Holy Guardian Angel: Phoenix Rising

The Holy Guardian Angel, the Golden Dawn and the Phoenix arising from the ashes are cognate terms. True discernment is made in the heart and not the reasoning mind alone. Thereby, truth can be known. This is the seat of what is called the True Will or Thelema.

Holy Guardian Angel: Golden Dawn Malkuth Lamen

The term, ‘Magick of Light’, owes to the Golden Dawn tradition established by Samuel Liddell MacGregor and Moïna Mathers, Wyn Westcott, William Woodman, Florence Farr and company. The deconstruction of that legacy was carefully prepared and set in motion by Aleister Crowley and George Cecil Jones. It could be said that half a century later Kenneth Grant finished off completely the job they started. Or did he simply weave a seductively alluring tapestry, a fantastic veil to hide the real secret of the Golden Dawn from the profane—thus subtly doing the bidding of the ‘Secret Chiefs’ through darkly devious devices of his own imagining?

It was Grant that cleverly noticed the Golden Dawn expression of the reification of the Magick of Light as spelling ‘The Great L.I.E.’ (Light in Extension). This is a dualistic philosophical view to take, though in reality not much different from the rationalism of Crowley. Crowley littered his work with paradoxical assertions and negations, as did Grant, albeit in a very different style.

The dualistic denial of matter and proclamation of spiritual supremacy is nothing new; it was included in the knowledge of the syncretic Golden Dawn tradition. The Chaldean Oracles, attributed to the Persian sage Zoroaster, provide a fine example. The Upanishads are full of it. Strangely enough, everyone seems to be more or less in agreement that the (esoteric) way of the West differs from that of the East in so far as matter is not to be denied but transformed. The extraordinarily lurid works of Grant are as syncretic as those of any Golden Dawn. After all, he was not urging us to become Hindus or Buddhists. The ‘Typhonian tradition’ is usually taken to refer not to an ancient Egyptian pre-dynastic cult but to the legacy of Grant’s writings. The said writing embraces all manner of expressions, from an inverted view of the Golden Dawn, Grant’s extended use of Gematria, which he called ‘Creative Qabalah’, and on to Zen, Taoism, witchcraft, voodoo, demonology and even ufology.

The redoubtable Scientific Illuminism of Crowley is austere in comparison with the amorphous Nightside of Grant, but it continued the Golden Dawn tradition—after a fashion at least—in the declared aim of universalism. The universalism of the syncretic Golden Dawn was established at least a decade before the young Crowley was introduced to the household. It is perhaps unfortunate that he and other first wave Golden Dawn dissidents discarded elements of the tradition that were valuable and magically vital.

Holy Guardian Angel

While Grant proposed a way, if you can see it, that is essentially Against the Light, he nonetheless insisted, in his earlier writings at least, that one must attain the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel before bravely immersing oneself in the demon worlds of the Qliphoth. And here is a strange thing to relate in view of the polemic against luminosity: the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel is a hermetic, theurgic magical operation. The irony of Grant’s Tunnels of Set is that they lead nowhere; the longer one stays in the cloying labyrinth the further one is from the fragrance of the mystic rose.

The Holy Guardian Angel, a divine messenger that conveys direct mystical experience to the soul, is very much part of the Rosicrucian scheme of things. That means working the grades of the Golden Dawn as far as Tiphereth, the central solar radiance of the whole Tree of Life. At the foot of the Tree, coiled about the Kingdom of Malkuth, Thanatos and Eros weave the Ring-Pass-Not that mockingly bars all ways to the canopied couch of Logos and Agape.


Notes

Abridged from The Phoenix and other Stellar Rites of Initiation.

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Capricorn: Egyptian Tarot of Thelema Set XV

The Capricorn Solstice is depicted here by our Egyptian Tarot of Thelema image of the god Set. The traditional title of the card is ‘The Devil XV’. The Esoteric Tarot of Thelema depicts Set not as a ‘devil’ but as the Lord of Initiation.

Capricorn: Egyptian Tarot of Thelema Set XVThis card is a prototype and will be redrawn before it is finalised for publication. Set is here depicted as God of the South, wielding the was sceptre of priestly authority in his left hand and the Ankh of Life in his right hand.

The esoteric title of the Tarot key is Lord of the Gates of Matter: Child of the Forces of Time. The Thelemic year begins for us, not on the 20th March each year, but on the winter solstice, when the Sun crosses the zero degrees mark of Capricorn. The 26th path of Capricorn is the Renewing Intelligence, and the time of year marks the first light of the Khabs in the Khu, sounded in the depth.[1] Cancer and Capricorn mark the height and depth of the Sun. The equinoxes mark the cardinal crossing. The four cross-quarters mark the Kerubic signs, Aquarius, Taurus, Leo and Scorpio.

Commencing from the winter cup of Capricorn and Aquarius, we can follow the course of the Lightning Flash on the Tree of Life through the year. Capricorn and Aquarius, ruled by Saturn, send the current from the supernal Eden to the sphere of Jupiter, ruler of Pisces. The next station is Aries, ruled by Mars, in which is the Sun’s exaltation. Next comes Taurus, ruled by Venus, the lovely star. We then pass across to Mercury, ruler of Gemini. Arriving at the solstice of the summer cup, the Moon and Sun are conjoined and the Holy Hexagram declared, with the Earth as witness. The current then streaks back up the Tree, in reverse order until the Capricorn solstice is again reached.

Capricorn, Saturn and Set

The number 3 is that of Saturn, ruler of Capricorn, Binah and therefore Set-Typhon. It requires a triangular prism to split white light into seven colours, for only the triangle can reduce a phenomenon to its components. Therefore, the rainbow spectrum is the veil of Set, sevenfold. Seven is the number of Venus, who doubles as both morning and evening star, and Saturn is the ‘power behind Venus’. Set is the most difficult of gods to ‘pin down’; his very nature forbids it. He is on the other side of wherever we happen to be, in terms of consciousness. The function of Set is dual. Firstly, Set veils the invisible in an infinite variety of forms. Secondly, he destroys the illusion of the appearance of things.[2]

Set is identified with Sirius, the star of Egypt, and is the manifestor of the seven stars of Ursa Major. Sirius is the birthplace and home of the gods. It is the star of the ‘one in eight’ as Set-Hadit, manifestor of the seven and revealer of Nuit. Sirius is the sun behind the sun of our solar system, the transcendent regulator of all terrestrial aeons.

Both the Egyptian and Greek names for the star, Sopdet and Sothis, are not well disposed for application in ritual sonics. The Aramaic word, Avrek, or Aurek, suits our purpose well. AVRK has the Qabalistic number 227, and means, ‘Sirius’, ‘shining, flowing’. This noun has the same root as the Nile of Egypt, IAVR, 217, ‘river; light, flowing in a stream’. This identifies the word vibration IAO with the outflow from Ain Soph. Thus IAO typifies Da’ath as the portal for sonic utterance from the mouth of Ain (zero, sifre). IAVR is the light-radiation consciousness current itself. The river Nile and Sirius, the star of Isis, are so closely linked as to mean the same thing. If we add the holy ‘IA’ to AShRH, the divine name in Kether of Atziluth, we have IA-AShRH, 517, the light flowing consciousness current of supreme Nuit.

AVRK, 227, is a metathesis of ARVK, 227, ‘lofty, noble, tall or giant’, the name given in the book of Genesis for the Nephalim or antediluvian elder race that preceded that of humanity. The number 227 is also that of ZKR, given as ‘phallus, remember, to be named or mentioned’. The phallus here means image, or the projection of the light of AUR. The word is identical to the name of the Egyptian hawk-headed Lord of Death and Resurrection, Sokar. At Sokaris, or Saqqara to use its modern name, is a vast Necropolis. The region, west of the modern city of Cairo, holds many secrets. It is here that the labyrinth beneath the so-called Serapeum was constructed aeons ago, and by precise alignments, highly polished vessels made from one piece of solid granite hermetically sealed and placed.

The remembering is the memory of ‘the elders’, ZQNIKM, also equal to 227, as is IAIRI, ‘they shall give light’. AVRK, the star of Egypt, may also be spelled ABRQ, 303. ABRQRBA may therefore be considered as the pure form of the corruption given in the Key of Solomon and other grimoires as ‘Abracadabra’. Aleister Crowley rendered it as the elevenfold ABRAHADABRA, equal to 418. He explained this in monotheist terms, as ‘Father-Sun-Hadit’.

ABRQRBA Star of Egypt SquareThe sevenfold spell of ABRQRBA, on the other hand, is a palindrome equal to 506. The number 506 is a number of Nuit as conveyed by the riddle of Liber AL, I: 46–47, and of Asherah (AShRH), ‘the woman’ and original bearer of the Tree of Eternity or Life. Her sacred grove is the supernal Garden of Eden that is the image of the terrestrial sphere as created in the minds of the elder race.[3] By Greek values, ΑΒΡΧ is equal to 703, the word of a Magus that opens the door of Mystery. The palindrome then equals 806, ‘Divine Sophia (Wisdom)’ and ThVTH or Tahuti, the Lord of Utterance.[4]


Notes

1. According to the wisdom of Aiwass, the (Egyptian) Book of the Law, I: 8, “The Khabs is in the Khu, not the Khu in the Khabs”.

2. This paragraph is fully explained in the book, Babalon Unveiled! Thelemic Monographs.

3. The section on ABRQRBA is also explained more fully in Babalon Unveiled [ibid].

4. A great deal more can be gleaned by studying the values given for the number 703 and 806 in The Flaming Sword Sepher Sephiroth [Ordo Astri].

© Oliver St. John 2018, 2019

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When is the Solstice?

Some were confused this year by a science news bulletin informing them that the latest sunrise would not occur until January. In fact the astronomical solstice took place as usual, on the 21st December. A variance in methods of measuring by clock and solar time means that the earliest sunset occurs a few days before the solstice while the latest sunrise comes a few days after.

Solstice: Urizen measuring the universe, William Blake (Europe: A Prophecy)In the northern hemisphere, the 21st December was still the shortest day in terms of daylight hours. However, the widely broadcast news report led many persons to think the winter solstice would not take place until some time in January.

The precise point of solstice is measured according to the angle of the sun’s declination. When the sun reaches its lowest angle of declination relative to the earth, we experience the longest night and shortest day. In summer, this is reversed as the sun reaches its zenith. At the equinoxes, days and nights are equal in length—for the poles of the earth are tilted in relation to earth’s orbit around the sun. Near the solstices, the length of time each day between sunrise and sunset is fractional. It is a matter of seconds at best.

We generally mark the solstices and equinoxes of the year according to the circle of the ecliptic. When the sun enters zero degrees of Capricorn, around the 21st December each year, it marks the winter solstice festivity for those of us dwelling in the northern hemisphere of the globe. For those situated in the southern hemisphere, the same date marks the summer solstice. The 360-degree circle of the ecliptic is formed by the apparent course of the sun, moon and planets, as relative to earth. We divide the ecliptic into 12 equal sections or ‘signs’. This we call the Zodiac; each 30-degree sign is represented by a very ancient glyph, for example, Capricorn the sea-goat.

Man is a measurer, and there are countless ways in which things can be measured. All measurement is arbitrary. The division of the circle into 360 degrees serves a practical purpose; it is not a declaration of any absolute in itself. Neither science nor any spiritual philosophy was intended to produce absolute truth.

The Solstice and Science Technocracy

For many of us, the technocratic industrial calendar is not in any way meaningful. We therefore look to a reliable mark for our communion with nature, spirit, mind and soul. We do not worship at the altar of the sun and the moon any more than we would wish to worship at the altar of profane science. Visible nature is nonetheless the only miracle required should we seek for a demonstration of eternal beauty and truth. Our scale is necessarily a human one, not a mechanical one. We do not search for meaning in arc minutes, yet we may make a meaningful observation of nature’s course, seeing there many wonders to behold in her form and geometry.

The music of Mozart is precise in itself; the scores can be ‘played’ automatically, by a machine. Yet when a machine plays Mozart, it is no longer music and it is no longer wonderful. It is perhaps a miracle in itself that it requires an imprecise human being to produce the music of Mozart. For this reason, music lovers down the centuries have thought that God must have moved the hand of Mozart, for they have experienced something therein that will not be explained otherwise. This same ineffable presence moves behind all of visible nature and is closer to us than our own heartbeat.


Notes

© Oliver St. John 2017, 2019

Related Articles:
Enigmatic Magick of Set and Thelema.
Capricorn: Egyptian Tarot of Thelema Set XV

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