THE FORMULATION OF
THE BODY OF LIGHT AND
TRAVELING IN THE ASTRAL PLANE
The Astral Body -- also called the Astrosome, Astral Double, Magical Body, Sidereal Body, Fine Body, Body of Fire or the Body of Desire (Kama-Rupa) -- is, to all practical intents and purposes, an artificial body used by the Magician as a means to project his/her consciousness beyond the Physical Plane into the Astral Plane. It is a body of illusion of which the gross physical body is said to be a replica on earth. Between these two bodies there is a connecting link, often termed in occult literature the "silver cord." This so-called cord may become astrally visible to the student in his work. This cord is what maintains the connection between the physical and astral bodies when the consciousness of the student is traveling about in the Astral World. If this cord were somehow severed during an Astral Journey, the student would be unable to return to his physical body, and would become as a lost phantom roaming about hopelessly in the Astral. The physical body of the student would then be open for possession from an astral entity that is earth-bound. This, note it well, spells the word DANGER. Thus the link between your two bodies must be made strong, incapable of being destroyed.
As the student will discover through his/her own experience, the Astral Body possesses its own senses, which are peculiar to its own nature. These are the ‘astral senses' that play such a vital role in Astral Journeys by which we experience our visions. The development of these ‘astral senses’ is also an essential part of the training and education of the Body of Light. The student must learn how to use these senses on the Astral Plane. This can be achieved through such simple techniques as learning to hear the sound of a bell without the presence of a physical one; learning to see an object, such as a person, with eyes closed; learning to smell an object, such as a rose, without the presence of a physical rose; learning to touch an object, such as a hand, without the presence of an actual hand; and learning to taste an object, such as an orange, without eating an actual orange.
Concerning the Body of Light, let us carefully note and diligently contemplate the following important statement made by The Master Therion (Aleister Crowley): "The essence of the technique of Magick is the development of the Body of Light, which must be extended to include all members of the organism, and indeed of the cosmos." The Master Therion also informs us, "One must develop one’s Body of Light until it is just as real to you as your other body. You must teach it to travel to any desired symbol, and enable it to perform all necessary Rites and Invocations. In other terms, one must educate it. Ultimately the relationship between both bodies should be exceedingly intimate. But first one must carefully differentiate between the two."
Such is the foundation of the Magick of Light; it is the basis of true advancement, the groundwork of authentic progress; it constitutes the first real step on the Ladder of Attainment. If any real magical progress is to be made by the student, s/he must make every effort to execute this work under the guidance of the Lamp of Science, exercising active indifference, not being disheartened by failure or too encouraged by success. Eventually you must be capable of traveling everywhere and doing everything in your Body of Light; it should become as equally important to you as your physical body, as an indispensable part of you.
Now this Astral Body can perform a number of tasks which are impossible to the physical body, such as being able to fly, or to pass through matter, or to travel freely in every direction through space, or to occupy the same space at the same time with another astral object, or to instantly change its appearance into another form without actually modifying its own nature. Of course it also has its limitations; for it is bound to the laws of its own plane. But such limitations, as with any other plane, are required boundary lines, confining and directing astral phenomena to move in accordance with the laws of their particular sphere of operation, just as with an automobile road which confines and directs a vehicle to travel to its destined place, or like the horizontal lines on school paper which confine and direct our place of writing with the intent that we may write straight and neat.
The Body of Light, particularly in its earliest stages of development, must be constantly purified, consecrated, exalted and fortified through its proper use in Rituals of Invocation and in the effective performance of Ceremonies, particularly Ceremonies of Initiation. It may also be fortified through the magical practice of assuming God-forms and also by the proper use of the Holy Eucharist. This Body of Light must be constantly educated by way of direct experience, by its practical application in the performance of various magical tasks, and by its learning to travel freely on all planes.
The assumption of God-forms is an especially potent practice that can assist the student in the process of educating and fortifying the Body of Light. It is with the Body of Light that you actually assume a God-form. A God-form is a representation on the Astral of a particular Force of Nature, which the Magician is seeking to invoke or meditate upon. In this work the Astral Body is literally transformed into the Body of the God or the God-form. The Magician can assume this God-form in his Body of Light, and perform therewith Ceremonies of Invocation to the particular Force of Nature, which the God-form is intended to represent in symbolic form. The God-form is the astral medium through which a particular Force of Nature is able to descend into the consciousness of the Magician. Its assumption in the Body of Light serves to exalt this body and extend its dominion on the Astral.
The Middle Pillar Exercise and the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram are, in themselves, Magical techniques which can assist you in the process of formulating the Light of the Astral Plane, and thus in the fortification of your Body of Light. As simple as these two basic Rituals may seem on the surface of things, they are actually highly complex rituals that produce various types of magical effects of a most constructive kind in the psyche of the student. They not only help to formulate the Astral Light in the Aura of the student, but they also help to make the student more receptive to the living nature and powers of his/her Body of Light which is, to all intents and purposes, the Magical Body of the student.
As the student advances in this work, it will become crucial to his/her progress that s/he create in the Astral his/her own Astral Temple, constructing it according to specific magical principles, placing therein astral objects of a significant magical nature. It is in such a Temple -- "a Temple not made with hands, eternal in the heavens" -- that the Magician can perform his/her astral rituals and invocations. This Temple, though demanding visual construction in the mind of the student, is nevertheless an invisible reality which is eternal in the heart. To visually construct this Temple in your mind through the function of your imagination is, in point of fact, a method for attuning your mind to that which is already a living reality in your Heart of Hearts. The physical Temple is but a replica of this Astral Temple, and therefore how vital it is that the latter be constructed according to the proper magical formulae! This last statement contains an inner meaning which the student should discover by meditation.
The Astral Temple is not only useful for the performance of rituals and invocations in your Body of Light, but also for the purpose of obtaining visions therein. Later in this lesson you will find a ritual in which you obtain your vision in the Astral Temple. One of the benefits of performing your magical work in your Astral Temple is that you are free of intrusion from other beings that are inimical to your work. Of course this can only apply to a Temple that is strong or fully established on the Astral; a weak Temple is more of an invitation to other beings to intrude upon your work, and the results of such a condition seem truly horrifying!
The most important use of the Body of Light, as with all else, is to inevitably attain the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. As stated above, the student of Magick must learn the nature and laws of the so-called Astral Plane and of his/her Body of Light as a means of eventually rising beyond the Astral, to attain that which is said to be beyond that point in consciousness. That which is beyond the Astral is the Solar Plane of Spiritual Consciousness wherein the Adept attains communion with his Holy Guardian Angel. It is only through the development of the Body of Light that this subtle communion with one’s Holy Angel can be attained, for it is through the Body of Light that the Supreme Illumination is reflected in the consciousness of man.
Ultimately, developing the Body of Light is the act of creating a proper vehicle through which the Holy Guardian Angel or True Self, once attained in the consciousness of the Adept, can express its brilliance. The student can in no manner attain the Knowledge and Conversation of his/her Holy Guardian Angel without first having a suitable vehicle on the Astral through which it can work its True Will. The student may have glimpses of his True Self, and may even hear direct communications from that Self in the form of intuitive thought, but such glimpses can in no manner be classified under the heading of true attainment, such being temporary conditions of the mind. The Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel is in no manner a temporary condition, but rather is it a perpetual event in the mind of the Adept of Magick. Without a suitable Body of Light, or Astral Vehicle of Consciousness, this perpetual form of divine realization is an impossible attainment.
To begin with, the student, who should be seated in the god posture in a properly consecrated magical circle in his/her physical Temple, must formulate his/her Body of Light in his/her imagination to the extent that s/he perceives it as being just as real as the physical body. The first step to this process is to visualize and perceive in the imagination your Body of Light as if it were coinciding in space with your physical body. There should be no question of belief or disbelief as to the validity of the existence of this Astral Body; it is, of course, an illusion, just like the physical body; but it is much closer to the heart of truth than the illusion of matter. The student must perform this experiment, applying the scientific principle of indifference or an attitude of detachment, wasting no breath in belief or disbelief. It is simply a matter of experimentation, of putting to the test what is merely a hypothesis to start with.
Once the first step is achieved, and the image of your Astral Body is a living phenomenon in the field of your mind, the next step is to project the image your Body of Light outside of your physical body and to see it stand in front of you. This image must resemble your physical body, but from an astral point of view. This may be an extremely difficult operation to some at first, but continuous practice will bring the student to the inevitable point where s/he unexpectedly one day succeeds in this operation even in the face of bitter doubt. It all depends on the power of Dharana or concentration. The student must know how to sufficiently concentrate on a single object if any valid work of this sort is to be achieved. Concentration is one of the chief ingredients of the Great Work. The first real basic task of the student of Magick is in the development of the power of concentration. It is the attempt to restrain the mind to a single object of thought. It is the bringing together of all mental forces and attempting to focus those forces on a single point. (Note: The student should consult Aleister Crowley’s "Liber E vel Exercitiorum", section V, for further instructions on Dharana. See Equinox, Vol. I, No. 1, by Aleister Crowley.)
Once this Body of Light is standing in front of you as an image of yourself in the Astral, you must then attempt the even more difficult task of transferring your consciousness to it, shutting your physical eyes in the process. When this transference is complete, and you are fixed in the consciousness of your Body of Light, you should begin to perceive with your astral eyes the astral images of the physical objects in your Temple. It is a good practice in this respect to examine the objects, which are directly behind you, and to confirm the same when you return to normal consciousness. Keep in mind that there is no material object that does not have its corresponding astral object. The student does not need to be a skilled clairvoyant to perceive these objects; s/he only needs to sufficiently transfer his/her consciousness to the Astral Body to perceive them with his/her astral eyes.
After a thorough examination of the astral objects in your Temple, begin to rise straight upwards to a great height above the earth. The student may perceive various images as s/he rises. The student should take a careful mental note of these images, but should in no manner become fixed on them, losing awareness of the goal. The student must fix his/her attention on reaching to a definite place, not being distracted by the images that appear on his/her way. Once you are at a great height above the earth, stop and look around you. You may see figures approaching you or a landscape of some sort. With such figures you may communicate and seek their guidance. Then shall you perform in your Body of Light any special invocation that pertains to the particular place you wish to visit in the Astral, to cause such a place to appear before you with its corresponding figures and symbols.
At first the student may become alarmed by some of the figures s/he will encounter in the Astral and s/he may desire to immediately return to normal consciousness. This, however, is a sign of weakness and such a desire, no matter how gruesome a being s/he may encounter, must be surmounted by the Will to persevere. Aleister Crowley informs the student that "It is essential that he remain the master of all that he beholds, hears or conceives; otherwise he will be the slave of illusion and the prey of madness." Also he informs the student, "Let him beware of the thousand subtle attacks and deceptions that he will experience, carefully testing the truth of all with whom he speaks."
Once you have obtained your astral vision, it is then necessary that you return to the earth, bringing back your Body of Light to coincide in space with your physical body. You must then assume the God-form of Harpocrates and vibrate His Name to help you recover unity of consciousness, ending all in the Sign of Silence. After this it is an appropriate idea to knock loudly on your Altar, or to clap your hands, or to perform some act of Will to help bring your awareness back to the earth and then, and very importantly, must you tackle your Magical Diary and accurately record therein the experience of your astral vision.
After accurately recording your vision, you must then analyze it with the intent to discover whether or not its symbols correspond with the conventional symbols associated with its sphere of action. Such is called "the testing of the spirits." For instance, if you traveled to the sphere of Jupiter and saw a unicorn in your vision, you would know that your vision was on target, since the unicorn pertains to Jupiter; whereas if you saw an elephant, your vision would be off target since the elephant pertains to the Moon. (Consult the Table of Correspondences in Aleister Crowley’s "Liber 777" or in Appendix V of his book "Magick in Theory and Practice.")
Concerning the above, Aleister Crowley made the following comment: "This testing of the spirits is the most important branch of the whole tree of Magick. Without it, one is lost in the jungle of delusion. Every spirit, up to God himself, is ready to deceive you if possible, to make himself out more important than he is; in short, to lay in wait for your soul in 333 separate ways. Remember that after all the highest of the Gods is only the Magus, Mayan, the greatest of all the devils."
After performing the above operation a number of successful times, you should find yourself able to transfer your consciousness at will to your Body of Light and thence back to your physical body. It should become second nature to you. Once this is attained, and it has become a basic part of the constitution of your magical personality, you must nevertheless fortify this Body of Light constantly by using and exercising it as much as possible, particularly with regard to ceremonial invocations, and this oftentimes while the physical body remains silent and motionless.
Now that you understand the technical methods for formulating and projecting your Astral Body, you may now consider the various ways in which you might want to employ it. But it’s principal function is in the acquisition of new knowledge acquired on the Astral Plane by way of traveling to specific places therein and encountering the symbols and beings therein, and through this knowledge to inevitably attain the Higher Knowledge of your Holy Guardian Angel. There are, of course, higher attainments to be made in the Astral, but it does not serve our current purpose to mention these here. It is only worthy to note this fact since the earnest student, I venture to say, may one day discover the Astral World to possess infinite experience and unlimited knowledge.
The Body of Light can and should be used by the student to perform Rituals on the Astral, particularly Rituals dedicated to the invocation of the Holy Guardian Angel. For it is from the Body of Light that the Magician rises into the consciousness of his Angel and attains Holy Union with Him. The student cannot expect to attain such union in a purely human state of consciousness; such is an impossible task. Consciousness must first be transferred to the Astral Body before it can be raised from the illusions of matter and united with the Solar Self.
It is the blending of the Astral Body with the Solar Self that establishes the attainment of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. Think of your Body of Light as being Lunar (Yesodian) in nature, whereas your Angel is Solar (Tipharethian) in nature. In Alchemical Philosophy, it is the Union of Sol and Luna, which constitutes the Great Work. The Path of Consciousness, which permits this Union, is the 25th Path of Samekh on the Qabalistic Tree of Life, which connects the two Sephiroth called Yesod and Tiphareth. It is through this Path that the Magician unites his/her Astral and Solar Bodies. Proper meditation on Atu XIV of Tarot, called "Art" or "Temperance", which corresponds with the 25th Path of Samekh, will greatly assist the student in comprehending the formula of this Path and its function as the connecting link between the Astral and Solar Planes.
Once the Body of Light is developed, it can be used by the Magician to protect him/herself against hostile forces of an astral nature, by performing therewith the Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, or any other form of ritualistic banishing, and also when s/he assumes therewith the God-form of Harpocrates, giving the Sign of Protection. But the Astral Body, in and of itself, literally works as a Circle of Protection, formulating in the Aura of the Magician a reflection of the Divine Light. It wards off hostile forces by the very nature of its presence. There is no possibility of any hostile astral force breaking through the Aura of a Magician who has fully developed his/her Body of Light. It acts as a mighty shield against all astral forces that are inimical to the development of the Magician.
The Body of Light can also be used to make contact with another on the Astral Plane, and this may result in the other actually perceiving your presence and hearing any words you might utter in your Body of Light. For be it remembered by the student that the substance of the Astral Plane is the link between all men and women of the earth. As the student advances in the development of his/her Body of Light, such contact with another will not require the usual techniques employed for traveling in your Astral Body, but may be accomplished with the twinkling of an eye. For the Astral Plane is not bound to the same space-time laws as the physical. In this plane one can travel from one point to another instantaneously. But for the student to be able to understand this aright, it will demand vast experience in this field of occult training.
An Adept who has taken students under his/her wing often uses his/her Body of Light to communicate with his/her students, to speak with them subconsciously. In the majority of cases the student will not be aware of what is taking place, being ignorant of the astral operation. This is due to the extreme sensitivity of such an operation which, if the student were aware, s/he might interfere with it. It is an operation that requires enormous skill in the use of the Body of Light and in the application of its powers.
PATH WORKINGS ON THE
YETZIRATIC TREE OF LIFE
One of the most practical applications of the Body of Light is for what are technically called Path Workings. A Path Working is a method of rising in your Body of Light to a chosen place or Path in the Astral Plane. As mentioned before, this Astral Plane is called the World of Yetzirah in Qabalistic Philosophy. In it is contained the Yetziratic Tree of Life. A Path Working is generally done by ascending the Yetziratic Tree of Life in your Astral Body to one of the Paths on the Tree. The Paths are the twenty-two connecting links between the ten Sephiroth or Circular Spheres on the Qabalistic Tree of Life.
The twenty-two Paths of the Tree of Life are linked with the twenty-two Hebrew letters and the twenty-two Major Arcana of Tarot (Atu of Thoth). The Twelve Signs of the Zodiac pertain to twelve of the Paths on the Tree. The Planets which rule these Signs also pertain to certain Paths on the Tree. This means that the Paths represent the Zodiacal and Planetary Forces on the Tree of Life which are also linked with the Atu of Thoth. The symbolism of the Atu of Thoth, like the symbolism of the Paths and their arrangement on the Tree of Life, are pictorial representations of the Zodiacal and Planetary Forces of the Universe, and can be used as doors to experience visions related to these forces. The twenty-two Hebrew letters, which are related to the Paths, can be used as keys to unlock these doors, in a manner that will be given later.
To correctly perform a Path Working it is necessary to know the symbols and meanings of not only the Paths and the Sephiroth of the Qabalistic Tree of Life, but also of the Tarot Atu of Thoth. These Atu are the Major Arcana (Major Secrets) of Tarot, numbered 0-XXI, commencing with the Atu called "The Fool" and ending with the Atu called "The Universe." The student should know these Atu "inside and out". They should be studied, analyzed, and meditated upon. For they symbolize forces that exist and function in the subconscious mind, which is, of course, a psychological term the Astral World. These forces are microcosmic and subjective, reflecting macrocosmic and objective principles. As keys to the Paths on the Tree of Life, they attune consciousness to the force of the Path, to the inner meaning of which the symbols of the Atu are intended to signify. The student will find it a worthwhile task to work with the Atu and Paths in the order of their arrangement on the Tree of Life, following the course of the Hermetic Serpent. In this case you would start with the Serpent’s Tail at the place of Atu XXI and of the Path of Tav on the bottom of the Tree, and you would end at the Serpent’s Head at the place of Atu 0 and of the Path of Aleph at the top of the Tree.
The Way of the Serpent on the Tree embraces within its coils the twenty-two Paths. Such is called the Way of Initiation. The twenty-two Paths represent the various modes of this Serpent Force, which is the Great Magical Agent. In the Eastern Science of Yoga this Serpent Force is called the Kundalini, a sexual or reproductive force existent in every WoMan. It is this "Phallic Force" which is the substance of the Astral Plane and which is used to formulate the Astral Body. The twenty-two Atu of Thoth which this Serpent Force embraces in its coils, and which represent the nature of the Astral Light, can attune consciousness to the Astral Plane.
For operational Path Workings, the Atu of Thoth are used as doors to enter a Path on the Yetziratic Tree of Life. The Atu are linked subconsciously with the Twelve Astrological Signs, the Sun, Moon and Planets; and the symbolism of the Atu can be used by the student as a direct means to attune his astral consciousness to the Twelve Zodiacal Signs and their Ruling Planets, to obtain a vision of their nature and to develop a greater understanding of their relationship to himself as a Unity thereof.
Now if you wanted to perform a Path Working for the Path of Tav, you would use the Atu of Thoth called "The Universe" as a door through which to travel in your Body of Light to that Path on the Yetziratic Tree of Life. Or if you wanted to travel to the Path of Aleph, you would use the Atu of Thoth called "The Fool" as a door through which to travel in your Body of Light to that Path on the Yetziratic Tree of Life. Below is a list of the twenty-two Paths and their corresponding Atu of Thoth.
PATH TAROT ATU
Aleph (11) Atu 0 The Fool
Beth (12) Atu I The Magus
Gimel (13) Atu II The Priestess
Daleth (14) Atu III The Empress
Heh (15) Atu XVII The Star
Vav (16) Atu V The Hierophant
Zayin (17) Atu VI The Lovers
Cheth (18) Atu VII The Chariot
Teth (19) Atu XI Lust
Yod (20) Atu IX The Hermit
Kaph (21) Atu X Fortune
Lamed (22) Atu XI Adjustment
Mem (23) Atu XII The Hanged Man
Nun (24) Atu XIII Death
Samekh(25) Atu XIV Art
Ayin (26) Atu XV The Devil
Peh (27) Atu XVI The Tower
Tzaddi (28) Atu IV The Emperor
Qoph (29) Atu XVIII The Moon
Resh (30) Atu XIX The Sun
Shin (31) Atu XX The Aeon
Tav (32) Atu XXI The Universe
If it be your Will to perform a Path Working to obtain a vision pertaining to a Planet, you would use the Atu of Thoth that corresponds with the Planet. Thus if it be your Will to obtain a vision of Saturn, you would use the Atu of Thoth called "The Universe" which corresponds with the Planet Saturn. Or if it be your Will to obtain a vision of the Planet Uranus, you would use the Atu of Thoth called "The Fool" which corresponds with the Planet Uranus. All the Planets have their own corresponding Atu of Thoth that can be used for operational Path Workings. Such are the following: (Note: The Sun and Moon are listed below as Planets, though technically the Sun is a Star and the Moon is a Satellite.)
Saturn Atu XXIThe Universe
Luna Atu IIThe Priestess
Mercury Atu I The Magus
Venus Atu IIIThe Empress
Sol Atu XIXThe Sun
Mars Atu XVIThe Tower
Jupiter Atu XFortune
Uranus Atu 0The Fool
Pluto Atu XXIThe Aeon
Neptune Atu XIIThe Hanged Man
The Sun, Moon and Planets are Celestial Forces which influence events on earth through the medium of the Astral Plane. They represent the actual forces of the Universe which initiate, constitute and govern all events in heaven and on earth. The Planets travel through the Signs of the Zodiac, changing the nature of their influences as they do so. These changes naturally affect human conditions through the medium of the Astral Plane. Thus a proper understanding of these Planets and their influences, by way of conscious recognition, is most vital to the development of the student of Magick who is bound to make conscious all those hidden or unconscious influences that affect his/her life.
To travel in your Body of Light to the Planetary Paths on the Yetziratic Tree of Life can help you to develop conscious knowledge about the actual Celestial Forces which express themselves through the Twelve Signs of the Zodiac, attuning your awareness to the various subtle ways in which these cosmic forces work through the Astral Plane, invisibly affecting your life and your environment on earth. Once this form of conscious knowledge is obtained, a certain species of transcendence ensues in which you are able to realize, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that you can master the various ways in which these Celestial Forces affect you in and through the Astral Plane, to alter their effects at Will. This, may you note it well, is one of the most important advantages of performing operational Path Workings. It is, in point of fact, one of the essential ingredients of the Holy Eucharist of Magick Power.
If it be your Will to perform a Path Working to obtain a vision pertaining to an Astrological Sign, you would use the Atu of Thoth that corresponds with the Sign. Thus if it be your Will to obtain a vision of Scorpio, you would use the Atu of Thoth called "Death" which corresponds with the Sign of Scorpio. All the Signs have their own corresponding Atu of Thoth that can be used for operational Path Workings. Such are the following:
SIGN TAROT ATU
Aries Atu IV The Emperor
Taurus Atu V The Hierophant
Gemini Atu VI The Lovers
Cancer Atu VII The Chariot
Leo Atu XI Lust
Virgo Atu IX The Hermit
Libra Atu VIII Adjustment
Scorpio Atu XIII Death
Sagittarius Atu XIV Art
Capricorn Atu XV The Devil
Aquarius Atu XVII The Star
Pisces Atu XVIII The Moon
The Twelve Zodiacal Signs are the Archetypal Images of our own Celestial Natures, representing our own Universal Identities. Each Sign is a unique Archetypal Center of Expression for the Current of the Universal Will. The Zodiac of Signs is a Circle of Space that surrounds the earth. It is the apparent Path of the Sun called the Ecliptic. In this Circle the Planets travel in their orbits. This Circle is divided into twelve parts called the Twelve Signs of the Zodiac with each part containing 30 degrees of space. Thus the Circle of the Zodiac contains 360 degrees in all. The motion of the earth round the Sun once a year causes the Sun to appear to pass through one of the Twelve Signs of the Zodiac each month.
These Twelve Signs are the various aspects of our Universal Self and they comprise the Unity of our being. They are the twelve cosmic modes of solar expression or the Twelve Rays of the Sun of Life. Through these Twelve Rays the Sun expresses and experiences itself as a Unity. These Twelve Zodiacal Rays are what constitute the Unity of our True Self represented by the Sun. This True Self, which we may rightfully call our Multidimensional Self, is a Unity or Synthesis of our various potential selves rather than one unchanging Self. These various potential selves are represented in Astrology by the Twelve Signs of the Zodiac. These Twelve Zodiacal Signs comprise what we may rightfully term our Astrological Self which is simply another name for our Universal or Multidimensional Self which is really not a self at all. It will, of course, demand much diligent meditation and experiential knowledge from the student to properly grasp in his/her mind these seemingly paradoxical yet fundamental ideas of the True Self. Yet the fruit of such diligent meditation and practical knowledge is food for the aspirations of the soul, illuminating one’s Path to Wisdom.
Commonly we think of ourselves as only one Sign of the Zodiac when we are, in fact, a Unity of all Twelve Signs; and to focus upon one to the exclusion of the others, as is most often the case, is to neglect yourself as a Unity or synergistic being. The Sun of Unity is only such by way of his being the Many. You are the Sun, a Unit of the Macrocosm. In Thelemic Philosophy, this Sun of Unity is Hadit, a single point concentrating infinite Space. Nuit, his bride, is the Goddess of Infinite Space and the Infinite Stars thereof. Nuit is identifiable with the Twelve Signs of the Zodiac, which represent in Astrology the Macrocosm or Universe. The Sun expresses and experiences itself as a Unity through the Twelve Signs of the Zodiac; or, in other terms, Hadit fulfills himself by combining with Nuit for the birth of Ra-Hoor-Khuit who represents, in Thelemic Philosophy, a Unity which includes and heads all things, or a Unity of Unities.
To travel in your Body of Light to the Zodiacal Paths on the Tree of Life can help you to develop knowledge about the various parts or facets of your True Self, those parts of yourself which constitute your Oneness and which are symbolized by the Twelve Signs of the Zodiac. The value of this task cannot be over emphasized; it is of vital importance to the student if s/he is to truly attain Union with his/her True Self or Holy Guardian Angel. For in the current paradigm we are using, this Angel is a Unity of the Twelve Signs of the Zodiac and thus S/He cannot be realized without an experiential understanding of those various facets that go to make up Hir Being. From this perspective your Holy Angel has twelve faces; S/He is comprised of twelve distinct parts which make up the whole of Hir Nature. Each part is a distinct reality-tunnel which the student must experience as an entity unto itself, at first without any reference to the other parts, but only to finally synthesize all parts into One Reality-Tunnel which is, paradoxically, multidimensional in nature.
I shall now present to you a ritual for operational Path Workings. The student will do well to first use this ritual for obtaining visions for each Path in the order of their arrangement on the Tree of Life, commencing with the Path of Tav and ending with the Path of Aleph. This can be done several times until the student is familiar with each Path, acquiring a basic knowledge of each. After this, the student can perform at will a Path Working for any one of the Paths depending on the nature of his aspiration or intent at any given time. It should be performed in a consecrated Temple, otherwise in a quiet space consecrated to the work and made free of all possible intrusion. Be it noted well by the student that no astral work should be performed without making sure, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that there is no potential for intrusion. For instance, you do not want your pet dog barking at you while you are communicating with an astral being who, I might add, would not take too well your leaving his presence to tell your dog to shut up! I do not want even begin to describe the gruesome details of such an act. However, it may all be summed up in the word DISASTER!
A RITUAL DESIGNED FOR
OPERATIONAL PATH WORKINGS
1. Thou shalt first perform the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram or the Ritual of the Star Ruby (Liber XXV). In this thou shalt make exceeding sure of the effectiveness of thy banishing and of the soundness of thy Circle.
2. Next, thou shalt compose thyself in the God Posture, and thou shalt completely relax thine every nerve and muscle. (See "Liber E vel Exercitiorum" for a description of the God Posture.)
3. Now shalt thou formulate thy Body of Light, seeing it coincide in space with thy physical body. In this thou must exercise great skill in thy use of concentration, maintaining a keen sense of separation between the two bodies, and not allowing them to be muddled in thy mind.
4. Project thy Body of Light outside of thy physical body, and with thy physical eyes see it stand in front of thee. It should appear unto thee as being just as real as thy physical body, and of the same size and shape. Its presence should be seen as an exact astral image of thyself. In this thou mayest become alarmed by the presence of such a figure, but this is not unlike a foolish man who sees his own shadow and mistakes it for a ghost, becoming frightened thereby, or like a little silly boy who is frightened by the terrible bogey man of his own infantile making.
5. Now project thy consciousness to this Body of Light, gently and with great industry, shutting thy physical eyes in the process. In this thou shalt make exceeding sure that thy consciousness is separated from thy physical body. It is the separation of the subtle from the dross, or fire from earth. Yet between the two there remains a silver link, maintaining their connection. If this link were to be severed during thy travels, thou wouldst be unable to return to thy physical body, and thou wouldst slowly perish in the flames of the Primal Fire.
6. Now shalt thou begin to travel straight upward in thy Body of Light, seeing thyself rise high above the earth to the secret place of thine Astral Temple located in the Starry Heaven of Nuit. It is in the midst of the glittering stars, in the secret place of Angels who chant mysterious litanies in perfect harmony with the Musick of the Spheres.
7. And when thou hast reached thy Temple in the midst of the glittering stars, and in the secret place of Angels, thou shalt enter therein and take thy stand in its holy centre, in thy place of ultimate power where burns the Great Invisible Primal Flame of the Ageless Stars.
8. Then shalt thou envision before thee a door in the form of one of the Atu of Thoth. In this thou shalt see the Atu in all its colorful splendour, radiating the beauty and magnificence of its images and figures, and illuminating the Temple.
9. In thy Body of Light approach the door which represents the Path thou dost wish to travel, and vibrate the appropriate Hebrew letter of the Path, as if it were a key to open the door in some mysterious way; and with your Body of Light travel freely into the Atu itself, as if thou art instantaneously leaving one plane and entering another, even as if it were a quantum jump from one reality-tunnel to another.
10. Thou shalt now experience the Vision of thy chosen Path, seeing thyself in the plane of the Atu. In this thou mayest assume the image of the figure of the Atu, like the figure of the Hierophant, the Hermit, or the Devil, depending on thy chosen Path. Otherwise thou mayest be thyself, and such figures may come unto thee. Or there may come unto thee Angels, or other astral beings, and with these thou shalt communicate, asking of them what thou wilt. In this thou shalt be prepared to command or banish such beings.
11. And when thou hast attained thy vision, and hast satisfied thine appetite for Knowledge, thou shalt depart in peace from thine Astral Temple, with great reverence and many blessings; and then shalt thou begin to travel downward to the earth, to the place of thy physical Temple.
12. And when thou hast returned to thy physical body, with thine Astral Body coinciding with it in space, thou shalt assume the God-form of Harpocrates, and vibrate His Holy Name; and then shalt thou recover Unity of Consciousness in the Sign of Silence; yea, in the Sign of Silence.
Love is the law, love under will.