Another Step of my Enochian Journey: Gebofal

I know, it sounds like another strange Enochian word: gebofal. Sorry. SORRY. (Not sorry.)

Having done Enochian with relative consistency over the last year and a half, I have touched many parts of the system, but I haven’t yet done the 49-day ritual of working with Liber Loagaeth, named gebofal, as a way of attuning myself to that book. I haven’t found a good copy of the book; the best copy of Loagaeth that I can find, from which I have done a tentative translation of part of one leaf that remarkably parallels the Tzimtzum, doesn’t have all of the characters in Enochian, and many parts are corrupted! So begins my hunt for the original scans from Sloane, which unfortunately are no longer available to order online.

What I can gather from Leitch is that there may be a zodiacal-by-elemental force (four elements within each of the twelve signs) associated with doing this. The stepwise moving through the gates of heaven also parallels the counting of the Omer, which is a symbolic contemplation designed to aid the opening of the 50 Gates of Binah. This would seem to parallel the Aethyrs themselves, but I sense there is a larger cosmological work at play, and probably initiation into Chokmah (which is ruled by the entirety of the zodiac) via the original Enochian system (rather than my hack). The combination of zodiacal and elemental efforts–along with the celestial (and by implication, the Aethyrs) imagery–strongly suggests to me a primary scaffold to ascend the three higher worlds. As such, it makes sense that Leitch describes it (based on his review of some others’ experiences) as the primary Enochian initiatory ceremony.

Wish me luck in my search for a good copy of Liber Loagaeth for me to reproduce! Perhaps after completing this ceremony, I will be more capable of translating Loagaeth into English….

Update 1: I think I found a version. It may be too low-quality to be sure but I will do my best with it.

Update 2: The resolution on the image was far too low to work with. Back to the search!

Update 3: Aaron Leitch was kind enough to reply and is working on it. Thanks, Aaron!

Progressing in Magick

So this is a question I’ve given some thought to: how quickly should one progress in magick? How far, how fast? What should you get into?

Having tried several things in magick, I can recommend the following:

1. Meditation (at the beginning and throughout your journey, perhaps to be foregone towards the end). Vipassana & Raja (one or the other), once or twice a day. I also recommend using simple pranayama techniques to relax one’s mind and emotional state, and then mentally confronting emotional triggers (i.e., “Why do I get angry about this? Is this really me, or am I just attached to [XYZ]? Does my emotional intensity match the situation?”) at least once a week for at least a year. Don’t be afraid to go deep. This will start clearing your mind of identifications that do not match who you are, and the best part is, you’re doing the clearing, so you are in control. It’s also good to talk through your insights with good friends.

Allllsoooo…therapy, especially as you get to the weirder stuff: find a therapist who doesn’t judge the woo.

Congratulations, your mind is now on a path towards healing.

2. Groundedness practice. (added) I recommend also doing some groundedness meditation (such as imagining roots growing from your feet into the earth and drawing in from the infinite amount of energy available that which you need). To complement this, spend time walking outside, gardening, etc., to stay in touch with the real world.

Congratulations, you’re able to live in reality.

3. Hatha yoga. The mind and body are intimately connected. In general, you will want to be in excellent physical shape, so if you can, Hatha yoga regularly, do cardio at least twice a week, and add in strength training (always talk to your doctor about exercise). Give yourself a couple of months to get in good (or better) physical shape. Obviously this depends on whether you are disabled, but think about how you can get in touch with your body.

Congratulations, you’re working on integrating your body and mind.

4. Sigils (as needed). After about a month of meditation, teach yourself to make a sigil (the Austin Osman Spare method is easy to learn, but others exist). They are easy, they are cheap, they will work with beginner’s luck. Start with something simple at the “5% probability” level and charge it the easy way (look at it during the “big O“).

Congratulations, you’re empowering yourself.

5. Learn (and DO) banishing (regularly, but eventually to be largely eschewed). A few weeks after your sigil, note the degree to which it was successful (you can do more, but for serious things). Then learn the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram (LBRP). After you have started a daily meditation practice, for at least a month, start learning the LBRP. It’s not that complicated. Use flash cards to memorize directions, angel names, and the like.

Then do it for the first time. Don’t be surprised if you experience some clairaudience: I definitely did my first time and I had a huge WTF moment! Once you have it memorized and can perform it fluidly, it should not take more than five minutes. Start off doing that on a weekend, then add it to your “stack” and do it once a day (ideally before a meditation), then twice a day (morning and night). If you’re not in your own place, do it silently. If space is an issue, you can do it imaginally. Later, learn the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Hexagram (LBRH).

Congratulations, you’re starting to determine your circumstances.

6. Study the elements and astrology. The classical elements are fundamental to the LBRP, and now is the time to understand what they are about. It’s good to learn about them in conjunction with astrology, because there is some overlap. For that, The Astrology Podcast is excellent. Take their significations of the signs (parts 1 & 2), the planets, the houses (parts 1 & 2), then the ones on sect, essential dignities, and then look into the aspects. This will help you understand the LBRH. It will also help you understand the astrological forces, whether they are “good” for a working and invoked, or whether they are bad and should be banished. This will take some time, definitely no less than three months, probably no less than six.

Congratulations, now you understand how circumstances can arise.

7. Raising & balancing consciousness. (added) At this point, I also would recommend slowly adding in the Middle Pillar Ritual at this point. Once a week, then twice, then daily. The idea is to start raising your awareness. It’s very important to balance this with the groundedness meditation I previously mentioned.

Congratulations, you’re developing perspective on circumstances.

8. Start thinking about your True Will. Your understanding of astrology will come in handy now. Jason Louv offers a course on this, which is excellent.

Congratulations, now you know how you want to change circumstances.

9. Holy Guardian Angel ordeal. By now you should at least have a couple of years into your studies. I really can’t recommend this enough, but I probably wouldn’t recommend this for someone who hasn’t yet had their Saturn return. Knowledge and Conversation of your Holy Guardian Angel is the first great feat of the Western magickian, according to Crowley. I recommend the Abramelin operation (I was told by my HGA to forego the demon-binding portion of the operation, as was James Eshelman). It is an ordeal, and should only be undertaken when you can. Modify it as you can for your circumstances: the original presumed so much wealth but a sincere effort to have the key aspects of the ritual (isolation, prayer, etc.) is vital. Congratulations, now you have an ally in reaching towards your true nature.

10. Enochian. Having done all of this work, you might decide to take up Enochian. It’s complicated. It’s a lot of work. But it’s worth it, soooo worth it. I’ve written before that I consider it the key to plugging in to the great Western and Eastern accomplishments (such as a Chokmah initiation and the rainbow body–a Tibetan Buddhism arising–respectively). Congratulations, you are now on the path to reaching your true nature.

You may be surprised that I have left off this list other things such as talismans (I do them, but these are not necessary), alien contact, past-life regression, and so many others. I just don’t think that they are necessary, and may even side-track from paths to some core insights. I’m willing to change my mind on this, and I’ll let you know if I do.

Enjoy!

Simple Shortcut When Ascending the Tree of Life

There are shortcuts to things in life, though shortcuts are not always the best or cleanest way to get things done. Yet when you’re starting from a low point and want to get to a higher point, rather than practicing the same old techniques in drudgery until the slow accretion of effort pays off years later with achievement, or its opposite of a shortcut to the trophy that is devoid of mastery, it’s probably better to use both practice and the occasional shortcut to make your empowerment work faster.

The ascension of the Kabbalistic Tree of Life is the purpose of many magickal orders. While I have no grand techniques for preparation for initiation, and initiation itself (the LBRP or the Abramelin Operation still work as they should!), I have an “all-of-the-above” approach to magick, and believe that cross-pollination has interaction effects. Hence, the shortcut: sigils.

Sure, you may already know about sigils, but why not create a sigil to enable old-fashioned initiation? Sometimes we don’t think to put “new wine into old wineskins,” but we do it all the time, we just don’t think of it that way. Meditation is used in concert with being a good person, magick is used in concert with meditation, and sigil magick can be used in concert with Tree-of-Life magick.

The technique itself is rather simple: create a sigil with the intent along the lines of “I initiate into [name of sephirah, e.g., Yesod].” Charge it, don’t obsess about it, then continue going about your normal efforts to initiate into that same sephirah. What you should find (as I did) is that new techniques to initiate into a sephirah appear, or that your current efforts accelerate. I myself used sigils to assist with initiation into Binah, Chokmah, & Kether.

Get creative and clear with your intent, and don’t be afraid to iterate: “I deepen my initiation into [name of sephirah]” and “I complete my initiation into [name of sephirah]” are wise additional sigils to fire off after you surmise that you have succeeded in your initiation into a given sephirah. You must still do the hard work, but the hard work should pay off more quickly.

Enjoy!

Practical Chokmah ritual work

One of the great efforts put forth in recent years is Scott Stenwick’s initiation system into all sephiroth and veils of the Tree of Life. It represents an excellent structure for initiation, and nicely complements his planetary work series on astrological magick. One of the things that a fellow magick.me student’s question (about Lon DuQuette’s Chicken Qabalah) inspired in me is whether or not a practical ritual could be done at the sephirothic level.

The answer is yes. Sephiroth are ruled by planets, after all, but this is not to say that they are ruled in the astrological sense of planetary domicile (wherein the planet is stronger due to zodiacal sign placement), but rather of the sephiroth brought to completeness. Hence, the pleasure or joy of Victory is symbolized by Venus ruling Netzach, and the Understanding of the nature of reality is brought to completeness by acceding to its limitations (i.e., its nature), symbolized by Saturn ruling Binah.

What exactly is accomplished by this? I believe that on some level, the magician is attempting to “correct” the current sephiroth-energetic balance of the universe. Attempts to bring sephiric energy have been done before; Jason Louv, in John Dee and the Empire of Angels, goes into detail about Jack Parsons’ attempt to instill this supernal feminine energy into the world via his Babalon Working. My guess is that for most hermetic magicians who would be interested in a sephiric working, the goal of such working would be to bring Tiphareth energy into the world, in accord with Crowley’s law of Thelema. Crowley himself also elaborated a ritual to bring about the energy of the Aeon of Horus, Liber V vel Reguli (which may have been an attempt to bring in the energy of Geburah, but this seems too broad of an oversimplification). I haven’t worked this ritual because I haven’t fully committed to Thelema, though I recognize it as a viable and important Law: I just prefer my own.

I think one could construct rituals for all of the sephiroth below Kether (I’m not yet sure how one would go about this sephira, but I’m open to suggestions!); Stenwick lays out the components of both planetary and sephirothic invocations; I would simply combine his sephirothic hexagrams, god names, and archangel names with the planetary intelligence and spirit of the planet that rules this sephiroth.

What inspired this post, however, was the question of what the planetary intelligence and spirit would be for Chokmah, and the answer seems to me to be to use the sephirothic invocation that Stenwick lays out, then to simply call on Archangel Ratziel, and rather than the next step of calling a planetary spirit and an intelligence, to instead call on all twelve of the zodiacal angels (see Col. CXLII in Liber 777 or Col. 412 in 776 1/2 (they differ in that Aries & Aquarius are reversed in 777, which Eshelman corrects). One could call each angel twice (to obtain the twoness of Chokmah), or the angel and its assistant (776 1/2, Cols. 412 & 413), or call on the Day & Night triplicity lords (776 1/2, Cols. 414). Further reading on Stenwick’s essay on evoking zodiacal angels is here.

I haven’t tried this but I may do so for my own law later this week and determine whether I see more effects of this law afterward: I will keep you posted.

Update: I did a ritual based on this and rather than try to evangelize, I simply made an Enochian prayer that those who are to hear my law would in fact do so in God’s time and measure. In other words, a prayer that God’s will be done, or put another way, a conscious moving with Universe rather than against It.

Planets ruling Sephiroth on the Tree of Life

Perhaps it’s Uranus transiting over my natal sun right now that’s inspiring me to write a bit about the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. For beginners, I’ll just mention that the Tree of Life is an interesting model of consciousness. Based on the mythical tree in the book of Genesis (from which one could eat and live forever), the Kabbalistic Tree of Life (often abbreviated as ToL) metaphorically explains how divine energy can move from the heavenly to the earthly.

Most sephiroth on the ToL are considered to be ruled by celestial aspects or by the elements; the ten sephiroth, or spheres (i.e., of consciousness/spiritual states) on the ToL and their respective rulers are:

  1. Kether, “The Crown”
  2. Chokmah, “Wisdom,” ruled by the Zodiac
  3. Binah, “Understanding,” ruled by Saturn
    (Da’ath, “Knowledge,” is considered to be a false sephirah; in some traditions it’s also thought to be all sephiroth at once, though I find this unhelpful and somewhat incorrect)
  4. Chesed, “Mercy,” ruled by Jupiter
  5. Geburah, “Strength,” ruled by Mars
  6. Tiphareth, “Beauty,” ruled by the Sun
  7. Netzach, “Victory,” ruled by Venus
  8. Hod, “Splendo(u)r,” ruled by Mercury
  9. Yesod, “Foundation,” ruled by the Moon
  10. Malkuth, “Kingdom,” ruled by the four elements

The rulership of these sephiroth differ from the astrological essential dignity of domicile, which holds that planets have greatest effectiveness in zodiacal sign (e.g., Aries, Taurus, etc.): the Sun is strongest in the royal sign of Leo, the Moon in the nurturing sign of Cancer, etc. There are further essential dignities including

Sephirothic rulership, however, is less about what brings the planet strength, but rather what brings the sephiroth completeness. The Splendor of all the possibilities of form to be made in the physical world is brought to completion by Mercury, which can flow from idea to idea, configuration to configuration. The Triumph of any given form, moreover, is brought to completeness when it is in fact a pleasurable one (for what is the point in Victory without the thrill?).

One consideration is whether to re-assign the planets Uranus, Neptune, or Pluto to the final two sephiroth. From personal experience of the higher sephiroth, my judgment is not to do so. Uranus, the planet some folks consider to rule Chokmah, is commonly considered among astrologers as a “wild card” planet and a rebellious planet. My experience of Chokmah (“Wisdom”) is that it provides an individual insight into an optimal approach to reality. Wisdom is an optimal means to govern one’s life because it is an incorporation of an undeniable aspect of nature, which can be succinctly declared in a Law. Rebellious Uranus doesn’t seem to fit this idea, though one could argue that the newly declared Law is a necessary reflection of a previously unseen aspect of reality.

Nonetheless, more fundamental to my judgment is the contrast between Binah (“Understanding”), ruled by Saturn, the greater malefic and Lord of Time, and Chokmah. Binah occupies the top of the pillar of Severity on the ToL, while Chokmah occupies the top of the pillar of Mercy (ascending the Middle Pillar of Mildness is often considered a standard goal of the Kabbalah). Saturn reflects the need for discipline and patience, and brings Binah (often described as all possibilities and thus bringing the initiate the Vision of Sorrow) to completeness by imposing its cold order and a logical connectivity of these possible states into a coherent flow (eliminating–bringing death!–to nearly all of them!). If feminine Binah is ruled by the Lord of Time, then masculine and protruding Chokmah, it follows, should be ruled by Space itself. Space and time being essential aspects of the universe, the Zodiac seems like the superior choice of ruler.

What rules Kether, the Crown? As you might guess, I don’t believe it is ruled by either Neptune or Pluto. My argument is that it lacks formal rulership, except that it is existence itself, which does have limits. Therefore, I would argue that perception rules Kether–reality perceives itself, no matter what, and therefore perhaps the best way to put it is that the Divine rules it, for the Divine is the Complete Perceiver, and initiates into Kether may partake of the perception of the Divine.

Some scholars suggest that the Biblical Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil are the same tree. Eating of the Crown this Tree, I can tell you that the answer is yes: as I put it when first scrying the Enochian Aethyr of LIL: “This is the End of Death.”

Light-Bridges

Light (and stimuli across the sense modalities) is the heritage of all beings. Light crosses space in distances both vast and miniscule, and illuminates qualia, providing Understanding: it is that most special of matter that illuminates all other matter, and thereby ultimately unites all matter. Light radiates in all directions as spokes from a center, and bends across spacetime. Yet beings themselves also move in spacetime: o! how can the Center be returned to?

Intriguingly, ordinary matter does not always evoke its luminous state. Finding no other way to experience itself, even the most intelligent of matter, human beings, Homo Sapiens (the “same wise”!), may make the sin (error) of intellect regarding the flesh, believing themselves to be object alone, utterly subject (ah, another irony!) to the universe, with no other goals than to enact evolutionary imperatives. Such misapprehension can be construed as a corollary to the view of “Universe and Self are separate.”

This error can be overcome by finding the means to return to luminosity: even the hardest of sciences, physics, has cracked open doors which have let light into our matter. In the mundane realm, ordinary matter may be combined with specific frequencies of light in the case of polaritons (which may be more rightly considered light and ordinary matter in reconciliation), in a case in which metaphors about finding the appropriate vibrational frequency for another are quite literal. More generally, light itself carries with it momentum mass which thereby affects ordinary matter.

The luminous nature of reality cannot be ignored. Ultimately, light reveals and provides direction: Wisdom.

It falls upon those of Sensitivity and Understanding to determine what to do next. Minds of matter are not something to be battered or molded or otherwise dominated and done violence to. No: for matter has within it the sacred. It is the substrate of the mind of God, and at the heart of all matter is the heart of God. Turning your mind toward the revelation of your heart is a grand step, and learning how to align one’s heart with the Heart of God is another grand step indeed. To do so, one must learn to build bridges of light to align with this Heart, and therefore to build bridges of light from one’s own heart to the hearts of others.

Children of earth, of humanity, of God: you shall build your light-bridges into the universe. You shall cross the gulfs, large and small, which you border. In so doing, you shall better know the myriad ways that All Is One; in so doing, you shall better know your center, all centers, and the Center; in so doing, you shall better know all qualia; and in so doing, you shall increase the light in the spirit of PRIAZIOR, making robust and resplendent these light-bridges that span the span of the Heart of the Highest Divine.

Lux materia in spatium coniungit, ergo aedificare pontibus lucis.

Light unites matter in space, therefore build bridges of light.

Enochian initiation into Chokmah, Kether, Ain Soph Aur, & Ain Soph

Jason Louv contends that Enochian is a means to initiate into the Kabbalistic sephirah (sphere of consciousness) of Binah. The final seven Aethyrs, he argues, reveal the final to sephiroth of Chokmah and Kether, but these lock up if one has not initiated into these sephiroth. In my experience, this is absolutely true.

It is possible to request the Enochian angels show you how to initiate into these sephiroth and thus enable full visions when you scry the last seven Aethyrs. Assuming you have successfully scried through ZID, you should have begun the initiation into Binah and thus be ready for the following sephiroth. The process is long, but it is started very simply. What you do is make the normal call to the Aethyrs (“MADRIAX DSPRAF ___,” where the blank is filled in with the name of the Aethyr) and then substitute the Enochian word for the name of the sephirah (rather than the name of the Aethyr).

So, to initiate into Chokmah, you would use the word for “the secret wisdom,” ANANAEL. After making the call, follow the instructions of the angels and you will begin the initiation process. The same can be done for Kether (the highest sephiroth) as well as Ain Soph Aur and Ain Soph. I have tested this technique on three of the following four (once again, do not make this call until you have successfully scried through ZID–that itself should be challenge enough):

Chokmah (Wisdom): ANANAEL (Secret Wisdom).

Kether (Crown): MOMAO (Crown)

Ain Soph Aur (Limitless Light): MAOFFAS OLPIRT (Measureless Light)

Ain Soph (No Limit): MAOFFAS (Measureless[ness]).