29 January, 2009

The Regalia of Ezekiel's Chariot - Part II

But that's all vary vague, which rather matches my thoughts on the subject I'm sure, and doesn't get to the heart of the matter, though it perhaps hints at its spirit. I have been thinking of magical tools of late, because I've been designing my own.


The regalia are somewhat similar to what most might expect, at least outwardly: Chalice, Rod, Sword and Ring. Yeah, not your father's elemental weapons, because, you know, they are not elemental weapons. They are aligned sefirotically to mirror the vision of Ezekiel, which is a formula of the soul, which is made fairly clear in the Zohar. So, the Chalice of Shefa, the Gevuric Rod, the Sword of Justice and the Ring of the Kingdom.

I would have gone with the Sword of Truth, but that's too Terry Goodkind.

All of this is kind of related to the previous post, but also related to the first and the idea of sympathy. If one were to sit down and read through the Junior Doorstop . . . er, Regardie's Golden Dawn paperback, first, one is kind of insane, as its like reading stereo instructions written in bastardized Latin, and second one might wonder just why the hell do you have to make the elemental weapons. From my own experience in a GD temple that is further compounded when you realize that no one ever seems to actually use them once they have been made and consecrated.

The answer is sympathy. One is not simply "charging" these impliments, one is consecrating them to a purpose, giving them life and in order to do this successfully one must have sympathy with what they are being consecrated to. So, it is a test or perhaps an ordeal. Crowley's version of these implemants really suggests this, as you had to actually design your own tools, not used a rote version. This mean you had to both demonstrate your understanding of the principle being symolically represented and then consecrate it to that idea, to the best of your ability. You had to become your understanding and any failure to consecrate your tools correctly would suggest a corresponding lack of sympathy and lack of real understanding (da'at, real experiential knowledge, just like the sexual metaphor suggests).

In this light the GD tools are really quite important, as they represent, and thus become, fundamental building blocks of creation: the playground of the magician. The Regalia, as symbolic of the four modes of the soul, are the life of the theurgos.

The Regalia of Ezekiel's Chariot - Part I

I have been thinking about magical tools of late. No, not that kind, I mean the "weapons" made famous by the Golden Dawn and subsidiaries. Well, kind of. I'll get to that later I suppose. Usually, I don't share my views on the subject on the various fora I'm on, largely because my experience and thoughts on the subject are so completely different from those around me that my disagreement with them sounds somewhat condescending, and to be honest, it probably is.

As it happens, I spend a good deal of time around Pagans of various stripes. So I don't entirely know that current state of thought in the ceremonial magical community on the subject. My experience with the vast majority of Pagans is that the magical implements; the wand, sword, dagger, etc., are little more than props and mental foci. I don't deny that this can be a way of looking at them. It is, in my opinion, the lowest way of looking at them, though I'm thinking PaRDeS sort of way.

I tend towards a somewhat more "old school" view, with old being 500+ years old. Agrippa tells us that the world is filled with Life and the creation of a magical implement or talismans is the giving of life to an object. Perhaps more broadly, Jewish mystical thought shows us that creation is nothing but Light, though it may not seem that way to us. Marry these views and you have something of my own. The work of the theurgos is to realize the Light and Life of the world. Thus consecrated magical objects are living, spiritual beings (for lack of a better term). If this is true then the creation of such objects should never be undertaken lightly and they should be treated with proper respect.

21 January, 2009

A Cup of Blessing

The Zohar begins with a description of a rose, containing both red and white. The rose is a reflection of a cup of blessing, from which flows the holy shefa or "everflow" as Rabbi Gikatilla put it: the ever flowing blessings of El Elyon. The rose has thirteen petals, one for each of the thirteen attributes of mercy, and rests upon five leaves, like the five fingers of the right hand that holds the cup.

Ever since I read this passage of the Zohar it has struck me as being a powerful image, and an image of peace at the same time; those two attributes of severity and loving kindness, red and white petals. The image of thirteen petaled rose is then superimposed upon another rose, one of forty-two petals, the rose of mercy or the rose of creation. I get images of roses blooming into greater roses whirling in my head, all of which is subsumed into the flow of the shefa pouring out of a never empty cup. The shefa pours onto us, into creation. But what happens to it?

It is, of course, all around us, all the time. From the perspective of Ayin there has never been a break, all is Light. But for us things are different. Part of the work of the spiritual occultist, the therugos, is to work with that Light, to manifest and hold a cup of blessing, a lower reflection of that higher cup, and to spread the Light into the world, rectifying it. This becomes a work of therugy, of theosis, of sympathy, whatever you like to call it. It is a rectifying of our lower selves to our soul, and our soul to our spirit, the divine genius.

We don't just hold the cup, we become it.