Scrying the 27th Enochian Aethyr, ZAA

This time, I saw the door into the Aethyr as being of the same gray stone, but the letters were inscribed with “ZAA” in brilliant blue light, which then became white light as I pushed through.  After a moment of disorientation, I found myself on a plane of endless light.  There was nothing but my body and light.  And so there was nowhere to go because every “place” was indivisible from every other place.  It was a world of homogeneity. 

My “body” was the only dark thing, a hollow shell that also contained the same light of ZAA.  And I got the impression that my physical shell (which had blackened as if it were burned) was a kind of falsehood, that it, too, was made out of light but in a way that allowed me to believe I was distinct and separate.  And I understood that this was true and false at the same time, depending on my point of view.

As soon as I had this thought, I saw another blackened shell (much like an empty corpse) of an old man hovering before me.  It’s eyes and mouth were full of the same light.  A voice came through the open mouth without the features moving.  It said, “These are fields of light.  There is nothing but light.  The light shines on itself and the darkness is illuminated.” 

I had the insight that the darkness is illuminated meant that it was (can be seen as) another form of the same light, just as I had sensed this relative to my own distinctness.  I then saw a vision of a ray of light coming through a window and impossibly bending back so that it formed a kind of endless loop into itself.  The entire Aethyr seemed, for a brief moment, like a giant crystal prism reflecting itself to itself.

At that point, I felt there was nothing left for me to learn in the session.  So I returned.  Back in my physical body, I was sweating.  I could feel heat waves coming off of me as if I’d been sitting out in direct sunlight.

Notes:

Discussing ZAA, Schueler offers a quote from Blavatsky’s Secret Doctrine: “Maya or illusion is an element which enters into all finite things, for everything that exists has only a relative, not an absolute, reality, since the appearance which the hidden noumenon assumes for any observer depends upon his power of cognition.”  This is interesting in the sense that I experienced the homogeneity of light in ZAA as a kind of universal noumenon.

However, I again experienced the Aethyrs in my own way.  Instead of experiencing loneliness and separation, I saw how separation can veil a deeper oneness.  Maya is often referred to as a “veil” that obscures the deeper connected nature of things.  So I did experience my individuality, but I also had an insight into its falseness as well.  On one level, I am separate.  On another, I am not.

Interestingly, I did have a dream last night about the Egyptian Neter, Nekhbet, who represents both Isis and Nepthys (among other protective goddesses).  Of this, Schueler writes,

[Y]ou may see Isis and her sister Nephthys in ZAA. Isis is warm, loving, and motherly while Nephthys is cold, stern, and impersonal. The forms that these two lunar qualities (i.e., the waxing and the waning Moon) take for you may vary, but you are certain to encounter the qualities themselves in some form or another.

The fact that I had this dream on the night before I intended to scry the relevant Aethyr may be an interesting form of retro-causality.

This is further interesting because Nekhbet is, in a very direct sense, the unification of those two deities as the protective Neter of the pharaoh and of Ra as he travels across the heavens.  This has personal significance for me but it also suggests the unification of opposites—unity underlying apparent diversity. 

Schueler goes on to suggest that “Your main lesson to learn in ZAA is to accept individuality, but not loneliness. The terrible sense of loneliness in ZAA is a result of distorted thinking. The truth is that you are never alone. The entire universe is always a part of yourself. Realizing this is an initiatory preparation for the higher Aethyrs.”

Crowley, in ZAA, has a vision of the lunar goddess, Hekate.  But I saw neither moons nor goddesses (unless we count Nekhbet the night before).  Nevertheless, Schueler calls this “the Aethyr of Solitude” and I did experience a sense of being alone—that feeling of being ultimately inseparable from everything else and therefore alone because there is nothing and no one else.  This did not make me afraid.  It was more like an “illumination” of a legitimate perspective on reality.

A thought from GD Neo-Enochiana . . .

“Astral projections can draw on and clear emotional blockages and give tremendous energy to those who use it correctly. It helps us to develop control, and to gain access to the deeper parts of our nature by making us more aware of them. Astral projection with Enochian work, however, seems to draw from an external force that can flow through and aid us in exploration. It does this not only within us but also within the external universe by ultimately controlling it. It teaches us to merge with these currents of energy and ride with them rather than swim against them. In addition, it opens up a whole new door to our conception of ourselves and of the universe we live in.”

— Pat Zalewski, Golden Dawn Enochian Magic

 

Grimoire Insecurity: the Gift That Keeps on Giving

It’s lovely seeing posts from people who discovered Goetia last week and who have now, in their great experience and wisdom, embraced a grimoire purist attitude because anything else would be “ineffective” or “dangerous” or (gasp) “all in my head.” It’s equally wonderful to read smug responses to that from the opposite extreme: “I do it all in my astral temple, bro. I’m beyond tools and rules.” 

It seems to me that both of these extremes are similar and originate in insecurity. The first guy is terrified that he’s going to make a mistake. Maybe an even deeper underlying fear is that none of it is real and he’ll never know if he’s deluding himself unless he follows a strict rule set, which is the closest he believes he can come to an objective success-failure standard. 

The second guy is also afraid he’s going to make a mistake, but he believes following the grimoire purist approach is only for rich people with degrees in metallurgy and their own towers. Since he, like most people, got into magic because he wants things he doesn’t have (especially that tower), he circumvents his horrific doubts by making everything take place in his imagination.

There are many subtle gradations between these extremes, but stick around on magical forums (and on some of the ceremonial magic groups on FB) and you’ll notice the grimoire insecurity before long. It’s how Dr. Lisiewski and Steve Savedow marketed their Goetia methods. They sold a lot of books by exploiting the purist urge with horror stories from their own UPG (Savedow, in particular, reads like Book of Revelations fan fiction). There are also a bunch of Llewellyn and Weiser joksters who put books out in the other direction, some including a “Cicero method of magical tool creation,” but tending seriously towards the all-in-the-head approach.

I’m writing this not to say that purist approach or the all-in-the-head approach can’t work. What works for you may not work for someone else and there are some excellent purists who have a great, beautiful, grimoire practice. The opposite is probably also true, though harder to convincingly document because it’s so subjective (cf. “transvocation”).

But the insecurity, the angst, the defensiveness, the uncertainty is always easy to spot and that is what I’m inveighing against. It is often harder to keep an open mind, to say “maybe,” than it is to get red-faced and loud about your pet method of reassuring yourself that magic isn’t a waste of time.

The Trouble with Money Magic

Over the years, I’ve found that the most prominent error people make with money magic is to focus on the money as opposed to what they can do with it. The unconscious mind—which is fairly synonymous with the vast astral expanse called the Ha-oh-lahm Yetzirah or the World of Formation in Kabalistic magic—has a hard time with numbers and quantitative thinking in general. It functions almost exclusively along qualitative channels. It’s like when you astrally project and can travel a thousand kilometers in the blink of an eye. Why is that? Because quantity (the number of kilometers, in this case) means nothing to your magical-thinking self. It’s all about quality (experience, movement, perception).

This means that when you’re doing a ritual to get $500 and you’re focusing hard on that amount, the implicitly magical part of your mind is not getting the message. Or if it is receiving what the thinking consciousness is sending, it’s probably not hearing the message in the best, most complete way. If this is true, it accounts for why money workings often seem to fall short of people’s expectations. You do a ritual for $500 and find a quarter in the street. Was your ritual a success? Not by any quantitative standard, but your unconscious mind thinks that now the quality of money has been manifested where before there was none. Yay, money!

Moreover, the quantitative-qualitative problem also explains the central issue with “big lotto” spells. When you play the lottery, you’re not primarily focusing on what you can do with all that money. Sure, you may have some vague ideas about cars and houses and super yachts. Maybe you have faith that when you win the lottery, all the anxiety you feel about being financially insecure will go away. While I’m not going to dispute your feelings on the matter, I will suggest that this type of thinking is still highly quantitative because your entire point of focus is far more concentrated on getting the large amount of money than on these vague plans.

Don’t believe me? Would you take the time to do a lotto working if the jackpot were $5? If you’re not thinking in terms of quantity, a win is a win, right? Yay, money! So it’s pretty clear that the reason we play the lottery is because we think a vast, obscene, filthy, enormous chunk of lucre could be ours for the price of a ticket. We’re comparing numbers. Let’s not even get into the odds (which would be more quantitative anti-magical thinking) and just admit that lotto spells exist because of numerical assumptions.

How do we get around that? My first suggestion is to forget about lotto spells. Make a lot of money by working hard and using your magical ability to influence that work—something you have an enormous amount of control over compared to a lotto ticket. But if you must play the lotto, the best thing to do is to think qualitatively. In other words, think about what you’d do with the money and really feel those emotions. Get past the cliché vague car-house-boat fantasies and do some introspection about what you’d really want to do that you can’t do with your current finances. You might say you want to travel, but you can travel right now. So where would you visit that is hard or impossible to visit at the moment? How would that make you feel? Focusing on that feeling in your magic—whether it’s with a sigil or in some complex multi-part ritual—will be so much more powerful.

This is true about all spells, especially money magic. Focus on the feeling and pursue that. The money will then come as a pathway of manifestation for that feeling. If, for instance, I want to stay in a posh hotel in Tokyo, I’ll enchant by focusing on the sensations and emotions associated with that. The magical part of me will get the message loud and clear and will set to work bringing that experience into my reality. If the experience requires a lot more cash than I have on hand right now, the cash will come. But maybe I’ll win an all-expenses Lost-in-Translation-esque stay for buying the 1000th cup of sencha at my local sushi restaurant. Or maybe my wealthy uncle will decide to do something unselfish for a change and bankroll the experience. The numerical value of the money is actually irrelevant in these cases. It was always irrelevant. Only experience, only life, is relevant. And your soul understands that truth even if your limited consciousness has forgotten it temporarily!