Hermetic Qabalah Foundation

This article is about the Hermetic Qabalah Foundation course. The  course is presented in the book, Hermetic Qabalah Foundation—Complete Course. Those wishing to begin a Probationership with the O∴ A∴ may work the Foundation as a preliminary course of study and practice.

Hermetic Qabalah Foundation: Tree of LifeThe Hermetic Qabalah Foundation is the best place to begin for those who desire a thorough grounding in magick. Here is the Qabalah in theory and practice. The mode of practical work in the Hermetic Qabalah Foundation course is to travel the Tree of Life from top to bottom instead of bottom to top. The method was first developed by the Helios Group in England in the late 1950s. The Helios Group was a project that was developed in association with the Fraternity of Inner Light. The author and Qabalist Gareth Knight (Basil Wilby) had much to do with what was then called the Helios Course in practical Qabalah, in consultation with Israel Regardie. The bulk of that course, fifty lessons and fifty months of study and work, was penned by WE Butler, working on commission.

The modern Hermetic Qabalah Foundation bears little comparison with the Helios course; there is no Arthurian symbolism, no Graal castle and, with all due respect to our mentors, ‘Thelema’ is not a word used to clear the room after a party. The course takes one year to complete.

There is in reality no such thing as a beginner’s course in magick. The ancient Egyptians did not have one set of hieroglyphs for novices and another set for priest-kings; they are all the same hieroglyphs. The Hermetic Qabalah Foundation was written and structured in such a way as to teach the novice how to make their way through the labyrinth of symbolism that pervades the subject. The course also serves the purpose of enabling the student that is properly prepared a chance to forge the necessary inner-plane contacts. If a master of magick were to work their way through the same course, they would not be wasting one minute of their time, for they would work it to their own level of ability and knowledge.

Hermetic Qabalah Foundation: Holy Guardian Angel

The primary objective of the Great Work is the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. In many ways the Angel can be regarded as a divine lover, for the Knowledge and Conversation is the most complete form of consummation within human experience. Qabalistically, union between the ego and the non-ego takes place in Tiphereth, the heart and centre of the Tree of Life. This then becomes the seat of the True Will or True Self. In the normal state of affairs Tiphereth is merely the place of the lower ego, which has usurped the position of its true ruler, prince and king. The mundane chakra attributed to Tiphereth—its physical vehicle in the cosmos—is the Sun. The symbol used for this star is a circle with a point in the centre. The circle with a point in the centre is also the symbol of Kether concentrated from the Ain Soph Aur, the void from which emerges the point of consciousness. As Kether is in Malkuth and Malkuth is in Kether, the Vision of the Holy Guardian Angel is attributed to Malkuth on the Tree. The Holy Guardian Angel informs the person while they are incarnated in a body of flesh—the Great Work as understood by Hermeticists is not something that is postponed until an after-life.[1]


Notes

1. From Hermetic Qabalah Foundation—Complete Course, pp. 38.
© Oliver St. John, 2018

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Holy Guardian Angel: Phoenix Rising

The ‘Bornless Ritual’ for the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel is an ancient Coptic spell of exorcism retrieved from a fragment of papyrus. A translation of it was circulated among members of the historical Golden Dawn.

Egyptian Goddess NeithVarious attempts have been made since then to create from it a ritual for the invocation of the Holy Guardian Angel. Liber 717 Zain owes a good deal to those who have worked on the ritual since the dissolution of the 1888 Golden Dawn. Our further modifications are mostly to preserve continuity with our ritual schema.

Liber Zain requires careful preparations. A period of six months, between the equinoxes or solstices of the year, is deemed a reasonable time limit for the operation. One must be able to perform the ritual alone and undisturbed. The ritual and yoga is done on a strict daily basis along with other observances or ‘catch exercises’. One must be continually aware of the Great Work.

Some of the difficulties of this working are technical. The ritual demands a deal of expertise on the part of the practitioner. It is often supposed that one must only perform a ritual. In fact, the ritual is a preparation for intense yoga meditation. Even the ritual itself is yoga, when we know how to do ritual properly.

Some confusion has arisen from the literary legacy surrounding the working. It has been identified with the procedure described in The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage.[1] The Abramelin Operation is rooted in the Jewish mystical and religious tradition. It is written in the language of a 15th century patriarch with all the cultural, religious and other taboos that one might expect. The only thing the Bornless Ritual has in common with the Abramelin Operation is the use of the term, ‘Holy Guardian Angel’.

The Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel has its Qabalistic basis in Tiphereth of Yetzirah. By reflex, the eidolen of the Messenger informs the heart and mind of the practitioner in Tiphereth of Assiah. This should have been set in motion by the Neophyte admission ritual of the Phoenix. The Vision of the Holy Guardian Angel is therefore ascribed to Malkuth. The experience, though mystical at the heart, is nonetheless tangible to the material body and senses. Malkuth is Kether, but after another fashion.

Holy Guardian Angel: The Phoenix

Liber 930, otherwise known as the Phoenix, is the rite of admission to Neophyte, the first degree of the Order. The first degree is sometimes called the ‘Grade of Earth’ because it corresponds to Malkuth, the Kingdom. The ritual has its basis in the Golden Dawn Neophyte ceremony. Within it are the keys to forging the necessary inner plane contacts of a Thelemic magical Order.

Holy Guardian Angel: Phoenix and other Stellar Rites of InitiationThe key initiations are those that ascend the middle pillar of the Tree of Life. We therefore include with this book the admission to the grade of Zelator, The Ceremony for making the Khu perfect. The Adeptus Minor does not truly enter the Second Order until the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel is experienced. We therefore present here Liber 717 Zain, our modern version of the Bornless Ritual. The three rituals of initiation given here each come with full commentaries. The ‘flashing colours’ are particular to the Magick of Light and have a special rôle in theurgical rites. This book is therefore printed on photographic paper and includes 35 luxurious full colour diagrams and graphic illustrations.

The Neophyte experiences the Magick of Light in the entry ritual called Phoenix. The Magick of Light is expressive of universal natural principles. It is the basis for the consecration of talismans, invocation and evocation. The Golden Dawn General Exordium declares the method by which the Occult Force is transmitted. This is comparable to electricity or an electromagnetic current. At other times it is described as a ‘fluid’, Azoth. The aspirant to the first degree is exhorted to ‘Quit the Night and Seek the Day’. The darkness of the outer world must be eschewed ere we enter the company of heaven. To seek the spiritual, we must turn our back on material things. Here then is the universal theurgic schema, adapted for the use of the Neophyte.


Notes

View or order The Phoenix and other Stellar Rites of Initiation.

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