Archetypes and Illusions
The images of baphomet (e.g. by Levi) as a hermaphrodite figure are romatic confusions and/or distortions (patriarchal in nature): essentially of the symbolic/real union of mistress and priest and his later sacrifice. The same applies to the derivation of the suffix of her name with ‘wisdom’ (and a male image at that!) – even the confused Gnostics understood ‘wisdom’ as female. The image of Baphomet as used within Chaos Magick is one of the hermaphrodite, with strong leanings towards the masculine (qv. The Mass of Chaos 8 in Liber Null). Why is that exactly?
A further illustration is the use of the entity known as Atazoth (or, as it is more inaccurately known, Azathoth – Atazoth means an increasing of Azoth, Azathoth is simply a jumble of letters accessed from the inept experiments of H.P. Lovecraft. Whilst purporting to work with and understand ‘chaos’ the structure and practices of the rites of Chaosism are based on moralistic/dualistic/abstract (etc) perceptions as such, Atazoth cannot be used since it is part of the Abyss itself. In one sense, it is more to be experienced, since it affects the consciousness of the individual, and not, by itself in essence, the outcome of a temporal situation. Once again, the individual acts as a channel and the energies manifest according to their nature and the Wyrd of the individual – it is according to the understanding of the magickian as to how forms/outcomes may be realized/distorted by this energy.
Without this understanding and with the belief that an energy can be used purely as a symbolic extension of will, the practitioners, swayed by moral illusions, can become victims of unforseen/unwanted events – it is not a temporal aim/intent (usually ’sigilized’) that is specifically achieved, but the ‘overall’ effecting of causal structure by the acausal counterpart and vice versa. This is very rarely observed or understood.
A further problem is encountered when more than two archetypes (representing male and female aspects of the Temple members) are used within ceremonial work.
Those who wish to establish a temple would be wise to follow a simple formula: image – word – chant. The dictim “use any form and then discard it” is actually counter-productive to anyone who is serious about developing magickal skill. Its ‘chaos’ is uniformed and disposable; that is, there is no real feeling, no direction, no living in the Promethean sense; none that has gone into creating, via the invokation, an insight into how the acausal functions within the fabric of one’s life, and therefore the cosmos. Subsequently, aspects of the ‘unconscious’ dominate consciousness without any real effect. Instead of evolution, there is a circular movement, one step forward, discard that, one step back and so on.
The chaos Magician remains constantly in the foundations as opposed to creating a structure to reach a higher stage. (I use neither the term ‘evolution’ nor ‘higher state’ in the moral sense. What is meant is progress for the individual. Within this development, ‘hierarchy’ can be a useful form to manipulate, the components of which represent certain archetypal energies – hence the nature of a ‘temple’. But the temple is only a small and temporary aspect of individual alchemy, qv. the Septenary Tree of Wyrd).
The genuinely magickal use of Archetypes often provokes a ‘moral’ response from outsiders (not least of all other ‘occultists’) – usually accusations of religious and/or political mania. Forms such as politics and religion simply provide a means to an end by which magickal desires may be achieved. And, in order to infect not only the psyche of the individual, but that of other people. This involves living, not playing at, a certain role until the associated archetype is exhausted (i.e. it is allowed to disperse acausally, ‘as it is’, without form), the desire achieved and therefore, the psyche infected.
It must be stressed that ‘to do’ is not ‘to play’ – to play is to trick/delude oneself that one is doing. Archetypes can be said to be energies experienced during certain events (forming a racial heritage) and earthed by the philosophy of Magick into some causal form to allow conscious understanding and manipulation.
In one sense, they represent a ‘nexion’ – and as such, must be complemented by direct, practical experience: it is the striving to live out these qualities that is the ‘magick’. Those who fail become possessed by the form (believing they are the form in essence); subsequently they fall by the wayside – one of many – having lost sight of their original magickal aim. Such is human weakness.
Ceremonial magick, when undertaken with a genuine understanding of its function, constitutes a significant and specific stage in magickal evolution; a form which, when ‘transcended’, can be discarded or continued, according to the desires and Wyrd of the individual. It is often most helpful to give the temple a limited life expectancy, during which time, certain goals may be set and achieved, the results of which will progressively open a ‘nexion’. This would involve the creation of a causal counterpart to the temple; one which is specifically designed to interact with the outside world (this counterpart may be political, business, creative…) the temple being the acausal aspect. Gradually, acausal energy is earthed in the form – this ‘form’ becoming a ‘nexion’ and, in accordance with Aeonics, the energy manifesting creates change, this change being reverberations and mutations.
Whilst the creation of ‘new’ rites can serve a useful purpose, they should never be seen as replacements for ‘older’, more traditional rites. When traditional ceremonial work is undertaken a link is established with those who have greater Wyrd associated with the causality of the tradition of which the Magickian’s own Wyrd is a part. Hence the importance of ‘traditions’.