### Author Topic: Temple Circle - Tao Cross  (Read 1305 times)

#### Immortal93

• Member
• Posts: 10
##### Temple Circle - Tao Cross
« on: February 06, 2012, 11:57:37 pm »
A question for setting up a magical working space.

My wife and I have decided to set up a temple space, but have a couple of stumbling blocks. We've been looking through Magick Without Tears, Magick & The Equinox this evening and note that the altar would appear to be set up on the Tiphareth (MWT) square on the Tau, or Malkuth (Magick), but we can't see which those squares are. Assuming we start at the top, my guess is that Tiphareth is the square at the joining point with the other arm of the cross. If this is correct, which squares refer to Hod & Netzach and which to Yesod & Malkuth? Sorry if this is obvious and we're just being blind!

Our second problem relates to the size of the altar. If the size of the altar is such that it should fit perfectly on one of the Tau squares - on scaling up, the circle would be bigger than the room we have! Has anyone else had a similar problem?

#### Azidonis

• Member
• Posts: 2,734
##### Re: Temple Circle - Tao Cross
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2012, 03:28:54 am »
From Book 4, Part 2, Chapter II: The Circle

"The size of the whole figure is determined by the size of one square of the Tau. And the size of this square is that of the base of the Altar, which is placed upon Malkuth."

The figure in the photo is numbered, but the numbers are hard to see. From top to bottom down the center it goes - 1,2,3,6,9,10. From the center (10) to the left are numbers 4 and 8. From the center (10) to the right are numbers 7 and 5, respectively.

Note that 10 is the number of Malkuth, where the Altar would be placed.

Further reading on the Circle and Altar in Book 4 will reveal more details. Also, a link to the mentioned "Berashith" in *.PDF format.

As always, my deepest apologies to Paul if any links or images presented happen to violate any copyright laws.
"Nirvana is the extinction of all notions." - Thich Nhat Hanh

#### Azidonis

• Member
• Posts: 2,734
##### Re: Temple Circle - Tao Cross
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2012, 03:53:57 am »
Concerning the size of everything, here is a "Golden Dawn-esque" example:

"Second, it is traditional to have an altar. This can be a small table covered with black cloth, or the traditional "double cube". A good size for the traditional altar is 36" high by 18" wide by 18" deep. This way you can have an altar that is like two 18" squares on top of one another (as above, so below). It also represents the earth plane because the number of sides of this altar which are external (top, bottom, the four sides of the upper cube and the four sides of the lower) equal 10, the number of the Earth according to the Kabalah.

I made my altar in a very easy way. At an unfinished wood store they sell cubes of press board (also known as chip board) that are 18" x 18" and have one side open. I simply nailed the two cubes together and added a piece of 18" by 36" plywood (1/2" thick) to cover the open sides of the cubes. Upon adding several coats of paint (even with a sealer coat, this type of wood seems to drink up paint), and some wheels to make the altar moveable, and I was finished..."

-Modern Magick: Eleven Lessons in the High Magickal Arts. 2nd Ed.

When I made my first altar back in 1998, I used the above description. I simply went to my local "DoIt Center", told the man working with the lumber what I needed to make, and we figured out what the measurements of the wood would be once I put it all together (you have to account for the thickness of the wood). So he cut it all up for me, I made my purchase, and went home to assemble my essentially "pre-made" altar. Of course I didn't tell him it was an altar, but I didn't have a saw of my own back then, so it worked out just fine. The finished product had the precise measurements, but no wheels.

That was before I "met" Crowley, who really wants people to use their own measurements, symbols and such, to an extent. When considering the size of the altar, consider what measurements you and/or your wife think are right for you, and design from there. If you have limited space, you obviously will have to design for it.
"Nirvana is the extinction of all notions." - Thich Nhat Hanh

#### Azidonis

• Member
• Posts: 2,734
##### Re: Temple Circle - Tao Cross
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2012, 04:01:20 am »
Also, before I get flamed for it, the cross and circle are NOT precisely the ones from Book 4. They are from a random Google Image search I did to try and show the numbers, in case you did not have a picture available.

It's also arbitrary. From the footnote to the figure in Book 4: "Page 50. Figure 4. The names about the circle are from the Thelemic theogony with two exceptions. "Perdurabo" is Crowley's motto in the outer order of the A:.A:.. "Laylah" was Leila Waddell (Soror Agatha of A:.A:.), his magical consort at the time of publication. It is customary for each Magician to personalize this design after Crowley's example." (Footnote on page 722 of rev 2nd ed., Book 4)
"Nirvana is the extinction of all notions." - Thich Nhat Hanh

#### Shiva

• Member
• Posts: 1,090
##### Re: Temple Circle - Tao Cross
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2012, 04:15:15 am »
The circle depends on the "T" cross.
A square in the "T" cross = the size of the altar.
The altar is a double cube.
The HEIGHT of the Altar reaches exactly to the magician's NAVEL.
More or Less.

That is the anal-retentive viewpoint used when operating in "slavish imitation."

Frankly, I have always made a circle, and put the altar in the center, regardless of size or navel. I find it easier to adapt to the room, temple or campsite. I have done this since 1963. I have never used the "T," or other forms of "slavish imitation" that we are warned about in Book IV.

Well, that's not true. Surely I have imitated SOME of the specifics, but not the "T."
93.'.
I Am not a Rajah or a Voyeur
I Am Shiva the destroyer
I destroy illusion

#### obscuruspaintus

• Member
• Posts: 237
##### Re: Temple Circle - Tao Cross
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2012, 03:31:20 pm »
93

Common sense dictates that while on the fly any expediant will due. While in the jungle I have scratched a circle in the earth with a stick. While in the desert I have used a length a rope...tied with a square knot and two half hitches...to be sure!

In the place that we put down roots something more elaborate is certianly called for. Originality is always better than "slavish imitation." That special place should reflect your physical dimensions and your understanding of the universe which surrounds you. Standing barefoot, from the horizontal my navel happens to be exactly 44 inches. Accordingly my double cubes measure 22 inches each. While laying outstretched, face down, fingers and toes pushed to their furthest limits determines the size of my circle. Altar to the center. Every physical thing progresses outward from that point. Tear up carpet and knock down walls!..now we're having fun! Just make sure that it is not a load bearing wall.

In the garden I have an ongoing project. A circle and altar being built of stone and surrounded by yew hedges and cedar trees. It is evolving and growing, as am I. A place to greet and sit in the sun. A place to adore the moon and star filled sky at night. No prescribed formula, just imagination and guidance from That Little Voice.
Best wishes.

93/93
We are the architechs of our own misfortune.

#### Immortal93

• Member
• Posts: 10
##### Re: Temple Circle - Tao Cross
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2012, 10:08:27 pm »
Many thanks for the replies and pictures (Azidonis), I seached Google images, but didn't have any luck with pictures, so that's a real help.

It's quite frankly going to be impossible to make the altar the size suggested in Book 4, unless we kindly ask our neighbours if they'd mind us expanding our walls into their living space!

Looks like we shall be going our own route and taking elements of the Tau and circle and utilizing our own ideas and univeral perception.

Obscuruspaintus - I really like the sound of your garden temple surrounded by the trees. I am very much a forest person myself and we actually live on the outskirts of a vry large forest, which is a constant joy at all times of the year. Unfortunately our garden here is too small to be of much use in a magical context. Also, there's not a lot of privacy from the neighbours.

Anyway, many thanks again for the comments..

#### Azidonis

• Member
• Posts: 2,734
##### Re: Temple Circle - Tao Cross
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2012, 12:49:47 am »
If it helps, the altar I referenced above (the one I made), didn't stay with me for long. After I made it, I used it for about two years before I moved and left it behind due to circumstances of the move. Years later I was asked if I wanted it, and I declined, saying I could make another one. It's been over a decade now, and I still have not done so. Those times where I have "needed" an altar, I've simply pulled a small end table into my temple room, and used it.

I wouldn't stress too much about it, but here is another option:

A friend of mine once took a stretch of old carpet, cut it into a circle just the right size of the room he was going to put it in, then turned it upside down and used the underneath part of the carpet as a canvas on which to create his circle. Fold up circle!

There are many ways... you could just put candles in the quadrants or whatever. Hell, you could find many uses for various colors of duct tape...

It's all about what resources you have available, and how you manage them.

Best of luck in the Great Work.
"Nirvana is the extinction of all notions." - Thich Nhat Hanh

#### Immortal93

• Member
• Posts: 10
##### Re: Temple Circle - Tao Cross
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2012, 07:20:58 pm »
Thanks for your good wishes Azidonis,

What an ingenious idea with the carpet. It's a good thought. I was planning to get several sheets of hardboard and painting the circle on those, so they could be taken up when not in use, my only worry was that moving within during a ceremony might dislodge one of the boards and break the circle... which would be bad No problems with that happening using the carpet method, so I'll definately think on using that or something similar. I've cast plenty of circles outdoors before using just the bare essentials which my surroundings allowed, but having a worthwhile circle indoors is something I've always wanted, so am quite prepared to make the effort.

Not so sure about using duct tape though!

#### ignant666

• Member
• Posts: 201
##### Re: Temple Circle - Tao Cross
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2012, 08:16:11 pm »
Art-supply stores can provide unstretched canvas in sizes that will accommodate the average apartment-sized temple or circle.
Canvas of course takes paint well (with or without prep, as per standard painter's techniques) & rolls up much smaller than carpet. If you don't mind the seams & taking paint less well, housepainters' canvas drop cloths work also.

#### Azidonis

• Member
• Posts: 2,734
##### Re: Temple Circle - Tao Cross
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2012, 09:18:47 pm »
Art-supply stores can provide unstretched canvas in sizes that will accommodate the average apartment-sized temple or circle.
Canvas of course takes paint well (with or without prep, as per standard painter's techniques) & rolls up much smaller than carpet. If you don't mind the seams & taking paint less well, housepainters' canvas drop cloths work also.

More good ideas.
"Nirvana is the extinction of all notions." - Thich Nhat Hanh

#### FraterNepios

• Member
• Posts: 61
##### Re: Temple Circle - Tao Cross
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2012, 06:14:28 pm »
If it may help, I have found that MWT or MTP (can't quite remember which) does state that Tiphareth Square must be able to fit the Altar. If you still want the measurements proper still have the image of the Tau and everything else then you can have the Tiphareth Square the proper size and have all the others sized smaller to fit the "proper dimensions" to fit in the Temple, at least that is what I am planning on doing... Though, I am trying to find material for the circle, I do know many people who do the Carpet/Rug idea, though I am still on the look out for a more affordable solution because carpets and rugs themselves can be quite expensive...
** Frater Νηπιοϛ=418 **

#### michaelclarke18

• Member
• Posts: 955
##### Re: Temple Circle - Tao Cross
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2012, 11:10:37 am »
The circle depends on the "T" cross.
A square in the "T" cross = the size of the altar.
The altar is a double cube.
The HEIGHT of the Altar reaches exactly to the magician's NAVEL.
More or Less.

That is the anal-retentive viewpoint used when operating in "slavish imitation."

Oh I'm completely anally-retentive over things like this.

Most people have a lot of difficulty getting the physicality of things correct - if you see GD enactments done on youtube, you will see what I mean (how anyone could take some of those temples seriously is completely beyond me...) - so I insist on absolute accuracy; I have found that the effect on the mind, when something is absolutely right, is quite different to the effect when one is just 'making do'.

Only my opinion folks....
''The serpent, SATAN, is not the enemy of Man, but He who made Gods of our race, knowing Good and Evil''

#### Azidonis

• Member
• Posts: 2,734
##### Re: Temple Circle - Tao Cross
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2012, 05:19:04 pm »
Oh I'm completely anally-retentive over things like this.

Are we to assume then that you have a "proper" scourge and dagger fitting the following descriptions from Book 4?

"The Scourge should be made with a handle of iron; the lash is composed of nine strands of fine copper wire, in each of which are twisted small pieces of lead. Iron represents severity, copper love, and lead austerity.

The Dagger is made of steel inlaid with gold; and the hilt is also golden.

Pics please. While you are at it, how about directing us to your own YouTube videos so we can see the anally proper way to do things.
"Nirvana is the extinction of all notions." - Thich Nhat Hanh

#### Shiva

• Member
• Posts: 1,090
##### Re: Temple Circle - Tao Cross
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2012, 06:45:27 pm »
Oh I'm completely anally-retentive over things like this - so I insist on absolute accuracy; I have found that the effect on the mind, when something is absolutely right, is quite different to the effect when one is just 'making do'.

You are correct, of course. Especially in the early stages, the aspirant usually has nowhere to go, except to the geometrical standards shown forth in our favorite books - particularly Book 4 and Blazing Diamond. Unless one is a magickal prodigy, "slavish imitation" remains the sole option.

In the middle, the balanced arrangement does indeed influence the mind. We would hope that somewhere along the line, that the adept would be introducing modifications and enhancements of his or her own design.

After a while, even the holiest of thoughts and instruments must be cast into the fire.

I remember a time when I was the most anally-retentive of us all (maybe - more or less - subject to intense debate). We had access to gold and machine shops and large empty rooms and wide-open desert spaces. I don't remember the dagger being inlaid with aurum, but it had a very sharp tip.
93.'.
I Am not a Rajah or a Voyeur
I Am Shiva the destroyer
I destroy illusion