The Path of Peh

Cabbalists have long warned of the dangers of lateral paths, those of the 27th, 19th and 14th , on the Tree of Life. Spiritually people are jumping between extremes, something which is never good for someone trying to progress.

This problem is represented by one of the most misunderstood tarot cards in the deck, the Tower. In cabbalah this card is represented by the Hebrew letter Peh, and its lessons are one of the hardest that a person has to face.

This card appears to be one of doom with destruction of structure emphatically expressed. On the face of it we are saying who ever walks this path is about to lose everything they have thought was true.

The card, and the path’s meaning comes from the cabbalistic book, The Zohar which talks about the Kings of Edom who ruled over matter before creation. These are the Lords of Chaos or unbalanced force. They were overthrown by God to create balance. The card also is connected to the Tower of Babel where humanity tried to create a Tower to reach to God. God not only overthrew the Tower but condemned mankind to speak in lots of different languages. God’s reasoning was that if everyone spoke different languages they would never get their act together to build such a tall Tower ever again.

When a person walks this path they are unbalanced and thinks they know how their universe is meant to be.

In the Golden Dawn Ritual Tarot, the Tower is made up of the Hebrew letters and this gives a clue as to how our universe is built. We build our universe with words (Peh in Hebrew means Mouth); we describe it and talk about what we want and believe.

Up until now that is all very well. We build our universes according to what our family, friends and circumstances dictate. Most of the time these decisions are based on the comfort of our lower selves. There is nothing wrong with this, it is entirely how everyone lives their life.

But what we don’t understand is that our Higher Selves very often have plans for us that are completely out of step with that. Our ever more complicated universes are built brick by brick, word by word until they mock what our Higher Self wants for us.

We are so certain that we are right and that we have been doing the right thing all the time. We use the Hodian powers to justify our material and intellectual existance. But it is a prison for our true self. Our towers always isolate us from what we are truely meant to be and our own powers. Illness, misery and isolation are all symptoms of those who are about to walk the Tower path.

Yet your lower self is almost certain to deny this. You are a King, or Queen, of this Kingdom. It is yours and you know every inch of it. You have invested time, money and effort into it. It might be cold, useless and broken, but it is yours.

When you first step onto this path you are asking your Higher Self to take over the design of your life. This sends a current of energy from your Higher Self that connects into the universe you have built. Everyone knows that there is always something wrong with their lives but they manage to hold everything together. When we experience the Tower this current from the Higher Self finds your weak spot and it is blown. If the rest of your universe can hold together you might be alright, but generally what happens is that everything goes like a House of Cards.

How does this manefest? Usually in the form of a realisation that you might have not got it right. But this is not the sort of realisation that you can say opps silly me. This is a gut wrenching deep realisation that will cause your universe and its reason for being to collapse as your Higher Self calls you to your power and destiny.

The singer Peter Gabriel wrote of this in a song called “In Your Eyes:”

“All my instincts, they return
and the grand facade, so soon will burn
without a noise, without my pride
I reach out from the inside.”

Sharpened by the realisation of your Higher Self the instincts that were heading you towards your real life in childhood, before Schools, teachers and parents got in the way, return to you. This creates something similar to a mid-life crisis. You start to question what is real and what your true motivations are for everything. This can be incredibily depressing or liberating, depending on how much you hold on to your old Tower.

But it is important to realise that you, the seeker, are seeing your universe destroyed and it is terrible. But you are also building a new one. The destruction and creation is part of the duality of a laterial path, both are hand-in-hand with each other. The old Tower has to be swept away but a new universe which is going to be more ‘you’ is going to be put in its place.

Remember that the letter Peh is the mouth? What comes from the mouth is the Word. John’s Gospel says that “In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was toward God.” Our Higher Self is the Word and the Word which was With God is now reverberated to the lower levels and formed a vehicle for itself which we call the personality so that it can be uttered in the densest levels of matter. This suggests then that the Word is heard again. You are reminded of your destiny and need to reform your personality so that it is a better lamp for the Word.

All those images that you create are bought to life on this path and traveling it is where you get your magical power from. But before that, this path excites those images that you have currently built up. These are mostly images of separation, negativity and fear and things that keep you small. Normally it would be very hard for you to break free from this habitual thinking, so the Universe steps in and creates the change for you. You would think you would be grateful, and after the dust has settled you probably will be, but the pain of the process makes you spit and hate the universe more than ever.

Is it possible to avoid the pain of the Tower? It depends on the level of attachment you might have to your current universe and willing you are to let it all go. Chances are that any new universe that is created will have components that are similar to the new one, if you look at the Tarot Key the Sun, the wall that is in the background is a new Tower but built in accordance to the divine pattern out of the rubble of the old Universe. However you cannot be certain what will stay and what will go. It is best to just see what happens.

The Tower card says that the change we experience comes from our Higher Self, or God giving a proper image of our true life pattern. So one way we can avoid too much pain is by looking at our material and emotional universe and working out what it is that is standing in the way of an occult life. What is weak in us that could shatter under the pressure of the Tower? What is it that you base your life on and is this sustainable in the light of infinite truth. Using Christian symbolism, can you stand before your creator and be ‘proud’ about how you have constructed life. What is it that you can honestly say you are cocking up and need to change. It is almost certain that the Martian forces of the Tower will be targeting those to bring you down.

The other issue you might like to think about is where you have your security. In an ideal divine universe your security should be based on the Universe or your Higher Self. Other dependencies whether they be people, habits, or environments, or even the power of your own ego, could be under pressure or actually be swept away at this time.

In your meditations you should be saying to yourself, “I let go of the control of my universe and place it under the charge of my Higher Self. What will come, will come, what I will lose I do not need.”

This will help you deal with some of what you will face. However not all of it. You have to remember where you are headed and that is Netzach, which is the sphere of Love. If ever there was a psychological minefield where bogus perceptions of reality need to be swept away it is over love and what it means. To even get half way to understanding what Love is you have to sweep aside a Tower which has its foundations deep within your pysche. Most people’s perception of love comes from the relationships and lessons of their family. As most families are to a greater or lesser extent dysfunctional, so to are the inadequate perceptions of what love which people build their lives on. The sort of love, of which Netzach is a representation, is the real thing. While it is divine, it appears in fragments in human expression. This is why as an Initiate experiences the energies of Netzach it often throws light onto their weak relationships and creates a focus for the Tower. We can help resolve this by working out what love really is and trying to manifest the real version in our life. However anyone who has read the Greek myths will know that Cupid is often a trickster and when he is evoked we can be taken into many strange places. However, when understood, it is Eros that all divine universes are built upon and it is impossible to progress without really understanding it. Thus it is that the Tower often sweeps aside our false perceptions of Love and helps us to build a concept which is better suited for our spiritual journey.

Another aspect of this path is a call towards Unity. One of the visions of Netzach is that of the seven lamps. What is being suggested until Tiphareth all things are One Thing, but at this sphere this ‘white light’ splits into the seven chromatic colours. In other words One becomes Many. Coming down the path, from Netzach to Hod, the Tower builds a structure based on this split universe, moving to ever more complexity. However coming up the path, as you are about to do, it destroys the many fold structure to create ever more simpler forms. While this ‘seven fold structure’ is not yet the unity of Tiphareth, the process “does the head in” of an Initiate, particularly as they are used to seeing their universe as being made up of many bits. To fix the pain that goes with this it is best to organise life into simpler constructions which are focused on seeing everything as an expression of the One Thing. This is difficult to do, but the work you do will assist anything that your Higher Self might be trying to teach you.

Earlier I mentioned that the trick of dealing with a lateral path is through balance. As the Tower collapses there will be a rush of emotion as power which has been locked up into its construction is freed. This emotional power, which is a hallmark of Netzach needs rationalisation by Hod otherwise you will end up in an explosive martian cocktail of anger and retribution. Your intellect should kick in and tell you, “This is part of my Tower experience. I will feel this energy, but I will not act on it.”

Practical work

During this period you should be examining your personality and questioning your weak points so that you can make yourself into a lamp for the Word of your Higher Self. All aspects of the way you do things should be questioned and re-examined. Pay particular attention to those things that you are sure you are doing correctly, generally these are the areas that you are failing in most. Think back to what you wanted to me as a child. Have you met those goals or did they get lost along the way. Look at your relationships, are they helping or hindering you? Can they be improved? The answers to these questions are not to be decided by the standards of Malkuth. They have to be in accordance to your Higher Self. Look at the things that you have done to isolate yourself from the rest of the universe, where you have made things into a mockery of the divine Unity. Then spend quiet moments listening for your Higher Self to speak to you and when the flash of realisation comes, you will be ready.

Rosicrucian Tradition of the Golden Dawn: Revealing the Alchemy and the Theurgy of the RR et AC

For the last couple of weeks I have been going through Samuel Robinson’s book Rosicrucian Tradition of the Golden Dawn: Revealing the Alchemy and the Theurgy of the RR et AC. It is a bit of a tome, but there is a lot in it.
After a long training by Pat Zalweski, Robinson moved to Europe where he made links with many different Rosicrucian Orders and formed his own Hermetic Order of the Nascent Dawn. This is a Golden Dawn Group but appears to have lineages with other German Rosicrucian groups. The book shows a lot of his thinking about the Second Order work of the Golden Dawn.
It is possible to see a lot of Robinson’s roots coming out in the book and I have to say there are flashes of genius in it as it takes the reader into places that they never thought the Golden Dawn could go. That is not to say I agree with all of it, but it does give some very good ideas for anyone who is using the Second Order magical system of the Golden Dawn.
Robinson has a crack at dealing with the sphere of sensation, the practical use of the Z documents, the Holy Guardian Angel, the Angel of the Golden Dawn. There is so much in his approach you have to feel that he is on to something.
He has also published a cipher manuscript for a Third Order which is based on the Crowning of the Pharaoh Ritual from Ancient Egypt. This is an interesting idea which slots in to the system in the same way that the Judgement Hall of Maat is used in the outer order. I am a long way from thinking about Third Order stuff so it is not particularly useful to me, but I have to admit that it makes sense and slots in nicely to the SM flavour of the GD.
That is not to say it is an easy book, or a book for beginners. You have to be Second Order to actually understand what he is talking about. It does provide advanced students with some good ideas about who to take the system forward in a practical way. I would say that if you are experienced working with in the Golden Dawn system, there is a lot here which will fire your imagination and help you unlock some aspects of the Golden Dawn which have not been publicly talked about.
Where Robinson differs from many in the GD tradition is his insistence that things take a Theurgical approach. This is a much more religious approach to ritual that many in the Golden Dawn would not understand. There is a tendency within the tradition to pay lip service to divine names and shout them out in rituals without ever having any experience with them. It is possible to be an Atheist in some Golden Dawn groups, where as, if you if you used Robinson’s approach to binding demons with that attitude you would either get nothing, or be reduced to a pair of smoking golden slippers.
Theurgy techniques make ritual a more spiritual practice. It is less about what you can get and more about your relationship with what you invoke. I don’t agree that the GD system entirely Theurgical, but I do think that Robinson has a point in that it has gone too far in the other direction where religious experiences are not important. I put this down to the masonic approach to magic, but it could be equally due to a post-modern belief that you do not really need God.
Rosicrucian Tradition of the Golden Dawn has the considerable weakness that it needed an editor before publication, which it clearly did not have. It is often more than the fact that the spelling is off, but sometimes the wrong word has been used and it gets confusing. You are left reading a sentence for some minutes before working out what Robinson is getting at. This is not problem for me, but I know some people who make typos the defining statement about whether or not a book is worthy or not.
  It is available on Lulu here

Occult couples

“Fear is failure, so be thou without fear, for he that trembles and the fire and the flood hath no part of God”
Most occultists believe that they live without fear. They claim that within its teaching, they find that their fears, particularly of death, are washed away. While this might be true, one of the biggest problems we find within the Golden Dawn community stems from fear – the fear of being alone.
The study of magic is such a minority activity and is divided still further into different strains of teaching. Even within a single group, magicians vary in what they believe so that the chances of you finding someone who thinks like you is remote.
Ultimately the magician has to go it alone. This is the message of the Tarot card the Hermit.
But humans do not do well when they are alone. Humans are social creatures who need to function with others to thrive. There are all sorts of illnesses that come from being alone. Being alone is simply un-natural. Every biological system within our body requires us to find a mate and raise children.
But this causes another problem, how to you fulfill your biological and emotional needs for people when your universe is so different from anyone else.
The Tuhoe Tohunga, Hohepa Kereopa said that everyone has a separate universe and relationships between men and women are dependent on the similarity of those universes.
When I look at the relations I have had, the ones that have been successful have been so when people have been thinking along similar lines to me. Relationships with muggles have only worked while there was enough in the relationship which was not occultism that could hold everything together.
Anna Branch, who was an American magician, once told her husband that he should not ever make her choose between occultism and him. I guess occultism was the real her and the rest was just what they had in common. That was enough to hold them together unless he tried to intervene in her “real life”. Fortunately, Branch said, “he died” so it never came to that.
As magic grew increasingly important to me, it became more difficult to have partnerships with muggles. Even if they were sympathetic to the magic ideas, the concept of having your partner locked in a room banging on a computer knocking out books which were designed only to be read by a few thousand and understood by six did not make sense. Winging your way around the world to initiate people and not having a holiday at the same time seemed senseless.
The obvious idea is to have a relationship with another magical person. However this causes problems too. Not only are the right people rare, just because you have that certain chemistry in the ritual and can talk about magic does not mean it is the sort of relationship that can help you function on the mundane world.
Often because of the relief of being in a relationship where magic can actually be talked about creates such a relief that it takes a while for you to realise that the person you are with is not one you would normally want to go out with. You allow your standards to slip, or end up in an abusive relationship, just because this person has similar spiritual experiences to you.
I know of one person who thought she could deal with this problem by having two men. One for her mundane life and another for her magical one. Unfortunately most people want exclusivity in their partners, she thought she could have the same level of love from the magical partner by not sleeping with him while demanding his undying “spiritual love”. Needless to say it did not end well.
It is a problem which resolves itself in one way or the other. Either you deal with the crushing loneliness by compartmentalising your life so you can find a balance. Or you try and being entirely magical or entirely “normal”. The unbalanced way will ultimately be unsatisfying in my experience.
If you are really lucky you find a partner who is magical AND your material universe works. Life becomes a meandering path in which the darkness that overwhelms one, can be repelled by two working in harmony; each upholding each other’s strengths and balancing each other’s weaknesses. This is rare and even harder work. You not only become responsible for your life on a material level, but your job becomes to assist each other’s spiritual walk.
But it does mean that Goals which were impossible for one, become obtainable for two. The shared universes weave themselves into a life destiny which alone they could not obtain.
While this sounds great, sometimes relationship problems become spiritual ones and it becomes difficult to separate the two. Many couples strive to understand one another, but an occultist knows that another person is as complex and hard to understand as God.
Such couples exist to do the work. What is interesting about these relationships is that it is rare that they have children. The work becomes their child.
Dion Fortune once said that for people to become true magicians they have to have passed through the path of hearth fire.This mirrors the old Cabbalistic idea which implied that you are supposed to have had a few kids and proven yourself able to be a parent before you pressed ahead with spiritual work. While this sounds great, in principle, if Fortune had followed her own advice she would never have been a great magician. Her relationships were all dire and it means that she never followed that path at all.
Any spiritual path, be it hearth fire or Solomonic magic, is optional to the magician. What is important is to find your way through it. What ever you choose, it becomes a life path decision. Sometimes finding that balance is part of your spiritual destiny. Certainly the cure for being alone is to find someone to share your life with. However make sure it is the right person. Don’t jump simply because someone appears to share your world view, they have to fit everything. All your universes have to match. On the whole, it is worth the wait.

Temples of Humanity

Below is an unpublished Whare Ra document. It is has close similarities to a paper written by Dion Fortune and is related to what I call the Inner Temple method. Fortune said that she acquired the Inner Temple method from the AO Chief Maiya Tranchell-Hayes where it was a Second Order AO proceedure. Since this paper was written after the split and is an ST document, it indicates that the idea had a common source and that both sides of the divide used Astral Temples for ritual and teaching. You can see hints of it in the Flying Rolls and the Z-documents.
The idea of using the astral counterparts of important landmarks was very important to Dion Fortune’s work. She used the astral aspects of Glastonbury Tor, but she had the additional advantage of living there.
We are lucky to have a similar site in Rome where the astral reality and the physical overlap.
As this paper points out, these are powerful sites to work for humanity rather than individuals. Rituals which take place at these levels can help humanity a lot.
To seek out these places, even using this paper as a guide, is a lot of work. Even then they are “protected” by their own guardians. If you do find your way into one, it pays to be very, very polite. If you find entrance is easy then you are in the wrong place. 
The Temples of the Earth (M.C.)
There are certain areas on the earth’s surface which are surcharged with ritual force. These we call “Temples”, for on them,or most of them, men have erected buildings set aside for Spiritual Teaching.
It seems probable that in the first place such areas were marked by some natural phenomenon, such as flames or hot springs in some cases. At all events they have formed sanctuaries for the wild creatures in time of stress
Having once been recognised and dedicated by man, they continue to be used by whatever form of religion prevails at any given time. As for instance the site of St. Paul and Westminster Abbey , which are known to have been Temples of the Sun and Moon, in pre-christian days. There are at least 12 such sites and there may be many more. It seems likely that our own Temple at Whare Ra is such a spot.
These areas have, from time immemorial, been associated with the Astrological Signs and Planets. We know of one on the bank of the Euphrates, which is dedicated to the Sun.
One on the Ruenzori Mountains (between Lakes Albert and Victoria), which is associated with the Moon. One in Central Europe, which is linked with Venus. And another in North Italy linked with Mercury.
There are some others in China and elsewhere.
Mesopotamia (Sun) Northern Persia (Mars) North Asia (Saturn)
Mountains between China and Tibet (Jupiter).
To contact any of these, it Is necessary to be quite clear which you desire to visit, and how you would reach it if you were travelling there by ordinary methods.
In these days we can go almost anywhere by air, therefore you van imagine yourself entering an aeroplane .
First protect yourself by the Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram.
Then enter your plane and behave exactly as though you were going an actual physical journey. Follow mentally the route you have already plotted out. Descend at a convenient distance from the selected site and then endeavour to see with the interior eyes, what is before you.
It may be added that all these sites are distinguished by the presence of mountains, water (either river lake or springs). Pure invigorating air and abundant light .
So far Where Re has lacked the near presence of water. The Order should aim at boring for there is as there is at least one underground stream and there may be two .
One of the easiest Temples to reach is the Sun Temple on the Euphrates. It is simple to follow the course of the river until you are on top of a hill in a loop of the river. After a short canal cuts it off from the surrounding ground and it is therefore approached by crossing a bridge either North or South of the building and climbing steps. On the South side steps begin on the far side of the stream and thus form a bridge in themselves.
On the Northern side the bridge crosses the stream first and the steps are broken into three sets of twelve seven and three,, each marked by a square landing and supports. The lowest of these is a pair of obelisks, the second two palms, the third two lion headed sphinxes.
The southern approach is unbroken and has a hundred steps with a balustrade on each side. At the top either side there are great doors opening down the middle and giving entrance to a large square portico: on the inner side of which hang heavy embroidered curtains.
The aspirant must be ready with all his Order Signs, Grips and Passwords. If he is a Mason he had better be ready with these also.
Remember that you must always enter such a place with the saluting sign and the sign of Silence. Stand still and await further guidance and instruction; use your eyes and intelligence, make a careful note of whatever you see or hear.

So that you can write out a short, clear account when you return.
Remember that these Temples are not simply astral, you should receive spiritual vibrations from them : and the Teaching should not be merely personal.

These places are cosmic and are concerned with world affairs, not petty personal contacts. Most of them seem to use some form of ceremonial: and you may be called upon to take part in this , but if so it is for definite reason and purpose.

Tohunga: Hohepa Keropa

There are few moments where I have picked up a book and found things that “spoke to me” and this one is one of the rare ones which should be on every Golden Dawn magician’s reading list.
Written by Paul Moon it is based on interviews he carried out with a Maori  magician, or Tohunga.
Kereopa was a Tohunga amongst the Tohuoe tribe.  I went up there once to do a feature and I can safely say it was one of the rawest moments I had with Maori spirituality.  I never met Kereopa and it is on my list of things I can kick myself about.   His blunt approach to people was legendary and he felt compelled to say stuff which was politically stupid but turned out to be incredibly accurate.  He saw it as a Magician’s job to shake people up a bit.

The book is well written.  It is possible to hear the man’s voice and what he has to say is well reasoned and clear to anyone involved in any magical tradition.   If you were to replace the world Tohunga with magician you would get a very good message on a lot of the sorts of subjects which are essentially screwing up the Golden Dawn.
The Tohunga tradition is fading a bit because of white suppression and there are few good ones left.  But rather than reconstruct a lost system, Kereopa sees change as part of any living tradition.  He did not mind the fact that it was losing information when he died.  He felt that teaching would come to future Tohunga anyway.  They would work it out for their age and teach it.

“Each person who takes a leaf of Knowledge opens themselves to receive more knowledge, and so the thing that keeps the [magicians] going in the end is the knowledge that survives, even if it is not past in the way it used to be.  I don’t have any fears that there will not be a single person to carry on what I have learnt, because everyone who is interested will discover all they need to discover.” 

In otherwords the modern Golden Dawn is different from anything that existed before 1978, it has been built by those who have discovered new things about it.  It does not matter that it is not the same as Mathers or Westcott people will find the knowledge in the spirit which is behind it.

I think this process was going on even when the old Golden Dawn was going.  It is just that some, like the Maori, harken back to a golden age which never was.

To quote the book again:

Traditional knowledge tends to accrue gradually and unevenly in communities.  The challenges of a new or changing physical environment, economic developments, perceptions of spirituality, spurts of population growth, grinding political advances and the unremitting pursuit of of every kinds of perceived progress, all merge into a chaotic concoction which propels the emergence of a corpus of knowledge that is unique to that community.

In other words each Golden Dawn group is going to be different, and each temple will be slightly different from the main group.  There can never be ONE Golden Dawn and certainly no one RIGHT Golden Dawn.

There is a lot in this book about personal development too and it did fill a few holes my own spiritual thinking. Like I said you can tell a useful book because you say “oh right” or “aha” a lot or put it down while you think through the implications.