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The man who writes books on a Thelema that no beast shall divine. Founding member of Ordo Astri, Thelemic Magical Collegium. Member of Ordo Typhonis since 2000 e.v. More articles and essays are posted at https://ordoastri.org/ and https://tantrika.co.uk/

Friday, 18 March 2016

Quantum Yoga and the Way of the West

The impact of what has often been termed as ‘Yoga of the West’ on English and American occultists in the latter half of the twentieth century can hardly be overstated. Dion Fortune experimented with combining pranayama meditation with a visualisation method known only to a few members of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, called, ‘Rising on the Planes’.

Quantum Yoga: Ancient Egyptian Goddess Sekhet in Yoga Posture (British Museum) Israel Regardie called his particular version the ‘Middle Pillar Exercise’ and published it in what was effectively a manual or handbook for the use of this practical Qabalah as a do-it-yourself therapy. The method was swiftly seized upon by those who, until then, had struggled with reconciling the chakra system of the Hermetic Tree of Life with Eastern Laya Yoga.

Various offshoots of Dion Fortune’s Fraternity of Inner Light, such as the Helios Group, took the method exactly as presented by Regardie, combining it with Dion Fortune’s use of the Tree of Life for Rising on the Planes. We cannot agree with Regardie’s suggested applications of the Middle Pillar Exercise. However, anyone that has ability for this kind of thing at all, and that practices the method persistently for say, six months or more, will know of its efficacy.

The Middle Pillar Exercise is by no means the complete picture of how the Yoga of the West works. There is a great deal more to Applied Qabalah than running an imagined stream of light up and down five visualised chakras. Nonetheless, the Yoga of the West is designed so that it is available to all. Magick and yoga need no longer be exclusively the domain of the wealthy with time on their hands. If persisted with on a strict daily basis, magick and yoga can be done effectively in a minimum of about 45 minutes per day. That needs to be combined with as much book reading and written study as can be afforded. A magical diary record of the work is also kept on a strict daily basis. As the majority of human beings now spend far more than 45 minutes per day watching television and engaging with social media, Hermetic Tantra-yoga is not all that difficult to achieve so long as the person is prepared to make the necessary adjustments for an awakening from the somnambulant trance that now passes for sentience.

]This article is abridged from the Second Edition of The Enterer of the Threshold.]

There is some realignment needed to make the Middle Pillar Exercise into a yoga method capable of sustaining what are called ‘the higher trances’. We also need to modify or adapt some of the divine names used in the traditional method. We do not, for example, invoke the biblical demiurge Tetragrammaton as is still customary in methods derived from the Golden Dawn and Crowley. To avoid confusion, we use the term ‘Quantum Yoga’ or otherwise ‘Hermetic Tantra-yoga’ when referring to our universal adaptation of the method.

Quantum Yoga: John Dee's Celestial Egg from Monas Hieroglyphica as drawn by Oliver St. John
 Kether and Malkuth are posited as chakras that are outside the body—outside even the subtle body or astrosome of the practitioner. Although the system is by no means identical to Eastern Laya Yoga, there is some agreement with Woodroffe’s Tantrik schema as set forth in his seminal work, Serpent Power. The crown chakra, the seventh and highest in that system only comes into existence when all six lower chakras are have flowered. Shiva and Shakti, Chokmah and Binah, must be united in the third eye or ajna chakra. In our Quantum Yoga, Malkuth is not placed at the feet as it is in the Middle Pillar Exercise; it is relocated to the centre of Earth. Yesod, the sphere of the Moon, is effectively the base chakra.

There are many different chakra systems, although Woodroffe’s work has been so influential in the West that it has become commonplace for people to think there are ‘seven chakras’, as though these were objective locations. Similarly, the colour scheme afforded the chakras in the Laya Yoga scheme is mistakenly taken as ‘fact’. However, a further agreement we have with Woodroffe’s Serpent Power is that there are three centres that are of supreme significance. It is said that Kundalini Shakti penetrates the sphere of sensation at these three points. The three chakras in question equate Qabalistically to Yesod (Moon), Tiphereth (Sun) and Daath (Saturn, as the conjunction of Chokmah and Binah). We generally place emphasis on the three Shakti points, plus the two ‘outside’ or cosmic chakras, Kether and Malkuth. This equates well with the theoretical idea put forward by Dion Fortune, where there are three Circuits of Force.
1. The Magnetic Core (primary circuit; not subject to any conditions)
2. The Rainbow Aura (magnetic field; astrosome)
3. The Peripheral Circuit (sensitive to environment or cosmos)
There are difficulties in translating this idea into praxis, so we posit a Cosmic Circuit coming into existence via the circuit formed by Nuit (Kether) and Hadit (Malkuth) through the mirror of Daath and Yesod (Saturn and Moon, ‘93’). The Peripheral Circuit, normally susceptible to environmental and cosmic conditions and so related to the natal horoscope, is transmuted into a Cosmic Circuit when informed by the True Will (Magnetic Core). As was declared by Aiwass in the (Egyptian) Book of the Law, Liber AL, I: 8–9,
The Khabs is in the Khu, not the Khu in the Khabs.
Worship then the Khabs, and behold my light shed over you!
It is unnecessary to change or alter the locations of the numbered sephiroth and connecting paths of the Hermetic Tree of Life. We will give here the complete Quantum Yoga or Hermetic Tantra-yoga, in tabulated form.

* Please note that the traditional Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram as given by the Golden Dawn and Crowley cannot precede this. Those forms of the ritual are ethically, culturally and practically inimical to what we aim to achieve here. The Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram to be employed may be studied online here.
0. Preparations

Perform the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram (invoking).

Assume the seated Egyptian Godform asana. We do not sit cross-legged on the floor. Meditation is done seated, similar to the way Egyptian gods are depicted when enthroned. Your back and spine are kept straight but not tense. Your feet are kept flat on the floor; your knees and hips should be straight but comfortably aligned. Your head should be facing forward, looking straight ahead, even if your eyes are closed. The art is to keep perfectly still while remaining calm and relaxed.

Relax the mind and body with pranayama. This does not include counting of breath or breathing with one nostril. It is helpful, though not essential at the outset, to keep the tip of your tongue pressed lightly against the roof of your mouth. Simply breathe deeply and slowly, in through the nostrils and out through the mouth. The idea is to maintain deep, relaxed breathing throughout the meditation. The rhythm of the breathing should be something like the slow rising and falling of the tides of the sea.

Clear your mind of all thoughts and sensations (Ain Soph Aur).

1. Picture Kether as an ultraviolet sphere (or star) vertically above you. Sound the name Asherah, using the vibratory technique and see Kether pulsating with the invocation.

2. The light of Kether descends and Daath is formed. Picture Daath as a silvery or violet sphere emanating from the centre of your head. Vibrate the name IAO Elohim, and see Daath pulsating with energy.

3. The light is brought down and Tiphereth is formed. Picture Tiphereth as a golden sphere of light emanating from the centre of your body. Vibrate the name IAO Eloah ve-Daath, and see Tiphereth coruscating with light.

4. The light is brought down until Yesod is formed. Picture Yesod as a violet sphere of light emanating from the base of your spine. Vibrate the name Shaddai El Chai, and see Yesod pulsating with energy.

5. The light is brought down until Malkuth is formed. Picture Malkuth as a shining black sphere vertically below. Vibrate the name Adonai, and see Malkuth becoming magnetically charged. A scarlet or infrared flame blossoms there like a fragrant rose, filling the space.
6. Return attention to the silvery or violet sphere of Da’ath. Vibrate the name IAO Elohim.
7. Endeavour to see the five sephiroth pulsating with light and colour in the vertical column. Continue the relaxed breathing and circulate light in your astrosome. With the in-breath, the infrared magnetic fire is drawn vertically upwards from Malkuth and along the middle pillar until it reaches Kether. On the out-breath, blue-white or ultraviolet light pours down like a fountain around the outside of your body. Repeat this perhaps nine or ten times. Circulate the magnetic force in this way, in a continuous cycle, until the five chakras glow brightly and you are surrounded by a brilliant violet egg or cocoon.


The vibratory technique: Take in a full breath through both nostrils. As the air is fully expelled the name or word is loudly and forcefully vibrated so as to physically resonate. It is not shouted, and should be sonorous. The vowels are greatly extended. For example, ‘IAO’ is sounded until the breath is exhausted, ‘ee-aah-ooh!’ If it is not possible to vibrate the words loudly and physically then a technique called the Great Voice is used. Imagine that the name or word roars forth to infinity while feeling it strongly resonating within.

After the preparations, we sound or vibrate the name of Kether of Atziluth, AShRH (Asherah). Asherah is a name of the primal Creatrix, Qabalistically identical to Nuit.

We proceed to Daath. Daath is not imagined as located ‘in the throat’. Its light is pictured as emanating, radiating outwardly, from the centre of the brain between the two hemispheres. The ‘barbarous name’ for vibration is IAO ALHIM (Iao Elohim).

IAO is not a ‘secret pronunciation of Tetragrammaton’, as was supposed by the nineteenth century European philosophers. The great name IAO is a Trigrammaton. Its ancient Egyptian origin vastly predates biblical and Gnostic scriptures. Some of the meanings of IAO are given here.
The Primordial; a vessel; here—to be present; cry of exaltation; to journey forth; the abode; the house or dwelling; the all-begetter; the hair (of Nuit); door or door-leaf; the lid of a sarcophagus.
IAO is the generative principle or Neter. It is the primal sound or utterance of all phallic Gods, whether these are male or female in outward form. Tumescence occurs in both male and female when dreaming at night. Phallus, from Greek, phallos, originally had the special meaning of ‘image’. It is the image-making creative principle—that which William Blake termed Imagination, and used as a name for Christ or Logos.

With Daath formulated, we invoke Tiphereth as the Sun in the centre of all, with the conjunction of names IAO ALVH V-DOTh (Iao Eloah ve-Daath). Tiphereth is the child of Chokmah and Binah sent forth in time and space, and is the God of Knowledge and the Garden of Eden.

With Tiphereth formulated we conjure forth Yesod, the basal chakra (base of the spine), with the traditional ShDI AL ChI (Shaddai El Chai), ‘Holy Spirit of Life-Energy-Presence’.

Next, we sound ADNI (Adonai), the Lord of the Shrine at the centre of the Earth, Malkuth the ‘Kingdom’. Adonai, or Adon (ADVN) is the polar twin of the woman of heaven, AShRH.

We return awareness to Da’ath, the ‘control centre’ of the Tree, and vibrate IAO ALHIM (Iao Elohim).

The ascending magnetic force, drawn up through the chakras from Malkuth to Kether, is conceived as glowing infrared light. The descending dew or light from Nuit is conceived as radiant ultraviolet, as declared in Liber AL, I: 51:
Purple beyond purple: it is the light higher than eyesight.


© Oliver St. John 2016, 2019

This article is abridged from the Second Edition of the book, The Enterer of the Threshold.

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