A story on my return to the Occult

For a large part of my life, I have practiced occult ritual. But there was a period of my life when I didn’t. Two periods actually… The first was when I was younger and raised by my father, a minister. As you can imagine that would make such interests difficult to realize. But it was later that I chose to put occult research and practice on hold. The whole situation started with the Golden Dawn, and my leaving the practice over some problems I encountered. It was the return to the occult that is of most importance in this little post.

I reached a point in the Golden Dawn where I felt a lot of pressure, stress and bad ethics from others. I began to feel out of tune and searched for something more compatible with who I was….

I chose to become a member of a controversial religion, at that time. Without going into details – I ultimately left the religion… but during the time I was a member I didn’t practice one aspect of the occult. I had turned my ritual/meditation room into a storage room.

Then it happened. It was one night, on Thanksgiving week where something miraculous occurred. I was having a urge to return to the occult. This night manifested that desire.

The garage door to my house’s garage had recently broken. The springs had snapped, the door had crashed down and the engine tried to lift the doors, burned out as it had no counterbalancing on the weight of these massive doors. My wife and I couldn’t for the life of us, lift the doors. The problem: Her car was inside the garage. I called up various repair men, but they all told me the same story – I’d have to wait till after Thanksgiving week before they could come out and remedy the situation.

The Meeting of an Angel
Fantastic. I was quite frustrated. One night, while smoking a cigar, I stood in my garage and just thought about my life. I hungered for the occult again. I wanted the mystical back in my life. It was in that moment that a strong impulse hit me. I felt a strong desire to Scry the Tattva, Prithvi. The Eastern symbol for the Element of Earth.

Without any regalia… without any ritual equipment… there with just a cigar in hand, I performed the LBRP. I traced the pentagrams with the smoke of the burning cigar. Then I used a technique attributed to Crowley… of imaging the symbol you wish to enter – in a place in the room, then imagine it quickly approaching you (enlarging over your body as it passes through you), coming to a stop on the other side of the magician. Like having a freight train head straight at you.

It had been such a LONG time since I had attempted anything occult. But in that moment… BAM I was there. In Prithvi. At least part of my mind was there. I saw this scene in my mind… a pebble beach upon a lake’s shore. A cloaked figure in white stood to one side of me. A golden light seemed to color his clothes with the hue of the morning dawn.

I asked his name, and mentally heard, “Boriel” I asked him to write it out (an old occult belief that spiritual beings must write their true name) and he spelled it something like that… it was hard to tell. The vision wasn’t perfectly clear.

At that moment I thought, “This is all in my head…” and he responded, “test me.” “OK!” I thought, and asked for Boriel to move a chair in my garage across the floor. “NO” he said, “you have no interest in a chair moving across the room. Ask me to accomplish something important to you.” How stupid I was! I was asking for a parlor trick and he came to help me.

The garage door! Yes, of course. “Boriel, if you are really there, please fix my garage door, so my wife can get her car out of here. Even if it just works once, that’s all I need.”

“I’ll do it,” came his mental response. He requested I touch the machinery that was burned out. So I did exactly that. I walked over to the garage door opener and lightly touched the bottom of it. There was a loud “Clunk” immediately inside. It was a tad disturbing to hear a sound like that on touch. I tried the door opener. Nothing. Nothing but a loud electric hum.

Feeling defeated I walked in the house and decided to do research in the name Boriel (which I had never heard of before.) I looked in my Golden Dawn teachings… nothing. I examined Mather’s/Crowley’s book 777 in the correspondence tables… no mention of a Boriel. I was about to give up, when a odd google search found it. Boriel was referenced in a table of angels in the Ars Paulina. Not only was he listed there, but he was listed as an angel corresponding to the element of Earth. The very same element I was scrying via that Tattva.

I decided to make some changes – I cleaned out my old magick/meditation room. I began meditation again. I also began daily scrying of Prithvi.

It was three days after meeting Boriel that I got a response from him. Near 11pm, I was leaving my meditation room, when I felt Boriel say to me “Try the garage door now.” I had tried it every day. With no luck. But now he tells me to specifically try it. I honestly didn’t think it would work. My faith was so low in fact, that I stood in the garage in my underwear, obviously not expecting much.

I pressed the opener. The burned out opener makes a odd “CLICK” and switches on. The track starts to move. The track locks on the heavy garage door.

My mouth is hanging open, as I stand there in white socks and underwear. I’m oblivious to the notion that once the door comes up my neighbors will see me in this state.

The door, having no counterbalancing springs (as they had snapped), beings to rise and be pulled up by the opener. It was in that moment that I realized my state of dress and ran into the house.

My wife came shouting, “How did you fix it?”

“I asked an angel to fix it,” was my only reply.

That was the resurgence of the occult in my life. It also proved to me that these forces and beings are not just simply aspects of my mind. But they have their own being and intelligence.

Remembering those who moved on...

Today I found out that a member, and friend, of an order I was once active in, passed on recently.

I felt quite sad to hear of his passing. He seemed to be suffering from some very difficult physical problems.

The thing about Bob that was interesting to me, was something he did soon after I joined his order. One day he took me into the Library, and placed a little book in my hands. A book that looked almost hidden in the library. The book was, The Kybalion. Bob simply told me something to this affect: If you get time, you should check this book out.

It's interesting how each of us can influence others with a simple word, phrase or deed.

It was after I took a break from that order that I read the book. I found it to be an amazing work that really showed the importance of ethics in magick and mysticism. A good grounding plane for those on the path.

Today I'm thinking about all the others who have guided me: Matt, who showed me what it is to be a compassionate magician. Terri who showed me how my fears have harmed my body. Greg for showing me what a fraternity is. Rich, for showing me how sickness is of the mind.

Many more have influenced my life... and I hope I equally influence the lives of others for the better.

Meeting Spiritual Beings

Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mather's claimed to have met spiritualized beings (or possibly immortals) before he formed the "Golden Dawn." He had claimed them to be part of a mysterious order, known as the Third Order.

Dr. John Dee of Elizabethan England claimed to have heard the faintest of whispers in his home. Upon using a scryer he claimed to have met and interacted with many spiritual beings. He unveiled a system of Magick at that time, known today as "Enochian Magick."

In today's popular parlance, such notions would be considered absurd, or even worse certifiable. There are however more freedoms permitted today so that one can practice whatever spiritual path they wish. As long as one keeps their mouth shut about such things, save only for those whom they trust, one can try to make contact with spiritual beings as well.

The main blockage with spiritual contact is a lack of faith. The only methods I know and employ relating to spiritual contact heavily involve the imagination. That said, most people will say "well it's all in your mind!" Yep. But the mind isn't a fableground of fantasy. If you're a devotee of the Kybalion, check out what the Three Initiates considered the Universe itself to be. The mind is in deed the powerful connector to the past, present and future.

While true enough that not everything imagined is real, it doesn't equate to nothing real can reach you via imagination. Imagination and the mind is the conduit of communication by which the spiritual world can communicate to us at this vibratory level.

Communication through the mind usually takes the form of symbols. Aleister Crowley took this to one end of the spectrum, when he considered all demonic forces of the Lesser Keys of Solomon as being aspects of his own mind. His view on the matter was that evoking a demon of hate to a Triangle of the Art, and then banishing it, was a way of overcoming the spirit of hate in the magician's life.

However, other magicians believe that the spirits of the Goetia, Enochian and various grimories, are distinct intelligences outside the scope of the magician. So invoking a demon of hate, is doing just that.

I suppose there's room for a third possibility, that they are both aspects of the magician and separate, distinctive intelligences. This would follow along the lines of the Tree of Life being both Micro and Macro in scope. Extrapolating that concept to spiritual communication, we could say it is both.

Personally I believe that the spiritual beings are distinct intelligences. I have had several encounters with spiritual beings where they affected my physical world. To do so, I believe the would have to be separate beings.

Whatever your belief on the matter, communication can and does occur. It can happen in our dreams with a passed loved one, or in formal magickal evocation/invocation.

One of the best formula's (in my opinion) on this subject can be seen in the oddest of sources. I'm not referring to Agrippa, Levi, or Dr. Dee.... Instead I'm referring to Napolean Hill. Napolean Hill wrote on the subject of business, and in fact almost any bookstore will carry some of his classic works. Mr. Hill wrote of a technique to come to proper business direction. It involved imagination. One would imagine a room with a table. Seated at the table would be several people from history that the person believed to have great insight on matters. In their mind's eye they would pose a question to these great historical figures and wait for their answers.

It seems quite odd for that technique to be in a business manual. I suppose it's esoteric business. :) However the technique is time tested. It's the same or similar technique the Golden Dawn and other occult orders pose to communicate with spiritual beings. At first the responses from the spiritual beings are in fact you, speaking back to yourself through imagination. But, in time, the beings will take on a life of their own and offer advice you had never considered.

I know of a few ways to facilitate communication like this:

  • Napolean Hill stiled imagination
  • Evocation/Invocation
  • Scrying
  • Astral Projection
  • Hybrid Techniques


Here we have an occult technique which will be a ritual of gestures, words, and thought. It can be short, or quite long. Such techniques are unfortunately characterized in Western media as "satanic." The operations of Solomon for example, are often used in movies, to denote a diabolical practice. It's quite disconcerting when a person who believes this is diabolic, realizes that the Divine names of God are used in every aspect of the Solomonic work.

In general evocation and/or invocation start with a banishing act (a ritual to cleanse the area), a call of overseeing powers (i.e. God Names), the ritual goal itself, a closing banishing. At least this is your standard Western Mystery School technique.

In the Golden Dawn for example, a user would first start with the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram. Then further it with the Banishing Ritual of the Hexagram. Once the banishings are concluded, an Invocation of the elemental force for the operation is performed. Next, the actual steps of the ritual goal (contacting a specific angel, creating artificial elementals, working planetary magick, etc.), and finally it would conclude with the same banishing rituals.

However, in my personal Enochian practice, I skip any and all Banishing rituals. In it's place, I try to integrate prayer to the Divine.
At any rate, each system of operation will be based on a grimorie of school of thought. The Golden Dawn have their system, the Ars Paulina is a grimorie of a specific system, Dr. Dee's. technique is quite different from the other's mentioned. Each system has it's own rules and ways to evoke or invoke powers and spiritual beings.

Once a being is evoked/invoked, it can be talked to much like you talk to someone in the same room as you. You may or may not see the being. You may or may not sense the being. But you should always believe the operation worked and that the being is right there with you.

Scrying is a less intrusive methodology. Here no beings are brought to your world. Rather, you enter their world.
Scrying is typified as using objects such as using a object to be your gateway for you - such as gazing into a crystal ball, a black mirror, smoke, or bowl of water. The images that form in the object is seen as communication from the spiritual to the magician. A good scryer will also "hear" words while gazing into the crystal.

The object acts as a gateway, by which the imagination of the scryer is activated and words and symbols are conveyed.

Astral Projection

Robert Bruce is perhaps my favorite author on this subject. I've studied the secret techniques of the Golden Dawn, and still I prefer Robert Bruce's interesting work on the subject above all.
The idea on this, is that you have a subtle body, that leaves your physical body. It contains your mind (or a portion of your mind) and moves non-corporeally through any planes of existence. The astral world is often considered to be just above the physical... in the Golden Dawn, the astral world was considered to be chaotic and not to trust information gained on that plane. However, Astral Projection is often used by the Golden Dawn (and I'm sure by BOTA as well) to ascend the Tree of Life, as well as entering other planes above the Astral plane.

Hybrid Techniques
One of my favorite uses of this is entering Tattva's... I sometimes use a method, that is a cross between Astral Projection and scrying that I think Crowley employed (although I can't recall where he said this) that doesn't use a object. I find the best results I get are with no objects - and use my own mind to bridge the gap via a symbol.

For example... Take the Tattva symbol for Earth (Prithvi), stare at it against a white board. Glance off the board and see the reverse image on the white part of the board. Continue doing this until you see the image "flip" from it's normal color to false color... Then imagine entering this symbol.
My Methodology
I use all of these techniques. But when it comes to scrying, I use a modified technique that I believe Crowley taught (although I can't be certain as I can't find a reference.) You hold the image in your mind's eye... or imagine it to be floating far in front of you. Then, imagine the image rushing towards you - growing in size. Imagine it flying through you and resting to a stop behind you.

The effect is a rushing feeling of instant immersion. You're instantly there inside this world that the symbol represents. You can try it on any and all symbols.

What To Expect

I believe that you should just let the images roll... don't force or control them. Just observe. I recall my first Enochian scrying session... It went like this:

I was scrying the letter Med, of the Enochian language (using the instant immersion technique I described) First I saw a triangle, of the darkest black. Then the triangle appeared to be an obsidian pyramid. A field of tall grass began to form. The world was colored in the colors of twilight. A doorway was cut into the base of the pyramid. Two guardians stood outside the door... the vision went on for quite some time, and I gained a LOT from it. I met creatures who gave me their names, that only later on would I discover the names to be proper and real Enochian names.

It will be different for each person, but the first hurdle you have to overcome is lack of faith. Just try and believe this to be real. Write down all you feel or see. Test it later. Ask for information you can verify later.
I use evocation, invocation, scrying and astral projection. I've been told we should use them in moderation, as they will wear us out. My teacher taught me to not employee these no more then 2-3 times a day, unless you are doing a magickal pact (i.e. making an agreement to summon Auriel for 30 consecutive days.)

I recommend when people start to use any occult system that they start with some sort of banishing they can believe in - to give them protection. Personally I think the main benefit from this is freedom from fear. If you are scared that what you're doing will cause you harm, then it will muddle up your results. This banishing technique is usually something from the person's own religion or spiritual upbringing. Like the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram (using the God Names) in the Golden Dawn tradition. It will allows those who believe in the Western (Jewish/Christian world view) view of God to feel protected and not fret from fear. Fear is one of the biggest problems.

My View on Tzim Tzum

While most of my modern work (Magickal work that is) is Enochian these days, I did have a revelation regarding some past work I had done in the Golden Dawn. The whole thing came about while coming out of trance and meditation, resting in a room, staring at the light and shadow play on a wall. In that instant the axiom of the Thrice Great Hermes: As above, So Below, fulfilled itself in my mind. The play of Light and Shadow of this world below, began to describe and unlock the secrets of the above world - specifically in the nature of what is called Tzim Tzum.

Tzim Tzum Basics
In the Kabbalahistic lore, there is a concept known as Tzim Tzum. It corresponds to the notion of the nature of God and how we were created. It's a logic proof. It starts with... if God exists and is All Powerful, then He would have no boundaries. Having no boundaries, then God would exist equally in all time and space. All locations of existence would have equal amounts of God. The conclusion (although debated amongst Kabbalahists) is that God had to remove itself (create a void, if you will) for the world of manifestation to be created. In other words, without some degree of separation from God, all would be God - there would be no difference.

That's Tzim Tzum in a nut shell. As I mentioned, it is debated. Rabbi Chaim Volozhiner would disagree with this assumption... but I feel quite strongly that the assumption holds. It's logical. It's even alluded to in the Old Testament, regarding Moses and not looking upon the Face of God... for one would surely die. I think the term Death here, really means "loose one's identity." You would become one with God, if you shared space with God. The oneness having a loss of identity.

My Insights
As I started this post, I described coming out of trance and meditation, and noting the play of light and shadow on the walls. That's when it all came together for me. The Tree of Life, the Four Worlds of the Kabbalah and Tzim Tzum. As I went down the steps of thought, I came to quite a few realizations that I personally believe to be true for me. In return I thought I'd share them with anyone who cares to listen. But first we should define a few terms.

Tree of Life
In the Kabbalah there is a symbol used in both a macro and micro way. It's the Tree of Life. Although drawn slightly differently, it is usually depicted as ten circles (called Sepherot) connected by lines (pathways.) The sepherot are organized in such a way the symbol can resemble a "tree." In today's terminology, the Tree of Life, when extrapolated to a three-dimensional concept, begins to look like the DNA diagram.

The Tree of Life represents both Adam Kadmon (the archetypal person) as well as the physical universe, as well as higher and lower levels of existence (beyond the physical universe.)

The Spheres or Sepherot are arranged in sequence, to indicate different states of being as one moves up and down the tree. From the Qabbalah (Hermetic Kabbalah) frame of reference, these Sepherot are assigned corresponding values. Values of color, thought, emotion, metals, scents, God Names, Angels.

Incidentally the Pathways upon the Tree of Life are represented in the Tarot Trumps (google "pathworking" for more information.)

Four Worlds of the Kabbalah
As you can find in most modern off the shelf books on the Kabbalah, there are four main separations of existence. These separations are depicted upon the macro Tree of Life. They range from the Highest/Sublime regions of Atziluth, to the mundane physical universe (which is called Assiah.)

Tzim Tzum
As briefly described, it is the creation concept where a Divine creator pulls itself back, to create a void where it does not directly reside.

One a quiet weekend evening, I sat on a couch after several hours of magick work and meditation. I had a single lamp turned on in a rather dark room. It was there I saw how the Light manifested on the wall, yet the Light source was separated from the wall. As the light traveled through the room, it's strength fell off and bled into various shades of gray, until it reached the shadows of the corners in the room.

So to, I believe the spiritual world exists and manifests.

The Divine creator is similar to the Lamp. It is the source of all Light, and spiritual Light is Life. It is the purest of Light... Operating at such a rapid vibration that it appears still. Those of you who are familiar with the Kybalion might also agree with me here, as the Kybalion also states this regarding the Divine Spiritual Light appearing to be at rest - but really moving at an intense vibration.

This Divine Light source - the All Powerful One - radiated into the void it created. Similar to my lamp, the Light lost some vibration, but remained brightest at the areas of the void closest to the Divine Source. As the spiritual light descended into darkness, it met resistance. Darkness, operates at a much slower vibration. Pure darkness would be entirely still, and slowly increase in vibration as the shades of black move into shades of gray.

These two forces meet in the void, and upon meeting create something amazing. They allow life to manifest. That's my theory. Life in all forms of manifestation (from the Highest world to the lowest) is the product of interplay and balance of the vibratory states of Darkness and Light.

How can I attest that this creates life? Well it doesn't really "create" - God did that. This process of spiritual darkness and light force interplay lowers the Divine Light in vibration till it finds a place to rest. Now at a lower vibration, existence forms separate from the Divine source, yet connected to Him.

So what's it all mean for me?
This is all well and good, but what does it matter? What real benefit is this knowledge to us, as human beings?

There is actually a lot of benefit that can come from this belief. It explains why "evil" exists. It explains how possibly the Biblical Lucifer transcended to become Satan. It explains our true goal. Finally, it explains the future and where it's all going.

How does it explain the nature of Evil?
Evil is a term, a category we use to describe the spiritually dark aspects we witness and feel. They can be products that work out into our physical world, or remain as spiritual forces we catch a glimpse of from time to time. But why would a loving Creator, allow evil? Or was it really the fall of man that brought evil into our lives?

I believe that the darkness was a requirement to make the "Shades of Gray" that are not part of God. The Separated Nature, if you will, that would become the Archangels, Angels, physical creatures, demonic spirits, Qlippoth. Without Tzim Tzum all would function at the same vibration. All would be God. But now, with the void, the separated material operates at it's own unique vibratory states. This gives the rise in consciousness.

Without Darkness (evil), I think we wouldn't be able to be individuals. In short, Darkness is a required element in the totality of creation.

I believe we would all have the mind of God - aspects of His nature. This isn't to condone acts of evil, but to suggest it's fabric was needed for the beginning stages of creation.

Darkness, in time, is conquered... more on that in a bit.

So what's this about Lucifer to Satan?
In Hebrewaic Magick we know that a name is a powerful thing. A spiritual name of a spiritual being defines it's range of work. Most angelic names in Hebrew end in "-el" - El being a name of God. The designation being "of God." Michael, Auriel, Gabriel, Raphiel are examples of this. The name Lucifer (Bringer of Light) was a designation of a high spiritual being.

We have also no doubt heard that Angels had no "free will," so how did they rebel? A good question, that is explained in this theory of mine on Tzim Tzum.

In ancient Gnostic texts it is thought that Lucifer would travel with God to Earth - during the creation. What that means to me, is that Lucifer went from the realm of purest light (Atziluth) to the realms of the physical world. I do not believe God came Himself to the lower realms, but His manifested Light did. Lucifer went with it to observe it's work.

As one passes from each vibratory level, one's very existence is modified. Our thoughts, mind, all of it, are transformed as we lower and raise in vibratory states.

As Lucifer descended to the lower planes with the manifested Light of the Divine, Lucifer gained a new ability - self reason. No longer was he constrained to blind obedience. He now had choice. He was in the realm of Free Will. He was also in the realm of a lot of problems. Here the vibration is much lower... below the physical world, the darkness grows... to where it actively works against the Light vibration. This was the rebellion in the mind of Lucifer.

Once the rebellion was realized, he was given a new name... the Adversary. Satan.

Our True Goal
Our purpose, or true goal, is simply to return to the Light source... Rather then Lucifer being born in Light, we are at a level of lower vibration. We are doing the opposite of his operation. Instead of going from Higher to Lower, our goal is to go form Lower to Higher. To become perfect ("Be ye perfect as I am perfect," says the Master Christ.) The perfection is through the series of improvements we go through as we ascend back through incarnations into the worlds above - and reunite with the Godhead.

Our reunion with God, doesn't cause us to loose our individual minds, but rather - to be one with God and yet retain our distinctive intelligence.

I believe this is the result of the spiritual alchemy. God created us imperfect, so that we could become perfected. If we only resided in His existence, we wouldn't be unique. Even, if we existed at the highest world, we would be separate but have no free will. But as we exist at a realm of lower vibration, we have free will to choose a higher vibratory state. We do this by our very thoughts, each and every day. Our spiritual developments drive us higher and higher.

But what about the "bad people" who fail? Well I'm going to say that I believe in reincarnation. That our lives are reborn into different vibratory states. One is reborn downward into hellish realms, or realms of darkness, but there is always hope for the spark of life within to rekindle with a spiritual drive - and push forward once more.

This brings us to the topic of, "Where's it all going?"

Where's it all going?
Divine Light is boundless. It may seem bound, as we don't experience it directly here in the once void. Here in the realm where the Creator can only indirectly manifest through saints, angels and emissaries. But really the Divine Light has no end. The void, in fact does of boundaries and end.

Since the Divine Light has no end to it's source... it will keep supplying the void of Tzim Tzum with Light. The Light will build up. It will stack up. It will permeate the Darkness -raising the vibration.

Ultimately, all vibratory states will rise. Even, I believe, will the broken shells of the Qlippoth raise in vibration and be filled with the spark of life once again.

To me, this is a message of hope. Esoteric hope. Hermetic hope.