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  Left-Hand vs. Right-Hand
Magick Posted by Xnoubis on Friday November 10, @04:53PM
from the even-handedness dept.

What are the Left-Hand and Right-Hand Paths? These terms came into play during a recent thread here, and it got me to wondering whether we all mean the same thing by these terms. Do they relate at all to A.C.'s notion of the White, Black, and Yellow schools? Or more particularly, what is the relationship of the Left-Hand Path to the the idea of the Black Brotherhood?

And what of the Obeah and the Wanga?

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  • The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them.

    Re: Left-Hand vs. Right-Hand
    by Craig on Friday November 10, @10:05PM
    ...i always thought of christians
    as being the Black brotherhood
    so it follows that if your a
    black sorcerer, your still
    influnenced by christian conditioning, right?
    where did i read something, about the difference
    between a sorcerer and a magickian was that
    a sorcerer is coming from angles and a magickian
    is coming straight through the center, as it were...well so anyway Chaos magickians have
    some definite ideas about this stuff, and i tend
    to agree, i also tend to agree with Crowley, however, i also question him because i think that is what he wanted us to do, the thing about the
    White, Black, Yellow, is all fine even if it is
    rather arbitrary, at that time i think Crowley
    needed to make those kind of distinctions, and we
    are grateful and better for it however, we are
    now nearing some sort of end point in history,
    and we need to be really open to change and possibility, as catagories of any kind can be
    the mechinations of Black Brothers to keep us
    in self-limiting orders, cabals and clicks, elite
    groups of wellmeaning people that nevertheless are
    still being divided and conqurered by the very forces they hope to deflect, we are therefore cought in perpetual vicious circles of power
    mongering and image conflicts, psychic hording,
    and tradition cul-de-sacs that are whether we
    are aware or not are playing into the hands of the illuminati(oops) i used that word, or what was it
    Colin Willson called psychic parasites, these are
    all things that words are hard put to put into any
    coherent pattern, we are damned if we do and that sort of thing, like the internet speeding up the
    karma, as far as opening up the channels to everyone, but of course there is a price to pay for all technology, so back to the topic at hand,
    catagories of Black and White, Good and Evil, right and rong, Left hand and right Hand, and as my Scarlet Shadow as i refer to her, described
    a kind of inverted Crowleyan, funny just as i
    wrote that, i thought i saw a black beetle out
    of the corner of my eye, see how superstitious
    i still am, even though i consider myself superstitionless...well maybe it wasn't that,
    but just think about that term "inverted Crowleyan" for a moment, i don't know about you,
    but that is a very interesting image, and it opens up many interesting pathways in my psyche, i had
    to ask the question...'just what does it mean to be a Thelemite'?...and as far as i am concerned Thelemite is an evolving universe (word)...universe is a poetic creation...so
    we needs must evolve our own Thelemic idenity,
    in my case my magickal name(one of them) means 'Lord of Contraversy'...and i feel that i cannot describe
    the things that have happened to me in this life,
    without being aware of the possibility of many previous lives...so in another life perhaps Obeah
    and Wanga were who i was....:), and this opens up even further associations and possibilities, without which we would be lost...

    ...(nothing matters to the magickal powers that be) therefore invoke often and to heck with it...

    Re: Left-Hand vs. Right-Hand
    by Mordecai Shapiro on Friday November 10, @10:21PM
        Could these terms derive from the sephirotic diagram called the Tree of Life? There the column of sephira on the right are called the Pillar of Mercy while the column on the left is called the Pillar of Severity. Thus, a simplistic view might see the right as good and the left as bad. Or am I barking up the wrong Tree?
        As for your final question, I would note that a book was published by a London publisher (I think Routledge) in 1902 called "Obeah, the True Wanga" which book might even have been Crowley's (unconscious) source material, as the word is usually spelled ouanga. In any event, I have never found any distinction made between the two terms, they both refer to the same thing, the Caribbean form of West African magic.

    • Re: Left-Hand vs. Right-Hand
      by shawn on Thursday November 16, @01:48AM
      in my studies, I have learned that Obeah and Wanga are used to refer to a form of magic but also Obeah refers to a secret society. It is one of the many Caribbean carry overs from the West Arfican magical secret societies that practice Wanga (magic) to punish those that break the laws of the tribe. In many Ibo and Yoruba tribal societies, Obeah or whatever name they are given in that tribe,act as the guardians of tribal traditions. I think TBOTL was telling Crowley to learn how to create a magical society that would protect the traditions given in the book.

    Re: Left-Hand vs. Right-Hand
    by mr. on Saturday November 11, @01:27PM

    WHy don't you tell us.

    • Re: Left-Hand vs. Right-Hand
      by Craig on Saturday November 11, @04:09PM
      looks like jr.is back
      'I'm back'

    Re: Left-Hand vs. Right-Hand Masterbation?
    by Daphy Baphy 666 on Saturday November 11, @04:13PM
    My Sinagogue is Yellow go figure.
    As far as left, right, up, down, black, white and yellow, uuummm i hate to say it but its all relative.
    Folks Read The Apology in Goetia please.
    And Liber O vel MANUS ET SAGITTAE
    And when you have come to naught then speak with me.
    Daphy Baphy 666
    Rev. Mikey
    P.S. MeanWhile God Bless The Caliph, O.T.O., A:.A:., G.O.T.O. and last but not least SoS
    Satan Bless us, all of us.
    Damn I love saying that lol

    Re: Left-Hand vs. Right-Hand
    by Xnoubis on Saturday November 11, @06:57PM
    The terms Left-Hand and Right-Hand Path have several diverse sets of connotations for me.

    As Mordecai has remarked, they can be attributed to the Qabalistic Pillars of Severity and Mercy. It is sometimes said that the Left-Hand Path goes down the Pillar of Severity and the Right-Hand Path goes up the Pillar of Mercy. This further recalls the Lightning-Flash Sword that darts downward creating the Sephiroth, and the Serpent of Wisdom that twines back up the Tree through its Paths. For some, this is the same dichotomy that is expressed by the pentagrams averse and aright.

    In practice, I have sometimes thought of the terms as expressing two different approaches to the union of Macrocosm and Microcosm. Is the emphasis on bending the Macrocosm to the Microcosm, or learning to bring the Microcosm into greater alignment with the Macrocosm? Thaumaturgy or theurgy? The Serpent or the Dove?

    I have known a couple of "White Tantra" schools who used the terms to distinguish their own celibate tradition from practitioners who work with physical sex.

    What I think all of these have in common is the dichotomy described in Archetypes of Autonomy and Merging. The Left-Hand Path is the thaumaturgic flash down the Tree that affirms our creativity, our autonomy, in sexual fire. The Right-Hand Path is the theurgic ascent to merge with our source in the purification of consciousness.

    Re: Left-Hand vs. Right-Hand
    by An El Haqq on Sunday November 12, @11:50AM
    I typically consider the left-hand path to be those traditions that have the superficial goal of extending the presence of the ego. This would include traditions such as Taoism. I write superficial because traditionally Taoist mystics write about creating a "child" that will house the soul after the physical body dies. To get to this point, in some sense, requires that the ego be shed.

    The right-hand path would then be those traditions that directly wish to overcome the bounds of the ego. This might include Zen Buddhism.

    The trick is that in both of these paths, there comes a time when you have to make the choice: cross the abyss. To do this in either path, my understanding is that one must renounce the ego, and this process of renunciation depends on whether beforehand you sought to extend its presence or sought to obliterate it.

    The Black Brotherhood are those people from either the right or left hand paths, or the middle for all it's worth, that have failed to renounce the ego completely in their attempts to cross the abyss. It's orthogonal to the color of your pants.

    • Re: Left-Hand vs. Right-Hand
      by Mordecai Shapiro on Sunday November 12, @03:36PM
      >It's orthogonal to the color of your pants.

      Whatever are the skyclad Jains to do?

      • Re: Left-Hand vs. Right-Hand
        by Craig on Monday November 13, @03:40AM
        you are on a balcony
        overlooking an abyss
        you are distancing
        yourself from all of this
        the suffering
        of lifetimes

        all the nothingness
        in between, the damnation
        the crusified carnival
        of death below

        you see the sun rise
        flung down from on high
        the wicked ghost of a
        chance, like a prayer

        like Nietzche's mustache
        sweeping the early morning streets
        like a broom of doom, like a swastika

        your vision
        is run through the gamut
        of final inferno's, you
        are craped and vomited
        in to the inverted gutters
        of icons, blown away
        through the holy-see-nothing
        the metaphorical bottem of
        everything, the butthole end
        of the kali yuga, total
        enlightenment or eternal torment
        you kinda fall through a huge
        cardboard cutout of the death
        card, your hotel window
        you look out of, down on
        the street cheap whores of fordidden
        fruit and day glow plastic jesuses
        cavort, your perfectly lost

        her gaudy painted face
        the crazy blinking ritual goes on
        neon hell, porno heaven
        unfolding the black rune signal
        in the background of scarlet shadows
        the dog head lights on the garbage can alters
        through the underground smoke
        the core of the night, time and history
        destroyed, yr thoughts obliterated
        cause and effect erased
        some childhood paradise flashes
        between forbidden loves and
        sleepless nights
        between realities the hell can fires
        of the city in a San Francisico fog

        i was seeing this knowing of course
        the cruel saxaphones die, knowing of
        course the third eye opens in a chaos fog
        avalanche of forever green traffic lights
        seeing and knowing that the sences are
        available to become as gods then become
        transparent, as the chaos bursts asunder
        and scorpio is rising up the asphalt
        and of course it is your asses falt
        the solar phallic doorway becons across aeons
        and that the eighties are cowering and abased
        that the force of Coph Nia in my left hand
        is empty...we are at the totalities of terror
        and ecstacy, a rain of sparks a flood of mirrors
        and emerald stone between the black and white
        pillars of eyes, ragged beggars point the way
        along the crumpled monuments of desire and
        the dumps of reason the eternal riddle crouches
        in the deepest desert night the flame of mind
        goes on, where the word of the aeon, the lamp of
        soul begins, where the starry immensity revolves
        slowely into sight the swarming faced cipher
        at the conspicious moment arrives, a too bright
        coin of aces, a quickly turning good and evil
        disk spinning so fast you gain perchace on the
        black hole of suns gone into the riddle of itself
        the cosmic faceted rippeling flags of sleep
        are still slapping your scarlet shadow dreams
        as Babalon sits on her throne of dark angels
        in the middle of a reverse triangle in the
        middle of midnights oasis surrounded by
        deserts and desolation,as a blood orange on the horizon about to pierce the void of dawn above her

    Re: Left-Hand vs. Right-Hand
    by Nexist on Monday November 13, @12:57PM
    To me, the Lefthand/Righthand dichotomy represents the twin forces of Magick & Mysticism. Whenever you utilize Magick for any other purpose than the direct transmogrification of ones own soul, one is engaging the Left-Hand. Protecting your home, bringing about a better job, curing an illness, warding your children are all "left-hand". When you meditate, pray, do yoga or any other work designed to unify oneself with one's HGA, one is engaging the Right-Hand.

    Thelema, as presented by Crowley, uses both hands (admittedly, this is in the tradition of Ceremonial Magick with the devotions to God before shaking down Demons for their lunch money). We are to use our right so as to strengthen our left which in turn strengthens the right so that the soul utilizes both pillars of the tree when ascending the middle pillar.

    Re: Left-Hand vs. Right-Hand
    by solidsurfer on Tuesday November 14, @04:02AM
    That might all be very right and fitting, with 'sitra ruah' and 'sitra ahra', but it has gained some popular acclaim as well.
    Right-hand path: boaring and a bit theosophical.
    Left-hand path: adventurous/fun-loving and practical.

    The notion of a Great White Brotherhood that governs from the astral plane has put the y in *yawn*, while the Black Brothers seem a lot more interesting, with their 'forbidden sorceries'...

    Re: Left-Hand vs. Right-Hand
    by Maozim on Tuesday November 14, @08:47AM
    First, blessing to the beast I stear with my right hand, and secret kisses to my left. For why does the Woman ride the Beast? But to give it definition!

    I would first uphold association with the pillars and the hands, although the tree is but a mirror, and its reflection is crooked.

    The left hands of the magi point down to the earth, and upon them are a sigil, the descendent star. It reaches down to the serpent, so that he might strike and fulfil his Purpose. In my left hands are nothing, for I have compressed an universe into but a string, and therefore am I perfect. For the srting can not exist without another . . .

    Thus the left hand path is any manifestation of any being. Any action, any Work, is the use of the left hand. Any left handed work is the precursor to CHAOS.

    The right hands of the magi are up-turned, and ready to accept the host of heavon. They are the perch of the dove, who is sadness and disorder, from which happines can be born, and order concieved. The right hand is the solve to the left hand's coagula. Any action that is made by the Macroprosupus and not by the micro-, is a right handed action. But this is silly, because all actions are (indirectly) made by the microcosm. So let us state the right hand path to be any action that is made without intent. The lack of intent makes it the result of CHAOS, rather than resulting in CHAOS.

    To spill one's blood into -yea!- Ba ba lon! is a feature of the left hand. Yet the result is that of the right hand. This is because of the limited nature of man, in that he, by definition, is (partially) obscured from the future. A man on the left hand path works to produce changes in the world, for good or for ill. A man on the right hand paths works for no reason, and to no end.

    And there is another choice . . .

    The Scarlet One understand the beauty and impossiblity of the Right, and the science of the left, and colors Her white robe red. She spills a drop of blood each day to Herself, for She is Babalon, never more, never less. In her life she shall spill more blood than a single cup, and yet fill not a single cup. She accepts her wand as hellfire, and division from God as but birth, she laughs at the curses, and begs to crawl an-hungered and cold through streets loved by no One. The Scarlet One (who is so bold as to be both one and many) lives as perfection, not a "Secret Chief" but a Visible Object of Worship. And she does so that not to rise Herself up, for she is risen up, and not She. She does so so that all can be She, and all perfect. One none forever hereafter, a men, nay a wo men. Ho! Par a es sul a salue sal or.

    Re: Left-Hand vs. Right-Hand
    by Craig on Thursday November 16, @03:50AM
    ...the holy hole flame whips
    it's frenzy of selves
    curling in it's hand
    of sardonic dark glyphs
    the last scarlet shadow
    twisting around the endless
    ending endlessness...
    tongues of words
    coiling on the lumens
    of matter
    total war on the image
    the good an evil thought
    locked in total chaos
    seething emerald spume
    in huge black cauldrons
    the cruel battel of visions
    expands ever outwards
    like a battel field
    that is a perpetual feast
    it seems so ironic
    she was standing on a corner
    Babalon over and over
    plunged into the red mists
    moving her hands around
    like white feathers
    diped in a sea of blood
    blue deep azure opium
    sceptre eyes glance
    holy terror a bowl
    of blood red moons
    a lava venus flows out
    copper she-gods
    hurl themselves
    at sacred objects
    necropolis view
    spinning down the
    black and white
    insorceled spectacle
    snaking grids of voices
    fall like dirges of durga
    smoky sexy perfumed ecstacy
    like leaves of lava oozing
    down flesh like holy hot stuff
    like a long time ago, all gooy
    like a rain of colored dice a
    juju a kingdom come came and
    went like it could go on forever
    like the end of the world, beastly
    like wicked fun in the grass all
    waxy in the belly of the universe
    nothingness became what everything
    was, childhoods of matchsticks
    whores of angelic reason, strange
    drugs, obscean hallusinatory ends

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