As a long time student of the occult I have long ago given up on being surprised when my life takes yet another mystical turn. I have come to accept that not everyone has the same experience of life’s intricate path as I have had and the synchronicity of events isn’t equally familiar and welcome to other seekers of the Light. Nonetheless, in recent weeks I have had an even more synchronous experience of life than even I am used to with one encounter that even managed to surprise an old magician like myself.
Followers of my blog may remember that I have been involving myself in Melbourne’s magickal community for some time now and so many of the people that I am accustomed to socializing with are of a magickal or mystical bent. Over the past few months I have been engaged in a long and involved conversation with my good friend and witch Melissa on a variety of topics ranging from simple Hermetic ceremonies like the Pentagram rituals to complex discussions on the construction and use of sigils. I have come to value these conversations because they often make me think, or at least think about things from a new perspective.
Along the way the topic of my astrological qualities came up, it turns out that Melissa is a very capable and knowledgeable astrologer, and after supplying her with all of my relevant details she drew up the chart of my nativity and produced some interesting surprises for me. I had calculated my natal chart (both using software and the old fashioned way with a pencil and paper) but somewhere in my mathematics I had made an error and so I had placed my ascendant incorrectly and I am now enjoying life as a Gemini rising. Melissa was good enough to spend a couple of hours over lunch at Strozzi explaining the nuances of my planetary positions to me and I left firmly convinced that I must investigate the mechanics of astrology more closely.
As a ceremonial magician I have used the planets and the signs in my operations for many years and had always interpreted them using their Yetzirac attributions as they are found in the Holy Qabalah. This study had given me a good basis for understanding these same principals from the point of view of the astrologer but I have come to understand that I have neglected to learn to examine and interpret the interaction between these elements with one another and so I decided to look for a reference that explained astrology using the familiar terms of the qaballist. In fact I stated that goal to Melissa as we parted and she promised to look out for a book that fitted the description.
By a happy coincidence, a few days later a Facebook friend who is in the habit of selling his old books in his newsfeed advertised a title that caught my eye- Kabbalistic Astrology by Rabbi Joel C. Dobin D.D. Of course I bought the book and while it does go some way to explaining the connection between the Holy Qabalah and the arts of astrology it turned out to be far more relevant to my interest in Thelema as it discusses the relationship between the astrological ages and the changes to the sign that is ascending at dawn on the March Equinox over the past few millennia, a subject that I have devoted a great deal of study to in the past.
As I said, I have become accustomed to this sort of synchronicity and I usually see it as an indication that I am on the right track in life. The real difference lately has been the increasing regularity of these sorts of occurrences that I have been noticing. One notable instance of this happened a few weeks ago when three people, all unknown to each other, had conversations out of the blue with me about the obscure study of sigil magick within a day of one another. Two had questions and the third had their answers while I was the single degree of separation. This has had me thinking about what being on the right path for me actually entails.
Perhaps the answer came in another intriguing and unexpected experience that I had recently. I was called to the assistance of my friend Lizzy, better known to readers of this blog as the Lady Elizabeth Rose, to help her move an old Chesterfield sofa that she had bought. After we muscled the heavy couch into her house we were chatting over a coffee when we were joined by an other-worldly presence that had come bearing a message for me.
Even after all of my years of practicing ceremonial magick and travelling on the astral planes I remain skeptical of claims of psychic abilities and visitations from beyond the veil. Both Aleister Crowley and Harry Houdini were famous for their efforts to expose the smoke and mirror trickery of the fraudulent mediums of their day and my own experience with seers of the hidden mysteries makes me tend towards disbelief, my logical mind demands proof and my experience as a magician expects spiritual agencies to at least make an attempt at deception.
By the same token, when someone does show some genuine psychic talent I find myself intrigued, although I am still unlikely to be running off to any séances in the near future. Lizzy has proven herself to be one of those intriguing people that can make a connection on a non-physical plane in a way that I can’t explain. On several occasions she has surprised me with moments so synchronous that I have just come to accept that she is as psychic as she says that she is.
On the evening in question we were sipping coffee while listening to a CD and chatting about Lizzy’s redecoration efforts. Our other-worldly visitor seemed to arrive on a gust of wind and abruptly the CD stopped. This in itself wasn’t so surprising, CD players are often unreliable appliances but when Lizzy demanded that the music be started again and it did my attention was more focused. Our visitor was quite insistent and the music stopped and started several times as he communicated his important messages via Lizzy, first to another person that was present and then to me.
I am experienced with communicating with non-human intelligences on the astral planes and remain undecided as to how much independent existence these spiritual beings do or do not have. Even so I found myself intrigued when the first part of the message mentioned an injury that I have that no one else in the room could have possibly known about and followed that with a fact about my childhood that even I had long since relegated to the depths of the archives of memory my interest was pricked. One of the strictest criteria for testing the validity of information extracted from beings on my astral travels is that they prove the truth of their information in some way and so I was encouraged to find out more.
This, it seems, was but a preamble and there was a deeper communication for me from our ethereal friend. He was there to tell me that “They are waiting”. I immediately understood this message- I have had so many requests from people to teach them magick in the past couple of years that it is almost obvious that there are a number of people waiting for me to get myself organized and do something about it. I have been struggling to find the time and I have a natural disinclination to take on students in the dark arts, just at the moment at any rate. This much is pretty common knowledge about me and I am sure that Lizzy herself may have interpreted the message in this way; but I didn’t.
In 1904 when Aleister Crowley and his new wife Rose Kelly were in Cairo where the Beast would later write the Book of the Law that kick started Thelema Rose had used these very same words to communicate to Crowley that the Gods were waiting for him to be properly prepared to perform the magickal operation that would result in the dictation of the Book of the Law by Aiwass. When Lizzy told me that “They are waiting” I immediately understood that my own spiritual guides, my own Guradian Angel was waiting for me to continue with my own Great Work. A part of that may even be taking on one or two of the more promising students that have petitioned me for magickal instruction. By far the greatest part of it is to continue to pursue the Path of the Wise myself, to apply myself more vigorously now than I have in the past.
All of this has shown me that regardless of how learned you become sometimes it still takes an influence from an unexpected quarter to show you the right way. It has also demonstrated to me in a very dramatic fashion that in some subtle way everything is connected, the very foundation premise that is postulated by the ancient astrologers. It is also pleasant to learn that the universe still has a surprise or two left for an old magician too.