Jan 032014
 

chariot-romanDear Unknown Friend

Like the preceding Arcana, The Arcanum ‘The Chariot’ has a twofold aspect. It represents, from one side, he who – having triumped over the three temptations – remains faithful to the vows of obedience, poverty and chastity; and it represents, from another side, the danger of the fourth temptation, which is the most subtle and intimate temptation, and is the invisible synthesis of the three temptations: the spiritual temptation of the victorious through his victory itself. It is the temptation to act ‘in one’s own name’, to act as master instead of as servant….

When you resist a temptation or renounce something desired below, you set in motion by this very fact forces of realisation of that which corresponds above to that which you came to renounce below. It is this that the Master designates by the word ‘reward’ when he says, for example, that it is necessary to guard against practising righteousness before other people in order to gain their regard, ‘for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven’. (Matthew, vi, 1). Reward is therefore the action that one sets in motion above by the renunciation of desire for things below. It is the ‘yes’ from above corresponding to the ‘no’ from below. And this correspondence constitutes a basis for magical realisation and for the fundamental law of Christian Hermeticism. Let us guard ourselves from taking it lightly, for here is given to us one of the principle keys of sacred magic. It is not desire which bears magical realisation, but rather the renunciation of desire (that you have formerly experienced, of course). For renunciation through indifference has no moral – and therefore no magical – value.
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The charioteer of the Arcanum is the victor over trials, ie, the temptations, and if he is a master, then it is thanks to himself He is alone, standing in his chariot; no one is present to applaud him or to pay homage to him; he has no weapons….The victory achieved in solitude….what glory and what danger it comprises at one and the same time! It is the only real glory, for it in no way depends on human favour and judgement;it is intrinsic glory – the real radiance of the aura becoming luminous. It is, however, at the same time the most real and the most serious spiritual danger which exists. ‘Pride’ and ‘vaingloriousness’, the traditional names which one gives to it, do not suffice to characterise it in an adequate way. It is more than this. It is, rather, a kind of mystical megalomania, where one deifies the regulating centre of one’s own being, one’s ego, and where one sees the divine only within oneself and becomes blind to the divine above and outside oneself. The ‘higher Self’ is then experienced as the supreme and it is far from the supreme and unique being….far from being God, in other words.

It would be as well, now, to dwell on the problem of identification of the self with the higher Self and of the higher Self with God.

C.G. Jung who, having explored the sexual or ‘Freudian’ layer, and then that of the will-to-power or the ‘Adlerian’ layer, of the unconscious (ie, latent or occult consciousness) of the human being, encountered a spiritual (mystical, gnostic and magical) layer during the course of his clinical and psychotherapeutic experience. Instead of drawing back from it or extricating himself from it through a corrosive ‘explanation’, he had the courage and honest to set himself to the laborious study of the phenomenology of this layer of the unconscious. Now, this work proved fruitful. Jung discovered here not only the causes of certain psychic disorders, but also the profound and intimate process that he designated as the ‘process of individuation’, which is nothing other than the gradual birth of another self (Jung called it the ‘Self’) higher to oneself or one’s ordinary ego. The discover of the process of the ‘second birth’ prompted him to extend the range of his exploratory work considerably notably to include symbolism, mystery rituals and the comparative study of contemporary and ancient religions.

Now, this broadening of his field of exploration also proved fruitful. Jung’s arrival at his discovery (which at first racked him, preventing him from speaking of it to a living soul for fifteen years) had its train of consequences, including the knowledge and description of some dangers or temptations belonging to the way of initiation and the process of individuation which corresponds to it, One of these dangers – which are at the same time trials or temptations – is that which Jung designated by the term ‘inflation’, which signifies the state of consciousness of the self inflated to excess, and which is known in psychiatry in its extreme manifestation by the term ‘megalomania’.

Meditations on the Tarot, Letter VII, The Chariot

Feb 272011
 

The racial soul of Hibernia has very ancient roots that include a slumbering magical knowledge and contacts with primeval forces beyond those that effect the mainland of Britain and the continent of Europe…[a] unique blend of cultural currents from immense antiquity, allied to the Graeco-Celtic stream, is what produced the great power of the Druids in Ireland…The contribution of the earlier Atlantean cultures was of an extremely well focused power of the imagination, which, in short, amounted to a magical power.

This immensely strong, deliberately magically built, group soul of the remote past, mingled with the concrete mind contacts of ancient Greece, and the allied aesthetic ability, has produced an Irish group soul that is stronger than most others in the world apart perhaps from the Jewish – which also derives from immense antiquity in another way. The Celtic druidism of Ireland reached its peak long before that of the rest of Britain and Gaul, and it was originally from Ireland that the British and Gallic druids drew their teaching and wisdom.

The great problems which later beset Ireland over the centuries derive from a combination of these early great strengths. Because of the diversity of the contending currents within a group soul, there has ever been a tendency to internal dissension, exacerbated by the other races and religious authorities that have tried to interfere. This flared to a crisis at the time of the restimulation of the group soul of the British Isles that brought about the reformulation of the Arthurian legends in the twelfth century.

The conflict of contending forces has also operated, and still operates, upon the religious level. Through the missionary genius of St Patrick, the Irish Christian church formed a nucleus of Celtic Christianity that inspired and informed the West independently of Rome through the Dark Ages, just as in former times the Irish Druids had been a centre of religious and cultural influence.

Although a Christianized form of Druidism lingered on, and indeed, like the Hermetic tradition, formed a link between pagan and Christian spirituality, this role of leadership was not without its cost. Had the new wine been introduced more slowly, as occurred in the rest of Europe, much conflict and suffering might have been avoided. Many of the highly magically trained Irish druids migrated to Wales, France and Brittany whence we have a rich vein of ancient tradition, much of it manifesting as the Arthurian legends.

The time may not be long before the racial soul of Ireland enters a new phase, manages to synthesize its deep conflicting roots and to work more freely with other nations of the west. The whole trend of Ireland in the past has been to esoteric teaching and knowledge, and a renewal of this, as pioneered by Yeats and Lady Gregory, may have more importance than political and commercial initiatives. It is a little premature to summarily dismiss this resurgence as a literary fad of ‘the Celtic twilight’.

Gareth Knight, The Secret Tradition in Arthurian Legend

Feb 192011
 

In these twelve men who came together to perform a special mission, the twelve different streams in the spiritual development of mankind were represented. The fact that all possible religions and all possible philosophies belong to the twelve basic types is in itself a mystery.

Buddhism, Brahmanism, Vedanta philosophy, materialism, or whatever it may be – all of them can be traced to the twelve basic types; it is just a matter of being quite exact. And so all the different streams of man’s spiritual life – the religions, the philosophies and world conceptions that are spread over the earth – were united in that council of the twelve.

After the period of darkness had passed and spiritual achievement was possible again, a thirteenth came in remarkable circumstances to the twelve. I am telling you now of one of those events which takes place secretly in the evolution of mankind once and once only. They cannot occur a second time and are mentioned not as an indication that efforts should be made to repeat them but for quite other reasons.

When the darkness had lifted and it was possible to develop clairvoyant vision again, the coming of the thirteenth was announced in a mysterious way to the twelve wise men. They knew that the time had come when a child with significant and remarkable incarnations behind him was to be born. Above all they knew that one of his incarnations had been at the time of the Mystery of Golgotha.

It was known, therefore, that one who had been a contemporary of the events in Palestine was returning. And the birth of the child in these unusual circumstances during the thirteenth century could not have been said to be that of a person of renown.

Rudolf Steiner, Intimate Workings of Karma

Jan 092011
 

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

Jan 072011
 

The pendulum has swung back again—or at any rate is about to start its swing. In speaking of ‘the unity of the world and all things in it’, we must, however, avoid the error of oriental monism which denies the dual existence of Creator and created. According to this view the universe and all the inner worlds therein have been self-created, or at best emanated from a central source.

This means that God is in everything, in the holiest of holies and in the dust on the sandals of the worshipper at the temple gate. As a child of an acquaintance put it with devastating childlike logic. ‘When I stamp on the ground am I stamping on God?’ To this the monist would rush to reply ‘Yes’, but the theist would say ‘No’. The monist would go on to say that as God is also in the child’s foot, sock and shoe, God was stamping on God. The theist would go on to say that although God is not in everything He is omniscient as far as the creation is concerned and is therefore aware of the child stamping and in empathy with both the child and the ground.

All this is not academic, theological or philosophical hair splitting, for the consequences of believing one thing or the other are profound. If we are going to build a philosophical or theological edifice we need to be very certain of the rock upon which it is founded. To believe that all things unfurl of their own accord from nothing is to assume that man is capable of expanding his consciousness until he comes eventually as God, comprehending all — and that animals  expand their consciousness to become humans, plants likewise to become animals, even minerals to become plants.

This is a theory that is, in fact, held by many students of the occult, based on the monist philosophical assumptions of the East It has its superficial attraction as a logical sounding kind of arrangement. It takes in the ideas of human progress and general life evolution that were newly formulated and current in the nineteenth century, and it is hardly surprising that these ideas in occult form were first promulgated in the West in the late nineteenth century by the efforts of the newly formed Theosophical Society.

What Madame Blavatsky, its founder, did really was to take nineteenth-century materialist evolutionary theory as formulated by Darwin and stand it on its head as a spiritual evolutionary theory, in much the same way that
Marx had inverted the spiritual dialectic of Hegel to form the dialectical materialism of Marxism. Both Marxism and Theosophy have a great spurious appeal as seeming  to answer many questions by this agile topsy-turveydom. Unfortunately both are wrong — though this does not alter the fact that Marxism as a political philosophy came to dominate a third of the world and Theosophical monism  dominates  much  of modern occult thought.

It is not our task to try to judge why certain particular nineteenth-century philosophical ideas should retain such a hold into modern times, though in the case of oriental monism and occultism its influence spread because a whole generation of occult students sat at the feet of Madame Blavatsky and imbibed her principles  even if they later rejected some of the superstructure of her philosophy. They later taught others and so the basic assumptions spread — with various modifications to and arguments about the superstructure, but with the entire theological foundations  taken for granted and accepted unchallenged.

The whole Western occult tradition, which had followed an underground course for centuries, burst out into the open, only to be thoroughly mixed, swamped and diluted with Eastern ideas deriving from Hinduism and Buddhism. The true occult heritage of the West stems, however, along with the religion of the West, from Christian and Judaic tradition  — or rather from revealed as opposed to natural religion.

Gareth Knight, Experience of the Inner Worlds, The Sphere of Light

Nov 222010
 

We often experience things that come up in the internal-external dialogue to be divided into opposites such as good and bad, God and the devil, us and them, confusion about moral stance and so forth.

The person may have thought that he or she knew exactly his or her standing in terms of ideologies, morals, the world, and religion. It becomes apparent, during this process, that what we thought we knew has been primarily according to our ego’s stannce. The opposites in dialogue may suddenly pull us into  new territory where we experience tremendous indecision.

The now indecisive and floundering ego may become identified with both sides of the opposites, which creates quiet a confusion. Splitting, which entails some psychological part of dissociating from consciousness, may arise as a defense mechanism.

Beneath the splitting, dissociation and repression that can accompany creative depression is frequently a “core of madness” that must be uncovered. We feel “mad” owing to the degree of chaos and the loss of equilibrium that our ego is experiencing as its “known” perspectives are challenged.

In this dual identification, it is as if the ego decombusts. Everything is being canceled by its opposite in the dialogue, creating an indecisiveness that is one of the primary symptoms of the depressed condition. In this state of ambivalence, in wh ich everything is canceled out, one may feel like one has fallen into an abyss.

In this void or abyss, we feel as if we were dying, accompanied by bursts of intense anxiety around conflicting thoughts and values. We may feel we haev regressed back into the interpersonal field of parents and family. In the “black hole” of the abyssal experience, conflict can often take on a rather paranoid form. The clash of forces can feel as if one is in an ideological, spiritual, or cultural collision, not just with our former personal ideals and values, but with the entire collective consciousness.

Because dissociation may be occurring on a collective, cultural level, certain individuals may be depressed, not only because of developmental traumatic and intrapsychic factors, but also because of the sensitive and uncanny nature of some individuals to have a large psyche and soul that is more attuned than some of the rest of us to the collective unconcsious.

Certain persons have access to a depth of unconscious material and, with discernment, may find that their psychic imagery is running parallel to the dissociation or splitting of their culture. Crucially, there is an important cultural factor here. The healing nature of this phenomenon is an ego re-organised in relationship to the Self.

Any individual who evolves into a healthy ego Self relationship inevitably has the potential to contribute a great deal to culture and society. If our society pathologises such episodes only during which a reordering process is occurring within the individual, we miss the impact of the unconscious material not only upon the individual and his or her growth, but also the potential for this individual’s healing to have a positive ripple effect upon the immediate culture and community.

Karen Wood Madden, Dark Light of the Soul

Oct 282010
 

The fourteenth dream queen Trishala saw was of a smokeless fire.  The fire burned with great intensity and emitted a radiant glow.  Great quantities of pure ghee and honey were being poured on the fire.  It burned with numerous flames.

This dream indicates that the wisdom of her son will excel the wisdom of all other great people.

After having such fourteen wonderful dreams, Queen Trishala woke up.  Her dreams filled her with wonder.  She never had such dreams before.  She narrated her dreams to King Siddharth.

The king called the soothsayers for the interpretation of dreams and they unanimously said, “Sir, her Highness will be blessed with a noble son.  The dream augur the vast spiritual realm, the child shall command.  Her Highness will become the Universal Mother.”

After nine months and fourteen days, Queen Trishala delivered a baby boy.  The boy was named Vardhaman meaning ever increasing.

Immediately after the birth of prince Vardhaman, Indra, the King of Heaven, arrived with other gods and goddesses.  He hypnotized the whole city including mother Trishala and King Siddharth.

He took baby Vardhaman to Mount Meru and bathed him.  He proclaimed peace and harmony by reciting Bruhat Shanti during the first bathing ceremony of the new born Tirthankara.

After renunciation and realization of Absolute Self Knowledge, Prince Vardhaman became Lord Mahavir, the twenty fourth and the last Tirthankara of Jain religion.

Fourteen Auspicious Dreams (Jain)

Jul 072010
 

Very ancient Eastern languages used words such as Mog, Megh and Magh to define that which is priestly, wise or excellent. Thence is derived the Chaldean name Maghdim, meaning supreme wisdom or divine philosophy. Thus the Greeks had the Magos (Magician) and Mageia (Magic) and by these terms they denoted higher knowledge of nature, especially with relation to religion and the science of the stars. Magicians were, literally, the Wise, the Magi; Philosophers, Shamen, Witch Doctors, Priests, Scientists, Artists, Initiates.

A discourse on magic need not, therefore, be a code of practice for witches and yet, a belief in magic and/or a pantheistic sort of worship tended to precede a belief in one God for many people. True belief is in fact a magical experience; hope, faith and love are sacred magical processes. it is also fair to say, however, that grave misinterpretation of magical phenomena is possible and it is as well to be aware that all things natural and supernatural have really been brought about through God’s will. To separate the individual, personal power, from that of God would be divisive in essence – an act of darkness – whereas the channelling of the divine spirit through the self is a positive, light-filled action.

There is a woman with a passion for music and nature so deep and abiding that the Shaman has a  sacred place in her heart; she knows that so much was, is and will be shown via his highly skilled techniques, mastery of which entails a vivid fascination of tantric dimensions with seemingly boundless proportions. The Shaman is so singular for the direct way in which he helps her access an internal rhythm and fathomless understanding of movement in connection with the eternal muse. 
The Shaman may assist her in releasing bound (because dark) energy in a spiritually viable way of light. The Shaman will, therefore, be credited for eternity as a vital psychic instigator of Change.

It would be harmful to repress ancient hereditary impulses of human cultures, which in past times were psychologically dependent upon the performance of magic for various reasons. Magical rites could spring instinctively from an urge to love and be as One with the Universe, as we are all able. Subtle and manifold are the ways of magic. 
On the most practical, naïve level, many are they who may unwittingly conduct spells or even sublime acts in conjunction with nature and the source of divine energy. Such things tend not to occur by chance, even in cases where a butterfly effect might be perceived. There is a code and a key behind creation: A mysterious element to the passage of time, a multi-dimensional reality behind space that we can all access if we would only remember how and why it is so.

Jun 092010
 

It should be seen and heard that repentance has been brought into actualization and has now been fully activated by the collective knowledge of the requisite number of beings.

May the spirit of the offering be received as it was made, with pure intent.

The perfect sacrifice is that which is most dearly beloved yet does no longer involve the corporeal shedding of blood.

There are those who fear that the deepest esoteric secrets and teachings of the original universal states would be exposed and taken in vain and it is to be hoped that the encryption is secure enough to prevent wrongful disclosure.

Overall it is considered now that things once kept as a reserve for the few should now be made available to one and all, in the interest of equality. To remain open to evolutionary change is a fundamental duty of the priests of true religions.

To proceed with care is necessary for there is a paradox that must be maintained in order to preserve mystical essence and the corpus of strength whilst ensuring that light within this body is allowed to penetrate beyond the boundaries of dogma.

That all was created through the technicolour language of love with joy and pain is known; the writing on the walls has been seen. The consequential beauty was so immeasurable as to be rendered invisible to the naked eye in all ways but one that is nature unveiled.

This in itself is that which is usually seen and is the perpetual unfoldment of an immaculate conception. Immaculate because it was brought into being that it may be more than a figment of love’s imagination.

The perfect original as it came into effect during the given age is therefore experienced but frequently unknown though this has been shown. There is more that could be said of the creation but the only word capable of defining this much is held within. The captive heart of love is bound forever by the memory of how it felt to remember this. Fortune was blessed as a spectrum of light stretched across the soul’s plane to show that the mirror of heaven is upon the Earth.

This is to bring hope anew to whosoever has fainted from despair and sees, though they cannot yet believe, that the circle of the arch of the sky is completed beneath the surface of the oceans and sands.