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The Hermetic Library Anthology Project

December 14, 2013

ImageFor nearly two decades, The Hermetic Library at 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 itself.

Individual albums can be previewed and bought directly through the Hermetic Library Anthology Project. The entire collection is available for purchase at reduced price here.


Macroanthropos Rite

November 24, 2013

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.


Principle Sefirah Tantric Chakra


Transcendent Unity Keter Sahasrara
 ש Philosophic Fire Chakhmah – Binah Ajna


Knowledge Da’at Vishuddha
 א Philosophic Air Chesed – Gevurah Anahata


Divine Center Tiferet Manipura
 מ Philosophic Water Netzach – Hod Svandhisthana


Foundation Yesod Muladhara


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
fallenTree perfectTree

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

  1. Activate the Shin Center by drawing on the tension and point of balance between Chakhmah and Binah.
  2. Activate the Mem Center by drawing on the tension and point of balance between Netzach and Hod.
  3. 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.
  4. 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

  1. Bring awareness to the Aleph Center, feel your consciousness sink into your chest.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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

  1. 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.
  2. Inhale and draw your consciousness up to the Mem Center. Vibrate ELOHIM TZABAOTHYHVH TZABAOTH.
  3. Inhale and draw your consciousness up to Tiferet. Vibrate YHVH. Feel this center as the center point of the inner circle
  4. Inhale and draw your consciousness upward to the Aleph Center. Vibrate ELOHIMEL.
  5. 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.
  6. Inhale and draw your consciousness upward to the Shin Center. Vibrate YHVH ELOHIMYAH
  7. 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.
  8. 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

  1. Return focus and consciousness to Tiferet. Feel it as the ignited Sun, the center of our solar system.
  2. Ignite the Da’at Center as Saturn, contemplate the planet.
  3. Ignite the Yesod Center as Moon and the vertical reflection of Saturn, contemplate the planet.
  4. Ignite the Chesed Center as Jupiter, contemplate the planets.
  5. Ignite the Hod Center as Mercury and the diagonal reflection of Jupiter, contemplate the planet.
  6. Ignite the Gevurah Center as Mars, contemplate the planets.
  7. Ignite the Netzach Center as Venus and the diagonal reflection of Mars, contemplate the planet.
  8. 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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

  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. Reform the Planetary Hexagram and rotate it to the horizontal plane.
  4. Beginning with Mercury force the planets into their orbits around the sun on the horizontal plane of the sun.
  5. 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.

Philosophic Principles

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.

Planetary Hexagram

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.

Magical Egypt

November 2, 2013

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.


Doing Magick and Getting Results – Grant Morrison Video

November 2, 2013

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.

Magic Chamber

February 28, 2013

Approximately two years ago I began a series of workings with Solar, Jovian, Martian and Mercurial entities to secure my financial situation. I will not go into details regarding the operations, as there are certain elements of my practice that I believe must remain sacred and in these cases silence is indeed golden. I will however share some of the material manifestations of these workings, primarily the fact that over this time I was able to secure the funds needed to purchase a decent sized home in a quite suburb of the city.

This house apart from being my home where I enjoy all the material distractions of mundane life, is also the location from which I intend to continue to improve upon my spiritual practice. There are areas of the house strictly devoted to my esoteric pursuits such as my Study that contains my ever growing library and all my spagyric herbs and equipment, along with a spare bedroom converted to a Meditation Room for daily practice. I also set aside an additional small semi-detached room  for ritual practices and this is what I intend to share with you today. I have no reservation about sharing these photos given that they were taken prior to the consecration of the chamber and I hope that some of you may indeed find some inspiration for your own sacred spaces.

The Ritual Chamber

ritual_chamber_1My sole purpose for this space was to create a sanctuary devoid of clutter and all unnecessary stimulation to use exclusively for evocations and other magical operations. I chose a small 12′ x 12′ cardinally oriented room adjacent to the main structure of the house with a western entrance opening to the garden.

It took a lot of manual labor to get this room cleaned and ready to paint. I had to remove shelving units and cabinets from the wall as well as the old flooring and then reseal, grind and clean the concrete. The next stage was to insulate the ceiling and walls in order to keep the temperature within the chamber stable during the winter and summer months. Apart from making it more comfortable, the insulation also helps in keeping the chamber silent by absorbing outside noises. I opted to take an extra step to guarantee the purity of the chamber by removing all the outlets, light fixtures, and wiring from the walls and ceiling. This was done to ensure that no uncontrolled electrical currents could interfere with the operations within. After patching the walls and ceiling I was ready to paint.

The color scheme of the chamber is basic but symbolic nonetheless. The floor is a matte black charcoal, the walls are a very lightly glossed grey, and the ceiling is a semi-gloss brilliant white. At each corner of the room I mounted a small oak panel fitted with an iron candle sconce. In the center of the ceiling I mounted  a ceiling plate from which I am able to hang a candle lantern. These five points of light allow me to achieve many different lighting effects depending on the nature of the practice.


The final element that truly defines this chamber as my ritual space is the Circle of the Art. I have used and had success with variations of the Solomonic Circle from the Lesser Key in the past and it was the logical choice as a permanent addition to the floor. The circle is only slightly modified from that presented in the Lesser Key (see Solomonic Circle: Lesser Key); mainly, the names are derived directly from the Sefer Yetzirah and are spelled in Hebrew according to the text.


I should state that the act of preparing the chamber was a ritual in itself. I timed the operations to synchronize with the lunar phases. The removal of the shelves cabinets, flooring, and electrical components took place in the final week of the waning moon. This period is traditionally linked to operations of destruction paving the way for new beginnings – exactly the intentions driving my labor. The paints, brushes and sparse furnishings were consecrated at sunrise on the Wednesday (day and hour of Mercury) following the new moon using the consecrations from the Key of Solomon. I used the Consecration of the Ink for the paints, the Consecration of the Pen for the brushes, and the Consecration of Iron Instruments for the sconces and lantern. The tasks of finishing the chamber occurred over the weeks of the waxing moon. This culminated at midnight of the full moon when I performed the consecration and dedication rites of the chamber while the moon was at its zenith.

Solomonic Circle: Lesser Key

February 26, 2013

[Download  Hebrew Font]

Few occult symbols evoke the sensation of a magical operation like the circle of the art. The circle defines the sacred space of the Magician. It is a veritable microcosm of the universe centered around the operator and functions as a divine fortress that protects those inside from all negative spiritual forces.

Of all the circles used in occult work, that of the Goetia or  Lesser Key of Solomon is perhaps the most recognizable. Most quickly identify this circle with the version popularized by Mathers and Crowley containing bright colors and a serpent coiled around the circumference in which the divine names are written.[1] What few realize is that there are actually many surviving versions of the Goetia – all with slightly different representations of the circle and the divine names within. Furthermore, the serpent is only displayed in one private codex  [2].

goetia_circle_crowley goetia_circle_sloan

The text itself defines the circle in one line: “The circle of Salomon is to be made nine feet across, & the divine names are to be written around it, from Eheye to Levanah.”

Eheye ( hyha) is Hebrew for “I am” and in traditional Kabbalah is the name of God assigned to Kether the first sefirot. Levanah (hnbl) is the Hebrew word for moon and is the planet traditionally assigned to the ninth sefirot, Yesod. All the manuscripts are in agreement that the practitioner is intended to write the divine names pertaining to the first nine sefirot around the circumference of the circle. These names can be found Agrippa’s Scale of the number ten. However, the first appearance of these names along with the presiding angels, astronomical sphere, and order of angels occurs in the Sefer Yetzirah [3] which Agrippa undoubtedly used to populate his table. [4]

The table below is provided for the reader to make their own decisions as to the names and their  proper ordering. It compares three of the Sloane Manuscripts from the British museum alongside the names specified by Mathers and Crowley in their version of the Goetia. The major difference aside from the various spellings of the Hebrew names is the ordering within in each sefirot group. All three of the Sloane manuscripts correspond with Agrippa’s scale of ten where the order of the divine names is as follows : 1. God name, 2. name of the sefirot, 3. angelic order, 4. presiding angel, and 5. name of the astronomical sphere. The Mathers and Crowley edition alters this order by placing the presiding angel before the angelic order. Other differences such as the divine names used can be sorted out by using Agrippa’s Scale of the number ten, or if one prefers the Sefer Yetzirah itself.


Sloane MS 2731 Sloane MS 3648 Sloane MS 3825 Mathers/Crowley


Eheie + Eheie Eheia + Ehyeh
Kether Kether Kather Kether
Haioth Hakados Haioth Hakados Haioth Hakados Metatron
Methraton Methraton Metattron Chaioth Ha-Qadesh
Reschith Hagallatin Reschith Hagallatin Ressehith Hagallapim Rashith Ha-Galgalim
P.M. P.M. PM S.P.M.


Jod Jehova Jod Jehova Jod Jehovah + Iah
Hochmah Hochmat Hochmah Chokmah
Ophanim Ophanim Ophanim Ratziel
Jophiel Jophiel Auphanim
Masloth Masloth Masloth
S.Z. S.Z. SZ S.S.F. / S.Z.


+ Jehovah Elohim Jehovah Elohim Jehovah Elohim + Iehovah Elohim
Binah Binah Binah Binah
Aralim Aralim Aralim Tzaphquiel
Zaphkiel Aralim
Zabbathi Sabbathi Sabbathy Shabbathai
S. Saturn S. Saturn. S Saturn S. of Saturn


El El El + El
Hesed Hesel Hesed Chesed
Hasmalim Hasmalim Hasmalim Tzadquiel
Zadkiel Chaschmalim
Zedeck Zeleck Zedeck Tzedeq
Jupiter S. Jupiter. S Jupiter S. of Jupiter


Elohim Giber Elohim Giber Elohim Giber + Elohim Gibor
Geburah Geburah Geburah
Seraphim Seraphim Seraphim Kamael
Camael Camael Camael Seraphim
Madim Madim Madamin Madim
Mars S. Mars. S Mars S. of Mars


Eloha Eloha Tetragrammaton Eloha +Iehova Eloah VaDaäth
Tiplareth Tiphereth Tiphereth
Malachim Malachim Raphael
Raphl Raphiel Raphiel Malakim
Shemes Schemes Schemes Shemesh
Sol S. Sol. S Sol S. of Sun


Jehova Sabaoth Jehova Sabaoth Jehovah Sabaoth + Iehovah Tzabaoth
Nezah Neza Nezah Netzach
Elohim (?)elohim Elohim Haniel
Haniel Haniel Haniel Elohim
Noza Noza Noga Nogah
Venus S. Venus. S Venus S. of Venus


Elohim Sabaoth Elohim Sabaoth + Elohim Tzabaoth
Hod Hod Hod
+ Benelohim Ben Elohim Ben Elohim Michael
Mikel Michael Michael Beni Elohim
Cockab Cochab Cochab Kokav
Mercury S. Mercury. S Mercury S. of Mercury


Sadai Sadai Saddai + Shaddai El Chai
Jesod Jesol Iesod Iesod
Cherubin Cherubin Cherubim Gabriel
Gabrill Gabril Gabriel Cherubim
Levanh Zeranah Levenah Levanah
Luna S. Luna. S Luna S. of the Moon


  1. Aleister Crowley (ed). The Goetia: The Lesser Key of Solomon the King.Trans Samuel Liddel, MacGregor Mathers. (Boston, MA: Red Wheel/Weiser LLC, 1995).
  2. Joseph H. Peterson (ed). The Lesser Key of Solomon. (York Beach, ME: Weiser Books, 2001).
  3. Aryeh Kaplan(tran.). Sefer Yetzirah (Boston, MA:Weiser Books, 1997).
  4. Henry Cornelius Agrippa.Three Books Of Occult Philosophy. Trans. J. F. Edited by Donald Tyson (St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn, 1993).

Teli – Apep: Celestial Serpents

December 6, 2010

Many Kabbalists identify the Teli with the constellation of Draco as the guardian of the pole upon which the Universe is reflected into material form, others identify it as the Milky Way- in all interpretations it seems to denote a celestial serpent or dragon that is closely linked to the galag (‘cycle’, or ‘sphere’) as in the verse “He set them in the Teli, the Galag, and the Lev[‘heart’]”(Sefer Yetzirah 6:1). This triadic division actually pertains to the Hebrew alphabet and to the 12 Elemental, 7 Doubles, and 3 Mother letters. Within the alphabet, Teli reigns over the 12 Elemental letters and thus over the 12 zodiacal constellations aligning this celestial serpent with the Solar path and the cyclic Universe. Several sources identify the Teli with Nachash Bariach (‘Encompassing Serpent’) perhaps a reference to the ecliptic or zodiac itself, and as stated in the Sefer Yetzirah “the Teli in the Universe is like a king on his throne”(6:2). All this seem to align the Teli with the primordial Chronos serpent encircling the World Egg of the Orphic-Pythagorean traditions or the Ouraborus of the Gnostics – as the principle behind the manifest Universe and its oscillating rhythms responsible for the dimensions of space-time and the cycles of life and death.

Prior to moving forward, some other interpretations of Teli deserve consideration. Interestingly, the word teli never appears in the Bible, it does however occur in the Bahir where it is discussed as the world axis upon which the celestial globe and world of manifestation hangs. In Hebrew teli means ‘to hang’ or literally ‘that which hangs from one’ begging the question of where did its association to a celestial serpent arise? Definitely by the medieval period the association between Teli and the Pole Serpent (Draco) was concrete. As Kaplan in his translation and commentary on the Sefer Yetzirah discusses, for medieval Kabbalists Teli was seen as one of two Leviathans – the female version being the water serpent of earth, the male corresponding to the Pole Serpent of the sky, Teli. This likely arose from Rabbi Shimon’s exegesis on the creation of the male and female Leviathans as the upper and lower “Waters” in the Zohar. He further states that the world of manifestation “hangs from the fins of the Leviathan” placing this serpent in direct context of the polar axis mundi.

Kapplan and Leonara Leet in her “Secret Doctrine of the Kabbalah” discuss the associations between Teli and the constellation Draco (the serpent/dragon that circles the north celestial pole) in depth and I highly suggest that those interested turn to these sources. The notion of the Pole Serpent that hangs/coils around around the axis mundi sheds a whole new light on the biblical narrative of the Serpent in the Tree and the fall of Man, but this is contemplation for another day. Anyway, these two Leviathans help clarify Isaiah 27:1 where both these agents of the manifest world are said to be destroyed on the day of final judgment :

On that day (the day of judgment) with His great
sharp sword, God will visit and overcome the Leviathan, the Pole
Serpent, and the Leviathan, the Coiled Serpent, and He will kill the
dragon of the sea.

Keep this verse in mind as we move forward with this discussion. Early Kabbalists referred to Teli by its Arabic name Al Jaz’har meaning “knot” or “node”. This puts the Teli in the astronomical context of the lunar nodes – which in traditional astrology are fittingly called the Dragon’s Head and the Dragon’s Tail (again, see Leet and Kaplan and references therein). These nodes are the ONLY places along the ecliptic where a full solar or lunar eclipse can occur.

Let us take a moment to summarize. So what do we get veiled within the symbol of the Teli?

A celestial Pole Serpent that is in the Universe “like a king on his throne”, an axis-mundi upon which the world of manifestation hangs, a cyclic principle of space-time exemplified by the 12 constellations of the zodiac, a force that devours the Sun in eclipse, and a beast demonized by exoteric biblical religion that upon final judgment must be destroyed with God’s “great sharp sword”.

Hmmm…do these principles not echo another **celestial serpent** of primal importance in magical and esoteric doctrines?

Well, several including Orphic Chronos and the Ouraborous of the Gnostics discussed above; however, the most prevelant in Western Magical currents is Egyptian Apep/Apophis. This celestial serpent is the devourer of the Sun, the dissolving and destructive force of time that Pharaoh as the Solar Hero ( Re/ Osiris) must defeat in the Duat in order to be reborn into immortal existence. He constantly threatens dissolution into Chaos and the ancient Egyptians were reminded of his presence through the astronomical phenomenon of a Solar eclipse. In exoteric Egyptian religion Apep and indeed the majority of serpent deities were demonized, equated with the eternal forces of dark that had to be defeated and cursed in order to maintain Ma’at.

However, the esoteric Pharaonic tradition place serpents in an entirely different light – sure Apep remained as the antithesis of the Solar Hero, but this may have been more of an allegorical reference to the force counteracting the Pharaoh’s path to immortal existence; primarily, the very principle of a cyclic manifestation in the material universe and the terminal state of becoming as opposed to the eternal state of Is. As finite humans we live under the constant threat of Apep, but the “death” and dissolution he represents may instead be an allusion to spiritual death, to forever loosing our sense of Self to the natural rhythms of life and death and to the darkness of the terminal human condition. By defeating Apep and liberating himself from the karmic cycles of the Universe , Pharaoh stands as an immortal Man-God…indivisible and eternal.

From an initiatic point of view both these celestial dragons/serpents represent the binds of the manifest Universe, they are both linked to the Solar Journey, both eclipse the physical Sun, and they both represent the cyclic life and death principle that must be transcended by the initiate aspiring towards union with God and immortal existence. They were both demonized to some extent by the exoteric and uninitiated doctrines of religious hegemony and both must be slain for spiritual Ascension. I am not suggesting that Apep = Teli, merely that when seen through a traditional lens of initiatic traditions these two serpents share many common principles.

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