A A Publication in Class D
By Frater 493
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
What we present here is an adaptation of the spiritual methods employed by the Orthodox Christian mystics. The writings of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, specifically, teach a religious devotion similar to the bhakti-yoga of the Eastern Path, and were considered by Τὸ Μεγα Θηρίον perfect examples of that method. We have adapted the exercises to suit the religious Thelemite in his or her aspiration to the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. This document may serve as a useful supplement to the work of the Zelator.
It is assumed that the Zelator, having passed the grade of Neophyte, is equipped with at least a preliminary knowledge of the nature and powers of his or her own being. The exercises detailed here will assist the Zelator in analyzing these contents and severing those impressions, qualities, and ideas that do not directly or indirectly relate to the unified purpose of the Great Work, as defined by the original Oath of a Probationer, which gained one the Knowledge and Conversation of the AA. Furthermore, as the extrapolation of the original oath, the Aspirant’s work is greatly assisted by the taking of a mental inventory. This means that one should examine the personality traits, the nature and character of the psyche, and discover how this affects the interaction with the world in the context of our unique perspective. This is the interaction with the manifestations of Nuit, unto Whom all our rituals should be devoted. We can look at this as a means of perfecting our interaction with the outside world, enabling the greatest joy and ecstasy. The more perfect our interaction, i.e. Union, with the world around us, the more complete and fulfilling our Initiation, and this is done on behalf of the Universe Herself, Our Lady Nuit.
Nuit commands mankind to invoke Her, that is, to fulfill their utmost Selfhood, under Her stars, that is, by the study of all other Points of View beside one’s own. — The Djeridensis Working
The correcting of imbalanced character traits increases the efficiency of our union with the particular aspect of the universe in which we find ourselves. The practice of “being here, now” in each experience is a preparation for the more focused concentration that will be required of us in our inner work. It is part of our training, as well as the (partial) fulfillment of our raison d’être.
For a more thorough appreciation for the utility of this document, one should consult the Oath of a Zelator, primarily, but also the book Magick in Theory and Practice specifically concerning the Sword, the Oath, and the Magickal Link.
As much as Aleister Crowley (and most modern Thelemites) eschewed Christianity, there is a spiritual method running parallel with our own tradition that should become apparent once, one at least temporarily, suspends their prejudice and attempts to see not through the fractal prism of the human mind, but through the solar consciousness, the first rays of which act to foment the zeal in the cells of the new Zelator. We readily admit the ardor of the adept Christian Mystics, even if their religion has become a detriment to the soul of the world, and, what is more, we begin to see the simplicity of the AA and Their method of communion with God, removed, as it were, from the false dichotomies and moral quagmires of self-hating and self-denying ascetics.
I did not set out at the start to write a paper on the similarities between the religious path of Thelema and the religious path of Orthodox Christianity, but such a paper can, and should, be written. It will suffice for the sake of this present work, to outline but a few of these similarities, if only to quell the sure sound of protest coming from a certain majority of my readers. In an Orthodox Christian treatise called The Path to Salvation by St. Theophan the Recluse, the author writes about the crossroads approached by the aspiring Christian. These are, in the AA, the Ordeals, encountered at every Grade in Our system, and these Ordeals are indeed as crossroads. Here is a quote from the introduction to the treatise just mentioned:
Whoever enters on the true path of pleasing God will inevitably be threatened by the danger of losing his way at the crossroads, of going astray and perishing, imagining himself saved. These crossroads are unavoidable because of the sinful inclinations and disorder of one’s faculties which are capable of presenting things in a false light — to deceive and destroy a man. To this is joined the flattery of satan [sic], who is reluctant to be separated from his victims and pursues him and sets every manner of net in order to catch him again — and quite often he indeed catches him.
Consequently it is necessary for someone who already has the desire to walk on the indicated path to the Lord to be shown in addition all the deviations that are possible on this path, so that the traveler may be warned in advance about this, may see the dangers that are to be encountered, and may know how to avoid them.
These general considerations which are unavoidable to all on the path of salvation render indispensable certain guiding rules: how to attain to the desire for communion with God and the zeal to remain in it, and how to reach God without misfortune amidst all the crossroads that may be met on this path at every step.
The Christian is tempted by Satan at the crossroads and may be led astray to perish. Choronzon, who may trick the aspirant into believing that the Great Work has been accomplished, similarly attempts to lead astray the new Zelator. It is by his zeal alone that the Zelator will remain on the path to the fulfillment of God’s (his/her own) Will. What is so fundamentally distasteful about the Christian way is the insistence on the ultimately wretched, sinful, and despicable nature of humankind. Thelemites are diametrically opposed to this, and especially, we primarily consider our Lord to be an externalization of our own idealized divine Self, the Augoeides. (Although, Crowley, in his later years, insisted that the Holy Guardian Angel was more than a mere abstraction of one’s self, but rather an objective being from a higher plane; a microcosm all its own.) I do not claim to have the experience to answer to this, but it is apparent that Thelema differs from Christianity on this technical aspect: No two Holy Guardian Angels are the same. Each human, theoretically, may at some point commune with unique individuals of a higher order than themselves. Christ, on the other hand, seems to be regarded as a universal embodiment of the God of Abraham, though we surmise that the solution to this question would be revealed upon the Knowledge and Conversation and is not a prerequisite to that attainment.
We can also see the necessity of the lineal structure of the AA, and the reason why it is vital to have an Instructor in matters of spiritual attainment. The Superior is not there to carry us, bassinet and bonnet, through the Ordeals, but to provide aspirants with a certain preparation so that they may successfully pass each Ordeal on their own merit. This cannot be conveyed by a written text; it is a special symbiosis, similar to the manner by which the zeal is aroused within, by uniting elements of the personality. Consider Liber LXI vel Causae:
Though none can communicate either the knowledge or the power to achieve this, which we may call the Great Work, it is yet possible for initiates to guide others. Every man must overcome his own obstacles, expose his own illusions. Yet others may assist him to do both, and they may enable him altogether to avoid many of the false paths, leading no whither, which tempt the weary feet of the uninitiated pilgrim.
There is a moment that is sharply marked in the course of Our Work when we truly begin to live in accordance with our Aspiration. In this moment there begins certain characteristics of this way of life. It is as if a certain veil has been lifted, and our commitment to our own individual work and to the work of the Order as a whole becomes the basis for our existence. It is a special strength, reinforced by the Aspiration to fulfill our holy Will and to remain in communion with our God. The testimony to this life is the active zeal and devotion demonstrated toward the Order and is evidenced by the quickened pace of one’s initiatory work. This is the mark of a Zelator.
The only commandment that we as Thelemites recognize, is Do what thou wilt. This is the foundation of our attainment, and our spirit of zeal is our only power. The zeal is an initiatory fire that consumes the soul of the Aspirant, and once received, embraces and fills the whole being. It is the fire of the spirit and it penetrates us entirely. It is the fervor of spirit, and the result is a certain quickness and liveliness of spirit.
Even as evil kisses corrupt the blood, so do my words devour the spirit of man. I breathe, and there is infinite dis-ease in the spirit. As an acid eats into steel, as a cancer that utterly corrupts the body; so am I unto the spirit of man. I shall not rest until I have dissolved it all — Liber LXV I; 14-17
There is a profound enthusiasm, fervor, and diligence toward sacrificing (making sacred) all in one’s life to the Great Work, and a dispatching of everything that is opposed to the Aspiration. Without the zeal, there may still be good work done, but it will be good only in form, not in spirit. This is of the Obeah and the Wanga. Note well that the AA is not a religious order; rather it teaches the method of realizing one’s own religion. As we uncover our own unique truth and divinity, we formulate for ourselves a religious doctrine and religious customs. We become fully human when we arrive at this state of self-awareness and independence of mind, when we become the complete master and commander of our own ideas and deeds and hold certain ideas not because other have given them to us, but because we ourselves find them to be true. As stated, the Zelator in particular begins to manifest this, and it is for this reason that the Zelator is invited into the Order of Thelema, as is also encouraged to erect a Gnostic church.
We may here proceed to remark on further similarities of method between the work of the AA and the Christian mysticism practiced by Saint Ignatius and Saint Theophan. These monks endorsed the spiritual efficacy of baptism, believing that thereby, God plants the seed of spirituality in the heart. The baptism was used as well in the Eleusinian Mysteries, signifying a spiritual birth wherein the astral soul is united with the divine spirit. The Baptism marks the beginning of the soul’s journey to the spiritual abodes. This may have a certain relation to the work of the Neophyte, who suffers the Sorrow of the Great Mother, who is Binah, the Great Sea. Aleister Crowley suggests that it is precisely the realization of this sorrow of living that brings one to undertake the Great Work.
Both sets of symbols indicate an immersion in water as the forerunner to a spiritual life. The important difference, and one that will forever tarnish what could have been a wonderful mystery tradition, is the a priori idea in Christianity of Original Sin and the Evil inherent in all living things. It is for this very reason that Christianity has become so perverse- the insistence upon the vileness of the natural man and woman, looking upon the human race as an abscess and sore, staining the sanctity of God, and condemning His only Son to a tortuous death by our iniquities. If we can disregard this waste, we may discover the beauty of their method.
Furthermore, the seed is the Hebrew Yod, the Virgin of the zodiac. The Virgin is none other than the soul of the Aspirant, which is inseminated by the Word of God, the Logos, and Chokmah. This thought of divine inspiration, encouraging one to undertake the Great Work, issues forth from the Silence, and takes root in the mind and if the soul of the budding initiate is attentive, the invisible energy concealed within this Thought penetrates the Body, Soul, and Spirit and begins to arouse the spiritual zeal.
This spiritual seed, what the Christian monks called Divine Grace is the impetus to take up the work upon one’s self and is reflected by the taking of the Oath of a Probationer. It is an urge upon which one must hasten to act. It is this awakening, writes Saint Theophan, which gives you the power to conquer yourself. Thus does the Probationer to the AA work towards the scientific knowledge of their nature and powers and begin to turn their attention inward, to study their own habits of thought, emotion, and action that act as obstacles to their progress in the Work.
This zeal is especially cultivated by the taking of the holy sacraments, which, other than the baptism, consists of the Holy Communion. This nourishes the seed of spiritual life. The Eucharist is a mystery supremely important to the work of the Christian Mystic and to the Zelator of the AA. After the spiritual awakening, or baptism, one should immediately take the sacrament of Communion, for it essentially binds the Aspiration to your spirit, though it may remain hidden and inactive until your body and soul are sufficiently purified and prepared for the holy Union. For more information, consult the work Liber Pisces Mortuum vel MMMMCDXLIV.
Theophan indeed makes a well thought out remark that should one not rush to the call of this grace, it may never call again. This echoes the teaching of the AA that, “once only does the Great Order knock at any one door.” To discourage the Initiate, and thus weed out those who are unfit for this Work, is the understanding that the forces of blindness and ignorance (the markers of one’s former state) rise even fiercer once one has taken even the first steps upon the Path. Saint Theophan writes:
As soon as he begins to arise in earnest and tenses his muscles a little, all the pains in his body which up until then had been at rest now let him know how they feel and raise their objection.
After the awakening and the subsequent Oath to begin perfecting one’s life, and by the ability to sustain this self-inquiry satisfactorily for one year, the Probationer may then take the Oath of a Neophyte. The spiritual experience corresponding to these beginning stages is the Vision of the Holy Guardian Angel. This is generated by the astral work of the Neophyte, who as Saint Theophan writes, as though awakening from a dream, sees a completely new world, hitherto unknown to him. The AA and the Orthodox Christian methods are again, strikingly similar. Both instructions express the importance, at this stage in one’s spiritual development, of entering the spiritual world, immersing yourself in the paradigm, and becoming adept at astral travel. Another parallel is the initiation rites of the AA, called Pyramidos and Cadaveris. The Christians teach an intense program of visualization and study whereby the newly awakened can firmly establish themselves in the paradigm of the Temple and, further, identification with Death. We also find the intense study and reliance upon our impending death in the shamanic literature of Carlos Castaneda, which again shows the essential unity of initiatic traditions.
By daily, and nearly hourly, study and visualization, the aspirant will come to stand unceasingly in this other world. The AA employs the practices of Liber HHH to this very end. These practices sustain the enthusiasm conjured in the early stages of Initiation, and in both traditions, these important developments of the soul are held in very high regard. We cannot overstate the importance of the above-mentioned documents.
As the Neophyte will discover, the physical body is in a constant state activity, and it is essential from the very beginning to establish proper boundaries for our animal nature, reinforcing them through strength of habit so that later, there will be less disturbance from our appetites. But remember, Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. None of these boundaries are necessary or expected of the Aspirant, but as the Master Therion has written, the Law of Thelema is the apotheosis of freedom, but also the strictest possible bond. To discover our true will, we must be willing to discipline ourselves and hold in check our indulgences.
Discipline and even dare I say a little bit of asceticism is not anti-Thelemic, unless we are subjecting ourselves to these things against our will or without understanding and assessing the need for them ourselves, and choosing on our own behalf, those things that are necessary to our development. The desires must be checked, we must be master of them before they enslave us. The insatiable thirst for new impressions must not lead us away from our chosen Work, and even we must exercise tact and caution allowing others into our inner sanctuary, properly vetting the spiritual integrity of any potential companion, for whoso is privileged with our innermost feelings gains a certain degree of authority over us.
It may be useful, at least in the beginning, to subject the Nephesh to a degree discipline. We should honestly assess the following areas: the senses, the tongue, movement, eating, sleeping, sexual function, and tactile impressions. Additionally, it may be beneficial to discover for ourselves the degree of moderation in food, drink, sex, and all other natural, healthy indulgences, necessary to the efficiency of our Work. For example, if we train our animal nature to take only a certain amount of food only at a certain time, we can be sure that it will not disturb us outside the specified time. Furthermore, in regards to the movements of the physical body, if we give ourselves over to every impulse, it will be much more difficult to control the body once we finally begin an earnest attempt. Conversely, we would also benefit from a routine of physical exertion, similar to the methods of Karma Yoga.
The nerves are the center of sensuality in the body and are capable of receiving impressions from our environment. It is advantageous to train the body to endure every kind of outward influence, including for instance exertion, pain, temperature, abstinence from food and water, etc. Compare Liber E vel Exercitiorum. The soul of such a one is the full master of the body, it does not postpone, or change, or leave off actions fearing bodily unpleasantness.
Go thou unto the outermost places and subdue all things. Subdue thy fear and thy disgust. Then — yield! — LXV I; 45-46
Also consider the holy Book of the Law, I; 22:
Bind nothing! Let there be no difference made among you between any one thing & any other thing; for thereby there cometh hurt.
By pleasant impressions, the body is pampered, and by unpleasant ones, it is strengthened. As Saint Theophan writes, “in the former condition one is afraid of everything, but in the latter condition it is ready for anything and is capable of continuing patiently what it has begun.” It is worthwhile to note the similarity in method, as the Christian must first begin work upon the Body, after the inspiration to take up the Great Work, just as the Initiate following the Otz Chaim first begins work in Malkuth. The examination of the physical appetites and habits that factor into the Ordeals of the Vampire and the Nephesh, challenge the bonds of matter.
One must, however, keep firmly in mind- no pun intended- that these impressions and bodily sensations are produced within the mind. Phenomena itself is the change in consciousness resulting from the ecstatic union of our individual matrix of energy we call Self and the universal matrix of energy we call Not Self.
Saint Theophan suggested that, after the baptism, the aspiring mystics surround themselves with icons and sacred images, and this, in the AA, is commenced in the grade of Neophyte, as the aspirant is required to make a study of the Egyptian god-forms.
The other images group around me to support me: let all be worshipped, for they shall cluster to exalt me. — AL III; 22
The imagined object is preserved in memory and comprises, so to speak, the contents of the soul (consult the work Thelemic Priming). It is of further support to surround one’s self with spiritual nourishment for the senses, such as incense, icons, holy oil, paintings, candles, etc. Therefore, as a method of sprouting the divine seed within- cultivating the zeal- Zelators are encouraged to continue the practice, setting up their own creations and sacred images throughout their temples and homes and, as the Zelators in our Order begin to study the Formula of the Rose Cross, they are encouraged to draw, paint, or carve the Rose Cross, detailed in proportion to their own wit and will.
Saint Theophan delineates the next step in the Christian Initiation as removing the “sinful coverings” of cares and scattered thoughts. We may find a correlation here with the work of the Zelator in Yesod, particularly the Ordeal of Choronzon. The work in this area, according to the Christian mystic, consists of pushing aside, even temporarily, all wasted interests, and concerns. With too much of our energy spent in concern for every trifle, we are left with very little with which to begin work on our selves. Yet, even after halting our outward attention to the worries of the world, we still have a whirlwind of thought without focus. It is the Demon Choronzon that repeatedly tempts us to take up once again any number of interests that may seem worthwhile, but are in reality merely distractions from our Work. Saint Theophan likens this to a myriad of scattered rays of light that one must collect into a jar and turn back upon one’s self. This is very indicative of the Veil of Qesheth and the weapon that the Zelator must learn to wield to cut through the impressions and ward off the demon attempting to carry us off in so many different directions.
The next task of the Initiate, Christian or Thelemite, is to focus the attention on one’s inner self, and is a further expansion on the work of the Outer College of the AA. Through the likelihood that we have built up a web of thought and emotion surrounding our true self, it is necessary to cut through these thin yet intricate prejudices. We have not sacrificed any sincere time or effort looking within, and have let our emotions carry us from one thing to the next, without any reflection. This speaks to the work in the sephira of Hod and the grade of Practicus. The intellect must guide the emotions and ruthlessly analyze any feeling or sentiment. Our focus must be guided by reason; otherwise, we bring disorder to our understanding.
The summary, then, is to first have the awakening experience that calls one to the Work of self-perfection. Next, turn your attention inward, as a Probationer, and discover the nature and powers of your own being. This involves getting in touch with the habits of thought, feeling, and action that are obstacles to the Work. We begin to direct and control these habits and remove the obstacles to our Work as a Neophyte, establishing perfectly elastic rules for ourselves in Yama and Niyama. The Zelator, then, begins to cut away these hindrances of thought, word, and deed. Truly, we are armed with nothing but our Aspiration to give ourselves over to the Beloved and the strength of our Will to do so.
We can now begin to see the perfect fluidity of the method, and how each successive grade of initiation is an evolution of the previous. Saint Theophan, as well as the instructions of the AA, invokes the power of severe and unhypocritical judgment against the various thought processes that keep us in blindness and ignorance of our true nature. We can and should only judge ourselves, not in comparison to others. It is after much arduousness that the Initiate can pass to the other grades of Our Holy Order, and after the perfect equilibrium established by the Outer College, we may proceed to invoke our God. Is it not written:
But these thy prophets; they must cry aloud and scourge themselves; they must cross trackless wastes and unfathomed oceans; to await Thee is the end, not the beginning — Liber LXV II; 32
Three Powers of the Soul
One developed, the zeal of the Aspiration must be maintained, purified, and sustained. The Orthodox monks postulated three Powers of the Soul, which serve this very purpose. In The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, it is assumed that the reader is familiar with what the Christian mystics call the Three Powers of the Soul. Nowhere in the Saint’s treatise does he explain the nature of these three powers, or their use. They may have a correlation with the three souls of Qabalistic anatomy. The Nephesh is the animal soul contained in the blood, and on this plane, we are no different from other beasts of the earth. This soul is manifest in our deeds and resides in the lowest spheres of the Otz Chaim. The Ruach is the second soul, meaning “wind” and is centered in Tiphareth. It is the soul that manifests in our morality; it is the battlefield between good and evil, it is our Word. In addition, it is the link between the soul of the body and the spiritual source, the Neschamah. This third soul is the highest and closest to God, having its influence on the thoughts of man. Its throne is the Supernal Triad. It is Thought, wholly apart and distinct from mere ratiocination. The Communion is, in essence, the infusing of the Soul (Ruach) with the Spirit of God (Neschamah).
The Chaldean doctrine also considered the human being to be composed of three distinct souls. The first soul, corresponding to the Neschamah, the Chaldeans called the Intelligible soul. Second in the Chaldean system is Intellect or Rational soul, which in the qabalistic scheme just described is the Ruach. Lastly, and identifiable with the qabalistic Nephesh, is the Irrational or Passionate soul of the Chaldeans. Many religious traditions throughout the history of the world have discovered the tripartite nature of the soul.
Saint Theophan, as well, considers these powers to be the Mind, the Will, and the Senses. These have their correlative in Alchemical symbolism. Aleister Crowley further associates these principals with specific altar tools. The Dagger keeps watch over the Senses, the Scourge rules the Will, and the Chain is the master of the Mind. These three elements work in harmony to maintain a spiritual balance, providing the means for infinite accomplishment.
The first power of the soul is the intellectual power of the mind. It is controlled by the magickal Chain, which is alchemical Salt. Salt represents the fixity and is the ability to fix the mind on our chosen tasks. This chain binds wandering thoughts and restricts the attention. The intellectual faculty of the mind is inherently out of control, but it is concentrated by the binding qualities of this chain. The Chain ties down the mind to the chosen task, thereby increasing attention and concentrative ability.
Next is the Will, controlled by the Dagger. The dagger, what ancient chemists called Mercury, is a tool that is used to calm over-excitement. Symbolically, the dagger lets blood flow from one’s heart, relieving nervous energy and anxiety; it is that force within the mind that establishes equilibrium of emotions and finds the appropriate outlet for their extreme pressure. It is the will to sacrifice all to the Great Work. Mercury is the fluidity, equanimity and calmness that is essential in our Work. This power is what comes between the appetites and the reason. It is the transition point between the activity of the body and that of the soul. It is the power to discriminate between pleasant and unpleasant impressions. Moreover, it is what the Qabalists describe as the Ruach, the monad of our moral center.
The third power of the soul is what Saint Theophan calls the Senses, or the incensive power. It is applied to the animal soul (the natural desires) and its weapon is the Scourge. A scourge is a means of inflicting punishment and was called Sulphur by the ancient alchemists. Sulfur is the energy of things; the tendency to excitability and activity. Humans have a natural inclination to live according to their instincts and desires and it is the function of the Scourge to uphold the purity of the Aspiration.
Saint Theophan prescribes intense study of Holy Books, prayer and service to the church as the means of exercising these powers and thus fortifying the Aspiration. The Christian Mystic breaks down prayer into three forms. The first aspect of prayer is the bodily prayer, the physical motions and sounds of the prayer itself. This acts to train the body. Next is the mental prayer, which is indicated by an unwavering attention during the ritual of prayer. Finally, the heart chakra opens and the prayer is felt within. A spiritual ecstasy is experienced and at this point, the words of the prayer become unnecessary. The Christian mystics also employ mantra to aid in their devotion to God. Typically using the Jesus Prayer, the aspirant repeats the mantra ceaselessly, while focusing on the heart area, until passing through the stages of spiritual warmth, enlightenment, and finally, ecstasy. The student of the AA is encouraged to find a suitable mantra for themselves and employ it similarly.
Furthermore, a regular program of pentagram and hexagram rituals, solar adorations, a daily Eucharist, as well as a monthly routine of the “sealing ritual,” would greatly assist the Zelator in building up his or her defenses against unwanted psychic energies and will protect against fanaticism, the deceptive evil twin of enthusiasm.
An exercise further encouraged by the Saint, is the gathering of the consciousness into the heart chakra. All the powers of the soul- mind, will, and senses- should gather there through attention, vigilance, and soberness. By these three inner activities, we can calm the humors, or Gunas, and achieve a homeostasis that will aid us in our work. First, we fix our inner eyes on the heart chakra. Then we tense our muscles in the direction of the chest, and reign in the passion of our desires. In this state, the zeal is kindled, fueled, and preserved. From this internally gathered state, one will be in complete control over the powers, and will be aware of the burning spirit, power, and clear vision that is the true mark of zeal.
General Examination of the Mind
St. Ignatius has presupposed three types of thoughts: one that comes from the Will (Tiphareth, the Angel, the Buddhi-manas) and one each from the good and evil spirits. From a Thelemic perspective, we can assume that the good and evil thoughts are relative to our own unique True Will and represent the duality of choice. The third thought is the reconciliation and transcendence of this duality.
Thou knowest the white and thou knowest the black, and thou knowest that these are one.” — Liber LXV I; 22
This process is what Plato calls the Dialectic, and it is particularly fitting here as we must appeal to our Logic to find the truth of the matter at hand, which is specifically, whether certain manners of Action (thoughts, words, or deeds) are in concordance with our spiritual Aspirations. The Dialectic can be separated into three closely related types of activity: arguing both sides of an issue, expounding truth, and exposing error. If we apply these activities to our own thoughts and our own suppositions of fact and truth, we may reach the transcendent state.
Although this paper is not fitted for this particular subject, the transcendence of thought is essentially an alchemical operation. When we are capable of destroying both the good and evil thoughts via their union, we facilitate the birth of a third class of thought, so called, and rather than being instructed- controlled as it were- by a dichotomy of culturally biased choices, we receive an inspiration and intuitive knowledge that transcends morality. However, this is emphatically not a treatise on morality.
Nevertheless, in the context of this practical work, the knowledge of our own moral structure is our Yama and Niyama. These two words we have loosely translated as Control and Assertion. Crowley has provided us with a very easy to understand definition of these terms. Yama, he says in Eight Lectures on Yoga, is the elimination of anything that interferes with our practices. Niyama, on the other hand, are those virtues that are extolled by the Seven Sacred Planets.
St. Ignatius considers the evil thoughts as tempting us to commit a mortal sin. In Thelema, there is but one sin (Restriction) so we must adapt the language to reflect the new understanding afforded us in the new Aeon. In the arduous task that we have set upon ourselves of controlling and concentrating our minds, we must eliminate all impressions that are neutral or detrimental to our Work. This is what we understand of the terms Good and Evil. There is nothing absolute or universal in these terms; they must be fluid and flexible, and we must be willing to alter their definitions as we progress in our work.
There are two ways of gaining spiritual strength from our thoughts. Firstly, when the thought comes to us to commit the action (thought, word, or deed) that we have determined to avoid, and the thought is immediately conquered; and, secondly, when a thought repeatedly arises in our mind and is repeatedly vanquished. A more advanced version of this practice is detailed thoroughly in Liber III vel Jugorum, but is not suited to the work of the Zelator.
One of the primary tasks of the Zelator is the construction of the magickal Knife. It is through this that one learns to immediately cut away any evil thought that arises. An evil thought is any thought we immediately recognize as being counter-productive to the aspiration and the Oath. These we should mercilessly attack as a warrior on a battlefield. The second category of thought includes those that are less easily discerned as evil, and may even present as neutral or good. Attacking these thoughts is more difficult, as we can be easily led into delusion by thoughts that seem, on the surface, to be all right and good, or harmless. The neutral or good thoughts, for this reason, are all the more dangerous. We must not forget that our only enemy is our self. A most practical method, therefore, is to begin with the passion or most prevalent tendency first and go to battle.
This may develop into a supreme practice of Dharana- the holding in the mind of a single focus. By bringing all of our elements to bear upon the One Purpose, we must also reject any “objects” of thought, word, or deed that are not related to that purpose. Just as when concentrating on a single object we must immediately and wholly reject any intruding thoughts, we must do the same when any thought counter to our chosen way intrudes upon us. We may look upon this as a sin against ourselves, because by allowing petty thoughts and desires to occupy our mental space, we are restricting our true natures. We may also look upon these intruding thoughts as tests set upon us by our Angel. There is however, great danger in this, as it is a form of the Oath of the Abyss and may lead to the gravest of consequences.
Our words are a powerful expression of our will. The universe is created and destroyed by the word, and we must be very careful in choosing our words. Any statement we make is essentially an oath. The oath is the commitment to unity in purpose. This purity is essential and the “evil” thoughts written about by St. Ignatius are burned away by the aspiration. Our original Oath is never void; it remains throughout our magickal career as the foundation of subsequent oaths. We therefore must be ware never to contradict our oaths. When we give our word, when we promise or swear by God or by any other thing (it matters not which) and this new oath is not in accord with the original, we create disharmony and bring upon ourselves more trouble as the inertia of our original purpose must overcome the obstacles we place before it. This causes turmoil in our lives as we feel this backlash.
It should be needless to say that idle words are a waste of magickal energy and that one should not speak words contrary to the original oath. By idle words, Saint Ignatius means any speech that serves no good purpose, nor profits neither one’s self nor anyone else. Habitual speech is a disease of our psychology, the examination of which is essential to our development and in our magickal careers. As with our thoughts, what comes out of our mouths must be examined for its merit and its harmony with the True Will. What of our speech with other human beings? St. Ignatius considers it a mortal sin to speak on another’s faults. The Book of the Law specifically tells us that if “one be a king, thou canst not hurt him,” and “as brothers fight ye.” Therefore, battling with others via our words is either meritorious or not depending on its purpose and is not to be avoided simply to spare another’s feelings. One should, however, express tact and prudence speaking publically regarding another. Airing someone else’s dirty laundry is a violation of their Will to privacy.
In the realm of Action, the thoughts and words take their final form. The Will, the Paternal Depth, the original divine impulse of Chokmah fulfills its manifestation. It is here that the karma cannot be avoided, the ideal has become the actual; the Light has concretized in matter. It is an interesting note that the Christian faith considers the manifestation of a soul into the material world a punishment and a shame, but if we are to fulfill our will, we must succeed in manifesting the impulse of that will on the proper plane. It is the expression of the spiritual will in terms of material force. It is the establishment of the magickal link. (Confer with Magick in Theory and Practice, chapter 14.) The Zelator should be familiar with the instructions on the magick Pantacle and the nature of Karma. To clarify this subject we append The Master Therion’s definition of Magick:
1. Magick is the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will.
2. ANY required change may be effected by the application of the proper kind and degree of Force in the proper manner, through the proper medium to the proper object.
3. Every intentional act is a Magickal act.
Thus, we may apprehend that according to the extent to which we can align our inner life to these activities, we enter into ourselves and attain this special degree of concentration. Little by little is revealed the true nature of the goal; we gain the vision of our Lord and thereby arouse the great longing and striving to commune with the Augoeides. As Saint Theophan explains, once this yearning appears, it begins to grow by itself within the structure we have set up and now maintain. All labors, physical and mental, as long as performed with the inner concentration unbroken, propel the aspirant toward the goal with the inertia of the entire universe. To further cultivate this spiritual seed, the Christian mystic recommends the practicing of the presence of God. This is the constant awareness that one’s Lord is near, and it opens the doorway to Heaven. Every act, furthermore, must be done only for the glory of God, and this glory should be as a seal upon all thoughts, words, and deeds. Lastly, embrace everything that comes to you as being God’s will (which is conterminous with your own). An individual, a thing, an incident, joy, or sorrow should be received with joy and eagerness, regardless of its distastefulness. Such an immersion in God is a living, mental Silence. This living, mental Silence has a strange correlation to the fourth power of the Sphinx as well as the fifth limb of ashtanga yoga, Pratyahara. The Christian mystic calls it ἡσυχία, hesychia. It is the process of retiring inward by detaching from the physical senses, in order to achieve an experiential knowledge of God. In Greek mythology, Hesychia is the personification of the spirit of Silence.
Making a Choice of a Way of Life
In every good choice, as far as it depends upon us, the direction of our intention should be simple. We must look only to the end for which we are created, our true Will. Therefore, whatever we choose must have as its purpose to help us to this end. We must not shape or draw the end to suit the means, but the means to suit the ends. Our aim, then, as being the Knowledge and Conversation of our Holy Guardian Angel, must be sought first, and all choices subsequent to our resolve on this point, should serve to bring us closer to that Holy Experience. All choices that we make must be a positive step to this end, and neither indifferent nor negative. However, we must adapt our methods and perfect ourselves even under the weight of immutable choice, should there be such a thing. We cannot be master of all circumstance, but only mold our lives closest to our ideal.
In those circumstances of non-immutable choice, the method of making a wise choice contains a few specific points, according to our advisor on the matter, Saint Ignatius. First, we must place before our mind’s eye the thing on which we wish to make a choice, and it may be anything at all. We must have resolved beforehand what is our aim, the basis for all choice, and this is specifically the Oaths that we have taken. We must also remain indifferent and free from any inordinate attachments so that we are not more inclined or disposed to choose one way or the other. We must rather be as the scales of balance- ready to follow the course we feel is more for the fulfillment of our Oath.
Saint Ignatius says we “must ask God our Lord to deign to move our will and to reveal to our spirit what we should do to best promote His praise and glory in the matter of choice.” This invocation is quite similar to the invocation written by Aleister Crowley to be used before Tarot divinations. We are summoning the higher powers to assist us in our examinations. After examining the matter thoroughly and faithfully with our understanding, we make the choice in conformity with our Lord’s holy Will. As Τὸ Μεγα Θηρίον makes clear in Magick in Theory and Practice (chapter 16), Aspirants will eventually realize that there is, in reality, no difference between God’s will and their own.
We must then use our reason to weight the many advantages and disadvantages of our particular choice. After having thus weighed the matter and carefully examined it from every side, consider which alternative appears more reasonable. We must act upon the stronger judgment of reason and not on any inclination of the senses to come to a decision in the matter. After reaching such a decision, we should turn with great diligence to prayer to our Holy Guardian Angel. It may further assist us in our method of making choices to consider some person that we have never seen or known, and in whom we wish to see complete perfection. Consider what advice and recommendation we would offer to that person. Consider also how we would go about making our present choice if we were at the point of death. This instruction is also present in western shamanic literature (cf Carlos Castaneda).
Note on Spiritual Desolation
Saint Ignatius has established fourteen rules for the discernment of spiritual consolation and desolation. It has been well established in the occult tradition the existence of a state of sorrow that plagues some who aspire to the life of an Initiate. That which Saint Ignatius calls desolation is a darkness and disturbance of the soul, without hope, love, or joy. This is in direct contrast to the inflamed love, zeal, and inner joy that is the mark of a Zelator. To combat the desolate state and to either initiate or reinforce the zeal, should the Zelator find themselves struggling with this state, the Saint advises us not to make a change, but rather to remain steadfast in the routine that one has practiced before the desolate state. By insisting on more meditation, more prayer and continued study, we resist the temptation to accept the sorrowful state as inevitable, thought it may have been the original perception of this ubiquitous sorrow that lead us to the great work. It is also advantageous to consider how it is our Angel that has thus left us with this trial of our natural powers.
Purification of the Nadis
This is a well-known practice among the Hatha Yogis, and involves an elementary course of Pranayama. The Zelator will assume the chosen posture and guide the breath through the left nostril and, after holding it in for as long as possible without having to gasp for air or lose consciousness, will expel the air through the right nostril. Next, air is inhaled through the right nostril, held, and exhaled through the left. This is done without a stopwatch or timer. More details on the subject of Pranayama are dealt with in Liber Occultum Aurum.
Love is the law, love under will.
Spiritual Exercises for the Zelator
Methods of Examination – General
Here we present the general method of Spiritual Exercises to be performed four times per day, immediately after the solar adorations. There are two sets of thirteen exercises, for thirteen is the number of lunar cycles per solar year, and, in Zoroastrianism, the thirteenth day of the year is considered a day which evil’s power might cause difficulties for people. Twenty-six is the gematria value of the Tetragrammaton, and the atomic number of Iron, the metal of Mars.
During the specific Exercises, one is to see with the inner eye, the persons or deities, contemplating and meditating in detail the circumstances surrounding them, and will then draw some spiritual profit from this scene. Similarly, one is to hear what they are saying, or what they might say, and will reflect within oneself to drawn some fruit from what was heard. The same is to be done for the other senses: Taste, Touch, and Smell, as completely as possible.
1. A step or two from the place where you are going to meditate, you will stand for a moment and with your mind raise on high, will consider your utter devotion to the Holy Guardian Angel, and will pray silently to Him in your Heart.
2. After you have finished an Exercise, you will examine for the space of a quarter of an hour, while either sitting or walking, how you have succeeded in the meditations. If you have performed the meditation poorly, you will give praise and glory to Adonai and will seek out the cause and when you have found it, you take the necessary steps to eliminate the source of the error. If you have performed the Exercise well, you will give praise and glory to Adonai and will follow the same method next time.
3. Should one find an abnormal appetite for one or other of their desires, one should practice devotion to the opposite of that appetite. This will assist in our overcoming ourselves, so that sensuality will be obedient to reason and our lower inclinations be subject to higher ones.
4. The Particular Method of Examination (which follows) will be made to remove defects and negligence relating to the Exercises and the additional directions.
(Optional Exercise: After each performance of the solar adorations, but before the mental examination, the aspirant may benefit from the practice called Purification of the Nadis.)
There are seven steps in these Spiritual Exercises, for seven is the number of Love and the number of the sacred planets:
00. Solar Adoration
0. Purification of the Nadis
1. Preliminary Prayer
2. First Prelude
3. Second Prelude
4. Points (Exercise)
00. At the appointed times, the Zelator will perform the ritual as outlined in Liber Resh vel Helios.
0. After the solar adorations and (optionally) the practice called “Purification of the Nadis,” the aspirants will compose themselves in their asana and perform mentally that which follows.
1. Preliminary Prayer: The purpose here is to give a declaration of our magickal Self and give glory to that Angel to which we aspire, and to paraphrase Saint Ignatius, we invoke our Lord’s grace that all our intentions, actions, and works be directed purely to the service and praise of Him. We here declare our identity as the Magician and the Prophet of the Angel to which we aspire. This also includes an element of humility necessary to balance the exaltation and zeal aroused by these exercises. We offer this example:
I invoke Thee, IAO, that I, N., servant unto Thee, known also by the names Ra Hoor Khuit and Hoor Pa Kraat, may approach Thine awesome and divine inspiration. Breathe through me, so that all my thoughts, words, and deeds may become the fount of holiness in this life.
O Adonai, I, N., thy servant, most earnestly invoke Thee, and call upon Thy divine power, wisdom and goodness. I humbly seek Thy favor and assistance to me in all my thoughts, words, and deed; and in the promoting, procuring and mingling of Thy praise, honor, and glory.
Ah, but can the vessel of fear and fragility lift up himself, heave up the hands, and gather the Sun into his bosom? O Adonai, this cannot be, as my imperfection is great. Adonai, all thy good Angels and Creatures excel me by far, for our proportion is not alike and our sense agreeth not.
Nay, but notwithstanding, I am comforted before Thee, mine Holy Guardian Angel. Therefore I will call upon Thy name and in Thee, I will become mighty. Thou shalt light me, and I will become a Seer. I will see all Thy creatures and will magnify Thee amongst them.
Behold, Adonai, thou hast appointed me Thy prophet, and I will lift up mine hands unto Thee. I require nothing but thee, and I live for Thine honor and glory. Yet I hope that I shall be satisfied and shall not die, but become one with Thee. And in that manner, I shall be changed and dwell with Thee forever.
2. The First Prelude: A continuation of (1) and the detailing of our magickal career, the first prelude evokes the karmic chain of events that has brought us to our current position in time and space. The second part is the swearing of the oath, and can include the AA oaths that one has taken magickally. This is similar to the saying of Will before meals, and other Thelemic practices. The Saint instructs us to form a mental image of the place appropriate to the specific nature of our exercise. We shall visualize a white light descending the Tree of Life projected onto our body as we mentally recite the following Oath. At point six, insert the scope of the Great Work as defined by any particular Oath, especially the specific exercise one is working on. Create the magickal link between the specific exercise and the Great Work. We will take as our example a particular Zelator known to us, who made a habit of being late for all of his appointments. We present the following:
[Qabalistic Cross, give all Grade Signs]
I take upon myself this great obligation.
1. I, N., a member of the body of God, hereby bind myself on behalf of the whole universe, even as we are now physically bound unto the cross of suffering,
2. That I will lead a pure life as a devoted servant of the Order,
3. That I will understand all things,
4. That I will love all things,
5. That I will perform all things and endure all things,
6. That I will perform the Great Work, which is to be on time for all my obligations, which is part of the control of the Foundations of my own being, which will lead to the knowledge and conversation of my holy guardian angel,
7. That I will work without attachment,
8. That I will work in truth,
9. That I will rely only upon myself,
10. And that I will interpret all phenomena as a brush of the wings of Adonai, revealing the nature of my initiation.
And if I fail herein, may my pyramid be profaned, and the Eye be closed upon me.
3. The Second Prelude: Speak to the Lord about what we want and desire. We request according to the subject matter. Make no mistake, we are not petitioning the Lord for material goods, or for spiritual favors, or even for some magickal strength to overcome our obstacles. We are addressing our Lord and stating specifically the purpose of our calling upon Him. Each aspirant according to the circumstances will devise the way to accomplish this. In general, a simple yet effective approach is to begin the internal dialogue. Speak with the inner voice, which should at this point in one’s development be heard clearly and without much mental “background noise.”
The Preparatory Prayer without change, and the two Preludes mentioned above, which may be changed at times if the subject matter requires it, are to be made before all contemplations and meditations.
4. The First Point: Each exercise listed below will have at least one Point, which is primarily a visualization exercise, the purpose of each is to gain spiritual power and insight. This involves mental imagery specific to the quality one is working with (if it be a Particular) or to the events of the day or of the previous day with the aim of recalling and testing our powers of self-observation (if it be General). Attempt to recall all the occasions, during that period, that one has strayed from their Oath, or has erred in thought, word, or deed. Some of these Points involve the recollection of myths related to Our Work, or verses from Our Holy Books.
5. Colloquy: The second component is the Gnostic Dialogue, or Colloquy. This is a practice simulating a conversation with one’s Angel analyzing the events of the visualization- and if it be a “real” conversation matters little. One may find this step occurring nearly simultaneously with the Points. By this practice, one gains insight into one’s behavior, discovering where one may have erred, and one also learns the method of consulting with the Angel during so-called mundane activities. One will end the Colloquy with a recitation of the Prayer to Adonai as for after Ritual. The object of the prayer is to align one’s self with the Will of the God once again. An example:
O Adonai and my Master, let these rituals be a constant and perfect link between us, so that at all times I may remain perfect in Thy knowledge and conversation. O my holy guardian angel, unto whom the glory and praises for ever and ever belong. Amen.
First Set of Exercises
(Especially Suitable for Sunrise)
1st Point – Anticipate the upcoming events of the day and meditate upon occasions when one may have opportunity to manifest the particular quality with which one is struggling. This is related to the Nature and Powers of one’s own being. Review, mentally, the events and activities forthcoming for the day, anticipating how one might manifest the positive disposition, established beforehand, in these upcoming activities.
2nd Point – Meditate upon the myth of the Egyptian sun god Ra, specifically the myth of Ra willing Himself into existence from the void. Note well the ancient Egyptians’ accuracy regarding the formation of stars.
(Especially Suitable for Noontime)
1st Point – Behold in your mind all the moments that you have experienced beauty from the time you awoke until the present hour. This meditation will cultivate a particular awe and wonder in your consciousness.
2nd Point – Meditate upon the Egyptian goddess Hathor, specifically as the wife of Ra and the goddess of joy and love.
(Especially Suitable for Sunset)
1st Point – Examine thoughts, words, and deeds from the moment of rising through to the end of the day, in the same manner as detailed for the Particular Examination of the Mind. This practice should eventually lead the aspirant to trace every thought, word, and deed back to the Great Work, which is essentially the fulfillment of the stated oath.
2nd Point – Meditate upon the Egyptian god Tum, the old and frail sun deity who at sunset enters the Gate of the West, where the souls of the dead are judged before Osiris.
(Especially Suitable for Midnight)
1st Point – Recall to mind all the occasions throughout one’s life where one has strayed from the path of their true will, and make note of the consequences of such an aberration. Three things will assist in this practice: First, recall the place and house where one lived; second, the association one had with others; third, the positions that one had filled.
2nd Point – Meditate upon Khepera, the Egyptian beetle god of self-generation and self-renewal.
1st Point – Consider who you are by these examples: What am I in comparison to all men? What are men in comparison with God? Let me consider all my own insecurities and shortcomings.
2nd Point – See these things not as hindrances but of powers of the soul that you must strengthen.
1st Point – Employ the three powers of the soul to consider the myth of Isis and Osiris, generally being the dismemberment of the body of Osiris, and Isis’ copulation with the reconstructed Osiris.
2nd Point – Consider the formula of VIAOV.
1st Point – Visualize Ra Hoor Khuit, the Lord of the Aeon, seated as he is upon His throne in the Stele of Revealing. Examine any thoughts that naturally arise.
2nd Point – Ask yourself how you have assisted Him in establishing the Law of Thelema on the Earth
3rd Point – Ask yourself how the Ritual called Liber Resh has invoked Him into your Khu.
4th Point – End this Exercise with the Adorations from Liber AL:
I adore thee in the song —
I am the Lord of Thebes, and I
The inspired forth-speaker of Mentu;
For me unveils the veiled sky,
The self-slain Ankh-af-na-khonsu
Whose words are truth. I invoke, I greet
Thy presence, O Ra-Hoor-Khuit!
Unity uttermost showed!
I adore the might of Thy breath,
Supreme and terrible God,
Who makest the gods and death
To tremble before Thee: —
I, I adore thee!
Appear on the throne of Ra!
Open the ways of the Khu!
Lighten the ways of the Ka!
The ways of the Khabs run through
To stir me or still me!
Aum! let it fill me!
The light is mine; its rays consume
Me: I have made a secret door
Into the House of Ra and Tum,
Of Khephra and of Ahathoor.
I am thy Theban, O Mentu,
The prophet Ankh-af-na-khonsu!
By Bes-na-Maut my breast I beat;
By wise Ta-Nech I weave my spell.
Show thy star-splendour, O Nuit!
Bid me within thine House to dwell,
O winged snake of light, Hadit!
Abide with me, Ra-Hoor-Khuit!
1st Point – Consider the Lord of the Aeon and his attributes in comparison to one’s own. This is a revelation of one’s ideal nature, and will lead one to consider how one might begin to approach Asar un Nefer.
2nd Point – Be struck with amazement and filled with growing emotion as you consider how creatures have suffered you to live, and sustained you in life, and how one’s guardians, the Swords of Divine Justice, have protected Thee. Further, consider how the heavens, moon, and stars, and the elements; fruits, birds, fishes and animals have all served your needs and facilitated your approach to Asar un Nefer.
1st Point – Review mentally every hour from this time backwards to the time at which one awoke, noting each instance of success or failure in the positive disposition established that morning.
1st Point – Meditate upon AL I; 52: There are four gates to one palace; the floor of that palace is of silver and gold; lapis lazuli & jasper are there; and all rare scents; jasmine & rose, and the emblems of death. Let him enter in turn or at once the four gates; let him stand on the floor of the palace. Will he not sink? Amn. Ho! warrior, if thy servant sink? But there are means and means. Be goodly therefore: dress ye all in fine apparel; eat rich foods and drink sweet wines and wines that foam! Also, take your fill and will of love as ye will, when, where and with whom ye will! But always unto me.
2nd Point – Perform an Adoration unto Nuit, being an attempt to merge your consciousness as well as possible with infinite space. Feel that you are as one with the vast expanse of space.
1st Point – Meditate upon AL II; 24: Behold! these be grave mysteries; for there are also of my friends who be hermits. Now think not to find them in the forest or on the mountain; but in beds of purple, caressed by magnificent beasts of women with large limbs, and fire and light in their eyes, and masses of flaming hair about them; there shall ye find them. Ye shall see them at rule, at victorious armies, at all the joy; and there shall be in them a joy a million times greater than this. Beware lest any force another, King against King! Love one another with burning hearts; on the low men trample in the fierce lust of your pride, in the day of your wrath.
2nd Point – Perform an Identification of Hadit, being an attempt to contract your consciousness as well as possible into a minute point of light. Feel that you are as a speck of dust amidst the vast expanse of space.
1st Point – Meditate upon AL III; 49-55:
49. I am in a secret fourfold word, the blasphemy against all gods of men.
50. Curse them! Curse them! Curse them!
51. With my Hawk’s head I peck at the eyes of Jesus as he hangs upon the cross.
52. I flap my wings in the face of Mohammed & blind him.
53. With my claws I tear out the flesh of the Indian and the Buddhist, Mongol and Din.
54. Bahlasti! Ompehda! I spit on your crapulous creeds.
55. Let Mary inviolate be torn upon wheels: for her sake let all chaste women be utterly despised among you!
2nd Point – Perform a worshipping of Ra Hoor Khuit, being an assumption of His form, as He is the “visible object of worship” (AL III; 22). Meditate upon Fire and Blood, Swords and Spears (AL III; 11)
1st Point – Meditate upon the myth of Horus and Set, specifically the struggle for dominance via intercourse and insemination.
2nd Point – Consider the relationship of Horus and Set being, psychologically, the Ego and the Shadow and mystically, the Lord of Heaven and the Lord of Hell. Horus is the sky by Day, and Set the sky by Night.
Second Set of Exercises
This set of exercises is a special adaptation of what we consider to be the planetary virtues, the Niyama of the soul- the qualities of manhood and of Godhood.
1st Point – In your asana, meditate upon your own skeleton. Attempt to be conscious of the bones in your body as you hold steady your posture. Visualize them and feel them.
2nd Point – Meditate upon the virtues of Endurance and Patience and honestly assess your usage of these qualities.
3rd Point – Meditate upon Sorrow. Strive to see all phenomena of the nature of sorrow and understand this as the motivating force of the Work.
1st Point – Recall to you mind and meditate upon all the various things for which you feel love. Focus on the feeling of love.
2nd Point – Consider how all these objects that you love are an individual representative of the entire universe, and in loving the one, we are in love with the All.
3rd Point – Should the previous two points result in elation and exaltation, strive to maintain this condition as long as possible, and at the end of the Exercise, release this energy in some form of art or charity.
1st Point – Meditate upon the muscles in your body. Attempt to become conscious of your muscles as you sit in your posture. Visualize them and feel them.
2nd Point – Feel an intense heat building in your muscles. Let this heat come to a fount in the center of your chest (the Anahata). Note well that Mars is the “flaming energy of passion, it is the male quality in its lowest sense; it is the courage which goes berserk.”
1st Point – Visualize yourself as an all-consuming sun aflame in the center of a system of planets. Strive to create and order and harmony in your system.
2nd Point – Understand the preceding visualization as a representation of your microcosm, the centralization and control of your faculties.
1st Point – Figure yourself chasing a beautiful maiden or bachelor through a sun-drenched forest.
2nd Point – After much pursuit, you finally win the prize but upon embracing this beautiful youth, find that it has been yourself all along.
3rd Point – Understand that the object of your chase was none other than Isis herself, Nature personified, the sum of all possibilities.
1st Point – Consider a time in your life where you were under great pressure and were required to perform flawlessly, with adroitness and ingenuity nevertheless.
2nd Point – Build up in your mind a great machine with as much complexity as you are able to produce. Figure that this machine produces one great symbol, devised by you, that represents the entire universe.
1st Point – Imagine that you are standing at the edge of a great precipice at night, worshipping and adoring the Full Moon until you are able to ascend into Her orb.
2nd Point – Aspire fervently to your Holy Guardian Angel while remaining perfectly passive and receptive to any images that arise. Take note of these spontaneous images, for they factor in to your image of Him.
1st Point – Visualize your gross physical body. Attempt to see it not as your own, but as a living carcass. Note all the physical sensations that arise during the course of your meditation. Attempt to perceive all the various forms of life that inhabit your physical body, just as your life inhabits the Earth.
2nd Point – Contemplate honestly within yourself the virtues of Endurance, Strength, and Incorruptibility.
1st Point – Meditate upon how your thoughts have manifested in your life. Consider specifically any unfulfilled dreams or wishes and what influence, if any, the nature of your thoughts have upon this.
2nd Point – Contemplate honestly within yourself the virtues of Wisdom, Learning, and Equanimity.
1st Point – Attempt to discover the source of your inspiration for those occasions that you have succeeded in reaching your goals.
2nd Point – Contemplate honestly within yourself the virtues of self-reflection and adaptability.
1st Point – Meditate upon the inner state that occurs when one is actively pursuing a goal. Consider this tremendous passion as a storehouse of energy.
2nd Point – Contemplate honestly within yourself the virtues of lust and love, determination, and courage.
1st Point – Seated in your asana, perform the Thelemic Middle Pillar exercise, which is as follows:
1. Stand facing Boleskine; arms at sides with thumbs between index and medius. Imagine a small violet orb above the head and visualize it as an orb of energy, descending into the Sahasrara Chakkra, which corresponds with Kether (the Crown) on the Tree-of-Life. And vibrate ‘IO PAN’ while focusing on the visualization of the orb. (Note that to activate this Chakkra, one must attend to Spiritual and Intellectual pursuits.)
2. Imagine a flash of light from this orb descending down the Sushumna (corresponding with the Spine), and forming an Indigo orb at the Ajna Chakkra, which corresponds to the intersection of the paths of Daleth and Gimel on the Tree-of-Life (also known as the Third Eye). And vibrate ‘NUIT’ while focusing on the visualization of the orb. (Note that to activate this Chakkra, one must attend to the development of the imagination and psychic arts such as divination, etc.)
3. Then imagine a flash of light from this orb descending down the Sushumna, and forming a bright blue orb at the Visuddha Chakkra, which corresponds with Da’ath
(corresponding with the throat) on the Tree-of-Life. And vibrate ‘MAAT’ while focusing on the visualization of the orb. (Note that to activate this Chakkra, one must develop one’s creative talents in association with one’s communications skills.)
4. Continue by imagining a flash of light from this orb descending down the Sushumna, and forming a green orb of light at the Anahata Chakkra, which corresponds with Tiphareth (at the region of the heart) on the Tree-of-Life. And vibrate ‘RA-HOOR-KHUIT’ while focusing on the visualization of the orb. (Note that to activate this Chakkra, one must seek to love oneself and the world around them.)
5. Further, imagine a flash of light from the orb descending down the Sushumna, and forming a yellow orb of light at the Manipura Chakkra, which corresponds with the intersection of the paths of Samekh and Peh on the Tree-of-Life. And vibrate ‘AHATHOOR’ while focusing on the visualization of the orb. (Note that to activate this Chakkra, one must work to obtain a storehouse of energy and self-confidence.)
6. And imagine a flash of light from the orb descending down the Sushumna and forming an orange orb of light at the Svadisthana Chakkra, which corresponds with Yesod (the Navel) on the Tree-of-Life. And vibrate ‘ANUBIS’ while focusing on the orb. (Note that to activate this Chakkra, one must develop the emotional body and a healthy sexual function.)
7. Finally to conclude this first part of the exercise, imagine a flash of light from this orb descending the Sushumna and forming a red orb of light at the Muladhara Chakkra, which corresponds with Malkuth (the Groin) on the Tree-of-Life. And vibrate ‘HADIT’ while focusing on the orb. (Note that to activate this Chakkra, one must attain physical health and have mastered one’s personal finances.)
8. With the next inhalation, bring the light/energy up the Sushumna as a silver flash, to the top of the head. On exhalation, let the light/energy descend the left side of the body; outside and around the body as a white light forming one part of a cocoon about the body; descending down to the feet.
9. Then inhale bringing the light/energy through the nadir of its arc under the feet and up the right side of the body; back to the Crown. And do the same; bringing the light down in front, under the feet and up, behind the body. Do this several times without counting.
10. During inhalations and exhalations bring the silver flash of light up and down the Sushumna. Do this several times without counting.
11. The last time that you bring the energy up the Sushumna, let the white light pour out from the Sahasrara Chakkra in the manner of a fountain, and surround the body; enclosing it in a cocoon. The light will coalesce down at the feet and be brought as a silver flash; up the Sushumna to again pour out from the Crown. Do this several times without counting.
12. Stand in the ‘Sign of Silence’ and allow yourself to feel the energy you’ve created within and without you.
2nd Point – Return to Step 10 of the Thelemic Middle Pillar Exercise, and with each inhalation imagine vividly the LVX flowing from your Crown to your Base. Imagine vividly your body and soul becoming more and more dense with the spiritual Light. This may resolve into an awakening of the Goddess Kundalini, which is most desirable; or it may resolve into Samadhi, which is to be shunned.
1st Point – Visualize the Greek god Pan and interact with any visions that may arise. By this, one is aware that one is focusing the attention on the positive manifestation of the totality of the universe.
2nd Point – Visualize oneself as becoming a wisp of incense smoke, wafting upwards from the vision, dissolving into the blackness of space. With each exhalation, imagine your body and soul becoming more and more subtle. This may resolve into an awakening of the Goddess Kundalini, which is to be shunned; or it may resolve into Samadhi, which is most desirable.
Methods of Examination – Particular
These Examinations can be performed in conjunction with the Spiritual Exercises of the preceding section. Select a particular “negative” character trait that one has observed in oneself during the grade of Neophyte. Saint Ignatius says that one should resolve to guard against this trait. However, instead of admonishing ourselves over this unwanted trait, we shall combat it by strengthening its opposite. Using, again, the example of our tardy Zelator, if we are habitually late, and we find that this is hindering the progress of our Will, we shall affirm in this First Exercise a resolve to be on time.
1. Wake- Immediately upon waking we shall repeat to ourselves in a whisper, as many times as we deem appropriate, the positive disposition that we will to manifest as a shield against the unwanted trait. Using the example above, we will repeat to ourselves something like, “I will be on-time for all my obligations.” After this mantra, one should recite the prayers and invocations that may or may not be a part of one’s daily routine. We here append an example of a daily prayer to recite upon waking:
A feast every day in your hearts, in the joy of my rapture.
O Thou who art One, my Lord in the universe the Sun., my Lord in myself whose name is Mystery of Mystery, by the sign of Light appear Thou glorious upon the throne of the Sun make open the path of creation and of intelligence between me and my mind, enlighten my understanding, encourage my heart, let Thy light crystallize itself in my blood, fulfilling me of resurrection. Amen.
2. Sleep- Immediately before retiring to sleep, think of the hour you must rise and for what purpose, summing up the Exercise you will have to make. After this examination, one should also recite the prayers and invocations appropriate to their natures. We append this as an example of a nightly prayer before slumber:
O Nuit, queen of heaven, mistress of the night, as I enter into your embrace and pass into sleep, empower me that I might remain inwardly awake, and abide in the clear light.
I am a living soul in the body of Nuit, I gather my consciousness into the spiritual sun in my heart, I enter into mystical union with thee, I dissolve into your true essence, O bornless being.
As I arise in dream, bless me that I might remember, and pass in the ascension to take up the great work, extending the LVX to all beings, lucid on thy wings, moving with thee, O grace of midnight.
Bless me with lucid and luminous dreams, O thou mighty God. Amen.
Four Additional Directions:
1. At any moment when one falls into the particular behavior that one is attempting to correct, one shall place the right hand over the heart and repeat the positive affirmation/mantra from the morning. The number of times is not important, but at least 5-10 times. Do not count.
2. After each mediation (Sunrise, Noon, Sunset, Midnight, as well as the waking and retiring examinations) one should record in the magickal diary how many instances of success and failure one remembers. Review the magickal diary at bedtime and observe any improvement from morning to night.
3. Review the magickal diary daily and observe any improvement from one day to the next.
4. Review the magickal diary weekly and observe any improvement from one week to the next.