Initiation of the King
and the Ordeal X

The Ordeal X

 

Ra Hoor Khuit says:

The other images group around me to support
me: let all be worshipped, for they shall
cluster to exalt me. I am the visible object
of worship; the others are secret; for the Beast
& his Bride are they: and for the winners of
the Ordeal x. What is this? Thou shalt know.
– 220,3:22.

Ra Hoor Khuit, the Sun in the sky, is perceptible to everyone. The others are Nuit, Hadit and Hoor-paar-kraat (Horus the Child). The Ordeal X is the ordeal associated with the initiation to the grade of Zelator. This shift of consciousness introduces lunar reflection: waking awareness of the most materialised stratum of the astral plane.

In the Initiation of the King, the apparent immutability of the material world is seen to be illusion. Faith in external authority is undermined so that the initiate must find new ways to deal with the world. Rather than looking to others — parents, teachers, clergymen, politicians, sport heroes, historical or fictional characters, and such — for how to behave, authority is found in one’s self as the result of common sense and intuition. There is no more right or wrong, only better or worse, and these values are determined in an honest and personal way.

What caused us to experience the Initiation of the King in the first place was doing magick unawares. Note that I have spelled the word ‘magick’ with a ‘k’. This is to distinguish it as sexual magic. Using sex to acquire spiritual enlightenment is called ‘love under will’ in the Thelemic lexicon. The Ordeal X compels the initiate to become aware that his or her sexual expression has a profound impact on his or her own state of mind and experience in the world. Although this is just the beginning of the path of Thelemic initiation, one can no longer ignore the cause-and-effect relationship between sexual expression and life experience without incurring grief.

Somewhere along the line, the person undergoing the Ordeal X magickally expressed the desire to know; to understand the nature of life and death; to see beyond the horizon. This unconscious prayer was evoked as a reaction to the sorrow of loss. If the sense of one’s self in the world is not challenged, there is no motivation to learn or change, there is no need to delve into the hidden mysteries of life and death.

Prayer works. It doesn’t matter if you pray to God Almighty!!! or a bottle upended on a stick. Prayer still works. Thelemic prayer, or magick, can be orders of magnitude more efficient than ordinary Abrahamic prayer, so be careful what you worship. The magick that can make us joyful is the same magick that can make us miserable. The choice is ours whether to take responsibility or to blame fate.

the svadhisthana chakra

Yesod, the point of view of the Zelator, is the Svadisthana Chakra, the six petaled lotus associated with the sexual organs. Here we must learn to volitionally direct our sexual energy. As Nuit says in 220,1:52, “...if the ritual be not ever unto me: then expect the direful judgments of Ra Hoor Khuit!” Ra Hoor Khuit is our inmost will. Since we create the universe we live in by the expression of our will, we make ourselves happy if we transmit that will in a healthy manner and we make ourselves miserable if we conflict with our inmost will. There is no God out there to punish us for breaking the law. Each person has his or her own law to follow, his or her own True Will to do. Deviating from our True Will naturally produces ‘direful judgements’ in the worlds we create for ourselves. When we become conscious of our part in all this, we can change our behaviour and thus change our experience of manifested existence. In practice, we suffer until we wake up and take responsibility for our sexual expression.

“Hear what the spirit sayeth unto the Church of Luna! Some of thee in this precinct have not the knowledge of Hadit. Thou knowest not the face of our Mother, nor hast thou the ability to raise thy servant. If thou dost not love unto Nu, my children, I will scold thee with affliction! I will cast thee out of my mouth, broken and sad. Ye shall know I have forsaken ye. So sayeth the Word to the Church of Nine Ways.”
– 718,3:10.

The Church of Luna is Yesod (ToL), sephira number 9. Its parishioners are Zelators. The knowledge of Hadit is the knowledge of death. Our Mother is Nuit and Her face is Her symbol. Thy servant is the Kundalini or Kundali. To love unto Nu is to lose the sense of separateness in the fire of sexual ecstasy.

His mouth is Pe (פ), The Tower of Tarot (ToL). Tarot itself is Rota, the wheel of life in the world. We are cast out of the wheel of life, or die broken and sad, if we have not received Nuit’s promise of certainty, not faith, while in life, upon death. The Sun God, source of life on Earth, is also the God of Resurrection in His form as Ra-Kephra. If He forsakes us, we cannot see that this life is just one among many incarnations of the same spiritual being, for we have failed to identify with our Eternal Selves. Thus we will reincarnate as slaves, not knowing with clarity that we have been alive in the world before and will be again.

the bow

The Ordeal X is a blind ordeal in that the person going through it has not yet become consciously aware of the eyes of light nor skillful in seeing astral phenomena objectively. The Tree of Life and Tarot, however, symbolise the ordeal in some detail. Although there is only one path (Tav) directly joining Malkuth (Neophyte) and Yesod (Zelator), its two neighbours on either side, Shin (ש) and Qoph (ק), form a structure with Tav (ת) which clearly speaks to the Ordeal X.

 

The letters corresponding to the three paths, reaching up from Malkuth to the Ruach, form the Hebrew word qesheth (קשת) meaning ‘bow’. Qesheth has connotations of strength because a bow extends man’s power when used for hunting or war. Qesheth may also refer to a rainbow. In this sense it resembles a peacock’s colourful tail feathers.

In general, the sephiroth of the Tree of Life represent the initiations while the paths represent the ordeals. It is useful to regard the sephiroth of the Tree of Life as points of view or perspectives. The paths are the way connected sephiroth appear to one another.

Each of the three paths of qesheth represents a type of external authority which is usurped in the Ordeal X. I call these three paths ‘glamours’. They are three ways in which we get interrupted and fail to connect to here and now. I have named these glamours: Prejudice, Dogma and Superstition.

Ordeal X

 

PrejudiceThe Body     Yesod, the silvered mirror, seen through Tav (ToL), The Universe of Tarot, from the perspective of Malkuth, reflects one’s immediate family or tribe. These are the things we take for granted about our physical selves: our parents, our bodies, the blood in our veins, our material inheritance. I call this glamour ‘prejudice’, which means ‘judge beforehand’. When we are proud or ashamed, or make other judgements regarding our parents or tribe, we inhibit contact in the real world here and now. Whether rich or poor, born to parents of social position or ne’re-do-wells, it is not relevant to spiritual reality. Prejudice is of, by and for social life in the world.

Seen from Yesod, Malkuth is the end result, the final step in a continuous process of creation represented by the Lightning Flash of Creation on the Tree of Life. The objective physical world is crystalised consciousness. Note that the view from Malkuth is personal, for Yesod is a mirror in which we recognise our separate and unique identities. The view from Yesod is impersonal, for we see what is perfected in Malkuth as detritus. That which is perfected is no longer in the process of creation but has reached its final form. When we attain the perspective at Yesod we are no longer dependent on our forebears for identity. We have set off on our own way in the world and we must choose for ourselves rather than relative to inherited prejudices.

Body

 

The paths Shin and Qoph are better understood if we know what aspects of human nature are represented by Hod and Netzach.

Hod (ToL) is Mercury, the messenger of the gods. It is the boy projecting his world outside of himself where ideas can be defined and compared in isolation from their natural context. It is rational intellect, calculation, gamesmanship and what-if scenarios. The boy objectifies his world in order to perceive its details.

Netzach (ToL) is Venus, goddess of love. It is the girl calling her world into herself where perceptions can find their rightful place and true value. It is aesthetic intellect, observation, artistry and what-is comparisons. The girl arranges her world subjectively so she may perceive the context.

Is it any surprise, then, that the path between Hod and Netzach is Pé/Phé (ToL), war, Mars, The Tower, for the boy and girl have entirely different perspectives. This unhappy dynamic is ameliorated by Samekh, Art, which refers to the art of magick. When they get out of their heads and into their hearts they come together as one in Tiphareth.

 

DogmaThe Mind     From the perspective of Malkuth, Hod looks like the path Shin, The Aeon of Crowley’s Tarot and The Last Judgement of old-aeon Tarot. The classical element Fire is attributed to this path as well as the fifth element, Spirit. I call this glamour ‘dogma’. It is one’s personal and tribal religious beliefs and the assumptions one makes about the spiritual verities that underlie the outwardly manifested world. It is the consideration of causes. The vista from Hod to Malkuth is hard science like physics and biochemistry: objective models of reality leading to technology, the study of method. It is the consideration of effects. Taken together, Shin represents not only science and engineering but metaphysics as well. The harmful aspects of Shin have to do with ignoring living reality in favour of introjected assumptions as to cause and effect. Hence dogma.

Mind

 

SuperstitionThe Soul     From the perspective of Malkuth, Netzach looks like the path Qoph, The Moon of Tarot, whose astrological attribute is Pisces. I call this glamour ‘superstition’. It is the misunderstanding of the proportion of things whence phantom imaginings fill out the parts of the pattern that are not known and are thought to be supernatural. This is intuition gone wrong. This is Abrahamic religion. The vista from Netzach to Malkuth is fine art, antiques, precious objects, things that are beautiful and fitting but which are no longer really alive, having reached their final and perfected form in Malkuth. Pisces, the astrological sign attributed to The Moon, is the last sign in the sun’s yearly cycle before the Spring Equinox. It is the leaf litter and carcasses of last year’s growth that, in their decay, will nourish the tender shoots springing up to greet the light of the young sun. If we ascribe too much value to objects we inherit from past generations, we run the risk of believing they have power in themselves rather than as symbols. The attribution of agency to inanimate objects, ideas, gods or symbols, is superstition.

Soul

 

The gross must pass through fire; let the
fine be tried in intellect, and the
lofty chosen ones in the highest;
– 220,1:50

The gross of Malkuth must pass through the fire of Qesheth so that consciousness can achieve Yesod, the entry into the Ruach. Here, in the third triad known as the Order of the Golden Dawn, consciousness is refined. The fine is then tried in Tiphareth, the centre of the Ruach, or mind, and the adept enters the Order of the Rosy Cross, the R.R. et A.C., where the first task is to achieve the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. This is a trial of much more than intellect, in the common sense of the word, but, because the objective awareness of the Angel is appreciated by the mind, it is of the Ruach.

The Neophyte must be tested in the purity of his Will, his devotion to the order. He must be taught the essence of Qabalah, and commit to memory all its most basic elements. He shall have a copy of Liber Al and other Holy Books. He shall devote himself to the service of his Master. If this be not aright, if the will of the Fool lies elsewhere, he must be cast away from the communion of saints.
– 718,2:19

Consciousness, which is gross in avidya (Malkuth), is refined through the practices taught in the Golden Dawn. However, getting up the motivation to pursue these difficult disciplines is a function of the Ordeal X. The direction of the sexual libido usually remains only semi-conscious and largely in the realm of dreams, the unconscious. We need some pretty strong motivation to bring our sexuality to waking consciousness, as it is in the Zelator. This motivation is provided by the vampire who tests the purity of the Neophyte’s will. At this time there are very few Masters of the Temple available to guide Neophytes through this perilous passage. A high degree of personal integrity and self awareness will have to substitute for the Master’s comprehensive understanding.

the vampire

The main problem addressed by the Ordeal X is that the True Will remains unconscious and unavailable to the waking consciousness of the incarnation. We may be aware of it but unable to distinguish it from the complexity of everyday life. It must be isolated like a particular muscle group is isolated with a specific body-building exercise. The spiritual exercise for the Ordeal X is the vampire.

Of course, this vampire does not drink blood except in the sense that blood represents the energy of life. It is the life energy which is bled, and it is taken directly through sex or through something closely related to the sex drive. It does not usually lead to the untimely physical death of the victim. As it is part of the ordeal, it is necessitated by the victim. The vampire surely never thinks of his- or herself as a blood sucking monster. And, indeed, he or she may well be playing the part of victim in another passage of life, or a couple may play vampire and victim for each other at the same time. The dynamic described here applies regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. The vampire may not manifest as a sexual partner or another human being but instead as another object of obsession, such as an idea, a fantasy, a prejudicial way of thinking, dogma or superstition, addiction to a substance or an emotional state. The vampire manifests a restriction which frustrates the True Will of the victim with uncanny accuracy.

Male sexual energy is projective and thus, generally speaking, creative and destructive. Female sexual energy expresses the power of manifestation, calling the world into existence. It must be noted that all people of whatever gender identity express both male and female sexual energies. The Initiation of the King unhinges restrictions to thought and deed inherited from authority figures in family and society. The liberated energy, formerly kept in check, is then free to create new realities. If the newly liberated energy is not consciously directed, it will create realities in accord with unconscious restrictions. Whether we call these unconscious restriction demons or neuroses, the results are the same. In this way, vampires—demonic or neurotic depending on your terms of reference—arise to play the role unconsciously assigned by the victim. The victim is then forced to become consciously aware of the unconscious restrictions in order to resolve them. “The Great Work therefore consists in the solution of complexes.”

The vampire is not a true representative of Nuit or Hadit, but a convincing fake. Even if the physical aspect of sexual relations with the vampire is exciting, the spiritual aspect is sterile. It is not unusual for the victim to believe, at first, they have found the perfect mate. Yet what they have found is obsession with a separate individual person rather than love of a fitting representative of the primal goddess or god. For the male, the projective-creative energy is deflected as if by a shield, rather than embraced with love and deep desire. For the female, there is no sense of being fulfilled with brilliant solar energy, rather there is the sense of being abused and discarded.

We learn that we must seek a mate with our eyes of light, for how else could we spy the bright beautiful aura of our heart’s desire? The vampire may be physically attractive, but its aura is dark and chaotic. Magick with the vampire still works, but what is being created and what is being called forth is ultimately ugly and repulsive.

The Neophyte is blind. He or she cannot rely on the eyes of light to see behind the mask or to correctly interpret what is seen. The Zelator begins to see, really see. The Zelator is an adept. Thus the Ordeal X is a blind ordeal. We must learn to see with our eyes of light to survive the ordeal. If we fail, we fall into despair which is soon muffled with a cloak of ignorance and forgetfulness as we are cast away from the communion of saints.

The Ordeal X is a very painful process for one must seemingly restrict one’s own sexuality to withdraw from the life-draining influence. The addiction to the vampire is powerful and cutting it off is a life or death struggle. That life is one’s own; that death is the loss of hope.

Actually, the task is to redirect rather than restrict the sexual expression. Love is directed by will. That is to say, love under will. “The one great technique of practical Magick” is not learned at Yesod but at Tiphereth. Yesod, however, is the foundation, the initial entry to the whole system of Thelemic magick. The price of admission is the whole world of the aspirant. “For one kiss wilt thou then be willing to give all; but whoso gives one particle of dust shall lose all in that hour.” – 220,1:61.

In this way, we are forced by our own behaviour to consciously choose what to evoke and what to invoke into our world. We focus our projection on Nuit or we invoke Hadit into our secret temple, but we can’t do it directly. We must create symbols to worship. For Nuit, the five pointed star with a circle of red, and for Hadit, the unicursal hexagram, are good, but we must make them our own. Whatever symbols we make, we must be able to hold them in our mind and body firmly enough to channel our sexual energy through them.

Every ordeal has its vampire. In the Ordeal X, one feels betrayed by one’s sexual partner (whether real or imaginary). In the Ordeal R, one feels betrayed by one’s friends, colleagues or business partners. In the Ordeal B, one feels betrayed by the entire universe. In the Ordeal A, one feels betrayed by one’s Holy Guardian Angel. In all cases it is we who betray ourselves, we who must isolate the offending behaviour and we who gain from causing the psychic energy to flow efficiently between our Eternal Selves and our lives in the world.

To survive the vampire in the nephesh (Yesod), we must train ourselves to direct our sexual desires on our own symbols of primal gods. Liber Al, meditation, qabalah and ritual magic are life-savers to the initiate drowning in despair. Whatever rationale we need to tell ourselves will do, so long as the practices get done, the mind and body are disciplined for survival and the attachments to the vampire are broken.

saturn

 

The despair of the Ordeal X is a foreshadowing of the despair of the Abyss. The Zelator shatters the illusion of the duration and rigidity of the earthly manifestation represented by Saturn – The Universe of Tarot. The realisation is that there is no real permanence in the world and, in the greater scheme of things, we have little importance. For the Exempt Adept becoming Master of the Temple and undergoing the ordeal of that grade, existence is unbearable and all one can hope for is not to exist, if only to have respite from the awful agony of being divided in illusion.

All the sorrows do pass & are done, but only when the external sense of self stops struggling against Saturn and embraces the fundamental truth about existence, which is that both the perceiver and the perceived are illusions. None of it has the slightest importance or significance, and neither do we. When every atom of our being has finally given up the struggle to be, we become truly aware of the Cosmic Joke and the laughter washes away the years of agony in an instant. Illusions we may be, but that’s all we have in the dark. Saturn just makes the illusions seem real.

Saturn

 

Saturn also represents our experience of the passage of time. In that sense, Saturn gives us everything we will ever have and everyone we will ever love, but, inevitably, Saturn will take it all away again. It is galling that we can neither speed time up nor slow it down nor affect it in any way. From the perspective of the Neophyte at Malkuth, Saturn seems to be insuperable opposition. Yet, we can overcome the limitations by embracing them and turning them to our use. Dhyana, or contemplation, limits the emotions associated with an active life. Asana is the limitation of physical movement in a chosen posture. Pranayama is the limitation of breath in a chosen breathing pattern. Mantra is the limitation of speaking and hearing in a chosen sing-song. Dharana limits the mind in concentration. All these meditation techniques help us to silence our thoughts and escape the limitations of the earthly body in samadhi. These apparently restrictive practices drive our attention into the present. We defeat time by embracing the present. The present is always fresh with possibility.

The Master of the Temple and the Neophyte share an understanding of Saturn resulting from the initiations they win and the ordeals they face. The Master of the Temple is said to be a ‘master of samadhi.’ The Neophyte is a beginner in the practice of meditation. Formal meditation and ritual magic (meditation in motion) teach the skills necessary to make magick a reality in one’s life. The Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel requires magick to achieve and it, in turn, supplies the great secret of practical magick. No sage, no book, no scholarship, no formula can impart the true secrets of Thelema. Without real initiation, all their words are skew-wise.

A pitfall that many Neophytes fall into is the belief that they have crossed the Abyss and become Masters of the Temple. This is understandable given that Saturn plays such a large rôle in both the Ordeal X and the Ordeal of the Abyss, and, given the holographic nature of the Tree of Life, they will have actually crossed the Abyss of Malkuth. The Neophyte must understand that the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel occurs long before the Ordeal of the Abyss on the ladder of initiation. If they have not seen and heard the Angel (male) or discovered Her brilliance in the inner landscape (female), then they have not crossed the Abyss, for they have not yet connected with their Angels. If they foolishly swear the oath of the Master of the Temple, they will likely be so discouraged that they abandon further initiation.

after the ordeal x

When the Ordeal X is complete, the Neophyte has attained the grade of Zelator and entered into the Order of the Golden Dawn. The Book of Codes gives a concise summary of the next steps along the path of initiation.

The Zelator must be taught the basics of ritual, the use of the Will and the training of the Imagination, the signs and the pentacles, the tools of the trade. The eyes, the ears, all senses of his Body of Light must be brought to full consciousness. He then becomes Practicus.

Practicus is trained in Metaphysics, the organization of the Worlds, the Microcosm and the Macrocosm, the Tao and the Teh, systems of Yoga, astrology, the Book of Thoth, and so forth. Let him be thoroughly educated, and let no question go unanswered. This is the making of a Philosophus.

When this training is complete, when the invocation and the evocation are practiced without error, the Philosophus may be admitted to the Royal Academy of the Rosy Cross, and there he shall be taught the discipline and joy of the one great technique of practical Magick. Let none be admitted who are not worthy of this grade; let all be adept in the minor branches of occult science.

Here be the Man of Earth, formerly known as Adeptus Minor, for he worketh in solitude, save for the presence of the God. He shall be taught the making and taking of the word and the blessing of talismans for various purposes. He will be taught the secret of meditation and the science of Kundali. Herein he must contact his Angel.
– 718,2:20-23

The major ordeal following the Ordeal X is the Ordeal R. ‘R’ is the letter of the sun. The Hebrew letter Resh (ר) is associated with the Tarot major arcanum The Sun. E.A Wallis Budge wrote that the name of the sun-god Ra could have been Ar or just R since only the consonants were known of Egyptian hieroglyphs.

 

Who calls us Thelemites will do no
wrong, if he look but close into the
word. For there are therein Three
Grades, the Hermit, and the Lover, and
the man of Earth. Do what thou wilt
shall be the whole of the Law.
– 220,1:40

The Word of the Law is Θελημα (Thelema). The Neophyte is initiated to the grade of Zelator with the shattering of the illusion of the material perspective and then must come through the Ordeal X to fully achieve the grade. Similarly, the Man of Earth (the Minor Adept – autosexual magick) contacts the Angel in the initiation then earths the grade in the Ordeal R. As a result of the work done in the G∴ D∴, the adept becomes consciously aware of the bright shiny Khu (Akhu), the House in which the Angel resides. The Man of Earth learns to cope with the energies made available in the initiation by means of the Ordeal R. Then the other two Thelemite degrees, the Hermit (Major Adept – heterosexual magick) and the Lover (Exempt Adept – homosexual magick), become available to the adept.

Thelemite Grades

 

The alchemist’s dream of turning dross into gold symbolises the raising of consciousness from avidya (Malkuth) to explicit contact with the Eternal Self in Tiphareth, the golden sun (ToL). The realisation is that practical immortality can be had by sharing consciousness with the Holy Guardian Angel. This realisation is known as the Philosopher’s Stone which confers immortality on its possessor. Having attained the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel, the Man of Earth possesses the Philosopher’s Stone for he or she has successfully turned Malkuth (dross) into Tiphareth (gold).

Some may think it strange that a Man of Earth could be a woman. It is true that males tend to project their thoughts outside of themselves to make them objective while females tend to order their thoughts within a subjective context. The approaches are very different, but the ultimate meaning and significance of the ideas are the same. While males will evoke the Angel, both vision and voice, as an objective entity, females will invoke the Angel as internal connection to their own solar spirit. It’s not the same fireworks but the result in both cases is waking awareness of the Khu.

identity crisis

The Initiation of the King produces a huge identity crisis in which the very ground shifts beneath our feet. The world is seen to be different than the one we thought we knew. We have to face the fact that we make unconscious choices that affect our lives. The introjects, beliefs we accumulated unawares which motivate these unconscious choices, need to be exposed to waking consciousness. We can then change the outcome by choosing in awareness. It doesn’t matter if our conscious choices get the results we want right away. What matters is that they are made intentionally and that we take full responsibility for them. Only then can we learn from our successes and failures. Only then can we change, grow and evolve.

Prejudice, dogma and superstition are barriers to spiritual growth. The Ordeal X causes us to re-examine inherited beliefs which in the past we had swallowed whole, without reflection. It doesn’t work to simply spit out all the old-aeon rubbish and start again. The light of truth must be shone on the Three Glamours: truth about our physical inheritance; truth about our intellectual inheritance; and truth about our aesthetic inheritance. We need not destroy our inheritance, only examine it from a healthy perspective and consciously reorganise its elements to effectively serve our interests.

Many people receive the Initiation of the King but only a few come through the Ordeal X to enter the Palace of Four Gates. The ego, or sense of self as a separate being, does not give up control without fighting every step of the way. Its most effective trick is distraction leading to forgetfulness. The Ordeal X may well be the most difficult, and certainly critical, of the four major ordeals. Here we first learn to be still, to make the mind and body quiet that we may reflect a reality hidden to us by ceaseless thought.

Advancements that we make on the ladder of initiation are the only things we can take with us across the death/birth boundary. We can volitionally build up spiritual initiation over a series of lifetimes. We are not limited to the essentially passive advancements of Dharmic religions and we need not be hamstrung by the willful ignorance of Abrahamic religions. Humanity is advancing into a new era in which death is a discovered country. The cycles of initiation and ordeal are growth-cycles of consciousness. Thelema is a universal technology, not a sectarian religion. The Initiation of the King and the Ordeal X is the first major initiation cycle encountered in each new lifetime of an adept, one who experiences a continuity of consciousness across lifetimes.

There is no law beyond Do What Thou Wilt.

 Nemo Pandragon

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Footnotes

The Moon is attributed to the sephira Yesod (ToL). This is the silver that contrasts with the Sun’s gold at Tiphareth. We can only see a somewhat accurate reflection of internal dimensions of consciousness if the mind and emotions are as a pond unruffled by wind. The slightest breeze distorts the reflection and only chaos will be reflected in a storm. Trees Sky Wind

The sephira Yesod is associated with the strong primal imagery and feelings of our animal natures. It is not necessary to be still of body and mind for lengthy periods of time each day, but to achieve the perspective at Yesod it is necessary to be truly still for a moment. It can take more than a year of daily practice to reach ‘truly still’ for even just one minute. Of course, if you can be truly still for a minute, a little more practice gets you an hour, but a minute would do for a start. When you can command your mind to be both silent and awake; when you accept the moment without expectation or regret, the world is a very different place than it was when perceived through a grate of pretensions.

We access the astral plane through our subconscious minds, or as Freud would have it: the unconscious. The occult is hidden beneath the surface, in the realm of the unconscious. The unconscious is the interface between the incarnation and the Eternal Self or Holy Guardian Angel. It takes a lot of experience of ‘truly still’, as well as of ritual magic (meditation in motion) and magick (sexual magic) to evoke the vision and the voice of the Holy Guardian Angel. The initiations and ordeals of the three sephiroth encapsulated in the Order of the Golden Dawn, Yesod, Hod and Netzach, teach the skills necessary to achieve the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. These degrees of initiation are inherent in human nature. They are merely codified in the G∴D∴.
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Hadit says,
I am the flame that burns in every heart of
man, and in the core of every star. I am
Life, and the giver of Life, yet therefore is
the knowledge of me the knowledge of death.
– 220,2:6

One can’t know one’s own death, for knowledge is an attribute of a mind living in the world. The knowledge of death is, in large part, the awareness of the effect that loss has on ourselves. For example, when someone very close to us dies, our sense of self is seriously disrupted. Colours become gray. Food is ashes in our mouths. We forget to breath. We are wounded terribly and our world can never be the same. Yet, strangely, we also may feel a sense of liberation, a newfound freedom. The disruption of the ego is liberating regardless of the cause.

Sex can be liberating for the same reason: the brief disruption of the ego in orgasm. The first few highs obtained from some drugs can have the same effect, although repeated use provides rapidly diminishing returns for steadily increasing costs to equilibrium and health. All these are types of death. While our egos allow us to compete for resources in society, they also separate us from our true selves as they separate us from a sense of being one with all otherness. The division is galling. Respite from separateness is liberating. People will do some pretty weird things to escape from their egos for even a moment. It is incumbent on us to find healthful ways to overcome the sense of separation.

Religion promises freedom from isolation and communion with those who worship in the same way. But there is a price to pay for that sense of belonging. It is not communion with the inner self but with co-religionists and against the world: just another expression of separateness in which the ego gains strength and resilience to avoid disruption. The real god is the Higher Self, the Holy Guardian Angel. Thelema is not religion. It is the challenge to die daily, to be Hadit unfettered by isolating identity.

The gross must pass through fire; let the
fine be tried in intellect, and the
lofty chosen ones in the highest; Thus
ye have star & star, system & system;
let not one know well the other!
– 220,1:50

It is sad to say, but association for mutual support in the spiritual quest often results in reliance on the group to satisfy the imperative, rather than on one’s own links to the Holy Guardian Angel.
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Nuit’s symbol is as follows:
The Five Pointed Star, with a
Circle in the Middle, & the circle is Red.
My colour is black to the
blind, but the blue & gold are seen of the
seeing. Also I have a secret glory for
them that love me.
– 220,1:60

Ra Hoor Khuit reveals the secret of the worship of Nuit in the first chapter of the Book of Codes:
You are a fool with your none, none, none! Canst thou not see my mother is invisible? She cannot be imagined, and in no wise drawn, save in symbol. Howcome thou insistest on thinking of the None? By necessity we may not speak of the Lady, yet it is Sin to dwell upon her in thought. – 718,1:5

“...save in symbol.” All gods are created by man. All gods are symbols. When we worship Nuit’s yantra, we worship zero. The ego and the intellect is bypassed and there is a moment of blissful nullity. Time stands still and a door is opened to a new perspective, a perspective within time, a perspective in the infinite present.
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Nuit says,
I give unimaginable joys on earth: certainty,
not faith, while in life, upon death; peace
unutterable, rest, ecstasy; nor do I demand
aught in sacrifice.
– 220,1:58.

To understand death we must understand life and to understand life we must understand death. They are two sides of the same coin. We discover both in the love of Nuit.
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The Lightning Flash of Creation on the Tree of Life proceeds from Kether to Malkuth in the order of the sephiroth, as shown by the red arrow in the illustration to the right. The paths that the Lightning Flash travels along, or crosses in the case of Gimmel (ג) – The High Priestess (ToL), are shown in gold. The numerical values of the Hebrew letters of these nine paths sum to 777, the number of the son of the Beast. The spiritual child of any incarnation is the subsequent incarnation, which begs the question: What spiritual legacy will we leave our next incarnation?

The numbers of the Tarot Major Arcana of these nine paths sum to 93, the number of Θελημα.
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Lightning Flash of Creation

 


The ordeals thou shalt oversee thyself, save only
the blind ones.
– 220,3:42
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All words are
sacred and all prophets true; save only that
they understand a little; solve the first
half of the equation, leave the second
unattacked. But thou hast all in the
clear light, and some, though not all, in the
dark.
– 220,1:56
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The undiscover'd country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Hamlet, Act 3, Scene 1
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