This is part 3 of a three part series on the art and practice of invocation and evocation as taught within the Order of the Gnostic Star. This final part is about the Archetypal Gate series of rituals developed as a replacement for the more cumbersome methodologies initially developed in the Order.
Archetypal Gate Ritual and Variations
One of the more interesting derivations to the rite of invocation was when I developed and refined the ritual pattern that I called the Archetypal Gate ritual. This is a pretty complex and condensed pattern, but it allowed me to incorporate all of the important structures for an invocation into a single and brief ritual. It allowed me to discard the Gate of Revealing rite and thus make the working far more simple and less cumbersome to perform. Where the typical invocation would take around three hours to perform, this one would take less than an hour, making it idea for a working that had a limited time span.
The whole premise for developing this ritual working was to invoke the Archangels of the four elements, which was an important rite used in the first series of Enochian workings that I performed back in the early 1990's. I have since altered these rituals when I determined that the Archangels of the four elements as a hierarchy didn’t really didn’t work very well, and instead chose to use this same ritual structure to invoke the Elemental Godhead and the Seraphim and Cherubim. I have further elaborated on this ritual structure to include the Godheads, archangels and angels of the Sephiroth and the archangels of the 12 zodiacal signs. My assumption was that I didn’t need so much ritual technology to invoke these spirits, since they were as a whole, benign and powerfully aligned to the One.
So how did I determine the pattern for this working? At it turned out, it was a natural evolution from the invoking through a matrix mechanism and the Enochian Planetary vortex. The uniquely new technique that I employed for this working was a cross-roads vortex with a central pylon structure and an eastern aligned tetrahedral gateway that used the trapezoidal cross device, producing a prismatic trapezohedron. I called this new ritual structure the archetypal gateway, and it functioned as a combination entry point and domain for the spirit as well as a place to describe the imago and characteristics of the angelic spirit. Let’s examine the overall ritual pattern for this working and see how this rite was able to do so much with such a compact set of ritual actions.
Rituals using this pattern are based on the quality of the four elements as expressed through the four Qabalistic worlds. Thus, the foundation of this working would set one of the four Qabalistic Worlds as the target for the working. The obvious ritual mechanism to set the Qabalistic World was the ritual called the Qabalistic Pyramid of Power, so like other ritual workings, the first level or layer would be the specific Qabalistic World. For these workings, the first three Worlds of Atziluth, Briah and Yetzirah would established, depending on the hierarchical level of the target spirit.
Another quality that would influence the working would be a specific device that would be used to qualify the tetrahedral gateway (in this case, an invoking pentagram), and then intoning the detailed invocation used to describe the image or imago of the spirit. Only these three qualities would determine the specific attributes of any given spirit, whether Godhead, Seraphim, Cherubim, Archangel or Angel. Other attributes would be the 10 Sephiroth (using the eneagram) and the 12 zodiacal signs (gateway set to spirit, and central pylon set with element and astrological quality). So, the four overall attributes used in this rite were the Qabalistic Worlds, Elements, Sephiroth (Planets) and Zodiacal Signs. I also employed a consecrated sigil that was drawn on a piece of parchment to further help identify the spirit in those workings.
Qabalistic Pyramid of Power consists of four pylons set to the four Watchtowers, where the base of the pylon is charged with an invoking pentagram of a specific element, and the apex, with a specific invoking pentagram of spirit. Another invoking pentagram is drawn in the ultra-point, and these become the five points of the pyramid. The element quality and gender of the spirit is associated with the Qabalistic World, where Atziluth and Yetzirah are considered masculine, and Briah and Assiah are deemed to be feminine. The Qabalistic World is defined by the combination of the five points (circle squared and pylons drawn to the ultra-point) and the final formula exegesis, where it is expressed through the artifice of a tetragramaton.
Overlaying the Qabalistic Pyramid of Power is the Archetypal Gateway. The foundation of this structure is anchored in the infra-point (an unoccupied point in the circle) with an inverted pentagram of feminine spirit, representing the materialization of spirit through the descent of the feminine Godhead. Laid upon this empowered device are the cross-roads set with the hexagram of union. The celebrant begins at the southeastern angle, draws a hexagram, and then turns to walk directly to the northwestern angle, and draws therein a hexagram of union. He then proceeds deosil to the northeastern angle and draws a hexagram, and finally, he turns and walks to the southwestern angle and draws a hexagram of union.
After setting these four points and the cross-roads, the celebrant then projects a line of force to formulate an inner widershins circle. As an aside, the hexagram of union is a device that is drawn as two conjoined triangles with no consideration for the planetary attributes, since it represents a point of fusion or unity. Finally, the celebrant proceeds to the center of the circle and draws another hexagram of union into the ultra-point, and then using an invoking spiral, joins the central hexagram at the zenith with the inverted pentagram in the nadir. The combined structures produce a powerful invoking vortex used to summon a spirit associated with one of the three Qabalistic worlds.
At this point, the celebrant intones the first general Enochian invocation for the spirit, spending some time internally calling and summoning it. This general invocation will be intoned a total of three times within this working, and to do this the celebrant inserts the spirit’s name and its associated hierarchy into the blank lines located in the invocation verbiage.
Upon the layers of the Qabalistic pyramid of power and the cross-roads vortex is erected the tetrahedral archetypal gateway, being therefore, the third layer. This gateway is aligned to the East, so it includes the Southwest, Northwest and Eastern circle points, as well as the ultra-point. At each of the three gate points is set a trapezoidal cross device, and these three points are joined to form a tetrahedral structure (angles and watchtower joined to form a triangle, then each point drawn to the ultra-point and joined in a deosil circle). In the meso-point is set a device to qualify the gateway, then the celebrant exits the gate and charges the whole structure with an invoking spiral. What is needed at this point is to set a charge to the whole structure, and this where the staff is used to perform that task and to assume the focus of the invocation rite itself.
Taking the staff in her hands, the celebrant re-enters the gate and faces the East, holding the staff parallel to the ground. She begins to slowly turn in place in a counter clockwise direction, while ever increasing the velocity of the turning until she strongly feels the generated power. Then the Celebrant stops spinning and places the staff into the center node of the circle. She draws the infra-point up through the staff into the ultra-point with her right hand while the left is holding the staff. Then the Celebrant intones the general Enochian invocation for the second time, chanting the name of the spirit repeatedly afterwards. The staff has now become the physical pylon through which the spirit will manifest. (I actually use a central altar in these kinds of workings and carefully place the staff tight up against the altar, and then I can remove my hand and the staff remains standing by itself for the rest of the working.)
The final stage of this working is what is known as the preparation for the invocation proper, and the focus points for this activity are the infra-point, meso-point and ultra-point depicted by the base, middle and apex of the staff-pylon. At each point, the celebrant performs a specific invocation of the spirit and its associated hierarchy. At the base of the staff-pylon, the celebrant invokes the spirit of the qualified gateway, and at the apex, he invokes the unified spirit of Atziluth. At the meso-point or middle of the staff-pylon, a special device is set to further characterize the spirit (sometimes this is the spirit’s sigil). All three points are unified through the artifice of an invoking spiral, and this is where the invocation is to be performed.
First, the celebrant performs a direct calling or summoning of the spirit by the power of its name, and then he progresses to a descriptive calling that describes the qualities and attributes of that entity. Finally, he intones the general Enochian invocation for the third and final time, ending the it with a period of repeating the name of the spirit, over and over, until the spirit is sensed and answers the calling. While performing this repetitive calling, the celebrant should draw the power down with his hand from the apex of the staff-pylon to the base, and bow before it (as if it were the spirit itself), entering into a kind of meditative trance state sitting before the pylon for the duration of the working.
Once the working is completed, then the celebrant closes and seals the gate portal and seals all of the circle points. However, the sigil that was used to perform this rite can be reused as an access point for future meditative trance states to contact the spirit.
I have modified this ritual working and added to it other mechanisms for invoking other kinds of angelic spirits. In order to invoke the Godheads, archangels and angels of the 10 Sephiroth, there is a modified version of the Archetypal Gate ritual that uses part of the Eneagram ritual to define the specific Sephirah, and within that expanded matrix, the celebrant is able to invoke the entities associated with that Qabalistic quality. This rite uses both the Qabalistic Pyramid of Power and Eneagram to set the proper invoking matrix. To employ the Zodiac as an expanded matrix for this rite, the celebrant sets the tetrahedral gateway to the Element of Spirit. She erects a mini-pylon in the meso-point consisting of an invoking pentagram for the zodiacal element at the base and one of the three lesser hexagrams at the apex, and this device determines the specific zodiacal quality. The Qabalistic world is always set to Briah and the invocation and imago of the spirit is unique to the array of zodiacal archangels.
Yet another variation is used to invoke either one of the 72 ha-Shem angels or one of the 72 Goetic demons. First, the Qabalistic world is set to Yetzirah, then the cross-roads are set with pylons instead of the hexagram of union. The base of the pylon is qualified with an invoking pentagram of the zodiacal element, and the apex is set with one of the three lesser hexagrams, determining the zodiacal quality. Through this cross-road vortex the celebrant summons the zodiacal archangelic ruler. Then, the tetrahedral gateway is erected, with the variables of an inverted and western aligned gateway for demons, and obverse and eastern aligned gateway for angels of the ha-Shem. An additional qualification is where the celebrant sets the tetrahedral gateway with either an obverse triangle (angel/demon by day) or inverted triangle (angel/demon by night). I have only recently written this new ritual and I have not yet tested it, but I hope to test and fully vet it before the coming spring.
As you can see, I have managed to develop a number of variations to invoke angelic and even demonic spirits throughout the basic hierarchy of Element, Sephirah and sign of the Zodiac. It would seem that this new method, called the Archetypal Gateway, is very adaptable and quite capable of replacing all of the previous systems. Although I tend to use it mostly for angelic spirits, it’s obvious that I could use it more extensively by employing even more variations of this simple but condensed technique.
After a period of nearly 30 years, I have successfully developed and deployed the various techniques and methodologies described in the three sections of this article. Each methodology has its own particular use and importance within the Order. So there will be no need to retire any of them or replace one for the other. I may add additional rituals using different techniques, but I believe that the foundation already established should suffice to perform all of the invocations necessary to function as an adept magician within the Order.
One lesson that can be derived from this over-long historical narrative is that occult discoveries tend to be serendipitous. It also demonstrates that finding a solution to a problem often heralds a completely new and better way of doing something. Through a process of active experimentation, I was able to advance the methodologies that I used to perform an invocation. I seemed never to be completely satisfied with whatever technique I had derived, and I was always experimenting with some new structure or method, and this is still true even today. Nothing that I have developed is ever the final word or the final form, and there is always a new and more efficient way of doing something than what is currently being used.
Where all of this experimentation and development will ultimately lead me is uncertain. I would suspect that becoming a master or high adept would change everything, including the methodologies that I currently employ to work magick. I have conjectured from time to time that a high adept might not need to perform any ritual magick whatsoever, and that rituals would be replaced by total immersion within the world of spirit. If one were to remain steadfastly engaged within that world, then merely by an act of willing something, as long as it had even a tiny probability of occurring, would make it so.
The trick, I suppose, would be to sustain a state of ecstatic trance, which is used to enter into the spiritual domain. If not actively experiencing ecstasy, then its potent after effects would have to be great enough to maintain a permanent connection to the spirit world. I would imagine that such a high adept would not be very functional in the mundane world, but would have to live in something like a magical monastery, where the day to day necessities would be taken care of by lesser adepts. The lesser work would be handled by the initiates, and the great work would be accomplished by the master; a wonderful position to be in if one could even find it.
To have this kind of power is to be able to make thoughts become reality, and reality is reduced to the level of thoughts - there would be no difference. Of course to wield such power, one would also need a great deal of wisdom, prescient intuition and most importantly, prudence. There are many hilarious stories about individuals being allowed one or more unbounded wishes, and how such a power generally causes far more calamity than a satisfying outcome. To such an ability must be added the sobering thought: “Be careful what you wish for.”
Until I can realize this kind of true magical power (if that is even possible within a mortal life-span), I will be content to experiment and seek better and more efficient ways to achieve the same results using the more cumbersome artifacts of rituals and magical tools.