Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
We shall now instruct you in the magical formulae and rituals of the Middle Pillar. First we shall communicate information regarding the formulae of the Middle Pillar; then shall we impart information regarding the Golden Dawn Middle Pillar Exercise, which is, to all intents and purposes, a Magical Ritual of Self-Initiation. That is, it is a magical method of commencing the subtle and inevitable process of uniting human consciousness with the divine consciousness, which is symbolized universally by the Light. In other words, it is a dynamic method of the Great Work, and it is worthy of vast attention from those who are truly serious about engaging themselves in the Great Work.
The Middle Pillar Exercise is a proper magical method of commencing the process of making contact with the Light and bringing it into conscious manifestation. But this Light of which we speak has naught to do with the mushy metaphysical mumbo-jumbo prattled and preached by the credulous critters of the so-called Metaphysical or New Age movements. Rather is it a metaphorical symbol for the Holy Guardian Angel or one’s Central Self so often symbolized by the Lord of the Solar System, the Sun. It is L.V.X., the Light of the Cross. It is Khabs, the Light of a Star. The Middle Pillar Exercise is an inner recognition of that Light in the five Spheres of the Middle Pillar of Consciousness. It is a technique for concentrating and crystallizing into being the Light and bringing that Light down into conscious manifestation.
The well-known Golden Dawn magician Francis Israel Regardie regarded the Middle Pillar as containing the secret of the Great Work. He considered the Middle Pillar Exercise as being of utmost value, not only to the aspirant but to the Adept as well. Such was his high regard for the Middle Pillar Exercise that he even used it to initiate certain aspirants. For the symbolism of the Middle Pillar can awaken from within the aspirant certain psycho-neurological currents of energy, which help to initiate him/her, integrating his/her soul, mind and body.
THE MIDDLE PILLAR
The Middle Pillar is the Central Pillar of the Qabalistic Tree of Life. It is also called the Pillar of Equilibrium, the Pillar of Consciousness, and the Pillar of Initiation. It is poised between the two Pillars of Mercy and Severity, which represent the two extremes or polarities in Nature. To understand the Middle Pillar aright, it is necessary to ascertain the nature of the two Pillars between which it is positioned. The Middle Pillar consists of the Sephiroth called Kether, Tiphareth, Yesod, and Malkuth. Daath, the invisible Sephira, is also a part of the Middle Pillar, but is generally not regarded as such since it is not really a Sephira in any true sense of the word. The Middle Pillar indicates the balanced principle in Nature. The Pillar of Severity, which consists of the Sephiroth called Binah, Geburah, and Hod, indicates the Passive principle in Nature. The Pillar of Mercy, which consists of the Sephiroth called Chokmah, Chesed and Netzach, indicates the Active principle in Nature.
The two Pillars of Mercy and Severity symbolize factors operative within the psyche of an individual; they are constituents of his/her own nature. In Jungian Psychology they are the Animus and Anima. Animus is the Qabalistic Chiah (Will) and Anima is the Qabalistic Neschamah (Soul). Animus is in contact with the objects of the outer world; Anima is in contact with the objects of the inner world. In occult psychology, Animus is Consciousness and Anima is Subconsciousness. Animus is the Soul of a Woman; Anima is the Soul of a Man. In man the Anima is unconscious and in woman the Animus is unconscious.
Anima and Animus are the equivalent of the Oriental Yin and Yang, the principles of Darkness and Light. Yin is Anima and Yang is Animus. The Child of the interplay of Yin and Yang, and also the source of their balanced activity, is the Mystical Tao. The Middle Pillar is the Mystical Pillar of the Tao. Tao is the “Libido” of Freud, but also “The Oversoul” of Emerson. It is “Nature” with a capital N. It is “Existence” with a capital E. It is the Spontaneous Process or Way of Nature Herself. Tao is not really an intelligence of any sort, but is the Universe itself acting intelligently. It is not only that great and majestic force which pervades the entire Universe, but also it is the Whole Universe itself. It is the Qabalistic Yechidah (One Self) which is seated in Kether, the Sphere of the Limitless Light revealed. The Yechidah is the Pure Essence of the Soul, Mind and Body. It is the Life that abides in Light. It is the Spirit of the Tao, which is also a metaphor for the Middle Way, or Path of Harmony.
The realization of the Tao is the sublime fruit of following The Middle Way or The Path of Harmony represented by the Middle Pillar of Initiation and Integration. This realization is the Awakening of the Golden Flower of Wisdom and Understanding. To attain this Great Awakening, or to become enlightened in other terms, the two extreme principles or polarities symbolized by the two Pillars of Mercy and Severity must be balanced through transcendence of their compulsions in the human personality and organism. The proper work of the Initiate of the Middle Pillar is the gradual development of self-control, or the increase of will-power, to refrain from the blind and fatal compulsions of extreme action represented by the two Pillars of Mercy and Severity, to balance these two aspects of his/her psyche, and to cultivate harmony between the two cerebral hemispheres of his/her brain which are the neurological equivalents of the two Pillars of Mercy and Severity.
The three Pillars correspond with Sulphur, Salt and Mercury, which are the three Principles of Alchemy (Ars Regia, the Royal Art). The Pillar of Mercy corresponds with Sulphur, the Pillar of Severity with Salt, and the Middle Pillar with Mercury. Mercury is the Hermetic Androgyne or Hermaphrodite, which is a symbol of the Alchemical Stone (Lapis Mercurius). This stone is represented in Magick by the geometrical figure of the Hexagram, which is made of two interlaced triangles indicating the Union of Fire and Water. Fire (Sol) and Water (Luna) when united produce the element of Air which is symbolic of the Force of Mercury. Mercury (Mercurius) is another name for the Philosopher’s Stone (Lapis Philosophorum) produced by the Union or Hierosgamos of Sulphur and Salt. This Stone is also called “Azoth”, a word which is traced to one of two words — el-dhat (or ez-zat) — the essence or inner reality. It is otherwise traced to zibaq (Mercury). Azoth is the dhat or essence of Sufi Teaching, called Mercury by the Wise. It was the name of the Grand Secret postulated by the famous French Magus Eliphas Levi. This Grand Secret, which he also called the Great Magical Agent, he sought to depict in his personal drawing of the bisexual image of Baphomet. Baphomet is a Magical Archetype of the Bisexual Self of Man; S/he is The All that is The One; S/he is the Supreme Hieroglyph of the Great Work Accomplished, that is, the Sublime Discovery of the Royal Secret of Mercury and the August Attainment of the Holy Stone of the Wise.
The three Pillars also correspond with the three Gunas (qualities or principles) of Samkhya, which is one of the six systems of orthodox Hindu Philosophy founded by Kapila, and upon which the whole of Raja-Yoga is based. The famous Yogic system of Patanjali is derived from the Samkhya Philosophy. The Gunas of Samkhya Philosophy are called Rajas (Activity), Tamas (Passivity), and Sattva (Equilibrium). These three Gunas are the Eastern equivalent of our Alchemical Principles of Sulphur, Salt and Mercury. Rajas is Sulphur, Tamas is Salt, and Sattva is Mercury.
The three Pillars also correspond with the three Mother Letters of the Hebrew Alphabet which, in their turn, correspond with the three Aristotelian Elements of Fire, Water and Air. The left hand Pillar corresponds with the letter Mem (Water), for this Pillar is rooted in Hod and is crowned by Binah, which are watery in nature; the right hand Pillar corresponds with the letter Shin (Fire), for this Pillar is rooted in Netzach and is crowned by Chokmah, which are fiery in nature; and the Middle Pillar corresponds with the letter Aleph (Air). The Sephiroth of the Middle Pillar (including the so-called invisible Sephira called Daath) are assigned to the element of Air, except Malkuth which is assigned to the element of Earth which is the consolidation or synthesis of Fire, Water and Air.
The three Pillars are isomorphic with the three principal Nadis of Yoga. These Nadis are the primary nerves in the spinal column and are called Ida, Pingala, and Sushumna, the latter of these three being a hollow canal running through the spinal cord and extending from the base of the spine to the brain. Ida is on the left and Pingala is on the right of the Sushumna. The Chakras are said to be on the vertebral column in the Sushumna. Kundalini, when awakened, rises through Sushumna and pierces each petal of the Chakras which then rise up erect, blossoming into full Lotuses. The Kundalini sleeps until it is awakened in the Muladhara Chakra, closing with its mouth the entrance to the Sushumna. When the Kundalini (Shakti) is awakened, by way of proper initiation, She enters the Royal Way in the Central Nadi (Sushumna) to embrace her Lord Shiva above in the Brahmarandhra (Sahasrara, the Crown Chakra). The Sushumna, which is the Middle Pillar of Yoga Philosophy, is described as the Brahmayartman, or Pathway to Brahman (the so-called Supreme Reality of Vedanta Philosophy) which is the equivalent of Kether, the Crown of the Middle Pillar.
The three Pillars are embraced in the Hermetic Symbol of the Caduceus. In this symbol there are two Serpents which represent the two Pillars of Mercy and Severity, being the two forces of Life and Death; and in the center, at the summit of the Caduceus, there shines the Golden Globe of Glory which represents the Equilibrated Light of the Middle Pillar. These are the Qabalistic Forces of OD, OB and AOUR. OD (AVD) is the special Fire of the Sacred Magick of Light, Life, and Love. OB (AVB) is the special Fire of Black Magic. AOUR (AVR) is the Balanced Light of Open Day. These represent the three Ways in which the Kundalini or Serpent Force, called the Astral Light by Eliphas Levi, expresses its various modes of power. AOUR is the divine product of the balanced interplay of OB and OD, or Light and Darkness; it is the Child of their consummation, and the Golden Flower of Equilibrium. So is the Middle Pillar the Child and Flower of the Perfect Harmony between the principles of Mercy and Severity, the two extremes or polarities of Nature which, in their constant interplay of orgasmic ecstasy, constitute and support all created things on earth, fulfilling their function as providers of Equilibrium.
The Middle Pillar is a phallic symbol. It is the Kundalini made erect. The Kundalini is the Serpent, which itself is a Phallic symbol. The Phallus in our Royal Art of Magick does not necessarily refer to the male organ, but to the creative sexual force in Nature, which is the dynamic creative energy in every man and every woman. This sexual force is the essence of the Sephiroth on the Pillars of the Tree of Life. It can manifest as Active, Passive or Equilibrated. The Middle Pillar represents this Sexual Force and its five principal modes of expression (represented in Magick by the five Aristotelian Elements) within which operate its three forms of manifestation (Activity, Passivity and Equilibrium).
The Middle Pillar is the equivalent of the Wand of the Magician. It is the Scepter of Power, the Wand of the Hierophant of the Golden Dawn. This wand is of Scarlet color, and it has four gold bands, which represent the places of four Sephiroth on the Middle Pillar, called Daath, Tiphareth, Yesod and the pommel is Malkuth. The Crown that surmounts the Wand is symbolic of Kether. The Paths of Gimel, Samekh, and Tav are also represented on the Wand by the spaces in between the four gold bands. The Hierophant of the Golden Dawn wields this Scepter of Power above the pommel, at the place of the Path of Tav. This act represents his power to attract and govern the forces of the Light of Kether. By this Scepter of Power the Hierophant brings down the Light of Kether (Spirit) to the place of Malkuth (Earth) through the Middle Pillar.
The Middle Pillar is integration; it is the point of equilibrium between the two Pillars of the Tree of Life; it is the point of balance between the two extremes or polarities of the Universe. Initiation in itself is a magical process of integration. To integrate is to unite all the parts of oneself or to blend all the parts of oneself into a whole; and it is the process of bringing to a point of balance the opposing elements of the psyche. It is an operation that is essential to the proper development of the human personality. Without integration the aspirant can in no manner realize the Great Work of the Sages. Thus, in the Neophyte Ceremony of the Thelemic Order of the Golden Dawn, it is proclaimed in the Lecture of Balance, “Equilibrium is the basis of the Great Work.” Consider also Aleister Crowley’s statement, “The Great Work is the raising of the whole man in perfect balance to the power of Infinity.” Perfect equilibrium through integration is the Key.
The numbers of the Sephiroth of the Middle Pillar, excluding Daath, are 1 (Kether), 6 (Tiphareth), 9 (Yesod), and 10 (Malkuth). The sum of these numbers is 26, which is the number of the Tetragrammaton (IHVH). It is also the sum of the numbers of the four Fixed Signs of the Zodiac, that is, Taurus (2), Leo (5), Scorpio (8), and Aquarius (11). These are the Kerubim, the Angels of the Elements from the point of view of Malkuth (Earth), or the Holy Living Creatures from the point of view of Kether (Spirit). Moreover, 26 is the magical number of the Cube. For the Cube has 6 sides, 8 points or corners, and 12 edges or boundary lines.
The Cube is said to contain the Great Secret of the Universe. In Alchemical terminology it is the Stone of the Philosophers. It is a symbol of the Sanctum Sanctorum or the Cubical Holy of Holies that contained the Ark of the Covenant on which rested the Holy Shekinah. The Cube is a symbol of the World and the Throne of the Deity. It is the Cubic Throne we see on certain Tarot Atu of Thoth upon which sit certain archetypal figures. The Cube is a symbol of the Perfect Word and the Heavenly Kingdom. It is Truth expressed on the physical plane. The Cube is made of six squares; it is the Folded Cross of six squares, which is the Rosicrucian Cross with the Rose in its center. The Rose is hidden in the Cube or Folded Cross; it represents the Great Secret of Man. By the unfolding of the Cube is this Great Secret revealed. It is also worth mentioning that it is written in The Book of the Law that the Cube is a symbol of Hadit, the Flame that burns in every heart of man and in the core of every star.
The numbers of the Paths of the Middle Pillar are 13 (Gimel), 25 (Samekh) and 32 (Tav). The sum of these numbers is 70. 70 is the value of the Hebrew letter Ayin which corresponds with “Path 26” on the Tree of Life. It is the Path of the Exalted Phallus and the Pillar itself is a symbol of the erect Phallus. It is the Path of the Atu of Thoth called “The Devil”. The Devil is Pan, the God of Sexual Lust or Phallic Energy; and He is Baphomet, the Supreme Hieroglyph of the True Self of Man. The sum of the numbers of the Hebrew letters of each Path of the Middle Pillar is 463 (Tav = 400, Samekh = 60, and Gimel = 3). 463 is the numerical value of RA-HOOR-KHVIT (Lord of the New Aeon) and it is the number of MTH HShQD (A Rod of Almond). Note in this connection that Ra-Hoor-Khuit is, in the Thelemic Qabalah, the God of Kether. Also note that Almond is attributed to Kether on the Tree of Life, and Kether is the Crown of the Middle Pillar. The Middle Pillar is, in point of fact, a symbol of the nature of Kether unfolded as the Universe.
The numbers of the Tarot Atu of Thoth (Major Arcana) which correspond with the Paths of the Middle Pillar are 2 (Gimel), 14 (Samekh), and 21 (Tav). The sum of these numbers is 37. 37 is the numerical value of YChIDH (True Self). Kether, the Crown of the Middle Pillar, is the seat of the Yechidah. Thus we may conclude that the Middle Pillar is a symbol of the Yechidah. 37 is also the sum of the numbers of all the Sephiroth of the Middle Pillar if we include Daath. (Kether = 1, Tiphareth = 6, Yesod = 9, Malkuth = 10, and Daath = 11.) Note also that 3 x 7 = 21. 21 is the Mystic Number of the Sixth Sephira on the Tree of Life called Tiphareth. In other words, it is the sum of the numbers from 1 to 6 (1+2+3+4+5+6 = 21). Tiphareth is the reflection of Kether in the mind of man. 21 is also the number of the three actual letters of the Tetragrammaton, that is, Yod-Heh-Vav. It is said in the Sepher Yetzirah, or Book of Formation, that by these three letters God sealed the six directions or formulated the Cosmic Cube of Space.
THE MIDDLE PILLAR
The following is the Traditional Middle Pillar Exercise as practiced among members of the Golden Dawn.
1. Visualize yourself standing in the Temple, facing West.
2. Formulate the Black Pillar of Severity on your right side and the White Pillar of Mercy on your left side.
3. Imagine now that the Black Pillar is reflected in your left side and the White Pillar in your right side.
4. Visualize a Flaming Sphere of brilliant White Light emanating seven inches from above your head. Inhale deeply and vibrate the divine name of Eheieh, which means I Will Be or I Am.
5. Bring down the Light from above and visualize a Flaming Sphere of brilliant Indigo at the nape of your neck. Inhale deeply and vibrate the divine name Yehowah Elohim, which means Lord God or Lord of the Gods.
6. Bring down the Light and visualize a Flaming Sphere of brilliant Yellow at your heart center. Inhale deeply and vibrate the divine name Yehowah Eloah va-Daath or IAO. The former means Lord God of all Knowledge and the latter is a Gnostic name of The Sun and is a Notariqon of the former.
7. Bring down the Light and visualize a Flaming Sphere of brilliant Violet at your genital region. Inhale deeply and vibrate the divine name Shaddai el Chai, which means Almighty God of Life.
8. Bring down the Light and visualize a Flaming Sphere of brilliant Green at your feet. Inhale deeply and vibrate the divine name Adonai ha-Aretz, which means My Lord of Earth.
9. Circulate the Light by formulating in your Aura the Talismatic Atom.
10. Equilibrate the Light by formulating the Qabalistic Cross, thus:
a. Touch the forehead with the Sign of Benediction (or the index finger), and say Atah (Thou).
b. Touch the breast, and say Aiwaz (Angel of the Aeon) or IAO (God Name of Tiphareth).
c. Touch the genitals, and say Malkuth (the Kingdom).
d. Touch the right shoulder, and say ve-Geburah (and the Power).
e. Touch the left shoulder, and say ve-Gedulah (and the Glory).
f. Place the two palms of the hands together upon the breast, and say le-Olahm, Amen (To the Ages, Amen).
The following is the Thelemic Middle Pillar Exercise, designed for members of the Order of the Thelemic Golden Dawn.
1. Visualize yourself standing in the Temple, facing West.
2. Formulate the Black Pillar of Severity on your right side and the White Pillar of Mercy on your left side.
3. Imagine now that the Black Pillar is reflected in your left side and the White Pillar in your right side.
4. Visualize a Flaming Sphere of brilliant White Light emanating seven inches from above your head. Inhale deeply and vibrate the Holy Name PTAH.
5. Bring down the Light from above and visualize a Flaming Sphere of brilliant White Light at the nape of your neck. Inhale deeply and vibrate the Holy Name TAHUTI.
6. Bring down the Light and visualize a Flaming Sphere of brilliant White Light at your heart center. Inhale deeply and vibrate the Holy Name RA.
7. Bring down the Light and visualize a Flaming Sphere of brilliant White Light at your genital region. Inhale deeply and vibrate the Holy Name ANPU.
8. Bring down the Light and visualize a Flaming Sphere of brilliant White Light at your feet. Inhale deeply and vibrate the Holy Name SEB.
9. Circulate the Light by formulating in your Aura the Talismatic Atom.
10. Equilibrate the Light by formulating the Thelemic Cross, thus:
a. Touch the forehead, and say HOOR-PAAR-KRAAT.
b. Touch the breast, and say HERU-RA-HA.
c. Touch the genitals, and say RA-HOOR-KHUIT.
d. Touch the right shoulder, and say TA-NECH.
e. Touch the left shoulder, and say BES-NA-MAUT.
f. Place the two palms of the hands together upon the breast, and say ANKH-AF-NA-KHONSU, visualizing a five-petaled Rose blossoming from the Center of the Cross.
The student should perform the Middle Pillar Exercise slowly and with great care and attention. It is a most effective magical method for awakening the higher currents within, and must be used with great patience and earnest aspiration. This cathartic exercise purifies and nourishes the Aura or Sphere of Sensation with the Divine Light from above. Thus it is a highly potent and serious method of the Great Work. Let the student begin visualizing each Sphere five minutes separately, vibrating each Name as many times as he/she feels inclined, however five times per Sphere seems an appropriate limit. The Ritual should take no more than 30 minutes to perform. To become identified with the Divine Energy of each of the five Spheres, periodically visualize yourself as a little person existing and moving inside each Sphere. Try to maintain this visualization within each Sphere for a period of five minutes. It is also a good practice in this respect to periodically visualize in the Spheres the letters that make up the God Names of each Sphere. In this way you enhance the meaning and power of each Sphere in your archetypal model of the Middle Pillar.
The White Sphere above the Head is the place of Kether on the Tree of Life. The Indigo Sphere at the Throat is the place of Daath on the Tree of Life. The Yellow Sphere at the Heart is the place of Tiphareth on the Tree of Life. The Violet Sphere at the Genital is the place of Yesod on the Tree of Life. The Green Sphere at the feet is the place of Malkuth on the Tree of Life. These five Spheres naturally correspond with the four Aristotelian Elements (Fire, Water, Air and Earth) and the Quintessence or Spirit (the so-called fifth Element). Thus they also correspond with the five Tattvas or Elements of Eastern Philosophy. Kether is Spirit/Akasha, Daath is Air/Vayu, Tiphareth is Fire/Tejas, Yesod is Water/Apas, and Malkuth is Earth/Prithivi. The student may find it a valuable practice to visualize in the five Spheres of the Middle Pillar their corresponding Elemental Tattvic symbols. These Tattvic symbols are an Indigo Ovoid for Spirit/Akasha, a Blue Circle for Air/Vayu, an upright Red Triangle for Fire/Tejas, a Silver Crescent for Water/Apas, and a Yellow Square for Earth/Prithivi.
The Middle Pillar Exercise may be performed while standing, sitting, or even lying down. There is no strict rule concerning this matter; it must be left to the experience of the Magician to determine what position shall suit him/her best in this practice. However, it is the more common method among members of the Order to stand erect while performing the Middle Pillar Exercise. In this way we maintain an active conscious role in the practice, less inclined to enter into a passive state of trance or sleep. The Middle Pillar Exercise is capable of inducing a certain species of trance if it is performed for a long period of time in a relaxed or passive state. There is nothing wrong in this, but the object of the Middle Pillar Exercise is to actively manifest the Light in the consciousness of the Magician, to dynamically expand his/her awareness of that Light. It is therefore suitable to stand.
Concerning the formulation of the Talismatic Atom. See the Light ascend vertically in front of you from your feet to the Sphere of White Light above your head, and then feel it descend vertically down your back to the feet again. See it forming itself into a Circle of Light moving rapidly around you. Then visualize another Circle of Light forming itself and moving rapidly around your waist area. The idea here is to build up the Talismatic Image of an Atom with four Circles of Light, so that you will now need to form two more Circles of Light moving rapidly around you. Visualize one circle forming itself, moving up from your left foot to your right shoulder and back to your left foot from behind you, and then visualize another circle forming itself, moving from your right foot to your left shoulder from behind you and back to your right foot in front of you. Visualize all four Circles moving rapidly at the same time.
The Atom is one of the most significant of all symbols for the modern Magician to understand and apply. The symbol of the Atom, like the Atom itself, is a source of vast potential energy and its value in the world of modern Magick is simply inestimable. The symbol of the Atom does not only represent one of the minute indivisible particles of which, according to ancient materialism, the Universe is composed, but is a symbol of the Whole Universe itself. Its formulation in the Aura of the Magician helps to circulate the Light invoked through the Middle Pillar and awaken his/her consciousness to a more universal mode of awareness or a higher circuit of cosmic potential. This practice of the formulation of the Talismatic Atom also helps to fortify the Magician’s power to concentrate. In this Talismatic Image we must concentrate on four distinct yet parallel parts to make up the whole of the single image of the Celestial Atom. In this simple practice is contained much wisdom for those who have eyes to see.
Concerning the formulation of the Qabalistic or new Golden Dawn Cross. This helps to equilibrate the Light in the Aura or Sphere of Sensation. The Cross in itself is an invocation of the Divine Light of Kether and an equilibration of that Light in the four elemental quarters. By ending the Middle Pillar Exercise with the Cross you are sealing the ritual with the Light of Kether. You also formulate in your Aura the Cross of Light and seal your Aura with that Light. It is a suitable idea at this final point of the exercise to increase the size of the Cross, so that its vertical and horizontal bars extend into infinity. It is this that is the fulfillment of the Golden Dawn proclamation, “Khabs Am Pekht. Konx Om Pax. Light in Extension.” After the formulation of the Talismatic Image of the Cross in the Aura, the Magician may find it a suitable practice to compose him/her self in the Sign of Silence, assuming the God-form of Harpocrates in the Egg of Blue.
It will benefit the Magician to periodically extend the technique of the Middle Pillar to include the other Sephiroth on the Tree of Life, visualizing them in their appropriate colors and vibrating the God Names appropriate thereto. The following is a list of the ten Sephiroth and their corresponding God Names:
SEPHIRA GOD NAME
Chokmah Yod-Heh (or Yod-Heh-Vav-Heh)
Binah Yod-Heh-Vav-Heh Elohim
Daath Yod-Heh-Vav-Heh Elohim
Geburah Elohim Gibor
Tiphareth Yod-Heh-Vav-Heh Eloa va-Daath (IAO)
Netzach Yod-Heh-Vav-Heh Tzabaoth
Hod Elohim Tzabaoth
Yesod Shaddai El-Chai
Malkuth Adonai ha-Aretz
The Ritual of the Tree of Life, issued to members of the Thelemic Order of the Golden Dawn, will greatly benefit the student in such a manner to enhance the formulation and unfolding process of the ten Sephiroth in his/her Aura, and this in a visual and poetic manner. By formulating all of the ten Sephiroth in your Aura, you are creating a living dynamic archetypal model of the Universe in your Aura which will tend to gradually extend and modify your limited models or reality-tunnels of perception, cultivating in your consciousness new forms of perception and levels of awareness which are not accessible to the ordinary mind with its disorganized and chaotic tendencies and functions.
The Tree of Life, when living and moving in one’s Aura, helps to modify inharmonious mental patterns or unsound neurological prototypes. It functions in the Aura as a new model or reality-tunnel of a multidimensional kind by which the mind is able to operate in a more organized, creative and synergetic manner. It helps to modify and unify the Magician’s various psycho-neurological patterns into an all-embracing and multidimensional prototypical system.
The Aura is the Subconscious Mind, which is the invisible aspect of the body; it is the Soul of the body, operating as the Animus in the female and the Anima in the male. To imprint and seal the Aura with the Talismatic Image of the Tree of Life is to program the Subconscious Mind in a certain sense. This programmatic process is of an infinite sort, continuing to operate in the Aura throughout one’s term upon the earth, and possibly thereafter. For once the Tree of Life is firmly fixed and formulated aright in the Aura of the Magician, its subtle impact of archetypal quality will tend to completely modify the various parts of his/her nature which can only serve to affect or influence his/her whole life. This may extend to produce an actual metamorphosis in the mind or neurological system of the Magician, causing a veritable quantum jump or abrupt transition of his/her psycho-neurological systems from a lower mode or stage of existential expression to that of a higher or more divine mode or stage of existential potential.
THE MIDDLE PILLAR
The Middle Pillar Exercise serves as an excellent prelude to any type of spiritual working, for it aligns the human personality with the Divine Self of Kether. All true spiritual work is done under the guidance of Kether. By performing the Middle Pillar Exercise you literally manifest the Light of your own Divine Self, concentrating it into being from your own limitless nature, as a sign thereof, and you gradually bring that Light into the sphere of your own human consciousness which is then transformed into a higher form of potential consciousness of your own True Nature.
The Middle Pillar is the Great Key to the Royal Path of Initiation. Thus the Middle Pillar Exercise can be used as an actual method for initiating oneself into the Mysteries of the Light. Initiation is a conscious realization of the Light. It is the beginning of the process of the gradual development of self-awareness and of self-actualization. The initiate is one who has come to a conscious realization of the Light of his/her own True Self, whose consciousness is one with his Inmost Self, with the Star of his/her own celestial nature.
The Light is a metaphor for pure Consciousness, or the unstained awareness of one’s True Nature, which is the Eternal Matrix of one’s being. It is Awareness of one’s Universal Self, that great part of us all which is one with every other thing in the Infinite Universe, that majestic part of our own beings which we so often term the Holy Guardian Angel. It is what the foolish folk call God, and we call the Ideal Identity of our inmost nature. It is the Quinta Essentia or QUINTESSENCE of our being. It is the Light of the Star that we are in truth, and the Burning Radiance of our Eternal Self coursing through the great Heavens of Nuit. It is the Great Mystery of all Prophets and Sages, and the Goal of all Philosophers. It is That to which all men and women attain at their appointed time of death.
The Light within us all is the true essence of our being. However, let us not think of this essence in an Aristotelian static sense, in the form of an essence or self that never changes and is eternally one. Let us rather conceive of it as a dynamic Multidimensional Self which is not a self at all. Buddha, Nietzsche, and Rajneesh, being the great thinkers they were, insisted that there is no essential self or static ego in man. We have a variety of different potential selves rather than one unchanging Self.
That which we so commonly call our True Self in the Philosophy of Magick is not “in essence” a single self. It is only one insofar that is many. It is not a monistic or monotheistic reality of any commonly accepted sort; it is rather a polytheistic or multiple reality. (Illustration: If you analyze a computer, part by part, it is no more a computer. It is only a computer when its various parts are properly connected and functioning as a whole.) We cannot assume any existential meaning when we analyze ourselves part by part. In the final analysis we can only assume that we are the product of the various parts that constitute our manifold existence and that our true individuality arises by being everything that we must be according to the direction of the various models of expression or reality-tunnels of our Multidimensional Self, fulfilling all of our possibilities.
Remember always that “existence precedes essence.” The essence of the self is the fruit of the existential or phenomenological expression of the Multidimensional Self, which is really not a self at all. We are only one “in essence” when we are expressing all of our potential selves in a multidimensional manner. A true Initiate of Thelema is one who expresses him/her self in a multidimensional manner, fulfilling all of his/her possibilities of expression. He/she is not only a Man of Earth, Lover, or Hermit in the language of initiates, but is all three simultaneously, and this in a multiple manner, constantly undergoing modifications or changes in his/her forms of expression for the fulfillment of his/her True Will. It is infinite variety, which is not only the spice of life, but also the key to evolution.
The Hermit, who represents the Qabalistic Yechidah or One Self in the symbolism of the Tarot, is only such by way of his being the Many. One in itself means nothing. Life demands multiplicity of expression. Only thus can true integration be achieved. Union or Oneness is a meaningless reality without division and multiplicity of expression. It has been said that All is a mask of the One. It is more appropriate in this place to say that THE ONE IS A MASK OF THE ALL. We need to banish that old demon of monistic thinking and stop interpreting god, self or reality as one, replacing this ancient linear and self-centered belief with a New Vision of seeing things in a multidimensional manner. This we must do if we are to genuinely realize The One in the midst of The All, to attain the sublime Starry Consciousness of Yechidah, and to truly live as a Hermit of Kether in the Center of it all. THE ONE IS THE MANY. A flower is a reality of Nature due to the existence of its various petals. Take away its petals and it is no more a flower. Each of us is a flower of the earth, a unique and beautiful phenomenon of Nature made such through our multiple parts or models of expression, which are the various petals of our being, the diverse aspects of our life that define our existential reality on earth and that make us a whole person or an integrated individual or, more accurately, yet more paradoxically, a Multiple Unit or Multidimensional Monad.
This Multidimensional Monad, which we have called L.V.X., can only be realized in a balanced or harmonious way. For it is the perfect balance of all things and the synthesis of all that we are and ever will be. It is a Union of multiple synergistic Forces, which are symbolized by the ten Sephiroth of the Diagrammatic Tree of Life. These multiple synergistic Forces of the Sephiroth can be reduced or classified for the sake of convenience in the symbolism of the five Spheres of the Middle Pillar alone. In other words, we can classify the forces of Chokmah and Binah in Kether or Daath, Chesed and Geburah in Tiphareth, and Netzach and Hod in Yesod. These Sephiroth of the two Pillars of Mercy and Severity are, in a sense, manifestations or modifications of the Sephiroth of the Middle Pillar. All things pertaining to the Tree of Life can be reduced to the Sephiroth of the Middle Pillar alone, it being a phallic representation of that which is the source and the end of all.
The Middle Pillar Exercise creates neurological changes in the student. That is, it acts upon the Nervous System of the student in such a manner to effect vital changes within him/her. It is a magical method for inducing brain changes at Will, and it can assist one to make direct contact with the Metaprogrammer in the Nervous System. The Middle Pillar, once truly mastered by the aspirant, brings about a literal metamorphosis in his/her consciousness and a complete change of perception. This new awareness is the realization of oneself as the Programmer of one’s programming; it is the comprehension of oneself as the Lord in control of the Robot of Life. By performing the Middle Pillar Exercise in the appropriate magical manner, one can gradually reach such a high state of consciousness that one can literally work the process of re-programming one’s robot self. In other words, in the state of consciousness symbolized by the Light of Kether, reflected by the Middle Pillar, one can work upon oneself in such form to recreate oneself in accordance with one’s True Will.
The Middle Pillar Exercise naturally attunes the physical consciousness of man to the Celestial Consciousness of his soul. Kether, the first Sephira on the Tree of Life, represents this higher form of consciousness. Esoterically this Sephira is a symbol of the Arcane Energy of Sothis or Sirius, the Hidden Sun. It is through Kether that man is linked with the Higher Intelligences of Sirius. These Higher Forms of Intelligence are celestial beings who have mastered the Planetary Initiations and who are immortalized in The Eternal Light. These Higher Forms may incarnate in physical form at Will, or they may remain in the Invisible to secretly direct human affairs. They work through the Nervous System of an individual and they may be contacted by an individual through the proper manipulation of their own Nervous System. It is these Higher Forms of Energy that we so often call the Secret Chiefs or the Invisible Illuminati of the World.
These Higher Intelligences represent ourselves made manifest in the future, as fully developed beings of light and intelligence, as an Advanced Race of Humanoids. They are symbols of our perfected selves as encoded in our DNA and imprinted at the dawn of time. They are Archetypal Images of our own Celestial Natures made perfect. Their special magical symbol is the Eye in the Triangle, which is the Sacred Eye of Freemasonry and the Eye of Horus in Egyptian Magick. It is the Hidden Eye, and as such represents the Silent Watchers of humanity who secretly direct the affairs of mankind. These are the Illuminati, which is simply another name for the Inner Circle of Great Masters who constitute the Third Order of the Silver Star. The Illuminati is the Secret Order of Those High Initiates who are the Masters of the Aeon.
The God who represents the Third Order of the Silver Star is Hoor-Paar-Kraat, or Harpocrates, the Lord of Silence. Hoor-Paar-Kraat represents the forces ruling the earth at present. He is the Silent Watcher in Man, his Secret and Inmost Self. He is Kether, the One Self (Yechidah) which is really a Multidimensional Self, which is really not a self at all. The Middle Pillar Exercise, if properly applied with right understanding, can awaken from the Magician the Consciousness of his/her Kether Self as reflected through Tiphareth; and Kether is the Sphere of Hoor-Paar-Kraat, the Lord of Silence. He is also That which is beyond Kether, or the Ain Soph. But Kether is a concentration and revelation of Ain Soph; it is the Light or Consciousness of Ain Soph itself.
The Middle Pillar Exercise stirs into motion neurological forces of a dynamic nature which awaken in their turn higher circuits of consciousness, allowing for the Magician to realize and experience his/her Multidimensional Kether Self as represented by the God Hoor-Paar-Kraat. This Exercise, if used correctly, is literally a method of mutating consciousness. It can literally expand the sphere of consciousness by inducing quantum changes in the brain. It brings us en rapport with our Universal Self, whose symbol is the White Light of Ecstasy and whose image is the Babe in the Egg of Blue, that is, Harpocrates or Hoor-Paar-Kraat.
Finally, consider that the Middle Pillar Exercise is a Tantric Rite of a symbolic kind. Tantra essentially means “action.” It is divine knowledge in action; it is the act of the Divine in manifestation. Ritual is action; action affirms and proves the Will and creates changes to conform to the same. Action is the key to progress; it is only by action that we create; it is only by action that we evolve. Ritual is the means of creating changes in conformity with the Will. The Will is the Creative Self in Action. Action in itself is a symbolic movement that impresses itself upon and creates changes in the mind. Action is the means of expressing the divine genius within and allowing for its free fulfillment. This divine genius is our Holy Guardian Angel, our Multidimensional Self, which is our True Self Within, and which is ever the divine goal of the Magician or the Crown of his/her Attainment.
Tantra further means “rite” or “ritual” and “method” or “technique”. These various meanings of Tantra essentially entail the same dynamic idea. Tantra is the method, the ritual and the act of the Divine in manifestation. It is the ritual of uniting the two opposites in the self for the awakening of the Middle Way. It is the union of Shakti and Shiva, that is, the union of the female and male principles of the Soul. These two opposites are, in the Thelemic Pantheon, called Nuit and Hadit. When these two infinities unite a third principle is born called Ra-Hoor-Khuit, a Unity that includes and heads all things. The two Pillars of the Tree of Life are symbols of these two opposites, and the Middle Pillar represents that which is the product of their balanced interplay, the Golden Child of their Mystical Union.
Here ends our Thelemic Golden Dawn lesson on the Middle Pillar. May what we have written assist you in your creative aspiration for Magical Progress and in the establishment of your True Will, for the attainment of the Great Work, the SUMMUM BONUM, True Wisdom and Perfect Happiness.
Love is the law, love under will.
By David Cherubim
(Frater Aurora Aureae)
Copyright © 1993 e.v.
The Order of the
Thelemic Golden Dawn.