By Frater 493
“as age by age the worlds do dissolve and change, and the universe unfoldeth itself as a Rose, and shutteth itself up as the Cross that is bent into the cube.” – Liber 418, 12th Aethyr
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
As we navigate the lesser paths of the Tree of Life, guided by the silent whispers of our heart, yearning for something as yet still formless and abstract, we come to understand more thoroughly how magick does indeed transform the interaction between Self and Not Self. Those legendary words etched in the stone above the entrance to the Oracle at Delphi, “Know Thyself,” should also be etched deeply into the mind of the new Initiate. Through our interactions with the world- family, friends, coworkers, strangers, etc- we come to gradually fulfill this most important instruction. As we pass through that door, leaving a certainly immature and pitiful friend behind, we feel stronger in who we are and in what we believe. Indeed, the God is in us, and if we do not realize this and remember this in our day-to-day life, we are doing this God a great injustice.
The dimensions of our Temple are infinite. The universe is our Laboratory. Our Magick Circle must expand and contract as necessary and the God Names must vary according to our Operation. Every moment offers us the opportunity to cause change in conformity with our Will. Every act is an act of Magick. We discover a great deal about ourselves- perhaps solely- through the situations, reactions, responses, feelings of our daily lives. Further, everything we do or say must have intent behind it- all must be done with Will, and Love under Will. As Thelemites, we fundamentally oppose the blind, sleepy reactions of the uninitiated. Our Will is our moral compass, and the foundation of all action is Do what thou wilt.
We are apart from, and a part of, the ALL. In our daily life we interact with other aspects of this ALL. The so-called mundane tasks are opportunities to congeal the soul, which is, practically speaking, to learn about the self, build character, and build the habits of thinking and feeling that we Will. We learn about our mistakes through interface with others. A wise man is one who has made a great many mistakes. The man who has never erred is a dangerous man. By knowing our own insufficiencies we can advance daily upon the path.
The Nephesh, the Animal Soul, wants to fulfill its desire for Pleasure. It is up to the Ruach to make this happen under will. The Neschamah, the Spiritual body, rejoices when our being, as a whole, functions thus harmoniously, as it is from Binah and the Supernal Triad generally, that the Will springs. Therefore, we should not neglect the animal desires, but act intentionally and choose when and how to fulfill those desires. Participation in the world is an expression of Will. This is equally as holy as the rituals and ceremonies that we perform in our churches and temples. It is the differentiation between active and passive forms of Initiation.
We naturally have a rebellious characteristic in our nature. This is not a negative trait. It is the resistance against any who would try to repress our nature or impose upon our way of life their own moral standards. When we are young, we rebel because we have what seems like the whole world telling us how to formulate our lives. Once we reach a certain age, the rebelling should cease as have we successfully built our lifestyle and our Kingdom, as we will. At that point, our obligation is to protect what we have built. Of course, some may never reach this juncture, and the act of building the kingdom may never have an end. This is its own mystery and should be studied in Liber LXV and elsewhere. The building, maintaining and protecting of our Kingdom is a continuous process and a lifelong skill. It travels with us and undergoes the metamorphosis with us.
It is important to establish a lifestyle according to the Will, in this new Aeon, and adamantly rebuff any interference. This is the path of Shin. The way we choose to live must be under will and is an expression of the Khabs within our Khu. A quote from the Hagakure, a discourse on the Samurai of Japan, says, “Every religion must find its culmination in our practical life and not in our abstract speculation. Yet we must seek a philosophic basis of conduct.” The philosophic basis is Do what thou wilt. It is fear alone that blocks us from putting this to practical use.
Also in the Hagakure is the injunction to burn all books after reading them. Compare this with the official Class A Comment to Liber AL vel Legis, “The study of this Book is forbidden. It is wise to destroy this copy after the first reading.” Clearly, it is wise put our beliefs into practice and work according to the Law- not spend all our time theorizing. One becomes merely an “armchair magician” if the Work is not brought to bear upon our practical, daily lives.
Our tendency to sorrow is related to the fact that at times we allow ourselves to fit too comfortably into someone else’s kingdom, instead of building our own. Sincerity is essential for full development, it completes the Self, it is the Alpha and the Omega- it is the way of joining the internal and external. Sincerity begins with self-examination. If we are embarrassed to address of our actions to our own heart, we know where we must focus our work. Through this work, we strive to create equilibrium. The formula of the Aeon of Horus is the uniting of opposites, and illustrated by the idea of the Knight-Monks and the Prince-Priest. To balance the force and fire of war, we cultivate our artistic and intuitive nature. This is explained well in the third chapter of Liber AL vel Legis and is taught well to students of A.`.A.`.. See also Liber II, The Message of the Master Therion.
The Samurai of Japan, similarly, consider their Way a balance of Martial and Literary excellence. They strive for harmony between exterior pattern and beauty and interior essence and substance. To become as proficient in the arts as in martial skill and courage is the ambition of the Samurai. It is the equal devotion to the Art of Peace and the Art of War.
It is from this achievement, the completion of the Outer College and the understanding of the Lesser Mysteries, that we springboard into the Collegi Internii. We shall, for the simple fact that this phase of Initiation is of such an intimate and personal nature, and because the matter is indeed a completely private affair between the Adept and the Angel, skip ahead to a discussion of the third Order of the A.`.A.`. system, the Order of the S.S.
Argentum Astrum, Astron Argon, or Silver Star, is the name of the Order, but specifically, the S.S. is the Supernal Triad, the Order of Adepts who have crossed the Abyss and mingled their individual lifeblood with the universal lifeblood. They have destroyed their individuality and yet have been cast forth as a star “in the Heavens to enlighten the Earth” (One Star in Sight). It is this that the Adepts of the Yellow School have written about in their ancient texts. The loss of the Ego is the dissolution of the individual self to *temporarily* eliminate duality and division. It is the nirvikalpa samadhi, the transcending of the Ruach. The nirvikalpa samadhi is the dissolution of our body (physical, astral, spiritual) into the body of Nuit- a complete identification. Silver also indicates that the experience is more intuitive and emotional than it is rational.
The Way of the Samurai is a mixture of Taoism and Zen Buddhism. There is an overlap with Thelemic philosophy on the matter of the Ego. Thinking we have a self separates us from the universe, hinders true freedom, and becomes a fixation. This creates dualism. The self in an impediment to true action, and yet we must maintain a strong sense of self as Thelema is an individualistic philosophy. The emphasis of Zen is on self-reliance, self-discipline, and the non-existence of the Self. The elimination of the “illusion” of Self is called the Great Death, after which arises Compassion for others and decisions based on Intuition instead of Contemplation. Liber 418 gives us further clues to this theory. The mystic death of the Saints is really an increase of life and Compassion is the “sacrament of suffering, partaken by the true worshippers of the Highest. And it is an ecstasy in which there is no trace of pain. Its passivity (=passion) is like the giving-up of the self to the beloved.”
The Silver Star immediately conjures Liber LXV 1:40: “The joy of men shall be our silver gleam, their woe our blue gleam, all in the mother-of-pearl.” The Adept and the Angel are fashioning their boat of mother-of-pearl; i.e. the transcendence of their union and of the Rosy Triad itself. Pearl is sacred to Binah and to the Moon. Silver is the alchemical metal of the Moon and is representative of the Virgin Isis, who informs the aspiration (cf commentary to Liber LXV). Silver and Blue are both colors of Gimel, who is the Priestess of the Silver Star, connecting Tiphareth with Kether on the Tree of Life. The joy/suffering of the world, while valid on its own plane, is still below the abyss, and the Adept is aiming (bow and arrow- Moon) for Binah, the higher octave of the Moon.
Then in Liber AL I; 30, “This is the creation of the world, that the pain of division is as nothing, and the joy of dissolution all.” The Star is the Khabs, the innermost nature of each of us. This essence is of a solar nature. There is now, in this equation, both the Moon and the Sun combined into the elixir of life. It is the chymical wedding and the mystic union, the union of inner and outer nature and of microcosm (me) with the macrocosm (not me). Objectively, however, no such distinction exists.
Shaivism is a popular sect of religious Hinduism. The supreme deity of this sect is Shiva, one of the oldest gods of India. He is one of the three deities of the Trimurti- the holy trinity of Hinduism- along with Brahma and Vishnu. Shiva is the Destroyer, while Brahma is the Creator and Vishnu the Preserver. Vishnu is described as the primordial water, out of which grows a lotus. This lotus is the Yoni that gave birth to Brahma. Brahma, not knowing his origin, assumes He is the Lord of the Universe and creates for himself a consort (Gayatri) to begin populating the cosmos with life. He believes his rule to be absolute, ignorant and cut off as he is from the archetypal source of even his own existence. However, in Shaivism, all three of these are aspects of Shiva Himself, who is the Parabrahma. While this is similar to the Supernal Triad (Kether, Chokmah, and Binah) which are the three aspects of the single, unified Godhead, we see that Brahma is a God who rules from Chesed, comparable to the Demiurgos of the Gnostic tradition. Brahma is also said to have four heads. 4 is the number of Chesed and Jupiter.
It is further notable, echoing Liber LXV, that in one Hindu myth, Brahma becomes a white swan in order to seek out the end of the Lingam, i.e. to look for the origin of Shiva, who has no beginning and no end. Shiva is responsible for the change and destruction of manifestation and the dissolution of the ego from its false identification with the manifested form. This suggests Binah. In truth, however, nothing can be destroyed. The totality of existence and the structure of energy transforms from one configuration to another. It is the Trimurti that effects this change. In Hebrew mysticism, the Trimurti has a close correlation in the Supernal Triad of the qabalistic Tree of Life. The operation of the Trimurti is the dynamic flux of the NOX and LVX and the process that bridges the gulf of the abyss from Binah to Chesed.
Shiva is the masculine aspect that yet provides the divine ground of all being. Therefore, in this respect, Shiva is the passive male, and Kali the active female. This is very similar to the Egyptian magick of Isis and Osiris, where Isis copulates with the corpse of Osiris, begetting the infant Horus. The interconnectedness of contrary forces- each containing the seed of the other- is suggestive of the eastern philosophy of Yin-Yang. The traditional qabalistic placement of Shiva is in Chokmah, but it seems that Shiva also partakes of the nature of Binah, and Shakti of Chokmah. Like Shiva and Shakti, Chokmah and Binah are the archetypal Force and Form, and their dance is the birth of the world.
Shiva holds in his hand is the Trident, which may be a weapon procured in Geburah to assist the Adept in the Ordeal of the Abyss. The Trident is an exceptional tool not unrelated to the three Alchemical elements and the three Gunas of Hinduism. It is also the weapon that embodies the Scourge, Dagger, and Chain, which surround the Holy Oil atop the magician’s altar. These three elements should be studied in depth in Liber ABA and Liber 131 vel Tridens to fully understand the implications and the important role they play in preserving the Aspiration during the Ordeal of the Abyss. Shiva is said to be “unaffected” by the three Gunas; he is the master of them.
Shiva takes his pleasure with a multitude of female consorts, and is thus the source of the bounty of life, and yet, like Binah, he at the same time holds himself chaste and restrains his potency. Binah is known as the Dark Sterile Mother as well as the Bright Fertile Mother. Shiva’s primary consort is Kali. Kali is the embodiment of Energy and Dynamism and is the motivating force behind all action and existence in the material universe. Kali is the dark and violent goddess of Time and Change. The word Kali or Kala also translates as Black, identifying Kali as partaking of the nature of Binah. Shiva also enjoys the title of Kala, and is the Lord of Death and is closely related to Saturn. In one famous Kali myth, she and her assistants wound a terrible demon. Every drop of blood that falls to the ground reproduces a clone of the demon. In Liber 418, 10thAethyr, it is written, “ let [the Seer] take the Victims and cut their throats, pouring the blood within the Triangle, and being most heedful that not one drop fall without the Triangle; or else Choronzon should be able to manifest in the universe.”
The theme of spilling a drop of blood is suggestive of the mystery of Babalon and the Cup, and the Blood of the Saints from Liber 418, 12th Aethyr. The blood that is collected into the Cup and Fermented (which is an allusion to the Art of Alchemy) renews the vitality of the Father. Similarly, it is said that Shiva is a useless corpse without the animating energy from His female consort. Numerous art pieces show a blood-drunk Kali standing upon the slain body of Shiva. This again, parallels the Isis-Osiris myth.
Om Namah Shiva is a mantra sacred to Shiva, professing supreme love and adoration for the god. By the gematria of the transliteration of BABALON into the Hebrew the value is 156 and the transliteration of Namah Shiva into Hebrew letters [Nun Mem Samekh Vav] is also 156. If we analyze this further, we can understand the nature of these principles. AUMGN, translated into Hebrew has a value of 93. Add this 156 and we have a sum of 249. This number, by way of the English Qabalah, has the same value as “Land of No Desire.” This phrase is from the third chapter, first verse, of Liber LXV. The chapter is the expression of the liaison of the aspirant and the Holy Guardian Angel through the element of Water (Binah is called the Great Sea). This is all very suggestive of the City of the Pyramids. In Hebrew gematria, 249 has the same value as Fear and Terror.
249 in EQ is “Land of No Desire”
249 in Hebrew is “Fear” and “Terror”
The official Seal of the A.’.A.’., as presented in the letterhead for all correspondence of the Order, is a septagram. 7 is the number of Planets, Chakras, and letters of Her name. In Liber AL vel Legis, we are told that there are three grades in Thelema- the Hermit, the Lover and the Man of Earth (AL I; 49). These three grades correspond to the A.`.A.`. grades of Magister Tempi, Adeptus Minor, and Zelator, respectively. The Hermit is the Magister Templi, whose work involves the withdrawing from any active involvement with outer orders. Shiva is also said to be a hermit, living alone on a mountain as a yogi. The Hermit is Yod and Atu IX. The Hermit Atu further elucidates the mysteries of the exalted fertility. Crowley teaches us, in the Book of Thoth, that as the physical representation of the Hermit is the spermatozoon, He wears a crimson cloak, and crimson is the color of Binah in Atziluth. This indicates the fact that it is in Binah that the seed gestates. The Hermit is the creator of the worlds (as is Shiva) and Yod is the foundation of all other Hebrew letters. The Hermit is the Father of Tetragrammaton and is the Logos, suggesting Chokmah.
The Master of the Temple has attained to Binah, whose avatar is Our Lady Babalon. Her number is the square of seven- forty-nine. This is the manifestation of her Holy Love, 7 being Venus and Netzach according to the Holy Qabalah. Further, Atu VII is the Chariot, the courier of the Holy Grail. The Chariot also connects Binah with Geburah on the Tree of Life. That the sign of Cancer rules this Tarot Trump is another bond to the Silver Star as the Moon- ruler of Cancer- is Gimel and the Priestess of the Silver Star.
49 doubled are 98, which are the “Rules of Art” from Liber AL vel Legis. The ThRShRQ of this (89) are in Hebrew gematria, Shut Up, Silence, Body, and Children. Silence and Shut Up relate to our topic, as the Ordeal of the Abyss lands one as either a Master of the Temple (Silence) or a Black Brother (Shut Up); two sides of the coin of Fortune, success or failure. Note also that the wheel of the Fortune Atu is said in Liber 418 to have forty-nine spokes, and is also the Eye of Shiva, annihilating the universe upon Its opening. Children could be an allusion to the casting down of the Magister back into the Ruach (Vau, Prince, the child of Yod and Heh).
The cycle of Creation and Destruction is interminable, and just as soon as every drop of blood is gathered into the cup, Spirit once again animates and inhabits the Flesh. The fornication and murder is nothing less than the Love and Death that is the formula of Babalon Herself. This formula and its method, according to Liber 418, is constant copulation or samadhi on everything. The Adept who would withhold even a drop of blood from the Cup gives birth to the demon Choronzon. Just as the blood that Kali spills on the ground from her enemies grows a new demon, so does the Black Brothers’ attachment to the Ego sentence them to become slaves to Choronzon. (Cf Liber 418, 10th Aethyr)
Choronzon transliterated to Hebrew has a value of 333. Note also that the Chain (mentioned earlier as one of the qualities of the Trident) has 333 links. The Chain binds the thought of the Magician, maintaining unity of purpose in the mind. In English Qabalah, 333 is the word Sword. The Sword is a weapon of division and is used to dominate demons. It represents the Ruach, which must be the Lord of impressions. It is the analytical faculty and it attacks the complexity of impressions. It is of particular importance to the Zelator of A.`.A.`. who must pass through the Ordeal of Choronzon. The nature of Choronzon is also division and dispersion. The Zelator must forge the Sword and learn its proper usage. However, relying too heavily upon the Sword (Mind, Ego) one runs the risk of becoming a victim of Choronzon. Through devotion and unity of purpose (and the commencement of the Alchemical work and study of the Rose Cross formula) one maintains the sovereignty of the Aspiration while dancing with this demon. In nomine Babalon.
Love is the law, love under will.