Welcome back. Let me do a little follow up to the last post, which was perhaps a bit strange and felt unfinished. It was important to show the history of how and why ideology replaced traditional religion. And additionally, I had to draw attention to the source of human endeavor, which is Will to Power, which is often ignored, and many people they that they alone are correct and that their beliefs are ‘good’, not realising that everyone is driven by the same impulses as them.
We are motivated, to a great extent, by this Will, and it drives us forward. Each person has their own truth, their own ‘god’, and eventually a magician has to discover and speak their own truth, rather than attempting to realize some grand and false ideal they have been conditioned into. Especially in this time where many of the old ideals have fallen from their place.
I began to pursue magick for two reasons: to take control of my life, and to see what was beyond the mundane perception. I started this blog to share insights and experiences I had had, for the benefit of others, and eventually began to weave them into a philosophy.
You see, I was angry, depressed and bored. I was a pawn in someone else’s game, and like everyone around me, I believed that someone else had the keys to my happiness and someone else would create my future. But I found magick, and after my first successful evocation I committed to it.
I went deep. I did not stop at sigils and spells, but I kept following the rabbit hole until I reached Wonderland. It was mostly an escape. But then I tore down the walls, and brought Wonderland up to the Surface. The two integrated, and I no longer had to escape. I knew, from a certain moment, that there was no rabbit hole nor wonderland to begin with. Reality simply is, and magick is not an escape. Magick is reality itself. It is life, a life lived fully.
Even if you feel upset by my ideas and opinions, remember that you were likely drawn to this blog because of my unorthodox approach. To me, all this is absolutely real. Magick is not just psychodrama. It’s all literally true, and the more I realise that, the more my faith strengthens. And the more I feel like it’s okay to open up about these things on this blog. So pardon me, sometimes I need to shake things up a bit.
I waited, for far too long, for older and wiser folk to get around to it. But they’re unhappy and depressed, and they’re just making it worse. Life is so very short. Too short to spend waiting for it to begin. So you know what, fuck it. I’m going to say what I know to be true. Just because I can. Just because I was given the gift of speech, and for no other purpose than that.
Magick And Archetypes
In Magick, we often work with various beings that are not quite of the material plane. We call them gods, demons, angels, spirits, and all manner of other names. Traditionally, religion told us that these spirits or beings have a fixed place and purpose, in relation to humanity.
Isn’t it strange how, in most religious theology, only human beings seem to be evolving? Why is it that only we seem to have a destiny, a mortality, a free will and the ability to sin, while everything else is seemingly eternal and serves only one purpose?
Mainstream religion in the 21st century gives various justifications which have no reasoning nor basis behind them. These beings are shown to not have a Will of their own. They are presented as not growing or evolving, but being as they are forever. It’s quite an anthropocentric view of the Universe, where our own conscious, perceiving Mind alone is special and evolving, and all other things are fixed. In fact, religion acts as if these beings aren’t actually real, and as if religion only has a utilitarian purpose. As Richard Dawkins once joked “all religious people are atheists”. In a weird sort of way, this is true.
Then you come to magick, where many traditions tell you that these beings exist inside of your head. This is why they’re eternal, because they’re actually just projections of your own psyche, like personas who become detatched from you and act as independent characters during a ritual. Of course, this illusion falls apart for any sufficiently experienced magician.
First and foremost, I want you to full understand archetypes.
What are archetypes?
Archetypes was an idea explored most in depth by Carl Gustav Jung, often called the father of modern psychology. Those of you who have studied kabbalah may have heard of the “archetypal” plane as being the highest plane of existence.
Archetypes are essentially prototypes, of behaviors, forms, symbols etc. For example, we can say that there is an archetypes of a ‘chair’, which would be a transcendent object which contains all the defining traits of a chair. All things that we recognize as ‘chairs’ would adhere to its traits and characteristics.
Jung recognised that archetypes are the framework of the human psyche. These archetypes came about as the result of millions of years of evolution, and strongly influence the way we see the world. For example, ‘Mother’ is an archetype, as is ‘Father’. We, as human beings, do not ‘learn’ what mother, father, king, teacher, tyrant, trickster are. We simply have a natural inclination to recognise these archetypal ideas. ‘God’ is an archetype, as is ‘tribe’.
Not only Jung, but various others have also recognised certain archetypes which are universal. Sage, magician, wise man, hero, jester, tyrant, creator, devil, all these are archetypes. Homeland can be an archetype. Even the ‘Known’ and ‘Unknown’ are archetypes, as are Heaven and Hell. You could say that the Magician or occultist is like a archetype of the person who ventures into the Sacred space, while ‘shaman’ is the archetype which is shifting and fluid.
In the last post, we discussed how Culture is the Divine Father, and responsible for morality, which is learned. These archetypes are not ‘learned’, but inherited. They exist within us naturally, and thus they are the product of Nature, the Divine Mother.
But Jung studied these further. This is the most important thing to understand in this post: the projection of archetypes. Essentially, human beings do not just use these archetypes on other people, but also project them onto the world. For example, we project the archetype of ‘Mother’ onto our surroundings, and the place of dwelling. Somehow, millions of years of evolution have molded the human psyche to regard ‘Mother’ as the nourisher and protector. Hence, we say ‘Mother Nature’ and ‘Motherland’. We say ‘God the Father’ and regard our culture and religion as a patriarch. Remember how in the last post we talked about Utopia simply being paradise on earth? In essence, it is simply taking the archetype of Heaven, but instead of projecting this idea to the afterlife, it gets projected to the future here on Earth. Utopian and Dystopian stories are no different than mythology about Heaven and Hell.
Stories and narratives which are extremely compelling are often archetypal in nature. Religion makes strong use of archetypal narratives, as do political ideologies. This is why they replaced religion.
Hero and Saviour can be seen as archetypes too. The longer something is around, the more it gets ‘refined’ and closer to being archetypal. This is why the more ancient a religion gets, the more its power grows. Gautama Buddha was likely a mystic who lived in the 7th-5th centuries BCE. But, over 2000 years, his story has become ‘archetypal’, meaning it has slowly warped and changed to resemble the archetypal story of the ‘Hero’. By the way, this is also why mythology from different parts of the world often has similarities. Human beings have the same archetypes, and all over the world, even in disconnected cultures, these archetypes emerge.
In magick, many traditions make heavy use of archetypal narratives. The myth of Christ, Bacchus, Buddha and Horus are often used to show the stages of magickal initiation. This shows that archetypes are more than just stories and symbols, but behaviours too. They are intrinsically linked to human existence. These figures, by the way, may be real people. But that’s not the point.
We use their legends because these are archetypal. Modern day superheroes are nothing but a modern expression of archetypal figures. Where once people were obsessed with Pantheons of Gods, now they are drawn to characters in pop culture. Superman is particular, is a strong symbol for magicians to study. And yes, the story of Superman was inspired by Nietzsche’s ‘ubermensche’.
People who do not know about archetypes often make the error of claiming that if two cultures have the same mythology, symbols, rituals and language, then one of them must have borrowed or learnt or it from the other. For example, why does the story of Jesus so closely resemble that of Horus and Bacchus? Why did the Mayans and Egyptians built pyramids? Why do so many cultures have the idea of an Earth goddess and a Sky Father? People then, mistakenly, assume that one of these must have ‘stolen’ these ideas from another. Now, there are many cases of overlap and cultural exchange, but not always.
Yes, some cultures have similarities and some religions came from the same place. But all these cultures and religions are simply expressions of the one culture and one religion shared by all humanity, expressed as archetypes all over the world. People respond to these symbols and myths on a very strong and emotional level. We feel that they are ‘true’, as in they are linked deeply to the human experience.
Its almost like the archetype describes characters and a script, and we put on these masks and personas and act out the play, at different times and places.
It isn’t just mythology that is archetypal either. Star Wars is pretty damn archetypal, as is Lord of the Rings. The Journey of Frodo and Luke Skywalker are simply another iteration of the same journey and sacrifices undertaken by Christ, Hercules, Bacchus, Horus and Krishna, or those of Beowulf and Arthur.
This how the Tree of Life works. The Sephiroth represent archetypal categories, to which multiple symbols can be ascribed.
For example, Geburah is the archetype of the War God. Horus, Nergal, Parashurama, Samael, Kamael, Indra, Tyr, Ares, all adhere to this archetype.
The mistake that many, many magicians make is failing to understand what the Tree of Life actually is. For example, they will force a deity like Sekhmet to fit into Tiphareth because she is ‘solar’ or was worshipped as a solar deity. In reality, she is an archetypal War Goddess, and belongs to Geburah. Or perhaps they will force Artemis into Geburah because she is is a Huntress, when her place is clearly Yesod as well.
A deity can even have different attributions. For example, Horus the Avenger may belong to Geburah, the Horus the Prince belongs to Tiphareth. Horus the Elder certainly belongs to Kether.
Human beings, therefore, project the contents of their psyche onto the world. It is my understanding that we project the Archetypes of our own mind onto the Cosmos. A dark forest becomes the archetypal ‘underworld’. A strange epidemic becomes the archetypal Judgement Day. The leader of an enemy nation becomes the archetypal Devil, and a charismatic political leader becomes the Messiah.
Ancient astrologers, projected the archetypal deities onto the constellations. Aries the Warrior, Taurus the Mother, Gemini the Twins, Virgo the Sacred Virgin, Leo the Hero!
When you truly love a person romantically, or truly hate a person, this is more descriptive of you than of them. Because what you’re seeing is a reflection of you, your own archetype of the Lover and the Adversary. This affects your relationship not just with people, but with Spirits, with nations and religions, and with ideas and beliefs and philosophies.
Our life becomes an archetypal journey, a story narrated by our own Mind, filled with archetypal characters, and this is especially true for a magician, who will attempt to see their life paralleled by legends of great heroes and prophets. A fantastic study of this phenomena was done in the book, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Despite getting flak for being new age, the book is a solid exploration of the magickal initiation, and written by a openly practicing magician.
But the trouble begins where people do not realise this, and think that the archetypes are outside themselves. And then, the power passes from them to external forces.
Pay close attention to how your magick manifests, how the Deities appear, how your spells work, what you see and what symbols you channel, and what experiences you have. This is your own mind being reflected back at you. This is why you should write it down, and contemplate it.
When the contents of the mind become projected and visible, the magician can interact with them. He can interact with these archetypes, now manifest in the realm of the Unknown into which they have stepped. The magician learns about them, knows them, faces them and embodies them. And then, they recede back into his mind, now integrated into the Ego, which transforms into the Self.
Written here, is the whole secret of the magickal art, to those who will read between the lines.
The Projected Cosmos
You have likely come across the idea in many modern works of magick that magick is all psychodrama. In the 20th century, the scientific method was all the rage. Magick, occultism and spirituality were fast fading into obscurity as weird delusions and primitive superstitions.
Then came along Carl Jung with his revolutionary research on archetypes. Despite being accepted by mainstream science, very few textbooks on psychology will ever give you a full picture of Jung’s work. Jung was openly mystical, and a self proclaimed alchemist. He made absolutely no attempts to hide the full contents of his belief and work. Once, asked if he believed in God, he simply smiled and said “I don’t need to believe. I know”.
But much of it is not promoted. If you look into mainstream psychology today, you’ll see that his dry, scientific analysis is all they look at. Most are too scared to talk about or even admit to the existence of his other works like Aion, to say nothing of The Red Book. The content of these works is too much to be attributed to such a major scientific figure. Then again, no one talks about the major spiritual experiences of Newton, Descartes or many other scientists either.
Magicians too, seem all too happy to say that it is all psychodrama. Scientific materialism is all the rage among many magi these days, who are maybe too keen to be part of the status quo, or simply unwilling to challenge it. But the Gods are real. Let me explain.
Let us revisit archetypes. Consider your ‘Mother’
She is a real person, yes? And onto her, from the moment of your birth, you have projected the archetype of ‘Mother’. To you, she represents Motherhood. Keep in mind that even if it isn’t your biological Mother, you likely have a Mother figure if your life.
But, while this individual is a Mother figure to you, that’s not all she is. She is a lot more than that. An individual in her own right. A complete manifestation of the Universe, with her own Will and Destiny. And yet, within your psyche, and your perception of reality, this individual is a ‘Mother’.
Similarly, you are her Son or Daughter. But to a friend of yours, you might fill a different role, and yet to an enemy, you are the ‘adversary’. To different people, you wear a different mask/persona. In fact, in traditional theater, this is literally what actors do. While the individuals are ever changing, evolving and growing, they exist within your mind as a fixed archetype. The Mother shall always be the Mother, even though she will change a lot in one’s life.
Are the Gods real? They are. They manifest to you within the framework of your spiritual tradition, complete with a name, appearance and traits we have ascribed to them. Sometimes these are symbolic of their own Nature. But beyond that, they have an independent existence, just as you and I. Everything in Nature is alive, evolving and independent, regardless of which mask it wears at which time.
Ares is not just the God of War. This being, or phenomena of Nature, merely filled the role of War god to the ancient Greeks, who dressed him in their cultural symbolism, and gave it a Greek name. And today, we may dress him in our own symbolism. The true nature of this Being shall never be known to us, since we cannot experience the world from it’s perspective, only our own. This same being may have filled different roles/ work different masks at different times for different cultures.
If you want a quick run down on Jung, watch this video. I highly recommend it, and it will help cut down this post by 1000 words.
There are said to be three major components to magick: astrology, alchemy and theurgy. In the first post, we already discussed how the ancient Alchemists projected their minds onto the alchemical processes. These projections are really just archeytpes, and these archetypal stories and characters are encoded into alchemical mythology.
This is even more evident in astrology. Ancient humans projected their archetypes onto the celestial bodies. The constellations formed the 12 core archetypes. The planets came to represent parts of the human psyche, with the Sun being the Ego (the conscious awareness, or Ruach). You may now understand the point of astrology. As the Ego (Sun) goes around the Zodiac, it expresses itself as different archetypes. The ancient people then turned the Cosmos into a map of their own psyche. So when the Ego (sun) is in Virgo, it was understood that the energies of the Virgin archetypes would be more prevalent in people’s conscious awareness. When the sexual drive (Mars) was in Scorpio, it was understood that people would be more driven to explore hidden or taboo sexuality, as Scorpio is the archetype of the Concealer, or Antihero.
The astrological chart is really a map of one’s own consciousness. The constellations are archetypes, the planets are parts of the psyche. This is why tropical astrology works better than sidereal astrology. This is why there’s no ‘correct’ version of astrology. It all depends on which magickal tradition you use. You tap into that current, and us its symbols.
Because yes, archetypes must be understood as symbols. The last aspect of magick, theurgy, is also about projecting archetypes. Theurgy refers to invocations and evocations of various spiritual beings.
You may have heard that a ‘true’ system of magick is one which provides the student with a ‘complete’ set of symbols. This is what that means. A real, effective system of magick takes into account all the parts of the psyche, and the archetypes which they can express. For example, take the system from the O.T.A, who combine the Keys of Solomon with astrology. It gives you 72 angels and 72 demons, each divided under the Zodiac, and by planetary rank, which are under 4 Kings and Watchers. In a sense, you have every archetype you could imagine represented here, and many sub archetypes. This is a COMPLETE system. If you use this system, you do not need to include Pagan or Egyptian gods, or Rosicrucian mysteries.
The same would be said for various schools of Witchcraft, or the Golden Dawn, or Thelema, or Tantric Yoga. However, you have probably come across certain new age schools which basically throw together a hodge podge of random symbols, often deities who are all roughly the same. This is an incomplete system of magick. There is no complete set of archetypes, nor a complete cosmology given. It is based on limited logic and lack of experience, and the previous post should have made it clear why logic and commonsense can only take the magician so far.
The Symbolic Universe
While our axiomatic Values are learned, and therefore unique to each individual, these archetypes are inherited. All of humanity has the same archetypes. This is why they are said to belong to the ‘collective’ unconscious.
This idea is often misunderstood. People think of it as some sort of Hive mind, or some energetic field ‘separate’ from us. But what this really means is that there are certain traits common to all of humanity, and inherited from previous generations. This is the collective unconscious. Archetypes are universal, and passed on from generation to generation. The collective unconscious refers to those parts of the human psyche which we all share.
For millions of years, humanity lived as nomadic hunter gatherers. Our modern agricultural societies, which are only about 12,000 years old, are relatively young by comparison. Therefore, the archetypes we project are reflective of our older, nomadic past.
For example, why do many cultures depict ‘demons’ with reptilian skin, glowing eyes, sharp teeth and claws? Simple, reptiles and carnivorous animals were the biggest threat to our hunter-gatherer ancestors. Even if you’ve never seen a snake, you’ve got a fear of snakes and lions hardwired into your DNA. If you ever see glowing eyes in the dark, your first and most natural reaction would be to run, because your primal consciousness knows it means ‘predator’.
Similarly, many of our Gods of prosperity and fertility are depicted with radiant halos, golden or white clothing and vibrant faces. Because to daytime mammals like us, the Sun represents safety, security, life and warmth. The darkness represents fear, danger and death. Hence our Gods of death often appear dressed in black robes. If we were a nocturnal species, perhaps this symbolism would be inverted.
Let us assume you invoke the God Ares. He is the God of War, and there almost a grantee that he will appear to you as a well built, perhaps bearded, male. This the archetype of the Warrior. For millions of years, women gathered food and men hunted. Our brains are hardwired to recognise the ‘warrior’ as being a physically strong man, perhaps armed with a spear. Interesting how so many war Gods appear with spears, because we have used those for far longer than we have used swords, and perhaps have a natural recognition of it. The God of Wilderness, Pan, on the other hand, shall likely have horns, body hair and hoofs. The God Osiris may appear glowing, wearing white clothing, and a crown, archetypal symbols of purity, power and royalty. Kali may appear with black skin, covered in blood, with fangs and glowing eyes, archetypal symbols representing predators, danger, fear and the nighttime.
Different cultures, in different time periods, projected their archetypes onto the world. This resulted in the birth of various Pantheons. It’s the same Gods you see, and the same fundamental archetypes from the Dawn of time, and perhaps the same beings who embody them, but different manifestations.
In his book Aion, Jung described how when these symbols first appear, they grip the imagination of a culture. But then over prolonged periods of time, they turn stale and boring. Everything that can be gleamed from them has been learned, and they begin to feel empty and hollow. This is quite literally a cultural Ragnarok, or what Nietzsche called the “Twilight of the Idols”.
These symbols, or ‘idols’, die. And then a new set of symbols emerges, more relevant, more meaningful, more powerful. Sometimes, the new symbols may just be a reiteration of older symbols. (Such is the case, for example, with Paganism, Christianity, and neo-Paganism)
Interestingly, I think this is what the mystics of various religions meant when they asked their followers to give up “idolatory”. In a sense, they thought that they could get most people to give up the worship of symbols and work with the forces behind them.
And yet, it seems all such efforts are in vain. Idols do not refer to physical statues, they refer to symbols. But it seems that symbols do not go so easily. Only the most advanced Adept who has gone through all the trials of initiation can successfully give up the symbols and recognize the nameless, formless archetypes that dwell behind them.
Different orientations of these symbols produces different spiritual traditions and religions. This is what is really meant by the phrase “all religions teach the same truth”. It doesn’t mean all religions have the same moral and philosophies, because of course they don’t. But they are all paths to the same primordial, archetypal forces, and teach the same archetypal myths. Although they may be represented by various different symbols, and recognised in various external forces and phenomena, they are inner forces, found within the heart, mind and soul of every human being.
Religion involves the worship of these symbols, to imbibe and commune with the energies behind them, and spirituality involves learning to study and understand them, to increase one’s knowledge. Magick is the work beyond that, to actively call upon them, to embody them and recognize them within one’s own Being.
Nature, The Divine Mother
A lot of people these days are believers of social constructivism: the idea that pretty much all human behavior, beliefs and values are the result of social conditioning.
You know, the idea that human beings are a blank slate at birth and entirely the product of their environment.
The truth is that we are affected by Nature more than we realise. She is our Divine Mother and Her influence remains hidden in the unconscious. So much of what we do and who we are is the result of our genetic predisposition. Recent studies show that even your political leaning is genetic. This is why it’s pointless to debate people over politics, since people do not vote based on facts or beliefs, but rather based on their temperament, which is biological.
The archetypes, whatever they really are, are understood in magick as cosmic concepts. But this isn’t just a concept dreamed up by magicians in the 20th century.
Many mystics throughout the ages have also realised that archetypes are universal. For example, there were many different local religious traditions in ancient India. The ancient priests noticed recurring themes, deities and practices in these traditions, and concluded that many of these deities must be ‘avatars’ of the same larger deities.
And so they made extensive study of these and categorized them. They imagined that there was one single Divine being, and it expressed itself as a few larger Deities. All the deities that were worshipped in the world (as they knew it) were simply avatars of these deities, and then those deities were further avatars of even bigger dieties.
Pretty much the exact same process occurred in other polytheistic cultures like Egypt and Rome, where all the various Gods and myths and cults were identified as different aspects and manifestations of a core pantheon of a dozen or so deities, which in turn were identified with about 3-5 major deities. And when foreign deities were encountered, they were identified with one of the existing deities. This was an early recognition of the concept of universal archetypes, and is called syncretism.
The ancient Hebrews took this a step further, and actually recognised the conceptual nature of archetypes. For example, there were many ancient Semitic deities. Many of them were called as Ba’al (lord) or YHVH (god). You see, YHVH is not the name of a specific deity. The word is a title for a ‘male God’. Their female consorts were called ‘ASRA’, which roughly translates as ‘Wife/consort’.
The Hebrews concluded that all these deities were simply different aspects of the same God/s, and they referred to this simply as ‘Yah’ or Yehovah, meaning Father or God. And so they decided that instead of worshipping many separate deities, they would categorise them and worship the category (archetype) itself. Instead of separately worshipping many Sky fathers or War gods, there would be one primordial ‘Sky Father’ (YHVH) or ‘War God’ (ELHIM GBOR) deity. Since they were concepts, not deities, they were left without name and appearance. Eventually, all 10-12 concepts became identified with a single Divine force.
Now they did end up demonising all the other Gods in the process, but they did have the right idea. It’s just that they thought this made their religion ‘better’ and that the other tribes were worshipping false Gods, which over time became perceived as demonic.
Hopefully you see now that archetypes are not a modern concept. Even before Jung, it was noticed that spirituality and religion were universal expressions. Cultures separated by hundreds of miles would have common spiritual expressions, since these are born from the psyche itself.
This psyche is the child of Nature. It is most of who and what we are.
The Masks of the Cosmos
When magicians encounter the Cosmos, we project our psyche onto it.
The psyche is a perfect Microcosm. It is a reflection of the complete Cosmos, and the Cosmos a reflection of it.
When you cast the circle, you are establishing a symbolic Order. It is ruled by the Sun, the bringer of Light and the Heroic Ideal. The circle itself is ruled by Saturn, the Lord who binds the Universe, and rules boundaries and separations. Beyond the magick circle is the symbolic darkness, is the Chaos, the Mother, the Unknown, and she is the Moon, who reflects the light of the Sun, but also at times becomes entirely dark.
She is the Cosmos in all it’s splendor. And when you invoke the Gods beyond the circle, they are in reality masks worn by the Mother of the Cosmos, just as you yourself are a mask worn by the Father.
But what is the Unknown, exactly? It is wildness, it is animalism. Religion can shun and be afraid of it, but the Horned wild ones are always there, always lurking, waiting for us to take the first step.
One comes into this world surrounded by symbols. We are kept safe within our culture, content to believe in the world as we know it. Even in a chaotic and uncertain time, people will often fall back on something they can rely on, even if it’s a fallible ideology. The forces of Light protect us, discipline us, and prepare us for the world. They are like a bulwark against fear and death.
But the Nightside beckons always, and always it is feared by the many. The magician is the one who looks to it, and at first it glistens with brilliance. Think of how Nature is portrayed in media, as peaceful, gentle and exotic. And it is this shining call to adventure that first draws the magician out of his shell, into the Unknown. He takes on the mask of Horus and follows his Mother Isis to reclaim his birthright.
But then, as he begins to take the Light into the darkness, leaving everything behind in a youthful impulse, suddenly the Mother disappears, and the magician realises with horror what awaits him. For he sees that the Cosmos is cold, harsh and that her laws are absolute. Isis is lost, and Horus is alone faced with Set, the fury and power of the Cosmos itself, which brings it’s entire arsenal against the young God. And here Horus is blinded, because the malice he faces is too great, too powerful and beyond his imagining. And thus he is banished into the desert, where he must wander alone and lament.
But there, Horus finds Hathor, his love, and must make himself worthy of her. Now there is no Isis to protect him, and Set comes ever closer to destroy him. And so here he must delve into the Underworld, which is yet another part of the Unknown. And then the magician sees that the Cosmos he perceived before was just a surface level illusion, and that Her true secrets lie in the darkness, in the crypts and caverns hidden from view, down in the Infernal Empire where there is only confusion.
But Horus must descend. He must pass through the Temples of Darkness unscathed, and he must resist their temptations. He must master their forces. And there, at the lowest point, lies the Sarcophagus of Osiris, his slain father. And now the Cosmos reveals her final mask, as Horus makes the ultimate sacrifice of love to revive his dead father, who returns and the whole of the Underworld is filled with Light, and it becomes a gateway to world beyond. And here the Cosmos shows herself as Osiris reborn!
And only then can Horus truly call himself a Warrior, now worthy of facing Set one final time, and this time he shall succeed, having the whole of the Cosmos assist him in his efforts. He shall succeed and be crowned King! And in this way the Mother reveals her triple aspect. In Pagan witchcraft, this is the Goddess Hecate as Virgin, Crone and Bride. In Tantra, this is the Goddess Shakti as Parvati, Kali and Durga. This is why Tiamat, and Ishtar were represented being half dragon.
The Cosmic mother is the sparkling lady of stars, and yet she is also a serpentine dragon who turns one to stone with a single gaze of her glowing eyes. But if one should stand firm under Her gaze and kneel before her power, she is the radiant and mighty Queen of the Heavens.
It represents the nature of reality at the most fundamental level. It shall be understood that just as here the analogy of the Mother, of Cosmos, and Nature refers quite well to the Human psyche. The Underworld is the Subconscious.
All symbols which surround us as masks worn by the Mother. And the Individual is the Mask of the Father, which shifts and varies also. Magick is the dance of these forces in passionate romance. The magick circle is a symbolic whirling of Light and Shadow, of Fire and Water, which merge and mingle together. And where they meat, the whole of Reality manifests in the conscious perception, which is Airy. The Line which separates the Inner and Outer reality is ruled by Saturn for a reason, since Saturn is ‘The Lord God’, the highest Ideal, the Law, the Reason and the Judge, which is created by the union of the Father and Mother (Order and Chaos/ Culture and nature), which are the also the Son and the Daughter (Sun and Moon).
The impulse to drive the circle outward into Chaos, to expand the Order is ruled by Mars, while the driving forth is towards Venus, his lover who dwells beyond the circle. And Jupiter rules the balance of these forces, while Mercury causes the cosmic dance to go faster and faster, dissolving the boundaries until there shall be only Unity. Sammadhi. Apokalypsis. Gnosis.
The Sacred Feminine
It is often common for magicians, especially ceremonial magicians, to focus too much on the Sacred Masculine. That is to say, to get lost in one’s abstractions and theories. In a hastiness to describe and understand and categorise all the spiritual phenomena, the magician can fail to experience the Unknown even as he walks in its midst. This is the problem with those who ‘have an answer for everything’.
Having absolute surety in everything is masuline, yes, but it is not Sacred. The impulse to expand Order is masculine, but unless it is complemented by the feminine, it is simply a mental tyranny. It is nothing more than ineffectual theories and worldviews which often do not have any basis in reality.
Similarly, some do focus too much on the feminine, but this is rare. This is for those who jump straight into the Chaos and completely disregard all culture, all tradition and indeed, civilisation itself. Here there is only insanity, and many magicians do suffer this fate as well. This insanity is feminine, but it is not sacred. Without the masculine, without a symbolic structure, it is simply a endless void which will consume one’s soul.
The Sacred feminine, then, is Nature. Our true Nature. We, often living inside our own heads, neglect our nature too often, as we do our impulses, our bodies and our emotions. We like to act that we are entirely a product of our own Will and choosing. We like to behave like we can think our way in and out of everything, and think our way to truth and happiness, and explain everything away with thought.
As if millions of years of evolution has no effect on us. As if we can somehow ‘think’ away or ‘will’ away ancient impulses, behaviors and emotions. Our animal instincts towards sex, hunger, and aggression. The traits of our ancestors, their diets, lifestyles and instincts. The way our body works, the way it is meant to move.
And then we wonder, why we are all always so tired and depressed. The Sacred Feminine is not an idea or thought. It is awareness.
Notice your body right now. Is it not aware? Is there not a feeling and awareness from head to toe? And yet, it is not thought. Your hand is aware, but it does not think. Your heart is pumping blood, but it does not require your will.
Are you not aware of the world around you too? How often does one notice the world, and really engage with it. How often is one not thinking about what one has to do, dwelling on pointless and chattering thoughts?
To do true magick, we develop not just a strong Will and Moral compass, but also an Awareness. We also have to tap into our drives and instincts, to become one with the body. We also have to learn to feel our emotions and sensations fully and freely.
To those of you who ask how to learn to feel and sense energy, and perceive spiritual phenomena, this is the answer. Only when we learn to flow with energy, to flow with the world, does the Mother reveal her secrets. For this we do meditation, where we learn to maintain awareness and breathe deeply. We practice mindfulness, and Qigong/ Yoga, so and we become in tune with our bodies and surroundings.
This is the secret also, behind many of the gestures and motions found in magick ritual. They are not mere gestures and salutations that one must memorise and perform, but ways to draw on and direct energies.
And these powers are also developed through suffering. As we discussed before, Nature seems inviting at first. But the moment we leave our mental abstractions and fantasies and engage with Her in reality, we will suddenly be faced with the absolute and inescapable fact that life is suffering. Living in the mind is simply a coping mechanism to numb and relieve this pain.
But if we engage this pain fully, push through it, and learn to endure it, then one’s own spiritual powers shall be developed. A warrior cannot train in his garden forever. Eventually they must face real battle, which will be very different, and only many battles can make a true warrior.
Archetypes are not thoughts or concepts, but the Fundamental principles which govern the Universe, the highest Meta-Gods. To stop living in one’s head will also involve slowly learning to not rely on one’s symbols, and by extension the Gods. Because the Gods certainly are here to help us, but you shall have understood by now that we rarely engage with the Gods directly. Instead, we engage with an ‘image’ of them, created within culture and passed on to us through religion. Too often, magicians are unwilling to alter or expand their various traditions and schools of magick. But then you should have stayed nice and safe within mainstream religion. If you’re going to make the effort to come this far, you may as well take the courage and open up that shell.
Stop being so quick to judge other magicians, to categorise their and your own expereinces, to decide what you agree or disagree with. Stop being to quick to make up your mind or project yourself onto others. This closes the aura to the actual world outside, to reality and to the outer Gods.
And when you invoke the Gods with an open mind, you will begin to see them outside the frameworks you are stuck in, and they will come as they really are. And when one has the recognition that the Cosmos within is mirrored in the Cosmos outside, there will be no fear and uncertainty.
One who understands that by controlling the mind, one can control one’s entire reality, and that everything in one’s life is the result of their own Mind, shall never lose their way or get lost. And if this isn’t obvious, and if you still look for the source of your problems in the world outside, and cannot understand why the World is unfair and cruel: seek the Underworld. There, in the subconscious, are all the problems you cannot seek. Set them right, and the world shall follow suit. Awaken the Father who was slain, and the Mother shall reveal herself in new glory. And this requires sacrifice. Let the first be to embrace the pain, and face the world and life head on.
And although in the last post I told people not to wait for Utopia, that does not mean give up hope. Change is coming, and change HAS come. Look around you, and you will see the world is rapidly changing. So have hope, the world will get better as a new age dawns. But remember that even in the new age, you’re the magician. You’re the one who directs the forces of your life.
That shall be all for this time. I hope you found it helpful and gained some insight. Remember, you do not have to agree or disagree. Just take it as it comes. We all do 🙂
Until Next Time