Monday, October 11, 2010

Pyramid of Powers - Tool of the 40 Qualified Powers

“At the turning of the Third Millennium before the common era, there arose into the heavens great citadels of power and majesty.

In ancient Khem, the laborers of the God-King Khufu the Mighty, for a generation, toiled and built the Great Pyramid to house the king’s remains and to ensure eternal communion with his Masters who dwelt amongst the stars.

And also in ancient Ur, the worshipers of Su’en built the great ziggurat and re-established a connection to the forgotten gates wherein the Gods visited the land.

Yet the stones did not contribute to the virtues of these edifices, nor did the blood and sweat of those who built them. For herein lieth a mystery; that even after these monuments outlasted their creators and slowly crumbled into dust, the Ghosts of the Gates remain!

Let me raise my hand and send forth an etheric wall of power, charged and sealed, meeting and merging into a point: a single ideal. Let there be an [empowered] base, a fusion of energies, and behold! I shall raise up a temple, a pyramid of power, and through the virtue of its angles – the trapezohedron vortex – shall I establish once again the forgotten gates and extra-terrestrial voices of the Gods, speaking, laughing and screaming unto the eternal void!”
Rite of the Tessarenoi - Frater Barrabbas Tiresius (p. 22)

A pyramid was first conceptualized long ago as an emblem symbolizing the rays of the sun shining down from the sky in a blazing star burst of lights, slanting at an arc of 45 degree angles from their blinding source - the Aten disk. This is how some believe the pyramid was understood by the mysterious ancient Egyptians, who made the pyramid their defining cultural icon. Another myth associates the pyramid with the Benben, a phallic totem representing a mound of earth that first rose from the primordial waters, which the temple facade, obelisk and the top of a pyramid seemed to model. The Benben was associated with the creator god Atum, who was believed to reside within it, thus giving it the power to create a universe.

The pyramid is also one of the most stable building structures, able to be extended to great heights, but only if the angle of ascent is kept at a optimum degree (around 42 degrees) and the base is wide and strong enough to support the weight. The pyramid can be characterized as a foundational structure of strength, stability and also empowerment. So if a ritual magician emulates its shape and structure within a prismatic energy pattern, then he or she has harnessed a truly great force – one that can completely transform an individual, or even a world. This article describes the nature and methodology behind the pyramid of powers, which is the prismatic energy pattern used in my particular practice of ritual magick.

We have already discussed the cone of power, the vortex and the gateway; we have also touched on the methodologies of shaping the energy generated in a magick circle into various shapes. Yet the pyramid is probably one of the most intriguing and empowering structures, since it takes the simple form of the cone of power and modifies it strategically into a far more versatile and useful energy pattern. Since I learned to master this ritual structure many years ago, I have never since bothered to use the cone of power, preferring instead the greater utility of the pyramid of power.

Despite the obvious differences found in the shapes of these energy patterns, how did I come up with the pyramid as my principal power structure? How is a pyramid formed in a temple, and how does it differ from a cone of power? What are the basic parts or ritual “building blocks” used to build the prismatic energy field of a pyramid?

There are two ritual structures used in the pyramid of power that are unique energy patterns unto themselves. These are the circle squared, and the energy pylon - without these two constructs, a pyramid of power is impossible to build. A third element is the invoking pentagram, used to generate a specific element power. Let us examine these two structures and the pentagram to see how they are applied and used in ritual magick.

Circle Squared

If ever there was a symbol for the joining of the archetypal male and female, then the square within a circle is that symbol. There are numerous symbolic examples of this combination, but it signifies polarity (angles versus curves) and union (male within female). The boundary circle of this structure is provided with the consecrated and empowered magick circle, which acts as the foundation for all ritual workings. The square is a simple overlaying ritual structure consisting of either the four watchtowers or the four angles joined by four straight lines and four right angles. Thus the square is the joining of four points in the circle through the use of lines of force, drawn with a sword or a transmutar wand.

Metaphysically speaking, the circle and the square exemplify the spiritual and material worlds, and when they are joined together, that union symbolizes the ultimate sacred bonding that produces sentient or ensouled material beings, such as ourselves. We, as conscious physical beings, epitomize the confluence of spirit and matter, which is tightly unified so that the product is one and whole. Thus, the circle squared is the symbol of incarnated divinity and divinitized humanity.

This, of course, brings up the age old mathematical problem of attempting to construct a square equal in area to a circle, using only a rudimentary straightedge and a compass. The term squaring the circle has also had occult and magickal connotations for many centuries, but it was only until the late 19th century that such a geometric construct was proven impossible. It is now a term synonymous with intuitively or logically attempting to do the impossible. This impossibility was due largely to the revelation that the number for Pi was determined to be transcendental instead of irrational, thus defying anyone the ability to draw a circle and square of the same area to 100% of accuracy.

However, in occult metaphysics, particularly in applied magick, squaring the circle can be perfectly accomplished in the manner indicated above, where the circle in question is the magick circle, and the square is set within it. Of course, they cannot be the same area, but within the construct of a consecrated and empowered magick circle, they assume the qualities of the ideal, and thereby become, within our minds, as a perfect representation of a circle squared.

Magick Pylon -

The second shape used in the pyramid of power is the magick pylon, the line of force that unites two devices or points. This magickal structure was discovered when I learned to generate the greatest polarity in a magick circle, and have it centered at the opposed points of the ultra-point (zenith) and infra-point (nadir). It seemed natural to just draw a line from those two points and express their union as a line of power, a conduit or a pylon. I have also used a staff, Stang, or my own body as the conduit as well, all with excellent results. So the pylon had its origin in drawing forces together in the center of the magick circle. Later on I began to use the pylon at other points in the magick circle, uniting two devices (one above the other) in order to merge different elements into a composite structure.

Yet the Pylon has other qualities as well. The pylon is characterized by the term “occurrence”, as it is used in the book, “Mastering the Art of Ritual Magick - Foundation.” It is the second part of the five different categories of ritual action and spiritual alignment, which represent the various archetypal relationships that can be established between the magickal practitioner and the Deity. I will loosely quote from the original text of that work, defining the word “occurrence” and the ritual structure of the pylon.

Occurrence:  The second relationship represents a progression from one dimension (the "I am") to two dimensions (the "I am" and the "Thou"). The first relationship could be represented by the form of a single point in space, and the second relationship has produced a second point, and thus the form of a line is produced. The second relationship is defined as the state of differentiation, and it is the condition in which the individual has realized the presence of another individual.

When a magician draws lines of force with his/her magick dagger or wand, erects a magickal pylon or performs divination, then the quality of occurrence is being used. Occurrence is the relationship of the self in contradistinction to others, and when a magician draws lines of force between two objects in the temple, they are said to be united but differentiated. It is in the same fashion that the Deity became aware of the need to differentiate itself, becoming the primal cause for creation. This relationship is the most paradoxical of all of the relationships, and it is aptly symbolized by the mirror and the magician’s Imago.

The category of Occurrence is represented by the ritual structure of the Pylon, which is the physical joining of two opposite points, such as the two points in the center of the magick circle, the zenith and the nadir. If the magician joins these two points, a line of power is created between them. They are joined to establish a structure that acts as a channel (stairway or ladder) between what is symbolized as the Macrocosm and the Microcosm, contrasting the levels of the Deity and individual beings. The Pylon defines an entity in relationship to time and space, and also the nature of its spiritual essence. Therefore, this ritual structure defines the existence of an object.

The ritual structure of the Pylon is symbolized by the number 2, which is Wisdom (Chokmah). However, there is an implicit symbolic quality to the Pylon, and that is symbolized by the unmanifested state of Mystery (the Limitless Void of the Tree of Life, symbolized by the zero). These two emanations, Wisdom and Mystery, represent the quest for spiritual knowledge.

This quest is defined as the discovery of a paradox, and the subsequent analysis and intuitive understanding of it (acceptance) that generates a kind of integral knowledge. The quest for spiritual knowledge represents the process by which the magician seeks to know the ways of the World of the Spirit through the channel created by the Pylon. The end of the quest reveals the great hidden knowledge (Greater Arcana) that assists the magician in perfecting his/her magickal work. The author and the source of this hidden knowledge is the ultimate guide and teacher of the magician. The Pylon is analogous to the symbol of the transformation of the line.

Superior Pentagram Ritual

We need to cover the nature of the pentagram, from a symbolic perspective, and then understand how it works. Examining the Golden Dawn classical Superior Pentagram Ritual can assist in understanding how the pentagram is used in the Pyramid of Power ritual. First, let us examine the pentagram. I have taken text from the raw pre-edited version of the “Disciple’s Guide to Ritual Magick” because the explanations used in that manuscript are pertinent and quite explanatory.

The most widely recognized magickal device in western occultism is the Pentagram. Although some currently believe that it is a device of satanic origin, the Pentagram has been found in many different guises, spanning numerous centuries and many cultures, both Eastern and Western, and until recently, it was always treated with veneration and respect. The Pentagram was documented as a magickal talisman of great power in the Renaissance European grimoire The Greater Key of Solomon, where it was embellished with sigils, characters and sacred words of power. However, the place of origin of the Pentagram may have been in the Middle East and so far in the remote past as to be undeterminable.

The Pentagram symbolizes the eternal cycle of life and its ultimate perfection. As a lamen (the magician's personal cosmic diagram), it is a symbolic model of the universe. The two arms and legs represent the four Elements and the head represents the quintessence, the fusion of the four Elements as Spirit.

A five-pointed star has always been an emblem of humanity, representing the erect human form or even the spread fingers of the human hand. The Pentagram also symbolizes the spiritual ascent of humanity and the descent and incarnation of the Deity. As a symbol of the cycle of spiritual powers, the Pentagram was used throughout the ages as a ward against evil and a focus for healing and protection.

The Pentagram was believed to be a generator of spiritual power, and magicians employ it so today. It is for this reason the Pentagram has come to symbolize the powers of magick itself. As a device, however, the Pentagram allows for eight different linear transcriptions along its outline, each with a different starting and finishing point. Each of these eight different tracings of the Pentagram represent a different type of symbolic power, an element, and six of these tracings have an invoking and a banishing direction pair (making for twelve total). Thus a pentagram can invoke and banish Fire, Water, Air, Earth and Spirit. (The two other tracings are used for the Lesser Pentagram ritual - although in the Golden Dawn they were used for the equalibriating passive and active forms.)

The method of establishing the nature of each of these eight powers is through the placement and determination of the five points of the Pentagram. The top point is obviously associated with the element of Spirit. Yet the other points are defined usually by tradition and without any explanation. The five points are analogous to the divine tetrad (YHVH), plus the addition of another letter. The traditional YHVH is modified to become YHShVH, which is a variant formula of the Hebrew word for deliverer. The addition of the Hebrew letter Shin symbolizes the element of Spirit and also Fire (the Hebrews originally believed in the existence of only three elements).

Because the Hebrew alphabet was written from right to left, as were all Semitic languages, the placement of these five letters on the Pentagram would begin at the bottom right point and proceed around the periphery of the Pentagram, counterclockwise, to the bottom left point. This placement establishes the letter Shin at the top point where the element of Spirit is placed. The other points take on the attributes of the elements associated with them.

There is a method of testing the above placement of the five points and it focuses on the relative polarities of the Elements. The Element of Spirit is considered neutral, but both Fire and Air are considered masculine, and Water and Earth are feminine. If one examines these polarities and their placement on the Pentagram, it becomes evident that there is a natural polarity of masculine and feminine forces either directly across or on either side of each point, but not diagonally. Because of this polarization, the Pentagram is a natural generator of magickal elemental powers.

A Pentagram device is featured in two strategic rituals in the Golden Dawn; these are known as the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram and the Superior Ritual of the Pentagram. Since I work magick using a consecrated magick circle, there is no need for the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram, although some may still deploy it in a magick circle. However, the Superior Ritual of the Pentagram is the perfect model for deploying an element field within the magick circle.

The basic ritual pattern for the Superior Pentagram ritual consists of the ritual actions of first, the performance of the Qabbalistic Cross, then drawing the invoking pentagram of either the equalibriating active or passive (spirit) invoking pentagrams, and either below them or overlaying them, the invoking pentagram of the target element. The pentagram is drawn, then the element sigil is drawn within it and finally the correct Enochian words of power are intoned. This is done to the four cardinal directions, starting and ending in the East (to create a completed circuit), and proceeding clockwise (deosil). At the conclusion, the magician intones the same formula for the archangels that is used in the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram.

I was quite fascinated many years ago with the ritual pattern of the Superior Pentagram, and I spent a lot of time examining it and analyzing how it worked. I even created many variations of this rite for my own personal use. After a long period of time and experimentation, I was able to derive a whole new structure using a combination of the ritual structures of the circle squared, the pylon and the Superior Pentagram ritual. The resultant combination produced a uniquely new ritual structure and pushed the development of a completely new kind of magick. This new ritual generated a pyramidal prismatic energy field. Once I had fully tested this rite, I discovered a much more powerful kind of magick. I called this new ritual, “the Pyramid of Power.”

Pyramid of Power Ritual Structure

Now we can finally move on to discussing the ritual structure for the Pyramid of Power ritual. The Pyramid of Power ritual was an important component of the nine rituals used in the series “Mastering the Art of Ritual Magick,” although it was too useful to be left to that system alone. I had it reworked and incorporated into the body of lore used in the Order, where it is deployed as part of the Elemental magickal system. The explanation and description of this ritual was well writ in the MARM series, so I decided to take the raw unpublished text and present it here as part of this article.

The ritual of the pyramid of power is essentially a modification of the cone of power, although perhaps it is more based upon the Superior Pentagram ritual used in the Golden Dawn. The pyramid shape is determined by the four Angles and a pylon erected in the center of the circle. When the four angular points are drawn laterally together and fused to the ultra-point, a pyramid energy structure is established. An invoking Pentagram is drawn at each of the four Angles to generate a specific element, and this energized element is imprinted by one of the Ten aspects of the Deity (or the Ten Emanations of the Tree of Life). Thus are the forty Qualified Powers generated, and these powers are the energies used to cause magickal effects.

The forty powers are characterized by the forty Naib cards of the Lesser Arcana of the Tarot (Ace through 10 of each Suit). The Naib cards of the Tarot deck depict the qualities of these powers, thus they are used as a reference. So, it is the 40 cards of the Lesser Arcana of the Tarot that represent the key symbolic element of the 40 Qualified Powers - they are considered to be one and the same. To access a qualified power, one need only to use the associated Tarot card as the key, and then perform a variation of the Pyramid of Power ritual. With 40 variations to choose from, the magician will not lack in having a qualified power to perform any imaginable task. The facility that this grants the ritual magician is almost unlimited. Still, only one qualified power may be invoked and projected at one time - otherwise, they tend to become confused and merge together, canceling each other out. (You can tell that I have learned this lesson the hard way.)

These forty Qualified Powers also represent the Qabbalistic structure of the Inner Planes, the Forty Domains of the Four Archetypal Worlds of the Ten Sephiroth (4 × 10 = 40). A magician can therefore use all of the correspondences of the combination of Sephirah and Qabbalistic World, including the complete hierarchy associated with each one. This would include the Hebrew Godnames, Archangels, Angelic choirs and mundane chakras. These classical references may be added if one desires to use them, or not. The forty Qualified Powers and their Tarot images can be used alone to facilitate the summoning of these forces.

The Pyramid of Power also incorporates a spiral composed of three concentric circles employed as both a means of invoking and exteriorizing. The invoking spiral is performed by the Celebrant who circumambulates the circle three times forming an inward spiral that starts on the outside and terminates at the center of the circle. The Celebrant chants a suitable power chant while walking the pattern, causing the invoking Pentagrams in the four Angles to resonate their power into the center of the circle. With the power thus established, the Celebrant will imprint it with the proper attribute of the Deity and the selected Tarot card, thus specifically qualifying it as a given power. He or she then further imprints it through the artifice of a magickal sigil, which is devised specifically to symbolize the objective or desire of the ritual. The Celebrant then employs a banishing or exteriorizing spiral (the exact opposite of the invoking spiral) to cause the resultant Qualified Power to be exteriorized and released, so fulfilling its objective.

When the pyramid energy field is released, it becomes a yod or lightening bolt that quickly seeks its target through the Celebrant's defined intention (the sigil). This signifies that the power unleashed is only as effective as the will power and passion of the operator, and it is dependent upon whether he or she is able to capitalize upon those opportunities that manifest.

Additionally, the magician will employ the advanced mind control techniques of filling his/her body with a specific element, then exhaling and projecting that element into the temple (as found in the teachings of Franz Bardon). In this manner, the temple will be loaded and fully charged with that element, helping to intensify the element power generated in the pyramid. This makes the action of unleashing it even more powerful.

 Pyramid of Power: The purpose of this rite is to generate one of the forty qualified powers, imprint it with the magician's desire represented by the sigil (link) and then to project that resultant power into the exterior world (exteriorization). Thus there are three major parts to this ritual – establishing the power base, summoning the qualified power and releasing the qualified power.

Ritual Pattern:    

Establishing the Power Base:

1. Statement of Purpose                                                    

2. Setting the Five points of the magick circle, in a deosil progression (Angles and Ultrapoint) with the base element to the four Angles and Spirit Masculine to the Ultrapoint, using the invoking Pentagram device. (In this case, the qualifying of the Infra-point is omitted, but it is implied. So there actually is a pylon in the center of the circle.)

3. Drawing together the lines of force of the five points, using the sword to create the geometric pattern of the Pyramid.

Summoning the Qualified Power:

1. Circumambulation spiral deosil to the center of the magick circle, with three revolutions (walking the spiral), and resonance of the charged field.

2. Centering power through the Self (Mesopoint) with the power chant.

3. Charging the Magickal Link. Summoning the Qualified Power (qualifying the base energy).

Releasing the Qualified Power:

1. Exteriorization – circumambulate spiral three times widdershins, starting in the center and proceeding to the outer periphery of the circle, using extreme resonance with a releasing power chant.

Some variants to this ritual would include explicitly qualifying the infra-point and deliberately creating a pylon structure, which would require a six letter formula (for each of the circle nodes). If pylons are set to the four Angles instead of just an invoking pentagram, uniting two devices at each point, then the resultant energy structure would be what I call a kind of “step pyramid” or “grand pyramid.” As you can see there are many variations that can be developed just by experimenting with these structures. For instance, a double squared base produces an octagon, which is an energy pattern that I use to manifest one of the 16 elemental forces, but one could also use the pylons set to the angles to do the same thing.  

So we have now completed examining the ritual pattern for the Pyramid of Power ritual. We have also discussed the 40 Qualified Powers, which is the purpose and function of that rite, but only briefly. Since the Qualified Powers are a completely new basis for characterizing a magickal energy, we will also need to examine the nature of these occult forces in greater detail. I will show you how they are defined and what they can do. Knowing this will certainly make the Pyramid of Power ritual a lot more compelling. We will leave that discussion for a future article – so stay in touch.

Frater Barrabbas

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