AN OPEN EPISTLE ON
THE OATH OF THE ABYSS

PREAMBLE

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. – Liber AL vel Legis I:40


I’ve been ask why we began our discussion on the Oath of the Abyss. It’s actually quite simple. It was to educate people as to what actually occurs before, during and after the taking of this Oath. It is no secret that many young magicians read and believe in the psychobabble often posted on-line by those who have neither taken the Oath or successfully made the crossing of the desert. Too many young people are filled with glorious ideas of what the Oath entails as if all you have to do is to utter a few words and a failed life will be better because the Gods will recognize just how great you are. It’s just not that simple, playing in the mind at these depths can easily cause obsession and insanity. This subject of the Oath of the Abyss reared its head in early August 2009 due to a Practicus, who attempted to move from Hod (Mercury) into Netzach (Venus) onto the feminine side of the Tree of Life. The baggage he towed in, without any of us knowing it, was catastrophic. He almost immediately had a blow-out on Malkuth. What he failed to understand is that sooner or later all initiates reach their level of incompetence. How else do we know their true capability? We actually grow by our failures. He is no different than the rest; only in so far as he was able to focus and move beyond the bump with the assistance of his teacher. But it seems he had been lying to his teacher for well over six months and the Goddess Venus was about to say no, you don’t belong on my side of the Tree.

The actual root to the problem began almost a year earlier when this Practicus took on a female student. I sat him down and explained very carefully that due to his past deeds as one of the infamous Sacramento OTO ‘sex magicians’ who often used this title simply as a means to get laid ... that this would be unacceptable behavior in the A.’.A.’.. You cannot, under any circumstance, cross the planes when it comes to horizontal and vertical behavior in a student-teacher relationship. In other words, leave the female student alone, teach her and keep your pecker in your pants. I explained why, from a magickal point of view, that this is dangerous now that she’s attempting to move ‘vertically.’ He gave his ‘Word’ that he’d ‘never’ sleep with any student. We felt there would be no problems because, after all, his student lived in a different state anyway. ... However, within days he slept with another female A.’.A.’. student and even worse, one not even in his own Clerk House, but from another. Then, because he was higher up in the Order than she, she having just joined our Noble Order, he convinced her to be dishonest and to hide their affair from her own Superior. She loved him, she was guilty of nothing less.

But such mundane sexual shenanigans, all under the pretences of 'questing for spirituality' inevitably caused friction and fights especially after he attempted to move into Netzach, the sphere ruled by Venus. This planet, like the Qabalistic sphere itself, is associated with the 'openness' of love and the ‘affairs of the heart’ as well as both internal and external feminine virtues. On the positive side Venus, or the Manipura chakra, takes the Sun’s light and warmth (Tiphereth) and allows emotional growth in our life but on the flip side if the Sun's light is cut off it can bring death and destruction, and everything withers in relationship to her qualities. Within A.’.A.’. neither sex can guide or use females in a dishonest manner and then expect to achieve spiritually within their counterpart in themselves (Netzach) without conflicts arising from the depths of their psyche which will kick the foundations out of their reality in similar areas. ... As Above, So Below.  It is the Law. ... Netzach on this Practicus' internal Tree blew out his Netzach in his daily life ... It seems that shortly after attempting Netzach he was caught with another woman. Even if nothing ever happened, the impression of impropriety caused the female A.’.A.’. student emotional damage and she ran to her teacher and told him everything. She also learned, despite how many times this Practicus had said that he loved her, behind her back he commented to another A.’.A.’. initiate, from yet a third Clerk House, that he wished that he’d sleep with her and to take her off his hands. All this and more she found out and she was devastated, she felt used and she experienced a pain so deep of which this Practicus will never know by toying in the affairs of her heart. When confront with his dishonesty, his lying and the problems that he caused by bringing petty mundane sexual issues into the A.’.A.’. which inevitably affected three Clerk Houses, the Practicus didn’t deny it. He apologized ... and it should have ended there. [see the posting at the end of this Epistle dated Saturday August 22nd 2009 8:42am for the Practicus rebuttal to some of the above statements]

Our next step was to help the Practicus properly achieve Netzach. Is that not our goal, to help? But the only way that we could do this properly was to identify the problem. Although the ‘blow-out’ on Malkuth regarding Venus (or feminine currents) was obvious in the world around him, we lacked his internal thoughts as to the ‘magick’ that he had set in motion which caused it. We impressed upon him to keep a Magickal Diary for just one month and to send us daily entries of his thoughts on the Circle Squared. This way we could establish his ‘glitch.’ Of the 40 Buddhist Meditations, the one attributed to Hod (Practicus) is “Analysis into 4 Elements” (777 Col.XXIII) which is why we wanted him to reflect upon the ‘Square’ (Elements) in the three spheres of Hod, Yesod and in Malkuth which he had supposedly already accomplished and to let us know his understanding of how he was ‘controlling’ these three spheres while building a Temple (Square) in which his Spirit (Circle) might dwell. He was obviously ‘thinking’ wrong in regards to how to properly live a spiritual life, but where? Although we basically always knew his problem, we needed him to come to the realization of where he failed regarding the square. That was our goal and a better student would have jumped at the opportunity of such help.

But his Daimon, like everyone's, is dual in nature; containing both Angelic and Demonic qualities. It was at this point that the Practicus' Demonic side became unconsciously worried but before the Practicus was able to recognize that his Demon (i.e. negative ego) wasn’t really under ‘control’, the Demon convinced the Practicus to be stupid ... the Practicus stopped the magickal diary after just one entry so that he wouldn’t exposed the fact that he really hadn’t been building a proper Pyramid foundation and as an alternative to being exposed, he defiantly went behind his Superior’s back to swear the Oath of the Abyss. ... “and the Demon snickers.”  It was as if the Practicus’ was stamping his feet like a little child at his daddy, and saying “Fuck You” ... “I took the Oath, I’m beyond your criticism and I don’t have to listen to you anymore. God now advises me and I don’t have to prove anything to you.” ... In effect, he was acting like an adolescent teenager rebelling against his father ... and does anyone see the obvious problem here? .... He unconsciously took the Oath for all the wrong reasons and for well over two weeks we tried to reach him but he ignored everyone and dug his feet in. What was then soon discovered through what little writings we were obtaining from him was that he incorrectly took Oath; in his haste he never properly threw himself into the Abyss. He was, in affect, still a Practicus. On August 19th he finally came to this realization himself and informed us of such in an email. We were all elated for we knew that he was safe from the clutches of his personal Choronzon. So again, for the second time, it should have ended here. He should have simply asked, "Now what?" [see the posting at the end of this Epistle dated Saturday August 22nd 2009 8:42am for the Practicus rebuttal and why I misinterpreted his claims; which it appears I did but this opens up a bigger can of worms.]  

At this point I should point out that Grady Louis McMurtry told me back in April of 1984 when I swore the Oath in his presence; that the taking this Oath is not an automatic guarantee that I’ll be cast into the Abyss; otherwise every person who reads it out of some book would be thrown in but he did say that failure to take it properly would cast me into the Qliphoth of the Sphere in which I resided when the Oath was taken; this being Tiphereth the Sun. I was warned that an untrained magician would be unable to tell the distinction between the Abyss and the Qliphoth; I was to study both very carefully and especially fortify the Light of Tiphereth from whence I leaped; just in case I didn't enter the Abyss.

As for this Practicus, he leaped toward the Abyss from the Qabalistic sphere of Hod but unable to enter, he almost immediately fell into its Qliphoth. According to the Qabalah the Lord of this Qliphotic sphere is Samael which means "The Desolation of God" and it is this demon who represents the Unhappiness of the fallen and failures of creation. Once this tendency is rooted in a Practicus, Samael takes on the form of Theuniel, "The filthy Wailing Ones of God" and that's when attacks can begin from a Practicus toward what it presumed caused his 'failures.'

Normally, the sphere of Hod, which is ruled by the planet Mercury, controls our 'Intellect' and how we are able to utilize our Sun's light (Tiphereth) which we store within the Moon making it appear 'full.' The Svadhisthana chakra which rules this sphere gives us our ability to perceive our reality and relate to everything from inanimate object to people around us. In astrology this planet rules communication but not necessarily from an emotional level as does Venus but in a much more cold matter-of-fact intellectual way as a bridge between our Sun and others. In the Qliphoth of Hod, where the Ego is never under control, the Practicus will tend to use the 'Intellect' in a negative way. Instead of using it for spiritual growth, he twists his 'Intellect' into a cold defense mechanism away from the Light of his Sun (Tiphereth) toward Malkuth (i.e his reality) to prove, mostly to himself, that he is correct and everyone else is wrong; and often a fallen Practicus attacks, or lashes out verbal hatred toward those he 'assumed' have wronged him, rather than taking responsibility for his own actions. Comunication is failing. Finally, by nature of the Left Hand Pillar's descending force, a Practicus will unconsciously find the need to distance themselves from that which reminds them of their failure and they'll flee to more comfortable settings in the mundane world. These, and other things, are just some of the clues that we watch for in the Practicus whom we feel might have tripped on the path up the Sacred Mountain. And Sadly, all the Practicus' emails portrayed these classic examples of someone tortured mentally in the Qliphoth of Hod. And with that in mind, we found ourselves with the next task. How do we walk this Practicus out of the Shadows and back into the Light? It is no secret that other A.'.A.'. lineages would have cut him loose long ago but what does that say of them when one of their Initiates needs them the most that they are so quick to give up? If a student falls, it is our Duty to extend a hand until all hope is exhausted - all A.'.A.'. initiates should remember this.  If we cannot help our own, how can we ever expect to help humanity?

And this brings us to the reason why we are seemingly airing dirty laundry. In the A.’.A.’. we learn by examples; we study other magician’s lives, read their diaries and their records. We consider each magician like a pathfinder going off into some un-chartered wilderness. - As Above, So Below. - Even in our mundane world some early explorers who traveled to the New World or to some other God-forsaken part of our globe ended up going insane or died but we must never forget that others, who read these early explorer’s records, went further and further still. Because they learned what NOT to do! There were two primary reasons why this whole discussion began on our blog on August 16th 2009; first to guide the Practicus from afar by offering tidbits of daily insights for him to think about and then to use his recent magickal blow-out as an example to others. To warn other students from being silly; those who might think that if they just took this Oath that it could be their ultimate achievement without any consequences in reality. There is far more to this Oath than ‘reciting’ a simple phrase and if this Epistle can make you realize this then we have achieved our goal.

But if you still feel the need to take the Oath of the Abyss then all I can say is that yes, it is your undisputed right, it is everyone’s right. Even I cannot deny an initiate of this quest without presuming to know their True Will; which would be utterly wrong on my part. However, as Grady  Louis McMurtry did with me, I would advise him properly through the love of Babalon in order to make sure that they would be successful and stand proudly in the City of the Pyramids and had this Practicus come to me I would have offered him my open hand to guide him but instead, he hide his actions in the Shadow and now he wears a fig leaf ... so, the bottom line is this, to all my students worldwide who are reading this Epistle, don’t be stupid ... in the A.’.A.’. you have teachers, use them and don’t be so presumptuous to think that you, and you alone, know better than they.

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On Saturday August 16th 2009, I posted the following notice on our blog :

"Here is the task for all my students and readers for the upcoming week. Magicians love to pontificate on the supposed fact that if you ‘TAKE’ the Oath of the Abyss it is irrevocable, but is this true? And is a person who recites the Oath, even in a magickal setting, automatically thrown into the Abyss? Right up front I should let my readers know that I am not trying to offer advise on how to properly take this Oath, nor will I reveal its secret, but I do think this open discussion is something needed to inform all of you that this Oath is often very, very misunderstood or interpreted wrong from the point-of-view of Malkuth rather than Chesed where it should be properly taken. Yes, it is far more complicated than most realize. I swore the Oath of the Abyss while standing in front of Grady Louis McMurtry twenty-five years ago this year. I can still hear his advise, his talking about what it 'really' means, of his own stories and those of Jack Parsons and of his explanations what it really entails, advice from The Book of Lies and other sources ... all this and more still rings in my head. As well as the danger of my swearing of the Oath not only to my superior (i.e. Grady) but to the students around me. Grady, clearly warned me, and I quote - "You could kill me." ... What do you think? Why is it so dangerous not only to the magician but to those around him? So, lets talk about the Oath of the Abyss and why there isn't any 'Circle Squared' related to it. Write to the blog and let me know your opinion and your view on what this Oath entails. 
Here is a quote to all those 'thinking' about taking the Oath of the Abyss, it is one of Aleister Crowley's first warnings of obvious failure. Grady told me to read this and study certain things before taking the Oath. If I fail to fulfill this simple task, the Oath was all but impossible.

"... it is the A.'.A.'., whose members are extremely careful to make no statement
at all that cannot be verified in the usual manner; or where this is not easy,
at least avoid anything like a dogmatic statement."
                                                               - Aleister Crowley

The actual thread begins:

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Sunday August 16th 2009 –  7:00am Ricky writes - "Jerry 93, First let me say that I am no where near an Exempt Adept so for the most part I am definitely talking out of my ass. But my understanding in regards to this Oath is similar to any other Magical Oath. It is between one and ones Angel and it binds one forever to its intent. so I would say yes, it is irrevocable. I don't think you can say, "oh sorry buddy, I didn't mean that" to you Angel.  I am not sure if one is thrown instantly into the Abyss. For all I know it could be a gradual realization but one thing is certain, well certain by the testimony of those who have been there. Ones Angle immediately steps aside. It may be that you stand there and look at Her/Him for a bit before you jump, or it may be that your Angle boots your ass out there, I don't know. But if your Angel 'leaves' you then it would be like chaos anyway. With no guidance from above one would be like a ship with no compass or more appropriately a wanderer in an endless Desert of night with no stars to guide you.
You said that Grady told you that "you could kill [him]". I have never thought of this side of the Oath of the Abyss. With a student teacher relationship, (which ever one you might be) there is a sort of bond. Within a vertical school such as A.'.A.'. this bond runs deeper than just emotion respect, it is a bond of universes. I think it must be something like a hanging string of pearls. Your superior is above you and your students are below. If the middle pearl explodes then it can damage all others in various ways. Or like in the case of Jack Parsons you could really explode and maybe take your superior with you...  :)
Like I said earlier, I'm not sure, I just think...
93 93/93  Ricky

Reply. When a student begins a sentence by saying "First let me say that I am no where near an Exempt Adept so for the most part I am definitely talking out of my ass", it shows a level head. Good, stay smart. ... We have someone in our A.'.A.'. lineage who was positioned in the sphere of Hod as a Practicus who recently, behind everyone's back including his superior, took the Oath of the Abyss and then afterwards explained why he felt the need to do this and what it means to him. I just wrote to him last night saying - "Still, most of what you write has nothing to do with the Abyss. I guess I’m not getting through to you. What is sad is that you say that you haven’t taken ‘an’ oath for any egotistical reasons but, on the other hand you are indirectly saying that Crowley, Parsons, Grady and myself are all wrong with what the Oath actually entails and that you, and you alone, a low initiate no higher than the sphere of Hod, knows the truth as to what it ‘really’ implies; therefore you jumped and swore the Oath ‘correctly’ ?" ... Ricky, the reason we are having this talk on the blog is that I occassionally see a student tragically misunderstanding what the taking of the Oath implies and I thought, if I could just awaken a few other students somewhere out there in the world to be 'smart', then this discussion over the week will be worth it.

Aleister Crowley - “... when the Exempt Adept reaches the Frontier of the Abyss, his Holy Guardian Angel leaves him, and this is the one supreme terror of that passage.” ... and crossing the desert of sand takes approximately four years for what Crowley carefully describes to Frater Achad as 'connecting the wires.'  FOUR YEARS WITHOUT ANGELIC GUIDANCE.

You analogy about how 'Grady told you that "you could kill [him]" is very good. For quite some time before I actually took the Oath Grady carefully prepared not only myself, but him and those around me. If the theory is correct; that a teacher moves forward by the actions of his students and they in turn are pulled up by his ... then what happens to a person's students if he decided to skip numerous spheres (mountain peaks) and jump into the Abyss? He can not pull them up to where he now thinks he should reside and they’ll only hold him back by their weight - the alternative?  Magickally, in effect, he must cut them loose in order for himself to be successful.

This was the old mountain climbing analogy that Grady always used of two people on a rope climbing the mountain (i.e. teacher and student). The teacher can only go so high until the rope becomes tight; he then must assist the student upward a few more rocks so that he too can advance. Had our recent Practicus discussed with us his ‘ambitions’ to take the Oath before doing so, as Grady did with me, I would have immediately explained what he had to do and pulled his students away from him so that he could succeed. ... but he didn't do this, he simply slit their throats and selfishly thought of only himself, not them. We're now trying hard to 'grab his student's hands' so that they don't tumble and luckily we're pulling them to safety. ... Sadly, this Practicus writes how his intent is of "guiding humanity forward... and as you have taught me... if I can provide even one stepping stone for anyone in their path... then I have done much." ... First of all, I never taught him to cast his students to the wind like they were unwanted clothes. Grady warned me that if I did such these 'loose ends' (rope) would carry such a karmic weight that it would be insurmountable for me to achieve in the Abyss.

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7:30am Greg writes - "Dear Jerry, 93  I just read your latest blog entry on the subject of "The Oath of the Abyss?" and an idea came into my mind about the possible nature of what is implied. Liber AL states that "Every man and every woman is a star." I asked myself, what happens to a star in space when it goes through a cataclysmic change? It becomes a black hole, sucking all light and matter into it's center. Is that what is meant when Grady told you that you may kill him? That he may be unavoidably drawn-in to the event horizon? This would also reflect in the fact that other people around you would be affected too? I am seeing that to take the Oath of the Abyss is the equivalent of a star going through this massive change to come out the other side as something of a completely different nature. Am i on the right track or is this Malkuthian thinking?
93 93/93  Greig

Reply: Greg see my earlier posting today at 7:00am on this topic but when I mentioned about how Grady told me - 'I could kill him' by taking the Oath ... It is because, if he has to put his ‘thought’ back into the Abyss (as you can do with any area on the Tree once you’ve accomplished it) then his own Angel would have to step aside while he was focusing on how to guide me properly. In other words, Grady’s Angelic side could not immerse itself into Chaos. So part of the symbiotic relationship of teacher-student is for the teacher to carefully prepare himself so that the student's actions don't knock him off the mountain. Simple enough.

If this does not occur, and the student goes behind the teacher's back to swear the Oath it could be catastrophic. If, out of the blue, the teacher finds this out it is only naturally for him to immediately scream "What the fuck!" and then, in thinking about his student's actions, wham, he too is back into an area he may or may not wanted to be. He's unprepared.

It has taken me over a week to re-center myself after this Practicus in our lineage, behind my back, decided to take the Oath of the Abyss. Whether or not he actually swore 'the' correct Oath or not, it still affected me and all week long I was faltering on Malkuth with silly ‘accidents.’ Like me walking off the curb the other day and almost being hit by a car by inches. My mind was so swimming with thoughts of him, how to guide him etc, that I almost did something really stupid that would have cost me my life. I also walked into a door jam going to the bathroom just after typing an email off to him, I even clumsily dropped a glass in the kitchen smashing it, I also broke my favorite cereal bowl on another day. All week long I’ve not been ‘focused’ on Malkuth. It's as if my head has been in the clouds. I can easily do something really 'dangerous' if I do not get myself 'focused.' ... This Practicus' actions have forced me back into an area of the Tree I’m not sure I was ready to deal with again; although I’m feeling far more comfortable with it now but his actions are so ego oriented and selfish; never once thinking about others. Even others in our A.'.A.'. close to this Practicus has been doing ‘stupid’ things all week. 

And as I wrote in the earlier posting - "... this Practicus writes how his intent is of "guiding humanity forward... and as you have taught me... if I can provide even one stepping stone for anyone in their path... then I have done much." ... Ya, like he'll succeed just fine, I say sarcastically shaking my head in disbelief. He is carrying such a karmic weight by his actions (and words) that it will be insurmountable for him to achieve anything ... so anyone thinking about taking this Oath in the future; think about others around you FIRST! Remember, if you've convinced yourself that you're taking the Oath of the Abyss for the sake of humanity, you'll only achieve shit as you stand on a mountain peak built metaphorically on the corspes of your friends, students and teacher.

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7:45am Dave Solina from Florida sent me this email, sorta fitting - "93 oops.... I need to slow down. I did find this amuzing.    http://www.themagickalreview.org/occult-newswire/story04.php
Enjoy 93 93/93  David

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8:20am To Luis .... "Here is a quote to all those 'thinking' about taking the Oath of the Abyss, it is one of Aleister Crowley's first warnings of obvious failure (prior to even taking it). Grady told me to read this and study certain things before taking the Oath. If I fail to fulfill this simple task, the Oath was all but impossible.

"... it is the A.'.A.'., whose members are extremely careful
to make no statement at all that cannot be verified in the usual manner; 
or where this is not easy, at least avoid anything like a dogmatic statement."
- Aleister Crowley

The quote above is from Book Four the Chapter VI on Dhyana. Also, do you have a copy of Regardie’s The Eye in the Triangle? If so, review pages 329-337. It’ll explain more."

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8:45am Mary, apparently angrily, wants to know if "we expelled this Practicus who went behind your back" and "is he doomed in your magickal Order" ...Reply: Good questions. Absolutely not, he's not expelled. It would be utterly tragic on our part, when a student hits, in this case his first 'glitch', to simply discard him. No, he's going through a difficult period and as I already told him, I am here for him, to walk him out of a silly predicament that he's walked himself into. The saving grace is that this Practicus really didn't swear the Oath of the Abyss so he doesn't have to deal with any really karmic slaps (mentioned in earlier emails today) outside of simply being silly. Who hasn't done something magickcaly silly in their lifetime? If not, then you can negatively criticize this young pup, but if you have, then offer your hand so he doesn't fall off the mountain.

To explain, I wrote - " ... Like many who might accidentally read the Oath of the Abyss out of a book or some magician who thinks that they can simply utter the Oath in a magickal setting and it will set it automatically in motion ... your saving grace is that you really didn’t take the Oath. ... Your last email and previous only reads as text book examples of Crowley stating why he could hand a typist some sexual doctrine without fear of abuse, or why a child could read incantations out of magickal grimoires, or why some foolhardy could take a Magickal Oath ... and nothing at all happens to any of them. Its called training, they all lack knowing the proper ‘Intent’ behind the incantation or how they must ‘think’; especially in the case of the Oath of the Abyss in order for it to project your soul into this area.
Yes, it is said that if you ‘TAKE’ the Oath it is irrevocable, but the key word here is that you didn’t take ‘The’ Oath. You simply took what you assumed to be your interpretation of such as your goal from the point of view of someone low on the Tree; which I might add is text book wrong but, in truth, it is exactly how many people interpret it. Thankfully this ‘safeguard’ is in place; otherwise we’d have lots of people running around and frying out there. ... This is why I wanted you to define your interpretation of the Oath. I needed to see, as your immediate superior in the Order, what you had ‘actually’ set in motion by what you ‘thought’ the Oath involves. Although noble, it’ll hardly throw you into the Abyss. Sorry. We should talk more. There is no shame in being silly, we’ve all done it before. There is only shame in knowing the Truth and ceasing to ignore it because your ego won’t let you face the obvious phantom you’ve unleashed. But, at least now we know what your inevitable aspiration is and we can guide you more correctly toward this goal.
The bottom line, by ‘thinking’ incorrectly you did a ritual hoping for ‘Money’ but all you’re going to find is a penny. Something will always happen in magick but what you set in motion is purely Malkuthian; no higher. If you truly understood the ‘simplicity’ behind the ‘Intent’ of what the Oath implies, you sit back and go, “Ah, damn ... ” 
I wish you had come to me earlier, I could have guided you better but at least you have been saved [this time around] and for that I am thankful. I do not want to lose you."

The bottom line, perhaps this Practicus' unconscious purpose unbeknownst to even himself has not been so much to actually take the Oath as to force us in our A.'.A.'. lineage to 'define' this process more carefully. For that we can only be thankful to him because, as all in the Inner Order know, we learn by example. He has thrown himself on the fire for other's sake down the road. Now that is noble. For this reason, we cannot expel him, nor think ill of him. He's still a magician, a Thelemite and most of all ... a friend.

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9:10am Mick writes this brilliant gem, with great personal insights - "Jerry 93. Hope all went well yesterday and recent perturbations can be turned into a powerful learning process for everyone effected. I'm certainly paying attention. In a lot of ways many of the topics/events you've been teaching from over the past year have resonances in my own past history with a certain "fraternity." Being able to observe and learn has been enormously helpful in clarifying their motivations and actions toward me.
Unknowingly at various times I've found myself somewhat cast in the roles being played out now in the A:.A:.. I'm pretty frequently finding myself saying, "Ah! So that's what was going on there! That's what they thought I was all about!" Fortunately for me, my intentionality has been quite a bit removed from what was perceived and so I've (more or less by heart) been able to maintain my integrity in the face of it. But these days I'm becoming more aware of some of the dynamics that happen in occult orders - legitimate and otherwise.
To think now that I ever took the Oath of the Abyss myself, intented to, or even conceived of what it meant is patently absurd in the light of better understanding my journey so far. It's as if the ordeals I've gone through have been the result of that order's phantoms clashing with my own phantoms; not a spiritual process at all but a deadly, costly role-playing game for all concerned - apparently.
I now consider my magickal life up to this point as a kind of simulated trial run - a Kether in Malkuth moment in eternity, if you will.
Whether or not I will in ernest ever take such an oath myself seems quite far ahead of me now. And if I ever do, I think I'll do it when the forces of my discipline and training have gathered to a tangibly focused pitch - and under the personal counsel of my immediate teacher. I think the signs will be there when the time is ripe. Perhaps being able to recognize those signs is the main purpose of developing one's own highly individualized language of conversation with the so-called HGA and knowing when it's time to cut the tether.
Knowing and communicating when the student's cycles of development are at their fullness is the responsibility of both the teacher and the student. I believe now the two must be in conscious harmony for the Oath to be in effect.
What is the Abyss? What is that tractless emptiness beyond the stars? What is the Desert of the Real? How does the experience play out in the student's psyche and in the horizontal field of action? I'll have to contemplate that some more before I try to express my own perceptions on the matter.
I remember there's a section in The Vision and the Voice that deals with the experience of the Abyss, and although the entire Book of Lies is a handbook for the so-called Babe of the Abyss, could you direct me to a particularly pertinent lie or two I might mine for clues? Any assistance is appreciated.
Mick  93 93/93

Reply: I like to have students read Frater Achad's Liber CLXV titled 'A Master of the Temple' which is found in The 'Blue' Equinox Vol.III No.1 pgs. 128-170. It has great insights throughout and although the journey is always different for each one of us, his path still offers you the flavor of the journey.
Also, read Regardie’s The Eye in the Triangle pages 329-337.

We'll also be posting other references on this blog as this topic continues to unfold. I think it is going to be a 'hot' topic ...

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9:20am For those interested, read - Liber OS ABYSMI vel Daath, Svb Figvra CDLXXIV (474). Crowley says it is "An instruction in a purely intellectual method of entering the Abyss."  It is known as The Book of the Mouth of the Abyss or of Knowledge (Daath). You can also find it listed on our ‘Contents’ page.

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10:25am In regards to my 8:45am posting one initiate, who wishes to remain anonymous, talked to me on the phone from just down the street and said something along the lines that at least the fire of the burning Practicus is bright enough so that he can clearly see his way now! ... Ouch! ... Another person, or maybe it was me, is advising people to bring marshmallows. ... Sadly, since he was just a Practicus when he threw himself on the fire, the smoke is blowing downhill and hence, we're all choking and gagging from the fall-out. [I hope he realizes we're not laughing at him, but with him?]

"The common defect of all mystical systems to that of the Aeon whose Law is Thelema
is that there has been no place for Laughter."
- Aleister Crowley.

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10:40am Jay writes - "93 Jerry, As far as Liber OS Abysmi goes, I can confirm absolutely that this works. When I was about 19 I did this working on accident (I had actually never heard of it as yet, though even then I considered myself a Thelemite). I was looking to major in philosophy at the time and was wholy immersed in picking apart all ofknowledge,  reality, language and ego. The catalyst was a night of that peculiar dissasociative known as Salvia Divinorum. I spent the entire next day trying to convince myself that tangible reality was real, that my body was real; I had intellectually disintegrated everything we commonly take for "reality." Even then I remember feeling that I had somehow begun to edge into the Abyss and, recognizing the danger, did everything in my power to tether myself back to Malkuth. Fortunately the struggle only lasted about two days. It's interesting to consider this "Mouth of the Abyss or Knowledge." Even then I recognized that what I was "attaining" was truly Knowledge, but I was far from prepared to assimilate it. It doesn't help that I had done this operation by accident and being unprepared to confront Choronzon head-on I had no choice but to turn and flee... Love, Jay 93 93/93."

Reply: I've been married before, I understand ...

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10:45am Mike writes and amusing email, part of which he asks - “You have stated that it is not your views that he took the Oath of the Abyss, why so and if not, what is happening to him that seemingly has you concerned?” 

Reply: Like all teachers, we rely on what we know; by what we’ve been taught by our teachers, by what we’ve read and of our own personal experiences first hand. Grady always told me to ‘write’ things very carefully after taking the Oath because each ‘Word’ becomes part of your Soul’s unconscious affirmation toward your conscious success or not in crossing the desert of sand. If your ‘Word’ implies even one Iota toward what YOU want to achieve, or me, me, me, me, me, then you are holding back drops of blood from the Chalice of Babalon (Binah). You fail. In fact, you cannot even enter the Abyss with this attitude; its one of its fail safe mechanism. You must enter it correctly. ... The Abyss, although it must be discussed in such a manner for people to understand, is NOT all about you.

What is happening to this Practicus? I’ve seen this pattern before, most teachers have. He’s is not in the Abyss but simply in the Qlippoth of Hod; bathed in the Intellectual Pit of Because trying to ‘justify’ to ‘himself’, more so than to us, that he’s right and everyone else is wrong ... it’s a classic text book example of a magickal ‘obsessive’ meltdown. He can’t even become a Black Brother because in theory he’s never really entered the Abyss ... and tragically, unless he comes to his senses, his ‘magickal obsession' will inevitably force him to move 'on' and away from the the A.’.A.’. ... In the case of a magickal obsession this is because a person’s ego defense kicks into over-drive; they can’t face their phantoms and vaniquish a growing ego, so they often run off to create their own Order so that they can rewrite the Magickal Laws to prove their own greatness while indirectly hiding their inability to fulfill something correctly. This new quest often has them seeking out others who’ll believe them and of course, these will be people whom are always on Malkuth. Anyway, knowing this Practicus who recently attempted to swear the Oath of the Abyss, this is not his destiny. He's too good for that. I suspect him and I will be sitting here at a local bar tossing down a pitcher of beer and having a good laugh over this someday. So you ask - "Is there hope for him?" Of course, all serious magicians have ‘glitches’ or occasional magickal meltdowns. It’s why we need teachers; to pick us up, dust us off, blow our nose and point us toward where we should be going ...

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5:00pm Regarding the Abyss, consider this section from Liber vel Thisharb, sub figura CMXIII in Magick in Theory & Practice :

0. This book is not intended to lead to the supreme attainment. On the
contrary, its results define the separate being of the Exempt Adept
from the rest of the Universe, and discover his relation to that
Universe.

1.  It is of such importance to the Exempt Adept that We cannot overrate
it. Let him in no wise adventure the plunge into the Abyss until he have
accomplished this to his most perfectest satisfaction.

2.  For in the Abyss no effort is anywise possible. The Abyss is passed by
virtue of the mass of the Adept and his Karma. Two forces impel him:
the attraction of Binah, the impulse of his Karma; and the ease and
even the safety of his passage depend on the strength and direction of
the latter.

3.  Should one rashly dare the passage, and take the irrevocable Oath of
the Abyss, he might be lost therein through Aeons of incalculable
agony; he might even be thrown back upon Chesed, with the terrible
Karma of failure added to his original imperfection.

4.  It is even said that in certain circumstances it is possible to fall
ltogether from the Tree of Life, and to attain the Towers of the Black
Brothers. But We hold that this is not possible for any adept who has
truly attained his grade, or even for any man who has really sought to
help humanity even for a single second, and that although his aspiration
have been impure through vanity or any similar imperfection.

5. Let then the Adept who finds the result of these meditations
unsatisfactory refuse the Oath of the Abyss, and live so that his Karma
gains strength and direction suitable to the task at some future period.

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5:45pm Although the whole book is great, consider a few of these quotes from Book 4 from the Sangreal Foundation, Inc (Dallas, Tx 1972) edition :

"The Master of the Temple asks, on seeing a slug: 'What is the purpose of this message from the Unseen? How shall I interpret this Word of God Most High?' "  - pgs. 76-77

"A real Magical Oath cannnot be broken : you think it can, but it can't.
This is the advantage of a real Magical Oath." - pg. 81

"All impressions are disconnected, as the Babe of the Abyss is so terribly aware; and the Master of the Temple must sit for 106 seasons in the City of the Pyramid because this coordination is a tremendous task." - pg. 84

"The Master of the Temple, whose grade corresponds to Binah, is sworn to "interpret every phenomenon as a particular dealing of God with my soul." But even the beginner may attempt this practice with advantage." - pgs. 85-86

"And so we find once more that the Ego-idea must be ruthlessly root out before Understanding can be attained.
There is an apparent contradiction between this attitude and that of the Master of the Temple. What can possibly be more selfish than this interpretation of everything as the dealing of God with my soul?
  But it is God who is all and not any part : and every 'dealing' must thus be an expansion of the soul, a destruction of its separateness." - pg. 86

"The Master of the Temple has crossed the Abyss, has entered the Palace of the King's Daughter; he has only to utter one word, and all is dissolved. But, instead of that, he is found hidden in the earth, tending a garden." - pg. 88

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6:45pm Ricky writes - "Dear Jerry 93! I was writing a tome on this question I have regarding Grady and the Abyss and decided that it was stupid so I'll just sum it up. Who did Grady get this guidance/ interpretation of the Oath from? It seems his Superior was in no way fitted to give it. Could it have been analogous to the OTO grades of VII and VIII in that they represent sort of a Macro-cosmic mirror of the event? Or was it pure Gnosis? 93 93/93 Ricky ."

Reply: Great question. Grady was taught magick by Crowley who admits that he taught Grady more magickal theory (especially about OTO) than anyone in his entire life. It is no secret that nearing the end of his life he felt the need to teach someone the secrets of 'how to interpret' his works before it died with him. Grady was all ears. Grady was also a close personal friend of Jack Parsons who swore the Oath of the Abyss, and in the old days, even right up until Grady's death, magickal theory was openly discussed and talked about amongst magicians. ... Basically, once you got some insight into 'how' to read Crowley his teachings unfold to you and in the past, everyone benefited by what each other read and experienced. We are trying to do this again on our blog; teaching theory etc.
This 'openness of teaching magick' in the OTO became frowned upon after Fra. HB took over the Order in 1985 and for well over fifteen years or so we entered a dark period of discussions and writing about magickal theory. Everyone seemed more concerned with politics and who hated HB, why, and who was the real OTO bla bla bla ...
As for the A.'.A.'. - Grady always said that a Third Degree OTO initiate should become a Probationer ... and yes, VIIth & VIIIth degree OTO is the horizontal to the AA's vertical and this is why, once its secrets became known as to how and why this is so, many of the old Agape Lodge members decided to swear the Oath of the Abyss upon assuming IXth Degree. The most famous being Jack Parsons. .... Many of them, of course, failed. This was because they didn't have the secrets behind VIIth & VIIIth Degree or the foundation stones; only Grady knew those ... and by the time he got back from World War II he had a falling out with some of them and he simply had no interest in sharing the vital info.

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Consider this quote by Aleister Crowley about 'jumping' into the Abyss, the reasoning and failures, which is found in Liber Aleph - "Of the Black Brothers, o my Son, will I write these Things following. I have told thee already concerning Change, how it is the Law, because every Change is an Act of Love under will. So then He that is Adept Exempt, whether in our Holy Order or another, may not remain in the Pillar of Mercy, because it is not balanced, but is unstable. Therefore is the Choice given unto him, whether he will destroy his Temple, and give up his Life, extending it to Universal Life, or whether he will make a Fortress about that Temple, and abide therein, in the false Sphere of Daath, which is in the Abyss. And to the Adepts of our Holy Order this Choice is terrible; by Cause that they must abandon even Him whose Knowledge and Conversation they have attained. Yet, o my Son, they have much Help of our Order in this Aeon, because the general Formula is Love, so that their habit itself urges them to the Bed of our Lady BABALON. Know then the Black Brothers by this true Sign of their Initiation of iniquity, that they resist Change, restrict and deny Love, fear Death. Percutiantur." - (De Fratribus Nigris Filiis Iniquitatis, pg.104)

Note: The "Knowledge and Conversation" to which Crowley refers is that of his Higher Self in Tiphereth and not
his (objective) Angel. He would explain this in Magick Without Tears.

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Monday August 17th 2009 – 7:06am The Practicus who had the 'Oath of the Abyss' glitch recently sent me a brief email this morning, he writes - "I don't know what I 'want to do' ... but as you pointed out it may take years, if ever, for me to come to 'my senses'... so maybe just let me be for now, to sort things out on my own... for those who will label me just "another example of 'magickal obsession' where a magician inevitably finds the need to move 'on' and is labeled ‘crazy.’"... so be it."

Reply: My advice is a lesson that all my students should carefully hear - I wrote: "Yes, it may take you years to 'come to your senses'  ... had you taken the Oath of the Abyss ... In your case, it all depends upon how fast you can pick yourself up after the horse has bucked you, dust yourself off and ask your instructor how do I get back on?  .... We all make mistakes .... the biggest you’ll make is giving everyone the excuse to label you ‘crazy’ by disappearing; hence running into the Qlipphoth of Hod. My advice is to get off your fucking ego, simply start ‘laughing’ and tell everyone ‘opps’ and move on. Its no biggie! This has been a great learning lesson for you and for others and if you truly want to ‘guide humanity’ as you claim, you’ve offered yourself as an example! ... In the A.’.A.’. there can be no better teacher.
Anyway, this has been your first serious ‘glitch’ moving vertical. We’ve all had them; read Crowley’s life, Grady’s and even my own. What has happened to you is nothing special and for the record; you’ll also have other future ‘glitches’ ... nobody, I mean NOBODY climbs the Tree of Life and doesn’t sooner or later stumble. We can only truly judge where our students reside until they fall. Prior to this they can fool us as to their accomplishments. Haven’t I always taught you that according to the Qabalah we don’t belong in the Tree and that nature is constantly trying to ‘right the wrong’ and force us back to the ground? What makes you think you’re so special that you, and you alone, are not ever going to have an ‘opps’ ?
An ‘opps’ is like walking into a room full of cute girls in High School with your zipper down. Yes it’s an embarassing moment. Some will laugh at you and yes you’ll want to run and hide ... but four years later does it really matter or is it just a good story? But if you ran off and hide for those four years how much have you miss out on? .... so don’t be stupid."

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7:30am I wrote to another student regarding coming through the Abyss and how if you start getting things handed to you on a silver platter it might imply that you are finally accomplishing your True Will and the Universe is working with you ... but, on the other hand  - "Ah, the dangers of being in the Abyss; Up in Down, Light is Darkness and just when you think everything is going your way on Malkuth you find a snickering Demon hiding in the shadows. Then, just as you’re about to turn and run, your Demon hands you a diploma into The Black Brotherhood. After all, you’ve accepted his gifts on Malkuth, obviously withholding blood from the Chalice, so what do you expect?" ... Crossing is not as easy as you think.

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2:08pm Ben sent an email. He writes - "Jerry, 93 In The Unknown God, p. 50 is the following: '...Crowley told Jones that anyone could assert their right to hold the grade of Magister Templi by swearing the Oath of the Abyss...Crowley saw no fault in one's taking the Oath when it was appropriate in one's path, but it was an extremely serious step, guarded about on all sides with snares set to destroy the presumptuous or the unworthy. In an undated note on the grade of Magister Templi (ca. 1943, HPS Papers) titled "Smith + 8=3" Crowley commented: "Now the rule is that if you claim to be 8=3, you are 8=3!  And God help you!  You accept the conditions - see Liber 418.  If there is one drop of your blood that has not gone into the cup of 156, it corrupts the whole man."  It was the only grade of the A.'.A.'. that could be so claimed.  To take this step when one was unprepared for the burdens of the grade was to court the most serious danger to health and sanity.  Hubris in this manner would be definitely be followed by Nemesis.' 
So my question is this, what is the context of the quote from Helen's papers? That quote from Crowley does seem to imply that done is done (success vs. Black Brotherhood) when it comes to the Oath of the Magister Templi. I like the way that Mr. Starr has written the whole of the above, because it seems to confirm what we've been talking about this weekend, but I feel that this could be an important point in the future. Also, when Crowley directs the reader to Liber 418 is there a passage in particular, because I immediately inferred the 13th, 7th and 6th Aethyrs?
Anyway, cup o' joe around 12.30?  We could talk then.
93/93 Ben

Reply : I agree, done is done but the question that we have been discussing is whether or not the Practicus even took the proper Oath of the Abyss in the first place - to get it 'done.' ... Crowley does say “A real Magical Oath cannot be broken : you think it can, but it can't. This is the advantage of a real Magical Oath." ... The key word being ‘real’ ... Yes, everything you utter in a magickal setting does comes true but one of the reasons why magicians must keep Magickal Diaries is that it helps ‘define’ things; hence the Intent and it shows us down the road what was really set in motion if the assumed ‘Intent’ doesn’t come true.
I met with Ben for coffee around twelve-thirty and we discussed all this in-depth. It appears Helen's quote that is mentioned above is more generic. Ben did make a good point; that I should tell people that they should be very aware of whom they quote and if the authors are A.'.A.'. ... and most important, are they high enough up on the Tree to 'interpret' the area to which they speak. Time and time again we see people, many no higher than Malkuth, speaking from an 'authoritarian' point-of-view as if they 'know' what magicians are really doing specific areas. 

Also, to answer Ben's earlier question, consider this:

"It is very curious; they seem to be looking for one another or for something, all the time, constantly hurrying about. But they knock up against one another and yet will not see one another, or cannot see one another, because they are so shut up in their cloaks.
And a voice sounds: It is most terrible for the one that hath shut himself up and made himself fast against the universe. For they that sit encamped upon the sea in the city of the Pyramids are indeed shut up. But they have given their blood, even to the last drop, to fill the cup of BABALON.
These that thou seest are indeed the Black Brothers ..."
       - The Vision & The Voice, 7th Aethyr
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4:15pm In our never ending struggle to Understand the Magister Templi and the Oath of the Abyss this week I suggest that my readers consider this quote from Magick Without Tears in Chapter 50 - 'A.C. and the "Masters"; Why they Chose him.'

"It is most necessary that you should understand what happens when on goes from Adeptus Exemptus 7° = 4° to Magister Templi 8° = 3°.  As you see from a glance at the Tree of Life, this advance entails the Crossing of the Abyss; and there is no Path.  That means that one must jump.  You must get rid of "all that you have, and all that you are"—that is one way to put it.
The Vision and the Voice, Aethyrs XVI—end, gives an immense amount of detail; it must be studied intensely, with diligence, with Will, and with imagination.  Not only the attainment of the grade, but the events which go with, or come after, it; all these are described as actual Experience.  Even so, it is all extraordinarily difficult until you have been through it yourself."

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5:30pm To address my own question, or why there isn't any 'Circle Squared' degree symbols related to the Abyss; before I get any further stupid emails about parallel universes or Chaos theories, it all has to do with the Angel and Demon. Remember what Aleister Crowley said - “... when the Exempt Adept reaches the Frontier of the Abyss, his Holy Guardian Angel leaves him, and this is the one supreme terror of that passage.”  [The 'Blue' Equinox III:1, Liber LXXI, The Voice of The Silence, Section III:24] so, with that in mind; if the Circle represents the Angel and the Square represents the Demonic 'forces' ... well, do I have to paint you a picture?  All you have left is the 'square' when you 'jump' into the Abyss! Hence, no circle squared.

And I ask myself, "But isn't the square in each symbol of A.'.A.'. grades a reference to the type of lower energy that must be controlled that is rooted in Malkuth?"  Why, yes I add, and if you are left with just the square then perhaps there are secrets here ... no? Consider how Saturn is the Qabalistic sphere ruling the grade of Magister Templi and how it rules the card of the Universe. Isn't this path of The Universe located on the Tree of Life uniting Malkuth with Yesod? A wise magician will think on this in relationship to crossing the Abyss. A really wise magician will wonder why it here we find The Dweller on the Threshold! (Liber 777 Col. CLXXXIII).

"It encourages me immensely; for if my Dweller on the Threshold be the most formidable devil, how vast must be the Pylon that shelters him, and how glorious must be the Temple beyond!"
John St. John, The Equinox Vol.I No.1 pg.85

Note:
1. The phrase 'The Dweller on the Threshold' first appeared in Bulwer-Lytton's novel Zanoni
referring to an invisible malevolent entity that attaches to human beings.

2. I should point out that the phrases most often attributed to the path of The Universe are
"Cosmic Consciousness" and, more important, "Dominion and Slavery."

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Tuesday August 18th 2009 – 6:10am Consider this piece written by Aleister Crowley in Liber Aleph which explains why an Adept Exempt must 'jump' into the Abyss and what happens if he fails. - "Of the Black Brothers, o my Son, will I write these Things following. I have told thee already concerning Change, how it is the Law, because every Change is an Act of Love under Will. So then he that is Adept Exempt, whether in our Holy Order or another, may not remain in the Pillar of Mercy, because it is not balanced, but is unstable. Therefore is the Choice given unto him, whether he will destroy his Temple, and give up his Life, extending it to Universal Life, or whether he will make a Fortress about that Temple, and abide therein, in the false Sphere of Daath, which is in the Abyss. And to the Adepts of our Holy Order this Choice is terrible; by Cause that they must abandon even Him whose Knowledge and Conversation they have attained. Yet, o my Son, they have much Help of our Order in this Aeon, because the general Formula is Love, so that their habit itself urges them to the Bed of our Lady BABALON. Know then the Black Brothers by these true Sign of their Initiation of iniquity, that that they resist Change, restrict and deny Love, fear Death. Percutiantur."
- On the Black Brothers, Sons of Iniquity, pg.104

Note: The 'Knowledge and Conversation' to which Crowley refers is actually his Higher Self in Tiphereth and not
that of the actual 'objective' Angel; he would make this distinction in Magick Without Tears.

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11:30am Here are some more lessons for all to learn. I have been chatting back and forth with Frater T’ai Li Heng about the Oath of the Abyss, magickal obsessions and other subjects; part of which reads -"Yes, [this Practicus] still befuddles me too. You wrote – “His psychological complex must run deep” ... and they do; he and his father fight like cats and dogs. It is amusing that the ‘first’ obligation that I imposed upon him outside of his general practices was to begin the Circle Squared Diary so we could establish his ‘glitch’ ... Now, regarding the 40 Buddhist Meditations, the one attributed to Hod is “Analysis into 4 Elements” (777 Col.XXIII) which is why I wanted him to reflect upon the ‘Square’ (Elements, Malkuthian) in that sphere, Yesod and Malkuth and let us know his understanding of how he is ‘controlling’ these while building a Temple (Circle) for his Spirit. He is obviously ‘thinking’ wrong somewhere, but where? ... Instead of fulfilling this requirement, what does he do? Nothing! He refuses to do what I requested and defiantly takes the Oath of the Abyss behind our back instead, as if this will get him away from ‘dad.’ If we are suppose to interpret every phenomenon to be a direct dealing with God and our soul; he’s beginning by blindly denying why he’s jumping out of the frying pan into the Fire (of Hell). [As magicians, we cannot not believe in coincidence, ... otherwise, why keep diaries to help us discover our unconscious behavior?]
Is it Hod you ask?  Yes. It is ‘Intellect’ gone haywire trying to justify ‘his’ Universe above Nuit’s. Also, not a good start when throwing yourself into the Abyss hoping to embrace Nuit. It dooms you from the start.
Sadly, being ‘obsessed in Hod’, I am reminded of Grady’s talk about how its impossible to stay in any given sphere of the Left or Right Hand Pillars for too long. Nature cannot allow a person to be 'unbalanced' in their Ruach and if you don't keep moving forward, you’ll fall (and I can hear Grady laughing, choking on pot saying “a snail’s pace is OK, just keep moving!”). Crowley, and even most magickal schools in general, will tell you that the most comfortable stopping places are always on The Middle Pillar. However, since our little [Practicus] cannot go forward until he resolves issues, he must get his 'act together' or he'll be thrown out to Malkuth. Then, to paraphrase Phyllis Seckler, “Fruit that falls from the Tree doesn’t re-attach itself.”

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11:40am It was in October of 1908 that Aleister Crowley performed a Magical Retirement in Paris which he refers to as John St. John (The Equinox Vol.I No.1) Of course the 'Great Obligation' that he mentions is based upon the magickal principles and theory of The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. He had established the A.’.A.’. less than a year earlier and was still coming to terms with ‘New Aeonic’ ideas, while often using the old, or that which he knew and felt comfortable. Still, as an over-view of one's affirmations leading up to the 'Oath of the Abyss', it is gem to consider.

To quote a part from John St. John : "Quite slowly and simply therefore did I wash myself and robe myself as laid down in the Goetia, taking the Violet Robe of an Exempt Adept (being a single Garment), wearing the Ring of an Exempt Adept, and that Secret Ring which had been entrusted to my keeping by the Masters.  Also I took the Almond Wand of Abramelin and the Secret Tibetan Bell, made from Electrum Magicum with its striker of human bone.  I took also the magical knife, and the holy Anointing Oil of Abramelin the Mage."
I began then quite casually by performing the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, finding to my great joy and some surprise that the Pentagrams instantly formulated themselves, visible to the material eye as it were bars of shining blackness deeper than the night.
I then consecrated myself to the Operation; cutting the Tonsure upon my head, a circle, as it were to admit the light of infinity: and cutting the cross of blood upon my breast, thus symbolising the equilibration of and the slaying of the body, while loosing the blood, the first projection in matter of theuniversal Fluid.
The whole formulating the Ankh--the Key of Life!
I gave moreover the signs of the grades from 0= 0 to 7 = 4.

Then did I take upon myself the Great Obligation as follows:

I.   I (name) a member of the Body of God, hereby bind myself on behalf
of the whole Universe, even as we are now physically bound unto the
cross of suffering:

II.   that I will lead a pure life, as a devoted servant of the Order:

III.  that I will understand all things:

IV.  that I will love all things:

V.   that I will perform all things and endure all things:

VI. that I will continue in the Knowledge and Conversation of My Holy
Guardian Angel.

VII. that I will work without attachment:

VIII. that I will work in truth:

IX.   that I will rely only upon myself:

X.   that I will interpret every phenomenon as a particular dealing of God
with my soul.

And if I fail herein, may my pyramid be profaned, and the Eye be closed upon me!"

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2:10pm pm Regarding what we've been talking about today or of a magickal blow-out in Hod; let me address a few incoming emails from a different point-of view so that you all might understand what I mean. I am not sure I'm making myself clear. ... The term 'blow-out' is a reference to any uncontrolled issue that are occurring in a specific chakra which one is presently working with; issues either in your mind, your health, or in your life (i.e. Malkuth); or all of the above. As a scientist, magicians use 'themselves' as the great experiment and occasionally we blow up a test tube or two by accident. No biggie. Just clean up the mess, learn by it and move on!

MIND : The sphere of Hod on the Tree of life is what in the east they call their Svadhisthana chakra. In his Introduction to The Tibetan book of the Dead (1960) Carl Jung (1875-1961), the founder of modern analytical psychology, writes, “One often hears and reads about the dangers of Yoga, particularly of the ill-reputed Kundalini Yoga. The deliberately induced psychotic state, which in certain unstable individuals might easily lead to a real psychosis, is a danger that needs to be taken very seriously indeed. These things really are dangerous and ought not to be meddled with in our typically Western way. It is a meddling with Fate, which strikes at the very roots of human existence and can let loose a flood of sufferings of which no sane person ever dreamed." ... In other words, if the Kundalini is incorrectly applied in any given Chakra, physical or mental disabilities can easily afflict an individual and often from a ‘psychologically point-of-view’ they appear to be plagued by manic and psychotic episodes as their internal pendulum swings from one extreme to another. It is not uncommon to find such individuals suffering from 'obsessive' periods of great elation or bliss to extreme anxiety and fear, often hallucinatory bordering on schizophrenia. This is not solely my belief on damaged chakras but Carl Jung's too. ... In most cases blow-outs in all of the Chakras affect the mind in a similar manner. To understand what actually occurs the best example is the similarities of your psychic system to twenty-two-gauge wire. How much current could you draw before the wires burned out? Could it draw 100 amps? Of course not; a burnout would be inevitable because most psychic systems are ill prepared for any influx or surge of ‘life current’ due to incorrectly using a Chakra. This is why magician study and try to do things correctly. There is a time tested system that seemingly works as if to slowly 'upgrade' your system (i.e. wires) as you climb the Tree.

HEALTH : The Svadhisthana Chakra (8-Hod) is your conscious ego's way to meddle with the sexual Muladhara (9-Yesod) which is the libido and it does so either in a positive or negative way. It is said that the Svadhisthana rousts the Serpent (i.e. Kundalini) ... It is in the sphere of Hod that we intellectualize our sexual proclivities and work the often blind sexual libido to manifest our desire in our body; as we've come to understand them from childhood lessons about 'sex'. ... Blow out here or damage your Svadhisthana ... and kiss a healthy sex life good-bye. To quote one source - "Often, if there are issues in the Svadhisthana, impotence can become the physical disease in our bodies due to 'thought' being incorrectly used to move the libido over a period of time."  With women the sexual drive also dies ...

REALITY : From a mundane point-of-view a classic blowout in one's life would be rooted in faulty sexual urges (originating from 'thoughts' in Hod) that convince you that it's ok to be disrespectful of the Laws of your mates Universe while simply trying to get laid. Some men in OTO circles were 100% guilty of this because the Order taught that women were just 'vehicles' for men; so to the untrained it implied that they could be dishonest and lie, possibly even cheat or giving the impression of impropriety as long as they inevitably get into some girl's pants. Such mundane sexual shenanigans, all under the pretences of 'questing for spirituality' and 'learning sex magick', inevitably causes friction and fights in one's life because ensue ... screw up your Svadhisthana and usually "that which is concealed often becomes known." There are some classic stories about a few OTO bodies melting down due to their sexual antics - "Hey little girl, wanna be a priestess?"

"I am the secret Serpent coiled about to spring:
in my coiling there is joy. If I lift up my head, I and my Nuit are one.
If I droop down mine head, and shoot forth venom, then is rapture of the earth, and I and the earth are one." - Liber AL vel Legis II:26

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2:00pm I received this email from Jerri; subject title "Abysmal thoughts..." , she writes, "93 Jerry,
Well here are a few of my mental ramblings regarding this Abys(mal) topic...I've no clue whatsoever, just throwing a couple of my thoughts out there...
In my consideration of the process of crossing the Abyss, I've been pondering the circle/square concept quite a bit. No, there would be no circle/square...only the square. The square is analogous to our bodies, the base of the pyramid, and the elements right here on Earth, which we and the physical universe are all comprised of--it is the Demons who are the creators of the physical and we simply do not get rid of our Demon and LIVE-it is always with us!!
Ok, so, why no circle?! This has been what is troubling me...but it makes intellectual sense to me in this regard- the 'Angel' and the 'Demon' are 'one' and the 'same' above the Abyss...I suppose it is the only way to describe that from down here below. From Below the Abyss, I can only think in these terms to describe it...I intellectually grasp that there still may be "separation" but instead of contradiction and duality, it is unity and oneness...the Abyss is the gateway (just as Yesod is the gateway of formation to the making...or material)
Perhaps this is one way the path of the Universe and Saturn relates- Yesod to Malkuth is the descent of the astral imagination or formation into the world of making...Binah to the invisible Daath to Chesed might represent the spirit's descent, thus constriction and/or division into the Ruach, the creative world. Yesod would appear to be the lower octave of Daath. "imagination" (Yesod) vs "knowledge" (Daath)
Also, the implication here, if I am to follow this intellectual thread of mine, there must be another "Dweller" in Yesod. Perhaps of a more personal or egoic type nature...in Daath the Dweller might be more Universal??? I've read a bit regarding this Dweller (on the Threshold of the Abyss), and one of the ideas seems to be that he is the astral representative of all of our evils, horrors, fears, and terrors (karmic debts, even???) from our previous incarnation that we must eventually face as they have been unconsciously shaping us since the beginning of our present incarnation...hmm...it seems that there must be far more to it than this though...I don't know...again, I've no clue...just a few of my thought processes....
Hope you are having a fabulous day...be careful...I am worried about you...no walking in front of moving vehicles or leaving your door unlocked!!! If you start eating veggies, I am REALLY going to freak out!!!!
93 93/93 Jerri

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Wednesday August 19th 2009 – 4:15pm Mr Anonymous wants to know if I thought this “initiate who must have sworn the Oath of the Abyss and pissed you [i.e. me] off is really doomed?” 

Reply: Good question. We really don’t know the outcome of anyone’s ultimate quest but as teachers we are trained at not only guiding but knowing the pitfalls and advantages of each magickal degree. In other words, this Practicus’ behavior is text book failure; its like watching someone run in slow motion toward a cliff and you can see the outcome long before you hear him scream. We’ve been yelling at him to stop all week but inevitably, due to Free Will, the outcome is his to pick. The bottom line is that an Initiate should never be so presumptuous to think that he, and he alone, knows better than his teacher and then, at a critical moment, disregard their advice and keep running toward the cliff. Why bother joining a magickal fraternity if this be the case? A person joins the A.’.A.’. because they want the teachings, they want someone who has traversed in the areas of the Tree that they now seek and most important, they want someone to be watching their back so they don’t get in trouble.  Why ignore all this when you need it the most? 

The greater tragedy, above all else, is that this Practicus has walked himself into a corner thanks to the immensity of his ego. He can never admit to having erred, or even to apologize for his transgressions against his students, other local A.’.A.’. initiate or even to his Superior; all of whom he fucked over 'prior' to himtaking the Oath of the Abyss as a defense mechanism in order to avoid facing the music for the mess that he had recently created between three Clerk Houses. Yes folks, this was the Practicus’ way of saying “I took the Oath, I’m beyond your criticism and I don’t have to listen to you anymore. Everything is between God and me and I don’t have to prove anything to you.” ... Great reason for taking the Oath, no?  Anyway, to apologize now would mean that he swore the Oath of the Abyss on the bodies of fellow travelers and what kind of a foundation stone is this for the Pyramid that he's trying to build in Binah; the City of the Pyramids? Instead, it is simpler to throw 99% of all his friends and fellow travelers in Grady's A.'.A.'. aside like used clothes so that he can create phantoms of denial and believe whatever he wants.

Remember, the breakdown of the three grades in our Order is the man of Earth, the Lover and the Hermit. In One Star in Sight it refers to these as The Golden Dawn, the R.C. (Rose Croix) and the S.S. or Silver Star; this being the English for Argentium Astrum, or A.’.A.’..  Now in Liber LXI vel Causae it clearly states – “Listen, we pray you, with attention: for once only does the Great Order knock at any one door.”  This not only refers to Order as a whole but as Grady McMurtry often pointed out, it especially refers to the Inner Order of the A.’.A.’. to which many aspire in their Noble Quest. You have but one chance at crossing the Abyss and proving yourself worthy to reside in the City of the Pyramids and if you blow it, you can never attempt it again. Sadly, this Practicus' solution, rather than facing the obvious phantoms, is to hide himself away in his room; to lose all his many friends and associates, all the while babbling endlessly as he tries to convince himself in a Pit of Because that he hasn't screwed up the one goal that he so coveted his whole life. 

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Saturday August 22nd 2009 –  8:42am Early this morning I received a scathing email from the Practicus; not happy about our PREAMABLE, calling it “riddled with blatant lies” and “that I am “drawing many of [my] conclusions based upon the LIES of those who attacked me.” Well, for the record, the only attacks the other A.’.A.’. students made was come clean and tell the Superiors in the A.’.A.’. what the Practicus was saying and doing behind their backs. They ‘betrayed his trust’ and for that he now hates them. But of his trust between him and I, he has yet to address, I guess I wasn't important. ... One thing that everyone must know - his version of the story which he now fosters might well be true as to how the meltdown occurred on Malkuth regarding him and his other friends in the A.'.A.'. but the fact remains, as a magician and scientists, we gave him ample opportunity to submit proof that our analogy of the situation was incorrect but he refused. The others, whom he claims betrayed him, submitted their proof to support their side of the story. So what am I to believe? One side submits evidence, the other says accept my word or, and I quote, I “can't have a teacher who doesn't trust and believe in me”   You be the judge.

He even stated - “I didn't convince, hint or tell her to lie about anything and this is the ultimate lie which shows (that this woman whom he slept with) true colors.”  ... This is one of those tit for tats; she said, he said and in truth, we may never to get to real facts nor is it really that important. It is simply a way to side-step the real issue. So, for sake of an argument, let us say that this Practicus never did ask the student in another Clerk House to lie for him and keep their affair secret ... but this is a fact, he, himself, hid the affair from his own Superior knowing how his Superior felt about teachers sleeping with students and the conflicts it causes. And it wasn't just a one night thing that he kept secret but the affair lasted according to his own time frame from January 1st up until early August when he was still text messaging to this girl how much he loved her etc & etc [copies of which she kept of all his text messages; juicy] ... He also is now denying that he ever said that he admitted to his dishonesty about hiding this affair to his Superior, writing - “... you wrote that when confronted with my dis-honesty I didn't deny it...not true...I DID deny it” ... which is actually not true and even in the same paragraph he admits again to having the affair. I am confused. Either you did sleep with your student for over six months and hide it from me, or you didn't? You sure as Hell, knowing my position on student-teacher relationships, tell me. That is the dishonesty to which I refer.

He did write another thing worth noting. He wrote - “Finally you wrote in regards to the Oath, that on August 19th I finally came to this realizations myself and informed you of such in writing is totally not true and your putting Words in my mouth. I only agreed that I don't pretend to know everything that taking the Oath might imply... you filled in the blanks from there... I never meant that or said that in any way, your simply reading between the lines.” 

Perhaps I did mistake what he had written because, in hindsight, he wasn’t clear. In that light it seems that this Practicus still believes he’s in the Abyss and he claims the phrase ‘moved on’ was not meant to imply leaving the A.'.A.'. itself as much as from Grady McMurtry’s lineage and that he is now his ‘own’ lineage. I can only say laughingly, good luck. Who am I to judge. It’s in the hands of the Gods now. But in truth, I stand by my judgment of the facts as I've been taught to interpret them or that he's in total denial; he’s not in the Abyss, he is in the Qliphoth of Hod wallowing in his self-imposed Chaos. He's a text-book case. Still, for the sake of an argument, if he believes he is in the Abyss let's address it from his point of view.  

After mistakenly thinking that the Practicus had 'quit' the entire A.'.A.'. and not realizing that he simply meant just Grady's lineage, I wrote - "... I’m not accepting your resignation until we meet and talk, or unless you send it in writing (not email), signed, as required. Right now I don’t think you are thinking clearly." ... I was hoping for a cooler head to prevail but he replied - “As far as quiting the A.'.A.'... your right you will never get me to say that in any way so don't expect any signed letters...nor do I see myself as resigning from my Lineage as I will never deny my roots...no your stuck with me even if you throw me out... Just as Phyliss was to Grady even though she threw him out and never recognized any of his Grades but I won't have any affiliating or direct connection with any other Clerk House just as he didn't with her, I'll just be over here on my own doing my own thing that's all.”

Can anyone say 'EGO'? ... this is what happens when you jump from Hod and have yet to fulfill the three major Qabalistic spheres where a magician is trained to put their ego under control. 

Anyway, so he compares himself to Grady. This is like apples and oranges. The difference that he fails to mention is that Grady jumped ‘over’ Phyllis' degrees; he became a Magister Templi while she an Adeptus Minor and her denial, as this Practicus clearly knows, was rooted in their failed marriage and her taking it out on him every way she could. The comparison is silly. And so for the record, jumping into the Abyss only supersedes your teachers authority if they are of a lower degree than what you are aspiring to through the Abyss. I am not. Years ago I swore the Oath of a Magus.

Furthermore, as long as he has not yet crossed the Abyss [which could take up to four years] he has a few important things to consider. First, and foremost, you cannot create anything other than a Black Brotherhood while in the Abyss. So what does this say of himself that if within a week of him taking the Oath of the Abyss he's claiming in 'writing' that he is now no longer part of Grady McMurtry's lineage and has now created his 'own' lineageHe created his own lineage?????  While in the Abyss he 'creates' ... how utterly hysterically funny is this? I almost pee' d my pants. I spit coffee through my nose! ... But at least this Practicus is finally coming clean and revealing his true intentions to be GOD above not only all of us but of Babalon too ... he knows nothing about either the ways of the Abyss or the City of the Pyramid and he's being stupid at every turn of his defense. If he wants to believe that his 'words' are so powerful that they cast him into the Abyss then let him know this fact, his proclamation of a new Oath on the 19th, WHILE IN THE ABYSS, acknowledging that he is no longer in Grady's A.'.A.'. but he has now created his 'own' lineage is a magickal affirmation that can only bring to birth one thing out of the Abyss - a Black Brother. NOTHING ELSE. It's Magick 101 ... you NEVER swear such an Oath while in the Abyss.  Silly boy.  And you call yourself a magician.

So, much to our regret, this silly little Practicus is still in Grady McMurtry's lineage. Unless we are to consider four possibilities:

(1. That he's simply lost in the Qlipphoth of Hod and there is still hope.

(2. That he proclaims himself a Black Brother and create his own lineage while in the Abyss and 'moves on'.   [hmm, didn't he do this?]

(3. He resigns in writing from the A.’.A.’. and then he can do whatever the fuck he wants.

(4. Or finally, we get fed up with him and his egotistical shenanigans, and still being his Superiors, we expel him from Grady McMurtry's lineage and help him fulfill his Black Brotherhood.

I warned him that he should carefully consider his every word from here on out, Babalon is watching to judge him as to whether or not he's worthy to enter the City of the Pyramids and I have been about as patient with him as I can at trying to guide him ... but his ego is wearing thin on me.

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11:25am In regards to a statement I made in my 8:42am posting, Mike asks a single, brief question - "93 Jer. Why is what you create in the Abyss autometically evil? 93 93/93 Mike" 

Reply: Good question. It's not. It all depends on 'what' you project downward. Life dictates that despite being cast into the Abyss, which can be up to a minimum of four years, a magician must still exist in his daily world. It is during that period that he will be tested and tempted. But how? It must be remembered, an Angel can not follow the magician into the Abyss or it would be bathed in Chaos. So, as long as he remains in the Abyss the magician loses his Angel's guidance. The flip side is that the magician must not listen to his personal Choronzon who can still whisper to him; he must survive his temptations and inevitably put him under control every waking moment of his life for at least four years ... all by using just his whit. And here it is, less than two weeks in and this Practicus is not doing too well; if he has really thrown himself into the Abyss at all.

Be that as it may, what I'm saying is that a magician must be utterly careful as to what they 'birth' downward while in the Abyss; especially though 'Words' because these are "utterances of the Soul." Hence part of the danger revealed in the Oath of the Abyss - "... that I will interpret every phenomenon as a particular dealing of God with my soul." Yes, God will deal with your Soul. Pay attention, or lose it! ... To cross the Abyss is one of the most spiritual journeys a magician can ever make - SPIRITUAL - you must prove that you are worthy of an Angel incarnated! You must be pure at heart and 100% focused on giving every drop of your blood to Babalon. There is no law beyond do what thou wilt but don't interpret that wrong; each drop of blood spilt toward Malkuth, either seen through words or actions, breeds phantoms of 'Wants' and the Angel that you are trying to become is but a 'Fallen' one.  [Hmmmm ... thinking upon the original fall of the Angels according to the book of Genesis  6:4 - "when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men", lusted after them and sleep with them despite God saying don't do it ... sounds familiar, no? ]

The bottom line: below Tiphereth after performing Liber Pyramidos, you begin building The Pyramid brick by brick; "Square by Square" ... and from Tiphereth downward to Malkuth the number reflected in a magician's magickal degrees always have the number next to the Circle lower than the number next to the Square.  Remember, in regards to the Circle Squared - One you control, while the other controls you. - Below Tiphereth you are building an ascending Pyramid whose base you must build very carefully in order for your Spirit (i.e. Angel, HGA) to indwell therein. This Pyramid is referred to as an ascending Triangle of Blue, whose apex points upward as if to project or allow your prayers to ascend to Heaven. You must learn to build your 'squares' correctly. The correct method is to always remember that anyone can build a nice building, a pyramid, or a pretty looking Temple and fool others on Malkuth, but only devotion and daily prayer toward your HGA will make it truly a dwelling place of their Holy Ghost.  Otherwise the Pyramid is just a hollow shell.

Then, if you accomplish Tiphereth upward into Chesed, you are in affect creating a Red Pyramid whose apex is pointing downward; often referred to as the descending Triangle or tongue of Grace. This being the giving of kindness and of spiritual fortitude by the Adept back into world; i.e. Malkuth. ... Malkuth also being his own body which implies that his every action, deed and word becomes very important as a spiritual representation of what is descending through him.

Together, both of these Triangles create a Holy Hexagram of the Great Work.

Once in the Abyss you are in effect standing on the base of the Red Pyramid. Grady's favorite chapter in The Book of Lies was Chapter 69 because it revealed, according to Crowley, the 'secret' to crossing the Abyss for the 'babe' of which the entire book is written for. ... Also, regarding the descending Pyramid, this is why the number above Tiphereth reverse in the Magickal Degrees, it is because they're preparing you to be a vehicle to channel Babalon from above the Abyss. But while in the Abyss your every word and actions in your daily travels must be carefully thought out from a spiritual point-of-view as not to be a reflection one Iota of a 'Want' which is of Malkuth. After you are across you'll understand the full implication of do what thou wilt and how everything in this world is your plaything but until then, as a Babe in the Abyss, you are either of Malkuth or Above ..... and "By their words you will judge them."

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Sunday August 23rd 2009 – 1:55am Mary sent a nice email, in part she asks if there is no hope for this Practicus, "he being a student and lost Soul" and all. ... Reply: There is always hope. Crowley explains how but this Practicus is so wrapped up in his ego and digging his feet in at this point that to be 'humble' and ask for help would be like an admittance in his own mind that possibly he might be wrong and this is beyond his capability ... and his demon snickers. But at least his loss, as tragic as it may seem, can be a warning to others of the dangers of magick and why, when climbing the Tree of Life, you must never forget that its a spiritual path. ... As to your question - " ... who is he, has he posted on your blog before?" ...  Reply: Sorry Mary, his identity is a secret, no concern to anyone.

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Tuesday August 25th 2009 – 11:15am Anonymous from Massachusetts asks - "Hey Jer 93. Thanks for the update on your health; get better. ... You haven't been posting much of late about the Practicus and the Oath of the Abyss debacle. Is it over? Care to tell your readers how it ended; been loving the soap opera drama from day one. 93s" ....  Reply: Yes, it has been very quiet of late. In truth, thanks to the Practicus' own attitude and Magickal Affirmation he has made it impossible for himself to cross the Abyss. He is now either a Black Brother or, if he wasn't really in the Abyss, he is simply silly and lost in the Qliphoth of Hod. I think he's trying to figure it out. 

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12:25pm An incoming email asked not to be posted but I think my reply is pertinent regarding the oath of the Abyss. I replied - "I have deliberately not posted the majority of this Practicus' foul mouthed attacks on me, our Lineage and students which are bathed in egotistical rants that this Practicus is the King of 'his' Hill now ... from of all places, while he claims to be in the Abyss! His emails would clearly show all my readers that this man is hardly a spiritual individual whose guidance anyone with half a brain would ever want to follow. Anyone who is thinking of throwing themselves into the Abyss must be on their guard 'instantly' against demonic thoughts, actions and deeds. This Practicus can't have it both ways. He can't argue that he's not in Chaos in the Qliphoth of Hod but in the Abyss on a spiritual mission, when on the other hand he is text-book case of embracing the Black Brotherhood right from the onset. I do not envy this man right now, his mind must be spinning in the Pits of Because trying to 'reason' a way out of this dilemma. ... and his Demon snickers.
I agree. You made a good point. He has walked himself into a great big Catch 22. If he is in the Qlipphoth of Hod then he still has Angelic guidance and, even though he's ignoring us, his Angel should be able to walk him out of a bad situation.
However, I think you forgot to consider the 'full' flip side. He's digging his feet in still claiming to be the Abyss. In his mind he MUST now acknowledge that his Angel has stepped aside and the only Inner Voice, or whispers are those from his Demon ... of which he MUST ignore, control and conquer if he's going to be successful at crossing the Abyss.
But, for sake of an argument, let us say that he's wrong and he is not in the Abyss but the Qlipphoth of Hod ... Do you think he'll 'listen' to his Angel's advice trying to walk him out?  No.  He MUST deny his Angel as whispers from his Demon! ... What to do? What to do? ... Listen to your Inner Voice, or ignore it?  ... Sadly, Magick 101, if he is in the Qlipphoth of Hod and he keeps denying his Angel ... he'll fall from Tree and be thrown back to ground zero in Malkuth. Yes, you're right, it is a great big Catch 22."

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Wednesday August 26th 2009 –  8:25am By now many of my readers have read the Preamble on The Epistle on the Oath of Abyss which details the history of how a Practicus supposedly took the Oath, melted down and now hates all of us for reasons he has yet to adequately define ... this Epistle being a study of High Magick, its pit falls and what not to do. ... I want to address a few other email thoughts that have come in last weekend. First, I truly feel that Practicus 'in his mind' believes he's not a bad person but his is a very text-book 'male' manipulative behavior; whether he is doing it consciously or unconsciously. I know him personally, over many years I've watched how he talks about women, I've seen his excuses first hand, his questing for loop-holes and his rationalization of 'semantics' to justify his behavior. We've all known someone like this, some guy who controls his wife or girlfriend not by directly telling them to do anything but implying such in a way that she complies to his wishes. This game of 'semantics' enables the guy, if things go bad, to argue that he's innocent; he didn't do anything that the woman is claiming and its all a figment in her mind, her fault - because he never 'actually' said bla bla bla. The key word being 'actually' ... If you like to watch Court TV shows the excuse by 'semantics' is one of the major defenses by guys who use women but the Judges never seems to buy their story; I wonder why?

And the lesson in all this for my students or anyone who is trying to pursue a spiritual path like climbing the Tree of Life, inevitably 'semantics' will catch up to you and the Tree always 'rights the wrong' and it'll cast out any pretender to spirituality. Show me one magick book which says otherwise? You came into this world naked and with nothing and that is how you'll go out ... the only thing that you take out is your WORD. 

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9:00am Mary asks why we are "having trouble with the Practicus who is seemingly just doing his Will" ... For starters, sleeping with other women, or using them is not, nor has it ever been the issue. As Thelemites we believe strongly in the slaves shall serve, hence do what thou wilt. But in our A.'.A.'. lineage it's hands off females students coming in; we are not a horizontal fraternity which often looks at all new girls as fresh meat. He knew that. It complicates things and all these blog entries about this kind of meltdown in a vertical school only proves the point. ... Be that as it may, what really pisses me off is that for over six months he came down here to Berkeley to be my friend, to have lunch, to talk with me about magick, to get paperwork, documents and other stuff, all the while hiding the fact that he was sleeping with a student and even worse, teaching her that the correct 'spiritual' behavior is to hide things from your Superior and as long as you don't directly lie to him, you can play 'semantics' ... but "Dishonesty is like lying with your mouth shut.
Like his ex-girlfriend, I feel so used.  And his attitude about being called on his dishonesty, of his nearly killing me [see Aug.16th 7:30am posting], of my sleepless nights or even the 'stress related' health issues he's caused to my heart of late - is never to once apologize for anything but instead to maliciously blame me in emails for not trusting him.

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Thursday August 27th 2009 – 9:20am I'd like to address a consistent theme that is emerging in emails of late regarding the Qliphoth and my views on what it is. I personally think Dion Fortune's book The Mystical Qabalah has some of the best descriptions of these evil or averse Sephiroth which some claim are "awful forms, dangerous even to think upon." And I agree with Fortune that 'ignoring' these Sephiroth can ultimately lead to disaster as we have seen of late with the discussion about the recent magickal attempts of a Practicus. You cannot ignore one side of the Scales and expect it to be continual Balanced. Fortune points out that the Abramelin system is one of the "most potent and complete" systems in Western magick. Adding - "According to his system, the operator, after a prolonged period of purification and preparation, evokes not only the angelic forms, but also the demonic ones." One of the best things she writes is:

"A good many people have burnt their fingers with the system of
Abramelin, and the reason is not far to seek; for if we examine their
records we find that they have never followed the system in its entirety,
but picked out a ceremony here and an invocation there for performance
as the mood took them. Consequently Abramelin's system has got a bad
name as being a singularly dangerous formula; whereas performed in its
entirety, it is a singularly safe one, because it deals with all the reactions
of the invoked forces under what might be termed laboratory conditions
and neutralizes them."

It is no secret that our daimon is a neutral entity; both angelic and demonic. Whoever attempts to evoke the daimon (HGA) must realize that if there is a positive aspect, then there must be a negative one as well. If the daimon, being no more that our Kundalini as Carl Jung has demonstrated [The Psychology of Kundalini Yoga, Notes of the Seminar Given in 1932 by C. G. Jung, Edited by Sonu Shamdasani; Princeton University Press, Bollingen Series XCIX 1996], moves into a given Sephiroth it implies that we are activating a Chakra. How the Chakric energy is utilized depends upon the Daimon. If it swings too hard toward a demonic side it shifts us into the averse Sephiroth or backside. Climbing the Tree of Life requires us to embrace not only the spiritual quest but controlling our demon as well; hence the lessons behind the 'Circle Squared' or "One you control, while the other controls you." ... You must maintain an equilibrium. ... Dion Fortune warns us - "There is a point in every magical operation when the negative aspect of the force comes up to be dealt with, and unless dealt with will lure the experimenter into the pit which he has digged. It is a sound magical maxim not to invoke and force unless you are equipped to deal with its averse aspect."

This has been the major folly of the Practicus. Within days of trying to cross over from Hod into Netzach his internal Tree blew out his Netzach in his daily life. Love, friends and relationships fell apart but it's not HIS fault and it has nothing to do with him being given the go ahead to assume Philosophus which threw him into an unbalanced state ... it's everyone else's fault around him who caused HIS problems. ... But in truth, we can't even say that he was in Netzach, Netzach simply threw him out immediately and back in Hod where he dug his feet in and flipped to the backside or averse Sephiroth due to the damage he suffered in the Manipura Chakra. As a solution to us trying to help him back into the Light from the averse side of Hod he took the Oath of the Abyss as a means of denial of his failures in the lower Ruach. Yes, the averse side [Square] of each Sephiroth can be a deadly trap. ... And to address Frank's question about the Practicus - "If he fell into the Qliphoth of Hod after failing to fulfill his magickal oaths and obligations correctly then wouldn't his decision to take the Oath of the Abyss means that he actually jumped from the Qliphoth side and is carrying really, really outrageous Karma?"

Reply:  Yes. 

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Thursday September 3rd 2008 – 6:00am Today the Practicus, who is still miserably lost in the Qliphoth of Hod, celebrates his 40th Birthday. It is no secret that he is a magickal failure. He claims that he wrote in his diary years ago how he had a prophetic vision how he [quote] "would take this Oath in this incarnation and I actually wrote that I believed this would occur before my 40th birthday" ... and so, nearing his 40th birthday, he claims that this was the real reason that he took the Oath of the Abyss last month and that it had nothing to do with him trying to escape his inability to prove the simplest of his magickal claims to his Superior. It was all just a coincidence. But what he fails to point out, prophetic or not, is that he fell into the Qliphoth after trying to assume Philosophus where he resided for well over a week in babbling idiocy from a pit of Because while we tried to reposition him on the Tree into the Light. But instead of listening to his teacher he dug his feet in and never properly exited the Qliphoth. Then, while in the Qliphoth, he swore the Oath of the Abyss.
Knowing this, why would an Angel advise him to take the Oath of the Abyss if he wasn't ready? ... Yes, his 'dream' might have told him he'd swear the Oath by his 40th but in truth it sounds more like it was his Demon [from within the Qliphoth] who was doing all the snickering while whispering - "Ya, Ya, take the Oath before you're forty. It'll be great!"
Still, in all fairness, if it was his Angel she was probably trying to warn him years ago about his 40th Birthday and not to be stupid  ... but he didn’t listen, he failed. 
Happy Birthday

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10:35am Yes, Mary, in regards to my 6:00am posting, I am "sort of harsh" and no, "I will not let up." I will be posting my Birthday Wishes to the Practicus every year as a reminder, not so much to him, but for all those who will become acquainted with him so that they can be forewarned about listening to any guidance or magickal theory from this person. The only Foundation that he can teach to a student in regards to Magick is intellectual at best and stupidity over-all.

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10:45am An A.'.A.'. initiate just sent me an email subject 'man-o-pause?' ... regarding the Practicus. It reads:

Ok...I know, I know...I'm being a total and complete asshole here (but this is just for your personal amusement...I really don't know what else to do any more but poke a little fun...I know it's not funny...but, if we don't laugh a little we might just cry...), but I really do have to wonder...is it man-o-pause (better known as the mid-life crisis)? Here is some vital information that I've found on-line regarding this life threatening issue:

During his late 30's and 40's, if a man has been hard-working, the fruits of his labors-a home and
family, material possessions-will probably surround him. Then, before anything dramatic happens,
small nagging doubts may appear, perhaps followed by a series of dramatic, apparently irrational
events leading up to great change. During it all, men ask themselves questions such as: Is this all
there is? Am I a failure? Symptoms and behaviors during mid-life crisis can range from mild to
severe, including:

* boredom and exhaustion, or frantic energy
* daydreaming
* irritability, unexpected anger
* acting on alcohol, drug, food, or other compulsions
* greatly decreased or increased sexual desire
* sexual affairs, especially with someone much younger
* greatly decreased or increased ambition

Hmm...sound familiar?? Maybe he's not in the Qlippoth of Hod at all--he's just going through the change o' life and instead of buying that candy apple red Corvette he tried to take the Oath of the Abyss? Perhaps he would have had more success with the car...
I hope you don't find me flippant here. Really, my only intention was to make you smile a little...what the Hell else can we do?? I waver between feeling sad and shocked, confused and amused. Today I felt a bit of levity might be in order, so I hope you will laugh and can understand where I am coming from. I too have a sick sense of humor!

Reply: Yes, it made me smile alot :) and yes, you have a sick sense of humor!

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12:25pm Frater Shiva the author of the book titled INSIDE SOLAR LODGE, OUTSIDE THE LAW, True Tales of Initiation and High Adventure (Teitan Press 2007) sent an email wherein he writes - "I continue to be amused by the adventures of your Practicus, simply because it is a movie I have seen many times. Obviously, you are posting and discussing it for the benefit of your students. I have a couple of observations: (1) The tale is similar to Frater Achad's, wherein he leaps up instantaneously to Magister status (with Crowley cheering from the sidelines) and then goes on to become the Magus and then (finally) Ipsissimus (wherein he holds himself up higher than Crowley and begins issuing orders to him). The moral is: People are going to keep on doing this very same thing, over and over. (2) Sometime in the 1940's, Crowley wrote to someone (who? I can't remember) and essentially said, "In respect to 'starting a new group,' if you'd seen as much mischief and trouble as I have, you wouldn't even think about doing such a stupid thing." [loose quote]. (3) A.'.A.'. is supposed to be a (vertical) chain system with "no member knowing anyone else as such" except the guy or gal who linked you into the chain and any new folks that are subsequently added (one at a time). Yeah! Sure! Well, there's a clause in "One Star in Site" that allows outer order group working (because of "congestion" and "need"). Yes - but every time an A.'.A.'. group forms it will certainly be interesting - sort of like a three-ring-circus. Please see my website: http://three-ring-circus.angelfire.com [note that the website is only a Summary; the whole project is 56 MB or so and too big for current posting on a site limited to 20 MB.
So anyway, here's Fr.'. Achad Osher [sic?] overseeing an outer order wherein the members know each other, and apparently sometimes "know" each other in a biblical sense. There's always a wild card in every deck, and when the current incumbent Joker has faded into memory, along will come someone new, and everyone will say "Oh mein Gott! He's just like so-and-so [the incumbent Practicus Joker]! How do I know these things? Why I've seen the movie many times. In fact, I might have written the script. My own speedy travel up the path (which ended in a big crash) was replaced by starting over at the beginning and taking every step slowly and precisely without any jumping. In the book, "Inside Solar Lodge - Outside the Law [True Tales of Initiation and High Adventure]," our Joker was described as the enchantingly insane Frater Luna[tic]. In my own Star System lineage, our Joker was the interestingly warped Frater Osiris. In Crowley's game, see Frater Achad and (of course) Victor Neuberg. In other comtemporary lineages, see the guy who is in charge, who got there by "bypassing" one or more spheres and jumped directly onto Binah from some sphere inferior to Chesed. Yes it's theoretically possible, but the only sure way is to climb the Tree, limb by limb, and leave nothing out. 93"

Reply: I agree, in Grady's lineage only two of us, both having known Grady, climbed the Tree sphere by sphere all the way to the top. Two others went behind our backs and swore the Oath of the Abyss; one while a Probationer, the other a Practicus. Both are from Sacramento. It's either the water or the air in that area. Anyway, the first fell long ago back in the mid-90s and the latest we decided to carefully document as a warning to others. ... I do agree, it is possible to skip spheres and jump from even Malkuth but this clause was to accomodate those rare magicians, of which I am not, nor have I seen many worthy of such a quest. The only one I have seen worthy was Grady. I think I documenmted his story about the Oath of the Abyss fairly well.

The old clause about no single A.'.A.'. member knowing another went out the window almost immediately in Crowley's time. It has never been inforced. You cannot impose such a rule and then expose your students as Crowley so often did in his writings. Personally, I feel this rule was put into place in order to stop the infectious disease of gossip and mundane pettiness so prevalent in other groups like The Golden Dawn ... but with time I think Crowley realized that you cannot teach 'there is no Law beyond do what thou wilt' and then place restrictions on your students. Its kind of unThelemic. ... Still, in Grady's lineage, only those members nearest each other are 'known' to each other. The membership from afar remains secretive to them and is no one's business. But this recent meltdown in the Sacramento Valley is a classic example, a sort of reminder, as to why Crowley thought the 'clause' where A.'.A.'. members do not know or hang around with each other was a good idea. Tragically, it's human nature to congregate and in our huddling, we do stupid things.

Yes, this Practicus is not the first, nor will he be the last to attempt the ordeal of the Abyss and you are correct, my postings are lessons not so much to him but to all our students throughout the world in order that we might begin to educate them as to the dangers of magickal stupidity. If the Practicus is 'falling' let him at least accomplish some good before he goes splat!

Anyway, Aleister Crowley believed that the true seeker has only two real steps to take. As he wrote to Grady, he defined these as: “(1) to achieve 5=6 which means bringing your Energy up to your Heart Chakra Tiphereth where you meet your HGA [i.e. Holy Guardian Angel] & then ‘under that divine guidance’ to (2) assay the adventure of the Abyss.” ... Grady believed, as did Crowley and even myself, that more and more individuals in this Aeon will be attempting the crossing. The consciousness of the mystic has reached this stages. If we are correct, we as the teachers must be harsh in our guidance to prepare our students for this ordeal. Still, there will always be someone like the Practicus who'll go behind their teacher's back and take the Oath.

The bottom line ... 'Splatians' are needed as reminders to the more serious students not to be stupid!

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