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Πέμπτη, 18 Οκτωβρίου 2012

A Treatise on Elemental Magic

An essay concerning the elements as the first step in Hermetic Magic
Preliminary Remarks
Introduction
If you are a regular reader of my articles then you may have seen where, in my
article entitled “The First Steps,” I proposed the study of elemental magic to begin.
Wherein was my fault? That I provided an idea, and not a guiding light. It is with this
article that I hope to remedy the aforementioned problem and provide the aspirant with a
fitting and complete guide to elemental magic, so far as he is capable of understanding it
at that level. In theory this article is complete, containing an appropriate degree of my
total knowledge concerning the elements and their natures. In retrospect, I have here
only provided very basic techniques to be thrown in where appropriate for the cultivation
of the magician in the elemental grade.
The studious magician shall find amongst the theories of this paper many valuable
propositions, and with his own wit and cultivated mind shall infer by what means it may
all be applied to practice. In this facet I have provided what exercises would be
necessary to serve as cornerstones to be built upon, and not a single exercise which I have
myself not practiced and found valuable above all others. What you shall see here is the
gold I have labored to deduce from ore, presented in a whole body as a single stone
which you may examine and hold. If the words of Agrippa were archaic to you, the
fluids of Bardon hard to understand, the writings of Pernety allusive, the instructions of
Levi riddled in difficult Qaballistic veils, and if the alchemical propositions of Paracelsus
startled you I believe you may find precisely the sought-for information here in as clean
and direct a way as my own intellect shall allow. It is with no small amount of effort that
I have undertook to reconcile the instructions of all the aforementioned(and many more)
in the present work, so that upon reading this paper one may indeed come to understand
the writings of many others concerning the elements. With any luck this paper shall be a
key by which means one may better identify the wisdom of the esoteric texts, whom have
almost all spoken of the elemental initiation, though some were indeed obscure in their
language.
In all true hermetic circles, from self-initiation to the first grade of the Golden
Dawn, the elemental initiations are always the first handled. There are numerous studies
far and wide, each one quite perfectly capable of being efficient without any kind of
elemental experience. Yet, in spite of all of this, the grades of Zelator through
Philosophicus , Malkuth to Netzach, the primary explanations of each ascending grade
corresponds to one of the elements. Why is this? When there are so many wide and
varied systems, why is such emphasis placed on elemental knowledge? Pernety sums it
up quite well when he says:
“Hermetism begins with the study of the operations of Nature,
and ends with the knowledge of the Divine Principle.”
The human specimen is composed of the four primordial elements in an
analogous manner. When this similitude is understood one may understand the
reflections of “Within and without; Above and below.” It is by the knowledge of
elemental magic, which is the sum total of the operations of nature, one may learn via
certain observations the celestial movements, or that which is called the Divine Principle.
Within all of nature there are pieces of this ultimatum; the seminal seeds of life exist
within this First Cause, and by her children so may the Universal Soul be understood.
“Like father, like son” is the mechanism and mode of this, the natural magic. Essentially,
that which is in God is also to be found within us; this shall be elaborated in the section
concerning the microcosm.
In times since passed this was referred to as the “Natural Science,” and this was a
most perfect explanation of these functions. It is indeed natural in that all are open to
learn about it, and that it is innately present in nature. These forces exist with or without
the interference of man, and of all the things of nature, they are likely the least tempered
with. However, there is another demeanor with which we should focus ourselves, and it
is that this is very much a science. There are certain practical and proven ways to
accomplish certain desires, and a few of these I will hope to give or at least hint at within
the present work.
Let is be known and firmly established within the mind of the aspirant that this is
indeed a natural thing, and there is nothing constitutionally strange, special or
“magical”(in the common sense of the word) about it; there is certainly nothing
miraculous about the feats that may be accomplished by these practices. The vulgar look
upon the works of the elemental magician and eagerly proclaim one of two things:
“miracle” or “devil’s work.” Magic, of itself, is neither of these, and the magician is able
to explain by what natural means he was able to accomplish his task in such a manner
that, with complimenting practice, any other mentally-standard individual could do the
same.
Mysticism aside for a moment, we are treating of the elemental art most
importantly due to its practicality and observable application. We may study the nature
of the gods, the stars, the planets and the angels, and yet may only accumulate spiritual
evolution; to some such as myself the aforementioned is more than adequate, as it is what
we seek. To others, however, they wish the effects to be externally produced as opposed
to internally nurtured. The beauty of elemental magic is that it may do either or both
according to the magician’s will. It provides a system of transcendent cultivation and
practical magic in union or apart.
I would like to point out that I rather consistently make use of the term “God.” If
you are offended by this, then grow up. My sole purpose for using this term is as such: it
is a three letter word, and one which essentially sums up that concept to which I often
point in reference. I could use Wilson’s “Faculty X,” the Hindi “Brahma,” Augustine’s
“Illuminating Light,” the Native American “Orenda,” the Shinto “O’Kami,” the
alchemist’s “Primum Modile,” or any other bothersome presentation. The term “God”
has been chosen because it is one which is of common understanding in definition
amongst the masses, and because it is only three letters long. I would wager that most of
the above names of this force were not even known to the reader until now, though I
would equally bet that every reader at this point has some understanding of what “God”
makes reference to. Semantics concerning such things are only detrimental and shall thus
be ignored.
While my readers will ultimately judge the value of this treatise on elemental
magic, I will leave you with this much of my own thought: I believe that this compilation
has the potential to be one of the first well-written subjects on practical elemental magic
to be found in one place. Until the present date I have not seen any suitable essay, article
or book dealing with this matter, and so I have set out to remedy this; I believe that with
this essay I indeed have. In the words of Regardie, “My work is now done.”
The Synthesis: Hermetic and Elemental Magic
It should be known first and foremost to the aspiring reader of this potentially
lengthy essay that the author is a follower of the hermetic tradition, and therein this paper
will likely be stacked high with characteristics, properties and theorems that the lay-man
may care little for. If the psychological and consequently magical associations of the
elements bother you to an unendurable degree then it is just as easy for you to cease
reading this, as this paper shall be of little use in your hands. If, however, you wish to
investigate the potential occult virtues of the elements as they have been studied for
centuries, I invite you to read on. Regardless, I would hope that there is at least
something of value in here for any reader, new-age or archaic; ceremonial or direct.
I will not, by any means, reveal the exact methods by which the various
miraculous feats attributed to elemental magic have been oft accomplished in the past.
Not only would this process be altogether time consuming, but it would also infringe
upon the development of your own intuition and dampen the fervor which this path
demands. None the less I shall provide certain practicalities, such as the harmonizing of
the elements within the magician, the expression and externalization of the elemental
qualities, the interaction with and creation of elemental spirits, and a few instructions for
manifesting comparatively small but infinitely faith-strengthening feats(such as fire
manipulation, calling the wind, etc). The higher knowledge, such as by what means the
magician may refine an element to its purest existence, is left to the study and pursuit of
the reader.
What you are about to read is indeed a synthesis in which the beliefs of Heinrich
Cornellius, Aleister Crowley, Franz Bardon, Eliphas Levi, Hermes Trismegistus, Dom
Antoine-Joseph Pernety, Valentinus the Benedictine, Paracelsus, Trithemius and so many
other great authors of the occult are brought together to be expressed as a single unit:
Elemental magic. It bears mentioning early on that elemental magic is my largest field of
both study and practice, and such is to explain the potential length of this essay. Having
written pieces of it here and there over the course of the last year it is only after great
reflection that I have decided to publish this work. I hope that all with open minds can
come together to enjoy its contents, and perhaps be enlightened a little thereof.
Hermetic Ideology
The Fundamental Theory: Man as Microcosm
There is a certain belief that the reader must contemplate and try his best to
understand before the reasoning behind the rest of this essay is both revealed and
understood. This conjecture is eminently that the human being is his own microcosm, or
“small universe.” Likewise his own existence as a small universe is reflected in the
ethers of the macrocosm, or his environment in sum. This fact, however, is only known
to the magician and only via magic can the realities of this hermetic law be brought about
to cause change in the outer world.
While the root of this idea is somewhat controversial, it would in all reasoning be
draw to the age-old concept of “As Above So Below.” If you truly thought that this idea
applied only to hermetic science then you are not very well versed in Medieval literature
or the writings of the saints. The idea that all organization on Earth reflects a parallel but
higher level of organization in Heaven and in Hell has been proposed in the western
world as early back as Dante or even Plato. In the land of Egypt this is traced back to
wherever that ancient religion may have found its beginning.
The mechanics of this belief essentially exist in the philosophies of Universal
Love and Duality(“Love” here not referring to the conventional sense of the word, but to
the principle of attractive forces). In respect to the proper religious backgrounds it is said
that we are all the reflections of God, for it was written in the Torah “and He crafted man
to be alike unto His own image.” Now whether or not this literally means that God has
feet, eyes, allergies, etc, is of little relevant to the magician: we shall let the
philosophically perplexed deal with such whimsical connotations. What this sentence
reveals to the hermetic scientist is of much more relevance to us here.
What is the hermetic stance on this thesis? It is held that within God is to be
found all things in their archetypal form. This relates to the Qaballistic theorems of the
three negative veils and the ascended Crown of Kether in a manner that the student of the
respective study shall notice immediately. All that is left for the resolution of this
proposition is a simple transitive conclusion: If God issued forth from Himself all things,
then all things must exist within Him. If He in turn created mankind in His image, then it
would follow that so also do we in some manner retain all things within ourselves(“Look
not for the coming of the Kingdom, for it is within you”). To expand upon this we use
another fundamental thesis to be found this time within the Christian doctrine: the
attractive power of God. If we all exist within God, and yet are individuals(as we are
certainly not “God” ourselves), then there is some exterior connection to this Supreme
Identity. If this is the case and we do indeed possess the direct link which Christians such
as Eckhart claim “draw us closer and closer unto Him”, and if we are to assume that our
souls are a part of this Intelligence, then we are indeed a part of God. If this is
established, then because the parts are directly connected to the whole, then so do
we(who have our residence with God) have direct access to what He does(“All of The
Kingdom is yours”). It is only philosophically correct to presume at this stage of
reasoning two things:
1.) That if God is has access to all the world’s information and wisdom, then so do
we, who are intrinsically a part of Him, have the ability to tap into the same.
2.) At the highest level of initiation the will of the magician and of God become
somewhat merged. Because God is omnipotent, then the magician at this stage
also obtains some level of the same.
So what is the iconoclastic resonance of this proposition? A most intriguing thesis:
the magician is capable of accessing the entirety of the macrocosm via the evolution of
his own microcosm. Through obtaining inner resolution with God, so also does he obtain
exterior harmony with the world. This is the meaning of the first lesson I was taught
when I began this path, as an elder adept whispered to me “You can never find God in all
the depths of the universe until you find Him within yourself. When you do that, He
shall show His existence in everything else.” I shall leave this for you to further
contemplate.
Dr. Lomer once wrote that it should be obvious to any atomic scientist who
looked with open eyes that we are the natural reflection of the universe. He theorized
that man was indeed composed of small indivisible units known as atoms, with trillions
of them composing the physical gross body, and he pointed out that around the center of
each nucleus revolved a series of small electrons. Lomer suggested that in the minds of
the observant a parallel should be drawn between the circling electrons of the nucleus and
the circling planets of the sun. Each atom could be seen as its own small galaxy
consisting of several planets revolving around a single focal point, and therein man could
be seen as being composed of trillions of galaxies pieced together to create a universe;
the microcosm.
While an interesting proposal, there are of course certain logistic condemnations
of it. However, for our purpose here I believe it served as one interesting way of looking
at the composition of the man within respect to the two universes, small and large.
Hermetically, I believe man is best looked at one of two ways(or perhaps even both for
the more comprehending student):
1.) Man is composed on a physical, astral and spiritual level by the interaction and
consequent operation of four primordial elements: fire, air, water and earth. These four
elements exist within man as a reflection of the forces by which all other things in the
universe were created. One may question to himself “What of the chemical elements that
science uses?” Suffice it to say for now that while a certain analogy exists, the hermetic
elements are not parallel to the physical elements we know; more shall be treated of this
matter later in this work.
2.) For the Qabalist: Man is both the Ze’ir Anafin and the Arikh Anafin. The energy
consciousness and weight of Ze’ir Anafin superimpose the Briah, Yetsirah and Assiah, all
three of which the cosmic consciousness resides within. The Ain in Arikh Anafin leaves
Atziluth through which all thoughts begin before manifestation at the will of the
magician. Therein, the entire Qabalistic cosmos exists within the magician, and an
analogy can be drawn between the two in the mind of the studious.
The Qabalist will understand the latter, and therein have a more immediate
comprehension as to not only why we are the microcosm, but transversely how we affect
it by change in our interior selves(volition and desire) via the weight of Kether and
Malkuth in conjunction with the reflective nature of the Ain. The elemental paradigm
however, which is the one we shall familiarize ourselves with here, could perhaps be a
little more difficult to understand without a previous working knowledge of the hermetic
representation of the elements. Of this we shall treat in the second part of this essay, The
Nature of the Elements.
Mechanism of the first part: The macrocosm is a reflection of man’s microcosm, and
vice versa. Through change in one, change in the other can be made manifest.
The Creation of the Elements: A new look at the Genesis
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was
without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of
God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was
light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the
darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the
evening and the morning were the first day. And God said, Let there be a firmament in
the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the
firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters
which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven.
And the evening and the morning were the second day. And God said, Let the waters
under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it
was so.” -Genesis 1:1-9
I shall, for the purpose of this particular part of the essay, refer to the Creative
Force(that is to say, the First Motive) using the terminology “God.” When possible and
convenient I will replace that term with either “Divine Providence” or “First Motive,” but
it is for our present context(in evaluation of the stated verses of the Old Testament) a
fitting word. The importance of this particular part of the essay is paramount for reasons
which shall become clear to the studious scholar. Therein I have labored extensively on
just this one section, so as to provide a clear revelation of the occult truths hidden within
the creation myth.
“In the beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth. And the Earth was without
form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.”
These two verses dictate to us several important occult instructions. The first of
them is that neither Heaven or Earth are eternal, as all that which is created shall
consequently face its own destruction, but that none the less there existed first a thing
which put into motion the first two polarities of this universe: above and below. Because
of its original movement to spark creation this “thing” is rightly called the First Motion or
Original Transmutator, to which the Hebrews bestowed the title “God.”
In this action, better understood via the title “the First Motion,” the hermetic
philosophers have deduced two things; first that because we are reflections of God, and
God is the Oversoul and template who IS original motion, so must the property of the
soul be “motion.” Second, that there was nothing created before God made an action;
because action entails movement, and therein because creation was built upon movement,
creation must likewise be sustained by movement. From this occult deduction eventually
arrived the ancient(at least, to the hermetic philosophers) Principle of Vibration.
Interestingly enough, while the philosophers realized that all things must exist in a
constant state of motion, it was only in the recent past that science has discovered this
original occult fact.
To delve deeper into the verses under question, we see that though “Earth” was
created simultaneously to Heaven, it had no form. For this reason we do not see this
primordial Earth as similar in any way to the actual magical element of earth, and therein
also do we arrive at the conclusion that, having no form, “earth” as we know it(the
planet) had not yet been created. What was created? Polarity. Under the curtains of this
sentence God revealed to Moses a very sublime occult truth: the Principle of Polarity.
Everything which enters into existence must consequently do so hand-in-hand with its
opposite, and for this reason “heaven” and “earth” were created together. Another
observation we may now realize is that the element of earth was not the first of the four
elements to exist.
Though there now existed both vibration and polarity, there did not yet exist any
seminal ideas which would spur that which we call “creation” in so far as our planet and
the corporeal universe is concerned. This is expressed as “and darkness was upon the
face of the deep,” this face of course being recognizable to the Qaballist as the Arikh
Anafin. For those of you unfamiliar with such ideology, the proper texts may easily
enough be consulted for a briefing of Jewish mythology, as it is otherwise outside the
scope of this essay.
“And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”
To believe that these “waters” hold any congruity to the actual element of water is
a fallacious presumption. The absurdity of such is displayed by the very fact that without
earth having yet been created to halt its flow, the entire universe would have had to
consist of water. These “waters” are instead an analogous mirror which we would call
the ether, reflection being amongst the principle qualities of water. So we may see that
God moved upon the face of the ether.
“And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it
was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day,
and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.”
The first thing recognizable as a corporeal force created by God was light. From
whence does light infallibly come? Fire. For this reason it is spoken that the first of the
elements is fire, and therein it is above all the most pure of its brethren. This fire, having
its source in the Celestial Fire which is The Spirit, was the first actual emanation from the
Creator as displayed by its product: light. Before a physical world, before the creation of
the various kingdoms of earth, indeed before anything which we may call
corporeal(under analogy) existed, there was light in its solitude.
God saw the light, that it was good, and therein from the existence of light was
created judgment and opinion, for God had passed consent of one of His creations, that it
was “good.” This was allowable, as He had at this point already established the Principle
of Polarity. We move on to see that light gave birth to other things, namely the passing
of time, for by establishing the existence of light God simultaneously created the passing
of time, as is expressed by the existence of morning and evening, and therein the passing
of the first day. Until light had been created there had been no “day before or after,” and
in this “light” was the creator of the first day, and its consequent passing to the next.
Within this the substance of light had created yet another aspect of existence: change.
Even as the first day was created, so did it eventually expire, and this change is called the
movement from one day to the next. Rightfully may one deduce that within this, the
Principle of Change(which acts upon the Principle of Vibration), shall we also find the
creation of that which we call life and death.
We shall treat of the subject of light, this first incarnation of God’s actual spoken
word(as denoted by “And God said….”, at a later point in this article. This is explained
now simply so that one may understand fire’s principle virtues: creation and destruction.
Fire, we may infer, was the first natural element.
“And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the
waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which
were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was
so. And God called the firmament Heaven.”
In this do we finally arrive at the creation of layers of the ether, which are called
the various realms of the astral, though more properly understood as the differing
densities of the akasha(the substance of which we shall touch on in the next section). The
waters were divided from the waters, and therein that which was of one “water” did not
step into that which was of another water. For this reason, though one may exist in
parallel ways on the various levels of existence, my skin is still physical skin, and shall
remain such so long as I have skin. Likewise, my soul shall remain an intangible soul,
never to be expressed as a physical substance.
Above and below having been established already, God separated the layers of the
universe so that the inferior would be in one place, and the superior in another. It was
here and only here that one may safely conclude physical existence had actually begun,
for these “waters,” which we shall call the akasha at a later time in this paper, were
condensed and molded so as to create the physical world. In this we find that water was
the second element to have been created in so far as it can be understood and represented
in our world. For this reason water is attributed the quality of subjectivity, being easily
molded, from whence(metaphorically) our physical world was molded into being.
“And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place,
and let the dry land appear: and it was so.”
Finally we arrive at the creation of the third element, which is that of earth,
having been born from the gathering of the waters into one place. It was not until the
emergence of this element that the other two, water and fire, had a place to manifest.
Therein earth is seen as having the quality of manifestation, and yet at the same time as
having that of limitation. For unless earth were created, water would have nothing to
stop its flow; likewise, fire would not require to consume a resource in order to burn. For
this reason Earth is seen as that which unites and brings together, having on it necessarily
both fire and water(as well of air, which I shall mention next), and therein is the
explanation of Bardon’s “tetrapolar magnet,” which we shall treat of in more detail under
the proper section.
“What of air?” the reader may now find himself asking. “Is air not also one of the
four elements?” Indeed, air is considered one of the four elements of Plato, though he
lacked the wisdom which both the Egyptians and Hebrews understood, and which science
has, with the production of modern chemistry, come to verify. What piece of intelligence
is this? That air, in so far as we consider oxygen, can only be created via the interplay of
water and fire, i.e, hot and cold, so as to produce the various components of what we
consider oxygen, which is the living air of the Platonists. For this reason, that air never
had an original representation before the creation of the world, the element of “air” is not
truly considered an element. Instead, because it is the result of interaction between two
extremes, and likewise the metaphorical “separation” of above and below, air is seen as
the medium by which the things are relayed from one substance to the next. In this sense
the hermetic philosophers looked at air as a “glue,” holding in one embrace all physical
things. However, we shall treat of this later.
The Threefold Nature
I have treated to no small extent in several of my articles of the threefold nature of
our universe, namely that all things have their pure existence in the Celestial sphere, and
emanate downwards into our physical world. I shall treat of this in specific elemental
detail here.
The Celestial Sphere
The Celestial Sphere is the Qaballist’s Briah, but for our sake we shall see it as
the primordial world within which exist five primary substances: Akasha, Fire, Air,
Water and Earth. In gross manifestation, four of these are principally expressed: the
familiar fire, air, water and earth. The four Platonic elements exist in the Celestial Sphere
in their most pure form, incapable of being refined to any more subtle form less they lose
what characterizes their forces as individual units.
It should be noted here that while there is a relative relationship, the hermetic
elements are not to be considered within the same context as the traditional four
elements, and therein can not be compared amongst the chemical elements of the periodic
table. The terms “fire, air, water and earth” were chosen by the adepts of old to represent
entirely celestial forces in a manner understandable by the corporeal mind. By drawing
certain analogies between these four primordial and formative forces and forces within
our own physical world the magician can directly work upon those things which would
usually be out of his reach. There are no adequate words to express the nature of the
primordial forces, and so they are best dealt with within the confines of those four
physical attributes attributed to them, sharing many of the same qualities. It is indeed
because of the parallel between the physical forces and the celestial forces that we can
work not only upon the celestial with the physical, but upon the physical with the
celestial. The studious magician shall find a key used in ritual magic amongst that truth.
The Celestial Qualities are as follows, so far as the mind can understand them:
Fire: Expansion, electric, motion, brightness and thinness
Air: Balance, connection, thinness, motion, darkness
Water: Magnetic, retraction, darkness, thickness, motion
Earth: Tetrapolarity, union, darkness, thickness, stillness
Of importance to the magician is that with each movement upon the celestial there
is made manifest a consequent movement in our world according to the laws of cause and
effect in conjunction with the axiom “As above, so below.” Now it should be known to
all that the elemental energies can not be worked with directly as their substance in this
physical, restricting world. We can not, for example, put fire energy into a jar and study
it; nor can we examine water-element energy under a microscope and therein understand
its composition and nature in relation to the other elements. These energies will of
themselves demonstrate no prime direct influence over material things. Why is this?
Because the human being, as all things, operates on three layers: The Celestial Sphere,
the Mental Sphere, and finally the Material Sphere. At any given moment the magician
exists on all three of these layers of his being in a parallel manner, so that where the
physical body stands in our world so does the astral body stand in a parallel astral
dimension in a place congruent in proximity and correlation to our present geography.
Because of this threefold existence of man, when the mind directs the soul to manipulate
energy we in fact manipulate the celestial embodiment of the targeted energy in a plane
parallel to our own. It is only via the emanation downwards from the celestial into the
physical that, via condensing the desired substance, any real physical effect can be had.
So, for example, if it were my wish to construct fire in such a way as to set a piece of
paper ablaze, it would first require that I condense the fire element in such a manner on
the celestial sphere so as to cause its emanation downwards to still possess enough
density by the time it reached our level of existence.
It bears reiteration that any change operated upon the celestial sphere will
necessarily manifest into the physical world, and one should keep in mind that every day
this happens billions of times according to the universal machinery, which has set into
play those motions necessary to perpetuate the ebb and flow of nature’s operations.
This sphere is the parallel of the Qabalistic Atziluth, or “World of Archetypes.”
In correspondence to the Tetragrammaton(the four letter name of God, Yod Heh Vav
Heh) this world holds the letter Yod. This letter represents the Father, an exertive and
emanative force from which ideas expand. It is this Father quality which actually
contains the primordial archetypes of all things in existence, and it is the expansive
quality of the same attribution which expressed these things outwardly. It is the electric
world, a definition which we shall understand after examining the virtues of fire. Indeed,
The Father is the Celestial Fire.
The Mental Sphere
The second sphere is the Mental Sphere, also sometimes called the
Intellectual(Agrippa) or Symbolic Sphere. It is here that the elements begin their
downward descent towards our physical outer world, and wherein the magician may first
come to aptly work with the elements in an important form. In the mental sphere we find
the correspondences associated to the pure elements, and so it is here that “Fire” picks up
the quality of heat, passion, love, anger, jealousy, action, enthusiasm, etc, and so forth
with the other elements in a respective manner; we shall treat of the associations of the
mental sphere as they affect the magician’s composure later.
Because the mental sphere is the place of the perceptible mind, be it conscious or
unconscious(each with its respective quadrants), it is here that human perception begins
to distort and corrupt the purity of the celestial elements, thus associating them with their
physical representations(which are, of course, poor representations, though the best we
could understand). Thus expansion becomes growth, electric becomes heat and passion,
motion gives birth to anger, love, action and enthusiasm, and so on appropriately.
Regardless of the exact order, the celestial qualities are dimmed amongst the presence of
a plethora of man-made associations by which means we can try and understand the
celestial elements via the mechanism “As above, so below.” These qualities, which(as I
have mentioned in my Introduction to Magic) are referred to as Occult Virtues, are the
levers by which means the magician can move the celestial elements at will. Here do we
find the value of the Principle of Sympathy, so that by taking on the qualities of action
and energy one can call via synergy the presence of the fire element to do his bidding,
and more importantly, can the magician employ the converse so that he may understand
that by using the element of fire he can manipulate all associated qualities in this world.
Illustration: Were the element of fire the desired element to conjure on the intellectual
level, the magician would meditate upon its qualities until those qualities were present
within himself. He would, so to say, take on the identity of fire on the mental sphere, and
from there obtain a synergy with it that may allow him to work upon either the celestial
or mental spheres in turn with that particular element.
Were it not for the Mental Sphere the magician would find himself utterly unable
to work with the elements, for they would have no tangible expression within his mind
and therein no medium via which they could be handled. If we did not understand the
passionate quality of fire within the mental sphere we would not know how to employ the
fire element towards such an end(while I use fire as an example, words can be replaced
appropriately to make all such statements true for any of the elements). We shall deal
with how to operate magic upon the mental sphere later. Any confusion as to what,
exactly, the mental sphere is at this point will hopefully be remedied when we come to
the subsection “Magic in the Mental Sphere” later in the present work.
The Qaballistic world to which the mental sphere is analogous is Briah, the
Creative World or World of Thrones. The letter of the Tetragrammaton assigned to it is
the second letter: Heh, The Mother. The Mother’s job is to receive the primordial
blueprints from the outgoing father. The quality is that of magnetism, bringing into it the
seminal ideas of the Celestial Fire and nurturing them within her womb. When the
qualities have been given a manner of polarity and proper attributes in accordance to The
Father’s “Divine Will,” The Mother has completed her task.
The Astral Sphere
Though this is typically not considered amongst the essential “spheres,” it is
arguably the most important mechanism of manifestation. The Astral Sphere is not
unique unto itself like the others, but is instead somewhere amongst a transparent line
separating the confines of the mental and celestial spheres.
The Astral Sphere is the common ground of the two spheres covered thus far. It
is hailed all over as the “higher world,” but this is false in so far as hermetic ideology is
concerned. The astral sphere is a different world, but there are entirely separate levels of
existence which this sphere can not claim to ascend unto. It serves simply as the area of
reconciliation wherein both thought and energy can exist in union. For this reason it is
vital in the process of physical materialization.
We have observed that in the celestial sphere there is pure energy, and that in the
mental sphere there is refined thought. If both the substance of energy and the
framework of thought are required in order for an actual form to be completed then it is
only natural that a mechanism such as the astral sphere would be necessary in order for
manifestation. On this level both the energy and thought-stuff emit a certain semiattractive
force which brings unto certain thoughts the proper similar energies. Here did
fire become “hot,” and likewise it was through the astral sphere that the correlations of
“passion” or “lust” became very real components of this substance. This mediumistic
sphere allowed for thought to shape the nature of energy. Yes, this is the place also of the
mental creations of man given form: such things as Santa Claus or even the Tooth Fairy
could be found here if sought for, having been given expression via the substance of
energy and characteristics via the thoughts of men. Likewise this is the place where,
should we enter upon it, we shall find all of the spiritual beings in varying degrees of the
Astral Light. While woven into the nature of the astral sphere, and therefore important to
understand, the aspects of the Astral Light will not be discussed in this paper. For further
information you could consult my “Introduction to Magic,” though the most
comprehensive study I have seen of this force was in Israel Regardie’s Tree of Life,
which I strongly the serious occult student to buy.
The letter of the Tetragrammaton expressed here is that of “Vav,” The Son. The
Father gave the original seminal essence of The Son to The Mother, who further nurtured
this raw substance with characteristics. The consequent conception was that of The Son,
who has received some traits from both The Father and The Mother. He is neither
electric, like The Father, or magnetic like The Mother, but has instead produced a balance
of the two: he is electromagnetic. This means that The Son has the peculiar power to
both receive and transmit, as opposed to being refined to one or the other. This allows
him to receive the designs of The Mother and Father, and still be able to express them in
a continuous descent into what we call manifestation. This is called the Archeus, or Soul
of the World, and it is “Yod” on the Tree of Life.
The Material Sphere
The final and lowest sphere is the Material Sphere, within which the celestial
elements find their most impure expressions. Why do we call these manifestations
impure? Simply because none can exist without the dependence upon another, and
therein they have lost the individuality which originally characterized the four primordial
elements in their celestial bodies. Fire relies upon air, water relies on earth, air relies on
water and earth relies on all of the above, wherein conversely all the aforementioned also
rely on earth for a place of manifestation. For this reason, the gross interdependence
upon one another, the material elements are considered the impure manifestations, or the
“Secondus Materia” as The Philosophers called it.
The final letter of the Tetragrammaton belongs to the physical world: the second
“Heh.” As the last in the line of the descent, it is the daughter, who having inherited the
magnetism of The Mother(the first “Heh”) can only receive what is given by the exertive
force of The Son.
Due to the analogous “distance” between the material and celestial spheres in so
far as emanation is concerned we find it the most difficult to affect the four elements in
the material sphere due to the energy it requires to travel from the celestial to the
physical. While such actions like this happen billions of times each day in so far as the
universal machinery has programmed them, for the magician to replicate the operation of
manifestation via the medium of his volition alone is a difficult and trying task. We shall
treat of how to operate elemental magic upon the material sphere after covering the
appropriate instructions.
I would like to point out that the concepts of Father, Mother, Son and Daughter
are used here only as symbols to express certain traits attributed to the respective spheres
of existence. They have no religious connotations to them(The Son does not refer to
Jesus Christ, for example), nor should they be viewed in the manner that we consider the
sexual traits of mother and father, or the relationship between son and daughter.
The Elements
Before going on to handle the primary body of this work let us first deal with
certain things which you shall find scattered about the following sections of the essay.
Primarily you shall find three things:
1.) A description of the element’s qualities
2.) Its elemental correspondences on the Mental Sphere
3.) The element’s applications
4.) Tattvic information
Upon those you shall also find information concerning the element’s primary seat
within the human body in so far as we understand the magician to be a representation of
the macrocosm, and therein contain all of the elements within him. Another addition
shall be those of the elemental tempers, of which I have already treated in Koujiryu’s
article concerning the Aura and shall here restate in light of the context. For those of you
who do not understand the concept of the elemental tempers, all such confusion shall be
clarified in the subsection “The Elemental Man.” Next to each element name that begins
that section is the corresponding letter of the Tetragrammaton, the traits of which have
already been discussed.
It bears mentioning that previously we stated the celestial qualities as if each was
unique, one upon the other. This is entirely untrue, as anything one may find within one
element(celestially) so may he find within any other element according to their single
uniting substance: the akasha, which is in all of them. Therefore, while we say that fire is
bright, thin and consists of motion, that is not to say that its polar opposite(earth) does not
also consist of those three qualities. Instead we examine a ladder of connection: Fire is
twice as thin, three times more moveable and four times brighter(in celestial quality) than
air, which is in turn twice as bright, three times more thin and four times more moveable
than water, which is in turn twice more bright, three times more thin and four times more
moveable than earth. This same ladder can be applied inversely in the climb from earth
to fire, using earth’s qualities instead, in which earth is twice as dark, three times as thick
and four times as still as water, etc. While one may question the measure of the
aforementioned table, it provides an analogous understanding via conveying a single
point: that each element still has the qualities of another, though always to a lesser degree
than that with which those qualities are actually associated with.
Fire(Yod)
Let us first treat of the original “element,” which we have given the name fire so
as to understand by its representation on the material sphere. It is said in the hermetic
science that the sun was bestowed an igneous spirit by the Creator, which it would
convey to the planet earth so as to excite two principle things: movement and heat, each
of which are the property of life. By operating that Fire which is innate in all living
bodies the “sun” preserves the principles of generation and life together in a successive
manner. Fire being the principle of movement, it moves the seminal seeds of the Soul of
the World(of which we shall treat later) into actuality as opposed to letting it exist in
potentiality, and therein fire is attributed the power of creation. This fire produces light,
as has been mentioned briefly in an earlier section, and in this we find it the first agent of
the world. This light has the power to pierce the transparent body and make apparent the
compositions of the world, whereas this heat has the power to penetrate to the interior and
animate the torpid and hidden nature of its subject.
The fire, which should be understood as analogous to the celestial fire, conveys its
essence throughout the material world via the element of air, which mingles with water
and fire, to impress the qualities of the Celestial Fire upon all of the terrestrial bodies. Its
key principle, that of emanation, is the means by which the celestial rays from whom the
terrestrial bodies receive their qualities are created and thrown outwards for
manifestation. Fire, then, contains within it a key ability which the magician must
contemplate: the power to emanate outwards into action its interior qualities. We shall
find that earth does not of itself produce anything which consumes space outside of its
present mass, nor do water or air. Fire, however, as the power to be in a precise area of
space, and yet though its body is there may stretch outwards and permeate a room with its
being via the mechanism of light. Within this operation is a great occult truth which may
easily be applied to practical magic with the elements, of which I shall give a few
examples for each element.
Fire is a bipolar element within itself, consisting of two extremes: The Celestial
Fire and the Infernal Fire. To the Celestial Fire we attribute the qualities of heat to make
all things fruitful, and light to give all things life and motion. To the Infernal Fire we
attribute the parching heat to consume all living things, and darkness making all things
barren. Now one may wonder of the latter quality of the Infernal Fire, in so far as how
fire in its natural context can not produce light as the Infernal Fire is attributed. In this
we find the concept of the “Dark” Hell, wherein everything burns but there is no light,
one being trapped in perpetual darkness. In this way fire’s principle of destruction is still
in play, yet that very thing which causes its principle of creation(light) is robbed from it.
One who can work with both the Celestial and Inferior Fires can operate many things that
the magically ignorant may be compelled to call miracles; the magician, however, knows
that his operations are quite natural and can explain them(if at length) to any willing to
listen.
Due to its analogy with the Original Fire, or Divine Fire, one will find that the
presence of fire in a ritual(as is represented by the burning coal of the incense burner)
strengthens godly being in its presence, and is likewise a powerful mechanism to
strengthen the force of one’s prayer. For its connections with the divine it is seen as a
representation of He who said “I am the Light of the World,” and consequently its
presence wards off negative entities so long as that connection is made concrete within
the mind of the magician lighting the fire. Likewise it was taught to the Jews that they
were to make all their sacrifices consecrated by fire, fire being a principle link between
the Celestial Fire and the terrestrial world. It is, due to its qualities, a representation also
of man’s soul. Much more can be said about fire and its animating principles, but I shall
leave the rest to the studious magicians and move on to a few practical applications.
Note that in this particular section I shall not provide how to operate these applications,
but simply what these applications may be, so as to incite thinking. We shall move on to
treat of ways by which these applications can be made a reality when we come to the
appropriate part of this essay.
Keeping in mind all of the aforementioned, the observant scholar should have
already noticed certain principle ways in which the fire element can be operated. Seeing
that fire is the principle of creation and life via the excitement of movement, he may have
inferred that via proper manipulation of the correct aspects of this element the master
adepts are able to animate that which otherwise is inanimate, sometimes even bring back
to life that which was previously dead by sparking once more the igneous flame of life
within it. Knowing now that light is a force which pierces the transparent body and
reveals its composite nature so may one have concluded that within the power to extrude
this light from his own presence the adept can peer directly into the soul of another man
and know his very nature. This light, being blocked by no thing, is likewise the
mechanism of clairvoyance in the eyes of the trained magician(the cultivation of which is
outside the scope of this essay). So also can you learn from the statements above
concerning the nature of fire that via knowledge of the principle of light, which is the
emanation from a single source, so may one emanate his own nature outwards as
appropriate. This emanation may in turn imprint the will of the magician upon what
things are receptive of his rays. Likewise, with a knowledge of both the creation of one’s
own “light,” or emanating rays of intent, and a working knowledge of the principles of
air(of which we shall treat momentarily) the magician may likewise work such things as
telepathy, being able to impregnate the surrounding air with his thoughts and direct them
as he wishes. Let it not remain unspoken that amongst many other things the ability to
properly manipulate the essence of fire can enable the elemental adept to work such
wonders as the igniting of objects into flame, the control of the temperature of a room,
and the ability to internally warm himself and others with the wave of a hand.
For our purposes here we shall refer to the elemental qualities as a set using the
term “fire,” and shall refer to the fluid energy with which we work(apart or connected to
the qualities) as Tejas. The use of this Tibetan term will allow an easier distinction
between the element and the elemental energy, and shall also save me the time of writing
“________ elemental energy” over and over in later discussion.
Tejas is represented symbolically as the red triangle pointing upwards. Its Divine
Name, being that combination of vibrations and intent which resonates most clearly with
its own frequency, is YHVH Tzabaoth(Yod-hey-vau-hey Tsah-bah-ohth). The archangel
assigned to its commission is Michael(mee-kay-el) and his corresponding angels are the
Arallim.
Correspondences:
Direction - South
Gender - Male
Energy - Projective, electric
Qualities - Hot and dry; light and active; motion
Colors – Red and/or orange
Correlation to the Law – “To Will”
Point of Pentagram - Lower right
Season - Summer
Hour of day - Noon
Tools - Wand, athame, incense
Animals - Lion, serpent, dragon
Alchemical symbol – Red triangle
Elemental being - Salamander
Manifest Representations - Fire, sun, stars, volcanoes
Human sense – Sight(the principle of light)
Finger – Index finger
Tattwa - Tejas
Air(Vav)
Air is the midway between that which is above and below; the principle
link(metaphorically) connecting the heavens to the Earth. We find it situated between
fire and water, and being not a singular element of its own, assimilating parts of both its
neighbor’s qualities. For this reason the air is seen as receptive, and is the mechanism by
which the celestial rays are received from the heavens and then impressed upon those
virtues of the earth. In its function it can indeed be seen as close to that of the Soul of the
World, which we shall hence forth call the Archeus, and its operations can be seen as
having some congruity with that of the Akasha. Air is the glue connecting above and
below so that they may not be foreign to one another, and for this reason it is seen as the
principle link between man and his soul, this link being the mental body. We shall,
however, examine the body of man within elemental context in the appropriate part of the
work.
Though the Platonists would disagree, the Hebrew doctors do not identify air as
its own element, having none of its own unique qualities. Indeed, within the Qabalah we
find only two principle elements, fire and water, from the interaction of which existence
as we know it was hence derived. This element, as has been made note of, receives the
influences of celestial movements and then carries the appropriate messages into the core
of men and animals, impressing upon them the proper qualities. Due in large to this
quality may the properties of air be those by which spirits may be evoked into
manifestation, being capable of receiving what movements are given to it.
Air, none the less, is vital in sustaining the process of life which the actions of fire
have put into motion. Until fire is applied the air stands dark, and therein we find two
types of the air element: night and day. To night is attributed arid manifestation and
mystery, for without the illumination of fire nothing contained within the air can be
recognized and understood. It is the cold principle which it has borrowed from water
brought into play, and its key sense upon which it operates is that of hearing. To day is
attributed realization and understanding, with all secrets having been brought out and
recognized by the emanation of fire(light). Air having not existed before fire, “day” is
considered its primordial manifestation. Because fire is seen as the animating principle
of life, so is the pass from day to night often seen as a symbolic passing from life to
death.
Of importance within the air element are the four winds, each with their different
attributes, and each to be operated for different reasons as seen appropriate within their
qualities.
-Boreas, the northern wind: Fierce, dry, cold; makes the air serene and binds the water
-Notus, the southern wind: Cloudy, moist, warm; that which brings rain
-Zephyrus, the western wind: Soft, cold and moist
-Eurus, the eastern wind: Cloudy, ravenous and warm
The principle winds here are Boreas and Eurus, being the polar opposites, and
each one with a corresponding wind which borrows attributes from both poles: for
example, Zephyrus has the cold of Boreas and moisture of Notus. With the knowledge of
the qualities of the winds(more of which may be discerned by the scholar upon
contemplation) one may work many interesting operations, as they are the Four Forces,
each issuing from one of the Four Towers and commanded by one of the archangels. I
could here provide the angelic and demonic correspondences of the winds, but I shall
leave that to the studious.
With all of the above the observant magician shall have noticed certain ways in
which the air element may be applied for magic. He knows now that air is the principle
of impregnation and conveys that which it carries to the other gross bodies, and therein
that this element may act as a fitting conduit by which means his will can be carried. Just
as air imprints qualities, so is it receptive of the celestial rays, and within its proper
understanding may the magician ascertain by which means the qualities given to a
substance can be controlled and altered according to the will. Likewise we have seen that
air is the vehicle of messages, be they celestial or otherwise, and in this may the power of
telepathy be exercised, as Agrippa said: “Hence it is possible naturally, and far from any
manner of superstition, that a man should be able in a very short time to signify his mind
unto another man, abiding at a very long and unknown distance from him.” This
principle operated, as one should now see, by the air’s power to receive the thoughts of
the magician and imprint them upon the desired recipient, so as to create the “sender and
receiver.” The innate occult operation of air’s transmission has even been made use of
today by such things as radios, televisions, phones, and all else which receive invisible
transmissions via the space of air. Should one be studious, he shall draw many more
analogies by which to understand and activate the powers of this element.
The Tattvic designation of Air is Vayu, the symbolic depiction begin a blue circle.
The Divine Name which causes this fluid to excite by means of its innate vibration is
Shaddai El Chai(Shod-dah-aye El Kaye). The designated archangel is Raphael, who’s
angels in this respect are the Chassan.
Correspondences:
Direction - East
Gender - Male
Energy – Neutral; balance
Qualities - hot and moist, light and active
Color – Yellow, light blue
Correlation to the Law – “To know”
Season - Spring
Time of day - Dawn
Tool – Interchangeably, the incense and the wand
Point on the Pentagram - Upper left
Animals - Eagle, human
Alchemical symbol - Triangle with a line through the middle
Elemental being - Sylph
Manifest Representations – The sky, wind, clouds
Human senses - Hearing, smell
Finger – Ring finger
Tattwa - Vaju
Water(1st Heh)
Water is, by Qabalistic terms, the second and last of the true “elements.” Only by
the interplay of water and fire were the air and earth consequently wrought. According to
its nature this element both attracts and seeks those things both inferior and superior, and
therein is the magnetic force which creates the tension between this world and the next.
As fire and water are the polar opposites, fire being electric and water being magnetic,
they are constantly pushing and pulling against each other, and the tension consequently
established amongst the world is referred to as “weight”, which is not to be confused with
our physical perception of weight(though a certain analogy exists). Water is the molding
vehicle which consequently helps decide the shapes of those things which are brought
into manifestation via the qualities of earth.
The element of water, when in play with earth, possesses the quality of sustaining
life, though the quality of creating life belongs specifically to fire. Its child is the
reflective ether upon which we look to find God and see only ourselves. By this means
all which occurs above is reflected unto that which is below, and so it becomes the
messenger of the gods. It is the great purifier and inquisitor, seeking out what is deemed
evil and purging it of existence; for this reason long has water been used in the rituals of
men for the sake of cleansing and baptizing. Within its reflective principles and the
transduction of divine light to which it belongs exists the secrets of the power of baptism,
should a fitting conduit perform the ritual.
The primordial chaos of the universe was analogous to water, or more
appropriately, to steam or vapor. God organized this vapor by collecting it into one
place, and so that which was chaotic become serene. Just as its brother element contains
the principle of creation and destruction, so does water retain the principles of life and
death(life and death not being the same as creation and destruction, which the aspirant
should make note of). Water is the symbol of he who said “I am the fountain of life,” and
often was it testified by Paul that Christ was the Holy Water, and this we must remember
to be congruent to the Cosmic Christ which is cultivatable within ourselves, that we may
all achieve perfection and godhood. The key to this perfection is water, without which(as
Jesus testified to Nicodemus) spiritual regeneration can not occur. As Agrippa said:
“Water swallows up the Earth, extinguishes the flames, ascends on high, and by
stretching forth clouds challenges the Heavens for their own.”
So what applications shall the scholar find for water? I shall make note of a few,
so as to brighten your inspiration for continued study and training. Water is the magnetic
force, and therein attracts that which is within proper polarity unto itself, and repels that
which is not further away. By this means, and the careful manipulation of water’s
inherent principles, the adept can learn many ways by which spirits may be warded off or
conjured into manifestation. Likewise can curses be cast off and returned to their
masters. The scholar should have noticed that, because of its properties, the proper
manipulation of water can allow one to sustain the quality of an enchantment by the same
magnetic force, and in conjunction with his knowledge of air, see that enchantment
belongs to the principles of air and water mutually. This is not to say, of course, that
virtues of enchantments can only belong to water and air; simply that it is the latter
principles which keep the enchantment in operation and bind the will of the magician to
an object.
Not amongst the least of the powers one can ring out of the essence of water is the
power of true baptism, which unfortunately is often lost to the church these days and drug
through the mud by unfit preachers. A true baptism is one the likes of which Paul gave,
wherein the recipient received various spiritual powers(such as the speaking of tongues)
after immediately not only being cleansed of negative energies(operated by the interplay
of fire and water/electric and magnetic), but having the Holy Spirit fill them(operated by
the magnetic property of water alone). Yet another marvelous feat which bares
mentioning is the rumored power of the archaic mages to live under water for long
periods of time, wherein the mage(by the power of air and water) can sustain his body as
well as retain oxygen under water where the normal human body would deteriorate. Yet
one more interesting power is that of resurrection, operated almost entirely upon the
principles of water, wherein the animating qualities formerly present within the body(and
attached to the soul) are attracted and rebound back to the physical vessel, presuming this
process can be operated simultaneously with the healing of whatever caused the vessel’s
ceasing.
The Tattva of water is Apas, and is represented as a silver crescent moon laying
on its back. The Divine Name which stirs the fluid is Elohim Tzabaoth(Ey-loh-heem
Tsah-bah-ohth). Gabriel is the designated archangel, and his angels in this respect are the
Taliahad.
Correspondences:
Direction - West
Gender - Female
Energy – Magnetic, passive
Qualities - Cold and moist, heavy and passive
Color – (dark)Blue
Correlation to the Law – “To dare”
Season - Autumn
Time of day - dusk
Tool - Chalice
Point of pentagram - Upper right
Animals - All aquatic life
Alchemical symbol - upside down triangle
Elemental being - Undine
Manifest representations - Waterfalls, ocean, rain, etc., fog, the Moon
Human sense – Taste
Finger – Thumb
Tattwa - Apas
Earth(2nd Heh)
Earth is the principle of manifestation, without which no things could exist on the
material sphere as such a sphere would not be created. Without this element there is no
“logical end” of the emanation of any element. It halts the embracement of air, stops the
flow of water, and requires that fire feed on fuel to continue its existence. For this reason
it is sometimes referred to as “The Elemental Opposition,” being the only element which
puts a firm halt to any other element.
Due to earth being the subject of manifesting principles it consequently contains
within its bosom the seminal virtues of all things. These seminal virtues are operated into
movement by the qualities of fire, grow by the qualities of earth, and are connected to the
process of nature by the qualities of air. In this natural order of events so do all things
find themselves created, sustained and connected, each unit bound to the operations of its
higher unit: Nature. Earth is wisely called the “first matter of our creation, and the truest
medicine that can preserve us,” as it truly is the first means by which we come into actual
materialization, and it seems only natural that the physical best nurtures the physical.
Because it is the recipient mechanism of the other three elements, earth is called
the tetrapolar magnet, containing within it all polarities. Having received the qualities of
both fire and water this element is rightly called electromagnetic, the synthesis of which
is made possible by the element of air(for it unites all, even the opposing polarities).
Every element, principle, quality and polarity finds its manifestation upon this element,
and so it is seen as the all-embracing cornerstone of Nature. One may, in sorts, imagine
earth has a great sphere, within which is found the other three elements. It receives the
virtues of all things, the end of the beams of light so to say, and with that light reveals all
virtues.
The heat peculiar to the earth is only fit for corruption. Its moisture weakens it,
and could produce nothing unless aided by the celestial heat(as has been made note of
already). Let it therefore not be thought that earth is the principle of creation, as we have
already mentioned that creation belongs to the qualities of fire alone. It should be minded
that without the interplay of the other elements on a celestial level earth could not be a
vessel for manifestation, being incapable of and within and itself to produce any type of
life.
There are several applications which the scholar should recognize from the given
body of information concerning this element. We find first that all manifestation belongs
to earth, and the magician should draw an analogy between this principle and the subject
of manifesting his own will as actuality on this material sphere. Being the recipient of
the celestial rays, and their logical end into manifestation, earth is likewise the recipient
of the magician’s own emanations and their consequent halt. Due to this principle of
limits, given birth only by earth, one may see by what means the actions of nature, men
and animals alike can be halted by the will of the magician should he make use of earth’s
qualities in his operations. In conjunction with the air the secrets of transmuting the
electric principles into magnetic principles, and therein the keys to such feats as levitation
and resurrection, belong to the proper manipulation of this element and employment of its
tetrapolar activity. As the physical nurtures the physical, so does the essence of the earth
element nurture the condition of its physical children; in this manner one may learn to
enhance the growth of plants by employing both earth and water, or specifically, water of
earth(which we shall treat more of later).
Also belonging to earth is the revelation of its secrets, for it contains the
blueprints of all manifest qualities and knows the actions of all who move upon its
surface and within its sphere. Therein the magician should realize(in light of
aforementioned knowledge) that by shining the principles of fire upon the bosom of
earth, all otherwise hidden virtues shall be brought into sight. The final quality
employable by the magician belongs entirely to the play of earth: decay, or what is
properly referred to as entropy. It is only by the presence of earth that fire can burn
out(fire of earth), water can be sucked up(water of earth), bodies can rot(fire of earth), air
can be made polluted(air of earth), and so many other such operations as are worked by
the interplay of earth and the other elements.
The tattva of earth is Prithivi, represented simply enough by a yellow square, of
which we may note that the square represents the manifestation of all four elements. The
Divine Name for this tattva is Adonai Ha-Aretz(Ah-doh-nai Hah Ahretz). Uriel is the
archangel designated to this tattva, and Phorlakh is the corresponding angel.
Correspondences:
Direction - North
Gender – Male and Female
Energy – Mutual interplay; electromagnetic
Qualities - Cold and dry, heavy and passive
Colors - Brown, black, green
Correlation to the Law – “To keep silent”
Season - Winter
Time of day - Midnight
Tool - Pentacle
Point of pentagram - Lower left
Animals - Bull, sphinx, bear
Alchemical symbol - upside down triangle with a line through the middle
Elemental being - Gnome
Manifest representations - Mountains, caves, gems, fields, rocks, forests
Human sense – Touch
Finger – Ring finger
Tattwa – Prithivi
Akasha
It should be known that Akasha is by no means an element as we know it, though
is represented as one of the primordial forces upon the celestial sphere, and is
consequently the material upon which all fabrications of existence are woven. This
substance, which some philosophers referred to as the “dry water” is rightly called the
Soul of the World by some occult authors. The function of the akasha is thus: It receives
first the will of Divine Providence and, from its primary seat in the celestial sphere as the
Prima Materia it sends the celestial rays downwards into the mental and physical spheres,
wherein the elements are impregnated with their qualities. In a sense the akasha sends
these celestial rays from itself to itself, similar to throwing a ball into the air and then
running to catch it yourself. The reason this can be so is that, as a rule, all the elements
contain degrees of the akasha within them, even as you contain genetic similarities to
your parents. Through this principle the celestial rays are received by the elements and
then, according to the principles already thoroughly treated of, put into play as is
appropriate to their nature.
We should not, as is often done amongst Bardon adherents(if only due to his
somewhat difficult writing manner), allow ourselves to believe that the akasha and the
vital force are analogous to one another. The vital force is simply an aspect of the akasha
which, because the akasha pervades all things, consequently is to be found within all
living things(for it is the interplay of the akasha upon the qualities of life which sustain
the vital force). Likewise the vital force, above all the energies, receives the
impregnation of thoughts better than any of the other elements(and for this reason on
receptivity and conveyance the vital force and Soul of the World are both often confused
with the celestial qualities of the air element). It is of this generic matter of creation that
our souls are composed, and likewise it is this force which binds the astral, spiritual and
physical selves(while it is the Od which binds the mental and spiritual selves and not the
akasha, though the Od is simply one aspect of it).
The most famous subject of the Akasha to the aspiring occultist is without a doubt
that supernal collection of archetypes known as the Akashic Records. We shall, for a
moment, treat of the dynamics of this “archive” of sorts. All things which exist existed
first as a thought within the mind of Divine Providence, i.e, within the akasha.
Everything which ever was, is and shall ever be had/has/will have its roots in the akasha
principle, and it is the supreme force which decides the traits of the seminal vessels
before ever impregnating the material world with such occurrences. Because of this one
may find within the Akasha, which is the Universal Mind(for it is written “The Universe
is Mind; All is mental”) everything from the nature of a grain of sand up to the business
affairs of a given young man 300 years from now. For this reason it is said that God
“Knows all and sees all,” which is rightly said, for all which could possibly by known
was created by the Akasha principle. In light of this knowledge one may see that
everything concerning existence and all its units is kept within the akasha in a manner
similar to how a good cook records his own recipes in a personal cook-book. In light of
the human mind’s power to organize these otherwise random assortments of knowledge
spread throughout the akasha(known as the “small face” in Qabalah) one is capable of
consulting them in a similar manner to how one may consult a book for knowledge, or
perhaps more specifically, the internet. In a sense you “type in” what it is you want to
find, and results(according to your spiritual maturity) will be brought into your view
accordingly. With the proper operation of the Akashic Records nothing is hidden from
the mage. While I have made mention of the akasha principle here, its operation and
exercise is ultimately outside the scope of this article, and the appropriate work can be
consulted for further knowledge.
Elemental Interplay
The first exercises I shall give you are the elemental meditations, which were first
presented to my students and which I have found appropriate to post here for all to
practice and benefit from. These meditations are complimentary to the following
meditations, wherein these establish a familiarity of the spiritual parts of the magician
with the qualities of the elements and allows for the interplay of vibrations, and the
exercises found afterwards(represented here from Bardon’s Initiation into Hermetics)
deal with developing the tension between the spiritual and physical so as to affect the
physical.
The Elemental Meditations for Harmony
Air-
Find for yourself an outside place where you may remain relatively undisturbed
by the world for about half an hour, and which is accommodating for a seat. On a windy
day, preferably 10mph+ winds, go to this place of solitude and assume your respective
meditative position. Regulate your breathing using appropriate methods and clear your
mind, as is the norm for any good meditation.
Turn your mental attention outwards to the wind itself, feeling it blow against
your being. If you can, try to feel it coming even as you can feel energy moving. As it
brushes against your face, inhale deeply, bringing into your bosom all the glory of the
sylphs which they dance about so well for. Hold your breath, and think of the wind itself
halting in expectation for your exhalation, as if it needs your permission. After a
moment's rest, exhale slowly and rhythmically, thinking of the wind resuming its course
once more. For all intensive purposes, believe that your breath is the microcosmic
reflection of the macrocosmic wind. Repeat this process for at least ten minutes,
attaining a degree of rhythm with the currents of the wind about you.
After the time has expired and you feel in tune to the wind, turn your focus to the
feeling of the wind against your body. Focus on this feeling, and dissipate it as you
dissolve the barrier of the flesh, allowing the wind to flow freely into your very ethereal
being. When the wind blows against you, do not offer up resistance, but instead mentally
let it seep through you and into your bosom, where you shall retain it. Every inhalation
see this being done, drawing the wind through the skin and into your being. When you
exhale, cast out the wind you have drawn in through your body. Do this process for
about five minutes, at which point you should actually begin to feel yourself sway with
the wind's currents, though you do not move yourself.
When you have attained the aforementioned, take the meditation one step further.
When the wind comes to meet your skin, offer no resistance, allowing the wind to pass
through and by you as if you were not even present. Do not bring it into you, but let it
flow entirely though you, entering one side and passing out the next as if your presence
were not blockade to its beautiful serenade. Inhalation and exhalation should no longer
matter at this point, as you shall subconsciously be breathing in some type of rhythm to
the wind's currents. You and the wind become one as you dissolve into its flow, letting it
carry you where it will. As you advance in your studies this becomes an excellent
approach to initiating remote viewing; however, I shall allow you to figure out how on
your own.
When you truly feel merged with the quintessence of the wind itself, it is time to
return to your center. Go about this meditation backwards, seeing yourself slowly
materialize again, and gradually offering resistance to the wind until once more it breaks
across your flesh, no longer able to flow straight through you effortlessly. When you
have regained your center and returned to a calm, yet essentially normal state of being,
close the meditation as is custom to your preferences.
Earth-
Start into your usual meditation stance, preferably sitting. Open your senses and
silence your mind, beginning a process of rhythmic breathing, 4 seconds in, 2 seconds
hold, 8 seconds out, 2 seconds old, and repeating over and over until it becomes
reflexive, no longer requiring you to think about it. Once done, you should find yourself
comparatively relaxed. With your mind clear, visualize yourself sitting on the soil of the
earth(as such, you should be meditating outside for this). Focusing clearly, visualize
roots thrusting from the bottom of your body(such as the parts of your legs touching the
ground, etc) down into the depth of the earth, and latching into the deep soil firmly.
When done, visualize the earth beneath you, and particularly along these roots, vibrant
with a green or brown energy, which is moving slowly throughout the dirt. Focusing,
inhale and visualize this energy being absorbed by these roots, and in turn, traveling up
the roots and into your being. Let this energy gather inside of you, first filling your legs,
and gradually working up with each breath. Continue this visualization until the energy
fills you up to the crown of your head, permeating your being with this earthly force of
life, even saturating your aura. After this process is complete(taking about ten minutes),
being to not just visualize, but actually somewhat “feel” your skin turning into tree bark,
and the rest of you slowly mold into stone or soil, until you are a being of earth. All the
while, however, let not your mind wander too deeply into the earth itself, but keep your
wits about you, and let no roots come up from the earth and attach to you, for Gaia
delights too much in pulling her children into her bosom, and this is dangerous for the
unfocused magician, who appears to Gaia as one of her own at the moment of this mental
transfiguration.
Finally, after holding your focus for a few minutes at this point, relax, and begin
to systematically visualize yourself turning back into a normal human being, with the
rock, dirt and bark becoming flesh, muscle and bone once more. Turn your focus
downwards, and uproot yourself, perhaps accompanied with a shrugging of the shoulders
and tightening of the muscles of the legs for a moment. Bring your focus back into
position within yourself, breathe for a moment, then open your eyes, having completed
the meditation.
Fire-
Perform the same process as in the Earth meditation, except throw your “roots”
upwards towards the sun in your mind, and have them absorb through convection the fire
and heat of the sun, sending it back down into your being, where you will visualize a
small fire sparking at the position of your Tan Tien. With this small flame beneath your
navel, join a process of breathing into the drawing and flaring of the fire. As such, when
you inhale, draw the fire down into your being, and when you exhale, see the fire within
yourself growing. Continue this process until the flame engulfs your being, which should
take you about 15 minutes if you visualize the growth at the proper, slow speed. At that
point, you should feel warmer than normal, partly because of the fire element’s presence,
and partly because of the stimulation of your chi from the Tan Tien. Hold this
visualization of the flame within and surrounding you, seeing your flesh burn away in its
fire until all that exists is a being of flame, ablaze with this divine fire. Hold this
visualization for two or three minutes, then begin to “feel” the fire cooling, and your flesh
reappearing. Gradually, over a course of a few minutes, draw your roots back into you,
and subdue the fire until it returns to the tan tien and dissipates. Open your eyes, and the
meditation is complete.
Water-
I am afraid that for this meditation, you must be at the beach. As such, while you
may not be able to practice it every day, when you find yourself at the beach, this
exercise would be a good one to remember and put into practice. Perform it during the
incoming tide.
Stand in the shallow water of the ocean, going no deeper than ankle-high waters,
and close your eyes. Silence your mind, and open your senses, relaxing your muscles
from head to toe systematically. Begin the normal process of rhythmic breathing, further
relaxing and focusing you. Turn your mind down to your feet and ankles, and begin to
concentrate on the feeling of the tide as it brushes up against them, first coming to you,
the pulling off the shore and back into the ocean. Contemplate this motion for a few
moments, trying to get the feel of it. If you’re particularly relaxed, you will notice after a
few sessions of this exercise that you will be able to feel the tide within yourself when
your eyes are closed, thus enabling this meditation to come into effect quicker. Focusing
on the water as it brushes by your feet, begin to visualize your feet slowly dissipate with
each passing of the water towards and away from you. As the water comes up to your
feet, visualize the essence of the water throwing itself into the essence of your feet,
becoming one. When the tide pulls the water back into the ocean, see the water pulling
particles of your feet back with it, starting with the very bottom skin of the feet. Slowly,
but surely, your feet will begin to disappear in your mind, and you will begin to “shrink.”
Continue this process of visualization, coupled with your breathing in correspondence to
the tide. When your feet have dissipated into the ocean, let the water climb up to your
ankles, climbing slowly higher and higher, until in your have completely dissipated into
the water. At that last wave, when the last part of your body is broken down and pulled
into the ocean, your consciousness will quite automatically be projected into the ocean,
where for a time you will be “one” with the energies of the water element. Do not lose
your focus! The feeling will be soothing, and you should embrace it. However, do not
lose yourself to it. After a few moments, begin to see the process occur in reverse, first
with the reconstruction of your head as the water brings particles of it back into its
original place, then traveling down to your shoulders, lifting your head higher off the
ground, etc, until finally you are a whole person once more. Open your eyes, and the
meditation is complete. This meditation will take a total of at least half an hour.
However, many people become so embracing of the soothing promise of the ocean that
they find, upon snapping back into a normal state of mind and closing the meditation, that
they have been meditating for well over an hour.
The Accumulation of the Elemental Energies
Give or take a few remarks, the following material is based strongly on the
writings of Franz Bardon, and can be found in another format in his book Initiation into
Hermetics, step IV in his training process. Along with these exercises, many useful
supplementing exercises are to be found in the referred book which can only benefit the
magician should he apply them diligently. I have given only the core exercise here, and
provided the given meditations for passive interaction with the elements to provide a
working premise upon which the following exercises can be undertook. I believe it
paramount that the aspirant has experienced a degree of union and harmony with each of
the elements several times before progressing to the following meditations. This shall
allow him the discipline and control necessary for its operation.
Part One: Preliminary Skill Development
Sit in your asana, or meditative position. Close your eyes and focus on the
element in question, preferably beginning with fire. Contemplate fire for a moment, and
all of its various qualities. Specifically, try to grasp the concept of heat, meditating on it
for a moment of itself. In your mind recreate heat that you have experienced in the past
and in totality try to visualize yourself reliving that exact moment, as if the fire or source
of the heat were present in your very room. Try to feel, for example, as if you are sitting
in front of a blazing fire or outside in the scorching sun, and make this feeling very real to
you. If your visualization is strong enough and your concentration focused enough, you
should succeed in beginning to warm yourself up(though only slightly). If you can retain
a feeling of warmth for five minutes then you may consider this exercise complete, and
move on.
Simultaneously you should devote some time to performing similar things with
the other three elements. For air, try to obtain the feeling of lightness in weight. For
water, try to obtain a feeling of coldness, and for earth try to obtain a feeling of increased
weight(gravity). Though all of these shall likely only be obtained on a slight level, and
shall indeed be only psychological byproducts for the time being, success in the
aforementioned is success indeed towards the accumulation of the elemental energies.
What you are trying to do is establish a mental link with the elements and their
corresponding quality. Therein, you shall recognize the elements by their associated
qualities of hot, cold, light and heavy.
Part Two: The Accumulation Exercise
Assume your asana and clear your mind of all disturbances, turning your attention
to your immediate environment. Using your cultivated skill of visualization, imagine as
if you were not where you actually physically are. Instead, visualize yourself in the
center of a universe composed singularly of fire; all around you and in every direction is
ablaze a great flame, and all about the place is an intense heat. You should have the
concept of being engulfed in flames yourself, though you should retain that the fire does
not harm or penetrate your skin(it stays external). Inhale and pull into your being the
essence of this fire, perhaps visualizing the fire itself working its way through your skin
and into the core of your body. With one complete inhalation you should have pulled
into every part of your body a portion of this fire energy. Exhale, and release the empty
breath into the inferno that has become your surroundings while simultaneously trying to
feel the fire energy within you condense and become hot. With each breath add to this
growing accumulation of the fire energy within yourself, and with each exhalation
condense this energy into fire within your being, growing more pressurized and hot after
the completion of each full breath; do this seven times. At this point you may feel a
warmth about your body which was not present before. If you do not, don’t worry as this
is only your first real try. With practice comes success. After holding this state for a few
minutes, release the fire energy back into your flaming universe with each exhalation. A
good thing to visualize is that as you inhale you push out the fire energy within you into
the physical skin, and as you exhale you finish the push through the skin and thus release
it back into its environment. After seven such exhalations you should feel as if there is
no trace of this energy left within you, and any change in body heat should thus subside.
At this point the meditation is finished, and you may thus acquit the visualization.
Every day that you practice this exercise, add one breath to the set. I would
advise that twenty be the goal for some time, and in no way are you ever to exceed forty
breaths of accumulation. In the beginning more breaths will lead to a more intense
feeling of the fire energy within your being. With practice, however, you will be able to
accumulate a large deal of such energy with only a small number of breaths. When you
can, after twenty breaths, feel a distinct increase in heat so that you are beginning to
sweat(usually around the hairline) you may consider yourself to have acquired skill in
this particular facet of elemental manipulation.
This same exercise routine is to be applied to the remaining three elements of air,
water and earth as well. For air, the student should visualize himself aloft in the sky,
surrounded only be bright blue air on all sides of his being; the goal shall be to establish a
distinct feeling of lightness. For water one should visualize himself as being deep within
a vast ocean, surrounded on all sides by cold, dark water; the goal is to be able to produce
a distinct feeling of coldness, though one need not try to reach a level where he can
actually make himself start shivering, etc. For earth the student should image that he is
surrounded on all sides by thick brown clay, and that with each inhalation he lets this clay
seep into his body and set itself in, weighing him down; the goal is to produce a feeling
of increased gravity on his own physical body.
Eventually the regular practice of the elemental accumulation(as indeed doing
such with all four elements should become a daily habit) will allow one to be able to
produce states observable by even the uninitiated. You will, for example, be able to
warm a person by touching him, and even reproduce testable fever-temperatures within
yourself for short periods of time. With water, one may be able to have his body feel
cold to the touch. With air, the student may be able to measurably lower his apparent
weight on a scale, though in truth his body mass has remained the same. For earth, one
shall eventually be able to produce the opposite effect of air. Such things, however, are
far off and should not be the object of the student’s desire. You shall know that in time
you will be able to produce such phenomena as has just been made note off, but you shall
not make it the goal of your training in magic in its entirety.
If you have indeed acquired skill in the harmonious meditations preceding the
accumulation exercises then the latter should prove easy to obtain skill in. When a type
of sympathy has been allowed to establish a rapport between the magician and the
elemental world it is not a very long step into interplay with the elements themselves. In
time the movement of the wind is no more difficult than the movement of an arm, should
the magician obtain such synergy.
The Projection of the Elemental Energies
After having obtained skill in accumulating the energies of the elements it would
follow that one practice projecting these energies so as to effectually interact with his
own world. These practices should naturally only be engaged upon acquiring some skill
in the accumulation and sensation of at least one of the elements. Likewise, the aspirant
should only practice projection with the element(s) he is most skilled with until he is
capable of working with all the elements mutually.
Arrange your practice session by clearing a small area wherein you are to perform
the accumulation exercise for the desired element. If you are doing these exercises in
your room it would not be a bad idea to thoroughly clean the room first, so as to ensure a
“clean” atmosphere and allow for easy access to what you are to work with. Before you
sit down to begin take a cup or jug and place it in front of the area where you will be
sitting, preferably within arm’s reach – the reason for this will be realized in a few
minutes.
Seat yourself now in your asana and commence the accumulation of the element
you presently desire to work with(ideally, the one you are most skilled with at the
moment). Accumulate the element for at least ten breaths, depending more or less upon
how thorough your concentration and receptiveness to the element are. In the length of
ten breaths some may be able to accumulate as much energy as others require a good
twenty breaths to do, and so you should judge accordingly when you have accumulated
enough.
When you are thoroughly brimming with the element in play try to consciously
move the bulk of the energy within you into your hand. Let it gather there, condensing
each bit of energy as it smoothly flows into your dominant hand. Naturally, as more
energy condenses in your hand the presence of the element should more noticeably be
exerted. So, if we are working with the fire element, the hand should begin to feel quite
warm, even hot, and so on with all the elements in accordance to their properties. I
would not advise condensing all the accumulated energy into the hand at once, but
instead send bits of it in waves. You shall send one wave, which is to be a definite
proportion of your total energy, into the hand at a time so as to allow multiple practices of
projection from a single accumulation of the element. When your hand is brimming most
vibrantly with the elemental energy, you may proceed to the next step.
Turn your attention now to the cup, specifically the empty space within the cup.
If you would like to make use of such gestures, you may extend the charged hand
towards the cup so that your palm faces downwards into it about three or so inches
upwards from it. With your hand now over the cup, concentrate on the flow of your
energy and push it out of your hand downwards, so that it is released from your palm.
Still retaining concentration on the energy, let it fall downwards from the hand and into
the cup, wherein it shall collect. In this sense you are pouring the element into the cup
very much like you may pour water into it. When you are finished your hand should feel
normal once more: remove your hand from over the cup and concentrate on the energy
inside it for a moment. After about three or four minutes, when all elementally induced
sensations of the hand are gone, extend it once more over the cup and take note of how it
feels. If the space inside the cup exerts definitive warmth, you may presume that you
have succeeded in projecting the fire element into it. Naturally, if you were practicing
with water the cup should emit a feeling of cool air from it, and so on respectively for
each of the elements and their properties.
After you have obtained some skill in projecting an elemental sensation into the
space within the cup, and have had uninitiated but helpful individuals verify the sensation
so as to ensure it was not your own suggestion to your physical senses, you may move on
to larger spaces to fill. The eventual goal is to be able to fill an entire room with the
desired elemental energy with a mere wave of a hand, and to do so in such a manner that
it effects both the physical feeling of the room and the mannerisms of any individuals
within the room. So, for example, a room filled with the fire element should cause any
individuals within it to become suddenly enthusiastic about whatever they may have been
discussing or doing, or even agitated and/or aggressive. Likewise, a room filled with the
water element should cause a cooling sensation in the air, and have an affect upon the
people within it to the extent that they calmly collect themselves, speak softly but firmly,
release any mental tension, etc.
Magic on the Three Spheres
I made mention much earlier in this essay of the three primary spheres within
which we consistently “live and move and have our being.” This, of course, follows the
hermetic paradigm and so one need not necessarily adhere to it for good, practical results.
However, one may find upon a little study that many if not all of the great occultists have
used some sort of template into which man was divided and dealt with. The division
suggested in this paper is that of the spiritual, mental and physical man, and this thesis
shall be the mechanism of the following sections. Whether or not you presently believe
in such a division I can not infer, nor can I ask you to change your established beliefs so
far as they are based upon your own experiences and not some abstract reasoning.
However, what I can ask is that you consider this threefold division for the sake of
understanding magic in three ways: energy, thought and manifestation. Try it and apply
it. If it does not work for you, then disregard it; this is a fair enough principle for all
practical magicians.
Magic on the Celestial
Our working definition of the Celestial Sphere is as follows: The sphere upon
which the archetypal energies which dictate the actions and forms of existence in the
mental and physical spheres reside. As mentioned much earlier, the archetypal existence
of all things can be found upon the Celestial Sphere before it was even given form or
image in the mental sphere. These energies are divided, for our sake, into four groups
which we have named fire, air, water, earth and a more subtle and pervasive energy
which we have called the Akasha. It follows, due to the inherent influence of these
energies, that any change in them results a consequent change below, and so they are the
foundational stones of the universal mechanism by which the highest Intelligence keeps
the universe in perpetual flux.
It is best, for the sake of practical magic, not to view the three worlds as vertically
aligned. In that way we do not think of the Celestial Sphere as actually existing “above”
the mental sphere in some point in space, nor the mental sphere as actually above the
physical sphere. Instead, the magician should view all of these as different transparent
slides, each possessing a specific image to superimpose upon each of the other two slides
so as to create a single image.
When we work purely with the subtle energies of the elements, such as the energy
within the wind that we entitle the air element, we are in fact working with the backdrop
of that “superimposed image.” I can work with it standing on a hill in the wind as if it
were indeed physically existent all around me, and yet it is not; I am working with it in a
parallel manner. Naturally, if the movements of the wind are created by the movement of
some celestial energy as this paper suggests they are, then it would follow that by
consciously moving the energy wind would result. In this way the magician can view the
wind either as the movement of particles across the physical world, or as simply a
movement of energy. Likewise, he may view himself as a body or as a soul within a
body, etc. An understanding of this parallel processing is an understanding of the
mechanism of the celestial sphere, and by what means we can influence it.
What, then, is the mechanism by which the magician may exert influence upon
such a sphere of existence? This question is easily enough answered if we no longer
view the magician as being part of a separate existence than that found in the celestial
sphere of energy, but instead view him as a threefold being that constantly has his
existence in all three spheres simultaneously. Therein, just as when I stand upon that hill
with the wind blowing upon my face, so is my spiritual self standing amidst the
movement of a wave of energy. Just as I may interact with the wind, so may it interact
with the celestial counterpart.
In order for this process to become efficient the communication between the
spiritual and physical self have to be strengthened to such an extent that a notion in your
mind will always be a notion in your spirit. The barriers between such communication
must be broken away by such things as energy manipulation and meditation. The result
is that when you speak words, there is actually spirit behind them and mental force
supporting them. When you will that the wind begins to blow, your mind can relay the
notion to the spirit which may then interact with it much as our bodies interact with
physical substances. A most excellent exercise for the enhancement of this
communication is the Middle Pillar Rite which Regardie was quite fond of.
The spirit acts upon the celestial as directed by the mind, and the precise
directions are given via the important faculties of volition and imagination. Imagination,
on the celestial level and when supported by the will, forms a template into which the
energies of the celestial can fit or be forced into. An example of this principle in play
would be if I viewed fire not as a physical substance of combustion, but as a collection of
celestial energy, and then visualized that energy changing directions so as to cause an
effect on the flame. I would imagine the flame being already much taller than it really
was, and if the communication of the mind and spirit were efficient, the actual celestial
energy behind the fire would mold itself into the template the imagination had formed for
it, and so consequently the actual fire would heighten.
An Exercise for the Manipulation of a Flame
One particularly excellent way for practicing with magic on the celestial sphere to
cause a material change, and consequently enhance the communication between the mind
and spirit over time, is the manipulation of a candle flame. Lay down in your meditation
space a candle and seat yourself some feet in front of it though still within arm’s reach.
Have next to you a lighter with which you may light the candle when ready.
Assume your asana(meditative posture of preference) and begin the fire
accumulation exercise. After accumulating about ten breaths or so(once again, use your
judgment), retain the energy within your being. You should at this time feel warm, but
not particularly hot; none the less, the sensation of the fire’s presence within you should
be unmistakable. Take the lighter and light the candle, letting it burn for a few minutes
so as to ensure a well-established flame. At this point direct your conscious attention to
the fire in your mind and try to feel the movement of the fire’s energy, making a
connection between it and your own. In this way as the candle flickers, so should you
also feel a slight flux in your internal accumulated fire energy. When this relationship
has been established begin to firmly visualize an empty “shell” of the flame around the
wick. It is this shell into which you want the physical fire to mold itself. So, if you wish
the flame to get taller you would imagine the empty shell of a flame significantly taller
than the actual flame, and begin to visualize and feel the energy of the flame spread out
more so as to fit into its new template. As this diffusion begins start to project your own
accumulated fire energy into the flame so that it does not get weaker as its energy
disperses along a larger area of space. It should not require too much energy, so do not
rush into throwing your entire fire essence into the flame as it will have no greater effect.
If your own application of the energy is harmonized with the spreading of the energy then
the flame should mold into your imaginary picture of the flame, and the actual flame
itself shall become taller. Needless to say, this same exercise applies for making the
flame lean certain directions. In time and with much practice you will be able to
manipulate the flame with a well directed command, without the need of such mental
visualization. Why? Because the soul’s interaction in the process will become far more
efficient, and so less direction on the part of the mind will be needed.
Magic on the Mental Sphere
The mental sphere is analogous with Agrippa’s “second order” of elements, i.e,
those which have been expounded upon by a single compound. As explained in some
detail previously, the mental sphere is that layer of our existence within which the
phenomena of thought and imagination find their foothold, and wherein fantasy is reality.
If we are to follow the hypothesis and the speculations of past and present theorists, we
may say justly that this mental sphere is the reality of Jung’s “Collective Subconscious,”
the parapsychologist’s “Mental matrix” and the Quantum theorists’ “Quantum Computer
Database.” In simpler terms it is the fabric by which all minds on this planet are
connected, and consequently the very means by which the minds of other can be
indirectly affected. An understanding of its operation can bring us one step closer to an
understanding of the maxim “The Universe is mind; All is mental.”
Within the mental sphere we find the associated attributes of all the elements, and
likewise the elemental tempers which I shall highlight here for clarification:
Fire - The Choleric Temper
Positive: Energetic, strength, creative, valor, loyalty, motion, perceptive, activity,
enthusiasm, eagerness, resolution, productivity.
Negative: Sporadic, breakative, irritable, destructive, intemperance, anger, caught in
illusions, gluttony, jealousy, passion, intemperance.
Air - The Sanguine Temper
Positive: Adaptability, clearness, kindness, intellectual, piercing, perceptive, inventive,
diligence, joy, adroitness, lack of grief, cheerfulness, optimism, eagerness, independence,
familiarity.
Negative: Gossiper, thief, dishonest, contemptible, fearful, lacking of stability, rude, air
headed, unemotional, continual feeling of being affronted, contempt, lack of endurance,
slyness, garrulousness.
Water - The Melancholic Temper
Positive: Respectability, modesty, compassion, devotion, seriousness, docility, fervor,
cordiality, comprehension, meditation, calmness, quick to give one’s confidence,
forgiveness, tenderness.
Negative: Indifference, depression, apathy, shyness, laziness, over emotional,
disintegrating, dissolving, secretive, no foundations, ungrounded, forgetful, lustful,
clouded.
Earth - The Phlegmatic Temper
Positive: Respectability, reputation, endurance, consideration, resolution, firmness,
seriousness, scrupulousness, thoroughness, concentration, sobriety, punctuality, reserve,
objectivity, infallibility, responsibility, reliability, circumspection, resistance, selfassurance.
Negative: Greed, addictions, obsessions, laziness, tired, lack of control, forgetful, anger,
slow, insipidity, unscrupulousness, misanthropy, dullness, unreliability, laconism.
These four tempers are the mental manifestations of the presence of overexertion
of the elements within the essence of the individual. A person who is typically reliable,
truthful and objective can be seen as having a relatively good disposition towards the
earth element. However, if this is in turn not balanced by a presence of the other
temperative qualities as well then the individual is not considered magically “healthy,”
regardless of whether his elemental qualities are positive or negative. To illustrate that, I
did introspection on my self once to discovered my own disposition, and found myself to
possess far more earthy and airy qualities than watery and fiery. While my earthy and
airy qualities were mostly positive, as were my watery and fiery, the desirable attainment
is to have a relatively level number of traits from all the tempers. Therein, I set out early
on to add more of the positive qualities of water and fire to my attitude, as well as to
transmute the negative qualities of those two elements into positive qualities. Needless to
say I am still working on this, but I would advise a similar goal for my readers. These
tempers are the qualities with which the magician plays when he engages in magic on the
purely mental level.
Exercise: Impression of Qualities
For this exercise you will have to choose for yourself an experimental subject
who must, naturally, remain unaware of your operation. Your goal will be to subtly
influence the individual’s immediate expression of elemental qualities by projecting into
their mental self an additional deposit of the desired elemental energy. As with previous
examples we shall again use fire for all simplistic purposes to serve as an example with
this exercise as well.
This is best practiced in a relatively populated area, where your own
gesticulations or actions are likely to go unnoticed by surrounding people. The best test
subject at first is likely to be a woman, and if at all possible, one who is presently
engaging in a conversation. Why a woman? I can say in all objective reasoning that
women are typically more receptive to subtle influences than men. This is in no way a
suggestion that women are weak willed, but for a similar reason they also often prove to
be far superior clairvoyants and mediums than men(as well as better Aikido students).
Locating your target and fixing your mind firmly upon her(for our purposes here),
begin a small accumulation of the element appropriate to the circumstance.
Circumstantially we shall illustrate this in the light of two women having a conversation,
and your target apparently not showing much enthusiasm for the subject of the
discussion. In this instance fire would be the circumstantially appropriate element, and
the goal would be to spark a little enthusiasm within the target. It should be kept in mind
that we are not “creating” the enthusiasm: the enthusiasm has always been there as a
potential expression due to the fire element existent within all individuals, and we are
simply stirring it into more observable action.
Begin a slight accumulation of the fire energy where you sit, keeping your mind
particularly fixed upon the idea of enthusiasm so as to invite into your being this
particular quality in a more potent manner. You may, after a few breaths, even
objectively notice a small rise in your own enthusiasm for the success of this exercise,
and while this is a good sign at first it is to be suppressed as the magician advances.
After having accumulated an appropriate amount(judge according to circumstance; a
truly bored individual will need more of a spark than a somewhat attentive one) turn your
mind to the individual you are targeting. Do not focus on the physical vessel, but instead
try to see past the body as if you were not looking at a material person by instead simply
a mental vehicle made of a subtle substance. I personally enter this mindset by
visualizing the physical skin “fading away” and revealing a person made of a dark grey
substance beneath. It is the vessel, known as the mental sheath, which you wish to
establish the connection to. Reach out with your mind and establish a sort of rapport
between yourself and the individual, then proceed to project the fire essence down this
connection and into the head of the sheath. I say head because the head is the area
associated with fire. When working with air project to the chest, when working with
water project to the stomach, and when working with earth project to the waist and
below. As your energy begins to pour into the individual begin to see the dull substance
in the targeted area of the body change into a dull emanation of the color associated with
your element. For our example we would begin to see the grey substance of the head
begin to turn a faint red. Continue this until you either notice a change in the individual’s
attitude or until the area is brightly glowing; if you have developed any degree of psychic
sight you will more easily be able to observe when to properly stop.
When done, allow a few moments for the expounded traits to begin expressing
themselves. If they begin to do so you may consider the exercise complete, as their
expression will automatically lead to their consequent suppression as a fire burns out
after running out of fuel. However, if the traits do not express themselves within five or
ten minutes, or if the target is showing signs of leaving your presence, begin to focus on
the energy of the individual and dissolve the collection of the additional elemental
energy. This can be done simply enough by focusing on the energy concentrated within
the targeted part of the body, and feeling it subside bit by bit until you can no longer feel
the presence of the element over that of the others. This is particularly important, as
imbalances left alone can cause slight disturbances in health.
We find often in many grimiores certain seals, pentacles and/or magical squares
which are supposed to “cause fighting to end,” “bring a conflict to a close,” “end war,”
“begin a war,” “excite passion for another,” etc. As pretty as all those neat symbols are,
they can all be broken down to rely on the basic mechanics provided to you above. Each
entity conjured for such operations works purely upon the mental sphere, and by its
presence there may influence easily the minds of those ordered. The fancy symbols and
the likes are simply a means by which certain reservoirs of the appropriate elemental
energy are released towards a particular goal; the names and numbers within them have
little or no significance in and off themselves.
To close this exercise I might remind you that you and you alone are responsible
for how you apply this technique, and should likewise judge it in the context of your own
established moral codes. If you find this unethical, then do engage in this particular facet
of the practice. I personally find it educational, regardless of its ethics, though I would
advise that one not abuse it. In a similar way an adept may conjure a hailstorm, which is
damaging to property, humans and animals, if only once so as to embrace the educational
experience and know that he is at least capable of producing the phenomenon. Not
everything is ethical and not everything is educational; however, they should always be
weighed in circumstances to decide the “lesser of two evils,” so to say. This exercise is
not mind control, but an educational exercise to demonstrate to the novice the power that
the elemental qualities hold over the mind. Likewise, it should be treated as such in a
mature manner.
Magic on the Material Sphere
The material sphere is the one which arguably requires the least explanation: it is
the physical, corporeal world within which we conceive ourselves as existing and to
which our vessels are confined. Due to psychological assertion that this world, within
which we live and move and have our being, is so different and set apart from the mental
and celestial spheres it is often considered the most difficult to create phenomenon
observable via physical mediums. In the occult world this can consist of healing, calling
storms, moving objects, combusting items, etc: these are all viewed as either
discouragingly difficult are scientifically impossible. However, the magician can explain
quite perfectly how such phenomenon come to manifest, and with much time, practice
and patience can himself learn how to exert an influence over the physical world.
Just as the mental sphere essentially requires celestial movement to itself be
altered, so does the material sphere also require celestial movement(though not
necessarily intellectual movement). If it is the goal of the mage to create a small flame,
adequate fire energy needs to be condensed and given a suitable catalyst. In the case of
lighting a candle or the likes, we know that logically a flame also requires oxygen, and so
it would follow that not only fire but air energies need to be condensed thoroughly and
brought together to manifest a spark. The exercise of flame manipulation I provided
earlier is an excellent way to observe the effect that celestial energies can have on
material substances, and with time and study one may also draw inferences as to the
actual nature of those refined “heavenly” bodies.
This sphere of existence is Agrippa’s “third order” of the elements, which he says
is twice compounded. To this we may add some understanding if we view the material
world as an expression of a duo: the celestial and mental spheres. The qualities of each
compound upon one another to create the final image of the physical element. Through
study and observation of practice the scholarly student of occultism will learn many ways
by which to influence the physical vessel via the manipulation of mental and celestial
qualities and expressions. For our sake I shall provide a single exercise to get you
started: the calling of the wind.
Exercise: Calling the Wind
In almost every fairy tale and work of fiction concerning the mages of lore there
are accounts of great magicians capable of raising gales at the raise of a hand, and such
images have captured the imagination of children and writers alike for ages. Interestingly
enough, this famed ability to conjure the wind is arguably one of the simplest operations
the aspiring neophyte can successfully engage in. It also happens to be a principle way
by which magical prowess can be demonstrated to open-minded observers once
developed for several months, and with time and practice give the magician a weapon in
his arsenal than can make the most skeptical of onlookers begin to question his own
stance on such matters. This is not to suggest that in a year’s time you’ll be standing on a
mountain top commanding great gales, but so long as aspirations are kept realistic in
proportion to the amount of practice put in the magician can expect to demonstrate, if
only to himself, his growing command over his environment.
Find a good open place where you may stand and feel the wind from any direction
it may blow. Turn your attention to the air element all around you: in the trees, encasing
your body, connecting you to everything else in the area via its substance. Close your
eyes and try to actually feel the very energy of the element as it lingers still in the
atmosphere, both near and afar. While not entirely needed, you may find this to be a
good time to begin the air accumulation so as to further synergize with the element. If
you choose to do so, the wind may kick up quite automatically in response to the new
concentration of its essence. If not, or you have decided to use only your mind for this
feat, then concentrate intently on trying to physically feel the sensation of this embracive
element all around you, then begin to try and feel it moving. Visualize yourself strongly
as if you are standing amongst a sea of small particles, and that these particles are slowly
beginning to pick up and move in the direction you please, brushing against your body in
the process. Try to actually feel the movement of this energy as it breaks itself against
your body and weaves its way between the grass and trees. With each minute let the
velocity of these traveling particles increase, and hold it at a steady pace until the
physical wind is harmonizing with the movement of the energy. Once unity is complete
in that respect, attempt to move the energy faster and then sustain the heightened pace
once more, allowing the physical wind to catch up. Carry this on until the wind is no
longer harmonious with the movement of the energy, and set that as your present limit
and your eventual goal to surpass. With daily practice one may quickly become quite
adept at this feat, and the aspirant should not let a slow move dishearten him at first. If
you have practiced diligently the exercises provided in this article thus far, this should be
a breeze.
The Elemental Adept
Elemental Compounds
I mentioned in the above chapter that Agrippa classified the elements into three
different orders, each acting upon the other. This subject shall now be treated of in a
more detailed manner alongside one of Agrippa’s more veiled statements.
“There are then, as we have said, four Elements, without the perfect knowledge whereof
we can effect nothing in Magic. Now each of them is three-fold, that so the number of
four may make up the number of twelve; and by passing by the number of seven into the
number of ten, there may be a progress to the supreme Unity, upon which all virtue and
wonderful operation depends.”
This “perfect knowledge” of which Agrippa speaks can rise only by the careful
study and practice of those things which have hitherto been presented to you in a manner
easily worked with, and so one need not concern himself at this point with the meaning of
that first sentence. The threefold consideration of the elements we have already treated
of, and so hour from the threefold existence of each of the elements we derive twelve
manifestations is no mathematical wonder. The next statement, however, is rather more
complex.
Twelve is expounded by the threefold nature of each of the four elements. Seven
refers to the seven rays issuing forth from the planets, and ten is the representation of
God. So, the four elements by their threefold nature are acted upon by the planetary
forces to depict the Godhead. Agrippa was a strong believer in the impact that the
planetary alignments had on the operations of the elements, for as most learned men of
his time were, he was very familiar with astrology and so believed firmly in its
application to magic. These seven rays from the planets then intermingle with the nature
of the elements to create further variations with which disciples of the Seven Rays
teachings will be familiar. For our purposes here we shall view the astrological
categories as simply an additional system of classification, wherein instead of dividing
energy into four groups(the elements), they are divided into seven.
Let us the move on to Agrippa’s following statement, which as I have noticed
over the years has managed to confuse almost anyone who stumbled upon it(the spelling
errors are his, not mine):
“Of the first Order are the pure Elements, which are neither compounded nor
changed, nor admit of mixtion, but are incorruptible, and not of which, but through which
the virtues of all natural things are brought forth into act. No man is able to declare their
virtues, because they can do all things upon all things. He which is ignorant of these,
shall never be able to bring to pass any wonderful matter. Of the second Order are
Elements that are compounded, changeable, and impure, yet such as may by art be
reduced to their pure simplicity, whose virtue, when they are thus reduced to their
simplicity, doth above all things perfect all occult, and common operations of nature: and
these are the foundation of the whole natural Magic. Of the third Order are those
Elements, which originally and of themselves are not Elements, but are twice
compounded, various, and changeable one into the other. They are the infallible Medium,
and therefore are called the middle nature, or Soul of the middle nature.”
This is arguably the most cryptic statement of Agrippa's entire first book, and so I
can understand the question none the less. The first order is the celestial existence of the
elements in their pure form, of which we have spoken at length in previous places of this
essay. The second order is the interplay which occurs in the mental sphere, where
physical represented attributes are given to the pure celestial elements hand-in-hand with
the abstract associations man has given them(such as passion, insight, etc). When we
accumulate the celestial essence of an element by focusing on its mental associations,
such as raising our body temperature by accumulating the fire element within ourselves
we are employing the second nature to take in the first nature of the element. Then,
having used the second nature to gather the celestial element in ourselves, we release the
element purely as energy for our cause. In this way the second nature is refined into the
first nature; that energy which is the basis of all magical operations. They are once
compounded because while they have the superimposed attributes of the mental sphere,
they do not yet have the image of a physical existence.
This brings us to the third nature of the elements, which is the physical sphere.
We can call it double-compounded because it contains both the impressions of the mental
sphere and the restrictive qualities of the physical sphere. One may see the three natures
as a series of three transparent slides, each one containing a certain image on it. The
celestial of first nature is the backdrop; the first slide which has the main image to be
built upon. The second slide is the mental sphere, which is the second transparent slide
added on top of the original to create a slightly different picture. The physical nature is
thusly the third slide added, which adds yet another component of the picture to the other
two sheets. Naturally, we do not work magic with the actual physical elements, but by the
virtues they represent. In this way their refinement is the application of all magic.
Conversely, the most impressive of magical phenomenon are created via the medium of
the physical elements, and so their understanding and proper manipulation allows for the
miraculous doings of the mage. This explains why Agrippa stated that the perfect
knowledge of the operation of refinement is the only means by which magic can be
operated.
The Union and Transmutation of Forces
It is rightly said in the previously mentioned text of natural magic that the most
miraculous things can be accomplished by a perfect knowledge of the union and
transmutation of forces. What this entails, exactly, we shall here consider.
There are twelve principle combinations with which the magician may aptly
concern himself with after having mastered to some degree the manipulation of the
individual elements. These double compounds, in conjunction with an example, are here
given with a short explanation as to the nature of the compound and its applications.
They are as follows:
Prime Fire Compounds
The following compounds consist of those which derive from the fire element,
and are therefore more predisposed or reliant on the qualities of the pure fire element to
exist. It should be noted that nothing exists in our physical world which is of itself a pure
element, but that everything can be seen as at least once compounded in so far as
qualities are concerned. To view these combinations under scientific understandings
would be to miss the point of everything which has been mentioned thus far concerning
the categorization of these forces.
Air of Fire
The quality most expressed by Air of Fire is what we would call convection, the
communication of heat from one position across an area, instilling a grade of heat to
nearby objects. In occult practices this is best applied when using the projection of the
vital force’s rays over long distances, or during the transfer of vital energy from one
person to another. Consequently, the phenomenon of “laying on hands” practiced by
some denominations of Christianity can also be classified as an Air of Fire operation.
The particular aspect of the spiritual convection which this compound exercises is
empathy, wherein emotions are conveyed from one object to another and thus
sympathized with. Experience has shown that interplay with the qualities of fire and air
on the mental sphere will naturally provide for the creation of empathetic faculties within
the magician. However, until the “understanding” of air and “expression” of fire are
reconciled, be it under elemental labels and associations or non-elemental occult
practices, empathy can not itself be truly developed. Those who possess the faculty of
empathy on its deeper levels knows there is a great different between feeling someone’s
emotions and understanding that from which it arose on an internal level.
The difference between “Air of Fire” and “Fire of Air” is as such: in the former,
the warmth of fire is being conveyed by the substance of air. That is to say, a quality is
being spread from a specific source. In the latter, qualities have already been transmitted
to the air, and are then conveyed by the light principle into other substances.
Water of Fire
Some may wander by what means two otherwise “opposing” elements can be put
together in a compound, and the answer is simply explained by the fact that in the mental
sphere characteristics are added to the pure energies which allow for such intermingling.
While the celestial energies themselves do not interact on the celestial sphere, they but
necessarily operate together on the mental sphere to allow the projection of qualities
which we call material manifestations.
The “water of fire” quality was, in so far as an analogy can be drawn between this
world and the mental sphere, noticed by Plato when he noticed that burning wood created
moisture to emerge. We may put this into an agreeably mechanism by seeing it as the
ability to create something as the bi-product of another thing’s destruction. This fluid
cycle is understood by one who has carefully reflected the statements concerning the
nature of water already made. “Water” here represents that something which was drawn
out of the wood by the fire; it is the ability to draw something which can yet create new
possibilities from something which is slowly being destroyed. When the magician, upon
reflection, learns the mechanism of this quality he will learn how to create something
good for himself out of every apparently bad situation.
Earth of Fire
The “Earth of Fire” key quality is that of fuel, in so far as anything which
consumes must have a source of fuel in order to exist. This holds true in all living
organisms, as does it for fire. In our physical world its correspondence would be molten
lava, though by the activation of different principles.
This quality of nourishment, or fuel, can once more be seen by viewing the
necessity of the sun’s rays in the maintenance of the earth. In this the earth is reliant on
the rays of the sun in order to operate the life principles properly.
Prime Air Compounds
Fire of Air
Our next set of compounds are those derived from the base element of air, and are
all therefore in relation to those qualities as mentioned in the proper section of the present
treatise. I am only briefly discussing the characteristics of the compounds in this chapter,
and it will therefore require that the reader reflect upon the notes provided in the chapter
detailing the four elements in order to ascertain any real understanding of these things.
“Fire of Air” would incarnate in the physical sphere as environmental
temperatures. To the occultist it would therein assume the ability to propagate a certain
desire across a distance in operation of the light principle made note of when fire was
previously discussed. Likewise, the air principle, in so far as being a mediumistic
element is concerned, is combined with this light principle so as to operate jointly an
effective vehicle of transportation. Air is the communicating principle, as has been
previously considered, and light is the transmitting or impressive principle. In union,
these two complimentary forces allow for the impregnation of our world with the
characteristics designed within the mental sphere. “Fire of Air” may then rightly be
considered a key component of manifestation in the process of conveying qualities.
Water of Air
One may be compelled to initially believe the physical parallel of “Water of Air”
in so far as we understand it to be the natural phenomenon known as rain. This, however,
is ultimately untrue. The process of rain is a double compound involving the base
element of air, compounded by the union of the negative fire pole and positive water
pole. These poles, while not a subject of discussion in this paper due to a necessary
advanced degree of understanding on the part of the reader, should reveal their
components to those who meditate fervently upon the subject. I have effectually already
given the observant and promising aspirant the tools by which their natures may be
deciphered, but I shall digress back to the subject at hand.
As is known to even children in this age of information, our atmosphere is
composed in large by water-based substances. “Water of Air” refers to the air’s nature to
magnetize to it certain qualities, so that it may in turn provide itself as a conduit not only
from the above to the below, but from the below to the above. If this is reflected upon
the studious and attentive aspirant may learn for himself how to operate a number of
communicative abilities to his advantage, such as the power to have your words draw the
attention of those you desire. All such powers as that come with great time and patience,
of course.
Earth of Air
The representation of “Earth of Air” in a manner we can understand it would be
the phenomenon of gravity: that invisible force which, in spite of its inability to be seen,
weighs us all to the earth. It also represents that which can be seen upon close
observation, similar to how in our atmosphere there are large quantities of dust
circulating which we are typically unaware of.
I shall allow your own creative inspiration and studies to bring into being the
conception of the remaining double compounds. By familiarizing yourself with the Law
of Analogy and various Hermetic Principles, and further evaluating the mechanical
qualities of the elements beyond the depth to which they have already been summarized,
you will find for yourself the properties and applications of the remaining six double
compounds. This process of observation, study and practice will benefit you much more
than if I were to simply instruct you in all of it. If you use the template that I’ve already
begun to serve as an example, you should do just fine. When your ambitions grow
further, you may step into the world of Triple Compounds, which I will not discuss here
at all.
Prime Water Compounds
Fire of Water
Air of Water
Earth of Water
Prime Earth Compounds
Fire of Earth
Air of Earth
Water of Earth
A Fire of Air Exercise: Increasing the Flame
This is the logical extension of the previous exercise dealing with a candle flame,
wherein the magician focused intently on merging his own tejas(fire elemental energy)
with the motion of the fire to take control of the small flame. In this exercise we use the
metaphorical and literal properties of fire and air to extend this flame.
By the time you consider practicing this you should be become proficient in
gathering the four respective elemental energies outside of your own body and
condensing them. Likewise, when they are in your body, you should feel their qualitative
presence. Put your mind into a point in space amidst the flame of the candle so that,
mentally, you are in fact the flame. From that point in space as opposed to from your
own, begin to accumulate the fire essence into the flame so that it becomes further
condensed and brighter. Simultaneously you must begin to accumulate the air essence in
proportional amounts to the fire essence; not as much air is needed as fire in order to
increase the fuel of the fire. When the two condensations come together at the core of the
flame it will begin to expand in short bursts. Practice this until you are capable of
making the flame too large for the wick of the candle to any longer maintain.
When you have mastered this, and can within moments create a flame on a candle
too large for the candle itself too hold and which thusly extinguishes itself, you may
move on to practicing creative fire where there is not already one present. This is
achieved by condensing large quantities of elemental energy outside the body to such an
extent that they can easily be felt by anyone near. Condense these energies to the size of
a small spark so that they become brilliant and condense. Using your mind as the master
director, bring the swiftly into contact over come kind of fuel, such as paper or leaves,
etc. If they connect then, presuming you have made two suitable sparks of the air and
fire energies respectively, a fire shall grow at the point of their union. Note that the
amount of fire energy required for this is such that it can not be channeled through your
physical body, as it would cause sudden internal harm and interior burns to the skin and
organs. This exercise must be done by gathering the elements outside of the physical
vessel.
The Elementals
Elemental entities are a subject of much theoretical dispute but which ultimately
remain seated in darkness. In spite of the fact that elemental beings are accepted as
existent in almost all magical practices dating back to the composition of the Clavicles of
Solomon the King, and regardless that some of them(such as the djinni) have appeared in
folklore predating the latter, they continue to be a gaping void in both theoretical and
practical magic. I have, to date, not seen one well written book concerning their nature,
nor even an agreeable short essay concerning the same. The ability to work openly with
them seems almost restricted today to the High Magicians who happen to understand the
initiatory rites to pass from Malkuth to Netzach, and even in many of those circles very
little attention is paid to them.
Why might this be? I speculate that the initial misapprehension was that
somehow elementals were not as practical as the use of angels and demons. The
antecedent of this fallacy plausibly came from two things: first, that between angels,
demons and gods there were already enough celestial intelligences for the magician to
busy himself with(which, in all fairness, is true). Second, because of the latter course of
action, very few elemental adepts emerged, and as a result any practical knowledge
concerning the elementals and their operations was greatly restricted. When these two
probabilities came together, the result was an inevitable lack of useful material
concerning firstly the four elements, and consequently the elementals.
When we consider that the incipient training of the neophyte in the Hermetic
Order of the Golden Dawn was largely in concern to mastery over the elements, it seems
indeed a strange thing that amidst the publishing of such books as Regardie’s “The
Golden Dawn” and “The Pomegranates,” or Crowley’s volumes of “The Equinox of the
Gods” the information concerning either the elements or the elementals is hardly present.
However, there are enough hints amidst such books as these, and from prior alchemical
writings centuries old, to put together a viable system of understanding these beings.
Once this is done they can be directly worked with, at which point the real knowledge of
their existence becomes feasible.
The notion that the elementals are somehow less practical than the celestial or
infernal legions is an entirely counterfactual assertion. If the goal of the aspirant is to
ascend from the sphere of malkuth into netzach then it would seem of paramount
importance that he learn proper observation of the elemental beings. Furthermore, this
elemental world is the world in which we “live and move and have our being.” If the
elemental kings and their subordinates are the rulers of the elemental kingdom, then
learning to interact with them can only be beneficial in the aspirant’s path to increase his
authority over the four elements and the knowledge thereof. Working with the
elementals is far from being a somehow less noble practice than dealing with angels and
demons; given the options, elements are the beings I personally prefer interaction with.
In time they can become invaluable accomplices in the magical work.
Their general nature
While the majority of this paper I have succeeded in avoiding too much
discussion of the ethers, which is of itself a confusing set of problems for those who have
not done a deal of reading over the matter, I will here have to make some reference to it.
I shall not go into detail concerning the ethers, nor explain by any means their functions
further than necessary; I leave this to the reader. If the reader is already learned in
Rosicrucian philosophies and practices then he will likely comprehend such references
easily enough.
The elementals can be seen as existing within the physical sphere, but likewise do
they exist in the astral sphere. This dual existence is found amongst all regular
entities(angels, elemental beings and demons) though is typically not present in the
composition of higher kings, dukes, princes, archangels, etc. So how is it, precisely, that
a being can have such a dual existence? Multiple emanations. Elemental beings have
their simplest existence within the chemical ether and their highest manifestation in an
appropriate degree of the astral light, just as angels have their lowest in the light ether and
highest in the Celestial Sphere.
As the astral sphere is the synthesis of the celestial and mental spheres, wherein
the energy of the celestial is given definite form by the thoughts of the mental sphere, we
can see also that elementals are neither entirely mental or energetic. They are forms of
instructions for operations and intelligence bound together into matrixes by
corresponding energies. In this way if the celestial fire energy comes into the astral
sphere then it will axiomatically attract coterminous virtues from the mental sphere to
create a form which has the energetic composition of fire interwoven with the mental
qualities and virtues of the same.
Their function in the chemical ether is in coherence to the nature of the chemical
ether. They work within it in their lowest forms to operate both the small and large
details of the universal machinery. Through their actions the elementals maintain the
functions of nature; plant growth, fires, income of sunlight, weather, balance of
atmospheric gases, natural events and disasters, etc. Expediently they fly by the masses
to go where needed, and consequently are to be found in the complimentary
environments. Therefore we may look for earth elementals most easily in thick woods,
air elementals in the sky, fire elementals in deserts and near fires, and water elementals in
bodies of water. Each one plays its own role in entire mechanism of nature.
Be that as it may, with each elemental having a job to perform, we are not to think
that they are entirely too busy to interact with the magician. If archangels can spare a few
moments from time to time, then lower elementals will not have a problem with such
communication either. A most accurate depiction of the basic elemental beings and
creatures would be that they are all analogous to individual workers in an incredibly large
business containing enormous worksites throughout the world. It does not explicitly
matter if one of the lower workers is pulled away from his duties for a time. Thousands
of Coca-Cola workers all over the globe are absent from work each day, but the company
continues undisturbed. Even when the CEO takes a day off, work does not halt but
continues oblivious of such actions. Therefore let the magician not worry about pulling
an elemental, or any spiritual being for that matter, shortly away from its duties.
It is important to know that within elemental world there are two divisions of
entities: the elemental beings and the elemental creatures. The elemental beings are
considered the more powerful of the two, having the more important obligation(sylphs
are elemental beings partly responsible for the manner and movement of winds). The
elemental creatures are somewhat the “common populace,” rarely having jobs of
individual importance. As a result, having not partaken of such responsibility during
formation in the astral sphere, the elemental creatures are typically the less intelligent of
the two. While most of them are capable of interaction and communication, a few seem
to be little more than mindless forms of energy running to and fro in relation to strings of
energy. On the other hand, some of them are innately intelligent and can bestow to the
fervent student of magic much wisdom in the matters of their respective element. Even
the intelligent ones, though, are not altogether too important in the function of the
universal machinery of nature. Does this mean that are entirely unimportant? No. Their
presence both suggests and allows a prosperous environment for the corresponding
element. A place where a large number of dwarves are present, for example, will be a
place of much fertility for plant growth and soil. Because they are largely units of
energy, their presence emanates the appropriate qualities into the surrounding
environment. For passive communication they are excellent subjects, though for
practical magic the elemental beings are more efficient. What follows is a list of the
beings and creatures according to element:
*The underlined creatures are the particularly intelligent ones
Air
Elemental Beings: Sylphs
Elemental Creatures: Fays, muses, drus, pixies, hamadryads
Earth
Elemental Beings: Gnomes
Elemental Creatures: Brownies, elves, sylvetres, satyrs, pans, dryads, hamadryads,
durdalis, goblins, dwarfs, leprechauns, and giants.
Water
Elemental Beings: Undines
Elemental Creatures: Mermaids, ocenaid, oreades, nereides, limoniades, sprites, nixen,
potamides
Fire
Elemental Beings: Salamanders
Elemental Creatures: Acthnici, drakes, basilisk, phoenix, sphinx, ifrit
This list is by no means concrete, but they are in the least the various entities I and
others have witnessed, and to them have been given the names of folklore creatures
bearing similar characteristics(according to their stories).
The Elemental Kings and Rulers
The elemental kings are of an entirely separate nature than the elementals
themselves, possessing both independent free will and the choice of alignment(infernal or
celestial). Therein, while a spirit such as a Sylph or Salamander will always
quintessentially be neutral(and therefore available for any command, benign or
malicious), the elemental Kings and Rulers may choose for themselves what they wish to
do and towards which end it is to be accomplished. For this reason a magician who
practices solely beneficiary magic may find communication with Djinn slightly more
difficult than one who practices magic for destructive reasons. Conversely, the latter
would find it much more difficult to communicate with Ghob. Now it should be
understood that no alignment in so far as the elemental hierarchies are concerned can be
considered concrete due to free will and the ability to “walk to fence.”
I will here endeavor to explain in as simple and few words as possible the general
nature of the four elemental kings. Remember that the kings are the commanders of the
elementals, and not the supreme rulers of the element itself. Therein, while near the top
of the order of command, they do not have complete control. Each king, for example,
must acknowledge the order of the corresponding ruling archangel when given: Paralda
must obey Raphael, Djinn must obey Michael, Nichsa must obey Gabriel and Ghob must
obey Uriel.
Paralda(Air): Neutral, which fits well into the nature of his mediumistic element. He may
be addressed for matters of both harmonious and disruptive natures, and execute them
with little or no bother as to whether or not it was the “right thing to do.” In this manner I
have found him efficient in any grade of magic.
The wisdom that comes with being the elemental commander of air is only rivaled
by the steadfast endurance of earth, and so Paralda has proven many times over to be a
most excellent adviser on any affair, especially those concerning intellect and the process
of learning. The magician who takes up his counsel with Paralda shall find that in time
he too shall acquire a most efficient aptitude for the creation of adept strategies, and his
cunning shall overcome many obstacles.
Paralda is best consulted, I have found, when the hardships of certain affairs stack
up against you and you can no longer decide which action is the proper one to take.
Upon that, he could almost be considered a patron of the scholar and can, upon being
asked by one whom has received his respect, increase the focus of the student many fold.
As with any king, he may be asked for elemental teachers. If the magician chooses to do
this then he may expect to be tested in one manner or another before his request is
accepted. However, the annoyance of such tests is overcome by its benefit, and in little
time your dreams shall be riddled with knowledge of your element, insight concerning
the nature of air shall come at entirely random but fulfilling times, and if your psychic
sight and hearing are cultivated you may even have lecture sessions with the new teacher.
These teachers are usually drawn out of one of the elemental creatures highlighted above
as being particularly intelligent.
Djinn(Fire): I would not wish to deceive you, and so I shall admit from the beginning
that my knowledge concerning the king Djinn is fairly limited when compared to the
other kings. The reason? My magic is essentially benign in nature, though Djinn is
typically predisposed to commit harmful acts in the wake of the magician’s initial wishes.
As such I have little reason to interact with him any more than necessary for my own
progress. For such a reason were the “djini” and ifrits, some of the servants of Djinn,
hailed as evil spirits in the Quran. Djinn himself has often been associated with a devil of
sorts.
Should Djinn accept your invitation, which often requires a deal of time
petitioning on the part of the magician, he shall bring with him a most powerful
foreboding of harm. In his presence the neophyte will often feel an intense pressure on
his chest, coupled with knots in his stomach the source of which is some sort of emanated
fear. To the best of my knowledge, and from what I have gathered via word of mouth
through other ceremonial magicians, Djinn always comes in such a manner to those who
first call him. This, it seems, is his personal test of the magician’s strong will. If you
intend to work with Djinn and can manage to bring him into your presence, stand
steadfast no matter what happens, as he will not harm you. Know that no matter how
strange, scary or apparently threatening the atmosphere gets, none of it will harm you.
I would not want to make Djinn appear as an entirely malicious entity, lest I
encounter some problems of my own upon the publication of this treatise. Though
particularly frightful upon the initial meeting, he does eventually reveal himself to be a
most handsome figure with penetrating yet understanding eyes. The more he respects
you, the less intimidating his presence becomes and the easier he is to behold. While he
is perhaps most efficient at granting wishes involving some manner of destruction, if he
takes a liking to the magician the benefits are many. The strength of the will can be
empowered many times over at the whim of Djinn, and the juggernauts known as the
ifrits can provide protection for the magician in the same manner that a bouncer watches
over a bar. In times of despair he can send a powerful spark of motive to the magician
and fuel a fire that shall push him further in his affairs, even if he were previously
considering giving up.
My inclusive opinion of Djinn is thus: He is a most powerful ally for the
respectable magician, but the neophyte should remember that he who plays with fire gets
burned. Of all the elemental kings, I would suggest considering interaction with Djinn
last.
Ghob(Earth): Ghob is a particularly benign entity. His status as the commander of the
earth elementals makes his nature one of harmony, and therefore he does not naturally
agree to operations which would conflict with the natural orders of things. If the
magician attempts to evoke Ghob with the preconception that he will learn how to create
trees, control animals, etc, he is gravely mistaken: these are not the natural ways of the
planet, and Ghob will not have anything to do with them. Only when a magician he truly
respects appears will he consider teaching the magician precisely how to use those
natural laws in order to achieve the latter. However, if such things are the magician’s
eventual goals, then he will have to learn them via his own study and experimentation.
Ghob, as his common appearance suggests, is a wise and understanding being
which, while demanding respect as any of the other kings do, would not naturally desire
to impose his status upon the magician in seeking for some form of contribution. This
singular trait makes him the easiest to work with for the magician, as Ghob’s
understanding has brought to him a kind of compassion for those who seek the higher
truths, especially if they do so in order to be keepers of the balance, not destroyers.
In contrast to Ghob’s personality is the behavior of the gnomes in general. They
are rambunctious, invading, mischievous little beings which will go as far as to directly
annoy the magician during his practices. However, as the requirement for the evocation
of all the kings, the earth elemental beings must be evoked before the elemental king
appears. You must simply stay steadfast, as with the others, and wait for their ruler to put
them in order when he arrives. One vice of Ghob, unfortunately, appears to be that he is
rather slow in appearing, answering, and acting: therein, you may find yourself
surrounded by these little beings for an hour or two before Ghob comes(presuming he is
coming at all).
Nichsa(Water): Nichsa is the king of water, and he is essentially the being which the
Greeks identified as Poseidon. In a similar manner to Paralda he is somewhat a neutral
character with a slight tendency to operate harmonious things as opposed to disruptive
forces. Nichsa seems to demand respect most strongly than do the other three kings, and
being as he is the commander of those forces which provide for life it would be wise to
give it to him.
Though a most proud king, I have found Nichsa to be very compassionate and
understanding when his requirements are met. He will scold you if he believes that you
are an incompetent magician, but this is simply to enlighten you as to your present
downfalls in hope that you may amend such problems yourself. In my experience he is
more generous with presenting gifts than any of the other kings, as he has demonstrated
many times to me by literally having what I asked for wash up on shore to be placed in
front of my feet as I stood on the beach communicating with him. On other occasions I
have been presented with a most dazzling array of sea items the likes of which you may
walk up and down an entire coast and not find, all without even asking. As you may
gather I have a most interesting display of things from the ocean in my household, as do
most of my family members now.
Though relatively quick to give gifts to those who have earned his respect, he is
particularly slow in giving teachers. Should you ask him why this is, his response will be
a relatively short but simple one, explaining that the secrets of the ocean, the tide, and of
all bodies of water are simultaneously the secrets of the moon, the atmospheric stability,
weather patterns and the cradle of life. Such information can not be idly handed over to
any magician he deems worthy enough to be summoned by.
Passive Communication with the Elementals
The best way to interact with an elemental safely is to seek it in its own kingdom.
To speak with, lets say, an elf, one would find easy accommodation in the heights of a
tall tree, resting on a limb. With the Sylphs, speak your questions into the wind, and the
wind shall whistle back your answers. For a Basilisk one could find its presence as you
meditate in a desert, and for the sprites, there is no better time to communicate with them
than the sunset on the shore of an ocean. These are their unique kingdoms, each feeling
safe and in its respective “comfort zone.” An elf is often very much willing to speak with
a magician he finds sitting on the same limb, assuming the magician starts the
conversation, and a sylph shall often shout a word to you as it flies by overhead. This
type of casual interaction, with no definitive summoning involved, is arguably one of the
easiest in so far as the interaction is kept simple. For short, peaceful conversation, this
method can be employed. However, for working magical operations with the spirits,
summoning is often a necessity(unless the magician in question has attained a significant
level of harmony with the element that can work the desired operation).
It is desirable for the magician who seeks such simplistic interaction to first attune
himself to the necessary element. So, if he wishes to communicate with the nearby
gnomes in a patch of woods, he should first spend about ten minutes meditating on the
nature of the element earth and the function of the gnomes within it. This done, and his
mind apparently saturated with earthy thoughts, the magician should then accumulate
prithivi in his body to such an extent that he feels weighted down and even a little damp.
When this is accomplished the magician may find such passive communication with the
elementals far easier, as the elemental shall not immediately identify you as something
too different from itself. Your mindset and overall feeling should be a receptive,
magnetic one, so as to invite such communication without imposing any emanations upon
the nearby elementals. For those of you interested, within this method exists the
possibility of approaching living animals and interacting with them without causing them
to flee or feel frightened. All that is required is a little insight of you own upon these
same homeopathic principles.
As mentioned briefly in the first paragraph of this section, this modus operandi is
not necessarily the best choice when the desire is to work with the elementals in
immediate magic. However, if the magician achieves passive communication on a
regular basis then he simultaneously acquires an auric emanation which invites such
conversation on the part of the elementals as well, and therein he gradually becomes
identified as a “friend” of sorts. In this manner the magician progressively obtains a kind
of synergy with the elements that he has been conversing with, and he gradually becomes
identified as an existence harmonious with that of the elementals. In time one may learn
to actually call forth various numbers of the desired elementals simply by asking aloud or
telepathically for their presence, and they may then be persuaded to help in a magical
operation. This, however, is a luxury only those who understand harmony can have.
Conclusion
The art of elemental study, practice and application has long been obscured by a
wide array of texts, and this treatise is by no means a text which embraces all the
teachings out there. While I certainly do hope that, given how much I have labored to
reconcile this information in a profitable form, it is enough to get you started in the
beautiful path of elemental magic, of itself it can not provide all the information
necessary for true initiation. For such things as that, and the true advancement of the
magician therein, he must cultivate his own insight and become receptive to whatever
revelations are given him both from within and without.
I stress that this approach to elemental magic is far from being the only one.
There are more practical models which rely entirely on energy, neglecting the possibility
of entities or simply viewing them as archetypal energies. Another approach is that of the
psychological model, which presupposes that everything comes down to how the physical
brain encodes information, and then relies on such things as Jung’s “Collective
Subconscious” to explain the existence of what appears to be multiple spheres of action.
When examined together they are likely the most efficient, though apart neither of them
seem utterly complete. Avail yourself of a skeptical yet open mind, and you should be
fine.
Future Aspirations
Now that you’ve learned the essential basics of elemental hermetics you should
apply them fervently in practice, supplemented by whatever practices of your own
paradigm are necessary. If you create for yourself a flexible but comprehensive practice
and study schedule to which you are loyal then great progress should be apparent within a
matter of months. When you reach a stage, perhaps a few years from now, where you
feel more inclined to discover some new applications you may enjoy considering the
following advanced operations:
-Converting elements between one another
-Working with the astrological triplicities
-Refining the elements
-Element specific healing
-Combining elements to create specific atmospheric and weather effects
-Affecting the sway of the tide
-Opening and closing the gates of the four winds
-Influencing animal movement and behavior
-Levitating objects with the air element
-The qaballistic applications of the elements
-Creation of mudras using the elements
Sit down and contemplate such possibilities as these once you begin to advance.
Insight and ingenuity will progress you further than study.
Suggested Reading List
-Manipulation through Astral Correspondences, by Frater AHYHHGYG
-Studies in Occultism, by H.P Blavatsky
-The Etheric Vision and what it Reveals, by Max Heindel
-Occult Principles of Health and Healing, by Max Heindel
-Higher Worlds, by Rudolph Steiner
-The Tree of Life, by Israel Regardie
-Liber 777, by Aleister Crowley
-Corpus Hermetica, by Hermes Trismestigustus
-Initiation into Hermetics, by Franz Bardon
-Nature Spirits and Nature Forces, by Max Heindel
-Transcendental Magic, by Eliphas Levi
-First Book of Occult Philosophy: Natural Magic, by Heinrich Cornellius Agrippa
-The Key of the Mysteries, by Eliphas Levi
-The Six Keys of Euxodus, by unknown(perhaps Paracelsus)
-The Twelve Keys, by Basil Valentine
-The Aurora of the Philosophers, by Theophrastus Paracelsus
-The Great Art, by dom Antoine-Joseph Pernety
-The Emerald Tablet, by Hermes Trismegistus
-Friar Bacon’s Discovery of Miracles, by Friar Bacon
I do pray that this treatise on elemental hermetics has broadened your view of
magic as a whole, and that it may help you in your progression as a magician. Namaste.
-Prophecy

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