Monday, July 3, 2017

The Path of Initiation - Spirit

This article is Part Nine of a series. Part One can be found here, Part Two can be found here, Part Three can be found here, Part Four can be found here, Part Five can be found here, Part Six can be found here, Part Seven can be found here, and Part Eight can be found here.

Working with Spirit is the ninth step on the path of initiation into the mysteries of Western Esotericism. On the Kircher Tree of Life, Spirit is not attributed to any particular sephira. It is sometimes associated with the intersection of the paths of Samekh and Peh, but those attributions are specific to the Kircher Tree of Life and not particularly relevant to working with Spirit itself.

Spirit primarily represents the point of balance between Yesod, Hod, Netzach, and Tiphareth. On other arrangements of the Tree of Life, the paths that cross at that point are attributed to entirely different letters - but again, for the purposes of initiation, we are more concerned with the balance between those four sephiroth, regardless of the letters that you map to the paths.

Spirit has both microcosmic (psychological) and macrocosmic (physical) components, and as with practical magick, aligning those components is the key to experiencing effective illumination and visionary work. Hence, I use the operant field in these rites just like I do for practical workings. This allows you to integrate magical principles and forces into your life more quickly and effectively.

"Effective" is harder to define with rites of illumination than it is with practical magick. Practical magick is relatively simple to assess - you perform an operation with a specific objective, and then record whether it succeeds or fails. Effective visionary work should obtain information from the exterior world that you could not possible know by any other means, and effective illumination work should transform you in a positive way, increasing your degree of realization and in some real sense making you a "better person."

This process can be highly subjective, and failed initiatory operations often go unrecognized. I am of the opinion that a lot of the nonsense out there from certain allegedly "advanced" magical practitioners can be traced back to these sorts of initiatory failures, and this is a problem that has been acknowledged for a long time in the tradition. To avoid this, you always need to be skeptical about any apparent attainment.


Always test spirits. Always keep track of any changes you observe following illuminating and visionary experiences, and do your best to see if the changes you are seeing from your work are going in a positive direction. Stories of magicians "going insane" from failed operations are highly exaggerated - most often, nothing happens, and the danger lies in being convinced that something did happen and then acting from that perspective.

There are a few prerequisites for moving on from working with Netzach to working with Spirit. The biggest one, as before, is that you should be handling your shit. The various magical schools and orders go on about "balancing your personality" and so forth while working through the elements, but what really matters is whether or not you can deal with external issues as they come up. When you invoke Spirit, imbalances of whatever sort can be magnified, so you want to be on your toes.

As I see it, it doesn't matter how balanced your personality is if your life is in complete disarray. Conversely, putting your life in order is one of the most effective ways to accomplish this sort of personality work - and it has the added benefit that your life gets put in order. Basically, it's a win-win. The material and spiritual should not thought of as adversaries, but rather two sides of the same metaphysical coin.

Spirit has two forms, Active and the unfortunately named Passive. This implies that "Passive Spirit" does nothing, when in fact the two forms act like an anode and a cathode for spiritual and magical energy. In the Chinese Qigong system, these two polarities are called Heaven Qi (corresponding to Active) and Earth Qi (corresponding to Passive). In Qigong, it is much clearer that both of these polarities perform specific functions and are both entirely necessary for any movement of energy to take place.

The German system taught by Franz Bardon used its own terminology, based on the electrical technology that was the hot new thing in the early part of the twentieth century. Bardon called Active Spirit "Electric" and Passive Spirit "Magnetic." That sounds a little silly with our modern understanding of technology, but it does avoid some of the connotations that "Active" and "Passive" have developed in English.

Incidentally, you can find some of this celebration of electrical technology in Aleister Crowley's works, too. The weapon that is supposed to be constructed to represent spirit is a lamp that burns "without flame or oil." It is to be made from glass, tungsten, and several other materials quite familiar to modern folks, but which would have been a lot more mysterious back when the passage was written. This lamp does not produce any sort of paranormal illumination - it's a light bulb. Building your own light bulb is still challenging today, but the principle is much more widely known than it was back then.

"Magnetizing Energy" is a manifestation of allegedly "Passive" Spirit. Projecting and Receiving is another set of terms that some modern magicians have taken to using. The point is that it's not really "Passive" to, say, cast an enchantment that draws a particular condition or opportunity into your life. That's how the "Passive" polarity works, and it can be used to accomplish far more powerful operations than its traditional name would suggest. A black hole is perhaps the ultimate manifestation of this principle in nature, and black holes are anything but "passive."

As I've mentioned previously, my system is not a classical Gnostic escape from matter, but rather a skillful means by which the material and spiritual worlds can be turned to your advantage. So in the course of getting the work down I expect you to be doing practical magick in addition to all the necessary mundane actions required for success right away. It is most coherent at this point to stick with elemental operations if you can. My elemental work operations can be found here.

Now if that makes you feel "stuck" because you really, really think you need to do a planetary operation to get something that will put your Kingdom in order, keep in mind that in magick every complete system is a reflection of every other. So the elements reflect the planets, the planets reflect the signs, and so forth. You can use elemental operations to mimic the powers associated with planetary operations as follows:

Earth - Money, finances, employment (Jupiter, Sun).
Water - Love and relationships (Venus).
Air - Healing and divination (Mercury, Moon).
Fire - Cursing and protection (Saturn, Mars).

Try it out, and I think you will see what I'm talking about. The four elemental kings are powerful spirits, and they can accomplish a lot. But remember - magick is no substitute for mundane actions! I emphasize, because so many people miss that point, on the Internet and elsewhere. That probably is one reason that unlike me, most of the magical teachers and schools out there don't teach practical magick right away.

Magick does make all of your mundane actions go better and more smoothly, and when you use it you'll find success much more quickly. But it's all based on probability. For example, a magical ritual usually won't bring you a job if you never send out a resume. The key is to understand that you take mundane actions to make the outcome you want as likely as possible, and you use magick to make sure the remaining odds fall in your favor.

These two sides of practical operations should always work together. When you rely on magick and take only minimal mundane actions, you are making success a lot harder than it needs to be. Remember, we're not trying to escape the physical, we're trying to transform it into a proper vehicle for the manifestation of our individual wills.

Before moving on to Spirit you should have, as a minimum, performed the Netzach Rite of Approach and Elisir Rite. As a prerequisite to those, the Hod Rite of Approach and Elixir Rite. As a prerequisite to those, the Rites of Approach and Elixir Rites for Malkuth in their microcosmic and macrocosmic forms. And as a prerequisite to those, you should have performed both rites for all four elements.

So that makes eighteen total rituals to get to this point, at a minimum. You will get the best results if you can obtain initiation into each element during the Rites of Approach, and then sealing those initiations with a subsequent Elixir Rite - however long it takes for the spirits to decide you are ready.

It should also be pointed out that if you have already obtained viable initiation into the elements by means of another tradition - and there are many that offer it in their initial grades - you might be able to do the Rite of Approach, have the spirit confirm your initiation, and then do the Elixir Rite to seal it. There really are no guarantees. Some practitioners meet with success right away, while for others it can take a lot longer.

You may also wish to seek initiation into a magical order or tradition at this point, if it be your will. I'm not familiar with all the systems out there, and some of them may not be entire compatible with this schema, or be led by teachers who disagree with my approach. In the A.'.A.'. and Golden Dawn schemas, The Philosophus grade corresponds to Netzach. So if you want a formal initiation into Netzach before moving on to Spirit, that's the kind of initiation you should be looking for.

Spirit is all about working with raw spiritual energy. You can call it Qi or Prana or Kundalini or whatever term you resonate with the most. The point is to invoke both forms of Spirit - your anode and your cathode - and set them to work increasing your internal subtle energy. Taking up a a practice like Qigong or Pranayama is highly recommended at this point, since those methods allow you to work with the energy directly.

You will find that developing a solid energy work practice will take your rituals to the next level. There are a few practitioners out there who question the importance of this sort of work, but in my opinion it is critical. Specifically, you should have developed the ability to work with subtle energies before moving on to the next initiatory step, which is the invocation of the Holy Guardian Angel. Being comfortable working with energy makes that whole process go much more smoothly.

For this step, you perform the Passive form of the rituals and then move on to the Active form. That's easier, because you start off calling some of the energies to you that you will want to work with when you move on the Active form. Trying to do Active first is kind of like trying to push the ocean. It just does not work nearly as well.

In a sense, the two forms of Spirit work like a higher octave of Malkuth. Just as Malkuth binds the elements together on the Earthly plane, Spirit binds them together on the spiritual plane. These two planes resonate with each other in a reciprocal relationship, and developing a deep understanding of how those processes work is one of the keys to working with embodied spirituality.

There are a couple of points here that I may or may not do like other teachers. The signs attributed to Spirit are called the Rending and Closing the Veil. To make the former, you extend both arms in front of you and make a motion as if you were parting a heavy curtain. To make the latter, you perform the opposite motion, as if you were closing that same curtain.

Some teachers associate Closing the Veil with Passive Spirit and Rending the Veil with Active Spirit. But if you actually work with the signs that was for any period of time, I think you will find it as awkward as I do. I don't think it makes much sense to "Close the Veil" when you are invoking or "Rend the Veil" when you are banishing. So I use Rending the Veil when invoking both Active and Passive Spirit, and Closing the Veil when banishing the same.


Spirit is raw energy, so there is no particular angel associated with it to conjure. Instead, all the work is done with the two associated godnames - EHEIEH (Active) and AGLA (Passive). So for the Rite of Approach and Elixir Rite there is no particular angel conjured or dismissed. This is not to say that you won't encounter entities when you project into the Realm of Spirit, or that you can't call upon any particular entity during the Elixir Rite. Spirit is essentially a generic, in that all entities partake of it to some degree.

Whether you're taking up practical magick right away or pursuing the initiatory path right away, my basic recommendations are pretty much the same. First, take up a daily magical practice, which I discuss here and here. Meditation is important as well, especially for any form of mystical work.

In at least one of those older articles I talk about keeping meditation and ceremonial work separate. That's a precaution that I no longer think is necessary. Instead, you can do a single practice session that includes both. Go through your entire ceremonial practice sequence, sit and meditate for about twenty minutes, and then seal your practice with a concluding Qabalistic Cross. It works just fine that way. The whole thing will take you maybe half an hour a day, not even as long as watching a regular television program.

And let me caution you about extending your practice - and particularly your meditation - much beyond that. Pushing yourself to meditate for hours a day will probably not make your progress much faster, and I find that students who try to do this against my advice inevitably burn out and quit practicing. Persistence and determination should be your watchwords here. Spending half an hour on this, every day, will prove much more beneficial than spending three or four hours on one day and then being too tired to do anything else for the rest of the week.

Keep a magical journal, especially at the beginning of your studies. Note your state of mind along with the date and time you start your practice each day, and note anything unusual that comes up while you are doing the work. You can also write down anything noteworthy that happened during the day. It doesn't have to be especially detailed, but you want to have enough information to track your progress along with the astrological landscape and an overview of what is happening in your life from day to day.

And I realize this may sound like a lot - but it really isn't. Add fifteen minutes of journaling to your half-hour practice, and it really only takes about as much time as watching a regular television episode. In fact, you don't want your magical work to consume your life. That can create all sorts of problems, from lack of attention to your material situation and physical health to complete burnout. Even if you love doing the work, try to discipline yourself to under an hour a day, total. You can avoid a whole lot of headaches that way.

The initiatory path of illumination for each element involves two basic operations - a "Rite of Approach" and an "Elixir Rite." The Rite of Approach opens a portal into the realm of Spirit, and then employs the same methods I lay out in my simple pathworking ritual to explore what lies beyond the portal and interact with the energies found there. When interacting with any entity you encounter in your travels, feel free to ask for initiation corresponding to Spirit. You may get a positive response depending upon the entity you are interacting with.

You should recognize the core of the Elixir Rite right away, as it is similar to what we do during the Aries Elixir Rite. The Elixir Rite is a eucharistic ritual that involves the charging of wine (or juice, if you can't drink alcohol) with the power of the Spirit and then consuming it. This may or may not include a specific statement of intent. The function of the eucharist is to spiritually charge a material substance and then consume it, in order to take into your physical body the essence of magick itself.

0. The Temple

There are a number of different ways to arrange the temple for an operation such as this. What we do is place an altar in the center with the banishing dagger and invoking wand. Also on the altar is a containment structure such as the Sigillum Dei Aemeth or the Trithemian Table of Art. The diagram depicting the character and sigil should be placed within this structure. A small container of some sort for offerings may also be placed on the Table of Art. For the Elixir Rite, the cup goes within the Table of Art and no other container for offerings is required (since some of the Elixir is given as the offering).


If you employ scrying in your work, an appropriate device such as a crystal or mirror should also be placed in the containment structure. If you are using incense for such an operation, the traditional method is to place the incense burner between the scryer and the mirror or crystal. Otherwise, it may be placed anywhere in the space. Some scryers like to place a taper candle on either side of the device, and while I can't say that method does anything at all for me, a number of others report good results with it.

Active Spirit operations are best performed during the day, and Passive Spirit operations are best performed during the night. The day makes no difference. For Active Spirit, the best Chart Victor is the Sun and the Chart Victor to avoid is the Moon. All the other planets rule both a Diurnal and a Nocturnal sign. Also, you can improve your results by employing simple electional timing.

1. Opening

Open the magical field using the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram and Lesser Ritual of the Hexagram, Star Ruby and Star Sapphire, or the Field Ritual. The usual field for practical work is the operant field, with banishing pentagrams and invoking hexagrams.

2. Preliminary Invocation

Raise energy using the Middle Pillar, Elevenfold Seal (the "First Gesture" from Liber V vel Reguli), or some other appropriate ritual method as you may know how to do.

Make the Sign of Apophis and Typhon, raising both arms and holding them straight with an angle between them of 60 degrees, and proclaim, very strongly:

Thee I invoke, who art Universe!
Thee I invoke, who art in Nature formed!
Thee I invoke, the vast and the mighty!
Source of Darkness, Source of Light.

Then make the Sign of Silence, by standing straight with one arm at your side and placing your thumb or forefinger to your lips.


3A. Tuning the Space - Passive Spirit

Perform the Greater Invoking Ritual of the Pentagram for Passive Spirit. Beginning in the east, go to each quarter in turn and perform the following actions.

  1. 1. Trace the Invoking Pentagram of Passive Spirit in deep indigo while vibrating AGLA. The pentagram raced by starting at the lower left point and tracing counterclockwise.
  2. Make the Sign of Rending the Veil while vibrating ATH. The final figure being traced to all four directions should look like this:


Once you have returned to face the east, read or recite the chapter corresponding to Passive Spirit (The Moon) from Liber 963:

Spirit Passive (Moon)

12. The Light of my Life is as the light of two moons, one rising and the other setting, one increasing and the other waning; the one growing fat as the other groweth lean, like a paunchy thief sucking dry a skin of amber wine. Yet though the light of the first devoureth the light of the second, nevertheless the light of the second disgorgeth the light of the first, so that there is neither the desire of light nor the need of light— all being as a woven twilight of day and night, a madness of mingling moons. Yet I behold!

11. Now mine eyes are seven, and are as stars about a star; and the lids of mine eyes are fourteen, two to each eye. Also have I seven arms to do the bidding of the seven eyes; and each arm hath an hand of three fingers, so that I may rule the great ocean and burn it up with the Spirit of Flame, and that I may drown the fire in the Abode of the Waters. Thus I am rendered naked; for neither flame nor water can clothe me; therefore am I as a breath of wind blown over an Earth of Adamant, that knoweth neither sorrow nor rejoicing; then do I abide as a River of Light between the Night of Chaos and the Day of Creation.

10. Two are the moons of my madness, like the horns on the head of a goat. And between them burneth a pyramid of flame, which consumeth neither but blindeth both, so that the one beholdeth not the other. Notwithstanding, when the one is lost in the water, and the other is burnt up in the flame, they become united in the form of a woman fashioned of Earth and of Air, who without husband is yet mother of many sons.

9. Now the Sons are in truth but one Son; and the one Son but a daughter draped and never naked; for her mother is naked, therefore is she robed. And she is called the Light of my Love, for she is concealed and cannot be seen, as the Sun burneth over her and drowneth her in fire, whilst below her surgeth the sea, whose waves are as flames of water. When thou hast licked up the ocean thou shalt not see her because of the fire; and when thou hast swallowed the Sun surely shall the waters be driven from thee, so that though the fire be thine the water hath slipped thee, as a dog its leash. Yet the path is straight.

8. Along it shalt thou journey, and then shalt thou learn that the fear of death is the blood of the world. So the woman dressed herself in the shrouds of the dead, and decked herself with the bones of the fallen; and all feared her, therefore they lived. But she feared life; therefore she wove a dew-moon in her tangled hair as a sign of the fickleness of Death, and wept tears of bitter sorrow that she should live in the blossom of her youth. And her tears crept like scorpions down her cheeks, and sped away in the darkness like serpents; and for each serpent came there an eagle which did carry it away.

7. “Why weep?” said the Balance swinging to the left. “Why laugh?” said the Balance swinging to the right. “Why not remain still?” answered the Hand that held the Balance. And the Balance replied: “Because on my right laughs Death and on my left weeps a Virgin.”

6. Then the voice of the Hand said to the girl: “Why weep?” And the maid answered: “Because Death maketh jest of my life.” Then the Hand stayed the Balance, and at once the girl saw that she was Death, and that Death that had sat opposite her was in truth a motherless babe. So she took the child she had conceived in the arms of fear, and went her way laughing.

5. And the infant grew strong; yet its strength was in its weakness; and though to look at it from before was to look upon a man-child, from behind it was a little girl with golden hair. Now, when the child wished to tempt a maid he faced and approached her; and when the child wished to tempt a man she turned her back on him and fled.

4. But one day the child met, at the self-same hour, Love; and the man, seeing a woman, approached her eagerly, and the woman, seeing a man, fled, so that he might capture her. Thus it came about that the child met the child and wondered, not knowing that the child had lost the child. So it was that they walked side by side.

3. Then that part of the child that was man loved and lusted for that part of the child that was woman; and each knew not that each was the other, and felt that they were two and yet one, nevertheless one and yet two. And when one said: “Who art thou?” the other answered at the self-same moment: “Who am I?”

2. Soon becoming perplexed if I were Thou, or if Thou were I, it came about that the I mingled with the Thou, and the Thou with the I, so that six added to ten became sixteen, which is felicity; for it is the interplay of the elements. Four are the elements that make man, and four are the elements that make woman. Thus was the child reborn.

1. But though the man ruleth the woman, and the woman ruleth the man, the Child ruleth both its mother and father, and being five is Emperor over the kingdom of their hearts. To its father it giveth four, and to its mother it giveth four, yet it remaineth five, for it hath of its father an half and of its mother an half; but in itself it is equal to both its father and its mother; for it is father of fathers and mother of mothers.

0. Therefore is it One Whole, and not two halves; and being One is Thirteen, which is called Nothing when it is All-things.

Amen without lie, and Amen of Amen, and Amen of Amen of Amen.

The space should now be tuned for the rite.

3B. Tuning the Space - Active Spirit

Perform the Greater Invoking Ritual of the Pentagram for Active Spirit. Beginning in the east, go to each quarter in turn and perform the following actions.

  1. 1. Trace the Invoking Pentagram of Active Spirit in bright violet while vibrating EHEIEH. The pentagram is traced by starting at the lower right point and tracing clockwise.
  2. Make the Sign of Rending the Veil while vibrating ATH. The final figure being traced to all four directions should look like this:


Once you have returned to face the east, read or recite the chapter corresponding to Active Spirit (The Sun) from Liber 963:

Spirit Active (Sun)

1. O Thou Unity of all things: as the water that poureth through the fingers of my hand, so art Thou, O God my God. I cannot hold Thee, for Thou art everywhere; lo! though I plunge into the heart of the ocean, there still shall I find Thee, Thou Unity of Unities, Thou Oneness, O Thou perfect Nothingness of Bliss!

2. O Thou Unity of all things: as the hot fire that flameth is too subtle to be held, so art Thou, O God my God. I cannot grasp Thee, for Thou art everywhere; lo! though I hurl me down the scarlet throat of a volcano, there still shall I find Thee, Thou Unity of Unities, Thou Oneness, O Thou perfect Nothingness of Bliss!

3. O Thou Unity of all things: as the moon that waneth and increaseth in the heavens, so art Thou, O God my God. I cannot stay Thee; for Thou art everywhere; lo! though I devour Thee, as a dragon devoureth a kid, there still shall I find Thee, Thou Unity of Unities, Thou Oneness, O Thou perfect Nothingness of Bliss!

4. O Thou Unity of all things: as the dust that danceth over the breast of the desert, so art Thou, O God my God. I cannot seize Thee, for Thou art everywhere; lo! though I lick up with my tongue the bitter salt of the plains, there still shall I find Thee, Thou Unity of Unities, Thou Oneness, O Thou perfect Nothingness of Bliss!

5. O Thou Unity of all things: as the air that bubbleth from the dark depths of the waters, so art Thou, O God my God. I cannot catch Thee, for Thou art everywhere; lo! though I net Thee as a goldfish in a kerchief of silk, there still shall I find Thee, Thou Unity of Unities, Thou Oneness, O Thou perfect Nothingness of Bliss!

6. O Thou Unity of all things: as the cloud that flitteth across the white horns of the moon, so art Thou, O God my God. I cannot pierce Thee, for Thou art everywhere; lo! though I tangle Thee in a witch-gossamer of starlight, there still shall I find Thee, Thou Unity of Unities, Thou Oneness, O Thou perfect Nothingness of Bliss!

7. O Thou Unity of all things: as the star that travelleth along its appointed course, so art Thou, O God my God. I cannot rule Thee, for Thou art everywhere; lo! though I hunt Thee across the blue heavens as a lost comet, there still shall I find Thee, Thou Unity of Unities, Thou Oneness, O Thou perfect Nothingness of Bliss!

8. O Thou Unity of all things: as the lightning that lurketh in the heart of the thunder, so art Thou, O God my God. I cannot search Thee, for Thou art everywhere; lo! though I wed the flaming circle to the enshrouded square, there still shall I find Thee, Thou Unity of Unities, Thou Oneness, O Thou perfect Nothingness of Bliss!

9. O Thou Unity of all things: as the earth that holdeth all precious jewels in her heart, so art Thou, O God my God. I cannot spoil Thee, for Thou art everywhere; lo! though I burrow as a mole in the mountain of Chaos, there still shall I find Thee, Thou Unity of Unities, Thou Oneness, O Thou perfect Nothingness of Bliss!

10. O Thou Unity of all things: as the pole-star that burneth in the centre of the night, so art Thou, O God my God. I cannot hide Thee, for Thou art everywhere; lo! though I turn from Thee at each touch of the lodestone of lust, there still shall I find Thee, Thou Unity of Unities, Thou Oneness, O Thou perfect Nothingness of Bliss!

11. O Thou Unity of all things: as the blue smoke that whirleth up from the altar of life, so art Thou, O God my God. I cannot find Thee, for Thou art everywhere; lo! though I inter Thee in the sarcophagi of the damned, there still shall I find Thee, Thou Unity of Unities, Thou Oneness, O Thou perfect Nothingness of Bliss!

12. O Thou Unity of all things: as a dark-eyed maiden decked in crimson and precious pearls, so art Thou, O God my God. I cannot rob Thee, for Thou art everywhere; lo! though I strip Thee of Thy gold and scarlet raiment of Self, there still shall I find Thee, Thou Unity of Unities, Thou Oneness, O Thou perfect Nothingness of Bliss!

13. O Thou Unity of all things: as the sun that rolleth through the twelve mansions of the skies, so art Thou, O God my God. I cannot slay Thee, for Thou art everywhere; lo! though I lick up the Boundless Light, the Boundless, and the Not, there still shall I find Thee, Thou Unity of Unities, Thou Oneness, O Thou perfect Nothingness of Bliss!

Amen, and Amen of Amen, and Amen of Amen of Amen, and Amen of Amen of Amen of Amen.

The space should now be tuned for the ritual.

4A. The Rite of Approach

Begin by vibrating the name AGLA (Passive) or EHEIEH (Active) until a spiritual presence is perceived within the Table of Art. If this is being performed as a group ritual, with everyone chanting the name together, it is helpful for the officiant or scryer to have a bell chime that can be rung once he or she perceives a presence in whatever manner. At the bell chime, the chant stops.

Then sit down on a chair or cushion and read the Simple Pathworking Induction out loud. If you are able, it is helpful to record the induction so that you can listen to it and follow along with the corresponding visualizations. Or, if you are working with a group, each person can take a turn reading during a series of rites.

Sit or lie comfortably. Close your eyes and pay attention to your breath. Feel it flowing in and out of your body at its own natural rhythm. Relax your abdomen and allow it to expand as you breathe in, and contract as you breathe out. Feel the breath flowing, allowing it to sink into your abdomen and deepen at its own pace.

Visualize your body from the outside. Around it you see a glowing field of colored light arranged in four distinct layers. Bring your attention to the innermost layer, a field of light tinted with the rich green of earth. This layer extends only an inch or so beyond the boundary of your skin. As you bring your attention to this layer, relax from the toes on up. Then take a deep breath and say to yourself, “my body is at peace.” As deep relaxation flows throughout your body, see the field of green light becoming still and receptive.

Shift your attention to the next layer, a field of light tinted with the blue of water that covers earth. This layer begins where the green layer ends and extends a few more inches beyond your body. As you focus on this layer, pay attention to your emotions and feelings. Simply observe and let them pass, allowing your attention to detach from them. Take a deep breath and say to yourself, “my emotions are at peace.” As your emotions become calm and serene, see the field of blue light becoming still and reflective.

Shift your attention to the next layer, a field of light tinted with the yellow of air that covers water. This layer begins where the blue layer ends and extends yet a few more inches beyond your body. As you focus on this layer, pay attention to your thoughts. Simply observe and let them pass, allowing your attention to detach from them. Take a deep breath and say to yourself, “my thoughts are at peace.” As your thoughts become calm and clear, see the field of yellow light becoming still and integrated.

Shift your attention to the next layer, a field of light tinted with the red of fire that burns at the heart of the sun. This layer begins where the yellow layer ends and extends yet a few more inches beyond your body. As you focus on this layer, pay attention to the sparks of will that give rise to your individual sense of being. Simply observe and let them pass, allowing your attention to detach from them. Take a deep breath and say to yourself, “my will is at peace.” As your will becomes focused, see he field of red light becoming still and distinct.

Visualize your body and the aura that surrounds it. Allow any remaining tension, stress, or worry to drain away into the earth, and as you do, see the field of ethereal light that surrounds you becoming more vibrant and harmonious. Realize that you are now observing your body, emotions, thoughts, and will from outside, and that you are more than just these facets of your personality. Take a deep breath and say to yourself, “I am.” Then pay attention to your attention.

Now, begin to focus on your purpose in this temple. We are alone in the temple. The powers await just beyond our sensing. We will now bring these powers to life in our hall. Nothing awaits us or concerns us but the Great Work, which we shall now continue as we explore the realm of (Active or Passive) Spirit, the domain of (AGLA or EHEIEH).

Visualize an idealized form of yourself taking shape out of the light in front of your inner vision. See your astral double standing, facing you. Take some time to get the best image possible fixed in your mind. Once you have this Body of Light complete, look around the temple space from the viewpoint of your double and notice first that you are surrounded by a blank gray fog.

As the fog clears, you begin to make out the astral form of this temple around you. To the east you notice a portal take shape out of the mist. This could be a doorway, a large magick mirror, a window, or some other kind of opening large enough for you to enter. You pass through this portal, and find yourself in the realm of (AGLA or EHEIEH). Take note of all you experience here as you explore the landscape of Netzach.

At this point, allow 10-15 minutes for meditation in the spirit vision, or longer if it be your will. Use a timer, to remove the temptation to keep looking at your clock, watch, or phone. When you are finished, the induction is concluded as follows.

It is now time to leave the realm of (Active or Passive) Spirit. Take a few moments to finish your exploration here, and then turn back the way you came.

When you arrive at the portal, pass back through into the astral region of the temple. Stand in front of your physical body, turn around, and allow the Body of Light to merge back into your physical body. Retain all that has happened in vivid presence, while you quietly remain for awhile, with eyes still closed.

As you slowly merge back into the physical, be aware of your breath flowing, gently in and out of your body. Feel your eyes still gently closed and relaxed. Feel the movement of your abdomen as it moves away from your body as you inhale and back towards your body as you exhale. Finally, be aware of your body and the space that your body occupies.

Slowly bring your hands up to your face, cover your eyes with your hands and then gently open your eyes. Remove your hands slowly from your face, slowly look up and come back to the present space in circle.

Once you are back, stand and return to your place at the altar. Skip to Point 5 to close the rite.

4B. The Elixir Rite

Begin by vibrating the name AGLA (Passive) or EHEIEH (Active) until a spiritual presence is perceived within the Table of Art. If this is being performed as a group ritual, with everyone chanting the name together, it is helpful for the officiant or scryer to have a bell chime that can be rung once he or she perceives a presence in whatever manner. At the bell chime, the chant stops. Then say:

All-pervading (AGLA or EHEIEH). To thee we present this talisman of our magickal will! I ask thee, Oh Exalted One, to receive the body of this rite into the light of thy presence. As we proceed in making this Elixir of (Active or Passive) Spirit, charging it with the creative energies of ATH, we shall achieve a true alchemical ferment, mighty in Yetzirah and vitalized by thy blessing. In partaking of this Mystery, let there be unto us vitality of soul, increase of sight, true gnosis, and complete manifestation of the wonders of thy realm!

Note that the plural used here is NOT a typo or carry-over from the other elixir ritual. Even if you are working on your own, AGLA or EHEIEH will also be partaking of the elixir in the form of an offering at the end of the rite. So there will always be at least two beings present. Deities are more diffuse and less personal than angels, but they still respond to offerings.

Make one clockwise circumambulation, visualizing a wall of (deep indigo or bright violet) whirling rapidly in the same direction about the circle. When finished, the wall of light is allowed to fade. Hold the cup at heart level and say:

Creature of Wine who art established in the realm of ATH: by the vital force of my breath I enliven thee to perfect this work of Holy Magick in the domain of (AGLA or EHEIEH).

Once this is complete, join or clasp hands and make one full circumambulation of the circle.

Then raise power, visualizing a continuous spiral of (deep indigo or bright violet) light ascending from the ground at feet, whirling clockwise around body and ascending until it disappears above head. Hold this visualization, and vibrate the divine name once: (AGLA or EHEIEH)

The join or clasp hands and vibrate once more: (AGLA or EHEIEH)

Extend hands toward elixir cup. Visualize beams of emerald green light emanating from both hands and entering into the cup. When the cup feels “full” end the visualization, folding hands on breast left over right. Finally, trace the symbol of Spirit (a wheel with eight equally placed spokes) in a horizontal plane over the cup while vibrating once more: (AGLA or EHEIEH)

Make one more complete circumambulation of the circle. Battery: 1 (that is, knock on the altar table). Raise the cup and say:

Behold the Elixir of (Active or Passive) Spirit! For all and for each it is prepared! Let each and all receive its magick virtue!

Drink and then visualize or speak any practical intent. The cup should not be entirely drained. When finished, Battery: 1. Indicate the cup, which should still contain some of the elixir. Say:

All-pervading (AGLA or EHEIEH), we make this offering unto you, that it may nourish and fortify you and all within your domain. Be the ferment of our spiritual alchemy mighty in the crucible of our souls! So mote it be!

The offering should be allowed to evaporate following the rite. However, this is not necessary. If it has not fully evaporated after several days, you can pour it out at any convenient outdoor location.

5. Closing

The ritual should be closed with the Qabalistic Cross.

A couple of points: You will probably need to perform these rituals multiple times in both the Passive and Active forms before you can consider yourself "initiated" into Spirit.

Especially in the case of the Rite of Approach, be sure to write up a detailed journal entry including all that you experience. A voice recorder in the temple can be helpful for astral work of whatever kind so that you can describe what is going on as it happens. You may find trouble getting into the right mindspace to experience much the first time you do this and that's okay. Just use this trick: say to yourself "If I really was projecting into the astral, I would be seeing..."

You can test spirits you encounter by vibrating divine names at them. You can use the godname called upon in the ritual, AGLA or EHEIEH. The realm of Spirit is something of a wild card. It is potentially so mutable that you can experience almost anything, and the visions you receive are often highly personal. If you meet an entity, test them with the godname. If they pass the test, obtain from them a word of power, a number, or both.

After the ritual, go back and look those up in a resource like Sephir Sephiroth or Godwin's Cabalistic Encyclopedia to see if the number or the gematria of the word seems meaningful to you and related to whatever transpired with the entity. If it is, you most likely found your way to the right place. On the other hand, if you can find no connection, it is advisable to perform the rite again at some point in the future, maybe after doing an Elixir Rite or two.

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