Psychism and the Subversion of Knowledge

We never resort to psychism. However, our curriculum contains a great deal of what can be termed ‘psychic development’, through applications of Hermetic Science. Skrying, for example, properly done, involves the quite traditional concentration on a symbol, so that a ‘flow of knowledge’ (dhyana) comes about.

Psychism and Subversion of Knowledge: the Moon‘Skrying’ means ‘seeing’, and is closely related to the Sanskrit word dharana, which means ‘concentration’ in the technical sense but literally means ‘a window’ or ‘point of view’. Rising on the planes, when correctly understood, is a form of tantra-yoga, combining the activation of the Serpent Power (Shakti) with the equivalent of mantra (words and spells) and yantra (sacred image). So long as we keep the goal in sight, which is identical to that of yoga in the real sense, we should not go too far astray.[1] There is a risk, especially when a natural facility already exists, of over-developing the psychic faculty and becoming excessively reliant on it, even to the exclusion of all else—which is a real danger. It is not intended that results of the psychic order should be given objective validity. It goes without saying that neither are such results to be counted in any way as being important or significant in the scheme of things. The psychic realm has nothing to do with the spiritual realm, as by definition that which pertains to the psyche is strictly limited to the individuality and reaches no further—a matter we shall come back to.

Psychism, on the other hand, is a very different thing, and we have always spoken out against this. Psychism is a branch of the occult that has its origins as recently as the latter part of the nineteenth century. It should be noted in passing that public knowledge of this is non-existent—for opinions are guided by ‘news’ and ‘information’ that reduces everything to the most simplistic and grossly material level. While it is obvious that mediums and even ‘gurus’ in some cases have used the tricks and illusions of stagecraft to produce their manifestations, what is not so obvious to a gullible and easily deceived public is that such exposure or debunking rests on a confusion of the psychic realm with the material realm. A psychic occurrence cannot by definition, even though it exists on the most inferior of the subtle planes, exist on the material plane, where it can be subjected to all the ‘tests’ and ‘proving’ of profane science. Those who write or speak about this with total confidence in their superior understanding in fact know absolutely nothing about the subject whatsoever, for to them the psychic realm has no existence, let alone the spiritual. The irony that these same commentators are wholly deceived by the tricks and illusions of so-called ‘science’ escapes them completely.

Psychism and Subversion: SéanceWe are not then denying the existence, relative though it is, of psychic phenomena or its effects. Psychism, which has no doubt captivated the interest of many persons that are perfectly sincere—though that is no justification in itself—admits no real knowledge. It reduces everything to the psychic level and even the infra or sub-human levels of manifestation, though it knows not the real source of its ‘visions’ and ‘spirit-guides’. Psychism is the habitual and passive resort to the lowest of the subtle levels. Its advocates frequently embrace or claim to practice many elements of the Occult Science though not understanding them at all, reducing them to their most inferior level of manifestation. The use of magical correspondences, for example, which has traditionally served to train the mind, is translated into a vague search for ‘signs’ and ‘omens’, not only in what passes for a form of magick but that is also extended into every area of life so that it becomes a matter of habit. While the person cannot coherently explain the meaning of such ‘coincidences’ they nonetheless insist on treating them as if they had some profound import.

The products of psychism are completely illusory and meaningless. There are, however, even worse and more degraded forms of psychism than those described above, such as ‘channelling’. The agents of confusion and subversion that adopt this mode will even claim that the reams of quasi-mystical gibberish they produce derive from a source of ‘higher wisdom’. It is evident that such advice comes from a source much nearer to the limited imagining of the channellers than any extraterrestrial or trans-mundane source. The banal content is invariably heavy with illiterate New Age jargon, popular clichés and faux-psychology.

Quietism is really a further form of psychism of a very low order. Although the term ‘Quietism’ fell out of use long ago, the attitude it describes has persisted and increased within the field of what now passes for spirituality.[2] Quietists also admit no knowledge but pretend, by implication, belief and behaviour, to all knowledge. They take refuge in a complete distortion of the non-action doctrine of the East, refusing to do anything at all so that all comes to them ‘miraculously’, dropping into their lap as manna from heaven, not seeing in any way that this ‘manna’ consists of nothing but flattery and vain pretensions. These will often form loose alliances with professional psychics, mediums and channellers for mutual flattery and to increase the spread of their poison to the gullible and poorly educated. In fact, the so-called education of everyone by now is no more than a matter of enforced acceptance of a profane outlook on all things, for that is even a requirement to achieve ‘qualifications’, whether at school or university level.

The growth of psychism in all its forms was aided and abetted by the Theosophist movement and those influenced by it. It eventually opened the floodgates for the full onset of the anti-spiritual and anti-initiatic second level of the occult revival that took place from the 1950s and onward, replete with well publicised ‘witchcraft’ poseurs and sham Golden Dawn revivalists. The degradation was made complete by the New Age movement that emerged from the 1970s and onward. This hungrily devoured all the remnants of traditional knowledge, including various forms of Shamanism, and quickly subverted them towards wholly profane ends.

It has become increasingly difficult for our students and members—many of whom were born at a time when subversion of all previous knowledge was more or less complete—to know anything about the spiritual realm at all. It has been sealed off by the ‘plan’ that Guénon wrote of 70 years ago now.[3] By subverting all spiritual knowledge, or to put this more accurately, its symbols and doctrines, and relegating everything to the realm of the psyche, the individual and the ‘material’, a hard shell was formed across the ceiling of human intellect—and this even impacts, as Guénon has revealed in the aforementioned work, upon the cosmic and terrestrial environment. Once the sealing shut of the upper worlds is accomplished, only the psychic realm remains for refuge. Although the spiritual domain is completely out of reach of the profane—for to them it does not exist—the psychic realm can be reached and manipulated by profane governance, which is in turn controlled by the Qliphoth. The psychic plane can also be reached and manipulated by pretended ‘spiritual’ and ‘magical’ individuals and organisations.

The ways are closed off by now to most people in the world but it is still possible for an initiatic organisation to open them. So long as real initiation takes place, such an organisation is able to support further initiation. At the same time the reception of a spiritual influence makes it completely immune to the attacks made on it from the outer (or infra) darkness. However, the prospective candidates must be able to totally eradicate from their thinking all allegiance to the profane world, resisting every lure to engage in the personal, corporeal and sensual world to the exclusion of all else—for to do so only assists in closing the door to initiation ever more tightly.

Guénon’s masterwork includes a precise explanation of the incursion of the Qliphoth at the end of time. The doctrine exists in sacred traditions in most if not all cultures.[4] The incursion is made possible by fissures opening in the human artificial construct from below, whereas mankind has sealed off the ‘above’ so that no spiritual influences can neutralise the destructive power of the infernal forces. The use of the word ‘infernal’ here is meant to specifically describe the realm of the infra-corporeal or of sub-manifestation, which is to say that such agencies exist at the most inferior level possible, for any further degree would render them completely non-existent. As it is, their existence is only relative but their effect is real enough in the corporeal and psychic realms, which is the limit of their reach.

That which was implemented in our world from the spring equinox of 2020 and onward is undoubtedly the greatest deception of all time. Though it was prepared long ago, this latest phase is a vast acceleration towards the final dissolution that must come at the end of a Great Age or manvantara. Guénon is completely unique among those that have written on such matters in that he foresaw in precise detail everything that is going on in our world now, and at all levels of manifestation.[5] He was not in any way expressing what some would call a ‘personal’ point of view, as they can see nothing beyond the personal and relegate everything to that; on the contrary, Guénon’s prophetic vision was a remarkably perceptive application of initiation into traditional knowledge of a very high order.

Psychism and Subversion: Notes

1. Yoga means, in the traditional and real sense, ‘union’ and more particularly, union with God or to put it in the terms of Advaita Vedanta, realisation of Atman and Brahman.
2. ‘Spiritualism’ is another term rarely used now but which is descriptive of an anti-spiritual movement that has sought to substitute inferior forms of psychism for ‘spiritual contact’, as if there was no difference.
3. ‘Fissures in the Great Wall’ and associated chapters in The Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times [Sophia Perennis].
4. The orientalist Kenneth Grant incorporated this in his writings but as with so much else he inverted the symbolism. He thus confused the spiritual with the demonic or infernal to such an extent that his followers and others influenced by the same stream have unwittingly worked on the side of self-destruction and anti-initiation.
5. See also Guénon, Crisis of the Modern World [Sophia Perennis].

From Nu Hermetica, a work in progress.
© Oliver St. John 2021

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Hexagram Ritual: Stella Sophia

The Ritual of Stella Sophia utilises the Unicursal Hexagram. It is an adaptation of the Lesser Ritual of the Hexagram, as suitable for practitioners of Esoteric Thelema. This ritual is to be done immediately after the ritual called the Gates of Babalon.[1]

Ritual 718 Stella Sophia: Unicursal Hexagram

0. Make the (invoking) Unicursal Hexagram to the North in violet-purple. Bring the point of the wand to the centre and vibrate: HT KA PTH!

1. Turning (or proceeding) widdershins, make the (invoking) Unicursal Hexagram to the East in violet-purple. Bring the point of the wand to the centre and vibrate: HT KA PTH!

2. Turning (or proceeding) widdershins, make the (invoking) Unicursal Hexagram to the South in violet-purple. Bring the point of the wand to the centre and vibrate: HT KA PTH!

3. Turning (or proceeding) widdershins, make the (invoking) Unicursal Hexagram to the West in violet-purple. Bring the point of the wand to the centre and vibrate: HT KA PTH!

4. In the centre facing North, make the mudra of Avenging Horus, and then make the mudra of the Pharaoh in the House of Gold. Say,

Bathe me in thy starlight rays,
For I, who tread the sacred path, unburden my soul,
Open the ways!

5. Make the mudra of the Lord of the Stars and say,

Unto Nuit, my heart’s desire,
Let fly thine arrow,
Pour forth thy consecrating fire!

6. Clasp your hands together at your breast and concentrate the invoked force in the Tiphereth. Say,

Igne Natura Renovatur Integra.[2]

Unicursal Hexagram: Stella Sophia

Unicursal Hexagram with attributionsThe Unicursal Hexagram has sometimes been confused with the planetary hexagrams of the Greater Ritual of the Hexagram. The Unicursal Hexagram denotes the Moon and Sun as the governance of Spirit acting upon the Zodiac through the four classical elements of nature.[3] As such, it is a fitting geometric means by which to adore Nuit. The ritual also tends to nullify all malefic planetary configurations.

HT KA PTH is pronounced hwt ka ptah. It is an Egyptian name for the land of Khem. It is sent forth powerfully here to the four directions about the magical circle. HT KA PTH means, ‘House of the Ka of Ptah’, and refers to the cult centre known as Memphis.[4] Inebu Hedj (‘White Walls’), as the Egyptians knew it, was the first nome of Egypt. The modern name is derived from the Greek rendition, Aιγυπτoς (Egyptos). The Greek name of Memphis is derived from the Egyptian Men-nefar, meaning ‘Beautiful Forever’. Other names of Memphis include Djed Sut, ‘Eternal Abodes’, and Ankh Tawy, ‘Life of the Two Lands’. The hieroglyphs for Djed Sut are graphically descriptive.

Memphis Djed Sut HieroglyphsHT KA PTAH has the value of 128 and can be found in The Flaming Sword Sepher Sephiroth under that number.[5] All the entries there are cognate with the intention of the ritual. The number 128 is expressed by 27 (or 2 to the power of 7), ‘Wisdom manifested by Sepet or Set’. Sepet is figured in Djed Sut, the Egyptian name of Memphis.

HT KA PTAH is vibrated four times in the ritual, giving a value of 512 in all. The number 512 is the product of 8 x 8 x 8 and was revered by the Gnostics as indicative of the Master or Way-shower. It is also a cipher for Hermes Trismegistus or Thrice Greatest Hermes. In this way, a secret door into the ‘house’, the Temple of Egyptian Mind, is formed. Nuit will open the door for those so chosen.


1. The Gates of Babalon and the mudras (or ‘signs of the grades’) used in this ritual are given in Ritual Magick—Initiation of the Star and Snake.
2. ‘All of Nature is Renewed and Perfected through Fire’.
3. The disposition of the four elements on this star is identical to that of the pentagram, and the Terrestrial Watchtowers of the Enochian system. For example, begin from the point of fire to invoke the zodiacal triplicity of Aries, Leo and Sagittarius in the 12-lettered name OIP TEAA PDOKE.
4. Aiwass, who delivered to us the (Egyptian) Book of the Law, was the high priest of Memphis, or Djed Sut, at a time when it was the principle administrative centre of Egypt.
5. The Flaming Sword Sepher Sephiroth, in two volumes [Ordo Astri].

© Oliver St. John 2020, 2021

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Fire: Egyptian Tarot of Thelema The Aeon XX

The Egyptian Tarot of Thelema trump for the 31st path of Fire and Spirit is The Aeon XX. The path also corresponds to the dwarf outer planet Pluto. ‘Judgement’ is the traditional title of the trump, viz., the Last Judgement when souls are called to the resurrection.

Fire: Egyptian Tarot of Thelema The Aeon XXThe esoteric title of this Tarot trump is Spirit of the Primal Fire. The spirit-fire is that which animates all living beings. It is the seed of the resurrection body. The mysteries of transmutation are summed up in the alchemical phrase, Igni Natura Renovata Integra, ‘Nature is renewed and perfected through fire’.

Shin is the letter of the 31st path and is formed from three flames joined at the base. Shin literally means ‘tooth’, but the significance is of spirit-fire or that which endures—bone, substance, eternity and immortal life. The ancient Egyptian source of the word is shen, the ring of eternity and the ‘round’, which is shown here being carried through the air by Horus in the form of a falcon.[1] The shen ring consists of the upper section or circle of the Ankh of Life, bound to a horizontal beam. It denotes eternity, the liberated spirit as opposed to life in the flesh.

At the top of the picture, to the left, are the Egyptian hieroglyphs for the Eternal (heh). Nuit and Hadit are shown in the abstract solar glyph between the knots of eternity as circle and point.[2] The knotted flax is thought to be a wick for a lamp. The wick burns and gives forth a flame of light without perishing. It is fed on pure oil, which is the perfection of life. There is a comparison to be made here with the Caduceus, the magical symbol of Hod that is situated at the upper end of the 31st path. In one sense, the Caduceus symbolises the dual power of the Kundalini or Occult Force. When the twin serpents of the Shakti Power cease to oppose and are, so to speak, woven together, the life force sustains an immortal existence. The appearance of things no longer deludes the soul.

Horus carries the shen ring over a symbolic representation of the step pyramid of Djoser at Saqqara Necropolis outside of Memphis, Egypt. Necropolis (Greek) means ‘city of the dead’, but this is really a misnomer as the Egyptians saw it as a place of eternal life. The Egyptian name is therefore heh, ‘Eternity’, identical in sound and meaning to the woven flax hieroglyph but spelled in such a way as to indicate a specific earth location.[3]

The base of the four-sided, seven-stepped pyramid is a trapezium or trapezoid. The parallel but unequal sides are indicative of the fourth dimension or non-Euclidian space-time. Beneath the desert of Saqqara is a labyrinth. Very large granite vessels are situated there in cells only big enough to fit them. It is unknown as to how these large and heavy objects could be placed in such a manner below ground.

What we do know is that the vessels, shaped somewhat like a sarcophagus or ark, were never designed to house a mummy. The insides of the sealed boxes are polished to mirror-like perfection. The function of these vessels appears to be cathodic, if we consider the accuracy and smoothness of their cutting. Their alignments in the underground labyrinth are very precise and are obviously intended deliberately. According to some, the vessels are subtle repositories of arcane knowledge predating the Ice Age and built to endure a catastrophe.[4]

Aeon, the title of the trump, means ‘eternity’. The term does not necessarily refer to a period of terrestrial time as is commonly supposed. It is derived from Greek philosophy and conveys the meaning of circles outside of time. The number 20 links The Aeon with Destiny X (Kaph), or the Kalachakra Wheel.

Pluto, a further symbol of primal fire, is the outermost planet of the solar system, symbolising Deep Mind. Pluto can designate Kether and Malkuth, the Alpha and Omega—for the end is with the Beginning. Pluto may symbolise revolution or upheaval, an upward surging current of irresistible force that sweeps away the old and ushers in a new state of affairs. On the old Tarot decks the dead were shown rising up out of their tombs, summoned by a blast from the trumpet of the Angel Israfel.[5] The death of the old signifies awakening to a new life, which is here the life of eternity. Horus, Lord of the Aeon, bears the key to eternity and flies across the liminal threshold of the worlds.

Spirit of the Primal Fire

The 31st path of Shin connects Hod, the sphere of Mercury, with Malkuth, the sphere of action and elements (or visible universe). The title of the path is the Perpetual Intelligence, so-called because it is concerned with the motions of the Sun and Moon as governing the revolutions of the Zodiac through the elemental principles. This path connects Malkuth with the left-hand pillar of Form by which spiritual knowledge manifests and is clothed in form. The fruits of such knowledge come to pass as future events from the point of view of ordinary human consciousness. This is why the Tarot trump was formerly called Judgement, depicting the dead arising from their tombs in response to the vibration of the Angel of Judgement on the day of be-with-us. In reality, the call to truth is eternally present. It is the seed of each moment in time—hence the perpetuity inherent in the title.

The “revolutions of the Zodiac” refer to the turning of the double-sided wheel of time. One side faces time while the other faces outside of time. From the perspective of the mortal flesh, time seems to pass by so that we experience a present that is moving forwards, with a past that is behind and a future that is in front. From the perspective of eternity, on the other side of the wheel, there is no past or future. There is nowhere to go—eternity encompasses everywhere at once. Time in the earthbound sense simply ceases to exist.

The geometric solid symbol of the 31st path is the tetrahedronal pyramid, which conveys admission to the path in the older ceremonies of the Golden Dawn.[6] The magical powers of the 31st path are those of Evocation and of Pyromancy.


1. For an explanation of the multiple perspective drawing of the falcon, based on ancient Egyptian art, see Lucie Lamy, Egyptian Mysteries pp. 18 [Thames and Hudson 1981].
2. For an explanation of Nuit and Hadit as circle and point, see ‘Lapis Philosophorum’, pp. 9–12, Babalon Unveiled! Thelemic Monographs [Ordo Astri]. An abridged version can be read online here at Ordo Astri.
3. The Egyptian name for the Necropolis or Eternal Place is spelled with three mounds or hills and the circle-cross determinative. See Budge, An Egyptian Hieroglyphic Dictionary, pp. 507 b.
4. The vessels were cut from solid granite and are upward of 70 tons.
5. Some sources have the Angel of the Last Judgement as Gabriel. The Angel is also associated with Raphael, Uriel and various others.
6. A symbolic ‘pathworking’ of the 31st path formed part of the ceremony of initiation to the grade of Hod in the historical Order of the Golden Dawn.

From the book, Egyptian Tarot of Thelema.
© Oliver St. John 2020

The Egyptian Tarot of Thelema is an entirely new concept in the field of practical magick, divination and Thelema. The 12 Zodiac trumps can be viewed here.

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