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The Fifth Principle, Part II

October 18, 2020

by Tony Willis   

In previous exercises, we have identified our current destined esoteric Path and consecrated our magick Wand, the physical representation of that Path. Now is the time to dedicate ourselves and the Wand, as a single unit, to the work of our destined Path.

On the physical plane you will need: A candle, candle holder, matches or a lighter; a table or flat surface to act as your altar; your Wand, removed from its wrapping and laid on the altar. The candle can be Green, if you have been placed on the Path of Love, White if you have been assigned to the Path of Wisdom, or Red if you have been placed on the Path of Will. You will also need the first five Trumps from your tarot deck along with the Ace corresponding to the Path that has been assigned to you. If your feet have been set upon the path of Will, select the Ace of the suit that represents Fire to you. For some this will be the suit of Wands, for others it will be the suit of Swords. If your allotted Path is that of Wisdom, select the Ace of the suit that represents Air to you. Again, for some this will be the suit of Swords while for others it will be the suit of Wands. If your current destined Path is that of Love, select the Ace of Cups. It makes no difference which deck you use. If you have one particular deck you reserve for magickal work, then, obviously, you should choose cards from that deck.

The geometric symbol most frequently associated with the number 5 in occultism is the pentagram. It symbolizes Spirit (the top point of the pentagram) raised above the Four Elements (designated by the pentagram’s remaining four points). <pentagram> However, a better symbol for our purposes is to be found in the way the number Five is depicted on dice and dominoes – four dots arranged in a square with a fifth dot at their center. This is the symbol of Spirit working within the physical universe. It also represents the spark of God that lives within each of us, although for most people the spark remains latent, uncontacted, unactivated.

my--pentagram        image

All those levels of interpretation are invoked by the way in which our altar is laid out for this dedication ritual. Place the tarot card of the Hierophant at the center of the space on your altar. Then put the Magician card above the Hierophant and at some distance to its right and the High Priestess card in a similar position to the Hierophant’s left. The Empress card goes below the High Priestess and the Emperor card below the Magician so that these four cards form a square around the central Hierophant card. Finally, set the Ace signifying the Path that has been assigned to you above the Hierophant card so that its bottom edge is in alignment with the top edge of Trump 5, and lay your magick Wand horizontally underneath the whole tableau of the six cards. If you are right-handed, lay the Wand’s head to the left; if you are left-handed, lay the Wand’s head to the right. This simply positions the Wand so that you can pick it up, when required to do so, with the minimum of fuss.

self-D altar

Once you have set up your altar as directed, leave the room for a minute or two while you mentally prepare yourself for the ritual you are about to perform. When you re-enter the room, walk a full circle around the altar, moving in a clockwise direction. After you have made one complete circuit of the room, approach the altar, continuing to move in a clockwise direction. Stand at the altar facing East. Light the candle. Close your eyes and, in your imagination, return to the astral environment where you consecrated your Wand. In vision, see (or feel, sense) the courtyard and the four altars. On the central stone altar lies the astral double of your Wand and, positioned above it, six tarot cards in exactly the same configuration as they hold on your physical altar. A candle and a book of matches lies on the altar too. In your imagination, strike a match and light the candle. Not matter at what time of day you are performing this ritual, in the astral world the sky is light, the weather fine; but you light the candle anyway, to signal to the Forces of the Inner Planes that a work of magick is about to begin.

Pause for a moment. Then, open your eyes and pick up your Wand. Now close your eyes again and, this time in vision, take up the Wand from the astral altar. Fuse the actual and the astral in your mind, so that in reality and in vision you are holding your consecrated Wand. When you have accomplished this fusion, walk, moving clockwise, to the appropriate altar. This means that, if your wand is Green, you will walk from the central altar towards the altar in the North-East, curving round past the eastern-most part of the courtyard to the altar in the South-East. From there you will proceed to the West where the altar on which the image of the Empress card is set up. Go to the West of that altar and face East.

If you have a Red Wand, you will follow the same path but you will stop at the South-Eastern altar presided over by the image of the Magician card. If you have a White Wand, you merely walk directly from the central altar to the altar in the North-East that has the image of the High Priestess card on it. In both cases, stand at the altar facing East.

Once at the appropriate altar, transfer the Wand to your left hand and place your right palm on your heart. Do this and the following actions in reality and in vision. Hold the Wand at head height, its bulbous head pointing skywards. (If you are left-handed reverse these directions.) Say: “Eternal Parent, you vast and mighty Being, who exists beyond Nature and beyond human understanding, I freely and willingly dedicate myself and this Wand to the work of the Higher Will [or Wisdom, or Love], that every act we perform together shall be for the benefit of Planet Earth and to Your greater glory.”

Wait for a response. In circumstances like this, magickal power arises in the East; that is why you are instructed to face East when making this speech. If your perceptions of astral currents are particularly strong, you may sense an energy approaching the courtyard from across the plane of whispering grasses that lies to the East of it. More likely, however, you will become aware of the energy only when it touches the head of your Wand, which acts very much like a lightning conductor at this point in the proceedings. The energy sent forth by the Eternal Parent flows from the East, into the courtyard and the sacred space you have created there. It then enters the Wand through its bulbous head and passes from the Wand into your hand holding it, at which point the energy floods your entire body with vitality and inner strength.

When you feel the energy pulsing within you, say: “I ask You, Eternal Parent, Creator of Heaven and Earth and of all that is in them, both visible and invisible, that you stretch out your right hand of power upon me and this consecrated Wand and bless us in your Sacred Name. Accept our dedication and aid all our legitimate magickal endeavors if we find favor in your eyes, O, great ruler and judge of all. Amen.”

If your dedication is accepted, a sign will appear, either on the altar in front of you or in the air above the altar. It may take the form of a vision of your tutelary deity, should you have one, or of one of that deity’s symbols. Alternatively (and this is far more likely) it will be a symbol of one of the deities associated with the Path you have been set upon. If you are on the Path of Love, a cord, tied so as to form a loop, may appear on the altar. This is the famed Girdle of Venus, Roman goddess of love. Or you may see, with your inner eyes, a bundle of freshly reaped corn, bound in the middle. This is the symbol of Demeter, whose great love for her daughter Persephone brought the latter back from the underworld, where she had been taken by the god Hades.

(If you are new to the occult side of tarot and feel uneducated on the subject of symbolism, you may want to arm yourself with a book such as Practical Greek Magic by Murry Hope. Ms Hope has two chapters in her book that throw much light on the subject. One is on magical symbolism in the Greek legends relating to the heroes – characters such as Theseus and Herakles – the other is on the most significant symbols associated with the Greek gods. Since a great deal of the symbolism of the Western Mystery Tradition is rooted in Greek mythology, or the similar myths of the Romans, and considering that these myths are frequently reflected in the imagery found on traditional tarot Trumps, a book on the symbolism of the Greek heroes and gods should take you a very long way towards an understanding of the subject. Should you have previously steeped yourself in the legends of the Celts, or the complex magickal system practiced in ancient Egypt, then you will need to seek out books cataloging and explaining those particular mythologies and the symbolism associated with them. For the most part, however, an understanding of Greek and Roman myth will suffice.)

The vision will not last long, and when it vanishes, you will be aware that the energy which entered your body through your Wand has settled, found a home, in your interior organs and also has impregnated the Wand, binding the two of you together.

Now, moving in a clockwise direction, return to the central altar. If you have been standing at the Western altar, it is best that you make a complete circuit of the courtyard, going to the North, then the East, then the South, and finally back to the central altar. Once you arrive at the central altar, place your Wand upon it. Open your eyes and set the actual Wand on your physical altar.

Close your eyes again and take a moment to compose your emotions. Then say, “Eternal Parent, Creator of Heaven and Earth and of all that is in them, I give thanks for the blessing conferred upon me and my trusty Wand this evening [this morning, today – whatever is appropriate]. Amen.” After a pause, say, “I now release all spirits and elementals drawn into this sacred space by the creation of the magick circle so that they may return to their own places in the natural world.”

In your imagination, leave the central altar and walk anti-clockwise to the East. Turn, face East and bow to the direction from which magickal power arises. Then turn to your left and proceed anti-clockwise around the courtyard, passing in turn the altar in the North-East, the Western altar, and the altar in the South-East. On returning to the East again, once more turn, face East, and bow. Then, continuing to move anti-clockwise around the courtyard, go back to the central altar. In vision, blow out the candle that stands upon the altar. Lastly, open your eyes and blow out the candle on your physical altar. The ritual is over. You may leave the room and disrobe. Return later to remove the candle, its holder, the box of matches, etc. Wrap your Wand in the cloth you keep it swaddled in, and put it away somewhere safe, where no one else is likely to come upon it. Soon there will be an astral adventure for you and your Wand to participate in, for the world is in need of healing.

Earlier in this article, I wrote about the five dots that appear on a dice to represent the number 5. I said that they symbolize the spark of God that dwells within each of us. I further explained that so far as most people are concerned this spark remains latent, asleep within us, waiting to be awoken. The ritual I have detailed above has the power to awaken that spark in you. This may seem an incredible statement. To provide you with the theory behind it, I am going to end with a paraphrase of something the great adept Paracelsus wrote over four hundred years ago, in which he makes clear in no uncertain terms the link between the quintessence (the occult energy that flows through the number Five, personified by the Hierophant card) and homo sapiens. “Each individual human being is a microcosm, or little world, because every last one of us constitutes an extract from the stars and planets inhabiting the firmament above us, on the one hand, and from the Earth below us and the Four Elements from which it is composed, on the other, and we humans are therefore the quintessence of all those energies.” Human beings are themselves a quintessence. That is why the occult symbol for a person is the pentagram, this being an alternative way of representing the number Five symbolically.

my--pentagram        thoth hierophant 5

From → occult tarot

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