| up a level
from the torah-torah-torah dept.
The Charlton Heston infomercials cleverly cut into the interstices of the Republican National Convention bring to mind Crowley's placement of the Prophet-Magician, Mosheh (Moses) in the collects of the Gnostic Mass and invite the question of why such a diverse group of homo sapiens revere the memory of him (in the best sense of the word, "revere").
If irony is the essence of modern art, magick -- in the sense of glamour -- is being practiced at the party conventions. Take for example, punctuation of GOP speakers with hyphen types like actor-political activist Charlton Heston pushing the National Rifle Association agenda and making it look like the Second Amendment came down from Yahweh-Jehovah on the twin tablets of Sinai. Maya is so easily manipulated by these characters! One of them even wound up in the White House itself. And if Heston takes his Moses persona a bit too literally, it’s nevertheless a well-integrated element in the invisible part of the Hologram, part of what the late great occultist and Crowley-intimate Lou Culling described as "a glamour."
We know now that Hitler and company practiced occultism, and it worked until the mastermind got strung out on cocaine and morphine and couldn’t do sadhana anymore. The drugs and the asthma had so weakened his aura he was like a well fucked Kapalika at a loss for prana. Old Crow warned that works of fascination tend to rebound on you like a slow moving aboriginal boomerang, so the White [Asar un Nefer] House is up for grabs and we’ll see if Heston-Mosheh made a difference. Or that fat, giggling Irish castrato, for that matter, a would-be Hitler himself, one suspects.
These developments prompted thoughts of a mystery in The Gnostic Mass (Liber XV) I wanted to address long ago but set my notes aside when I got busy on mundane matters. (Every shaman has to keep his day job.) Put simply, it is: Since mainstream Gnostics (e.g. Valentinus) regard Mosheh as a saint, but most antinomian (or, at least, adiaphorous Gnostics (e.g. the Cainites) regard him as a total shithead, why did Crowley put him in the collects? The answer is not to be found in any movie by C. B. DeMille, even allowing for the fact the latter was a lawyer who did quit his day job. No, the answer has to be in The Beast’s reading of the O.T. (not forgetting that today’s Xian fundamentalists extol Therion’s favorite N.T. book, that of Saint John of Patmos).
In the first place, it is more than obvious that Mosheh was a Mahasiddha. The whole Egyptian-Essene tradition is one of healing, miraculous powers, shape-shifting, and morphogenIsis. If the old adage is true, that one should never trifle with sacred things, I wonder the naming of so many children "Aaron" isn’t courting disaster. Mosheh and Aaron were very much like John Dee and Edward Kelley and just as legendary (I daresay "mythical," in the sense meant by Coomaraswamy: myth as "the nearest approach to absolute truth as can be stated in words").
Now, as Crowley disliked Coomaraswamy, and since he put Moses into a lower order of "thaumaturgists" in the autohagiography, why is Mosheh included in the collects of the Mass? In this regard, Crowley mentions in the same work the fact that he (Crowley) was one of only eight Prophets of the Aeon "in the whole of human history." In addition to Moses/Mosheh, Lao-Tzu, Siddhartha [Sakhyamuni Buddha], Krishna [Christ?], Thoth, Dionysus [Christ?], and Mohammed. Pretty tony class of guys, right? In any case, reference is given to The Book of Lies.
Of course, Mosheh is not the exclusive property of the E.G.C. or the C.E.G or any Gnostic sect or group, and there is plenty of literature of a non-Thelemic nature helpful in illumination of the mysteries of Mosheh. A favorite of mine happens to be Edouard Schuré’s The Great Initiates: A Study of the Secret History of Religions. (For what it’s worth, I suspect the Great Beast would have hated this work.) Throughout the study, Schuré returns, perhaps subconsciously, to the figure of Moses.
Schuré says Mosheh was in possession of a Word of Light (trans. Word of the Aeon) and enclosed it in a golden ark. Moses was an adept of High Initiation into the Osirian and other Egyptian Mysteries, and his Sepher Bereshith (Book of Beginnings) Schuré describes as "a key to the Mysteries, a torch of the initiates," Without identifying it as Kundalini, Schuré discusses the esoteric symbolism of the Nâhâsh, which fundamentalist Xians completely miss, assuming as they so eagerly do that whenever a Serpent appears in the Bible it is symbolic of Evil. The author goes on the explain the Qabalistic significance of Mosheh’s teachings, but I am impatient and want to get back to Mosheh's Magick.
Even in the stupid Charlton Heston movie, there is a kernel of truth. The rod of Aaron is such an obvious (if unintended) metaphor for Kundalini, I cannot watch the movie today without wondering if DeMille, who was so meticulous in the researching of his pictures, may have been "onto it." Recall that in his earlier Sign of the Cross he depicted a Colosseum martyr as a buxom blonde strapped to a Herm, awaiting the amorous attentions of a gorilla. (Perhaps, like a Sufi, DeMille learned to clown around a lot. He had to have known that Herms were ithyphallic, meaning that the blonde was being porked either doggy style or up the yazoo.) Quaere: could this be the same "rod" mentioned by Crow in Liber A’ash’s "whom I love, I chastise with many rods"?
In any case, this rod, or staff, has migrated throughout recorded history into the literature of magick, including Shakespeare’s The Tempest, which at least one author has seen as an exposition of Mahayana-Madhyamika ontology and the high siddhis of the adepti. When it is wielded by Prospero, the Rod is the same exercise of High Magick that we see in the works of Mosheh and Aaron, the latter being replaced in this case by an Air Elemental called, appropriately enough, Ariel. Thus the historical and mythological Mosheh looms large in the pantheon of most practicing magicians.
Interestingly, Godwin gives Mosheh’s value, for purposes of practical Qabalah, as 345, with a spelling -- correct, I think, of MShH. Correspondences are to El Shaddai ("God Almighty"), the fifth name of Shem Hamphorash associated with the fifth quinance of Leo, a King of Edom known as Husham, &c. But Crowley goes an important step further, identifying 345 as cognate to "’In that also,’ referred to Daath," and points anew to the Hebrew for "Shiloh" (whence, ‘nuff said!). Lastly, Perdurabo points to the Temurah of the number, 543, viz., "’Existence is Existence,’ the NAME of the Highest GOD."
I will leave to others to put all this together, but it comports with my theory that Unkle Al was mainly a Euhemerist when it came to Gods and Saints, and that he spent most of his own life trying to assume the role of a God. In fact, perhaps the man’s life might be summed up by examination of it as a sublime (and at times ridiculous) effort at auto-apotheosis.
After all, Mosheh was certainly someone to emulate!
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