There is one point the Student may, or may not, have noticed in regard to the Simple Ceremony described in the previous chapter, viz: the entire absence of any ceremony of Purification or Banishing.
This may be accounted for by the fact that the Operator is supposed to be one who has implicit faith and trust in the Divine Powers Invoked, but it is only the Purest and Highest type of Seer who can safely use these methods, and at the same time, their simplicity is likely to attract the most ignorant.
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and Magick either requires a great deal of knowledge, or none at all, and when we say None at all we mean Knowledge must have been transcended and have given place to Understanding or Direct Perception.
There are proper Ceremonies for Banishing and Invoking which should be used whenever a Circle is used in an operation of this sort. Again, to understand them rightly requires considerable work on the part of the Student.
It is not my intention to discourage the beginner from an attempt to put into practice any part of this Art, which however is also a Science. No Science can be learned in a day, and unless the Scientific aspect be first mastered, how can one be in a position to carry out the practical side in a skillful manner, befitting any of the Arts.
A few words should be written on the necessity of Banishing before undertaking any Occult or Magical Work. When we first of all dealt with our crystal, we found it necessary to Banish from it any impure Astral Influences that might have been present within it, after which we Consecrated it, and Charged it with our Will. It is equally necessary, therefore, that in the event of our desiring to Work within a Magic Circle, drawn on the floor of our Temple, (or Room) we should FIRST BANISH all impure influences from that room, or at least cause them to remain OUTSIDE the CIRCLE, which in this case is but Symbolical of THE UNIVERSAL CRYSTALLINE SPHERE from which we desire to call down influence upon our LESSER CRYSTALLINE SPHERE, and in turn to be able to comprehend them, by means of a Vision, within our own CRYSTAL SPHERE -- THE SOUL.
If this Soul is Pure and Clear in the first instance, nothing can harm it, but usually the practices we undertake are for the purpose of purifying our own vehicle.
The burning of incense may help to purify the atmosphere in our surroundings, but this incense itself is impure until it has been PURIFIED and CONSECRATED to the work in hand. This at least we may accomplish, by methods very similar to those adopted in the case of the crystal. A more elaborate preparation is certainly advisable, but this is not the place to enter into full details of the Banishing Rituals of the Pentagram and Hexagram. These details may be found in "The Equinox." Vol. I Number 2 by those who need them sufficiently to feel it worth while to obtain them.
The practical importance, however, of these Rituals cannot be overrated. They form a means of Banishing all that is undesirable in our surroundings, Elementary, Planetary and Zodiacal; and also of invoking the Powers of the Elements, Planets and Signs in the proper way.
The failure to understand these things has led in the past to many disastrous results; and the world today seems blissfully ignorant of even the necessity of any such performance, while at the same time attempting to deal with "Phenomena" of a Spiritualistic Type, which in many instances is nearer to the necromantic results of Evocation than the comparatively safe methods of Invocation described in the last chapter.
We may now turn our attention to some of the possible results of Crystal Gazing, when undertaken in the right manner. This, at least, may encourage the enquirer to "make himself fit" to accomplish similar results in time.
Few people realize what an important factor the Crystal has played, and is playing, in events of Planetary Importance concerning the Initiation of the whole of Humanity. It seems a far cry from the practice of Crystal Gazing to the New Aeon, but it may be there is more than a slight connection even in that instance. In any case, the practice may lead to results far greater than ever imagined in the beginning, and these results may only become manifest long after the original seer has passed away and is almost forgotten.
In any case it is doubtful whether the old Abbot Trithemius of Spanheim dreamed that his instructions, written so long ago, were going to be copied and commented upon in this little book, or could have foreseen -- any more than the present author can foresee -- the result upon the lives of those who may read them and act upon them in the future.
In the latter part of the Sixteenth and early part of the Seventeenth Centuries, there lived another man, to whom the Art of Crystal Gazing came to mean much. I refer to Dr. Dee who during his Occult career made the acquaintance of a certain Crystal Gazer known as Edward Kelly. The result of their work is certainly active today, and had it not been for them, it is very doubtful if the present treatise would ever have been written.
Quoting from a recently published Life of John Dee by Charlotte Fell Smith (although this book is not of great practical importance to the Student) we obtain the following:
THE CRYSTAL GAZERS
"It is a curious picture to call up, that of the strangely assorted pair seated in the inner room at Mortlake, acting out this spiritual drama. Dee had asked for instructions about the room for the sittings:
"May my little farthest chamber serve, if the bed be taken down?" The table, covered with its cloth, stood in the centre upon the seals. Kelly, perhaps with the black cap he is credited with having always worn, pulled close over his ears, was seated at it. Dee at his desk sat writing in the great folio book. He was now fifty-six years old; his beard was long, but perhaps not yet 'as white as milk' as Aubrey describes it. He did not apparently see the visions himself. Once he reproachfully said: 'You know I cannot see or skry'. He conversed with the spirits and sometimes heard what they said; but to the eye and ear of his body they were invisible; hence his dependence upon a skryer.
"The sole object of his ambition was the attainment of legitimate wisdom. When conversing with the angels, how near within his grasp it seemed! Michael's exposition seemed almost to promise it to him:
"'Wilt thou have witt and wisdom? Here it is.
"Michael points each time to a figure of seven squares shown within a circle of light.
"'The exaltation and government of princes is in my hand.
"'In counsayle and Nobilitie, I prevayle.
"'The Gayne and Trade of Merchandise is in my hand. Lo I here it is.
"'The Qualitie of the Earth and Waters is my knowledge, and I know them. And here it is.
"'The motion of the Ayre and those that move in it, are all known to me. Lo! here they are.
"'I signifie wisdom. In fire is my government, I was in the beginning and shall be to the end.
" 'Mark these mysteries. For this knowne, the state of the whole earth is knowne, and all that is thereon. Mighty is God, yea, mighty is he who hath composed forever. Give diligent eye. Be wise, merry and pleasant in the Lord."'
Here we have one of the communications from the Angel Michael that has been Historically recorded. In fact a great deal of the work of Dee and Kelly remains in actual writing to this day. Many of their formulae are being used by the true Adepts, and much work has yet to be done in order to make the meaning of this early work entirely clear. The public knows little or nothing of all this, but I may quote from certain Official Instructions of The Great White Brotherhood or A. A. which deals with the matter.
"The Skryer (Edward Kelly) obtained from certain Angels a series of seven talismans. These, grouped about the Holy Twelvefold Table, similarly obtained, were part of the furniture of the Holy Table."
"Other Pantacles were obtained in a similar manner. Here (Figure V) is the principal one, which carved in wax, was placed upon the top of the table. On four others stood the feet of the table.
"Note first the Holy Sevenfold Table containing seven Names of God which not even the Angels are able to pronounce.
"These names are seen written without the heptagram within the heptagon."
This Holy Sevenfold Table is probably the one referred to by the Angel Michael in the communication above quoted. It forms the Key to manifold and great Mysteries.
By reading these obliquely are obtained the names of other sets of Angels, some of which were attributed to the Metals of the Planets, as also by other methods of reading can be obtained the Names of the Seven Great Angels, etc., etc. All the names of the Angels thus drawn from the Sevenfold Table appear on the Pantacle or SIGILLUM DEI AEMETH.
Dr. Dee also had a Shew-stone, a crystal which he alleged, to have been brought to him by angels. This was placed upon the Table, and the principal result of the ceremonial skrying of Sir Edward Kelly, was the obtaining of a series of wonderful diagrams, containing the Keys to all the mysteries of the Universe.
He symbolized the Fourth-Dimensional Universe in two dimensions as a square surrounded by 30 concentric circles, (known as the 30 Aethyrs or Aires) whose radii increase in geometrical proportion.
The sides of the square formed Four Great Watch-Towers which are attributed to the elements, these in turn are all governed by what is known as The Table of Union, attributed to Spirit.
Dr. Dee also obtained the Alphabet of the Angelic Language, in which all these mysteries were written. It is sometimes called the Enochian Alphabet, as the angels claimed to be those which conversed with the "patriarch Enoch" of Jewish fable.
The Thirty Aires or Aethyrs, surrounding the Material Universe, each had their special name, drawn from these pantacles. Also the names of their Governors were drawn from the same sources. Each of the Aethyrs had three governors, and these in turn controlled from two to nine thousand servitors.
A series of Forty-eight Calls or Invocations were also obtained in the Angelic Language, and by means of these it became possible to Invoke to Visible Appearance all these Aethyric Spheres, with their Angel Guardians. This gives but a slight idea of the extent of the practical Magical work done by Dee and Kelly by means of the Crystal or Shew-Stone.
[Transcriber's note: See the Enochian Magick Reference for an accurate description of the elements of the Enochian magick.]
This work has formed the basis of much of the Magical Work of the Adepts of this present time, and was instrumental in bringing about what we now know as The New Aeon. Almost all will now have recognized that we are living in a New Age or Era, and the Magical Forces which have brought this about, are largely due, in the first instance, to the Keys to the Higher Spheres obtained by Dee and Kelly, some centuries before Humanity was ripe for the actual Initiating of the Current of Higher Will, which the practical use of these Keys made possible in this age.
All this may sound highly fantastical to those who have no initiated knowledge of the Universe, or of the nature and powers of Man. We do not wish to labor the point, but it illustrates how important the Crystal may become in the hands of a true Seer.
The Real Prophet is one who has also the Power to make his prophesies come true. That is the difference between the Major and the Minor Prophets. In this instance many things seen by Dee and Kelly are coming true, but chiefly because a greater Adept than either of them, grasped the possibilities of their Visions and by his Mighty Will, put the necessary Forces into action. We may now consider what is meant by a Shew-Stone.
This, in the instance above cited, consisted not in a crystal sphere placed upon a stand on the table, but in a stone pressed to the forehead of the Seer. At least such was the material means used in obtaining the Visions of the 30 Aethyrs by Frater 0. M. just before and after The Equinox of the Gods which occurred in 1904 E. V.
In that instance a great Topaz, set in a Scarlet Cross, was used. The process was somewhat different from ordinary crystal-gazing, as likewise were the results.
The place of what is known as the "Third Eye" in man, is just above and between the exterior organs of sight. This is known in Hindu Systems as the "Ajna Chakra" and is thought by some to correspond to the Pineal Gland.
Intense concentration on this "Lotus" or "Chakra" produces Visions of a very high character, and this concentration may be increased or aided-by the pressure of a skew-stone to the forehead just over this "third-eye."
In that case the Vision is turned inwards towards the Ajna Chakra, instead of concentrated on an outside object such as the crystal. When the power of concentration has been developed by means of crystal-gazing (as described in the earlier chapters of this book) this concentration may be taken up by the INTERIOR ORGANS OF VISION, and the visions perceived, not in physical space, but in the Chitakasha or MENTAL SPACE. Visions of this nature are usually of much greater value than the others which result from our early practices with the eyes open.
Consideration of Visions of this type, as of the proper means of obtaining them, will lead us well on the path to obtaining true Crystal Vision. Since, however, it forms a different aspect of the Work, it will be best to treat of it in another Chapter.