I read that when Crowley attempted the Abramelin Operation operation, he in fact failed. I was pretty discouraged when I read this.
Did Crowley ever successfully complete it? Did Aiwass appear to him via this ritual?
What books discuss his account with this ritual?
Oh, don't be discouraged! He obviously made it!
Well, according to him, his "Angel" did appear. But, let's face it, sometimes there's a time lag between the ceremony and the result.
Personally, I think the answer is "yes!" But, see my comment about "time lag" (above). As far as I know, he did not immediately perform any Abramelin invocation of his Angel just before Aiwass came on the scene. But, he was evoking some elemental spirit to amuse his wife when SHE made the initial contact that led to the dictation by Aiwass that we know as The Book of the Law.
Several. But why not read about it in The Confessions - Crowley's Autohagiography.
A thousand pardons, Offendi [purposeful sic]! But I neglected to mention that you would probably like to read The Equinox of The Gods, where AC gives a detailed, blow-by-blow description of the events in Cairo in 1904.
It's a marvelous tale. I particularly liked the part where he discovers Exhibit 666 in the Cairo/Boulak [sic?] museum.
Note that the Invocation of the Holy Guardian Angel was revised and reloaded (updated) in Liber 418, The Vision and the Voice, where these words are found within the description of the VIIIth Aethyr:
"And thus shall he do who will attain unto the mystery of the knowledge and conversation of his Holy Guardian Angel: First, let him prepare a chamber ... etc.).
This version is much simpler than the Abramelin operation, and it says, "And on the first day of the twelfth week ... etc," thus making it 11 weeks (plus a day) in length, which is (according to my math) less than half the length of Abramelin's half-a-year.
Related informaton : There is/was a paperback of a Georges Chevalier (claims no affiliation with any Order) who performed the entire 6 month Abra-Melin ritual, and documented it in his diary. The book : The Sacred Magician, A Ceremonial Diary; Paladin, 1976.
A fascinating account of the ordeal... Check around for it on the used books websites.
"The Sacred Magician" by Georges Chevalier (otherwise known as William Bloom) seems not such a rare to find book, and shall be of interest for many readers interested in the Abramelin Operation, thanks, ZIN, for mentioning it here, I think I never heard about it before.
Yes it is. I believe it was AC's "short version" of the operation, performed in 13 days, to demonstrate how easy it is, and how to keep a Magickal Record. It came a bit after he had attained 8=3, so that should have made it easier for him, and perhaps might not be suitable for people working upward from the lower spheres. After all, the instructions in Liber 418 are Class A and are obviously intended to supplant the Abramelin stuff..
This operation included the frequent use of cognac, which seems to have aided him in the process.
On the 11th day: "I take 4 gr. Plumb c. Opio." That's Lead with Opium. Rituals performed under influence are valid, but only as a preview of coming attractions and do not constitute a solid attainment. Oh heck, he already had the attainment, without influence, a long time before this operation. Walking across the Sahara for days tends to produce a "Vision Quest" in its own rite.
On the 12th day he gets results: "Also I beheld my Lord in a figure and I felt the interior trembling kindle itself into a Kiss --- and I perceived the true Sacraments --- and I beheld in one moment all the mystic visions in one; and the Holy Graal appeared unto me, and many other inexpressible things were know of me. Also I was given to enjoy the subtle Presence of my Lord interiorly during the whole of this twelfth day. Then I besought the Lord that He would take me into His presence eternally even now."
But Adonai refused the request. (There's still more work to do, said the Angel).
On the 13th day came obvious success: "Being entered into the Silence, let me abide in the Silence!"
The Law is for All,
As this is a thread about the Abramelin Operation vis-a-vis Crowley, can anyone provide a succinct record of Crowley's attempts and successes with KCHGA?
As far as I know, there was the first, abortive, attempt at Boleskine around 1900 (?), then the Cairo Working if you want to include it (I would not, nor does Crowley as far as I can tell), then the Desert Ordeal:
ABA, pg. 399: "He then found himself, having destroyed all other karma, perfectly free to pursue this one work [KCHGA]. He then accomplished the six months of Invocation, as prescribed in The Book of the Sacred Magic, and was rewarded in October, 1906, by complete success*. (*An account of these matters, in part, is to be found in The Equinox I, and in his own poem "Aha!")
(Side question: does Equinox I refer to The Temple of Solomon the King (continued)?
I assume it does for, One Star in Sight [ABA, 485]:
"The Masters of the A.'.A.'. have therefore made no attempt to institute any regular ritual for this central Work of their Order, save the generalized instruction in Liber 418 (the 8th Aethyr), and the detailed Canon and Rubric of the Mass actually used with success by FRATER PERDURABO in His attainment. This has been written down by Himself in "Liber Samekh". But they have published such accounts as those in "The Temple of Solomon the King" and in "John St. John.")
Then there is "John St. John", the 13 day ceremony, which I have trouble dating, but is 1908 or 1909?
When/where does Liber 418 fit into this? The Syllabus doesn't mention the KCHGA when describing it, but of course there is the above regarding the 8th Aethyr. There is this also: ABA pg 400 (following the passage about his KCHGA):
"We have finished all that is necessary to say concerning him, for the account of some of his further Attainment is given fully in Liber 418, The Vision and the Voice, also in Equinox I(10) "The Temple of Solomon the King," where the unexpected result of Communion of the Holy Guardian Angel is shown in a symbolism which can hardly be understood without reference to the events of 1904, which are now wholly pertinent to this Essay."
Interesting that Shiva mentions that "John St. John" came after Crowley's 8=3, as One Star in Sight has this: "Adeptus (Exemptus). Completes in perfection all these matters. He then either (a) becomes a brother of the Left Hand Path or, (b) is stripped of all his attainments and of himself as well, even of his Holy Guardian Angel, and becomes a Babe of the Abyss, who, having transcended the Reason, does nothing but grow in the womb of its Mother. It then finds itself a Magister Templi."
Whatever that means, something that's especially meaningful to me, presently, about Crowley is that he tested his results - he forsook (that's right) the "plateau" and continued pressing the Work. He didn't say, 'well, that worked, good enough...' and rest on his laurels, he kept at it, reproducing results and pushing for confirmation - ever the skeptic!
In life love liberty light,
I cannot find the date in the Encyclopedia Thelemica Timeline or elsewhere, I was under the impression that St John came after the 30 aethyrs, but that may not be correct - in which case my 8=3 comment is null and void.
JSJ was a few years before the V&V working. Crowley attained K&C while walking across China in 1906 using Liber Samekh astrally...
Yes, I saw the China trip while researching. So the question remains, when was JSJ actually performed? Before or after China '06?
"So late as October 1908, I was carrying out a Retirement (see "John St. John"), and invoking my Holy Guardian Angel, without any reference to The Book of the Law. "
Confessions, 1969 p541
Thus, I stand corrected in the 8=3 statement.
This means that he had already connected with his HGA (China '06) way before the St John retirement. So it was a repeat performance with a slightly different modus operandi.
Anyway, it indicates that he did contact the Angel (more than once) and that "V," who initiated this thread, need not be discouraged. Just remember the "time lag" factor. We might also include the Cairo working, wherein he didn't call his Angel, but the Angel called him; what's the difference on a two-way street?
Thanks for the clarification OK!
The "time lag" factor: that reminds me of something surprising I found in ABA. It's on page 525, in the comments on Liber Samekh. "But the results of the Ritual are too various to permit of rigid description. One may say that, presuming the union to be perfect, the Adept need not retain any memory soever of what has occurred. He may be merely aware of a gap in his conscious life, and judge of its contents by observing that his nature has been subtly transfigured. Such an experience might indeed be the proof of perfection."
So also remember "memory lag"!
I don't see why you need to correct your statement about 8=3. True Liber 418 was after John St John, but Crowley became a Babe of the Abyss walking across China, he wasn't going for 5=6 at that time. His reason for performing the Abramelin Operation as a Babe of the Abyss is indicated in Liber 474:
"It may end in real insanity, which concludes the activities of the Adept during this present life, or by his rebirth into his own body and mind with the simplicity of a little child.
And then shall he find all his faculties unimpaired, yet cleansed in a manner ineffable.
And he shall recall the simplicity of the Task of the Adeptus Minor, and apply himself thereto with fresh energy in a more direct manner.
And in his great weakness it may be that for awhile the new Will and Aspiration are not puissant, yet being undisturbed by those dead weeds of doubt and reason which he hath uprooted, they grow imperceptibly and easily like a flower.
And with the reappearance of the Holy Guardian Angel he may be granted the highest attainments, and be truly fitted for the full experience of the destruction of the Universe. And by the Universe We mean not that petty Universe which the mind of man can conceive, but that which is revealed to his soul in the Samadhi of Atmadarshana."
The best and most complete instructions on doing a 'classic' working of the Abramelin is found in Georg Dehn's edition, published by Ibis Press. And the editor is not only an excellent analyst of manuscripts, but is also a serious longterm practitioner himself.
There's always that factor to consider when assessing the subtler aspects of "higher union."
And maybe even in mundane life: "Happiness is a long life and a short memory."
Add that one to the list of things to remember.
Umm, what was it you just said?
I am reminded of (remembering) something Frater Aquarius [Ray Burlingame] used to frequently say: "A lot of people die as the result of an initiation."
Well, they usually die because of some identifiable cause, like overdose [Frater Christopher], explosion [Jack Parsons]. assassination [Jack Parsons?] [see also: http://mystic-history.angelfire.com/15a-PL.ht m"> http://mystic-history.angelfire.com/15a-PL.htm ], suicide [Norman Mudd, Soror Sekhmet], drinking bad water [Raoul Loveday], etcetera ... but the initiating, metaphysical cause is often linked to claiming a higher grade [like Magister Templi], defying the Guru [and thus, in a way, defying one's own Angel or "higher self"], and, of course, performing a malevolent, black operation wherein the evil current (demon?) fails in its intended purpose and recoils back upon the sorcerer [he probably forgot to use a suitable "link" or tried to magically kill the Master Therion].
"He that riseth up against thee shall be thrown down, though thou raise not so much as thy little finger against him. And he that speaketh evil against thee shall be put to shame, though thy lips utter not the littlest syllable against him. And he that thinketh evil concerning thee shall be confounded in his thought, although in thy mind arise not the least thought of him. And they shall be brought unto subjection unto thee, and serve thee, though thou willest it not." - from THE CRY OF THE 1ST AETHYR, WHICH IS CALLED LIL - Liber 418.
In terms of crossing the Abyss, there are a couple of principles that seem to be generally unknown, or are otherwise often misunderstood:
(A) He who would accomplish the Great Work must climb the mountain twice, once by day (Magical) and once by night (mystical), and the second time he must bring someone with him. In Crowley's case, Victor Neuberg was dragged along.
(B) Even as Perdurabo indicated (somewhere) in Liber 418: One must cross the Abyss twice – The first time with assistance, the second time in full consciousness.
Along this dark and dreary line, claiming a higher grade [like Magister Templi], is a possibility to which one can always resort. It's pretty simple: Anyone can claim anything; but in reference to the supernal grades, the Universe (or some part of it) responds by granting that level of consciousness; and if the magician's vehicle has not been properly prepared, the result is insanity or death - or at least a case of severe, never-ending, chronic diarrhea.
As Martin P. Starr once said to me, "Or they didn't have any idea what they were doing and the claim is absolutely meaningless." (Or words to that effect). So there's always that to remember. Are you keeping a list of these things that need to be remembered?
We all know what One Star in Sight says: "Any neophyte of the Order (or, as some say, any person soever) possesses the right to claim the Grade of Master of the Temple by taking the Oath of the Grade. It is hardly necessary to observe that to do so is the most sublime and awful responsibility which it is possible to assume, and an unworthy person who does so incurs the most terrific penalties by his presumption."
After a contact with Frater Achad, somewhere around 1939, a member of Agape Lodge wrote to other members, saying: "He is now a case of being medico-legally insane."
Such dreadful examples are often related to initiates who, upon emotional impulse or under egoic influence, claim a supernal grade while officially only a Neophyte or a Zelator. Skipping the intervening grades (sephira) allows the lightning flash to descend upon an unprepared vehicle. There's a lot of wisdom involved in "climbing the ladder one rung at a time," making certain that every detail is properly equilibrated at one sephiroth before moving on to the next level.
Crowley suggested that a "fast way" to tread the path is simply to take The Oath of the Abyss and then live your life in accordance with that promise ("Everything I am and everything I have is the property of The Great White Brotherhood - forever!") - stated in Magick without Tears if my memory is correct.
Of course, one might have attained that higher level of consciousness in a previous existence, or one might be the chosen vehicle of some avatar, and one simply stands firm, declares his or her status, opens up his or her "ashram," and everything goes just peachy thereafter.
We could say that "Ye shall know them by their ability to claim the grade and continue to live in (relative) sanity thereafter."
Say, does this fit in with the current thread! John St John is a classic example of applying ones self "with fresh energy in a more direct manner."
I truly need a copy of Dehn's 'Sacred Magic of Abramelin' as clearly Mather's truly estimable work, is however, unfortunately inadequate.
Makes you wonder if all of the famously bad reputation of Abramelin Working is down to the basic fact that people have been using incomplete magical squares !? And despite all of the bad-mouthing that AC directed at MacGregor M, he never appears to have doubted his occult scholarship...
AC famously commenced the Abramelin Invocation of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel at Boleskine, and equally famously became side-tracked. His casual use of the Bornless Invocation in the King's Chamber of the Great Pyramid (as any casual tourist would do, given the hindsight), could well be construed as an essential step of progress in the Operation. Cairo Working and all that. Still lots of questions here though, when I'm being deeply analytical about it... what about the use of the Eleven-pointed Star, for example?
According to the 'Confessions', the HGA Operation was concluded in the trek across China, and given the fact that he was doing it on horseback, assback or whatever, it must have been a divinely heaven-sent opportunity: what better thing to focus the mind of the magician than excruciating boredom?
Speaking of excruciating boredom, did someone mention William Bloom ?
Jesus, I hate it when a plan comes together.
It worked for me!
Owner and Editor
On October 6th of 2005 after about 3 months of daily solar chi meditation/planetary work,and prayer/invocation loosely based on the Abremelin Operation. I never could get past the vibrations where it becomes overwhelming (Trying to astral project at a young age)- I was laying in bed between sleeping an waking around 2:00 a.m. when I realized couldn't breathe,and it felt like something was choking me-my heart raced-> I then blanked out an I was falling into nothingness/voidness with creepy Chamber music playing-then the sound of fast moving paper like a printing press or shuffling cards-Instantly I was in my apartment looking around the room in a body of light (reminds me of Alex Grey's paintings only moving). I looked at my hands and was in a state of disbelief of the impossibility- I saw the covers over my body in the bed,my guitar,and then decided to start floating up- I entered a 'plane' with houses an a few grey/silvery cats walking around- came to a pyramid/house with a old lady sweeping outside telling me I wasn't ready to go in- she conveyed this to me without really speaking,and I decided to push onward into the Pyramid. I entered,and the Art on the walls reminded me of my brother's early abstract/psychedelic Artwork only it was moving fluidly-The music was beautiful like nothing I'd ever heard-I was greeted by a entity that resembled my brother only a lot older-he seemed anciently 60-70 yrs old with shining robes. He conveyed to me many things involving Life equaling Art,and how Ceremony/Ritual/Synchronicity were important aspects of the psyche that were woven together like a labyrinth of spiritual expression. He then told me his name which he conveyed was also mine-The name kept echoing as I awoke with a huge gasp in my bed back in the apartment-looked over at the clock an it was 2:34 a.m.-(the gasp awoke my girlfriend) at the time an when she turned on the light when we both saw my body was purple & green from lack of oxygen with all the veins showing-being extremely exhausted walking to the bathroom to look in the mirror,and I looked like I had been dead. I was breathing pretty hard as the 😯 color in my skin was slowly coming back she insisted on calling an ambulance and I told her I'd be fine. I dropped back into bed,and instantly fell back asleep when I landed on the bed. In the morning I woke up having partially released my bowels in the bed,and a white powder excreted out of my forehead that fell to the floor when I noticed it standing up. My girlfriend at the time was already up in the kitchen as I said "I shit the bed!!"-She thought I was joking as I continued she walked in as I said "an what's all this white sparkly stuff" as I tasted it an it was really salty-she picked up the sheet an said she'd clean it an begun vacuuming all the forehead excretion. I felt like I had missed something very important that was conveyed to me in the Pyramid/House an became quite paranoid for part of the day...thinking "I can't remember what he said". I later realized through a repeat performance a few years later that it was my higher self/alien counterpart/ancient ascended master that had come to me.