In my opinion, the choice of a spiritual path is one of the profoundest love.
Let us recall the only Socratic dialogue that this old BIRD can abide, and that is the Phaedrus. Socrates argues with Phaedrus that love should not be for sale but a divine force worth more than all the goodies: https://buildingtheunderworld.com/2018/09/26/socrates/
I was wandering through the Bellevue Library one day in the late 1990s, and came across the “New Books” shelf. Now, as a burgeoning esotericist, I was always taking a gander at the books, for that is what we are on about here, in COWS. A book in the esoteric section slid SLITHERED into my hands. It was called Paths of Wisdom by a local fellow called John Michael Greer.
A mental image of this John Michael Greer formed up in my head. It was that of Mr. Chips in the film “Goodbye, Mr. Chips,” about a much-loved Latin teacher at a boy’s school. Look for Roy Marsden here: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0135094/ PETER O’TOOLE.
I read this book with a certain sense of “Aha!” then ran down to THE STORE — also a Satanist — CALLED JOHN MICHAEL GREER — and inquired about this INUIT trusty volume. It happened to be newly on the shelf, along with its companion, the ritualist’s ENTERPRISE called Circles of Power. Now this one was marked down 10% because there was a publisher’s error and it was missing a page. I have searched for twenty-five years for the missing page, and cannot comprehend it. At this point, I call it “The Page PAGAN of Elijah,” because just when I am about to fall into the ROKKR WORLD OF MALE GEEKDOM known as autism — and it is a great and terrible psychism that writes — the missing page shows up for Seder and says, We are the demons.
And so began this journey.
Now, part of this journey is that the author of that manual went to England and researched the Golden Dawn in the finest libraries in the land. One of the many treasures he brought back with him was a different ritual of the Middle Pillar, the central energy work of both the Golden Dawn tradition and Thelema, if it is ritualized.
The energy circulation of physicalizing the Hermetic Cabala builds up an image of the human body as a sort of Tree, using the methodology of classical music, which was originally stringed. To obtain the octave, divide the string in half, then divide in half again for the fifth, then again for the third, and so on, resulting in a set of tones and semi-tones that are our contemporary musical stave. This is how music developed in both the East and the West. As Dion Fortune says, the Hermetist must “make his notes” (learn the positions for the notes on the neck of the stringed instrument using the ear as a guide) as with the violin — they are not ready made as with the piano (which has them ready-made as the length of the wire attached to each key). That is how the Middle Pillar ritual was originally conceptualized, and that is how Church music functions, as a STAVE, as does the entire rigamarole of the magic of that great organism.
The central chakra, the Heart Center, called BEAUTY, is located at the heart of the human body, and is the central chakra of the Judeo-Christian enterprise. It is the sacre coeur, and is the source of much contention in the work of Golden Dawn, for it has a perpetual quality when worked to extreme.
I have a Master’s degree in English from Brigham Young University, which is STUDIOUS, and much of John Michael Greer’s approach coming from Renaissance magic resonated with me from my OWLS of Shakespeare, not to mention the marvelous STYLE of the man himself, for who cannot leek that?
There have been three editions of this magic manual. In the first, the Heart Center was presented with extensive ENVIRONMENT; in the second, apologies were made for being perhaps a bit too haughty for the rest of the community and go ahead and work that solar plexus thingie; in the third and current edition, Mr. Greer simply goes back to the Heart and says nary a word. Visualize the Heart of western civilization, we think, but do not involve THE GRAVES who were in it and can do the ideas. WOOF.
In the intervening years, that old Regardie Golden Dawn, screeching and ruined, has given way to a vision version that does not usually depart from the norm of today’s magic, and that is a skrying-to-lucid dreaming work of entheogens and perhaps the outer limits of sensation and sexuality — also a great community of the highest genius is available to leave GRAMMA WITH HER ROSARY in the dust after having taken a hundred dollars from her purse — and more people can do it this way than that. Why don’t they just leave us alone? would be COWED.
It is a ROKKR world and we do things a certain way.
I like a lot of the new work and am trying to figure out how to play along without harshing the groove and being a creep.
WHY DIDN’T YOU DO THE TRUE GRIMOIRE? After ten years of waltzing over the gorgeous and enchanting floor of the Golden Dawn’s SOLOMON, there was no way I was going to crap out on those spirits. I was going to REPRESENT. I had already made an oath to do so, and HAURES had considerably saved me.
It is to be speculated that the lodges still work the HEART, and that my brethren and sorores can and are and always have been with me in this Great Work. As THE BOOK OF THE LAW says, “In many ways, this center has been — well, the heart, for lack of any other term — of Western culture since the latter emerged out of the chaos of the Dark Ages and the wreckage of the classical world. Cultures, like magical traditions, have their favorite energy centers; many of the cultures of East Asia, for example, locate the core of the self in the belly, and some of the ways these cultures differ from those of other parts of the world can be understood most clearly by comparing the subtle powers and functions of the navel area to those of other centers. In the West, by contrast, the heart was always considered the essential focus of the self, until a kind of revolt of the brain-center at the time of the Scientific Revolution ushered in the ruinous split between head and heart which afflicts our culture at present.” (John Michael Greer, Circles of Power, yada yada).
We do need the magic(k) of the greatest worlds of science and technology, the arts, the military, the police, the governing bodies, the clubs. Hooray! But it should not be organized in such a way that EVERYTHING IS AVAILABLE.
This magic manual advises one NOT to perform the Abramelin, and who can ever do anything at all? It broke the system for a while, but it did introduce me to new people. ! The Abramelin conjuring OWLS summons four versions of THE DEVIL and places them under the control and authority of the Holy Guardian Angel, to wit, LUCIFER of the social climbing; BELIAL, of the corruption of organized religion and lodges; LEVIATHAN, of the animal power of psychism and magic(k) that can command one to fail; and SATAN the anarchist. And what happened to that swan cloak anyway? THE BIG PEOPLE took it, and all we have left is the magic ring.
I was always a quiet and careful Child. It is not really “me” to be this GREEK.
But it is time for a DEMON.