To him whose heart is hallowed, to him whose heart is luminous and radiant, to him is the beatitude of the Vision Divine.
– Valentinus (2nd century e .v.)
Excerpted from The Sword and the Serpent, by Denning and Phillips:
Thus, and in many ways, by magical working itself do we develop and mature in the Work; and our progress is magnified, equilibrated and reflected back to us by our participation in the life of the Order. This, properly understood, does not diminish individual responsibility but enhances it. The Astral Light circulates powerfully, not merely in the individual psyche but in the group as a whole; the effective performance of one’s part in the ritual therefore influences the matrix which is created, not merely for oneself but for all; and to influence the matrix is also, inevitably, to influence to some extent the operation of the spiritual force invoked into that matrix.
This channelling of forces increases the vitality of the Order as a whole, which again contributes to the life of the magical tradition as a whole. For the life of any valid Magical Order depends upon its Inner-Plane contacts, high Beings who are by one link or another connected with the Order’s particular purpose in existing; and further, it is by virtue of these Inner-Plane contacts that the Order participates in the life-current of the Western Tradition, this in turn participating in the World Tradition. Of this high fellowship, the initiate of whatever stature is according to his capacity a member; and we contemplate here not only the incarnate but those discarnate who share in the Work of the Light.
In looking to this great pattern of interacting life-forces, we perceive … a sphere governed by its own spiritual Tides. We discern here the meeting-point of the Great Work with the cosmic plan of existence, and we touch upon the reason underlying the central theme of the Order’s work. We have seen that even as Yesod is the Gate between the material world and the astral, so is Tiphareth the Gate between the astral and the spiritual; and therefore is the pattern of Life Renewed, which the material Sun symbolises, the pattern of cosmic life as defined for us. Therefore is the Solar Hero the chief cult-figure in the Order, defining at once the Tides of Life, Death, and Life Renewed as the spiritual current of our magical life; and the Sun-hero as him in whose footsteps we should attain to that current. For upon no other plan is the spiritual development of Western Man envisaged: Sol Invictus, Temu Heru-Khuti, entering the darkness and overcoming it, or the Mabon, the reborn Sun-child. For this cause is the Way of the Adept the way of death, entombment and rebirth to the light. For this cause, too, the Alchemical Work is the transmutation of base metal to Gold of the Sun. For the Solar Tides, when contemplated in their mystical rather than their magical aspect, become symbols of the spiritual development of the initiate. …
By all the means of development at his disposal, then Path-workings and Sphere-workings, individual exercises and meditations besides the group rituals of the Order – the initiate has filled his psyche to overflowing with luminous and pulsating tides of life. He has followed with faithful devotion in the service of that Hero who has been placed before him as an external ideal, until in the ripeness of time he has come to share in the way of death of that Hero. With Osiris he is laid alive in the coffin, or with Maitre Jacques he is stricken by the treacherous hand, or with RhodonSee The Foundations of High Magick, Chapter II: “An Alchemical Presentation”; Rhodon is the Red Rose of that tale. See also Jung, Alchemical Studies: “The white and the red rose are synonyms for the albedo and rubedo.” Or again, his Mysterium Coniunctionis: “The lapis-Christ parallel was presumably the bridge by which the rose entered alchemy. There were several alchemical Rosarium’s. Arnald de Villanova is credited with the Rosarium cum figuris, where the rose is the symbol of the relationship between king and queen.” he is laid low by Black Dragon, or with Dumuzi he is borne down to the deep; and from that entombment, from that darkness he is called forth, to know that that which he has hitherto followed, that which has been his ideal, THAT HE IS, and more than a pseudo-earthly hero is his identity, his reality. Henceforth not merely the hero of his idealism but the deity of his adoration is within; he knows now that within the bounds of his own psyche he must evoke the ΠΡΩΤΟΣ ΚΑΛΟΣ, the Primal Beauty. He has, in a sense, arrived at the position of Flecker’s Hajji who, having attained Mecca, has now no-wither to turn in prayer. Is he therefore to consider his personal life, with those elements of his psyche which are already known to him, as all-sufficient? In fact this is not the case, since a most important part of his psyche has not yet come into play:
– and to a Sun beyond the sun of his everyday life. It is with Adepthood that the true magical life begins, for which all his previous achievement has been but practice and preparation; it is here, therefore, upon arising from the Tomb, that there is laid upon the Adept a sacred obligation to seek until he find that which will most completely distinguish him from even the most enlightened and advanced member of the Outer Order: the Attainment of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel.
This quest is the one necessary work of the Minor Adept, and until he has achieved it the fulness of Adepthood is not his. This attainment is therefore of all magical works the most necessary, and it is one which the Adept must pursue by his own personal effort. The Order, having raised him to Adepthood, gives him the key for this next attainment; this he must employ in what manner and with what fervour his own nature and ingenium prompt him, until success be his. Nor is there any question here of imagined or illusory achievement; for the major result of success is to transfer his conscious awareness and to establish it upon a new basis: an interior revolution which none could, or would wish to, experience so long as ordinary intelligence and common sense held dominion in the psyche. For the new component which here comes to the fore is no longer any manifestation of conscious intellect: it is the Intuitive Mind.
The Intuitive Mind is presented as “not-self,” for two reasons. In the first place, it is no part of the conscious intelligence, and therefore it makes its appearance to the conscious mind as an alien being. Secondly, it is linked to the supernal levels of Mind: the psyche not being sealed within the physical nature of the individual, as many imagine, but extending beyond that nature and in particular reaching upward through the “fine point of the spirit” to contact with the Kether itself, besides of course the other two Supernal Sephiroth. This region of the Mind which is superior to, and outside, the conscious intelligence, we term the Intuitive Mind. It always exists, even in the psyche of persons of the most limited awareness, although in such cases it is naturally quite out of communication with the conscious mind; it can however in grave emergency sometimes communicate, even in those circumstances, through the media of the sympathetic nervous system or the instinctual subconscious. Such promptings are, in fact, what in popular language is called “intuition,” although the true function of the Intuitive Mind which is our subject is a far other and grander thing. To define this, we must briefly consider the modes of knowledge.
Something may be known by instinct. This faculty is extremely limited in scope, particularly among civilised human beings. It does not comprehend general facts. A hungry man may instinctively find food and a thirsty man may instinctively take a downhill road in order to find water, but as soon as he infers “food satisfies hunger” or “water flows downhill,” the matter is removed from the instinctual to the rational level.
The rational level of knowledge needs little description here. It comprises inferences from perceived facts, such as those just stated; abstract reasonings; and statements committed to memory. The vast bulk of hum an knowledge lies within this area.
Above this there is another mode of knowledge, of which the conscious mind of incarnate man is not directly capable: it is the immediate perception of spiritual truth, without the process of abstraction or deduction from phenomena. This method of knowledge is limited to spiritual beings, of angelic [or archontic] nature or higher; and there is a region of the human psyche to which this is proper, because the human psyche, in its conscious and unconscious faculties, extends upwards and downwards through all levels of non-material being, touching both upon the divine and the demonic. (If this were not so, all religious and philosophic experience would be meaningless.) The region of the human psyche which is capable of intuiting truth directly, is therefore the Intuitive Mind. It follows from this, among other conclusions, that the Intuitive Mind clearly knows the True Will of the individual in question, even while his conscious mind may be completely deluded on that subject.
It is this Intuitive Mind which is brought into communication with the consciousness of the Adept, the time of searching being accomplished, under the title of the Holy Guardian Angel. It is Holy, being utterly apart from the mundane personality; Guardian, knowing the True Will and real abilities of the Adept, his feelings and weaknesses and all that could bring him to harm; and Angel, being purely the faculty of intuition which is by definition angelical. Nor is the Adept in any way likely to identify this Being with any part of himself; he would deny it, seeing that the Angel knows what he knows not, and often even wills what he (as he believes) wills not. Furthermore, the Adept will have encountered this Being in the Sphere of Tiphareth; and therefore to him it is an Angel of that Sphere, most greatly to be loved and revered for beauty and for wisdom. From this time forth, his magick is the work of his Angel and himself together.
Nevertheless, as he progresses further, more will become clear to him as to the exaltation of his Angel. Here begins that play of masks and shadows, of radiance and desolation, which belongs to the realm of mysticism rather than of magick. We shall not here sound it further. Plato has said that whoever loves faithfully shall at last, albeit after many lifetimes, attain the Beloved. What he has not said, and what in the many lifetimes one learns, is how shall be changed and lifted, how shall be veiled and shall reappear, ever higher and ever more luminous, the discerned identity of the Beloved!
Excerpted from The Triumph of Light, by Denning and Phillips:
Thus, then, having overcome the World of the Elements, does the Adept stand equilibriated in Tiphareth. In that equilibrium he must set forth upon the greatest magical adventure which has yet befallen him, to win the knowledge and conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel, otherwise called his holy Genius. Equilibrium is vitally necessary to him in this quest, for the fulfilment which he seeks will not come about unless in accordance with the aphorism, “As above, so below.” One of the most general certainties which man has held concerning Angels, that is, messengers of and from the Divine, is that they are sexless beings, not inclining to one sex more than to the other. It is true that in ancient times angelic beings were often represented as male to symbolise the creative power carried by their messages, while in modern times they have most often been represented as female, probably for reasons of sentiment rather than of philosophy. Nevertheless, the knowledge that they should be sexless is still in evidence. This must be emphasised “in our account of the essential concept of the angelic being here in question, though it should be obvious that this does not preclude the Holy Guardian of any person in particular from manifesting to that person in a male form or in a female form as may be suitable.
The Holy Guardian Angel is a beam transmitted from the imageless Yechidah, when the Adept has attained a sufficient ripeness, outwards through the Chiah and Neshamah (in a sense the Mother has always been pregnant with this force, and now this fact takes precedence over her impregnation by the Father:) and thence projected through the still-concealed Daath-Gate which, however, gives to that beam its own likeness, not visual but exaltedly intellectual, as Child.
Forth, then, from the mysteries of that Supernal region which even in symbolic representation defies dimension, issues this Being of living light and love whom the Adept, and he alone, is to know as his Angel. Of such a meeting what can be written?-but it takes place in the Sphere of Tiphareth, and little by little it unfolds the fulfilment of that sphere. Gradually does he come to understand that what he perceives is not the Universal Plan, but only that fragment of it which represents his own life-work: he could not perform it alone, but neither will this be expected of him.
In the [Pronaos] Ceremony, which precedes the [Third Hall and Inner Order] Adeptus Minor Initiation proper, the aspirant, in the knowledge of the secret arcanum of the 25th Path (vide Ch. VI, Vol. III [The Sword and the Serpent, Chapter VI: “Some Discursive Reflections Upon the Paths”), stands upon the threshold of the Greater Mysteries symbolically as newborn Child. He parts the Veil: the revelation is his own mirrored reflection. He may well believe that he comprehends instantly the meaning of this: that all which he has to learn, and every further experience, is comprised within that inescapable enigma, himself. Nor is that a false interpretation: yet it is trivial beside the reality which awaits him. His mirror-image represents far more than the duplication of his ordinary consciousness. He must eventually come face to face with his glorious guardian and yet his twin Self, whom, through whatever effort, he must emulate, and with whom he must work-this isthe inner message as newborn Child gazes upon symbolic image. Newborn Child he is, for in the mysteries which he is yet to enter upon, and of which the Portal Ceremony is but a partial foreshadowing, he is to follow the inexorable course of Sol Invictus, “hero and hero’s God,” but an intimation is given to him that there is a space between day and day: not yet is he that Child of Tiphareth in whom King and God are integrated, that Child who is to seek until he finds that which is named the Holy Guardian Angel. Subsequently, in the Adeptus Minor ceremony itself, his Child’s sunrise, his King’s noon, his God’s sunset, lead to the terrible sojourn in the Darkness: but with the rising of a new Star, the former symbolism of the Portal gives place to deathless reality. The triumphant, beauteous Child of Tiphareth stands forth:- he it is who is commanded to Seek!
Regardless of what we have said of the origin of this Being, the Adept’s experience here is of an Angel of Tiphareth: for he is bounded by the Sphere of his attainment. Here, characteristically of Tiphareth, is all brought to harmony: or rather, with his new perception the Adept sees the underlying harmony, which is a greater and more potent condition than mere equilibrium, ever subsisting between higher and lower, between the things of Mercy also and the things of Severity.
The Intuitive Mind is the key to that mystery of Man, which has so disturbed Western thought for upwards of two thousand years. One of the remarkable features in the development of Western religions and philosophies, has been the gradual realisation of the existence, at an advanced point in individual evolution, of a gap or chasm across which the advancing consciousness cannot pass unaided: a point at which its hitherto repetitive methods of overcoming obstacles will not suffice. Certainly this gap corresponds to a real state of things in the psyche’s inner experience: the surprising thing is that the Western Mysteries alone appear to have taken full cognisance of it. …
Man in his lower consciousness is unable to apprehend directly the Atziluthic noumena, the pure Archetypes, without the assistance of his Intuitive Mind. This, then, is a problem to which no merely exoteric solution either in religion or philosophy is possible.
The descent of the Intuitive Mind is into that level of the Ruach which is named the Briatic Intelligence. The Light and Love of the Angel stirs the Waters of the Pool of the Five Porches: the Briatic intelligence awakens, and the Adept sees his Angel. (The epiphany of the Angel will be unique to the Briatic level of each individual psyche.) In response to the stimulus of the Angel, the Ruach grows to its fullness and the Adept learns to control and direct his new faculty. Many things, now, he will perceive “through the unknown, remembered gate” of Briatic consciousness, but the Ruach even in its highest development remains incapable of intuiting truth directly. This is but one aspect of the matter, however, when the Adept, in the company of his Angel, grows from his child-state to maturity, when “realisation of selfhood” is induced by the Holy Guardian, the Not-Self. Of the dialogue between intuition and rationality, ah, who may tell? …
Now, the mind of the Adept will not, as we have said, be universalised, but it will be vastly expanded and inspired. Again, this quality of inspiration is proper to the Sphere of Tiphareth, which is the reason why that Sphere must be attained before the fullness of inspiration can be sought: but the fullness of inspiration is not found even in Tiphareth until one’s Angel is one’s Dionysus. Under this inspiration the Adept develops, until at last he knows the Gate of Daath wellnigh as his Angel knows it.
It must be understood here that we are describing in few words a process in spiritual development which may take years or lifetimes to accomplish. This cannot be otherwise. …
Tiphareth is the heart of all Worlds: the manifest implications of the Solar Sphere are the fulcrum of the Western Mysteries and the ensign of our purpose. Rest where we may, sun after sun will set.
Concerning this viewpoint of the traditional Mysteries, which shows an eternal and ever-changing Now mediating between past and future, the great declaration of the West is inscribed as a palindrome in the floor of the octagonal XIII century Baptistery at Firenze for all who shall understand:-
EN GIRO TORTE SOL CICLOS ET ROTOR IGNE
– Denning, Melita and Osborne Phillips. The Sword and the Serpent. St. Paul: Llewellyn, 1992.
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||See The Foundations of High Magick, Chapter II: “An Alchemical Presentation”; Rhodon is the Red Rose of that tale. See also Jung, Alchemical Studies: “The white and the red rose are synonyms for the albedo and rubedo.” Or again, his Mysterium Coniunctionis: “The lapis-Christ parallel was presumably the bridge by which the rose entered alchemy. There were several alchemical Rosarium’s. Arnald de Villanova is credited with the Rosarium cum figuris, where the rose is the symbol of the relationship between king and queen.”|