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Oliver St. John is the author of fifteen books covering Hermetic and Thelemic philosophy, Qabalah, operative magical Theurgy, the Tarot and astrology. He is a founding member of the Thelemic Magical Collegium, Ordo Astri, and has been a member of the Typhonian Order since 2000 e.v.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Thelemic Feast for the First Night

There are rituals of the elements and feasts of the times.
A feast for the first night of the Prophet and his Bride!
The Egyptian Book of the Law, Liber AL vel Legis, II: 36–37

The members of Ordo Astri now celebrate the “first night of the Prophet and his Bride” every 22nd August, or when the Sun enters the zodiacal sign of Virgo. We extend an invitation to the Thelemic community worldwide to join us in this, whether by ritual or some other means of celebration.

Stone of Stars
Dreaming Thelema: Stone of Stars Painting

Stone of Stars is one of the artworks by Soror VAA that will appear in the forthcoming book, Dreaming Thelema of Kenneth Grant and H. P. Lovecraft. Is it a stone amulet, stele, window, or doorway into hyperspace? It is you, the observer, who will determine the results of this experiment in art, alchemy and the occult.

The Prophet and Bride mentioned in Liber AL, II: 36–37 do not refer to any human personages. The wedding of the Sun and Moon, or alchemical wedding, is a metaphor for what might be termed the first real breakthrough in the life and work of the mystic magician or Theurgist. The Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel corresponds to Tiphereth and Adeptus Minor in the Qabalistic scheme, while the Vision of Adonai, the necessary prerequisite, is the magical vision ascribed to Malkuth and the Neophyte.

Mystical experience, direct knowledge or Gnosis, cannot be conveyed other than in symbolism or poetic terms. Nonetheless, as indicated in the Egyptian Book of the Law, while there are eternal Aeons that are outside of time and therefore unaffected by temporal conditions, the “times” are nonetheless vital to the magician and mystic. The feminine-lunar mysteries of periodicity have their cosmic and earthly aspect.

Kenneth Grant had a firm conviction that the winter solstice of December 2012 would be deeply significant to the Thelemic Initiate. On the 12th December 2012, I published a short article entitled, Welcome to the Aeon of Hormaku, 2012. I wrote:

“Regulus, the star at the Heart of the Lion constellation, has now edged its way into the Zodiac sign of Virgo, forming a Grand Mutable Cross.”

Precisely three years later, events took place on the shores of Loch Ness, Scotland that we consider ‘fixed’ this aeonic shift—for the destruction by fire of Boleskin, Aleister Crowley’s ceremonial magical abode, was prophesied in the Egyptian Book of the Law, as noted in my article of 22nd January 2016, Prophecy of Liber AL Fulfilled. It is therefore timely to celebrate the conjunction of the Sun and Regulus, the Heart of the Lion, this 22nd August and every year for perpetuity.

Regulus is one of the four ancient “Watchers” of the heavens, marking the cardinal points of the visible universe. Those principal stars in the traditional fixed or Kerubic signs of the Zodiac—the Lion, Eagle, Bull and Woman—now form a great cross in mutable signs. The position of Regulus coincided with the summer solstice point more than 4000 years ago. Due to astronomical precession, the Sun has his annual conjunction with Regulus around the 22nd August. Regulus now makes conjunction with the Sun at the entry into Virgo, thus formulating the “Woman and Beast”, as typified by the ancient Sumerian representations of Ishtar as world axis. Ishtar embodied the astrological signs Leo (her chariot is pulled by lions), Virgo (she holds a mirror to behold her own perfection) and Libra (she wields the scales and balance). The constellations that the zodiacal signs take their name from overlap in the heavens. As the three signs are one each of fixed, mutable and cardinal types, they can be taken as representative of the whole Zodiac.

Ishtar "Queen of the Night" in the Axis Mudra
Ishtar or "Lilith" in Axis Mudra

The fixed, mutable and cardinal signs form three crosses on the great wheel of time or of the aeons, as we showed forth in The Law of Thelema—Quantum Yoga. To summarise the allegory: The mutable cross plays a key role in the magical alchemy of the hyperyantra. By fixing the volatile mutable cross, it revolves upon the axis of the universe and consciousness flows beyond the bounds of time and space and into fourth dimensional hyperspace.

The Aeonic Cross is comparable to the Kalachakra or “wheel of time” Tantra in Tibetan Buddhism and Hinduism. Kalachakra and Kalachakri is a pair of deities comparable to Nuit and Hadit, they look both inside and outside of time.

Kalachakra yoga or Yidam is the Tibetan way of uniting the self with a deity so as to obtain Pure Mind. Ishtadevata is one of the principle deities for this purpose. She is a Tantrik deity associated with the Kalachakra, whose name means, “desired” or “adored” (ishta) and “divine soul” (devata).

Ishtar, placed in Aquarius in the North on our Kalachakra wheel, used in most if not all our rituals, including the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram, has the same root name, Ishta. The Ishtar hieroglyph signifies precisely the crossing of the Axis of the Universe with the Celestial Horizon. In this context, the mudra of Ishtar symbolises the Aquarian Aeonic Cross.

It will be seen by those who work the magical system of the O∴ A∴ that, in accordance with ancient tradition, we have realigned the rituals and constructed our magical temple in accordance with “the times”. The symbol of the universe accords with how things look from Earth now. This is a vital factor in all magical and tantrik theurgic operations. We hope that it will not only be our members and associates that utilise the alignments or “space marks” of our rituals, but the wider Thelemic and magical community. It makes all the difference between effective magick, and magick that does not work because it is misaligned from the terrestrial plane. “As above and so below”.

References for further study:

Magical Theurgy—Rituals of the Tarot 
The Law of Thelema—Quantum Yoga 
Ritual Magick—The Rites and Ceremonies of Hermetic Light

Dreaming Thelema of Kenneth Grant and H. P. Lovecraft (article)

The above books can be found on our website here

© Oliver St. John 2016
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