"The chanting sun, as ever, rivals"The chanting of his brothers spheres"And marches round his destined circuit-"A march that thunders in our ears."His aspect cheers the Host of Heaven"Though what his essence none can say;"These inconceivable creations"Keep the high state of their first day."
FROM FAUST PART I ('PROLOGUE IN HEAVEN') JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE
"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law "
The sun is constantly in our lives, and our lives are reliant on its presence. We despair on a dark Irish day, overcast by the many clouds which linger over the island. In summer the heart brightens with its brightness and its absence during the winter is a sorrow to us. If we consider both our relationship to the sun and that of our planet to it also we might call the sun the parent star of our place in the universe.
When we turn to science to answer the familiar yet relatively unknown presence in our lives there are many things we can be told about it - its size, its distance from us, and innumerable other facts, but very often the more we learn about this ever present friend the less we find the truth of our experience in this knowledge. For indeed, the most thorough and scientific of explanations still fails to explain the soul experience of a bright summer's day kindling the inner sun.
The relationship to the sun belongs to the fundamental constitution of our common subconscious soul life. Each person carries this relationship with them in the hidden depths their being. But it remains hidden and unknown.
In earlier times people knew how to bring this basic element of the human soul into the light of conscious life through the use of ritual, through a living experience and repeated telling of such mythological sagas as the Irish Lugh L'amh F'ada. They further honoured the sun as the sun God or sun Goddess, as something personal, and lived closely with the cycles of the lightening of day and of night and darkness, and the seasonal cycles, and our special relationship to the sun at different times of the year, as well as the relationship of our land with the golden disc.
In modern society this relationship has all but gone. The advent of industrialisation and in particular the light bulb of Edison has dispossessed us from our warm and personal relationship with the sun. This relation has become cold and frozen, as we find ourselves becoming ever more separate. This has an effect on us, unseen perhaps but an effect none the less.
The general populous lacks the sun forces at work in their constitution and we see the presence of mental illness on a level previously unimaginable. The seasonal manifestation of this, Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) affects one in four people in the United Kingdom. This real and tangible manifestation of our relationship (or lack ther) with the sun speaks to an imbalance in our soul life. This condition lives in the realm of both a soul experience and a bio chemical imbalance resultant from the seasonal changes. This is an expression of a pathology, however the affect can be much more subtle. In the life of the soul that which goes unlived and unacknowledged becomes a disturbance in the soul life. This sun- complex lives in each of us. It can, unattended, affect our mental and physical wellbeing.
The answer to this dilemma of the soul is to try to raise the subconscious to the conscious, to infuse the dark recesses of our mind with light and warmth. This we will begin to happen by working with solar mythology, through finding a relationship to the sun, and through the realm of ritual adoration as found in Liber Resh vel Helios. The text for this ritual can be found here.
The Thelemic literature is filled with solar imagery, and indeed the entire Western culture is based on sun worship. From the ancient Roman Mithras cults to the Christios as sun God the sun as an idea has been a pillar of Western society. But in Thelemic practice the sun takes an enlivened role, a central role through active work with sol.
The solar adoration of Liber Resh vel Helios Sub figura CC is an official ritual of the A.'.A.'. however it is in widespread use within the thelemic community at large.
The Egyptian Of Liber Resh
The solar adorations of Liber Resh vel Helios is abound in Egyptian symbolism. In fact its basic content is based on certain images which appear on the stele of revealing. The bark or barge of Ra travels across the sky carrying the solar glory from first rising, across the sky to the sun in hiding. Its crew form a who's who of the Gods of creation, wisdom and magick in the Egyptian Pantheon.
"RA:" is the sun God of Heliopolis
"TAHUTI:" Is another name for Thoth, the Ibis headed Egyptian God of wisdom and magick who is stationed at the helm of the solar barge.
"RA HOOR:" is one of several forms of the God Horus. This particular rendition, Ra-Hoor, means the house of Ra. An ancient hymn from the papyrus of Ani describes the special relationship of Thoth and Horus upon the barge as follows: 'Thoth stands at the prow of thy boat, smiting all thine enemies,' and 'I have seen Horus at the helm and Thoth acting at his command.'
"AHATHOR:" Also known as Het-Hert. Het-Heru or Hathor, whose name means the dwelling of Horus. She is depicted as the celestial cow who gave birth to the universe. As such she represents the sky from eastern to Western horizon (given her dues at this 'midpoint' of this journey). Hathor is also the Goddess of the beauty and had special patronage of the dead.
"TUM:" Or Atum was the original sun-God of Heliopolis. His name means 'to be completed'. As such he is an appropriate representative of the sun in the evening.
"KHEPHRA:" is the sacred scarab, he who is self created. In the form of the sun in darkness we meet the image of the beetle who rolls its eggs in dung and buries it in the earth until it is time to hatch. So the self creating God, who is traditionally corresponded to the East brings about a new sunrise.
These descriptions have been kept sufficiently brief to encourage individual research. It is only by actively building an image of the Gods that the adoption of their Godforms may be effectively done.
The Adoration Taught To Thee By Thy Superior
There are several forms of adoration which may be used after the declamation of the quarterly adorations, and in time you may wish to write one which expresses your personal connection to the sun. Adorations which are commonly used include the "Collect Of The Sun" from Liber XV or from" Liber Al vel Legis 3:37" which are as follows:
* "Lord visible and sensible of whom this earth is but a frozen spark turning about thee with annual and diurnal motion, source of light, source of life, let thy perpetual radiance hearten us to continual labour and enjoyment; so that as we are constant partakers of thy bounty we may in our particular orbit give out light and life, sustenance and joy to them that revolve about us without diminution of substance or effulgence forever."
"COLLECT OF THE SUN, LIBER XV"
Unity uttermost showed!
I adore the might of Thy breath,
Supreme and terrible God,
Who makest the gods and death
To tremble before Thee :.
I, I adore thee! Appear on the throne of Ra!
Open the ways of the Khu!
Lighten the ways of the Ka!
The ways of the Khabs run through
To stir me or still me!
Aum! let it fill me!
"LIBER AL VEL LEGIS III:37"
Again the verse from Liber Al vel Legis (The Book of the Law) is built upon the mytho symbolic system established in the Stele of Revealing. In my personal practice I have also worked with a verse which appears upon the Stele of Revealing (and coincidently also in Liber Al vel Legis III:38):
"T"he light is mine; its rays consume "
Me: I have made a secret door
Into the House of Ra and Tum,
Of Kephra and of Ahathoor.
I am thy Theban, O Mentu,
The prophet Ankh-af-na-khonsu!
"STELE OF REVEALING"
This verse describes the personalisation of the sun experience. The secret door is the working with these Godforms which is a part of a path of inner development. The names Ra, Tum, Kephera and Ahathoor are by now at least somewhat familiar, however these last three aspects,of the Theban (person from Thebes), the being of Mentu and the prophet Ankh-af-na-khonsu will need some further explanation.
"THEBES: "Is an ancient Egyptian city now known as Luxor. The most magnificent tombs and monuments find their home in Thebes. It was also the largest place of worship of the Godform of Mentu.
"MENTU:" Is a God form depicted as warlike with a falcon or bull head. He was compared and equated with Amun, Ra and Horus. One of his titles was" Horus With The Strong Arm". This is the very specific form of Horus shown to Aleister Crowley by his wife Rose on their honeymoon in Cairo. For further information of the events surrounding the identification of the stele of revealing as central to the 93 current and the dictation of t"he Book of Law" please reference Aleister Crowleys" Equinox Of The Gods".
"ANKH-AF-NA-KHONSU: "Was a prophet of Mentu, the true voice depicted on the stele. In his lifetime Crowley strongly identified with this person.
The Sign Of Your Grade
The instruction of using the sign of your grade is intended for initiates of the A.'.A.'. As such this instruction is a moot point for most in the context of Irish Order Of Thelema initiates and others using this particular form of adoration. That said, it seems a tad silly, and incredibly difficult to invest oneself when the arms hang limply at the sides. Where's the investment, the fire, the adoration? One of the most common positions used when declaiming Resh is that of the enterer. Crowley describes this in Liber O when describing the exclamation of a Godname.
* "Quickly advance the left foot about twelve inches, throw forward the body, and let the hands (drawn back to the side of the eyes) shoot out, so that you are standing in the typical position of the God Horus."
An illustration of this can be found in Equinox 1 under the title 'blind force'. Alternately the signs of the grades for the A.'.A.'. from one to four can be used as they correspond to the elements and the quarters. In a manuscript note to Equinox I:6 Crowley suggests: Dawn: L.V.X.; Noon: Thoum-Aesh-Neith (Fire); Sunset: Shu (Air); Midnight: Auramoth (Water). This works from the understanding that the ritualist stands on the intersection of Semekh () and Pe () facing Tiphereth (as in the Lesser Banishing Ritual Of The Pentagram). The signs are consequently appropriate to the sephiroth being faced.
The declamation should finish with the Godform of Hapocrates, the silent God with the finger over the lip.
Assuming A Godform
On the subject of the assumption of a Godform Aleister Crowley said as follows:
* "The Magical Images of the Gods of Egypt should be made thoroughly familiar. This can be done by studying them in any public museum, or in such books as may be accessible to the student. They should then be carefully painted by him, both from the model and from memory. "
* " The student, seated in the God position, or in the characteristic attitude of the God desired, should then imagine His image as coinciding with his own body, or as enveloping it. This must be practiced until mastery of the image is attained, and an identity with it and with the God experienced. It is a matter for very great regret that no simple and certain tests of success in this practice exist. "
I must say that although the use of seating in the adorations is not terribly common, otherwise the basic principle of assuming a Godform stands good. The building of a Godform is based on a great deal of hard slog and research (which I am choosing not to deprive the esteemed reader of) to gain an appreciation of the image, the mythology and so forth, and all of this is essential and necessary to come to an understanding of the inner attitude of the Godform. At the centre of the assumption of a Godform is the inner attitude, but without the background work of building an inner image any such attempt will lack any efficacy.
Thelema takes the question of sun mysteries very seriously and its inner dynamics underlie many of its texts and rituals, albeit often shrouded in symbol. The ritual of Liber Resh vel Helios offers the opportunity to work consciously with a very important and dynamic energy in our daily lives.
"Love is the law, love under will"
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