Friday, October 22, 2010

Modern Mystery Rites and Practices in Ritual Magick - Part 3

4. Mysteries in Ritual Magick

Our last topic in this series is to discuss how the modern mysteries would be performed in the practice of ritual magick. I will assume that we are talking about a base-line magickal system that is immersed in an earth-based spirituality. Thus, the phenomena of the natural world becomes the focus and the principal theme for the celebration and experience of the mysteries. That focus on the natural world makes this kind of magickal practice and its religious foundation very different from Christianity, even though the various monotheistic faiths in the West do hold some admiration and mild veneration of the natural world. A pagan or wiccan ritual magician looks to the phenomena of nature as primacy in regards to the mysteries.

Therefore, using my assumption of an earth-based spiritual foundation, when it comes to practicing mystery rites in ritual magick, there are three specific areas that are incorporated into the magician’s essential discipline. These three areas are the Lunar Mysteries, Solar Mysteries, and the Mystery of Self Transformation or Initiation. The performance of other magickal workings, most notably rites of acquisition or earth based magick are orchestrated around the cycles associated with these three mysteries. The most important of these cycles is, of course, the cycle of self transformation. Yet the application of earth based magick is determined by the cycles of the Moon and the Sun.

In addition, the magician should periodically perform spiritual liturgies that forge a proper spiritual alignment with the Deity or Deities representing the core of one’s personal religious cult. As I stated previously, the system of ritual that I advocate requires the periodic and consistent immersion of the self within the spiritual qualities and persona of the Godhead. These periodic practices are also determined by the cycles of the Moon and the Sun, which act as the primary demarcation of the liturgical and magickal calendar.

The changing cycles of the Moon and the seasons of the Sun represent an interplay of the natural phenomenon of light and darkness, which can be interpreted in many ways. In monotheistic religions in the West, the interplay of light and darkness are seen as the seemingly never ending combat between good and evil. Yet in the earth-based spiritual traditions, the interplay is seen as part of the normal processes of nature and are not given any kind of moral value.

Alternation and interplay between light and darkness is observed first with the diurnal cycle, then with the passage of months and quarters of the year, where the Moon waxes and wanes and the Sun and its associated diurnal period alternates between longer days and longer nights. The tides can also figure into this changing pattern (if one lives near a coastal region), and the changing vegetative growing seasons as well. All of these cycles have an impact on religions and their various calendric events, but these are more intensely experienced in earth-based religious systems.

Modern paganism has established a wheel of the year that consists of eight calendric events called Sabbats, as well as an acknowledgment and celebration of the thirteen seasonal full moons, called Esbats. Neopagans and witches celebrate these events with rituals and colorful folklore, but there are obviously more critical mysteries that need to be addressed than the mere seasonal and lunar based celebrations. It is important for a liturgical calendar to establish milestones for any religious organization, especially one that seeks to re-engage with the mysteries of nature. Yet these new religions have merely brushed the surface and have not actually engaged the deeper mysteries, which haunt the souls of those who have been released from the comforting assurances wrought by the orthodox monotheistic theologies. As these calcified systems falter and fail to comprehensively establish themselves as the answer to all spiritual issues, questions arise and are asked, ironically, the very same questions that were asked nearly two millennia ago.

The cycle of light and darkness, day and night, the growing season and time of dormancy reflect the age old mystery of birth and death in the human species. For humanity, birth and death, however they are explained by science or mitigated by organized religion, are the final and most profound of the mysteries.

Associated with the cycle of life and death is also the occurrence of great good fortune and also catastrophic failure, which represents the unpredictability of material existence. People want to avoid the unpleasantness of loss and misfortune, and to have certainty amidst the uncertainty of life. These are the needs that produced the mysteries of antiquity in the first place, and they are once again the driving forces that are bringing them forward and making them relevant in the post modern age.

To acquire a deeper penetration of the true ancient mysteries in these post modern times, we must look to the merging of magick and transcendental self-transformation. The mystery of the self is the key to the divinity that lies within human nature, and the use of that key unlocks the mystery of the collective godhead. The manner that the mysteries may become unleashed in the life of the Neopagan or Wiccan practitioner is accomplished through seeking personal transformation by using powerful transcendental states and the performance of magickal ordeals that explore the very core of one’s being. One does all of this immersed within the pattern of the greater tapestry of change in one’s natural environment. The key to all of the mysteries, ancient or modern, is to know the mystery of the Godhead that lives within us – since we all are God.

The most important actions that can be associated with a modern rendition of the mysteries is the votive offering and establishment of a “quid pro quo” between the supplicant and a specific godhead. While this might not require animal sacrifice as it did in antiquity, it does require making some kind of offering to a specific godhead that one is approaching in the mystery rite. As a standard practice, the celebrants should make regular offerings to their godhead consisting of no less than incense, scented oil and flowers. Oblations, prayers and devotions are also part of the required regular regimen. These kind of offerings are just part of the regular maintenance of one’s alignment to the godhead; for more engaging work and also seeking to manifest the power of the mysteries, one must make a more serious offering.

What passes for an offering in modern times is typically food and drink, which is blessed and shared between the celebrants and the godhead, with a portion being exclusively offered to that deity. I would also recommend making an offering of some of the food that is consumed as part of the feast. Thus, one should include a small portion of the best of every item that is served to the celebrants. However, for more profound and dire situations, a greater offering must be made, and here it must be something precious and dear to the one making the offering. Once something is given over to the gods, it can’t be taken back or used for something else. Often it either becomes the exclusive property of the godhead, or it is destroyed - consumed by fire or thrown into a sacred lake or well. The magician must consider any offering to be a form of sacrifice made to that Deity, so it is never lightly promised or neglected if the thing that one is seeking does indeed occur. By rigorously observing these rules of spiritual etiquette, the magician forges a timeless bond with the mystery cults of antiquity. 

Let us now discuss the nature of the tools a ritual magician might need to activate the mysteries and to immerse himself or herself in the numinous domain of the natural world. Mysteries are communicated to the rational mind through the power and apprehension of myths, allegories and symbols of transformation. A ritual magician will combine intensive altered states of consciousness, ritual structures and godhead alignment with these myths, allegories and empowered symbols. Since Christianity has either abandoned these mythic elements, or disguised them to the point of opacity, we must turn to earlier religious systems to assemble the proper myths to represent the inherent elements of natural change and the occurrence of Spirit in nature. Keeping in mind that these myths and allegories from antiquity are likely incomplete or distorted over the great passage of time; it is also necessary to experiment and to use our imagination to craft something that is whole, complete and fully effective in the modern world.

Ritual Repertoire of the Mysteries

First, let us look at the repertoire of rituals and practices that act as the foundation for a modern rendition of the mysteries within the discipline of ritual magick. The first thing that must be replicated is the place where the mysteries are to be performed, called the “Telesterion” by the ancient Greeks. Since there are no pagan temples or edifices that are available to the average practitioner of ritual magick, these structures will have to be given a more symbolic and imaginary quality. To aid in that process, I would propose using magickal rituals that erect prismatic energy fields, producing an analogous but more practical replacement for the mystery temple and its associated properties.

In order to replicate a temple of the mysteries, all we need are three basic rituals – establishing sacred space, building a spiral vortex container, and then, defining and establishing an underworld gateway and making a passage through it. The inner domain that is produced by these three rites is further defined through erecting a crossroads, and then drawing an inner circle where they intersect, demarcating the innermost place where the mysteries are to be experienced. Let us now list, examine and describe in greater detail, each of these elements that make up a magickal Telesterion.

For a temple, the following rituals would be employed:

1. Establishing Sacred Space - for witches and pagans, this would involve performing a circle consecration rite. One should also perform personal ablutions (magickal bath) and extensive devotional meditations and offerings. The purpose is to prepare the self and the space so that Spirit may become realized and enter into that place.

2. Erecting a spiral vortex - the energy field that most “resembles” the sealed container of a telesterion is a vortex. The vortex has the properties of amplifying and isolated all energies and actions performed within it. This makes the perfect foundation for performing a mystery.

3. Underworld Gateway - a western aligned gateway establishes the internal transition of the isolated chamber of the mysteries, and draws it deeper into the spectral unconscious domain of the underworld.

4. Erect the cross-roads - a four or eight node cross-roads establish a powerful nexus point where all forces and aspects of Spirit may descend or ascend. The four or eight nodes can be qualified to represent the specific nature of the mystery, whether Lunar, Solar or Self.

5. Establish an inner circle - overlaying the cross-roads is an inner circle, representing the place of the interstice where Spirit resides and where one may actively engage with it. The inner circle is drawn and then opened like a gateway portal.

6. Introit of the Mystery - the preliminary rites that are performed just prior to the activation of the mystery rite are as follows:

Erection and veneration of the World Pole (Stang): The celebrant places a special sacral staff or Stang in the center of the circle, acting as a conduit between all worlds. The staff or Stang may be set up to stand by itself, or it may be held by the celebrant or an accomplice.

Godhead invocation, assumption and sacral consecration: This is where the celebrant summons the specific godhead associated with the mystery, then performs an assumption rite so the spirit of the godhead and the celebrant are merged. Yet the celebrant is still conscious and able to function (at least at this point in the working). Sacraments associated with the mystery are blessed and charged by the celebrant. (A more serious offering can be vowed at this point, with an initial partial payment showing that one’s intention is good.)

7. Mythic Theme - the mythic theme is presented as a narration, with symbols and fetishes used to emphasize the theme of the mystery. The celebrant may assume a deep trance and act as the oracle of the specific deity. Deep meditation and trance are required by all participants to acquire the most intrinsic level of the mystery. Knuckle bone divination (dice) can be thrown at this point to establish auguries, as well as the consumption of specific mind altering substances and intense and extreme yogic asanas (pranayama: lotus 7-breath). The purpose of this climax of intensity is to obtain a state of ecstasy, so artful dance and sacred sexuality can also be done at this point. Once the theme has been fully presented and completely experienced, then the special sacramental food and drink are shared (this is the last thing that is done).

8.  Inner circle is closed, sealed, then the four or eight nodes of the crossroads are sealed with sealing spirals. Then an eastern gateway is opened and the Celebrant, along with accomplices, ascend out of the chamber of the mysteries and into a new dawn of rebirth and restoration, passing the eastern gateway much like the rising of the sun. (The western gateway points are sealed just before the eastern gateway is established.)

9. An outer feast is assembled, where food and drink are blessed and shared. A portion of this feast is given as an offering to the godhead associated with the mystery. The rite is concluded.

If the mystery working is to be done in a grove instead of an indoor temple, then the basic rules of managing a grove are to be used. That means that steps 1 through 3 are to be handled differently, depending on the grove architecture. The other steps can be modified and developed differently as the attendees see fit. For instance, the cross roads can be etched into the ground or even permanently marked within the grove circle. So, too, the gateways can consist of built up edifices as well as the sacred pathways into the grove telesterion. 

Mystery Symbols in Ritual Magick

We have covered the rituals and practices that seek to bring the element of the mysteries into one’s magickal practice, so let us now examine the symbols and themes that all of the those mysteries employ. A practicing ritual magician will have to research and examine these mythic motifs in greater detail than what is presented here, in order more fully employ them in the mystery rituals. Also, I am assuming that the typical ritual magician will be using the basic eight Sabbats found in the wheel of the year, although these are taken from the old Celtic calendar and may not be relevant. If the practitioner is using a different calendar from a different cultural tradition, then he or she will have to replace what I have written here with something that more accurately relates to that tradition. Suffice it to say, the model that one would use to formulate such a replacement is presented here. Also, the various mythic motifs that I discuss below are based on research and personal practice, therefore, they do not relate to any specific tradition.

The mysteries are broken up into five distinct categories, and these are based upon my own research, but they should be mutable enough for the typical researcher to adopt to any tradition or system. These categories can be seen as a heuristic device that will aid the practitioner in understanding the essential nature of the different mysteries.

My five categories are: the diurnal cycle of day and night, the lunar cycle, the solar cycle, the cycle of life and death and the cycle of self-transformation, or the initiation cycle. Each of these cycles has different aspects, symbols, mythic themes and qualities. Let us now examine them in greater detail.

Diurnal Cycle - Symbols - Sun and Moon. We might take this mystery quite for granted if weren’t for the marvelous and mysterious nature of dreams, which occur during our sleep cycle. Night is for sleeping and dreams, so it also evokes the concept of dream-time, which would be another symbol for this mystery. It often amazes me how all animals sleep in order to regenerate themselves, and the fact that they usually wake up from that deep sleep is even more amazing. The reason why sleep is so mysterious is that it is often considered mythically analogous to death.

The ancient Greeks used a system that they called incubation to foster specific dreams and responses from the godhead associated with a mystery cult. A modern version of this method is what I call temple or grove sleeping. One spends the night sleeping in a fully active temple or grove and notes down in a journal whatever is communicated through dreams, fantasies or impressions. I can’t stress enough how this is an important tool for the modern magician.

Lunar Cycle - Symbols: Lunar phases of First Quarter, Full, Last Quarter and New (Dark). Because the moon is constantly changing according to its phases, it has come to symbolize material increase or decrease, the veritable wheel of fortune and material destiny. The moon is also the ruler of memory and the soul. Specific mysteries are found in the seasonal full moons, of which there are 13 (actually 12.33 per annum) - the blue moon occurs once every three years. If one lives near the coastal area of a great sea or ocean, then the tides are also a mysterious phenomenon associated with the moon. New Moon is characterized by the White Goddess of birth and growth. Full Moon is associated with the Red Goddess of love and war, and the New Moon is the Black Goddess of death and divination. Other symbols are the crow, dove and the sickle. Additional cycles are the Lunation Cycle, which consists of eight phases, and the Lunar Mansions, which consist of 28 different phases.

Solar Cycle - Symbols: Four Seasons - Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice, Autumn Equinox, Winter Solstice. The Solstices are times where either the period of daylight is at its maximum point, or the period of night is at its maximum. The Equinoxes are times where daylight and night are in balance, with a tendency towards light or darkness. Some basic themes for these solar mysteries are as follows.

  • Spring Equinox - Time of sowing (or preparing/anticipating for sowing), resurrection, creation.
  • Summer Solstice - Birth of Sun’s Destroyer, festival of sacrifice (of the Sun’s surrogate) - absorption of Darkness by Light completed.
  • Autumn Equinox - Harvest/Hunters Festival (Wild Hunt) - also, time of atonement & thanksgiving.
  • Winter Solstice - Birth of the Sun Child - festival of the sacrifice of the Oak King. Igniting of a new hearth fire.

Chthonic Cycle - Symbols: Birth, Life (Procreation), Death, Rebirth - Four Cross Quarter Seasonal Mysteries - Candlemas, Beltaine, Lammas, and Samhain. Represents the four stages in human life - birth and childhood (naming), adulthood (hand-fasting), eldership (anointing of leaders) and death (last rites and ancestor veneration). Beltaine and Samhain are times when the underworld is open and accessible to the material world, for opposite purposes (fertility/death). Candlemas and Lammas represent the state of life and vegetation at the middle of winter (purification) and summer (first fruits), respectively. All four of these celebrations involve some form of fire veneration (bale fires). Some basic themes for these chthonic mysteries are as follows.

  • Candlemas (Feb. 1) - Renewal of Light and Life - honoring the Goddess of Rebirth.
  • Beltaine (May 1) - Celebrating the entrance of the Fire God of Life, Love and Wealth. The Black Lord of Death emerges from the underworld to become the Green Man.
  • Lammas (Aug. 1) - First Fruits - celebration of the new bread loafs and ale - also summer games and the mourning of the Green Man (who receives a mortal wound).
  • Samhain - Feast of the Dead - honoring the ancestors - return of the Green Man into the underworld as Dark Lord of Death.

Self-Transformation Cycle - Symbols: Marriage of Light and Darkness, Apotheosis - The cycle of the self is also known as the initiation or transcendental cycle. On a microcosmic level, it is the cycle of transformation of the individual as he or she incrementally experiences ascension and ultimately, self as godhead. On a macrocosmic level, it is the creation, conserving and ultimate dissolution of the universe - known as the Cosmogonic cycle. Humans and the Deity both engage in this process of creation and destruction, although the role of humanity must be viewed as that of pursuing a collective goal, achieved over a vast period of time and encompassing a myriad of lifetimes.

Where the planetary egregore, which is perceived as the cosmic Deity, and humanity merge produces an entity that is known by many names, but is essentially the gate keeper between the people and the gods. This gate keeper can be perceived as a separate entity or as part of the spiritual essence of an individual. It can be called Hermes, Jesus Christ, Papa Legba, Tehuti, Agathodaimon, Shekina, Baraka, the World Soul, or any of a myriad of names, representing the primary intermediary between humans and Deity. Yet in truth, it is actually an aspect of the higher self, called by many additional names, such as the Holy Guardian Angel, Eudaimon, Augoeides, Over-Soul, Genius, Totem Ancestor, Spirit Familiar, etc.

I believe that without the help of this intermediary, humanity would not be able to sense or perceive any aspect of spirit or deity. It is the intermediary that makes the agency of Spirit perceptible and assists in its manifestation within the mysteries. Everyone has their own personal intermediary, and there are general intermediaries that help whole groups of humanity, often associated with tribes, ethnic groups, cultural groups or place and location. The intermediary, in whatever form it is perceived, is enticed, summoned or assumed internally before the mysteries are enjoined - either individually (as in the case of the ritual magician acting alone) or as a group.

Initiation cycles typically incorporate a double gateway - one is an entrance into, and the other is an exit out of, the underworld domain, where the mystery of Self is enacted. Within that sacred domain the candidate will encounter their shadow self, experience the dissolution and shattering of their identity, realize their true inner godhead and become united with it, thus forging a new and more truthful identity. The final task will be to find an exit from the underworld domain, and then to translate this deep inner knowledge into something that is intelligible to oneself and others within the waking world. The initiation process consists of three basic elements - those inner virtues that seek to aid the candidate (guide), those that seek to challenge (guardian), and the ordeal of initiation itself, which is the uniting of the light and dark sides of the self (sacred marriage).

Aside from the helpful intermediary, who makes this whole process possible and acts as the initiate’s guide and helper, are the assemblage of the Deity and its four Emissaries. I am proposing here a single godhead, since that is how the mechanism of godhead assumption works - one on one. It is also quite possible for one to engage more than one godhead in this process, still, we are talking about the godhead to which one is a personal devotee, and it is also the deity of one’s personal destiny. While an individual can have relationships with many different deities, or many different aspects of the one, in order to achieve ascension and godhead integration, using one Deity or aspect of Deity appears to be the most reasonable approach.

The four Emissaries represent the four qualities of that one godhead as reflected through the prism of the Four Elements, where the godhead itself represents the fifth, or quintessence. The emissaries stand at the outer points of the cross roads and represent distinct transformative processes that the candidate must undergo in order to achieve perfect at-one-ment with the central godhead. These processes will vary considerably, depending on the nature of the central godhead. The five steps of this transformative ordeal could be considered analogous to the five classical steps of alchemical transmutation.

Self-transformation, then, consists of undergoing a complete internal and deep restructuring, where the facets of the self are broken down into their fundamental parts, and the self then undergoes a kind of reintegration. In addition, during this process, the candidate becomes aware not only of his or her internal integration to the godhead, but also, for a moment, becomes profoundly aware of the Cosmogonic cycle, it’s point of current relevancy, and the candidate’s place or role at that point in the cycle. Self-transformation not only regenerates the self in a manner that makes the internal connection to the godhead more clearly focused, but it also incrementally reveals the candidate’s personal destiny.

As you can see, the ordeal of self-transformation is not something that is undergone just once, but many times over in the course of the lifetime of an initiate. If pursued with devotion, reverence and love for the Deity, then in the life of the initiate it becomes the single most instrument of personal ascension and godhead realization. It is the mechanism of mystery that causes individuals to realize their true self and to do that “one thing” as determined by their divine will with clarity of purpose and full consciousness. Using such a single pointed objective not only successfully manifests their own personal destiny, but also the destiny of the world.    

As previously stated, the ultimate mystery of all mysteries is the paradoxical nature and qualities of the Deity itself. Still, it is perceived, identified and employed by an individual or perhaps even a religious organization for self-transformation. The Deity is the agent of mystery, producing paradoxical or even miraculous occurrences that profoundly shape and draw humanity from one stage of its conscious evolution to another. The Deity can be seen as one or many, as within oneself, or outside oneself, as a personal savior, or the savior of all humanity. All of these perceptions are correct, and yet by themselves, they are all lacking, since a single definition cannot encompass what is inherently paradoxical, inexplicable and completely incomprehensible.

In all of the five mystery groupings, the Deity is the active agent, yet it is often hidden behind the symbols, allegories, myths, pageants and celebrations of the mysteries. Often, the only way to truly know and realize the Deity is to experience a profound and deep personal transformation. In that moment, the Deity is briefly known, realized, aligned with oneself, and perhaps even assumed. For a moment a person realizes his or her true will and individual destiny, but then the moment passes, the Deity disappears behind the veil of the mysteries, and we are once again left to ponder and contemplate the nature of Spirit. After a while, we may even wonder if it was real, since most are unable to maintain the sense of awe and the feelings of numinousness that the Deity left behind.

Perhaps the most dramatic representation of this phenomenon is when a person plays the role of the godhead in some ritual or theatrical presentation. While this is often just a parody or a meager facsimile of that godhead, sometimes, either through the merits and the ability of the player to assume the godhead, or by dint of an extraordinary occasion or fateful circumstance, or a combination of all of these, the qualities and characteristics of that godhead can be made remarkably tangible to others.

I have seen this phenomenon for myself, and it truly awakened the sensations of awe and mystery within me. I could see in the facial expressions, tone of voice, or even the basic sense of self that the person behind the makeup and costume was indeed that of a god or goddess they had sought to portray. Two friends of mine, Steve and Paul, have made this an important part of their priestly duties and role, and what they have done on occasion is to emulate their chosen godhead to an uncanny perfection. Briefly, they have “channeled” that god to a degree that many would be unable to do, for whatever reason, and afterwards, they have only a dim recollection of that moment, as if they were standing behind and observing it as if another person. Godhead assumption is a true mystery, and one of the core practices of a number of pagan traditions.

Gods, Goddesses and the Mysteries

Finally, it should be noted that certain aspects of Deity, or different godheads will be engaged with specific mysteries. It stands to reason that if one is a practicing ritual magician and an adherent to an earth-based spiritual tradition that certain Deities in that pantheon will be suitable to represent themselves as the god or goddess of one of the basic mysteries. A human being has certain mysteries that are personal and specific to the self, and others that would be universal. The universal deities would be represented by the Sun and the Moon, the deities of seasonal fertility and the manifestation of life (such as the Green Man and the Corn or Orchard Goddess, and the Horned God of the hunt). This would also be true of the gods, goddesses, spirits and various other entities that are associated with a specific place or quality of the land itself. However, the mysteries of dreams and oracles, love and hand-fasting, birth, healing, good fortune, death and self-transformation would all require very specific deities.

Love and Handfasting would be ruled by an immortal Love Goddess and her mortal mate. Such a love goddess could be Aphrodite and her son, Eros.  Phanes, Priapus, Philotes, Himeros, Pothos, Hedone and Pan could also be called upon, depending on the nature of the desire. For an immortal goddess and mortal man combination, Cybele and Attis might work.

Birth would be ruled by a Goddess of childbirth and protector of women bearing children. Goddesses of birth and the homestead would be Artemis, Hera, Eileithyia, and Hestia.

Healing would be ruled by a God of healing who had the power of sustaining life. A healing god could be either Apollo or his son, Aesculapius. Aceso, Telesphorus and Panacea could also be called upon.

Good fortune would be ruled by a God of material treasures, good luck and the avoidance of calamity. Such gods who could often guarantee a safe passage or good harvest would be Zeus, Poseidon, Demeter, Tyche, Soter and Soteria, and Plutus,

Death would be ruled by chthonic Gods who give guidance, aid and comfort to the dead and the bereaved. Such gods and goddesses would be Hades, Persephone, Hecate, Hermes, Dionysus, Orpheus, Erebus, Melinoe, Circe, and numerous others.

Self-transformation would be ruled by one’s personal Godhead, or the God of the Gateway between worlds. Such a spirit might be called Agathodaimon or Eudiamonia. The personification of Wisdom would be Athena, and the god of transitions would be Hermes. 

Dreams and oracles would be ruled by any number of Deities, depending on the kind of oracle or its practice.  Such gods would be Apollo, Hermes, Morpheus, Phantasos, Hypnos and Euphame.

 These are just some of the many possible examples taken from the Greek tradition, but there would be almost an endless number of candidates from many other traditions. The student is advised to chose only those that are personally relevant to his or her spiritual and magickal tradition, and then, only after a great deal of study and direct exposure. The power of the imagination, symbols, rituals and allegories can make any obscure deity or spirit fully active and empowered. I advise the student to use prudence and caution when approaching any Deity for the first time.

Throughout the rites and ceremonies of ritual magick, the magician strives to approach and realize his or her personal godhead, and when the striving achieves its objective, then the moment is made deeply meaningful and full of mystery. This is why my approach to ritual magick must include a deep, powerful and individual relationship with a very personal aspect of the Deity, since that is the very source of mystery, transformation and spiritual ascension. It is the destiny of humanity to ultimately become fully united with the Godhead, and the echos of that momentous occasion reverberate deep within each and everyone of us, waiting for its discovery in this lifetime.  To engage in the mysteries is to become like the gods, and that is the greater truth of the ancient and eternal mysteries.

Frater Barrabbas

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