Jun 032016
 

Hagia-Sophia-underground-tunnelsThe post of Emperor does not belong any longer either to those who desire it or to the choice of the people. It is reserved to the choice of heaven alone. It has become occult. And the crown, the sceptre, the throne, the coat of arms of the Emperor are to be found in the catacombs…in the catacombs – this means to say: under absolute protection.

And just as no parliament will replace the spiritual reality of the post of Emperor – the throne of David cannot be replaced by collectivity – so will no oecumenical council replace the spiritual reality of the post of Pope or the ‘throne of Melchizedek, king of plenitude (Salem)”. Whether the “cannon shot” predicted in the esoteric circles of the Occident be given or not, whether the sacerdotal throne remains visible or whether it be installed in the catacombs, it will certainly remain present for ever in the future history of humanity – despite what the prophets of its destruction may say.

Meditations on the Tarot

Aug 092013
 

Ace of Wands_MarseilleThe Minor Arcana of the Tarot represent the way of ascent from consciousness belonging to the world of action (the phenomenal world) through the world of formation and the world of creation to the world of emanation. Thus, it is a matter of four degrees (including the summit) of ascent from the world of sensual and intellectual imagery which corresponds to pentacles, to the world (or degree) of destruction of this imagery – or the ‘wilderness’ – which corresponds to swords, so as to attain to that degree of spiritual poverty which is necessary to become a receptacle for revelation from above – which degree corresponds to cups. The summit is attained when the cup of consciousness which receives the revelation from above is transformed – by cooperating with revelatory action – into this latter. It then becomes revelatory activity itself, being actively united with the world of emanation. Then the degree of wands or scepters is attained, ie, that of pure creative activity.

Therefore the way begins in the world of coins or pentacles. This is the world of the imagery of facts, intellectual constructions and imagined ideals. Here consciousness surrounds itself with a world of images – n the one hand the memories of experiences, and on the other hand the formulae and schemes of the intellect, as well as those of moral imagination, which latter we call ‘ideals’. This world of images is neither reality nor illusion. It consists of values/images corresponding to reality and which are therefore ‘convertible’ into reality; for this reason coins are its symbol. For just as pieces of money are not themselves board, heating and lodging but can be converted into board, heating and lodging, so do memory images and the formulae and schemes of the intellect and moral imagination represent realities – being ‘worths’ that may be converted into reality.

Now, the world of coins – the world of images – has a twofold significance. It signifies, on the one hand, the wealth acquired by consciousness, and on the other hand it signifies the totality of that which must be renounced if consciousness wants to come to spiritual reality. Because in order to convert money into real things, ie in order to buy them, one has to pay. One has to become ‘poor in spirit’ in order to have the kingdom of heaven.

This payment, where one divests oneself of one’s wealth of spirit, is that of swords. Here, the values/images (or coins_ that one has struck through intellectual, moral and artistic efforts are destroyed, one after the other, in the same (Sephirothic) order in which they were formed. This can last an instant, an hour, or decades. With St Thomas Aquinas it took the time of a single ecstasy, whilst with Plato it seems that it was a slow process extending over several years. With respect to St Thomas, it was probably at the end of 1273 that he underwent the decisive ecstasy.

The ecstasy that St Thomas underwent persuaded him that all that h had written and taught was of little significance. This is a case of passing through the sphere of swords.

4-10Plato, as did St Thomas Aquinas, arrived at the ‘spiritual poverty’ which is necessary to become a ‘cup’ and ‘sceptre’ (or ‘wand’), ie to become a receptacle for the revelation of Being, and then to become an active cooperator – which means to say ‘initiated’ .

The ‘worlds’ or ‘spheres’ of pentacles (coins), swords, cups and wands correspond to the degrees of the traditional way of preparation, purification, illumination and perfection.

What one acquires through observation, study, reasoning and discipline constitutes the degree of preparation, or the world of coins.

This ‘world’ exposed to the action of the breath of the Real, constitutes the degree of purification, or the world of swords.

That which remains after this trial becomes the virtue or faculty of the soul to receive illumination from above. This is the degree of illumination, or the world of cups.

And, lastly, to the extent that the soul raises itself from receptivity to active cooperation with the Divine, it is admitted to the degree of perfection, or to the world of scepters or wands.

These are the things which can serve as a key to the Minor Arcana of the Tarot, for your work, dear Unknown Friend, on these Arcana.

Adieu, dear Unknown Friend.

Festival of the Holy Trinity, 21 May, 1967

Meditations on the Tarot, Letter XXII, The World

Jan 092011
 

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

Nov 072010
 

And on the first day of the week when the sounds of the temple bells sought their ears, one spoke and said: “Master, we hear much talk of God hereabout. What say you of God, and who is He in very truth?”

And he stood before them like a young tree, fearless of wind or tempest, and he answered saying: “Think now, my comrades and beloved, of a heart that contains all your hearts, a love that encompasses all your loves, a spirit that envelops all your spirits, a voice enfolding all your voices, and a silence deeper than all your silences, and timeless.

“Seek now to perceive in your self-fullness a beauty more enchanting than all things beautiful, a song more vast than the song of the sea and the forest, a majesty seated upon a throne for which Orion is but a footstool, holding a sceptre in which the Pleiades are naught save the glimmer of dewdrops.

“You have sought alawys only food and shelter, a garment and a staff; seek now One who is neither an aim for your arrows nor a stony cave to shield you from the elements.

“And if my words are a rock and a riddle, then seek, none the less, that your hearts may be broken, and that your questionings may bring you unto the love and the wisdom of the Most High, whom men call God.”

And they were silent, every one, and they were perplexed in their heart.

Kahlil Gibran, The Garden of the Prophet

Oct 182010
 

Some say that all gods and all living creatures originated in the stream of Oceanus which girdles the world, and that  Tethys was the mother of all his children.

But the Orphics say that black-winged Night, a goddess of whom even Zeus stands in awe, was courted by the Wind and laid a silver egg in the womb of Darkness; and that Eros, whom some call Phanes, was hatched from this egg and set the universe in motion.

Eros was double-sexed and golden-winged and, having four heads, sometimes roared like a bull, or lion, sometimes hissed like a serpent or bleated like a ram.

Night, who named him Ericepaius and Phaethon Protogenus, lived in a cave with him, displaying herself in triad: Night, Order and Justice. Before this cave sat the inescapable mother Rhea, playing on a brazen drum, and compelling man’s attention to the oracles of the goddess. Phanes created earth, sky, sun and moon, but the triple-goddess ruled  the universe, until her sceptre passed to Uranus.

The Homeric and Orphic Creation Myths, Robert Graves

Jun 112010
 

Magic is crowned, since her task is the sublimation of Nature, as indicated by the shield or coat-of-arms with the eagle in flight, that the Empress holds instead of the book of the High Priestess.

Josephin Peladan defined magic as “the art of the sublimation of man”, no other formula is superior to his. This is exactly the emblem – or aim – of magic, if one understands by “sublimation of man” that of human nature. Peladan had a very profound understanding of the emblem of magic: the shield with the eagle in flight. All his works bear witness to this. Together they represent a magnificent flight; they aim, as a whole and each taken individually, at  the ideal of the sublimation of human nature.

It is because Peladan bore the emblem of magic: the flying eagle, that this is so.

Isn’t it to have the emblem of magic before one’s eyes that one is invited “to throw the eagles of one’s desires to the wind”, because happiness “raised to the level of an ideal, freed from the negative aspects of oneself and of things….is the sole triumph of this world?” It is the same emblem – the shield with the eagle – that Papus had in mind, in actual fact, when he defined magic as:

The application of the strengthened human will to accelerate the evolution of the living forces of nature.

He preceded this definition with another:

Magic is the science of love.

For it is precisely “the accelerated evolution of the living forces of Nature” that the eagle of the shield of the Empress represents; “the science of LOVE” is the sceptre of the Empress, which represents the means by which the aim of magic is attained.

Unknown author, Meditations on the Tarot, Letter III, The Empress