Issued by the
of the Golden Dawn
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
The Golden Dawn Middle Pillar Exercise is, to all intents and purposes, a Magical Ritual of Self-Initiation. That is, it is a magical method of commencing the subtle and inevitable process of uniting human consciousness with the divine consciousness, which is symbolized universally by the Light. In other words, it is a dynamic method of the Great Work, and it is worthy of vast attention from those who are truly serious about engaging themselves in the Great Work.
The Middle Pillar Exercise is a proper magical method of commencing the process of making contact with the Light and bringing it into conscious manifestation. But this Light of which we speak has naught to do with the mushy metaphysical mumbo-jumbo prattled and preached by the credulous critters of the so-called Metaphysical or New Age movements. Rather is it a metaphorical symbol for the Holy Guardian Angel or one's Central Self so often symbolized by the Lord of the Solar System, the Sun. It is LVX, the Light of the Cross. It is Khabs, the Light of a Star. The Middle Pillar Exercise is an inner recognition of that Light in the five Spheres of the Middle Pillar of Consciousness. It is a technique for concentrating and crystallizing into being the Light and bringing that Light down into conscious manifestation.
The Middle Pillar Exercise serves as an excellent prelude to any type of spiritual working, for it aligns the human personality with the Divine Self of Kether. All true spiritual work is done under the guidance of Kether. By performing the Middle Pillar Exercise you literally manifest the Light of your own Divine Self, concentrating it into being from your own limitless nature, as a sign thereof, and you gradually bring that Light into the sphere of your own human consciousness which is then transformed into a higher form of potential consciousness of your own True Nature.
The student should perform the Middle Pillar Exercise slowly and with great care and attention. It is a most effective magical method for awakening the higher currents within, and must be used with great patience and earnest aspiration. This cathartic exercise purifies and nourishes the Aura or Sphere of Sensation with the Divine Light from above. Thus it is a highly potent and serious method of the Great Work. Let the student begin visualizing each Sphere five minutes separately, vibrating each Name as many times as he/she feels inclined, however five times per Sphere seems an appropriate limit. The Ritual should take no more than 30 minutes to perform. To become identified with the Divine Energy of each of the five Spheres, periodically visualize yourself as a little person existing and moving inside each Sphere. Try to maintain this visualization within each Sphere for a period of five minutes. It is also a good practice in this respect to periodically visualize in the Spheres the letters that make up the God Names of each Sphere. In this way you enhance the meaning and power of each Sphere in your archetypal model of the Middle Pillar.
The White Sphere above the Head is the place of Kether on the Tree of Life. The Indigo Sphere at the Throat is the place of Daath on the Tree of Life. The Yellow Sphere at the Heart is the place of Tiphareth on the Tree of Life. The Violet Sphere at the Genital is the place of Yesod on the Tree of Life. The Green Sphere at the feet is the place of Malkuth on the Tree of Life. These five Spheres naturally correspond with the four Aristotelian Elements (Fire, Water, Air and Earth) and the Quintessence or Spirit (the so-called fifth Element). Thus they also correspond with the five Tattvas or Elements of Eastern Philosophy. Kether is Spirit/Akasha, Daath is Air/Vayu, Tiphareth is Fire/Tejas, Yesod is Water/Apas, and Malkuth is Earth/Prithivi. The student may find it a valuable practice to visualize in the five Spheres of the Middle Pillar their corresponding Elemental Tattvic symbols. These Tattvic symbols are an Indigo Ovoid for Spirit/Akasha, a Blue Circle for Air/Vayu, an upright Red Triangle for Fire/Tejas, a Silver Crescent for Water/Apas, and a Yellow Square for Earth/Prithivi.
The Middle Pillar Exercise may be performed while standing, sitting, or even lying down. There is no strict rule concerning this matter; it must be left to the experience of the Magician to determine what position shall suit him/her best in this practice. However, it is the more common method among members of the Order to stand erect while performing the Middle Pillar Exercise. In this way we maintain an active conscious role in the practice, less inclined to enter into a passive state of trance or sleep. The Middle Pillar Exercise is capable of inducing a certain species of trance if it is performed for a long period of time in a relaxed or passive state. There is nothing wrong in this, but the object of the Middle Pillar Exercise is to actively manifest the Light in the consciousness of the Magician, to dynamically expand his/her awareness of that Light. It is therefore suitable to stand.
Concerning the formulation of the Talismatic Atom. See the Light ascend vertically in front of you from your feet to the Sphere of White Light above your head, and then feel it descend vertically down your back to the feet again. See it forming itself into a Circle of Light moving rapidly around you. Then visualize another Circle of Light forming itself and moving rapidly around your waist area. The idea here is to build up the Talismatic Image of the Atom, so that you will now need to form two more Circles of Light moving rapidly around you. Visualize one circle forming itself, moving up from your left foot to your right shoulder and back to your left foot from behind you, and then visualize another circle forming itself, moving from your right foot to your left shoulder from behind you and back to your right foot in front of you. Visualize all four Circles moving rapidly at the same time.
The Atom is one of the most significant of all symbols for the modern Magician to understand and apply. The symbol of the Atom, like the Atom itself, is a source of vast potential energy and its value in the world of modern Magick is simply inestimable. The symbol of the Atom does not only represent one of the minute indivisible particles of which, according to ancient materialism, the Universe is composed, but is a symbol of the Whole Universe itself. Its formulation in the Aura of the Magician helps to circulate the Light invoked through the Middle Pillar and awaken his/her consciousness to a more universal mode of awareness or a higher circuit of cosmic potential.
This practice of the formulation of the Talismatic Atom also helps to fortify the Magician's power to concentrate. In this Talismatic Image we must concentrate on four distinct yet parallel parts to make up the whole of the single image of the Celestial Atom. In this simple practice is contained much wisdom for those who have eyes to see.
Concerning the formulation of the Qabalistic or Thelemic Cross. This helps to equilibrate the Light in the Aura or Sphere of Sensation. The Cross in itself is an invocation of the Divine Light of Kether and an equilibration of that Light in the four elemental quarters. By ending the Middle Pillar Exercise with the Cross you are sealing the ritual with the Light of Kether. You also formulate in your Aura the Cross of Light and seal your Aura with that Light. It is a suitable idea at this final point of the exercise to increase the size of the Cross, so that its vertical and horizontal bars extend into infinity. It is this which is the fulfillment of the Golden Dawn proclamation, "Khabs Am Pekht. Konx Om Pax. Light in Extension." After the formulation of the Talismatic Image of the Cross in the Aura, the Magician may find it a suitable practice to compose him/her self in the Sign of Silence, assuming the God-form of Harpocrates in the Egg of Blue.
The Middle Pillar is the Great Key to the Royal Path of Initiation. Thus the Middle Pillar Exercise can be used as an actual method for initiating oneself into the Mysteries of the Light. Initiation is a conscious realization of the Light. It is the beginning of the process of the gradual development of self-awareness and of self-actualization. The initiate is one who has come to a conscious realization of the Light of his/her own True Self, whose consciousness is one with his Inmost Self, with the Star of his/her own celestial nature.
The Light is a metaphor for pure Consciousness, or the unstained awareness of one's True Nature, which is the Eternal Matrix of one's being. It is Awareness of one's Universal Self, that great part of us all which is one with every other thing in the Infinite Universe, that majestic part of our own beings which we so often term the Holy Guardian Angel. It is what the foolish folk call God, and we call the Ideal Identity of our inmost nature. It is the Quinta Essentia or QUINTESSENCE of our being. It is the Light of the Star that we are in truth, and the Burning Radiance of our Eternal Self coursing through the great Heavens of Nuit. It is the Great Mystery of all Prophets and Sages, and the Goal of all Philosophers. It is That to which all men and women attain at their appointed time of death.
Love is the law, love under will.
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