THE HOLISTIC QABALAH: A Contemporary Guide to Magick
by Philo Stone (aka Richard and Iona Miller), 1983


Sphere 9:  YESOD, the Moon

Sophia's Eclipse

YESOD: Table of Contents


BOOK III: YESOD, The Sphere of the Moon


        a. Initiation: Zelator
        b. Ritual: The Value of Dreamwork
        c. Practical QBL: The Body of Light, Part 1; The Astral Body


        a. Psychological Model: Mythical Living, Metaphorical Perception
        b. Archetypal Encounter: Lunar (or Feminine) Consciousness

            (1) The Great Mother and Virgin Goddesses (Moon Magick)
            (2) The Syzygy: Anima and Animus


        a. Secondary Progressions for Each Year of Life
        b. The Moon and the Lunation Cycle in Astrology
        c. Luna and the Albedo in Alchemy


        a. Some Thoughts on the Phenomena of Astral Projection
        b. Seasonal Timing and Tides (Equinoxes and Solstices)


BOOK III: YESOD, The Sphere of the Moon



Yesod is the lunar world of the Great Mother, the Goddess in all her multitudinous forms.  The Moon exemplifies the notion of dynamic equilibrium; it builds a firm foundation of stability based on cyclic change.  This ebb and flow is characteristics of the Feminine Ms.teries and Lunar Magic.  Emotional-sexual sphere.

The Moon of Yesod symbolizes fertility of body, soul, mind, and imagination.  Its manifestations range from reflective and purely automatic impulses of generation to providing a source of inspiration.  This fluctuating world of shape-shifting forms is known in mythology as ISIS, the Great Mother who contains all other goddesses.  She represents the archetypal virginity of the feminine aspect of Godhead, its all-encompassing receptivity.

The characteristic experience of Yesod or the lower astral plane is a trance state of varying depth.  Most commonly, ego, memory and control are weak or absent.  There is dissociation from an Ordinary State of Consciousness.  If memory of the imagery experience is retained, it may be misinterpreted or distorted, resulting in no effective assimilation into daily life.

Receptivity is the keyword for Yesod, which in the Four Worlds is represented by the following:

    1. Physical Plane: In the phenomenal world Yesod is characterized as the electromagnetic fields, known by physicists to be the formative basis of matter.  In the human body, the genitals represent Yesod.  Instincts act on the body producing pyschomotor automatisms, or the automatic gut-feel responses.  Astrologically, Yesod is the Moon or Luna.  Gareth Knight links Pan to Yesod stating that "Pan gives the idea of archetypal strength which is characteristic of the etheric and of the action of the Moon on Earth."  Pan's appearance here also indicates his other manifestations including panic reactions, nightmare, guilt, and disturbed erotic involvement.  Hyperarousal.

    2. Astral Plane: At this level one can tap the reservoir of life-force or pranic energy.  Kundalini is a physical manifestation of the astral form of Yesod.  The therapeutic practice of Bioenergetics resolves repression and traumas releasing vitality.  This level of lunar consciousness includes one's personal reactions to the complex environment.  Yesod is a sphere of personal awareness.  The personality is a unique complex of emotions and thoughts.  This is the level of Moon Magic (i.e. Wicca).  It provides no access past the Astral Plane.  Its negative effects include overemotionalism or reactiveness.

    3. Causal Plane: From the psychological perspective, Yesod is the realm of Imagination and Archetypes.  One may experience it through Trance or various Art forms.  There is understanding of the contrasexual aspect of the anima and animus.  There is release from possession and enhanced control of emotions through employing the imaginative technique of personification of divine forces.

    4. Archetypal Plane: On the highest level, Yesod manifests as dream experiences and facination.  This is the level or oracular prophecy.


One of the main tasks of Yesod, sphere of the Moon, is to acquire a firm foundation in Qabalistic theory before beginning any actual practice.  Yesod is the automated consciousness or habit mind which is also sometimes called the Vital Soul, or realm of instincts.  In physics, this astral dynamism is known as electromagnetic fields, the force which lies behind and patterns all forms.  Thus, the subconscious underlies and directs our mundane awareness in an analogous way to that in which EM fields are the subtle basis of matter.  Behavior precipitates, as it were, from hidden subconscious dynamics.  We can raise much of this unconscious motivation to awareness.

Magical tradition asserts that the human faculty of imagination is capable of creating impressions in the astral substance which guide and direct subsequent manifestation.  In more modern parlance, creative visualization or dwelling subconsciously on something repeatedly, increases the chance of altering EM field patterns.  This is neither objective nor subjective, since the wave fronts involved operate both externally in the environment and internally in the organ of perception, the CNS.  Therefore, magical exercises, carried out properly, are designed to establish and strengthen specific EM field patterns (or archetypes) with great clarity in the consciousness of the practitioner.  (Ref. EM Fields and Their Relation to the Astral, in Holistic Qabalah, Netzach).

Misuse of imagination has created chaos, error, and confusion in the collective consciousness.  Generations of wrong thinking have left a groove on the cultural mind, which manifests mostly as emotional fragmentation or misplaced zeal.  Imagination is an essentially spiritual power whose expression has been distorted.  In Yesod we seek to reestablish emotional balance and control of responses and reactions which are usually below our threshold of awareness.  At Yesod, this applies particularly to the channeling of the intense reproductive urge.  We seek connection with the uplifting aspects of sexual energy, rather than its animalistic expression.

"The phallic symbolism evident in the Magical Image of Yesod (Ithyphallic Youth) needs to be understood as referring to the reproductive energy as it expresses throughout all levels of life.  The regeneration attributed to this energy in man never refers to the external organs, but to the interior nervous organism.  It is this inner force that is always meant; the force that works through the interior centers and is known as the Serpent Fire, Kundalini, or Prana.

Yesod tests and corrects the patterns we formulate with our ability to create mental images by projecting them into the field of sensation in Malkuth.  If our imagery is based on error, disharmony results and the ensuing pain helps to make us aware of the need for more work to free ourselves from succumbing to the errors in the collective consciousness.  The formative aspects of Yesod are directly under the dominion of the self-conscious image-making faculty in man.  We can release old blocks or habit patterns by a more enlightened use of our self-conscious powers.  Old destructive habits are easily given up when resistance to new, more constructive forms of reactions is given up.  This takes a conscious effort at first to divert the flow of energy from the deeply grooved pattern into a new channel.  But soon the new, constructive emotion becomes habit.

After the work of purifying the body comes the work of purifying the psychical nature.  This means an upgrading of our automatic response and reactions to life.  We become more consciously aware of responses that are not in harmony with the goals of the Higher Self.  We create a channel for the liberating powers of the Self, which alone perfects us as a personality.  The higher Self uses the ego-personality to control subconsciousness by suggestion.  It prepares the subconscious level of us for reception of higher instructions as to the workings of nature, i.e. healing misperceptions and emotional wounds or complexes.  Mainly this means overcoming resistance to change.

The subconscious mind creates patterns in our thoughts, emotions, and behavior.  If the mainstream of your thoughts, acts and emotions counteract your Higher Mind idealisms, then not much of these actually get incorporated into your foundation.  The "new image" must be frequently reinforced or you will revert to the line of least resistance and act out your old, unadapted habit.  But we can free ourselves from this bondage by deliberately and persistently visualizing, the image of our perfected personality.  At the same time, remember to practice diverting attention and imagery from what you do not want to be or do or express.

"In Yesod are held the patterns of all possible forms.  Certain simple geometrical figures can be discovered in all natural phenomena.  Basically these forms are the cross, the square, the circle, the pentagon, the hexagon and octagon.  All the manifold forms of the physical plane are based upon these simple figures.  Their proportions contain representations of all force relationships in the universe.  The lines and angular correspondences shown by these figures contain the principles upon which sound vibration, light and color, gravitation and electromagnetism depend.  Wherever anything comes into physical being these proportions can be found.  They can be detected as primal units in the kingdoms of nature.  They are expressions of the One in the Many."



I saw nothing but the Moon, deep inside.
 Upon its evanescent pull I solely relied.
That lustrous, eternal, mysterious pearl,
 Cool symbol of the psychic world.
  Her orbit forms an etheric circle,
Echoing memories of love's euphoric recall.

        Source of immortal joy with wonders implied.
To enter that realm I mightily strived,
Erasing my doubt about the ultimate goal.
Spirit enters body compelling surrender of the soul.
Resplendent in Fullness unveiled,
Her charms are many, minutely detailed.

Thirst for that spring of fresh water
Flowing from the Source of all decrees.
The ever-virgin cannot be fruitful, 
So plumb her depths and sail her sea. 
You are her son, as I am her daughter,
Molded in that image as by a potter.

The lotus-eyed goddess always knows
Just for whom the tears of Lakshmi flow.
With a mind as calm as moonlight
In the shelter of the Tree of Life.
Leaning on the windowsill of Heaven
Trust your body's innate wisdom.

She flies with her own gossamer wings;
Her heart hiding secrets of arcane things,
Learned neither by price nor by prayer.
Adventure in her labyrinth, if you dare.
The turbulent stream of imaginal flow,
  The power of energy rooted below.

Moon of my delight, brilliant blue ray of light.
All spheres of heaven merge in that sight.
With quicksilver orb, and luminous halo.
For that perfect Queen of sacred love's pillow,
Our yearning discontent never ceases.
For the Source of Life it always increases.

 II.   YETZIRAH, the Emotional Plane

The common name for this plane of awareness is the Astral Plane or the Astral Light.  The Astral Light is synonymous with the Alchemical idea of the Anima Mundi, or Soul of the World.  The Jungian idea of the Collective Unconscious as the treasure house of fluctuating imagery is a modern explanation for the experience of this phenomena.

The Astral Light is also perceived behind the phenomenon of electromagnetic fields and their effects in patterning physical manifestations.

The Astral Light is an omnipresent and all-permeating fluid or medium of extremely subtle matter; substance in a highly tenuous state, electric and magnetic in constitution, which is the model upon which the physical world is built.  It is the endless, changeless, ebb and flow of the world's forces that, in the last resort, guarantee the stability of the world and provides its foundation.  Yesod is this stable foundation, this changeless ebb and flow of astral forces, and the universal reproductive power in nature. (1)

There are two distinct divisions into a Lower Astral and Higher Astral Plane.  The Lower Astral includes the grossest manifestations of contact with the Divine through instincts and uncontrollable psychomotor phenomena influencing the body.  the Higher Astral is the plane of images and affects, including emotional response.  The Lower Astral is characterized by dissociation and loss or absence of memory and ego functions.  The Higher Astral includes the first attempts to implement the will in a relationship with the sub-conscious forces.  In the Astral Plane, archetypes are perceived in images or mind-pictures; often this means only a vague awareness or foreboding.

The Astral is also the realm of dream and divination.  It is the Lunar plane of psychism and mediums.  The Astral Body is appropriate for exploration or travel in this plane.  Here, both Godforms and matter (Maya) are visible.  The Astral Plane influences the body through the parasympathetic nervous system or the Central Nervous System.  Its negative effects include over-emotionalism.  Psychological reflection in this Plane leads to the acquisition of reliable information concerning self-knowledge.  All other experience here, especially for purely personal gain, is to be discouraged.

The goal is to develop a cognitive understanding within the depths of the subconscious mind by observing the rich forms, exotic dreams, and luxurious images which present themselves in this medium.  On the Astral Plane, symbols are living entities!  The Astral Light, having no characteristics or form is fluidic, watery, reflective, and impressionable.  Trying to create an impression on the astral substance (through visualization) which manifests latter in fulfillment of one's desire is misuse of psychic power for personal interest.  This is the lowest form of magic, and to be shunned by all serious aspirants as a hindrance in the Work.


"The astral plane is said to include but extend beyond the physical plane of our everyday world, and the astral light (the light created by God's command 'Let there be light", according to Eliphas Levi) transmits the rays or waves or vibrations of human will-power, thought, feeling, and imagination.  In terms of Jungian psychology it is the medium of the archetypes, the basic ideas and symbols of the collective unconscious.  In the astral plane thought, fancy and emotion have the same concrete reality as a solid object here on the physical plane, and the astral light is a great reservoir of occult power (like the mana of the Polynesians, or the prana of Hindus).  Every human thought makes an imprint on the astral light, it is said, and in it the seer can read the history of the distant past in the Akashic Record or Cosmic Memory, through it the occultist can discern the reality behind the surface appearance of things, with it the magician works as a smith works with metals in his forge, shaping the subtle substance of the astral light with the tools of concentrated imagination and will ."

                                                            --Man, Myth & Magic, p. 1630

"Its fluidity makes it easily suggestible.  Even the most tenuous ideas impress or influence it.  By directing the current of his will, ritually motivated, the magician is able to cause changes in the Astral Light.

The Astral Light or Astral Plane contains or constitutes the Cosmic Memory which is a repository of everything that has ever been thought or done.  The Cosmic Memory is thus a vast, impersonal record of impressions which have been received since the beginning of time.  Another name for the Astral Light is the Akasha; for this reason the Cosmic Memory is also called the Akashic Records.  As these records are in picture form, they are recoverable by a competent skryer or medium."

                                                           --Man, Myth & Magic, p. 186



Dashing to and fro 'tween the pillars of the temple
In the centre there is a way to get off this 'time' a ways.
Do you see the King of Edom
who reigh unbalanced force
in the dawn of the birth of Israel?

They're the pendulums of peace and pain.
Faith itself must be slain by certainty
and chastity by ecstasy.

Wake from the sleep of Shilome
and be for the birth that is real.
Still the pendulums don't kneel to them.
Live the Probation's zeal.

There is Maya, the woman spinning
illusion with her dancing.
Weeping in her irony for all poor drowning souls.
She'll lay you low and make amends.
She burns your candle at both ends.
No period for her sentients,
only penitence...

...and dashing to and fro
'tween the pillars of the temple.
In the center there is a way
to get off.

John Gowan describes the three major modes of consciousness (or contact between the individual ego and the divine) as Trance, Art, and Creativity.  Each state has particular characteristics which correspond precisely with Tree of Life modeling. (2)

a) Yesod = trance = prototaxic mode (characterized by loss of ego); psychomotor phenomena, signs.  Lunar consciousness.

b) Path 25, Trump XIV, ART = Art = parataxic mode (characterized by the production of images whose meaning is not clear or categorical; personal or idiosyncratic use of symbols and imagery); affective, images.  Lunar changing to

c) Tiphareth = Creativity = syntaxic mode (where meaning is more or less fully cognized symbolically, with ego present); cognitive, symbols.  Solar consciousness of Causal Plane.  Creativity is the result of the harmonizing of lunar and solar elements.

Yesod as the Prototaxic Mode of Awareness:

The Prototaxic Mode (Trance) is an archaic mode of primitive consciousness which involves the body in somatic and kinesthetic behavior.  It is characterized by dissociation and trance, awe, dread, horror, and panic.  It includes such phenomenal experiences as possession, mediumship, hypnosis, astral projection, psychedelic drug experience, and paranormal aspects including ESP.  Its range extends from the extreme dissociation of schizophrenia to the religious ecstasy of mystics and the magical flight of shamans.  At the lower end of the prototaxic scale, ego control is weak or absent, and there is a general amnesia concerning the experiences during the trance state.  Though the trance state produces some intriguing paranormal effects, it is the grossest form of contact with the divine powers of the subconscious.  Through a taxonomy of these manifestations we may establish the relative value of these altered states of consciousness.

    1.  Schizophrenia (dissociation from daily life) is the grossest.

Panic reactions including mob contagion; terrifying sense of peril; guilt or sense of personal responsibility; disturbed erotic involvement or socially unsanctioned sex life.

Positive disintegration which is the necessary preliminary deprogramming phase preceding enlightenment.  This mental illness is characteristic of shamans, psychologists and other cases of the "wounded-healer".

Hysteria including hyperarousal and psychosomatic conversion-reactions.

Unstressing is a behavior outlet for the psychic tension accruing from the confrontation with the powers of the Collective Unconscious.  Includes "talking in tongues", dancing, shaking, motor automatisms (spasms, gasps, twitches, jerking, weeping, laughter, headaches, etc.).

    2.  Trance is the temporary restructuring of reality orientation including paranormal effects such as ESP, etc.  Trance states include:

Sleep where images are profuse but the ego/will is absent.

Possession where the individual ego is usurped by a malevolent demon or spirit.

Mediumistic trance is a form of possession where a benign (or dead) spirit controls and dominates the individual ego.

Group Trance Dance such as those practiced by America Indians, Sufis, and Voodoo are also forms of possession, with paranormal manifestations.

Psychedelic drugs provide vivid imaginal "trips" which the ego has difficulty recalling and integrating meaningfully.

Sensory Deprivation produces hallucinations and disorientation.

Hypnosis and Autohypnosis produce four classic depths of trance.

Shamanistic Trance is a high form of prototaxic operation.  The sorcerer's mission is to influence the environment by magic.  He is not possessed by spirits, but controls them.  He retains his memory of magical flights or Out-of-Body Experience.  He receives and remembers instructions from dreams, and because of his own wounding and recovery has the ability to heal.

Magical Trance is the prototaxic form of Lunar magic.  It uses psychic powers for personal interests.  Its parataxic mode form is ritual; its syntaxic activity is visualization.

    3.  Paranormal Aspects of the Prototaxic Mode include:

ESP (telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, psychometry).
Anesthesia of pain and healing
Fire-walking and other mastery over fire
Psychokenesis and poltergeist phenomena
Out-of-Body (OOB) experience, (magical flight) astral projection
Automatic writing or "channeling"
Psychic Surgery

    4.  Higher Trance; theophanies or mystical experiences.

At this point, consciousness shifts modes of awareness to the Parataxic Mode known as ART.  There is general increase in conscious participation, memory, and a movement from awe and dread toward pleasure as tensions are released in a creative activity.  Frequently these include ritual (ceremonial magick) or the production of a socially recognizable work of art with collective value.  Further progress on the continuum leads to increased cognitive awareness.  Visualization ability is consciously cultivated, and a form of psychic "map" is adopted, such as the Qabalistic Tree of Life.  Increasing self-realization leads to the desire to meditate, seeking higher experiences of human fulfillment.  The Syntaxic mode means the ego cooperates with the inner processes enough to remain fully conscious and in an Ordinary State of Consciousness.  It voluntarily subordinates itself to the transpersonal energy of the divine.

    INSERT TABLE 6-2  Properties of Various Trance States Compared

1.  Philosophy

a.  Initiation:  Zelator

At this juncture, of the ceremony, with the Airy elements vibrating about him and through him, the Zelator is urged to be "prompt and active as the Sylphs, but avoid frivolity and caprice.  Be energetic and strong as the Salamanders but avoid irritability and ferocity.  Be flexible and attentive to images, like the Undines, but avoid idleness and changeability.  Be laborious and patient like the Gnomes, but avoid grossness and avarice.  So shalt thou gradually develop the powers of thy soul and fit thyself to command the spirits of the elements.

                                                           --Israel Regardie/The Golden Dawn

Initiation into the Sphere of Yesod is designed to produce the conscious realization that one's true Identity resides in the Higher Self, known in Magick as the Holy Guardian Angel.  The stage of magickal practice after Yesod is Path 25 (Trump XIV, ART) which is attempted Knowledge and Conversation with this entity which personifies one's True Will.

As a Zelator, the aspirant seeks a lifestyle which is conducive to achieving the conditions required by his project.  "Change is stability" and allows one to break free of outmoded habit patterns.  This change for the sake of the Great Work may never be undertaken at the emotional expense of those close to you.  No one ever made spiritual progress by walking over the backs of others.

The Zelator is expected to conduct experiments with techniques of physical clairvoyance, such as testing with ESP cards.  He is required to become proficient in Hatha Yoga, or some other comparable physical discipline which encourages inner stillness.  He learns the technique of pranayama, or control of breathing and other autonomic functions.  All of this stilling of the body is for meditation.  The Zelator learns how to control his myriad thoughts (Dharana) and strives toward concentration.

The Zelator embodies that aspirant who experiences a psychic state midway between enthusiasm and love.  He is energetic and dedicated, one might say fascinated with the sparkling imagery of his newly-found inner world.  He has a fanaticism which wears off once maturity on the Path is gained.  The meditation is, in fact, the counterpoint to the overenthusiastic hyperarousal which might result in "burn out" if left unchecked.  There is no advantage to "too much, too soon" and students of the Middle Path are cautioned to be moderate in all things, including meditation.  Marathon meditation days, at this point, would tend to produce psychic dissociation, rather than a gradual integration of an expanded worldview.

A Zelator rarely moves again after his initiation as the volumes of his Magickal Journal and Dream Diary are now too numerous.

b.  Ritual:  The Value of Dreamwork

The archetypes to be discovered and assimilated are precisely those which have inspired the basic images of ritual and mythology.  These eternal ones of the dream are not to be confused with the personality  modified symbolic figures that appear in nightmares or madness to the tormented individual.  Dream is the personalized myth.  Myth is the depersonalized dream.

                                                           --Joseph Campbell

No one who does not know himself can know others.  And in each of us there is another whom we do not know.  He speaks to us in dream and tells us how differently he sees us from the way we see ourselves.  When, therefore, we find ourselves in a different situation to which there is no solution, he can sometimes kindle a light that radically alters our attitude; the very attitude that led us into the difficult situation.

                                                          --C. G. Jung

As we spend a large proportion of our lives in a dream state, a fuller understanding of their implications may prove valuable.  Today, there are several prevailing theories concerning the significance and value of dreams.  No final statement about dream may be made.  There are several approaches to each perspective which is assumed a priori.  There are many alternatives to choose from.  One's choice of style in dreamwork will be determined by the mythemes currently embraced.  The characteristic attitudes associated with the archetypes will motivate and influence one's approach to the dreamworld.

Strephon Kaplan Williams (3) (Jungian-Senoi Institute) is one of the foremost proponents of Dreamwork.  He outlines a six-point program for continued use.

1. Dialogue with the dream characters, asking questions and recording answers.

2. Re-experience of the dream through imagination, art projects, and creativity.

3. Examination of unresolved aspects of the dream, and contemplation of solutions.

4. Actualization of insights in daily life, where relevant.

5. Meditation on the source of dreams and insight from the Self.

6. Synthesize the essence of dreamlife and its meaning in a journal and apply them in one's life journey.

To offer a variety of other approaches, we will cover theories on dreams and dreaming from Jung's original work, the analytical psychology school, para-psychology, and archetypal or imaginal psychology.  Knowledge of the antiquated Freudian system is so wide-spread that no further comment here seems necessary.

Jung was the first to depart from Freud's "sexuality-fraught" perception of dreams.  Where Freud saw one complex, Jung saw many.  He saw in dreams a gamut of archetypes overseen by the transcendent function, or Self.  Analytical psychology amplified and clarified his original material.  Most of this work is concerned with the fantasy of the process of individuation.  It reflects an ego with a heroic attitude, and proceeds by stages of development.  Consciousness, at this stage, is generally monotheistic.  It has a tendency to seek the center of meaning, as if there were only One.  Parapsychological work done with dreams also seems to reflect this attitude of searching, influencing, and controlling.

In Re-Visioning Psychology, James Hillman differs from the traditional analytical viewpoint by stating:

Dreams are important to the Soul--not for the message the ego takes from them, not for the recovered memories or the revelations; what does seem to matter to the soul is the nightly encounter with a plurality of shades in an underworld...the freeing of the soul from its identity with the ego and the waking state...What we learn from dreams is what psychic nature really is--the nature of psychic reality; not I, but we...not monotheistic consciousness looking down from its mountain, but polytheistic consciousness wandering all over the place.

In Jung's model, one major function of dreams is to provide the unconscious with a means of exercising its regulative activity.  Conscious attitudes tend to become one-sided.  Through their postulated compensatory effect, dreams present different data and varying points of view.  Individuation is the psyche's goal; it seeks to bring this about through an internal adjustment procedure.  There is an admonition in Magick to "balance each thought against its opposite."  Dreams, according to Jung, do this for us automatically.  However, there must be a conscious striving toward incorporation of the balancing attitudes presented through dreams (this applies equally to fantasies and visions).

Another apparent function for a dream state is to take old information, contained in long-term memory, incorporate it with those experiences, and integrate them with new experiences.  This creates new attitudes.  Since the dream conjoins current and past experiences to form new attitudes, the dream contains possible information about the future.  There is a causal relationship between our attitudes and the events which manifest from our many possible futures.

In studies at Maimonides Dream Labs, Stanley Krippner and Montague Ullman were trying to impress certain information on an individual's dream.  They found that an individual, being monitored for dream states, could incorporate a mandala, which was being concentrated on by another subject, into his dream.  This led to their famous theory on dream telepathy.

Dream symbols appear to allow repressed impulses to be expressed in disguised forms.  Dream symbols are essential message-carriers from the instinctive-archetypal continuum to the rational part of the human mind.  Their incorporation enriches consciousness, so that it learns to understand the forgotten language of the pre-conscious mind.

The dream language presents symbols from which you can gain value through dream monitoring.  You can use these dream symbols directly to facilitate communication with this other aspect of yourself.  Should you choose later to re-program yourself out of old habit patterns, you're going to want an accurate conception of what dream symbols really mean.

A symbol always stands for something that is unknown.  It contains more than it's obvious or immediate meaning.  The symbolic function bridges man's inner and outer world.  Symbolism represents a continuity of consciousness and preconscious mental activity, in which the preconscious extends beyond the boundaries of the individual.  These primitive processes of prelogical thinking continue throughout life and do not indicate a regressive mode of thought.  Dream symbols are independent of time, space, and causality.

The meaning of unconscious contents varies with the specific internal and external situation of the dreamer.  Some dreams originate in a personal or conscious context.  These dreams usually reflect personal conflicts, or fragmentary impressions left over from the day.  Some dreams, on the other hand, are rooted in the contents of the collective unconscious.  Their appearance is spontaneous and may be due to some conscious experience, which causes specific archetypes to constellate.

It is often difficult to distinguish personal contents from collective contents.  In dreams, archetypes often appear in contemporary dress, often as persons vitally connected with us.  In this case, both their personal aspect (or objective level), and their significance as projections or partial aspects of the psyche (subjective level) may be brought into consciousness.

A dream is never merely a repetition of preceding events, except in the case of past psychic trauma.  There is specific value in the symbols and context the psyche utilizes.  It may produce any; why is it sending just this dream and not another?  Dreams rich in pictorial detail usually relate to individual problems.  Universal contexts are revealed in simple, vivid images with scant detail.

No attempt to interpret a single dream, or even the sequence dreams fall in, is fruitful.  In fact, later research by Asklepia Foundation researchers asserts it is more important to journey using dreams as experiential springboards for therapeutic outcomes.  In interpreting a group of dreams, we seek to discover the 'center of meaning' which all the dreams express in varied form.  When this 'center' is discovered by consciousness and its lesson assimilated, the dreams begin to spring from a new center.  Recurring dreams generally indicate an unresolved conflict trying to break into consciousness.

There are three types of significance a dream may carry:

    1) It may stem from a definite impression of the immediate past.  As a reaction, it supplements or compliments the impressions of the day.

    2) Here there is balance between the conscious and unconsciousness components.  The dream contents are independent of the conscious situation, and are so different from it they present conflict.

    3) When this contrary position of the unconscious is stronger, we have spontaneous dreams with no relation to consciousness.  These dreams are archetypal in origin, and consequently are over-powering, strange and often oracular.  (These dreams are not necessarily most desirable to the student, as they may be extremely dangerous if the dreamer's ego is still too narrow to recognize and assimilate their meaning.)

We can never empirically determine the meaning of a dream.  We cannot accept a meaning merely because it fits in with what we expected.  Dreams can exert a reductive as well as prospective function.  In other words, if our conscious attitude is inflated, dreams may compensate negatively, and show us our human frailty and dependence.  They also may act positively by providing a 'guiding image' which corrects a self-devaluing attitude, re-establishing balance.  The unconscious, by anticipating future conscious achievements, provides a rough plan for progress.

Each life, says Jung, is guided by a private myth.  Each individual has a great store of DNA information.  It is generally mediated by the archetypes which are deployed by both myth and dream.  As you create this individual or private myth, it attracts, if you will, an archetypal pattern and molds itself in a characteristic way (or visa versa).  The archetype precipitates compulsive action.  It is the motivating factor which may become externalized in the physical world.  Jung notes: "The dreamer's unconscious is communicating with the dreamer alone.  And is selecting symbols which have meaning to the dreamer and no one else.  They also involve the collective unconscious whose expression may be social rather than personal."

We may discover hidden meaning in our dreams and fantasies through the following procedure:

    1) Determine the present situation of consciousness.  What significant events surround the dream?

    2) With the lowering of the threshold of consciousness, unconscious contents arise through dream, vision, and fantasy.

    3) After perceiving the contents, record them so they are not lost (the Hermetic seal).

    4) Investigate, clarify, and elaborate by amplification with personal meanings, and collective meaning, gleaned from similar motifs in myth and fairy tale.

    5) Integrate this meaning with your general psychic situation.  INstincts are the best guide; if you are obtaining "value" from your interpretation, it will "feel" correct.

Complexes and their attendant archetypes draw attention to themselves but are difficult to pinpoint.  We may use conscious amplification of the symbolism presented in dream form.  All the elements of the dream may be examined in a limited, controlled, and directed association process, which enlarges and expands the dream material through analogy.  The nucleus of meaning contained in the analogy is identical with that of the dream content.

When a dream is falsely interpreted, others follow to correct the error.  Preconscious contents are on the verge of being remembered.  Just as language skills facilitate new conceptualization, knowledge of the vocabulary of dream symbolism allows closer rapport with the preconscious.  Dreaming is one of the easiest methods of contact with the numinous element, or unknown.

 To illustrate how archetypes may affect perspective, we will now examine another of the methods for working with dreams and other images.  If Freud's view on dreams can be seen as Aphroditic/sexual, and Jung's as heroic/developmental (Yesod and Tiphareth, respectively in QBL), then Hillman's newer "Verbal Technique" might be seen as associated with Hades, Lord of the Underworld or deep subconscious, (DAATH in QBL).  This relationship to the image is seeking value, depth, and volume.

This method stresses keeping to the image as presented rather than analyzing symbols.  This method, while usable by anyone, is being applied by those who are thoroughly acquainted with symbols and their meaning in an attempt to recapture to unknown element.  The dream image expresses this if the symbols are not dissected from their "specific context, mood, and scene."  An image presents symbols with their particularity and peculiarness intact.  Dream presents a variety of images which are all intra-related.  Time and sequence are distorted in dream.  Hillman prefers to view dream images with all parts as co-relative and co-temporaneous.

This approach to the dream is a sort of metaphorical word-play.  The elements of the dream are chanted or interwoven.  Repeat the dream while playfully rearranging the sequence of events.  Remain alert to analogies which form themselves during this word play.  Ruminate on any puns which may occur.  As the play unfolds, deeper significance emerges as a resonance.  By allowing the dream to speak for itself, interpretations appear indirectly.

This is a method of communicating with the psyche which is in harmony with its inherent structure.  In alchemy, it is known as an iteratio of the prima materia.  Its value is evident, according to Hillman.  "We do not want to prejudice the phenomenal experience of their unknowness and our unconsciousness by knowing in advance that they are messages, dramas, compensations, prospective indications, transcendent function.  We want to get at the image without the defense of symbols." (1)

The archetypal content in an image unfolds during participation with it.

We have found that an archetypal quality emerges through a) precise portrayal of the image (including any confusion or vagueness presented with the image); b) sticking to the image while hearing it metaphorically; c) discovering the necessity within the image (the fact that all the symbols an images presented are required in this context); d) experiencing the unfathomable analogical richness of the image. (2)

In this context, 'archetypal' is seen as a function of making.  The adjective may be applied to any image (6) upon which the operations are performed.  This means that no single image is inherently more meaningful than another.  Value may be extracted from them all.  This coincides with the alchemical conception of the Opus as work.  Here the Opus is carried by the dreamwork technique.

Archetypal psychology contends that the value of dreams has little application to practical affairs.  In Re-Visioning Psychology , Hillman postulates that:

Dream's value and emotion is in relation with soul and how life is lived in relation with soul.  When we move the soul insights of the dream into life for problem-solving and people-relating, we rob the dream and impoverish the soul.  The more we get out of a dream for human affairs the more we prevent its psychological work, what it is doing and building night after night, interiorly, away from life in a nonhuman world.

The dream is already valuable without having any literalizations or personalistic interpretations tacked on to it.

Hillman ends his "Inquiry Into Image" by stating that the final meaning of a dream cannot be found, no matter how it seems to "click."

Analogizing is like my fantasy of Zen, where the dream is the teacher.  Each time you say what the image means, you get your face slapped.  The dream becomes a Koan when we approach it by means of analogy.  If you can literalize a meaning, "interpret" a dream, you are off the track, lost your Koan.  (For the dream is the thing, not what it means.)  Then you must be slapped to bring you back to the image.  A good dream analysis is one in which one gets more and more slaps, more and more analogies, the dream exposing your entire unconscious, the basic matters of your psychic life.

This type of analysis seems consistent with the origins of the word.  Originally, it had to do with "loosening."  This type of dream analysis loosens our soul from its identity with day-to-day life.  It reminds us that styles of consciousness other than that of the ego have validity.  The soul experiences these styles nightly.

No paper of dreams would be complete without some mention of nightmares.  Even though dream is an easy method of contacting the unconscious, it is not always pleasant.  Occult literature speaks of a figure called "the Dweller on the Threshold."  In Eastern philosophies there are the wrathful deities.  This figure corresponds with Trump XV, The Devil, in Tarot.  This seems consistent with Hillman's attribution of the dream as Hades' realm.

The healthy person learns easily to cooperate on his descents into the psyche.  The uninformed or neurotic personality is likely to encounter hindrances.  These hindrances often take the form of frightening, monstrous, overpowering forces.  Ego-consciousness is not able to comprehend them.  When the subconscious is highly activated these images may occur during waking hours and in sleep.  This dread and oppression form the basis for nightmares.  Pan and his attendant phenomena (such as panic) are archetypal representations of the nightmare.  Pan also corresponds with Trump XV.

In the heroic model, as consciousness develops, there is a marked difference in both the content of dream and the dreamer.  He gains increased ability to assimilate the charges of energy associated with the dream.  The more conscious the experience of the numinous, the less fraught with irrationality and fear the experience.  This holds true in waking and sleeping hours.

John Gowan, in Trance, Art, and Creativity , states, "It is this gentling, humanizing process exerted on the preconscious by creative function of the individual which is the only proper preparation for the psychedelic graces."  These graces include an immersion of the ego in the expanded context of the subconscious.  The ego is then able to return from its experience enriched by the contact.  Contents which might formerly have been considered nightmarish are more fully understood, and the monsters become transformed into butterflies. (7)

This attitude toward nightmare is not consistent with Hillman's approach.  He does not advocate changing or controlling the psyche.  This is, in fact, neither possible nor desirable.  He asserts that to enter dream is to enter the underworld, Hades' realm.  Psychic images are metaphorical.  All underworld figures are shades or shadow souls.  There is no reason for them to conform to the constraints of the ego's dayworld.

Soul is the background of dream-work.  Underworld is psyche.  This relates, therefore, to a metaphorical perception of death.  Dreams present us with that different reality, in which pathology and distortion are inherent aspects.  We needn't control them, but rather acknowledge their value and depth.

Assuming it is necessary or desirable to control any aspect of dream life, there is a further development of consciousness which enables one to consistently experience what is known as the "lucid dream" or "high dream."  In a lucid state, there is an overlapping of normal waking consciousness coupled with the dream state.  At this stage, one is able to progressively acquire and exercise will in dream states.

In the lucid dream, one "witnesses" the fact that one is dreaming, and may take an active role in the unfolding of the dream.  This optional ability is generally associated with the heart-center, or Tiphareth.  The heart-center has to do with developing consciousness of the imaginal realm.

Rather than control or meddle with dreams, it is more effective to exercise creative expression in waking hours.  Many persons pursuing their fantasy of individuation have an outlet through active imagination.  Active imagination is, in itself, an art form.  It is generally practiced through a discipline, such as psychology, alchemy, or Magick.  It may be dramatic, dialectic, visual, acoustic, or in some form of dancing, painting, drawing, modeling, etc.

People who give free rein to fantasy in some form of creative imagination often dream less.  All psycho-active drugs also tend to diminish dreaming.

In other words, there seems to be a variable ratio between creativity and dream.  Jung made the discovery that "this method often diminished to a considerable degree, the frequency and intensity of dreams, thus reducing the inexplicable pressure exerted by the unconscious."  There need be no conscious desire to control or interfere in the actual dream.  The ego learns to meet the subconscious on a middle ground, the vale of soul making.  The activities and intent of both are harmonized.  Staying close to the original image is fundamental.

As of this writing (2002), experiential dreamwork or Dream Healing offers an even better prospect for therapeutic interaction within dream imagery.  For a complete exposition of this school of dreamwork, rooted in Transactional Analysis and Gestalt, see the Asklepia Homepage, at

c.  Practical QBL:  The Body of Light, Part 1; THE ASTRAL BODY

The concept of subtle bodies created by the aspirant for experience on higher planes is very old, indeed.  Different vehicles are appropriate on different planes.  For the physical plane, the human body is ideal.  For the Astral Plane of images, a starry body or body of light is required which is a precise copy in the finer luminous "material" of that rarefied sphere.  This light body has the ability of separating itself from the flesh and blood body and has the ability to "fly into the sky" with none of the limitations of a mortal frame.

The astral body contains the fully functioning consciousness of the aspirant.  Its existence persists after physical death, and it is in this body that those who recall near death experiences of the "other side" were functioning.

Magickally, the astral body is built in the imagination through the process of pranayama, or control of the breath.  However, original concepts of a starry body may be traced to classical Greek philosophy so the idea is not necessarily oriental in origin.

Aleister Crowley gave precise instructions for "Getting into the Astral Body" in his classic work, Magick in Theory and Practice.

The proper method is as follows:  Develop the body of Light until it is just as real to you as your other body...Ultimately, the relation of that body with your own must be exceedingly intimate; but before this harmonizing takes place, you should begin by a careful differentiation.  The first thing to do, therefore, is to get the body outside your own.  To avoid muddling the two, you begin by imagining a shape resembling yourself standing in front of you.  Do not say:  "Oh, it's only imagination!"  The time to test that is later on, when you have secured a fairly clear mental image of such a body.  Try to imagine how your own body would look if you were standing in its place; try to transfer you consciousness to the Body of Light.  Your own body has its eyes shut.  Use the eyes of the Body of Light to describe the object in the room behind you...

As soon as you feel more or less at home in the fine body, let it rise in the air.  Keep on feeling the sense of rising; keep on looking about you as you rise until you see landscapes or beings of the astral plane.  Such have a quality all their own.  They are not like material things -- they are not like mental pictures -- they seem to lie between the two...

Now, however unsuccessful your getting out of the body may apparently have been, it is most necessary to use every effort to bring it properly back.  Make the Body of Light coincide in space with the physical body...then recover the unity of consciousness.  If you fail to do this properly you may find yourself in serious trouble.  Your Body of Light may wander away uncontrolled, and be attacked and obsessed.  You will become aware of this through the occurrence of headache, bad dreams, or even more serious signs such as hysteria, fainting fits, possibly madness or paralysis.  Even the worst of these attacks will probably wear off, but it may leave you permanently damaged to a greater or lesser extent.

It is interesting to note that all the potential symptoms of improper astral work reflect the conditions of the lowest level of the prototaxic mode.  So, the idea in astral working is to move upward in the planes toward an increase in conscious awareness.


1.  Berry, Patricia, "An Approach to the Dream", Spring 1974, Spring Publications.

2.  Berry, Patricia, "Defense and Telos in Dreams", Spring 1978, Spring Publications.

3.  Garvey, Patricia, Creative Dreaming

4.  Gowan, John, Trance, Art, and Creativity, Northridge 19.

5.  Hillman, James, Re-Visioning Psychology, Harper and Row, 1975.

6.  Hillman, James, Dream and the Underworld, Harper and Row, 1979.

7.  Hillman, James, "An Inquiry Into Image", Spring 1977, Spring Publications.

8.  Krippner, Stanley,

9.  Singer, June, Boundaries of the Soul, Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1973.

10.  Watkins, Mary, Waking Dreams, Harper and Row, 1976.

11.  Wilner, Harry A., "Epic Dreams and Heroic Ego", Spring 1977, Spring Publications.


1.  Israel Regardie, A Garden of Pomegranates, (Llewellyn Publications, St. Paul, Minn., 1970) p. 61.
2.  Adapted from John Gowan, Trance, Art, and Creativity (Privately published, Northridge, Calif., 1975), pp. 19-153.
3.  Strephon Kaplan Williams, Jungian-Senoi Dreamwork Manual, (Privately published, Berkeley, Calif. 1970).
5.  In Greek, the word for dream, oneiros, means image.
6.  Psyche, the soul, literally means butterfly in Greek.  Psyche, like dream, is image.

2.  Psychology

a.  Psychological Model:  Mythical Living


A Metaphorical Perception of Experience

by Philo Stone, c1977

Jung has suggested that each individual life is based on a particular myth, and that we ought each to discover what our own basic myth is, so that we may live it consciously and intelligently, cooperating with the trend of this life pattern, instead of being dragged along unwillingly.

These patterns can be seen recurring in the lives of certain people, who remain totally unconscious of what they are living.  But if the individual becomes conscious in relation to the archetypal trend that underlies his life--his fate--he  can begin to adapt himself to it consciously.  The outer fate is then transmuted into the inner experience, and the true individuality of the man or woman begins to emerge.  This is an important step in the quest for the Self.

                                                   --M. Esther Harding/The I and the Not-I

I.  Philosophy

Myth may be defined as a paradigmatic model.  In science, paradigms are thought-models which direct their holders to pose only certain questions and to utilize only certain methods in search of answers.  This precisely parallels the effect of a given archetype when it is activated; it molds our attitudes in a characteristic manner so that we catch certain things but ignore or omit what just doesn't fit.

The particular paradigmatic lenses we choose to form our conceptualization of reality function to shape the very reality we hope to capture and understand.  By emphasizing particular relationships, or elements, they largely determine the nature of the "reality" we experience.  This conceptualization of reality is known as one's worldview.  A person who embraces a particular paradigm can create a reality from his expectations, even without conscious intent to do so.

In our technological world, most paradigms stress a routine or mechanical side of life.  In order to acquire experiential freedom from cultural programming, one must have a model.  A model is required for realization.

Myths, then, serve a key function in the psychic economy.  Myths provide the most comprehensive metaphors, or models, for the realization of liberating alternatives.  The meaning in life is inherent in the archetypal experience of myth.  The aesthetic experience and its 'meaning' are identical.

In a religious society, myths tell the people who they are and where they come from.  To change the myth is to become lost in the most profound ontological (1) sense.  Modern man lives in a world of intellectual fragmentation.  He feels a need to dissect any and everything, especially himself, to find out the universal order of things and to seek his place in it.

Mythological explanations arise when an individual or race evolves the three primary questions:

        1) who am I?

        2) where do I come from?

        3) where am I going?

The meaning of existence lies in a relevant answer to these questions.  These answers formulate one's worldview.  With these questions, a universal seed within man begins to germinate.  Self-consciousness begins to unfold its awareness of totality.  The finite mind begins to bridge the gap to infinite awareness.

In seeking to find the beginning of creation, man must first cease thinking in terms of space and time.  In Reality there is neither.  It is an illusion that man is contained in space and time.  In fact, both are contained in man.  Both experiences, together, illustrates psychic experience.  The Creations, as a psychological reality, was/is/will occur in the realm of the sacred, not the profane world.  With our human limitations, sacred time is experienced as multiple recurrence.  It is thus a continuous, timeless-creation.  All parts of the process are inherent in its wholeness.  Likewise, wholeness is inherent in all parts.  This is the Alpha/Omega principle.

As this universal seed starts to grow in an individual, he is plunged from his preconscious, womb-like security into a dazzling world of intellectual confusion.  He experiences paradox.  There is dichotomy, a lot of contradiction.  So, man comes to duality of subject and object.  Conflicts are produced, which, used creatively, may lead to the individuation, the subjective and objective spheres merge into one.

II.  Orientation

A complete mythology provides helpful orientation in four ways:

    1) In its metaphysical-mystical function, it wakens and maintains in the individual an experience of awe, humility, and respect in recognition of the ultimate mystery which transcends words and form.

    2)  It provides a cosmology, or an image of the universe.  Science now serves this mythological function, admirably.

    3)  On the social level, myth supplies validation and maintenance of an established order.

    4)  Finally, on the psychological level, they provide models for the centering and harmonization of the individual.

Mythologies perform these functions through symbols.  The focal point provided by image and symbol holds the mind to truth.  The ultimate is, of course, unknowable.  Therefore, the images themselves are not "the truth."

For contemporary man, a journey into his unconscious provides the vital meanings and relatedness to the cosmic order that myths once gave us.  It is a return to the source which goes a step further than genealogy.  Meaning is inherent in conscious experience of archetypal processes.  A model for pursuing the quest provides a foundation to which one's experience may be related.

The modern search for meaning is a variant of the age-old quest, or journey of the hero.  This mythological motif is activated whenever cultural values and mores do not provide an adequate model for one's experience.  The social boundaries dissolve and a person is thrown back on his own resources.  Valuable connections and new forms must be re-established.  During this period, symbols acquire great personal value.  For many, this period is seen as an experience of rebirth or renewal.  This heroic stage does not go on indefinitely.  Questing fades into the background when one becomes familiarized with the imaginal realm.  Both processes, questing for and participating in the imaginal realm, require attention, effort, and creativity.

Evidence of man's great desire for this experience is found in the common use of drugs in the counterculture.  Rather than the gradual path of study, experience, and assimilation, drugs may provoke experiences which are "too much, to soon."  Joseph Campbell has likened the situation to one found in Greek mythology "in which a person says to a god, 'Show me yourself in your full power.'  And the god does and the person is blown to bits."  The personality suffers from an inability to relate, meaningfully, to society.  Drug experiences provide ample evidence of the world of the psyche, but in order for us to obtain value from the contact, consciousness must be able to come to understanding, digestion, and assimilation of the experience.

Liberating experiences require a context of strong ego-consciousness.  This does not mean "willful assertion."  It means that the ego has learned to discriminate between itself and the archetypal processes operating through and around it.  It means, also, that the ego has learned to defer to, and cooperate with them.

A frightened ego, in danger of drowning in deep waters, will quickly regress to the natural standpoint, otherwise unaffected by its contact with the numinous.  The boon, which the successful hero may bring back (which has both personal and collective significance), is not given to him.  He does not find the gods cooperative.  The lessons of the "trip" prove most troublesome and provide no benefit in daily life.  He is lucky if his worst problem is merely the desire to stay "high."  There is a generation of "world-weary" people, eager to transcend off into some mythical realm.  However, their methods are either haphazard, or ill-advised.

This type of unassimilable experience stimulates the complex of the puer aeternus, or eternal adolescent.  When it occurs in a woman, it is a puella complex.  This complex is epidemic in our society, today.  This was not the case a century ago, when our cultural model was more strictly defined.  The ideal lies somewhere between, in a reunion of the values of tradition and futurity.  This requires the ability to apply oneself to the task.  It requires self-motivation, diligent effort, and the grace of god.

When man enters the myth of transformation, he sets out to change the world.  Soon, he becomes aware that he must first change himself.  In this moment of transformation, myth is seen as an intuitive, ever-becoming processing.  Man is not really contained in the myth, and in time.  Both myth and time are contained within himself.  The gods and man are involved in a symbiotic relationship.  Each requires the other for realization.

When man seeks the motives behind the act of becoming, he transcends from concrete intellectual conception to metaphysical abstractions.  Eventually, he comes to an understanding that metaphysics is the science of the content of myth.  The so-called "occult" is mainly involved with developing man's latent subconscious powers, so he may develop greater access to the imaginal realm.  This opens up a world which, by definition, contains wider parameters for experience and growth.  It provides a comprehensive, cohesive method and model.  With it, man may live his individuality within the context of tradition.

There are aspects of creative mythology, and its form of metaphorical perception, which tie it in with a holographic concept of reality. (2)

Within metaphorical and mythic conception, a part does not merely stand in the place of or represent the union of several elements, but rather it is identical with the whole.  If the part is the whole, then whoever controls the part controls the whole.  In normal discourse, symbols represent their referents and are separable from what they represent; in metaphorical or mythic conception, the symbols are their referents; they cannot be separated.  The elegance of language lies in its capacity to separate symbol from experience so that symbols can be manipulated in a way that experiences cannot be.  While we cannot experience precisely the same thing ever again, we can attach similar symbols to represent two experiences as being roughly the same. (3)

The chaotic assortment of apparent and disguised mythological images have certain typical features.  We may reduce the infinitely variegated and complex forms to their simplest expressions as a means of recognizing them.  Jung's list of salient characteristics includes:

Chaotic multiplicity and order; duality; the opposition of light and dark, upper and lower, right and left; the union of opposites in a third (complexio oppositorum); the quaternity (square, cross); rotation (circle, sphere); and finally the centering process and a radial arrangement usually followed by some quaternity system.  The centering process is...the never-to-be-surpassed climax of the whole development, and is characterized as such by the fact that it brings with it the greatest possible therapeutic effect.

Experience of these archetypal processes offers the possibility of orienting oneself.  Several traditional mystical exercises stress the importance of the centering process.  Fundamental in these meditations is orienting oneself to the four cardinal directions.  The role of creative imagination is fundamental.  Virtually any experience available to man is integrated via a form of imagery.

Myth raises the individual to a superhuman or superhistorical plane.  It enables him to approach Reality that is inaccessible at the level of profane experience.  If the mind makes use of images to grasp the ultimate Reality of things, it is just because Reality manifests itself in contradictory ways and therefore cannot be expressed in concepts.

James Hillman, Director of Studies in Imaginal Psychology at the University of Texas, states that "We can describe the psyche as a polycentric realm of nonverbal, nonspatial images.  Myth offers the same kind of world.  It too, is polycentric, with innumerable personifications in imaginal space.  Just as dream images are not mere words in the ancient personifications of myths are not concepts in disguise."  He states further that these "soul events are not parts of any system.  They are independent of the tandems in which they are placed, inasmuch as there is an independent primacy of the imaginal that creates its fantasies automatically, ceaselessly, and spontaneously.  Myth-making is not compensatory to anything else."

The more paradigmatic models one has access to, the more freedom of creation one experiences.  "It is egoistic to recognize oneself in only one portion of a tale, case in only one role." (4)  Polytheistic consciousness allows us to experience the gamut of archetypal perspectives.  This leads the individual to broader consciousness and greater tolerance of other individual's perspectives.

Myth is the comprehensive metaphor, "answering our requirements for intellectual puzzlement and explanation through enigma by providing as-if fictions in depth, complexity, and exquisite differentiation."  "Myth," says Hermann Broch, "is the archetype of every phenomenal cognition, of which the human mind is capable.  Archetype of all human cognition, archetype of science, archetype of art--myth is consequently that archetype of philosophy, too."  We might deduce from this that myth functions as a sort of metapsychology.

Mythic metaphors elude literalism; they dramatically present themselves as impossible truths.  They have the ability to transform concrete particulars into universals, and to present abstract universals as concrete actions.  They are ways not only of speaking, perceiving, and feeling, but of existing.  We may experience mythical consciousness by finding Gods in our concrete lives.  They are found by entering myths, since that is where they are.  We may participate with them by recognizing our concrete existence as metaphors, or mythic enactments.

However, Hillman is very deliberate in stating that:  "myths resist being interpreted into practical life.  They are not allegories of applied psychology, solutions to personal problems.  This is the old moralistic fallacy, now become the therapeutic fallacy, telling us which step to take and what to do next, where the hero went wrong and had to pay the consequences, as if this practical guidance were what was meant by 'living one's myth'."

"Living one's myth doesn't simply mean living one myth.  It means that one lives myth; it means mythical try to use a myth practically keeps us still in the pattern of the heroic ego, learning how to do his deeds correctly.  Myths do not tell us how.  They simply give the invisible background which starts us imagining, questioning, going deeper."  Myths do not carry one to a central meaning, or the center of meaning.  "To enter myth we must personify, to personify carries us into myth."

III.  Exercise

Personification is a mode of viewing archetypal processes in their traditional forms as gods and goddesses.  This method allows us to love the gods, giving them attention and worship.  Their names aid us in discriminating them one from another.  They give us the ability to call upon them.

This process of devotion takes place in the imaginal realm of the heart.  In QBL, this is Tiphareth, the heart-center.  In Eastern systems, it is known as anahata chakra.  It is the realm of soul-making.  Personification is a spontaneous process, springing from the heart, where imagination reigns.  This process of active imagination allows us to "see through" the literalisms of mundane existence and to participate in relationships with the divine.

A primary purpose of Middle Pillar Exercise is to orient oneself with the Universe (5).  It promises equilibration and renewal.  In Middle Pillar Exercise, the gods are brought into consciousness by intoning their names.  This creates a resonance effect which stimulates glands.  These names are related, via correspondence, to various centers in the body.  Repeated practice of Middle Pillar Exercise is fundamental for any Magickal development.  It heals the culturally-preprogrammed split between mind, soul and body.

The Banishing Ritual and Middle Pillar Exercise are particularly effective because they are a dramatization of the Creation Myth.  In his book, The Sacred and the Profane, Mircea Eliade states,

The creation of the world becomes the archetype of every human gesture, whatever its plane of reference may be.  Every construction or fabrication has the cosmogony as paradigmatic model.

Techniques of orientation (aligning oneself to the directions), are designed for the construction of sacred space.  The more closely a ritual reproduces the work of the gods in creation, the more effective it is in producing the desired psychological results.  Knowing the value of a ritual satisfies both the rational and aesthetic mind.

The model for the creation of sacred space begins from a center and projects horizons in the four cardinal directions.  This model has been followed throughout history when settling new territory or in the founding of cities.  We always reside at the center of "our world."

This quadrated circle sets up the conditions necessary for us to enter into sacred time.  The Banishing Ritual "cleanses" the portion of space within the perimeter of the circle.  This eliminates unwanted thoughts which could cause distraction.  One then has enhanced ability to focus and concentrate.  The circle is cleared of all 'entities,' good or evil.  Then one may call in specific gods, at will.  We may contact the gods through the medium of the sacred pole or cosmic pillar.

Sacred time appears under the paradoxical aspect of circular time, reversible and recoverable, a sort of mythical eternal present that is periodically reintegrated by means of rites.

When we enter this space, we experience the feeling of immortality, since we are in a time which is equivalent to the "beginning."  The principle characteristics of sacred space are:

    a) A break in the homogeneity of space;

     b) This break is symbolized by an opening where passage from one cosmic region to another is facilitated (i.e. between heaven and earth; earth and the underworld);

    c) Communication with heaven is expressed by variants of the Cosmic Pillar, which stands at the Center of the World.

This Pillar is a useful symbol for what is termed in psychology the Ego-Self Axis.  The axis is built up through various psychological exercises, involving active imagination.  It forms the link between ego-consciousness and the Self.  This represents both the conscious and subconscious mind working together in harmony.  It is known in Magick as Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel.

The Banishing and Middle Pillar exercises conform precisely to the creation myth.  Since a myth is a paradigmatic model, one can see it is a very effective exercise.  It establishes one's relationship to the cosmos, or totality.  Eliade has said:

What men do on their own initiative, without a mythical model, belongs to the sphere of the profane; hence, it is a vain and illusory activity, in the last analysis, unreal.  The more religious a man is, the more paradigmatic models he possesses to guide his attitudes and actions.

The importance of persistent practice of Middle Pillar technique, throughout the Magickal career, is not to be underestimated.  Israel Regardie is quite firm on this point.

To my mind, the exercise described as the Middle Pillar is the groundwork of all actual developmental work.  It is a process which is the basis of Magic.  That this has been but seldom realized is obviously at the root of the futile attempts to do Ceremonial and perform Ritual, of which the general public hears every now and again.  Even students of Magic of many years standing have been guilty of negligence in this respect, and also in failing to recommend it to their successors. (6)

Timelessness will appear as a multiple recurrence (chronicity).  The archetypal order will make these appearances regular, both in time (wave frequency) and magnitude (wave amplitude).  The ego has the option of actively participating in the process through the medium of active imagination.  This develops insight.

To restore our earth to a ground in creative imagination we must re-imagine the creation. (7)

b.  Archetypal Encounter:  Lunar (or Feminine) Consciousness

What constitutes awareness?  The day-world of ego-consciousness has been called Solar conscious and considered masculine in nature.  Nevertheless, even without this rational mode of solar-consciousness, we experience the primordial, diffuse awareness of Lunar (or Feminine) consciousness.  This is our basic psychic reality, from which the ego-consciousness later emerges.

Psyche (Greek) or Anima (Latin) means soul.  So anima-consciousness or soul-consciousness indicated an awareness that perceives fantasy creating reality.  Anima-consciousness comes through images.  It brings awareness that fantasies are everywhere.  They are not separate from reality, but fundamental to our notions about reality.  Jung says, "image is psyche."

Anima (or soul personified) combines the innocent virginity of the soul's unsullied pristine state with the sophisticated worldliness of the fertile Great Mother (White Goddess).  She is the embodiment of the Woman's Mysteries.

Anima, as the archetype of psychic consciousness makes us aware of our areas of unconsciousness.  Soul, in its relationship with spirit constantly invades the day-world consciousness with images, fears, moods, and mystery.  It is elusive, paradoxical, and ambiguous.  This mode of perception is conscious of its unconsciousness and can recognize the potential latent in the unknown aspect.  It could be characterized as "illumined lunacy."

Anima-consciousness is that mode which is appropriate to experience in the astral plane and astral body.  The realm of imagination is psychic reality.  Anima-consciousness is a multi-centered polytheistic perspective (thus a pagan orientation is appropriate to Lunar Magic).  Its concern is being-in-soul not becoming.  It is perceived as a coincidence of processes.  All phases of the eternal cycles are present at once, enfolded in any part of the whole.  It is experienced as a series of superimposed images.  It is reflective and concerned with inter-relationship rather than analysis.  It is diffused, not focused awareness.  Anima mediates the unknown, or unconsciousness.  It forms a bride to the day-world consciousness.

The Anima serves as a mediatrix for consciousness.  She mediates between the personal and collective, balancing the actualities of daily life with the realities of the beyond.  She bridges the individual conscious horizon and the primordial realm of the imagination.  The feeling developed through this soul-making process is more impersonal than personal.

As the Great Goddess, Anima or Psyche represents the archetypal containing vessel.  In current psychological thought, consciousness itself is seen as more appropriately based upon anima than upon ego.  The ego and its developmental fantasies never were the foundation for consciousness.  Consciousness refers to a process having more to do with images than will.  It is reflection rather than control, with a reflective insight.  Therefore, consciousness arising from soul derives from images and can be called imaginal.  It looks to myth as it manifests in dreams, fantasies, and life patterns.

"Becoming conscious" now takes on new meaning.  It means becoming aware of one's fantasies and recognition of them everywhere.  They are not merely in a a 'fantasy world' separate from 'reality'.  The aspirant can analyze by means of fantasies and then translate reality back into fantasy images.

Personifying is an effect of the anima archetype.  Libido (psychic energy or prana, life force) can only be apprehended in a definite form.  It is identical with the fantasy images.  The Holy Guardian Angel's individuation into a distinct personality is precisely what soul-making is about.  If you personify the Soul in the form of the Great Goddess, Anima, or Psyche she will act as a soul-guide on the inner planes.  Anima consciousness now means seeing, listening, attending all shift from the gross attachments of the material plane to the shining and transparent resonance of subtle astral forms.  This meeting of soul with Soul is what the astral plane is all about.

'Psychology' is composed of psyche and logos.  It is an interaction between anima and psychological intellect.  The logos, or spirit principle, gives speech to psyche.  Psychology is the speech of the soul, which combines both lunar and solar components.  It would seem that the airy quality of Yesod and the building of an "astral body" are not irrelevant in psychology.

The secret and key of psychological work requires the airy imagination of soul, that is, the capacity of imagining events "outside" of the natural bodily perspective of empirical and material literalism but in regard to a subtle or fantasy body of psychic reality.  Being-in-soul requires being in a body too, but this body is built of soul stuff; it is a "breath body."  Fantasy images are this stuff, this "subtle body."  The key to the entire psychological body-building via imagination. (8)

This body building is a creative act of fantasy.  Within it, the many do not become one but become psychic material.  An example of this process is memory (also an attribute of Yesod).  Anima and matter unite when psychic experiences (9) are encoded in the brain cells of the physical body.

Lunar consciousness runs the cyclic gamut from the bright diffuse light of full moon through the half-darkness, to the blackened nature of the dark of the moon.  Its nocturnal quality and lower luminosity don't make it any less powerful than the solar influence.



(1) The Great MOTHER or Virgin Goddess

Whether she is known as the White Goddess, Great Mother, or Virgin Isis the Great Goddess is the symbol of the archetypal Feminine.  Her image is inexorably linked to the Moon and the death-rebirth cycle.  The worship of the Great Goddess was common in the matriarchal agricultural groups of the Mediterranean and Near East.  All the later goddesses of the Greek pantheon are contained in this universal symbol of the Earth Mother.

The Goddess is associated with the vegetarian cycle and the processes of agricultural life.  She rules the domestic area of life as well as nature.  Her primary characteristic is fertility.  This fertility extends to the fecundity of imagination.  This feminine goddess is single in essence, but displays many forms.

To the Egyptians, this Great Goddess was known as Isis and her worship continued into the period of rulership by Imperial Rome.  At this point the religion became a mystery cult.  This cult is described in detail in The Golden Ass of Apuleius, which includes the tale Eros and Psyche which describes the psychological development of feminine consciousness.  The initiation procedures of this mystery cult involved a voluntary ritual death and revival.  The Isis Mysteries were the same as the Eleusian Mysteries in honor of Demeter/Persephone.  They celebrate the immortality of the mother/daughter relationship.

Isis embodies all contrasts.  Like the moon, she is light and dark, life and death, beginning and end.  This Great Mother is the matrix of all manifestation perceivable by man.  The whole life of man is governed by the goddess, Mother of all-that-exists.  Isis worship even persists in the modern Christian world through the cult of the Virgin Mary.

Even though matriarchal consciousness characterizes the spiritual nature of woman, it also exists in men who allow their anima consciousness to manifest.  As she is the source of creative inspiration, the hunches of instinct and intuition, and the raw life energy itself, it is an advantage for men to establish a harmony with the moon power.  She counsels meditation, contemplation, waiting and watching, dreaming, and remembering.

Matriarchal consciousness focuses around growth and transformation.  In this mode understanding has the meaning of a "conception" and the metaphors of pregnancy and birth are common.  The knowledge revealed by the goddess is not one of imparted truths but the personal experience of transformation.  She encourages participation.  When rational over-achieving ego-consciousness has run its course, quite, reflective lunar consciousness emerges to cool the fires of the spirit.  The feminine image holds the keys to experience of the inner planes for both men and women.  This is shown in Qabalah by the fact that the two highest paths of the Middle Pillar correspond with the Moon.  She rules the transformative mysteries of initiation.

As initiatrix, the Goddess progressively educates the emotions of the aspirant.  Magickal training of the image-making faculty is the beginning of a new way of using the mind.  One may become self-initiated into the Moon mysteries through careful attention to the stirring of subconscious memories.  There is much to learn through psychology concerning the lunar aspects of the soul.  However, the magickal working of Yesod brings a personal relationship to the Goddess which manifests far more than one could ever understand through psychology.  The imaginal construction of the personified form of the soul enables a linking between your consciousness and the subtle matter of the Great MOTHER's Soul.

The dual nature of the Goddess is shown bu her two characters.  Her elementary nature has both a positive (good) and negative (bad)!  She is pictured either as all-embracing protectress, or alternately as the devouring Terrible Mother.  Her transformative nature also carries good and bad imagery.  She not only governs cyclic rebirth and inspiration, but also the mysteries of intoxification, madness, and death.  The negative characteristics are symbolized by the Dark Moon, and the positive are symbolized by the bright Full Moon.

The Great Goddess appears in tandem with her Son-Lover.  His death and rebirth are symbolic of the cycle of the seed in the ground and the masculine counterpart of divinity.  She is soul.  He is Spirit.

The stages of the Feminine Mysteries remain valid psychological milestones in personal experience even in modern life.  The worship of the Great Goddess involved a period of contemplation in her temple, religious prostitution with a man who represented "masculine divinity" in an impersonal ceremony designed so the woman experienced a surrender to her instincts.  This sexual union was considered a sacred marriage, but it was a wedding which resulted in the "death" of her former condition.  But, miraculously, she is transformed into the pregnant Moon Mother, filled with the divine Spirit.  This magickal child grows slowly in an organic process which had its initiation at the conception of the child.  It is a process which takes place in the dark subconscious, far from the eyes of men.

With the birth of the virgin-born child, the symbolism switches from that of sexuality to that of maternal solicitude.  This birth is the woman's spiritual rebirth of her hidden potentialities.  Because of her dual nature, she does not remain exclusively compassionate, but turns fierce and intolerant when it comes time to sacrifice this child.  What is sacrificed is her incestuous identification with him.  Any man must touch upon the depths of his own emotional intensity, not continue to require this from his mortal mother.  Each facing this emotional intensity is the second stage of initiation to the Goddess, the impersonal aspect of the Feminine.

The period of the Virgin's Pregnancy corresponds with Yesod.  In this period she is One-In-Herself.  As Virgin, she is represented by the crescent moon.  She is a divine power in her own right.  With the incorporation into her body of the masculine solar-seed, she embarks on Path 25, Art, which represents the harmonization of lunar and solar components of the psyche.  This results in the birth of the magickal child, his divinity revealed, his demise immanent.  Child, King, and Sacrificed God are all symbols of Tiphareth, Sphere of the Resplendent Sun.

Moving past Tiphareth on Path 13, The High Priestess, we are again the realm of the Virgin Goddess, but this time she confers the gifts of potential revealed as the Full Moon, knowledge of the unconscious as past and future.  Entry into this timeless realm is the experience of immortality, the supreme inspiration of the medial Feminine.  Here the priestess of the Moon appears as sibyl, or wise old woman.  Moving further through the cycle of woman's ages, the waning crescent moon represents the old crone, full of arcane lore, elusive and sinister.

Thus woman's cycle moves through organic biological changes from untouched virgin, to initiated sexually-active Virgin, to Mother, to wise old woman.  This trinity was known in ancient Greece Goddess (Virgin, Mother, Hag).  This divine being is the symbol of the Feminine Self, core of all being.

(2).  The Syzygy:  Anima and Animus

In the creation myths of many cultures, Primordial Wholeness divides into polarized aspects.  The Syzygy indicates this archetypal coupling where one aspect is never separated from the other.  In the "impersonal" aspect of lunar experience, the Great Goddess is never separated from her masculine Son-Lover.  One implies the other for wholeness.  They exemplify the soul-spirit relationship.

On the "personal" level of lunar experience we find the tandem of anima/animus.  They are the contrasexual component each human carries within.  These soul figures embody our latent capacities for expression and realization of the traits normally reserved for the opposite sex.  Thus, the animus leads a woman to the outer world and promotes her ability in focused, rational thinking; the anima guides a man through the inner worlds of relationship.  This is the level of psychological "complex" where there is a blending of archetypal realities and individual experience.

Thus, the imagery of anima/us is based in archetypal symbolism and in childhood memories of "significant others" of the opposite sex.  This includes parental attitudes and behavior, grandparent's influence, sibling, first love, and cultural expectations and norms.  Anima/us determines our conceptualization of the ideal mate, and is responsible for such phenomena as "love at first sight," and "star-crossed lovers."  It takes the elements of fate and destiny and combines them in a personal formula.

Anima/us represents the balancing of masculine and feminine traits in the individual.  This balancing is a form of coniunctio, or sacred marriage, a union which produces the magickal child which is the higher Self.

The animus is the masculine personification of the soul.  He carries both a transcendent spiritual aspect and a personal aspect.  He is shown in the magickal symbolism of Yesod:  a beautiful, naked, muscular man.  On the archetypal level anima/us is equivalent to the Taoist Yin-Yang concept, a system which embraces a non-combative play of opposites, a circulation of soul.

Anima/us are potential guides to the depths of the unconscious, forming a bridge to daily life.  They are factors which transcend consciousness, so in a relationship which seems to have everything going for it, there can be friction (or "animosity") produced by unconscious for ces operating below the surface.  Most of these troubles stem from projecting the anima/us image onto our loved ones and maneuvering them into fulfilling our expectations.  Internal conflicts come from the split nature of anima/us we experience in modern life.  This revolves mainly around the gulf between the Spiritual and Sensual aspects of the inner figure.  A man experiences the split between holy Mother Mary and the erotic goddess of his dreams.

For example, the spiritual animus might be projected onto the figure of a wise old man, a ghostly lover to whom a woman goes in fantasy, or an idealized brother/sister relationship devoid of sexual options.  The sensual animus might be imaged by darker gods of impersonal sexuality, phallic or obscene.  In any event, the animus represents the woman's need for creative expression.  The more fully she can manifest this trait, the better her inner relationship to the animus becomes.  He provides her with inner light, not inspiration which is a function of her anima nature, core of her Self.

Anima/us excite those feelings of longing, awe, fear of the unknown, and incomprehensibility.  The transpersonal power of love can appear as a possession by another, against which rational thought has no protection.  Yesod is the experience of this emotional-sexual level and its projections, coupled with the exercise of discrimination between archetypal and personal.

(3).  ARTEMIS - Goddess of the Moon; Ephesus

   Queen and Huntress, chaste and fair,
   Now the sun is laid to sleep,
   Seated in thy silver chair
   State in wonted manner keep:
   Hesperus entreats thy light,
   Goddess excellently bright.

   Earth, let not thy envious shade
   Dare itself to interpose;
   Cynthia's shining orb was made
   Heaven to clear when day did close:
   Bless us then with wished sight,
   Goddess excellently bright.

   Lay thy bow of pearl apart,
   And thy crystal-shining quiver;
   Give unto the flying hart
   Space to breathe, how short soever:
   Thou that mak'st a day of night,
   Goddess excellently bright.

Jonson's Hymn to Cynthia (Diana) from Cynthia's Revels

Artemis is a form of the Great Mother, and has archaic characteristics.  She was worshipped throughout the Mediterranean.  Her name is Oriental in origin (Artimis).

In Crete she was worshipped as Britomartis.  Her other important cult sites included Arcadia and Ephesus.  The Greek cult in Arcadia considered her a Kore, like Persephone, and she was even called a daughter of Demeter.  Her major cult site was in Asia Minor at Ephesus where she was worshipped as the fecund, many-breasted goddess.  In this area, she was associated with the date palm.  This symbolism is retained today in certain Tarot decks, where the High Priestess card, which corresponds with Artemis contains this tree.  Even the advent of Christianity could not snuff out the old pagan cult.  The cult of the Virgin Mary began in Ephesus and adapted much of the symbolism of the antique Artemis.  Later, in Rome, she was known as Diana or Cynthia.

Paradoxically, Artemis ruled over wild animals, childbirth and the young.  She protected the young, including humans because she had originally been their mother.  However, the chief attribute of Artemis is that she is Virgin and Mother, simultaneously.

This attribute was especially prominent in Asia where the Olympian religion impressed on Greece through the Homeric Hymns was less effective in suppressing the ancient form of worship.  Wherever she was worshipped, under any name, she is the All-Mother.  In the earliest Greek religion, Artemis was an earth-goddess.

She may even have been parthenos, the Greek word which is usually translated "virgin".  This could happen in more than one way.  In the first place, there is some evidence that the word did not always nor of necessity have that meaning.  It might mean no more than unmarried, not tied by any bonds to a male who must be acknowledged as master.  There were priestesses as well as deities in pre-Greek and Oriental cults who lived like that, but without preserving their virginity.  Indeed, to sacrifice her virginity might be part of a priestess's service, but she did not sacrifice her freedom to a male nor become his property, as marriage in early times would imply . . . It was quite commonly believed that virginity could be renewed periodically by a process of lustration . . . Later, as the more Hellenic notion of strict virginity prevailed, the attendant remained, but like Hippolytus, was vowed to chastity as was the goddess herself . . .At Ephesus her cult was carried on right through classical times in the old way. (10)

The Greeks adapted her paradoxical nature of dignity and abandon, uniting her character with their virgin huntress, who was also a goddess of nature and wild beasts.  They could not ignore nor abolish the worship of the Great Mother with its matrilineal customs.  Her cult was by far too powerful and deeply rooted in the Mediteranean psyche.  If her agricultural rites, sexual emblems, and fertility aspects shocked them, they nevertheless felt it necessary to amalgamate this goddess into their pantheon.  Whether chaste, or a goddess of fertility, Artemis is always Virgin, or one-in-herself.

Obeisance to Artemis continues within the Catholic church under the auspices of the Virgin Mary.  The feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary on the fifteenth of August is derived from the great festival to Hecate the moon goddess of Greece, and that of Diana, her descendant in Rome.  Even the prayers for the preservation of the harvest from destruction by early rains are continued.

Another major characteristic of Artemis is the cyclic lunar rhythm.  Rhythms such as chanting, dancing, or drum beats facilitates passage from one plane to the next.  It creates an altered state of consciousness.  Dances in honor of Artemis were orgiastic in character.  Eliade cites the proverb:  "Where has not Artemis danced?" as meaning that her cult was so wide spread there were honorary dances for her everywhere.

Her connections with survivability are shown in her function as midwife.  It is even legendary that Artemis was delivered from Leto first, and then helped her mother in the delivery of her twin, Apollo.  Artemis is "the force that sustains our attraction to the primitive and the unknown.  She can teach us how to make contact with the unconscious and survive.  Artemis is energy:  death-bringing energy, psychic energy, abundant energy, excess energy." (11)  Artemis is adventurous and represents the tendency for striking out on one's own.  Sometimes this occurs in mid-life, when one seeks retreat from the city, home, and family in solitude.  Artemis represents the continual renewal of "daughter-mother-grandmother."

As Artemis-Hekate, she oversees magic.  Artemis-Hekate and Apollo share a capacity for coming powerfully from afar.  When invoked, they appear in their characteristic manner for their epiphany.

An example of lunar magickal procedure is given in Aleister Crowley's excellent occult novel, Moonchild.  The magician Cyril has found a willing assistant in his efforts from a woman named Lisa.  Her horoscope contains a powerful lunar influence, as his is mostly solar.  A sister of the magickal order aids them both.  She is a priestess of Artemis for some twenty years, and for ten of those has spoken to no man.

Lisa takes her oath of dedication, and is admonished to be strong in her will and abolish unsuitable thoughts which would disturb the gestation of the moonchild.  Her virginity is then renewed through a rite of lustration and the rituals begin.

He had set up a small triangular altar of silver; and it was upon this that Sister C. and her disciples came thrice nightly to make their incantations.  The ritual of the moon might never be celebrated during daylight . . .Upon the evening of Monday, after the adoration of the setting sun, Lisa was led to the garden.

There the hand-maidens unclothed her, and washed her from head to foot in the waters of the sacred spring.  Then she put upon her a solemn oath that she would follow out the rules of the ritual, not speaking to any man except her chosen, not leaving the protection of the circle, not communicating with the outer and uninitiated world; but, on the other hand, devoting herself wholly to the invocation of the Moon.

Then she clothed her in a specially prepared and consecrated garment; it was a loose vestment of pale blue covered with silver tissue; and the secret sigils of the moon were woven cunningly upon its hem.  It was frail but of great volume; and the effect was that the wearer seemed to be wrapped in a mist of moonlight.

What was the incantation like?  We may well imagine it was one of fervor and madness of things chaste, remote, and inscrutable.  "With the speed of a huntress the shape neared her, hid the moon from her, and she perceived the buskined Artemis, silver-sandaled, with her bright bow and quiver of light.  Leaping behind her...

Artemis was worshipped as Luna in Heaven, and invoked in Tartarus as Hecate.  She avoided the society of men, and retired to the woods accompanied by her nymphs.  She was armed with her bow of light and carried a torch kindled by the lightening of Zeus, so she could pursue the swift stag.  The high mountains were said to tremble at the twang of her bow, and the forests resounded with the panting of the wounded deer.  After the chase, Artemis would hasten to Delphi, residence of her brother Apollo, where she would hang her bow and quiver upon his altar, and begin to dance.

What does Artemis mean to a modern woman, and what are her psychological values which persist throughout time?

The chief characteristic of the goddess in her crescent phase is that she is virgin.  Her instinct is not used to capture or possess the man whom she attracts.  She does not reserve herself for the chosen man who must repay her by his devotion, nor is her instinct used to gain for herself the security of husband, home, and family. . .She is essentially one-in-herself.

In the image of the Mother Goddess--ancient and powerful--women of olden times found the reflection of their own deepest feminine nature...Today, the goddess is no longer worshipped...But the law or power of which she was but the personification is unabated in its strength and life-giving potency.  It is we who have changed.  We have given our allegiance too exclusively to masculine forces.  Today, however, through a religious cult, not even with a conscious knowledge of what they are doing, but through a change in psychological attitude.  For that principle, which in ancient and more naive days was projected into the form of a goddess, is no longer seen in the guise of a religious tenet but is now sensed as a psychological force arising from the unconscious, having, as had the Magna Dea of old, power to mold the destinies of mankind. (12)

(4).  THE ELEUSINIAN MYSTERIES (Demeter/Persephone, Isis, and Psyche)

The establishment of the Eleusinian Mysteries is related in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter.  After the abduction of her daughter Persephone, the mourning Demeter traveled to Eleusis (near Athens), and took refuge by the Well of the Maidens.

She demanded that the local inhabitants build her a sanctuary there.  After she was reunited with her daughter, she revealed her rites, and began teaching her Mysteries, including the cultivation of wheat.

The early history of the cult reports two types of initiations.  One was concerned with the reunion of the goddesses; the other concerned the possibility of man's immortalization.

The Great Goddess has always been considered able to grant immortality to humans, but early initiates to the Eleusinian Mysteries were not granted immortality, but experienced revelations which assured the soul a blissful existence after death.

Eliade recounts how the symbolic death of Persephone had great consequences for mankind:  "As the result of it, an Olympian and benevolent goddess temporarily inhabited the kingdom of the dead.  She had annulled the unbridgeable distance between Hades and Olympus.  Mediatrix between the two divine worlds, she could thereafter intervene in the destiny of mortals." (13)

Archaeologists established the colonization of Eleusis occurred in the fifteenth century.  The Mysteries were celebrated for nearly 2,000 years.  Because of social and cultural changes during this period, the Mysteries altered over time.

The Lesser Mysteries were celebrated in the spring, and formed a preliminary probation period for the Greater Mysteries conducted in the Autumn (Sept.-Oct.).  Initiation was open to both men and women, providing they spoke Greek, had killed no fellow man, and had passed through the Lesser  Mysteries.

The rites involved processions, sacrifices, dances, and songs.  There were also secret rites in the Greater Mysteries, which remain shrouded in darkness to this day.  The revelations must have been profound, for no initiate ever revealed them.  A third stage of initiation was open to those who had been initiates for a year.  It culminated in a supreme vision, the nature of which we may only guess.  Attempts at reconstructing the rites have been made, but only fragments are available.  Included were ritual fasting and imbibing of the sacred drink, or kykeon.  What is known is that, after a sacramental meal (which could represent a sacred marriage like communion), the final vision took place in a dazzling light, and included an invocation of Kore.

The Eleusinian Mysteries opened a new religious dimension for the Mediterranean world.  Through them, the initiate perceived a continuity between life and death.  It opened speculations concerning the underworld which were suppressed by the predominant Olympian religion.

Demeter/Persephone became the most popular of Greek goddesses during this period, and initiation into her cult, guaranteed a sort of "adoption" by her.  A major characteristic of the cult which became paradigmatic for most other Mystery cults was the strict emphasis on silence and secrecy.  Thereafter, it became stylish for Masters to reveal their secrets only to their initiates.

The Egyptian Mysteries of Isis and Osiris:

In the 3rd Century B.C. Ptolemy Soter sought to consolidate his rule through the acceptance of a supreme divinity by both Egyptians and Greeks.  He exalted Sarapis (a derivative of Osiris) and Isis.  Herodotus assimilated these gods into the Greek Mysteries, where Isis was identified with the Great Mother, Demeter, and Osiris was the initiated individual who attained "salvation."  For the Greeks, Osiris was also identified with Dionysus, who was also killed, dismembered, then resurrected.

Qabalistically, a Great Goddess like Isis has many attributes which have various correspondences, depending on the level of involvement.  Aleister Crowley has determined several of these:

...a goddess like Isis might be given to Zero as conterminous with Nature, to 3 as Mother, to 4 as Venus, to 6 as Harmony, to 7 as Love, to 9 as the Moon, to 10 as Virgin, to 13 again as the Moon, to 14 as Venus, to 15 as connected with the letter He, to 16 as the Sacred Cow, to 18 as the Goddess of Water, to 24 as Draco, to 28 as Giver of Rain, to 29 as the Moon, and to 32 as Lady of the Mysteries (Saturn, Binah). (14)

In the Hellenistic period, the Mysteries of Isis provided a ritual rebirth as its central purpose.  The object was for the initiate to become Osiris, raised from the dead by the magical power of the goddess Isis.  Accounts of these mysteries are found in both Plutarch's Isis and Osiris, and The Golden Ass of Apuleius.

After fasting and meditation, the mystes took part in a mystery drama where he personified Set, or Typhon in the form of a red ass.  He was tormented, and his lust and desirousness transformed through fully experiencing his instinctual nature.  The deep religious intensity of the aspirant produces transformation and the identification with the dead Osiris.  He journeys to Hades and sees the midnight Sun shining brightly, as well as the pantheon of Gods celestial and infernal.  After this ritual death, he is raised by the power of Isis.  Plutarch also identified Isis with Athena, in that the ever-changing veil of nature includes both growth and decay.

The Isis of Hellenistic times, as Nature and the Moon, was creator, mother, nurse, and destroyer, just like Demeter.  She also embodied Wisdom, or Sophia; Osiris was Knowledge, Reason, and Logos.  Through acceptance by Isis, the initiate caught in the instinctual level of passion and lust, is raised to a spiritual life.

The initiate believed the goddess Isis could prolong life beyond the term fixed by Destiny, or fate.  But this process involved a metamorphosis by undergoing a voluntary, ritual death in order to obtain one's spiritual birthday.

Like the Eleusinian Mysteries, the first great public festival of Isis took place in Spring, when the Mediterranean navigation season opened.  The second, the lamentation for and reanimation of Osiris took place October 29 to November 1.

The seeker Apuleius recounts his initiation, after abstaining from meat and wine for ten days:

Thou wouldst peradventure demand, thou studious reader, what was said and done there: verily I would tell thee if it were lawful for me to tell: thou wouldst know if it were convenient for thee to hear . . . Howbeit I will not long torment thy mind, which peradventure is somewhat religious and given to some devotion; listen therefore and believe it to be true.  Thou shalt understand that I approached near unto Hell, even to the gates of Proserpine, and after that I was ravished throughout all the elements, I returned to my proper place: about midnight I saw the sun brightly shine, I saw likewise the gods celestial and infernal, before whom I presented myself and worshipped them. (15)

In the Egyptian Mysteries of antiquity, the Pharaoh was identified with Osiris after his death.  But, through these Hellenistic initiations, the living individual became "Divinized," through the powers of the Goddess.  Isis and Osiris are exalted to the rank of universal divinities of the highest plane, covering psychic space from the underworld to ascent to celestial heights.  This Hellenistic interpretation of the old Egyptian cults reflects a "monotheistic" universalism typical of other suffering gods, including Dionysus and Orpheus.  This Hellenistic mystery theology expresses the deepest Egyptian religious genius.

In recounting the tale of his experiences as an initiate, Apuleius inserts the tale of Psyche and Eros into his personal story.  An evaluation of the meaning of this tale in the development of his relationship to his anima brings out the psychological value of these initiatory sequences.  In the tale, Eros represents the reproductive passion, which is transformed through its relationship with Psyche.  Psyche is an incarnated form of Eros' mother, Venus.  Since she is mortal, she represents that part of Eros' anima which is closer to consciousness.  Venus was jealous of Psyche because mortals began worshipping her beauty, preferring her to an abstract Olympian goddess.

In Amor und Psyche, the author Merkelbach points up an identification between Psyche and Isis, and Venus and Isis.  One might think that the goddess, then, fights against herself.  In a sense, she does.  She protests because of the narrowing of her potential in a mortal form.  Therefore, if Psyche is Venus in diminutive form, Eros actually takes part in a sacred marriage with his mother-daughter-sister.  This repeats the old Egyptian formula.  Psyche is a form of Kore, the mother goddess in rejuvenated, human form.  Therefore, the Eros and Psyche tale is a variation of the Demeter-Kore myth.

For the female initiate, this myth represents the deepest experience of the female mysteries of the Self.  For the male initiate, it means a progressive integration of the anima which then leads to an experience of the Self.  While he is still mother-complexed, all the forms of the goddess are compounded in the figure of the Great Mother, and he is her eternal lover.

Venus is a synthetic term for feminine Deity, and includes aspects of Hestia, Demeter, Cybele, Isis, etc.  The symbols overlap.  This is because the life of woman is divisible into three primary forms:  1) Virginity, 2) Wife and Mother, and 3) Old Woman, or Hag.  The Goddess Hecate combined all these forms in a tripartate representation.  She is shown as an amalgamation of three goddesses:  Kore, Demeter, and Hecate the Witch.  Hecate corresponds explicitly with the Moon and its cyclic phases.

Phase 1 includes Artemis, Atlanta, Persephone, Hebe, Pallas Athena, and the virgin Sibyls.  Phase 2 includes Venus, Demeter, and Cybele as well as Artemis of the Ephesians.  Phase 3 expresses the dark, malignant nature of the moon.

Marie Von Franz describes the meaning of Psyche in the process of individuation.  "If we look at it from man's unconscious and what it means to him, the figure of Psyche seems understandable.  She is the anima which we call the derivative of the mother image.  The anima image of a man is generally close to his mother's image and his anima always has some characteristics of his mother complex, and is closer to consciousness than the mother archetype, in which he can integrate his experience of the female within and outside himself.  It is his pattern of behavior to the feminine." (16)

With a positive mother complex, a man is a puer eternus (eternal son) and a Don Juan-type lover of women.  He lives in a strange fantasy of eternity, feeling someday he will be a great man, but never quite making it.  With a negative mother-complex, the Don Juan can never deal with women as they really are since he is naive.  He has not matured into the realization that there is a divine and banal side to love relationships.  This paradox must be accepted.  Venus is the mother-anima; Psyche is the anima uncontaminated by one's maternal image.

Venus, in her jealousy, sets several tasks for Psyche.  The one which links her most closely to the Demeter/Persephone myth is her descent to Hades to get the box of beauty ointment for Venus.  (Chapter 7, Tiphareth recounts the tale in more detail).  Psyche is sent to Kore-Persephone who is a variation of Venus-Isis in her underworld aspect.  She opens the box, and tries to secure the special "Beauty" for herself.  This means the man's anima equates beauty with goodness, or he can't believe a beautiful woman is capable of wickedness.  This is the old naiveté again, desiring a real woman to enact his anima projections.  Psyche falls into a death-like sleep of  unconsciousness...she is not "her-self." And Eros must come save her.

But it is a transformed Eros who appears for her.  The Greeks corresponded Eros with Osiris, who taught men and women genuine mutual love.  Eros is now a psychological symbol of the Self.  But just at this point, Eros spirits Psyche off to Olympus, which means the initiate in THE GOLDEN ASS OF APULEIUS is not ready for the deep religious experience of the higher Self.

Further transformations of the man's relationship with his anima are required before he can experience the final Isis initiations.  In these, Osiris is the secret ruler of the underworld, or a personification of the collective unconscious.  He is much more than a simple vegetation-god.

When he is reborn as the Horus-child, he represents restored wholeness or totality.  In QBL, Osiris is corresponded with Tiphareth, and he is the secret spiritual goal of the Isis Mysteries.  Transformation from Yesod to Tiphareth occurs through the three initiations of the process.  This passage from one psychic state to another produces a unification of the personality.  It is produced through the image of one all-embracing Goddess.  Isis is the symbol of the Self in feminine form.

A religious experience must be accepted in its totality, and therefore is lived as a lifestyle, publicly.  But this does not imply telling one's inner secrets to everyone, producing inflation.  The Self counsels one on the hiding or exposing of secrets.

The secret Self, Osiris, underwent various transformations becoming most important in the Hellenistic era.  His conscious religious attributes increased and he became identified with the reborn human soul.  The soul tends to fragment into several autonomous parts.  Isis is the only divinity which keeps her unity.  She is an emotional and feeling experience of totality which leads the way to conscious individuation.  But one must become more than an intellectually interested philosopher, flirting with every system and mystical cult which comes one's way.  This will not transform the divine inner nucleus.

Isis is the guide to the experience of oneness.  The psyche is the only reality known through immediate experience.  Isis gives meaning to suffering, and initiates the healing process.  Man's fate is similar to that of Osiris.  The religious pattern revealed in the mysteries was that first comes the realization of the anima (Isis, Yesod) and then of the higher Self (Osiris, Tiphareth).  A positive relationship to the goddess produced psychological transformation in earthly life, which produced immortality analogous to that of the philosopher's stone or "diamond body."

The initiate Lucius-Apuleius returns to Rome, but has a dream which leads him to seek initiation into the mystery cult of Osiris.  He is confused as he thinks he has already had this experience in the Isis Mysteries, but further transformations await him.  In the Isis cult, he came to a realization of the anima or feminine principle.  But the archetype of the Self has its own specific rites and principles, which he must experience and serve.  The aloofness of the Olympian gods is transcended through personal experience.



1.  ontology:  the branch of metaphysics dealing with the philosophical theory of reality, including consideration of the universal and necessary characteristics of all existence; also a particular theory of reality.

2.  Miller, Webb, Dickson; The Holographic Concept of Reality, Gordon and Breach Pub., (1973).

3.  Edward Sampson, Ego at the Threshold.

4.  James Hillman, Re-Visioning Psychology.

5.  Philo Stone, Re-Visioning Middle Pillar: the Torus/Twistor Model.

6.  Israel Regardie, The Middle Pillar, Llewellyn

7.  James Hillman, "Image-Sense," Spring, 1979.

8.  James Hillman, "Anima II," Spring 1974, (Spring Publications, Dallas, 1974).

9.  Psychic experiences encompass all the manifestations of the imaginal life: behavior fantasies, dreams, emotions, thoughts, convictions, etc.

10.          , The Greeks and Their Gods,

11.  Nor Hall, The Moon and the Virgin, Harper and Row, N.Y., 1980, p. 112.

12.  M. Esther Harding, Woman's Mysteries, Ancient and Modern, Harper and Row, N.Y., 1971.

13.  Mircea Eliade, A History of Religious Ideas, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Vol. I, 1978; "The Eleusinian Mysteries", p. 290-301.

14.  Aleister Crowley, The Qabalah of Aleister Crowley, Samuel Weiser, N.Y. 1973, p.80

15.  Eliade, A History of Religious Ideas, Chicago Univ. Press, Chicago, Vol. II, 1982, p292.

16.  M.L. von Franz, A Psychological Interpretation of the Golden Ass of Apuleius, Spring Pub., Dallas, 1980, p. 76.

3.  Astrology and Alchemy

a.  Secondary Progressions in Astrology

Secondary progressions are extremely easy to calculate with your natal chart and an Ephemeris for the year of your birth.

Simply look up the day of your birth, then count forward one day for each year of life.  This conforms to the formula for secondary progressions 1 day = 1 year.  This is an arbitrary, but useful, concept.  Progressions measure changes in the relationship of the earth to the Sun.  Thus, the first few months of life form an analogy to the unfolding of an individual.  For example, say you are born at noon on August 1.  If you are now 35, and wish to examine your secondary progressions, count forward in the Ephemeris 35 days to Sept 5 of your birth year.  Calculate the chart by using the positions of the planets.

Pay particular attention to the new position of the progressed sun.  Your sun has changed quality as you have aged from Leo to Virgo.  Dane Rudhyar says the progressed sun depicts the "process of personality-integration" which carries on after birth.  This maturing process of personality-integration" which carries on after birth.  This maturing process leads to fullness of personality.  The moon will change its sign in secondary progressions also.  Mercury may change signs every 30 years or so, but the other planets will not change radically over a lifetime.  They may, however, change their house positions, marking important life changes in personality or collective adaptation.  All planets in progressed charts indicate systems involved in co-operating with the solar process of fulfillment.

        Sun=integrative Will  (personality fulfillment)

        Moon=outer, concrete changes (cyclic phases of life)

        Mercury=Attitude of mind to the Great Work of the Sun

        Venus=emotional responses

        Mars=power of spontaneous initiative

        Jupiter=balancing, soul-revealing aspect of psyche

        Saturn=lengthy transformative process changing structure of consciousness

        Uranus=sudden, transforming effect of subcon. processes

        Neptune=dissolving of limits imposed by ego (metamorphosis)

        Pluto=possible death/rebirth experience

Each degree of the zodiac has a special symbol (Sabian Symbol) which may be contemplated during the year of the Sun's sojourn in that degree.  Consult Dane Rudhyar's Astrological Mandala for these symbols and their meanings in psychic development.

Also, check the aspects of the Progressed chart, and read these as you would for a natal chart.  The effect is simply more short-lived.

b.  The Moon and the Lunation Cycle in Astrology

The luminous Moon has fascinated mankind throughout the ages.  It is the focal point for lovers and lunatics, alike.  Basically, the moon symbolizes a feminine, receptive attitude, and an emotional, fluctuating attitude.  Negatively, the moon can indicate moodiness, and changeability.

Astrologically, the moon is as significant as the Sun, or Ascendant.  It is given greater weight than the other planets, because its influence is felt so strongly in all aspects of life.  As the moon moves through its 28 day cycle, it passes through several phases which define its ever-cycling relationship with the sun.  Most people are familiar with the distinctions known as new moon, full moon, and quarter moon.  There is really no such phase as half-moon, since half the moon is synonymous with full moon.  Remember, the moon only shows 1/2 herself to us on earth; her other half remains hidden in dark shadows.

Astrologers distinguish even finer distinctions in the phases of the moon.  These angular relationships to the sun are precisely defined.  1st quarter = 0 to 90 waxing degrees; 2nd quarter = 90 - 180 degrees; 3rd quarter = 180 to 90 waning degrees; 4th quarter = 90 to Dark of the Moon.  In addition, there is a Gibbous Moon, which is a day or two before and after Full Moon.

For Magickal purposes, the new moon is not equivalent to "the dark of the moon."  But actually begins when the crescent moon shows itself (waxing).  All operations for psychological development are done during the 2 wks. of the waxing period, since a waning moon is considered to dissipate one's magickal effectiveness.

Robert Hand has described the core meaning of the Moon as an astrological influence:

Yin:  Container, medium, environment, matrix, womb, mothering, home; subjects as opposed to their rulers.  One's Ultimate Source; the Great Mother; personal past, childhood, heritage, family, heredity, homeland; unconscious assumptions and attitudes, instincts, hereditary mental patterns, psychological patterns due to infantile experiences, emotional reflexes or programs, psychic perceptions. (1)

The moon's placement indicates either feelings of belonging (positive) or alienation (negative).  We are contained by the formative principle of the universe, and our adaptation to our environment reflects in our personalities.  Understanding of our lunar aspects, which are largely unconscious, comes through feelings and emotions.

Emotions function like reflexes, and are barely influenced by logical thought processes.  In this manner, they function like instincts.  Many psychics describe their perception of information as a "feeling" or awareness.  They are in touch with the continuum where "all is one."  This sensitivity to connectedness is a lunar quality.

The moon symbolizes patient waiting, or "creative submission" to the fulfillment promised by cyclic processes.  It is as important and effective as the sun, but in a less-obvious and obtrusive manner.  The influence of the moon reflects into daily life, forming the matrix of personal and collective history.  Through its ability to calm or incite the emotions, it influences the course of events on a grand scale.  It influences behavior as much as the logical thought processes of solar-consciousness.

c.  Luna and the Albedo in Alchemy

Luna represents the feminine aspect of the arcane substance.  As we have seen, she is linked to salt, to "white sulphur," to silver, to the albedo, the feminine alba of the coniunctio.  She represents the cold, moist, corporeal, receptive but not at all inert feminine principle in the psyche, and appears as sister, mother, and bride of Sol.  she is the "vessel" of the sun, receiving and pouring out the powers of heaven, extracting the energy of Sol as a power springing into eternal life.  She provides that sense of serene undulating movement, like the moon's path on the night sea, and that gentle and serene and soothing nocturnal light that enables us to see in the dark, when the sun's power has set.  When Luna is at her fullness - at the plenilunum - she stands as the nocturnal complement to masculine diurnal consciousness.

                                                         --Robert Grinnell/Alchemy in a Modern Woman

The Albedo is that stage of the alchemical work which is a phase of "whitening" and "lightening" after the black depressive phase of the Nigredo.  It is the emergence of the feminine aspect of the Self or Holy Guardian Angel.  the Albedo presages the flowering of fulfillment.  Moonlight indicates that state of consciousness where one begins to react emotionally to unconscious contents.  In this phase elusive intuitions and spiritual potential are made manifest.

Corresponding with Yesod, the Albedo is the first goal of the alchemical work, reuniting a world divided into "mind" vs. "matter" through the medium of psychic reality.  Relevant symbols include the madonna, bride, moon, dawn, and dove.

Experience and experiencer no longer matter as the "images that yet/fresh images beget" release one from the nigredo of personal identity into the mirrors of impersonal reflections.  This second whiteness is also not mere ignorance, a disregarding insouciance of the world and its ways, which results from psychic realities taking precedence over more earth-bound perception that attempts to resolve psychic difficulties either away from the world or into the world.  Albedo prefers neither introversion nor extroversion, since the differences between soul and thing no longer matter, that is , are no longer imagined in the material terms of the nigredo. . .the albedo is not only a state between but a condition per se. (2)

Hillman calls this lunar stage of the albedo "the emergence of psychological consciousness, the ability to hear psychologically, and to perceive fantasy creating reality."

It is this sense: that all occurrences must first be imagined, that they begin as images, that the very cycle through which anything turns, including ourselves, is a psychological process, that soul fantasies are the ground and seed in all we think and do, want and fear. . .the subtleties of soul are embodied in the mundus imaginalis by primordial persons, eternal archons, angelic essences who offer human consciousness a grounding in hierarchical principles, enabling a human being to recognize what is essential, what comes first, and what is of lasting worth.  It is a place of truth. (3)

4.  Orientation/Exercise

a.  Some Thoughts on the Phenomena of Astral Projection


By Richard Alan Miller, Physicist.  1974

The phenomena known as Astral Projection or Out-Of-The-Body Experience (OOBE) has become increasingly important to the research direction and study of the paranormal.  An Out-Of-The-Body Experience is now defined as one in which the subject appears to view the external world from some position other than that of his or her physical body.

Traditionally in the field of Parapsychology Out-Of-The-Body Experiences are grouped into two main types, 'parasomatic' and 'asomatic'.  The parasomatic type of experience is that in which the subject appears to himself to be located in a duplicate body, more or less resembling his physical body.  In the second type of experience, the asomatic, the subject does not appear to himself to be associated with a body, rather he or she is just a disembodied consciousness or a 'pin-point of presence'.

It is important at this point to consider the definition used.  Namely, once a structure or classification is structured, the way in which the data is gathered immediately sets up limits in which the phenomena can be studied.  It would seem almost unnecessary to point out that the "mystical tradition" underlying most of the major religions have certain similarities.  In surveying these coincidentals, the phenomena of astral projection is one of the most overt.

Psychical phenomena exert a strong influence on the foundation of religious heritage.  The appearance of astral projection among them is probably the most common of the various genres.  As an allusion to Dr. Robert Crookall's classic, Study and Practice of Astral Projection, the late Professor Hornell Hart states:  "Initiates into ancient mystery cults clearly included the deliberate production of astral projection. . .Catholic saints and Quaker ministers have reported undergoing such projection."  The Egyptian script Peret-emheru speaks of the Ba and Ka (often incorrectly thought to be analogous to each other), which are ancient suggestions of what we call the astral and fluidic bodies, respectively.  Qabbalism also has a parallel.  In the Zohar, reference to the silvery "astral cord" is made.

Referring to this allusion, A.E. Waite writes:  "When the good soul is preparing to leave this world, and while it is suspended from the body only at the larynx, it beholds three angels to whom it must confess its sins."  Even Christianity is not exempt from this phenomena.  St. Paul's description of the astral body and the Old Testament reference to the astral body are classics (1 Cor. 15:44, and Ecclesiastes 12:6), and the appearance of Peter's double before Rhoda may be found in Acts 12:14-17 (A.V., King James version).

One of the most significant esoteric scripts discussing astral projection is the Bardo Thodol, somewhat incorrectly translated as the Tibetan Book of the Dead.  The Bardo Thodol states that the initiate, during the altered state of consciousness, can produce mind-body separation.  This seems to have a bearing on those prolific instances where LSD voyagers (who experience a journey very close to the bardo trip as described in the Tibetan Book of the Dead) appear to have such projection experiences.  One such incident was related to the author by an LSD user who, during the trip, discovered that his consciousness was not in his body, but next to it.

The most asked question about the out-of-body experience is:  How does one know that they are simply not dreaming?  A more fundamental question to ask, however, would be to counter-question:  How does one know that the waking experience is real?  To answer the first:  the subjective out-of-body-experiences differ from the typical dream state principally in the following ways:

1)  There is continuity of some sort of conscious awareness.

2)  Intellectual and/or emotional decisions are made during the experience.

3)  Multivalued perceptions occur via sensory inputs or their equivalents.

4)  There is a non-recurrence of identical patterns.

5)  The experience of time duration, based on long-term memory.

The most certain statement that can be made by the subject is that when the condition exists, he/she is as aware of "not dreaming" as when he/she is awake.

Dr. Robert Crookall has advanced a theory linking astral projection to survival.  He agrees with Professor Hart that the survival of the human personality after death is nothing more than the permanent projection of the astral body.  He sees various degrees of projection involving two distinct portions of the human psyche.  One, he sates, is conscious but immaterial.  The other portion is unconscious and, although immaterial, has some objective existence.  In OOBE either or both of these portions may be projected.

Dr. Crookall's beliefs have some interesting parallels in the Ba and Ka concepts of the ancient Egyptians.  They believed that the Ka was a "double" of the individual and that is was composed of very tenuous matter.  It was supposed to live for some time after death and both the process of embalming and various funerary practice were intended to ensure that it lived on in the tomb.  If the required practices were neglected the Ka was thought to emerge from the tomb to haunt those responsible.

The Ba was the soul of the Egyptians.  It was conscious but immaterial.  In life it was contained within the Ka.  In death it left both the Ka and the body.  There is some scientific evidence to support this concept.  Dr. Duncan McDougall of Haverhill, Mass. arranged to have dying patients placed on a sensitive weighing apparatus.  He found that there was a weight loss of from two to two-and-a-half ounces at the moment of death.  The data could not be explained except in terms of something having left the body.  Two Dutch Physicists, Dr. J.L.W.P. Matla and Dr. G.L. Zaalberg Van Zelst report similar observations and data.  They further reported that the proposed "astral body" appears to have a specific weight of 12.24 mg., that it responds to gravitation, and that it appears to be composed of particles that are small, heavy, but very widely separated.

Dr. Charles Tart, University of California at Davis has been conducting bio-physical measurements on individuals who can astrally project at will.  His research indicates that out-of-body-experiences occur in conjunction with a non-dreaming, non-awake brain wave stage characterized by predominate slowed alpha activity from the brain and no activation of the autonomic nervous system.  OOB experiences seem to occur during a rather poorly developed Stage 1 pattern of sleep which was dominated by alphoid activity and often mixed with transitory periods of wakefulness.  This alphoid activity was always one to one-and-a-half cycles per second lower than normal alpha rhythm.  There seems to be also no REM (rapid eye movement) accompanying these experiences.  It is concluded that it is in the hypnagogic state where OOB experiences occur.

There is one sleep study by Drs. Lester and Guerrero-Figueroa in which considerable alphoid activity was reported in the sleep records as a result of chlorpromazine administration.  Chlorpromazine is a fairly commonly used tranquilizer known under the trade name of Thorazine.  It is now being speculated that drugs which tend to slow alpha frequency might promote OOB experiences, and this could be a possible fruitful line of experimental inquiry.

The author has experimented with a number of available legal herbs and found that Jimson weed when smoked works quite well for inducing OOB experiences with persons untrained in the technique.  Care must be taken with this herb as it belongs to the Datura or night shade family.  The active constituents are scopolamine, atropine, hyocyamine and other tropanes.  If ingested, as reported by numerous Indian tribes of the Southwest, the herb can be quite toxic.  It is recommended that only one to two grams be smoked at one time and prolonged use is not recommended.  The herb has also been called thorn-apple or loco weed.

Religion has been defined in terms of a commitment to something beyond the self (Garnett, 1942).  Thus, the religious experience can be one of man's most meaningful life adventures.  This powerful and profound experience is often associated with levels of awareness similar to those aspects of human existence perceived as "creative", "religious", "mystical", and/or "paranormal."

The Western world has institutionalized religion and has codified religious dogma while neglecting religious experience.  This neglect has many roots, among them would be Plant's emphasis on reason to the near exclusion of feeling, Aristotle's division of philosophy into science and metaphysics, St. Augustine's separation of the "body" from the "mind", as well as Descarte's division of man's inner life from his outer life.

These divisions run counter to reports of the religio-mystic experience which, at its most profound, involves the subjective feelings of an integration of man's total being with the universe about him.  Dr. Krippner and Dr. Ullman at the Maimonides Dream Laboratory have indicated the feasibility of experimentally inducing dream patterns telepathically.  They indicate that a person sleeping is open to impressions and thoughts of others about that person, that these impressions can be and are incorporated into the main body of the dream experience.

Daily experience touches on various unresolved conflicts from one's past, arousing unconscious feelings and wishes and memories to a preconscious level.  Dreaming integrates and again makes unconscious the aroused feelings, wishes and memories from the past, along with those aspects of the recent experiences which have stimulated or touched upon the material from the past.  In the dream process, each person uses his characteristic defense to deal with the particular aroused feelings and impulses.  If the new experiences are growth-promoting in nature, i.e., correct previous distorted wishes or fears, a modification in ways of dealing with the previously unconscious material may result when the dream brings the new experience into relation to the past.  Thus, dreams can be used to predict future events in that they program attitudes and behavior patterns.

In light of the above, a new model for the nature of consciousness begins to develop.  Astral projection apparently requires an altered state of consciousness similar to Stage 1 of sleep.  There also appears to be some very subtle but important differences between Stage 1 of sleep ahd that required for an OOB experience.  Those differences can be discussed physiologically, vis. the EEG, the tape recorder, the rating scale, statistical procedures and the like.  However, with some of the new research available, the concept that the brain is a transducer of information becomes useful.

Dr. Gowan's work at the University of California at Northridge on the Collective Preconscious indicates that there is a possible body of information or knowledge which is available with slight adjustments in tuning, or alteration of consciousness.  This concept could be applied to such ideas as pre-natal memory, language and other observed paranormal phenomena.  This body of information is a universal one which does not require a time/space co-ordinate system, rather it functions on a more holistic level as the dream telepathy studies might indicate.  Astral projection appears to require a state of consciousness which does not use a space/time co-ordinate system.  Rather, OOB experiences are those where space and time are not critical for the assimilation of information.  The point seems to go back to the occult concept that your awareness is everywhere, but your consciousness is a limited or special case of awareness.

Astral projection is apparently a special case of ESP (extra-sensory perception) where the information is brought into consciousness via certain special co-ordinates, i.e., OOB experiences.  The real point is that the information was already present but needed some mechanism to be experienced on a conscious level.  The development of those mechanisms over other possible ones available form the new field called Noetic sciences.  The real issue or question which now arises is:  Why have we chosen a particular co-ordinate system over another to call this system a "normal" astral projection, religio-mystical experience, and dream state as deviant from a "normal" state may hold the key to another stage in the development of Man.

b.  Ritual Timing and Seasonal Tides

According to Magickal tradition, there are times for planning and times for doing.  To obtain optimal effects in any working, the magician cooperates with various tides.  This amplifies his effectiveness.  This is not a fantasy of "control", but a matter of fine-tuning one's work through development of responsiveness to patterns.  When one makes use of various "astral currents" one "goes with the flow", so to speak.

There are three major types of current to which magickal effectiveness is subject.  These include the Solar cycle of seasonal change, which is of annual duration; the lunar or monthly cycle is approximately 28 days long; and the circadian cycle of geomagnetic forces which influence individual behavior.

Solar Cycle:  The equinoxes, as most people know, are times of equal day and night (when each ar 12 hours long).  More precisely, they are defined as the two imaginary points in the heavens where the celestial equator intersects the plane of the ecliptic.  The plane of the ecliptic is an imaginary plane extending through the center of the Sun, the orbit of the Earth, and beyond to the band of the Zodiac.

It is therefore the apparent path of the Sun on the celestial sphere.  The celestial equator is an extension on the celestial sphere of the Earth's equator.  Since the Earth's axis is inclined 23 1/2 degrees, the celestial equator is inclined 23 1/2 degrees to the plane of the ecliptic.  At two points they intersect:  the vernal and autumnal equinoxes are the times of equal day and night.

The great religious holy days of all faiths tend to cluster around the times of these equilibrated periods.  Why?  It is not known, but traditionally there is the belief in "tides" which flow through an unseen ether or medium, known variously as prana, or the astral light.  As the Earth revolves on its axis, and also travels at the same time around the sun, centers of stress are set up in the electromagnetic sphere of the earth (this includes the effect of solar winds on the ionosphere and gravitational forces influencing the earth).  On any part of the earth's surface, a positive current flows from East to West, in the Astral Light.  So, there is a steady current, or tide, in the magnetic field of the earth which is linked to coreolis force.  This coreolis force is known to effect individual organisms.

As the earth moves around the sun, a magnetic current passes from the north to the south during six months, then reverses flowing from south to north for the remaining six months.  The "seasonal" solar tides are the most powerful influence on magickal work, and are classified as follows:

The Tide of Sowing: March 21 (Vernal Equinox) - June 21
   This is the time to begin new projects; goal oriented.

The Tide of Reaping: June 21 (Summer Solstice) - Sept. 23
   One receives the material rewards of the last cycle.

The Tide of Planning: Sept.23 (Autumnal Equinox) - Dec. 23
   One experiences the spiritual results of what is sown.

The Tide of Destruction: Dec. 23 (Winter Solstice) - March 21
   Old forms are broken up; time for study, introspection, meditation, contemplation, magical retirement period.

Throughout history, the vernal equinox has been considered a time of rebirth; the resurrection of vegetation by the life-giving warmth of the Sun signifies new beginning...Spring.  It is considered to be the most significant seasonal change in its impact biologically, psychologically, and sociologically.  "Spring fever" can be considered a psychological repercussion of the biological surge in growth hormones in the human body.  Whole societies undergo tremendous change during these periods.  What biological mechanism can account for this change?

The answer may lie in the study of the pineal gland, also referred to as the "third eye."  The pineal gland was found to produce a chemical neurotransmitter called serotonin (similar in structure to LSD-25), according to a regular oscillating beat, the basis of this beat being the so-called circadian rhythm.  It has been found that the pineal responds somehow to environmental light conditions, and that by altering light conditions one can extend, contract, or even stabilize the chemical production rhythms of the pineal.

The fact that the pineal responds to light, even if this response is indirect via the central nervous system, has some fascinating and far-reaching conceptual applications.  There are many behavioral changes which overtake animals as the seasons change, and which can be produced out-of-season in the laboratory by stimulating the appropriate span of artificial daylight.  Do such seasonal changes in mood and behavior persist in humans?

As indicated before, the great religious holy days seem to cluster around the 4 great divisions of the solstices and equinoxes.  Is it possible that the human pineal gland (which is considered by some merely an atrophied relic of the past) still responds to these alterations in the length of daylight?  Changing the balance of neurohormones in the brain may perhaps effect a greater incidence of psychedelic states (mind-expansive altered states of consciousness) in certain susceptible individuals just at these crucial times.  This possibility provides an entirely new approach to our secular understanding of the religious experience, at least as it is mediates through biological factors.

The pineal gland has thus been referred to as a kind of biological clock, one which acts as a kind of coupling system perhaps maintaining phase relations within a multi-oscillator system; a phase coordinator for multiple biorhythms.  The pineal is a "cosmic eye"; it is aware of celestial rhythms not observed by the normal eye, like seasonal and lunar changes rather than daily ones.  It helps manipulate the body's chemistry in harmony with seasonal changes.  Serotonin can be seen as the "intensity knob" of the brain.  As the level of serotonin increases, so does the level of activation of the cortex.

Equinoxes and solstices are symbols of the Death/Rebirth archetypes from individual to cultural levels.  The concept of world changes in outlook and sociology from Age to Age is derived from the phenomenon of the precession of the equinoxes.  The volition of consciousness from the Age of Pisces to the Age of Aquarius may be even a more subtle manipulation of this pineal gland, the so-called "third eye."  A good meditation for the Vernal Equinox was expressed by Dane Rudhyar when he stated:  "Every living whole is a chord of relationships.  The resonance of this chord is what we call 'consciousness'."

Lunar Phases: New Moon-perform no magick during the dark of the moon.  First Quarter concerns impregnation, inception of projects and growth, or gestation.  The Full Moon contains the greatest magickal power, especially in the fall with harvest moon.  Waning Quarter Phase is less powerful and is for internalization.

Circadian Rhythms: Produced through the interaction of geomagnetic forces with the individual.  This hourly fine-tuning is reckoned from sunrise.  There is correspondence of the astral tides with the elements which repeats its sequence approximately every two hours: Spirit, Air, Fire, Water, and Earth; Spirit, Air, etc.

For optimal results, the aspirant combines "know-how", and "know-when."



1.  Crookall, R., "Astral Traveling," Int J. Parapsychology, 8, NO. 3 (1966), 474

2.  Davis, Pl, et al., "The Effects of Alcohol upon the Electroencephalogram (Brain Waves)."  Quarterly Journal for the Study of Alcohol, Vol. 1, 1941, 626-637

3.  Fox, O., Astral Projection (New Hyde Park, N.Y.: University Books, 1961)

4.  Garnett, A., A Realistic Philosophy of Religion.  New York: Harper, 1942.

5.  Gowan, J., Development of the Psychedelic Individual, Northridge, California.

6.  Eliade, M., Yoga, Immortality and Freedom, Bollingen Series LVI, Princeton University Press, 1969.

7.  Engel, G. et al., "Delirium III.  EEG Changes Associated with Acute Alcoholic Intoxication."  Archives of Neurology and Psychiatry, Vol. 53, 1945, 44-50.

8.  Hart, II., "A Chasm Needs to be Bridged," J. Am. Soc. Psych. Res., 60, NO. 4 (1966), 387.

9.  Heron, W., "The Pathology of Boredom."  Scientific American, Vol. 196, 1957, 52-56.

10.  James, W., The Varieties of Religious Experience, New York: Longmans, Green, 1902.

11.  Krippner, S., et al., "Implications of Experimentally Induced Telepathic Dreams."  Journal for the Study of Consciousness, Vol. 4, No. 2, 1971.

12.  Lester, B., et al., "Effects of Some Drugs on Electroencephalographic Fast Activity and Dream Time."  Psychophysiology, Vol. 2, 1966, 224-236.

13.  Monroe, R., Journeys Out of the Body, New York:  Anchor Books, 1973.

14.  Romano, J., et al., "Delirium:  Electroencephalographic Data."  Archives of Neurology and Psychiatry, Vol. 51, 1944, 356-377.

15.  Waite, A., The Holy Kabbalah, New Hyde Park, N.Y.: University Books, 1960,k p. 245.

16.  YRAM, Practical Astral Projection, New York:  Samuel Weiser



 1.  Robert Hand, Horoscope Symbols; Para Research, Mass., 1981, p. 329.

2.  James Hillman, "Silver and the White Earth", Spring 1981, (Spring Pub., Dallas).  pp. 21-66.

3.  Ibid.


NEXT:  BOOK IV, HOD, Sphere 8, Mercury

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