Thursday, July 6, 2006

COMSELH MADRIAX ("Circle of the Heavens"): An Enochian Macrocosmic Ritual

This ritual is the macrocosmic complement to the COMSELH AOIVEAE, and was developed along with that ritual for our magical working group, Comselh Ananael. It is based on an earlier ritual of mine called the MADRIAX which used the symbol of the heptagram in accordance with its basic symbolism drawn from John Dee's Heptarchia Mystica. The angels of the Heptarchia do not appear on the Great Table and are explicitly planetary and attributed to the days of the week. Each day has a King and Prince who have specific offices and behave somewhat like a planetary intelligence and spirit, though the distinction is not nearly as clear-cut as it is with Agrippa's planetary hierarchy. In general, the Kings are associated with knowledge and learning and the Princes with mundane actions. The ruling angels of the system are CARMARA and HAGONEL, who do not seem to be bound to any particular day, though in the Heptarchia their conjurations appear along with those for the King and Prince related to Monday.

The COMSELH MADRIAX does not use the figure of the heptagram at the various directional points but that of the Unicursal Hexagram. The same figure is used in the microcosmic COMSELH AOIVEAE and this is a break from the Golden Dawn tradition. The Golden Dawn used the pentagram to symbolize the microcosm and the standard bicursal hexagram to symbolize the macrocosm, which they related to the formula of the Adept or 5=6. The Unicursal Hexagram is a hybrid symbol - it can represent the elements (as shown in Aleister Crowley's Book of Thoth or in an earlier knowledge lectures of the Golden Dawn) or it can represent the planets, as it is sometimes used by modern magicians. Israel Regardie was one of the first advocates of this latter usage, especially because it allowed a Hexagram of the Sun to be drawn from the central point. However, even when used in a planetary context the figure retains its elemental symbolism and is less suitable than the standard hexagram for pure planetary operations. To draw a standard Golden Dawn Hexagram of the Sun it is necessary to trace all six planetary hexagrams, which as Michael Sandborn comments in The Unicursal Hexagram as Hyperbola is a "wonderful isometric exercise."

The departure from the Golden Dawn pentagram/hexagram symbolism is grounded in the essential concepts of operant magick. The Operant Field Model proposes that the mind of the magician corresponds to a field effect that is experienced as consciousness. This is termed the Personal Field. Fields are also created by individual objects, and these fields unite into larger fields when those objects interact. These are called Transpersonal Fields. The magician is able to influence objects because he or she has trained the personal field to synchronize with a transpersonal field that contains those objects and then is able to use concentrated thought to affect them. Essentially, magick is possible when the Personal Field and a Transpersonal Field are conjoined. Bringing the macrocosmic and microcosmic realms into alignment in this manner is the basic goal of the opening rituals, such as those of the pentagram and hexagram.

The Unicursal Hexagram is an ideal glyph to accomplish this, especially if it is considered as a representation of a hyperbola. Michael Sandborn's The Unicursal Hexagram as Hyperbola was very influential in the design of this ritual and its counterpart, even moreso than it was in the development of our alternative Lesser Ritual of the Hexagram. The interesting thing about the hyperbola is that from a mathematical standpoint there are not two curves, but one, even though the figure is drawn as two arcs facing in opposite directions that do not appear to touch. If the upper curve is envisioned as the Transpersonal realm and the lower curve is envisioned as the Personal Field, then this figure is indeed ideally suited for use in complementary rituals intended to accomplish the union of the two realms, uniting that which at first appears to be separate.

The points of the Unicursal Hexagram may be attributed to the planets, though as Sanborn mentions in his article it is not clear that a solar form can actually be drawn from the center point. The planetary form retains its elemental characteristics which harmonize nicely with the usage of the figure in the COMSELH AOIVEAE. The standard planetary arrangement used for both forms of the hexagram is based on the Tree of Life, specifically the placement of spheres 3-9. The elemental attributions can be found in the commentary on the COMSELH AOIVEAE. Combining the planetary and elemental attributions yields the following:
  • Top Point: Saturn = Active Spirit
  • Upper Right: Jupiter = Water
  • Upper Left: Mars = Fire
  • Lower Right: Venus = Earth
  • Lower Left: Mercury = Air
  • Bottom Point: Moon = Passive Spirit
Attributing Active Spirit to Saturn may seem odd since Saturn is usually seen in astrology as representing limitation and structure, but Saturn also is the Lord of Initiation and stands in for all three supernal spheres. In this arrangement it signifies the actions of the Heavens, just as the Moon signifies the actions of the Earth. The top and bottom points are larger than the side points because they represent the active and passive polarities that give rise to the other four elements. The standard hexagram is a more "pure" planetary symbol since it reflects a completely balanced arrangement of the planets by virtue of having six identical points.

Banishing and invoking planets using the Unicursal Hexagram works slightly differently than banishing and invoking elements. With elements, the figure is traced toward the point attributed to the element to invoke and away from the point attributed to the element to banish. With planets, the figure is traced starting at the point attributed to the planet moving clockwise to invoke and counter-clockwise to banish. As noted in Sanborn's essay, this presents a problem because there is no way to draw a fully clockwise or counter-clockwise Unicursal Hexagram - the "twist" in the middle of the figure means that the tracing will always switch directions in the course of completing the shape. How this is resolved is to move clockwise or counter-clockwise from the perspective of the point from which the figure is being traced.

In the COMSELH AOIVEAE, the Unicursal Hexagrams are traced to the four directions in such a way that the temple is envisioned as a two-dimensional space. The dimension of spirit - that is, the path followed by the Lightning Flash and Serpent of Wisdom - is represented by the third dimension of the space, the vertical axis. In the COMSELH MADRIAX, the Unicursal Hexagrams are traced in a three-dimensional configuration to form a sphere with the representation of the Sun at its center. The spiritual dimension can no longer be modeled as the vertical axis and is then represented as turning inward and outward rather than upward and downward. This reflects the true macrocosmic shape of the fields involved - for the Personal Field to align a Transpersonal Field, the field that is experienced as consciousness must expand outward to encompass more of the universe than just the individual self. This is why mysticism is an important part of any magical practice - it teaches the expansion of the self beyond the artificial boundaries imposed by personal perceptions.

The second section of the ritual calls upon the Governors, twelve Angels that rule over the various parts of the earth and are related to the signs of the Zodiac. Like the Angels of the Heptarchia, these Governors do not appear on the Tablet of the Watchtowers and represent the pure force of the signs of the Zodiac. As an aside, note that these twelve Governors are not the same as the Angelic names of the ninety-one Parts of the Earth, which do appear on the Tablet, despite the fact that the Golden Dawn Enochian system refers to the Parts of the Earth as "the Governors." It is clear from the original passage in Dee's diaries that when the Angels make reference to the Governors, they mean these twelve Zodiacal Governors and not the Parts of the Earth.

Benjamin Rowe makes the following comments in The 91 Parts of the Earth: Introduction:

It should be emphasized that these Parts are not "governors of the Aethyrs", as has been mistakenly said by some writers. The name of the Part does not invoke a specific being, but only a certain locale of the Enochian universe, with its particular qualities. Nor does the Part in any way "rule" the Aethyr of which it is a portion. One might view the relationship between Parts and Aethyrs as being similar to the relationship between the decanates of the zodiac and the signs of which they are a section. The Voice of the Part is not the Part itself, but one of the unnamed ministers who dwells therein.

Every part is governed by one of twelve "Zodiacal Kings", who is associated with one of the Tribes of Israel. The angels did not give Dee an explicit listing of their zodiacal attributes; he was told to derive it from the related tribe. Apparently he never did so. In these visions, the following system of attributes was used, which differs from both Agrippa system with which Dee was familiar, and the G.D. system.
  • Aries = Alpudus = Isacarah
  • Taurus = Hononol = Iehudah
  • Gemini = Zarzilg = Nephthalim
  • Cancer = Gebabal = Asseir
  • Leo = Olpaged = Dan
  • Virgo = Cadaamp = Benjamin
  • Libra = Zarnaah = Manasse
  • Scorpio = Arfaolg = Ephraim
  • Sagittarius = Lavavot = Gad
  • Capricorn = Zurchol = Simeon
  • Aquarius = Ziracah = Ruben
  • Pisces = Zinggen = Zabulon
The logic of this system is based on the disposition of the Tribes depicted in Numbers 2, combined with Dee's diagram of that disposition. There are several possible systems that could be derived from these sources; the one actually used was chosen by divination after the major possibilities were assessed.

Rowe's attributions of the Governors to the signs are used in the second section of this ritual.

Part I: The Planets

There is no specific opening step in this ritual that is comparable to sections I and IV of the pentagram ritual, since it is assumed that this ritual is encapsulated by the COMSELH AOIVEAE. By this I mean that you perform the COMSELH AOIVEAE up through "Behold, the circle of stars, and I the all-powerful in the midst," perform this ritual, perform additional ritual work as you will, and close with section IV of the COMSELH AOIVEAE. As such, the opening has already been done and the closing will be performed following the conclusion of whatever additional ritual work is being done.
  1. Face the east. If the Holy Table is present, stand to the west of it. In all cases, you will be casting across the Holy Table to the opposite side of the Temple, so "turn to the south" means to move to the north of the Table facing south. In the east, trace the Unicursal Hexagram of Mars in red and vibrate BABALEL (BAH-bah-lel).
  2. Turn to the south. In the south, trace the Unicursal Hexagram of Mercury in white and vibrate BNASPOL (BNAS-pohl).
  3. Turn to the west. In the west, trace the Unicursal Hexagram of Jupiter in green and vibrate BYNEPOR (BY-neh-pohr).
  4. Turn to the north. In the north, trace the Unicursal Hexagram of Venus in black and vibrate BALIGON (BAH-lee-gohn). These first four planets are attributed according to the density of the associated element on the Unicursal Hexagram.
  5. Return to the east, completing the circle. Above you or above the Holy Table in front of you, trace the Unicursal Hexagram of Saturn in bright violet and vibrate BNAPSEN (BNAP-sen).
  6. Below you or below the Holy Table in front of you trace the Unicursal Hexagram of the Moon in deep purple and vibrate BLUMAZA (blu-MAH-zah).
  7. Trace a heptagram (or heptangle) surrounding your heart, starting at the solar point and moving clockwise, in bright yellow-gold. Then clasp your hands over your heart and vibrate BOBOGEL (BOH-boh-ghel).
Part II: The Governors

The twelve zodiacal Governors are now called upon in a widdershins circle that counterbalances the deosil circle of hexagrams. Starting with Aries in the east, the magician traces the sign attributed to the Governor while vibrating the name. He or she then moves 30 degrees widdershins and does the same for the next Governor in the series (Taurus in this case). If the banners are present lining the circle they may be decorated with the appropriate sign and Governor name in addition to the Name of God, which will aid memorization. This action is repeated until the magician has made a full widdershins circumambulation of the Temple and is again facing east.

  1. In the east, trace the sigil of Aries in red and vibrate ALPUDUS (AL-puh-dus).
  2. Turn 30 degrees counter-clockwise. To the east-northeast trace the sigil of Taurus in red and vibrate HONONOL (HOH-noh-nol).
  3. Turn 30 degrees counter-clockwise. To the north-northeast trace the sigil of Gemini in black and vibrate ZARZILG (ZAR-zeelg).
  4. Turn 30 degrees counter-clockwise. To the north trace the sigil of Cancer in black and vibrate GEBABAL (GEH-bah-bahl).
  5. Turn 30 degrees counter-clockwise. To the north-northwest trace the sigil of Leo in black and vibrate OLPAGED (OHL-pah-ged).
  6. Turn 30 degrees counter-clockwise. To the west-northwest trace the sigil of Virgo in green and vibrate CADAAMP (KAH-dah-ahmp).
  7. Turn 30 degrees counter-clockwise. To the west trace the sigil of Libra in green and vibrate ZARNAAH (ZAR-nah-ah).
  8. Turn 30 degrees counter-clockwise. To the west-southwest trace the sigil of Scorpio in green and vibrate ARFAOLG (AR-fah-olg).
  9. Turn 30 degrees counter-clockwise. To the south-southwest trace the sigil of Sagittarius in white and vibrate LAVAVOT (LAH-vah-voht).
  10. Turn 30 degrees counter-clockwise. To the south trace the sigil of Capricorn in white and vibrate ZURCHOL (ZUR-khol).
  11. Turn 30 degrees counter-clockwise. To the south-southeast trace the sigil of Aquarius and vibrate ZIRACAH (ZEER-ah-kah).
  12. Turn 30 degrees counter-clockwise. To the east-southeast trace the sigil of Pisces in red and vibrate ZINGGEN (ZEENG-gehn).
  13. Turn 30 degrees counter-clockwise, completing the circle and returning to face the east. Make the Sign of Apophis and Typhon and vibrate TA CALZ I OROCHA (TAH KAHL-zod EE or-OH-cha - "As above the firmament so beneath").
  14. Pause for a moment and visualize the energies of the planets and Zodiac coming into being, uniting the microcosmic and macrocosmic universes. The full visualization for this ritual consists of:

    • The full COMSELH AOIVEAE visualization.
    • Planetary Unicursal Hexagrams to the four quarters in the four directional colors, merging with the directional hexagrams of the COMSELH AOIVEAE.
    • The Unicursal Hexagram of Saturn above in bright violet and that of the Moon below in deep purple
    • The Solar Heptagram in bright gold surrounding your heart. It is within the pentagram you traced over yourself in the opening of the COMSELH AOIVEAE.
    • The full circle of the Zodiac, drawn beyond the hexagrams so that it seems to extend to the edges of the cosmos.
    • All of these elements merged together into a single coherent whole, which is the magical field.
Part III: Completion

This step varies depending on whether you are using this ritual as a banishing or as an invocation, and whether or not it is being used with other ritual work. If the ritual is being used in conjunction with any other ritual work perform this entire part as written. If it is being performed as a banishing to clear a space or neutralize magical influences, skip to step 3. If it is being performed as an invocation to provide a general flow of energy to ongoing magical effects or as a daily practice, stop at step 1. CARMARA is the name of the King who rules over the entire Heptarchy of Angels.
  1. If you are performing additional ritual work, make the Sign of Rending the Veil, as though parting a heavy curtain in front of you with both hands, and intone MADRIAX CARMARA YOLCAM LONSHI (MAH-dree-ahx kar-MAH-rah YOHL-kahm LOHN-shee - "O ye heavens of CARMARA, bring forth power").
  2. Perform any additional ritual work here, to its conclusion.
  3. Make the Sign of Closing the Veil, as though closing a heavy curtain in front of you with both hands, and intone: MADRIAX CARMARA ADRPAN LONSHI (MAH-dree-ahx kar-MAH-rah, AHD-rpahn LOHN-shee - "O ye heavens of CARMARA, cast down power").

At this point, the conclusion to the AOIVEAE is performed, and the ritual is complete.

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