How Rational is Divination?

The_Tower_Ordo_Templi_Orienti_636

 

“Science describes the least of things. The least of what something is. Religion, magic—Bows to the endless.” – Joseph Solomon, A Dark Song.

According to the below TED Talk, divination primarily acts as a method to unlock the unconscious mind by prompting it with symbols and non-linear connections, so that it lends solutions to problems through the language of symbolism.

On the surface of things there is no falsehood in such statements. I would concur that when a divinatory system such as Tarot, Geomancy or Astrology is learned thoroughly the answers one can provide oneself with are based on what has been learned but can be expressed intuitively, like when you can ride a bike or drive a car so well that many of your actions, which you once struggled to learn, come as second nature.

The video therefore provides an accurate depiction of divination at the most rudimentary and basic level. But those of us deeply entrenched in matters of religion, magic and spirituality desire to understand far more that the mere surface of things. That which is ‘occult’ stands for that which is ‘hidden’ and to understand what is hidden one must delve into depths that lie beyond exoteric or materialist understanding.

It is true that divination, like all magical processes, can assist the conscious mind to channel unconscious forces. But the next question a magician would ask in response to such a statement is ‘what is the unconscious?’ To begin to answer this, one might explore the depth psychology of Carl Jung, in which the unconscious is portrayed as a realm of archetypes that transcends the personal space and touches on an objective reality known as the Collective Unconscious, which is ancient parlance would have been understood as the realm of the gods.

Despite the fact that such language can be interpreted either mystically or materially according to one’s beliefs, the most fascinating aspect of Jungian psychology (which overlaps with, but cannot be wholly equated with the arcane arts) is found in the concept of synchronicity as ‘an acausal connecting principle’ through which the events of the inner world are acutely mirrored in the outer world in a striking, meaningful and timely way that is beyond everyday coincidence. Unlike other aspects of the notion of the collective unconsciousness (which some proponents assert can be expressed as a purely biological phenomenon) synchronicity is difficult to quantify materially. The best efforts to do such a thing came from some of the extra-curricular work of the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Wolfgang Pauli, who Jung worked with sporadically over the course of multiple decades in order to prove a quantum connection between the interior and exterior worlds. Ultimately, to the frustration of both, their efforts failed.

With the application of a magical understanding of synchronicity however, the unveiled Self can be understood as a pure reflection of the One described by Hermeticism and Advaitism, as a spark of the Divine in Gnosticism, as God itself in Thelema, as the Kingdom of Heaven that is within you in Christianity, as The Superior Man in Taoism, and so on. What all have in common is the notion that the utmost Self, like the unconscious, can be found within oneself and beyond oneself simultaneously and the realisation of this fact in the form of Samadhi enlightens ones views on the fullness of reality in a way that is significantly beyond ‘the least of things.’

“What the superior man seeks, is in himself; what the ordinary man seeks, is in others.” – The Ethics of Confucius.

Then there is the I Ching. This is a form of divination that, having cast many hundreds of times, I find difficult to connect to any of the aforementioned ideas that could explain divination as a process that connects the rational mind to the intuitive mind.  Such is the frequency of depth, profundity and synchronicity revealed when consulting this oracle that even with no real understanding of the physical form of the hexagrams whatsoever one can obtain answers to one’s questions that are too solid in their clarity to come from any rational or symbolic prompt impressed upon the intuitive mind.

An excellent summary of the I Ching that I find highly satisfactory comes from Chapter XVIII of Crowley’s Magick in Theory and Practice, which states:

The Yi King is mathematical and philosophical in form… It is in some ways the most perfect hieroglyph ever constructed. It is austere and sublime, yet withal so adaptable to every possible emergency that its figures may be interpreted to suit all classes of questions. One may resolve the most obscure spiritual difficulties no less than the most mundane dilemmas; and the symbol which opens the gates of the most exalted palaces of initiation is equally effective when employed to advise one in the ordinary business of life. The Master Therion has found the Yi King entirely satisfactory in every respect. The intelligences which direct it show no inclination to evade the question or to mislead the querent. A further advantage is that the actual apparatus is simple. Also the system is easy to manipulate, and five minutes is sufficient to obtain a fairly detailed answer to any but the most obscure questions… There is, on the surface, no difficulty at all in getting replies. In fact, the process is mechanical; success is therefore assured, bar a stroke of apoplexy.

The passage continues with an elucidation of divination as a system through which one can obtain clarity in the same way as that postulated in the TED video. Yet, as one may expect from a Magus as venerable as Crowley, it also provides an explanation of the difference between the use of divination as a means of understanding the divine aspect of oneself rather and the mundane method of obtaining intuitive solutions to one’s problems in the way the speaker in the TED talk suggested.

But, even suppose we are safe from deceit, how can we know that the question has really been put to another mind, understood rightly, and answered from knowledge? It is obviously possible to check one’s operations by clairvoyance, but this is rather like buying a safe to keep a brick in. Experience is the only teacher. One acquires what one may almost call a new sense. One feels in one’s self whether one is right or not. The diviner must develop this sense. It resembles the exquisite sensibility of touch which is found in the great billiard player whose fingers can estimate infinitesimal degrees of force, or the similar phenomenon in the professional taster of tea or wine who can distinguish fantastically subtle differences of flavour. Divination affords excellent practice for those who aspire to that exalted eminence, for the faintest breath of personal preference will deflect the needle from the pole of truth in the answer. Unless the diviner have banished utterly from his mind the minutest atom of interest in the answer to his question, he is almost certain to influence that answer in favour of his personal inclinations.

The psycho-analyst will recall the fact that dreams are phantasmal representations of the unconscious Will of the sleeper, and that not only are they images of that Will instead of representations of objective truth, but the image itself is confused by a thousand cross-currents set in motion by the various complexes and inhibitions of his character. If therefore one consults the oracle, one must take sure that one is not consciously or unconsciously bringing pressure to bear upon it…

To summarise, the importance of rational self-knowledge is a necessary factor in divination, and in accordance with some of the more materialist explanations, divination is an excellent took of self-analysis. Yet, as one becomes accurately exposed to the deepest parts of oneself, one unlocks and illuminates aspects of one’s true nature. As things stand, there are aspects to the self and to the mind that go beyond what can be summarised materially, and until such time that our scientific knowledge of these things becomes more advanced, tools such as magic, religion, divination and depth-psychology provide the best techniques we have to better understand such things.

Jupiter in Sagittarius

Jupiter giving fire to Vesuvius - Joseph Heim

Tomorrow, November 8th,  sees Jupiter entering Sagittarius at 12:39 pm GMT. Not only does this occur on the day of Jupiter but also within its planetary hour, making it a highly auspicious day for works with this planet. This transit begins with Jupiter exactly at the point of the Midheaven, meaning that just two minutes later Jupiter also enters the Ninth House, which is influenced by both Sagittarius and Jupiter and governs matters relating to religion, philosophy, dreams and long journeys.

The Greater Key of Solomon gives Jupiter the following qualities: Obtaining honours; Acquiring riches; Contracting friendships; Preserving health; Arriving at all that one Desires; Invisibility; all Extraordinary, Uncommon and Unknown Operations.

On the day this transit begins, I plan to construct a Talisman made of tin, the metal that resonates Jupiter’s qualities, in the first planetary hour of that day (07:05 – 07:52 GMT), which will then be consecrated as Jupiter enters Sagittarius during the second planetary hour of Jupiter. That day’s third Jupiterian hour (18:49 – 20:03 GMT), also sees the Moon entering Sagittarius at 18:58 and going precisely conjunct with Jupiter at 19:05. This would therefore be a good time to further internalise the effects of the Talisman into one’s unconscious strata, particularly the realm of dreams due to the influences Sagittarius has over them.

The final Jupiterian hour of the day (03:26 – 04:40 GMT) would then be a fitting time to set one’s alarm for with the intent of meditating on or reciting a prayer or devotion to Jupiter in order to complete the day’s work and hopefully result in some relevant dreams.

The Greater Key also gives seven planetary seals for Jupiter with more specific effects attached to them, which are:

1. Possessing treasures
2. Acquiring glory, honours, dignities, riches, and all kinds of good, together with great tranquillity of mind; also to discover Treasures and chase away the Spirits who preside over them
3. Defends and Protects against spirits, causing them to be obedient.
4. To acquire riches, honour and wealth (when Jupiter is in Cancer).
5. Granting Visions
6. Protecting against all earthly dangers
7. Power over poverty and driving away all spirits that defend treasures.

It is the second seal that I shall inscribe onto the tin.

Second Talisman of Jupiter

In the centre of the Hexagram are the letters of the Name AHIH, Eheieh; in the upper and lower angles of the same, those of the Name AB, the Father; in the remaining angles those of the Name IHVH. I believe the letters outside the Hexagram in the re-entering angles to be intended for those of the first two words of the versicle, which is taken from Psalm cxii. 3:– ‘Wealth and Riches are in his house, and his righteousness endureth for ever.’ The verse is from Vulgate, Ps.111:3: gloria et divitiae in domo eius et iustitia eius manet in saeculum saeculi. (Joseph Peterson).

The sigils of Jupiter, the Archangel Zadkiel, the Intelligence Jophiel and the Spirit Hismael are also engraved onto the tin.

Tzadkiel
Seal of Zadkiel

Jupiter

In the Second Hour of Jupiter, the ritual is performed.

Suitable robes are worn, Cedar is burnt and four blue candles light the temple.

  1. LBRP
  2. Invoking Hexagram Ritual of Jupiter
  3. Invocation

The Invocation of Jupiter

(4 knocks)

Procul, O procul este profani!

O Jove, much-honour’d, Jove supremely great,
To thee our holy rites we consecrate,

“Our pray’rs and expiations, king divine,
For all things to produce with ease thro’ mind is thine.
Hence mother Earth and mountains swelling high
Proceed from thee, the deep and all within the sky.
Saturnian king, descending from above,
Magnanimous, commanding, sceptred Jove;
All-parent, principle and end of all,
Whose pow’r almighty shakes this earthly ball;
Ev’n Nature trembles at thy mighty nod,
Loud-sounding, arm’d with light’ning, thund’ring God.
Source of abundance, purifying king,
O various-form’d, from whom all natures spring;
Propitious hear my pray’r, give blameless health,
With peace divine, and necessary wealth.”

The Talisman is then uncovered and fumigated with cedar with great intent to call down the forces of EL through the Heavenly Sphere of TZADDIQ to be divested into the Archangel ZADKIEL, the Intelligence JOHPHIEL and the Spirit HISMAEL into the Talisman.

Then over it is recited:

  1. The Emerald Tablet

“Here is a true explanation, concerning which there can be no doubt.

It attests: The above from the below, and the below from the above -the work of the miracle of the One.

And things have been from this primal substance through a single act. How wonderful is this work! It is the main (principle) of the world and is its maintainer.

Its father is the sun and its mother the moon; thewind has borne it in its body, and the earth has nourished it.

The father of talismen and the protector of miracle, whose powers are perfect, and whose lights are confirmed,a fire that becomes earth.

 Separate the earth from the fire, so you will attain the subtle as more inherent than the gross, with care and sagacity.

It rises from earth to heaven, so as to draw the lights of the heights to itself, and descends to the earth; thus within it are the forces of the above and the below;

Because the light of lights within it, thus does the darkness flee before it.

The force of forces, which overcomes every subtle thing and penetrates into everything gross.

The structure of the microcosm is in accordance with the structure of the macrocosm.

And accordingly proceed the knowledgeable.

And to this aspired Hermes, who was threefold graced with wisdom.”

The talisman is then covered and hidden.

During the Third Planetary Hour of Jupiter the Talisman is combined with a Talisman of Luna at the precise time where the Moon and Jupiter form their conjunction and a statement of intent is made to both talismans that they join forces to bring the benefits of Jupiter into the dominion of Luna. Fumigations to each planet are burnt, being Cedar and Jasmine.

During the Fourth Planetary Hour of Jupiter sleep is broken and prayer and meditation is entered into to complete the day’s petitions. Banishing and Licenses to depart are performed the following morning when the day of Jupiter has passed.

XXIX: Eagles

les-harpies-a
XXIX NESIKER

Servitors: Igarag, Manties, Mara, Katsin, Irminon, Ismerik, Sigis, Gesegas, Kosem, Erimites, Nasi, Ramoras, Izozon, Isagas, Romoron, Soterion, Negen, Nagar.

The word at the outer of the square, NESIKER, derives from the Hebrew נשר (Nesher), ‘Eagle,’ with the word forcibly split by the word IGARAGI in the central cross, which is a mirrored expression of the spirit name Igarag, which expresses concepts relating to coldness, ice, crystals and frosts.

The Vision

Bright pin heads of lights, like stars, appeared in a black sky accompanied by xylophone music before water poured out of the blackness, as though from a cup, into the earth below. Pouring into the domed vessel of the Earth, the water ran down a hillside to create a river that ran down to a pool in the basin of a valley. It was twilight in that place, which had the feel of a place in-between.

I walked to the edge of the pool and in its reflection saw the face of an eagle looking back at me. I looked around to see if it was above me, but there was nothing else visible in the growing blackness of the sky. I looked to the water again and saw the eagle, appearing more solid now, and then his reflection jumped out of the water and he flew onto my right shoulder. I turned to face him and looked into his eyes and received his communication. He explained, in a slow, deep voice, how he had descended from the highest pinnacles of the universe, but could only communicate through the reflections of things, such as in waters and reflective surfaces, in this place as the naked eye could not perceive him. I understood that the form of him that I looked upon was only visible as it had manifested via its reflection in the water, but was not truly him. I was aware at this point that other eagles were circling the black skies overhead, though when I looked up to try and see them, I found them to be completely invisible. The eagle then told me that its eyes were the reflective surface I could look into in order to receive a vision from him.

On doing that, I had a vision of two men sat at a table before a drawn curtain in a pub, inn or some other kind of public place. I recognised one of the men as a friend of mine who shares the same first name as I do, but on approaching the table, I realised that both men were actually me. I assumed the identity of one of these versions of myself and looked across to the other version who sat on the opposite side of the table. Looking at the table, I saw that me and my doppelganger were playing cards and the card I had just drawn was the Five of Diamonds. I looked to see what the other cards on the table were and saw that every card in my splayed-out deck was the same as that which I had just drawn.

Then the Eagle began to speak in its slow, low voice again. It asked me how I would really respond to myself if I were another person. How would I communicate with me? What would I think of me? How would I judge me as another would, and how would I deal with me when I was being difficult or confrontational? These questions, it said, were prompts to deal with myself in all of my reactions, opinions, behaviours and patterns as though I were an external entity watching and observing such things with detachment, as though I were outside of myself. The ‘other self’ I looked upon opposite me, it said, was the part of oneself that could only be viewed in the mirror, and was not the same aspect of self as the one who does the viewing.

Once this message had been delivered, the drawn curtains I had been sat next to were opened to reveal a strange, infernal scene unfolding in the world outside. The lands were grey and the skies were black and red there; and from the Earth long, white bones jutted into the air like jagged spears. Around the bones harpies and gorgons roamed, their bodies those of women with their arms entwined with serpents and their faces blank of features save for the inverted muzzles of wolves with their fangs bared protruding from their foreheads. Their shoulders were mounted by great, leathery bat’s wings and when they thrust their groins towards me and parted their bare legs, they birthed swarms of bats that bit into my flesh with tiny, metallic teeth that ripped small chunks away from my body with each bite. In the sky above them, an armoured man wearing a black helmet with long, metal bull-horns flew on the back of a great eagle watched on.

After the unfolding of this hellish vision, the eagle spoke again on the nature of hell, commenting that it represented the state that the human mind most easily fell into, as it was easier to descend a difficult slope or fall into a hole in the road than it was to ascend a steep hill or climb a tall ladder. Ultimately though, he informed me, none of what I had witnessed represented objective reality and hell was nothing but a trap that we force ourselves into, for the human mind finds it easier to imagine its torments than its delights. To demonstrate the reality of this, he instructed me to invert all I had seen in hell to a heavenly equivalent. This I did with ease, making the gorgons angelic and golden in their appearance, while the landscape glowed with sunlight over verdant meadows as soft clouds scuttled by on the wings of sweet breezes.

Yet something about this vision was far less real than that of hell, for my mind could not imagine anything of this perfect scenario not dying, souring or ending in some way. This demonstrated to me that the human psyche is far closer to hell than heaven, as with death as its permanent reminder and great terror, nothing good could ever be seen to be more than a brief reprieve. Hell and its torments, however, could never let us down in terms of their longevity and permanence. The lesson the Eagle sought to teach was that all such ideas were nought but illusion. Hell and Heaven are but mirrors of each other in the human state of being, it said, with each being just as transient as the other. What the mind should strive to do was establish the same lack of identification as that which was advised in the previous scenario where I had sat opposite my doppelganger and observed it without any sense of emotional identification.

With this said, the heavenly scenario faded and I stood next to the pool again where the skies were once more those of twilight. As a parting gift, the eagle gave me a burning torch, advising me to use its light to guide myself through this world’s permanent, semi-lit state, for with it I could see things that the naked eye could not. To test this, I held it to the ground and saw a cat that was as black as coal appear out of the night air where there had previously been nothing. Then I held the torch above my head and saw the circling eagles high above where I had previously seen nothing more than the swelling night.

Notes

The purpose of the Hebrew word Nesher being spelled with a ‘k’ as opposed to the ‘sh’ of the letter Shin can be found by studying its reversed expression REKISEM. This word derives from the Hebrew root רחש (rechesh) meaning ‘whisper’ which either expresses the pluralised form of this word as recheshim, ‘whispers,’ or combines with the Hebrew שם (shem), ‘name,’ with rechesh in order to produce the meaning ‘a whispered name.’ Other meaningful words that appear within the square lie in the lines that spell KOLAMAS, which is either derived from the Hebrew חלם (cholam), ‘dream’ or is a mangled representation of the Greek word κάλαμος (Kalamos), which relates to a type of reed found at the side of a pond or lake. When spelled Calamos, this is also the name of one of the servitors of Ariton. Also present in the Square is the word ERAGOZE – ארגז (eragoz), ‘box,’ or ‘chest.’ Despite these possibilities, none of these words appeared to have any practical relevance to the results of the work unless the association of KOLAMAS with Calamus was represented by my beginning this vision at the side of a pool of water.

The name of the spirit Igarag appeared relevance due to its connection with the Hebrew word for ‘ice’ or ‘crystal,’ קרח (qarach), which in the case of the latter word has connections to the theme of reflection that pervaded this vision.Other pertinent Hebrew words that appear in the Square are ראי (rai), ‘mirror,’ ראים (raim), ‘visions’ and מער (ma’ar), ‘nakedness,’ which may provide an alternative etymology for the servient spirit Mara.

The theme of mirrors, crystals and reflective surfaces that pervaded this vision provide a link to Chapter IV of the Abramelin, which is also used to experience various visions, with the first Square of that chapter making things appear in mirrors, glass or crystals. Also apparent in this Square is a variation of the spirit name Erimites, who also appears in the Square relating to Eagles, as seen in the line which reads IRIIMITI.

IRIIMITI

An unsettling event occurred a short time after performing the scrying, when a sound that strongly resembled the sound of a rattlesnake’s tail came from the area of the room where I had performed the work. This was not the first time that extraneous sounds have been heard from the room before or after scrying these Squares, with the sound of chanting coming from behind me while scrying the Square that grants visions of Horses being the other example. This coincided with a feeling of unease and fear I felt right from the beginning of this vision. It is notable that the rattlesnake is of the same genus as the pit viper, with vipers being particularly related to the spirits communicated with during works of Goetia such as this, which in this case featured visions of gorgons with serpents wrapped around their arms.

The square was constructed with the Moon at 5º Capricorn and was scried with the Moon at 26º Aries.

The suit of Diamonds seen in the part of the visions in which cards were being played with equates to the suit of Pentacles, Disks or Coins in the Tarot. The Five of Diamonds therefore represents the Five of Disks which, in astrological terms, equates to the first decan of Taurus. This refers to the celestial occurrence of Mercury in Taurus and signifies ‘Worry’ in the Thoth deck. Of the energies present in this decan, Crowley stated:

“The Number Five, Geburah, in the suit of Earth, shows the disruption of the Elements, just as in the other suits. This is emphasized by the rule of Mercury in Taurus, types of energy which are opposed. It needs a very powerful Mercury to upset Taurus; so the natural meaning is Intelligence applied to Labour. The symbol represents five disks in the form of the inverted Pentagram, instability in the very foundations of Matter. The effect is that of an earthquake. They are, however, representative of the five Tatvas; these hold together, on a very low plane, an organism which would otherwise disrupt completely.”

Interestingly, with the scrying being performed with the Moon at 26º Aries, this decan represents the next decan the Moon would pass into approximately eight hours after the scrying had been performed. This seemed to be hinting towards some potential event, inner or outer, that is relevant to the timing of the Moon entering this decan. The ingress of the Moon into this position occurred at 2:29 am London time, on Friday 31st August, with Cancer’s position on the Ascendant signifying that the Moon or one’s emotional ideation of oneself was indeed the matter at hand. The first decan of Taurus is also that in which the Moon reaches its degree of exaltation, which at the moment is occupied by Uranus which brings sudden, revolutionary schemes to motivate, inspire or reinvigorate one’s emotional or reflective states. The Moon remained in this decan until 8:56 pm, making most of this day one in which the issues outlined above would be relevant in some way.