Appendices to The Second Knowledge Lecture
for Zelator Study and Practice
Het-Nuit Lodge, OSOGD
Vr. 1.0 – January 2005 EV
NOTE: These are unofficial supplementary exercises.
To the four exercises described in the Z:FIle 0=0, add the following:
- Vibrating Words of Power
- Meditations on the Element of Earth
Words of Power — the Vibratory Mode of Vocalization
‘Vibrating’ words is a mode of speech that is often described only in poetic terms in magickal literature, and therefore can be confusing to the student. The old Order’s “Z Documents” describe the process:
“The ordinary mode of vibrating is as follows: Take a deep breath and full inspiration and concentrate your consciousness on your heart, which answers to Tipareth. Then formulate the letters of the Name in brilliant white light… Then emitting the breath, slowly pronounce the Letters so that the sound vibrates within you, and imagine that the breath, while quitting the body, swells you so as to fill up space. Pronuonce the Name as if you were vibrating it through the whole Universe, and as if it did not stop until it had reached the further limits.”
As a meditative formula in itself, this is valuable instruction. But it is not very practical. The physical process of Vibrating, however, is not so terribly difficult.
Vibratory voice, in magical terms, is both a physical and a psychological process. As in most forms of practical magic, the physical operation lends itself to the development of the psychological. So to grasp the psychological process, one first develops the physical process.
Trained singers and actors quickly understand the process, for it is the same one they use to “project” their voices for maximum volume (by which an actor, for example, can fill a whole theatre without the need for electronic amplification.) This is known as vocal resonance.
Vibrating words of power should move you, and move the air around you. You should feel your body vibrate with the sound. The “power” comes from the same place as the martial artist’s “ki-YA!” Opera singers learn to do it, as do stage actors, and they call it “projection”. It’s easier to accomplish LOUDLY at first, but as your body and senses become more attuned to the practice, it can be accomplished at lower volumes.
The Practice of Vibratory Voice:
There are two elements to using the Vibratory voice: resonance and projection.
To understand resonance, try this simple exercise: make yourself yawn. Be conscious of that big space that becomes available inside your mouth as your brain commands the opening to widen so more oxygen can be provided. To be a master of resonance, you need to learn to consciously widen that space without forcing an uncontrollable yawn. The wider that space remains in the back of your throat the easier it will be to access all of the remaining resonating cavities.
The resonating cavities of the body can be related to the Chakras, as they occupy areas along the central axis of the torso. For a more ‘mundane’ allegory, consider the body as being a multi-storey building, as described below.
The resonating cavities of the body and their associated chakras are:
- Sinus cavities are the penthouse and associated with the highest pitches. This is related to the Sahasrara chakra.
- The nasal cavity, naso-pharynx, and vocal “mask” represent the top floors. This is associated with the Ajna chakra.
- The oral cavity, oro-pharynx, and soft palate represent the middle floors. This is associated with the Vishuddha chakra.
- The upper chest cavity and laryngo-pharynx represent the first floors. This is associated with the Anahata chakra.
- The lower chest cavity represents the building basement and associated with the lowest pitches. This is associated with the Manipura chakra.
- Vibration of the lowest, or Muladhara chakra, with is associated with the coccyx and genital areas, would be represented in this scheme by actual body tremors or shivering.
By varying the shape of the mouth — which is done almost unconsciously when sounding out vowels — one can cause the various “floors” of the “building” to vibrate along with the vocal chords. Lower pitches tend to make the lower parts of the body move in sympathy with the sound of the voice, and higher pitches the higher parts. To illustrate, sound out the syllable “YEEEE” — the highest note you can hit, while forcing the sound out through the nose rather the mouth. Then sound out the syllable “URRR” using the lowest pitch you can hit, while opening your mouth as wide as you can and letting your jaw drop. Feel how the vibration occurs in the high then the low parts of your body. (Note: this works best if you do it LOUDLY!)
Projection is achieved by using diaphram breathing; and trained singer can tell you it is the single most important thing to learn when singing.
Your diaphragm is a flexible shelf-like sheet of muscle totally inside your body. It divides the torso into two sections. The top section is called the thorax and contains your heart and lungs. Your liver, stomach, intestines, etc. are located in the lower cavity called the abdomen.
The diaphragm is shaped like a double dome when it is relaxed. It arches up into the lung space. When the diaphragm contracts it flattens out like a plate creating more lung space. Empty space creates a vacuum and air almost effortlessly enters your lungs. When you exhale, as in singing, your diaphragm is relaxing and the excess carbon dioxide that triggered this whole operation is being released through the lungs. When you sing you are exhaling and your diaphragm is in the process of RELAXING. As it relaxes the strong, elastic action of the lungs and breathing muscles (including the diaphragm) springing back into place will move the air out.
When you yell out loud, you can feel your abdomen tense automatically. It pushes down and out to support the sound you are creating. Try it now if you’re in an appropriate place. Just yell, “Hay!” Feel how your abdominal muscles tense up and move outward. This is exactly the effect you are aiming for when Vibrating words of power and divine names. If you tighten your tummy muscles, and ‘bear down’ whilst singing, you are (hopefully) using your diaphragm. Notice the extra power you can well up into your voice.
You could also try holding a weight in each hand with your arms held out to shoulder height while singing. You need to be in a standing position to do this right. For some this exercise directs tension to the abs, which is exactly what you want for breath support.
Practice makes perfect. By sounding out Vibratory Words, such as the Divine Names of the LBRP, with a LOUD VOICE, you can get the idea. Once you pick up the knack of using your diaphragm to support your voice, along with opening up your vocal cavities, you can get the same effect at lower volumes.
The Nature of Divine Names and Words of Power
It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it: This idea was put forward by Aleister Crowley in Magick In Theory And Practice. To quote from chapter IX:
“It is therefore not quite certain in what the efficacy of [barbarous] conjurations really lies. The peculiar mental excitement required may be aroused by the perception of the absurdity of the process, and the persistence in it, as when once Frater Perdurabo [Crowley] (at the end of his magical resources) recited “From Greenland’s Icy Mountains” and obtained his result.
“It may be conceded in any case the long strings of formidable words which roar and moan through so many conjurations have a real effect in exalting the consciousness of the magician to the proper pitch — that they should do so is no more extraordinary than music of any kind should do so.” [Italics Crowley’s]
So effective Vibration is both a physical and a mental process — and a musical one. Each can be mastered with sufficient practice, but beginning with the physical is the best way to proceed at first. Then incorporate the mental process of Active Imagination (as practiced during meditation) to give meaning to the physical action. Even if you feel self-conscious or even awkward at first, that itself indicates you are on the right track. Indeed, an attitude of “fake it until you make it” at this stage is appropriate. As you progress in your magickal practice, you will begin to appreciate the subtleties. Persistence will be rewarded.
Meditational Exercises of the Element of Earth
This is supplemental to the Meditation No.2 from the Second Knowledge Lecture. Practice both, either at different sessions or together, as you will.
Collect various physical objects associated with the Element of Earth, such as:
- Stones and/or crystals
- Soil (rich potting soil)
- Sand (fine beach sand)
- Salt (fine and rock)
- Grains of rice or wheat
Do this meditation outdoors if possible. Make sure you will not be interrupted. Take a notepad with you to record any important experiences or insights.
- Perform the LBRP. Sit on the ground comfortably and begin the Four-fold Breath; continue until a meditative state of mind is obtained. (If desired, recite the Prayer of the Gnomes here — see below.)
- Face the North (Earth), and intone the Divine Name of Earth, “Adonai Eh Aretz”. Close your eyes, expand your mind and let impressions flow from that direction. Whatever you feel, even if you think it is silly, write it on your pad.
- Hold the element you chose to represent Earth and the North then close your eyes and open your mind and feel the impression of this element. If it is soil run it through your fingers, if a rock feel it all over, smell it and let thoughts of its qualities come to y our mind. Write it all on your pad.
- The final step is to create a positive entity in your mind that represents the element of Earth. Don’t worry about right or wrong. It can be male/female, human/animal or a mixture. What is it’s expression, clothing, coloring. List all thoughts on pad.
- Consider the aspects of the Element Earth such as structure, wisdom, connection, leadership, and any sacred symbols you associate with the element of earth.
- Consider your experience of this Element; how ordered are you, how successful or empowered are you in your actions?
- Picture the figure you devised as representing realm of the Element Earth. It can look anyway you chose. It can be a mystical being, an animal or a mortal human that once walked the earth. They are your images of the spirit keepers of ordered wisdom and rational leadership. If possible, picture more than one with a variety of “earth-like” attributes. Remember them, for they are your images of the spirit keepers of ordered wisdom and rational thinking.
- Carefully amplify your vision to include as many aspects as you can to bring these figures into focus. Note all that you see, hear, feel, smell, taste or touch within your image. Note your reactions to each contact you have with your own allies from the Element of the Earth, and find new meanings within. These entities represent Ñ to you Ñ what are known as Gnomes, the spirits of Elemental Earth. You can call them forth as needed to provide the supportive nurturance and structured patterns that help you govern your life.
- Conclude with the LBRP.
(Part of your examination to advance to the next Grade will be to discuss your meditations on Earth with your Hierophant, so keeping notes of your meditations is advisable.)
Recalling the Awareness Exercises from the Z:File 0=0, spend a few days or a week being aware of all the “Earth” attirbutes in your everyday life. The dirt under your feet, the stones around you, all the living things that grow in the earth, objects made from earthly materials — all these things partake of the Element of Earth. Create a frim foundation in your psyche on the rock of the Earth. From this foundation you will build the entire Elemental matrix into yourself as you advance in the Grades toward Adepthood, when they will be balanced within you.
Considerations of the Earth Grade
Consider your experience of this Element; how ordered are you, how successful or empowered are you in your actions? How well do you manage your mundane, “earthly” affairs? Though a Mage strives to become “more than Human”, to ignore the necessities of life in Assiah (the Material World) will not advance your study of Magick; quite the opposite, in fact. Many sects of Sufism require the aspirant to become proficient in at least one professional trade. Zen Buddhism teaches a kind of meditative practice called “Chop Wood, Carry Water”, which imparts the spiritual value of simple, mundane Work.
The spirit of Freemasonry is also very much in keeping with this attitude of earthy as well as spiritual competence. Being inept in your everyday life is not a sign of magical ability.
A spirit of healthy skepticism and constant self-examination is indispensable to the Aspirant. Your ideas should also be shared and discussed with your fraters and sorors, who can provide support, feedback and, when called for, healthy criticism and “reality checks”. This is one of the strengths of the Golden Dawn lodge system — the ability to compare and contrast your experiences with those of your fellow Aspirants and help each other along the Path.
The Grade of Zelator, like the Masonic degree of Entered Apprentice, affords you with a framework to get your everyday life in better order, and this will most certainly impact your study of Magic in a positive way. To do otherwise is to risk descent into a world of sheer fantasy and self-delusion which is one of the very first “traps” the student of Magic can fall into. The dangers of following this false path cannot be overstressed.
The Prayer of the Gnomes
“O Invisible Queen, Who taking the Earth for Foundation, Didst hollow its depths to fill them with Thy Almighty Power. Thou Whose Name shaketh the Arches of the World, Thou who causest the Seven Metals to flow in the veins of the rocks, Queen of the Seven Lights, Rewarder of the subterranean Workers, Lead us into the desirable Air and into the Realm of Splendour. We watch and we labour unceasingly, we seek and we hope, By the twelve stones of the Holy City, By the buried Talismans, By the Axis of the Loadstone which passes through The center of the Earth– Hear Us! Liberate those who suffer. Expand our hearts, unbind and upraise our minds, enlarge our natures. Stability and Motion! O Darkness veiled in Brilliance! O Day clothed in Night! O Mistress who never dost withhold the wages of Thy Workers! O Silver Whiteness–O Golden Splendour! O Crown of Living and Harmonious Diamond! Thou who wearest the Heavens on Thy Finger like a ring of Sapphire! Thou who hidest beneath the surface of the Earth, In the Kingdom of the Gems, the marvelous Seed of the Stars! Live, reign, and be Thou the Eternal Dispenser of the Treasures whereof Thou hast made us the Wardens.”