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Oliver St. John is the author of twelve books covering Hermetic and Thelemic philosophy, Qabalah, operative magical Theurgy, the Tarot and astrology. He received initial training through a five-year course in Applied Qabalah written by Gareth Knight and W. E. Butler. In 1996 e.v., he forged a magical link with the Law of Thelema, the ancient Egyptian “93” current that was unearthed through the mediumship of Aleister and Rose Crowley. This led to his foundation of the Hermetic college Ordo Astri in 2000 e.v., and his entry into Kenneth Grant’s Typhonian Order (formerly Typhonian OTO) in the same year. Over the course of time, Oliver St. John has worked with Mary Long (author and student of Dion Fortune), Gareth Knight, Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki (co-founder of the Servants of the Light Association) and Olivia Robertson (co-founder of the Fellowship of Isis).

Friday, 26 July 2013

Lion-serpent of Summer

Our new Sepher Sephiroth book publication, The Flaming Sword, is scheduled for publication in 2016. Here is the main entry for the 19th path of the Hermetic Tree, Teth, which corresponds to Leo the Lion.

Thoth Tarot Atu Lust XI

Lust XI

Path 19, Teth: The Daughter of the Flaming Sword

The 19th path connects Chesed, the sphere of Jupiter, with Geburah, the sphere of Mars, and is imaged forth by the Tarot key Lust XI. The path is called the Intelligence of the Secret of all Spiritual Activities or the Occult Intelligence. The 19th path is the first that is wholly beneath the Abyss when descending, and the last before the Abyss when ascending the Tree; it is therefore the secret ruler and governor of all that is below, even as it receives the influence (mezla) from that which is above. The earlier versions of the 11th Tarot trump, such as the first printed Tarot of Marseilles, depict a curious form of what the ancient Egyptians termed as the “Opening of the Mouth”. The woman appeared to be forcing the mouth of a lion or other beast open. This is an image of the tearing open of the Gate of Knowledge, Daath – something that requires great spiritual strength and courage to do without suffering calamity, since there is a high risk of obsession by the flow of images on this high-powered path. The secret of the path is that material nature veils or conceals the numinous source of all. The magical power of the 19th path is the Power of Training Wild Beasts.

– The “Training of Wild Beasts” is the art of deriving oracles from snakes and women. The power of hypnotism is also associated with the snake. The snake of light extends from the base of the spine to the medulla oblongata where the spinal column enters the brain at the back of the head. Occultly, the serpent then forms the third eye chakra. The secret of the 19th path is known to magi, and has been intuited by those that have travelled the intellectual path to its limits. To those seeking the realms beyond the Abyss, every bodhisattva is a lion in the road, an obstacle to the attainment of Gnosis. To be saved by Crowley is no better than being sent to hell by Jesus. Below the Abyss, “There is help and hope in other spells” (Egyptian Book of the Law, Liber AL vel Legis, II: 70). For the followers of Aleister Crowley, the lion in the road is the man himself, his utopian philosophy and assumed role – not without irony – as Saviour of the World. For those of us not saddled with faith placed in ‘The Demon Crowley’, the task is to pick up the contact that Crowley lost in the 69th verse of the second chapter of his received Book of the Law.



© Oliver St. John 2013, revised 2015

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