by  Philo Stone (aka Richard and Iona Miller), ©1982


Path 25: ART/TEMPERANCE, Sagittarius


Path 25: Table of Contents

(The Parataxic Mode; higher Astral Plane; metaphorms; visualization, correspondences
visionary experience; Tantra, I-It relationship; Holy Guardian Angel; Arts)

Book VI

        a. Transitional Phase: Psychological Faith, Free Will, True Will
        b. Ritual: The Retirement Ritual, Invocation of the Holy Guardian Angel
        c. Practical QBL: The Many Expressions of Art/Correspondences

        a. Psychological Model: Creative Visualization
        b. Archetypal Encounter:
            (1). Artemis/Apollo, the Divine Twins
            (2). The Muses and Artistic Inspiration
       c. Tantra

        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



Path 25 traverses the higher Astral Plane, which is the realm of visionary experience of images and symbols.  The Parataxic Mode is the designation given to this form of expression by psychologists.  It denotes using symbols and images in a unique context.  This is precisely what occurs in "Art."  However, in art the symbols and images are no longer exclusively private, but may be shared with others.

Art expresses feelings and understanding.  It is the fulfillment of sensation in an audible or visual form.  It is an expression of an archetypal process in relationship with life.  Art is philosophy expressed in symbols and imagery.  For the sensation function, art serves the same purpose that science does for thinking.  Other analogies for art include philosophy and psychology for the intuitive function, and the emotions of human society for feelings.

The characteristic procedures of the Parataxic Mode include archetype, dreams, myth, ritual, and art.  Art forms include dance, drama, music, painting, ceremonial magick, alchemy, perfumery, sculpture, poetics, etc.

As "Art," Path 25 presents us with a new quality in our vision of reality.  This is the realm of metaphorms, where our brain images reality and the universe in its own structural terms.  This surreal vision attempts to portray the working of the subconscious mind.  In QBL, it is considered the narrow way between Death and The Devil, trial and temptation.  The artiste attempts to balance his inner turmoil through a transforming "Work" or "Opus."  History is replete with examples of this often painful process.  But it can be joyful also.

1. Physical Plane: Path 25 represents both a physical and psychological harmonizing or equilibrating process, in which instability is balanced through disciplined work.  It is a blending of opposites, culminating in unification and transformation through will.  It indicates the reversibility or sublimation of instinctual energies.  Included are the performing arts, especially ceremonial or High Magick, with its blending of the energies of Sun and Moon.  This process is designed to establish contact with the Self.

2. Astral Plane:  The image for this card represents the exchange of male and female energies between husband and wife.  Sublime, regenerate love creates the "magical childe" which comes into it's own in Tiphareth.  It also expresses love for one's Angel or spiritual guide, without which no progress is possible.  There must be a surrender to the direction of the inner Master, in order to establish a connection with the Light.  Therefore, visualization practice is critical.

3. Causal Plane:  The formula of this path is V.I.T.R.I.O.L., Visita Interiora Terrae Rectificando Invenies Occultum Lapidem ("Visit the interior parts of the earth; by rectification thou shalt find the hidden stone").  This has nothing to do with the "hollow earth" theory, but means to plumb the depths of the subconscious by turning inward.  This represents the opening of the ego-Self Axis, as termed by psychologists.  It is living the high ethical standard required by the Self as preparation for receiving the Light of Tiphareth.  Increase in Self-knowledge.

4.  Archetypal Plane:  Consecration of the personality to the Great Work or Self.  A visionary mode is a grace conferred on the gifted artist.  The roots of poetry and painting lie in prophecy and chanting and sympathetic magic.  The Self imposes trials and tests to transform the consciousness of the aspirant.  This is True Will.  The transformations appear in the form of the I-it relationship, rather than the I-Thou of Syntaxic Mode (Tiphareth).

Soror Meral, 1955

Analysis steals away the body of an art.
My lords, I must create, and wilt thou say me nay?
Those who have nor spirit  nor heart,
Who cold, unthinking, speakest what they say,
And only heed the world and not the highest voice;
Who say it of the outside and not of Inner Self.
My lords, I say the artist has no choice;
He must damn thee for scriveners,
For men who own a lack,
Mere grovelers upon the ground
Who can nor will not feel of Beauty's rack;
But who must instead devour her face
And smother all in words that turn
Against her grace.

Oh, let me be an artist
And turn my scorning eye
Upon the dissecting words of man
That disgrace the heaven high
Of love's creation.

Oh, let me burn my life out
And turn a deafened ear
To those who would speak of me,
Be it harm or cheer,
Of my creation.

I would live unknowing
Of the tearing up of life
And the wars of words upon my work.
Begone! thou dogs that lurk
'Gainst my creation.


Art is a kind of innate drive that seizes a human being and makes him its instrument.  The artist is not a person endowed with free will who seeks his own ends, but one who allows art to realize its purposes through him.  As a human being he may have moods and a will an personal aims, but as an artist he is "man" in a higher sense -- he is 'collective man' -- one who carries and shapes the unconscious, psychic life of mankind.

                                                                     --C. G. Jung

Art embodies a rhythmic flux of the psyche through a process, performance or a "product."  The artist combines his technical skill or craftsmanship with the constraints of his artform.  Thus, the creation is not merely the production of his free will, but also reflects the discipline imposed by training and materials.  As such, art is the result of a unique combination of consciousness, or cognitive abilities (Hod), and subconscious drives or inspiration (Netzach).  The motivating force or drive behind the process of art is the unconscious animation of an archetype, seeking expression.  The archetype seeks manifestation in some 'form,' and seemingly manipulates the artist into producing this form.  How often are artists surprised by their own creations, considering them a gift of God, their muse or perhaps even an angel?

Aleister Crowley made a very appropriate choice in changing the name of Tarot Trump XIV from "Temperance" to "Art."  While both titles may be considered "accurate," Temperance indicates a condition of moderation, or blending of opposites; this is one aspect of Art.  The artistic process combine sinner and outer life.  It is a reconciliation of opposites in a transcendental, paradoxical symbols whose purpose is unification.  The content expressed by the symbol is as-yet-unknown, or pre-cognitive.  The artist receives the inspiration through intuition and feeling, is motivated by the drive of the archetype and the will to create, and executes the process through sensory and motor functions.

As the contents of the unconscious become more clearly defined, there is a transitional phase from the awe and dread of the Prototaxic Mode (see Yesod) to the relatively benign nature of Syntaxic Experience (see Tiphareth).  Art is an expression of the PARATAXIC MODE, which mediates between these extremes through archetypes, dreams, mythopoesis, ritual, teaching tales and all forms of artistic expression.

In a cursory examination of the history of art (from a metaphysical viewpoint), we might associate primitive art with the Prototaxic Mode; Impressionism (from Chagall onwards) with the Parataxic Mode; and abstract or geometrical art with the Syntaxic Mode.  These classifications are not absolute, obviously, but offer some guidelines for your own attributions.

In the Parataxic Mode, there is progressive replacement of dread with creativity in the service of archetypal patterns.  If the artist has talent, his works also take on collective, as well as personal value, and reflect the transformative process in society.  It frequently happens that artists are "ahead of their time", in that their work receives no wide recognition in their own lifetimes.  Yet, great art has an ageless quality.

Images, symbols, and ritual enactment provide a means of crystallizing ideas which still remain below the threshold of conscious awareness.  Ideally, they fulfill their function when either the artist or observer is later able to consciously integrate the "meaning" which they embody, at least to some extent. This is precisely the function of the pictorial Tarot Keys: one gains a greater cognitive awareness of the archetypal processes they encode, as time goes on.

The distinction between decorative and symbolic art lies in the fact that symbols portray a higher level of abstraction, whereas decorative art is a "just-so" story.  It has no inherent meaning, and is merely ornamental.  Visionary art gives us the ability to create our own reality, even if it is only in images, and this has a great transforming power on the psyche.

Jung distinguished between two types of artistic creation.  He termed one of these psychological and the other visionary.  The psychological mode draws its inspiration from the phenomena and lessons of life, or human experience (such as life drawing).  The visionary mode, on the other hand, contains something of the Divine, and its subject matter is definitely out-of-the-ordinary.  Terrific modern examples include the work of Mati Klarwein, H. R. Giger, Alex Grey, Gilbert Williams, and Robert Venosa.

One distinction between the two lies in the degree of psychological activity or passivity of the participant.  In the first mode, the artist "thinks up" and develops the forms pretty much on his own, even it is emergent.  But in the visionary mode his own will seems to defer to an apparently foreign inspiration, and it can feel like it simply comes through of its own will.  There may be an element of passivity in both modes, but in a visionary experience it is more pronounced.  Visionary art is also generally considered more profound.

Great art is perceived by what the visionary artist Michaelangelo termed "the eye of the soul."  It may be considered the Parataxic counterpart of the primitive's trance, or the mystic's ecstasy.  It is the pure joy of the creative flow state.  The evocative power of art or music is embodied in the rhythm which is the underlying matrix of an art piece.  The power of art is intimately connected with perception.  Some would argue that consciousness itself is simply pure perception -- certainly there is no consciousness without it.

The symbolic value attributed to any given work, and how it moves us, depends on how we look at it.  Thus, the art critic has developed tastes different from the "common man."  Nevertheless, the greatest art stands the test of time, and has great appeal for the masses and connoisseur, alike.

The pleasure of a psychological work is largely aesthetic in nature, whereas the symbolic work strikes a deeper chord.  Visionary experience carries even more impact than human passion.  Its psychic reality may include or unite physical and metaphysical qualities.  It is more effective when it conveys a transparent variation on an archetypal theme.  For example, note the persistence of revivals of classical style and mythological themes among the 'great masters" in painting and sculpture.  Art serves a therapeutic function for society.  It may even predict the future, as when the Cubist movement and later abstract art preceded a cultural fragmentation of unprecedented magnitude.

"Art" is most properly considered as a process, not a product, though it results in artifacts often valued by society.  The transformative process can be as strong during the creation of an unskilled or underappreciated piece as for a master-work.  It is all relative.  Even the performing arts, which were previously exempt, may now be preserved through recordings and film.  John Gowan has classified the arts in a scale of increasing order from performing arts, to visual arts, to compositions in mathematics and music (which are Syntaxic in nature), and finally verbal creativity.

This does not imply that one form is better or "more advanced" than another.  But it is an aid in determining nuances of the creative process, which we deal with more fully under Tiphareth.  It is difficult to maintain much objectivity about one's creative effort when the physical body is intimately involved, as in dance.  Dance, for instance, is closer to the automatism of the trance state, where the body is responding to training automatically, but there is still a large component of concentration.  In the visionary mode, on the other hand, there is a temporary withdrawl from the sense organs and the constraints of the physical world.  Beethoven said, "music is the mediator between the spiritual and sensual life."

"Art" is the culmination of five procedures of the parataxic Mode which includes archetype, dreams, myth, ritual, and finally art.  The Parataxic Mode exemplifies non-verbal creativity.  It represents the development of an enhanced relationship with the subconscious.  It is a transcendence over man's minimalistic, instinctual nature to a flowering humanity with individual, unique qualities.

Properties of Parataxic Procedures
after Gowan's Operations of Increasing Order

very bad
N-higher ASC
very good


a. Transitional Phase: Psychological Faith, Free Will, True Will

Magick is the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will.  Any required change may be effected by the application of the proper kind and degree of force in the proper manner through the proper medium to the proper object.

                                                           --Aleister Crowley/Magick in Theory and Practice

Hume's fork: Either our actions are determined, in which case we are not 
responsible for them, or they are the result of random events, in which case 
we are not responsible for them.

                                                           --From the "Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy": David Hume

The will cannot transgress the bounds of the psychic sphere: it cannot coerce the instinct, nor has it power over the spirit, in so far as we understand by this something more than the intellect.  Spirit and instinct are by nature autonomous and both limit in equal measure the applied field of the will.

                                                           --C.G. Jung/"On the Nature of the Psyche"

Many psychologists regard the will as a basic function; in Jung's view, however, the will is a freely available psychic energy, present in each of the four basic functions.  It can be 'directed' by an intervention of consciousness.  Thus the scope and intensity of the so-called willpower are closely connected with the breadth of the field of consciousness and its degree of development.

                                                          --Jolande Jacobi/The Psychology of C.G. Jung

Spiritual masters, philosophers, psychologists and physicists alike will argue that humans have little or no free will and yet must behave responsibly as if they do.  Even in the Many-Worlds Interpretations of physics where every possibility is played out in some fungible or non-fungible universe, certain laws of nature hold.  Even if we create the fantasy of a "Harry Potter" universe where we create our own reality through magick, we cannot escape certain existential realities, and perhaps not our fate, destiny or karma either.

Since classical antiquity, philosophers have pondered the relationship of man's soul, his will and the Will of Divinity.  Crowley was the first to speak in terms of True Will, which he considered to emanate from the Holy Guardian Angel, or Kether.  Saints speak of this true will of the soul as mauj or the Lord's Will.

This Will is the union of the soul with its source in God-Realization, when the soul is no longer subjected to the illusion produced by the mind.  High Magick is a spiritual endeavor, culminating in submission to the Lord's Will and merging in that unitive state represented in QBL as Kether (1).

Since some of us place value and importance on this quest and some do not, where does the "free will" of an ego to seek conscious transmutation originate?  Within what range is man's "free will" effective?  What is the relationship between will and desire?  What is the proper condition to encourage with the will?  Using Crowley's axiom, will is the proper kind of force, Magick is the proper manner, psyche is the proper medium, and soul is the proper object.  The soul, then, can be altered or experience change through mystical practice, or spiritual science.  Alchemy depicts this as a process of refinement.  Psychosynthesis teaches not only about the stages of the will, but techniques for developing it.

A brief look at the different perspectives on this question may be organized by looking at the meaning of will on the various planes of existence.  Will implies degrees of freedom -- but is this "freedom to", or "freedom from"?

"Free will", or indeterminacy, has different connotations on different planes of awareness.  In humans, the will occurs between the influence upon behavior of the instincts and spirit.  "Free will" has no power to influence either of these domains; but it is effective on its proper level in changing the psyche.


"Free will" has become a basis for philosophical speculations concerning the nature of light and matter in quantum physics.  The new physics has deduced that reality can never be observed directly since the act of observing alters the reality.  Therefore, quantum physics is used to predict probabilities not empirical reality.  Heisenburg's Uncertainty Principle states that an electron's momentum and position cannot be simultaneously determined, because of the influence and relative position of the observer.

Mystics and psychologists have intuitively perceived the importance of symmetrical systems in their explorations of mandala symbolism, an expression of underlying psychic unity or totality.  Physicists have now discovered an important symmetrical matrix underlying manifestation, with the help of the electron microscope.

This symmetrical matrix is the basis of atomic structure.  The small, spherical elements in an atomic nucleus bond together as closest-packed spheres.  Imagine twelve balls surrounding one ball, in the tightest conformation possible.

vector equilibrium

This is a highly ordered, or idealized condition, known as a vacuum, or "zero-order" state.  Connecting the centers of these balls produces a geometrical form of maximum symmetry, known as the Vector Equilibrium Matrix, which mirrors the qabalistic Merkabah or Throne Chariot.  This physical analog has important implications for human consciousness.

In quantum physics the vacuum state contains no real matte or light yet has in it (through the uncertainty principle) ll possible matter and light in the form of so-called 'virtual particles' or 'zero-point' fluctuations.  Likewise, the state of pure consciousness is said to contain all possibilities, to be a state of pure potentiality in the sense that it is empty but lively.                      --Gowan, Operations of Increasing Order

This matrix of 12 around 1 closest-packed spheres in the atomic nucleus has the possibility of 12 degrees of freedom of information exchange.  Buckminster Fuller considers the philosophical implications of this in his classic works on geometry, Synergetics 1 and Synergetics 2.  Changes in this system occur through symmetry breaking.

According to Fuller, "It is experientially suggested that the structural interpatterning principles apparently governing all atomic associability behaviors are characterized by triangular and tetrahedral accommodation, wherein the tetrahedron's six positive and six negative vectorial edge forces match a total of 12 universal degrees of freedom." In other words, this system represents the "free will" of matter which "chooses" to assemble itself according to this pregeometric model.  This underlying relationship is the structural basis of all atomic nuclei, and therefore is a prime candidate for a truly "sacred geometry" -- nature's own preferred rules of self-assembly.

It may be difficult to make the bridge from these contemplations on the nature of light and matter to a meaningful connection with biology or human physiology.  However, this point has not passed unnoticed in the field of parapsychology.  Arthur Middleton Young shared an interest in the "meaning of geometry" with Fuller.  His speculations on this topic began appearing in an obscure trade journal known as Astrologia, in the 1970s.  He surmised that causal indeterminacy is an inadequate notion; that, in fact uncertainty is fundamental and certainty is derived.  This scientific discovery marks an essential philosophical shift.

In his book the Philosophy of Science Peter Caws has said: "After Heisenburg it was claimed that everybody was free; but of course it is absurd to pretend that my freedom depends on my manipulation of subatomic particles . . .These values are much too small for my conscious endeavors to make the slightest difference to them."

But it is not so much one's  conscious endeavors that make one free, it is rather a person's capacity to make decisions, an operation of what is generally called will, rather than consciousness.  This is crucial.

Let us now suppose a person's decision-making depends on some kind of internal switch--let us say an on-off switch, for simplicity.  The question is, "How much energy does it take to operate this imagined switch?"  Now it is no trick mechanically to make a switch that calls for very slight energy.

In this article on "Free Will and the Uncertainty Principle", Young goes son to postulate that because the human body originates from a single DNA molecule "that the human entity is in the final analysis a quantum of action with the possibility of its decisions being in theory indeterminate."  Of course, the organism conforms to macrocosmic boundary conditions, which are out of its control.  However, he feels the "me" of an individual ultimately depends on the manipulation of microscopic particles, otherwise we couldn't even lift a finger!  He concludes:

We could say: "Granted that some faculty makes decisions, let us call it will, how much power or perhaps energy would we expect this will to have?" . . .We therefore see that the essential operative and decision-making "me" of a person could be as small as a sub-nuclear particle or a photon and still be quite capable of carrying on all the operations of a human body.  We also should see that the uncertainty principle, considered as basic, provides evidence that the "me" of a person, even if so tiny and elusive, can be completely free from any determinative bonds within its range of hierarchic control -- a free agent possessing something mysterious called a 'will" and exercising equally mysterious powers referred to as "mind."

This certainly seems to have implications in mysticism for the theory of the subtle bodies, or body of light, as the carrier of consciousness in the higher realms.  However, returning to more practical matters, let us consider a physiological analog for Young's internal "on-off switch."

Though Young did not name this "switch," if we examine current research in brain physiology or the electrophysiology of the central nervous system, there is an interesting direction in this regard.

E. Roy Johns is postulating memory as a wave function, and wave forms as knowledge.  But even more pertinent is the work of W. Grey Walter on Contingent Negative Variation (CNV), and Contingent POsitive Variation (CPV).  This is known as the "wish switch" and has definite implications in the determination of behavior.

Moving through the sciences from physiology to psychology, we find that will is spoken of as a dynamism.  It operates along a continuum which includes impulse and compulsion.  Will is subordinated to consciousness, but subject to interference from the complexes (which may form an altogether contrary stream of intent).

Human behavior is motivated by the archetypes on an unconscious level.  It then manifests through the four functions: thinking, feeling, sensation, and intuition.  Jung described the relationship between will and the functions in his essay, "On the Nature of the Psyche."

Within the psychic sphere the function can be deflected through the action of the will and modified in a great variety of ways.  This is possible because the system of instincts is not truly harmonious in composition and is exposed to numerous internal collisions.  One instinct disturbs and displaces the other...

In the psychic sphere, as we have seen, the will influences the function.  It does this by virtue of the fact that it is itself a form of energy and has the power to overcome another form. . .the will is in the last resort motivated by instinct -- not, of course, absolutely, otherwise it would not be a will, which by definition must have a certain freedom of choice. . .the motivation of the will must in the first place be regarded as essentially biological.  But at the . . .upper limit of the psyche, where the function breaks free from its original goal, the instincts lose their influence as movers of the will.  Through having its form altered, the function is pressed into the service of other determinants or motivations, which apparently have nothing further to do with the instincts.

What I would call the psyche proper extends to all functions which can be brought under the influence of a will. . .Because of its empirical freedom of choice, the will needs a supraordinate authority, something like a consciousness of itself, in order to modify the function.  It must "know" of a goal different from the goal of function.  Otherwise it would coincide with the driving force of the function. . .psyche is essentially conflict between blind instinct and will (freedom of choice).

This will, or consciousness, is most frequently associated with the ego-complex.  Understanding the parameters of its influence, and intellectually finding itself ousted from its central and dominating position by the archetypes, the ego gradually subordinates itself to a stronger factor.  This factor is the totality of the Self, which contains all images of archetypal influence.  It is tempted to follow the power instinct and identify itself with the powers of the Self to keep up its illusion of ego-mastery.  But this attitude soon fades in favor of its alternative -- mystical access to other realms of experience.

Ego gives up its emphasis on action guided by conscious awareness and thinking.  Opting for the transcendent perspective, action spontaneously arrives for ego to interpret, after the fact.  Ego's viewpoint is linear.  From the transcendent perspective, determinism and free will are meaningless.  So is ego's control fantasy.

Path 25, or ART represents a transition phase in the relationship between the ego and the emergent transcendence function.  Transcendence is, therefore, a transition mode.  The word itself is derived from the Latin word meaning 'to climb.'  Transcendence is therefore an explicit mode of ascending the Tree of Life.

Transcendence is experienced as that "summons from Beyond."  The quest for meaning takes man beyond his ego-centeredness to discover his authentic selfhood.  Transcendence occurs in everyday life as a threshold experience.  As Philip Wheelwright describes,

Man always lives on the verge, always on the borderland of something more.  he is the animal, apparently, who has built restlessness into a metaphysical principle. . .Indeed the intimation of something more, beyond the horizon, belongs to the very nature of consciousness.  To be conscious is not just to be; it is to mean, to intend, to point beyond oneself, to testify that some kind of beyond exists and to be ever on the verge of entering it. (1)

The ego continually comes to the threshold.  It finds transcendence within not without.  The emotions (#9, Yesod) are exalted through spontaneous transcendence (Path 25).  Examples would include the feeling evoked by great art and music, true devotion, the immensity of the heavens, the urge to create and persist, and the wonder and mystery of existence.  These types of experiences naturally relativize the importance of the ego, and its view of itself.  In Ego at the Threshold, Sampson states that

Because transcendence is a process, not a state or stage, the transition between the ego's natural perspective and that of transcendence does not happen all at once.  The notion of an ego forever enlightened because it is joined with the transcendent flow in a moment of insight is a faulty notion.  Our ego now enlightened, is ever reaching our toward transcendence while remaining master within its own realm, fending off forces that threaten its centrality and dominance.  It is not so much a matte of our ego's coming to the threshold and passing through, going back, coming to the passing through a door as it is a matter of our ego's continually coming to the threshold and passing back and forth. . .endlessly through life.  Each voyage and return changes our ego in often imperceptible ways in its natural perspective. (2)

This description of ego's passing back and forth across the threshold, is reminiscent of the writings of Aldous Huxley on The Doors of Perception.  This transcendent function or process is Spirit transmuting Psyche.  It represents the Solar and Lunar components (Apollo/Artemis), or Spirit and Soul conjoined.

1. Lynn A. DeSilva, The Problem of the Self in Buddhism and Christianity, Harper and Tow, 1975, 1979, New York, pg. 158.
2. Edward Sampson, Ego at the Threshold


In Magick, the aspirant experiences transcendence from the instinctual realm to the astral plane through the exaltation of the senses and emotions.  On the Astral Plane, Will = intention and the power to transmute.

According to the mystic, St. John of the Cross, the personality includes the qualities of Will, Intellect, and Memory.  In QBL, these are represented by Netzach, Hold, and Yesod.  These Spheres are synthesized in the Path 25, Art.

Magickal Ceremony is particularly effective on this level.  W.B. Yeats, poet and member of the Golden Dawn group, called magic "the revolt of the soul against the intellect."  Magick is a process philosophy which is intimately linked to 'will" and imagination.

The Magickal personality is created by the magician through ceremonial magick as a link with his Self, or Individuality.  It becomes the vehicle for the Higher Self.  In the "sacred time-warp", the magician becomes the embodiment of his idealized wholeness.  As a magical link, this Personality expresses the conscious unity and integration between the higher Self and the ordinary personality.

This Magickal personality may be employed for two forms of magic.  Low magic is designed to fulfill thwarted desires.  Its practice is never absolutely necessary to Universal aims.  High Magick is designed to fulfill the desire for self-transformation culminating in the return to Kether.  It is an alignment with the view outlined in Qabala that the soul returns to its source in the Divine.

Given the proper goal, the magickal personality links the aspirant to the Self.  With this channel open, we can observe the role of the will in making a ritual "work" on the psyche.  The active dramatic element of ceremonial is intrinsic to the Great Work.  Also, one must consider magick "real" in order for it to work.  With a willing suspension of disbelief, the "Work" may have an effect on one's psyche, and change it in some essential way.

Something that is posited as merely possible will have no such transforming effect; it will not 'work' psychologically, and hence lacks genuine psychical reality.  In Jung's view, it requires active imagination to convert the purely possible -- the merely fantasied, the aesthetically contemplated -- into the psychically real; active imagining "invests the bare fantasy with an element of reality, which lends it greater weight and greater driving power" (CW 16,106).  Accordingly, the specific function of dramatization in active imagining is to give to apprehended content the effective force which it lacks as the object of voluntary or passive fantasy.  As dramatized, this content comes alive and comes to influence, by a kind of counterforce, the imaginer himself: "if this crucial operation is not carried out, all the changes are left to the flow of images, and you yourself remain unchanged" (CW 14, 753). (1)

Thus in dramatic ceremonial, archetypes work as psychical realities by structuring the imagistic contents which the aspirant puts into dramatic form.

Magick "works" since the "free will" has the ability to effect changes in the psyche.  In Magick, imagination is reality.  Ceremonial Magick is quite dramatic.  We can enter the drama of the psyche itself and participate in what is psychically real.  This drama of the psyche can change us in some basic way.  This self-dramatization is active in that we ourselves are participants in the psychical play which is produced during a rite.

Aleister Crowley summarized the magical theory of the universe in an interesting series of theorems in Magick, Theory and Practice:

      I. "Every intentional act is a magickal Act."
This implies that anything you do which has a temporal connection, such as "I am actively going to do this, or make that event occur", etc., is a magickal Act.  By intention, active will is implied.  But even unintentional acts are not truly so.  Thus, breathing is an act of the Will to Live.

     II.  "Every successful act has conformed to the postulate."
The postulate is stated in the opening of this essay on Will.  Every successful act must also be absolutely necessary in the time/space frame in which it is performed.

     III.  "Every failure proves that one or more requirements of the postulate have not been fulfilled."
This theorem includes misapplied force or wrong techniques.

     IV.  "The first requisite for causing change is thorough qualitative and quantitative understanding of the conditions."
This covers the boundary conditions of the situation; or, desire vs. ability to fulfill the desire.  Important here are the concepts of function and talent.

      V.  "The second requisite of causing any change is the practical ability to set in right motion the necessary force."
For example, to effect a change in the psyche with a desired outcome requires a mode of "working."  Examples would include yoga, magick, and psychotherapy.

     VI.  "Every man and every woman is a star."
This implies a polytheistic attitude and reverence for the many different valid universes.  Each of us is at the center of our own "universe.

      VII.  "Every man and every woman has a course depending partly on the self, and partly on the environment which is natural and necessary for each.  Anyone who is forced from his own course, either through not understanding himself, or through external opposition come into conflict with the order of the Universe and suffers accordingly."
The environment is a big influential factor.  For instance, a person born in the USA will naturally develop very different thought patterns than someone born abroad.  But either can achieve a self-understanding.  Gurjieff states that all personal growth occurs through conflict.  Therefore, using this theorem, if you should find yourself in a conflict situation, it is a reflection of internal complexes.  Being so, there is now a place for personal growth to occur.  Success consists of fulfillment of one's goal by meeting challenging circumstances.

     VIII.  "A man whose conscious will is at odds with his True Will is wasting his strength.  He cannot hope to influence his environment efficiently."
The path of least resistance combines conscious and subconscious goals.  the ego defers to psyche's as-yet-unknown goals.

     IX.  "A man who is doing his True Will has the inertia of the Universe to assist him."
Force is a subjective way of categorizing an energy which does work.  There are many kinds of forces; and many kinds of pathways or transducers, converting one kin of energy into another type.  If you are living your True Will, you are optimally adapted to the environment.

     X.  "Nature is a continuous phenomenon, though we do not know in all cases how things are connected."
This is a holistic approach to a holographic phenomenon.  In reality, things are simply connected as time/space and ego are illusions.  In the magickal view, the correspondences underlie the manifest reality of natural objects.

     XI.  "Man is ignorant of the nature of his own being and powers.  Even his idea of his limitation is based on experience of the past, and every step in his progress extends his empire.  There is therefore no reason to assign theoretical limits, to what he may be or what he may do."
Thus, magick is a process of realizing one's latent subconscious abilities and discovering and using hitherto unknown forces in nature.

Crowley goes on to recommend further benefits of Magick and Science for the fulfillment of the Will.  he discourses on the uses of force, and the rights and responsibilities of the aspirant.

For magickal development, the aspirant must live his True Will, be authentic, and live his or her passion.  This includes knowing oneself as a person with limitations from a realistic perspective, and becoming independent of external circumstances for fulfillment.


On the level of Individuality, will leads the seeker to develop psychological faith in imaginal reality.  The mind cooperates with the soul, when it has finally become convinced that there is something Beyond itself.  In this plane will is defined by meditation, which is the shortcut to fulfilling the goal of union.

Psychological faith manifests in the love of images, a faith which confirms the reality of the soul.  Trust in the imagination makes psychological reflection possible.  The personality is re-visioned as the projection of the soul an its image making power.  For the aspirant, the soul is the source of the Will and personality.  Personality is transmuted to Individuality (or becomes enlightened) through the formula Will = Meditation.  Meditation is the proper force which induces change at the Causal Level.


To the mystics, True Will is submission to the Lord's Will.  Through meditation the mind unties the knot leaving the soul free to rise.  "Free will" is used most effectively in conjunction with the Law of Karma (= Path 25) to further the soul's goal of return to Kether.  Karma is a manifestation of the law of balance an equilibrium.  On this plane Will = Union.  In his Practical Qabalah, Gareth Knight spends his entire chapter on Path 25 reviewing the mystical concept of the Dark Night of the Soul.  path 25 represents 'the first night or sensitive purgation. . . wherein the soul purges and strips herself naked of all things of sense."  The second Dark Night is on path 13, High Priestess, where the soul slays the mind through devotion for the Lord.  Detachment from the world, and attachment to the Lord produces "soul consciousness."  There is union of Light, Love, Life, Law and Liberty.

It takes strong will power to overcome worldly activity.  When the mind becomes weak, then the soul becomes strong.  Now mind is strong and soul is being dominated by the mind.  Mind has become the master, soul has become the slave, so will power is weak.  We go where the mind pulls us; soul has to go along with the mind.

When soul becomes the master, the mind becomes the slave.  Then yo have strong will power, when the soul leaves the mind.  Then mind become spur and soul gets relieved from the mind.  The amount of will power is determined by meditation.

1.  Edward S. Casey, "Toward an Archetypal Imagination", Spring 1974, Spring Pub., Dallas, 1974, pp.4-5.

b. Ritual: The Retirement Ritual, Invocation of the Holy Guardian Angel

The Invocation of the Holy Guardian Angel has been considered the supreme magical ritual since medieval times, if not before.  It is the single most perfect ceremony in magick and forms the necessary basis for further work.  This ritual establishes and solidifies contact with the higher Self and provides one with an inner guide, giving direction and unification to the spiritual quest.  The Angel becomes one's source of inspiration and sustains one during dry periods in the quest.

The most succinct outline of the procedure has come down to us in a Fifteenth Century grimoire, called The Sacred Magic of Abra-Melin, the Mage.  The book is an account of a seeker, known as Abraham the Jew, who traveled extensively in the near East questing for a master magician.  After many false-starts he finds Master Abra-Melin, and begins his course of instruction.  His book is a legacy to his son, Lamech, which outlines the procedures for him to follow in his father's footsteps.

The manuscript somehow found its way to the 'Biblioteque de l'Arsenal", a library in Paris.  It remained there in comparative obscurity until its translation into English in 1883, by S.L. MacGregor-Mathers (founder of the Order of the Golden Dawn).  This manuscript, among others, formed a basis for the Nineteenth Century hermetic magical revival.

Notably absent in the text is any intellectual discussion of the precise nature of the "Angel."  It is considered neither subjective nor objective, since there is no metaphysical basis for inquiry.  It is considered sufficient that the process does in fact produce the desired end of "Knowledge and Conversation" with the Angel, and that this end is desirable above all others.  It predates the Jungian notions of Individuation and union with Self.

The active aspiration toward union with one's Angel always retains the character of universal necessity in the magickal worldview.  Thus, it is always a proper operation which can in no manner harm the aspirant, providing he stays true to his original oath to see the process through to its conclusion.  Presumably, it is NOT motivated by power issues.

The operation itself is a six month long retirement ritual, or retreat from the pressing matters of ordinary life.  But it is no vacation as the work is consuming.  It involves progressive purification, and increasing fervor of aspiration an devotion.  Ultimately, the seeker directs all of his or her life's activities to recovery of conscious contact with the inner guide.  This invocation has a spiritual purpose, and necessarily precedes any other magical rite.  Until the aspirant receives this inner guidance, he is not qualified to practice high magic.  Consciousness, alone, cannot define the purpose or result of any given rite.

The six month retirement period is designed to foster a peaceful, contemplative state of mind.  It is a time of  detachment and withdrawl from earthly pursuits.  Over a period of time, one develops a burning devotion and desire for contact with this inner genius or Daemon.  In this manner, the secret aspirations of the soul come into manifestation.

In our modern world, it may not be possible for the seeker to leave employment and obligations for an entire six-month period.  However, the operation is divided into three two-month periods of increasing isolation.  It should be possible for those with enough enthusiasm to design a format which meets personal needs.  Rather than physical isolation of the body deep in the woods, as recommended, the seeker can develop an introversion through and alternative lifestyle.  For example, do not allow the distractions of city life to encroach upon the discipline: unplug your phone, limit social contacts, etc.

It is recommended that the operation be timed in accordance with Solar cycles, since the goal is solar in nature.  There are two schools of thought on this matter.  The Sacred Magic of Abramelin suggests commencement in the Spring, at the Vernal Equinox.  Since the invocation is essentially one of increasing Light, this coincides with the resurrection of vegetable life and the growth cycle.

In colder climates, this timing is ideal for the country-dweller who may easily move out into a local wooded area, and set up an encampment by building a shelter of rude branches as described in the Abramelin manuscript.  The natural warmth of the Spring and Summer months make this a rather easy proposition.

However, for the city-dweller, the situation is effectively reversed.  In summer, everyone pours out of their houses, increasing the noise and hustle-bustle.  In the city the natural retirement period commences at the Autumnal Equinox, when everyone retires to the coziness inside.

PHASE 1:  The beginnings of the operation are fairly simple.  One's household affairs must be set up so as to avoid disturbances.  This includes disruptions from outside and from internal psychological turmoil.  In other words, a fairly mature, stable personality is a pre-requisite.  Then a specially consecrated chamber is prepared.  It should adjoin the bedroom, if possible.  It might be as simple as a specially prepared altar within a closet or cupboard.  This altar is the focus of the magical Temple.  The entire area becomes scrupulously clean, and functions as a magical circle.

Once you devise your personalized form of the ritual, it must be adhered to with strict discipline.  This implies that the body should be kept in excellent health, so the performance of the invocation is consistent.  Whatever magical appurtenances are available to the aspirant add to the aesthetic quality of the rite.  These might include a special robe, and magickal weapons such as the Lamp, censer, wand, etc.

Once these basics are assembled, the first major step is the formulation of the magickal Oath of the spirant to fulfill his appointed mission. Put it in writing!  You may even want to post it in a prominent place as a reminder, to sustain you through dry periods when it is difficult to remain consistent.

The basic intent of the Retirement Ritual is that you awaken and fall asleep to magick.  The aspiration for the inspiration of the Angel remains in the forefront of your thoughts.

The original prescriptions for the operation suggested rising 15 minutes before sunrise to wash, dress and otherwise prepare oneself for the morning invocation.  You may want to wake slightly earlier to record your dream in your magickal journal.

In the first 2-month period the same invocations and prayers (best devised by each individual) are repeated twice daily.  These can be correlated with sunrise and sunset, as morning and evening adorations to the Sun.  The Angel is personal representation of this Solar quality; it is the Inner Light and Life.  Exercises at this time might include Banishings, Middle Pillar Exercise for equanimity, tranquility, and stability.  The Invocation of the Angel may come as the climax of these workings, after the mind and emotions have been calmed and focused on spiritual attitudes.

Other activities to maintain an atmosphere of sanctity during the day might include meditation, readings from spiritual writings, and noting any synchronistic events in one's magickal diary.  Adapt a simple meditative lifestyle with moderation in eating, drinking, and sleeping.  Observe the effect of your diet on your thoughts and ability to remain consistent in the Work.

PHASE 2:  Maintain all parameters as outlined in Phase 1, but increase the number of Invocations to the Angel.  Visualize the form of the Angel slightly behind you, enfolding you in its massive wings.  Add a mid-day retreat period to your schedule.  This is necessary since the mind will now experience a dry period, during which it is the inclination to revolve against the discipline.  The mind is merely becoming detached about any stimulation from the outer world.  Yet, it has not yet received its fulfillment in attachment to the Angel.  Press on!  Success will surely follow.  It may be a mere glimpse, or glimmer in these two months.

PHASE 3:  During this period, it is best to take a leave-of-absence from all business concerns.  leave all household affairs to your spouse, or housemate, if possible.  Invoke the Lord's grace, that you might attain to the Knowledge and Conversation with your Holy Guardian Angel.  Spend most of the day invoking the Angel with increasing fervor.  The visualizations should become more and more effortless, and take on the nature of a silent communion.  Through meditations you may contemplate the nature of the senses, mind and soul, which comes through when the other two are stilled.

CLIMAX:  If you began your operation in the Spring, it will culminate in the Fall, around September 21st.  This is your special Day of Consecration.  The sense of immanence and expectation have reached a climactic level.  If your desire has been sincere, and you oath adhered to, the entire force of the Universe back the success of the Operation, at this point.  It cannot fail; though the results must unfold in time.  Make the final, supreme offering of yourself to God, and the power of the Angel will infuse body, mind and soul.  Your genius will manifest in a form consistent with True Will.  This illumination is known as Enlightenment, and is a rapture and ecstasy, of which words cannot speak.  The Angel, or real Self, becomes the center of consciousness, forevermore.

The Retirement Ritual:  Invocation of the Holy Guardian Angel

Adoration be unto Thee, Lord of my life for Thou hast
permitted me to enter thus far into the sanctuary of
Thine ineffable Mystery; and has vouchsafed to manifest
unto me some little fragment of the Glory of Thine Being.

Hear me, Angel of God, the Vast One; hear me and grant
my prayer!  Grant that I may ever uphold the symbol of
Self sacrifice; and grant unto me the comprehension of 
aught that may bring me nearer unto Thee!

Teach me, starry Spirit, more and more of Thy Mystery and
Thy Mastery; let each day and hour bring me nearer unto Thee.
Let me aid Thee in Thy suffering that I may one day
become partaker in Thy Glory, in that day when the Son of
Man is invoked before the Lord of Spirits, and His Name in
the presence of the Ancient of Days.

And for this day, teach me this one thing: how I may
learn from Thee the Mysteries of the Higher Magic of Light.
How may I gain from the Dwellers in the bright Elements 
their knowledge and Power; and how best I may use that 
knowledge to help my fellow men.

And finally I pray Thee, to let there be a link of bondage
between us; that I may everseek, and seeking obtain help
and counsel from Thee who art my very selfhood.


c. Practical QBL: The Many Expressions of Art

...Art has two aspects, one for the artist and the other for the beholder...For the artist, the meaning of art lies in the apprehension of a perceptive context that is clarified and fulfilled in the work, and at the base of the whole process lies the biological purpose of attaining a higher level of consciousness, thus annulling a participation mystique...the new discovery comes to the beholder by wa of the unconscious; he takes it in like the air he breathes.

                           --M.C. Cammerloher/"Art in the Psychology of Our Time"

According to Jung's theory of psychological types (see Book 4, Hod), man possesses four different possibilities of reacting to his environment.  These are represented as the functions sensation, intuition, thinking and feeling.

The realm of Art consists of a). the representative or imitative arts (such as dance, drama, and ceremonial magick), which portray or reproduce a psycho-physical relationship and convey "meaning"; and b). plastic arts where visual perception is the central experience.

In the Greek language, the conjunction of concrete sensation, psychic image, and spiritual meaning is termed aisthesis.  It conveys both the notion of breathing in (or smelling) and perceiving.  The imitative arts, and ceremonial magick, in particular, create an atmosphere which is breathed in by the participant or observer alike.  The meaning is inherent in the engagement with psychic reality.

Cammerloher attributes representative arts to the function intuition; plastic arts are the product of sensation.  In the past, mystical man, guided by his favorite function, intuition, could attain redemption or illumination.  Application of the mysteries has broadened, and mankind has reached the stage where all the functions may be developed and serve as a key to the mysteries.  In a holistic viewpoint, the total person possesses balanced activation and can use a function at will.  The great artist Eugene Delacroix expressed his opinion in his journal:

When I have painted a fine picture, I haven't expressed a thought.  Or so they say.  What fools they are!  They deprive painting of all its advantages.  The writer says nearly everything to be understood.  In painting a mysterious bond is established between the souls of the sitters and those of the spectator.  He sees the faces, external nature; but he thinks inwardly the thought that is common to all people, in which some give body in writing, yet altering its fragile essence.

Art embodies or lends a visible and demonstrable form to perception and image.  As the image becomes "fleshed out," there is an experience of fulfillment for artist or beholder alike which transcends the merely aesthetic.  The art-experience enables man to consciously experience his particular perceptions and images by formative effort.  Thus nature becomes both subject and object.

Man as nature, becomes reflective, self-aware and perceptive.  The dichotomy of the subject-object, or I-It relationship is harmonized.  This enables the artist to annul his unconscious identification with the environment, which is known in psychology as participation mystique.

The Art of Painting:

Everyone possesses the ability to produce some visual representation of his perceptions, with or without formal training.  Cammerloher states: "The varying simplicity or development of the form then provides an absolutely unmistakable picture of the level his perceptions have attained."

The three basic stages of artistic knowledge of the world are categorized as delimitation, direction and variability of boundaries and direction.  Art is the language for the communication of perceptions.  Therefore, artistic statements are relative to the degree of knowledge attained.  One who knows the language of art transmits more information.

This does not refer to technical training, but to the ability to state perceptions clearly and consciously, on a precise level.  In this manner, the artist produces "the only possible demonstration of the stage of development attained by his images."  In other words, he has an ability to reproduce that which he sees with his inner eye.

As a means of removing the artist from participation mystique, the artistic act is a way of illumination.  Anyone is capable of this experience at any level of technical ability.  Technical art may be corresponded to the left lobe of the brain and is the product of logic (or thinking).  An objective experience is reproduced, for example a photographic-type portrait or external landscape.

Imaginal art, however, seems to emerge from the right brain, and is a grace or gift from the soul.  We could hardly expect the artist to work without a model, and in this instance the model is internal reality.  he still paints that which is "seen."  But, the subjective experience is concretized in a communicative form, and he is able to share the quality of his vision with others.

Delimitation implies a sharp boundary; there is now an inside and outside (the magic circle is formed).  With the drawing of the boundary, the force of creative action is acquired.  The artist uses the canvas to focus his vision, which is executed using the magic wand of the brush (or knife).

When one becomes able to differentiate detail within the boundary, dimensionality is established.  Complex contours and their mutual relationships are established with precision.  The variable boundary stage may be characterized by the three-quarter profile, and utilizes the principle known as fore-shortening.  Foreshortening gives the illusion of proper relative size.  At this stage of perception-knowledge, space acquires a meaning of its own; static vision becomes dynamic; relativity becomes the prevailing view.

Foreshortening, or perspective drawing, combined with the technique of mixing paints known as chiaroscuro, creates the illusion of depth in a painting.  The great masters of the Italian Renaissance developed this treatment of light and shade in painting, and this advance in technique made their work remarkably life-like.

For the painter, the world is revealed by illumination.  Any painting (other than simple graphic arts) either contains a light source within itself, or one is depicted as illuminating the scene from an assumed point outside the picture.  It is the painter's aim to capture as accurately as possible the effects of light on visual perception.

Light and color are intimately related.  Most people realize that color variation is the result of absorption patterns when an object is hit by white light.  The variations of the spectrum which aren't absorbed are reflected back to the eye.

Color is not only important in paining, but in psychology.  Much ado has been made in recent years of various color therapies.  However, these techniques ar inconsistent in their attributions of the various properties of color in respect to emotional response.  On this point the Qabalah furnishes an extensive, cohesive theory worthy of individual testing.

Colors are defined in terms of hue, value and chroma.  Hue distinguishes one color from another, such as red from green.  Value indicates lightness or brightness, and is represented by ten shades of gray ranging from black to white.  Chroma means intensity or saturation of color; is it relatively pure or grayish?

Colors are combined in painting according to the elements of harmony.  Colors emerge from a spectrum, and so they group in sequences.  These sequences may be used as a tool for determining what is attractive to the eye, to convey just the right signals to produce the desired effect.  Contrary signals to the eye disturb the effect, whether they are noticed consciously, or not.

There are different types of harmonies.  Analogous harmony comes from adjacent hues which lie next to each other in the spectrum, such as blue with its adjacents turquoise and violet.  Complementary harmonies mix colors which are inherently opposites, like yellow and violet, or orange and turquoise, and red and green.  In a balanced harmony the entire color spectrum is exploited.  A primary triad includes magenta, yellow and turquoise.  A four color harmony, or tetrad, could include red, yellow, blue-green and violet, for example.  In a dominant harmony one color is glorified and its influence extends over the entire design.  Harmony is assured by bringing all colors into a consistent relationship.

Another important aspect of painting is the law of field size, or control of the field.  An expert in this is able to create unique and startling color illusions.  Control of the field is achieved through producing a quality which pervades the entire canvas.  It is an illumination quality -- bright, dark, grayish.  The artist then adds touches of hue to make the canvas come alive, create a world of its own.  Details in the canvas may appear lustrous, iridescent, luminous.  Other qualities are transparency, texture, and solidity.  To make a lustrous effect, requires mixing the background in shades by adding black.  Then, pure intense color in small amounts appears lustrous.  Luster depends upon black contrast.

The iridescent effect, like opal or mother-of-pearl, requires a background of a gray field.  The predominance of soft gray creates an illusion of mistiness.  The luminous effect is complex and subtle.  Purity contrast, not value or hue, yields the desired effect.  The luminous effect was brought to perfection by Rembrandt.  The effect is seen in paintings where the light source is internal, such as a candle or fire-glow.  Also, light shining into the eyes blurs vision, so this diffuseness must be accounted for in the painting.  Highlights and shadows add the finishing touches.  A delicate transition from normal color into shadow, with a diffuse edge simulates "reality."

The Art of Magic

There is magic in art, and art in Magick.  The magic of art is its expression of symbol or prototype.  Art is the symbolic forming of archetypes working in time.  In the creative process, the artist becomes seized or fascinated; the archetype rises up in him and he creates the images in his personal form.  He shapes them into a "work" because he has been sufficiently aroused to call forth his creative powers.

This process is analogous to that produced through ceremonial magick.  At the culmination of the rite comes the assumption of the godform, where the aspirant is seized by the archetypal power he has called up.  The creative power of this form subsumes him.  His "work" is in fact the Opus of the Great Work, the process of Self-transformation.

Drama and dance are closely related in origin to ceremonial magic.  So is the art of perfumery, through the development of incenses and fumigations.  These scents were designed as psycho-sensory evocations.  They call forth certain psychological states.

Rhythmic swaying and dancing, and circumambulations are fundamental in ritual.  Modern forms of dance have their origins in rites of the past.  According to Julian Jaynes, in The Origins of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, ballet is intimately linked with the goddess Artemis, which corresponds with path 25, ART.

The golden oracle at Ephesus, famous for its enormous wealth, had trained eunuchs as mouthpieces for the goddess Artemis...and the abnormal dancing on the tips of the toes of modern ballerinas is though to derive from the dances before the altar of the goddess.

In Magick, the will and the senses conspire to stir the emotions.  Through consecrations, oaths, invocations, the aspirant changes his experience of reality.  He is transported to another world in a quantum leap of consciousness.  A modern, example, which is not magick, per se, is the ability of movie makers to create a simulated 'astral journey."  Caught up in identification with the movie, we are led along through another time, another place, another life, another world.  Magick seeks to tap mystical experiences of this type which are internal, and spiritually meaningful.

In Magickal ceremony, the aspirant knows whether the work appeals to him; he may consciously understand, or wish to understand the latent meaning of the rite.  In either event he intuitively perceives and apprehends the archetypes and their meaning.  They enter into him unconsciously.

In a discussion of Art, it is pertinent to recall that Crowley re-named Path 25, changing its name from Temperance to Art.  We may infer from the position of this path on the Tree of Life (between Yesod and Tiphareth), that it concerns harmonization of the archetypal dynamics of "spirit" (Hod/Mercury) and "nature" (Netzach/Venus).  Art, then, forms the magickal link between the archetypal and instinctual realms.  We may also refer to creative aspects of psychology, technology, alchemy, and magick as artistic expressions.  There are also correspondences with Tantra, sex magick, and enflamment.

Entrance to the solar sphere Tiphareth via the 25th Path, Trump XIV, in Magick implies Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel.  In psychology, this process is termed Individuation or coming into consciousness of the Self.

This implies a breaking up of one's involvement in the collective psyche, or participation mystique, and a transformation of personality.  To enter this state "balance is required--the ability to let the ego move downstream, to lose its centrality and control, to give in, submit, enjoy and pleasure itself in the floodtide of becoming and then return to its central point, enriched by the experience; strengthened by its weakness, in its recognition of the limitations imposed by living entirely within the world of the natural standpoint."

In his work Ego at the Threshold, Edward Sampson substitutes the word 'transcendent' for the power of archetypal spirit, and states that "Balance is achieved when the natural standpoint and the transcendent meet in an atmosphere that permits the transcendent more than lip-service guidance in our everyday lives; with such balance we can extend ourselves beyond the everyday and experience a world always available; balance is achieved when the ego moves off to the side, enjoying living life, not merely thinking about it."

Magick, as art, carries us into the sacred realm outside of time and space, and may even predict the future.  Art may be defined as recognition, selection and projection.  Craft, on the other hand, (including Wicca, often termed 'the Craft") connotes the manual dexterity, charm or ability to create what you want.  Art is a process, not a product, not the selection of a product.

Art and magick build pathways in the mind for energy to flow; it develops a characteristic archetypal pattern.  In the "arte de magick," man gives form to his own vision of Reality.  The psychological effect of ceremony is profound and transformative; nature looses her omnipotence, and the aspirant gains independence, a sense of purpose.  Magick mediates between the bizarre inner world and ego-consciousness.

The Art of Alchemy

Another variation on the theme of magic is the alchemical Opus.  It also involves an aspirant practicing the process of self-transformation.  Carl Jung and his followers have detailed the correspondences between the alchemical work and modern psychotherapy.  It seems, in fact, that alchemy is an antique form of psychotherapy, or service to the psyche, (or the gods).

In projecting the contents of his unconscious onto the elements of the work (sun = gold, moon = silver, mercury = quicksilver, etc.) the alchemist is able to unite the opposites within himself and effect the transformation into the Philosopher's Stone.  This stone, in fact, represents the point of maximum equilibration.  Alchemy is a sacred work, requiring the aspirant to be Self-oriented, rather than ego-oriented.

The individual is considered a microcosm of the whole of existence:

The individual psyche is and must be a whole world within itself in order to stand over and against the outer world and fulfill its task to be a carrier of consciousness.  For the scales to be balanced, the individual must be of equal weight to the whole world.

In Psychotherapy and Alchemy, Edward Edinger lists the following among the alchemical operations: calcinatio, solutio, coagulatio, sublimatio, mortificatio, seperatio, and the final coniunctio which results in the birth of the homunculus or Philosopher's Stone.

Poetic Metaphor:

For the poet is a light and winged and holy Thing and there is no invention in him until he has been inspired and is out of his senses.  And the mind is no longer in him.  When he has not attained this state, he is powerless and unable to utter his oracles. --Plato/Ion

There is an ecstatic inspiration common to vision and word, song and prophecy.  The origins of poetry lie deep in the history of mankind.  In the remote past the subconscious spontaneously produced magical incantations and songs.  This transpersonal expression was fundamental in the creation of society or culture.  The rhythmic sensuous images of prophecy and poetry enriched the consciousness of the individual and group, alike.

In Plato's viewpoint the poet does not awaken the images; rather, the images awaken him.  The gift of the poet is to capture and record the interrelationship of an archetype with his intellectual and emotional complexes, in an instant of time.  Assuming that his technique is proficient, his task is to prevent the ego from tampering with the poem, refining or tempering the contents of the psyche, convinced of personally writing (rather than receiving) the poem.

Among the metaphors of poetic speech are perceptions made through paranormal experiences of the senses.  An example is "seeing music", "hearing the stars sing" or experiencing "bitter cold."  In each descriptive phrase a quality or experience of one sense is combined with an object not ordinarily associated with it.  Nevertheless, an understandable meaning is conveyed intuitively.  We all sense the inherent meaning of "warm or cool colors" or "bright sounds".  This perceptual phenomenon is known as synesthesia, or sensory blending.

This sensory blending is common in mystical experiences of an "extrasensory" nature.  Actually they never are perceived through an extra sense, at all.  But through a re-visioned experience of the normal five senses.  Poets are able to 'touch the stars", or see "dawn smile", or be "lulled by glowing light as if it were music".  Pervading a high degree of poetic metaphors are images of light and sound, in which brightness equates with loudness and brightness and pitch have an affinity.  However, this doesn't mean loudness and brightness are perceptually or metaphorically equivalent in all cases.

There are many examples of poets who were involved in a spiritual quest.  William Blake, of course, combined both his talents in poetry and illustration.  The 19th century revival of the Western occult tradition influenced the works of W. B. Yeats and Aleister Crowley.  In America, the New England contingent of Transcendentalists included Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emily Dickenson and others who sought reality through spiritual intuition.

Some of the most soul-moving poetry comes from the writings of the Saints or Masters of the East, the mystic poets.  There is a great deal of beautiful Sufi poetry.  Sikh scripture is also replete with references to the Light and the Sound of divinity.  Kabir and Guru Nanak were saints who expressed their love for the Lord din poetry.  Other oriental poetic forms include the Zen Koan, and Haiku.  Both convey a profound spiritual message in a minimal number of words.

Modern examples of the psychological quest are poetess Anne Sexton, Rainier Maria Rilke, Walt Whitman and Robert Bly.

The "Artistic Temperament"

The public has a way of creative mythologizing which makes the artist more than an ordinary person.  The phenomena which creates movie stars and superstars occurs in other fields and projects the "mad scientist", or "eccentric artist."

Part of the artist's gift is his relative lack of adaptation to the values of "average" society. The artist is aloof from daily life, in a world of his or her own.  Or, if they are close to the streets, they have a radically different perspective on things which produces his unique vision.  Rodin, Picasso, and Dali are all examples of psychological "rugged individualism."  An artisan has a trade; an artist lives an alternative lifestyle.  It is impossible to analyze why this impulse occurs to one individual and not another.

According to Jung, an artist leads a dual existence; he mediates between world like a shaman:

In his capacity of artist (the person) objective and impersonal -- even inhuman -- for as an artist he is his work, and not a human being.

Jung observed that every creative person could be considered a "duality or a synthesis of contradictory attitudes," a unique human with a personal life, but also the carrier of an impersonal creative process.  The artist's creative achievement cannot be accounted for by an examination of his personal psychology.  A Masterwork stands on its own.  Jung even went further by stating that:

The personal life of the poet cannot be hold essential to his art -- but at most a help or a hindrance to his creative task.  He may go the way of a Philistine, a good citizen, a neurotic, a fool, or a criminal.  His personal career may be inevitable and interesting, but it does not explain the poet.

Society frequently projects artists are folk heroes or antiheroes.  In Sam Keen's Voices and Visions, Joseph Campbell states:

The creative mythology of the modern artists arises when the individual has an experience of his own -- of order, or horror, or beauty -- that he tries to communicate by creating a private mythology.  So it is the creative individual who must give us a totally new type of nontheological revelation, who must be the new spiritual guide.

Campbell sees creative artistic work as a "response to the need to escape from danger and chaos and find some new security."  This inner quiet repeats the main theme of the hero monomyth (see Book VII, Tiphareth for Hero archetype).

Further development of consciousness leads the artist to acute perception.  He no longer simply reflects the collective values, he is now free to criticize them.  Campbell states, "...the world of the artist or the intellectual must be fierce, accurate in its judgment of the fault in a person or society.  But along side this judgment there must be affirmation and compassion.  What is important is to keep the dissonance between judgment and compassion."

It is curious that Campbell should employ precisely these words.  This judgment and compassion refer explicitly to the qualities know respectively (in qabalistic terms), as Geburah/Mars and Chesed/Jupiter.  They are the sphere which are encountered immediately after Tiphareth-consciousness is achieved.  They represent aspects of the Individuality, just as the lower spheres denoted aspects of the personality.

Specifically, Geburah represents the force aspect of individuality.  Chesed represents and transmits the ideal form of the individuality from the Supernal Triad to consciousness.  The Supernal Triad (or top three spheres) represents existence so ideal the mind cannot conceptualize it.  It is the true home of the soul.

For consciousness to enter this level of mystical attainment means balancing the forces of Geburah and Chesed on the Middle Pillar.  This harmonization corresponds with path 13, Trump II, The High Priestess.  We may consider The High Priestess a higher octave of "Art," since both a lunar in nature.  The Priestess knows the art of piercing the veil, or soul-making.

Not all would-be artists, however, attain this integrated ideal.  Like shamans, some artists have inherently imbalanced personalities.  Many experience a gut-wrenching pathos, a sad yearning which may be encoded in their work.  Susanne Langer describes her reaction to such art in Mind: An Essay on Human Feeling.

The fact that I know as much as I do of the essence of pothos comes from meeting with great music (and art).  If those passages make me sad is an extraneous and irrelevant detail.  My grasp of the essence of sadness...comes not from moments when I have seen sadness, but from moments when I have seen sadness before me released from entanglements with contingency.  We have seen this in great beauty, in the works of our greatest artists.

In therapy, unexpressed pathos (which is an indicator of the Puer archetype; see Chapter 7, Tiphareth), is sometimes given vent through creative activity.  The therapeutic value of art has long been recognized.  Jung encouraged his patients to give free reign to their preconscious contents by painting in a spontaneous manner.  However, Langer points out that,

It may well be that an artist never creates a work of art unless he is emotionally stirred; if so, it does not follow that this, his own emotional excitement is what he portrays.  ...may portray something quite independent of his own psychic processes.  He may go beyond the thing felt.

In art therapy, the resulting paintings often lack technical precision, but show striking examples of the symbols and imagery of the individuation process.  The most prominent motif in these artistic expressions is the mandala.  It is a variation on the magical circle, a symbol of the unfolding Self.

A modern cultural example of unfolding variations on the mandala comes from a branch of technological art which corresponds with Path 25: Aerospace.  The quest is sublimated now into the creation and indwelling of a new extension of mankind's world -- the space station.  The majority of these are wheel-shaped for efficiencies sake.  Here the puer tendency to verticality and ascensionism is disciplined to very pragmatic ends.

There is always the puer complex at work motivating the artist, as well as an element of Narcissism.  The artist has a love relationship with the image of himself which is projected onto the canvas.  Both imaginal art and archetypal thought enliven the world of fantasy and imagination, by turning vision inward.  They are a release from the literalization of object-orientation.  They take the psychic energy which normally flows outward, and turn it in.

Art therapy is a way of integrating the values of archetypes.  But in order for the values of, let's say the anima or animus, to be incorporated into the personality of the artist, he or she must assimilate the psychological significance of their own work.  Otherwise, the creative urge may be just another way of projecting one's inner reality into the outer world.  This integration does not always happen spontaneously to the artist.  If this were so, every great artist or poet would be a Self-Realized or God-Realized individual.  History has shown different.

Discipline is not the only distinction between the true artist and the dabbler or dilettante.  To subject oneself to hard work and the evaluation of one's fellow man is no small accomplishment.  The development of artistic insight rather than an externalization of one's specific neurosis is another.  One must combine the innate curiosity and vitality of youth with the maturity and dedication of experience.  In her classic on the archetype of Eternal Youth, Puer Aeternus, Marie Louise vonFranz discusses the artist and puer complex.

In the really great artist there is always a puer at first, but it can go further.  It is a question of feeling-judgment.  If one ceases to be an artist when ceasing to be puer, then one was never really an artist.  Objectifying the puer, is only the first step.  Puer has to learn to carry on with the work he does not like, not only with work where he is carried away by great enthusiasm, which is something everybody can do...being carried away by a festival of work.  Puer has to kick himself again and again to take up the boring job through sheer will power.

Puer is also the impulse to feel special, precocious, or gifted.  The complex is a desire.  What, then, are the psychological criteria for an "artist"?  VonFranz lists some in her work, Creation Myths.

...these four factors -- originality, consistency, intensity, and subtlety -- (show) the differences between someone who has creative fantasies and someone who is only spinning neurotic nonesense...the continuity of devotion an individual is capable of giving his fantasy is very important and shows the difference between someone who is gifted with creative fantasy and somebody sucked into sterile unconscious material.

There are also certain psychological types more adapted or inclined toward artistic expression.  Different types -- both introverts and extroverts --  pursue different areas of art, such as fine art or performance art.  Many artists are Dionysian temperaments strong on Sensation-Perceiving (SP).

This penchant for acting on impulse contains a seeming paradox, for SPs, living only for immediate action, become the world's great performing artists: the virtuosos of art, entertainment, and adventure.  The great painters, instrumentalists, vocalists, dancers, sculptors, photographers, athletes, hunters, racers, gamblers -- all need the skills which come only from excited concentration on an activity for long periods.  No other type can mobilize what virtuosity takes: untold hours of continuous action. ...In a sense the SP does not work, for work implies production, completion, and accomplishment.  The SP has no such desire for closure, completion, finishing.  He is process-oriented.  What ensues from his action is mere product, mere outcome, mere result, and is incidental.  Thus, the SP's "work" is essentially play.(Kiersey, Bates, 1978)

In Myers-Briggs terms, ISFP is known as "the Artist";  ESFP as "Entertainer"; INFJ as "Author"; INTO as "Architect"; ENTP as "Inventor"; ISTP as "Artisan"; while ESTP is a born "Promoter".



Myrrh, Civet
Tobacco, Leather
Benzoin, Rose, Sandal
Jasmine, Ginseng
Storax, Mastic
Camphor, Aloes
Sandalwood, Myrtle
Dragon's Blood
Wheel of Fortune
Hanged Man
Musk, Civet
Dragon Bl.


Mystical Meditation
Transpersonal Psychologies
Mental Imagery - Eidetic Therapy
Humanistic Psychology - Gestalt - T.A.
Freudian Analysis, Sex Therapy
Body Work
Individuation, Psychetypes
Journal Work, NLP
Imaginal Psychology
Dance Therapy, Aromatherapy
Primal Scream
Simple Counseling
Sand Play
Polarity Therapy
Active Imagination
Art Therapy, Sandtray
Ego Therapy
Assertiveness Trianing
Humanism, Talk Therapies
Hypnosis, Dreamwork
Behavior Modification


Continue On to Part 2, Path 25


  Return to Synergetic Qabala Homepage
Return to Holistic Qabala Homepage
Go to Iona Miller's Collected Works, the Ionasphere
E-Mail Iona Miller
File Created: 7/30/02
Last Updated: 8/10/02

Wed Design by Iona Miller and Vickie Webb.