Healing Stockholm

Sacred Knowledge


Quod Scis Nescis

Coaching, Kabbalah, Alkemi, Magi, Alkemiutbildning, Prästinneutbildning, Tarot, Ockult, Esoteric, Astrologi, Gnostic, Yoga, Andlighet, Schamanism, Plantmedicin, Elixir, Esoteriska böcker, Esoterisk podcast, Alkemipodd, Andlig blogg, Healing center

spiritualitet, Boka Healing, Terapeutiska konsultationer, Alkemiska sessioner, Samtalsterapi i Psykosyntes i Stockholm, Reiki

Om oss

Sacred Knowledge - Kabbalah - Alkemi - Healing - Stockholm

Coaching och mentorskap med hjälp av magiska metoder.


Oavsett om det handlar om karriär, kärlek, relation eller hälsa så behöver människan vara hel och i balans för att uppnå de resultat som man letar efter. En människa blir hel, fullständig, lugn, fruktbar, och lycklig när det medvetna och omedvetna har lärt sig att leva i frid med varandra och komplettera varandra. Därför är healing en viktig aspekt och hjälper dig till utveckling.


Att hela något eller någon är att ”göra det helt” som den gemensamma roten till ”hela” anger. Att bringa helhet till något är att komplettera obalans med harmoni och smärta med visdom, inte att ersätta eller övervinna obalansen eller smärtan.


Att vara hel betyder inte att vara perfekt på något vis, det betyder istället att inkludera allting. Att hela är därför att bringa samman de olika delarna i ett system – oberoende av om det gäller människor, djur, växter eller ”livlösa” system – på ett sätt som innesluter snarare än utesluter. När vi gör detta kan vi åstadkomma sant helande istället för det ”helande” som bara inriktar sig på att bota smärta, dölja obalans eller behandla symtom istället för orsaken.

Vi erbjuder individer och grupper möjligheten att med hjälp av magiska verktyg och sina egna inre krafter hitta sin sanna väg till frihet, insikt, helhet, självkännedom och det drömliv man söker.

Med utgångspunkt i modern coaching och mentorskap samt magiska verktyg från mystiken blir mötena en blandning av samtal, teori och praktik. 


SÅ HÄR GÅR DET TILL


Du bokar ett första kostnadsfritt samtal (30 minuter) med oss där vi diskuterar dina behov och det du behöver hjälp med. Vi träffas fysiskt med en frekvens som passar dig för att kartlägga dina behov. Sedan lägger vi upp en personlig strategi som passar just dig, så att du ska kunna utveckla din fulla kraft och få tillgång till dolda förmågor utifrån dig själv i fokus och nå dina uppsatta mål. Detta blir starten för ditt nya bättre jag. Alla samtal sker under sekretess.


Vi använder oss av de vägar, miljöer och metoder som hjälper dig bäst; samtal, imagination, alkemiska och kabbalistiska energiövningar, ritualer, kost, elexir, amuletter och talismaner som bringar klarhet och insikt. Tillsammans sätter vi agendan för vad vi åstadkommer. Alltid utifrån dina behov och där du befinner dig!


Kabbalah

Kabbalah är en esoterisk vishetstradition som söker förklara Gud, skapelsen och människan och deras inbördes relation. Själva ordet kabbalah betyder emottagelse och antyder vikten av en förmedlad tradition. Genom spekulativa och praktiska metoder söker kabbalisten erfara och förstå det gudomligas egenskaper och emanationer, andens nedstigande i materien, själens upprinnelse och öde, människans syfte, vad som orsakar obalans i världen och den egna personen, samt inte minst hennes potential till utveckling.


Som alla esoteriska traditioner söker kabbalan påvisa en verklighet som går bortom dogmer och ord och leda utövaren till en direkt upplevelse av numinös karaktär. Men inte som flykt från tillvaron utan som ett sätt att restaurera och heliggöra den. Ökad självkännedom är den främsta nyckeln i det att människan först måste känna sig själv för att kunna förstå skapelsen.

Likväl är inte målet att tillhandhålla blott en psykologisk modell utan snarare ett metafysiskt system som förenar människan med gudomen.


Kabbalahs 13 principer


Ett: Tro inte på ett ord som du läser. Provkör de lektioner du har lärt dig.


Två: Det finns två grundläggande verkligheter: vår värld av Mörker är 1 procent och Ljusets rike som är 99 procent.


Tre: Allt en mänsklig varelse genuint längtar efter i livet är andligt Ljus.


Fyra: Livets mening är en själslig omvandling från en Reaktiv varelse till en Proaktiv varelse.


Fem: I omvandlingens ögonblick kommer vi i kontakt med de 99 procentens rike.


Sex: Lägg aldrig – aldrig någonsin– skulden på andra människor eller yttre händelser.


Sju: Att motstå våra Reaktiva impulser skapar varaktigt Ljus.


Åtta: Ett Reaktivt beteende skapar intensiva gnistor av Ljus, men lämnar i slutändan ett spår av Mörker efter sig.


Nio: Hinder är vår möjlighet att få kontakt med Ljuset.


Tio: Ju större hinder, desto större potential har Ljuset.


Elva: När utmaningar verkar överväldigande, var säker på dig själv: Ljuset finns alltid där.


Tolv: Alla negativa drag som du ser hos andra är bara en reflektion av dina egna negativa drag. Bara genom att förändra dig själv kan du se en förändring hos en annan.


Tretton: Älska din nästa som dig själv. Allt annat är bara ord. Gå nu ut och lär.


Vad vi lär ut


Det finns fem centrala principer:


Att dela med sig: Att dela med sig är livets mening och det enda sanna sättet att uppnå tillfredsställelse. När individer delar med sig får de kontakt med den kraft som kabbalah kallar Ljuset – den Eviga källan av godhet, den Gudomliga kraften eller Skaparen. Genom att dela med sig kan man övervinna sitt ego-negativitetens kraft.


Medvetenhet och balansering av Egot:Egot är en röst inuti oss som manar folk till att vara själviska, trångsynta, begränsande, beroende, smärtande, ansvarslösa, negativa, arga och hatiska. Egot är den huvudsakliga källan till problem eftersom det får oss att tro att andra människor är åtskilda från oss. Det är motsatsen till ödmjukhet och att dela med sig. Egot har också en positiv sida då det får oss att handla. Det är upp till varje individ att själv välja om han/hon vill handla för sig själv eller även till förmån för andra. Det är viktigt att vara medveten om sitt eget ego och att balansera det positiva och det negativa.


Existens och andliga lagar: Det finns andliga lagar i universum som påverkar människors liv. En av dessa är Lagen om orsak och verkan. Vad vi ger får vi också tillbaka, eller man skördar vad man sår.


Vi är alla ett med varandra: Varje mänsklig varelse har inuti sig en gnista av Skaparen som binder ihop alla människor till en helhet. Denna förståelse informerar om den andliga föreskriften att varje människa alltid, och under alla omständigheter, måste behandlas med värdighet. Alla individer är ansvariga för krig och fattigdom i alla delar av världen, och ingen människa kan få verklig njutning och tillfredsställelse så läng andra lider.


Att lämna vår bekvämlighetszon kan skapa mirakler: Att bli obekväma i syfte att hjälpa andra knuffar oss in i en andlig dimension som ytterst ger Ljus och positivitet till våra liv.

Alkemi utbildning - Distansutbildning i Alkemi

Alkemi

Alkemi är världens äldsta visdomslära och har fram tills nu varit en hemlig tradition som endast förmedlats till de utvalda och ofta genom ett kodat språk. Alkemi rör nämligen det som inget i världen kan överträffa - det gyllene medvetandets eviga liv.

Alkemin visar vägen in i tillvarons djupaste mysterier, där vår egen essens -vårt guld- kan uppenbaras. Genom alkemin kan vi förverkliga vår fulla potential, få tillgång till våra dolda gudomliga förmågor och nå själslig helhet. Alkemistens arbete handlar om att göra det omöjliga möjligt - att uppnå odödlighet. Men vad innebär det egentligen att vara odödlig och hur skapas den mytomspunna evighetskroppen i alkemin?

Symbolen för denna fullbordan kallasde vises stenellerde vises guldoch benämningen avslöjar att det slutgiltiga målet är lika hårt och manifest som en sten, lika skinande och okorrumperat som det finaste guld och äger all världens visdom. Metaforen för alkemistens transformation av de destruktiva och söndrande krafterna till att bli något högst förädlat och levandegörande, gestaltas såsom omvandlingen av det mörka blyet till det glänsande guldet. Denna mirakulösa process är hemligheternas hemlighetom de alkemiska bröllopen som denna utbildning vill bringa nycklar till.

Den alkemiska visdomsvägen leder bortom alla befintliga religioner, bortom givna dogmer och gamla matriser, till den gyllene erans manifestation såsom paradisets återkomst på jorden.



Alkemiutbildning


Nivå 1:Fyra helgmoduler under ett år som lär ut grunderna i det alkemiska magnum opus. Modul 1: 25-26 september. Modul 2: 20-21 november.
Prima materia, alkemins fyra utvecklingsfaser, alkemins historia och filosofi. De tre principerna svavel, merkur och salt samt introduktion till de alkemiska bröllopen.


Nivå 2:Fyra helgmoduler under 2022-2023 som fördjupar kunnandet kring alkemins planeter och operationer och uppenbarar själens prima materia. Arbete med eter och astralkroppen och den begynnande egyptiska odödlighetskroppen.


Nivå 3:Fyra helgmoduler under 2023-2024 med avancerad alkemi kring bröllopen och de alkemiska kropparna. Den himmelska prima materian och de vises sten. Corpus Glorificatum, odödlighetskroppen och människan som den levande stenen.


Varje helgmodul kostar 3300 kr (exklusive moms för företag) och betalas i anslutning till varje modul.


Nivå 1 (första året) med fyra moduler:


  • Grundläggande kunskap i det alkemiska arbetets utveckling genom de fyra faserna. Arbete med alkemins fyra faser – Nigredo, Albedo, Citrinitas och Rubedo – beskriver livets utvecklings- och individuationsresa från tillvarons djupaste mörker till dess absoluta fullbordan i De vises sten.
  • Förståelse om och aktivering av den alkemiska hemliga elden.
  • Prima materia.
  • Kunskap om och att aktivt kunna arbeta med de tre alkemiska principerna.
  • Förståelse om hur själens kvaternitet skapar det hela Självet.
  • Att kunna skapa och arbeta i det inre alkemiska rummet genom aktiv imagination.
  • Insikt i alkemins viktigaste begrepp och principer för att själv kunna tolka alkemiska verk.
  • Alkemins begreppsvärld, historik och grundläggande filosofi.
  • Meditation, aktiv imagination och drömalkemi.


Nivå 2 (andra året) med fyra moduler:


  • Arbete med alkemins planeter och operationer och uppenbarandet av själens prima materia.
  • Alkemins fördjupade filosofi och metafysik
  • Arbete med eter- och astralkroppen och den begynnande egyptiska odödlighetskroppen.
  • Egyptisk alkemi.
  • Hieros gamos
  • Skapelseoperationerna i makrokosmos och mikrokosmos.
  • Genomgång av det alkemiska stora verket – Opus Magnum.
  • Fördjupat arbete med den inre alkemiska salen.
  • Hermes Smaragdtavla – Mönstret för skapelsen.
  • De tre alkemiska bröllopen.


Nivå 3 (tredje året) med fyra moduler:


  • Avancerad alkemi kring de alkemiska kropparna: blykroppen, silverkroppen , änglakroppen och guldkroppen.
  • Det alkemiska bröllopet.
  • Palingenesierna; de stora pånyttfödelserna.
  • Alpha & omega.
  • Den himmelska prima materian och De vises sten.
  • Corpus Glorificatum, odödlighetskroppen och människan som den levande stenen.



Prästinneutbildning

Sophiatemplet välkomnar alla som vill vandra hjärtats alkemiska väg. Vi utgår från den heligt feminina visdomen och är inte knutna till någon religiös tradition utan ser gudinnan Sophia som Gudomens feminina aspekt. Hon är gudinnan bakom alla gudinnor världen över och med visdom och kärlek söker Sophia bringa skapelsen och dess barn till helhet och enhet.  När gudinnans kärlek och visdom uppenbaras kan guden och gudinnan fira sitt alkemiska bröllop både i kosmos i stort och inom varje människa.


Sophiatemplet arbetar med en Prästinnetradition som har sitt ursprung i gudinnan Isis och Maria Magdalenas alkemiska hemligheter. Vi ser dem som urgudinnan Sophias profetissor eller inkarnationer som vägleder oss längs med kärlekens väg.

Alkemiska sessioner

Hjärtligt välkommen till en transformerande och djuplodande alkemisk session med Katarina Falkenberg. Nu tar vi åter emot för sessioner i templet om du är fullt frisk.

 

Genom själens stjärna, gudomligt bistånd och alkemisk imagination tränger vi igenom slöjan mellan världarna och mellan tid och rum för att uppenbara det som är viktigt i din livsprocess just nu.
Det kan vara tidigare inkarnationer, ditt eget ursprung eller andra medvetandesfärer som öppnas upp för att du ska kunna verka mer till fullo och i samklang med din gudomliga mission på jorden.

 

Du kan på så vis utveckla dina egna gudomliga förmågor och ges en djupare förståelse av vem du är, varit och är på väg. Du kan bli den levande graalen …

 

Denna heliggörande alkemiska process pågår under 2 timmar.

Kontakt med din heliga skyddsängel

Katarina erbjuder nu individuella sessioner kring angelologin och änglakroppens alkemi för dig som vill fördjupa dig i det esoteriska arbetet med din egen heliga skyddsängel på tu man hand med Sophiatemplets översteprästinna Katarina Falkenberg.


Under session kommer vi tillsammans genom aktiv imagination, angelologi, alkemiska energiövningar och transformation av de subtila kropparna lägga grunden till ett heligt förbund med din egen skyddande ängel.Grunden i dessa sessioner liksom andra konsultationer på Sophiatemplet är att du själv ska utveckla dina egna förnimmelseförmågor och din egen angeliska kraft så att du genom gnosis och egna uppenbaranden kan stärka bandet med din heliga skyddsängel. Alkemisk transformation av astralkroppen och transfiguration av eterkroppen bidrar till denna process.

Tidigare liv och existensen däremellan

Katarina erbjuder nu djuplodande sessioner där du med varsam och erfaren vägledning kan uppenbara tidigare inkarnationer och även existensen mellan liven på jorden.

Genom att åter minnas själens ofta långa resa på jorden och dess många nedstigningar i materian och även lärdomar mellan liven kan du få en större helhetsbild av varför saker skett och sker i ditt nuvarande liv. På så vis kan du också lösa ut och träda bortom de karmiska läxor och mönster som präglat dig sedan en lång tid för att uppenbara just din själs unika mission.

Vi börjar sessionen med ett kortare samtal kring vad som just nu är aktuellt för dig och vilka mönster och problem i ditt nuvarande liv som du önskar komma till rätta med och lösa ut.


Regressionen sker genom aktiv imagination, som är en guidad visualiseringsteknink under djup avslappning.
Energi- och andningsövningar och healning börjar sessionen för att frigöra blockeringar, öka energiflödet samt aktivera de subtila kropparna.

Genom bistånd av vägledare på andra sidan hinnan och genom ditt högre jag, kan du färdas både djupare in i ditt eget väsen likväl som till till andra tider eller bortom rumstiden.


Sessionen tar ca 2.5 timmar och det är att rekommendera att du planerar en lugn tid för dig själv efteråt då det kan vara både underbart men också ganska omtumlande att åter få tillgång av så mycket mer av sig själv som behöver tid att integreras.

Tidigare erfarenhet från mediatation och visualisering är en fördel!


Du kan boka in dig på en enstaka session för en djuplodande resa in i dig själv där ditt högre jag och gudomliga krafter bistår för att lyfta fram just det som är mest aktuellt för dig att ta itu med, transformera, hela och återföra till ditt nuvarande liv.

Om du vill uppenbara kedjan av inkarnationer och existensen med dess lärande emellan liven, är 3 sessioner att rekommendera. På så vis kan du samla den förlorade etern från en längre tid och se inkarnationsväven ur ett större perspektiv. Härigenom kommer underbara tillämpningar och du kan åter åtnjuta de gåvor som just din själ kan använda sig av för att fullfölja den mission du kommit till jorden för att utföra.


Sessionerna hålls på Sophiatemplet under vägledning av Katarina Falkenberg som arbetat med imagination och heliggörande alkemiska sessioner sedan 2005.

Terapeutiska konsultationer

Förvandla dina demoner till änglar

Alkemisk terapi handlar om att läka och heliggöra själen med hjälp av kraftfulla metoder från världens äldsta visdomslära.

Vi arbetar med alkemisk djupanalys, energihealing och aktiv imagination (en vägledd meditationsteknik för djupa transformationer och läkningsprocesser) så att själens förlorade skärvor kan återintegreras.

I din själ finns råmaterialet till att skapa ett liv i mening, kärlek och överflöd som är ett resultat av att kropp, själ och ande är i samklang – det alkemiska bröllopet. Alkemisk terapi är en upptäcktsresa till ditt autentiska Själv, med vilket du kan skapa ett liv bortom begränsningar, i enlighet med din själs djupaste önskan, så att din fulla potential kan manifesteras i ett gyllene liv.

Kabbalistisk terapi

Kabbalistisk terapi påminner om den alkemiska, med skillnaden att verktygen hämtas från den  kabbalistiska vishetsläran. Den erbjuder stora möjligheter för individer som önskar arbeta med och vidareutveckla själsliga och andliga nivåer och integrera dessa i kroppen och vardagslivet, oavsett personligt trosuppfattning. En eller flera konsultationer kan lösa upp blockeringar, klargöra intentioner, rikta viljekraft och balansera psykets och själens olika skikt.

Alkemisk vägledning

Under en alkemisk vägledningssession använder vi de alkemiska verktygen för att åstadkomma en positiv livstransformation. Du vägleds i arbetet mot utökad självmedvetenhet så att du kan återfinna din livsvision och frigöra sin livspassion. Med alkemins gyllene kompass vägleds du till att navigera insiktsfullt genom livets alla skeenden och kan därmed frigöra din skaparkraft så att du expandera till den storhet – till det guld – som du i sanning är.

Samtalsterapi i Psykosyntes

Terapi enligt psykosyntesmodell innebär att arbeta med en positiv människosyn och eftersträva en ökad medvetenhet om det mänskliga psyket och dess relation med kropp, själ och ande, dåtid, nutid och framtid. Traditionella terapisamtal, meditationer och drömarbete syftar till att utveckla det sanna jaget och stärka dess viktigaste redskap—viljan.

Ett alkemiskt årshjul

Sophiatempletoch Alkemiska Akademin erbjuder dig som vill ha mer alkemi, magi ochhelgad kraft i ditt liv en prenumeration på alkemiska paket med entillhörande nyskapad imagination för att inspirera till åretsstora högtidsfester. Du får ett paket postat till dig införsommarsolståndet, höstdagjämningen, vintersolståndet,vårdagjämningen och för att knyta ihop det alkemiska året i enkvintessens kommer ett sista paket inför sommarsolståndet 2023.


Paketeninnehåller minst ett alkemiskt elixir med instruktioner och därtillväxlande efter säsong smörjelseolja, salter, örter, medaljonger,magiska tips, kristaller och annat härligt som hjälper dig attalkemiskt fira årets högtider. Du kan bruka det själv ellertillsammans med andra i ett firande.


Tillsammansmed paketet får du en länk till en imagination som öppnar portalenin i respektive årstidsfest och som stärker ditt personligaalkemiska arbete. Genom ett alkemiskt årshjul får du också enkontinuitet i din andliga process som är främjande förtransformation och positiv utveckling.


Ettalkemiskt årshjul med fem paket samt 5 imaginationer kostar 2500 kr.Du kan även beställa ett paket för 650 kr. Antalet är begränsatså det är först till kvarn … Välkommen att vara med och skapaen mer gyllene era!

Healing / Kabbalah 

Det finns olika sätt att använda vid helande, ett sätt är att använda kabbalah (livets träd) och det är viktigt att betona att det bästa helandet är det vi utför på oss själva. Det gamla talesättet ”helare, hela dig själv” är mycket viktigt.


För att helandet ska bli verkligt effektivt bör det också innefatta de förhållanden personen har till sin yttre värld. Detta totala helande kommer att verka på många nivåer, från den fysiska, via den psykologiska, till de djupaste nivåer av andlig kontakt, och samtidigt också behandla eteriska, astrala och andra subtila energier.


Livets träd, som ju är en karta över hela personen, är en idealisk modell att använda vid helande, vare sig det gäller oss själva eller andra. Ett totalt helande av en individ omfattar hela trädet – kroppen, personligheten, själen och anden. Kabbalah erbjuder en säker väg för att utveckla alla delar av vårt väsen.

“Before you heal someone, ask him if he's willing to give up the things that make him sick.” ― Hippocrates

Esoteriska böcker

Esoteric Books - Esoteriska Böcker

TÄNK PÅ DÖDEN

Esoteric Books - Esoteriska Böcker
Esoteric Books - Esoteriska Böcker

ALKEMI - DET GUDOMLIGA VERKET

Esoteric Books - Esoteriska Böcker
Esoteric Books - Esoteriska Böcker

ROSENKORS ALKEMISKA BRÖLLOP

Esoteric Books - Esoteriska Böcker
Esoteric Books - Esoteriska Böcker

HJÄRTATS ALKEMI

Esoteric Books - Esoteriska Böcker

SAINT MARTIN –

OM TINGENS ANDE OCH VÄSEN

DET GYLDENE ROSENKORSETS TEORI, PRAKTIK & FILOSOFI

            SAINT MARTIN –

 TANKAR OCH SJÄLVBIOGRAFI

Böcker om kabbalah, alkemi, magi, andlighet och den esoteriska läran

TRINOSOPHIA

Alkemipodden

Podcast om andlighet, alkemi, kabbalah, magi och den esoteriska läran

Alkemiska Elixir

Alkemiska Akademin erbjuder färdigpreparerade alkemiska elixir och oljor till försäljning. De är alla tillredda med örter och blomster (oftast egenodlade) efter gammal alkemisk praxis, där de tre alkemiska principerna, svavel, merkur och salt har frigjorts, renats och återförenats till ett elixir infuserat med gudomlig kraft.


Pris: 150 kr för en 10 ml glasflaska. Flytande guld och silverelixir kostar 200-300 kr och oljor 200-230 kr.   Porto 10 kr/elixir tillkommer vid försändelser.


Kontakta oss gärna för att få veta mer om vad som är tillgängligt just nu!


Aurum potabile: Aurum Potabile eller flytande guld har länge setts som en universalmedicin eller ett livselixir och kan sägas vara förkroppsligat livgivande solljus eller koagulerad ande. Guld är i alkemin den högsta medicinen och dess essentiella kvaliteter anses stärka hjärtat som är den inre solen i vårt bröst. Aurum Potabile består förutom av guld och manna och en hemlig komposition av läkeörter också av flertalet gudomliga elixir som i sig bär solens signum. Alla sju planeternas elixir finns också dubbeldestillerade i detta flytande guldelixir, så att att dessa dansar runt solkonungen. Det gör elixirets krafter mycket centrerade och balanserande.

Elixirets tas med fördel på morgonen för att stärka kontakten med anden, vårt högre jag och den gudomliga gnistan inom en. Detta gyllene elixir är stärkande vid det alkemiska arbetet med att transfigurera eterkroppen och kan användas för att realisera självet och medvetliggöra själens djup och mission.

Elixiret dricks tre droppar direkt i munnen eller utspätt i lite vatten eller rött vin under ceremonier. Pris: 200-300 kr beroende på storlek på flaskan.


Argentum potabile: Argentum Potabile är ett potent silverelixir fyllt av månens krafter och av mångudinnans och gudens olika fasetter. Förutom silver och ett hemligt recept av läkeväxter består det av ett antal gudomliga elixir som bär månens signum. Det lämpar sig utmärkt på kvällen för meditation, imagination och nattens drömarbete samt för att rena och transformera astralkroppen under vilken tid på dygnet som helst. Elixiret förstärker rituellt arbete och underlättar kontakten med vårt omedvetna. Alla sju planeternas elixir finns också dubbeldestillerade i detta flytande silverelixir, så att att dessa dansar runt måndrottningen. Det gör elixirets krafter mycket centrerade och balanserande.

Elixiret dricks tre droppar direkt i munnen eller utspätt i lite vatten eller vitt vin under ceremonier. Pris: 200-300 kr beroende på storlek på flaskan.


Argentum Potabile kan också med fördel drickas tillsammans med Aurum Potabile och då för att kunna förena guldelixirets solara kraft med månens lunara kraft så att ett alkemiskt bröllop kan komma till stånd.


Ärkeängel elixir:


Gabriels elixir: Gabriel  är måndagens ängel vars namn betyder ” Guds styrka” och knyter an till både styrkan i Modern Maria och den som vakar över barnen. Gabriel är den  ärkeängel som tros tjäna som sändebud från Gud och elixiret kan hjälpa till i kommunikation mellan både gudom och människa och människor emellan. Gabriels änglaelixirs signum är den vita liljan som symboliserar Marias renhet och ger människan hoppets gåva.


Rafaels elixir: Onsdagens ängel är Rafael vars namn betyder Gud läker. Rafael är läkekonstens ängel och elixiret används vid åkallan och vid olika former av healingarbeten. Rafael menas också vaka över livets träd i Edens lustgård och är därmed beskyddare av det mysterier som rör de fullödiga krafterna som vi människor förlorade genom fallet. Genom elixiret kan vi lättare samarbete med Rafael och invigas i helandets konst på djupet. Människan kan på så sätt återfå sin ursprungligt enhetliga prima materia och åter bli hel. Rafaels elixir förstärker också kontakten med vår egen skyddsängel eftersom Rafael arbetar med skyddsänglarna.


Anaels elixir: Anael, som ibland skrivs Haniel, betyder ”Guds ära” eller ”Guds nåd”, och är fredagens ängel som verkar inom Venus sfär. Anaels elixir hjälper oss att uppleva den gudomliga nåden, Guds glädjes nåd, kärlek och ära.  Anaels elixir kan vara behjälpligt om man blir negativt påverkad av månens cykler och hjälper oss att hedra våra naturliga rytmer, cykler och vårt humör.  Anael som är Venus egen ängel är ett blomstrande elixir som bringar kärlek, fröjd och fruktbarhet.


Mikaels elixir: Mikael är Solens ärkeängel vars namn betyder ”är lik Gud” eller den retoriska frågan ”vem är lik Gud?”. Mikael har en given ledarroll bland ärkeänglarna och ängelns elixir hjälper oss att hitta mod och styrka så att vi vågar stå upp för det vi tror på och leva i sanning utifrån vår djupaste essens – vår inre sol. Elixiret hjälper oss att åkalla ärkeängel Mikael som beskydd när man har att hantera vredesfulla krafter oavsett om de bor inom eller utom oss. Mikael är en kraftfull försvarare av det oskuldsfulla och det femininas kvalitéer och det finns många berättelser om hur han agerat som skyddande ängel. Mikaels svärd hjälper till att släppa de rädslor som begränsar människan och skölden skyddar mot hot och demoner. Mikaels elixir är också behjälplig med att rena platser från stagnerade och oförlösta energier och används som en stark skyddande kraft vid ceremonier och ritualer. Ärkeängel Mikaels elixir är beskyddande och hjälper oss att hantera både inre och yttre drakar så att ett bröllop mellan motsatserna till slut kan komma till stånd.


Kamaels elixir: Kamael vars namn ofta tolkas som ”den som ser Gud” eller ibland som ”Guds brännare” är tisdagens ängel och styr över planeten Mars insegel. Kamaels elixir hjälper oss att verka för gudomlig rättvisa och balans och ser till att vi går framåt längs vår utstakade väg, övervinner hinder och inte faller åt sidan genom krafter som söker dra människan ner i avgrundsdjupet. Mars ängel Kamael är ett kraftfullt elixir som bränner bort motstånd mot helheten och för oss med kraft in på vårt hjärtas valda väg.


Sachiels elixir: Sachiel, vars namn betyder ”Guds täckning”, är torsdagens ängel och vaktar över Jupiters insegel. Sachiels elixir kan med fördel användas i förehavanden som rör finansiella, rättsliga eller sociala frågor. Liksom den gode konung Jupiter hjälper Sachiel till med allt som hör det goda riket till såsom att nå överflöd, ge till välgörenhet och skipa rättvisa.  Sachiels elixir  har en expanderande och upplyftande energi och lär oss att vara kraftfulla men samtidigt empatiska och givmilda mot andra.


Uriels elixir: Uriel vars namn betyder ”Guds ljus” eller ”eld” förmedlar elixirets kraft att lysa upp materians mörker och heliggöra densamma. Genom sin kommunikation med Uriel och de andra änglarna utvecklade magikern John Dee och Edward Kelly ett magiskt system som kom att kallas Henokiansk magi och som sägs realtera till den apokryfiska Henoks bok. Uriels elixir hjälper oss att tränga djupare in i den alkemisk-magiska traditionen. Det är ett transformerande elixir som bringar ljus in de fördolda alkemiska processerna och hemligheterna.


Tzapkilels elixir: Tzapkiel  namn betyder ”Guds begrundan” men även förståelse och medkänsla. Ärkeängeln lär oss att älska Gud, oss själva och varandra. Tzapkiel är också sammanlänkad till planeten Saturnus och är lördagens ängel. Även då änglar ej brukar betraktas som manliga eller kvinnliga så ses Tzapkiel oftas som en kvinnlig ängel eftersom Tzapkiel är förbunden med urmoder Binahs sefira på livets träd i kabbalan. Tzapkiel hjälper oss till andlig förståelse och ser till att man följer sitt högre mål i linje med  kosmos i sin helhet. Det gör Tzapkiel till en bro mellan himmel och jord så att vi kan bli medvetna om det osynliga och omanifesterade världarna. Tzapkiel hjälper oss att utveckla vår förståelse och visdom så att vi kan fördjupa och expandera vår andliga närvaro i oss själva och världen samt är stödjande i alla sorgprocesser.


Den heliga graalens elixir: Detta elixir är preparerat och konsekrerat på Englands heliga graalplatser såsom Camelot, The Tor, Chalice well och White spring. Det innehåller rituellt vatten från den röda och vita källan bevarat genom alkohol samt består av en blomstrande örtkomposition som bringar fruktbarhet till den öde marken. Ett elixir för dig som vill uppenbara Paradisets förlorade eter och bringa helhet, fruktbarhet och överflöd in i ditt liv. Verkar helande på eterkroppen och på själsliga nivåer.


Graalriddarens elixir: Detta elixir är preparerat på fransk graalriddarmark med örter från de heliga plasterna och konsekrerat i den levande gudens kapell. Därefter konsekrerat på Englands heliga graalplatser såsom Camelot, The Tor, Chalice well och White spring. Det innehåller rituellt vatten från den röda och vita källan bevarat genom alkohol. Elixiret fullkomnades slutligen i Templecombe där Tempelriddarnas skatt öppnades upp och bringade sin kraft in i elixiret. Ett elixir för alla graalriddare och Tempelriddare som bringar kraft, mod och ridderlig visdom.


Gud moders elixir: Detta elixir är preparerat i Gud Moders kloster på Cypern med sin heliga källa dit Riddare genom historien har färdats till för att hela sina sår efter striderna. Örterna har en läkande och mjuk moderlig kraft och är stärkande för både själsliga och kroppsliga sår. Elixiret bär kraften av Gud Moders urkälla som enar och förenar alla oavsett kultur och religion

.

Athenas elixir: Detta elixir är preparerat med grekiska örter i solen på Athenas egna marker. Liksom gudinnan Athena hjälper det oss att bringa ordning i konflikt och kaos genom en högre balanserande visdom. Elixiret är stärkande och hjälper till att hantera rädsla och oro.


Floras elixir: Detta elixir är ett gudinnerligt välsmakande och blomstrande elixir liksom blomstergudinnan Flora själv. Det flödar av naturens ljus, intelligens och vänlighet och sprider sitt blomstrande ljus i mörka tider. Utmärkt vid nedstämdhet och under den mörka kalla delen av året.


Kröningselixir: Detta elixir är preparerat på Frankrikes heliga gudinneplatser med örter från dessa marker. Det har konsekrerats i Notre Dame du cros där guden kröner gudinnan i både den heliga jorden, källan, kyrkan och den fantastiska Rosenvägen som leder till gudinnans återuppståndelse. Detta är ett invigningelixir som uppenbarar ett av alkemins djupaste mysterium där guden kröner Maria/Sophia inför fullbordan i det alkemiska bröllopet. Elixiret verkar heliggörande på både det heligt maskulina och feminina liksom på kropp, själ och ande.


Melusinas elixir: Detta elixir är preparerat under lång tid under den alkemiska sjöjungfruns vägledande kraft. Melusina – är i alkemin den kraft som från djupet av urhavets kaos skapar visdomens mjölk och hjärtats röda elixir. Detta elixir hjäper till att transformera vår egen inre sjöjungfrukraft så att den alkemiska Sirenen som först uppenbarade sig i sin fallna och neddragande aspekt  kan byta  skepnad och framträda i sin närande och moderliga aspekt som bjuder på sitt visdomselixir till den som vågat träda ner och in i sitt eget djupaste mörker. Från det bittra vattnet i vårt mörka omedvetna bringar hon visdomens salt! Elixiret är också helande och stärkande för äggstockar och livmoder. 


Pans elixir: Detta elixir är preparerat i Pans grekiska hemtrakter med både kraftfulla och sällsynta örter. Det öppnar den nyckellösa dörren till Arkadien och verkar också som Afrodisiak. Elixiret är konsekrerat genom Dion Fortune fantastiska Panritual och lämpar sig utmärkt för liknande riter. Pan som betyder all genomsyrar naturen med sin fullödiga och extatiska kraft varför detta elixir lämpar sig väl för den som vill utforska dessa marker och omfamna sin egen Pan. Detta elixir hjälper till att omfamna denna för många skrämmande kraft på ett kärleksfullt vis så att Pan inte behöver överrumpla oss och skapa Pan, Pan Panik i det omedvetna.


Ormgudinnans kundalinielixir: Detta elixir är preparerat på Kreta i den Minoiska ormgudinnans trakter med örter som väcker drakeldens och ormkraftens kundalinield. Ormgudinnan hjälper oss att behärska, transformera och omvandla denna ofta nästan förtärande ormkraft till att kunna stiga upp med gudinnans hjälp och sprida gryningsljusets gyllene strålar likt Aurora – gryningsgudinnan. Det är hon som i gryningen får himlen att flamma som av flytande guld. Detta elixir är ett botemedel mot kraftlöshet, mörker och tristess och hjälper oss att transformera vår inre glöd genom kärlek så att vi kan blomma ut likt gryningssolen.


Transfigurationselixir: Detta elixir är preparerat i Grekland med kraftfulla örter från bergen såsom Malotira som är en bergsört vars grekiska namn sidertis betyder ”han som är gjord av järn”.  Örten var känd i det forntida Grekland och ansågs bota skador förorsakade av vapen gjorda av järn. Elixiret har därför en läkande verkan på både den fysiska kroppen och på eterkroppen som ofta har revor och sår från attacker av olika slag.

Det består också av egyptiska blad som verkar stärkande, helande och transfigurerande på eterkroppen och som till sin själva form liknar transfigurationskroppens vesica pisces. Elixiret har konsekrerats under flertal dagar och nätter i ett Transfigurationskapell vid havet. Det är lämpligt för den som själv vill arbeta med att omskapa sin eterkropp till en helig eterisk graal och har som sinnebild  Jesus tranfiguration på det heliga berget Thabor.


Johannes döparens elixir: Elixiret driver ut det stagnerande och bereder väg för ljuset och det gudomliga barnet. Elixiret är en komposition av örter som bla består av Johannesört och egyptiska blad.


Lasarus elixir: Lasarus elixir är ett invigningselixir som är preparerat och konsekrerat i Larnaca och dess kyrka som har Lasarus relikskrin. Lasarus invigningen rör eterkroppens och astralkroppens transformation och Transfiguration och är för den som söker arbeta med alkemins stora mysterier kring odödlighetskroppen och om hur människan kan bli en Mikael vars namn betyder – vem är likt Gud? 


Klassiska elixir:


Rosens elixir: bringar allting till en fruktbar fullbordan liksom rosen väg. Består endast av rosor av mångahanda slag.


Prästinnans elixir: Ett elixir för den som vandrar Prästinnans heliggörande väg.


Hieros Gamos elixir: Det alkemiska bröllopets elixir.


Sophia – naturens ljus: Ett elixir infuserat av Sophia som naturens ljus och intelligens. Bringar naturens visdom till människan.


Tempelriddarens elixir: Ett kraftfullt och ridderligt elixir som är preparerat och konsekrerats i Temple Church i London med örter från stormästarens trädgård. Tempelriddarens elixir bringar svärdets skärpa och beskyddande kraft.


Kunskapens träd elixir: Kunskapens träd är ett unikt elixir som för oss åter till Arkadiens frukter och som beretts på Frankrikes mest heliga och alkemiska platser och där också konsekrerats ceremoniellt.

Detta är ett mystikt elixir som för oss in i hjärtat av både den esoteriska och den gnostiska traditionen för att där kunna plocka visdomens alkemiska frukter.


Marie Madeleine – eau de vie: Maria Magdalenas elixirärinfuserat med kraft  från hennes grotta i St Baume och preparerat med bergsmassivets heliga örter.


St Saras elixir: Detta elixir är preparerat  i Saintes Maries de la mer och infuserat med kraft från Sankta Saras krypta.


Apollons elixir:


Reintegrerande (av den mörke ängeln) elixir


Gyllene skattens elixir Detta mycket heliggörande elixir är infuserat med kraft från Rennes le Chateau och många andra franska kraftplatser. Ett gyllene elixir som för oss in i djupet av de alkemiska mysterierna om människans gudomliggörande.


Sanningens hjärta: Detta elixir låter fröet till det eteriska hjärtat blomstra genom att  det maskulina hjärtat förenas med det feminina hjärtat så att rosen i vårt bröst kan blomma ut. Konsekrerat på Frankrikes alkemiska platser.


Drottningen av Sabas elixir: bjuder på en magisk blandning av fyra elixir och aktiverar eterkroppen.


Övriga elixir:


Människodotterns elixir

Den gyllene ängeln:

Tors kraftelixir

Frejas Mirakel

Odens Magi

Sagas Skaldekonst

Sophias döttrar

Högre skyddande ängel

Den levande gudens elixir

Det alkemiska bröllopet

Graalens ängel

Högre skyddande ängel

Jordens ängel

Dianas elixir

Gudinnans sköld 

Transformation SLUT

Det gudomliga barnet

De tre Johannes elixir

Det alkemiska bröllopet

Urgudinnans elixir

Trubadurernas kärlek

Sophias eldvatten

Lazarustecknet

Den röde konungens elixir

Den svarta Madonnans elixir

Dionysos växtblod

Afrodites kärlekselixir 

Maria Magdalenas elixir SLUT

Den svarta jaguarens elixir

Det röda lejonets elixir SLUT

Isis magi

Den nya människan SLUT

Isis & Osiris


Pris 150 kr/st. Kan inhandlas vid Templets evenemang eller beställas via mail. Frakt 10 kr tillkommer då.


Nya salvor:


Afrodites sköna salva med oljeinfuserade örter och blomster samt eteriska oljor för vård och kärlek till ansiktet: 250 kr


Hjärtsalva med oljeinfuserade örter och blomster samt eteriska oljor för helande smörjelse av hjärta, bröst och hjärtchakrat: 250 kr


Maria Magdalens smörjelseolja:


Maria Magdalenas mycket exklusiva smörjelseolja som finns i två varianter och med ett tillhörande informationsblad är en av templets absoluta storfavoriter bland våra kunder. Finns som Roll on flaska i glas eller blå glasflaska med droppkork. Dess eteriska dofter och infuserade blomster passar sig för healing, läkande behandlingar och för smörjelse av våra sju chackran. De verkar både helande och levandegörande på eterkroppen och den fysiska kroppen och harmonierar kropp, själ och ande. De har en alkemiskt preparerad oljebas där örter har infuserats under lång tid under vägledning av det heliga balsamets bärarinna – Maria Magdalena!

Pris: Blå flaska & Roll on 230 kr


Gudinnan på jorden. Underbar och helande parfymolja som gläder alla våra subtila kroppar såväl de som möter bäraren av den.

Pris: 230 kr Alkemiska heliggörande oljor för våra sju chakran.

Pris per chakra: Roll on och brun flaska med pipett: 220 kr


Örtalkemi:


Örtalkemi omtalas som en spagyrisk konst. Termen spagyria användes av den kände 1500-tals alkemisten Paracelsus och kommer från det grekiska orden spao och ageiro som betyder att separera och foga samman igen. Paracelsus såg det som att naturen var som en rå och obehandlad sten och människan hade av Gud getts uppgiften att förädla den.

I örtalkemi innebär det att man i den valda medicinalörten, separerar dess merkur och svavel från dess saltkropp. De olika komponenterna bearbetas, renas, och heliggörs för att sedan åter fogas samman i en ny och förädlad form. På så sätt skapas ett alkemiskt elixir.  Genom ora et labora, som betyder bön och laboratoriearbete, arbetar alkemisten för att förädla sitt utvalda material till sin fulla potential.


Om du själv vill lära dig att skapa alkemiska elixir så håller Alkemiska Akademin en utbildning i  detta. Det är en praktisk utbildning som kommer åter augusti 2020. Den är mycket populär så boka i god tid!

Örtalkemi är också en modul i Sophiatemplets två-åriga Prästinneutbildning.


Alkemiska startkit:


Vi erbjuder också alkemiska tinktur startkit med Ärkeänglarna Mikael och Rafael, samt Venus som tema än så länge.  Det innehåller utvalda och alkemiskt heliggjorda örter i en vacker påse, en bägare med gyllene lock, filter samt instruktion för hur du tillreder din egna alkemiska tinktur.

De tre kiten som nu är klara innehåller Ärkeängeln Rafaels örter & Ärkeängeln Mikaels örter samt gudinnan Venus örter. Nu kan alla sätta igång med att skapa alkemiska tinktur. Pris: 200 kr. (porto tillkommer) eller inhandlas på våra evenemang. 

Esoteric Blog

The Esoteric Theory of Breath

The Science of Breath, like many other teachings, has its esoteric or inner phase, as well as its exoteric or external. The physiological phase may be termed the outer or exoteric side of the subject, and the phase which we will now consider may be termed its esoteric or inner side. Occultists, in all ages and lands, have always taught, usually secretly to a few followers, that there was to be found in the air a substance or principle from which all activity, vitality and life was derived. They differed in their terms and names for this force, as well as in the details of the theory, but the main principle is to be found in all occult teachings and philosophies, and has for centuries formed a portion of the teachings of the Oriental Yogis.


In order to avoid misconceptions arising from the various theories regarding this great principle, which theories are usually attached to some name given the principle, we, in this work, will speak of the principle as "Prana," this word being the Sancrit term meaning "Absolute Energy." Many occult authorities teach that the principle which the Hindus term "Prana" is the universal principle of energy or force, and that all energy or force is derived from that principle, or, rather, is a particular form of manifestation of that principle. These theories do not concern us in the consideration of the subject matter of this work, and we will therefore confine ourselves to an understanding of prana as the principle of energy exhibited in all living things, which distinguishes them from alifeless thing. We may consider it as the active principle of life—Vital Force, if you please. It is found in all forms of life, from the amoeba to man—from the most elementary form of plant life to the highest form of animal life. Prana is all pervading. It is found in all things having life, and as the occult philosophy teaches that life is in all things—in every atom—the apparent lifelessness of some things being only a lesser degree of manifestation, we may understand their teachings that prana is everywhere, in everything. Prana must not be confounded with the Ego—that bit of Divine Spirit in every soul, around which clusters matter and energy. Prana is merely a form of energy used by the Ego in its material manifestation. When the Ego leaves the body, the prana, being no longer under its control, responds only to the orders of the individual atoms, or groups of atoms, forming the body, and as the body disintegrates and is resolved to its original elements, each atom takes with it sufficient prana to enable it to form new combinations, the unused prana returning to the great universal storehouse from which it came. With the Ego in control, cohesion exists and the atoms are held together by the Will of the Ego.


Prana is the name by which we designate a universal principle, which principle is the essence of all motion, force or energy, whether manifested in gravitation, electricity, the revolution of the planets, and all forms of life, from the highest to the lowest. It may be called the soul of Force and Energy in all their forms, and that principle which, operating in a certain way, causes that form of activity which accompanies Life.

This great principle is in all forms of matter, andyet it is not matter. It is in the air, but it is not the air nor one of its chemical constituents. Animal and plant life breathe it in with the air, and yet if the air contained it not they would die even though they might be filled with air. It is taken up by the system along with the oxygen, and yet is not the oxygen. The Hebrew writer of the book of Genesis knew the difference between the atmospheric air and the mysterious and potent principle contained within it. He speaks of neshemet ruach chayim, which, translated, means "the breath of the spirit of life." In the Hebrew neshemet means the ordinary breath of air, and chayim means life or lives, while the word ruach means the "spirit of life," which occultists claim is the same principle which we speak of as Prana.


Prana is in the atmospheric air, but it is also elsewhere, and it penetrates where the air cannot reach. The oxygen in the air plays an important part in sustaining animal life, and the carbon plays a similar part with plant life, but Prana has its own distinct part to play in the manifestation of life, aside from the physiological functions.

We are constantly inhaling the air charged with prana, and are as constantly extracting the latter from the air and appropriating it to our uses. Prana is found in its freest state in the atmospheric air, which when fresh is fairly charged with it, and we draw it to us more easily from the air than from any other source. In ordinary breathing we absorb and extract a normal supply of prana, but by controlled and regulated breathing (generally known as Yogi breathing) we are enabled to extract a greater supply, which is stored away in the brain and nervecenters, to be used when necessary. We may store away prana, just as the storage battery stores away electricity. The many powers attributed to advanced occultists is due largely to their knowledge of this fact and their intelligent use of this stored-up energy. The Yogis know that by certain forms of breathing they establish certain relations with the supply of prana and may draw on the same for what they require. Not only do they strengthen all parts of their body in this way, but the brain itself may receive increased energy from the same source, and latent faculties be developed and psychic powers attained. One who has mastered the science of storing away prana, either consciously or unconsciously, often radiates vitality and strength which is felt by those coming in contact with him, and such a person may impart this strength to others, and give them increased vitality and health. What is called "magnetic healing" is performed in this way, although many practitioners are not aware of the source of their power.


Western scientists have been dimly aware of this great principle with which the air is charged, but finding that they could find no chemical trace of it, or make it register on any of their instruments, they have generally treated the Oriental theory with disdain. They could not explain this principle, and so denied it. They seem, however, to recognize that the air in certain places possesses a greater amount of "something" and sick people are directed by their physicians to seek such places in hopes of regaining lost health.

The oxygen in the air is appropriated by the blood and is made use of by the circulatory system. The prana in the air is appropriated by the nervous systemand is used in its work. And as the oxygenated blood is carried to all parts of the system, building up and replenishing, so is the prana carried to all parts of the nervous system, adding strength and vitality. If we think of prana as being the active principle of what we call "vitality," we will be able to form a much clearer idea of what an important part it plays in our lives. Just as in the oxygen in the blood used up by the wants of the system, so the supply of prana taken up by the nervous system is exhausted by our thinking, willing, acting, etc., and in consequence constant replenishing is necessary. Every thought, every act, every effort of the will, every motion of a muscle, uses up a certain amount of what we call nerve force, which is really a form of prana. To move a muscle the brain sends out an impulse over the nerves, and the muscle contracts, and so much prana is expended. When it is remembered that the greater portion of prana acquired by man comes to him from the air inhaled, the importance of proper breathing is readily understood.


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Esoteric Blog

THE SCORPIONS OF ISIS

I am Isis, the great Goddess, the Mistress of Magic, the Speaker of Spells.

I came out of my house which my brother Set had given to me, for Thoth called to me to come, Thoth the twice great, mighty of truth in earth and in heaven. He called, and I came forth when Ra descended in glory to the western horizon of heaven, and it was evening.

And with me came the seven scorpions, and their names were Tefen and Befen, Mestet and Mestetef, Petet, Thetet, and Matet. Behind me were Tefen and Befen; on either side were Mestet and Mestetef; in front were Petet, Thetet, and Matet, clearing the way that none should oppose or hinder me. I called aloud to the scorpions, and my words rang through the air and entered into their ears, "Beware of the Black One, call not the Red One, look neither at children nor at any small helpless creature."


Then I wandered through the Land of Egypt, Tefen and Befen behind me, Mestet and Mestetef

on either side of me, Petet, Thetet, and Matet before me; and we came to Per-sui, where the crocodile is God, and to the Town of the Two Sandals, which is the city of the Twin Goddesses. Here it is that the swamps and marshes of the North Country begin, where there are fields of papyrus-reeds, and where the marshmen dwell; from here to the Great Green Waters is the North Land.


Then we came near houses where the marsh-people dwelt, and the name of one of the women was "Glory," though some called her "Strength " also. She stood at her door, and from afar she saw me coming, wayworn and weary, and I would fain have sat me down in her house to rest. But when I would have spoken to her, she shut the door in my face, for she feared the seven scorpions that were with me.

I went farther, and one of the marshwomen opened her door to me, and in her house I rested. But Mestet and Mestetef, Petet, Thetet, and Matet, and Befen also, they came together and laid their poison upon the sting of Tefen; thus the sting of Tefen had sevenfold power. Then returned Tefen to the house of the woman Glory, she who had closed her door against me; the door was still shut, but between it and the threshold was a narrow space. Through this narrow space crept Tefen and entered the house, and stung with a sting of sevenfold power the son of the woman

Glory. So fierce and burning was the poison that the child died and fire broke out in the house.


Then the woman Glory cried and lamented, but no man hearkened to her, and Heaven itself sent water upon her house. A great marvel was this water from Heaven, for the time of the inundation was not yet.

Thus she mourned and lamented, and her heart was full of sorrow when she remembered how she had shut her door in my face when, weary and wayworn, I would have rested in her house. And the sound of her grief came to my ears, and my heart swelled with sorrow for her sorrow, and I turned back and went with her to where her dead child lay.

And I, Isis, the Mistress of magic, whose voice can awake the dead, I called aloud the Words of Power, the Words that even the dead can hear. And I laid my arms upon the child that I might bring back Life to the lifeless. Cold and still he lay, for the sevenfold poison of Tefen was in him. Then did I speak magical spells to the poison of the scorpions, saying, "O poison of Tefen, come out of him and fall upon the ground! Poison of Befen, advance not, penetrate no farther, come out of him, and fall upon the ground! For I am Isis, the great Enchantress, the Speaker of spells. Fall down, O poison of Mestet! Hasten not, poison of Mestetef! Rise not, poison of Petet and Thetet! Approach not, poison of Matet!


For I am Isis, the great Enchantress, the Speaker of spells. The child shall live, the poison shall die! As Horus is strong and well for me, his mother, so shall this child be strong and well for his mother!"

Then the child recovered, and the fire was quenched, and the rain from heaven ceased. And the woman Glory brought all her wealth, her bracelets and her neck-ornaments, her gold-work and silver-work, to the house of the marshwoman, and laid them at my feet in token of repentance that she had shut the door upon me when, weary and wayworn, I had come to her house.

And to this day men make dough of wheat-flour kneaded with salt and lay it upon the wound made by the sting of a scorpion, and over it they recite the Words of Power which I recited over the child of the woman Glory when the sevenfold poison was in him. For I am Isis, the great Enchantress, the Mistress of magic, the Speaker of spells.


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What exactly is alchemy?

We have all been presented with the rather romanticised view of the venerable old alchemical philosopher huddling over his flasks of bubbling liquid immersed in his quest for the elusive philosophers' stone, a mere grain of which will change a mass of molten lead into the purest form of gold.
This image of the alchemist was one which developed relatively early on in the history of alchemy, but it became a very popular view in the 20th century and to most people this is almost all they know about the subject.
Another view that developed was that alchemists were mysterious adepts belonging to some secret society and exchanging messages in a coded form. They were even seen as having paranormal powers which enabled them to do all sorts of magical things and live to an extreme old age. Thus alchemists became confused in the popular imagination with the image of the magician.
These stereotypical views of alchemy do not really allow us to appreciate the breadth of alchemy and the various ways in which it inspired people over the centuries. This introductory section will, hopefully, let us gain a broader picture of this amazing subject.


So how should we view alchemy?


Alchemy is a multifaceted subject. It is an early form of chemical technology exploring the nature of substances. It is also a philosophy of the cosmos and of mankind's place in the scheme of things. Alchemy developed an amazing language of emblematic symbolism which it used to explore the world. It had a strong philosophical basis, and many alchemists incorporated religious metaphor and spiritual matters into their alchemical ideas.
About four thousand printed books were issued from the 16th through to the late 18th centuries, exploring alchemy from a multiplicity of different perspectives. Many thousands of manuscripts, hand written works, letters, notes and commentaries exist in the libraries of Europe and North America, some beautifully illustrated with coloured images. Alchemy was thus, through the sheer volume of writings, influential throughout the early modern period. Its influence can often be seen in the work of writers, poets, and artists of the time.
In the 20th century, interest in alchemy was revived, following its decline and total eclipse in the 19th century. Today alchemy is often used as a catch word for obscure and enigmatic symbolism, or for the idea of spiritual transformation and inner change.


How is alchemy approached today?


  • Some people today still actually try and perform alchemical experiments. Most of these people hope they can make healing remedies, though there are a very few amongst them who still think they can find a transmuting philosophers' stone.

  • Most people who take an interest in alchemy use it as a source of philosophical and esoteric ideas, to support the particular belief system to which they have attached themselves. Thus they use alchemical ideas and symbolism as part of their interest in Kabbalah, or Tarot cards, or some esoteric or magical system. As alchemical ideas and symbolism are obscure and difficult to understand, such people feel free to adapt alchemical material to suit their agenda and prior intentions. Unfortunately, this has not led to a deeper understanding of alchemy itself, but rather to a mere plundering it for material to fit into an existing mindset and structure.

  • Another group of people see alchemy as a part of depth psychology. They see alchemical symbols as archetypes existing somehow within every human being, and that alchemy can have the key to unlocking an understanding of the innermost and unconscious part of the psyche, which is supposed to be the main part of our being (using the analogy with the iceberg, 90% of which is hidden under the sea). Though this can be a persuasive and seductive idea, not everyone is able to accept such a view. The philosophical basis for this is a belief system that developed in the middle of the 20th century, and although it is contemporary and seemingly relevant to our lives today, this is, by its very nature, not something that can be proved, or even argued about, as it is essentially a belief driven system.

  • Alchemical imagery is often used, almost as decoration, in books and on many websites, often associated with things and ideas to which these images have absolutely no connection. However, the emblematic imagery remains vital and inspiring, and is one of the main ways in which people enter into some appreciation of alchemy. A few modern artists have been inspired by alchemical material.

  • A small group of people prefer to read the original writings of the alchemists, rather than relying on the many secondary sources, pseudo-histories and interpretations which flooded the bookstores in the latter part of the 20th century. Although alchemical writings are obscure and difficult it is very rewarding to try to read the orginal material in its proper context, freed from later interpretations and distorting commentaries.

  • Alchemy can be seen as an important part of cultural history and can be explored in an exact and scholarly way. In the early and middle parts of the 20th century, alchemy was often a no-go area for scholars, however, the work of some key scholars in various disciples during the 1960's and 70's broke down the barrier of prejudice and nowadays many scholars study alchemy as they would any other cultural phenomenon. There is an active publishing of scholarly articles and books, and a number of key academic conferences have been held on alchemy in the past few decades.


This website tries to reflect these and other views on alchemy. Alchemy is such a multi-faceted subject, that many different perspectives must be taken into account before one can come to any clear understanding of it. You will find many of these different threads explored on the alchemy web site. Different people will find different things when they look at the subject of alchemy. Alchemy cannot be simply explained as one special thing, and given an exact description and definition. Instead it must be looked at from many perspectives and appreciated in the round.



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The Elements and Their Inhabitants

FOR the most comprehensive and lucid exposition of occult pneumatology (the branch of philosophy dealing with spiritual substances) extant, mankind is indebted to Philippus Aureolus Paracelsus (Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim), prince of alchemists and Hermetic philosophers and true possessor of the Royal Secret (the Philosopher's Stone and the Elixir of Life). Paracelsus believed that each of the four primary elements known to the ancients (earth, fire, air, and water) consisted of a subtle, vaporous principle and a gross corporeal substance.

Air is, therefore, twofold in nature-tangible atmosphere and an intangible, volatile substratum which may be termed spiritual air. Fire is visible and invisible, discernible and indiscernible--a spiritual, ethereal flame manifesting through a material, substantial flame. Carrying the analogy further, water consists of a dense fluid and a potential essence of a fluidic nature. Earth has likewise two essential parts--the lower being fixed, terreous, immobile; the higher, rarefied, mobile, and virtual. The general term elements has been applied to the lower, or physical, phases of these four primary principles, and the name elemental essences to their corresponding invisible, spiritual constitutions. Minerals, plants, animals, and men live in a world composed of the gross side of these four elements, and from various combinations of them construct their living organisms.


Henry Drummond, in Natural Law in the Spiritual World, describes this process as follows: "If we analyse this material point at which all life starts, we shall find it to consist of a clear structureless, jelly-like substance resembling albumen or white of egg. It is made of Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen and Nitrogen. Its name is protoplasm. And it is not only the structural unit with which all living bodies start in life, but with which they are subsequently built up. 'Protoplasm,' says Huxley, 'simple or nucleated, is the formal basis of all life. It is the clay of the Potter.'"

The water element of the ancient philosophers has been metamorphosed into the hydrogen of modern science; the air has become oxygen; the fire, nitrogen; the earth, carbon.

Just as visible Nature is populated by an infinite number of living creatures, so, according to Paracelsus, the invisible, spiritual counterpart of visible Nature (composed of the tenuous principles of the visible elements) is inhabited by a host of peculiar beings, to whom he has given the name elementals, and which have later been termed the Nature spirits. Paracelsus divided these people of the elements into four distinct groups, which he called gnomes, undines, sylphs, and salamanders. He taught that they were really living entities, many resembling human beings in shape, and inhabiting worlds of their own, unknown to man because his undeveloped senses were incapable of functioning beyond the limitations of the grosser elements.


The civilizations of Greece, Rome, Egypt, China, and India believed implicitly in satyrs, sprites, and goblins. They peopled the sea with mermaids, the rivers and fountains with nymphs, the air with fairies, the fire with Lares and Penates, and the earth with fauns, dryads, and hamadryads. These Nature spirits were held in the highest esteem, and propitiatory offerings were made to them. Occasionally, as the result of atmospheric conditions or the peculiar sensitiveness of the devotee, they became visible. Many authors wrote concerning them in terms which signify that they had actually beheld these inhabitants of Nature's finer realms. A number of authorities are of the opinion that many of the gods worshiped by the pagans were elementals, for some of these invisibles were believed to be of commanding stature and magnificent deportment.

The Greeks gave the name dæmon to some of these elementals, especially those of the higher orders, and worshiped them. Probably the most famous of these dæmons is the mysterious spirit which instructed Socrates, and of whom that great philosopher spoke in the highest terms. Those who have devoted much study to the invisible constitution of man realize that it is quite probable the dæmon of Socrates and the angel of Jakob Böhme were in reality not elementals, but the overshadowing divine natures of these philosophers themselves. In his notes to Apuleius on the God of Socrates, Thomas Taylor says:


"As the dæmon of Socrates, therefore, was doubtless one of the highest order, as may be inferred from the intellectual superiority of Socrates to most other men, Apuleius is justified in calling this dæmon a God. And that the dæmon of Socrates indeed was divine, is evident from the testimony of Socrates himself in the First Alcibiades: for in the course of that dialogue he clearly says, 'I have long been of the opinion that the God did not as yet direct me to hold any conversation with you.' And in the Apology he most unequivocally evinces that this dæmon is allotted a divine transcendency, considered as ranking in the order of dæmons."

The idea once held, that the invisible elements surrounding and interpenetrating the earth were peopled with living, intelligent beings, may seem ridiculous to the prosaic mind of today. This doctrine, however, has found favor with some of the greatest intellects of the world. The sylphs of Facius Cardin, the philosopher of Milan; the salamander seen by Benvenuto Cellini; the pan of St. Anthony; and le petit homme rouge (the little red man, or gnome) of Napoleon Bonaparte, have found their places in the pages of history.


Literature has also perpetuated the concept of Nature spirits. The mischievous Puck of Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream; the elementals of Alexander Pope's Rosicrucian poem, The Rape of the Lock, the mysterious creatures of Lord Lytton's Zanoni; James Barrie's immortal Tinker Bell; and the famous bowlers that Rip Van Winkle encountered in the Catskill Mountains, are well-known characters to students of literature. The folklore and mythology of all peoples abound in legends concerning these mysterious little figures who haunt old castles, guard treasures in the depths of the earth, and build their homes under the spreading protection of toadstools. Fairies are the delight of childhood, and most children give them up with reluctance. Not so very long ago the greatest minds of the world believed in the existence of fairies, and it is still an open question as to whether Plato, Socrates, and Iamblichus were wrong when they avowed their reality.

Paracelsus, when describing the substances which constitute the bodies of the elementals, divided flesh into two kinds, the first being that which we have all inherited through Adam. This is the visible, corporeal flesh. The second was that flesh which had not descended from Adam and, being more attenuated, was not subject to the limitations of the former. The bodies of the elementals were composed of this transubstantial flesh. Paracelsus stated that there is as much difference between the bodies of men and the bodies of the Nature spirits as there is between matter and spirit.


"Yet," he adds, "the Elementals are not spirits, because they have flesh, blood and bones; they live and propagate offspring; they cat and talk, act and sleep, &c., and consequently they cannot be properly called 'spirits.' They are beings occupying a place between men and spirits, resembling men and spirits, resembling men and women in their organization and form, and resembling spirits in the rapidity of their locomotion." (Philosophia Occulta, translated by Franz Hartmann.) Later the same author calls these creatures composita, inasmuch as the substance out of which they are composed seems to be a composite of spirit and matter. He uses color to explain the idea. Thus, the mixture of blue and red gives purple, a new color, resembling neither of the others yet composed of both. Such is the case with the Nature spirits; they resemble neither spiritual creatures nor material beings, yet are composed of the substance which we may call spiritual matter, or ether.

Paracelsus further adds that whereas man is composed of several natures (spirit, soul, mind, and body) combined in one unit, the elemental has but one principle, the ether out of which it is composed and in which it lives. The reader must remember that by ether is meant the spiritual essence of one of the four elements. There areas many ethers as there are elements and as many distinct families of Nature spirits as there are ethers. These families are completely isolated in their own ether and have no intercourse with the denizens of the other ethers; but, as man has within his own nature centers of consciousness sensitive to the impulses of all the four ethers, it is possible for any of the elemental kingdoms to communicate with him under proper conditions.


The Nature spirits cannot be destroyed by the grosser elements, such as material fire, earth, air, or water, for they function in a rate of vibration higher than that of earthy substances. Being composed of only one element or principle (the ether in which they function), they have no immortal spirit and at death merely disintegrate back into the element from which they were originally individualized. No individual consciousness is preserved after death, for there is no superior vehicle present to contain it. Being made of but one substance, there is no friction between vehicles: thus there is little wear or tear incurred by their bodily functions, and they therefore live to great age. Those composed of earth ether are the shortest lived; those composed of air ether, the longest. The average length of life is between three hundred and a thousand years. Paracelsus maintained that they live in conditions similar to our earth environments, and are somewhat subject to disease. These creatures are thought to be incapable of spiritual development, but most of them are of a high moral character.

Concerning the elemental ethers in which the Nature spirits exist, Paracelsus wrote: "They live in the four elements: the Nymphæ in the element of water, the Sylphes in that of the air, the Pigmies in the earth, and the Salamanders in fire. They are also called Undinæ, Sylvestres, Gnomi, Vulcani, &c. Each species moves only in the element to which it belongs, and neither of them can go out of its appropriate element, which is to them as the air is to us, or the water to fishes; and none of them can live in the element belonging to another class. To each elemental being the element in which it lives is transparent, invisible and respirable, as the atmosphere is to ourselves." (Philosophia Occulta, translated by Franz Hartmann.)


The reader should be careful not to confuse the Nature spirits with the true life waves evolving through the invisible worlds. While the elementals are composed of only one etheric (or atomic) essence, the angels, archangels, and other superior, transcendental entities have composite organisms, consisting of a spiritual nature and a chain of vehicles to express that nature not unlike those of men, but not including the physical body with its attendant limitations.

To the philosophy of Nature spirits is generally attributed an Eastern origin, probably Brahmanic; and Paracelsus secured his knowledge of them from Oriental sages with whom he came in contact during his lifetime of philosophical wanderings. The Egyptians and Greeks gleaned their information from the same source. The four main divisions of Nature spirits must now be considered separately, according to the teachings of Paracelsus and the Abbé de Villars and such scanty writings of other authors as are available.


THE GNOMES


The elementals who dwell in that attenuated body of the earth which is called the terreous ether are grouped together under the general heading of gnomes. (The name is probably derived from the Greek genomus, meaning earth dweller. See New English Dictionary.)

Just as there are many types of human beings evolving through the objective physical elements of Nature, so there are many types of gnomes evolving through the subjective ethereal body of Nature. These earth spirits work in an element so close in vibratory rate to the material earth that they have immense power over its rocks and flora, and also over the mineral elements in the animal and human kingdoms. Some, like the pygmies, work with the stones, gems, and metals, and are supposed to be the guardians of hidden treasures. They live in caves, far down in what the Scandinavians called the Land of the Nibelungen. In Wagner's wonderful opera cycle, The Ring of the Nibelungen, Alberich makes himself King of the Pygmies and forces these little creatures to gather for him the treasures concealed beneath the surface of the earth.


Besides the pygmies there are other gnomes, who are called tree and forest sprites. To this group belong the sylvestres, satyrs, pans, dryads, hamadryads, durdalis, elves, brownies, and little old men of the woods. Paracelsus states that the gnomes build houses of substances resembling in their constituencies alabaster, marble, and cement, but the true nature of these materials is unknown, having no counterpart in physical nature. Some families of gnomes gather in communities, while others are indigenous to the substances with and in which they work. For example, the hamadryads live and die with the plants or trees of which they are a part. Every shrub and flower is said to have its own Nature spirit, which often uses the physical body of the plant as its habitation. The ancient philosophers, recognizing the principle of intelligence manifesting itself in every department of Nature alike, believed that the quality of natural selection exhibited by creatures not possessing organized mentalities expressed in reality the decisions of the Nature spirits themselves.


C. M. Gayley, in The Classic Myths, says: "It was a pleasing trait in the old paganism that it loved to trace in every operation of nature the agency of deity. The imagination of the Greeks peopled the regions of earth and sea with divinities, to whose agency it attributed the phenomena that our philosophy ascribes to the operation of natural law." Thus, in behalf of the plant it worked with, the elemental accepted and rejected food elements, deposited coloring matter therein, preserved and protected the seed, and performed many other beneficent offices. Each species was served by a different but appropriate type of Nature spirit. Those working with poisonous shrubs, for example, were offensive in their appearance. It is said the Nature spirits of poison hemlock resemble closely tiny human skeletons, thinly covered with a semi-transparent flesh. They live in and through the hemlock, and if it be cut down remain with the broken shoots until both die, but while there is the slightest evidence of life in the shrub it shows the presence of the elemental guardian.

Great trees also have their Nature spirits, but these are much larger than the elementals of smaller plants. The labors of the pygmies include the cutting of the crystals in the rocks and the development of veins of ore. When the gnomes are laboring with animals or human beings, their work is confined to the tissues corresponding with their own natures. Hence they work with the bones, which belong to the mineral kingdom, and the ancients believed the reconstruction of broken members to be impossible without the cooperation of the elementals.


The gnomes are of various sizes--most of them much smaller than human beings, though some of them have the power of changing their stature at will. This is the result of the extreme mobility of the element in which they function. Concerning them the Abbé de Villars wrote: "The earth is filled well nigh to its center with Gnomes, people of slight stature, who are the guardians of treasures, minerals and precious stones. They are ingenious, friends of man, and easy to govern."

Not all authorities agree concerning the amiable disposition of the gnomes. Many state that they are of a tricky and malicious nature, difficult to manage, and treacherous. Writers agree, however, that when their confidence is won they are faithful and true. The philosophers and initiates of the ancient world were instructed concerning these mysterious little people and were taught how to communicate with them and gain their cooperation in undertakings of importance. The magi were always warned, however, never to betray the trust of the elementals, for if they did, the invisible creatures, working through the subjective nature of man, could cause them endless sorrow and probably ultimate destruction. So long as the mystic served others, the gnomes would serve him, but if he sought to use their aid selfishly to gain temporal power they would turn upon him with unrelenting fury. The same was true if he sought to deceive them.


The earth spirits meet at certain times of the year in great conclaves, as Shakespeare suggests in his Midsummer Night's Dream, where the elementals all gather to rejoice in the beauty and harmony of Nature and the prospects of an excellent harvest. The gnomes are ruled over by a king, whom they greatly love and revere. His name is Gob; hence his subjects are often called goblins. Mediæval mystics gave a corner of creation (one of the cardinal points) to each of the four kingdoms of Nature spirits, and because of their earthy character the gnomes were assigned to the North--the place recognized by the ancients as the source of darkness and death. One of the four main divisions of human disposition was also assigned to the gnomes, and because so many of them dwelt in the darkness of caves and the gloom of forests their temperament was said to be melancholy, gloomy, and despondent. By this it is not meant that they themselves are of such disposition, but rather that they have special control over elements of similar consistency.

The gnomes marry and have families, and the female gnomes are called gnomides. Some wear clothing woven of the element in which they live. In other instances their garments are part of themselves and grow with them, like the fur of animals. The gnomes are said to have insatiable appetites, and to spend a great part of the rime eating, but they earn their food by diligent and conscientious labor. Most of them are of a miserly temperament, fond of storing things away in secret places. There is abundant evidence of the fact that small children often see the gnomes, inasmuch as their contact with the material side of Nature is not yet complete and they still function more or less consciously in the invisible worlds.


According to Paracelsus, "Man lives in the exterior elements and the Elementals live in the interior elements. The latter have dwellings and clothing, manners and customs, languages and governments of their own, in the same sense as the bees have their queens and herds of animals their leaders." (Philosophia Occulta, translated by Franz Hartmann.)

Paracelsus differs somewhat from the Greek mystics concerning the environmental limitations imposed on the Nature spirits. The Swiss philosopher constitutes them of subtle invisible ethers. According to this hypothesis they would be visible only at certain times and only to those en rapport with their ethereal vibrations. The Greeks, on the other hand, apparently believed that many Nature spirits had material constitutions capable of functioning in the physical world. Often the recollection of a dream is so vivid that, upon awakening, a person actually believes that he has passed through a physical experience. The difficulty of accurately judging as to the end of physical sight and the beginning of ethereal vision may account for these differences of opinion.

Even this explanation, however, does not satisfactorily account for the satyr which, according to St. Jerome, was captured alive during the reign of Constantine and exhibited to the people. It was of human form with the horns and feet of a goat. After its death it was preserved in salt and taken to the Emperor that he might testify to its reality. (It is within the bounds of probability that this curiosity was what modern science knows as a monstrosity.)


THE UNDINES


As the gnomes were limited in their function to the elements of the earth, so the undines (a name given to the family of water elementals) function in the invisible, spiritual essence called humid (or liquid) ether. In its vibratory rate this is close to the element water, and so the undines are able to control, to a great degree, the course and function of this fluid in Nature. Beauty seems to be the keynote of the water spirits. Wherever we find them pictured in art or sculpture, they abound in symmetry and grace. Controlling the water element--which has always been a feminine symbol--it is natural that the water spirits should most often be symbolized as female.

There are many groups of undines. Some inhabit waterfalls, where they can be seen in the spray; others are indigenous to swiftly moving rivers; some have their habitat in dripping, oozing fens or marshes; while other groups dwell in clear mountain lakes. According to the philosophers of antiquity, every fountain had its nymph; every ocean wave its oceanid. The water spirits were known under such names as oreades, nereides, limoniades, naiades, water sprites, sea maids, mermaids, and potamides. Often the water nymphs derived their names from the streams, lakes, or seas in which they dwelt.


In describing them, the ancients agreed on certain salient features. In general, nearly all the undines closely resembled human beings in appearance and size, though the ones inhabiting small streams and fountains were of correspondingly lesser proportions. It was believed that these water spirits were occasionally capable of assuming the appearance of normal human beings and actually associating with men and women. There are many legends about these spirits and their adoption by the families of fishermen, but in nearly every case the undines heard the call of the waters and returned to the realm of Neptune, the King of the Sea.

Practically nothing is known concerning the male undines. The water spirits did not establish homes in the same way that the gnomes did, but lived in coral caves under the ocean or among the reeds growing on the banks of rivers or the shores of lakes. Among the Celts there is a legend to the effect that Ireland was peopled, before the coming of its present inhabitants, by a strange race of semi-divine creatures; with the coming of the modem Celts they retired into the marshes and fens, where they remain even to this day. Diminutive undines lived under lily pads and in little houses of moss sprayed by waterfalls. The undines worked with the vital essences and liquids in plants, animals, and human beings, and were present in everything containing water. When seen, the undines generally resembled the goddesses of Greek statuary. They rose from the water draped in mist and could not exist very long apart from it.


There are many families of undines, each with its peculiar limitations, it is impossible to consider them here in detail. Their ruler, Necksa, they love and honor, and serve untiringly. Their temperament is said to be vital, and to them has been given as their throne the western corner of creation. They are rather emotional beings, friendly to human life and fond of serving mankind. They are sometimes pictured riding on dolphins or other great fish and seem to have a special love of flowers and plants, which they serve almost as devotedly and intelligently as the gnomes. Ancient poets have said that the songs of the undines were heard in the West Wind and that their lives were consecrated to the beautifying of the material earth.


THE SALAMANDERS


The third group of elementals is the salamanders, or spirits of fire, who live in that attenuated, spiritual ether which is the invisible fire element of Nature. Without them material fire cannot exist; a match cannot be struck nor will flint and steel give off their spark without the assistance of a salamander, who immediately appears (so the mediæval mystics believed), evoked by friction. Man is unable to communicate successfully with the salamanders, owing to the fiery element in which they dwell, for everything is resolved to ashes that comes into their presence. By specially prepared compounds of herbs and perfumes the philosophers of the ancient world manufactured many kinds of incense. When incense was burned, the vapors which arose were especially suitable as a medium for the expression of these elementals, who, by borrowing the ethereal effluvium from the incense smoke, were able to make their presence felt.

The salamanders are as varied in their grouping and arrangement as either the undines or the gnomes. There are many families of them, differing in appearance, size, and dignity. Sometimes the salamanders were visible as small balls of light. Paracelsus says: "Salamanders have been seen in the shapes of fiery balls, or tongues of fire, running over the fields or peering in houses." (Philosophia Occulta, translated by Franz Hartmann.)


Mediæval investigators of the Nature spirits were of the opinion that the most common form of salamander was lizard-like in shape, a foot or more in length, and visible as a glowing Urodela, twisting and crawling in the midst of the fire. Another group was described as huge flaming giants in flowing robes, protected with sheets of fiery armor. Certain mediæval authorities, among them the Abbé de Villars, held that Zarathustra (Zoroaster) was the son of Vesta (believed to have been the wife of Noah) and the great salamander Oromasis. Hence, from that time onward, undying fires have been maintained upon the Persian altars in honor of Zarathustra's flaming father.

One most important subdivision of the salamanders was the Acthnici. These creatures appeared only as indistinct globes. They were supposed to float over water at night and occasionally to appear as forks of flame on the masts and rigging of ships (St. Elmo's fire). The salamanders were the strongest and most powerful of the elementals, and had as their ruler a magnificent flaming spirit called Djin, terrible and awe-inspiring in appearance. The salamanders were dangerous and the sages were warned to keep away from them, as the benefits derived from studying them were often not commensurate with the price paid. As the ancients associated heat with the South, this corner of creation was assigned to the salamanders as their drone, and they exerted special influence over all beings of fiery or tempestuous temperament. In both animals and men, the salamanders work through the emotional nature by means of the body heat, the liver, and the blood stream. Without their assistance there would be no warmth.


THE SYLPHS


While the sages said that the fourth class of elementals, or sylphs, lived in the element of air, they meant by this not the natural atmosphere of the earth, but the invisible, intangible, spiritual medium--an ethereal substance similar in composition to our atmosphere, but far more subtle. In the last: discourse of Socrates, as preserved by Plato in his Phædo, the condemned philosopher says:

"And upon the earth are animals and men, some in a middle region, others (elementals] dwelling about the air as we dwell about the sea; others in islands which the air flows round, near the continent; and in a word, the air is used by them as the water and the sea are by us, and the ether is to them what the air is to us. More over, the temperament of their seasons is such that they have no disease [Paracelsus disputes this], and live much longer than we do, and have sight and bearing and smell, and all the other senses, in far greater perfection, in the same degree that air is purer than water or the ether than air. Also they have temples and sacred places in which the gods really dwell, and they hear their voices and receive their answers, and are conscious of them and hold converse with them, and they see the sun, moon, and stars as they really are, and their other blessedness is of a piece with this." While the sylphs were believed to live among the clouds and in the surrounding air, their true home was upon the tops of mountains.


In his editorial notes to the Occult Sciences of Salverte, Anthony Todd Thomson says: "The Fayes and Fairies are evidently of Scandinavian origin, although the name of Fairy is supposed to be derived from, or rather [is] a modification of the Persian Peri, an imaginary benevolent being, whose province it was to guard men from the maledictions of evil spirits; but with more probability it may be referred to the Gothic Fagur, as the term Elves is from Alfa, the general appellation for the whole tribe. If this derivation of the name of Fairy be admitted, we may date the commencement of the popular belief in British Fairies to the period of the Danish conquest. They were supposed to be diminutive aerial beings, beautiful, lively, and beneficent in their intercourse with mortals, inhabiting a region called Fairy Land, Alf-heinner; commonly appearing on earth at intervals--when they left traces of their visits, in beautiful green-rings, where the dewy sward had been trodden in their moonlight dances."

To the sylphs the ancients gave the labor of modeling the snowflakes and gathering clouds. This latter they accomplished with the cooperation of the undines who supplied the moisture. The winds were their particular vehicle and the ancients referred to them as the spirits of the air. They are the highest of all the elementals, their native element being the highest in vibratory rate. They live hundreds of years, often attaining to a thousand years and never seeming to grow old. The leader of the sylphs is called Paralda, who is said to dwell on the highest mountain of the earth. The female sylphs were called sylphids.


It is believed that the sylphs, salamanders, and nymphs had much to do with the oracles of the ancients; that in fact they were the ones who spoke from the depths of the earth and from the air above.

The sylphs sometimes assume human form, but apparently for only short periods of time. Their size varies, but in the majority of cases they are no larger than human beings and often considerably smaller. It is said that the sylphs have accepted human beings into their communities and have permitted them to live there for a considerable period; in fact, Paracelsus wrote of such an incident, but of course it could not have occurred while the human stranger was in his physical body. By some, the Muses of the Greeks are believed to have been sylphs, for these spirits are said to gather around the mind of the dreamer, the poet, and the artist, and inspire him with their intimate knowledge of the beauties and workings of Nature. To the sylphs were given the eastern corner of creation. Their temperament is mirthful, changeable, and eccentric. The peculiar qualities common to men of genius are supposedly the result of the cooperation of sylphs, whose aid also brings with it the sylphic inconsistency. The sylphs labor with the gases of the human body and indirectly with the nervous system, where their inconstancy is again apparent. They have no fixed domicile, but wander about from place to place--elemental nomads, invisible but ever-present powers in the intelligent activity of the universe.


GENERAL OBSERVATIONS


Certain of the ancients, differing with Paracelsus, shared the opinion that the elemental kingdoms were capable of waging war upon one another, and they recognized in the battlings of the elements disagreements among these kingdoms of Nature spirits. When lightning struck a rock and splintered it, they believed that the salamanders were attacking the gnomes. As they could not attack one another on the plane of their own peculiar etheric essences, owing to the fact that there was no vibratory correspondence between the four ethers of which these kingdoms are composed, they had to attack through a common denominator, namely, the material substance of the physical universe over which they had a certain amount of power.

Wars were also fought within the groups themselves; one army of gnomes would attack another army, and civil war would be rife among them. Philosophers of long ago solved the problems of Nature's apparent inconsistencies by individualizing and personifying all its forces, crediting them with having temperaments not unlike the human and then expecting them to exhibit typical human inconsistencies. The four fixed signs of the zodiac were assigned to the four kingdoms of elementals. The gnomes were said to be of the nature of Taurus; the undines, of the nature of Scorpio; the salamanders exemplified the constitution of Leo; while the sylphs manipulated the emanations of Aquarius.


The Christian Church gathered all the elemental entities together under the title of demon. This is a misnomer with far-reaching consequences, for to the average mind the word demon means an evil thing, and the Nature spirits are essentially no more malevolent than are the minerals, plants, and animals. Many of the early Church Fathers asserted that they had met and debated with the elementals.

As already stated, the Nature spirits are without hope of immortality, although some philosophers have maintained that in isolated cases immortality was conferred upon them by adepts and initiates who understood certain subtle principles of the invisible world. As disintegration takes place in the physical world, so it takes place in the ethereal counterpart of physical substance. Under normal conditions at death, a Nature spirit is merely resolved back into the transparent primary essence from which it was originally individualized. Whatever evolutionary growth is made is recorded solely in the consciousness of that primary essence, or element, and not in the temporarily individualized entity of the elemental. Being without man's compound organism and lacking his spiritual and intellectual vehicles, the Nature spirits are subhuman in their rational intelligence, but from their functions--limited to one element--has resulted a specialized type of intelligence far ahead of man in those lines of research peculiar to the element in which they exist.


The terms incubus and succubus have been applied indiscriminately by the Church Fathers to elementals. The incubus and succubus, however, are evil and unnatural creations, whereas elementals is a collective term for all the inhabitants of the four elemental essences. According to Paracelsus, the incubus and succubus (which are male and female respectively) are parasitical creatures subsisting upon the evil thoughts and emotions of the astral body. These terms are also applied to the superphysical organisms of sorcerers and black magicians. While these larvæ are in no sense imaginary beings, they are, nevertheless, the offspring of the imagination. By the ancient sages they were recognized as the invisible cause of vice because they hover in the ethers surrounding the morally weak and continually incite them to excesses of a degrading nature. For this reason they frequent the atmosphere of the dope den, the dive, and the brothel, where they attach themselves to those unfortunates who have given themselves up to iniquity. By permitting his senses to become deadened through indulgence in habit-forming drugs or alcoholic stimulants, the individual becomes temporarily en rapport with these denizens of the astral plane. The houris seen by the hasheesh or opium addict and the lurid monsters which torment the victim of delirium tremens are examples of submundane beings, visible only to those whose evil practices are the magnet for their attraction.


Differing widely from the elementals and also the incubus and succubus is the vampire, which is defined by Paracelsus as the astral body of a person either living or dead (usually the latter state). The vampire seeks to prolong existence upon the physical plane by robbing the living of their vital energies and misappropriating such energies to its own ends.

In his De Ente Spirituali Paracelsus writes thus of these malignant beings: "A healthy and pure person cannot become obsessed by them, because such Larvæ can only act upon men if the later make room for them in their minds. A healthy mind is a castle that cannot be invaded without the will of its master; but if they are allowed to enter, they excite the passions of men and women, they create cravings in them, they produce bad thoughts which act injuriously upon the brain; they sharpen the animal intellect and suffocate the moral sense. Evil spirits obsess only those human beings in whom the animal nature is predominating. Minds that are illuminated by the spirit of truth cannot be possessed; only those who are habitually guided by their own lower impulses may become subjected to their influences." (See Paracelsus, by Franz Hartmann.)

A strange concept, and one somewhat at variance with the conventional, is that evolved by the Count de Gabalis concerning the immaculate conception, namely, that it represents the union of a human being with an elemental. Among the offspring of such unions he lists Hercules, Achilles, Æneas, Theseus, Melchizedek, the divine Plato, Apollonius of Tyana, and Merlin the Magician.




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Freemasonic Symbolism

IN several early Masonic manuscripts--for example, the Harleian, Sloane, Lansdowne, and Edinburgh-Kilwinning--it is stated that the craft of initiated builders existed before the Deluge, and that its members were employed in the building of the Tower of Babel. A Masonic Constitution dated 1701 gives the following naive account of the origin of the sciences, arts, and crafts from which the major part of Masonic symbolism is derived:

"How this worthy Science was first begunne, I shall tell. Before Noah's Flood, there was a man called Lameck as it is written in the 4 Chap. of Gen.: and this Lameck had two Wives. The one was called Adah, and the other Zillah; by the first wife Adah he gott two Sons, the one called Jaball, and the other Juball, and by the other wife Zillah he got a Son and Daughter, and the four children found the beginning of all Crafts in the world. This Jaball was the elder Son, and he found the Craft of Geometric, and he parted flocks, as of Sheep and Lambs in the fields, and first wrought Houses of Stone and Tree, as it is noted in the Chap, aforesaid, and his Brother Juball found the crafte of Musick, of Songs, Organs and Harp. The Third Brother [Tubal-cain] found out Smith's craft to work Iron and steel, and their sister Naamah found out the art of Weaving. These children did know thatt God would take Vengeance for Sinne, either by fire or water, wherefor they wrote these Sciences which they had found in Two Pillars of stone, thatt they might be found after the Flood. The one stone was called Marbell--cannott burn with Fire, and the other was called Laturus [brass?], thatt cannott drown in the Water." The author of this Constitution there upon declares that one of these pillars was later discovered by Hermes, who communicated to mankind the secrets thereon inscribed.


In his Antiquities of the Jews, Josephus writes that Adam had forewarned his descendants that sinful humanity would be destroyed by a deluge. In order to preserve their science and philosophy, the children of Seth there fore raised two pillars, one of brick and the other of stone, on which were inscribed the keys to their knowledge. The Patriarch Enoch--whose name means the Initiator--is evidently a personification of the sun, since he lived 365 years. He also constructed an underground temple consisting of nine vaults, one beneath the other, placing in the deepest vault a triangular tablet of gold bearing upon it the absolute and ineffable Name of Deity. According to some accounts, Enoch made two golden deltas. The larger he placed upon the white cubical altar in the lowest vault and the smaller he gave into the keeping of his son, Methuseleh, who did the actual construction work of the brick chambers according to the pattern revealed to his father by the Most High. In the form and arrangement of these vaults Enoch epitomized the nine spheres of the ancient Mysteries and the nine sacred strata of the earth through which the initiate must pass to reach the flaming Spirit dwelling in its central core.

According to Freemasonic symbolism, Enoch, fearing that all knowledge of the sacred Mysteries would be lost at the time of the Deluge, erected the two columns mentioned in the quotation. Upon the metal column in appropriate allegorical symbols he engraved the secret reaching and upon the marble column placed an inscription stating that a short distance away a priceless treasure would be discovered in a subterranean vault. After having thus faithfully completed his labors, Enoch was translated from the brow Of Mount Moriah. In time the location of the secret vaults was lost, but after the lapse of ages there came another builder--an initiate after the order of Enoch--and he, while laying the foundations for another temple to the Great Architect of the Universe, discovered the long-lost vaults and the secrets contained within.


John Leylande was appointed by King Henry VIII to go through the archives of the various religious institutions dissolved by the king and remove for preservation any books or manuscripts of an important character. Among the documents copied by Leylande was a series of questions and answers concerning the mystery of Masonry written by King Henry VI. In answer to the question, "How came Masonry into England?" the document States that Peter Gower, a Grecian, traveled for knowledge in Egypt, Syria, and every land where the Phœnicians had planted Masonry; winning entrance in all lodges of Masons, he learned much, and returning, dwelt in Greater Greece. He became renowned for his wisdom, formed a great lodge at Groton, and made many Masons, some of whom journeyed in France, spreading Masonry there; from France in the course of time the order passed into England.

To even the superficial student of the subject it must be evident that the name of Peter Gower, the Grecian, is merely an Anglicized form of Pythagoras; consequently Groton, where he formed his lodge, is easily identified with Crotona. A link is thus established between the philosophic Mysteries of Greece and mediæval Freemasonry. In his notes on King Henry's questions and answers, William Preston enlarges upon the vow of secrecy as it was practiced by the ancient initiates. On the authority of Pliny he describes how Anaxarchus, having been imprisoned in order to extort from him some of the secrets with which he had been entrusted, bit out his own tongue and threw it in the face of Nicocreon, the tyrant of Cyprus. Preston adds that the Athenians revered a brazen statue that was represented without a tongue to denote the sanctity with which they regarded their oath-bound secrets. It is also noteworthy that, according to King Henry's manuscript, Masonry had its origin in the East and was the carrier of the arts and sciences of civilization to the primitive humanity of the western nations.


Conspicuous among the symbols of Freemasonry are the seven liberal arts and sciences. By grammar man is taught to express in noble and adequate language his innermost thoughts and ideals; by rhetoric he is enabled to conceal his ideals under the protecting cover of ambiguous language and figures of speech; by logic he is trained in the organization of the intellectual faculties with which he has been endowed; by arithmetic he not only is instructed in the mystery of universal order but also gains the key to multitude, magnitude, and proportion; by geometry he is inducted into the mathematics of form, the harmony and rhythm of angles, and the philosophy of organization; by music he is reminded that the universe is founded upon the laws of celestial harmonics and that harmony and rhythm are all-pervading; by astronomy he gains an understanding of the immensities of time and space, of the proper relationship between himself and the universe, and of the awesomeness of that Unknown Power which is driving the countless stars of the firmament through illimitable space. Equipped with the knowledge conferred by familiarity with the liberal arts and sciences, the studious Freemason therefore finds himself confronted by few problems with which he cannot cope.


THE DIONYSIAC ARCHITECTS


The most celebrated of the ancient fraternities of artisans was that of the Dionysiac Architects. This organization was composed exclusively of initiates of the Bacchus-Dionysos cult and was peculiarly consecrated to the science of building and the art of decoration. Acclaimed as being the custodians of a secret and sacred knowledge of architectonics, its members were entrusted with the design and erection of public buildings and monuments. The superlative excellence of their handiwork elevated the members of the guild to a position of surpassing dignity; they were regarded as the master craftsmen of the earth. Because of the first dances held in honor of Dionysos, he was considered the founder and patron of the theater, and the Dionysians specialized in the construction of buildings adapted for the presentation of dramatic performances. In the circular or semicircular orchestra they invariably erected an altar to  Æschylus, the famous Greek poet, that while appearing in one of his own plays he was suspected by a mob of angry spectators of revealing one of the profound secrets of the Mysteries and was forced to seek refuge at the altar of Dionysos.


So carefully did the Dionysiac Architects safeguard the secrets of their craft that only fragmentary records exist of their esoteric teachings. John A. Weisse thus sums up the meager data available concerning the order:

"They made their appearance certainly not later than 1000 B.C., and appear to have enjoyed particular privileges and immunities. They also possessed secret means of recognition, and were bound together by special ties only known to themselves. The richer of this fraternity were bound to provide for their poorer brethren. They were divided into communities, governed by a Master and Wardens, and called γυνοικιαι (connected houses). They held a grand festival annually, and were held in high esteem. Their ceremonials were regarded as sacred. It has been claimed that Solomon, at the instance of Hiram, King of Tyre, employed them at his temple and palaces. They were also employed at the construction of the Temple of Diana at Ephesus. They had means of intercommunication all over the then known world, and from them, doubtless, sprang the guilds of the Traveling Masons known in the Middle Ages." (See The Obelisk and Freemasonry.)


The fraternity of the Dionysiac Architects spread throughout all of Asia Minor, even reaching Egypt and India. They established themselves in nearly all the countries bordering on the Mediterranean, and with the rise of the Roman Empire found their way into Central Europe and even into England. The most stately and enduring buildings in Constantinople, Rhodes, Athens, and Rome were erected by these inspired craftsmen. One of the most illustrious of their number was Vitruvius, the great architect, renowned as the author of De Architectura Libri Decem. In the various sections of his book Vitruvius gives several hints as to the philosophy underlying the Dionysiac concept of the principle of symmetry applied to the science of architecture, as derived from a consideration of the proportions established by Nature between the parts and members of the human body.


The following extract from Vitruvius on the subject of symmetry is representative:

"The design of a temple depends on symmetry, the principles of which must be most carefully observed by the architect. They are due to proportion, in ἀναλογία. Proportion is a correspondence among the measures of the members of an entire work, and of the whole to a certain part selected as standard. From this result the principles of symmetry. Without symmetry and proportion there can be no principles in the design of any temple; that is, if there is no precise relation between its members, as in the case of those of a well shaped man. For the human body is so designed by nature that the face, from the chin to the top of the forehead and the lowest roots of the hair, is a tenth part of the whole height; the open hand from the wrist to the tip of the middle finger is just the same; the head from the chin to the crown is an eighth, and with the neck and shoulder from the top of the breast to the lowest roots of the hair is a sixth; from the middle of the breast to the summit of the crown is a fourth. If we take the height of the face itself, the distance from the bottom of the chin to the under side of the nostrils [and from that point] to a line between the eyebrows is the same; from there to the lowest roots of the hair is also a third, comprising the forehead. The length of the foot is one sixth of the height of the body; of the forearm, one fourth; and the breadth of the breast is also one fourth. The other members, too, have their own symmetrical proportions, and it was by employing them that the famous painters and sculptors of antiquity attained to great and endless renown."


The edifices raised by the Dionysiac Builders were indeed "sermons in stone." Though unable to comprehend fully the cosmic principles thus embodied in these masterpieces of human ingenuity and industry, even the uninitiated were invariably overwhelmed by the sense of majesty and symmetry resulting from the perfect coordination of pillars, spans, arches, and domes. By variations in the details of size, material, type, arrangement, ornamentation, and color, these inspired builders believed it possible to provoke in the nature of the onlooker certain distinct mental or emotional reactions. Vitruvius, for example, describes the disposition of bronze vases about a room so as to produce certain definite changes in the tone and quality of the human voice. In like manner, each chamber in the Mysteries through which the candidate passed had its own peculiar acoustics. Thus in one chamber the voice of the priest was amplified until his words caused the very room to vibrate, while in another the voice was diminished and softened to such a degree that it sounded like the distant tinkling of silver bells. Again, in some of the underground passageways the candidate was apparently bereft of the power of speech, for though he shouted at the top of his voice not even a whisper was audible to his ears. After progressing a few feet, however, he would discover that his softest sigh would be reechoed a hundred times.

The supreme ambition of the Dionysiac Architects was the construction of buildings which would create distinct impressions consistent with the purpose for which the structure itself was designed. In common with the Pythagoreans, they believed it possible by combinations of straight lines and curves to induce any desired mental attitude or emotion. They labored, therefore, to the end of producing a building perfectly harmonious with the structure of the universe itself. They may have even believed that an edifice so constructed because it was in no respect at variance with any existing reality would not be subject to dissolution but would endure throughout the span of mortal time. As a logical deduction from their philosophic trend of thought, such a building--en rapport with Cosmos--would also have become an oracle. Certain early works on magical philosophy hint that the Ark of the Covenant was oracular in character because of specially prepared chambers in its interior. These by their shape and arrangement were so attuned to the vibrations of the invisible world that they caught and amplified the voices of the ages imprinted upon and eternally existent in the substance of the astral light.


Unskilled in these ancient subtleties of their profession, modern architects often create architectural absurdities which would cause their creators to blush with shame did they comprehend their actual symbolic import. Thus, phallic emblems are strewn in profusion among the adornments of banks, office buildings, and department stores. Christian churches also may be surmounted with Brahmin or Mohammedan domes or be designed in a style suitable for a Jewish synagogue or a Greek temple to Pluto. These incongruities may be considered trivial in importance by the modern designer, but to the trained psychologist the purpose for which a building was erected is frustrated in large measure by the presence of such architectural discordances. Vitruvius thus defines the principle of propriety as conceived and applied by the Dionysians:

"Propriety is that: perfection of style which comes when a work is authoritatively constructed on approved principles. It arises from prescription (Greek θεματισμῷ), from usage, or from nature. From prescription, in the case of hypæthral edifices, open to the sky, in honour of Jupiter Lightning, the Heaven, the Sun, or the Moon: for these are gods whose semblances and manifestations we behold before our very eyes in the sky when it is cloudless and bright. The temples of Minerva, Mars, and Hercules will be Doric, since the virile strength of these gods makes daintiness entirely inappropriate to their houses. In temples to Venus, Flora, Proserpine, Spring-Water, and the Nymphs, the Corinthian order will be found to have peculiar significance, because these are delicate divinities and so its rather slender outlines, its flowers, leaves, and ornamental volutes will lend propriety where it is due. The construction of temples of the Ionic order to Juno, Diana, Father Bacchus, and the other gods of that kind, will be in keeping with the middle position which they hold; for the building of such will be an appropriate combination of the severity of the Doric and the delicacy of the Corinthian."


In describing the societies of Ionian artificers, Joseph Da Costa declares the Dionysiac rites to have been founded upon the science of astronomy, which by the initiates of this order was correlated to the builder's art. In various documents dealing with the origin of architecture are found hints to the effect that the great buildings erected by these initiated craftsmen were based upon geometrical patterns derived from the constellations. Thus, a temple might be planned according to the constellation of Pegasus or a court of judgment modeled after the constellation of the Scales. The Dionysians evolved a peculiar code by which they were able to communicate with one another in the dark and both the symbols and the terminology of their guild were derived, in the main, from the elements of architecture.

While stigmatized as pagans by reason of their philosophic principles, it is noteworthy that these Dionysiac craftsmen were almost universally employed in the erection of early Christian abbeys and cathedrals, whose stones even to this very day bear distinguishing marks and symbols cut into their surfaces by these illustrious builders. Among the ornate carvings upon the fronts of great churches of the Old World are frequently found representations of compasses, squares, rules, mallets, and clusters of builders' tools skillfully incorporated into mural decorations and even placed in the hands of the effigies of saints and prophets standing in exalted niches. A great mystery was contained in the ancient portals of the Cathedral Of Notre Dame which were destroyed during the French Revolution, for among their carvings were numerous Rosicrucian and Masonic emblems; and according to the records preserved by alchemists who studied their bas-reliefs, the secret processes for metallic transmutation were set forth in their grotesque yet most significant figures.


The checkerboard floor upon which the modern Freemasonic lodge stands is the old tracing board of the Dionysiac Architects, and while the modern organization is no longer limited to workmen's guilds it still preserves in its symbols the metaphysical doctrines of the ancient society of which it is presumably the outgrowth. The investigator of the origin of Freemasonic symbolism who desires to trace the development of the order through the ages will find a practical suggestion in the following statement of Charles W. Heckethorn:

"But considering that Freemasonry is a tree the roots of which spread through so many soils, it follows that traces thereof must be found in its fruit; that its language and ritual should retain much of the various sects and institutions it has passed through before arriving at their present state, and in Masonry we meet with Indian, Egyptian, Jewish, and Christian ideas, terms therefrom the supreme ambition of their craft and symbols." (See The Secret Societies of All Ages and Countries.)

The Roman Collegia of skilled architects were apparently a subdivision of the greater Ionian body, their principles and organization being practically identical with the older Ionian institution. It has been suspected that the Dionysians also profoundly influenced early Islamic culture, for part of their symbolism found its way into the Mysteries of the dervishes. At one time the Dionysians referred to themselves as Sons of Solomon, and one of the most important of their symbols was the Seal of Solomon--two interlaced triangles. This motif is frequently seen in conspicuous parts of Mohammedan mosques. The Knights Templars--who were suspected of anything and everything--are believed to have contacted these Dionysiac artificers and to have introduced many of their symbols and doctrines into mediæval Europe. But Freemasonry most of all owes to the Dionysiac cult the great mass of its symbols and rituals which are related to the science of architecture. From these ancient and illustrious artisans it also received the legacy of the unfinished Temple of Civilization-that vast, invisible structure upon which these initiated builders have labored continuously since the inception of their fraternity. This mighty edifice, which has fallen and been rebuilt time after time but whose foundations remain unmoved, is the true Everlasting House of which the temple on the brow of Mount Moriah was but an impermanent symbol.


Aside from the operative aspect of their order, the Dionysiac Architects had a speculative philosophic code. Human society they considered as a rough and untrued ashlar but lately chiseled from the quarry of elemental Nature. This crude block was the true object upon which these skilled craftsmen labored--polishing it, squaring it, and with the aid of fine carvings transforming it into a miracle of beauty. While mystics released their souls from the bondage of matter by meditation and philosophers found their keenest joy in the profundities of thought, these master workmen achieved liberation from the Wheel of Life and Death by learning to swing their hammers with the same rhythm that moves the swirling forces of Cosmos. They venerated the Deity under the guise of a Great Architect and Master Craftsman who was ever gouging rough ashlars from the fields of space and truing them into universes. The Dionysians affirmed constructiveness to be the supreme expression of the soul, and attuning themselves with the ever-visible constructive natural processes going on around them, believed immortality could be achieved by thus becoming a part of the creative agencies of Nature.


SOLOMON, THE PERSONIFICATION OF UNIVERSAL WISDOM


The name Solomon may be divided into three syllables, SOL-OM-ON, symbolizing light, glory, and truth collectively and respectively. The Temple of Solomon is, therefore, first of all "the House of Everlasting Light," its earthly symbol being the temple of stone on the brow of Mount Moriah. According to the Mystery teachings, there are three Temples of Solomon--as there are three Grand Masters, three Witnesses, and three Tabernacles of the Transfiguration. The first temple is the Grand House of the Universe, in the midst of which sits the sun (SOL) upon his golden throne. The twelve signs of the zodiac as Fellow-Craftsmen gather around their shining lord. Three lights--the stellar, the solar, and the lunar--illuminate this Cosmic Temple. Accompanied by his retinue of planets, moons, and asteroids, this Divine King (SOLomon), whose glory no earthly monarch shall ever equal, passes in stately pomp down the avenues of space. Whereas CHiram represents the active physical light of the sun, SOLomon signifies its invisible but all-powerful, spiritual and intellectual effulgency.


The second symbolic temple is the human body-the Little House made in the image of the Great Universal House. "Know ye not," asked the Apostle Paul, "that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" Freemasonry within a temple of stone cannot be other than speculative, but Freemasonry within the living temple of the body is operative. The third symbolic temple is the Soular House, an invisible structure, the comprehension of which is a supreme Freemasonic arcanum. The mystery of this intangible edifice is concealed under the allegory of the Soma Psuchicon, or Wedding Garment described by St. Paul, the Robes of Glory of the High Priest of Israel, the Yellow Robe of the Buddhist monk, and the Robe of Blue and Gold to which Albert Pike refers in his Symbolism. The soul, constructed from an invisible fiery substance, a flaming golden metal, is cast by the Master Workman, CHiram Abiff, into the mold of clay (the physical body) and is called the Molten Sea. The temple of the human soul is built by three Master Masons personifying Wisdom, Love, and Service, and when constructed according to the Law of Life the spirit of God dwells in the Holy Place thereof. The Soular Temple is the true Everlasting House, and he who can raise or cast it is a Master Mason indeed! The best-informed Masonic writers have realized that Solomon's Temple is a representation in miniature of the Universal Temple. Concerning this point, A. E. Waite, in A New Encyclopædia of Freemasonry, writes: "It is macrocosmic in character, so that the Temple is a symbol of the universe, a type of manifestation itself."


Solomon, the Spirit of Universal Illumination--mental, spiritual, moral, and physical--is personified in the king of an earthly nation. While a great ruler by that name may have built a temple, he who considers the story solely from its historical angle will never clear away the rubbish that covers the secret vaults. The rubbish is interpolated matter in the form of superficial symbols, allegories, and degrees which have no legitimate part in the original Freemasonic Mysteries. Concerning the loss of the true esoteric key to Masonic secrets, Albert Pike writes:

"No one journeys now 'from the high place of Cabaon to the threshing floor of Oman the Yebusite,' nor has seen, 'his Master, clothed in blue and gold;' nor are apprentices and Fellow-crafts any longer paid at their respective Columns; nor is the Master's working tool the Tracing Board, nor does he use in his work 'Chalk, Charcoal, and an Earthen Vessel,' nor does the Apprentice, becoming a Fellow Craft, pass from the square to the compass; for the meanings of these phrases as symbols have long been lost."


According to the ancient Rabbins, Solomon was an initiate of the Mystery schools and the temple which he built was actually a house of initiation containing amass of pagan philosophic and phallic emblems. The pomegranates, the palm-headed columns, the Pillars before the door, the Babylonian cherubim, and the arrangement of the chambers and draperies all indicate the temple to have been patterned after the sanctuaries of Egypt and Atlantis. Isaac Myer, in The Qabbalah, makes the following observation:

"The pseudo-Clement of Rome, writes: 'God made man male and female. The male is Christ: the female, the Church.' The Qabbalists called the Holy Spirit, the mother, and the Church of Israel, the Daughter. Solomon engraved on the walls of his Temple, likenesses of the male and female principles, to adumbrate this mystery; such, it is said, were the figures of the cherubim. This was, however, not in obedience to the words of the Thorah. They were symbolical of the Upper, the spiritual, the former or maker, positive or male, and the Lower, the passive, the negative or female, formed or made by the first."


Masonry came to Northern Africa and Asia Minor from the lost continent of Atlantis, not under its present name but rather under the general designation Sun and Fire Worship. The ancient Mysteries did not cease to exist when Christianity became the world's most powerful religion. Great Pan did not die! Freemasonry is the proof of his survival. The pre-Christian Mysteries simply assumed the symbolism of the new faith, perpetuating through its emblems and allegories the same truths which had been the property of the wise since the beginning of the world. There is no true explanation, therefore, for Christian symbols save that which is concealed within pagan philosophy. Without the mysterious keys carried by the hierophants of the Egyptian, Brahmin, and Persian cults the gates of Wisdom cannot be opened. Consider with reverent spirit, therefore, the sublime allegory of the Temple and its Builders, realizing that beneath its literal interpretation lies hidden a Royal Secret.


According to the Talmudic legends, Solomon understood the mysteries of the Qabbalah. He was also an alchemist and a necromancer, being able to control the dæmons, and from them and other inhabitants of the invisible worlds he secured much of his wisdom. In his translation of Clavicula Salomonis, or The Key of Solomon the King, a work presumably setting forth the magical secrets gathered by Solomon and used by him in the conjuration of spirits and which, according to Frank C. Higgins, contains many sidelights on Masonic initiatory rituals, S. L. MacGregor-Mathers recognizes the probability that King Solomon was a magician in the fullest sense of that word. "I see no reason to doubt," he affirms, "the tradition which assigns the authorship of the 'Key' to King Solomon, for among others Josephus, the Jewish historian, especially mentions the magical works attributed to that monarch; this is confirmed by many Eastern traditions, and his magical skill is frequently mentioned in the Arabian Nights.


Concerning Solomon's supernatural powers, Josephus writes in his Eighth Book of the Antiquities of the Jews:


"Now the sagacity and wisdom which God had bestowed on Solomon was so great that he exceeded the ancients, in so much that he was no way inferior to the Egyptians, who are said to have been beyond all men in understanding; * * * God also enabled him to learn that skill which expelled demons, which is a science useful and sanative to him. He composed such incantations also by which distempers are alleviated. And he left behind him the manner of using exorcisms, by which they drive away demons, so that they never return; and this method of cure is of great force unto this day."

The mediæval alchemists were convinced that King Solomon understood the secret processes of Hermes by means of which it was possible to multiply metals. Dr. Bacstrom writes that the Universal Spirit (CHiram) assisted King Solomon to build his temple, because Solomon being wise in the wisdom of alchemy knew how to control this incorporeal essence and, setting it to work for him, caused the invisible universe to supply him with vast amounts of gold and silver which most people believed were mined by natural methods.

The mysteries of the Islamic faith are now in the keeping of the dervishes--men who, renouncing worldliness, have withstood the test of a thousand and one days of temptation. Jelal-ud-din, the great Persian Sufic poet and philosopher, is accredited with having founded the Order of Mevlevi, or the "dancing dervishes," whose movements exoterically signify the motions of the celestial bodies and esoterically result in the establishment of a rhythm which stimulates the centers of spiritual consciousness within the dancer's body.


"According to the mystical canon, there are always on earth a certain number of holy men who are admitted to intimate communion with the Deity. The one who occupies the highest position among his contemporaries is called the 'Axis' (Qūtb) or 'Pole' of his time. * * * Subordinate to the Qūtb are two holy beings who bear the title of 'The Faithful Ones,' and are assigned places on his right and left respectively. Below these is a quartette of 'Intermediate Ones' (Evtād); and on successively lower planes ate five 'Lights' (Envār), and seven 'Very Good' (Akhyār). The next rank is filled by forty 'Absent Ones' (Rijal-i-ghaib), also termed 'Martyrs' (Shuheda). When an 'Axis' quits this earthly existence, he is succeeded by the 'Faithful One' who has occupied the place at his right hand. * * * For to these holy men, who also bear the collective titles of 'Lords of Souls,' and 'Directors,' is committed a spiritual supremacy over mankind far exceeding the temporal authority of earthly rulers." (See Mysticism and Magic in Turkey, by L. M. J. Garnett.)

The Axis is a mysterious individual who, unknown and unsuspected, mingles with mankind and who, according to tradition, has his favorite seat upon the roof of the Caaba. J. P. Brown, in The Dervishes, gives a description of these "Master Souls."


FREEMASONRY'S PRICELESS HERITAGE


The sanctum sanctorum of Freemasonry is ornamented with the gnostic jewels of a thousand ages; its rituals ring with the divinely inspired words of seers and sages. A hundred religious have brought their gifts of wisdom to its altar; arts and sciences unnumbered have contributed to its symbolism. Freemasonry is a world-wide university, teaching the liberal arts and sciences of the soul to all who will hearken to its words. Its chairs are seats of learning and its pillars uphold an arch of universal education. Its trestleboards are inscribed with the eternal verities of all ages and upon those who comprehend its sacred depths has dawned the realization that within the Freemasonic Mysteries lie hidden the long-lost arcana sought by all peoples since the genesis of human reason.


The philosophic power of Freemasonry lies in its symbols--its priceless heritage from the Mystery schools of antiquity. In a letter to Robert Freke Gould, Albert Pike writes:

"It began to shape itself to my intellectual vision into something more imposing and majestic, solemnly mysterious and grand. It seemed to me like the Pyramids in their loneliness, in whose yet undiscovered chambers may be hidden, for the enlightenment of coming generations, the sacred books of the Egyptians, so long lost to the world; like the Sphynx half buried in the desert. In its symbolism, which and its spirit of brotherhood are its essence, Freemasonry is more ancient than any of the world's living religions. It has the symbols and doctrines which, older than himself, Zarathustra inculcated; and ii seemed to me a spectacle sublime, yet pitiful--the ancient Faith of our ancestors holding out to the world its symbols once so eloquent, and mutely and in vain asking for an interpreter. And so I came at last to see that the true greatness and majesty of Freemasonry consist in its proprietorship of these and its other symbols; and that its symbolism is its soul."


Though the temples of Thebes and Karnak be now but majestic heaps of broken and time-battered stone, the spirit: of Egyptian philosophy still marches triumphant through the centuries. Though the rock-hewn sanctuaries of the ancient Brahmins be now deserted and their carvings crumbled into dust, still the wisdom of the Vedas endures. Though the oracles be silenced and the House of the Mysteries be now but rows of ghostly columns, still shines the spiritual glory of Hellas with luster undiminished. Though Zoroaster, Hermes, Pythagoras, Plato, and Aristotle are now but dim memories in a world once rocked by the transcendency of their intellectual genius, still in the mystic temple of Freemasonry these god-men live again in their words and symbols; and the candidate, passing through the initiations, feels himself face to face with these illumined hierophants of days long past.


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The Sun, A Universal Deity

THE adoration of the sun was one of the earliest and most natural forms of religious expression. Complex modern theologies are merely involvements and amplifications of this simple aboriginal belief. The primitive mind, recognizing the beneficent power of the solar orb, adored it as the proxy of the Supreme Deity. Concerning the origin of sun worship, Albert Pike makes the following concise statement in his Morals and Dogma: "To them [aboriginal peoples] he [the sun] was the innate fire of bodies, the fire of Nature. Author of Life, heat, and ignition, he was to them the efficient cause of all generation, for without him there was no movement, no existence, no form. He was to them immense, indivisible, imperishable, and everywhere present. It was their need of light, and of his creative energy, that was felt by all men; and nothing was more fearful to them than his absence. His beneficent influences caused his identification with the Principle of Good; and the BRAHMA of the Hindus, and MITHRAS of the Persians, and ATHOM, AMUN, PHTHA, and OSIRIS, of the Egyptians, the BEL of the Chaldeans, the ADONAI of the Phœnicians, the ADONIS and APOLLO of the Greeks, became but personifications of the Sun, the regenerating Principle, image of that fecundity which perpetuates and rejuvenates the world's existence."


Among all the nations of antiquity, altars, mounds, and temples were dedicated to the worship of the orb of day. The ruins of these sacred places yet remain, notable among them being the pyramids of Yucatan and Egypt, the snake mounds of the American Indians, the Zikkurats of Babylon and Chaldea, the round towers of Ireland, and the massive rings of uncut stone in Britain and Normandy. The Tower of Babel, which, according to the Scriptures, was built so that man might reach up to God, was probably an astronomical observatory.

Many early priests and prophets, both pagan and Christian, were versed in astronomy and astrology; their writings are best understood when read in the light of these ancient sciences. With the growth of man's knowledge of the constitution and periodicity of the heavenly bodies, astronomical principles and terminology were introduced into his religious systems. The tutelary gods were given planetary thrones, the celestial bodies being named after the deities assigned to them. The fixed stars were divided into constellations, and through these constellations wandered the sun and its planets, the latter with their accompanying satellites.


THE SOLAR TRINITY


The sun, as supreme among the celestial bodies visible to the astronomers of antiquity, was assigned to the highest of the gods and became symbolic of the supreme authority of the Creator Himself. From a deep philosophic consideration of the powers and principles of the sun has come the concept of the Trinity as it is understood in the world today. The tenet of a Triune Divinity is not peculiar to Christian or Mosaic theology, but forms a conspicuous part of the dogma of the greatest religions of both ancient and modern times. The Persians, Hindus, Babylonians, and Egyptians had their Trinities. In every instance these represented the threefold form of one Supreme Intelligence. In modern Masonry, the Deity is symbolized by an equilateral triangle, its three sides representing the primary manifestations of the Eternal One who is Himself represented as a tiny flame, called by the Hebrews Yod (י). Jakob Böhme, the Teutonic mystic, calls the Trinity The Three Witnesses, by means of which the Invisible is made known to the visible, tangible universe.

The origin of the Trinity is obvious to anyone who will observe the daily manifestations of the sun. This orb, being the symbol of all Light, has three distinct phases: rising, midday, and setting. The philosophers therefore divided the life of all things into three distinct parts: growth, maturity, and decay. Between the twilight of dawn and the twilight of evening is the high noon of resplendent glory. God the Father, the Creator of the world, is symbolized by the dawn. His color is blue, because the sun rising in the morning is veiled in blue mist. God the Son he Illuminating One sent to bear witness of His Father before all the worlds, is the celestial globe at noonday, radiant and magnificent, the maned Lion of Judah, the Golden-haired Savior of the World. Yellow is His color and His power is without end. God the Holy Ghost is the sunset phase, when the orb of day, robed in flaming red, rests for a moment upon the horizon line and then vanishes into the darkness of the night to wandering the lower worlds and later rise again triumphant from the embrace of darkness.


To the Egyptians the sun was the symbol of immortality, for, while it died each night, it rose again with each ensuing dawn. Not only has the sun this diurnal activity, but it also has its annual pilgrimage, during which time it passes successively through the twelve celestial houses of the heavens, remaining in each for thirty days. Added to these it has a third path of travel, which is called the precession of the equinoxes, in which it retrogrades around the zodiac through the twelve signs at the rate of one degree every seventy-two years.

Concerning the annual passage of the sun through the twelve houses of the heavens, Robert Hewitt Brown, 32°, makes the following statement: "The Sun, as he pursued his way among these 'living creatures' of the zodiac, was said, in allegorical language, either to assume the nature of or to triumph over the sign he entered. The sun thus became a Bull in Taurus, and was worshipped as such by the Egyptians under the name of Apis, and by the Assyrians as Bel, Baal, or Bul. In Leo the sun became a Lion-slayer, Hercules, and an Archer in Sagittarius. In Pisces, the Fishes, he was a fish--Dagon, or Vishnu, the fish-god of the Philistines and Hindoos."

A careful analysis of the religious systems of pagandom uncovers much evidence of the fact that its priests served the solar energy and that their Supreme Deity was in every case this Divine Light personified. Godfrey Higgins, after thirty years of inquiry into the origin of religious beliefs, is of the opinion that "All the Gods of antiquity resolved themselves into the solar fire, sometimes itself as God, or sometimes an emblem or shekinah of that higher principle, known by the name of the creative Being or God."


The Egyptian priests in many of their ceremonies wore the skins of lions, which were symbols of the solar orb, owing to the fact that the sun is exalted, dignified, and most fortunately placed in the constellation of Leo, which he rules and which was at one time the keystone of the celestial arch. Again, Hercules is the Solar Deity, for as this mighty hunter performed his twelve labors, so the sun, in traversing the twelve houses of the zodiacal band, performs during his pilgrimage twelve essential and benevolent labors for the human race and for Nature in general, Hercules, like the Egyptian priests, wore the skin of a lion for a girdle. Samson, the Hebrew hero, as his name implies, is also a solar deity. His fight with the Nubian lion, his battles with the Philistines, who represent the Powers of Darkness, and his memorable feat of carrying off the gates of Gaza, all refer to aspects of solar activity. Many of the ancient peoples had more than one solar deity; in fact, all of the gods and goddesses were supposed to partake, in part at least, of the sun's effulgence.

The golden ornaments used by the priestcraft of the various world religions are again a subtle reference to the solar energy, as are also the crowns of kings. In ancient times, crowns had a number of points extending outward like the rays of the sun, but modern conventionalism has, in many cases, either removed the points or else bent: them inward, gathered them together, and placed an orb or cross upon the point where they meet. Many of the ancient prophets, philosophers, and dignitaries carried a scepter, the upper end of which bore a representation of the solar globe surrounded by emanating rays. All the kingdoms of earth were but copies of the kingdoms of Heaven, and the kingdoms of Heaven were best symbolized by the solar kingdom, in which the sun was the supreme ruler, the planets his privy council, and all Nature the subjects of his empire.


Many deities have been associated with the sun. The Greeks believed that Apollo, Bacchus, Dionysos, Sabazius, Hercules, Jason, Ulysses, Zeus, Uranus, and Vulcan partook of either the visible or invisible attributes of the sun. The Norwegians regarded Balder the Beautiful as a solar deity, and Odin is often connected with the celestial orb, especially because of his one eye. Among the Egyptians, Osiris, Ra, Anubis, Hermes, and even the mysterious Ammon himself had points of resemblance with the solar disc. Isis was the mother of the sun, and even Typhon, the Destroyer, was supposed to be a form of solar energy. The Egyptian sun myth finally centered around the person of a mysterious deity called Serapis. The two Central American deities, Tezcatlipoca and Quetzalcoatl, while often associated with the winds, were also undoubtedly solar gods.

In Masonry the sun has many symbols. One expression of the solar energy is Solomon, whose name SOL-OM-ON is the name for the Supreme Light in three different languages. Hiram Abiff, the CHiram (Hiram) of the Chaldees, is also a solar deity, and the story of his attack and murder by the Ruffians, with its solar interpretation, will be found in the chapter The Hiramic Legend. A striking example of the important part which the sun plays in the symbols and rituals of Freemasonry is given by George Oliver, D.D., in his Dictionary of Symbolical Masonry, as follows:

"The sun rises in the east, and in the east is the place for the Worshipful Master. As the sun is the source of all light and warmth, so should the Worshipful Master enliven and warm the brethren to their work. Among the ancient Egyptians the sun was the symbol of divine providence." The hierophants of the Mysteries were adorned with many. insignia emblematic of solar power. The sunbursts of gilt embroidery on the back of the vestments of the Catholic priesthood signify that the priest is also an emissary and representative of Sol Invictus.


CHRISTIANITY AND THE SUN


For reasons which they doubtless considered sufficient, those who chronicled the life and acts of Jesus found it advisable to metamorphose him into a solar deity. The historical Jesus was forgotten; nearly all the salient incidents recorded in the four Gospels have their correlations in the movements, phases, or functions of the heavenly bodies.

Among other allegories borrowed by Christianity from pagan antiquity is the story of the beautiful, blue-eyed Sun God, with His golden hair falling upon His shoulders, robed from head to foot in spotless white and carrying in His arms the Lamb of God, symbolic of the vernal equinox. This handsome youth is a composite of Apollo, Osiris, Orpheus, Mithras, and Bacchus, for He has certain characteristics in common with each of these pagan deities.

The philosophers of Greece and Egypt divided the life of the sun during the year into four parts; therefore they symbolized the Solar Man by four different figures. When He was born in the winter solstice, the Sun God was symbolized as a dependent infant who in some mysterious manner had managed to escape the Powers of Darkness seeking to destroy Him while He was still in the cradle of winter. The sun, being weak at this season of the year, had no golden rays (or locks of hair), but the survival of the light through the darkness of winter was symbolized by one tiny hair which alone adorned the head of the Celestial Child. (As the birth of the sun took place in Capricorn, it was often represented as being suckled by a goat.)


At the vernal equinox, the sun had grown to be a beautiful youth. His golden hair hung in ringlets on his shoulders and his light, as Schiller said, extended to all parts of infinity. At the summer solstice, the sun became a strong man, heavily bearded, who, in the prime of maturity, symbolized the fact that Nature at this period of the year is strongest and most fecund. At the autumnal equinox, the sun was pictured as an aged man, shuffling along with bended back and whitened locks into the oblivion of winter darkness. Thus, twelve months were assigned to the sun as the length of its life. During this period it circled the twelve signs of the zodiac in a magnificent triumphal march. When fall came, it entered, like Samson, into the house of Delilah (Virgo), where its rays were cut off and it lost its strength. In Masonry, the cruel winter months are symbolized by three murderers who sought to destroy the God of Light and Truth.

The coming of the sun was hailed with joy; the time of its departure was viewed as a period to be set aside for sorrow and unhappiness. This glorious, radiant orb of day, the true light "which lighteth every man who cometh into the world," the supreme benefactor, who raised all things from the dead, who fed the hungry multitudes, who stilled the tempest, who after dying rose again and restored all things to life--this Supreme Spirit of humanitarianism and philanthropy is known to Christendom as Christ, the Redeemer of worlds, the Only Begotten of The Father, the Word made Flesh, and the Hope of Glory.


THE BIRTHDAY OF THE SUN


The pagans set aside the 25th of December as the birthday of the Solar Man. They rejoiced, feasted, gathered in processions, and made offerings in the temples. The darkness of winter was over and the glorious son of light was returning to the Northern Hemisphere. With his last effort the old Sun God had torn down the house of the Philistines (the Spirits of Darkness) and had cleared the way for the new sun who was born that day from the depths of the earth amidst the symbolic beasts of the lower world.

Concerning this season of celebration, an anonymous Master of Arts of Balliol College, Oxford, in his scholarly treatise, Mankind Their Origin and Destiny, says: "The Romans also had their solar festival, and their games of the circus in honor of the birth of the god of day. It took place the eighth day before the kalends of January--that is, on December 25. Servius, in his commentary on verse 720 of the seventh book of the Æneid, in which Virgil speaks of the new sun, says that, properly speaking, the sun is new on the 8th of the Kalends of January-that is, December 25. In the time of Leo I. (Leo, Serm. xxi., De Nativ. Dom. p. 148), some of the Fathers of the Church said that 'what rendered the festival (of Christmas) venerable was less the birth of Jesus Christ than the return, and, as they expressed it, the new birth of the sun.' It was on the same day that the birth of the Invincible Sun (Natalis solis invicti), was celebrated at Rome, as can be seen in the Roman calendars, published in the reign of Constantine and of Julian (Hymn to the Sun, p. 155). This epithet 'Invictus' is the same as the Persians gave to this same god, whom they worshipped by the name of Mithra, and whom they caused to be born in a grotto (Justin. Dial. cum Trips. p. 305), just as he is represented as being born in a stable, under the name of Christ, by the Christians."


Concerning the Catholic Feast of the Assumption and its parallel in astronomy, the same author adds: "At the end of eight months, when the sun-god, having increased, traverses the eighth sign, he absorbs the celestial Virgin in his fiery course, and she disappears in the midst of the luminous rays and the glory of her son. This phenomenon, which takes place every year about the middle of August, gave rise to a festival which still exists, and in which it is supposed that the mother of Christ, laying aside her earthly life, is associated with the glory of her son, and is placed at his side in the heavens. The Roman calendar of Columella (Col. 1. II. cap. ii. p. 429) marks the death or disappearance of Virgo at this period. The sun, he says, passes into Virgo on the thirteenth day before the kalends of September. This is where the Catholics place the Feast of the Assumption, or the reunion of the Virgin to her Son. This feast was formerly called the feast of the Passage of the Virgin (Beausobre, tome i. p. 350); and in the Library of the Fathers (Bibl. Part. vol. II. part ii. p. 212) we have an account of the Passage of the Blessed Virgin. The ancient Greeks and Romans fix the assumption of Astraea, who is also this same Virgin, on that day."


This Virgin mother, giving birth to the Sun God which Christianity has so faithfully preserved, is a reminder of the inscription concerning her Egyptian prototype, Isis, which appeared on the Temple of Sais: "The fruit which I have brought forth is the Sun." While the Virgin was associated with the moon by the early pagans, there is no doubt that they also understood her position as a constellation in the heavens, for nearly all the peoples of antiquity credit her as being the mother of the sun, and they realized that although the moon could not occupy that position, the sign of Virgo could, and did, give birth to the sun out of her side on the 25th day of December. Albertus Magnus states, "We know that the sign of the Celestial Virgin rose over the Horizon at the moment at which we fix the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Among certain of the Arabian and Persian astronomers the three stars forming the sword belt of Orion were called the Magi who came to pay homage to the young Sun God. The author of Mankind--Their Origin and Destiny contributes the following additional information: "In Cancer, which had risen to the meridian at midnight, is the constellation of the Stable and of the Ass. The ancients called it Præsepe Jovis. In the north the stars of the Bear are seen, called by the Arabians Martha and Mary, and also the coffin of Lazarus. "Thus the esotericism of pagandom was embodied in Christianity, although its keys are lost. The Christian church blindly follows ancient customs, and when asked for a reason gives superficial and unsatisfactory explanations, either forgetting or ignoring the indisputable fact that each religion is based upon the secret doctrines of its predecessor.


THE THREE SUNS


The solar orb, like the nature of man, was divided by the ancient sages into three separate bodies. According to the mystics, there are three suns in each solar system, analogous to the three centers of life in each individual constitution. These are called three lights: the spiritual sun, the intellectual or soular sun, and the material sun (now symbolized in Freemasonry by three candles). The spiritual sun manifests the power of God the Father; the soular sun radiates the life of God the Son; and the material sun is the vehicle of manifestation for God the Holy Spirit. Man's nature was divided by the mystics into three distinct parts: spirit, soul, and body. His physical body was unfolded and vitalized by the material sun; his spiritual nature was illuminated by the spiritual sun; and his intellectual nature was redeemed by the true light of grace--the soular sun. The alignment of these three globes in the heavens was one explanation offered for the peculiar fact that the orbits of the planets are not circular but elliptical.

The pagan priests always considered the solar system as a Grand Man, and drew their analogy of these three centers of activity from the three main centers of life in the human body: the brain, the heart, and the generative system. The Transfiguration of Jesus describes three tabernacles, the largest being in the center (the heart), and a smaller one on either side (the brain and the generative system). It is possible that the philosophical hypothesis of the existence of the three suns is based upon a peculiar natural phenomenon which has occurred many times in history. In the fifty- first year after Christ three suns were seen at once in the sky and also in the sixty-sixth year. In the sixty-ninth year, two suns were seen together. According to William Lilly, between the years 1156 and 1648 twenty similar occurrences were recorded.


Recognizing the sun as the supreme benefactor of the material world, Hermetists believed that there was a spiritual sun which ministered to the needs of the invisible and divine part of Nature--human and universal. Anent this subject, the great Paracelsus wrote: "There is an earthly sun, which is the cause of all heat, and all who are able to see may see the sun; and those who are blind and cannot see him may feel his heat. There is an Eternal Sun, which is the source of all wisdom, and those whose spiritual senses have awakened to life will see that sun and be conscious of His existence; but those who have not attained spiritual consciousness may yet feel His power by an inner faculty which is called Intuition."

Certain Rosicrucian scholars have given special appellations to these three phases of the sun: the spiritual sun they called Vulcan; the soular and intellectual sun, Christ and Lucifer respectively; and the material sun, the Jewish Demiurgus Jehovah. Lucifer here represents the intellectual mind without the illumination of the spiritual mind; therefore it is "the false light. " The false light is finally overcome and redeemed by the true light of the soul, called the Second Logos or Christ. The secret processes by which the Luciferian intellect is transmuted into the Christly intellect constitute one of the great secrets of alchemy, and are symbolized by the process of transmuting base metals into gold.

In the rare treatise The Secret Symbols of The Rosicrucians, Franz Hartmann defines the sun alchemically as: "The symbol of Wisdom. The Centre of Power or Heart of things. The Sun is a centre of energy and a storehouse of power. Each living being contains within itself a centre of life, which may grow to be a Sun. In the heart of the regenerated, the divine power, stimulated by the Light of the Logos, grows into a Sun which illuminates his mind." In a note, the same author amplifies his description by adding: "The terrestrial sun is the image or reflection of the invisible celestial sun; the former is in the realm of Spirit what the latter is in the realm of Matter; but the latter receives its power from the former."


In the majority of cases, the religions of antiquity agree that the material visible sun was a reflector rather than a source of power. The sun was sometimes represented as a shield carried on the arm of the Sun God, as for example, Frey, the Scandinavian Solar Deity. This sun reflected the light of the invisible spiritual sun, which was the true source of life, light, and truth. The physical nature of the universe is receptive; it is a realm of effects. The invisible causes of these effects belong to the spiritual world. Hence, the spiritual world is the sphere of causation; the material world is the sphere of effects; while the intellectual--or soul--world is the sphere of mediation. Thus Christ, the personified higher intellect and soul nature, is called "the Mediator" who, by virtue of His position and power, says: "No man cometh to the Father, but by me."

What the sun is to the solar system, the spirit is to the bodies of man; for his natures, organs, and functions are as planets surrounding the central life (or sun) and living upon its emanations. The solar power in man is divided into three parts, which are termed the threefold human spirit of man. All three of these spiritual natures are said to be radiant and transcendent; united, they form the Divinity in man. Man's threefold lower nature--consisting of his physical organism, his emotional nature, and his mental faculties--reflects the light of his threefold Divinity and bears witness of It in the physical world. Man's three bodies are symbolized by an upright triangle; his threefold spiritual nature by an inverted triangle. These two triangles, when united in the form of a six-pointed star, were called by the Jews "the Star of David," "the Signet of Solomon," and are more commonly known today as "the Star of Zion." These triangles symbolize the spiritual and material universes linked together in the constitution of the human creature, who partakes of both Nature and Divinity. Man's animal nature partakes of the earth; his divine nature of the heavens; his human nature of the mediator.


THE CELESTIAL INHABITANTS OF THE SUN


The Rosicrucians and the Illuminati, describing the angels, archangels, and other celestial creatures, declared that they resembled small suns, being centers of radiant energy surrounded by streamers of Vrilic force. From these outpouring streamers of force is derived the popular belief that angels have wings. These wings are corona-like fans of light, by means of which the celestial creatures propel themselves through the subtle essences of the superphysical worlds.

True mystics are unanimous in their denial of the theory that the angels and archangels are human in form, as so often pictured. A human figure would be utterly useless in the ethereal substances through which they manifest. Science has long debated the probability of the other planers being inhabited. Objections to the idea are based upon the argument that creatures with human organisms could nor possibly exist in the environments of Mars, Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune. This argument fails to take into account Nature's universal law of adjustment to environment. The ancients asserted that life originated from the sun, and that everything when bathed in the light of the solar orb was capable of absorbing the solar life elements and later radiating them as flora and fauna. One philosophical concept regarded the sun as a parent and the planers as embryos still connected to the solar body by means of ethereal umbilical cords which served as channels to convey life and nourishment to the planets.


Some secret orders have taught that the sun was inhabited by a race of creatures with bodies composed of a radiant, spiritual ether not unlike in its constituency the actual glowing ball of the sun itself. The solar heat had no harmful effect upon them, because their organisms were sufficiently refined and sensitized to harmonize with the sun's tremendous vibratory rate. These creatures resemble miniature suns, being a little larger than a dinner plate in size, although some of the more powerful are considerably larger. Their color is the golden white light of the sun, and from them emanate four streamers of Vril. These streamers are often of great length and are in constant motion. A peculiar palpitation is to be noted throughout the structure of the globe and is communicated in the form of ripples to the emanating streamers. The greatest and most luminous of these spheres is the Archangel Michael; and the entire order of solar life, which resemble him and dwell upon the sun, are called by modern Christians "the archangels" or "the spirits of the light.


THE SUN IN ALCHEMICAL SYMBOLOGY


Gold is the metal of the sun and has been considered by many as crystallized sunlight. When gold is mentioned in alchemical tracts, it may be either the metal itself or the celestial orb which is the source, or spirit, of gold. Sulphur because of its fiery nature was also associated with the sun.

As gold was the symbol of spirit and the base metals represented man's lower nature, certain alchemists were called "miners" and were pictured with picks and shovels digging into the earth in search of the precious metal--those finer traits of character buried in the earthiness of materiality and ignorance. The diamond concealed in the heart of the black carbon illustrated the same principle. The Illuminati used a pearl hidden in the shell of an oyster at the bottom of the sea to signify spiritual powers. Thus the seeker after truth became a pearl-fisher: he descended into the sea of material illusion in search of understanding, termed by the initiates "the Pearl of Great Price."

When the alchemists stated that every animate and inanimate thing in the universe contained the seeds of gold, they meant that even the grains of sand possessed a spiritual nature, for gold was the spirit of all things. Concerning these seeds of spiritual gold the following Rosicrucian axiom is significant: "A seed is useless and impotent unless it is put in its appropriate matrix." Franz Hartmann comments on this axiom with these illuminating words: "A soul cannot develop and progress without an appropriate body, because it is the physical body that furnishes the material for its development." (See In the Pronaos of the Temple of Wisdom.)

The purpose of alchemy was not to make something out of nothing but rather to fertilize and nurture the seed which was already present. Its processes did nor actually create gold but rather made the ever-present seed of gold grow and flourish. Everything which exists has a spirit--the seed of Divinity within itself--and regeneration is not the process of attempting to place something where it previously had not existed. Regeneration actually means the unfoldment of the omnipresent Divinity in man, that this Divinity may shine forth as a sun and illumine all with whom it comes in contact.


THE MIDNIGHT SUN


Apuleius said when describing his initiation (vide ante): "At midnight I saw the sun shining with a splendid light." The midnight sun was also part of the mystery of alchemy. It symbolized the spirit in man shining through the darkness of his human organisms. It also referred to the spiritual sun in the solar system, which the mystic could see as well at midnight as at high noon, the material earth bring powerless to obstruct the rays of this Divine orb. The mysterious lights which illuminated the temples of the Egyptian Mysteries during the nocturnal hours were said by some to he reflections of the spiritual sun gathered by the magical powers of the priests. The weird light seen ten miles below the surface of the earth by I-AM-THE-MAN in that remarkable Masonic allegory Etidorhpa (Aphrodite spelt backward) may well refer to the mysterious midnight sun of the ancient rites.

Primitive conceptions concerning the warfare between the principles of Good and Evil were often based upon the alternations of day and night. During the Middle Ages, the practices of black magic were confined to the nocturnal hours; and those who served the Spirit of Evil were called black magicians, while those who served the Spirit of Good were called white magicians. Black and white were associated respectively with night and day, and the endless conflict of light and shadow is alluded to many times in the mythologies of various peoples.

The Egyptian Demon, Typhon, was symbolized as part crocodile and part: hog because these animals are gross and earthy in both appearance and temperament. Since the world began, living things have feared the darkness; those few creatures who use it as a shield for their maneuvers were usually connected with the Spirit of Evil. Consequently cats, bats, toads, and owls are associated with witchcraft. In certain parts of Europe it is still believed that at night black magicians assume the bodies of wolves and roam around destroying. From this notion originated the stories of the werewolves. Serpents, because they lived in the earth, were associated with the Spirit of Darkness. As the battle between Good and Evil centers around the use of the generative forces of Nature, winged serpents represent the regeneration of the animal nature of man or those Great Ones in whom this regeneration is complete. Among the Egyptians the sun's rays are often shown ending in human hands. Masons will find a connection between these hands and the well-known Paw of the Lion which raises all things to life with its grip.


SOLAR COLORS


The theory so long held of three primary and four secondary colors is purely exoteric, for since the earliest periods it has been known that there are seven, and not three, primary colors, the human eye being capable of estimating only three of them. Thus, although green can be made by combining blue and yellow, there is also a true or primary green which is not a compound. This can he proved by breaking up the spectrum with a prism. Helmholtz found that the so-called secondary colors of the spectrum could not be broken up into their supposed primary colors. Thus the orange of the spectrum, if passed through a second prism, does not break up into red and yellow but remains orange.

Consciousness, intelligence, and force are fittingly symbolized by the colors blue, yellow, and red. The therapeutic effects of the colors, moreover, are in harmony with this concept, for blue is a fine, soothing, electrical color; yellow, a vitalizing and refining color; and red, an agitating and heat-giving color. It has also been demonstrated that minerals and plants affect the human constitution according to their colors. Thus a yellow flower generally yields a medicine that affects the constitution in a manner similar to yellow light or the musical tone mi. An orange flower will influence in a manner similar to orange light and, being one of the so-called secondary colors, corresponds either to the tone re or to the chord of do and mi.

The ancients conceived the spirit of man to correspond with the color blue, the mind with yellow, and the body with red. Heaven is therefore blue, earth yellow, and hell--or the underworld--red. The fiery condition of the inferno merely symbolizes the nature of the sphere or plane of force of which it is composed. In the Greek Mysteries the irrational sphere was always considered as red, for it represented that condition in which the consciousness is enslaved by the lusts and passions of the lower nature. In India certain of the gods--usually attributes of Vishnu--are depicted with blue skin to signify their divine and supermundane constitution. According to esoteric philosophy, blue is the true and sacred color of the sun. The apparent orange-yellow shade of this orb is the result of its rays being immersed in the substances of the illusionary world.


In the original symbolism of the Christian Church, colors were of first importance and their use was regulated according to carefully prepared rules. Since the Middle Ages, however, the carelessness with which colors have been employed has resulted in the loss of their deeper emblematic meanings. In its primary aspect, white or silver signified life, purity, innocence, joy, and light; red, the suffering and death of Christ and His saints, and also divine love, blood, and warfare or suffering; blue, the heavenly sphere and the states of godliness and contemplation; yellow or gold, glory, fruitfulness, and goodness; green, fecundity, youthfulness, and prosperity; violet, humility, deep affection, and sorrow; black, death, destruction, and humiliation. In early church art the colors of robes and ornaments also revealed whether a saint had been martyred, as well as the character of the work that he had done to deserve canonization.

In addition to the colors of the spectrum there are a vast number of vibratory color waves, some too low and others too high to be registered by the human optical apparatus. It is appalling to contemplate man's colossal ignorance concerning these vistas of abstract space. As in the past man explored unknown continents, so in the future, armed with curious implements fashioned for the purpose, he will explore these little known fastnesses of light, color, sound, and consciousness.


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THE PYRAMID MYSTERIES

The word pyramid is popularly supposed to be derived from πῦρ, fire, thus signifying that it is the symbolic representation of the One Divine Flame, the life of every creature. John Taylor believes the word pyramid to mean a "measure of wheat, " while C. Piazzi Smyth favors the Coptic meaning, "a division into ten." The initiates of old accepted the pyramid form as the ideal symbol of both the secret doctrine and those institutions established for its dissemination. Both pyramids and mounds are antitypes of the Holy Mountain, or High Place of God, which was believed to stand in the "midst" of the earth. John P. Lundy relates the Great Pyramid to the fabled Olympus, further assuming that its subterranean passages correspond to the tortuous byways of Hades.

The square base of the Pyramid is a constant reminder that the House of Wisdom is firmly founded upon Nature and her immutable laws. "The Gnostics," writes Albert Pike, "claimed that the whole edifice of their science rested on a square whose angles were: Σιγη, Silence; Βυθος, Profundity; Νους, Intelligence; and Αληθεια Truth." (See Morals and Dogma.) The sides of the Great Pyramid face the four cardinal angles, the latter signifying according to Eliphas Levi the extremities of heat and cold (south and north) and the extremities of light and darkness (east and west). The base of the Pyramid further represents the four material elements or substances from the combinations of which the quaternary body of man is formed. From each side of the square there rises a triangle, typifying the threefold divine being enthroned within every quaternary material nature. If each base line be considered a square from which ascends a threefold spiritual power, then the sum of the lines of the four faces (12) and the four hypothetical squares (16) constituting the base is 28, the sacred number of the lower world. If this be added to the three septenaries composing the sun (21), it equals 49, the square of 7 and the number of the universe.


The twelve signs of the zodiac, like the Governors' of the lower worlds, are symbolized by the twelve lines of the four triangles--the faces of the Pyramid. In the midst of each face is one of the beasts of Ezekiel, and the structure as a whole becomes the Cherubim. The three main chambers of the Pyramid are related to the heart, the brain, and the generative system--the spiritual centers of the human constitution. The triangular form of the Pyramid also is similar to the posture assumed by the body during the ancient meditative exercises. The Mysteries taught that the divine energies from the gods descended upon the top of the Pyramid, which was likened to an inverted tree with its branches below and its roots at the apex. From this inverted tree the divine wisdom is disseminated by streaming down the diverging sides and radiating throughout the world.

The size of the capstone of the Great Pyramid cannot be accurately determined, for, while most investigators have assumed that it was once in place, no vestige of it now remains. There is a curious tendency among the builders of great religious edifices to leave their creations unfinished, thereby signifying that God alone is complete. The capstone--if it existed--was itself a miniature pyramid, the apex of which again would be capped by a smaller block of similar shape, and so on ad infinitum. The capstone therefore is the epitome of the entire structure. Thus, the Pyramid may be likened to the universe and the capstone to man. Following the chain of analogy, the mind is the capstone of man, the spirit the capstone of the mind, and God--the epitome of the whole--the capstone of the spirit. As a rough and unfinished block, man is taken from the quarry and by the secret culture of the Mysteries gradually transformed into a trued and perfect pyramidal capstone. The temple is complete only when the initiate himself becomes the living apex through which the divine power is focused into the diverging structure below.


W. Marsham Adams calls the Great Pyramid "the House of the Hidden Places"; such indeed it was, for it represented the inner sanctuary of pre-Egyptian wisdom. By the Egyptians the Great Pyramid was associated with Hermes, the god of wisdom and letters and the Divine Illuminator worshiped through the planet Mercury. Relating Hermes to the Pyramid emphasizes anew the fact that it was in reality the supreme temple of the Invisible and Supreme Deity. The Great Pyramid was not a lighthouse, an observatory, or a tomb, but the first temple of the Mysteries, the first structure erected as a repository for those secret truths which are the certain foundation of all arts and sciences. It was the perfect emblem of the microcosm and the macrocosm and, according to the secret teachings, the tomb of Osiris, the black god of the Nile. Osiris represents a certain manifestation of solar energy, and therefore his house or tomb is emblematic of the universe within which he is entombed and upon the cross of which he is crucified.

Through the mystic passageways and chambers of the Great Pyramid passed the illumined of antiquity. They entered its portals as men; they came forth as gods. It was the place of the "second birth," the "womb of the Mysteries," and wisdom dwelt in it as God dwells in the hearts of men. Somewhere in the depths of its recesses there resided an unknown being who was called "The Initiator," or "The Illustrious One," robed in blue and gold and bearing in his hand the sevenfold key of Eternity. This was the lion-faced hierophant, the Holy One, the Master of Masters, who never left the House of Wisdom and whom no man ever saw save he who had passed through the gates of preparation and purification. It was in these chambers that Plato--he of the broad brow---came face to face with the wisdom of the ages personified in the Master of the Hidden House.


Who was the Master dwelling in the mighty Pyramid, the many rooms of which signified the worlds in space; the Master whom none might behold save those who had been "born again"? He alone fully knew the secret of the Pyramid, but he has departed the way of the wise and the house is empty. The hymns of praise no longer echo in muffled tones through the chambers; the neophyte no longer passes through the elements and wanders among the seven stars; the candidate no longer receives the "Word of Life" from the lips of the Eternal One. Nothing now remains that the eye of man can see but an empty shell--the outer symbol of an inner truth--and men call the House of God a tomb!

The technique of the Mysteries was unfolded by the Sage Illuminator, the Master of the Secret House. The power to know his guardian spirit was revealed to the new initiate; the method of disentangling his material body from. his divine vehicle was explained; and to consummate the magnum opus, there was revealed the Divine Name--the secret and unutterable designation of the Supreme Deity, by the very knowledge of which man and his God are made consciously one. With the giving of the Name, the new initiate became himself a pyramid, within the chambers of whose soul numberless other human beings might also receive spiritual enlightenment.


In the King's Chamber was enacted the drama of the "second death." Here the candidate, after being crucified upon the cross of the solstices and the equinoxes, was buried in the great coffer. There is a profound mystery to the atmosphere and temperature of the King's Chamber: it is of a peculiar deathlike cold which cuts to the marrow of the bone. This room was a doorway between the material world and the transcendental spheres of Nature. While his body lay in the coffer, the soul of the neophyte soared as a human-headed hawk through the celestial realms, there to discover first hand the eternity of Life, Light, and Truth, as well as the illusion of Death, Darkness, and Sin. Thus in one sense the Great Pyramid may be likened to a gate through which the ancient priests permitted a few to pass toward the attainment of individual completion. It is also to be noted incidentally that if the coffer in the King's Chamber be struck, the sound emitted has no counterpart in any known musical scale. This tonal value may have formed part of that combination of circumstances which rendered the King's Chamber an ideal setting for the conferment of the highest degree of the Mysteries.


The modern world knows little of these ancient rites. The scientist and the theologian alike gaze upon the sacred structure, wondering what fundamental urge inspired the herculean labor. If they would but think for a moment, they would realize that there is only one urge in the soul of man capable of supplying the required incentive--namely, the desire to know, to understand, and to exchange the narrowness of human mortality for the greater breadth and scope of divine enlightenment. So men say of the Great Pyramid that it is the most perfect building in the world, the source of weights and measures, the original Noah's Ark, the origin of languages, alphabets,. and scales of temperature and humidity. Few realize, however, that it is the gateway to the Eternal.

Though the modern world may know a million secrets, the ancient world knew one--and that one was greater than the million; for the million secrets breed death, disaster, sorrow, selfishness, lust, and avarice, but the one secret confers life, light, and truth. The time will come when the secret wisdom shall again be the dominating religious and philosophical urge of the world. The day is at hand when the doom of dogma shall be sounded.


The great theological Tower of Babel, with its confusion of tongues, was built of bricks of mud and the mortar of slime. Out of the cold ashes of lifeless creeds, however, shall rise phœnixlike the ancient Mysteries. No other institution has so completely satisfied the religious aspirations of humanity, for since the destruction of the Mysteries there never has been a religious code to which Plato could have subscribed. The unfolding of man's spiritual nature is as much an exact science as astronomy, medicine or jurisprudence. To accomplish this end religions were primarily established; and out of religion have come science, philosophy, and logic as methods whereby this divine purpose might be realized.

The Dying God shall rise again! The secret room in the House of the Hidden Places shall be rediscovered. The Pyramid again shall stand as the ideal emblem of solidarity, inspiration, aspiration, resurrection, and regeneration. As the passing sands of time bury civilization upon civilization beneath their weight, the Pyramid shall remain as the Visible covenant between Eternal Wisdom and the world. The time may yet come when the chants of the illumined shall be heard once more in its ancient passageways and the Master of the Hidden House shall await in the Silent Place for the coming of that man who, casting aside the fallacies of dogma and tenet, seeks simply Truth and will be satisfied with neither substitute nor counterfeit.


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The Zodiac and Its Signs

IT is difficult for this age to estimate correctly the profound effect produced upon the religions, philosophies, and sciences of antiquity by the study of the planets, luminaries, and constellations. Not without adequate reason were the Magi of Persia called the Star Gazers. The Egyptians were honored with a special appellation because of their proficiency in computing the power and motion of the heavenly bodies and their effect upon the destinies of nations and individuals. Ruins of primitive astronomical observatories have been discovered in all parts of the world, although in many cases modern archæologists are unaware of the true purpose for which these structures were erected. While the telescope was unknown to ancient astronomers, they made many remarkable calculations with instruments cut from blocks of granite or pounded from sheets of brass and cop per. In India such instruments are still in use, and they posses a high degree of accuracy. In Jaipur, Rajputana, India, an observatory consisting largely of immense stone sundials is still in operation. The famous Chinese observatory on the wall of Peking consists of immense bronze instruments, including a telescope in the form of a hollow tube without lenses.

The pagans looked upon the stars as living things, capable of influencing the destinies of individuals, nations, and races. That the early Jewish patriarchs believed that the celestial bodies participated in the affairs of men is evident to any student of Biblical literature, as, for example, in the Book of Judges: "They fought from heaven, even the stars in their courses fought against Sisera." The Chaldeans, Phœnicians, Egyptians, Persians, Hindus, and Chinese all had zodiacs that were much alike in general character, and different authorities have credited each of these nations with being the cradle of astrology and astronomy. The Central and North American Indians also had an understanding of the zodiac, but the patterns and numbers of the signs differed in many details from those of the Eastern Hemisphere.


The word zodiac is derived from the Greek ζωδιακός (zodiakos), which means "a circle of animals," or, as some believe, "little animals." It is the name given by the old pagan astronomers to a band of fixed stars about sixteen degrees wide, apparently encircling the earth. Robert Hewitt Brown, 32°, states that the Greek word zodiakos comes from zo-on, meaning "an animal." He adds: "This latter word is compounded directly from the primitive Egyptian radicals, zo, life, and on, a being."

The Greeks, and later other peoples influenced by their culture, divided the band of the zodiac into twelve sections, each being sixteen degrees in width and thirty degrees in length. These divisions were called the Houses of the Zodiac. The sun during its annual pilgrimage passed through each of these in turn, Imaginary creatures were traced in the Star groups bounded by these rectangles; and because most of them were animal--or part animal--in form, they later became known as the Constellations, or Signs, of the Zodiac.

There is a popular theory concerning the origin of the zodiacal creatures to the effect that they were products of the imagination of shepherds, who, watching their flocks at night, occupied their minds by tracing the forms of animals and birds in the heavens. This theory is untenable, unless the "shepherds" be regarded as the shepherd priests of antiquity. It is unlikely that the zodiacal signs were derived from the star groups which they now represent. It is far more probable that the creatures assigned to the twelve houses are symbolic of the qualities and intensity of the sun's power while it occupies different parts of the zodiacal belt.


On this subject Richard Payne Knight writes: "The emblematical meaning, which certain animals were employed to signify, was only some particular property generalized; and, therefore, might easily be invented or discovered by the natural operation of the mind: but the collections of stars, named after certain animals, have no resemblance whatever to those animals; which are therefore merely signs of convention adopted to distinguish certain portions of the heavens, which were probably consecrated to those particular personified attributes, which they respectively represented." (The Symbolical Language of Ancient Art and Mythology.)

Some authorities are of the opinion that the zodiac was originally divided into ten (instead of twelve) houses, or "solar mansions." In early times there were two separate standards--one solar and the other lunar--used for the measurement of the months, years, and seasons. The solar year was composed of ten months of thirty-six days each, and five days sacred to the gods. The lunar year consisted of thirteen months of twenty-eight days each, with one day left over. The solar zodiac at that time consisted often houses of thirty-six degrees each.

The first six signs of the zodiac of twelve signs were regarded as benevolent, because the sun occupied them while traversing the Northern Hemisphere. The 6,000 years during which, according to the Persians, Ahura-Mazda ruled His universe in harmony and peace, were symbolic of these six signs. The second six were considered malevolent, because while the sun was traveling the Southern Hemisphere it was winter with the Greeks, Egyptians, and Persians. Therefore these six months symbolic of the 6,000 years of misery and suffering caused by the evil genius of the Persians, Ahriman, who sought to overthrow the power of Ahura-Mazda.


Those who hold the opinion that before its revision by the Greeks the zodiac consisted of only ten signs adduce evidence to show that Libra (the Scales) was inserted into the zodiac by dividing the constellation of Virgo Scorpio (at that time one sign) into two parts, thus establishing "the balance" at the point of equilibrium between the ascending northern and the descending southern signs. (See The Rosicrucians, Their Rites and Mysteries, by Hargrave Jennings.) On this subject Isaac Myer states: "We think that the Zodiacal constellations were first ten and represented an immense androgenic man or deity; subsequently this was changed, resulting in Scorpio and Virgo and making eleven; after this from Scorpio, Libra, the Balance, was taken, making the present twelve." (The Qabbalah.)

Each year the sun passes entirely around the zodiac and returns to the point from which it started--the vernal equinox--and each year it falls just a little short of making the complete circle of the heavens in the allotted period of time. As a result, it crosses the equator just a little behind the spot in the zodiacal sign where it crossed the previous year. Each sign of the zodiac consists of thirty degrees, and as the sun loses about one degree every seventy two years, it regresses through one entire constellation (or sign) in approximately 2,160 years, and through the entire zodiac in about 25,920 years. (Authorities disagree concerning these figures.) This retrograde motion is called the precession of the equinoxes. This means that in the course of about 25,920 years, which constitute one Great Solar or Platonic Year, each one of the twelve constellations occupies a position at the vernal equinox for nearly 2,160 years, then gives place to the previous sign.


Among the ancients the sun was always symbolized by the figure and nature of the constellation through which it passed at the vernal equinox. For nearly the past 2,000 years the sun has crossed the equator at the vernal equinox in the constellation of Pisces (the Two Fishes). For the 2,160 years before that it crossed through the constellation of Aries (the Ram). Prior to that the vernal equinox was in the sign of Taurus (the Bull). It is probable that the form of the bull and the bull's proclivities were assigned to this constellation because the bull was used by the ancients to plow the fields, and the season set aside for plowing and furrowing corresponded to the time at which the sun reached the segment of the heavens named Taurus.

Albert Pike describes the reverence which the Persians felt for this sign and the method of astrological symbolism in vogue among them, thus: "In Zoroaster's cave of initiation, the Sun and Planets were represented, overhead, in gems and gold, as was also the Zodiac. The Sun appeared, emerging from the back of Taurus. " In the constellation of the Bull are also to be found the "Seven Sisters"--the sacred Pleiades--famous to Freemasonry as the Seven Stars at the upper end of the Sacred Ladder.

In ancient Egypt it was during this period--when the vernal equinox was in the sign of Taurus--that the Bull, Apis, was sacred to the Sun God, who was worshiped through the animal equivalent of the celestial sign which he had impregnated with his presence at the time of its crossing into the Northern Hemisphere. This is the meaning of an ancient saying that the celestial Bull "broke the egg of the year with his horns."


Sampson Arnold Mackey, in his Mythological Astronomy of the Ancients Demonstrated, makes note of two very interesting points concerning the bull in Egyptian symbolism. Mr. Mackey is of the opinion that the motion of the earth that we know as the alternation of the poles has resulted in a great change of relative position of the equator and the zodiacal band. He believes that originally the band of the zodiac was at right angles to the equator, with the sign of Cancer opposite the north pole and the sign of Capricorn opposite the south pole. It is possible that the Orphic symbol of the serpent twisted around the egg attempts to show the motion of the sun in relation to the earth under such conditions. Mr. Mackey advances the Labyrinth of Crete, the name Abraxas, and the magic formula, abracadabra, among other things, to substantiate his theory. Concerning abracadabra he states:

"But the slow progressive disappearance of the Bull is most happily commemorated in the vanishing series of letters so emphatically expressive of the great astronomical fact. For ABRACADABRA is The Bull, the only Bull. The ancient sentence split into its component parts stands thus: Ab'r-achad-ab'ra, i. e., Ab'r, the Bull; achad, the only, &c.--Achad is one of the names of the Sun, given him in consequence of his Shining ALONE,--he is the ONLY Star to be seen when he is seen--the remaining ab'ra, makes the whole to be, The Bull, the only Bull; while the repetition of the name omitting a letter, till all is gone, is the most simple, yet the most satisfactory method that could have been devised to preserve the memory of the fact; and the name of Sorapis, or Serapis, given to the Bull at the above ceremony puts it beyond all doubt. * * * This word (Abracadabra) disappears in eleven decreasing stages; as in the figure. And what is very remarkable, a body with three heads is folded up by a Serpent with eleven Coils, and placed by Sorapis: and the eleven Volves of the Serpent form a triangle similar to that formed by the ELEVEN diminishing lines of the abracadabra."


Nearly every religion of the world shows traces of astrological influence. The Old Testament of the Jews, its writings overshadowed by Egyptian culture, is a mass of astrological and astronomical allegories. Nearly all the mythology of Greece and Rome may be traced in star groups. Some writers are of the opinion that the original twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet were derived from groups of stars, and that the starry handwriting on the wall of the heavens referred to words spelt out, with fixed stars for consonants, and the planets, or luminaries, for vowels. These, coming into ever-different combinations, spelt words which, when properly read, foretold future events.

As the zodiacal band marks the pathway of the sun through the constellations, it results in the phenomena of the seasons. The ancient systems of measuring the year were based upon the equinoxes and the solstices. The year always began with the vernal equinox, celebrated March 21 with rejoicing to mark the moment when the sun crossed the equator northward up the zodiacal arc. The summer solstice was celebrated when the sun reached its most northerly position, and the day appointed was June 21. After that time the sun began to descend toward the equator, which it recrossed southbound at the autumnal equinox, September 21. The sun reached its most southerly position at the winter solstice, December 21.


Four of the signs of the zodiac have been permanently dedicated to the equinoxes and the solstices; and, while the signs no longer correspond with the ancient constellations to which they were assigned, and from which they secured their names, they are accepted by modern astronomers as a basis of calculation. The vernal equinox is therefore said to occur in the constellation of Aries (the Ram). It is fitting that of all beasts a Ram should be placed at the head of the heavenly flock forming the zodiacal band. Centuries before the Christian Era, the pagans revered this constellation. Godfrey Higgins states: "This constellation was called the 'Lamb of God.' He was also called the 'Savior,' and was said to save mankind from their sins. He was always honored with the appellation of 'Dominus' or 'Lord.' He was called the 'Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world.' The devotees addressing him in their litany, constantly repeated the words, 'O Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world, have mercy upon us. Grant us Thy peace."' Therefore, the Lamb of God is a title given to the sun, who is said to be reborn every year in the Northern Hemisphere in the sign of the Ram, although, due to the existing discrepancy between the signs of the zodiac and the actual star groups, it actually rises in the sign of Pisces.

The summer solstice is regarded as occurring in Cancer (the Crab), which the Egyptians called the scarab--a beetle of the family Lamellicornes, the head of the insect kingdom, and sacred to the Egyptians as the symbol of Eternal Life. It is evident that the constellation of the Crab is represented by this peculiar creature because the sun, after passing through this house, proceeds to walk backwards, or descend the zodiacal arc. Cancer is the symbol of generation, for it is the house of the Moon, the great Mother of all things and the patroness of the life forces of Nature. Diana, the moon goddess of the Greeks, is called the Mother of the World. Concerning the worship of the feminine or maternal principle, Richard Payne Knight writes:


"By attracting or heaving the waters of the ocean, she naturally appeared to be the sovereign of humidity; and by seeming to operate so powerfully upon the constitutions of women, she equally appeared to be the patroness and regulatress of nutrition and passive generation: whence she is said to have received her nymphs, or subordinate personifications, from the ocean; and is often represented by the symbol of the sea crab, an animal that has the property of spontaneously detaching from its own body any limb that has been hurt or mutilated, and reproducing another in its place." (The Symbolical Language of Ancient Art and Mythology.) This water sign, being symbolic of the maternal principle of Nature, and recognized by the pagans as the origin of all life, was a natural and consistent domicile of the moon.

The autumnal equinox apparently occurs in the constellation of Libra (the Balances). The scales tipped and the solar globe began its pilgrimage toward the house of winter. The constellation of the Scales was placed in the zodiac to symbolize the power of choice, by means of which man may weigh one problem against another. Millions of years ago, when the human race was in the making, man was like the angels, who knew neither good nor evil. He fell into the state of the knowledge of good and evil when the gods gave him the seed for the mental nature. From man's mental reactions to his environments he distills the product of experience, which then aids him to regain his lost position plus an individualized intelligence. Paracelsus said: "The body comes from the elements, the soul from the stars, and the spirit from God. All that the intellect can conceive of comes from the stars [the spirits of the stars, rather than the material constellations]."


The constellation of Capricorn, in which the winter solstice theoretically takes place, was called The House of Death, for in winter all life in the Northern Hemisphere is at its lowest ebb. Capricorn is a composite creature, with the head and upper body of a goat and the tail of a fish. In this constellation the sun is least powerful in the Northern Hemisphere, and after passing through this constellation it immediately begins to increase. Hence the Greeks said that Jupiter (a name of the Sun God) was suckled by a goat. A new and different sidelight on zodiacal symbolism is supplied by John Cole, in A Treatise on the Circular Zodiac of Tentyra, in Egypt: "The symbol therefore of the Goat rising from the body of a fish [Capricorn], represents with the greatest propriety the mountainous buildings of Babylon rising out of its low and marshy situation; the two horns of the Goat being emblematical of the two towns, Nineveh and Babylon, the former built on the Tigris, the latter on the Euphrates; but both subjected to one sovereignty."

The period of 2,160 years required for the regression of the sun through one of the zodiacal constellations is often termed an age. According to this system, the age secured its name from the sign through which the sun passes year after year as it crosses the equator at the vernal equinox. From this arrangement are derived the terms The Taurian Age, The Aryan Age, The Piscean Age, and The Aquarian Age. During these periods, or ages, religious worship takes the form of the appropriate celestial sign--that which the sun is said to assume as a personality in the same manner that a spirit assumes a body. These twelve signs are the jewels of his breastplate and his light shines forth from them, one after the other.


From a consideration of this system, it is readily understood why certain religious symbols were adopted during different ages of the earth's history; for during the 2,160 years the sun was in the constellation of Taurus, it is said that the Solar Deity assumed the body of Apis, and the Bull became sacred to Osiris. (For details concerning the astrological ages as related to Biblical symbolism, see The Message of the Stars by Max and Augusta Foss Heindel.) During the Aryan Age the Lamb was held sacred and the priests were called shepherds. Sheep and goats were sacrificed upon the altars, and a scapegoat was appointed to bear the sins of Israel.

During the Age of Pisces, the Fish was the symbol of divinity and the Sun God fed the multitude with two small fishes. The frontispiece of Inman's Ancient Faiths shows the goddess Isis with a fish on her head; and the Indian Savior God, Christna, in one of his incarnations was cast from the mouth of a fish.

Not only is Jesus often referred to as the Fisher of Men, but as John P. Lundy writes: "The word Fish is an abbreviation of this whole title, Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior, and Cross; or as St. Augustine expresses it, 'If you join together the initial letters of the five Greek words, Ἰησοῦς Χριστος Θεου Υιὸσ Σωτήρ, which mean Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior, they will make ΙΧΘΥΣ, Fish, in which word Christ is mystically understood, because He was able to live in the abyss of this mortality as in the depth of waters, that is, without sin.'" (Monumental Christianity.) Many Christians observe Friday, which is sacred to the Virgin (Venus), upon which day they shall eat fish and not meat. The sign of the fish was one of the earliest symbols of Christianity; and when drawn upon the sand, it informed one Christian that another of the same faith was near.


Aquarius is called the Sign of the Water Bearer, or the man with a jug of water on his shoulder mentioned in the New Testament. This is sometimes shown as an angelic figure, supposedly androgynous, either pouring water from an urn or carrying the vessel upon its shoulder. Among Oriental peoples, a water vessel alone is often used. Edward Upham, in his History and Doctrine of Budhism, describes Aquarius as being "in the shape of a pot and of a color between blue and yellow; this Sign is the single house of Saturn."

When Herschel discovered the planet Uranus (sometimes called by the name of its discoverer), the second half of the sign of Aquarius was allotted to this added member of the planetary family. The water pouring from the urn of Aquarius under the name of "the waters of eternal life" appears many times in symbolism. So it is with all the signs. Thus the sun in its path controls whatever form of worship man offers to the Supreme Deity.

There are two distinct systems of astrological philosophy. One of them, the Ptolemaic, is geocentric: the earth is considered the center of the solar system, around which the sun, moon, and planets revolve. Astronomically, the geocentric system is incorrect; but for thousands of years it has proved its accuracy when applied to the material nature of earthly things. A careful consideration of the writings of the great occultists and a study of their diagrams reveal the fact that many of them were acquainted with another method of arranging the heavenly bodies.


The other system of astrological philosophy is called the heliocentric. This posits the sun in the center of the solar system, where it naturally belongs, with the planets and their moons revolving about it. The great difficulty, however, with the heliocentric system is that, being comparatively new, there has not been sufficient time to experiment successfully and catalogue the effects of its various aspects and relationships. Geocentric astrology, as its name implies, is confined to the earthy side of nature, while heliocentric astrology may be used to analyze the higher intellectual and spiritual faculties of man.

The important point to be remembered is that when the sun was said to be in a certain sign of the zodiac, the ancients really meant that the sun occupied the opposite sign and cast its long ray into the house in which they enthroned it. Therefore, when it is said that the sun is in Taurus, it means (astronomically) that the sun is in the sign opposite to Taurus, which is Scorpio. This resulted in two distinct schools of philosophy: one geocentric and exoteric, the other heliocentric and esoteric. While the ignorant multitudes worshiped the house of the sun's reflection, which in the case described would be the Bull, the wise revered the house of the sun's actual dwelling, which would be the Scorpion, or the Serpent, the symbol of the concealed spiritual mystery. This sign has three different symbols. The most common is that of a Scorpion, who was called by the ancients the backbiter, being the symbol of deceit and perversion; the second (and less common) form of the sign is a Serpent, often used by the ancients to symbolize wisdom.


Probably the rarest form of Scorpio is that of an Eagle. The arrangement of the stars of the constellation bears as much resemblance to a flying bird as to a scorpion. Scorpio, being the sign of occult initiation, the flying eagle--the king of birds--represents the highest and most spiritual type of Scorpio, in which it transcends the venomous insect of the earth. As Scorpio and Taurus are opposite each other in the zodiac, their symbolism is often closely intermingled. The Hon. E. M. Plunket, in Ancient Calendars and Constellations, says: "The Scorpion (the constellation Scorpio of the Zodiac opposed to Taurus) joins with Mithras in his attack upon the Bull, and always the genii of the spring and autumn equinoxes are present in joyous and mournful attitudes."

The Egyptians, the Assyrians, and the Babylonians, who knew the sun as a Bull, called the zodiac a series of furrows, through which the great celestial Ox dragged the plow of the sun. Hence the populace offered up sacrifice and led through the streets magnificent steers, bedecked with flowers and surrounded with priests, dancing girls of the temple, and musicians. The philosophic elect did not participate in these idolatrous ceremonials, but advocated them as most suitable for the types of mind composing the mass of the population. These few possessed a far deeper understanding, as the Serpent of Scorpio upon their foreheads--the Uræus--bore witness.


The sun is often symbolized with its rays in the form of a shaggy mane. Concerning the Masonic significance of Leo, Robert Hewitt Brown, 32°, has written: "On the 21st of June, when the sun arrives at the summer solstice, the constellation Leo--being but 30° in advance of the sun--appears to be leading the way, and to aid by his powerful paw in lifting the sun up to the summit of the zodiacal arch. * * * This visible connection between the constellation Leo and the return of the sun to his place of power and glory, at the summit of the Royal Arch of heaven, was the principal reason why that constellation was held in such high esteem and reverence by the ancients. The astrologers distinguished Leo as the 'sole house of the sun,' and taught that the world was created when the sun was in that sign. 'The lion was adored in the East and the West by the Egyptians and the Mexicans. The chief Druid of Britain was styled a lion.'" (Stellar Theology and Masonic Astronomy.) When the Aquarian Age is thoroughly established, the sun will be in Leo, as will be noted from the explanation previously given in this chapter regarding the distinction between geocentric and heliocentric astrology. Then, indeed, will the secret religions of the world include once more the raising to initiation by the Grip of the Lion's Paw. (Lazarus will come forth.)



The antiquity of the zodiac is much in dispute. To contend that it originated but a mere few thousand years before the Christian Era is a colossal mistake on the part of those who have sought to compile data, concerning its origin. The zodiac necessarily must be ancient enough to go backward to that period when its signs and symbols coincided exactly with the positions of the constellations whose various creatures in their natural functions exemplified the outstanding features of the sun's activity during each of the twelve months. One author, after many years of deep study on the subject, believed man's concept of the zodiac to be at least five million years old. In all probability it is one of the many things for which the modem world is indebted to the Atlantean or the Lemurian civilizations. About ten thousand years before the Christian Era there was a period of many ages when knowledge of every kind was suppressed, tablets destroyed, monuments torn down, and every vestige of available material concerning previous civilizations completely obliterated. Only a few copper knives, some arrowheads, and crude carvings on the walls of caves bear mute witness of those civilizations which preceded this age of destruction. Here and there a few gigantic structures have remained which, like the strange monoliths on Easter Island, are evidence of lost arts and sciences and lost races. The human race is exceedingly old. Modern science counts its age in tens of thousands of years; occultism, in tens of millions. There is an old saying that "Mother Earth has shaken many civilizations from her back," and it is not beyond reason that the principles of astrology and astronomy were evolved millions of years before the first white man appeared.


The occultists of the ancient world had a most remarkable understanding of the principle of evolution. They recognized all life as being in various stages of becoming. They believed that grains of sand were in the process of becoming human in consciousness but not necessarily in form; that human creatures were in the process of becoming planets; that planets were in the process of becoming solar systems; and that solar systems were in the process of becoming cosmic chains; and so on ad infinitum. One of the stages between the solar system and the cosmic chain was called the zodiac; therefore they taught that at a certain time a solar system breaks up into a zodiac. The house of the zodiac become the thrones for twelve Celestial Hierarchies, or as certain of the ancients state, ten Divine Orders. Pythagoras taught that 10, or the unit of the decimal system, was the most perfect of all numbers, and he symbolized the number ten by the lesser tetractys, an arrangement of ten dots in the form of an upright triangle.


The early star gazers, after dividing the zodiac into its houses, appointed the three brightest scars in each constellation to be the joint rulers of that house. Then they divided the house into three sections of ten degrees each, which they called decans. These, in turn, were divided in half, resulting in the breaking up of the zodiac into seventy-two duodecans of five degrees each. Over each of these duodecans the Hebrews placed a celestial intelligence, or angel, and from this system, has resulted the Qabbalistic arrangement of the seventy-two sacred names, which correspond to the seventy-two flowers, knops, and almonds upon the seven-branched Candlestick of the Tabernacle, and the seventy-two men who were chosen from the Twelve Tribes to represent Israel.

The only two signs not already mentioned are Gemini and Sagittarius. The constellation of Gemini is generally represented as two small children, who, according to the ancients, were born out of eggs, possibly the ones that the Bull broke with his horns. The stories concerning Castor and Pollux, and Romulus and Remus, may be the result of amplifying the myths of these celestial Twins. The symbols of Gemini have passed through many modifications. The one used by the Arabians was the peacock. Two of the important stars in the constellation of Gemini still bear the names of Castor and Pollux. The sign of Gemini is supposed to have been the patron of phallic worship, and the two obelisks, or pillars, in front of temples and churches convey the same symbolism as the Twins.

The sign of Sagittarius consists of what the ancient Greeks called a centaur--a composite creature, the lower half of whose body was in the form of a horse, while the upper half was human. The centaur is generally shown with a bow and arrow in his hands, aiming a shaft far off into the stars. Hence Sagittarius stands for two distinct principles: first, it represents the spiritual evolution of man, for the human form is rising from the body of the beast; secondly, it is the symbol of aspiration and ambition, for as the centaur aims his arrow at the stars, so every human creature aims at a higher mark than he can reach.


Albert Churchward, in The Signs and Symbols of Primordial Man, sums up the influence of the zodiac upon religious symbolism in the following words: "The division here [is] in twelve parts, the twelve signs of the Zodiac, twelve tribes of Israel, twelve gates of heaven mentioned in Revelation, and twelve entrances or portals to be passed through in the Great Pyramid, before finally reaching the highest degree, and twelve Apostles in the Christian doctrines, and the twelve original and perfect points in Masonry."

The ancients believed that the theory of man's being made in the image of God was to be understood literally. They maintained that the universe was a great organism not unlike the human body, and that every phase and function of the Universal Body had a correspondence in man. The most precious Key to Wisdom that the priests communicated to the new initiates was what they termed the law of analogy. Therefore, to the ancients, the study of the stars was a sacred science, for they saw in the movements of the celestial bodies the ever-present activity of the Infinite Father.

The Pythagoreans were often undeservedly criticized for promulgating the so-called doctrine of metempsychosis, or the transmigration of souls. This concept as circulated among the uninitiated was merely a blind, however, to conceal a sacred truth. Greek mystics believed that the spiritual nature of man descended into material existence from the Milky Way--the seed ground of souls--through one of the twelve gates of the great zodiacal band. The spiritual nature was therefore said to incarnate in the form of the symbolic creature created by Magian star gazers to represent the various zodiacal constellations. If the spirit incarnated through the sign of Aries, it was said to be born in the body of a ram; if in Taurus, in the body of the celestial bull. All human beings were thus symbolized by twelve mysterious creatures through the natures of which they were able to incarnate into the material world. The theory of transmigration was not applicable to the visible material body of man, but rather to the invisible immaterial spirit wandering along the pathway of the stars and sequentially assuming in the course of evolution the forms of the sacred zodiacal animals.


In the Third Book of the Mathesis of Julius Firmicus Maternus appears the following extract concerning the positions of the heavenly bodies at the time of the establishment of the inferior universe: "According to Æsculapius, therefore, and Anubius, to whom especially the divinity Mercury committed the secrets of the astrological science, the geniture of the world is as follows: They constituted the Sun in the 15th part of Leo, the Moon in the 15th part of Cancer, Saturn in the 15th part of Capricorn, Jupiter in the 15th part of Sagittary, Mars in the 15th part of Scorpio, Venus in the 15th part of Libra, Mercury in the 15th part of Virgo, and the Horoscope in the 15th part of Cancer. Conformably to this geniture, therefore, to these conditions of the stars, and the testimonies which they adduce in confirmation of this geniture, they are of opinion that the destinies of men, also, are disposed in accordance with the above arrangement, as maybe learnt from that book of Æsculapius which is called Μυριογενεσις, (i.e. Ten Thousand, or an innumerable multitude of Genitures) in order that nothing in the several genitures of men may be found to be discordant with the above-mentioned geniture of the world." The seven ages of man are under the control of the planets in the following order: infancy, the moon; childhood, Mercury; adolescence, Venus; maturity, the sun; middle age, Mars; advanced age, Jupiter; and decrepitude and dissolution, Saturn.



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June - The Month of Juno

The month of June is probably named after Juno, the wife of Jupiter, and queen of the gods. It was held sacred to her, and was thought by the Romans to be the luckiest month for marriage, since Juno was the Goddess of Marriage. Wherever the goddess went she was attended by her messenger Iris (the Rainbow), who journeyed so quickly through the air that she was seldom seen, but after she had passed there was often left in the sky the radiant trail of her highly-coloured robe.

Juno is always represented as a tall, beautiful woman, wearing a crown and bearing a sceptre in her hand, and often she is shown with a peacock at her side, since that bird was sacred to her.

A story is told of one of her servants, Argus, who had a hundred eyes, only a few of which he closed at a time. Juno set him to watch over a cow which Jupiter wished to steal, for it was really a beautiful girl named Io, whom Jupiter had transformed. Mercury was sent by Jupiter to carry off Io, and by telling long and wearisome stories to Argus at last succeeded in lulling him into so deep a sleep that he closed all his eyes. The god then seized Argus's own sword and cut off his head. Juno was very sad at the loss of her servant, and gathering up his hundred eyes scattered them over the tail of the peacock, her favourite bird.


Juno was of a very jealous disposition, and when angered brought all the misfortune she possibly could on the one who had offended her. At a wedding-feast at which the gods and goddesses were present, Eris, the Goddess of Discord, or Quarrelling, suddenly appeared. She had not been invited because of her evil nature, and in order to have her revenge, she threw on to the table a golden apple bearing the inscription, "To the fairest". A quarrel at once arose as to whom the apple should be given, for it was claimed by Juno, the Queen of Heaven, Minerva, the Goddess of Wisdom, and Venus, the Goddess of Beauty. Being unable to decide among themselves, they determined to appoint as judge a shepherd named Paris, who was really the son of the King of Troy. The three goddesses appeared before him on a mountain top, and each in turn tried to persuade him by the promise of a great reward. Minerva offered him wisdom and knowledge, Juno offered him wealth and power, while Venus "drawing nigh, Half-whispered in his ear, 'I promise thee The fairest and most loving wife in Greece'".


Paris at once gave the apple to Venus, and thus angered Juno and Minerva, who determined to punish him whenever all opportunity occurred. This they were soon able to do, for Paris, prompted by Venus, carried off Helen, the most beautiful woman in all Greece, and brought her to his own city of Troy. This led to the Trojan War, which we have mentioned. The Trojans who made their escape from the city were persecuted by Juno, who brought them into many terrible dangers.

Juno, though jealous and unforgiving, gave ungrudging help to those whom she favoured, and an example of this is seen in the story of Jason and the Golden Fleece. When Jason was a child, his father Aeson, had been driven from his kingdom by his brother Pelias, and Jason, as soon as he reached manhood, determined to avenge his father. Accordingly he set out for the court of Pelias, and soon came to a stream much swollen by floods. Knowing no fear, he was about to try to ford the stream, when he saw an old woman on the bank gazing in despair at the foaming waters. He at once offered to help her by taking her on his back, and in spite of the swift stream and his heavy load, succeeded in getting safely across. 


He lowered the old woman gently to the ground, and was greatly annoyed to find that he had lost one of his sandals in the stream. He turned to bid farewell to the old woman, when she was suddenly transformed into the goddess Juno. Jason begged for her help and protection, which Juno at once promised, and the goddess then vanished. Jason then resumed his journey in all haste, and entering his native city, found Pelias in a temple sacrificing to the gods. He pressed forward through the crowd until he stood close to Pelias, who at length caught sight of this stranger who seemed anxious to speak to him. Fear at once filled his heart, for he remembered that it had been foretold that he should be overthrown by a man who came to him wearing only one sandal. Jason stepped forward and boldly claimed the throne for his father, and Pelias, disguising his fear and anger, invited him to his palace, where they could decide the matter. During the banquet which followed, Jason heard the story of Phrixus and Helle, two children who had escaped from their cruel stepmother on a winged ram with a golden fleece, which bore them far away from their home. As they passed over the sea, the girl Helle fell from the ram's back into a part of the sea ever since known as the Hellespont (now the Dardanelles). Phrixus reached Colchis, at the eastern end of the Black Sea, in safety, and there sacrificed the ram to the gods and hung its golden fleece on a tree which stood in a poisonous wood and was guarded by a serpent. The cunning Pelias dared Jason to try to win the Golden Fleece, hoping that thus he would be rid of him for ever. Jason in his excitement forgot the crime which he had come to avenge, and recklessly promised to bring the fleece to Pelias. With the help of Juno, he gathered together a number of heroes, and this famous band, called the Argonauts from the name of their ship the Argo, set out for Colchis. 


Arriving there after many adventures, they sought the king and told him of their errand. The king, however, was unwilliiig to part with the fleece, and said that Jason must first catch two wild bulls, which breathed fire and had hoofs of brass, harness them to a plough, and make them plough a field; then he was to sow the field with serpents' teeth, from which would spring up armed men whom he must conquer, and finally he was to kill the serpent which guarded the fleece. Jason did not lose heart when he heard these terrible conditions, but returned to his ship to think out how he might, fulfil them. On his way to the shore he met the king's daughter Medea, who possessed magic powers. She had fallen in love with Jason, and she told him how he could perform the tasks her father had set. The next day Jason, relying on Medea's help, faced the bulls without fear, seized them by the horns, and, after a great struggle, harnessed them to a plough. As soon as he had ploughed the field he sowed the serpents' teeth, and when the armed men sprang up on all sides he threw his helmet amongst them. The warriors thought that they had been struck by one of their own number, with the result that they fell upon each other and fought until they all lay dead on the ground. Medea then led Jason to the tree to which the fleece was fastened, and soothing the terrible serpent by her magic, enabled Jason to cut off its head. He quickly snatched the Golden Fleece from the tree, and with Medea hastened to the shore, whence they set sail in triumph. They wandered far and suffered many misfortunes, but through Juno's help they at last reached their native land. Jason compelled Pelias to give up the kingdom to Aeson, who was now an old man. Medea, however, in some strange way was able to restore Aeson to his youth and strength, and Pelius' daughters, when they heard of this, asked her how they might do the same for their father. Medea, seeing her opportunity, gave them false instructions, which they followed, only to find that instead of making their father young again they had killed him.


This month of June was called by the Angles and Saxons the "dry month", and sometimes the "earlier mild month"--July being the second mild month.

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The Esoteric Theory of Breath

The Science of Breath, like many other teachings, has its esoteric or inner phase, as well as its exoteric or external. The physiological phase may be termed the outer or exoteric side of the subject, and the phase which we will now consider may be termed its esoteric or inner side. Occultists, in all ages and lands, have always taught, usually secretly to a few followers, that there was to be found in the air a substance or principle from which all activity, vitality and life was derived. They differed in their terms and names for this force, as well as in the details of the theory, but the main principle is to be found in all occult teachings and philosophies, and has for centuries formed a portion of the teachings of the Oriental Yogis.


In order to avoid misconceptions arising from the various theories regarding this great principle, which theories are usually attached to some name given the principle, we, in this work, will speak of the principle as "Prana," this word being the Sancrit term meaning "Absolute Energy." Many occult authorities teach that the principle which the Hindus term "Prana" is the universal principle of energy or force, and that all energy or force is derived from that principle, or, rather, is a particular form of manifestation of that principle. These theories do not concern us in the consideration of the subject matter of this work, and we will therefore confine ourselves to an understanding of prana as the principle of energy exhibited in all living things, which distinguishes them from a lifeless thing. We may consider it as the active principle of life—Vital Force, if you please. It is found in all forms of life, from the amoeba to man—from the most elementary form of plant life to the highest form of animal life. Prana is all pervading. It is found in all things having life, and as the occult philosophy teaches that life is in all things—in every atom—the apparent lifelessness of some things being only a lesser degree of manifestation, we may understand their teachings that prana is everywhere, in everything. Prana must not be confounded with the Ego—that bit of Divine Spirit in every soul, around which clusters matter and energy. Prana is merely a form of energy used by the Ego in its material manifestation. When the Ego leaves the body, the prana, being no longer under its control, responds only to the orders of the individual atoms, or groups of atoms, forming the body, and as the body disintegrates and is resolved to its original elements, each atom takes with it sufficient prana to enable it to form new combinations, the unused prana returning to the great universal storehouse from which it came. With the Ego in control, cohesion exists and the atoms are held together by the Will of the Ego.


Prana is the name by which we designate a universal principle, which principle is the essence of all motion, force or energy, whether manifested in gravitation, electricity, the revolution of the planets, and all forms of life, from the highest to the lowest. It may be called the soul of Force and Energy in all their forms, and that principle which, operating in a certain way, causes that form of activity which accompanies Life.

This great principle is in all forms of matter, and yet it is not matter. It is in the air, but it is not the air nor one of its chemical constituents. Animal and plant life breathe it in with the air, and yet if the air contained it not they would die even though they might be filled with air. It is taken up by the system along with the oxygen, and yet is not the oxygen. The Hebrew writer of the book of Genesis knew the difference between the atmospheric air and the mysterious and potent principle contained within it. He speaks of neshemet ruach chayim, which, translated, means "the breath of the spirit of life." In the Hebrew neshemet means the ordinary breath of air, and chayim means life or lives, while the word ruach means the "spirit of life," which occultists claim is the same principle which we speak of as Prana.


Prana is in the atmospheric air, but it is also elsewhere, and it penetrates where the air cannot reach. The oxygen in the air plays an important part in sustaining animal life, and the carbon plays a similar part with plant life, but Prana has its own distinct part to play in the manifestation of life, aside from the physiological functions.

We are constantly inhaling the air charged with prana, and are as constantly extracting the latter from the air and appropriating it to our uses. Prana is found in its freest state in the atmospheric air, which when fresh is fairly charged with it, and we draw it to us more easily from the air than from any other source. In ordinary breathing we absorb and extract a normal supply of prana, but by controlled and regulated breathing (generally known as Yogi breathing) we are enabled to extract a greater supply, which is stored away in the brain and nerve centers, to be used when necessary. We may store away prana, just as the storage battery stores away electricity. The many powers attributed to advanced occultists is due largely to their knowledge of this fact and their intelligent use of this stored-up energy. The Yogis know that by certain forms of breathing they establish certain relations with the supply of prana and may draw on the same for what they require. Not only do they strengthen all parts of their body in this way, but the brain itself may receive increased energy from the same source, and latent faculties be developed and psychic powers attained. One who has mastered the science of storing away prana, either consciously or unconsciously, often radiates vitality and strength which is felt by those coming in contact with him, and such a person may impart this strength to others, and give them increased vitality and health. What is called "magnetic healing" is performed in this way, although many practitioners are not aware of the source of their power.


Western scientists have been dimly aware of this great principle with which the air is charged, but finding that they could find no chemical trace of it, or make it register on any of their instruments, they have generally treated the Oriental theory with disdain. They could not explain this principle, and so denied it. They seem, however, to recognize that the air in certain places possesses a greater amount of "something" and sick people are directed by their physicians to seek such places in hopes of regaining lost health.

The oxygen in the air is appropriated by the blood and is made use of by the circulatory system. The prana in the air is appropriated by the nervous system and is used in its work. And as the oxygenated blood is carried to all parts of the system, building up and replenishing, so is the prana carried to all parts of the nervous system, adding strength and vitality. If we think of prana as being the active principle of what we call "vitality," we will be able to form a much clearer idea of what an important part it plays in our lives. Just as in the oxygen in the blood used up by the wants of the system, so the supply of prana taken up by the nervous system is exhausted by our thinking, willing, acting, etc., and in consequence constant replenishing is necessary. Every thought, every act, every effort of the will, every motion of a muscle, uses up a certain amount of what we call nerve force, which is really a form of prana. To move a muscle the brain sends out an impulse over the nerves, and the muscle contracts, and so much prana is expended. When it is remembered that the greater portion of prana acquired by man comes to him from the air inhaled, the importance of proper breathing is readily understood.



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Magic

“Magic may be defined as the use of some form of ceremonial, ranging from the simple mantram or spell to elaborate rituals of which the Mass of the Church and the ceremonies of the Freemason are examples. These are two representative types of magic, whatever their exponents may like to say to the contrary.”


Dion Fortune, The Training & Work of an Initiate

 

“Nature is a magician, every plant, animal, and every man is a magician, who uses his powers unconsciously and instinctively to build up his own organism; or, in other words, every living being is an organism in which the magical power of the spirit in nature acts; and if a man should attain the knowledge how to control this power of life, and to employ it consciously, instead of merely submitting unconsciously to its influence, then he would be a magician, and could control the processes of life in his own organism, and perhaps in that of other beings.”


Franz Hartmann, M.D. Magic: White and Black

 

“…of all hindrances to Magical action, the very greatest and most fatal is unbelief, for it checks and stops the action of the Will. Even in the commonest natural operations we see this. No child could learn to walk, no student could assimilate the formulas of any science, were the impracticability of so doing the first thing in his mind.”


MacGregor Mathers, The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage

 

“Magic is the art of manipulating the unseen forces of nature […] A white magician is one who is laboring to gain the confidence of the powers that be, and to prove, through the purity of his life and the sincerity of his motive, his worthiness to be entrusted with the great arcana […] A black magician is one who seeks to gain authority over spiritual powers by means of force rather than by merit. In other words, he is trying to storm the gates of heaven; he is one who is seeking spiritual power and occult dominion with an ulterior motive. […] The black magician’s motto is “might is right (survival of the fittest.) The white magician’s motto is: “right is might” (survival of all.)


Manly P. Hall, Magic

 

“By means of the traditional Theurgic techniques it is possible to contact consciously this (astral) plane, to experience its life and influence, converse with its elemental and angelic inhabitants so-called, and return here to normal consciousness with complete awareness and memory of that experience. This, naturally requires training. But so does every department of science. Intensive preparation is demanded to fit one for critical observation, to provide one with the researches of one’s predecessors in that realm. No less should be expected of Magic…”


Israel Regardie, The Art and Meaning of Magic

 

“What would be a world without the magic power of love of beauty and harmony? How would a world look if made after a pattern furnished by modern science? A world in which the universal truth were not recognised could be nothing else but a world full of maniacs and filled with hallucinations. In such a world art and poetry could not exist, justice would become a convenience, honesty be equivalent with imbecility, to be truthful would be to be foolish, and the idol of “Self” the only god worthy of any consideration.”


Franz Hartmann, M.D. Magic: White and Black

 

“The path of knowledge is that of the occultist and the sage; that of love is that of the mystic and the saint. The head or heart approach is not dependent upon the ray, for both ways must be known; the mystic must become the occultist; the white occultists has been the saintly mystic. True knowledge is intelligent love, for it is the blending of the intellect and the devotion. Unity is sensed in the heart; its intelligent application to life has to be worked out through knowledge.”


Alice A. Bailey, A Treatise on White Magic, page 120

 

“…when I speak here of Magic I have reference to the Divine Theurgy praised and reverenced by antiquity. It is of a quest spiritual and divine that I write; a task of self-creation and reintegration, the bringing into human life of something eternal and enduring.[…] The result which the Magician above all else desires to accomplish is a spiritual reconstruction of his own conscious universe and incidentally that of all mankind, the greatest of all conceivable changes. The techniques of Magic is one by which the soul flies, straight as an arrow impelled from a taut bow, to serenity, to a profound and impenetrable repose.”


Israel Regardie, The Tree of Life

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Alchemy

“Alchemy is also called Hermeticism. Hermes, from the mythical standpoint, is the Egyptian God both of Wisdom and Magic–which concepts include therapeutics and physical science as then it was known. All these subjects may, therefore claim just inclusion within the scope of the significance of the terms Alchemy and Hermetic subjects.”


Israel Regardie, The Philosopher’s Stone

 

“…the study of alchemy, above all other branches of Occult science, demonstrates the value of Analogy in our search after the real meaning of the mysteries of man and his relation to the Universe. ”


MacGregor Mathers, An Introduction to Alchemy

 

“There is more to be gained in Alchemy than vain glory. In fact, vain glory cannot be obtained in Alchemy. It has nothing to do with it and is as far from it as the day separates the night. It comes back to the simple statement […] ‘Alchemy is the raising of vibrations.'”


Frater Albertus, The Alchemist’s Handbook

 

“Therefore learn from Alchemy, which is otherwise called Spagyria. This teaches you to discern between the true and the false. Such a light of Nature is it that it is a mode of proof in all things, and walks in light. From this light of Nature we ought to know and speak, not from mere phantasy, whence nothing is begotten save the four humours and their compounds, augmentation, stagnation and decrease, with other trifles of this kind. These proceed not from the clear intellect, that full treasure house of a good man, but rather are based on a fictitious and insecure foundation. […] Alchemy is, so to speak, a kind of lower heaven, by which the sun is separated from the moon, day from night, medicine from poison, what is useful from what is refuse.”


Paracelsus, “Paramirum” Lib. I c.3, et “De Colica”


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Qabalah

“The Qabalah, or traditional science of the Hebrews, might be called the mathematics of human thought. It is the algebra of faith. It solves all problems of the soul as equations, by isolating the unknowns. It gives to ideas the clarity and rigorous exactitude of numbers; its results, for the mind, are infallibility (always relative, however, to the sphere of human knowledge) and for the heart, profound peace.”


Eliphas Levi, The Book of Splendours

 

“Speaking of the method of the Qabalah, one of the ancient Rabbis says that an angel coming down to earth would have to take on human form in order to converse with men. The curious symbol-system known to us as the Tree of Life is an attempt to reduce to diagrammatic form every form and factor in the manifest universe and the soul of man; to correlate them one to another and reveal them spread out as on a map so that the relative positions of each unit can be seen and the relations between them traced. In brief, the Tree of Life is a compendium of science, psychology, philosophy, and theology.”


Dion Fortune, The Mystical Qabalah

 

“If we would know the inner nature of man by his outer nature; if we would understand his inner heaven by his outward aspect; if we know the inner nature of trees, herbs, roots, stones by their outward aspect, we must pursue our exploration of nature on the foundation of the Qabalah. For the Qabalah opens up access to the occult, to the mysteries; it enables us to read sealed epistles and books and likewise the inner nature of men.”


Paracelsus, Selected Writings

 

“The Qabalah, is a trustworthy guide, leading to a comprehension of both the Universe and one’s own Self.[…] But the Qabalah is more. It also lays the foundation on which rests another archaic science-Magic. […] The Qabalah reveals the nature of certain physical and psychological phenomena. Once these are apprehended, understood and correlated, the student can use the principles of Magic to exercise control over life’s conditions and circumstances not otherwise possible. In short, Magic provides the practical application of the theories supplied by the Qabalah.”


Israel Regardie, A Garden of Pomegranates



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Angelic Invocations

Introduction


Angels have always played a major part in the religion of western civilization, and it is not surprising therefore that they have also played a large role in the Western Mystery Tradition. In the Christian tradition they are intermediate beings between God and Man, created to do the Divine Will. According to the Bible, as well as the Apocrypha and the Pseudepigraphica, they are:

  • Attendants before God’s throne.
  • Messengers from God to humanity.
  • Personal guardians.
  • Guardians of locations (Genii Loci).
  • Heavenly beings who perform a number of services for mankind: e.g. to protect, comfort and enlighten.

There is a tradition of Good spirits in all the ancient Semitic religions, and it is interesting to note that the Talmud itself says that the names of the Angels were introduced from Babylon.[1] Moreover, the Angels of the Judaeo-Christian tradition appear to share functional similarity with supernatural beings of the ancient Babylonian religion – e.g. as divine messengers and Genii Loci.


The practice of actively seeking out the help of the Angels is at least as old as Christianity itself. In fact, St Paul writing in the first century warned the Colossians about adopting a “religion of Angels”,[2] perhaps referring to works such as the Book of Enoch in which lists of Angels are given much attention. Nevertheless, Paul himself seems to have believed in them, and it was upon his writings that the Fathers of the Church were able to draw up a hierarchy of the Angelic Orders.

We know on the authority of Scripture that there are nine orders of angels, viz., Angels, Archangels, Virtues, Powers, Principalities, Dominations, Throne, Cherubim and Seraphim. That there are Angels and Archangels nearly every page of the Bible tells us, and the books of the Prophets talk of Cherubim and Seraphim. St. Paul, too, writing to the Ephesians enumerates four orders when he says: 'above all Principality, and Power, and Virtue, and Domination';[3] and again, writing to the Colossians he says: 'whether Thrones, or Dominations, or Principalities, or Powers'.[4] If we now join these two lists together we have five Orders, and adding Angels and Archangels, Cherubim and Seraphim, we find nine Orders of Angels.[5]


By the time of Henry Cornelius Agrippa, these nine orders of Angels had been well and truly assimilated into the Western Mystery Tradition. Agrippa assigns the following correspondences between the Angelic orders:[6]


Seraphim            The Primum Mobile            Kether

Cherubim            The starry heaven              Chokmah

Thrones               The sphere of Saturn         Binah

Dominations        The sphere of Jupiter         Chesed

Powers                 The sphere of Mars           Geburah

Virtues                 The sphere of the Sun       Tiphereth

Principalities       The sphere of Venus          Netzach

Archangels           The sphere of Mercury      Hod

Angels                 The sphere of the Moon     Yesod


By the late middle ages and Renaissance periods, one can find a number of grimoires which advocate what seems to be “Angel Magic”. However, caution needs to be exercised, in that some of grimoires which are supposedly about Angels are not dissimilar to grimoires which deal with demons! For example, in the Heptameron of Peter De Abano, the “Prayer to God, to be said in the four parts of the world, in the Circle”[7] is mostly cribbed straight from the First Conjuration of the Goetia of the Lesser Key of Solomon. Or indeed vice versa – but it does indicate that the author of at least one of these books did not make clear distinctions between Angels and Demons.

Other grimoires did manage to make the distinction, whilst still assimilating the cult of the Angels into their paradigm of ceremonial magic. The most famous of these is the Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage, in which the central operation is a lengthy invocation of what is known as one’s “Holy Guardian Angel”. The concept of a personal Guardian Angel not actually part of the Christian faith at the time: the Church believed that Angels guarded people only in a general sense. However, belief in personal Guardian Angels was part of the folklore surrounding the Christian faith, and it was accepted as unofficial doctrine, even by the Church fathers. Unsurprisingly, the idea of each person having a personal spirit or tutelary deity can be found in many religions and cultures in the classical world and the near- and middle-east. In Judaism, a guardian angel is known as a Maggid; in Islam, Hafaza (of which each person has four); whilst a belief in the guidance of a Tutelary Spirit is central to Neo-Platonist philosophy.[8]


I thus intend to describe how three different people went about invoking Angels, and noting the similarities and differences in their work and results. In doing so I hope to draw out some of the realities of Angelic Invocation in the magic of the Western Mystery Tradition.


John Dee


John Dee (1527 – 1608) has already been described at length in the Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition.[9] Dee is an example par excellence of one who used Ceremonial magic to attempt to contact Angels. As a Bibliophile and the creator of the finest library in Elizabethan England, Dee was almost certain to have been exposed to a great number of texts on magic. We know for certain that he was familiar with Agrippa’s Three Books on Occult Philosophy, for Dee mentions it specifically in his magical records.[10] Dee regularly used the Heptameron of Peter De Abano, which he kept laying next to his copy of Agrippa by the window in his oratory.[11] In addition, it has been pointed out that there are copies of key magical texts preserved in the British Museum, which have marginalia in Dee’s handwriting.[12]

Dee’s acquaintance with yet more grimoires can be inferred from his use of certain phrases within his magical records. For example, in the record of Thursday 15th March 1582, Dee recorded the following conversation with the Archangel Raphael:


I will shew thee, and I will shew you, the Angel of your Direction, which is called OCH.[13]

[Dee’s marginal notes] De OCH vide in libello Arbatel - D


I.e. Dee was obviously familiar with the Olympic Spirits, of which “Och” is the Solar spirit, which are mentioned in the grimoire known as the Arbatel. There are also references in Dee’s records to beings mentioned in the Lesser Key of Solomon, e.g. the Angels Anchor, Anachor and Anilos.[14]

Dee’s Angelic experiments were thus, at the beginning of his magical workings, heavily influenced by well-known, as well as perhaps some not so well know, magical grimoires. Although Dee’s records begin in 1581, I have stated elsewhere that Dee may have been practising angelic magic at least twelve years before that.[15] The only thing Dee said about his unrecorded Angelic workings was that he attempted to invoke Raphael and Michael at various times – there is no record of him attempting anything more ambitious.

From 1582 onwards – i.e. from the time he met Edward Kelly – his practice began to evolve, in that he started making contact with hitherto unheard of supernatural beings, calling themselves Angels. These beings revealed to Dee a whole new method of ceremonial magic, which Dee put into practice and began to make use of from that point on. This system was centred around, firstly, the Sigillum Dei Aemeth, which as a symbol had been previously set out in the Liber Juratus or the Sworne Book of Honorius. However, Dee’s “angels” re-vamped the Sigillum, so that it now featured the names of the new beings that were being revealed to Dee.

As well as the Sigillum, the angels gave Dee the design of a Holy Table, and revealed to him a hierarchy of 49 Angels who were associated with the seven planets of classical astrology – the Tabula Bonorum Angelorum (Table of the Good Angels). These 49 Angels consisted of seven “Kings”, seven “Princes”, and their respective Ministers.


In 1584, Dee’s angels also revealed unto him what has now become the most famous part of his magical workings, the Tablet of Nalvage, Liber Scientiae, the four Watchtowers, the Tablet of Union and the 48 Angelic calls, which is best known to us today as “Enochian Magic”. Although Enochian Magic was made famous (or notorious) by Crowley and the Golden Dawn, the irony of the situation is that Dee is not known to have used the system himself! Dee did however make extensive use of the Tabula Bonorum Angelorum, which may be described as proto-Enochian. He used his Angelic experiments to investigate the nature of the “Kings” and “Princes” in detail, and even to attempt Talismanic magic with the beings derived from the Sigillum Dei Aemeth.[16]

Throughout his Angelic workings, Dee did not see the Angels himself, or indeed any magical phenomena, except on rare occasions. Instead, he relied on others to skry the results of his conjurations in a Crystal ball, or black obsidian mirror-mirror. The people he chose to be his skryers were a colourful bunch, and included Barnabas Saul, whom Dee accused of dabbling in black magic, and most famously, Edward Kelly – who had his ear cropped for forgery. Dee also made use of his infant son Arthur on one occasion, and towards the end of his life, a servant named Bartholemew Hickman. It was whilst working with Kelly that Dee experienced the most productive phase of his Angelic Invocations. However, Kelly’s reputation has led people like Paul Foster Case to criticise Enochian Magic on the basis that real angels would not communicate through such a person.

For an Angelic working, Dee would make use five copies of the Sigillum Dei Aemeth: one to support each of the legs of the Holy Table, and the fifth to place on the table’s surface to bear the crystal ball. Dee wore a lamen and a magic ring, the designs for which were also given to him by the angels. Dee’s approach is thus entirely consistent with that of a ceremonial magician.


The Ceremony itself would consist of Dee praying, in Latin, for God to send visions into the crystal. Dee used various prayers at different points throughout his career, and often made variations in the wording, as he felt appropriate. For example, one prayer which Dee used towards the end of his life was:

Mitte lucem tuam & veritatem tuam Domine, quae nos ducant & perducant ad montem Sanctum tuum, & ad coelestia tua tabernacula.[17]

(“Send your Light and your Truth, oh Lord, which lead us and bring us to your Holy mountain and to your Heavenly tabernacle.”)

Upon the Angel appearing in the crystal, Dee would then give thanks to God. The skryer would then describe what he saw and what he heard, with Dee asking questions and recording the answers. When the session ended, Dee would conclude with another prayer of thanksgiving, e.g. the well known

Gloria Patri et Fillio et Spiritui Sancto, sicut erat in principio et nunc et semper et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

(“Glory be to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen”)


We are lucky in that Dee left very many detailed examples of his magical workings, which is remarkable considering that Elias Ashmole thought many more might have been destroyed through ignorance. We are thus able to form a fairly accurate impression of what occurred in each skrying session. Once criticism from a modern point of view is that Dee might be accused of relying too heavily on the efficacy of his own prayers – and the good faith of the skryer – for attracting a benevolent spirit into the crystal. Dee did not, on every occasion, specifically test the spirits thus appearing to find out whether they were the correct ones, or were speaking the truth. On occasions that he did, he sometimes allowed the spirit to get away with avoiding Dee’s interrogations directly. Thus on one occasion he had to rely on the spirits themselves to tell him that another spirit which had previously spoken to him was trying to deceive him.[18]

Furthermore, on several crucial occasions, Dee apparently accepted visions received by Kelly from skrying sessions at which Dee was not present. These included revisions to the material on Enochian magic, and also the infamous Wife-swapping incident. It would appear therefore that Dee did not exercise as much quality control over his Angelic experiments as a modern magician would be expected to do, and his work may have suffered because of it.


As to Dee’s results, we have already seen that the Angels gave him extensive material and guidance on practical magic, of which Dee only made partial use. Dee also attempted to make use of his Angelic experiments for the purposes of practical (i.e. “grey” magic), although he appears to have little or no success in this regard. Generally speaking, there were three main types of result that Dee experienced. Up until August 1584, i.e. before Dee and Kelly relocated to Prague, their results mainly concerned the revelation of a new system of ceremonial magic. However, once they moved to Prague, the Angels stopped revealing new magical information, but rather urged Dee to get involved in European politics, under the guise of giving him messages with a supposed theological slant. The Angels thus persuaded Dee to confront the Emperor Rodolfus, which started a chain of events leading to Dee and Kelly eventually going into exile in Trebone in Bohemia.

Dee was willing to lap up new theological information from the Angels. However more and more the “Angels” gave information that conflicted with Dee’s religion, instead of explaining it. It was thus that Dee was eventually persuaded to enter into a “wife-swapping” arrangement with Kelly, on the grounds that the Angels had given them a dispensation to do so. Some have blamed Kelly being a scoundrel for this, but the truth is more complex than that. For example, when the spirits appearing in the crystal gave the first indication that they were no longer sweet-and-innocent angels, Kelly himself expressed shock and apparently no longer wished to work with them – but Dee urged him to continue.[19] Kelly may still have been manipulating him all the same, but it would appear Dee by that time had developed so much hubris that he couldn’t bear to believe that the “Angels” would be wrong.

After the break-up with Kelly, Dee continued to invoke Angels almost until the end of his life, using different seers. Dee seemed content to use the great Archangels not for visions of cosmic importance, but for answering questions of a rather mundane nature. It would appear that although during his time he achieved great things with Angel magic, Dee allowed a lack of quality control to spoil somewhat his exemplary work.


Emmanuel Swedenborg


Emmanuel Swedenborg was born in 1688 in Stockholm, Sweden. His life is an interesting one when compared with Dee’s. Both men came from a solid academic background: Dee having studied at Cambridge, Swedenborg at the University of Uppsala. Both men were Scientists. Dee was a mathematician, astronomer, geographer and alchemist. Swedenborg was a Metallurgist and minerologist, who later extended his expertise into Anatomy, astronomy, and geography.

In addition, both men were familiar with Hermetic and Neo-Platonic philosophy, and allowed it to colour their scientific researches. Dee, for example wrote several such treatises, such as “Propaedeumata Aphoristica” (1558), “Monas Hieroglyphica” (1564) and his “Mathematicall Preface” to Euclid's Elements of Geometrie” (1570), which exemplify Dee’s interest in Hermeticism, Alchemy, and Pythagorean number mysticism respectively. Swedenborg wrote “The Organisation of the Soul’s Kingdom” (1740) and “The Mineral Kingdom” (1744), in which he applied a neo-Platonic model to what was then known of the sciences of Anatomy and Physics respectively. In doing so, he was able to innovate a number of theories which were confirmed years after his death by later generations, and which in some cases pre-figure even modern research.

However the most important similarity, as far as the topic under discussion is concerned, is that both Swedenborg and Dee sought to commune with Angels, in order to attain insight into Theology. From 1743 onwards, Swedenborg (then aged 51) cultivated his inner psychic faculty, and claimed that Angelic beings were revealing to him truths about the such subjects as the mystical interpretation of both the Old and New Testament, man’s true spiritual nature, the future of the Christian religion, etc. Swedenborg foresaw that in the future there would be a “new Church”, based not on dogma, but on the internal mystical realisation of the Church’s members, and which would be universal enough to include people of all religions within it.


Swedenborg described the importance he attached to his visions thus:


Church people these days know practically nothing about heaven and hell or their life after death, even though there are descriptions of everything available to them in the Word. In fact, many who have been born in the church deny all this. In their hearts they are asking who has ever come back to tell us about it.

To prevent this negative attitude—especially prevalent among people who have acquired a great deal of worldly wisdom—from infecting and corrupting people of simple heart and simple faith, it has been granted me to be with angels and to talk with them person to person.[20]


Swedenborg wrote around forty books based on his Angelic communications, of which just under half he published within his own lifetime. So, what was his technique for communing with Angels? Primarily it appears that Swedenborg’s psychism was based around lucid dreaming. In his first spiritual writings, he relates how he gradually found the resolution to various spiritual problems besetting him by analysing in details the symbolism of his dreams.[21] He described his first entrance into the Spiritual world as a dream-initiation of dying and re-awakening.[22] In 1745 he related that he had a dream vision of being welcomed into the Kingdom of God “by the Messiah Himself”, and communing with various Heavenly personages and “with the dead who have risen again.”[23]

One has to be careful when reading Swedenborg in that he has his own definite ideas about what Angels are. To him, the Soul in its highest aspect is “Angelic”. Therefore, a person who becomes united with this aspect of their Soul is, after death, reborn in the spiritual world as an “Angel”. Moreover, two lovers who in the Earthly life have united with each other at the inmost level of their soul, are united in the Spiritual world and become one Angel.[24]

Therefore, when Swedenborg discourses on the nature of Angels, he is in a way also referring to the Angel-within. He is in fact describing what someone has to look forward to in the Spiritual world if he or she has managed to enter into the deepest and most intimate level of Divine communion.


However, although there are similarities between Dee and Swedenborg, there are important differences as well. Swedenborg managed to win a certain amount of acclaim for his spiritual writings within his lifetime. Although this was mixed with a certain amount of criticism against him for being perceived as a mad visionary, Swedenborg enjoyed enough respect for a healthy number of people to want to earnest discuss theology with him. When two of Swedenborg’s followers were charged with heresy, Swedenborg himself was able to petition the King of Sweden on their behalf – the case against the men was dropped. In short, it appears that Swedenborg was able to escape the “conjurer of devils” tag which blighted Dee’s professional career and forced him into poverty and obscurity.

A second important difference is that Swedenborg’s visions were purely spiritual and theological in nature, and avoided the political tones of Dee’s angelic conversations. So for example, Swedenborg was content to publish his writings and send them to libraries and religious figures of the time: but he avoided confronting the temporal authorities with apparent delusions of his own messiah-ship: which is what caused so much trouble for Dee. Swedenborg was also relatively open about his Angelic communications, whilst Dee was secretive. Although Swedenborg started to publish his spiritual works anonymously, his identity soon became an open-secret, and from 1768 onwards he publicly acknowledged his own authorship. Dee never published his angelic workings within his lifetime, although this backfired on him in that his adherence to secrecy meant he could never effectively refute accusations of black magic that circulated.

A third important difference was that Swedenborg managed to exercise a greater degree of quality control over his visions than did Dee. Despite the fact that most orthodox religionists would regard Swedenborg’s teachings as unusual at best, at least one can say that overall he managed to maintain a generally authentic Christian character to them. To paraphrase Clement of Alexandria,[25] Swedenborg’s visions were an example of the Gnosis which proves Faith, not denies it. Contrast this with Dee, whose visions with Edward Kelley led him into being told that Jesus was not Christ, and that wife-swapping was permissible.


In short, by comparing the two lives of Swedenborg and Dee, one might be tempted to speculate that the former was the reincarnation of the latter. If this were so, it would appear that Swedenborg managed to resolve the spiritual issues successfully, which led Dee into error originally.


Frederick Hockley


Frederick Hockley (1808 – 1885) was a prominent Rosicrucian of the 19th Century, who was cited by the founders of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn as an inspiration. Hockley was a member of the SRIA, having joined in 1872. However, it appears that he was recognized as a Rosicrucian Adept for his work before entering the Society, as he seems to have been advanced to the grade of VII° Adeptus Exemptus almost immediately upon joining it (he attained the grade of VIII° Magister by 1877 at the latest). This recognition was due to the fact that Hockley was an experienced Seer, who had experimented with Magic mirrors and Crystals since the age of 16.

Hockley is an important figure, in that he has left us considerable details of not only his results in Angelic Communication, but also the techniques which he employed. Apart from his own writings on the subject, Hockley also publicly gave evidence to the “London Dialectical Society” on the subject of Skrying, in which he described some of his own experiences. It is clear therefrom that Hockley did not have any superstitious belief in clairvoyance, but derived his confidence in it from the accuracy of his experimental results.

Although he had a large library of magical grimoires, it appears that Hockley did not practice ceremonial magic per se. Indeed, although he was well acquainted with the Almadel of the Lesser Key of Solomon – a work on Angelic Magic – he specifically stated that he never used it. Needless to say he avoided any truck with evil spirits, and on the rare occasions that he encounter them, he banished them speedily. Nevertheless, Hockley’s working practice shows a structured approach, which does at least indicate that he was inspired by ceremonial magic even if he did not directly make use of it.


First of all, it should be noted that Hockley generally worked with a “Speculatrix” – a female seeress. In this Hockley, like Dee, did not gaze into the crystal himself, but relied on someone else to do so whilst he asked the questions and recorded the answers. Unlike Dee, Hockley is not known to have employed the services of a known rogue to do his skrying: instead his speculatrices tended to be chaste young ladies.[26]

According to Hockley, the first task when setting out on a Clairvoyant operation would be to consecrate a new Crystal ball. Hockley preferred balls of pure rock crystal, as did Dee, although he admitted that in the absence thereof, a round-bottomed flask filled with water would suffice. The consecration would consist of invoking a “Guardian Angel” from God to become the Guardian of the Crystal, and to prevent evil spirits from appearing. This approach is almost identical to that of the Ars Paulina, another part of the Lesser Key of Solomon, which also deals with skrying Angels in a Crystal ball.

Hockley, based upon the results of his Angelic experiments, believed that such Guardian Spirits were Archangelic in nature, and thus in the topmost rank of what he saw as a threefold-hierarchy: the other two categories of good spirits being “Heavenly” and “Atmospheric” respectively. He believed that the first session in a Clairvoyant operation should not last longer than half an hour, and consist exclusively of ensuring the Guardian Angel’s co-operation in future skrying sessions. To Hockley, Guardian Spirits were actual angels who protected the skryer from evil entities, watched over his life generally, and finally acted as a Psychopomp in death.


At this juncture, I would like to draw a comparison:


  • In the Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage, the first task of the magician is to evoke the Holy Guardian Angel – and detailed instructions are given for the purpose of doing so.
  • In the Ars Paulina, the first task of the magician before attempting to contact any of the other planetary angels via the crystal sphere is to invoke a (the) Guardian Angel.
  • According to Hockley, the first task in a clairvoyant operation is to invoke a Guardian Angel to be Guardian of the crystal ball to be used.


Can it be, perhaps, that the occult world post-Crowley has fundamentally misunderstood the concept of “Guardian Angel”? Crowley believed that “Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel”, a phrase he borrowed from the Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage, was the quintessential task of Adeptship, and equivalent to making contact with ones own Higher Self. However, by comparing Abramelin to the Ars Paulina and Hockley’s own work, it would appear that this Guardian Angel is not the Higher Self, but a Guardian of the Clairvoyant process. I.e. when Hockley invoked a Guardian Angel to watch over his crystal, he would not have regarded this spirit in the same awe-filled reverence as would Crowley would regard his own Holy Guardian Angel. Hockley did have an Angelic contact whom he regarded as superior to all his other spirit guides, whom he called “the Crowned Angel of the Seventh Sphere.” However, it is clear from his records that Hockley regarded this Crowned Angel as a being apart from the Angel he invoked to watch over his Crystal Ball.

The Crystal having been consecrated with prayers and dedicated to the service of God, Hockley would go about an operation by first invoking Christ three times, so as to summon his spirit guide. Hockley was definitely a Christian magician, despite the fact that his practices probably would not have been approved by any Christian denomination at the time! Hockley was originally a Unitarian Christian, although as a result of his Angelic conversations, he was converted to a Trinitarian viewpoint. Thus, like Swedenborg, most of his skrying operations served to reveal to him an inner mystical interpretation about his Christian faith.

Before starting to skry, Hockley would banish the room of all evil spirits. This he did with a three-fold prayer:


In the name of the Almighty God in whom we live and move and have our being, I dismiss from this room all evil spirits that may be therein!

On purporting to make contact with a particular spirit, he would test its identity, and if unsatisfied he would banish it, with the following:

If thou, spirit, who art now in communication with us, are not really and truly the spirit of A.B. I dismiss thee hence in the name of our Almighty God, in whom we live and move and have our being.

A session being over, Hockley would discharge all the spirits by making a threefold invocation of Christ and His Angels, followed by a prayer of thanks. It should be noted that Hockley believed that to evoke the lesser spirits and the souls of dead people, it was not necessary to go through as elaborate a procedure as required for Guardian Spirits.

We can thus see the Hockley employed the same sort of structure when communing with spirits as would a modern magician; however he accomplished the same through the use of prayers and invocations, whereas a modern practitioner would use elements of ritual.

As to what he learnt from the Angels, the “Crowned Angel of the Seventh Sphere” taught Hockley much to do with religion, theology, the nature of death, and the inner meaning of the Christian Faith – in much the same was as Swedenborg’s angels taught him. As we have noted, his experiments obviously had a deep impression on him, as they eventually caused Hockley to convert from one Christian denomination to another. Hockley was operating at the time when Spiritualism first became popular. Like Spiritualists, who were much derided in occult circles, he contacted the souls of dead people; and even those alive, but far away! Unlike the Spiritualism, Hockley introduced the sensibilities of ritual magic into his practice so he could avoid the criticisms usually levelled at mediums by occultists.


Conclusion


The lives of the three men mentioned above demonstrate that the practice of invoking Angels is in a state of constant change, reflecting the times through which those invoking them lived. For example, for Frederick Hockley, the fashion of the time was Spiritualism, which in turn had been inspired by the great uncertainty first caused by Darwin’s new theories of evolution. Hence, Hockley fashioned his own form of Spiritualism, but instead of merely contacting the souls of dead people, which admittedly he did do from time to time, he also concentrated on contacting Angelic forces. Hockley’s approach married the structure of ceremonial magic with a scientific attitude to testing the validity of the spirits contacted. Hockley’s work is thus a blue-print for modern Angel-magic, even if modern practitioners would actually use different ritual techniques.

Swedenborg meanwhile lived through the (so-called) “Enlightenment”. Thus for him, seeking Angels to explain the mysteries of his religion was his own way of rediscovering the spiritual side of life in an increasingly materialistic world. Swedenborg’s world was very much after Newton’s work had been accepted, and therefore the intellectual fashion of the time was one of Determinism, based on science, and which ultimately excluded the Spiritual from its world-view. By relying on his psychic faculty to make contact with Angels, Swedenborg was not trying to strive for a form of religion which he felt belonged to the past. Instead he was looking forward towards how Spirituality would develop in the future: religion based on inner mystical revelation, and a faith which although nominally Christian would build bridges with all peoples of all races.


Dee, on the other hand, lived at a time when the ultimate reality of the Christian religion was not seriously questioned. There was thus no particular reason for Dee to prove to himself the validity of his own faith, unlike Swedenborg and Hockley for example. The result of this is that Dee’s Angelic visions have as much to do with mundane matters such as politics and events in his personal life, as they have to do with theology. That Dee thought this was permissible was due to a prevailing world-view that the Spiritual and material were linked together in one harmonious whole: it was thus natural to consult spiritual forces in relation to material matters. The downside of this was that at times Dee treated the Angels not so much as exalted beings, but more like lesser types of spirit guide that could be contacted via the grimoires of ceremonial magic of the time. There may have been a sinister reason for this. At the time, evoking goetic spirits would have been the fastest way to imprisonment, torture or death. Dee however thought that by invoking Angels, who by definition are good entities, he could escape the opprobrium of black magic, even though he tended to make use of Angels almost as one would make use of goetic spirits. It is perhaps for this reason that a lot of grimoires of the time talk a lot about invoking Angels, so as to avoid the censure of the Church and secular authorities.



Alex Sumner


Coaching, Kabbalah, Alkemi, Magi, Alkemiutbildning, Prästinneutbildning, Tarot, Ockult, Esoteric, Astrologi, Gnostic, Yoga, Andlighet, Schamanism, Plantmedicin, Elixir, Esoteriska böcker, Esoterisk podcast, Alkemipodd, Andlig blogg,

spiritualitet, Boka Healing, Terapeutiska konsultationer, Alkemiska sessioner, Samtalsterapi i Psykosyntes i Stockholm

Alchemy, It's Not Just for the Middle Ages Anymore

Mention alchemy to someone and what do they usually think of? The Middle Ages with old men in some forgotten attic, laboring over bubbling flasks filled with some unknown fluid; or in front of an oven, trying to turn molten lead into gold. These are the images of the alchemist that time, mythology, and prejudicial history have handed down to us.

It is true, that many of the early alchemists were the forerunners of the modern sciences. Physics and chemistry are indebted to these early ‘puffers’ as they are despairingly called, for from their hours of sweat and travail, a host of modern advances came: porcelain, alcohol distillation, acids, salts, and a variety of metallic compounds, are the results of early alchemical experiments.

But if alchemy wasn't just a foolish waste of time in the search for a means to turn base metals into gold, what was it?


Egypt, The Mother Earth of Alchemy


Alchemy , or “Al-Kemi”, is said to be derived from Arabic or Egyptian meaning either “divine chemistry” or possibly “black earth” referring to the silt deposits from the annual flooding of the Nile river. However, regardless of where the word ‘alchemy’ began, it has come to mean a very special form of spiritual development.

From Plato's Greece to the European Renaissance, ancient Egypt was held to be the land, if not the origin, of all things mystical. The Egyptian god Thoth, called Hermes by the Greeks, was said to be the father of all magical arts and sciences, with numerous books on the laws governing creation being attributed to him. These books became the basis of most Western occult teachings, and are known as “The Hermetic Corpus” or the “Body of Hermes”, and refers to the total collection of works attributed to the ‘scribe of the gods’. The teachings and practice contained in these writings are called “Hermeticism”, and in the Renaissance came to include aspects of Jewish mysticism (kabbalah), alchemy, the use of ritual, and communication with super-celestial beings, or angels.

It is important to remember, that in the ancient world and until end of the Renaissance (16th century), magic was seen not as superstition, but as a logical and coherent means of understanding the universe and controlling ones destiny. Magic, imagination, and magnetism are all related , both through there root -mag, as well as how they are seen through the mind of the magician or alchemist.


For the magician, or even the alchemist, the universe is perceived as a reflection of the imagination of the Godhead. Its laws are consistent and logical, and if we are created in the image of the Creator, then we can also create as the Creator has - through the power of imagination. Intense imagination creates a stress on the ‘fabric’ of the universe, drawing to it magnetic power, thus bringing our images to fruition.

The fundamental ideas of Renaissance magic and alchemy are also found in Eastern yoga, and are the basis for the New Age movement, as well as hypno-therapy, guided visualizations for mental health or cancer treatment, affirmations and an assortment of other psycho-spiritual practices.

Until the last half of this century, though, most of these spiritual practices were kept secret or hidden, mostly out of fear of political or religious persecution. Hence, they became known as occult or “hidden”. Since many of them used the same signs, symbols, and literature as contemporary religions - Christianity, Judaism, and Islam - the hidden, occult, or Hermetic arts and sciences became known as esoteric or the secret meaning behind ‘exoteric’ or everyday religious practices and dogma.


This fear of imprisonment, or death, limited instruction in esoteric practices to a trusted few, and only through a process of slow, careful, symbolic rituals and cryptic teachings known as initiations. Each of these initiations, or gradus, symbolized a step, or grade, in the students inner journey towards illumination.

During the 17th , 18th, and 19th centuries dozens of initiatic orders and societies were established across Europe for the dissemination of spiritual teachings. The most prominent of them being the Rosicrucians, Freemasons, and Knights Templar. Some of them taught their members through moral instruction, such as the Freemasons. Others, such as the Rosicrucians, taught practical mysticism, the use of ritual, the structure of the universe through kabbalah, as well as laboratory alchemy. Many of these organizations exist in Europe or the United States in some form today.

In alchemy, however, each of its steps or phases represents not only an interior awakening (initiation), but also a physical, practical technique performed in the laboratory. The physical, laboratory work becomes a means of verifying spiritual and psychic expansions in consciousness.

“Alchemy is an initiatic system in which you have no delusions. It is the only initiatic path where there is an objective control in the laboratory. So if your experiment shows you've gone beyond the ordinary material laws of the universe, it shows that you're an alchemist that has had an interior awakening, and that corresponds to the rule which says, ‘You will transmute nothing if you have not transmuted yourself first.’” Says Jean Dubuis, founder and first president of the French alchemical organization, The Philosophers of Nature.


Dubuis, has actively practiced alchemy and related esoteric arts for nearly sixty-five years. His spiritual path began when he had a spiritual awakening at the age of twelve in the island cathedral of Mont Saint-Michel off the coast of Normandy. This awakening has led Dubuis to a lifetime of activities and intimate involvement in European esoteric circles. He has held positions in the French speaking branch of the Rosicrucian Order, presiding over its Illuminati section of higher degree students; as well as various esoteric orders and societies.

After tiring of the various levels of secrecy and often self-aggrandizing use of the power such vows bring, he renounced his memberships and established The Philosophers of Nature (PON) to open the paths of alchemy and kabbalah to everyone of good heart and mind. This is expressed in his view of the basic philosophy behind alchemy:

“Alchemy is the Science of Life, of Consciousness. The alchemist knows that there is a very solid link between matter, life, and consciousness. Alchemy is the art of manipulating life and consciousness in matter to help it evolve or solve the problems of inner disharmony. Matter exists only because it is created by the human seed. The human seed, the original man, created matter in order to involute and evolve. You see, if we go beyond what I said, the absolute being is an auto-created being, and we must become in its image auto-created beings.” Dubuis stated during a recent interview at the annual conference of The Philosophers of Nature.

A similar statement was made by fellow Frenchman and alchemist Francois Trojani, during an interview with Joseph Rowe in the Summer 1996 issue of Gnosis.


“It (alchemy) is the dimension of interiority and of meaning in the deep sense: the meaning of life, the meaning of my life, questions about the relationship of spirit to matter, of the purpose and value of my own actions - the questions “where did I come from?”, “why am I here?”, “who am I?” I'm not saying that alchemy provides precise answers to these questions, but that it operates in the dimension where these questions arise.“

Because of Dubuis' extensive professional career in electrical engineering for a major international electronics firm in France, and work in the field of nuclear physics with Nobel Prize winner Jollio-Curie, he has been described by fellow alchemists as one of the few people easily at home with either a periodic table of the elements or a kabbalistic diagram. This interest in electronics has led Dubuis to invent several devices designed to assist in experiencing out-of-body journeys and assist people in having a general initiatic experience.

“In ancient times, as human evolution was going, we passed from kabbalah to alchemy. Now, I think that with the evolution of the world, perhaps we can put in the initiatic path electronic methods. It doesn't stop people from having to work themselves, but initiatic work will be easier. This corresponds to the fact that the whole evolution of the world must be accelerated.” Dubuis stated.

Dubuis stated that his ‘boxes' are more advanced than consciousness altering devices currently on the market. His work through light and sound synchronization as do existing machines, however, through a complex series of mathematical computations, Dubuis says that he can specify the experiences one will have with his invention. The author has experienced two generations of Dubuis ‘mind machines' as they are called, and can attest to their superiority over existing ‘off the shelf' equipment. The clarity, impact, focus, and lasting effect of them was quite astounding.


Alchemy and Modern Psychology/Jung


Just as esoteric initiation seeks to repair the psychic damages in humanity, so does its step-child, modern psychology. As a result, most folks today are familiar with alchemy through the extensive writings of Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung. Jung was attracted to alchemy through a series of dreams he experienced, as well as those of his patients, and their resemblance to alchemical symbols representing the stages of self-development, or individuation. However, for Jung, the entire alchemical work, or opus, was viewed from strictly psychoanalytic perspective. Transmutation was not the changing of physical matter, but of psychological matter, from destructive problems, into life enhancing attributes.

Some of Jung's seminal works outlining the process of human individuation, or self-becoming, are found in his Alchemical Studies; in which he interprets the meaning of the key stages and symbols of alchemy to explain the internal stages of human evolution, or what alchemists call, interior initiation.

Laboratory alchemists cautiously point out that despite his contributions, and the critical aspect of psychological work in alchemy, Jung is not considered a real alchemist.


According to Dubuis, and others, for alchemy to be real alchemy, it must work on all levels of creation - spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical. While one or more can be left out and a transmutation of some sort effected, the results are not considered to be alchemical.

“It is true that Jung made some additions to symbolism and gave people a means to look at their interior life. As regards to alchemy, Jungian psychology shows that alchemy is a universal art and science, and can lend itself to anything, but to reduce alchemy to a theraputic allegory is a mistake.” Stated House.

Russell House, of Whinfield, Illinois, is the current president of The Philosophers of Nature, and has studied alchemy with, Jean Dubuis, Orval Graves, Frater Albertus, and Manfred Junius, several of this centuries leading laboratory alchemists. From 1989 to 1993, House also co-instructed the alchemy classes taught at Rose+Croix University, sponsored by the Rosicrucian Order, in San Jose, California.


Alchemy and Alternative Medicine


Along with psycho-spiritual growth, and physical transmutation, alchemy has long been associated with creating cures for ‘incurable diseases' as well as near physical immortality. Dubuis has suggested that a carefully prepared tincture, or alchemically prepared medicine extracted with purified alcohol, made from acorns might prove useful in fighting cancer and some auto-immune diseases.

However, at least one of the major contributions of alchemy to alternative medicine is a little more accessible than either of these, that is, homeopathy.

Available in most drug stores and super markets, homeopathic medicines are based on the alchemical practices of the Swiss 16th century alchemist Paracelsus. However, it was not Paracelsus that created homeopathy, he only supplied the theory that “like cures like” and that smaller doses of medicine could cure more easily and quickly than large doses. Alchemical tinctures, like homeopathic medicines, are created from plants, minerals, and metals. Homeopathic treatment was formulated in 1796 and introduced to the United States in 1825. In Europe alchemically prepared and homeopathic medicines are available to the general public.

According to House, “For the genuine alchemists, healing, like alchemy, must be on all levels and treat the whole being or person, and within the context of nature and evolution. The intent of the healer must offer encouragement in the interior world of the patient and not work against nature's plan of evolution. Like homeopathy, Bach Flower Remedies, or aromatherapy, alchemical medicines work on a subtle level and a crude one at the same time.”


Alchemy and Quantum Physics/Time Travel and other Weird Stuff


Since its inception alchemy has been associated with the idea of transmutation, or the fundamental changing of one thing, usually a base metal such as lead, into something else, in this case gold.

But is transmutation possible?

For alchemists past and present, the answer is a resounding “yes!”

Trojani is quoted as saying that transmutation has taken place and continues to be done. The reason given is that alchemical operations do not take place on the level of the periodic table of elements, but instead on the fabric of time and space itself. That this work on the elements on space and time energy constitutes work directly on oneself.

In fact, Dubuis, Trojani, and their predecessor Francois Jollivet-Castelot all agree that not only is transmutation possible, but that it might not require much of the high-tech, high-energy equipment we have come to associate with sub-atomic physics.

Jollivet-Castelot wrote a book for the aspiring alchemist, Comment on devient alchimste (1897), or “How to Become an Alchemist”, outlining the range of Hermetic disciplines required, and gave practical advice on purchasing laboratory equipment, as well as the moral requirements of the alchemist.



Harvey Spencer Lewis, the founder and head of the American Rosicrucian Order, was familiar with Jollivet-Castelot and his work. In 1915, Lewis himself is said to have transmuted a piece of zinc into gold using little more than an open flame and a crucible. The accounts of this public demonstration have been re-published several times in the organizations magazine, The Rosicrucian Digest (March 1942). In addition, in the August 1926 edition of, The Mystic Triangle, AMORC published Jollivet-Castelot's account of his own transmutation of base metal into gold, as well as the recipe for carrying it out.

In more recent times, alchemy has been investigated as a means of supplying cheap energy and for the potential creation of ‘super metals'. At the Palladian Academy's conference in January 1997, near Vichenze, Italy, Professor Christopher McIntosh, author of The Rosicrucians (Samuel Weiser Publications), and member of UNESCO's Educational Office, Hamburg, Germany, mentioned that the United Nations had recently sponsored a conference of its own in which alchemy was considered as a possible tool for the creation of new alloys.


Along similar lines, Dubuis offered some insights into the phenomena of UFO's.


“First of all, there are two hypotheses for extra-terrestrials. The first hypothesis says, that on earth, if you are close to the North Pole, there is some kind of fraternity of advanced people that checks on the global functioning of humanity, and that the flying saucers are theirs. The second hypothesis is that you cannot come from distant systems to earth in everyday physical conditions, so I think that things happen thus. In the system that they start from, they put advanced people onboard, and the speed of energy is multiplied by a hundred thousand or a million, they can come here rapidly, and when they enter the aura of the earth, they are brought back level by level and re-materialize. I don't know, and don't want to know if the Rosswell (New Mexico) story is true, but the details that have been given lead me to believe it is true, because they found material that go back to the invisible where they should be. They said the brain of the person had no barrier, this means that they are people that have no barrier between the visible and the invisible worlds. I don't know about the other organs. If it is a fake, then the people who have produced it have a very big knowledge of the occult.” Dubuis stated.



Mark Stavish, M.A.


Coaching, Kabbalah, Alkemi, Magi, Alkemiutbildning, Prästinneutbildning, Tarot, Ockult, Esoteric, Astrologi, Gnostic, Yoga, Andlighet, Schamanism, Plantmedicin, Elixir, Esoteriska böcker, Esoterisk podcast, Alkemipodd, Andlig blogg,

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The Sign of the Cross

Gestures and symbols have always played a major part in the Western Mystery traditions. Yet, of all symbols, the cross has been the most prominent and influential in guiding western mystics towards Cosmic consciousness.

While seen as almost an exclusively Christian symbol, the cross has existed since the dawn of the mysteries. The Egyptian tau and ankh, the Cross of Christ’s Passion, the Rosy Cross of the medieval and Renaissance alchemists, to the post-Vatican Two cross of the Resurrected Savior, all are historical variations of the same symbol that has lead a large part of humanity on its path to God.


History of the Cross


Generally, the cross is seen as the linking of an upright line with a horizontal line, or the active (I) with the passive, or receptive (-). When these two forces are combined, we have the creation of a third force, idea, or entity. While definite early sexual symbolism is present, it is on the psychological and spiritual levels that the cross is most fully explored. The Egyptian ankh, or looped cross, is said to be an example of this early sexual (i.e. creative) symbolism; however, most of its later uses are as a sign of life force and divine power in a complete sense.

Jung suggests that the cross has its origins in humanities discovery of fire, and as such, is in reality a fire symbol derived from primitive man’s rubbing of two sticks together in order to start a fire for warmth, protection, and the creation of tools. It is interesting to note, that words signifying cross, such as krois, krouz, kreuz, crux, cruz, or croaz, possess etymological similarities with words signifying fire. The roots ak, ur, or os, all signify cosmic light or fire.

The earliest crosses were simply marked as (T) or (X). Later variations added the additional arm to the top to form a (t or +). The equal armed cross (+) was used to represent the four cardinal directions, elements, colors of mankind (Hopi lore), as well as the Four Heavens of Zoroaster and its later variation in Jewish Qabbalah. When circled it became the four seasons, stages of life, and all of the associations of life, death, and re-birth.


Plato in Timaeus tells how the Demiurge reunited the broken parts of the fragmented ‘World Soul’ through two sutures shaped like, what we call, the Saint Andrew’s Cross (X). The Egyptian ankh, or looped cross, has for many, been the symbol of humanity’s resurrection, in that it shows the initiate greeting the day with arms outstretched and head held high. One theosophical writer calls this posture the “Madonna Posture” as if we are attempting to embrace all of creation. She further states that it is also good for the thymus gland/heart area, in that it creates a feeling of openness and compassion, right where the vertical and horizontal shafts meet.

During the Middle Ages the cross became chiefly associated with the crucifixion of Christ. As a result, the cross in an upright manner (+) became the symbol of Divine Power and Presence, the defeat of death and ignorance. By logic, the inverted cross, then became the symbol of blasphemy, demonic power, or the rejection of Christ’s sacrifice. Yet this was a strictly historical interpretation a that time, for Saint Peter requested crucifixion in this manner, inverted, as he felt he was not good enough to hang the same way as did Jesus. Earlier, and later, mystical doctrines use the various forms of the cross to signify different flows of Cosmic force, potential, and rhythm.

In England the cross was associated with the Yew tree, often seen growing in churchyards. Christ in medieval songs and stories is said to have been ‘hung on a tree’ just like the Norse god Odin. Christian mystics would later change this to the “Tree of Life” of medieval Jewish mysticism, or Qabbalah.


Use of the Cross


By using the sign of the cross in a conscious manner, we can create within ourselves a condition that is supportive of mystical experiences and expanded awareness. We in fact, make ourselves, open and willing channels for Cosmic Wisdom, Universal Love, and Creative Power to manifest in our lives and the world. The Christian mystics called this the ‘axis mundi’ or World Axis — the joining of heaven and earth.

In his work, The Nature and Use of Ritual, Roche de Coppens quotes a masonic-rosicrucian document in which ‘Bishop Theodotus’ states:

“When we say ‘In the Name of the Father’ and place our fingers on the forehead, we actually point to an important organ in our spiritual body just below the space where God dwells in us ‘on high’. The vibrations set up in motion by our loving thought about our heavenly Father activates the Divine Essence of the ‘Crown’ which pours into our Heart center as a veritable though unseen Glory (Shaft of White Light). This activation of the ‘Crown’ itself is described by St. Peter: ‘Ye shall receive a Crown of Glory’. When we say; ‘And of the Son’ and place our fingers on our heart, we again actually point to a space in our spiritual body where the Divine Light, in the words of the Prophet Isaiah poured upon us from ‘on high’, is activating another spiritual organ suffusing us with the Divine Love of the Son. And when we say: ‘And of the Holy Spirit’, touching our right and left breast respectively, we activate these spiritual sensoria within us which manifest as the creative and vitalizing power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Finally, when we say: “Amen’ and join our hands together, mentally affirming the presence of the Triune God within us, we actually close the spiritual currents within the periphery of our spiritual body in order to maintain this awakening to spiritual awareness as long as possible.” (S.R.I.A. Documents)


By bearing the cross of incarnation, like the Cosmic Christ before us, we can know the light of our Inner spiritual cross of Illumination, Resurrection, and Salvation. Just as Constantine went ‘by way of the cross’ so can we know the esoteric meaning of ‘via crucis’ in our daily lives. By acknowledging, accepting, invoking, and applying Cosmic Wisdom, Universal Love, and connecting the two through the power of the Holy Creative Spirit, we can personally know the Christ Within. When this happens, we partake of the true spiritual communion, or Holy Mass, in which all are joined in the ‘Corpus Mystica Christi’ or Mystical Body of Christ. It is here, that all true and sincere believers are united in the Invisible Church of which Eckarthuasen spoke:


“It is necessary, my dear brothers in the Lord (Cosmic Consciousness), to give you a clear idea of the interior Church; that of the illuminated Community of God which is scattered throughout the world, but which governs by one truth and (is) united in one spirit.”


“… It is the most hidden of communities yet possesses members from many circles; of such is this School. From all time there has been an exterior school based on an interior one, of which it is but the outer expression. From all time, therefore, there has been a hidden assembly, a society of the Elect … called the interior Sanctuary or Church.”


“…But when men multiplied, the frailty of man and his weakness necessitated an exterior society which veiled the interior one, and concealed the spirit and truth in the letter … wrapped in external and perceptible ceremonies … which the symbol of the interior, might by degrees be enabled safely to approach the interior spiritual truths … so that the sensuous man could … be gradually … led to interior truth …”

(Cloud Upon the Sanctuary, Letter Two, von Eckharthausen)


Modern Mystical Uses of the Cross


Since the ‘Occult Revival Period’ of the 19th and early 20th centuries, several variations of the Sign of the Cross as a mystical and magical gesture have become public. While many of the organizations that lay claim to these techniques also make claims of somewhat questionable historical antiquity, the effectiveness of the method is what must be judged, and not history that may be more mythology than fact.

One of the largest, most splintered, and yet surprisingly effective of these movements is Martinism. Tracing its lineage to the French “Unknown Philosopher” Louis Claude de St.-Martin, and his rogue teacher and master, Martinez Pasquales, Martinism came into full bloom in Europe, America, and other areas around the world, prior to World War One.

Under the careful formation and leadership of Dr. Gerarde “Papus” Encausse, Martinism quickly grew into one of the largest and most widespread mystical movements in the world. Unfortunately, such quick and sudden growth also led to a fractioning of the original Martinist Order into several schismatic organizations and independent lodges. Despite their political quarrels, and doctrinal differences, they all remained true to their rituals, teaching methods, and core beliefs.

Since Martinism identifies and defines itself as “esoteric, Christian knighthood” based on initiation and the Qabbalah, it is no surprise that several variations of the cross appear in some of its rituals.

In The Martinist Tradition (vol. 1), Rene Cossey gives a copy of a Martinist ritual. The preface to the ritual outlines some of the long-standing history of the cross in both Christian and pre-christian periods.

Quoting Jean Danielou’s Les Symboles Chretiens Primitifs (Paris, 1961), Cossey points out that the tau was used as a “Sign of the Elect” in the Old Testament, being traced on the heads of the initiates by the Angel of Yahweh. The ancient Egyptians, Gnostics, Eleusian Mysteries, and Rites of Dionysos, all had uses for the tau prior to its being written about in Revelations, or adopted as the Passion Sign of Christ.


The High Priest of Israel had it traced upon his head with Oil of Unction upon his consecration. Early Christians in North Africa had it painted or tatooed on their heads as as sign of faith. Medieval rabbi’s visualized it as they were tossed into the flames during the Inquisition as a shortened version of the Tetragrammaton.

For the purpose of this ritual however, the ‘operator’ is advised to trace it upon his or her forehead with their right thumb (while possibly visualizing it in the aforesaid Qabbalistic fashion), after making a plea for Divine Intercession in the world’s state of affairs. At one point however, the ritual changes to tracing the cross with the thumb, as well as the forefinger and middle finger. This possibly symbolizes the coming together of various Cosmic forces.

An alternate method of tracing it is to use a candle in the air in front of oneself. By drawing it as such ( ) it symbolizes resurrection, when drawn ( ) it symbolizes Divine incarnation or assistance.


The Golden Dawn


While the teachings of Martinism have had a wide influence on many mystical organizations, particularly those either claiming the Martinist banner, or of a Rosicrucian variety, the Hermetic order of the Golden Dawn has by far had the widest and most well publicized impact on Western occult thought in the last 100 years.

Formed in the last quarter of the 19th century, the Golden Dawn was a direct off-shoot of a quasi-masonic Organization calling itself the Society Rosicrucia in Anglia (S.R.I.A.). Formed by a group of Masonic scholars seeking the Rosicrucian roots of the Masonic Order, the SRIA later became the nucleus for the Golden Dawn. Through the Golden Dawn, the S.I.R.A. sought to establish an outer organization where members could be trained in spiritual rites, whereby they might be prepared for later admittance into the Order of the Ruby Rose and Golden Cross, or their version of the Rosicrucian Order. Like Martinism which came only a few years later, the Golden Dawn sought to re-establish the lost entrance way into the secret and highly sought after Rosicrucian Order.

The Golden Dawn’s greatest contribution to the understanding of the Sign of the Cross comes in its highly revered ritual meditation known as the “Qabbalistic Cross”. In this ritual, like that described by Bishop Theodotus, the initiate visualizes brilliant spheres of light and the formation of a cross of white or golden light within themselves as they recite the invocation: “For thine (head), is the Kingdom (heart), and the Power (right shoulder), and the Glory (left shoulder), unto the ages, Amen (hands together in prayer).” This simply, but powerful act, when done with concentration and sincerity, can bring us into contact with Cosmic Wisdom, Love, and Creative Power, just as its Christian variation can.


Conclusion


While this is just a brief and hopefully practical introduction to the meaning and uses of the cross by mystics across the ages, it is important to remember, as Eckharthausen has pointed out to us, we are not alone on our spiritual journey. We are supported by a host of “Unknown Superiors” or invisible allies that constantly seek to uphold us on our Pilgrims Progress. By seeking a deeper understanding of our spiritual symbols, and using them in our daily meditations and prayers, we can strengthen ourselves inwardly and bring ourselves one step closer to God’s promised Kingdom — “Via Crucis!”


By Mark Stavish, M.A.


Coaching, Kabbalah, Alkemi, Magi, Alkemiutbildning, Prästinneutbildning, Tarot, Ockult, Esoteric, Astrologi, Gnostic, Yoga, Andlighet, Schamanism, Plantmedicin, Elixir, Esoteriska böcker, Esoterisk podcast, Alkemipodd, Andlig blogg,

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Celestial Beings - Angels

"They boast ethereal vigour and are form’d
 From seeds of heavenly birth.—Virgil.


"Down hither prone in flight
 He speeds, and through the vast ethereal sky
 Sails between world and world with steady wings:
 Now on the polar wind, then with quick fan
 Winnows the buxom air."—Milton.


ANGELS and Archangels the mind loves to contemplate as the ministers of God's omnipotence and beneficence, and delights in believing these celestial beings to be endowed with a higher and purer intelligence, and as being nearer to the divine nature. In all ages civilised man has thought of them and represented them in art as of form like to his own, and with attributes of volition and power suggested by wings. Scripture itself justifies the similitude; the Almighty is sublimely represented as "walking upon the wings of the wind." Wings have always been the symbol or attribute of

volition, of mind, or of the spirit or air. No apter emblem could be found for a rapid and resistless element than birds or the wings of birds; and however incongruous such appendages may be, and anatomically impossible, it is figuratively as the messengers of God's will to man that we have come to view these celestial habitants.


The idea of adding wings to the human form has existed from remote antiquity, and for the earliest suggestion of celestial beings of the winged human type we must look to the art works of Egypt and Assyria. In Egyptian art, Neith, the goddess of the heavens, was sometimes represented with wings, and in the marbles of Nineveh we find human figures displaying four wings. * In classic art wings are given to certain divinities and genii. The Jews probably borrowed the idea from the Egyptians, and the early Christians adopted—in this as in many other instances—existing ideas in their symbolical art to express the attribute of swiftness and power, and the sanction of the practice doubtless fixed it for acceptance through all future epochs of Christian Art.


In holy writ and Jewish tradition angels are usually spoken of as men, and their wings appear to be implied rather than expressed, as when Abraham in the plains of Mamré addresses his celestial visitors as "my lord," when Jacob wrestles with the angel, and more particularly when the Angel at the Sepulchre is described by St. Matthew, "His countenance was like the lightning and his raiment white as snow," and by St. Mark as A young man clothed in a long white garment."

The Seraphim and Cherubim as winged beings are more perfectly described in the Scriptures.

The Wings Variously Coloured.—Not content with a simple departure in form from all natural wings, the early and Middle Age artists resorted to many expedients to invest their angels’ wings with unearthly characteristics. Colour was a fertile field for their ingenuity, and they lavished all their brilliant hues in accentuating or separating the several orders of feathers comprising the wings; now rivalling the rainbow, now applying the startling contrasts of the most gorgeous tropical butterfly; at other times sprinkling or tipping the richly painted feathers with burnished gold, or making them appear alive with brilliant eyes.


Vesture.—In Early Christian Art the white vesture spoken of by St. Matthew and St. John, almost invariably adopted, consisted of garments resembling the classic tunica and pallium, sometimes bound with the "golden girdle" of Revelation. During the mediæval period they were clad in every brilliant colour. Angels do not often appear in the works of art executed during the first six centuries of the Church; and previous to the fifth century they were invariably represented without the nimbus—that attribute of divinity with which they were almost always invested throughout the whole range of Middle Age art.


Nimbus.—The nimbi given to all the orders of the angelic hierarchy are circular in form, with their fields either plain or covered with numerous radiating lines or rays, sometimes with broad borders of ornament, but never with the tri-radiate form, which was specially reserved for the persons of the trinity.


Lord Bacon ("Advancement of Learning," Book i.) says we find, as far as credit is to be given to the ecclesiastical hierarchy of the supposed Dionysius, the Senator of Athens, that the first place or degree is given to the angels of love, which are termed Seraphim; the second to the angels of light, which are termed Cherubim; and the third, and so following places, to thrones, principalities, and the rest, which are all angels of power and ministry, so that the angels of knowledge and illumination are placed before the angels of office and domination.


Fallen Angels.—We learn from Tradition that many angels, originally holy like the rest, fell from their pristine purity, becoming so transformed in character that all their powers are now used for the purpose of doing evil instead of doing good. These are to be identified with the devils so frequently mentioned in holy writ. By the artists of the Middle Ages they are depicted in as hideous a manner as could be conceived, more generally of the Satyr form with horns and hoofs and tail, which last connects them with the Dragon of the Apocalypse, the impersonation of the Supreme Spirit of evil (see Dragon). In Milton's conception Satan—the fallen Angel—assumes noble and magnificent proportions.



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THE NAMES OF THE GODDESS

The Goddess is one and multiform;
The Goddess has nine billion names;
And more;
Of her names only a few do we sing:


Blessed be to the Goddess of Chaos, Eris inchoate,
First of all to emerge in the undifferentiated plenum
The splendid dancer on the interface
Of the macrocosm and the microcosm;
The Creatrix of all fractal dimensions;


Blessed be the Sun, Amaterasu,
Creatrix of all solar planets;
She we greet at dawns' first breath;
She we hail at noon;
She we bid farewell at twilight;


Blessed be broad-breasted Earth, Gaia;
The ever-bountiful planet of our birth;
From her core of fire
To the outer wisps of her Ionosphere;
She has birthed all evolved life;
She has suffered mass extinctions;
She has rebirthed species time and time again;
We shall not rest in our defense of her
Against the depredations of the patriarchs.


Blessed be Maria,
The Goddess of the Ocean;
Blue-mantled, foam crested;
She brings rains to the dry lands;
Her song is sung by the whales of the deep.
She nurtured life in its infancy;
As she watches over childbirth;


Blessed be Maria's sister, Selene, the silent;
Our constant companion;
Goddess of the lunar cycle of the womb.
At the dark moon we watch for her expectantly;
At the new moon we hail her joyously;
At the full moon we make love and sing her praise;
At the waning moon we mourn and meditate.


Blessed be Aphrodite, Goddess of Love
Who we know also as Aphrodite,
Bringer of delights;
Joy which knows no boundaries;
Kindness which needs no recompense;
Lead us from jealousy which keeps us ever-reborn
And bestow on us the paradise of the Goddess
On Earth as it is on Heaven.


Blessed be Athena; Goddess of Wisdom;
She who taught us in the dawn time;
How to speak, create tools, use fire;
To till the land and tend it wisely;
We see far and go forth in her name.


Blessed be Demeter,
Bringer of seasons and giver of good gifts,
We eat of your divine foods:
Grains, Fruits, Vegetables;
We praise your bounty at every meal;
You sustain our bodies and gladden our soul.


Blessed be Kali,
Goddess of the Underworld;
Skull-wreathed, terrible Goddess
Death, destroyer of Universes;
She who sits at the gate of rebirth;
She who weighs our heart in the scales;
If it weighs less than a pomegranate seed;
She will send you on to the summerland;
If it is heavier, you will wander in the Bardos;
To find rebirth and find love once more.


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THE MERKABAH (CHARIOT) MYSTICISM

THE first chapter of Ezekiel has played a most fruitful part in the mystical speculations of the Jews. The lore of the heavenly Throne-chariot in some one or other of its multitudinous implications is everywhere to be met with. Whence Ezekiel derived these baffling conceptions of the Deity, and what historical or theological truths he meant to portray by means of them, are themes with which the scholars of the Old Testament have ever busied themselves. But the Jewish mystic sought no rationalistic explanation of them. He took them as they were, in all their mystery, in all their strange and inexplicable fantasy, in all their weird aloofness from the things and ideas of the everyday life. He sought no explanation of them because he was assured that they stood for something which did not need explaining. He felt instinctively that the Merkabah typified the human longing for the sight of the Divine Presence and companionship with it. To attain this

end was, to him, the acme of all spiritual life.


Ezekiel's image of Yahve riding upon the chariot of the 'living creatures,' accompanied by sights and voices, movements and upheavals in earth and heaven, lying outside the range of the deepest ecstatic experiences of all other Old Testament personages, was for the Jewish mystic a real opening, an unveiling, of the innermost and impenetrable secrets locked up in the interrelation of the human and the divine. It was interpreted as a sort of Divine self-opening, self-condescension to man. The door is flung wide open so that man, at the direct invitation of God, can come to the secret for which he longs and seeks. This idea is a supreme factor in the mystic life of all religions. The soul is urged on to seek union with God, only because it feels that God has first gone out, on His own initiative and uninvited, to seek union with it. The human movement from within is but a response to a larger Divine movement from without. The call has come; the answer must come.

The Chariot (Merkabah) was thus a kind of 'mystic way' leading up to the final goal of the soul. Or, more precisely, it was the mystic 'instrument,' the vehicle by which one was carried direct into the 'halls' of the unseen. It was the aim of the mystic to be a 'Merkabah-rider,' so that he might be enabled, while still in the trammels of the flesh, to mount up to his spiritual Eldorado. Whether, as has been suggested, the uncanny imagery of the Merkabah lore is to be sought, for its origin, in the teachings of Mithraism, or, as has also been suggested, in certain branches of Mohammedan mysticism, one can see quite clearly how its governing idea is based on a conception general to all the mystics, viz. that the quest for the ultimate Reality is a kind of pilgrimage, and the seeker is a traveller towards his home in God.


It was remarked, on a previous page, that the mystic neither asked, nor waited, for any rationalistic explanation of the Merkabah mysteries. He felt that they summarised for him the highest pinnacle of being towards the realisation of which he must bend his energies without stint. But yet, from certain stray and scattered Rabbinic remarks, one takes leave to infer that there existed in the early Christian centuries a small sect of Jewish mystics--the elect of the elect--to whom certain measures of instruction were given in these recondite themes. There was an esoteric science of the Merkabah. What its content was we can only dimly guess--from the Rabbinic sources. It appears to have been a confused angelology, one famous angel Metatron playing a conspicuous part.

Much more is to be found in the early Enoch-literature as well as--from quite other points of view--in the mediæval Kabbalah. Let us give some illustrative sayings from the Rabbinic literature.

In the Mishna, Ḥaggigah, ii. 1, it is said: "It is forbidden to explain the first chapters of Genesis to two persons, but it is only to be explained to one by himself. It is forbidden to explain the Merkabah even to one by himself unless he be a sage and of an original turn of mind." In a passage in T.B. Ḥaggigah, 13a, the words are added: "but it is permitted to divulge to him [i.e. to one in the case of the first chapters of Genesis] the first words of the chapters." In the same passage another Rabbi (Ze‘era) of the 3rd century A.D. remarks, with a greater stringency: "We may not divulge even the first words of the chapters [neither of Genesis nor Ezekiel] unless it be to a 'chief of the Beth Din' or to one whose heart is tempered by age or responsibility."


Yet another teacher of the same century declares in the same connection: "We may not divulge the secrets of the Torah to any but to him to whom the verse in Isaiah, iii. 3, applies, viz. the captain of fifty and the honourable man, and the counsellor and the cunning artificer and the eloquent orator."

(The Rabbis understood these terms to mean distinction in a knowledge and practice of the Torah.)

This insistence upon a high level of moral and religious fitness as the indispensable prelude to a knowledge of the Merkabah has its counterpart in the mysticism of all religions. The organic life, the self, conscious and unconscious, must be moulded and developed in certain ways; there must be an education, moral, physical, emotional; a psychological adjustment, by stages, of the mental states which go to the make-up of the full mystic consciousness. As Evelyn Underhill (Mysticism, p. 107) says: "Mysticism shows itself not merely as an attitude of mind and heart, but as a form of organic life. . . . It is a remaking of the whole character on high levels in the interests of the transcendental life."

That the Rabbis were fully alive to the importance of this self-discipline is seen by a remark of theirs in T.B. Ḥaggigah, 13a, as follows: "A certain youth was once explaining the Ḥashmal (Ezekiel, i. 27, translated 'amber' in the A.V.) when fire came forth and consumed him." When the question is asked, Why was this? the answer is: "His time had not yet come" (lāv māti zimnēh). This cannot but mean that his youthful age had not given him the opportunities for the mature self-culture necessary to the mystic apprehension. The Ḥashmal, by the way, was interpreted by the Rabbis as: (a) a shortened form of the full phrase ḥāyot ěsh mē-māl-lē-lothi.e. 'the living creatures of fire, speaking'; or (b) a shortened form of ‘ittim ḥāshoth ve-‘ittim mě-mălle-lōthi.e. 'they who at times were silent and at times speaking.' In the literature of the mediæval Kabbalah, the Ḥashmal belongs to the 'Yetsiratic' world (i.e. the abode of the angels, presided over by Metatron who was changed into fire; and the spirits of men are there too). According to a modern Bible commentator (the celebrated Russian Hebraist, M. L. Malbim, 1809-1879) the word signifies "the Ḥayot [i.e. 'living creatures' of Ezekiel, i.] which are the abode [or camp] of the Shechinah [i.e. Divine Presence] where there is the 'still small voice.' It is they [i.e. the Ḥayot] who receive the Divine effluence from above and disseminate it to the Ḥayot who are the movers of the 'wheels' [of Ezekiel's Chariot]."


Many more passages of a like kind might be quoted in support of the view that the attainment of a knowledge of the Merkabah was a hard quest beset with ever so many impediments; that it pre-supposed, on the one hand, an exceptional measure of self-development, and, on the other, an extraordinary amount of self-repression and self-renouncement.

But the mention of fire in the preceding paragraph leads us to the consideration of an aspect of the Merkabah which brings the latter very much into line with the description of mystical phenomena in literature generally. Every one knows how the image of fire dominates so much of the mysticism of Dante. The mediæval Christian mystics--Ruysbroeck, Catherine of Genoa, Jacob Boehme, and others--appeal constantly to the same figure for the expression of their deepest thoughts on the relations between man and the Godhead. The choice of the metaphor probably rests on the fact that 'fire' can be adapted to symbolise either or both of the following truths: (a) the brightness, illumination which comes when the goal has been reached, when the quest for the ultimate reality has at last been satisfied; (b) the all-penetrating, all-encompassing, self-diffusing force of fire is such a telling picture of the mystic union of the soul and God. The two are interpenetrated, fused into one state of being. The soul is red-hot with God, who at the same time, like fire, holds the soul in his grip, dwells in it.

Examples are the following: In the Midrash Rabba on Canticles, i. 12, it is said: "Ben ‘Azzai [a famous Rabbi of the 2nd century A.D.] was once sitting expounding the Torah. Fire surrounded him. They went and told R. ‘Akiba, saying, 'Oh! Rabbi! Ben ‘Azzai is sitting expounding the Torah, and fire is lighting him up on all sides.' Upon this, R. ‘Akiba went to Ben ‘Azzai and said unto him, 'I hear that thou wert sitting expounding the Torah, with the fire playing round about thee.' 'Yes, that is so,' replied he. 'Wert thou then,' retorted ‘Akiba, 'engaged in unravelling the secret chambers of the Merkabah?' 'No,' replied he." It is not germane here to go into what the sage said he really was engaged in doing. The quotation sufficiently shows how in the 2nd century A.D. the imagery of fire was traditionally associated with esoteric culture.


Here is another instance, in T.B. Succah, 28a. Hillel the Elder (30 B.C.-10 A.D.) had eighty disciples. Thirty of them were worthy enough for the Shechinah to rest upon them. Thirty of them were worthy enough for the sun to stand still at their bidding. The other twenty were of average character. The greatest among them all was Jonathan son of Uziel (1st century A.D.); the smallest among them all was Joḥanan son of Zaccai (end of 1st century A.D.). The latter, smallest though he was, was acquainted with every conceivable branch of both exoteric and esoteric lore. He knew 'the talk of the ministering angels and the talk of the demons and the talk of the palm-trees (děkālim).' He knew also the lore of the Merkabah. Such being the measure of the knowledge possessed by 'the smallest,' how great must have been the measure of the knowledge possessed by 'the greatest,' viz. Jonathan son of Uziel! When the latter was sitting and studying the Torah (presumably the esoteric lore of the angels and the Merkabah) every bird that flew above him was burnt by fire. These latter words are the description of the ecstatic state, the moments of exaltation, the indescribable peace and splendour which the soul of the mystic experiences when, disentangling itself from the darkness of illusion, it reaches the Light of Reality, the condition so aptly phrased by the Psalmist who said: "For with thee is the fountain of life; in thy light shall we see light" (Psalm, xxxvi. 9). The bird flying in the environment of this unrestrained light, must inevitably be consumed by the fire of it.


The monument which Jonathan son of Uziel has left us in perpetuation of his mystical tendencies, is his usage of the term Memra ('Word') to denote certain phases of Divine activity, in the Aramaic Paraphrase to the Prophets which ancient Jewish tradition assigned to his authorship, but which modern research has shown to be but the foundation on which the extant Aramaic Paraphrase to the Prophets rests.

Another illustration of the mystic vision of light consequent on the rapture created by an initiation into the Merkabah mysteries is related in T.B. Ḥaggigah, 14b, as follows:


"R. Joḥanan son of Zaccai was once riding on an ass, and R. Eliezer son of Arach was on an ass behind him. The latter Rabbi said to the former, 'O master! teach me a chapter of the Merkabah mysteries.' 'No!' replied the master, 'Have I not already informed thee that the Merkabah may not be taught to any one man by himself unless he be a sage and of an original turn of mind?


'Very well, then!' replied Eliezer son of Arach. 'Wilt thou give me leave to tell thee a thing which thou hast taught me? 'Yes!' replied Joḥanan son of Zaccai. 'Say it!' Forthwith the master dismounted from his ass, wrapped himself up in a garment, and sat upon a stone beneath an olive tree. 'Why, O master, hast thou dismounted from thy ass?' asked the disciple. 'Is it possible,' replied he, 'that I will ride upon my ass at the moment when thou art expounding the mysteries of the Merkabah, and the Shechinah is with us, and the ministering angels are accompanying us?' Forthwith R. Eliezer son of Arach opened his discourse on the mysteries of the Merkabah, and no sooner had he begun, than fire came down from heaven and encompassed all the trees of the field, which, with one accord, burst into song. What song? It was 'Praise the Lord from the earth, ye dragons and all deeps; fruitful trees and all cedars, praise ye the Lord' (Psalm, cxlviii. 7, 9). Upon this, an angel cried out from the fire, saying, 'Truly these, even these, are the secrets of the Merkabah.' R. Joḥanan son of Zaccai then arose and kissed his disciple upon the forehead, saying, 'Blessed be the Lord, God of Israel, who hath given unto Abraham our father a son who is able to understand, and search, and discourse upon, the mysteries of the Merkabah.' . . .


"When these things were told to R. Joshua [another disciple of Joḥanan], the latter said one day when walking with R. José the Priest [another disciple of Joḥanan], 'Let us likewise discourse about the Merkabah!' R. Joshua opened the discourse. It was a day in the height of summer. The heavens became a knot of thick clouds, and something like a rainbow was seen in the clouds, and the ministering angels came in companies to listen as men do to hear wedding music. R. José the Priest went and told his master of it, who exclaimed, 'Happy are ye, happy is she that bare you! Blessed are thy eyes that beheld these things! Indeed I saw myself with you in a dream, seated upon Mount Sinai, and I heard a heavenly voice exclaiming, Ascend hither! Ascend hither! large banqueting-halls and fine couches are in readiness for you. You and your disciples, and your disciples' disciples, are destined to be in the third set' [i.e. the third of the three classes of angels who, as the Rabbis taught, stand continually before the Shechinah, singing psalms. and anthems]."


There are several points which need making clear in this remarkable passage. The objection to discuss the Merkabah while sitting on the animal's back, and the fact of sitting upon a stone under an olive tree, point to the necessary physical and tempera-mental self-discipline which is the sine quâ non of the mystic's equipment in all ages and among all nations. He must not be set high on the ass, lest his heart be lifted up too. He must be cleansed of every vestige of pride, lowly and of contrite spirit. It has been mentioned in the previous chapter how meekness was one of the unfailing qualities of the Zen‘uim. The proud man, said the Rabbis, "crowds out the feet of the Shechinah." "Whosoever is haughty will finally fall into Gehinnom." Pride, to the Rabbis, was the most terrible pitfall in the path of the religious life. Its opposite, humility, was the starting-point of all the virtues. If such was the premium placed upon meekness in so far as it concerned the

life of the ordinary Jew, how enormous must have been its importance for the life of the mystic--for him who aimed at knowing Eternal Truth? Everything that savours of evil, of imperfection, of sin, must vanish. The primary means of this self-purification is the culture of humility.


The remark that 'the Shechinah is with us and the ministering angels are accompanying us' emphasises two salient features of Rabbinic mysticism. Firstly, the Shechinah is the transcendent-immanent God of Israel; Israel's environment was saturated with the Shechinah whose unfailing companionship the Jew enjoyed in all the lands of his dispersion. "Even at the time when they are unclean does the Shechinah dwell with them," runs a passage in T.B. Yoma, 57a. How unique, how surpassingly vivid must have been the consciousness of this accompanying Shechinah-Presence to the Merkabah initiates, to those who had raised themselves so high above the level of the ordinary crowd by the pursuit of an ideal standard of self-perfection! Secondly, the 'ministering angels' play a large part in all the Merkabah lore, as is seen from the following Rabbinic comments.

Ezekiel, i. 15, says, "Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold one wheel upon the earth by the living creatures, with his four faces." R. Eliezer said, "There is one angel who stands upon earth but whose head reaches to the 'living creatures' . . . his name is Sandalphon. He is higher than his neighbour to the extent of a five-hundred years' journey. He stands behind the Merkabah wreathing coronets for his Master" (T.B. Ḥaggigah, 13b).


Another passage reads: "Day by day ministering angels are created from the stream of fire. They sing a pæan [to God] and then pass away, as it is said, 'They are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness' (Lamentations, iii. 23). . . . From each word that comes forth from the mouth of the Holy One (blessed be He) there is created one angel, as it is said, 'By the word of the Lord were the heavens made and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth'" (Psalm, xxxiii. 6).

The Rabbis obviously understood the phrase 'the host of them' to refer, not as we suppose, to the paraphernalia of the heavens, i.e. the stars, planets, etc., but to the angelic worlds. The idea of the Word of God becoming transformed into an angel, and hence accomplishing certain tangible tasks among men, here on earth, bears strong resemblances to the Logos of Philo as well as to the Prologue of the Fourth Gospel.

The phrase to 'listen as men do to hear wedding music' (or literally 'the music of bride and bridegroom') is a reminiscence of the large mass of Rabbinic mysticism clustering round the love overtures of bride and bridegroom in the Book of Canticles. The book, on the Rabbinic interpretation, teaches the great truth of a 'spiritual marriage' between the human and the Divine, a betrothal between God and Israel. "In ten places in the Old Testament," says Canticles Rabba, iv. 10, "are the Israelites designated as a 'bride,' six here [i.e. in the Book of Canticles] and four in the Prophets . . . and in ten corresponding passages is God represented as arrayed in garments [which display the dignity of manhood in the ideal bridegroom]."


To the minds of the Rabbis, the super-abundant imagery of human love and marriage which distinguishes Canticles from all other books of the Old Testament, was the truest symbol of the way in which human Israel and his Divine Father were drawn near to one another. The intimate and secret experiences of the soul of the Jew, the raptures of its intercourse with God in senses which no outsider could understand, were best reflected in the language of that august and indefinable passion which men call love.

The remark 'ascend hither! ascend hither! large banqueting halls and fine couches are in readiness for you,' etc., points to another prominent phase of Rabbinic mysticism. It was strongly believed that the pious could, by means of a life led on the highest plane, free themselves from the trammels that bind the soul to the body and enter, living, into the heavenly paradise. The idea was obviously a development of a branch of Old Testament theology. But the latter gets no further than the conception that heaven may be reached without dying, the persons translated thither having finished their earthly career. The experiences of Enoch (Genesis, v. 24) and of Elijah (2 Kings, ii. 11) are illustrations. A development of the doctrine is the thought that certain favoured saints of history are, after death and when in heaven, given instruction concerning the doings of men and the general course of events here below. The Apocalyptic literature (see especially Apocalypse of Baruch, by Dr. Charles) deals somewhat largely in this idea; and there are traces of it in the Rabbinical literature. But these saints, however true the teachings and revelations vouchsafed to them may eventually have turned out to be, are dead as far as the world is concerned.


A further development is seen in the theory that certain pious men may temporarily ascend into the unseen, and, having seen and learnt the deepest mysteries, may return to earth again. These were the mystics who, by training themselves to a life of untarnished holiness, were able to fit themselves for entering a state of ecstasy, to behold visions and hear voices which brought them into direct contact with the Divine Life. They were the students of the Merkabah who, as a result of their peculiar physical and mental make-up, were capable of reaching the goal of their quest. "There were four men," says the Talmud (Ḥaggigah, 14b), "who entered Paradise." They were R. ‘Akiba (50--130 A.D.), Ben ‘Azzai (2nd century A.D.), Ben Zoma (2nd century A.D.), and Elisha b. Abuyah (end of 1st century and beginning of 2nd century A.D.). Although this passage is one of the puzzles of the Talmud, and is variously interpreted, we may quite feasibly lay it down that the reference here is to one of those waking visits to the invisible world which fall within the experiences of all mystics in all ages.

Fragments of what was a large mystic literature of the later Rabbinical epoch (i.e. from about the 7th to the 11th century, usually known as the Gaonic epoch) have descended to us. Of these, one branch is the Hekalot (i.e. 'halls'), which are supposed to have originated with the mystics of the fore-mentioned period who called themselves Yōrědē Merkabah (i.e. Riders in the Chariot). As Dr. Louis Ginzberg says (see art 'Ascension' in Jewish Encyc. vol. ii.), "these mystics were able, by various manipulations, to enter into a state of autohypnosis, in which they declared they saw heaven open before them, and beheld its mysteries. It was believed that he only could undertake this Merkabah-ride, who was in possession of all religious knowledge, observed all the commandments and precepts and was almost superhuman in the purity of his life. This, however, was regarded usually as a matter of theory; and less perfect men also attempted, by fasting and prayer, to free their senses from the impressions of the outer world and succeeded in entering into a state of ecstasy in which they recounted their heavenly visions."


Much of this belief survives in modern Jewish mysticism, whose chief representatives known as Ḥasidim are to be found in Russia, Poland, Galicia, and Hungary.

Although it was stated above that the large volume of this phase of mystic literature originated in the period from the 7th to the 11th century, modern research has clearly proved that its roots go back to a very much earlier date. In fact, it is very doubtful whether its origin is to be looked for at all in the bosom of early Judaism. Mithra-worship is now taken by scholars to account for much of it. But it is hazardous to venture any final opinion. It must never be forgotten that the first chapter of Ezekiel worked wonders on the old Hebrew imagination. Commentaries on almost every word in the chapter were composed whole-sale. In all likelihood, the mysticism of the Merkabah-riders is a syncretism. Mithraic conceptions in vogue were foisted on to the original Jewish interpretations; and, in combination with Neo-Platonism, there was evolved this branch of Jewish mysticism which, though by no means abundant in the Talmud and the Midrashim, occupies a considerable place in the ideas of the mediæval Kabbalah, as well as in the tenets of the modern Ḥasidim.


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April - The Month of Venus

This month of April has only thirty days, which is the number said to have been given to it by Romulus. The king who came after him gave it only twenty-nine, but Caesar, when he altered the calendar, gave it thirty again.

The name April comes from the Latin word aperire, which means "to open", and the month was no doubt so named because it is during April that the earth, which has been bound by the sharp frosts of winter, once again opens beneath the warm rays of the sun; the withered sheaths fall away from the ripened buds, which, opening out, disclose to our eyes their long hidden treasures of beautiful colour.


We find that the month was sacred to Venus, the Roman Goddess of Beauty, and some people think for this reason that the name April comes not from aperire, but from Aphrilis, which in turn comes from Aphrodite, the name given to the Goddess of Beauty by the Greeks.

Venus is said to have sprung from the foam of the sea, and to have made her way to Mount Olympus, the home of the gods, where, because of her wonderful beauty and grace, she was welcomed as the Goddess of Love and Beauty. All the gods fell in love with her, but she scorned them all, and Jupiter, to punish her for her pride, ordered her to marry Vulcan, the God of Fire, who was deformed and very rough in his manner. He had been thrown from the top of Mount Olympus by Jupiter in a fit of anger. Had he not been a god, he would, of course, have been killed by the fall, but he escaped with a broken leg which made him lame for the rest of his life. He now lived on the earth, and spent his time at the forge making many wonderful and useful things from the metals which he found buried in the mountains. He built gorgeous palaces of gold for the gods, which he decorated with precious stones, forged the terrible thunderbolts used by Jupiter, and also made the arrows used by Venus's son, Cupid. Vulcan was naturally worshiped by all blacksmiths and workers in metal, and a great festival called the Vulcanalia was held in his honour.


Cupid, whom we have just mentioned, was the God of Love; he never grew up, but remained a little chubby boy, with beautiful wings. He always carried a bow, and with his arrows pierced the hearts of young men and maidens in order to make them fall in love with one another.

Another son of Venus was Aeneas, the great hero who was supposed to have been the founder of the Roman race. He escaped from Troy, when at the end of ten years' siege it fell into the hands of the Greeks, and after many adventures reached a part of Italy, called Latium, where in later times his descendants, Romulus and Remus, founded the city of Rome.

The story of Aeneas has been wonderfully told by the Roman poet Virgil in his great work called the Aeneid. In this book Virgil wishes to show that Augustus, the emperor of his time, being a descendant of Aeneas, was also descended from the gods, since Aeneas was said to be the son of Venus.

Part of the story of Troy, or Ilium, is told in the Iliad of Homer, the great Greek poet. We read there of the fierce struggles which took place before the walls of the city, of deeds of strength and valour, and particularly of the final combat between the great heroes Hector the Trojan and Achilles the Greek, in which the Trojan was killed. In spite of many successes in the field, the Greeks were unable to gain an entry into the city, nor were the Trojans able to drive the Greeks from the shore, and it seemed as if neither side would ever secure the victory.


At last Ulysses, a Greek prince who was renowned for his cunning, formed a plan for entering the city and thus finally bringing to an end the war that had lasted for ten years. The Greeks built a wooden horse of such size that a number of men could be hidden within its hollow sides. This horse, filled with fighting men led by Ulysses, was left on the shore, while the army embarked in their ships and sailed away as if tired of the endless struggle. The Greeks also left behind a cunning slave, named Sinon, who was to play an important part in the plot. The Trojans, overjoyed at the departure of the Greeks, flocked down to the shore and crowded round the enormous wooden horse, full of wonderment at its strangeness. Many wished to drag it into the city at once, while some were filled with suspicion and urged their companions to distrust anything made by their enemies. Sinon, when questioned by the Trojans, pretended that he had been ill-treated by the Greeks, and spoke with hatred and anger against them. He explained that the horse was an offering to the sea god, Neptune, whose help the Greeks would need on their journey home, and he advised the Trojans to seize it and take it into the city. In spite even of those who suggested that armed men might be hidden in the horse, the Trojans dragged it into the city with great triumph, pulling down part of the wall to admit it, since it was too large to go through the gates.


Then followed a night of feast and revelry; the Trojans in their excitement laid aside their armour and their weapons, and gave themselves up to wild merrymaking. The smoky flare of the torches lit up a scene of mad delight. Suddenly shouts of alarm arose on every side, followed by the clash of weapons. Armed men poured in on the astonished Trojans, and in a short time Troy was in the hands of the Greeks. Under cover of the darkness and the noise Ulysses and his companions had crept from their hiding-place, had overpowered the careless sentries, and opened the gates for the Greek army, whose ships had returned in the night. Thus, through the help of the clever Ulysses, the Greeks overcame the army that had so often beaten them in the field, and by a trick brought to a victorious end the great Trojan war, for which the Goddess Venus had been responsible, as we shall read in a later chapter.


The Old English name for the month of April was Oster-monath or Easter-monath, because it was the month sacred to Eastre, or Ostara, the Goddess of Spring; the same name is still kept by the Germans, who call it Ostermonath. The time of year known as Easter is named after this goddess, and though Easter is now a Christian festival, it was in the first place a feast held by the Saxons in honour of their goddess Eastre. It was the custom for the people to give one another presents of coloured eggs, because the egg is supposed to represent the beginning of life, and the feast was held in the spring-time, when Nature awakes to a new life from the death of winter. The custom, which we still have, of sending Easter eggs to our friends, is therefore a very, very old one indeed.


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THE ANTEDILUVIANS AND THEIR MAGICAL ARTS

Said Rabbi Jose: "Adam through disobedience to the divine commandment, lost the knowledge and understanding of the secret doctrine and occult power and meaning of the letters of the alphabet except the two last, namely, the letters Shin (S) and Tau (Th), because though he had sinned yet was not goodness wholly extinguished within him and therefore to express his feeling of gratitude for this concession, he called his son Seth. After his repentance and reconciliation with his Lord, the letters with the knowledge of their mystical meaning and power became known again to him, but in their reverse order thus, Th, S, R, Q, in which they continued up to the day the children of Israel stood at the foot of Mount Sinai, when they became arranged again in their normal order as on the day that the heavens and the earth were created. This redistribution of the alphabetical letters

contributed to the permanent welfare and endurance of the world."


Said Rabbi Abba: "When Adam transgressed, the heavens and the earth trembled and wished to become dissolved into their original elements and disappear altogether because the covenant between God and man on which they were founded had become broken, of which it is written, 'If the covenant of day and night had not existed, I would not have made those laws that govern and control the universe.' (Jer. xxxiii., 25.) We know that this covenant was broken by the transgression of Adam as scripture states, 'but they like Adam have transgressed the covenant' (Hos. vi., 7). If the Holy One had not foreseen that Israel on arriving at Mount Sinai would accept the covenant, the very heavens and the earth would have ceased their existence and reverted back into chaos."


Said Rabbi Hezekiah: "The Holy One remitteth and forgives everyone who confesses his sins and wrongdoings. Observe that when the world was created, the Holy One made the covenant upon which it continues to exist. We infer this from the word Brashith which should be written thus, bara, shith: meaning 'He created the foundation' or the covenant, symbolized by the letter Yod (I) in the middle of the word shith which though the smallest of the alphabetical letters, nevertheless represents the covenant through which all blessings come to mankind. When a son was born unto him, Adam confessed his sin and was forgiven by the Holy One, and therefore he called his name Seth, having the same consonantal letters as Shith without the Yod, symbol of the covenant he had transgressed. Furthermore, the Holy covenant is also symbolized by the letter Beth (B) which became incorporated with S and Th when the children of Israel stood at the foot of Mount Sinai and thus formed the Sabbath (S B Th), of which it is written, 'Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath (or covenant) throughout their generations for a perpetual covenant.' It is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever.'" (Ex. xxxi., 16).


Said Rabbi Jose: "The two letters Shin and Tau were then associated and from the time the children of Israel received the covenant at Mount Sinai, they acquired the occult knowledge and understanding of the mystical meaning of all the letters of the alphabet that, with the exception of Shin and Tau, had become lost to mankind."

Said Rabbi Jehuda: "From the birth of Seth to the coming of Israel to Mount Sinai, the mysteries of the letters were gradually unfolded and revealed to the patriarchs, but not fully, as the letters were not in their normal order as at present."


Said Rabbi Eleazar: "In the days of Enos, men were deeply versed in occult knowledge and magical science and the manipulation of natural forces, in which no one was more skilled than he, since the time of Adam whose chief study was on the occult properties of the leaves of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil. It was Enos that taught and imparted this occult lore to his contemporaries, who in their turn handed it down to the antediluvians, the persistent and perverse opponents of Noah. They boasted that by their magical science they were able to ward off the divine judgments threatening them. Whilst Enos lived, men became initiated into the higher life, as scripture states. 'Then began men to make invocations in the name of Jehovah.'"


Said Rabbi Isaac: "All the just men who lived subsequent to Enos, as Jared, Methusalah and Henoch, did all in their power to restrain the practice of magical arts, but their efforts proved futile and ineffectual; so that the professors of them, proud of their occult knowledge, became rebellious and disobedient to their Lord, saying, 'Who is Shaddai, the almighty, that we should serve him and what profit should we have in praying unto lam'?' Thus spake they and foolishly imagined that by their occultism and magic they would he able to nullify and turn away the oncoming judgment that was to sweep them wholly out of existence. Beholding their wicked deeds and practices, the Holy One caused the earth to revert back to its former condition and become immersed in water. After the deluge, however, He gave the earth again to mankind, promising, in His mercy, it should never again and in like manner be destroyed. It is written, 'The Lord caused the earth to be covered with the deluge' (Ps. xxix., 10). The word for Lord, here, is Jehovah and not Alhim; the first representing mercy, the other severity and judgment. In the time of Enos, even young children became students and trained in the higher mysteries and knowledge of the secret doctrine."


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SYMBOLISMS OF MAN

"And the Lord God formed man" (Gen. ii. 7), that is, Israel. Here the word vayitzer (formed) is written with two yods or I's, indicating that the Holy One formed him with two natures, the higher and lower self; the one divine, the other earthly, and impressed upon his form the divine name, I V I, expressed by the two eyes and the nose between them, thus: I. The numerical value of these letters is 26, which is also that of the divine name, Jehovah.

It is on this account that scripture saith, "From the top of the rocks I shall see Him" (Num. xxiii. 9). The word zurim (rocks) denotes also forms, so that Balaam who uttered these words, meant that in viewing the form of Israel, he beheld and recognized the divine name.

Another comparison of Israel with this Divine name is in the two tables of stone containing the law and representing two I's, the letter V symbolizing what is written on them. Man also in himself represents the union and blending together of the higher and lower Shekinas, symbolized by the repeating of the Shema, morning and evening.

The union of the two natures in man is also referred to in the words, "Bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh" (Gen. ii. 23). We also read that God planted man, that is, Israel, in the sacred garden of Eden, as it is written, "And the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden" (Gen. ii. 15). Jehovah Alhim, the Lord God; that is, the heavenly father and mother; "garden," the lower Shekina; "in Eden," the heavenly mother;

"the man," the middle column of the sephirotic tree; from which was formed his wife, and who being his delight should never be separated from him.


It was then that the Holy One planted Israel, who are the holy branches of the world, or, in other words, a race purer and better than those that had formerly existed; as it is written, "The branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified" (Is. Ix. 21). "And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food" (Gen. ii. 9). "The Lord God denoting the celestial father and mother; "every tree that is pleasant to the sight," the Just; and "good for food," the middle column consisting of the sephiroth kether, tiphereth, yesod, etc., and from which proceed those stores of food by which the righteous are sustained and which, when mankind becomes purified and enlightened, will contribute to the life of the world.

Then will every one take of the tree of life in the midst of the garden, and eat and live for ever more.

The tree of the knowledge of good and evil symbolizes those whose intellectual faculties are directed only to phenomenal objects that can be seen and handled, and by whom the presence and operation of the Shekina in nature, in the life of nations and in the soul of man himself, are unrecognized and ignored; and thus it will be until the times of error and darkness pass away; then will they also become proselytes of the divine life of whom it will be said: "The Lord alone is their leader and there is no strange god in their midst" (Deuter. xxxii. 12); and, human nature transformed and enlightened and purified, mankind will become as a tree that, in its stately form and beauty, is pleasant to the sight. The tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil occasioned Israel to fall into error which they should have avoided and remembered the divine command admonishing them to "Eat not of the tree" of Good and Evil, on pain and penalty of spiritual death involving loss of union with the Divine, without which there can be no interior enlightenment, no spiritual development. This command with its twice repeated warning, "thou shalt die, thou shalt die," refers also to the children of Israel who endured two great calamities, the destruction of the first and second temples, and the loss of the higher and lower Shekina or manifestation of the Divine presence in their midst, as expressed and typified in the words, "And the river shall be dried up" (Ia. xix. 5), and which then became resolved in Ain Soph, the Boundless One, whence it emanated at first.


This aridity or state of dryness will not however continue always, for when Israel comes out of captivity then will the river that was dried up and wasted go forth again out of Eden to water the garden, and divine knowledge cover the earth as the waters cover the seas.

This recurrence and reappearance of the Divine Presence amongst mankind is mystically referred to in the words,"Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord" (Is. lviii. 14).

The word anag (delight or joy) in this passage of scripture is composed of the initial letters of "Eden," Nahar (a river), and Gan (a garden.) Then also shall be accomplished and fulfilled the words of scripture: "Then Moses and the children of Israel shall sing" (not sang, as generally translated--Ex. xv. 1) for error and idolatry symbolized by Pharaoh and his hosts will he destroyed and pass away forever. Furthermore, we read, "the river that went forth out of Eden to water the ground was parted and became into four heads" (Gen. ii. 10). These four heads or channels are symbolized on the sephirotic tree by chesed (mercy) which forms the right arm, teaching that he who desires to become wise should always turn himself to the south, the quarter presided over by Michael and his hosts, along with Judah and two other tribes of Israel, whilst he who prays for wealth should turn towards the north where is stationed Gabriel with his hosts, along with Dan and two other tribes.. The third channel is symbolized by Netzach (triumph or victory), the right limb of the sephirotic tree presided over by Nuriel with his hosts, along with Reuben and two other tribes. The left limb is Hod (splendor). It is to this sephira that, what is said of Jacob, is applied, "And he halted upon his thigh (Gen. xxxii. 31). The fourth head is presided over by Raphael and his hosts, along with Ephraim and two other tribes. The mission and work of this ruler is the healing and assuagement of the afflictions of the captivity.


The words, "and became parted into four heads" refer also to four individuals who gained entrance into the mysterious garden of Eden, or Paradise. The first entered it by the channel Pishon, that is, "Pishoneh halakhoth" (the mouth that teaches the good law). The second, by Gihon (the place where is buried he who creepeth on his belly--Levit. xl. 42). It is under the presidency of Gabriel whose name is composed of the words Gebra, al (divine man), and who is alluded to in the words, "the man who walks on a hidden path and whom God has covered as with a veil" (Job. iii. 23), and also in the following passage: "No man knoweth unto this day the place of his sepulchre" (Deuter. xxxiv. 6); the esoteric signification of which is understood only by those initiated in the secret doctrine. The third individual entered by the channel called Hiddekel or Had qal (the adapting word), the third part of the secret doctrine imparted to initiates and known as Darash (exposition). The fourth entered by Phrath, the channels through which flows the principle of fecundity. Ben Zoma and Ben Azai, who penetrated into and attained to the knowledge of the secret doctrine concealed within its esoteric covering, by their wrong use of it found it a curse instead of a blessing, whilst to Rabbi Akiba it became a blessing and a source of joy, tranquillity and power.


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Mysticism and Magic

It is unnecessary to examine in detail the mistakes—in ecclesiastical language, the heresies—into which men have been led by a feeble, a deformed, or an arrogant mystical sense. The number of these mistakes is countless; their wildness almost inconceivable to those who have not been forced to study them. Too often the loud voices and strange declarations of their apostles have drowned the quieter accents of the orthodox.

It seems as though the moment of puberty were far more critical in the spiritual than it is in the physical life: the ordinary dangers of adolescence being intensified when they appear upon the higher levels of consciousness. In the condition of psychic instability which is characteristic of his movement to new states, man is unusually at the mercy of the suggestions and impressions which he receives. Hence in every period of true mystical activity we find an outbreak of occultism, illuminism, or other perverted spirituality and—even more dangerous and confusing for the student—a borderland region where the mystical and psychical meet. In the youth of the Christian Church, side by side with genuine mysticism descending from the Johannine writings or brought in by the Christian Neoplatonists, we have the arrogant and disorderly transcendentalism of the Gnostics: their attempted fusion of the ideals of mysticism and magic. During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance there are the spurious mysticism of the Brethren of the Free Spirit, the occult propaganda of Paracelsus, the Rosicrucians, the Christian Kabalists; and the innumerable pantheistic, Manichean, mystery-making, and Quietist heresies which made war upon Catholic tradition. In the modern world, Theosophy in its various forms is probably the most widespread and respectable representative of the occult tradition.


The root idea from which these varied beliefs and practices develop is always the same; and, since right doctrine is often most easily defined by contrast with its opposite, its study is likely to help us to fix more precisely the true characters of mysticism. Leaving therefore the specifically mystical error of Quietism until we come to the detailed discussion of the contemplative states, we will consider here some of those other supernormal activities of the self which we have already agreed to classify as magic: and learn through them more of those hidden and half-comprehended forces which she has at her command.

The word “magic” is out of fashion, though its spirit was never more widely diffused than at the present time. Thanks to the gradual debasement of the verbal currency, it suggests to the ordinary reader the production of optical illusions and other parlour tricks. It has dragged with it in its fall the terrific verb “to conjure,” which, forgetting that it once undertook to compel the spirits of men and angels, is now content to produce rabbits from top-hats. These facts would have little importance, were it not that modern occultists—annoyed, one supposes, by this abuse of their ancient title—constantly arrogate to their tenets and practices the name of “Mystical Science.” Vaughan, in his rather supercilious survey of the mystics, classed all forms of white magic, alchemy, and occult philosophy as “theurgic mysticism,” and, on the other side of the shield, the occultists display an increasing eagerness to claim the mystics as masters in their school.

Even the “three-fold way” of mysticism has been adopted by them and relabelled “Probation, Enlightenment, Initiation.”


In our search for the characteristics of mysticism we have already marked the boundary which separates it from magic: and tried to define the true nature and intention of occult philosophy. We saw that it represented the instinctive human “desire to know more” applied to suprasensible things. For good or ill this desire, and the occult sciences and magic arts which express it, have haunted humanity from the earliest times. No student of man can neglect their investigation, however distasteful to his intelligence their superficial absurdities may be. The starting-point of all magic, and of all magical religion—the best and purest of occult activities—is, as in mysticism, man’s inextinguishable conviction that there are other planes of being than those which his senses report to him; and its proceedings represent the intellectual and individualistic results of this conviction—his craving for the hidden knowledge. It is, in the eyes of those who really practise it, a moyen de parvenir: not the performance of illicit tricks, but a serious attempt to solve the riddle of the world. Its result, according to a modern writer upon occult philosophy, “comprises an actual, positive, and realizable knowledge concerning the worlds which we denominate invisible, because they transcend the imperfect and rudimentary faculties of a partially developed humanity, and concerning the latent potentialities which constitute—by the fact of their latency—the interior man. In more strictly philosophical language, the Hermetic science is a method of transcending the phenomenal world and attaining to the reality which is behind phenomena.”  


Though fragments of this enormous claim seem able to justify themselves in experience, the whole of it cannot be admitted. The last phrase in particular is identical with the promise which we have seen to be characteristic of mysticism. It presents magic as a pathway to reality; a promise which it cannot fulfil, for the mere transcending of phenomena does not entail the attainment of the Absolute. Magic even at its best extends rather than escapes the boundaries of the phenomenal world. It stands, where genuine, for that form of transcendentalism which does abnormal things, but does not lead anywhere: and we are likely to fall victims to some kind of magic the moment that the declaration “I want to know” ousts the declaration “I want to be” from the chief place in our consciousness. The true “science of ultimates” must be a science of pure Being, for reasons which the reader is now in a position to discover for himself. But magic is merely a system whereby the self tries to assuage its transcendental curiosity by extending the activities of the will beyond their usual limits; sometimes, according to its own account, obtaining by this means an experimental knowledge of planes of existence usually—but inaccurately—regarded as “supernatural.”

Even this modified claim needs justification. For most persons who do not specialize in the eccentric sciences the occultist can only be said to exist in either the commercial or the academic sense. The fortune-teller represents one class; the annotator of improper grimoires the other. In neither department is the thing supposed to be taken seriously: it is merely the means of obtaining money, or of assuaging a rather morbid curiosity.


Such a view is far from accurate. In magic, whether regarded as a superstition or a science, we have at any rate the survival of a great and ancient tradition, the true meaning of whose title should hardly have been lost in a Christian country; for it claims to be the science of those Magi whose quest of the symbolic Blazing Star brought them once, at least, to the cradle of the Incarnate God. Its laws, and the ceremonial rites which express those laws, have come down from immemorial antiquity. They appear to enshrine a certain definite knowledge, and a large number of less definite theories, concerning the sensual and supersensual worlds, and concerning powers which man, according to occult thinkers, may develop if he will. Orthodox persons should be careful how they condemn the laws of magic: for they unwittingly conform to many of them whenever they go to church. All ceremonial religion contains some elements of magic. The art of medicine will never wholly cast it off: many centuries ago it gave birth to that which we now call modern science. It seems to possess inextinguishable life. This is not surprising when we perceive how firmly occultism is rooted in psychology: how perfectly it is adapted to certain perennial characteristics of the human mind—its curiosity, its arrogance, its love of mystery.

Magic, in its uncorrupted form, claims to be a practical, intellectual, highly individualistic science; working towards the declared end of enlarging the sphere on which the human will can work, and obtaining experimental knowledge of planes of being usually regarded as transcendental. It is the last descendant of a long line of teaching—the whole teaching, in fact, of the mysteries of Egypt and Greece—which offered to initiate man into a certain secret knowledge and understanding of things. “In every man,” says a modern occultist, “there are latent faculties by means of which he can acquire for himself knowledge of the higher worlds . . . as long as the human race has existed there have always been schools in which those who possessed these higher faculties gave instruction to those who were in search of them. Such are called the occult schools, and the instruction which is imparted therein is called esoteric science or the occult teaching.” 


These occult schools, as they exist in the present day, state their doctrine in terms which seem distressingly prosaic to the romantic inquirer; borrowing from physics and psychology theories of vibration, attraction, mental suggestion and subconscious activity which can be reapplied for their own purposes. According to its modern teachers, magic is simply an extension of the theory and practice of volition beyond the usual limits. The will, says the occultist, is king, not only of the House of Life, but of the universe outside the gates of sense. It is the key to “man limitless” the true “ring of Gyges,” which can control the forces of nature known and unknown. This aspect of occult philosophy informs much of the cheap American transcendentalism which is so lightly miscalled mystical by its teachers and converts; Menticulture, “New” or “Higher Thought,” and the scriptures of the so-called “New Consciousness.” The ingenious authors of “Volo,” “The Will to be Well,” and “Just How to Wake the Solar Plexus,” the seers who assure their eager disciples that by “Concentration” they may acquire not only health, but also that wealth which is “health of circumstance,” are no mystics. They are magicians; and teach, though they know it not, little else but the cardinal doctrines of Hermetic science, omitting only their picturesque ceremonial accompaniments.

These cardinal doctrines, in fact, have varied little since their first appearance early in the world’s history: though, like the doctrines of theology, they have needed re-statement from time to time. In discussing them I shall quote chiefly from the works of Eliphas Lévi; the pseudonym under which Alphonse Louis Constant, the most readable occult philosopher of the nineteenth century, offered his conclusions to the world.


The tradition of magic, like most other ways of escape which man has offered to his own soul, appears to have originated in the East. It was formulated, developed, and preserved by the religion of Egypt. It made an early appearance in that of Greece. It has its legendary grand master in Hermes Trismegistus, who gave to it its official name of Hermetic Science, and whose status in occultism is much the same as that occupied by Moses in the tradition of the Jews. Fragmentary writings attributed to this personage and said to be derived from the Hermetic books, are the primitive scriptures of occultism: and the probably spurious Table of Emerald, which is said to have been discovered in his tomb, ranks as the magician’s Table of Stone. In Gnosticism, in the allegories of the Kabalah, in theosophy, in secret associations which still exist in England, France, and Germany—and even in certain practices embedded in the ceremonial of the Christian Church— the main conceptions which constitute the “secret wisdom” of magical tradition have wandered down the centuries. The baser off-shoots of that tradition are but too well known, and need not be particularized. 

Like the world which it professes to interpret, magic has a body and a soul: an outward vesture of words and ceremonies and an inner doctrine. The outward vesture, which is all that the uninitiated are permitted to perceive, consists of a series of confusing and often ridiculous symbolic veils: of strange words and numbers, grotesque laws and ritual acts, personifications and mystifications. The outward vestures of our religious, political, and social systems—which would probably appear equally irrational to a wholly ignorant yet critical observer—offer an instructive parallel to this aspect of occult philosophy. Stripped of these archaic formulae, symbols, and mystery-mongerings, however, magic as described by its apologists, is found to rest upon three fundamental axioms which can hardly be dismissed as ridiculous by those who listen respectfully to the ever-shifting hypotheses of psychology and physics.


(1) The first axiom declares the existence of an imponderable “medium” or “universal agent,” which is described as beyond the plane of our normal sensual perceptions yet interpenetrating and binding up the material world. This agent, which is not luminous and has nothing to do with the stars, is known to the occultists by the unfortunate name of “Astral Light”: a term originally borrowed from the Martinists by Eliphas Lévi. To live in conscious communication with the “Astral Light” is to live upon the “Astral Plane,” or in the Astral World: to have achieved, that is to say, a new level of consciousness. The education of the occultist is directed towards this end.

This doctrine of the Astral Plane, like most of our other diagrams of the transcendent, possesses a respectable ancestry, and many prosperous relations in the world of philosophic thought. Traces of it may even be detected under veils in the speculations of orthodox physics. It is really identical with the “Archetypal World” or Yesod of the Kabalah—the “Perfect Land” of old Egyptian religion—in which the true or spirit forms of all created things are held to exist. It may be connected with the “real world” described by such visionaries as Boehme and Blake, many of whose experiences are far more occult than mystical in character.  A persistent tradition as to the existence of such a plane of being or of consciousness is found all over the world: in Indian, Greek Egyptian, Celtic, and Jewish thought. “Above this visible nature there exists another, unseen and eternal, which, when all things created perish, does not perish,” says the Bhagavad Gita. According to the Kabalists it is “the seat of life and vitality, and the nourishment of all the world.” Vitalism might accept it as one of those aspects of the universe which can be perceived by a more extended rhythm than that of normal consciousness. Various aspects of the Astral have been identified with the “Burning Body of the Holy Ghost” of Christian Gnosticism and with the Odic force of the old-fashioned spiritualists.


Further, the Astral Plane is regarded as constituting the “Cosmic Memory,” where the images of all beings and events are preserved, as they are preserved in the memory of man.


“The high that proved too high, the heroic for earth too hard
The passion that left the ground to lose itself in the sky”—


all are living in the Astral World. There too the concepts of future creation are present in their completeness in the Eternal Now before being brought to birth in the material sphere. On this theory prophecy, and also clairvoyance—one of the great objects of occult education—consist in opening the eyes of the mind upon this timeless Astral World: and spiritualists, evoking the phantoms of the dead, merely call them up from the recesses of universal instead of individual remembrance. The reader who feels his brain to be whirling amidst this medley of solemn statement and unproven fairy tale must remember that the dogmatic part of the occult tradition can only represent the attempt of an extended or otherwise abnormal consciousness to find an explanation of its own experiences.


Further, our whole selves—not merely our sentient selves—are regarded as being bathed in the Astral Light, as in the ether of physics. Hence in occult language it is a “universal agent” connecting soul with soul, and becomes the possible vehicle of hypnotism, telepathy, clairvoyance, and all those supernormal phenomena which are the subject-matter of “psychical research.” This hypothesis also accounts for the confusing fact of an initial similarity of experience in many of the proceedings of mystic and occultist. Both must pass through the plane of consciousness which the concept of the “Astral” represents, because this plane of perception is the one which lies “next beyond” our normal life. The transcendental faculties may become aware of this world; only, in the case of the mystic, to pass through it as quickly as they can. But the occultist, the medium, the psychic, rest in the “Astral” and develop their perceptions of this aspect of the world. It is the medium in which they work.

From earliest times, occult philosophy has insisted on the existence of this medium: as a scientific fact, outside the range of our normal senses, but susceptible of verification by the trained powers of the “initiate.” The possessor of such trained powers, not the wizard or the fortune-teller, is regarded as the true magician: and it is the declared object of occult education, or initiation, to actualize this supersensual plane of experience, to give the student the power of entering into conscious communion with it, and teach him to impose upon its forces the directive force of his own will, as easily as he imposes that will upon the “material” things of senses. 


(2) This brings us to the second axiom of magic, which also has a curiously modern air: for it postulates simply the limitless power of the disciplined human will. This dogma has been “taken over” without acknowledgment from occult philosophy to become the trump card of menticulture, “Christian Science,” and “New Thought.” The preachers of “Joy Philosophy” and other dilute forms of mental discipline, the Liberal Catholic “priest” producing “a vast bubble of etheric astromental matter, a thought-edifice, ethereal, diaphanous, a bubble which just includes the congregation—“ these are the true hierophants of magic in the modern world. 

The first lesson of the would-be magus is self-mastery. “By means of persevering and gradual athletics,” says Eliphas Lévi, “the powers of the body can be developed to an amazing extent. It is the same with the powers of the soul. Would you govern yourself and others? Learn how to will. How may one learn how to will? This is the first secret of magical initiation; and it was to make the foundations of this secret thoroughly understood that the antique keepers of the mysteries surrounded the approach to the sanctuary with so many terrors and illusions. They did not believe in a will until it had given its proofs; and they were right. Strength cannot prove itself except by conquest. Idleness and negligence are the enemies of the will, and this is the reason why all religions have multiplied their practices and made their cults difficult and minute. The more trouble one gives oneself for an idea, the more power one acquires in regard to that idea. . . . Hence the power of religions resides entirely in the inflexible will of those who practise them.”  


This last sentence alone is enough to define the distinction between mysticism and magic, and clear the minds of those who tend to confuse the mystical and magical elements of religion. In accordance with it, real “magical initiation” is in essence a form of mental discipline, strengthening and focussing the will. This discipline, like that of the religious life, consists partly in physical austerities and a deliberate divorce from the world, partly in the cultivation of will-power: but largely in a yielding of the mind to the influence of suggestions which have been selected and accumulated in the course of ages because of their power over that imagination which Eliphas Lévi calls “The eye of the soul.” There is nothing supernatural about it. Like the more arduous, more disinterested self-training of the mystic, it is character-building with an object, conducted upon an heroic scale. In magic the “will to know” is the centre round which the personality is rearranged. As in mysticism, unconscious factors are dragged from the hiddenness to form part of that personality. The uprushes of thought, the abrupt intuitions which reach us from the subliminal region, are developed, ordered, and controlled by rhythms and symbols which have become traditional because the experience of centuries has proved, though it cannot explain, their efficacy: and powers of apprehension which normally lie below the threshold may thus be liberated and enabled to report their discoveries.

“The fundamental principle,” says A. E. Waite, speaking of occult evocations, “was in the exercise of a certain occult force resident in the magus, and strenuously exerted for the establishment of such a correspondence between two planes of nature as would effect his desired end. This exertion was termed the evocation, conjuration, or calling of the spirit, but that which in reality was raised was the energy of the inner man ; tremendously developed and exalted by combined will and aspiration, this energy germinated by sheer force a new intellectual faculty of sensible psychological perception. To assist and stimulate this energy into the most powerful possible operation, artificial means were almost invariably used. . . . The synthesis of these methods and processes was called Ceremonial Magic, which in effect was a tremendous forcing-house of the latent faculties of man’s spiritual nature.”


This is the psychological explanation of those apparently absurd rituals of preparation, doctrines of signs and numbers, pentacles, charms, angelical names, the “power of the word” which made up ceremonial magic. The power of such artifices is known amongst the Indian mystics; who, recognizing in the Mantra, or occult and rhythmic formula, consciously held and repeated, an invaluable help to the attainment of the true ecstatic state, are not ashamed to borrow from the magicians. So, too, the modern American schools of mental healing and New Thought recommend concentration upon a carefully selected word as the starting-point of efficacious meditation. This fact of the psychical effect of certain verbal combinations, when allowed to dominate the field of consciousness, may have some bearing upon that need of a formal liturgy which is felt by nearly every great religion; for religion, on its ceremonial side, has certain affinities with magic. It, too, seeks by sensible means to stimulate supra-sensible energies. The true magic “word” or spell is untranslatable; because its power resides only partially in that outward sense which is apprehended by the reason, but chiefly in the rhythm, which is addressed to the subliminal mind. Symbols, religious and other, and symbolic acts which appear meaningless when judged by the intellect alone, perform a similar office. They express the deep-seated instinct of the human mind that it must have a focus on which to concentrate its volitional powers, if those powers are to be brought to their highest state of efficiency. The nature of the focus matters little: its office matters much.


“. . . All these figures, and acts analogous to them,” says Lévi, “all these dispositions of numbers and of characters [ i.e. sacred words, charms, pentacles, etc.] are, as we have said, but instruments for the education of the will, of which they fix and determine the habits. They serve also to concentrate in action all the powers of the human soul, and to strengthen the creative power of the imagination. . . . A practice, even though it be superstitious and foolish, may be efficacious because it is a realization of the will. . . . We laugh at the poor woman who denies herself a ha’porth of milk in the morning, that she may take a little candle to burn upon the magic triangle in some chapel. But those who laugh are ignorant, and the poor woman does not pay too dearly for the courage and resignation which she thus obtains.


Magic symbols, therefore, from penny candles to Solomon’s seal, fall in modern technical language into two classes. The first contains instruments of self-suggestion, exaltation, and will direction. To this belong all spells, charms, rituals, perfumes: from the magician’s vervain wreath to the “Youth! Health! Strength!” which the student of New Thought repeats when she is brushing her hair in the morning. The second class contains autoscopes: i.e. , material objects which focus and express the subconscious perceptions of the operator. The dowser’s divining rod, fortuneteller’s cards, and crystal-gazer’s ball, are characteristic examples. Both kinds are rendered necessary rather by the disabilities of the human than by the peculiarities of the superhuman plane: and the great adept may attain heights at which he dispenses with these “outward and visible signs.” “Ceremonies being, as we have said, artificial methods of creating certain habits of the will, they cease to be necessary when these habits have become fixed.” These facts, now commonplaces of psychology, have long been known and used by students of magic. Those who judge the philosophy by the apparent absurdity of its symbols and ceremonies should remember that the embraces, gestures, grimaces, and other ritual acts by which we all concentrate, liberate, or express love, wrath, or enthusiasm, will ill endure the cold revealing light of a strictly rational inquiry.


(3) The dogmas of the “Astral Light” or universal agent and the “power of the will” are completed by a third: the doctrine of Analogy, of an implicit correspondence between appearance and reality, the microcosm of man and the macrocosm of the universe the seen and the unseen worlds. In this, occultism finds the basis of its transcendental speculations. Quod superius sicut quod inferius —the first words of that Emerald Table which was once attributed to Hermes Trismegistus himself—is an axiom which must be agreeable to all Platonists. It plays a great part in the theory of mysticism; which, whilst maintaining an awed sense of the total “otherness” and incomprehensibility of the Divine, has always assumed that the path of the individual soul towards loving union with the Absolute is somehow analogous with the path on which the universe moves to its consummation in God.

The notion of analogy ultimately determines the religious concepts of every race, and resembles the verities of faith in the breadth of its application. It embraces alike the appearances of the visible world—which thus become the mirrors of the invisible—the symbols of religion, the tiresome arguments of Butler’s “Analogy,” the allegories of the Kabalah and the spiritual alchemists, and that childish “doctrine of signatures” on which much of mediaeval science was built. “Analogy,” says Lévi, “is the last word of science and the first word of faith . . . the sole possible mediator between the visible and the invisible, between the finite and the infinite.” Here Magic clearly defines her own limitations; stepping incautiously from the useful to the universal, and laying down a doctrine which no mystic could accept—which, carried to its logical conclusion, would turn the adventure of the infinite into a guessing game.


The argument by analogy is carried by the occultists to lengths which cannot be described here. Armed with this torch, they explore the darkest, most terrible mysteries of life: and do not hesitate to cast the grotesque shadows of these mysteries upon the unseen world. The principle of correspondence is no doubt sound so long as it works within reasonable limits. It was admitted into the system of the Kabalah, though that profound and astute philosophy was far from giving to it the importance which it assumes in Hermetic “science.” It has been eagerly accepted by many of the mystics. Boehme and Swedenborg availed themselves of its method in presenting their intuitions to the world. It is implicitly acknowledged by thinkers of many other schools: its influence permeates the best periods of literature. Sir Thomas Browne spoke for more than himself when he said, in a well-known passage of the “Religio Medici”: “The severe schools shall never laugh me out of the philosophy of Hermes [ i.e. , Trismegistus] that this visible world is but a picture of the invisible, wherein, as in a portrait, things are not truly but in equivocal shapes, and as they counterfeit some real substance in that invisible framework.” Such a sense of analogy, whatever the “severe schools” may say, is indeed the foundation of every perfect work of art. “Intuitive perception of the hidden analogies of things,” says Hazlitt in “English Novelists,” “or, as it may be called, his instinct of the imagination, is perhaps what stamps the character of genius on the productions of art more than any other circumstance.”



The central doctrine of magic may now be summed up thus:—


(1) That a supersensible and real “cosmic medium” exists, which interpenetrates, influences, and supports the tangible and apparent world, and is amenable to the categories both of philosophy and of physics.

(2) That there is an established analogy and equilibrium between the real and unseen world, and the illusory manifestations which we call the world of sense.

(3) That this analogy may be discerned, and this equilibrium controlled, by the disciplined will of man, which thus becomes master of itself and of fate.


We must now examine in more detail the third of these propositions—that which ascribes abnormal powers to the educated and disciplined will—for this assumption lies at the root of all magical practices, old and new. “Magical operations,” says Eliphas Lévi, “are the exercise of a power which is natural, but superior to the ordinary powers of nature. They are the result of a science, and of habits, which exalt the human will above its usual limits.” This power of the will is now recognized as playing an important part both in the healing of the body and the healing of the soul; for our most advanced theories on these subjects are little more than the old wine of magic in new bottles. The ancient occultists owed much of their power, and also of their evil reputation, to the fact that they were psychologists before their time. Effective methods of suggestion, recipes for the alteration and exaltation of personality and enhancement of will-power, the artificial production of hypnotic states, photisms, automatism and ecstasy, with the opening up of the subliminal field which accompanies these phenomena—concealed from the profane by a mass of confusing allegories and verbiage—form the backbone of all genuine occult rituals. Their authors were aware that ceremonial magic has no objective importance, but depends solely on its effect upon the operator’s mind. That this effect might be enhanced, it was given an atmosphere of sanctity and mystery; its rules were strict, its higher rites difficult of attainment. These rules and rites constituted at once a test of the student’s earnestness and a veil guarding the sanctuary from the profane. The long and difficult preparations, majestic phrases, and strange ceremonies of an evocation had power, not over the spirit of the dead, but over the consciousness of the living; who was thus caught up from the world of sense to a new plane of perception. Thus, according to its apologists, the education of the genuine occult student tends to awaken in him a new view and a new attitude. It adjusts the machinery of his cinematograph to the registering of new intervals in the stream of things, which passed it by before; and thus introduces new elements into that picture by which ordinary men are content to know and judge the—or rather their— universe.


So much for the principles which govern occult education. Magic therapeutics, or as it is now called, “mental healing,” is but the application of these principles upon another plane. It results, first, from a view of humanity which sees a difference only of degree between diseases of body and of soul, and can state seriously and in good faith that “moral maladies are more contagious than physical, and there are some triumphs of infatuation and fashion which are comparable to leprosy or cholera.” Secondly, it is worked by that enhancement of will power, that ability to alter and control weaker forms of life, which is claimed as the reward of the occult discipline. “All the power of the occult healer lies in his conscious will and all his art consists in producing faith in the patient.”  

This simple truth was in the possession of occult thinkers at a time when Church and State saw no third course between the burning or beatification of its practitioners. Now, under the polite names of mental hygiene, suggestion, and psycho-therapeutics, it is steadily advancing to the front rank of medical shibboleths. Yet it is still the same “magic art” which has been employed for centuries, with varying ritual accompaniments, by the adepts of occult science. The methods of Brother Hilarian Tissot, who is described as curing lunacy and crime by “the unconscious use of the magnetism of Paracelsus,” who attributed his cases “either to disorder of the will or to the perverse influence of external wills,” and would “regard all crimes as acts of madness and treat the wicked as diseased,” anticipated in many respects those of the most modern psychologists.


The doctrine of magic which has here been described shows us the “Secret Wisdom” at its best and sanest. But even on these levels, it is dogged by the defects which so decisively separate the occultist from the mystic. The chief of these is the peculiar temper of mind, the cold intellectual arrogance, the intensely individual point of view which occult studies seem to induce by their conscious quest of exclusive power and knowledge, their implicit neglect of love. At bottom, every student of occultism is striving towards a point at which he may be able to “touch the button” and rely on the transcendental world “springing to do the rest.” In this hard-earned acquirement of power over the Many, he tends to forget the One. In Levi’s words, “Too deep a study of the mysteries of nature may estrange from God the careless investigator, in whom mental fatigue paralyses the ardours of the heart.” When he wrote this sentence Lévi stood, as the greater occultists have often done, at the frontiers of mysticism. The best of the Hermetic philosophers, indeed, are hardly ever without such mystical hankerings, such flashes of illumination; as if the transcendental powers of man, once roused from sleep, cannot wholly ignore the true end for which they were made.

In Levi’s case, as is well known, the discord between the occult and mystical ideals was resolved by his return to the Catholic Church. Characteristically, he “read into” Catholicism much that the orthodox would hardly allow; so that it became for him, as it were, a romantic gloss on the occult tradition. He held that the Christian Church, nursing mother of the mystics, was also the heir of the magi; and that popular piety and popular magic veiled the same ineffable truths. He had more justification than at first appears probable for this apparently wild and certainly heretical statement. Religion, as we have seen, can never entirely divorce herself from magic: for her rituals and sacraments must have, if they are to be successful in their appeal to the mind, a certain magical character. All persons who are naturally drawn towards the ceremonial aspect of religion are acknowledging the strange power of subtle rhythms, symbolic words and movements, over the human will. An “impressive service” conforms exactly to the description which I have already quoted of a magical rite: it is “a tremendous forcing-house of the latent faculties of man’s spiritual nature.” Sacraments, too, however simple their beginnings, always tend, as they evolve, to assume upon the phenomenal plane a magical aspect—a fact which does not invalidate their claim to be the vehicles of supernatural grace. Those who have observed with understanding, for instance, the Roman rite of baptism, with its spells and exorcisms, its truly Hermetic employment of salt, anointing chrism and ceremonial lights, must have seen in it a ceremony far nearer to the operations of white magic than to the simple lustrations practiced by St. John the Baptist.


There are obvious objections to the full working out of this subject in a book which is addressed to readers of all shades of belief; but any student who is interested in this branch of religious psychology may easily discover for himself the occult elements in the liturgies of the Christian—or indeed of any other—Church. There are invocative arrangements of the Names of God which appear alike in grimoire and in Missal. Sacred numbers, ritual actions, perfumes, purifications, words of power, are all used, and rightly used by institutional religion in her work of opening up the human mind to the messages of the suprasensible world. In certain minor observances, and charm-like prayers, we seem to stand on the very borderland between magician and priest.

It is surely inevitable that this should be so. The business of the Church is to appeal to the whole man, as she finds him living in the world of sense. She would hardly be adequate to this task did she neglect the powerful weapons which the occultist has developed for his own ends. She, who takes the simplest and most common gifts of nature and transmutes them into heavenly food, takes also every discovery which the self has made concerning its own potentialities, and turns them to her own high purposes. Founding her external system on sacraments and symbols, on rhythmic invocations and ceremonial acts of praise, insisting on the power of the pure and self-denying will and the “magic chain” of congregational worship, she does but join hands with those Magi whose gold, frankincense, and myrrh were the first gifts that she received.


But she pays for this; sharing some of the limitations of the system which her Catholic nature has compelled her to absorb. It is true, of course, that she purges it of all its baser elements—its arrogance, its curiosity—true also that she is bound to adopt it, because it is the highest common measure which she can apply to the spirituality of that world to which she is sent. But she cannot—and her great teachers have always known that she cannot—extract finality from a method which does not really seek after ultimate things. This method may and does teach men goodness, gives them happiness and health. It can even induce in them a certain exaltation in which they become aware, at any rate for a moment, of the existence of the supernatural world—a stupendous accomplishment. But it will not of itself make them citizens of that world: give to them the freedom of Reality.


“The work of the Church in the world,” says Patmore, “is not to teach the mysteries of life, so much as to persuade the soul to that arduous degree of purity at which God Himself becomes her teacher. The work of the Church ends when the knowledge of God begins.”


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THE POWER OF WORDS

MAN'S word, spoken forth into creative mind, is endowed with power of expression. "By our words we are justified and by our words we are condemned." Our word has the exact amount of power that we put into it. This does not mean power through effort or strain but power through absolute conviction, or faith. It is like a little messenger who knows what he is doing and knows just how to do it. We speak into our words the intelligence which we are, and backed by that greater intelligence of the Universal Mind our word becomes a law unto the thing for which it is spoken. Jesus understood this far better than we do. Indeed, He absolutely believed it, for He said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away but my words shall not pass away till all be fulfilled."

This makes our word inseparable from Absolute Intelligence and Power. Now if any word has power it must follow that all words have power. Some words may have a greater power than others, according to our conviction, but all words have some power. How careful, then, we should be what kind of words we are speaking.


All this goes to prove that we really are one with the Infinite Mind, and that our words have the power of life within them; that the word is always with us and never far off. The word is within our own mouth. Every time we speak we are using power.

We are one in mind with the whole universe; we are all eternally united in this mind with real power. It is our own fault if we do not use this truth after we see it.

We should feel ourselves surrounded by this mind, this great pulsating life, this all-seeing and all-knowing reality. When we do feel this near presence, this great power and life, then all we have to do is to speak forth into it, speak with all the positive conviction of the soul that has found its source, and above all else never fear but that it will be done unto us even as we have believed.


What wonderful power, what a newness of life and of power of expression, is waiting for those who really believe. What may the race not attain to when men wake up to the real facts of being? As yet the race has not begun to live, but the time is drawing near. Already thousands are using this great power, and thousands are eagerly watching and waiting for the new day.


WHY BELIEF IS NECESSARY


ALWAYS when we pray we must believe. Our idea of prayer is not so much asking God for things as it is believing that we already have the things that we need. As we have said before, this already-believing is necessary because all is mind, and until we have provided that full acceptance we have not made a mold into which mind could pour itself and through which it could manifest. This positive belief is absolutely essential to real creative work; and if we do not at present have it, then we must develop it.

All is law, and cause and effect obtain through all life. Mind is cause, and what we term matter, or the visible, is effect. As water will freeze into the form that it is poured, so mind will solidify only into the forms that our thought takes. Thought is form. The individual provides the form; he never creates or even manifests,--that is, of himself; there is something that does all this for him. His sole activity is the use of this power. This power is always at hand ready to be spoken into and at once ready to form the words into visible expression. But the mold that most of us provide is a very poor one, and we change it so quickly that it is more like a motion picture than anything else.


Already we have the power; it is the gift of the Most High in its Finite Expression. But our ignorance of its use has caused us to create the wrong form, which in its turn has caused mind to produce the form which we have thought into it. From this law of cause and effect we may never hope to escape; and while we may think of it as a hard thing, at first, yet, when we understand, we shall see it as absolute justice without which there could be no real self-acting, individual life at all. Because of our divine individuality, even God may have to wait our recognition of Him and His laws.

People in business will do well to remember this and so to form their thought that they will be willing to receive what they send out. No thought of discouragement or disorder should ever be created, but only positive assurance, strong thoughts of success, of Divine activity, the feeling that with God all things are possible, the belief that we are One with that Great Mind. These are the thoughts that make for success.


The realization that we are dealing with one and not with two powers enables us to think with clearness. We are not troubled about competition or opposition or failure because there is nothing but life, and this life is continually giving to us all that we could ask for, wish, or think into it.

We can now see how essential it is that thought should be held one-pointed; that we should think always and only upon what we want, never letting our mind dwell on anything else. In this way the Spirit works through us.


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USING THE IMAGINATION

JUST imagine yourself surrounded by mind, so plastic, so receptive, that it receives the slightest impression of your thought. Whatever you think it takes up and executes for you. Every thought is received and acted upon. Not some but all thoughts. Whatever the pattern we provide, that will be our demonstration. If we cannot get over thinking that we are poor then we will still remain poor. As soon as we become rich in our thought then we will be rich in our expression. These are not mere words, but the deepest truth that has ever come to the human race. Hundreds of thousands of the most intelligent thinkers and the most spiritual people of our day are proving this truth. We are not dealing with illusions but with realities; pay no more attention to the one who ridicules these ideas than you would to the blowing of the wind.


In the center of your own soul choose what you want to become, to accomplish; keep it to yourself. Every clay in the silence of absolute conviction know that it is now done. It is just as much done, as far as you are concerned, as it will be when you experience it in the outer. Imagine yourself to be what you want to be. See only that which you desire, refuse even to think of the other. Stick to it, never doubt. Say many times a day, "I am that thing," realize what this means. It means that the great Universal power of Mind is that, and it cannot fail.


MAN'S RIGHT OF CHOICE


MAN is created an individual and as such he has the power of choice. Many people seem to think that man should not choose, that since he has asked the Spirit to lead him, he need no longer act, or choose. This is taught by many teachers but is not consistent with our individuality. Unless we had this privilege, this power of choice, we would not be individuals. What we do need to learn is that the Spirit can choose through us. But when this happens it is an act on our part. Even though we say, "I will not choose," we are still choosing; because we are choosing not to choose.


We cannot escape the fact that we are made in such a way that at every step life is a constant choice. What we do need to do is to select what we feel to be right and know that the universe will never deny us anything. We choose and Mind creates. We should endeavor to choose that which will express always a greater life and we must remember that the Spirit is always seeking to express love and beauty through us. If we are attuned to these, and are working in harmony with the great creative power, we need have no doubt about its willingness to work for us.

We must know exactly what it is that we wish and get the perfect mental picture of it. We must believe absolutely that we now have it and never do or say anything that denies it.


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MAN'S PLACE IN CREATION

WHAT LIFE IS.


IN the first place, what do we mean by life? We mean that which we see, feel, hear, touch or taste, and the reason for it. We must have come into contact with all we know of life. We have already found what life is or we could not have had any of these experiences. "In the beginning was God" or life. Out of this life which is, everything which is is made. So life must flow through

all things. There is no such thing as dead matter. Moreover, life is one, and it cannot be changed except into itself. All forms are forms of this unity and must come and go through some inner activity. This inner activity of life or nature must be some form of self-consciousness or self-knowing. In our human understanding we would call this inner knowing, or consciousness, "thought." The Spirit, or Life, or God, must make things out of Himself through self-recognition, or self-knowing or, as we would call it thinking. Since God is all, there is nothing to hinder Him from doing what He wishes, and the question, "How do things come into being?" is answered: God makes them out of Himself. God thinks, or knows, and that thing which He thinks or knows appears from Himself, and is made out of Himself. There is no other possible explanation for what we see. Unless people are willing to begin here, they will never understand how it is that things are not material but spiritual.


BUT where does man come in? He is. Therefore it follows that he, too, is made out of God, since God, or Spirit, is all. Being made out of God, he must partake of His nature, for we are "made in His image."

Man is a center of God in God. Whatever God is in the Universal, man must be in the individual world. The difference between God and man is one of degree and not of quality. Man is not self-made; he is made out of 'God.


The question might arise, why did God do this? No living person can answer this question. This is something that is known only of the Father. We might suppose that God made man to live with Him and to enjoy with Him, to be one with the Father. It is true, indeed, that those who have felt this most deeply have had a corresponding spiritual power that leads us to suppose that God really did make man as a companion. Man is the individual and God is the Universal. "As the Father hath life within Himself, so hath he given it to the Son to have life within himself." Man's mind is made out of God's mind, and all that man is or ever will be, all that he has or ever will have, must partake of the Divine nature. Man did not make it so, but it is so, and he must accept the fact and see what he can do with it. If he has the same power in his individual life that God has in the Universal, then this discovery will mean freedom from all bondage when he learns how to use his power. As God governs His Universal world so will man govern his individual world, always subject to the greater law and life. This could not be otherwise if we realize what follows from it, for so realizing we find ourselves living in a very different world from the one in which we thought we were living. God governs not through physical law as result, but first by inner knowing--then the physical follows. In the same way, man governs his world by the process which we will call, for want of a better name, the power of his thought.


Man's inner life is one with the Father. There can be no separation, for the self-evident reason that there is nothing to separate him from God, because there is nothing but life. The separation of two things implies putting a different element between them; but as there is nothing different from God, the unity of God and man is firmly established forever. "My Father and I are One" is a simple statement of a great soul who perceived life as it really is and not from the mere standpoint of outer conditions.

Taking as the starting point that man has the same life as God, it follows that he uses the same creative process. Everything is one, comes from the same source and returns again to it. "The things which are seen are not made of the things which do appear." What we see comes from what we do not see. This is the explanation of the whole visible universe, and is the only possible explanation.


As God's thought makes worlds and peoples them with all living things, so does our thought make our world and peoples it with all the experiences we have had. By the activity of our thought things come into our life, and we are limited because we have not known the truth; we have thought that outside things controlled us, when all the time we have had that within which could have changed everything and given us freedom from bondage.

The question, then, naturally arises: Why did God create man and make him a free agent? If God had created us in such a way as to compel us to do or to be anything that was not of our choosing, we should not have been individuals at all, we should be automatons. Since we know that we are individuals, we know that God made us thus; and we are just discovering the reason why. Let any man wake up to this, the greatest truth in all ages, and he will find it will answer all questions. He will be satisfied that things are what they are. He will perceive that he may use his own God-given power so to work, to think and to live that he will in no way hinder the greater law from operating through him. According to the clearness of his perception and the greatness of his realization of this power will he provide within himself a starting point through which God may operate. There will no longer be a sense of separation, but in its place will come that divine assurance that he is one with God, and thus will he find his freedom from all suffering, whether it be of body, mind or estate.



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PISCES—THE HOUSE OF THE FISHES

Period—Constellation—Precession of the Equinoxes—Icthyes, the Fishes—Mythology—Symbol—The Rulers of the House—Characteristics—Ailments of the Type—Professions—Friendship and Marriage—Harmonious and Inharmonious Types—The Gem of the House—The Amethyst—Virtues of the Stone—Talisman against Inebriety—Its Calming Influence—The Stone of St. Valentine—As a Lovers’ Talisman—The Effect of Purple Rays—The Amethyst Beneficent to all Types—Real and Artificial Gems and how to select them.


The Sun enters the Zodiacal House of Pisces, the Fishes, on February 19th, remaining in occupation until March 10th.

The constellation of Pisces is situated in the Southern Celestial Hemisphere between Aquarius and Aries, occupying a large space near the Equator which the Sun crosses at the Vernal Equinox when entering the Zodiacal House of Aries.

At one time the constellations marked the actual Zodiacal Houses of the same name, but owing to the precession of the Equinoxes the constellations have moved forward, and Pisces occupies the space originally allotted to Aries; and this forward movement applies to all the Zodiacal Houses previously dealt with. The constellation can be seen best during the latter part of October and through November between 8 and 10 p.m., but owing to the absence of any important stars it is not easily traced.


It was known to the Greeks as Ichthyes, the Fishes, and as illustrating the connection of the Zodiac with religious teachings, it is interesting to note that the early Christians chose the Fish as the symbol of their faith because the Greek word ΙΧΘΥΣ, Fish, formed the initials of five words meaning Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour. In Ancient Grecian Mythology it is recorded that the two fishes were placed in the heavens by the goddess Minerva to commemorate the escape of Venus and her son Cupid who, whilst walking on the banks of the Euphrates, were attacked by the demon Typhon, described by Homer and Virgil as having a hundred dragon heads upon his shoulders, with devouring flames belching from the mouths and eyes, and with snakes issuing from his fingers. To escape this monster, Venus and Cupid transformed themselves into fishes and plunged into the river which afforded them safety.

This House is generally symbolised by two fishes connected with a band, as illustrated in No. 12 of the Frontispiece. Jupiter is usually considered to be the ruling planet of this House, or in the case

of highly developed subjects the planet Neptune takes the rule.


The symbol of the two fishes attached yet turning in contrary directions seems an apt symbol of the characteristics of this type who are the most dual-natured of all signs, being liable to act on the impressions of their surroundings, showing at one moment extreme persistence and at another a want of determination. Like the two fishes represented back to back, their thoughts and actions are frequently at variance, and, although outwardly placid and docile, this sensitive, changeable disposition is soon ruffled by sudden impulse, resembling the shimmering water which is the native element of the fishes. Being receptive to the conditions around them Pisces subjects adapt themselves readily to any change of environment or circumstances fate may bring, but have a great dislike to anything that tends to ruffle their calm and placid temperaments. Hating suspense, uncertainty, or anxiety, and many-sided in their failings and weaknesses, they often appear to be a mass of contradictions.

The general characteristic of those born under the influence of Pisces is a strongly emotional, contemplative, facile nature with much artistic appreciation for beautiful scenery and surroundings. The pleasures of life have a great attraction for them, but from an inherent consideration of the possible demands of the future their expenditure in this direction is coupled with much prudence.


Being susceptible to outside influences they are apt to rely too much on the advice and experiences of those with whom they come into contact, and are by turns too apprehensive and too venturesome. The mind is imaginative, philosophical, and acquisitive, and as a rule mechanical and accurate, although liable to become indolent and self-centred unless spurred on by those they are fond of, when they will persevere in their efforts towards a desired end with astonishing persistency. In spite of this spasmodic determination they are often lacking in self-confidence and fail to make the best of opportunities for their own interests and benefit. Very much appreciating any confidence in their ability to carry out work entrusted to them by others, which they perform with the utmost punctuality and precision; and having a liking for positions of responsibility and management, they frequently run two occupations at the same time. As children they are of a very observant and enquiring nature, continually asking questions, so that every advantage as regards education should be given them, a wrong start in life being more serious in its results to this type than to any other. They seldom change the profession or occupation on their own initiative, and although easily persuaded become obstinate when driven. Hating discord and strife, the temper is slow to anger but rebellious when roused, and although naturally of a peace-loving disposition they do not easily recover from its effects.


When adversely aspected they become selfish, secretive, discontented, and extravagant, and in business tricky and dishonest, and with a general want of balance and a tendency to intemperance.

This House ruling the feet, those born during the Pisces period are subject to ailments and injuries affecting these members, and are also liable to contract colds and serious illnesses from damp feet; they are also inclined to weakness of the back, abscesses and disorders of the blood, and irregularities of the general system, torpidity of the liver, and nervous breakdown, but they should never be encouraged to make much of any illness; being so susceptible, that suggestion alone will frequently cause its development.

In professions and occupations they are successful as actors, novelists, artists, teachers, travellers, musicians, examiners, and make good disciplinarians, also, being very resourceful in emergencies, they are extremely successful in the care and management of young people, interesting them and gaining their confidence and enthusiasm by original methods, yet exacting obedience without harshness or fault-finding. Illustrating the possibilities of this type when well developed, we may cite General Baden-Powell.


Being naturally fond of the water, they are successful as Captains, Sailors, and Fishermen; also in all businesses connected with liquids, such as hotel-keepers and caterers.

In friendship and marriage they are overcautious in some respects whilst imprudent in others, and being apprehensive of consequences they frequently weigh and consider before making any voluntary change in their lives and habits; so that although impressionable and affectionate, they are apt to drift aimlessly into circumstances, and, in many instances, marry late, although naturally inclined and fitted for home and family life. They will be found most in harmony with those born during the Cancer, Scorpio, Taurus, and Capricorn periods, and least in sympathy with those of the Gemini and Sagittarius periods.

The gem of this House is the Amethyst, a semiprecious stone in varying shades of purple which belongs to the quartz family and owes its colour to oxide of manganese and iron which forms part of its composition. The best variety comes from Siberia, Ceylon, Brazil, and Persia, and the

Amethyst was originally regarded as a very precious stone, until the immense quantities received from Brazil reduced its value generally.


From the earliest dawn of history the occult properties of this stone as an antidote to inebriety have been recognised, by all writers, the name originating from a Greek word meaning "without intoxication," and according to Aristotle it was also the name of a beautiful nymph who invoked the aid of Diana to protect her from the attentions of Bacchus, which the goddess did by converting her into a precious gem, upon which Bacchus, in remembrance of his love, gave the stone its colour and the quality of preserving its wearers from the noxious influence of wine.

The Egyptians used these stones freely for Talismans, their soldiers wearing them as Amulets for success in their exploits and calmness in danger. Pliny says the Magi believed that if the symbols of the Sun and Moon were engraved upon the Amethyst it made a powerful charm against witchcraft, and procured for its wearers success to their petitions, good luck, and the favour of those in authority. Camillus Leonardus, confirming its efficacy in restraining intoxication, says:

"It also represses evil thoughts and all excesses, prevents contagion, and gives good understanding

of hidden things, making a man vigilant and expert in business."


The Amethyst has always been associated with ecclesiastical decorations, its frequent use in episcopal rings giving rise to its description as "the Bishop's Stone," and rosaries of Amethyst beads were much in request in olden times to attract soothing influences in times of stress and to confer a pious calm on their wearers.

In religious art it was regarded as emblematic of resignation under earthly sufferings, patience in sorrow, and trust unto death, which Marbodus (translated by the Rev. C. W. King) expresses in verse:


"On high the Amethyst is set
 In colour like the violet,
 With flames as if of gold it glows
 And far its purple radiance throws;
 The humble heart it signifies
 Of him who in the Saviour dies."


During the Middle Ages the qualities attributed to it were many: it indicated the presence of poison by becoming dim, also personal danger and ill-health by changing colour; it was, moreover, considered to give vigilance to business men, and to sportsmen and soldiers calmness in danger.

The Amethyst is the stone of St. Valentine, who is said to have always worn it; and in the days

of romance and chivalry, if presented by a lady to her knight, or a bride to her husband in the shape of a heart set in silver, it was said to confer the greatest possible earthly happiness on the pair who would be blessed with good fortune for the remainder of their lives.

In connection with the soothing influence of this gem, it is interesting to note that according to modern research purple light rays have been found to exercise a calming effect upon nervous and hysterical patients and a consequent improvement in the vitality. Cases of neuralgia and sleeplessness have been relieved by an Amethyst rubbed gently over the temples. It is one of the very few gems that may universally be worn without adverse results.


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March - The Month of Mars

This month, originally the first in the year, is named after Mars, the God of War. He was the son of Jupiter and Juno, the king and queen of the gods, and was generally represented in a shining suit of armour, with a plumed helmet on his head, a spear in one hand, and a shield in the other. His chariot was driven by the Goddess of War, Bellona, who also watched over his safety in battle; for the gods often took part in the battles which were constantly raging on the earth. During the great fight between the gods and the giants to decide who was to rule the world, Mars was captured by two of the giants, who bound him with iron chains and kept watch over him day and night. After over a year of captivity he was freed by the clever god Mercury, who succeeded in loosening the chains so silently that the giants heard no sound. Mars also took part in the Trojan War, when he was actually wounded.


Mars was loved by Venus, the Goddess of Beauty, but wishing to keep their love a secret from the other gods, they met only during the night, and Mars appointed his servant Alectryon to keep watch and to call him before the sun rose as he did not wish Apollo, the Sun God, to see them. One night Alectryon fell asleep, and so was too late to warn Mars of the sun's approach. Apollo saw them from his chariot as he drove across the sky, and told Vulcan, the God of Fire, who caught them in a net of steel, and thus held them prisoner, while the other gods made fun of them. As soon as he was set free, Mars, who was filled with anger against Alectryon for failing in his duty, changed  him into a cock, and driving him into a farmyard, condemned him to give warning every day of the sun's rising--a fanciful explanation why


"the cock with lively din,
Scatters the rear of darkness thin".
        MILTON--L'Allegro.


The gods, though they themselves were immortal--that is, could never die, nor even grow old--yet sometimes married mortal, the men or women whom they found on the earth, and Mars fell in love with a beautiful girl named Ilia, who had given up her life to serve in the temple of Vesta, the Goddess of Fire. It was the duty of these priestesses of Vesta to guard the fire which continually burned on the altar of the goddess, for the safety of the people was thought to depend on this sacred flame. No Vestal, as these priestesses were called, was allowed to marry, under penalty of death. Ilia, however, in spite of her solemn promise, consented to marry Mars, and keeping her marriage a secret, continued to live in the temple. In course of time she had two sons, Romulus and Remus. Her father and mother, hearing that she had broken her vow, ordered the full punishment of her crime to be carried out; the mother was buried alive, and the children were left in the forest to be killed by the wild beasts.


Thus Ilia perished, but the children were wonderfully saved, so the story tells us, by a wolf, who cared for them as if they had been her own young. They were soon after found by a shepherd, who took them to his home, where they grew up to be strong and brave men. As soon as they had reached manhood they left their home and went out into the world to seek their fortune. Coming to a beautiful country of hills and valleys, they decided to build a great city; but before they had even finished the outer walls, they quarrelled about the name which was to be given to it when it was built. Romulus lost his temper and struck his brother Remus, so that he fell dead to the ground. With the help of a band of wicked and cruel men like himself, Romulus at last succeeded in building a city, which, called Rome, after its founder's name, was to become one of the most famous cities the world has ever known.


Romulus became the first king of Rome, but he ruled so harshly that the senators, the chief men of the city, determined to rid themselves of him. During an eclipse of the sun, which darkened the city just at the time when Romulus and the senators were assembled in the marketplace, the senators fell on the king with their swords and slew him. They then cut his body into small pieces, which they hid beneath their cloaks. When the light returned and the people found that their king had disappeared, the senators told them that Romulus had been carried off by the gods to Mount Olympus, and ordered a temple to be built in his honour on one of the seven hills of Rome.

Mars took the city of Rome under his special protection, and is said to have sent a shield from heaven, during a time of plague, as a sign that he would always watch over the city. The Romans, afraid lest the shield should be stolen, had eleven other shields made, so like the first that only the priests who guarded them in the temple of Mars could tell which was the one sent from heaven. These priests were called Salii, the Leapers, because they danced war dances when, during the month of March, the shields were carried in a procession through the streets of Rome.

To Mars, as the God of War, the Romans naturally turned for help in war-time, and a Roman general, before setting out, went into the temple of Mars and, touching the sacred shield with the point of his spear, cried "Mars, watch over us!"


The training-ground of the Roman soldiers was called Campus Martius (the Field of Mars), in honour of the God of War, and it was commonly believed that Mars himself led their army into battle and helped to give them the victory. March was named after Mars because of its rough and boisterous weather, and we find the same idea in the minds of the Angles and Saxons, who called it Hlythmonath--the loud or stormy month. Another name for it was Lenctenmonath, the lengthening month, because it is during March that the days rapidly become longer.


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WOMAN AND THE NEW MORALITY

UPON the shoulders of the woman conscious of her freedom rests the responsibility of creating a new sex morality. The vital difference between a morality thus created by women and the so-called morality of to-day, is that the new standard will be based upon knowledge and freedom while the old is founded upon ignorance and submission.

What part will birth control play in bringing forth this new standard? What effect will its practice have upon woman's moral development? Will it lift her to heights that she has not yet achieved, and if so, how? Why is the question of morality always raised by the objector to birth control? All these questions must be answered if we are to get a true picture of the relation of the feminine spirit to morals. They can best be answered by considering, first, the source of our present standard

of sex morals and the reasons why those standards are what they are; and, second, the source and probable nature of the new morality.


We get most of our notions of sex morality from the Christian church--more particularly from the oldest existing Christian church, known as the Roman Catholic. The church has generally defined the "immoral woman" as one who mates out of wedlock Virtually, it lets it go at that. In its practical workings, there is nothing in the church code of morals to protect the woman, either from unwilling submission to the wishes of her husband, from undesired pregnancy, nor from any other of the outrages only too familiar to many married women. Nothing is said about the crime of bringing an unwanted child into the world, where often it cannot be adequately cared for and is, therefore, condemned to a life of misery. The church's one point of insistence is upon the right of itself to legalize marriage and to compel the woman to submit to whatever such marriage may bring. It is true that there are remedies of divorce in the case of the state, but the church has adhered strictly to the principle that marriage, once consummated, is indissoluble. Thus, in its operation, the church's code of sex morals has nothing to do with the basic sex rights of the woman, but enforces, rather, the assumed property rights of the man to the body and the services of his wife. They are man-made codes; their vital factor, as they apply to woman, is submission to the man.


Closely associated with and underlying the principle of submission, has been the doctrine that the sex life is in itself unclean. It follows, therefore, that all knowledge of the sex physiology or sex functions is also unclean and taboo. Upon this teaching has been founded woman's subjection by the church and, largely through the influence of the church, her subjection by the state to the needs of the man.

Let us see how these principles have affected the development of the present moral codes and some of their shifting standards. When we have finished this analysis, we shall know why objectors to birth control raise the "morality" question.

The church has sought to keep women ignorant upon the plea of keeping them "pure."


To this end it has used the state as its moral policeman. Men have largely broken the grip of the ecclesiastics upon masculine education The ban upon geology and astronomy, because they refute the biblical version of the creation of the world, are no longer effective. Medicine, biology and the doctrine of evolution have won their way to recognition in spite of the united opposition of the clerics. So, too, has the right of woman to go unveiled, to be educated, and to speak from public platforms, been asserted in spite of the condemnations of the church, which denounced them as destructive of feminine purity. Only in sex matters has it succeeded in keeping the bugaboo alive.

It clings to this last stronghold of ignorance, knowing that woman free from sexual domination would produce a race spiritually free and strong enough to break the last of the bonds of intellectual darkness.

It is within the marriage bonds, rather than outside them, that the greatest immorality of men has been perpetrated. Church and state, through their canons and their laws, have encouraged this immorality. It is here that the woman who is to win her way to the new morality will meet the most difficult part of her task of moral house cleaning.

In the days when the church was striving for supremacy, when it needed single-minded preachers, proselyters and teachers, it fastened upon its people the idea that all sexual union, in marriage or out of it, is sinful. That idea colors the doctrines of the Church of Rome and many other Christian denominations to this hour. "Marriage, even for the sake of children was a carnal indulgence" in earlier times, as Principal Donaldson points out in, "The Position of Women Among the Early Christians."[*] It was held that the child was "conceived in sin," and that as the result of the sex act, an unclean spirit had possession of it. This spirit can be removed only by baptism, and the Roman Catholic baptismal service even yet contains these words: "Go out of him, thou unclean spirit, and give place unto the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete."


In the Intellectual Development of Europe, John William Draper, speaking of the teaching of celibacy among the Early Fathers,[+] says: "The sinfulness of the marriage relation and the preëminent value of chastity followed from their principles. If it was objected to such practices that by their universal adoption the human species would soon be extinguished and no man would remain to offer praises to God, these zealots, remembering the temptations from which they had escaped, with truth replied that there would always be sinners enough in the world to avoid that disaster, and that out of their evil work, good would be brought. Saint Jerome offers us the pregnant reflection that though it may be marriage that fills the earth, it is virginity that replenishes heaven."

The early church taught that there were enough children on earth. It needed missionaries more than it needed babies, and impressed upon its followers the idea that the birth wails of the infant were a protest against being born into so sordid a world.

Thus are we presented with one of the enormous inconsistencies of the church in sex matters. The teachings of the "Early Fathers" were effect the advocacy of an attempt to enforce birth control through absolute continence, while later it reverted, as it reverts to-day, to the Mosaic injunction to "be fruitful and multiply."


The very force of the sex urge in humanity compelled the church to abandon the teaching of celibacy for its general membership. Paul, who preferred to see Christians unmarried rather than married, had recognized the power of this force. In the seventh chapter of the First Epistle to the Corinthians (according to the Douay translation of the Vulgate, which is accepted by the Church of Rome), he said:

"8--But I say unto you the unmarried and the widows; it is good if they continue even as I.

"9--But if they do not contain themselves, let them marry, for it is better to marry than to be burnt."

When the church became a political power rather than a strictly religious institution, it needed a high birth rate to provide laymen to support its increasingly expensive organization. It then began to exploit the sex force for its own interest. It reversed its position in regard to children. It encouraged marriage under its own control and exhorted women to bear as many children as possible. The world was just as sordid and the birth wails of the infants were just as piteous, but the needs of the hierarchy had changed. So it modified the standard of sex morality to suit its own requirements--marriage now became a sacrament.

Shrewd in changing its general policy from celibacy to marriage, the church was equally shrewd in perpetuating the doctrine of woman's subjection for its own interest. That doctrine was emphatically stated in the Third Chapter of the First Epistle of Peter and the Fifth Chapter of Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians. In the Douay version of the latter, we find this:

"22--Let women be subject to their husbands as to the Lord.

"23--Because the husband is the head of the wife; as Christ is the head of the Church.

"24--Therefore, as the Church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their husbands in all things."

These doctrines, together with the teaching that sex life is of itself unclean, formed the basis of morality as fixed by the Roman church.


Nor does the St. James version of the Bible, generally used by Protestant churches to-day, differ greatly in these particulars from the accepted Roman Catholic version, as a comparison will show.

If Christianity turned the clock of general progress back a thousand years, it turned back the clock two thousand years for woman. Its greatest outrage upon her was to forbid her to control the function of motherhood under any circumstances, thus limiting her life's work to bringing forth and rearing children. Coincident with this, the churchmen deprived her of her place in and before the courts, in the schools, in literature, art and society. They shut from her heart and her mind the knowledge of her love life and her reproductive functions. They chained her to the position into which they had thrust her, so that it is only after centuries of effort that she is even beginning to regain what was wrested from her.

"Christianity had no favorable effect upon, women," says Donaldson, "but tended to lower their character and contract the range of their activity. At the time when Christianity dawned upon the world, women had attained great freedom, power and influence in the Roman empire. Tradition was in favor of restriction, but by a concurrence of circumstances, women had been liberated from the enslaving fetters of the old legal forms. They enjoyed freedom of intercourse in society. They walked in the public thoroughfares with veils that did not hide their faces. They dined in the company of men. They studied literature and philosophy. They took part in political movements. They were allowed to defend their own law cases if they liked, and they helped their husbands in the government of provinces and the writing of books."

And again: "One would have imagined that Christianity would have favored the extension of woman's freedom. In a very short time women are seen only in two capacities--as martyrs and deaconesses (or nuns). Now what the early Christians did was to strike the male out of the definition of man, and human being out of the definition of woman. Man was a human being made to serve the highest and noblest purposes; woman was a female, made to serve only one."


Thus the position attained by women of Greece and Rome through the exercise of family limitation, and in a considerable degree of voluntary motherhood, was swept away by the rising tide of Christianity. It would seem that this pernicious result was premeditated, and that from the very early days of Christianity, there were among the hierarchy those who recognized the creative power of the feminine spirit, the force of which they sought to turn to their own uses. Certain it is that the hierarchy created about the whole love life of woman an atmosphere of degradation.

Fear and shame have stood as grim guardians against the gate of knowledge and constructive idealism. The sex life of women has been clouded in darkness, restrictive, repressive and morbid. Women have not had the opportunity to know themselves, nor have they been permitted to give play to their inner natures, that they might create a morality practical, idealistic and high for their own needs.

On the other hand, church and state have forbidden women to leave their legal mates, or to refuse to submit to the marital embrace, no matter how filthy, drunken, diseased or otherwise repulsive the man might be--no matter how much of a crime it might be to bring to birth a child by him.

Woman was and is condemned to a system under which the lawful rapes exceed the unlawful ones a million to one. She has had nothing to say as to whether she shall have strength sufficient to give a child a fair physical and mental start in life; she has had as little to do with determining whether her own body shall be wrecked by excessive childbearing. She has been adjured not to complain of the burden of caring for children she has not wanted. Only the married woman who has been constantly loved by the most understanding and considerate of husbands has escaped these horrors. Besides the wrongs done to women in marriage, those involved in promiscuity, infidelities and rapes become inconsequential in nature and in number.


Out of woman's inner nature, in rebellion against these conditions, is rising the new morality. Let it be realized that this creation of new sex ideals is a challenge to the church. Being a challenge to the church, it is also, in less degree, a challenge to the state. The woman who takes a fearless stand for the incoming sex ideals must expect to be assailed by reactionaries of every kind. Imperialists and exploiters will fight hardest in the open, but the ecclesiastic will fight longest in the dark. He understands the situation best of all; he best knows what reaction he has to fear from the morals of women who have attained liberty. For, be it repeated, the church has always known and feared the spiritual potentialities of woman's freedom.

And in this lies the answer to the question why the opponent of birth control raises the moral issue. Sex morals for women have been one-sided; they have been purely negative, inhibitory and repressive. They have been fixed by agencies which have sought to keep women enslaved; which have been determined, even as they are now, to use woman solely as an asset to the church, the state and the man. Any means of freedom which will enable women to live and think for themselves first, will be attacked as immoral by these selfish agencies.

What effect will the practice of birth control have upon woman's moral development? As we have seen in other chapters, it will break her bonds. It will free her to understand the cravings and soul needs of herself and other women. It will enable her to develop her love nature separate from and independent of her maternal nature.

It goes without saying that the woman whose children are desired and are of such number that she can not only give them adequate care but keep herself mentally and spiritually alive, as well as physically fit, can discharge her duties to her children much better than the overworked, broken and querulous mother of a large, unwanted family.


Thus the way is open to her for a twofold. development; first, through her own full rounded life, and next, through her loving, unstrained, full-hearted relationship with her offspring. The bloom of mother love will have an opportunity to infuse itself into her soul and make her, indeed, the fond, affectionate guardian of her offspring that sentiment now pictures her but hard facts deny her the privilege of being. She will preserve also her love life with her mate in its ripening perfection. She will want children with a deeper passion, and will love them with a far greater love.

In spite of the age-long teaching that sex life in itself is unclean, the world has been moving to a realization that a great love between a man and woman is a holy thing, freighted with great possibilities for spiritual growth. The fear of unwanted children removed, the assurance that she will have a sufficient amount of time in which to develop her love life to its greatest beauty, with its comradeship in many fields--these will lift woman by the very soaring quality of her innermost self to spiritual heights that few have attained. Then the coming of eagerly desired children will but enrich life in all its avenues, rather than enslave and impoverish it as do unwanted ones to-day.

What healthier grounds for the growth of sound morals could possibly exist than the ample spiritual life of the woman just depicted? Free to follow the feminine spirit, which dwells in the sanctuary of her nature, she will, in her daily life, give expression to that high idealism which is the fruit of that spirit when it is unhampered and unviolated. {p. 182} The love for her mate will flower in beauty of deeds that are pure because they are the natural expression of her physical, mental and spiritual being. The love for desired children will come to blossom in a spirituality that is high because it is free to reach the heights.

The moral force of woman's nature will be unchained--and of its own dynamic power will uplift her to a plane unimagined by those holding fast to the old standards of church morality. Love is the greatest force of the universe; freed of its bonds of submission and unwanted progeny, it will formulate and compel of its own nature observance to standards of purity far beyond the highest conception of the average moralist. The feminine spirit, animated by joyous, triumphant love, will make its own high tenets of morality. Free womanhood, out of the depths of its rich experiences, will observe and comply with the inner demands of its being. The manner in which it learns to do this best may be said to be the moral law of woman's being. So, in whatever words the new morality may ultimately be expressed, we can at least be sure that it will meet certain needs.


First of all, it will meet the physical and psychic requirements of the woman herself, for she cannot adequately perform the feminine functions until these are met. Second, it will meet the needs of the child to be conceived in a love which is eager to bring forth a new life, to be brought into a home where love and harmony prevail, a home in which proper preparation has been made for its coming.

This situation implies in turn a number of conditions. Foremost among them is woman's knowledge of her sexual nature, both in its physiology and its spiritual significance. She must not only know her own body, its care and its needs, but she must know the power of the sex force, its use, its abuse, as well as how to direct it for the benefit of the race. Thus she can transmit to her children an equipment that will enable them to break the bonds that have held humanity enslaved for ages.

To achieve this she must have a knowledge of birth control. She must also assert and maintain her right to refuse the marital embrace except when urged by her inner nature.

The truth makes free. Viewed in its true aspect, the very beauty and wonder of the creative impulse will make evident its essential purity. We will then instinctively idealize and keep holy that physical-spiritual expression which is the foundation of all human life, and in that conception of sex will the race be exalted.

What can we expect of offspring that are the result of "accidents"--who are brought into being undesired and in fear? What can we hope for from a morality that surrounds each physical union, for the woman, with an atmosphere of submission and shame? What can we say for a morality that leaves the husband at liberty to communicate to his wife a venereal disease?


Subversion of the sex urge to ulterior purposes has dragged it to the level of the gutter. Recognition of its true nature and purpose must lift the race to spiritual freedom. Out of our growing knowledge we are evolving new and saner ideas of life in general. Out of our increasing sex knowledge we shall evolve new ideals of sex. These ideals will spring from the innermost needs of women. They will serve these needs and express them. They will be the foundation of a moral code that will tend to make fruitful the impulse which is the source, the soul and the crowning glory of our sexual natures.

When women have raised the standards of sex ideals and purged the human mind of its unclean conception of sex, the fountain of the race will have been cleansed. Mothers will bring forth, in purity and in joy, a race that is morally and spiritually free.



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Hypnotism, and Its Relations to Other Modes of Fascination

We are asked by "H.C." and other Fellows, to answer the several queries hereafter propounded. We do so, but with a reservation: our replies must be made from the standpoint of Occultism alone, no consideration being given to such hypotheses of modern (another name for "materialistic") Science, as may clash with esoteric teachings.


Q.  What is Hypnotism: how does it differ from Animal Magnetism (or Mesmerism) ?


ANS.  Hypnotism is the new scientific name for the old ignorant "superstition" variously called "fascination" and "enchantment." It is an antiquated lie transformed into a modern truth. The fact is there, but the scientific explanation of it is still wanting. By some it is believed that Hypnotism is the result of an irritation artificially produced on the periphery of the nerves; that this irritation reacting upon, passes into the cells of the brain-substance, causing by exhaustion a condition which is but another mode of sleep (hypnosis, or hupnos); by others that it is simply a self-induced stupor, produced chiefly by imagination, etc., etc. It differs from animal magnetism where the hypnotic condition is produced by the Braid method, which is a purely mechanical one, i.e., the fixing of the eyes on some bright spot, a metal or a crystal. It becomes "animal magnetism" (or mesmerism), when it is achieved by "mesmeric" passes on the patient, and for these reasons. When the first method is used, no electro-psychic, or even electro-physical currents are at work, but simply the mechanical, molecular vibrations of the metal or crystal gazed at by the subject. It is the eye — the most occult organ of all, on the superficies of our body — which, by serving as a medium between that bit of metal or crystal and the brain, attunes the molecular vibrations of the nervous centers of the latter into unison (i.e., equality in the number of their respective oscillations) with the vibrations of the bright object held. And, it is this unison which produces the hypnotic state. But in the second case, the right name for hypnotism would certainly be "animal magnetism" or that so much derided term "mesmerism." For, in the hypnotization by preliminary passes, it is the human will — whether conscious or otherwise — of the operator himself, that acts upon the nervous system of the patient. And it is again through the vibrations — only atomic, not molecular — produced by that act of energy called WILL in the ether of space (therefore, on quite a different plane) that the super-hypnotic state (i.e., "suggestion," etc.) is induced. For those which we call "will-vibrations" and their aura, are absolutely distinct from the vibrations produced by the simply mechanical molecular motion, the two acting on two separate degrees of the cosmo-terrestrial planes. Here, of course, a clear realization of that which is meant by will in Occult Sciences, is necessary.


Q.  In both (hypnotism and animal magnetism) there is an act of will in the operator, a transit of something from him to his patient, an effect upon the patient. What is the "something" transmitted in both cases?


ANS.  That which is transmitted has no name in European languages, and if we simply describe it as will, it loses all its meaning. The old and very much tabooed words, "enchantment," "fascination," "glamour," and "spell," and especially the verb "to bewitch," expressed far more suggestively the real action that took place during the process of such a transmission, than the modern and meaningless terms, "psychologize" and "biologize." Occultism calls the force transmitted, the "auric fluid," to distinguish it from the "auric light"; the "fluid" being a correlation of atoms on a higher plane, and a descent to this lower one, in the shape of impalpable and invisible plastic Substances, generated and directed by the potential Will; the "auric light," or that which Reichenbach calls Od, a light that surrounds every animate and inanimate object in nature, is, on the other hand, but the astral reflection emanating from objects; its particular color and colors, the combinations and varieties of the latter, denoting the state of the gunas, or qualities and characteristics of each special object and subject — the human being's aura being the strongest of all.


Q.  What is the rationale of "Vampirism"?


ANS.  If by this word is meant the involuntary transmission of a portion of one's vitality, or life-essence, by a kind of occult osmosis from one person to another — the latter being endowed, or afflicted rather, with such vampirizing faculty, then, the act can become comprehensible only when we study well the nature and essence of the semi-substantial "auric fluid" spoken of just now. Like every other occult form [force?] in Nature, this end- and exosmosic process may be made beneficent or maleficent, either unconsciously or at will. When a healthy operator mesmerizes a patient with a determined desire to relieve and cure him, the exhaustion felt by the former is proportionate to the relief given: a process of endosmose has taken place, the healer having parted with a portion of his vital aura to benefit the sick man. Vampirism, on the other hand, is a blind and mechanical process, generally produced without the knowledge of either the absorber, or the vampirized party. It is conscious or unconscious black magic, as the case may be. For in the case of trained adepts and sorcerers, the process is produced consciously and with the guidance of the Will. In both cases the agent of transmission is a magnetic and attractive faculty, terrestrial and physiological in its results, yet generated and produced on the four-dimensional plane — the realm of atoms.


Q.  Under what circumstances is hypnotism "black magic"?


ANS.  Under those just discussed, but to cover the subject fully, even by giving a few instances, demands more space than we can spare for these answers. Sufficient to say that whenever the motive which actuates the operator is selfish, or detrimental to any living being or beings, all such acts are classed by us as black magic. The healthy vital fluid imparted by the physician who mesmerizes his patient, can and does cure; but too much of it will kill.

[This statement receives its explanation in our answer to Question 6, when showing that the vibratory experiment shatters a tumbler to pieces.]


Q.  Is there any difference between hypnosis produced by mechanical means, such as revolving mirrors, and that produced by the direct gaze of the operator (fascination)?


ANS.  This difference is, we believe, already pointed out in the answer to Question 1. The gaze of the operator is more potent, hence more dangerous, than the simple mechanical passes of the Hypnotizer, who, in nine cases out of ten, does not know how, and therefore cannot will. The students of Esoteric Science must be aware by the very laws of the occult correspondences that the former action is performed on the first plane of matter (the lowest), while the latter, which necessitates a well-concentrated will, has to be enacted, if the operator is a profane novice, on the fourth, and if he is anything of an occultist on the fifth plane.


Q.  Why should a bit of crystal or a bright button, throw one person into the hypnotic state and affect in no way another person? An answer to this would, we think, solve more than one perplexity.


ANS.  Science has offered several varied hypotheses upon the subject, but has not, so far, accepted any one of these as definite. This is because all such speculations revolve in the vicious circle of materio-physical phenomena with their blind forces and mechanical theories. The "auric fluid" is not recognized by the men of Science, and therefore, they reject it. But have they not believed for years in the efficacy of metallo-therapeuty, the influence of these metals being due to the action of their electric fluids or currents on the nervous system? And this, simply because an analogy was found to exist between the activity of this system and electricity. The theory failed, because it clashed with the most careful observation and experiments. First of all, it was contradicted by a fundamental fact exhibited in the said metallo-therapeuty, whose characteristic peculiarity showed (a) that by no means every metal acted on every nervous disease, one patient being sensitive to some one metal, while all others produced no effect upon him; and (b) that the patients affected by certain metals were few and exceptional. This showed that "electric fluids" operating on and curing diseases existed only in the imagination of the theorists. Had they had any actual existence, then all metals would affect in a greater or lesser degree, all patients, and every metal, taken separately, would affect every case of nervous disease, the conditions for generating such fluids being, in the given cases, precisely the same.


Thus Dr. Charcot having vindicated Dr. Burke, the once discredited discoverer of metallo-therapeuty, Shiff and others discredited all those who believed in electric fluids, and these seem now to be given up in favor of "molecular motion," which now reigns supreme in physiology — for the time being, of course. But now arises a question: "Are the real nature, behavior and conditions of 'motion' known any better than the nature, behavior and conditions of the 'fluids'?" It is to be doubted. Anyhow Occultism is audacious enough to maintain that electric or magnetic fluids (the two being really identical) are due in their essence and origin to that same molecular motion, now transformed into atomic energy, to which every other phenomenon in nature is also due. Indeed, when the needle of a galvano- or electro-meter fails to show any oscillations denoting the presence of electric or magnetic fluids, this does not prove in the least that there are none such to record; but simply that having passed on to another and higher plane of action, the electrometer can no longer be affected by the energy displayed on a plane with which it is entirely disconnected.

The above had to be explained, in order to show that the nature of the Force transmitted from one man or object to another man or object, whether in hypnotism, electricity, metallo-therapeuty or "fascination," is the same in essence, varying only in degree, and modified according to the sub-plane of matter it is acting on; of which sub-planes, as every Occultist knows, there are seven on our terrestrial plane as there are on every other.


Q.  Is Science entirely wrong in its definition of the hypnotic phenomena?


ANS.  It has no definition, so far. Now if there is one thing upon which Occultism agrees (to a certain degree) with the latest discoveries of physical Science, it is that all the bodies endowed with the property of inducing and calling metallo-therapeutic and other analogous phenomena, have, their great variety not withstanding, one feature in common. They are all the fountain heads and the generators of rapid molecular oscillations, which, whether through transmitting agents or direct contact, communicate themselves to the nervous system, changing thereby the rhythm of nervous vibrations — on the sole condition, however, of being what is called, in unison. Now "unison" does not always imply the sameness of nature, or of essence, but simply the sameness of degree, a similarity with regard to gravity and acuteness, and equal potentialities for intensity of sound or motion: a bell may be in unison with a violin, and a flute with an animal or a human organ. Moreover, the rate of the number of vibrations — especially in an organic animal cell or organ, changes in accordance with the state of health, and general condition. Hence the cerebral nervous centers of a hypnotic subject, while in perfect unison, in potential degree and essential original activity, with the object he gazes at, may yet, owing to some organic disturbance, be at the given moment at logger-heads with it, in respect to the number of their respective vibrations. In such case no hypnotic condition ensues; or no unison at all may exist between his nervous cells and the cells of the crystal or metal he is made to gaze at, in which case that particular object can never have any effect upon him. This amounts to saying that to ensure success in a hypnotic experiment, two conditions are requisite; (a) as every organic or "inorganic" body in nature is distinguished by its fixed molecular oscillations, it is necessary to find out which are those bodies which will act in unison with one or another human nervous system; and (b) to remember that the molecular oscillations of the former can influence the nervous action of the latter, only when the rhythms of their respective vibrations coincide, i.e., when the number of their oscillations is made identical; which, in the cases of hypnotism induced by mechanical means, is achieved through the medium of the eye.


Therefore, though the difference between hypnosis produced by mechanical means, and that induced by the direct gaze of the operator, plus his will, depends on the plane on which the same phenomenon is produced, still the "fascinating" or subduing agent is created by the same force at work. In the physical world and its material planes, it is called MOTION; in the worlds of mentality and metaphysics it is known as WILL — the many-faced magician throughout all nature.

As the rate of vibrations (molecular motion) in metals, woods, crystals, etc., alters under the effect of heat, cold, etc., so do the cerebral molecules change their rate, in the same way: i.e., their rate is raised or lowered. And this is what really takes place in the phenomenon of hypnotism. In the case of gazing, it is the eye — the chief agent of the Will of the active operator, but a slave and traitor when this Will is dormant — that, unconsciously to the patient or subject, attunes the oscillations of his cerebral nervous centers to the rate of the vibrations of the object gazed at by catching the rhythm of the latter and passing it on to the brain. But in the case of direct passes, it is the Will of the operator radiating through his eye that produces the required unison between his will and the will of the person operated upon. For, out of two objects attuned in unison — as two chords, for instance — one will always be weaker than the other, and thus have mastery over the other and even the potentiality of destroying its weaker "co-respondent." So true is this, that we can call upon physical Science to corroborate this fact. Take the "sensitive flame" as a case in hand. Science tells us that if a note be struck in unison with the ratio of the vibrations of the heat molecules, the flames will respond immediately to the sound (or note struck), that it will dance and sing in rhythm with the sounds. But Occult Science adds, that the flame may also be extinguished if the sound is intensified (vide Isis Unveiled, Vol. II, 606 and 607). Another proof. Take a wine-glass or tumbler of very fine and clear glass; produce, by striking it gently with a silver spoon, a well-determined note; after which reproduce the same note by rubbing its rim with a damp finger, and, if you are successful, the glass will immediately crack and be shattered. Indifferent to every other sound, the glass will not resist the great intensity of its own fundamental note, for that particular vibration will cause such a commotion in its particles, that the whole fabric will fall in pieces.


Q.  What becomes of diseases cured by hypnotism; are they really cured or are they postponed, or do they appear in another form? Are diseases Karma; and, if so, is it right to attempt to cure them?


ANS.  Hypnotic suggestion may cure for ever, and it may not. All depends on the degree of magnetic relations between the operator and the patient. If Karmic, they will be only postponed, and return in some other form, not necessarily of disease, but as a punitive evil of another sort. It is always "right" to try and alleviate suffering whenever we can, and to do our best for it. Because a man suffers justly imprisonment, and catches cold in his damp cell, is it a reason why the prison-doctor should not try to cure him of it?


Q.  Is it necessary that the hypnotic "suggestions" of the operator should be spoken? Is it not enough for him to think them, and may not even HE be ignorant or unconscious of the bent he is impressing on his subject?


ANS.  Certainly not, if the rapport between the two is once for all firmly established. Thought is more powerful than speech in cases of a real subjugation of the will of the patient to that of his operator. But, on the other hand, unless the "suggestion" made is for the good only of the subject, and entirely free from any selfish motive, a suggestion by thought is an act of black magic still more pregnant with evil consequences than a spoken suggestion. It is always wrong and unlawful to deprive a man of his free-will, unless for his own or Society's good; and even the former has to be done with great discrimination. Occultism regards all such promiscuous attempts as black magic and sorcery, whether conscious or otherwise.


Q.  Do the motive and character of the operator affect the result, immediate or remote?


ANS.  In so far as the hypnotizing process becomes under his operation either white or black magic, as the last answer shows.


Q.  Is it wise to hypnotize a patient not only out of disease, but out of a habit, such as drinking or lying?


ANS.  It is an act of charity and kindness, and this is next to wisdom. For, although the dropping of his vicious habits will add nothing to his good Karma (which it would, had his efforts to reform been personal, of his own free will, and necessitating a great mental and physical struggle), still a successful "suggestion" prevents him from generating more bad Karma, and adding constantly to the previous record of his transgressions.


Q.  What is it that a faith-healer, when successful, practises upon himself; what tricks is he playing with his principles and with his Karma?


ANS.  Imagination is a potent help in every event of our lives. Imagination acts on Faith, and both are the draughtsmen who prepare the sketches for Will to engrave, more or less deeply, on the rocks of obstacles and opposition with which the path of life is strewn. Says Paracelsus: "Faith must confirm the imagination, for faith establishes the will . . . Determined will is the beginning of all magical operations. . . . It is because men do not perfectly imagine and believe the result, that the arts (of magic) are uncertain, while they might be perfectly certain." This is all the secret. Half, if not two-thirds of our ailings and diseases are the fruit of our imagination and fears. Destroy the latter and give another bent to the former, and nature will do the rest. There is nothing sinful or injurious in the methods per se. They turn to harm only when belief in his power becomes too arrogant and marked in the faith-healer, and when he thinks he can will away such diseases as need, if they are not to be fatal, the immediate help of expert surgeons and physicians.


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Black Magic in Science

Commence research where modern conjecture closes its faithless wings — Bulwer's Zanoni.


The flat denial of yesterday has become the scientific axiom of to-day — Common Sense Aphorisms.


Thousands of years ago the Phrygian Dactyls, the initiated priests, spoken of as the "magicians and exorcists of sickness," healed diseases by magnetic processes. It was claimed that they had obtained these curative powers from the powerful breath of Cybele, the many-breasted goddess, the daughter of Coelus and Terra. Indeed, her genealogy and the myths attached to it show Cybele as the personification and type of the vital essence, whose source was located by the ancients between the Earth and the starry sky, and who was regarded as the very fons vitae of all that lives and breathes. The mountain air being placed nearer to that fount fortifies health and prolongs man's existence; hence, Cybele's life, as an infant, is shown in her myth as having been preserved on a mountain. This was before that Magna and Bona Dea, the prolific Mater, became transformed into Ceres-Demeter, the patroness of the Eleusinian Mysteries.

Animal magnetism (now called Suggestion and Hypnotism) was the principal agent in theurgic mysteries as also in the Asclepieia — the healing temples of Aesculapius, where the patients once admitted were treated, during the process of "incubation," magnetically, during their sleep.

This creative and life-giving Force — denied and laughed at when named theurgic magic, accused for the last century of being principally based on superstition and fraud, whenever referred to as mesmerism — is now called Hypnotism, Charcotism, Suggestion, "psychology," and what not. But, whatever the expression chosen, it will ever be a loose one if used without a proper qualification.


For when epitomized with all its collateral sciences — which are all sciences within the science — it will be found to contain possibilities the nature of which has never been even dreamt of by the oldest and most learned professors of the orthodox physical science. The latter, "authorities" so-called, are no better, indeed, than innocent bald infants, when brought face to face with the mysteries of antediluvian "mesmerism." As stated repeatedly before, the blossoms of magic, whether white or black, divine or infernal, spring all from one root. The "breath of Cybele" — Akasa tattwa, in India — is the one chief agent, and it underlay the so-called "miracles" and "supernatural" phenomena in all ages, as in every clime. As the parent-root or essence is universal, so are its effects innumerable. Even the greatest adepts can hardly say where its possibilities must stop.

The key to the very alphabet of these theurgic powers was lost after the last gnostic had been hunted to death by the ferocious persecution of the Church; and as gradually Mysteries, Hierophants, Theophany and Theurgy became obliterated from the minds of men until they remained in them only as a vague tradition, all this was finally forgotten. But at the period of the Renaissance, in Germany, a learned Theosophist, a Philosopher per ignem, as they called themselves, rediscovered some of the lost secrets of the Phrygian priests and of the Asclepieia. It was the great and unfortunate physician-Occultist, Paracelsus, the greatest Alchemist of the age. That genius it was, who during the Middle Ages was the first to publicly recommend the action of the magnet in the cure of certain diseases. Theophrastus Paracelsus — the "quack" and "drunken impostor" in the opinion of the said scientific "bald infants" of his day, and of their successors in ours — inaugurated among other things in the seventeenth century, that which has become a profitable branch in trade in the nineteenth. It is he who invented and used for the cure of various muscular and nervous diseases magnetized bracelets, armlets, belts, rings, collars and leglets; only his magnets cured far more efficaciously than do the electric belts of to-day. Van Helmont, the successor of Paracelsus, and Robert Fludd, the Alchemist and Rosicrucian, also applied magnets in the treatment of their patients. Mesmer in the eighteenth, and the Marquis de Puysegur in the nineteenth century only followed in their footsteps.


In the large curative establishment founded by Mesmer at Vienna, he employed, besides magnetism, electricity, metals and a variety of woods. His fundamental doctrine was that of the Alchemists. He believed that metals, as also woods and plants have all an affinity with and bear a close relation to, the human organism. Everything in the Universe has developed from one homogeneous primordial substance differentiated into incalculable species of matter, and everything is destined to return thereinto. The secret of healing, he maintained, lies in the knowledge of correspondences and affinities between kindred atoms. Find that metal, wood, stone, or plant that has the most correspondential affinity with the body of the sufferer; and, whether through internal or external use, that particular agent imparting to the patient additional strength to fight disease — (developed generally through the introduction of some foreign element into the constitution) — and to expel it, will lead invariably to his cure. Many and marvelous were such cures effected by Anton Mesmer. Subjects with heart-disease were made well. A lady of high station, condemned to death, was completely restored to health by the application of certain sympathetic woods. Mesmer himself, suffering from acute rheumatism, cured it completely by using specially-prepared magnets.

In 1774 he too happened to come across the theurgic secret of direct vital transmission; and so highly interested was he, that he abandoned all his old methods to devote himself entirely to the new discovery. Henceforward he mesmerized by gaze and passes, the natural magnets being abandoned. The mysterious effects of such manipulations were called by him — animal magnetism. This brought to Mesmer a mass of followers and disciples. The new force was experimented with in almost every city and town of Europe and found everywhere an actual fact.


About 1780, Mesmer settled in Paris, and soon the whole metropolis, from the Royal family down to the last hysterical bourgeoise, were at his feet. The clergy got frightened and cried — "the Devil"! The licensed "leeches" felt an ever-growing deficit in their pockets; and the aristocracy and the Court found themselves on the verge of madness from mere excitement. No use repeating too well-known facts, but the memory of the reader may be refreshed with a few details he may have forgotten.

It so happened that just about that time the official Academical Science felt very proud. After centuries of mental stagnation in the realm of medicine and general ignorance, several determined steps in the direction of real knowledge had finally been made. Natural sciences had achieved a decided success, and chemistry and physics were on a fair way to progress. As the Savants of a century ago had not yet grown to that height of sublime modesty which characterizes so pre-eminently their modern successors — they felt very much puffed up with their greatness. The moment for praiseworthy humility, followed by a confession of the relative insignificance of the knowledge of the period — and even of modern knowledge for the matter of that — compared to that which the ancients knew, had not yet arrived. Those were days of naive boasting of the peacocks of science displaying in a body their tails, and demanding universal recognition and admiration. The Sir Oracles were not as numerous as they are now, yet their number was considerable. And indeed, had not the Dulcamaras of public fairs been just visited with ostracism? Had not the leeches well nigh disappeared to make room for diplomaed physicians with royal licenses to kill and bury a piacere ad libitum? Hence, the nodding "Immortal" in his academical chair was regarded as the sole competent authority in the decision of questions he had never studied, and for rendering verdicts about that which he had never heard of. It was the REIGN OF REASON, and of Science — in its teens; the beginning of the great deadly struggle between Theology and Facts, Spirituality and Materialism. In the educated classes of Society too much faith had been succeeded by no faith at all. The cycle of Science-worship had just set in, with its pilgrimages to the Academy, the Olympus where the "Forty Immortals" are enshrined, and its raids upon every one who refused to manifest a noisy admiration, a kind of juvenile calf's enthusiasm, at the door of the Fane of Science. When Mesmer arrived, Paris divided its allegiance between the Church which attributed all kinds of phenomena except its own divine miracles to the Devil, and the Academy, which believed in neither God nor Devil, but only in its own infallible wisdom.


But there were minds which would not be satisfied with either of these beliefs. Therefore, after Mesmer had forced all Paris to crowd to his halls, waiting hours to obtain a place in the chair round the miraculous baquet, some people thought that it was time real truth should be found out. They had laid their legitimate desires at the royal feet, and the King forthwith commanded his learned Academy to look into the matter. Then it was, that awakening from their chronic nap, the "Immortals" appointed a committee of investigation, among which was Benjamin Franklin, and chose some of the oldest, wisest and baldest among their "Infants" to watch over the Committee. This was in 1784. Every one knows what was the report of the latter and the final decision of the Academy. The whole transaction looks now like a general rehearsal of the play, one of the acts of which was performed by the "Dialectical Society" of London and some of England's greatest Scientists, some eighty years later.

Indeed, notwithstanding a counter report by Dr. Jussieu, an Academician of the highest rank, and the Court physician D'Eslon, who, as eye-witnesses to the most striking phenomena, demanded that a careful investigation should be made by the Medical Faculty of the therapeutic effects of the magnetic fluid — their demand fell through. The Academy disbelieved her most eminent Scientists. Even Sir B. Franklin, so much at home with cosmic electricity, would not recognize its fountain head and primordial source, and along with Bailly, Lavoisier, Magendie, and others, proclaimed Mesmerism a delusion. Nor had the second investigation which followed the first — namely in 1825 — any better results. The report was once more squashed (vide Isis Unveiled, vol. I, pp. 171-176).


Even now when experiment has amply demonstrated that "Mesmerism" or animal magnetism, now known as hypnotism (a sorry effect, forsooth, of the "Breath of Cybele") is a fact, we yet get the majority of scientists denying its actual existence. Small fry as it is in the majestic array of experimental psycho-magnetic phenomena, even hypnotism seems too incredible, too mysterious, for our Darwinists and Haeckelians. One needs too much moral courage, you see, to face the suspicion of one's colleagues, the doubt of the public, and the giggling of fools. "Mystery and charlatanism go hand in hand," they say; and "self-respect and the dignity of the profession," as Magendie remarks in his Physiologie Humaine, "demand that the well informed physician should remember how readily mystery glides into charlatanism." Pity the "well informed physician" should fail to remember that physiology among the rest is full of mystery — profound, inexplicable mystery from A to Z — and ask whether, starting from the above "truism," he should not throw overboard Biology and Physiology as the greatest pieces of charlatanry in modern Science. Nevertheless, a few in the well-meaning minority of our physicians have taken up seriously the investigation of hypnotism. But even they, having been reluctantly compelled to confess the reality of its phenomena, still persist in seeing in such manifestations no higher a factor at work than the purely material and physical forces, and deny these their legitimate name of animal magnetism. But as the Rev. Mr. Haweis (of whom more presently) just said in the Daily Graphic . . . "The Charcot phenomena are, for all that, in many ways identical with the mesmeric phenomena, and hypnotism must properly be considered rather as a branch of mesmerism than as something distinct from it. Anyhow, Mesmer's facts, now generally accepted, were at first stoutly denied." And they are still so denied.


But while they deny Mesmerism, they rush into Hypnotism, despite the now scientifically recognized dangers of this science, in which medical practitioners in France are far ahead of the English. And what the former say is, that between the two states of mesmerism (or magnetism as they call it, across the water) and hypnotism "there is an abyss." That one is beneficent, the other maleficent, as it evidently must be; since, according to both Occultism and modern Psychology, hypnotism is produced by the withdrawal of the nervous fluid from the capillary nerves, which being, so to say, the sentries that keep the doors of our senses opened, getting anaesthetized under hypnotic conditions, allow these to get closed. A. H. Simonin reveals many a wholesome truth in his excellent work, "Solution du probleme de la suggestion hypnotique." Thus he shows that while "in Magnetism (mesmerism) there occurs in the subject a great development of moral faculties"; that his thoughts and feelings "become loftier, and the senses acquire an abnormal acuteness"; in hypnotism, on the contrary, "the subject becomes a simple mirror." It is Suggestion which is the true motor of every action in the hypnotic: and if, occasionally, "seemingly marvelous actions are produced, these are due to the hypnotizer, not to the subject." Again . . . . "In hypnotism instinct, i.e., the animal, reaches its greatest development; so much so, indeed, that the aphorism 'extremes meet' can never receive a better application than to magnetism and hypnotism." How true these words, also, as to the difference between the mesmerized and the hypnotized subjects. "In one, his ideal nature, his moral self — the reflection of his divine nature — are carried to their extreme limits, and the subject becomes almost a celestial being (un ange). In the other, it is his instincts which develop in a most surprising fashion. The hypnotic lowers himself to the level of the animal. From a physiological standpoint, magnetism (Mesmerism) is comforting and curative, and hypnotism, which is but the result of an unbalanced state, is — most dangerous."


Thus the adverse Report drawn by Bailly at the end of last century has had dire effects in the present, but it had its Karma also. Intended to kill the "Mesmeric" craze, it reacted as a death-blow to the public confidence in scientific decrees. In our day the Non-Possumus of the Royal Colleges and Academies is quoted on the Stock Exchange of the world's opinion at a price almost as low as the Non-Possumus of the Vatican. The days of authority whether human or divine, are fast gliding away; and we see already gleaming on future horizons but one tribunal, supreme and final, before which mankind will bow — the Tribunal of Fact and Truth.

Aye, to this tribunal without appeal even liberal clergymen and famous preachers make obeisance in our day. The parts have now changed hands, and in many instances it is the successors of those who fought tooth and nail for the reality of the Devil and his direct interference with psychic phenomena, for long centuries, who come out publicly to upbraid science. A remarkable instance of this is found in an excellent letter (just mentioned) by the Rev. Mr. Haweis to the Graphic. The learned preacher seems to share our indignation at the unfairness of the modern scientists, at their suppression of truth, and ingratitude to their ancient teachers. His letter is so interesting that its best points must be immortalized in our magazine. Here are some fragments of it. Thus he asks: —


Why can't our scientific men say: "We have blundered about Mesmerism; it's practically true"? Not because they are men of science, but simply because they are human. No doubt it is humiliating when you have dogmatized in the name of science to say, "I was wrong." But is it not more humiliating to be found out; and is it not most humiliating, after shuffling and wriggling hopelessly in the inexorable meshes of serried facts, to collapse suddenly, and call the hated net a "suitable enclosure," in which forsooth, you don't mind being caught? Now this, as it seems to me, is precisely what Messrs. Charcot and the French hypnotists and their medical admirers in England are doing. Ever since Mesmer's death at the age of eighty, in 1815, the French and English "Faculty," with some honorable exceptions, have ridiculed and denied the facts as well as the theories of Mesmer, but now, in 1890, a host of scientists suddenly agree, while wiping out as best they may the name of Mesmer, to rob him of all his phenomena, which they quietly appropriate under the name of "hypnotism," "suggestion," "Therapeutic Magnetism," "psychopathic Massage," and all the rest of it. Well, "What's in a name?"I care more for things than names, but I reverence the pioneers of thought who have been cast out, trodden under foot, and crucified by the orthodox of all ages, and I think the least scientists can do for men like Mesmer, Du Potet, Puysegur, or Mayo and Elliotson, now they are gone, is to "build their sepulchers."


But Mr. Haweis might have added instead, the amateur Hypnotists of Science dig with their own hands the graves of many a man and woman's intellect; they enslave and paralyze freewill in their "subjects," turn immortal men into soulless, irresponsible automata, and vivisect their souls with as much unconcern as they vivisect the bodies of rabbits and dogs. In short, they are fast blooming into "sorcerers," and are turning science into a vast field of black magic. The rev. writer, however, lets the culprits off easily; and, remarking that he accepts "the distinction" [between Mesmerism and Hypnotism] "without pledging himself to any theory," he adds: —


I am mainly concerned with the facts, and what I want to know is why these cures and abnormal states are trumpeted about as modern discoveries, while the "faculty" still deride or ignore their great predecessors without having themselves a theory which they can agree upon or a single fact which can be called new. The truth is we are just blundering back with toil to work over again the old disused mines of the ancients; the rediscovery of these occult sciences is exactly matched by the slow recovery of sculpture and painting in modern Europe. Here is the history of occult science in a nutshell. (1) Once known. (2) Lost. (3) Rediscovered. (4) Denied. (5) Reaffirmed, and by slow degrees, under new names, victorious. The evidence for all this is exhaustive and abundant. Here it may suffice to notice that Diodorus Siculus mentions how the Egyptian priests, ages before Christ, attributed clairvoyance induced for therapeutic purposes to Isis. Strabo ascribes the same to Serapis, while Galen mentions a temple near Memphis famous for these Hypnotic cures. Pythagoras, who won the confidence of the Egyptian priests, is full of it. Aristophanes in "Plutus" describes in some detail a Mesmeric cure — [kai prota men de tes kephales ephepsato], etc., "and first he began to handle the head." Caelius Aurelianus describes manipulations (1569) for disease "conducting the hands from the superior to the inferior parts"; and there was an old Latin proverb — Ubi dolor ibi digitus, "Where pain, there finger." But time would fail me to tell of Paracelsus (1462) and his "deep secret of Magnetism"; of Van Helmont (1644)  and his "faith in the power of the hand in disease." Much in the writings of both these men was only made clear to the moderns by the experiments of Mesmer, and in view of modern Hypnotists it is clearly with him and his disciples that we have chiefly to do. He claimed, no doubt, to transmit an animal magnetic fluid, which I believe the Hypnotists deny.


They do, they do. But so did the scientists with regard to more than one truth. To deny "an animal magnetic fluid" is surely no more absurd than to deny the circulation of the blood, as they have so energetically done.

A few additional details about Mesmerism given by Mr. Haweis may prove interesting. Thus he reminds us of the answer written by the much wronged Mesmer to the Academicians after their unfavorable Report, and refers to it as "prophetic words."


"You say that Mesmer will never hold up his head again. If such is the destiny of the man it is not the destiny of the truth, which is in its nature imperishable, and will shine forth sooner or later in the same or some other country with more brilliancy than ever, and its triumph will annihilate its miserable detractors." Mesmer left Paris in disgust, and retired to Switzerland to die; but the illustrious Dr. Jussieu became a convert. Lavater carried Mesmer's system to Germany, while Puysegur and Deleuze spread it throughout provincial France, forming innumerable "harmonic societies" devoted to the study of therapeutic magnetism and its a