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Fra A. This is the Book of Uniting Himself to a particular Deity by devotion. Considerations before the Threshold. First concerning the choice of a particular Deity. This matter is of no import, sobeit that thou choose one suited to thine own highest nature.
Howsoever, this method is not so suitable for gods austere as Saturn, or intellectual as Thoth. But for such deities as in themselves partake in anywise of love it is a perfect mode. Concerning the prime method of this Magick Art. Let the devotee consider well that although Christ and Osiris be one, yet the former is to be worshipped with Christian, and the latter with Egyptian rites.
And this although the rites themselves are ceremonially equivalent. There should, however, be one symbol declaring the transcending of such limitations; and with regard to the Deity also, there should be some one affirmation of his identity both with all other similar gods of other nations, and with the Supreme of whom all are but partial reflections.
Concerning the chief place of devotion. This is the Heart of the Devotee, and should be symbolically represented by that room or spot which he loves best. And the dearest spot therein shall be the shrine of his temple. It is most convenient if this shrine and altar should be sequestered in woods, or in a private grove, or garden. But let it be protected from the profane. Concerning the Image of the Deity. Let there be an image of the Deity; first because in meditation there is mindfulness induced thereby; and second because a certain power enters and inhabits it by virtue of the ceremonies; or so it is said, and We deny it not.
Let this image be the most beautiful and perfect which the devotee is able to procure; or if he be able to paint or to carve the same, it is all the better. As for Deities with whose nature no Image is compatible, let them be worshipped in an empty shrine. Such are Brahma, and Allah. Also some postcaptivity conceptions of Jehovah. Further concerning the shrine. With ivy and pine-cones, that is to say, for Bacchus, and let lay before him both grapes and wine.
So also for Ceres let there be corn, and cakes; or for Diana moon-wort and pale herbs, and pure water. Further it is well to support the shrine with talismans of the planets, signs and elements appropriate. But these should be made according to the right Ingenium of the Philosophus by the light of the Book during the course of his Devotion. It is also well, nevertheless, if a magick circle with the right signs and names be made beforehand.
Concerning the Ceremonies. Let the Philosophus prepare a powerful Invocation of the particular Deity according to his Ingenium. But let it consist of these several parts: First, an Imprecation, as of a slave unto his Lord.
Second, an Oath, as of a vassal to his Liege. Third, a Memorial, as of a child to his Parent. Fourth, an Orison, as of a Priest unto his God. Fifth, a Colloquy, as of a Brother with his Brother. Sixth, a Conjuration, as to a Friend with his Friend. Seventh, a Madrigal, as of a Lover to his Mistress. And mark well that the first should be of awe, the second of fealty, the third of dependence, the fourth of adoration, the fifth of confidence, the sixth of comradeship, the seventh of passion.
Further concerning the ceremonies. Let then this Invocation be the principal part of an ordered ceremony. And in this ceremony let the Philosophus in no wise neglect the service of a menial. Let him sweep and garnish the place, sprinkling it with water or with wine as is appropriate to the particular Deity, and consecrating it with oil, and with such ritual as may seem him best.
And let all be done with intensity and minuteness. Concerning the period of devotion, and the hours thereof. Let a fixed period be set for the worship; and it is said that the least time is nine days by seven, and the greatest seven years by nine.
And concerning the hours, let the Ceremony be performed every day thrice, or at least once, and let the sleep of the Philosophus be broken for some purpose of devotion at least once in every night. Now to some it may seem best to appoint fixed hours for the ceremony, to others it may seem that the ceremony should be performed as the spirit moves them so to do: for this there is no rule.
Concerning the Robes and Instruments. The Wand and Cup are to be chosen for this Art; never the Sword or Dagger, never the Pantacle, unless that Pantacle chance to be of a nature harmonious. But even so it is best to keep the Wand and Cup, and if one must choose, the Cup.
So also, for Vesta, one might use for instrument the Lamp; or the sickle, for Chronos. Concerning the Incense and Libations. The incense should follow the nature of the particular Deity; as, mastic for Mercury, dittany for Persephone. Also the libations, as, a decoction of nightshade for Melancholia, or of Indian hemp for Uranus. Concerning the harmony of the ceremonies. Let all these things be rightly considered, and at length, in language of the utmost beauty at the command of the Philosophus, accompanied, if he has skill, by music, and interwoven, if the particular Deity be jocund, with dancing.
And all being carefully prepared and rehearsed, let it be practised daily until it be wholly rhythmical with his aspiration, and as it were, a part of his being.
Concerning the variety of the ceremonies. Now, seeing that every man differeth essentially from every other man, albeit in essence he is identical, let also these ceremonies assert their identity by their diversity. For this reason do We leave much herein to the right Ingenium of the Philosophus. Concerning the life of the devotee. First, let his way of life be such as is pleasing to the particular Deity. Thus to invoke Neptune, let him go a-fishing; but if Hades, let him not approach the water that is hateful to Him.
Further, concerning the life of the devotee. Let him cut away from his life any act, word, or thought, that is hateful to the particular Deity; as, unchastity in the case of Artemis, evasions in the case of Ares. Besides this, he should avoid all harshness or unkindness of any kind in thought, word, or deed, seeing that above the particular Deity is One in whom all is One. Yet also he may deliberately practise cruelties, where the particular Deity manifests His Love in that manner, as in the case of Kali, and of Pan.
And therefore, before the beginning of his period of devotion, let him practise according to the rules of Liber Jugorum. Further concerning the life of the devotee. Now, as many are fully occupied with their affairs, let it be known that this method is adaptable to the necessities of all. And We bear witness that this which followeth is the Crux and Quintessence of the whole Method. First, if he have no Image, let him take anything soever, and consecrate it as an Image of his God.
Likewise with his robes and instruments, his suffumigations and libations: for his Robe hath he not a nightdress; for his instrument a walking stick; for his suffumigation a burning match; for his libation a glass of water? But let him consecrate each thing that he useth to the service of that particular Deity, and not profane the same to any other use. Next, concerning his time, if it be short.
Let him labour mentally upon his Invocation, concentrating it, and let him perform this Invocation in his heart whenever he hath the leisure.
And let him seize eagerly upon every opportunity for this. Third, even if he have leisure and preparation, let him seek ever to bring inward the symbols, so that even in his well ordered shrine the whole ceremony revolve inwardly in his heart, that is to say in the temple of his body, of which the outer temple is but an image.
For in the brain is the shrine, and there is no Image therein; and the breath of man is the incense and the libation. Further concerning occupation. Let the devotee transmute within the alembic of his heart every thought, or word, or act into the spiritual gold of his devotion.
As thus: eating. Let him say: "I eat this food in gratitude to my Deity that hath sent it to me, in order to gain strength for my devotion to Him. Let him say: "I lie down to sleep, giving thanks for this blessing from my Deity, in order that I may be refreshed for new devotion to Him. Let him say: "I read this book that I may study the nature of my Deity, that further knowledge of Him may inspire me with deeper devotion to Him.
Let him say: "I drive my spade into the earth that fresh flowers fruit, or what not may spring up to His glory, and that I, purified by toil, may give better devotion to Him. And let him not perform the act until he hath done this. As it is written: Liber VII , cap. Every breath, every word, every thought is an act of love with thee. The beat of my heart is the pendulum of love. The songs of me are the soft sighs: The thoughts of me are very rapture: And my deeds are the myriads of Thy Children, the stars and the atoms.
And Remember Well, that if thou wert in truth a lover, all this wouldst thou do of thine own nature without the slightest flaw or failure in the minutest part thereof. Concerning the Lections. But if he weary, then let him read books which have no part whatever in love, as for recreation. But let him copy out each verse of Thelema which bears upon this matter, and ponder them, and comment thereupon.
For therein is a wisdom and a magic too deep to utter in any other wise. Concerning the Meditations.
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