Three of my recent articles referred to my work with Tantric Thelema magical system. My last article was dedicated solely to the energy of Ra-Hoor-Khuit. Time has come to tell you about special gift which I received directly from this deity. I called it the Shield of Radiance.
As I mentioned in my previous article, the energy of Ra-Hoor-Khuit is pretty violent. If misguided, it could turn its followers into fanatics. In my previous post already mentioned striking resemblance between Christian Gnosticism and Nazi ideology. First time I became interested in Thelema I was only 19 and it took me years of reprogramming to banish some ideas that sprung in my head back in a day. Although arguably I have always had a deeply hidden sense of grandiosity somewhere in the back of my head. Perhaps it’s only these types of people who feel attracted to Crowley… Years later I rediscovered Thelema after being already interested in Buddhism. I was able to see this whole idea in a fresh light, with a new perspective. It was like discovering a hidden door inside your own room.
In Tantric Thelema book the author leads the reader through series of meditations and eventually a ritual of Arising As Ra-Hoor-Khuit. First few weeks the reader learns how to Take Refuge, finding safe quiet space within oneself where we can always retreat in difficult times. Other meditations involve Loving Kindness among others. The ecstatic nature of union between lover deities Nuit and Hadit becomes that basis for the ritual.
I began these meditations soon after I experienced full blown kundalini awakening. My mind was already in ecstasy by itself so to speak. Around that time I also joined facebook based Chaos Magick group and I immediately made friends in there. On top of that I found it a lot easier to reach out to people. Friends who ignored me for years suddenly responded to my messages. Life at work improved somehow. Everything felt better. It was strange because I felt like I was celebrating my personal rebirth and the world appeared to join me in my celebrations. I felt as though I have gained a shield protecting me from negativity all around. If someone smirked at me I would smile back and turn their smirk into a smile. Everyone seemed happy to see me. I was in love with the whole world and my friendly, loving vibrations attracted like minded individuals. I also began to attract younger men and before the summer (2015) I even gained a “fuck buddy” who was whole ten years younger than myself. We met a few times camping and foraging berries and herbs in local woodlands. Magick appeared to surround me from all directions and manifested in my daily existence. It was all very dreamlike. My confidence went up. It was like a self-perpetuating mechanism of abundance. To someone who, like myself, had a long history of depression and anxiety it was almost too good to be true.
Eventually I began to feel scared. I realised that this shield as I named it began to feel like an actual aura. It was becoming stronger each day and I started to suspect that I was gaining ability to influence other people’s minds. If anyone was trying to be hostile towards me I would bombard them with additional dose of my sunny loving radiation. Most people reacted with love. Some people seemed intimidated. Others yet reacted with distrust and even aggression. It was then I started to realise what the nature of solar energy really was, and let’s not forget that Ra- Hoor-Khuit is a solar deity! The Sun is a gigantic ball of fire. It radiates in every direction with equal force. Those who don’t like it need to hide away. There’s no arguing with the Sun. There’s no way of stopping its power. If you come too close you will get burned. In a similar way an aura can not be switched off once it is formed. Some people will be repulsed by it and that’s totally independent of your personality. You will come across as direct, even arrogant, dominant creature. For the first time in my life some people started to identify me as an “Alfa” female. It was a great protection but it started to weigh on me like a burden. I remembered a quote from somewhere, which stuck in my mind for years
Brightest stars are always surrounded by darkness
You get blinded by your own light. You start to feel lonely. That’s when it becomes easy to fall into the trap of your ego. People feel attracted to you, cause you make them shine. You make them feel beautiful. You empower them. It’s a gift, but it works only as long as your energy is directed outwards. The moment you start to feel hopeless or needy, your radiation weakens and they move away from you almost immediately. I guess that’s exactly what happens to our earthy stars, celebrities. They play a function and their function is to inspire. If they run out of inspiration, their purpose is lost* Therefore to keep the shield up you need to use your own willpower.
Love is the law. Love under Will
It is difficult to keep giving and asking nothing in return. Many say that reward comes in fruits of your actions. Coming back to the metaphor of the Sun, its rays help plants grow and flourish. If you want to measure your power, your environment acts like a mirror. At this point you need to be very careful. Just like mythical Narcissus you may fall in love with your own reflection! We all share some narcissistic traits in our personalities. It turned out in my case they were stronger than I ever suspected. Being loved and admired feels really good, so good in fact it is easy to get addicted. Whilst being admired makes you feel powerful, this power is largely dependent on the external source. As soon as the admiration is gone, you start to feel hopeless. It’s not just that, you start to feel angry, because reality refuses to bend to your wishes. I had to repeat that lesson three times over before I was ready to face the darkness itself. However It is from your inner courage to face the darkness that your real power comes from. The shield gets stronger when you abandon the need to be appreciated. It gets even stronger when you abandon the need for results of any kind. That’s what art of Yoga is, truly- mastering of action with no attachment to its results. I will emphasize once more, it is love and kindness that build this shield! However nature of it is very different to what one may have expected…
Let me take a little digression here to come back to the subject of war. Ra-Hoor-Khuit is a great warrior after all… Joseph Campbell, mythologist who studied religions and myths of all times and cultures, had a lot to tell us about art of war. First of all, killing itself is essential for all life to survive, even if it’s only killing of plants. Second thing is that for archaic cultures killing was never considered to be evil. It wasn’t pleasant but it was necessary. Hunters apologized to the spirits of the animals before killing them. Warriors apologized to the spirits of their enemies, yet they fought and killed them all they same. An art of war in itself was glorified. Skillful killing was even recognized as part of yoga.
“Abandoning both all fear of, and all desire for, the fruits of action, one is to perform without attachment the work that has to be done; and that work is the work of one’s duty, whatever it may be, the duty of princes being to fight and to slay” (Campbell Myths to Live By)
In ancient Orient war and peace were regarded as two opposites like day and light without which the world couldn’t exist. They were parts of nature and nature itself wasn’t considered evil. In Mahayana Buddhism all nature is perceived as action of Buddha consciousness.
“Accordingly, the compassionate participation of the Bodhisattva in the world process is absolutely without guilt. Also it’s absolutely impersonal.” (Campbell Myths to Live By)
Apparently after one of great battles in Russo-Japanese was in 1904 names of soldiers and horses who died during the battle were listed in the memorium as Bodhisattvas! That’s very different to the Christian ideal of merciful pacifist that shaped morality of the West. An idea that we live in a fallen world of some kind has been rooted in our psyche for centuries. Modern world myths are wrapped up in a scientific language yet they’re telling us 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 for our “sins”? And how would the world change if we stopped to believe in these myths??
It’s not easy, don’t get me wrong. There’s so much suffering in the world. Experts tell us that our environment is being destroyed. We feel like we’re on the brink of civilization, like we have reached the end of times… Guess what? That is exactly how people felt in medieval times. Famous plague of black death wiped out two thirds of the population of Europe, an epidemic of an unimaginable scale. From their point of view people must have felt like the world was about to end. Many lineages have been lost forever. Those who survived though, helped to build the new world. Modern Europeans are descendants of black death survivors. I doubt we think of ourselves that way. What’s more striking, each one of us was conceived through one lucky sperm cell. Millions of other sperm cells died in a process. Millions of skin cells die on the surface of our bodies each day. Why then, do we perceive our own death as unjust and unfair?
Campbell’s Myths to Live By brings me yet another important quote:
“The inwards journeys of the mythological hero, the shaman, the mystic, and the schizophrenic are in the principle the same; and when the remission occurs, it is experienced as a rebirth: the birth, that is to say, of a “twice born” ego, no longer bound in by its daylight-world horizon”
One is now no longer afraid of nature; nor of nature’s child- society which is monstrous too, and in fact it can not be otherwise; it would otherwise not survive. The new ego is in accord with all this, in harmony, at peace; and, as those who return from the journey tell, life is then richer, stronger and more joyous”
A young hero/mystic/shaman to be rejects the teachings of their own parents, their town, their community and goes away in order to find their true selves. Then after many struggles and adventures they finally return to their world. They return as an adult/enlightened/shaman ready to teach and help others, able to navigate through their world and to command its demons.That’s also my personal journey through madness. To me modern societies have always seem to be monsters. I was constantly searching for a way out, for an alternative, better world, the mythical paradise lost. It was my desire to find that world that took me away for my personal journey through strange landscapes of mind, strange people and strange places. I faced the monstrosity of the world and it broke me over and over again. That’s what alchemy identifies as Nigredo, process of “shedding of an old skin”. Process of shamanic initiation is essentially the same thing. Those who fail to complete the process remain trapped in the darkness for years, sometimes forever. I believe in a way our whole world is now trapped in this phase. It’s that return bit that many people never seem to achieve. I believe that’s because they have no tradition to follow. It’s not mountains, oceans and woods that we need to learn how to navigate. It’s the cities and the internet, it’s social hierarchies, it’s the stock market, corporations, mafia, global warming. These are the demons that we need to face. New Age retreat weekends and drumming circles are not going to help us deal with these monsters.
Don’t be tempted to think that our modern demons are bigger and stronger than those of the old day shamans were. They seem bigger because they are ours to face. Life in itself is a struggle, full of pain and fear. It is so for all living beings. Therefore be compassionate towards their suffering. Be compassionate towards yourself most of all though. You need to be strong and smart and adaptive to changes if you want to survive.
Ra-Hoor-Khuit is a vessel of power, vessel that is in itself impersonal. Anyone can invoke this energy and it will manifest differently in everyone. Just like oriental deities, who are considered as forces rather than personas, Ra-Hoor-Khuit themselves doesn’t choose sides. It is up to the practitioner’s preference how the force itself is being used. Some Thelemites choose to side up with White Pride. That’s not what Tantric Thelema stands for and I believe that those who form a Union with Hadit and Nuit would never choose to follow the path of hate. However I fully acknowledge the fact that solar energies create hunger for power. Just like Tolkien’s famous “one ring to rule them all”, solar energy is very blinding. Sauron to me represents monstrously overblown ego and we see many of them among our rulers, be it politicians, businessmen or spiritual leaders. Only way to destroy such a monster is by combined effort from its surrounding environment, by the energy of the Black Mother, darkest and most feared side of nature, Saturn, Seth, Kali and Shiva the Destroyer. Killing dosn’t need to be taken in a literal sense here. Death simply means Change, to a stubborn ego change equals death.
*Modern celebrities tend to base their fame on series of scandals rather than any actual skills. They feed human lower instincts rather than inspire them to anything creative. We could say they become a feed rather than a light.