Building off the introduction to Planetary Magic Squares posted earlier, this is an example on how to use them to create sigils to manifest a desired outcome. The Grant Morrison video, I posted a while back provides a great introduction into sigil magic. At its core is the concept of abstracting a directed intent into a symbol that effects the practitioner at a subconscious level. There are many ways to create sigils and perform sigil magic, what I outline here is a method that I have used and continue to use to great success.
The process of creating the sigil is a magical act in itself, and this is an important point. Any generative process is an act of creation as it is imbued with an intent and desired outcome, this should remain instilled in the back of our minds throughout the process.
There are 4 stages that I employ in my practice, these are as follows:
1. Formulation of Intent
2. Selecting a Planetary Energy
3. Reduction of Magical Intent to a Numeric Cipher
4. Creation of the Sigil
These stages are quite simple and give a general overview on the creation of a sigil. To examine this process we will use a hypothetical situation of embarking on a new business venture and some of the challenges and desires such a project needs to ensure its success.
1. Formulation of a Magical Intent
The first stage is to identify just what it is that we desire. At first this is simply a broad idea along the lines of “I want my business to succeed”; however, this is just the starting point and we need to examine the business and delve within ourselves to identify the key points that will help it succeed. Let’s say our business relies on certain levels of promotion and social interaction, we need to get the word out and interest people in our idea first and foremost. The key here is our ability to sell ourselves and the business. With that identified we can formulate a starting statement:
“I want to improve my communication skills so that I can grow my business network and trade relations.”
Such a statement is a good first pass, it clearly states what we are trying to improve and hoping to achieve. However, a magical intent must be more poignant. It is important to use affirmative language, and not use words such as “want” or “can” or “try”, but rather direct words like “will”. The phrase should reaffirm our success in obtaining the desire and not leave room for any doubt. As such we refine our statement to read:
“I will improve my communication skills and expand my business network and trade relations.”
This is the magical intent of the sigil that we are about to create. It can be beneficial to meditate on the the phrase and envision oneself obtaining the goal prior to going forward and creating the sigil, this will help shift our mentality over from desiring something to putting forth a direct intent to achieve that something.
2. Selecting a Planetary Energy
Normally, this stage can be somewhat difficult as a desired outcome may rely on multiple planetary energies. The point is to hone the intent to a single measurable and digestible unit. The more aspects and complicated it is, the more points of failure that exist. As a rule of thumb, if the intent cannot be achieved by a single planetary energy, it is too broad for this approach and should be revisited and fine tuned. If necessary, we can always create multiple sigils each with its own specific intent as part of a macro exercise in planetary sigil magic. The key is to work in harmony with the specific planetary energy, not have to fight against it or reinterpret it to fit into a model for which it is not ideally suited. Because we are dealing with business, we could draw on the shrewdness of Saturnian energies, the judicious and monetary currents of Jovian energies, or even the balance, wealth and success of Solar energy; however, our focus is on communication and for this purpose the ideal planet is Mercury.
Once a planet is selected, the more we can do to harmonize with its energies, the stronger our sigil will be therefore making our intent more likely to manifest. For one, we may wish to spend some time in meditation contemplating the planet and inviting its energies into our temple and our lives. Ideally, we should also plan the creation and most importantly the charging of the sigil during a day and time ruled by the planet and ensure that it is in favorable astrological aspects (i.e. in its own house, exalted, above the horizon, in conjunction with beneficial planets,etc.). Note that it is very unlikely that all astrological aspects will be favorable and thus we should make an effort to select a time and date that is most beneficial. If astrology is not your thing, consult with an astrologer to provide a window of optimal times to work with the chosen planet.
Another celestial body that we must consider is the Moon. Regardless of the final planet we end up working with, the Moon can provide and amplifying or muffling effect. It is the nearest astronomical body to us and therefore has the greatest effect on magical workings. Since our intent is to grow our communication skills, we should look towards timing the creation and charging of the sigil to coincide with waxing moon. Again, the core principle is to work in harmony with the rhythms of the heavens.
3. Reduction of Magical Intent to Numeric Cipher
From our statement of intent we can extract a few keywords. Let’s focus on Communication, Network, and Trade. These three words encapsulate the intent and are three concepts that traditionally fall in the domain of the planet Mercury. They will suit our purpose perfectly.
First, we remove the vowels. This results in:
Next, we remove the duplicate letters and are left with CMNTWRKD
This works out nicely, we now have an 8 letter cipher that corresponds on a numeric level with the planet Mercury whose kabbalistic number is also 8.
At this point we need to convert our cipher to a numeric formula. To do this, we substitute the letters for numbers using the following table of Latin gematria:
C-M-N-T-W-R-K-D yields 3-40-50-200-500-90-20-4
The Mercury square only contains numbers between 1 and 64, so some of those numbers above will need to be further reduced. This is achieved by simply moving up one tier on the table; in other words, removing the 0 until the number falls within the range of the planetary square. We reduce 200 to 20, 500 to 50, and 90 to 9.
Note, that despite the numeric manipulation, the essence of the numeric formula remains the same in terms of Pythagorean numerology since 500 = 50 = 5 in that 5+0+0 = 5.
4. Creation of the Sigil
At this stage, we simply need to draw lines on the Magic Square of Mercury ensuring that each node touches the square defined in the numeric formula. We can embellish the line as we see fit, perhaps adding some curves to make it more aesthetically pleasing, a circle to define the starting point and a perpendicular line to indicate the end point.
Superimposing the sigil back onto the Hebrew version of the square results in a Hebrew letter formula (Gimel-Mem-Nun-Kaf-Nun-Tet-Kaf-Dalet) . This provides a name, a nomina barbara of sorts, that can be used to charge and activate the sigil or as a mantra to meditate on at a later time and breath power and life into the intent. Additionally, we can use the letters individually to help raise energy and draw intent to the sigil in a vibratory formula similar to how YHVH is used in the pentagram rites of the western magical traditions.
This is a brief introduction into Planetary Magic Squares. My intention is to set the stage for a later post in which I will describe my methods for working with these Magic Squares to construct and charge sigils.
The mathematical definition of a Magic Square is an arrangement of distinct integers in a square grid in which the integers of each row, column and diagonal all add up to the same number. While a full exploration into the history of Magic Squares is beyond our current scope, suffice it to say that their use in mathematics and mysticism is well documented in Asia as early as the 7th century B.C.E.
By the early Renaissance, Magic Squares were popularized in Europe and made their way into western magical traditions via the later writings of Marsilio Ficino, Pico della Mirandola, and Cornelius Agrippa. Of primary importance to this post is a grouping of seven squares between the orders of 3 and 9 that were identified as planetary in nature. These were each attributed to one of the seven classical planets based on the emanation sequence of the kabbalistic sefirah associate with that planet.
|Order||Sefirot||Planet||Square||Sum of Rows||Total Sum||Magic Square|
|3||Binah||Saturn||3×3||15||45||Click to View|
|4||Chesed||Jupiter||4×4||34||136||Click to View|
|5||Gevurah||Mars||5×5||65||325||Click to View|
|6||Tiferet||Sun||6×6||111||666||Click to View|
|7||Netzach||Venus||7×7||175||1252||Click to View|
|8||Hod||Mercury||8×8||260||2080||Click to View|
|9||Yesod||Moon||9×9||369||3321||Click to View|
Intelligences, Spirits, and Sigils
The number of rows and columns, the sum of the rows, and the total sum of the square were understood to represent certain magical principles of the planet in question. Through Hebrew gematria the numbers on the planetary grid could also be represented in Hebrew letters. As such, the practitioner was able to derive divine names associated with the planet using the square and sigils super-imposed on the square.
The construction of sigils from a name (or a name from a sigil) follows the basic rule that every number/letter of the name establishes a point on the sigil. Occasionally double letters are denoted with additional embellishments (such as humped lines) and the start and end of the name are sometimes marked by a circle and/or a small perpendicular line. Additionally, when the gematria value of the letters exceeds the highest number in the square, the value is divided by either 10 or 100 following standard Pythagorean reduction (i.e. Lamed in Hebrew gematria is 50, but can also be represented as 5).
For example, the solar magical square is a 6×6, grid with each row, column and diagonal summing to 111 and the total sum equaling 666.
The intelligence of the Sun is called forth using the name Nachiel (gematria value of 111), and the spirit of the Sun answers to the name Sorath (gematria value of 666). These names have an associated sigil derived from the square itself.
Note that both the names Nachiel and Sorath contain Hebrew letters that enumerate higher than 36, the highest integer in the Magic Square of the Sun. The numeric value of these letters was reduced using the system of Pythagorean reduction described above. Additionally, with the sigil of Sorath, we see the use of the humped line (forming an “m”) to denote two repetitions of the same number. In the case of Sorath, the first six is for the letter Samekh (60, reduced to 6) and the second for the letter Vav (6).
The Magic Square for each planet along with its seal, intelligence sigil and spirit sigil can be found following the links in the table at the beginning of this post.
Over the past year I have rekindled my interest in megalithic sacred sites, specifically stone circles, and have become aware of many interesting parallels amongst the sites. Aside from astronomical alignments, the use of sacred geometry, and almost always being built above or near an underground source of water, many share a commonality in the choice of building material. Yes, they are all built using large stones; however, the stones chosen tend to be of very high quartz crystal and iron content. Iron is naturally magnetic and for centuries has made its way into folkloric magic as a protective mineral against negative energy and spirits. The quartz content in particular drew my attention, since I know its modern uses in watches and computers. Quartz, when subjected to electrical currents vibrates at exactly 60 pulses per minute, and it can also store immense amounts of data. An article in Scientific America a few years back described how a 2” x 2” sheet of quartz crystal could be used to store data for 300 million years, or some absurd number like that.
I began to wonder if the use of high content quartz and iron stones perhaps speaks to a desire by the megalithic builders of producing electro-magnetic grids in which healing and magical practices could be amplified…a magical technology of sorts. If quartz subject under electricity can provide accurate measures of time and store data, could it be used as a conduit and repository of more subtle energies?
Didn’t take me long to find others who have arrived at similar conclusions, though most not entirely accepted by modern day science. Nonetheless, I figured it would be a worthwhile exercise to incorporate some of these megalithic temple building principles in my ritual work.
Since then, I’ve shifted over from my Solomonic circle to building a circle of specially selected stones of high quartz content. At first the change was immaterial, like the Solomonic circle, the stone circle functioned as a protective barrier and defined center from which commune with the subtle realms. However, over time, I have found that the stone circle becomes very potent repository of subtle energy. The area circumscribed by the stones becomes a “living temple” attracting, focusing and storing the natural electro-magnetic currents of the landscape (or for that matter any energetic current evoked into the area through ritual practice).
Simply entering the stone circle produces an immediate change in consciousness and provides an ample reservoir of energy to draw from in magical workings. As a result, my practices have become much less emotionally, physically and mentally taxing as the need to raise my level of consciousness and energy in order to project my focused intent has become mitigated by the abundance of energy around and within the stones. A form of symbiosis with the place of ritual has ensued, whereby conducting magical practices within the circle serves to further nourish it and in turn the circle itself has become an extension of me and my magical intent. I once felt similarly about my Solomonic circle that I have since decommissioned; however, the stone circle functions without the need to adhere to any particular tradition and there is something altogether more raw about it that evokes a feeling of working with primeval currents.
Unfortunately, I do not plan to post any pictures. it has been consecrated and is “active” and it is thereby very sacred to me. However, I will provide the details as to the construction.
The circle itself has actually undergone a few iterations. Originally it was defined by 7 large granite stones, I was working with planetary energies and drew on the implied heptagonal geometry of the stones. Once I was done working with the planetary energies, I started experimenting with different stones and different configurations. Below is a diagram of my current configuration. The lines forming the pentagrams and hexagrams are not part of the physical circle, but rather articulate the implied sacred geometries within. (Red circles = Red Obsidian, Blue = Lapis Lazuli, Green = Bloodstone, Yellow = Citrine, Small White = Quartz Towers, Large Central White = Red Granite Slab).
I use 6 types of stones and crystals forming a double ringed circle with the inner ring being in harmonic proportion to the outer. The perimeter is defined by 20 large pieces of stone (5 lapis lazuli, 5 bloodstone, 5 red obsidian, and 5 yellow citrine). These represent the 4 elements and are placed in a such a way that connecting each stone with a line results in pentagram with the apex of the pentagram pointing to the corresponding cardinal direction of the element. In fact, I will often attune the circle to a specific elemental current by tracing out the corresponding elemental pentagram using the stones as anchors.
The inner circle is composed of six quartz crystal pillars that form hexagonal geometry. Together the outer and inner rings represent a union of the macro and microcosm. The center of the circle and where I stand, or sit, is a large circular and flat red granite slab. Such granite has a very high iron and quartz content and forms a focal point for the electro-magnetic energy of the surrounding stones; in fact if you look at the construction of many cathedrals you will see the exact same type of stone used as the altar stone.
|Citrine||Pentagram||Air||Hot-Moist||Mediating and transcending principle of creation.|
|Red Obsidian||Pentagram||Fire||Hot-Dry||Active and expansive principle of creation.|
|Lapis Lazuli||Pentagram||Water||Cold-Moist||Passive and fluid principle of creation.|
|Bloodstone||Pentagram||Earth||Cold-Dry||Grounding and crystalizing principle of creation.|
|Quartz Tower||Hexagram||N/A||Macrocosm||Centering. Polarities in union and balance.|
|Red Granite||Point||N/A||N/A||Divine Center. Axis Mundi|
For nearly two decades, The Hermetic Library at hermetic.com has been an amazing resource for us students of Western Esoterica. While I have been visiting the site since its launch in the mid-late 90’s, it was only recently that I stumbled upon the Hermetic Library Anthology Project. This project is a collection of music created by artists incorporating and inspired by the theory and practice of ritual and magick. Over 70 musicians have contributed tracks to the project, and compilation albums have been released every quarter since 2011. The albums are available for free listening on the site or as downloadable purchases. At around $6 an album or $50 for the complete set of nine albums it is a great way to support the time and effort of the talented artists and of hermetic.com itself.
I designed this ritual after nearly a decade of experimenting with Regardie’s Middle Pillar ritual. My intent was to create a similar practice of mapping the sefirot to the human body, but wanted something more in-line with my own personal practice; in particular the importance I place on strict geometric forms and my use of the slightly different Trees and paths than those employed by the Golden Dawn magical traditions. It is still ongoing some refinement, but I’ve decided to make it public in the hopes that some readers may find it useful and can perhaps add their own insights and improvements.
As with the Middle Pillar ritual, this practice is designed to empower the practitioner through establishing the sefiort of the tree and by circulating the aetheric current through and around the body of the practitioner. Upon completion of the rite, the practitioner will have elevated their consciousness above our day-to-day waking mentality and into the realm of Transcendent Principles. It is in this elevated Philosophic Mind that magical intentions can be sent fort and manifested into the universe (see The Philosophic Mind of the Initiate).
The rite draws on the principles of sacred geometry, Kabbalistic reflection, and the inherent tension between polarities. Through the base geometric proportions of the human body, the Kabbalistic trees are used to identify subtle energy centers. These correspond very closely to the chakras of tantric traditions.
SUBTLE ENERGY CENTERS
|ש||Philosophic Fire||Chakhmah – Binah||Ajna|
|א||Philosophic Air||Chesed – Gevurah||Anahata|
|מ||Philosophic Water||Netzach – Hod||Svandhisthana|
|Manifest World||Malkut||Lower 7|
The models of the Kabbalistic tree used are those of the Ari and Gra. These share the traditional mapping of the Hebrew letters in their natural arrangement to the inherent geometry of the tree. The 3 mother letters are assigned to the 3 horizontal paths, the 7 doubles to the 7 vertical paths, and the 12 elementals to the 12 diagonal paths (see Concerning the Tree). Of primary importance to this rite are the horizontal paths and the three mother letters (Shin, Aleph, and Mem) as the symbols of Philosophic Fire, Ruach (Philosophic Air), and Philosophic Water.
|Fallen Tree||Perfect Tree|
The practice draws on the two models of the Kabbalistic Tee discussed in The Trees. The “Fallen” Tree with the central pillar detached from the supernal triad, and the “Perfect” Tree with the central pillar elevated to its primordial state. These two arrays compose an allegory to the two trees of the Garden of Eden: the Tree of Life and that of Knowledge. By consequence of the fall from grace (i.e. the decent of spirit and soul into physical matter), the Tree of Knowledge is void of the fruit of Da’at making the Tree of Life and eternal existence unobtainable. The Fallen Tree corresponds to our state of waking consciousness in day to day life, whereas the Perfect Tree speaks to a resurrected and higher level of consciousness. The initial intent of the practice is to resurrect the Fallen Tree to its Perfect state and thus elevate the consciousness of the magus above the mundane concerns of the manifested existence and into the realm of transcendent principles. This process is symbolic of the ascension from the perpetual life-death cycle of becoming and arriving at the eternal state of IS (see The Eternal Chronos).
The geometry formed through a basic mandala whereby a circle of any diameter can create a larger circle of double diameter through drawing six duplicates of the circle that intersect the original point of origin (see Creation: A Geometric Meditation). This results in a greater bounding circle twice the diameter of the seven inner circles. When this geometry is superimposed over the human body the points where the inner circles intersect articulate nodes of inherent geometric balance. These are the subtle energy centers employed in this practice.
The size of the inner circles is determined by the human torso as the distance between the neck and just below the genital region centered on the solar-plexus. In terms of tantric corporeity, this central circle is centered on the Manipura-Chakra and connects the Vishuddha-Chakra to the Muladhara-Chakra. The radius of this circle is the base unit of measurement for the entire operation as it is also the distance between the horizontal paths of Shin, Aleph, and Mem.
———- Macroanthropos Ritual ———-
Stage 1: Philosophic Principles
- Activate the Shin Center by drawing on the tension and point of balance between Chakhmah and Binah.
- Activate the Mem Center by drawing on the tension and point of balance between Netzach and Hod.
- Activate the Aleph Center as the midpoint between Shin and Mem and by drawing on the tension and point of balance between Chesed and Gevurah.
- Meditate on the principles as an allegory to the process of creation. Bring awareness to your breath, every inhale separates Philosophic Water from Philosophic Fire, every exhale unifies them.
Stage 2: Descent
- Bring awareness to the Aleph Center, feel your consciousness sink into your chest.
- Activate the Tiferet Center as the midpoint between Aleph and Mem by drawing your breath and consciousness down to your solar plexus. Vibrate YHVH as the center ignites.
- Activate the Yesod Center as the reflection of Tiferet over the Mem axis. Draw your breath and consciousness down below the genital region and vibrate EL SHADAI.
- Activate Malkut. Feel the power and energy of the earth below your feet, draw your breath and consciousness to the ground and vibrate YHVH ADNAI. Contemplate Malkut as the material world, the realm of the manifest elements.
Stage 3: Resurrection & Ascent
- Inhale and draw your consciousness up from Malkut leaving behind the attachment to the physical body and bounding forces of the manifest Elements. Vibrate EL SHADAI and firmly place your consciousness in Yesod.
- Inhale and draw your consciousness up to the Mem Center. Vibrate ELOHIM TZABAOTH – YHVH TZABAOTH.
- Inhale and draw your consciousness up to Tiferet. Vibrate YHVH. Feel this center as the center point of the inner circle
- Inhale and draw your consciousness upward to the Aleph Center. Vibrate ELOHIM – EL.
- Inhale and draw your consciousness to the Da’at center as the reflection of Tiferet over the Aleph axis. Feel the perfection of the geometry of the circle centered on Tiferet connecting Yesod, Netzach, Hod, Chesed, Gevurah and Da’at. Circulate the energy with your exhale down through Chesed and Netzach to Yesod, and with the inhale up Hod and Gevurah to Da’at.
- Inhale and draw your consciousness upward to the Shin Center. Vibrate YHVH ELOHIM – YAH
- Inhale and draw your consciousness upward to Keter as the reflection of Da’at over the Shin axis. Vibrate EHEIH. Feel the completion of the Perfect Tree, your consciousness is now free of all material bounds and has entered the realm of transcendence.
- While exhaling draw a circle of aetheric energy with the radius as the length between Tiferet and Keter. Down your left side to the point just above the knees, where Keter would be reflected across the plane of Tiferet. Inhale and draw the circle back up to Keter.
Stage 4: Planetary Hexagram
- Return focus and consciousness to Tiferet. Feel it as the ignited Sun, the center of our solar system.
- Ignite the Da’at Center as Saturn, contemplate the planet.
- Ignite the Yesod Center as Moon and the vertical reflection of Saturn, contemplate the planet.
- Ignite the Chesed Center as Jupiter, contemplate the planets.
- Ignite the Hod Center as Mercury and the diagonal reflection of Jupiter, contemplate the planet.
- Ignite the Gevurah Center as Mars, contemplate the planets.
- Ignite the Netzach Center as Venus and the diagonal reflection of Mars, contemplate the planet.
- Feel the hexagram centered on Sun and circumscribed by the inner circle. Rotate it in gyroscopic directions, forward – backward – clockwise – counterclockwise. An immense amount of energy can be generated here. Draw that energy into the Sun center.
Stage 5: Macrocosm
- Return the Planetary Hexagram to its original position. Inhale, feel the power radiating from the Sun. Exhale feel how the outer planets and inner planets are separated by the position of the Sun.
- While exhaling draw the Principle of Philosophic Air from the Aleph Center into Tiferet and expand the planetary hexagram to be circumscribed by the outer circle intersecting Keter. Saturn now occupies the center of Keter; Moon occupies the reflection of Keter across Sun and the center of the circle; the Jupiter – Mars axis is shifted to upward to intersect the Da’at center and the Mercury – Venus axis is shifted downward to intersect the Yesod center.
- Contemplate the geometry and nested geometries of the two hexagrams and circles formed. Rotate the outer hexagram clockwise while simultaneously rotating the inner counter-clockwise, create a vortex of energy centered on Sun.
- On exhale repeat the expansion of the hexagram to form a macro circle four-times the diameter of the original circle encompassing the entire body of the magician. The sphere of Saturn now intersects the macro circle directly overhead; the sphere of moon intersects the macro circle directly below the feet; the Jupiter-Mars axis intersects Keter; and, the Mercury-Venus axis intersects the reflected point of Keter on the circumference of the middle circle.
- Contemplate the geometry and nested geometries of the three hexagrams and circles centered on Sun. Begin rotating the inner circle rapidly in a counter-clockwise manner, the middle circle in a clockwise manner, and the outer circle in a counter-clockwise manner. Feel the vortex of energy surging and perfectly balanced around your Sun center.
Stage 6: Macroanthropos
- While spinning the concentric circles around the vertical plane also rotate them around the horizontal plane to form three concentric sphere of aetheric energy all centered on your Sun Center
- On inhale draw in all the energy from the spheres to the Sun center and explode the spheres outward to the very edges of the universe. At this point the astral stands still, the only motion, the only spark exists within the Sun center.
- Reform the Planetary Hexagram and rotate it to the horizontal plane.
- Beginning with Mercury force the planets into their orbits around the sun on the horizontal plane of the sun.
- Contemplate yourself as Macroanthropos, the heliocentric solar system stems from your Sun Center, the planets orbit around you.
———- Notes & Discussion ———-
The practice is divided into six stages: Philosophic Principles, Decent, Resurrection & Ascent, Planetary Hexagram, Macrocosm, and Macroanthropos. These stages are designed to progressively build up the geometry and location of the subtle centers; however, once these are fully ingrained within the practitioner the stages can be employed individually or in any order the practitioner desires.
The operation begins with the definition of the three philosophic principles of creation: Philosophic Fire as the active and expansive principle, Philosophic Water as the passive and contractive principle, and Philosophic Air as the mediator and unifier of both (See Symbols of the Royal Art). They embody the magical process by which the intent (Philosophic Fire) is structured and sent out into the astral medium (Philosophic Water) through the agency of logos (Philosophic Air).
The activation of the Shin center accentuates the principle of reflection that is employed at multiple stages in the practice. It is here where the tension between Chakhmah and Binah is realized. While Chakhmah is traditionally associated to the right hemisphere of the brain, Binah corresponds to the left. However, Chakhmah is situated on the brow line by the left temple and Binah next to the right temple. Here we are to meditate on the electrical circuitry of the human body. The left side of the brain controls the right side of the body and visa versa. The natural balance between these principles and the articulated tension resulting from the right-left inversion centers directly on the Shin center, the Ajna-Chakra of tantric traditions.
These three principles compose the vertical paths of the Tree connecting the sefirah of the right and left. A microcosmic representation of the process of creation is established within the human body whereby the upper “waters” of Philosophic Fire and the lower “waters” of Philosophic Water are separated and joined by the breath of Philosophic Air. At this stage it may be useful to envision these principles in their alchemical symbols(See Symbols of the Royal Art). While inhaling the triangles of Philosophic Water and Philosophic Fire are separated, while exhaling they converge into a hexagram over the Aleph center. Note that the hexagram is the geometric shape associate with the corresponding Anahata-Chakra in tantric traditions. Together and given the geometric models employed in this practice, the three mother letters map to the locations of the Ajna-Chakra, Anahata-Chakra, and Svandhisthana-Chakra in tantric traditions.
This stage is designed to shift the mind of the practitioner away from the reactionary intellectual mode in which we operate on a day to day basis and into a Philosophic Mind concerned with the principles and processes at work in our bodies and the universe. This act mirrors the “descent into the cosmic cave” of initiatory mystery traditions and is first and foremost intended to awaken the divine principle within man and establish the human body as the microcosm of the Fallen Kabbalistic Tree. This is also representative of the creation of man as a physical vessel (Malkut-Saturn/Earth) in which Spirit (Yesod-Moon) and Soul (Tiferet-Sun) can coexist as referenced in the alchemical axiom of the “Gold hidden within Saturn”.
By focusing and awakening the Tiferet Center (Manipura-Chakra) we are literally descending our sense of self and mind into the cavity of our torso. A feeling of vertigo or a sensation of sinking into oneself is to be expected when this occurs and will continue to be felt throughout the phases of the Descent stage. It may be useful to draw on the correspondence of Tiferet-Sun and Yesod-Moon at this stage. The next step whereby Tiferet is reflected over the astral waters of Mem into Yesod can be seen as an astronomical allegory given that the light of the Sun is reflected by the Moon
The descent continues to the floor where the plane of Malkut is realized. It is here were we are to re-contemplate the physical plane with the new-found Philosophic Mind awoken in Tiferet. This is the realm of bounding forces, of matter and of the elements in their gross manifestation. This is also the plane of the body and the karmic cycles of life and death. It is only through the vessel of the human body where Spirit (i.e. Moon) and Soul (i.e. Sun) can exist in union. The objective here is to leave this all behind, to literally shed the tellurian tomb and be resurrected back up the Tree in an aetheric vessel and as a being of pure Spirit and Soul.
The resurrection stage of the practice is designed to articulate the underlying geometry of the rite. It is here where the Fallen Tree is resurrected to its Perfect form through the realization of the sefirot of Da’at. Like the Middle Pillar rituals of Western Magical traditions, the purpose here is to bring focus to the sefirah along the central axis of the tree. This is done by bringing the practitioners mind up the sefirah and vibrating the appropriate divine names. However, unlike the basic practices of the Middle Pillar, this practice employs all the sefirah due to the importance given on to the horizontal paths. By vibrating the divine names of the sefirah connecting the horizontal paths the operator is invoking two equal but opposite Principles, the point of tension and conversion between those principles is where the horizontal path intersects the middle pillar and these are envisioned as additional centers of subtle energy.
The path taken is the path of re-absorption where the sefirah are ascended in numerical order beginning with 10 (Malkut) and ending with 1 (Keter). This is reflected in the order in which the divine names are vibrated (10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1); however, a Magus with advanced Kabbalistic pathworking experience may wish to experiment with this ordering and ascend the Tree via the opposite diagonals (10-9-7-8-6-4-5-2-3-1) or any variation of diagonal, vertical and horizontal paths provided that all the sefirah are ascended. If this stage is fully elaborated out, this ascension yields slightly different principles symbolized by the corresponding Hebrew letters mapped to the paths.
It is during this stage where the first circle is fully manifested upon the realization of Da’at. This sets the geometric tone for the entire rite going forward. Additionally, through the realization of Da’at the point of Keter can be located within the geometric model as the reflection of Da’at over the Shim axis. In contrast to the Regardie’s Middle Pillar rite, this operation ends with Keter. It is here where the practitioner’s Mind reaches its highest Philosophic state capable of interacting with the Principles of transcendent unity. For this reason the final vibrated name is EHEIH, literally meaning “I am” as a declaration of the practitioners realization of a higher sense of Self.
At this stage the practitioner forms the Planetary Hexagram, a symbol which should be quite familiar to students of the Western Magical Traditions. This is composed of the traditional planet correspondences with the Kabbalistic sefirot in order of emanation.
Da’at – Saturn
Chesed – Jupiter
Gevurah – Mars
Tiferet – Sun
Netzach – Venus
Hod – Mercury
Yesod – Moon
This hexagram is a cosmogram of the macrocosmic principles embodied by the planets. It accentuates Tiferet-Sun as the point of balance and center of the planetary cycles. As explained in Sun: IGNIS CENTRUM and A-Ω: Greek Vowels and Chaldean Planets, this holds true in both heliocentric and geocentric models of the solar-system.
The focus of this stage is to draw attention to the Tiferet-Sun center as the balance of polarities between the planets. Each of the planetary principles reflects over the the center of the hexagram to a planet with which it has an inate synergy and opposition.
In traditional astrology Saturn and Moon govern the extremes of the solar cycle. Moon rules Cancer, the constellation of summer solstice; and Saturn rules Capricorn, the constellation of winter solstice. Moon is synonymous with ‘Life’ and ‘Nature’, while Saturn is identified with the edge of the heavens and the thresholds of space, time, timelessness, and death. Together these planets constitute the Alpha-omega points of physical existence as well as the inner solar system. However, as opposite as they seen, they compliment and reflect each others base numerical rhythm of 28.5 but at different magnitudes (days in a lunar cycle, years in a Saturn cycle). These two planets articulate the same core principle merely polarized and separated by the perception of space and time ( see Moon: The Hook of Consciousness).
Mars and Venus are traditionally the planets of war and love, and are symbols of the male and female aspects of the universe. Mars rules the constellations of Aries and Scorpio , while Venus rules the opposite constellations of Libra and Taurus. Together they compose another symbiotic axis of principles whereby one cannot exist without the other. In mythology they are usually either lovers or bitter enemies, often both at the same time. These planets at base level symbolize the impetus of action and interaction between people, groups, and concepts. This can be reduced to the astronomical geometries themselves where in their conjunction cycles with the Sun, Mars forms a heptagram and Venus a pentagram (see Sun: IGNIS CENTRUM and Venus: The Divine Feminine).
As with Saturn-Moon and Mars-Venus, Jupiter and Mercury rule opposite set of constellations with Jupiter assigned to Pisces and Sagittarius, and Mercury to Virgo and Gemini. Both planets relate to intellectual agency with Jupiter pertaining to insight, wisdom and decisions through knowledge and Mercury as the means by which knowledge is gathered and imparted.
Through activating the planetary hexagram and contemplating the opposition and synergies of the planetary energies across the vertical and diagonal axis, the practitioner draws upon these universal principles further empowering Sun as the Divine Center of our solar system and of the subtle body.
The intent of the Macrocosm stage is to generate a large aetheric sphere centered on the Tiferet center of the practitioner. This is achieved through basic geometric progression of the Planetary Hexagram in a process that can be classified as the squaring of the circle.
Through this geometric progression astral spheres of enormous size can be produced. To put this in perspective, given the average human torso size 9 iterations of the method described will produce a sphere of roughly 1 mile diameter and 22 iterations produces a sphere of 7944 miles roughly equivalent to the diameter of the earth (7926 miles). The ritual requires only three progressions to generate a sphere large enough to encompass the entire body of the magus; however, one may continue the progressions to generate any size sphere suitable to the working. For example an operation guided to creating a protective barrier of a house or building may require 6 or 7 geometric progressions.
This is the final stage of the rite and is intended to identify the practitioner as the central axis of the solar-system and as a working cosmological model. During workings drawing on astrological aspects and alignments, the magician may wish to attune the planets to the current position of the celestial bodies in the solar system. This serves to dial-in , for lack of a better metaphor, to the time and planetary energies of the working.
Recently I revisited the Magical Egypt documentary series after roughly 5 years of seeing them for the first time. If you haven’t watched these, I highly recommend them. Regardless of your path they speak to certain Universal truths that are prevalent across all initiatic and magical traditions. While , for serious students of esoterica, there is nothing groundbreaking presented in these videos; they are nonetheless a very nice summation of the ancient sacred sciences.
This video has been floating around YouTube for some years, it is a great and short summary on the processes by which magic works presented by Grant Morrison. The second half of the video provides one of the most succinct explanations of sigil magic, I have come across.