By G.H. Fra. D.D.C.F. (S.L. MacGregor Mathers)
In order to obtain a clear idea of the relation of Man to the Universe, and to the spiritual planes, it is necessary to understand and perceive that the scheme of the Ten Sephiroth, and their symbolic representation as the Tree of Life is to be applied both to the Macrocosm and to the Microcosm; to the Celestial Heavens to Stars, Planets, the World, and to Man. One aspect of this assertion that has been recently pointed out to you, and has been demonstrated to you on the globe, is in reference to the scheme of Divination; you must further extend this idea when considering the rationale of Clairvoyance and must recognise a Sephirotic arrangement in the constitution of every Star, and of every atom, of Man and his principles.
We look above us into heaven, and see the Stars, and it is commonly supposed that we see the material globes, their Malkuth, but they are complex in constitution and we see but their luminous aura or atmospheres, containing the rest of the Sephiroth, etc., or a reflection of them.
Then as to ourselves, we must never forget our own complex Sephirotic symbolism, and that our bodies that we feed and clothe are but our Malkuth on its lowest plane, and that the higher nine Sephiroth hover around us in our auras, or atmosphere.
We pass through life affecting others, and being affected by others through these akashic envelopes that closely surround us—so that when we close the eyes of the body and senses upon the material world, we first apprehend by interior vision the essences of our own and contiguous natures. This perception of our own environment is a source of error to the beginner in Clairvoyance; for he believes himself to have gone away and to see elsewhere, and may be but among the confused images of his own aura.
An old name of Clairvoyance, in our ancient MSS was ‘Skrying in the Spirit Vision’; becoming a ‘Skryer’ was not simply becoming a Seer, but one who descries what he seeks, not only the impassive receiver of visions beyond control or definition.
When one stands in common life in the kingdom of Malkuth, there is but little confusion of sight, but when one voluntarily leaves the dead level of materialism and passes up the Path of Tau towards Yesod, then there is a confusion of lights; one comes within the scope of the crossing, and reflected, and coloured, rays of the Qesheth, the Rainbow of colours spread over the earth, and here then we require instruction and guidance to avoid confusion and folly. And yet this stage must be passed through—to go higher.
Beyond Yesod you enter the path of Samekh, the strait and narrow path which leads to truly spiritual regions of perception, this is attained by the process called Rising in the Planes.
Our subject falls most conveniently into three heads, which are however, closely related, and the three forms or stages pass one into the other.
- Clairvoyance. Descrying in the Spirit Vision.
- Astral projection. Travelling in the Spirit Vision.
- Rinsing in the Planes.
Begin with simple Clairvoyance, and then pass to the other states.
It is well to commence this form of practical occultism by means of a Symbol, such as a drawing, or coloured diagram, related in design, form and colour to the subject chosen for study. The simple and compound Tattva emblems are suitable for this process. It is better for them not to be in the complementary ‘flashing’ colours for this purpose as though more powerful, they are also more exhausting to the student. The Symbol should be of convenient size, for the eye to take it in at a glance, and large enough no to require too close an application of sight to realise the details.
There are several scales of colour, but for our present purpose we need only note two. Firstly, the scale of the King, that of the G.D.; and that of the Adept Minor. Scarlet is Fire, Yellow is Air, Blue is Water, Four dull colours are Earth and White is Spirit. Secondly, the Tattva scheme, which is nearly the same as our scale of the Queen, which is applied also to the Sephirotic colours in the Minutum Mundum Diagram. Red is Fire, greyish White is Water, Golden Yellow is Earth, Blue (greenish) is Air, Violet Black is Akasha or Spirit.
Tablets and Telesmas are described as being made in Flashing Colours, when in one tablet, a certain colour and its direct complementary are shown in opposition and shine by contrast. In such tablets do the elemental forces manifest most readily, and most students can perceive their flashes of radiance, which are, however, partly subjective and partly objective. They attract and reflect the rays of light from the akashic plane enveloping them.
These tablets when formed by an Adept of high spiritual attainments receive from him a charge of akashic force of a magnetic character; as line by line and colour by colour is added, the Telesma grows in virtue as well as progresses to completion. But the beginner fails, thus, to impregnate his work with his vital astral force and his finished Telesma needs a ceremony of consecration, after which the figure should remain sacred to his touch alone. All Telesma, however, are better consecrated ceremonially, for they then hold more firmly the ‘charge’ of force, and if carefully preserved, apart from contamination, and from influence by other Telesma, will retain force for an indefinite period. All powerful Occult work, such as this, exhausts the Vital force, especially from beginners, and you will feel at first distinct exhaustion from loss of akasha, which however is not lost but transferred to the symbol and there preserved, fading away from thence, only slowly into the ocean of energies.
To use the Symbol for Clairvoyance, place it before you, as on a table, place the hands beside it, or hold it up with both hands, then, with the utmost concentration, gaze at it, comprehend it, formulate its meaning and relations. When the mind is steady upon it: close the eyes and continue the meditation, and let the conception still remain before you, keep up the design, form, and colour in the akashic aura, as clearly as they appeared in material form to the outward seeing. Transfer the Vital effort from the optic nerve to the mental perception, or thought seeing as distinct from seeing with the eye; let one form of apprehension glide on with the other—produce the reality of the dream vision, by positive will in the waking state. All this will be only possible if the mind is steady, clear and undisturbed and the will powerful. It cannot lead to success if you are in an unsuitable state of anxiety, fear, indignation, trouble or anticipation. You must produce peace, solitude and leisure and you must banish all disturbing influences.
But, above all, never attempt these Magic Arts if there be any resentment in the mind, anger , or any evil passion; for if you do, the more you succeed, the greater will be the evil that will follow—for yourself.
With the condition favourable, the process may be continued, and this, by means of introducing into the Consciousness and by formulating into sound, the highest Divine Names connected therewith; this invocation produces and harmonises currents of spiritual force in sympathy with your object. Then follow with the sacred names of Archangelic and Angelic import, producing them mentally, visually and by voice.
Then, maintaining your abstraction from your surroundings, and still concentrating upon the symbol and its correlated ideas, you are to seek a perception of a scene, panorama, or view of a place. This may also be brought on by a sense of tearing open, as a curtain is drawn aside and seeing the ‘within’ of the symbol before you. As the scene dawns upon you, particularise the details, and seek around for objects, and then for beings, entities and persons—attract their attention, call mentally to them by suitable titles and courtesies, and by proper and appropriate signs and symbols, such as the signs of the Grades, Pentagrams, etc. Test them by divine and angelic names, observing their attitude and responses thereto. Thus losing sight of the symbol, you see its inwardness, perceive things as in a mirror by Reflection. In this form of Descrying, note, that you see objects reversed, as to right and left, for which suitable allowance must be made. You project, in this process, part of your own nerve and spirit force upon the symbol, and by this you attract and attach to it more akashic force from the environment, hence the results obtained. If, instead of this Simple Spirit Vision, a ray of yourself is sent and actually goes to a place (astral projection) there is not necessarily the sense of reversal of objects.
In using Symbols it is necessary to avoid Self hypnotisation, for this occurrence would dispose you to mediumship, and to be the playground of forces you must control, and not permit to control you. For this reason, partly, it is well not to have the Symbol too small. It is of advantage to pursue these researches with the aid of the presence before you of the four Magical Implements, and even to hold the one suitable to the investigation. If you enter upon the Spirit Vision without a Symbol you proceed by a mental symbol, imagined in the Astral Light: this is not a wise proceeding for learners because it opens the door to other Astral effects; you create a vortex, into which other astral influences are drawn and hence confusion and mischief may result.
The process of working by a small symbol placed upon the forehead, or elsewhere, is not wholly good; it is more liable to derange the Brain circulation and cause mental illusion and disturbance, headache, and nervous exhaustion than the first method.
In using symbols, placed before you—it is a useful addition to provide a large circular (or square) tablet, around which are placed Divine Names etc. related to the Elements, and to the cardinal points; then after arranging this duly, with respect to the compass, place your symbol upon and within this frame.
Astral Projection, although from one point of thought a development of Clairvoyance, yet is from another distinct: in Astral Projection, the Adept emits from his Ego a perceptible ray of his identity, and by cultured and instructed Will, sends it to travel to the place desired, focuses it there, sees there—directly and not by reflection—perceives its bodily home, and re-enters it.
In this Travelling of the Spirit the process may be caused to start also by the Symbol, as before, or by Will alone; but anyway the Divine names should be used and relied upon. If the ray be emitted, and you succeed in this travelling to the place—you perceive a different result to that of the clairvoyant, mirror-like vision-scenes and things instead of being like a picture, have the third dimension, solidity, they stand out first like bas relief, then you see as from a Balloon, as it is said, by a bird’s eye view. You feel free to go to the place, to descend upon it, to step out upon the scene, and to be an actor there.
Having attained success in projection you should practice the method when opportunity offers, and having passed to any place, should make efforts—and if you Will—success will follow—to pass through all elements, Water and Earth as well as through Air—practise will enable you to fly through air either quickly or slowly as willed, and to swim through water, or pass through earth and through fire fearlessly with the aid of the Divine Names, in this Astral Projection.
Seek then the forms and persons of the place or of the Plane you reach to, seek converse with them, by voice, word, letter and symbol and claim admission etc. by signs, and by invocation. Every figure is to be tried and tested, whether he be as he appears or whether a delusive and deluding embodied power. It may be, too, that your travel is not real, and that you are wandering in your own environment, and are misled by memory etc.; hence you might be self-deceiving by your own reminiscences.
Try all beings, and if offered favours or initiation by any, try and test them by Divine names and forces; and ever remember your own Adept Obligation and your allegiance to it, to your own Higher Self, and to the Great Angel HVA, before whom you stood fastened to the Cross of Suffering, and to whom you pledged your obedience.
This old Proverb enshrines a great truth, as many of them do: ‘Believe thyself there and thou art there.’
Rising in the Planes is a spiritual process after spiritual conceptions, and higher aims; by concentration and contemplation of the Divine, you formulate a Tree of Life passing from you the spiritual realms above and beyond you. Picture to yourself that you stand in Malkuth—then by the use of the Divine Names and aspirations you strive upward by the Path of Tau toward Yesod, neglecting the crossing rays which attract you as you pass up. Look upwards to the Divine Light shining down from Kether upon you. From Yesod leads up the Path of Temperance, Samekh, the arrow cleaving upward leads the way to Tiphereth, the Great central Sun of Sacred Power.
Invoke the Great Angel HUA, and conceive of yourself as standing fastened to the Cross of Suffering, carefully vibrating the Holy Names allied to your position, and so may the mental vision attain unto Higher Planes.
There are three special tendencies to error and illusion which assail the Adept in these studies. They are, Memory, Imagination and actual Sight. These elements of doubt are to be avoided, by the Vibration of Divine Names, and by the Letters and Titles of the ‘Lords Who Wander’—the Planetary Forces, represented by the Seven double letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
If the Memory entice thee astray, apply for help to Saturn whose Tarot Title is the ‘Great One of the Night of Time’.
Formulate the Hebrew letter Tau in Whiteness.
If the vision change or disappear, your memory has falsified your efforts. If Imagination cheat thee, use the Hebrew letter Kaph for the Forces of Jupiter, named ‘Lord of the Forces of Life’. If the Deception be of Lying—intellectual untruth, appeal to the Force of Mercury by the Hebrew letter Beth. If the trouble be of Wavering of Mind, us the Hebrew letter Gimel for the Moon. If the enticement of pleasure be the error, then use the Hebrew letter Daleth as an aid.1
Never attempt any of these Divine processes when at al influence by Passion or Anger of Fear—leave off if desire of sleep approach, never force a mind disinclined. Balance the Mem and the Shin of your nature and mind, so as to leave Aleph like a gentle flame rising softly between them.
You must do all these things by yourself alone. No one can make you nor take you. Do not try to make, or take others. You may only point out the Path, and guide but must not help others.
A strong person can galvanise a weak one, but its effect is only a temporary folly, doing good neither to the strong nor to the weak. Only offer guidance to those who are making necessary efforts of themselves; don’t assist a negligent pupil, nor encourage one whose desire is not in the work.
This rule is open to some alteration when, passing from our Mystic studies, you refer to the worldly guidance of childhood—a parent is in a special position, and has a natural duty incumbent upon him or her to train, guide, and protect a child.
Still, even here, do protect and lead, but don’t ‘obsess’ a child, don’t override by your peculiar personal predilections all the personal aims of the offspring. A man’s ideal of true propriety is often himself, and his idea of doing good to a child is to make it like himself. Now, although this father may be a good man, his form of goodness is not to be made a universal type, and there are many other forms equally existing, and equally fit to exist, and any attempt to dictate too closely a child’s ‘though life’ may, while failing of success, yet warp aside from the truth what would otherwise pass into a Good Path, through its own peculiar avenue.
It is well to make all symbols for Clairvoyant use yourself, otherwise, to obtain a purely individual result, you have to banish the influence of him who made them.
It is best to do high Clairvoyance alone, or only with others of the utmost purity, and in whom you have the utmost confidence.
If more than one is attempting in concert the same process, there is the source of error that there becomes formed in the Astral Light a complex symbol, and a struggle ensues as to who shall lead the direction of the currents. When two sit together, as in the Vault, they should be balanced: and so with three. For two; one each side of Pastos or one at each end; for three assume the position of the angles of a triangle, say one at head of Pastos, one at the Right and at the Left hand of the form of Christian Rosycross.
The V.H. Soror V.N.R. 6°=5º, sat at a table, robed, and took a Tattva card coloured symbol (Tejas-akasha) —an erect red triangle, upon which is a dark violet black egg shaped centre. She placed her hands beside her side, or held it in turns before the eyes (held the Magic Fire Wand). Gazed and contemplated and considered as the Symbol grew before her, so enlarged and filled the place, that she seemed to pass into it, or into a vast triangle of flame. She realises that she is in the presence of a desert of sand, harsh, dry and hot.
Thinks of and vibrates—Elohim. Action seems set up, increase of heat and light. Passing through the symbol and scene: seems to arrive and descend there, feels the hot dry sand—perceives a small pyramid in the distance—Wills to rise up and fly through air to it, descends beside it, passes around, sees a small square door on each side. Vibrates—’Elohim-Michael-Erel-Seraph, Darom. Ash.’
Stamps five times—figure appears at an entrance, stamps again five times and vibrates Seraphiel. A Warrior figure leads out a procession of Guards, she asks for his Seal—he shows a complex Symbol of four triangles around a central emblem—? deceptive. Draw Beth before him—he appears terrified. Withdraw Symbol—he is courteous—ask him about pyramid; he says they conduct ceremonies there—she seeks admission—gives sign of 0°=0º—there is a sense of opposition—gives sign 1°=10º, this appears to suffice—But he gives signs of Adeptship—Guards kneel before her and she passes in—dazzling light, as in a Temple. An Altar in the midst—kneeling figures surround it, there is a dais beyond, and many figures upon it—they seem to be Elementals of Fiery nature—she sees a Pentagram, puts a Leo into it, thanks the figure who conducts her—Wills to pass through the pyramid, finds herself out amid the sand. Wills her return—returns—perceiving her body in Robes seated in the Second Order Hall.
1.Use the Hebrew letter Peh for mars to coerce sense of anger and violence. Use the Hebrew letter Resh for the Sun to coerce sense of haughtiness, vanity.