Baphomet by Eliphas Levi
What can I possibly say, that hasn’t been said before, about Aleister Crowley, “the wickedest man in the world?” This poet-prophet-mountaineer-addict-bisexual-madman-genius was the magickian par excellence of the twentieth century whose work cannot be avoided by magickians of this century. His four works that I consider to be absolutely essential are: The Holy Books of Thelema (which includes The Book of the Law), Magick in Theory and Practice, The Book of Thoth and The Vision and the Voice respectively. No one before him had assimilated the various magickal techniques of both east and west, apart from the Golden Dawn, his alma mater, into a coherent and practical magickal path. Eliphas Levi and Madame Blavatsky before him were much more theoretical than theopractical.
Was Crowley a black magickian? Absolutely. Was Crowley of the right hand path? Absolutely. He clearly worked with both the light and dark aspects of many traditions and considered the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy (or Un-holy) Guardian Angel and the Crossing of the Abyss as the two supreme acts of Magick. This is a commendable, highly respectable and balanced approach to modern magick. From the Demon Crowley to Ipsissimus, Crowley sought to exhaust every aspect of experience and it seems that he accomplished this quite nicely.
In Magick Without Tears, he states that the goal of magick is to connect with other-worldly or supranatural entities, such as Aiwaz or Lam, to further illuminate the human experience. This contact may come through either magickal rituals or dreams and without it, the magickian is merely role-playing. The fake it ‘til you make it approach is adequate until the Vision of, and then the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel is experienced. Aleister Crowley, To Mega Therion, was indeed a Black Master and should be studied intently, without the magickian being absorbed into blind devotion or egotistically avoiding The Beast’s Great Work.
On learning of the passing of Kenneth Grant, I can only state that I felt it or knew it somehow. Having re-read his Typhonian Trilogies upon a third time (yes, all nine), his presence, or should I say, his divine absence, will be missed. I have met a number of occultists throughout my magickal career and I have been thoroughly unimpressed with their tight-lipped, non-sharing attitudes. Mr. Grant wrote me back about my enquiries into the androgyne as mentioned in the Wisdom of S’lba (Outer Gateways) and even saw my short experimental film typhOnia which he and Mr. Staley didn’t particularly like because of its discordant soundtrack. No matter. The point is contact and revealing what should be revealed without breaking one’s oaths. This is the key to creative occultism. His trilogies have influenced my work profoundly and even inspire my dream work directly every time I re-read his books. Nema said it distinctly, “Kenneth Grant’s books are not about magick, they are magick.” His writing circles and soars, somewhat akin to Nietzsche’s style, then dives like a black hawk into another profound insight. For every serious creative occultist, I strongly recommend immersing oneself in all of the trilogies in order. At times, he hints and suggests ideas that I have personally fleshed out in my work almost as a call and response effect. Or, what he doesn’t write or leaves out, I try to answer. My final tip of the hat to this Black Master is my dedication to him in my booklet, Liber Nosferatu: The Book of the Un-dead and my co-dedication to him and Crowley in The Black Book of Shaitan: Nu Revelation. The Typhonian Tradition, like the old man himself, can never die, and I mean that quite literally.
The Pan-Satanic Movement
Much has been written in praise and damnation of the founder of the Church of Satan and its’ various offshoots. This is indeed in praise of the author of The Satanic Bible and The Satanic Rituals in particular. LaVey was no genius, but an incredible synthesizer and virtual founder of The Left Hand Path (The Black Tradition) in the west in 1966. His Satanic Bible does indeed challenge the occultist who simply cannot manifest, create or reveal the great secrets that these creatures are privy. His no bullshit approach, besides influencing my No Bullshit Policy, becomes a veritable Occam’s razor when approaching other occult texts. The Satanic Rituals enlightens the reader, especially the Pilgrims of the Age of Fire section, of the Yezidis, a topic not discussed again until the 1990’s by Kenneth Grant in Outer Gateways. Both Aleister Crowley and Kenneth Grant were greater magicians than LaVey, and much can be gleaned from the texts of these two other masters of magick. Ideas such as the Black Flame, the Law of Nine, the trapezoid and what may be called his aionic word of Indulgence, have clearly influenced myself as well as countless other magickians over the last fifty years. In other words, LaVey is indeed a Black Master of The Left Hand Path.
The Luxifer(a) Research Group, established in 1993, the fourth of the first nine year cycles, clearly continues the Great Work established by LaVey. My only criticism of him and the legacy of his modern day church, is their alignment with atheism. If one reads LaVey’s works carefully, one finds him walking a fine line between Satan as a mere symbol and Satan as a conscious reality. In Lords of the Left Hand Path, S. Edred Flowers distinguishes between Immanent and Transcendent Satanism and declares that for LaVey, Satan is the dark force in nature whereas Set or Satan is an independent, transcendent entity for Michael A. Aquino, the founder of the Temple of Set in 1975. This clarification helps to unify the various sects of Satanism, Setanism and Luciferianism. My Luciferian work itself is a synthesis of the magic of Aleister Crowley, Kenneth Grant, Anton Szandor LaVey and Michael A. Aquino respectively. The eternal bickering, unholier than thou attitudes and infighting amongst the various groups will only lead to a laughable implosion. As Outer Head of The LRG, I call for a unification of The Left Hand Path (Kala Vama Marga); in all of its’ myriad facets, to form what may be aptly called The Pan-Satanic Movement. In the words of Shaitan,
“It is my desire that all my followers
shall unite in a bond of unity.”
Church of the Final Judgement
A Very Brief History
The Process, also known as The Church of The Final Judgement lasted roughly ten years between 1964 and 1974 respectively. Robert and Mary Ann DeGrimston were the founders who took some of the ideas they found in Scientology and began to mix these ideas with rather gnostic Christian ones. I am only interested in their ideas and magazines; I am clearly not interested in child neglect, the exaltation of german shepherds or alsatians, and later cult leader lusts for power and money. In the 1990s, there was a brief resurgence of The Process’ ideas through Genesis P. Orridge, Skinny Puppy and other industrial bands. It seems there is something there they tapped into that cannot or isn’t supposed to die. It isn’t the cultivation of DeGrimston as the new Messiah either, nor any precise prophecies of the end of the world. If I’m not mistaken, he now denies any connection with his 60’s hippy activities.
The Cool Stuff
What excellent images and writings they released through their colourful magazines. Wow! I won’t comment on their proselytization, but I will say that I love the robes, their scowls, the cross and the Goat of Mendes (the head of Eliphas Levi’s Baphomet – and what a powerful glyph that is!) that bedecked them.
The Best Stuff
We must examine the best and only really redeemable ideas. There are three personality archetypes (Jehovah, Lucifer and Satan) and a gray quagmire of the average, the boring, the status quo, the dullards of mediocrity in our society. With DeGrimston as the Messiah, we find the quaternity of which Carl G. Jung argues for. If we obviously remove “D” as Christ, we find the theologically sound quaternity of which Jung and Nicholas of Cusa in the Renaissance discuss both theologically and psychologically. On Pierre Burton’s talk show in the late 60’s or early 70’s, Brother Malachi of the Process clearly stated that The Process’ aim was ultimately a reconciliation of opposites; a noble goal indeed for Nicholas of Cusa, Carl G. Jung, The Process and this present writer.
The Gold is in the Mire.
Yahoshuah (Jesus) is clearly linked with His Father YHVH (Jehovah) as His only son, although I think the idea should be open to the Sons and Daughters of God, as opposed to a mere monopoly. No matter. Lucifer is the unfallen state of Satan. Brother Malachi of The Process translated “love thine enemy as thyself” as kindling a love for Satan directly. In other words, if one loves the “irredeemable”, one helps to transmute Satan back into Lucifer, the greatest of God’s angels at one point. Origen, the early 4th century Christian church father and the Neo-Platonists of the 17th century were enraptured with this magnificent idea, technically called apokatastasis (those not-so-crazy gnostic hippies after all!). This prefigures the work of The Luxifer-a Research Group and synchronistically (The Process’ foundation) aligns with the year of my birth. Indeed.
The Tough Stuff
Many early church fathers referred to Christ as Lucifer and Christ Himself declared that He is the bright and morning star (Venus: Lucifer) in the Book of Revelation. “Both” are light-bringers and I think are easily connected with Tiphareth on The Tree of Life. YHVH brilliantly guides Moses and his people as a pillar of fire by night and a pillar of cloud by day and can easily be considered as a light-bringer as well. Satan is originally a tester or prosecutor for YHVH in The Book of Job and His true name is the reverse of Jehovah, namely HVHY. Try and pronounce both. Satan is identified with the serpent on the tree of knowlege in the Book of Genesis and Messiah or Christ is identified with the serpent on the cross (both 358 by gematria). YHVH is adversarial to both His chosen people of God and their enemies at various times in the Old Testament. Satan tests Yahoshuah repeatedly in the desert and seems to act as His very Shadow. The Hebrew letter shin in His name represents fire, the fire of Satan or Shaitan to be precise (YH-Sh-VH). In the final book of the Bible, Yahoshuah states that he knows where Satan’s seat is and thus has personal, intimate knowledge of His own opposite (the Antichrist), in much the same way as The Buddha has with his tempter, Mara. Yahoshuah is also adversarial to His quagmire society and states that He comes not to bring peace, but a sword and overturns temple money tables which he knows are there on the Sabbath (a common practice at the time). Thus these four are quite easily, yet soundly, linked.
Since these four have been found to be intimately connected, we can double the quaternity by re-introducing Maria (Robert’s gnostic wife?) as the consort or shakti of Yahoshuah and Shakhina (my spelling – A. E. Waite considers Her to be the key to the Qabalah whereas I think it is Metatron – anyway, there is a clear connection between the “two”). Lucifer and Satan are androgynized as Luxifer-a and Satan-a (Gregor A. Gregorius’ influence) according to the teachings of The Luxifer-a Research Group and complete a “new” ogdoad that fully fleshes out the extremely rough work of what Kenneth Grant called, “the silliness of the sixties”. However, and this is a big however, one can recall and mix the old Biblical maxim; “out of the mouths of [hippy] babes….” Thanks Robert and Mary Ann!
Ingress by 616
Da’ath & the Tree of Life
In pondering the Tree of Life (Otz Chi’im: 233), it becomes blazingly obvious that the Fall of which the Qabalists speak must be the fall of Malkuth (the Kingdom) from Da’ath (Un-knowing) to its’ present position. If one folds the Tree of Life at the path between Netzach & Hod, Malkuth overlaps the non-sephira Da’ath. It is the becoming of a sephira & yet not simultaneously. If folded at Tiphareth, Da’ath houses Yesod, the very Foundation of the Tree itself & Malkuth eclipses Kether (the Crown). Indeed. Both the Earth & humanity are directly connected with Da’ath.
Da’ath is the home of the Cthulhu “mythos”, the Asuras (the Elder or Anti-Gods) & the eleven aspects of Rudra. It is the home of the Titans, hence Kenneth Grant’s exaltation of the Typhonian Tradition (what I call the Black Tradition) as well as the Nephilim, the eleven Kings of Edom and all of the Greater Qlippoth. This is easy to say, but all of the forementioned entities perfectly disembody the great Androgynous & inbetween-ness state of Da’ath. It is the conjunction of Chokmah (the Great Father of Wisdom) & Binah (the Great Mother of Understanding). It is the Black Sun or Shadow of Tiphareth and hence, the home of Anti-Christ n-ever coming into Being.
In perusing Dion Fortune’s The Mystical Qabalah, one learns that, “the Tenth Path [the sephira Malkuth] is called the Resplendent Intelligence because it is exalted above every head & sits upon the Throne of Binah. It illumines the splendor of all the Lights, & causes an influence to emanate from the Prince of Countenances [Metatron]” (pg. 165). Her quoting is directly taken from W. Wynn Wescott’s translation of the Sepher Yetzirah (The Book of Formation). Again & again, Malkuth sounds incredibly like Da’ath in this description and can easily be considered as the risen Kingdom of Un-knowing, returned to Da’ath once more. Some more titles of the Tenth Path or Eleventh Sephira (Malkuth) are: The Gate of Death, The Gate of the Shadow of Death & The Gate of the Daughter of the Mighty Ones. Indeed. The Tenth Path called Malkuth is in fact the Eleventh non-sephira Da’ath. It is the exaltation of the Daughter (Da’ath) above the Son (Tiphareth).
Da’ath is the home of all anomalous entities, be they ghosts or poltergeists, strange lights seen in the sky (U.F.O.s), shadow beings or djinn. You name the oddity and it’s there. It is the housing of all things monstrous; mal-formed, ill-formed or semi-formed. In a word, un-forming. It is the Imagination itself gone wild. It is the Surrealists’ hellish paradise, transforming all earthly things into the Supra-natural or surreal. It is interesting to note that most, if not all, of the Surrealists were atheists, denying the existence of the Supernals “above” them, while simultaneously revelling in the phantasmagorical & perpetually altercating nature of Da’ath. Strange indeed.
Da’ath has been called both the Crimson Desert & the Mauve Zone by Kenneth Grant & the Sea of Astral Fire as well as the Kingdom of Un-knowing by 616. “Un-knowing” because of its’ birthing of forever new & unnamed monstrosities. I think the Kingdom of Un-knowing is its’ best appellation.
As Kether is the home of the Great White Brotherhood, although Dion Fortune posits it at Tiphareth (?), the Great Black Brotherhood as I have intuited “in here”, not “out there”, forms a reclining black crescent at the Ajna Chakra (or Third Eye) of Adam Kadmon (the primordial Wo-man). For us, it is the crescent-like veil of thick darkness (Ain Soph Aour Chashak: “T-here is no end to the Dark Light”; the fourth & final veil of Positive Negating) that bridges Kether to & from the rest of The Tree of Life. The Black Masters do not merge into Kether whereas the Great White Brotherhood do. My revised Black Master Manifest-O contains a great deal of information about The VV that I will not reiterate here.
Da’ath also consists of the exalting & debasing of the Female. She is the living gateway to the Qlipphotic (“harlot”) & womens’ rights need to be equal with mens’ across the board. The abuse of women on earth (Malkuth) must be obliterated as the final heh (“daughter”) is now before the vav (“son”) on the Tree itself. Hence an exalting and debasing simultaneously, since Da’ath is dangerous indeed.
Sophia (“Wisdom”), in this case a conjunction of Wisdom & Understanding (Chokmah & Binah), is exiled by the highest god in Gnosticism (Da’ath: Gnosis). She has risen. Shakhina, the wife &/or bride of YHVH, was shunned and is now returned before her Lord. Similar to Sophia & Shakhina, one recalls the Fall of Lucifer, from Lucifer to Satan & now risen to Da’ath again. Lucifer as Venus is another obvious correspondence, hence Luxifer(a), which contains the formula of the Divine Androgyne as well as the mystery of AntiChrist (alpha & omega).
In the east the Vissudha chakra, at the throat level of Kundalini, bears the image of Ardhanarisvara, the androgyne par excellence & is also connected with Da’ath, the grand non-sephera, the sacred in-between, the protean Mauve Zone, now home to Malkuth as the Kingdom of Un-knowing. Everything known is shadowed by an unknown aspect of the Tri-Unmanifest (the Three Veils of Positive Negating) which support-s & manifest-s the ten sephiroth, with Kether as its all important point or “door” into Being-ness.
The last word about Da’ath is that one must cross the Abyss eventually. To linger there too long is to invoke total madness at best, &/or endure aions of hells at worst. Both black & white magickians will either be pleasantly surprised or totally shocked (or both) upon the realization that Kether (Metatron) is the Source of both the Great White Lodge & the Great Black Brotherhood (The VV).
The “Secret Door” of Da’ath by 616