Welcome back! I am happy to announce that my Patreon is now live. I’ve thought about starting one for years now, but never really known what to offer as rewards, and what to actually write about. However, I now have a variety of materials that I would like to offer to those who wish to support the blog, and help me continue writing about magick and mysticism, sharing my knowledge, experiences and insight.
The Tiers and Projects
So for now I have created 4 tiers for my Patreon. Over time, I may add more, depending on how well it goes. These tiers correspond to the elements: Earth, Air, Water and Fire. The titles for each tier are derived from Golden Dawn literature, for anyone who is curious. Each tier will grant access to an additional monthly article.
The Earth Tier (Periclinus De Faustis | $2)
So the Earth tier is the first one, and here you get access to Monthly Spellwork, as well as digital resources.
Let’s start with digital resources. Often I create diagrams and mandalas, and also digital versions of seals and sigils for my own work. Occasionally, I also create things like fonts and 3D models. If you subscribe to my Patreon, you will get access to all of these, whenever I make and upload them. This is not a consistent reward, but more of a bonus, and I’ll upload stuff as and when they are ready. Sometimes you might get tree of life diagrams, sometimes simple planetary sigils. I am also working on a Master Mandala, which will certainly be put up, and also things like: an Enochian font, a 3D model of the Tree of Life and flashing tablets for each planet.
As for the consistent, monthly reward for this tier, we have Spellwork. A lot of you know that I create my own spells, rituals and even concoctions (oils, incense, ointments and consumables). As a Patron, you will receive a monthly article about any one of these things. It could be a spell, a ritual, a new recipe, and so on. Many will be of my own creation, many might be channeled from some deity or spirit, and some will be things I have learned from others over the course of my journey.
This is ‘Earth tier’, so most spells will deal with material aspects of life, such as money, love, academics etc. It’s a great place to begin. I will also be sharing a recipe for spiritual drink which attune the spiritual senses. Basically you get a new spell to play around with every month, complete with instructions and details of castings, which often gets ignored. This is good for those who are still learning how magick actually works.
To those who feel they cannot afford the higher tiers, the very first spell will be an effective money spell, which might interest you. With every higher tier, the rewards of the previous tiers will be included. So in the Water tier, all the rewards of the Earth and Air tiers are included etc.
The Air Tier (Poraios De Rejectis | $5)
The Air tier introduces Project Tarot. Since this is the Air tier, it will deal a lot with magickal and spiritual theory, and intellectual understanding.
Project Tarot is an undertaking where every month we will completely analyse and breakdown the symbolism found in a single Tarot card. We won’t just focus on the Major Arcana, but the Minor as well. This is a topic that I am actually very deeply familiar with, and I’m quite disappointed that most Tarot guides do not go down to such a level of analysis. You see, Tarot is not just for divination or fortune telling. You can think of it as a book, and it basically contains the entire theory of magick, encoded into 78 archetypal images. Here I would encourage others to share their opinions and thoughts as well, and perhaps every month we can discuss not just my own ideas and understanding, but those of readers as well. I want this to be interactive.
For now, we will use the standard, A.E. Waite Tarot deck, because it is most common. I may have a look at other decks it, if people are so inclined.
TheWater Tier (Monocris De Astris | $7)
Here I have something special planned. With the Water Tier we move our focus to inner, emotional and visionary aspects, and you get access to Project Theurgia.
Every month I will be invoking one of the 72 Angels of the Shemhamphorasch. And this will be a complete, in depth channeling, starting with the first Angel and going all the way around the Zodiac to the 72nd. As you know, these angels are the counterparts to the 72 Spirits of the Ars Goeita.
As a Patron of the Water tier, you will receive a monthly article summarizing my experience, and containing full details of the Angel, such as its attributions, powers and what it can do for you. I will also channel a sigil and an Angelic mantra for each (similar to demonic enns).
So basically it’s an attempt to create a full, detailed guide to every single Angel of the ha-Shem. I’m not saying I’m the first to have attempted this, but I’m pretty sure mine will be the most detailed, because I will put things in their historical and philosophic context.
This blog will continue as is, and I will still be sharing my ritual experiences here. Project Theurgia will be it’s own thing, and will follow a consistent methodology.
The Fire Tier (Pharos Illuminans | $9)
This is the highest tier, for now. It is the Fire tier, concerning the Will, and the Projection of Energy.
As a patron of this tier, you get access to Project Goetia. It is exactly the same as Project Theurgia, but this time dealing with the 72 Spirits of the Ars Goetia. Just like with the previous tier, I will be evoking each of the Spirits, and sharing an article about them, containing information about each Spirit, its powers, various planetary/elemental attributes, a channeled sigil and an enn/mantra for evocation.
Most likely the sigils for both the Angels and Demons will be colour coded and in digital format, so you can print and use them directly.
With Project goetia I will likely experiment with and try out different techniques for each spirit, and share both my successes and failures with Patrons. Maybe we can refine this down to an art, given enough time and feedback.
Project Goetia is probably one of my greatest spiritual undertakings, besides my experiments with Enochian magick and alchemy, and I am very excited to share this with you.
Now, the important thing to know is that I won’t actually start putting stuff under a tier until I have at least one patron in that tier. So for example, I won’t start Project Tarot until there is at least one Patron in the Air tier and higher, and so on.
I am very thankful to all those who choose to support me financially, just as I am grateful to all those who buy my books, and also to all my readers, who send me warm messages and have stuck by me through thick and thin. Reading about your positive experiences and successes are one of the things that keeps me going, and keeps reminding me that this blog is worth the time and the effort.
So once again, thank you for all the support over the years. All of this is for you, and without you it would have no purpose. I hope you have a great semester ahead, and that all of you make it through these difficult and turbulent times that we find ourselves in.
I will continue to write, and continue to share my ideas in the hope that this knowledge reaches as many people as it can, and that more and more people are able to look beyond the Veil and be prepared for the new age which is dawning. May it be an age of truth, virtue and openness.
First off, I once again want to thank everyone who has purchased my book. I never expected such a positive response, and it makes everything feel more worthwhile 🙂
Secondly, I want to announce that I now have a Ko-Fi page. About a year ago, I took down my PayPal donation page, due to various problems I had with that platform. Some people have asked if they can donate elsewhere. So now you can. If you wish to support the blog, you can do so at my Ko-Fi page. Go to https://ko-fi.com/whiteraveninvictus Every bit helps, so thank you in advance!
Anyway, with that out of the way, let’s get to today’s post. This post is the second part to the Great Secret of Magick, and the first part can be found here.
Magick Generates Culture
It has generally been my firm belief that all societies and civilisations have two fundamental pillars (yes, yes, make all your jokes now). Namely, these are Science, and Culture. Objective and Subjective. One comes from looking out into the world, and the other from looking within.
In the previous post, we discussed how Science essentially results from the Occult. The Occult means ‘Unknown’ and an Occultist is one who encounters the Unknown. Doing so, they begin to experience, comprehend and learn about new things, which slowly assimilate to the greater pool of human understanding.
Indeed, the ancient Shaman was the one who left the safety of the village and ventured into the unknown forest to find strange herbs that could heal illnesses. Over centuries, of course, the sphere of the ‘Known’ would continue to grow, and that which was ‘Unknown’ would recede further and further. There would come a day when the modern biologist knew all about the healing plant, where it grew, how it worked, and probably knew how to manufacture the essential components in a lab.
But the world as within is reflected in the world without. When the shaman ventured into the forest, he did not merely encounter the Unknown in the world outside, but also in the world within.
You see, our brain has two hemispheres, the left and the right. The Left brain deals with all that is ‘known’ and is generally the active side helping us deal with our daily life and mundane tasks. It is more logical and methodical, since everything we do is logical and methodical. We may think we decide things on the spur of the moment, but the subconscious really decides this stuff long in advance, generally focusing on whatever is best for the individual.
The Right brain rules the ‘unknown’. It is far more fluid, and contains exploratory circuits. When you encounter something that is new, unexpected or not understood, your Right brain instantly activates. You feel anxiety, fear, anticipation and excitement, as your brain attempts to learn and understand this new phenomena. In other words, your brain literally grows when you encounter the Unknown.
So, when the shaman went into the forest, he wasn’t just mapping the forest, but also his inner world of his own consciousness. The Shaman was learning where to find the medicinal herbs, but he was also overcoming his own fears, learning about his own feelings, challenging his own beliefs and expanding his own knowledge. He was growing, and evolving. The more he evolved as a person, the more attuned he become with Spirit, which is that inner light in every individual. Perhaps sitting in the darkness, away from people, in a place he did not understand, he could enter into a trance, where he saw the contents of his mind projected. By eating and testing the herbs to find those which were medicinal, he was undertaking a great act of courage, and a trial which would kill him. He had to have faith in his Gods, and hoped that he made the right decision.
Thus, when the Shaman returned to the village, he hadn’t just brought medicine, he had transformed into something else, closer to the Gods. He had fundamentally changed, and would change each time such journeys were undertaken. And his disciples would continue the work, generation after generation, taking the light into the darkness, and bring expand the Order into the Chaos. The spiritual transformation they underwent is not accessible to the average student of biology who simply reads about these herbs in a textbook or experiments on them in a controlled setting, knowing the result. But even this biologist, should he choose to boldly encounter the Unknown, would undergo this change. The Occult transformation. This is what it means to be an ‘occultist’.
Now, the Shaman did not merely live off in the forest collecting herbs. His considerable wisdom, spiritual inclination and self knowledge made him a source of understanding for all those in his village. People looked to him for guidance, and to make sense of things. The shaman told the people how to commune with the Gods, how to prepare and consume the herbs. Perhaps he made it all into a little ritual, which could be remembered and easily followed. Maybe the herbs were blue, and so blue became a colour associated with that tribe, and its healing ritual.
This then extends beyond just herbs, into various other categories. Shamans, mystics, witches, monks, all become symbols of encountering the Unknown. In a sense, by doing so, they themselves come to represent the Unknown.
There’s many stories of witches and wizards being strange folk, and in a way the stories of these figures themselves represent the Unknown to common people living within the mundane. For while some people are meant to go forth on the magickal path, everyone needs spirituality to live a good life. Yes, the shaman may go into the forest to gather the herb, but what of others who shall never make such exciting journeys? How will they get closer to Spirit?
The stories of the shaman going to gather the herb will be told to little children, and it will fill them with fascination. As adults the herb, and the ritual associated with it, becomes an object of worship and communion. The legacy of the shaman’s journey becomes a way for ordinary people to have their own little encounter, in their own unique ways. Maybe it even gets codified, and perhaps even exaggerated. Maybe the story tells of how the Shaman stole the herb from an evil monster that lives in the forest, and maybe this story also encourages young children not to run off into the forest. The ‘monster’, of course, is another psychic projection into the Unknown, representing the fear and awe of the people.
This process continues for thousands and thousands of years. Even hundreds of thousands of years, and this is how ‘culture’ comes to be. After all, what even is culture? It is simply a society’s collective expression. Food, language, arts, philosophies, social values, religion etc. But these things didn’t just spawn out of nowhere. They are the result of that society, and its magicians, slowly expanding the sphere of that which is Known. It represents their unique perspective of the life and the world, and their answer to the ancient question: What is our purpose?
You would actually be surprised just how important a role occultists play in the generation of culture. A lot of the things you think just came around naturally, like religion, philosophy and language, can actually be traced back to such individuals. They are the ones who first push the boundaries, and then the rest follow. For example, it was the shaman who first went into the forest to find the medicinal herbs. Yes, after that initial journey, countless others will follow in his footsteps, slowly expanding their knowledge and understanding. Thousands of years later, their medical understanding may be very advanced, far ahead of their shamanic ancestor. But without him taking the brave journey into the Unknown, none of it would have come to pass.
Thus, Culture is what is ‘Known’. It is the Order that was born out of Chaos, which is the Unknown, and that is the realm of Nature. This bringing forth of Order from Chaos, is nothing but magick! It is the work of occultists. And this Culture provides stability, security and peace to the common folk, who celebrate it, revere it, and use it to make sense of life and the world.
Religion becomes a bridge between the Unknown and the Known. It celebrates the magicians, witches and wizards who came before, and enshrines their wisdom. By partaking in religious ceremonies and studying scripture, it allows the common folk to have a window into the experiences of these magicians, allowing them to also know themselves a little better. They may not undertake the journey into the Unknown, but at least they can find peace within themselves.
Culture: The Divine Father
Let me ask you a question: who, or what, is ‘God’.
No, I’m not talking about deities. Nor am I talking about angels, demons, spirits, or the abrahamic deity.
What do we really mean when we say ‘God’. Well, in a sense, you could say it is the Highest Ideal.
By the way, I should warn you that this is going to a particularly convoluted post. Took me nearly 5 years of my life to properly wrap my mind around this branch of philosophy, and even longer to see how it was important in magick.
Every individual, subconsciously, carries a moral compass. Basically, inside our heads is a hierarchy of values, where all of our values are ranked based on how important they are to us. In a sense, these help us determine what is ‘good’ and ‘bad’. ‘God’ can be said to be the Highest ideal, which means the ‘meta-value’. The value that is used to determine other values.
Let me be clear that most people will never become conscious of their inner values, but they will act them out, unconsciously. These values are not based on the laws and social norms of a society, although they may be affected by them. To those of you who understand the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, think of this value hierarchy being placed in the Sephirah of Chesed, and Da’ath being the place of the Highest Ideal, ie ‘God’.
For example, let us take a person who says that stealing is bad, and it’s illegal after all. But, the moment they are in a position where they can steal without being caught, they may do so. In such a person, you can say that serving themselves and material benefits are higher values than respect for other people’s belongings.
Or, let us take a person who is very aggressive, and frequently get into verbal and physical fights. You could say that, for this person, having things go their way, and preserving their pride is a higher value than self preservation. On the other hand, a person who frequently avoids confrontation likely values self preservation more.
These values are the product of Culture (Chokmah, the ‘Father’). It is said that these values form in early childhood, and do not usually change once established. They can change, under extreme circumstances, but not so easily.
Now, let us take another hypothetical example. A person wakes up every morning, in the freezing cold, gets dressed and heads to college for an important class. What is this person’s value system? Well, we can ask: why go to college? Because I need to study. Why study? So I can get good marks. Why get good marks? So I can have a good career. Why is that important? So that I can make lots of money. Why? So I can have a decent life and family. Why? Because family is important for happiness.
And who says you need to be happy?
Well, there you might run into trouble. You might say: It feels good to be happy. But who says you should strive to feel good? Well, it’s human nature. Is it? But it’s also human nature to go to war, enforce your will on others, and manipulate people to do your bidding.
But those things are illegal. Okay, says who? Some made up book that some politicians wrote? But these laws create a prosperous society! Do they? Didn’t slavery and imperialism also create prosperous societies?
Um. Well. Because….because it’s wrong to do those things. Says who? The Universal declaration of Human rights! But who says that those are universal. God?
Yes. Think about how many constitutions say ‘all human beings are made equal before God.’
See, we can now create a value hierarchy for this individual. Working hard and getting good marks are the lowest values, and they build up. The higher values supersede the lowers values. For example, if the person realised that getting good marks would not land a good career, they may abandon their studies, which are a lower value, in pursuit of something that may land them a good career.
But as you go higher and higher, you realise that the highest value (be in love, peace, fulfillment, happiness) is taken to be self evident. Or rather, beyond the value system, certain self evident axioms have to simply be accepted.
For example, in most modern societies, the Highest Ideal contains axioms like ‘all human beings are equal’, ‘happiness is a good goal to pursue’, ‘pleasure is good’ and ‘pain should be avoided’. It is simply taken as axiomatic that acquiring wealth leads to happiness, that hard work and a good career lead to wealth creation, and that the work that one does should be honest. At least, until the 19th century, these were self evident axioms.
You’ll see that these axioms don’t really have a reasoning behind them. There’s no ‘reason’ why people should be equal, or that work should be honest, or that happiness is a worthwhile goal. These are things that just have to be accepted first, for every other value to function.
Do you understand now, why in ancient times religions were backed up simply by the phrase ‘God said so’. When Moses brought the Ten commandments to the Israelites, how did he justify them? Well, he said they came from God. When Christ spoke his sermon on the mound, when the Buddha denounced the caste system, when Gandhi insisted on self governance, when Washington proclaimed that certain truths are ‘self evident’, they were in reality saying that ‘God’ says so.
Eventually, you can no longer ask ‘Why’. ‘Why’ can take you deeper and deeper, until you suddenly realise that at the basis of society, of culture, of moral values and all religion, is just a set of axioms, justified by nothing. They have no reasoning, no higher axioms. This ‘Highest Ideal’, or God, is rarely ever consciously known. Rather, it dwells in the subconscious of all people, and guides all their actions, and often people of a society have the same ‘God’. This God is the child of Culture, which is the only thing which transcends it. Thus, Culture is our Father, and it was generated by Magick.
The Figureheads and Idols
Now, let’s go back to our little hypothetical shamanic tribe. Let’s say the healing herbs helped. Even after the shaman had passed, the people continued to ritualistically follow his instructions, and people no longer died of illnesses. Now the next shaman comes along, and she also does the inner work.
Remember in the last Great Secret post, we discussed how the work of magick frees the magician from their preconceived reality. The social and cultural norms imposed on them, and the world view they inherited are shed, and the magician becomes able to create their own reality? Well, this happens to the new shaman. By freeing herself from social conditioning, she begins to see, just like we just did, that a whole lot of things that the tribe does, are really kind of arbitrary and made up. The sacred colour, the healing rituals etc. don’t really have to be a certain way.
She also sees that people don’t die so often, and this has led to a significant growth of population and food in the tribe. You see, human beings don’t need much. In a sense, all they really need is to have pleasure in life, and a challenge to keep them going. In this tribe, fighting illnesses was once a challenge. Fetching the herbs was once a challenge. Growing enough food was a challenge. But these challenges don’t exist anymore. All this is easily accomplished, and things are beginning to stagnate. People grow dissatisfied and don’t have direction, and are edging to go to war with neighboring tribes.
So, she takes a journey up a mountain. It’s a hard journey. At the top, she comes to a place with great magickal power. Here is where she has her true initiation. After returning, she designates it as a ‘holy site’. And she tells the tribe that every year, at the day of their harvest, a pilgrimage must be made to this place. Then, some portion of the harvest, let’s say some barley, must be sacrificed. And of course, the precarious road up the mountain must be left hard and precarious, and no one should build houses close to the sacred spot. They should build a shrine there.
Now, the tribesmen and women ask: “but why”. Well, because Fire god said so! And after all, you wouldn’t want to piss off fire god, would you? In doing this, the shaman has created a new part of the culture. She has given the tribe something they can strive towards, some difficult task they must overcome. And, it takes them to a place of magickal power, where they can imbibe some of it, and do a ritual for a good harvest the following year. In a sense, you could say it’s made up. I’m sure this same ritual could be done within the village, but the point was to give people something to do, and learn from. A way to undertake a spiritual journey, to touch the Unknown.
Maybe another generation of shamans come along, and they say that all young men, upon reaching the age of 16, must go into the forest and slay a certain wild animal. Why? Well, to give them an experience of growing up. Instead of having them express their aggression at each other and getting bored, the tribe will create a way for them to have a little journey, to overcome a trial, to have a sense of accomplishment.
Maybe the next generation of shamans say that a certain, delicious wine can only be drunk on the full moon. Why? Well, moon god says so! And you wouldn’t want to piss off Moon god, would you? In a sense, this is just a made up restriction, but maybe it helps the tribe regulate their pleasure, and not descend into drunken savagery. By delaying gratification, they all are better off.
In this way, culture created and generated. You can say it’s made up. But in truth, it serves an important purpose. As long as people believe it, it will work for them. It will, over time, become part of the tribe’s Highest Ideal, their axiom. Maybe the tribe ends up a society where courage and bravery are encouraged, where people are happy to undertake hardships, and live in moderation. Their self evident axioms would be things like ‘bravery is good’ and ‘life should be lived in moderation’.
Over time, the ones who prepare the herbs become the priests. The beliefs and practices get codified, and institutionalized. As long as people have direction, purpose and a meaningful way to live, they will strive and prosper. This is the advantage of having a cohesive religion that everyone believes in.
But you can also see how essential it is that EVERYONE believes in it. Because, if even a single person radically challenges these notions, even a shaman, it really breaks everything. Suddenly, there is this terrifying possibility that what people believe did not come from the Gods, and are not self evident ideals. For example, maybe a young man refuses to slay the animal, because he feels killing an animal is wrong. Wait? But then, does that mean the ritual is wrong? Well, yeah. After all, going into the forest to kill an animal is not the only way to be brave. But then, why do it? Why be brave? Why do anything at all, if everything is just made up?
So, such transgressions would be limited. If somebody drinks the sacred liquor on any day but the Full moon, they need to do penance by undertaking the pilgrimage. It is essential for the society to function. Even the shamans, who recognize that much of this is made up, will not risk the collapse of the whole society.
But, rigid dogma and superstition are not conducive for magick. Eventually, such a society where everything is codified, where the Unknown has been banished from all aspects of life, will produce fewer shamans and magicians, and people will lose the ability to know themselves or undertake the inner journey. Those who do appear and start behaving in radical and different ways may be persecuted.
A thousand years later, the tribe has become a large kingdom. It is currently at war with a neighboring kingdom. You can go and ask the young soldiers, waiting in formation at the battlefield “why do you fight?”.
“Well, we fight for our Kingdom, to reclaim our sacred grove from the barbarians!”
“But who says you should do this?”
“The king of course!”
“But who says that he is King?”
“Why, the Gods of course!”
After all, the very possibility that the King is not special, that the grove is not special, would bring Chaos. Every soldier in the army will think “hey, this dude is King just because everyone listens to him, not because of Gods. So, if I was the most charismatic and got people to follow me, I could also be King?”
That would not do. So, everyone must continue to believe in their Gods and the religion. The King MUST be a special individual blessed by Gods! Because if he isn’t, everything just crumbles and falls apart.
Now another thousand years go by, and there’s no Gods, nor Shamans, nor Kings. The tribe, the Kingdom, is now a modern nation. Forced to continue what their forefather did, a special bus takes scores of devotees up the mountain every year to participate in a made up ritual. The road is bad, and busses frequently crash. The tiny shrine can’t handle so many people. But after all, fire god said that we can’t settle near the shrine! He said we can’t make roads up the mountain!
No one really eats barley, and devotees just buy some at the door, go inside, and burn it. Since farming is automated, there isn’t really a special harvest date. So instead they just fixed the date of pilgrimage. Perhaps on the day when that great King was born! The one who led the war to reclaim it!
But did the special grove get reclaimed? Nope. In fact, the two neighboring countries both own parts of it, and are perpetually fighting over who it belongs to. No one quite knows or remembers why it was sacred to begin with.
The wild animals are all dead, naturally. So, when young men turn 16, they have a special ceremony where the symbolically slay a little doll of the ancient wild beast, now mythologized beyond recognition. Maybe there’s a group of people who drink the special Full moon liquor on other days, and these people are hated and ostracized. How dare they! They must be evil, for they desecrate our ancient teachings and customs! They’re angering the Moon god!
And as science and cultural progress increase, people really start wondering if Moon God really said to not drink the special liquor. Or if the Moon god ever said anything at all. Or…if Moon God even exists.
Some devout people say that the ideals of bravery, moderation and gratitude were only made possible by ancient religious wisdom. Yet others ask, have these ideals not just become common place? Do we really need moon god and fire god to be brave, moderate and thankful? And yet others ask, as expected, why these things are even celebrated. After all, what reason is there to hold these ideals? Why not just give in to pleasure and cowardice?
Such a society would be confused and perpetually at war with itself.
End of an Age
Sometime in 100 AD, an Egyptian sailor named Thamus was travelling towards Italy, when suddenly he hard a divine voice:
Thamus, are you there? When you reach Palodes, take care to proclaim that the great god Pan is dead!”
And so he did so. Upon reaching the shore, he proclaimed “The great god Pan is dead!”. Pan, of course, was the Greek horned God or male fertility, of shepherds, or wild places. He was also the God of terror. In a sense, he was a God under the sign of Aries.
Don’t worry whether this event is true or not. This is a symbolic myth, and heralds the end of the Age of Aries. In little over 200 years, a fringe Jewish cult we now call Christianity would begin to sweep through the Roman empire. Similar things happened in other parts of the world too.
My own gnosis on the matter is that each astrological Age has a ‘God’, that is to say, a symbolic ideal. Not a specific deity, but rather an overarching theme which marks the thoughts and actions of the people who live under it. The end of every Astrological Age brings about the attainment, stagnation, and finally the death of this ideal.
In his book, Aion, Carl Jung proposes a similar theory, albeit without the spiritual trappings. He wrote that over time, the symbols of a society are ‘polished smooth’, and no longer have the same power or influence. For example, he said that in the Early Roman Empire, Greco-Roman polytheism had already become sterilised and meaningless. In my post on Indo Europeans, and also on Dionysus, I also touched upon this. These Gods were revived under the Roman banner one last time, but after that they lost their power. They just seemed like weird, fragmented cults. Meanwhile, Christianity, an extremely edgy religion centred around the worship of an apparently undead God from a distant land, whose followers venerated a symbol of torture, and drank his blood, dressed in dark robes and met in secret underground meeting halls, along with all the fiery and surreal imagery was apparently quite exciting!
A similar thing happened in the East too, with the spread of Buddhism, but that’s a story for another time.
Jung mentioned how, now it is Christianity which has become stale and stagnant, and people have begun to lose interest. But, we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s go back, much further back.
Around the 17th-19th centuries, occultists had already caught on that the world was approaching such a scenario of collapse. In Europe, for example, Christianity had been the dominant religion for a long time. I mean, read occult grimoires from the middle ages, and you’ll see that even occultists who wrote on demonology considered themselves ‘Christian’.
You see, a society need to be uniform and have a set of common values which all members share. For example, the Caliphate in the Middle East, the caste system in India, the Church in Europe, the feudal systems of Japan, China and Korea’s ‘divine’ Emperors, East/ South Africa’s system of clans and tribes, and so on. All these things serve one purpose: to codify those ‘ideals’ we talked about. You could say each had it’s own version of ‘God’. Yes, these ‘Gods’ were similar, but not the same, and that does matter. As we discussed in the example above, these institutions needed to remain unchallenged. Because they were essentially backing up those axioms which a culture takes to be self evident. Without them, there is no divine justification for anything, and no objective meaning and purpose to life.
People may suffer, they may question their place in the world, they may resent their beliefs and doubt their morals, but they would be told that if they just lived as ‘good’ people and tolerated life, they would go to ‘paradise’ or at least have some reward during and after life. They were told that their religion and social norms were ‘correct’, and that their place in life was ‘fated’. Why? Well, because ‘God’ said so!!
In a sense, it saved the average person from having to question things. People rarely had much interaction with foreigners, and so they were sheltered from existential doubts. They could just be content and go on with their life. Unlike in the 21st century, the average peasant was never told he could be King, or should even try to. After all, the King was made by God’s decrees.
People would find peace and comfort by simply believing in their prescribed duties and self evident axioms, even occultists. And by the time the occultist had learned that these prescribed duties were meaningless, they already had the knowledge and wisdom to live without these. Hence why the Bhagavat Gita is so insistent that people follow their ‘prescribed duties’ and the caste system. The authors of this book likely knew that those who walk the spiritual path would eventually realise that the caste system was wrong. But, it still needed to remain for it formed the foundation of society, and gave early spiritual seekers a framework and a set of axioms. In a sense, it backed up the entirety of Hindu society.
But these occultists saw the early warning signs. Maybe the protestant reformation was a warning sign. Suddenly, something so entrenched in European society as the Catholic Church was questioned and challenged. I mean, keep in mind that the Church was the sole justification behind most laws and the authority behind most crowns.
You see, many Magi in Europe had begun to see, and themselves doubt, the axioms laid out by Christianity. If the Church could lie, then couldn’t the Bible…also lie? But, without the Bible, what was to be the purpose of life? If living by Christian values and going to paradise was not the aim…then what was? What was the point of magick, if not to enter into Heaven, and to please God?
And so, these Magi, especially Rosicrucians, came up with an idea that was radical at the time (though to us it may seem obvious). They thought, what if the principles of Magick could be applied to create an ideal society?
A ‘Rosicrucian Kingdom’. A utopia. That old idea from Greece began to resurface. Basically, if there is no heaven, then we’ll create a heaven here. The purpose of life should be to create a world free of pain, sufferings and want. The aim of the magician should be to use their wisdom to make the world a better place! Let us call these guys, the ‘utopianists’.
You will see that, ironically, they also have a set of self evident Axioms which have no justification. Who says that society is even meant to be a perfect paradise free of suffering, pain and want? In reality, we have neither a reasoning nor evidence that humans can even attain a society like this. But the utopianists simply took these concepts to be self evident, and thus fell into the same trap that we discussed. They simply accepted the Christian ideals of ‘paradise’ and brought it into their utopia. Christianity without the God.
I find it amusing when atheists say things like “we don’t need religion to be moral!”. Um, what? Have you read a book on history? The fact is that even with religion, history is a bloodbath. In fact, made up religious tenets can be seen as pretty much the only thing keeping people even remotely moral. The fear that if they commit sins, then God will punish them. Atheists who say that it’s obvious what it means to be moral, have not thought through this stuff enough. It isn’t obvious, and it never was.
Keep in mind, that while 99.9% of you reading likely were conditioned into this utopian ideology in school, in the 17th century it was quite radical. It was never seen as a natural part of life or an aim of magicians to ‘build the ideal society’. Most people believed that suffering was simply a part of life, something you had to do before going to paradise.
And so, some interesting new changes happened.
As some of you may know, John Dee created the Enochian system of Magick with Edward Kelly in Prague, when it was ruled by King Rudolf II. Rudolf II was a hugepatron of Magick and the esoteric arts, and so during his reign magicians, alchemists, witches, mystics, Kabbalists and all sorts of other eccentric folk flocked to Prague.
Prague is a unique city. It was created by an ancient meteorite, and is ringed by 7 hills. The churches and synagogues of the city form a pentagram (sort of). It also had a significant Jewish population and had been home to many Kabbalists in the past. In a sense, it was the perfect place to start the Rosicrucian Kingdom!
Now, things did not quite turn out that way, as some of you probably know. This idea of an occult Kingdom, filled with heretics and those who practiced the ‘black arts’ terrified the rest of Christian Europe. Catholics and Protestants together descended upon Prague, and the city was sacked. Rudolf was killed, and many books of magick were burnt. The dream of the Rosicrucian Kingdom died. That’s a story for another time. However, the utopianist ideal lived on. One day, it would return to the world in the form of socialism, liberalism and progressivism.
Now, there was another group. These are people I’m sure you know well.
This group of occultists, whom we will call ‘tribalists’ asked “why not just return to our ‘natural state’. Meaning, why believe in abstractions, and why not just take science and rationalism as the self evident truth, the transcendent ideal.
In that case, the only rational and objective ‘community’ you belong to, is one based on blood. In other words, ‘race’. And the only rational and scientific purpose of our life should be to preserve ourselves and our group, and oppress everyone else. Basically, the whole ‘might is right’ philosophy. Many of you pagans and satanists might be amused to know that neo-paganism and a desire to return to shamanic religion was originally a traditionalist, anti-progressive sentiment.
In Europe, Christianity came to be seen as a ‘foreign’, ‘Jewish’ and ‘socialist’ religion, and people instead began to ask why not just divide humanity on the basis of ethnic groups, and every ethnic groups should just be left on their own to worship ‘their’ ancestral deities, live on their ancestral land and compete with other groups. Ethnocentrism, and survival of the fittest as the highest ideal. They wished to practice eugenics to strengthen the race. Without a divinely ordained morality, the idea that the individual matters more than the group suddenly felt rather random and arbitrary.
Interestingly, anti-colonial movements in India, Africa and the Middle East were also built on this ideal. Later on, fascists in Europe would come to be inspired by religions like Hinduism.
Many Hindus don’t realise this, but the fascists did not have much interest in Hinduism per se. Rather, they wanted to use it as a framework. Hinduism at this time was strongly entrenched in racial, caste and tribal boundaries. To many, this seemed like the only ‘scientific’ and ‘real’ way to live. Now, these ideologies, since they were so antithetical to the general morality of the time, never quite caught on. But they did live on until they finally emerged again as fascism, nationalism, traditionalism and volkism.
Many neopagan and satanic occult groups started out this way. Theosophy is largely reliant on the idea of race and racialism, although it was not racist itself. Now perhaps you understand why so many works of magick from the late 19th and early 20th century mention race so often, and are so obsessed with race, even in the Golden Dawn and Thelema. For them, race and blood was the only ‘real’ and transcendent ideal.
If you really think about it, you’ll see that any and all attempts at creating a scientific morality inevitably lead to this. Even moderate nationalism, in truth, is based on this idea. The idea that self preservation and general happiness of the race is greater than that of humanity. Meanwhile, utopianism is the opposite, that human progress and material success matter more than any blood ties. Ironically, the ‘humanist’ view denounces natural human tendency, and the ‘rational’ view would denounce scientific progress.
The Death of God
Occultists may have realised what was happening, but people weren’t quite there yet. In most parts of the world, religion was still widely followed and believed in. Everyone was enthusiastic about science, rationalism and social progress. No one could even imagine what the coming century would bring.
“God if dead, and we have killed him”
So wrote the late 19th century German philosopher Friedriche Nietzsche. While today Nietzsche’s writings are well known and popular around the world, no one took him seriously when he was alive. Maybe people thought he was just an edgy atheist or an anti-authoritarian.
Look at just how long this blog post has been, and how much time it took to get everyone reading on the same page. Many people, even now, misunderstand Nietzsche. Some people think he was a right wing traditionalist who was denouncing modernism. This is untrue. Fascists in Italy and Germany interpreted his work a certain way, but anyone who reads him will realise that this is nonsense.
Some others think he was celebrating atheism and rationalism, but this is also untrue. When Nietzsche said “God is dead”, it was not a celebration, but a dire warning. You see, Nietzsche realised what was coming. He saw that increasing scientific and cultural progress had laid bare, very evidently, that many of the religious truths that the West was built upon, namely those of Christianity, and even Greece and Rome, were untrue. By this time, it was well known that the Bible was not literally true, and likely not the Quran or any other holy scripture. It was evident that many social norms and feudal systems around the world were flawed and arbitrary Even the idea of royalty, gender roles, and in fact all the self evident axioms on which the world was built.
To be clear, Nietzsche was not criticisng scientific and cultural progress. If he did that, the answer would be easy. No, he saw them as inevitable. Certain institutions and beliefs which had allowed humanity to build stable societies, and then enabled scientific and cultural development. But, this very progress, this unprecedented growth of Order and the shrinking Unknown, would lead to the destruction of those very institutions and beliefs.
In the time Nietzsche spent thinking, he independently arrived at the same conclusions we have seen in this article. Naturally, this caused him to enter into long, depressive periods and probably have several mental breakdowns. The realisation that life, in truth, had no purpose, and that all the fundamental values and beliefs we cling to are, mostly, just made up, was a horrifying realisation. It was perhaps the first time in the modern era that an ordinary person, who was not a magician, realised this and made it publicly known.
He predicted that eventually, ideology would fill that hole left by religion. And it did, in the form of communism, fascism, nationalism and capitalism. In fact, it was Nietzsche who first called Socialism, “Christianity without the God”, and also came up with this idea that Christianity, and Religion itself created a ‘slave morality’.
You see, he saw a very serious problem. Without God, or a transcendent ideal, who was to justify the moral system of these ideologies? What standard was there to act as an anchor, to stop these various ideologies from just going haywire, and turning into dictatorships? And that is precisely what happened. Some group of people who have the most power, influence and charisma dictate what the ideals of these movements are. And then it’s nothing but a power struggle, as the old culture and institutions are torn down, without meaningful replacements ready. What took thousands of years to evolve cannot simply be replaced overnight. All it breeds, is more revolution.
The failure of both fascism, and marxism has now left us with nothing except capitalism. In my post about the Age of Pisces, I explained how this represents the spiritual fading away of the Piscean age.
You see, capitalism is not a bad economic theory. Yes it has problems, but the fundamental idea that there should be a free market where people voluntarily trade in goods and services is quite decent. The problem is that that’s all capitalism is. It does not work as a moral philosophy (consumerism) and a political system (corporatism).
A lot of people who denounce capitalism these days are, in reality, alienated by our consumerism and corporatism. Money and material wealth have become the transcendent ideal. In a sense, even modern socialists and nationalists are really just consumerists.
For example, let’s say a nationalist wants their country to prosper. By ‘prosperity’, they probably mean economic growth and material progress. If a socialist wants equality, they likely define ‘equality’ as economic equality. As everyone having a job and a living wage. It’s interesting how, money and material wealth have become the be all and end all. The source behind wars, ideological conflict, and even the only thing on people’s minds. All our new technological advancements are used for nothing more than a way for corporations to sell us more shit.
It was Peter J. Carroll, a Chaos magician, who introduced the words “consumer capitalism” and “consumer communism” in his 1980 book called Liber Null. To him, ideology itself has become a commodity. He predicted the coming age of Aquarius, and how people would lose faith in consumerism and corporatism.
It’s like a market place of “isms”, of labels and ideologies which has replaced our religious systems. All ideas which all claim to have “facts” on their side, promising a utopia , if only the ‘good’ people would just deal with whichever group or thing has been deemed to be ‘the problem’. Not too different from medieval priests telling peasants to go burn the heretics, whose activities had apparently the source of bad harvests or strange diseases, who claimed to have ‘God’ and ‘divine decree’ on their side.
Back then God sat up in the sky. Then we went and looked, and he wasn’t there. Then he was sitting in the far future, in some promised utopia. Then we went and looked and he wasn’t there either.
Now people begin to ask “Where is our God! He must be dead! And those people must have killed him!”
Even nihilists blame someone for their nihilism. And today most people are either some form of nihilist (even unconsciously), or believe in various utopias (unconsciously). Maybe you’re a banker, but you hate your job, but you think that the sufferings is worth it because some day, you’ll magically have enough money to feel ‘happy’. Maybe you’re a teenager who thinks life is meaningless, but you think raging and rebelling against ‘society’ is the answer, even though you’re part of society. Maybe you’re a Christian, still desperately clinging to the idea that the Bible isn’t just a book, and Christ will descend from heaven and fix everything, that you’ll go to a promised paradise.
Maybe you’re an occultist, who thinks it is only a matter of time before the Age of Aquarius is in full swing and there will be some ‘mass awakening’ where human beings shall suddenly become more enlightened and evolve. Even though, no one ever said so. We simply choose to believe it. Maybe you think that if you just keep doing magick and tolerating whatever miseries or sorrows you have in life, suddenly there will be a light in the sky and archangels will descend. Maybe you think if you just do the LBRP every day, suddenly there will come a day where you will become free from the pains and hardships of life, and have the ability to fulfill any desires without consequences, where the Gods shall suddenly show themselves to you and all shall be well forever. The politicains will stop lying, the wars will stop, everyone shall embrace magick and there shall be good jobs for everyone. Just….just a matter of time now. Any day…
Is that any more naive than the Christian, the Jew, the Muslim, the Hindu or the Buddhist waiting for promised redemption?
Now, let us try to find a solution.
The Will to Power
Nietzsche was truly ahead of his time. Unlike many other philosophers, he did not bother playing around with ideologies, new religions or scientific rationalism. Instead he went straight to the question: How do we deal with the death of God?
In other words, he started solving the problem of the 21st century in the 19th century.
The commonly given answers, ie returning to religion and believing in science, do not work. Religion, while containing wisdom, can no longer serve as the transcendent ideal, due to the lack of absolute axioms. The fact that these days we have to reconcile religion with modern values and science proves this. A truly divine thing would need neither to be reconciled nor justified.
Then the problem of science. Science tells us how the world is, objectively. It does not tell us how to live, what to aim at, and what our purpose is. Yeah yeah, scientists can harp on all about how “one day” we’ll know. But the fact is, the average 18 year old cannot look to rationalism or science to tell him what he should do with life, or a father how he should raise his children. As we saw in a previous post, it cannot even reliably tell us what we should eat. Now, one answer it could give is that all humanity should simply engage in science. In a way, turn scientific progress itself into the transcendent ideal. Humanity should just devote it’s whole effort to learning more about the Universe. This is an absurdity.
As for now, we have reached the limit. The next frontier, which is space, is out of reach. Most people alive right now will not go to space, and even by the end of the century we can only expect a few research colonies.
Our short lifespans and inability to travel close to the speed of light hinders us. In a way, the ‘Known’ has expanded and encompassed everything on the planet. With a simple google search, you can have 99% of phenomena on Earth explained, view scenes and images from any place, and communicate with anyone anywhere. Yes, there are unexplored jungles, but how many of us will realistically explore unknown forests, dive deep into the ocean or go into space? The unknown is now beyond the reach of most humanity.
And yet these rationalists have created a mentally ill society by telling everyone that the only meaningful path is to push even further. Hence, everyone wants to be an entrepreneur, an explorer, to create an AI, a VR experience, to be an activist, a celebrity or a billionaire. Everyone wants to change the world. The naturally slow pace of science drives people into pseudo-scientific cults like the Flat Earth Society just to find answers, while the rest run off into the fantastical land of video games, comics and films, just to find some sense of novelty and adventure. We have an entire world of dissatisfied people who are unhappy with their ‘mundane’ lives, and want all those exciting opportunities which are few, and can only go to some.
After a lifetime of thought, Nietzsche produced his magnum opus, the philosophy called Will to Power. It was a message for the time we currently live in, and thus has grown quite popular. But it is a frequently misunderstood idea.
Will to power is an idea as powerful as it is depressing. Nietzsche, rejects both free will and determinism. He rejects both hard atheism and religion. And, he rejects both tribalism and utopianism, since he saw how they were rather arbitrary.
Rejecting the idea of ‘survival of the fittest’, he elevated it to ‘Power to the Fittest’. Basically, he purported that all things in the Universe are driven by one transcendent principle: the Will to Power. That is to say, the Will to increase relative power. To not just survive, but thrive, and expand influence, and overpower. Life, according to him, is simply one case of the Will to Power, and human beings are also primarily motivated by this.
Out there in the Universe, where two stars come close together, what happens? Their gravitational pulls naturally compete, until one consumes the other, or locks it into orbit.
In our solar system, Planets formed as a result of larger rocks overcoming and consuming smaller rocks. Human beings evolved to where we are through warfare, competition and by actively dominating and integrating other homonid species, and by actively changing the environment.
The Will to Power, therefore, states that all forces in the Universe are really the Will to Power. And this force competes with itself, force against force, Will against Will, to increase it’s power and domination. Every single thing is driven towards the expansion of its power, influence and sphere of control.
You will see that this fits into the shaman story we started with. By entering into the forest, the Shaman was driven by the Will to Power. After all, the expansion of knowledge leads to the expansion of the Shaman’s power. By learning to heal, he can not only increase his own lifespan, but also gain an elevated position over his peers. Learning to make medicine can allow the tribe to be healthier and have longer lifespans, and this gives them an advantage over other tribes.
By adhering to ancient wisdom, the society maintains its relative ascendance. When a society collectively ostracizes a ‘heretic’, it’s only because the heretic threatens the status quo which reduces the power of the society, and also threatens those who hold most of this power. Two kingdoms fight over a land not merely because of superstition, but because of the innate desire to dominate, subjugate and overpower the other, thereby increasing it’s power and that of it’s subjects. People fight for some King because, by increasing his power, they increase the power of their kingdom and also of themselves. People choose to believe in religious dogma because there is strength in numbers, and by forming themselves into a community, their relative power grows. After all, a religious community fanatically devoted to their cause is more powerful than an individual can ever be.
If today people denounce religion in our society, it’s because it no longer empowers and serves people. In reality, people come to new traditions of magick and spirituality not because they seek ‘truth’, but because it grows their power. Spiritual traditions spread their teachings because it increases their influence and wealth.
Even this blog could be seen as a manifestation of my own Will to Power, to increase my influence by spreading my ideas to the world. You read it because the knowledge will increase your quality of life, and ability to control, dominate and change your life and circumstances.
All this likely sounds bleak, but I want you to really consider the implications of the Will to Power. It is an inescapable truth, even if not transcendent, it is profound. War is Will to Power. Politics is Will to Power. Rebellions and Dictatorship alike are Will to Power. Romance, Education, Travel, Spirituality are this Will to Power. Evolution itself, and Scientific progress are Will to Power. Natural disasters, the motion of stars, the galactic swirling, entropy and gravity are this Will to Power. Life simply is Will to Power.
J.R.R. Tolkien famously took on Nietzsche (being himself a devout Catholic). In the Lord of the Rings, Sauron’s Ring is defined as the ‘will to power’ itself. Tolkien was taking an obvious jab. His aim was to show Sauron as following the Will to Power, and thus being cruel and tyrannical, and how the Fellowship of the Ring overcame his power through friendship, loyalty, humility and mercy.
And yet, Tolkien only went ahead and proved Nietzsche’s point. For you see, ‘Power’ in Will to Power is not just being described as strength, military capacity or wealth. No, power is anything that helps you overcome your foes. So, according to Nietzsche, humility, mercy, tolerance, generosity and loyalty are also forms of ‘power’. According to this philosophy, the people of Middle Earth only succeeded because these traits increased their Power. By being merciful humble, loyal, brave and honorable, they were able to overpower Sauron.
All Tolkien proved is that these traits are more powerful than domineering strength and a numerical advantage. All it shows is that the Elves, Dwarves and Humans had a stronger, and more ‘powerful’ form of government and social ties than the orcs of Mordor. Sam and Frodo succeeded not because friendship is ‘good’, but only because in that specific instance friendship and loyalty were more powerful than fear and deceit. Sauron did not fail because he was ‘evil’, but because he was weaker.
That is the inescapable idea of Will to Power.
For even a noble, generous man who shares his immense wealth and genuinely loves his enemies and genuinely wants the best for mankind, does so because such traits are seen as ‘good’ by the human race and increase his relative power. That is not all, of course. There is something greater, but that’s what these posts are working towards. The existence of a Higher Ideal does not invalidate the Will to Power.
The Sacred Masculine
To many of you, that probably sounds pretty damn bleak. It makes everything seem so…futile.
I mean, power? Really? The entirety of existence is really just driven by Wills competing for power? What about love? Do you really just love your parents because it has social utility and evolutionary advantage? Do you really put time into your passion because it enables you to grow your influence and power? Do you really just do magick to ascend over others?
Will to Power is almost certainly real, but it’s doubtful is it is the transcendent ideal. Nietzsche, it seems, had a similar problem, being unable to find satisfaction in his answer. So, he came up with another idea: the Ubermensch.
The Ubermensch means the “over man” or, quite literally, “super man”.
Nietzsche felt that the Will to Power was basically an ‘natural’ state of being, and that evolution itself had caused human beings to possess it. But, unlike many of the ‘blind’ forces in the Universe, human beings had also evolved reason. We developed the ability to break away from our natural, animalistic state and create artificial ways of being.
A lot of people casually use the term Ubermensch, not actually understanding what it means. In Nietzsche’s understanding, it was the eventual goal of human evolution. He thought that, over time, a new kind of human would emerge, who would be able to transcend their inherited value system. And thus, this highly evolved creature would be able to ‘create’ their own values, completely independently.
Think back now, to the previous Secret of Magick post. Do you remember what we discussed? How magick causes a process of spiritual transformation that eventually causes the practitioner break away from their inherited reality, and create their own reality. By being able to redefine their psyche, they become able to redefine their own value system, and develop a new, personal morality.
This is the Ubermensch, the being who creates their own reality and their own values. The being who is not bound by anything, but instead binds the forces of their psyche to their Will.
What Nietzsche believed would emerge out of human evolution, is already attainable through spiritual evolution within the individual. It is the destiny of the Magician to make themselves the Ubermensch.
You can see this paralleled in myths of Armageddon. As you all know, the story of Christ being resurrected represents the Initiation of the student. The individual dies, symbolically, and is reborn. Christ is the ‘Self’. But then, what does the story of Revelation symbolise?
It represents Christ returning to the World to destroy it, and redeem the fallen. In reality, it represents the Crossing of the Abyss, when all those symbols which unconsciously governed us as cast away, such as morality, laws, religion, culture, passions etc. It is when our perception of reality, our ‘Universe’ is destroyed, and the contents of the psyche all reveal themselves and stand before the Self for judgement. This is also represented by the Kalki Avatar, Horus the Avenger, and Ragnarok. All this these myths of destruction really just show the destruction of the psyche, and redemption of all aspects of oneself. Beyond this, the ascended magi is free to define reality as they Will. However, this is not a singular event, but actually a lifelong process.
The Will is Masculine. Order is Masculine. Therefore, the Will to Power, to confront the Unknown and create Order from it is the impulse of the Sacred masculine. This very act or creating order from chaos is magick, and invokes the Sacred Masculine. It manifests to us as Culture, the Divine Father, for when we confront the Unknown, we generally rely upon our ‘culture’ to make sense of it.
In the most crude sense, this is why when an ancient culture overcame the other in combat, they sought to impose their own culture onto it, and why humanity was always driven to expand it’s sphere of control, and various cultures wanted to spread their philosophy, religion and ways of life. This is also an aspect of the Will to Power.
As we discussed in the last post, Religion (which is born out of culture) gives us a framework to practice spirituality. Magick, too, can be done within this framework. However, as a shaman generates culture, the practice of magick eventually enables the student of magick to become like the Ubermensch, and generate their own culture and value hairarchy.
For example, let us say you practice witchcraft, or hermeticism, or even thelema and satanism.
Perhaps you do the LBRP everyday. Tell me, hasn’t the LBRP, and it’s symbols become a part of your own, personal ‘culture’. The fact is that ordinary people, even in the West, do not normally do the LBRP, or use the Pentagram and Cross the way we do, or look at the world through our alchemical and kabbalistic framworks.
Even as you read right now, Hermeticism, Neopaganism, Daoism, Yoga and a few other traditions are spreading like wildfire across the world, preached and practiced by spiritualists, literally creating a bran new, novel culture.
For thousands of individuals in the world, as the old ‘God’ dies, and new ‘God’ is coming into being, which will produce a new set of ideals. And the Father, or Culture, producing this God is a conglomeration of various popular magickal traditions. We have become like the new shamans, going into the Unknown and bringing back wisdom.
In a weird sort of way, we magicians of the 21st century all belong to a bunch of brand new cultures, which slowly assimilate through our interactions and exchange of knowledge. Some of you may have a completely unique magickal system of your own making, which means you basically have a culture that you, and only you, adhere to. Over time, these WILL bleed into mainstream awareness, either through external means (such as this blog), or internal means (simply spreading through the collective unconscious). I mean, was the Pentagram as common or mainstream a symbol just 100 years ago as it is now?
Right now, there are people reading this blog from all parts of the world. Some of you may be Western, some African, some Asian and some Indian. Some of you may be Christian, some Hindu, some Pagan. And yet, none of the contents of this blog, or any other similar blog or youtube channel, are part of mainstream culture. I can casually reference things like the LBRP, which to the average person are totally unknown. Tell me them, isn’t all this really just a set of new cultures which are emerging? Aren’t you really just becoming members of a new culture, shared currently by only a small number of people, but rapidly growing? A culture originating in the Golden Dawn, in Thelema, in Neo-Vedanta, in Technological spirituality, in Psychadelics, in Satanism, in Neo-Paganism, in Gnosticism, in UFO cults, in Cryptids, in Cosmic religion and Interstellar imagery!
Perhaps, 200 years from now, children in schools will read the LBRP as a daily prayer. Maybe there were be Churches and Temples which venerate the Pentagram. Maybe the Hermetic Laws will be widely and commonly believed in. You already see mainstream people believing in things like “the law of attraction” and “synchronicity”.
God is dead, and we killed him. But now from the womb of our own minds, a new God is being born, who shall guide us into the future. Therefore, pray and work. Follow your impulse, your drive, and your Will. Do not despair, or allow those who spread fear, hopelessness and despair to confuse you. If we are living in a time of upheaval, it is only because the Unknown has entered into our bastions of civilisation and culture, which are now ridden with holes. But, this is precisely when magicians thrive.
Like Ra, the Solar Father, who raised the first Obelisk from the chaotic waters of Nu, so too can we do so in our own lives, collectively and individually.
Next time, we shall look at the Divine Feminine, instead 🙂
Now I know what you’re thinking, “Raven, you said you’d write more regularly. It’s been nine months“
Well, I don’t have much to say. I have no excuses. Without going into too many details, my country was undergoing…economic turmoil. I was not in the best state of mind to write about spiritual matters, and sometimes it’s better to stay silent than say thing you don’t mean because of anger or frustration. I get a lot of emails from people who put a great deal of faith in what I say, and I don’t plan to give anyone bad or misleading information. By the way, I read all your messages and emails, although I cannot reply to all, and I’m thankful to everyone who writes in.
But anyway, here we are again.
Western, Eastern and Modern Ideas of Enlightenment
When I say the word “Enlightenment”, there’s one of three ideas that comes to your mind. First, the most common concept of ‘Nirvana’ that comes primarily from Buddhism, though it has merged to some degree with Hindu and Sikh asceticism. You may think of the myraid of ‘gurus’ parading around with long beards, decked out in orange or white clothing, and teaching really generic “spirituality” to the masses. Many of these dudes either run shady cults or international bodies that primarily attempt to hold political power (especially in the East). I’m not saying there’s nothing to be gained from them, but it’s simple spiritual practices that is packaged for mass consumption, without deviating too much from the standard norms for thinking.
There are of course, authentic mystics that are said to be enlightened, but they don’t normally have a public presence. Real ascetics, like the ones who live in Varanasi, are following a specific spiritual traditions, much like the rest of us. Many of them are also just weed smoking hippies.
Secondly, you may think of the Western televangelists. Generally, they are part of megachurches and to them “enlightenment” means some kind of experience with God, Christ, or an advanced knowledge of the Scripture. Unlike the ‘gurus’, these preachers make no attempt to sell “spirituality”. To them, ‘spirituality’ and ‘enlightenment’ fall entirely within the dogma of their specific sect. Here, we see “enlightenment” presented as a by-product of institutional power. This has lately been extended to Islamic clerics and certain Rabbis as well.
The Pope and Dalai Llama fall into this category. While I have nothing against them, you must realise that they are basically political leaders of different religions, and are said to be “enlightened” because of this authority, not because of anything they’ve done outside of the religion. According to them, to know scripture is to know God. This applies to Buddhism as much as it does to the Abrahamic religions. I would not call these people spiritual or ‘enlightened’, though maybe people find a sense of comfort in listening to them.
Finally, you may think of the word “enlightenment” in the context of the historical era we call the “Enlightenment”, which followed close at the heels of the French revolution, and was the result of the printing press and democratic attitudes spreading across Western Europe, North America and Japan. The spread of the scientific method, coupled with the liberalization of culture, the introduction of the Parliaments, the Age of Exploration and finally, the Industrial revolution and the subsequent end of Feudalism and Religious authority thrust us into what we now call “modernity”.
On one hand, this “Enlightenment” refers to “classical liberal” values, such as Secularism, Democracy, Equality, Liberty etc. Today we take these for granted, but just 150 years ago people would have told you that only “Enlightened” parts of the world followed this.
On the other hand, people who use this term today refer to scientific, materialistic determinism, often coupled with atheism or at least a rejection of traditional religion, with the statement that “subjective” cultural values like beauty, morality, virtue etc. do not really exist. Ironically, while it has improved our quality of life substantially, it has also made people nihilistic, and given rise to the belief that there is no purpose to life, good or justice in the world and a reason for living. After all, if everything is a man made creation that can be deconstructed, what is the point of anything at all? In the past few years there has been a resurgence of traditional dogma.
I’m not going to give an opinion on how “Enlightened” our current time is, because throughout all of history people have always considered their time to be “enlightened” and the past to be “dark”. 500 years from now, we’ll be the ones with crazy dogmas and “unenlightened” beliefs. And, if you’re even reading this blog, I think it’s safe to assume that you aren’t satisfied with being told you’re an insignificant speck of dust on a ball of rust, spiraling around a failing nuclear reactor that’s hurtling through a pointless abyss.
The Dual “Enlightenment”
Within the Occult, the term “enlightenment” often applies to two things.
First, the act of “being Initiated” is and has always been considered important in the Occult. In fact, various occult schools use the terms “Initiated” and “Uninitiated” to distinguish between magickains and non magickians. Some groups like the O9A took it rather far with the term “kindred” and “mundane”, even encouraging violence, deception and manipulation against the “mundane”. But, although I don’t condone treating anyone as lesser, I can see where the anger and frustration stems from.
Over the years, you’ve heard various terms like the “masses”, “NPCs”, “normies” or just “average people” thrown around, and not just by Occultists. This highlights an important point that this type of Enlightenment isn’t just about belonging to a specific magickal tradition or even being an occultist. But who exactly uses these terms? The Elite? Intellectuals? ‘Smart’ people? These are equally vague terms.
You might say perhaps this difference doesn’t even exist, but it does. And trust me, this isn’t an elitist statement, because I despise elitism.
In my opinion, the first thing that can be attained is “Initiation” or “Adepthood”, and is said to be accompanied by the religious experience. Organised religions try to replicate this through various initiation rituals that members are meant to go through either at birth, or adolescence, or whenever they join. Unfortunately, this means anyone who has undergone a certain ritual or been given a position by a tradition, claims superiority due to being an “Adept”.
Next, comes the state of Niravana or Salvation. In Hermetic Kabbalah, this is reached after an experience called ‘Crossing the Abyss’. People who reach this are often called by various names within religions, like Boddhissatvas, Rishis, Ascended Masters, Saints etc. Such people are often regarded with a near God like status. Many, many pretenders claim to be divine as well.
“Anyone who must say ‘I am King!’ is no true King” ~Tywin Lannister, Game of Thrones
The True Meaning of Initiation
From the point of view of any specific tradition, being Initiated, in my opinion, means that you can now teach that system without guidance.
So when a specific School of Magick insists on going through the process of Initiation, they say it primarily to help you understand and internalize the teachings of that system. You may already be an Adept, but you still need to learn the system.
For example, if reached Adepthood through pagan Witchcraft, you may be great magickian. But if you were to decide to learn ceremonial Magick, you can’t just start from it’s Adept rituals. After all, you need to understand the theory and symbols, and work with them so they actually mean something to you. In the most mundane sense, that it why Initiations exist.
People think becoming an Adept involves having special powers, being more knowledgeable than others, having had some kind of psychic vision, or even a Kundalini awakening. ALL of these may accompany Adepthood, but they aren’t what define it. After all, some people are simply psychically gifted since birth. Some people have early Kundalini awakenings. Some people simply are smarter or more creative than others.
Adepthood comes with independent and original thinking.
I know, sounds cliched, but hear me out. The fundamental difference that people see between Initiated and Uninitiated people is the lack of independent thinking. No one is born with this. In fact, each and every one of us is born into a culture and society that restrains and controls our thoughts and beliefs. Even if you ‘rebel’, as many do, you’re usually just abiding by an alternative and often ‘counter’ culture, which itself is most likely the norm for another culture.
Yes, it’s possible that certain social norms, belief systems and systems work better than others on a cultural level. But there is debate over this and people often become foot soldiers in this culture war, slowly giving over their agency either to their own culture or the new one they’ve adopted. It’s also possible that certain modes of thinking are better for an individual than others. For a highly artistic person, altruistic and liberal beliefs probably help him. For a soldier in the military, traditional notions of hierarchy and duty may be better. My point, it doesn’t matter what is better or worse, but your ability to think for yourself and decide this.
What are the ‘masses’. Put simply, people who do not think for themselves. This is most of the human population. Practically everyone sticks with inherited beliefs and social norms. People have a morality and values that are circumstantial, hence one moment you have people talking about unity and empathy, and the next they’re viciously attacking those who don’t think or look like them. I’ve personally seen people’s beliefs change based on what they saw on the News (but this post isn’t about that)
People repeat the ideas of others without ever challenging them. You may think you don’t, but at some point in your life you definitely have. It’s human nature to be tribal.
“Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large numbers” ~George Carlin (Funnily, I’m sure people who opposed him thought the exact same thing)
Dr. Jordan Peterson once remarked that most people, were they living in Germany in 1933, would most likely be Nazis. Although many think they would fight against their own society and save the Jews, this is highly unlikely, even in brave and moral people. Like I said, this isn’t about having superior or inferior qualities, but the agency of thought.
Even when a truly transgressive movement emerges, over time it too develops a “group think” that it’s new members simply abide by. Think about Christianity. Think about Communism or Democracy. Each of these were highly radical for their time. Even the very philosophy of Individualism comes with a baggage.
I would like to go in details, but perhaps in a future post. This isn’t the place.
Thinking independently is not something that one is born with or gets by virtue of intellect, knowledge or maturity. It is something you strive for, and in my opinion this is the true meaning of spiritual growth. Everyone, as far as I’m concerned, is moving towards this over the course of their existence. Through the practice spirituality, you slowly begin to care less about what other people think or say, and become more content with yourself. This becomes most evident when you realise that you don’t care about debating with or correcting others, unless it has some real implication. Generally, all that will be achieved is sour the relationship or push the person further into their dogma.
aren’t we all
Ever heard of the axiom “Speech if silver, Silence is Gold” ? The reason magickians don’t go red in the face trying to explain to the others what magick is or convince them that it works, is because they don’t feel the need to tell everyone. Put simply, it doesn’t really matter. This is not apathy, but acceptance of the way things are. It would be far better to improve the world through action, than by arguing with others and endlessly worrying about what the world thinks.
Interestingly, this ties into the values of the Enlightenment era. The scientific method states that nothing should simply be accepted, unless it has been tested and proven effective. Classical liberalism encourages us to live and let live. If you look at history, you’ll see these values didn’t come about in the Enlightenment for the first time, and have existed and evolved since the birth of Civilisation, and often spoken within spiritual and Occult traditions.
The Hermetic Order of the Golden dawn used to insist that the Adept must have three key qualities. Not intellect, nor magick powers. Simply: Persistence, Determination and Humility.
People who are intelligent, or gifted, or rich, or well educated can fail. These things aid people in succeeding, but they do not guarantee success and fulfillment in life. Nor is it that the poor, illiterate, or those who have gone through a lot of hardship always succeed. The only quality common across those who are Adept is their persistence, determination and humility.
When you look at truly great people, you always see that they had a goal that they pursued no matter what, and a strong moral code they lived by. The pursuit of this goal led to failure after failure. But it doesn’t matter how many times they failed, but rather that they continued until success was found.
When you practice magick, you may find that you very quickly start transforming yourself and gaining an edge over others. But we have to constantly remember that we are not superior, or ‘higher’ than others. You have to treat even “lowly” people with respect.
I’m not making a case for pacifism, meekness or servility. Certainly, if someone crosses you, you have to deal with them firmly. Never turn yourself into an unwitting martyr. It’s okay to want things, it’s okay to have desires and ambition, and it’s okay to be aggressive. The Gods favor these qualities. But petty elitism, entitlement, and cruelty toward those who are weak are signs of an inflated Ego. That usually leads to the fall of the Magickian.
The Meaning of Godhood
We have established that the Initiation or Adepthood means the ability to think independently. The key qualities that are sought for in an Adept are humility, persistence and determination.
Most Occult traditions bring about this process through a system of “grades”. Usually, each grade involves rituals, meditations, learning, real world tasks and self analysis. These days, most people self initiate, especially in Western traditions. In Eastern traditions it is still more common to find a teacher.
Every system is different, and it’s not necessary that every person who has achieved a ‘rank’ is actually Enlightened or Spiritual, nor that Initiation can only be attained through this method. The aim is to bring about self transformation.
Every great magickian has only one trait in common, that they truly think for themselves, and would not compromise their principles and values due to social pressure.
The second “enlightenment”, was summed up simply by the Oracle of Delphi:
Buddhism is the only religion that is the most blunt about how Buddhahood is achieved. It is done through the acquisition of Self Knowledge.
Each person has their own path to this, because each person is unique. The Western traditions call a person’s life path as his “True Will”, and the performance of your True Will is doing the “Great Work”. Hinduism calls it “Dharma” or Duty (in the Bhagavat Gita sense, not Hindu orthodox sense)
These are all simply fancy ways of saying “know thyself”. A person who understands himself, also learns to see himself in others. Each of us will have some degree of insight, and we do various things to increase this. I mean, it is often said that everyone is just looking for love and happiness. Perhaps a better way to put it, would be that everyone is looking for fulfillment.
They want to know what their life means, what they enjoy, whom they are meant to be with, what their profession is supposed to be. “God’s plan” as the Christians put it.
Obscurantism in the Occult has made it seem like ‘Enlightenment’ is some distant, magical privilege afforded only to holy men living in the mountains, or monks living in isolation with nothing but a devotion to God. This is why people allow so called “Enlightened” men and women to take control of their lives, and dictate social norms. This is why people would rather rely completely upon ‘divinely’ inspired scriptures of various political ideologies that promise Utopia, instead of their own intuition and wisdom. Simply put, people do no know themselves, and you cannot trust what you do not know. And so, people seek Divinity in everything but themselves.
Unlike Initiation, there is no specific structure to ‘attain’ Enlightenment’ The simplest way to put it would be to discoverer and follow your unique path. I do not know if everyone’s purpose is Divinely ordained, although I believe this. Even if it isn’t, self knowledge leads the the perception that one is doing what one was meant for, and this brings fulfillment.
As far as I am concerned, Enlightenment means coming to terms with the suffering of life, and then finding something that makes it all worthwhile. If, when my time comes to die, I am not filled with regrets and feel I lived as I was meant to, I think that’s Enlightenment. Sometimes, this means standing against the status quo, and challenging it.
Generally, the Golden Dawn and other such groups stated that integrating the Jungian Shadow and developing a strong moral code, and finally being able to rely completely on your own wisdom, to the point where you do not even need the the symbols of various Occult traditions, is how Enlightenment is achieved. But the point is, it’ll be different for each person, and only each person can know what it means.
It has been described by Western occultists as “the moment where the Individual realises that the entire Universe is speaking to him personally”. The Zen Buddhists speak of ‘spontaneous enlightenment’. In other words, not an elaborate process, but a sudden realisation of Self. Becoming who you are.
For someone, it might mean creating a great scientific invention and for another it may just mean running a bakery in their village. Some enlightened people may develop spiritual powers or take part in the destiny of nations, while others may find fulfillment in gardening or a simple service job. People are different, but, in my opinion, it comes down to Independent Thinking, which then leads to Self Knowledge.
If you can think for yourself, you can act for yourself and do what’s right for you. Over time, you can understand what it is you should do with your life. You can figure this out at 18, or you can figure it out at 50, and then spend the rest of your life pursuing it. This is my interpretation of Dharma.
How to Get On Your Path
First off, I think one should become depolarised. I’ve linked a great video on this topic by Frater Xavier, who explains depolarisation better than I ever could. You don’t have to do “magick” for it, but rituals and meditation certainly helps. Namely, a daily performance of the Middle Pillar Ritual. A big part of this, as Frater will explain, is learning not to react.
Secondly, learn to be self reliant. During this lockdown, I made an interesting observation. A huge number of people, of all ages, do not know how to perform simple tasks: like cooking, cleaning, and saving money. I suppose I should thank my mother for teaching me everything under the sun. When the lockdown started, and we ran out of Gin, I started brewing alchohol at home using baker’s yeast, burnt bread and a pressure cooker (a Russian drink called Kvass). On the other hand, there were people who are so reliant on immigrant maids cleaning and cooking for them, they can’t even figure out how to make rice.
I’m not trying to pass judgements, but this lockdown brought one thing to everyone’s attention: we simply aren’t self reliant enough: as nations, as communities and as people. We’ve come to rely completely on this interconnected social web that without it, everything starts collapsing. Countries are starting to be forced to open up, even though the virus is still around, because of the very nature of our economy.
I’m not going to say what’s right or wrong, instead I’ll tell you this: this isn’t the first or last time something like this has or will happened. The enormous comfort, peace and prosperity that the world has enjoyed since 1950 is extremely unusual in terms of human history. And let me remind you that everytime things go wrong, people first come after those like us. People like us who are somewhat unusual, do not conform to social norms, have unorthodox beliefs and practices etc. Yeah, we are in an “enlightened time”, but then again, there ARE still countries where ‘witch hunts’ happen. History shows us that things can change radically in just over a decade.
As magickians, we need to learn to rely on ourselves. Learn all basic skills that are needed to live independently. I’m not saying to be detached from society (although some may prefer that), but learn to take care of yourself, so that you aren’t dependent on others. Self reliance is the first Step to Self Knowledge.
Finally, learn. You are part of a vast and complex social network that you were born into. It is not important that you go out and start challenging it, but at least start learning about it. Learn about your religion, your country’s real history, about the political parties you support, what you believe and why. Learn these things without passing judgement, and expose yourself to opposing ideas without engaging it debate or mental justification/retorts. Open your mind, and then open your heart. This is what it means to think for yourself.
And there we go, Enlightenment. It means different things for different people, but the most important thing to remember that it was always supposed to be something the Individual himself can attain, not something rewarded to a few special people.
Written November 23rd, 2016 | Edited: 13th March 2019
Summary of my experience with Raphael.
Good guy Raphael, forcing war councils to be adjourned with sheer optimism.
(Scene is from Makai Ouji Devil’s and Realist, Ch 32)
What? Extremely irreverent to depict mighty Archangel of Air, Ruler of Hod/Tiphareth, and Divine Healer as a comical, flamboyant optimist, you say?
Well, it’s sort of true, at least for me, and clearly the person who wrote Makai Ouji.
I invoked Raphael recently. Looking back on this blog, I realised I only ever share posts about demons and darker angels. So I figured, why not share one about a more popular, light side Spirit, and one who holds incredible power and position. You know, to maintain the balance, as the blog’s name implies and not lean toward a single Pillar. So, give it up for Archangel Raphael!
This is an invocation done using the Grimoire of Armadel
This ended up insanely long, please bear with me
“Let me show you, what happened to Nagini”
The Name Raphael
Raphael is the name of the Archangel of Air. It is Hebrew, and translates as “God, who heals”, “Healing of God, or “God, The Healer”.
It originates in Babylon, where people spoke Akkadian, am ancient Semitic language from which Hebrew and Arabic come. Many angelic names come the 7 aspects/children of Ahura Mazda (God), known as the Immortal Ones, in Zoroastrianism.
In Hebrew it is spelled with the four letters Resh-Pe-Aleph-Lamed, R-Ph-A-L (רָפָאֵל), and it’s value is 200+800+1+30= 1031.
The common name we use, Raphael, is the Latinised spelling of this name.
The Arabic name for Raphael is Israfil ( إسرافيل), or Israfel, which means the “Burning One”, although in Hebrew lore, that title is generally given to Uriel. In Magick, this name is used in an Invocation of Thoth. All other times, we call him Raphael.
Before we move to the Magick, a quick look at Raphael from the traditional point of view.
To the Jews, Raphael is the 3rd most important angel, placed immediately under Mikhael and Gabriel, and one of the seven Archangels of Heaven. He is also one of the four highest Archangels, associated with Healing, known to have cured several important figures of ailments, such as Tobit, whom he accompanied on his journey through the desert. He overcame the demon Asmodeus, saving Raguel’s daughter Sarah from him, and binding the leader of fallen angels Azazel. He is sometimes depicted as a Serpent.
In Judaic lore, he rules the order of Auphanim (which are in the Sephiroth Chokmah), he stands to the West of the Throne of God, and is associated with one of the four rivers in Eden, very simply put. Look, we have a lot to get through.
“Sir! Would you be interested in-“ “I’m sorry, I have to go. I’m totally busy. I have exams. I’ll miss my train. I’m sure you’re doing something cool though. Really!”
To the Christians, Raphael is very similar to the Judaic Raphael, since both religions have the same source texts. In Christianity, due to the lack of complex Judaic theological structures, he is almost exclusively associated with healing Tobit and defeating Asmodeus, and in the New Testament, thought to be the Angel who healed the people at the Pool of Bethesda.
He is venerated as a Saint by the Catholic Church, as well as the Orthodox, exalted in several Renaissance artworks, sculptures and literature, as well as revered by many Protestant sects and called the “Divine Physician”. He is also sometimes mentioned as the one who brought the Ancient Mysteries to Solomon, though at times it is also Mikhael.
In Islam, it is more difficult to draw parallels, since it has different theology, and since it is a strongly monotheistic religion, and does not clearly define any beings or spirits other than Allah (God) and Mohammed. To the Muslims, Raphael, known as Israfil, is one of the four Archangels who were sent to fetch dust from all corners of the Earth to build Adam, and who will herald the apocalypse with Trumpets, and is said to have tutored the Prophet. Said to have four wings and be a master of Music and Languages, he sings hymns and melodies for God.
Non Abrahamic Sources
Though these are older than the Abrahamic version, Archangels as we perceive them come from Abrahamic sources. That’s why I’m writing this second, and this is just for information. It’s mainly literary connections I can draw.
The Archangels originate from Zoroastrianism, as I said previously, meaning the equivalent of Raphael is the Amesha Spenta known as Haurvatat, meaning Perfection of Health.
Since he is like a snake, that would link him to the serpents of Mercury’s Caduceus. Remember, the Caduceus is also associated with healing, which is why the WHO emblem is derived from it. It originates from the story of Asclepius who was revered by the ancient Greeks as a God of Healing and whose cult involved the use of snakes. (The symbol itself is called something else, but it’s clearly derived from the Caduceus).
And, Mercury also ruled travelling, and Raphael traveled over a fair distance with Tobit.
As far as Egypt goes, he is associated with Aquarius, and the Holy Living One/Kerub known as The Man. While “The Man” is the higher symbol of Air associated with Aquarius, Raphael is associated Libra. This association means balance.
Within Magick and the Occult
Being an angel, Raphael is predominant within Ceremonial Magick, and being a cardinal angel and Watcher, he plays a variety of roles.
First and foremost, Raphael is one of the ruling Angels on the The Tree of Life. He rules the sphere of Hod (Glory) or Tiphareth (Beauty). In Hod is the Healing aspect, while in Tiphareth is the aspect associated with Beauty and the guiding light.
Hod is associated with Mercury, which Raphael rules, further strengthening the connection to Magick, and we’ve already established Raphael’s links to Mercury symbolism.
Raphael is also one of the four Archangels of the Quarters, ruling in the East, once again, becoming the first Angel that the Magician faces towards. Being in the East, he rules Air, which is also ruled by the Planet Mercury.
Raphael thus also rules the Zodiac Sign of Air, which is Aquarius, and so this also connects him to it’s ruling planet Uranus, a higher octave of Mercury. Seeing as it is currently the Age of Aquarius, or at least, we can say that the transition has begun, Raphael is the overseer of the current/coming astrological Age.
And here, you see the 4 kinds of ways in which human beings react to Magick.
As the ruler of Hod, his Qliphotic counterpart of the Archdemon Andramelech, whereas his cardinal counterpart is Amaymon, Demonic King of the East and Air.
Within the Egyptian Ceremonies, there are four Kerubs in each Cardinal direction. The lower counterpart, aka the elemental King associated with Raphael is Paralda, the King of Air.
What Raphael Represents
So, in essence, Raphael corresponds with the ability of our body and mind to heal itself regardless of damage, as well as the ability of the Earth to heal itself against the odds (the story of Tobit is full of odds against him. Think about how Beijing, being immensely polluted for decades, reverted back to having clear air and blue skies with cars being banned for just 2 weeks). Healing leads to Beauty. Mercury to Sun.
Along with that, Raphael represents the conscious mind, our thoughts, decisions, reason and logic, and what we project onto the world, and the progress of Science, which in turn, lends to the progress of Medicine, which are among the few key things that lead humanity into the Age of Aquarius, but also the Ego contained in it, which is why he is connected to Serpents. The Ego is greatly strengthened when we place the Conscious mind over the subconscious.
“Sir, are you sure it’s suppossed to be pee coloured”
“Shut up Jane. This is going to be The Future. Once we decide if it’s profitable”
UPDATE (2019): I keep talking about the association of Raphael with Hod and Mercury. In Yetzirah, Raphael rules Hod, and this is the healing aspect. In Briah, Raphael rules Tiphareth, and the Sun. This is his other aspect, associated with Beauty. In each case, Mikhael rules the other planet. So in Briah, Mikhael rules Hod, while in Yetzirah, Mikhael rules Tiphareth. For this reason, the two angels overlap a lot. While their enegy and presence is very different, they share a lot of sphere of influence. For example, Raphael heals, while Mikhael cleanses. Raphael rules beauty, while Mikhael is the beautiful face of God. Raphael rules science and medicine, while Mikhael rules the rational mind and critical thinking. I often struggled with trying to understand why Raphael was so often places on Sun and Mikhael on Merury, even though it should be vice versa. I now know that this is because of the differences between the Tree of Life in Yetzirah and Briah.
Of course, then one might say Mikhael is also the ruler of Fire. The thing to remember, that took me so long so fully accept, is that the Tree of Life and all the myth and correspondences, are simply systems of classification and metaphors for profound things that are beyond full comprehension. These are not the literal or even the highest Truth. So your subjective interpretation may be more useful to you than mine. Even here, I am simply giving the definitions used by the Golden Dawn, and the mythologies and narratives used by different cultures, and the reasoning given by historians, for the sake of reference. My own perspective deviates significantly at times. This is all just a basis for you to build Knowledge upon.
Name: Raphael Sphere: Hod/Tiphareth Planet: Mercury/Sun Sign: Libra, Gemini, Aquarius Element: Air Direction: East Colours: Yellow and Purple (Air), Orange (Hod), Green (Healer) Incense: Lavender (Hod), Sandalwood (Air) Metal: Mercury/Gold
As always, I used the Seal of Raphael, given in the Armadel
I found something interesting though: usually, the Armadel has two sets of sigls for the Archangels, first the characters and then a circular seal. Minor angels have characters and no seals, but most major Angels who have seals almost always have characters. For whatever reason, Raphael has only a single seal.
The paragraph on Raphael also has a very lacking description as well, mentioning just the story of Tobit. I only took the Seal from the Armadel, but it’s not a Book I’d use for this particular Spirit’s invocation. There is another popular Seal of his given in the Faust Magicka. There is also a set of characters given in Poke Runyon’s Book of Solomon’s Magick
As for the seal itself, O Theos is Greek for ‘O, God’ and Agios means ‘Sacred/Saint’, then there’s Raphael and Adonay, a Hebrew Godname. The two “X” shapes are the first Hebrew letter Aleph.
So, it just happens so that in my daily life I need to go into and pass through the most polluted city on this planet. (You can hear more complaining, along with how I purged a parasitic spirit here, and how I eventually made a talisman to protect one from pollution here)
For a few weeks, I’d been having cold like symptoms, after there was a sudden spike in the smog levels. Initially I believed it was a flu, but it stayed for far too long without causing any fever or headaches. Eventually, I decided that it must be the pollution causing the sneezing and runny nose.
Often I’d wake up completely fine, but upon entering the city, the symptoms would come back. It must have been tiny particles of pollutants constantly entering through my nose and my body attempting to get rid of them.
There wasn’t a lot I could do, and eventually it just grew worse. I’d been meaning to invoke Raphael for a while, and so I decided to call on him for guidance and healing.
I did this invocation on the Day (Wednesday) and in the Hour of Mercury. You can read about astrological timing here.I don’t get Lavender where I live, so I used Sandalwood, for Air.
On the altar I placed a Yellow Candle for the East and Air, at the center, and a white feather, a dagger, along with the incense and the Seal. I also had a small bit of mercury on there. All you really need is a Yellow/Green/Orange candle, the seal, and incense. You may put an offering if you want, and that’s good. Stones associated with the Angel are optional.
Like in the Samael ritual, I listened to Binaural beats of the Mercury frequency to get into the corresponding trance. I don’t use it these days because I can get into trance easily, but if you’re new to meditation then it’s very helpful.
I did my initial banishing, castings, consecrations, proclamations and all that stuff that we magicians like to waste 10 minutes on, and sat down. Before starting, I traced the invoking Pentagram of Air, visualizing it out of bright yellow light in the East. How you start rituals is totally up to you.
UPDATE (2019): To Invoke Air, trance an Invoking Pentagram of Air in bright yellow, and trace the Purple symbol of Aquarius inside it.
As you trace the Pentagram, Vibrate the godname SHADDAI EL CHAI. As you trace the zodiac symbol, vibrate YHVH.
And the end of the ritual, remember to banish Air by tracing the banishing pentagram of Air and zodiac symbol again, vibrating the same godnames. Do this in the East.
I decided to mimic my Samael ritual, chanting a hymn from my heart, saying whatever came to mind. You can also prepare any chants or invocations that appeal to you.
I started slipping into a trance, and I don’t always write down the hymns, so I don’t remember it well. It involved calling on Raphael, first describing and visualizing his form and symbols, then using his many titles and achievements and mythos, moving to a more emotional plea, and a kind of devotional “surrender”, and then chanting his name repeatedly. In the end, I was left vibrating his name, swaying back and forth staring at his sigil.
It took me a long time to reach the climax, because my attention kept wavering, and so I kept breaking my trance and having to go back into it. Once I start a ritual, I like to see it through, so I kept going. I was not about to stop now.
It grew very hot eventually, after lots of chanting, and my body went into deep relaxation. Invoking Light Spirits is very different from Dark Spirits. Beings of Light lack concreteness, and come as very abstract energies, feelings and thoughts. Unlike my experiences with Darker angels like Samael, there’s no “peak” of awareness where your, instead, you drown into a deep trance and at the climax of the ritual, you feel extremely exalted. With darker beings it is more like an Awakening. With being of light it is more like Empowerment.
The deep relaxation almost made me want to lie back, and fall asleep, but I willed myself to go on. And then Raphael came.
Usually, there is some kind of appearance, like a reflection, or a thought, an image, or just the smoke or darkness appearing like a person, but with Raphael, it was just pure and strong emotional force. I had somehow managed to invoke the force, without the form.
I asked, or rather, almost prayed for the form, and continued to chant, although I could already make out “I am here. I am here.” in my head, but I chanted. Why? Maybe it was the 4 am delirium, or stubbornness. Not the the best thing in a magician.
Regardless, finally Raphael appeared in the flames. And he was beautiful, and androgynous. He had long, yet kind of masculine black hair, but a very beautiful, bright and androgynous face, and a slender frame. He was wearing a white shirt, like the kind they used to wear in the 18th century, which was yellowish white. and had a dark purple kilt like thing at the waist. That was it. Strangely, no wings, dramatic symbols, abstract visions, except when I closed my eyes and there were many balls of light.
I began by greeting him and thanking him for coming. He said he always answered whenever he was called upon, by anyone.
I asked him about my illness, and asked for help with healing. His reply was along the lines of “do not worry, it will be done by the time you awaken. Health is easy to achieve, but you must help me too”
I asked him what that meant, and he said “stop putting junk in your mouth”, and I was hit with a bunch of images going through my head, of all the bad food I had eaten, mostly of me eating hot chocolate powder directly out of the jar.
“Do you think you can consume things like that and be okay?” “Bu-“ “The human body is easily affected. Your immunity is lowered by consuming poisons. If you want to no longer be affected by the pollution, you must do everything to strengthen the body.” “But I eat good food. I’m vegetarian” “Such things are merely tokens, if you continue to counter it by eating junk directly from it’s packaging incessantly to fill your stomach. And with that, you must refuse to acknowledge any weakness. Practice discipline.”
So, then I promised to be more careful, and closed the ritual. At first I wondered if I needed to give Raphael the License to Depart, since he is literally invoked with every LBRP.
“I am always here.”
Update (2019): Lilith would tell me years later that most of the time the “License to Depart” is useless for higher and powerful beings. It is only used for lesser spirits that you have bound by a ritual, which happens usually during planetary working. Often, most deities and angels, and even higher demons, do not need one. Least of all, the Watchers. It is better to say “I release all spirits bound by this ritual. I thank thee, and bid thee farewell.” Often for important beings, like Lilith herself, or major angels and gods, address them directly and thank them as well. This also applies to any spirit you have called on by name, or for whom the ritual was designed.
For lesser spirits, she suggested adding “return now to your homes and habitations. Leave, without causing harm or mischief, to man or beast, and the let the peace of God be between you and me. Amen. Good bye.”
The next morning, my runny nose was nearly gone, and would disappear over time. It came back every now and then when I traveled by train, but I would will it away, refusing to indulge it by sneezing or wiping my nose, much like you ignore annoying people. Eventually, I’d make a talisman to protect me.
I also began to watch my diet, as in I stopped eating the hot chocolate. Not an issue really, because I had finished the jar right before the invocation. But nonetheless, tried to eat as much real food as possible, and not snack a lot. Even if I snacked, it would be a sandwich or some lemonade, instead of chips, biscuits and other things.
I’d been in the process of stopping the routine of soda and softdrinks. I ended up buying a can one day, but immediately the thought came to me that it was bad for me. And yeah, once you start leaving this stuff, it tastes less and less satisfying over time. You actually begin to notice the drowsy, sickening and demotivated feeling you get after eating them.
Update (2019): Over the years I’ve eliminated almost all the shit from my diet. I’ve also gotten rid of things that do not suit me. It is different for each individual. I do still eat chocolates though. But the Aztecs used it for magick, so it can’t be all that bad, eh?
I also stopped the rare consumption of Red Bull, because if anything is poison, it’s that. A few day ago, I saw a video titled “If Energy Drink companies were honest with us”, and yeah, that sealed my decision.
At first, my body craved the sugar rush, but I decided to not give in, and it went away.
Of course, I still eat peanut butter out of the jar. But somehow, seems like peanut butter is good. Once again, I didn’t stop completely. I’m not the guy who cringes if someone offers me some Coke. But, I don’t crave it.
So yeah, that is my experience with Raphael. I expected as much. Angels and Archangels are supposed to help you make big changes with your life, and this was helpful. Anyway, this is White Raven signing off. If you liked this, leave a like, and comment your thoughts.
EDIT 2020: As of July 2020, I’ve written a new book on the Tree of Life and Kabbalistic theory. I’m quite proud of it, and you can check it by going to the Books tab, or clicking right here.