The White Virgin of Alchemy

>> Saturday, January 24, 2009

egyptian hieroglyph
Once alchemists overcame the issue of dissolving gold, they eliminated troublesome compounds of nitrogen with antimony. The ancients derived antimony from a variety of sources, which they called Prima Materia. Two popular starting points for the Egyptians were the minerals of lead oxide called galena, and tin dioxide called cassiterite.

Antimony was purified with iron or Mars, just as in the modern industrial process of extracting antimony from stibnite ore. When they saw the pure white vapor of antimony rise, the alchemists likened it to a white virgin queen, the moon goddess, and called it the Philosophers' Mercury. This mercury should not be confused with metallic mercury, which is always poisonous if used alchemically.

The white virgin indeed brought relief to the injured. A fragrant cream made from a precipitate of antimony became a universal unguent of the alchemist doctors. Crusaders used this salve or universal medicine to heal wounds and it has been used right up until very recent times. The secret ole of antimony was so intriguing that the metal, although very soft and less bright than silver, was often used for tableware such as salt salvers and gravy boats. Adepts could display these openly in public, with few knowing the real meaning of the white virgin in the metal.

Finally, mercury, white virgin of alchemy, was married to the Sun King. A rainbow of colors appeared in the alchemist's flask. A green dragon battles a Red Man. The blood of the green dragon is the necessary sign that the son of love will be born. Finally, in the faeces of the reaction, a rock appears. It is the green lion tinged with lilac. This royal color signifies Horus rebirth as king.

Research: wrong use of mercury, Crusaders' followers in ME
Add: Egyptian mythology
Source: Stuart Nettleton, The Alchemy Key The Mystical Provenance of the Philosophers' Stone, 2002, pp. 12-13


Elixir of Youth

elixir of youth
Alchemy using dissolved elements is simple and effective. It differs from the Great Work because it starts with water already containing the necessary elements. Traditional alchemists would consider it the lightweight end of the Art. The Great Work focused on the reverse direction, converting metallic gold into the Philosophers’ Stone. For the ancients this involved three major technological hurdles. The first was to make a solvent for gold. No easy achievement. The second hurdle was to eliminate the impure elements, particularly nitrogen, introduced in dissolving the gold. The third major hurdle was to create a gold chloride that could be dissolved in water. When the gold dissolves, we have potable gold, or gold that can ingested to purify the body. It was said that with this Elixir of Youth, the old could become young again; and life could be extended to at least the natural limit of one hundred and twenty years. After all, the Bible said that Melchizedek, the King of Salem, who first possessed the Philosophers’ Stone, would live forever.

Dissolving metallic gold was no easy matter. Alchemists needed a Secret Fire. They created nitric acid by reacting ammonium chloride or sal ammoniac, the Salt of Ammon, with niter or potassium nitrate. Many chemists would be surprised to know that in antiquity priests distilled ammonia from dung, bones and horns at the Temple of Amun in Libya. The name ammonium even derives from the Egyptian deity, Amun. Egyptian Priests used this in their chemical works at their nearby Temple of Amun in the Oasis of Siwa in Egypt. Nitric and hydrochloric acids were combined to form Aqua Regia, that unique combination of oxidizing and non-oxidizing acids that together can dissolve metallic gold.

Nitric acid is amongst the most dangerous of substances to work with. This acid blinded many alchemists, or they met a painful respiratory end from the fumes, splashes and spills. Many inadvertently created poisons or explosives. Fulminating gold and silver are highly unstable explosives, quite probably the deadly Shamir. Many military devices use fulminate of mercury as a detonator.

Check: Sulphuric acid and its use, tombac
Verify: Egyptian gods
Research: The Greek connection, gold and immortality
Add: Great Work
Source: Stuart Nettleton, The Alchemy Key The Mystical Provenance of the Philosophers' Stone, 2002, p. 12


The Elements of Shamanism

>> Sunday, January 18, 2009

a siberian shaman with traditional clothes

Although other societies sometimes have elements of shamanism, we confine our definition to hunter-gatherers and propose ten characteristics of shamanism as it is practised in such societies; elements of shamanism may well appear in other kinds of society, but it is not of them that we speak.

  1. Fundamentally, hunter-gatherer shamanism is posited on a range of altered   states of consciousness, be they induced by ingestion of hallucinogens, rhythmic driving, such as insistent drumming and dancing, hyperventilation, sensory deprivation, pathological conditions, etc. Dreams, too, should be included here. Such states are often termed trance or ecstasy. Of necessity, they are institutionalized, that is, they have social consequences.
  2. Visual, aural and somatic experiences of altered states that are wired into the human nervous system give rise to conceptions of an alternative reality that is frequently tiered. Three tiers are common, but socially complex hunter-gatherers often acknowledge more. It is this sort of cosmology that makes contact with the supernatural realm possible. Cosmology is both enabling and constraining.
  3. People with special powers and skills, shamans, are believed to have access to this alternative reality. In some societies, there is one shaman to a community; in others, there are more. Some shamans are politically powerful; others are not influential outside of their ritual performances. The important point is that shamans are intermediaries between their communities and supernaturals. The mastery of ecstasy therefore has important socio-political implications in shamanistic communities.
  4. The behavior of the human nervous system in certain altered states creates the illusion of dissociation from one's body, sometimes known as spirit loss or extra-corporeal activity. Less commonly in hunter-gatherer societies, this experience is understood as possession by external spirits. Possession and extra-corporeal travel are believers' explanations of trance or ecstasy. Shamans use dissociation and the other experiences of altered states to achieve a variety of ends, such as the following (all four are not universally present):
  5. Contacting spirits and supernatural entities;
  6. Controlling the movements and lives of real animals;
  7. Healing the sick;
  8. Changing the weather.
  9. These functions and entry into an altered state are believed to be facilitated by a variously conceived supernatural power, or energy, that may, in some ways, be likened to electricity.
  10. This power is often associated with spirit-helpers (often in the form of animals) who impart it to shamans and assist them in the performance of their tasks. Commonly, shamans encounter their spirit-helper during a vision quest. Whether some shamans may be said to be possessed by such spirit-helpers is a question to be decided for each community individually, though by no means easily so.
Add: modern practices
Compare: Siberia, Mongolia, pre-classic Anatolia
To do: MIC, extensive; AA?
Source: Jean Clottes and David Lewis-Williams, A Handbook of Ancient Religions, ed. John R. Hinnells, Cambridge Uni. Press, 2007, pp. 32-33


Sufism and Ismaili Gnosis

>> Thursday, January 15, 2009

The most important "mystic" or "occult" symbol Gurdjieff's "Work" has introduced to the West is enneagram, an occult glyph resembling in some respects Rosicrucian geometrical constructs or Kabbalistic Tree of life. As the story goes (1,7,8), it is prominent among Islamic mystics, Sufis. But- there is a little problem. Not one known Sufi order (and there are more than hundred of them, most notable being Naqshbandis, Mevlevis, Chistis, Qadiris at al.) knows of and uses this symbol.

So, probably, enneagram represents a modified remnant of Neopythagorean and Hermetic tradition that has percolated and survived in Islamic "esoteric" circles; most likely candidates being Ismaili Shiites, spiritual descendants of famous Ihwan-al-Safa (men of learning, an encyclopedic group flourishing around 8/9 century C.E.) and dreaded and slandered (French scholar Henry Corbin has done much to rehabilitate them) Assassins, a secret society on its acme at 11/12 century C.E., until their mountain strongholds in the Caucasus had been destroyed during Mongol invasion in the 13th century.

Finally, a word on the glyph: it is an archaic cosmologic-spiritual symbol, originating in Sumero-Chaldean milieu and concisely summarizing their conception of the Universe & descent and ascent of the "soul". Having undergone further modifications in Neopythagorean and Neoplatonist schools, probably in Alexandria, it has been, as some stories indicate, transmitted via the Ismailis's sixth Imam, Jafar-as-Sadiq, to some of their "occult" branches. Essentially, enneagram represents Hermetic, spherical Ptolemaic and geocentric cosmos as preserved in the traditions of Mandeans and Sabeans, later enriched and restructured by the Neoplatonist influences. So, enneagram which makes some sense ( at least when interpreted through scholarly works by S.H.Nasr, Burckhardt, Berthelot ) is a summary of ideas and processes ancient proto-scientists imagined cosmos and psyche ( they didn't make much distinction ) to be governed by. It is the veritable irony of history that a fossil of palaentological spiritual cognition has become a New Age icon.

Gurdjieff's use of the enneagram symbol is most visible in his Russian (post -1915) and European years, when he gathered a cluster of disciplined devotees and made stage appearances with them, both in Europe and the US (mainly in the 1920s). Usually, his disciples danced along enneagram points and lines, self-observing themselves, until under Gurdjieff's command "Stop !" they would freze up in an act of (supposedly) self-remembering, when, at least in theory, Gurdjieff would transmit spiritual (or, more likely, bioenergy equivalent to Taoist ch'i) to their susceptible psyches with the aim to elevate and expand their consciousness and being- an exercise in some points resembling the transfer of Sufi barrakah (blessing, spiritual energy) or Tantric shaktipat. Also, the profile of dances, devised by Gurdjieff himself, betray influences of Sufi and Vajrayana/Tibetan traditions.

Enneagram doesn't play a prominent role in his own writings, and, apart from his early and middle periods (1915- 1920ies, with the significant pause in 1925, when he barely survived a car-crash), it is mainly preserved in Ouspensky's books. Later "enneagrammoratos", from Idries Shah to Arica's Oscar Ichazo and Claudio Naranjo are not part of this essay.

Related books:

Kathleen Riordan Speeth: The Gurdjieff Work, Pocket Books, 1978
Views from the Real World: Early Talks of Gurdjieff
G.Gurdjieff: The Herald of Coming Good
G.I.Gurdjieff: Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson
Gurdjieff: Life is real only then, when "I am"
C.S.Nott: Teachings of Gurdjieff
C.S.Nott: Further Teachings of Gurdjieff
J.G.Bennett: Gurdjieff: Making a New World
L. A. Govinda: Foundations of Tibetan Mysticism
Roberto Assagioli: Psychosynthesis
Roberto Assagioli: The Act of Will
Ouspensky: In Seach of the Miraculous
Ouspensky: The Fourth Way
H.Spencer Lewis: Rosicrucian Manual, AMORC; 1st edition 1918

You can try to find some of them at AbeBooks - New Books section. Failing that your best option is checking the used books section.

Check: Naqshbandi and Mevlevi connection, present affiliates.
Find: Pictures of enneagram and its derivatives, possible changes.

Source: Author needed.


Set in Egyptian Theology

>> Thursday, January 8, 2009

Set (also spelled Seth, Sutekh or Seteh) was one of the early Egyptian deities, a god of the night identified with the northern stars and initially well regarded as the Prince of Darkness. A sign of this regard is the Tcham scepter, having the stylized head and tail of Set. The Tcham scepter, also called the Was scepter, is frequently found in portraits of other other gods as a symbol of magical power, and in later use, as a symbol of control over the force of chaos (Set).

In early paintings Set is shown as a harpoon bearer at the prow of the boat of Ra, warding off the serpent Apep, an evil demon, the deification of darkness and chaos (isfet in Egyptian), and thus opponent of light and Ma'at (order/truth), whose existence was believed from the Middle Kingdom onwards. Yet the warlike and resolute nature of Set seems to have been regarded with ambivalence in Egyptian theology, and his portrayal went through many changes over a period of nearly three thousand years. Pictures of a god bearing two heads, that of Set and his daylight brother Horus the Elder, may be compared to the oriental Yin/Yang symbol as a representation of the union of polarities. In time, the conflict between these two abstract principles came to be emphasized rather than their primal union.

Set's battle with Horus the Elder grew from being a statement of the duality of day and night into an expression of the political conflict among the polytheistic priesthoods for control of the Egyptian theocracy. This was rewritten as a battle between Good and Evil after Egypt expelled the Hyskos in the 18th Dynasty. Some say the Hyskos were Asiatic invaders, and others say they were an indigenous minority that seized control of the nation. This tribe ruled Egypt for a time and happened to favor the Set cult, seeing a resemblance to a storm-god of their own pantheon.

The Set cult never recovered from this identification with the Hyskos. Images of Set were destroyed or defaced. By the time Greek historians visited Egypt, wild asses, pigs, and other beasts identified with the Set cult were driven off cliffs, hacked into pieces or otherwise slaughtered at annual celebrations in a spirit akin to the driving out of the Biblical scapegoat. The report of these historians is often thought to be a valid account of a timeless and immutable theocracy , but just looking at the frequency with which the ruling capital moved to different cities (each being a cult-center) is enough to dispel this idea. One controversial Egyptologist has suggested that the worship of Set might have predated the concept of paternity. Later cults incorporating a father god would reject this fatherless son.

This introduces another bizarre factor in the transformation of the Night/Day battle between brothers into an inheritance dispute between Set and Horus the Younger. Any book on Egyptian myth you pick up contains the gory details of this cosmic lawsuit, which includes things that make DYNASTY look like a prayer breakfast. It is somewhat intriguing, though, that while all books affirm that Set tore Osiris to pieces, everybody knows about Osiris, and it is quite hard to collect the pieces of the puzzle that is Set. Egyptologists have never agreed what the animal used to symbolize Set actually is. Since the sages of ancient Egypt did not use an unrecognizable creature to represent any other major deity, we may guess that this is intentional, and points, like the Tcham scepter, to an esoteric meaning.

Grant, Kenneth. CULTS OF THE SHADOW.
Graves, Robert. THE WHITE GODDESS.
Russell, Jeffrey Burton. THE DEVIL.

You can try to find some of them at AbeBooks - New Books section. Failing that your best option is checking the used books section.

Source: Oz Tech


Glossary of Luciferian Terms

AKHU – The Ka and Ba in union, the Holy Guardian Angel and Evil Genius joined. This is the Great Work defined, the union of opposites. In Thelemic view this would be The Beast 666 and Babalon conjoined.
ALGOL – From the Arabic 'Al Ghul', meaning 'Demon Star'. Algol is symbolized as the Chaos Star with an averse pentagram in it, representing the individual star or consciousness through Black Magick awakening. Algol itself is the image of Set in the aspect of the Prince of Darkness, being the manifestation of the Black Sun or opposite force of creation. Through Algol one may project any magical force necessary based on ones’ experience. Algol is the mirror of The Order of Phosphorus.
ALPHABET OF DESIRE – The aspect of congress with the subconscious and the spirits which are exterior of the self and within the self. This is the grammar which is unspeakable and is used in communion with the conscious self (Ego,I) and the subconscious self (Kia).
ANCESTRAL SHADES – Spirits, atavisms or familiars of the dead which return to us from our initiation into Magick and Witchcraft. Ancestral Shades may not always be past family, rather those who have been on the path before us who have gained immortality who for whatever reason decide to assist us. In the Black Order of the Dragon, such spirits are closely connected with the concepts of Varcolaci and the Undead Gods.

ANUBIS – Lord of Jackals and the Opener of the Way. Anubis is the funerary God that is represented as having the head of a jackal or dog. According to Charles Pace, the Bastard Son of SET-AN & ASET (Isis).
ATAVISTIC RESURGENCE – The return to consciousness the powers of the 'dead' or subconscious energies or powers from the pre-human aspects. Atavisms are evoked through intense Nostalgia and focus, often appearing in bestial forms.
ATHAME – The Blade of Holy Magick or Greater Black Magick workings, used in ceremonial or solitary practice. Pathally a black handled knife.
AZAZEL – Called the Guardian of the Goat, Azazel is one of the 200 original fallen angels, according to lore. It is considered that Azazel is the same as Shemyaza, the leader of the Watchers. The Zohar makes reference (in Vayeze 153a) about the Rider upon the serpent is "the evil Azazel". In Islamic lore, Azazel is the same as Eblis and considered by other lore as the first star (in reference to any angels) which would reveal him as Lucifer.
AZOTH – The Beginning and End in its spiritual aspect, Azoth is a form of Life and Death. From between comes the possibility of manifestation.

BA - the Soul in Egyptian mythology. When the immortal physically dies, the Ba, which is the Astral Body, lives on within the tomb and beyond. Ba may be seen as the Evil Genius of earth bound force often presented in Egyptian lore as a human headed bird. The Ba is the psyche and force which exists beyond the veil.
BALEFIRE – Ritual fire used in Coven gatherings.
BLACK FLAME – The illuminated essence of being, the concept that we perceive ourselves and our separate aspect from the natural order. The Gift of Set or Azazel.

CHALICE – The magickal cup used for Philters and ceremonies. While some covens and individuals use the silver cup, one may use a KAPALA as well, which is a human skull cap often imported from Tibet.
COVEN – A small group of magickal practitioners. Often 13 in number. Covens may be of a smaller size as well.

DAEMON – From the Greek Daimon, meaning ‘spirit’. The Daemon is the root of 'Demon' therefore represents the spirit of the sorcerer and the exterior spirits on the astral plane.
DJED – Egyptian, represents stability and strength, associated with the backbone in the funerary cult. In the union of the circle, Djed is the Holy aspect in union with the shadow of the magician, the very aspect of initiation towards the Great Work.

EVOCATION – The act of calling the spirit into and area, OUT from the self. Evocation generally involves servitors, familiars, and Daemons. A potent and dangerous aspect of ritual magick and sorcery is to evoke the force into the triangle, and then enter the triangle and Invoke the force, calling it in. This results in an aspect of possession and leads to higher developments of the consciousness and psyche.

FAMILIAR – The servitor or animal spirit which is associated with the Sorcerer. The familiar may be evoked and bound, or may be created by the individual to assist in the workings of sorcery. Called also the Famulus (Latin)
FETISH – An object from which the focus of a spirit or Coven item is charged. This is the home of the famulus and is an extension of the sorcerer.

HOLY GUARDIAN ANGEL – The True Will, the divine aspect of the self as the psyche, the immortal aspect of the mind which separates us from pure instinctual beings.

IBLIS - The fallen angel known as the Devil. The attribution of Iblis is that of the imagination, thus Lucifer is our imagination. While not widely accepted in the West, William Blake was one of the few to and attributes Satan to the mind. Iblis is derived from the Greek Diabolus. Iblis before the fall is known as Azazyl, whom is identical to the leader of the watchers.
INVOCATION – The act of calling the spirits IN, assuming consciousness from outer inspired sources. Invocation in the supplication of a force, to bring it in and absorb it. Some consider this Predatory Spiritualism which is related to Astral Vampirism.

KA – The vital force of life which is related to Ba. Ka may be seen as the Holy Guardian Angel, the spirit of Light and perfection in itself.
KAPALA – Human Skull Cap consecrated as a drinking cup or chalice. Pathally used in Tibetan Chod rites.

LYCANTHROPY – Assumption of astral and conscious transformation in to an animal form. Used in Dreaming Projection and atavistic rituals.

MANES – The shadow of the dead, spirit forms which may be controlled and absorbed by the sorcerer's own astral body. One may feed the servitors themselves from this, that they may take their shadow and from your Will form their shapes in darkness in whatever fashion you so desire.

NECROMANCY – Evocation and communion with the Dead.

SABBAT – The Meeting of Witches in the Dream Plane, the secret arcana of leaving the body. There are two aspects of the Sabbat, the Empyrean/Celestial (of Air – the Luciferian Sabbat) and the Infernal Sabbat (Chthonic, Demonic and Earth based). These two elements of the Dream Conclave are connected with the symbolism of which the Fraturnitias Saturni focused upon as the Higher and Lower Octave of Saturn.
SHADES – Shadows of the Dead, spirits which commune with the living. The Witches Sabbat path works with shades from Ancestral Manes and evoked spirits.

THANATOS – Death and the spirit therein. Thanatos is considered the death posture guide through which we meet the deep desire, Thanatos is the gateway therefore.
THEURGY – Holy or High Magick, practiced originally or defined by the Egyptian Platonists which commune with beneficial spirits is sought. This is a part of The Great Work of communion with the Holy Guardian Angel, and Greater Servitor or Familiar.

VAMPIRISM – A secret art of Predatory Spiritualism, which involves astral projection and aspects of Lycanthropy, communion with the dead and necromantic workings.

Source: Luciferian Sorcery, Michael W. York, 2003, Succubus Publishing, Houston.

Check: Sumerian connection (MIC)


Shapes of the Spirits

>> Wednesday, January 7, 2009

saturn signThe shapes familiar to the Spirits of Saturn

They appear for the most part with a tall, lean and slender body, with an angry countenance, having four faces; one in the hinder part of the head, one on the former part of the head, and on each side nosed or beaked: there likewise appeareth a face on each knee, of a black shining color: their motion is the moving of the winde, with a kinde of earthquake: their signe is which earth, whiter than any Snow. The particular forms are,

  • A King having a beard, riding on a Dragon.
  • An Old man with a beard.
  • An Old woman leaning on a staffe.
  • A Hog.
  • A Dragon.
  • An Owl.
  • A Black Garment.
  • A Hooke or Sickle.
  • A Juniper-tree.

jupiter sign The familiar forms to the Spirits of Jupiter

The Spirits of Jupiter do appear with a body sanguine and cholerick, of a middle stature, with a horrible fearful motion; but with a milde countenance, a gentle speech, and of the color of Iron. The motion of them is flashings of Lightning and Thunder; their signe is, there will appear men about the circle, who shall seem to be devoured of lions. Their particular forms are,
  • A King with a Sword drawn, riding on a Stag.
  • A Man wearing a Mitre in long rayment (Honso Mitratus).
  • A Maid with a Laurel-Crown adorned with Flowers.
  • A Bull.
  • A Stag.
  • A Peacock.
  • An Azure Garment (Azurino Vestis).
  • A Sword.
  • A Box-tree (Buxus).
mars signThe familiar forms of the Spirits of Mars

They appear in a tall body, cholerick, a filthy countenance, of color brown, swarthy, or red, having horns like Harts horns, and Griphins claws, bellowing like wilde Bulls. Their motion is like fire burning; their signe Thunder and Lightning about the circle. Their particular shapes are,
  • A King armed riding upon a Wolf.
  • A Man armed.
  • A Woman holding a buckler on her thigh.
  • A Hee-goat.
  • A Horse.
  • A Stag.
  • A Red Garment.
  • Wool.
  • A Cheeslip.
sun signShapes familiar to the Spirits of the Sun

The Spirits of the Sun do for the most part appear in a large, full and great body sanguine and gross, in a gold colour, with the tincture of blood. Their motion is as the Lightning of Heaven; their signe is to move the person to sweat that calls them. But their particular forms are,
  • A King having a Scepter riding on a Lion.
  • A King crowned.
  • A Queen with a Scepter.
  • A Bird.
  • A Lion.
  • A Cock.
  • A yellow or golden Garment.
  • A Scepter.
Familiar shapes of the Spirits of Venus

They do appear with a fair body, of middle stature, with an amiable and pleasant countenance, of colour white or green, the upper part golden. The motion of them is as it were a most clear Star. For their signe, there will seem to be maids playing without the Circle, which will provoke and allure him that calleth them to play. But their particular forms are,
  • A King with a Scepter riding on a Camel.
  • A Maid clothed and dressed beautifully.
  • A Maid naked.
  • A Shee-goat.
  • A Camel.
  • A Dove.
  • A white or green Garment.
  • Flowers.
  • The herb Savine.
mercury signThe familiar forms of the Spirits of Mercury.

The Spirits of Mercury will appear for the most part in a body of middle stature, cold, liquid and moist, fair, and with an affable speech; in a humane shape and form, like unto a Knight armed; of color clear and bright. The motion of them is as it were silver-colored clouds. For their signe, they cause and bring horror and fear into him that calls them. But their particular shapes are,
  • A King riding upon a Bear.
  • A fair Youth.
  • A Woman holding a distaffe.
  • A Dog.
  • A Shee-bear.
  • A Magpie.
  • A Garment of sundry changeable colors.
  • A Rod.
  • A little Staffe.
moon sign The forms familiar to the Spirits of the Moon

They will for the most part appear in a great and full body, soft and phlegmatic, of color like a black obscure cloud, having a swelling countenance, with eyes red and full of water, a bald head, and teeth like a wilde boar. Their motion is as it were an exceeding great tempest of the Sea. For their signe, there will appear an exceeding great rain about the Circle. And their particular shapes are,
  • A King like an Archer riding upon a Doe.
  • A little Boy.
  • A Woman-hunter with a bow and arrows.
  • A Cow.
  • A little Doe.
  • A Goose.
  • A Garment green or silver-colored.
  • An Arrow.
  • A Creature having many feet.
Source: Agrippa, IV.
For future reference.


An Overview of Astral Planes

>> Sunday, January 4, 2009

astral planes
Physical Plane

This is the world we are sitting in right now. The physical plane is the familiar world of our everyday life. In the occult scheme, there are aspects of the physical world that are invisible to our senses, and these invisible aspects of the physical plane are called the "Etheric plane". In the occult world-view, energies like are x-rays, radioactivity, ultraviolet radiation and subatomic particles "Etheric" energies, and again, this simply means that these are energies of the physical plane that we cannot perceive with the senses of our physical body. Occultists claim we have a body made of Etheric energies and they call this our "Etheric body".

The Astral Plane

The astral plane is described of as a world of emotion and desire. On this plane our emotions and desires are actually living creatures. Also, according to occultists, the astral plane is where people go immediately after they die. "Dead people" (actually, "discarnate" people) do not stay forever on the astral plane, it is only a temporary stop after death. In this regard, the idea of "purgatory" is related to the idea of the astral plane.

Also on the astral plane are a whole host of creatures and inhabitants that are native to that plane, such as faires, devas, and other such things.

Believe it or not, according to occultists, the astral plane is also where we go at night when we dream. When you are in a dream, you are quite literally in the astral plane.

The Mental Plane

The mental plane is the world of all thoughts and ideas. On the mental plane, thoughts are real objects, and these objects are called thought-forms. "Thoughts are things" is a common idea in occultism, and this idea refers to the fact that thought-forms exist as real live things on the mental plane. The mental plane is a dynamically brilliant world of ever-shifting abstract landscapes of color, sound and sights that would probably make the ordinary person go stark raving mad if they could actually see the mental plane for what it is.

The mental plane overlaps substantially with the astral plane, and there is every good chance you will see numerous thought-forms during astral projection. However, chances are very good that you will NOT ever perceive the mental plane as distinct from the astral plane and you will never see the stuff that could make you lose your mind. The reason this is so is because it takes a lot of talent to get to the mental plane.

The Buddhic Plane

According to occult ideas, this is the highest plane that we can access as humans, within the context of what we understand as a "human being". In effect, the buddhic plane is the realm of our soul. The energies of the buddhic plane that we use in our daily life are the following: inspiration, great creativity, compassion, wisdom, will-power. It is by these types of behaviors that the buddhic plane "leaks" into our regular physical lives.

In and of itself, the buddhic plane is supremely abstract and extremely powerful. Just like the mental plane, it is very unlikely that you will ever go to the buddhic plane in a projection. It takes even more talent to focus your consciousness exclusively on the buddhic plane than it does for the mental plane.

However, accessing the energies of the buddhic plane is critical in astral projecting. In a nutshell, the buddhic plane represents everything that makes human life good. The more of this you have in your aura, the lighter you will be in your consciousness, and therefore, you will be able to travel through a broader range of the planes than otherwise. On the other hand, the less buddhic energy you have in your aura, the harder it will be for you to astral project, and as well, you will project into ugly regions of the planes, and in general, probably hurt yourself in the attempt to project. Maybe not hurt yourself physically, but emotionally and mentally. In effect, the buddhic plane is related to morals, wisdom and creativity.

Atmic Plane

On this plane, what we think of as human no longer makes any sense. There are no individual personalities on this plane. Seth, from the Seth material by Jane Roberts, reflects what the Atmic plane is like. Here, consciousness exists as the simultaneous experience of a number of incarnations. Sure, we can say the concept easy enough, and even understand intellectually the idea. However, the actual direct experience of this state of consciousness is totally outside of our scope. If you can get your consciousness to focus on this level, then you will no longer exist!

Anupadaka Plane

Even more abstract than the Atmic plane. Here everything bleeds into everything else. Extraordinarily abstract! Again, we might conceptualize the idea of everything being a part of everything else, but on this plane, that's the way it is! No dualisms either - all the contradictions are inside of each other!

Adi plane

God is here. If Atmic and Anupadaka were weird, well, this is the weirdest of them all. Completely beyond anything we humans can say, do, feel, think, etc. Yet, Adi is the very essence of everything. The more buddhic energy you have in your aura, the better a feel you get for Adi.

Source: Donald J. DeGracia, OOBE Class Notes


Magickal Invocations

>> Saturday, January 3, 2009

Invocation for Sunday (SOL):

Come, Heavenly Spirits who have the effulgent rays of the Sun, Luminous Spirits who are ready to obey the power of the great Tetragrammaton, come and assist me in the operation that I am making under the auspices of the Grand Light of Day which the Eternal Creator hath formed for the use of universal nature. I invoke you for these purposes. Be favorable and auspicious to what I shall ask in the Name of Amioram, Adonai, Sabaoth.

sunday invocation diagram 

 Invocation for Monday (MOON):

Haste ye Sublime and Intelligent Genii who are obedient to the Sovereign Arcana, come and assist me in the operation that I undertake under the auspices of the Grand Luminary of the Night. I invoke you to this end and implore you to be favorable and hear my entreaties in the Name of Him Who commands the spirits of the Four Quarters of the Universal Mansions: Inhabit, Bileth, Mizabu, Abinzaba.
diagram for sunday invocation 
Invocation for Tuesday (MARS):

Come Children of the Red Genii who have executed the order of the Sovereign Master of the Universe upon the armies of the rash Sennacherib, come and assist me in the operation that I undertake under the auspices of the third brilliant luminary of the firmament; be favorable to my entreaties in the Name of Adonay Sabaoth.
diagram for tuesday invocation 
Invocation of Wednesday (MERCURY):

Run to me with speed, come to me ye Spirits of Mercury who preside over the operation of this day, hear favorably the present invocation that I make to you under the Divine Names of Venoel, Uranel, be kind and ready to second my undertakings. Render them efficacious.
diagram for wednesday invocation 
Invocation for Thursday (JUPITER):

Come speedily ye Olepid Spirits who preside over the operation of this day. Come, Incomprehensible Zebarel and all your legions, haste to my assistance and be propitious to my undertakings, be kind and refuse me not your powerful aid and assistance.
diagram for thursday invocation 
Invocation for Friday (VENUS):

Come on the wings of the wind, ye happy Genii who preside over the workings of the heart. Come in the Name of the Great Tetragrammaton; hear favorably the Invocation that I make this day, destined to the wonder of love. Be ready to lend me your assistance to succeed in what I have undertaken under the hope that you will be favorable to me.
diagram for friday invocation 
Invocation for Saturday (SATURN):

Come out of your gloomy solitude ye Saturnine spirits, come with your cohort, come with diligence to the place where I am going to begin my operation under your auspices; be attentive to my labors and contribute your assistance that it may rebound to the honor and glory of the Highest.
diagram for saturday invocation

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An Attempt to Find Chakras in Greek System

>> Friday, January 2, 2009

This essay resulted from an attempt to find a Greek system of "energy centers" corresponding to the chakras of Eastern philosophy. Such a correspondence would help illuminate Greek mysticism and reveal some of the foundations of the Western Magical Tradition. This goal might seem to be a shallow exercise in analogies, but there are reasons to expect a substantial correspondence. First, the Eastern and Greek systems evolved out of a common Indo-European culture, so one would expect genetic correspondences; these connections were likely maintained over the millennia, since we know the Middle East mediated continual cultural transfer with both the West and East. Second, there is a certain degree of objectivity in the system of chakras, as reflected in the physical body, which would lead to correspondences even in the absence of cultural contact. The consequence of these two factors is a significant uniformity in ideas about the Spirit and its connection to the Body across the Eurasian continent, and even beyond, as documented, for example, in Onians's Origins of European Thought.

How would we know a Greek system of chakras if we saw it? The standard I have used is that

  1. they should be approximately seven energy centers;
  2. they should be approximately located where the chakras are located;
  3. they should have approximately the same "functions" as the chakras.

It's worth keeping in mind that the chakra system best known in the West, with seven chakras, is not the only system; some have more than fourteen (Eliade, 243-5; Murphy, 156). Therefore, we should not expect an exact correspondence of number, since certain energy centers might or might not be counted depending on their strength or the "kind" of energy they concentrate. Furthermore, different systems differ in their exact placement of the chakras, so likewise we should not expect an exact correspondence in a Greek system. Nevertheless, it will be apparent that the Greek system corresponds closely to the system of seven chakras.

My principal source has been Onians, especially Part I and Part II (chh. 1-7), but the overall structure is described in Plato's account of the "Parts of the Soul" in the Timaeus (69c-73d), which probably embodies Pythagorean doctrine. In the following I've numbered the energy centers from the top down with Roman numerals, since this accords better with Platonic doctrine; however, the chakras are conventionally numbered from the bottom up, for which I've (appropriately) used Hindu numbers (so-called Arabic numbers).


The Crown of the head (Gk. koruphe, Lat. vertex). Plato said the humans stand upright because of the connection between the Heavens and the Soul in their brains. People with especially great power in their heads were represented with a nimbus, a halo of flames, around their head (attested as early as the 3rd cent. BCE in Greece). This center corresponds to Chakra 7 (at the crown of the head), called Sahasrara, which means "thousand (-petaled)," an appropriate description of a nimbus.


The Brain (Gk. enkephalos, Lat. cerebrum), which contains the psuche (Gk.) or genios (Lat.). (I use the old Latin spelling "genios" to avoid confusion with the English "genius." The genios is sometimes called the anima.) In Homeric times the psuche was taken to be the "Vital Spirit" or Life Principal (the mind or consciousness was placed in IV, the chest), corresponding to Skt. asu. The later view, which is found in Plato and corresponds better to the Eastern system (cf. Skt. atman), is that the brain is the center of rational thought, the Intellectual
center. In both Homer and Plato the psuche is considered the immortal part of the Soul. The physical substance corresponding to psuche was marrow (medulla), especially the cerebrospinal fluid of the brain and spine, but also in other parts of the body (see below). For this reason departed souls were thought to appear as snakes, which are all brain and spine. Scalp and facial hair were considered physical emanations of the psuche, and so the hair, scalp and chin were considered sacred (hence the dedication of locks and the touching of the chin or beard in supplication). This center corresponds to Chakra 6 (at the brow),
called Ajna, which means "authority or command," an appropriate name for the rational faculty, which Plato said "controls and restrains" the lower faculties; Onians calls it the Executive function.


The Neck (Gk. trachelos, dere; Lat. collum), which Plato called the "isthmus or boundary" between the Superior, Divine or Immortal Soul and the Inferior or Mortal Soul. He said that it allows communication between the two, but prevents the Lower Soul from "polluting" the Higher. This center corresponds to Chakra 5 (in the throat), called Visuddha, which means "purgation or purity," that is, "the purging of the merely animal, physical system" (Campbell, 165).


The Heart and Lungs (Gk. phrenes, Lat. cor), which contain the thumos (Grk.) or animus (Lat.), which is the Higher part of the Mortal Soul. In Homeric times the thumos was the Conscious Spirit, the vehicle of Thought and Feeling (cf. Skt. manas). Later, it was restricted to feeling, emotion, passion and especially spirit, courage and anger - the Affective function. This center corresponds to Chakra 4 (at the heart), called Anahata, which means "not hit" (referring to the mystical sound). This chakra is associated with prana (Skt.) - vital breath, vital spirit (Campbell, 164), as are the phrenes with pneuma (Gk.) or spiritus
(Lat.) - breath, spirit. Campbell (164-5) says, "This is the aspiration, then, of spiritual striving," and "the birth of the spiritual as opposed to the merely physical life," and likewise the phrenes are associated with spirit, as opposed to the lower parts, which are associated with physical needs and desires.
The "little foyer" (the Red Lotus of Eight Petals with the Kalpa Tree) below the Heart Chakra corresponds to the diaphragm, which Plato called the "midriff partition" separating the two parts of the Mortal Soul (associated with Spirit and Desire, respectively).


The Belly (Gk. gaster, Lat. abdomen), between the diaphragm and navel, is the site of the Lower Part of the Mortal Soul, which is the Appetitive Soul, which we share with the lower animals and plants; its function is nutrition and it is the source of Desire (both Nutritional and, by most accounts, Sexual). This center corresponds to Chakra 3 (at the navel), called Manipura, which means "city of the shining jewel," and its function is "aggressive: to conquer, to consume, to turn
everything into oneself" (Campbell, 159-60), which is a good description of the Appetitive Soul.


The Gonads (Gk. gonades, Lat. genitalia), representing the Procreative function. The "marrow," the stuff of which psuche or genios was made, was the Life Essence; Plato says that in it is made "the bonds of life which unite the Soul with the Body." This marrow or sap is passed down the spine, concentrated in the gonads, and is the source of the life of the offspring. In particular, semen was considered a kind of cerebrospinal sap. This center corresponds to Chakra 2, called Svadhisthana, which means "her favorite resort," an apt name for "the
chakra of sexuality" (Campbell, 144).


The Sacrum or Holy Bone (Gk. hieron osteon, Lat. os sacrum), that is, the base of the spine. Because this was a center of concentration of the Life Force, Middle Eastern people believed that the entire body could be regenerated from this bone, and Onians (p. 208) conjectures that its potency may account for "kiss of shame" (osculum infame) of the Witches and Templars (and perhaps the Cathars and Waldenses). This center corresponds to Chakra 1, called Muladhara, which means "root base," which Campbell (p. 144) associates with "hanging on to life" and a "reactive psyche," so in both cases we have the grossest form of the Life Force.

Similarly, the Spine was called the Holy Tube (hiera surinx), which recalls the Sushumna (Spine), which is likewise considered a channel (nadi). Likewise the Egyptian Ded Pillar, which represents the spine, was a symbol of Life. I have not, however, found Greeks correspondents to the Ida and Pingala nadis.


The above are the "central" energy concentrations of Greek philosophy, and it is apparent that they correspond closely to the familiar seven chakras. The Greeks also recognized "peripheral" energy concentrations in the hands, thighs and knees (which have a large concentration of "marrow"). This explains the sacrifice of thigh bones, the use of the hand (especially the right hand) to exercise executive power, and clasping the knees when beseeching. (The knee - Gk. gonu, Lat. genu - was especially associated with the Life Force - genios - and with
procreation or "generation"; cf. genital, genetic, gonad, etc.). So far as I know, corresponding chakras are not recognized in Eastern thought. As a general rule of thumb, Spirit, of one sort or another, is most concentrated where the flesh is thinnest (Timaeus 75a), thus, in the head, chest, sacrum, knees and hands.


IVHeart / LungsPhrenesCorAffectionAnahata4
VIISacrumHieronSacrumBasic LifeMuladhara1


Campbell, Joseph. (1990). Transformations of Myth Through Time. New York: Harper & Row.

Eliade, Mircea. (1969). Yoga: Immortality and Freedom, tr. Willard R. Trask. Bollingen Series LVI. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Mead, G. R. S. (1967). The Doctrine of the Subtle Body in Western Tradition. Theosophical Publishing House.

Murphy, Michael. (1992). The Future of the Body: Explorations Into the Further Evolution of Human Nature. New York: Jeremy Tarcher/Putnam.

Onians, Richard Broxton. (1951). The Origins of European Thought About the Body, the Mind, the Soul, the World, Time, and Fate. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Poortman, J. J. (1978). Vehicles of Consciousness: The Concept of Hylic Pluralism. Vols. 1-4. Theosophical Publishing House.

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