Tantric Thelema- Magick Crossroads

 

In my previous article I began a short overview of Tantric Thelema and magical workings/techniques that helped to direct my magical path during the last years. I started off with the Union of the Opposites- a highly ecstatic insight into the nature of the Universe. Tantra itself is a Buddhist/ Hindu school of thought which portraits idea of duality as a Sacred Marriage. I’m aware that as a westerner I am bound to have my own perception bias and my undetstanding of Tantra is undoubtedly skewed. Thelemic thought on other hand evolved in the West. Sam Webster, the author of Tantric Thelema, is himself a practitioning Buddhist and he claims to have found many similarities between Thelemic Book of the Law and original Tibetan Tantric sutras. Let us not forget that Book of the Law was not invented by Crowley. It was brought to him by an entity named Aiwass, channeled through Alesiter’s wife Rose. Later on Crowley came to believe that Aiwass was his Holy Guardian Angel. Therefore when Sam Webster claims that Book of the Law sounds like a Tantric, ecstatic poem, he’s definitely onto something. Magick partnerships are not uncommon in Tantra. I remember reading about this years ago. Obscure, occult brunches of Buddhism allowed for people to pair up and practice sexual yoga together. Crowley was himself inspired by Buddhism, but his worldviews were distorted by his puritan upbringing. It’s no wonder that his HGA decided to manifest themselves through a woman. That in itself could be seen as an important message. Crowley’s attitude towards women was far from ideal to be fair.

Unfortunately sexist patriarchal attitude is still present among his followers to this day. Crowley is considered a creator of Thelema. Rose herself is largely forgotten and her presence during the whole event rarely mentioned. I feel obliged to give her all the credit and respect she deserves. I believe that her participation in the process was vital.

What is even more interesting for me, Tantric Thelema book arrived in my life as a result of me channeling Ra-Hoor-Khuit during online conversation with another mage (known to me as Aariel), a man who previously contacted me in my dreams and who became my first tantric lover even though we never met physically. I described details of our story in my series of blogs- Spontaneous Awakening- My Journey With Kundalini My contact with Aariel inspired me to regain contact with some deeply suppressed aspects of my own psyche. This journey is still ongoing even though Aariel himself is no longer present in my life. I think of him as a messenger who came to me with a valuable lesson.

 

Book of the Law brings an important message:

The existence is pure joy

How is that possible for us to accept? An idea that we live in a fallen world of some kind has been rooted in our psyche for centuries. We can find it in all monotheistic religions  We’re being told that through our greedy, sinful nature we have managed to offend our God. We are now doomed to suffering and punishment in order to repent for our sin. Modern world myths bring the very same story. Humans through their greed and ill will have destroyed our planet. We are now doomed to suffer overpopulation and hunger and possibly cataclysms of all kinds. How is that different to the christian visions of apocalypse from centuries ago? Why are we so keen to think of ourselves as evil species that need to be punished? And how would the world change if we stopped to believe in these myths??

Sam Webster confirms something I have been suspecting for quite some time- Buddhist ideas of karma and samsara have nothing to do with punishment for sins. The existential pain of samsara is created inside our minds. To free oneself from pain of samsara is to free ourselves from the world of illusions. One thing that monotheistic religions are lacking is the bliss of Divine Lovers, Holy Union of the Opposites described in my most recent article. Is that what Aiwass was hoping to teach Crowley?

All is pure and present and has always been so. To this realization I commit myself. Full and total presence

This is the quote opening series of meditations described in Tantric Thelema, meditations which help us to change our views of the world.

I vow to perceive every phenomenon as a direct contact between God and my soul

One more quote that inspires to transform the mundane…

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Let me clarify something in here before me move onto the next bit. After spending years in holistic therapy and New Age circles I heard many similar ideas before. “Everything in our lives happens for a reason”, “we attract what we are”, “we create our own reality”, “it’s all about power of positive thinking”. These ideas became a total boom in the nineties. It made so much sense to so many people, including myself. “We have the power to shape our reality, our failures are due to our self-doubt and self-loathing, if you learn to love and accept yourself your life will transform” etc. In holistic therapies people formed ideas about interdependence between the body and the mind. Long term exposure to stress, they said, was bound to manifest in the physical body. Some theories claimed that cancer was a manifestation of deeply rooted resentment towards the world, heart conditions were manifestations of primal wounding. Some people even believed that weight gain was a sign of a blockage in sexual energy. Every now and then some angry voice came out asking how exactly was positive thinking meant to sort out famine in Africa but nobody paid much attention. Holistic attitudes brought clearly measurable benefits to their practitioners. It was obvious to them that they worked. These days more and more people object to the New Age theories claiming that they did a lot of damage to the human psyche. I personally use allegory of plants in here to explain the negative aspects. A seed that lands on a piece of rock will most likely die. We know for fact that thousands of them do. Only a few seeds will grow to become plants. That’s the nature of the world we live in.

From my own experience I have noticed that New Age circles tend to attract middle class people, mainly women with wealthy husbands. They’re like seeds that landed in a fertile soil. These seeds too go through endless struggles, but their chances to flourish and prosper are much higher than those seeds which landed on a piece of rock. Even though many of these New Agers claim to be in touch with their “dark side” they’ll also tell you how it was dangerous to be on the streets after 10pm, how recreational use of drugs was bad and lead to blockages in body energy flow, how money was an energy that we can learn to attract and other such claims which made me feel sick. Not to mention the fact how much an average New Age workshop costs. We’re looking at a few hundred pounds for the weekend, since New Age fairies can’t function without a hotel room. Sleeping in a tent in the woods is just not a good enough option for them  (pardon my sarcasm)…

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve learned a lot from these people and we can’t put them all in one box. Many of them are genuine seekers of the truth and they want to help to heal and transform the world. All of them went through hardships of their own, including frequent bullying by their family members because of their belief systems. Not all of them were wealthy either. I met a bunch of poor people as well. It’s thanks to these circles I met my patron deity- Tara.  I’ve learned many valuable techniques in there too. However I was always feeling alienated in there. They seemed to live in their own bubble, a fairy tale of privileged white people. Harshness of life in social underdog seemed completely outside their scope of interest. No doubt they can teach you some powerful magick, but their magick was not powerful enough for my needs. On the contrary Tantric Thelema brought me the tools I needed.

Revelation that “all is pure and present” is not about closing yourself in a fairy tale bubble. It’s about evoking sense of awe to our inner world. One of the world famous films “American Beauty” touches that very aspect of our psyche. I find it sad to see how many people laughed out the scene with a carrier bag dancing in the wind, because I have experienced many such moments in my own life. It’s these simple moments when we step out from our daily narrative and allow ourselves to be present. In these moments everything is perfect. We experience that in the wilderness, looking at the mountains, when we admire a beautiful sunset.  Sometimes it can happen during our everyday life. You walk on a street and look into the eyes of a passer by. You smile to them and they smile back. It feels as though the universe itself was looking back at you through their eyes. In these moments it doesn’t matter who this person is. They might be a man facing divorce who came outside to clear his head after an argument, they might be a granny dying of cancer. They might be a thief or a murderer. It doesn’t matter. In this moment you share a glimpse of great mystery with them and in this moment everything is perfect. It’s these moments where magical opening of crossroads takes place, when spark of the Divine ignites inside the world of manifestations. It’s not about living in the fantasy world. It’s about suspension. Allow yourself to stay there for a bit longer and listen. You’ll feel  awake and alert.  “That’s me. I am here now”. You look at the world around you as though it was the first time you saw it. All is the same, yet all is different. It’s all perfect. You can see the glimpses of divine presence all around you- in flowers, in the trees, in people. You know it has always been there, you just didn’t see it before.These moments of total presence are yet another way of entering the Great Bliss. Feeling of bliss can become so overwhelming you might feel an urge to cry. You’ll feel an urge to show it to people, to teach them how to find this place, but you can’t. They have to find it themselves.

You can teach yourself how to enter the crossroads at will. That’s the exact aim of banishing rituals, opening of the magick circles, burning incense, wearing robes etc. Many schools tell you not to leave the circle until your ritual is finished. Gypsy and Hoodoo sorcerers advise to perform a ritual on a physical crossroad. When you find a good surrounding it will make it easier to enter altered state of mind. In the end it doesn’t really matter where you are as long as you enter the state of In-between. Look at your hand and find the space where your hand ends and where the air surrounding your hand begins. Can you find it? Look at the sky in the evening and find the defining point when the day stops and the night starts. Can you find it? That’s where you find the crossroads. If you feel safer in a circle, stay in the circle.

You can teach yourself how to enter the crossroads, but you can not teach yourself to experience the bliss. For some people it will come spontaneously, but it usually doesn’t last very long. It’s such a subtle state that anything can break you out of it- a sudden loud noise, a gust of wind, a person entering the room. That’s why so many of us choose to practice in wilderness and in solitude. That too doesn’t guarantee your success as our bodies and minds might interfere. Sometimes instead of a wave of bliss comes a wave of fear. That’s the undesired side effect of meditation that New Age schools never talked about, even though the reports were worldwide. I am currently struggling with panic attacks. I’ll get back to you when I figure out how to deal with them. Perhaps that’s why western occult schools advise banishing before rituals. I have a tendency to find myself on the crossroads without any plans to enter it and I find it hard to leave them. I need hell lot of grounding, that’s why I need to be physically active.

During first few weeks of my kundalini awakening I was in a constant state of ecstatic bliss. Ecstatic trance I’ve experienced was so strong, at times I was losing touch with my physical body, boundaries between objects were melting in my mind just like it happens sometimes during LSD trips. Long term functioning in this state is not only impossible but also dangerous. We could call it madness. I had to ground myself repeatedly and even then I couldn’t control the process. I was in love with the whole world, at times I wanted to dance and hug people on the streets. This is why I started to go out more attending frequent parties. In these places I was surrounded by people where everyone was high on drugs, so I could dance and laugh and talk nonsense without arousing suspicion. Even then the bliss began to fade slowly as the mundane started to creep back on me. Fortunately Tantric Thelema gave me tools needed to guide me. In order to protect myself from an outside world I needed a  “shield”. This is was the first gift I received from Ra-Hoor-Khuit and I am still working on it. At times I get carried away by waves of fear, anger or despair, but the inner sense of joy is ever present with me.

All the sorrows are but as shadows, they pass and are done

Emotions are like stormy waves on the surface of the ocean. Deep down, at the bottom the waters are quiet. That’s where many sea creatures find refuge. You can find that quiet place inside you and it will always be there. Let the waves pass until the storm is over. Some storms can take a long time to pass and during these times you just have to wait. When the storm is over you’ll find the joy once again.