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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, 22 July 2016

Magick of Divine Imagination

Magick greatly depends on two factors: will and imagination. These correspond to the Wand and Cup of art. The English mystic William Blake understood the occult aspect of will and desire. Blake held the divine power of imagining in such regard that he created a noun, Imagination, as a term for Christ or Logos.

Divine Imagination: William Blake Dante and Beatrice

Magick typically utilises the act of drawing or tracing out figures such as pentagrams, hexagrams and sigils imaginatively upon the astral aethyr. Inscribing such figures on the astral aethyr is effectively no different than handwriting. The ‘ink’ is the Occult Force, conveyed through the cup of imagination. The ‘pen’ is the wand or thumb, also the will of the magician. The ‘paper’ is the fluid astral aethyr impressed upon by will and imagination. The act of writing or drawing symbols connects the hand with the eye, which in turn memorably places the figures in Deep Mind. This serves as a key to the latent source of the figures that pre-exists our conscious awareness. A neurologist could explain how various neural pathways in the brain are linked through hand to eye coordination. Some of these pathways must be created, brought into existence.

According to the magical correspondences, the hand and the eye are cognate terms. The hand of ‘five’ is Hé, the letter of the 15th path of Nuit’s creative star-fire, and the window of divine imagining. The number five is that of the pentagram, the star of Nuit. The Grand Number of Five is Fifteen, and the fifteenth Tarot Atu is placed on the 26th path of A’ain, which means ‘an eye’. What we see is what we are. The Idea is at one with the Imagination. The aim of magick is to follow the symbol back to its source in the divine imagining. Our knowledge and understanding of any symbol is as vital as our ability to visualise and project it onto the astral aethyr.

The wisdom of ancient Egypt instructs us that the name—and therefore the vibration—of any God, is that God. The ancient Greeks would not say the name of Hades aloud, because they did not want him to notice them and perhaps become overly interested in their soul! According to the classical Greek tradition, Hades is the Lord of hell and death and detains souls forever in the underworld.[1]

In Goethe’s version of the timeless play Faust, all the magus did to invoke the spirits was to show them a picture of the holy hexagram in his grimoire.[2] When Mephisto makes his appearance, Faust asks him, “Was it not the power of my mighty spells and conjurations that summoned you?” And Mephisto tells him it has nothing to do with that. Since Faust was inclined towards evil, the Devil did not need to be summoned, for he was already aware of what Faust was up to, and would have come sooner or later.

When men—usually learned gentlemen, wayward monks or clergy—performed magical rituals in the 15th and 16th centuries, merely opening a book and seeing a hexagram or some such figure set them in awe of God. Add to that the fear of getting found out by the authorities—which meant cloaking such operations with utmost secrecy—and we can understand how their magick was extremely effective. We have to work a lot harder at it now.

Magick corresponds to Mercury, the Roman name for the Greek Hermes and the Egyptian Tahuti, the god of writing, books and knowledge. Magick and the Word or Logos are therefore inseparable terms. Books—real ones, not the digital fakes—are reliquaries for the knowledge of countless generations. Such a book can open doorways in the imagination through the power of the written word. Such doorways are formed from the matter itself, the base material as a repository for the imagining. The imagining is in turn the agent for the soul’s transfiguration. To engage on this level, we must have enough time to not worry about time. We must be free from all other distractions and able to focus the mind without interruption. The reader then becomes an active participant, wholly absorbed in the imaginative creation and recreation of inner worlds.

So far as magical knowledge and expertise goes, the (real) book collection is the starting point. True knowledge comes with experience—getting out in the field, comparing notes, thinking a great deal, engaging with the necessary practical experimentation. Survival of any species depends on adaptation to changing conditions, new knowledge.

We have access to far more information now than anyone can handle. Information does not equal knowledge. Dissociation of mind and senses comes about through over exposure to digital images, film, television and the millions of contradictory thoughts and opinions that pour forth unceasingly through the media platforms, day and night. While the web is now a useful device for research so long as we resist the assault of peripheral nonsense, it is also a digital skrying mirror into hell. Misinformation, uninformed opinion and the utterly banal are merged in a mephitic ocean of babble.

It has become common to see people of all ages walking—even in the rural countryside or by the sea coast—with a digital audio device sending its metranomic square wave impulse directly to their ears, thus ensuring they are oblivious to their environment. Many prefer to run rather than walk, as a form of recreational exercise. What are we running away from? What it is that we do not wish to hear, to see? Is there something we would rather not think about at all?

Man has become the most ill equipped of all creatures on earth, since all others spend the greater part of their time paying close attention to their environment. Wild birds and creatures study the world in the utmost detail, mapping it with senses not even dreamed of by the human. The majority of humans are now afraid to go anywhere without a cell phone, lest they should miss a message, a text, a call. We have been seduced into thinking we are no longer alone, when in fact we are more alone than ever, isolated from self, others and the natural environment by our own need to ‘stay in touch’. Silence has entered the realms of the unknown. Fewer persons than ever are capable of real meditation or even coherent thought. Amnesia is fast becoming the normal condition.

The machines no longer serve, they have become the masters, and their operators have become obedient slaves. It is no small wonder that our systems of government and business are heartless and cruel, operating according to statistics—facts and figures that cannot in themselves reveal any truth, for they can be manipulated to serve the interests of the soulless machine and its slave, the dissociated human ego.

The ways of magick and of true knowledge are open to any child of the 21st century that understands the need to be the master of machines and not the slave of them.


1. The fearful Greek taboo may have been the source of other ‘unspeakable’ deity names. The vengeful tribal demiurge YHVH (Tetragrammaton) is supposed not to be uttered.
2. The hexagram is the symbol of macrocosmos, the ‘greater world’. By the hermetic doctrine of correspondences, ‘As above and so below’, the spirits are thus compelled to obedience.

© Oliver St. John 2016, 2018
This essay is part of the collection Babalon Unveiled! Thelemic Monographs.
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