Hermetic Qabalah Foundation

This article is to provide some background and the historical basis to our course, Hermetic Qabalah Foundation. It also provides some useful guidelines to how the course is worked.

Crowley once remarked of Thelema that ‘do what thou wilt’ was to bid stars to shine, vines to bear fruit, water to seek its own level, etc. … we are all expressions of the 93 Current, with our parts to play, and in this play, the Current is expressing itself through us. Thus there is no need to look upon the work of Crowley, or Grant, or Spare as being a fixed body of work before which we can only, awestruck, bend the knee; rather, we should use it as one source amongst several from which we can develop our own body of work.

Michael Staley, Starfire Volume II No. 3

There is a Thelema beyond Aleister Crowley, whose magical system was put together between 1909 and 1947. Working through a correspondence course to achieve magical initiation nonetheless seems to have originated with Crowley, though he is rarely given credit for it. In the old style Golden Dawn Lodges, where initiation was supposed to be achieved with group ceremonies, few persons did any personal work. There was little or no supervision unless they were fortunate to know the right people. Crowley was taught by Allen Bennett, but that was a rare case. There was a tendency therefore for quite a lot of people to get into relatively high grades without gaining real knowledge. They attended meetings and paid their dues.

The correspondence method, introduced by Crowley and continued for a short time by Kenneth Grant, is necessarily didactic. Initiation is then about personal work done and the discipline of the magical diary Record. Dion Fortune further developed the correspondence course method in her Fraternity of Inner Light, and it came to us through that route. It was a former student of Dion Fortune that first put it to us that we might continue the tradition. We are now in the 4th generation and everyone has added and contributed along the way.

Hermetic Qabalah Foundation

Hermetic Qabalah Foundation: Lightning Flash

The Hermetic Qabalah Foundation is unique and original to the O∴ A∴ but the mode of working, where the Tree of Life is travelled from top to bottom instead of bottom to top, 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 W. E. Butler, working on commission.

Our course, 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 and is presented in Hermetic Qabalah Foundation—Complete Course. The letters received from the course guide on a monthly basis fill out the rest. That way, the instruction can be tailored to suit the individual.

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.

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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Magical Theurgy Hardbound Edition

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For any kind of magick to be truly effective it must be worked from within—from the inside out. The beginner becomes accomplished at magical ritual when the inner working proceeds automatically from the outer or physical working. With the adept this situation is reversed so that the outer proceeds from the inner. Ritual magick and meditation, therefore, go hand in hand. The time spent in meditation and study is the ‘sacrifice’ that is required in the search for the immortal Stone of the Wise. It is a sacrifice of time and effort. The most effective forms of Ritual Magick combine meditation, the inner work, with action—which is the use of the body as a hieroglyph so the body reflects what is being willed, desired and imagined. There are, broadly speaking, three kinds of magical ritual in the Hermetic tradition:

1. Dramatic Ritual is where a Mystery Play is enacted. A Dramatic Ritual is the exoteric or outer level of magical ritual, accessible to all through its powerful emotional impact. Unlike other forms of magical ritual that require silent concentration, Dramatic Ritual may utilise music and dance. There is a technical side to theatre in the way of costumes, sets and lighting. The success of Dramatic Ritual frequently depends on the skill of the actors involved and the level of their knowledge. The difficulty is that it requires good actors who are also trained occultists.

2. Ceremonial Magick involves the use of furniture such as an altar, a painted circle and triangle, and magical weapons such as the wand, cup, sword and disk. The best-known type of Ceremonial Magick is evocation, where a spirit is called before the magician and a dialogue takes place—traditionally, at the point of the sword. Ceremonial Magick may also refer to group rituals where the practitioners assume the roles of various gods or deities at different stages of the ritual.

3. Ritual Magick is sometimes no different than Ceremonial Magick, but it must be worked from within, with or without robes, altars, lamps, wands and swords, whether real or imaginary. No kind of ritual magick is effective unless it is worked on the inner planes. There are some kinds of magical operation where it is particularly desirable to work the physical and astral planes simultaneously, so the one reflects the other.


© Oliver St. John 2016

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The Law of Thelema—Quantum Yoga

Law of Thelema: Sol in 18 Capricorn Luna in 28 Sagittarius Anno Thelema V-1

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

We are magicians, not Advaitan; we are alchemists, here to turn dross into gold. What better fulcrum than the atomic analogy can we use to lift souls out of the conceptual, atomic world itself?

The Law of Thelema—Quantum Yoga

Ordo Astri Books: The Law of Thelema – Quantum YogaThis new book publication is an ‘unofficial’ commentary on Liber AL vel Legis, the Egyptian Book of the Law. We do not appeal to the ‘writings of the Beast’ for interpretation of the Law of Thelema. Instead, we turn to the source of the transmission and examine Thelema in the light of the Hermetic tradition from which it emerged. The book, first published as The Ending of the Words—Magical Philosophy of Aleister Crowley (2007 e.v.), is in every way a received work, and needs to be treated as such by the reader. Fourteen years have passed since we completed the book’s first draft, and it is now time to disclose the Quantum Yoga treatise, or “Reification of Starlight”, that was not included in The Ending of the Words.

This work was tempered by correspondence with Kenneth Grant, who inspired the experimental magical operations that led to the book’s conception. The section entitled, Quantum Yoga, resulted from Grant’s suggestion that a commentary be written on his Liber 29 or Book of the Spider. With The Law of Thelema, we can now present “the secret teachings of the Typhonian Tradition, heretofore never revealed”. The text to The Ending of the Words has been updated to include the events of 2015 e.v. that fulfilled the prophecy encrypted in the third chapter of the Egyptian Book of the Law, Liber AL vel Legis.

Law of Thelema and the Atom

Using the atom as an analogy is an expedient means—a finger pointing at the moon. Everything in the book ultimately refers to Mind. The atom represents the root of mind formally manifesting the illusion of space-time. A Thelemic atom is an atom of consciousness, the smallest ‘unit’ thereof. Observing the atomic structure of matter is therefore a magical doorway, a mirror reflecting the secrets of the mind. The Adept of Thelema simply has to look at the atom’s structure and shed its material shell to understand himself—to understand his mind. The atomic body is thereby understood and realised as non-atomic—a realisation that the Egyptian Book of the Law calls the “Reward of Ra-Hoor Khut”:

Abrahadabra; the reward of Ra Hoor Khut.
Liber AL vel Legis, III: 1

The reader is left to play and ponder on the analogy. The Law of Thelema is one body of work; although we may be inclined to like or dislike various parts of it, it is a received totality that cannot be cut through or dismembered. Over time our understanding changes, and perhaps we develop better means for expressing the knowledge that has been passed on to us for the benefit of others. This is a natural occurrence.

The book emphasises the polymorphic, time-bound nature of form. Today, in our world system, atomic theory is a global collective delusion of the highest qliphothic order. Hence, it is a tantrik and magical means of the highest order also. We are magicians, not Advaitan; we are alchemists, here to turn dross into gold. What better fulcrum than the atomic analogy can we use to lift souls out of the conceptual, atomic world itself? Like cures like. The atomic analogy can help souls see through the atom and take the leap from matter to Mind by understanding clearly the Hermetic axiom, As Above, So Below. Void is everywhere, nothing but Mind—but Mind is spontaneously present as Form. Thus there is no seeking, everything is already there. The fact that ultimately nothing at all has any reality has sufficiently been established by countless schools. And yet, there is Magick and there is Love and there is Will! Yes, all things are empty, void, mere mental shells; but the Void creates. All it takes to emerge from the Great Darkness is to truly see that the shells are in themselves Words of Truth. That, no doubt, is very hard for reason to accept. Reason happily swaps one concept for another; reason will pretend to have passed beyond the concept of causality, while clinging to nihilism!

In conclusion, let us be sure that the meaning of our book is clear and unambiguous. The atom we speak of is non-objective—wholly beyond dualities such as existence and non-existence, delusion and enlightenment.

Love is the law, love under will.


© Oliver St. John 2015

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