Path 25 cont., part 2

        a. Psychological Model: Creative Visualization/Divination
        b. Archetypal Encounter:
            (1). Artemis/Apollo, the Divine Twins
            (2). The Muses and Artistic Inspiration
        c. Tantra, Sacred Sexuality
        a. The Meaning of Sagittarius in Astrology and Pathworking
        b. The Alchemy of the Central Nervous System (Neurotransmitters)
        c. The Alchemical Formula "Solve et Coagula"
        a. Tapping Your Creative Potential (Northridge Development Scale)
        b. Rhythm: The Music of the Spheres (Correspondences)
        c. Tantric Lunar Resonance Meditation: Its Links with Tarot and the Western Tradition
                                 * * *               * * *


"...accumulation of data is not creativity; many people are able to accumulate facts.  The creative leap occurs when observed fact are correlated; that is, when by perceiving heretofore unsuspected identity, a conjunctive path or a new order is discovered."

                         --Silvano Arieti, "The Creative Process as Interpreted by a Psychiatrist"

a. Psychological Model: Creative Visualization

Creative visualization is practiced in magick for the purpose of awakening the inner sight, and adding effectiveness to any ceremonial working.  Although we are accustomed to picturing images in "ou mind's eye" in daily activity, it is another thing to be able to sustain and direct this imagery at will.  Therefore, a training regimen is recommended, beginning with the simplest of forms.  The most fundamental forms are geometrical.  You may devise your own exercises for this, or use those which are tried and true.  The eastern system of Tattwas meditation was used in the Golden Dawn.

The Tattwa system from India consists of five forms, which correspond approximately with the elements, and are visualized in specific colors.

Black, dark
Oval/egg shape
Fire (Light)
Green, Blue
White, Spectrum
Half Moon,Crescent

Those who prefer to work within the Qabalistic system will find it easy to devise a similar series, using the geometrical attributions of the Spheres, and their corresponding colors.  For example:

1.  Kether is symbolized as a point or swirling galaxy in white light;
2.  Chokmah is pictured as a grey line, or circle divided into zodiacal hues;
3.  Binah would be symbolized by a black triangle;
4.  Chesed is a royal blue square, or alternatively, a tetrahedron;
5.  Geburah is red pentagon or pentagram;
6.  Tiphareth is a yellow cube, or circle with a dot in the center, (advanced cuboctahedron, Merkabah);
7.  Netzach is a seven-pointed Star of Babylon, visualized in green;
8.  Hod is an eight-pointed star, or two interpenetrating squares in orange, ( octahedrons forms the basis of Star of Infinite Regeneration);
9.  Yesod may be pictured as a violet crescent;
10.  Malkuth is a quadrated circle in citrine, olive, russet and black which are mostly tertiary colors (formed from three bases.

These geometrical constants have a relationship with physiological reactions, i.e. they were discovered perceptually before their source could be identified.  The spontaneous perception of geometrical, wavy, or star-like forms comes from the presence of phosphenes in the eyeball.  They may be seen by pressing the eyes softly for about 10 seconds.  Release the pressure and llok at a white surface.  Images will appear.  Typical geometrical forms are constant throughout cultures and can be seen in all forms of primitive art.

Phosphene is derived from the Greek, meaning "to show light."  Psychedelic drugs or sensory deprivation may stimulate the appearance of phosphene phenomena.  These scintillating points are reminiscent of the phenomena described by Jung, when discussing the "fishes' eyes" in alchemy.  These "scintillae" may be induced by a sharp blow to the head, the auras of migrain headache, toxic overdose of alcohol, or electrical current.

Everyone, (except the congenitally blind), has the abilityt to experience this internal light show.  Experiments have been conducted placing electrodes on the temples of participants.  Phosphenes are seen at the initiation and culmination of a jolt, but not during the period of current flow.  It has also been found that there are 15 classes of phosphene figues (termed "hallucinatory constant").  The character of the phosphene pattern is linked to a specific frequency rnge.  Thereby, varying the pulse from 5 cycles per second to 40 cycles per second gives effective reslts.  These are the frequencies of brain waves.

This resonance effect suggests that nerve cells act together when driven electrically at a specific rate.  When the 40 cycle limit is exceeded, one is plunged into black space, a strange feeling.  What is the physiological mechanism for this "seeing stars?"

We don't know for sure.  But it may be that they are "sparks of pure energy, light perceived at the moment of its conversion into nervous-system information between the cornea and the brain.  Thus, phosphenes may be the behavior of atomic particles as observed by the naked eye: the interface of two worlds, the normal and the nuclear -- the fourth dimension."

Or, it may be that they are inteference patterns created by the circular pattern of nerve fibers on the curved surface of the eyeball.  It may interact with objects in the line of sight to produce a shimmering, dynamic, elusive quality.  This quality adds a "magickal" aura to internal or external vision.

The 15 basic phosphene shapes have been influencial in the development of art through the ages.  Most recently, they have been the basis for 'op art,' which uses the perceptions of the responsive eye to create dynamic illusions.  However, the phosphene forms may be seen in much folk and religious art.  They form a recurrent, intrinsic source of inspiration.  Phosphene-inspired art has a pervasive geometrical-rhythmic structure.

In "A Cartography of the Exalted and Meditative States," Roland Fischer (1971) states:

The transformation of sign to symbol is also apparent in the visual realm, where the constancies of space and time are replaced by geometrical-ornamental-rhythmic structures, the "hallucinatory for constants" of Kluver.  In the light of my experience, I would extend Kluver's observations to include hyper- and hypoaroused hallucinatory experiences in general, whether induced by drugs, electrically or 'naturally'.  The hallucinatory constancies are "magical symbols," visible or audible metaphors within a structure of symbolic logic and language, the language of hyper- and hypoaroused hallucinatory states, and are at the base of the general tendency toward geometrical-rhytmical ornamentalization.  For example, both the rose windows of Gothic cathedrals and the mandalas of Tantric religious art are ritualized hallucinatory form constants.  The tendency toward ornamentalization, however, is not reserved to visual imagery, but also governs the poetic order of linguistic and musical rhythm, imposing an all-pervading metrum and harmony on the hallucinatory creative-religious states; the rhythm of music, poetry and language corresponds to the geometrical-ornamental of the visual realm.  We regard, therefore, the manneristic, hallucinatory-creative style of art and literature as a projection and elaboration of the geometric-rhythmic-ornamental fabric of hyper- and hypoaroused states.
* * *

Creative Visualization Exercise:  Tree of Life Meditation, 
Bill Heidrick/The Road to the Sun

Stand erect facing East, or imagine yourself in such a position.  Place your arms loosely at your sides and become calm.  Instead of standing, full lotus asana may be assumed.

1.  Say "Malkuth" (10 on the Tree) and visualize a sphere of earthly colors immediately below you and supporting the weight of your body.  This is the place of all material things.

2.  Say "Taw" (path 32 on the Tree) and visualize a beam of indigo reaching from the eathly sphere below you to the height of your loins.  This vertical beam communicates upward the sense experiences of the material.

3.  Say "Yesod" (9) and visualize a sphere of violet light surrounding your sexual organs.  This is the place of all dreams and fantasies derived from xperiences in the world of matter.

4.  Say "Shin" (path 31) and vusualize a red beam of light rising at an angle from the earthly sphere below you to the level of your right hip.  This is the path whereby all rational impressions of the physical world are communicated upward.

5.  Say "Resh" (30) and visualize a beam of orange light rising at a low angle from the bviolet sphere at your loins and going to join with the red beam on the level of your right hip.  This is the path that communicates all rational impressions of the dream consciousness to higher levels.

6. Say "Hod" (8) and visualize an orange sphere of light surrounding your right hip.  This the lower seat of reason in which the mind formulates a rational coneption of the physical.

7.  Say "Qof" (path 29) and visualize a beam of red-biolet light rising from the earthly sphere below you and going at an angle to the height of your left hip.  This is the path that communicates emotional impressions of the physical world to the higher levels.

8.  Say "Tzaddi" (path 28 and visualize a beam of violet liht rising at a low angle from the viiolet sphere at your loins and joining the red-violet beam at your left hip.  This is the path whereby emotional impressions of the dream consciousness are communicated to higher levels.

9.  Say "Peh" (path 27).  This is a beam of red light that travels horizontally from the orange sphere at your right hip to join the other two beams of light at your left hip.  This path communicates between rational understanding of the physical and emotional wisdom of the ways of the physical.

10.  Say "Netzach" (7) and visualize a green sphere of light on a level with your left hip.  This is the place of emotional perfection of the things of the physical in consciousness.

11.  Pause and consider the visualizations and their significance.

12.  Say "Ayin" (path26) and visualize a blue-violet beam of light rising at an angle from the orange sphere at your right hip to the level of your heart.  This is the path whereby rational consciousness of the physical world is elevated to higher levels.

13.  Say "Samekh" (path 25) and visualize a blue piller of light rising from the violet sphere about your loins to your heart.  This is the path whereby reams and fantasies are elevated.

14.  Say "Nun" (path 24) and visualize a blue-green beam rising at an angle from the green sphere of light at your left hip to the level of your heart.  This is the path whereby emotional consciousness of the physical is elevated to higher levels.

15.  Say "Tiphareth" (6) and visualize a yellow (or golden) sphere of light about the center of your body and your heart.  This is the place of understanding of life in the physical world and life in higher mental worlds.

16.  Say "Mem" (path 23) and visualize a blue vertical beam of light rising from the orange sphere on your right hip to a point on your right shoulder.  This is the path whereby the lower rational consciousness of the physical world is elevated to the level of normal rational consciousness.

17.  Say "Lamed" (path 22) and visualize a beam of great light rising at an angle from the yellow sphere at your heart to the level of your right shoulder.  This is the path whereby consciousness of life as it is rises to the level of understanding life as it should be.

18.  Say "Geburah" (5) and visualize a red sphere of light about your right shoulder.  This is the place of rational consciousness of what is just and good.

19.  Say "Koph" (path 21) and visualize a violet beam of light rising vertically from the green sphere at your left hip to a point on your left shoulder.  This is the path whereby the emotional comprehension of the physical is elevated to emotional comprehension of all things physical and not physical.

20.  Say "Yod" (path 20) and visualize a beam of yellow-green light rising from the yellow sphere about your heart to the level of your left shoulder.  This is the path whereby the life experience is elevated to emotional perfection.

21.  Say "Teth" (path 19) and visualize a horizontal beam of yellow light passin from the red sphere at your right shoulder to your left shoulder.  This is the path whereby the rational understanding of rightness in all things is elevated to emotional comprehension of perfection of all things.

22.  Say "Chesed" (4) and visualize a blue sphere of light about your left shoulder.  This is the place of emotional perfection, the place of yearning for union with the absolute.

23.  Pause and consider what has happened to this point.

24.  Say "Cheth" (path 18) and visualize a yellow-orange beam of light rising vertically from the red sphere at your right shoulder to the right half of your brain.  This is the path whereby all reason returns to its archetype.

25.  Say "Zain" (path 17) and visualize an orange beam of light rising from the yellow sphere at your heart to the right half of your brain.  This is the path that communicates the whole life experience back to the place of perfect reason.

26.  Say "Binah" (3) and visualize a black sphere that radiates as though it were light and that envelops the right half of your brain.  This is the place of perfect understanding, not understanding of particular things, but of all existence.

27.  Say "Vau" (path 16) and visualize a beam of verticle red-orange light rising from the blue sphere at your left shoulder to the left half of your brain.  This is the path whereby all emotion returns to its archetype.

28.  Say "Hey" (path 15) and visualize a red beam of light rising at an angle from the yellow sphere at your heart to the level of the left half of your brain.  This is the path whereby all the life expeiences are elevated to the place of emotional perfection beyond all physical things.

29.  Say "Daleth" (path 14) and visualize a beam of horizontal green light passing from the black sphere on the right half of your brain to the left half of your brain.  This is the path thereby all rational perfection is united to all emotional perfection.

30.  Say "Chokmah" (2) and visualize a grey sphere of intense light about the left half of your brain.  This is the place of energy and absolute emotional wisdom.

31.  Say "Gimmel" (path 13) and visualize a blue beam of vertical light rising from the yellow sphere at your heart and going to a place just above your head.  This is the path whereby the whole view of life is unified.

32.  Say "Beth" (path 12) and visualize a beam of yellow light rising at an angel from the lack sphere of light at the right half of your brain and going to a point just above your head.  This is the path whereby pure reason is unified.

33.  Say "Aleph" (path 11) and visualize a beam of yellow light rising at an angle from the gray sphere of light at the left half of your brain and going to a point just above your head.  This is the path whereby pure emotion is unified.

34.  Say "Kether" (1) and visualize a sphere of flawless white light directly above your head.  This is the place of perfect unity.

35.  Say "Ain Soph Aur" (000) and visualize a darness.  This is that which is limitless light in seeming darkness.  This is the place beyond the One and the Many.

36.  Say "Ain Soph" (00) and visualize a deeper dakness beyond the first.  This is the place of no limitation, that which is beyond all light.

37.  Say "Ain" (0) and visualize an impenetrable and endless silent darkness.  This is the place of no-thing beyond all else.

38.  Say nothing and visualize nothing.  This is no place at all.

39.  When a subjective eternity has passed away say "Eheieh" (I AM) and visualize the white sphere of Kether above your head.  This is the returning to being from that which is beyond being.

40.  Say "Yah" (He Is) and visualize the gray sphere of Chokmah at the left half of your brain.  This is the going forth from unity to duality and the drawing forth of power.

41.  Say "Jehovah Elohim" (He Exists as the Male and Female Gods) and visualize the black sphere of Binah at the right half of your brain.  This is the multiplication of being to produce the unity that is found in the many things existing in one creation.  This is the gathering of power to work wonders.

42.  Say "El" (He is Great) and visualize the blue sphere of Chesed at your left shoulder.  This is the going forth of all forms into the creation of the universe.  This is the power of love in creation.

43.  Say "Elohim Gibor" (the Male and Female Gods are Mighty) and visualize the red sphere of Genurah at your right shoulder.  This is the limitation of forms for the production of a particular creation.  This is the power to control untimate manifestation.

44.  Say "Jehovah Eloah Va-Da'ath" (He is God and Knowledge) and visualize the yellow sphere of Tiphareth about your heart.  This is the assembling of the creative force in a perfected image of the existence to come.  This is the assembly of a life.

45.  Say "Jehovah Tzabaoth" (He is Splendor) and visualize the green sphere of Netzach at your left hip.  This is the multiplying of developed forms for incorporation into physical creation.  This is the place of natural love.

46.  Say "Elohim Tzabaoth" (the Male and Female Gods are Splendor) and visualize the orange sphere or Hod at your right hip.  This is the limitation of developed forms for the prodction of a particular creation.  This is the place of magical selection of what will happen in the world.

47.  Say "Shaddai El Chai" (Almighty God Lives Forever) and visualize the violet sphere of Yesod at your sexual organs.  This is the going forth of the final impulse of creation into the created physical universe.  This is the place of consummation of magical acts.

48.  Say "Adonai Malakh Ha-Aretz" (Lord King of the Earth) and visualize the earthly sphere of Malkuth beneath you.

This is the created physical universe.

*     *     *


10. Malkuth, "Kingdom"; the four elements, earthy colors.  Manifestation; outcome.  Physical result an vehicle.  Environment.  Home.  The body; the senses, basis for the situation.  Daily life.

9.  Yesod, "Foundation"; the Moon, color violet.  The subconscious founation of the matter.  Mood and atmosphere.  Imagination.  Fantasy; visioning.  Psychic and clairvoyant activity.  Past lives and karmic foundations.  Habits; dreamwork.

8.  Hod; "Splendor"; Mercury, orange.  What you think.  Logos and intellectual reasoning.  Knowledge of truth/falsehood.  Verbal expression and communication.  Craft, skill, science, technology, hermeneutics.  Plans, ambitions.  Magic, symbols, metaphors, signs.  Wit, mischievousness.

7.  Netzach, "Victory", Venus, green.  What you love.  Eros.  The desire and drive behind your motivations and intentions.  Inspiration.  Emotional likes and dislikes.  Relationships to others, especially sexual.  Pleasure, both aesthetic and sensual.  Where you find beauty, appreciation, feelings.

6.  Tiphareth, "Beauty", Sun, yellow.  Self, identity, individuality.  The heart of the problem; health; visualization; balance.  Central goal or pupose.  Abilityt to sacrifice for your ideals.  Intention.  How you are recognized.  Integration, harmony.

5.  Geburah, "Severity", Mars, red.  Cahllenge, conflict, readjustment.  What you experience as obstacles, frustrations, disharmonies.  Expression of anger, aggression.  Breakdown of habits and complacency.  Expressions of power leadership.

4.  Chesed, "Mercy", Jupiter, blue.  Opportunities, gifts, resources, helpers, aids, assistance, virtues.  What life is giving you to help you on your way.  Ways in which you have recognition and power.

3.  Binah, "Understanding", Saturn, Black or indigo.  Internal image of Mother, Yin qualities, Anima.  Inner knowing and understanding to be gained.  Maternal values, limits and boundaries of life; the pain of coming to terms with your limitations.  The basic structure of a thing, or its form; the vehicle that contains the essence.  Ideally, pure Soul, uncontaminated by the Mind.

2.  Chokmah, "Wisdom", the zodiac, grey.  Internal image of Father, yang qualities.  Animus, spiritual wisdom.  Creative energy outflow, initiative, assertiveness.  The essence.  The Wisdom and knowledge potentially acquirable.  Abstract values, ideas.

1.  Kether, "The Crown", Origin, white.  Sense of purpose and meaning; highest ideal.  Source or reason for your question, especially spiritual.  Means of reconciliation.

DA'ATH.  When you have completed reading all the cards in the Tree of Life spread, fan the unused card remaining in the deck and select one to be the Da'ath card.  This card goes midway between Kether and Tiphareth.  it represents the will to bring your highest aspirations down into manifestation.  It is your inner, hidden knowledge of the potential of your highest self.  It represents a critical point in your develoopment.  But do you have the desire to use it?  Warning: this knowledge cannot be used for material success or ego gratification or will likely lead you astray.

b. Archetypal Encounter:

(1). Artemis/Apollo, the Divine Twins

Artemis/Apollo, moon and sun team
They roam o'er the heavens, through forest and stream.

Path 25 is represented by the brother. sister relationship of the Divine Twins, Artemis and Apollo.  In regards to the Art path, certain of their attributes are stressed, while others are relagated to other positions on the Tree of Life.

In this position, Artemis is depicted as the Amazon (or Martial Maid).  Here she is a representative of the Korae, or archetypal maidens.  She very frequently appears with her side-kick, Apollo.  An extremely famous example of this archetypal pair appeared at the end of the original Star Wars saga, when it is revealed that Princess Leya and Luke Skywalker are, in fact siblings.  Each has a precise destiny and function within the realm of inner and outer space!  Luke's exaggerated spirituality is characteristic of the puer's need to search for his father. Leya's quest is also spiritual, in that she incorporates her animus qualities into the ability to "fend for herself."

In the archetypal realm, Artemis and Apollo are twins born from the seduction of Leto by Zeus, in the form of a swan.  This sexual violence sets the tone, or character of the twins in their relationships in outer life.  They are very closely attached to one another, forming a balanced unit of sorts.

Apollo carries the spiritual animus of Artemis.  He may guard her attentions jealously from motal suitors.  polo is so attached to his sister, such an integral part of her existence, that he wants no competitors for her affection.  As an example of this, consider an introspective, but dedicated young artist or musician (male or female) whose love affairs pale in comparison with the consistency and inspiration of the creative spirit.  How many artists sacrifice love to the drive of their creative ambitions?  Apollo intends to contain Artemis within his world by keeping her occupied in his characteristic pursuits: usic, science, technology, etc.  Alternately, technological man seeks solace in wilderness.

However, Artemis the Amazon is by nature independent and self-contained.  She realizes she is the equal of man, but is no menacing rival to him.  She realizes her own desires for achievement on a competetive level, frequently in the Arts ("Arty-miss") or athletics.

Men experience brother/sister relationships with Amazonian women.  In alchemy this relationship is embodied by the alchemist and Soror Mystica.  In Christianity, we find monks and nuns exeplify this.  Since they share similar activities and challenges, they understand one another.  She may marry and even have children, but she is never dependent on a man for her fulfillment, like a maternal or clinging-vine type.

As a result of the sexual violence to her mother by Zeus, Artemis formed a hostility toward men which is consisten with her strong mother-identification.  This goddess is vindictive, watchful and wary.  Her virginity and defensive character is both a cause and effect of her distance and inaccessibility.  All of the pristine smbolism associated with her cult (wildlife, stag, doe, bear, etc) correspond with her independent, fierce aloofness.  Her virginity, in part symbolizes her alienation from the culture of man.

Artemis is found in the wildness of young animals and humans.  As Kore, she represents the consciousness of young girls.  She also presides over the terrors of birth.  This classical figure joins wildness and terror on the borderline of equilibrium (path 25), a sort of "edge of chaos" creative state. Artemis is also a dancer, which exemplifies motion in equilibrium.

The Artemisian woman is not interested in too much personal intimacy.  She is frequently passionately involved in her career.  She can seem cold, aloof, efficient, and self-sufficient.  She has little patience for weakness and sentimentality, and si will be repugnant to the regressive side of man with his moody anima possessions.  Artemis has a furtive and moonlit anxiety about sexual matters, but she is not prudish.  Her desire for personal privacy and "space" is territorial; it does not stem from a fear of invasion.  She probably has taken a self-defense course to ward off potential attackers.

Artemis is typically imagined in motion, darting and flitting, or ready to fire her arrows.  However, she seems to be moving away most of the time, gaining distance.  Her color is blue, like a cool moonlit night in the deep woods.  her hunting is an aspect of her supervision over the life and deah of wild animals, which symbolize the untransformed instinct.  Her sexual drive is quite natural, but she lacks the cultural refinements of a sophisticated lover, like Aphrodite.  She is characteristically a "night person" and somewhat of a recluse, yet friendly to those which share a common passion.

The martial maid perceives and experiences phenomena androgynously.  Her biological femininity, however, is inescapably basic.  She experiences balanced internal relationship between her anima-animus components.  She can draw on the powers of each, at will.

Integration of the masculine is expressed through expertise in typically masculine pursuits.  Psychologically, the animus funtions as direted power, will and deed.  Artemis integrates the opposite sexes within herself.  She confers full-fleged transformation through expanding consciousness, not through a sexual role reversal, or emulatin of male values.

Andrygyny does not mean living out sexual impulses as much as it allows the return of the repressed elements of the psyche to be reintegrated into a conscious awareness (Apollo).  The conern of the androgyne is an internal balancing of masculine and feminine powers, as June Singer suggests in Androgyny (1977, Doubleday).

But to say the androgyne is a certain type of person is to miss the point entirely.  Androgyny is the outcome of a dynamism based on the application of energy in an organic universe.  It is not incumbent upon the individual to create it or assimilate it; it is not even necessary to work upon it.  It is present in each individual, and its expression will vry within the framework of his or her particular personality.

The archetypal alchemical components could represent serotonin and noradrenaline being poured simultaneously into the "cauldron" in the hypothlamus (3rd ventricle).  This would produce the ability to remain active (noradrenergic) while inactive (serotonergic), or using action to attain non-action.  This paradoxical state symbolizes the twin divinities.

Further Reading:

1.  Facing the Gods, James Hillman, Ed.
2.  Athene, Virgin Mother, Murray Stein
3.  "Artemis and the Puer," Puer Papers, James Hillman
4.  The Moon and the Virgin, Nor Hall
5.  "The Martial Maid and Androgyny" Spring 1974, C.S. Rupprecht
6.  Androgyny, Toward a New Theory of Sexuality, June Singer

(2). The Muses and Artistic Inspiration

In Greek mythology, the Muses were nine nymphs or minor divinities, represented as young beautiful virgins.  Each has a spcific province of fine or liberal arts over which she reigns.  An artist might invoke the muse of his or her particular artform for inspiration.

The Muses were the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, or Memory.  Thus the Muses are the embodiment of conscious remembering of inherent archetypal patterns.  Muse is related to the concept of deep thought, or reverie, contemplation and meditation.  It is also the wonder and surprise when inspiration arises in thoughful silence.  The Muse and their effect on an artist where characterized in the movie 'Xanadu,' where Olivia Newton-John played the demigod; more recently 'Muse' starred Sharon Stone.

The Muses correspond with a particular area of the Arts as follows:

Lyric Poetry
Comedy, Idyllic Poetry
Music and Dance
Erotic Poetry
Epic Poetry, Rhetoric
Sacred Hymns and Harmony

c. Tantra: Introduction to Spiritual Sex

Spiritual Sex

The overwhelming nature of sexual passion has caused it to be deified or divinized or alternatively feared as evil and demonic.  It may seem odd that the same physiological act can raise us to the heights of spiritual exaltation or plunge us into guilt-ridden misery.  The awe-inspiring force of desire and sex has played a role in religion, magic, mysticism, occultism, symbolism, and the whole spectrum of human psychobiological interaction with the transpersonal.  Creation myths are often about divine couplings, and cyclic fertility rites dramatically reenact this original creative act.

In magical theory the opposites which exist at the universal level also exist in us as microcosms or miniature copies of the universe.  Each of us as human beings contains all the opposites, symbolized as male and female, sun and moon, conscious and unconscious.  In balancing and reconciling these opposites we achieve a higher unity.  In marked contrast to the general religious suppression of Eros, tantra does this by glorifying our erotic and sexual nature.

Sexuality is a sacred ritual of union through the sensual and ecstatic celebration of differences.  It is the life force.  Through the sexual act we seemingly transcend our isolation and physical boundaries, share in a greater reality. We discover, if only momentarily, that the Other seems to become part of oneself. Hence, the erotic language of mystics describing the apprehension of ultimate Unity, the promised     reward God offers the righteous.

If this search for the Beloved is the major sexual goal, and if it can be gained only partially and fleetingly with a human partner, then it is quite natural to think of the lasting and blissful union of the soul with God in sexual terms, as many mystics have done.  This concept of the soul's union with God as a sexual union is paralleled in the romantic ideal of love with a human partner as an act of worship.  The overwhelming nature of desire leads us to experience it as a supernatural force.  The soul abides in the heart of the flesh.  In the ecstasy of sexual union we rise to the supernatural level, are possessed by a male or female deity, and mingle with the divine.  Orgasm corresponds to the soul's ecstasy possessed by God.

Virtual Tantra:  Rather than falling in love, Tantra is rising in love.

*Virtual Tantra* covers all the bases of theory and practice of sacred sex, from the practical to the aesthetic, to the spiritual in the quest for ultimate fulfillment through the psychosexual self.  This site is a "Ten Talents Cookbook" for the silken pillows of the aspiring Dakini and Tantrika, focusing on the alchemy of sex.  The virtualities of Tantra and Sex Magick are outlined frankly, as well as hypnotic, poetic and metaphorical aspects.   Tantra is a path of maximally arousing or filling up the senses creating a true voluptuousness through poetry, imagination, eroticism, sexuality, trance, hallucination and exaltation.  By honoring the sensual self, the metaphysical nature of surrender to the erotic impulse is experientially revealed.

Find *Virtual Tantra* by Iona Miller at

This site includes mystical, medical and scientific perspectives on sexuality, ultimately viewing lovers     as EmBEDed Holograms, two bioholographic fields melded into one.  Psychological erotic education and emotional pitfalls are also covered.  Why would you be pursuing an ideal or idealized love in a zealous manner -- searching for the Holy Grail, so to speak?  Does the desire spring from personal or     transpersonal sources?  How can we escape from the prison of self-obsession?  Real love is quite     different from desire, infatuation, lust, or concepts of romance.  Real love means self-transcendence     through mutuality and reciprocation, service to self, others, and world.

Ultimately, the refinement of sacred sexuality practices is an artistic expression, a form of creativity,
even private performance art.  It is a celebration of life and an end in itself.   You might think the practice of Tantra requires a lot of preparation and props, but ultimately it only requires you to bring your naked authenticity to the process and be spontaneous.  Enjoy the virtual experience of being Shiva/Shakti.  Learn the virtues of erotic education, of sacred sexuality and how to create that atmosphere and inner focus.  Are you done when you are finished?  Not if you remain true to the never-failing ardor of the passionate tantric spirit; maybe you continue transforming into homo spiritus, even homo lumens.

Eastern and Western Traditions

There are both Eastern (Tantra, Taoism, Persian) and Western (Goddess worship, Alchemy, Courtly Love, Sex Magick) traditions around sacred sexuality.  Eastern enlightenment comes in many varieties of spiritual experience and practice.  They all express the pursuit of the One, or the One through the    infinitely Many forms of existence, which are actually only different forms of sacred Emptiness.  Tantra presents the ultimate Nondual reality as the sexual embrace of God and Goddess, of Shiva and Shakti, of Emptiness and Form.

Neither Ascent (Transcendence) nor Descent (Immanence) is final, ultimate or priveledged: like yin and yang, dominance and submission, they generate and depend on each other.  They find their own true being by dying into the other, only to awaken together, conjoined in Bliss.  Lovers become the entire Cosmos, finding that eternity is wildly in love with the production of time. The non-dual Heart is radiating as all creation, and blessing all creation, and singing this embrace through eternity.  When we experience this in our own awareness, this union is the Nondual vision.  God and Goddess, Emptiness and Form, Wisdom and Compassion, Agape and Eros, Ascent and Descent -- perfectly and blissfully united.

The God of the Ascenders is otherworldly, usually monastic, ascetic, seeking to flee the Many and find
the One.  It is purely transcendental, and pessimistic about finding happiness in this world, shunning time in favor of eternity.  Ascension is generally a via negativa, dampening the senses and strictly channeling internal perceptions through emptying, devotion, or concentration.

In the other approach practioners of Descending find the divine embrace through the Many.  It is in love with the visible, sensible God, and sometimes Goddess.  It is a God of pure embodiment, of pure immanence, fascinated with diversity, and finds its glory in the celebration of diversity.  Great variety is the goal of this God.  It celebrates the senses, and the body, and sexuality, and earth.  It is creation-centered spirituality where All is divine.  Emptiness and form are not-two.  Emptiness is the  immanent ground of all Form.

Union of Opposites

Tantra is perhaps the oldest form of Eastern alchemy.  According to tantric philosophy the whole     universe is built up of and pervaded by basic forces which are in intimate and intricate union.  These     forces, named Shiva and Shakti, are personified as male and female deities.  Of this divine pair, Shiva is the subordinate one, for it is the Female Principle that ultimately underlies all manifestation.  There is a tantric saying, "Shiva without Shakti is a corpse."

The core experience of Tantra is revelation of its sexual secrets.  Sexual union symbolizes the     quintessence of the elements.  Sacred sex reveals eternal truth and transcendence.  It is a way of     redemption -- union of the personal self with the transpersonal Self.  The Diamond Body is the     crystallization or stabilization of the archetype of the universal Self as a permanent part of the individual     psyche.

Tantra is a philosophy, a science, an art, and a way of life in which sexual energy is consciously and     creatively utilized.  The hidden potency of the sexual act is the blueprint or seed of all creatvity. When we understand the practical teachings of Tantra, a whole new perspective and experience of life opens.  Tantra is a process that fosters the holistic harmonization of the male and female elements of our     psychobiological self, ameliorating the war of the sexes.  Through rapport and empathy we come to
understand the Other.  Empathy needs a face!  Devotion needs a face.

Psychologically, there is a harmonization of the inner-mate archetypes of Anima and Animus, oul-figures  which function as guides to deeper regions of the psyche.  They lead to wholeness, integration, self-actualization.  In Jungian psychology a man's inner feminine self is termed anima or soul; a woman's masculine component is called animus or spirit.  Their merging creates a psychological and spiritual androgyny, another expression of wholeness.

Western forms of Tantra include a series of Sex Magick rituals designed to bring the individual to
self-realization.  The central aim of Western magic is to attain or stabilize the emergence of  Knowledge  and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel, or the daemon, one's true spiritual identity.  This implies drawing closer to the consciousness of one's authentic individuality, in contradistinction to the active conscious personality.  We can achieve a form of sacred marriage with the inner mate, known in alchemy as the coniunctio.  This union produces a Magickal Child that symbolizes our potential for realization of the Higher Self, self-actualization.

These western alchemical goals and procedures paralleled Eastern alchemy, with its concern for the     elixer of immortality and the extraction of spirit from matter and its liberation through meditation.      Chinese alchemy is a mixture of alchemy, kundalini and tantric yoga.  Its secret is the great creation of a golden fetus which represents the seed of enlightenment.

The Chinese view is that every individual possesses a central core that is an aspect of the universal Tao.  In the Tao, the principles of opposites yin and yang are united.  Spirit and soul together make up the personality and vie for supremacy.  The goal of Chinese alchemy is to free the spirit from its     entanglements with instinctive drives and emotions by providing a place in the human body where the     primal spirit may crystallize and gestate.  The beginning of creativity is called prenatal, (undivided     yin-yang).

Personal spirit is joined with transpersonal spirit and soul then reunited.  The product of this union is     called the Golden Flower or the Elixer of Life, literally Golden Ball or Golden Pill, which ensures the     survival of the individual after the death of the body.  "Circulation of the Light" refers to repetitive     cyclical mixing of spirit (psychic) and soul (physical) energies, of the the positive and negative principles, to create the "yellow bud" or "mysterious pearl."

Through a coniunctio, inner copulation of positive and negative "crystallization" occurs as the appearance of inner light, white like moonlight.  In the next step, the resulting light is reddish yellow.  The union of the two lights produces the immortal seed.  Golden light within the white light between the eyebrows means primal spirit is forming the immortal fetus and the Elixer of Immortality.  The primal spirit emerges from the fetus and leaps into the "great emptiness" through the gate at the top of the head, forming an indestructible Diamond Body.  In sex magick, the same is known as the Babe in the Abyss (of the Transcendent Immagination).

Inner Alchemy

In magical theory a sexual working will not succeed if the aspirant is swept away in the thundering surf of desire and orgasm.  When partners are in balance, neither strives for pleasure independently of the other.  Mastering the force we have aroused, we can direct it at an objective, such as enhacing integrity, clarity, and wisdom.  The element of pleasure is secondary; any idea of shame is banished.  It is a means to the goal -- sacramental significance, not the goal itself.

In Virtual Tantra,  there's no Reality, only perceptions of flowing process-- and refined perceptions can  enhance the ecstatic state for unique expressions of self-fulfillment and spiritual experience.  All
attitudes and thoughts are psychobiological events, and a shift to the tantric perspective allows you to
enter the virtual realm of sacred sexuality, to break down barriers between the ordinary and the
extraordinary, to embrace the Divine.

The acts of the lovers mirror the primordial creation and subsequent fecundity.  In desiring his opposite, the Supreme Being impregnates Nature.  The attraction of the two principles for each other engenders all life.  Neither asleep nor awake the spirit is set free by perfect exhaustion of the body.  Through tantric sex a twilight state is produced.   Then there is a dramatic paradoxical shift from sympathetic arousal to the afterglow of parasympathetic tranquility. This "calmed violence" is the essence of the Real.

Coniunctio is an alchemical term symbolizing the unification of opposites, like yin and yang unite in the
Tao.  When the opposites to be united are the masculine consciousness and the feminine unconsciousness, embodied symbolically as lovers, the union is termed the Royal Marriage.  This royal  marriage of the Alchemist and his Soror Mystica, the King and Queen, sun and moon energies is a     transcendent symbol of the self and embodies psychic totality, or wholeness.  Caresses are a way to wisdom.

Serpent Power

This psychosexual energy is the principle element behind contemporary magic.  It is known as kundalini, or the serpent power.  Sex is the single strongest intensive, euphoric, even hallucinatory natural emotion alterant available, channeling the sexual energy into a mystical process of self-development.  It is the foundation of Tantra.

The spectrum of tantric practices includes not only sexual trance, but physical culture, breath control,
superconcentration, mental and spiritual discipline, and the mystic arts.  Much like Western magic, tantra employs candles, incense, bells,  magical wands and chalices, spells, magic circles or mandalas, bodily postures, occult gestures, symbolical designs, and words of power.  These are employed to enhance and bring bodily functions under the control of the will and exert a subtle inner alchemy.  There is a hermetic distillation of a quintessence from the bodily fluids which reinvigorates the physical body.

Tantra presupposes a complex system of subtle anatomy and physiology, based on the chakras, or plexes of the etheric body.  The seven chakras are situated along an axis that passes from tail-bone to skull.  A sympathetic resonance exists between the chakras.  By tantric method the kundalini can be made to blaze up and kindle successively higher chakras, streaming up finally to the Crown.

Thus, the way through bhukti (pleasure) can lead to mukti (redemption).  This mystical belief is the tantric secret that sex can be a Way of salvation.  The ecstasy of sexual union is a state in which we rise to a virtually supernatural level -- a peak experience.  We link ourselves with the great forces of nature and the underlying rhythms of the Universe -- and experience atonement.

Arousal and Transcendence in Tantra and Sacred Sex

The  mystical effects of Tantric Sex are the result of spiritual and sexual technologies which manipulate the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems of arousal in the psychosexual body.  The interaction and paradoxical union of these two systems of arousal is implicated in tantric bliss states.  One system,     ergotrophic, energizes us; the other, trophotropic, tranquilizes us.  The E-system is Yang, while the     T-system is Yin.  The orchestration of these systems during the sexual sacrament is the essence of     tantra.

"Maxing" out your system physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually with Tantra can lead     through ego death to cosmic consciousness.  As in the case of trance-induced transcendence by     overwhelming the senses, at tantric full-body orgasm there is a paradoxical switch from maximal arousal to a profound state of emptiness and deep calm which can be lengthened or deepened even further in post-coital meditation into a direct perception of the mystic Void.

     As a metaphor of this process, imagine the fabulously beautiful and infinitely detailed structure of the fractals produced by the Mandelbrot set.  When this form is generated all numbers of the equation either fall into the black void at the center of the figure because they are decreasing; or if they are increasing they wind up as part of the infinitely dynamic fractal set that forms the beautiful filigree around the voids.  Our consciousness does much the same in the flow state of psychosexual expression.  When aroused we expand our sense of self even to the cosmic scale even as our focus narrows (cosmic consciousness).  After orgasm, our focus is free to expand infinitely while our sense of the body and our personal orientation can virtually vanish (the mystic Void).

     Tantra works within the natural cycle of ergotropic and trophotropic processes, governed by the
sympathetic and parasympathetic systems.  They mediate cycles of arousal and calm, and are therefore implicated in a variety of mystical experiences and also disorders which display states of hyperarousal and hypoarousal.

They are mediated by the neurotransmiters noradrenalin and serotonin.  The interhemispheric balancing mediates the harmonization of the left and right hemispheres of the brainmind.  They mediate fight-flight responses, and pain-pleasure cycles.  They can be chemically related to cycles of inflation, desire, acting out, guilt, remorse, high wellbeing, self-acceptance, and self-esteem.  At their extremes, meditative and exalted states reflect as psychological and physiological paradox.

Tantra and Trance

     Hypnosis has been used knowingly and unknowingly through the centuries to enhance the pleasure of sexual experience and spirituality.  Natural trance can be used to facilitate transcendence.  The
consciousness altering heightened excitement, herbal refreshments, luxurious baths, oils, sensuous
massage, sparkling drinks, flickering candle-light, incense and languid atmosphere of the boudoir setting are all conducive to self-suggestion for greater relaxation, sensual enjoyment, and fantasy experience.  By changing your imagery, you can even evoke a more spiritual atmosphere viewing the act as a sexual sacrament.

     It is relatively easy to learn the techniques of mutual hypnosis for use with yourself and your lover.  Just begin to imagine the creative possibilities of trance-formations for yourself and your complementary loved-one.  You can begin using the male and female, left and right sides of your brain for whole-self integration, for an inner unification, mythically called the union of the Sun and Moon.

     Self-hypnosis can help you create a virtual experience to add another dimension to your sexual life.
When that dimension is spiritual in content, that is VIRTUAL TANTRA.  It helps open the inner eye to a whole new world.  In relation to tantric sex, hypnosis can serve a variety of purposes, from building rapport to enhancing experiences of an influx of Divinity, subtle energies, time distortion, of the Void at  he climactic moment, or alternatively of fullness or Cosmic Unity Experience.

     VIRTUAL TANTRA reintroduces the safety, nurturing and fulfillment of the original Core Dyad, and allows us to return to the blissful "garden" which we inhabited prior to our sense of separation.  Our empathic experience of another depends on our 'coupling' or 'pairing' with the other.  It is enhanced by sensitivity to psychophysical cues from the other -- a rudimentary form of mind-reading.  To be empathic implies intersubjective openness.  This is the nature of empathy -- a dynamic feedback loop.  We experience another person as a unfied whole through empathy...and the more whole we are within ourselves the more that perception is amplified.  We transpose ourselves to the place of the Other.

     This downward causation of spiritual experience, or incarnating energy works from global-to-local and is the basis of our personalized transcendent experience.  It is the alchemical discovery of the Godhead in matter, through the union of opposites.  It heals our cultural mind/body split in a unified experience of shared embodied minds.  From birth our senses are linked to each other by an intra- and inter-personal body schema, or love map, which suggests the possibilities of action at the supramodal level -- cosmic consciousness.

     An even deeper, more therapeutic level of rapport available to lovers is a shamanic state we can call
co-consciousness.  Through it, you can blend your sacred energies, your soul energies, by mixing your
energy fields in the sexual sacrament.  We've seen how hypnotic realities -- spontaneous and induced --     influence us consciously and unconsciously at the physical, emotional and mental or mythic level.  Now we     will look at the mystical experiential phenomenon of co-consciousness.

     " trance I can feel both "here" and "there", connected with you and disconnected from you, "a part of" and "apart from" an experience.  This... gives rise to a nonconceptual and nonverbal experiential state of unity.  It is a more primary,inclusive way of relating than the separating, "either/or" logic characterizing analytical, conscious process.  In other words, trance processes tend to unify relations ("this" with "that"), while conscious processes tend to differentiate relation ("this" vs. "that")...[These features of trance] suggest trance as a state of deep experiential absorption where a person can operate independently from the constraints of regulatory, error-oriented consciousness process."
                                                            --S. Gilligan, Therapeutic Trances

     In the holographic model of consciousness, the processing of mental forms occurs within the context of a part/whole relationship, where the identified part exists within the code of the whole.  This paradigm can be applied to the tantric hypnotic relationship.  The hypnotic process is thus an undulation of form and transitional states that helps us understand the healing and renewing properties of tantric trance.

     Co-consciousness, the shared virtuality of the journey process, is a telepathic rapport wherein both
participant’s alpha and theta brainwaves become synchronized or entrained, in essence, into a single
holographic biofield.  Co-consciousness might be measured via the observation of spontaneously shared, matching or resonating brainwave frequencies.  It is very likely to be present in lovers after mutually satisfying sexual experience, in the "afterglow" or reverie period.

     The mind is not embodied in our head, but in our whole organism embedded in its environment.  This embodiment is an emergent and self-organized process that spans and interconnects the brain, the body, the environment, and in tantra, another special person.  The tantric experience thus emerges through the common intentionality and dynamic co-determination of self and other.  Self-other co-determination and co-creation is the foundation of tantra.  Even seeing is a way of acting -- a visually guided exploration of the world.  Inner representations also generate experiences which can guide us and show us a Way.

     Western, Hindu, Buddhist and Taoist alchemy have made extensive use of the sexual act as a means of personal transformation, culminating in a celebratory Royal Marriage with the Cosmos.  Like the Taoists, Western alchemists have always worked with a female partner, the Soror Mystica, mystical sister or wife, who is the living embodiment of the Feminine.  The Great Work can not be done without her.

     "Sexual union is an auspicious Yoga which, though involving enjoyment of all the sexual pleasures, gives release.  It is a Path to Liberation." -- Kaularahasya
     "Lust, the primal seed and germ of the spirits, existed first...The seers, looking into their hearts, discovered the kinship of the existent and the nonexistent." -- Rg Veda 10.129.4 (455)
     "Desire, which is known as Kama, or "love", is dangerous when it is considered as the end.  In truth, Kama is only the beginning.  When the mind is satisfied with the culture  of Kama, then only can the right knowledge of love arise." -- Rasakadamvakalika
     "In possessing his beloved, man forgets the entire world, at once that which is within him and that which is without.  In the same way, for he who possesses the Me, nothing more exists, neither within, nor without."  --Brihad Aranyaka
     "Woman is the fire, her matrix the fuel, the call to man the smoke.  The door is the flame, the pleasure the  spark.  In this fire the gods form the offering.  From this offering springs the [magical] child." --     Tchandogya V, 8, 1-2
     Find much more on sacred sexuality and the 64 Arts of Tantra in:
     Miller, Richard A., THE MAGICAL AND RITUAL USE OF HERBS, OAK Press, Seattle, ©1977
     - reprinted by Destiny Books, 1983.
     Miller, Richard A., THE MAGICAL AND RITUAL USE OF APHRODISIACS, Destiny Books, New York, 1985.
     Miller, Richard and Iona, THE MAGICAL AND RITUAL USE OF PERFUMES, Destiny Books, New York, 1990.
     Miller, Richard and Iona, THE MODERN ALCHEMIST, Phanes Press, Grand Rapids, 1994.


a. The Meaning of Sagittarius in Astrology and Pathworking

Sagittarius occupies a unique position on the living Tree.  It is, not only, the central path of the three which constitute the Middle Pillar, but is also the only path with a Zodiacal attribution on the Way of Equilibration.  The other two paths have the planetary correspondences of Saturn and Luna.

That "Art" is also lunar in nature is shown by its appellation" "The Path of the Arrow."  This reminds us of its mythical atribution to the Divine Twins, Artemis and Apollo.  Sagittarius is ruled by the pnaet Jupiter.  Remember, Zeus was the father of the Twins.

Sagittarius aims 'at the heart of thing," i.e. Tiphareth, the heart center.  It implies what we need is not more magic, but more love.  This middle way opens upon the willful consecration of the personality to the higher Self, or Holy Guardian Angel.   Consecration is the active dedication of oneself to a single purpose.  In Magick, this means that pathworking becomes a lifestyle.  Practically, it means one experiences a tranformative process which forms a magical link between the personality and individuality.  This vision of reconciliation is a synthesis of the qualities of Spheres 7,8,9, and 10, which is a dedication to a mystical goal, the single purpose of God-Realization.  In order to reach the consciousness of Tiphareth, you must "shoot for Kether," the unification of God-Realization.

This single-pointed dedication of the personality to the mystical quest releases emergent powers or qualities in the aspirant.  This includes the sporadic ability at consciously controlled visions, or visualization.  Later, in Tiphareth, one is able to call on these stabilize traits at will.  It is ambivalent about role-bound social constraint, valuing personal freedom and self-expression, but at this stage the will must transcend purely personal self-expression.  One seeks a social role that allows optimal self-expression that is socially useful -- Sagittarian idealism unbound by tradition.  Social integration incorporates a holistic viewpoint, embracing spirituality, law and philsophy. Sagittarian energy likes to relate everything about the world order to every other part -- a discipline of interconnectedness, based on wisdom.

Consecration of the sexual energies is an important aspect of Path 25.  Other symbols of this path include the wise teacher Centaur Chiron, half man/half horse.  The centaur and the white, winged horse Pegasus have a similar meaning.  Riding the horse means controlling the instinctual nature, harnessing emotions to the use of the Will.  It is a balancing again of opposites of Spirit and Instinct.  In this sense it is analogous to the alchemical blending of Fire and Water; remember, "hot air rises."  This is precisely what occurs in the airy Astral Plane.  The meditating soul rises to the highest reaches of the Astral, practicing the option to enter Tiphareth on the Causal Plane.

In order to do this, we ust create a subtle body to inhabit that region, for our vehicle.  This may come in symbolic form as a magickal child.  Here, the aspirant becomes co-equal with the Artemisian symbol of the pregant Virgin.  It is preparation of the personality to received the birth of Light in Tiphareth.  The other option is construct a causal Body of Light through meditation.  These are, in fact, one in the same.  Since Path 25 is a synthesis of Hod and Netzach, transcendence along this path combines the qualities of Logic and Imagination.  Psychologists would call this congruent cognitive and affective development.  This fosters a highly equilibrated mental health, traditionally revealed as the Divine Child.

Path 25, as Sagittarius, synthesizes the qualities of the Isis, Hermetic and Orphic mystery traditions.  It implies the joining of the ind into an integrated whole, in parataxic imagery processes which combine both hemispheres of the brain.  These personality traits are infused into the aspirant who becomes even more ethical, honest and independent -- a real "straight shooter," swift of mind and close to the mark.  Right relationship with the Angel is cultivated in the search for essential meaning leading to the core experience of the higher self.  It is a "piercing through" of the veils of existence to that which is supreme significance.  Path 25 means the art of living harmoniously with nature, culture and spirit.  One becomes a true comrade in the archetypal sense of the Archers, Apollo and Artemis.

b. The Emotional Alchemy of the Central Nervous System (Neurotransmitters)

The natural cycle of ergotropic and trophotropic processes is governed by the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems.  They mediate cycles of arousal and calm, and are therefore implicated in a variety of disorders which display states of hyperarousal and hypoarousal.  They are mediated by the neurotransmiters noradrenalin and serotonin.  The interhemispheric balancing mediates the harmonization of the left and right hemispheres of the brainmind.  They mediate fight-flight responses, and pain-pleasure cycles.  They can be chemically related to cycles of inflation, desire, acting out, guilt, remorse, high wellbeing, self-acceptance, and self-esteem.  At their extremes, meditative and exalted states reflect as psychological and physiological paradox.

Alchemy of Arousal and Transcendence

We exist within a complex network of cycle within cycles.  One of the fundamental cycles of our human lives centers around hyper- and hypoarousal.  The activated state of ergotropic arousal is mediated by the sympathetic nervous system; while the trophotropic arousal is mediated by the parasympathetic nervous system.  They are related to CRP Journeys as the source of the psychophysical imagery of the hallucination-perception-transcendence continuum.

The Ergotropic System has to do with those mechanisms which belong physiologically to bodily work and the relevant dynamics of activation and general excitation.  It moves our muscular and skeletal systems.  Its potentiation can be mimicked by stimulation of the posterior and medial hypothalamus.  This augments sympathetic discharges, increases cardiac rate, causes pupillary dilation, and inhibits gastrointestinal motor and secretory functions.  Other effects on the body include dysynchrony of brain wave patterns, increased skeletal muscle tone.  It is related to the elevation of certain hormones including noradrenalin, adrenaline, and adreno-cortical responsiveness.  There is also a rise in blood sugar and shortening of time required for coagulation of blood.  In Chinese systems, this arousal syndrome is considered YANG, in nature.

The Trophotropic System relates to physiological mechanisms of recuperation, protective mechanisms, unloading, restitution of achievement capacity, normalization, and healing.  Its effects originate in the anterior or lateral hypothalamus, including pre-optic and supra-optic areas and the septum.  It augments visceral responses, parasympathetic discharges, including reduction in cardiac rate, blood pressure, and sweat secretion.  The pupil of the eye constricts, and there is an increase in gastrointestinal motor and secretory function with a fall in blood sugar.  Brain waves become characteristically synchronized with production of alpha and theta  patterns.  There is loss of skeletal muscle tone, a blocking of the shivering response and increased secretion of insulin.  The t-system is associated with the neurotransmitter, serotonin.  Its behavioral effects include inactivity, drowsiness, and sleep.  They are associated with meditative states.  In Chinese systems, this tranquil state is considered YIN, in nature.

Normally, the E-system activates during arousal or in situations of apprehension or danger, while the T-system manifests when danger or anxiety are minimal.  We can use a mnemonic to help us remember: the E-system is energized, exalted, or enflamed; while the T-system is tranquil, transformative, and transcendent.

Stimulation of the E-system leads us into the external environment, and is associated with warming.  Conversely, stimulation of the T-system leads us into the internal environment, an is associated with cooling.  Both system are mediated through a balancing process which takes place in the hypothalamus, so that an “ET” balance is present in “normal” situations.  The interplay of both processes keeps our organism in homeostasis.  Stimulation of one system over the other creates specific physiological and psychological or behavioral effects.

The E-system function is analogous to the psychosexual energy known as Kundalini.  Its content is perceived sensually.  The T-system arousal, on the other hand, is sought through purely mental effort, with transcendence of sensory perception, yet there is still imagery which appears in sensory metaphors.

Exalted and Meditative States [scan]

To reach a ‘bliss’ state (or experience of  Self) at either end of the spectrum, requires remaining trophotropically relaxed while ergotropically alert.  One moves away from “normal” perception either along the “left-handed path” towards hallucinatory states, or along the “right-handed path” of meditation.  Activation of the T-system brings desirousness, mania, ecstasy; while that of the T-system yields satiety, relaxation, serenity, calm.  This expressed in the colloquialism “cool, calm, and collected” vs. “hot-blooded, spitfire, burnout.”

Consider the metaphors of healing and cooling (or crystallizing) in the transformative process of alchemy.  In alchemy, the passive (‘Virgin) tames the active (‘Unicorn’).

By withdrawing attention from the body and senses, awareness becomes purely mental, focused at the eye center (Pineal).  All one’s psychic energy remains in the cortex with no sub-cortical information to interpret.  The only ‘input’ or stimulation is endogenous.  None leaks off down the spine.

Alchemists, philosophers, and psychologists have urged us to balance these systems to achieve a harmonious lifestyle, free of the negative effects of burn-out and excessive stress.  Jung quoted the 17th century alchemist, Gerhard Dorn in this regard:

“Learn therefore, O Mind, to practice sympathetic love in regard to thine own body, by retraining its vain appetites, that it may be apt with thee in all things.  To this end I shall labour, that it may drink with from the fountain of strength, and, when the two are made one, that ye find peace in their union.  Draw nigh, O Body, to this fountain, that with thy Mind thou mayest drink to satiety and thirst no more after vanities.  I wondrous efficacy of this fount, which maketh one of two, and peace between enemies!  The fount of love can make mind our of spirit and soul, but this maketh one man of mind and body.”

Psychologist Roland Fischer (1967) developed a map of inner space and states of consciousness based on the dynamics of the ergo- and trophotropic systems.  He postulated that all knowledge is innate, being an interpretation by the cerebral cortex of sub-cortical information.  He contends that each level of arousal contains certain types of information which one can “know” only at that level.  This is similar to other theories of state-related learning and memory (Tart, 1975; Rossi, 199 ).

Fischer also postulated that at extreme levels of hyper- or hypoarousal there is a paradoxical shift from one physiological system to the other, automatically.  He declared boldly that the extremes in either direction create mystic experiences of the Self, which are interpreted wither as an experience of the Plenum (hyper-arousal) or the Void (hypo-arousal).

Fischer summarized his theories by creating a map, a "Cartography of Meditative and Exalted States."  Increased states of arousal are graphed to the left of center (which indicates “normal awareness”, while increasing tranquility is mapped to the right.  Movement of an individual’s consciousness to the Left brings increasing motor excitation, while that to the right brings almost total lack of sensory input.  In Fischer’s own words:

“What I propose is that normality, creativity, schizophrenia, and mystical states, though seemingly disparate, actually lie on a continuum.  Furthermore, they represent increasing levels of arousal and a gradual withdrawal from the synchronized physical-sensory-cerebral spacetime of the normal state.  Specifically, there is a retreat first to sensory-cerebral spacetime and, ultimately, to cerebral spacetime only.  The gradual withdrawal from physical spacetime is an expression of the dissolution of ego boundaries, that is, the fusion of object and subject, and it implies that an existence solely in spacetime is an oceanic experience, the most intense mirroring of the ego in its own meaning.”

In summary, we can see that for any individual perception of the universe (as Self or mind) can occur as an internal or external experience.  It is our rich internal experiences that have puzzled researchers in consciousness as the so-called “hard problem” of consciousness.  At the extreme parameter in either direction, we experience an encounter with the Absolute.  Along the continuum, we may experience varying forms of an I-Thou dialogue uniting reaching either extremely hyper- or hypo-arousal states.

Hyperarousal, or mania, may result from psychoactive drugs, or a bipolar or schizophrenic episode.  It results, sometimes in “ego-death” when the “I” becomes so freaked-out it submits or gives in to the sensory overload which overwhelms it.  Hypoarousal leads to a characteristic state of silence or emptying when the ego voluntarily submits to unification of subject and object, of “I” and Self.  In either case, cortical and subcortical activity become indistinguishably merged; there is no separate “I” left to perceive an objective reality.  Thus, dualism is obliterated.

Paradoxical physiological mechanisms operate in the body under most conditions to chemically prevent the attainment of higher states of arousal on either end of the spectrum.  They function somewhat like the switchover from arousal to repose which occurs at the point of orgasm.  But it is possible, with repeated exposure to the paradoxical situation to function effectively at higher levels of arousal.

In fact, there is always a complementary component of the opposite arousal system functioning even in the mystical state.  If there were no ergotropic arousal in mediation, for example, we would fall asleep.  Thus in some sense, our task becomes falling asleep as much as we can while remaining awake.  REM sleep, or the dream state, is another example of physiological paradox where there is extreme cerebral excitation coupled with little muscular activity.

We can characterize the physiological condition of an experience of the Self as remaining trophotropically relaxed while ergotropically alert.  The mystic achieves his goal when he learns to short-circuit the homeostatic mechanism of negative feedback.  The negative feedback system perpetuates the experience of duality between the “I” and Self.

Further correspondence of the E and T systems shows them to be linked with the emotions of love and lust (T-system) and anger or rage (E-system).  They are also instrumental in our adaptation to cold (E-system) and adaptation to heat (T-system).  These are apparent even in infants in feeding (T) and frustration (E) cycles.  In the adult, these are superseded in importance by the sex act, or sublimated forms of creativity.

Thus, the physiological reactions of orgasm and “eureka” are analogous.  In foreplay or the incubation of inspiration the parasympathetic system predominates.  But at the moment of climax or “eureka” there is a dramatic switchover to the sympathetic system.  After the act there a return to the recuperative T-system.

This insight may lead you to some interesting contemplation on why Tantric yogis arouse sexual tensions for the purpose of transmuting them to spiritual purposes, for acts of internal creativity.  According to this model, the T-system is responsible for the accumulation of energies or tensions, while the E-system functions for the release of these energies.  Thus the dynamics of creativity and orgasm precipitate the release of tensions, which might be sublimated to mystical awareness.

“However, extreme states of arousal and paradoxical ergotropic-trophotropic manifestations also provide the dynamic for mystical awareness and exalted states of consciousness.  We have characterized the method of samadhi as remaining ergotropically conscious while trophotropically falling (more deeply than) asleep.  Ecstasy involves remaining physically relaxed while becoming mentally hyperaroused.  Cosmic consciousness is similarly a state of being trophotropically tuned to the absolute while ergotropically tuned to the relative,” (Lansky).

Fischer, on the other hand, describes mystical rapture in biocybernetic terms:  “there is not data content from without, and therefore, no rate of data processing; only the content of the ecstatic experience of the mystic at the height of his rapture is a reflecting of himself in his own ‘program.’

The withdrawal from physical spacetime to cerebral spacetime is what is known as an experience of the causal plane, or mental dimension.  Its integration into daily life requires the ability to make a meaningful interpretation of our own nervous system activity.  A model or consciousness map helps us delineate one person’s mystical experience from another’s “bad trip.”

Toward this end, of creating an inner road map, we can combine Fishcer’s model with the hierarchy of experiential states created by John Curtis Gowan.  Gowan’s model includes three modes of functioning: 1) Trance (ego absent); 2) Art (imagery state); 3) Creativity (ego fully present or transcended).  Gowan’s periodic risers to spiritual awareness fit very neatly over Fischer’s cartography to give us an even more detailed series of descriptors of ergotropic and trophotropic functioning.

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Thus, we see that the Trance states including schizophrenia, hypnotism, pro-active drugs, and automatic writing, talking in tongues, etc. are under the mediation of the E-system.  So are the experiences of our psychological complexes, which produce arousal or anxiety.  The perception of archetypes and dreams, or myth, as well as the enactment of psychological dynamics in ritual or art are also part of the E-system, which functions through the Parataxic Mode.

Syntaxic Mode leads to inner rather than outer creativity.  It begins in the sublimation of the sexual instinct and proceeds into meditative, concentrative, and contemplative states, culminating in a paradoxical switchover to mystical ecstasy after reaching higher jhana states.

Alchemy of the Central Nervous System

In Mysticism, there are two branches of practice which lead the aspirant to experience "altered states of awareness", different from "ordinary" consciousness.  These branches are the right and left-handed path of Magick and meditation.  In QBL, the Spheres on the right side of the Tree -- Chokmah, Chesed and Netzach --are considered masculine.  They represent a state of hyperarousal (enflamment).  The Spheres on the left side -- Binah, Geburah and Hod) are feminine, indicating a calmer state of hypoarousal.  The right-hand Pillar of mercy, and the left-hand Pillar of Severity thus represents the opposites of consciousness to be united along the axis of the Middle Pillar.

The blending of the “masculine” (E-system) and “feminine” (T-system) modes of awareness in a “chemical wedding” to produce the Philosopher’s Stone forms the bulk of the subject-matter of alchemy.  More recently, this ancient investigation has been taken up in the field of neuropsychology and neurophysiology.  An examination of the basic principles of alchemy, such as the unification of opposites, yields some extremely interesting correlations with modern medical research.

Just what are the qualities represented by the basic alchemical substances, and what analogies for these substances can be found in human psychobiology?  In alchemy, the primary opposites to be synthesized are characterized as “fire” and “water.”

Alternatively, the fiery masculine spirit is known as the hot Solar principle and corresponds with Sulphur.  The watery feminine element is cold and Lunar in nature, correspondingly termed Mercury.  In any given alchemical document, these might be referred to as Sol and Luna, Rex and Regina, or Adam and Eve.  Though their names and attributes are many, the process of their union remains essentially the same.  When considering Path 25, Art, they may be characterized as Artemis and Apollo.

From a biological perspective, we might begin our investigation by attributing the active, hot principle of sulphur to the left hemisphere of the brain.  This hemisphere provides rational adaptation to the external environment.  The passive, lunar principle of Mercury corresponds to the right hemisphere, which is holistic in its perception.  Of course, the blending of these portions of the brain represents the functioning of a whole individual.  But since most of us have some form of access to both modes, we must look further into the physiology of the brain to find the precise chemical mediators of the processes of hyperarousal and its counterpart, hypoarousal.

There are two nitrogen-containing organic compounds in the brain (called amines) which have been observed as significant in the balance of physical and mental processes.  They are neurotransmitters, chemicals which are highly significant in the movement of electrical impulses between neurons (nerve cells) in the human Central Nervous System.  The electrical charges always jump from nerve cell to nerve cell with the help of a given chemical helper, or neurotransmitter.

Two specific compounds were originally proposed as the chemical mediators of the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems of arousal.  Newer research shows a myriad of neuromodulators, but these two still take center stage in the complex chemistry.

Noradrelalin (NA) also called norepinepherine corresponds with the solar Sulpher and works through the sympathetic system.  It facilitates adaptation to external reality.  When stimulated, it produces an excited anxious state of enflamment which can culminate in ecstasy.  Among disorders of this system are manic episodes and hypervigilance.  All illicit CNS stimulants also emulate hyperarousal and lead therefore to addiction.

Serotonin (5-HT) corresponds with the lunar Mercury and works through the parasympathetic system.  Its influence is felt in a relaxed condition, like contemplation or meditation.  Serotonin deficiencies are blamed for a host of disorders, including depression, anxiety, and PTSD.

Tabulating these various opposites shows some interesting correspondences:

left hemisphere
right hemisphere
serotonin (5-HTT)

In physiology, the sympathetic nervous system produces involuntary responses such as alarm, and the “fight-flight” syndrome.  The parasympathetic functions include digestion, and slowing one down.  The chemicals noradrenalin and serotonin work in the body as cooperative antagonists; they balance one another in such a manner that we do not get too speedy, or sluggish at inappropriate times.

We can easily recognize the “switching mechanism” in ourselves at various times.  The most dramatic switch occurs in orgasm, when the body rapidly moves from a highly aroused state to one of extreme relaxation and torpor, even sleep.  Another example occurs in the creative process, at the moment of “A-ha,” when intense concentration gives way to satisfactory solution.

Noradrenalin and serotonin are also the mediators of the pain-pleasure cycle.  Have you ever wondered why it is practically impossible to stay on a natural “high,” happy at every moment?  The normal functioning of chemical processes in he brain makes this impossible.  However, mystical practice can moderate the mood swings experienced by most individuals, and even open a realm of bliss, which is distinctively different from an ordinary good mood.  Traditionally this bliss is called “spiritual nectar” and emanates from the pineal gland.

Noradrenalin mediates pleasure, action, excitation, motor behavior, and goal-oriented behavior.  When there is imbalance, it contributes to depression or manic behavior.  Serotonin mediates inaction, satiety, sleep, feeding, and functions as a punishment/pain system to inhibit and balanced the reinforcement/reward system mediated by noradrenalin.

Serotonin is believed to be a reciprocal inhibitor of noradrenalin’s ability to function as a sexual stimulant.  This may, in part, account for traditions of ecstatic enflamment, such as Tantra; and conversely, for the progressively decreasing interest in sex reported by many yogis.

It is easy to observe the effects of serotonin and noradrenalin on the sleep cycle of an individual.  Serotonin is responsible for beginning and maintaining cycles of deep sleep.  Rising noradrenalin is implicated in REM sleep, or the dream state.

Noradrenalin and serotonin exist in a balanced relationship with each other, although the amounts of each vary somewhat in different areas of the brain.  For example, the limbic structures contain the highest concentrations of the neurotransmitters, while the neocortical portions have almost none.  In most brain tissues they are similarly distributed.

Too much serotonin is known to be harmful for a variety of reasons.  It can, paradoxically produce hyperactivity, but soon leads to exhaustion, depression, and anxiety.  Irritation by serotonin can also lead the body to produce too many histamines, inducing symptoms of a cold.

Serotonin creates hyperactivity by activating the overproduction of adrenalin and noradrenalin.  The personal may feel euphoric for awhile, but after a period of time, this leads to adrenal exhaustion, and decreased recovery ability.  Excessive serotonin is now implicated as the “death hormone.”  When its levels rise with age in the hypothalamus, with a simultaneous depletion of dopamine (precursor of noradrenalin), the trigger may be pulled.

Noradrenalin and serotonin play a major role in the effectiveness of stimulants and hallucinogens.  Long term effects of these drugs leads to depletion of neurotransmitter stores at synaptic junctions in the brain with consequent disorientation and impaired immunological responses.

“The messenger chemical is stored in pouches called vesicles on the surface of the neuron’s cellular membrane and released into the gap between nerves (synapses) when the nerves fire.  Many popular stimulant drugs increase the level of NE (Noradrenalin) in these synapses, resulting in greater nerve stimulation.  Such drugs include amphetamines, ...over-the-counter diet aids, magnesium pemoline, and cocaine.

“These can temporarily improve alertness, learning in focusing and attention tasks, as well as memory.  However, these effects may be due to general stimulation rather than altered data processing by the nerves.  A serious disadvantage of these drugs is that once the stored supply of NE has been released from the vesicles and the NE in the synapses has been metabolized, the drugs no longer stimulate nerve activity (this process is called ‘tolerance) until the body produces more NE.  Depression is very common during the period when NE supply is low owing to excessive use of the stimulants mentioned above, (Pearson and Shaw, 1982).”

With psychedelics, the body is tricked into producing massive quantities of serotonin, which leads to hallucinations.  The body becomes hyperaroused when it tries to compensate by producing the noradrenalin to counteract the serotonin dump.

Serotonin, then, is basically an inhibitory neurotransmitter.  It reduces neuron activity.  It prevents excessive nervous stimulation which results in depletion.  Its nutritional precursor is tryptophan which is found in abundance in milk and bananas.

Noradrenalin is important in primitive drives and emotions like sex, and in memory and learning.  When noradrenalin is low, there is depression and poor immune system reactions.  To increase noradrenalin storage, take its nutritional precursors l-phenylalanine, or the amino acid L-Dopa to increase brain levels of dopamine and noradrenalin.

Reflecting back to the relationship of serotonin and noradrenalin in the pain-pleasure cycle, we may see how they induce different states of consciousness.

In a privately circulated thesis from the 1970s, Philip Steven Lansky amalgamated his research on systems of arousal with the work of noted Jungian psychologist, Edward Edinger.  In his classic text, EGO AND ARCHETYPE, Edinger formulated his ideas on I-Self relationship into a graph showing the progress of the repetitive cycle.  Lansky overlaid the likely chemistries, which correspond with these changes.  In this manner initial overactivity of serotonin may function as a negative feedback system.  A third circle for “drug abuse” might be included to depict the merry-go-round of addiction (Miller, 1982).

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This is an interesting appraisal of the alchemy of the Central Nervous System.  It might seem that homeostasis would keep consciousness forever in the grip of this psychic life cycle. Yet, Lansky goes on to state:

“However, according to Edinger (1972), individuation means not having to continually repeat the cycle, but to develop conscious dialogues between I and Self.  Neurochemically this may be interpreted as a partial overstepping of noradrenergic-serotonergic rebounds, and the concomitant state of more subtle serotonergic/noradrenergic relationships.  This is reflected in the ability to remain active (noradrenergic) while inactive (serotonergic).  It is a state of physiological and psychological is aptly described by the wisdom of The Secret of the Golden Flower.”

This I-Self dialogue is certainly a valued dimension of inner pathworking journeys.  It consists of using action in order attain non-action.  Lansky concludes,

“Interestingly, the “chymical wedding” of alchemy was a symbol for the simultaneous constellation of psychic opposites, which we have already suggested concurs with a state of physiological paradox.  Might not the contents of the two archetypal flasks represent two amines, serotonin and noradrenalin, being poured simultaneously into a marriage bath in the hypothalamus.?”

c. The Alchemical Formula "Solve et Coagula"

In alchemy the balancing of opposites along Path 25 is by their merger as expressed in the formula “Solve et Coagula,” which means to dissolve and congeal.  It is old attitudes which must be dissolved, and concrete experiences which form the coagulation---the embodiment of experience.

When a one-sided attitude encounters a more comprehensive viewpoint, the old attitude dissolves.  Solutio is the dissolution of the old attitude, which may be experienced as a threat to the world-view of the ego.  The ego is interested in maintaining control.  It tends to assume that it’s cognitive perception is foremost and builds personality or our world-view from its perception of order.

The ego embraces a paradigm about the nature of Reality.  Exposure to someone with a convincing, more comprehensive and demonstrable worldview can wash away the solid ground from under the ego’s feet.  This destabilization of the old self may bring up fear and insecurities or pain before the new self is congealed.  The ego feels adrift or fragmented before the new viewpoints are assimilated into the conscious attitude and existential experience (coagulatio).

The unified state, or self is the agent of solutio in alchemy.  It is either experienced in internal relationships among archetypal entities or forces, or it is projected into one’s environment.  An example is where a person meets someone who “makes the bottom drop out” of his/her world.  Consciousness then has the choice of embracing or rejecting the broader viewpoint.  The long-range aims of solutio is the unification of opposites.  Both the archetypal masculine and feminine elements are being dissolved and united at the same time.

When one encounters the Self internally, a larger consciousness of the world and universe, solutio occurs.  In pathworking journeys, it may have begun before the journey confronting the enlarged worldview of the Mentor.  In solutio, the best qualities of the ego survive and are refined.  Those aspects of the ego which consciously relate to the Self withstand solutio, (Edinger).

This alchemical operations has characteristic stages which relate directly to the phenomenology of pathworking  journeys:

1. Return to the primal state;
2. Dissolution, dispersal, and dismemberment;
3. Containment of a lesser thing by a greater;
4. Rebirth, rejuvenation, immersion in the creative flow;
5. Purification ordeal;
6. Solution of problems;
7. Melting or softening process (dissolving).

The alchemist, or Mentor, cooperating intentionally with this transpersonal process, experiences the diminishment by solutio as a precursor to union with the Self.

In coagulatio, the conscious realization of archetypal forces comes only through personal experiences with the, in concrete forms.  The experiential Journeys are an ideal medium for such tangible consolidation.  These forms or patterns are unique for each individual, but they share primary characteristics.  Experiences in childhood coagulate the archetypes, most frequently in limited or distorted forms.  The inner relationships of creative imagination and external relationships coagulate.  These are ways of experiencing personal encounters with the divine.

Coagulatio means to congeal, or become more solid.  The ego cannot soar unfettered by day-to-day matters into its spiritual fantasies.  Ultimately, the body must be reunited with the process at the sensorimotor level.  In order for wholeness to be realized, the alchemist or Journeyer must balance aspirations with personal, concrete reality (spouse, job, children, etc.).

This concrete form of realization of psychic processes in everyday life allows us to “see” that which previously had no form.  The Journeys facilitate this deep focus.  Archetypal patterns are manifesting in the mundane world constantly.  To the alchemist, the archetypes are no longer perceived as qualities or concepts, but as entities with which they share a defined relationship.  Psychologically, this is the union of ordinary human reality with the transpersonal Self.

There must always be an investment of psychic energy in the alchemical process.  Desire promotes coagulatio.  This psychic energy, mobilized as desire, promotes life-experience.  The lure is the sweetness of fulfillment.  Coagulatio thus symbolizes the limitations of one’s personal reality, the boundary conditions. We find the limits of our abilities in relation to our desires.

In its ultimate projection, coagulatio symbolizes the formation of an immortal body, one firmly grounded in the universal perspective, which is the equivalent of the Philosopher’s Stone.



a. Tapping Your Creative Potential (Northridge Development Scale)

                                   THE NORTHRIDGE DEVELOPMENTAL SCALE
                                     SELF-TEST YOUR SELF-ACTUALIZATION)
Read this brief introduction, take the test, and then read further about the development and meaning of the test.  For self-scoring, click the link at the end of the test for directions on scoring and interpreting your results.

       We all have the potential for being creative and even extraordinary human
       beings, yet many of us never develop this capacity fully, due to a variety of
       blocks.  When we see the creativity of others, we may often wonder how we can
       tap our own creative potential.   Psychologists have been trying for years to
       determine what distinguishes the creative personality from the population at
       large.  Being scientists, they have devised means for categorizing and measuring
       these distinctions.  Some of the most interesting work along these lines has been
       conducted by Piaget, Erikson, Maslow, Arieti, Tart, and John Gowan.

       Gowan synthesized the best research on consciousness and development toward
       self-actualization, which Maslow defined as the manifesting of one's potential
       capabilities.  However, it is more thoroughly described as a process/goal with
       operations on three distinct levels: 1). the creative; 2). the psychedelic, and 3). the
       illuminative.  Those in whom this process is stabilized, rather than merely
       emergent, are termed self-actualized.  In the perennial philosophy this process is
       known as Self-Realization, a living connection with the creative inspiration of the
       higher Self, which Plato called the Daemon or genius, in magick termed one's Angel.

       Gowan reworked several standard evaluation tests to determine levels of mental
       and emotional health in graduate candidates.  Because the scale extends beyond
       the traits of healthy adult adjustment, it also is an objective measure of some
       aspects of spirituality.  He reasoned that not fostering these extraordinary traits
       and transcendent experiences concurrent with the adult tasks of career and family
       building is roughly equivalent to lack of sexual maturation in an adolescent. The
       strong ego, fearing loss of control, may be reluctant to enter the soul-revealing
       stages of psychedelia.

       More recently these creative and transpersonal qualities have been compared on a
       par with I.Q. as E.Q. (Emotional Quotient) and S.Q. (Spiritual Quotient).
       Gowan emphasized that when the opposites of cognitive and emotional
       development keep pace with one another, a more balanced individual emerges.
       This balance is reflected in both inner and outer life.  This test will help you
       understand where you are in your personal individuation, what is blocking you,
       and what developmental tasks remain as options for further exploration and

                                                    TEST YOURSELF

     The Northridge Developmental Scale: Self-Test of Self-Actualization
      by John Curtis Gowan

       At this URL you can find  The Collected Works of John Curtis Gowan:

                                 The Development of the Creative Individual
                                        Trance, Art, & Creativity
                                 Development of the Psychedelic Individual
                                     Operations of Increasing Order
                        Northridge Developmental Scale of Self-Actualization


b. Rhythm: The Music of the Spheres (Correspondences)

The importance of rhythm in the cycles of life cannot be ignored.  The primal beat was one of the first and remains one of the best ways of inducing changes in consciousness -- inducing trance and astral travel.  Rhythm is the basis of harmonic proportions and intervals.  This harmonious equilibration was expounded upon by Pythagoras, father of Philosophy.  This Pythagorean thought form the basis of the philosophy of Plato, and later neo-Pythagoreans and Neo-Platonists.

Pythagoras laid the foundation for a holistic science which integreated religious, ethical, metaphysical and practical techniques.  This tradition was revived in the Renaissance and formed the basis of Western Alchemy.   Some of its foremost expositors included Zosimos and Paracelsus.  This holistic approach was also shared by pracctitioners of Indian and Chinese alchemy (and medicine).  Pythagoras is famous for his axiomatic viewpoint that "there is geometry in the humming of the strings.  There is music in the spacing of the spheres."

These studies in harmonious relationship formed the basis of the "correspondence system" in Hermetic Qabalah.  The correspondences were originally detected intuitively.  The information was synthesized using planetary harmonies for its basis into the systematic "Doctrine of Signatures".

In Pythagorean thought, number is considered the common ordering factor of both psyche and matter.  Both Greek and Hebrew employed an alphanumeric alphabet, where each character was both a letter and a number.  The study of the inherent rhythms of the natural number sequence was therefore of paramount importance.

There were specific numbers which were considered divine manifestations, and in fact corresponded with various gods and lesser deities or forces. To name them and know their number was to command or emplore them. The studies of geometry, music, astronomy and color were therefore sacred arts.  In addition, the magic or healing properties of plants, and the archetypal nature of all creatures corresponded to specific planetary deities.  There was a relationship to be determined between the harmonies of music and form.

Curiously, the Greeks and the Jews held a thought in common that bears directly on this principle: again, each letter of their respective alphabets had a specific numerical equivalent.  Therefoe, there is an inherent numerical power of words, and words and numbers are interchangeable on an absolute level.  Thus, any group of words with the same numerical values have a common ordering principle uniting them in a qualitative sense.

This qualitative viewpoint towards numbers is common in both Greek and Jewish philosophy.  Another aspect of this system is the reduction of large numbers to their minimal number through adding their digits together.  Thus, a word containing leters numbering 9, 12, and 40 would add to 61, yields 6 + 1 = 7.  (See chart for correspondence of numbers and letters in Greek and Hebrew systems).

In modern science, we are returning to a holistic viewpoint which sees once more the "music of the spheres" in the material universe -- neurologists are exploring the "God module" in the brain, physicists are discussing the metaphysical nature of consciousness, and even Chaos has revealed itself as harboring a hidden ordering principle.  In the Macrocosm, there is study of the inherent rhythms in cosmology including planets, stars, and galaxies -- deep time.  On a microcosmic level, matter is revealed in terms of atoms, waves, radiation, and relativity.  Fom atom to quasar, this celestial music is all-pervading.

Saints speak of the music of the spheres in slightly different terms.  However, the meaning is the same, only from a mystical point-of-view.  The music is known as Shabd, or the Audible Life Stream, which is responsible for continued existence.  It is this sound, which is also perceived as light, which is experienced in meditation, and to which the aspirant must attach himself to ascend to higher regions.  It has been varioulsy termed The Word, or Logos, and is identified with the creative principle.

In Hermetic Qabalah, the basis of the entire correspondence system is reduced to a code, known as the Key Scale.  This scale, and its correspondences is common among Masons, Qabalists, and Hetists.  The scale contains 32 positions, plus a zero-phase.  Numbers (0) 1 - 10 represent the Spheres of the Tree of Life.  Numbers 11 - 32 are the Paths on the Tree of Life, including their zodiacal attribution, plus the planetary ruler of that sign.

This correspondence system forms the basis for setting up magickal operations which create an atmosphere cnducive to altering one's state of consciousness.  It is also the basis of intonement of Divine names for invocations.  since every word is a numerical sequence, the number corresponding with each letter also corresponds with a note from the musical sale.  Therefore, each word is a song.  Divine names may be chanted accordingly, for example, the divine name I.A.O. would be equivalent to the musical sequence...of the corresponding notes.

Remember, "thoughts are things"; and the expression "good or bad vibrations" is a psychic reality, also.  This implies that the laws of harmonious relationship are also pertinent to the human psyche, and of course the field of interpersonal relationships.  Ebb and flow of attention and mood-matching are obvious examples.

In art, proportional harmony is expounded in the doctrine of the Golden Mean.  This doctrine is described in a beautifully illustrated volume by Shambhalla Books entitled, The Power of Limits.  It may also be seen in such masterpieces of the Renaissance as the Mona Lisa, etc.  More recently, art has taken the attitude that such forms of proportional harmony are dull or boring, and newer more exciting forms are being sought to break free of the constraints inposed by academic systems of aesthetic perfection.

Pictorial art can never break free of the music of the spheres, however.  Since light is fundamental for the production and appreciation of paintings, it is the eternal matrix.  Just as visible light is the matrix for paintings, both visible and invisible vibrations form the basis of existence.  They ar enow studied as electromagnetic field (see Chapter 5, Netzach, for EM Fields relation to the Astral Plane).

For a complete compendium of the Qabalaistic correspondence system, consult Aleister Crowley's 777, also known as the Qabalah of Aleister Crowley, or try The Magician's Companion.  Both include colors, plants, animals, god-forms, etc.  Begin your own notebook of correspondences which can serve as a basis for your developing qabalistic worldview.


c. Tantric Lunar Resonance Meditation:

Its Links with Tarot and the Western Tradition

by Richard and Iona Miller
(aka Philo Stone, 1981; revised and updated, 2002)

This article was originally prepared for Miller and Miller's Holistic Qabala, but ran in Volume I (Autumn 1985) of Tom Lyttle's (Ed.) Psychedelic Monographs and Essays.  It discloses a relationship between ancient Vedic meditation practices and mathematical anomolies in the Moon's orbit only discovered by NASA in the last century.

During Vedic and pre-Vedic periods, (according to sources such as Satapatha Brahmana and Taittireva Sanhita), there were certain times of each month when the priests would meditate on specific symbols.  The belief was that, if one meditated in synchronization with these phases, it could be compared to riding on a swing.  A kick at the right point could put more energy into the swing than at any other point in the cycle.  The ancient belief was that meditation on certain symbols at specific times related to phases of the moon would add 'soma' to the body more than at other times of the month.  Though the nature of soma has been hotly debated, most agree it produced optimal spiritual growth.

Farmers and gardeners have for centuries known the profound differences in weather, plant growth, and seed-timing associated with lunar phases.  Newer research shows the moon's effect on the electromagnetic fields of the earth, and their subsequent biological influence.  Specific examples can be found in the lunar sex cycle of the female, and the insomnia and emotional instability characteristic of the Full Moon phase.

Less well-known is that the moon may be used as a means of spiritual regeneration and accelerating the growth of the "diamond body," or spiritual vehicle.  There is a higher spiritual aspect to the Moon Goddess than that represented as Yesod in the Tree of Life, or psychologically as the "personal" anima, (one's projected feminine ideal).  Anima Mundi, or the Divine Inspiratrix, is represented on the Tree of Life and in Tarot by Trump II, the High Priestess, the crescent Moon.  This Goddess not only confers 'immortality,' but also wisdom and inspiration.  She is our medium, mediator or intercessor with the divine.

Soma and the Moon

Myth states that inspiration of the moon comes from the dark phases and from the soma drink which is brewed from the moon tree.  The biological basis of this intoxicating recipe has been debated, and proposed answers range from magick mushrooms to long-extinct herbs.  Nevertheless, this inspiration is described as the antithesis of rational thought, embodied in dark obscure movements, thoughts and impulses of darkness.  It manifests as an intoxicant, producing an enthusiasm which may even lead to madness.

Soma was considered a universal life power dispensed in great abundance during the waning moon.  It could be absorbed directly in meditative states without having to ingest any plant at all.  Certain plants were held to be particularly efficient in collecting and storing soma, this mysterious psychic energy.  Those eaten with the power to change consciousness were held sacred as embodiments of deities.

Psychologically, the ritual for absorbing soma is designed for relating oneself properly to the feminine principle -- what has become popularly known as the Goddess.  Then one gains access to the eternal, immovable aspect of psyche, the reality of Self, which transcends the duality of gender descriptions.  When drinking in soma (entheogen), the initiate becomes filled with the god (entheos).  The inner voice of the daemon speaks, uncensored, and takes control for a time.  In Magick this is called "assuming the god-form," an epiphany -- a miracle marriage, the merging of subject and object, figure and ground, profane and sacred.

Through communion in the meditative process, an individual becomes acquainted with his/her own limits, depths and ultimate reality.  The highest incarnation of the female form of the Holy Spirit confers the deepest revelation.  The goddess is a powerful wisdom-figure and psychological force having the power to mold destiny.  As well as High Priestess, she is Shekinah in Judaism, Sekina in Islam, Shakti in Hinduism, Sophia in Gnosticism, Virgin Mary in Christianity, Artemis in mythology.  These are common forms for women's experience of the higher Self.

There is a familiar passage from the Hermetic texts, called The Veil.  It emphatically states that the veil signifies the Veil of the Universe or Robe of Isis.  Magician Aleister Crowley said this Veiled Isis "is clothed only in the luminous veil of light.  It is important for the high initiation to regard Light not as the perfect manifestation of Eternal Spirit, but rather as the veil which hides that Spirit."

These passages might be read as an exhortation to penetrate beyond the brightly lit region of Tiphareth, the heart center and solar consciousness -- passed the region of the stars (The Universe), moon (Yesod) and sun (Tiphareth) of the astral world.  The higher arc of Lunar consciousness is a more diffuse awareness, a dark-adapted Third Eye, an ability to penetrate the Void by discerning the dimly lit regions or 'Dark Matter and Energy' of the deepest layers of the primordial unconscious to the Ground State of Being.

True initiation implies breaking through the Veil of the Virgin, first into self-realization then into God-realization.  The veil is part of our spiritual nature; it epitomizes the blocks to our enlightenment as embodied in our personalities and our souls' attachment to our minds, and to Universal Mind.  To raise it means to dis-identify and deconstruct ourselves until we find our fundamental unification with divinity.  It means to transcend the limits of individuality and become consciously immortal (or, conscious of our inherent immortal nature).  The soul is released from the constraints of time, space and ego-orientation.

Turning psychological energy inward, through meditation, is a characteristically feminine process.  This introversion and brooding produces a "psychic child" which corresponds to Jung's concept of individuation.  He wrote about this 'divine child' at length in The Secret of the Golden Flower in Taoist terms, but it also appears in Western metaphysics as the Diamond Body.  Individuation's greatest value is attached to an activity of the creative imagination known as "soul-making."  Careful aesthetic elaboration of an event is its significance.  There is NO separation, in soul-making, between an event and its meaning.  A sense of the sacred is, thereby, returned to daily activity and, in fact, seamlessly welded to it.

This inner marriage of intentionality and inwardness, of masculinity and feminine components gives birth to the inner child and release from the power of death.  In a sense, in meditation one learns to "die daily."  Death becomes a familiar guest, and brings Grace in its wake.  Ego-death is induced by withdrawing the external focus of the senses and focusing attention at the Eye Center.  Successful accomplishment of this process, this child, is the Self in embryonic form, ever renascent, the fruit of psychic development.

The "Inner Moon" Chakra

Soma is also associated in yogic practice with the "inner moon" chakra, analogous to the pituitary and pineal glands.  This "inner moon" is said to shower subtle secretions, or soma drops, which nourish the psychophysical organism.  These glands directly influence physiological processes.  The pituitary regulates, among other functions, sex hormones, metabolism, and growth and development of the individual.

The pineal develops from specialized tissues and is proximate to cerebrospinal fluid channels, and crucial emotional and sensory brain centers.  It is separated from the hypothalamus and visual and auditory relay stations only by a resonant cavity -- one of the brain's fluid-filled ambrosial 'lakes' or ventricles.  The pineal hangs from the roof of the ventricle.  Certain practices, such as intense fine-tuning of attention and awareness, can amplify or prolong its chemical effects, making us see, hear, feel and think differently.

The pineal produces the sleep drug melatonin and is alleged to produce endogenous or natural DMT, a psychedelic chemical, by psychiatrist Rick Strassman (2001, DMT: the Spirit Molecule).  A main characteristic of this chemical, the biological basis of spiritual experience, is the production of Light.  According to Strassman, the psychedelic pineal "is unique in its solitary status within the brain.  All other brain sites are paired, meaning that they have left and right counterparts... As the only unpaired organ deep within the brain, the pineal gland remained an anatomical curiosity for nearly two thousand years."

DMT is physically immobilizing and produces a flood of unexpected and overwhelming visual and emotional imagery.  Pineal DMT release may also mediate sexual ecstasy, resulting from strenuous exertion, hyperventilation, and intense emotions.  This may be the driver behind the psychedelic nature of the Tantric sexual experience.  High levels of natural DMT production are also implicated during heightened awareness during stress and in the clear light of Near-Death Experiences (NDEs).

"All spiritual disciplines describe quite psychedelic accounts of the transformative experiences, whose attainment motivate their practice.  Blinding white light, encounters with demonic and angelic entities, ecstatic emotions, timelessness, heavenly sounds, feelings of having died and been reborn, contacting a powerful and loving presence underlying all of reality -- these experiences cut across all denominations.  They also are characteristic of a fully psychedelic DMT experience," (Strassman, 2001).  And meditation can evoke the pineal DMT response.  The deeper the meditation, the slower and stronger the brainwaves become, like a standing wave in a river.  These waves create a unique note, or sound, a resonance effect.  "The pineal begins to "vibrate" at frequencies that weaken its multiple barriers to DMT formation ...the end result is a psychedelic surge of the pineal spirit molecule, resulting in the subjective states of mystical consciousness."

The Moon, Tantra and Hyperdimensional Numbers

More than 20 years ago, Richard Wurtman of M.I.T. stated that stress activates the pineal gland.  This then exerts an inhibitory influence on the body's stress mechanism (the hypothalmic-pituitary-adrenal axis).  In view of the pineal's sedative effect on the Central Nervous System (CNS), "the ancient mystics may have had something when they attributed effects of meditation to the pineal gland.  Plate 55 (page 88) of Tantra Asana (Edited and compiled by Ajit Mookerjee, pub. Ravi Kumar; Basel, Paris and New Delhi, 1971) shows a leaf from a seventeenth century Kashmiri tantric manuscript:

"A female figure illustrating (the 9 + 9) position of Amritakala [the times of immortality, literally], which have to be energized on respective dates of the white and dark halves of the month for successful tantric asanas.  The eighteen (9 + 9) focal centers in the female body mentioned in the Ratirahasva can be excited by the adept when harmonized with the exact location of the chandrakala on the respective days of the white as well as the dark halves of the month."

This quote shows the relationship between the pre-Vedic and Indo-Iranian immortality teachings and phases of the moon.  The planetary Moon and the "inner moon" are linked by the doctrine of signatures or sames; they share a common essence, exert a common influence.  The lunar month is specifically divided into 9 special days in both the waxing and waning halves, a cycle composed of 18 days in all.  There is a striking correspondence (first noticed by Dr. Charles Muses) between the two-fold cycle of lunar phases each month and the hypernumber w, a lunar elliptic orbit function developed by NASA for the space program.

This hypernumber w and its phases of the elliptical orbits provide the only available mathematical paradigm corresponding to the anomolies distinct to the waxing and waning lunar fortnights.  This striking relationship indicates that, during pre-Vedic periods, a system of highly developed sets of mathematical descriptions existed for the movement of the moon about the earth, or at least their psychic equivalent.

Hyperdimensional mathematics is a system or field developed to encompass a body of complex universes.  An example is the hyperdimensional number "i" which is the square root of -1.  The square root of -1 has several solutions, some of which are applicable to the physical world, some which are not.  These non-physical solutions relate to other universes.  These worlds are created primarily to solve problems not solvable in the physical world.

The hypernumber w has the remarkable property that, when multiplied successively by itself, all the resulting numbers lie on a certain ellipse.  The numbers resulting from multiplying the square root of w successively by itself also lie on the very same ellipse; exactly twelve distinct points are generated by these processes.

There are three principle irregularities in the lunar orbit that have been known since Ptolemy of Alexandria.  They were rediscovered by the famous 16th century astronomer, Tycho Brahe, a student of Kepler.  These irregularities together furnish a set of eight places in the lunar orbit where these reflecting configurations of force are maximum.  These places map on the eight points furnished by the integer powers of the hypernumber w.  W was conceived by 20th century mathematicians to describe these very irregularities of the lunar orbit.

This seems to indicate that the pre-Vedic periods had mathematics or intuitive observations which counter some of our most advanced concepts in mathematics today.  It is also known that the various phases of the moon affect a number of biological cycles.  Therefore, it is now possible to adapt these equations to the meditative process of the (9 + 9) phases of the moon.  This Tantric tradition for maximal absorption of soma, using these points in the lunar cycle, leads to the immortality of the soul.

There are fundamental points which are important in the lunar tradition.  First quarter to the Full Moon is generally related to unstable mental states.  The first quarter and the Full Moon are when most magical rituals are practiced, as energy is building and culminating.  Only very rarely does one use a waning moon, preferring a waxing moon for ceremony.  A waning moon generally symbolizes soma going into the body.  Waxing indicates energy coming out of the body, through some form of expression.  Waning periods, then, are generally when one meditates and absorbs energy.  Waxing periods use that energy as an expression, in Magick for invoking a given archetype, or god-form, such as the higher self.

Spiritual regeneration also occurs during certain phases of the moon.  Even today, the ascending and descending nodes of the lunar orbit are termed the Dragon's Head and the Dragon's Tail.  This dragon is a time-honored symbol for the goddess, the Great Mother.  The time intervals taken by the moon in returning to its given node is termed the Dragonic month even in modern astronomy.  The ancient Indo-Iranian lunar traditions ascribe the "holiest power" of the month to the dark of the moon.  In terms of this tradition, the soma (energy for spiritual regeneration) most fully saturates the earth during the waning moon, when the "invisible" (or higher) light is brightest.  The new moon is the period when the Sun and Moon are in conjunction.  This symbolizes the alchemical Coniunctio, or Divine Marriage.

At its dark phase, the moon is conjoined with the sun itself, even though we see only a dark moonless night.  This is possible because the relative distances of sun and moon make the size of their visible disks the same size; the light of the sun washes out the reflected moonlight.  At this point the moon psychophysically effects our central nervous system the most.  In both traditions, the pre-Vedic and Indo-Iranian, the dark of the moon is associated with maximum life elixer flow.  The waning or putrifying, fertilizing moon, culminated in the dark of the moon was associated with the male powers.  The waxing or gestating form of moon was associated with female powers.  In this model, waning moon is masculine; while waxing is feminine -- though in other systems the active is masculine while the passive phase is considered feminine.

Through this meditation and absorption of soma, the mystical or Diamond Body (created by harmonization of male and female principles), may be built up for consciousness to inhabit as a spiritual vehicle.  The soul becomes refined and finds unity with Spirit.  This occurs via the image.  In Tantra, this imagery was associated with the female partner, as representative of various forms of the goddess, Shakti.  Through correspondences with Tarot and the paths of the Tree of Life, we can incorporate western imagery into this meditation.

The pre-Vedic technique was designed as a system for achieving immortality.  This exercise is also known as Circulation of the Light.  The meditation exercise is designed with this circulation, or exchange between the masculine and feminine poles, as the central focus.  Indo-Iranian immortality teachings state that growth of the higher body during life allows full consciousness to remain even after phsycial death.   They divided the lunar month into nine special days in both waxing and waning halves.  These divisions are identical to the equation and solutions of the hypernumber "w": 9 + 9 going to 18.

As with everything, there are certain guidelines which must be practiced in order to obtain the maximum benefit.  These rules approximate amplification of hypernumber w solutions or lunar phase points.

RULE 1:  The first day after the full moon is session one.  The day after the full moon begins the cycle of this meditation exercise.

RULE 2:  The Outline


RULE 3:  Face west during waning meditation periods.

RULE 4:  Face east during waxing meditation periods.

RULE 5:  If a session is skipped, do not omit sessions 1, 4, 5, 8 and 9 each fortnight.  This holds for both the waning and waxing periods.

RULE 6:  If for some reason the cycle is interrupted for some time, resume Session One of each fortnight.

RULE 7:   Full Moons which occur between midnight and dawn are considered to occur one day earlier than the calendar date. (Example: if the full moon ocurs this morning at 3:00 a.m., then start Session 1 today).

RULE 8:  It is best to meditate at Sunrise.

RULE 9:  There is a special resonant peak which occurs after the 13th lunar cycle and six sessions (one year and three months after onset).

If one does these meditations correctly, as in the Indo-Iranian periods, one may theoretically achieve immortality with this soma that is pouring into the body.  This is the formula for immortality of the soul, according to the pre-Vedic traditions.

The table listing the sessions and the days is more or less self-explanatory.  You do not do this meditation every day, but only on the days indicated.  Returning the attribution of a deity via imagery is paramount to attaining full benefit from the sessions as outlined.  To incorporate this meditation practice into the tradition of QBL, we have corresponded the Session with appropriate paths of the Tarot.  This may be extended by employing the corresponding colors, incense, herbs, etc.

The key imagery for the nine sessions of the waning fortnight are as follows:

1.  Session One, XXI, THE UNIVERSE
The first session rekindles the flame of inspiration.  One chooses voluntary rededication to the work of the soul, the Great Work.  Rededication is returning attention to archetypal processes, attention is equivalent to worship.  This reorientation is attained through perseverance in the use of the creative imagination.  It produces synchronization of the body, mind and emotions.

2.  Session Two, XX JUDGMENT/AEON
This session is designed to develop access to the contents of the unconscious.  This resurrection or remembering of preconscious information is involved with one's modes of perception.  An access state involves a broadened field of perception, where one sees through the metaphorical presentation to the archetypal core of situations.

3.  Session Three, XVIII, THE MOON
This session provdides the power to remold or reprogram the emotions and beliefs in the subconscious mind.  The cerebellum has the power to initiate profound changes in the body, the organ-I-zation.  It can create a stabilized center or homeostasis.  This is an important time to record dreams.

4.  Session Four, XIII, DEATH
One prepares for freedom, for the time when the physical body is no longer an appropriate vehicle, by building the diamond body.  Entry into the subtle body is more easily achieved at this time each month.  Temporary separations between super-physical and the physical body are possible by the Magickal exercise known as "rising on the planes."  Death may be viewed as a profound change in one's old conception of personality.  The responsibility is to re-vision oneself able to move consciousness into the mystical body.  Kali is worshipped in the cremation grounds symbolizing burning away of the dross which inhibits spiritual progress.

5.  Session Five, XIX, THE SUN
This session is one of uncompromising self-analysis and inner honesty.  Through examining your innermost heart, you may align your physical, mental and spiritual goals.  Enlightenment or solar consciousness consists of perpetual conscious observation of the imaginal life: behavior fantasies, dreams, thoughts, emotions, etc.  This session, like the first, is linked with the two following ones, in an operation group of three.

6. Session Six, XV, THE DEVIL
The power that flows now enables us to bridge intellect and profound intuitive insight.  From this marriage, genius is born.  This path connects the logic of Hod with the intuition of Tiphareth.  It may be viewed as a test of one's personal integrity.

7.  Session Seven, XVII, THE STAR
This third session of the group of three confers the power of clairvoyance, clearness of vision.  Insight is possible through cultivation of the subtle senses.  Creative imagination (consciousness cooperating with subconscius) leads, via Netzach, or Aphrodite, to growth and artistic inspiration.

8.  Session Eight, XIV, ART/TEMPERANCE
This session pre-figures the victorious and fully-conscious trancending of physical death.  The keywords are immortality and liberation.  This is the climax session of the waning phase.  Climax, in Greek, means "ladder."  It is precisely use of sexual climaxes as a ladder for mystical attainment that  is fundamental to the practice of Tantra or sex magick.  There is value in the ascending and descending of the soul upon this ladder; building up and holding off are inherent in this sense of the word.  A "climax" does not prioritize the orgasm, per se.  As Crowley said, "Be strong; then canst thou bear more joy."  This day is superior for doing Middle Pillar Exercise, or invocation of the Holy Guardian Angel.  These forms of building the diamond body create a liberating paradigm for immortality.  Soma is distilled into the alchemical elixer vitae via sex magick, regenerate love. The return of these sex magick proceedures to the QBL tradition has been responsible for the resurgence of vitality in the western tradition.

9.  Session Nine, IX, THE HERMIT
Mercury, as Logos and Phallus, preserves both the Light and Life.  As "messenger of the gods," Mercury fosters multiple perspectives.  The union of opposites of Session 8 necessitates tolerance.  Remember the virtues of silence and secrecy.  Persevere in the meditations without lust of result.  You may wish to observe a day of ritual silence.  This session consolidates the development gained so far.

This concludes the sessions of the waning, or male fortnight.  During the sessions of the waxing, or feminine fortnight, the priestess becomes the living representative of the lunar goddess.

1.  Session One, XVI, THE TOWER
The waxing moon has to do with physical expression, dynamic engagement.  It produces an influx of energy which yields increases in health, vitality and effectiveness.  Ares marshalls in discipline in the physical body.  Physical discipline, such as yoga or martial arts, improve breathing, tone, vitality, disposition, etc.  Dynamic engagement with life could be corresponded with Horus.  The keywords for this session are engaging light, or tuning in.  Since Pe, the Hebrew letter for this path, means "mouth," it is a good time to formulate and declare one's oath.  Speaking ability is enhanced at this time.

2.  Session Two, IX, THE HERMIT
This is a period to link the conscious functions with the unconscious (i.e. Tai Chi).  In the eastern traditions, monks were trained in martial arts to connect body movement with meditative awareness and control.  Every motion is motivated by archetypal patterns, producing a state of connection to power.  This type of total involvement develops patience and lends an increased ability to meditate.

3.  Session Three: XVIII, THE MOON
In this session the physiological benefits of meditation are incorporated into the body.  Unconscious processes have the power to effect change in such functions as the heart, digestion, kidneys, ductless glands, and the brain.  Circulation of the Light has a psychological healing effect which influences the cerebellum via symbolism.  The keyword is doing better than I know.

4.  Session Four: XIII, DEATH
This session represents the perpetual movement of creation, destruction and renewal.  It is the time for shedding unwanted or hindering desires, patterns, situations, or habits as old skin is shed.  For those who "die daily" every morning is a resurrection, awakening soul to new possibilities.  The beginnings of victory lie in proper revaluation.

5.  Session Five: XX, JUDGMENT/AEON
To facilitate transmutation, this session is aimed at outer and inner cleansing and purgation.  Medicines, herbs, and baths are most effective now.  Review your journal and conscientiously examine your thought processes and motivations.  Once the accumulation of body wastes are metabolized, there is a surplus of energy for living out spiritual principles.

6.  Session Six: XVII, THE STAR
The love power now enters and transfuses the body until it begins to literally shine.  The image of a beautiful naked woman is the shining vision which presages individuation.  Grace pervades all event formation.  The refining power of love is the key to eternal youth.  Refinement, or clarification is linked with discernment.

7.  Session Seven: X, WHEEL OF FORTUNE
Health, luck and power are absorbed during this period.  Beneficent Zeus bestows his gifts, enabling you to complete difficult tasks or overcome obstacles.  Be alert for opportunities.  The key word is extra power.

8.  Session Eight: XIV, ART/TEMPERANCE
This is the key session of the waxing phases and is used to help the body and outer life with "power for accomplishing."  This is not the power to fulfill desires, but to fulfill one's True Will.  This is the power that confers harmony with one's environment.  It is truly a blessing.  Grace descends, via the activated Middle Pillar, through the imagery of the Holy Guardian Angel.  Participate freely in an internal dialogue.  In this Knowledge and Conversation is equilibrium that is the consummation of the Royal Marriage of the Sun and Moon.  This fusion generates the internal union of subject and object; consciousness and being merged into bliss.  In alchemy, this state is known as the Unus Mundus, or One World, where there is no separation of an act from its significance.

9.  Session Nine: XXI, THE UNIVERSE
This final session of the waxing fortnight is a grounding session.  The position of the ego in the psychic economy is realized.  The ego realizes its subordinate position to the Self.  As the keyword is preservation of achievement, we might recall Vishnu, the Preserver.  The role of Saturn in the preservation of tradition is also fundamental.


The Banishing Ritual and Middle Pillar Exercise enhance any of the sessions. They are useful in calming the mind and focusing attention.  They clear the confusion of psychic imagery away and prevent distraction.  Then one psychological state may be differentiated.

There are a few extra hints that might be of help:

a).  If you should find it necessary to interrupt this cycle, try to do it after a session #9, and preferrably after a session #9 of the waxing fortnight.

b).  The time used for these meditations is totally arbitrary.  Use as much time, or as little time, as you feel necessary.  On the average, 10 to 15 minutes a day is a realistic goal; focus attention on an image or god-form.

c).  No matter what the meditation time is, dedicate that same amount of time each special day specifically to this exercise.  Cultivate consistency to improve your ritual practice.

d).  The Spring Equinox is a fitting time to commence the resonance meditations.  There are certain harmonics which are struck with the Solar cycle.

Continue with Introduction to Tiphareth:

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