Vavaamp, 17th of 91 Parts, 2nd of MAZ. Zodiacal King: Arfaolg Ministers: 9200 Mundane association: Cyprus.

Wednesday, November 02, 1994 2:21 PM

The vision opened, and I was looking at Cyprus from the east and above. The sigil of the Parts was overlaid upon it; beginning at the southwestern corner, moving north a ways, then inland. The first acute angle corresponds with the top of Mt. Olympus. Then jogging north west again, then east along the central plain, roughly along the line between the Greek and Turkish zones.

The picture changed, and now it seemed I was looking at the River Styx. Beyond it was a dark land under the shadow of thick clouds. But in the far distance at stage right (southwest, from my new vantage) the mountain of the gods shone in the sun. A road led in that direction.

Charon was not to be seen, but I crossed over anyway. The land was much like some of the Tarot cards for Death; bodies ill-buried all around, pieces of them sticking up through the surface. A giant trash-heap or compost pile.

Next Charon appeared with a load of the dead. These exited his boat listlessly, heads downcast. They all wore pale, flesh-colored robes, while their skin was the color of raw meat; I got the impression that the robes were their skin, already sloughing off in the process of decomposition. As they followed the road into the deadlands, they began to sink individually into the ground without disturbing it. The road shifted its position so that they were distributed rather evenly over a wide area before they were all below the surface.

I could see into the ground, and saw they continued to walk forward. As they did, globs and chunks of their flesh came off, like bits of soil broken off a clod, and were left embedded in the soil. A ghostly outline of their form remained where the flesh had parted, an abstract sketch of what they once were.

(This all seems almost like a precursor to the vision of Nocamal that was previously obtained.)

A stately music begins to sound in the background. Like one of the slower movements of a Bach concerto, or a processional by Handel. But with a lot more basso than either of them would give it. Something very — “architectural” about it.

For a few moments I became one of the dead. As the flesh sloughed away and the outline was exposed, that outline became enwrapped in royal robes. Rich, ermine-trimmed, heavily-embroidered clothes, curly wigs underneath coronets. And the figures swelled up with power, not the kingly power of Sol, but the more generic “nobility” of Jove.

(I am getting confused. From the presence of the mountain, I thought this vision was dealing with the intersection between Scorpio and Capricorn. But this part seems to relate more to Scorpio as it connects Geburah and Chesed.)

Now these figures began to arise from the ground, all them royally dressed. They looked among themselves in mutual recognition, as if to say “We are the Elect”. Servient beings came, and escorted them to a castle – no, a palace; it had no defensive use. And within the palace was lavishly appointed; refined music played in the background, artful tableaux were staged in the larger rooms. Libraries sufficient to delight the scholarly, kitchens producing delicacies for the Epicurean, drawing rooms full of art, versatile baths, endless other possibilities. The figures moved among these delights, sampling them, speaking to one another. But all these things, while magnificent, were as ghostly as the people who used them.

Then I noted that not one of the rooms had windows facing the mountain. Even the extensive gardens had walls high enough to block that view. And the one place that the residents avoided was the single door that exited in that direction. Even though not seen the mountain seemed to loom over them, exerting a subtle pressure that they unconsciously avoided.

After a while, one resident among them began to notice the door towards the mountain. He spoke about it, and suddenly found his cohabitants uneasy, avoiding him. Conversations would stop when he entered a room, then go on in more hushed tones. They didn't actively exclude him, but a subtle sense of distance grew up between him and his fellows.

Finally he opened the door and looked out towards the mountain. Daily he did so, and began to compare the wide spaces outside to the narrow rooms and corridors of the palace. A sense of constriction began to set in; he spent more and more of his time looking out the door.

Finally he decided to go through it, and could not. A guard appeared and demanded that he shed his noble robes, wig, and crown. He did so. The guard demanded he remove his underclothes as well. And when he was completely naked again, he was allowed to pass.

Looking around outside, he found he was in a wasteland, its border demarcated as an extension of the wall of the palace. He could see death's compost-heap on the other side of that line, but none of it spilled over; the land here was dry ground, covered by sparse dry grass. The road to the mountain was off to one side of the palace, and he headed for it. Reaching it, he moved onwards, alone.

(I stopped at this point to rest. The tension of maintaining the vision was getting to me.)

Seer's comments:

A nice little allegory. The atmosphere of the vision reminded me of Piers Plowman, though the content bears no relation. And like all good allegories, the explanation is liable to be longer than the story itself.

Once again we see the Path of Scorpio in Achad's Tree, and in much the way it was seen in the Parts Pothnir and Nocamal. The palace seen here may well be the same one seen briefly at the end of Pothnir, a representation of Scorpio's intersection with the path of Capricorn, which connects Tiphereth and Binah. Certainly the plain of Death is the same place seen at the start of Nocamal. But the body of the vision is more concerned with the movement from Geburah to Chesed, along the path of Scorpio rather than across it.

Scorpio is primarily concerned with the concentration or distillation of a life-essence from things in which it is hidden. In the cycle of the year, it represents the concentration of the life of a plant into its seeds, with the consequent death and decomposition of the plant's body. Through its modern ruler, Pluto, it connects with the principle of refinement through heat and pressure, in the way that concentrations of pure elements are precipitated out of the magma of the Earth's mantle, and formed into jewels or crystals by the pressure there. Both of these bear on the process seen in the vision.

Chesed, the sphere of Jupiter, represents the essential pattern behind the manifestation of a thing in the finite worlds. It is the archetype of which the eventual physical manifestation is an instantiation. But it should be stressed that these are not archetypes in the Platonic sense. Each manifest thing has its own, individual Chesed-aspect; there is no super-archetype of which all things of a certain class are manifestations.

As an example, every tree in the world has its individual “essence-pattern” in Chesed, but there is no pattern representing the essence of all the worlds trees in itself. Such seeming super-archetypes appear only as the result of human (or other sapient) minds creating them through their associative functions; the relationship between such creations and the manifestations on which they were based is extremely variable. In the natural structure of the world, the individual archetypes of things instead resonate with each other according to the similarities of the energies of which they are composed, forming a complex centerless network of inter-communications.

In the Golden Dawn-descended traditions, the task of the adept in Geburah is to gain practical experience at magick, learning to invoke specific magickal energies, perceive their nature, and manipulate them. He is expected to gain a wide experience of these powers, and the various ways in which they can manifest themselves. This exposure to magickal powers serves a hidden purpose as the occult equivalent of the heat and pressure within the Earth; and by this heat, the person's essence, their individual archetype, is gradually separated from the bodies of manifestation in which it has been concealed.

The magician gradually becomes aware of the magickal energies that are the hidden cause of his own manifest behaviors. Every thought, perception, and action begins to reveal its magickal essence, and as he progresses along the path of Scorpio towards Chesed, individual manifestations become perceived as particularizations of abstract categories of magickal power. The conscious begins to identify more with the abstract power than with the individual actions, producing a sense of separation between the individual self-in-essence and the variegated actions of manifest life.

Eventually the person reaches a point where all the actions, thoughts, and perceptions of his manifest life have been reduced to their least terms, as a set of abstract, “pure” magickal powers, and a set of fixed relationships or interactions between those powers. The consciousness becomes almost wholly identified with this essential pattern, and the person becomes an Exempt Adept in Chesed. A parallel process occurs with respect to his perceptions of the rest of the magickal universe, with the consequent result that his knowledge of that universe becomes almost fully integrated into a few “archetypal” patterns of powers and relationships.

This integration of self and of knowledge is the highest positive achievement possible within the bounds of the Ruach. At no time before or after does the person have as great an understanding of his individuality, or as great a capacity for interpreting and explaining events. As Crowley points out, such people often become leaders of “schools of thought”. They become the “nobility” among the thinkers of the world. The body of the vision is a visual parable of the process I describe here.

But as Exempt Adepts are the most knowledgeable of men, they are also the most blind; and it is the same process by which they achieve their success that they are blinded.

In cognitive terms, the process of refinement, of extracting “essences”, by which the adepts work is a process of abstraction. That is, of selecting a small amount of information out of the total available according to some criteria, and discarding the rest. Repeated abstractions inevitably produce a hierarchical thought-structure, with each higher level being more inclusive but less detailed than preceding levels.

Hierarchic thinking reflects the structure of the human mind. In fact, the process of initiation from Yesod through Chesed is primarily a process of becoming consciously aware of the various innate levels of the mind's structure, and serially re-organizing the contents of the mind to suit each level's nature.

But the universe is not so simply organized; in fact, entities at any particular level of existence are constantly interacting with, influencing and being influenced by, entities at all other levels. There is no hierarchy, but instead an amazing network of information flows and resonances, in which entities at any level can produce significant influences on events. Most of this activity is lost to consciousness in the discovery of essences and archetypes; it is “filtered out” before it reaches the conscious self. Thus in the vision the Exempt Adepts and the essential world in which their awareness is focused are pale ghosts.

Nevertheless, these unincorporated aspects of existence are continuously influencing the person despite his general lack of awareness. Eventually enough incidents of “things that don't fit” accumulate that the E.A. has to admit the inadequacy of his model of the universe. This in turn leads to realization by the Ruach of its own innate limitations and restrictions. (In the vision, the model, the perceived essences, are the kingly clothes; the Ruach is represented by the underclothes. ) Before the person can move on, he has to abandon reliance upon both, and become once more a small naked being in a big universe. When this is done, he becomes a “Babe of the Abyss”.