunge. This night CAN tear each and every brick of our being into the swirling dust devil of its diffusive devices. Conversely, it may become the field of possibility where our dissolution is willed for the purpose of a grand Transmutation which we, ourselves, have set into motion. The Bottomless Pit becomes a Cauldron, an alchemic vessel in which the cosmic creation moves forward.

The Oath of the Abyss is now seen as a type of Babalonian Bushido whereby the Bornless Babe is conceived.

Babalon, we know, is the Gate of the Sun but the Sun (Tiphareth) is also the Gate to Babalon.

We must conjoin the “Supreme Sanity” of Adonai, the Holy Guardian Angel, its perfect balance and solar light with the insanity, dispersion, darkness and off-kilter imbalance of the Abyss until the “twain become one flesh” and this “flesh begets the Word.”

The Key to this magical union lies in the Oath of the Abyss which is not simply a declaration of dauntless determination but the precise METHOD to realize the GOAL. We might even say that Mastery of the Method is itself the only goal which will ultimately prove efficacious to the whole of the Operation.

I will interpret every phenomena as a particular dealing of God with my soul.

This act begins the process of total assimilation of all forces and factors in nature and our experience of it.

So, one may ask, how does this differ from a complete ego-centering of the self?

Here Crowley adds his own symbolism to the original ideas of the GD, finding the fulfillment of this Ordeal in the single and last drop of blood drained into the “Cup of Babalon.”

The entire field of experience has been apprehended without the selective process whereby we favor one event over another. Having obliterated this division between “sheep and goats” we will have found that even our complex minds have become subject to the Process. The Ego, in this sense, has used itself as a reference point for the purpose of eradicating itself.

One does not physically die (and it might be argued that physical death does in no wise automatically augment this initiation!). One does not forget one’s given name or “Drop out of the World.” Rather the world is embraced in its totality and by world we may well use Wittgenstein’s definition, “that which is the case.” Or all that is the case, all that could ever BE the case.

Power and Control works with the management and manipulation of categories and divisions. The Abyss unites the divided world in such a manner that the impinging forces of any one polarity hold no more sway over the magician. He prefers no one event over another and thereby becomes One with the Event behind all events.

This Supreme State births the New Creation which then reincarnates in Time as a particular vehicle of the Oversoul. Just as we have utilized our esoteric Starships to access the Transcendental Spheres, the Power and Intelligence resident therein now infiltrates and directs our flesh forms as a vehicle for its awakened activity in the Timezone.

As Above, So Below.

XIV

The ceremony described below was generated as part of the author’s studentship with Rev. Michael Bertiaux. The task at hand entailed reworking and developing a Mass, a ceremony employed by “Bishops of the Inner Order” whereby the Presence, Nature and Energies of the Egyptian Deity PTAH are called forth and incorporated into the magickal body of the priest.

The usual conventions of such ceremony were dispensed with in favor of an intrapsychic experience whereby the Eucharist would be astrally established and imbibed in conjunction with the activated energies of Kundalini.

The materials for this ceremony are almost non-existent. One has only to secure the appropriate environment and develop facility in the disciplines of concentration and visualization to employ this rite.

The dynamics of the ritual bear some similarity to the LAM-Serpent Sadhana, developed by Michael Staley (see Starfire Vol II Issue I). Having performed an adapted version of this ceremony several hundred times, it would seem only natural that it would leave impress and lend influence to the mental movements of the present rite. It may be freely modified by the magician who wishes to experiment with it. However, we would like to offer the following observation. The repeated and continued use of methods found to be efficacious in establishing rapport with a given Intelligence not only develop its “Cultus” on Earth but establish “recognition signals” within the Intelligence in question. Hence the mantra OLALAM IMAL TUTULU not only effectively rent a veil between human consciousness and LAM but has grown into a vital Key whereby we may more readily evoke response from this transdimensional force.

Should a supportive cultus be found wanting, our own repetition of ceremony will find it being molded to experience in a manner that will ultimately reveal its key potencies.

The Midnight Mass of PTAH

 

A Rite of Atumic Power

This ceremony is ideally performed in solitude, in full wakefulness, yet reclining in bed, preferably with arms crossed over the chest. The room should be completely dark and precautions taken to avoid disturbance. Ear plugs may be used.

The substance of this Rite is the Bread of Darkness and the Wine of Silence which are the Sacraments sacred unto Ptah. These Elements shall be transmuted by our Art into the Light and Word.

The Magician shall establish his Pyramid and the Path leading to the subterranean tomb over which it is erected. Once this is adequately built up in the Imagination, he shall then descend into that selfsame Tomb, where he will lie in repose, mummified and enclosed in a Sarcophagus.

There is no light in this Tomb nor is there any sound whatsoever. The Magician shall rest in this Void for an Eternal Moment and then rise through the below described Transfigurations, which are the God

PTAH

The body, laid horizontally, now rises to a vertical posture, mummified and erect.

Above this body, below it and to the four quarters appear 6 golden orbs of intensifying light. Tendrils will emerge from the orbs above and below, snaking around and covering the space they describe, which shall be in the form of an Egg.

The Magician is now Ptah and shall identify himself as such. He is one with the Staff of Ptah, which may now be understood as follows:

1) Djed: the column of the spine

2) Ankh: the hemispheres of the brain

3) Was: the projection point between these two centers which may move in 1 of 2 directions:

  1. a) the Ajna Chakra-or Third Eye
  2. b) the Sahasrana Chakra-or Gateway to Cosmic Consciousness

The purpose of these two Gateways is, respectively:

1) Exploration of the Transmundane Zones, with specific emphasis on the Sirius Star System (Set)

2) Complete fusion with the Cosmic Mind and saturation in its Gnosis

As this rite is a “Mass,” we shall focus on the 2nd objective.

The base of the spine, which is the seat of the Kundalini or Fire Snake, is now envisioned as a metal disc of Gold which shall be set into motion, turning 3 1/2 times.

These revolutions shall release a column of Light, extending up the spine and flooding the skull. Here the hemispheres shall melt into a singular globe, all components and particles dissolving into a unified sphere.

Within this space, Darkness and Silence are now one. They evoke Supernal Light and the Word and all four elements combine. This is the Union of the Cosmic Cross and is the Awakening of the Ankh upon the Staff of Path.

Let this conjoining be accomplished by virtue of the infusing Spirit and Intelligence of — & —. This shall be inwardly articulated. Here the Magician, as Chela of the High Priest of —, becomes one with the Master. The High Priest is the Embodiment of Cosmic Consciousness and the Magician is the Embodiment of Individual Consciousness or the Temporal Ego Self. Herein the Eternal Word becomes Flesh. The Master — and the Magician are now one and, as such, embody the Lord PTAH. When this fusion is certain, the Magician will proclaim unto the Ends of the Universe the Word of Power and is wholly possessed of and one with PTAH.

The Magician will remain in this posture and state for an Eternal Moment, the Celebrant perfectly one with the Sacrament.

This Form of PTAH is the Immortal and Spiritual Body of both the Magician and of All Living Beings. It shall begin to hover horizontally over the mortal body of the Magician in the Tomb. Slowly it diffuses into, and thus empowers, the body and mind of the Priest.

The 6 globes of Light begin to absorb the “wrappings” which have formed the surrounding “Egg.” These orbs move and join with each other into a great shining Sun above the heart of the Magician and then are absorbed therein.

At this point, the Rite is concluded and the Magician may rise, his mortal form and temporal mind having fed upon this great Cosmic Energy and Intelligence. Impressions, Illuminations and Insights shall all be noted in the Magical Diary.

Postscript:

The Names of those August Entities evoked in this Rite are excluded from this present document, as is the “Word of Power.” This should not leave the reader feeling that the ritual is incomplete.

The Entities evoked are manifestations of the author’s personal Guru and belong to the dynamics of Guru Yoga. Anyone wishing to experiment with the above ceremony should utilize those symbolic potencies which embody the Guru Mechanism in their own sphere of experience and initiation.

Likewise, the “Word of Power” should be of personal significance to the psychonaut. Its function is to “rend the veil” and as such should embody the energy within the magician’s mind most closely aligned with the cosmic current.

XV

As the reader turns his or her eyes from these concluding words and back to the world at large, everything described above awaits. The minute hand has only to circle the clock within the space of a few breaths to bring about events of monumental impact. New life and sudden death. Between these Great Gateways, billions upon billions of seemingly insignificant events are called into play which will trace and chase the tumbling dominoes of cause and effect toward the most radically transformative scenarios we have ever seen. We are most undoubtedly in the thick of this Cosmic Happening. We are the Eye in the Centre of the Hurricane. Will we open to the fullness of what we are and become the Eye in the Triangle? Or will the Cataracts of Chaos cloud our clarity and muddy our Mission?

Incarnate in our primate bodies, we are subject to a myriad of influences, including our inbred and hard wired instincts, fear and inclinations. There is a part of us which cannot help but be the deer mesmerized by oncoming headlights or, perhaps worse, the proverbial ostrich with head sunk in the sand.

And then there is the Star-Self Rising, the Eye Opening and shooting forth Light even as it receives it. It may emerge as the destructive bolt which shatters the Tower. But see now the King and Queen plunging from its pinnacle. Shaken from their separate thrones, their established positions of dominion are now seen as nothing more than a tenuous hold on darkness of mind and denial. Bereft of their ability to “rule,” they fall to the earth and must come to terms with what they are. This necessitates coming to terms with what the other also IS. In this there is union. One flesh. One throne. From this marriage a new Tower rises. A Tower and a Temple whose stones are Living Beings.

The Tower is signified in the Tarot by the Number 16. This number is also a crucial key in understanding and unlocking the “metamathematics” of Michael Bertiaux’s Voudoo-Gnostic writings. It occurs time and again in his voluminous writings and a clue as to why is found in his lesson on “The Genius of IFA and the Oracle-Metaphysics: Beginnings of the Great System” from the Voudon-Gnostic Workbook.

It is within this series of lessons that Bertiaux attributes the massive collection of lessons and papers known as the Monastery of the Seven Rays to the influx of the Gnostic Powers of IFA. IFA depicts a hyper-logic, a metamathematics, which, although belonging to extradimensional realms of thought, is never the less immersed in all immediate and physical experience. It is a system of Gnostic Thought and Power which unites “Heaven and Earth” as one realm. The changes we observe rising and falling in our experience relate to its pattern and complex of relationships. Order and Chaos fuse into a Synergistic Whole in this system (which Bertiaux calls”the highest form of Gnostic Magick”). The word Itself, Bertiaux notes, indicates “The Grand Chemin” which means “The Great Way.” Similarly, one of the popular interpretations of the word Tarot is “Royal Road.” Crowley also states that LAM, in the Thibetan Tongue, indicates “The Way.” We know the Tao is also The Way and a way of consciously interfacing with our mind and environment in its never ceasing pulse of change. Thelema points to the “Tao Lama” who is extraterrestrialized, heralding from a future Aeon. And yet this “future Aeon” is not to remain a speculative portion of the imagination. It is the very real and very crucial potentiality of our present human existence. Accessing this zone of energy and intelligence is to form a link, bridge or tunnel whereby That Which May Be is in dynamic communion with That Which Is Becoming.

The Key Number in the Gnostic IFA system is 16. It is an extension of the perfection and symmetry of the four-fold cross.

We cannot evade Chaos. It is the substance of reality from which all things emerge. Nor can we relinquish our Will to dispersion. We are not solely magicians, effecting change in a perpetually changing field of experience. We are Warriors whose Warriorship is based on actualizing an Art of Life, a Bushido meant to keep the hand to the plow and our feet firmly fixed on the Grand Way. We embrace this Way in life and guide it through the Portals of Death. We are casting forth shining seeds which shall take root in future times. Our mortal eyes may never know their flowering yet they shall assuredly delight The Great Eye which Beholds All. We may share in this delight only as we become The Eye ourselves.

The Students of the Monastery of the Seven Rays are introduced to 16 “entities” called Syzygies, whose form and intelligence comprise the body of Abraxos, the Grand or Cosmic Man. These 16 areas of energy and gnosis work together to hold the forces of Chaos from disrupting and wiping away the world. It cannot be overemphasized at this point that this scenario is not one of wishing to eradicate the Chaos (as if such a thing were possible). The 16-fold system of the Syzygical Matrix is the active counterbalance to Chaos, whereby the two forces may be seen as the perpetual movement of feet upon “The Great Way.”

We walk this Path. What, then, is “walking?” It’s a continuous throwing oneself off balance and a continuous reestablishment of balance, driven by intent and volition. The two actions are felt as one. It is the Going of Hadit in the Book of the Law. LAM, as Crowley observes, is “he who Goeth,” depicted by the Egyptian Ankh or Cross.

XVI

It is the final image of the Tarot which depicts the most vibrant and ecstatic union. A female form, lithe and lovely, perfectly poised in her command of the venomous “Serpent-power.” The “All-Seeing Eye” of which we have spoken sheds its Supernal Light upon this Union.

I had wondered for some time at the astrological attribution of this card to Saturn. Saturn is a Planet typically linked with limitation, contraction, binding, and restriction. Some writers on the “Science of the Stars” have sought to “redeem” the ringed globe’s “bad reputation” by taking a positive view of the challenges and set-backs we are presented with in Life. This is not at all a poor approach to any Astrological antagonism, rising above fear and dismay to find the positive potential in the difficult situations. However, as we come to the Grand Climax of our Voyage on the Royal Road, as we behold this most magnificent image, both sensuous and cosmic, we have to wonder how this relates to Saturn, to “Father Time,” to the Cannibalistic Devourer of his own Progeny, the image of heavy laden sorrow.

I had never quite understood this beyond twisting ideas around to “force a fit.” It was only when my own Guru would assign me to work with this particular energy and Intelligence that I broke through Intellect and entered the Gnosis of Saturn.

In classical astrology, Saturn was the outer ridge of our known universe. The association of this planet with restriction was quite apropo as it was the Gateway between our ordered universe and the Chaos which surged Beyond. If Saturn functioned as a barrier (and subsequently radiated its restrictive qualities into our everyday affairs), it also partook of what was on the Other Side.

The physical planet is characterized by an extraordinarily intense climate, raging windstorms moving across its surface at incredible speeds. The substance of the Void, untamed and all powerful, is condensed in this framework, cosmic energy honed into a formidable point of focus and application. The Infinite meets the Finite at the Gates of Saturn, which functions as a Titanic Transformer and Occult Transmitter between the two.

As the symbolic outpost of outermost space, the orbit of Saturn moves along the contours of the body of Nuit. As the container, binder and restrictor, Saturn embodies the Cosmic Will manifest in the singularity of action made manifest in any given moment through the Will of the Magician.

Saturn is also the lover of Venus. In their union, the two fuse into Kali, Black Goddess of Time. Between her dancing legs are the Fires of the Crematorium which are also found the Fires of Eternity. These flames leap about and lick the Tower, tearing it down, building it up, absorbing its energy and bestowing it with life.

Thus it is that the Tower first shows us the crisis and then indicates the Way in which are to Walk, the Tao behind the appearance of conflict. If the Tower is our Illumination, then the Arcana known as The World is that which is fully illumined.

Will you not ask for Light?

The Source of this Light is the Invisible Fire. Into its omnipotence and omnipresence we fall. The forces unleashed by the uncurbed technological advances of the species in our maddening modern age are now a hurricane blast, tearing through the toppling temple walls and exposing the skeleton within.

The skull met by every incoming Freemason, every co-creator of the Church Not Made With Hands, was more than a mere metaphor for mortality. It was a way of expressing that which remains, the permanent which is hidden in the transient.

The Lord, as Christos, as the Divine and Cosmic Will, makes the dry bones dance before the Vision of Ezekiel. It is this same Poet-Prophet who describes a fire shut up in his bones.

The source of this Fire is upon the Ever-Going Fourfold Chariot Throne of Deity, inspiring the Merkabah Mystics to assail the Halls of Hekaloth in pursuit of nothing less than the Gnosis of this singular Vision. They were seeking the Ultimate by means of their own Tower, climbing through the trials and tests of its heights that the Divine Fire, unveiled and naked, would return to and infuse the Earth.

The “ignorant and evil men” Burroughs spoke of have built a Universe about us, a pseudo-reality inverting the evolutionary place of both Chaos and Order. What we behold around us, in the mania, panic, desperation and soul-sucking despair of this world, is their invention and monstrous offspring. It is a Dominion born of Fear and feeding on the same.

The malevolent machinery powering this Empire is increasingly exposed as its outer form molders and rots. This Dying God will not think twice before blindly burying you in its black bosom.

You, on the other hand, were not born to feed this foulness.

Ra Hoor Khuit declares:

Now let it first be understood that I am a god of War and Vengeance.

Horus is the Avenger of his father’s death. The lifeblood of Osiris survives and transmutes in the body of his Son. Similarly, all who have gone before us gave the last throb of their dying hearts for our life. Infinite Aeons of rising and falling have spun our souls into this space. We have not arrived to be passively swept downstream. The celestial churning at our heart’s deep core has agreed to partake in the War and share in the Joy which is its birthright.

We are the rising of the Tower even as it is being struck down. The Fable of Babel shall not dissuade us. Our uprising may reach escape velocity. The momentum of this Going curves and arcs but does not trace a circle. It Spirals Outwards and Inwards all at once. Babalon beckons us to the Light hid in Darkness, the Sun behind whose glory a second Star blazes in transtemporal radiance. Sothis. Sirius. The Crossroads between all we are and all we might become.

We were not built to last. We were built from and for Eternity.

O my people, rise up & awake!

light_001

ORISONS OF THE OBLIQUE

As I continue to work on several upcoming book and art projects, I would like to use this blog to share previously published pieces which are not easily obtained. 

The following is an essay composed for Scarlet Imprint’s compendium “DIABOLICAL.” 

This book collected essays focusing on Received Texts and the Grimoire Tradition, pages penned from contact with Sources seemingly outside the individual mind.

After many years, perhaps a lifetime, of fascination with such writings (from the Bible to Liber AL), I had entered a place where I began to make such contact myself. The delivery of such material didn’t come about with the same poetic flair we find in many established works in this field. It would be Kenneth Grant’s S’lba & OKBISh that would  give me great understanding as to the nature of such texts. These two writings not only transmitted “Communication from Beyond” but expressly acknowledge the role played by the human receiver.

It is through understanding this dynamic that we can most effectively touch the Current informing such texts.

With this essay, I endeavored to explore this phenomena with an eye toward removing preconception and encouraging receptivity on part of the psychic magician.  

baptism

Orisons of the Oblique

By Kyle Fite

The tradition and fascination of the Magickal Grimoire has been enjoying an enthusiastic resurgence in modern occultism. Taking its place amongst the mouldering leaves and time-stained sheets of famed and fearful folios from bygone eras is a new breed of cryptic conveyance, no less potent or portentous in its arcane artistry. Oracular orisons still hot with the breath of utterance have emerged and are emerging, providing fresh fields of word and image whereby the very forces which gave rise to their antiquated predecessors move into new times, new minds and carve out new pathways upon the ever-receding, ever beckoning and always broadening vistas of a magickal universe.

Unlike those pages the possession of which may have required uncommon wealth, connection and exposure of the owner to great peril of life, if not soul, we find that new works might arrive at our doorstep, delivered with the daily mail. This ease of acquisition would have astounded our antecedents of esoteric inquiry. Some of these purported “Talismanic Tomes” are bound to disappoint, penned by pretenders to the throne of “Philosopher King.” Others artfully articulate, in picture and prose, a type of Key which twists and turns its way into a deeper strata of the human mind, unlocking hidden doors to hidden spaces, giving testimony to their terrors, conveying clues and making maps meant to manifest the treasures therein.

There is a magic to how such a book speaks in silence to its reader. It has been said that when the student is ready, the Teacher appears. Sometimes that “Teacher” is not in human guise at all but arrives in a body built of language, symbol and image. The Intelligence back of this expression is living and mutable. It is not the book itself but may be accessed by means of this mode, which is not to be confused with some commonplace conglomeration of text, for the content of the Grimoire, and its attendant imagery, is a machine meant to move in the hands of its operator, its application determined in very specific and precise ways, its nature synergistic.

It may be observed that we all have a natural gravitation toward certain patterns of energy, unique fields of endeavor, with corresponding experiences resultant. A Grimoire is not a book of universalized dogma meant to instruct the species. It emerges from a concentrated zone of arcane power and employs a very human means of communication as the medium between that zone and the individual mind. Thus, eschewing a pigeon hole of medieval demonology, we find the “Modern Grimoire” embracing ever widening branches of supersensual exploration. From the influx of Haitian Voudoo through the mind of Michael Bertiaux to E.J. Gold’s postmodern rewrite of Tibet’s guide to the Bardo, his “American Book of the Dead,” we find cultures crossed and cross-bred with new routes rising.

We furthermore find that these Grimoires, as we still refer to them, are not merely a phenomena penetrating our present environment in the form of new books on old subjects. When such a work emerges, it is not simply another addition to the annual outpouring of exotic divergence for our hungry, yet shallow, consumerist culture. These books also bear witness to the sources from which they have arisen and taken form, sources they are intended to put us in touch with directly and from whence further outpouring may ensue.

Aleister Crowley had this in mind when he considered the “praeternatural” authorship of his received text, Liber AL, in his writing entitled “On the Reception of the Book of the Law.” After examining many of the facts surrounding the channeling of this revelatory document, Crowley, a skeptic to the last, soberly concludes:

“…I have positively opened up communication with one such Intelligence; or, rather…I have been selected by Him to receive the first message from a new order of beings.”

The reader is referred to this particular essay for personal examination of the strange and, in many ways, startling events surrounding the writing of this text. We will, for the moment, observe that Crowley not only served as the vehicle whereby this astounding book (described by Kenneth Grant as “the supreme grimoire of the present Aeon”) came into existence but that he would also see it as a phenomena indicating extension into human experience via further communications and corresponding expression of such contact.

We may disagree with Crowley that his message was the “first” but our emphasis is on the declaration that it is not the last. In the history of religion, Crowley is a unique character in that he does not present what was, for him and many others, a truly phenomenal and transhuman event as something to be enshrined to the detriment of further exploration or revelation. Were Liber AL to follow the sales pitch trailing after the history of many “Holy Books,” the reader would be exhorted to take it on faith that its source was genuine and therefore its message true. Despite a residual “Cult of Crowley,” which seems to cling to the “Master’s words” with puritanical devotion, Crowley indicated that the Way was not merely to be traversed but PAVED. He would continue throughout his life establishing such “traffick” with “disincarnate intelligences” as he sought to penetrate, with ever increasing depth, the mysteries of that initial revelation. His technical writings on magickal practice would expand the consciousness into greater degrees of sensitivity to the influx of such communications, while curbing the tendency towards an obsession which has, for so many religious movements born in states of inspiration, transformed Tongues of Fire into Pillars of Salt.

Of all Crowley’s students, Kenneth Grant would follow this line of investigation most thoroughly, the opening up of such “contact” being a primary theme in his own contributions to occult literature. His works (most notably the nine volumes comprising the “Typhonian Trilogies”) would take on the function of Grimoires themselves, while indicating ways in which the magician could work this same current of power and intelligence, not as a scholar or devotee, but as a Gnostic, as one stepping into the same space of receptivity we observe in Crowley and others.

A received text and a Grimoire are not the same thing. They MAY however incorporate each other and it should be noted that the element of inspiration, be it from one’s Gnosis or the Channeling of an Intelligence whose communication can stimulate and feed the fire of that insight, is crucial for composition of the Grimoire. This Light of Inspiration transcends wholly rational thinking and thereby expresses itself in a language whose nature is NOT solely didactic. It is a language which forms a bridge between our conscious rational thought processes and the transcendental realms by bringing together elements of both realities in its delicate dance. Inspired by forces and an Intelligence beyond the normal operating range of the conscious human psyche, Liber AL was regarded by Kenneth Grant as the “Ultimate Grimoire of this Aeon.” He would describe its pages as “containing…the secret formula which unseals the cells of cosmic consciousness.” Grant, however, was not confined in his explorations to the simple notion of a single linear progression of time. His work would open into multiple Aeons, spheres of action and energy running beside, into and out of each other. His vision, in this regard, is very similar to the T’ien T’ai school of Buddhism which envisions the vast multiplicity of worlds within worlds (3000 Realms total!) all present in a “single moment of life.” William Blake described this as “Infinity in a grain of sand.” And in Kenneth Grant’s vision, the sprawling colorful components of this “multiverse” would be presented in a manner whereby the latent correspondences within the human psyche might resonate and assemble themselves into a grand mandala, reflecting the Enlightenment behind all the activity within the Spheres of which the Grimoire would serve as Gateway.

We want to get our hands on such a book, something far beyond the paperback pocket-guides to supernatural powers, pandering to a populous whose ravenous curiosity is only matched by its attention deficit disorder. There is a romance to the “dreadful book,” an object which contains a power independent of the hands which hold it, a tome which is as much a Gateway as it is a “book.” Hence the title “Talismanic.” Yet we shall be compelled to inquire into the nature of any such “power” should we become convinced that it appears present in conjunction with the book in question. For some, the antiquated guides to goetic working have brought about results of compelling intensity. For others, they offer little more than a coughing jag in the dust of superstitious times. Why does something work for one and not for another? And what exactly does it mean for such a book to “work?”

We have described above the Grimoire as a unique type of book, one which manipulates language and image to bridge worlds, offering a map to those elusive realms and the tools whereby one may not only enter but extract the Gnosis therein and return, as a transformed being. When presented with such a tome, there is evoked a certain reverence for its role as such. It is as if the sheets are shamanic and we feel in them a link to a Mystery not yet touched in our souls. The danger is in revering such a work to the detriment of what it would lead us to become. There are many who embrace Crowley’s Liber AL as a book which cannot be surpassed in power. It is regarded as not only a revelatory work but the ultimate revelatory work, despite Crowley’s indication that it was an opening, a prelude to what was to come.

It is worth quoting here a passage from Michael Bertiaux’s Voudon-Gnostic Workbook, itself a “Grimoire of Grimoires,” where he offers a suggestion to students pursuing this line of investigation:

“It would be very useful to your magickal development if you would begin to write your own magickal mythos. Get in touch with your own Zothyrius or your own AIWAZ in your own ontic sphere. You have such a universe right in your mind. Why not write your own cosmic mystery drama, your own magickal book of revelations, your own holy books. As we know, Crowley practiced this method when he created his own mythos. Freud and Jung did the same thing. All magicians have to begin with their own bibles…

“For those who are interested in cosmic mystery drama, why not create something based on your favorite figure or symbol or image…

“…try to get more mileage out of your ontic sphere.”

This may seem, to some, as an affront to the sanctity attributed to texts such as Liber AL. We find the same phenomena within the Christian Church. The Bible is regarded as a “closed canon” and those who would contribute to its content are seen as threats to the perfection which has been embraced. So long as such an attitude prevails, those texts themselves remain as something isolated from our deepest core. If we cannot be as those authors (or “scribes,” if you will) then we can only look upwards towards something which exists outside of our own experience, something we must take on faith. THEY are “Prophets,” “Magi” and the like. WE are the followers, disciples, devotees. Yet William Blake, getting “more mileage” out of his own “ontic sphere,” would cite Numbers 11:29 at the opening of his Prophetic Epic, “Milton”:

“Would to God that all the Lords people were Prophets.”

Blake would also declare: “I must create my own system or be enslaved by another man’s.” This may have influenced Aleister Crowley, who would later regard Blake as a spiritual brother, when he wrote “I…am convinced in myself that to no great man can it be possible to work in any existing system. If he has followers, so much the worse for them.” Those words were penned in Crowley’s diary, 1903, just prior to the revelatory experience which brought through what would become HIS Bible and Grimoire, Liber AL.

We have here a drive within the human soul towards direct contact with its centre. If a Grimoire, a “magic book,” cannot lead us to this very place where we stand alone and touch the mystic flame ourselves, it is a testament to something we do not know and dare not surpass. We will have stopped and set up house on the Bridge Between Worlds, a structure erected not for our residency but passage.

Fortunately, Crowley had students who did more than hang on his every word as authoritative and superior to their own inspiration. Kenneth Grant would develop Crowley’s model of the Aeons to go beyond linear time and describe a state of consciousness in which a thousand facets rise and fall and dance within the “Wordless Aeon.” One neither exalts nor is restricted by the characteristics of the “Zeitgeist” but goes Beyond, manipulating the stuff of Maya, or Illusion, according to Will.

There have been several authors who have written in such a manner with the intent of opening the reader to spaces where the division between subject and object begins to dissolve. E. J. Gold’s “American Book of the Dead” is one such example. Gold perpetually challenges his reader to avoid the pitfall of adulation for the messenger at the expense of enlightenment. To simply suspend any disbelief and enter into his text is to experience an opening of consciousness. There is no pretentiousness in his approach. In fact, he is comical and blunt more often than not. Yet not only does he present the “map” of energetic zones in which consciousness is often battered to and fro, he reveals that he is not the revelator:

“…if you’re wondering about the source of this book, it comes directly from the source of all books. In the labyrinth, you’ll notice-if you notice anything at all-that all books are the same book, and they all say the same thing. Don’t look around for someone else to hang it on…You are the source.”

The only way to understand such a statement is to realize its veracity in a transcendental experience, moving through and beyond mere mental comprehension of the concepts.

Michael Bertiaux takes a similar approach in his progressive lessons for the Monastery of the Seven Rays, where he explains that the reader is, essentially, sending these lessons to him or herself!

In my own study of this material, I found myself gravitating towards a “meta-spatiality” in which I began to feel and visualize each lesson as being more than a set series of ideas communicated to the mind for intellectual understanding. The material of the lesson was a framework through which the energies that informed it could be tapped and entered into. I was no longer “reading lessons” but “entering” them. These “chambers” of spiritual intelligence and energy would be related to in a very specific ways, relative to my own thought-structures, needs and aspirations.

The experience of the “one source” of all books is not one of centering the world of experience around the individual ego. We enter into a cognizance of the Cosmic Mind, of which our transient human lives are a passing part. This can be a very despairing vision if we retain our sense of separateness from this Mind. The Gnosis of this experience lies in the wholeness of the Mind Itself and allowing the Mind to freely flow into our individuality without self-preserving resistance. Our consciousness then becomes that portion of the Cosmic Mind in operation through the unique channel of its own individuality. Yet this “portion” is an expression of the entirety of Cosmic Life Force and therefore it is an Illumination and Transformation of the selfhood which has previously functioned, in perception and action, as if it were an isolated thing.

This consciousness-or Gnosis-allows “the scales to fall from one’s eyes” whereby we can not only entertain the notion but experience that “oneness of all books” and thereby the relationship of the book to our individual mind. This is the “Magickal Link” which opens “Jacob’s Ladder” between Heaven and Earth. We are now within the God-space whereby the Cosmic Mind is uniting its components within our experience and opening up lines of communication within itself.

These lines of communication may be understood as mapwork. This is the root of sigil-craft, veves, seals and signs. When the lines of communication open, the symbols become living things and unfold power and intelligence. They may be employed as types of “magickal machines” through which specific results are generated. Hence, we find the Goetic Magician who is moving within a very vital and effectual universe of awakened energies as opposed to the experimenter who concludes the Lesser Key of Solomon to be an irrelevance of little application.

Our “Classic Grimoires” have set the pace for traditional terminologies, now evocative of an antiquated atmosphere. This atmosphere may be useful in offsetting one’s dominant mode of filtering perception of personal and modern experience, just as the angelic and horrific elements therein could offset our rooting in the material universe by stimulating subtle yet powerful components of the inward and intrapsychic self. If this “self” is the projecting agent whereby perceived reality assumes its form, to delve deeply into its mechanisms is to cut into an understanding of what lies behind superficial assumptions about what our lives “are.” Having passed through the vision whereby All is seen as Illusion, we are no longer “deceived” by the Unreality in which we move. Instead, we find in it the plastic medium whereby our Will may assume form. This is absolutely more than a metaphysical go at “wish-fulfillment.” To unmask “Reality” is to also unmask our desires, to liberate them from the containment of the ego and realize their activity in context of the Cosmic Mind. Thus, Crowley would make frequent allusion to the “Tao” as essential to understanding “Thelema” or the “Will.”

The philosophy of Thelema, as detailed by Crowley, would emphasize a sexual source at the Heart of the Mysteries. The description of Hadit and Nuit, the underpinning principles of organic life in Liber AL, would be conveyed via an erotic poetry and the practices of Thelemic Magick would not only embrace the ceremonial and meditative but the sexual. Documents such as Liber A’ash vel Capricorni Pneumatici would express these mysteries in poetry and symbol, serving as types of “Grimoires” whereby the sexual “technology” could be apprehended and then applied to various operations.

We are well aware of the great restrictions set around a frank and open discussion of such things in times past. It was a scenario which Crowley was forced to contend with and thus he would write in “code” of certain matters. Yet we must ask if that was SOLELY the reason for such “cloaking.” In the present era, there is, perhaps, freer talk and description of sexual-magickal thought and practice than ever before. It would seem that the path of “purple prose” has become both unnecessary and an encumbrance. This would, perhaps, be accurate if we were simply dealing with material descriptive of physical mechanics found to be objectionable by a given culture or era. The scope of this “sex-magick,” however, extends beyond the outward operations which function as one of its means.

In his lessons for The Monastery of the Seven Rays, Michael Bertiaux states that the entire purpose of sex magick is “evolution.” This necessitates the projection of the limited human psyche into the spaces of what Carlos Castaneda calls the “Nagual.” The “Nagual” is everything which is unknown and unexperienced and is contrasted to the “Tonal,” a word comprising the sum total of all available knowing and understanding contained in a given psyche. The drive and impetus towards this often threatening darkness is well expressed in a song by Killing Joke, where Jaz Coleman boldly proclaims:

“I saw restrictions of mortal lifespan…and hurled the lance beyond.” (“Twilight of the Mortal”)

A workable Grimoire is therefore a guide to the Nagual. At the very least, it provides a path to gateways whereby the Nagual is entered and mapped, assimilated into the ever evolving Tonality of consciousness. Crowley describes each human being, each localized expression of the Divine Mind, as an “aggregate of experience.” Some will become vast aggregates and yet “accumulate” on one plane only, a monstrous shape of singular dimension, dominating a flickering flatland and sinking into its surface with the passage of time. Reproduction, replication and expanse, as such, cannot be considered “evolution.” It is when the experience entered into constitutes an “upgrade” of one’s being that its assimilation results in a dimensional distortion, the form of which may provide the matrix for a true outflowing growth into the Cosmic Mind’s self-awareness or, conversely, the crumbling of that matrix downward into the psyche, a retributive reflex rendering the “small mind” ineffectual even in its own “territory.”

Such an occurrence has been described by Kenneth Grant as a “Tangential Tantrum.” Hardly a tantalizing situation to call upon oneself. In fact, the survival mechanisms of the body, linked to those of the ego and its Skandha constructs, described in Buddhist literature, recoil at the prospect of willfully evoking such an environment to contend with. It is ironic, then, that the only other option would be rested in and reinforced: stabilization of the existent Tonal construct upon the sinking ship of its limitation and finitude.  Risk is shirked in favor of certain doom. This absurdity requires continuous submersion in an opiate, the administration of which formulates all control dynamics in human society. Thus, we have the overwhelming reach of religions ordering the populous by pandering protection from an encroaching Nagual Nightmare which will, never the less, subsume the Tonal upon mortal extinction.

The multi-media experience of modern life thus becomes an “Anti-Grimoire.” Its language is self-supporting and serves to seal the Gates which may now be seen as vital escape routes. It is interesting, in this context, to look at how much sealing, binding and locking away plays its part in mythology. Satan is bound and locked in the “bottomless pit” of Revelations for rebelling against God. Loki is bound to a rock and tortured for breaking the ordered bounds of acceptable behavior. Prometheus suffers the same fate for extending the bounds of human knowledge. Adam and Eve push beyond the stasis of their lives and the Gates of Eden are crossed with a flaming sword. The Old Ones are held behind Cosmic Gates, erected by the Elder Gods, in the Necronomicon. “Good” binds “Evil” and we are taught to side with the so-called “Good.”

There is a reactionary impulse to this situation, where the human being turns in rebellion and embraces the archetypes of “evil,” which are now intuited as essential to the unfolding of a repressed force. This conflict, however, can be altogether superseded by a reinterpretation of the mythology. The language embodied in myth is of the same nature as that by which the multidimensionality of the Grimoire is known directly and experientially as a transformative experience. Myth is not simply “allegory” but the expression of abstract yet living verities whose influence is apprehended in human experience according to their qualities. Thus, Michael Bertiaux, when discussing the Loa, the Gods of Voodoo, states that they, the Loa, are “Laws.” Yet they are “Laws” which function, and may be (or MUST be) related to as Gods. We differentiate between “physical laws” and personalities on this “starting plane” of awareness. Gravity or Magnetism may be natural “Laws” but we are “people.” On the higher planes, this sort of differentiation does not exist within the forces we call “Preternatural Intelligences.” It is a mistake to overly anthropomorphize these Intelligences and yet it is equally erroneous to reduce them to a mere abstraction. They are not static concepts. They are living things which have their place in the Body of God as do we. Our communion with them expresses a new line of force lighting up and moving the components of Cosmic structure into a more refined and unified whole.

If successful work with the patterns laid out in a Grimoire result in the above dynamic, we find the book being “read” by the Cosmic Mind as it utilizes our individuality as an essential part of its process. The meditative techniques (of which there are many) made use of in modern magick, as a fusion between Eastern and Western tradition, serve to stimulate and vitalize this dimension of our existence.

The passage cited above, in which Kenneth Grant describes Liber AL as the “supreme Grimoire of the present Aeon,” is from an especially insightful segment found in his book “Outside The Circles Of Time.” He goes on to describe Liber AL, as such, containing “the keys to the gates of extra-terrestrial worlds which constitute universes parallel to our own, and which-by some mysterious perichoresis-sometimes impinge upon our own, transforming it in a way that also transforms the magician and prepares him for an existence that must appear totally alien to his mundane consciousness. For it is in the dimensions of magical and controlled dreaming that he meets with entities with which it is not only the aim of the grimoires to establish contact, but which in many cases have actually inscribed the grimoires upon the astral substance of the earth’s aura…”

This image of the earth englobed in such a hieroglyphic network of ingress points is truly evocative. One is reminded of the shattering of the Pleroma and its collapse into the “fallen universe,” where the primordial body of Adam Kadmon is rent asunder, not unlike Osiris, and buried or hidden away in matter, the shadows of the Nile or the “mind forg’d manacles” so detested by William Blake.

Matter has no fundamental “existence” in terms of absolute reality. It resides in the realm of subjective experience. When exalted into a space of dominion over the subjective experience, “matter” can become a “spiritual darkness” in which the ego, reacting against the impinging threat of the Nagual, is bound and tied to a pillar of stasis, a reference point, a bulwark against the cracking gates which open to the “Beyond.” To be “liberated from matter” is not to polarize some vague and whispy notion of the “spiritual universe” against the portions of experience we typify as the “material world.” Rather, it is to dissolve the perceived opposition into the cauldron of Will, recognizing, through a Gnostic-Vision, the immanence of Godhead. The individual Will is allowed to conjoin with the Cosmic Will and its energetic path is illumined, This Path burns through a myriad of Initiations, a razor thin and infinitely bright line cut between potentiality and actuality in any and every given moment. It is a Path of Transformation and Revelation. The “hieroglyphs” are lit from within yet this is achieved by the Light which resides in the Magician Himself. They vivify and add to the “aggregate of experience” which he is, even as he uncovers, evokes and breathes new life into their form. It is a Conjunction, a Unification between seemingly disparate parts which belong to the same great Unity.

It is a Dispensationalist Dogma which traces these sequences of events in terms of Time. Alchemy, however, condenses these stages into the context of its Operations, detailed in its own sundry Grimoires and belonging to the experience of the Alchemist. The Sacred Laboratory becomes a zone in which the appearance of the Macrocosmic March is manifested in the Microcosmic Mind, the “parts” brought into the unity of the “whole.” Its expression is Mandalic and reveals an equidistance of events, understood from the singularity of a position, or point, outside of time. One does not “escape from the Circles of Time” as much as one reveals the nature of time and space within the Dualistic Universe, entering INTO it, with a new awareness of the scenario.

From the vantage point of this center, one is both moving and standing still. One has become the Winged Globe of Hadit and is full flux of its Going. Time converges on this center from all angles and the “astral plasma” of the earth is seen to receive its encoding from past, present and future. Not only is the Magician able to rightly read the Grimoires of Antiquity which have been drawn from this plasmic sphere but he is able to WRITE the grimoires whose matrix trembles on the surface of this circumference by directly entering their form, allowing them to become a linkage point between the ego-self and that portion of the comic mind to which it, the “Astral Grimoire,” corresponds.

It is in this context that Crowley wrote of how Magi would arise after him, each with their own Word. Yet this did not indicate a closure to the “Aeon of Horus,” of which Crowley served such a vital role in opening or revealing. Rather, Crowley indicated that all such Magi with their corresponding Words would be in harmony with the Word he declared. This might be regarded as subservience to his self-proclaimed authority but when distinctions between our fluctuating and temporal personalities gives way to the broader vision of the Gnosis, we might observe that Crowley, as Magus, Master of the Illusions, very artfully became an Alchemic Agent within the Grand Operation or Great Work through a unique form of Guru Yoga. This method is detailed in Kenneth Grant’s Cults of the Shadow, where he states:

“The candidate for initiation approaches the guru (spiritual guide) with awe and reverence as if he were superior to all others. This distinction is false and the cause of bondage, and the false image of difference (duality) projected on to the guru becomes transformed into a demon that appears to mock the candidate…the devil, diable, or double, is merely the personification of the duality projected onto the guru by the candidate. The guru appears as a demon because his job is to destroy the candidate’s ego. The “Demon Crowley” therefore appeared as soon as an individual sought contact with the 93 Current over which Crowley presided as supreme Initiator. If a candidate’s aspirations were destroyed or swayed in the slightest degree by the impact of this experience, his moment of initiation had not arrived, nor was it likely to arrive until the “vision” had been banished by the power of the candidate’s unswerving dedication to the Work, and by his total indifference to the personality of either Crowley or himself.”

The Vision expands as the “candidate” is no longer “seeking” contact with the “93 Current” but actually entering it. This “Current” is often regarded as the energy matrix back of the Aeon of Horus. Horus, however, gives expression to a formula transcending the linear dispensationalist developments in human history, which might be regarded as an exoteric interpretation of the “Aeons.” Horus is a dual-god in Liber AL, the vengeful Ra Hoor Khuit of the 3rd Chapter having his reflex in Harpocrates or Hoor Paar Kraat, the Silent One. Silence indicates that no Word is uttered and thus we find in Grant’s “Outside The Circles Of The Time,” the suggestion that the Aeon of Horus, regarded as “the present aeon” is “itself the Wordless Aeon the advent of which has been dreaded and abhorred by the prophets of the past.”

Why would such a thing be “dreaded” and “abhorred?” Quite simply, it is because the last vestige of any point of reference is destroyed. All Words condense formulas, doctrines, ideas, ways of cloaking the void in form. The Wordless Aeon is the reflex of this process. To use Crowley’s metaphor, it is the draining of the last drop of blood into the Cup of Babalon. Subject and Object have become one and this fusion itself has dissolved into the cauldron. What rises is the “Babe of the Abyss” which grows in the Womb of its Mother. The maturation of this “Babe” endows it with the creative power whereby a Word may come forth, whereas beforehand, there were only Words to enter into.

Horus thus stands as Gateway to the Wordless Aeon and also an Aeon from which the Magickal Word ABRAHADABRA emerges, itself a glyph of dual power, fusing Macrocosm with Microcosm. From Silence, the Word emerges and pouring forth from the Word are its outcroppings, the “branches of Eternity.” Instead of Isis giving way to Osiris and so on, the symbolic pantheon unfolds from its center as a Mandala of Simultaneity.

“We” are portions of this Mandala and yet, like a hologram, the parts each contain the whole. Thus, the Cosmic Will unveils itself in our flesh and surges forward as individual action perfectly poised in the totality of the Mandala. ABRAHADABRA transcends Words of temporal application and expresses the foundation of all phases of the Great Work. The Void of the Silence and the Manifest World of Appearances become One.

There are languages which serve to communicate this Unity. They are, as described at the beginning of this essay, “human” modes of communication. Word. Image. These touch and resound with the perceiving and thinking faculties of the human being. They put forth their hooks and link into the mind. But this specific use language does not conform to the requirements of the rational mind or the limited being, whereby it may maintain the illusion of its supremacy. They form holes in the fabric of consciousness, become pictographs formulated in negative spaces, form openings into the “Outer Spaces” of the Nagual which may gush with terror or unspeakable beauty. Between the Tonal and the wholly unknowable void are all possibilities. All that is unimagined resides in this space. The Imaginal Manifestation is ever present at the Gate or Crossroads between these two states. To be at this juncture is to be Hadit. Self-awareness as “Being” gives way to Self-awareness as “Going.”

The Grimoire may pull us into this zone and offer its unique roadmap to the alien terrain. Conversely, we are faced with the great challenge of understanding, mapping and communicating the spaces we have entered. We cannot remain still nor can we rely on the old stand-by of models which speak only to limited apprehension of appearances. Our own creations spin off and mutate, forming vessels for the transmission of further information. Angels rush up and down that ladder. We are Jacob Dreaming. We are the Sphinx atop the Wheel. And at the same time, we are the Dream Itself. We are that Wheel.

We are creating even as we are being created.

William S. Burroughs would observe, during his career, that writing was lamentably lagging behind advances made in visual arts. This observation, however, would arise in the midst of Burroughs’ work to rectify the situation and bring things up to speed. Burroughs would slice, dice and splice the basic structure of language itself to get at new modes of utilizing the word as a means of liberating both reader and writer from the constraints imposed by a preprogrammed perceptive field. This “reality tunnel” was seen to be linked to language as a mechanism of control and restraint. Outside the confines of this prison reside the forces which Kenneth Grant describes as “alien.” The goal of the Magician (and for Burroughs, the writer IS a species of Magi) is to become, as described by Grant, “receptive to the influx of certain concepts that can, if received undistortedly, fertilize the unknown dimensions of his consciousness.” Grant goes on to emphasize: “In order to achieve this aim a new manner of communication has to be evolved; language itself has to be reborn, revivified, and given a new direction and new momentum.”

In this context, it is very interesting to read Burroughs’ thoughts on the pursuit for “Enlightenment” in the modern era. He would spend two weeks at Chogyam Trungpa’s Buddhist retreat in Boulder, Colorado, detailing the experience in the journal known as “The Retreat Diaries.” In the preface to these entries, Burroughs expressed a strong affinity between the Warrior motif of Carlos Castaneda and the Writer. He also saw this stance as being irreconcilable with the aims of Buddhism, as he understood it. Asked to relinquish his typewriter during this fortnight stay, Burroughs would argue with Trungpa on this point. Trungpa saw the setting aside of the “tool” as prerequisite to getting at an awareness of what resides behind our day to day activities, comparing it to a cook setting aside his utensils. Burroughs could not accept the comparison and wrote:

“A good percentage of my characters come from dreams, and if you don’t write a dream, in many cases, you forget it. The actual brain trace of dream memory differs from that of waking memory.”

Burroughs conceded his typewriter but refused to part with pen and paper. Cautioned that the dream images and unusual effects evoked by the meditative experience were distractions from the ultimate goal of enlightenment, he would state, as Warrior-Writer:

“The purposes of a Bodhisattva and an artist are different and perhaps not reconcilable…any writer who does not consider his writing the most important thing he does, who does not consider writing his only salvation…’I trust him little in the commerce of the soul’. “

Burroughs is finding the Writer and the Writing to be one and the same, the path of “True Will.” Thus he can state, from his position:

“I feel that I get further out through writing than I would through any meditation system. And so far as any system goes, I prefer the open-ended, dangerous and unpredictable universe of Don Juan to the closed, predictable karma universe of the Buddhists. Indeed, existence is the cause of suffering and suffering may be good copy. Don Juan says he is an impeccable warrior and not a master; anyone who is looking for a master should look elsewhere. I am not looking for a master; I am looking for the books. In dreams I sometimes find the books where it is written and I may bring back a few phrases that unwind like a scroll. Then I write as fast as I can type, because I am reading, not writing.”

This does not indicate that the pursuit of the “Bodhisattva” is erroneous. It does, however, overthrow a particular tyranny of ideas which would view the “Buddhist” objective as being superior to another field of action. In other words, the “Enlightenment” reveals the nature of the “space” in which any and all perceived phenomena is taking place. Within that “space” is the movement and directions which our individual lives have emerged to embody and exemplify. The relationship between the two is perfectly represented in Crowley’s work as Nuit, the Goddess of Infinite Space, and her consort, Hadit, the ever moving, dynamic and winged globe. Hadit typifies the Sun and as such, “Every Man and Every Woman is a Star.” Our individuality functions as the sovereign center of a solar system and yet each system takes its place in the grand matrix of the Body of Nu. The “ecstasy” of Nuit, the Gnosis of Cosmic Consciousness, is known by its reflex in the world of minute activity, perfected in the full flowing of its Nature.

The “New Aeon” may now be seen as the “Nu Aeon,” the Wordless Aeon or Primordial Silence from which all creative utterances arise to shed their radiance over unique Aeonic spheres, sectors and spaces. Aleister Crowley transmitted a multi-layered matrix and model of this Vision. Within this spectrum, we trace our Way. Our time is limited and we want to maximize each moment as we Become what we Are. The inward voyage cultivates our intuition, allowing it to resonate with those zones most attuned to its nature through the expressive and communicative mediums sharing its nature. We then find in the Grimoire a mirror, reflecting our deeper and most authentic self, describing the means by which it may rise and infiltrate our conscious mind, if we read it rightly.

To encounter the Grimoire in this fashion, which is to unlock its potentiality and activate its corresponding power zones, is emphatically NOT an intellectual processing of the material in question. In some instances, we will operate along the lines of ceremonial magic and utilize an outward and physical method of “opening the doors.” On other occasions, the methodology employed may be less apparent to an observing eye yet no less potent. Hence, Aleister Crowley would caution those working with Liber 231 to take care and not leave the sigils lying about, as he considered them, “dangerously automatic.”

The Grimoire occasions an interface whereby communication is intended to occur. Language and pictograph act as transmitters, transcending barriers of time, space and even dimension. What travels along these passageways has the potential to impact, enter into and fuse with the psychostructure of the magician, whether “encouraged” by ritual and recitation or not. In fact, the traditional ceremonial work of western magic is intended to reconstruct the psychosphere so that it may operate with greater receptivity and adaptability to the Incoming Current and Intelligence. Rather than remaining a “requisite methodology,” we find ritual taking its place with, as well as flowing into, a wide variety of techniques and idiosyncratic inventions as individual artistry arises from the foundational “set-up work.”

To conclude this introductory essay, we may observe that the traditional literature and methods of magic “stretch” our human faculties into a new perceptive territory. To use Castaneda’s terminology, magic “displaces the assemblage point,” or habitual mode of interacting with a multi-dimensional universe. Very much like the initial “spur” to the Enlightenment of Buddhism, we survey the scene and find that “life is suffering.” Something within us finds this unsatisfactory and stirs, yearns for something behind the limits of our present condition and is intuitively aware of a different and better Way of Being. Magic begins to open the blinds, turning the lock on the door and expanding, ultimately transforming, our comprehension and interaction with the larger spectrum of consciousness, of which we are part. Our previous vision will be seen as a narrow and confining prison and as one passes through Gateway after Gateway of Initiatory experience, the push towards “Freedom” will be understood as continuous. As Crowley remarked in The Book Of Lies, we will have BECOME The Way as opposed to simply moving along its course.

The work with Grimoires and Sutras, Channeled Writing and Inspired Writing, the continued manipulation of language and image, the passing into and out of chambers and cells, the communion with Gods and Devils, the “splendid adventure” whirls and burns as connections form within the Mega-Structure of the Body of God. The shattered Pleroma of the Gnostics reintegrates and, in doing so, reveals that it was never split asunder, merely perceived to be so through a small hole in a prison wall. This “Cosmic Drama” sings ABRAHADABRA as it is realized within the body, mind and soul-self of the magician who has become an expression of the Totality through the route of Individuality.

INSIDE OUTER SPACE-An Appreciation of Kenneth Grant

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Anyone conversant with the work of Kenneth Grant cannot help but associate his name with the word Extraterrestrial. His books are surrounded and permeated by an alien aura, fashioned from-and hidden within-layers and levels of an unfolding dimensionality of consciousness. The language and symbolism employed in his writing simultaneously circles into and out of the ‘Weird.’ From the surreal sensuality of Austin Spare’s artistry to the visionary voudoo of Michael Bertiaux to his own arcane appropriation of Lovecraftian Lore, Grant is ever evoking the presence of the ‘Otherworldly.’ As his writing progresses, the substance of magical tradition and history moves forward into an intensifying fusion with science-fictional futurism. The remote past is projected against, and then into, a backdrop of starry space, opening into a cognizance of ‘Outer Gateways,’ contact points with areas of Being and Non-Being increasingly identified as Non-human. UFOs streak into the ordered march of heavenly bodies and Modern Magi maneuver through the fantastic fluctuations of the Incoming Current. Where Gods and Men once held parlance, Starships assail the fabric of Time, the Oracle marking a midpoint betwixt the human being and Entities whose origin can only be described as ‘From Beyond.’

Grant makes his motivation for this thematic focus clear in a 1990 interview with the Skoob Occult Review:

 

Skoob: What is the purpose of your books?

Kenneth Grant: The main purpose is to prepare people for encounters with unfamiliar states of consciousness.

S: Do these include extraterrestrial encounters?

KG: Yes, extra-, sub-, and ultra-terrestrial encounters.

S: You think such events are imminent?

KG: They are likely at any time, but whether now or at some future period, their occurrence is certain and it is necessary to be prepared for such events.[i]

Grant’s nine volume series of books, collectively known as The Typhonian Trilogies, are works of particular interest and application to those involved in the ‘93 Current,’ a philosophy and life pulse rooted in and springing from the ‘Law of Thelema,’ as proclaimed and codified by the British Magician and Prophet, Aleister Crowley. In fact, without considerable grounding in- and understanding of-Crowley’s work, Grant’s creative compilations will be largely inexplicable and impenetrable. It would be erroneous, however, to approach Grant as a mere expositor. His writing develops, extends and evolves the life work of his former teacher into arenas alien even for many who have embraced and set their feet upon the Path promulgated by the ‘Great Beast.’ As such, it is not unusual to meet with some perplexity, confusion and apprehension when first entering this strange terrain. If any thought Crowley to be ‘too concentrated, too abstruse, too occult for ordinary minds to apprehend,’[ii] his student and friend, having entered into his own as one of the Magi, would turn the volume up to 11, riding its stellar soundscape into dimensions of which Crowley would only hint in his writings. If The Great Beast shook the popular mindset with his talk of angels and demons, or recommendation of rites and ritual culled from a more medieval aesthetic, Grant shakes those who have arrived at some understanding and familiarity with the language and forms of that Magickal Milieu.

From one perspective, Crowley sought to modernize archaic forms, revealing the kernel of truth hidden therein and applying the methods and means of an antiquated art to our evolved and scientific sensibility. Grant, having passed through his own ‘discipleship’ with Crowley, did the same. He was not, however, destined to rest on the top rung of that ladder.

Some critics have accused Grant of neglecting the Heights for the Depths. Such a view expresses the most superficial survey of his work. In his book Remembering Aleister Crowley, Grant states, ‘My main interest was (and still is) in Oriental Mysticism.’[iii] This is crucial to bear in mind when venturing through the veils and sinister shades of his esoteric explorations. It is also essential to the essence of the Extraterrestrialism of the Typhonian Tradition.

Within the Supernal Triad of the Qabalistic Tree of Life, we find the transmundane and primordial principles of Chokmah and Binah fused into the Unity of Kether, The Crown. The so-called ‘False Sephira’ of Daath embodies a dangerous depth (an Abyss) separating this Transcendent Triad from the lower realms of ordinary human consciousness. The Trilogies place great emphasis on this particular realm and have thus been met with some confusion in those identifying this atmosphere as an ‘evil’ to be evacuated in the progressive ‘ascent’ of Initiatory Consciousness. If one envisions the Summit of Spiritual Striving as an all encompassing globe of Light, Grant’s energy would drive his chariot beyond even this, seeking the Sun Behind The Sun.

One is here reminded of Crowley’s words, describing the ascent of the ‘imaginary body’ through the successive strata of Space and Mind, in ‘Liber O’:

Let him continue in this so long as the breath of life is in him. Whatever threatens, whatever allures, though it were Typhon and all his hosts loosed from the pit and leagued against him, though it were from the very Throne of God Himself that a Voice issues bidding him stay and be content, let him struggle on, ever on.[iv]

 The arena of Daath was thereby penetrated and the realms it opens to systematically explored.

We will momentarily discuss the significance of this theme in Grant’s work, as it provides a profound Key to his Occult Alienology. It is not our intent to explain Grant but rather to examine elements infused in his work which may be understood as a definite development of the ‘Oriental Mysticism’ forming the bedrock of his life and message.

Involved with O.T.O. in the United Kingdom, Grant also orchestrated an experimental sub-group called the Nu-Isis Lodge. This collective not only pursued magickal workings in a group context but followed the threads of a very specific Path, one which led to realms outside the areas traditionally explored by those involved with Western Hermetic Schools.

Just as The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn had claimed contact with overseeing and discarnate entities known as the ‘Secret Chiefs,’ Crowley directed the Order of which he was Outer Head based on his own communication with a ‘Praeternatural Intelligence’ called Aiwass. Intensely investigating these and other such contacts, Grant conducted extensive experimentation with the techniques taught by Crowley and others. The result was a collection of communications from Entities heralding, not from the Astral Realms or Ancient Egypt, but distant dimensions, oblique to the observation of the objective mind.

Crowley had stated, towards the end of his life, that such contact was the only hope for mankind, as a whole, to advance. While some sought to limit their experimentation with such ‘Outer Limits,’ calling on the Crowleyan Corpus as a canonized ‘ring-pass-not,’ Grant was the Elisha catching the Mantle of his Master. Crowley wrote of his firm conviction that the reception of his ‘Divinely Inspired’ Book of the Law was the FIRST of such communications from its Source. Either he was mistaken or his words heralded what Kenneth Grant would realize in both his life and literary output. In following this lead, Grant has not only remained faithful to the Vision Crowley devoted his life to but has taken his own place amongst the Company of the Masters. It is of little consequence that small and sectarian minds have found objection to Grant’s Vision. The Legacy of Aleister Crowley itself continues to meet such resistance and yet persists. Similarly, Grant remains a Man for the Future.

This is not an issue of anticipating some historical vindication for we can see how history perpetuates the memory of the base and ignorant alongside genius. Our society is yet enamored with vanity over beauty and symbolism over substance. No, Kenneth Grant’s work is a Gateway to our best potential, distant and unthought of possibilities, which we may yet realize in this lifetime. As humans, we are the hope and future of our Simian past. We are also underdeveloped creatures who have our own future toward which we turn our gaze. This can only appear as alien in both form and feel. For those who shrink from the change and shock of metamorphic mutation, this is, indeed, a threatening proposal. The appearance of the Future Self signifies the obliteration of what we are (or perhaps, more accurately, how we seem to be). Is it any wonder that accounts of Alien abduction are often typified by terror and a sense of personal violation? The hardwired survival instinct within each of us cannot help but recognize the implications of what it, often unwillingly, has intersected with.

On the other hand, for those who will dare, the Englishman Kenneth Grant assumes his Transcendental Role as our Frater Aossic Aiwass, human emissary of an Extradimensional Influx and Power at the periphery of our own perceptive parameters. His artistry augments our ascent by means of an unconventional usage of language as the vehicle whereby we interface with, and are transformed by, an Intelligence and Life radiating from beyond our present state of affairs.

When I first read Kenneth Grant, I was perplexed, unnerved and, at the same time, mystified. His writing was extraordinarily dense. The numeric symbolism was overwhelming. Within a single paragraph, he would reference a tremendously diverse multitude of ideas with which I was unfamiliar. He would also allude to very sinister and disconcerting practices. I found it hard to ‘stick with it’ and would put his work down to pursue something with more clarity. Despite this derailing, I would repeatedly return to his books. I was disorientated and, at times, disturbed. Yet, I found myself irresistibly fascinated. And every time I would enter his ‘world,’ I wanted to be a ‘fly on the wall’ of Nu-Isis Lodge. He would speak of fantastic and outrageous happenings and I wanted to witness, for myself, the events he described. Doubt and desire would alternate. Ultimately, both would be extinguished in a sudden and unforeseen Gnosis which led me back to these strange books with an unprecedented passion. My awareness of what Grant calls the ‘Alien’ awoke and a sense of urgency, as opposed to mere curiosity, drove me back to his words.

I had been practicing a form of Japanese Buddhism when it occurred. Crowley’s Thelema and Grant’s difficult work was far from my mind. After years of involvement with this school or that, I thought I had ‘found my way’ and was not anticipating any sort of ‘return’ to my former fascination with the Message of the Master Therion.

This is how it happens. Intrusion. Invasion. The ‘stars are aright’ and the conditions propitious. If one is ‘unprepared,’ such an influx may be traumatic, shattering the reference points upon which one has staked their self-understanding. St. Paul is about ‘business as usual’ when knocked off his horse and struck blind, forced to confront the Christ with whom his whole existence has been at enmity. He ‘kicks against the pricks’ until finally opening to the deeper reality which will not be denied. The result is his Conversion, Transformation and Evolution.

Personally, I remain cynical of many accounts of ‘alien contact.’ As a culture, we tend to encounter such stories only as they offer an economic gain to the media moguls who deliver them to us. What comes through our TV screen is, undoubtedly, bound up in commercial interest and the ceaseless hunger for diversion and entertainment we crave as a society. UFO sightings may as well take their place with the wholly unconvincing ‘Ghost Hunters’ and Psuedo-psychics contacting deceased relatives for a ‘live studio audience.’ Consider how often we cut to ‘commercial break’ and note what is being sold.

Despite the cant of commercial media, the phenomena itself is not so easily dismissed, especially when it ‘intrudes’ into one’s experience. The science fiction writer Philip Dick was not seeking to confirm any preexisting religious beliefs when he encountered ‘God.’ His was a disconcerting experience and not one embraced with hungry credulity. Navigating through his intellect’s defense mechanisms, Dick was able to meet this ‘Incoming Current’ halfway. The information it bestowed crushed his previous grasp on reality, transformed his work and, quite literally, saved his child’s life.

For myself, a series of events, wholly unsought after, entered my life and disrupted its ‘reality tunnel.’ I was thrown into a zone I had never before encountered, despite many previous years of esoteric endeavor. An Intelligence outside of myself began to communicate information in a very sequential and patterned fashion. This Intelligence indicated an origin in the Sirius Star System. I was, honestly, at a loss as to how I should make sense of what was occurring. Despite my focus on Buddhist practice and teaching, what came through was an unmistakable reference to Crowley’s Book of the Law. I can distinctly recall thinking ‘I am way out of my depth! I don’t know what is happening! I need someone to help…!’ The first person I thought of was that elusive Englishman, Kenneth Grant. He had written about this sort of thing! I recall bounding up the stairs to a bookshelf where Aleister Crowley and the Hidden God was tucked away. Reentering this text, I felt as if I was reading a completely new author. The ‘Kenneth Grant’ who was previously difficult and daunting suddenly seemed sharp and simple. Where I once thought ‘he must be putting me on,’ I now thought ‘My God! This man has BEEN where I’m AT!’ I devoured the book. Unaware of the collector’s market, I underlined and scrawled in the margins. This book was not some rarity of resale value. It was a lifeline, cast into the Labyrinth and winding towards new portals and access points. Rather than showing the way OUT, it began showing the Way IN.

The intervening years have found me voyaging further into this Mystery, sometimes lost, other times hot on the trail. What is clear to me is that I passed through a Gateway and the Door sealed behind me. I had imagined what it might be like to be present at the events described in Grant’s books. Just when it was all furthest from my mind, I fell through.

When we catapult into the ‘Beyond,’ all we have known and been until that point comes trailing after us. This portion of our Being is forced to confront those unfamiliar states of consciousness Grant said his books were meant to prepare people for. Our confrontation does not automatically assure successful assimilation. We may attempt to fit the forms of the Incoming Current into preexisting portions of deep seated mental mechanisms, clustered about and supporting the fierce drive to survive. The result is confinement of the Current, its boundless energy pressing against its prison. The explosive expression of its nature through such ‘mind forg’d manacles’ gives birth to monstrosities. The Sermon on the Mount is turned into the Spanish Inquisition.

We have alluded to Crowley making modern the archaic language of magic. Carl Jung would deeply explore the mythic and magical realms as an upsurge from the Collective Unconscious into the psyche of the individual. This has certainly been more palatable to the modern mindset than the literalism of previous generations grappling with the same areas of the mind. From this viewpoint, things may be analyzed, docketed and dealt with. There is a tendency, however, to stunt the experience by perpetual relation to a psychoanalytical view. The need to explain based on previous understanding prohibits a full launch into that which we have yet to understand.

Grant, on the other hand, does not attempt to capture the unsettling emergence of the unfamiliar by relating it to a precise system of explanation. This has caused some of his more superficial readers to believe he is speaking in literal and physical terms when describing phenomena of an ‘alien’ nature. Having stated this, we must add that Grant is not simply repackaging psychological insights in the symbolic garb of pulp fiction. As much as his work should not be read as ‘literal,’ neither should one try to decipher some symbolic code and get at what might ‘really’ be finding expression. The language of The Trilogies is neither literal nor metaphorical. It is Magickal.

In his book How to read Wittgenstein, Professor of Philosophy, Ray Monk, comments:

Wittgenstein once wrote: I think I summoned up my attitude to philosophy when I said: philosophy ought to be written only as a poetic composition… If philosophical understanding is to be conveyed—i.e. stated directly in literal language—it must be through something more analogous to poetry. The philosopher has to bear in mind always that what he or she wants to say cannot be said, and, therefore, it has to be conveyed another way; it has to be shown. In this way… the unutterable will be, unutterably, contained in what has been uttered.[v]

This is exemplified in Kenneth Grant’s writings. Through the medium of language, he is showing that which cannot otherwise be expressed. Likewise, he focuses, perhaps more so than any other occultist, on the medium of visual art as possessing this power. Dali, Ernst, Tanguy and others all take their place with the most learned and dedicated of magicians, often surpassing them in effectiveness of methodology.

Visual depiction of that which evades the logic of the layman’s language is not, however, the only medium whereby one may give expression to the ineffable. Although we may find examples of Grant’s drawing and painting throughout the Trilogies, he is first and foremost a writer. Confronted with the limitations of language, Grant has single-handedly invented his own ‘genre,’ dissolving the demarcations between fact and fiction and opening his readership into an awareness where such tidy categorizing cannot be clung to.

In the truly significant volume Outside the Circles of Time, Grant makes this observation:

A new manner of communication has to be evolved; language itself has to be reborn, revivified, and given a new direction and a new momentum. The truly creative image is born of creative imagining, and this is-ultimately-an irrational process that transcends the grasp of human logic.[vi]

Thus it is that Grant calls upon the writers and poets who have done with the written word what the most modern of artists have done with the visual image. I have yet to read a single criticism of Grant that acknowledges the ‘poetic composition’ of his work, let alone displaying any understanding of what a ‘poetic composition’ might be.

William Blake would call attention to the distinction between Allegory and Vision. Allegory is a metaphoric medium. Vision occurs when distinction between the symbol and what is symbolized collapses, melds and is understood within the union betwixt the Perceiver and that which is Perceived. This is the Gateway whereby we may rightly read Grant. It is not a zone we might waltz into without risk. Sanity itself is set upon and we expose ourselves to the possibility of being torn asunder and sucked into the vortex of the ‘irrational process’ we have opened ourselves to.

Despite the danger of first testing and then pushing the action of the mind beyond the limits of its ‘safety zone,’ we acutely feel the danger and ultimate entropy in stasis. If there is risk before us, it offers a better chance than sitting on the certainty of dissolution rising beneath our feet. Our nature is to go, to move, to live.

Therefore we are driven by a fundamentally irrational force toward that which exists on the outskirts of whatever safe haven our minds have constructed. This impetus is not some senseless flailing about nor is it courting disaster without heed for its own interest. Rather, it IS what IS, wholly Itself, something which cannot be described as having a ‘nature,’ for it IS that nature. It utilizes reason as a type of vehicle to assist its movement and yet is, itself, beyond the bounds of reason. We might view it as the force which is both calling us from The Beyond and propelling us into its Alien Territory, all at once.

As reason is ridden into these zones, beyond the normal range of its function, it enters into a crisis. It screams for some framework whereby it might maintain control of the situation. However, ‘If Will stops and cries Why, invoking Because, then Will stops and does nought.’ (Liber AL II: 30)

But Will does NOT stop. It is only reason which cries ‘Why.’ Perhaps one of the best replies to this desperate inquiry is given by Grant in his essay ‘The Adamantine Way.’ Grant, treating of the nature of all phenomena as a creation of consciousness, writes:

The reason why we create such a universe of name and form is as inexplicable as why the artist paints his pictures. It may be sheer joy; a compulsion springing from unknown depths; it may be that as art is the nature of the artist, so also the production of name and form is the nature of the mind. And so events, peopled with infinite individual and illusory selves, unfold upon the screen of the One Consciousness and imagine a cycle of life and death, until there is realization by these illusory selves of the real substratum of their being.

It should be remembered that such an answer as this springs from the reasoning mind, and so from the start it is part of the illusion it sets out to explain; so also is the question, which likewise rises from the ignorant assumption that there is such an ego with its desires and vasanas to explain away whereas in fact there is no such thing.[vii]

Gaining in proximity to such a realization, the ego cannot help but spasm and feel abject terror at the proposition of its dissolution. It recoils.

In the pages of Outside the Circles of Time, Grant speaks of an Extraterrestrial Entity called Lam. Amongst the considerable amount of commentary offered in conjunction with this Being, he states plainly:

Lam is the Gateway to the Void. Its number, 71, is that of Alil, ‘Nothing’, ‘an apparition or image’. Lam is the image of the void.[viii]

We can begin to see why Lam is a figure whose appearance may be perceived as emitting a malevolent or menacing aura to those who are not adequately prepared for such an encounter. The emergence of the image of Lam is a unique collision between its essence and the content of the human mind which is opened to such an influx. Although the Typhonian Order embodies an on-going exploration of the worlds to which this Gate leads, the average human being tends to be ignorant of such realms or is unwillingly exposed to them, with accompanying traumatic impressions of hostile or antagonistic force.

One may ask why forces from Outside the Gate would thus enter into human consciousness, ‘invading’ it, as it were. The answer, as much as we can provide such a thing, is found in the aforementioned Will. We have spoken of how the Will is movement, action, going. We have also indicated that this action, although irrational, is not some senseless spinning in a circle. Rather, the Will is the life pulse and movement of the Cosmic Evolutionary Current. It is growing into Itself. The extensions made outward are simultaneously swimming inward, formulating the Masonic Point Within the Circle—or the Globe which is Hadit within the Infinitude of the Body of Nuit.

As the Word becomes Flesh, the Flesh is awakened to the sounding of the Word, which can only be heard as the Voice of the Silence. The Mind rises to fuse with Anti-Mind and this intersection marks the contact point between what we identify as Human and Alien. When such a Union occurs, the horizontal and vertical forces evoke The Point-or the Going Globe of Liber AL, now radically vitalized and unleashed by the polarities of this contact.

Blake writes that ‘Without Contraries is no progression, Attraction and Repulsion, Reason and Energy, Love and Hate, are necessary for human existence.’ Read from a Cosmic vantage point, this is not so dissimilar from the Buddhist declaration that ‘Samsara is Nirvana’ or the Qabalistic statement that ‘Kether is in Malkuth.’ Some schools of religious and mystical bent teach a linear approach to the ideal of ‘Progression.’ One is identified as being somehow at the ‘bottom,’ as it were, and makes successive steps to get to the ‘top.’ For some, the notion of the ‘top’ is equated with the extinction of whatever qualities persist at the ‘bottom.’ Regardless of how much progress one makes along such a line, they will remain limited within this linear consciousness. The two realms are opposed and divided, one considered good (or desirable) and the other evil (or not so desirable). One doesn’t escape the wheel of duality by further emphasizing this opposition. Rather, one must come into The Point, a singularity which is in no wise hostile to the multiplicity.

Lam is the Gate to this Gnosis as well as the Key which opens the Gate. We cannot say that Lam is a symbol for a psychological event, personified as an Entity for, as we steadily unsheathe this Mystery, we go far beyond the typical terrestrial modes of cognition and categorization. Coiled within the constraints of the human mind, we distinguish between phenomena, calling one thing ‘real’ and another ‘unreal.’ We recognize this thing as an ‘entity’ and this other thing as a ‘non-entity’ (an object, an idea, a relationship and so on). Yet all such categorizations are really relative value judgments we are placing on our experience of an endlessly shifting flux of happening. Inasmuch as it is possible to push the limit of our ability to perceive and receive, we may enter into a greater comprehension (or better put, Communion) with Intelligences of which we were previously ignorant.

This Communion is an Opening of the Gate whereby the Cosmic Mind both incarnates and disincarnates all at once. As long as we are holding to modes of perception which are bound up in the time-space logic of our mammalian and planetary life, we cannot hope to envision, let alone experience, this Union. As Grant states, to even talk this way about it ‘springs from the reasoning mind, and so from the start it is part of the illusion it sets out to explain.’ Despite this, the Gnosis embodied in the Opening of the Gate reveals that both the Void and the Manifesting World of ‘Illusions’ are not at odds. In fact, they are both, essentially, the same thing.

What we have been discussing is a profoundly mystical state of awareness. This mysticism will prove to be an absolutely essential key to grasping Grant’s magick.

In her book, Initiation: Human and Solar, Alice Bailey writes:

We must recognize also that danger lies in dogma and in the hide-bound facts of textbooks, and that safety lies in flexibility, and in a shifting angle of vision. A fact, for instance, looked at from the standpoint of humanity (using the word ‘fact’ in the scientific sense as that which has been demonstrated past all doubt and question) may not be a fact from the standpoint of a Master. To Him it may be but part of a greater fact, only a fraction of the whole. Since His vision is fourth and fifth dimensional, His realization of the place of time in eternity must be more accurate than ours. He sees things from above downwards and as one to whom time is not.[ix]

 

It is not the province of the ‘Master’ to impart a Gnosis we lack. It is the arrival at Gnosis, unfolded from our own deep core, which allows us to open our field of perception to a degree capable of cognition within the ‘fourth and fifth dimensions.’ Having passed through and dispensed with the notion of rejecting the so-called ‘lower world’ for the higher, our mystical extension of consciousness finds a new field of action whereby the Will acclimates, assumes its direction and Goes further. This shifting into increasingly comprehensive states of being is embodied in the ritual work of the Freemasons, where the soul which has ‘long been in darkness’ seeks and finds Illumination only to return to the Lodgeroom in search of ‘more Light.’

Initiation after Initiation follows. We are social creatures, whose very language has evolved from a desire and need to communicate. Contact in these realms beyond the terrestrial calls forth the same necessity. We err when we conceive of these possibilities as duplicating the dynamics of human intercourse with the addition of some exotic ornament or form. This is precisely where Grant eludes many readers, although he is often speaking in terms as clear as possible.

The capstone to Grant’s Trilogies is the monumental volume The Ninth Arch, which opens with the text of Liber OKBISh. This text struck me from the very first reading as a genuine account of traffick with the sort of entities we are discussing. OKBISh is not as immediately poetic or coherent as Liber AL. This is an important thing to note. When I read Liber AL as a young man, I imagined that, were a preternatural intelligence to thus communicate with myself, it would be characterized by the same sort of poetic tone. Years later, I would understand how such communications filter through the thought-structures of the medium and are colored thereby. If a student of this neo-Thelemic school of thought and research is perplexed by Liber AL’s more cryptic and encoded passages (such as II: 75-76), OKBISh gushes with raw energy, at times taking form only in the most guttural of sounds, if sound is manifest at all.

The text of OKBISh evokes a cadence beyond its word or meter. One can feel the pulse of consciousness itself rising, sinking and bobbing through unchartered regions of cognition. It is as if the medium dips down into a depth from which no connection may be formed with the conscious mind. Statements and sentences fragment, coherent components of communication dissolve into non-human vibratory emanations and, where the biomechanism of the medium is insufficient for translation, Silence ensues.

This Silence, however, is a Selah, broken by the mind’s return from the Void Realms, magnetizing to itself the impress of all that may be conveyed by word and image. The opening page of this mysterious missive from Beyond states:

To begin…Lam is Okbi Spider Writing. Number of the Great Star and the three tentacles. Walking backwards only then it meets its own Light. (OKBISh 1:4-6)[x]

 

The utterance of these words comes swimming upwards through a wyrd webwork of incomprehensible star-speech. Concise and to the point, these verses utilize the native language and symbol structures employed by the Nu Isis Lodge to convey the Nature of their origin, thereby announcing the quality of mind requisite to reading-and engaging with-that which is to follow.

What is ‘Spider Writing?’ It is web weaving. Mandala making. The elements of communication are not assembled in a sequence of separate symbols. Rather the whole is interconnected, each point linked with the rest in a staggering complex of combinations. This web of arcane geometries is alive in an ever shifting series of vibratory undulations. The three tentacles would seem to signify an inverse of the Supernal Triad, the reflex of L.V.X. in N.O.X.. The number of The Great Light is equated with its opposite. As we ascend to the Light of the Supernals, this Light descends into the Depths and the two are made one. Lam, Gateway Guru betwixt the Manifest and Void, walks ‘backwards,’ evokes the opposite of that which is beyond opposites. The place where this conjoining occurs is in the zone of Daath, an environment which not only distinguishes between the human and transhuman but connects them as well.

Returning to Grant’s Outside the Circles of Time, we find this poignant observation:

Owing to humanity’s exclusive traffic with dayside phenomena, and the use of the front of the Tree by initiates of the Aeons of Isis and Osiris, a lopsided situation has arisen which may be corrected only be systematic invocation of the qlipoth, or nightside equivalents of the power-zones, cosmic and mundane. This is the reason for so much attention being directed by initiates today to the subconsciousness in the human being, and to extra-dimensional consciousness in the planetary and cosmic organism.[xi]

This paradoxical verity has been expressed by various individuals and schools through a variety of terms. Lao Tzu’s ‘Tao.’ Austin Spare’s ‘Neither/Neither.’ The Buddhist concept of ‘Esho Funi.’ Advaita Vedanta’s ‘Non-Duality.’ Kenneth Grant does not simply expound such a postulate, however. His books are a detailed exploration of the mechanics involved in unleashing this Gnosis.

He continues:

Each individual magician should discover his own peculiar modes of access. These cannot be contrived artificially for they are suggested directly from the subconsciousness by chance occurrences of nervous stimulation which engender the atmosphere necessary for creative work in any sphere.[xii]

It is not within the scope of this essay to examine this particular area of action in detail. Suffice to say, the ‘nervous stimulation’ of which Grant writes has correspondence on the corporeal, chemical and metaphysical planes, forming connective networks between then. The ‘chance occurrences’ not only open one to the unfamiliar states of consciousness, alluded to earlier in the Skoob Interview, but inform the magician of what must be developed to transition into full facility in such realms. The displacement of thought-structures immersed in ‘dayside phenomena’ also entails an intense precision of attentiveness.

Applying this approach to OKBISh and other texts like it we are no longer faced with a code to be cracked but a web-song permeating the cosmic topography wherein our Will flows from form to form. The investigation of the text then becomes a true tapping of the intelligences which informed it, as opposed to attempting a capture of trans-rational communications in the net of the mind.

In the short story, From Beyond, H. P. Lovecraft’s character, Crawford Tillinghast, speaks, from a place wavering betwixt impassioned genius and maniacal madness:

What do we know… of the world and the universe about us? Our means of receiving impressions are absurdly few, and our notions of surrounding objects infinitely narrow. We see things only as we are constructed to see them, and gain no idea of their absolute nature. With five feeble senses we pretend to comprehend the boundlessly complex cosmos, yet other beings with a wider, stronger, or different range of senses might not only see very differently the things we see, but might see and study whole worlds of matter, energy, and life which lie close at hand yet can never be detected with the senses we have. I have always believed that such strange, inaccessible worlds exist at our very elbows, and now I believe I have found a way to break down the barriers.[xiii]

 

Compare this passage to Aleister Crowley’s words, from ‘On The Reception of the Book of the Law’:

 

I frankly accept the most materialistic conceptions of Victorian science. I yell with unholy glee that consciousness is a function of the brain. I merely add that nature is continuous, and that it is therefore absurd to suppose that any special group of phenomena and no other should exhibit unique qualities…. all matter is to some extent conscious; and so there may be, all over the Universe, individuals of many orders-only the shallowest salvationists would sneer “why don’t we see them?” The Unknown-from “Australia before it was discovered” (as the child’s riddle says), to bacilli, Hertz rays and electrons-had the impudence to exist without our formal recognition.

I hope the above remarks have destroyed the a priori denials of the possibility of the existence of discarnate intelligences. Nay, more, I trust that I have established a strong probability that they are everywhere.[xiv]

 

What Lovecraft envisioned in his fiction and Crowley described with the language of reason, Kenneth Grant evokes, maps, and presents to his readership as an investigator of the Unknown, a Pioneer of the outermost fringe of Modern Magickal practice and a profound Mystic, whose incarnation into Space-Time has been irradiated by an influx of Energy and Gnosis from the Outer Spaces.

Emphasizing in his work that it is not his purpose to ‘try to prove anything’ but rather to ‘construct a magical mirror’ by means of the ‘inbetweeness concepts’ whereby we may access ‘unknown dimensions of…consciousness,’[xv] Grant eludes the scrutiny of the scientific mind as well as its counterpart in the credulity of the wishful. Both categories may be considered as expressions of a terrestrial consciousness. Approaching the Typhonian Trilogies as neither fact nor fiction but rather as that ‘magical mirror’ of which Grant wrote, we may find the ‘the unutterable… contained in what has been uttered.’

This is the Voice of the Silence and the Gateway to Lam, Itself a Gateway to Realms yet unimagined. To reach out and touch this mirror is to enter it, to read these writings with more than the intellect’s means and modes of definition and to, at last, be Inside Outer Space.

-Kyle Fite

[i] ‘Interview with Kenneth Grant,’ in Skoob Occult Review, Autumn 1990, Issue 3, 5.

[ii] A. Crowley, Magick: Liber ABA (York Beach, Maine: Samuel Weiser, 2002), 3.

[iii] K. Grant, Remembering Aleister Crowley (London: Skoob Books Publishing Ltd., 1991), v.

[iv] Crowley, Magick, 626.

[v] R. Monk, How to read Wittgenstein (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2005), 27.

[vi] K. Grant, Outside the Circles of Time (London: Starfire Publishing Ltd, 2008), 12.

[vii] K. Grant, At the Feet of the Guru (London: Starfire Publishing Ltd. 2006), 41.

[viii] Grant, Outside the Circles of Time, 154.

[ix] A. Bailey, Initiation Human and Solar (New York: Lucis Publishing Company, 1997), 5.

[x] K. Grant, The Ninth Arch (London: Starfire Publishing Ltd., 2002), 1.

[xi] Grant, Outside the Circles of Time, 236-237.

[xii] Ibid, 258.

[xiii] From Beyond, from Necronomicon, The Best Weird Tales of H.P. Lovecraft (Orion Publishing Group, 2008) p. 388

[xiv] Crowley, Magick, 700.

[xv] Grant, Outside the Circles of Time, 12.

HOLY DAZE

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Holidays. I find myself increasingly detached from them. It’s not that I have any issue with Holidays in theory. As a matter of fact, I think they are quite important. Observance of the same can be a powerful link to a larger frame of reference wherein our lives are fueled, empowered and brought together. I just personally find that they creep up, wisp by and the beat goes on. Often the “mainstream” Holidays come preloaded with expectations and obligations, an opportunity for the bleeders to brandish the blade and fill their blood buckets.

“Christmas” should go without mention as such a Holiday. I can’t remember the last time December 25th filled the hearts of anyone around me with the Spirit of Jesus. Posting some shit on Facebook about the “Reason for the Season” doesn’t count.

Thanksgiving? What a joke. Isn’t that American “gorge yourself, watch football and fight with family” day? Mythic Pilgrims, Indians and dead turkeys, gizzards gutted and glued back in with baked bread.

“Independence Day?” That would pretty much be much “National Fireworks Day.” Drink cheap beer, get a glow stick and hope you’re wowed with the pyrotechnics.

Of course, there are the non-American government Holidays. Most Muslims I know take their Holy Days VERY seriously. Buddhists and Pagans? They don’t make the work calendar but there is an intentionality there which contrasts with Santa’s Season of Sales.

Don’t even get me started on “Easter,” which is weird beyond description.

All of this comes and goes.

And then there is April 8, 9 and 10.

What’s this, you ask?

Glad you did.

It is the 3-Day celebration of the writing of the “Book of the Law.”

“The Book of WHAT?”

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It’s a Crowley thing. You know, that English guy who called himself “The Great Beast 666.”

“Wasn’t he that person who filed his teeth into fangs and devoted his life to EVIL?”

If you rely on soundbites to inform your opinion, there is no point in me acting as an apologist for Mr. Crowley. I will simply say that I remember vividly when I first read his book “Magick in Theory and Practice.” I was intrigued by rumor of this nefarious character and decided to read his work. What I found blew me away. This was not the writing of some crazed devotee of the devil. I was presented with an intelligence and finesse far beyond my own, one which compelled me to question and seek, even to this day.

In that single book, I had encountered a True Philosopher, someone who had a gift to give. I was baffled and mystified. Aleister Crowley opened the Gates for me. Years upon years of study and work and experience all followed.

Now, Crowley would have been a genius whichever route he took in life. As it was, his entire international adventures and ceaseless writing all hinged around the reception of a document called “The Book of the Law.” This event was a bit akin to the Old Testament Prophets hearing the Voice of God. The Deity spoke and the Prophet wrote. The “converts,” all of whom were quite interesting folks, became torch-bearers for the “Glad Word” Crowley had announced, a New Message for a New Age.

You might celebrate the neo-pagan Holiday of Christmas with presents, pine tree and lip-service to Baby Jesus. Those who embrace the Book of the Law, penned in Crowley’s hand, regard April 8, 9 and 10 as the days to celebrate and honor.

I could have ended up as either.

Thankfully, my own life course met the writing of Kenneth Grant, Crowley’s student and friend at the end of his life.

Grant was a true original “heir” of Crowley, grabbing that torch and actually running with it.

Between my own subsequent experiences and Grant’s account of the workings of Nu-Isis Lodge, I came into a new view of the “Holy Books.” Not just those of Thelema-but ANY religion. It is a “Blakean” view, one expressed in the “Marriage of Heaven & Hell” when Blake dined with Isaiah and Ezekiel.

Blake wrote:

“The Prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel dined with me, and I asked them how they dared so roundly to assert, that God spoke to them; and whether they did not think at the time, that they would be misunderstood, & so be the cause of imposition.

“Isaiah answer’d, I saw no God, nor heard any, in a finite organical perception; but my senses discover’d the infinite in every thing, and as I was then persuaded, & remain confirm’d; that the voice of honest indignation is the voice of God, I cared not for consequences but wrote.”

So wonderful.

Having spent all those years reading Crowley, I can see him in the Book of the Law. That this document is loaded with power and prophecy beyond the temporal persona of Crowley is undeniable. But I feel that Crowley wrote it WITH the being he understood to be “Aiwass,” a “minister” of the Egyptian God, Horus.

Crowley was a CHANNEL and the channel colors the transmission. Wine takes the form of the wineskin.

It is only by becoming CHANNELS ourselves that we can begin to observe the nuances in such channeling.

In his epic poem, Milton, William Blake quoted the Bible:

“Would that all the Lord’s People were Prophets.”

This isn’t an “appointed role.” It is a calling unto an Art.

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Blake also said that the true worship of God consisted of honoring his Gifts in other men. For me, this includes the Authors (plural) of the Book of the Law.

The sundry calendars on our walls ask “honor” of the codified with acquiescence. But the only moment I can ever exist in is the MOMENT-and it is in this that my Deep Core is ever driven to Itself.

During this past April 8, 9 and 10, I kept a journal which I feel culminated as the sun set on the 10th. I was listening to Current 93’s “They Return to their Earth.”

I had a vision.

I saw my life as if it was flashing before my eyes at the moment of death. Every moment that was True and Real lit up. Between these moments was all the shit, slime and worthless waste.

There was no longer the view of a linear continuity where everything had equal play. Only the True and Real mattered. The rest was seen as an encrustation. Stars were suddenly lighting up a black sky, their destiny to connect and come together into a “Super-Sun.”

It was as if someone had filmed and spliced particular moments of my life into a movie which showed the True Plot (what Crowley would call the “True Will”).

I have crashed through so many Holidays. Quite frankly, the Thelemic Celebrations may as well be Christmas for me. I am not a “Crowleyite.” And God Forbid I be a “Facebook Thelemite” and post a pic of some Unicursal Hexagram on April 9th. This is not my game.

“Happy Day Two of the writing of the Book of the Law! Look, we made Cakes of Light!”

Still, I was thankful to have this Vision, to see the True Will, the Genuine Self, light up during these Days and I had to regard Crowley’s writing of the Book as a gift to Humanity. You see, Crowley vacillated in his vision. He wavered between the human race as a whole and those who could “get” the Mysteries. In his diary, “John St. John,” he regarded himself as a “Bodhisattva.” I think this is true. Call him what you want. Crowley lived his life and there is no Crowley “left” to judge. There is his only his writing. He did what he did and left behind words on paper for us to read and work through.

Accept it. Reject it. Me? I am only looking for the words that “light up” and speak to my Deep Self, a Being which may resurge into my Selfhood and through word, image or deed give something of Value to YOUR Selfhood.

There is controversy even around those dates in which Crowley said the book was dictated. This really doesn’t matter, unless we want to get Astrosophical about the whole thing. However, in the “Crowley Cultus,” recognition and engagement with the energetic impress manifest in the Book feeds force and form back into the power source, energies coalescing and becoming radiant. Perhaps it was that Zone of Power I was accessing over those three days. I don’t feel that Crowley’s Horus-trip was the “point” at which the Aquarian Age began. I DO feel that he tapped and received an influx from its birthing. With his literary and occult genius, his personality and placement, he certainly opened his entire creative being to function as what Blake would regard as one the “Lord’s People.”

His proclamation that “Every Man & Every Woman is a Star” is certainly rousing. I would say that Every Man, Woman and Child is a Vast Company of Stars, separated, like the scattered limbs of Osiris, from the Unity of a Super-Sun. Just as the Human who has “long been in darkness” comes into the Light of the True Will, the True Will comes into the Cosmic Will. All Stars conjoin in the Gnosis expressed in Michael Bertiaux’s “Lucky Hoodoo” Grimoire through the words:

“O LIGHT! THERE IS NO DARKNESS! WE ARE IN THE PRESENCE OF ENDLESS LIGHT!”

I think there is a Holy Day hiding in every moment, Holy Days expressed in glimmers, hammerings, and ecstasies, all attended by a company of Spirits with whom we have an opportunity to cooperate. Unlike my experience of docketed dates assigned, these Holy Days do not sweep by…they SWEEP IN.