Volume I, Number 3: The Alchemy Issue
|1.||I am the Heart; and the Snake is entwined|
About the invisible core of the mind.
Rise, O my snake! It is now is the hour
Of the hooded and holy ineffable flower.
Rise, O my snake, into brilliance of bloom
On the corpse of Osiris afloat in the tomb!
O heart of my mother, my sister, mine own,
Thou art given to Nile, to the terror Typhon!
Ah me! but the glory of ravening storm
Enswathes thee and wraps thee in frenzy of form.
Be still, O my soul! that the spell may dissolve
As the wands are upraised, and the aeons revolve.
Behold! in my beauty how joyous Thou art,
O Snake that caresses the crown of mine heart!
Behold! we are one, and the tempest of years
Goes down to the dusk, and the Beetle appears.
O Beetle! the drone of Thy dolorous note
Be ever the trance of this tremulous throat!
I await the awaking! The summons on high
From the Lord Adonai, from the Lord Adonai!
The image of the caduceus is archetypal of the rising of the evolutionary consciousness within the adept. The adept's practice of internal sexual alchemy is a high art of special significance to the magician. It may be said that some practices of Western ceremonial magick draw upon techniques also known in Indian tantra by cultivating a special elixir or vital fluid necessary to life. An understanding of the physical anatomy of the human being is essential to grasp how and where this vital fluid is accumulated.
The Magick Three:
Alchemical Principles, Gunas and Mother Letters
| Sulphur (fiery principle or the expansive force in nature) = Rajas (guna) = (Hebrew mother letter)|
|Mercury (airy principle or the integrative force, interweaving and balancing that of the salt and sulphur) = Sattvas (guna) = (Hebrew mother letter)|
|Salt (the earthly principle, the contractive force in nature) = Tamas (guna) = (Hebrew mother letter)|
The Physical and Alchemical Anatomy of the Human Being
|Sahasrara chakra (crown chakra) located at the top of the head = Kether. |
|Ajna chakra (third eye) located between the eyebrows. |
|Vishuddha chakra (throat chakra) located at the center of the throat = Daath.|
|Anahata chakra (heart chakra) located at the center of the chest, encompassing the lungs = Tiphareth.|
|Manipura chakra (stomach chakra) located at the diaphragm, slightly below the rib-cage.|
|Svadishthana chakra (genital chakra) located near the pubis, including the genitalia and reproductive organs including testes and ovaries = Yesod.|
|Muladhara chakra (root chakra) located at the base of the spine or perineum = Malkuth (extending down to the feet).|
The Cultivation of Amrit, the Elixir of Immortality
Hadit, the complement of Nu, says:
|I am the flame that burns in every heart of man, and in the core of every star. I am Life, and the giver of Life, yet therefore is the knowledge of me the knowledge of death. (II:6)|
I am the Snake that giveth Knowledge & Delight and bright glory, and stir the hearts of men with drunkenness. (II:22)
This is no ordinary dew-drop. No small dose of clear liquid upon a small piece of paper. The science and art of where, when, and how this dew-drop may be cultivated, obtained, or created is a subject of long-standing occult research. It is this writer's opinion that the biochemical changes that are brought about in the aspirant with intense yogic concentration upon the sexual centers during prolonged meditation, focused intention, and magical ritual, combined with sexual activity, lead to an excitation of the nervous system and charge of the Kundalini that provide the ultimate rush to the brain, resulting in its own terminal point of self-induced ecstasy. The changes in neuro-chemicals present in the brain as a result of prolonged exercise in these domains (concentration, sexual excitement, breath-work), cause the production of this elixir. Since the human organism is one coherent whole, these neuro-chemical changes within the brain also cause changes in the fluids and hormones of the reproductive area, as well as changes in the chemical constituents of the breath as air is circulated, gathering prana from the inhalation as well as nutrients from the blood vessels in the lungs, thus also effecting the quality and components of the exhalation. If the supreme elixir be attained above, so it will be below.
The Alchemy of Sex
1. Each of these seven chakras is assigned one of the seven classical planets as well as one of the seven alchemical metals, according to 777.
2. The hypothalamus is the reptilian portion of the brain that governs the desire for sex and food, and regulates the reproductive centers within the human "beast."
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|I remember a certain holy day in the dusk of the Year, in the dusk of the Equinox of Osiris, when I first beheld thee visibly; when first the dreadful issue was fought out; when the Ibis-headed one charmed away the strife. I remember they first kiss, even as a maiden should. Nor in the dark byways was there another: thy kisses abide.|
| --- Liber Lapidis Lazuli, VII:3.|
|Oh, how soft is the air, and how serene the sky, to one who has passed through the black rule of Apophis! How infinitely musical are the voices of Nature, those that are heard and those that are not heard! What Understanding of the Universe, what Love is the prize of him that hath performed all things and endured all things!|
| --- Aleister Crowley, John St John|
|And the Angel sayeth: Verily is the Pyramid a Temple of Initiation. Verily also is it a tomb.|
| --- Liber 418, 14th Aethyr|
|I.||I, O.M. &c., a member of the Body of God, hereby bind myself on behalf of the whole Universe, even as we are now physically bound unto the cross of suffering:|
|II.||that I will lead a pure life, as a devoted servant of the Order:|
|III.||that I will understand all things:|
|IV.||that I will love all things:|
|V.||that I will perform all things and endure all things:|
|VI.||that I will continue in the Knowledge and Conversation of My Holy Guardian Angel:|
|VII.||that I will work without attachment:|
|VIII.||that I will work in truth:|
|IX.||that I will rely only upon myself:|
|X.||that I will interpret every phenomenon as a particular dealing of God with my soul. And if I fail herein, may my pyramid be profaned, and the Eye be closed upon me!|
Thus did the master forever seal his fate. For having sworn the Oath of the Abyss, he was now irreversibly drawn towards the ordeal of the crossing, and would ultimately reside as a Magister Templi in the City of Pyramids, or would fail the ordeal and be cast out as a Black Brother. The rest, as they say, is now history.
|O coffee! By the mighty Name of Power do I invoke thee, consecrating thee to the Service of the Magic of Light. Let the pulsations of my heart be strong and regular and slow! Let my brain be wakeful and active in its supreme task of self-control! That my desired end may be effected through Thy strength, Adonai, unto Whom be the Glory for ever! Amen without lie, and Amen, and Amen of Amen.|
This is followed just a few hours later at lunch with the glorious oyster adoration:
|O oysters! be ye unto me strength that I formulate the 12 rays of the Crown of HVA! I conjure ye, and very potently command. Even by Him who ruleth Life from the Throne of Tahuti unto the Abyss of Amennti, even by Ptah the swathed one, that unwrappeth the mortal from the immortal, even by Amoun the giver of Life, and by Khem the mighty, whose Phallus is like the Pillar in Karnak! Even by myself and my male power do I conjure ye. Amen.|
Needless to say, the oysters were duly eaten in a "Yogin and ceremonial manner."
|The Scourge is Sulphur: its application excites our sluggish natures; and it may further be used as an instrument of correction, to castigate rebellious volitions. It is applied to the Nephesh, the Animal Soul, the natural desires.|
|So Life takes Fire from Death, & runs|
Whirling amid the Suns.
Now let mine hands unloose the sweet
And shining girdle of Nuit!
|Sign of the Attack:||Sign of Protection:|
|The Alchemists themselves taught this same truth. The "First Matter" of the work was base and primitive, though "natural." After passing through various stages the "Black Dragon" appeared; but from this arose the pure and perfect gold.|
|[The reports of alchemists] all begin with a substance in nature which is described as existing almost everywhere, and as universally esteemed of no value. The alchemist is in all cases to take this substance, and subject it to a series of operations. By so doing, he obtains his product. This product, however named or described, is always a substance which represents the truth or perfection of the original "First Matter"; and its qualities are invariably such as pertain to a living being, not to an inanimate mass. In a word, the alchemist is to take a dead thing, impure, valueless, and powerless, and transform it into a live thing, active, invaluable and thaumaturgic.|
|As to make Gold thou must have Gold (it is the Word of the Alchemists) so to become the Sphinx thou must first be a Sphinx.|
|--- Liber Aleph, chapter|
When the great Persian philosopher and mystic Shihab al-Din al-Suhrawardi arrived in the Syrian town of Aleppo in 1183 e.v., he stayed at the Madrasa Halawiya, a religious school built over the ruins of a Byzantine cathedral founded --- according to legend --- by St Helena, the mother of Constantine. When Suhrawardi first attended class there, the head professor noted the contrast between the newcomer's great wisdom and his rough dervish robes. This professor sent his son to present Suhrawardi with a gift of fine clothes and an invitation to attend classes as a member of the faculty. When Suhrawardi heard this, he said nothing for a time. He then handed the boy a ruby the size of a chicken egg --- the largest anyone had ever seen --- and told him to bring it to the market place and get a price for it, but not to sell it without checking with him first. The professor's son went, and then returned to tell Suhrawardi that he had been offered 30,000 silver coins for the gem. Hearing this, the sage took another rock, and smashed the ruby to shards. He returned the garments to the boy, and asked him to kiss his father's hand and tell him, "If I had wanted clothing, I would not have been prevented from getting it."1 In this way, Suhrawardi acquired a reputation as a powerful alchemist.
|The might of aithêr chases it into the sea, sea spits it out onto solid ground, earth spits it up into rays of the radiant sun and sun hurls it into the whirlpools of aithêr. One receives it from another, then another from another, and they all hate it. This is the way that I too am now going, an exile from the gods and a wanderer, placing my trust in mad Strife.6|
|meaningful parallel to Empedocles' idea of all water as the tears of Persephone is provided by the Gnostic image of "all watery substance"|
() as the tears shed by Sophia: a parallel which assumes additional significance when we bear in mind the extensive resemblances between Empedocles and Gnostic ideas. The Gnostics had their fall of the soul into an alien and frightening world, their lived ideal of the magician-liberator, their cosmic mixture, separation and "roots," and their mythological traditions of oriental origin.8
Uthman Ibn Suwaid
Shihab al-Din al-Suhrawardi
|Do not imagine that the lord of a species is a body or bodily or that it has a head or two feet. You have found that Hermes said, "A spiritual essence gave me knowledge, so I asked it, 'Who are you?' It replied, 'I am your Perfect Nature.'"12|
|The first thing you have to do in relation to yourself, is to meditate attentively on the spiritual entity (ruhaniyato-ka, "your angel") which rules you and which is associated with your star --- namely, your Perfect Nature ... 13|
|Thou, my lord and prince, my most holy angel, my precious spiritual being, Thou art the Spirit who gave birth to me, and Thou art the Child to whom my spirit gives birth... Thou who art clothed in the most brilliant of divine Lights... may Thou manifest Thyself to me in the most beautiful (or in the highest) of epiphanies, show me the light of Thy dazzling face, be for me the mediator... lift the veils of darkness from my heart... 14|
1. Ibn Abi Usaybia, 'Uyun al-Anba' fi Tabaqat al-Atibba, ed. A. Müller. Königsberg (1884), 2:168 - 169,
2. The fifth-century b.c.e. Empedocles was considered by Islamic historians of the middle ages to have
3. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995.
4. Inverness, CA: Golden Sufi Center, 1999.
5. Inverness, CA: Golden Sufi Center, 2004.
6. Kingsley (2004), pp. 430 - 431.
7. Garth Fowden hints that the Hermetica may well have been written in Panopolis, see The Egyptian
8. Kingsley (1995), p. 355.
9. Described by Richard Burton as "one red granite column, and one of fine-grained red porphyry,"
10. Kingsley (1995), p. 389.
11. Reuters, "Scholar: Muslims had insights into hieroglyphs" (22 February 2004).
12. Shihab al-Din al-Suhrawardi, Mashari, para. 193, in Majmua, vol. 1:463 - 64, cited by Walbridge,
13. Pseudo-Majriti, Das Ziel des Weisen [Ghayat al-Hakim], ed. Helmut Ritter, Studien der Bibliothek
14. Henry Corbin, En Islam iranien, vol. 2, Sohravardi et les Platoniciens de Perse (Paris: Gallimard,
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|"Blessed is he who sits in the middle,|
for he shall double-toke."
--- Ancient Wisdom of the Haight
|[essay fragment, circa summer 1979 e.v.]|
|Saints' Quote of the Month|
|--- William Blake|
Might as well volunteer.
Call (510) 601-9393 to find out how you can help.
First breathe deeply and evenly while seated with a straight back, for at least a few minutes.
|1.||Come unto me, Lord Hermes, even as into women's wombs come babes!|
|2.||Come unto me, Lord Hermes, who dost collect the food of gods and men!|
|3.||Lord Hermes, come to me, and give me grace, and food, and victory, and health and happiness, and cheerful countenance, beauty and powers in sight of all!|
|4.||I know thy Name that shineth forth in heaven; I know thy forms as well;|
Visualize the forms of Hermes in the quarters: an ibis in the east, a jackal in the south, an ape in the west, and a serpent in the north.
I know thy tree, I know thy wood as well.
The tree of Hermes is the terebinth.1 His wood is ebony.
|5.||I know thee, Hermes, who thou art, and whence thou art, and what thy city is.|
|6.||I know thy names in the barbarous tongue, and thy true name as it is written on the holy tablet in the holy place at Hermes' city, where thou dost have thy birth.|
|7.||I know thee, Hermes, and thou knowest me; and I am thou, and thou art I.|
|8.||Come unto me; fulfill all that I crave; be favorable to me with Agathodaimon.|
Then visualize a small Hermes Trismegistus (possibly as depicted on the floor of the Siena Cathedral, above right) seated on your head.
1. Mead has "turpentine palm." Many trees have sap that can be used
Friday, June 11 8:15PM: Meditation Class. An evening of meditation practice with Michael Sanborn, to be followed by a Friday night out.
Saturday, June 12 3:00PM: The Rites of Eleusis Planning Meeting. Held at Sirius Oasis in Berkeley. Everyone who wants to help with the Rites is welcome. Bring your plans, venues, and ideas! Please call Caitlin (Herder of Cats, um, RitesMistress) at (510) 652-9986 for directions/more information. The Rites begin July 17th, and Mars needs Women! (Actually, all the Godforms could use volunteers. Of both sexes. Thanks!)
Monday, June 14 8:00PM: Double Current Enochian. Angels! Chanting! Noetic reciprocity! Quirky alternative kabbalahs! We've got it all. This session, we'll be working with the Earth of Air sub-quadrant. Keywords: Space and Flowing.
Friday, June 18 8:00PM: Fire and Earth Meeting.* The Fire and Earth meetings have two parts. In the first (Earth), the focus is on the day-to-day operation of Masses, classes, events, publications, the library, etc. In the second (Fire), the focus is on scheduling and synergy between areas of operation.
Saturday, June 19 8:00PM: Gemini Birthday Bash. Good things come in twos, so let's get together in honor of our Geminis. Remember, there'll be cake. Mmm... cake.
Sunday, June 20 4:00PM: Summer Solstice Ritual and Pot-luck. Come celebrate the longest day, and the shortest night, of the year with us. Bring something to share --- we'll have an impromptu feast after the rite and still have time to walk it off before Mass!
Wednesday, June 23 8:00PM: Water Meeting.* The Water meetings focus on connection: sharing, relationship, feelings, warmth, and coziness.
Friday, June 25 7:30PM: The Great Work --- Fun and Games with Your H. G. A. The group continues its exploration of the Great Work with the inspired facilitation of Marium Lange. This month, we'll be discussing personal experiences and practical tips, while continuing to develop a collective vision for future classes.
Saturday, June 26 11:00AM: O.T.O. Meeting. For initiates only. Call (510)-601-9393 to attend.
Monday, June 28 8:00PM: Double Current Enochian. (See entry for June 14.) "Then I would suggest that yonder yellow submarine is ourselves going backwards in time!" --- John Lennon. Featuring the Fire of Earth sub-quadrant. Keywords: Trials and Opening.
* One of three monthly organizational meetings. Pick the one or two that most interest you, or come to all three.
[An open letter dated May 31, 2004 e.v.]
|Cara Fraters et Sorors,|
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
Today our dearly loved Soror Meral, Phyllis Seckler, has Celebrated her Greater Feast. She was sleeping peacefully within the arms of her Beloved Angel and passed easily through the Veils at 4:34 pm.
Celebrate her Glorious Life and the well-earned Freedom she has finally won!
Love is the law, love under will.
The letters O.T.O. stand for ORDO TEMPLI ORIENTIS --the Order of Oriental Templars, or Order of the Temple of the East. The O.T.O. is dedicated to securing the Liberty of the Individual, and his or her advancement in Light, Wisdom, Understanding, Knowledge, and Power. This is accomplished through Beauty, Courage, and Wit, on the Foundation of Universal Brotherhood. The O.T.O. is in sympathy with the traditional ideals of Freemasonry, and was the first of the Old Aeon orders to accept The Book of the Law.
|6/2/04||Full in 9:21 PM|
|6/4/04||Air Meeting -- Planning 8:00PM||(510) 652-3171||Thelema Ldg.|
|6/5/04||OTO Initiations (call to attend)||(510) 652-3171||Thelema Ldg.|
|6/6/04||Gnostic Mass 8:00PM in Horus Temple||(510) 652-3171||Thelema Ldg.|
|6/11/04||Meditation Class with Michael 9:00PM||(510) 652-3171||Thelema Ldg.|
|6/12/04||Rites of Eleusis Planning 3:00PM||Sirius Camp|
|6/13/04||Gnostic Mass 8:00PM in Horus Temple||(510) 652-3171||Thelema Ldg.|
|6/14/04||Double Current Enochian |
with Michael 8:00PM
|(510) 652-3171||Thelema Ldg.|
|6/17/04||New in 1:28 PM|
|6/18/04||Fire and Earth Meeting|
Operating & Scheduling
Open to All 8:00PM
|(510) 652-3171||Thelema Ldg.|
|6/19/04||Gemini Birthday Party 8:PM||(510) 652-3171||Thelema Ldg.|
|6/20/04||enters 4:37 PM|
|6/20/04||Summer Solstice Ritual & Pot-luck|
|(510) 652-3171||Thelema Ldg.|
|6/20/04||Gnostic Mass 8:00PM in Horus Temple||(510) 652-3171||Thelema Ldg.|
|6/23/04||Water Meeting -- Harmonizing 8:00PM||(510) 652-3171||Thelema Ldg.|
|6/25/04||The Great Work with Marium 7:30PM||(510) 652-3171||Thelema Ldg.|
|6/26/04||OTO Meeting 11:00AM Initiates Only|
(Call to Attend)
|(510) 652-3171||Thelema Ldg.|
|6/27/04||Gnostic Mass 8:00PM in Horus Temple||(510) 652-3171||Thelema Ldg.|
|6/28/04||Double Current Enochian |
with Michael 8:00PM
|(510) 652-3171||Thelema Ldg.|
The viewpoints and opinions expressed herein are the responsibility of the contributing authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of OTO or its officers.
Ordo Templi Orientis
P.O. Box 2303
Berkeley, CA 94702 USA
Phone: (510) 652-3171 (for events info and contact to Lodge)