book review: the brazen serpent by soror n.o.

When I received a request from the author’s husband to review The Brazen Serpent, I thought to myself, “Are they mad? These people must not know me at all…or…they are extremely confident in their work.” I am possibly the most brutal critic of anything remotely Hermetic in the entire occultosphere. The opinions of people never really matter where Abrahadabra – or reality – is concerned. While I didn’t expect to be handed something in the vein of Llewellyn trash, I presumed from the very outset that I would be delicately attempting not to club the book to death…too hard…they seemed like nice people.

After finishing the book, the most pressing arguments I have with the points found within are simply matters of the perspective and degree of the paths taken to those answers – similar in nature to the differences bhakti yoga versus jnana yoga. Given the advanced nature of the material within, this is very impressive. I do believe there is an objectively correct answer to all things that lies at the heart of all existence and beyond illusion, though that answer will shift in appearance from one path to another. So, while it is important that I get all of the final accounting correct right out of the gate, it isn’t so important that I agree with everyone else all of the time, since there is a lot of ground to cover between our current state and Completion itself, which is where we strive to maintain an asana at most of the time.

It is well worth the cost just to read the killer introduction. The book is authentic to its source. It’s written from the point of view of a female philosopher in the A.’.A.’. lineage. Although she already possesses a degree in philosophy, she is currently attending Manly P. Hall’s University of Philosophy in Los Angeles, which was founded in 1934. 

When I received the package from the couple’s L.A. home, I chuckled to myself. The return address had “R.H.K.” as the name. A few weeks earlier, I had a very successful invocation of Ra Hoor Khut, which had become the catalyst for an extensive series of acknowledgements from the god, woven throughout my life so prominently I couldn’t ignore it. It seemed like every other event in my life prior to the arrival of the package was some kind of joke involving Montu making a meme of my life. The initials are the first names and last name of the couple, which I found interesting. The author, Soror N.O. (Helen Kirkby,) is an American author and artist married to Russel Kirkby, another artist who has done a couple of really cool occult short films which m1thr0s and I had already enjoyed together a few years ago. 

The prominence of the couple’s relationship woven throughout their correspondence with me, the dedication and the flavor of the book, piqued my curiosity. While the book is written solely by Soror N.O., the couple seems to share many occult adventures together on their blog. It’s unusual to see couples working in the occult together, professionally, and this is always heartening to see, considering the rarity of our lifestyle. Last year, the month before TAI opened its doors to initiates, Ray Sherwin, the father of Chaos Magick, released Ouroboros: A Grimoire. The cover sports an illustration by his wife practitioner, and throughout the book he goes on to assert the primacy of couples’ work over any kind of coven.

This is not a new idea; the essence of the highest alchemical workings rests in the arms of a heterosexual monogamy, a dyadic monad: “Male, Female, Quintessential One;” as the ancient principle states. This isn’t meant to be a derisive snort at other ternary patterns; sexual pairings – the alchemical axiom merely emphasizes an alchemical law – forces of nature really couldn’t care less about one’s feelings or political sentiments. In other words, Yin and Yang will always be important to one another, in some special kinds of ways, and the variety of biological sex is not insignificant – it certainly can’t be politicized away either. (All of the arrangements of sexuality are merely bigrams and trigrams of various sorts, to the Mutational Alchemist. There is nothing emotional about it – not personally, and not objectively, and I try to keep contemporary politics out of my occultism.)

While the book isn’t written from the perspective of the couple whatsoever, and has a single author, it’s really hard to ignore the influence that a couple’s working brings to the table, as it is apparent in the writing, at least to me, and I’ve read a lot of occult titles. The book does nothing to overtly press this point – it cannot be classified as a true male-female working, although that’s simply an observation, not a judgement. I only mention it here due to the fact that it is unusual and makes the book more interesting to collectors. Both its quality and the fact that the author is a woman in a predominantly male dominated field – unchanged for the past 500 years or more – makes it an extremely attractive title for collectors. 

While not explicitly related to The Brazen Serpent, there are some special features involved in a couple’s working occult relationship. First it’s the Magus-Priestess dynamic, which is all important for major alchemical work. Despite the importance of Yin and Yang, or, perhaps because of their individual potency in the universal hierarchy of the so-called “ten thousand things” it’s unusual to find powerful and overt male-female workings. The history of such dates back to the dawn of Man. Famous examples of this include the legendary P’an Ku and Nu Kua of ancient Chung Kuo, who created mankind and invented marriage among other early stirrings of civilization; Pythagoras and Theano of Ancient Greece; and of course Nicolas and Perenelle Flamel who famously (although perhaps mythologically,) answered a question about his rumored alchemical gold creation by saying that he and his wife knew the secret and created it every night in their bedchambers.

“By now it should be clear that everything in magick is sexual. Did Siva fail to teach this to us? Mahakala?” – m1thr0s 729

Crowley himself, one gold standard occultists, produced two prominent male-female workings; Liber al Vel Legis with Rose in the Giza pyramid, and THOTH with Lady Frieda Harris. It’s primordial – Yin and Yang – and it carries with it the authority of those first two prime divisions. Yet this is a book written by a female, classically regarded as the embodiment of Understanding, which is bestowed upon her by the masculine, as she bestows upon him Wisdom. 

Before introducing readers to the book itself, I wanted to write more about Nephilim Press, since so little is known of them, generally speaking. There isn’t much, and they are tight lipped about it – and by tight lipped I mean they refused to provide any information – they told Mr. Kirkby to tell me to look on the web, where, there’s almost nothing. All I could get came from the ICANN info, which is almost always spoofed. They’re based in South Carolina and have asserted themselves as a high quality occult publisher and book store: focusing on quality information over mere vanity items with a limited number of printings. As many occultists have found out, these pricy grimoires can often be very disappointing, but the entirety of Nephilim’s offerings are priced at or below $50, which is incredibly affordable. At the time of this writing they updated their website with something a bit more helpful:

Our selection of occult literature covers topics ranging from Enochian magick, necromancy and black magic to Satanism, left hand path, divination, and so much more. We aim to find the best information, old and new, and make it available to you at competitive prices – Nephilim Press’s website

As one might expect, a title named after the English translation of Nachash will probably deal with matters pertaining to Hermetic Qabbalah, and from a fairly lofty vantage point. While I wasn’t quite sure these expectations would be met when I received The Brazen Serpent, as I didn’t bother reading the ad copy, I was soon happily finding myself shifting into a higher gear in order to apprehend the style of writing. 

For those who have partaken of the sacrament of entheogens alongside their theurgy and alchemy, or, for those who are naturally sensitive, the peculiarity of discussions pertaining to higher states of mind is very clearly delineated from all others. The experienced can discern when someone has been *out there* so to speak, so that all true explorers can recognize each other, even across very different cultural environs.  

While our goals at TAI are far removed from O.T.O. lineaged practitioners to ever find any broad common ground on any particular subject, this is not a judgement against the book. I found myself neither snorting with disgust nor confused about where the ideas in the book were coming from; they were firmly within the lineage the work claimed to be affiliated with; a passing mark in my estimation for any serious piece of occult literature.

Aesthetics

The physical book itself is very beautiful. You’ll never hear me complain about serpents, black and gold, ever. Still, even those occultists who prefer silver and black will find little to complain about here. It is not overdone, as is the case with so many occult grimoires.

Eggshell finish jet black leatherette, with bright gilting of the Nachash, or brazen serpent on the front, and the Sephiroth on the spine is understated and elegant. The end papers are matte black. The book does not fit into my Oberon leather book covers, being slightly too long, for those occultists who like to use them. The plain pages are cut smooth edge and there is no gilt edge. The book is graced with a black satin bookmark. It’s easy to handle and made for reading.

Initially I thought it was a reference book, a bit like a Sephiroth oriented 777. The introduction, as I have previously mentioned, is highly analytical and insightful. I could tell the author was speaking from her highest house. This is a difficult mental asana to achieve. I remarked to one of our members and students, Lugh, after the initial speed reading “It’s dealing with such lofty subjects I kinda have to be in the right frame of mind to read it;” to which he replied, “That’s a compliment if I ever heard one.” He wasn’t wrong, and I will say right now this is a book any serious student of the occult would want to have in their library as a regular touchstone of reference. It’s just one of those books written from such a lofty and cautious scholarly perspective, that reading this is a great way to see what is going on through the filters of another deep thinker. Any occultist uninterested in what is going on in the minds of other consciousness stars is not going to achieve much success.

It is not a book for neophytes, but neither is it inaccessible (at the very least one might want to memorize the Sephiroth before tackling the Brazen Serpent.) I was curious about where the tome actually stood in the classification scheme of occult literature. I read through it again, but not from cover to cover. Instead I thought of a Sephira or path I wanted to read about and flipped to that section. It worked – but it was of a very different flavor than most reference manuals. This is an abstract reference manual for advanced Hermetic Qabbalists coming from the A.’.A.’. lineage and Thelemic current. 

The Bad

I do not agree with all of the assertions made – a few, are outright wrong, but, I recognize that these statements are true to the classical A.’.A.’. and O.T.O. traditions, so this is only to be expected. We are not affiliated with O.T.O. and we are clearly set apart from their traditions in several significant ways.

It should be noted that The Brazen Serpent is not filial to Judaic Kabbalah, despite the fact that the author was influenced by Lurianic Kabbalah. Qlippoth are treated here – as they are treated in the A.’.A.’. tradition – as something which influences us and our world, constantly – clearly a Western Magick stance. By contrast, the Abrahadabra Institute does not recognize the Qlippoth as influencing anyone directly or anything in one’s path working.

The problems I have with O.TO. or various other A.’.A.’. lineages is not insignificant, and I should explain this somewhat…I have never witnessed anyone in my entire life solve very many of the real problems and mysteries facing us in regards to the physics of the Body of Light from the perspective of Hermetic Alchemy with the exception of m1thr0s 729. Knowing what I know today about the O.T.O. and their ilk, I am very suspicious of anything that comes out of their camps. What Viktor Blåsjö wrote on Christiaan Huygens and G.W. Leibniz’ discourse also applies to the Body of Light and its mastery – the only goddamned thing that we are interested in here and the only thing we are ever actually discussing when we talk about any of the subjects here at the Institute; 

“We don’t study nature because we refuse to admit value in abstract mathematics. We study nature because she has repeatedly proven herself to have excellent mathematical taste, which is more than can be said for the run-of-the-mill mathematicians who have to invent technical pseudo-problems because they can’t solve any real ones. “

– Viktor Blåsjö

What applies to math applies to Qabbalah. When anyone brings up some of the more decadent and ornate theories of Western Magick, such as the idea that there “is a tree and abyss in each sephira” or that we can interact with the Qlippoth, and they do not bring a valid argument apart from mere dogma or the guesswork of antiquity, I must politely decline to hop on board ‘Ye Olde Victorian Hoopla and Rumors About the Occult’ bandwagon. So I am cautious – yet the book is not so overloaded with Thelemic dogma that it is oppressive, or sycophantic in any way. That is a welcome reprieve from most modern Thelemic texts; usually only matched in quality by the old devil Crowley himself, who understood, perfectly well, the abomination that is dogma and flattery. I would be remiss, however, not to mention this important distinction between Abrahadabra doctrines and those of the author and her lineage. 

Another influence I noticed as I skimmed through the text is the Christianity, again, typical and to be expected from any O.T.O. or A.’.A.’. text – we’re talking about the same organizations that runs the Ecclesiastica Gnostica Catholica, and not a branch of Satanism. Angels, God, Lucifer and the Christian mythos feature prominently enough to be noticeable, and there is a very slight criticism of the left hand path. These ideas and their sources share very little in common with TAI – they simply don’t enter into our way of life or our value systems in any way, and there is a good reason for why we are are counted separately from the rest of the occult world. Some sinister oriented magicians will find the Christian influences heavy handed, but again, this is a typical example of Thelemic literature, and it never claims to be anything other than this.

Much the same kind of deist rhetoric will be found within Israel Regardie, Dion Fortune and Helen Blavatsky, all of which feature within the extensive bibliography of The Brazen Serpent.  The bibliography is concise and accurately represents the pedigree of the book and its author – it’s also a very useful reading list for occultists looking for their next book. The author and publisher advertise it as a Thelemic text with A.’.A.’. influences speaking on the subject of classic Hermetic Qabbalah in the Western mystery tradition, and this is exactly what it is. 

While the book’s contents are ordered neatly in the correct Sephira and path chronologies, this is where the consistency ends – don’t expect to find correspondences ala 777 or Duquette’s Understanding the Thoth Tarot, in a neat little table at the beginning of each section. When attributions are given they are mentioned in passing randomly, and where they have a semblance of consistency between sections, they are scattered in various places rather than being placed in a summary at the beginning of the section, for example the Gematria attributions and Hebrew letter are given but they are not in the same place each time. This limits the book very slightly as a reference manual, however, most experienced Qabbalists will have cheat sheet charts lying around anyways (and if you’re really nuts like us here at TAI they will be the size of an entire wall.) In the final assessment the book works just fine as a reference manual for advanced Qabbalistic theory in the A.’.A.’. and O.T.O. traditions. 

The Emperor is yet still placed at Teth, although concessions are made to his connection to Tzaddi. I do not agree with the argument here on the face of it, but that is a matter of personal experience and opinions based on that experience, and it is the official doctrine of The Abrahadabra Institute, as established by m1thr0s 729, that the Emperor is positioned at the path of Tzaddi. I personally have no problems with these discrepancies. We have always gone our own way and I expect others to do the same where they see fit. There’s more than one way to Completion, and being unable to recognize this would be incalculably stupid of us to presume.

Despite doctrinal conflicts with The Abrahadabra Institute’s lineage, I can safely assure anyone interested in The Brazen Serpent that they shall be richly rewarded delving into Soror N.O.’s thoughts here, especially if they are attracted to the A.’.A.’. and O.T.O. doctrines and methodology. It’s also a great primer for becoming familiar with the lineage without having to undergo the initiation itself, as it accurately represents A.’.A.’. material without any bold revisions. Anyone considering applying to the A.’.A.’. or O.T.O. would do well to review The Brazen Serpent first.  I for one greatly look forward to more titles from this author and would be happy to add her thoughts to my top shelf materials. 

the periodic table of alchemy and wizardry

This article is for members only. To skip this preview and go straight to the forum article, click here.
      There is a style of thinking in the occult today that I would like to see corrected. Occultists seem to be obsessed with irrelevant things, such as how much a book costs, how old a set of data is, (the more ancient the better) where that person comes from, who rubs shoulders with who.
      I ran into this problem recently with someone who considered any metal other than steel, titanium, silver or gold to be useless as ritual jewelry. Pewter was completely out of the question, he said, because it was “cheap!” Most people know that pewter has an ancient and venerable reputation, both as a material of the wealthy, like aluminum, but that each metal has its place in witchcraft and ceremonial magick in turn. Pewter especially has an important connection to the Star Goddess, Nuit, which I will explain here, presently.
      Opinions, in and of themselves, have no bearing or relevance to the work we do here at The Abrahadabra Institute. Older occult data is no more authentic and useful than solid new research, just as old scientific theory is not necessarily more useful than the latest lab results that conflict with older theories. Occultists who indulge in these vain and shallow preoccupations, seem to be of the opinion that our body of knowledge is frozen in time, ready to be discovered by anyone willing to pay $500 for the (limited edition) secrets of mystical enlightenment.
      Most of the greatest knowledge in the occult can be acquired from a dozen books, all modestly priced and sometimes, sadly, out of print, due to lack of interest, such as the Tai Hsuan Ching translated by Derek Walters. Nobody has yet achieved the goals set forth in many of alchemy’s greatest workings, including myself. These goals of the Great Work are all out there waiting to be accomplished by anyone with the motivation and dedication to attempt them. The byproduct of the struggle, even if they are not achieved, is a very high and valuable class of gnosis. These operations are not widely known, but if they had ever been achieved, the world would be completely different than it is now. This is how we know that they have not yet been accomplished. The results of these operations are theoretical game changers. To figure out how to succeed here, we need to be willing to do the work, just as our species, via one or another intrepid explorer, found the will to work hard to invent the steam engine, the electric light bulb or the space rocket, for example. Our area of study is underfunded and ignored, but so what? Many of technology’s greatest fields of study were completely off the map when some intrepid explorer or inventor decided to throw their life and energy at it. [Continue Reading…]

mutational alchemy essentials 001

  *Author’s Note* *All posts by m1thr0s at this site are amended articles extracted from a much bigger work-in-progress that will be defining Mutational Alchemy in all of its diverse principles and applications.  Since there is a great deal to this topic which is many months away from completion, (Late 2018) certain of its tenets deemed as standalone topics are being allowed to run ahead of the finished book. No responsible theoretician would ever imagine himself to be the only one pioneering important new insights all by himself so that where certain breakthroughs strike me as vital to the overall discussion at hand, these will occasionally find themselves posted as independent articles. This should serve several purposes at once, creating interest in the larger work on the one hand while facilitating a sense of fellowship with other pioneers at the same time.

Mutational Alchemy Essentials 001

In the Beginning…

It has finally dawned on me that a lot of people just don’t have a clue what the hell I am going on about with all this Mutational Alchemy rhetoric or why it might make any difference to anybody else. In part this is due to the fact that I started out posting things I knew would be of some interest to people I have already been in communication with for a number of years and are already themselves familiar with a good many of the essentials. But this doesn’t help anybody else and when I find that even people who have themselves been involved in one or another practices for many years haven’t a clue what I am going on about…this clearly signals a serious communication problem. So I am going to attempt to examine Mutational Alchemy from the very beginning and try to establish both what it is and why it might make any difference to others. This will actually be a little difficult for me since I am myself so steeped in many of these ideas and practices that it can be nearly impossible to remember all the steps that might have led me to the present. Nevertheless, if this is going to do anybody any good, I have to try.

Sorting Out a Few Key Terms

Anyone who has actually attempted to pour over my posts has probably already realized that I bounce around between a lot of terms you may have a very difficult time tracking down via Google. Believe it or not, there really is a powerful thread of continuity running through all of this, but in order to understand what that is, you have to first understand what it is that I do best and where the vast majority of my personal emphasis has been placed throughout my own esoteric practise. Rather than just lay out a “glossary of terms” as was suggested by one member, I am going to try to initiate this ground-up discussion and stop at intervals to clarify those terms I am introducing for the first time. To begin with, everything I discuss at any time revolves around the so-called Body of Light and its mastery. That is my whole focus in this immediate incarnation. Before and After everything else I may ally myself with, I am first and foremost a Body of Light Technician. It is the thing I have been studying since I was a teenager (I am 53 years old at this writing) and it is the backbone of every magickal/alchemical discussion I engage. Whether I am discussing Abrahadabra or the Tetractys or the TwinStar or the Lo Shu Diagram or the Tai Hsuan Ching or even Ningishzidda and perhaps 100 or more other things you have rarely heard of, it all comes back to the Body of Light and its mastery. That is where my passion lies and that is what I am always going on about in one form or another. So forget all these other terms for a moment…we will return to them in due course. For the moment I want to just discuss the Body of Light itself and try to extrapolate the core assumptions underscoring this language. Getting straight on this will determine whether or not any of the rest of this stuff is of any real use to you. If you are not onboard with the Body of Light as a matter of utmost importance, nothing else I can ever say will ever matter much anyway, since, believe it or not, that’s actually all I ever really talk about.

The Body of Light

The *Body of Light*is a generic term pertaining to the notion of an *etheric* body (and bodies) that is thought to exist in tangent to the physical body itself. Similar in concept to the rings of a rainbow, the idea is that the physical body, as we know it, is actually only the lowest rung in a lattice network of bodies descending from the Highest (subtlest) to the Lowest (coursest). Various *models* of this extended anatomical network of bodies have been asserted over time, some asserting as few as 3, others as many as 7 or more grand divisions within this overall Body of Light framework. At the time of this writing, if you run a search on Wikipedia on the Body of Light you will come upon a kind of misinformation that has done enormous damage to the correct understanding (and productive discussion) of the Body of Light as it has been asserted since the dawn of history by many different cultures in many different ways. While it is true that Thelema has its own rendition(s) of this ancient metaphysical thesis, any knowledgable Thelemite will be able to tell you that this is drawn primarily from Golden Dawn teachings, which themselves are largely drawn from traditional and hermetic qabbalah sources. There is in fact no such thing as a uniquely Thelemic Body of Light standard (though there is, in fact, a new model to be weighed, which I will come to presently). A more responsible contemporary treatise on the Body of Light in western magickal tradition can be found in Mark Stavish’s condensed essay The Body of Light in the Western Esoteric Tradition It should be noted that references to Chi Kung (see: Qigong), a traditional Body of Light discipline endemic to Chinese Alchemy, do not strictly apply to the model being presented in Mutational Alchemy. Chi Kung works with Chi energy which would typically be seated within the solar plexus region and is developed and directed at will by the experienced practitioner through a complex system of breathing and visualization excercises. There is nothing inherently wrong or invalid with this practise…it is simply not the same model of light-energy that we are dealing with in Abrahadabra/Mutational Alchemy. The closest historical parallel I have been able to find to the Mutational Alchemy system is the Merkabah , or “Chariot of Soul”, from Qabbalistic literature, of which very little has been written outlining its mastery. While certain similarities do exist between traditional Chi and Kundalini practices and the principles outlined in Mutational Alchemy, the techniques, properties and overall objectives are quite different. In Abrahadabra we are attempting to energize and gradually phase into the *StarBody* itself, as depicted in the Abrahadabra Grid, of which the Tree of Life is viewed as a physiological subdomain, or mathematical subset. We base our proof of this *StarBody* system…first upon the geometry of Abrahadabra itself and finally upon the actual results we obtain through working with elemental energy fields directly. It is thus very important to scrutinize these maps very closely, as this will be our starting point in developing the visualization disciplines necessary to realize any actual physical results. I should also point out that you are going to be operating without much of any *safety net* in the Abrahadabra/Mutational Alchemy system, simply because no *traditional* precedent is known to exist for this immediate model of reality. One’s approach has to be based upon what is internallycoherent and logically and intuitively correct, since there are no other conventional *guides* to lean upon. This is a bold new territory for pioneering spirits who can trust to their own best judgments to lead them.

Historical Overview

It is virtually impossible to determine where and when the whole concept of a Body of Light began. Ethnobotanists would typically argue that it has its origins in Shamanic traditions where the method of accessing this higher anatomical network would have involved injesting psychotropic concoctions of one sort or another and going into deep trance states where the ability to step into these higher body systems might then be directly experienced. Since there are virtually no written records to substantiate this claim, we have only the iconographic evidence of cultural art expressions to guide us here. What we do know is that very specific reference to the Body of Light anatomical structure can be dated as far back as the Vedas of ancient India, where we come to the notion of The Five Koshas. The Five Koshas, or “sheaths”, amount to rings of subtle pranic force (see also: the Vayus, or 5 Winds) surrounding the Atman, or “True Self” which resides at their core. It is vitally important for us to grasp that these “layers” as defined in the Vedas are not separate from each other…these are not separate bodies per se…but rather degrees of subtlety within the body as a whole. To this day, the Five Koshas amount to a central Yogic doctrine around which the Eight Limbs of Yoga have been developed as a means to purifying and fortifying mind & body so as to ultimately be able to access all of these “sheathes” at will. At approximately the same time as the Vedas are being compiled in India, in the far east we see the emergence of a Dynastic China which is ushered in with a comprehensive model of universal reality in the form of the I Ching. The I Ching is typically touted as an *Oracle*, used for the purpose of divining Fate for good or ill, but it is actually a great deal more than this. The I Ching is a complete Cosmogony, defining Earth, Man and Heaven in one Grand Unified logic, or physics. While it would not, on its face, appear to be an actual model of the Body of Light, we know that around this physics the entirety of Yin-Yang Medicine sprang into being along with its doctrine of Chi. We find very ancient mappings of Cosm outlining whole universal continuum and Man’s place in relation to this, so that the sum of all its parts and all of its extensions, does in fact give us a model of *man-made-perfect*, which is, at its heart, what the Body of Light is really all about. The differences between the Indian and the Chinese approaches are very interesting to observe, since what we find is that the Ayurvedic (East-Indian) model is emphasizing Microcosm where the Chinese system is actually more focused on Macrocosm. Nevertheless both systems set immediately about to integrate the physical body itself, so that while the Ayurvedic system evolves into the Chakras, identifying energy along the spine, the Chinese system evolves into the Meridians and is plotting Chi pathways throughout the body…including higher states of energy/consciousness not ordinarily accessable without the advent of disciplined concentration. Exactly where and when Western Civilization joins in with this discussion is a little hard to track with a perfect certainty. We find evidences of Trees of Life dating all the way to Mesopotamia but Body of Light doctrines have almost universally been “hidden” from the profane…these were were secret teachings imparted to the initiated only and so it is difficult to know for certain just how much resides within the ancient Greek or the Persian or Hebrew cultures for instance. What has filtered down to us more-or-less intact has largely come by way of the Qabbalistic Tree of Life and its tenets, yet we know that parallels do exist in the Druidic, the Nordic and other places across the globe. Similar to the Chinese system in many respects, the Qabbalistic Tree of Life is principally focused on Macrocosm. The Tree of Life is not really charting energy along the spine so much as it is attempting to map out the relationship of Universe to Man. Even so, in lieue of the Hermetic Alchemical axiom “As Above – So Below” – “As Within – So Without”, what we discover is that anything which does a good job of charting Macrocosm will inevitably find its reciprocal compliment in Microcosm as well, and vice-versa. While the Tree of Life is not intentionally tracking the “Gunas” for instance, nevertheless the Gunas are clearly represented in the 3 Pillars themselves. Because Man is still the measure by which Universe is being defined, what corresponds to Macrocosm has an immediate relevance to Microcosm also.

Underscoring Assumptions

The careful reader may have already observed that in some respects we can assert that what has come to be called The Body of Light might also be called “The Mind”. And indeed, if we follow Carl Jung’s lead in this respect, then just about anything that attempts to define archetypal relationships of any kind has something to do with this discussion. For the Hermetic Alchemist, Mind & Matter are really all about the same thing…all made from the same “stuff”…just vibrating at different frequencies. Why do we assign “bodies” to archetypes at all? Why is it so important to us that Gods have certain forms and certain powers and so on? The mind classifies things according to “kind” and we are always the measuring rod against which our knowledge is measured. Even if we break parts of this habit, we will almost certainly never be rid of it completely. Form speaks to Function and to understand a things’ Form is to understand its Value. One of the core assumptions surrounding Body of Light literature is the idea that human beings are fundamentally a house divided. It is universally asserted that what has occured is that consciousness has descended from a primal Unity into a condition of Duality and is now confronted with the difficulty of regaining this lost equilibrium. Exactly why this may have occurred is subject to different points of view, some contending that this has to do with a powerful pull towards individuality, others that it is simply the way consciousness acquires new experience, still others that “intelligences”, like stars, are formed in a womb-like condition but must pass through this whole process to become fully matured and so on. I do not speculate on the reasons so much myself but I am reasonably convinced of the Unity/Duality scenario in general. Work that we do on the Body of Light is intended to restore this Unity. When you hear talk of a Supreme Attainment, or the Great Liberation, or the Great Work in Completion etc, we are always talking about the idea of having established…or re-established…this original Unity, with the possible exception that having carved it out in adversity, it should not be so easily lost again. Nearly all mystical and/or magickal doctrines teach that Mind is the key to Matter, so we need to weigh that in as one of the core assumptions around which Body of Light work is defined. If we did not think that deliberately focusing our Minds in certain ways could amount to significant changes in terms of Matter itself, there would be little point left to any kind of meditation practice at all. It is important to periodically revisit this core assumption to reassess everything it implies. The primary tools of all visualization work are Light and Sound, and why is this? Because Light and Sound are the two most powerful tools the Mind has at its immediate disposal. Beyond this, we actually do know that all gradations…all conditions of matter…are Light/Sound waves vibrating at varying rates and frequencies. What is sometimes difficult to wrap our brains around is that the faculty of Thought itself may ultimately be all that is required to shape or reshape any condition of Matter. Concurrent to this theme of Thought being the key to Matter is the notion of Right Thinking itself. This is a very important core assumption I want to drive home from the start, because, again, it is an area that has suffered a great deal of damage over time. From the time of the Vedas it has always been maintained that Right Thinking combined with Right Action points the way to Right Destiny itself. But what is “Right Thinking” when the matter turns to things highly esoteric? Too many times we are spoon-fed explanations and instructions as to how we should proceed that make no natural sense to us, yet we are often told that this is not important…that we can only come to understand these things by doing them without question. While there may be some justification for this in limited doses, the real problem with perpetrating this kind of instruction is that you are not ultimately producing free-thinking individuals who have sorted out their most sensitive personal practices for themselves. In the end you wind up with people who know how to go through the motions but have no real idea what they might mean, since they were never encouraged to ask what they might mean to begin with. You cannot achieve Right Thinking if you do not allow for a full measure of Skepticism and Doubt from the outset. Here in the context of Abrahadabra/Mutational Alchemy, “Right Thinking” means exactly what it should mean…it means asking and answering all the hard questions until you have very clear and compelling reasons to take “Right Action”… This could go on but for the time being my objective is to lay down a few essentials pertaining to the Body of Light itself, the history of it, and its most central core assumptions. For the most part I think I have fairly well done that. I will return in the next segment and begin looking at why Abrahadabra might be anything particularly special… m1thr0s