Volume 26 Number 1 January 2009
Kundalini and Ceremonial Magic: The Quest for the Higher Self
By Neven Paar
What follows is the personal story of a young man who opened the latent spiritual potential within himself with what he believes to be a Kundalini awakening and was then drawn to a particular practice that helped him to integrate the mental and emotional changes that culminated from his experiences. After meeting Neven at his family home in Toronto, we realized that his thirst for understanding this inner process was truly inspiring. Also, his sincere desire to share with others came from an inner strength and a deep sense of connection with knowing that we are all one.
Neven shares yet another path to understanding ourselves and the personal responsibility that we have in the decision to participate with this evolutionary process. If we can choose to evolve in a healthy way and experience higher states of consciousness not yet understood within the current scientific paradigm it gives hope that the world holds within itself the potential to be a place of co-operative and peaceful living.
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In the summer of 2004, I immersed myself in reading, understanding, and applying the Principles of Creation as set forth in The Kybalion, a deeply esoteric book written by “The Three Initiates” in 1912. At that time, I focused my intentions on mastering the mental plane of reality because as the Kybalion states, “The All is Mind, the Universe is Mental”, and I sought to know The All. I began to learn and understand how we as human beings interact with each other, and developed mental abilities which enabled me to rise above my ordinary human emotions and willfully influence my life to an unimaginable degree. By mastering my thoughts and emotions my Willpower was enhanced, which enabled me to manifest my desires. I had the utmost faith and confidence in myself and all of my fear and doubt was banished. I looked upon The Kybalion with great reverence, and found myself to be a worthy vessel of its wisdom, as I persistently put the principles into action on a daily basis which I believe inspired me to evolve very rapidly as a spiritual human being.
I continued to re-read The Kybalion (I have read the book at least 20 times at this point) until one particular night in October, I had a grand epiphany. By imagining the world around me as a “thought of God”, I understood, at a very deep level of being the meaning of being made in the “image” of the Creator. I realized that as we all dream in our nightly life, that our daily life is nothing more than the dream of God and that the Creator is fully manifest within its Creation. As Hermes Trismegistus said, “As Above, So Below.” When I realized that I had a spiritual double living in a parallel reality to my own, I was overcome with a profound sense of peace and calm, knowing that I am perfectly safe and sound in the “infinite Mind of the All” (The Kybalion). A further realization was that if I am a mere thought of the All, or God, and at the same time I am given the ability to think, then the degree of “realness” of my own thoughts only differs in degree of vibration compared to physical reality since the substance is the same. This realization was confirmed by The Kybalion and its explanation of the principle of Vibration and it served as a springboard for what was to happen next.
I went to bed that night with an intention to test my theory and explore the possibilities of the astral (thought) plane. My imagination led me to create a thought form of the ideal woman in the astral whose appearance now became more “real” than ever since I actually believed that what I was seeing was real. By holding the image in my mind with full concentration over a period of time, I completely awakened my astral senses after which the doughnut shaped mind’s eye space inside my head expanded and I became absorbed into the space in which I thought this woman into existence. As I made love to her I experienced excitement that expanded in a matter of seconds. I experienced continuous internal orgasms for a period of time until the excitement grew even more at which point I felt an unusual sensation in my lower back at the root of the spinal column. Whatever it was, it felt like it had the shape of a golf ball and I could feel it starting to rise upward, through the Sushumna channel, stopping at certain points (chakras), and expanding into bursts of energy before continuing its upward movement. I also heard it internally as a roaring “jet plane engine” sound that increased as the engine’s sound would upon takeoff. This ball of energy then rose upwards into my head, and the circumference of the doughnut shape (mind’s eye) in my head expanded as the energy burst into it. It then moved upwards to the top of my head, resulting in a surge of “liquid fire” pouring over my body from the top down, enflaming my whole being. I shot up in bed and opened my eyes. My skin and everything around me was shimmering with a golden glow, very beautiful and perfect in every way, a moment I will never forget. The jet engine sound increased, and I began losing consciousness of my body and saw the onset of the White Light. It felt like the energy wanted to escape my body and take me with it. This frightened me since I believed that losing consciousness of my body would result in immediate physical death, so I decided to end the experience.
The energy subsided, but I had difficulty falling asleep, because just as I became relaxed the jet plane sound increased and I again started losing consciousness of my body. I also noticed that my thoughts took on a degree of “realness” over which I had no control. This really frightened me since I had a lot of demons hiding in the closet and I did not know what would pop up. Eventually I did fall asleep, but for the next few days, the same experience of the jet plane engine sound increasing and the onset of the White Light returned even as I tried to fight it off with everything I had. After 3-4 days, or so, the energy seemed to subside, but the high vibration pitch in my ears became a standard part of my life.
I was not aware that what happened to me was a kundalini awakening until about five months later. While doing some research I came across writings on the kundalini and the symptoms of the awakening. My mind became very imbalanced and my thoughts and emotions were all over the place. I felt engulfed by my subconscious content at times, which would pour over me all at once, an experience that was very frightening since I now started experiencing my thoughts in “real-time”. This gave me a lot of fear and anxiety, coupled with doubt, in most of my actions and life decisions. It was very worrying and overall destructive to my mental health. On the lighter side of things, I perceived an expanse in consciousness which was quite apparent in my vision of the outside world since I now had the ability to perceive everything from a higher source. If you were to take a landscape, or group of buildings, and build a scaled architectural model of it, my vision is likened to physically standing above this model and looking at it from above. After 5 months, or so, another transformation occurred in my outside vision: all of the objects outside me now obtained a silvery shine and glow; completely remodeling the world I once saw with light. It was as if my physical eyes were upgraded to the latest digital computer technology. It was obvious that this transformation occurred on the inside as I was now enflamed with light, which was very apparent inside my head once my eyes were closed. My physical body also started undergoing transformations as I lost consciousness of the physical sensation more and more, obtaining a permanent numbing feeling of weightlessness that is felt in all parts of my body. This occurred gradually, over a longer period of time, as I had experiences of my sole and palm chakras opening up and getting filled with soothing, cool, spirit energy. As my consciousness was transformed by the Spirit which now permanently indwelled within me, I felt a great sense of unity with my environment, the result of which is that I began to experience psychic powers such as the ability to place my mind on any objects outside me in an instant and being able to touch and “feel” them. There was a definite sense of underlying unity in everything now, but this was separate from the mental neurosis I had which overshadowed these positive aspects of the awakening. This was a sign for me that I had to clear the mental blockages I had if I was to enjoy this gift, and not consider it as a living curse.
I accepted the call that I felt I received from the spiritual realms and was very excited about my future. I quit my job at the time in order to fill myself with further wisdom and knowledge so that I could make sense of my experience and hopefully share my blessing with others. I read books daily from nine-to-five for five months straight, learning more about kundalini, metaphysics, the occult, ceremonial magick, and especially the works of Hermes Trismegistus. Albeit, even with the wisdom and knowledge I acquired I could not obtain control over my thoughts, whose pendulum speed increased exponentially, giving me the emotional extremes of highs, and lows, in a matter of seconds. My interactions with others were laced with fear and anxiety, and whether I was doing hard physical labour, or making love, the fear was deeply rooted. I felt powerless and at its mercy. Spiritually, there was a definite sense of detachment, but on the mental level, I was in Hell.
When I tried telling others about my experience they looked at me as though I was crazy which made me feel very lonely, crying myself to sleep many nights. There was no one who understood me and I was at the mercy of an energy that I myself didn’t understand. But once I was asleep, my emotional pain was gone. My dream world changed drastically, every dream becoming a lucid one in which I controlled the content obtaining the ability to change internal focus and enter different, beautiful, astral worlds that are very magical and magnificent in their visual appearance. I became as light as a feather in my dreams, flying with ease and performing magical feats like walking on water, through walls, telepathy, levitation, etc. I also conversed with different angelic beings nightly and received information about things that were to happen in the future. Even though it was more difficult to fall asleep because of the high vibration pitch in my ears, and the light in my head, the dream world offered an escape out of the mental neurosis I had in my daily waking life.
In spite of all of the mental and emotional problems I was having, I was strong and determined that the dread I experienced was a blessing in disguise since I now lived in an upgraded version of the reality I used to live in. I realized that I had to find a way to heal my thoughts and emotions and purify them in order to rid myself of the constant fear and anxiety. I had to find a way to stabilize my system and bring everything into balance on the mental level, where the problems seemed to exist. My spirit guides led me to the door of the Esoteric Order of the Golden Dawn, which is an occult mystery school whose teachings include the study of the 4 elements, tarot, alchemy, astrology, divination, Qabalah, Egyptian, and Hebrew mysteries, and more. The Order also teaches ceremonial magick, which I have only heard about up to this point, but was very intrigued by. The patron of the Order is the God Hermes, or Thoth, which I took as a sign, given that the writings of The Kybalion were attributed to Hermes, the study of which I felt to be the cause of my kundalini awakening. My intuition led me to join the Golden Dawn and find out what it was all about. Little did I know at the time the power of ceremonial magick, and the tremendous positive change that it would have on my life for years to come.
The concept of ceremonial magick is widely misunderstood by the modern society. Magick (with a k) differs immensely from mere card tricks and illusions. This sacred art has been around since the dawn of time, but has been concealed from the profane throughout the ages. Secret Orders have existed from time immemorial where the sacred art has been taught to initiates of the Occult Mysteries. Magick is best defined as “the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with will”. Ceremonial magick usually involves a form of energy, or spirit, invocation, or evocation, through the performance of a ritual. A ritual can be defined as a system of rites that involve the carrying out of symbolic, and metaphoric, physical acts, and their repetition with a clear underlying intent. The purpose of ceremonial magick ritual is usually to attune oneself to cosmic cycles, and energies, in order to receive gnosis, purify the Self, and spiritually evolve.
The Golden Dawn path begins in the First Order, which has a grade system based on the Qabalistic Tree of Life, and it involves the study and ritual invocation of the four elements in the consecutive order of Earth, Air, Water, and Fire; culminating in the fifth element of Spirit, and then into Adepthood, or the Second Order. Upon being initiated into the Neophyte level which was outside the Tree of life, I had to commit certain knowledge lectures to memory and pass certain tests, before moving up to the grade of Earth. The daily ritual assigned to me consisted of the “lesser banishing ritual of the pentagram” (LBRP) and the “middle pillar” (MP). The LBRP is meant to purify the aura or sphere (microcosm) and banish unwanted positive and negative energies to create a more balanced mental and emotional state. The MP invokes the Qabalistic sephiroth of the middle pillar, and enflames the aura with light, elevating the mind above the lower, more carnal desires. I started feeling better immediately after initiation and enjoyed more peace and good energy in my daily physical life. I saw that there was something to magick and I became curious to learn and experience more. I built a ceremonial magick temple in what had been my room at home, where I performed the rituals assigned to me. Since I was very driven to learn and experience more, I decided to fast-track my path through the Order and got initiated into the grade of Earth after only a few months.
The Earth grade (Malkuth on the Tree of Life) introduced the “banishing ritual of the hexagram” (BRH) which banishes negative energies from the outside world or macrocosm and taps into one’s karmic cycle in order to achieve inner balance. The “lesser invoking ritual of the pentagram” (LIRP) proved itself to be a most effective way of invoking the elements. The LIRP of Earth invoked the earth energy, which provided me with the necessary grounding in order to obtain some level of control over the thoughts in my wandering mind. Because of its inertia effect, this very dense energy solidified and grounded my thoughts, enabling me to experience more silence, and to be more at peace with the inner Self. It also stimulated my earth chakra, connecting the energy lines from my feet to the first Muladhara chakra area, and removing any blockages along the way. This needed to happen before the other elements can do their work, since the alchemical process works from the ground up, just as the path of the Kundalini which moves up the central spinal column, through the chakras consecutively, culminating at the crown of the head. Realizing the importance of working on the energy body, I started attending regular Dahn yoga classes as well, in order to improve my overall health through the development of the energy system and the enhancement of the mind-body connection. Dahn yoga’s exercises can be described as a blend of yoga, tai chi, and martial arts exercises. Doing Dahn yoga for an extended period of time (around 2 years or so) enabled me to completely disassociate myself from the flawed physical body and help place my consciousness into the energy body. Yoga is very helpful in allowing this transition to occur, and anyone who has stimulated the Kundalini into activity should implement the use of yoga into their regular daily practice.
In a month’s time, I advanced into Air (Yesod on the Tree of Life) where I began the process of learning to control, and use, my thoughts productively. Using the LIRP of Air, I would invoke this volatile element, in order to see where it would take me in my transformative process. After a few days of use, I noticed that my creative nature was expanded and speed of thought was increased, making me more alert in life situations. The representative emblem of Air energy is the caduceus of Hermes, which is another symbol of the kundalini force, from a Hermetic point of view. At this point, I noticed that working the elements allowed me to get in touch with certain areas of the Self, examine them, and make the distinction between the ego, with its selfish desires and impulses, and the Higher Self, which seeks unity in all things. I observed that the lack of control over my thoughts was due to internal pain from past events that created fear and anxiety in my nervous system. As I examined my thoughts and their source, I was able to get more in touch with my Higher Self, and purify the memories by releasing the painful charge that kept me holding onto them. The memories became purified once I learned to see them from the point of view of the Higher Self, and I recognized everything as a learning lesson that brought me to where I was spiritually.
After examining my inner nature, I understood that the pain and anxiety I experienced was a result of this, and past, lifetimes of differentiating the Self from the world outside me. The Kundalini process is one that integrates a person’s outer and inner worlds. In other words, “All is One”, once the transformation is complete. But the correct alignment of the chakras needs to occur in order for there to be a straight path for the Kundalini to follow. Magick has already served as a great tool to align energy lines and remove blockages in chakras. Most of my transformative work I would do at nighttime when I was going into REM sleep. At that time it was easiest for me to connect to the Higher Self and remain focused in that very high plane. The level of concentration, and the time invested, with an empty and still mind, would allow energy lines to adjust themselves as I would lie in my bed night after night and feel the Kundalini as it worked through my system opening new higher channels of feeling, and thinking.
In the Water grade (Hod on the Tree of Life); I connected with unconditional love and compassion for others, as well as the necessary daily sacrifice of the lower Self. By focusing on right action and conduct, I became more attuned to the spiritual Higher Self and naturally distanced myself from the ego, or personality, which lives in its perpetual cycle of pain and pleasure. I obtained more peace in my daily life, and became more passive toward what was going on around me, understanding the changeability of life and learning to “go with the flow” of destiny. I learned that one of the major underlying causes of fear is a lack of faith in the Universe and its Laws: desiring things to happen in an instant instead of cultivating patience, and learning to be content in every given moment by believing in Destiny. This understanding enabled me to become more flexible in my interactions with others and as a result I created stronger ties with friends and family, which gave me a lot of inner fulfillment.
The water energy enabled me to get in touch with the feeling behind the memories, and to examine its real essence and nature. Many days were spent in contemplation of the Self and burning away negative memories through loving tears and rational thinking. I learned that in order for me to purify myself, I must be ready to bear the burden of pain and suffering, as it is the key to purification. The mythos of the Christ sacrificing himself on the cross serves to remind all of us of that. This mystery of life- death-resurrection has been practiced for thousands of years throughout the world, from the myth of Osiris, to Mythras, to Dionysus. It is universal in its application as sacrifice is the key to purification of the Self.
My next initiation was into the grade of Fire (Netzach on the Tree of Life). Here, I connected with my willpower and its expression through the three lower elements of earth, air, and water. I examined the nature of my desires, and especially my instincts around sex and bodily pleasures. With the kundalini experience, my sexual nature increased greatly. In the fire grade, I learned discipline and balance in this area. I learned that lust bars the way to Love and is its polar opposite. One cannot worship the flesh and the spirit at the same time. But desire to create is inherent in human beings as is the desire for sex, it being a symbolic ritual(rite) of unification of the two opposite sexes or genders in the material world. Through the act of sex, when it is in the form of “making love”, our souls taste the immortality of the infinite, undifferentiated spirit. Learning the nature of the myriad of different desires within me gave me a better understanding of who I was, and who I wanted to be. The fire energy also gave me a lot more strength and determination in work and other studies. It also seemed to “burn away” negative thoughts and emotions, which gave me more confidence in myself, and my decision making. Fire is considered the transformative element, and soon I was ready to undergo a major transformation. I decided to leave the Golden Dawn Order and continue practicing magick on my own. I felt I was held back in certain areas since the workings of the Order started overshadowing the important spiritual work I was doing. I acquired a strong friendship with a previous member of the Order who had been involved in the occult for many years, and who has helped focus my ambitions in magic and ritual. I was introduced to Freemasonry, whose principles of morality and brotherly love stand as great pillars in my life to this day. Interestingly, The Golden Dawn was established by Freemasons in the late 1800s, so making the transition into masonry was a rather natural step in my spiritual path.
I started invocations of Spirit energy, which included the synthesis of the four elements beneath the binding spirit element. The Spirit element gave me more emotional stability and an unwavering peace of mind. It manifested as very soothing and cool on my thoughts and emotions, and I spent many months doing daily invocations. At this point, I had completed successful invocations of the microcosmic energies of the 5 elements, and I was ready to start invoking the macrocosmic energies of the planets, and zodiac. These rituals offered new karma for me to shed and evolve past. They enabled me to gain a better understanding of the Universal energies, and how they relate to people. It is important to note that the pentagram has 5 sides and therefore is related to the 5 elements, while the hexagram, with its six points is related to the sun surrounded by the 6 ancient planets. Therefore, the pentagram represents the micro- cosm, while the hexagram represents the macrocosm. These two symbols are used throughout the occult circles to invoke the elements, as well as the planets, and zodiac.
Next I introduced Enochian magick into my daily rituals, which is a big step for any ceremonial magician. This is a very powerful tool for spiritual evolvement, but also very dangerous, and destructive, since it unlocks hidden potential that can be hard to master if the person is not ready for that kind of power. And unless one has trained for a number of years with the elements, they will not be able to withstand the repercussions of Enochian magick successfully. The aspect of Enochian Magick that I worked the most with were the 19 Enochian Calls, or Keys. The Enochian Keys offer elemental and sub-elemental energies in a different form than the energies of the pentagram rituals.
After working the elemental and sub-elemental realms as well as the Spirit Keys, I incorporated the use of the 30 Enochian Aethrys into my daily rituals. The 30 Aethyrs are layers of the aura much like the inside of an onion with many layers, or skins, overlapping and concealing the centre, which is the Inner Self. These aethyrs contain masculine and feminine forces not unlike the currents of ida and pingala, and offer a progressive rising from the physical to the astral, to the lower and upper mental, and finally, past the “Abyss” and into the spiritual realms of non-duality. To keep in mind, a kundalini awakening awakens all the spiritual principles within the aura of a human being, and rapidly accelerates the process of spiritual evolvement through the internal fire that is released, but it is firstly in a state of “potential” and it is up to the human being to realize that potential by advancing past the mental plane of duality that takes place in space and time into the spiritual plane of unity that is eternal and undifferentiated.
The 30 Aethyrs work directly with the kundalini energy and help stimulate latent forces in the aura by bringing karmic influences to the surface and allowing the kundalini to move within these areas and clear any remaining blockages. Once I discovered the power of the 30 Aethyrs, I spent countless months visiting, and re-visiting, these realms and allowing the kundalini to do its thing and create mental, and emotional, balance in my life. To this day, I have not found any other magickal tool worthy of mention such as the 30 Enochian Aethyrs. My personal belief is that they are the Master Key in the evolution process that the awakened kundalini starts. The elemental rituals help stabilize and balance the thoughts and emotions, while the 30 Aethyrs actually aid in completing the spiritual transformation started by the kundalini awakening. This has been the truth as I have seen in myself and my own transformation during the past 3 years of working magick.
It has been 4 years now since the kundalini awakening and it has been quite a ride so far. I am grateful for having discovered ceremonial magick to help me deal with the mental problems that ensued the awakening as well as further my spiritual transformation process. I believe that our society is in dire need of a proper understanding of ceremonial magick as this very ancient art can play a major role in the spiritual evolution of the human race. It is up to each individual to take responsibility for their own spiritual progression if we are to evolve collectively towards a higher state of consciousness and
awareness. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” In order for there to occur a change in the world as a whole, there will first have to be a change within each and every individual human being. It is time for us to accept that we are co-creators with the Creator and that our creations be filled with love and light. Only then can we restore the Garden of Eden and enjoy perfect peace and happiness, our inherent birthright.
Recommended books on Ceremonial Magick:
Enochian Magic- A Practical Manual by Gerald J. Schueler, Llewellyn Publications, 1985
The Tree of Life by Israel Regardie, Samuel Weiser Inc., 1969
The Golden Dawn by Israel Regardie, Llewellyn Publications, 1989
The Middle Pillar by Israel Regardie, Llewellyn Publications, 2003
Ritual Use of Magical Tools
by Chic and Tabatha Cicero, Llewellyn Publications, 2000
Self Initiation into the Golden Dawn
by Chic and Tabatha Cicero, Llewellyn Publications, 1995
777 and Other Qabalistic Writings of Aleister Crowley by Aleister Crowley, Weiser Books, 1912