Friday, July 16, 2010

Rite of the Assumption of Godhead

As previously promised, I have produced an article that explains the basic structures for Godhead assumption as used in the Order of the Gnostic Star. Since Godhead assumption is one of my most important rituals, and is considered one of the core disciplines in the Order, I thought that it would be a good idea to present it here in an article for discussion and consideration.

Keep in mind as you look over this ritual, that this is just one of many methods that can be used for accomplishing this task. This specific rite is learned and mastered until it becomes automatic, absorbed into the magician’s basic regimen that she uses to adjust her mind and align with her spiritual self, which the Godhead actually symbolizes for her. For this reason, choosing a specific Godhead becomes a very important part of a beginning magician’s quest.

The Order distributes this rite in the form of a simple outline that contains no details or characterizations, since it’s up to the magician to build a specific rite that targets a well defined and established imago of the magician’s personal deity. This task is mastered early on in the training of a magician in the Order, usually in the first or at the very latest, the beginning of the second degree. By the third degree, this rite must be wholly subsumed into the mind of the magician so that it is automatic whenever magick is to be performed. 


Introduction

Assumption of the Godform is used by the magician to assume a powerful and spiritual alignment. In addition to the Godform, the magician must also have developed a magickal persona that accompanies that aspect of deity. The relationship between this aspect of deity and the persona that a magician adopts must be well established and developed so that they seem like a logical pairing of two simultaneous dimensions, the human and the divine. In fact the magickal persona becomes the vehicle that the Godhead is actively engaged in, so the adoption of one will naturally lead to the assumption of the other.

A magickal persona is defined as an archetypal mythic self linked to some aspect of the deity and when expressed within an altered state of consciousness during a godform assumption, it becomes a metaphoric “mantle” of protection and an instrument of empowerment. Because the mundane personality can be easily absorbed by the potent impact of spiritual intelegences, a magickal persona and godform pair greatly reinforces the magician’s personality and gives it an analogous symbolic spiritual potency. Adoption of the magickal persona and the assumption of the godform are used when performing virtually any kind of magickal working, although in the beginning, the neophyte starts out by writing a formal ritual and building these personifications up until they seem to have a life of their own. The rite of Godhead Assumption is performed as part of a regular magickal practice. Eventually, it is practiced and performed so many times that it becomes second nature.

To me, personally, a magickal persona adoption and a godhead assumption are so automatic that merely going through the preparation stages before performing a magickal working will cause them to automatically engage. I only need to meditate and sense them, and the transition is almost instantaneous.

Great care must be exercised when choosing a godform to assume. While one's fantasy and imagination are important factors in transforming the self, detailed research is required in order to understand the symbolic meaning and associated mythic material behind the chosen godform.

Before writing and then performing this ritual, a list of character traits, descriptive images, metaphors and associated symbolic regalia should also be compiled and analyzed for appropriateness. It is necessary for the magician to not only identify with the godform, but to feel actual reverence, love, devotion and respect for it. Thus the aspect of deity chosen should have qualities that are emotional, inspirational and even ecstatic. If these are not a natural part of the chosen deity, then they can be added to its qualities, even if they have to be invented. The imago of the deity that the magician is forging can and should be a unique tailored expression of the magician’s magickal aspirations and beliefs. There is no need to be too wedded to tradition or to be limited by insufficient information, since this is the magician’s personally defined representation of the godhead, she may use any creative additions or inspired adoptions as deemed necessary by the artful assembly of the final product, a personal religious icon that is meaningful and significant.

(We have already discussed the requirements for aligning oneself to one’s personal godhead in the previous article, so we don’t need to discuss it here. Suffice it to say that the magician spends a great deal of time and care developing his personal divine cult, and building the shrine, rites, practices and  myths in manner that supports the magician’s specialized needs.)


Ritual Pattern and Commentary

This is the basic ritual pattern that is used in the Order. It is presented here as an outline instead of an actual ritual. It’s expected that the magician will take this pattern and produce a completed ritual. Before actually beginning this rite, it’s assumed that the magician has performed the appropriate ablutions (magickal bath) and that the temple is clean and in proper order, with an incense offering burning to purify the atmosphere. Whatever robes or other vestments that the magician is to wear are clean and freshly laundered. The time allotted for this working should be completely clear of any distractions or intrusions, and the magician should put all mundane thoughts or considerations far from her mind. It is also advised that this working be performed in sacred space, which either requires a circle consecration rite, or at the very least, the perception of sacred space within the temple or shrine area. (This can be aided by burning incense and aspurging the floor with lustral water.)
                       

Preliminary Meditation:

The celebrant meditates and begins to internally summon the Godform. Feelings of devotion, worship and love are projected into it. It may also be deemed good to have already erected a shrine for this deity, giving it appropriate offerings, praise and adoration. The more that the magician puts into these preliminary stages, the more potent will be the act of godhead assumption. Meditation should establish a base-line state of consciousness, where the spiritual dimension is more readily apparent. This would include a basic asana, breath-control, other forms of prana-yama (as appropriate), mantra and yantra yoga. Once this altered state of consciousness is fully realized, the magician will then contemplate on the qualities and characteristics of the targeted deity, seeking to fully realize that entity and even to visualize it in detail. As a part of this process, the magician also adopts his magickal persona, doing this first and then focusing on the appearance of the imago.


Centering the Self:

Celebrant stands in the center of the magick circle and performs a centering exercise - energizing the chakric body points from foot to crown in an ascending projection. While this is done, the breath is drawn up into the body, held and then exhaled gently through pursed lips while the magician holds her arms above her head, allowing the fingers of her hands to shake and vibrate.


Primary Invocation:

Celebrant intones the Primary Invocation which consists of words that establish the image or imago of the deity, describing in great detail its appearance and characteristics. This can be memorized or read, but eventually it should become automatic. As this is done, the magician should actually sense the godhead entity materializing before him. In addition, he positions his arms to form right angles, with the elbows against the sides of his body, and the arms straight out with the palms of the hands facing up. This is the symbolic “receiving” pose, which indicates that the celebrant is ready to receive the spirit of the godhead.


Second Centering:

Celebrant performs the centering exercise again, except this time,  the direction of the centering is descending, from the crown down to the feet. This action draws the imago that was created by the invocation down into the self.


Mantle of Glory:

Celebrant performs any variation of the Qabbalistic Cross, aligning the chakras so that a cross is formed upon the body. There is no need to actually use any of the attributes of the Qabbalistic Cross, just crossing of the body and visualizing these four points of light joining to form a cross is sufficient. At this point the imago that was drawn into the self is now powerfully fortified and sealed.


Secondary Invocation:

Celebrant begins to summon the deity into manifestation within herself. This is done by the following symbolic actions.

A second invocation or summoning is intoned by the magician. Unlike the first invocation, this one summons, begs, entreats and implores the deity to descend into the magician’s body. Once this is done to the magician’s satisfaction, the next step is taken to dramatically cause the godhead to manifest within the magician. 

A gate trigon (triangle) is drawn upon the body, using the points of the crown of the head and the left and right breast of the torso as representing the triangle. A triangle is used because it establishes a gateway (with the heart as its center) where the deity will enter into the body of the magician, passing through from its celestial domains into the heart and soul of the celebrant.

There can also be gender based variations on this trigon. Instead of using the head as the focal point, the triangle can be inverted and focus on the yoni or phallus instead. In some cases using the left and right shoulders can be more polarizing and empowering than using opposing points on the chest. This would make the solar plexus the gateway instead of the heart.


Projection of Deified Self:

Celebrant performs the centering exercise for a third and final time, and like the first centering, the direction of the flow is from the feet to the head and beyond, done with a flourishing and ascending projection. During this action, the magician internally summons the deity, repeating its name over and over as this exercise is done with deliberate slowness and with the greatest intensity, so that it reaches a climax at the end and its potency is felt throughout one’s being. With the arms fully raised and the eyes to the heavens, the magician wills himself to be the godhead, internally repeating the mantra - “I am so-and-so, the deity..” in such a manner that it becomes momentarily full realized.


Communion with Divinity:

At this point the Godform is fully assumed by the celebrant, and she may exult in the feelings of personal empowerment, alignment and spiritual ascendency. She may sit down to momentarily stabilize this moment in her mind (especially if this is the first time) or she may perform various tasks in the guise of the Deity. She may bless and imbue the essence of the Godhead in various objects such as food or drink, oils, lotions, or power objects. Also, the celebrant can focus the divine power of the godhead for a healing or the blessings of individuals, whether present or not. One should focus on the Godhead and note any messages, images or portends that are given from it. These should be written down in a journal immediately after the working is complete.

If an evocation is to be performed, lustral water and a power crystal should be blessed for use by the celebrant in the guise of the deity in case the ritual should for any reason need to be aborted. The water may then be aspurged throughout the temple and the crystal used to send a powerful force into the gate, thus closing and sealing it.


Final Gesture:

After the Godform has been assumed and fully experienced, it’s important to meditate upon the imago of that deity and to send feelings of thanksgiving and also a loving farewell. As a token of respect and devotion, some kind of offering should always be left behind for the deity, perhaps even placed in front of it’s statue or image. (The offering is given and never retrieved for any other purpose, since it is an offering that is given exclusively to the deity.)

It’s also important for the celebrant to perform some simple actions to ground himself and ensure that all of the energies and influences that he has acquired are properly centered in himself (and not actively causing any further unasked or unsought divine manifestations). The magick circle may be sealed and then broken. The celebrant should probably eat and drink something mundane and unconsecrated to aid in the return to the material world. 

The Temple should be incensed again and if required, a single lamp is allowed to continue burning as a kind of vigil light, showing that the spirit of the godhead is still present and available in some form, so that it is easily accessed whenever needed. The Celebrant may also choose at this time to read hymns or holy tracts dedicated to the deity, as well as contemplate on it, as a final gesture of faith and devotion.

So that’s the ritual for godhead assumption. As you can see, it’s pretty simple and there’s not a lot of detail to it. Once it’s developed as part of the magician’s regimen, it easily becomes an automatic part of the magician’s repertoire of directly assumed magickal states of consciousness.

Frater Barrabbas

3 comments:

  1. Another fantastic post, Fr B.

    However, the whole time I was thinking... ebook... EBOOK! :)

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  2. To my amazement, I had already used several of these procedures during my various practices, from worshiping, to meditation, although not in the elaborate manner in which you have presented them. For instance, when I read Psalm 150 to give praise to the Godhead, I visualize the same triangle you're talking about.

    I guess I was meant to stumble upon your blog, just like I've stumbled on Ananael's and the youtube channel of a witch, about one year ago. From the witch I've learned the basics of magick and addopted one of his sayings as a motto, when working magick: go big or go home. My practice only consisted of the LBRP and MP back then and that saying made me seek further exercises and rituals. His witchy eats also made it easy for me to construct a kind of ceremonial magick practice with some witchcraft influences. I use various witchy techniques in my general work, such as consecrating things. I've also embraced the multiple gods idea and blended it with the gods of the spheres of the TOL, thus creating some sort of personal pantheon. Also, I don't mind working with various other gods, if the situation requires using their qualities and I've even showed them my respect by lighting candles for them. I also reaspect the sabats and perform a certain ritual on those days, even if it's lighting a candle and meditating. So your approach to magick struck me in a way that it would seem to fit like a glove for me.

    From Ananael's blog I've learned the basic ritual steps and more advanced details about magick. This has helped me alot to keep going on my ceremonial style path. It has also marked me by consolidating the idea that one should practice in such a way it would suit him/her best.

    From your blog I have learned the what I can achive by following this path and using various rituals to ascend higher in following my spiritual goals. Reading your ordeal articles I was stunned to find out many pieces of information, represented by your knowledge gained from invoking those powers, were kind of the same as what I found out through a series of continuous epiphanies, even before I started practicing magick.

    Also, I feel that your idea of merging science and religion into magick is the same as my own. I am also willing to share information to other people in order to help them understand that there is more to this material experience of life.

    Thank you for your articles! Too bad I don't have enough time to read them more often.

    Blessings!

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