The Aeonic Perspective of the Enochian Temples
The Aeonic Perspective of the Enochian Temples
by Benjamin Rowe
The initiatory system of the Enochian Temples divides the path of initiation into four major stages, distinguished primarily by the types and sources of the influences they are sensitive to. Briefly, these stages are:
1. Lunar-planetary, focused in Yesod and governing the triangle formed by Netzach, Hod, and Malkuth. Sensitive to forces originating inside the aura of the Earth (primarily elemental), and generally controlled by those forces. Represented in the Temple by the floor and altars. Related to the aeon of Taurus.
2. Solar-planetary, focused in Tiphereth and governing the rectangle formed by Hod, Netzach, Geburah and Chesed. Sensitive to elemental forces, but actively dominating them. Also sensitive to and controlled by the forces of the zodiacal signs. Represented in the Temple by the pillars and sephirotic crosses. Related to the aeon of Aries.
3. Solar-systemic or Solar-transitional, governing the rectangle formed by Geburah, Chesed, Binah and Chokmah. This stage has no stable focus point. Sensitive to the energies of the other planets of the solar system. Represented in the Temple by the roof and outer curtain. Related to the aeon of Pisces.
4. Cosmic, focused in Kether and governing the triangle formed by Kether, Chokmah, and Binah. Sensitive to cosmic forces, primarily those of the zodiacal constellations (not to be confused with the zodiac signs) and the constellations of Polaris, the Great Bear, Sirius, and the Pleiades. These latter four constellations are the cosmic prototypes for the four levels of this initiatory system. Represented in the Temple by the Sphere of the Three Names of God, and by the pillar of fire in the middle of the Temple. Related to the aeon of Aquarius.
The progression through these four stages is symbolized in the formula I.R.N.I., a reversal of the Piscean formula of I.N.R.I. or IAO.
The older formula is primarily concerned with the relations between the Lunar- planetary and Solar-planetary stages through the cyclic process of reincarnation. Under that formula, one lived in the world (first I), then died (N) to be reborn as a soul (R), which then incarnated again (last I). But the actions of the Aeonic Prophet of the Piscean aeon symbolized in the stories of Jesus, and their absorption into the zeitgeist, have completely eliminated any need for death or a death-like experience in the transition between Lunar and Solar stages.
At humanity's present level of development, the Solar consciousness can be achieved while in incarnation by anyone who wants it through strong desire (the lowest aspect of Will), self-analysis, and meditation. Effort is still required, but no loss of self occurs in the process. In the incoming Aquarian aeon, the shift from Solar-planetary to Cosmic awareness still requires a series of willed death-like experiences. So the “N” of I.N.R.I has been properly moved to follow the solar “R” in the new formula.
The mythological system of the Earth Tablet working depicts the I.R.N.I. formula under the character of the two Warrior-Mages (Horus and Set) whose efforts link the Lesser Mother, the Earth, with the Greater Mother, Nuit. In the old formula Set was depicted as inferior to Horus, representing a false death which the earthbound soul conquered to achieve full awareness of itself. In the new formula, he represents the conscious destruction of the soul that must occur before the person can unite the awareness with the divine Will. This is a true annihilation of the Solar being, unlike the death of the old formula, which was only a change of state having no permanent effect on the Solar being.
Thus, at the end of point 0 Set proclaims himself to have finally conquered Horus. The soul, the individual self-aware identity, perishes, to be replaced by the monadic awareness symbolized by Hadit. As it is said, “There is an end to the word of the God enthroned in Ra's seat, lightening the girders of the soul.” The higher formula, linking the Earth with the Cosmos, supersedes the lower formula, linking the Earth with the Sun.
(This may seem to contradict what was said in point 0. It is the soul as an “ego- making faculty” that is destroyed. This faculty is the persistent tendency of the solar consciousness to perceive itself as the most important thing that exists, and its tendency to polarize the other sephiroth of the Ruach so that their natural action is subordinated to the solar consciousness. Once this aspect of the soul is destroyed the entire Ruach, including Tiphereth, becomes polarized so that it is fully responsive to the monadic consciousness that is the true core-being of man.)
Set's comments in point 0 about his relations with Horus are a depiction of this supersession of formulas. But they are also a depiction of the relations between Aleister Crowley, representing Horus, and Charles Stansfield Jones, representing Set. Just as the formula of the Piscean aeon was enacted by the mage Jesus, so the formula of the Aquarian aeon was being enacted by these two, and continues to be enacted by Set's current avatar.
In this aeonic mystery play, the first player to appear is brash Horus, representing the conquering child, the perfected Warrior-King of the aeon of Aries. The next to appear (as Horus' “magickal son”) identified himself as a god of the Elements, and of the Earth, connecting him with Set, the scorpionic “dark son” of the Taurean aeon.
Fiery Horus hated the watery formula of the Piscean Aeon. As a child, he suffered under the most debased applications of the Piscean formula. As an adult, he denied the formula completely and acted as if the entire aeon was an aberration. He closed the old aeon on one level by replacing the repressive religious paternalism of his childhood environment (Jupiter, ruler of Pisces) with the rebellious independence that is the lowest aspect of Uranus, the new ruler of Aquarius.
Watery Set already possessed control over the Uranian energies; Uranus is exalted in Scorpio. This enabled him to rise up and embrace the higher aspect of Aquarius. He used the astrological wisdom of Thoth (Mercury, exalted in Aquarius) to re-formulate the Tree of Life, to “fix the design in its purity”, so that thee power of Cosmic Love (Venus exalted in Pisces) was replaced with the sign of the new aeon, and the Word of the Law descends from Kether to Tiphereth as Heru-Ra-Ha, the Divine Will of the path of Shin.1 In addition his Tree embodies the formulas of the new aeon and the three previous aeons, showing their correct relationship and unifying them in a single path of initiation.
Horus correctly overcame the exoteric aspects of Pisces, but he was caught by the esoteric aspect of Divine Love, under the formula of the Rose Cross. He could not abandon the Arian/Piscean version of the Tree of Life, which embodies this formula in its three horizontal paths. Had he done so, the mystery of the Warrior-Mages would have been enacted under the more benevolent symbolism of Arthurian romance. But he did not recognize the higher aspect of the Aquarian energy, and, invoking Tradition and Authority (Saturn) to justify himself, launched an attack on Set. Publicly Horus questioned Set's sanity; magickally he used the links created by Set's oath to his magickal Orders as a means of attack. Thus he caused Set's manifestation to shift from its silent middle aspect into its more potent scorpion and eagle modes. The destroyer aspect manifested in Jones' increasingly vicious verbal attacks on Crowley. The eagle aspect was needed so that Set could complete the job that Horus failed to do.
Each full aeonic cycle is a fresh start, building on the past but not limited by it. Saturn was ruler of Aquarius during the previous Great Cycle, and by invoking it Horus invoked the powers of that cycle. Having just announced that the old cycle had come to completion, he now said, in effect, “Hey - I take that back.” He wanted the change to stop in the middle, so that he could keep the Rose Cross as the supreme formula.
This left it up to Set, with his superior awareness of the divine Will manifesting through Uranus, to transform the divine Love of Pisces into the Universal Mercury of Aquarius. Set is never one to step back from necessary work, and he proceeded to do this task in a fashion that was both grand in conception and elegantly direct and simple in execution. He joined the center of Piscean power, the Catholic Church, and spent several years being initiated in its system to form magickal links with its esoteric power.
He then traveled west to the limits of the Church's influence, taking the objects that were his link to the Church with him. He invoked the forces of the new aeon, and cast away the magickal links to show that under the dark cloak of the Church's teaching was hid the form of the Air kerub of Aquarius, the Man. The warrior-king's warriors (in the form of the local police) grabbed him immediately, but too late to affect the ceremony. Thus he completed the closing of the old aeon where Horus faltered.2
Horus, having cut himself off from the true scorpian current by his rejection of Set, continued to delve into the past; he invoked various gods from his own Aries aeon to substitute for the lost current of divine Will. He pulled so much power from that past aeon that a countering current from the future aeon of Maat, Libra, came in to balance it.
Now Set, no longer Jones, completes the manifestation of his current by showing the perfection of the Will in the Eagle aspect of Scorpio. This Eagle is that energy that binds together the receptive and active aspects of Tiphereth. Released from Tiphereth by the self-willed death of the Scorpion, it is tested and purified by the venom of the Snake, which kills off any remaining shreds of solar matter that might cling to it. It becomes pure Will. Purified, it is immune to the venom and can no longer be killed by any means. It rises on wings of will to land in the path of Tzaddi, where it exchanges its watery Scorpio nature to enter the stellar realms of Aquarius. 3
Set's current avatar demonstrates this aspect and completes the enactment of the formula of the Aeon. As the god says in point 0, Horus attempted to destroy his work in the previous avatar, and for a time appeared to have succeeded. But Set's purified will aspect enabled him to maintain full continuity of purpose between that life and this one. Once his current avatar achieved sufficient power as a magician, the work continued from exactly the point where it had left off, with no backtracking or redevelopment. By doing this he demonstrates his conquest of Horus. Had Horus' view been correct Set would have had to start over completely in his new incarnation, as was the rule under the old formula of I.N.R.I./IAO.
It is this ability to consciously maintain the continuity of the Will between incarnations which Set now offers to humankind. This is not a new ability; it has existed at all points in space and time throughout the life of our universe. But on our little planet conditions have never previously permitted it to be acquired by any large number of persons. Such is not the case today, when the Will aspect is manifesting more powerfully than at any previous time. Changing conditions on cosmic levels have their reflection in the lives of men and women. What has been a special skill of those who have crossed the “Abyss” will, over the coming century, become increasingly available to those who have not yet done so.
People need not leave works incomplete when a life ends. Under the Will, the being can discard a worn-out body and select a new one adjusted for changes in the environment and zeitgeist. The personality is not preserved, nor is the soul in many cases. The Eagle creates a new soul for itself with every incarnation. Memory of past lives is available or not, as the Eagle choses. The new body and soul recapitulate the evolution of past lives in such a way that, at the moment when the person reaches full development, he finds himself continuing the work of the previous life at the same point and level of development where it had left off. This is true immortality; adaptable to the times it passes through rather than maintaining an outmoded form beyond its usefulness, but preserving a continuing purpose between lives.
Full identification with the Will aspect eventually leads the magician into conscious contact with the center of power, sometimes called Shamballa, that embodies the Will of the Life that is incarnate as the planet Earth. Passage through this center frees the mage from his obligations within the Earth's sphere of influence, and enables him to participate as a conscious creator within the larger scheme being expressed by the solar system as a whole.
Up to this present day, passage through this center was the only means by which one could obtain clear conscious awareness of the Solar scheme. On lower levels, contact has been deliberately blocked in order that certain tasks might be accomplished within the Earth's sphere. Had this blockage not been present, the disruptive effects occurring at certain stages of the work would have spilled out into the system, causing distortions and disturbances of the larger work.
The barriers that block the Earth from the stars are the 30 Aethyrs or Aires of the Enochian magickal system. In the Theosophical system and Alice Bailey's related system, these barriers are called “the etheric web surrounding the Earth”. They were created out of the elements in such a way as to form a maze around the Earth through which no direct passage was possible. Only the most skilled of mages could thread the maze in its entirety. The nineteenth Enochian Call is a commemoration of the steps by which the barriers were formed, and of the state the Life of the Earth had to assume in order to accomplish her tasks. A full description of those tasks and the means of their accomplishment has been given by the Enochian intelligences, and is recorded in the form of an Aquarian hero-mythos in The Book of the Seniors.
Now that these tasks have been nearly accomplished the barriers surrounding the Earth can come down, enabling her and all those living on her to enter fully into the Solar scheme on all levels of existence. The Temples of the Tablets are one means by which the barriers will be destroyed.
Any properly constructed and charged Temple attracts a flow of divine Will from outside the barriers. The first inflow of this energy pushes the barriers inwards, so that they are pinned down to the Earth's surface underneath the Temple. As the Temple gathers power through use a process of occult “burning” begins, creating holes in the barriers through which other energies that the Earth now needs can be brought in.
The effectiveness of this “burning” increases with the number of Temples in active use. Any two Temples generate lines of cosmic fire between them.4 These lines of fire also act to burn through the barriers over their length. So the effectiveness of this work at any point in time is determined by the number of possible connections between the Temples then in existence. The intelligences who presented the design of the Temple hope that enough people will use this technique to create a web of fire over the surface of the Earth sufficient to burn through the barriers in just a few years' time.
Building the Temple is not an altruistic work, even though its major purpose does not relate to individuals. There has not been time for the full possibilities of the Temple to be discovered, but some ways of using it have been found to be profitable.
First, the magician can use the Temple in a way similar to the Golden Dawn practice of “building the Tree of Life in the aura”. The sphere of the Three Names is identified with the chakra above the head. The bottom of the King's four-cube column is at the level of the ajna chakra, with the wheel of the Seniors extending outward from the same level. The column of fire in the center of the Temple is identified with the spinal column, and the lower Temple is built up around it.5
Steady use of this practice first causes a burning away of any material in the body of light that has a low vibratory level, cleaning and clarifying that body.6 Following this, there comes a gradual, controlled burning away of the etheric webs that block the flow of electric fire up and down the spinal column. This takes place at a rate that allows the body and consciousness to adapt to the changes without difficulty, although there will be some periods of unpleasant perceptual effects as various parts of the web dissolve. These effects are dangerous only if one seeks to avoid experiencing them. Concurrently, there is an activation of all the major chakras. As the process nears completion the seven subsidiary centers in the head also begin to activate.
The author has been told, but can not yet fully confirm, that the process leads to a state where the conscious being can be fully aware of events on all four of the major perceptual levels simultaneously and without confusion of levels. Additionally, the person becomes able maintain full continuity of consciousness in both the waking and sleeping states. The author's experience so far tends to confirm this claim, but not as yet for all four levels at once.
As the magician becomes increasingly conscious of higher levels during this process, the Enochian intelligences will supply him with information and experiences to aid him in making the changes permanent, and to help him relate those experiences to planetary and cosmic events. They will also call on any other inner-plane sources the magician has to assist in this teaching. The information will always be presented using the symbol-systems with which the magician is most comfortable. It is not necessary to use the system of Achad's Tree. However, the magician can expect that his understanding of whatever system he uses will change substantially as the process continues. Only in cases where the magician's system is totally inadequate to express the principles being taught will the intelligences attempt to create or guide the magician to another system adequate to the need.
To use the Temple for astral exploration of the Enochian system, the magician identifies himself with the King's column of fire, and then invokes the specific angel or square of the Tablet he wants to examine. He projects a beam of light out of himself, through the part of the Temple representing the invoked force, and out into the astral space surrounding the Temple. The beam should cause a landscape or other scene to appear in that space, into which the magician can project himself to explore.
For experienced Temple users, there is one other exercise that the author would like to suggest. With the altars in their positions inside the Temple's outer curtain, charge the Temple completely, using the Calls of the Lesser Angles as well as the primary Call of the Tablet. Do this repeatedly for about a week, picturing the energy as accumulating inside the Temple, held there by the outer curtain. Endeavor to make the charge as intense as possible.
After the Temple is fully charged, move all the altars to their outside positions. Allow the accumulated energies to flow where they will, without conscious direction. They will be drawn to the outside of the Temple by the altars, where they will form a lotus containing hundreds of petals. If the magician is able to see the petals clearly, he will find that the tip of each is inscribed with a sigil. Record several of these sigils for later use. Move the altars back inside the Temple to close the lotus.
Memorize one of the recorded sigils so that its form can be held clearly in the imagination for an extended period. During the next work-session, call up the Temple, recite the Call of the Tablet and invoke the Three Names, the King, and the Seniors. Place the sigil in the King's pillar of fire, and endeavor to make the intensity of the fire as great as possible. See the sigil as being brought to a state of activation by the fire.
Project the consciousness into the sigil, and absorb the energy in it. Then rise directly up through the pillar and the sphere of the Three Names, and outwards into space, rising on the planes until a scene appears. Explore the scene in the usual fashion.
The magician will find that the forces represented by these sigils relate to aspects of existence that have nothing at all to do with events within the Earth's sphere. Some relate to aspects of the larger plan being worked out in the solar system. Others relate to the energies of particular stars or constellations. And many appear to connect to events occurring totally outside the current cycle of manifestation in our universe.
The Temple of each Tablet has its own lotus, with its own sigils. The Great Temple, formed by fusing the four Temples of the Tablets, creates a larger lotus with several thousand petals. The author has been told that combinations of sigils from adjacent petals can also be used to generate gates to other worlds, making a truly staggering number of worlds available to the magician. These are the star-roads mentioned in point 0. Each sigil and combination of sigils represents a link to a new world, a new existence, to which the person who has been freed from his obligation to the Earth can travel.
We who have gone through our spiritual evolution here on Earth are in a position nearly unique in our cosmos. Because of the conditions created here during the previous great aeonic cycle while the Earth performed her special task, we have been subjected to a degree of spiritual stress rarely seen in other places, and never on such a large scale and for such a length of time as here. It has produced in us a toughness, a spiritual invulnerability that is normally only achieved at a much higher level of existence. Having only others of our own kind with whom to compare ourselves, it has not been apparent that this is so, but it is nevertheless true.
This quality we have developed is valuable within the larger scheme of which our solar system is a part. Compared to other beings of our own level who evolved elsewhere, we are all of us like hot wires, literally radiating spiritual force. If a monad or soul from Earth is placed in a less intense evolutionary scheme, it will act as a catalyst. It will cause the souls and monads of that scheme to take on some of our own toughness, our ability to channel significant amounts of spiritual force, but without creating the spiritual stress by which we have achieved. This intensifies and speeds up the manifestation of whatever principles are being worked out in the scheme, advancing its evolution immensely and producing a radiatory quality that could not otherwise have been achieved.
Once the barriers around the Earth are down completely, nearly half the adepts and mages here will be freed of any further obligations to assist in her development. Others will come in to take our places, and to acquire some of our special qualities. We can remain here if we chose to do so, or pass on to other work. There are far more worlds having need of our special qualities than there are beings to provide them, so we have great choice in where we go and what we do.
The sigils shown to each magician on the petals of the lotuses are gates to those worlds that have need not only of the qualities common to all the Earth-evolved, but also those qualities that are specific to the magician, those that make him unique. Each world is an opportunity for further development along specific lines through world service. They do not represent all of the possible paths open to the magician, but only those with which he has the greatest resonance. He is not obligated to chose one of the presented paths.
In any case, the final act of choice does not take place while the mage is in incarnation. Incarnate existence places too many limits on the perceptions for a clear choice to be made. But the act of exploring these worlds while incarnate helps to stabilize the awareness on those levels where the choice must eventually be made.
Author's addendum, 1992:
Since writing the above, certain additional aspects of the initiatory process have become clarified, particularly in reference to the transition from solar to “cosmic” levels.
As was said above, the advent of the Piscean aeon resulted in the elimination of the need for a death-like experience in the transition from the lunar (mundane) consciousness to the solar consciousness. It now appears that the advent of the Aquarian aeon has resulted in a similar elimination of the need for a death-like experience in moving from the solar to the cosmic levels.
The astrological keynote of the sign Pisces is sacrifice; thus the act which broke the barriers between lunar and solar consciousness was symbolized in the form of the scapegoat ritual. Jesus the scapegoat took on all the “sins” of humanity, through the Piscean process of compassion. And through compassion, he identified himself with the entire race. Thus his death in the ritual effectively took in all the future lunar-to-solar death experiences of the race, eliminating the need for anyone else to experience them.
In the current aeon, the Aquarius-Leo axis dominates existence. The key to the working of this axis is in the principle that all things are simultaneously One and Many. A human body is Many, in that it is composed of a multitude of cells; it is One in that it acts as a unified whole with respect to its environment. Similarly the human solar consciousness has the appearance of individuality, but is composed of numerous sub-minds bound together by the force of the “monad” or divine consciousness. The subjective appearance of a unique, self-aware individuality (the “soul” or solar consciousness) is a second-order effect, arising from the cooperative interaction of the sub-minds.
The process of moving from the solar to the cosmic levels is thus not a matter of destroying the solar self. Rather, it becomes a matter of training that self to become aware of its already-existent, alternative state as a multitude of sub- minds acting in concert, and to enable the solar self to move into that state at will. In the state of multiplicity, the solar awareness eventually gives its accumulated energy back into the unique but non-individualized awareness of the divine consciousness. With practice, the person can eventually move between the solar and the cosmic states at will, without the need for any sort of destructive action or death experiences. And beyond that, the divine awareness can eventually learn to act simultaneously as both an individualized human soul and as a non-individualized divine spark, being effectively in two places at once.
The initial conditioning needed to move into the multi-mind state must be done by the solar awareness itself. Thus the symbolism of Scorpio, of force directed against the self by the self, is still appropriate to the third stage of the initiatory process.
The mages responsible for the revelation of the “Enochian Temples” material specifically – and vehemently – deny the existence of the so-called “Abyss”. They state that there is absolutely no need for any sort of destructive action or death-like experience in the transition from solar to cosmic awareness.
1 Set's current avatar also makes extensive use of the astrological wisdom. He has devised a technique of self-initiation based entirely on observation of the planets' influence on the individual horoscope. It now turns out that this technique by itself is capable of carrying the individual through all of those initiations governed by Set in the system presented here.
2 It is interesting to note that in Set's current avatar, each of his major initiations has been followed almost immediately by a confrontation with Horus' warriors. Additionally, the warriors appeared just a few minutes after the dictation of point 0 was finished. (An account of this incident is presented in The Book of the Seniors.) But unlike the case mentioned in the text, in these later cases the warriors found no way to arrest him, even though in each instance there was a reason for arrest available had they looked just a little harder. The author believes this indicates that Set's attempt to close the old aeon was successful, and his conquest of Horus was complete.
3 Note that in Achad's Tree, all five of the paths that cross the Abyss represent one or another aspect of the Will. Shin is the primal Will, merging the three fires; Peh its division into the triple expression of fire-by-friction, solar fire, and cosmic or electric fire. Ayin shows the will's restrictive and destructive aspects, Resh its releasing and creative aspects, and Samek its synthetic or coordinating aspect.
4 These lines do not transmit information between the Temples unless the Temples were deliberately intended to resonate by the magicians creating them, as would be the case if a magician used the sample consecration without changing the dedications. Without such deliberate connection, actions taken in one Temple do not directly affect other Temples.
5 A physical Temple can also be used in a way similar to the “Vault of Christian Rosencreutz” in the G.D. system.
6 Use of drugs, including caffeine and nicotine, tends to nullify this effect.
Copyright 1988, 1992 by Benjamin Rowe
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