Sunday, December 27, 2009

Invocation of the Ogdoadic Elemental Godhead of Water

I have completed the next phase of the Abramelin Lunar Ordeal, which makes me ready to begin the actual Abramelin ordeal. This ordeal will consist of three days of fasting, meditating and praying, with the final evening being devoted to the revised Bornless One invocation and assumption of great power rites. I will become incommunicado during that period, so whatever happens to me will not be reported or written up until after the first of the year. Yet I am getting ahead of myself, since I have three separate workings to discuss with you and examine in detail.

Previously, I was told to perform a ritualized meditation session to reconnect and reestablish my alignment to the eight super-archangels before I attempted to do the rite that joined them together. I was going to do this in four separate evenings, one for each element. However, due to the time of the season (it being just before Christmas), I decided to shorten this extra working to just two nights, focusing on the four super-archangels of Earth and Water one night, and Air and Fire the next night. I would also be able to test to see how these elements behaved when I crossed from one element to another using this revised methodology.

After the completion of the last working (weekend of December 11 and 12), I took a one day break and then began to perform some short sessions each evening of meditation and devotions to the Deity. December 16th was the New Moon, and all spiritual activity became very quiet and subdued, as if everything that had been done went into a brief hibernation. This continued all through the weekend, as I celebrated the Solstice with pagan rituals on Saturday followed by a well received feast. 
On Sunday, December 20, I performed the Bornless One Ring Consecration rite. This was done after consecrating the circle and saying the newest version of the Mass of the Goddess. The ring consecration rite was taken and adapted from the Greek Magical Papyri and was performed in two parts.

The first part was performed that evening, and the second part was performed just at the break of dawn, the sunrise of the Winter Solstice day. The two rings that I and Grace are using for this working were consecrated with incense, holy water, sacramental wine and host, and holy oil. The rings seemed to glow with a strange golden and greenish light, although such a colored light wasn’t anywhere in the temple. After the rings were consecrated and had the words of power said over them, I breathed the sacred breath upon them, and placed them in their squares of purple velour cloth. They remained covered until the next morning, when we went out into snow covered grove and exposed them to the first light of dawn and said more words of power over them. Unfortunately, the day was very overcast and there was no rays of the sun observable, but I imagined them in my mind’s eye, and completed the consecration rite. I have left the rings incubating in their purple square cloths until they are needed, then the final ritual actions will be performed to fully activate them. I expect to do this the day before the Bornless One Invocation is performed.

On the next day (Monday), I took a break from the activities to spend time with my lady, Grace, since she was leaving to spend Christmas with her parents. I was supposed to perform a kind of ritualized meditation session for each of the four elements, re-establishing and re-aligning myself in preparation for erecting the Ogdoadic Tabernacle, consisting of the activation of all eight of the super-archangels. Since there was a lot of preparation that I had to do with the house and threats of a massive snow storm, I decided to consolidate the working on two nights (instead of four), and join the elements of Earth and Water, and Air and Fire. This consolidation worked out really well. So instead of starting on Monday, I was able to defer the two workings to Wednesday (December 23) and Thursday (December 24). I performed a meditation session instead the evening of December 22 after a day of many tasks, including some work related ones.

December 23. I started the evening with a circle consecration and the newest version of the Mass of the Goddess. I would focus on the Seraphim and Cherubim of Earth and Water. I started the working around 9 pm, but didn’t need to use specific planetary hours. The energy of the temple after the Mass was extensive, as if in anticipation of what I was about to do. I unsealed the vortex using unsealing spirals, established the Eastern gateway set with invoking pentagrams of Earth and Water, then passed through a double gateway. I used the staff to re-establish the vortex energy field and then erected it as a pylon, to re-establish the invocation of all four spirits. I had already set up the four consecrated and empowered sigils that were used to invoke the Seraphim and Cherubim, these were arranged on the four corners of the invoking Trigon, with the sigil of Ratziel in the center. I then intoned the Enochian invocation for all four spirits, and then re-read their visualized imago descriptions as I reconnected with each, touching the wand to the sigil and then creating a line of force from it to my forehead. I made contact with each one and then felt their combined power. The first thing that was communicated to me was the name of the Godhead that I was to work with in the next major working - that name was Aset-Sophia (Isis-Sophia or “Throne of Wisdom”). That combined Goddess aspect was to be superimposed on the Godhead of Water, Shadai El Chai (Almighty God of Life). This is what was communicated to me from the combined spirits of Earth and Water.

“Do not indulge in the sadness and death of the ego. Understand what this actually represents to one on your path. [Here I got a sense to examine the writings of Ken Wilber on this subject - Death of the Centauric level of development.] If you are bereft and overly mourn its passing, then you are greatly in error. Use your alignment to the Godhead to bring joy and bliss to your heart. The only necessary tears are those that are shed for joy and not misery or unhappiness. Don’t be dramatic or make this transition more difficult than it should be.”

I was thinking about the implied reference to Ken Wilber - the Death of the Centaur is actually the death or end of personal autonomy and the beginning of true spiritual service, which is the mark of the high adept. I felt compelled to know what this means in greater detail and focus on it as I undergo the ordeal of the vow of sequestering to be started on next Monday. I also need to think more deeply about maybe changing the order of the Elements that I am using in the ordeal in the Bornless One invocation rite, since the combination of Earth and Water is very harmonious.

December 24 - performed the ritualized meditation session of the invocations of the Seraphim and Cherubim of Air and Fire. As in the previous evening, I consecrated the circle, performed a Mass and went through the same ritual steps to re-establish and re-align myself to the four super-archangels of Air and Fire. This is what they communicated to me.

“You have been thinking about what was missing in your thoughts about the article ‘Magick and the Science of the Impossible’, and it has escaped you. We shall reveal it to you, as a sign of our bond with you in this ordeal. The missing consideration is the mind model which you call the assumption of “As If”. Occultism and magick are based on the mental game of imaginative creation - the “As If” preposition. It can be projected out into the material world, held in the mind, or used as a probe to penetrate deeply within the unconscious mind. It is the real tool whereby magicians harness what is in the realm of the impossible, making their dreams become part of what is considered possible. The ordeal must remain structured as you have already determined it. For this ordeal is meant to be harsh and difficult, not harmonious and easy to accomplish. This is true for the transition of the Elements and in the Bornless One invocation rite. Change the transition only when working with consecutive Element invocations - not ordeals. The Elemental Godhead within the Angelic Ogdoad represents the full realization of the active Godhead - in which to create and destroy a universe. To destroy and recreate the self in the three days of the Abramelin Ordeal.”

I was also told to make a combined sigil of Aset-Isis with Shadai El Chai. Aset-Sophia is the mistress of Briah, the divine throne or Khursia of Creation. I also looked up Ken Wilber’s statements about extending human development beyond the Centauric level of conscious development, and this is what he wrote - in the book “Atman Project.”

“To give up intentionality and self-actualization... because one has to give up ‘self’ – one has to let go of self-autonomy because God, not the ego, will soon motivate consciousness. If one can let go of ‘personal life’, on the whole, then one is open to transpersonal realms of the subtle and causal planes.”

December 25 - Christmas, reunited with Grace - no activity planned.

December 26 - Invocation of the Godhead Element of Water and generation of the Ogdoadic Tabernacle.

Performed all three rituals - Invocation of the Godhead Element of Water, Ogdoadic Godhead Vortex and the Triple Tetrahedral Gate rites. I decided to consolidate these rites that would have been performed on two consecutive nights into a single evening’s working. The secondary rites are short enough, so is the Godhead invocation. I felt that it could easily be accomplished in a single evening, thus freeing up Sunday, the only day that I would have to finish up business before the ordeal begins. All in all, this was a fortuitous decision, and everything worked out quite well. I also had to spend an hour on the Pyradym instrument (a powerful sound based therapy system) to alleviate feelings of extreme fatigue, which it did in an amazingly thorough manner. I was focused and alert, and ready for the working.

I set the magick circle at a little after 7:45 pm CST, so the planetary hour of Venus was locked into the working. The Mass of the Goddess was performed with assistance from Grace. I decided to forgo the Benediction rite, since the Mass would create a sufficient foundation for the invocation of the Godhead Element of Water, and because I was already empowering the circle with the eight sigils of the super-archangels. I will relate what occurred at each ritual level after the Mass, starting with the invocation of the Element Godhead.

Invocation of the Element Godhead of Water. I performed the invocation ritual, combining the summoning of the Godhead Shadai El Chai and the combined Goddess Aset-Sophia. The resultant energies and affects were gentle, warm, glowing, loving and compassionate - I felt quite inspired. I sensed a kind of ocean or sea goddess aspect, and I even heard sea gulls in the distance and briefly smelled the salt breeze. It was quite real and profound, but quickly passed. The Godhead invocation seemed to blend with the invocations in the Mass of the Goddess, and I sensed that the combination was summoning something that was a lot like Aphrodite merged with Persephone - underworld and oceanic.

Ogdoadic Godhead Vortex. After a brief break, I went on with the next ritual in the series. I set up the 8 sigils of the Seraphim and Cherubim to the four Watchtowers, mindful of the corresponding element, and the Seraph sigil set above the Cherub. The Element Godhead of Water was still active and resident, with the erect staff still set next to and towering over the charged sigil of the Godhead of Water hybrid. I then proceeded to set empowered pylons at each of the four Watchtowers, activating the Seraph and Cherub associated with the base element. The first one (Fire to the East) actually caused a powerful nervous “thrill” to run down my entire body, centered in the heart chakra and the third eye chakra. This sensation was intensified at each subsequent Watchtower until all eight of the Super-archangels were fully activated and joined into four pylons of magickal energy.

At this point, I felt as if a spike of empowered light was pushed through my skull, starting in the third eye and terminating somewhere in the core of my brain. I could use this “spike” to focus and look deep into things, promoting a kind of over-powering envisioning that threatened to keep me completely occupied, perhaps for far longer than I wanted - so I had to tightly control this new ability.

I then erected the Tetra-sacramentary cross-roads ritual structure, and this seemed to expand the power of the vortex energy field. I saw four distinctly powerful spiritual pathways, seemingly autonomous, merge into a single meta-spiritual pathway, representing perhaps that all paths lead to one unified path that encapsulated them all. I continued on with the ritual and performed the central Pylon of Summon, where I established the Element Godhead, which was already resident in the center of the circle (this part of the rite was probably quite redundant and had no additional effect).

It was at this point of the ritual that I performed the Summoning of the Holy Ogdoad of the Emissaries, where all eight points of the octagon ritual structure are joined together with the central Godhead Element. The result of this ritual action was truly incredible! At first I saw the four outer pylons as pillars of golden fire, with a larger pillar of blue fire in the center of the circle, with scarlet lines of force marking the cross-roads. The four outer pillars of fire began to bow towards the center pillar of fire until they merged with it, and then there was only one massive pillar of fire, only its color had changed to green with a golden core, and the cross-roads became a deep violet color. This image faded away completely, being replaced by a vision into which I was completely immersed. There was a diffused white light but no details, and in the midst of it all I sensed the super-empowered presence of the Godhead manifest with accompanied sensations of complete awe and astonishment from me. I bowed low before this invisible presence and adored it, so much love, devotion and compassion welled up from the core of my soul. I felt all of this passion and love reflected back to me, and magnified a thousand times. I lay there in state of rapture and bliss, with all of these feelings rocking the very foundation of my being. Then it subsided to a gentle and loving beingness-in-me, and the vision went from all misty and cloudy to one that was more clear.

I found myself standing on a beach just before the water, gently rolling in placid waves. The water was warm and inviting, and the sand was the purest white, while the waters of the ocean were greenish blue and grey slate colored. There were no shells or debris on the beach, and the sky and surrounding area was completely obscured by a warm misty fog, which seemed to envelope everything. Then a woman came walking forth from the ocean waves, she was obviously thoroughly wet and glistening with salty water. She was neither tall nor short, but seemed around the same height as myself. She wasn’t naked either, but wore some kind embroidered white shift that was wet and clung to her body, leaving her legs and arms naked. She was pale but not exceptionally so, her face was incredibly beautiful. She had long hair that was braided into numerous strands, probably of a light brown, but fitted with golden beads that made it look blonde. There were traces of seaweed in her hair and upon her shift, and on her legs. She looked natural and normal, except for her eyes, which were the most incredible shade of greenish blue, with very large and dark pupils, which made them look other-worldly. She smiled at me, and it seemed that the sun may have grown brighter in the misty sky. I walked into the water and approached her, she took my hands in hers and they were warm instead of cold. And then everything became silent, even the sound of waves and distant gulls. I heard her say to me in a whispered voice the following words.

“I am here and have come, as you desired me so. I have been waiting for you to come for untold aeons. This place, where the water meets the earth is the sacred meeting ground of mortal life and eternal spirit. In this guise that you see me now, I shall aid and help you to complete your quest. That quest is to awaken the God within you into full awareness, so that you and he, and me, might join in eternal embrace. I am your godly muse! Seek me in the days of your ordeal. Sing songs to me and recite mystical poetry. So shall the love of God arise and assume material form before you. Embrace it and love it fully. In this way you shall begin the path of your total transformation. Know this, that you have known me before, many times, even unto the dreams of your youth. I am the one who shall complete you. Never despair, for I am with you forever.”

Then the vision receded, slipping away and leaving me kneeling before the center of the circle, which was dark and cold. The memory of this moment was etched into my mind, and even now I can recall it with a frightening clarity.

I then performed the last working, the Triple Tetrahedral Gate. This final rite did not cause any further visions, but it only intensified what had already been a fairly mind blowing experience for me. I felt quite stunned at first when all of the rituals were completed. I felt as though I were drunk or stoned, but a surreal inner clarity remained within me, which was profound and deeply moving. I could function, but just barely - I was haunted by sounds and sensations of the misty sandy beach that seemed so near yet so far away. The ritual working was finally ended, and I felt beyond tired and exhausted. After properly grounding with a bit of food and drink, and mindlessly finished a few tasks, I went to bed, into an intermittent and dreamless sleep. I awoke still tired and affected by the rite.

Now that this final working is completed, all that remains is the ordeal itself, which begins tomorrow. During that time I will be completely sequestered, abstaining from all mundane cares as much as possible. I won’t be answering the phone, replying to email and I will avoid all forms of current events and the news. I will also be completely detached from all work related tasks, having arranged this previously. It will be as if I were dead to the world, at least for the next three days. On Thursday morning, I will arise and experience the changing of the year as one who is beginning a new life, that is, if everything goes as I assume it will. For the completion of this working and the report of its results, you will have to wait until this coming weekend. I hope to be able to report some remarkable experiences at that time, so stay tuned until then.

Frater Barrabbas

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Thoughts About Magick and the Science of the Impossible


I have recently read Michio Kaku’s wonderful book “Physics of the Impossible: A Scientific Exploration into the World of Phasers, Force Fields, Teleportation and Time Travel.” While this book takes a hard scientific look at the fantasies and entertaining hypothesis of science fiction, it also has some very interesting relevance to the practice of magick and occult spirituality.

The topical areas that Michio discusses, which have to do with occultism and magick, are the subjects of invisibility, teleportation, telepathy, psychokinesis, time travel and precognition. Out of all of these topics, it appears that invisibility is probably the most feasible and precognition is the most improbable. I found this perspective very interesting, since I believe that it’s important for magick and occultism to be able to live in the physical world defined and empirically established by science. If magick is to be considered something other than just a delusion, then it must have some kind of scientific basis, or at the very least, not attempt to contradict scientific laws. 

I am not a scientist, nor do I pretend to understand science as well as others do. A number of occultists and magicians have been examining magick from a scientific basis and I am by no means the first to examine it in that light. However, if a phenomenon occurs and is defined by our culture in a certain way, then science may or may not have an answer as to why, since some things will remain mysteries until such a time as science is able to develop the mathematics and the physics to penetrate them. Of course this concept deals almost exclusively with levels of technological development and does not address ontology, or how we as individuals and as cultural groups perceive reality. There must be a certain amount of congruence between science and human psychology. However, not everything that human beings experience is within the provenance of science.

Classes of Impossibility

Michio divides his book into three basic parts and groups these potentially impossible phenomena into three classes. The first class doesn’t violate the known laws of physics but can’t be completely demonstrated with our current level of technology. The second class is characterized by potentially impossible phenomena that lie on the very edge of our understanding of the laws of physics. The third class is characterized by phenomena that clearly violate the known laws of physics. What this means is that in order for any of the phenomena of the third class to be demonstrated as possible, what we know about the physical universe and its laws would have to profoundly change. What Michio states in his book is that nothing is really completely impossible, but many reputed phenomena are either beyond our technology to replicate or represent a knowledge of the universe vastly superior to what we possess today. In other words, some things are improbable, others are highly improbable, and still others are likely, but not completely, impossible. That being said, we can look at the specific phenomena that Michio highlights in his book that has a direct bearing on occultism and magick.

The four phenomena that are the most likely to be replicated by technology in the not too distant future are invisibility, teleportation, telepathy and psychokinesis. These are so-called psychic phenomena that have long been a part of the miracles that legendary magicians have wielded. However, instead of using magick, Michio talks about scientific based technology, which would be quite magickal or miraculous to those who are ignorant of it. A simple lighter would be quite an amazing magickal gadget to a primitive bushman who had never before seen one, or for that matter, anything else like it. Even something as common as a video screen or a cell phone could be seen as quite miraculous to the unjaded eye of one who constantly makes use of them.

Invisibility is already being developed in the laboratory for possible future applications, perhaps in the next decade or two. One promising area is the use of meta-materials that can bend light, which could render an object invisible to the naked eye. Meta-materials use nano-technology to create microscopic grid patterns that can trap or bend certain wavelengths of light. Another approach is using 3-D hologram projections, which would project a rear image in front of an object or person hiding behind a screen. Of course these technologies are just in their infancy, but they are already showing promise of producing a future application or product. Magicians use a form of invisibility that renders them indistinct and unremarkable, allowing them to blend in with their environments, such as a crowd of people in a market place. They don’t actually disappear, and if pointed out, can still be seen. Technological invisibility would render someone completely invisible.

Teleportation is a phenomenon that is being studied in the laboratories as well, but at the current level of technology we are talking about transmitting photons or small groups of atoms short distances. The process involved is either a form of quantum entaglement and coherence, or the use of BEC beams (Bose-Einstein condensate deployed in a form of atomic beams or lasers, using temperatures at very near absolute zero). What is actually being transmitted faster than light is information between one set of atoms to another, since the original form is destroyed and then replicated at a distance. This means that to teleport living things, such as animals or humans, they would have to be transformed into information and undergo a kind of physical death in order to be transmitted somewhere else. While the technology to perform teleportation is many decades or even centuries away, the fact that the object teleported must be destroyed and recreated would make using it on humans an even greater leap of faith, for certainly we would have to change our perception of life and death. The destruction would presumably be instantaneous, so no pain would be involved, just the nerve to volunteer to be teleported in the first place.

Magickal teleportation is probably much more the stuff of stories and fantasy, since even the technical accomplishment of this phenomenon would require a great deal of energy and a computational level that would be staggering when compared to today’s available technology. So we can probably conclude that a magician performing teleportation is probably the stuff of legends and myths.

Telepathy, or mind reading, is also something that is beginning to be developed in the laboratory. However, it’s presently limited to making very general observations about computer generated images from a device called an MRI, which uses magnetic resonance imaging to determine the occurrence of oxygenated blood and neuron activity inside the physical brain. In order to really read someone’s mind using this technology, it would have to be developed to the point of being able to pinpoint the activity of individual neurons, and that is vastly beyond our technological capabilities at this time. MRI devices are also quite large, and one would assume that a practical device that facilitated telepathy would be small enough to fit in one’s hand. If one has the technology to precisely read thoughts, then one would also have the ability to project thoughts as well, through artificially stimulating individual and small groups of neurons. If identical sets of neurons in one brain are stimulated exactly like the same neurons in another brain, then one could assume that they would be able to share thoughts and feelings, especially if this process went both ways. We are a very long way from being able to develop the technology to perform two way mental communication. However, is there any science to humans having a natural capability for telepathy?

Scientists have been attempting to prove the existence of paranormal or psychic abilities, most notably the ability to perform telepathy and psychokinesis, for many decades. So far there doesn’t appear to be any scientific proof that human beings have the ability to perform either feat in a controlled laboratory environment. Psychokinesis is of course the ability to move objects with the mind. While there seems to be something occurring that could be labeled as being paranormal, it has not been proven under rigorous scientific analysis to be either consistent or even objectively measurable. There does seem to be something going on that could be examined in a psychological context, but not anything that is either measurable, predictable or reproducible.

Psychokinesis has the added difficulty that there are no real physical forces that could explain how it works. Gravity is too weak and only attracts, electromagnetic forces can’t “push” something that is electrically neutral and nuclear forces would only work on the subatomic level. Then there is the problem of generating the energy, since even if one of the physical forces could be harnessed, sufficient amounts of it would have to be projected in order to seemingly “move” objects. What this means is that in order to manipulate matter with the human mind, a very massive amount of energy and computational power would have to harnessed as an aid. It is probably physically impossible for a human being to move a heavy material object with the power of the mind and body alone.

So teleportation, telepathy and psychokinesis are considered, purely from a technological perspective, class one impossibilities. We may eventually develop the technology to do these miraculous things someday in the distant future, but in regards to today’s technology, they are highly improbable, and therefore, nearly impossible.

Michio says that time travel is a class two impossibility, stating that while the laws of physics clearly show that such a feat is possible, from a practical standpoint, it is nearly impossible. Plausible methods of time travel include generating worm holes in the space time fabric (transversable wormholes), traveling across the event horizon of a black hole, circulating rapidly around a “spinning” universe, or transversing two massive super strings that have collided. These are conjectural plausibilities that are pushing the very threshold of what is known of the laws of physics. They are theoretically possible, but implementing them through an advanced technology would be far beyond our capabilities or comprehension.

Time travel today would seem to be much more of a fantastic capability than invisibility, teleportation, telepathy or even psychokinesis. Yet time, according to Einstein, is relative and not absolute. We rely on our perception of celestial phenomena and our assumptions of duration in order to determine the passage of time, and we have invented many devices to consistently measure it. Often when comparing one’s perception of the passage of time with devices such as clocks, noticeable discrepancies are observed. We are not “time loose”, which would give us the ability to go back and forth, or slower or faster in time. The variance that occurs is with our perception of time, but that perception is important in the examination of magickal phenomena. We will come back to this discussion, since it is pivotal to understanding paranormal phenomena as it occurs in magickal and mystical experiences.

The final item on our list of impossible phenomena is, at least to me, quite surprising. Of course, I am referring to the fact that precognition is considered by Michio and most scientists to be a class three impossibility. Precognition is the power to predict a future event, it includes forms of clairvoyance and clairaudience. What that means is that in order for precognition to occur there would have to be a complete collapse of causality. According to Michio, one of the many sets of physical laws determined by Newton that appear to be inviolable is the law of cause and effect. In order for precognition to exist, the law of cause and effect would have to be altered, allowing effects to occur before their causes. One would assume that a person could only sense a future event if it were perceptible, and that perception in itself would violate causality, since it would predetermine effects. If such a phenomenon were possible, then causality itself would be nullified, causing the world to be physically inconsistent to an absurd degree.

Causality has been shown to be powerfully maintained even at the quantum level of physical phenomena. While there appear to be phenomena such as Quantum electrodymanics, which proposes an advanced electron wave that travels back and forth through time (as a form of antimater), or Tachyons, particles that move faster than the speed of light and move backwards in time, both of these phenomena in fact do not violate causality, they actually reinforce it. Scientists believe that Tachyons are the theoretical particles that caused inflation and triggered the cosmic “Big Bang”, since there have been no such particles detected after that event. So Tachyons can’t even exist in the domain of our physical universe anyway.

Is Prognostication Really Impossible?

So what does this do to the massive collection of anecdotal claims, legends, myths, the sizable amount of written material and the numerous divination practices that humans have been engaged in since before historical times? Are all of these beliefs and practices delusional, mythical and based on what science considers completely impossible? This is quite a profound revelation, but not a new one. As occultists we have just ignored it, but then so has most of the population of the planet. Occultists and practitioners of magick rely on a number of different systems of divination, from the Tarot, to Astrology, I-Ching, Runes, Geomancy, crystal scrying, and a host of other methods of augury and prognostication. Are these just superstitions or is there something to them that science is missing? They all have one thing in common, they all rely on producing a “reading” based on a form of random selection. In the case of astrology, the birth date, transit date or hoary target date are the random factors.

Perhaps if we examine the ‘best practices” approach of one of them, then we might find the answer. Let’s try the Tarot and see what we can determine. One could assume that what is true with one of them should probably be true for the rest as well.

When I use the Tarot cards to perform divination, I never approach the reading with any kind of absolute determinism. In other words, I examine the cards, determine what they are communicating to me, but I don’t believe that what they’re saying is fixed, absolute and unalterable. I don’t believe in predestination or that the future is somehow already determined. This means that I use the Tarot in a very flexible manner, seeking to stimulate my intuition and open me to seeing possible paths in the future. I also tend to cherry pick the results, discarding readings that don’t seem to answer the question that I am asking. Erroneous or incorrect readings are also discarded, since I never believe the results to be infallible, so only correct readings have any real value. Statistically speaking, because I ignore and discard readings that don’t make sense or are shown to be false, I can’t really make any claims of being more accurate than chance.

There is also the issue of the reader perceiving cues, whether consciously or unconsciously, from the person that they are performing a reading on. Card players call these cues “tells”, since they can tell a perceptive card player whether their opponent has a good hand or a bad one. A client based reading also can be limited by the obvious range of mundane concerns, which is typically involving money, career, love life, health concerns and the opinions that others have of them.  While some may deny that cues do shape a reading, as an experienced Tarot reader, I have to admit that I am powerfully influenced by the personality, looks and the questions that a client presents. I have never met anyone who managed to portray themselves as a complete cipher.

Tarot readings are subject to interpretation, which can varying the meaning from reading to reading, so the derived meanings of the cards are “bent” to build a coherent reading. It certainly isn’t a science, in fact it would seem to be more an art form. Often the Tarot is used to derive meaning from the present that can aid the reader in projecting those possibilities into the future. When I perform a reading, I am not looking for an absolute and concrete definitive answer, I am looking for possible paths of action to take instead. Also, the further that I look into the future, the more I find the results to be nebulous and variable. Perhaps this represents that the future is determined by many chains of choices, and the further that one goes, the more potential pathways are revealed.

For instance, if we are looking at the possible outcome of a strategic decision to be made by a client in the very near future, there might be several possible outcomes. Yet how many more branches would there be in that same probable time line if one were to project it a few years or even a decade later? It’s my opinion that we could predict the behavior and future of someone consistently only if they were in a static and completely isolated environment, yet even then it would be nearly impossible to predict the exact date and time of their death. Such a person or situation doesn’t exist in the real world anyway, so divination is quite limited when attempting to predict the labyrinthine pathways of an entire lifetime. There are just too many decisions that would have to be guessed or known in order to predict the future with any degree of accuracy.

Long distant predictions and prophecies tend to be nebulous, imprecise, overly generalized or couched in symbolic language that can generate many interpretations. These same “long-shot” predictions are often shown to be accurate only after the fact. The nature of divination and its limitations would also seem to agree with and reinforce Newton’s law of causality. It would seem to be impossible to accurately and consistently predict an effect before the cause, but that doesn’t mean that divination is useless or that it can’t produce powerful and meaningful results. It just means that the future is not something that we can know completely, only something that we can conjecture, intuit, project and at times seem to know, but only in a fragmentary manner. What really happens in the future must remain a mystery, since all of the causes that would determine it have not yet been realized. When they are realized, then we are talking about the present or the past.

The experience of time centered phenomena in magick, where the effect appears to precede the cause and where one experiences time in a slower or accelerated manner are all things that are perceived by humans engaged in a subjective perception of reality. It doesn’t mean that the physical laws of the universe have been altered, it’s just a matter of how we are perceiving the world. For the practicing ritual magician, that perception is highly important, since it represents the impact and effects of higher states of consciousness, paranormal activity and even the occurrence of seemingly miraculous phenomena. However, from a scientific point of view, nothing that a magician experiences is beyond the probability of the physical laws of the universe.

Mental perceptions of the world and its evaluation represent a kind of powerful reality as well, one that shapes cultures and generates values and meaning. These kinds of phenomena can’t be measured in a scientific lab or consistently reproduced, but they are quite real, significant and meaningful to those who experience them. While science can determine the boundaries of the possible, it can’t measure human sentiment or place boundaries on the imagination. It can measure and quantify the physical world both on the macro and microscopic levels, but it can’t measure the qualitative world of individual or collective human experience.

So magick and science exist in two separate domains where neither one can contradict the other, but where they meet is where human perception and sentiment lives and thrives. 

Frater Barrabbas

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Good Part of the Dark Side of Magick

I have been gently pilloried for my statements regarding hard core Satanism, saying that often followers of the left hand path end up being darkly transformed by their negative preoccupations. Of course this is really an extreme example and my target has been hard core Satanists and others who blithely use the trappings of “evil” and “darkness” to shroud their obvious lack of ability and competence. I used Anton LaVey as a prime example, but of course, there are always other sides and many variations to this argument. LaVey is a poster child for what is wrong with hard core Satanism, but what of the other variations and gradations that make up the Left Hand Path? The world isn’t black and white, and since I have said that I don’t believe in the moral values of an absolute good and evil, then am I not guilty of being something of a hypocrite to make pronouncements against followers of other paths? Have I thrown out the proverbial “baby and the bath water” as some have stated?

First let me say that what I have discussed in my previous articles have been the extreme cases and the potential for harming oneself. Will it dissuade hard core followers of this path to change their ways? Absolutely not! It may dissuade the beginner from considering such a path and that is my objective. However, there are followers of the Left Hand Path who are reputable, intelligent, brilliant and masterly in what they do. I refer to members of the Temple of Set, chaos magicians, Luciferians, Typhonians, adherents of the Dragon Rouge order, goetic magicians who espouse diabolic paganism or Afro occultism, and a host of others. All of these individuals may or may not be classified as Left Hand Path followers, but they are individuals who seek the dark side of magick for their own spiritual and magickal fulfillment. I understand, appreciate and applaud this preoccupation, since it isn’t that different from my own. However, such individuals stand in stark contrast to the classical “in-your-face” Satanist. I have valid misgivings about individuals who take upon themselves the cloak of superstition, fears and paranoia of their Christian neighbors in order to empower themselves, and I would warn beginners to seek some other path than that of the classic Satanist. However, it was never my intention to lump all of these various groups and individuals into one faction, but that seems to be how my previous article was interpreted.

A point has been made by the blog writer “Von Faustus” in his article about this very issue that those who seek the darkness in occultism and magick are following an antinomian process of contrast and engagement, or as Faustus puts it “engagement with the beliefs of the status quo, even if it is the process of rejection.” Of course, for those who have never heard of antinomianism, it’s a theological term that literally means “unlawful” or the belief that the achievement of salvation does not require the careful following of laws of a religiously defined morality. Another term for this practice would be “unorthodox.” Gnostics were accused of being “antinomian”, and so were other sects of Christianity by their more orthodox peers. Christianity was born out of Judaism through antinomianism. Perhaps an easier way to think of this term is that a person may either obey the tenets of their religion or break rules in order to discover new vistas and different perspectives. I believe that anyone who is a practicing occultist could be said to be practicing a form of antinomianism, especially those who espouse a form of neopaganism.

In my previous article on the left hand path I discussed how morality is, in my opinion, bankrupt and that the practicing ritual magician must forge his or her own ethics and personal guidelines. These can be shared but there are no absolute spiritual laws or rules, so one can’t dictate magickal and spiritual ethics to another without being either misguided or a hypocrite. The term “unlawful” can be taken many ways, from the breaking of social taboos, religious laws of orthodoxy or even civil laws. Anyone who lights up a joint of marijuana, has a few drinks and then drives, travels over the speed limit, crashes a gate at a concert, cheats on their income taxes, or does any number of minor and possibly annoying social or illegal acts is acting in an antinomian manner. However, where I draw the line is in the perpetrating of serious civil crimes. I may find unethical conduct to be antisocial and problematic, but serious crimes are the concern of all members of a society. The definitions of serious crimes may vary from society to society as well. I would be judged quite harshly for my religious beliefs and magickal practices if I happened to live in Iran or Saudi Arabia.

This brings us back to the discussion of the Left Hand Path. If I don’t accept the moral dogma and superstition of monotheistic religious groups and institutions, then I am, defacto, functioning in an antinomian manner in regards to my occult beliefs and magickal practices. It doesn’t matter if I distinguish myself in some manner from followers of the so-called Left Hand Path, we are all in the same group as far as orthodox authorities are concerned. In a word, all of us are considered automatically culpable and liable to sanctions and religious persecution if ever our society suddenly becomes ruled by a Christian theocracy instead of a secular non-religious representational democracy. We are all vulnerable, and also, despite our many divergences and differences, we are kindred spirits. If one of us gets persecuted, then we all stand the possibility of persecution.

In my opinion, one of the ways that some individuals could inflame a social pogrom against all pagans and magicians is to practice a kind of “in-your-face” Satanism, to engage in political fascism, anarchy, racism, and to inspire fear, loathing and hatred in those who choose to be members of the conservative religious orthodoxy. Playing on other people’s fears and superstitions is not only dangerous for the individuals doing it, but it’s dangerous for the rest of us as well. Thankfully, most people are discreet about their magickal and occult practices, but the few who inspire public hate and terrorism are a problem for all of us. A case in point is the incidence of church burnings and murder in Norway during the early 1990's, instigated by the lyrics and music of rock bands of a genre called “Black Metal.” Thankfully, the movement was isolated to a given locality and lasted for a short duration, but a larger scale occurrence in the U.S. would have severe repercussions for anyone practicing magick or neopaganism.

This was the point that I was trying to make when I said in my previous article: “However, to engage in an adversary relationship with your native culture is to also inadvertently mine the rich strata of xenophobia, alienation, hatred and self-loathing.” Also: “So it’s for this reason that I believe that followers of the left hand path, particularly those who espouse forms of Satanism, are ultimately twisted, warped, alienated and forced to either change (and conform) or become society’s great losers.” I do believe that I have a valid point in making these pronouncements, but I am referring to the extreme case as a kind of warning to all of us who practice magick. It does not mean that I am condemning anyone who engages in the practice of “dark” magick or diabolic pagan practices. There is a place for all of us at the table of neopagan occult religions, and I respect all who faithfully practice their alternative religions and magick in peace and good will. This is particularly true because I consider myself neither a follower of the left hand or the right hand path, being a denizen of that shadowy grey area that is more a practical reality than an alliance to some path or persuasion. I aspire in my magickal workings to integrate the HGA or Bornless One into my own self, and thus elevate myself to the level of a godhead, however thinly or briefly. This is certainly a lefthand path perspective. However, I also give veneration, offerings and worship to my ancestors and my gods, thus making me a follower of the right hand path.

What exactly is that dark magick that is being practiced by many, including members of the left hand path? I would classify it as a form of chthonic spirituality. Many of the deities honored and worshiped in these systems represent forces and spirits from the underworld. This would include goetic demons and other dark mythic beings, as well as deities such as Typhon, Apophis, Set, Anubis, Hades, Persephone, Pluto, Lilith, Samael, Teitan, Lucifer, Baphomet, Baron Samedi, Papa Legba or Eleggua, the Ghede - the list is endless. As diverse as this group is, what they have in common is that they represent the forces of death, darkness, the unknown and the unresolvable mysteries in human existence. They are a counter force to the light, the rule of law and reason, representing that human nature is clearly directed by impulses from both the light and the darkness. Those who engage in dark magick are only seeking to redress the imbalance in our culture that is so focused on the light, and to dispel superstition, the fear of the darkness and the unknown. Such practices are as integral to the art of magick, neopagan religion and occultism as are any exoteric praxis or faith. I would label these systems of belief and practices as highly beneficial, representing the positive or good part of the dark side of magick.

So to allay the concerns and assuage the feelings of others on spiritual paths that are different than mine and who may have interpreted my words as insulting, I offer this clarification. I have in no way condemned any of the traditions of the so-called left hand path. I have a great deal of respect for individuals who follow paths differently than mine but who none-the-less have made magick their spiritual discipline and practice. Such individuals are my brothers and sisters and I do not judge or criticize their paths.

However, I feel the need to give a warning to all of us that we are a distinct minority in the U.S., and unlike Europe, we don’t have a culture that is only lukewarm towards its established orthodox religions. In America, politics and religion freely mix, creating a potentially toxic and lethal combination. In the U.S., individuals and groups have been persecuted for their religious beliefs and practices at various times, particularly if the power elite feel themselves threatened by ideas, beliefs and practices that are not only different from their own but are being promoted in a highly aggressive manner. What happened to the Mormons in the early and middle 19th century has been repeated with other groups, so we must take these sobering thoughts into consideration and use discretion and common sense when operating in society.

Frater Barrabbas

Monday, December 14, 2009

Abramelin Lunar Ordeal - Fourth Weekend - Attribute of Fire

I have completed the fourth weekend working for the Abramelin Lunar Ordeal, which is the final series of working for the first phase. All eight of the super-archangels are now fully invoked, and I am ready to begin the next phase. Since the New Moon occurs Wednesday, December 16, there will be no further activity until after the Winter Solstice, when the Moon passes the crescent lunation type heading into the first quarter. There is a minor action that I must perform on the eve of the solstice, which is the charging of the magick ring, to be used as a material link to the Bornless One. I have also completed the rendering of twenty-two magick squares from the Book of Abramelin onto parchment, to be charged in the final working. I may add others in the future if needed, but these twenty-two seemed to be the most usable of the lot. I also discovered that the latest version of the book has errors in the definition of the magick squares, since I had to fix several of them to make them consistent and usable. That was a bit of blow discovering inaccuracies in that version of the book, since I am wondering what other typos and mistakes are published in it.

This weekend I performed the invocations on Friday and Saturday, which helped to accommodate the schedule of my lady and partner, Grace. She’s having to finish up her schooling and needs Sunday to study for finals. So I made all of the preparations that were necessary for an early resumption of the work. Grace and I celebrated the Last Quarter of the Moon on Tuesday night with a meditation, fire and discussions about the second phase of the ordeal. I have arranged to have those days off from work, and I will be sequestered during that time, which means no media connections whatsoever. That will be odd, since my email and web access is kind of like a permanent appendage for me. Work was not as trying and difficult as the last weekend, but there were still tasks that I had to do on the weekend again, although they were not difficult or taxing.

A friend of mine suggested that the difficulty that I had the previous week may have had to do with the fact that I was transitioning from the Element of Air to Water, and that had it been the other way around the problems would have been less severe. I believe that he is definitely on to some profound insight, but I am not sure if that was the cause of the difficulties, since the spirits said that I was being tested. This was the middle of the first phase of the ordeal, and such activities are usually more difficult at that point than the beginning or the end. I will certainly take this into consideration when I examine and analyze the performance of the ordeal - a change may be done to the sequence of elements. 

I managed to perform some kind of evening devotion every night, starting with Monday, using my temple time to focus on my personal Godhead and seek to obtain a sense of union and one-ness with it. Something is working, because I am experiencing an answering resonance when I perform this kind of devotion. I am also aware of the seed or pearl that Metatron planted within my soul, and I can feel it kind of stirring and communicating with me, appearing in my dreams sometime as a giant seed, or a huge pine cone, a black pearl, a golden Easter egg, or some other similar guise. There is definitely something there and it appears to be gaining power from my daily devotions. The meditations are also very quiet and subdued, though, as if in anticipation of some more profound occurrence. I found the quiescence of activity not at all soothing, it seemed more ominous and portending of what was to come. As it turned out, there was something building to a crescendo for the final two invocations of this part of the ordeal.

December 11 - Invocation of Seraphiel, Seraph of the elemental tetrad of Fire. Approximate start was around a few minutes before 8:15 PM, locking in the planetary hour of Mars. I was able to meditate almost an hour before the working, helping me to focus intensely on it and helping me to disengage from mundane preoccupations.

The mass and benediction were said, with Grace’s assistance, which turned out a lot better due to the changes that we have both made.  However, a few more changes are needed, but the Mass of the Goddess is getting ever closer to the state of perfection that we are both desiring.

I performed the invocation of Seraphiel and felt a tremendous force build up as I proceeded through it. Once I had completed the full invocation, the power emanating from the angelic entity was so intense and tangible that it literally knocked me flat on my back for a few minutes. I recovered, sat up and took the sigil of Ratziel into my hand and began to say that I had the authority of that angel to perform this working, but my words seemed to be drowned out by a roaring sound of flames and fire. I was hearing these sounds, but they didn’t seem to disturb Grace, so I must assume that I alone heard them, or interpreted them as the rushing sounds of flames. It would seem that the invocation was proceeding apace, whether I had Ratziel’s sigil or not - it didn’t matter one whit.

It was then that I saw the vision of Seraphiel, and I was astonished at the clarity and magnitude of that vision. There in my inner sight I beheld a great towering pillar of flame, as if in the distance, although it’s heat and the sulphurous smell of burning came to me as if in a dream. Then I remembered an old vision dream that I had when I was seventeen, a time when I was just starting out on my magickal journey. It was uncannily similar to what I was beholding now. I had even made a colored drawing of this vision and still had it somewhere amongst my copious files.  Could that be? I don’t recall that the column of fire I saw in my vision years ago had any kind of name associated with it, or if it was even a spirit. You can be the judge, as I am including that drawing in the beginning of this article.

Then I heard the voice of Seraphiel call to me, a voice that sounded like rushing air or steam, and the voice said: “Frater Barrabbas Tiresius, we have indeed met before a long time ago in your perceptions, but only moments ago for me. Although which came first is unknown to me, for time is indeed strange and disjointed where I stand.” I then saw a crystal clear vision of everything that had been happening to me around the time that I first had the vision and made the drawing. It was a time of newness, adventure, extreme sexual awakening and the desire to master life and to find a fitting path for myself. Little did I know what would befall me during that short period of time, which I now know as distant memories of a long and lost time. Magick during those days was new and every occurrence was deemed great, majestic, hair raising and profound. I was transported momentarily back to that time and was able to see and sense what I knew then, although superimposed upon my memories and the wisdom of being able to judge myself as a middle-aged adult. What a strange sensation I had with all of this, almost as if it were possible to talk to a version of myself that was 17 years old, nearly 37 years in the past. Then it was 1972, today it is 2009 - and I remembered that I had that vision and made that drawing probably in the same month as I am doing this invocation. I felt strange and weird by the convolutions of different times and the oddities of fate that had so impressed me back then.

When this peculiar phenomenon had passed, I was to witness and experience a new and even stranger phenomenon. I felt a great rush of power emanating from the pillar of flame, surrounding me and then entering into me. It circulated the pearl of wisdom planted in my soul and seemed to super-charge it, so it glowed brilliantly like a tiny star. I heard a voice say to me sounding like rushing air, “So I have quickened this seed planted in you by Metatron. So it shall grow and expand until it reveals its mysteries to you - soon. Take care to continue to nurture it with good deeds, compassionate intentions and devotions of the love of the Godhead. All will be revealed to you soon enough by my counter part, the Cherub of Fire.” Then, I felt a great paroxysm of ecstasy and rising passion emanate from the seed, and the sensation grew to such a great extent, that I thought it would cause me to pass out again. But it passed, leaving behind a sense of warmth, glowing love and devotion. I felt deeply touched by this entity, to the core of my being. I heard the final words said to me - “the seed now contains the poems and songs of God intoxication, and my wisdom. You will find all of this at your service once you gain access to the revealed pearl of wisdom within you.”

Then the emanation of Seraphiel faded away and the vision grew dim until it was gone. But the sensations still continued for a while, and I was amazed by what I had seen and experienced.

The next day was another work day for me, even though it was Saturday. I was busy in the morning with work related issues from morning to early afternoon, but nothing was difficult or unexpected, and all was completed without any difficulty. I seemed buoyed by the experience of the previous evening, and everything felt like a blessed event, sweetened by some spiritual light that was yet unseen.

The evening meditation session was long and needful, however, I noticed that I was getting strong impressions of sensing the future, especially the future of this very ordeal. I was hearing my journal entries and blog articles in my head as if I were writing them and had already passed through the entire ordeal. I felt elated at my apparent success, and how this was going to be perceived by other occultists and magicians. Then I came to and realized that I had quite a bit of work yet ahead of me. No sense in celebrating something that would very likely challenge me to the core of my being. I also became aware of how harsh and difficult the final three days are going to be. I saw myself engaging in sessions of weeping alternating with sessions of ecstatic bliss - it was all very disturbing, as if the very boundaries of time had become momentary loose. It passed, and I was able to focus on doing the working, but the experience really haunted me as I attempted to shake it off.

December 12 - Invocation of Rikbiel, Cherub of the elemental tetrad of Fire. Approximate start was around 7:15 PM, which locked in the planetary hour of Venus. I felt that the very martial spirit of Rikbiel would be moderated by that planetary influence, so that is why I chose it. I was hoping that the harshness of Rikbiel would be so mitigated. As it turned out, no mitigation was necessary.

Grace and I performed the mass (but not the benediction), and it was probably the smoothest and the most powerful iteration so far. I felt very pleased and happy at my performance, and things seemed to mesh between Grace and I really well. Everything seemed to going really well, and that mood carried me through the invocation.

The invocation was performed without any mishap, but I almost made a mistake in the execution, and quickly corrected my action. I guess I was getting a little too carried away by my upbeat mood, and then strived to insure that the rest of the rite was performed in a proper manner. The invocation came to climax, and felt a great rush of power emanate from a presence that I could not see. That presence felt stern and very martial, there was no warmth or kindness in it at all. Then I saw orange and golden lights appear before me and take the form of a blurry outline of a human like entity with shining golden eyes, like two brilliant stars. Due to the malevolent nature of what I felt, I held up the sigil of Ratziel and said that I had the authority of this angel to summon him, and then I began, unwittingly, to admit my faults, flaws and how unworthy I was to even attempt this ritual. These admissions came unbidden from me, and I found myself almost groveling on the floor of the temple.

Then I heard Rikbiel’s voice, a kind of tense whisper, say to me, “All your admissions and abasement are unnecessary, for I have already judged you as worthy of this ordeal. For the truth is that you would have been stopped by one of my seven colleagues if you had failed to prove your worth and the rightness of your intention. There are no delusions in your soul, since you know your failings all too well. You are as other mortals are, and therein is nothing to be ashamed of. Rise up and face me.” And so I did as I was asked. I then had more vague and ghost like impressions of the near future, and I felt strange, as if time had multiplied itself and everything was happening at the same time. Rikbiel said, “These are the ghosts of the future that will be happening soon. They represent the fact that I have appeared to you even before the invocation, due to weight of having successfully invoked the previous seven of these great angelic spirits. I bless you on this chosen path of the ordeal, and I shall aid you in your quest. It will be another new path opened up for others, for that is what you must do once this ordeal is accomplished. Beware, though, for I must warn you that having passed me, you are locked into this ordeal and cannot turn aside. It must be accomplished, there is no turning back, for madness and self destruction shall overtake you if you would deem to quit at this time.” He told me that what I must do is to intensify my devotions at this time and increase the love and devotion that I feel for my Godhead, and seek ever more ardently for spiritual union.

He also said this to me as parting words of wisdom, “If you believe that performing this ordeal is the conclusion of your work, then you are greatly mistaken. It is but a humble beginning of a life long aspiration that will continually test and challenge you. Most notably, you will take upon yourself a great yoke of spiritual and temporal responsibilities that will require you to teach and guide others. You must continue to give alms to the poor and support to your local spiritual institutions, and volunteer yourself to your community. You may not be isolated or aloof, but fully engaged with your community. You will be shown a mission, and you must fulfill it as part of your spiritual true will. Such is way of enlightenment - there is no rest or time to accept the accolades of others, which in themselves, are meaningless. Vanity, delusion, jealousy, envy, spite, pride and arrogance - these petty emotions will be no more, since that part of you must die soon. Prepare for it. To be a servant of the people is the lot of one who is deemed a high adept by others - but you shall never know the fruits of your labors.”

The emanations of Rikbiel departed, I gave it great thanks for appearing, and felt a relief that the final invocation had now been completed. I was completely exhausted now, but the memory of his words were etched in my mind, and they did not cheer me or give me any pleasure.

Frater Barrabbas

Friday, December 11, 2009

Thoughts About the Hymn to the Pearl

Since my last Super-archangel working the previous weekend, I have been thinking about the seed or pearl that has been planted into my soul by Metatron. I remember the famous Gnostic tract that I particularly loved called the Hymn to the Pearl. I retrieved it and started to read it, and was amazed at how relevant it was to my currently situation. I decided to reprint it here for all to read.

The Hymn to the Pearl is a poem found in the apocryphal Acts of Thomas. The pearl symbolizes wisdom, which must be extracted from the darkness of life in order to be truly realized and celebrated. The quest for the pearl is the quest for enlightenment, and the seeker is of course, one who seeks for a complete revelation - wisdom that is activated. That the seeker gets seduced by the commonness of mundane existence and falls asleep represents the fact that all seekers are asleep and weighted down with the cares of life. The letter symbolizes a revelation, a kind of gnostic transmission of illumination, that leads the seeker to complete the quest for the pearl.

Perhaps, I have unwittingly been given the quest of the pearl myself, and must find the means to retrieve it and awaken it to its full potential. It certainly resonates with me as an important mythic element added to my Abramelin Lunar Ordeal. So for this reason, I have included a version of it here.

Frater Barrabbas

When I was a little child
Living in my kingdom, in my father's house
Happy in the glories and riches
Of my family that nurtured me.
My parents gave me provisions
And sent me forth from our home in the east.
From their treasure house
They made up a bundle for me.
It was big though light
So I might carry it alone,
And it held gold from the house of the highest ones
And silver of Gazzak the great
And rubies of India
And opals from the land Kushan,
And they girded me with Adamant
Which can crush iron.
And they took off my bright robe of glory,
Which they had made for me out of love,
And took away my purple toga,
Which was woven to fit my stature.
They made a covenant with me
And wrote it in my heart so I would not forget:
“When you go down into Egypt
And bring back the one pearl
Which lies in the middle of the sea
And is guarded by the snorting serpent,
You will again put on your robe of glory
And your toga over it,
And with your brother, our next in rank,
You will be heir in our kingdom”.
I left the east and went down
With my two royal envoys,
Since the way was dangerous and harsh
And I was very young to walk alone.
I crossed the borders of Maishan,
The gathering place of merchants of the east,
And came into the land of Babel
And entered the walls of Sarbug.
I went down into Egypt
And my companions left me.
I went straight to the serpent
And settled in close by his inn,
Waiting for him to sleep
So I could take my pearl from him.

Since I was all alone
I was a stranger to others in the inn,
Yet I saw one of my own people there,
A nobleman from the east,
Young, handsome, lovable,
A son of kings -- an anointed one,
And he came and was close to me.
And I made him my confidante
With whom I shared my mission.
I warned him against the Egyptians
And of contact with the unclean ones.
Then I put on a robe like theirs
Lest they suspect me as an outsider
Who had come to steal the pearl;
Lest they arouse the serpent against me.
But somehow they learned
I was not their countryman,
And they dealt with me cunningly
And gave me their food to eat.
I forgot that I was a son of kings,
And served their king.
I forgot the pearl
For which my parents had sent me.
Through the heaviness of their food
I fell into a deep sleep.
But when all these things happened
My parents knew and grieved for me.
It was proclaimed in our kingdom
That all should come to our gate.
And the kings and princes of Parthia
And all the nobles of the east
Wove a plan on my behalf
So that I would not be left in Egypt.
And they wrote me a letter
And every noble signed it with his name.
“From your father, the king of kings,
And you mother, the mistress of the east,
And from your brother, our next in rank,
To you, our son in Egypt, greetings:
Awake and rise from your sleep
And hear the words of our letter!
Remember that you are a son of kings
And see the slavery of your life.
Remember the pearl
For which you went into Egypt!
Remember your robe of glory
And your splendid mantle
Which you may wear
When your name is named in the book of life,
Is read in the book of heroes,
When you and your brother inherit
Our kingdom.”
And serving as messenger
The letter was a letter
Sealed by the king with his right hand

Against the evil ones, the children of Babel
And the savage demons of Sarbug.
It rose up in the form of an eagle,
The king of all winged fowl;
It flew and alighted beside me,
And became speech.
And its voice and the sound of its rustling
I awoke and rose from my sleep.
I took it, kissed it,
Broke its seal and read.
And the words written on my heart
Were in the letter for me to read.
I remembered that I was a son of kings
And my free soul longed for its own kind.
I remembered the pearl
For which I was sent down into Egypt,
And I began to enchant
The terrible and snorting serpent.
I charmed him into sleep
By naming the name of my father over him,
And the name of the next in rank,
And of my mother, the queen of the east.
I seized the pearl
And turned to carry it to my father.
Their filthy and impure garment
I stripped off, leaving it in the fields,
And directed my way
Into the light of our homeland, the east.
On my way the letter that awakened me
Was lying on the road.
And as it had awakened me with its voice
So it guided me with its light;
It was written on Chinese silk,
And shone before me in its own form.
Its voice soothed my fear
And its love urged me on.
I hurried past Sarbug,
And Babel on the left,
And came to Maishan,
The haven of merchants,
Perched next to the sea.
My robe of glory which I had taken off
And the toga over it
Were sent by my parents
From the heights of Hyrcania.
They were in the hands of treasurers
To whom they were committed
Because of their faith,
And I had forgotten the robe's splendor
For as a child I had left it
In my father's house.
And as I gazed on it
Suddenly the garment seemed a mirror
Of myself. I saw it in my whole self,
And in it I saw myself apart,
For we were two entities
Yet one form.
The treasurers brought me one robe:

They were two of the same shape
With one kingly seal.
They gave me wealth,
And the bright embroidered robe
Was colored with gold and beryls,
With rubies and opals,
And sardonyxes of many colors
Were fastened to it in its high home.
All its seams were fastened
With stones of adamant;
And the image of the king of kings
Was embroidered upon it,
And it glowed with sapphires
Of many colors.
I saw it quiver all over
With movements of gnosis,
And as it prepared to speak
It moved toward me,
Murmuring the sound of its songs
As it descended:
“I am the one who acted for him
For whom I was brought up in my father's house.
I saw myself growing in stature
According to his labors.”
With regal movements
It was spreading toward me,
Urging me to take it,
And love urged me
To receive it.
And I stretched forth and received it
And put on the beauty of its colors.
 I cast my toga of brilliant colors
All around me.
Therein I clothed myself and ascended
To the gate of salutation and adoration,
I bowed my head and adored
The majesty of my father who sent it to me.
I had fulfilled what he promised,
And at the gate of princes
I mingled with his nobles.
He rejoiced in me and received me
And I was with him in his kingdom,
And all his servants praised him
With resounded voices.
He promised me that I would journey quickly
With him in his kingdom,
And all his servants praised him
With resounding voices.
He promised me that I would journey quickly
With him to the gate of the king of kings,
And with my gifts and my pearl
I would appear with him before our king.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Thoughts About the Left Hand Path and Dark Workings in Magick

I have decided its time to discuss the topics of negative magick, dark workings, justifiable retribution, personal ethics and integrity and the left hand path, generally. We have skirted around this issue by discussing tangential issues, so I thought that we should tackle it head on.

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” - so says the New Testament of the Bible, in what is called the Golden Rule. It would seem logical and ethical to assume that this rule should be adopted into everyone’s life. Then there is the Wiccan Rede - “Eight words hath the Wiccan Rede, An it harm none, do what thou wilt.” If the world were a perfect place and people acted in a proper and ethical manner, then these two sayings would be indispensable and part of the expected behavior for all. They are, instead, guidelines or suggested ideals for model behavior. I won’t go into discussing the Christian maxim that one should turn the other cheek when assaulted rather than strike back, because I am not a Christian and because I don’t believe that it works. Certainly, Mohandas Ghandi and Martin Luther King used techniques of civil disobedience that relied on nonviolence in order to take the moral high ground in civil disputes. This does not apply when dealing with individuals. Unfortunately, we live in a cruel world that doesn’t forgive stupidity and seems to reward the rapacious and the ruthless. Most of us just want to get along and live our lives in relative peace and prosperity, but there’s always someone or a group who makes that difficult.

 I also don’t subscribe to the classification of “white” or “black” magick, since the intention is what motivates the spirits, power or the mind, depending on the theory of magick employed. Magick is, therefore, neutral - the intention is what can be judged as either good or evil. I don’t even like using those terms since they are couched in morality, which is determined by one’s religious beliefs. Since I am pagan and a witch, my definition of good and evil will not be quite the same as how a Christian, Jew or Muslim would define them. In fact, to many people, any magickal working is illicit and unsanctioned, meaning that it is likely to be considered “evil.” If we throw away the terms white and black magick and good and evil, what do we have left to guide us in the labyrinth of right and wrong actions? The answer to that question is that we have our ethics, which is a body of rules and boundaries that we use to guide and judge our interactions with others.

I could easily write a book on ethics, and the truth is that they are, by nature, fluid, changeable, context sensitive, practical and used in a case by case manner. That means that no rule is absolute and that all boundaries are voluntary. These rules are established by necessity and built up by experience, usually from making mistakes and acting in an unethical manner. Most of these rules are based on common sense and many of them are backed up by actual civil laws and social responsibilities. Everyone has a collection of rules that they abide by and many know the rules that govern a modern society. However, when it comes to working magick, a new set of rules must be determined, since there is little in society that can guide one in these practices. These rules have to be developed by the individual practitioner, so it’s really a waste of time for me to attempt to list them here like a collection magickal Ten Commandments. However, I can discuss a few common sense rules that I try to use when working magick.

I basically live by the ethic that one should live and let live - in other words, don’t try to fix every problem or right every wrong. There’s just too many of them even in an ideal existence. Instead, carefully and strategically choose your battles and then play to win. If someone is minding their own business and peacefully following the direction of their life, who am I to either interfere or get involved, unless of course that person is breaking civil laws or interfering with my personal business. If one avoids getting involved when someone is committing a crime, then it becomes a matter of aiding and abetting, for which one can get in almost as much trouble as the one who is the primary perpetrator. There is such a thing as civil responsibility, however poorly that is perceived in the present time.

So with that being said, I think that most will agree that my ethics aren’t much different than the average person’s. Where I might draw a softer boundary is that I try not to judge people or situations unless I have all of the facts. If someone has lots of tattoos and dresses and affects an attitude like a “hood”, I will reserve judgment on them until they actually do something offensive. After all, I may look just as strange, weird or disagreeable to them. Being a witch and a pagan has made me sensitive about judging people too quickly, since it’s been done to me all too many times.

All of this is pretty much logical and sensible and many would agree with it. Where I part company with many is on the subject of magick. You see, I don’t believe in turning the other cheek when someone aggressively goes after me or seeks to do me harm. Same goes for my loved ones, family and friends. I will use whatever means I have to protect myself, my family and loved ones. In such a mode I could even be defined as being absolutely ruthless, and I will use magick and whatever other means I have to protect myself, my associates and my interests. So that means I won’t turn the other cheek when someone seeks to smite me. I also have a number of magickal rites and tools at my disposal if such a thing is required. There are negative spirits, negative planetary aspects, negative intentions to imprint magickal energy and harmful psychological ploys that can be used, if they are warranted. Because these things can be used for good as well as ill, they can’t be labeled “black magick.”

However, I have found that a dispassionate examination of the situation before deciding on a plan of action is required. I also believe that whatever I do, I must be fully justified, not only to myself, but to the Deities that I serve as well as to my friends and family. Doing something that my close associates would disagree with or greatly frown upon, not to mention going against the expectations of my spiritual alignment with the Godhead, would be quite foolish, perhaps even self destructive. Possessing over three decades of magickal knowledge forces me to be cautious and to use a dispassionate and objective perspective if I were to use magick to harm others in order to protect myself, since I could probably do a lot a damage. The right degree of force and the correct mechanism requires some pretty sober thinking and certainly can’t be adequately done while angry. For this reason I can count on one hand the number of times that I have used harmful magick to protect myself.

I know some folks who delight in using negative spell work to settle petty scores and to get revenge for minor infractions. I find that behavior unethical and really unnecessary. Often, the most severe thing that I might do is cut myself completely off from someone who is using me or habitually lying to me about his or her motives. Sometimes doing nothing but letting someone else's stupidity, greed and avarice work against them is the right action.  We also need to know when to use the legal system to redress injustices and pursue civil litigation. But the only way to properly judge this kind of situation is to do so when not angry or emotionally compromised. 

Then there is the topic of diabolism. This topic involves one’s spiritual alignment, which is another way of asking what aspects of the Deity does one personally relate to? Some magickal practitioners don’t have any spiritual alignment, but many do. It’s often joked about that one man’s god is another man’s devil. Yet because I don’t believe in good and evil, it would be illogical for me to consider someone who is worshiping a different deity than me as either categorically wrong or evil. In other words, if someone is worshiping Satan, I wouldn’t consider that person to be essentially evil. This is because there is no entity named Satan in my spiritual pantheon and because paganism tends to embrace all gods from all religions as valid. I also don’t personify the light and darkness as good and evil; they are both an equal part of the natural world. To me light is knowledge, revelation and manifestation - darkness is the mystery, place of transformation and hidden (occult) knowledge. But some folks personify light as good and darkness as evil, and they take sides, as if it were some kind of sport.

However, Christians, who do believe in a spiritual hierarchy that places Satan as an evil adversary of God, would consider a worshiper of Satan to be evil. Satan is an entity that has a prominent place in the Christian spiritual hierarchy and anyone who claims to worship him is taking on all of that cultural and spiritual baggage whether they realize it or not.  The same is true of demons and other spirits who are aligned in an adversarial role with the Christian God. Judaism and Islam have the same spiritual perspective as Christianity when considering spiritual adversaries, they just don’t give them as much power and importance. In Islam, Satan is a caricature, a buffoon, since he apes the prophets and mankind, but has no wisdom or understanding of God - he is a deceiver and the lord of lies. In Judaism, Satan is actually Samael, the chosen adversarial advocate of the Lord. Demons are considered by Jews to be unredeemed spirits who must submit to the power and authority of God.

What this means is that if someone wants to worship Satan or any other dark godhead that has a negative role and reputation in another religion’s spiritual pantheon, then they will have to deal with all of the cultural prejudices associated with that godhead. I believe that taking on an adversarial role is exactly what might motivate someone to worship the devil. It would certainly have a shock value and an impact on other people’s opinions and expectations, especially in the U.S., which seems to be forever embroiled in sectarian differences and prejudices. Some have written a great deal about how adopting a diabolical spiritual path and alignment is completely legitimate and just another perspective amongst many. Perhaps they are correct, but their Christian neighbors will neither agree nor respect their choices in how they worship.

A secular society is supposed to allow everyone the freedom to worship as they see fit, but that still doesn’t stop people from being prejudiced against those who are either different or selectively contrary. To be a proponent of the left hand path is to take on the whole social system and all of its collective spiritual values. Some may glorify in this avocation, others may find it a way to empower themselves, to build a reputation of being dark and basically negative - as opposed to nice and wholesome (the cultural norms). However, to engage in an adversary relationship with your native culture is to also inadvertently mine the rich strata of xenophobia, alienation, hatred and self-loathing. Being always against what everyone else is for takes a certain kind of mind-set, and it has its costs. A lifetime of dealing with massive amounts of cognitive dissonance will eventually defeat someone, since there is little chance of turning the world’s opinion around to one’s personal spiritual beliefs.

So it’s for this reason that I believe that followers of the left hand path, particularly those who espouse forms of Satanism, are ultimately twisted, warped, alienated and forced to either change (and conform) or become society’s great losers. Anton LaVey, the head of the Church of Satan, did not die a rich and powerful man, mourned by a nation of followers. He died in obscurity and poverty, much to the chagrin of his few remaining followers and contrary to his legend. It’s interesting to note that he had avowed in his writings fascist pronouncements of being in alignment with the power elite. That kind of cozy relationship with powerful men was more the kind that a fundamentalist Christian preacher might have than the head of the Church of Satan. So followers of the left hand path are much more likely to be on the outside of the corridors of power, if they happen to make their beliefs public. As a friend of mine put it, “Just how much real power do LHP magickians get? What happens to them in the end? Do they stay devoted to the infernal powers or do they move on? If they move on, how is their mental state - are they capable of functioning within society?” These are brilliant questions, yet they are ones that I can’t answer, I can only ponder them.

Then there is the issue of whether or not one should magickally deal with obviously negatively aligned spirits, such as devils and demons. I have been criticized as being too alarmist about current trends in the dealing with goetic demons. I myself have performed evocations of these entities and have found a constructive use for them. I also know other magicians who have used them in a balanced and constructive manner, while others would never have anything to do with them. Obviously, I believe that making use of these entities is not quite the same as forming a bond with them, something that I would never do.

I make a distinction between those entities that I treat as part of my personal and religious godhead and those entities that are not a part of that godhead. As I have pointed out previously, all spiritual entities, whether aligned or nonaligned, merge to form a union of all spiritual being. Godheads are different than spirits, though, where the one is worshiped and the other is summoned or commanded and constrained. There is a big difference between them, and from a personal perspective I would never confuse the two. So for this reason, I would find myself in agreement with the Renaissance magus: to give worship to God and to command the spirits from a position of superior power and authority. Even if the entity that I am dealing with is in an exalted position, such as one of the super-archangels (Seraphim or Cherubim), I will still empower myself to command that entity into appearance. I will also seek to control the magickal operation from beginning to end. I won’t give up my personal invested authority or power nor surrender myself or my will except to the Deity. I see the Holy Guardian Angel as a personal representation of the Deity, a microcosmic reflection of myself, or the God/dess Within, so I may also surrender to that entity. What this means is that I will not give offerings, worship or devotion except to the Deity. I may honor other spirits, such as ancestors, demi-gods, heros and heroines, but I will only give devotion and worship to the Deity.

That being said, I also believe that others who may do something different, such as worship Satan, devils or demons had better define their spiritual hierarchy in such a manner so that these entities are actually gods, or there will be some serious problems to deal with. They should also conduct themselves in such a fashion that they retain control over what they are doing when working magick or things will go terribly awry. What our culture believes and accepts as true creates powerful trends, thought forms and even defines what’s good and evil, whether we like it or not. As a witch and pagan I have had to deal with this issue for many years, but I at least am witnessing some changes in the culture and the beginning of acceptance. Those who espouse a diabolical magickal system are not so lucky and have to deal with the consequences of taking on the entire cultural religious system and ultimately not succumbing to its forces. I wish them luck, but the odds are definitely against them.

Frater Barrabbas

Monday, December 7, 2009

Abramelin Lunar Ordeal - Third Weekend - Attribute of Water

I have completed the third weekend working of the Abramlin Lunar Ordeal, and I found this week to be the most difficult and challenging so far. I am amazed at the extent of potential interfering factors that I encountered. Where the previous week I had to contend with a cold and use whatever means to heal myself as much as possible before the working, this last week I had to contend with minor disasters erupting in my mundane life, including and especially my job and its associated responsibilities. I can see the wisdom of not working for the entire duration of the more arduous section of the traditional Abramelin ordeal, but on a practical level I can’t afford to follow that path. I have too many worldly responsibilities and I need to continue to support myself and my household. However, by chance and perseverance on my part, I managed to resolve everything and accomplish my magickal objectives as well. However, in the midst of these workings, it almost made me wonder if I was going to have to choose between completing either the magickal or mundane job objectives - luckily I was able to complete both thoroughly and completely, much to my surprise and satisfaction.

The week began quietly enough. I was so exhausted by the previous weekend’s working that I took Sunday off to get some much needed work completed. I also retired early that night to prepare me for the week. As requested by the Cherub, I switched from performing 30 minute meditation sessions first thing in the morning and before I went to bed in the evening, to a longer meditation and devotion session in the evening. I used a devotion session that included prayers to my personal godhead, silently reciting a prayer saying that there is no barrier between my Deity and myself except the illusionary one that I have created in my mind - that I ardently seek and want union with my godhead. When I recite this prayer, I can feel a moment of powerful passion well up in my deeper being and then pass away. I am unable to sustain it for long, but then that seems kind of normal to me so far. With practice, I may be able to sustain it for longer periods of time. The week progressed without too much difficulty until nearly the end of work week, I was notified that my job would require some important diligence during Friday night and very early Saturday morning, so I decided to perform the workings on Saturday and Sunday instead of Friday and Saturday. This didn’t present much of a problem and gave me time to prepare for the working. I knew about this by Wednesday, so it wasn’t a complicated change.

However, the work related task was jeopardized by a catastrophic failure, which required me to work most of the weekend to fix it. My other job account also required an unusual bit of maintenance, so I ended up spending nearly two eight hour days over the weekend doing this work, not to mention dealing with the stress. I also pulled a muscle in my back and was not particularly happy about these circumstances, since I had fully expected to have a quiet weekend as far as work is concerned. Luckily I do have the benefit of working from home, so I didn’t have to throw in any time for commuting. Despite these complications, I was resolved to perform these invocations, since delaying them was out of the question if I intended to complete this ordeal. I was certainly being tested by uncontrollable events, that was obvious.

As a result of my work related issues, I was not able to perform any devotions on Friday before the working, although I did manage to get all of the preparations completed. I worked up to a point in time that was perhaps a couple of hours before the working, and somehow managed to find a bit of time to eat and take care of my needs. My partner, Grace, helped greatly in this effort, even though she was intensely involved in her own ordeal of completing her semester at school.

December 5 - Invocation of Metatron, Seraphim of the elemental tetrad of Water. Approximate start was around 8:10 pm, during the planetary hour of Mercury, which was locked into the working.  I had been anticipating this invocation all week because Metatron is a very famous and well known angel, being both one of the Seraphim and the chief of the Archangels of the Tree of Life. There are many legends about him, but he is also known for being mysterious and quite unfathomable. There are even legends of him being previously human, perhaps even the later manifestation of the undying patriarch, Enoch. Since I had acquitted my mundane tasks in a satisfactory manner, I felt fully prepared, eager and ready for this invocation, but I could not have been prepared for what I was about to experience, so unusual and unique was the manifestation of that entity.

Invocation of Metatron and its associated rites was performed without any problems or issues, in fact with a certain degree of ease. My lady, Grace, assisted me with the mass and the benediction, and I performed the circle consecration and the invocation rite myself. As the invocation was being performed I noticed that there was a great deal of power and energy being generated as the rite progressed - more than I had previously experienced. My body was vibrating with the nervous energy, and it increased to a climax when the invocation was completed and the spirit of the seraphim began to manifest. I held up the sigil of Ratziel, but that didn’t even seem to matter - what was occurring happened with or without any kind of assistance. I saw a great shower of sparks and points of light form before me and a powerful presence emerged from it in cascading fountains of light that dazzled my eyes.

Then this body of light that was hovering above me descended and seemed to envelope me. I almost lost consciousness - the light was a beautiful flame blue. From the midst of this form a shaft of brilliant and dazzling light shot forth and passed into me, seemingly to penetrate my very being. I saw within myself and there had been planted in me a small round object the size of a pearl that was vibrating with energy and emitting light in pulses. I heard a voice say to me, “This is my gift to you, Oh sojourner of the spiritual paths of super-celestial magick. It is the seed of spiritual love and greatest wisdom. Care for it, nurture it with love and your passion for God, believe in it as the link between you and your goal. If you do this, then the seed will open and unveil its glory unto your soul. If you fail, then it shall become a dead thing, which shall embitter and curse your very quest to its source. You must choose your path wisely and carefully so that the gift is a great boon to you instead of a barrier.”

So I realized that I had been impregnated with a “seed” of wisdom, and that realization amazed me, since I have never experienced anything like that before. I didn’t feel violated or intruded upon, because in a way, I had asked for this boon, whether I realized it or not. The seed is nestled in my soul, silvery white on the outside, but lavender and rose colored on inside. It waits for me to achieve the right degree of passion and angst for it to be released, like a trigger. Meanwhile, I have a precious thing within me that I must protect, care and build. One could also conceive of it as a kind of ticking bomb or a poison pill if I am not careful and diligent. If all goes well, then this seed will open at the right time and release its splendor and power as a god-intoxicating passion and spiritually induced ecstasy. I must find the key and know how to deploy it between now and when I perform the Bornless One invocation rite - a mere twenty-five days away.

Metatron’s gift has many sides or facets, like a fragile egg I will need to nurture it, keep it “warm” with devotions and an ever increasing and accelerating passion for spiritual union with my personal godhead. If I fail, then the planted seed will die, and it will cause me all sorts of troubles and difficulties. To let such a precious gift be wasted would be a sign of extreme bad faith, probably one that I won’t be able to overcome in this lifetime. This seed can open the domain of the causal levels of consciousness and facilitate union between my bornless higher spiritual self and my lower conscious self. My actions are the determining factor, so I must maintain a high level of personal integrity and make certain that nothing deters me from my spiritual goal. Thus the wager of my quest has been greatly magnified, as I stand to gain everything or lose it in single seven week ordeal. Needless to say, I am quite amazed about all of this, it’s not at all what I expected. Other than tell me that brief communication, Metatron had nothing further to say, indicating that I would have the basis of his wisdom if the “seed” bloomed within my soul. He also said other information would be forthcoming from the Cherub of Water, so I looked forward to understanding the nature of what has occurred to me from him. I have been given a rare gift (the likes of which I have never heard of before), but it is also a test and a riddle to be solved.

I felt giddy, full of energy, but also greatly exhausted. I felt drunk, but I was sober. My mind had problems focusing and it was buzzing with all sorts of disconnected thoughts. I couldn’t think clearly and I communicated in an impulsive and disjointed sort of way (more so than usual). I attempted to retire but had problems falling asleep. I had all sorts of vivid dreams, but they were all mixed up and confusing. After I awoke the next day, I was tired, as if I hadn’t really slept very deep or got the rest that I needed. I wondered if I would have the energy to even perform the next working.

The next day found me performing tasks for my mundane job again instead of thinking about what had happened to me the night before. I managed to complete everything that I was working on. There were no major problems that I was not able to quickly solve. Once again, I managed to get everything completed just a couple of hours before the working was to begin. A long meditation with devotions helped to get my mind focused on the magickal work.

December 6 - Invocation of Kerubiel, Cherubim of the elemental attribute of Water. Approximate start was at around 8 pm, locking in the planetary hour of Jupiter. Despite my fatigue and the stress of work related tasks, I managed to find a new store of energy within me. Grace and I split up the ritual work in the same manner as the previous night, except we didn’t need to perform the benediction rite. (The environment was already greatly empowered by the previous night’s working.) The mass was probably the best attempt that I have made to date with the revised Mass of the Great Goddess, since I was doing some ad-lib on sections that needed revising but hadn't yet been revised. Once these changes are put in, the ritual should be closer to its final form.

The invocation proceeded smoothly and I could feel the build up of power, which seemed to be at a magnitude greater than anything I had experienced previously. When the invocation completed, there was silence and stillness. I showed the sigil of Ratziel, but nothing changed in any dramatic way. Instead I heard distant chords of some kind of celestial music. The stillness was the gentle presence of Kerubiel, which soothed and poured a healing balm unto me, such was the beauty and wondrous love emanating from this being. He appeared to me like a warm embrace or a fragrant summer’s night, warm, friendly and inviting. I felt calm, blissful and very much at ease. I was amazed at this manifestation, for I certainly expected to be harshly judged and found woefully inadequate. Instead I found a powerful presence that emanated peace, compassion and healing vitality. I felt refreshed and the stress of the weekend banished as if it hadn’t ever existed. What a truly marvelous thing!

Then I heard Kerubiel speak in a gentle whisper, saying the following things.

“You have bravely passed these tests, although more will be forthcoming. Each step in this ordeal will be more difficult than the previous one, so prepare yourself for this battle, for it shall be a mighty undertaking if you succeed. Know that I am the gate keeper of the Heart of God and I will guard this great treasure from all who are not worthy. I have judged your heart and your integrity. Although you are far from perfect or even an ideal level of perfection, you have consistently loved God from the beginning of your path. You have called the Godhead by the name of the “Goddess,” but it is one of the many manifestations that I have served as an emissary of the One. You have maintained that connection and have given devotions to your godhead all through the years - from your youth until now without any lapse. I have also weighed your ethics and measured your integrity. I have found them consistent and over-all good, but not perfect. So therefore, as the Gate Keeper, I open for you the gateway and act as your guide in this ordeal, which shall last for the rest of your life. Know also that to those I have deemed unworthy I appear in a terrible and deadly guise, to frighten them away, and if they persist, to unsoul them. Since your heart is good, then to you I appear gentle and compassionate.”

“I reveal this wisdom to you - a great seed has been planted in you, and only the greatest passion and love of God will cause it to open and reveal its secrets. When giving devotions to your godhead, remember the poetry of Rumi, Hafiz and Kabir - and other poetry of the love to God, such as the Psalms. Sing praises to God, whom you love and adore, and the seed will reveal to you its inner most secrets and greatest glory.”

“Also, you will need to incorporate some additional elements from the Book of Abramelin into your ordeal. Examine the last three days of that traditional ordeal, such as the fasting, prayers, vigils, anointing and atonement (ashes upon the head) - these you will need to work into what you already have completed. Choose four days before drawing the eight angels together and dedicate each to the one of the four Elements. For each day you shall summon, meditate and commune with the Seraph and the Cherub of that Element for an hour or more, so that whatever knowledge, wisdom and power they might have shall be given to you to accomplish this great ordeal. Do this fully before you dare to merge them together into the spirit of the Godhead Element that you shall summon. Continue from this night forward to give your devotions, remembering to call upon any of the Seraph or Cherub that you might need, to inspire or guide you. For having passed by me, you are given these keys to aid in the completion of your ordeal.”

The invocation of Keburiel was completed then, and even though I felt glad of the outcome, I was greatly exhausted. I was surprised at being so readily accepted by the Cherub, but I knew that I had not wavered in my faith all of these years, and perhaps this was my reward for being such a creature of habit and so fixated on my magick and my pagan faith. It all turned out to have a purpose, so I felt quite happy. Then I remembered the seed planted in my soul, realizing that the work had really only just begun, and any degree complacency on my part was deadly to me.

Frater Barrabbas