Shri Gurudev Mahendranath
The Alchemagick of One’s Guardian Angel
Few today realize or appreciate the magick of London. Those who seek to penetrate the occult aspects of life tend to think much in terms of Glastonbury, Stonehenge and King Arthur’s Magickal Kingdom. Some take their thoughts even further to the Sphinx, the Great Pyramid and onwards to the Far East. Few think of London as a Magickal center or a location of great occult power.
Centuries ago there was a great Druid center on the north bank of the Thames. The town was called Cockaigne and this is the name still in use today as a place of pleasure and enjoyment, for as such it must have appeared to the people of the remoter countryside who came to attend the Druid festivals. Another survival of the ancient name is in the word Cockney, which though often applied only to the downtrodden denizens of the great capital, originally meant one born in the city area of only one square mile or born within the sound of Bow Bells.
The conquering Romans changed the name to Londinium, and most probably, destroyed as much of the Druid culture as possible. London has always been a fabulous city and retained some mystic charm. It has its own long record of magicians and alchemists and many of those from abroad, flourished in London. Some like Bruno and Cagliostro left the sanctuary of London to go to their deaths.
In the modern occult world London groups and societies flourished, and the Order of the Golden Dawn saw its best days in the capital, until our Magus joined its ranks, and the decay was rapid. This was inevitable because it retained, or adopted, so much Judaeo-Christian background and Aleister was basically from the Western Tradition.
The Order of the Golden Dawn was a landmark in the ‘occult revival’, which had begun with Levi. It also made available an English translation of The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage. Crowley read this book and digested its contents. The themes are very ancient and the text sought to guide one in the first important initiation of any lone magician – to establish contact with his or her Guardian Angel. The purpose of this tractate is to relate experiences and methods which have actually been successfully used to make this contact. Yet it must ever be remembered that the personal experiences and experiments of any magician are generally unique and rarely, if ever, identical with those of others. For this reason they are presented as a guide to reveal the principles involved and less importance is attached to details.
Aleister Crowley was a born magician, yet the greatest and most important aspect of his work was to successfully contact his own Guardian. I first met the Magus in the High Court in Chancery Lane where his unfortunate court action against Nina Hamnett took place in the early thirties. The case began as a claim for libel damages against Mrs. Hamnett but quickly developed into a trial of Aleister Crowley. I sat throughout the court proceedings and as a young man had my first lesson in British justice and how easily it could turn round and display its rear end. The glory of the Magus had passed but the magickal spirit and wisdom were still there. A very serious miscalculation had been made and because of his basic ideals he sought publicity to make the Work more widespread. But he had to learn that the publicity of the gutter press only threw up the sort of things one expects to find in any gutter. Crowley thought in terms of a New Aeon but Fleet Street was out to disprove it.
I often contemplated on the story of Aiwass, the personal Guardian and the inspiration of The Book of the Law. The Magus often visited me in a little flatlet I had on the King’s Road front at Brighton. He frequently came down from London and stayed at the Ship Hotel. One afternoon I put to him the question, ‘Where is Aiwass now?’ Crowley looked at me and gave his head a minute shake and then spread his arms with upturned palms as if to say, ‘Where?’ or even ‘God knows!’ Then he spoke, ‘I think the fault is mine.’
I was much impressed by these sad moments and the look of dejection I witnessed. Yet it made me realize that the factor which had caused his rise had been neglected in his fall. In spite of all this, Crowley was still able to help me much in my own Work, just as people are being inspired and encouraged by his writings now he has passed on.
During my childhood I had strange experiences. Our house in London had a nice garden and little freaky spots to play and hide. I was, by no means, the only inhabitant. I soon found it was also populated by goblins, fairies, gnomes, trolls, pixies and elves. Sometimes visible and sometimes invisible. I never liked mechanical toys and how could they fit into this enchanted garden?
At some time in this juvenile history, a strange lady used to appear. She was tall, fair haired and beautiful. I would suddenly notice she was there and just as suddenly she would disappear. We spoke in a way I could not understand for it was a conversation based on our thoughts and not on normal speech. Whenever anybody came into the garden she would vanish. As time passed I began to see and realize that this was perhaps a lady but often I had the strong impression of a beautiful man. Then I began to see that this lovely visitor was neither male nor female and yet a combination of both. As the contact became more stable I used to call the spirit by the name Pantoen. Only in the last decades did I realize this could be converted by notarikon to mean En To Pan, which means ‘All Is One’.
As I grew older my life grew more complicated and I developed an inclination to study, and not always respectable or conventional subjects. When in the early thirties I met the Magus, I related these early experiences to him and he responded benevolently and with much encouragement. He related his own experiences and his contact with Aiwass in Egypt.
Not wishing to create a wrong or misleading impression, I must state that I was never a member of any occult group or society. At this time and onwards I do not think the British section of the O.T.O. ever met or wanted to meet. The Abbey of Thelema and other events in his life had long passed away.
The Mage invited me to visit him in his Jermyn Street flat and these visits became more and more numerous. The press which had slandered him at every opportunity never once expressed any of his ideals or teachings. Thus when I had opportunities to meet him he revealed a vast store of knowledge on a variety of subjects. I not only realized that the much libeled Aleister Crowley was probably the most far out and advanced thinker at the time, but as well as being a natural born magician, he possessed a knowledge of both Yoga and The I Ching which was superior to that of any other European.
During our conversations in London he reached a conclusion and advised me to seek more knowledge of Yoga and the I Ching and these, he felt, would help people to contact their Guardian Spirit more easily. In relation to higher Yoga his judgement was sound for meditation is undoubtedly an important key. With the I Ching the position still needs more understanding but I do think it may be there. So far there is still more work to be done even though I studied the subject with a Chinese Master in Malaysia. But the oracle section is still a valuable form of contact which cannot be ignored. There is a system of yoga taught in the I Ching which still needs more experiment.
In spite of all the work and writings of the Master we are still waiting to expand. Here in India I have often mused on my meetings with Aleister Crowley. His advice for me to go to India was a path blocked by many obstructions. He estimated I would need a minimum of 1,000 British pounds. That was the greatest obstacle. In actual fact I did not arrive in India until July of 1953 (Guru Purnima) and not a single penny or new penny in my bag. I think this was all the work of my Guardian Spirit. I did not arrive until I was ready for India and my penniless arrival was the right and correct way. There are a thousand wonders to relate but these must wait for a later occasion.
The problem of the Guardian Spirit contact was solved by some of the secret teachings of the Adinath sect into which I was first initiated. These teachings are based on the Yogi or Natha sitting on a meditation seat inside a circle. From the circle he creates or rearranges energy to form a cone. Mind projections sent outside of this cone are classified as expansion, while those drawn in are called absorption. Either a mixture of the two or even independently the Yogi-Natha can practice projection. This is identical to the will projection or direction of the Cult of Thelema as well as being the vital factor on which magick much depends.
The concept of an individual Guardian Spirit is not only ancient but is accepted in practically all religions. The real word for this Guardian Spirit is the Latin ‘Daemon‘ or the Greek ‘Daimon‘, but in Christian thought and the Anglicized form of Demon, the meaning has been reduced to imply an evil spirit. This transformation only follows the Christian custom of converting all Pagan deities and concepts into devils and evil desires. In point of fact a demon can only be bad when the mind conceives it as being so. Man himself is still the most dangerous creature of the three planes. Nor is it easy to imagine a deity who terrorized his followers more evilly than did Jehovah.
The Greek Pagans thought of a Daimon as a lesser god or a subordinate deity which could also be the spirit or genius dwelling in a place or shrine or as the personal attendant spirit of an individual. In English we would write it as god with a small ‘g’. This dynamic concept flourished in the ancient world. There were many references to this individual spirit inspiration when men walked and talked with the gods. As civilization began to develop, or should we say fester, men lost their contact with their spirit guides and protectors to rely more and more on their own faulty reasoning and knowledge. In magick we believe that everybody has an individual Guardian Spirit and it may also be true for animals. In childhood the contact is generally there and manifest but parents who have forgotten the delightful fantasy world of their own childhood, too often scold the child or want to take it to a psychiatrist for treatment.
I still think that humans can recover the beautiful and protecting influence of their Guardian. But to do this one must first believe in the existence of the guardian and be prepared to do something towards freeing themselves from the brainwashing and muddy mind conditioning of society and remove completely all those inhibitions and indoctrinations which block the path. The more natural, free, and uninhibited you can become the easier the task will be. This path is not for artificial people. This is not a separate segment of the magickal life since this turn about freedom from inhibitions and society moral conditioning is essential in yoga, magick and spiritual life and attainment on all levels, as well as being the sine qua non for human happiness. The highest path of Indian and Tibetan Yoga is the Vama Marg of Tantrika. Like our own English world of faery it teaches attainment by the complete reversal-inversion of society morality, taboos and relationships.
THE SHADOW RITE OF THE PRIEST-KINGS
I live in a fantastic world and perform fantastic experiments
Because of this I can point the way but the goal is for you to find.
This is the sacred Shadow Rite of the Priest-Kings who guard us.
Thus I have designated the Guardian Spirit with a new title.
I call him Priest for he is Lord of my rites and rituals.
I call him King because he rules my life with his guidance.
The rite is neither the sun or the moon but in between
It is neither in the darkness nor in the rays of brightness.
It is in the shadow and the in-between world I must enter.
I have selected a place as my meditation Zonule
And prepared a mat which is called the Dragon Seat
For only a real dragon will dare to do this work.
Around the Dragon Seat there is the Magick Circle
Where none but true Priest-Kings will dare to enter.
Before the Dragon Seat I place the ritual substances
As the symbols of Earth, Air, Fire and Water.
For when the four mundane elements are assembled,
The fifth element, the Will, becomes more powerful.
For the mind is the matrix of the fifth dimension.
I am naked because this is my form of submission
I take my place upon the Dragon Seat to pray
That as a Priest you do perform this supreme ritual;
That as a King you do command and grant success.
Now in the silence, by power of breath and Will.
Let this place become one of success and unity.
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law!
The practical directions related to the Umbra Zonule could go on endlessly since the entire universe is based on the interplay of correspondences. The ritual substances are classified as the five elements of which our world is composed. These are earth, air, fire, water and mind. When the four mundane elements are assembled the fifth element attains to its fullest power. Here we mean power as expressing itself as Will. The five elements are found in all religions and schools and symbolized in Tantrika as the Five Things. The four mundane elements are represented by the substances of universal worship:
Earth: earth, sand, stone, ashes or metals. These may be present in the form of metal or earthenware bowls, braziers or dishes. Foods are or can be used as symbolic products of the Earth, Air, Fire and Water as all of these elements produce when in combination, the fresh vegetables and fruits of life. However, food substances need not appear in a rite used for meditation.
Air: although air is always present, even if in a polluted form, it is symbolized, or made tangible in the rite in the form of smoke or incense.
Fire: fire is represented by candles, oil lamps or naked flame, or only a fiery glow in a charcoal broiler. A charcoal glow should only be used in a room which is well ventilated as it conjures up the demon CO. (Known is esoteric circles as Carbon Monox Hide).
Water: water should be placed in a flask, flagon or dish. It may not be used but it should be present. At the conclusion of a rite the water which has become charged with vibrations can be used on other occasions.
Nothing which has been written should be regarded as fixed or final ideas. It is better that every experimenter adapts the fundamentals to suit their own fantasy and imagination. In the final analysis, nothing is really needed in Magick other than the Will of the Magician. But in practice, because of inexperience it is better to surround oneself with the patterns, substances and paraphernalia which encourage the imagination, build up fantasy and power and conduce to success in the rite.
I have used the word Umbra Zonule for special reasons. Since for a single person only a small area on the ground or floor is required, I use the word zonule, which means a small zone or area. If other people, who must be in perfectly harmonious relationships and also uninhibited, are present in the experiments, a larger circle must be used and these participants will sit around, inside it. In this way the Umbra Zonule is excellent for family or group work. The word umbra (Latin) means ‘shadow’ or ‘a shade’. In its archaic meaning as being something or some entity which accompanies a person or thing, therefore, as a Guardian Spirit is with someone. The ancient world also saw the Umbra as being an attendant phantom, spirit or shadowy apparition and as a spirit or shade being present but not in visible or material form. From this it will be seen that umbra is fully related to our concept of a guardian god or spirit. I always avoid the word angel for although not bad in itself, it has Judaeo-Christian associations which do not mean the same and can mislead the experimenter. The Umbra or Spirit in magick is neither good nor bad, for people themselves live or deny their true natures. The manifold spirit values of the Cosmos can be tabulated as follows, and expressed in terms of occult lore:
1 – The individual Guardian Spirit or Umbra.
2 – The household or family spirits or gods.
3 – The Spirit of a tribe or community.
4 – The spirits of friends or ancestors.
5 – The spirits of an area but unrelated to us (one or more of these can be a national or area deity).
6 – The higher evolved Guardian Spirits of this planet.
7 – Solar and planetary gods and goddesses.
8 – The Supreme Spirit of the Solar System.
9 – The Supreme Ruler of the Galaxy
10- The Absolute Ruler of the Universe or Cosmos.
This list is a basic presentation of what was universally accepted in all religious patterns of the ancient Pagan world.
In all magick laboratory work and experiment a new and higher level of thinking is essential for success. If we face magick with the conditioning and inhibitions of the past we are doomed to failure. All political, economic, social, religious, educational patterns of life in any country should culminate only in human happiness. If this is not attained, then nothing is gained. If the goals of happiness were always kept in mind we would not see the corruption, frustration and degradation which most religion, politics and education produce. But human beings need not only high ideas but a spirit force which will guide and direct them towards those ideas. Once we see the worthless patterns of the past we can begin to work for a better inspired future of new patterns, new morals and a new joy and happiness. The Umbra Zonule is not meant only for ascetics, monks and nuns. You will probably encounter many surprises and find that the spirit world is more erotic than our own, and sexual energy in many forms helps in the contact and gives the power for future work.
There is a final thought to add to this section. If those who experiment with the Umbra Zonule would report, the results and experiences may help others
THE CODICILLARIES OF THE MAGICK TRACTATE
1. Paean of The Magick City: Great scenes and work have been done in the expansive city of Londinium. It is a sacred place and the miracles and wonder are based on its remarkable history. It has always been one of the most powerful energy centers of the world. It has been the Cauldron wherein races and people have met and digested into its solvency. Thus it has been the symbol of a material Alkahest, a cosmic solvent in which the Gnosis, Art and Passion have been sublimated. It is the city of the Masters and the city of the slaves, the city of ecstasy and joy and also of blood and tears. When the Masters are consolidated and the slaves ready to follow, the Aquarian Aeon of the New Life will be established. All the world will come to pay homage for it is the City of the Miracle and the Shrine of the Cosmos. It is Cockaigne!
Beneath the subsoil of the Magick City
Is the Yoni Shrine of the White Goddess;
For throughout the ancient land of Britannia
Cockaigne is the energy center par excellence.
The Celtic Tribals of the Iceni are still
The Guardian Spirits of the Magick City
Soon to be the Spirit Guides of our people
To make us Cosmic Tribals of the New Aeon
When Guardians and Magicians of the New Aeon
Do here assemble within the Great Circle,
The True Masters will become visible to all
And the slaves will know and behold them
To see in them the real path of salvation.
Thus will the Masters will an era of justice;
Thus will the slaves serve and obey them;
For the True Will of all mankind is this –
To work the Magick Will of the Cosmos
That all will know joy and enjoyment
Revert to the ways of the Natural Law
That nothing shall stand in the way of happiness.
The corruptions and defilements will vanish
And our true way of life shall be restored.
The New Aeon shall begin in the Magick City
And the Masters will assemble and consolidate.
Thus the Londinium Strain will be of those
Fit as Magicians to lead the world Awake!
There will be worked great miracles of wonder
And its power will penetrate even the dark places
Beyond the seas, the world, and into the plenum,
Proclaiming the law – Do what thou wilt !
And the Magick Rite of real perfection.
2. New Ways, New People, New Age:
I bow to the universal goddess Trivia
For mankind has now reached the crossroads.
Who is now asleep and who is Awake
To know the path which we should take?
Today we are living in an expansive magickal age of science, discovery and fantasy. Test tubes are overflowing with imagination. Men no longer investigate against the barriers of the impossible nor the delusion that science can reach a point of cessation or stagnation. But the real mystery of today is not in science but in the backwardness of Man! While science moves, mankind is still floundering and suffering from morals which are centuries out of date. One questions the value of a scientific progress when emotional progress and human joy and happiness have not kept pace with it. Advanced physics has to keep company with a society whose rules were dictated by a feeble minded deity. Why is it that the scientist can penetrate his own fantastic world while the human individual is brainwashed and conditioned to accept moral standards and sex relationships which have the flavor of hypocrisy as well as frustration? Nobody can be normal if the standards of life are subnormal. There has been some slight awakening but there is also the ever present danger that someone may try to restore the age of backwardness.
For the slaves there must be slave laws but the Masters who are free should not be expected to conform to them. One becomes a Master on the basis of understanding but slaves remain in bondage because of their ignorance. Thus people are only born but whether to be Master or slave depends on oneself. Slaves remain the plankton, people who float on the ocean of life. It is their destiny to drift through life. They are the gardeners producing only weeds and who achieve nothing of any worth. For the slave there is only hope for tomorrow but for the Master it must be full life for today. Magicians can never be vast in numbers but there is no reason why they should not have a vast following. Thus the service and support of the magicians becomes the way of life of the slaves.
3. Laboratory Work In The Umbra Zonule ‑ The Preliminary Rites: The first hours within the Zonule should be devoted to the consecration by prayer, incantation or mantra of the Dragon Seat and the magick circle. These are both for protection. If the magic circle is not painted or traced on the floor with chalk or other powders, it may be traced with a wand or stick. In this case it will be invisible but will still need to be consecrated. After practice the circle can be traced only with the Will while seated on the Dragon Seat. Relax; do not be in a hurry.
At other parts of the day you should think about the Guardian and help to build up a mental relationship. This will be conscious and not the subconscious relationship which is essential for contact. Read suitable and related literature if it is available. Do not try to create preconceived ideas which will confuse the experiments. Many people in India, as well as other countries practice meditation and think they have contacted a God or Goddess but usually it is their own Guardian. They start with conditioned ideas. In reality all deities are Guardian Spirits but some are elevated well above the human sphere and less able to guide and help us in our daily life and magickal work. What we are really seeking is the individual Guardian Spirit intimately associated with us from birth to death.
Sitting quiet is the best spiritual exercise but purposeful meditation and concentration will speed up the process and help us to use and direct the Will, and do so with the required aspects of intensity. Therefore it is said:
Intensity, Stability, Quiet, Determination and
Expectancy are the qualities for meditation.
To attain calmness a simple form of in and out breathing will help. The in and out breaths are counted one to seven then repeated again and again. Do not make any obstacles by constructing mental puzzles and problems. This quiet sitting has its own value to calm the mind and is especially helpful for tired, confused or worried people. This is apart from the goal of contacting the Guardian Spirit. It must be obvious that the contact with another world or a different plane structure can only be done if and when the mind is in a condition to be receptive. Thus the process of calming the mind and stopping the normal confused processes is an essential condition for all magickal operations and spiritual awareness, contact and attainment on all levels. In this way also, the Dragon Seat is the doorway to a new, different and expansive world and can be the laboratory-workshop of every other aspect of Magickal Life. Such a simple system and yet a certain escape from the triviality and the meaningless routines of everyday life. We can draw into the Zonule or project out. This means the Will power to influence the visible natural phenomena of disease, growth, events, happenings, climate and danger; thus making for safety and more advantageous living. Then also the Will power to contact the invisible spirit-ethereal world of demigods, deities, spirits, elementals, cosmic powers and ancestors as well as the ability to combat and overcome evil influence and anti-vibes.
Meditation is incredibly simple but a separate tractate is being prepared to explain everything in the simplest possible language and much needs to be said to overcome current illusions which have grown up in the West and now create difficulties. Perhaps the most important thing at this stage is to recognize with reverence and humility that this is a wonder world of ancient wisdom, magick and traditions. As its secrets are unfolded to you, you become the custodian of these traditions and this ageless wisdom. As treasures of the Cosmos they must be guarded and used with care.
We raise the Mind beyond everyday triviality
By steady contemplation of the miraculous,
The laws of nature and free-life expressions,
For this cult of magick is a world of miracles.
Awake to the world but asleep to Reality
This is the meaningless life of most people:
The real problem of life is not its misery,
But the wasteful boredom and purposeless routines.
4. Yantras, Diagrams and Patterns: Work in the Umbra Zonule can also take the form of a variety of experiments. These can be things you have already been taught or work you have long wanted to undertake. They should, of course, be related to the Work. Apart and aside from periods spent in meditation with the eyes closed you can profitably use diagrams and pictures for concentrating the mind and expanding the imagination. An alternative is to keep a drawing pad and suitable pen. With these you can draw your own fantastic diagrams and expressions. Much of the structure of these diagrams will come from the subconscious but do not be too surprised if your Guardian Spirit also takes a hand in their formation. Some of the artistic or monstrous productions will be worth preserving in your own magickal records and some can be used again and again. Have a good pen with broad nib as you will be working in half-light.
5. The I Ching Ray Projector: There are profound depths to The I Ching which will be dealt with later. Few people in the Western world have fully grasped the true significance of the fantastic characters who gave it formation and its remarkable relationships with our own Higher Magick. It can be considered as something in the nature of a Cosmic Revelation when in 1951 this book was presented to the English speaking world and translated from the slightly earlier German edition. For the moment it can be regarded solely as an oracle and used also as a medium for communication between yourself and the Guardian Spirit. The book itself points out to us that spirit forces cannot always give us direct expressions of their Will and must do so by means of an oracle. In magickal work with the I Ching use only the full edition of the translation by Richard Wilhelm as other shorter parlor game editions are useless for our purpose. I myself received my first instruction on the I Ching from Aleister Crowley. At that time (early thirties) only the James Legge edition was available.
6. Sham-Shell Society: An entry into the world of Magick requires a complete reorientation of thinking and even patterns of living. The most important thing which has to be realized is that one’s education and training for work or profession, religion and morals etc. are all framed with the intention of fitting one into the social rat race. Even laws are still much based on Judaeo-Christian morals and teachings. Religious intolerance has much relaxed in recent years and the power of the Church is only a ghost of its former self but old customs die hard and most ‘morality’, especially with parents and the older generations is based on these outdated ideas. The main requirement of an individual expanding on to a higher level is to fully realize and understand how much we have been conditioned. At any time, especially in a thoughtless moment, there is danger of us reverting to this conditioned thinking. Too many people think their thoughts and decisions are their own and never realize how much society has planted seeds in our minds. Most of Crowley’s work took place in a hideous society, much worse than it is today. The gutter press, always waiting to concoct some dirt or print some new Crowley sensation were the bastions, upholders and defenders of the British Judaeo-Christian way of life. Those, like A.C., who revolted against their phony morals and sham-shell society were constant targets. A man who was not a Christian must be exposed and the public must be warned against someone who did not ‘toe the line.’
When the mind awakens, we become Aware
That we have been brainwashed and conditioned
From our very birth to accept society,
Its morals, conventions, system and ideas,
Its pattern of behavior and stupid nationalism,
Its caste system of unfair social standards,
The rule of right, privilege and preference,
Of happiness as the exclusive right of the few
And poverty, servitude and misery for most.
None of these established patterns of society
Can give expansion to any individual
They are worthless concepts for magickal life
And those who seek the Cosmos must reject them.
7. The Spirit-Man Crystallisation: In Magic, man is used as a collective noun and means both men and women, all human beings. When one enters on a new aeon of life it may not result in physical changes which are obvious to other people. Given time it must, for the Master has a different bearing than a slave. The immediate changes are on the mental level and these can sometimes be disturbing to the normal pattern of living. But advancement of the mind usually takes care of the body in many advantageous ways. It is only if the moral outlook fails to broaden that we face disadvantages.
In some places the pseudo-morals are breaking down while in other areas they seem to solidify. We have no better example of the latter than in India where Western uptight morals have been readily accepted without realizing that Western morals are basically Christian. So there is a clash and increasing frustration which spreads to lower standards on all levels. When we are in doubt we have not very far to look. We compare only with Nature and Natural Law and find the true standards. What Nature has given, man should accept. It is the absurd old story of a deluded god creating Adam and Eve and giving them operative sexual organs which he did not intend them to use. The man and the woman proved to be more intelligent than their feeble-minded god.
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