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Oliver St. John is the author of books on Hermetic and Thelemic philosophy, Qabalah, operative magical Theurgy, Tarot and astrology. He is a founding member of Ordo Astri, Thelemic Magical Collegium and has been a member of the Typhonian Order since 2000 e.v. New articles and essays are posted at Tantrika Books.

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!
Liber AL vel Legis, II: 36–37

We celebrate the “first night of the Prophet and his Bride” every 22nd August, or when the Sun enters the zodiacal sign of Virgo. The Prophet and Bride mentioned in Liber AL, II: 36–37 does 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 we noted that Regulus, the star at the Heart of the Lion constellation, had by then edged its way into the zodiacal sign of Virgo, forming a Grand Mutable Cross. Precisely three years later, events took place on the shores of Loch Ness, Scotland that ‘fixed’ this aeonic shift—for the destruction by fire of Boleskine, Aleister Crowley’s ceremonial magical abode, was prophesied in the Egyptian Book of the Law, III: 34. 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. 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.(1)

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.(2) 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.

As according to ancient tradition, thd magical temple must be realigned in accordance with the times. Our symbol of the universe must accord with how things look from earth now. This is a vital factor in all magical and tantrik theurgic operations. 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”.


(1) See The Law of Thelema—Quantum Yoga
(2) Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram

Related articles:
Dreaming Thelema of Kenneth Grant and H. P. Lovecraft
Welcome to the Aeon of Hormaku, 2012 
Prophecy of Liber AL Fulfilled

 © Oliver St. John 2016

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