Divine Memory

To forget is to dismiss the things which do not interest us to the darkness of latent memory; and to recall things is to call anew to active ego consciousness – because t hey interest us – from the same darkness of latent memory. It goes without saying that it is not the images and concepts which come to birth when we recall them, or perish when we forget them; rather, they are present in our mind or are removed from it.

to be endowed with good ‘concentration’, therefore amounts tot he faculty of chasing away swiftly and completely all images and concepts which are not useful for action. It is mastery of the art of forgetting.

To be endowed with ‘good memory’, in contrast, signifies mastery of the mechanism of recall – of that which renders present the images and concepts which one needs. It is mastery of the art of recalling.

There is therefore a continual coming and going between ordinary consciousness of the waking state (or cerebral consciousness) and the domain of memory. Each ‘going’ corresponds to the action of falling asleep or dying. Each ‘coming’ corresponds to awakening or resurrection. Every representation that goes from the field of cerebral consciousness experiences an analogous fate to that stated by the saying: “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep…Lazarus is dead.” And every representation that one recalls has a fate analogous to that which took place when Jesus cried with a loud voice: “Lazarus, come out!

Memory therefore supplies us with a key of analogy which allows intelligence not to remain simply taken aback in the face of the problem of resurrection. It renders it intelligible. Indeed, the analogy between the ‘loud voice’ which called Lazarus to life and the inner effort which evokes a memory reveals, mutatis mutandis, the essence of the magic of Jesus’ ‘loud voice’ and of the ‘sound of the trumpet’ of the Angel of the resurrection – as the following shows.

Experience teaches us that we easily forget, and recall with difficulty, the things to which we attach no value – that we do not love. One forgets what one does not love and one never forgets what one loves. It is love which gives us the power to recall at any desired moment the things that our hearts preserve ‘warm’. Indifference, in contrast, makes one forget everything.

It is the same with the ‘awaking and resurrection of the dead’. Here it is not cosmic indifference (what we call ‘matter’) which will effect anything, but rather it is cosmic love (what we call ‘spirit’)which will accomplish the magical act of resurrection, ie, the reintegration of an inseparable unity – the unity of the spirit, soul and body – not by way of birth (reincarnation) but by way of the magical act of divine memory. What can one say about divine memory?

Meditations on the Tarot, Letter XX, The Judgement

 

The role of sacred magic in the world

The throne on which the Empress is seated represents, as we have said, the role of sacred magic in the world. It is its place in the world and in the history of the world; it is, lastly, its basis. In other words, it is that which attends it, desires it and is always ready to receive it. What is this?

In view of the liberating function of sacred magic, it is all that which is deprived of liberty and is bound by necessity. Concerning this, St Paul says:

For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of him who subjected it to hope; because the creation itself will be set free fro its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. (Romans viii, 19-23)

It is therefore the mineral, plant animal and human realms of Nature – in a word, Nature it its entirety – which constitutes the domain of sacred magic. The reason for the existence of sacred magic stems from the Fall and the whole domain of the Fall – comprising fallen Nature, fallen man and the fallen hierarchies. These are the beings belonging to it who hope ‘with eager longing’ to be ‘set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God.’

How does sacred magic operate towards this end? How, for example, does it deliver man?

The throne of the Empress has a back. It strongly resembles two wings, so that certain interpreters of the Tarot have seen the Empress as being winged. Others, however, see only a back. In view of the context of the card, the meaning of the coat-of-arms bearing the eagle, the sceptre surmounted by the cross, and the two-layered crown, could one not see the back here in the form of two petrified and immobilised wings, but which had once been genuine wings and which are again potentially so?

If this interpretation is accepted, not only would it reconcile the two apparently opposing points of view but also it would agree with all that the card teaches about the sphere, the aim, the power and the legitimacy of sacred magic. To give movement to the petrified wings…would this not be in accord with the liberating mission of sacred magic and with the words of St Paul?

Meditations on the Tarot, Letter III, The Empress

 

 

Liberating Action

I am an anonymous author and I remain so in order to be able to be more frank and sincere than is ordinarily permitted to an author.

The aim of sacred magic, as we have said, is represented by the shield that the Empress holds in place of the book which the High Priestess holds. Sacred gnosis has as its aim the communicable expression (or ‘book’) of mystical revelation, whilst the aim of sacred magic is liberating action, ie, the restoration of freedom to beings who have partially or totally lost it.

The eagle in flight depicted on the shield signifies this emblem of sacred magic, which could thus be formulated: ‘Give freedom to he who is enslaved’. And this includes all the works mentioned by Luke:

Jesus cured many of diseases and plaagues and evil spirits, and on many that were blind he bestowed sight. And he answered the: Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them. (Luke vii, 21-22).

This is the aim of sacred magic; it is nothing other than to give freedom to see, to hear, to walk, to live, to follow an ideal and to be truly oneself – ie, to give sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, the ability to walk to the lame, life to the dead, good news or ideals to the poor and free will to those who are possessed by evil spirits. It never encroaches upon freedom, the restoration of which is its unique aim.

It is  more than pure and simple healing which is the object of sacred magic; it is the restoration of freedom, including here freeing from the imprisonment of doubt, fear, hate, apathy and despair.

Meditations on the Tarot, Letter III, The Empress

Pros Theon

If one goes deep enough in atomic physics one ends with a situation of pure chance (John Fowles, The Magus)

The Master sighed, deep in thought, and approached an overloaded bookcase standing against the Eastern wall of Mysteries’ upper room, near to the point where horoscopes were cast.

Dazzling sunlight rendered a large cross-section of the case invisible with its blinding rays, while the lower parts were swathed in darkness, forming a vivid chiaroscuro on the rich mahogany canvas.

The lovingly burnished bookcase was home to a myriad esoteric masterworks and timeless classics.  Ancient volumes interspersed with lavishly illustrated fairy tales and poetry written in the green language were stacked two-deep in places, upside-down in others.

It would not be a simple matter to extract from all of this the book that the Master had in Mind. Indeed, at that moment in time it would be impossible.

Scanning the shelves intently, following the words on each well-worn spine with a neatly-nailed forefinger, all but that which the Master sought was readily apparent, the longed-for item merely absent.

The shadow of a home-spun dream catcher – hypnotically swaying above the open window – crept inexorably along the ceiling like a spider’s web as minutes passed by into an hour of fruitless seeking. Church bells began ringing in the middle distance, herald of both an end and a beginning with their call to evensong.

Tension mounted in the upstairs of Mysteries with disturbing alacrity, causing a very mild sweat to break out on the Master’s furrowing brow. Thoughts from what was by any standards a wide-open brow chakra permeated the charged atmosphere with a note of concern.

Where on Earth IS the magic book?

No immediate answer to this question was forthcoming but the brain-racked Master ploughed on undeterred.

Didn’t I see it just after Halle Bop showed up in ’96 and the moon was side by side with Jupiter? 

Or perhaps it had been Venus….

Again there was no answer, but the Master now felt sure this was when the rare and ancient copy of ‘Pros Theon’, which translated into English as ‘By the Gods’, had last been consulted.

Twelve years…. an entire Jupiter-return ago! But where is it now, for heaven’s sake?

Who could say?

 

Bride of Adonis

Put now your ear to the seashell of memory,
Walk through the glistening rainbow of promise,
Sun on the ocean makes ripples of magic,
Star of the sea and pure bride of Adonis.

Then will the sea-priestess, white in the starlight,
Raise up her arms at the moon gliding by,
Sing the enchantment that harnessed the ocean,
Dance in the circles that meted out night.

Sea nymphs are whispering ‘Shayla remember…
Mesmerised mermaids and undines glide
Deep in the moonlight of hypnotised sailors;
Drawn by the current that governs all tides.

Whispering ‘Shayla, return to your kingdom,
Sister and daughter, rejoice with your kind…’
Shimmering crystal, the doors of the palace
lay on the seabed, beguiling still waters.

She who sells sea shells upon the sea shore,
Walked through the turquoise and paused at the entrance
Looked through the shimmering aqua at kinsmen,
Heard that the voices were soft but relentless.

Soft as the breeze on the salt of the ocean,
Gentle as rustles the wind through the trees,
Whispering over and over her secret,
Meaning; she hailed from the palace of dreams

Stopped at the threshold the fairytale maiden,
Thought of a promise once made in the spring,
Called to remembrance the angel who loved her,
Said: I relinquish the realm of the sea.

Go, little mermaid, they turned away weeping,
As she, the self, was set free and made mortal.
As you lie dreaming of rainbows in summer,
Seeking the memory, then think of this portal.

Sister, oh sister, how sorry we are now
So went the whispers, the shadows of light.
From the unconsciousness reason found mercy;
Words without doubt put magicians to flight.

Three that give birth from the fiery water
Seven the spheres and reflective of heaven,
Twelve that encircle and bring to completion,
Doubles in number of holy eleven.

Queen of the silver beam, king of all, golden,
Red the blood flowing through milky-white rivers
Bring generation to life in your nature,
Die by the heat but in hope be uprisen.

Light came aurora and pinker than sapphire,
Orange as anything orange is yellow,
Redder than berries of green in the meadow,
Bluer than dawn is, an indigo fire.

Promises, promises, rainbows and birdsong,
Speak of the vow that just cannot be broken
Time has no meaning and space is illusion,
Born is Creation, by God’s word is spoken.

Airs of a beautiful kind

I lifted up skyward the crown of the faeries,
Tarnished by oceans of sea-crossing time.
Forged in the fire of golden-days dawning,
Lit with a halo of stars in the night.

Who now shall wear it? I wondered in silence
Una is resting with Duessa at play.
Gwenevere wanders in halls of forgetting,
Deep in the summer of dreaming this day.

On her feet sandals of gold, steps the princess,
Floating on air through the green garden grass,
Walking alone by the castle of ether,
Seen but unseen by the world through a glass.

The seal of the nether-world opened up freely;
Through the dark tunnel with reason behind,
Following meekly the one with a mission;
Perfect in will and a reader of signs.

Once past the stream of the guardian lizards,
On through the gate to the bright other place,
Land of reflection and fathomless knowledge,
Home elemental of alchemic race.

Where do we go? I looked left and then eastward,
Somehow forboding the place that I saw.
Life’s university, building of sandstone
Burnished and gleaming, a prison by law.

Silent, but knowing, did reason stand sweetly
Holder of mysteries, the teacher and guide.
Younger and wiser and older all-seeing,
Dressed up in white and demure by my side.

Then came a voice – and as if out of nowhere –
Do you need help, you seem lost in this realm?
There stood a faerie, bewitchingly golden
Silken and spun was her hair from the sun

Stepped forth the reason – seduced by her magic –
Stretched out a hand to her beautiful hair.
Won’t you come with me? The faerie enticed us,
Stop by the hearth of the potter this day...

Brooding I pondered, could faeries be trusted?
Should I be swayed from the pathway assigned?
Yet I had watched how my reason surrendered
So before airs of a beautiful kind….

Loathe to offend such a glorious being,
One who had offered with kindness and grace,
Help just when needed. I bowed to the faerie;
Take now your highness my reason away.

Then the wind changed as a wandering mistral,
Warm as the breeze on a meadow of wheat,
Swift, warm and golden the faerie-bird air-borne
Flew o’er myself that fell under her wing.

Passed by all time as I sailed down the sleep-stream,
Far to the land where the doe and stag graze.
Home to the garden that blooms East of Eden,
Land of the ancestors covered in praise.

Opened my eyes as I reached the cool garden
Wonder-filled, wide, as memories unfolded.
Looked up the stag and the doe from their incline,
Wakened my self from the river of time.

Safe in the knowledge of paradise tended,
Turned I my thought to the reason once lost.
So in a blink of my eye I went searching,
Straight to the hearth of the faerie-bird’s host.

Future Knights of Christ

Here is the circle of science: ascending from the visible to the invisible in theory, and descending from the invisible to the visible in practice. It is the ancient symbol of the serpent which bites its tail.

Because the circle is closed – not in the sense of the circle’s dimension, since it can grow indefinitely, but rather in the sense that it is always will be a circle without opening (in contrast to the spiral, which is an “open circle”).

The forces of warmth, magnetism, electricity and nuclear forces are thus discovered – and a series of other forces, more hidden and still more subtle, can be discovered – but only forces are discovered, ie, the causes of mechanical movement. It is in that this circle is closed that it is why – without intervention from outside of it, such as that of Teilhard de Chardin – it is a prison and captivity for the spirit.

What is true of natural science is also true of personal or arbitrary magic. The latter proceeds exactly as the former – ascending in theory and descending in practice. Modern authors on magic are perfectly right in advancing the thesis that magic is a science and that it has nothing to do with miracles as such:

Magic is the study and practice of the control of Nature’s secert forces. It is a science – pure, or dangerous – like all sciences….(Papus).

We have to add here only that this is true, and also that “Nature’s secret forces” are secret only for a limited time, notably until their discovery by natural science – which simply discovers and renders controllable the “secret forces” of Nature one after the other. It is therefore only a question of time until the pursuit of magic and that of natural science coincide and become identical.

But, on the other hand, it is also true that the closed circle of science, which is a prison and captivity for the spirit, applies also to personal magic. Magic, in so far as it is a science – and it is one – has the same fate as science, ie, captivity in a closed circle. And when Papus says further on in the introduction to his Traite methodique de magie practique that, “Magic, we could say, is the materialism of the future knights of Christ….”

He admits with this statement the fact of the captivity of magic as such – in a closed circle of a single aspect of the world, which he names “materialism”. And he gives expression to his hope that in the future there will be an intervention from beyond this closed circle by future magicians (“knights of Christ”)…in other words, that future Teilhard de Chardins will do for magic what he has done for science: that they will open the closed circle and transform it into a spiral.

Meditations on the Tarot, Unknown Author, Letter XVII, The Star

Magic realms of Psyche

‘There’s no answer to his queries,
Dionysus’ brains are weary.
Cares he not for Neptune’s offspring,
Wants he just to hear the girls sing.

‘Watches he the virgins wander –
Through the fire-dance, travel onward,
Filled with wine and honeyed nectar –
Through the magic realms of psyche.

‘There the nymph, sweet Ariadne
Forces him to drown his sorrow,
Charms him nightly with her beauty;
Drinks he like there’s no tomorrow.

‘Groans the wine God: “New man, stop,
And hush the hound, you’ll turn the hops!
Mere immortal, you will end this.
Once for all now, comprehend it:

‘”Here, tonight, the true initiates
Drink new wine. The growing mystery
Share I then, but none could hear it;
Thanks to you, the maids grew teary.

‘As did Phoebus’ wan Priestess,
Voice of heaven, whom truth begets.
Hold your peace now, stand in silence.”
Thus did end the hunter’s license.

Quarternary of Traditional Magic

With respect to the magnificent quarternary of  traditional magic: “to dare, to will, to be silent and to know,” it is formulated – mutandis mutatis – by the Master in the following way:

Ask and it will be given you; Seek, and you will find; Knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, And he who seeks finds, And to him who knocks it will be opened. (Matthew vii, 7-8)

It is a matter of daring to ask, of the will to seek, of being silent in order to knock and of knowing when it is opened to you. For knowledge does not happen automatically; it is what is revealed when the door is opened. This is the formula of the synthesis of effort and grace, of the principle of work and that of receptivity, and, lastly, of merit and gift.

This synthesis enunciates the absolute law of all spiritual progress and, consequently, all spiritual discipline. It is the law which every Christian disciple, of every Christian spiritual school, obeys. And Christian Hermeticism, ie, the whole of traditional mysticism, gnosis, magic and occult philosophy, passed through baptism and transfiguration by the fire, light and life of Christianity, is in no way an exception here.

It should not be forgotten that Christian Hermeticism is not a religion apart, nor  a church apart, nor even a science apart….it is the connecting link between mysticism, gnosis and magic, expressed through symbolism – symbolism being the means of expression of the dimensions of depth and height (and therefore of enstasy and ecstasy), of all that is universal (which corresponds to the dimension of breadth), and all that is traditional (corresponding to the dimension of length).

Being Christian, Hermeticism accepts the cross of the universality, the tradition, the depth and the height of Christianity, in the sense of the apostle Paul when he said:

That you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have power to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with the fullness of God. (Ephesians iii, 18-19).

This is the complete formula of initiation.

Unknown Author, Meditations on the Tarot, Letter VI The Lover

The Magic Key

The Principles of Truth are Seven; he who knows these, understandingly, possesses the Magic Key before whose touch all the Doors of the Temple fly open.

One of the old Hermetic Masters wrote, long ages ago: “He who grasps the truth of the Mental Nature of the Universe is well advanced on The Path to Mastery.” And these words are as true to-day as at the time they were first written. Without this Master-Key, Mastery is impossible, and the student knocks in vain at the many doors of The Temple.

There are planes beyond our knowing, but when we apply the Principle of Correspondence to them we are able to understand much that would otherwise be unknowable to us…a knowledge of the Principle of correspondence enables Man to reason intelligently from the Known to the Unknown. Studying the monad, he understands the archangel.

Nothing rests; everything moves; everything vibrates.  “He who understands the Principle of Vibration, has grasped the sceptre of Power,”

Everything is Dual; everything has poles; everything has its pair of opposites; like and unlike are the same; opposites are identical in nature, but different in degree; extremes meet; all truths are but half-truths; all paradoxes maybe reconciled.  Where does “darkness” leave off, and “light” begin?  What is the difference between “High and Low”? Between “Positive and Negative”?  The Principle of Polarity explains these paradoxes, and no other Principle can supersede it. The “Art of polarization” becomes a phase of “Mental Alchemy” known and practiced by the ancient and modern Hermetic Masters.

Everything flows, out and in; everything has its tides; all things rise and fall; the pendulum-swing manifests in everything; the measure of the swing to the right is the measure of the swing to the left; rhythm compensates. There is always an action and a reaction; an advance and a retreat a rising and a sinking. This is in the affairs of the Universe, suns, worlds, men, animals, mind, energy, and matter. This law is manifest in the creation and destruction of worlds; in the rise and fall of nations; in the life of all things; and finally in the mental states of Man.

There is a Cause for every Effect; an Effect from every Cause. It explains that: “Everything Happens according to Law”; that nothing ever “merely happens”; that there is no such thing as Chance; that while there are various planes of Cause and Effect, the higher dominating the lower planes, still nothing ever entirely escapes the Law.

Gender is in everything; everything has its Masculine and Feminine Principles Gender; manifests on all planes. If you would understand the philosophy of Mental and Spiritual Creation, Generation, and Re-generation, you must understand and study this Hermetic Principle.

The Kybalion