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-

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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

Satanism and Satanic Influence

September 18, 2009

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It is a fact – seldomly understood and appreciated – that most individuals follow the creative lead of a few. It is also true that some of this majority absorb the creativity of others and bring it forth again – sometimes slightly altered, to claim as their own, and that this whole majority needs the stimulus of new forms, ideas, and ways, born via a creative genius or two – to vitalize them and begin the process of internal and external change.

The recent history of Satanism gives evidence for this. Various types of Satanism have emerged over the centuries, as have various exponents of it. Historically, Satanism is often taken to be – by those unacquainted with the Left-Hand Path – as Diabolism; that is, the invokation of the Devil and the making of a pact with Him. This evidenced in the medieval Grimoires and in those who were accused of such things. Later, various individuals were regarded as ‘Satanic’ and as teaching a form of Satanism, the most familiar being Crowley. Still later, various organizations emerged, each claiming to be Satanic and each teaching what they regarded as authentic Satanism. The most significant of these are the Church of Satan (Anton LaVey), the Temple of Set (Michael Acquino) and the Order of Nine Angles.

Diabolism

Central to all forms is fear – of the powers, entities invoked. Hence the use of various forms of protection such as ‘circles’. The ‘pact’, so familiar from the grimoires and accounts of Diabolism, was one between a master (the Devil) and a servant (the sorcerer). Implicit in all forms of Grimoire-type Satanism, is the belief (deriving from the Nazarene religion) of Satan as a fallen angel ultimately ruled over by ‘God’- there is always the possibility of being ’saved’. The archetypical Diabolist was a lapsed or practicing Nazarene, whose conjugations brought excitement and a sense of the ‘forbidden’.

Crowleyism

While ‘Thelema’, as a doctrine and belief, is regarded as many non-Occultists as ‘Satanic’, there is very little real Satanism in it, or indeed in Crowley’s own life and works. The work of Crowley is, in many ways, a continuation of the Eastern esoteric groups groups and societies active before and during his own time-a type of Westernized Tantra, heavily imbued with qabalism. The archetypical follower of Crowley is someone versed in Occult doctrines and mysticism, who seeks through sex and other rites certain states of consciousness, and who is oriented toward a belief in Thelema as a new faith/creed.

Church of Satan

The church achieved a high media profile due to the showmanship of LaVey. He expounded a philosophy of unenlightened egotism and self-interest, together with a belief in carnality. The rituals were in the tradition of the grimoires and imbued with qabalistic symbolism/notions (including some deriving from Crowley). Further, the Devil was dispensed with as an external power – making the LaVey type of Satanism more of a practical belief system than a dangerous (in Occult terms) undertaking.

Temple of Set

The Temple of Set was and is, essentially, an intellectual development of the Church of Satan. To the original was added an intellectual infrastructure (deriving in part from various mythologies and traditions) and an organizational structure with the aim of making Satanism a ‘new’ religion, acceptable to a significant number of individuals. Both the Church of Satan and the Temple of Set (The latter more so than the former) insist upon belief in their own version of Satanism – and expect the adherent/member to accept/conform. There is thus a fostering of dependence by the individual upon the group (and in particular, the leader[s] and Master).

Order of Nine Angles

The Order first emerged into public view in the early 1980’s (eh), and basically taught that Satanism was a means to attain self and Occult insight and abilities, and that this could only be done on an individual basis via direct, personal experience.

The archetypical CoS member was a black-robed figure who played a ‘role’, and who placed ego-fulfillment and pleasure before everything. LaVey was accepted as a ‘Master’ and an authority to be revered – and a personality cult developed. The archetypical ToS member is someone who has read a lot of Occult literature, who engages in discussions with others about their beliefs and practices, and who like the charisma and appeal of being a ‘Satanist’. Often they dress for the part – and need a group identity, a sense of ‘belonging’. They also accept Temple authority and are content to let an organization confer advancement upon them (in the form of titles and positions).

The archetypical ONA member is the lone sorcerer/sorceress struggling – via practical (and sometimes dark) experiences toward self-attainment, guided by the teachings of the Order, and by occasional meeting who has gone that way before.

Each of the above manifestations will be considered in turn. But what, then, is Satanism?  By what criteria can such a manifestation be judged? First, let us consider what Satanism is not. It is not an acceptance of conventional morality or ways of living; it is not a belief, or a faith which causes a rejection of the the reality (and harshness) of life; it is not a refuge for the failures, the cowards and the weak. Satanism is about pride, an acceptance of individual worth. It is about defiance – challenging the accepted, seeking to know the unknown and seeking to discover, to explore and conquer: a refusal to bow down or give in. It is about excellence – of going beyond what is, in personal terms; of achieving a greater awareness and understanding than the majority. It is a desire to experience the limits of living, to strive for thegods…

Diabolists are insipid, rather pathetic – a historical curiousity only: a footnote in the psycho-pathology of the Nazarene religion. Crowley was a rather under-developed egotist lacking the character to develop real self-insight. He could and did manipulate others, and did possess some Occult powers (intuitively) and some understanding of the Art of Magick. His followers are trapped by the flaws of his system – chief among which, are the self-stupefaction and self-satisfaction (and tus the illusion of development), rather than real self-insight and thus Occult abilities.

CoS members (and to a lesser extent those of the ToS) accept a sanitized Satanism – a ’safe Satanism’, where the Darkness is said to be only within, where it cannot threaten them. They also are stuck on the bottom rung of Occult understanding – seeing nothing beyond the confines of the ego and the carnal. The ToS claims to go further, but there is little or no practical experience of evil, of the Sinister, of those Dark Forces which are part of the Cosmos – there is instead an an inteelectualizing. There is also no going to extremes in living, no ordeals which challenge (and make) character no quest for personal excellence. Instead, there is the security of an organization, the acceptance of Temple authority and mandates. In brief, the fostering of a type of mental servitude – in belief and in practice. All these are contrary to what Satanism is.

Only the ONA understands and practices Satanism as it is. insisting that Satanism is about individual self-development in both real and Occult worlds, and that this can only be achieved by long, hard dangerous and toilsome experience. Furthermore, the ONA has exhibited a creativity and an understanding which makes all other manifestations pale into insignificance. Thus, it is not surprising that it has been so influential over the past few years.

This influence has, however, seldom been acknowledged – other groups and individuals often borrowing the teachings, methods and ideas and claiming them as their own, this ‘borrowing’ not being confined to ‘Satanism’ or LHP groups in general. This is both natural and necessary – giventhe sterility of creativity which exists and has existed in such groups, and given the nature of the human species in general, and the Satanic in particular.

The chief contributions of the ONA, toward an understanding of Satanism in particular, and the Occult in general, may be described:

1.  Satanism and LHP as a means to individual development, leading to Adeptship and beyond – via practical experience and ordeals (qv.  the grade rituals).

2. The emphasis on developing both the mental and physical character of the individual.

3. A greater understanding of Magickal (and Occult) forces – and thus their nature – via the development of the concepts of causal and acausal, and an abstract system to represent this, enabling conscious apprehension (as opposed to belief and superstition).

4. The re-structuring of magickal symbols and forms in archetypical terms – in particular the Septenary Tree of Wyrd and the Deofel Quintet (the latter explicating the archetypical, particularly in the ‘real world’ from the viewpoint of the Sinister Novice).

5. The creation of a Sinister Tarot whose images are Sinister, and thus imbued with Satanic energy.

6. Revealing and significantly extending Aeonic Magick – enabling any individual to undertake such works.

7. The emphasis on an individual Initiate working alone and achieving practical goals – without accepting in a religious way a higher authority – and making this achievable by all via the publication of practical guides to all aspects of Satanism (Naos, Codex Saerus, Sacraentum Sinistrum, Thernn, etc.).

8. Bringing an awareness of the Dark Gods – of the Sinister energies/forces which exist and which have been symbolized by ‘Satan’/the Devil…

9. An emphasis of the personal qualities – the character  – of a Satanist, enshrined in the concepts of Excellence, Honour, and the motto “die, rather than submit to anyone or anything”.

10.  A re-affirmation of the positive, life-enhancing nature of Satanism as opposed to the stereotypical image of obsession with with death and decay – a movingaway from the image/role of the Satanist as a showman-type ‘Devil’/Mephisto figure obsessed with with carnality and pandering to his or her own weaknesses, and seeking media attention, toward the secretly-working lone sorcerer/sorceress concerned with their own development and works of esoteric Sinister Magick…

A perusal of literature, statements and other such causal forms by other groups and individuals, since the manifestation of the ONA, will show the extent of its influence – of how, in a subtle way, such individuals and groups have been changed by a Sinister organization. Such changes, and such influence, will grow, although it may well go unnoticed by all save the few genuine Adepts.