symbols in Thelema
 
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symbols in Thelema


 Anonymous
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Hello I would like to know what the true meaning behind the symbol of the beast in thelema and for crowley.

1.What does the 666 exactly refer to (as opposed to the general mainstream sense)

2. Why did Crowley define himself as the great beast 666 then? what does this mean?

I understand that 666 (samael) refers to solar elements and 777 (lilith) to the lunar, so I´m not sure why he only adopts the 666. Isn`t the beast = baphomet (the union of all?)

Please correct me if I´m wrong thank you


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Shiva
(@shiva)
Not a Rajah
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"Void" wrote:
What does the 666 exactly refer to (as opposed to the general mainstream sense)?

The number 6 represents the sun. 111 is the "spiritual" [supernal] manifestation. 6 x 111 = 666 = The spiritual manifestation of the sun. As Crowley said, "You may call me little sunshine."

"Void" wrote:
Why did Crowley define himself as the great beast 666 then?

Because he was considered to be "naughty" as a child, it was his Mother who compared him to the Great Beast in Revelations. Later in childhood, he was tormented and punished by Christians (Schoolmates, teachers) in the name of Jesus. When he decided to rebel against the whole tribe, he easily adopted the image of Christianity's ultimate arch-foe: the Beast with 7 heads.

"Void" wrote:
... what does this mean?

"Explain this happening!"
"It must have a `natural' cause."
"It must have a `supernatural' cause."
Let these two asses be set to grind corn.
- The Book of Lies, Ch 45

It means he adopted, or identified with, or unleashed, the ultimate, dominant alpha male archetype, who is just one step removed from Hadit

"Void" wrote:
Isn`t the beast = baphomet (the union of all?)

The Beast is a level of Consciousness. It is associated with Chokmah, the Will. Baphomet is subject to much discussion, and there's no general consensus as to his derivation and attribution.

The Beast and the Grand Master Baphomet were two of Aleister's alter-egos, but they were not equated with each other either by AC or by anyone else that I know. The Beast 666 was a Magus in the A.'.A.'.. The Grand Master Baphomet was a tenth-degree King of OTO for English-speaking countries.

The Beast, as a level of primordial consciousness, is to be appreciated by those who are able to enter Chokmah, even temporarily.

The Grand Master Baphomet died and went to heaven, and nobody's calling himself, or herself, Baphomet these days. As a symbolic position, or an "on-demand" figurehead, I suppose somebody is available, but that's all throne room OTO stuff and not for publick forums.

The Goat-headed Baphomet, who can be the devil or the beast or your ego or your id, guards the path leading from the intellect (Hod) to the angel (Tiphereth). Holy cow, that means somehow this bogeyman is a part of piercing the veil of Paroketh (illusion).

The term, "the union of all," is reminiscent of definitions of Samadhi. "I Am All in All," is the motto of the spiritual realization of the universal hologram ... incarnated!

Crowley's adoption of these archetypal images as his alter-ego (s) is similar to the primitive shaman's adoption of a "power animal" or a "totem." The nature of such concepts is vast and worthy of launching a thousand threads.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 52 years ago
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Thansk for the answers. I just dont understand why the fememine side (lilith) lunar or 777 was included.

If the goal is to acomplish the union, then I assume that the femenine-lunar side must be acknowledged, why did Crowley only adopt the sun-male-666 only?

P.S why did christian then attibute the spiritual manifestation of the sun as their devil??


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 Anonymous
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"Void" wrote:
If the goal is to acomplish the union, then I assume that the femenine-lunar side must be acknowledged, why did Crowley only adopt the sun-male-666 only?

Because he was a guy.

P.S why did christian then attibute the spiritual manifestation of the sun as their devil??

They didn't. 666 was not "the spiritual manifestation of the sun" to the author of the book of revelation in the bible, which is where all the beast and 666 stuff comes from. Why the author(s) (and editors!) of that book wrote what they wrote is anyone's guess. Anyhow. Then we had two thousand years during which hermetic symbolism evolved, and Crowley adopted the symbol for the two fold reason that it was a) outrageous anathema to the hypocritical Christian society around him who all were conditioned (like him) by the book of revelation, and he wanted to nail his colours to the mast in no uncertain terms as diametrically opposed to everything they stood for; and b) it was the "major scale" of the number of the Sun -6- according to hermetic symbolism he'd learned from studying qabala, underscoring his desire to be the real good guy, after all.


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 Anonymous
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Thanks to both for your insightful answers.

Now, concerning thelema and Crowley was about the reaching true consciousness or union but, in union with or seperate?? What do you think..

I think this relates to left hand path (separate consciousness) and the other is consciousness in union. Does this matter at all, is there an actual difference, is is one more dangerous/beneficial than the other?

Separate/sole consicouss is the goal I have read..


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 Anonymous
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I don't know why you say "left hand path" is about separate consciousness. It's not, except as a means towards "union". Also, using the term in the ignorant 20th century "pop culture" way is unhelpful. It simply denotes a technical feature of certain Tantrik rites. Also the terms union and seperateness - there is really little distinction except in consciousness.

The basic premise of Thelema is that, above the abyss, "there is no difference"; the illusion of "separateness" appears so only below it, for the better articulation of ecstasy to itself:

"With the God & the Adorer I am nothing : they do not see me. They are as upon the earth ; I am Heaven, and there is no other God than me, and my lord Hadit."

"Since I am Infinite Space, and the Infinite Stars thereof, do ye also thus. Bind nothing ! Let there be no difference made among you between any one thing & any other thing ; for thereby there cometh hurt."

So "Heaven" = infinite space, ie. the universe we occupy (physical and otherwise - ie., consciousness itself), the only actual deity (there is no other god than ourselves, the manifested or "extended" child, Ra-Hoor-Khuit, as the result of the interplay of Nuit and Hadit). Hadit is the sense of individuated consciousness which experiences, or objectivises, itself to itself as Nuit, for the fun of the adventure. It's a big romp!

"O Nuit, continuous one of Heaven, let it ever be thus ; that men speak not of thee as One but as None ; and let them speak not of thee at all, since thou art continuous!"

"For I am divided for love’s sake, for the chance of union. This is the creation of the world, that the pain of division is as nothing, and the joy of dissolution all."

"The Perfect and the Perfect are one Perfect and not two ; nay, are none"

"Nothing is a secret key of this law."

"My prophet is a fool with his one, one, one ; are not they the Ox, and none by the Book?"

"Abrogate are all* rituals, all ordeals, all words and signs."

"If this be not aright ; if ye confound the space-marks, saying, They are one ; or saying, They are many ; if the ritual be not ever unto me : then expect the direful judgements of Ra-Hoor-Khuit"

It's strong medicine!

If you say you've "achieved separate consciousness", I understand this to mean that you somehow feel as though you have glimpsed a heightened sense of yourself in distinction to the rest of the universe, as a centre of consciousness. If this is so, it's not opposed to any of the above, I don't think, but just a requisite for better "dissolution". You can't dissolve things that are already dissolute. It's a type of "charge", I suppose, like in electricity.

_________
*note: "all"; not just those which existed up to April 1904, but all of them.


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 Anonymous
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I don't know why you say "left hand path" is about separate consciousness. It's not, except as a means towards "union".

This notion of "Left Hand Path=Retention of Ego" is something largely started by Aquino in his "Temple of Set" belief system and really doesn't fit into any historical frame of reference from Western Mainstream Occultism, unless one considers A.C.'s writings about "the Black Brothers" to be the same concept. This notion has been repeated by other writers (also either ToS members or influenced thereby) such as Stephen Flowers (vide 'Lords of the Left-Hand Path"). Rather than dissolving ego as one increases in "power," one retains and magnifies the self. Sounds pretty spiritually solipsistic to me....


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 Anonymous
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This notion of "Left Hand Path=Retention of Ego" is something largely started by Aquino in his "Temple of Set" belief system and really doesn't fit into any historical frame of reference from Western Mainstream Occultism, unless one considers A.C.'s writings about "the Black Brothers" to be the same concept.

Yes, it does seem that Aquino was parroting Crowley, who in turn was parroting Blavatsky (whom I believe was the first to use the term in this ignorant, "old aeon" sense). Crowley's knowledge of Tantra was very limited, and of course his mind was affected by his black/white moralistic Christian upbringing. No moralistic or ethical doctrine is intended by the original designation.

To the (admittedly meagre) best of my knowledge, the practise of "Left-Handed" Tantra (in which sense, and woman, may be used as a means for attainment), the Vama Marg, was demonised, historically, by practitioners of "Right-Handed" Tantra (Dakshina Marg), in which these things are eschewed.

There are co-incidental similarities in the Christian demonisation of the Left side of the body, reflected in the words "sinistra" and "sinistro" whence, from the original Latin, our terms "sinister" comes - with both meanings of "shifty" and "left of centre". Whether the prime source of the prejudice is identical, is up for debate.

"The term Vama Marg, despite Sir John Woodroffe's precise explanations, still lies under a cloud of misrepresentation generated by emotional reactions to ideas alien to Western thought. I do not expect to succeed where such an authority appears to have failed, but will say again that the expression Left-Hand Path is a technical term indicating the magical use of the sexual energies, sometimes with the help of female assistants (shaktis), as in the case of the Tantrics, and female companions (manjaris) in the case of the Sahajiyas. The Tantrics, especially those of the Kaula Sect, follow practices similar to those of certain African or Neo-African cults such as Voodoo and Obeah. But the assistance of women is not always implied, nor is it always used.

A system of spiritual culture which includes the sexual use of the female and which establishes an exalted ideal of reverence for the female principle as the Shakti, or power-aspect of the cosmos, is not the product of psychopaths, unless we posit the existence of an unbroken line of delinquents extending over untold centuries. Nor is the original African concept of sex in any way inferior to the highly evolved and complex formulae used by Alchemists or Rosicruclans in their Great Work of transforming the base metal of earthly passion into the pure gold of Spiritual Light. It is the bigotry of orthodox religionists and the purblind gropings of materialistic psychologists that reads a diseased expression of the primal creative urge into these systems." - Kenneth Grant, Aleister Crowley and the Hidden God.

"Maya-Sakti is that which seemingly makes the Whole (Purna) into the not whole (Apurna), the infinite into the finite, the formless into forms and the like. It is a power which thus cuts down, veils and negates. Negates what? Perfect consciousness. ... There is no difference between Siva as the possessor of power and Power as It is in Itself. The power of Consciousness is Consciousness in its active aspect.

Whilst, therefore, both Siva and Sakti are Consciousness, the former is the changeless static aspect of Consciousness, and Sakti is the kinetic, active aspect of the same Consciousness. ...

... In the universe there is always in and behind every form of activity a static background. The one Consciousness is polarized into static (Siva) and kinetic (Sakti) aspects for the purpose of "creation". This Yoga is the resolution of this duality (ie. Siva/Sakti - N.) into unity again." - Sir John Woodroffe, The Serpent Power

The Left-Hand Path emphasises the Shakti, or power-aspect of cosmos, which changes. The Right Hand Path emphasis is placed upon the static, changeless notion of Cosmos. Crowley, to me, demonstrated a relationship with both in his occult practise and thought, but perhaps uneasily.

In fact, it could be argued quite reasonably that, of the two paths, according to Crowley's definition of "Black Brother" as one who resists giving himself entirely to Babalon, preserves ego etc, that the Right Hand Path type, the goody-two-shoes, who insists on the static (as opposed to dynamic, or Thelemic 😀 ) aspect of Cosmos, is perhaps closer to his Black Brother concept that the other one.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 52 years ago
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Barring any hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia, One might recognize how we divide the Cube into Pyramids with the "measure of the fish"...

...and that bringing the pieces back together may just be a question of proper tuning...

...and a Trick of the EYE
http://spectraleyes.com/gallery/artworx/baphomet1_3D_web


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 Anonymous
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"Noctifer" wrote:
I don't know why you say "left hand path" is about separate consciousness. It's not, except as a means towards "union". Also, using the term in the ignorant 20th century "pop culture" way is unhelpful. It simply denotes a technical feature of certain Tantrik rites. Also the terms union and seperateness - there is really little distinction except in consciousness.

I have always thought that the left hand implied the dynamic and thus, seeking a separate consciousness from the universe: as in the Qlippoth when thaumiel is reached you enter "universe B" i.e new creation,your consiciousness is on its own...

You also mentioned "heaven" as the creation etc.....did crowley or thelem ever mention what the symbols of "heaven" and "hell" and "god" and "the adversary" are?? from athlemic point of view of course.


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 Anonymous
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I think you need to read Crowley's writings for yourself.

In short, "Heaven" (whatever you may mean by that!) is symbolised by Nuit; "god" is humanity or "the Child"; and "the adversary" if there is one, is symbolised by Chroronzon, the spirit of the entropic dispersal of concentration of mental/spiritual/inspirational energy, or "distraction" from Thelema. Choronzon is not mentioned in Liber Al. That's Crowley's use, other writers may use the term differently. Hell doesn't feature, really.

You'll get more out of it if you don't try to squeeze it into boxes which come from other traditions.


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 Anonymous
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Void, to address your question #2 in the original post, "2. Why did Crowley define himself as the great beast 666 then? what does this mean?"

"Beast" is an English translation of the Greek word "therion". In Greek, "The Great Beast" is "To Mega Therion", another title by which Crolwey is commonly known.

In the Book of Revelation, therion is contrasted with arnion, "lamb". "Wild beast" is one meaning for therion and another, which is implied, is "a dangerous animal". I believe this is the main reason Crowley adopted the name; he wanted to be perceived as dangerous, especially to the "lambs". 666 just went with the territory.


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 Anonymous
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I know thta Niut and Hadit are speakers in the Book of the Law, and the interplay is Ra-Hoor-Khuit. What would be the simlpest way to understand what these "entities" are. Are they projectiones of the self?? the male and female sides of the self?? confused. and the child, is the union...


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 Anonymous
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Nuit and Hadit can be "understood" and experienced by the study and performance of Liber Nu sub figura XI and Liber Had sub figura DLV. No mere "explanation" will do the trick. Confusion is fine, because the subject is a Mystery and does not yield to "interpretation" on a rational level, but intuition and experience. Experience and meditation and perhaps ongoing study of the exegesis of Crowley's superb writings on this particular subject may perhaps develop a relationship for you with these things which is less so.


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gurugeorge
(@gurugeorge)
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One very simple way of looking at it: the "great beast" is just man, mankind. A beast that's been touched by God.

Where does shame come from? Animals feel no shame, but the great animal does, because there's some "spark" of something more than mere animal life in him.

Religions, being very aware of the "spark" of the divine, tend to downplay the animal side of us; one point of what Crowley was doing was to return to a more inclusive sense of us as animals, warts and all (with our peculiar bodily fluids, our disgusting sex drives, our territoriality, aggression, stupidity), who are also aware of our divinity. Let us be kind to the animal part of ourselves, and not shun it (even while we are fully aware of its "baseness", in a spiritual sense).

(Of course animals, as everything else, are already divine - but we are the Great Beast because we can know it. That's our peculiar dignity. Maybe there are other "beasts" elsewhere in the universe with the same dignity - "aliens" - but for now, we are as close to top dog on this world as there is.)


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 Anonymous
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[Philosophical digression]

"gurugeorge" wrote:
Animals feel no shame

Hello Gurugeorge, how do you know this?

Have you asked any? (of course not, my point being that the inability for you to do so demonstrates an equal inability to make the assertion in the first place - rather than proving any absence of the given quality or feeling in the animal.).

I think animals are far more complex beings than they are often given credit for.

our disgusting sex drives

Doubt not my sincerity when I say that I have looked high and low and been unable to find anything at all disgusting about the sex drives of either myself or of any of my partners.

That's our peculiar dignity.

best regards
N.


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gurugeorge
(@gurugeorge)
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"Noctifer" wrote:
[Philosophical digression]

"gurugeorge" wrote:
Animals feel no shame

Hello Gurugeorge, how do you know this?

Have you asked any? (of course not, my point being that the inability for you to do so demonstrates an equal inability to make the assertion in the first place - rather than proving any absence of the given quality or feeling in the animal.).

I think animals are far more complex beings than they are often given credit for.

Sure, sometimes people underestimate their sophistication; but they're not nearly as complex as we are.

As to "how do I know?" - well, the whole point is, we are animals too. We have evolved exquisitely fine-tuned body language by which we give away (or hide) our emotions from each other, quite without any speaking. That "language" we share with the animals (at least the higher mammals). In my opinion, as I ken animals, they feel no shame - sometimes they may be embarrassed (like when you catch them pooping or having sex sometimes), but I don't see them being ashamed.

our disgusting sex drives

Doubt not my sincerity when I say that I have looked high and low and been unable to find anything at all disgusting about the sex drives of either myself or of any of my partners.

Well bully for you! Crowley was obviously of another mind though. Have you ever read Leah Sublime? (And lots of other of his poems that mention the revoltingness of matters sexual, and generally human, for that matter ... )

It's no use covering over it with a brave face, the point is to face it and at the same time see its beauty. Remember Crowley's discussion of the carcass painted by Rembrandt?

But partly it depends on one's mood, I guess. When you're on heat, you don't see it. It's only when you sometimes reflect on it. But maybe you're special and wonderful and never have such thoughts and I'm a really bad person for having them 😉


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Walterfive
(@walterfive)
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"Void" wrote:
I know thta Niut and Hadit are speakers in the Book of the Law, and the interplay is Ra-Hoor-Khuit. What would be the simlpest way to understand what these "entities" are.

This I can answer: Nuit, the Continuous One of Heaven is a circle.
Hadit is a point, the Secret Center of the Universe.
Placing the point in the center of the circle, we have the symbol for Ra Hoor Khuit-- the symbol of the Sun.

"Void" wrote:
Are they projectiones of the self??

In as much as, per Liber Oz, "There is no god but man" they are *all* projections of the self. It may help to view these "deities" as anthropomorphizations of natural forces already present in the universe, and seeing Babalon and The Beast as the creative and generative forces of Chaos.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 52 years ago
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"Walterfive" wrote:
"Void" wrote:
I know thta Niut and Hadit are speakers in the Book of the Law, and the interplay is Ra-Hoor-Khuit. What would be the simlpest way to understand what these "entities" are.

This I can answer: Nuit, the Continuous One of Heaven is a circle.
Hadit is a point, the Secret Center of the Universe.
Placing the point in the center of the circle, we have the symbol for Ra Hoor Khuit-- the symbol of the Sun.

"Void" wrote:
Are they projectiones of the self??

In as much as, per Liber Oz, "There is no god but man" they are *all* projections of the self. It may help to view these "deities" as anthropomorphizations of natural forces already present in the universe, and seeing Babalon and The Beast as the creative and generative forces of Chaos.

Good thing you mentioned that Walter, because thes symbols can be paralle to other in different traditions: for example

666+777
Samael motivated by Lilith
Ahriman driven by Az (Jeh)
Kali and Shiva, etc.
Nuit and Hadit?

The union of both beget Cain (as in the Witchcraft tradition in the Luciferian path) and Baphomet, the Father of Understand, in Cabala it is Chioa (The Beast).
?


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