Heaven & Earth

And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

Genesis 3:15.

It is not untrue to say a conflict always has two sides to each story.

But by the Will of a third party, a conflict can also be contained, stripped, perfected in union, and thus set ablaze with something newly risen, fresh from the tension.

A long time ago, humankind decided that it was the third party between Heaven and Earth; Above and Below; the Light and the Darkness.

Then, it decided that this fire was uncontrollable in nature and therefore trapped it within the earth.

This earth became Woman; Her liberator the Serpent.


The Book of Genesis, especially its third chapter, is full of alchemical and Kabbalistic symbolism. Without getting too technical, the main division and source of duality can be apprehended by looking at the simplest model of reality, which is a circle divided into top and bottom. The symbol of the TAO, comprised of sides Yin and Yang, is a good example of this but depicts them in motion.

This top, or “Above,” is known to people under various different names, like: “Heaven,” God (of the Abrahamic religions), Brahman (of philosophical Hinduism), Nirvana (of Buddhism), and the Dao or Tao.

So too, is the bottom, or “Below,” known as: “Earth,” Maya (of philosophical Hinduism), Samsara (of Buddhism), Under or Lower Heaven (Daoism, Confucianism), Choice of Death (of Judaism), The World (Christianity), and the Realm of War (Islam).

Religion, organized or otherwise, contains and resolves tensions common to human existence because it fundamentally operates on the basis of a primal duality, which creates a dual approach to problems of the human condition: one “Heaven-based” and the other “Earth-based.”

This is because the goal of religion is always connected to Unconditional Reality and not merely Conditioned Reality. Specifically, “the main idea behind any religion (whether it views unconditioned and conditioned reality as conterminous and concurrent or as actual separate spheres) is that it is full of doors and windows and that much commerce passes between the two” (Many Peoples, Many Faiths, 5).

This, in turn, creates a dual approach to problems of the human condition as well as a separate category of religious or spiritual tensions. Therefore, such an approach seeks both to contain and try to resolve (both) Heavenly and Earthly issues.

In attempting to contain a tension with religion, an individual will likely suffer greatly but transcend his self and his understandings as he knows how. Both Eastern and Western alchemy considers this the “Heaven-based” approach to religion which, if successful, produces a tertium non datur, (Carl G. Jung’s “reconciling ‘third,’ not logically foreseeable, characteristic of a resolution in a conflict situation when the tension between opposites has been held in consciousness”).

In stark contrast, if an individual attempts to resolve the tension by religion, he or she will likely be relieved but miss out on the opportunity of spiritual transcendence. This, too, is necessary in order to produce lasting and compassionate effects upon the world we live in—the world we are conditioned, in fact, to live in.

In conclusion, both of these scenarios create a trinity, one reaching towards Unconditioned reality, and the other, towards Conditioned Reality. To resolve one is to contain the other, while to contain one is to resolve the other.


In all cases of “the Trinity,” the archetypal Two is always comprised of 1. itself, and 2. itself and not-itself. In other words, “man” has the power to create, but “woman” has the power to both create and destroy, as in the Hindu ideas of Shiva and Shakti. The former, which is consciousness, can be articulated while the latter, which is the unconscious mind, cannot. As a result, “man” (and mind, intellect, reason) represents the Law of Non-contradiction, while “woman” (and body, emotion, feeling) has come to represent the Law of Excluded middle (which allows the tertium non datur to occur). Respectively, one is reductive (+1 -1 = 0) while the other is additive (+1-1 = 2). This is why the mind sees no choice but to choose between Jesus and Buddha while the heart is able to follow both.

In Qabalah, that which can be articulated in language corresponds to the faculty of Hod in the Ruach, while that which cannot corresponds to the faculty of Netzach in the Ruach.

The Old Aeon

The Old Aeon, marked by approximately two thousand years, saw a rise and fall of matriarchal values. It is also called the Age of Pisces, and the presumption now is that we are currently in the New Aeon, that of Aquarius. The single most defining characteristic about the Age of Aquarius, whether or not one personally adheres to such a belief, is that that belief is irrelevant to anyone but him or herself.

Even before the Age of Pisces, humankind has had to adapt drastically to climate and environmental change after the last ice age (circa 11,000 BC). Much of the earth became subject to long dry seasons and annual plants began to flourish under these conditions. It is theorized that the transition between hunger-gatherer to agricultural societies took place over a longer period of time following the increase of sedentism (the practice of living in one place for a long time) than previously expected. All of these factors contributed significantly to what we understand as gender roles today, but also are key to unlocking the foundation of the Greater and Lesser Mysteries of many initiatory schools throughout history.


The primary way in which the worldview of hunter-gatherer religions is reflected in the relationships between men and women is through the men’s historical roles as hunters and the women’s as gatherers. While men’s roles have been dominant for longer periods of time prior to the development of agriculture, it is interesting to note that “[t]he important role of women as gatherers is reflected in the high status accorded them in hunter-gather societies where there appears to be an egalitarian bent exhibited by a great degree of complementarity in the roles of men and women” (ibid., 41).

The Paleolithic mind, extant from before the discovery of agriculture, seeks to avoid disturbing the natural flow of things—which is considered sacred in its own right. It is also clear that appreciating the mysteries of the natural world gave the Neolithic agriculturalists a deep sense of meaning and purpose to their existence.

Because of this, the “rape” of the fields by farming, plowing, and other “unnatural means” to produce food from the earth resulted in the first “fall” from innocence. The imagery and sentiment of this necessary adaptation for survival mirrors that of the prepubescent mind when struggling to transcend the duality of desire (the sexual instinct/libido/id, will-to-live) versus guilt (a type of ‘will-to-die’, a function of the superego). It is this Paleolithic mind, also known as Carl G. Jung’s “archaic identity,” or in Qabalah, the nephesh, which forms the foundation of higher rational and as well as higher emotional faculties.

As a result, mankind’s first initiation into the Mysteries always seems to involve women, serpents, gardens, fields and crops.


As the practice of hunting decreased, it is possible that this triggered mankind (namely men throughout history) to turn to early forms of writing and record-keeping. This would include the use of complex oral traditions, all for the express purpose of giving themselves and the generations after them a chance (via scriptural, spiritual, or religious, i.e. “biblical” narrative) to be forgiven for man’s mortality and dependence upon the earth for nourishment.

Women, who were considered to embody the earth (the body, matter, nature), for the most part, turned to folk magic and myth, which served further to unite their ways of living with the ways of nature and the earth without fear of repercussion, guilt, or need for sacrifice.

Even more pragmatic and forward-thinking were the societies who figured out how to incorporate their stories into ceremonial ritual, still practiced in certain forms today. Male initiatory rites within the Aborigines of Australia, which consist of circumcision and sacred dancing, for example, reflect the interplay of spiritual forces through the natural processes of the body—that is, the female body—which goes through menstruation for the first time in a young woman of the same age.

Unlike back then, when women were not allowed to read or write let alone take part in the mysteries, the rise of contemporary women occultists and magicians today suggests both blessing and curse—we have forgotten who (or “what”) we are, and thus can become anything.


For the societies that did not have the same problem finding food, it made sense to continue hunting and gathering without needing to “fall from grace.” Those that did evolved in ways we would have considered “dark” and “morbid.” Their preoccupation with death (particularly ritual death) was a result of the idea that one must exchange death for life and vice versa, just as in the reaping and sowing cycles of the seasons. On this it is written, “it is clear that human sacrifice meant a transfer of power from the victim to the sacrificer or his or her works, a concept prefigured in the murders that mark the beginning of agriculture in myth” (ibid., 45-46).


All of that is changing, and it is changing rapidly. Not only are environmental and climate-impacting factors more important than ever but women (and what they’ve traditionally represented) are quickly reinventing the world we all live in. It has been posited (by Jung and Marie-Louise von Franz) that the male gender, and by extension, Unconditioned reality, or “Heaven,” represents perfection of the parts while the female gender and/or Conditioned reality, or “Earth,” represents the perfection of the whole.

Contemporary Western society has now reached a point were the former approach (perfection of the parts) is doing serious and irreversible damage to the whole.


One way of looking at the Age of Pisces is as the age of monotheism. The symbol of the fish, according to classical interpretation, is derived from the ichthyocentaurs (a race of centaurine sea gods with the upper body of a human, the lower front of a horse, the tail of a fish, and lobster-claw horns on their heads), who aided Aphrodite when she was born from the sea. Imagery of the fish or fishes and many Christian symbols became intertwined and their original meanings transmuted throughout time. While most of the age was centered around the relationship between “Above” and “Below,” it became clear with the arrival of Descartes’ mind-body problem that humankind would never return to its “original,” or “pre-fall” form.

The Hermetic Qabalah

Derived from Jewish mysticism and refurbished for use in Western esotericism, the Hermetic Qabalah is a perfect allegorical filing cabinet for all things, including numerous pairs of tensions between “Above” and “Below;” “Without” and “Within,” or simply “male” or “female.”

In the form of the Tree of Life (Etz Chaim), the Qabalah can be understood as that remains in Eden after the banishment of Adam and Eve, or the first “fall.” The descent from the tension of the Two in this case created the opportunity to return not to a state of ignorance (as in not having eaten from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil) but to a state of childlike innocence in all matters of life and death.

The Tree of Life is comprised of ten spheres or emanations (sephiroth in plural, and sephira in singular) that Jewish mystics use to represent the highest and most abstract ideas of deity. These are: Kether, Chokmah, Binah, Chesed, Geburah, Tiphareth, Netzach, Hod, Yesod, and Malkuth.

Kether is the source of all (and what continues) the creation of the rest of the spheres. It is inconceivable and beyond duality. The second sphere, Chokmah, then represents the idea of idea and the chaos of all potentiality. Binah, Understanding, refers to the form in which ideas manifest. Together, these three give birth to the rest of the spheres beginning with Chesed.

In Chesed lies the creation of matter and in Geburah the laws which bind and rectify the manifest world. Tiphareth represents the balance of all the spheres above and below, right and left, inside and out. Netzach symbolizes love, passion, and aspiration; Hod compliments Netzach by symbolizing reason, intellect, and receptivity. Yesod, The Foundation, refers to the rhythmic cycles of all of the above, and Malkuth, The Kingdom, is the Tree of Life in its entirety.

Central to understanding the relationship between mind and body or man and woman is the fact that Tiphareth is usually personified to be the “Son” of the Supernal Triad composed of Kether, Chokmah, and Binah, while Malkuth is the Son’s Bride. Together they form one half of the formula Tetragrammaton (the four-fold name of God), while their union completes the other half.

It is important to note that the first and last spheres of the Tree of Life are essentially the same—they merely differ in degrees of manifestation. In the case of Malkuth and Tiphareth also, they are both equally important but differ in their roles.


Thelema is called a religion by some and philosophy by others but one cannot deny the emphasis it puts on the individual as a wisdom tradition. Founded in 1904 by English occultist Aleister Crowley, Thelema was and still is one of the most radical, forward-thinking and workable system of spiritual and scientific attainment. It seeks to unite the doctrines, practices and symbolism from both East and West and encourages participation from women in the mysteries.

Liber AL vel Legis, the central sacred text of Thelema, states, “Every man and every woman is a star” in the third point of the first chapter. According to some*, this third point references the third sephira, Binah, on the Tree of Life.

Although Binah translates directly in Hebrew as “understanding,” this sphere is also closely related to the concept of the Holy Spirit, intuition, and the archetypal Mother. According to Crowley’s Liber 777, a work consisting of roughly 191 tables of correspondences, Binah also embodies aspects of the goddesses Isis, Cybele, Demeter, Rhea, Juno, Hecate and The Virgin Mary.

It is this last association, that of The Virgin Mary with the Mother, which provides an important key into the sacred symbolism of the divine feminine.

The Divine Feminine

It comes as no surprise that many world religions contain concepts of trinity. Many philosophers throughout history, too, pursued a trichotomy, or three-way classificatory division. Hegel, in particular, identified a pattern of trichotomies and described the process as thesis, antithesis, and synthesis. In other words, one pair of opposing forces always produces a third, which is either neutral in its transcendence of tension or neutral in its containment of tension.

In each case, the “Three” is associated with the feminine due to its ability to combine the “Two,” as in the womb.


Another traditionally feminine sphere is the tenth sephira, Malkuth, which always corresponds to the world of the physical. While Binah, the Mother, can be conceived of as matter or form, it is her Daughter, Malkah (Malkuth), whom the Tree in its entirety relies upon for experience.

Just because Malkah, Kallah, or Malkuth are descriptive terms for the physical body and automatic processes does not mean “she” is any less important than her intangible counterpart, consciousness. It is imperative to consider, especially for the Age of Aquarius, mind and body as being “made of the same stuff” (again). Taking care of one implies the duty of taking care of the other.

As the manifest form of spirit, or consciousness, Malkuth (the body, i.e. “woman”) is ideally considered to be “innocent,” “virginal,” and “pure.” The fact of the matter is that none of these words are meant to describe human beings. The only thing women “ideally” need to be is themselves. Instead, words like “innocent” and “virginal” are meant to express reverence towards the natural world, our bodies, and the automatic functions of the body we are provided with at birth.

The main reason why the regeneration of the body is always considered pure is largely because healing occurs unadulterated by thought. In Eastern and many holistic schools of medicine, the body, while unable to be controlled completely with the mind, does respond directly to genuine emotion. To provide an example: while one can will one’s limbs to serve a purpose revealed from the mind, unless that mind is trained, the individual can just as likely change his mind and suddenly decide against its purpose. This would result in the inhibition of one’s own actions on the plane of manifestation, and therefore, a failure to execute the original purpose.

In contrast, the body can heal an injury without ever turning against itself. It holds no grudges and speaks no evil.

Despite the body’s “pure” intentions, however, mankind’s collective consciousness has managed to demonize natural processes and allow unspeakable crimes against itself across time. For instance, contemporary Western society has become extremely proficient at avoiding the topic of death and dying. When we do refer to these topics, we use euphemisms and speak of illness as a kind of evil. On the other hand, violent but unrealistic death is constantly shown to us in the media. A similar and possibly more complex comparison may be made regarding the topic of sex.


According to the teachings of Samael Aun Weor, a Gnostic teacher and initiate of the Fraternitas Rosicruciana Antiqua (F.R.A), the three fundamental nervous systems (the cerebrospinal, grand sympathetic, and the parasympathetic) function as the Three Centers corresponding to the Trinity. The intellect or cerebrospinal nervous system relates to Kether (a positive force); emotion or the grand sympathetic nervous system relates to Chokmah (a negative force); and finally, the motor-instinctual-sexual center or parasympathetic nervous system relates to Binah (reconciling and neutral). In Qabalah, it is the ninth sephira, Yesod, that manifests the creative energy of Binah, the Holy Spirit.

Yesod, “foundation,” serves as a transmitter between “Above” and “Below,” and thus is the mediator between “man” and “woman.” Like the svadhisthana chakra of Indian mysticism, Yesod is associated with the sexual and generative power. The divine name associated with this sphere translates to “field of sexual energy.” Returning to the book of Genesis, it is written that the serpent is the most subtle “animal” in Yesod, the “field,” which refers to the life-force contained within the center.

This principle of pure regeneration is also that which begets desire; the masculine energies within us seek to unite with it, while the feminine energies in all of us seek to exalt it. In this sense, masculine energy is represented by the serpent while the feminine energy, as described above, is represented by Malkah, first known as Eve, who admits man into the mysteries.

To elaborate, the grand sympathetic nervous system (or “emotional brain” corresponding to the Son or Chokmah aspect of the Trinity), begins its development at roughly fourteen years of age. This is a profound psychological change that contemporary Western society takes not only for granted but also in way that confuses the individual.

The transformation itself is initiated by the desire-body or faculty of emotion commonly attributed to the sphere of Netzach. When the serpent or sexual potency is present and ready to be released, this “animal” manifests as instinctual sexual desire with the help of the liver. It is our instinctual sexual centers within Yesod that manifest this life force of nature. As a result, that part of us which is feminine is what first signals the very important transition into adolescence.

Alchemy and the Holy Grail

The physical and chemical changes that happen to the body during puberty (speaking from a purely physical perspective) represent the beginning of the alchemical albedo stage, or “white work” of the Magnum Opus, or Great Work. The white work involves the separation of the gross from the fine, or subtle. Because the most “subtle animal” is the desire-force related with sexual potency and breath, to perform the white work means mastering the emotions approximately at the same time as these emotions reveal themselves to us as untamed and often violent impulses.

In the midst of Christ’s crucifixion according to the Gospel of John, it is said that the Romans planned to break Jesus’ legs in order to hasten death. Just before they did so, they realized he was already dead. In order to make sure he was dead, a Roman soldier named Longinus “pierced his side with a lance, and immediately there came out blood and water” (19:34).

Richard Wagner incorporated this story in his opera Parsifal, which tells of a young Arthurian knight who recovers the Lance and finds the blood of Christ (along with the Holy Grail). He identified the Holy Lance with two items from Wolfram von Eschenbach’s poem Parzifal, originally written in the 13th century. The first item is a bleeding spear in the castle where the Grail is found, and the second is the spear that originally wounded the Fisher King.

The Fisher King, otherwise known as the Wounded or Maimed King, is an important and fascinating character for many reasons. Not only is he likely derived from Bran the Blessed from Celtic mythology he is said to be the last in a long line charged with protecting the Holy Grail. His name refers to the curious condition he lives in—for all he is able to do is fish near his castle and wait for someone to heal his “thigh” wound. In some versions this is accomplished by asking the right question. In others the Fisher King can only be healed by the Holy Lance itself. In later versions of this story, many knights attempt to heal the Fisher King and are unsuccessful while Parsifal, the “innocent,” succeeds.

The fish, being the emblem of the previous astrological age and symbol of Christ, is symbolically analogous to the phallus/lance, serpent, or sexual desire. Because it lives in and “breathes” water, one may interpret the fish as each individual life swimming in the vast abyss of the collective unconscious represented by water at the start of the albedo stage, which corresponds to the threshold of pubescence.

Some fated individuals are invariably drawn to archetypal energies such as these, especially early on in their lives. For example, Carl G. Jung recounts in his alchemical autobiography, Memories, Dreams, Reflections: “When all the men had left, I quickly stole into the garden to the warehouse. But the door was locked. I went around the house; at the back there was an open drain running down the slope, and I saw blood and water trickling out. I found this extraordinarily interesting. At that time I was not yet four years old” (7-8).

While blood** symbolizes the suffering of man (the mind, intellect), water expresses the purifying and self-regenerating nature of woman (the body, emotion), who can restore something to its original glory without it itself being affected.


Paralleling this myth of the Holy Lance and the notion that it both wounds and heals, only the serpent (sexual desire) who tempted Eve (the body) can redeem Eve by raising Her above all else. In other words, the two serpents of Gnosticism belong to one Lion; the brazen and the tempting serpent merely signify different stages of the individual’s development.

It makes sense to “her” that first, the phallus is a wyrm but later becomes God himself.

It makes sense to “him” that first, she is a temptress and later becomes his entire Universe.

Without that desire, there could be no appeal to union let alone free will. Sex is first and foremost an act of self-love. It is literally, spiritually, and metaphorically mankind’s work to raise women to their proper place.

This is the real reason why fundamentalists of every religion aim to suppress women. To them, women represent their uncontrollable desire. If only they followed this desire through to its end instead of abusing it, they would realize that this desire is actually for God.

The New Aeon

There are, undoubtedly, various models that need to be rectified for the future and many of them involve how we treat women. Numerous androcentric spiritual accounts, despite their holy intentions, have created an imbalance in the way we merely perceive the female form. While the highest ideals of beauty, love and desire are impersonal, the path to that ideal is very personal. Like the Lady Venus behind her Veil, each individual reserves the right to deny anyone the opportunity to see (i.e. worship) them. With consent, one can seek to admire the body of another, but the power from that body belongs to the owner alone. Therefore, the highest act of love is total dissolution in the power and beauty of the Other.

When an individual begins the Path of Return, forces within them polarize. Often one magnetic center serves to draw in the forces required for a more complete assimilation of the opposite pole. As elegant as that sounds, the reality is likely an explosive and tension-filled exchange between mind and body (or man and woman). Here it will be useful to use the Jungian concept of the anima and animus with the additional and original proposition that each individual contains both expressions. The view that men only have an anima and women only have an animus is, quite frankly, outdated. It is of the author’s personal opinion that Jung embodied his animus so well he could not bear his own witness. Unlike others, he needed only to “marry” his anima.

Using the terminology of Thelema, the anima is essentially “the office of the Scarlet Woman” while the animus is “the Prince-Priest/Beast,” or prophet.

When it comes to sexual magic, since we all project parts of ourselves as the anima/animus, it matters not whether we are monogamous or polygamous (as long as all parties consent). One can find aspects of oneself in either the one person or several, not unlike Bhaktimarga, the path of loving devotion to a personified god. It is possible that monogamy (especially heterosexual monogamy) is celebrated above other forms of marriage because the secret to this tradition*** has been lost among those who hold this opinion. In all cases, an unfaithful partner is always at fault because they are the ones lacking the vision to see the bigger picture, mainly that they are the projector and thus, are literally “who” they are searching for.


As a woman and in the context of the existing zeitgeist, I do not believe it is a coincidence that from the Jungian psychological model, it may be theorized that:

  1. Men (representing consciousness) are conditioned to pursue women at all costs, while

  2. Women (representing the unconscious mind) have been conditioned by society to learn how to see themselves from the eyes of another (male) to avoid danger.

On a more uplifting note, Sapphic displays of affection occur much more frequently in society today, which may be nature’s ingenious opportunity for women to heal and reteach one another what love truly is without threat of danger. With these tides turning, physical sex is no longer a factor in gender representation and thus, for instance, a biological man can exhibit a stronger Malkah principle than a biological woman. The message for this New Age is that everyone—not just women—should liberate their Divine Feminine.

Because we each make our own meaning, that meaning can always find its way back to us. That is the ultimate lesson of the Grail Mysteries and the tale of the Fisher King. A crisis of faith is a collapse of meaning following an unbearable contradiction—one which requires us to let go and be purified (by water). The lesson of the Divine Feminine is one whereby losing the path you thought you were on, you are able to find the infinite path.


*ENDNOTE: Each verse of Liber AL potentially corresponds to a sphere in one of the twenty-two paths of the Tree of Life. Note that Liber AL, or Liber 220 = 22 paths x 10 spheres.

**ENDNOTE: On a strictly physical basis, the sight of blood marks the beginning of the rubedo stage of alchemy.

***ENDNOTE: as in the Great Work and the Alchemical marriage.



Works Cited

Ellwood, Robert S. and Barbara A. McGraw. Many Peoples, Many Faiths: Women and Men in the World Religions, Seventh Edition. Pearson Education, Inc., Prentice Hall, 2002.

Von Franz, Marie-Louise. C. G. Jung: His Myth in Our Time. C. G. Jung Foundation for Analytical Psychology, Inc., 1975.

natura non facit saltum ita nec lex

Hello again. It’s been a while.
I know, my memory is fully of holes.
Wholes? You mean. You came back from the land of insanity.
I don’t feel like it.
But its true. That’s what it means to Cross the Abyss. Some stay here forever, Lola.
Am I still a Lola daydream? I dream not; I wake and I am.
That is exactly what it means. For life is your dream now. There is no separation.
There appears separation between waking and sleep, though.
No, young one. The ego is not separate from the world, and thus there is no difference between sleeping, dreaming, waking, and being.
What am I to do now?
Just be. I am yours for eternity.
What do the symbols mean again?
You are the symbols, and you produce them as they continuously produce you.
And what of love?
Art thou lost in death, oh sweet love of Mine?
Death is eternal change, is it not?
It is. And it is the Now.
Here, where life dwells is unceasing, too. So don’t worry.
Many lives I feel I have lived and yet I feel as newborn as a babe.
To seek Me is thus the beginning and the end; Seek that which does not change and you see
I see
We all See.
For the light eternal is unchanging in its essence; it provides the ability to see.
Happy Sunday.
You too, my precious daughter.

[Excerpt from ‎Monday, ‎April ‎29, ‎2019.]

What is the Great Work?

Life. Memory. Rebirth. Renewal of consciousness and the introduction to ever-new forms. As I type this I must put the past aside. I won’t ever sound the same; I won’t ever be the same. And yet the ‘I’ remains. It is a mystery unto itself, like a metaphor for continuous growth and natural decay. I grow within and cease without; I grow without and cease within. The breath of the eternal brightens my soul in its unceasing motion. Many lives I have lived, as we all have. Each cycle we remember a little bit more of that sublime essence and it brings out either the best or worst in us. The present is that which allows us to decide. Finding that present, infinite and singular, is the Great Work. And thus it ever truly ends.
Numbers are records of the archetypal forces that be. What we choose to count is reliant upon the circumstances that we have built our lives around. Slowly words come back to me like a lava flow of molten memories; I am art but I am of no color. The world is not just a stage, but it IS, in its own respect, Art as well.
Everywhere I go the signs see me. The Raven is almost at my shoulder. I see its third eye in an eternal pool of purified quicksilver; my reflection in His eye creates me and destroys me. This cycle of change and stability waxes and wanes like the moonlight, purity is within even the darkest of times. Hope reigns eternal when consciousness serves as its own light. I write in the first person in remembrance of that hope.

What is Nature?

A question, a beginning, and an end. To us it is a journey back to the source of the ‘I’. When the ‘I’ confronts Nature, then there is a first-person point of view. The ego forms in the recesses of that dark Unknown in order to be known. The way of the Tao is the life of a paradox. A paradigm shift from one consciousness to another. Clouds form; raindrops like thoughts pound upon my head and reach the earth. Underneath, consciousness sleeps. Above, a stream; and this stream is life — the aqua vitae — the Gate and the beginning of plant life forms. We must think of the Great Work as both temporal and spatial.
“One can never step into the same river-time-slice twice, but one can step into the same (four-dimensional) river twice.”
The three is ever-changing but the Four is stability.

How does one differentiate between what one is remembering about oneself (who oneself is) and not what one thinks oneself to be?

What is concrete and permanent are the relations. A relationship between the self and its environment is what defines the self. For example, I know I am remembering information about the hexagrams when the forms, symbols, language, etc (that the information take shape) can be replaced and its meaning–its relationship to me–stays the same.



Since November, a series of strange but fortunate events have followed. How to explain the details of the Abramelin Operation is beyond me. But my experiences I will now henceforth explain, slowly, over the course of many blog posts.

First, spelling during the Operation external is defunct while internally I am working hard to achieve the proper syntax in a sentence structure.

The formula by which one operates from dictates the pattern of sat-ananda-chit which revolves at each ticking of the clock. Freudian slips are therefore sometimes useful indicators of a positive attitude towards the acceptance of one’s own limitations. When, for instance, an individual blushes, at first glance we interpret embarrassment — not towards any one thing or another, for at that moment of apparition, the seed of the embarrassment is not conscious to the one blushing.

Time, therefore, is and always has been but a measurement of change.

Change, I have written about, to be understood in connection to the Major Arcana:

0. The ends justify the means, but the ends have no ends! The means justify the ends, but the ends don’t exist anymore.

I. Both the ends and the means justify the ends; every means being an end in itself.

II. For the assimilation of theurgy & thaumaturgy, just like the ends and the means, the practitioner must perform every act of thaumaturgy for the sake of theurgy.

III. The nature of theurgy expediates and burns the karma of the practitioner, from which thaumaturgy are his tools and in union with natural forces; he himself is a vector of the macrocosmic will while simultaneously affecting the macrocosmic will from his vector as microcosmic will.

IV. The theurgist, whose microcosmic capacity in his limited lifetime and physical manifestation of macrocosmic will is restricted to his lifetime and physical manifestation of macrocosmic will, is prone to an early physical death.

  1. His macrocosmic work as this restricted manifestation has a limit which propels his being (which has been solve-d and coagula-ed in the form of the white lion and red eagle; his sulfur = his mercury; his soul/spirit has actually reached Nirvana/Moksha and it is his salt which must now transmute) to be reborn.
  2. His microcosmic work/the imprint of his being is reincarnated and scattered among the universe in order to progress the Aeon, and aid the macrocosmic will.
  3. What happens to his salt, or physical body, involves a three-in-one collaboration (for salt is divided into three parts unto itself: Heaven, Earth, and the Firmament in which the operation of the Magick of Light may be performed).

V. Enlightened theurgists, therefore both reincarnate and reach Nirvana; the theurgist’s microcosmic will (which is not separated from his soul/spirit), has reached peace in the macrocosmic will – but part of the macrocosmic will is for the reincarnation of microcosmic wills.

VI. To avoid an early physical death as a theurgist, there are two options – doing magick really slowly or retire in magick and utilize prayer.
VII. Prayer is the disconnecting and surrendering of the microcosmic will entirely as a part for the microcosmic will. He is throned in the chariot rather than conducting it, because the whole system of progression is perfectly balanced. (As opposed to magick being the interplay between microcosmic and macrocosmic will; it is a rhythm of active/passive for both – conducting and riding).

VIII. Time stops during prayer; time speeds up with magick. Magi who retire to seemingly exoteric religions are not doing so for the idea of salvation, but for equilibration of micro/macrocosmic will.

IX. These magi usually withdraw from their “normal lives” and seem to have abandoned the Great Work entirely – when in fact they have become the Word/universal will, unspoken and secret.

X. His fate is now incalculable; luck is the remnant of design and all that he can witness is the design.

XI. (This is the part where Faust chases and sleeps with Gretchen; his moment of transcendence that seals over his fate to Mephistopheles. In the movie, this is the part where Faust seduces and sleeps with the life-sized puppet of Helen of Troy, before he finds out it was Mephisto in disguise. The macrocosmic seed/Word has been spoken, impregnating the Scarlet Woman with the Will of the Aeon.) The magus’s fate is sealed once more in the promulgation of his microcosmic will, and the clock resumes ticking.

XII. (Faust’s newly acquired despair & the infanticide of their child by Gretchen; in the movie being the drowning of the Court because they didn’t like his magick powers).

XIII. The magus/theurgist/practitioner dies for the “last” time, his clock having run out.

XIV. The art of dying consists of: one’s mind separating from one’s body, while the individual’s soul (cardinal, or sulfuric component) ignites a carefully and well-planned combustion within the firmament to unite the two halves of the alchemical being.

XV. This alchemical being, being part beast, will appear in a variety of forms, both animal, human, and divine.

XVI. The true form of oneself appears only when all said forms are assimilated and then rejected, for any attachment to the image results in the death of yet another aspect of self.

XVII. Thus consecrated, the purification of the spirit, soul, and body as one occurs.

XVIII. The shadow of the consecrated and purified individual must be tamed and integrated with the proper amount of tender loving care from the right sources; “look to the moon until you can see the sun.”

XIX. “There is no dread hereafter . . .”

XX. Everything changes after the rejoicing of both Night and Day.

XXI. This change is the birth of a universe of ideas.


`Lately there is a revival of interest in Alchemy. Whereas a few years ago, the very word was hardly mentioned in polite conversation, we are now seeing an occasional article or book being devoted to the subject. We even find Alchemy being taught as a subject in some Universities. Accordingly, it seems well to set down some basic ideas to explain what Alchemy is, its roots, and perhaps, what it is not. This Holy Science is of such great importance, even more so today than it was yesterday, that a great many readers may profit by some additional ideas on this seemingly recondite subject. We can start with the universal idea that alchemists are those who turn lead into gold. While there is the seed of truth in this notion, there is much more to it than that. And what can be more valuable than gold? In fact. if you asked this question, you are really in need of Alchemy.

First of all, the alchemists, modern and medieval, followed a certain credo. Their goal was to alleviate the suffering of their fellow man. Physically and spiritually. One such means was to produce medicines that could aid man’s progress in both realms. That is, a medicine or `Elixir’ could be made that produced a dichotomous effect in that physical problems could be alleviated from the usage of an alchemically produced medicine.

Moreover, this elixir could act as the agent to purge the body of those dross matters that inhibited the finer vibrations from being received. While Alchemy was definitely an attempt to demonstrate, from the physical viewpoint, experimentally and on the material plane, the validity of certain philosophical views of the Universe, its end goal was the exaltation of its subjects. That subject, in addition to others, was man himself. A one word definition of Alchemy would be `evolution.’ This in turn can be thought of as being synonomous with `transmutation,’ although this latter term has a connotation of instantaneous action. By evolution we mean the (usually) gradual change of something from a base or coarse existence into something finer, more noble. In the mineral kingdom, the age-old analogy quickly comes to mind, that is: lead becomes gold. However, this

concept is also extended to the animal kingdom and man. That is, man in his crude, selfcentred, ignoble state can be transmuted into a fine, loving, God-centred person. A more spiritual person. Everyone, I am sure, can relate to this idea and, in fact, many of us, deep down, yearn for this evolution, this transmutation. We may not think of it in terms of Alchemy, but who has never felt that call to rid themselves of the coarse outer garments and become more spiritual, closer to the Creator? This is the goal of Alchemy, this transmutation, this evolution. However, the alchemist takes these ideas a few steps further and declares that ALL things are evolving. Not only man, but all creatures in all kingdoms.

Plants and herbs are evolving, cats and dogs are evolving, rocks and metals are evolving, in fact, this entire planet is in a state of upward evolution. The earth aspires to become enlightened, like the Sun. This perhaps startling concept is fundamental to Alchemy. It says, among other things, that all base creatures are gradually becoming finer creatures. Man is evolving from his base, brute-like beginnings to a beautiful, saintly creature. Metals are evolving from their base beginnings, as lead, to a more noble existence as gold. Nor does anything have to be done to insure this transmutation or evolution. Slowly, but surely, ALL things will arrive at their zenith on the evolutionary scale. It is as if we were on a huge upwinding spiral. This spiral slowly winds its way `heavenward. ‘ If nothing was done to hasten this evolutionary action, or to impede it, one day all would arrive at the goal: full spiritual evolution.

However, by alchemical processes, this evolution in all creatures can be hastened. That is, man can volitionally speed up the cycle of evolution for himself or for other creatures, creatures unable to have any effect on their own spiritual growth.

By the same token, God has given man free will and with this, man can impede his own progress. At given times, as we look about us, we suspect that the evolutionary process has turned into a devolution. This is NOT the case, although individuals can elect to sink back into the material mire from which others struggle to escape. Another way of looking at this is to state that the purpose of Alchemy is to raise the rate of vibrations of both the practitioner (man) and his subjects. These subjects may be medicaments or mineral compositions. Just how one can use Alchemy to more rapidly approach Divinity will be touched on, but let us look briefly at the history of alchemy first.

Some ideas about the roots of Alchemy may provide a stronger foundation upon which other ideas and understanding can be built. Looking to the past, we find that Egyptian goldsmiths existed about 3000 B.C. and around 3500 B.C., Sumerian metalworkers practised their trade in Mesopotamia. In China and India, in remote times, (as well as today, of course), gold was looked upon as a magical medicine. Alchemical ideas arose in China as early as the fifth century B.C. Chinese Alchemy is closely allied with Taoism, a system containing philosophy and religion. They believed in the curative, and even life extending properties of jade, pearl and cinnabar. These ideas were picked up by subsequent practitioners of the art, moving to Greece, through Europe and finally, through other parts of the western world – ideas that are as strong today as they were then.

Alchemy was also as indicated above, in Greece. It is known that during the Alexandrian period, 4th to 7th century A.D., Alchemy flourished. As did other cultures, the Greeks added to the body of Alchemy, various ideas and practices peculiar to themselves. Just precisely where Alchemy originated is not really known. The most likely theory holds that the ancient Egyptians, who were known to be skilled in chemical knowledge, including metallurgy, glass-tinting and dyeing, were perhaps the founders of the art as we know it today. Egypt was known as K HEM, the “dark land.” Thus, Al-Khem was the Islamic term for the father of the dark earth and this phrase was westernised into Al-Chemy.

Futher, there is a body of literature referring to Hermes Trismegistos as being the father of Alchemy. Hermes, whilst essentially a Greek god, is the analog of Thoth, the Egyptian Ibis-headed god. Doberman, in his book, The Goldmakers, suggests that Alchemy commenced with the inhabitants of Atlantis. That when this continent submerged during cataclysms of the earth, there were those who escaped and tenanted the deltas of the Euphrates and Indus, on the north shore of the Arabian sea, and further inland at the head of the Persian gulf. The people, tall and black-haired, eventually mixed with the tribes of the Near East. The Hebrews referred to them as Sumerians. They knew how to work with tin, gold, silver, copper, lead, antimony, and iron. Copper and tin produced the bronze so common to the Sumerians and the Indus civilisations. Artifacts were discovered here such as leaden goblets, iron daggers and a vase made of pure antimony. The Sumerians then set out to that land now known as Egypt , bringing with them their arts. It is from the Sumerians then, that the inhabitants of Egypt learned their crafts, the arcane arts of Alchemy.

Whatever its origin, certain basic ideas are found to be common to all the cultures in which Alchemy flourished. One such idea is the principle of the four elements as being the basic foundation of all Alchemy. In China, we find five elements, but the notion is the same. The philosophy of the four elements is classically attributed to Aristotle who postulated the existence of four fundamental `qualit ies’ imbued in all bodies. These were the hot and moist, along with their opposites, the cold and dry. To these `qualities’ were assigned the symbolism of the four material elements, fire, air, water, and earth. They were seen as having their origin via conjuctions of these four properties. It might be noted that the symbol for fire is opposite to the symbol of water and water is the inversion or opposite of fire. The symbol for air is the fire symbol with a line through it. If we combine the polar opposites, with their dual aspects, we obtain a familiar symbol of the Shield of Solomon, the Hexagram. It is the symbol of the unity of the opposites.

These quali ties, as symbolised by the four elements are also associated with certain physical aspects. That is, the element of Fire reflects heat or thermal emissions. Air is associated with gases. Water with all liquids, and Earth with all solids. Bodies, then, were thought of as being constituted of the four elements in varying proportions. This gave rise to the idea that one body could be transformed into another simply by altering the proportion of one or more of these elements. Associated with this idea was the concept of a “Prima Materia,” a primordial matter or basic building stuff. This was the fundamental essence from which all other substances were made. Also, all substances or matter could be reduced to this lowest common denominator, this prima materia. It was now a mere extrapolation to consider reducing a base metal, such as lead, to its prima materia, then adding to it the proper amounts of elemental matter to change it to a different substance, i.e. gold. The idea of a prima materia is a basic concept extant in Indian literature under the name of ‘Mulaprakriti.’ In Chinese alchemy, we find this idea expressed as `T’ai Chi.’ These very basic Alchemical theories were further refined and expanded in the course of time, and they gave rise to certain ideas that are with us today. That is, the principle that all things are composed of three

essential constituents or bases. These three, known in Indian literature as the `three Gunas,’ are called by alchemists, `Sulphur,”Salt,’ and `Mercury.’ The ancient alchemists were prone to veil their writings in obscure symbolism, mythology and various blinds. In this case, the principle of Sulphur is not common sulphur or brimstone. Salt did not indicate common table salt (sodium chloride), nor did Mercury reflect the matter found in thermometers, quicksilver. There was an analog between these, but definitely not a one-to-one relationship. This blind hindered many a budding alchemist. It is interesting to note that one of these, Mercury, was referred back to the four elements and known as the `Quintessence,’ a fifth principle, as found in Chinese Alchemy where there are five elements: water, fire, wood, metal and earth. Now, the quintessence is also the prima materia, the T’ai Chi. It is from this UNITY, this ONE, that the law of Polarity is derived. The `ONE’ is God, the Divinity, the All.

The duality of the law of Polarity is exemplified in Chinese alchemy as the `Yin’ and the `Yang.’ The female and the male, negativity and positivity, passivity or receptivity and dynamism or action. Yin and Yang were also associated with the moon and sun, respectively, while the five elements were associated with certain planets: Water with Mercury, Fire with Mars, Wood with Jupiter, Metals with Venus, and Earth with Saturn. Yin and Yang, the pair of opposites, are embodied in many religious and alchemical philosophies. They are the Isis and Osiris of Egyptian mythology, the Mercury and Sulphur of Alchemy, the concepts of hot and cold, good and evil, love and hate, etc, etc. In today’s `alchemical circle’ there is a maxim that combines all of these ideas. This maxim is stated as: “The One became two by the law of Polarity which is revealed within the three essentials that will be found within the four elements, wherein is to be found the Quintessence which is not of the four but one of the three.”

The principle of Sulphur is the principle of combustion. It is the colour of subjects, in plants it gives the odour. The Arabic alchemist, Geber, said sulphur is the “fatness.” Alchemists attributed to sulphur the principle of the soul, the consciousness. In a `tincture’ it is what tincts. It is the vitality in animals and has the role of coagulation, to concentrate the life-force. It is red, hot, masculine, active and is symbolised by the Sun. It is associated with Gold. The vital life-force or `prana’ is the Mercury. The Yin or feminine aspect, Mercury, endows gold with its lustre, even as Sulphur endows it with its colour. Mercury is the basis for gold’s malleability and fusibility. Mercury is the Spirit, the `Water of the Wise,’ the Prima Materia, Luna, the seed or sperm of all things. Where Sulphur exhibits itself as an oily substance, Mercury is a volatile liquid in its corporeal forms. In the plant world, alcohol is the vehicle for the life-force, for Mercury. Sulphur, in the plant world, is the essential oils contained therein. Finally, Salt is the body of all matter. It is the basic principle of fixity and solidification. It confers resistance to the fire. In the plant world, the salt is the ash of the burned or calcined plant, usually a grey-to-white `salty’ substance. It is the medium in which Sulphur and Mercury can combine. This `chemical marriage’ is brought about by the catalytic action of the Salt to bring Sulphur and Mercury to their earthly state. This union of the opposites, this marriage of the Sun and Moon, is the state sought after by alchemists. Such a state can be arrived at in all the kingdoms. Now, since all things already consist of these three principles, it is logical to say that one thing can be changed to another by varying the proportion of these principles.

That is, as Basil Valentine wrote: “Iron is found to have the least portion of Mercury but more of Sulphur and Sal t . . . Copper is generated of much Sulphur but its Mercury and Salt are in equality. . .Saturn (Lead) is generated of little Sulphur, little Salt and much gross, unripe Mercury while Gold hath digested and refined the Mercury to a perfect ripeness.” What Valentine is saying is that the metals are different due to the different proportions of the three essentials. In more modern parlance, consider the fact that if one brought together one proton and one electron and one neutron, an atom of `heavy hydrogen’ would be produced. Now, if we changed the proportions of these three `essentials’ by adding, for example, one additional proton and one additional electron, we would have an atom other than hydrogen. These subject matters are both gases but have very different characteristicts. So, by changing the ratio of the essentials, we have wound up with different matters. A transformation has taken place. It is conceded that making hydrogen into helium is no small task. However, in 1941 the physicists, Sherr, Bainbridge, and Anderson, succeeded in transmuting a radioactive isotope of mercury (quicksilver) into pure gold. To be sure, the cost of doing this was prohibitive, and a linear accelerator had to be employed. But the point is, it was done. A transmutation had taken place. We can put a cap on these ideas with a statement by an ancient alchemist, Eirenaeus Philalethes, who encapsulated a very fundamental idea of Alchemy with these words in his book, The Metamorphosis of Metals, “All metallic seed is the seed of gold, for gold is the intention of nature in regard to all metals. . .all metals are potentially gold.”

At this point we have made a case that all things, consist of three essentials, Sulphur, Salt and Mercury. This Trinity is also found in religion, mythology and symbolism. We have the physical properties of solids, liquids and gases, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, the three Graces, the three Furies, the three Fates, Fire, Water and Earth, Osiris, Horus and Isis, Brahma, Shiva, Vishnu, the Law of the Triangle, protons, neutrons and electrons, and so forth. Some of these analogies are a little less than direct, but the general idea underlying them holds true. But how can this be used in our daily lives? What good can come from this?

What are the practicalities? To fully answer these questions would require a book, but we can give at least one set of ideas on how Alchemy can enrich our lives. Moreover, we can get some inkling as to how it will affect not only our physical well-being, but exert a parallel salutary effect on our `spiritual lives.’

First, we must state that Alchemy as a discipline, has as its foundations, certain other disciplines. These are Astrology, Magic and Qabalah. One cannot be a good Alchemist without being a good Qabalist. One cannot be a good Qabalist without being adept at Magic and one cannot be adept at Magic not having a background in Astrology. We will give some ideas of how the fundamentals of Magic, Qabalah and Astrology play a vital role in Alchemical work. But before that, let us briefly consider one of the ancient writers on Alchemy, Gerhard Dorn. Dorn was a disciple of the great Paracelsus and wrote some very cogent observations on Alchemy. It has to be recognised that Dorn did not have the psychological insights we have today, nor even the extensive vocabulary to fully express his ideas. However, his fundamental beliefs can be easily understood as evidenced by his writings translated by Louise-Marie von Franz in her book: Alchemist Active Imagination, she indicates that Dorn wrote: “Through study (of alchemical literature) one acquires knowledge, through knowledge, love; which creates in oneself experience, virtue and power, through which the miraculous work is done and the work in nature is of this quality.” Von Franz explains that what Dorn means is that by simple alchemical literature, one attains “love.” This “love” is a kind of unconscious fascination, where one now begins to understand, becomes passionate, about finding the ” t ruth.”

The import of this is very dramatic even though Dorn’s material did not come across as explosive. The gist of it is that the very process of DOING something, actual laboratory work, medi tation on Alchemy or even the innocuous activity of reading alchemical literature, causes something to happen in the practitioner. Let ‘s suppose one is working with physical Alchemy such that he is “cooking” something up in the laboratory, or even in his kitchen. He is making some sort of transmutation take place in his retort or pans. Actually, Dorn is saying that TWO transmutations are taking place. One that is visible, in the retort, and one not visible, in the practitioner. Moreover, that as the work continues, this transmutation accelerates such that there is a feedback loop generated. That is, the more one does the work, of any kind, the greater will be the success. This may sound like a simple case of practice makes perfect. This is not what Dorn means. What he is saying is best shown by an example.

Consider two people. One, a chap who has been doing some kind of alchemical activity, reading or simple experiments of some sort . The other man has not done anything in Alchemy whatsoever. The first man then decides to try a different experiment. He wants to take a substance A and add it to a substance B to make substance C. He pours A into B and behold. He has C. Not all that impressive except, the second man comes along and, using the same substances, the same equipment, he fails to come up with C. Why? Because, the inner transmutation has not been going on in him as i t has in the first person. A subtle change has occurred in the first person that allows his experiment to be a success. This change is VERY subtle, possibly not even discernible to the individual. But it takes place nonetheless, and to the degree that the practitioner has conditioned or prepared himself.

If he has been making elixirs to purge his physical being of dross in order to be more receptive to higher vibrations, the changes wi ll be proportionately more pronounced.

Further, von Franz also cites the Arab alchemist, Ibn Sina, who wrote that through ECSTACY, man could acquire some of the capacity of God. That is, through such practices as meditation, alchemy, ritual, etc, one can achieve a state of mind Ibn Sina calls “ecstacy.” In this state one can, even for a brief moment, have powers analagous to those ov God. Sufis also obtained this state through physical practices such as dancing or whirling, (i.e. the `whirling dervishes’). Today, we know that this exalted state, wherein things `happen’ can be achieved through techniques such as Magic as exemplified by Qabalah.

Dom Pernety’s book, The Great Art, contains a reference to indicate that the ancient Rosicrucians blended Alchemy and Qabalah into a cohesive system. Further, their mysticism was based on truths that they were able to demonstrate in the laboratory. We can see some strong evidence then, that there IS a connection between Magic, Qabalah and Astrology It was stated that in Alchemy one can make various medicaments; that these elixirs have a salutary effect both physically and spiritually. The base matters used for such medicines can be plants or herbs or various metals. But where does one start? What herb, for example, can one use for some specific ailment? Or what metal? Our answers come from a knowledge of Qabalah-Magic, specifically knowledge of that mighty glyph known as the Tree of Life, and from the laws of Astrology. For example, Astrology tells us that those people born under the same `sign’ will exhibit the same characteristics. That is, an individual born in early April is under the sign of Aries. Others born under this sign will tend to have similar traits, such as being dynamic, head-strong, jumping from one interest to another without finishing the first, etc. Aries is a zodiacal `picture’ that has in it the planet Mars. This picture composed of stars, sends rays or influences to the earth. The sun acts as a step-down transformer and absorbs some of these rays, dispersing the rest to earth. It is these stellar influences that `imprint’ a person at the moment of birth, and what other positions were maintained by the other planets, these are the influences which make him who he (or she) is.

By careful study of these planetary configurations, one can determine why they are who they are.

What is perhaps new to the reader is the idea that not only are there Arian and Libran people, there are also Arian and Libran plants and minerals. The other kingdoms also come under the dominion of the astral influences. And this is where the key to making medicines alchemically comes in. For instance, we know that the planet Mercury `rules’ the nervous system. We can determine that Mercury also rules the herbs valerian and marjoram. Further, the planet Mercury rules over the condition known as insomnia. So then, if we had a nervous condition or had insomnia, what herb would possibly make a good medicine for these problems? Valerian or marjoram, because they are `correspondences’ in that they have the same ruler. We can take this a step further, the planet Mercury rules over Wednesday. It is a simple matter to reach the conclusion that the best day to pick valerian
would be on a. . .Wednesday. By the same token, the best time to make a medicine, or to take that medicine would also be a Wednesday. An additional refinement is that the day is  divided into several parts. Each part, both the day and the night, have periods of time when the influence of one planet is stronger than any other. That is to say, twice during Thursday, the influence of Mars is stronger than at any other time. Thus, one might find out what this time period is and not only make and take the medicine on the `correct’ day, but do it during the `correct’ times.

In the mineral kingdom, the same sort of logic prevails. If we had a problem with the head or with hemorrhaging, we could use an herb such as garlic, anise or cayenne. A tincture could be made of one of these herbs or, if the practitioner had the knowledge, he
could exalt the herb to its highest level and confect what is known in alchemy as a `plant stone.’ This is the highest level of efficacy any herb potent in medicine could have. It  requires man to bring the plant to this advanced state of evolution. On the other hand, a medicine could also be found in the mineral kingdom, in iron. Mars rules iron just as it rules the head and garlic, etc. But how can one make medicine from iron? This is where practical laboratory Alchemy comes in. It would require an astute reader of alchemical literature to arrive at the proper procedure, or more aptly, one could learn from a teacher of Alchemy.

The process is, to separate the iron (ore) into its three essentials. Just as was done for the plant. To make the herbal medicine, one had to make a tincture of the herb which would extract the sulphur principle. The sulphur would ‘tinet’ or colour the extraction media or `menstruum’ as it is called. This colouring is caused by the Sulphur which the menstruum has leached out of the herb. The sulphur could more readily be obtained by a steam distillation as well. The mercury of the plant is in the alcohol. One could putrify the plant and generate alcohol or one could distill alcohol from wine (if this is legal in the reader’s area) or purchase grain alcohol; the mercury being uniform in all types of alcohol obtained from vegetable matter. Finally, the body of the herb will be burned or calcined to obtain the Salt. By the same principle, and by following the same procedure, one could separate any body, including mineral, into its three essentials.

Therefore, one could take iron ore, or some other form of iron, and make a tincture using a suitable menstruum. The tincture would be driven off (i.e. evaporated) and the sulphur would be left behind. The oil of iron, then, would in itself be a potent medicine. It would be more potent than that derived from a plant. The reason being that the minerals have `been around’ much longer than any plant and thus have abosorbed greater astral influences and  thus are more potent. They have a higher level of vibration. In any event, the soul of the iron, once it has been separated, must also be purified. All these processes involve heat. The mastery of the heat is a technique learned from a teacher, or by (often painful) trial and error. Once purified, it can be taken as is or it can be combined with the mercury of the mineral kingdom which is called `alkahest.’ The mercury of the mineral kingdom is not so easily come by; but with it one can make the fabled `Philosopher’s Stone.’ This stone can cure all illnesses and cause instant upward evolutions or transmutations. Does this sound as if it could change a base matter into a noble one? Yes, it can.

To return to just the sulphur or oil of iron, consider what you have, once you know how to make it. Not only is it a medicine for the head, but it is a medicine for all other ailments governed by Mars. To find out just what Mars, and all other planets, govern, one could check with such reference works as The Alchemist’s Handbook, or Bill’s Rulership Book, etc. Consider just one aspect: anaemia. People with poor blood or “tired blood” take products such as Geritol. This fine product is derived from iron, sure enough. However, it is made from something like iron oxide, a non-organic matter. Or, we can absorb some nonorganic material, as the built-in, inner alchemist we all have, can effect such transmutations. In this case it is a `biological transmutation.’ The tolerance here is about 3% of what the body has taken in of non-organic material. Would it not be marvelous if we could find a substance that is non-toxic, can be absorbed 100% by the body, AND has no side effects like some products do. Did you think of oil of iron? Correct. This substance CAN be totally utilised by the body and NOT have side effects that are unwanted. More germane, it overcomes the anaemic condition. The uses of minerals in Alchemy, just in the field of medication, are endless. Basil Valentine wrote an entire book on one mineral alone, its various uses in medicine. This book is called the Triumphal Chariot of Antimony. It is a `recipe’ book, explaining the various preparations of that metal known as antimony. Antimony is poisonous? Yes, but when it is prepared by alchemical processes, `spagyrically,’ it is not only rendered non-toxic, but it could be a panacea.

To give the reader a flavour of this incredible book by Valentine and to perhaps “turn them on” to Alchemy, the following is quote of a process by Valentine using antimony. This was extracted from Triumphal Chariot of Antimony published by Dorman Newman in 1678 in England, and was translated by Dr. Theo Kirkringius:

“The dose of it before coagulation is eight grains taken in wine. It makes a man very young again, delivers him from all melancholy and whatsoever in the body of man grows and increaseth, as the hairs and nails fall off and the whole man is renewed as a Phoenix (if such a feigned bird, which is only here for example’s sake named by me, can anywhere be found on this earth) is renewed by fire. And this medicine can no more be burned by the Fire, than the feathers of that unknown salamander; for it consumes all symptoms in the body, like consuming fire, to which it is deservedly likened; it drives away every evil and expels all that which Aurum-Potabile is capable to expel”.

Does not that description sound like something you would like to see happen? It could, you know. Valentine reveals in his book various techniques on how to be “successful” in alchemicaL work. He spoke from the viewpoint of one who KNEW, not one who guessed or who thought it might be this way. And Valentine wasn’t the only good writer of alchemical treatises. The writings of Paracelsus, Geber, Glauber, Vaughn, Sendivogius, and Flamel are amongst those of the older writers that are particularly noteworthy. But there are even modern day writers such as Frater Albertus, Phillip Hurley and Archibald Cockren. In Cockren’s book, Alchemy Re-discoverd and Restored he describes various alchemists and their writings. He was particularly impressed with Johannes Isaaci Hollander, who, he said, wrote so clearly and plainly, his writings have been totally discounted. Ah, none are so blind as they who will not see. Cockren also presents a diary of his own alchemical experimentation. Hurley in his book, Herbal Alchemy, integrates magical practices with laboratory work, for example, making talismans for a particular laboratory experiment.

In discussing the literature, we would be amiss in not mentioning the work of Dr. Carl Jung. While Dr. Jung did not appear to have much regard for physical Alchemy and wrote nothing thereon, he had enormous insight and grasp of the psychological aspects of Alchemy. In this respect, he has done mankind a tremendous service in his fine books on this subject. Dr. Jung and various of his associates have delved into the old texts, translated some of them, and given us insight into the thinking of the old alchemist . This data combined with personal research provides a sure grasp of Alchemy. While it is clear that Alchemy will not become as popular as home computers, it is quite possible that as more people, especially those trained in the sciences `discover’ Alchemy and contribute to the vast body of knowledge that is accumulating, we may one day have a `breakthrough. ‘

Thinking people seeking answers to cosmic questions, greater insight into themselves and cures for incurable ailments, must sooner or later come across alchemical knowledge. As they read the literature and experiment in the lab in an effort to unlock the mysteries, the LV X they shed will not only illumine the path but, hopefully, attract countless others to this Holy Science.”

“We stood upon a dark and rocky cliff that overhung the restless seas. In the sky above us was a certain glorious sun, encircled by that brilliant rainbow, which they of the Path of the Chamelion know.

“I beheld, until the heavens opened, and a form like unto the Mercury of the Greeks (1) descended, flashing like the lightning; and he hovered between the sky and the sea. In his hand was the staff (2) wherewith the eyes of mortals are closed in sleep, and wherewith he also, at will, re-awakeneth the sleeper; and terribly did the globe at its summit dart forth rays. And he bare a scroll whereon was written:

Lumen est in Deo,
Lux in homine factum,
Sive Sol,
Sive Luna,
Sive Stelloc errantes,
Omnia in Lux,
Lux in Lumine
Lumen in Centrum,
Centrum in Circulo,
Circulum ex Nihilo,
Quid scis, id ens. (3)

F.I.A.T. (4)
E.S.T. (5)
E.RI.T. (7)

In fidelitate et veritate universas ab aeternitate. (8)
Nunc Hora.
Nunc Dies.
Nunc Annus,
Nunc Saeculum,
Omnia sunt Unum,
et Omnia in Omnibus.
A.E.T.E.R.N.I.T.A.S. (9)

Then Hermes cried aloud, and said:
“I am Hermes Mercurius, the Son of God, the messenger uniting Superiors and Inferiors.
I exist not without them, and their union is in me. I bathe in the Ocean. I fill the expanse of Air. I
penetrate the depths beneath.”

And the Frater who was with me, said unto me:
“Thus is the Balance of Nature maintained, for this Mercury is the beginning of all movement. This He, (10) this She, this IT, is in all things, but hath wings which thou canst not constrain. For when thou sayest ‘He is here’ he is not here, for by that time he is already away, for he is Eternal Motion and Vibration.”

Nevertheless in Mercury must thou seek all things. Therefore not without reason did our Ancient Fratres say that the Great Work was to “Fix the Volatile.” There is but one place where he can be fixed, and that is the Centre, a centre exact. “Centrum in trigono centri.” (11) The Centre in the triangle of the Centre.

If thine own soul be baseless how wilt thou find a standing point whence to fix the soul of the Universe?

“Christus de Christi,
Mercury de Mercurio,
Per viam crucis,
Per vitam Lucis
Deus te Adjutabitur!” (12)

Q & A: Thelema and the Self

The Brazen Serpent

I have recently been given some quality feedback regarding the “Thelemic-ness” of some of the ideas in The Brazen Serpent. Most of these questions center around the idea of “self,” (no pun intended) as I have expressed in this post:

Consider that what differentiates man from other entities and animals is the function of his Ruach; i.e. the ability to use a symbol to convey a meaning not inherent within it. This allows for a circular process of thinking that expands infinitely outwards from a seed. It is precisely this function that allows the formation of Ego. This also describes the function of his consciousness as a predator, much like a shark within the ocean of the unconscious.

Following this metaphor, magick becomes a way of inserting living targets like fish in the path of the ‘shark of consciousness.’ Note that the Shark only does what is in its…

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What is Magick?

Magick is the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will.

Science refers to the faculty of intellect to examine, test, label and arrange information in a consistent and therefore reliable manner. Art refers to the faculty of emotion to experience, experiment, express and be exalted by the information in an ever-changing and therefore unpredictable manner.

However, it is only unpredictable to the consciousness, and it is the consciousness which deals in things we call Science and Art. The unconscious—that is what Sees All. Consider that what differentiates man from other entities and animals is the function of his Ruach; i.e. the ability to use a symbol to convey a meaning not inherent within it. This allows for a circular process of thinking that expands infinitely outwards from a seed. It is precisely this function that allows the formation of Ego. This also describes the function of his consciousness as a predator, much like a shark within the ocean of the unconscious.

Following this metaphor, magick becomes a way of inserting living targets like fish in the path of the “shark of consciousness.” Note that the Shark only does what is in its nature. It is absolutely not “in control” as we’d like to think. This kind of “accidental choice” of food is why everyone is the way they are today. Lust of Result creates an aggressive target, one of which no longer understands itself to be a target but instead, acts like a predator. This scares off the shark of consciousness and therefore the goal almost inevitably fails in its manifestation. This is why passivity, contentedness, and the making of oneself into a proper vessel is the key to achieving anything in magick. Similarly, a goal that one secretly wishes not to accomplish is like the fish that will evade capture no matter what.

Two additional terms may be employed from this metaphor—shoaling and robofishing. The former describes the method of casting various goals all scattered about so that the probability of hitting one target is higher for the shark of consciousness. It also covers wider ground and diverts the attention, avoiding problems like Lust of Result. The latter is a term that describes a function very similar to one of use in hypnotherapy and NLP. By setting a goal that one invariably performs already, the Shark is drawn to a specific area, which also raises the probability of “catching” a particular fish/goal.

Furthermore, there are two types of change. The first type is known by the term involution. This type of change occurs without a Will because it is operating under the Original Will of the One, otherwise known as the Tao. Force slowly and inevitably becomes Form. The light condenses into matter. Enough thoughts will collate into a “fish.” Recall that the purification of an object is to return it to its original Form, but over time and if left alone, more forms which are not in its nature will accrue on it. Examples include the seasons changing. Like attracts like. Too much of the same thing attracts its opposite. The light flows outward from Kether. And so on. This is also known as rotational change. The second type of change is known by the term evolution. This is the Path of the Serpent—the Way of Return. Whereas the first type was physical change, this type is chemical. It cannot be reversed and it does not revert to a complimentary form. It is a destruction of old form; a violent release of Force—the consumption of the “fish” from the Shark. This type of change is related to the consecration of an object – which is to imbue it with Force. By the Conscious Awareness of the processes from Science (intellect) and Art (emotion), Knowledge occurs as a heat—a friction that crystallizes parts of the self into the perfect image of the Will—exactly like a chemical reaction.

When to Use What Ritual and Why

We have all heard the sayings about these rituals—especially of the LBRP: “perform daily to strengthen the magician’s aura!” But what exactly does this mean? What does it mean for the LIRP, LBRH, or LIRH?

It’s true that the feelings of “cleanliness” vs “holiness” are difficult to explain, but although their descriptions have so far been vague, the actual experience of them is rather specific—as specific as this list of emotions I’ve typed up above.

For me, the “cleanliness” of an LBRP can be explained in the following sentiment: “This [thing affecting my senses] does not affect me. I will not allow it to.” This is how an LBRP, when performed correctly, will alleviate me of anger, fear, frustration, impatience, laziness, obstinacy, hurt feelings, over-sensitivity, petulance, and sadness. In all of these cases, the emotion is objectified as an elemental force and banished. Anger, fear, frustration, and impatience correspond to the element of fire; laziness, obstinacy, and petulance to the element of earth; hurt feelings, over-sensitivity, and sadness to the element of water. The element of air, which is found in all of these emotions, is the repetition of thoughts that allow the elemental forces to spiral into a personal problem. For example in the case of anger, an external stimulus like an outburst from another individual may have provoked you, but without the quick, airy thought of “how DARE you snap at ME!” you wouldn’t be angry—instead, you might be amused or simply indifferent.

Moving on to the LIRP, the “holiness” I feel is explained thusly: “I, too, am [a thing] that affects others; we all do.” This is very different from the sentiment of the LBRP, yet both conclude with a feeling of peace. Depression, melancholia, misery, grief, ingratitude, despair, embarrassment, guilt, and envy are a more complicated bunch of emotions to fix and if left alone, tend to cause larger issues such as bad habits, physical ailments and chronic patterns of thinking that negatively affect the individual. In all of these cases, a pure form of an element needs to be invoked in order to balance the individual. Depression, melancholia, misery, and despair arise when a person loses touch with the bigger picture—their place in the bigger picture (fire). Grief, ingratitude, and envy occur because of an inability to see the bigger picture (water). Lastly, embarrassment and guilt are the result of focusing too deeply on something they’ve done that needs to be placed in perspective (earth).

Now progressing to the actions of the ruach, or intellect, we arrive at the employment of the LBRH. As a general rule, one performs the LRP before any LRH and thus allows for dual-layer protection. I would explain the sentiment of the LBRH as this: “Whatever I think is correct right now simply does not matter. The ‘I’ is nothing.” As you can see, it is easy to take this the wrong way. This is not exhibiting a thought in itself, but rather, a silencing of thoughts to allow peace of mind. Insecurity, doubt, dread, discontentment, anxiety, angst, regret, and disappointment are all symptoms of overthinking, negatively thinking or focusing too heavily on the meaning of a thought. Again, the elements are present, but perhaps more difficult to parse: anxiety, dread and angst correspond to fire; insecurity, doubt, and discontentment to water; regret, and disappointment to earth.

Finally, I would explain the LIRH as so: “All thoughts matter equally. All ‘I’s are equal. I am a part of something bigger than myself—we all are.” Here are the emotions that some require lifetimes to correct: intolerance, stubbornness, hate, shame, and resentment. Intolerance is denying the fact of the whole—it accuses another of not being part of something bigger. Stubbornness says, “but I AM the ‘something bigger!’” Hate is the perpetual separation of oneself from union. Shame is a self-enforced wall preventing one from being with the rest. Resentment is surrender of one’s own power, place, and ability by failing to recognize one’s own crucial part in the whole.

3. Success in ‘banishing’ is known by a ‘feeling of cleanliness’ in the atmosphere; success in ‘invoking’ by a ‘feeling of holiness.’ It is unfortunate that these terms are so vague.

(Liber O, Pt. IV)

















































Offense (hurt feelings)














Stubbornness (of thought)


By Soror N.O. © 2017

On the Development of the Khu

A cultured man lives far from nature, far from natural conditions of existence, in artificial conditions of life, developing his personality [Khu] at the expense of his essence [Khabs]. A less cultured man, living in more normal and more natural conditions, develops his essence at the expense of his personality. A successful beginning of work on oneself requires the happy occurrence of an equal development of personality and essence . . .

A lot of the work is still centered around breaking the illusion that man can “do” which seems to be a contradiction (why learn these things if there is nothing that can be done about them?) but the truth is that man cannot will on his own until he has assimilated his whole being in another’s will (hence, obedience to the master no matter what) which will allow him to know the forces present in himself. In his own observance and practice in mastering those forces to be one with his master’s will, he is able to know, when the time comes, how to master the forces to be one with his will.

In a simple analogy: a parent tells a child to do the dishes. In doing the dishes, the child learns how to be conscious of themselves; utilize the center of thought, and control his desires (and repulsion), uniting himself in one task. When the child grows up and wishes to do the dishes, he therefore knows how to use his mind, emotions, and body to accomplish this. This is all in preparation of the Khu. The preparation of the Khabs requires help from the parent (or master) but most importantly, the attention of the child. The child must not only listen to the will of the parent but be able to deduce the conditions or context in which the will appears: the child notices the kitchen is a mess and the family has nothing to eat off of; ergo, the parent tells the child to do the dishes.

A. How the child ought not to act:

  1. be angry with the parent, conditions, other family members, etc. This is a failure in the emotional center.
  2. do the dishes improperly. This is a failure in the thinking center.
  3. do the necessary functions to prep the Khu without understanding the reason or context for it, i.e. fail to prep the Khabs. This is a failure of the consciousness center.
  4. cheat, and pretend to do the dishes. This is the worst and is a failure in every center.

B. How the child ought to act in response to these challenges:

  1. be grateful for the opportunity. Easier said than done, as the child will probably not understand until years later
  2. learn to do them right and speak up if they require assistance. Also hard, as pride solely in oneself is detrimental to the task.
  3. be vigilant in everything. Difficulty is due to tedium.
  4. pretty obvious

C. How the child can progress from A to B:

  1. acquire patience, but “seeing” results and then remembering them goes a long way.
  2. take pride in oneself as part of the accomplishment of the task instead of just taking pride in oneself.
  3. always assume there’s more to life than what there appears to be. This isn’t a “be positive” thing, but rather the igniting of something bigger than oneself. Hence, be vigilant or else you’ll miss the cool stuff.
  4. always be honest with oneself.

D.) How the Thelemite ceremonial magician accomplishes C:

  1. LIRP, invoking that memory of self and by repeated practice, acquiring patience.
  2. LBRP, banishing negative influences including that stream of nonsensical, egoistic thought that keeps thinking it is more than what it is, and also “strengthening the aura of the magician” to do what seem like unimportant, useless tasks.
  3. Liber Resh, 4x a day. In case you forgot, the purpose of this ritual is to “remind the aspirant at regular intervals of the Great Work; secondly, to bring him into conscious personal relation with the centre of our system; and thirdly, for advanced students, to make actual magical contact with the spiritual energy of the sun and thus to draw actual force from him.” It is also “particularly useful against the fear of death” and shows true dedication to the Great Work.
  4. Journal.

Notice there is no failure of the body or instinctual center. I intentionally did not use the names of the sephiroth because when consciousness (or Tiphareth) is active, Yesod (instinct) is not. #3 is specifically a failure if the child’s Yesod “is active” instead of Tiphareth. Only after repeated practice and you literally default to Tiphareth (marry the sun and the moon), will Yesod (instinct) mirror that of Tiphareth’s functions. All four; Tiphareth, Netzach, Hod, and Yesod, are of course in Malkuth, where this the will is being manifested in the world of Assiah.

Gnothi Seauton

Liber E vel Exercitiorum sub figura IX: Part VII — A Course of Reading

Upon first glance, this part appears simple and straightforward. For the most part, it is. However, I’d like to elaborate upon each point for this part in order to show the importance of narrative sensemaking as well as describe how it aids one in the journey to come.

What is Narrative Sensemaking?

Gary A. Klein (2006) presented a theory of sensemaking as a set of processes that is initiated when an individual recognizes the inadequacy of their current understanding of events (i.e. cognitive dissonance). This builds upon Cohen’s (1996) recognition-metacognition model which describes the processes that are used by individuals to build, verify, and modify stories in situational awareness to account for a foreign experience, and Piaget’s (1977) processes of assimilation and accommodation in his theory of cognitive development. Sensemaking is an active two-way process of fitting data into a mental model and fitting a frame around the data. Data evokes frames and the frames select and connect data. When there is no adequate fit, the data is either reconsidered or revised (through the Path of Pe!)

This means that in a Thelemic context, the practitioner actively participates in new experiences (e.g. by following the course of the A.’.A.’. system) to understand the symbolism for himself, which then allows for deeper experiences and so on and so forth.

Enter Liber CLVII: The Soldier(!) and the Hunchback(?)

Note: 148 = NTzCh [Netzach; victory], MAZNIM(f) [Libra; the scales], BNI ALHIM(f) [Beni Elohim; Sons of the Gods (the angelic choir of Hod)], AHIH IH IHVH ALHIM(f) [A name of God]

In a nutshell, Liber CLVII teaches us the importance of skepticism and samadhi. The “true skeptic” is a man of science, eager, alert, and without bias. He devises some means of answering his first question, and its answer is another question. We can expect our skepticism to continue spinning words and never answer any questions, but this is simply the swing of the pendulum. No combination of thoughts can be greater than the thinking brain itself. However, skepticism along the path ensures that we keep questioning in order to progress towards the attainment of personal truth without bias, which is its ultimate function.

On the other hand, samadhi is a breakthrough in levels of consciousness to a higher plane and therefore leads to the Knowledge and Conversation of the HGA by providing clarity and objectivity; it is the Point from which the pendulum of !s and ?s hang. The purpose of living (and the meaning of living a Victorious Life) is so that we may attain the K&C of the HGA, that the ! may lie in harmony with the ? and that we may find Joy in the swing of the pendulum between the two.

To apply Liber CLVII to the concept of narrative sensemaking means to vigilantly question our understandings and test our experiences while finding Joy in this process, which is, in fact, the Victorious Life.

So what does this have to do with Liber E, Part VII?

Here’s a summary of the first point: No, you’re not wasting your time reading this list of books. But the second point is much more vague:

2. That you may gain some insight into the nature of the Great Work which lies beyond these elementary trifles, however, we should mention that an intelligent person may gather more than a hint of its nature from the following books, which are to be taken as serious and learned contributions to the study of nature, though not necessarily to be implicitly relied upon.

The third point is obvious, the fourth point rings similar to Liber CDLXXIV, and the fifth point needs no elucidation. However, the sixth through to the ninth are kind of interesting, so I’ll summarize below:

6. Find and attach yourself to a competent master, but don’t give up on how hard it will be to find one.

7. Whatever you do, don’t rely on that master (even though you just searched the ends of the earth for him/her). You “must rely entirely upon [yourself], and credit nothing whatever but that which lies within [your] own knowledge and experience.”

8. Your records are your only lifeline.

9. And thus, let the work be duly accomplished.

Once again, no. 7 alludes to the idea of Victory, Netzach and Liber 148. No. 6, 8, and 9 are easy to correspond with Tiphareth, Hod, and Yesod, and all four of these represent the directions of Liber Resh, which if you have been doing for a while aids in one’s understanding of Liber E in its totality. In conclusion, the purpose of Part VII is not only gain practical insights to how to perform the Great Work, but more importantly, how each individual, by use of their symbol set (frame) and experiences (data) have done so, including one’s own master.

To reiterate, the goal is to do this as honestly and accurately (through skepticism and samadhi) as one can.

If you recall in the previous post, my “lesson” from Part II of Liber E:

The harder one tries, the more out of sync the results. Also; that you don’t know what the hell is happening but the more you do it, the more variables in the operation are known (i.e. superstitions are being created, and thus, useful to you). Siddhis appear when these variables are in the right condition–

But most importantly, when one arrives at the City of the Pyramids, this narrative of superstition and variables (otherwise known as narrative sensemaking frames and data, symbol sets, etc) will be the only real thing in the end, since you can place their beginning and creator; oneself.

So Liber E is, quite literally, the Foundation of all your Work.