The Rite of the Milk of the Stars
by Sam Webster ©1990
The Rite of the
Milk of the Stars, mark.8
to replace the lesser banishing ritual of the Pentagram
The Quantum Cross
|Chaos||reaching below, then with both arms sweeping outward until over head and say|
|Cosmos||drawing both arms downward passing hands over body|
|Eros||extend left arm until perpendicular with body, palms upward as though cupping a ball|
|Nuos||extend right arm as above|
|Syncronos||bringing hands together at heart, one cupping the other|
|ALLAGE||flattening hands upon heart.|
Calling the Quarters
|F.I.A.T.||pentagram in east|
|M.A.A.T.||pentagram in north|
|A.P.E.P.||pentagram in west|
|A.T.O.M||pentagram in south|
The Conjuration of the Archæ
|Before me Therion|
|Behind me Babalon|
|On my right hand Hadit|
|On my left hand Nuit|
The Grand Conjuration
So also is the end of the work
and the Lord Adonai is about it on all sides
like a Thunderbolt
and a Pylon
and a Snake
and a Phallus,
and in the midst there of I am
in what Sign obtains
like the Woman that jetteth out
the milk of the stars from her paps;
yea, the milk of the stars from her paps.
The Quantum Cross,
CHAOS – COSMOS – EROS – NUOS – SYNCRONOS – ALlAGE
“the rituals shall be half known and half concealed…”
This ritual emerged out of a profound need on my part to no longer worship Jehovah. This worship I can no longer justify in light of the wars among His followers and equally for their intolerance for those not of their communion. To this day I am not yet convinced that Jehovah is not an evil God.
However, the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram (LRP) is one of the most elegant rites in the repertoire of the Ceremonial Mage. The harmonies between its symbols and its effects run very deep and thus it has been of great use to magi for over one hundred years. It is the first ritual learned by most magi and so it has a very special place in their hearts.
Nevertheless it calls upon Jehovah and does so in a supplicating and self abnegating manner, indeed “For Thine is the Kingdom.” This is intolerable for this self-sovereign mage and a Thelemic pagan such as myself. Then the challenge becomes one of creating a ritual with a similar degree of elegance.
What I mean by this “elegance” is that in the LRP there is a regular progression through the numerical cycle down the Tree of Life from #1 to #6, from Kether to Tiphereth. This is extended through a fourfold manner, the directions and the elements, as well as in the preliminary invocation, into the number 10. Thus the LRP covers and is essence invokes the whole Tree, the whole of manifest existence. This pattern occurs several times throughout the ritual reinforcing this connection with the heights and the depths, the extremes of existence. This is particularly important as by this means is Creation recapitulated. In most magickal systems from the Aboriginal Shamanic to the Urban Scholar-Magi, it is by invoking and recapitulating the Act of Creation that the practitioners identify themselves with the divine and do their magick. Can this be done without calling upon Jehovah? Yes.
Before we can enter into how this is done in the above presented ritual, I wish to examine Crowley’s effort in creating this type of ritual and discuss why it did not serve my purposes here.
First off, I like the Star Ruby and often use it. However, there is a fundamental elegance in the LRP that the Star Ruby does not include. This is the use of tetragramatons when charging the pentagrams. Crowley uses Therion, Nuit, Babalon and Hadit. Part of the power, as I see it, in the LRP is that each of the words it uses to charge the Pentagrams are tetragramatons: YHVH, ADNI, AHYH and AGLA. These are four-lettered words charging four things, providing a four-fold balance to the six-rayed star that is formulated in the Grand Conjuration. This is again a ten, the Whole Tree. (With the addition of the One that is the column within which the Star shines we have 11-magick.) Further, Crowley chose a gender-biased cross to formulate at the opening and closing of the Star Ruby which makes it less than wholly desirable for women. Also it maintains the supplicatory attitude of the LRP. Yet I find the difference between the LRP (especially the banishing mode) and the Star Ruby to be as profound as the difference between a conventional chemical explosion and nuclear blast.
How then to create a ritual that incorporates the desired formulae, eliminates undesired symbolism, and does so in a manner supportive of sovereignty? Can we also make this rite modifiable to the Will of the individual user, i.e. be Thelemicly open? Yes.
To begin, let us take a moment to clarify our notation. Assuming your familiarity with the LRP, you will recall that it opens with the Qabalistic Cross, the replacement for this gesture is the Quantum Cross presented above. We will go into the meaning of this shortly. The LRP next proceeds to the charging of pentagrams with words of power in each of the four cardinal directions. This is referred to here as Calling the Quarters. Next the Archangels are conjured in their stations at the Quarters, here referred to in the Greek mode as archons, thus the Conjuration of the Archæ (using the Greek plural). Lastly, to refer to the final invocation before the concluding Qabalistic Cross, we will call it the Grand Conjuration. ‘Grand’ refers to its summing up all of the forces previously called upon. It is a conjuration for it calls with the power of Law, ‘con’ = ‘with’, ‘jure’ = law. The law is that principle stated at the opening of the Golden Dawn Hall of the Neophytes: “For by names and images are all powers awakened and reawakened.”
The Quantum Cross
The Quantum Cross is so called for it is an invocation of the fundamental forces and structures used by magickers. As such it constitutes a Whole Unit. This is expressible in the Greek as a Quantum. In pattern it is very similar to the Qabalistic Cross. This will become evident after examining the meaning of the words. “Chaos” is exactly what it looks like, though I find it best to pronounce it Kha-os, with a short ‘ah’. This is the foundation out of which all comes: an abyss. Classically, this is stated in Sepher Yetzerah: “You stand between an abyss of height and an abyss of depth, an abyss…, etc.” Out of absolute disorder, complete potential, emerges the manifestation of order which in Greek is “Cosmos”. This, in Qabalistic mode, I view as the Tree of Life itself, which is, as it were, the Malkuth of the Ain Soph Aur, the Light, which in turn is the emanation Chaos, the unpatterned. Form begins with Kether. These two words, Chaos and Cosmos cover the vertical component of this gesture, the “Atoh Malkuth” part of the Qabalistic Cross. However, here they are reversed in location as Order is founded upon Chaos and all action is dependent from Order.
Now having Order, Cosmos, there is division. The whole is now divided for love’s sake for the chance of union. Thus we have the merciful power of “Eros”, love, expanding to fill the Cosmos. This is balanced by the dividing, measuring, formulating power of mind: “Nuos”. Here the neoplatonic influence in Qabalah is brought to light. For in the same way as “ve-Gedulah ve-Geburah” express that same expansion and definition process so does Eros and Nuos. It has been clearly demonstrated historically that Qabalah is the union of Neoplatonic cosmology with the Hebrew theurgic practice. This reformulation uses that same pattern but moves it into a non-Jahwistic frame. Agape and Thelema might be used here but I did not wish to restrict them to sepherotic formulae and attribution
Where the Qabalistic Cross continues with “le Olam” or “now and forever,” we have here “Synchronous”, which says in one word the same thing: Union of Time. This bears special significance in the modern era with C.G. Jung’s disclosure of the principle of synchronicity. Magick can be described as the willful manipulation of synchronicity.
The Qabalistic Cross concludes with the word “Amen.” This is a word taken from the Egyptian word for ‘hidden’. It is also the name of the God from which Jehovah was split off: Amun (Amen) the Hidden God (remember that the proper sacrifice to Jahovah was the ram, the zoomorph of Amun). In ritual it signified assent to what had been said. Yet is does so by saying either that it is hidden, “it is a mystery to me,” or that “we will keep it hidden,” i.e. secret. This approach is pathological to me and so inappropriate.
At the conclusion to this recapitulation of the whole of Creation: from Chaos, by Order, through Love and Consciousness, for All Time comes: What? The last word here must express the essence of Magickal action. If Magick is the art and science of causing change in conformity with will, what is more appropriate than Change itself? Thus, again in the Greek we have Allage: Change. This word is pronounced “al-lah-Yee.” Here, as throughout this essay, I will leave the numerology to the industrious.
This word has a special place in this ritual. As this word must serve as the essence of Magickal action, it really could be any word that expresses the work-at-hand. Therefore it is incumbent upon the user of this ritual to replace this word with what ever word encrypts the nature of the change the given working is to accomplish. Because of the unusual character of this word, Allege, and the place that it holds, I will terms all such words that are intended to be replaced with more specific words in specialized workings as “Metawords.” In the Milk of the Stars there are three such metawords.
To give the reader some idea of the energetic quality of Quantum cross I present the following series of visualizations-observations. These are observations because they are what emerged upon working this ritual during its creation and subsequent use. They are visualizations as they also engender the energetic response they describe.
As Chaos is called upon from beneath the practitioner, visualize a crack yawing open beneath your feet, the opening of the Gates of Hell. This is the realm of the Chaos, substance unformed by intelligence. Out of it rises at your bidding the substance of Chaos, cacoastrum, which I see of the likeness of prismatic darkness. This, grab hold of, and swinging your arms outward and upward at the extent of their reach, whirling the cacoastrum around your body in arc and over head until your hands meet with a clap and you say: Cosmos. Here, in the Heavens, the unpatterned is given order and turns into brilliant and scintillating Light or LUX. Draw this down from over head through your body breathing it in. Connect this vertical line with the Gate below you, taking root in the Void. Now immersed in Light, attend to your self-compassion and feeling that Love, let it expand outward filling the Cosmos. Realizing your head above the Heavens and your feet below the Hells, and in you they are One, let the expanding wave of compassion extend the left arm until it is perpendicular to the Body’s axis, palm upward as though cupping a ball about the size of a basket ball of livid purple, and vibrate Eros. Next, extend the right arm until it is perpendicular as above, cupping a ball about the size of a basket ball of brilliant red, and vibrate Nuos. Bring the hands together until they form a Cup at the heart, holding the Universe in your hands, seeing a emerald green sphere, vibrating as they come together synchronos. Flatten this cup against your breast bringing into your Heart the Universe you held, and being thus united with the Creator-Creatrix of All and with All of Creation, speak to begin therein and within yourself the process of change, allage. Now, so united with the Divine, proceed through the rest of the ritual.1)
Calling the Quarters & the Classes of Rituals
The next movement in this ritual formula introduces, and for the most part determines, whether the rite is called Lessor, Greater, Supreme or otherwise. Let us take a moment to discuss this terminology before continuing the discussion of the Milk of the Stars. For the sake of notation we will call the process of making a ‘Lesser’ ritual into a ‘Greater’ ritual, and so on, “elevating” the “class” of the rite. The determining factor here is how much effort is being put into calling the quarters, although it should be noted that additions are often made to the Grand Conjurations as well, when the class of the rite is elevated. The purpose of this process is to increase the power of the rite. This is done by increasing the number of things invoked during the rite, bringing more force to bear, as it were, upon the object of the rite. This also serves to increase the amount of attention the practitioner must maintain in the ritual which further increases its power. Perhaps these are one and the same thing.
Elevating the class of the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram is done by first replacing the Earth pentagrams that are drawn at each of the quarters with pentagrams of each of the four elements. Also included at this point are the ‘grade signs’ or gestures in the characteristic posture of a deity possessing in some measure the nature of the element. This raises the class of the rite to that of the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram.
Many folk have looked at Crowley’s Liber O in Magick in Theory and Practice and not recognized the implicit instructions for the performance of the GRP. This is because it was assumed that the practitioner would know to make the necessary replacements in the LRP to elevate it to the ‘greater’ class.
The point must be made here that although not all published rubrics of these pentagram and hexagram rituals include making the Sign of the Enterer or the “Projecting Sign” with the word projected into the pentagram or hexagram, charging it, I assume that this is done. I have noted that some schools do not teach the use of this all-important gesture. This is to my mind a willful minimizing of the potential power of these rites. This sign is the principal method for emitting the energies to be used here with the pentagrams and hexagrams and also elsewhere when all manner of talismans and tools are charged. So important is this gesture is that it is immediately taught to the Neophytes of the Golden Dawn upon their initiations.
The same process of elevations occurs with the hexagram rites although there are a few finer shades of differentiation available. This is in keeping with the symbolism as the hexagram covers the 6, 7 and 8 -fold divisions of the universe to the pentagram’s 4, 5 and 6, rendering a further refinement of precision. With the Lesser Hexagram Rite the elemental hexagrams are, classically, differentiated. Regardie proposed an innovation using the Unicursal Hexagram of Saturn throughout the rite. While this may appear to be lowering of the ‘class’ of the rite, being that it is an invocation of Saturn it can be argued that it is operating in the planetary scale and thus ‘above’ that of the elements. Regardie’s use here may be compared with the use of the Earth pentagram in the LRP, being highly generalized and covering, as it were, for all of the planets. The Greater Hexagram involves the use of the differentiated planetary hexagrams, with the same opening and closing as the Lessor, the INRI or ABRA formulae.
One element that we see in the Greater Hexagram which we do not see in the pentagram rites until that class referred to as the “Supreme,” is the drawing of a sigil in the center of the hexagram. This is used to further differentiate the force invoked by the gesture and figure that is the hexagram. However, there is evidence that the Stella Matutina used the Kerubic signs in the Greater Pentagram. One further difference between the Pent- and Hex-agram rites is that the hexagrams are drawn while vibrating ARARITA and then charged with the word of power for the respective planet.
What moves that class of a rite still further in the “Supreme” Rite of the Hexagram or Pentagram is adding another layer of symbols during the call of the quarter, or in hexagram terms, the planet. With the Supreme Hexagram Rite, the pentagram (with relevant sigils and gestures) is drawn invoking the element of the Zodiacal sign in which the planet is situated at that time. This naturally also invokes the zodiacal force as well, the purpose of this “Supreme” form.
In the Supreme Pentagram Rite, the Spirit pentagram is drawn before the elemental pentagram is drawn, again with the relevant sigils and gestures. Also, words of power are vibrated during the several drawings. There is one point of contention about the gesture given during the Spirit pentagram. Regardie’s Stella Matutina versions indicate the use of the L.V.X signs while Crowley mentions the Portal signs of the Rending and Closing of the Veil. This latter is attributed in the Portal rite to the Spirit pentagrams. It is my preferred mode as the following description makes plain:
With the forming of the Spirit pentagram the “Gate of the Element” is formulated. With the rending of the Veil the Gate is opened. The Elemental pentagram is then drawn beyond the Gate in the Realm of the Element as a beacon summoning the beings and forces of the element. The Grade Sign is given in salute to the approaching forces, indicating the practitioner’s being of the godly nature of the element. It has been my experience that this form works better for me than the LVX mode. One other ritual, L. Vav vel Reguli, I consider also of this class due to its use of dance and an elaborated opening and closing. It also uses reference to a Kibblah or power spot. However there is some controversy with its classification as such as it only uses one pentagram in each quarter. Nonetheless, that pentagram, being averse, to my mind constitutes a special case that with the general energy and purpose qualify it for the “Supreme” class. This is best studied in Crowley’s notes following the rubric in Magick in Theory and Practice and in my own Liber LAShTAL. A still more direct and recommended source is the rite itself.2)
Lastly there remains one further class, that shown by the Watchtower ritual which Regardie speaks of in his Ceremonial Magick. Here the principle elaboration is in the use of orisons, prayerful speeches added at the quarters and in the center to further exult the consciousness of the practitioner. I refer to this as a separate class because it builds upon the “Supreme” formulae in a distinct way, that of using the orisons. Other examples are the Bornless rite, or Liber Samekh and the Ritual of the Secret Doors, which was published in the Beltain ’90 issues of Mezlim.
Now to the method used in the Milk of the Stars. By the above description the Milk of the Stars is plainly of the class of the Lesser pentagram rites. The pentagrams are drawn in a widdershins circle to increase the outward flowing current. It was my experience in the development of this rite that the cleansing, purifying flow was inadequate when this was performed deosil.
The words chosen are all tetragrammatons for the reasons noted above. They are all mentioned explicitly in the Holy Books of Thelema except for ATOM. This is a corrected spelling of Tum, returning it to the Egyptian from the British by including the initial glottal stop and restoring its meaning as the Undivided One, which through the Greeks we have inherited as ‘atom.’
Beginning with the East we come to our second metaword. Although F.I.A.T. appears in L. A’ash vel Capricorni Pneumatici, in a manner most favorable to this working, I see its function both there and here as a place holder for the Tetragrammaton of this Aeon: Do What Thou Wilt, the secret four-fold word that is a blasphemy against all the gods of men. Thus here it serves as a metaword, and it is appropriate for practitioners to replace it by the ‘tetragrammaton’ of their choice. During the opening of Temple Enochi the word ‘Enochi,’ spelled ANKI, was so used.
“Fiat” in Latin means so shall it be, as in “Fiat Lux”, “let there be light.” This is the Word, the Logos, and thus Air. Its action is as that of a Thunderbolt out of the Blue, as will be expressed in the Grand Conjuration.
MAAT is Egyptian for Truth, rectitude, accuracy and the substance of magical power in the same way as the G.D. refers to LVX. Thus it is Earth elementally as this is where truth comes into being, where accuracy has any meaning. Its action is as that of a Phallus, providing the Yang half of the formula of Giving Birth.
APEP is the Serpent of the Depths, rising up out of the waters of the Duat, the stainless abode, and is figured in this manner in the Grand Conjuration. The Snake is the emblem of power and here referred to Water in the same way as water, and power, is described in the Tau Te Ching; “ever flowing seeking its own level, nourishing all things yet remaining itself.”
ATOM is the Nature of Being, and as the whole of Matter is Energy (E=mc²), Atom is Fire. It is the pillar established in the void as it is the beginning of being or order, Cosmos, out of the Chaos. It is Kether before the rest of Tree was formed. It is Hadit crying, “there is no god where I am!” It is the One, formed in the midst of Chaos or the void-of-form, before division into the multitudinous Universe.
It may be noted that this collection of tetragrammatons and symbols include both sexes, animate and inanimate powers, the reptilian and mammalian races, and both energy and matter.
The Conjuration of the Archæ
The beings called upon in the same place as where one would call upon the Archangels in the LRP are here simply called Archæ (s. archon). ‘Arch,’ pronounced “ark,” in Greek means the first or the beginning, thus “in the beginning” is “en arch.” Thus these beings are principles; sources of certain qualities or natures. Together, I see these four as divided into two types: Therion and Babalon operate on the Human scale while Nuit and Hadit operate on the Cosmic scale.
Therion I envisage in an emphatically male form with a horned, mammalian head as a species of combined bull and goat head. His brow is emblazoned with as burning thunderbolt reminiscent of the torch on the head of Baphomet.
Babalon I see as a woman reclining upon a couch and colored entirely red. She is huge, the top of Her head is 20 to 30 feet off the ground level on which I stand, which is also the level of the surface of Her couch. Around Her twines the Serpent Apep. Indeed in Her is all power given.
In my understanding of Therion and Babalon, they function as the current god-forms of the Thelemic magickal couple in much the same manner as the tantrics have forms for their practicing couples to take. In terms of the attitude held by some that Crowley the man was Therion and is the only one who is Therion, this particularization of the allusion in Liber AL to the beast and scarlet woman would render the text valueless for any one else but Crowley. As my experience has shown me that the Book of the Law has profound use for practitioners of the magickal art, I believe this attitude to be erroneous. Howsoever, when taken as Archetypes, they become powerful forms for embodying the current of Thelema.
Nuit I image in the form seen on the Stele of Revealing, as an overarching woman in dark blue and flecked with stars. This image is similar to Her form on the Aeon card of the Thoth Deck. Also I see an erect Phallus rising up in the space over which She is arching much like a vulva.
Hadit I visualize as a winged globe rising above or in front of the Pylon and with increasing intensity of vision I see the whirling wave form-particles of the electrons orbiting the nova-nucleus of the Atom that is the globe of Hadit.
Nuit and Hadit together comprise the forms of those powers and principles that lie beyond the Human and as such embody the remainder of the Cosmos and beyond.
The Grand Conjuration
This verse, which replaces the rather straightforward “About me flame the pentagrams and in the column shines the six-rayed star” (or which ever version you are accustomed to3)) in the Grand Conjuration of the classic LRP addresses a layer of symbolism somewhat beyond that of the classic form. It is taken, with slight modification, from verse 65, the last verse of chapter 5, the last chapter, of Liber LXV, the Book of the Heart Girt with the Serpent. This verse sums up the symbolism of the entire book and thus the whole needs to be studied to fully apprehend the depths of the images. However, a few words can be said here.
In the first line there is a pun on the word ‘end’. This both refers to the terminus of the working and its purpose. The purpose is stated imagistically in the following. Like the Serpent girt about the Heart, so is the Lord Adonai about the working, that is, the space of the working, the circle so cast. In “the Lord Adonai” we meet the third of our three metawords as the Lord Adonai is the individual’s ‘Holy Guardian Angel,’ their Genius or Daemon, or their own Godly Nature. Thus it is appropriate to replace “the Lord Adonai” with the name of your angel or your own name, as you see fit. Nonetheless, a sister practitioner, an adept, having worked the rite, pointed out that ADNI could be distributed about the four directions of the circle and be attributed to the four images that follow.
The Thunderbolt, Pylon, Snake and Phallus are animadverted to, that is pointed to and invoked/projected, in a deosil circle, counterbalancing the earlier circle inscribed. Their symbolism has been discussed above. Semantically with “the Lord Adonai,” they parallel the phrase “And about me flame the Pentagrams.”
At the last the practitioner self-identifies as being in the center of the working, as the “Woman that jetteth out the milk of the Stars from her paps.” Besides being the title of this rite, it is in fact its central image. The milk of stars is that which stars pour forth: Light. The practitioner is self-identifying as the source or out-giver of that light. This is imaged as the Woman, Nuit, who is Infinite Space and the Infinite Stars thereof. Thus the stars themselves are her paps, her breasts which give out their light, their radiation, upon which all life feeds to live. Therefore it is necessary for each practitioner to express this in whatever gesture for them may be most fitting.
I often follow this invocation of the “Milk of the Stars” with two optional invocations. Khabs Am Pekht-Konx Om Pax-Light in Extension and then Abrahadabra.
“Khabs Am Pekht” is an Egyptian way of saying “Starlight Raying Forth” and the words that follow are different versions of saying the same thing in Greek and in English. “Konx Om Pax” is reported by the Order of the Golden Dawn as derived from Khabs Am Pekht and used in the Eleusinian Mysteries. Together with “Light In Extension” they are used in the opening of the Golden Dawn Neophyte Hall to charge and consecrate it.
Abrahadabra is considered by some to be the “Word of the Aeon” and thus comprise the essential formula for all magick during this time period, especially the act of initiation. Its symbolism is too varied and extensive to enter into here, but I use it’s eleven-fold nature to reestablish the Tree of Life in my body, including Daath, after having erased, as it were, all such distinctions within myself in the previous line, and in effect throughout the rest of the ritual.
In one sense this ritual is not a banishing but an opening up to the inherent wholeness of existence. This is what removes all of the interference that is being experienced by the practitioner. Here the metaphor is not a chasing away of the baddies but a healing of All. This ritual is a map of the return to the Whole, the Holy.
The Quantum Cross (repeated)
At last we come to the final Quantum cross, a repetition of the earlier gesture. For those would prefer a mode of speech more grammatical than the straight speaking of the forces invoked I give a transliterated version of the same as a sentence, one hopefully grammatically correct, as my Greek is imperfect as yet. The Greek was originally chosen for this task due to its similarity to the English. Thus;
ek Chaos, eis Cosmos, dia Eros kai Nuos, en Synchronos estin Allege.
Out of Chaos, Into Order, Through Love and Consciousness, In Eternity, Is Change.
“And so is the end of the work…” To what purpose do we do these rituals, throwing stars at the walls? I see this as the tuning of the sphere of energy that dwells around the body. For good reason is this called the Aura, from the Hebrew ‘aur,’ light. With the Milk of the Stars there is a certain melding of the Lesser Banishing and Invoking modes of the Pentagram. Nonetheless it seeks to accomplish the first task: making space for us to operate in, a space of place and a space of mind. We can model the aura like magnetic tape that is filled with static or a floppy disk that is unformatted and unreadable4). Through rites like the banishing rituals we step up the energy around ourselves until the static is smoothed out into a single coherent field or the floppy is fully erased and formatted. This physical process is technically called degaussing. Then with the invoking rites we write to that tape, that disk, that auric-field what we wish to be there.
Once we have established within ourselves, and surely our auras are part of ourselves, any given pattern, synchronicity begins to work. By means causal or non-causal, the verdict is not in on this, that which we give meaning and value to is, as it were, attracted to us. Thus when we invoke Fire, fiery occurrences happen around us. When we invoke Jupiter, jovan things occur, Libra, libran, and so on. Thus these rituals are the fundamental armory of the Magick of Light. Therefore is it essential for each of us to appropriate those rites that in our judgment are good and purge them according to our own insight. Then indeed shall this Knowledge go aright.
Later Comments added 1/4/91:
The Process of Casting the Circle
Further meditation and practice with this ritual in the light of the Philosophy of Organism has provided new insights. Principally we are able to view the sequence of tetragrammatons as indicative of the process of concrescence, the process of coming into being. As I usually use the proposition/tetragrammaton Do What Thou Wilt for F.I.A.T. this kind of concrescence will be examined in detail as an example. This, I feel, gives certain insights into what will be called the Thelemic Proposition.
Upon drawing a pentagram in the East and charging it with the tetragrammaton of your choice, this first word in the newly formed space, created by the Quantum Cross, evokes a response. This response occurs within the psyche of the mage but also within the environment, everything is listening to this Word. All is listening for what is being stated is a proposition, a possibility based on a notion about experience. Something occurred and was perceived. The percipient entity, here the mage, formulates a notion about that experience and generalizes from it about other occasions as yet not actually experienced. This is the proposition. In our ritual this is expressed by the word-symbol F.I.A.T. which means “let it be thus”.
What is evoked is an aesthetic sensibility that, like a lure, will guide the assembly of the elements of the entity/occasion about to become into the unity of being. This is truth in its creative sense. It includes the ability to discriminate between potential elements as to whether they will add to or detract from the overall intensity and harmony of feeling in the concressing entity/occasion. Thus the pentagram of the north is charged with M.A.A.T., Truth.5)
As the elements are sorted in and sorted out, in the process of becoming emerges the power to unite the disparate elements into one unity of feeling and being. Being actual requires an entity/occasion to be itself and not another, it requires the creation of what can be modeled as boundaries within which the entity/occasion ‘is’ and without which is what is ‘not’ the entity/occasion. This power to separate ones’ self out into existence is expressed in the ritual by the Egyptian version of Ouroboros who ‘encircles the World’, giving it definiteness of form. This is A.P.E.P.6)
At last we come to the actual (actualized) entity/occasion. This is united, one and indivisible as to divide it would be to render it not itself. Thus we term this ritually as A.T.O.M.
To provide this sketch with more depth let us see how this process works with a given proposition. In this case “Do What Thou Wilt.” It should be remembered that any tetragrammaton could be placed here as a proposition of another nature.
In much the same way as in the responsive manner of saying “Will” before meals, the proposition “Do What Thou Wilt” is put forth. Here the Universe responds, as it were, “What is Thy Will?” What is thus evoked is the lure for feeling that is next called MAAT. Most of us would call this our will. This is our will in its most general and eternal aspects and in its most specific. Knowing this is knowing one’s personal truth, one’s reason for being. Thus in the Weighing of the Heart in the Egyptian Judgment scene, the deceased’s heart, which in Egyptian symbolizes will, is weighed against the feather, representing truth. The two must balance perfectly equal as one’s will must be exactly as one’s truth. “Thou hast no right but to do thy will…”
The profound sword of this truth, one’s will, attracts those elements that will create the greatest intensity and harmony of feeling and discriminates from among them in the process of coming into being. This is the power to unite that which was “divided for love’s sake, for the chance of union.” Thus what will be united into the being that is about to be is chosen by “love under will.”
This part of the process of becoming also entails the power to creatively unite the multifarious parts into a novel whole. It is out of this that the profundity of consciousness emerges. For in the play of contrasts and contrasts of contrasts that emerge as the percipient entity/occasion perceives the data from the causal past, and from its ability to include eternal objects in its own constitution, and in particular its ability to recognize that which it did not include, gives rises to consciousness.
Herein lies the Holy Covenant of Set. Set was originally the protector at the prow of the Bark of Ra as it traveled through the Duat. Each night Apep would rear its head and menace the Bark called Millions of Years. This is, as said before, the emblem of the boundary between the included and the not-included. But with the long war that was between Horus and Set, Set could no longer protect the Bark and became identified with the ‘evil’ He had protected against. Thus was a powerful contrast set up between Spirit, i.e. Horus, and Matter or Set. But, as Horus was to learn, He is the twin brother of Set and together They are called the Twin Warriors. In the Spell of Becoming a God who Sheds Light in the Darkness, we are told of the process of uniting the Twin Warriors in our bodies. This sheds light on the entire set of symbols. For the Twin Warriors are the Ida and Pingala, the subtle channels that wrap about the spine. As they are united they awaken the great serpent Kundalini which rises up in their midst. We have called that serpent A.P.E.P. The method for uniting the Twin Warriors is given visually as the Caduceus of Hermes in which a shaft surmounted by a winged globe is thrust between two “fighting” (read copulating) serpents. This also points to Thot’s mediation that lead to the Peace, the Union between Set and Horus, their Covenant. As alluded to before, Set and Horus are the general types of all contrasts as they are Spirit and Matter, Light and Dark, &c. With the intervention of Consciousness, symbolized by the central shaft of the Caduceus, the action of Thot, the contrasts are united into the Power to become. Here we call it A.P.E.P. It is because of this essential intervention by consciousness in the person of Thot that Thot takes up Set’s old post as the Protector at the prow of the Bark of Ra for A.P.E.P. knows Thot was the third term in its creation and thus recognizes Him and lets the Bark pass.
But what is the Covenant of Set? In the days of old Egypt the offering of the King to the Gods was Maat. The King was returning the established order back to its source in the eternal divine. We can interpret this in the light of Process Thought as the passing of actual occasions/entities into their objective immortality. This is the Holy Covenant of Set, that that which has ever been is immortally available for all that which shall be.
Yet this is also an offering for in the process of coming into being one ends one’s becoming and immediately perishes. This entity/occasion that one was is then given over to the Divine, into the “dissolution in the eternal kisses of Nuit”. “If the Body of the King Dissolve He shall remain in pure ecstasy for ever” is saying that if one releases hold on one’s being one’s body will continually dissolve into its next form. This process is ecstatic.
Thus have we come to the One, A.T.O.M. The One that actually is and in its birthing, dies. As it passes into the past as a datum of experience a proposition may emerge about its nature and the nature of other things and the cycle again begins.
Notes on Calling the Archæ as taken from ‘The Rite Process’-Therion, the Senses. Babalon the Power of Process moving into subjective form, Hadit the Actual Entity, Nuit the Omnipresent Divine. (T&B = Shin-Teth, N&H = LA-AL)(Babalon =126.96.36.199.30.6.50=92)
“[T]he animal body is the great central ground underlying all symbolic reference.” [PR p.170] Therefore we will begin our symbolization with the animal body, the receiver of the incoming sensa. Within the process of concrescence data from the causal past is received. This includes all sensory stimulus and all the memories evoked within the percipient entity. By itself it is overwhelming, it is a profusion and confusion of input. To be able to receive this information without being over loaded is the power of the Beast, the animal part of ourselves. For in the same way as animals, unburdened by our human consciousness are much more aware of their environment and their feelings than humans ordinarily are, so by coming in contact with the Beast, the animal in ourselves we acquire its power. This is the Archon of atavistic resurgence, bringing with it all the powers of the animal kingdom. We call it here: Therion, which is Greek for ‘beast’. Let him refer to those initial, primitive phases of reception, wholly before any trace of transmutation has entered therein. We will image Therion as a great shaggy man-beast, horned and hooved in the manner of Pan, and twined with vines and crowned with leaves, indicating fecund life. His brow is emblazoned with a burning Thunderbolt which will, along with a snake, a pylon, and a phallus, enter more strongly into the symbolism of the rite later. This is an icon of our own essential beast-nature.
Next let us image the phase of appearance with the image of the goddess referred to as BABALON. For overwhelmed or not we must still process this incoming data. This is a profound power and so we turn to the woman in whom all power is given. Liber AL7) describes her saying, “he (Therion) is a sun and she (Babalon) a moon…”, and the moon with its regular and periodic change is etymologically the root for mind. Thus to the Babalon-nature within ourselves is given the power to craft the information received by our senses into immediate experience. We can do this for better or for ill, but nonetheless it is we who do it. She, like a Dakini of the Tantric traditions, is visualized clad only with sky, with flaming red skin, and voluptuous of form. She wears tresses of red hair and has green eyes. Around Her twines the Serpent Apep. She wields the power of transmutation which converts the many into the one.
As we pass into the phase of satisfaction, let us visualize this archon as a golden winged globe such as the Egyptians drew to indicate the consciousness attaining its final reward: the satisfaction of its subjective aim. This one is called Hadit. Let it be visualized rising above or in front of the Pylon or pillar and with increasing intensity of vision the whirling waveform-particles of the electrons are seen, orbiting the nova-nucleus of the Atom that is the globe of Hadit.
Lastly, let us image the passing of the occasion into objective immortality as the flight of the winged globe of Hadit taking its place as a star in the body of the goddess whose visible image is the night sky: Nuit. Classically, she is drawn as a woman in dark blue and flecked with stars arching over a scene on a Egyptian temple fresco or funerary tablet.
Having formulated, created an entity, it perishes. Yet in its perishing a new one is formed. This is the flux of existence, thus shown by the round of the circle. But there is also that which remains. What abides in the midst of the flux is the sequence of percipient entities united in serial order. It is in this time-line that story-lines of personal history/mythology, of awareness of one’s self over time can emerge.
Thus beyond the quarters, and from the stable point of the center are the archæ called. Therion and Babalon each relate to the kind of time that occurs within the process of concrescence, which is microcosmic. Hadit and Nuit relate to the kind of time that occurs outside of the process of concrescence. This is the ordinary kind of time in which events and objects emerge and pass. It is macrocosmic.
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