The Mysterium is the symbol of Esoteric Thelema. It is both symbol and mandala. When gazed at steadily, the facets emerge in three dimensions.
For use in practical magick, it is better to picture the symbol without the lightning flash. Focus steady attention on the pupil of the eye between the two ankhs. The ‘lightning flash’ is then the operative ingenium.
The Mysterium is a stylised vesica piscis, which is a type of lens formed by two equilateral triangles placed in the intersection of two congruent disks, each centred on the perimeter of the other. The ratio of the height of a perfect Euclidian vesica piscis to the width across its centre is the square root of 3.
The Mysterium is also the plummet for the scales of Ma’at. Similar devices are used in masonry for finding the ‘true’. The ancient Egyptians were innovative in the development of weighing technology.
One did not need to look at the plummet, suspended below the beam, only touch it with one hand while watching the weights. If the weight is uneven the beam touches the beam-ring and one can feel that in the plummet.
Some of the oldest plummets were egg-shaped with a groove cut around to hold the line.
The hieroglyphic name of the Egyptian plummet is given as djet, or det, but is closer in sound to techa (Aramaic tav-cheth). It sounds similar to the name of the Ibis god of the word, Tahuti (djehuti). It looks and sounds quite similar to the Djed (pillar) but is more like a heart vessel in shape. The shape of the Mysterium, like a faceted jewel, was used extensively. There are hundred of varieties in the Cairo museum and elsewhere.
Mysterium: Symbol of Esoteric Thelema
The Mysterium depicts the tetrahedronal pyramid of the worlds beyond the Abyss guarded and occupied by the upright Ankh of Nuit-Isis or Key of Life. The oracular word of Babalon issues forth from the veil of the threshold to the 19th path of the Lion of Truth, the Occult Intelligence. The lightning flash glance from the Eye of Set casts a shadow to the worlds below, veiling them in flesh.
The Adept is shown pendent from the void place of spirit, mystically illuminated by the lightning flash. The heart of the Adept may now be weighed against the feather of Ma’at, for the techa or measure of Ma’at is the gravity and perfection of Truth, Love and Wisdom. When Adepts have reversed their worldly viewpoints, that same weight arises in them as the rainbow serpent, piercing perception until they are bathed in the starry dew of Nuit’s light. As recounted in the Song of the Stele, Liber AL, III: 37,
Open the ways of the Khu! Lighten the ways of the Ka! The ways of the Khabs run through to stir me or still me! Aum! Let it fill me!
The whole figure is that of the cathode ark or vessel of the Ancient Ones, which reflects the Cosmic Idea conveyed through the 93 Current of Love under will.
Mysterium is Latin derived from Greek, Μυστηριον, which indicates a place of learning the mysteries, mystery school or esoteric fraternity. It can also describe a particular way, path or practice. The general meaning is of ‘sacred and secret things’. It has the special alchemical meaning of ‘substance’, which is not a substance in the ordinary sense of the word.
The number of Mysterium (by Greek) is 1,178. When divided by its factor, 62, the result is 19, the path of the Woman and Beast, or Eve and the Serpent. This can be expressed,
By magick of the Lion-serpent, Babalon comes forth to reveal the Mysteries.
The number 1,178 concentrates to 17, the number of the Star of Nuit and of the path of Zain.
The noun is derived from mysteria, 1,059, ‘sacred mysteries’. It is therefore equal to the Greek pleroma or ‘fullness’, a name for that which the Egyptians termed as the Khu or body of Nuit. As megas parakletos, ‘great comforter’, it is a term for the Holy Guardian Angel. The number 1,059 is also that of o megas kyklos, the ‘Great Circle’, the ‘Mighty Eye’.
When 1,059 is divided by its factor of 3, the result is 353, the elevenfold knocks or knells used in the rituals of Nuit-Babalon: 3–5–3. The number 353 is that of ‘Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh’, corresponding to Tiphereth, Chokmah and Binah, expressive of ‘Love, Truth and Wisdom’. The three sephiroth added together result in 11, the number of magick. ShMChH, 353, ‘delight, joy’ is the eternal ecstasy of Nuit’s starry company of heaven, while Hermes, also 353, is the God of Magick.
As 11 and 78, the Mysterium is the symbol of those who follow Nuit in the star-lit heaven, and of Aiwass the minister of Hoor-paar-kraat. Multiplying 11 x 78 results in 858, ‘In the image of the Elohim they created them’ (Genesis, 1: 27). The number 858 is also that of NShMTh ChIIM, the ‘breath of life’, NThBVTh, ‘paths, ways or tracks’, and of muesis, ‘initiation’. The Olympian Planetary Spirit of Saturn, Arathron, also has the number 858. By the addition of ‘one to follow (the star)’, 859 is equal to Aster Argos, the Order of the Silver Star.
1. The highly contrasted areas produce the ‘centre-surround antagonism’ effect often used in ‘Op Art’.
2. The hieroglyph is catalogued U41.
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