Tantra-yoga and the Dweller on the Threshold

Yoga means ‘union’ (wth God). Ritual magick is ‘yoga in action’, when correctly practiced and understood. Various forms of yoga are used throughout the grades of initiation. Yoga is frequently misunderstood and thought to be merely a recreational method of relaxation to assist dealing with the stresses and strains of the modern world. Those who begin a practice of yoga in the real sense of the word, and that persist in the practice, are therefore sometimes caught unawares by the changes in consciousness that take place.

While it is true that aspirants are tested by what is poetically termed the Lord of Initiation, Probationers do not swear any oath or obligation that would incur a trial by fire. Nonetheless, as soon as a foot is placed on the path, the Dweller on the Threshold will appear.

Yoga and Dweller on Threshold: Set as Black AssThe shape or form of this Devil is unique to each individual since it is a phantom produced by the person’s karma.[1] This comes about with the first stirring of the Occult Force, and deters many from continuing the work they began with such enthusiasm. Whether initiation is even possible or not is largely determined by the way the person responds to the Dweller on the Threshold. There will be help if that help is recognised for what it is. There will most certainly be hindrance, obstruction and even seduction—the powerfully compelling voices that urge us to give this up as it will do us no good, that we have made the wrong choice or that there is something else more ‘personally’ suitable further on down the road. Indeed, many persons now approach this with a kind of reversed attitude, based on modern consumerism and materialism. They look for a spiritual path that suits them instead of looking into their selves to discover whether or not they are suitable for the spiritual path.

Yoga and Inner Conviction

The Dweller on the Threshold may take the form of some perceived or genuine misfortune, or a general sense of unease or misgiving. It may take the form of a migraine, one of those ‘flu viruses that is hard to shake off, the incessant demands of a spouse, a difficult child, a manipulative mother, a bullying father or boss at work. Money can be a considerable ‘Dweller’—whether there is too little, or too much of it. An outbreak of supernatural phenomena quite often occurs with those that have awakening psychic sensitivity—the ‘things that go bump in the night’. Unless the person can overcome the opposition arising from their self and their environment, there will be no chance of initiation ever taking place. The Initiates are those who persist, that possess the will and resolve to keep on. There must be also be certain qualities latent in the individual that are not by any means common to all. In fact, those that have these qualities are now quite rare. It is written, “many are called but few are chosen”.[2] It is not enough merely to be enthusiastic at the outset; there must be inner conviction, which arises from innate knowledge.

It should be clearly undertood that none of these ‘trials’ have anything to do with initiation as such. They are in the nature of perfectly ordinary phenomena.

Hermetic Tantra-yoga

0. Preparations

Perform the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram (invoking).

Assume the seated Egyptian Godform asana. We do not sit cross-legged on the floor. Meditation is done seated, similar to the way Egyptian gods are depicted when enthroned. Your back and spine are kept straight but not tense. Your feet are kept flat on the floor; your knees and hips should be straight but comfortably aligned. Your head should be facing forward, looking straight ahead, even if your eyes are closed. The art is to keep perfectly still while remaining calm and relaxed.

Relax the mind and body with pranayama. This does not include counting of breath or breathing with one nostril. It is helpful, though not essential at the outset, to keep the tip of your tongue pressed lightly against the roof of your mouth. Simply breathe deeply and slowly, in through the nostrils and out through the mouth. The idea is to maintain deep, relaxed breathing throughout the meditation. The rhythm of the breathing should be something like the slow rising and falling of the tides of the sea.

Clear your mind of all thoughts and sensations (Ain Soph Aur).

1. Picture Kether as an ultraviolet sphere (or star) vertically above you. Sound the name Asherah, using the vibratory technique and see Kether pulsating with the invocation.

2. The light of Kether descends and Daath is formed. Picture Daath as a silvery or violet sphere emanating from the centre of your head. Vibrate the name IAO Elohim, and see Daath pulsating with energy.

3. The light is brought down and Tiphereth is formed. Picture Tiphereth as a golden sphere of light emanating from the centre of your body. Vibrate the name IAO Eloah ve-Daath, and see Tiphereth coruscating with light.

4. The light is brought down until Yesod is formed. Picture Yesod as a violet sphere of light emanating from the base of your spine. Vibrate the name Shaddai El Chai, and see Yesod pulsating with energy.

5. The light is brought down until Malkuth is formed. Picture Malkuth as a shining black sphere vertically below. Vibrate the name Adonai, and see Malkuth becoming magnetically charged. A scarlet or infrared flame blossoms there like a fragrant rose, filling the space.

6. Return attention to the silvery or violet sphere of Daath. Vibrate the name IAO Elohim.

7. Endeavour to see the five sephiroth pulsating with light and colour in the vertical column. Continue the relaxed breathing and circulate light in your astrosome. With the in-breath, the infrared magnetic fire is drawn vertically upwards from Malkuth and along the middle pillar until it reaches Kether. On the out-breath, blue-white or ultraviolet light pours down like a fountain around the outside of your body. Repeat this perhaps nine or ten times. Circulate the magnetic force in this way, in a continuous cycle, until the five chakras glow brightly and you are surrounded by a brilliant violet egg or cocoon.

Tantra-yoga: Commentary

The vibratory technique: Take in a full breath through both nostrils. As the air is fully expelled the name or word is loudly and forcefully vibrated so as to physically resonate. It is not shouted, and should be sonorous. The vowels are greatly extended. For example, ‘IAO’ is sounded until the breath is exhausted, ‘ee-aah-ooh!’ If it is not possible to vibrate the words loudly and physically then a technique called the Great Voice is used. Imagine that the name or word roars forth to infinity while feeling it strongly resonating within.

After the preparations, we sound or vibrate the name of Kether of Atziluth, AShRH (Asherah). Asherah is a name of the primal Creatrix, Qabalistically identical to Nuit.

We proceed to Daath. Daath is not imagined as located ‘in the throat’. Its light is pictured as emanating, radiating outwardly, from the centre of the brain between the two hemispheres. The ‘barbarous name’ for vibration is IAO ALHIM (Iao Elohim).

IAO is not a ‘secret pronunciation of Tetragrammaton’, as was supposed by the nineteenth century European philosophers. The great name IAO is a Trigrammaton. Its ancient Egyptian origin vastly predates biblical and Gnostic scriptures. Some of the meanings of IAO are given here.

The Primordial; a vessel; here—to be present; cry of exaltation; to journey forth; the abode; the house or dwelling; the all-begetter; the hair (of Nuit); door or door-leaf; the lid of a sarcophagus.

IAO is the generative principle or Neter. It is the primal sound or utterance of all phallic Gods, whether these are male or female in outward form. Tumescence occurs in both male and female when dreaming at night. Phallus, from Greek, phallos, originally had the special meaning of ‘image’. It is the image-making creative principle—that which William Blake termed Imagination, and used as a name for Christ or Logos.

With Daath formulated, we invoke Tiphereth as the Sun in the centre of all, with the conjunction of names IAO ALVH V-DOTh (Iao Eloah ve-Daath). Tiphereth is the child of Chokmah and Binah sent forth in time and space, and is the God of Knowledge and the Garden of Eden.

With Tiphereth formulated we conjure forth Yesod, the basal chakra (base of the spine), with the traditional ShDI AL ChI (Shaddai El Chai), ‘Holy Spirit of Life-Energy-Presence’.

Next, we sound ADNI (Adonai), the Lord of the Shrine at the centre of the Earth, Malkuth the ‘Kingdom’. Adonai, or Adon (ADVN) is the polar twin of the woman of heaven, AShRH.

We return awareness to Daath, the ‘control centre’ of the Tree, and vibrate IAO ALHIM (Iao Elohim).

The ascending magnetic force, drawn up through the chakras from Malkuth to Kether, is conceived as glowing infrared light. The descending dew or light from Nuit is conceived as radiant ultraviolet, as declared in Liber AL, I: 51:

Purple beyond purple: it is the light higher than eyesight.


1. The Sanskrit word karma means “action”. It generally refers to the phenomenon of cause and effect that appears to govern the machinations of the material universe.
2. Matthew, 22: 14.
The illustration is Set in the form of the Black Ass of internal conflict (Papyrus, Egyptian Museum, Cairo).

© Oliver St. John 2013, 2021

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