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. It can be incorporated into the daily practice, used as a ‘stand-alone’ ritual or as an additional component to existing rituals of the Order.

Ritual 718 Stella Sophia: Unicursal Hexagram0. Formulate the Cube of Space, sonorously chanting, IAO SABAO.[1]

1. 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!

2. 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!

3. 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!

4. 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!

5. 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!

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]

Go forth into any of the three worlds, as you are able.

Unicursal Hexagram: Stella Sophia

This ritual is for Wisdom and Understanding. It is exclusively reserved for those who ardently desire to know truth. All else should beware! While the performance of any ritual does not in itself convey knowledge, it is by words and images that all powers are invoked and reinvoked.[3]

The Ritual of Stella Sophia generally invokes the forces of the Macrocosm. It is therefore best done following the Order’s Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram, Gates of Babalon or Ritual of Aiwass—in which case it is not necessary to perform the Cube of Space, as that has already been done.[4]

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.[5] 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. Thus, “I have made a secret door, into the house of Ra and Tum, of Khephra and Ahathoor”.[6] HT KA PTH means, ‘House of the Ka of Ptah’, and refers to the cult centre known as Memphis.[7] 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 Hieroglyphs

HT KA PTAH has the value of 128 and can be found in The Flaming Sword Sepher Sephiroth under that number.[8] 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. The pyramid also refers to Sirius, the star of Egypt and of the Order. According to AL, I: 28,

None, breathed the light, faint and faery, of the stars, and two.

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.

The three worlds mentioned at the close are heaven, earth and the underworld (Egyptian duät). All three are dangerous for the non-initiate. Initiates are tested according to their means. Heaven is guarded by the Lord of Initiation. He exacts a severe penalty on those who would ‘take heaven by storm’. The underworld is guarded by the Hound of Hell. He will allow souls to enter but will not let them escape. The terrestrial world is no less perilous. We can recollect the words of Aiwass conveyed in the (Egyptian) Book of the Law, Liber AL I: 31 and II: 21,

For these fools of men and their woes care not thou at all! They feel little; what is, is balanced by weak joys; but ye are my chosen ones.

… this is the law of the strong: this is our law and the joy of the world.

Igne Natura Renovatur Integra—the joy of the world! To be unconcerned with those who have fallen does not imply indifference to the world, for we are called to be participants in her restoration. Those who love life, love liberty, and are prepared to do battle against the enemies of truth. To love truth and seek her ever means living dangerously. It is better to hate the evil that would deny truth, for evil would persuade us to betray her.


Notes

1. The Cube of Space is a series of ritual gestures made at the start and finish of the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram and Gates of Babalon. The other mudras are given in the grade curriculum of the Order, Ritual Magick—Initiation of the Star and Snake. The three mudras given in point 5 are those of the Adeptus, which replace the old ‘signs of LVX’, and the mistaken Osirian formula of INRI used by the historical Order of the Golden Dawn, and also given in Crowley’s general instructions on magick.
2. ‘All of Nature is Renewed and Perfected through Fire’.
3. A person that habitually adopts the attitude symbolised by the Seven of Swords of Tarot may succeed in a self-undoing they had not bargained for, for example.
4. The Ritual of Aiwass is taught to members in the first degree (1 = 10).
5. 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.
6. Liber AL, III: 38.
7. 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.
8. The Flaming Sword Sepher Sephiroth, in two volumes [Ordo Astri].

© Oliver St. John 2020

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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 outer planet Pluto. The traditional title of the trump is ‘Judgement’, 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 wholly restored to perfection through fire’.

The geometric solid symbol of the 31st path is the tetrahedronal pyramid, which conveys admission in the older ceremonies of the Golden Dawn. 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). 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. When the twin serpents of the Shakti Power cease to oppose and are woven together thus, the life force sustains an immortal existence. The appearance of things no longer deludes the soul. Nuit and Hadit are shown in the abstract solar glyph between the knots of eternity as circle and point.[2]

Horus carries the shen ring over a symbolic representation of the step pyramid of Djoser at the 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, and their alignments in the underground labyrinth. According to some, they 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 Fortune 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. The background of our Tarot picture indicates the desert and sky of Saqqara turned upside down, or at a 90-degree angle. 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 fully realised. From the point of view of ordinary human consciousness, the fruits of such knowledge come to pass as future events. 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 magical powers of the 31st path are those of Evocation and Pyromancy.


Notes

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.

© 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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Ritual Magick—Initiation of the Star and Snake

Ritual Magick: A living initiatory tradition embodies a continuous unfolding and development. The need to prepare and publish this book owes to a new and vital current that has broken into pieces the philosophical basis of our predecessors.

Ritual Magick—Initiation of the Star and Snake Cover-ArtThe rituals and methods have been thoroughly revised in that light. Kether is the uniting principle. There is no unitary intelligence as such. The ‘one’ that is adored by monotheists and self-determinists alike is the false crown of the Abyss. It has produced the nightmare of self-isolation.

There are differing interpretations of what is meant by the term ‘initiation’. The mundane aspect of initiation implies induction into a particular group with its corresponding egregore. Some suppose that initiation is only conferred through participation in a ceremony with others that have been similarly initiated. We have a more specialised view of initiation. We see it—and indeed practice it—as a continuous unfolding through reification of the work done. This has more to do with Gnosis than group bonding.

Inevitably the subtitle of the book, Initiation of the Star and Snake, will lead some to imagine they can ‘work the system’ alone and thereby achieve self-initiation. The term ‘self-initiation’ is an oxymoron. The Law of Thelema is a law of love and (therefore) a law of relationship. This does not mean, however, that initiation is only made possible through attending rites and ceremonies conducted by officers. Our method is through personal work done and the keeping of the diary Record. It involves self-discipline, study, prolonged effort and single-minded determination. There is no secret formula that will convey initiation to those unworthy to receive it. The mysterious operation of the Serpent Power is a good deal subtler than that.[1]

Ritual Magick: Initiation of the Star and Snake

Here is the ritual and ceremonial basis underlying the threefold structure of an Esoteric Thelemic Order comprising the Golden Dawn, Rosy Cross and Silver Star. Lucid explanatory texts, plus hundreds of graphic illustrations and diagrams accompany the rituals and methods.

The grade system is worked from Malkuth to Kether, following the paths of the Serpent of Wisdom. The Order of the Golden Dawn comprises the first four degrees. The Golden Dawn thesis concerns the equilibration of the four elements of the natural soul. The Order of the Rosy Cross comprises the fifth, sixth and seventh degrees. The work of the Rose and Cross is to unite the equilibrated soul to her opposite, the antithesis or Holy Guardian Angel. The Order of the Silver Star comprises the 8th, 9th and 10th degrees, summed up as the spiritual fruit or synthesis of the soul’s union with her Holy Guardian Angel.

Subjects include the Circle of the Place, Mudras or ‘signs of the grades’, Ritual of the Gates of Babalon, the Golden Mean, formulation of the Magical Name, Opening and Closing the Temple, Star and Snake Tantra-yoga, the (revised) Rituals of the Pentagram and Hexagram, Rising on the Planes, Skrying and Clairvoyance, Consecration of Talismans, the Thelemic Mass of Hormaku, Ritual for Psychic Self-defence, the Holy Guardian Angel, Ritual of the Rosy Cross, Consecration of the Magical Sword, Goetic Evocation, the Ceremony of the Watchtowers and Enochian Magick.


Notes

1. From the author’s Preface to the First Edition (October 2019).

Ritual Magick—Initiation of the Star and Snake (view and order here).
Format: Trade paperback; perfect binding (6” x 9”); 304 pages in total.

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