The Road to the Sun: A Record of Self Initiation to Tipheret

by Bill Heidrick

All rights reserved by the author © 1989

“How fair and how pleasant art thou, o love, for delights!
This thy stature is like to a palm tree,
And thy breasts to clusters of grapes.
I said: 'I will climb up into the palm tree,
I will take hold of the branches thereof;
And let thy breasts be as clusters of the vine,
And the smell of thy countenance like apples;
And the roof of thy mouth like the best wine,
That glideth down smoothly for my beloved,
Moving gently the lips of those that are asleep.”

— from “The Song of Songs, Which is Solomon's” 7: 7-10




All things have one beginning and one ending. The end is the beginning. I was born into this world August ninth, 1943 e.v. and I have lived many lives since my birth. Some of these lives have been joyful, some have held the bitter pain of innocence, some have been blind anger, some have been filled with the softness of love. I have learned to hate. In hate I could find no one to hate but myself. The hate was great enough to teach love. The love was small enough to banish hate forever. Now love grows inexorably toward Chesed and that which is beyond all loves and hates, yet ever in love and ever the object of hate. No end and no beginning, yet the semblance of both. Drink deeply in these reflections and know yourself in me. We are one, you and I; and in our oneness we may transcend all and reach the great silence that is somehow everything and nothing. A truth so obvious may be a secret forever.

Let us make an oath never to deceive or willfully hide growing thoughts from one another. There are many secret lodges hiding in their secret thoughts. To know the tale and tell it not is death, and such lodges always die with their makers. True secrets keep themselves until gentle wooing brings them as lovers to our souls. There is no master of such mysteries save the master of the inmost self. Let us share this pledge, brothers and sisters: that light which comes to each of us let us share with any who are open to receive.

There is no jealous god or scheming devil to torment such as we. There are mysteries of great beauty behind these dull and grotesque masks. These masks have been made by half enlightened men who refuse to trod the next step on the way. They remain as bleached and grinning skulls to frighten children into false and stiffening maturity. There is no pain of evil and no sin save by clandestine agreement between half asleep self deceivers. There is no truth but only Truth. That truth we tend to all our lives. Enlightenment is not knowledge of truth; it is steady and continuing growth toward timelessness and perfection beyond the current perfection.

Let us bind ourselves in one more oath. Say anything, even judgments of one another; but let the judgments be soft words forgotten by the speaker as they are spoken. Let us not compare spiritual progress. Let us share our acts and joys, our sorrows and our yearnings; but let no one say: “My state is better than another's.” Neither shall anyone say: “I lack the perfections of my brother.” This is folly of the lowly sort. Let us partake of the folly of light and make no hateful comparisons. No one can truly know who stands higher and who lower beneath the open Eye of God. In matters of this world there are necessary comparisons to be made, but these mean nothing in the Great Work.

Still, such experiments and searches as we make may aid others to know themselves. Let us share such when we can. Our Order is a great one which has no bounds or rulers. It is the order of Beings and we are of the lodge of Humanity. There is no higher order and no more rightful lodge.

These are my experiments with the way called Tree of Life.


The tenth Sephiroth.

Shortly after my birth, my parents gave me the name I bear in this world. This name is my name of Malkut: William Emmet Heidrick. Through many cycles of experience I have kept this name and used it in this world. My friends have given me other names; enemies have sometimes done the same. All these are names of Malkut, and all have magical power to raise or lower the powers of this world. My birth name binds me to the laws of this place and enables me to act through this society. My nicknames are a union with others in this place through love. The names called down upon my head are a reminder of work to be done in this place.

From birth to now I have dwelt in Malkut. Birth is initiation into Malkut. Death is severance from Malkut. I will be in Malkut until death takes me elsewhere,. That other place will be another experience of Malkut. This does not mean that I will never reach beyond Malkut. I exist in all ten levels of the Tree of Life always. The thing we call consciousness of self may flit about in any of these places. When that consciousness grows slowly from the least toward the highest, never relinquishing touch with the least nor abandoning the quest for the highest, the Tree of Life is climbed.

I first became aware of this climbing in April of 1970 e.v. The tale of my life before that time is too long to tell in this place, but I came to write in my diary:

2/19/70 e.v.

My religion is not Christian or Buddhist or any of those. It is not written down in a book or spoken by a leader. My religion is written in all the writings of men. It is spoken in all the words of men and in the utterances of beasts and the wind through trees and past the corners of buildings. It is felt in the texture of the manifestations of the Universal Being, whatever and wherever they may be. To me, truly, God is Being.

This was my consciousness then and it is still my consciousness now. It has grown in depth and in conviction without fundamental change.

What occurred in April of that year was a dream, a dream to move me on the path of Taw, the thirty-second path which goes from Malkut of the physical world to Yesod of the dreaming mind. This dream is too long to give here in its entirety, but these excerpts from my diary of 4/17/70 e.v. will show something of it.

I was in this world and I knew of another. A friend had disappeared into that other world. I followed and met a sort of nomadic tribe. The tribe was part of a race which was dominated by another race (like the “Well of the Worlds”, by Kuttner or an episode of Star Trek which I remember) … The elder of the Tribe rested me and applied a thin snake to my joints, saying that the bite of the snake would help, not hurt. I then seemed to see myself playing like a sort of quadruped animal with two members of the Tribe.

…we rode in old cars, and seemed to fear discovery. When the caravan reached the place of access to the caverns of the city of the master race, all the cars were concealed in a deep, overgrown ditch by the road. I lifted the car I was in … into the ditch alone, and I wondered at my strength. … Some of us went to a mound of rock which concealed the elevator to the city. … With a single Tribe member, I entered the elevator. On the back of the elevator was a complex set of directions, a set of control buttons of some sort, an oblong color television screen and a small window which displayed, one at a time, very imperative questions. I started to read the directions, but gave up. I pushed a button and the elevator must have started. The TV began to show guerrilla warfare scenes and the window started to ask questions; I ignored both … .

The elevator stopped and opened. My companion got out, but I saw another elevator which I knew went on from where this one left off. I held the door to the second elevator open and asked whether we should go there or into the passage just to the left. My companion said nothing, so I let the door close and led the way down the passage. I stepped out into a wider transept just as some uninformed men in orange braid on brown uniforms … were walking by (This shows a tendency to drift off the path of Taw and take the path of Shin between Malkut and Hod. Brown applies to Malkut and orange to Hod. The regimentation of the men is fitting for the rational path of Shin.) … The men passed and we went up another passage into a sort of foyer. A dignified couple fell on some wide steps and I helped … them up … . We seemed to be on the highest level of a city of towers and gardens. There was a clear blue sky despite being underground. I walked around a bit … up a short flight of stairs and onto a sort of open veranda. I passed a planted oval which had what looked like a low, … old gray gnarled tree almost hidden in green foliage. I came to a second oval much like the first, but its tree had a longer broken limb which seemed to be more like the arm of an octopus. I had a vision of the limb seizing and crushing the head of my companion. I struck the limb on its broken end, but it did not give – my hand hurt slightly. I then seized the end of the limb in one hand and crushed it like a piece of rotten wood. Two large pieces fell to the veranda. As I turned to walk away, I heard a voice say very clearly; “take the flesh of the diamond tree with you – it's food – it has no bones.” …

There is much more, but that's enough to get the idea. When I dreamed that dream, I had little knowledge of the Tree of Life diagram, yet the dream can be interpreted down to the last detail in terms of that diagram. It is not a difficult thing to do once the diagram is well enough understood; this dream fits easily.

I continued to grow slowly and experienced many other things of this sort and some things more bazaar.

In September of that same year, I made a study of the “Ritual of the Lesser Pentagram” from the writings of people who where associated in one way or another with the Order of the Golden Dawn, an occult organization founded in the 1880's. The Order of the Golden Dawn has fallen into ruin, and emerged again. Its teachings and its off-shoots involve the most active and workable areas of modern occultism. Aleister Crowley, Paul Foster Case, Dion Fortune, Israel Regardie, and many others derive many of their theories and practices from this organization. My own efforts are based upon the efforts of these people.

The Pentagram Ritual was the first formal magical ritual that I mastered aside from the magical rituals of Roman Catholicism, my earlier religion. The Ritual of the Lesser Pentagram trains the mind and body in the essential practices of ceremonial magick. I have placed a detailed description of this ritual together with other related material in an appendix of this book. Anyone who wishes to repeat my experiments may use the ritual as it appears in the appendix or refer to several other versions of the ritual to be found in the books listed there. The Pentagram Ritual has a dual function. It may be used to banish or to invoke elemental force. This ritual is first learned with the banishing pentagram of Earth. Later the invoking pentagram of Earth and other elemental pentagrams are introduced. The banishing form of the ritual is used to obtain freedom from distractions and obsessions and to prepare for other magical work. The Invoking form of the ritual is used to obtain elemental force for magick and meditation. The pentagram of Earth can send people and things away or bring them near. The Pentagram of Water can send or summon emotions. The pentagram of Air can send or summon life. The pentagram of Fire sends or summons intelligence. In addition to these attributions, other properties of the elements are associated with these pentagrams. For instance, the pentagram of fire effects physical fire as well as the lofty fire of thought. To learn this ritual and practice it thoroughly is to embark on the journey of a magician.

The pentagrams also function in relationship to the Tree of Life. The pentagram of Earth is proper to number 10, called Malkut or the Kingdom. That of Air is proper to Yesod, the Foundation, number 9. The pentagram of Water especially acts in Hod, Splendor, number 8. The Pentagram of Fire is potent in Netzach, Victory Through Endurance, number 7. It is fitting to begin with the pentagram of Earth, owing to its attribution to Malkut and the physical world. The other pentagrams are not easily controlled until consciousness has been awakened in their respective Sephiroth (Yesod, dream or fantasy awareness; Hod, rational or empirical awareness; Netzach, emotional or feeling awareness.). I began to practice this ritual in earnest soon after studying it. My diary records an early experience.

I did the following (2:30 AM to 3:30AM):

One banishing lesser pentagram ritual.
One invoking lesser pentagram ritual.
Meditation at desk.

No clear images, but notable feelings of strong concentration. Much vision of flaming clouds, vapors, etc. when eyes were opened. General tendency of motion upward in these clouds with a rate of about one to one and a half inches per second. Seemed to come from a region before me and from my hands – also solar plexus. General after effects: improved vision, etc. Did try to return Astral Body to physical one – caused rapid awakening to physical plane. No clear separation or realization of Astral Body noted.

Later that same day, I indulged in this bit of philosophy, perhaps partly because of the effects of the ritual:

He who speaks too early of the world as “Maya” or illusion should be more careful. The entire world of the senses is often a sort of illusion; but, not because of that, nonexistent. If I walk in front of a fast moving car, something will indeed happen to me. A fly doubtless doesn't see or perceive the impact of a fly swatter in the same way a man perceives the impact of a car, but the result is in both cases death. No matter where your soul is, unless it can build up a body from scratch, you have no more chance with that car than a fly has with a fly swatter. Doubtless death is not the simple thing it seems to be on the physical plane, but that doesn't make it nonexistent. A hurt hurts and a pain pains regardless of how or even whether or not it is noticed. The appearance is illusion, but there is a face behind each mask. It is the purpose of the mystic and the seeker after knowledge to unmask the many faces of reality, not to deny that there is some reality connected with what is seen. By the simple process of continued stripping of one mask after another, a point is eventually reached where all faces seem to be the same; or there seems to be no face at all. The latter is rooted in that greatest of follies, the denial of one's own existence. The former is material for pleasure or meditation, but signals the need for a new beginning and a new unmasking rather than the end of thought.

One must not forget that the experience of the Oneness of the All is often only a denial of the Difference of the Many, and not anything more or less than that. It is a mental action in the first instance, not an observation.

All this is quite a different thing from that state of meditation which transcends unity and difference and experiences all things in all places at one time.

I have come to realize that such philosophical bits and pieces come from some higher mental state.

They are communications, not speculations. Some part of myself knows something and takes any means open to it to communicate that something to the rest of me. These communications may come in dreams, physical happenings or, as here, philosophizings. After the passage of much time, the character of these communications has changed. I find myself writing instructions to myself without being fully aware of the act or of the intent. Messages of this sort have been described as specimens of the “Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel.” Others have spoken of such things as these when they referred to the “Star Demon within man.” The philosophical message just recounted helped fill a need to understand Malkut in its relationship to other states of consciousness.

Two more dreams will illustrate early experiences of the path from Malkut to Yesod.

9/13/70 e.v.

Last night I dreamed of assisting my mother at a birth. The baby caused no pain and could rest in the palm of my hand. This seems to represent the common child of the Shechinah and my paternal soul. The conjunctive birth is of a new soul and may represent the Neshamah. This follows the days of my preparing the study of the Tarot. Earlier in the same dream, or in one just before it, I saw myself sitting with my father and mother before a fire in which burned three pieces of wood. One of the sticks hissed dangerously and the sound of hissing began increasing. It was said that the stick must be taken out to protect those who were in the room. After a few seconds my mother removed the stick and tossed it out the front door and into the drive-way. The burning stick then exploded with a great detonation, radial shower of sparks, and extremely bright illumination. The stick had come from the left in the fire.

This dream contained a clue to my difficulties in advancing, a clue that I overlooked to great disadvantage for several years. I had allowed too much attention to those things represented by the left-hand side of the Tree of Life (the side of reason and order). This caused a serious imbalance toward the rational in my thoughts and behavior. Reason is not all. To reason exclusively is to cut away the heart of things. Reason is a fire that burns all to ash. Emotion is a great sea that drowns all else. Better to blend both than to die by fire or by water. This I have learned through much inner torment. That torment is illustrated by the Tarot Key of the Tower and by the path of Peh (path number 27) between Hod and Netzach on the Tree of Life.

I'm getting a bit ahead of my story, these realizations were not fully felt until much later. Here's the other dream. It illustrates a function of the Pentagram ritual.

9/16/70 e.v.

Last night I dreamed of a visitation.

I went to bed after a banishing pentagram ritual.

At a point some few minutes after lying down, and after I had expressed a wish to experience a dream of Tipheret, I suddenly sensed a face looking over my shoulder. The impression of a person being present was very distinct and slightly disturbing. I turned, as one does, and saw nothing (the face seemed to come from the North, over my back and left side, near my shoulder.). I mused that the impression must be like that experience typically when one gets results in an experiment of evocation. Some time later I fell asleep.

The hours of sleep wore on and I came to dream. I dreamed of a stern woman with dark hair and of a height not notably inferior to my own. She seemed to stand close before me. I stood also. There was an impression of menace. I fumbled in my dream through some of the ritual of the Pentagram before her, and she receded very slightly. I carefully and quickly traced the Pentagram of YHVH before the woman and spoke the names of the four letters. … slight recession of the image. I then willed the image to dissolve (as suggested in Israel Regardie's “Golden Dawn” for this ritual). With some considerable effort, the figure dissolved. I later awoke in some emotional distress.

Here is another communication of the philosophical sort:

9/25/70 e.v.

People act magically when they act in awareness of the unity of the Universe and Self. When one so acts, he appears “more real” to himself and to others – especially to those to whom he speaks without concealment.

Both Christ and Hitler seem to have been intensely magical people in this last sense.

When one is chiefly aware of means which others consider in their hearts to be good, others think him good.

When one is chiefly aware of means which others consider in their hearts to be evil or wrong, others think him evil or wrong.

When one thinks of most of his means as good but others do not, he should act with caution and inspect others' motives and means.

When one thinks of most of his means as evil or wrong he is insane. He should seek help or kill himself. He should try for many years with many people to help himself before the second method of correction be employed. He should be especially careful of exaggeration as to the evils of some few of his means.

He who thinks of most of his means as good is imbalanced.

He who thinks of most of his means as evil is imbalanced.

He who does not understand that some of his means are good and some are evil is God, the Fool.

He has transcended sanity; and, although the term “Unsane” is better, most would think him mad.

Such a one is not he who “Proves” his indifference to good and evil by wanton murder.

These musings aided me to settle in my mind some questions concerning right and wrong.

We now jump some months ahead and take up another dream. This one continues the exploration of the path between Malkut and Yesod with some complex variations.

1/14/71 e.v.

I am returning home after a pleasant interlude with friends and family. Coming up the back way, we enter the yard via the gate near the garage, in the boardwall. The garden and back yard are over-run with dangerous animals. I see a lion (or other large tawny cat), a black panther, and other beasts including dogs. There are unruly people with the animals (circus roustabouts?). I try to send these beings away, but to no avail. I enter the house by the back door, taking with me a friend. Inside the house, intending to restore control, I tell my friend to come with me to “communications central” – which seems to be a sort of over-world in which I have absolute power. The house is vast, out of all proportion to reality. We enter a room in which are stacked lockers. I pull one aside, and we enter the space beyond. A room filled with business machines or card punches is beyond our position. No one is within. I do something, or will something. The walls of the room suddenly are made of close fitting bricks, moving downward, as we are moving upward (yet there is an impression of the house having no upper floor). The motion stops and we walk out to a path paved in curiously colored and luminous flagstones (curving slightly, with the colored stones all in one small section). There is an entrance procedure. I press certain flagstones to identify both my friend and myself. This done, we pass within. The inner world is very bright, clean, neat, industrious and busy. Many people are pursuing many tasks. In spite of the elevator going up, the entire place seems to be in some vast space under the surface. Suddenly one of the unruly people comes up behind us. He has followed from the surface despite the safeguards. I condemn him to be removed and turn away. He utters words of hopeless protest and fear, but I will see him in that place no more.

I and my friend wander about. The place doesn't seem quite the com. center I was looking for. We walk a bit and enter a dress shop. There are two full length mirror-doors within. I open one to show that it contains only cast-off rags, etc. I tell my silent friend to open the second, knowing that it is a door to a hidden place. He (the friend) does nothing. I open the door and we enter a sort of machine chamber in which lies a great blob of machinery. It is shaped like a human heart lying on its side, with the big end near us and the smaller end farther to the right. At the far right stands a workman. There is a steady but thin discharge of electricity about six feet or so long, coming from the left and striking an electrode on the upper left part of the machine. I wish to go past to the smaller end and beyond, but the spark of electricity is too close to the path. After a brief pause, a midget with large elfin ears comes in via the mirror door, passes us, and walks up toward the smaller end of the machine. He is too short to fear the spark.

This dream symbolically repeats warnings about being too rational and being too restrictive. The dream is also prophetic. I am now surrounded by the “disorderly people” that I repudiated in the dream. These have become my brothers and sisters instead of the undesirables in the dream, while the animals have turned up as pet cats. This dream told me to change my standards and to realize that I had been wrong to deny the better part of my life. I could not progress until I became one of these “freaks” and accepted that they were not freaks at all. This realization took months to reach consciously, but I began to move toward it at once.

I continued to study things occult:

1/16/71 e.v.

Some notes on Keys 0, 1 and 2 of the Tarot (BOTA version):

When coloring these Keys, the most difficult and time consuming (therefore most obstructing) parts are those having the greatest complexity of small detail in alternating colors.

These are:

  1. The outer garb of the Fool.
  2. The framing rose arbor of the Magician.
  3. The temple curtain of the High Priestess.

The following ideas are thereby suggested:

  1. The crowning fault of mercy is the allowance of interfering states to get as close as they wish.
  2. The crowning fault of severity is to hold interference off by main strength.
  3. The crowning fault of balance is to view interference as a distinct and simple obstruction.

These faults are countered thusly:

  1. Ignore the interference.
  2. Rend the interference to shreds.
  3. Find truth in the sphere of interference.

As a single course of action:

  1. Perceive interference.
  2. Conquer interference.
  3. Forget interference.

Here's another diary entry about Tarot, dated 2/13/71:

The Magician stands tall and firm in his garden. Lo, a change! The Red Robe falls to the garden floor. It moves, changes, becomes a Great Red Lion. The roses below entwine with the Kundalini serpent and chain the man and the beast. The roses are as twelve passions to master the rage of the Lion. White lilies, are you teeth? Are you claws, O'h elementals? But the Man is Woman as his inner humility makes humble the Raging Beast. And the garden that hung above descends to crown the Woman within. The Jaws of roses and Lilies have closed to open the Jaws of the Beast.“ — the cards of the Magician and Strength.

This next speculation comes from the same entry in my diary. It relates the three mother letters of the Hebrew Alphabet to the Major cards of the Tarot. These three mother letters are:

Aleph, A, corresponding to the element Air.
Mem, M, corresponding to the element Water.
Shin, Sh, corresponding to the element Fire.

These speculations were made using the BOTA deck.

“More on the Three Mothers:

0. The Fool is crowned by Air (his head in the clouds of heaven) — Aleph, A.
His center is water (where is Kundalini?) — Mem, M.
Beneath him and about his legs burns fire (He stands on Kundalini!) — Shin, Sh.

1. The Magician's Head swims in the waters (can this be Binah's crown — the great sea elevated?) — Mem, M.
His body burns with fire (Kundalini is rampant and self-feeding about him) — Shin, Sh.
At his feet the air lingers to receive his fiery blast (roses and lilies await) — Aleph, A.

2. High Priestess with her flaming crown (fire among palms and pommegranets) — Shin, Sh.
Air stirs about her waist (holding many secrets) — Aleph, A.
Waters flow from her hem (conscious life-stream pours) — Mem, M.

3. Empress, Air stirs in thee to bear thy seeds to the harvest — Aleph, A.

4. Emperor, Water finds its channel by thy will — Mem, M.

5. Hierophant, Fire comes forth from thy words — Shin, Sh.

6. Lovers, Water flows from on high through you in two streams — does not one seek union with the other? — Mem, M.

7. Chariot, Fire burns brightly as thy conquering force — Shin, Sh.

8. Strength, passive Air is made so by conjoined woman and beast — Aleph, A.

9. Hermit, bright burns thy lamp to show the way (triple- flamed one, Fire in lamp, staff and man) — Shin, Sh.

10. Wheel of Fortune, spin in Air, crossed by the four quarters — Aleph, A.

11. Justice, let Waters of harmony balance thee — Mem, M.

12. Hanged Man, you are suspended by the cross of the world in the Air of sanctity — Aleph, A.

13. Death, you trouble the Waters with your reaping — Mem, M.

14. Temperance, you are so harmonious that you are a three-tongued flame of Fire — Shin, Sh.

15. Devil, you are the darkness upon the waters — Mem, M.

16. Tower, you reach too high from too poor a foundation — self-destroying Fire — Shin, Sh.

17. Star, you embody Air — Aleph, A.

18. Moon, your Fire is borrowed — Shin, Sh.

19. Sun, your children dance in Air — Aleph, A.

20. Judgment, your sounding parts the Waters — Mem, M.

21. World — Earth made up of Air, Water and Fire – Aleph, Mem and Shin, AMSh.


[FIGURE #1: place full page illustration of the Three Mother letters and Tarot here]



[FIGURE #2: place full page illustration of the G∴D∴ Tarot attributions on the Tree of Life here]


These attributions of the three Mother Letters and corresponding elements to the twenty-two major cards of the Tarot can be used to study the Tree of Life. In this method; the Fool corresponds to number one, Keter, the Crown. The Magician corresponds to Chokmah, number two, Wisdom. The High Priestess corresponds to Binah, number three, Understanding. The Empress, Emperor and Hierophant correspond to Tipheret, Beauty, number 6 (this is Tipheret raised to the place of Da'at, see Appendix A of this book). The Lovers, the Chariot and Strength correspond to Chesed, Mercy and number four. The Hermit, Wheel of Fortune and Justice correspond to Geburah, Severity and the number five. The Hanged Man, Death and Temperance correspond to Yesod, the Foundation, number nine (raised to the place of Tipheret). The Devil, the Tower and the Star correspond to Netzach, Victory and number seven on the Tree of Life. The Moon, Sun and Judgment correspond to Malkut raised to the place of Yesod.

All this is rather technical, but study will bear fruit. The more usual attribution of these cards is to the paths connecting the ten Sephiroth, rather than to the Sephiroth themselves. The usual attribution is taken from the occult system of the Order of the Golden Dawn and is a very good thing to study along with the system outlined above.

Here is the usual attribution:

Tarot Major: Path on Tree: Hebrew letter:

Fool 11, Keter to Chokmah Aleph, A.

Magician 12, Keter to Binah Bet, B.

High Priestess 13, Keter to Tipheret Gimmel, G.

Empress 14, Chokmah to Binah Dalet, D.

Emperor (alt: Star) 15, Chokmah to Tipheret Heh, H.

Hierophant 16, Chokmah to Chesed Vau, V.

Lovers 17, Binah to Tipheret Zain, Z.

Chariot 18, Binah to Geburah Chet, Ch.

Strength 19, Chesed to Geburah Tet, T.

Hermit 20, Chesed to Tipheret Yod, Y.

Wheel of Fortune 21, Chesed to Netzach Koph, K.

Justice 22, Geburah to Tipheret Lamed, L.

Hanged Man 23, Geburah to Hod Mem, M.

Death 24, Tipheret to Netzach Nun, N.

Temperance 25, Tipheret to Yesod Samekh, S.

Devil 26, Tipheret to Hod Ayin, a'a.

Tower 27, Netzach to Hod Peh, P.

Star (alt: Emperor) 28, Netzach to Yesod Tzaddi, Tz.

Moon 29, Netzach to Malkut Qof, Q.

Sun 30, Hod to Yesod Resh, R.

Judgment 31, Hod to Malkut Shin, Sh.

World 32, Yesod to Malkut Taw, Th.

These matters can best be studied through actual work with the cards. A BOTA deck of Tarot is best for this sort of thing. Additional correspondences to the paths and letters will be found in Appendices A and B.

The next development became a very important step in my growth. Frater Fons Numeris brought to my attention the two hundred and thirty one gates of the “Sepher Yetzirah”. Fr. F.N. and I met at San Francisco State in a class on the history of 15th century magic. We gradually opened up our discoveries to one another and began to share experiments in occultism. This relationship continued until the mid 1970s, and we lived under the same roof. He and I were brothers in a way that transcended our differences. Our differences were great, yet each gave to the other an insight that neither would possess alone. We grew in the strength of our studies. Our brotherhood was a gift from god to aid us both. Seek brothers and sisters in your lives. When they are found, life multiplies its meaning.

The mystery that Frater F. communicated to me was a simple enough thing in itself, but it led to a series of meditations that I have continued to this day; meditations that have meant more to me than any other aid. Much of this book will consist of extracts from those meditations. For now, a brief explanation will be made.

The concept of the gates.

1). the single letters: 22 fundamental symbols which interrelate according to combinations and various theories (such as numeric reduction).

2). the two-letter combinations: 22 duplications of the fundamental (1) symbols and 231 combinations showing simple interrelations between different symbols, taken two at a time.

3). the three-letter combinations: 22 duplications of the fundamental (1) symbols; 462 combinations showing an exaggerated (2:1) bias to one of the two letter symbols in a two letter relationship: and 1540 combinations of three different letters, showing 6 interrelationships (of which half are of one cycle (* # @) and half are of another cycle (@ # *).

9). … 21). in like manner.

22). the 22 letter combinations: 22 duplications of (1); duplications of (2); bias duplications of (3) – any combination of three different letters with arbitrary duplications up to 22 letters in all; … one combination of all 22 different letters.

As to permutations:

1). none possible.

2). each gate has two forms: * # or # *, showing precedence of emanation (involution or evolution.).

3). each triplicity (no duplication) has six forms ( * # @, # @ *, @ * #, @ # *, # * @, * @ #) in two cycles:

the two cycles are often taken as indications of gender:

A M Sh is of the male cycle and A Sh M is of the female cycle. – “Sepher Yetzirah” (AMORC ed.), page 26.

The “Sepher Yetzirah” (page 24) identifies the six permutations of A, M, and Sh with “six rings, or elementary circles, namely, air, water and fire …” and their two additional offspring (the cycles) — each triplicity with one duplication has three forms (* * #, * # *, # * *) and only a single cycle. These reflect the gates of two, with a single element exaggerated, and the ways of examining the effect of the exaggeration. — each triplicity of one letter is incapable of permutation, and is thus a simple expression of (1).

4) … 2) in like manner.

22) as before, but now we have reached the level of complete systems (cube of space, sphere of 22 points; in short, 22-dimensional spaces.) It should be noted that only the sets of all letters identical (equal (1)) are to be found exactly in all 22 scales, or levels, of combinations and permutations. Thus there is no exact counterpart of a form: * # in any of the odd number scales. The form * # @ is not exactly reproducible in the scale of 4: witness YHVH as one counterpart of YHV — there are twenty one others, each having four factorial = twenty four or 4!/2=12 different permutations depending on whether at letter has been duplicated (twelve) or not (twenty four)). These permutations may be viewed as the ordering of elements within a fundamental sphere or sub-universe to produce different effects through their interactions.

The above concepts may be used to order and classify interrelating elements in any system possessing any number of elements — providing that the elements are clearly separable.

In practice, the construction of a system proceeds as follows:

0 The frame beyond understanding.

* The frame of the Absolute

* The start of the frame of evolutions of duality.


* #

# *

* # *

* * #




# * #




* * *

# # #

* * #




to infinity

The frames of the evolutions of triplicity, quadruplicity, etc. each compose an infinite sequence in themselves.

Generally the more elements (letters, pigeon holes, etc.), the easer the classification and the harder the comprehension of the whole system. The less the number of elements used, the easier the comprehension of the system as a whole, but the more difficult the classification or practical use.

Thus, the mundane (practical analysis) tends to prolific systems in terms of the number of symbols; and the divine (synthetic) tends to reduction of number of symbols.

22 symbols make a nice alphabet whereby almost anything may be designated by a reasonably short combination of some or all of the symbols in some distinct order or permutation (a word).

Such an alphabet may be generated on a single system which permits reduction of the complex “words” back to the simple, inter-symbol relationships. Further reductions run any word back, in a series of neat, logical steps, to the synthetic minimal size of the system — or the minimum level for meaning of the word.

Basically, such a system must be made intentionally — an artificial alphabet and language. Mundane usage tends to the proliferation of symbols without unification except on superficial levels.

Whether we consider that God, or some lesser being makes and maintains such a system, or that men devised or synthesized such a system is of no fundamental importance.

Sanskrit was an artificial language composed on principles like the above — although, at this late date, it may never be known how close the composition followed these principles. Greek, Hebrew and other isopsephic languages may be reflections of some very ancient, and highly artificial language system.

That was quite a complex chunk of information from my Holy Guardian Angel. Some day I hope to write it up at greater length and with numerous examples, but this will do to show one extreme of the kind of information that comes from contacting inner and higher consciousness. This theory is behind my meditations, and it may one day come out of my works as a powerful study of systems of thought. That day is far in the future. Now I am simply meditating on the 231 different combinations of two Hebrew Letters. When I have sufficiently mastered these 231 gates of the “Sepher Yetzirah”, I will be able to take on the greater job of digesting and using many other systems. When I can see each system in each of the others I will be able to write my book of systems. The reader is not advised to hold his breath until that comes to pass.

Here's some information about the seven ancient planets, and what they represent. This is an example of another type of communication from the inner mind:

2/19/71 e.v.

Saturn ……………. morbid solemnity.
Jupiter ……………. solemnity and solemn joy.
Mars ……………. sanguine solemnity and joy.
Venus ……………. moderate solemnity and great joy.
Mercury ….. ………. immoderate joy.
Moon ……………. joy and solemnity in the “fey” sense — lunacy at extreme.
Sun ……………. joy and solemnity in balance, always in the sense of rejoicing or of jubilee.
Earth ……………. all grades compounded.

Of laughter, there are several sorts:

hysteric, Mercury ……………… to be avoided — the alarm bell.
in disgust, Saturn ……………. to be avoided — a door slammed shut.
depreciative, Venus, Mars, Jupiter …….. a valid counterweight to solemnity, tipping it only slightly.
appreciative, Venus, Mars, Jupiter ……. (Same as depreciative laughter).
battle, Mars ………………. in heat of deeds — mark of intense involvement.
loving, Venus ………………. in joy of union — or discovery of union.
spontaneous, Jupiter ………….. hearty and easy — ease of soul.
mad, Moon …………………. lunacy — Ophielia's bane.
delighting, Sun……………. from discovery of beauty — bathing in light.

Of solemnity, there are several sorts:

stunned silence, Mercury ………. thoughts frozen — overload
morbid, Saturn ………………. death-bound — the shut door
depreciative, Venus, Mars, Jupiter ……. as for laughter
appreciative, Venus, Mars, Jupiter ……. as for laughter
battle, Mars ………………. as for laughter
loving, Venus ………………. as for laughter
fixed, Jupiter ……………….. native to the soul — natural and free
pompous, Moon ……………… lunacy
delighting, Sun …………… as for laughter.

As may be seen, I deem that laughter and solemnity are opposites. The one is noisy, the other is quiet. Both are equally disposed to serious or frivolous exhibition. Solemnity ponders, laughter prods. Solemnity declares, laughter shares. Solemnity judges, laughter accepts. Solemnity goes inward, laughter burst out. Solemnity is old, laughter is young. Solemnity is female, laughter is male.

These bits of information came to me at a time when I needed to understand my cycles of manic-depression. I learned that there was no need to become alarmed at their counterchanges. This enabled me to relax and freed me from being trapped in either state. Happiness and sadness are two flavors in life; they are best mixed. Too much sadness leads to death. Too much happiness leads to sadness. Yet there is a place that is beyond both, as daylight is beyond twilight. To climb the Tree of Life is to seek the place beyond such changes. Once there, the mind can experience emotion as a musician experiences music. Some emotions are to be experienced from the works of others (shared, actually, a becoming one with others). Some are to be created and unfolded by oneself.

Sometimes communications take the form of physical happenings. These can be frightening, but they are acts of love from the physical world toward the mental one. As such they sometimes startle and sometimes provoke to laughter, but they are as the mock-fighting that takes place between children and adults. Sometimes accidents can happen and pain results, but the whole is a thing of play between the universe and oneself. Such magical events can be invited, with caution. The physical universe means well but can sometimes be a little too rough. The next excerpt from my diary illustrates a very mild bit of rough play.

2/21/71 e.v.

I made my first trial of Case's method of divination. Among other things, I learned of some psychic manifestations to come, of the spiritualistic sort.

This afternoon I sat at my desk pondering matters. I was considering the gematria for the “Secret” word of the Briatic world. Thinking that the word was either SG or SV, I was dismayed to realize that the reduced total was not right (ok for SG = 60 + 3 = 9 by reduction, but this didn't agree with my previous work … I later discovered that I had read Sh for S earlier). As I pondered this matter, the hanger of my Tree of Life chart broke and sent the framed chart crashing to the floor. The cover glass was cracked across. The crack started on the path of V (between Chokmah and Chesed) and ended in that of Sh (between Hod and Malkut). ShV = 9 (by reduction). This is the same spelling that I had substituted for Mathers' expression earlier, and had forgotten. I conclude that the true Briatic name is ShG, but that ShV may be a male alternative to a female proper.

That sort of happening, in which a physical event will occur that matches a current thought, is one form of the kind of play that the physical world has with the mental. There are many other types of experience that bridge the gap from matter to mind. A very strange one follows:

Sometime in 1970, perhaps in the last quarter of that year, I performed an experiment in old-style ceremonial magic. This was the summoning of a “devil” by the practice of Goetic magic. Perhaps this was unwise in that it endangered a human life — without intention, but the danger seemed real enough. The whole experience is quite a thing to remember. I knew what I was doing in theory and was safe because of that. The fellow who suggested the thing in the first place didn't know what he was in for, and he suffered some rather drastic psycho-physical changes as a result. The books I used were not very reliable, the methods incomplete and myself not sufficiently trained to perform the full evocation. None-the-less, some results were obtained; too many and too much for my accomplice. I could say that the fellow had it coming, but I should have been more careful to see if he knew his business. The whole thing would have gone well enough if he hadn't ignored the simplest of precautions. Be that as it may, I will first express my own understanding of this sort of Goetic practice and then narrate the episode.

There are many dark and destructive impulses in the depths of the human mind. Such impulses can dominate the consciousness and can penetrate a whole personality. When the personality is ruled by such downward tending impulses, the person is insane and may be said to be “possessed by a demon or devil.” This “possession” is actually a psychological state and not a seizing of the mind by some external being. The effect often is such that there seems to be a distinct and evil personality in control of an otherwise normal mind. This effect has let people to assume that such things as demons and devils can push out the rightful dweller in a human body. Such demons and devils are actually personified impulses and thoughts of an incomplete and destructive nature. When this sort of demon is properly summoned into manifestation, one of these thoughts is given a limited and definite place to exist for a limited and definite time. The thought is given form in the imagination, sometimes hallucinated as a separate physical being, and dealt with conversationally. By this rather strange means, it is often possible to objectively consider and master defects and weaknesses of the spirit.

Great care must be taken to limit the actions of the demon so that “possession” or obsession does not occur. There are elaborate symbolic actions and settings involved with the formal ritual evocation of such demons. When these practices are followed, the rules must be carefully observed. Perhaps there are such things as separately existing demons, devils and angels; but, if they do exist independently from the minds of those who deal with them, that existence is a very special one. Such astral beings are pure spirit and cannot effect matter without the aid of something that is partly spirit and partly matter. The human being is both spirit and matter and can act as a go-between for such beings and the physical world. The only way a pure spirit can contact a human being is through the mind of that human. This takes place only when there is some thought in that human mind which resembles the nature of the pure spirit. Such spirits are nothing more or less than thoughts, self-existent thoughts perhaps, but thoughts and nothing more. For example, to summon a demon of concupiscence it is first necessary to have a concupiscent thought. That thought may then be elaborated into a thinking structure much like a personality. When the structure is complete enough, the demon of concupiscence is present. Pure spirits have no proper locations except where they contact a semi-material being. Such spirits are not subject in themselves to time or division. It may be possible that spirits can persist after the death of the human responsible for their physical effects, and this is one explanation behind stories of ghosts. Such an extended effect is at most a weak thing. A disembodied spirit would require the aid of other semi-material minds to remain in the time an space world. A human mind can always undo what a human mind has done. The dangers from such phenomena stem largely from ignorance and panic, two of the most terrible demons ever to afflict humanity. The actual word “demon” may signify a beneficial spirit as well as a harmful one. The “Personal Demon,” “Star Demon,” “Holy Guardian Angel,” “Higher Self,” etc. is the best and most beneficial of these personified thoughts. Many human minds long for a personal god, not the great vague thing that is the subject of most organized religion, but a little god that lives within. Such a god can be found.

The process of obtaining a personal god is often the whole aim of a religion. Most major religions are directed toward people who don't need or want such a thing as a little, inward god; but many of the mystery, occult and third world religions are just there to help provide a god or goddess to those who want to find one. The Qabalists sometimes call such a god or goddess Shechinah, and theorize a direct relationship to the Great God. The Shechinah is traditionally female, but it should perhaps be generalized as having the opposite sex from the human to whom the Shechinah is attached. This is a good idea for those who wish to obtain such an inward god. Personal gods tend to have sexual characteristics anyway, so it's a good idea to line up a personal god having sex opposite to your own.

When the god and the human have opposite sexes, life is much less lonely. When people make love, their little gods make love. Such a love making is useful for sexual magick. There isn't any real dividing line between personal gods of different people. There isn't any real dividing line between a human being and the personal god of that human being. People can become one with each other through their personal gods more fully than in any other way. When personal gods can relate with oneanother, any human sharing becomes a loving union.

Back to the demonic evocation.

When C. and I first met, it was over a glass of wine in C's apartment. He and his wife occupied the apartment over mine for several months during the years I lived in Oakland. C's wife was celebrating her birthday, and she had invited me to the occasion. I had not met her husband before, but the fact that their bedroom was directly above my own made for much of an introduction, at least of them to me. Long nights of words and noises had filtered down, and I formed a conception about these neighbors. Their life was complex in matters of love and trust, filled with inconsistencies. Still, direct impressions often are more trustworthy. I was pleased to meet C.

C. and I talked a bit about several things until the conversation gradually shifted toward science fiction and things occult. C. remarked proudly that he had managed to get a science fiction story published. We discussed that a bit; and, when the conversation lagged, I thought to pick it up with a few remarks about my occult interests. The wine was pleasant and slightly dulling to wits and judgments. When I mentioned that I possessed several rituals used in the Middle Ages and Renaissance for summoning the “Devil,” C. immediately became alert. He suddenly suggested that we try one. This startled me; but to save face and owing to the persuasion of the wine, I slowly agreed. It would not be possible to do a full job of it on such short notice, I told him; but we could give it a try. I reasoned that the demons were only facets of the self, and that no possible harm could come to me through such an experiment. I was more than half convinced that C. was just playing a rather nasty joke anyway, not really serious about his suggestion. That may have been the case at the start, but not at the finish of the evening. C. got burned, but good! I should have pressed the point of his motives a bit more closely.

We adjourned to my apartment.

Once in my apartment, I quickly assembled the necessary props and references. For my ritual I used A.E.Waite's “Black Magic and Pacts” (a stupidly blinded book) and Richard Cavendish's “The Black Arts” (a useful introduction to many branches of occultism). I took an old robe with a black lining and reversed it to become my magical robe. For a sword, I was better supplied. I had an old masonic sword, quite elaborate and magical looking. This sword had a short silver chain attached from guard to pommel. Where the chain joined the pommel, a small silver ring formed the last link, This sword and chain shall feature in what follows. There was a fireplace with wooden mantle in the West wall of the room. The flue had long ago been closed and an electric heater filled the entire hearth opening. We placed our half empty glasses on the mantle and set to work.

I showed C. the preparations and schooled him briefly in the basics of the ritual. We took up a stand in the center of the room, facing East. I passed the sword slowly about us both, defining the magical circle of protection. I then moved the sword about in the space inside the circle more or less duplicating the design for a magical circle shown on page 238 of Cavendish's book. We then went through the lesser pentagram banishment together and began the ritual evocation. The conjuration actually used is to be found on pages 241 and 242 of Waite's book. It runs as follows:

“I, (name of practitioner), do conjure thee, O Spirit (name of Spirit), by the living God, by the true God, by the holy and all-ruling God, who created from nothingness the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things that are therein, in virtue of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist, in the name of Jesus Christ, and by the power of this same Almighty Son of God, who for us and for our redemption was crucified, suffered death, and was buried; who rose again on the third day, and is now seated on the right hand of the Creator of the whole world, from whence he will come to judge the living and the dead; as also by the precious love of the Holy Spirit, perfect Trinity. I conjure thee within the circle, (not a wise choice of words, it turned out) accursed one, by thy judgment, who didst dare to tempt God: I exorcise thee, Serpent, and I command thee to appear forthwith under a beautiful and well favored human form of soul and body, and to fulfill my behests without any deceit whatsoever, as also without mental reservation of any kind, by the great Names of the God of gods and Lord of Lords, ADONAY, TETRAGRAMMATON, JEHOVA, TETRAGRAMMATON, ADONAY, JEHOVAH, OTHEOS, JEHOVA, OTHEOS, ATHANATOR, 'a Liciat' TETRAGRAMMATON, SADAY, SADAY, SADAY, ISCHYROS, ATHAMATOR, SADY, SADY, SADY, CADOS, CADOS, CADOS, ELOY, AGLA, AGLA, AGLA, ADONAY, ADONAY. I conjure thee, Evil and Accursed Serpent (name of Spirit), to appear at my will and pleasure, in this place, before this circle, without tarrying, without companions, without grievance, without noise, deformity, or murmuring. I exorcise thee by the ineffable names of God, to wit, Gog and Magog, which I am unworthy to pronounce; Come hither, Come hither, Come hither. Accomplish my will and desire, without wile or falsehood. Otherwise St.Michael, the invisible Archangel, shall presently blast thee in the utmost depths of hell. Come then, (name of Spirit), to do my will.”

This conjuration is in many ways poorly written. Still it was enough to waken the inner deeps of the mind of C. In fact, it produced a few external results.

Immediately after we read the conjuration, a loud and steady buzzing sound issued from the closed up fireplace behind us. The sound persisted for several minutes and resembled the buzzing of a large horse fly trapped behind the grate. The sound had not been heard in that place before and it never occurred again. No material cause ever presented itself, but it is possible that something physical could have caused it. I chose to interpret this sound as a warning from the demon Baalzebub, demon “Lord of Flys.” The sound had come from the West while we were facing East. Even as the East is the direction of the rising Sun, it is said in Christian mysticism (note that the conjuration used here was at least partly Christian in form) that Christ shall come from the East on Judgment day and that the devils shall fly with the souls of the damned toward the West, where the Sun sets. Accordingly, I suggested that we should face the West when summoning devils by this formula. We faced West and pronounced the following “discharge,” also found in Waite's book, page 243:

“Go in peace unto your places. May there be peace between us and You, and be ye ready to come when ye are called. In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.”

We then resumed our preparations, repeated the conjuration and sought for results. This procedure was followed many times during the night and into the early morning hours. We called in turn upon two “devils,” Belial and Asmoday, and used the information and seals presented by Waite in “Black Magic and Pacts.”

On page 175:

[FIGURE #3:]

[place illustration of the sigilum of Asmoday here.]

“Asmoday, a strong and powerful king, appears with three heads, the first like a bull, the second like a man, and the third like a ram. He has a serpent's tail, the webbed feet of a goose, and he vomits fire. He rides an infernal dragon, carries lance and pennon, and is the chief of the power of Amaymon. He must be invoked bareheaded, for otherwise he will deceive. He gives the ring of virtues, teaches arithmetic, geomancy, and all handicrafts, answers all questions, makes men invisible, indicates the places of concealed treasures and guards them if within the dominion of Amaymon.”

On page 187:

[FIGURE #4:]

[place illustration of the sigilum of Belial here.]

“Belial, a mighty king created next after Lucifer, appears in the form of a beautiful angel seated in a chariot of fire, and speaking with a pleasant voice. He fell first amongst the superior angels who went before Michael and other heavenly angels. He distributes preferences of senatorships, causes favors of friends and foes, and gives excellent familiars. He must have offerings and sacrifices made to him.

I now know a great deal about such “devils” that I did not know then. If I were to call upon them today, it would be to learn the particular lesson of their corruption. That information is concealed in the Hebrew spelling of their names and can be read with some ease. In a later part of this work, I will show how such information is obtained. When rightly studied, these demonic names are found to be formulas of great value. The letters of the names may be used to analyze the fault personified by the demon and to learn how to avoid it. The proper use of these demons involves setting them up as guards against their particular vice or failing. The things a demon is said to teach are best mastered through dominating the demon, discovering the error personified by the demon and becoming free from it. There are other uses, but they relate to this one.

The forms of the seals are important too, but the poor state of preservation of such things makes them much more difficult to analyze.

To return to the events of that night and morning:

As we multiplied our conjurations, I grew gradually weary of the whole process. Nothing much happened beyond an occasional movement of a curtain or an odd sound from outside. Things were different for C. As I grew more bored, he grew more tense. Sweat broke out on his brow and his body gradually became more rigid. His breathing became by slow degrees more audible and forced. He had the sword when he did a very foolish thing.

We had just finished the conjuration of Asmoday and were waiting for the usual flop when he suddenly thrust the hilt beyond the circle and said: “I offer you the magic sword if your appear!”

I uttered a warning, but it was too late. He had broken the circle with the chief instrument of protection. Nothing happened then beyond a minor mishap, but he paid for his indiscretion later.

When he passed the sword hilt beyond the circle, the chain from guard to pommel fell free of the pommel. After giving the discharge, we tried to rejoin the chain to the pommel, but the silver ring that formed the link was nowhere to be found. I reasoned that it had probably caught in his clothing when he thrust the hilt forward and that it must have fallen off. We continued.

After that I became a bit more concerned about C's reactions. What he did was harmless as physical actions go; but, in the symbolic setting of the ritual, it was far from harmless. To formally give up protection in the evocation of a harmful spirit is to ask that spirit to obsess yourself. Even if the ritual is a psychological game, that is a very odd thing to do. I resolved the participate in only one more evocation and then to stop.

The next evocation proceeded as did the others. No trouble and no result. After it I told C. that I was growing tired (the dawn was breaking) and that I wished to cease the conjurations. He pleaded with me to do one more. I refused to help, but agreed that he could do it alone if he wished. At first he protested that I would be outside the circle and in danger. To quiet him, I showed him a large crucifix with a death's head at the base. This, I said, would be protection enough. He agreed. I seated myself at some distance from his workings. From my new position, I was able to get a better look at him. What I saw distressed me. He looked like a man intoxicated with fear. His clothes were wet with sweat, and he had a wild look. I began to have misgivings about the whole thing. Yet he had begun, and I though it best not to interrupt him.

He quickly rushed through the conjuration. When he had finished it, he stood for a moment with the book open at his feet. Suddenly he dropped to his knees and said in a clear voice; “Come and take me! You can have my soul if you appear!”

That was a stupid thing to do!

He immediately slumped forward on his knees at an unnatural angle, and began the recitation of the discharge. When he had finished, he lowered himself closer to the Waite book, which was open to the seal of Asmoday; and he said; “I don't want to go. Don't send me away.” He then froze in that position with all his muscles rigid.

The first think that crossed my mind was; “What am I going to do with the body?” — I was a great deal less charitable in those days. As it turned out, burial wasn't necessary.

Taking the initiative (C. seemed unable to do much), I went up to him and held the cross between his eyes and the book. I then raised the cross to touch his forehead. At that point he uttered an enormous sigh and relaxed.

C. retrieved a wine glass from the mantle and went to my couch to sit down. Between sips of the wine he was telling me how harrowing his experience had been, when suddenly he uttered an inarticulate sound and stared at his glass.

I was beginning to think; “Here we go again.” When he rose and brought the glass over to me, asking; “Do you see that? Do you see that? …”

I took the glass from his trembling fingers and inspected it. After a moment I saw on the bottom, beneath an inch or so of red wine, the silver ring that had fallen from the sword.

Thinking that he wasn't ready for another such shock, I quickly drank the rest of the wine to show him that he hadn't endangered himself that way. How did the link reach the glass? It would have had to travel an almost impossible path from the place where the chain broke free to the tiny opening of the glass on the mantle three feet above. Perhaps C. had held the thing in his hand and introduced it into the glass himself. I don't know. If he did it himself, he couldn't have been fully conscious of it.

He was genuinely disturbed.

When C. recovered enough to leave, he insisted on taking the sword up to bed with him as a protection against — what? Later, as I lay in my bed, I heard gasping from the room above, like the sounds made by a person dying of a heart attack.

C. recovered, and showed further interest in things magical. He even asked if we could do something like that again. I evaded the question.

The last I heard of him, he had become a Jesus Freak of sorts, enlisted in the Armed Services without pressure from the draft and had developed a neurotic fear of the honking of geese. All in all, I would say that he got off very easily.

The whole episode may be interpreted as a lesson in applied psychology from my own little, inward god to me. As for C., his inward god seems to need heavy handed tactics to teach him lessons.

I hope he learns how to live more gently in the future, but I have my doubts.

Remember that all this took place under the influence of Malkut, the tenth Sephira of the Tree of Life. That influence includes the dark world of the Qliphoth Demons, such as the two mentioned above. We are all subject to such influences as long as we remain only conscious of Malkut. There are holy and wonderful things in this place of all beginnings in the Earth, but there are dark things as well.

Here is a philosophical problem:

4/4/71 e.v.

The ultimate matter to be resolved is the problem of the many and the one. How can the one be the many? How can the many be the one? If the one and the many are the same thing, they are the one. If the one and the many are not the same, they are the many. In both cases they are the same and not the same.

When one comes to a paradox, one has asked an unreal question.

Clearly the many are illusion and the one is actuality. But why and how can I perceive the illusion?

If I reason that perception of multiplicity results from being only a small part of things, I defeat the whole question in a stupid set of tail chasings — I answer nothing.

Maybe God has the hives!

This problem is essentially one of comparison between Keter, the first Sephiroth, and Malkut, the tenth. The problem is solved by invoking the number zero, Ain.

4/9/71 e.v.

Ain surpasses the problem of the one and the many. Ain (in the simple sense, not the three-fold sense) is that summation of the All which cannot be pinned down. In Ain there can be no unity and no disunity.

Keter is the first manifestation. Keter is unity. Keter is the most pure form of definition. Keter is the ultimate seed of division. Unity is the tacit recognition of the possibility of disunity.

Chokmah is the second manifestation. Chokmah is duality. Chokmah is the seed of relationship between parts. Duality is the tacit recognition of the possibility of interrelationships.

Binah is the third manifestation. Binah is reunification through interrelationships. Binah is thus the seed of duplication or reflection — this follows from the duplication of the unity of Keter. The dialectic is the tacit recognition of duplication.

The second Triad is the reflection of the first. The second Triad thus corresponds to Chokmah while the first Triad corresponds to Keter. The Third Triad corresponds to Binah, and it is a manifestation of the reunificative properties of that Sephira. Malkut is the reflection of of the entire Tree of Life into a unity. Malkut is the seed of seeds. Malkut is the beginning of the Trees from the Tree. Thus Malkut is the unity which is many. Thus Malkut is the manifestation of Ain. Thus Malkut IS AIN, for of Ain there can be no division, no replication, no partial representation.

[FIGURE #5:]

* *
* * *
* * * *


[FIGURE #6: Place full page illustration of the Tree of Life with markings showing the tree triads here]


Now begins a great labor that continues to the present day. I had been thinking about the two hundred and thirty one gates ever since Fr. Fons Numeris brought them to my attention. These combinations of Hebrew letters seemed to me to be the fit subject of meditation that I needed to fully enter into the Great Work. Accordingly, I started a series of meditations on these pairs of letters. This point marks my coming of age in the magical world. I set firm foot on the path of Taw, the path from Malkut to Yesod.

This is the record of that beginning:

The Two Hundred and Thirty One Gates:


Aa'a Ba'a Ga'a Da'a Ha'a Va'a Za'a Cha'a Ta'a Ya'a Ka'a La'a Ma'a Na'a Sa'a
ATz BTz GTz DTz HTz VTz ZTz ChTz TTz YTz KTz LTz MTz NTz STza'aTz PTz
ASh BSh GSh DSh HSh VSh ZSh ChSh TSh YSh KSh LSh MSh NSh SSh a'aSh PSh TzSh QSh RSh
ATh BTh GTh DTh HTh VTh ZTh ChTh TTh YTh KTh LTh MTh NTh STh a'aTh PTh TzTh QTh RTh ShTh

4/10/71 e.v.

At about 7PM the last flame went out. New candles and start cycle at 6AM, 4/11/71, Easter Sunday morning.

When the flame expired and the smoke rose up, I did the Lesser Pentagram Banishing ritual.

Disturbances in the air. The Eastern Pentagram seemed to be lightly visible. The YHVH vibration had a distinct emanation cloud going forth from my right hand at charging. Other directions were less notable. May have been distracted by results. The angel of Air was visible as a general disturbance like a heat wave. Ritual was done in the outer room — last candle was the southern in that room. I asked for a sign of a gentle and harmless sort.

4/11/71 e.v.

I awoke, lit the candles and a bit of incense. I studied the gates and wrote in the books of 231 and Aleph (notebooks used during this period) about the gate AB. The candles came before and the study and writing after a seven minute meditation on the Key 0 (The card of the Fool in Tarot. It corresponds to the letter Aleph). The meditation was broken twice; once to think about the damp in the North East corner of the room, once to look up. I counted the nine mountain peaks (these details are to be found in the BOTA Tarot card of the Fool), eight spokes, seven trefoils. I pondered the Malkut-earth-stone beneath the Fool. I noted the grip of the hand on the rose and on the staff. I saw the wreath. I noted the white, Horus eye. I saw in the rose a lotus wand. I dimly discerned another lotus wand at the feet of the Fool. I tried to see and count fingers in the ground beneath the feet. I tried to discern the PCS monogram (inadvertently left on this card by JBP). I counted the wheels. I noted the belt. I examined the decorations of the outer garment with an eye to painting them. I thought about the color of the background, the hair, the sun, rose, dog, wand, outer garment, leggings, face, wallet, mountains and leaves.

Another meditation from the next day:

4/12/71 e.v. — 6AM

7-8 min. med. on colored Key 0. Saw the contrasts between the yellow sky and the violet-purple mountains. Saw that the torso and skirt of the Fool form mount Meru with the belt the dividing line. Just as the world-mill trembles and falls off the axis-mundi at the end of each world-age, so will the false restraint of the Fool fall away and send him tumbling through the worlds. He is the double cone which rises and falls above and below the horizon.

This dream is recorded for the same day:

I dreamed a dream … in which I had entered a strange world. It was a sort of carnival world in which a great ferris wheel turned. Its wheels were pentagrams in circles, made out of beads of light. I was tested in this world (to gain entry?). Part of the test consisted of a cubic lattice. One had to see that it was a lattice with the cubical form and that on it, things which seemed to have no relationship to each other were the same and at the same point. Even when ordered out of that place by a certain time, one could not truly leave it. Walk as one would, the lights of the wheel would but become blurred and then return to sharp clarity. This was the world of the Folly that is wisdom. Here everyone seemed irrational — but their's was the height of reason — AD.

Some explanation might help.

I had started meditation on the 231 gates or combinations of Hebrew letters. According to my plan, I would meditate twice on each pair of letters. In each case, the first such meditation was intended to be simple, only a little more than a rehearsal of the correspondences. The first part of the meditation on each gate was spent in examining correspondence to both of the letters constituting the gate. As part of the first-type meditation, I prepared several pages listing the correspondences of various traditional things to each letter of the pair. These correspondences often derive from the “Sepher Yetzirah,” according to the Golden Dawn pattern, and include numbers, astrological symbols, colors, Tarot cards, human vices and virtues, etc. See Appendix B for a listing. After setting down these correspondences to the gate letters in two parallel columns, I looked up the pair of letters as a word in a Hebrew dictionary. Usually several dictionary meanings can be found for each pair of letters. After this I wrote short sentences uniting correspondences. This first-type meditation is practice and discipline. The second meditation follows another sequence of the gates. Out of the first 21 successive mediations, all were of the first type. The next 21 meditations started with one of the second type. The next 21 started with two of the second type and included 19 of the first type. The last 21 meditations will be entirely of the second type.

These second-type meditations start in the same manner as the first-type. I sat and meditated before a Tarot card or two, letting my thoughts follow the course that seemed best. After this I indulged in trance writing rather than the checking off of correspondences.

The frequency and method of the meditations changed many times during the years of this labor, but most of the pattern outlined above continued in use. I will remark about the changes as they occur in this history.

This next item is a diary entry about a first-type meditation of the letters AZ. It records thoughts experienced while looking at the Tarot card of the Fool. The more complex work with correspondences is a different sort of thing.

8 min. meditation on Key 0. Did 231 (gate 6) and Aleph earlier. Face of Fool again strong. I looked on the mountains of the background and remembered Crowley on K-2. Was Crowley's mountaineering a physical version of his spiritual accomplishment? Did he seek to attain in nature what he could not attain in spirit?

I wonder if the Fool stands on Everest?

Attempted a projection of self into the Key. Felt a bit of arise. Key seemed more real. Got strong visual overloading effects, not strong enough to precipitate rising in the light, only a bit of color flashing.

That last paragraph mentions a very useful practice. Take a Tarot card, one of the BOTA cards that you have painted yourself is perhaps the best, and visualize yourself in the body of the principal character of the card. See all the things that the principal character would see. Imagine all the parts of the clothing of the figure. Wear that clothing about your imagined form. Do in imagination the things done in the card. This method is the same as the Golden Dawn method of building up a god-form about oneself. In this case, the Tarot images are the god-forms.

There are many Tarot decks. I have found that different sorts of decks answer different needs, and I use several. The BOTA deck has aided me most in meditation. For divination, I like the Waite-Rider pack. For light mediation and simple pleasure, Crowley's “Book of Thoth” deck is best.

Crowley's deck is the most beautiful published deck that I have seen, but the designs are too complex for most uses. The Cook deck (called “The New Tarot for the Aquarian Age”), although not a Tarot deck at all, is nice to trip with. The Tarot of Marseilles is the oldest style available widely. There are many illustrated books which provide glimpses of strange and beautiful designs.

A few words should be said about the so-called “Egyptian Tarot” of C.C.Zain (Elbert Benjamine). This deck, also known as the “Church of Light” deck and the “Brotherhood of Light” deck, is a modern example of a type that originated in 18th century France. This sort of Tarot is not Egyptian in any way other than the style of its art. The story of an Egyptian origin for Tarot seems to be false.

The myths illustrated on the cards have Egyptian counterparts; but the designs on the cards show the 12th century European versions of such myths, not Egyptian. This is true even of the Zain deck. In this design, the European myths are acted out by characters drawn to appear like Egyptians. Most of the pictures on the Zain deck Major Trumps are redrawn from very similar Trumps in a book titled “Practical Astrology”, by pseudo Comte C. de Saint-Germain, 1901. Sometimes Zain introduced Egyptian hieroglyphs into the designs, but these are usually irrelevant to the meanings of the designs.

In one case, that of the card of the Fool (Zain's “Materialist”, Arcanum XXII), there is a relationship between Zain's Egyptian characters and the symbolism of the card. On the base of the fallen obelisk, Zain has placed the cartouch of “Men-Keph-Ra,” an alternate name for Pharaoh Thuthmes the IIIrd.

The AMORC pseudo-Rosicrucians use this cartouch as the “seal of the founder;” and it is possible that Zain used it to insult that honorable, though juvenile organization. In his book, the “Sacred Tarot,” Zain claims that the letters on the lower right corners of the Major Trumps of his Tarot are Egyptian characters. These letters are a form of Hebrew called the “Alphabet of the Magi,” and they may be seen in the back of the Mathers “translation” of the “Greater Key of Solomon.” There is no known direct connection between these letters in this form and ancient Egypt. Had Zain really wished to use Egyptian characters, he could have turned to Budge's book on the “Egyptian Language.” This work contains a list of Egyptian hieroglyphics which correspond to the letters of the Hebrew alphabet.

Some of these could easily be attributed to the Major Trumps of Tarot.

Tarot cards may have been introduced into Europe by the Gypsys when that people migrated from India. An enterprising Gypsy may have adapted Indian cards to European usage by drawing pictures of participants in the pre-Lenten festivals of 12th century Italy. Such festivals (called Mardi Gras in this country) included all the figures of the traditional Tarot. Because historic records appear to indicate the first arrival of the Gypsys in Western Europe some considerable time after the first appearance of Tarot, the Gypsy theory of Tarot origin is unlikely. Probably the idea of such cards came in through Venetian commerce with Islam.

Whatever their origin, Tarot cards have been used as teaching aids in occult organizations for several centuries. Special features have been introduced into the designs of most modern decks.

Although these features are rarely traditional to Tarot, they do make the decks that incorporate them easier to use with the theories of the occult organizations. If a person studies one or another of the various occult systems, it is best to use Tarot decks designed by students of the system being studied.

The use of Tarot based on other theories may be confusing. Zain's theories don't fit well with the Waite deck, and the Golden Dawn theories don't fit Zain's deck. To learn Zain's system, use his deck.

To learn the Golden Dawn system, use the decks of Waite, Case or Crowley.

Whenever a Tarot card is described below, the BOTA (Case) deck will be the one used. The few exceptions to this rule will be noted in the text where they occur.

The next item comes from my diary dated: 4/18/71 e.v., 6PM. It concerns experiences obtained while doing a first- type meditation on the gate AN.

The wand of the Fool is the serpent-staff of Aaron. My spine must become that staff. The Moon and Sun in close embrace on the left shoulder of the Fool are gate 13, AN. The entire wand and wallet are strong for this gate. Scorpio in the neutral and good aspects. Kundalini stiffens to send the crest of the life-force back to the sphere of Keter and to Ain beyond. The mementos of incarnation rise in the grip of the Eagle to the top. Look through the eye! Unlock the clasp! Know!

I read the last BOTA lesson on the Fool first …

Also took a much needed bath — If I hadn't had a hangover, might have risen in LVX.

… Tarot meditation interrupted by much swallowing. There was some perspiration, and automatic rigidity, ='s lower stages of Pranayama. The hangover interfered with the necessary breathing control. Also sluggish from weight build up … water of rehydration … Yama too weak. Niyama not the interfering weakness this time. Definite Asana problems. Crowley is right. Good health and comfort are necessary.

A clean skin and an empty set of testicles will not overcome even a mild hangover. In later experiments, I found that this was only true of a certain type of meditation. Hangovers from alcohol and from various other drugs can be actually incorporated into the meditation. This does limit the choice of the meditator, however. One may not be able to use one's “favorite” meditation style.

This selection from my diary represents only a part of the written material that accompanies such a meditation. Each such diary entry starts with a brief summary of the basic experience and provides information on its duration.:

16 min. on Key 0. 231 and Aleph. The Key flashed nicely. I was able to come close to stopping myself — may have done it for several fractions of a second. Had much improved visualization. Improved identification. Came closer to strong perception of the Life-Force.

The 16 min. refers to time spent actually sitting in silence and looking at the Tarot card of the Fool. After the basic record of time spent and physical conditions, ideas and impressions are recorded in the diary.

Two other records of each meditation are written in different notebooks. The first of these records is a formal meditation on correspondences to the letters. This is done for the first-type meditation only. In cases of the second-type meditation, the record in this same notebook consists of trance and semi-automatic writing. The notebook that holds the first of these additional records is referred to in diary entries as “231.”

These “231” notebooks have a separate section for each of the pairs of Hebrew letters. Each of these sections is subdivided into three subsections. Here follow reproductions of the first subsection of “231” for the gate


             [FIGURE #8:] 
     AN ----- the thirteenth gate. 
     AN ----- 50 + 1 = 51 ------ 
              5 + 1 + 6 --------- ThPARTh  --- VV 
                DEATH         Th            FOOL 
                 ATU          P             ATU 
                      F       B       O 
                NVN   i       e       x   ALP 
                      s       a 
                      h       u 
                      Scorpio       6       Air 
                      50      6       1 
                South West    6    Above to Below 
             Transformation   6    Ruach -- RVCh -- Breath of Life 
                 Motion            Spirit, Spiritas, Pneuma, Prana. 
                         [FIGURE #9:] 
              Imaginative     6    Fiery or Scintillating 
              Intelligence    6    Intelligence 
               G-Natural      6    E-Natural 
               Green-Blue     6    Bright Pale Yellow 
               Dull Brown     6    Sky Blue 
           Very Dark Brown    6    Blue Emerald Green 
        Livid Indigo Brown,   6    Emerald, flecked Gold 
        like a Black Beetle 
                8th Single    6    1st Mother 
                       [FIGURE #10:] 
             AN --- (an)  [comp. AYN] adverb --- where? 
                    whither?;  MAN whence? 
                    a'aD AN till when?  how long? 
                    with local H --- ANH whither? where? how long? 
                    ANH-VANH hither and thither. 
             AN, AVN  --- (on) proper name of a city in lower Egypt 
             NA --- (na) a particle of entreating and inciting: 
                         pray! now! oh! 
             NA --- (na) adjective. --- raw, half-cooked. 
             NA --- (no) and NA-AMVN --- (no-amon) proper name of 
                         a city in upper Egypt (Thebes). 

This first subsection contains no original material. It is little more than a list of the correspondences to the two letters. A middle column of correspondences to the pair of letters as a whole is derived from their numerical values and placed between the columns of the correspondences to the letters taken separately.

The second subsection puts these correspondences into more complex statements and starts a study and meditation on their significance.:


4/18/71 e.v.

How long O'h Lord? When may we leave our bondage in the Egyptian land? How long must we shuttle back and forth between the Day city and the Night city?

When you are ripe, when you are ready, then and only then shall you depart the earthly Heliopolis and the earthly Thebes. In that time shall you journey past the Moon City of the Dead. In that time shall you journey past the Sun City of the Living. In no time and no space shall you enter the gates of the Heavenly city of which earthly Heliopolis is scarce a dream.

The Ox falls past the Sun. The Ox is stuck tight in the spinning rounds of the Fish who chases his tail.

Air blows past the Sun. The maddened Bull rushes into the nest of scorpions. Yet is there, there to be found the serpent of the wise and the Bird of Heaven. The fire which stings to the death also kindles the flame of life and shoots be-times as high as the sky.

Above to below rises and falls as South-East and South-West. Between these two verticals spins the disk of the Sun. The Wheel of Brahma hath eight spokes.

Life-Breath inwardly understands the transformations of life and death. To free the Ruach from the motion of the manifesting … Only stop and listen.

The Fiery Intelligence eternally enters into the Imaginative Intelligence. To triumph, forget time and space.

Yod ……… Life-Breath is inkindled into Nature.
Heh ……… The Heavens crash to earth.
Vau ……… Life in nature becomes subdued unto death beneath the fertile earth.
Heh ……… The Crown of Life is changed for the Anubis rod of Death.
AVN ………….. Breath, nothingness; idolatry, falsehood, sin, toil; Heliopolis; wealth; strength. … here is the nature of life mixed with the seed of death.
NVA ………….. to avert, hinder, refuse, frustrate. … here is the seeming nature of death. Avert thine eyes from the Sun which is darkened by thy Idolatry

O'h Israel!

The third subsection on AN is added at a later time, following the second meditation on this particular gate. It is of the second-type and consists of trance writing. The example below is a little out of place here, as it actually was written nearly a year later than the time now under discussion. It has been included at this point to show the full form of the sectional entries of the 231 notebooks.

2/6/72 e.v.

The Son of the Sun enters the world but to die and to rise again.

To you O'h Lord we owe our livelihood! To your fields, your skies and your creatures do we owe existence! Yet we must kill you.

You have entered our hearts and made them glad. You have given us children and kept them well.

Yet we must kill you.

You have brought the gentle rain and the cooling breeze. You have made the earth rich and bearing. Yet we must kill you.

Your life is in all, it slackens not, nor does it lose its savor. Yet to preserve that life we must kill you.

O'h Son of the Sun we shall morn you. We shall grieve for you. In every field we shall bury you.

Your body shall be divided among us all. Your bones shall be ground into our bread. Your flesh shall become our portion.

The beast and the stranger, the sheaf and the tree — these are your hiding places. These shall die that you may be with us always.

In the second notebook additional records of the meditations are made in the form of short entries to link the pair of letters through the corresponding Tarot cards. This series of records is kept in twenty-two separate notebooks, one for each letter of the Hebrew alphabet. In the diary entries, these notebooks are referred to by the corresponding Hebrew letter. Thus, the entry for the first-type meditation on AN is found in the notebook of Aleph.



The Life-Breath of the Fool is trapped in the cycles of Death and reincarnation. The soul shuttles back and forth between Heliopolis and Thebes; between AN and NA; between the Sun of the living and the Moon of the dead. Hear the sayings of the Hierophant. Then shall Death case to plant and to harvest. Your seed shall have grown vines upon the trellis of his bones as a Serpent twines a Tree. The blossom you put forth shall be caught up in the talons of the Eagle and carried to that which shines in the No-time and No-space beyond the sky. The Sting of Scorpion Death will know thee not.

AN shall become AYN.

When the second type meditation occurs, this type of record is placed in the book of the second letter of the gate or pair of letters. In this case, the book of Nun was used:

2/6/72 e.v.


The Fool glides out of the mouth of the Hierophant to keep rendezvous with Death.

Whatever is not recorded in the books of 231 or in the books of the Hebrew Letters is noted in the diary, after the general record.

This is the form of my meditations. The details vary, but in each case there is a longer or shorter period of ritual meditation followed by an earthing of the experiment in writing. The whole is a single experience, a single meditation. In a very real sense, there is no time in which I am not meditating. As soon as I have finished with one gate, by formal meditation and writing, I invoke the force of the next. All events that occur from one formal meditation to the next are interpreted as occurring under the magical influence of the pair of letters that is the subject of the next formal meditation. Sometimes the effect is mild, sometimes violent; but the effect of each gate on my life is always definite. Each gate teaches me and causes me to grow. When I am fully open to the influence of a given gate, I learn through pain and frustration. Both sorts of experience will be shown in the pages which follow.

This series of meditations was undertaken as a preliminary to the magical retirement described in the writings of Aleister Crowley and in the “Sacred Book of the Magic of Abramelin the Mage.” The preliminary became the main event. I progressed to the reception of the unhindered knowledge and conversation of my Guardian Angel, my Higher Mind. At the time now being discussed, I was not fully aware of this. I spend long months on the 31st path of the Tree of Life, the path of Taw.

Throughout April and the first part of May of 1971 I was tormented by the approach of my master's degree oral exam. This valuable but miserable experience figured in my meditations of the period. I had enrolled in the physics master's degree program at San Francisco State College (now University) in the Fall of 1969 and completed the program with reception of the degree in 1971. During most of this time, I meditated twice daily.

Here is a record of my first meditation of the gate BV, as recorded in my diary:

4/27/71 e.v. PM

12 min. Med. on Key 1. Good Flashing. Had brief vision of myself in a temple. Circle about me.

I am the Magician. Power flows through me in a granular stream. Below me doors open and close in a great dim hall. …

Missed the morning meditation through tiredness … Combination of oral test jitters and psychic pressure. Started to do a paragraph by paragraph summary of R&C (AMORC Lesons) 4th degree monographs … Have drunken about 6-8 oz. of mild liquor cordials over about 2 hrs. before this writing. Will probably get drunk tonight. The mental-psychic pressure is very high. I am nearly frantic … This will burn out or lead to a major discovery. That is the usual.

Some of this pressure may come from my oath violations (to AMORC on secrecy) — these are made on the basis of higher obligations than in the oaths. — Thus I am forced into a higher state of being before I may be ready (to justly break a morally binding oath of secrecy it is necessary to have reached a higher state of development than that for which the oath was designed).

Here's part of the entry from 231 on the same meditation:

Mercury doubles itself in the duality of the claws of the crab. The bull ruses madly about the ring; the picadors will spear him to see that he charges truly. While the horsemen devil, the Magician-Hermes-Matador dances the dance of life and death with the veil of the temple between him and the fiery snorts of the bull's life. The banderilleros come to give six-fold direction to the bull's charge.

The Magician takes cape and sword to play the rotation game of round-about. The fire breath of the bull is gushing forth. The moment of truth. The sword thrust into the great blood-river of the Bull.

Death in the delicate tap of the escarpetio. A turn about the ring. Two ears and a tail. Torero!

As the time of my examination drew closer, I came to enter more deeply into my meditations:

Diary, 5/3/71 e.v. PM, BS

The Keys of the Tarot are kind to me. The blessings of the Angel descend as soon as the ritual is started, as if the ritual was complete. No great intoxication with these meditations. Just realization of the image of the Key. I am a distraught husband whose wife comes gently to him and lays her hand upon his cheek. She loves her child-spouse and tends his needs when he needs. She knows that in his strength he will provide his very body and soul to her least desire — even if not to her strong need. Yet will he strive and the very striving beings the gentleness in the bower…

Oral tomorrow; many friends have sent their wishes … “Every number is infinite, there is no difference.”

I meditated in Ba'a the next morning. This left the influence for the oral to be BP, in Tarot correspondences, the Magician and the Tower. After the meditations I made a divination about the oral exam by the Tarot.

5/4/71 e.v.

At basis, lasting success and coming happiness. This is opposed by illusionary success and by excessive planning. At best, a partial success (but not a serious problem like failure which would push me back into the blindness of the lower places). I have an established strength now, but not an absolute one. In the past, my honesty has helped me. In the future, I shall rest from the strife of anxiety. I have somewhat of friendship and of balanced force. My environment is a defeating one … I fear loss and I will surrender to the inevitable. … yet the fear is not all-powerful, nor is the surrender quite perfect. In the oral I shall be coached by the inner voice of intuition, the occult forces that I have willfully invoked. Looks ok.

I was drained of most of my energy for a week following that exam, but I passed it in the way the divination had indicated.

The last meditations of the gates of Bet were made on 5/8/71.

Osiris at last (the Egyptian God of resurrection from death. “O” in the ancient formula IAO. “I” is Isis and beginning strength. “A” is Apopis and destroying boredom. “O” is successful conclusion and renewal.). A parting gift from the Magus. Some or most of the former difficulties may have been due to too much lighting (during meditation on the Tarot card). Got quite high. Used invocations (oral and projected) to inflame. Excellent flashing. Very much refreshed. Very much more powerful afterward… The meditation on the Tarot Key of the Magician lasted thirty-three minutes.

In 231: In the House, the Beautiful One, the Son of the King is nailed to the cross. A third of heaven's stars follow him to Stygia. The Light of High brings Stygia forth into day. The cross becomes the spokes of the Great Wheel; and who dances about the hub? The Fool of men and heaven… BTh.

I began meditation on the gates of Gimmel on May 9, 1971, Mother's Day.

This written meditation from 231 was made the next day after beginning the gates of Gimmel and it records a second- type meditation on the letters BG. Bet is the Magician and Gimel is the High Priestess of Tarot.

The Lord of Fire embraces the Lady Water. Behold duality made one! Behold the triangle of Fool in Magus and High Priestess!

White Rabbit Moon!

The spark of life falls in a lightning flash into the sea. The sea receives it and multiplies it into the endless forms. Yet of these forms, there are only twenty-two sorts and these are all the same.

A diamond grows in the heart of the inflamed waters. The diamond has the cut of a cross made of cubical stones. Many colors flash from its facets. Yet all the colors come from a single beam of white light. They race about the world in the darkness of their many ways. Yet they rejoin where they began and blaze the blaze of the bornless one.

Heaven's messenger bears the Sun to the Moon. They lock themselves in carnal delight. The man falls exhausted; the woman wants more — yet she must birth he whom she would bed. Incest in heaven and hell is the royal way.

Bet is the runnel pipe and Gimmel is a cistern. When the cistern overflows, the nymph shall go to lie upon the moss. (See Crowley's “Lapidis Lazuli”).

Bits of information about the Tree of Life continued to come slowly to me. 5/14/71: The Tree of Life can have only one purpose: To unite or generate opposites. Any other use is partial and fragmentary.

At this point a short break occurred in my mediations. The influence of the letters Gimmel-Nun, the gate of that time, was extended for an unusually long time. These letter correspond to the High Priestess and Death, to the Moon and to Scorpio. The Moon was in Scorpio at my birth. This break was involuntary and served to teach me several things in a very abrupt manner.

I had gone to a show of the paintings of Mary-Ann Withrow in Santa Cruz and attended a party afterwards in the home of Gary and Mary-Ann. These two people were very close to me, and this occasion became a point of change for me.

Diary, 5/17/71: Great show. Beautiful paintings. Gave Mary-Ann a copy of my chart — her art is heavy for charts and Earth. Got drunk and spent the night in the front room. That was some party.

All kinds of people and dogs. Had wine, gin, beer, etc. and one good time. Some weird dude actually bit a chunk out of a phonograph record before the guests could figure out his trip.

The experience was timed just right for me and this gate. I was intoxicated psychologically when I went. I could accept anything and everything. First time I have ever just sat and dug everything I could see at a party.

The next day, I experienced the negative side of the gate: Lost another day to illness. Came on a few hours after the last entry (in the diary). Had me embracing the Ain of the porcelain ring while casting forth offerings to Crowley upon the waters therein. Saluted Waite out the other end.

Unfortunately, in true mystical form, I manifested both these extremes at once. I'll need a new prayer-rug for my hermitage …

I spent several days in bed (when I could stay in it) recovering and reading Crowley's “Moonchild.”

By the 22nd of that month, I had figured out my immediate problem: My present illness came suddenly at a time when I would have been studying the gate GN. … During the period immediately prior to this, I opened myself to many … unbalanced impressions. Since my subconscious mind has integrated the correspondences, etc., I may have psychosomatically precipitated this illness, effectively using the lunar tendency to sickness (Moon and Gimel) conjoined to the constellation of the destroyer (Scorpio and Nun) to produce the symptoms. This being the case, I should be well very soon.

The Moon repented her harshness and sent me a beautiful dream. This was a brush with Yesod, the ninth Sephira of the Tree of Life. I was not ready to be initiated into Yesod, but my labors to that end were being encouraged.

5/23/71 e.v.

I dreamed of a desert place with a cave or narrow canyon which could be entered through a tomb. Inside was a manmade pond and a fountain. The fountain was in the shape of the upturned face of the sea-god. The water issued in a single column from the mouth of the god. Yet the fountain would not function unless commanded. I told the waters to rise up. They answered my will. Whenever I commanded, the waters spouted upward. At first only a few inches, then a few feet, then a hundred feet, then a thousand, all done at my command. Yet it was hard to maintain the display, and the fountain quickly returned to a height of a few feet and then of a few inches.

Farther from the place (to the West? or North? I don't know. Only that it was “Left” of that place.) there was a place where worlds meet. I met a girl who came from a world where they fear the Sun, where the Sun burns and radiation contaminates everyone who doesn't bend closely to the ground and cover himself with a sheep skin. I brought this girl to the place of the fountain. Together we rejoiced and loved. Later we went back to the edge of her land and helped others, one or two or three, to join us in the better place. Her people were herdsmen.

I went back alone to the place of the fountain. There was one who thirsted at the door of the tomb. At first I did not want to open it. Then I saw the need and tore away the stone and the mortar. It fell in pieces and the dome and arch-way of the tomb fell with it. I entered the garden of the fountain and called it into play. Up it went, first inches, then feet, then a hundred feet, then a thousand feet — all at my insistence. I turned to walk about in the garden.

Soon men came. They were dressed like Aztec Indians. One carried a sword and had a shield hound to his arm — I saw it being bound. There was another sword and shield — for me. The people had come when they saw the water rise above the hills. I was given the sword but not the shield. As the sword was being attached to my hand, I overheard the people talking.

They were alarmed that the water spout had been seen. Yet, in the old days, they said, to keep the water steady at right angles like that for six minutes was a great thing, a holy thing. I thought that I would have to fight their champion.

There was no fight. Instead, they explained to me in a vision that they feared the place and feared disturbing or awakening it. I saw that a building had stood there once, that it had caught fire and that the fire had spread to an entire town.

Then I was in a sort of house which was built up against a similar house on the other side of the border with the world of the herdsmen. There was a doorway with a hanging curtain between the two worlds. My friends went through and came back with girls. I was alone. I went to the curtain and, holding it aside, beckoned to one of the two girls who were just coming out of a similar door on the other side. I let the curtain fall and waited. Soon the girl who had seen me came in. She went to me and we held each other. She was delighted with the view of trees and gardens seen through what she called the “smoked glass” windows. I told her that the windows weren't smoked, that there was nothing harmful on the other side of them. She understood; and we loved, each the other.

I know that this is the world of the herdsmen and that the world of the fountain is the place where my soul lives.

This dream is prophetic. I have seen the fountain in its tomb. I have come a way toward controlling it. I have met the girl of the burning world of shepherds. You, my reader, are the one who thirsts at the door. I have seen the first of the Aztecs and know what they fear and desire. The rest is yet to come.

On May 30th, 1971, I began the meditations on the gates of Dalet. Here are three second-type meditations from 231:


5/30/71 e.v.

The Supernal Mother Binah has received the living essence from the Supernal Father Chokmah.

There grows within her womb the intricacies of the living things, the Chioth Ha-Qadosh. These are the four who will uphold the corners of the Universe. Within the Mother are we.

She is the provider … from her came all things. Into her pass away all things. She is Lady Life and Mistress Death. The great Wheel of Fortune is but her spinning wheel, and the fibers she joins are of the very stuff of life. The Fool dances in her womb; he flows through her fingertips; he flies about the wheel. She, the Mother, sits in her garden in the cool air of the morning. She has many names and one name. She is the sky goddess Nuit. She is the crystal sea aswim with the motes of the stars. She is the Earth Mother giving birth. This last is closer to her name in AD. She stands in rushing space and opens the door of her womb. A sesame this, within the stone a cave of wonders. The riches of the worlds within the smallest seed. That seed an egg of deepest black. Within the egg an Eagle trapped, one day to fly into the Sun that melts the morning mists. Yet now the Eagle is content to be a child seated upon a lotus. He touches his finger to his lips. Does he seek silence or does he open his mouth with the tool of the ancient priests? No answer and no need of answer. At that gesture is heard the sound that is no sound and cannot be heard. Mother Kali is flatulent at giving birth. A great heave and birds sing. A moan and streams flow. A cry and the flame of the lightning strikes fire to the tinder of the world soul. The babe who is brought forth bears a silver cord and wears a silver caul. Not red, for the blood there is true blood of life's beginnings.


5/31/71 e.v.

She sits within the view of her Lord. He has taken her in his embrace. To the union the Man brought a seed. This seed is a thought which enters the egg of life and orders its contents. The Woman ceases to be the Purified Holy One and becomes the Mother. She has been touched by man and is no longer virgin. The virgin has given way to the Mother.

Within the Mother's womb lies the egg of Yeggdrasil which contains the four worlds of the Aesir.

Strong is the attachment between Mother and Child. She would even conceal the part of the Father in the Child's forming. Overly protective at first, the Mother treats the Child as a part of herself and not the union of Above and Below. The Child is hers. Man is the intruder. He must go about his ways while the Child grows to ripeness. Then, like a true mother, the Mother of nature sends forth her Child into the world of outer darkness. This world is not truly darkness; it is the world of the Father.

To the eyes of the Mother's Child, the male world is a cruel and violent place. The female world protects, holds, restrains and is pliant to the needs of the Child. The male world attacks, pushes, frees and bends never to a child's will. Yet the Child must learn to master both worlds.

The double heritage attends the double act of conception. Even as male begat and female birthed, the Child must come forth from the world of the Mother and must enter into the world of the Father.

In the very act of birth, this event takes place for the body. From the warm and nourishing sea within the Mother, the Child violently enters the world. His first sound is a cry of rage and loss. Yet if he did dwell within forever, he would never become, he would only be a sort of growth. A growth taking up space which could be used to produce another. He must pass out the door and into the greater world outside. Yet the Mother nourishes still. She has changed the way but not the act. Before a silver cord stretched across the sea to bear all things needful. Now a slender pap reaches to the crying mouth and teaches it the first fruits of victory. Gone are the days of effortless receiving. Come are the days of the quest.


5/31/71 e.v.

The Eagle and the Serpent. The Serpent detaches itself from the Eagle and coils about the Moon. The Serpent penetrates to the inner Moon. The Moon grows graved. The Serpent's tail hangs down in a loose twining, crosslike, and Venus is born Venus.

The Virgin is impregnated and reincarnated as the Mother. The sword of the Father has driven in the defenses of the citadel. Fire raged within the broken walls. Now the once barren courtyard blooms with life in the fertile ashes. That life nourishes the wild goat, who leaps forth to repeat the act upon his mate.

When the great dipolar exchange of energies (BG) took place, it left the two poles changed (GD, BH). Now the Woman waits. She is trained to the art. She has been given the seed of life before.

Once she lingered and languished in the safe precincts of the temple. She dwelt in her own womb, waiting completion. She waited without knowing. She felt cold and distant. She was higher than anything, yet she was lonely. When man came, she feared him. Fearing him, she became colder still.

Who would dare to disturb a figure of glass, a figure of precious crystal ice? Yet ice is made for ice picks. The man came to here and went into her. They trembled in her womb. She cried out in fear; he gasped in terror of his loss.

Now those times are gone. The man of the Key has grown a white beard and sits upon his wife's old seat. When she needed it no longer he dragged it down beside the flow — a seat for the supervisor, a stone to rest upon, no longer a seat for a constipated Virgin. The woman too has changed her place. She sits outside in the garden upon the table used by her husband when he was her lover. The tools of wooing are gone, they were expensive frills. Now the woman tends her garden. The days are spent in gestation, the nights in conception. The old man and his child wife don't groan so loudly any more. It has become a game. A game more of memory than of feeling. Yet love grows deeply for all of that.

One glorious, fearful, painful lusting has become the milestone in two lives for one woman.

Before, she could only receive; now, she can only give.

The Vestal Virgin has become the Whore of Babalon.

I still walked the path between Malkut and Yesod on the Tree of Life. Yet there was a great flow of consciousness from higher places. From time to time the gates of Yesod would open to admit my mind. This made a foundation for the climb to come. Each Sephira and every path is found in its essential basis in the path of Taw between Malkut and Yesod. Only when all have a beginning will the climb and the self- initiation proceed beyond this path.

During this time, I continued my visits with friends and teachers. No one ascends alone. Only through the aid of others can we come to the high places.

The last of the gates of Dalet ended with this prayer of praise:

6/19/71 e.v.

For thy kindness I thank thee, my Mother.
For thy sternness I have learned to love thee, my Mother.
For thy steadfastness I shall honor thee all of my days, my Mother.

The next day, this meditation came on the shapes of the Hebrew letters and the Tarot:

Aleph is the Fool because it resembles a dancing figure.
Bet is the Magus because it shows a force penetrating an object.
The Resh is a man with an erection, the lower line is a woman lying down.
Gimel is the woman holding on to a child — High Priestess.
Dalet is the Empress as a builder's square and as Nuit bending over.
Heh (Golden Dawn attribution) is the Emperor as Hadit (Yod) beneath Nuit (Dalet) …. (This could be said to be the birth of the Star).
Vau is the Hierophant — a man-woman standing alone.
Zain is the Lovers as a child lifted by a parent toward heaven.
Chet is the Charioteer as Hadit united to Nuit.
Yod is the Hermit as a man (Hadit) alone.
Koph is the wheel because of its circular motion.
Lamed is Justice both as an instrument of direction (goad) and as a sort of balance called a “steel-yard”.
Mem is the Hanged Man as the Hierophant (Vau) submitting to the Wheel (Koph).
Nun is Death as being his scythe.
Shin is Temperance as the wheel closed back on itself, complete and in harmony.
Ayin is the Devil as a phallic symbol, as a picture of an inverted trinity, as a face with two horns, as a witching rod.
Peh is the Tower as the wheel with its victim crying out as he falls.
Tzaddi (Golden Dawn Tradition) is a fish-hook in shape, and in no direct way do I at this time see how to connect it with the word “Star.”

{But, as Emperor, it would be a human figure seated on his knees with his arms raised above his head}.

Qoph is the Moon above the Hierophant or Hermit — Heh again, or the Nuit and Hadit.
Resh is the Sun as the male part of the Magician.
Shin is Judgment as the three-in-one rise upward.
Taw is the world — I can see the cross-Taw relationship from the cursive form of Hebrew, but not from the “flame” style of the letter. — perhaps the gibbet of the Hanged Man?

The meditations on the gates of Heh began on Father's Day, 6/20/71. The first four of these meditations were of the second-type. Three of these follow from the 231 notebooks.


6/21/71 e.v.

The All-ruler receives his scepter. Magus unites himself to the Ancient of Days. There is a great roaring and a trembling. A river passes between mountains of fire and unyielding earth. Strong upon his throne, the Lord looks down. He turns his right eye and the waters darken. He turns his left eye and the waters leap and sparkle. Power flows through him like water through a sluice. He directs.

He appoints. He decides.

Roses and Lilies, Violets and Lotus; now this one, not that one. Not those; yes these. The garden blooms by the art of the gardener. Not he, who grows the plants. Not he, who makes the Sun to shine. Yet he planted the seed, and he pulls out the weeds.

Four tools do a garden make; a stick, a pot, a spade and some tile. Four elements do a garden nourish; Fire from the Sun, Water from the stream, Air from the winds, and a little earth. Four things grow in a garden; life, love, dreams and death. To make a garden grow takes reason and will. Plant the seed in barren soil Gimel). Barrenness departs and the seed puts forth a shoot (Dalet). Tend the plant (Heh).

You who love in merry ways … recognize your child! Guide him, guard him, grow him!

Ilmarinen, mighty smith, strikes away at steel.
Quick it bends and quick it changes.
Fashion what you will.
Vainamoinen, mighty singer, sing a Tree for me.
Let it be forever green, and let it have ten branches.
On each branch let ten twigs grow
And on each twig ten leaves.
Let this Tree be tall as thee,
And give me leave to climb it.


6/22/71 e.v.

An old man after a young girl.

The Oracle of Delphi is violated. “Come O'h Pythoness and receive thy god between thy loins.”

She cowers back. “I am virgin sire!” “So what my dear. We are all on the verge of something. Why not step a bit farther and take a good look.” “No, no, no!” “Yes, yes, yes!” “Will it hurt?