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Musings on a Ritual of the Enterer in the Aeon of Horus  

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 Anonymous
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16/02/2011 9:40 pm  

I have been preparing a Ritual of the Enterer based upon my tenuous grasp of The Formula of the Aeon of Horus and upon Crowley's chapter on the Formula of the Neophyte in Magick in Theory and Practice.
In applying this Golden Dawn formula to New Aeon conceptions, I've run into a number of points that I have found to be immediately satisfactory, while on the other hand I'am confused and bewildered on some points.
WHen considering the Principle god forms of the Neophyte ritual, especially keeping the three Principles of Alchemy in mind, the attribution of Horus to the Throne of teh East and Osiris to the Throne of the West becomes immediately satisfactory. So much so that the supposed "old Aeon" attribution makes little sense, and I admit I never fully understood it, in fact, it seems to me that for the most part the Formula of the Aeon of Osiris was largely misunderstood throughout most of that Aeon, and when one truly comprehends its inner meaning, which seems to have been comprehended only by initiates who kept a very close guard on the formula. Myself, when I look at the inner meaning of the Aeon of Osiris, when the illusion of "catastrophe" is swept aside, the Formula appears to be little different to that of what I currently understand the Formula of the Aeon of Horus to be. But to continue...
Attributing the god form of Horus to that of Alchemical Salt and the has never made any sense to me whatsoever, likewise attributing the god form of Osiris to Sulphur and the spirit has made less sense, but when the attributions are switched, it all seems to fall into place, the identity of Osiris with the Prima Materia and the black silt of the Nile delta "Osirs is a black god."
So that modification to the original ceremony is a simple one.
But another point I have pondered is the role of Maat or Themis as the alchemical Mercury, the Soul, or the guiding aspiration. This makes sense so much as her station in the Temple, between the Pillars, but I have considered that the attribution would be just as if not more suitable to the god form of Isis, especially when the ceremony is handled as a solo operation instead of a Lodge ceremony, without the stations of Stolistes and Dadouches which represent forms of Maat/Themis. As the "mediator between Light and Darkness" or between the place of Horus and Osiris, between body and spirit, and as the aspiration it seems that Isis makes for a more than apt attribution without departing from the essential symbolism all that much.
Any way, thats all I have for now. Thoughts? Suggestions? Suggested reading?


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amadan-De
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16/02/2011 11:14 pm  

I like this. It has an intuitive simplicity that makes it ring true.

Even only considering their mythic biographies it's obvious that Isis falls 'between' Osiris and Horus - with all the meanings of between. After all she takes something of Osiris (Osiris as 'dead matter' even) and from it generates Horus - quite Mercurial.

I think it was Lewis Spence who said something along the lines of 'myth is a blueprint for ritual' (I paraphrase) and I find that reversing this to test the narrative strength of a ritual (newly minted or traditional) is often a useful exercise. If a ritual tells a story that is incoherent what result is likely? 😉


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mika
 mika
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17/02/2011 12:25 am  
"AEternitas" wrote:
But another point I have pondered is the role of Maat or Themis as the alchemical Mercury, the Soul, or the guiding aspiration. This makes sense so much as her station in the Temple, between the Pillars, but I have considered that the attribution would be just as if not more suitable to the god form of Isis, especially when the ceremony is handled as a solo operation instead of a Lodge ceremony, without the stations of Stolistes and Dadouches which represent forms of Maat/Themis. As the "mediator between Light and Darkness" or between the place of Horus and Osiris, between body and spirit, and as the aspiration it seems that Isis makes for a more than apt attribution without departing from the essential symbolism all that much.
Any way, thats all I have for now. Thoughts? Suggestions? Suggested reading?

Very interesting variations.

One little glitch that I see is this: Isis, particularly when placed in a Thelemic 'triune forumla' with Osiris and Horus, sits squarely in the role of Mother. This departs from the essential alchemical symbolism in that Mercury is a psychopomp - not merely the mediator between Light and Darkness, but between life and death (or Life and Death), the worlds of the living and the dead. Maat reflects this role, Isis does not.

If you used the combination of Isis/Nepthys to represent Mercury, you wouldn't completely lose that aspect of the alchemical symbolism, though personally I still think Maat works better.

"amadan-De" wrote:
After all she [Isis] takes something of Osiris (Osiris as 'dead matter' even) and from it generates Horus - quite Mercurial.

How is that Mercurial? Mercury is hermaphroditic, non-sexual in general, but particularly non-procreative. Generation of life requires 1)a fertile female form, and 2)a static form, neither of which can be considered Mercurial.


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amadan-De
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17/02/2011 12:37 pm  
"mika" wrote:
How is that Mercurial? Mercury is hermaphroditic, non-sexual in general, but particularly non-procreative. Generation of life requires 1)a fertile female form, and 2)a static form, neither of which can be considered Mercurial.

I was thinking more of the transformative function. Mercury in alchemy is (often but perhaps not only) considered to symbolise certain functions while at the same time containing them all. I can see how that relates to the very surface analogy I was making.

Mercury the God (or god-form if you prefer) is considerably more than just a psycho-pomp (or perhaps you have trouble with undead theives and merchants...) although the psycho-pomp role if seen as being a 'guide of souls' is applicable when the soul concerned is being guided into life as much as out of. Mercury a hermaphrodite? News to Larunda I'm sure. As the word suggests you might be thinking of a syncretic composite of Hermes and Aphrodite........

I tend not to restrict myself to only 'Thelemic' interpretation/definition - "There are more things in heaven and earth....than are dreamt of in your philosophy" and "the word of Sin is Restriction".

All that said, I'm sure you are right in your understanding.


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 Anonymous
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17/02/2011 2:59 pm  

i certainly intended Mercury the alchemical principle not Mercury the planet which i take to mean somewhat different concepts.


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 Anonymous
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17/02/2011 5:01 pm  

In Pyramidos Crowley has Thoth for Mercury. The chief 3 are then completed with Isis and Hoor-Apep, and Osiris appears as Asar-un-Nefer.


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mika
 mika
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22/02/2011 6:26 pm  
"amadan-De" wrote:
Mercury the God (or god-form if you prefer) is considerably more than just a psycho-pomp

True, however, the original question was specifically about replacing Maat with a different God or god-form. Maat travels between the worlds of the living and the dead, and in fact that particular role is critical to the operation in question, thus it is necessary for any replacement god-form to share the same function. Mercury shares that function, Isis does not.

"amadan-De" wrote:
Mercury a hermaphrodite? News to Larunda I'm sure. As the word suggests you might be thinking of a syncretic composite of Hermes and Aphrodite........

Yes, excuse me, apparently my writing was sloppy. Mercury the God is male. But Mercury the planetary attribution (or role, or the sephira Hod if you prefer) has both masculine and feminine aspects and can be considered either hermaphroditic or non-gendered depending on your perspective. Additionally, it is creative, not procreative. Thus it does not make sense to replace that role with a distinctly female Mother Goddess.

"amadan-De" wrote:
I tend not to restrict myself to only 'Thelemic' interpretation/definition

That's wonderful, and would be relevant if we weren't discussing Thelema in theory and practice. My understanding of the original question in this thread, and the purpose of Lashtal in general, is to investigate perspectives that are specifically Thelemic in nature.

"AEternitas" wrote:
i certainly intended Mercury the alchemical principle not Mercury the planet which i take to mean somewhat different concepts.

Thanks for the reminder! I got completely off track, thinking about the shared aspect between the two - mutability. (Which, again, Isis does not reflect).

Over the weekend, I shared your question with a friend who is much more knowledgable than I am about the GD and Crowley. We had a few very interesting conversations about this (thanks). He brought up a couple of questions/comments for me to pass on to you:
- Have you studied the GD Z documents relating to the Neophyte ritual?
- Even more important (in his opinion) is, have you studied the original Egyptian myths upon which the ritual was based?

His angle is, the central aspect of the ritual is the Egyptian myth of the weighing of the soul by Maat. So it is more important to understand and focus on that 'formula' than to worry about making sense of attributions (such as alchemical correspondences) added to the Egyptian symbolism later by the GD. He added that the GD interpretation of Egyptian symbolism is primarily based on Budge's work, but now there are better, more accurate scholarly works on Egyptian mythology that you can study, to go deeper into the symbolism of that particular ritual.

One other thing - he commented that he thinks it's odd to try to 'apply a Golden Dawn formula to New Aeon conceptions' since the GD generally considered Crowley's New Aeon work to be total hogwash. You are of course free to pursue any correspondences you'd like (and obviously it leads to interesting conversation), but I suppose just keep in mind that the GD model/magical path may be inherently contradictory to New Aeon perspectives. (Note that focusing on the heart of the ritual - the Egyptian myth upon which it is based - allows one to avoid getting caught up in any GD/New Aeon contradictions.)

I hope all this helps...


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amadan-De
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22/02/2011 7:54 pm  
"mika" wrote:
"amadan-De" wrote:
I tend not to restrict myself to only 'Thelemic' interpretation/definition

That's wonderful, and would be relevant if we weren't discussing Thelema in theory and practice. My understanding of the original question in this thread, and the purpose of Lashtal in general, is to investigate perspectives that are specifically Thelemic in nature.

Were we? I was giving my immediate and instinctive response to what AEternitas had posted, as a ritual not a 'Thelemic ritual'. Quite prepared for my opinion to be considered not strictly relevant if restricting perspectives to a certain 'closed-shop' of possibilities.

Ironically, you then go on to say (edited highlights below the break):

"mika" wrote:
Over the weekend, I shared your question with a friend.....(who)..brought up a couple of questions/comments for me to pass on to you:........... Even more important (in his opinion) is, have you studied the original Egyptian myths upon which the ritual was based?
His angle is, the central aspect of the ritual is the Egyptian myth of the weighing of the soul by Maat. So it is more important to understand and focus on that 'formula' than to worry about making sense of attributions (such as alchemical correspondences) added to the Egyptian symbolism later by the GD (or Crowley). He added that the GD interpretation of Egyptian symbolism is primarily based on Budge's work, but now there are better, more accurate scholarly works on Egyptian mythology that you can study, to go deeper into the symbolism of that particular ritual..........................(Note that focusing on the heart of the ritual - the (non-Thelemic) Egyptian myth upon which it is based - allows one to avoid getting caught up in any GD/New Aeon contradictions.)

(Emphases added)
I agree with what your friend said completely but I do hope that you told him off for introducing 'non-Thelemic' material for consideration. His criticism of the quality of Egyptology available for the GD to work with applies fully to the materials that AC used too - horribly out-of-date, and somehow I don't think that The Beast would have been content to rely on them if he was around today..merely my opinion.


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mika
 mika
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22/02/2011 9:22 pm  
"amadan-De" wrote:
"mika" wrote:
That's wonderful, and would be relevant if we weren't discussing Thelema in theory and practice. My understanding of the original question in this thread, and the purpose of Lashtal in general, is to investigate perspectives that are specifically Thelemic in nature.

Were we? I was giving my immediate and instinctive response to what AEternitas had posted, as a ritual not a 'Thelemic ritual'. Quite prepared for my opinion to be considered not strictly relevant if restricting perspectives to a certain 'closed-shop' of possibilities.

Ironically, you then go on to say (edited highlights below the break):

"mika" wrote:
Over the weekend, I shared your question with a friend [who] brought up a couple of questions/comments for me to pass on to you: ... Even more important (in his opinion) is, have you studied the original Egyptian myths upon which the ritual was based?
His angle is, the central aspect of the ritual is the Egyptian myth of the weighing of the soul by Maat. So it is more important to understand and focus on that 'formula' than to worry about making sense of attributions (such as alchemical correspondences) added to the Egyptian symbolism later by the GD (or Crowley). He added that the GD interpretation of Egyptian symbolism is primarily based on Budge's work, but now there are better, more accurate scholarly works on Egyptian mythology that you can study, to go deeper into the symbolism of that particular ritual... (Note that focusing on the heart of the ritual - the (non-Thelemic) Egyptian myth upon which it is based - allows one to avoid getting caught up in any GD/New Aeon contradictions.)

(Emphases [and words] added)

There is a very significant difference between delving into a tangential symbolic interpretation unrelated to the context of the original question, and delving deeper into the source material that forms the symbolic foundation of the question. So no, there was no irony in my comment at all.


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 Anonymous
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23/02/2011 3:55 am  
"mika" wrote:
Over the weekend, I shared your question with a friend who is much more knowledgable than I am about the GD and Crowley. We had a few very interesting conversations about this (thanks). He brought up a couple of questions/comments for me to pass on to you:
- Have you studied the GD Z documents relating to the Neophyte ritual?
- Even more important (in his opinion) is, have you studied the original Egyptian myths upon which the ritual was based?

I am familiar with the Z documents and have study them somewhat closely. Of course their are the paraphrased versions printed in the Equinox volume 1 number 2, the Stella Matutina versions printed in Regardie's "The Golden Dawn" and the supposedly original and most complete versions printed in Regardie's monsterous The Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic. Essential texts and very fascinating, but it should be noted that these documents weren't conceived and written until several years after the Order had been using the ceremony. The first Knowledge lecture of the Golden Dawn has a side lecture that goes with it upon the Pillars and it has a rather poetic paraphrase of the 17th and 125th chapters of The Book of Coming Forth by Day, as well I have the beautiful edition translated by Dr. Faulkner, which I highly recommend. I have found the Budge edition to be rather difficult to navigate, though i did enjoy it when it was what I had.

"mika" wrote:
His angle is, the central aspect of the ritual is the Egyptian myth of the weighing of the soul by Maat. So it is more important to understand and focus on that 'formula' than to worry about making sense of attributions (such as alchemical correspondences) added to the Egyptian symbolism later by the GD. He added that the GD interpretation of Egyptian symbolism is primarily based on Budge's work, but now there are better, more accurate scholarly works on Egyptian mythology that you can study, to go deeper into the symbolism of that particular ritual.

One other thing - he commented that he thinks it's odd to try to 'apply a Golden Dawn formula to New Aeon conceptions' since the GD generally considered Crowley's New Aeon work to be total hogwash. You are of course free to pursue any correspondences you'd like (and obviously it leads to interesting conversation), but I suppose just keep in mind that the GD model/magical path may be inherently contradictory to New Aeon perspectives. (Note that focusing on the heart of the ritual - the Egyptian myth upon which it is based - allows one to avoid getting caught up in any GD/New Aeon contradictions.)

I hope all this helps...

This is raises one of the essential points that I had on my mind, and that is does the Hall of Two Truths, the Hall of Maat apply to the New Aeon formula? In the original funerary rights, the deceased was identified with Osiris and His passage into the Hidden Land. What sense does this make if the principal god-form of the ritual, the god-form of the Hierophant throned in the East, is Horus? To me it would seem a much more fitting scenario would be the conception and birth of Horus. In a note appended by the editor (Frater T.S.) of the online edition of Liber DCCCLX, there is a note appended that attributes the Heirus to Hades and the Hegemon to Demeter, and in this mythological aspect, Death and Life, the two may correspond to Osiris and Isis.
As I'm sure we all know, Crowley was an initiate of the real, original Golden Dawn, and he himself found the Neophyte ceremony and its Formula to be extremely important, just as he did the 5=6 ceremony, even in the context of the New Aeon and everything that went along with it. He states in his Conffessions that the Neophyte ceremony of the GD prepared him for the Aeon of Horus and the reception of the Book of the Law. As noted, the thread was inspired by chapter six of Magick in Theory and Practice which deals very briefly yet very concisely with the Neophyte Formula (and suggests that reader make reference to the Z documents). This chapter corresponds to the VIth Atu of the Book of Thoth and in this card and its explanation give some of the essential keys to New Aeon Formula of the Neophyte ceremony, and in the Book of Thoth He states "In this symbol is therefore a complete glyph of the equilibrium necessary to begin the Great Work."

I have for now, decided not to go in this directiono and I am instead developing smething more along the lines of the original ceremony. I'm still following essentially what Crowley details so swiftly in Magick, but have simplified things somewhat by not utilizing the god-forms (for now). I'am at this point about half way through my rough draft of the ritual.

So far as the opinions of modern day organizations and corporations calling themselves "Golden Dawn" in regard to Crowley (and just about anything else) I could care less.

In my opinion the Golden Dawn material, if not per se Thelemic in and of itself, pertains to Crowley's cirriculum of techniques of "Scientific Illuminism."


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Proteus
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23/02/2011 4:55 am  

The Formula of the Neophyte "is to endow the inert and impotent with balanced motion in a given direction". It is the physical analog of a mathematical transformation; i.e., the transform of one's 'intent' (the scalar) to the Path (the vector).

Otherwise, the effectual repurposing of one's energies toward a true result; i,e., the illusory aim of 'effort' meaningfully redefined by pratyahara (AL, I, 44).

Or 'C, C, and C' - that works, too.

John


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mika
 mika
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24/02/2011 11:12 pm  
"AEternitas" wrote:
This is raises one of the essential points that I had on my mind, and that is does the Hall of Two Truths, the Hall of Maat apply to the New Aeon formula? In the original funerary rights, the deceased was identified with Osiris and His passage into the Hidden Land. What sense does this make if the principal god-form of the ritual, the god-form of the Hierophant throned in the East, is Horus? To me it would seem a much more fitting scenario would be the conception and birth of Horus.
...
This chapter corresponds to the VIth Atu of the Book of Thoth and in this card and its explanation give some of the essential keys to New Aeon Formula of the Neophyte ceremony, and in the Book of Thoth He states "In this symbol is therefore a complete glyph of the equilibrium necessary to begin the Great Work."

I know I cut a lot of the meaty topics from your post but the above is what I want to address with this bigger picture question:

Do you consider the "New Aeon" to be, let's call it, the environment in which we all currently exist and practice our work? As in, Crowley heralded in the New Aeon and here we are living in it. Or do you consider (as I do) the "New Aeon" to be a state that we arrive at as we progress along with our work? I'm generalizing, and perhaps there's a clearer way to present those two options, but I hope you understand the question. Clarifying this perspective directly relates to what you wrote above.

What I mean is, since I consider "the New Aeon" to be more like an internal state of consciousness than a description of the condition of our external universe, then there is no reason to "apply the Hall of Maat to the New Aeon formula", because they are not experienced simultaneously. First the Neophyte experiences initiation, then through his or her magical work the Neophyte experiences the change in awareness described as "the New Aeon". This idea is reflected in the quote you posted from the Book of Thoth. First the initiation (and equillibrium) is achieved, then the Great Work can begin, and the New Aeon is realized through the Great Work (my interpretation - I don't know if that statement can be supported with quotes from Crowley or whoever).

I understand changing some symbolism and god forms and whatnot so that rituals more closely reflect one's personal practice (while retaining their inherent meaning). I also understand creating entirely new rituals based on New Aeon symbolism. I just don't get converting rituals and symbolism that were developed before Crowley introduced the concept of the New Aeon into New Aeon symbolism. (eg, I do not use Crowley's variations to the Tree of Life in my qabalistic work, the previous hermetic magick symbolism makes more sense to me).

Anyway, it's a matter of personal preference, but also internal consistency. Rituals need to make sense on their own but also must fit in to the bigger context of one's path. Hence my question above about what the New Aeon means or is to you.

Good luck with your ritual and thanks for the thought provoking chat.


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 Anonymous
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25/02/2011 1:42 am  

I think if one is giong to accept the Book of the Law, then they should apply the formulas of the New Aeon. For those that do not, the formula of the Aeon of Osiris still presents a considerable attainment for the average man or woman. ANd then again for those who cannot for whatever reasons apply the initiatory Formula of Osiris for whatever reason, then its a much more simple affair to apply the techniques of the Aeon of Isis.
I suppose that a deeper understanding of the real meaning of the New Aeon is going to be a matter of initiation, certainly. But they could still apply the Formulas of the New Aeon from the get go.


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