Bookmark this page on these social networks
Hermetic Library discussions
Enochian Temples: The Lower Temple
by Benjamin Rowe
The Lower Temple
The previous sections dealt with the Temple primarily in its relation to the macrocosmic world. The Servient squares were considered only in their formation as the floor, and were largely ignored otherwise. But they can also be grouped to form altars of the four Lesser Angles within the Temple.
The Lesser Angles of the Tablets represent the microcosm within the Enochian system. They reflect in miniature the symbolism of the Six conjoined with the Four that is the keynote of each Tablet as a whole, and can be thought of as expressing the lesser poles of Tiphereth-Malkuth within the larger polarity of Kether-Malkuth expressed by the entire Tablet.
To construct the altar of a Lesser Angle, each Servient square of the Lesser Angle is assigned to a water-aspect cube measuring one unit on each side. The four cubes for each row of Servient squares are grouped into a larger square, in the same way as was done for the Kerubic pillars in the original design. These larger squares are then stacked on top of each other in the same order as in the Tablet. This produces a shape two units square and four units high, the relative dimensions of the standard double-cube altar of the universe.
When the Lesser Angle is to be dealt with as part of the larger 6-and-4 pattern of the Temple, the altars can be placed either inside or outside the Temple proper. In either case, they are placed on the diagonal line extending from the center of the Temple through the pillar of the Lesser Angle. When placed inside the Temple, they should be positioned on the four central squares of their quarter. This puts them directly under the Tiphereth square of the Sephirotic cross of the Lesser Angle. When placed outside the Temple, they should be positioned at a distance from the pillar equal to the pillar's distance from the center of the Temple.
The altars are charged by first invoking the Sephirotic Angels of the Lesser Angle and then invoking the Servient Angels, starting with the bottom and working upwards. As the angels are invoked, the Sephirotic cross in the ceiling of the Temple should be felt drawing power up out of the earth through the altar. As the power reaches the top of the altar, it should be seen welling upwards and outwards in a perpetually-unfolding lotus, or a peacock's tail, brilliant with light and color. The energies should strive intensely upwards towards the cross, and a corresponding pull downwards should be felt in the cross.
The attraction of the altar for the cross should be so intense that, if the Kerubic pillars were not truly immovable, the two would crash together.
Since each Lesser Angle is a microcosm, it can be used independently of the rest of the Tablet. A study of Dee's model invocations and the powers he attributes to the Lesser Angles indicates that all of the truly “elemental” magick in the Enochian system lies in the use of the Lesser Angles as free units, which is the magick of the Son and Daughter.
The altars for independent use are formed by starting with the basic altar mentioned above. The Sephirotic cross is built of fire-aspect cubes oriented with their empty faces as top and bottom, It is visualized standing upright, with its four lowest cubes interpenetrating the four cubes in each row of the altar. The six upper cubes project above the top of the altar. The vertical edges of the vertical arm of the cross will be aligned with the centers of the four columns of cubes making up the altar.
The Kerubic names appear as four fire-aspect cubes laid horizontally and connected by their empty faces. This row of cubes is above the top of the altar at a distance of four units. It should feel as if it is held there by pressure from forces radiating upwards from the Sephirotic cross.
To charge this second form of the altar, begin by invoking the Sephirotic names. As the names are vibrated, fire should be visualized pouring down from infinity and filling the cross with light. Its outline glows, and a fiery beam forms in the vertical arm, with lesser beams projecting from the cubes of the horizontal arm.
The Servient names are invoked next, starting at the bottom, and the water- aspect cubes of each row should well up with force, in response to the energies of the cross. Finally, the Kerubic name is invoked. It rides upon the forces radiating up from the cross, and as its power appears it first forms a star with four arms radiating horizontally, with a distinctly metallic appearance. The Kerubic angel's power goes outward and down from these arms, forming a transparent crystal shell around the altar and cross.
When considered independently, the Lesser Angles each represent the perfection or transubstantiation of matter by the force of the spirit. The cross is the spirit, the altar is the base matter, and the kerub is the transformed matter. Or it could be said that the altar is the ore, the cross is the heat, and the Kerubs are the refined metals. In another aspect, they represent the raising of the Daughter to the Mother's seat by the influence of the Son. And in another aspect they are the means by which the Six is anchored to the Four.
Innumerable occult symbols are full or partial correspondences to the energy relations expressed in the Lesser Angles. The sword in the stone, the cross on the mount, the Rose Cross, the Sacred Heart (in its esoteric interpretations), the cup and dagger, the King Enthroned and Crowned, and the transformation of IHVH into IHShVH are among the more immediately relevant examples. Any of these, or many others, would be suitable to rituals involving the Lesser Angles.
Excerpts from two dictations describe the initiatory symbolism of the altars and lower Temple. The first was given by Atapa, Sephirotic Angel of Fire of Water. The second was given by sources that did not identify themselves.
[This section was preceded by a description of how the altars are formed. – B.R.]
“Thus in each Tablet's Temple, there are four altars, one to each of the sub- angles. From the top of each of these altars springs a fountain of light, of sixteen streams, which shoot upwards in an inner cluster of four streams, and an outer cluster of twelve. Thus is each temple lit by four lamps of devotion.”
“It should be obvious why I have been the one to reveal this to you, o mage. For are not the forces of fire in water the forces of Mars, who is of the Sixth Ray, called the Ray of Devotion, among the planets? 1
“The two forms of the Servient squares, as first the floor and second the altars of the temple, show the two aspects of the devotional force. In its early stages, when god is still seen as an object outside the self, it generates that form of devotion which will brook no argument with its own way of seeing. Ye see this often in the evangelical sects, who are specifically devoted to the development of this force in the lowest types of man, those who are under the control of their emotional natures. (Though those who like cheap thrills are also attracted.)
“It also shows itself in the intense spirituality shown by most persons in their teenage years, when they become concerned with the larger meanings of things, but as yet lack the capacity to deal with such issues in an intelligent manner. Devotion is the development of the emotional capacity to its natural limits, and thus it shows itself so strongly at that age when all recapitulate that stage of their spiritual development.
“At the same time, this force is extremely combative in its lower phases. It cares not for reason. It only cares for the object of devotion, that that object not be sullied in the bearer-of-devotion's perceptions. He must protect that object at any cost, and thus he (or she) becomes angry, unreasoning, physically or emotionally violent when it is threatened.
“Thus such types have their natural place in the world, although ofttimes they are given far too much for their own good, simply because they are so persistent in their devotion to their object of worship. Recognize that such have their place, but that it is but one stop on the path, and must be left again in order to pass on to true gnosis.
“The focusing of the emotional nature onto a spiritual object, such as Jesus, or Mohammed, or Big Daddy “God”, or Mumbo-Jumbo God of the Congo for that matter, causes the gathering of the lower forces, those forces that control the uninitiated man, into a coordinated grouping. As we have here gathered the squares of the floor of the temple, and built of them an altar. Those gathered forces form the receptacle, the urn or altar, the grail, into which the light of the consciousness of the soul, the lower aspect of the Holy Guardian Angel, can enter. And this altar expresses that light in all of its forces, so that they rise upwards in streams as lamps for the temple.
“It is the fixity of the devotion that causes this change. For devotion is the lowest of the aspects of Will, and therefore is it the keynote of the worlds in which the uninitiated man lives. Eventually this focus is so intense that it causes the light of the soul to be drawn down, bringing with it the first true knowledge of the spirit. The consciousness focused in the emotional body is raised up for a time and absorbed into the consciousness of the soul, before returning to its own plane. And the soul lights its way from there on until their union, when the light of the greater sun, the light of the Crown, takes its place in life completely.
“The path from the lower to the middle aspect is one that seems to take the man away from his soul for a while. The intellectual aspect and the aspect of the integrated personality and its values must also be developed, or the man will not be able to stay within the higher worlds once he gets there. The lower bodies provide the seat or throne for his conscious soul, and the seat must stand on all four legs, not just the two of earth and air.
“A warrior must have his armor complete. If he go to a tourney wearing just his arm and leg armor, but with his head and breast bare, then he can not expect but that he will fall when he meets the lion in combat.2 Yet surely, ye say, the lion must overcome all eventually, so better quickly than slowly. But see ye, if the prey be weak, and easily conquered, and without meat upon its bones, then the lion might not deign to consume it, but will spit it out and leave it for the vultures and jackals. Just so with the man who dishonors his soul by seeking to give it less than his whole being, fully developed, strong in all its aspects.
[preceded by a summary of the Temple's structure as given earlier. The attribution of the paths to the Tree of Life mentioned below follow Achad's system. –B.R.]
In this current vision, we see the Temple as it relates to the personality in its uninitiated and initiated phases. This addition completes the formation, and perfects the geometric symbolism of the Temple.
The floor of the Temple is the personality in its uninitiated aspect. Few are those who live entirely within the world whose energies are the floor. Such are those who live entirely in terms of their sensations of the external world, never considering anything at all inside themselves. They are the so-called “natural man”. Most of the human race is far beyond this condition, and are at least in the process of building the altars out of the stone of the floor.
When the natural man first begins to see beyond the facade of the outward world, and to wonder at the origins and nature of the things beyond it, his perceptions are vague, changing, like the airs of the path of Aleph. He looks for something that is invisible to him. He aspires, as most now do, to become more than he is in some fashion. But he lacks the experience and judgment to know truth from falsity in that realm, and so he attaches his aspirations to many an unworthy object. Like the Fool, he is constantly in danger of falling over a figurative cliff, since he cares not the form his aspiration takes, but only that it have a form and become real to him.
This is as it should be. The act of aspiration itself is what is important, not the object it is attached to. Aspiration begins to sensitize him to his inner sensations, which lead him to a perception of the emotional-astral planes, which are his first goal on the path. He draws himself up out of the Earth, and into the Air, by his desire.
In the process, he draws up behind him his connections to his manifest being. Slowly they re-assemble themselves into the basic form of the altar, containing the same energies, but in a more concentrated form. Like a clever juggler, he has thrown the elements of himself up into the air, and caused them to land in a neat stack.
As he moves into the sphere of Yesod, he begins to understand the nature of worship, of devotion to the ideal. He seeks to reflect the ideal in himself, attaching it to himself by his devotion, in the path of Luna. He expects the object to return his worship, to show the power of Love in that object's particular form. He seeks to make himself a vessel for that force, through the path of Cancer, and he seeks to manifest that ideal in the world through the path of Daleth.
The juggler continues to move the elements of the perceived self around, looking for a form that fits the ideal. He continually compares the ideas that come to him against the response to his worship that he felt in Yesod. His ideas become closer and closer approximations of his feelings and religious experiences. As this happens, the force of emotion supports them increasingly, until he becomes the dogmatist, the priest.3
Finally, in Netzach, he perceives for the first time that all of his dogma is not revealed truth, but merely the summation of his own manifest nature. It is a very attractive idea to believe that the integrated personality is the height of creation, and many decide to stay in Netzach for extended periods. Thus Netzach is called False Victory, triumph cut short.
But if he does not stay, he perceives this reflection4 in the path of Mem, by the light of Tiphereth pouring down into the astral nature. In the path of Gemini, he perceives the inherent dualism of all intellectual constructs, that all systems of ideas must end in either paradox, infinite regressions, or tautologies. In the path of Leo he perceives the soul behind the outward self in its fullness, and the manner in which it enlivens the lower bodies and creates a projection of itself in the values the personality has expressed.
He then uses the force of the path of Virgo to separate himself from his own thinking, to weed out those thoughts that are not an expression of his soul. This is the path of doubt, by which the dualisms of the intellect are overcome. The force of Libra, he uses to balance his personal values against those of a more general nature, also seeking to remove from those values anything that is not of the soul.
Through these two paths, and the received force of the soul in Mem, he rises into Tiphereth and the middle triad of the Tree of Life, where he becomes an adept. His path from this point on has already been described in the previous instruction.
In the Temple, the altar of each sub-element is directly under the Tiphereth square of that angle's Sephirotic Cross. The light of the soul, the sun, as it is projected into the sub-element, draws the forces of the lower being into alignment in the form of the altar. It then draws out of each of those forces its spiritual essence, so that the fountain of light springs up from the top of the altar. When fully invoked in the Temple, each altar will give the sensation of unremitting upward striving, trying to pull down the forces above that form the place of the gods in the temple. The forces of the gods will seem to strive downward in response. But the pillars of the Temple hold them in place, so that the Temple does not collapse from the force of attraction.
1 The so-called Sixth Ray rules the plane in Alice Bailey's system equivalent to Yesod in the Cabala. Both systems agree that this is the plane of the emotional nature. Mars connects to Yesod through the functions of the corresponding chakra. What is being spoken of here is a re-direction of the sexual-emotional energies to a higher purpose. In this system, devotion is considered to be the lowest aspect of the Will.
2 The lion in this instance is the soul in Tiphereth.
3 In the path of Vav, connecting Hod and Netzach.
4 That is, the reflection of the true soul in the integrated personality.
Copyright 1987, 1992 by Benjamin Rowe
Permission is granted to distribute this work in electronic form, with these conditions:
1) No fees may be charged for the distribution or transmission of this document, other than standard charges for use of transmission lines or electronic media. Distribution for commercial purposes or by commercial entities is specifically prohibited.
2) All copies distributed must contain the complete, unedited text of the original document and this copyright notice.
3) Persons acquiring the electronic version of this document may make one printed copy for their personal use.
All other rights are retained by the author.
Hosted by Hermetic.com
— fileinfo: path: '../hermetic.com/browe/lowertem.html' created: 2016-03-15 modified: 2016-03-15 …