Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Abramelin Lunar Ordeal

This is the second part of this article - where I actually specify the Abramelin Lunar Ordeal as an alternate to the normal 6 month or 18 month ordeal.

The lunar ordeal requires six to seven weeks of intensive magickal workings. It is begun at the advent of the New Moon, and proceeds without interruption or deviation for the duration of the ordeal. If one begins this working, then it must be completed or not begun at all. Once started, it must be performed entirely and without interruption. I suspect that there might be repercussions that would occur for an aborted ordeal, and the extent of those repercussions would depend on how far into the ordeal one progressed before quitting. If you don’t have the resources or time to perform this ordeal through all three phases of ritual work, then I would advise you not to begin. All of the rituals that are to be used in this ordeal must be completely understood and familiar to the magician.

(The fifth weekend may require a break from the activity, depending on the lunar phases. For an early start, the magician will actually get ahead of the lunar cycle, and have to wait for the final two workings to complete the working in the final full moon.)

Basic practices and requirements for this period of working are as follows.

  • Daily meditation - to be performed at least once or twice a day (at waking, and then before retiring). These practices should use asana, pranayama, mantra and mandala to establish the proper mind-state. Then contemplation on the intent of the working as well as seeking a special kind of illumination or grace from the Deity.

  • Partial fasting - eat lightly and often - avoid excessive meals. Eat less meat than usual or become vegetarian (dairy, eggs, vegetables and fruit).

  • Keep a special journal - note down everything - from dreams and musings to the actual results of the ritual workings.

  • Weekends are reserved for at least two major magical workings. These times must be reserved and not be used for anything else. Saying the magical mass and other liturgical ceremonies (a benediction) will generate the proper atmosphere and energy for these workings, this would include a circle consecration rite. Also, one should spend at least an hour or more meditating before performing the ritual working. I would recommend that the ritual workings be performed on either Friday and Saturday night, or Saturday and Sunday night. I would not recommend skipping a day between the weekend workings.

  • Special emphasis should be placed on observing the phases of the moon, particularly when they change. These times should involve some degree of meditation and focused awareness, particularly if they occur during the waking period.

The first part of the ordeal covers four weeks, representing the full cycle of the moon from new, to full and then back again to new. During the weekend ritual workings, the magician will invoke the four Seraphim and Cherubim for the four Elements, starting with Earth, then Air, Water and finally, Fire. This activity will require separate ritual workings for each Super Archangel invoked, so for each of these four weekends, two invocations will be performed on separate evenings. The Archetypal Gate ritual will be used to invoke the Super Archangels.

Performing an invocation of just one of these powerful angels during a period of three to six months would be more than adequate for any aspiring magician. However, we are proposing invoking all eight of these entities in a single period of a month! You can easily see why this would be a very intensive series of workings, and also why it would be prudent to not start this ordeal unless one were intent on completing it. The reason for invoking all eight of these angels is that the magician is seeking full and total illumination, and the combination of Seraphim and Cherubim would inspire and teach the magician all that is required to achieve this end. Not completing the ordeal would show a high degree of superficiality and insincerity, which might set up a very terrible backlash or wave of retribution, since these entities do not suffer fools gladly and have the power to punish as well as grant requests. If the magician is not fully convinced of the “rightness” of this ordeal, then he may receive a warning from the very first angel invoked, and such a warning should be immediately acknowledged and obeyed. If, on the other hand, the magician receives blessings and grace from all eight of these angels, then that would indicate that one is prepared and ready to meet the challenges of the next two weeks.

The fifth weekend has nothing scheduled, so it would be a time of rest, meditation and contemplation. It is also a time when the magician can charge and consecrate the magickal ring, which is used in the Bornless Invocation rite to establish a material link between the Bornless One and the magician. It’s also necessary to have this break point to catch up on any other required work that might be done. The break usually occurs because the lunar cycle may start early in the week with the first working weekend, and this will cause the workings to get ahead of the actual lunar cycle. It’s critically important that the final working be performed exactly on or just prior to the timing of the full moon.

The sixth weekend continues the activity of the previous four, and the magician uses the Archetypal Gate ritual to invoke an Elemental Godhead to act as the central and unifying entity to the ogdoad of angelic spirits. It’s assumed that the magician will discover which Elemental Godhead to invoke by successfully invoking the previous eight super archangels, or that information might be communicated in some other fashion. The magician may further qualify that central entity and even make it representative of one’s personal Godhead; but the qualification does not replace the basic Qabbalistic Elemental Godhead, it only augments it.

The next evening working is where all of the previous entities and structures are brought together into a complete synthesis. This is where the magician establishes the holy ogdoad of four Seraphim, four Cherubim, and the Elemental Godhead. This is done through the artifice of the magical structure of the octagon. The four Seraphim are each summoned and set to one of the four Watchtowers, and the four Cherubim are summoned and set to one of the four Angles. The Elemental Godhead is summoned and set to the Ultra-point, and all nine points are drawn together to form an octagonal vortex. Over this vortex structure is set the triple gateway - the double gateway with an ascension gate. Then all of these entities and forces are drawn together as the collected focus of the Ultra-point is drawn down into an inner circle, and into the heart and soul of the magician, where one performs a deep trance .

The basic premise of the Triple Gateway is to establish three concurrent gateway ritual structures - the Western Gateway into the underworld, the Eastern Gateway of the “Coming forth by Day”, and perhaps a gateway of ascension. The gateway of ascension would occupy the Western and Eastern points of the circle, and the Ultra-point - drawing all of the points of the three gateways together into a grand gateway. The purpose for this ritual is establish the mystery system of the three phases of the Lunar ordeal, which represents a trigon of the moon. This ritual is called the Triple Tetrahedral Gate ritual, and the companion rite is called the Ogdoadic Godhead Vortex rite - both to be used on the second evening of the sixth weekend.

The completion of the workings for the sixth weekend brings the ordeal to the point of the first quarter phase of the moon. This is the last major phase before the full moon occurs and completes the ordeal. The final weekend can be either just before or just after the full moon - even to the point of the next lunation cycle type.

The final weekend working is where the magician starts the process by performing a kind of macro ritual during the previous evening, drawing down the Element Godhead into one’s person, and assuming all of that power, authority and majesty prior to actually performing the Bornless Invocation rite. The magician will then perform the Triple Tetrahedral Gateway rite a second time to ensure that the Element Godhead is present for the next and final working. Thus all of these entities and forces are drawn together as the collected focus of the Ultra-point is drawn down into an inner circle, and into the heart and soul of the magician, where one performs a deep trance and begins to summon the Bornless One.

After this rite, the magic circle is not sealed and the magician spends the evening alternately dozing and meditating until the next day. A solemn high mass is said in the morning, and a meditation vigil and partial fast is adhered to (bread, water, and some dried fruit and cheese). Intense ablutions are also performed to prepare for the final evening working.

The last evening is where the magician performs the newly revised Bornless rite in its entirety, including the assumption rite. This is followed with an evening of meditation and deep trance, and the next day with another mass, this time aligned to the holy spirit as a form of thanksgiving. Then the magician seals the temple and avoids entry into it for at least a week (seven to nine days). After that time, the magician re-enters the temple, says a mass, sets the magic circle, and then performs once more the Triple Tetrahedral Gateway rite, and at the climax of that ritual, charges a specially made book containing all of the magical squares of the Abramelin system, as well as other sigils and characters (like those from the Grimoire Armadel). This book will be blessed by the HGA and fully activated. The magician then would only have to re-enter the Triple Tetrahedral Gateway in order to access the internal spiritual chamber of the Bornless One and seek to unleash the powers of one or more of the squares or sigils. Once unleashed, a magic square can be used at any time or place, even kept on the magician’s person when in the mundane world. The Bornless One would also teach, guide and give assistance in mundane matters to the magician - but the Eneagramic Gate would be the mystikon domain where all of that would be possible.

Also, on the following Full Moon, the magician will perform the third rite in the Bornless rite series, and this called the Bornless Envisioning rite. This is where the magician, fully vetted with the Bornless One, will perform a divination task that will project one’s highest will (i.e., the Will of the Deity) into the material world. Preparation would include determining what that will consists of and what are the mundane steps that the magician is expected to perform to fulfill it. During the period of that month from the invocation and assumption of the Bornless One, the magician will have determined the nature of that mystery.

A synopsis of this ordeal would be as follows:

1. Begin ordeal on the advent of the new moon
2. First weekend - invoke the Seraphim and Cherubim of Earth
3. Second weekend - invoke the Seraphim and Cherubim of Air
3. Third weekend - invoke the Seraphim and Cherubim of Water
4. Fourth weekend - invoke the Seraphim and Cherubim of Fire
5. Sixth weekend - invoke the Elemental Godhead, establish the Ogdoadic Tabernacle  and open the Triple Gateway
6. Seventh weekend - re-open the Triple Gateway, perform a vigil, and then perform the Invocation of the Bornless One with the Assumption rite.
7. Ancillary workings include the unleashing of the Abramelin grimoire (7 - 9 days) and the Bornless Envisioning (next Full Moon).

This is the revised version of the Abramelin Lunar Ordeal and all its various steps and tasks. The magician who undergoes this ordeal should remember that he or she is performing this ordeal under completely different circumstances than the original ordeal, whether consisting of the six month, three phase double lunar version or the 18 month solar cycle version. Since claiming to have successfully completed this ordeal carries with it a certain notoriety or fame, the magician who completes the Abramelin Lunar Ordeal should always state that he or she has undergone a modified version of this working and not claim to have performed the traditional one. I strongly advise this since it would be disrespectful to those who have undergone the traditional ordeal and also quite misleading, which would not be faithful to the aim of this revised version.

Keep in mind that not everyone would agree with this revised version, and that others, who are highly respectful of tradition, wouldn’t see it as being the same thing. There is certainly a place for those who would seek to perform the traditional ordeal and for those who have found alternative approaches. So we, as magicians, celebrate both the traditional approach and creative re-interpretations.

A note about the demons and their servitors: In the original book there are an ancillary set of tasks that consisted of summoning and mastering the unredeemed spirits, namely the demonic kings and their dukes, and that these same demons gave servitors who operated the many magic squares. It is my belief that summoning demons and gaining servitors from them is magically superfluous. This is just my opinion, of course, yet since I have rewritten the entire ordeal then I can also modify the manner that the magical squares are deployed. Some have found this linkage between the magic squares and the demons troubling, and some have sought to white-wash or explain it away as some kind of cathartic ordeal. Yet in all versions of the book, it is quite plain that the purpose of invoking and manifesting the HGA is to gain mastery over the demons, to seek from them servitors to perform tasks directly, or to use them to empower and activate the magic squares. It’s also possible to seek from the HGA or the demons additional magic squares. The magic of the Abramelin system is powered by demonic spirits existing in a rigid spiritual hierarchy, even if they are completely dominated and mastered by the magician through the assistance of the Godhead and the HGA.

It’s my belief that the HGA, who is like a personal godhead for the magician, can do all of these tasks. If one is successful in invoking the HGA into some form of manifestation, then there is little need to command demons to do certain tasks. The power of the magician’s magick, the depth of his wisdom and the strength of his will, fortified and magnified greatly by the HGA will enable him to perform any working or accomplish any possible objective. The Abramelin book dictates that the magician should not summon the HGA unless absolutely required. My theory is that the HGA would become ever-present to the magician who successfully invoked it into manifestation, and that the magician would function almost like an avatar, having the vision and depth of a godhead acting through his conscious mind. It could be easily argued that such a great accomplishment would allow the magician to find a route to complete enlightenment and union with the Godhead, and that all of the other operations may seem irrelevant or even grossly petty to such a mind-state. So for this reason, I doubt needing the supernatural intercession of demons to perform magical feats - they should be possible by the magician’s will, fortified as it is with the power, wisdom and majesty of the Augoeides.

Frater Barrabbas

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