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The Magician's Dictionary
SACRED APES OF BENARES
Schopenhauer's term for women.
Anton LaVey's Satanism frowns on self-sacrifice and the Catholic Church calls suicide a sin. Xtianity offers "eternal life" in "God," which is all very well, provided you know what "God" is. Once we stop separating from the Whole, we automatically place self-sacrifice above eternal life and, in doing so, paradoxically, we transform immolation into immortality. In Buddhism, which sees the true extinction of the ego in Nirvana, i.e., as release from both death and rebirth, sacrifice means having the compassion to remain in the world in order to help others. Thus, the self-incendiarism of Buddhists as protests against the war in Viet Nam were an extreme form of compassion. They were sacrifices in the Judeo-Christo-Islamic sense, but for a bodhisattva it is not a sacrifice to die, it's a gift.
The sign of the Centaur, embodiment of the struggle between the animal nature and reason, the corporeal and the spiritual forces. The flexibility of fire, ruled by Jupiter, planet of the God of Lightning. The goal of Sagittarius is to transcend all limitations of earth and the flesh, to be assisted by good fortune and an adaptable, accommodating nature.
Some famous Saggitarians are: de la Salle, Spinoza, Toulouse-Lautrec, Dale Carnegie, Carry Nation, William Blake, Mark Twain, Abbie Hoffman, Kazantzakis, Carlyle, Kandinsky, Disney, Jonathon Swift, Flaubert, Eiffel, Noel Coward, Margaret Mead, Arthur C. Clarke, Klee, Edith Piaf, Jane Fonda.
("The Lotus of a Thousand Petals.") The capital city of the Astral Plane. According to Paul Twitchell, the Wright bothers took their plans for the flying machine and Bell his telephone from its famous Museum of Millions.
Bishop of Myra, died 342 A.D. Patron Saint of Russia and of young people, his day is December 6th. Associated with Teutonic water sprite, Nekker, who saves seamen from drowning and with Old Nick, the forerunner of death. Later corrupted into "Santa Claus."
In "Earthly Powers", Anthony Burgess describes the libretto of an opera based on the life of Saint Nicholas, borrowed largely from an account by Anatole France. Since few people now anything about this peculiar person, other than that he is the patron saint of children and shipwrecked sailors, it might be interesting to look more closely. The entire opera is far too long to quote verbatim from the novel, but briefly, this is the plot up to the end of the first act:
The story begins, somehow, with the corpses of Bishop Nicholas's three adopted sons (Mark, Matthew and John) who have been put into a pickel barrel, whereupon, because of the action of the pickel acid, the young men are brought back to life. Once resurrected, the first son turns Nicholas's house into a brothel wherein Nicholas is tempted by sins of the flesh. Fearing the loss of his soul, he invokes Jesus Christ, who appears to him as the naked god, Pan, whereupon the poor man yields to his weaknesses. Afterwards he flagellates himself and is thereby purified enough so that he can attend the Council of Nicµa in order to denounce the Arian heresy. In case you've forgotten, the Arian heresy insists that the Father and Son are of the same substance (homoousia), whereas the true faith insists that they are only of similar substance (homoiousia) -- thus proving the importance of an iota. Meanwhile, the second son has been busy forging documents to denounce Nicholas as an even worse heretic. At the Council, the women of the town appear to ask for prayers for their men who are at sea in a storm. The Council, of course, wants to throw them out for disrupting their holy work, but jolly old St. Nick intercedes for the sailors' wives, by wrestling with an Arian bishop. At this point Matthew reveals the documents proving that his father has stated that the only true God is Venus. Nicholas is disgraced ecclesiastically and the ships go down at the same time.
In the second and final act of the opera, Nicholas, after a period of sack cloth and ashes, has been reinstated by the Pope as a full bishop again. It seems, however, that a number of German tribes have been converted to Christianity by Arians and the heresy is going full blast. John, the third son, is all for going to Germany in order to torture and kill heretic women and children. Nicholas argues, at first, that theirs is a religion of love, but John points out that "these are foul heretics who believe Christ to be co-eternal with the Father!" So Nicholas is persuaded to join in the holy war, though he soon regrets it. He asks Heaven to send down Love and "Venus herself appears as goddess of brothels for soldiers!" Mothers are screaming for a miracle and one of them hands Nicholas the bloody corpse of her child. Nicholas, with the child in his arms, now asks God why He had brought the three wicked sons back to life in the first place and when there is no answer, cries out: "You are a God of hate, a God who murders the innocent!" There is no reply to that either, of course, and the curtain descends.
So it is that to this very day, the red suit represents Nicholas's sins of the flesh, for which he atones with the ashes of chimneys, while the bag upon his back is his burden of shame. Of course, in the 20th Century we no longer honor shame, so the bag simply contains the poisonous fruits of materialistic tyranny.
The 25th Tunnel (also called The Zigzagging) is the distorted alchemy in which two great beasts are engaged in battle, the opposite or perversion of the goal of Alchemy, the marriage of opposites.
Fire elemental. A small salamander manages hearth and furnace and a larger one deals with volcanoes, earthly holocausts and the like. Its emblem is the Lamp. It is, supposedly, drawn by energy and strength but repelled by temperament, irascibility and violence. This powerful nature spirit, however, does not easily communicate with man and is the most difficult for us to understand. Its etymology, of course, is the Persian word for any lizard, samandar.
Yogic enlightenment; Union of Self with Not-Self. Final state before Nirvana. Contemplation of True Reality in state of even-mindedness when dualism has been calmed (Nirvana is the removal of Dualism altogether).
SAMUIN (Or Samhain.)
"Summer's end." Celtic Hallowe'en when the door to the other world is opened for one night, Saman being the druidic angel of death. This is also the Druid's festival of harvest fire. The Jack o' Lantern is said to have been the emblem of what was originally a spirit who had been refused entrance to both Heaven and Hell.
The ancient Hindu philosophy which exerted the strongest influence on Buddhism. Created by Kapila in 600 B.C., it reveals how the Kosmos has been engaged in a dualistic war between Prakriti (physical nature, matter or reality) and Purusha ("Person," Soul of the Universe, Archetypal man, Brahma, spirit, etc.). In the end, Purusha and Prakriti must be re-united in order to set in motion the world's evolution. Essential teaching is also encountered in Zoroastrianism, Gnosticism and contemporary psychiatry. The hallmarks of Prakriti, as follows, are known as gunas and they can be related perfectly to Alchemy:
TAMAS: The mineral nature characterized by heaviness, inertia, indifference, inactivity, and delusion. (Salt, in alchemy.)
RAJAS: The vegetal nature shown by movability. (Sulphur, in alchemy.)
SATTVAS: The animal nature as lit by balance, harmony, luminosity. The guna of transcendence. (In alchemy: mercury.)
In the old Abbey of Thelesme (a word of uncertain origin), the motto was "An (if) thou dost no harm, do what thou wilt." Crowley changed the word slightly, giving it the frankly Greek spelling and meaning, Thelema - the "will". And he pushed the motto a step further: "Do what thou wilt, shall be the whole of the Law." Then along came the revisionists and xtian-inspired followers who changed that to "Will, under Love," or some such nonsense, thus watering it down and vitiating its liberating inspiration.
Neo-Satanists, in keeping with the underground rebellion against the over-controlled, over-structured society of the 90's are restoring the concept of "Do what thou wilt" to its properly Satanic brood of warriors.
Zen enlightenment, characterized by sudden, all-encompassing vision or complete understanding, as a result of a breakthrough from mediation. It lies beyond discrimination and differentiation and may endure from a mere intuitive flash to the eternal Void itself. Called No-Thought or No-Mind, it is considered the beginning of Zen training, the end of which is complete Non-Duality.
The planetary ruler of Capricorn and Aquarius, as well as the exaltation of Libra. When the burden of responsibilities becomes too heavy and the ship of life is in danger of sinking, something must be cast aside. Saturn, as the center of gravity, is the source of that burden and weight, as well as the instinct for the necessary casting aside. Saturn's pressure is inexorable, resulting eventually in the necessary acceptance of practical self-discipline.
The prototypical Roman holiday in which all things were permitted, from December 17th to the 24th. Public banquets were held in which masters served their slaves and criminals were pardoned. A central place of honor to children and the aged was reserved. Gifts were exchanged and social games prevailed. Above all, it was the festival that honored Time and the Golden Age of the Past. It is east to see why Xmas in preempting and perverting this feriae servorum has developed so bloated and grotesque a stranglehold on the Euro-American psyche.
It has been defined as a cognitive handicap in which reason is limited to purely concrete processes and neither symbol nor abstraction can be used or understood. What we see, however, is not necessarily impairment, but misplacement. The schizophrenic demands exactitude because he needs firm guidelines in a world that is arbitrary, hostile and irrational. The world, however, believing itself to be sane, views such allergy as a disease, rather than as the simple, psychic defense that it obviously is.
Far from being despised as socially undesirable, schizophrenia should be hailed as one of mankind's invaluable resources. Functional schizophrenia is not madness but a focussing of consciousness that is simply not sanctioned by ordinary society, except in sleep. Animals also inhabit worlds of their own -- the elephant world, the eagle world, the rattlesnake world, etc. which society misunderstands and condemns. Both "incurable" schizophrenics and "untameable" wild animals, therefore, are systematically crowded out to make room for the breeding, conforming multitudes of homo sap.
Admittedly, the "afflicted" have little or no control over their mental state and often feel themselves to be drowning in raging psychic seas, but that is generally in reaction to the insanity of the consensual world and lack of special training in how to use these precious, divine talents. At any rate, our society's longing to "medicate" it totally out of existence is stupid. We can only wish that schizophrenes were better provided for, even pampered -- and very carefully educated -- so as to help them cast off the miserable and crippling paranoia which is its natural enough accompaniment, given the hostility of our world for anything it fails to understand. Most schizophrenes are as abysmally ill-educated as the rest of our society and so can't take advantage of their talent or defend themselves. Their "madness" is, more often than not, no more than the quite "logical" result of ignorance, confusion and fear. If anything, schizophrenics are superrational beings coping with enormous burdens of logic.
Marijuana produces a similar panic which has to be overcome. It too removes the filter that normally keeps us from experiencing the underlying, fundamental chaos of the world. From a functional (i.e., not physically diseased) standpoint, the paranoia resulting from schizophrenia is a normal and successfully adaptive reaction to an extreme and untenable situation, e.g., contemporary society in its habitually evil and mindless mode. And society, in failing to provide a place for these people, is doing all of us a great disservice.
It is as if we forced athletes to run in lead-soled, lumberjack boots and to keep their hands in their pockets at all times. It is as if we expected Rembrandt to content himself with a monochromatic spray-paint gun and an untagged bus.
Since schizophrenia bypasses the psychic censor, it affords tremendous insight into many metaphysical mysteries and considerably increases the level of extrasensory perception. Moreover, it is out of the same matrix that art, discovery, invention and genius evolve. Even "chemical" schizophrenia (whether naturally or artificially induced), can, to a moderate degree be a positive condition. But it is logic and reason, unhampered by any fawning to authority or family values, that most often lead the schizophrenic person into trouble. That is hardly an "illness" to be "cured." It's a line of inner resourcefulness, originality and survival.
Oddly enough, talk like that doesn't, as you might think, go right over my shrink's head. We both realize that he only nods to the establishment flakes in order to survive professionally.
SCHOOLS OF MAGIC
There are, traditionally, three schools of magic in the world: Black, White and Yellow. These colors, however, have nothing to do with the usual understanding of them as "good" or "evil," they are simply three avenues. The black school warns that life is pain and sorrow. The white school teaches that it can be transformed into joy. The yellow school practices passivity and non-interference (occasionally it interferes to keep the black and white schools from destroying one another, lest the winner turn on the yellow school).
L. Ron Hubbard's religion, based on sci-fi, psychology and occultism. It attempts, after clearing the psyche of engrams, to place one in touch with former incarnations in order to put the information to further spiritual growth as an Operating Thetan who no longer depends on the body for spiritual effects. The church patterns its worldly foundation on the proven techniques of the Catholic Church, Christian Science, etc.
The Tacere of the Tetramorph. Sign of "Sex & Death," it may stand as the archetype of Alchemical Transformation. Beginning with the lowest level, the scorpion, it rises to the highest level, the eagle, via the evolutionary link of the serpens mercurialis, Ourobouros or the Lemniscate of Eternity. Nothing and Being are united by the Ourobouros. The Underworld and Heaven are united by the serpent. Life and Death are united by Eternity.
Some famous Scorpions (Oct. 23 - Nov. 21): Picasso, Sylvia Plath, Keats, Goebbels, Christopher Columbus, Will Rogers, Vivian Leigh, Joel McCrea, Captain Cook, Dostoyevsky, Charles Manson, Robert Fulton, Halley, Billy Graham, Martin Luther, Voltaire, Hetty Green, Rorschach, Mme. Curie.
(Or crystal gazing.) The trick is to learn first how to clear the crystal. What is needed is a blank screen (indeed an empty wall serves equally well). Shutting the eyes in hope of stirring up images can also be useful, if the practitioner can keep from falling asleep. A crystal ball is better only because it strongly stimulates the image-making faculty without eliciting soporific side-effects. Images so produced can be written down or recorded on tape for subsequent interpretation by the intuition. The serious practitioner should keep a record of recurrent common images and their occult meanings for him (e.g., a mountain might be a "challenge," a tree could be "health", a lion is "friendship, etc.). Then, when these images appear in the crystal ball, their condition can provide him with detailed information: a snow- covered mountain would be a worthwhile challenge, a rugged mountain would be a difficult challenge, etc.
Assyrian winged bill. A demon, or more commonly, a protector of house entrances. King Sargon had many made with his own head affixed to them.
Supreme female deity of Egypt in whose care we are nourished and protected. When her wrath is stirred she is without mercy. "The Powerful One," her head was a lioness, an attribute of Ra, i.e., his enraged "Eye," which cannibalized his enemies. She was a ruthless goddess of bloodthirsty slaughter. All the same, being so bloody she was also capable of fiercely driving sickness away and hence was also a healing goddess. A "priest of Sekhmet" was a doctor who could rout evil spirits. It is said (Gods of Aquarius) that she has returned in our time and occupies a collective unconscious realm somewhere between being and potential summoning. We do well to place her in the forefront of our pantheon because she is essential to our health and protection. She is an excellent demon-slayer.
SEMIOMIME (Or Pseudosemion)
A device that seems to convey some (unknown) meaning, but is designed specifically for the sole purpose of suggesting meaning, and hence really has no meaning other than the intent to deceive.
The most ancient language in the world, the origin of Sanskrit. It was known to all initiates from Atlantis to Maya to Egypt, India and China. HPB says it is the language in which the oldest book in the world was written and the tongue whence she translated the many volumes of Kiu-Ti and The Stanzas of Dyzan (see KIU-TI). The universal script was believed to have been brought from Venus by the "Kumaras." It embodied in its characters the original circle, triangle, cross, tau, pentagram, swastika, etc.
"Book of Emanations" or Book of "Creation," one of the two major books on the Qabalah (the other being The Zohar). So called because the level of Yetzirah is the "world of formation." (There are other qabalistic books -- Sepher HaBahir, Sepher Hayashan, Sepher ha Malkut, Sepher Raziel Hamalakh and the "Book of Moses," Sepher Torah). The Sepher Yetzirah contains an account of the 22 letters of the alphabet and the 10 Sephiroth of the Tree of Life.
From the Sephiroth descend the four root races, each issuing from the one above it, the lower swallowing the higher: Atziluth -- the first and most spiritual race; Briah -- the second race composed of the servants of the first; Yetzirah, the third race (mankind being a fallen sub-race thereof) comprised of cherubim, seraphim, Lucifer, elohim and the sons of God. Finally, there is the fourth race, Assiah, containing the Atlanteans and the Qliphoth.
Incidentally, man, having sinned, is imprisoned in the material world with its eternal reincarnations as punishment until he manages to purify himself.
Everywhere the serpent is a glyph for occult knowledge (magic and healing) and occult sexuality (the hidden phallus). It is also linked to the underground and darkness, hence "evil." Standing, as it does, midway between the lower and the higher forms of life, it is a perfect symbol of evolutionary transformation and metamorphosis. In the Scorpio symbolism, it stands between the lowly scorpion and the exalted eagle. In the very first Arcanum we observe that The Magician is using a serpent as a belt around his middle -- thus he is himself the link between heaven and earth. Hermes meets the ophidious problem of ambiguity head on by frankly supporting two serpents, assigning one of them to the light and the other to the darkness.
Dark god of Egypt -- ruled the Redlands, or Desert, hence those things that were most fearful to the Egyptians. Sometimes associated with Satan. That etymological connection, however, is very uncertain. Satan, in Hebrew means "to accuse," hence Satan is the "adversary" or "critic." On the other hand S-T or Sh-T, in Egyptian, nearly always has something to do with the "South" or travel thereto, a sense that is totally lacking in the Hebrew word.
Entity using Jane Roberts as his amanuensis. The most profound and original of all the channeled entities over the past few decades. His philosophical insights into the workings of the human mind are original, eye-opening and profound.
The Gnostics who taught that there were not two, but three worlds: Light, Darkness and Spirit.
SEVEN HERMETIC PRINCIPLES, THE
Each historical era can be characterized by its attraction for one or another of these principles.
SEVEN LEVELS OF CONSCIOUSNESS
SEX AND DEATH
Death and the entry into the Abyss of Non-Being is the equivalent of the sexual act. As the orgasm is the ultimate affirmation of the body, so the death spasm is the ultimate denial of the body. On the common level we move in and out of Death and Life, in and out of the Void, from Manifestation to reincarnated Manifestation, endlessly. The Samsaric wheel of birth and death is the endless cosmic act of coitus until the final "orgasm" resulting in the bliss of Nirvana.
Reincarnation. We live 700 lives as an animal, 70 lives as a human being learning to overcome the Kama-Manasic levels and, finally, 7 incarnations as an Initiate.
A God's emanating energy. In Hinduism and Lamaism this is the God's feminine aspect, or the manifestation of the God in the world. It is his wife or concubine, with whom he is perpetually engaged in intercourse while simultaneously doing his works.
The 31st Tunnel of the Qliphotic Tarot, perhaps meaning, "The Drawing Out of the Water." Shin, the Judgement or Resurrection, is here rendered as NON PATEBO, that is, "I shall not open!" That is, the Archon is not passed.
I see the technical difference between a shaman and any other kind of magician as quite profound. Whereas all the others concern themselves with exterior events, the shaman is interested in self-understanding and self-experimentation. He seeks frequent death and rebirth. His psychedelic herb tears him to pieces, whence he must put himself back together in a new and improved version.
Invention of James Hilton in his novel Lost Horizon. It is a hidden land, far from corrupt civilization, devoted to spiritual, rather than material ends. The original movie, based on the novel, tended to give these goals an unwarranted Xtian slant.
We've since learned, however, that there really is a mountain pass (for which the Tibetan word is la) called "Changri" in the Nepalese Himalayas, near Everest. There is, it seems, a Sherpa community living there.
A magical word circa 1940, used in comicbook legend to transform Billy Batson into "Captain Marvel." It is a notariqon of: S for the wisdom of Solomon; H for the strength of Hercules; A for the stamina of Atlas; Z for the power of Zeus; A for the courage of Achilles; M for the speed of Mercury.
One of the Forgotten Ones. Invoked by the vultures atop the Pillars of the Abyss.
Lovecraft's word. According to Grant, it's from the Chaldean Beth Shaggathai ("House of Fornication"). Bubbles of the abyss inhabited by imprisoned magicians, suggesting the parallelism of spermatozoa in the "House" of semen. (See YOG-SOTHOTH). Shoggoth are similar to Egregors but are unwieldy and difficult to manage.
Consort of Yog-Sothoth, from the Necronomicon. The repulsive Goat-Mother of thousands.
Yogic supernatural powers arising spontaneously as the result of spiritual progress. Siddhis are to be ignored, not cultivated. There are supposedly ten supernatural powers or sankhya available to the developed yogi, but two of them do not occur on this plane and only the 8th can be sought deliberately by the will:
The 9th and 10th powers are the beginning of divinity and comprise the power to suppress desire at will, to become invisible, to transmute any substance, to fly, etc.
These are Paracelsus' teachings of natural correspondences. All things have their stamp or signature and that signature is a clue to their connectedness to other things with similar signatures. The understanding of the properties and uses of herbs, stars, minerals, etc. depends on knowing this principle. If, for instance, you had to chose a substance for healing and could not tell the difference between poisonous and non-poisonous plants how would you proceed? Random testing could prove fatal, but if you were to allow yourself to be guided by a plant's similarities to a function or part of the body, you'd probably do considerably better.
For instance, as Arthur Versluis points out, in The Philosophy of Magic, pitch from a pine tree, being the excrescence of a wound in the tree, provides a good poultice, just as vines, being similar to veins, are probably efficacious in aiding circulation. Yellow plants, closely aligned with the color of jaundice, are helpful in treating liver ailments. There is nothing whatever farfetched about such correspondences: they are simple common sense, drawn from the principle of the essential unity of man and cosmos. If we carry the idea of signatures far enough, they can lead us into the heart of the "everything is everything else" gnosis, wherein, as a spider, one can occupy the center and be connected to every strand in the universal web.
(See MYSTERY.) The purpose of secrecy is not to impede knowledge. It has to do with occult rituals that produce thought creations -- since they are thought-created, they can easily be weakened by raw, uninitiated thoughts.
The Book of Concealment. Oldest Hebrew document in the Zohar, according to HPB, originally written in Senzar.
(See SOTHIS.) In recent times reputable French anthropologists who visited the Dogon people of Mali, living in the furthest reaches of Africa, discovered that their mythology revealed an astonishing astronomical knowledge of the star system Sirius. This knowledge could not have evolved from merely studying the star by the naked eye. Only a strong, modern telescope could possibly have told them that Sirius is really two stars, that it has a companion, Sirius B, which is invisible from the earth without a telescope. Nor should they have known that this invisible star has an elliptical orbit, that it is heavier and yet much smaller and so on. The Dogons claim they were told such secret things by Sirian explorers who visited the earth in millennia past. It now appears that missionaries may have confused the issue by teaching them our astronomy at an earlier time.
The connection of the names "Dogon" and the "Dog Star" is based on a peculiarity of language. For the French who made these discoveries, English is a mystery and the similarity of Dogon/dog is an illuminating revelation -- for the word "dog" is, of course, non-existent in French, which uses chien. For us, however, the connection is difficult to see as anything more than a simple-minded and childish pun.
In Egyptian history, the rising of Sirius, the Dog star, at dawn marked the beginning of the year. Sirius (called Sothis) was considered to be "the sun beyond the Sun."
In his The Myth of Sisyphus, Camus gives us a vision of Sisyphus that he claims is heroic: "... at that brief moment, before the stone begins to roll back downhill, Sisyphus triumphs again and again over the gods." I suggest that such a "triumph" is hardly worth mentioning. Indeed, it is no triumph at all, but a pathetic underscoring of Camus' own chronic spiritual depression. For these and other crimes against the human psyche, Camus stands forever indicted.
There is, in fact, a far more satisfying and useful meaning to the story of Sisyphus than Camus was ever brave enough to reach out for. Nor was Camus able to encompass the obvious truth that mortals who incur the wrath of the gods, become themselves semi-divine. For to be touched by the gods, even to be tormented by their cruelties, is to lose one's mortality and partake of the higher life.
Several versions of the story exist, but briefly what happens is that Sisyphus betrays a secret of Zeus in exchange for favors of a less important god. Apparently, even this brief encounter is sufficient to bestow upon him the ability to lock up Death as soon as Zeus hurls him into the underworld. He even manages to wangle permission from Pluto to return briefly to earth in order to conclude some personal business. Once back in life, however, Sisyphus will have nothing to do with the suggestion that he return to Hades.
So Hermes is sent to drag him by the scruff of his neck back to his old moldering grave -- once there to spend forever pushing a stone up to the top of a tall hill. Once reaching the top, the stone would roll down again and he would have to push it up the hill again, ad aeternitatem.
Now what is really happening is quite obvious. In wresting the power from Death, Sisyphus acquires the ability to see what it is that the gods in their mercy have tried to spare us. The mercy of death is forgetfulness, so that we are not obligated to re-experience, to no real purpose, the futility of remembering over and over again the tedium of being born, living and dying. In other words, Sisyphus becomes nothing less than the unwilling turner of the Karmic Wheel of Samsaric Life and Death, from which Buddha would deliver us. Since he refuses to die, Sisyphus is condemned to live forever -- that is, to remember everything. It isn't just that he wants to survive, but that he wants to survive at any cost, and so his punishment is to be granted only the mechanical side of life, stripped of its meaning.
Many have been the designators of this apocalyptic finger, from Nero to the Popes, to Mohammed, to Ronald Wilson Reagan. But only through careful numerological analysis can we be certain of its true meaning. In The Dimensions of Paradise, John Mitchell shows clearly how this "number of the beast" is actually the Gnostic designation for Jesus Christ and the Crucifiction foisted on the world by the corrupt Church. Christ as an historical figure instead of a spiritual force was repugnant to the Gnostics. Decadent Babylon and the New Jerusalem are one and the same City of God, symbolizing the death rattle for the perverted religion and the birth of a new understanding. In Revelation, 666 refers to the phrase kai ho arithmos Chi-Xi-Sigma and stands for Jesus Christ as the idol on the cross rather than the Gnostic idea of the new Christ spirit, "the son of man," present in all men (much like our own "New Aeon" feeling). The New Jerusalem numbers are 3168, 1080, 1224 and 1764, but especially 864 and 666 (all of these, by the way, reduce to 9). New Jerusalem itself is 961 (seven), as is "the number of the leaves of the Tree of Life which are for the healing of nations."
A similar attribution can be found in Kenneth Grant's work (Outside the Circles of Time). For him, as for the writer of Revelation, the number has special apocalyptic meanings: "The Christians misunderstood the Unspeakable Name (IHVH) and supposed that by causing a rift between the Old Ones and the life-wave on earth they could 'save' mankind, and incidentally [of course!] gain total mastery of the planet." In order to do this, they inserted the Hebrew letter Shin (Grant calls this the letter of "Spirit," others associate it with "fire") between IH and VH, the Sh of Spirit. Thus we derive the name Yeheshuah or Johoshuah (IHShVH), which in Latin we call Jesus. The Xtians proceeded from there to identify this mythological name with a real person who, as Gerald Massey demonstrated, could only have been -- in an historic sense -- Jesus ben Pandira, an Egyptian who lived a century earlier. This wizard's mother was named Mary Magdalene, and he was stoned to death for sorcery. But the letter Shin, Grant tells us, "represents the triple-tongued flame of the Great Old Ones, whose supreme concentration -- Choronzon -- exhibits the triple Firetongue in the number 333." The latter is "mirrored in the final Heh of Tetragrammaton, the daughter-letter, whose number becomes the trebled Hex and the Unholy Act of Earth's destruction, under the rule of the Son of Typhon who is Set/Satan and the Anti-Christ."
Thus, to this very day, the idol that the entire "Christian" world bows down to is not the Christos spirit at all, but the Anti-Christ. The washed faces, the white gloves, the alb and pale lilies of Sunday worship cannot dispel the blood of ages. Average Galileans are unable to display love of any kind for their fellow-man. Instead, they constantly evoke the images of sin, corruption, misery and damnation. All "holy books" contain contradictions, lies and false teachings, but the Xtian Bible is a monument of fabrications and contradictions, second only to the Koran.
The witch's word for "naked." The appearance of the magician in performing rites of magic or goetia usually requires nudity, bare feet or disheveled hair. Nudity increases self-consciousness, bare feet indicate new paths, disheveled hair calls to chaos, etc.
It scarcely matters what one's crowd is composed of -- whether they be monks or murderers. What matters is the degree of fulfillment in belonging to it. When we understand that, we understand why Moonies and Mansons flourish. When we understand the power of tribality, we understand why the State can never successfully usurp the loyalties of friendship for its own purposes. In postmodern society, however, maturity is gauged by the degree to which we abandon the unsatisfied tribal instinct for the creation of totally isolated biological complexes. Unfortunately, the biological family no longer serves any real human need. What our society really needs is fewer babies and more healthy communities.
The conviction that there is no external reality beyond oneself. This view is no longer considered illogical, insane or even necessarily psychopathic. The inhabitant of a solipsistic universe, however, must realize sooner or later, that everything in it is his own creation -- including all the things he hates and fears. By extension it should be obvious that our society is simply in a larger solipsistic boat.
Michael Bertiaux, in his Voudun Gnostic Workbook gives us a glimpse of the infinity of dimensions even within one's own solipsism and a possible link to interpenetrations with non-solipsistic universe. He cites the interdimensional work of Japanese artist and Esoteric Plutonian Shintoist, Hiroyuka Fukuda:
The biblical king, 1000 B.C., noted for his infinite wisdom. In fact, when he first became king of Israel, an angel asked him what he wanted above everything else and Solomon chose wisdom over wealth. He was also a great magician. He was the inventor of a television-like mirror used in divination, which Paracelsus reinvented 2500 years later. Solomon means "peaceful," for he ruled in a time of peace. This is important, because until then the kings of Israel had busily engaged in war. It was this miracle, in ancient times of peace, that enabled Solomon to build, with the help of angels, elementals, aethyrs and spirits, a great temple from cedars of Lebanon donated by Hiram, King of Tyre. The temple was seven years in the making and exceedingly beautiful. It housed many great Gods (despite the Judaic aversion to polytheism). When Solomon did finally go to war, he transported his armies on flying carpets and gliders. In Talmudic teaching, according to Wade Baskin's Sorcerer's Handbook, Solomon was instructed by Ashmedai, king of the Shedim.
The ancient Hindu drink of the Gods made of the climbing plant known as sarcostema viminalis or asclepias acida found in the mountains of Indo-Irania.
The Star of the Tarot. Greek for Sirius, the Dog Star, the Egyptian Soped. Sothis, bearing a star in her crown, is the Nilotic goddess of inundation. Her Egyptian title was "Ruler of the Stars." At Elephantine she was known as Hathor and elsewhere as Satis, another aspect of Isis. Sothis is also called "The Star of Set and is represented by the Silver Star of the Great White Brotherhood.
Colin Wilson says that an "Egyptian treatise attributed to Hermes Trismegistus" asserts that Hermes landed on earth to teach mankind civilization and then returned to the stars. Sirius continues, however, Grant tells us, through the focus of the Andromeda connection, via Soror Andahadna and others, to "equilibrate" groups like the O.T.O. (transmitting through beings such as Lam, Aossic-Aiwass, etc.) and to bombard the "Interior Planes" with Maatian Age emanations.
In the Maatian system, according to Grant's theory, everything is conscious, with galaxies being super-evolved complexes of consciousness. Sirius (like all stars) not only has "Sirians" in bodies like ours, but also has star consciousness, just as Earth has a planetary consciousness. Each galaxy is responsible for assigned "solar" systems and there are many cosmic streams with termini scattered through the continuum of the space-time warp, from interstellar to interplanetary to intermolecular. The Sol-Sirius link is just one of these termini. Other binodal power lines are Isis (a not yet discovered planet) and the Andromeda galaxy, Uranus-Algol and Jupiter-Betelgeuse. Our own Milky Way connects star systems at more than Andromedan distances. The termini act as giant transformers or power-relay systems, focussing the galactic emanations like laser beams. One such ray is relayed to Sirius, "the Sun beyond the sun," which thereupon bibranches for a number of subsequent star-systems, including Sol, which decodes the "message" and serves as its own laser focus for the planets.
Man in reacting to all the cosmic influences unconsciously and unsystematically erupts with energy of his own. Human energy, like the energy of other races in the Comity of Stars (see COMITY OF STARS) being sent along their respective links, arrives at Andromeda through the Isidian connection. Andromeda is our primary broadcaster, Sothis is the amplifier and cpu, Sol the receiver and decoder. Through the Sothian circuit we receive back some of what we have emitted, as direction and information. Thus, K.G. tells us, we obtain the words to define the Age of Maat. R.A. Wilson mentions some of the Sirian manifestations in his book, The Cosmic Trigger: The Final Secret of the Illuminati. The only flaw is his demonstration of the active intervention of Sothis in the affairs of planet earth is the omission of the fact that Sothis (Sirius) is the Star of Set and that Shaitan-Aiwass (commonly known as Satan) is its inhabiting spirit. That Gurdjieff was also receiving inspiration from the Star of Set is not surprising in view of the nature of his work, which was, in many ways, similar to Crowley's. Also, Wilson fails to detect the presence of the invisible twin of this influence and its astral level manifestations. Said influence has resulted in the so-called "New Age" (or Maatian consciousness). In mythology, Andromeda was sacrificed to the Fish Goat (esoterically understood to refer to the Aeon of Maat).
An unfortunate few (such as Whitley Streiber has shown in his diary, Communion) now suffer pseudo-nightmares on a regular basis. These dream shapes, terrible though they be, collectively serve to concentrate and steady the door-frames enabling magicians at will to enter the Tunnels of Set and pass over into the unknown "Universe B." The portals leading into the Space Battlefield (Armageddon on the Astral Plane) are located between Shaitan's eleven-pyloned Towers. We can also understand the Sothian current as a variation on the Ophidian Current (Great Old Ones).
The illusion of separation from spirit. It should be understood that the spirit is that which seeks manifestation and appears as a soul/body. The soul is that which characterizes, shapes, informs, moves and operates the material flesh and action it its unique expression. Without the soul, the body is no more than an automaton or zombie without meaning or purpose. Without the body, the soul is a wraith and an unfinished blueprint -- electricity without a plug. The Psyche is that entire part of the soul that ranges from all the depths of the Unconscious as its roots merge with the physical body all the way up to Consciousness itself, which is the intended goal of the spirit, like the fruit or blossom of a plant. That ultimate product, consciousness, is what the Greeks called the nous and which we translate, somewhat innacurately, as "the mind". But theosophically and alchemically speaking, Mind is much larger. It is the field encompassing both being and non-being, in which the spirit dwells, a continuum or sphere of containment for the All (that is, unaccessable "omiscience"). In short, the spirit seeks to know itself by means of the soul's use of the body as a tool to create consciousness. When, however, the soul identifies too strongly with the body, it soon becomes corrupt, turning into a mere slave of the flesh and the spirit is checkmated and imprisoned.
SOUTH, MARY ANNE
Born in England, 1817. By marriage, became Mrs. Mary Anne Atwood. Author of A Suggestive Inquiry into the Hermetic Mystery, 1850. This is the book that enlightened Israel Regardie, once he had decided to plough through its opacities until by dint of sheer concentration he should finally fathom the secret of alchemy. No doubt, however, it was Regardie's simultaneous study of Jung's Commentary on the Golden Flower, that provided the key. Mrs. Atwood and her father were dedicated scholars of the occult who got cold feet once A Suggestive Inquiry was published and they tried to prevent its distribution. They felt that its secrets must not be made public.
Incantations or invocations intended to produce an external event for good or evil (for example, ABRACADABRA). To be most effective, they should be spontaneously created to suit the person or situation for which they are intended. Stock mantrams, over-used clichés, etc. (such as "Rain, rain, go away" or "May all your troubles be little ones" or "Go to Hell!") are generally useless.
Spells too numerous to list involve quite bizarre mantras, sacrificed animal parts and extremely complicated rituals. With the egg of a black hen or the eye of a wolf buried during the full moon, secrets will be revealed, enemies punished and wealth increased. Curious substances and strange behavior of that sort are intended to conceal the genuine knowledge underlying enchantments. A good source for such spells can be found in Volume II of Christian's Histoire de la Magie, 1870.
It is the very symbol of "Mystery" itself. The oldest and most puzzling monument of Egypt, its origin is unknown, even to the Egyptians. The mystery of its origin can be summed up in its riddle to Oedipus, the answer to which was "man." The Hebrew for "sphinx" is Baal Taalumoth or "Lord of Secrets." Another Hebrew word for "secret" is sod (cf. "Sodom") and the Sphinx's connection with Oedipus ("He of the Swollen Foot") suggests a sexual origin to the secret. Although there were many sphinxes, at its best known point it takes the form of the tetramorph, having the body of a bull, the face and breast of a woman, the feet and tail of a lion, and the wings of a bird. Although the word means "strangulation" in Greek, there is evidence that this was not originally a Greek word. The Arabic word for "sphinx" is Abul Hawi, "Father of Terror" and in Egyptian the word was Hu, standing for Harmachi, i.e., "Horus-on-the-horizon." The Sphinx was originally made of red stone or painted red, for unknown reasons. (To attract the green celestial influences?)
In India the spider is the weaver of the web of Maya, illusion. As the destroyer of insect life, it is a guardian against invasion of the lower forces. It is the maternal, feminine force par excellence, inasmuch as the female destroys the male upon completion of mating. In her web she stands as the center of the world. In her spinning of the web and devouring her prey she parallels the waxing and waning of the Moon, involution and evolution, the alternation of birth and death. The spider, as the Moon, then weaves the destiny of everything in the world.
Soul and body are what the world sees. The mind connects them. The spirit, however, is one's own thing. It can be connected to the Cosmic Spirit or partly to itself and others on a lower level.
Traffic with the dead. As for my contacts with the dead, which I keep to a minimum, they have not been particularly interesting. They are quite ordinary and highly personal. It is not generally considered a clean habit to traffic with the dead. Both Crowley and HPB consider spiritism to be next door to necrophilia, if not an overt and particularly nasty sexual perversion.
Most spirits move on rather quickly past the closer shores of the so-called astral plane, which I prefer to call "Telluria," since it lies so near the borders of our own world. The newest shades are the strongest, but shortly thereafter they fade like old photographs. They are not alive, remember. If death has been recent and if no one has summoned the spirit and if the spirit has not contacted any living person, chances are that we may obtain at least one good "conversation." That generally just about uses up the astral envelope.
Warning -- If you have persistent and prolonged contact with the same spirit, that is highly suspicious. It very well may not be the departed, but some intruding entity. That is particularly likely if someone other than a friend or member of the family of the departed is acting as medium. A few unfortunate wraiths are drawn neither forward nor back and cling to our world for very sick reasons. In the rare case that the spirit whom you have contacted is dependable and reasonable then it is surely an advanced being of some kind. But here again, there are many kinds of "advanced beings" -- few of which indeed are former earthlings.
One of the axioms of spontaneity (or Chaos Magic) is that every magical trick works once (usually the first time it's tried) but can't be repeated. As Heracleitos said, "You can't step into the same river twice."
The expression in mathematics that describes the states that a quantum system can be. The collapse of this vector means that the quantum system can be in all states simultaneously. That is, a thing can exist and not exist at the same time.
A pillar, slab or upstanding stone upon which inscriptions or other markings have been made. In recent times, sacrileges of ignorant contemporary graffiti sometimes obscure the rare, ancient hieroglyphs untouched for millennia.
Tarot Trump number 8 (in Crowley's system, 11). This is probably the least understood of all the Atus. Our average mind, unable to appreciate the mystery of ordinary movement, conceives of M/magic(k) as the ability to move solid objects through the air without physical assistance. And yet we betray our own unconscious perception by the fact that we are invariably far less impressed at seeing a feather suspended in the air, than a piano. Is physical strength the equivalent of strength of will?
Strength, however, whether muscular or mental, is the foundation of true M/magic(k), for it is the magic of everyday life. When philosophy fails, when cleverness fails, when riches fail, when everything fails and one is stripped of all one's powers -- there yet remains the "coiled serpent" of being (Teth), source of all energy. The miracle of daily movement, work and pleasure is based upon our physical health and confidence. It is this connection to the "magic of everyday life," that drew Crowley to the decision to renumber "Strength" as 11, the well-known number of sorcery. Moreover, since he believed that the source of all strength lay in the sex drive, he renamed it Lust!
(Chörten in Tibetan.) Found in India, Nepal, Tibet, Burma and China. A stupa is a dome ranging from a mere burial mound containing the ashes of a saint to a great temple or pagoda. In Tibet it is often composed of Mani stones. It may or may not contain a cavity in which numinous objects can be placed. In Hinduism it is the navel of the universe, Mt. Meru. But its true origin is the Buddha's topknot, the indicator of his having reached Nirvana.
Thomas Aquinas, darling of the Catholic Church and 13th Century founder of "scholasticism," believed that devils, as succubi, performed fellatio on sleeping mortals. Then, as incubi, used the seed so obtained to impregnate virtuous unmarried women in their sleep, thus producing half human/half demonic monsters, or what Crowley would have called"moonchildren."
("Of wool.") Posers as "sheep?" Apparently not. Sufism is thought of as a "veil" because the student takes what he wants from his teacher (not necessarily the greater truth which the teacher may wish to impart). Thus it is the veil of the wisemen who are teaching ancient esoteric lore. Others wear fine silks, but Sufis are content with wool. Sufis are found most frequently under the umbrella of Islam, but we are told that they exist in all religions as their most mystical or esoteric element. It is said to be the Islamic equivalent of Neoplatonism or Gnosticism. They follow the "Way" or Tariqah, whence, it is believed the Tarot (>tarocchi, or "four paths") derived. Sufism, at any rate, differs from fundamental Islam in being pantheistic and promoting belief in the immanence of God. Omar Khayyam was said to have been a Sufi (though the Rubayyat in translation conveys little that is Sufic). Jesus has also been called a sufi. A typical sufic answer to the statement that "No sufi ever says he is a sufi!" is "How do you know?"
The best way of eliminating a candidate for sufihood, according to Idries Shah's Pefumed Scorpion, is to use a kind of Catch-22. If he will accept an ignorant student just "as he is," he's probably not a sufi. Sufis don't take students from the rank and file of humanity. We might connect the word to Gk. Sophia (wisdom) although Arkon Daraul says "wise one" is not the highest degree of initiation. Safa ("purity") is the most popular derivation in the East. Daraul goes on to say that Sufism is a secret society (the wisdom passed down from Ali, son-in-law of the Prophet) with varying degrees of initiation and promotion through approval of the teacher (if the devotee acquires baraka, i.e., "blessing" or Power (grace). In the Bektashi order (whence the "janissaries" of Turkey) the degrees are: Ashiq (devotee); Muhib (one assigned to a master); Baba ("father" -- one who has mastered a hakma, or wisdom); Khalifa (deputy or prior); Sainthood or illumination (identification with the One power and being -- but not achievable in Islam). The initiate passes through 2 pillars, similar to those at Mecca (Safa and Marwa). Since the caliph is a secular ruler and since the ultimate degree, illumination, is not achievable, that actually leaves the baba (or master of a wisdom) as the de facto "sufi." Anything that can be said about sufis or sufism is probably incorrect. Sufism is described by Idries Shah as not "a" religion, but "religion." Better yet, simply "life." In fact, science, art and atheism may also be Sufic. What is not Sufic is orthodox, traditional or fundamentalistic belief.
SUN AND MOON
For the magician, the Self and the World are the same thing. When we try to separate them we get the errors of Science and Religion. The hieros-gamos (or "divine marriage") of alchemy is none other than the marriage of the Sun (the self in the world) and the Moon (the world in the self) -- Shining and reflection, projection and introjection, Yang and Yin. HPB suggests that the Sun and Moon stand for secret planets, but conventionally the Sun stands for revelation via self-expression.
The Void, Emptiness, the Abyss, Chaos. The essentially void nature of phenomena. Realized only when non-being is seen as the origin of being.
"The world transmuter" -- a fanciful FTL speed of thought device for changing the world.
One man's faith is another man's superstition. Our society, however, for all its so-called sophistication, is not immune from consensual beliefs that are as dangerous as they are unfounded. One of these superstitions is that Time is a moving force and runs on an undeviating track. Another piece of 20th Century nonsense is the importance of matter.
Religious symbol found in Europe, Asia
& America. Trevor Ravenscroft: "(In Atlantis)
under the symbol of
It has been pointed out that although there are two directions for the swastika -- one pointing in one direction for the Nazis, the other in the opposite direction -- both are now considered Nazi emblems.
The suit of Air. Since air is the element of reason, fortune-tellers assign tragedy and sickness to the suit of swords. The average person does not resort to reason until disaster strikes. I consider swords to represent the development of the mind, the 10 of Swords being enlightenment.
The air elementals, capable of changing their sizes and shapes fantastically, who have the power of moving easily from dimension to dimension. They are lovely, ethereal entities whose purpose is to inspire and instruct us. We attract them by being clever and quick-witted and repel them by being shallow or capricious. They must always be allowed their freedom. The nature of sylphs is such that although they can easily be caught and pinned down -- indeed they appear eager to be bound by us mortals -- once so captured their beauty instantly fades and they very quickly die. They are as fragile as snowflakes and the other elements quickly annihilate or absorb them. The word has been traced to Greek silphe, used by Aristotle to mean a kind of dubious beetle, but its origin is likely to be Arabic salafa "to boil away," or salifat, "a natural trait." The ballet, La Sylphide demonstrates all of thisperfectly (Les Sylphides is merely a choreography without a story.) The Donning encyclopedia describes sylphs as being highly developed, feminine Intelligences. A sylph may associate herself with an individual at birth and help him to grow in non-materialistic ways, to develop his individual freedom and to provide energy in emergencies. Perhaps the best way to think of a sylph is as a person's "genius."
A symbol, whose meaning is unconscious or indirect, must not be confused with a sign, which is obviously a resemblance or conscious pointer. A symbol represents something that can't be defined or expressed. Otherwise it is an allegory or a sign. A phallic symbol, for instance, is not a symbol because we know what it stands for. Nor is a skull a "symbol" of death. Nor are the cross (standing for Christ), a heart (standing for love) or a bird (standing for freedom) anything more than signs, i.e., equivalents. Examples of true symbols might be the Holy Grail, the Philosopher's Stone, or even a personalized mandala, since we have no (conscious) idea what these things represent. Most certainly of all, Christ and Buddha are symbols of human perfection. A.B. says their purpose is pedagogical, preserving encapsulizations of truth and developing intuition. Moreover, every symbol can be read in many different ways. And there are four kinds of symbols (physical, astral, numerical, geometrical). There are also symbolic "books" of the "Masters," the words of which are interpreted by color, their position above or below the line, their connection to one another and by their "key," that is, right to left (greater cycles), left to right (lesser cycles), from above down (involution), from below up (evolution).
Postmodern man tends to believe that symbols generate meanings in infinite concentric waves from their centers. Indeed, symbols come to have different meanings in different times and places. For example, the triskelion, tripes, or "three-legs of man," originally meant the 3 ages riddled by the Sphinx or three faces of the Hindu Trimurti (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva). But in Europe, according to Goblet d'Aviella (The Migration of Symbols) it eventually came to acquire purely political meanings, standing, amongst other things, for the "Land of the Three Capes," i.e., Sicily, for Norwegian royalty and for The Isle of Man. In our time many once very fertile and numinous symbols are all but dead.
Says Carlyle: "In a symbol lies concealment or revelation." And further, "It is in and through symbols that man consciously or unconsciously lives, works, and has his being."
Jung's word. An acausal connecting principle. Meaningful, psychic coincidence. Roberts says it is the connection between the psychic and the mundane (inner and outer).
Ancient patterns of reality such as astrology or the I Ching depended originally upon socially agreed-upon qualities that linked things. Many of those qualities have now been lost or forgotten, so that only the links remain. Such links, in turn, may extend no further than the names of the objects involved. Our modern systems, though governed by science and reason, are no less the products of social consensus. They no more necessarily reflect the true nature of the universe than the old systems did.
Absorption of one god or cult by another, as many of the early Xtian saints and holidays were taken from paganism.
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