The Abyss

September 23, 2009

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The Abyss is where the causal and the acausal meet; a nexus of temporal and spatial dimensions. Because of the nature of our consciousness, the Abyss lies latent within all of us – that is, our consciousness consists of both causal and acausal aspects. In this sense, we are all ‘Gates’/to the acausal dimensions, although this Gate – and the pathways leading to/from it – often lies undiscovered. Magickal training is essentially the discovery, exploration and use of these pathways.

Symbolized causally, the Abyss lies between the spheres of the Sun and Mars in the Septenary Tree of Wyrd, and the ‘Entering the Abyss’ is that stage of magickal development which distinguishes the Master/Mistress from the Adept. The experience of the Abyss – which the Grade Ritual ‘Entering the Abyss’ begins – is fundamentally a destruction of the self-image which the Grade Ritual of Internal Adept created and which was glimpsed during the External Adept rite. It is also the destruction of all personal illusions regarding opposites: the final ‘withdrawing of projections’. In essence, the Internal Adept has learnt (mainly through the Grade Ritual) to withdraw the projections of the ‘ego’ from other individuals – that is, there is an understanding of individuals as those individuals are in essence: without the distortion of one’s own passions/ideas/prejudices and without the distortions of other people’s ideas/judgements and so on. The experience of the Abyss takes this a stage further – there is a withdrawal of all personal projections made by every individual upon others/ the ‘cosmos’ and so on: both personal and impersonal. Thus, the essence is apprehended behind the appearance which the causal produces because it is the causal. Put very simply, the Abyss is the beginning of acausal perception.

This perception implies a complete understanding of oneself, one’s wyrd, as well as an understanding of others, of aeonic influences, and of the ‘cosmos’ itself – the beginnings of wisdom…Yet this does not mean a negation of individuality. Rather, it is an enhancement of consciousness. This is so because the Abyss is also the Tree of Wyrd itself – all the spheres and the pathways in both their individual and aeonic forms: the ‘individual forms’ being Jungian-type archetypes (and the experiences/understanding appropriate to these) on a personal level, and the ‘aeonic forms’ being aeonic/cultural myths and images on a suprs-personal level, in both ’sinister’ and ‘light’ aspects. Further, the Abyss is also a direct opening or ‘Gate’ to the acausal dimensions.

The ritual of the Abyss implies an acceptance of acausal energies as those energies are – that is, without any ‘abstract’, personal or judgemental views. It is a letting ‘in’ of those Null, Chaotic energies without any hindrance. This of course can be dangerous, but the preparation reduces this danger as well as making possible an understanding of those energies and the ‘forms’ that may or may not assume in both the causal and acausal worlds. This latter point is quite important, because there have been many who, unprepared, having experienced some acausal energies via entering the Abyss too soon. Quite often, the result of this premature magickal experience is madness or extreme personal disorientation resulting in a ‘possessed’ personal life and/or loss of vitality; another and frequent result is personal delusion about one’s own abilities and understanding, both personal and magickal.

This understanding of the acausal, vital to a ’successful’ crossing of the Abyss, derives from the preparation implicit in

(a) having undertaken the Grade Ritual of Internal Adept [that is, in essence, having spent at least three months alone without any external influences and without any personal contact] and

(b) having fulfilled the tasks revealed by that Grade Ritual. This fulfilling of personal tasks (the accomplishment of part of the wyrd of the individual) is necessary (and it takes from one to many years after the Grade Ritual of Internal Adept) because it dissipates the energy of the ’self-image’ that the Grade Ritual produces, preparing thus a voidness within the Adept.

The Adept generally knows when this inner void is reached (in simple terms, the personal, driving energy is gone through achievement of personal goals: the reality, of course, is more complicated and here the advice of a Master/Mistress/Magus is often sought).

The ritual of the Abyss is simple. The physical part (the walk in the unspecified time without assistance) is essential preparation for the ‘magickal’ part because it prepares the consciousness in a very specific way as well as draining the physical resources of the body. To complete the walk given the conditions stated requires determination – and this determination is released/abandonment occuring quite naturally because the physical goal has been achieved. Thus, there is a ‘hidden’ wisdom in the construction of the rite (as there is in all the Grade Rituals).

The physical part also creates – because of the isolation – a feeling within the individual of being only a part of something more vast, and it for this reason that the walk is undertaken as far from human habitation as possible. This isolation, the concentration required to walk at a pace enabling the goal to be reached within the set time, the rhythym of walking, the anticipation of the magickal part, all combine to produce the conditions necessary within the consciousness of the individual conducive to success.

As mentioned above, the Abyss is also an opening into the acausal. The ‘passing of the Abyss’ is the opening of that ‘Gate’ within us. All magick is a glimpse of the acausal, and the stageswhen the acausal energies are developed and understood in a progressively more emphatic manner – that is, they may be seen as ‘pushing that Gate wider and wider’ – in the passing of the Abyss there is no longer a Gate, but rather a union or fusion. In another sense, the Seven-Fold Way may be said to be the creation, within the consciousness of the individual, of connections or pathways to the acausal – each stage develops more and more pathways until they form a conduit through which acausal energy ‘flows’. Beyond the Abyss, the individual is part of the acausal ‘flow’ and has achieved the goal of sentinent life. This is really the great secret of alchemy, of magick and of the Left Hand or Sinister Path itself – that is, we can create for ourselves another existence in another ‘universe’ and an existence which continues after our causal self dies. This means to this existence is simply – the Seven-Fold Way.

According to tradition, the Abyss is also presenced physically in our causal universe. That is, terrestrial and ‘Space’ or ‘Star’ Gates exist where the two universes are joined. In reality, the terrestrial Gates may be used to be points where the causal and acausal come close in contact: where there is ’seepage’ of acausal energy to alter the causal (and thus the individuals in the world). [See the Order MSS relating to Aeons, ‘Lovecraft and the Dark Gods, etc.]

 

-Order of the Nine Angles-

Baphomet and Opfer

September 22, 2009

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From Opfer, Fenrir Vol. II, no 2

The word ‘opfer’ generally refers to the sacrifice that occurs – symbolic or otherwise – during certain rituals. There are, generally, two types of opfers:

(1) Associated with rites to open a nexion (or ‘Star Gate’), between Aeons – when such an opfer(s) is considered necessary in terms of the ‘energy’ required;

(2) Those associated with traditional beliefs regarding the ‘working of the cosmos’.

‘Opfers associated with death rituals form a third type. The second type, according to tradition was chosen once every 17 years and this sacrifice was regarded as necessary to retain ‘the cosmic balance’ – in modern terms, keep a nexion open (and thus preserve the associated higher civilization etc.).  The chosen one was made an honorary Priest (this type of opfer was always male) and there was a joining between him and one or more women, as Priestess. This joining was a simple type of ‘hierosgamos’, and the offspring of the union(s) were given great honor. At the ceremony itself, the head of the opfer was severed and displayed – usually for a night and a day (although this period  may have been longer in the very distant past). The Rite was conducted outdoors in a ’sacred’ place – often a circle of stones or hill top.

The chosen one was able, because of the sacrifice, to partake of an acausal existence – becoming thus an Immortal. Thus ‘willing sacrifice’ was possible, although it is easy to imagine that in later times, the opfer was not so willing. Traditionally, this type goes back to Albion, and while originally the ritual was probably a community affair, it became more secretive. What survives to the present day (The Ceremony of Recalling with ‘opfer’ ending) probably reflects the essence of this earlier tradition rather than the detail (the words, chants etc.). This essence may be apprehended in the role of the Mistress of Earth – representative of Baphomet, the Dark Goddess. It was to Baphomet that the sacrifice was made – hence a male opfer. Indeed, the whole ceremony (of Recalling) can be seen as a celebration of the dark goddess – the Earth Mistress/goddess in her darker/violent/sinister aspect. The severed head was associated with the worship of Baphomet – the cult deriving from Albion – hence the traditional representation of Baphomet.

The identification of Baphomet as the Bride of Lucifer/Satan probably dates from around the 10th or 11th century, as does the use of the name ‘Satan’/Satanas as the Earth-bound representative of the Dark Gods.

It is important to remember that in earlier times (e.g. in Albion during the Hyperborean aeon) there was no clear and/or moral distinction between the ‘light’ and the ’sinister’: the two were seen as different aspects of the same thing. Thus, what we know as the Mistress of Earth (the ’goddess’) was both what we now call Baphomet (the dark aspect) and Gaia (the Earth Mother). Likewise with the male aspect – Satan and Lucifer – or Dionysus/Kabeiroi and Apollo. We now understand all such symbols as unconscious/conscious projections onto ‘reality’ (where ‘reality’ = the region of causal/acausal mergence) – as ‘gates’/nexions to the acausal itself, with the seven spheres of the Tree of Wyrd being a ‘map’ of these gates understandable by ‘non-Adept’ consciousness. Thus, the sphere of Mercury represents Lucifer/Satan – Mercury, Mars and Sun being “male” spheres, and Moon, Venus, Jupiter the “female” ones (Saturn beyond such opposites – Chaos itself).

The cult of Baphomet was the worship of the dark aspect of the “female” energies – where in this context, worship means a striving toward understanding/conscious integration. Traces of the worship of the ‘light’ aspect survive in the Septenary tradition in the name “Aktal Maka” and the natural form of the Nine Angles rite. The darker aspect survives, in essence, in the Ceremony of Recalling and the traditions associated with the Mistress of Earth and Baphomet. As to the original name of the goddess in both her aspects, there is a tradition which gives ‘Darkat’ (early form of Lilith) as the name used before Baphomet became the common usage. However, ‘Azanigin’ has also been suggested – as has ‘Aktal Maka’ for the ‘light’/Gaia aspect, although both these are merely 20th century suggestions, not based on any oral tradition. Some aspects of the cult of the (dark) goddess are said to have survived into Greek times in the form of the ‘mystery cults’ (qv. Kabeiroi – and also Eleusis for the ‘light’ aspect), this being an ‘indirect survival’, the ‘modern’ Septenary tradition being a direct one, from Albion.

The use of the name ‘Baphomet’ probably derives from the 10th or 11th century although the traditional pictorial representation of Baphomet is undoubtedly much older. If there was an oral tradition connected with the origin of the name Baphomet, it has been lost.

Thus, there are no indications as to the ‘original’ names of the ‘light’ and ’sinister’ elements on the ‘male’ side – known to us as ‘Lucifer’ and ‘Satan’. These latter names probably also derive from around the 10th or 11th century – although ‘Karu Samsu’ (or something very similar) has been suggested for the ‘Lucifer’ aspect and ‘Sapanur’ as the ’sinister’ aspect.

The rites associated with the first type of opfer – such as ‘The Sinister Calling’ – cannot be either dated with certainty or seen to be derived from an earlier tradition. In all probability, they derive from the 12th or 13th century, although it is quite possible that earlier versions/forms existed. Some have even considered The Sinister Calling as a later version of the Ceremony of Recalling. Again, if there was an oral tradition, it has been lost – all that remains are the rituals themselves.

The ‘Black Mass’ itself (and indeed most of the ceremonial rituals in the Black Book of Satan) probably originated around the same time as the Sinister Calling. The original Mass was said in Latin, although by the middle of the 20th century a translated version had found its way into the Black Book – of necessity, although some Latin chants remained.

Notes:

The significance of the 17 year cycle is unclear. In the past few decades, some theories have been advanced, but they are unconvincing.

Aktlal Maka is a chant sometimes used in the natural Nine Angles Rite by the Priestess if the glade has a spring of water. It means ‘the flowing waters of Earth’ and is chanted in homage to Gaia since natural springs are regarded as her children.

The ‘mysteries of the Kabeiroi’ (Sometimes spelt Cabiri) is one of the esoteric traditions associated with the Hellenic Aeon. In its original form, ‘the mysteries’ concerned certain deities often represented in the form of griffins and connected with the sea as well as Demeter – the ‘mother Earth’ or Gaia. According to esoteric tradition, the mysteries concerned the Dark Gods – in various ’shapechanging’ forms – and related how Demeter gave the first Initiates of this tradition a crystal (later venerated at a shrine near Thebes where a sacred grove to Demeter existed) as well as showing how an individual, through various rites which involved Gaia, women, sacred marriage and so on, could be transformed to a different realm of consciousness. This transformation, as in other Greek Mystery Cults, was achieved mainly through personal involvement in ritual/ceremonial action often of a mythological kind.

Later, this tradition became divided – Eleusis representing the ‘Apollonian’ element, the Kabeiroi, the ‘Dionysian’ or darker aspects, for it is said that all Initiates of the Cabiri had to have committed a crime greater than common ones.

The mysteries of the Kabeiroi were often celebrated in mountain shrines (certain combinations of rock and underground water being regarded as sacred – that is, capable by their magickal power of transforming the consciousness of individuals (cf. various sacred sites of the Yezidi who upheld a more garbled version of Dark Gods tradition) and to reach these shrines was considered part of the process of Initiation.

Greeks called the Kabeiroi the ‘great gods’.

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 According to sinister tradition, the Dark Gods are actual entities which exist in the acausal universe. According to our spatial, causal, perception, these beings may be regarded as “timeless” and “chaotic” (and also terrifying not mention “immoral”). Since our consciousness is by its nature partly acausal, these entities may become manifest for us – or rather may be partly perceived by us – if we possess the keys to reach the appropriate levels of consciousness.

What is termed The Abyss (on the Tree of Life/Tree of Wyrd) separates our ordinary, everyday, causal consciousness from the consciousness (and thus apprehension) of the Dark Gods. The ordeal of the Abyss involves confronting these entities, and accepting them for what they are: that is, unbound by our illusion of opposites and the alleged conflict between “good and evil”.

While it is convenient to regard the dark Gods are merely symbols that re-present the energies of the acausal – as a projection of our own consciousness upon Chaos itself – it is equally possible to regard them as physically existing in themselves. Which of these (or neither of them) is correct, the Adept discovers during the ordeal of the Abyss. Legend, however, recalls the Dark Gods as visiting our planet several times in the past, by passing through one of the many “Star gates”. Star Gates are regions in (causal) space-time where our causal universe and the universe, or realm, of the acausal are joined: they are physical gates, or nexions, and passage from one universe to another is possible through them. According to legend, Star gates exist near the stars Dabih, Naos and Algol: that is, if you journeyed from Earth in the direction of one of these stars you would pass through, or near to, a Star Gate. There are also stories of a Star Gate within our own Solar System: the Gate through which the Dark Gods came to Earth. This Star Gate is believed to be near the planet Saturn. Sometimes, the Abyss invades our dreams, but mostly the Abyss is reached by following the Seven-Fold Sinister Way. It lies – on the Tree of Wyrd – between the spheres of the Sun and Mars, and divides the Adept from the Master/Mistress.

 In one sense, the Abyss is the gate, the nexion, to the gods within us, and beyond us, just as the Sinister Way is a means to access and increase the acausal that is presenced both within us, as individuals, and on Earth. According to Sinister tradition, it is possible to “open a nexion to the Dark Gods” by certain sinister rites. Some of these rites involve such things as esoteric chant (q.v. Naos) combined with a large, clear, pure quartz tetrahedron, while others involve ceremonies of blasphemy, excess and human sacrifice.

Anton Long ONA