Monday, June 26, 2017

The Path of Initiation - Netzach

This article is Part Eight of a series. Part One can be found here, Part Two can be found here, Part Three can be found here, Part Four can be found here, Part Five can be found here, Part Six can be found here, and Part Seven can be found here.

Working with sephira Netzach is the eighth step on the path of initiation into the mysteries of Western Esotericism. On the Kircher Tree of Life, the seventh sephira is attributed to Venus, and the corresponding vision is "The Vision of Beauty Triumphant." The word Netzach means victory, and in working with this sephira we develop the ability to overcome obstacles by both skillful and aesthetic means. Initiation into Netzach completes the "first triad" of Yesod, Hod, and Netzach, which correspond to the conditioning, thinking, and feeling systems.

The sephira have both microcosmic (psychological) and macrocosmic (physical) components, and as with practical magick, aligning those components is the key to experiencing effective illumination and visionary work. Hence, I use the operant field in these rites just like I do for practical workings. This allows you to integrate magical principles and forces into your life more quickly and effectively.

"Effective" is harder to define with rites of illumination than it is with practical magick. Practical magick is relatively simple to assess - you perform an operation with a specific objective, and then record whether it succeeds or fails. Effective visionary work should obtain information from the exterior world that you could not possible know by any other means, and effective illumination work should transform you in a positive way, increasing your degree of realization and in some real sense making you a "better person."

This process can be highly subjective, and failed initiatory operations often go unrecognized. I am of the opinion that a lot of the nonsense out there from certain allegedly "advanced" magical practitioners can be traced back to these sorts of initiatory failures, and this is a problem that has been acknowledged for a long time in the tradition. To avoid this, you always need to be skeptical about any apparent attainment.

Always test spirits. Always keep track of any changes you observe following illuminating and visionary experiences, and do your best to see if the changes you are seeing from your work are going in a positive direction. Stories of magicians "going insane" from failed operations are highly exaggerated - most often, nothing happens, and the danger lies in being convinced that something did happen and then acting from that perspective.

There are a few prerequisites for moving on from working with Hod to working with Netzach. The biggest one, as before, is that you should be handling your shit. The various magical schools and orders go on about "balancing your personality" and so forth while working through the elements, but what really matters is whether or not you can deal with external issues as they come up.

As I see it, it doesn't matter how balanced your personality is if your life is in complete disarray. Conversely, putting your life in order is one of the most effective ways to accomplish this sort of personality work - and it has the added benefit that your life gets put in order. Basically, it's a win-win. The material and spiritual should not thought of as adversaries, but rather two sides of the same metaphysical coin.

Hod tunes the intellect, so in working with that sephira you should have developed proper reasoning and critical thinking skills. These are important going forward, because the intellect and emotions should work together rather than behaving as adversaries. If you do find them in conflict often, you probably need to spend more time meditating and gaining insight into your basic nature. A person who is genuinely doing their True Will should experience little conflict in these areas, since the intellect and emotions should be pointing in the same direction.

As I've mentioned previously, my system is not a classical Gnostic escape from matter, but rather a skillful means by which the material and spiritual worlds can be turned to your advantage. So in the course of getting the work down I expect you to be doing practical magick in addition to all the necessary mundane actions required for success right away. It is most coherent at this point to stick with elemental operations if you can. My elemental work operations can be found here.

Now if that makes you feel "stuck" because you really, really think you need to do a planetary operation to get something that will put your Kingdom in order, keep in mind that in magick every complete system is a reflection of every other. So the elements reflect the planets, the planets reflect the signs, and so forth. You can use elemental operations to mimic the powers associated with planetary operations as follows:

Earth - Money, finances, employment (Jupiter, Sun).
Water - Love and relationships (Venus).
Air - Healing and divination (Mercury, Moon).
Fire - Cursing and protection (Saturn, Mars).

Try it out, and I think you will see what I'm talking about. The four elemental kings are powerful spirits, and they can accomplish a lot. But remember - magick is no substitute for mundane actions! I emphasize, because so many people miss that point, on the Internet and elsewhere. That probably is one reason that unlike me, most of the magical teachers and schools out there don't teach practical magick right away.

Magick does make all of your mundane actions go better and more smoothly, and when you use it you'll find success much more quickly. But it's all based on probability. For example, a magical ritual usually won't bring you a job if you never send out a resume. The key is to understand that you take mundane actions to make the outcome you want as likely as possible, and you use magick to make sure the remaining odds fall in your favor.

These two sides of practical operations should always work together. When you rely and magick and take only minimal mundane actions, you are making success a lot harder than it needs to be. Remember, we're not trying to escape the physical, we're trying to transform it into a proper vehicle for the manifestation of our individual wills.

Before moving on to Netzach you should have, as a minimum, performed the Hod Rite of Approach and the Hod Elixir Rite. As a prerequisite to those, you should have performed the Rites of Approach and Elixir Rites for Malkuth in their microcosmic and macrocosmic forms. As a prerequisite to that, you should have performed both rites for all four elements.

So that makes sixteen total rituals to get to this point, at a minimum. You will get the best results if you can obtain initiation into each element during the Rites of Approach, and then sealing those initiations with a subsequent Elixir Rite - however long it takes for the spirits to decide you are ready.

It should also be pointed out that if you have already obtained viable initiation into the elements by means of another tradition - and there are many that offer it in their initial grades - you might be able to do the Rite of Approach, have the spirit confirm your initiation, and then do the Elixir Rite to seal it. There really are no guarantees. Some practitioners meet with success right away, while for others it can take a lot longer.

You may also wish to seek initiation into a magical order or tradition at this point, if it be your will. I'm not familiar with all the systems out there, and some of them may not be entire compatible with this schema, or be led by teachers who disagree with my approach. In the A.'.A.'. and Golden Dawn schemas, The Practicus grade corresponds to Hod. So if you want a formal initiation into Hod before moving on to Netzach, that's the kind of initiation you should be looking for.

In addition to the planet Venus, The Golden Dawn and A.'.A.'. systems associate Netzach with the element of Fire. But I'm not that fond of those elemental attributions in general, because the elements are more properly attributed to Malkuth. Venus rules two signs of the zodiac - Taurus (nocturnal, fixed Earth) and Libra (diurnal, cardinal Air). So like Mercury, it rules an Air sign and an Earth sign, with no Fire or Water to be found.

In Netzach, you work with the emotions. The key is to get to the point where your emotions serve your will, not the other way around. Crucially, this is not done by suppressing the emotions, as is commonly stressed in Western society. Your intellect and your emotions actually operate on entirely separate levels, and when your mind is properly organized they rarely become conflated. Think of a color television broadcast, and imagine the shapes of the images as intellect and the colors as emotions. Ideally, the two systems should work together with that degree of harmony.

So rather than suppressing your emotions, you should always recognize them and internally acknowledge them. They should be taken into account whenever you make a decision. However, you should be careful not to base your decisions entirely on them. Especially, you should not "act out" from them, taken action as a knee-jerk response to a strong emotion without really considering the consequences of said action. In its most perfect form, will (and especially True Will) is a vector that blends together emotion and intellect. It needs both in order to be effective.

Whether you're taking up practical magick right away or pursuing the initiatory path right away, my basic recommendations are pretty much the same. First, take up a daily magical practice, which I discuss here and here. Meditation is important as well, especially for any form of mystical work.

In at least one of those older articles I talk about keeping meditation and ceremonial work separate. That's a precaution that I no longer think is necessary. Instead, you can do a single practice session that includes both. Go through your entire ceremonial practice sequence, sit and meditate for about twenty minutes, and then seal your practice with a concluding Qabalistic Cross. It works just fine that way. The whole thing will take you maybe half an hour a day, not even as long as watching a regular television program.

And let me caution you about extending your practice - and particularly your meditation - much beyond that. Pushing yourself to meditate for hours a day will probably not make your progress much faster, and I find that students who try to do this against my advice inevitably burn out and quit practicing. Persistence and determination should be your watchwords here. Spending half an hour on this, every day, will prove much more beneficial than spending three or four hours on one day and then being too tired to do anything else for the rest of the week.

Keep a magical journal, especially at the beginning of your studies. Note your state of mind along with the date and time you start your practice each day, and note anything unusual that comes up while you are doing the work. You can also write down anything noteworthy that happened during the day. It doesn't have to be especially detailed, but you want to have enough information to track your progress along with the astrological landscape and an overview of what is happening in your life from day to day.

And I realize this may sound like a lot - but it really isn't. Add fifteen minutes of journaling to your half-hour practice, and it really only takes about as much time as watching a regular television episode. In fact, you don't want your magical work to consume your life. That can create all sorts of problems, from lack of attention to your material situation and physical health to complete burnout. Even if you love doing the work, try to discipline yourself to under an hour a day, total. You can avoid a whole lot of headaches that way.

The initiatory path of illumination for each element involves two basic operations - a "Rite of Approach" and an "Elixir Rite." The Rite of Approach opens a portal into the realm of the sephira, and then employs the same methods I lay out in my simple pathworking ritual to explore what lies beyond the portal and interact with the Archangel of Netzach, Haniel. The primary function of this to develop a working relationship with the Archangel and other spirits of the Netzach domain. When interacting with the Archangel, feel free to ask for initiation corresponding to the sephira.

You should recognize the core of the Elixir Rite right away, as it is similar to what we do during the Aries Elixir Rite. The Elixir Rite is a eucharistic ritual that involves the charging of wine (or juice, if you can't drink alcohol) with the power of the sephira and then consuming it. This may or may not include a specific statement of intent. The function of the eucharist is to spiritually charge a material substance and then consume it, in order to take into your physical body the essence of magick itself.

The opening for the initiatory rites of Netzach is the same as for my previous elemental work rites. You don't necessarily need to create the sigil of the Archangel, but if you do you can go ahead and trace it on the Venus kamea. The reason is that for the Rite of Approach, we will be seeking out the Archangel in his own realm, and for the Elixir Rite he is being called upon to assist in the creation of the Elixir, not to fully manifest within the Table of Art. Note that as with the Elemental Kings, I say "he" in my text but angels can take any form they want, male or female. Haniel is not one of the four traditional Archangels, so the image I went with is modern and clearly a she.

0. The Temple

There are a number of different ways to arrange the temple for an operation such as this. What we do is place an altar in the center with the banishing dagger and invoking wand. Also on the altar is a containment structure such as the Sigillum Dei Aemeth or the Trithemian Table of Art. The diagram depicting the character and sigil should be placed within this structure. A small container of some sort for offerings may also be placed on the Table of Art. For the Elixir Rite, the cup goes within the Table of Art and no other container for offerings is required (since some of the Elixir is given as the offering).

The Table of Art shown above is from The Digital Ambler. You can read about the design and how it was put together here. You can click on the image to enlarge.

If you employ scrying in your work, an appropriate device such as a crystal or mirror should also be placed in the containment structure. If you are using incense for such an operation, the traditional method is to place the incense burner between the scryer and the mirror or crystal. Otherwise, it may be placed anywhere in the space. Some scryers like to place a taper candle on either side of the device, and while I can't say that method does anything at all for me, a number of others report good results with it.

Netzach operations are best performed on a Friday during the hour of Venus, or when Venus, the Moon, or Saturn is the Chart Victor. Avoid any time during which the Chart Victor is Mars of the Sun. Also, you can improve your results by employing simple electional timing.

1. Opening

Light incense, if used (Benzoin, Rose, Red Sandal). Open the magical field using the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram and Lesser Ritual of the Hexagram, Star Ruby and Star Sapphire, or the Field Ritual. The usual field for practical work is the operant field, with banishing pentagrams and invoking hexagrams.

2. Preliminary Invocation

Raise energy using the Middle Pillar, Elevenfold Seal (the "First Gesture" from Liber V vel Reguli), or some other appropriate ritual method as you may know how to do.

Make the Sign of Apophis and Typhon, raising both arms and holding them straight with an angle between them of 60 degrees, and proclaim, very strongly:

Thee I invoke, who art Universe!
Thee I invoke, who art in Nature formed!
Thee I invoke, the vast and the mighty!
Source of Darkness, Source of Light.

Then make the Sign of Silence, by standing straight with one arm at your side and placing your thumb or forefinger to your lips.

3. Tuning the Space

Perform the Greater Ritual of the Hexagram for Venus (Sephirothic). Beginning in the east, go to each quarter in turn and perform the following actions.

  1. 1. Trace the Hexagram of Venus in Emerald Greed while vibrating ARARITA (ah-rah-ree-tah). The hexagram of Venus is traced by starting at the lower right point and tracing the first triangle clockwise, and then moving on to the upper left point and tracing the second triangle clockwise from there.
  2. Trace the symbol of Venus in the center of the hexagram in scarlet red while vibrating YHVH TZABAOTH (yah-weh tzah-bah-oth).
The final figure being traced to all four directions should look like this:

Once you have returned to face the east, read or recite the Taurus chapter followed by the Libra chapter from Liber 963:

Taurus (Venus Nocturnal)

1. O my God, Thou mighty One, Thou Creator of all things, I renounce unto Thee the kisses of my mistress, and the murmur of her mouth, and all the trembling of her firm young breast; so that I may be rolled a flame in Thy fiery embrace, and be consumed in the unutterable joy of Thine everlasting rapture.

2. O my God, Thou mighty One, Thou Creator of all things, I renounce unto Thee the soft-lipp'd joys of life, and the honey- sweets of this world, and all the subtilities of the flesh; so that I may be feasted on the fire of Thy passion, and be consumed in the unutterable joy of Thine everlasting rapture.

3. O my God, Thou Mighty One, Thou Creator of all things, I renounce unto Thee the ceaseless booming of the waves, and the fury of the storm, and all the turmoil of the wind-swept waters; so that I may drink of the porphyrine foam of Thy lips, and be consumed in the unutterable joy of Thine everlasting rapture.

4. O my God, Thou Mighty One, Thou Creator of all things, I renounce unto Thee the whispers of the desert, and the moan of the simoom, and all the silence of the sea of dust; so that I may be lost in the atoms of Thy Glory, and be consumed in the unutterable joy of Thine everlasting rapture.

5. O my God, Thou Mighty One, Thou Creator of all things, I renounce unto Thee the green fields of the valleys, and the satyr roses of the hills, and the nymph lilies of the meer; so that I may wander through the gardens of Thy Splendour, and be consumed in the unutterable joy of Thine everlasting rapture.

6. O my God, Thou Mighty One, Thou Creator of all things, I renounce unto Thee the sorrow of my mother, and the threshold of my home, and all the labour of my father's hands; so that I may be led unto the Mansion of Thy Light, and be consumed in the unutterable joy of Thine everlasting rapture.

7. O my God, Thou Mighty One, Thou Creator of all things, I renounce unto Thee the yearning for Paradise, and the dark fear of Hell, and the feast of the corruption of the grave; so that as a child I may be led unto Thy Kingdom, and be consumed in the unutterable joy of Thine everlasting rapture.

8. O my God, Thou Mighty One, Thou Creator of all things, I renounce unto Thee the moonlit peaks of the mountains, and the arrow-shapen kiss of the firs, and all the travail of the winds; so that I may be lost on the summit of Thy Glory, and be consumed in the unutterable joy of Thine everlasting rapture.

9. O my God, Thou Mighty One, Thou Creator of all things, I renounce unto Thee the goatish ache of the years, and the cryptic books, and all the majesty of their enshrouded words; so that I may be entangled in Thy wordless Wisdom, and be consumed in the unutterable joy of Thine everlasting rapture.

10. O my God, Thou Mighty One, Thou Creator of all things, I renounce unto Thee the wine-cups of merriment, and the eyes of the wanton bearers, and all the lure of their soft limbs; so that I may be made drunk on the vine of Thy splendour, and be consumed in the unutterable joy of Thine everlasting rapture.

11. O my God, Thou Mighty One, Thou Creator of all things, I renounce unto Thee the hissing of mad waters, and the trumpeting of the thunder, and all Thy tongues of dancing flame; so that I may be swept up in the breath of Thy nostrils, and be consumed in the unutterable joy of Thine everlasting rapture.

12. O my God, Thou Mighty One, Thou Creator of all things, I renounce unto Thee the crimson lust of the chase, and the blast of the brazen war-horns, and all the gleaming of the spears; so that like an hart I may be brought to bay in Thine arms, and be consumed in the unutterable joy of Thine everlasting rapture.

13. O my God, Thou Mighty One, Thou Creator of all things, I renounce unto Thee all that Self which is myself, that black sun which shineth in Self's day, whose glory blindeth Thy Glory; so that I may become as a rushlight in Thine abode, and be consumed in the unutterable joy of Thine everlasting rapture.

Amen, and Amen of Amen, and Amen of Amen of Amen, and Amen of Amen of Amen of Amen.

Libra (Venus Duiurnal)

1. O Thou green-cloaked Maenad in labour, who bearest beneath Thy leaden girdle the vintage of Thy kisses; release me from the darkness of Thy womb, so that I may cast off my infant wrappings and leap forth as an armed warrior in steel.

2. O Thou snake of misty countenance, whose braided hair is like a fleecy dawn of swooning maidens; hunt me as a fierce wild boar through the skies, so that Thy burning spear may gore the blue heavens red with the foaming blood of my frenzy.

3. O Thou cloudy Virgin of the World, whose breasts are as scarlet lilies paling before the sun; dandle me in the cradle of Thine arms, so that the murmur of Thy voice may lull me to a sleep like a pearl lost in the depths of a silent sea.

4. O Thou wine-voiced laughter of fainting gloom, who art as a naked faun crushed to death between millstones of thunder; make me drunk on the rapture of Thy song, so that in the corpse-clutch of my passion I may tear the cloud-robe from off Thy swooning breast.

5. O Thou wanton cup-bearer of madness, whose mouth is as the joy of a thousand thousand masterful kisses; intoxicate me on Thy loveliness, so that the silver of Thy merriment may revel as a moon-white pearl upon my tongue.

6. O Thou midnight Vision of Whiteness, whose lips are as pouting rosebuds deflowered by the deciduous moon; tend me as a drop of dew in Thy breast, so that the dragon of Thy gluttonous hate may devour me with its mouth of adamant.

7. O Thou effulgence of burning love, who pursueth the dawn as a youth pursueth a rose-lipped maiden; rend me with the fierce kisses of Thy mouth, so that in the battle of our lips I may be drenched by the snow-pure fountains of Thy bliss.

8. O Thou black bull in a field of white girls, whose foaming flanks are as starry night ravished in the fierce arms of noon; shake forth the purple horns of my passion, so that I may dissolve as a crown of fire in the bewilderment of Thine ecstasy.

9. O Thou dread arbiter of all men, the hem of whose broidered skirt crimsoneth the white battlements of Space; bare me the starry nipple of Thy breast, so that the milk of Thy love may nurture me to the lustiness of Thy virginity.

10. O Thou thirsty charioteer of Time, whose cup is the hollow night filled with the foam of the vintage of day; drench me in the shower of Thy passion, so that I may pant in Thine arms as a tongue of lightning on the purple bosom of night.

11. O Thou opalescent Serpent-Queen, whose mouth is as the sunset that is bloody with the slaughter of day; hold me in the crimson flames of Thine arms, so that at Thy kisses I may expire as a bubble in the foam of Thy dazzling lips.

12. O Thou Odalisque of earth's palace, whose garments are scented and passionate as spring flowers in sunlit glades; roll me in the sweet perfume of Thy hair, so that Thy tresses of gold may anoint me with the honey of a million roses.

13. O Thou manly warrior amongst youths, whose limbs are as swords of fire that are welded in the furnace of war; press Thy cool kisses to my burning lips, so that the folly of our passion may weave us into the Crown of everlasting Light.

Amen, and Amen of Amen, and Amen of Amen of Amen, and Amen of Amen of Amen of Amen.

The space should now be tuned for the conjuration.

4A. The Rite of Approach

Begin with the conjuration of the Archangel.

Oh Glorious and Mighty HANIEL, You who command and rule over the spirits of NOGAH, Behold me, and in the name of the same your God YHVH TZABAOTH, Attend and Appear before me within this circle of art! Full powers and wonders of the sephira of Netzach do I rightly desire! Enlighten my understanding, encourage my heart, and manifest unto me now as I enter into and explore your spiritual realm.

At this point, vibrate the name HANIEL repeatedly until the Archangel and the spirits of Netzach are perceived within the Table of Art. If this is being performed as a group ritual, with everyone chanting the name together, it is helpful for the officiant or scryer to have a bell chime that can be rung once he or she perceives a presence in whatever manner. At the bell chime, the chant stops.

Then sit down on a chair or cushion and read the Simple Pathworking Induction out loud. If you are able, it is helpful to record the induction so that you can listen to it and follow along with the corresponding visualizations. Or, if you are working with a group, each person can take a turn reading during a series of rites.

Sit or lie comfortably. Close your eyes and pay attention to your breath. Feel it flowing in and out of your body at its own natural rhythm. Relax your abdomen and allow it to expand as you breathe in, and contract as you breathe out. Feel the breath flowing, allowing it to sink into your abdomen and deepen at its own pace.

Visualize your body from the outside. Around it you see a glowing field of colored light arranged in four distinct layers. Bring your attention to the innermost layer, a field of light tinted with the rich green of earth. This layer extends only an inch or so beyond the boundary of your skin. As you bring your attention to this layer, relax from the toes on up. Then take a deep breath and say to yourself, “my body is at peace.” As deep relaxation flows throughout your body, see the field of green light becoming still and receptive.

Shift your attention to the next layer, a field of light tinted with the blue of water that covers earth. This layer begins where the green layer ends and extends a few more inches beyond your body. As you focus on this layer, pay attention to your emotions and feelings. Simply observe and let them pass, allowing your attention to detach from them. Take a deep breath and say to yourself, “my emotions are at peace.” As your emotions become calm and serene, see the field of blue light becoming still and reflective.

Shift your attention to the next layer, a field of light tinted with the yellow of air that covers water. This layer begins where the blue layer ends and extends yet a few more inches beyond your body. As you focus on this layer, pay attention to your thoughts. Simply observe and let them pass, allowing your attention to detach from them. Take a deep breath and say to yourself, “my thoughts are at peace.” As your thoughts become calm and clear, see the field of yellow light becoming still and integrated.

Shift your attention to the next layer, a field of light tinted with the red of fire that burns at the heart of the sun. This layer begins where the yellow layer ends and extends yet a few more inches beyond your body. As you focus on this layer, pay attention to the sparks of will that give rise to your individual sense of being. Simply observe and let them pass, allowing your attention to detach from them. Take a deep breath and say to yourself, “my will is at peace.” As your will becomes focused, see he field of red light becoming still and distinct.

Visualize your body and the aura that surrounds it. Allow any remaining tension, stress, or worry to drain away into the earth, and as you do, see the field of ethereal light that surrounds you becoming more vibrant and harmonious. Realize that you are now observing your body, emotions, thoughts, and will from outside, and that you are more than just these facets of your personality. Take a deep breath and say to yourself, “I am.” Then pay attention to your attention.

Now, begin to focus on your purpose in this temple. We are alone in the temple. The powers await just beyond our sensing. We will now bring these powers to life in our hall. Nothing awaits us or concerns us but the Great Work, which we shall now continue as we explore the realm of Haniel, the Archangel of Netzach.

Visualize an idealized form of yourself taking shape out of the light in front of your inner vision. See your astral double standing, facing you. Take some time to get the best image possible fixed in your mind. Once you have this Body of Light complete, look around the temple space from the viewpoint of your double and notice first that you are surrounded by a blank gray fog.

As the fog clears, you begin to make out the astral form of this temple around you. To the east you notice a portal take shape out of the mist. This could be a doorway, a large magick mirror, a window, or some other kind of opening large enough for you to enter. You pass through this portal, and find yourself in the realm of Haniel. Take note of all you experience here as you explore the landscape of Netzach.

At this point, allow 10-15 minutes for meditation in the spirit vision, or longer if it be your will. Use a timer, to remove the temptation to keep looking at your clock, watch, or phone. When you are finished, the induction is concluded as follows.

It is now time to leave the realm of Netzach. Take a few moments to finish your exploration here, and then turn back the way you came.

When you arrive at the portal, pass back through into the astral region of the temple. Stand in front of your physical body, turn around, and allow the Body of Light to merge back into your physical body. Retain all that has happened in vivid presence, while you quietly remain for awhile, with eyes still closed.

As you slowly merge back into the physical, be aware of your breath flowing, gently in and out of your body. Feel your eyes still gently closed and relaxed. Feel the movement of your abdomen as it moves away from your body as you inhale and back towards your body as you exhale. Finally, be aware of your body and the space that your body occupies.

Slowly bring your hands up to your face, cover your eyes with your hands and then gently open your eyes. Remove your hands slowly from your face, slowly look up and come back to the present space in circle.

Once you are back, stand and return to your place at the altar. Skip to Point 5 to close the rite.

4B. The Elixir Rite

Begin with the conjuration of the Archangel:

Oh Glorious and Mighty HANIEL, You who command and rule over the spirits of NOGAH, Behold me, and in the name of the same your God YHVH TZABAOTH, Attend and Appear before me within this circle of art! Full powers and wonders of the sephira of Netzach do I rightly desire! Enlighten my understanding, encourage my heart, and manifest unto me now as I partake of your spiritual realm.

At this point, vibrate the name HANIEL repeatedly until the presence of the Archangel and spirits of Hod is perceived within the Table of Art. If this is being performed as a group ritual, with everyone chanting the name together, it is helpful for the officiant or scryer to have a bell chime that can be rung once he or she perceives a presence in whatever manner. At the bell chime, the chant stops. Then say:

O victorious YHVH TZABAOTH. To thee we present this talisman of our magickal will! I ask thee, Oh Exalted One, to receive the body of this rite into the light of thy presence. As we proceed in making this Elixir of Netzach, charging it with the creative energies of NOGAH, we shall achieve a true alchemical ferment, mighty in Yetzirah and vitalized by thy blessing. In partaking of this Mystery, let there be unto us vitality of soul, increase of sight, true gnosis, and complete manifestation of the wonders of thy Sphere!

Note that the plural used here is NOT a typo or carry-over from the other elixir ritual. Even if you are working on your own, Haniel will also be partaking of the elixir in the form of an offering at the end of the rite. So there will always be at least two of you present.

Make one clockwise circumambulation, visualizing a wall of emerald green light whirling rapidly in the same direction about the circle. When finished, the wall of light is allowed to fade. Hold the cup at heart level and say:

Creature of Wine who art established in the Sphere of Netzach: by the vital force of my breath I enliven thee to perfect this work of Holy Magick in the realm of YHVH TZABAOTH.

Once this is complete, join or clasp hands and make seven full circumambulations of the circle, corresponding to Netzach.

Then raise power, visualizing a continuous spiral of emerald green light ascending from the ground at feet, whirling clockwise around body and ascending until it disappears above head. Hold this visualization, and vibrate the divine name once: YHVH TZABAOTH

The join or clasp hands and vibrate once more: YHVH TZABAOTH

Extend hands toward elixir cup. Visualize beams of emerald green light emanating from both hands and entering into the cup. When the cup feels “full” end the visualization, folding hands on breast left over right. Finally, trace the symbol of Mercury in a horizontal plane over the cup while vibrating once more: YHVH TZABAOTH

Make one more complete circumambulation of the circle. Battery: 1 (that is, knock on the altar table). Raise the cup and say:

Behold the Elixir of Netzach! For all and for each it is prepared! Let each and all receive its magick virtue!

Drink and then visualize or speak any practical intent. The cup should not be entirely drained. When finished, Battery: 1. Indicate the cup, which should still contain some of the elixir. Say:

Glorious and Mighty Haniel, we make this offering unto you, that it may nourish and fortify you as you attend to your appointed tasks. Be the ferment of our spiritual alchemy mighty in the crucible of our souls! So mote it be!

The offering should be allowed to evaporate following the rite. However, this is not necessary. If it has not fully evaporated after several days, you can pour it out at any convenient outdoor location.

5. The License to Depart

Archangel HANIEL and the spirits of Thy domain, because thou hast-diligently answered unto my demands, and hast been very ready and willing to come at my call, I do hereby license thee to depart unto thy proper place, without causing harm or danger unto man or beast. I charge thee to withdraw peaceably and quietly with the blessings of the great god YHVH TZABAOTH, and that peace be ever continued between us. So mote it be!

7. Closing

The ritual should be closed with the Qabalistic Cross.

A couple of points: You will probably need to perform these rituals multiple times before you can consider yourself "initiated" into Yesod. Generally speaking, this is something that the Archangel can bestow, but he won't necessarily do it the first time you ask. Or, maybe he will. It depends on his estimation of your state of awareness or realization. He may also give you specific instructions to follow in order to make yourself ready for the initiation. And they can always be performed afterwards, at any time, as rites of illumination.

Especially in the case of the Rite of Approach, be sure to write up a detailed journal entry including all that you experience. A voice recorder in the temple can be helpful for astral work of whatever kind so that you can describe what is going on as it happens. You may find trouble getting into the right mindspace to experience much the first time you do this and that's okay. Just use this trick: say to yourself "If I really was projecting into the astral, I would be seeing..."

You can test spirits you encounter by vibrating divine names at them. EHEIEH is a good general one, that dispels most false visions. You can also use the godname called upon in the ritual, YHVH TZABAOTH. If you meet a spirit claiming to be Haniel vibrate his name at it. If it really is Haniel, the vision should intensify rather than weaken. Finally, obtain from the spirit a word of power, a number, or both.

After the ritual, go back and look those up in a resource like Sephir Sephiroth or Godwin's Cabalistic Encyclopedia to see if the number or the gematria of the word is appropriate to the element of Fire. If it is, you most likely found your way to the right place. On the other hand, if you can find no connection, it is advisable to perform the rite again at some point in the future, maybe after doing an Elixir Rite or two.

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Anonymous said...

This is a more phylosophical question, but it reflects in the practicality of the mundane existence. It's about one's True Will. I've read Crowley's explanation of the True Will, where he details the whole of the Law. I agree that the TW is in fact God's will manifesting in the physical world in as many ways as there are people, not what each person's lower self (thinks it) wants.

That being said, do you think it's possible that certain individuals whose numbers may vary can discover their TW as being, for instance, murderous in nature, or violent etc? I for one think it is, since we all came here to learn different stuff according to our overall personal experience so far. So if we need to learn about suffering due to beating for instance, it can only come from another human. My point is that, let's say all the people on Earth find their TW and act according to it. Would the world be the same in terms of violence etc, but we would all be at peace with it because we would know that's how it's supposed to be?

Scott Stenwick said...

Sure, I imagine it would probably be possible for somebody to be born with a True Will to, say, be a serial killer. At the same time, it would be everybody else's True Will to stop them from killing by whatever means necessary - including killing, since by refusing to recognize that others have the right to live, the killer would forfeit his or her own right to the same. Or at the very least, his or her right to live as a free person.

Still, a very high percentage of crime and violence are perpetrated by people broken by trauma. Usually, the violence is a manifestation of conditioning surrounding abuse, and it's pretty hard to make the case that has much to do with True Will. Even if you look at serial killers, you only find a few who really fundamentally seem like they might be doing their True Will by killing. Like the vast majority of criminals, most are pretty dysfunctional people.

So my personal belief is that if everyone followed their True Will there would be far less violence, but that doesn't mean there would be none. I think the latter assumption is unrealistic, because people legitimately find themselves in conflict from time to time even if both parties can make a logical, well-reasoned argument that they are in the right. True Will won't make that go away. What I think it will help with is the stupid, knee-jerk acting out that causes most of the harm.

Unknown said...

Hi Scott

Bodies like the stellar solar or lunar astral can be activated progressively through these rites?
Can be channeled into a more alchemical form? So to speak
The contact with these beings and these subtle heights I believe that it activates progressively and according to the intention, some changes in those so-called subtle bodies
In fact there are alchemical operations linked to the signs of the zodiac, but how to direct the Intention to this?

Scott Stenwick said...

I am not completely sure what you are talking about here. The elixir rite is basically alchemical, and when you ingest the elixir you are empowering your subtle body with the power raised by the rite. Is that what you're talking about?

The Via Solis Zodiacal Elixir rites that I have been posting here on the blog are examples of this same style of working. So those are one way to direct your intention to alchemical operations related to the signs of the zodiac, if that's what you're asking.

As far as progressive activation, that's the point of doing these operations according to the path of initiation, or like we're doing with the Via Solis, spending a full year doing one rite per month as the Sun moves through the signs.

If that's not what you mean, can you clarify a bit?

Anonymous said...

I suspect what Javier is trying to say is if these rituals help the individual work on their inner alchemy in such a way that they shift their consciousness from lunar to solar. If that's the case, I guess so.

Scott Stenwick said...

Right, that is the whole point of the first phase of the Path of Initiation. From Netzach, the next phase is Spirit, which binds the elements and sephiroth below the Veil of Paroketh (lunar consciousness) together. Then, you do the Holy Guardian Angel invocation. And after that you do Tiphareth, which represents solar consciousness. That's the basic progression, if that's what you're talking about.

Anonymous said...

That's what I'm talking about. I don't know if that's what Javier is talking about :)

So you'll be posting separate rituals for Spirit (active&passive?) and the HGA??? No way!!! Awesome!

Unknown said...

Hi ¡¡¡

If David griffin has spoken of it, hermetic alchemy, but basically I believe that if this intention is projected, the rites are transforming the subtle bodies, the saturnine body,astral or lunar, the mental and solar structure,In fact I believe that in advanced rituals it is sought that the solar body go down or be structured in matter ,The sacramental part of the elixir seems to me very powerful and relates to this purpose,And can also be related to the 4 steps of alchemy nigredo albedo and so on,Generating a gradual transformation I am sure that something like this is possible-

Scott Stenwick said...

One of the primary goals of these operations is to connect solar and lunar consciousness. Likewise, the idea of creating a eucharist as an alchemical operation to embody that spiritual effect is an important part of it too. This is a gradual transformative effect, and takes time to develop. You can certainly use the traditional stages of alchemy to create a more powerful and potent eucharistic rite.

If that's what you're talking about, then you are correct.

I will say that personally I don't ascribe to a model in which there are separate subtle bodies for each of the planets and/or celestial spheres, if that's what you're talking about, so maybe that's where some of my confusion is coming from. As I see it you have one subtle body that expands to encompass more and more energies as you work with them. But that's one of those theoretical distinctions that is hard to prove or demonstrate one way or the other.

Samat said...

1. 'The word Netzach means victory, and in working with this sephira we develop the ability to overcome obstacles by both skillful and aesthetic means.'

Does this mean that we can pathwork to Anael and ask her to remove our obstacles to things outside of Netzach's sphere of influence like blockages to employment, uhhh...letter writing, sports or anything really or would you say we should ask the respective angel of the sphere of influence instead?

2. Also, has it ever occurred that you performed spirit vision scrying to a spirit and had a really difficult trying to find the spirit? Because certain angels and spirits avoid their calls (conjurations) all the time with certain people for various reasons and I see all the time people saying that they can't get any response from a certain spirit they chose to work with. So what should be the next step to foster a relationship with said spirit? Said spirit could be anyone from celestial to chthonic to infernal.

'Cold contacting' aka first few tries of contact is probably not the answer. Since you have your HGA, I doubt you have this problem anymore.

Scott Stenwick said...

In the Thelemic system, working with the sephiroth primarily corresponds to mystical visions, not practical effects. You can still get practical stuff to work a lot of the time, but not as well as what you would get with a path. So there's that. Usually you'll get better results with the angel corresponding to the sphere of influence, especially if that angel corresponds to a path.

There are absolutely times when it can be hard to find a specific spirit in a pathworking. One method that I use to deal with this is (in the pathworking) to repeat the name of the spirit over and over again until it appears. Usually that will call them successfully and let you interact with them, but it can take some time.

Samat said...

Then what does it mean here by 'develop the ability to overcome obstacles by both skillful and aesthetic means.'?
That sounded practical to me.

Also, when working with a spirit to work on yourself say to remove some obstacles, would that still be considered a practical working?

2. Does it get easier the more you attempt to converse with that spirit via spirit vision sessions? Say I pick Anael for everything related to Venus, and I travel by spirit vision to her, and charge her to make it much easier for me to get to her henceforth, would that work?

3. Also, have you ever had to convince a reluctant angel to let you work with it? As in, one of the zodiacal archangels. If so, what is something that you find helpful in that regard?

I've done 3 practical operations with a certain Pisces Shem angel, first of which was successful but I can't help but feel that the same willingness to work is not being shared by it. I definitely felt the cold spots above the table of art with my hands, and the subtle, cold, empty, bleak feeling around the room, a clear sign of Pisces. The feeling was much less perceivable the 3rd time. So you tell me what is it that I can do to further this process.

Scott Stenwick said...

1. Developing the ability to overcome obstacles by skillful and aesthetic means is not the same as overcoming a particular obstacle by skillful and aesthetic means. Initiatory work helps develop your ability to do practical things, but you use the practical ritual template to do a ritual to actually overcome a particular thing. One reinforces the other, but they are not the same.

2. Generally speaking communication gets easier as you work with a particular spirit, whether or not you use a formal charge to that effect. If you want to do a formal charge like that, though, you certainly can and it will likely help.

3. Rarely. If I encounter a spirit that doesn't want to work with me, I usually just find another one with similar powers that is more cooperative. Spirits, like people, return the treatment they receive. Usually if you force a spirit to work with you, they're not going to be motivated to do a good job.

I'm not sure what you mean by "to help further this process." Generally speaking, as you work more with a spirit you'll form a stronger connection, if that's what you're asking about.

Samat said...

Yes, that is what I was asking about. So just by working with that angel we can get it to drop its unwillingness to work with us? That makes sense if you view these angels as 'science' instead of 'person', where by doing more of something i.e the Work with said angel, the more it will come to understand and trust us whereas with people, if someone hates you once they hate you forever.

And what if that spirit happened to be one of the archangels of the zodiac? We definitely need all 12 of them, just like how we need all 7 planetary archangels, and the intelligences. I don't think I would like to have access to only 5 or 6 of the zodiac archangels for example.

Thing is I need this particular Pisces Shem angel in my life. It's a kind of angel I keep finding uses for, like Cancer's Muriel. But the ambient response I have felt from this angel is that it has a dark and severe nature and does not wish to be called for simple needs. At least that is how I felt when I did my operations with it, which is why I asked whether Haniel/Anael can be worked with for overcoming this obstacle.

But I think your message to me is clear, to keep working with this angel slowly and steadily AND UNRELENTLESSLY and it will eventually let up and warm up to me.

Scott Stenwick said...

Often that will prove to be the case. Not always, of course, because it depends on both you and the spirit. The spirit has its own independent personality and that has to be taken into account.

I don't get why you would need to work with all the zodiac angels to work with one of them. If you don't need anything from a particular sphere of influence, there's no need to do an operation with the angel that rules that sphere. I certainly don't conjure them all equally.

As long as "unrelentlessly" doesn't turn into harsh and dictatorial, you should be okay following that method. Perseverance is important, severity not so much. If you get too harsh with a spirit it will likely stop wanting to work with you.

I'm sure there are other spirits with similar powers. The idea that you would be stuck working with just one doesn't make sense when so many lists of spirits and their powers are currently available to modern magicians. They all overlap in a lot of different ways.

Samat said...

Right, and I have no intention of working with the goetic demons so that cuts out 72 more spirits out, leaving only angels. There are many people out there who don't bother with Goetic or infernal workings no matter how cool it might look to wield a sword.

We get 12 archangels of the zodiac, and 12 lesser angels of the zodiac in 777. And we further get the 12 house angels like Auphan. 36 sign angels. Of these very few will be of use to us, but I keep finding uses for almost all 12 of the signs because I like the idea of experimentation, just like how people find uses for all 7 planets. Only Aquarius is the sign I have not considered a use for YET so Cambriel is out.

Plus there is also the advanced option of spirit vision scrying and meeting an entirely new angel never known to humanity, which people DO get to see happen. I even saw a GD frater get a Martian angel specifically for himself not found in the grimoires.