This is part two of a two part series written about the Portae Lucis working and the ancillary rites associated with the last four days of this ordeal.
June 18 - 19 Ritualized Path Working
Monday dawned and I began the work to prepare for the ritualized Path Working session that I would perform that evening. I looked over the Eneagram and the Double Tetrahedral Gate rituals and found that if I had to serially go through these two rites for each Sephirah and Pathway, the overall working would take hours to complete. I really didn’t want to spend that much time and energy engaged in what would be a supporting working. Therefore, I began to really scrutinize the ritual patterns for these two rituals, and I found that some of the ritual actions would be redundant if they were performed over and over again. So I broke each of the rituals into three sections: one would contain the preliminary actions that needed to be performed to set up the environment for invoking both the Sephiroth and the Pathways; then the actual invocations that were needed for each Qabalistic element; finally, the closing actions needed to complete the overall process. In performing this exercise, I was able to condense the two rituals down to one small ritual without any redundant steps. The preliminary actions would be done just once, then the invocations for each of the Sephirah and Pathway, and then the closing actions. This seemed to be the most efficient method of concurrently performing these rituals, so I set about to pulling all of these combined steps into a new condensed ritual, which I have entitled the "Archeomantic Path Working Rite." I am very certain that it will feature prominently in future ordeals.
In order for me to get a really good idea about the transit path that the Portae Lucis follows, I carefully examined my deluxe illustration of the Enochian Tree of Life, which I had designed and executed some years ago. While I was tracing this transit path, it dawned on me that I was following a line that functioned as the border for all of the Dimensions from the bottom two (XVIII and XVII), to the very edge of Dimension IV, which was one of two trapezoidal shaped dimensions, before ending at Binah. I suddenly realized that the transit path of the Portae Lucis would, when it was successfully completed, open up an opportunity for me to complete the Archeomantic ordeal. The transit path of the Portae Lucis functions as the strategic bridge between the lowest dimensions (two of which I had already full entered and explored) and the trapezoidal shaped dimensions that were the keys to the entire dimensional array. It was like a light went off in my mind. I immediately saw the possibilities and also how important and critical the Portae Lucis working was in the overall scheme of the battery of Order ritual ordeals. If I include the Enochian Qabalah (which is still waiting for me fully write it up from my notes) and the Archeomantic considerations in the transit line of the Portae Lucis working, I would come up with the following detailed information. I found this information to be fascinating, but in case you aren’t quite as much of an occult nerd or Qabalah wonk as I am, you can skip two paragraphs down.
As I have pointed out previously, the Portae Lucis path working would begin at Malkuth, and I would qualify that Sephirah with my Mercury talisman, since it represents me at my mundane level of conscious development. Since we all have bodies, there is a part of us that is rooted in Malkuth, whether we associate our spiritual achievements to a higher Sephirah or not. Then this transit line would travel up the 32nd Path (Tau - Atu XXI), which borders the lowest two dimensions (XVIII and XVII), to the Sephirah Yesod (associated with the Moon talisman). Then from Yesod, the transit line would travel up the 25th Path (Samek - Atu XIV) to the Sephirah Tiphareth (associated with the Sun talisman). However, this path is actually broken into two Paths because it is bisected by the 27th Path (Peh - Atu XVI), so at that point, there resides the secret Enochian Element Sephirah of NANTA (Earth - Sacramental Life) and the extended Enochian Path of the Arabic numeral for 9 (Philosophia). This broken Pathway follows the borders of the Dimension XV and XVI pair, as well as the Dimension XIII and XIV pair.
Finally, from Tiphareth, the trace line travels diagonally (to the left) through the 17th Path (Zain - Atu VI) to the Sephirah Binah (associated with the Saturn talisman), the lowest and most accessible of the Supernal Triad. Because this Path is also broken into two pathways because the 19th Path (Tet - Atu XI) bisects it, there is at that point the secret Enochian Element Sephirah of HCOMA (Water - Spiritual Love) and the extended Enochian Path of of the Arabic numeral for 4 (Hierogamos). This trace line also follows the borders of the Dimension VII and VIII pair, and the Dimension III and IV pair (unlike the other pairs, these two dimensions are both female). I should also note that Dimension IV is the left sided trapezoidal shaped dimension (the other is Dimension V), and is an important key to any further Archeomantic workings.
I started this working at around 9:10 pm, shortly after sunset, and then performed the condensed version of this ritual working, which lasted until around 11:10 pm (close to two hours). Like the previous working on Saturday, I didn’t use any planetary hours to set the time of this working. During the entire period of this working, I saw no visions nor did I have any specific insights while performing it. However, during the entire period when I was serially invoking the Sephiroth and Pathways, I felt a tingling at the back of my neck. This meant that I was physically sensing that there were a lot of forces and spiritual attributes being invoked and released through this ritualized Path Working. I had the four planetary talismans arrayed on the four sides of the centrally placed Eneagram trigon. The whole working was very intense and quite powerful, yet I performed it with few breaks or pauses. I felt completely full (of all of the Qabalistic correspondences) and I felt that I had thoroughly visualized and, thereby, realized the entire transit path up the Tree of Life for the Portae Lucis working.
When I retired after completing this working, I fell immediately into a deep and dreamless sleep the moment my head touched the pillow. You could say that I had been thoroughly exhausted by this working, and I welcomed sleep like a long lost lover. I awoke the next morning feeling completely refreshed and I sensed a great joy, a kind of exaltation and a feeling of perfect contentedness, which had lingered from the previous night. I realized that such feelings are fleeting and temporary, but I hadn’t felt anything this powerful or intense since I performed the Abramelin Lunar Ordeal.
June 19 - 20 Portae Lucis Working
As the saying goes, all plans are subject to revision the moment they are executed. This certainly happened on the very night that I was supposed to start the final working of the Portae Lucis. I had planned on performing the Mass of the Goddess well before I was to actually start the final working, but that plan was changed by circumstance.
According to my working schedule, the final ritual of this ordeal was to be started sometime during the hour of True Midnight. I discovered that this time was determined by dividing the duration of the night by two and adding the result to the time of sunset. Since the duration of the night during the Summer Solstice was only around 8.5 hours, I determined that True Midnight would be around 1:05 AM Wednesday morning. After I divided the day and night into planetary hours, I found that the hour of Saturn occupied the point of True Midnight. All I had to do in order to lock in the planetary hour and True Midnight was to consecrate the magick circle during that planetary hour. So, I had quite a long period of time before I need to actually begin the work.
In order to be fully rested and ready to perform this working so late in the evening, I decided that I should take a nap late in the afternoon, and wake up around 8:30 pm. Once I was awake and ready, I would say the Mass of the Goddess to add a potent spiritual energy to the overall working. However, no matter what I did, I couldn’t fall asleep. My mind was too excited and worked up, even though I did feel somewhat tired. Finally, near the time when I was supposed to wake up, I fell asleep, and didn’t wake up until around 10:55 pm. Since I had planned on starting this working in roughly an hour and a half, I realized that I had actually run out of time to say the Mass.
I decided then and there to skip performing that rite, and start getting things ready for the final working instead. I guess you could say that I was at a bit of a loss for having to make this change of plans. Yet I realized that if I had said the Mass, I would have had to say another Mass the following day, since I wanted to perform some kind of Thanksgiving for successfully completing this ordeal. I also felt that saying the Mass that evening wasn’t a critical part of the working since the atmosphere of the temple was more than enough charged from the previous evening’s work. So decided that I would wait in the temple until the time was right and while away the extra minutes with a long meditation session. Once I made this decision, I realized that it was important that I should be as undistracted as possible between the previous night’s working and what I had to do this night.
My mediation period was very peaceful, fulfilling and I felt full of power and energy. I was rested, ready and eagerly looking forward to the working. Yet I also felt at peace, as if I were in no hurry whatsoever. The hour might be late, but the two hour nap had done its work, and I felt in proper form to work magick. So once the half hour past midnight had tolled on my mantle clock (in the living room), I broke out of my meditation and proceeded to consecrate the magick circle. The planetary hour was Saturn and it was also the hour of the True Midnight. The Moon was in Cancer (having achieved the New Moon phase by conjuncting the Sun in Gemini earlier in the day), and all was still and ready to begin the working.
I began to perform the adapted ritual called the Triple Tetrahedral Gate, which is a Double Gateway (West - Underworld, East, Ascension) with a great triangular Ascension Gate placed in the underworld center of the working. I had originally written this working as one of the key rites performed for the Abramelin Lunar ordeal, but it seemed perfect for what I needed to accomplish in the Portae Lucis working. Each of the three points of the Ascension Gate (located in the North, Ultra-point, and South) would be bound and directly connected to the planetary talismans arrayed on my Quintedecim Complex trigon (i.e., Latin for the number 15, a Septagram within an Octagon). Although this ritual is not particularly long, I made certain that my pacing in performing it was slow and deliberate, since I had wanted to relish and fully immerse myself in each ritual action. I also assumed my special ring and summoned my HGA, and I also called on Hermes Thoth to aid me in this working.
What I experienced from performing this rite was that the detailed and careful path working that I had done the previous night perfectly segued into this final working. All of the elements associated with the Qabalistic correspondences were very much alive and fully engaged in this working. All I had to do was perform an unsealing spiral for all of the circle points just before commencing with the Triple Tetrahedral Gate ritual. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect and flowing working if I had tried, and each step was executed with a new perspective and appreciation for the ritual actions and the accompanied verbiage. Even my voice deepened, and I was more perfectly articulating the associated ritual words, whether they were magical words of power or philosophical intentions.
When I got to the point of assembling the central Ascension Gate, I actually was able to fully visualize that geometric shape in a way that I have never seen any prismatic energy shape before. I saw what appeared to be like a plate of glass shaped like an equilateral triangle, whose ends touched the Southern and Northern Watchtowers and whose apex reached the ultra-point in the center of the circle. Light seemed to reflect off it (as if it were some kind of polarized glass) and I saw vistas of refracted light and rainbows reflecting on its surface. These lights then materialized so that I briefly saw what looked like a distant mountainous desert landscape, with clouds quickly flitting across an azure sky. I could also see lines of force connecting this triangular gate to the talismans arrayed on the central altar. Each line of force had a different color, representing the different planetary energies. The Mercury talisman seemed to be connected to the crown of my head. I found this vista to be incredible and completely unexpected.
After I had set the Ascension Gate, I entered into it, and I felt so ecstatic that I wanted to stay in that place forever. So I naturally extended the time period for observing and experiencing the phenomena emanating from that gateway. What was communicated to me, though, could be encapsulated completely by the words Simple, Direct, Practical, Earth-centered, Pragmatic, and Balanced. (Sounds a lot like Binah and Saturn, doesn’t it.) I felt that the most important communication given to me that evening was that I should keep myself in perspective at all times. A large unchecked ego is a sign of imbalance and instability, which must be avoided at all costs when one is engaging with the Supernal Triad. I sensed that the mythic archetype of the flights of Icharus and his father, Daedelus, were a case in point to what was being communicated to me. If I flew too high, I would experience a corresponding great fall, so it is prudent to fly low when your “wings” are glued to your arms with beeswax.
I also experienced a great deal of joy, happiness and even a profound sense of exaltation, but it was also tempered with a kind of potent grounding that was also quite pleasant. I sat in that circle for what seemed like a long time, and never once did I feel any fatigue or aching joints. I felt that I could have remained in that place forever, and not felt any need to change my posture or attend to any bodily needs. I also imagined at that moment that a part of myself remained in that idyllic state even after I had quit the ritual and sealed up the circle points. (Perhaps I am still there in that circle, communing with the highest and most balanced energy and intelligence that I have ever encountered in all the years of my magickal workings.)
Yet finally, I decided that I had been there long enough. I vaguely remember hearing the clock strike two, but I didn’t manage to disengage from this rite until nearly half past that hour. I performed the double Eastern Gates of Ascension (from out of the underworld) and I felt as if I had participated in a new dawning of myself and the world. I barely remember much after the ritual had ended, but when I finally got into bed (probably around 3 am), I had trouble getting asleep. My tired body was wracked by at least a couple more hours of dreams and visions before I became completely unconscious. I woke some hours later still feeling a bit tired, but I was fully aware and I understood what I had accomplished the night before.
That was the day of the Solstice, and I felt brilliantly happy, relieved and also very content with what the overall experience of this ordeal had produced. While I was feeling proud of what I had done, I also noticed that it was a rainy, lousy, wet and stormy day, and that I wouldn’t have too much opportunity to go outside and celebrate the Summer Solstice in my outdoor grove. Nor would I be able to light a fire, or pretty much do anything that I had imagined myself doing. It was great weather if were a duck, toad or a tortoise - not being any of these, I was somewhat let down. I also felt a bit fatigued from the four days of active ritual work, so I resigned myself to cooking a simple feast and then afterwards, before the sunset, to say the Mass of the Goddess. I managed to complete all of these objectives and then fell asleep sometime before 9 pm, even before the sun had managed to set. I blissfully snored away until the wee hours of the morning when I found that I couldn’t sleep any longer. I suppose that’s what I get for going to bed so early, and found that I had awakened just an hour before sunrise.
Now that I have fully undergone this ordeal, I couldn’t but recommend it to anyone who would like to perform some version of it. The Portae Lucis working does indeed do what its supposed to do, perhaps even more than my initial expectations would have indicated, and I have merely assembled and performed a talismanic version of it. I suspect that the spagyric version would be just as powerful and as intense.
You can be certain that this working will now become a standard ordeal for the Order. Since I had found quite a number of interesting connections that would link this ordeal with all of the others that are deployed in the Order, particularly the ordeal of Spiritual Archeomancy, it would seem that it is perfectly made for our Order’s work. So the Portae Lucis working is now an important part of the ritual regimen of the second order of Adepts. In fact, one segues perfectly into the other, making it part of the whole structure of degree based transformative ordeals. My only regret is that it took nearly 15 years for me to discover that connection, and had it not been for a couple of my outstanding friends (you know who you are!), I would have never known about this obscure working. Let that be a lesson about humility and the importance of having a magical peer group.