I moved through a door with “BAG” inscribed on it in the same boiling blood as in the previous sessions. But my experience, once through, was of total and complete darkness. This persisted for some time until a blinding white sphere, which could have been a white sun or a perfectly white moon, rose over a dark forest and I realized I was standing in a meadow similar to the previous session. I got the impression that the sphere was a cold eye regarding me.
Then total darkness fell again. I moved through the clearing towards the dense woods and soon my eyesight adjusted a bit. I could see a path through the forest ahead of me. However, I also became aware of enormous rattlesnakes, spiders, and scorpions in the trees on either side. I got mental images of them—part human, part insect, demonic. I crouched low to the ground and continued forward, taking care to keep my head down because Tolkienesque spiders were hanging down above the path and would only climb back into the trees when I got very close. The smell of fresh blood was heavy in the air. And I realized that my physical body (not my visionary body but my body back in my magical chamber) had stopped breathing. I had to pause and send a command back to it to breathe, at which point my breathing continued.
I followed the path to another enormous clearing that seemed jungle-like with vines and a weed-choked Mayan-looking step pyramid. I rested my palm on it and the stone felt chill, even though the air was humid and still smelled like blood. When I entered the dark passage in the bottom face of the pyramid, I had an overpowering sense that I was walking into the vagina of an enormous, fierce demoness or goddess. I then became insubstantial, only a point of awareness, and I rose up through the point of the step pyramid, shooting into space until the universe was merely a point of light behind me like a tiny star.
There was nothing but blackness again. This continued for some time with me having a sense of forward motion but not of having a body or any reference point to provide a perception of space or contrast. It is a hard sensation to describe and I think it could only happen in a scrying session like this. In any case, a small moon made entirely of gray ash suddenly loomed out of the dark, like a corpse, and I went right through it, leaving it as an ash cloud hanging in space. Then I found myself opening my eyes back in my body.*
As is my custom, I did not research the Aethyr before scrying it. Only afterward did I learn that the Presiding Angel of this Aethyr is LDCIPSP, who Crowley describes as having a black face with white pupilless eyes—very similar to the enormous white eye I saw regarding me from a black sky. I have not been calling on or contending with the Governors of the Aethyrs. I see it as an option for advanced work, but these scrying sessions are intended more for passive observation and illustration, not for active engagement with the denizens of these places. In any case, I believe that the voices I have heard speaking to me in TEX and RII were those of the Governors of those places. This is the first time I have encountered one directly.
Crowley further describes LDCIPSP in The Vision and the Voice: “[H]e has the shining belly of a fish, and enormous wings of black and white feathers, and innumerable little legs and claws like a centipede, and a long tail like a scorpion. The breasts are human, but they are all scored with blood.” Note again that I did not read Crowley’s entry on BAG (or any other description of it) before performing this scrying session. The similarities are powerful and a bit unnerving, since moving through this Aethyr was not pleasant.
The Angel says to Crowley, “Verily the light is hidden, therefore he who hideth himself is like unto the light; but thou openest thyself; thou art like unto the darkness that bindeth the belly of the great goddess.” Compare this to my entering the womb of a great goddess and being transported into a place without any light. Moreover, Crowley’s experience in BAG ends with the darkness swallowing everything.
There are several differences, though, between his experience and mine. I was not given keys or instructions. I did not see jewels this time or sigils of power or have to contend with the Angel in his capacity as Warden of the Aethyr. I was much more of a tourist here; though, the feeling of the entire experience was leaden, oppressive, and dangerous.
But I think there was a conflict on a deeper level. I had to deal with very palpable fear, an experience so intense that my physical body actually stopped breathing for a few moments. I suppose the fact that I am writing this now means I prevailed. Other writers have mentioned that LDCIPSP forces the practitioner to confront his inherent guilt and self-doubt. I did not feel this. Rather, I felt afraid of the total darkness and emptiness, floating in an abyss without any landmarks or anything else against which to reinforce my identity.** But I was not defeated by this. As soon as I willed myself to continue forward through the emptiness, I shot through the “moon of gray ash” and the vision ended.
* Thelemites will no doubt think of the interplay of Nuit and Hadit, which only occurs to me now, after the fact.
** Perhaps this is a form of “self-doubt” in the sense that having no point of reference makes you down the formal integrity of your identity / Self.