(Concluded from the last issue.)
Another important attainment is that of traveling in the “astral body.” This, too, I practiced hard. I was able in time to make my presence known to a person at a distance, by a sort of instinct. Soon I got it so that I could be both seen and heard. I have not yet been able to impress inanimate objects, for I gave up this class of work as not essential to the Great Work. For instance, when I was in Honolulu I had a long talk with a girl in Hong Kong. I described the town, and her house and room, with accuracy, in great detail. She, too, saw me and wrote down my remarks correctly. But I failed to knock a vase off the mantel, as I wished.
The point is this. To “get into the astral body” really means to allow the consciousness to rest in a vehicle of fine matter, and, detaching that from the gross body, to move about. But this has its drawbacks. One is no longer at all on the material plane, but on the astral plane, and one must not expect to see material things. This is the blunder made by “physical clairvoyants” and the cause of their constant errors. No; for physical clairvoyance, or for action at a distance, somewhere on the astral one must pick up ready material as a basis for a sort of “incarnation.” Thus the girl I speak of had burnt incense specially to give me a body visible and tangible and audible. But incense is not strong enough to make a body mechanically solid. It becomes sensible to the eye and ear of a living person, as a cloud is, but not strong enough to resist pressure.
However, by offering blood one can construct a body good enough for, say, courtship and marriage. I have done this often enough; it is not at all difficult when the conditions are right. It is dangerous, though; if anything happened to the blood when you were using it, there would be a nasty mess, and if the blood be not carefully destroyed after you have finished with it, it may be seized by some vampirish elemental or demon. I think no one below the grade of Magister Templi should use blood, unless he be also an initiate of the IX○ of O. T. O.
Such have been only a few of very varied activities. I may remark that the methods so far employed are not altogether satisfactory. There is too much accident, for one thing. Quite recently, a disciple of mine, painting that great square of letters which synthesizes the elemental forces of water, had a tank burst and flood his house. On another occasion, at headquarters, teaching astral traveling through the Tablet of Fire, we had five fires in three days, while the disciple who was being taught went home the third night, and found his house burning, a fire having started in the coal cellar. A “natural” fire can’t start in a coal cellar, especially, as in this case in winter.
For another thing, these methods are very tedious. A proper evocation of a spirit to visible appearance means weeks of preparatory work. Again, they do not always succeed as fully as one would like. In short, I felt the need of further initiation, and the communication of a method as safe and sane and easy as railway traveling.
I will not here detail the steps by which this came to me; enough to say that the A∴ A∴, the mightiest organization on the planet, chose me eleven years ago to do a certain work, and rewarded me in no niggard spirit. Then, nearly six years ago, the Frater Superior of the O. T. O. came to me, and appointed me Grand Master of the Order in all English-speaking countries of the Earth, and Special Delegate to America. With this He conferred the secret of high Magick which I wanted. Easy to operate as a bicycle, and sure of results as a bottle of brandy, it only needed a little intelligent study and practice to supplant all the old methods, which became, as it were, adjutants of the real thing.
It is upon this that I am still at work, for I have not yet completely mastered it. There are two parts to every magical operation. The ancient Alchemists expressed this in their formula “Solve et Coagula.” First, one must subtilize matter so as to be able to mould it, and then fix it again in gross matter so as to retain the desired form.
The first part of this is swiftly and surely accomplished by the method of which I write; the second part is not equally easy. The result is that one obtains always an earnest of the desired goal, a shadow of the reward, so to speak. But this does not always materialize. For example, one performs an operation “to have $20,000.” A few days later a prospect of obtaining that exact sum suddenly arises, then fades slowly away. Exactly what to do in such a case is a problem of which I have not yet found the perfect answer. Fortunately, it rarely happens that this trouble supervenes. In five out of six times the desired event comes naturally to pass without further disturbance. But I confess that I should like to make that sixth time safe, and I believe that in another few months I shall have done so. Already matters have improved seventy per cent. since I first was initiated in the Great Secret.
It is no great wonder, then, that Magick has revived. When I began the work of the A∴ A∴ I had over a hundred pupils in less than six months. The system of the A∴ A∴ is singular in many respects; in none more than in this, that it is really secret. No man except the Head and His Chancellor, and His Praemonstrator, knows more than two members; that one who initiated him, and the one that comes to him for initiation. In this way the work has spread through the world with no fuss or trouble. Only now and again is any open work visible — when Isis lifts her skirt enough to show her stocking!
For instance, one hears of public ceremonies on A∴ A∴ lines in South Africa, in West Africa, in Vancouver, in Sydney, in Paris and London and (maybe) New York. These appear sporadic; their simultaneity is really the mark of what is passing in the mind of the Masters of the A∴ A∴
The success of the O. T. O. is even more striking to the uninitiate, because its results are more apparent.
Part of the policy of this order is to buy real estate everywhere, to build and furnish temples, lodges, and retreats. Hardly a month passes but I hear of some new branch already financially sound, with its own headquarters, some beautiful property in the country, a fine house, large grounds, all that is needed both for initiations, and for the practice of that life, and of those works, which bring forth fruit from the seed of those initiations. And every week brings me news manifold of what is being done. There is hardly a country in the world which has not dozens of members hard at work at magick, and for the most part making progress at a rate which almost makes me jealous, although for my generation I made advance which was a miracle of rapidity and excited the envy of all the duffers. But the work done by my Masters and (I think I may truly say) by myself also has simplified the work incredibly for all. In the Equinox, 777, Konx Om Pax and a few secret documents, the whole mystery has been explained; and, for the first time in the history of Magick, a standard Encyclopedia has been published. It is no longer necessary to study fifty strange tongues and wade through ten thousand obscure and ambiguous volumes. With three months’ study and a year’s practice any man of moderate intelligence and sufficient will-power is armed, once and for all, for the battle. Only in the O. T. O. is some knowledge kept back, and that because the great secret is so easy to learn and so simple to operate that it would be madness to entrust it to any person untested by years of fidelity.
These, then, are the principal causes of the Revival of Magick. It is not possible to publish the figures, nor would it be desirable. But I can assure the public that one has only to enter the magick path to find on all sides and in the most unexpected quarters, men and women whose whole life is secretly devoted to the attainment of the Royal and Sacredotal Art.
Already Magick is once more a World-Power; the print of the Giant’s Thumb is already the amazement of the incredulous; and within five years it will be clear enough to all men Who brought about the World war and why.
We shall see science triumphant, philosophy revolutionized, art renewed, commercialism checkmated; and astride of the horse of the Sun we shall see the Lord come as a conqueror into His Kingdom.
The Revival of Magick is the Mother of the New Aeon.
And who is the Father?
“Ho! for his chariot wheels that flame afar,
“His hawk’s eye flashing through the Silver Star!
“Upon the heights his standard shall plant,
“Free, equal, passionate, pagan, dominant,
“Mystic, indomitable, self-controlled,
“The red Rose glowing on the Cross of Gold!”
Do you wish to find Him?
Herein is wisdom; let him that hath understanding count the number of The Beast; for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred and three score and six.