Man is lord even of the Sabbath

Christian Hermeticism itself can only be knowledge of the universal which is revealed in the particular. For Hermeticism there are no ‘principles’, ‘laws’ and ‘ideas’ which exist outside of individual beings, not as structural traits of their nature, but as entities separated and independent from it.

For Hermeticism there is neither a ‘law of gravitation’ nor a ‘law of reincarnation’, there is only the attraction and repulsion of beings (atoms are beings also) in so far as gravitation is concerned, and only the attraction of beings to earthly life, with its joys and sorrows, in so far as reincarnation is concerned.


Laws are immanent in beings, as logic is immanent in thought, being part of the very nature of thought. And true progress, true evolution, is the advance of beings from life under one law to life under another law….it is thus that the law ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth’ is in the process of gradually being replaced by the law of forgiveness. It is thus again that the law ‘the weak serve the strong, the people serve the king, the disciple serves the master’ will one day give way to the law shown by the Master through the act of the Washing of the Feet.

According to this higher law, it is the strong who serve the weak, the king who serves the people, the master who serves the disciple – just as in heaven, where Angels serve human beings, Archangels serve Angels and men, Principalities serve Archangels, Angels and human beings, and so on. And God? He serves all beings without exception.

Thus the ‘law’ of the struggle for existence that Darwin observed in the domain of biology will one day cede its place to the law of cooperation for existence which exists already in the cooperation of flowering plants and bees, in the cooperation of different cells in an organism, and in cooperation in the human social organism. The end of the ‘law’ of the struggle for existence and the future triumph of the law of cooperation for life has been foretold by the prophet Isaiah:

The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,
And the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
And the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
And a little child shall lead them.

This will be, because the new ‘law’ – ie, a profound change in the psychic and physical structure of beings – will replace the old ‘law’, firstly in consciousness, then in desires and affections, then lastly in the organic structure of beings.

‘Law’ succeed one another and change. They are not immutable metaphysical entities. It is the same wiht respect to ‘principles’ and ‘ideas’. The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath; so the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath (Mark ii, 27028) – here is the relationship between beings, on the one side, and laws, principles and ideas, on the other.

Meditations on the Tarot, Letter IX, The Hermit

Leopard Legs

I felt reasonably satisfied to be in possession of two paws but then, after several minutes, the performance became somewhat more demanding, seeing as the clenching of my arms and hands was not quite comfortable and put an almost perceptible strain on my whole body.

He asked once again if I was OK and sounded a bit more concerned this time, but while my tone of voice acknowledged some stress I insisted that I was and kept my face down. It had passed through my head but fleetingly that I might never be normal again, but I had already committed myself to the action and saw that there was no way of returning to the point which came before the position I had arrived at. I felt no fear and did not allow doubt to enter my heart.

The stretching out of my own into fabulous leopard’s legs was a welcome diversion from the stiff front claws and I spent quite a few minutes appreciating the fact that they seemed to be almost a foot longer than usual. In their new-found elasticity was discernable movement within the internal veins, which seemed to override in quality the inert calcified matter of the solid form.

My feet were pointed and held together so I considered that they were affected at the same time. I arched backwards from the base of my spine, constantly aware of my somehow unnatural flexibility, while my arms remained rigid. It felt rather as if a spirit of immense energy was moving my body without revealing itself fully to my mind.

Leopard’s Paw

My eyes were closed and my body, following some sort of direction, arched backwards (with far more grace than would have been natural for a body in such a physically strained position) as if my head wanted to touch my feet. I felt strangely relaxed, as if I knew exactly what was happening, even though I did not have the faintest inkling.

My body seemed incredibly lithe and supple, far more so than usual, as if light were running through my veins. I enjoyed a joyful surge of pure physical strength and energy. I could have been around seven  feet tall, such was the sensation of healthy fluidity, and I experienced curious pleasure through feeling that way. I saw all of this as being a surprisingly desirable first consequence of my exchange with the leopard for its soul: The body.

It must have been warm because my companion removed his shirt before turning me so I was lying face down on the bed, my head close to his chest. He asked if I was Ok, and I was, so it carried on.

My right hand was the focus for the next action and was transformed into something clenched and clawed – almost exactly like a leopard’s paw, I noted with confidence – while my arm bent rigidly as if there was much tension in the limb, at right angles from the elbow. My instinct was to make use of the claws but the action was continued at my left hand as I concentrated intently on the study of my bodily transformation.

Initiatory Engagement

I went to lie next to him on the bed.

I lay on my left side and almost at once he leaned over to touch my forehead with his own, before sitting back calmly to observe the effect. If truth is to be told, with this gesture he opened my mind; this is what transpired:

He had always reminded me of a leopard because he was beautiful and languid in appearance and movement but with the underlying threat of volatile instincts. He also kept a large wooden statue of that creature in his room and, furthermore, had given me a book of the same name.

I sensed his spiritual power but had always attributed it to the animal personality, so when my body began to react to the opening of my mind I was certain that I too was being transformed into a leopard, especially so we could make love as equals of the same ‘species’.

This, of course, was rather an extreme interpretation, and even I, in my burgeoning transcendental state of consciousness, acknowledged the danger of accepting such a course of action with blind faith. Was it wise or safe, I wondered, though only in the back of my head as I was, by then, so fully committed to the action.
I was also, it must be said, tranquilly but determinedly content to have succeeded in reaching this critical point of an initiatory engagement.

The Shaman

On the Earth the Shaman shifted
Shape and let his song be silence.
Thus, was set a leopard’s spirit,
Loose amongst the emerald forest.

Just beneath his leafy carpet
Slipped a serpent, shedding softly,
All its skin. This eerie presence
Passed them by, the nine in heaven.

Knew the souls of all the sages –
Those who heard within the silence
Purest notes of timeless music –
Golden was the light, the silence.

Soon the leopard reached the edges,
crossed the deep green emerald forest,
Looked up at the sky of sapphire
Saw the eagle, called in spirit.

So the bird did swoop upon it,
Took the soul within the leopard,
Lifted it beyond the forest,
Past the clouds, ascending skyward.

From the greatest height a creature
Of the world might reach, the eagle
Spied a movement on the carpet
Of the Earth and dived to reach it.

The George and Dragon

St George

We live in a changing reality to which we try to adapt ourselves like seaweed bending under the pressure of waters*.

The air was pungent and the sky was dark as thirty-two year-old Lucas White locked the door to his flat and headed off for his regular Saturday night appointment at The George and Dragon.

He was filled with anticipation for this usually predictable occasion, not least of because he and his friends were to be joined by an extremely attractive aerobics instructor called Kiera and her two bosom buddies.

Lucas hoped the evening might lead to a panting embrace in some dark alley or other while he walked Kiera home from the pub.

This embrace would – in his dreams – render her so helplessly overcome by his testosterone-fuelled animal magnetism that she would insist on dragging him upstairs to tear off his clothes, whereupon she would subject him to a naked horizontal (or even vertical) version of one of her sweaty routines.

To an objective bystander this may have sounded like wishful thinking on Lucas’ part, but there was actually a one in three chance that his dreams would come true before midnight.

There was also, however, a two in three chance that he would awaken to a deeper dream before the clock that night reached 11.

*The Leopard, Tomasi Giuseppe de Lampedusa