Sunday, August 18, 2013

Macranthropy and Theurgic Ascension

I have already discussed in detail the nature of substrate monism in a previous two-part article, but I wanted to show how monism can be used to fortify the magical process of theurgy. Since I defined macranthropy as an important step in the formulation of a monistic perspective, I have also found it very important in explaining how a modern pagan engaging with a plurality of gods and goddesses can evolve their beliefs into a form of pagan monism. So, it would seem that macranthropy is the missing key to the process of theurgic ascension and the adoption of an occult philosophy.

Let me take the definition that I proposed for macranthropy found in the my previous articles and copy it here so that we have a working definition from which to proceed.

That process of coalescing a pantheon of deities into a single met-deity is called “macranthropy,” from macranthropus or “cosmic person.”

Macranthropy, or the creation of a meta-deity from a pantheon of many deities, allows for the paradox of both focusing on a single unified deity as well as focusing on the individual deities within the pantheon
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So it would seem that macranthropy is a mechanism where a henotheistic practice would be expanded to the point where that deity would assume a kind of super-deity or cosmic being perspective. How that would work in a theurgy of ascension through magical progression is actually quite simple and natural. In fact, macranthropy helps fill in an important gap in the overall process. Let’s go over what this structure would look like with macranthropy acting as an important bridge.

In the form of theurgy that I work, there are actually two targets. The first target is the personification of my own self as a deity, or what I call the God/dess Within. It is analogous to the Higher Self or Atman, and the objective is to gain as much of a conscious connection with that entity as possible. To facilitate that end I have chosen a specific godhead to act as an attribute of that being-ness, and I believe that it is a very important task to engage with that deity within a form of intensive spiritual alignment. In this fashion I have determined the microcosmic focus for the work as a powerful extension that reaches into the core of my higher self.

The second target is the corresponding macrocosmic godhead, and for this I would choose a deity that would be compatible with the specific godhead associated with my higher self. By compatible, I mean that it should be from the same cultural pantheon and represent an analogous quality. Since I happen to be a heterosexual male, then the godhead of my higher self is masculine and the corresponding macrocosmic godhead is female. (For those who have a different sexual orientation, these choices would be different, of course.) In my mind there is a powerful polarity between these two beings that will facilitate their joining into a unified expression of the One. Therefore, carefully choosing these two deities is a very important part of the work. The deity representing one’s higher self would be an analogue of one’s self, and the deity representing the macrocosmic godhead should be compatible with that deity of one’s higher self.

Once these two deities are chosen, then it is up to the theurgist to build up a powerful representation of them in his or her mind. It isn’t enough to just select these deities, one must also become powerfully intimate and completely knowledgeable of them as well. The mechanism for establishing an intimate contact with these two deities is through the process of spiritual alignment, but there are some differences in the methodology and degree in how one proceeds with each of them. The godhead representing one’s higher self is the first target to whom the magician must develop a powerful relationship, so all of the steps of alignment are fully incorporated, and this is performed for as long a period as necessary so that the higher self becomes fully realized in the guise of the chosen godhead.

For instance, if the godhead representing the higher self was Osiris of the Egyptian pantheon of deities, then the corresponding godhead representing the macrocosmic godhead would have to be Isis. To pick any other deity as the overall target would be silly, for instance, Sekhmet, Hecate or Ishtar. It is important that the deities chosen for this work makes overall objective sense, and that there is enough historical material to fill out the practices of spiritual alignment for both deities. 

Alignment is defined as devotion, invocation, assumption, sacrifice and communion. Devotion consists of regular and periodic services to the godhead, such as offerings, paeans, hymns, praise and cultic services. I define cultic services as any task associated with keeping up the personal shrine of the deity including the overall temple environment. Invocation is the regular and periodic summoning of the deity, sacrifice is the giving of permanent and special offerings, communion is the sharing and ingesting of sacraments, and godhead assumption is where the seeker as cult priest assumes the mantle of the qualities and persona of the deity. I have covered these items in previous posts, and you can find them here, here and here. A complete examination of these required practices and their development is an important step in this process of theurgic ascension, and this is done for both deities.

Once a full and complete alignment is established with the godhead representing the higher self, then this connection can be augmented through the use of the ritual of the invocation of the Bornless (Headless) One. Other ordeals can also be performed, such as the Lunar Abramelin Ordeal or the Talismanic Portae Lucis Ordeal, or a combination of them. It is important to note that the foundation for theurgic ascension is to acquire a near-conscious connection with the higher self. Once this connection has been powerfully established, then the magician may perform the following process of theurgic ascension.

I have defined theurgic ascension to consist of the following five steps, and these five steps are focused on the target deity representing the macrocosmic expression of the godhead. The magician must, in addition, ensure that he or she also has that potent connection to the higher self, and the tasks of alignment are required for that deity as well as the target deity - both must be served ardently and passionately. It might even be necessary for all other activities to cease at that time so that the focus on the godhead of the higher self and the godhead of the macrocosm might be completely undisturbed and as perfect as possible. The lunar cycle is the gauge and measurement for the cycles of devotion, invocation, assumption, sacrifice and communion, but each person will have their own preferences as to when the greater ordeal is to be performed. The following five steps are sharply focused on the target macrocosmic deity.

1. Focus on the specific deity - adopt a form of henotheism and establish a full spiritual alignment for it. This would include devotion, invocation, sacrifice, communion and offerings, but not yet assumption (for obvious reasons). Each service is performed while under the guise of the godhead of the higher self, thus giving it far more potency.

2. Explore the polarity and potential union with the target deity - the macrocosmic deity becomes the personal lover of the self in the guise of the godhead of the higher self. This polarity must be experienced as the passion for union, and it must be inflated incrementally until it is almost unendurable.

3. Use macranthropy to expand the nature of the macrocosmic deity until is becomes the ultimate, absolute and only deity. All other deities in the chosen pantheon are just part of the overall body of the macrocosmic deity. This is performed through the devices of exhortations, meditations and visualizations. One could even conceivably perform Qabalistic pathworkings and attribute everything experienced as attributes and elements of the body of that cosmic godhead. While this is occurring, the very foundation of the godhead higher self will undergo a process of expansion as well, since it has established a powerful and passionate link to that macrocosmic godhead, thus becoming the perfect representation of the microcosm.

4. Facilitate ecstatic union (magical hieros gamos) - once the stage is set where the targeted godhead and the godhead of the higher self have achieved the highest degree of polarity and total realization of the microcosm and macrocosm, then (and only then) the magician performs the assumption of the targeted macrocosmic godhead. This is done periodically and repeatedly until the union of the microcosmic godhead and the macrocosmic godhead are fully objectified and all differences are slowly dissolved until they begin to disappear altogether. Other mechanisms that would establish a corresponding physical ecstasy could also be employed in this step, thereby making the power and efficacy of this process even more potent. (It is assumed, however, that just performing the macrocosmic godhead assumption after such an arduous process would be all that is needed for a corresponding spiritual and physical ecstasy, but other mechanisms, such as the careful and minute use of sacramental drugs, sex magic, breathing exercises and visualizations could also be employed.)

5. Full Assumption of the Cosmic Godhead - once step four is fully realized, then the magician can perform the invocation of the Bornless (Headless) One as the godhead of the higher self invoking the Cosmic Deity in a full and objective magical realization of this tangible expression of the One within and throughout the consciousness of the magician. In order to maintain this high state of being, the magician should continue to perform the full spiritual alignment rites of both the godhead of the higher self as well as the macrocosmic godhead.

Once such a powerful state of being, awake within the being of the One, has been achieved, there is the corresponding consideration of what the magician will do after acquiring enlightenment. Is it the end of the whole process? According to what I know about the magical initiation cycle, achieving enlightenment is only half of the process. The magician who is dissolved and one with the Absolute Spirit or Unity of Being has many possible paths and directions to proceed. Certainly, once this massive elevation has been fully realized, there is the corresponding requirement to do the will of One within the domain of the Many, and this would entail being a physical mediator for the descent of Spirit into the physical world and its ultimate ascent and recovery.

The enlightened magician would play a very important part in the process of world enlightenment, or the enlightenment of all of the human race. That would require him or her to be a bridge between the One and the Many, and function as one of the archetypes of the Few, to redeem and anneal the duality caused by the effects of the individual mind and the petty ego, one person at a time. This is an eminent task, but one that cannot be limited to just one enlightened individual. It will take a veritable army of enlightened individuals over a period of many millennia to accomplish this task. Even so, the task is accomplished individually, both in terms of achieving enlightenment as well as spreading it to others. Perhaps I have assisted in this task simply by writing up this article, and who knows what it will do to those who read it and undertake the great work that it reveals.  

So, that’s my take on a full and complete method of theurgic ascension. This process could be performed by a single individual, or by a couple, who would perform it separately as well as jointly. It also helps to have someone to objectify the experience, so doing it with a working partner is probably the best approach. This ordeal is certainly not for the half-hearted and requires a considerable amount of time, resources and an exclusive focus. Most magicians would find these requirements prohibitive since they would have to earn a living and do other things besides consistently and continuously working all of these various rites.

In order for these workings to be the most effective, a magician would also have to do a lot of research so that the lunar and solar calendar of events would be thoroughly known, and then incorporated into the daily, weekly, monthly and seasonal practices. I have no illusions as to the difficulty of this ordeal, but I am quite certain that it would work. When a magician would fully complete such an ordeal, then he or she would have achieved a full and complete conscious union with the One, and that will, I believe, fully establish a state of near perfect enlightenment.

Achieving such a lofty state of consciousness has its own rewards, of course, but it is, I believe, one of the ways in which the Great Work could be accomplished through the methodology of ritual magick. Hopefully, I will be able to some day have the opportunity to perform this ordeal and discover all of the intricacies involved in its resolution and realization. I look forward to that time, since it will likely be when I have retired from my daily regimen of work and material responsibilities so that I could have the time and resources to perform it. Until that time, at least I now have a mechanism to consider and to build up within my magical lore.

Macranthropy was the missing key to this overall process, and reading Thomas McEviley’s book helped me to realize all the parts that I needed in order to contemplate a magical solution to the problem of enlightenment and theurgic ascension.

Frater Barrabbas   

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