The Greater Mysteries are paradoxical in the sense that the requirements that were engendered on students in previous degrees become almost completely reversed. In the human body, the left brain rules over the right side, and the right brain over the left brain. Go above the hollow abyss of the throat and the lost sephira of knowledge, and right becomes left, “good” becomes “evil”, masculine becomes feminine, and up becomes down. Indeed, the Agga symbol of the Elder Gods can be interpreted as the symbol of the journey to this point – it rises up to a heavenly height, descends down deep into the underworld, then remerges back on the Earth plane to begin the training in the Greater Elements. “Agga” may come from the root “Ag” – fire, which connects these rites once more to those of the Fire Priests of Iraq and Iran – the lands of the Watchers.
While Earth is traditionally known as the Sphere of the Four Elements, they also manifest, especially in older conceptions, on much stronger and potent levels far beyond the limits of the Kingdom sphere. This is the meaning of the verse that states “they worship the heaving earth and the ripping sky and the rampant flame and the flooding waters” – it is the elements in their primal and uncontrollable state. “And their Books are the Books of CHAOS and the flames, and are the Books of the Shadows and the Shells” – all classical associations and titles for the qliphotic paths of dark mysticism and the black arts of alchemy and necro/negro-mancy. The Elemental Gate of Earth is the domain of Ninkharsag, which the Necronomicon calls “Queen of the Demons”. Earth and earthly nature are revealed to be the “demons” that we have struggled against for so long – perhaps even in vain. The goetic spirits of Earth, the “turbid forces” as the Grand Grimoire calls them, are the practical spirits of applied magic – thaumaturgy, versus the heavenly spirits of theurgy. This mirrors the lwa division in Voudon between the “hot” Petwo and “cool” Rada nations of spirits. The hot/cold dichotomy may be a far better designation than the European good/evil axis.
As Ninib “knows the ways of the ancient ones”, the attainment of the Adar gate grants a person the ability to “wrestle with the old gods”, just as Jacob wrestled with the angel of Yahweh. “Wrestling”, in Jewish tradition, implies a greater work and struggle to understand and apply theology on the deepest and most essential levels. In this sense, the ability to wrestle with the Ancient Ones implies that an initiate has the maturity, discipline, and preparation necessary to study the “forbidden lore” of the black arts and the cults and practices of dark mysticism. Artifical divisions of good and evil start to dissapear here, in that all is understood to be the valid membership of the body of creation. What was formerly a curse becomes a blessing here, in that an initiate can call upon extreme powers to deal with extreme situations. As the dark emperor of the Sith tells Luke in Return of the Jedi, “I’ve come to complete your training.” Nonetheless, Luke’s ultimate victory comes neither through the Jedi’s wish that he kill Vader, nor succumbing to the Emperor’s temptations, but by the withdrawal of his saber and his refusal to participate anymore in the conflict. This alludes to the Buddhist meditative practice known as “stopping the war”, in which we acknowledge that all conflicts are relative and that in the grand scheme, there IS no conflict. The Gatewalker’s ultimate morality is personal responsibility and decision.
The degree of Magister Templi is understood both in the sense of a guardian and arbiter of the sacred as well as a teacher who “cultivates a garden of students”. This seminal degree involves great trial and testing for all students of the mysteries, as they must complete their planetary theurgy, overcome the underworld, and confront the limits of both self and reality. A great secret, perhaps THE secret is learned at this stage, in which an initiate learns to cross the seemingly endless abyss that exists in both inner and outer space. It is shocking in nature and requires the additional degrees to make sense of it and learn to live peacefully with its scope. Saturn is associated with the sphere of Understanding, which makes this the realm of the left brain. Initiates discover here the limits of linear and empirical thought, and if they are still under any kind of patriarchial tyranny at this point, it really starts to break apart.
Nonetheless, it is also a pact of trust, in which the “Gate to the Outside” must not be left open “one minute past the hour”, else too much creative chaos enter into the world and cause more harm than good. “Everything is permissible for me”, Saint Paul admits, “but I will not be mastered by anything.” The Zonei of Order are not necessarily “good” compared to the Azonei of Chaos, but a balance must be maintained between the two for life on Earth to prosper. Too much “good” and “order” will result in stagnation, endless beaurocracy, and a sapping of all the vitality of creation into dead and hollow structures. Too much “evil” and “chaos” will prevent any kind of stability, progress, long-term growth, or rest from the eternal fires of creation. These are the same teachings that are contained within the Dao De Ching – “When everybody knows what good is, it is not good”. Daoism actually dovetails perfectly with the highest teachings of the Kabbalah, and in general western teachings represent a structured degree program of ladder-climbing that seeks to provide “covenants” of compromise for those who are not ready to fully dedicate themselves to the Nameless Way.
It was the nature of the gods of Marduk to rebel against and slay Apsu and Tiamat, because the Two represent the “highest” negative veil of existence in Kaballah – Ain – The Completely Indescribable and Indefinable, beyond which lies the God “whom none have ever known or measured” – The Ancient of Days. The generations between Apsu/Tiamat and Marduk were instable, abstract, and incoherent enough that they did not pose any threat or real bother to their forebears, with names like “the Muddy Ones” and “Whole Heaven and Earth”. But by the time Marduk’s generation came about, creation had reached a stage of such solidity, permanence, fixed structure and order, that “their doings were loathsome unto the Ancient Ones”, whose nature was to uphold, protect, and encourage Instability, Chaos, and Indefinable Divinity, that the Divine Fullness of God and Reality might never be limited. If you’ve ever been awakened at 6 am by construction work in your neighborhood, you just might be able to relate to the feelings of the Ancient Couple, who dwelled for countless aeons in a blissful rest until seemingly out of nowhere, a commotion arose! “Absu could not lessen their clamour; Tiamat was speechless at their ways.” And if you were to discover that the noise was actually coming from INSIDE your own house – even your own belly! – the sentiment that “I could just kill the kids” takes on a whole new understanding 😀
It is important to note also that although Marduk is the protagonist who is directly responsible for the Defeat of the Dragon, he is only able to succeed with the help of Enki and the legions of the Igigi – the Watchers. The Magus Degree is the Gate of Enki. Of the Three Great Watchers who exist between the realms of the Ancient Ones and the Race of Marduk, it is Ea Enki – the Logos Mediator – who must make the decision that will be best for creation as a whole. Anu is usually too removed from human affairs to directly intervene or take interest in our interests, and Enlil tends to be hostile and critical when it comes to humankind.The lot falls to our Father Enki, the special patron and protector of humanity, to intervene for us when the judgment of the council is too harsh. In Hindu lore, when King Indra and the Devas got in over their heads and it looked like the Asuras would defeat them once and for all, it was to Shiva that they went for aid. Shiva was the friend of both Deva and Asura, and intervened again and again to save the world, the gods, and humanity – even drinking poison at one point to do so, and staining his throat blue as a result. Although these two happen to be my patron gods, I can’t help but wonder, due to such similarities, if they might be the same being. Regardless, you can see from these examples that while “Anu is the Father of the Heavens”, and “Enlil is the Father of the Winds”, it is Ea Shiva who is “Our Master”, “and he is Our Father, of all who would tread these forgotten paths, and wander into Lands unknown, among the Wastes, amid frightful monsters of the Azonei.”
Enki’s support of Marduk, and the support of his Igigi legions, is tentative and founded upon certain requirements. The Lord of the Watchers only watches, and does not intervene unless the divine council of Heaven and Earth decides as a whole to seek his aid. Hence the possibility exists that at different times, Enki may decide to favor the Ancient Ones instead of Marduk, in the best interests of Earth. Enki certainly enraged Enlil and the Elder Gods when he chose to warn Noah Ziusudra of the Flood and save him and his family. Nonetheless, the gods later acknowledged that although Enki had broken the “law”, his decision was the right one to make. This is why the Mad Arab is stunned into denial when he discovers that the worshipers of the Ancient Ones are also invoking Enki!
“The Power of Magick is the Power of Our Master ENKI, Lord of the Seas, and Master of Magick, Father of MARDUK, Fashioner of the Magick Name, the Magick Number, the Magick Word, the Magick Shape. So, therefore, the Priest who governs the Works of Fire [the Magus], and of the God of Fire, GISHBAR called GIBIL, must firstly sprinkle with the Water of the Seas of ENKI, as a testament to his Lordship and a sign of the Covenant that exists between him and you.”
Water and its wisdom are the deciding factors as to whether the fire will create or destroy. The symbol of this power is the Crystal Ball or Sphere. You can see this portrayed in the movie Labyrinth, in which the Goblin King twirls the spheres of creation and magic in the palm of his hands, and reorders reality as he wills. Its also poignant that Jared’s totem in the movie is the Owl, which is the Guardian of Wisdom.
The Gate of Enlil is the Greater Elemental Gate of Air, which culminates in the Primum Mobile Sphere of Keter – the “Crown” sphere of Kabbalah. Enlil is the dominant god on Earth in Sumerian theology, acting on Anu’s authority with the assistance of Enki his brother. Enlil’s greatest temple was called the E-kur – the Mountian House – and was similar to the pantheon of Rome in that it contained shrines for all of the gods. Kur is also a primeval serpent title for Tiamat, and one of the volcanoes of the Mediterranean world was said to shake and erupt because of the rumblings within it of the western equivalent of Kur – Typhon. Its also fascinating to note that in the Enochian system of the 30 aethyrs, which are also called airs, the highest aethyr is known as LIL. Enlil was somewhat of a precursor to Marduk, in that he was said to have seperated Heaven and Earth with his arrival, being the airy space between them (air in ancient cosmology is not restricted to gaseous materials). The 50 powers belonged to Enlil before they were bequethed to Marduk, as 50 is Enlil’s number. The conflicts between the two gods are central to Zecharia Sitchin’s mythology. Marduk and Enlil are the two gods who contributed the most to the portrayed personality of The Lord Yahweh in Judaism, and both gods were said to be very vengeful towards humans who angered them. This is why the 1st name of Marduk Dugga is said to be “a terrible responsibility” to utilize. YHWH itself is said to be more of a formula than a name, and as the Kabbalah demonstrates, many beings over time wore this Sacred Name as a banner and established its reputation on Earth. The name may have originally denoted a war god and carried a meaning along the lines of “He who causes to fall”, but later been spiritually interpreted as “He who causes to be.” Kabbalah acknowledges the “wrath of Yahweh” and the binding nature of Mosaic laws, but also incorporates more abstract conceptions of God and an emphasis on mercy that counterbalances this traditional “fear of the LORD”. Enlil’s gate presents a great trial and challenge for pagans and others who were scarred by monotheistic traditions, in that they must face up to the god that they once rejected. The Sword is the elemental tool of air and symbol of the analytical mind, and whatever a person fears and detests will here be revealed, so that their “abominations” might be brought to light.
In passing Enlil’s gate, our author “found the Gate that leads to the Outside, by which the Ancient Ones, who ever seek entrance to our world, keep eternal watch.” This Gate is the Gate of both Gibil and Grandfather Anu – the Gate of Fire. This gate leads to the “Empyrean” Heavens that exist within the Eternal Fire, guarded by the Seraphim, or “Burning Ones”. Initiates who reach this point are known as Dragons, having gained the abilities of all 7 planets and 4 elements – the 11 who go before Tiamat.
In time, I learned of the names and properties of all the demons, devils, fiends and monsters listed herein, in this Book of the Black Earth. I learned of the powers of the astral Gods, and how to summon their aid in times of need. I learned, too, of the frightful beings who dwell beyond the astral spirits, who guard the entrance to the Temple of the Lost, of the Ancient of Days, the Ancient of the Ancient Ones, whose Name I cannot write here.
And against the Ancient Ones, there is only defence. Only a madman, indeed, such as I am called, can hope to have power over Them that dwell in the Outer Spaces, for their power is Unknown, and the number of the hordes Uncounted, and each day they breed more horrors than a man’s mind can conceive, the sight of which he can hardly bear.
The final degree is not a matter of domination – of reaching the highest sphere or point – but of the mastery of all the spheres and their integration- the Entire Tree of Life and Death. These masters are known as Ipssisimi – “Those who are most themselves” – fulfillers of their True Will.
And if you perform these operations often, you shalt see things becoming dark; and the Wanderers in their Spheres shall no more be seen by you; and the Stars in their places will lose their Light, and the Moon, NANNA, by whom you also work, shall become black and extinguished,
AND ARATAGAR SHALL BE NO MORE, AND THE EARTH SHALL ABIDE NOT
And around you shall appear the Flame, like Lightning flashing in all directions, and all things will appear amid thunders, and from the Cavities of the Earth will leap forth the ANNUNNAKI, Dog-Faced, and you shall bring them down.
The Gates that lie beyond Anu, of which Warlock has spoken previously, are the Veils of Negative Existence. These are sometimes called the Supreme Mysteries. These lead out to the Gate of Apsu and Tiamat, which Simon Magus correctly identified as the Gate of Self. Having not yet reached this point myself, I am unable to outline it, but I feel the words of the Magan text suffice in their beauty:
Know that our years are the years of War
And our days are measured as battles
And every hour is a Life
Lost to the Outside
Those from Without
Have built up charnel houses
To nourish the fiends of TIAMAT
And the Blood of the weakest here
Is libation unto TIAMAT
Queen of the Ghouls
Wreaker of Pain
And to invoke her
The Red Water of Life
Need be split on a stone
The stone struck with a sword
That hath slain eleven men
Sacrifices to HUBUR
So that the Strike rings out
And call TIAMAT from Her slumber
From her sleep in the Caverns
Of the Earth.
And none may dare entreat further
For to invoke Death is to utter
The final prayer.
Three negative planets are encountered in the gatewalking process and in astrology – Mars, which represents pain and suffering; Saturn, which represents limitations and death; and Pluto, which embodies annhilation. With the completion of the Tiamat gate, an initiate dies to the greatest extant they can without losing their life; a strange paradox that results in their fulfillment and perfect identification with their True Will – the Will of God and the gods – the Divine Will. An initiate “loses his life to gain it”. Cthulhu joins with Tiamat, and the War is over.
“The greatest secrets are numbered seven”, as with the other septenaries that the Arbatel is so fond of and which also figure prominently in the Necronomicon. These are the natural result of the completion of the system:
1. The first is the curing of all diseases in the space of seven days, either by character, or by natural things, or by the superior Spirits with the divine assistance.
While all gate-walkers learn basic healing techniques in the course of their studies and practices, some are called by special dispensation to become master healers. This involves study and practice of an entire range of techniques involving many mediums, traditions, methods, and modalities. Disease and illness manifests on many different levels, both physical, etheric, and spiritual. Effective treatment may involve healing the spirit as much as the body, and hence talismanic arts and cooperation with spirits of healing becomes essential. One of my best friends follows this path and I am in constant awe of his broad knowledge, intuitive choices, and integrative practice. True medicine is neither western or eastern, mainstream or alternative – it is whatever is best for the patient.
2. The second is, to be able to prolong life to whatsoever age we please: I say, a corporal and natural life.
Maximizing the body’s potential involves both the elimination of degrading influences (including genetic disorders) and the conservation and cultivation of natural energy, variously called Ki, Chi, or Qi. Spiritual assistance is also required, and the Olympic spirits are the primary class of beings said to be able to extend life for hundreds of potential years, “if it be God’s will”. Quantity is not synonymous with quality however, and a longer life will not always be either in a person’s best interest or even desirable, as a new body and a new beginning may become preferable depending on a soul’s goals and plans. This art, nonetheless, offers freedom from an unexpected or premature death, and the opportunity to accomplish and enjoy life without the specter of death constantly looming on the horizon and interfering with one’s fulfillment.
3. The third is, to have the obedience of the creatures in the elements which are in the forms of personal Spirits; also of Pygmies, Sagani, Nymphs, Dryads, and Spirits of the woods.
Mastery of the Seven Planets coincides with a journey to the underworld and the overcoming of its power over one’s life. The reward for this serious accomplishment, which our author calls “a most perilous rite”, is the obedience of the demons that formerly sapped one’s energy and troubled one’s endeavors. Clad in Ishtar’s armor and authority, and following in her footsteps and the footsteps of Christ, we command our demons through the wand of will and the dagger of mind. Familiar spirits are obtained which are suited to a magician’s personality and coordinate to watch over and serve their best interests in various shifts through the days, hours, and directions. It is no longer necessary to pay offerings and sacrifices for the services of goetic spirits at this point, as the spiritual authority of joining with one’s Holy Guardian Watcher Angel commands respect and obedience. The friendship and cooperation of the “neutral” elementals and other spirits of nature said to be “partly good and partly evil” can also be obtained at this point. This later realm of magic is sometimes called “Theurgia-Goetia”, and one of its primary manuals is “The Black Pullet”, also called “The Old Man of the Pyramids”. Of the four elemental families, aerial spirits (also called Sylphs) are most typically employed by western magicians due to their harmony with western aims and methodology.
4. The fourth is, to be able to discourse with knowledge and understanding of all things visible and invisible, and to understand the power of every thing, and to what it belongeth.
This treasured gift of wisdom comes with the walking of Ea Enki’s gate and attunement with the Waters Above – the Crystalline Heavens, or “Star Ocean”, within which the stars are scattered like diamond dust. King Solomon became so famous and successful, in his stories, because his first prayer and wish to Yahweh was for the wisdom to be a good king. Yahweh was so touched that he not only gave Solomon the wisdom he asked for, but all other gifts of heaven and earth as well, and hence Solomon is the prototypical mage-king of western tradition. It is very difficult to pin down what exactly wisdom entails – it evades definition by nature, and yet is apparent and recognized when it emerges. Wisdom embraces both the knowledge of data and left-brain linear understanding, but it also completes it with right brain cyclical, analogical thought that jumps gracefully from link to link and connects us to the Holistic Universe. Wisdom goes hand in hand with both love and humility.
5. The fifth is, that a man be able to govern himself according to that end for which God hath appointed him.
This golden aim of both philosophy, religion, and magic is the T`elema – Divine Will – that Crowley dedicated his life to. This communion reunites two once connected but now separated aspects of the universe – the human individual and the godlike watcher angel that oversees it. The more this communion is consummated, the more the illusion of “my will versus God’s will” disappears and the One Will reveals itself in perfection.
6. The sixth is, to know God, and Christ, and his holy Spirit: this is the perfection of the Microcosmus.
The understanding and gnosis of the Holy Trinity occurs with this mystery, and this is not limited strictly to the Christian trinity. The “Three Great Watchers” – Anu, Enlil and Enki – are also revealed here, as are the Hindu Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, who may well be the same gods. The initiate comes to understand the triune division and its meaning in both their own life and the world at large.
7. The seventh, to be regenerate, as Henochius the King of the inferiour world.
Henochius refers to the prophet Enoch, who “walked with El, and he was not – for El took him”. The Hebrew name Hanoch itself means “Initiate”, and many occultists believe that this figure was synonymous with Hermes Thoth Trismegistus and his emerald traditions. The traditions of Enoch, found both in the apocryphal scriptures and the Angelic magic of John Dee and Edward Kelley, hearken back to the power that shook the world before the Great Flood. The ultimate Keys of Heaven and Earth lie within these teachings, and Enoch eventually ascended to become the archangel and seraph known as Metatron. Regeneration, in this sense, implies Ascension from the limits of temporal reality, to be “glorified” into the Greater Universe. This path leads to Supreme Enlightenment and complete Freedom from all the lower bonds of the material worlds.
These seven secrets a man of an honest and constant minde may learn of the Spirits, without any offence unto God.
David S. – “Optimystic”