A Personal Testimony
by Frater Apollonius
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
Spiritual Awakening is not necessarily spiritual enlightenment, but must ultimately lead to it. This is why the Zelator is told that from the point of this Initiation forward, one must eventually attain and that there’s no turning back from this path. The Zelator Initiation is actually the catalyst that begins the process of spiritual awakening. The Initiation is itself, not so much a ceremony than it is a milestone reached and the natural onset of that energy developed with the prior exposure to the Astral Plane in the Neophyte Grade and the Elemental Plane in the Probationary Period. And it is on these planes that the Soul begins the process of congealing. Cf. Congealing the Soul. We might also say that the Knowledge & Conversation of Thine Holy Guardian Angel is that full and complete spiritual awakening that is the Gnosis that the hidden God within is the source of our awareness. The Qabalists teach that at Tiphareth, one comes to know that God is within that which is perceived as the Self. And that awareness must ultimately lead toward a more full enlightenment with the Initiation called ‘Crossing the Abyss.’ The reason this can be taught as a process of growth and an unfolding is that this phenomenon of consciousness that we call awakening and enlightenment is a natural phenomena; as natural as when from infancy, one eventually comes to develop an awareness of Self, as separate from others. That this can come upon any human being, suddenly, as a ‘thief in the night,’ the initial experience of awakening can catch us unawares and not particularly concerned with spirituality in the course of one’s life and ambition or concern. Indeed, the Lord of Initiation has been referred to as the ‘Trickster’ and has many ways to Initiate; often the individual not in the least, understanding what’s really happening much like the teenager who is about to find a complete individualized insight and adulthood. And one finds oneself in a metaphorical place, of which the myths are to be written. We could say it’s a reframing of a better-informed awareness with increased functionality and insight. It is important to understand that in Thelema, many spiritual instructors and initiators in its several membership structures do not necessarily understand this and are more socially oriented and don’t necessary care for spiritual experience; but more with a libertine lifestyle. And there’s nothing inherently wrong with this. But if your objectives or your destiny is more spiritually oriented you may meet up with some initial disappointment. Certainly, this can be the work of the Trickster also; a way to test your metal and your resolve—the nature of your Aspiration. And these social structures have their value also! There are symptoms of spiritual awakening that may show up even before the Zelator period and even before approaching the A.’.A.’. One’s sleep pattern may change; making one to feel restless, and even with more energy through the day; despite the day. One may even for a while, come to have little need for sleep or even hold a slight dread of sleep for the loss of time and concentration. Of course, this may also happen for some as a natural part of the aging process and have little or nothing to do with spiritual awakening. With these natural changes in the physical body changes and one becomes health conscious; again, as much a sign of aging. We might consider aging as a maturation process. And certainly, into one’s middle age, the body requires a little more TLC and is less resilient than in early adulthood. Your senses increase in their sensitivity; the 6th sense opens up and one becomes much more aware of subtle energies. One may begin to see sparkles of light, shadows, balls of energy, grids of light, movement from the corner of your eyes. These are as much the elementals that are first intuited and eventually one can come to commune with them; not so much in the form of a direct verbal exchange, but in a more ominous way. They can appear in moments of authentication to help one to sense of propriety when confronting a spiritual issue; or they can be there to warn of impending danger. I began to notice these well into my Zelator period and they have evolved in both their presence and the way I interact with them. Further into the transformation, shivers, crawling sensations, tingles on your scalp, feeling pressure on the crown; like someone pushing down with a finger, flashes of great inspiration/creativity/thoughts, feeling vibrations around the head and ears—opening of the Sahasrara Chakkra.
This was for me as for most artists who take also to the Great Work, an ongoing experience that I think develops out of a natural spiritual state reached by most artists. It’s not so romantic a state when one considers the difficulties presented to the individual with an artistic temperament. But indeed, the work of the Cup is in part to make oneself into a receptacle for divine energy; strengthened with the practice of Invocation. Whether the presence of these elementals that seem to inhabit one’s vision in one’s normal, everyday state of consciousness or that we also include those psychic energies that then begin to dwell within one’s ever burgeoning Soul, a great energy is taken in. Sudden waves of emotion, feeling sad, lonely, happy, angry, etc. for no reason; a release of blocked emotions from the heart chakra; old issues keep coming back and one can feel lost; very much a karmic cleansing opportunity.
Psychotherapy is certainly one way to address this. This is a stage where old and crystallized patterns of perception are broken up; presenting a mark of entrance into the Veil of Qesheth, where the light is fractured and fragmented. One may also hear one’s name being called, voices, humming in the ears, fleeting smells accompanied then, by a feeling of ‘someone’ or ‘something’ being close by; though invisible and yet felt in an almost palpable manner. One can interpret this as being in the presence of the divine or even the brush of the wing of one’s Holy Guardian Angel. It can be a remarkably pugilistic swipe when necessary and in other situations, even more profound. Personally, there are moments; becoming more and more frequent, when I have managed not only a greater cognition of the keyboard when improvising Jazz, but also, I begin to produce melodies that as if being fed to me, as if other hands are guiding my fingers. The above symptoms could also be signs of psychosis; indeed, the practice of any strong ritual magick is a foray into the development of what could be seen as a temporary psychotic state; the trance attained in ritual practice. Though, ultimately, one begins to see the world with new eyes; feelings of love and being at one with everything, as the heart chakra begins to become functional along with one’s consciousness developing a greater sensitivity to the heart’s vibration. One will desire more and more to break free of restrictive patterns and old habits that no longer have any meaning with newfound courage (to dare, a power of the Sphinx). One then begins to notice more and more signs that speak directly to the Self on a very profound level; they come to have great meaning and it’s as if a flower is unfolding inside oneself, as the spirit blossoms.` And one more and more senses that this unfolding has been going on from the moment one had one’s first thought in this life. From here, synchronicity seems to flow faster, meetings with interesting people seem to just happen, numbers that occur in the activity of the day become significant, pictures play to other images in memory. There are no limits to the ‘coincidences’ that come and their interpretation becomes effortless as they speak to the dynamic function of the Soul. And as a final though on this, one can come to feel all alone, as this is the being of the examined Soul in the very way Socrates proclaimed the virtue of the examined life, when most suffer from his warning: the unexamined life is not worth living. But these are the people around us whom we still love and who swim in the great sea of life with us and those who are of us; there being a more exclusive place for us to gather more intimately. This is the function and service of the A.’.A.’. as a Qabalistic lineage for the synergistic circulation of this greater spiritual energy; that the bar be raised for all of humanity.
Love is the law, love under will.