In my post on Genius, and the HGA I mentioned that “enlightenment” is non-duality. In that post, I provided information about the Five Dhyani Buddhas, which is represented in Chan/Zen Buddhism where one turns inwardly to realize their true nature.
This inward attention, this inner process is where Crowley says prayer is supposed to take us. This clarifying from the misconception of prayer being to an external entity or source, instead it is an activity for one to engage themselves wholly. Occultists well know the saying “Inflame thyself in prayer”, as if one leads oneself into rapture. This soteriological release, the state of bliss, Crowley offered to be called “Union with God”, “Samadhi”, “The Vision of God,” etc.
Before I go into this post, I wish to draw upon this short quote from 400 CE Sage Patanjali from the Yoga Sutras, as it makes clear what is meant:
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God, who is the supreme Soul; the ultimate Self of all beings. In the deepest sense, purity means fitness for this vision, and also a heart cleansed from all disquiet, from all wandering and unbridled thought, from the torment of sensuous imaginings; and when the spirit is thus cleansed and pure, it becomes at one in essence with its source, the great Spirit, the primal Life. One consciousness now thrills through both, for the psychic partition wall is broken down. Then shall the pure in heart see God, because they become God.”
Becoming God, or being in Union with Godhead is Samadhi (which is ego-death). Crowley seriously, but jokingly endorses practicing Samadhi daily in The Stag-Beetle, by saying “Die Daily.” It is with this level of seriousness that we should look at many words in Crowley’s work. Crowley takes invocation, a word which is often intimidating, or even scary to a non-initiate, and uses it with jest. This can be seen in his Liber DCCCLX, John St. John where he offers an invocation of coffee! See: “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[..]”
Invocation means to “call inward”, it is a rapturous and wonderful process when the invocation is formulated Alchemically or Qabalistically and one can take themselves deep with knowing the meaning of the words read.
Here is one of my favourite invocations, from Crowley’s Golden Dawn days. It is available in Crowley’s Collected Works published by the Yogi Publication Society. The piece is placed in red text below, it will be separated by commentary where I feel necessary to offer remark.
Despite Crowley’s Book of Thoth providing his alchemical formula with the Tarot attributes shown upon the Qabalistic Tree of Life, this earlier work is reliant too upon the framework of the Qabalah and the imagery should be most apparent in its beauty and functioning. Let’s dive in.
O Self Divine ! O Living Lord of Me !
Self-shining flame, begotten of beyond !
Godhead immaculate ! Swift tongue of fire,
Kindled from that immeasurable light
The boundless, the immutable. Come forth,
My God, my lover, spirit of my heart,
Heart of my soul, white virgin of the Dawn,
My Queen of all perfection, come thou forth
From thine abode beyond the Silences
Beyond the Silences is referring to the division of the Tree of Life where the Abyss resides (across the neck in the image to the right). Binah represents Saturn (death), and Binah represents Silence, and it represents Cosmic Space (as in the Akashic/Aetheric element, which is otherwise known as the Spirit element).
To me the prisoner, me the mortal man,
Shrined in this clay : come forth, I say, to me,
The prisoner is one contained in form – within the Four Elements (which make up Malkuth, the Kingdom).
“Shrined in this clay”, is referring to ADAM (which is a generic name for the “Body” which is overlayed upon the Tree of Life, and is to represent our body, we are ADAM).
“The formation of Adam by God out of the earth, as described in Genesis, is counted by the alchemists among the great mysteries. The material was no common potter’s clay, but another and one of a far higher nature. He who knows this knows also the subject of the philosophical medicine, and by consequence, what destroys or preserves the temperament of man. It contains principles which are homogenous with man’s life, are potent to restore his decaying virtues, and can reduce his disorders to harmony. Arias Montamus calls this matter ‘the unique particle of the multiplex earth’” – Paracelsus & A. E. Waite, The Hermetic and Alchemical Writings of Paracelsus.
From the above Paracelsus book, I also offer this quote for its relevancy:
“The following remarkable passage occurs in the Anima Magica Abscondita of Thomas Vaughan. It has often been made use of as evidence that the adepts had a higher object than the transmutation of ordinary metals:––Question not those impostors who tell you of a sulfer tingens, and I know not what fables; who pin also that narrow name of Chemia on a science both ancient and infinite. It is the Light only that can be truly multiplied, for this ascends to, and descends from, the first fountain of multiplication and generation. If to animals, it exalts animals ; if to vegetables, vegetables ; if to minerals, it refines minerals, and translates them from the worst to best condition.” Lastly, there is this one: “The monk Ferarius defines it to be the science of the four elements, which are to be found in all created substances, but are not of the vulgar kind. The whole practice of the art is simply the conversion of these elements into one another.”
Initiate my quickened soul ; draw near,
And let the glory of thy Godhead shine
Through all the luminous aethers of the air
Even to earth, thy footstool ; unto me
Who by these sacred invocations draw
The holy influence within myself,
To strengthen and to purify my will
And holy aspirations to thy Life.
Purge me and consecrate until my heart
Burn through the very limits of the veil,
And rend it at the hour of sacrifice
That even the secret pillar in the midst
May be made manifest to mortal eyes.
The purging is of the false conception of self, and clinging to illusions mental and emotional which come with being confined to form. The line follows the consecration until the heart burns through the limits of the veil – the veil is the Abyss, and the burning heart is clearly symbolic for Tipharet (the Sun), the heart, being fully experienced; establishment of Tipharet is to speak truth, to act just, to uphold beauty. The sacrifice referred to is the Mystical Sacrifice, which is self-sacrifice (as in an ego-death). Tipharet is represented by Jesus Christ, and by Osiris, as the sphere represents God manifesting in the flesh, according to Wikipedia, it has the common association of “Spirituality”, “Balance”, “Integration”, “Beauty”, “Miracles”, and “Compassion”.
The secret middle pillar implies that Kether is active, and Tipharet is a true reflection of it. That mortal eyes may see, implies that one is living their True Will, their full mystic self, and they bare themselves before the world.
Behold upon my right hand and my left
The mighty pillars of amazing fire,
And terrible cloud. Their tops in Heaven
Whereon the everlasting lamps rejoice.
Their pedestals upon the Universe
Are set in rolling clouds, in thunder-gusts,
In vivid flame, and tempest : but to me,
Balanced between them, burns the holy light
Veilless, one liquid wheel of sacred fire,
Whirling immutably within itself
And formulating in the splendid sun
Of its white moony radiance, in the light
Of its immaculate eternity,
The “liquid wheel of sacred fire”, I take it is to imply the wheel in the center of the Tree of Life model which is known as the Ruach (which is a word meaning Spirit). These are the Sephirot circling around their center, Tipharet (6), as shown in the image on the right.
That all the spheres whirl and formulate in a spendid sun, means that the wheel flows smoothly, one is not broken upon it.
Yesod, the Foundation (9), is the Moon, which brings the Light from the all the sephiroths above, down into the physical Malkuth.
Thy glorious vision ! O thou Starlight face,
And crowned diamond of my self and soul,
Thou Queenly Angel of my Higher Will,
Form in my spirit a more subtle fire
Of God, that I may comprehend the more
The glorious vision is Union. The Starlight face, we can see how this would later in Crowley’s life evolve into the imagery of Nuit, the Lady of the Stars.
The word “crowned diamond of my self and soul”, Crown implies Kether, and Diamond is to make indestructible (as in formulation of the Philosopher’s Stone).
The sacred purity of thy divine
Essence ! O Queen, O Goddess of my life,
Light unbegotten, Scintillating spark
Of the All-Self ! O holy, holy Spouse
Of my most godlike thought, come forth ! I
And manifest unto thy worshiper
In more candescent fulgours ! Let the air
Ring with the passion of my holy cry
Unto the Highest. For persistent will
And the continual fervour of my soul
Have led me to this hour of victory,
This throne of splendour, O thou Beauty’s
“Victory” is an indication that we’re now speaking of the sephirot of Netzach, which is splendour. “O thou Beauty’s Self”, is referring to Tipharet (Beauty), and it being balanced and brought to manifestation as truth.
Thou holiest Crown thus manifest to me,
Come forth, I say, come forth ! With
Than Jesus uttered on the quivering cross :
“Eli, Eli, lama, sabachtani,”
Thee, thee, thee only I invoke ! O Soul
Of my own spirit, let thy fervid eyes
Give me their light : for thou dost stand, as
Among the Holy Ones. Before the gods
Thy music moves, coequal, coeterne,
Thou, Lord of Light and Life and Love !
Come forth !
I call thee in the holiest name of Him
Lord of the Universe, and by His Name,
Osiris perfected through suffering,
“Eli, Eli, lama, sabachtani,” is from Matthew 27:45 and translated means ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?’
Jesus on the Cross is an alchemical formula, where Jesus’ cross had the inscription on it of I.N.R.I.
I.N.R.I, is supposed to have meant Jesus Nazarenus Rex Judaerum, but are the initial letters of the Hebrew names of the four elements: Iam (water), Nour (fire), Ruach (air or spirit), Iabeshah (earth).
Osiris and Jesus are interchangeable symbolically, given their ‘solar’, self-sacrificial qualities.
Glorious in trial : by his Holy Name,
Jesus, the Godhead passing through the gates
Of Hell, that even there the rescuers
Might find the darkness, and proclaim the
For I invoke thee by the sacred rites
And secret words of everlasting power :
By the swift symbol of the Golden Dawn
And all its promise, by the Cross of Fire,
The Cross of Fire, is symbolic of desire, and will.
And by the Gleaming Symbol : by the Rose
and the Cross of Light and Life : the holy Ankh,
The Rose of Ruby and the Cross of Gold.
Crowley wrote a poem titled ‘The Rose and the Cross’ which contains these verses: “Its myriad petals of divided light; Its leaves of the most radiant emerald; Its heart of fire like rubies. At the sight I lifted up my heart to God and called:How shall I pluck this dream of my desire? And lo! there shaped itself the Cross of Fire!”
If one is to do research, there are plenty of resources on Rosicrucian thought to see this Rosy Cross symbolism.
The Rosicrucian Christianity Lectures by Max Heindel offers the five divisions of experience in their philosophy. There is:
(1) The Dense Body, which is his tool in action.
(2) The Vital Body, a medium of “vitality” which makes action possible.
(3) The Desire Body, whence comes desire and compels actions.
(4) The Mind, a break on impulse, giving purpose to action.
(5) The Ego, which acts and gathers experience from action.
The vital body works to keep the dense body together. Again in Rosicrucian Christianity Lectures, Max Heindel says, “By way of the spleen it specializes the colourless solar energy which pervades space, and by some strange chemical process transforms it into a vital fluid of a beautiful pale rose color, sending it along every nerve and fiber of the body.”
I think this makes clear the ideas being presented symbolically in the Golden Dawn invocation. (Especially on the frame of the Qabalistic Tree of Life, which structure is utilized in rituals such as the ‘LBRP w/ Qabalistic Cross’.
By these I say, Come forth ! my holy
And make me one with thine abundant ray
Of the vast ocean of the unmanifest
Limitless Negativity of Light
The vast ocean of the unmanifest is referring to the celestial waters, Nuit, Binah. This portion is moving awareness to the formless, “emptiness” (as in Sunyata, enlightenment), and is represented by the divine feminine, and union with it (by designating it a holy spouse).
Flowing, in Jesus manifest, through space,
In equilibrium, upon the world
The Supernal Triangle is flowing through the tree, balancing between the White and Black (right and left) pillars on the Tree of Life, and maintaining its balance and equilibrium, and thus divinity retaining its essence and manifesting on earth. Emptiness is form, and form is emptiness.
Illumined by the White Supernal Gleam
Through the red Cross of Calvary : Come
My actual Self ! Come forth, O dazzling one,
Wrapped in the glory of the Holy Place
Whence I have called thee : Come thou forth
And permeate my being, till my face
Shine with thy light reflected, till my brows
Gleam with thy starry symbol, till my voice
Reach the Ineffable : Come forth, I say,
And make me one with thee : that all my
May glitter with the holy influence,
That I may be found worthy at the end
“worthy at the end” – As this is not a Thelemic invocation, I don’t know if this is referring to the end of life, or the end of the invocation (though it may be both). For the end of the invocation, it is saying essentially may I make myself worthy of Samadhi, and easily enter the bliss body, experiencing the ‘Mystical death’.
To sacrifice before the Holy Ones :
That in thy Glory, Strength, and Majesty,
That fills its fountains at the Well of Life,
I may be mighty in the Universe.
This is the Mystical Death, this sacrifice. The Holy Ones are those who are Oversoul, whose self is selflessness.
Glory is Tipharet, Strength is Mars which is Geburah, Majesty is Jupiter which is Chesed.
This triangle is thus a reflection of Kether, Binah and Chokmah.
It retains its integrity and thus the triangle reflects down further.
Established is Yesod (the Well of Life), Hod (Mercury) and Netzach (Venus).
Yea, come thou forth, I mightily conjure
All Spirits to be subject unto Me,
And of the Ether, and upon the Earth
And under Earth, and of the stable land,
Of water, of the whirling of the air,
Of the all-rushing fire ; and every Spell
And scourge of God the Vast One may be
Obedient unto me, to the All-Good
And ultimate Redemption : Hear me, thou !
The Four Elements, Earth, Water, Air and Fire are subject to the Will of the magician, and their Spirit.
Eca, zodacare, Iad, goho,
Torzodu odo kikale qaa !
Zodorje, Iape zodiredo Ol
Noco Mada, das Iadapiel !
Ilas ! hoatahe Iaida !
I’ve tried translating this, but it may not be quite proper:
“Therefore, move, God, saith,
Arise and open the Mysteries of Creation for me,
I am made the same, a Servant to your God, Him
O Thou ! True worshipper of God !”
O crowned with starlight ! Winged with
Wider than Heaven ! O profounder blue
Of the abyss of water ! O thou flame
Flashing through all the caverns of the night,
Tongues leaping from the immeasurable
Up through the glittering steeps unmanifest
To the ineffable ! O Golden Sun !
Vibrating glory of my higher self !
I heard thy voice resounding in the Abyss :
The profound blue of the abyss of water, this is referring to cosmic space and the waters of cosmic space. I’ve written previously of Aleister Crowley’s line from the Book of the Law where Nuit says: “I am the blue–lidded daughter of Sunset; I am the naked brilliance of the voluptuous night-sky. To me! To me!”
In my opinion, this blue-lidded daughter (daughter is used as Malkuth is the daughter, Binah being the Mother) represents the Tree of Life with the established Supernal Triangle as a metaphorical hat which is the Empress path connecting Binah and Chokmah, the Empress being the alchemical Salt.
The Abyss can be seen as a division, with above the abyss being the cosmic waters (infinite space), and being in Unity, and beneath the Abyss (entering duality), the waters of the abyss become the blood. This is shown in Aleister Crowley’s Chariot Card description in his Book of Thoth wherein the canopy of the Chariot is described as a “night-sky blue of Binah”, and he writes that the card represents the “influence of the Supernals descending through the Veil of Water (which is blood) upon the energy of man, and so inspires it.”
“I am the only being in the deep
Of Darkness : let me rise and gird myself
To tread the path of Darkness : even so
I may attain the light. For from the Abyss
I came before my Birth : from those dim halls
and silence of a primal sleep ! And He,
The Voice of Ages, answered me and said :
Behold ! for I am He that formulates
In darkness ! Child of Earth ! the Light
In darkness, but the darkness understands
No ray of that initiating light ! “
This is VITRIOL. Visita Interiora Terrae Rectificando Invenies Occultum Lapidem.
Now, by Initiation’s dangerous path
And groping aspirations, came I forth
Where the White Splendour shone upon the Throne,
Even to the Temple of the Holy Ones :
Now, by that Light, come forth, I say,
My Lady of the Starlight and the Moon !
Come forth and be absolute within my mind,
That I may take no dim remembrance back
To drown this glory with earth’s quivering
But, O abide within Me ! Every hour
I need the lofty and limpid stream
Of that White Brilliance : Leave me not alone,
O Holy Spirit ! Come to comfort me,
To draw me, and to make me manifest,
Osiris to the weeping world ; That I
Be lifted upon the Cross of Pain
And Sacrifice, to draw all human kind
And every germ of matter that hath life,
Even after me, to the ineffable
Kingdom of Light ! O holy, holy Queen !
Let thy wide pinions overshadow me !
These verses of the invocation are about solidifying the ‘conversation’ with ones holy spirit, to be brought under influence and control of one’s own Genius.
I am, the Resurrection and the Life !
The Reconciler of the Light and Dark.
I am the Rescuer of mortal things.
I am the Force in Matter manifest.
I am the Godhead manifest in flesh.
I stand above, among the Holy Ones.
I am all-purified through suffering,
All-perfect in the mystic sacrifice,
And in the knowledge of my Selfhood
One with the everlasting Lords of Life.
Great Equilibrium is formed. The fire has cleansed and purified and has made perfect. One’s identity is merging with the force of Creation.
The Glorified through Trial is My Name.
The Rescuer of Matter is My Name.
I am the Heart of Jesus girt about
With the Swift Serpent ! I, Osirisfied,
“The Rescuer of Matter” is to be seperate from matter, or not being identified in matter, but instead with the Spiritual element.
The Heart of Jesus girt about with the swift serpent is allegory towards Hadit (the winged snake of Light which would come to prominence in the Book of the Law).
Osiris in Assyrian mythology becomes True of Voice through the god of Wisdom Thoth.
Stand in this Hall of Twofold Truth and
Holy art Thou, Lord of the Universe !
Holy art Thou, whom Nature hath not formed !
Holy art Thou, O Vast and Mighty One !
O Lord of Darkness and O Lord of Light !
The Mighty One is the Oversoul, “God”. It is above the Duality (Destruction, Creation).
Holy art Thou, O Light above all Gods!
O Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy King
Ineffable, O Consciousness Divine
In whose white presence, even I, a god,
A god of gods, prostrate myself and say :
I am the spark of Thine abundant flame.
I am the flower, and Thou the splendid
Wherefrom my Life is drawn ! All hail to
For Holy, Holy, Holy, is Thy Name !
Holy art Thou, O Universal Lord !
Holy art Thou, whom Nature hath not formed !
Holy art Thou, the Vast and Mighty
O Lord of Darkness and O Lord of Light !
I see the Darkness fall as lightning falls !
I watch the Ages like a torrent roll
Past Me : and as a garment I shake off
The clinging skirts of Time. My place
In the abyss beyond all Stars and Suns.
I AM, the Resurrection and the Life !
The darkness falling as lightning falls, is to mean ignorance disappears in a flash. One separates from their minuscule view, and frees themselves of Matter (Binah is Cosmic Space; Emptiness/Sunyata, but it is also Matter, and Saturn – Saturn representing Time). Binah is the womb wherein all men are begotten, and wherein they shall rest.
I AM is Kether (the Crown), I AM is “Asher Ehyeh Asher”, I am that I am.
Holy art Thou, Lord of the Universe !
Holy art Thou, whom Nature hath not formed !
Holy art Thou, the Vast and Mighty One !
O Lord of Darkness and O lord of Light !