How the Holy Grail was brought from Jerusalem to Glastonbury

 

Wendy Berg

 

 

Dion Fortune was one of many who have highlighted the significance of Glastonbury as a sacred centre for the islands of Britain, not least the part it plays in the legend of how the Grail was brought to Britain by Joseph of Arimathea. There are some aspects of the early history of the Grail which DF would not have known simply because the relevant texts were not available to her, but which provide some important information concerning the connection between the Grail, Glastonbury and Jerusalem.  This essay focusses on one of these early texts, the prosaically entitled The History of the Holy Grail which constitutes the first part of the collection of five stories known as the Vulgate Cycle or Lancelot-Grail. It was written in the early 13th century by an unknown author or group of authors. Compared to the vividly imagined versions of writers such Chretien de Troyes and Malory it can be a little tedious. However, the narrative reveals a number of events that hint of an actual or historical basis, not least because they do not impress as the sort of story anyone would be likely to invent.

The History begins with an account of how Joseph of Arimathea takes the dish used by Christ at the Last Supper and uses it during the crucifixion as a receptacle for Christ’s blood. Immediately following Christ’s death, Joseph is imprisoned in a tower for forty years where he is miraculously sustained by the power of Christ’s blood which is still present within the dish.

Upon his release, Joseph gathers together a Company of men and women who have already shown their understanding of the meaning of this Mystery. We are not told how they understood its significance or how Joseph was able to recognise them, but the implication is that these folk were already members of an existing spiritual, religious or Mystery tradition into which the Grail Mysteries were to become embedded. Joseph and his Company set out with the dish, which from this point onwards is referred to as the Grail, towards their destination of Britain which is described as the ‘white’ or ‘fair’ land. They could simply have boarded a boat at one of the Mediterranean ports but instead they embark on a journey that takes them through a number of actual and imaginary locations in the Holy Land where they experience a series of strange adventures. Many of these adventures are clearly of a symbolic nature and it appears that what is actually happening on this journey, which moves with ease between the outer and inner worlds, is the formation of a Mystery School based on the profound significance of the actual blood of Christ contained within the Grail.

The Company are referred to in this story as ‘Christians’ but they are quite unlike the group of believers who at the same time were forming what was to become the accepted Christianity of the Church. One of the essential differences between the two ‘churches’ is that those who came to be known as Christians in the more conventional sense have at the heart of their religion a belief in the transubstantiated blood of the wine of the Eucharist. At the heart of the Company of the Grail is an individual experience of the transformational properties of the actual blood of Christ, of the power of spiritual enlightenment it conveys, and of the significance of the presence of the actual blood within the earth.  

The History of the Grail describes the Grail’s ability to facilitate a direct, personal experience of the Divine which can uniquely sustain, nourish and transform. Although members of what might be called a ‘Grail Priesthood’ or, at least, as a succession of ‘spiritual guardians’ of the Grail are identified, of whom Joseph of Arimathea is the first, their role is to facilitate rather than to intervene, govern or control. Another significant difference between the two churches is that the ‘Grail experience’ often takes place within a natural, simple, outdoor setting with the minimum of paraphernalia and in locations that have a symbolic or sacred presence within the physical landscape. Thus right from the start, the ‘Church of the Grail’ is linked with the notion of an ‘Inner landscape’ and the symbolic properties present in the land. This contrasts with the tradition of the exoteric Christian Church which maintains a structured, formal hierarchy that depends for its authority on apostolic succession and whose rites are usually celebrated indoors - although of course often within a truly inspiring and magnificent building.

The History’s description of the Grail’s first adventure after it has left Jerusalem sets out these principles of ‘Grail Christianity’ quite clearly and, most importantly in regard to its eventual destination, these principles were maintained and upheld once the Grail had reached Glastonbury. Immediately after leaving Jerusalem, Joseph and the Company of the Grail go camping. They walk for two miles beyond the city walls to a nearby wood, where they cut down some branches, gather together some twigs and each build themselves a little hut. Joseph takes the opportunity to construct a suitable wooden chest or cupboard in which the Grail can be carried more securely. 

It would be easy to overlook this first adventure were it not that the location of the wood is described as being near to the village of Bethany. The topographical symbolism of this location highlights three areas of meaning that were to become essential features in ‘The Church of the Grail.’

 

 

1. The geographical location of Bethany 

Bethany is situated a couple of miles to the east of Jerusalem. If we consider the East to be the direction of the incoming spirit, we might think of Bethany as symbolically ‘nearer to the East’ than Jerusalem. It brings to mind the very special area in some cathedrals that lies beyond, or further East, than the high altar. Although only a small village, Bethany played a remarkable role in the life of Christ to the extent that it might be considered, certainly within the Grail mythology, as a ‘spiritual alternative’ to the official centre of power in Jerusalem.

Bethany lies on the road between Jerusalem and Jericho which is famously described in the Bible in the story of the Good Samaritan. The two cities are only 17 miles apart, but Jerusalem lies 2500 feet above sea level and enjoys a temperate Mediterranean climate while Jericho lies 850 feet below sea level and exists as a small oasis town in the middle of a desert. Jericho, incidentally, is one of the oldest continually-inhabited cities in the world and probably dates from 9000 B.C. The road between them, anciently known as The Way of Blood, descends rapidly through rocky passes and describes an extraordinary change of landscape from the pleasant, wooded Mediterranean hillside into arid desert. Travelling along this road 2000 years ago must have felt like descending into another world. 

Bethany is located on the eastern side of the white limestone hill now known as the Mount of Olives or ‘Olivet.’ At the foot of the western side of the Mount of Olives (ie, facing towards Jerusalem) is the Garden of Gethsemane (in Aramaic, Gethsemane means ‘oil press’) which Christ visited frequently and was consequently so easily discovered there by Judas. Until perhaps 100 years ago the entire hill was covered in olive trees, some of which have been found to be amongst the oldest in the world. It is not clear from the story whether the Companions were camping on the actual Mount of Olives or in another nearby wood which would probably have been a mixture of olive trees, pomegranates and figs. 

The Mount of Olives is one of Jerusalem’s seven hills. In Christ’s time, Jerusalem was known as the City of Seven Hills although the same title was also anciently given to Babylon and Rome - and to a surprising number of modern cities. In Britain, the seven hills of Glastonbury - Beckary, Meare, Godney, Barrow Hill, Marchey and Nyland together with Glastonbury Tor - were identified by John Michell in his book The View over Atlantis. The same concept is found on an inner level, for example in the seven caers or spiritual centres explored by King Arthur and detailed in the poem Preiddeu Annwn. All of these might be considered as earthly manifestations of the qualities of their celestial archetypesx which are the seven stars of the Great Bear. 

So if we bring to mind the Grail’s eventual destination in Glastonbury and the inner world of Avalon we can already see some interesting correspondences: the seven hills, the link with an ‘otherworld’ city and the significance of a grove of trees, although of course in Glastonbury these are apple trees rather than olive trees.

 

2. The Mount of Olives

Lying just to the East of Jerusalem and separated from it by the Kidron Brook, the Mount of Olives functions as a place of prophecy, a Hill of Vision, and a place of Ascension. Of all the places and locations that witnessed significant events in Christ’s life, it is the Mount of Olives that is symbolically nearest to heaven.

It was from the Mount of Olives that Christ made the occultly worded and apocalyptic prophecy that has come to be known as the Olivet Discourse in which He answers the disciples’ question “….what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?” It is a matter of debate as to whether His words refer to the past, present or future but an esoteric interpretation of what is meant by ‘the close of the age’ is perhaps the best approach.

It was from the Mount of Olives that Christ ascended into heaven, and in fact Luke (24: 50-51) specifies that the Ascension occurred at Bethany: “Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. While he blessed them, he parted from them, and was carried up into heaven.”

According to the Old Testament prophet Zechariah, He will return to exactly same place. Zechariah declares, “On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south.” (Zechariah 14:4.) 

The Mount of Olives is also, according to the Eastern Orthodox Church, the place where the Virgin Mary was buried and from whence she was later assumed into heaven. The actual location of her Assumption is said to be at the foot of the Mount of Olives, near to the Kidron Brook. 

We can therefore see several correlations between the Mount of Olives and Glastonbury Tor which has also been called the Hill of Vision. 

 

 

3. The village of Bethany

Bethany was Christ’s principal home during His years of travel and teaching in Judea; He often stayed there, resting in the homes of local folk. He was living here immediately before His entry into Jerusalem and it is said that the donkey on which he rode was found in Bethany, tethered to a tree.  He returned to Bethany afterwards. 

It is in Bethany that much of Christ’s sympathetic relationship with women becomes particularly evident. He stayed in the home of Mary and Martha (who became His disciples) and their brother Lazarus whom He raised from the dead in one of the most spectacular demonstrations of His spiritual power. 

Bethany was also the home of Simon the Leper in whose house the remarkable ‘anointing of Christ’ took place. “While Christ was at Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at table, there came a woman having an alabaster jar of ointment of pure spikenard - very precious. She broke the jar, and poured it over His head.” (Mark 14: 3 - 9) The woman was Mary of Bethany who is often equated with Mary Magdalene.  

At this time, priests and kings were anointed, and their kingship or priesthood was conferred by the anointer who himself held great spiritual authority. Much has been written about the meaning of this act in the house at Bethany which was undertaken with apparent spontaneity, by a woman, in a small private home - but suffice it to say that Mary of Bethany/the Magdalene’s action reveals an astonishing absence of any commonly recognised spiritual authority or religious hierarchy. The event suggests either that folk of modest and ‘untrained’ ability were able to play a meaningful role in events of profound spiritual meaning, or that Mary of Bethany represented a spiritual tradition whose existence is otherwise only hinted at. Both of these concepts can be traced within the Grail Mysteries.

The History of the Holy Grail says nothing more of the activities of the newly formed Company of the Grail at Bethany, but during their stay in the wood in this sacred landscape they were sustained and transformed by the power within the Grail which was derived from the actual blood of Christ. Here, in their woodland encampment, they laid down the principles of their spiritual practice and the first structures of what was to take shape as a complete spiritual system and Mystery School. These same principles were later replicated in the Grail’s eventual destination at Glastonbury where there is a similar sacred landscape with its seven hills, the Hill of Vision which is Glastonbury Tor, the circle of withy huts built by the first apostles, and the profound Mystery of the sacred blood which is eternally renewed in the red and white springs.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How the Holy Grail was brought from Jerusalem to Glastonbury

 

Wendy Berg

 

 

Dion Fortune was one of many who have highlighted the significance of Glastonbury as a sacred centre for the islands of Britain, not least the part it plays in the legend of how the Grail was brought to Britain by Joseph of Arimathea. There are some aspects of the early history of the Grail which DF would not have known simply because the relevant texts were not available to her, but which provide some important information concerning the connection between the Grail, Glastonbury and Jerusalem.  This essay focusses on one of these early texts, the prosaically entitled The History of the Holy Grail which constitutes the first part of the collection of five stories known as the Vulgate Cycle or Lancelot-Grail. It was written in the early 13th century by an unknown author or group of authors. Compared to the vividly imagined versions of writers such Chretien de Troyes and Malory it can be a little tedious. However, the narrative reveals a number of events that hint of an actual or historical basis, not least because they do not impress as the sort of story anyone would be likely to invent.

The History begins with an account of how Joseph of Arimathea takes the dish used by Christ at the Last Supper and uses it during the crucifixion as a receptacle for Christ’s blood. Immediately following Christ’s death, Joseph is imprisoned in a tower for forty years where he is miraculously sustained by the power of Christ’s blood which is still present within the dish.

Upon his release, Joseph gathers together a Company of men and women who have already shown their understanding of the meaning of this Mystery. We are not told how they understood its significance or how Joseph was able to recognise them, but the implication is that these folk were already members of an existing spiritual, religious or Mystery tradition into which the Grail Mysteries were to become embedded. Joseph and his Company set out with the dish, which from this point onwards is referred to as the Grail, towards their destination of Britain which is described as the ‘white’ or ‘fair’ land. They could simply have boarded a boat at one of the Mediterranean ports but instead they embark on a journey that takes them through a number of actual and imaginary locations in the Holy Land where they experience a series of strange adventures. Many of these adventures are clearly of a symbolic nature and it appears that what is actually happening on this journey, which moves with ease between the outer and inner worlds, is the formation of a Mystery School based on the profound significance of the actual blood of Christ contained within the Grail.

The Company are referred to in this story as ‘Christians’ but they are quite unlike the group of believers who at the same time were forming what was to become the accepted Christianity of the Church. One of the essential differences between the two ‘churches’ is that those who came to be known as Christians in the more conventional sense have at the heart of their religion a belief in the transubstantiated blood of the wine of the Eucharist. At the heart of the Company of the Grail is an individual experience of the transformational properties of the actual blood of Christ, of the power of spiritual enlightenment it conveys, and of the significance of the presence of the actual blood within the earth.  

The History of the Grail describes the Grail’s ability to facilitate a direct, personal experience of the Divine which can uniquely sustain, nourish and transform. Although members of what might be called a ‘Grail Priesthood’ or, at least, as a succession of ‘spiritual guardians’ of the Grail are identified, of whom Joseph of Arimathea is the first, their role is to facilitate rather than to intervene, govern or control. Another significant difference between the two churches is that the ‘Grail experience’ often takes place within a natural, simple, outdoor setting with the minimum of paraphernalia and in locations that have a symbolic or sacred presence within the physical landscape. Thus right from the start, the ‘Church of the Grail’ is linked with the notion of an ‘Inner landscape’ and the symbolic properties present in the land. This contrasts with the tradition of the exoteric Christian Church which maintains a structured, formal hierarchy that depends for its authority on apostolic succession and whose rites are usually celebrated indoors - although of course often within a truly inspiring and magnificent building.

The History’s description of the Grail’s first adventure after it has left Jerusalem sets out these principles of ‘Grail Christianity’ quite clearly and, most importantly in regard to its eventual destination, these principles were maintained and upheld once the Grail had reached Glastonbury. Immediately after leaving Jerusalem, Joseph and the Company of the Grail go camping. They walk for two miles beyond the city walls to a nearby wood, where they cut down some branches, gather together some twigs and each build themselves a little hut. Joseph takes the opportunity to construct a suitable wooden chest or cupboard in which the Grail can be carried more securely. 

It would be easy to overlook this first adventure were it not that the location of the wood is described as being near to the village of Bethany. The topographical symbolism of this location highlights three areas of meaning that were to become essential features in ‘The Church of the Grail.’

 

 

1. The geographical location of Bethany 

Bethany is situated a couple of miles to the east of Jerusalem. If we consider the East to be the direction of the incoming spirit, we might think of Bethany as symbolically ‘nearer to the East’ than Jerusalem. It brings to mind the very special area in some cathedrals that lies beyond, or further East, than the high altar. Although only a small village, Bethany played a remarkable role in the life of Christ to the extent that it might be considered, certainly within the Grail mythology, as a ‘spiritual alternative’ to the official centre of power in Jerusalem.

Bethany lies on the road between Jerusalem and Jericho which is famously described in the Bible in the story of the Good Samaritan. The two cities are only 17 miles apart, but Jerusalem lies 2500 feet above sea level and enjoys a temperate Mediterranean climate while Jericho lies 850 feet below sea level and exists as a small oasis town in the middle of a desert. Jericho, incidentally, is one of the oldest continually-inhabited cities in the world and probably dates from 9000 B.C. The road between them, anciently known as The Way of Blood, descends rapidly through rocky passes and describes an extraordinary change of landscape from the pleasant, wooded Mediterranean hillside into arid desert. Travelling along this road 2000 years ago must have felt like descending into another world. 

Bethany is located on the eastern side of the white limestone hill now known as the Mount of Olives or ‘Olivet.’ At the foot of the western side of the Mount of Olives (ie, facing towards Jerusalem) is the Garden of Gethsemane (in Aramaic, Gethsemane means ‘oil press’) which Christ visited frequently and was consequently so easily discovered there by Judas. Until perhaps 100 years ago the entire hill was covered in olive trees, some of which have been found to be amongst the oldest in the world. It is not clear from the story whether the Companions were camping on the actual Mount of Olives or in another nearby wood which would probably have been a mixture of olive trees, pomegranates and figs. 

The Mount of Olives is one of Jerusalem’s seven hills. In Christ’s time, Jerusalem was known as the City of Seven Hills although the same title was also anciently given to Babylon and Rome - and to a surprising number of modern cities. In Britain, the seven hills of Glastonbury - Beckary, Meare, Godney, Barrow Hill, Marchey and Nyland together with Glastonbury Tor - were identified by John Michell in his book The View over Atlantis. The same concept is found on an inner level, for example in the seven caers or spiritual centres explored by King Arthur and detailed in the poem Preiddeu Annwn. All of these might be considered as earthly manifestations of the qualities of their celestial archetypesx which are the seven stars of the Great Bear. 

So if we bring to mind the Grail’s eventual destination in Glastonbury and the inner world of Avalon we can already see some interesting correspondences: the seven hills, the link with an ‘otherworld’ city and the significance of a grove of trees, although of course in Glastonbury these are apple trees rather than olive trees.

 

2. The Mount of Olives

Lying just to the East of Jerusalem and separated from it by the Kidron Brook, the Mount of Olives functions as a place of prophecy, a Hill of Vision, and a place of Ascension. Of all the places and locations that witnessed significant events in Christ’s life, it is the Mount of Olives that is symbolically nearest to heaven.

It was from the Mount of Olives that Christ made the occultly worded and apocalyptic prophecy that has come to be known as the Olivet Discourse in which He answers the disciples’ question “….what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?” It is a matter of debate as to whether His words refer to the past, present or future but an esoteric interpretation of what is meant by ‘the close of the age’ is perhaps the best approach.

It was from the Mount of Olives that Christ ascended into heaven, and in fact Luke (24: 50-51) specifies that the Ascension occurred at Bethany: “Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. While he blessed them, he parted from them, and was carried up into heaven.”

According to the Old Testament prophet Zechariah, He will return to exactly same place. Zechariah declares, “On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south.” (Zechariah 14:4.) 

The Mount of Olives is also, according to the Eastern Orthodox Church, the place where the Virgin Mary was buried and from whence she was later assumed into heaven. The actual location of her Assumption is said to be at the foot of the Mount of Olives, near to the Kidron Brook. 

We can therefore see several correlations between the Mount of Olives and Glastonbury Tor which has also been called the Hill of Vision. 

 

 

3. The village of Bethany

Bethany was Christ’s principal home during His years of travel and teaching in Judea; He often stayed there, resting in the homes of local folk. He was living here immediately before His entry into Jerusalem and it is said that the donkey on which he rode was found in Bethany, tethered to a tree.  He returned to Bethany afterwards. 

It is in Bethany that much of Christ’s sympathetic relationship with women becomes particularly evident. He stayed in the home of Mary and Martha (who became His disciples) and their brother Lazarus whom He raised from the dead in one of the most spectacular demonstrations of His spiritual power. 

Bethany was also the home of Simon the Leper in whose house the remarkable ‘anointing of Christ’ took place. “While Christ was at Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at table, there came a woman having an alabaster jar of ointment of pure spikenard - very precious. She broke the jar, and poured it over His head.” (Mark 14: 3 - 9) The woman was Mary of Bethany who is often equated with Mary Magdalene.  

At this time, priests and kings were anointed, and their kingship or priesthood was conferred by the anointer who himself held great spiritual authority. Much has been written about the meaning of this act in the house at Bethany which was undertaken with apparent spontaneity, by a woman, in a small private home - but suffice it to say that Mary of Bethany/the Magdalene’s action reveals an astonishing absence of any commonly recognised spiritual authority or religious hierarchy. The event suggests either that folk of modest and ‘untrained’ ability were able to play a meaningful role in events of profound spiritual meaning, or that Mary of Bethany represented a spiritual tradition whose existence is otherwise only hinted at. Both of these concepts can be traced within the Grail Mysteries.

The History of the Holy Grail says nothing more of the activities of the newly formed Company of the Grail at Bethany, but during their stay in the wood in this sacred landscape they were sustained and transformed by the power within the Grail which was derived from the actual blood of Christ. Here, in their woodland encampment, they laid down the principles of their spiritual practice and the first structures of what was to take shape as a complete spiritual system and Mystery School. These same principles were later replicated in the Grail’s eventual destination at Glastonbury where there is a similar sacred landscape with its seven hills, the Hill of Vision which is Glastonbury Tor, the circle of withy huts built by the first apostles, and the profound Mystery of the sacred blood which is eternally renewed in the red and white springs.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dion Fortune and the Soul

A talk presented to the Dion Fortune Seminar, September 2019, by Wendy Berg

 

I’m going to speak today about Dion Fortune and the Soul. This is perhaps one of the more rarefied topics we have discussed in these Seminars, but I think it’s time we had a look at it because the Soul - what it is, what it does, why we have one (if we have one!) and our relationship with it - is an important element in Dion Fortune’s work.

The Soul is variously referred to by a number of names such as the Holy Guardian Angel, the Solar Angel and the Evolutionary Personality, but I prefer the more commonly used alternative ‘Higher Self.'  The advantage of this term is that it distinguishes it from our Lower Self or Personality. Our Lower Self is a combination of our physical and etheric bodies, our feelings or emotional body, and that part of our mind generally called our lower mind or concrete mind, which is responsible for acquiring and retaining information, making judgements and decisions and generally getting us in organised fashion through the day. Our Higher Self or Soul is therefore not any of these, but something else.

If you think now about your Soul, where would you locate it? Take a moment to locate where your Soul might have its correspondence in your body or subtle bodies…..

If you try to visualise your Soul, what does it look like? Does it have an appearance? And more importantly, where is your sense of who you are, your real identity, your true Self, located? When you think of yourself, of your sense of ‘I’, do you mean your everyday character and personality, or something else? And if we have a Lower Self and a Higher Self or Soul, does this mean there two of us? How do we bring them together?

Scientific opinion is that there is no such thing as the Soul, because its existence can’t be proved or tested. And who knows but that may be true! But I think most folk here today would acknowledge that there is at least some truth in the concept.

A good place to start in our quest for the Soul is to look at how we use the word, and it’s interesting to discover that the word ‘Soul’ is a familiar part of our language - we use the word almost without thinking about it. I believe the way we use it reveals that we do know what the Soul is, even if we don’t always know that we know. For example we use the term ‘Soul Mates’ when we are aware of a relationship between two people that seems to have a special or deeper meaning to it, something more than physical attraction or good companionship and which suggests the presence of a higher purpose being worked out, perhaps an important task to be achieved together, or maybe even the resumption of a partnership that began in a previous lifetime. 

And we say, particularly of children, ‘they are an old Soul’ meaning that they appear to possess a wisdom which is over and above what we would expect for their years. They seem to know more than they could have learnt in this lifetime. And when someone is really involved in a task or project we say ‘they are putting their heart and Soul into it.’ That’s an interesting phrase - heart and Soul - because it recognises that the heart and the Soul work naturally together, and that they are both called into action when we want to achieve something that holds especial meaning for us. 

So it seems from our language that we often refer to the Soul almost without thinking about it, and that we quite naturally acknowledge it as a source of wisdom, as loving, linked with our present purpose and destiny but also immortal, and somehow linked to our heart while being more than the heart.

Dion Fortune frequently uses the word Soul, and often quite loosely in the phrase ‘a questing soul,’ meaning someone who is following a particular spiritual or magical path that leads them from the everyday world into the spiritual worlds. It suggests that our search for wisdom and for a greater understanding of our Self and the Inner worlds is inspired and encouraged by our Soul or Higher Self.

Here is a quotation from Dion Fortune’s The Mystical Qabalah which describes in more detail her understanding of the Soul. “It is this which endures and builds up throughout an evolution; (by this she means an entire cosmic Age, from the dawn of time to the end of time as we know it) “it is from this that the successive personalities, the units of incarnation, are emanated; it is into this that the active essence of experience is absorbed at the end of each incarnation when the incarnating unit dissolves into dust and ether.” (The Mystical Qabalah: Chapter XX: 29)

So, in other words, the Soul or Higher Self is the essence of all that we have learnt and experienced in each incarnation, over billions of years, from our first experiences as a blip in the primeval slime onwards. (Not all theories regarding the stages of evolution of the Soul agree with this.) It is also a significant factor in bringing about the characteristics or tendencies of our present personality. Therefore, the better contact we can make with our Soul, the better we will be able to do what we need to do, and learn what we need to learn in the greater scheme of things, because our Soul or Higher Self knows better than our Lower Self what those things are. This philosophy of course falls into line with many other interpretations of the soul, mostly deriving from Eastern religions and philosophies.   

Dion Fortune makes a number other interesting comments on the nature of the Soul. Here’s one regarding the question of past lives and as to whether we should believe anyone who claims they were once a High Priest of Atlantis or the Queen of Sheba. “This lower self is not immortal. No one who is adequately instructed in esoteric philosophy believes in the reincarnation of any historic personality from the past. It is the Higher Self alone which is immortal and which survives bodily death …”. (Aspects of Occultism, Chapter III)  And another interesting comment - which is obvious when you think about it - “….how many people realise that their own souls are literally bi-sexual within themselves….”. (The Mystical Qabalah, Chapter XV11: 37)

That was something of the theory, and now let us have a look at how Dion Fortune taught, through her magical training and magical ritual, the ways in which we can gain knowledge of and contact with our Soul. In The Training and Work of an Initiate (Chapter III) she makes an explicit link between the very purpose of magical training and our contact with our Higher Self.  She writes:  “The word Initiate…means one in whom the Higher Self….has coalesced with the personality and actually entered into incarnation in the physical body.” In other words, in a magical Initiate the Higher Self has become entirely integrated with the Lower Self. When this integration has occurred, we no longer experience any separation between our sense of ‘I’ as our everyday personality and ‘I’ as our Soul because the two are now restored as one.  The light of the Soul has irradiated the personality so that the Initiate, in effect, is the Soul even while in physical incarnation. 

This is quite challenging, because Dion Fortune is stating that this complete integration of the Higher and Lower Self applies, or should apply, to all of us who think of ourselves as Initiates or who claim that we have received initiation into the Mysteries. I’m not sure that many people can really make this claim apart from Jesus (for whom the integration seems to have occurred during the episode described in the Bible as the Transfiguration) and one or two others of equal spiritual stature such as the Buddha. A more realistic approach is to realise that this process of integration between the Higher and Lower Self is gradual, and that we can bring down a great deal of Soul Light into our personality even though we may not yet be a fully enlightened or Transfigured being.

Let us bring to mind some of the qualities of the Soul. A description I particularly like comes from the texts of Raja Yoga, where the Soul is described as having seven qualities: peace, joy, love, bliss, purity, power and wisdom. That’s what the Soul is. Our Soul, all Souls, exist entirely in this state; the Soul is all these qualities; this is its natural state of being. This is our essential Self. So the Soul’s work is to demonstrate and make available these qualities to us during incarnation, and its purpose is to achieve what is wholly good, wholly healthy, wholly loving and wholly beneficial for us. It guides us towards discovering why we don’t experience all these qualities all the time, and what we are doing that might be preventing it. It’s these qualities of being that the Soul is concerned with, not with providing specific advice as to what we should be doing or not doing at any point in our lives. 

So, what magical techniques did Dion Fortune suggest would help us to make better contact with our Soul? Our main tool is regular meditation. This is essential, because it helps us to recognise and move away from the demands of our Lower Self. She also focusses on study of the Qabalah and the Tree of Life. She calls the Tree of Life “A glyph of the soul of man and the universe.” The Tree represents both of these: our Soul, and the universe, at one and the same time. She writes: “The aspirant who uses the Tree as his meditation symbol establishes point by point the union between his soul and the world-soul.” (The Mystical Qabalah Chapter III: 16)

What DF is saying is that if we use the Tree of Life to learn about the created universe which appears to be ‘out there’ we are also, at the same time, learning about our own, whole Self, which is ‘in here.’ This isn’t achieved by learning rules and symbols and correspondences or comparing esoteric systems but by raising our level of consciousness from one sphere on the Tree to the next, so that rather than, for example, standing in the lowest sphere of Malkuth and learning about the symbols associated with the sphere of Tiphareth, we raise our level of consciousness so that it is functioning objectively at the level of Tiphareth; we have become Tiphareth. When we can do this, we realise that the created universe which appears to be ‘out there’ and our own Soul ‘in here’ in effect are one and the same. And this, of course, is what Dion Fortune is referring to when she describes what happens, or should happen, in magical Initiates.

She describes how we will know when we have ‘become Tiphareth’ or ‘become’ our Higher Self: “The prime characteristic of this higher mode of being is that it consists neither in voices nor visions, but is pure consciousness; it is an intensification of awareness, and from this quickening of the mind comes a peculiar power of insight and penetration which is of the nature of hyper-developed intuition. The higher consciousness is never psychic, but always intuitive, containing no sensory imagery. It is this absence of sensory imagery which tells the experienced initiate that he is on the level of the higher consciousness. (The Mystical Qabalah, Chapter XX: 33)

However, if the Qabalah and the Tree of Life aren’t your cup of tea, there are many other ways of reaching the qualities of your Soul and bringing them through into your personality. For example, as Dion Fortune suggests in the phrase I mentioned earlier, we can become the ‘questing soul.’ If we set out on our quest for mystery, for awe and wonder, for radiance, for holiness in unexpected places, we will find the Soul. In the Western Mystery tradition we have a perfect example of this in the stories of the Quest of the Holy Grail. You can quite easily see how this works if instead of the word ‘Grail’ you simply substitute the word ‘Soul.’ The Quest for the Soul.

By way of example I’m going to quote a passage from the poetry of Alfred Lord Tennyson who is not at all fashionable nowadays but who wrote some beautiful descriptions of the Grail. This excerpt is taken from his long poem The Idylls of the King and describes how one of the knights of the Round Table experienced contact with the Grail - aka the Soul - while he was in what we might call a raised state of consciousness or meditation. Instead of ‘Grail’, substitute the word ‘Soul.’

 

I have seen the Holy Grail:

For, waked at dead of night, I heard a sound

As of a silver horn from o'er the hills

Blown, and I thought, "It is not Arthur's use

To hunt by moonlight;" and the slender sound

As from a distance beyond distance grew

Coming upon me – O never harp nor horn,

Nor aught we blow with breath, or touch with hand,

Was like that music as it came; and then

Streamed through my cell a cold and silver beam,

And down the long beam stole the Holy Grail,

Rose-red with beatings in it, as if alive,

Till all the white walls of my cell were dyed

With rosy colours leaping on the wall;

And then the music faded, and the Grail

Past, and the beam decayed, and from the walls

The rosy quiverings died into the night.

 

I don’t mean to suggest that this is the only way to interpret the Grail legends or that this is the only symbolic meaning of the Grail, but it certainly does work, and in a very inspiring and practical sort of way. It also, as it happens, sidesteps the pitfall of regarding the Grail as something inherently ‘holy,’ which is a kind of superstition.

Here’s another description of the Grail, and again it’s one which I think serves well as a description of the Soul as it might appear to our imagination. It’s taken from The Secret Glory, a book written in 1922 by Arthur Machen who was a friend of A.E. Waite and a member of the Golden Dawn. He writes of the Grail: “All the hues of the world were mingled on it, all the jewels of the regions seemed to shine from it…. strange and magical colours that shone and dimmed with alternating radiance, that glowed with red fires and pale glories, with the blue of the far sky, the green of the faery seas, and the argent gleam of the evening star.”  For me, that really works as an image of the Soul!

Finally, here is a short extract from Dion Fortune’s most developed account of the Soul and of how we can contact it. It is taken from the letters of instruction in group meditation that she wrote and distributed during the war, now published by Skylight Press: The Magical Battle of Britain: The War Letters of Dion Fortune (pages 90 - 91) These letters contain some of her most explicit magical instruction. She also mentions the concept of the Divine Spark, the unique spark of Life within us which is beyond and above the light of the Soul.

“First, then, realise that your being is divided into two parts - the Higher Self and the Lower Self; the Higher Self building around the nucleus of the Divine Spark evolving throughout evolution….. When, upon the Path, you are striving after that state which shall enable you to give expression to your Higher Self through your Personality, by means of a certain technique you can aid the process. Firstly, realise this, that while in incarnation your consciousness is focused in the Personality by means of sensation and emotion. Conse­quently, if you desire to alter the focus of consciousness, you must acquire control of sensation and emotion, and learn at will to reduce them to a minimum……

To achieve control of these you imagine yourself to be your Individuality. You raise consciousness to that level by meditating upon the evolution of your Divine Spark which is the nucleus of your being. You realise it as emerging from the dark light of the unmanifest into manifestation, where it is a light in darkness. You conceive of your experiences as that Spark through the earlier phases of evolution, circling with the Rings and the Rays in limitless space. You imagine the formulation of Form and the great Tides moving in the Cosmos.

You picture to yourself the dim soul asleep in unconsciousness, overshadowing its shadowy vehicle…. And so you conceive of the rise of consciousness from the primordial slime, up through the bestiality of the primaeval human into the slow dawn of culture: the rise of the ancient civilisations - the great Pagan cults close to nature, that train your soul with human sacrifice and orgy: the steady progression of humanity from culture to culture: the refining away of the brute; the manifesting of the human; the overshad­owing of the angelic. So does man rise; coming from God, and returning to God as a god.” 

Wendy Berg, September 2019

 

Dion Fortune, Atlantis and eugenics

 

 An essay by Mike Harris

 

 

When the Athenian statesman Solon visited the ancient Egyptian Temple of Neith at Sais, two Egyptian priests, Psenophis of Heliopolis and Sonchis of Sais, told him the story of what he later called Atlantis, this being the island of the Titan Atlas as he interpreted it in terms of the mythology of his native Greece. Solon eventually took his version of this back to Athens, in about 590 B.C. Some two hundred years later, Plato picked up the story and crafted it into the dialogues of Timaeus and Critias in which he used Solon’s version of Atlantis to satirise the long previous (c 415 B.C.) Athenian failure to conquer Sicily. He introduced Atlantis in Timaeus thus:

 

“For it is related in our records how once upon a time your State stayed the course of a mighty host, which, starting from a distant point in the Atlantic ocean, was insolently advancing to attack the whole of Europe, and Asia to boot. For the ocean there was at that time navigable; for in front of the mouth which you Greeks call, as you say, 'the pillars of Heracles,' there lay an island which was larger than Libya and Asia together; and it was possible for the travellers of that time to cross from it to the other islands, and from the islands to the whole of the continent over against them which encompasses that veritable ocean. For all that we have here, lying within the mouth of which we speak, is evidently a haven having a narrow entrance; but that yonder is a real ocean, and the land surrounding it may most rightly be called, in the fullest and truest sense, a continent. Now in this island of Atlantis there existed a confederation of kings, of great and marvellous power, which held sway over all the island, and over many other islands also and parts of the continent. 

 

Plato’s use of satire, together with parts of his Republic, recounted from a half understood Egyptian myth, translated into approximate Greek myth and then allowed to brew through constant recitation and revision down two centuries to fuel that satire, hardly makes for an accurate retelling of the original Egyptian story let alone the retrieval of archaeological fragments from an ‘Atlantean legend.’ And there is more……In his Republic, Plato advocated the breeding of superior human stock by having the nobility and intelligentsia at it like rabbits, whilst discouraging the lower classes from any hanky panky. In addition, these high class matings would be regulated by the ruler of the Republic. Incest was fine, as long as it was restricted to brother and sister, but not parents and children. Thus Plato introduced a sort of proto eugenics into his perfect, superhuman state. Some 2,300 years later, Marie Stopes and her assistant Maiya Tranchell Hayes, one of Dion Fortune’s teachers, advocated much the same thing.

 

Some of Dion Fortune’s first ‘Atlantean’ encounters probably came with her girlhood friend, Mary Bligh Bond. Both of them appear, hardly disguised, albeit at a later date and in a girlie crush way, in Mary’s Avernus of 1924. In this novel the vampirism of an Atlantean entity is made clear, as is the physical decline that it subjects its host to. Indeed, such was speculated to have been the case later with DF’s own early and sudden death from leukaemia whilst she was still writing Moon Magic. Another of DF’s misplaced enthusiasms, described in Avalon of the Heart, was the work of Lewis Spence who wrote some seven books on Atlantis between 1924 and 1937. Further, I would suspect that an early fascination with Atlantis, encouraged by the books of Lewis Spence, persuaded Violet Firth and Mary Bond to go ‘digging’ in the Nile delta, with Mary’s Avernus supplying reasonable evidence that they dug up more than they could handle. Both girls were certainly more naturally psychic than was then ‘helpful.’

 

It is the obstinacy of resisting the rules of natural existence which generates what we may collectively term ‘Atlantean-ism.’ Atlantis was submerged in the great deluge… not so much by a divine ordinance but rather by divinity (in love) giving humankind its free will, which results in human nature trying to outwit all nature and throwing a spanner in the elemental works.  In this sense, as the icecaps melt, we are all now Atlanteans.’ Fairbourne, a Victorian holiday village established on the floodplain where the Mawddach estuary meets the Irish sea, will be the first village in Britain to be placed under a flood evacuation order, within the next fifteen years if not sooner.

 

So every Fairbourne, every Somerset levels, becomes a Nile Delta, a reed sea, a cemetery of human folly littered with the discarded, half dead thought forms of what would be: in this case Victorian, superior humanity, that planned like Canute’s goaders, to overthrow natural science and push back the sea. These are the ambitions of leftover lives, which inhabit so many islands in life’s stream, named Atlantis after the superhuman Titan Atlas who hoisted the world on his shoulders. …his father was of course Poseidon, god of the sea.  It should be remembered that Titanic fathers had the habit of consuming their offspring! 

 

As to ‘Avalon as Glastonbury’ where the story of the Fraternity of the Inner Light and also of The Sea Priestess began, the topography of Glastonbury as Avalon becomes multi-functional. First, it doubles as a once-upon-a-time Atlantean outpost. Secondly, the Somerset levels of half flooded prehistoric times take on (although not stated as such) the island marshes / reed fields of the Nile Delta of ancient Sais and the kingdom of Neith in ancient Egypt. Thirdly, the landscape ‘becomes Atlantis’ with the river Brue fictionalised as the River Dick, enabling it to double as the river Nile and to be mythologised as the River Naradek in Atlantis. Other pieces of the topography then fall into place: Brent Knoll becomes mythologised as the sacred mountain Ruta at the centre of Atlantis, although in terms of comparative topographic scale this would have made the Atlanteans leprechauns rather than the giant superhumans they were reputed to be!  

 

At about the same time that Dion Fortune’s well-to-do ‘New Age’ (for their time) parents moved from North Wales to Letchworth, the first of the Garden Cities, Maiya Tranchell Hayes, Dion Fortune’s later occult mentor, became personal assistant to the eugenics enthusiast Marie Stopes. (“Eugenics: the science of improving a population by controlled breeding to increase the occurrence of desirable inheritable characteristics.”) A Wiki history remembers Stopes thus: 

 

According to June Rose, Stopes was "an elitist, an idealist, interested in creating a society in which only the best and the beautiful should survive”. Eugenics was central to her birth control vision. Stopes' enthusiasm for eugenics was in line with many of the intellectuals and public figures of the time, for example Havelock Ellis, John Maynard Keynes, Cyril Burt and George Bernard Shaw. As a child she met the founder of the Eugenics movement, Francis Galton, both through the British Association for the Advancement of Science and socially through her father.

 

When Stopes was disseminating her ‘New Gospels to all peoples’ her assistant Maiya Tranchell Hayes (or Gertrude Curtiss Webb as she then was) was helping her student Dion Fortune set up the Fraternity of the Inner Light, initially based at Glastonbury.  As Marie Stopes’s assistant, Maiya was naturally a member of the British Eugenics Society.

 

Letchworth and the Garden City Movement was the brainchild of Ebenezer Howard. The idea of selective human breeding, propagated by Galton, Ploetz and others, appeared in one of Ebenezer Howard's diagrams of 1898, then more explicitly in the German garden cities organisation, where around 1910 the leading German eugenists were members of the board. In the 1920s, the myth of the superhuman ‘New Man’ was riddled with eugenic thought in the ideological foundation of the whole reform architecture movement. The original plan for Letchworth sets out the ‘asylums for blind and deaf,’ the ‘farm for epileptics’ and the ‘children’s cottage homes,’ all set well away from the magnificent garden city itself where they wouldn’t be in the way of the ‘proper’ people. In the Third Reich there was a siedlung in Bremen, which was a garden city, a halfopen prison and an eugenics selection centre all in one.

 

Back in pre-war Blighty, for the underclass who couldn’t be institutionalised and sterilised, Marie Stopes promoted contraception, mostly for all the wrong reasons. And yet Stopes, like Dion Fortune’s Sea Priestess, is seen as a feminist heroine. Her aim, however, is that the weak, meek and unusual shall NOT inherit the Earth. The Sea Priestess makes this clear. Here is Malcolm describing the drowning of the builder’s idiot son, the Mooncalf, on the end of Brean Down.

 

“ I tore off my coat and started after him. It was an idiotic thing to do, for there wasn’t the remotest chance of getting him. Luckily for me, the foreman, who had sprinted up when he saw what was happening, threw his arms round me and stopped me. 

“No good throwing your life away for the likes o’ he” he said……..

………………….

The poor mooncalf had vanished and no trace left. 

 

Old Bindling (the builder/boy’s father) slowly raised his hat, not in reverence, but to scratch his head……

…….

“Maybe it’s just as well” said the old foreman….

 

I was shaking all over, but Miss Morgan was utterly unmoved. She was very sweet to poor old Bindling, but it was a cold blooded kind of sweetness which gave me a queer feeling”.

 

As for any attempt by any magical group or society to perpetuate these unwholesome practices, what can be said?  It may well be that such attitudes will bring their own destruction, if only by virtue (wrong word!) of their misguided, elitist, separatist approach to magic, born from some perverted idea of ‘exclusivity’ and ‘purity of roots.’ Will all spiritual colossi please ascend the Sacred Mountain! Cannibalistic savages to the bottom tier, Sun Priests to the top!

 

 

THE SEVEN PLANES OF CONSCIOUSNESS (parts 2 and 3)

by ALAN ROBINSON

 

A note to readers:

This article forms the sequel to Alan Robinson's "The Seven Planes of Consciousness Part One' which is published in 'Sparks from the Cosmic Flame,' a collection of essays about Dion Fortune's The Cosmic Doctrine.

You may wish to refer to the initial essay if you have not already done so. Sparks from the Cosmic Flame is published by Skylight Press.

 

****************

 

It is now time to move on to the second part of this work.

If you have followed the exercises previously described, you should have come to a realization of the seven planes of manifestation; if you have not, then what is to follow will be of no use to you other than perhaps quelling an interest. Once again exercises shall be described, for these are the basis of this work and it is from the performance of these exercises that any real benefit is obtained. However whereas before these exercises were set in an ordered manner, you are now expected to utilize the following exercises as you see fit, for what we aim at, is for you to start developing your own way of working with the ‘cosmic doctrine’ and the seven planes of consciousness; thus is this system developed. Also, one exercise can lead back to a revaluation of a previous exercise calling for more work to be done on the former.

We shall start with considering those beings that are termed within the Cosmic Doctrine, the Lords of Flame, Form and Mind. We have already considered the three rings in relation to ourselves under the terms of the rings of time, space and event in exercises one, two and three. Now we shall consider them in terms of the manifest universe and the great powers that lie behind it and indeed manifest within it.

Firstly we shall consider the Lords of Flame which evolve during the great cycles and revolutions of the first ring.

Exercise – the foundation behind the Lords of Flame.

Therefore the first exercise we can utilize, once settled in meditation is to consider ourselves travelling along the first great ring through an area of darkness or vacuum or even starless space. As we travel we can feel ourselves slowly moving around this ring and our attention is taken towards the centre. As you continue your journey around this completed circle, notice how your attention is taken to the centre within, for the circle marks out a space with a centre. From time to time though, feel your attention drawn back to the unmanifest without the ring and see, while your attention was drawn towards the centre within, that a pattern has been drawn within the plane of this ring similar to a radio wave pattern, travelling from the outer ring to the centre and back again. The longer our attention span was within the ring the longer was the wave length and the bigger the gap from start to finish around the outer edge and the shorter time, before our attention was taken to the unmanifest, the shorter the length of this radio wave pattern joining the inner centre to the outer ring. Continue your journey around this ring many times and consider the effect and length of all these waves. Now as we move around the ring become aware of the present wave created by our attention moving over (or through) previous waves created on previous cycles and consider the term ‘The lords of Flame’ and this is the basis of the first exercise in this sequence.

From this we should come to an understanding of the conditions affecting the Lords of Flame and how these great Regents are concerned with the dynamic of what can be termed ‘celestial friction’ or the generation of energy.

 

These exercises are not designed to put us in direct contact with these great Regents, for the Lords of Flame, Form and Mind are so immense in being, that an analogy would be like a human soul becoming aware of one microbe or particle. However it is possible at times to ‘touch the threads of their robes’. Therefore, what we seek now, is an understanding of the conditions operating behind them and in another sense you are already in contact with the Lords of Flame, Form and Mind in that they create the conditions for your being both in form – the life that indwells that form and the basic structure of your thought process! Once this is realised, we can then move on to other levels of creation, particularly in regards to our own ‘aura’ or sphere of sensation.

 

Exercise – the foundation behind the Lords of Form.

Having completed the previous exercise to the point where we have achieved an understanding of the factors behind the Lords of Flame, we can once more build the first great ring in meditation and now add to it the second great ring.

Travelling around the second ring, notice how your attention is taken by the ‘radio wave like patterns’ of the first ring. Notice how you move above and below the first ring and realize that from your present view point you give the patterns of the first ring position. Notice how what ever position you occupy on this ring gives two positions, one above the first ring and one below, almost as if the plane of the first ring cuts the second in half. Reflect on the terms ‘active and reflective’ and also the terms ‘past and present’ as you complete these circular journeys around this ring. Finally consider the term ‘the Lords of Form’ and continue with this exercise until you feel that you have gained the greatest insight from this exercise.

 You should notice while completing these exercises that the mind is becoming informed and there is much in these simple exercises that will instruct you more than you may immediately be aware of. This is because there are realizations that take place at a very deep level of consciousness and these can take some time to immerge at the surface into everyday consciousness.

 

Exercise – the foundation behind the Lords of Mind.

 Once again visualize the first and second ring, but now add the third great ring and it is around this ring that we shall now travel in meditation. However, whereas before there is a very harmonious experience in the first two exercises, here we must visualize the effects of energy in the first ring, position and past and present in the second ring, interacting with each other. Now we have to come to terms with the question of the unknown, for it will soon become obvious that we can not comprehend which factors the second ring is operating on ie. from the view point of above and below its circular plane and which energies of the first ring are interacting with it and from this we start to comprehend the unknown and this we can term ‘future’. Now meditate on the phrase ‘The Lords of Mind’ and see how all these factors interact down the planes and even in your own consciousness. If you find the positioning of the rings awkward, remember that you can twist the whole system, so that what ever Ring you are working on can be visualized as horizontal which helps when dealing with the third ring

As stated, this third exercise can be rather unsettling, for we think of ourselves in terms of mind, but we must realize that we are so much more than mind or thought, as we encapsulate the principle of Spirit which transcends all, for it has its basis within creation linked to the centre and also (in potential) without in the great Sea of all being.

Having completed these meditations of the Lords of Flame, Form and Mind there is a few more series of meditations that will prove useful and that is having previously meditated on the foundations behind the Lords of Flame, Form and Mind, you may now find it very instructive to follow the Lords of Flame, Form and Mind as they process down the planes of manifestation at the start of creation (taking each group of Lords in turn). Therefore meditate on the principles you have learned from the initial meditations on the seven planes and see how these principles of 1.awarness 2. self awareness 3. knowledge of action and reaction. 4. knowledge of form 5. knowledge of separation 6. knowledge of attraction and rejection or discrimination and finally 7. physical manifestation - instruct the development of these great Lords as they involve and evolve down the planes and how they interact with these principles, thus setting up the basis of manifest creation. Once again set a time for each meditation cycle and continue with each cycle until you reach the end that you have set, for there is much that will come through and this is a meditation that has to be persevered with for there is much that will come through even after the meditation cycle has finished. See how the influence of force generated by the Lords of Flame energises the work of the Lords of Form and how their structures pass through the waves of energy created by the Lords of Flame and contemplate life and death. Contemplate the Lords of Mind and their connection to the works of the Lords of Flame and Form and finally see how all these factors are revealed in yourself and when you are satisfied that you have made progress in this work we will move onto the final series of work wherein (if you have worked through all the preceding exercises) dwells responsibility that some may call power.

Now it is time to talk about manifest creation that is subject to the laws set up by the Lords of Flame, Form and Mind. It has been said that there is nothing within the inner side of creation that does not create a manifestation in that which we can call the physical world, and this is because everything affects that which comes after it. In the original Cosmic Doctrine we are told that we can think of what is described, in terms of interstellar space / planets / suns etc but we are also told that the principles stated are not interstellar space / planets or suns, which is imagery that is very hard to get away from when once used. Thus the CD talks of various star Logi, giving rise to the thought of different universes with their own Gods but what is being stated is more after the nature of different possibilities. We have already talked about the great sea of all being having the potential for every-thing and no-thing and this is important for there is a multitude of ways that creation can manifest and this is reflected in the physical universe we inhabit. It is perhaps better to consider the planet earth, being the centre of everything and what we see manifest around it in terms of stars and galaxies being a reflection in creation of the various possibilities that can arise from the great unmanifest.

Now we know that our central sun is not God, it is a burning ball of gas but it is also a representation of an inner reality expressing its effects in the outer physical world. That there are many of these representations throughout the universe is a testament to the numerous possibilities present down the planes of manifestation all arising from the expression of inner possibilities arising from the great sea of all being or the absolute. All that matters are the ones that affect us now at this point in time and therefore in these terms the earth is truly the centre of our universe. Everything else is a factor that could have happened or an outer expression of an inner possibility and when this is truly realised we make a great step in our personal development; so that from this point onwards, when we talk about the planes of manifestation it will be from the view point that the planet earth is the most efficient manifestation of the seventh plane we can comprehend and also that although it is subject to the effects of the Lords of Flame form and Mind, it has for its being planes four, five, six and seven.

Thus, we have meditated on the three ring system and the spaces within earlier in part one of this work, all revolving around a central point where we have placed what could be called ‘solar heroes’ in this case the Christ. At other times this position could be filled by a female figure to account for the religious view point prevailing at the time, for the proper Christ figure can arise for the correct era and in dealing with the cosmic doctrine we must be aware that it deals with involution and evolution which includes our present age understanding of god. For an important point is that our understanding of god evolves just as religion should, as our understanding develops. Ultimately we will come to an understanding of the great unmanifest without the three ring system with the potential for everything and nothing and then we may possibly be coming nearer to divine truth. Therefore when we contemplate the physical sphere or plane seven of manifestation we should try to come to terms with the earth encompassing the whole and everything else present around it as factors that bring influences and potentials. Thus the zodiac represents influences arising from the quadrants of the three rings conjoined – the physical sun as the representation of influences from the central point but ultimately as the ‘Earth’ embodying in a very mystical way – the whole, and it can be instructive to meditate on the Earth picturing the physical sun to one side of it and the moon to the other and considering these as an active and reflective principle within the Aura of the earth, deriving from inner principles.

Now we shall return to discussing the ‘sphere of sensation’ and start by considering the physical world under the term of Earth, for if we can not understand how we operate in the physical world, we certainly will struggle when considering the inner worlds of which we have much less experience of.

 If you walk down a street in a city with people about you, passing architectural buildings, shops etc. and then reach the end of the road, accompanied by someone else walking beside you, will you share the same experience – and the answer is no! You could say that you have seen the same physical things and experienced the same temperature and passed the same people etc but at the end of the day you would have had two completely different experiences. This depends on many factors, for firstly you will not share the same interests and whereas one of you will notice people, the other persons attention may have been drawn to the buildings and this is just the start, for you will not look at things in the same way. If you both looked at the same things your reaction to them would have been completely different due to life experience let alone the chemical make up of your body which will effect how you see things and how you react to them and this is important. We could say that no two things are alike and this is a great truth. The observer creates his or hers own universe and no two universes are alike and this is all part of how the sphere of sensation works. You could say that your chemical (including brain chemistry) and physiological make up is projected forth into your universe and colours that which you see and all this is part of the working of that which we term ‘the Aura’, thus we all live in multi universes, with our ‘Aura’ reflecting that which we see, back to us coloured by ourselves. However, it is not quite as simple as this for we are also composed of an etheric level which can be seen by the inner sight as a grid pattern of lines which are behind the physical aspects of the body and these are linked to both those of the physical earth (in this case our surroundings) and also to our fellow traveller as we walk down the road contemplating that which we see, and so no soul is truly an island. Now we have stated that our physical environment is the product of that which we shall term the earth and that the earth has its own sphere of sensation and so in considering our own aura there are more than just personal aspects that affect it. In a cosmic sense we started this work discussing the great sea of all being without the three ring system and talked about how it had the potential for everything or nothing and this is reflected in the physical universe for there is nothing in a sense that happens on the inner planes that is not reflected out into the physical world including our own inner being and this is the basis to understanding our ‘Aura’ or sphere of sensation in regards to how it functions in the physical world.

Now we did state that we would consider the planet earth as the centre of our physical universe and also that it is composed of planes four, five, six, and seven and here when considering the experience of two people walking down a road, we come across an important fact, which is that when considering the different experiences of each individual that are the result of his or her sphere of sensation linked with their aura, they are passing through a physical world and this is linked to the sphere of sensation or aura of the Earth and it is from the interaction of our own aura and that of the Earth that progress is made as well as our interaction with our fellow travellers.

It will do well to meditate on that which we call the ‘aura of the earth’ which when understood will give an insight to that which we can call ‘physical manifestation’!

This interaction is much more pronounced than many people realize and even effects our work on the inner planes and our perceptions there, for we are dealing with structures of our own perception that have arisen from undergoing existence within the aura of the Earth or fourth to seventh plane of manifestation.

This has relevance to what follows. This concerns three ways of working on the inner planes taken from my own experience and then examining them to see what they reveal.

 

Firstly we shall consider what is usually called astral projection as apposed to working with the creative imagination. This is not the same as an outer-body experience, in that an outer-body experience is usually in the physical realm and you are conscious of your physical surroundings whilst leaving the physical body. Whereas what we seek is an experience of what can be called ‘the astral light’. The way this is done can be quite arduous and takes the form of obsessing the consciousness with an image. To do this we can use the pentagram and a good way to start, is to draw a pentagram on plain paper then stare at it for a while, before closing the eyes. It is a property of the visual senses that you should see an after image on the inside of your eyelids so that the white paper will appear black and the black lines of the pentagram white, which will fade. This should be repeated often and thought about during daily life for what we are doing is obsessing the consciousness. Then after a couple of weeks, at night, in a dark room (and you can recline on a bed to do this) you should stare at a blank wall or space and try to repeat the image of the pentagram to your sight following the lines of the pentagram as if endowing it with force, copying what you saw on your inner eyelids. Now what you are doing is building a construct on the astral plane and this can take some nights to achieve, but eventually the construct will become so strong that it will become energised with force and at this point your consciousness will pass through the pentagram into the ‘astral realm’. For the sake of example I will give an account of the first time I accomplished this and evaluate the results.

Upon the pentagram becoming energised my consciousness immediately left my body and I found my consciousness travelling through what was a black open space (think along the lines of travelling through interstellar space but with no stars) with the exception that things were visible here and this is possibly why it is called the ‘astral light’. I found my consciousness (and there is no awareness of the body, for it has been completely left behind) passing geometric shapes but where as in the physical world these have three dimensions, here they were multi dimensional (and I later discovered that this is because the laws of time are different here). As to the way my consciousness worked, it seemed to be at the instinctual level and this is one important point which we can examine later. After this journey I came to another portal looking out to a physical space and saw someone physical who looked at me. Such was my surprise that my consciousness travelled back at great speed to my own physical body and the pentagram had dispersed. This example shows an experience of the inner planes when consciousness has escaped what we can call ‘the sphere of sensation or Aura of the earth’ and this is another important point of which we shall discuss later. Now there are many occultist who will say that this is an experience of travelling through Yesod but here they are wrong, the ‘space’ through which I travelled is the menstrum behind creation and the seven planes and reaches to the heights as well as the lows. It is the medium through which force draws it paths before becoming manifest as the physical world we know, whether in plane 1 to plane 7 and experiencing it in this way is just as real as travelling in the physical world except that your physical body is left quite literally behind and the medium through which you pass is nothing like anything you will have experienced before.

As a method of inner working, although it will utterly convince you that consciousness can operate outside of a physical body, it is quite limiting in that while you are undertaking this experience, the whole range of the human thought processes are not available to you, rather just instinctual reactionary levels - although you can still think! Also it has the effect of thinning your sphere of sensation (or Aura) which can lead to oversensatising yourself which is something that we really want to avoid. Also I personally found it a hard method to employ and although you can come across that which the ancients referred to as Gods travelling here, which will appear to ‘sight’ in a manner quite unexplainable to anyone who has not experienced it. How do you describe a figure whos robes are composed of leaves of living green flame and face of a peculiar light for this is not even starting to describe one of these figure’s accurately and although this can be an astounding experience you are still very limited as an operator when situated outside of the ‘sphere of sensation’ and within the sphere of ‘astral light’ using this method. Still, it is an experience which everyone should try to achieve once, although there are some inherent dangers in travelling thus in that you are acting directly with the inner forces of the universe and although there is nothing here that will intentionally hurt you, if you wander around the inside of a car engine, that engine can unintentionally catch you in its gears if you are not careful.

The second method is using the creative imagination or visualization, as discussed earlier in this work and this is achieved by quieting the mind in meditation and undertaking a pictorial journey. I do not intend to give one of my first experiences of this here for this method has been well documented elsewhere by numerous people and my first attempts would be so long ago that I cannot remember – also this method improves through usage and I am sure that my first attempts would give any insight into this methods worth. The success of this method will depend on both your inner state and also the aid of inner beings who will help ‘key’ you in to the right forces – also practice! For what we are doing is linking vibrations within the ‘sphere of sensation’ to vibrations of things on the inner planes of the same vibration This method is akin to using the forces within the aura as a means of ‘skrying’ on the inner plane and as such will be coloured by your sphere of sensation or Aura. It is a peculiarity of the Aura that what is viewed through it (as is the physical world) will nearly always be translated in terms the conscious physical mind can accept and as such will humanize things into people and places that when entering on the inner unencumbered by the sphere of sensation, can appear completely different. There are angelic beings who when viewed on the inner from the right level will appear as shapes of linear force and this is where the ancient sigils arose from and although it is translating multidimensional lines of force into three dimensional diagrams it is still probably quite a good representation of what people have seen. But to return to this method of working, it is usually the safest method and can achieve good results, although the effects on the individual are not as lasting as direct inner contact discussed in the first part, for the aura or sphere of sensation through which this takes place is a great force for protection. I once asked one of the masters where they were situated, as after all they had died and the answer given was that they were still within the bounds of creation but whereas when you are alive creation acts on you positively, when you are dead creation acts upon you negatively and when you understand what had been said correctly it will explain a lot about the aura or sphere of sensation and its relationship to the physical!

However to return to discussing how to act on the inner or with the inner planes there remains a third method and this is achieved by creating a body of light to travel in. What you are really doing is stretching part of the sphere of sensation into a vehicle for travel and this gives the protection of the sphere of sensation or aura while thinning part of it to make what you see and experience more in the line of seeing correctly rather than ‘translated through the sphere of sensation or Aura’ which is very much linked to the aura or sphere of sensation of the earth. The process can be pictured in the imagination as a sphere of light surrounding the physical body connected to a sphere of light surrounding this imaginary body that is projected forth onto the inner, both connected by a ‘tunnel of light’ and the way to do this is thus. Firstly sitting comfortably in meditation reflect on the Aura or sphere of light surrounding your body both before and behind you, then start to feel and create an imaginative body within your aura, you can start by feeling your head and imagining it turning from one side to the other and feeling plays a big part in this process. Feel your imaginary eyes travelling round your physical head until they are looking out of the physical point of your ear then turn the head to face the other way. Next concentrate on your right hand and as you do, visualize an arm where your physical arm is, draw it back and feel your hand and especially your elbow move back with it, so that you hand travels back down your forearm, then stretch this imaginary arm out and feel your hand inside it. Concentrate and feel this hand and arm and then grip this hand, then next repeat the exercise with you left arm until you can feel both arms stretched out in front of you. At first you may feel your physical arms have gone numb and the shock usually brings your sensation back into your physical arms but this is something that you have to persevere with and takes some degree of will and also a long time to perfect. The next step is to feel this imaginary body turn to your physical left or right and you should feel aware of your head swinging round until it is facing the wall behind you, then as you swing round stand up in this imaginary body and step back. At first you may find that this body floats and is a bit hard to control but the secret is in understanding that it goes where you ‘will’ it to go and is controlled by will. Once you feel comfortable in this body you can then undertake the chalice working using this method. If while undertaking the exercise you find your consciousness shooting back into your physical body do not panic for all that will happen is that the imaginary structure you have created (or body) will just disperse and be reabsorbed into you and some times you may be aware of being in two places at the same time but this all takes practice and time to perfect.

Using this method will help you to establish more of an inner presence and will also make contact with inner beings slightly easier, also it will help you work on the inner planes without some of the distractions or disruptions that can arise from your sphere of sensation or aura, especially in regards to the way the sphere of sensation ‘colours’ things, whilst keeping within a thinner version of the sphere of sensation with all the natural protection that the sphere of sensation contains. You will find that the main difference between this and using the creative imagination is that with the creative visualization method, you rely on relaxation, in this method you rely on will.

 So we have now discussed three methods of working on the inner planes but what is important in the present work is to consider the implications of them in relation to the seven planes of consciousness.

 What is most noticeable in the first method of projection is that you are not in possession of all the abilities you have in the second method and this is because your consciousness has moved out of the vehicle of normal everyday life, or the vehicle projected into physical manifestation linked to the aura of the earth, this we termed the ‘sphere of sensation’ earlier. Therefore it cannot avail itself of those structures that have been developed through your interaction with physical manifestation or the aura of the earth, for you have not taken these structures with you but have left them behind (if you do take these structures with you, it probably means that you have died). If you meet beings in this way that do seem to have an ‘Earth’ type shape it is usually a good indication that these beings themselves have descended down the planes before returning and can now avail themselves of the structures built up during this process. Thus we can see that the Earth does truly initiate us. Another important point is that the ‘finer’ structures that we develop are not developed on the ‘higher planes’ but need the more complicated structures of the lower planes to develop. Therefore we see that whereas the kabbalah will usually assign the base emotions to the ‘lowest’ level and higher emotions to ‘higher’ planes, when considered from the point of view of the seven planes of manifestation we find that this is actually reversed and this is because the stresses behind these base emotions are usually developed in ‘earlier’ planes for the more complicated the structure the more complicated must be the conditions of manifestation.

 

Next we will examine the workings of those beings whom we refer to as ‘the masters of the great white lodge’. There is no need to go into an explanation of what they are, other than to say that they are human beings who have evolved to the point where they do not need to incarnate anymore; or in other words, they have reaped all the knowledge that is accessible while in incarnate form. There have been many instances where what they have been documented, from Madam Blavatsky to Dion Fortune and many others indeed, who all state that they are ‘perfected human beings’ who now guide evolution and the development of others.

To say that they guide evolution is perhaps pushing things too far and the proper term should be to state that they ‘work with evolution’ which is a more correct phrase. But the object of this part of this work is to try to explain the work of the Masters of the great white lodge, rather than restate what they are.

Firstly, contact with such can take the imagery of being contacted by a figure on the inner planes, be it man or woman but with the difference that a true master (rather than an inner contact) has the ability to bring things to pass in the physical world, which is usually a good sign that the contact is indeed of the quality of a ‘Master’ of the great white lodge rather than an inner contact (and please note that although we are here referring to the word ‘Master’ which is masculine, there are indeed those who incarnated as female and have achieved this status).

But firstly let us consider what the masters do.

The principle amongst their tasks could be said to deal with the evolution of consciousness and emotion and these we can term under the title of the evolution of mind. From here we can next consider them dealing with space and events, past and future.

Under the term space, we can consider them as dealing with present evolutionary forces which they observe and try to ease the progress of whilst these events affect humanity, so that there is a smooth transgression from one phase of evolution to the next.

If we wish to use an image to represent this, we can visualize the upper round table or rim of our chalice that we have worked with situated at the point of chesed and geburah (composed of the two ‘spheres’ to use kabbalistic terms, although the two spheres are one and we divide it into two to probably account for how we react to and how the sphere act on us) and around its edge a round table where sits the masters. Above this table, through daath are transmitted the evolutionary forces arising from Kether, Chockmah and Binah and we could visualize these forces reflected in the chalice/bowl within the floor of the round table rather like looking into a reflective pool of water or perhaps a mirror. It is these forces that the masters watch and than work with so that the evolutionary direction comes about in as stable manner as possible. If we are imaginative, seeing ourselves standing in the centre, looking beyond to the outside of this table we could see scenes of landscapes, for this point is also related to the perfected earth. If we pass in vision above the table we would see it surrounded by the Zodiacal forces, which is a fair reflection of this round table of the ‘Masters’ and so this we can refer to as their work with evolution in space.

We have already stated that the Masters are concerned with the evolution of thought and emotion and having considered their involvement with time, will now move on to events past and future. Under the title of ‘past’ we can consider past evolutionary directions and events that have now come to an end. However, in an imperfect world there resides currents and forces set up during these era’s that may for some reason have not been successfully integrated into the next current of evolution. This can be seen in some of the major historical events where have been set up two opposing forces, whose influence reaches into the present where it has no place and these are worked with through ritual by groups under the direction of the Masters to realign the national current so that they no longer prove a distraction for the future direction of nations.

Which leaves us to consider the term future. If we once more return to the imagery of the round table of the Masters we can see that by watching past and present evolutionary forces, it should be possible to come to an understanding of what the future evolutionary force is going to be and the Masters are much concerned with this matter so that they can help in bringing about a state where this is achieved without to much upheaval.

 

If we now return to the imagery of the upper round table of our chalice, we can visualize force or an evolutionary impulse coming down through the sphere of Daath as a Spiral force shaped like a cone with the largest end above us and like a spring, if there is opposition at the bottom end which represents the ‘physical sphere’, we can visualize this ‘spring of force’ tightening. Now the evolutionary current cannot be stopped and if there is opposition at the incarnationary end, we can visualize this coiled spring of force tightening, increasing the tension. Eventually the pressure that builds up will release this spring of force in a very disruptive fashion in the physically manifest universe and it is to stop this happening, so that the evolutionary forces manifest in as easy fashion as possible that the Masters are concerned.

There are probably other ‘concerns’ with which the ‘Masters’ are involved, but so far I have tried to use that which has been experienced so that it may be of help for those who seek to serve.

 

As there may be those reading this who are starting out on the ‘path’, it may be a good idea to give a brief example of one method of how the ‘Masters’ may be contacted through the use of the creative imagination which at first will prove the easiest. Therefore sitting in meditation, we can use the method of ‘path working’ or going on an imaginary journey, or we may just see a character arising in our mind as opposed to meeting them on our ‘inner journey’ alternatively we can use the round tables of our chalice construct. Now a principle characteristic of humanity is that we communicate and there is no difference now and so we should endeavour to engage the figure in conversation. If we seek great knowledge to be imparted immediately, we are using expectation which can be a hindrance in first establishing contact with these inner beings and so the best attitude is to expect nothing and see how the conversation flows. The character may appear in historical clothes or in robes or in normal clothing and this does not matter too much other than to give a feeling for the nature of the character (It may be important here to state that this should only be attempted during meditation and not to let a habit develop in everyday life which would be unhealthy and lead to poor health in one state or another) During the conversation we may find that the experience starts to develop a life of its own and this is usually a good indication that contact with an inner being is under way. If fact the communication can come at such a fast rate that it is hard to take in all that is being said and in such cases it is best to just go with the ‘flow’ as it where, so that the contact isn’t broken. Those whom we meet will probably not be of the grade that we term ‘Masters’ at first, but there does seem to be a hierarchy involved and so those we meet may be representatives of someone more advanced and discrimination in this is everything. No matter how well the ‘conversation’ goes, afterwards everything should be inspected in the clear light of day and evaluated as to its worth. I have had conversations with inner beings that have gone on for some length of time that really have not giving any indication of being fruitful and then in the middle will come one sentence that I know does not arise from myself and that has made the whole exercise worth while, whilst other times I have had communications that have been fruitful from beginning to end. Then again I have had others that have gone nowhere. Once again, discrimination is essential in all of this, although it should not be exercised till after the meditation has finished. One of the good things about training in an established ‘contacted’ group is that most groups will reveal their inner contacts, when they think the pupil is ready to use this knowledge. These are usually related to historical figures and there is one used frequently that I know of, whom seem to be used by many people of the same inner order i.e. all using the same inner characters image, but what is important is the quality of the information or instruction that is given not the person that the contact appears as. The use of historical figures can be something of a bind if the person meditating is of the nature to research the contacts physical life for then they will build up an expectation of how the figure should act which is possibly not helpful. I once stopped a contact with a female figure who was quite well known in esoteric circles, for when I stated something about where she was born, the reply that was given was far from where everyone thought and what I expected and so I stopped the contact thinking I was going astray only to find out later from someone who actually researched the place of her birth through birth records, that what she said was correct. Therefore I personally would not expend to much time finding out (or building expectations) about the person concerned. Eventually the initial contacts will usually lead to those whom we term ‘Masters of the great white lodge’ if we seek with the correct attitude and as stated at the beginning of this work these will be able to bring things to pass in the physical world and bring a speeding up in the development of the student and this is no understatement. But when the student is ready for contact with them he or she will find that these two points have no longer any importance which is something to ponder! What we seek in contact with the masters should be in the spirit of selflessness. A lot of what is received is mediated through what we can term or own ‘sphere of consciousness or sensation’ and a certain ‘colouring’ will take place due to this medium, but if we approach this type of work in the right attitude ie stepping out of ourselves in the spirit of selflessness we will rise above colouring what we receive through the intervention of our own sphere of sensation and then we may find that the communication will come out with things that are not what our mental mind set would expect them to be, thus we may get a communication at odds to our initial beliefs and when we exercise discrimination afterwards, we may find that what has been imparted is true and then we have to change ourselves and thoughts, thus true growth takes place.

At the end of the day we are not aiming at developing an oversensitive psychic ability through these contacts, for we have to operate in the physical world and an oversensitive psychic ability makes working in the physical world and interacting with our fellow incarnating people very hard, but with practice we will develop an ability to strengthen or contacts with those on the inner and this is always to the advantage of the work.

 

Now in this part of the work, we discussed the Masters situated at the point of Chesed / Geburah below the sphere’s of Kether, Chockmah and Binah and these three prime Spheres we can link to the first three rings or planes of manifestation wherein act the Lords of Flame, Form and Mind. Chesed / Geburah we can link to plane four and remember that Chesed can be taken as how this sphere or plane acts on us and Geburah as how we react to this plane. Tiphareph we have considered as representing plane five, Netzach and Hod to plane six (again, how it acts on us and how we react to it) and finally Yesod and Malkuth to plane seven. We have also stated the positions of these within the aura and how they circulate, although it may be well to point out that plane seven circulates in a turning motion from the groin centre to the feet and it may well be that it is in the direction of this turning that the main difference between the Aura of men and women takes place, which is not as different as you would suspect!

 

The remainder of this work concerns planes four to seven. So far we have investigated the seven planes of consciousness, have given a way of working with them with the chalice imagery and described the Masters who are available to help anyone who wishes to progress with this work. I have tried to give an account to the best of my limited literary ability of ways of working on the inner and pointers regarding the ‘Aura’ or sphere of sensation. However, it is not for me to walk this path for you if you feel it calling. There are numerous ways to develop this work which we will look at in part three but ultimately you should forge your own contact with the Masters of the great white lodge whom I am sure will not lead you astray and whereas there are mistakes in the original Cosmic Doctrine book I am sure that some future person will hopefully find mistakes in that which I have wrote here. If they do I hope that they will correct them for everything should evolve and most importantly, in the world of ‘Occult philosophy’ which seems at times to have give up on experience and what it reveals and relies instead on outdated thought patterns that need to be re-examined. Therefore we should be brave and dare to find out, also to examine things in terms of physical science for Quantum mathematics, string theory and such reveals so much about the inner worlds that we have to find our way back to reconciling the two. It is no good relying on the Qaballah or any other mystery thought system when it does not evolve, for if it does not evolve, neither will we. There are those who says that universal truth does not change, then all I can say is forget universal truth – dare to find out – have the will to change - and then take part in that great dance of evolution.

 

My very best wishes to one and all.

 

Part 3. 

In the final part of this work we shall examine structure – this is not as simple as it may at first appear! We have discussed the cosmic doctrine and the seven planes of consciousness and have given what we hope are pointers on the way, but now must describe something of the life and energy within it. A problem with the cosmic doctrine material is that it reduces everything to a structure with which we communicate ideas and thus can take the life out of creation if we lose sight of the greater picture. Earlier in this work we stated that wherever two lines of force cross, then consciousness arises and this is very important and must be remembered through out this work no matter how abstract it can become. It is of no worth reducing things to their basic principles if we leave behind an understanding of consciousness and indeed life.

Now we shall step backwards for a moment and contemplate the three rings system of the cosmic doctrine. We have placed our solar figure at the centre – that point of perfection and central stillness - have considered the ‘Great Absolute’ without the three ring system, but shall now move onto the Great Absolute’s actions within – that which fills the spaces of the void!

To do this we shall employ a creation myth! A magical image!

It is first of great worth contemplating what a structure is. These are many and varied, but the structures we are going to deal with concern those of the mind and soul. To those of the mind we can consider social and environmental structures which form to quite a great extent – that which we are as physical human beings. Then we can contemplate what could be termed religious structures and these inform the soul. That they change down the ages makes no difference, for each religious view point or structure determines that which the soul has to learn in its development. But all are structures, whether of a religious nature or physical. However structures are useful in that they give us a means to educate ourselves or in other words - grow

 In our three ring system we could use the traditional Christian mythos with god the creator stating ‘let there be light’ and go on to fill the spaces of our three ring system with the image of the holy ghost or spirit but can find it lacking in imagery and it is through imagery that we need to get a grip on that which we want to convey. Thus we shall use a pre-Greek image of creation. The reason for this is that the imagery used gives a good insight into the ‘Absolutes’ actions within creation and brings this system to life. It is possibly no small thing that one of the principle contacts behind the cosmic doctrine was an ancient Greek who would have been conversant with this imagery.

 It is a fact that much of what could be termed ‘the golden age’ was at the hands of these noble fathers of civilization and one factor could be that they considered the gods as beings within creation which they thought was created by the titan powers behind creation (or natural powers), which freed their mind up to marvel on what they could observe in creation rather than seeing creation as the works of god and so philosophising about god instead. This gave rise to such greats as Socrates, Plato, Democritus and many, many more that advanced science and culture to such an extent that even Einstein was carrying on from their initial work as was Newton before him. As religious view points developed so does the stress on what it teaches, thus in the dark ages, people philosophised more on matters such as could the soul reach its own salvation or was salvation mediated, is there original sin etc and such, and although these are also noble questions, the structures that people attach to certain spiritual teaching usually lead to terrible blood shed when one side refuse to believe what the other did and so noble objectives decay into fear and intolerance of other peoples belief. This mainly stems from physical objectives or structures being tacked onto spiritual matters and also certain people fearing that the reason for their social position would become unnecessary if people believed other dogma, thus a spiritual structure becomes perverted from its original intention, wherein we think that the spiritual serves us and not visa versa, but here we are digressing down an avenue which is not the subject of the final part of this work. However, these are all points to be considered in regards to structure.

The imagery or structure which we can use with the three ring system is called the Palasgian myth and concerns the figure of ‘Euronome’. That she is later relegated from a principle creator figure in Greek mythology to that of the daughter of Oceanus and Tethys, via being an early Titan queen who ruled Olympus as wife of Ophion is all part of the evolution of Greek culture where they moved from a matriarchal to patriarchal society and reflected this change in their religious view points. However the story that we shall use to contemplate, is the version taken from Robert Graves ‘the Greek myths’. It is possible that he may have embellished this early creation myth slightly but never the less, as a magical image it works very fine and puts us into contact with that which we seek to understand. You may find it hard to work with the concept of gods actions being more easily understood using female imagery but this is usually because you are limiting yourself to the structures both physical and religious that you have grown up with. Such greats as Julian of Norwich had no problem in considering god as female in her contemplations with great result.

However, the Palasgian era was pre Greek and so far back in time that not much is known about these people, save it to say that they spoke a pre-Greek language and were associated with great maritime skills. To save you time in searching for this story I shall give this version here.

 The Pelasgian creation myth

 In the beginning Euronome, Goddess of all things rose naked out of Chaos and divided the sea from the sky, resting her feet upon the surface she then began to dance upon the waves and dancing south set a wind in motion with which she started the work of creation. Turning and catching hold of this north wind she rubbed it between her hands and created the great serpent Ophion. Then while she was dancing wildly Ophion coiled about her and she became impregnated. Next Euronome assumed the form of a dove and in due time laid the universal egg and at her bidding Ophion coiled seven times about this egg until it hatched and split in two. From the egg emerged all things that exist, her children, the sun, moon, planets, stars, the earth with its mountains and rivers, trees vegetation and all living animals. Euronome and ophion then made their home on mount Olympus where he vexed her by claiming to be the creator of the universe so Euronome bruised his head with her heel, kicked out his teeth and banished him to the dark caves below the earth. Next Euronome created the seven planetary powers and set a Titaness and Titan over each, these being Theia and Hyperion for the sun, Phoebe and Atlas for the moon, Dione and Crius for the planet Mars; Metis and Coeus for Mercury; Themis and Eorymedon for the planet Jupiter; Tethys and Oceanus for Venus; Rhea and Cronus for the planet Saturn.

 The first part of this creation myth we have set in italics and this is because this is the principle imagery with which we shall work. It is just as possible to work with the imagery of the Holy Spirit if you wish for all religious imagery and practice instructs the soul or teaches the soul, but we are reaching for imagery with which we can make a tentative contact with the power of the ‘Absolute’s work in creation and in regards to the Cosmic Doctrine, this ancient myth seems to work well.

 It could be said of religious structures, that as they develop they take something of that which precedes them and this is usually because what they take is usually a subject that has not been fully understood or learned from in its original state, or setting, or religious context. Therefore, as a lesson which the former religion sought to teach the soul has not been fully learned or absorbed, it travels over into the next religious phase to hopefully be fully realised there. Thus we see that the Hebrew philosophy borrowed the image of the serpent and translated it into their own image of creation, also this female imagery also turns up in Christian myth as that which is called ‘The blessed shekinah’ or the female actions of God working in creation. It is also possible when visiting Mediterranean countries to find the image of Christ and the Virgin Mary being supported by another female figure which they state is an aspect of the Virgin but possibly harks back to incorporating something of this previous religious structure into the present which is all something to consider.

 This is not to say that you should use such imagery as the Pelasgian creation myth just as a simple tool for then it will not work for you, what we are contemplating is the ‘Absolutes’ actions within creation or the seven planes and so we should adopt due reverence and I cannot stress this enough, for the inner planes do not suffer intentional fools however forgiving those there can be. The way that we can do this is through a simple path working utilizing our chalice meditation that we may see the result or experience the results, for this can be much more effectual than words and contribute to the growth of your soul and of your understanding of the cosmic doctrine. Or if working with a group, this type of working is easily adapted into a ritual (shown later) with the purpose to participate in the great dance of creation and devising it into a ritual will be instructive in itself. However it is a case of letting your soul or spiritual aspect teach you and following where it leads. Therefore at first you should familiarize yourself with this myth and then use it in contemplation or meditation with our three ring system, thus are we building a structure which should inform us. Then it is a case of seeing how this develops and following the leads for this is the way to understanding. At this point if you have followed the exercises described, you should now be in a position to work and develop this type of work for yourself, for we are now at the point of contemplating Gods actions in creation and the only person who can lead you here is yourself.

 In the course of this undertaking you may have found that the colours described when bringing force down in the chalice working changed from black and white into personal colours and this will tell you a lot about the spiritual nature of your self. Also other variations may have taken place for it is you who are working with this material and you are the one travelling this path so be prepared to follow your own leads. How much further this work can develop is down to you and I know that my own personal journey in working with this material has been very beneficial and I am sure that it will be for you. Where this path will finally end remains to be seen but what better adventure can there be than travelling into that great unknown. The third and final part of this work is the shortest in length and this is because, really it has to be written by you – However the concept of structure is all important to all types of work and must be fully understood especially in relation to your own being. If you work with the Qabalah you most probably will find that you externalize the spheres or sephirah and relate them to certain inner areas, however when you fully realise how much structure makes up your own being, you will discover that the sephirah represent aspects of yourself. If you wish to meditate on the sephiroph chesed for one instance (or the sphiroph of justice), look within yourself and see how the images of justice work within you and first meditate on this, for then you will truly make progress and learn about yourself and probably learn more than through working with the sephiroth as a path working or such and this goes for all the sephiroth. It is the same with the seven planes of consciousness, for all of these planes are manifest within you - you yourself, here and now, for they truly make up that which we call the physical. If you seek to work with them on the innerplanes, first see how they work within that structure that is yourself for all seven planes are manifest there – it is just a case of being able to discern them and this leads to true personal growth.

 Once you fully realise this you will perhaps be ready to work with other concepts of the chalice and that is that the chalice imagery is an archetypal Grail. This has not been mentioned until now, to prevent you from not following the exercises given and branching off into other avenues before you are ready. Therein we see that the grail is emblematical of that which contains creation – that which even the central point of perfection, or the Christ centre had to manifest within, to receive instruction. Now you may be able to ask the all important grail questions and get the correct answers, for the answers given will correspond to your own state of spiritual development and in such respect all are valid, but the answer we should seek to the three questions are what is the Grail – the archetypal image of creation – what is its purpose – to instruct the spirit – who does it serve – it serves itself, and when you fully understand the third answer you will have travelled far so travel well.

 Finally we shall go on to discuss the planetary being. We have already stated that the planetary being occupies planes four to seven and perhaps now is the time to work with the different aspects that are represented there. The Cosmic doctrine divides the planetary being into three aspects which it terms the planetary Entity, the planetary Intelligence and the planetary Being. With the planetary Intelligence things get slightly confusing, in that the Cosmic Doctrine contact then talks about the guiding angelic intelligence rather than the planetary Intelligence and this is possibly because the subject is very hard to put across due to the esoteric planetary philosophy that was prevalent at the time proving something of a barrier in the receiver’s consciousness. Therefore we shall use imagery and build this imagery up in a circular sequence creating a ‘mandala’ or magical circle that we can work on. 

 So firstly we shall consider what a magical circle is and at its most basic level it is a clearing in the psychic structure of the environment wherein we then create a model of the universe, this can be done in many ways but the most traditional method is to assign the traditional element of Air to the eastern quarter, Fire to the south, Water to the west and Earth to the North. Thus working from the highest point first, we would invoke the angelic intelligence assigned to each quarter then the traditional elemental ruler before invoking the element itself. After this point we would then invoke the powers we wish to work with and conduct the rite along the lines of the aim we have in view. However we are working with the planetary being and the seven planes of consciousness and so shall construct our magical circle along these lines, firstly investigating the planetary being or that which we wish to contact at the four stations of east, south, west and north.

 Thus these meditations shall take a directional emphases and the first meditation should be conducted facing east. To do this we can first use the method of creating a sphere of light as described earlier in this work and then meditate on the images that will here after be described before utilizing the sequence in a ritual fashion. Also you have already worked on a lot of the basis to ritual magic when meditating on the rings of time, space and event, even if you have perhaps not realised it!

 So from now on, to delineate the differences between the planetary being in its entirety, we shall term it as the planetary totality rather than the planetary being so that the different aspects do not become confusing.

 Therefore, we shall build up four different forms in each of the four traditional quarters of East, South, West and North. Although you may well find that the forms that appear to your inner perceptions may vary from those described here, these given may prove a fruitful place to start.

 

Exercises concerning the Planetary totality.

 So sitting facing East, start with visualizing this image as a robed female figure standing before you. She is dressed in Gold robes for she is dressed in the light of the stars and visualize a very heavy veil covering the top half of her face as she stands before you. Contemplate this figure as representing the planetary Spirit (or Entity). Meditate on the fact that this aspect of the planetary totality belongs to the forth plane of manifestation and is to the planetary totality, that which your own Spirit, (that we contemplated at the highest level of the Chalice working) is to you! Realize it as the highest aspect of the planetary totality but also as a part that goes to make up the whole and reflect on its relationship to the fourth plane of manifestation and see what if anything the image has to reveal to you. Consider its relationship to the element of air in its highest sense although it is also the root of all four of the elements.

This is a hard image to work with and contains many great mysteries. 

Not least of all in that it contains the archetypal structure of all life (including group souls of the animal kingdom) on earth – be that the vegetable kingdom wherein we can see a reflection of the manifestation of the four elements or the animal kingdom wherein we can see a reflection of the movement of the great powers throughout the planes which manifest in expression as the animal life that is manifest on the physical level. And also not least of all in that it contains the highest aspects of those structures that make up a part of our own physical manifestation from planes four to seven. Do not be over concerned if you do not get too many realizations from the Eastern quarter for these will not be revealed in their entirety until much further down the path of manifestation and represent some parts of the supreme mysteries yet to be revealed, for there is a lot represented herein that concerns the future as well as a type of redemption that is relevant to planetary life. Finally meditate on the planetary Spirits relationship with the Lords of Mind

 Once this mediation has been completed for a satisfactory period we can then move on to the next figure. This can be done by once more creating the sphere of light and then after briefly creating the eastern figure moving on to the southern quarter. At this point you may find it easier to briefly pause your meditation and move your chair (if seated) round to face the southern quarter before continuing.

Therefore, next in the south, visualize a very heavily pregnant women seated on a throne. See her robed in the colours of red, green, olive, russet and black and contemplate this figure as representing the manifestation of the planetary totality at plane five and representing the planetary mind (or intelligence). Meditate on its relationship with the element of fire. We have mentioned plane five and its relationship to separation and herein can be seen the organizing force inherent here, sorting the myriad of consciousness present into different band lengths. You could dwell on a centre of heat radiating out and dispersing into cooler regions and the vibrational rate of each region attracting forms of consciousness that vibrate at the same rate for all this comes under the jurisdiction of the planetary mind. Try to feel the great magnetic force inherent in this image as well as order being brought into what could be possible called chaos. Finally mediate on the planetary minds relationship with the Lords of Flame and once more make a note of all that comes to mind.

 Following the meditation sequence as before, briefly create the figure in the east then the one in the south before moving round to the west. If you find it helps, once more move your seat at this point so that you are facing west

Now in the west visualize a maiden in light silk robes dancing before you.

See her emerging from the Sea to Earth or Land and where ever she places a foot in her dance, see flowers and greenery appear, also animals that spring into life and contemplate this aspect of the planet totality as representing the planetary being which occupies plane six. Consider the relationship of this image to the element of Water in its highest sense and this aspect of the planetary totalities relationship to the Lords of Form. It would be easy to adopt a sentimental view point of nature at this point but here we would be digressing for we are trying to work with reality wherein everything is interrelated and relies on everything else for survival on the physical plane (truly nature red in tooth and claw). Therefore consider your meditations on the Lords of Flame, Form and Mind, particularly those relating to the Lords of Flame and Form. See how the patterns of the rings of form moves through the patterns created by the Lords of flame giving life and even death for this will reveal much about the planetary being and how the planetary ‘totality’ operates on the sixth plane level. Meditate on animal and plant life and learn to see the great rhythms involved within the planetary being and if you feel so inclined, consider that which we could cal the ‘Elves’ manifest on the sixth plane for you will find much revealed here concerning the structure of ‘Elven’ life and hierarchy as well as the way they interact with and upon the physical plane. Eventually these great rhythms and cycles can you lead you on to the stars and the planetary being is a good aspect of the planetary totality to lead on to this, but this aspect can be worked through later. Finally consider the planetary being relationship to that which would term the ‘Aura’ just as the planetary mind or intelligence has a relationship to that which we could call the ‘etheric’. Once more make a note of any realizations that you may have through this meditational sequence.

Finally in the North using the same meditational sequence of briefly building up the preceding images, visualize a seated female figure with a cauldron before her. This figure represents the physical manifestation of the planetary totality and as such you may find that the figure in the North changes as viewed from the original described to a standing stone and even a female figure spinning thread at a spinning wheel. This is the planetary totality manifesting in the physical at plane seven and just as you have many levels to your being that manifest in the physical so does this great planetary consciousness. Consider this figures relationship with the element of Earth (although to a certain extent they are all represented here) but especially with physical manifestation and also with past, present and future. Meditate on its relationship to the other aspects that we have already worked through and learn to see that it is all part of one whole as indeed you are with the many levels that make up your individual being and once more make a note of anything that you may learn from this sequence.

Finally build these four images up around you with yourself in the centre in a ritualized fashion and you should find that the Lords of Flame start to manifest in the South, the Lords of Form in the West and the Lords of Mind in the East. That the Lords of Mind do not manifest in the South which corresponds with the planetary mind will reveal much about the planetary autonomy! So once more contemplate the relationship between the Lords of Flame, Form and Mind with the aspect of the planetary totality that we term the planetary Spirit, planetary Mind and planetary Being ie. the Lords of Mind corresponding with the Planetary Spirit, the Lords of Flame corresponding with the planetary Mind and the Lords of Form corresponding with the planetary Being. You may also find that it is more than possible to see the actions and interactions of all three of the Lords of Flame, Form and Mind at each quarter, but the principle relationship should be with the Lords of Flame in the south, the Lords of Form in the West and the Lords of Mind in the East and this will all become clearer later on in this work when we start to create or own magical ritual.

 Now moving on, we shall see that within our ‘mandala’ or magic circle are being created three triangular vortices of power 1. composed of the Lords of Flame, Form and Mind. 2. composed of the planetary Spirit, planetary Mind and Planetary Being and 3. a triangle of power with the North as its base and composed of Past, Present and Future as physical manifestation interacts with the other two triangles of power and here we have evoked in our magic circle the influences of planes one to seven in the Lords of Flame, Form and Mind representing planes one, two and three, - then the aspects of the planetary totality representing planes four, five and six, as well as plane seven represented, creating a run through of power.

As well as this you may have noticed, (which is important,) that the conditions of plane six which we visualized as three triangles when meditating on it earlier in this work is also represented here and this is the basis for any ritual magical work that we wish to accomplish with this work, for by working on plane six in a ritual fashion we should see results on plane seven (or the physical level) as each plane is effected by the preceding!

Therefore, when you are familiar with all aspects working in this magic circle, it is now possible to invoke them ritually.

 This can naturally be done on either a group or single basis. I cannot write this ritual for you and record it here for there is a great law of limitation utilized in all ritual work and to publish a ritual of this nature here would greatly lessen its effectiveness before we start, but I can make some basic suggestions which may help you in creating your own seven plane ritual.

 Firstly, I personally would employ the banishing ritual of the pentagram as used by the Golden Dawn group which is effective to clear the area for the Magic circle. The reason for this is that there are quite a lot of forms present in the planetary totality (as well as within your-self) that need dispersing before any work should commence. These include planetary forms that have completed there purpose and which need dispelling. On a technical note there is a greater banishing ritual recorded by the Golden dawn and a lesser banishing ritual and I have found that the lesser banishing ritual is more than effective as what seems important is the direction of the current that is set up both on the inner and within your aura as you draw it out before you (please see appendix 1.). Also intention plays a great part in this. However bear in mind that there are elemental beings who will be employed in any ritual that is to be commenced so that you could use the phrase ‘I salute the powers of the Earth and cleanse the Northern quarter’, following anti clockwise round to the East with similar phrasing appropriate to each quarter ie. the element of Earth in the north, Water in the west, Fire in the south and Air in the east using the banishing pentagram ritual which should not disturb these inner plane entities. Once this is achieved you can now use the invoking ritual of the pentagram and create your magic circle commencing from the east round to the south – west then north using the phrase ‘In the name of the Most High I open the east’ etc as you create the invoking pentagrams. Now you can invoke the planetary totality in the east, south, west and north. This can be done by visualizing the forms that we have meditated on in each quarter and using a descriptive phrase deriving from anything you have learned whilst meditating on these four quarters. Naturally, if working on a group basis you would place an officer in the East, South, West and North representing the different aspects of the Planetary totality who would describe the different functions and what they represent. Next invoke the Lords of Flame in the South the Lords of Form in the West and the Lords of Mind in the East. Normally you would start with the highest point of these Lords before the planetary totality and work down the planes but they are much easier to contact once the planetary totality has been invoked. Also the triad of the Lords of Flame, Form and Mind materializes starting from a point above this circle and makes first contact in ritual starting in the South, also there is an interesting point in the directional power flow they create and its relationship with the power flow around the stations of the planetary totality as well as the link set up in the North.

 Having invoked these powers, now you could perhaps undergo the Chalice work in a path working and bring through the higher vibrational aspects of the spirit and ritually earth them, for you will have a great effect on the elemental beings that will work with you on this rite from the inner, as well as both yourself and the planetary totality of which you are a part! If working on your own, this will be achieved through yourself at the centre of this magic circle and if working with a group you could utilize an Alter at the centre of the circle and earth the power through a talismanic item to be placed here. However, this ritual should be written by you even if using these basic guide lines shown here.

It should go without saying that after this ritualised work you should close the circle using the banishing ritual of the pentagram to close the four quarters.

This may seem quite a simple working but you will be surprised at just how much the vibrational rates of the Spirit can affect both yourself, your environment and the planetary totality especially when working with the run through of power from plane one to seven and also in regards to the forces of the sixth plane wherein the structure of the working will be set. Also you will find that from such a simple initial ritual, much more work will emerge along these lines, but this is to be discovered by you.

Meditate on the set up of this ritual and the way the forces ‘run’, try to get a feel for the inner side of this structure for knowing how a ritual works will lift any enterprise of this nature from ritualized theatre to ritual magic. Contemplate how the seven planes are represented here and the flow of energy down the planes and also how the inner structure of this circle is setting up the power by utilizing a six plane structure to effect plane seven. Also remember that the inner side of this working will be aided by inner plane beings not all of whom will be immediately obvious, for all work of this nature falls under the supervision of inner plane Adepti who will aid in this work. However, do not forget that you are also working with the planetary being (or totality) and as such remember that herein lies great responsibility for all consciousness that it contains is so very, very precious!

If you have followed all the meditations through and completed the ritual, I hope that you will testify to the benefit of this work if only within your own heart. Also I am sure that you need to read no more written by me for the rest is waiting to be discovered by you. There is so much more to be discovered, not least in working with the planetary totality and going on to discover its relationship to the stars. However you must now find your own two feet and see where it leads you. I am sure that the journey will lead you far.

 

May the light shine through you and guide you!